Catherine Few

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Catherine Few (Nicholson)

Birthplace: New York City
Death: August 07, 1854 (90)
Fishkill, New York, USA.
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Comodore James Nicholson and Frances Nicholson
Wife of William Few, Jr., Signer of the US Constitution
Mother of Frances Chrystie; Mary Few; Matilda Few and Albert Few
Sister of Frances (Fanny) Seney; James Witter Nicholson; Hannah Gallatin; Maria Nicholson; Jehoiadden Nicholson and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
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About Catherine Few

Wife of William Few, Signer of the US Constitution.

**************************** Thomas Paine: Apostle of Freedom, page 194. By Jack Fruchtman, Jr. Women of the Constitution: Wives of the Signers, pages 60-61. By Janice E. McKenney, Daughters of the American Revolution. District of Columbia

Catherine "Kitty" Nicholson (August 7, 1764 – August 7, 1854)

  • She was the daughter of Frances Wiltter and Commodore James Nicholson of the Royal Navy, and friend of writer Thomas Paine.
    • Her father was the New York republican leader.
    • She was the eldest daughter of eight children, two dying in infancy.
    • The family moved to the eastern shore of Maryland by 1775, where her father, formerly in the Royal Navy, offered his services to Maryland.
      • In recognition of those services, he was appointed as a captain in the new Continental Navy the following year.
      • After the war, James and his family returned to New York, where his house became a meeting place for Republican politicians of New York City, including the followers of Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr.
  • Husband: William Few (1748-1828 of Georgia.
  • Married on 8 July 1788 a fellow New Yorker.
    • William Few a Georgia Representative, had served in the Continental Congress from 1780-1788 and had lived in New York intermittently when Congress met there.
    • It was there that “Kitty” and he met.
    • On the occasion of her marriage, the Few Bible recorded
      • “Catherine—married William Few, GA., married in New York by Rev. Docr. Livingston the 8th July 1788."
  • Thomas Paine greatly admired Catherine and wrote several letters to her.
    • After her marriage, he wrote a long letter to Kitty to congratulate her on her marriage to Colonel William Few, a senator from Georgia.
    • Unfortunately, the two were estranged after Thomas Paine criticized formal religion.
      • On his deathbed he expressed a wish to see her, and reluctantly she did.
      • William Few and his wife visited Paine, but when she spoke some words of Christian hope to the dying man, he turned his face to the wall and kept silent.
  • Together they had three daughters.
  • William Few was one of Georgia’s first US Senators (1789-1793).
    • In 1799 he decided to move to New York for health reasons.
    • Yellow fever was prevalent in New York, but his father-in0law took a spacious house on the eastern bank of the East River for both families.
    • He decided to make the move permanent and bought a five-acre farm in the Washington Square section of Manhattan.
    • He became active in the political life of new York and was a successful banker, dying in 1828.
      • Catherine survived her husband by many years, living with her daughter Mary in New York
  • Kitty died in 1954, outliving her husband by many years.
  • She died in Fishkill, New York on 7 Aug 1854.
    • When she died in 1854, the following account appeared in the family Bible:
      • “Not withstanding her great age, she died or rather calmly fell asleep in full and clear possession of her mind, and a bright hope of immortality in the kingdom of God and Christ and was buried in the family vault, Trinity Churchyard."
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Catherine Few's Timeline

August 7, 1764
New York City
April 20, 1789
Age 24
December 18, 1790
Age 26
February 22, 1794
Age 29
September 5, 1797
Age 33
August 7, 1854
Age 90
Fishkill, New York, USA.
August 7, 1854
Age 90