Mary Tileston Hemenway

Mary Porter Tileston Hemenway (1820 – 6 March 1894) was an American philanthropist. She sponsored the Hemenway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition (1886-1894), the first of its kind to the American Southwest.[1][2]

Mary Tileston Hemenway
Born1820
Died1894 (aged 73–74)
Beacon Hill, Boston, MA
Spouse(s)Edward Augustus Holyoke Hemenway
ChildrenThree daughters and one son
Parent(s)Thomas Tileston and Mary Porter

She also initiated a variety of activities related to improving education and homemaking skills for girls, opening the first kitchen in a public school in the United States.[3] She also founded a normal school for gymnastics training for girls, treating the whole person.

Early yearsEdit

She was born in New York City in 1820, the daughter of Thomas Tileston (1796-1864), one of the wealthiest shipping merchants in the city, and Mary (née Porter) Tileson.[3]

In 1840, Tileston married Edward Augustus Holyoke Hemenway (1803–1876), a Boston merchant seventeen years older, and moved to his city.[4] They first lived in a house at the corner of Tremont and Beacon streets. By 1845, they moved to Winthrop Square. In 1853, they moved to a house on the corner of Mt. Vernon and Walnut streets, on Beacon Hill.[5]

They had several children: daughters Charlotte Augusta Hemenway (1841-1865), Alice (d. in infancy), Amy Hemenway (1848-1911), who married Louis Cabot; and Edith (~1851-1904). Their son, Augustus Jr. (1853–1931), married Harriet Lawrence.[6]

CareerEdit

 
Philanthropist Mary Tileston Hemenway financially supported the first archeological research in the Southwest. In 1907 Edgar L. Hewett proposed naming this Soda Canyon cliff dwelling (in Mesa Verde National Park) in her honor.

After her eldest daughter Charlotte's death in 1865, at the age of 24, Hemenway became more involved in philanthropy. She worked to strengthen education in the South, improve homemaking skills among girls, and promote knowledge of the American past. She was a member of James Freeman Clarke's Church of the Disciples.[3]

In 1876 Hemenway donated $100,000 to save the Old South Meeting House from destruction.[7] She sponsored summer vacation schools, founded the Boston Normal School of Cookery in 1887 to train teachers, promoted a conference on physical training, and established the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics in 1889.[3][7]

As a wealthy widow, she continued such philanthropic activity, making large contributions to American archeology.[8] The Hemenway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition (1886-1894), which was the first major scientific archaeological expedition undertaken in the American Southwest, was sponsored by Hemenway. Her ambition was to establish a private museum called the Pueblo Museum at Salem, Massachusetts, to be based on the expedition's archaeological finds.[citation needed]

The expedition did find and identify the prehistoric Hohokam culture in the Southwest.[9]

Death and legacyEdit

The expedition was terminated in 1894 with the death of Hemenway.[1] She died in a diabetic coma at her home on Beacon Hill.[7] She is remembered on the Boston Women's Heritage Trail.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Hemenway Expedition Records 1886–1914: A Finding Aid". Peabody Museum Archihves, Harvard University. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  2. ^ David L Browman; Stephen Williams (19 February 2002). New Perspectives on the Origins of Americanist Archaeology. University of Alabama Press. pp. 235–. ISBN 978-0-8173-1128-5. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d "Mary Porter Tileston Hemenway". Harvard Square Library. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  4. ^ Browman, David L; Williams, Stephen (19 February 2002). New Perspectives on the Origins of Americanist Archaeology. University of Alabama Press. pp. 235–. ISBN 978-0-8173-1128-5. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  5. ^ Eustis, Frederic A. (1 January 1955). Augustus Hemenway, 1805–1876: builder of the United States trade with the west coast of South America. Peabody Museum. p. 80. ISBN 9780875770161. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  6. ^ Lawrence, Robert Means (1904). The descendants of Major Samuel Lawrence of Groton, Massachusetts: with some mention of allied families (Public domain ed.). Printed at the Riverside press. pp. 227–. ISBN 9780608318417. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  7. ^ a b c James, Edward T.; James, Janet Wilson; Boyer, Paul S.; Radcliffe College (1971). Notable American Women, 1607–1950: A Biographical Dictionary. Harvard University Press. pp. 181–. ISBN 978-0-674-62734-5. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  8. ^ Nathan Schlanger; Jarl Nordbladh (2008). Archives, Ancestors, Practices: Archaeology in the Light of Its History. Berghahn Books. pp. 37–. ISBN 978-1-84545-066-3. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  9. ^ Nathan Schlanger; Jarl Nordbladh (2008). Archives, Ancestors, Practices: Archaeology in the Light of Its History. Berghahn Books. pp. 37, 38–. ISBN 978-1-84545-066-3. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Downtown". Boston Women's Heritage Trail.

External linksEdit