Skip menu to read main page content

Portrait of Eliza Benson and Catherine Spencer Hayden as a baby

Description

Portrait of Eliza Benson (1836-1921) holding Catherine Spencer Hayden (also known as "Kitty"), daughter of Baltimore, Maryland, photographer Emily Spencer Hayden.

With the deaths of Emily's parents A. C. Bradford "Braddie" Harrison Spencer (1841–1882) and Edward Spencer (1834–1883) in the early 1880s, care of the younger Spencer children was left to Benson. A formerly enslaved African American, Benson had worked for the Harrison and Spencer families for many years by the time Emily's parents died, and would live with Emily after she married and had children of her own.

Earlier descriptions of Eliza Benson also named her as “Mammy,” a term once used in the United States to describe a Black nursemaid or nanny who cared for white children or who was otherwise a servant for a white family.

Date

circa 1902

Collection Number

PP92

Dimensions

3.5 x 5 inches

Object ID

PP92.308

Extent

1 print

Resource ID

935

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture

Rights

This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.