Part of the American
History & Genealogy Project
Distinguished Literary Women Paine to Runkle
Harriet Eliza Paine
Writer under the name of Eliza Chester. Born at Rehoboth,
Massathusets, May 5, 1845. Daughter of Dr. John Chester, and
Eliza Folger Paine. Author of "Bird Songs of New England,"
"Chats with Girls on Self Culture." "The Unmarried Woman," and
editor of the "Life of Eliza Baylies Wheaton."
Anna Campbell Palmer
Born in Palmyra, New York, February 3, 1854. She has written a
number of poems, which have appeared in the principal magazines;
is also a successful author of fiction, biography, etc.
Fannie Purdy Palmer
Was born July 11, 1839, in New York City. Daughter of Henry and
Mary Catherine Sharp Purdy; descended on her father's side from
Captain Purdy, of the British army, who was killed in the battle
of White Plains. Her literary contributions have been to the
Home Journal, Putnam's Magazine, Peterson's Magazine and others.
In 1862 she married Dr. William H. Palmer, surgeon of the Third
New York Cavalry, accompanying him to the seat of war, and there
continuing her literary work by short stories and poems for
Harper's and the Galaxy, and letters to various newspapers.
Since the war she has been prominently identified with measures
for the advancement of women and the various educational and
philanthropic movements. From 1884-1892 she was president of the
Rhode Island Women's Club and director of the General Federation
of Women's Clubs. She has taken special interest in popularizing
the study of American history, having herself prepared and given
a series of "Familiar Talks on American History," as a branch of
the educational work of the Woman's Educational and Industrial
Union. She is keenly alive to the importance of the higher
education of women, is secretary of a society organized to
secure for women the educational privileges of Brown University,
and in 1892 all of its examinations and degrees were open to
Eleanor R. Parker 1874
Was born in Bedford, Kentucky, March 2, 1874. Daughter of
William and Eliza Reordan Parker. Her family was prominent in
North Carolina. Her mother was a writer of some distinction, and
one of the pioneers in the movement for domestic science; was
one of the editors of the Woman's Home Companion for several
years. She is a contributor to Donahoe's, New Orleans
Times-Democrat, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Home Companion, and
is the editor of the women's page in the Western Watchman.
Emily Tracey Y. Swett Parkhurst
Born in San Francisco, California, March 9, 1863, and died there
April 21, 1892. She was the daughter of Professor John Swett, a
prominent educator of California, known as the "Father of
Pacific Coast Education," and author of many educational works
of wide use in the United States, England, France. Norway,
Sweden, Denmark, and Australia. Miss Swett became the wife of
John W. Parkhurst, of the Bank of California, in 1889. She has
contributed largely to the magazines and papers of the Pacific
Coast. Her literary work includes translations from Greek,
French and German and some finished poems of high merit She
dramatized Helen Hunt Jackson's novel "Ramona."
Flora W. Patterson 1847
Born at Columbus, Ohio, September 15, 1847. Daughter of Rev. A.
B. and Sarah Sells Wambaugh. Was three years at Radcliffe
College, Harvard University, and assistant at Gray Herbarium.
Was appointed assistant pathologist in 1896; now mycologist in
charge of pathology and mycology collections and inspection work
of Bureau of Plant Industry, United States Department of
Agriculture. Member of the Geological and Biological Societies
of Washington, the Botanical Society of America, and has
contributed articles on these subjects. Is assistant editor of
Lucy Evelyn Peabody
Born in Cincinnati, January 1, 1865. Was instrumental in
securing the passage of an act by Congress setting aside the
Mesa Verde Park in Colorado as a national park which includes
the most interesting ruins of cliff-dwellers in America. Owns a
famous collection of Abraham Lincoln relics and data. Prominent
in scientific work.
La Salle Corbell Pickett
Mrs. Pickett is the widow of General George Edward Pickett, C S.
A., who was a conspicuous figure in the Battle of Gettysburg,
September 15, 1863. Since her husband's death she has occupied a
position in one of the departments in Washington, and has done
considerable editorial and literary work in the form of short
stories, poems and special articles. Has lectured on patriotic
subjects, and has written sketches of Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson
Davis, Lee, Jackson, and Grant.
Alice D. Le Plongeon
Was born December, 1851, in London, England. Her father's name
was Dixon, and her mother was Sophia Cook. She married Dr. Le
Plongeon, whose extensive travels in South America and Mexico,
for the purpose of studying the ancient manuscripts preserved in
the British Museum, so interested her that she accompanied him
to the wilds of Yucatan. The work done here by Dr. and Mrs. Le
Plongeon is well-known all over the world. For eleven years they
remained here studying the ruins of that country. Much of the
work, and many of the discoveries were made by Mrs. Le Plongeon.
They made many hundred photo-graphs, surveying and making molds
of the old palaces to be used as models, but the greatest
achievement was the discovery of an alphabet by which the
American hieroglyphics may be read, something before considered
impossible. Though of English birth they have made their home
for many years in Long Island, and have written many articles
for magazines and papers and published a small volume, "Here and
There in Yucatan"; also one ''Yucatan, Its Ancient Palaces and
Modem Cities," and in order to make ancient America better known
to modem Americans, Mrs. Le Plongeon has lectured upon this
subject very extensively, and in recognition of her labors the
Geographical Society of Paris placed her portrait in the album
of celebrated travelers.
Genie Clark Pomeroy
Born in April, 1867 in Iowa City, Iowa. Her father. Rush Clark
was one of the early pioneers of Iowa, her mother, a teacher,
who died when Mrs. Pomeroy was born. When Genie Clark was eleven
years old she went to Washington, D. C, to be with her father
during his second term in Congress. While at school in Des
Moines, Iowa, she met Carl H. Pomeroy, a son of the president of
the Callaman College, whom she married. After their marriage Mr.
Pomeroy took the Chair of History in this college. In 1888 they
moved to Seattle, Washington, and here Mrs. Pomeroy made her
first literary venture, contributing to prominent papers of the
Pacific coast. She is best known as a poet, though she has
written quite a number of short stories and essays.
Fannie Huntington Runnells Poole
Born at Oxford, New Hampshire. Daughter of Rev. Moses Thurston
and Fannie Maria Baker Runnells. Book reviewer for Town and
Country, and author of "Books of Verse."
Charlotte Porter 1859 ~
Born in Towanda, Pennsylvania, January 6, 1859. Daughter of Dr.
Henry Clinton and Eliza Betts Porter; has edited, in conjunction
with Helen A. Clarke "Poems of Robert Browning," "Browning's
Complete Works," and "Mrs. Browning's Complete Works," "The
Pembroke Edition of Shakespeare," and is sole editor of the
"First Folio Edition of Shakespeare"; author of "Dramatic Motive
in Browning's 'Strafford," "Shakespeare's Studies," and has
contributed poems to the Atlantic, Century, Outlook, Poet-Lore,
and other periodicals.
Delia Lyman Porter
Mrs. Porter was born in New Haven, Connecticut; graduate of
Wellesley College; has been an active worker among the factory
girls of New Haven and Beloit, Wisconsin, and through her
efforts the bill for the appointment of a woman deputy factory
inspector for the state of Connecticut was passed by the
legislature of that state in 1907. She was appointed by the
governor as a member of the committee to name this inspector.
Josephine B. Thomas Portuondo
Was born in Belleville, Illinois, November 23, 1867. Her
grandfather was William H. Bissell, the first Republican
Governor of Illinois. Writer of short stories and contributor to
Benziger's Magazine and the Catholic Standard and Times.
Margaret Horton Potter
Born in Chicago, May 20, 1881. Daughter of R. N. W. and Ellen
Owen Potter. Married John D. Black, of Chicago, January 1, 1902.
Her book, "The Social Lion" published in 1899, created quite a
sensation. It has since been followed by others: "Uncanonized,"
"The House of De Mailly," "Istar of Babylon," "The Castle of
Twilight." "The Flame-Gatherers." "The Fire of Spring," "The
Princess," "The Golden Ladder," etc.
Ann Emilie Poulsson
Born at Cedar Grove, New Jersey, September 8, 1853. Daughter of
Halvor and Ruth Ann Mitchell Poulsson. Graduate of the
kindergarten normal class. Teacher in School for Blind, of South
Boston; joint editor of the Kindergarten Review. Author of
"Nursery Finger Plays," "Child Stories and Rhymes," "Love and
Law in Child Training," "Holiday Songs."
Margaret Junkin Preston
Daughter of Rev. Dr. Junkin, the founder of Lafayette College in
Pennsylvania, was born in Philadelphia in 1820. Her father moved
to Virginia in 1848, and became the president of Washington
College in Lexington, now known as the Washington and Lee
University. He was succeeded in this position by Robert E. Lee.
In 1857, Miss Junkin married Professor J. T. L. Preston, one of
the professors of the Virginia Military Institute. Mrs. Preston
belonged to a very noted family of the South, her brother being
General Stonewall Jackson, who was also one of the professors of
this famous college of the South. A few years prior to her
death, she removed to Baltimore, her son being a prominent
physician and surgeon of that city, and here she died March 28,
1897. She was a great admirer of the Scotch writers and produced
some valuable literary work in verse and prose which appeared in
the magazines and journals of the day. She also published five
volumes of poems. "Her Centennial Ode" for the Washington and
Lee University was considered a very notable production. Much of
her writings were of a religious character, and all breathed a
very pure, simple and sweet nature.
Miss Pyle was born in Wilmington, Delaware, and has written
stories in prose and verse of much charm.
Mary Jane Rathbun 1860
Born at Buffalo, New York, June 11, 1860. Was employed by the
United States Fish Commission from 1884 to 1887, and since 1887
in the United States National Museum and is now assistant
curator of the division of marine invertebrates. Member of the
Washington Academy of Science, American Society of Naturalists,
American Society of Zoologists, author of various papers m
Proceedings of the U. S. National Museum.
Elizabeth Armstrong Reed
Born in Winthrop, Maine, May 16, 1842. Daughter of Alvin and
Sylvia Armstrong, who were both prominent educators. She is the
only woman whose work has been accepted by the Philosophical
Society of Great Britain. Contributor to Encyclopedia Americana,
and Biblical Encyclopedia, Author of "The Bible Triumphant," a
book on Hindu literature, and also others on the literature of
Persia, ancient and modem, "Primitive Buddhism; Its Origin and
Itti Kinney Reno 1862 ~
Born Nashville, Tennessee, May 17, 1862. Daughter of Colonel
George Kinney, of Nashville. In 1885 she became the wife of
Robert Ross Reno, son of the late M. A. Reno, Major of the
Seventh United States Cavalry, famous for the gallant defense of
his men during two days and nights of horror from the
over-whelming force of Sioux Indians, who the day before had
massacred Custer's entire battalion. Mrs. Reno's first novel,
"Miss Breckenridge, a Daughter of Dixie," proved most successful
and passed through five editions. Her second book, "An
Exceptional Case," likewise met with great success.
Miss Agnes Repplier, of Philadelphia, received March 5, 1911,
the Laetare medal, annually awarded by the University of Notre
Dame (Indiana) to a lay member of the Catholic Church in the
United States, who has performed conspicuous work in literature,
art, science, or philanthropy, the highest honor conferred by
this University. Miss Repplier's work has extended over a period
of a quarter of a century, and she is considered to be an
essayist without peer in this country. Of her. Dr. Howard
Furness, the critic, says, "She has revived an art almost lost
in these days, that of the essayist. There is no form of the
essay she has not touched, and she has touched nothing she has
not adorned" In 1902 the University of Pennsylvania conferred on
her the degree of Doctor of Letters. Agnes Repplier was born in
Philadelphia, April 1, 1857, her parents being Joseph and Eliza
Jane Repplier, of French extraction. She is the author of "Books
and Men;" "Essays in Miniature," etc.
Helen Hinsdale Rich
Born June 18, 1827, on her father's farm in Antwerp, Jefferson
County, New York. She is known as the poet of the Adirondacks.
At twelve years of age she wrote verses and was proficient in
botany. Being obliged to read the debates in Congress aloud to
her father, the speeches of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster made
her an ardent patriot, and a deeply interested politician. She
was the first woman in Northern New York to embrace Woman
Suffrage, and lectured during the Civil War for the Union Cause.
Among her writings, her "Madame de Stael" has the endorsement of
eminent scholars as a literary lecture. She excels in poems of
Ellen Henrietta Richards
Was born December 3, 1842, in Dunstable, Massachusetts. She
graduated from Vassar College in 1870, then took a scientific
course in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston,
graduating in 1873. She remained in that institution as resident
graduate, and in 1875 married Professor Robert Hallowell
Richards, the metallurgist. In 1878 she was elected instructor
in chemistry and mineralogy in the woman's laboratory of that
institute. She has done much to develop the love of scientific
studies among women, and is the pioneer in teaching the
application of technical knowledge and principles to the conduct
of the home to the women of the United States. Mrs. Richards is
the first woman to be elected a member of the American Institute
of Mining Engineers and is a member of many scientific
associations. Among her published works are "Chemistry of
Cooking and Cleaning;'' "Food Materials and Their
Adulterations," "First Lessons in Minerals." In 1887, with
Marion Talbot she edited "Home Sanitation." Mrs. Richards is a
profound student and a clear thinker. Her work is without equal
in its line.
Laura Elizabeth Richards
Born in Boston, February 27, 1850. Daughter of Samuel Gridley
and Julia Ward Howe. Author of sketches and many short stories,
letters and journals of Samuel Gridley Howe and the life of
Florence Nightingale for young people. Married Henry Richards,
of Gardiner, Maine, June 17, 1871.
Ellen A. Richardson
Born at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August, 1845. Daughter of
Oren and Ann H. W. Bragden. Married in 1870, A. Maynard
Richardson, of Boston. Founder and also first president for
three years, and now honorary president of the George Washington
Memorial Association, founded for the purpose of promoting a
national university. Organized also the Home Congress; was
founder of the Massachusetts Business League; one of the judges
of art on the board of awards of the Chicago Exposition and the
Atlanta Exposition. Is the head of the cabinet department of art
and literature of the National Council of Women of the United
States, and represented this organization in Berlin in 1904.
Founded and edited the Woman's Review; also edited booklets on
Home for the Home Congresses; The Business Folio; has edited the
home department of the Boston Commonwealth; a contributor to
magazines and a reviewer to The Arena.
The daughter of Charles F. E. Richardson and Charlotte Ann
Richardson. Received the degree of A.B. from Vassar College in
1896. One of the collaborators of the Smithsonian Institute.
Member of the Washington Academy of Science, Biological Society
of Washington; has contributed to "Proceedings of the United
States National Museum" and other publications. Has written
"Monographs on Isopods of North America."
Hester Dorsey Richardson
Born January 9, 1862, in Baltimore, Maryland. Daughter of James
A. Dorsey and Sarah A. W. Dorsey, both of old representative
Maryland families. She is known under the pen name of "Selene,"
and her "Selene Letters," which appeared in the Baltimore
American, attracted wide attention. A letter from her pen helped
to rescue the Mercantile Library from an untimely end. She
organized the Woman's Literary Club of Baltimore, laying the
foundation of a controlling force in the intellectual and social
life of her native city.
Mary A. Ripley 1831 ~
Was born January 11, 1831, and was the daughter of John
Huntington Ripley and Eliza L. Spalding Ripley. The Huntington
family was very prominent in New England, one of its members,
Samuel Huntington, signed the Declaration of Independence and
Articles of Federation. On her mother's side Miss Ripley is
descended from a distinguished French Huguenot family. She
taught school in Buffalo for many years and contributed letters,
articles on questions of the day and short poems. Her poems are
characterized by sweetness and vigor. Her articles attracted
much attention and exerted a wide influence. In 1867 she
published a small book entitled "Parsing Lessons for School Room
Use," which was followed by "Household Service," published under
the auspices of the Woman's Educational and Industrial Union, of
Buffalo. Her health failing, she resigned her position and
removed to Carney, Nebraska, where she took an active part in
every good work of that state, and was later made state
superintendent of Scientific Temperance Instruction in the
public schools and colleges of Nebraska.
Amelie Rives 1863 ~
Princess Troubetzkoy was born in Richmond, Virginia, August 23,
1863, but her early life was passed at the family home. Castle
Hill, Albermarle County. She is a granddaughter of William
Cabell Rives, once minister to France and who wrote the "Life of
Madison." Her grandmother, Mrs. Judith Walker Rives, left some
writings entitled "Home and the World'' and "Residence in
Europe." Amelie Rives was married in 1899 to John Armstrong
Chanler, of New York. Her most conspicuous story was 'The Quick
and the Dead.'' She wrote ''A Brother to Dragons," "Virginia of
Virginia." "According to St John," "Barbara Dering," "Tanis" and
several other well-known stories. Her first marriage proved
unhappy and she was divorced, and has since married Prince
Pierre Troubetzkoy, a Russian artist, and continues her literary
Abbie C. B. Robinson
Was born September 18, 1828, in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Her
father, George C. Ballou, was a cousin of Rev. Hosea Ballou and
of President Garfield's mother. Her mother's maiden name was
Ruth Eliza Aldrich. In 1854 she became the wife of Charles D.
Robinson, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, who was the editor of the
Green Bay Advocate and at one time Secretary of State for
Wisconsin. Mrs. Robinson was as famous for political wisdom as
her husband. She assisted him in editing the Advocate. Owing to
failing health, gradually her husband's duties fell upon Mrs.
Robinson, and ultimately she assumed them all, including not
only the editorial department, business management, but also a
job department, bindery and store. Her husband's death occurred
four years later, and in 1888 she broke down under these
exacting demands and was obliged to retire from the paper. Under
all these trying conditions she won for herself the enviable
position of a woman of force and ability, animated by the
highest and purest motives, and was known as an easy, graceful
and cultured writer and astute politician.
Fannie Ruth Robinson
Born September 30, 1847, in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. Graduated
at the age of seventeen and received the degree of M.A. from
Rutgers College, New York. Most of her poems appeared in
Harper's Magazine between the years of 1870 and 1880. A poem on
Emerson, published after his death in the Journal of Philosophy,
is considered one of her best. She is, at present (1898)
preceptress of Ferry Hall Seminary, the Woman's Department of
Lake Forest University, Lake Forest, Illinois.
Harriet Hanson Robinson
Born in Boston, February 8, 1835. Daughter of William and
Harriet Browne Hanson. Was one of the girls employed in the
factories of Lowell who wrote for the Lowell Offering, showing
ability and higher intelligence. Married in 1848 William S.
Robinson, a journalist, who wrote under the pen-name of
"Warrington," and died March, 1876. Mrs. Robinson Is the author
of the "Warrington Pen-Portraits," "Massachusetts in the Woman
Suffrage Movement," a woman suffrage play, and other writings.
Anna Katharine Green Rohlfs
Was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 11, 1846 and was
thirty-two years of age when her famous story, "The Leavenworth
Case" was published. Her father was a famous lawyer, and from
him she is supposed to have gained the knowledge which she had
in handling the details of this story. It was questioned for
some time, although her maiden name, Anna Katharine Green, was
signed to the story, whether it was possible that this story
could have been written by a woman. She was a graduate of the
Ripley Female College in Poultney, Vermont, and received the
degree of B.A. In her early days she wrote poems, but her fame
has come from her detective stories. "The Affair Next Door," The
Filigree Ball," and other stories from her pen are well known.
In November, 1884, she became Mrs. Charles Rohlfs.
Mary F. Nixon Roulet
Author, journalist, musician, art critic, and noted linguist. On
her father's side she is descended from a distinguished English
family who were prominent in the Revolution of 1812. On her
mother's side, the family were prominent in Connecticut, and
fought in the Revolutionary War. She was born in Indianapolis,
Indiana, and educated in Philadelphia. She married Alfred de
Roulet, B.S. and M.D. She is the author of several books, "The
Harp of Many Chords," "Lasca and Other Stories," "The Blue
Lady's Knight," "St. Anthony in Art," books on Spain, Alaska,
Brazil, Greece, and Australia, also Japanese Folk and Fairy
Tales, Indian Folk and Fairy Tales, and a contributor to the
Ladies' Home Journal, The Messenger, The Catholic World, The
Rosary, New York Sun, New York World, Boston Transcript and Ave
Maria, Secretary of the Illinois Women's Press Association.
Ellen Sargent Rude 1838
Born March 17, 1838, in Sodus, New York. Her mother died when
she was an infant. Educated in the public schools of Sodus and
Lima, New York. She became the wife of Benton C. Rude, in 1859.
She won a prize for a temperance story from the Temperance
Patriot. Some of the choicest poems of the "Arbor Day Manual"
are from her pen.
Margaret Ellen Henry Ruffin
Was born in Alabama and is the daughter of Thomas Henry, of
Kilglas, Ireland, who was a prominent merchant and banker of
Mobile, Alabama. Her mother was a cousin of Archbishop Corrigan,
of New York. One of her ancestors was the last Spanish Governor
of Mobile. In 1887 she married Francis Gildart Ruffin, Jr., of
Richmond, Virginia, who was the son of Francis G. Ruffin auditor
of the state of Virginia for many years, and a
great-great-grandson of Thomas Jefferson, and related to almost
all the prominent families in Virginia, the Randolphs,
Harrisons, Carys, Fairfaxes, and others. Mrs. Ruffin has written
several books, one of which, "The North Star," a Norwegian
historical work, was translated into the Norwegian language for
the schools of that country, and she had the honor of receiving
the congratulations of the King and Queen of Norway for this
work; also having her name mentioned among the writers of
consequence by the Society of Gens de Lettres, of Paris, in the
Bibliotheque Nationale and given acclaim by the department of
Belles Lettres of the Sorbonne. University of Paris, after
receiving the degree of Doctor of Literature. Is the author of a
small volume of poems entitled, "Drifting Leaves," and a story
in verse, "John Gildart." Is a contributor to the magazines and
papers of both the secular and religious press.
One of the most famous novels of the past few years was 'The
Helmet of Navarre," and was written, when its author, Bertha
Runkle, was a little over twenty years of age. One of the most
remarkable facts in this connection is that the authoress had
never seen the shores of France, in fact had seldom been beyond
the boundaries of New York State. Miss Runkle was born in New
Jersey, but in 1888 she and her mother moved to New York City.
Her father. Cornelius A. Runkle, a well-known New York lawyer,
was for many yean counsel for the New York Tribune, and her
mother, Lucia Isabella Runkle, had been, previous to her
marriage, an editorial writer on the same paper, in fact she was
the first American woman to be placed on the staff of a great
Metropolitan daily. In 1904 Miss Runkle married Captain Louis H.
Bash, United States Army. She is very fond of outdoor life and
spends much of her time in such sports as golf, riding, driving
Source: The Part Taken by Women in
American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle
Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.