This is a transcription of the Eliza (Nelson) Blair biography from New Hampshire Women: A Collection of Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Daughters and Residents of the Granite State, Who are Worthy Representatives of their Sex in the Various Walks and Conditions of Life, The New Hampshire Publishing Co., Concord, NH, 1895, page 215.
DURING the eighteen years’ service of ex-Senator Henry W. Blair in the congress of the United States, wherein he initiated and championed various measures of commanding importance while neglecting none of the calls of his constituents in other directions, he was encouraged and sustained in his public work, as in his ready response to the demands of social and professional life, by a loyal and devoted wife, who had also given him strength and inspiration in his previous years of service in the Union army in the war against rebellion. Eliza Nelson Blair is a native of Plymouth, daughter of Rev. William and Dolly Sumner (Elliott) Nelson. Her father was a Methodist clergyman of great ability, one of the early “circuit-riders,” who settled in Plymouth when he retired from active ministerial labor. She was educated in the Plymouth schools and at Newbury (Vt.) Seminary. While the one great fact in which Mrs. Blair takes pride, and which she deems the honor of her life, is that she has been her husband’s wife, sharing his desire to help the people–all the people, regardless of race, sect, or condition, and encouraging him in all his efforts to that end, she has a distinct individuality, and is a power for good in the social and intellectual world. She has been an active member of the “Woman’s Anthropological Society,” the “Garfield Memorial Hospital,” and the “National Association for the Advancement of Science” at Washington, of the “Interrogation” and “Historic Art” Clubs of Manchester, and the “Manchester Federation of Women’s Clubs,” and is the first vice-president of the New Hampshire Federation, recently organized. A year ago she gave to the world, through Lee & Shepard, the now famous novel, “Lisbeth Wilson,” which has been generally pronounced one of the best and most wholesome stories of New England life and character ever produced. She has one son, Henry P. Blair, a graduate of Dartmouth and a lawyer in Washington.