William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Mary Hewins Fox Memory Book, ca. 1863
Manuscripts Division Staff
Mary Hewins Fox memory book
Fiske, Mary H., d. 1889.
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.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown.
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."
- Drama--19th century.
- Fiske, Mary H., d. 1889.
- Songs--19th century.
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Songs and music.
- Watercolors (paintings)
Additional Descriptive Data