Portraits of American Women Writers That Appeared in Print Before 1861 - Header and Menu

MARIA BROOKS (1794 or 1795 – 1845)

Anne C. Lynch Botta. “Grace Greenwood,” in Godey’s Lady’s Book 37 (1848): 327-31, frontispiece.

GRACE GREENWOOD(1823-1904) aka Sarah J. Clarke or Mrs. Leander Lippincott

Having grown up in and around Rochester, New York, Sarah Clarke first published her poems in Rochester newspapers; soon thereafter Nathaniel Willis began to solicit her work for his periodicals New Mirror and Home Journal. As she contributed more frequently to the widely-read magazines of her day, she adopted the pseudonym "Grace Greenwood" both in print and, eventually, in her personal life as well.

In 1849 she took on an editorial position at Louis Godey's Godey's Lady’s Book, but Godey, determined to keep his periodical politically neutral, fired her after she published an antislavery tract in the National Era. Continuing to write for the National Era and the Saturday Evening Post from Washington D.C. , she initiated a series of "Washington Letters" in the latter paper which appeared regularly for the next fifty years. In 1850 she released Greenwood Leaves, a collection of her magazine pieces, and though critics assessed her work as overly sentimental, the collection achieved popular success.

Joining the lecture circuits in the 1850s, she spoke on the need for peace, prison reform, and the abolition of capital punishment. During the Civil War she sold her writing to raise money for the U.S. Sanitary Commission and frequently lectured to patriotic organizations and troops, earning the title "Grace Greenwood the Patriot" from President Lincoln. After the war she resumed her residence in Washington and worked as a correspondent for the New York Times. From this point on, her "Letters" and other writing took on a more unabashedly political tone as she advocated social reform and renewed her interest in women's rights.

In 1853, she married Leander Lippincott.  Their marriage crumbled as his infidelities became fodder for gossip columnists.  The couple had one child, a daughter named Annie, at whose home Grace Greenwood died of bronchitis in 1904.

Other portraits appear in:

Thomas B. Read, ed. Female Poets of America (1849), plate opposite p. 349.

Grace Greenwood. Poems (1851), frontispiece; also 1854 edition.

Grace Greenwood. Greenwood Leaves. 2nd series (1852), frontispiece.

Sarah J. Hale, ed. Woman’s Record (1853), p. 624; also 1855 ed.

The American Phrenological Journal, vol. 19 (Jan. 1854), p. 5.

Evert A. and George L. Duyckinck, eds. Cyclopaedia of American Literature (1855), vol. 2, p. 686.

Abner D. Jones. The American Portrait Gallery (New York, 1855), p. [659].

Abner D. Jones, ed. The Illustrated American Biography (1855), vol. 3 (1855), p. 323.

Henry Coppée, ed. A Gallery of Distinguished English and American Female Poets (1860), p. 317.

The Ladies’ Repository (May, 1860), plate preceding p. 257.




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