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Sheila Phelps Inderbitzen is a descendent of the Norfolk England Sheltons. I discovered some notes that my mother’s cousin Judge Houston Dale Shelton had written in 1943. These notes started my journey to find out more about a woman that history only referred to as “the wife of.”
Sarah Shelton Henry’s Life: Living in the Cellar, Struggling with Postpartum Psychosis. Preservation Virginia says Sarah Shelton Henry lived the last few years of her life in the cellar of her home. Sarah Henry showed strong signs of severe postpartum depression and psychosis. Patrick Henry’s private doctor not only found Sarah Henry living in the cellar but also found her wearing what we know today as a medical straitjacket. Mr. Henry’s doctor wanted to send Sarah Henry to the new hospital in Williamsburg but Patrick Henry did not think that was the best place for his loving wife. Sarah Henry died in the cellar in 1775.