Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Mary Hewins Fox Memory Book, ca. 1863

Finding aid created by
Manuscripts Division Staff

Summary Information
Title: Mary Hewins Fox memory book
Creator: Fiske, Mary H., d. 1889.
Inclusive dates: ca. 1863
Extent: 90 pages
This memory album was assembled by Mary Hewins Fox (later Mary Hewins Fiske) to document her involvement with theater, music, and poetry in New York City.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1991. M-2841.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Mary Hewins Fox Memory Book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan.


Mary Hewins Fox (later Mary Hewins Fiske, 1842-1889) was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1842. Mary became a well known actress and also wrote poetry and contributed to numerous periodicals. She first appeared on stage at the old Museum in Troy, then later at Laura Keene's Varieties in New York City. She also wrote poems, dramatizations that were produced for stage, and, under the pen name Giddy Gusher, prose sketches for the New York Dramatic Mirror. She married the actor/comedian Charles K. Fox (1833-1875), who was born into a "theater" family. His father George Howe, mother Emily, and siblings, George, Caroline, and James were all involved in acting and theater productions. Their marriage did not last and Mary went on to wed a Mr. Burnham of New York, then journalist Stephen Fiske.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Mary Fox apparently assembled and illustrated this memory album of her original work in about 1863. She included song lyrics (some published in a newspaper under a pseudonym, Dan Bryant), 24 watercolor and 6 pencil illustrations, and 5 photographs. Mary Fox's illustrations depicted well-known actors in familiar roles, though two are illustrations of neo-classical sculptures (Powers' Greek Slave and Copland's Ino and Bacchus), and other sketches with classical themes.

Fox's songs are typical of popular songs of the era. The printed songs were published under the name of Dan Bryant. In the book, Mary Fox has crossed out "Dan Bryant" and written her own name: Mrs. C.K. Fox. The printed songs include "Oh, My Love's Gone," "The Female Smuggler," and "My Johnny was a Shoemaker." The hand-written songs include "Lager Beer Song," "The Irish Sutler Girl" (possibly inspired by the Civil War), and "The Gal not Sports."

Subject Terms

    • Drama--19th century.
    • Fiske, Mary H., d. 1889.
    • Songs--19th century.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Songs and music.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Actors and actresses.
    Genre Terms:
    • Photographs.
    • Scrapbooks.
    • Sketches.
    • Songs.
    • Watercolors (paintings)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Mary Hewins Fox memory book, ca. 1863 [series] (90 pages)
    Additional Descriptive Data

    List of illustrations in Mary Hewins Fox memory book

    • (All illustrations in watercolors unless otherwise noted)

    • "Christopher Strap in 'Pleasant Neighbor'" page 2
    • "Wormwood in the 'Lottery Ticket'" page 6
    • "Splash in the 'Young Widow'" page 8
    • Face of young woman page 10
    • "Paul Tugscull in the 'Idiot Witness'" page 12
    • "Thomas in the Secret" page 14
    • Bird (engraving) page 16
    • "Walter in the Maid of Croissy" page 18
    • "Dandelion in Ruth Oakley" page 20
    • "'Timothy Tit' in Norah Creina" page 22
    • "Box in Box & Cox" page 24
    • "Baron Bristleitch in the 'Page of History'" page 26
    • "Hazel Jenks in Ida May" page 28
    • "Sandie in Warlock of the Glen" page 32
    • "Gregory in the 'Two Gregorys'" page 34
    • "Batzo in 'Travellers Room'" page 38
    • Man digging with spade (rough pencil sketch) page 44
    • Young woman in dress (albumen photoprint) page 46
    • Athlete (rough pencil sketch) page 48
    • Boxers (pen and ink sketch) page 50
    • "Fox G.B. of the A.O.O.N." (albumen photoprint) page 52
    • Flowers (engraving) page 54
    • "Power's Greek Slave" page 56
    • "Coplands Ino & Bacchus" page 58
    • Three gem albumen photoprints, busts of males page 62
    • Robin (engraving) page 66
    • Young woman with hat (pencil sketch) page 67
    • Venus and Cupid (pencil sketch) page 76
    • Oranges on the branch (engraving) page 84
    • Male figure (pencil sketch) page 86
    • Bell ringing figure (rough pencil sketch) page 87
    • "Deutsche Strassenmusikanten" page 88
    • Tropical scene (rough pencil sketch) page 89