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


Meta Lander. Light on the Dark River (Boston, 1854), frontispiece.

HENRIETTA HAMLIN (1811 - 1850)

Born in Dorset, Vermont, and educated at a number of schools including the Female Academy at Andover, Henrietta Hamlin met her future husband in 1837 in Bangor, Maine. Shortly thereafter, she accompanied him to Constantinople, where he had been appointed head of the Armenian seminary. She died in 1850 of influenza, but he continued with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions for another ten years.

Following the death of Mrs. Hamlin, Margarette Woods Lawrence compiled her memoir. Better known by her pen name Meta Lander, Mrs. Lawrence was the daughter of Leonard Woods, the Andover Theological Seminary professor who wrote the first memoir for a woman missionary, the memoir of Harriet Newell. In the several chapters on Mrs. Hamlin’s final illness, Mrs. Lawrence writes about the directions Mrs. Hamlin gave her husband on the spiritual development of the couple’s five daughters:

“She expressed her wish that their father should present each of the children with Doddridge’s ‘Rise and Progress,’ as a memorial from her; saying that the reading of that book was greatly blessed to her when she was twelve or thirteen years of age, bringing her out of doubt and darkness into peace and joy. She hoped that he would daily and earnestly pursue the cultivation of their mind and heart, and repeated her desire that he might be satisfied with nothing but the clearest evidence of a prayerful and consistent life, that they were the children of God.” (p. 270)



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