Mary E. Bryan (1838-1913) was born in Jefferson County, Fl. to John D. Edwards and Louisa M. Houghton. Her family later moved to Thomasville, Ga. for her to attend Fletcher Institute; however, at the age of fifteen she eloped with Iredell E. Bryan of Louisiana. She completed her education after her marriage and received her master’s degree from College Temple in Newnan, Ga. Bryan published her first works at the age of fourteen and was a regular writer for the Georgia Literary and Temperance Crusader. She lived in Clarkston, Ga. from 1874 to 1884 and worked as an associate editor for Sunny South. Her first novel, Manch, was published in 1880. Bryan moved to New York in 1885, where she worked as an editor for several magazines published by George Munro including the Fireside Companion and New York Fashion Bazaar. In 1895, Bryan returned to Clarkston and served as an editor for Uncle Remus’s Home Magazine and later worked for a number of Atlanta magazines including Half Hour, Golden Age, and Old Homestead.
The collection includes biographical information, correspondence, clippings, manuscripts, and printed material related to Mary E. Bryan and her writings. The majority of the personal correspondence is between Bryan and her son Fred. The printed materials include an index for Bryan’s works and a bibliography of known works is available. Published books by Mary E. Bryan are available in Special Collections Hargrett Rare Books and searchable in GIL-Find.
The majority of the collection was preserved by Ada Bryan Johnson (1885-1952), granddaughter of Mary Edwards Bryan. Ada Bryan Johnson’s grandson, Albert Sydney Johnson, who continued to add to the collection and gather research materials, donated the collection to the Library earlier this year.