Madame Charlotte Mentelle

Probably the most colorful ancestor of mine is Madame Charlotte Victorie LeClere Mentelle. She is my (g,g,g,g grandmother) and was the mother of Elizabeth Mentelle Vimont (wife of Jefferson Thomas Vimont). Here is the obituary from 1860 – “At Rosehill, near Lexington, on the 8th inst., after a long and lingering illness, Madame CHARLOTTE VICTORIE LE CLERE MENTELLE, widow of Waldemar Mentelle, having nearly completed her 90th year.

Madame Mentelle was born in Paris, France, on the 22nd day of October, 1770. She was the only child of a physician engaged in a large and laborious practice, and lost her mother in a very early childhood. Her father raised her as he would have done a son, treating her with such sternness and rigor as to leave in her heart no pleasant memories of her childhood. As an instance of his method of training, he sought to conquer her fear of death by locking her up for a night in a room with the corpse of an acquaintance. He succeeded in forming a woman rarely equaled, never excelled. She married Waldemar Mentelle, the son of a member of the National Institute, who was histographer to the King and Professor in the National and Royal Academy, in the year 1792. Shortly after their marriage, and during the terrible scenes of the French Revolution, they emigrated to this country, reaching Gallipolis, Ohio in 1793. About 1795, they removed to Washington, Mason county, Ky., thence to Fayette, and about 1805 settled at the place from which she was carried to her grave.
It is hardly necessary to say one word of her lofty character, her pure life and great intellect in this community, where she has been loved, honored and venerated for half a century. Entirely dependent through life upon themselves, and from their education incapable of following the usual avocations of life in a country, settling with a population strange to them, they commanded esteem and respect of all who knew them, and raised a large family nearly all of whom survive their parents, and are honored loved and trusted members of society.

There are few women, who lived so simple and private a life; who was so widely known. Her rare gifts and still rarer attainments won admiration and regard of some of the most distinguished men of her day. Her pure, simple, frugal life, free from everything like affectation and full of charity, kindness and good works was full worthy of such gifts. She preserved all her faculties unclouded to her death. Her intellect was above the power of time, and old age produced no weakness in her great mind. She was ready to go; she had performed her work in life. With that confident and triumphant faith, which although childlike in its nature, adorns and illuminates the brightest intellect. She trusted in the love of a crucified Savior, and went fearlessly to the grave with a certain hope of a blessed immortality. In this, as in the other great afflictions, which have befallen this family in the past few months, they bear their solemn testimony to the love, the mercy and the grace of this Divine Saviour.”

Excerpt from “Find A Grave” – “ She is most well known as the boarding school owner/teacher/instructor of “Mentelle for Young Ladies”, in Lexington, KY, attended for 4 years by Mary Todd Lincoln, and as the mother of Mary “Marie” Russell Mentelle Clay, who was the wife of Thomas Hart Clay, Sr., (son of Senator Henry Clay).” Henry Clay was mostly known for being Speaker of the House of Representatives and for running for President several times.

Attached to this WordPress entry are pages of books about MaryTodd Lincoln as they involve Madame Mentelle.

From a periodical – “Border States” 1983 – “The Mentelle family was adopted by virtually the entire community. They came to Lexington in dire financial straits after the failure of the French settlement at Gallipolis, Ohio. According to Thams Hart clay, Henry Clay’s son and Mentelle’s future son-in-law, they were given a “small life-estate” on the Richmond road by the Wycliffe family. That “small” estate was across Richmond Road from Ashland, the home of Henry Clay. It was large enough to hold the ten members of the Mentelle family, a library, and a very select boarding school which included Mary Todd, the future wife of Lincoln, among its students.”

Continuing on with excerpts from “Border States” – “Katherine Helm, a biographer of Mary Todd Lincoln, stated that the Mentelles were loyal to ‘their unfortunate sovereign Louis XVI’ and loved ‘with deep devotion the frivolous but gentle and mild Marie Antoinette.’ They could never allude to these martyrs without tears. Madame Mentelle, writing to her husband’s parents in 1803, did not mention the Bourbons but made it quite clear that she was not pro-Revolution. Explaining why they could not return to France, she stated that “France could not always be under the government of a strong man, and the revolution, that flow of blood, which at present has stopped running, will resume its fatal course and plunge everyone into misfortunes greater than those they have recently escaped.”


The ̶ ̶F̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶ S̶i̶x̶ ̶ Seven Stages of the Donald Trump Experience for the Republican Establishment

Denial — The first reaction is denial. In this stage the establishment believes there is no way Trump will ever be anything but a “blurb” in the voting process. They see his candidacy as a joke and they view Trump as not being serious.

Anger — When the establishment recognizes that denial cannot continue they becomes frustrated. They think, “How can this happen to us?” “Why would anyone follow this guy?” “Who in our party is to blame for this happening and allowing this to go too far?”

Bargaining — The third stage involves the establishment hoping that they can negotiate with Trump and seek to compromise with him.

Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?” “What’s the point?” “At least maybe we can rescue the rest of the ‘ballot’ so we don’t lose the Congress.”

Acceptance — “Okay, Trump will be the nominee.” “Maybe he won’t be as bad as we thought.” “Maybe he’ll surround himself with people who know what they’re doing in the general election and, if and when he becomes president, he will set his arrogance aside and work with us.” “Nothing is impossible.”

Na – “Forget This Guy” “He is as bad as we thought”.  “Apparently he won’t surround himself with people who know they’re doing or, if he does, he won’t take heed to what they’re saying because of his narcissism and arrogance”.   “This guy’s impossible.”

Epiphany – “He was as bad as we thought he’d be”. “Except for a few generals, he didn’t surround himself with people who knew what they were doing and he apparently didn’t take heed to what the generals were saying to him because of his narcissism and arrogance”. “Yeah, we fucked up”.

Values Clarification and the Trump Supporters

There now seems to be a mantra building for Trump supporters and that’s “So, would you rather of had Hillary (HRC)?” They’re slowly coming to the conclusion that he’s not a good “role model” and that sure, he probably has done some things on the shady side and is probably a president who is a bit incompetent but, hec, at least HRC isn’t in office and we have Neil Gorsuch.

In my high school Sociology class I was introduced to the teaching concept of “values clarification” although they didn’t use that term. Later on, in my college days and afterwards, I read a lot about the concept and how it had “crept into” the public schools. What it does is provide the person (student) an idea of what they value the most to what they value the least. A good example is the 15 people in the lifeboat story where you have to pick which 9 people will be kept in the lifeboat (along with yourself) since the boat can only hold 10 people.

That’s just one example. There are many other types of exercises.

It is evident that there is an ever growing number of Trump supporters who are now literally “advertising” their set of values. What is coming across is that, to them, the “rule of law” is not a value that they cherish at the highest level and that, to them, “the ends justifies the means” and they have a set of ethics that is governed by situations. Yes, as long as HRC is not in office then Trump’s dangerous incompetence, shady dealings, possible obstruction of justice, etc… is all worth it.

You still however do have the majority of Trump supporters who seem to “have their heads in the sand” and say they believe that nothing has ever been shown that Trump has ever really done anything wrong or that he’s even incompetent. To them it’s just the media and that special someone who they believe is “burrowed” in the intelligence community who is out to hurt President Trump. These people are those who don’t want to admit, even to themselves, their “lack of consistency” in their values. I put “lack of consistency” in quotes because they do have a set of values. They just don’t want to admit what that set really is.