Lydia H. Sigourney
American Writer of Prose and Poetry
1791 – 1865
Norwich and Hartford, Connecticut, are respectively the places of her birth and death. As a child she was precocious in acquiring knowledge, and studied at Hartford and Norwich schools. In both cities she established and conducted select schools for young ladies as early as 1814.
In that 1815 she published a volume, Moral Pieces in Prose and Verse, and from that time she became one of the most popular American poets.
She wrote extensively in many departments of thought, but all her works had a distinctly moral and religious tone. In her Letters of Life which was published after hear death, she mentioned forty-six separate works which she had published, besides two thousand articles contributed to three hundred periodicals.
In charitable and philanthropic work she was always active, giving not only largely of her means, but also devoting much of her time and energy to the cause of humanity. Her interest in education, also, continued unabated throughout her entire life. So the world is interested to know that she was not a mere poetic dreamer, sitting apart from a suffering world.
We mention a few of her works: Trails of the Aborigines of America, Sketch of Connecticut Forty Years Since, Letters to Young Ladies (which had a run of twenty American and five English editions), Letters to Mothers, Past Meridian.
In 1840, Mrs. Sigourney visited Europe, and two volumes of her verses were issued in London.
She married a Hartford Merchant, Charles Sigourney, in her twenty-eighth year and with him led a life of ideal domesticity.
Mrs. Sigourney was sometimes accused of being an imitator of Mrs. Hemans, but we doubt whether the imitation was deliberate or conscious. With similarity of taste and sympathy it is not surprising that there should be a similarity of thought and expression; the feeling of religious devotion and moral elevation is a common heritage, and often finds expression through different persons in like symbolism.
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence, and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World published by the King-Richardson Co. in 1903.