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[Amelia Townsend McTyeire]

[Amelia Townsend McTyeire]
Otto Burcharz Giers and Emil Koellein, Nashville, TN
Circa 1889-1892
John James Tigert IV Collection, Vanderbilt University Special Collections

Raised in Mobile, Alabama, Amelia Townsend married Holland McTyeire in 1847. Their marriage provided McTyeire with access to Amelia’s cousin Frank, Cornelius Vanderbilt’s second wife. In his will, McTyeire credits Amelia as “a silent but golden link in the chain that brought [Vanderbilt] University to Nashville.” While women’s lives in the nineteenth century were often lived in private spaces, giving them little access to power and influence, Amelia exemplifies the way that the female voice, albeit “silent,” remained influential.