27 February, 2009
Mrs. Peabody: Always Correct
On March 30, 1964, a mixed group of Whites and Negroes was arrested by Saint John County sheriff L.O. Davis at a sit-in demonstration at the Ponce De Leon Motel, in St. Augustine, Florida. When they were taken off for booking, the negro women looked to Catherine Twine, a postman's wife, for leadership, but she thought to defer to one of the Northern white women who had come down especially for the demonstration. She was quite impressed by one elderly woman, every inch the aristocrat in her sensible shoes and pale pink suit, and Mrs. Twine remarked, "My — but you look just like Mrs. Elanor Roosevelt."
Taking this as a complement, the woman nodded, "We're cousins."
The woman was Mary Parkman Peabody, wife of retired Episcopal Bishop of New York, the Rev. Malcolm Peabody, and 72-year old mother of Massachusetts Governor Endicott Peabody. Upon being arrested, she became an instant celebrity. When CBS offered to make her bail in order to get an exclusive interview with her, she refused, saying, "I'd rather stay in jail with my new friends."
Where are the aristocrats of today?