Mary R. Trippe, 89, Historical Society volunteer

November 05, 1996|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Mary Ringgold Trippe, the granddaughter of a Confederate lieutenant who as a girl unveiled Baltimore's monument to women of the Confederacy, died Wednesday at her University Parkway apartment of complications from a stroke she suffered about six weeks ago. She was 89.

"She is the last of a generation. There are no survivors," said Andrew Nichols, her trust officer for many years at Mercantile -- Safe Deposit & Trust Co. "She never aged. She didn't have a gray hair. It was jet black and not dyed."

zTC Miss Trippe was born and raised in Bolton Hill and was a graduate of Bryn Mawr School.

She was an active member of Chapter 8 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Surratt Society and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a volunteer for many years at the Maryland Historical Society -- mainly working in the Confederate Room. She treasured the uniform of her grandfather, Andrew Cross Trippe, a major general in the 1st Maryland Infantry of the Army of the Confederate States of America. Wounded at Gettysburg, he refused to have his right arm amputated -- resulting in a uniform with one arm shorter than the other. The uniform is destined for the Historical Society.

Her grandfather later embarked upon a political career, beginning as a Baltimore city councilman in 1867 and rising to speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates.

Miss Trippe was a girl when she unveiled the monument to the Women of the Confederacy at Charles Street and University Parkway. It was built with funds that her grandfather got the General Assembly to appropriate.

In a 1977 Evening Sun interview, Miss Trippe recalled that moment in 1918:

"I was just a child then, only knee-high to a grasshopper, and I had my first bouquet of roses. All the flags were flying. When the time came, I had my roses on one arm and I pulled the cord and nothing happened. But I didn't worry about it. I knew everybody there. So I pulled again and all the flags fell down and it's been seen ever since."

In addition to her lifelong interest in the Confederacy, Miss Trippe was an avid fan of Johns Hopkins University lacrosse, which she viewed with opera glasses from her apartment across the street, Mr. Nichols said.

She was a lifelong member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, which her great-grandfather helped to build. As a director of the church's periodical club, she helped to distribute about 1,200 books and 57,000 magazines to the Prisoners Aid Society.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. today at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Read and Cathedral streets in Baltimore.

Pub Date: 11/05/96

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