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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

HERRICK, MARIA M. SMITH - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

HERRICK, MARIA M. SMITH, (1798- 14 July 1895), 19th-century reformer and literary personage, active in the Female Moral Reform Society and publisher of Cleveland's earliest magazine, was born in Rensselaer Co., New York, the daughter of Levi and Mary (Olmstead) Smith. In 1815, Maria married Sylvester Pierce Herrick. She came to OHIO CITY (CITY OF OHIO) in 1836, and became active in the Maternal Assoc. of Ohio City. From 1837-40 she edited and wrote for a monthly journal, the MOTHERS' AND YOUNG LADIES' GUIDE, discussing subjects such as "Family Government," "Duties of Mothers," "Fashion," "Self Consecration," and "The Orphan's Tale." Though the magazine lasted for only a few issues, its concerns were carried on by the Female Moral Reform Society, organized in Sept. 1842 to promote family values and return runaway children to their homes. Formed by Herrick along with REBECCA ROUSE† and others, the society decried "sin abroad in the land" that infiltrated homes and weakened the family, believing that because discipline and purity were not promoted in the home, children got into trouble outside the home and took to petty crime and PROSTITUTION. Between 1842-43, the society investigated cases of women and children who had been lured into wickedness, and cared for them in members' homes until they could be returned to their families. The last recorded minutes of the society were dated Jan. 1844, when its work was taken over by the MARTHA WASHINGTON AND DORCAS SOCIETY. Maria Herrick, disabled at an early age by a fall from a carriage, remained active in social-reform causes well into her nineties.

Herrick had 4 children: John Sylvester, Mary Elizabeth, Julia Maria, and RENSSELAER RUSSEL HERRICK†. She died in Cleveland.

Ingham, Mary B. Women of Cleveland (1893).

Last Modified: 17 Jul 1997 04:21:40 PM

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