April 20: Sarita Morrison Brady Hutchins (1884)

Epiphany’s records list the burial of Mrs. Sarita Morrison Hutchins with the cause of death being childbirth. Sarita was the wife of Stilson Hutchins, founder of The Washington Post. Her obituary is from that paper: “Her intellect was of that keen, penetrating kind characteristic of the best of Celtic blood, allowing her to take at a glance and with but little apparent effort the essence of whatever was offered either in books or men. Her memory, which was as unusual as her other mental endowments, held in readiness for her use all that she had thus acquired; the combination making her one of the most brilliant, entertaining and ready conversationalists Washington society has ever known. Her critical faculty was of the finest quality, and made her judgment upon literary matters a standard among those who were so fortunate as to be numbered as her friends. She had great learning, and her knowledge was not only wide but deep. Had the time and opportunity presented themselves the world would have felt and acknowledged the influence of her thought, which was as original as it was forcible and strong.”

“But if there was one quality in Mrs. Hutchins’ character which stood out, with greater clearness or in bolder relief than the rest it was her delicate sense of justice. Her sympathy and aid were always at the service of the oppressed, and she was ever ready to do battle with the weak against the strong. On this principle she molded her life even to its minutest details. Coupled with this sense of justice there was – as there is always in truly great minds – a wide charity which recognized and pitied the weaknesses and frailties of our imperfect humanity. Those who were privileged to enter the circle of her inner life will remember a card fastened to the corner of her mirror. On this card were these words: ‘I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.’ This was the guide of her life, and she followed it to the end.”

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