MARY EMMONS (1760 - 1835)

Mary Emmons is believed born in Calcutta and to have served in Saint Domingue/Hayti before to moving to Philadelphia, where she’s known to have worked in Burr’s household during the years he served in the U.S. Senate.

 Separated from his wife, Theodosia, in Ho-Ho-Kus long suffering the effects of cancer, Mary and Burr seem to have developed a fondness and been a consolation to one another. In 1788 they had a daughter, Louisa Charlotte, and in 1792, John Pierre Burr was born.  The family has reason to believe they married when Theodosia died two years later.  In their history, Burr is remembered supporting their childrens’ education. 

 Thought to be “the image of his father”, John Pierre, who considered himself “colored”, was a member of ‘The Vigilant Committee’ founding Philadelphia’s abolitionist movement and including Alexander Crummell, the Black Episcopalian founder of the National Negro Academy, Steven Glouchester, the editor of the Colored American, and James Needham, treasurer of the Philadelphia Library Company.

John Pierre’s barbershop was an early station on the Underground Railroad and the Burr descendants, who live in Philadelphia today, have nothing but good things to say about the family’s relationship with his father.

Leather and quills

Ballard, Alan. One More Day’s Journey: The Story of a Family and a People. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1984.