Writer. Born– 1844, Tuscaloosa. Parents– Matthew and Martha (Gillespie) Duffee. Education– Attended Tuscaloosa Female Seminary and private schools in New York City. Travelled frequently between Tuscaloosa, where her father was proprietor of the Washington House Tavern, and Blount Springs in Blount County, where he owned the Duffee House, a resort hotel. Acted as hostess at the Duffee House before it burned in the fall of 1869; served as postmistress for Blount Springs during the Civil War.  Credited with spying for the Confederacy during the War. Worked for a time on a New York newspaper.  After 1874 lived on Duffee’s Mountain near Blount Springs, and did freelance writing of many types: articles and sketches for newspapers and magazines, poetry, advertising copy, and travel guidebooks. Member of the National Geographic Society, the American Historical and Biographical Society, and the New Orleans Academy of Sciences.


Appleton’s Cyclopedia of America Biography, vol. II.

“Introductory Essay” in Sketches of Alabama

Sulzby, James F., Jr., “Blount Springs,” Alabama Review, II (1949), 163-175.

Files at Alabama Public Library Service.


Sketches of Alabama: Being an Account of the journey from Tuscaloosa to Blount Springs through Jefferson County on the Old Stage Roads. Ed. Virginia Pounds Brown and Jane Porter Nabers. University, Ala.; University of Alabama, 1970. (based on a series of articles published in 1885 through 1887 in the Weekly Iron Age in Birmingham).


A collection of papers of Mary Gordon Duffee is held at the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery.