Mary Rutledge Fogg, writer and leader in Nashville civic affairs, was a member of one of Nashville's early families, the Rutledges, and the granddaughter of two of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Fogg was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church and served as the president of the Ladies Aid Society. She was also a founding member of the Protestant School of Industry.
Fogg published seven books covering a variety of fields, including poetry, fiction, religion, and education, in addition to her memoirs. In 1858 she published The Elements of Natural Science, a textbook used in Tennessee prior to the Civil War. Her poetry expressed her grief at the deaths of her three children, who died as young adults between 1851 and 1862. These poems were collected and published as The Broken Harp.
After the death of her third child, at the Civil War battle of Fishing Creek in Kentucky, Fogg worked with Felicia Grundy Porter's Soldiers' Aid Society to collect and send articles to the war front. Her last book, Biblical View of the Church Catechism, was published shortly before her death in 1872. She is buried in the Rutledge family plot at Nashville's City Cemetery.