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Gertrude Atherton Arnold Genthe, 1912. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G432-0120).

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Atherton, Gertrude Franklin (30 October 1857–14 June 1948), author, biographer, and historian, was born Gertrude Franklin Horn in San Francisco, California, the daughter of Thomas Horn, a businessman, and Gertrude Franklin. Her maternal grandfather, a grandnephew of Benjamin Franklin, was a banker and editor of one of San Francisco’s first newspapers. Gertrude lived with him when her parents were divorced after three years of marriage. Although she was well read, her formal education was sporadic—while she was attending the Sayre Institute in Lexington, Kentucky, she contracted tuberculosis. After twice becoming engaged, she eventually eloped in 1876 with George H. Bowen Atherton, a former suitor of her mother’s. They had a daughter and a son who died at the age of six....

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Randolph, Sarah Nicholas (12 October 1839–25 April 1892), historian and educator, was born at Edge Hill, Ablemarle County, Virginia, the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Randolph, a planter, and Jane Hollins Nicholas. The importance of history and family responsibility was deeply ingrained in Sarah Nicholas Randolph. Her father, Thomas Jefferson’s favorite grandson, who served as the manager of his affairs during the last ten years of the former president’s life and was the executor of his estate, edited the first collection of Jeffersoniana, ...