Mary DANDO - (1752 - 1825)
Mary DANDO was born in Dursley, Gloucestershire, on 30th December 1752, the daughter of John and Susannah DANDO and was baptized in St James The Great Church in Dursley on 8th January 1753.
Mary moved to New York in 1783 and attended the ministry of the Methodists in John Street. She never married but looked after her nephew, Stephen's, household. She took in a number of orphan children and adopted the title of "Mrs". Mary died on 18th April 1825 at the age of 73.
In 1794, Mary lived at 166 William Street in New York where she ran a china store. She later moved to 3 Maiden Lane near Broadway where her nephew, Stephen, set up a hat store. The Old Merchants of New York City, Vol 5, by Walter Barrett, clerk, published the following extract in 1885. The writer had mistaken Mary for Stephen's mother instead of his aunt...
Mr. Norsworthy [a merchant who arrived in New York in 1794] stood six feet two inches high, and was well proportioned. He wore a low-crowned hat, made by Dando. They made his hats for thirty years. When he arrived here he found Mary Dando, the widow, living at 166 William street, where she kept a china store. In 1798, Stephen Dando started a hat store at 3 Maiden lane, where his mother resided. Next year Stephen took in his brother Sam at No. 11 Maiden lane. Stephen made the first hat for Mr. Norsworthy in 1798, and Samuel, who outlived his brother, made his last hat in 1828.
Various tributes were written about Mary after her death which are detailed below...
Newspaper/Magazine cutting - unknown source.
MRS DANDO, was born in Dursley, Gloucestershire, in 1752. Her father's house was the home of MR. WHITEFIELD, when he visited that part of the country in his ministerial work; so that she was early enlightened by a knowledge of the truth. In 1783, she removed to New York, where she attended the ministry of the Methodists, and most cordially embraced the doctrines which they taught. She sought and obtained the salvation of GOD, and lived and died a witness of that perfect love which casteth out fear. For more than forty years she was an intelligent, zealous, and consistent Member of our Society. I frequently saw her when I was in New York, and was edified by her conversation. Her removal was sudden, but she was prepared for it; and her end was peace. R. REECE.
(Mr Whitefield is a reference to George Whitefield, one of the pioneers of Methodism and a contemporary of the Wesley brothers.)
Lost Chapters Recovered from the Early History of American Methodism by J B Wakeley published in 1858 - pages 566-567.
Was an old member of John-street, who is still remembered. She was born in England in 1752, came to this country in 1783, and joined the Methodists in 1786. She delighted to attend the means of grace, and especially the preaching at 5 o'clock in the morning. At an early hour she could be seen wending her way to old John-street preaching-house to hear the word. Though never married, she voluntarily assumed the care of a number of orphan children, performing for them the duties of a mother as well as she could, while she took the oversight of the household of her nephew, Stephen Dando. Those children who were intrusted to her care she endeavored to train up in the fear of the Lord, as well as to prepare them to become useful and industrious housekeepers. Many years she was deprived of the public means of grace, but she was devotedly pious at home. She took great interest in the works of benevolence, in the Missionary, Tract, and Sabbath-school cause, and assisted them to the extent of her power. She died in great triumph, April 18, 1825, aged seventy-three years.
A history of the rise of Methodism in America: Containing sketches of Methodist itinerant preachers from 1736 to 1785 by John Lednum published in 1859 - page 425.
Mary Dando was born in England, in 1752, came to this country in 1783, and joined the Methodists in 1786. She was aunt to Stephen Dando, and never married, but made herself useful by taking care of orphan children, and raising them to piety and usefulness. In the days of five o'clock morning preaching, she quitted her bed to attend at Wesley Chapel to early morning means of grace. At the age of seventy-three years, she went to receive her reward from her Lord, in 1825. (Extracted from "Lost Chapters," pp. 562-3, and 566-7.)
The Methodists and Revolutionary America, 1760-1800: The Shaping of an Evangelical Culture by Dee Andrews published in 2000 - page 117.
New York Methodist, Mary Dando, an English immigrant from Asbury's home county of Gloucestershire, despite being unmarried adopted the honorific title "Mrs" and earned her keep by managing her nephew's household.
The Methodist Review, Volume 8, published in 1825 - pages 327 & 328.
MEMOIR OF MRS. MARY DANDO
DIED, April 18, 1825, MRS. MARY DANDO. She was born December 30, 1752, in Dursly, county of Gloucester, England. Her parents, from whom she received a pious education, were members of the society of Whitfieldian Methodists. Her father's house was a home for the ministers of that denomination, and from their pious conversation she was much benefited. At the age of sixteen she joined that society and gave evidence of a true conversion to God.
In 1783 she emigrated to this country, and settled, in company with some of her relations with whom she came over, in the village of Brooklyn, Long-Island, and connected herself with a Calvinistic church in that place. Not long after her settlement here she heard Methodist preaching, was convinced of the truth of their doctrine, and in 1786 she joined their society. After her removal to this city, New-York, she attended the numerous means of grace as enjoyed among the Methodists, and, among others, the preaching at 5 o'clock in the morning.
Though never married, she charged herself with the care of orphan children, whom she took under her care, performed the duties of a mother as far as she could, while she took the oversight of the household of her nephew, Mr. Stephen Dando. In this department of her duty, she economized to the best advantage; but her piety was conspicuous on all occasions. Those children which were entrusted to her care, she endeavoured to train up in the fear of the Lord, as well as to prepare them to become useful and industrious housekeepers.
For about fourteen years before her death, she was deprived of the use of the public means of grace, by bodily afflictions. She was extremely corpulent, and much afflicted with the asthma and rheumatism, so much so, that she was scarcely able to walk without help. While thus deprived of the privilege of assembling with those "who keep holy day," she was diligent in the use of those private means of spiritual improvement, which were within her power, such as prayer, meditation, reading, and conversing with those Christian friends who occasionally called to see her. The holy Scriptures she read daily, and often accompanied her reading of them with Wesley's, Clarke's, Benson's, and Coke's commentaries. She delighted also in reading the religious intelligence, and other matters published in the Wesleyan and Methodist Magazines. She took a special interest in all the public institutions, such as missionary, tract, and sabbath school societies, which have for their object the melioration of mankind, recommending them to the attention of her friends, and contributing as far as her means would permit to their support.
On Thursday, the 12th of April last, she was taken ill, and in a few days afterwards she took her departure for a better world. The following is from a female friend, and as it will give as full an account of her, especially during the close of her days, as any within the writer's reach, it is inserted at length.
"I have, for many years, proved Mrs. Dando to be my most valuable Christian friend on earth. I have witnessed her patience in afflictions, and the power of divine grace, which enabled her to rejoice in them, with a bright prospect of being soon delivered from them. I have often been blessed in her company, and shall never forget her good advice and her prayers.
"I called to see her on Sunday, April 10, when she began speaking of the death of Mrs. Carpenter, and said, 'She did not think she should long survive her.' I observed, the only thing necessary was to be found ready; and asked her, if she felt any doubts as to her acceptance. She replied, 'None at all.' I told her I thought
that might be the last interview we might have, and considering the uncertainty of life, I felt a particular wish to know the state of her mind with reference to eternity. She said, 'I do not feel that rapturous joy which some others speak of, but I feel a solid peace, and a sacred union with Him, so that nothing seems to move me.' I informed her I had lately been reading Mr. Peronet, and reminded her of his depth of piety : she answered, 'Yet no more than is our privilege to enjoy. I have had nearly the same feelings, and felt such a sense of the presence of God, that I have not words to express.' I told her I believed the Lord had spared her for wise purposes, and to complete in her his work of grace. She said, 'I do see it so-what a fulness in the promises ! Oh, let us be in earnest ! The time is short.' Then speaking of some little trials, she said, 'Let it all pass,-these things do not move me;- I soon shall be with the Lord.'
"Calling again the next sabbath, April 17, I found her approaching near her end. She at first did not know me. I felt persuaded this would be the last time, for which reason I took my children to see her. Observing them, she said, 'Who are all these?' I answered, I have brought them to see you; do you know me? 'Yes.' How do you find yourself? 'Very bad.' Do you feel Jesus precious to your soul? 'Yes, yes!' Do you feel happy? 'Yes, I do: happy ! happy !' I saw it was with much difficulty she could speak. Our united souls then felt what, I trust, we shall hereafter realize."
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