"Sallie May Dooley was born in 1846, in Lunenburg County, Virginia. Her parents were Dr. Henry May and Julia Jones May, the daughter of Peter and Sally Bacon Jones. Sallie May was a descendant of Nathaniel Harrison, of Brandon Plantation, and Sir Edward Digges, one of the early royal governors of the Virginia colony. She married James H. Dooley in 1869. Her husband, a prominent community leader, made a fortune through the development of southern railroads and other diverse ventures. At the time when this portrait was painted, the Dooleys new Richmond home, Maymont, was under construction. Mrs. Dooley was the founding regent of the state's first chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Old Dominion Chapter. She was also a charter member of the Society of the Colonial Dames in the State of Virginia. Upon her death in 1925, she left bequests of more than $2,000,000, at that time the largest sum ever left by a Virginia woman to charities. Her home Maymont, left as a museum and park, is preserved as an exceptional example of an ornamental Gilded Age estate. It is open to the public year round. Visit Maymont's web site at www.maymont.org and learn more."
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