Helen Taft Manning

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Helen Taft Manning
William Howard Taft with his daughter.jpg
Helen Taft with her father, US President William Howard Taft
Born
Helen Herron Taft

(1891-08-01)August 1, 1891
DiedFebruary 21, 1987(1987-02-21) (aged 95)
NationalityAmerican
Spouse(s)Frederick Johnson Manning (m. 1920-1966, his death)
Children2
Academic background
Alma materBryn Mawr College, Yale University
Academic work
DisciplineHistorian
Helen Taft with her parents and brothers (1912)

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, Helen Taft was a high achiever. She was able to reach goals that her mother had not been granted access to due to the social restrictions placed on women of her mother's time. She earned a scholarship to attend Bryn Mawr College, where she was a student when her father became president in 1908.

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

After her mother recovered, she resumed her studies at Bryn Mawr, graduating 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 Taft Manning Hunter (October 5, 1921 – October 17, 2013)
  • Caroline Manning Cunningham (born January 18, 1925)

Both daughters also pursued careers in teaching.[1]

Academic career[edit]

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

She then attended Yale University, where she earned a doctorate in history. Taft's 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.[2]

Her papers, which include a collection of personal correspondence, professional work, and her husband's work are stored at Bryn Mawr college.[3]

Death[edit]

Taft died in 1987 at age 95 of pneumonia in a nursing home in Philadelphia.[4] She was buried at Church of the Redeemer Cemetery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.[5]

She was the last surviving child of William Howard Taft, her siblings having died in 1953 and 1983. She was outlived by her daughter Caroline.

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]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Helen Herron "Helene" Taft Manning".
  2. ^ "Helen Taft Manning, Ex-Dean of Bryn Mawr". The New York Times. 1987-02-23. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  3. ^ "Helen Taft Manning papers, 1861-1992". dla.library.upenn.edu. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  4. ^ "Helen Taft Manning, Ex-Dean of Bryn Mawr". The New York Times. 1987-02-23. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  5. ^ "Helen Herron "Helene" Taft Manning".

External links[edit]