Saturday, March 14, 2015

Daughters of the Granite State

Information from A woman of the century; fourteen hundred-seventy biographical sketches accompanied by portraits of leading American women in all walks of life by Willard, Frances Elizabeth, 1839-1898

Julia Knowlton Dyer philanthropist born in Deerfield NH in 1829 Her father was Joseph Knowlton and her mother Susan Dearborn Upon Bunker Hill Monument are inscribed the names of her mother's grandfather Nathaniel Dearborn and of her own grandfather Thomas Knowlton.
Julia Knowlton was one of six children Her father served in the war of 1812 and his namesake her brother Joseph H Knowlton was a member of the secret expedition against Fort Beaufort in the Civil War After graduation in her eighteenth year Miss Knowlton taught a year in the high school in Manchester NH where she was a successful instructor in French and English literature and higher mathematics She became the wife in her twenty first year of Micah Dyer jr now a lawyer of Boston Three children were born to them two sons and a daughter the  latter dying in infancy The two sons still live Dr William K Dyer of Boston and Walter Dyer Mrs Dyer is connected prominently with twenty four associations only one of which the Castilian Club is purely literary She is president of the Soldiers Home in Massachusetts president and founder of the Charity Club a member of the executive boards of the Home for Intemperate Women the Helping Hand Association and president of the local branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union For twenty six years she has been a manager for the Home for Female Prisoners in Dedham Mass and is a life member of the Bostonian Society The association appoints a board of twenty four women two of whom visit the Soldiers's Home each month to look after the needs of the inmates She is a member of the Methodist Church but she attends regularly the services of her husband's choice in the Church of the Unity Boston without comment but without
affecting her own faith in the slightest Mrs Dyer is so engaged in philanthropic work that she hardly thinks of herself as being a leader in the church.

Mrs. Celia Laighton Thaxter, poet, born in Portsmouth, N. H., 29th June, 1835. When she was four years old, her father, Thomas B. Laighton, went to live, with his family, on the Isles of Shoals. The childhood of herself and her two brothers, Oscar and Cedrick, was passed at White Island, where her father kept the lighthouse, which is described by her in her book, "Among the Isles of Shoals." All her summers are spent among those islands. In 1851 she became the wife of Levi Lincoln Thaxter, of Watertown, Mass., who died in 1884 She never sought admittance to the field of literature, but the poet, James Russell Lowell, who was at one time editor of the "Atlantic Monthly," happened to see some verses which she had written for her own pleasure, and without saying anything to her about it, christened them "Landlocked" and published them in the "Atlantic." After that she had many calls for her work, and at last, persuaded by the urgent wishes of her friends, John G. Whittier, James T. Fields and others, wrote and published her first volume of poems in 1871, and later the prose work, "Among the Isles of Shoals," which was printed first as a series of papers in the "Atlantic Monthly." Other books have followed, "Driftweed" (1878), "Poems for Children" (1884) and "Cruise of the Mystery, and Other Poems " (1886). Among her best poems are "Courage," "A Tryst," "The Spaniards' Graves at the Isles of Shoals," "The Watch of Boon Island, "The Sandpiper" and "The Song Sparrow."

Mrs. H. H. A. Beach, composer, born in Henniker, N. H., 5th September, 1867. Her parents were Charles Abbott and Clara Imogene Cheney. Mrs. Cheney, Dorn Marcy, was well known as an excellent musician, and it is due to her careful supervision and fostering care that Mrs. Beach's early musical development was so systematic and judicious. The earliest evidences of her musical powers were manifested before she was a year old, and as she was so situated as to hear much good music, she soon acquired the habit of catching the songs that were sung to her. When three years old, to play the piano was her chief delight, and soon she could play at sight any music that her hands could grasp. At the age of four years she played many tunes by ear. She improvised much and composed several little pieces. Among her earliest musical recollections is that of associating color with sound, the key of C suggesting white, A flat, blue, and so on. The exact pitch of sounds, single or in combination, produced by voice, violin, piano, bells, whistles or birds' songs, has always been perfectly clear to her, making it possible for her to name the notes at once. When she was six years old, her mother began a course of systematic instruction, which continued fortwo years. At the age of seven she played in three concerts. She continued to compose little pieces. Among these were an air with variations and a setting of the " Rainy Day " of Longfellow, since published. Regular instruction in harmony was begun at the age of fourteen. For ten years, with various interruptions, Mrs. Beach received instruction in piano playing from prominent teachers in Boston. She made her first appearance before a Boston audience as Miss Amy Marcy Cheney on 24th October, 1883, at sixteen years of age, playing the G minor concerto of Moscheles with grand orchestra. That performance was succeeded by various concerts and recitals in Boston and other places, in association with distinguished artists.
In December performances with orchestra. Her talent in composition has shown itself in the following list of published works: A grand mass in E flat, a graduale for tenor voice, an anthem for chorus and organ, three short anthems for quartet with organ accompaniment, a four-part song for female voices, three vocal duets with pianoforte accompaniment, nineteen songs for single voice with a pianoforte accompaniment, a cadenza to Beethoven's C minor concerto, and a valse caprice for piano. She has in manuscript other compositions, a ballad, several short pieces for the piano or piano and violin, and songs. The mass was performed on 7th February, 1892, by the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, with the Symphony Orchestra and a quartet of soloists assisting.

See  Amy Beach. Passionate Victorian The Life and Work of an American Composer 1867-1944
LaBudde Special Collections | Amy Cheney Beach Collection
University of New Hampshire a wonderful collection Mrs. H.H.A. Beach, New Hampshire Composer
More Photos of Amy Cheney Beach

Mr. and Mrs. H. H. A. Beach from Univ. of New Hampshire Collection

Phoebe Pickering Jenks portrait artist born in Portsmouth NH in 1847 daughter Dennis and Fidelia Barton Hoyt and granddaughter of William and Charlotte Pickering of New England descent Her early life was in Portsmouth where she was graduated at high school At sixteen removed to Boston where has since lived She to paint when she was nine years of age one day by the of a bunch of flowers had been sent her she impelled to represent loveliness The result not only a surprise to artist herself but also her friends and she at began to study out of She soon discovered during her entire life had without knowing been a close observer and of form and color facility attracted so attention that she disposed of her early and was soon able to open a studio and take as a professional artist Since then Mrs has made each year a steady and sure advance in her art becoming one of the foremost portrait painters in New England She has painted portraits of many prominent people while her fame has extended beyond the limits of New England as some of her best work is to be found in New York city Philadelphia and Chicago  
From The National Eyclopaedia of American biography, being the history of the United States as illustrated in the lives of the founders, builders, and defenders of the republic, and of the men and women who are doing the work and molding the thought of the present time by George Derby. 

From American Art

                                                       Miss Alice Brown


Dan Brown was not the first acclaimed author with the same last name to come from Exeter or to base his characters on people in the town. Alice Brown (1856'1948) was born in nearby
Miss Alice Brown was born in Hampton Falls, N.H. on December 5, 1857, the daughter of Levi and Elizabeth (Lucas) Brown. She graduated from the Robinson Seminary in Exeter, N.H. in 1876. Brown taught school for five years in both New Hampshire and Boston, but found she preferred editing to teaching. She worked on the staffs of The Christian Register and Youth’s Companion and by 1884 had begun her long career as a writer of short stories, novels, and plays. She continued publishing into the 1940s. Brown lived at 11 Pinckney Street, Boston, and summered in Newburyport, Massachusetts and at her farm in Hill, N.H. She died in Boston on June 21, 1948.  See  Alice Brown Papers, 1876-1947
See Notable American Women, 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary, Volume 1

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