This collection contains materials relating to the life of Maria Florilla Flint Hamblen from 1821-1908. It contains information on education, family history, and experiences during the Civil War.
Maria Florilla Flint Hamblen was born June 17, 1838, to Asa Armstrong and Louisa Cynthia Pierson Flint in Spring Arbor, Michigan. In 1850, Maria’s parents moved the family back to their hometown of Batavia, New York, and it was there she began her formal education in French and music. In the winter of 1855, Maria relocated to Lima, New York, where in the spring she began attending Genesee College. Four years later she graduated with degrees in, French, Voice, and Art. After graduation Maria took a job teaching, Vocal and Instrumental Music, French, German and English, at Warrenton Female College in North Carolina. The school had been opened for the daughters of plantation owners and it was here Maria received her first exposure to southern culture. In June 1861, the school closed because of the Civil War and Maria had to return to Lima. She remained there until the fall of 1862, when she went to Bracken County, Kentucky to teach in a family school at Germantown. Maria remained there a short time and then returned home, where she stayed for the remainder of the war. In December of 1865 she left Lima for New Orleans, to visit her brother Wilbur Fisk Flint. He had been assigned to Forts Jackson and St. Phillips, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel, Samuel Hamblen. Maria, who suffered from asthma, thought the air in Louisiana would be beneficial and while it is unknown whether this served as a cure or not Maria found a reason to stay when, on May 2, 1866, in New Orleans, she married her brother’s commanding officer. The couple remained at the forts until Hamblen was discharged on February 22, 1867, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She and her husband then relocated to Buffalo, New York, and remained there until 1869, when they and several family members went to Atlantic, Iowa. Making a living in Iowa proved difficult for Samuel Hamblen and the winters where hard on his health, so when the United States’ government needed land surveyors to conduct surveys in the Everglades, he found it attractive. Samuel moved Maria and the family to Quincy, Florida in early 1870s. In Florida, Maria spent much of her time keeping house and educating her children and when in 1877, her husband left to do survey work in Hot Springs, Arkansas, she took over as head of the household. By 1879, Maria decided to leave Florida with the children for Arkansas. Once she arrived in Hot Springs she became active in the Methodist Episcopal Church and other social activities such as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Woman’s Christian Library Association, as well as teaching music. She lived in there until 1896, when she relocated to Chicago, Illinois to be closer to her children. Samuel remained in Hot Springs, spending the summers in Chicago. Maria died at her daughter’s home in Warren, Pennsylvania on July 7, 1929 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Document, 8.5" x 11"
Hot Springs, Garland County (Ark.)
Maria Florilla Flint Hamblen collection, MG.030208
Arkansas State Archives
Arkansas State Archives
Maria Florilla Flint Hamblen collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.
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United States History