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Emma D. E. Nevitt Southworth 1819 ~ 1899


Emma D. E. Nevitte Southworth

Emma D. E. Nevitt was the eldest daughter of Captain Charles Nevitt, of Alexandria, Virginia. Was born in Washington, D. C, December 26, 1819. The family was descended from those of high rank in England and France. Her people had emigrated to this country in 1632, and were conspicuous in the American Revolution. Her father served at the head of a company in the War of 1812, receiving a wound from which he never recovered. At the age of forty-five, Captain Nevitt married his second wife, a young girl of but fifteen years and removed to Washington, where they leased a large house said to have been occupied at one time by General Washington.

Mrs. Nevitt, after Captain Nevitts death, married the second time, her husband being Joshua L. Henshaw of Boston, and to him Mrs. Southworth says she is indebted almost entirely for her education. Among her early writings is 'The Irish Refugee," which was accepted by the editor of the Baltimore Saturday Visitor, who so encouraged the young writer that she wrote "The Wife's Victory." A few of her early stories were printed in the National Era of Washington City, its editor engaging her as a regular writer for that paper. She then commenced her third novel "Sibyl's Brother, or The Temptation," and in 1849 "Retribution" was published by Harper Brothers, and in five years after its appearance she had written "The Deserted Wife," "Shannondale," "The Mother-in-Law," "Children of the Isle," "The Foster Sisters," "The Courts of Clifton," "Old Neighbors in New Settlements," "The Lost Heiress" and "Hickory Hall." Her prolific pen was latterly engaged exclusively for the New York Ledger.

In 1853 Mrs. Southworth moved to a beautiful old home on the heights above the Potomac in Georgetown, and this became the rendezvous of distinguished people from all parts of the country. Here, in what was known as Prospect Cottage, Mrs. Southworth spent the last years of her life, dying there June 30, 1899.

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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