The Obituary of Eleanor Hook Morhouse Hook Grayson

            This is the most detailed biography of Eleanor Grayson that I have ever found.  I was SO excited when I found it! Eleanor was the ward and later wife of four of the most powerful men to settle in the Ouachita Valley:  Ward of the Chevalier Charles le Paulmier d’Annemour, wife of Andrew Morhouse, George Hook and Thomas Grayson .  Her grave is no longer marked, but she was said to have been buried at the foot of her last husband’s grave in Caldwell Parish.  For more information on Eleanor, please see Dr. E. Russ Williams, Jr.’s two books, Encyclopedia of the Individuals And Founding Families of the Ouachita Valley of Louisiana From 1785 to 1850.

The New Orleans Weekly Delta, Monday, March 27, 1848, Page 6, Column 2

            We publish, at the request of a friend, the following extract from a funeral discourse by the Rev. M. Dubose, in the Parish of Ouachita, on the death and character of the late Mrs. Eleanor Grayson, on the 26th Dec., 1847.

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            The life and character of this excellent lady is so interesting, and so intimately connected with a large number of our most respectable citizens, that I feel it almost a duty, as well as the pleasure it affords me, to trace them somewhat particularly ; although, from the meagre material with which I have been furnished, I am sure I shall fall far short of investing them with that interest with which her long and adventitious life is calculated to inspire.  Of the birth and education of Miss Eleanor Hook, we have no means of ascertaining, but little, except that she was the daughter of Joseph Hook, and born in the city of Baltimore on the 20th of Jan., A.D. 1783 ; and that in very early life, about the year 1795, she emigrated to Louisiana, then a province of Spain, in company with and under the protection of the Chev. Deanemores and his family.  By this nobleman she was doubtless mostly educated ; he stood to her as Godfather, friend, and protector ; and by him, no doubt, were inculcated those principles of rectitude and virtue which characterized her through life.

            The subject of this brief memoir was one of those early settlers, who, animated by a spirit of heroic enterprise beyond her sex, and unmindful of the discomforts and privations ever attendant upon a frontier life, pierced the dense wilderness, breasted the beating storm, and having overcome wind and wave, at last made her residence on the bank of the placid Ouachita.  Strengthened and encouraged by the undaunted spirit and enterprise of her noble friend and protector, she scorned fear, and soon defied the menacing tomahawk and gleaming scalping-knife.  Often has she heard the savage yell in hot pursuit of unprotected innocence, and as often made to listen to the story of blood ; yet her ever frail life, by that overruling, all-governing, ever sleepless and watchful Providence, was spared – a singular trophy of Divine regard.

            In September, 1799, and during the residence of Miss Hook in the family of her protector, she was united in matrimony to Col. Abraham Morehouse, a distinguished pioneer, whose history is the history of Northern Louisiana, and whose name will live in the remembrance of our citizens, as long as the noble parish shall live which gives it perpetuity.  This marriage occurred while Louisiana was yet under the Spanish government, and in consequence of it, was celebrated at Fort Miro (now Monroe) by the then commandant, Don Juan Filhiol, in conformity with a custom, sanctioned by the Spanish government, on account of the want of spiritual assistance to perform the marriage ceremony.  Of this marriage, four daughters and one son are the issue, viz : Mrs. Sophia Breedlove, Mrs. Eliza C. Sterling, Mrs. Ann M. Patten, (now Mrs. May,) Mrs. Lucretia C. Hubbell, (late Mrs. Pilcher,) and Gen. Chas. F. Morehouse, who lost his life in an unfortunate encounter with the late Jonathan Morgan, Esq.; all of whom, except Mrs. May, have departed this life.

            In the year 1813 Abraham Morehouse died, and in the latter part of the succeeding year, 1814, Mrs. Morehouse intermarried with George Hook, a gentleman bearing her maiden name.  This marriage was consummated at Prairie Mer Rouge, at present embraced within the Parish bearing the name of her former spouse.  Two daughters and one son are the issue of this marriage – viz : Mrs. King, Mrs. McLauchlin, and Geo. J. Hook – all of whom survive the mother.  Having again become a widow, in 1820, she intermarried some time in the year 1834 with the late Thomas Grayson, Esq.  This last marriage was celebrated in the Parish of Caldwell, and by which there was no issue.  Thus we see that this distinguished matron was the mother of eight children – six daughters and two sons – of whom three daughters and one son survive her, together with numerous grand children, “to rise up and call her blessed.”  Like many of her sisters and brothers “in the flesh,” hers was a life of adventure and vicissitude – sorrows most poignant, afflictions of keenest pang, bereavements and trials of extraordinary character, assailed her on ever side and filled up her chequered [sic] life.  Yet, in the midst of them, we cannot but pause and admire the wondrous providence of God.  Could she not say “out of them all the Lord deliver me.” And it is here that her native courage, her exemplary fortitude, her pious confidence in an all-wise and ever-good Being, shone with Heaven in lustre.  She was always and under all, even the most trying circumstances, the same dignified, kind, affable, elegant lady ; the very pattern of an American matron ; and persevering in those virtues and those principles which exalt and elevate human nature, and imparting the same to her immediate family, she has left with us a posterity numerous, happy, and respectable – stars to decorate her crown of joy.

            We conclude this hasty notice of our departed friend by noticing the latter part of her long and eventful life, and especially her death.  We learn that for many years she had been the subject of serious religious exercises, that very often she had resolved to connect herself with some denomination of Christians, and become a member of Christ’s Church, but from various circumstances had neglected to do so.  This we certainly regret, as we conceive it to be the duty of every individual to become a member of Christ’s Militant Church.  We learn, that from the commencement of her last illness, she was fully persuaded that “this sickness was unto death;” that in view of this solemn crisis she had “set her house in order;” she had made preparation to meet her end. – was accompanied with excessive pain, she was scarcely heard to murmur ; her wonted fortitude, her accustomed resignation, did not desert her even though she was called to grapple with the “King of Terror.”  On the morning of the 6th of June last, 1847, at about 6 o’clock, she yielded up her spirit to God who gave it, filled with hope of a blessed immortality, aged 64 years, 4 months, and 27 days.  She expired at the residence of her son-in-law, Major Richard King, in the Parish of Caldwell, in great peace – “full of years and of honors.”

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