New York Marble Cemetery
Later, a former housemaid appeared at the door, distraught. She was pregnant and had no one to turn to. Though there were a few homes for poor or unwed mothers run by churches, she was somehow of the wrong denomination. Could Mrs. DuBois help her? – yes. The result became the Nursery and Child’s Hospital. Mary Ann funded it at first with her own and her husband’s money. When that wasn’t enough, she appealed to her friends. To widen the circle of donors even further, she began to hold charity balls, perhaps the first of their kind. After trips to Albany, the NY State legislature helped out. Nursery and Child’s Hospital flourished. It grew and moved and merged until in 1934 it became part of what is today NY-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Amazingly, with a very large family and her outside projects, Mary Ann still had time to become an accomplished sculptress and be elected a member of the National Academy of Design. The cameo below is a self portrait. All of this was accomplished with a severe speech deficit which may have been a manifestation of neurasthenia.
She is buried, along with her husband and four children who died young, in Vault 54 of the New York Marble Cemetery. Her 3rd great grand-daughter is the current President of the Cemetery.
Anne Wright Brown
(the subject’s goddaughter’s great great niece)
Typescript courtesy DuBois Family Association.
Miller, Julie. Abandoned: Foundlings in Nineteenth-Century New York City. NY: NYU Press, 2008.
Litchfield Historical Society. History of the Litchfield Female Academy. www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org/history/academy.php
Portraits: Delafield, John Ross. Delafield, A Family History. New York: Privately printed, 1945.