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Elizabeth tried to comfort her devastated father, declaring that she would become all that her brother had been.
She sought advice from the family’s neighbor, Reverend Simon Hosack, who encouraged and supported her intellectual development, even teaching her Greek and giving her books, including his own Greek lexicon.
Upon graduation from Johnstown Academy, many of Elizabeth’s male classmates enrolled in Union College, where her brother Eleazar had gone.
Margaret was unusually tall for her time and had a commanding presence; Elizabeth would often later describe her as "queenly." With the loss of so five of her children during their infancy and early childhood, Margaret Cady was depressed and somewhat withdrawn from her surviving children’s lives, while Daniel Cady immersed himself in his work.
Much of the child-rearing responsibilities fell to Elizabeth’s older sister Tryphena, Tryphena’s husband Edward Bayard, and a slave owned by the family, Peter Teabout, who was freed—all slavery ended in New York on July 4, 1827—but continued to live near and work for the family.
Married women in particular had few rights, with no right to property, income, employment, or even custody of their own children.
In 1826, Elizabeth’s only surviving brother, Eleazar, died just before his graduation from Union College in Schenectady, New York.
Daniel Cady was a prominent Federalist attorney who served one term in Congress (1814–1817), became a circuit court judge, and was appointed to the New York Supreme Court in 1847.
Margaret Livingston Cady was descended from early Dutch settlers—her father, Colonel James Livingston, was an officer in the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
My father is the prominent attorney and judge Daniel Cady and my mother is Margaret Livingston Cady. Although my mother gave birth to eleven children- five boys and six girls- six of her children died.
Only one of my brothers survived to adulthood, and he died unexpectedly when he was twenty.