by Paula Lenor Webb
Octavia Walton LeVert was the granddaughter of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the daughter of the first Secretary for Florida, and the first woman to represent the United States outside the country. She was exposed to wealth, privilege, and fame; a rare advantage for a woman of her time. Her literary salon in Mobile, Alabama, and the publication of her only book, Souvenirs of Travel, resulted in international fame until her Union sympathies during the Civil War ended it all. Such a Woman, named so because the famous writer Washington Irving, regarding Octavia, stated, “A woman such as appears but once in the course of an empire.” It is a book about a lady whose journals and letters have allowed the reader a peek into the life of the real Octavia Walton LeVert. In a world led by men, her grace, beauty, and intellect allowed her to shine unlike any other.