Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hugh Winslow and Elizabeth Brady Cabot Winslow

On Monday I posted photos of Hugh Winslow at West Point and in Japan. I thought that was going to be the end of that, but discovered that there's much more to the story. So, here's a follow-up post.

Hugh was born in Montana in 1897  to parents William Henry Winslow and Josephine Whitaker Winslow. He had a sister, Irene, who was born in 1892. I don't know what became of her, but here's what she looked like when the family lived in Fort Collins, Colorado, circa 1920.


He also had a brother, William Henry Winslow Jr., born in 1895, but if I have any photos of him they aren't labeled.

Hugh married Elizabeth Brady Ferguson (1904-1987) in 1939.  Here's a strange photo of the newlyweds.


They had two children, Elizabeth Brady Cabot Winslow (1941) and Hugh Whitaker Winslow Jr. (1942). Again, I may have photos of Hugh Jr., but I can't say for sure. I do have photos of Elizabeth though. Here she is as an infant with her father.


And here she is later in life. The first three photos were taken at a Chanticlair photomat in Paris. The folder promises 6 photos in 6 minutes. There are only three left.




 I'm not sure where this one was taken, but it looks like a passport photo.


What I do know is that something went tragically wrong in Elizabeth's life. If you read the résumé that she posted in 2002, you'll see what I mean. I fear that she is no longer alive. It would be easy to read the  résumé and laugh at her craziness, but if you view it in the perspective of the family history and the youthful pictures full of hope and promise, it's clear what a terrible tragedy this is. Elizabeth needed help, not ridicule.You can see more photos of the youthful Elizabeth here.

All of the West Point pictures as well as these and many others once belonged to Elizabeth. Some were in a manila envelope sent to her by her mother. We had others, including a box of her entire modeling portfolio, that were sent off to a paper auction in 2009 following my father-in-law's death. It's likely that he bought a lot of her belongings at a sale years earlier. I think we still have some modeling film footage though (updated - see below). In any case, somewhere along the line Elizabeth lost possession of all of these photographs, whether by choice or by accident I don't know.

Here's a short snippet of some sort of a modeling test film.

video

Here are some additional photos that are probably Elizabeth's ancestors.




15 comments:

  1. Post a comment? I can't think of a single thing to say that speaks to this heartbreak; very, very powerful, Christine!

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  2. I got the gist of it, what a beautiful woman but what a tragic mind! You're right about the wedding photo; it looks as though the bride is wearing an antique outfit and the setting is odd as well. Do you think perhaps the mother was a little strange too?

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  3. I love the bride's dress and Elizabeth jnr was very beautiful.

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  4. Fascinating, as usual. You are a wonderful keeper of all these histories.

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  5. Very sad. Her resume resembles one that a cousin of mine posted online several years ago, with the same paranoia, detail about wrongs committed years ago, and self-aggrandizing statements. Eerie. I later learned she was bipolar and was not taking medications when those episodes occurred.

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  6. Christine, I am so glad that you shared this with us. How tragic, but how important to open this subject up to us. Did you find her resume by Googling Elizabeth? If so, what a surprise it must have been to find it that way. I was gone last week, but Deb emailed me so that I would make sure to read this. She was a very intelligent woman, and I feel so badly for her. There is always a part of me that wonders how much of that bad stuff actually did happen to her, but is written off due to her illness. She sure does have a lot of details in there.

    Kathy M.

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  7. Kathy,

    Yes, after i posted the old pics of her father, I found the resume by doing an internet search of her name. It was a very sad surprise. Certainly there is some truth to her accounts, but it's impossible to know how much. I cringed when I read about her belongings,including the portfolio, being stolen from her. I wonder what really happened.

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  8. I'm not sure why anyone would actually steal her portfolio, as it wouldn't be of value to anyone but the model (unless she was famous like Marilyn Monroe or something, which Elizabeth wasn't...). More likely, her mental illness led to the belief that it had been stolen. Whatever the case, it was great that Christine could link the pieces of this fascinating and tragic puzzle: As the family photos, modeling history, and film clips were strewn about separately in the great collection of things my father had gathered over the years, I didn't make the connection until seeing the Chanticlair pix earlier this week.

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  9. Film clips? Those sound interesting.

    P.S. She was alive as recently as Christmas. After I read her resume years ago, I became a little fascinated and started a blog where people could contribute any knowledge they had about her. A mental health worker in NY wrote in around Christmas to say Elizabeth was living in Grand Central Station and was admitted to a hospital. They were trying to find her a place to live, but by this point, it was very difficult as she was too far gone.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Mike,
      I'm glad to hear she was alive recently, but what a tough life that must be. The film clips were probably part of her modeling portfolio, as they show her striking poses and wearing different outfits. The whole thing makes me very sad.

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  10. Yes, it is very sad. When you read her bio online, you can clearly see the madness escalating. Like, at first it's all about "So and so stole my prom dress" and it keeps getting worse and worse and the injustices become more and more outlandish until it's, like, "I'm living in a bus station and I was electrocuted in my ear by a payphone." It's too bad she lost her pictures, but honestly, it's wonderful that everything ended up in your hands -- because she would've lost them eventually.

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  11. Thank you for posting these. I was a roommate of Liz's for 4 to 5 months in 1982 when she lived in Arlington, VA. It must have been at the beginning of her downward spiral into some sort of mental illness. She was strange back then but not as ill as recent information indicates. She told me she had been a model but when I asked to see her photos she said they had all been stolen when she was traveling in Europe. Until seeing recent photos posted on the internet, I had not really believed she was a model. I can see the resemblance in the photos above to what she looked like in 1982. It is definately her...but in '82 she had stopped wearing makeup and was pale and thin. She did have long red hair, almost waist length, but did not style it at all. Her clothes were not fashion or style conscience, almost matronly. It is very surprising all these years later to see photos of her in her "former" state. She was definately an interesting roommate and I am not sure, even after living with her, how intelligent she really was. She carried herself well, spoke in an almost "prim and proper" manner some of the time. But some of it seemed "fake"...like she had an old delicate, fragile tea cup and saucer that she drank her tea out of. Would sip out of it like an aristocrat, but would do so while walking around in a shabby bathrobe. Lots of contradictions in retrospect. I do hope she is getting help now....she never seemed genuinely happy, at the very least I pray for safety, comfort and peace for her now.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks JAZ,
      I like to think that with the proper help/medication she might have been O.K., but it's impossible to know.

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  12. Deary me. What an interesting subject for research! My hat's off to you.

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  13. I worked as a librarian in New York in the 1990s and Ms. Winslow was a regular. Incredibly enough, I ran into her yesterday in a library in Washington DC. Sadly not much has changed. Paranoid schizophrenia. She didn't remember me, despite infuriating me for years. Honestly, it was great to see that despite her desperate illness, she was still alive and somehow making do.

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