The Female Prose Writers of America: With Portraits, Biographical Notices, and Specimens of their Writings/Ann E. Porter

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Miss Lydia Ann Emerson was born October 14, 1816, at Newburyport, Massachusetts, where was her home, except when away at school, till 1833. In that year she went to Royalton, Vermont, as an assistant teacher in the Academy of that place.

Her mother died when she was but two years old, and at four she was, with brothers and sisters, under the care of a stepmother. Between three and four years, from her thirteenth to her seventeenth year, she enjoyed a regular course of instruction at the celebrated Ipswich Female Academy. In 1834, she went to Springfield, Vermont, and established a Select School, which met with eminent success.

In 1836, she was invited to the charge of the Southampton Academy, but was early induced to remove to Putnam, Ohio—where she became the principal of a newly opened Female Seminary. During four years’ residence at this interesting place, she experienced many of those incidents of western life, so soul-stirring to the young emigrant. Those only who have enjoyed the sociality of life in a new country, or the hospitality of an earlier age, will be likely to appreciate the recollections of a lone female instructor, thus employed among strangers. It is hoped that her connexion with that seminary and community is still remembered by her pupils and their friends, as it is by herself, with interest and enjoyment.

Newark, Ohio, was the home of another year in Miss Emerson’s diversified life; and the year 1841 was spent most agreeably at that place in charge of the female department of “Delaware Academy,” at the Springs. Here, too, the social freedom peculiar to frontier civilization, had influences on mind and memory, often recurred to with pleasure.

In the autumn of 1841, Miss Emerson became the wife of Mr. Charles E. Porter, of Springfield, Vermont, and she has ever since been a resident of that place.

Mrs. Porter has been an occasional contributor to the periodical press since the year 1834: of late, under her own signature. Her thoughts and sketches, though hasty, have endeared her to many friends. She has also contributed two small volumes towards the Sunday School Library. But the labours of love, and the duties of domestic life, have not as yet permitted that concentration of her powers upon any extended work, which some who know her, anticipate, when an appropriate occasion shall come.