Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hannah Marie Tracy Cutler, Ohio author

Hannah Marie Tracy Cutler was known as "Maria" when writing for The Ohio Cultivator and also "Aunt Patience" when she began an advice column in 1849.  She wrote a series called "Letters to Housekeepers," published between the two Mrs. Batehams, and games and entertainment. In 1851 she reported from the London Peace Congress and World's Fair. She was an advocate of Bloomerism (pants for women). She also wrote for Cleveland Herald and western magazines. Mrs. Cutler was president of the Ohio Woman's Rights Association and the mother of Melane Tracy, who also wrote for The Ohio Cultivator.  Some of her speeches can be found in History of Woman Suffrage.

    A widow with young children, whose husband was killed by a mob after aiding escaping slaves, she married Samuel Cutler after returning from a year traveling through Europe and sending articles to the Cultivator.  The wedding announcement noted that both had worked for the Deaf and Dumb Asylum of Columbus.  After moving to the Illinois prairie, she continued to write but changed her topics to more domestic themes and agricultural topics.

    Traveling from Marietta, Ohio to Wheeling and then to Akron, she took in stride the steamboat, canal packet, a stage coach and the railroad. "Incidence of Travel" described a train ride from Cincinnati to Indianapolis to attend a fair during which two young boys offered standing women their seats but none of the men did.

    From Illinois she wrote to the sisters, daughters, cousins and friends of the Cultivator in 1860:
I used to seek to arouse the daughters of my beloved land to a sense of their high responsibility in the discharge of those innermost social duties, that cluster round the home, and give purity and dignity to the private as well as the public life of the nation. . . Has the seed germinated?. . . Attending the settlement of a new country has left me little leisure. . . still I have found some time to devote to the instruction of my sisters. . . so that old age should be like the ripe autumn of my year.

    She wrote Phillipia, a woman's question (Dwight, IL: C. L. Palmer printing house, 1886). In addition to writing for the Farmer and the Cultivator, she also wrote for The Ohio Statesman and the Pittsburgh Saturday Visiter. Many columns are signed H.M.T.C. She died in 1896.

I was cleaning up computer disks today, and decide to rescue dear Hannah, or H.M.T.C. There's more know about her today than when I took these notes 25 years ago.

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