Named after James Cameron’s second wife Elizabeth Sherman Cameron. She was dangerously fascinating, and all who laid eyes on her were captivated.
She arrived in Washington D. C. January 1878 for the social season to become acquainted with her fiancé, the lanky, dour millionaire from Pennsylvania, Senator James Donald Cameron after her true love, a New York lawyer, had been thwarted a year before by her family, who rejected the young suitor as neither rich nor sober enough for their “Lizzie”.
This loveless match to a widower 25 years her senior had been arranged in agreement with her father (an impecunious district court judge) by two Sherman uncles, John, Secretary of the Treasury under President Hayes, and General William Tecumseh of Civil War fame. It was done with the apparent acquiescence of their niece, who had decided to marry, if not for love, then for money.
Thus, with an admitted facility for “liking people on the surface while despising them underneath,” Elizabeth Sherman seduced the besotted politician, who happened to be one of the richest men in America, into a pre-nuptial agreement giving her the income from $160,000 in securities ($4,100,000 in 2019).
After the wedding she travelled to Harrisburg to face the disapproval, indeed hatred of, six stepchildren.
For the next 19 years, until the Cameron’s separation in 1897, Elizabeth bore her trying existence with the heavy-drinking senator, while building an enviable reputation as Washington’s most fashionable hostess. For many summers she took Martha, the only child of this joyless union, to Europe, ostensibly to broaden the shy girl’s horizons.
During the long years of estrangement (Cameron did not die until 1918), Elizabeth enjoyed several flirtations: with the Russian rouge Prince Orloff, with the sculptors Saint-Gaudens and Rodin, and with the doomed poet Joseph Trumbull Stickney. This close relationship with Saint-Gaudens resulted in the double eagle $20 gold piece featuring a rendition of Elizabeth Sherman Cameron as the Victory.
This last flirtation with Joseph Trumbull Stickney was almost certainly an affair. But her only enduring romantic affection was for the sage of Washington, Henry Adams, grandson of John Quincy Adams.
Their close relationship was described by Henry James as “one of the longest and oddest liaisons” he had ever known. “Women have been hanged for less; and yet men have been, too, I judge, rewarded with more.” It began after the suicide of Adams’ wife Clover in December 1885 and continued with varying degrees of intensity until the historian’s death in 1918.
Featuring a king bed, private bath with a spa tub and separate glass shower, wood-burning fireplace*, the room offers commanding views of the east lawn, woods, and Donegal creek.
A getaway near Hershey, York, Lancaster, and Harrisburg to create a memorable escape at the Cameron Estate Inn.
*Equipped with gas logs for your safety and convenience
● Private Ensuite
● Free Wi/Fi
● King Size Bed
● Separate Entrance
● Soaking Tub
● Stand-alone Shower
● Upscale Bistro Onsite
● In-room Controlled Air Conditioning
● Cable TV