Part of the American
History & Genealogy Project
Distinguished Literary Women St. John to Wynne
Mrs. Cynthia Morgan St. John
Was born in Ithaca, New York, October 11, 1852. She was the only
daughter of E. J. Morgan and Anne Bruyn Morgan. In her early
youth she showed a passionate love of nature and devotion to the
poetry of Wordsworth. Her one pre-eminent interest in a literary
way has been in the writings of that great poet. She was a
member of the English Wordsworth Society and a contributor to
its meetings. She has collected the largest Wordsworth library
in this country, and it is said to be the largest in the world,
containing all the regular editions, complete American editions,
autograph letters, prints, portraits, sketches, and relics
associated with the great poet The chief fruit of her life-long
study of the poet has been her "Wordsworth for the Young." In
1883 she became the wife of Henry A. St John, of Ithaca, New
Mary Joanna Safford
Was born at Salem, Massachusetts. Daughter of Samuel Appleton
and Frances Parker Safford. Is a contributor of original
articles, poems, and translations to magazines. Is considered
one of the best translators of German stories and has translated
a great many of these for magazines and periodicals. She makes
her home in Washington, where she is considered one of the
prominent literary women of the Capital City.
Mrs. Margaret Elizabeth Sangster
Was born February 22, 1838, in New Rochelle, New York. Her
maiden name was Margaret Elizabeth Munson. In 1858 she married
She was a regular contributor to many of the leading magazines
and periodicals, gradually drifting into editorial work, and in
1871 became the editor of Hearth and Home. In 1873 she assumed
an editorial position on the Christian at Work. In 1879 she
became a member of the staff of the Christian Intelligencer,
serving as assistant editor until 1888. In 1882 in addition to
her other editorial work she edited the Harper's Young People,
then just starting. In 1871 she became the editor of Harper's
Bazar. During all these busy years she has written poems of a
high order, stories, sketches, essays, editorial comments,
criticisms and everything connected with her work in the various
editorial positions which she has occupied. Her published books
are "Manual of Missions of the Reformed Church in America,"
"Poems of the Household," "Home Fairies and Heart
Flowers," and a series of Sunday School books.
Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore
Miss Scidmore was born at Madison, Wisconsin, October 14, 1856.
Her parents being missionaries in Japan and China, Miss Scidmore
has spent much of her time in Japan and many of her writings are
stories of that country. She first became conspicuous as a
writer in the St Louis Globe-Democrat, writing letters from
Washington over the signature, "Ruhamah," and by her
pen name she is best known. She has written on Alaska, Java,
China, India, and her work is reliable and her style
fascinating. She spends much of her time in Washington.
Vida D. Scudder 1861 ~
Miss Scudder is today professor of English at Wellesley College
and a well-known writer on literary and social topics. She was
born in Southern India, December 15, 1861, and is the daughter
of David Coit and Harriet L. Dutton Scudder. She received the
degree of A.B. at Smith College in 1884 and that of A.M. in
1889, graduated at Oxford and Paris, and was the originator of
the College Settlement in New York City. She is the author of "The
Life of the Spirit in Modern English Poets" "Social
Ideals in English Letters," "Introduction to the Study
of English Literature" and "Selected Letters of Saint
Catherine' and was the editor of Macaulay's "Lord Clive'
and also of the introduction to the writings of John Ruskin,
Shelly's "Prometheus Unbound," works of John Woolman
and Everybody's Library.
Laura Catherine Searing
Mrs. Searing was born in Somerset, Maryland, February, 1840. In
her childhood she lost her hearing and power of speech through
illness. Educated at the Deaf Mute University of Missouri and at
the Clark Institute, Northampton, Massachusetts, where she
regained to quite a degree her power of speech. Married a
prominent attorney of New York, Edward W. Searing, in 1876. Has
been a correspondent on many of the prominent newspapers, doing
this work for the Missouri Republican during the Civil War. Is
one of the American authors now residing in Santa Cruz,
Molly Elliot Seawell
Miss Seawell's uncle was an officer in the United States navy
before the Civil War, and served in the Confederate Army with
distinction during the entire war. From him she heard the tales
of our early navy which gave her inspiration to write her
nautical sketches. Some of these are "Decatur and Somers,"
"Paul Jones," "Midshipman Paulding," "Quarter-deck,"
"Fo'c'sle," and "Little Jarvis," the latter
winning the prize of five hundred dollars for the best story for
boys offered by the Youths' Companion, in 1890. She was a
constant reader of Shakespeare, Rousseau and other writers.
Byron, Shelley, Thackeray, Macaulay, Jane Austen, Boswell's
"Johnson" all formed a part of her home education. In 1895, she
received a prize of $3,000 from the New York Herald for the best
novelette, "The Sprightly Romance of Marsac." Her "Maid
Marian" is a well-known and an amusing story of the
Knickerbocker element of New York.
Catherine Maria Sedgwick
Born December 28, 1789, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and died
near Roxbury, Massachusetts, July 31,' 1867. She was a daughter
of Theodore Sedgwick, a well-known lawyer of Boston, who died
January 24, 18 13. She received a thorough education, and after
her father's death started a private school for young women,
which she continued for fifty years. During this time she
contributed to the literature of the day. Her first novel, "A
New England Tale," was published in 1822. She then brought
out "Redwood," which was translated into French and
other foreign languages. Her translator attributed this work to
J. Fenimore Cooper. This was followed by "The Traveler,"
"Hope Leslie, or Early Times in Massachusetts," "Clarence,"
"A Tale of Our Own Times," "Home," "The
Linwoods, or Sixty Years Since in America," "Sketches
and Tales," The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man,"
"Live and Let Live," "A Love Token for Children,"
"Means and Ends; or Self -Training," "Letters
from Abroad to Kindred at Home," "Historical Sketches
of the Old Painters," "Lucretia and Margaret Davidson,"
"Wilton Harvey and Other Tales," "Morals of Manners,"
"Facts and Fancies," and "Married or Single?"
In addition to her school and novel work, she edited and
contributed to literary periodicals and wrote for the annuals.
Her work in these lines fills several large volumes.
Ellen Churchill Semple
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1863. Daughter of Alexander
Bonner and Emerine Price Semple. Graduate of Vassar, and student
at Leipzig. Her special field of work is the study of the
influence of geographical conditions upon the development of
society. She is a member of the Association of American
Geographers, and a contributor of scientific articles to
journals both in America and England. Has written on American
history and its geographical conditions.
Margaret Lynch Senn
Was born in 1882 in Chicago. Was the wife of a distinguished
surgeon of that city, the late Doctor William Nicholas Senn.
Mrs. Senn after her husband's death presented to the Newberry
Library, of Chicago, the cygne noir edition number one of H. H.
Bancroft's "Book of Health" in ten massive volumes. She
is a contributor to the Rosary Magazine and Times.
Grace Gallatin Seton
Mrs. Seton is a writer and book designer. Is the wife of Ernest
Thompson Seton. Has done a great deal of work on newspapers,
both in this country and in Paris. In 1897 took up the work of
designing covers, title-pages, and general work for make-up of
books. President of Pen and Brush Club, Music-Lovers' Club, and
librarian of the MacDowell College. Has made quite a name for
herself in literature as well, having written "Nimrod's Wife,"
"A. B. C. Zoo Sketches," serial stories, and songs.
Harriette Lucy Robinson Shattuck
Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, December 4, 1850. Daughter of
William Stevens and Harriet Hanson Robinson. In 1878 married
Sidney Doane Shattuck, of Maiden, Massachusetts. Was assistant
clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1872,
being the first woman to hold such a position. Has written
Mary French Sheldon
Mrs. Sheldon was born in 1846, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She
is a great-great-granddaughter of Isaac Newton, and her
ancestors include many notable men and women. Her father was an
engineer of high standing in Pittsburgh. Her mother, Mrs.
Elizabeth French, was a well-known spiritualist. Mrs. Shelden
was twice married. Her second husband, E. S. Sheldon, died in
the summer of 1892. She was educated as a physician, but never
practiced. She published one novel and a translation of
Flaubert's "Salambo." In 1890 she determined to travel
in Central Africa to study the women and children in their
primitive state. She was the first white woman to reach Mt.
Kilimanjaro, traveling with one female attendant and a small
body of natives. She has published an interesting account of
this trip in a volume on Africa entitled, "To Sultan."
Emily Lee Sherwood 1843
Mrs. Sherwood was born in 1843, in Madison, Indiana, where she
spent her childhood. Her father, Monroe Wells Lee, was a native
of Ohio; her mother, of the state of Massachusetts. At the age
of sixteen she entered the office of her brother, who published
the Herald and Era, a religious weekly paper in Indianapolis.
Here she did most creditably whatever work she was asked to do
in the various departments of this paper. At the age of twenty
she became the wife of Henry Lee Sherwood, a young attorney of
Indianapolis, and later they made their home in Washington, D.
C. Mrs. Sherwood became one of the most prominent newspaper
correspondents of the Capital city. She sent letters to the
various papers over the country and was a contributor of stories
and miscellaneous articles to the general press. In 1889 she
became a member of the staff of the Sunday Herald, of
Washington, D. C, and contributed articles also to the New York
Sun and World, She is an all-round author, writing in connection
with her newspaper work, books, reviews, stories, character
sketches, society notes and reports. She published a novel
entitled ''Willis Peyton's Inheritance; " is an active
member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, National
Press League and the Triennial Council of Women.
Mary Elizabeth Sherwood
1830 ~ 1903
Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Sherwood was born in Keene, New Hampshire,
in 1830. Her father. General James Wilson, served as a member of
Congress from New Hampshire. Her mother, Mary Richardson, was
well known for her great beauty and fine intellect Mrs. Sherwood
was a woman of strong personality and distinguished appearance.
While living in Washington she became the wife of John Sherwood
and soon obtained a prominent place among literary people. She
was a contributor to all the leading magazines of the day, a
writer of several well-known novels, among them, "A
Transplanted Rose," "Sweet Briar" and "Royal
Girls and Royal Courts, " but is best known for her books
on etiquette, being considered an authority on that subject
During Mrs. Sherwood's residence abroad she was prominent in the
literary circles of Europe. In 1885 she gave readings in her New
York home for the benefit of the Mt Vernon Fund. Mrs. Sherwood
was active in many of the charities of New York City, and
through her pen raised sums of money for many in which she was
interested. Mrs. Sherwood died in 1903.
Lydia Huntly Sigourney
Born in Norwich, Connecticut, September 1, 1791, and died in
Hartford, Connecticut, June 10, 1865; was the daughter of
Ezekiel Huntly, a soldier of the Revolution. It is said that she
wrote verses at the age of seven. She taught a private girls'
school in Hartford for five years, and in 1815 published her
first volume "Moral Pieces in Prose and Verse." In 1819 she
became the wife of Charles Sigourney, a gentleman of literary
and artistic tastes, a resident of Hartford. After her marriage
she devoted herself to literature. She wrote forty-six separate
works, besides two thousand articles, which she contributed to
about three hundred periodicals. She was a favorite poetess in
England and France, as well as in her own country. Mrs.
Sigourney was always an active worker in charity and
philanthropy. Her best known works are "Letters to Young
Ladies," ''Pocahontas, and Other Poems," and "Pleasant
Memories of Pleasant Lands."
Clara A. Smith
Miss Clara A. Smith, instructor of mathematics in Wellesley
College. She has recently been elected a Fellow of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, partly because she
solved a problem in mathematics which has puzzled college
professors for more than a century.
Eva Munson Smith 1843 ~
Mrs. Eva Munson Smith was born July 12, 1843. She was the
daughter of William Chandler Munson and Hannah Bailey Munson.
Her mother was a direct descendant of Hannah Bailey of
Revolutionary fame, who tore up her flannel petti-coat to make
wadding for the guns in battle.
Mrs. Smith has made a collection of sacred compositions of women
under the title "Women in Sacred Song." She has written
quite a number of musical selections.
Helen Grace Smith 1865
Daughter of General Thomas Kilby Smith and was born in December,
1865, at Torresdale, Pennsylvania Contributor of poems to
various magazines, The Atlantic Monthly, Lippincott's, The
Rosary, Catholic World and other religious papers.
Julia Holmes Smith 1839
Born in Savannah, Georgia, December 33, 1839. On her mother's
side, her grandfather was Captain George Raynall Turner, United
States Navy. She was educated in the famous seminary of Gorman
D. Abbott, and after graduating, married Waldo Abbott, eldest
son of the historian, John S. C. Abbott. Mrs. Abbott was the
organizer and first president of the Woman's Medical
Association, the only society of its kind in America. In 1889
she contributed to the New York Ledger a series of articles on
"Common Sense in the Nursery." She was at one time the only
woman who contributed to the Arndts System of Medicine.
Mary Agnes Easby Smith
Was born in Washington, District of Columbia, February, 1855,
when her father. Honorable William Russell Smith, was serving as
a member of Congress from Alabama. Writes under the pen-name of
Agnes Hampton. Has written sketches for several newspapers. In
1887 she married Milton E. Smith, editor of the Church News. Is
the author of romances, poems, sketches, which have appeared in
her husband's paper, and also Donahoe's Magazine, The Messenger
of the Sacred Heart, and other church publications. Wrote some
of the sketches which appeared in the "National Cyclopedia
of Biography." Is at present one of the expert indexers of
the Agricultural Department.
Mary Stuart Smith 1834
Mrs. Mary Stuart Smith was born at the University of Virginia,
February 10, 1834. Was the second daughter of Professor Gessner
Harrison and his wife, Eliza Lewis Carter Tucker. In 1853 she
became the wife of Professor Francis H. Smith, of the University
of Virginia. Besides original articles, her translations from
the German for leading periodicals form a long list. She is a
most pleasing writer for children.
Harriet Prescott Spofford
Born in Calais, Maine, April 3, 1835, but her parents removed,
when she was quite young, to Newburyport Massachusetts which has
since been her home. Her father was Joseph N. Prescott Her essay
on Hamlet when she was a student in the school at Newburyport
attracted the attention of James Wentworth Higginson, who
interested himself in her career. Both of her parents became
helpless invalids, which made it necessary for her to early take
up a literary career, and she began by contributions to the
Boston papers. In 1859 ^^f story of Parisian life, entitled "In
a Cellar," brought her into immediate prominence in the
literary world, and the editor of the Atlantic Monthly, James
Russell Lowell, was so impressed by her ability that from that
day she was a well-known contributor of both prose a.id poetry
to not only the Atlantic Monthly, but the chief periodicals of
the country. In 1865 she married Richard S. Spofford, a lawyer
of Boston. Among her works are "Sir Rohan's Ghost," "The
Amber Gods," "The Thief in the Night," "Azarian,"
"New England Legends," "Art Decoration Applied to
Furniture," "The Marquis of Carabas," "Hester
Stanley at St Mark's," "The Servant Girl Question"
and "Ballads About Authors."
Rebecca Ruter Springer
1832 ~ 1904
Mrs. Rebecca Ruter Springer was born in Indianapolis, Indiana,
November 8, 1832. Daughter of Rev. Calvin W. Ruter, a prominent
clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was educated in
the Wesleyan Female College in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In 1859 she married William M. Springer, a noted lawyer of
Illinois, and afterwards Congressman for several terms from that
state. Mrs. Springer passed much of her life in the Capital
City, and no woman was more beloved nor more conspicuous through
her abilities and charm of manner. Mrs. Springer wrote several
books of verse and two novels, entitled "Beechwood" and
"Self," and a volume of poems under the title "Songs
of the Sea." Mrs. Springer's death occurred in 1904.
Alice J. Stevens 1860 ~
Editor of The Tidings, Los Angeles, California. She was born
March 10, 1860. Was at one 'time notary public for Los Angeles
County. Was also engaged in the real estate business prior to
becoming editor of The Tidings, Is a contributor to Harper's,
Sunset, Overland, and Los Angeles Times Magazine, also edited
the Children's Department, of the Tidings for a number of years.
Is conspicuous in patriotic and philanthropic work.
Ruth McEnery Stuart 1849 ~ 1917
Mrs. Stuart was born at Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, the
daughter of a wealthy planter. Her family had always been slave
holders and her life was spent on a plantation where she gained
her familiarity and knowledge of the Negro character. She was
educated at a school in New Orleans where she remained after her
marriage in 1879 to Alfred O. Stuart a cotton planter, and her
early life was spent near their plantation in a small Arkansas
town. Her first story was sent by Charles Dudley Warner to the
Princeton Review in which it appeared, and the second was
published in Harper's Magazine. Her stories are of the lazy life
of the Creoles and the plantation Negroes. They give a true
picture of a peculiar race of people fast disappearing in the
South. They are largely dialect stories. Since her husband's
death Mrs. Stuart has resided in New York City and here most of
her literary work has been done. "Moriah's Mourning," "In
Simpkinsville," "A Golden Wedding," "Charlotta's
Intended," "Solomon Crow's Christmas Box," "The
Story of Babette," "Sonny," "Uncle Eph's
Advice to Brer Rabbit," "Holly and Pizen,"
are some of her well-known stories. Charles Dudley Warner says,
"her pictures of Louisiana life both white and colored are
indeed the best we have."
Louise M. R. Stowell
Born in Grand Blanc, Michigan, December 30, 1850. Daughter of
Seth and Harriet Russell Reed. Taught microscopy and botany in
the University of Michigan, and in 1878 married Charles Henry
Stowell. Appointed a member of the board of trustees for the
Girts' Reform School by the President, for the District of
Columbia, and also member of the board of trustees of the public
schools of the District of Columbia in 1893. Author of ''Microscopical
Structure of Wheat," "Microscopic Diagnosis." Is
editor and writer in scientific work.
Ada Celeste Sweet 1853
Author and business woman. Daughter of Gen. Benjamin J. Sweet, a
lawyer and distinguished officer of the Civil War. She was born
in Stockbridge, Wisconsin, February 23, 1853. Miss Sweet is one
of the most noted women in America. At the age of sixteen she
was the assistant to her father who was at that time United
States pension agent in Chicago, and afterwards first deputy
commissioner of Internal Revenue. Upon her father's death, in
January, 1867, President Grant appointed Miss Sweet United
States pension agent in Chicago. She has disbursed many million
dollars annually making a most remarkable record as a business
woman, and has installed many valuable reforms, reduced the work
of her office to a system, which the government gladly
recognized and approved by installing the same in all other
pension offices in the United States. In 1885 she resigned this
office to engage in business for herself. She was for two years
literary editor of the Chicago Tribune, and since 1888 has
maintained an office as United States claim attorney, and during
this time has done considerable literary and philanthropic work.
She was the founder of the ambulance system for the Chicago
Sophia Miriam Sweet
Born in Brewer, Maine. Daughter of Nathaniel and Susan Brastow
Sweet. At one time associate editor of the Wide Awake. Writer of
short stories and juvenile books.
Mary Florence Taney
Was born at Newport, Kentucky, May 15, 1861. Her father, Peter
Taney, was a grand-nephew of Roger B. Taney, chief justice of
the United States. Her mother, Catherine Alphonse Taney, was
descended from a distinguished Maryland family which came to
this country with Lord Baltimore, in 1632. Miss Taney has been a
teacher, president of a commercial college, newspaper
correspondent, private secretary, and assistant editor of the
Woman's Club Magazine. Has written an operetta, the state song
of Kentucky, and has contributed to the well-known Catholic
Mary Virginia Terhune
Mrs. Terhune is more familiar to the public under the pen name
of ''Marion Harland." She was born December 21, 1831, in Amelia
County, Virginia, her father Samuel P. Hawes, having removed
there from Massachusetts. In 1856 she was married to Rev. E. P.
Terhune, and since 1859 has lived in the North, but her stories
have dealt largely with Southern life. She wrote her book 'The
Story of Mary Washington" to get funds to aid in the effort to
erect a monument to the mother of Washington, which was unveiled
on May 10, 1894. She has been a most industrious writer. Among
her works are "Alone" "Nemesis," "The Hidden
Path," "Miriam," "Husks," "Husbands and
Home," "Sunnybank," "Helen Gardner's Wedding
Day," "At Last," "The Empty Heart,"
Common Sense in the Household." Her novel "Sunnybank" was very
severely criticized by Southern editors, when it appeared soon
after the Civil War. Mrs. Terhune's younger brothers were in the
Mrs. Terhune has three children, with all of whom she has
collaborated a literary work.
Caroline Wadsworth Thompson
Was born in 1856 in New York City. Married Charles Otis
Thompson, whose mother was a great-granddaughter of General
Israel Putnam and daughter of Lemuel Grosvenor, of Boston. Her
grandfather on her father's side was John Wadsworth, of New
York. The wife of her maternal grandfather, Howard Henderson,
was of French descent and her great-grandfather was one of the
original signers of the Louisiana Purchase. Mrs. Thompson is a
contributor to the Ave Maria, Bensiger's, and Sacred Heart
Review, and is a prominent woman socially and in the charitable
works of the Catholic Church.
Ida Treadwell Thurston
Mrs. Thurston is known by her pen name, "Marion Thome." She has
written several stories, among them "The Bishop's Shadow,"
"Boys of the Central." "A Frontier Hero," and
many other excellent stories for boys.
Francis Fisher Tiernan
Is the daughter of Colonel Charles F. Fisher, of Salisbury,
North Carolina. Married James M. Tiernan, of Maryland. Mrs.
Tiernan is a writer of note and some of her novels, under the
pen-name of "Christian Reid," are "A Daughter of
Bohemia," "Valerie Aylmer," "Morton Houses"
"The Lady of Las Cruces," and a "Little Maid of
Arcady," and many others.
Edith Matilda Thomas
Was born in Chatham, Ohio, August 12, 1854. Daughter of
Frederick J. Thomas and Jane Louisa Sturges Thomas, both natives
of New England, her great-grandfather being a soldier in the
Revolutionary War. The family lived for a short time at Kenton,
Ohio, and also at Bowling Green, where her father died in 1861.
Soon after this, her mother and sisters moved to Geneva, Ohio,
where Edith received her education at the Normal Institute. She
taught for a short time in Geneva, but soon decided to make
literature her profession. She had, while a student, contributed
to the newspapers, and her first admirer was
Jackson, who brought her to the attention of the
editors of the Atlantic Monthly and Century, In 1888, Miss
Thomas moved to New York City, making her home on Staten Island,
and has devoted her entire time to literature, being a frequent
contributor to the prominent magazines of the day.
Rose Hartwick Thorpe
Mrs. Thorpe is the author of the well-known poem, "Curfew
Must Not Ring Tonight." Was born in Mishawaka, Indiana,
July 18, 1850. Is the wife of E. Carson Thorpe. Has written many
other poems, but none has added to the fame which she earned by
the writing of the poem mentioned. Lives in San Diego,
Eleanor Elizabeth Tong
Daughter of Lucius G. Tong, at one time professor in the Notre
Dame University. She is a descendant of William Tong, one of the
Revolutionary heroes, and related also to Archbishop Punket. She
is the author of the new manual of Catholic devotions under the
title, "The Catholics' Manual, a New Manual of Prayer."
Susan Arnold Elston Wallace
Was born December 25, 1830, at Crawfordsville, Indiana. Her
maiden name was Susan Arnold Elston. In 1852 she became the wife
of General Lew Wallace, famous as the author of "Ben-Hur."
During the Civil War she was frequently in camp with the
general, and she aided in nursing the wounded. After the war
General Wallace practiced law at Crawfordsville, their home,
Mrs. Wallace was called upon to occupy high social positions,
through the appointment of General Wallace to various offices
under the government. From 1878 to 1881 he was governor of New
Mexico and from 1881 to 1885 he was United States Minister to
Turkey. General Wallace was the intimate friend of the Sultan,
and Mrs. Wallace was granted many privileges not formerly given
to foreign women. In 1885 they returned to their home, and
General Wallace resumed his practice of law and his literary
work. Mrs. Wallace was a frequent contributor to papers and
magazines for many years. The best known of her poems are "The
Patter of Little Feet." Among her books are "The
Storied Sea," "Ginevra," "The Land of the
Puebtes" and "The Repose in Egypt." Mrs. Wallace
devoted a great deal of her time to charitable and philanthropic
work, and her home was always a social and literary center. Mrs.
Wallace died in 1907.
Associate editor of the Catholic Standard and Times. Is related
to Daniel O'Connell and is the wife of Charles Thomas Walsh, of
Philadelphia. She has charge of the home and school page of the
Young Crusader. Is the author of "The Story Book House,"
and contributor to the New York Sun, Youth's Companion,
Benziger's, Donahoe's, The Rosary, Irish Monthly and other
publications of the Roman Catholic Church.
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward
Mrs. Ward was born in Andover, Massachusetts, August 31, 1844,
and inherited literary talent from both of her parents. Her
mother was the writer of a number of stories for children, and
her father. Rev. Austin Phelps, a professor of sacred rhetoric
in the Theological Seminary of Andover, was the writer of many
lectures which in book form have become classics and to-day are
accepted textbooks. At the age of thirteen Mrs. Ward made her
first literary venture in a story which was accepted by the
Youths Companion. Her first novel, "Gates Ajar," 1869, met with
unprecedented success. In 1888, she married Rev. Herbert D.
Ward, and with him has written several novels, the most
important of which are, "The Last of the Magicans," "Come
Forth," "A Singular Life," and what she regards as
her most important work, "The Story of Jesus Christ,"
which appeared in 1897. Some of Mrs. Ward's books are, "Ellen's
Idol," "Up Hill," "A Singular Life," "The
Gipsy Series," "Mercy Glidden's Works," "I
Don't Know How," "Men, Women and Ghosts," "The
Silent Partner," "Walled In," "The Story of
Avis," "My Cousin and I," "The Madonna of the
Tubs," "Sealed Waters," "Jack, the Fisherman,"
"The Master of Magicians," and many sketches, stories
and poems for magazines.
Mary Alden Ward 1856 ~
Born in Cincinnati, March 1, 1853. Daughter of Prince W. and
Rebecca Neal Alden, and a direct descendant of John and
Priscilla Mullins, of Plymouth colony. Prominent and active in
women's club work. Editor of Federation Bulletin, national
official publication of the General Federation of Woman's Clubs,
and author of a "Life of Dante," "Petrarch; a
Sketch of His Life and Work," "Prophets of the
Nineteenth Century," and "Old Colony Days."
Elizabeth Bisland Wetmore
Mrs. Wetmore was born in Camp Bisland, Fairfax Plantation, Teche
County, Louisiana, in 1863. Her family was one of the oldest in
the South, and like all such, lost all their property in the
Civil War, which necessitated Miss Bisland's supporting herself
and members of her family. Having shown some talent for writing,
she took up journalism, and her first sketches were published
when she was but fifteen years of age, under the name of B. L.
R. Dane. She did considerable work for the New Orleans
Times-Democrat and became literary editor of that paper, but the
field not being wide enough she removed to New York to work on
the newspapers and periodicals of that city. She was soon
offered the position of literary editor of the Cosmopolitan
Magazine, and while occupying this position she made her famous
journey around the world, attempting to make better time than
that made by Nellie Ely, who undertook the journey for the New
York World. This brought Miss Bisland's name conspicuously
before the public, and in 1890 she went to London, England, in
the interest of the Cosmopolitan, writing for that magazine
letters from London and Paris which were favorably received. She
collaborated with Miss Rhoda Boughton in a novel and a play, and
is the author of several books. In October. 1891, she became the
wife of Charles W. Wetmore, of New York City.
Mrs. Edward Wharton, best known to American story readers as
Edith Wharton, author of 'The House of Mirth," has a summer home
at Lenox, Massachusetts, which is the scene of many gatherings
of notable people. As Miss Edith Jones, and afterwards as Mrs.
Edward Wharton, she held an enviable position in New York's best
society, but of late she has practically given up living in the
metropolis, and divides her time between Lenox and Paris. In the
French capital Mrs. Wharton's literary and social success has
been phenomenal. The French are the most exclusive people,
socially, in the world, but they have opened their doors to Mrs.
Wharton in appreciation of her many gifts. The author of "The
House of Mirth" speaks French as fluently as a native, and in
that language writes regularly for Le Revue des Deux Mondes.
Some of Mrs. Wharton's other works of fiction are "The
Valley of Decision," "Sanctuary" and "The
Fruit of the Tree."
Lilian Whiting 1859
Born at Niagara Falls, New York, October 3, 1859. Daughter of
Hon. Lorenzo Dowe and Lucia Clement Whiting. Literary editor,
Boston Traveler; editor of the Boston Budget, and author of "The
World Beautiful," "From Dreamland Sent," a book of
poems, "A Study of the Life and Poetry of Elizabeth Barrett
Browning," "A Record of Kate Field," "The World
Beautiful in Books," "Boston Days," "Florence of
Landor," "The Outlook Beautiful " "Italy, the Magic Land,"
"Paris the Beautiful," etc.
Mary Alice Willcox 1856
Born in Kennebunk, Maine, April 24, 1856. Daughter of William H.
and Annie Holmes Goodenow Willcox. Teacher in the normal and
public schools, and professor of zoology in Wellesley College
since 1883. Author of "Pocket Guide to Common Land Birds of New
England," and various articles on zoological subjects.
Pauline Willis 1870 ~
Was born in 1870, in Boston, Massachusetts. Daughter of Hamilton
and Helen Phillips. Was a direct descendant on her mother's
side, of Reverend George Phillips, of Watertown, Massachusetts,
who came to this country in 1630 in Governor Winthrop's
Massachusetts Colony from Norfolk, England. The descendants of
this Doctor Phillips were the founders of the Phillips Academy,
at Andover, Massachusetts. Miss Willis is the author of "The
Willis' Records, or Records of the Willis Family of Haverhill,
Portland, and Boston;" also a memoir of her late brother,
Hamilton Willis, and is a contributor to the Catholic and
secular press, and active worker in the charitable works and the
foreign missions of the Roman Catholic Church.
Augusta J. Evans Wilson
1836 ~ 1909
Mrs. Wilson won literary fame as the author of "Beulah."
She was born near Columbus, Georgia, in 1836. Her family lived
for a short time in Texas, and later in Mobile, Alabama, and
here in 1868 she married L. M. Wilson. Her first novel was
"Inez," which met with only moderate success, but in 1859
"Beulah" appeared, and she won instantaneous literary fame.
During the war she published "Macaria," and it is said
that this book was printed on coarse brown paper, and
copyrighted by the Confederate States of America. It was
dedicated by her to the soldiers of the Southern army. It was
seized and destroyed by the Federal officers, but was
subsequently reprinted in the North, and met with a large sale.
After the war Mrs. Wilson removed to New York City, and here she
published her famous book; "St. Elmo." This was
followed by one hardly less popular, "Vashti," later,
one entitled "Infelice," and "At the Mercy of
Tiberius." Mrs. Wilson died in 1909.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Mrs. Wilcox was born at Johnstown Center, Wisconsin, in 1855;
married Robert M. Wilcox in 1884; has been a contributor to
magazines and newspapers for many years; has written many
beautiful poems, and is one of the prominent writers of today.
Helen Maria Winslow
Born m Westfield, Vermont Daughter of Don Avery and Mary S.
Newton Winslow. Writer for papers and magazines. Editor and
publisher of The Club Woman. Writer of short stories. Editor and
publisher annually of the Official Register of the Directory of
Woman's Clubs of America.
Bertha G. Davis Woods
Mrs. Woods was born in Penn Yan, New York, in April, 1873. She
is a contributor to magazines, newspapers of poems and short
Edith Elmer Wood 1870 ~
Mrs. Wood was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, September 24,
1871. Daughter of Commodore Horace Elmer, U. S. N., and Adele
Wiley Elmer. Is the wife of Capt. Albert Norton Wood U. S. N.
Mrs. Wood was the founder and first president of the
Anti-Tuberculosis League of Porto Rico, which maintains
hospitals and sanitariums for indigent patients and conducts a
campaign on the isle against this dread disease. She has written
several stories and contributed to the leading magazines and
Kate Tannatt Wood
Born in Peekskill, New York. Daughter of James S. and Mary
Tannatt. Married George H. Woods, a prominent lawyer and officer
on General Sherman's staff. Has done editorial work on Harper's
Bazar, Ladies' Home Journal, Boston Transcript, Globe and
Herald, and several magazines. Active worker in women's clubs of
Massachusetts. One of the original officers and first auditor of
the General Federation of Woman's Clubs. Founder of the
Massachusetts State Federation of Woman's Clubs, and the Thought
and Work Club of Salem, Massachusetts. Has written quite a
number of stories on New England life, and also stories of New
Lizzie E. Wooster 1870
Born in Stubenville, July 24, 1870. Daughter of Charles C. and
Nannie Cullom Wooster. Has been engaged in the authorship and
editing of school books since 1896, and is her own publisher,
establishing her own firm under the name of Wooster and Company.
She is the author of reading charts, primers, arithmetics,
primary recitations, "First Reader," "Elementary
Arithmetic," "Wooster's Combination Reading Chart,"
"Wooster Sentence Builder," "Wooster Number
Builders," "The Wooster Readers," and other
well-known school books.
Madeline Yale Wynne
Born at Newport, New York, September 25, 1847. Daughter of Linus
Yale, Jr. (inventor of the Yale lock), and Catherine Brooks
Yale: Was a student of art in Boston Art Museum and in New York.
Pupil of George Fuller. Has originated and developed an
interesting specialty in hand-wrought metals. Is a contributor
to many of the magazines. Author of "The Little Room,"
and other stories.
Source: The Part Taken by Women in
American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle
Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.