Woman of the Century/Cynthia Holmes Belcher
BELCHER, Mrs. Cynthia Holmes, journalist, born in Lunenburg, Vt., 1st December, 1827. She is a daughter of the Hon. George E. and Mary Moore Holmes. Her father served CYNTHIA HOLMES BELCHER. as a member of the State Senate and as judge in Essex county. Miss Holmes was educated in the academy in St. Johnsbury, Vt. Her father removed his family of seven daughters from St. Johnsbury to Port Byron, 111., when she was eighteen years old. In her twentieth year she was married to Nathaniel Belcher, a descendant of prominent New England people and one of the pioneers in the settlement of Illinois. He held various offices of trust and was a member of the Whig party that nominated General Winfield Scott for the presidency, and was a prolific political writer. Mr. and Mrs. Belcher traveled extensively. In 1881 they visited Colorado, and in 1882 went to California, where they passed a pleasant year. Their tour included all parts of the Union. On one of their visits to Washington, D. C, they were received by President Franklin Pierce, and on a later occasion visited President Grant in the White House. After the death of her husband and two children Mrs. Belcher returned to New England and settled in Boston, that she might indulge and develop her literary, artistic and musical talents. She studied singing in the New England Conservatory of Music and gradually became known also as a contributor to leading newspapers. In 1889 she visited Europe and contributed letters on her travels through the different countries, also describing the Paris Exposition. She is a member of the New England Woman's Press Association. Besides her literary work, she has always been identified with all works of reform, and with church and temperance work, the woman suffrage movement in particular receiving much thought and labor from her. All her thought has been in the line of elevating the individual and the community.