Mary Maillard

Mary Maillard presented her paper, “Conductors and Passengers: Harriet Jacobs’ Underground Railroad,” at the North Carolina Women of the Underground Railroad Symposium held at the Museum of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City, North Carolina, on October 5, 2017.


New review of Mary Maillard’s documentary edition in Scholarly Editing.

Mary Maillard is a documentary editor. She is a graduate of the Institute for Editing Historical Documents, sponsored by the National Historical Publications & Records Commission and the Association for Documentary Editing. In 2013/2014, she received an Albert M. Greenfield Foundation Fellowship in African American History from the Library Company of Philadelphia for research on “The Letters of Louisa Jacobs to Eugenie Webb, 1879-1911.”

Maillard’s edition of Louisa Jacobs’ letters was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in May  2017.

Her article “Faithfully Drawn from Real Life” Autobiographical Elements in Frank J. Webb’s The Garies and Their Friends ( Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, July 2013) presents new biographical information about African-American novelist, Frank J. Webb, including her discovery that Webb was the grandson of U.S. Vice-President Aaron Burr. Her article “Dating Harriet Jacobs: Why Birthdates Matter to Historiansappeared as a 2013 summer feature in Perspectives Magazine at

Mary contributed biographical entries to The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed — on George W. Lowther (1822-1898), Frank J. Webb (1828-1894), and Louisa Matilda Jacobs (1833-1917). For Black History Month 2014, she contributed two biographical entries: Julia Chinn (c1790-1833), the putative wife of U.S. Vice President Richard Mentor Johnson, and New York philanthropists, Pierre and Juliette Toussaint.

Mary has provided historical research, editing and/or transcription services for Keith Maillard’s fiction and non-fiction since 1993.

She has also worked on the following published books by Ralph Maud: Where Have the Old Words Got Me? Explications of Dylan Thomas’s Collected Poems (University of Wales Press, 2003); Selected Letters: Charles Olsen, (University of California Press, 2000);“William Hartopp, the “W.H.” of 1606 and 1609?” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 93/3, 1999; and A Guide to B.C. Indian Myth and Legend (Talonbooks, 1982).


Mary is currently editing The Skinner Family Papers housed in the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. These papers, spanning the years 1705 to 1900, consist of correspondence, land deeds, poetry, slave lists, other writings, photographs and artifacts of the Skinner family of Edenton, North Carolina.

The antebellum family letters were published in 2014 and 2015:

On the Carpet: the Coming of Age Letters of Penelope Skinner 1832-1840

Albemarle Son: the Coming of Age Letters of Tristrim Lowther Skinner 1833-1849

The Belles of Williamsburg: The Courtship Correspondence of Eliza Fisk Harwood and Tristrim Lowther Skinner 1839-1849

Maillard’s monograph, giving an overview of the Skinner family spanning 1770-1900, was published in 2014.

A Map of Time and Blood: An introduction to the Skinner Family Papers 1826-1850.

All ebooks are now available on Kobo, iBooks, and Kindle.

Mary Maillard contact:


Michael E. Stevens and Steven B. Burg explain how documentary editors do their work and why it is important. Now more than ever, we—historians, scholars, and general readers—need access to primary sources.

August, 2011

3 thoughts on “Mary Maillard

  1. Dear Mary Maillard,

    I am a fellow at the Library Company of Philadelphia and I am reading your book, Whispers of Cruel Wrongs: The Correspondence of Louisa Jacobs and Her Circle, 1879-1911. While my research does not focus primarily on the black elite or middle-class, I have done some extensive research in the Stevens-Cogdell-Sanders-Venning-Chew papers and have used this information for context as I think about nineteenth-century black life in Philadelphia. I was interested in your biographical sketch of “Delie” or Cordelia Sanders Chew. In particular, you note on page 22 that Charlotte Forten wrote that she like Chew and found she and her family “much more Interesting than Southerners usually are” but then you also add that she says that she “vowed to ‘try hard to convert them to anti-slavery.” I was unclear what you meant by that. Does this quote suggest that Forten wanted to change “Delie” and the Sanders’ family’s view on slavery and make these mixed-race siblings more “anti-slavery?” If you have the time, I would love to know more of your thoughts regarding this. Thank you for your time in this matter.


    Cheryl Hicks

  2. Dear Mary Maillard,

    I am a U.S. historian and Jean Yellin suggested that I get in touch with you about a project I have undertaken for the online journal and database that I co-edit, WOMEN AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES. I am working on a big project that involves crowdsourcing biographical sketches of Black women suffragists. We have some 220 people identified so far and have commissioned or assigned probably 200 of the sketches. Louisa Jacobs has been a late addition to our group and I was hoping you would be interested/able to write a roughly 500-word biographical sketch of her for inclusion in the WASM database. I understand that she participated in the 1866 annual meeting of the American Equal Rights Association and she may have done a good deal more. My source for the 1866 reference is the Selected Papers of ECS and SBA, vol. 2, pp. 17-18.

    This sketch will become part of the ONLINE BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF THE WOMAN SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT IN THE U.S. This will be a freely-accessible resource that will also include bio sketches of about 400 supporters of the National Woman’s Party and 2,700 women affiliated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Volunteers are writing all of the sketches other than those that have been published earlier in notable reference works. Unfortunately we are not able to pay our authors but we do give author credit for the sketches and authors know they are contributing to what will be a signal new resource for students and scholars.

  3. Pingback: Mixed Race Studies » Scholarly Perspectives on Mixed-Race » “Faithfully Drawn from Real Life”: Autobiographical Elements in Frank J. Webb’s The Garies and Their Friends

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