Emily Spencer Hayden

Visual Artist

1869 – 1949


Who was Emily Spencer Hayden?

Emily Spencer Hayden was a photographer who lived in and around Baltimore, Maryland.

Emily was born near Randallstown at her family’s farm, called The Martin’s Nest. Edward Spencer Mott, her father, was a writer and dramatist who wrote at times for the Baltimore Bulletin and The Baltimore Sun, and whose best known play was Kit, the Arkansas Traveler.

With the death of her parents in the early 1880s, care of the Spencer family was left to a woman named Eliza Benson. Benson, an African American woman, a freed slave, had worked for Spencer family for many years before Emily's parents died, and would live with Emily Spencer Hayden after Emily married and had children. Mr. John McCoy, a friend of the Spencer family supported the children financially.

Emily Spencer graduated from Baltimore’s Western High School as valedictorian in 1878. After graduation, she worked as a first grade teacher in the Baltimore Public Schools for a while. While in her spare time, she was a painter, reader, skater, and singer in the Ascension Episcopal Church choir. At some point, she met Charles S. Hayden her future husband, possibly at the Shakespeare Club which both attended. After Charles’ graduation from law school and acceptance to the bar, the two married in 1893. Their first child, Ruth, was born in 1895, followed by Catherine Spencer Hayden in 1902, and Anna Bradford Hayden in 1905. A friend of Emily’s at this time was the writer Lizette Woodworth Reese.

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  • United States of America
Lived in
  • Baltimore

on July 23, 2013


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