July 30: Mary Randolph Dickins (1849)

In the midst of a neighborhood in suburban Fairfax County today stands Oak Hill, a Georgian style home built in 1790. The house is one of three mansions built during the 18th Century on the enormous Ravensworth estate. Francis Asbury Dickins, a Washington attorney, owned one of the other mansions and used it as a summer home until the outbreak of the Civil War, when it became his year-round residence. The Dickins family were closely connected with Epiphany in its early years. A story in The National Intelligencer records the death of Dickins’ oldest daughter, Mary near Oak Hill. The funeral of Mary Randolph Dickins is recorded in Epiphany’s register. Seven months later, Mary’s parents were both confirmed at the church.

“A most lamentable accident occurred on Monday evening last, in Fairfax County, near the residence of David Fitzhugh, Esq., about ten miles from Alexandria. The horses attached to a spring wagon, in which Mrs. M.A. Fitzhugh, Miss Dickins, and two other ladies were riding, took fright and ran off with great fury. The wagon was dashed against a tree, and broken to pieces. Miss Dickins, about twelve years of age, a most interesting girl, daughter of Francis A. Dickins, Esq. of this city, was so severely injured that she died in an hour or two after the accident. Mrs. Fitzhugh was very much injured, but it is hoped, from the report of the physicians, that her wounds are not dangerous. Another of the ladies had her arms shattered, and in other respects was much bruised; and the other young lady was slightly injured. Such was the violence of the concussion of the wagon against the tree, that it is a wonder the whole party were not killed. This melancholy accident is deeply regretted in the whole neighborhood.”

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