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

MARIA BROOKS (1794 or 1795 – 1845)

Cecil B. Hartley. The Three Mrs. Judsons, the Celebrated Female Missionaries (1860), frontispiece; portrait also stamped in gold on spine.

EMILY C. JUDSON (1817 – 1854)

The daughter of a struggling farmer and businessman, Emily Judson earned money as a child by helping her mother run a boarding house and working in the New York woolen mills, receiving an informal and frequently interrupted education. Impressed by her desire to learn, the preceptresses at the Utica Female Seminary invited her to study for a year in their school free of cost, after which they hired her as a teacher. While in Utica , she began to publish children's books, earning enough in royalties to house and support her destitute parents. She also contributed her immensely popular sketches of village life to periodicals under the pseudonym "Fanny Forester," and much of her magazine work later appeared in the collections Trippings in Author-Land and Alderbrook, the latter of which went through many editions.

In 1845 she met the Rev. Adoniram Judson, the founder of the American Baptist mission in Burma and a hero of Emily Judson's childhood, and despite the disapproval of both the Reverend's and the writer's respective circles, they wed in 1846, setting sail for Burma soon thereafter. In Burma , Emily Judson cared for her young stepsons and bore children of her own while learning the local language and proselytizing to the Burmese. After the deaths of her husband and youngest son in 1850, she made the nine-month return trip to New England with her remaining children in 1851.

Back in the U.S. , Emily Judson published collections of essays and poetry and assisted a professor at Brown University in preparing a biography of her husband. The rapid onset of consumptive illness stalled her writing, and she died in Hamilton , N.Y. , at age thirty-six.

Other portraits appear in:

Rufus S. Griswold. “The Heroism of the Knights Errant and the Female Missionaries of America,” in Godey’s Lady’s Book 37 (1848): 61-68, frontispiece containing five separate portraits.

William Hunt, ed. The American Biographical Sketch Book (1848), plate opposite p. 202.

Orson S. Fowler. The Illustrated Self-Instructor in Phrenology and Physiology (New York, 1850), p. 25

John S. Hart, ed. Female Prose Writers of America (1852), plate opposite p. 283.

Sarah J. Hale, ed. Woman’s Record (1853), p. 710; also 1855 ed.

Abner D. Jones, ed. The Illustrated American Biography, vol. 1 (1853), p. 177 or p. 339 (two variant issues).

Arabella M.S. Willson. The Lives of Mrs. Ann H. Judson and Mrs. Sarah B. Judson, with a Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Emily C. Judson, Missionaries to Burmah (1853), frontispiece.

The American Phrenological Journal, vol. 20 (July, 1854), p. 18.

The American Phrenological Journal, vol. 24 (July, 1856), p. 1.

The Ladies’ Repository (April, 1857), plate preceding p. 193.

The American Phrenological Journal, vol. 26 (July, 1857), p. 5.

Henry Coppée, ed. A Gallery of Distinguished English and American Female Poets (1860), p. 290.

A.C. Kendrick. The Life and Letters of Mrs. Emily C. Judson (1860), frontispiece.




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