Ellen Walworth was born on October 20, 1832, in Jacksonville, Illinois. Her father, John Hardin, became a United States Congressman. In 1846 Mr. Hardin entered the army to fight against Mexico and was killed while leading his regiment at the battle of Buena Vista. The family continued to live in Jacksonville until 1851. Mrs. Walworth’s mother married the Honorable Reuben Hyde Walworth and moved the family to Saratoga Springs, New York.
Mrs. Walworth earned her law degree at New York University. In 1852 she married Mansfield Tracy Walworth, her stepfather’s youngest son, and opened her home as a boarding and day school after her husband’s death in 1873.
Eventually the cold New York winters affected her health and she began to make her home in Washington, DC, during the winter.
Mrs. Walworth’s is responsible for public efforts to her local community to contribute to renovate George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, in Alexandria, Virginia. Mrs. Walworth wrote about patriotic subjects and was considered an authority on the battlefields of Saratoga. She also published an account of the Burgoyne campaign. She served as director-general of the Woman’s National War Relief Association of 1898. She was also the first editor of the official publication of the NSDAR, the American Monthly Magazine, serving from the spring of 1892 until July 1894. She died on June 23, 1915, and was laid to rest in the family lot at Green Ridge, near Saratoga, New York.