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Antebellum Portrait of Mary E. Foreman, Mother of the Wife of Confederate Gen. Wm. J. Hardee


Antebellum Portrait of Mary E. Foreman, Mother of the Wife of Confederate Gen. Wm. J. Hardee – This fine southern portrait depicts Mary Eliza Foreman, the mother of Mary Foreman Lewis Hardee, the second wife of famed Confederate General Wm. J. Hardee. Mary Foreman Lewis married Gen. Hardee during the Civil War, in 1864. Her mother, the sitter in this portrait, was born on March 27, 1810, in Pitt County, North Carolina. Mary married Richard Henry Lewis, Sr., who owned plantations in both North Carolina and Alabama; she lived only 30 years, dying on September 24, 1840. Mary Foreman is buried in Stokes Cemetery, in Hale County, Alabama. Perry Adams Antiques obtained this fine, circa 1835 portrait directly from the descendants of the Foreman and Lewis families. The painting is in overall very good condition, with some cleaning needed and some minor paint loss at the bottom of the work that would be readily ameliorated by a conservator. The sitter was obviously of a fine background, as she proudly displays, in the portrait, a nice pocket watch on a chain, a rare element in antebellum portraits of women. The frame, in superb condition, is a superior example of an antebellum, high quality frame and is original to the portrait; it is constructed of gilded gesso and wood. This is an important and historic southern work; we can provide notarized affirmation of its provenance, from the family. The painting measures as follows:

Frame size – Height: 56.5” x Width: 46”

Sight size – Height: 43.25” x Width: 33.5”

Genealogical research revealed the following in a segment reviewing the Foreman family lineage:

Lewis, Mary Eliza Foreman   (b. 27 Mar 1810 – d. 24 Sep 1840) Age 29 Years 5 Months 28 Days. Died in Greensboro, Alabama. The mother of Annie and daughter of Ivey & Louisa Foreman; her mortal remains repose in one of the cemeteries of that village, and a monument is there erected in her memory. This tablet honors the daughter and the mother.


Lewis, Mary Eliza Foreman       


Maiden Name: Foreman  
Birth Date: 27 Mar 1810  
Birth Place: Pitt County, North Carolina, United States of America  
Death Date: 24 Sep 1840  
Death Place: Greensboro, Hale County, Alabama, United States of America  
Cemetery: Stokes Cemetery  
Burial or Cremation Place: Greensboro, Hale County, Alabama, United States of America  
Father: Ivey Foreman  
Spouse: Richard Henry Lewis  



Mary Eliza Foreman Lewis’ daughter, Mary Foreman Lewis, married Confederate General William J. Hardee, in 1864; genealogical information about her revealed the following:

Mary Foreman Lewis

Born in Alabama, USA on 13 May 1838 to Richard Henry Lewis and Mary Eliza Foreman. Mary Foreman Lewis married William Joseph Hardee and had 1 child. She passed away on 1875 in St Augustine, Florida, USA.

Family Members



Richard Henry Lewis

1806 – 1857


Mary Eliza Foreman

1810 – 1840



William Joseph Hardee

1815 – 1873


William H Hardee

1867 – Unknown