Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Marguerite Dickins

 

Mrs. Dickins was born in the picturesque valley of the Unadilla in central New York, and had the good fortune to pass her childhood at the home of her grandfather. Squire Noah Ely, a lawyer and influential citizen in his section of the country, and under his careful tuition she acquired a thorough knowledge of the dead languages, which no doubt gave her greater ability to acquire foreign languages, of which she speaks French, German and Spanish fluently.

Her widowed mother married Mr. C Francis Bates of Boston and then the scenes of her life were transferred to New York City and Newport, Rhode Island. In the former state she pursued her studies at one of the most famous private schools for young ladies until 1872, when she was taken by her mother to Europe, where she remained three years, visiting the principal capitals and continuing her studies of languages and art.

Shortly after her return to the United States she married Commander F. W. Dickins, United States Navy. In 1882 she traveled extensively through the south and has given her impressions in a series of letters published in the Danbury News, of Connecticut. In 1883 she went with her husband to the South Pacific, living on board the United States steamship "Onward," then stationed at Callao, Peru. The period of two years that was spent in Peru was full of interest due to the war then going on between that country and Chile. Naturally she became interested in the situation in that part of South America.

These impressions were published in a series of letters in the National Republican, of Washington, D. C. Not long after her return to the United States in 1889, she followed her husband to the east coast of South America where she passed more than two years, visiting principally the countries of Brazil, Uruguay, Argentine and Paraguay, and living on board the United States steamship "Tallapoosa" most of the time. Her perfect knowledge of the Spanish language enabled her to become familiar with the home life of the people and gain much correct information as to their manners and customs, accounts of which she contributed to the Washington Post.

After her return to the United States she made her home in Washington, D. C, where her husband was stationed on duty. She accompanied her husband on a trip to Japan and her impressions of that country were published in the Washington Post, Besides her literary and artistic pursuits, Mrs. Dickins devotes much of her time to missionary work and is prominently connected with many charitable institutions in Washington.

She is the well-known author of the delightful volume "Along Shore with a Man of War." At the Continental Congress of February, 1893, she was elected by unanimous vote, treasurer-general of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Her work in this important position has been earnest and thorough. She held the unqualified confidence and respect of her associates while her cheering view of life and labor wins for her an affectionate regard. Her many high qualities are exercised with the modest unconsciousness of a sincere purpose and directed by generous culture.

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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