Mary Ann <I>Dyke</I> Duff

Mary Ann Dyke Duff

Death 5 Sep 1857 (aged 62–63)
New York, USA
Burial Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Plot Public Lot 8999, #805
Memorial ID 36694144 View Source
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Married first to the actor, John R. Duff, and then to Joel G. Seaver. She is buried in the "Hill of Graves" area. Renown actress, wooed by Tom Moore, who married her sister, Bessie.

"She lived in New Orleans, renounced the Stage, left the Catholic faith, and became a Methodist. For many years her life was devoted to works of piety and benevolence. About 1854, the once great and renowned actress, now a sad, subdued, broken-spirited old lady, took up her abode with her youngest daughter, Mrs. Matilda Jane Reillieux, at No, 36 West Ninth Street, New York City, where, on September 5, 1857, she died. Although she suffered from cancer, the immediate cause of death was an internal hemorrhage.

An article in "The Philadelphia Sunday Mercury," August 9, 1874, written by Mr. James Rees, relates the strange circumstances of her burial. According to that authority, the body of Mrs. Duff-Sevier was laid in the receiving tomb at Greenwood, September 6, 1857, and shortly afterward that of her daughter, Mrs. Reillieux, was likewise laid there; but on April 15, 1858, both those bodies were thence removed and were finally buried in the same grave, which is No. 805, in Lot 8,999, in that part of the cemetery known as "The Hill of Graves," — the certificate describing them as "Mrs. Matilda I. Reillieux & Co." The grave was then marked with a headstone, inscribed with the words, "My Mother and Grandmother." There seems to have been a purpose to conceal the identity of Mrs. Sevier with Mrs. Duff, and to hide the fact that the mother of Mrs. Reillieux had ever been on the stage, — but the grave of the great actress was finally discovered, and many a pilgrim, honoring the memory of genius and virtue, will pause beside it, with reverence, as the years drift away.

Mrs. Duff seems to have been lovely more than beautiful; strong in the affectionate, melting charms of womanhood rather than in resolute, commanding, brilliant intellect. She was a person fitted to embody the heroines that entice and enthrall by their irresistible tenderness and grace; magical with the glamour of romance; sacred in the majesty of grief; fascinating in tears; and never so entirely triumphant as when overwhelmed with misery. The character of the parts in which she was best certainly points to that conclusion. Hermione, — not Shakespeare's, but the heroine of "The Distrest Mother", taken from Racine's "Andromaque", — was a great success in her impersonation."

Ireland, Mrs. Duff, (Boston, 1882)

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