Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Distinguished Literary Women Paine to Runkle


Harriet Eliza Paine 1845 ~
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 1854 ~
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 1839 ~
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 women.

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 1863 ~
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 Economic Fungi.

Lucy Evelyn Peabody 1865 ~
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 1851 ~
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 1867 ~
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 1867 ~
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 1881 ~
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 1853 ~
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 1820 ~
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.

Katherine Pyle
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 1842 ~
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 Teachings," etc.

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.

Agnes Repplier
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 1827 ~
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 the affections.

Ellen Henrietta Richards 1842 ~
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 1850 ~
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 1845 ~
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.

Harriet Richardson
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 1862 ~
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)
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 work.

Abbie C. B. Robinson 1828 ~
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 1847 ~
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 1835 ~
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 1846 ~
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.

Bertha Runkle
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 and tennis.


Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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