The Real Annie Wood, Josie Mansfield’s “Friend”

Annie Wood Lithographs
“I beg of you to be generous in your remarks towards me should any bit of gossip fall upon your table from some country reporter who has gained half the truth and fills up the rest at his own pleasure.”–Miss Annie Wood, the actress

In “Other Powers,” Barbara Goldsmith’s sensationalized Victoria Woodhull biography, she misidentified Miss Annie Wood, a once well-known blonde actress, as Madame Annie Wood of the “fashionable demi-monde.” Goldsmith theorized that Josie Mansfield and her friend Madame Annie Wood relayed stock market tips obtained from Annie’s clients to Victoria.  Without citing her source, Goldsmith made the unprecedented claim that Victoria impressed Madame Wood by forcing a judge to pay full fee for services rendered at Wood’s “house.”  She claimed Annie Wood “used an alias.” Without citing any court case, she said Annie Wood declared “in a sworn affidavit…to have been born into the family of a wealthy plantation owner in Savannah, Georgia.” 

That story doesn’t fit with Miss Annie Wood’s letter to the editor of the New York World which appears in part below (emphasis added):

SIR: While travelling I have noticed papers have used my name in a slurring manner as “the woman who introduced Miss Mansfield to Mr. Fisk.” That I was now under the assumed name of Annie Sutton, Mr. J. Sutton, of our company, being my husband, and Annie Wood not my name, but used only at times on the stage. . . . I have no reason to be ashamed of my own name, though I do deeply regret it should be brought before the public in connection with a wicked woman like Mrs. M., whom I have not spoken to for a number of years.  My right name is Annie Wood, and I have always used my own name in the theatre.  I was never married, and it was by mere accident that I am playing under the name of Annie Sutton. . . . At the last moment Miss Sutton sent word she could not go and I was engaged to fill her place, and that is the reason my own name is not on the bills.  Not that I was ashamed of it, for I defy any person to say aught against my character. I hold a good position as a stock actress, and my profession, which I depend entirely on for a living always brought me a good one–though we all meet with ups and downs in public life. . . .

(New York World, “Card from Miss Annie Wood on Her Connection with Mansfield.” January 23, 1872, page 3, columns 1-2)

Miss Annie Wood’s letter to the New York World was prompted by a January 10, 1872 article in the Syracuse Courier that said she “played an important part in the tragedy” of the murder of Jim Fisk. On November 1, 1885 “Reginald, the First” from the Syracuse Standard reflected back on Annie Wood’s appearance in Syracuse after the murder in 1872. He wrote, “A woman who had been the boon companion of the Mansfield during her intrigues with the railway magnate, and whose evidence was an important link in the chain, was missing. Annie Wood was nowhere to be found, though the detectives searched for her high and low. About this time ‘The Black Crook,’ then a production with the flavor of age hanging to its short skirts, was announced to be done in Syracuse. In the procession of amazons was a little baggage with shapely limbs and a pretty face.” A New York City theater patron who was visiting Syracuse recognized her as the missing Annie Wood.

Unfortunately, Reginald the First’s source had an imperfect memory. “The Black Crook” wasn’t playing in Syracuse at the time. Annie Wood was playing Annie Sutton’s role of Nerissa in Mrs. Macready’s “Merchant of Venice” at Wieting’s Opera House. But Annie Wood was known for acting in the notorious play “The Black Crook,” just not in Syracuse in January 1872.

The Annie Wood who introduced Josie Manfield to Jim Fisk wasn’t born in Savannah, and she was really named Annie Wood. She said she didn’t use an alias; therefore, she can’t be the same person as Madame Annie Wood in Goldsmith’s book. So how did Goldsmith go wrong? Goldsmith’s bibliography listed the biographical novel, “Jubilee Jim, The Life of Colonel James Fisk, Jr.” by Robert H. Fuller as a source. In other words, one of Goldsmith’s sources was fiction!

Sometimes, if we had money, we risked it at faro or roulette.  And sometimes, when we won, we went uptown, where we were known at discreet establishments in which a certain degree of luxury and suppression of coarseness was practiced.  One of these places was Annie Wood’s in West Twenty-fourth Street.

  (Rufus Phelps, fictional character, “Jubilee Jim, The Life of Colonel James Fisk Jr.” by Robert H. Fuller)

Fuller’s novel is also listed in the bibliography of W.A. Swanberg’s 1959 biography, “Jim Fisk: The Career of an Improbable Rascal.” Swanberg said the “newspapers of the day” referred to the “notorious Annie Wood” but it appears that phrase was popularized by Fuller’s 1928 novel. The closest phrase that appeared in 1872 newspapers was, “They asked her whether she did not engage the notorious Miss Woods to procure for her an introduction to Colonel Fisk.”  Swanberg made certain conclusions about Annie Wood’s occupation based on inference from a novel and the occasional use of the adjective “notorious” in describing her. Goldsmith included Swanberg’s biography in her bibliography.  Neither biographer acknowledged in their bibliographies that Fuller’s “Jubilee Jim” was a “biographical novel.”

After Fuller’s novel was published, Miss Wood was no longer described as just an actress. Thanks to fiction she became the proprietress of a first class house. One of the rare suggestions in the 1870s that she could be something other than an actress was from this exchange between Josie Mansfield and an attorney in court testimony published in the newspapers:

Q. Where did you first meet him? [Fisk]

A. At the house of a lady friend on Thirty-fourth street.

Q.  What is her name?

A. Miss Annie Wood.

Q. Did she also have furnished rooms?

A. (Indignantly) No; she didn’t have anything of the kind.

Q. Were there other ladies there?

A. No.

Q. How often were you there?

A. I was never there but on that one occasion; it was Sunday, and I went to see her, and during the time I was there Mr. Fisk called. 

( Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, Nov. 29, 1871, page 2)

The lawyer interrogating Mansfield appeared to suggest there was something improper going on at Miss Wood’s house which Mansfield “indignantly” denied. Mansfield testified that she was at Annie Wood’s only once but Goldsmith claimed she “began to frequent Annie Wood’s house….” The newspapers gave two different street names for Miss Wood’s house leading to additional confusion among historians. Some newspapers said she lived on 24th Street, others said 34th Street. Which street Annie Wood lived on could have an impact on her presumed profession. In 1872 Thirty-fourth Street was considered a “respectable neighborhood.” The Astor family had a home on the southwest corner of 34th Street and Fifth Avenue. The most notorious resident in the area was Madame Fanny White who had lived at 49 W. 34th Street at the time of her death in 1861, but she didn’t ply her trade there. The New York City houses in the trade were mostly located below 34th Street.  For example, Kate Wood had a house in the notorious “Seven Sisters” row on 25th Street. That could be one explanation why Fuller’s novel used 24th Street and not 34th Street as Annie Wood’s address.

What can’t be explained is Barbara Goldsmith’s description of Annie Wood’s house on West 34th Street purporting to be from A Gentleman’s Guide from the New York Historical Society.

From the outside, Annie Wood’s house was similar to other Murray Hill brownstones, except for its drawn curtains. Inside, however, according to A Gentleman’s Guide, the house was furnished like a Southern mansion, and served French and New Orleans cuisine. The service was said to be perfection. Copies of Rembrandt, Van Dyke, Hogarth, and Reynolds hung on the walls. The bedrooms featured four-posters draped in Brussels lace, and the ceilings were mirrored.

(Goldsmith, “Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull,” 1998, p. 154 )

Never mind that a house on West 34th near Fifth Avenue is in Midtown Manhattan and not Murray Hill, Goldsmith cited a non-existent title. There is no such book as A Gentleman’s Guide at the NY Historical Society. There’s a book The Gentleman’s Directory, catalogued as The Gentleman’s Companion that has a description of Kate Wood’s house. A photocopy of the Kate Wood page is highlighted in Barbara Goldsmith’s papers at the New York Public Library which demonstrates she used The Gentleman’s Companion as a source. There is no description of Annie Wood’s house or even a house on 34th Street in The Gentleman’s Companion. Below is the description of Kate Wood’s house:

No. 105 West Twenty-fifth street is kept by Mrs. Kate Woods, better known among the aristocracy as Hotel de Wood. This is a 3 story brown stone house, furnished throughout with the most costly improvements. Her gallery of oil paintings alone cost $10,000. Rosewood furniture, immense mirrors, Parisian figures, &c. The house is furnished at the cost of $70,000. She keeps three young ladies of rare personal attractions, and her house receives the patronage of distinguished gentlemen from foreign countries. This is the best house in 25th St.

(The Gentleman’s Directory AKA The Gentleman’s Companion, 1870, p. 36)

Goldsmith’s confusing citation led another Victoria Woodhull biographer, Myra MacPherson, to speculate incorrectly that Kate Wood or Woods could be the same person as Annie Wood. Annie Wood was definitely not Kate Wood.

During a dispute over the will of Marcus Cicero Stanly, Kate Wood(s) of Seven Sisters Row testified that she was really Charlotte Gager of “Bozarah.” (See New York World, Jan. 15, 1886) The details about her identity match Charlotte A. Gager of Bozrah, Connecticut. Charlotte was the daughter of William T. Gager and Emeline Roberts and a great-granddaughter of Sybil Wood Baldwin. An Emeline Roberts appeared in the 1884 New York City Directory at Kate Wood’s address, 105 W. 25th Street. Charlotte A. Gager was most likely Kate Wood(s).

Josie Mansfield Wasn’t in California at the Same Time as Victoria Woodhull

Annie Wood, of course, isn’t the only fictionalized material in Fuller’s novel or Goldsmith’s biography. Fuller wrote that Josie Mansfield and her parents went to Stockton, California in 1852 where her father Joseph Mansfield was killed during a duel. After marrying Frank Lawlor, Josie returned east from San Francisco in 1864. Goldsmith and Swanberg told the same story which would mean Josie and her mother lived in California from 1852-1864.  And yet, Josie Mansfield, her mother Sarah, and her stepfather Charles H. Mansfield appeared in the 1860 Charlestown, Massachusetts census at the time Goldsmith placed them in California. The reason why Josie appeared in the 1860 census in Massachusetts and not California can be found in an 1872 biography called, “The Youthful Days of Josephine Mansfield, the Beautiful Boston girl,” which was written at the height of Mansfield’s fame.

During the husband’s absence in California, Mrs. Mansfield and her daughter, resided in Boston, Chelsea, at Lawrence, and at the time of his death in Charlestown, Mass.

(The Youthful Days of Josephine Mansfield, page 5)

Mr. Charles Mansfield, a brother of the murdered Californian, resided in Charlestown at the time, and, according to a reliable paper published in that city, seems to have taken a great interest in the fair widow, and eventually offered her a home.  The offer was accepted, and Mrs. Mansfield and her daughter were comfortably installed at the residence of her brother-in-law.

(The Youthful Days of Josephine Mansfield, page 6)

A marriage register in Charlestown, Massachusetts supports the account in “Youthful Days.”  Charles H. Mansfield married Sarah H. Mansfield on Oct. 27, 1856 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, not in California. See “Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 24 May 2018, 004279214, image 960 of 1116; State Archives, Boston)

Based on census and marriage records, it’s clear that the 1872 “Youthful Days” biography is more accurate than Fuller’s novel which was used by Goldsmith as a source. The biography suggested a different timeline from the one in Fuller’s novel:

Her mother had sailed for California soon after the divorce from her second husband, where she soon managed to secure a third conjugal partner, in the person of one Warren, and, on the arrival of Josie in San Francisco, Warren and his wife are said to have put her personal attractions to good account….

(The Youthful Days of Josephine Mansfield, page 9)

According to “Youthful Days” Josie Mansfield’s mother sailed for California after Charles H. Mansfield filed for divorce on Sep. 13, 1862.  An announcement in the Boston Advertiser said “that the said Sarah H., wholly regardless of her marriage covenant and duty, did on the first day of March A.D., 1862, and on divers other dates and times between said day and day of the date hereof, commit the crime of adultery with one George Cotton, at said Boston….” (Boston Daily Advertiser, Oct. 4, 1862, p. 4)

That puts Josie’s mother in California in September 1862 at the earliest, years after Victoria Woodhull had left San Francisco. That was a decade later than Goldsmith claimed.

A Bundle of Lies about the Mansfield Duel from the “Beautiful Demoness”

Historical records support the timeline in the 1872 biography “Youthful Days” and not the timeline in Fuller’s 1928 novel.  They show Josie Mansfield’s mother in Massachusetts in 1855, 1856, 1860, and early 1862 when Fuller said she was in California. Unlike Fuller’s novel, “Youthful Days” didn’t mention a duel.  Neither did the newspapers from 1854.

Here’s the beginning of a letter to the editors of the Pittsburgh Post from a correspondent W. H. who wrote from Stockton, June 29, 1854:

In the midst of a deep gloom which has settled over our community I sit down to write you of the violent and untimely death of Mr. Joseph Mansfield, one of the editors and publishers of the San Joaquin Republican, which took place in this city, on Thursday, June 22d.  He was shot down in the public streets, in open day, by John Tabor, editor of the Stockton Journal, in a cowardly manner, Mr. Mansfield being totally unarmed….

(Pittsburgh Daily Post, July 26, 1854, page 2)

Fuller’s novel said Joseph Mansfield was killed in a duel, but it’s unlikely that an unarmed man would take part in a duel. Swanberg’s Jim Fisk biography may have used Fuller’s novel as a source because he said the duel took place near the State Lunatic Asylum which is a detail in Fuller’s novel but not in the 1854 news accounts. Fuller used for his source the 1872 biography “The Life of James Fisk, Jr.” by Willoughby Jones, also used by Goldsmith and Swanberg.  It incorrectly set the date of Mansfield’s shooting as Aug. 6, 1854 and not June 22, 1854.  The story in the Jones biography likely originated from an article called “The Beautiful Demoness” that appeared in the New York Sun, Jan. 26, 1872, page 3.  While the article was reprinted across the country, not everyone trusted it.  The San Francisco Examiner, March 20, 1872, reprinted a portion of it under the headline “A BUNDLE OF WHOPPERS.”  It contained observations from the March 5 Portland Bulletin that called the NY Sun article “a bushel of trash.” After correcting a series of “facts” that were incorrect in the NY Sun article, the Bulletin concluded, “When the correspondent states there was duel between the parties and that he ‘was an eye-witness’ of it, he simply indulges in falsehood straight.”  Goldsmith repeated a lie from over 140 years ago and presented it as fact.

Actor Frank Lawlor, Josie’s ex-husband, objected to the NY Sun article at the time it was written. He disputed that he was “discharged” from Maguire’s Opera House.  Again, the historical record supports Frank Lawlor who denied being fired for a conspiracy to blackmail D.W. Perley.  Lawlor claimed, “Mr. Maguire tendered him free use of the Opera House for a grand complimentary benefit….”

An ad for a “FAREWELL BENEFIT OF MR. FRANK LAWLOR” appeared in the Daily Alta California, January 4, 1865, one week before Lawlor and Mansfield sailed to New York. According to the Chicago Tribune, Feb. 1, 1872, “Mr. Lawlor denounced the whole story, so far as he is concerned, as a gross and inexcusable falsehood, and has already, through his counsel in this city, written to New York to engage eminent legal assistance with a view to prosecuting the Sun for libel.”

Contrary to the NY Sun article which said “In 1852 her parents removed to California and settled in Stockton, San Joaquin county,” historical evidence suggests Josie Mansfield arrived in California sometime around 1863 or 1864 and left by steamship on January 11, 1865.  Frank Lawlor claimed he met her in California “about 1863.” Because Josie Mansfield was born in Massachusetts in December 1847, she would’ve been 16 between December 1863 and December 1864.  Note her age in her testimony to the court as follows:

Q. How old were you on leaving Boston?

A. Sixteen years of age.

Q. Where did you go?

A. To my mother in San Francisco.” 

(Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, Nov. 29, 1871, page 2)

Josie Mansfield also testified in court that she married Frank Lawlor in September 1864 and multiple California newspapers at the time said she was married there on Sept. 1, 1864.

Q. How long did you reside in San Francisco?

A. Only a few months when I was married; I was married in September and left on the 11th of January following.”

(Troy Daily Times, Nov. 28, 1871)

A Mr. and Mrs. “Frank Lawler” appeared on the passenger list of the “Golden Rule” that sailed from Nicaragua to New York, with an arrival date of Feb. 11, 1865.  Newspapers from the time say the “Golden Rule” departed San Francisco, Jan. 11, 1865, and arrived in New York on Feb. 10, 1865.

Based on Josie Mansfield’s published court testimony, she couldn’t have met Victoria Woodhull in San Francisco.  While historians have never pinned down exact dates for Victoria’s San Francisco residence, they suggest it was in the latter half of the 1850’s.  Victoria returned east when her sister Tennessee Claflin was in Columbus, Ohio.  That places Victoria’s return to Ohio no later than 1859-1860 when Tennessee was in Columbus and Josie Mansfield was about 12 years old in Massachusetts.  When Josie Mansfield arrived in California in 1863 or 1864, Victoria Woodhull was long gone.

Victoria herself contradicted Goldsmith’s story. In 1872 Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly said:

 “We have never seen Josie Mansfield, but she is a sister in distress, and that is sufficient to command from us a sister’s consideration.”

(Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly, “MANSFIELD, FISK AND STOKES.” Feb. 10, 1872, p. 9. From the editors’ introduction to a letter written by “Omega”) 

Goldsmith’s story that Anna Cogswell introduced Mansfield to Woodhull in San Francisco must be false because the chronology is wrong. Furthermore, Annie Wood wasn’t who Goldsmith said she was.

Who Was Miss Annie Wood Who Knew Josie Mansfield?

There were at least two 19th century actresses with the real name Annie Wood.  One was Mrs. Annie Wood who performed under the stage name Annie Waite.  Then there was Miss Annie Wood of whom it was said, “Who doesn’t know Annie Wood, or hasn’t heard of her at least?”

“The Life and Times of Col. James Fisk, Jr.” by R.W. McAlpine provided a clue to her identity.  It contained the following extract from Josie Mansfield’s court testimony on Jan. 6, 1872:

A.–I am acquainted with Miss Annie Wood; first knew her in Washington, six years ago….”

(“The life and times of Col. James Fisk, Jr.” by R.W. McAlpine, page 333)

According to Mansfield she met Annie Wood six years prior to 1872 so an actress named Miss Annie Wood would fit the bill if she performed in Washington, D.C. around 1866. The ad below from the National Republican shows “Miss Annie Wood” performing with “Mr. Frank Lawlor,” Josie Mansfield’s husband, in the comedy “The Serious Family” at Grover’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.  That matches the biographical information of a Miss Annie Wood, profiled by Ralph Edmunds in the Kalamazoo Gazette, Jan. 12, 1894, page 3. Miss Annie Wood said, “I was a member of the National Theater company in Washington, managed by Leonard Grover, at the time of the opening of the Crosby opera house.” 

(Washington DC National Republican, Sep. 9, 1865, p. 3)

Crosby’s Opera House in Chicago was supposed to open in April 1865 but its opening was delayed by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in DC that same month.  The night of the assassination Lincoln’s 12-year-old son Tad was watching the play “Aladdin” at Grover’s Theatre where Annie Wood and Frank Lawlor would perform later that year.  By January 1866 Annie Wood was playing the male role of Osric in Hamlet at Crosby’s Opera House in Chicago for Leonard Grover.  In Ralph Edmunds’ profile, Annie recalled playing Osric at Crosby’s Opera house with Charles Kean as Hamlet, while Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes Booth, played Hamlet at McVickers.  Either Miss Wood or the reporter got the actors mixed up. Kean played Hamlet in Chicago at McVickers in 1865 while Booth played Hamlet in Chicago at McVickers in 1867.  The Chicago Tribune shows that Annie Wood played the role of Osric with James E. Murdoch as Hamlet at Crosby’s Opera House on Jan. 3, 1866.  And who appeared in the role of the Ghost of Hamlet’s Father?  Frank Lawlor, Josie Mansfield’s husband.

(Chicago Tribune, Jan. 3, 1866, p. 4)

The Kalamazoo Gazette profile provided detail about the background of Miss Annie Wood which differs from Goldsmith’s account.  Annie Wood said “I was born in 1846, on the Island of Nantucket.  I was educated in the Coffin school there, and the Woodbury college in Fairhaven, and the Pierce Academy in Middleboro.  My father, old Capt. William Wood, who commanded the famous stone fleet that was sunk in Charleston harbor, wanted me to be a music teacher, but the first thing I ever did in life was to become a governess in the family of Senator Killmer of Saratoga, N.Y.”

So far the identity of “Senator Killmer” has not been discovered, but by coincidence there was a Chauncey Kilmer, paper supplier to the New York Sun, who was from Saratoga County, NY. He appeared in the second enumeration of the 1870 New York City census as “Charles Killmer” at 27 W. 34th Street, near Fifth Avenue. Barbara Goldsmith said Annie Wood’s house was on 34th Street “just off Fifth Avenue.” Chauncey Kilmer’s sister Almira was married to a Capt. Lewis Wood. It’s unknown if Capt. Lewis Wood was any relation to Annie.

There is evidence, though, that Annie’s stepmother, Sarah B. Coffin, was the second cousin one time removed of suffragist Lucretia Coffin Mott. Annie’s father, Capt. William Wood, was part of the second Stone Fleet, which was a Civil War blockade of Charlestown, South Carolina. The Union sunk old whaling ships with stones and sand in an attempt to block Confederate access to Charleston Harbor. Her father was captain of the ship “Valparaiso” that sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts in December 1861. Herman Melville wrote a poem about the Stone Fleet.

In Edmunds’ profile of Annie Wood she said she never married because “My affinity lies in a Boston graveyard….” Inspired by a classmate who studied acting under Clara Fisher Maeder, she joined Mrs. John Wood’s company in New York.  Her first role was in the “Streets of New York” in 1864.

They said that I was beautiful, and everyone told me that I was sure to make a great name for myself, for burlesque was coming out and people were going crazy over it.  It was not long before I was one of the favorites with those who were raving over that kind of a performance.  I took the part of Apollo in the burlesque of “Plato.” Yes, I was in the first production of the “Black Crook.”  Afterward, in 1871, I starred in it through the west.  I was Stalacta.

(Miss Annie Wood quote in the Kalamazoo Gazette, Jan. 12, 1894, page 3)

The Leavenworth Times, Sep. 5, 1872, commented on her performance:

Stalacta, the queen, his opponent, is personated by Miss Annie Wood.  Miss Wood is beautiful in form and feature, dresses her part magnificently, and makes a very appropriate queen.

On Sep. 23, 1872, she appeared in a Boston Herald ad for “Ixion; Or The Man at the Wheel” in the role of Apollo at the Howard Athenaeum, also known as the “Old Howard.”  Emeline Zavistowski starred as Ixion. Burlesque proved to be so popular at the “Old Howard” that they were still doing it well into the 20th century.  “Old Howard” performers included Gypsy Rose Lee and Abbott & Costello.

According to the Edmunds’ profile, Annie Wood was known in 1894 for her “old woman” roles and for her philanthropy:

 Many a forlorn actor lying in the throes of misery on a hospital cot has seen a bright ray of sunshine flit across his gloomy vision as Annie Wood, spinster, has come to his side and smoothed his brow and patted out the rumples in his pillow….

Her faithful work in raising money for the actors’ monument in the Evergreens cemetery will never be forgotten in “Stageland.”  She went out herself among the business men and people of wealth and collected over $700 for the monument.  In the same way she sent a great wagon load of flowers up to the cemetery when the monument was unveiled.  But she doesn’t like to talk of these things.

(Kalamazoo Gazette, Jan. 12, 1894, page 3)

In all likelihood the Miss Annie Wood who introduced Josie Mansfield to Jim Fisk is the same Miss Annie Wood who died in New York City on Saturday, Nov. 4, 1905 and is buried in the “Actors’ Fund” plot in Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.  Barbara Goldsmith conflated Miss Annie Wood with Kate Wood(s) and a fictional Annie Wood with a disreputable reputation. The Actors Fund continues its burial assistance to this day, carrying on the work of the real Miss Annie Wood whose work in “Stageland” has since been forgotten.

(Obituary of Miss Annie L. Wood, daughter of Captain William Wood and Eliza Ann Edwards, New York Sunday Telegraph, Nov. 5, 1905, Sec. 1, p. 6)

Born Apr. 14, 1841, Nantucket, Massachusetts
(alternate birth date Apr. 14, 1846)
Died Nov. 4, 1905 in New York City at 232 W. 44th St.
Buried Brooklyn, New York at Evergreens Cemetery in the Actors’ Fund Plot

Daughter of Capt. William Wood and his first wife Eliza Ann Edwards.

She was said to have performed for Richard Mansfield and with Edwin Adams, Lawrence Barrett, Edwin Booth, John Brougham, Joe Cawthorn, Lotta Crabtree, E.L. Davenport, Mr. & Mrs. W.J. Florence, Edwin Forrest, Matilda Heron, Charles Kean, S. Miller Kent, Frank Mayo, Maggie Mitchell, James Murdoch, Stuart Robson, Mrs. Scott Siddons, Ellen Terry, Lydia Thompson, Helen Western, Lucille Western, Barney Williams, the Worrell sisters, and scores of others in her more than 40 years on the stage.

She was best known for her role as Mary, the Perrin family’s kooky cook in “Mr. Wilkinson’s Widows” which debuted in 1891. (The role of Mrs. Perrin was later played by Georgie Drew Barrymore, the great-grandmother of movie actress Drew Barrymore.)

Joseph Holland as Percival Perrin, Thomas Burns as Maj. Mallory, and Annie Wood as Mary, the cook. From The Illustrated American, Oct. 31, 1891, page 497.

The Notorious Black Crook

Paulina Markham as Stalacta, a role Annie Wood played in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1872. (New York Public Library, Image ID: 85593)

A 2016 recreation of Stalacta, Fairy Queen of the Golden Realm, singing “The Power of Love” at the Abrons Art Center can be viewed on Vimeo:

The “Fairy Queen March” from The Black Crook:

Source: Adam Roberts, New York Public Library