Woman of the Century/Mary J. Lawson
LAWSON, Mrs. Mary J., author, born in Maroon Hall, Preston, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1828. Her maiden name was Mary J. Katzmann. In 1868 she became the wife of William Lawson. MARY J. LAWSON. She had one daughter, who survives her. She died in 1890, lamented by a wide circle who admired and loved her for her talents, character and devotion to duty. Her father, Conrad C. Katzmann, lieutenant in the 60th, or King's German Legion, was a native of Hanover, Germany. Her mother, Martha Prescott, was a granddaughter of Dr. Jonathan Prescott, who at the close of the Revolutionary War went to Nova Scotia with the Loyalists. He was of the same family as the historian Prescott. Under the initials "M. J. K.," which after her marriage became "M. J. K. L.," she began to write and to publish in the local press verses that attracted the attention of an unusually brilliant literary circle then in Halifax. Joseph Howe, writer and statesman, encouraged her to devote herself to literature as the best way of serving the country and humanity, and in 1852 and 1853 she edited and wrote for the "Provincial Magazine." Great facility of expression enabled her to supply any demand at brief notice, and her energy and determination to carry through whatsoever she undertook kept the magazine in existence for two years, when for lack of support it had to be discontinued. Whenever a good cause was in need, she came to its help with pen and heart. Blessed with a strong constitution, there was almost no work of brain or hand from which she shrank. Strongly attached to the Church of England, and of a profoundly religious nature, she never wearied in self-sacrificing labors in its cause or the cause of the poor and suffering.