Partner Anne Whitney, buried together

Queer Places:
4 Acorn St, Boston, MA 02108
Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138, Stati Uniti

Adeline "Addy or Abby" Manning (June 29, 1836 - May 21, 1906) was the daughter of Richard H. Manning, merchant, and Frances A. Moore. At the age of six Abby lost her mother and younger sister, Emily. She grew up in New York living with her father and step mother.

She and Anne Whitney perhaps met around 1859 when Anne was studying with the renowned William Rimmer. He also taught at the School of Design for Women, Cooper Union, New York City. Between 1867 and 1876 she and Anne visited Munich, Paris and Rome.

Whitney turned her attention to sculpture in 1859, at the age of thirty-eight. She studied anatomy at a Brooklyn hospital and took her first art courses at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1860. The beginning of Whitney’s sculpture career coincided with the beginning of her most important relationship. While in Brooklyn she boarded at the home of her brother’s friend Richard Manning and met Manning’s daughter, the aspiring painter Adeline or Addy Manning. They soon formed the kind of bond that became known as a Boston marriage, a term especially popular in New England to describe two women in a stable, usually cohabiting relationship in which they were financially and emotionally dependent on each other, rather than on men. The term came into use in the late nineteenth century following the publication of Henry James’s novel The Bostonians (1885), where the relationship between Olive and Verena became the standard representation of one of these long-term unions. Whether these relationships—and there were a significant number in Whitney’s intellectual and cultural circles—were sexual or not is unclear, and not necessarily relevant. Of greater importance was the freedom they gave women to live the lives they wanted, outside of masculine control.

By late 1866 or early 1867, Anne Whitney and Abby Manning decided the time had come to move to Rome. Newton friends Mary C. Shannon and her niece, known as Mary Junior, as well as Fidelia Bridges, planned to join them. On February 17, Whitney wrote to Manning in Brooklyn, reporting that she had paid a round of calls to say goodbye to friends and expressing her concern that Bridges’s finances might make it impossible for her to join their party. Bridges and her siblings were orphaned at a young age and she worked as a nanny to support her family. But in the end Bridges did secure the necessary funds, welcome news since she planned to share an apartment and associated expenses with Whitney and Manning in Rome. Before reaching Italy, they landed in France. In Paris, as elsewhere, they had relatively little contact with the native population. Instead, they socialized with other Anglo-Americans, among them Mary Putnam, a friend of Bridges studying at the École de Médecine in Paris who later returned to the United States to become an influential physician.

Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA

In the spring of 1867, Anne Whitney and Abby Manning were in Rome. They took an apartment and an hillside studio not far from Edmonia Lewis' rooms on the Via Gregoriana. Lewis promptly invited them to visit her in the studio once graced by Harriet Hosmer, John Gibson, and, most notable, Antonio Canova.

Whitney and Manning lived abroad for a total of five years. On April 14, 1867, Fidelia Bridges left Rome, traveling first to Florence and Naples and then north to sail home later that year. With Bridges gone, the shared costs increased, so the women invited their friend Helen Merrill to join them for part of the next year.

They left Rome to travel in Germany in summer 1868, and Venice, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Germany, and Switzerland in summer 1869. Then in July 1870 they sailed home, returning to Rome in November 1870; by August 1871 they were back in the United States. They traveled again in April 1875, primarily so Whitney could arrange for the carving of her Samuel Adams statue in Thomas Ball’s Florence studio; during this trip, the couple lived apart for several months, with Whitney in Italy and Manning in France. They sailed home in May 1876 and, to the relief of their families, never left again.

Anne Whitney and Abby Manning established a home together from 1876, living together abroad and visiting each other in their respective family homes before this, and were accepted as a couple by their family and friends. Their devotion to each other is obvious from surviving documentation. In one instance, Whitney’s older sister Sarah addressed the women, as she put it, “jointly because you are one.” But many letters, which no doubt contained intimate details about their lives together, were certainly destroyed. Shortly before Whitney’s death at age 93, Manning’s sister, Sarah Sage, made arrangements for Whitney to be interred in the Manning plot in Cambridge’s Mount Auburn cemetery. Sage’s attorney informed cemetery officials that “it has always been Whitney’s intention and the intention of the Manning family that she should be buried in the Manning lot in a grave adjoining that of her friend, Miss Addie Manning.” The site is marked with a simple slab bearing the names and dates of both women, an unusual instance of same-sex joint burial for this period and lasting acknowledgement of their relationship.

In 1876 Adeline and Anne were living and working in their new studio at 92 Mt. Vernon in Boston. Abby at the time was also an artist and her works to this day have been lost to the shadows of history and time.

In 1888 Anne purchased 225 acres in Shelburne, New Hampshire and her and Adeline spent their summers on the farm. They were both involved with the women suffrage movement, printing of pamphlets to hand out for different causes, and of sharing their home with friends and fellow artists. /span>

TThey were together for forty four years until, after a brief illness, Adeline died at the age sixty-nine. Some have written of Adeline that she was gentle as a moonbeam, yet firm as a rock and was Anne's other self and second conscience.

They buried her and Anne's ashes next to each other under the same headstone./span>

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