Woman of the Century/Harriet Hanson Robinson

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ROBINSON, Mrs. Harriet Hanson, author, born in Boston, Mass., 9th February, 1825. Her maiden name was Harriet Jane Hanson. Her ancestry is thoroughly New England and her lineage may be traced in direct line to Thomas Hanson and Nicholas Browne, early settlers of New England. Nicholas Browne was a member of "The Great and General Court" of Massachusetts in 1655, in 1656 and in 1661. Her grandfather, Seth Ingersoll Browne, was in the Revolutionary army and a non-commissioned officer in the battle of Bunker Hill. Miss Hanson's father died while she was a child. In 1832 her widowed mother moved with her family to Lowell, Mass., where they lived HARRIET HANSON ROBINSON A woman of the century (page 625 crop).jpgHARRIET HANSON ROBINSON. for some years on the Tremont Corporation. Her early years were full of toil, but she studied and educated herself, and showed literary talent in her girlhood. In 1848 she became the wife of William S. Robinson, at that time the editor of the Boston "Daily Whig," and afterwards famous as "Warrington" in the Springfield "Republican" and in the New York "Tribune." He was for eleven years clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He died 11th March, 1876. Their family consisted of four children. Three of them are still living, and two of them, daughters, are mentioned elsewhere in this book. Mrs. Robinson's first attempt at writing for the press was made while she was yet an operative in the Lowell mills. Her verses appeared in the newspapers and annuals of the time, and in the "Lowell Offering," that unique factory girls' magazine. During her early married life she was too deeply engaged in helping a reformer-journalist to earn his daily bread to use her pen in verse-making. Later in life she resumed her literary work, and since then she has been a contributor in verse and prose to many newspapers and periodicals. Her sonnets are among the best of her poetical contributions. Her first published work was "Warrington Pen Portraits" (Boston, 1877), a memoir of her husband, with selections from his writings. She wrote "Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement," a history (Boston, 1881), "Captain Mary Miller," a drama (Boston, 1887), "Early Factory Labor in New England" (Boston, 1883), and she has in preparation a book which will illustrate that phase in the life of the New England working girls. Her best literary achievement is her latest, "The New Pandora," (New York. 1889). That dramatic poem is modern in all its suggestions, and puts the possibilities of humanity on a noble upward plane. She is very deeply interested in all the movements which tend to the advancement of women, and she uses her voice and pen freely in their behalf. She was one of those to speak before the select committee on woman suffrage when it was formed in Congress. She presented a memorial to Congress in December, 1889, through Senator Dawes, asking for a removal of her political disabilities and that she might be invested with full power to exercise her right to self-government at the ballot-box. Senator Dawes then presented a bill to the same effect in the Senate, which was read twice and referred. A hearing was refused by the select committee on woman suffrage, and there the matter rests. The woman's club movement has always had her support. She is one of the original promoters of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, an organization numbering at least two-hundred women's clubs, representing more than thirty-thousand members in all parts of the United States, and she was the member for Massachusetts on its first advisory board. Her home is now in Maiden, Mass.