As an orphaned girl growing up with her Orthodox uncle in Philadelphia, Hannah Marks Solomons was ready to make a life for herself, but had few resources at her disposal. When a lonely western suitor sent her passage money to California in 1853, she hastily accepted. However, once Hannah met her betrothed, she refused to go through with the marriage, much to her family's disapproval. Her mind made up, Hannah went to work as a school teacher and eventually married Gershom Mendes Seixas Solomons, a leader in the San Francisco Jewish community. They were wed in the early 1860s, but the marriage was hardly ideal. Although he was an upstanding citizen in the public eye, privately, Gershom became a heavy drinker leaving Hannah to raise a family virtually alone. Nonetheless, her children did her great credit: Theodore became a renowned explorer and cartographer of Yosemite; Leon, a psychology professor; Lucius, an attorney; Adele, a medical doctor and a child psychologist; and Selina, a writer and a woman suffragist.
Three of Hannah Marks Solomons' Five Brilliant Children