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The Remarkable Rise of Eliza Jumel: A Story of Marriage and Money in the…
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"Born Betsy Bowen into grinding poverty, the woman who became Eliza Jumel was raised in a brothel, indentured as a servant, and confined to a workhouse when her mother was in jail. Yet by the end of her life, "Madame Jumel" was one of America's richest women, with servants of her own, a New York mansion and Saratoga Springs summer home, a major art collection, and several hundred acres of land. During her remarkable rise, she acquired a fortune from her first husband--a French merchant--and almost lost it to her second--notorious vice president Aaron Burr. Divorcing Burr amid lurid charges of adultery, Jumel lived on to the age of 90, astutely managing her property and public persona. After her death, a titanic battle over her estate went all the way to the United States Supreme Court--twice. Family members told of a woman who earned the gratitude of Napoleon I and shone at the courts of Louis XVIII and Charles X. Claimants to her estate painted a different picture: of a prostitute, the mother of George Washington's illegitimate son, a wife who defrauded her husband and perhaps even plotted his death. Eliza Jumel's real story--so unique that it surpasses any invention--has yet to be told, until now."--
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