A very public figure

CarriageMrs. Eddy’s carriage, ca. 1909. 
On box, l. to r., Frank Bowman, Calvin Frye. 
In carriage, l. to r., Laura Sargent, Mrs. Eddy

By 1900, Mary Baker from the Baker farm at Bow had become, in the eyes of the public, the celebrated Mary Baker Eddy of headline fame. Newspapers and magazines sought her views on every conceivable topic. Her every move made news.

Occasionally she did choose to come forward publicly, addressing Christian Scientists, writing for the general media, granting a few interviews to leading journalists.

In addition, she could be seen every day in her carriage as she was driven around Concord and later Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts - very much the public figure her position required.

But she turned aside popular focus on her personality. A journalist who interviewed her reported: “It was explained that she wished to discourage personal adulation … and direct the thoughts of those who accept her teachings to the faith rather than the Founder of the denomination.”

She pointedly directed her followers away from venerating her to trusting God. She instructed: “I again repeat, Follow your Leader, only so far as she follows Christ.”

 A very private life