Mrs. BATE is the daughter of the late Samuel PEETE, who was born and brought up near Petersburg, Va. He was a graduate of William and Mary College when to be such was guaranty of scholarship. In 1820 he removed to Huntsville, Ala., his future home, where he made an enviable reputation as a refined and cultivated gentleman and successful lawyer. Here he married Miss Susan Ann POPE, daughter of Benjamin POPE and granddaughter of Col. Charles Alexander POPE, of Delaware, who figured conspicuously under Washington in our Revolutionary War, belonging to the command known, in revolutionary parlance, as “The Blue Hen’s Chickens.” He was wounded at the battle of Brandywine. At the close of the Revolutionary War, Colonel POPE was a member of the order of select American officers known as “The Society of the Cincinnati,” of which General Washington was president. This entitles Mrs. BATE to become a member of the Colonial Dames and Daughter of the American Revolution should she so desire.
Mrs. BATE is a well-educated woman, having received the basis of her education in Huntsville, Ala., which in that day was remarkable for its educational facilities. After going through an academic course, she was sent to Philadelphia to Mrs. LAMB’s private and select school for young ladies, where she remained nearly two years. Meanwhile she became quite a musician, which accomplishment is now, in her advanced life, a source of the highest enjoyment to her and her friends. She keeps up with the literature and current events of the day.
After leaving school at Philadelphia, she returned to her home in Huntsville, Ala., an attractive and accomplished young lady. Her mother having died when she was but three years old and her father remaining unmarried, Miss Julia became the head of the domestic affairs of the PEETE household. She spent the second winter of her young womanhood with the family of her uncle, Dr. Charles POPE, in St. Louis, Mo. In the following summer, while at Catoosa Springs, GA., with a party of young ladies from Huntsville, she met William B. BATE, of Tennessee, to whom she was married the next winter, 1856. They resided on a farm near Gallatin, Tenn., General BATE pursuing his legal practice as attorney-general of that judicial district. On the approach of the Civil War he became a Confederate soldier, and followed the fortunes of the South from the beginning to the end of that bloody struggle. He passed from captain through intermediate grades to major general, and won much distinction as soldier and officer. He was two or three times severly wounded in battle, and each time his devoted, Christian wife was by his side and nursed him to recovery. Mrs. BATE showed her noble womanhood when failure in the great struggle came upon the South. She did not complain and pine over misfortune, but, like her noble, manly husband, regarded it as but a sacrifice to country, and, with cheerfulness of spirit, entered upon the work of recuperation.
It is said “fortune smiles upon the brave.” After a few years of inconvenience and disgust with the then social and political surroundings – with confiscation and selling of the old home, disrupting all its tender associations, and living in rented houses, which troubled her much – the BATE family soon had a home of their own, with all substantial comforts; even their old family servants remained with them. It was not long until General BATE was elected Governor of Tennessee, and just as the close of his governorship of two terms he was chosen United States Senator, and has since been twice chosen his own successor.
In all this change of fortune Mrs. BATE has shown herself equal to every situation. She is as easy and graceful as the wife of the Senator in Congress as she was in dispensing the hospitalities of the Governor’s home or when in ante-bellum days she was mistress of her domestic circle on their blue-grass farm in Sumner County, Tenn. Her Christian philosophy and graceful womanhood guided her with equal success, whether around the couch of wounded Confederate soldiers or on state occasions.
Four daughters were born to them. Jennie and Bell were taken in girlhood by the great Giver; Mazie, the eldest, was married to Thomas F. MASTIN, of Huntsville, Ala., and is the mother of four children, and now lives at Grand View, Texas; Susie, the youngest, married O.W. CHILDS, and lives in Los Angeles, Cal., and is the mother of a daughter. Mrs. MASTIN and Mrs. CHILDS are both cultivated, attractive women. Mrs. BATE reared, as one of her own daughters,Lizzie BATE, daughter of Capt. Humphrey BATE who fell in the battle of Shiloh. She is the attractive and charming wife of E.M. WILLIAMS, of Memphis, Tenn.
Mrs. BATE remains with her husband during the sessions of Congress. This necessitates her living in Washington most of her time, where she participates, to a moderate extent, in social affairs incident to official life in the capital. She is a member of the Washington Ladies’ Literary Club. Full of charity and sympathy, she does not neglect her duties to the societies to which she belongs, especially those for the relief of old soldiers. She is a regular attendant of the Methodist Church, of which she has been a member since girlhood.
Source: Gilchrist, Annie S. Some Representative Women of Tennessee. Nashville: McQuiddy Print. Co, 1902.