Farnham, Eliza Wood Burhans (1815–1864)

Eliza W. Farnham was born in Rensselaerville, New York. Orphaned at an early age, she went to live with an aunt and uncle in Maple Springs, New York. Her early life was filled with neglect, but her aunt's atheism provided Eliza with distrust for religion, which was evident throughout her life.

In 1836 she moved to Illinois with one of her brothers to join her sister. Also in 1836 she married Thomas Jefferson Farnham, an author of travel books. She lived on the Illinois prairie until 1841. During that time she bore three children, only one of whom survived.

In 1841 she and her husband moved to Washington Hollow, New York. In 1844, when her husband was in California, Farnham took work as a matron at Sing ...

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