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About Clemson

Floride Elizabeth Clemson Lee

Floride Elizabeth Clemson Lee, Clemson University South Carolina Dec. 29, 1842-July 23, 1871
Floride Clemson Lee, Anna’s daughter, exhibited the strong will of her mother and grandmother. Historians know a great deal about her through her wartime diary, 1863-1866, published as “A Rebel Came Home.” Floride was a talented poet. Her verse included subjects that she saw as a child at her grandmother’s home such as “That ‘Blessed’ Sewing Machine” (now on view at Fort Hill). Her poetry was published as “The Verse of Floride Clemson.” Her poem “Strong-Minded Women,” penned two years before her marriage, sums up the role of a Southern female during the 19th century.

“The most perfect of women are those who with grace; And dignity too still keep in their place...Oh, hard-minded sisters, leave things as they are; Nor kick down the pedestal under our feet; Involving us all in your own just defeat” (January 1867).

On Aug. 1, 1869, Floride married Gideon Lee of New York. Her parents were unenthusiastic about her marriage to a man 18 years older and were saddened, too, that their daughter was moving to New York. Floride gave birth to one daughter, Floride Isabella, on May 15, 1870. Floride Clemson Lee died on July 23, 1871, in Carmel, N.Y., a year after the birth of her daughter.

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