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they were always close in Salome’s heart. She named her third and fourth daughters Caroline Zenobia and Sarah Isabelle after them and would give later daughters middle names of her sisters’ married surnames Mirick and Walker. The visit to the Simms family appears to have been well received; when the Sanders group started back for Arkansas, they had their cousin Caroline Zenobia “Nobie” Simms (Fig. 6.6) with them to spend the winter. Nobie was just a year younger than Virginia and two years older than Isabella. Back in Hempstead County, the Sanders sisters made the rounds of extended cousins and friends, introducing Nobie to the other young women and eligible bachelors. The girls’ cousin, Sarah Isabella Walker, daughter of James and Isabella Meredith Walker, was in the same age group and already engaged to Rufus K. Garland. When Nobie met her Walker cousins, sparks of attraction flew between Nobie and Sarah Isabella’s older half-brother, Robert D. Walker. Theirs was a whirlwind romance and courtship, but when Nobie wrote home that she and Robert planned to marry within two months, her parents were aghast. Albert and Salome recruited Nobie’s older cousin Joseph Brown—who was the son of Armistead Brown and Mary Ann, another Meredith sister—to hightail it to Arkansas and fetch their daughter home. Joseph was ten years older than Nobie, but that still only made him 26, and the young bachelor quickly fell under the spell of the society and families of Hempstead County. No doubt, he also realized that Nobie had made a good match and would be marrying into a wealthy and prominent family. So, instead of fulfilling his mission, Joseph stayed to dance at his cousins’ double wedding. On February 22, 1853, Sarah Isabella Walker married Rufus K. Garland, and Caroline Zenobia Simms married Robert D. Walker. The Sanders sisters MATURE WASHINGTON ■ 91 Fig. 6.6: (a) Caroline Zenobia “Nobie” Simms and (b) Thomas Hamilton Simms. Nobie Simms came to Arkansas with her Sanders cousins, then soon after married into the Walker family. Her brother Thomas Simms followed her to Arkansas, where he became a prominent resident. Courtesy of Albert E. Simms Jr., Fredericksburg, Virginia. were attendants at the wedding, and Augustus Garland was best man for his brother. At some point during all these activities, Augustus offered his hand in marriage to Virginia Sanders. Sitting on the front porch of the Walker residence, Virginia accepted his proposal. Four months after the double wedding, on June 14, 1853, Sarah Virginia Sanders married Augustus Hill Garland. The Future Governor of Arkansas Sarah Virginia’s marriage to Augustus Garland was a match that, in historical perspective, catapulted her to prominence, as Garland went on to become an Arkansas governor and later United States attorney general. This was so important to the historic preservation movement in Washington during the twentieth century that the Sanders house for years was known as the Garland House or the Sanders-Garland House despite the fact that the house never belonged to Garland. He and Sarah Virginia were married in the parlor of the house—as would be expected since it was the home of the bride—and it’s possible the newlyweds lived there for three or four years before establishing a home of their own. Because of Augustus Garland’s importance in Arkansas politics, his history is briefly discussed below, but most of it occurred away from Washington and is not pertinent to the history of the Sanders House. Garland’s father died not long after he moved the family to Arkansas, and his mother then married Thomas Hubbard, a prominent lawyer in Washington who later became a circuit judge. This was probably the catalyst for Garland’s interest in the law, which he began to study while attending schools in Kentucky. The year he and Sarah Virginia were married, Garland was admitted to the bar in Washington and served as deputy clerk under Simon Sanders. He then formed a law partnership with his stepfather Hubbard. In 1856 Garland went into partnership with Ebenezer Cummins in Little Rock and moved the family there in July 1857. He was admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court in 1860. When the Civil War broke out, Garland was elected as representative from Pulaski County to the secession convention in 1861, then to the house of representatives of the Confederate Congress, and finally to the Confederate Senate. After the war, Garland continued his law practice and involvement...


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