Helen Taft Manning

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Helen Taft Manning
William Howard Taft with his daughter.jpg
Helen Taft with her father, US President William Howard Taft
Born Helen Herron Taft
1 August 1891
Cincinnati, USA
Died 21 February 1987(1987-02-21) (aged 95)
Philadelphia, USA
Nationality American
Religion Christian
Spouse(s) Frederick Johnson Manning
Children Two daughters
Academic background
Alma mater Bryn Mawr College, Yale University
Academic work
Discipline Historian

Helen Herron Taft Manning (August 1, 1891 – February 21, 1987) was an American professor of history and college dean. She was the middle child and only daughter of U.S. President William Howard Taft and his wife Helen Herron.

Personal life[edit]

Like her older brother Robert and younger brother Charles, Taft Manning was a high achiever. She fulfilled goals that her mother had been denied by the social restrictions placed on women of her mother's time. Taft Manning earned a scholarship to attend Bryn Mawr College. She was a student at Bryn Mawr when her father became President.

Her studies were interrupted for some time when her mother suffered a stroke, and was left an invalid. Taft Manning moved into the White House with her family, and helped her mother to regain body movement and speech. She also served as official hostess for many White House functions while her mother was disabled. In December, 1910, Taft Manning was given a debutante party at the White House.

After her mother recovered, Taft Manning resumed her studies at Bryn Mawr. She graduated in 1915 with a bachelor's degree in history. She was a suffragette, and traveled the country, giving speeches in support of the vote for women and women's rights.

On July 15, 1920, she married Yale history professor Frederick Johnson Manning (1894-1966), who then moved to Swarthmore College. The Mannings had two daughters: Helen Manning Hunter (1921-2013) and Caroline Cunningham (born 1925). Helen died in 1987 at 95 of pneumonia.[1] She was the last surviving child of William Howard Taft.

Academic career[edit]

In 1917, aged only 26, Taft Manning became Dean of Bryn Mawr, and served as that college's acting president in 1919.

Taft Manning then attended Yale University, where she earned a doctorate in history. Her research interests centered on the history of North America in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In 1925, she returned to Bryn Mawr as Dean and professor of history. She served as Dean until 1941, and taught history until she retired in 1957, having become head of the department. She continued to research and to publish during her retirement.

Select bibliography[edit]

  • British colonial government after the American Revolution, 1782-1820. (1933)
  • The revolt of French Canada, 1800-1835; a chapter in the history of the British Commonwealth. (1962)
  • E.G. Wakefield and the Beauharnois Canal. (1967)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]