Woman of the Century/Mary Clemmer Hudson

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MARY CLEMMER HUDSON A woman of the century (page 409 crop).jpgMARY CLEMMER HUDSON. HUDSON, Mrs. Mary Clemmer, journalist and poet, born in Utica, N. Y., in 1840. Her ancestors on both sides came from famous families. Abraham Clemmer, her father, a native of Pennsylvania, was of Huguenot descent, and Margaret Kneale, her mother, was a descendant of the Crains, a well-known family of the Isle of Man, who trace a direct line back to 1600. Mary Clemmer was one of a large family of children, two brothers and four sisters of which still survive. Her principal education was received in the Westfield Academy, in Westfield, N. Y. Even in her earliest school-days she showed great fondness for literature and poetry. Unfortunately, at the early age of seventeen, she yielded to the wishes of others and became the wife of a man many years her senior. The taking of that step was undoubtedly due in part to the onerous and probably unhappy life she was then leading at home. Her marriage was legally annulled in 1874. During that interval she temporarily resided in Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and, during the war, in Harper's Kerry, Va., where she witnessed and afterwards very vividly described in her novel, "Erena," the contest which took place there. When but a schoolgirl, she formed a strong liking for Alice Cary and her poetry, and when she went to New York she readily found her way to the home and heart of that noble woman, with whom she formed a lasting friendship and to whom she afterward paid high tribute inner work, "Memorial of Alice and Phabe Cary," which she called her work of love. Miss Clemmer tried novel-writing, and her first work to receive attention was "Erena: A Woman's Right." Then "His Two Wives" appeared in "Every Saturday," Boston. She was engaged upon a novel when an accident occurred, which compelled her to cease all literary effort, and consequently the work was never finished. Among her literary works which received special attention was "Ten Years in Washington " (Hartford, 1870). Prom her sixteenth year she had written poetry. While in school, a poem of hers had been published in a number of papers, a fact which encouraged her. In 1882 her poems were collected and published under the title, "A Volume of Poems." From 1866 to 1869 Miss Clemmer resided in Washington, doing regular work in the way of letters from Washington for the New York "Independent" In 1869 she engaged for three years' work on the Brooklyn " Daily Union," and for the third year's work of that engagement she received a salary of five-thousand dollars, the largest sum ever paid to a newspaper woman for one year's labor up to that time. In 1872 she resumed her work on the New York "Independent" In January, 1879, while in Washington, she suffered a serious injury. Thinking that the horses behind which she was riding were running away, she jumped from the carriage, striking her head against the curbing, which caused a fracture of the skull. Medical aid was powerless, and she suffered intensely, getting but little relief during the remaining six years which she lived. On 19th June, 1883, she became the wife of Edmund Hudson, the journalist, and they immediately went to Europe. The journey was a very delightful one to her, but her strength was constantly diminishing, and in November they returned to the United States; then followed a long illness, which resulted in her death on 18th August, 1884. All her literary work shows talent of a remarkably high and fine order. She was in the prime of her intellectual powers when she received the injuries that caused her death.