Portraits of American Women Writers That Appeared in Print Before 1861 - Header and Menu

MARY E. VAN LENNEP (1821-1844)

Louisa F. Hawes. Memoir of Mrs. Mary E. Van Lennep (Hartford, 1848), frontispiece.

MARY E. VAN LENNEP (1821 - 1844)

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Mary E. Van Lennep graduated from the Hartford Female Seminary in 1838. Her father, the Rev. Joel Hawes, who had studied theology at Andover and was pastor of the First Congregational Church in Hartford, was an advocate of missionary work. After battling a long illness which kept her bedridden through much of 1841, she spent a year teaching Sunday school, and in 1843 married the Rev. Henry J. Van Lennep, a missionary for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Shortly thereafter, she sailed with him and her father to the mission in Smyrna, Turkey. She died of dysentery in Constantinople a year later.

Mrs. Van Lennep’s memoir was compiled by her mother from her journals and correspondence. The preface quotes one of Mrs. Van Lennep’s friends about her character, which she believed made her a model for other young women.

“I know of no character more worthy of being presented as a model for the young, than Mary’s; and for this reason among many others, that it exhibits no unattainable excellence. It was not by any extraordinary gifts of nature that she won all hearts, and adorned her Christian profession more than any other young person I ever knew – it was the complete subjection into which she had brought her every wish and purpose, to the one object of promoting the happiness of others, and their spiritual welfare, that made her daily life such a steady light, and gave to her manners that indescribable sweetness, so that none saw her but to love her.” (p. iii-iv)



The Library Company of Philadelphia 1314 Locust St., Phila. PA 19107 215-546-3181 FAX 215-546-5167 Copyright 2005 All Rights Reserved. Nicole Scalessa, IT Manager, nscalessa@librarycompany.org

Introduction Portrait Gallery LCP Home