Sarah McGavock "Sallie" Lindsley

Influential regent of the Ladies' Hermitage Association, Sallie McGavock Lindsley was born in Nashville on July 19, 1830, the daughter of Jacob and Louisa Grundy McGavock. She married John Berrien Lindsley, the founder of the medical school of the University of Nashville, in 1857. Although Sallie Lindsley's brother, Randal McGavock, former mayor of Nashville, enlisted in the Confederate army and was killed at the battle of Raymond, Mississippi, in 1863, her husband was opposed to secession and kept the medical school open throughout the war. The Union army ultimately occupied the grounds of the Lindsley home, but it was not destroyed in the battle of Nashville in 1864.

Lindsley worked in various voluntary organizations in Nashville and was a charter member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy when it was organized in Nashville in 1894. Mary C. Dorris appointed her to a committee of women to write a charter for a new women's organization similar to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association that would preserve the Hermitage, the historic home of President Andrew Jackson. The Hermitage was being used as the Confederate Soldiers' Home, and Lindsley was serving as president of the Ladies Auxiliary of the home. After the charter was drafted, Lindsley worked to convince the general assembly to deed the Hermitage and twenty-five acres surrounding it to the Ladies' Hermitage Association and personally lobbied individual members who expressed opposition to the plan. Lindsley died July 5, 1903, during her term as regent of the Ladies' Hermitage Association. She is buried in the McGavock-Lindsley family plot at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Suggested Reading

Carole Stanford Bucy, “Quiet Revolutionaries: The Grundy Women and the Beginnings of Womens Volunteer Associations in Tennessee,” Tennessee Historical Quarterly 54 (1995): 40-53

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  • Article Title Sarah McGavock "Sallie" Lindsley
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  • Website Name Tennessee Encyclopedia
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  • Access Date June 16, 2024
  • Publisher Tennessee Historical Society
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 1, 2018