Woman of the Century/Lee C. Hardy

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HARDY, Mrs. Lee C., author, born in Charleston, S. C, 7th September, 1849. She is a descendant of two families well-known in the South for the number of distinguished soldiers and authors they have produced, the Harbys and Cohens. The Harbys were soldiers in the Revolution, in which contest both of Mrs. Harby's great-grandfathers fought. Her father-in-law, L. C. Harby, who is also her granduncle, was a midshipman in the war of 1812, served in the Mexican war and in several other minor wars. At the outbreak of the late Civil War, in 1861, he held the rank of captain in the United States navy, but resigned and espoused the Confederate cause and served with distinction during the four years of that war. His son, J. D. Harby, the husband of Mrs. Harby, served in the same army. Mrs. Harby's maiden name was Cohen. She is a daughter of Marx E. Cohen, a native of Charleston and a graduate of the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Hermother was Miss Armida Harby, a great-granddaughter of Solomon Harby who was a grandson of Sir Clement Harby of the Harbys of Adston, an old English family; her father, Isaac Harby, of Charleston, S. C, was distinguished as a critic, essayist and dramatist, and his granddaughter, Mrs. Lee C. Harby, has inherited his literary talent. Mr. Cohen's family numbered six children, of whom Mrs. Harby was the fifth. Her early life was passed amid romantic city and plantation surroundings, which developed the vien of poetical thought in her nature. She was never a regular student in school, but was educated mainly by her scholarly father and her great- aunt, a refined and cultured woman, and their training was such as to turn her to literature at an early age. Arrived at maturity, she became the wife of her second cousin, J. D. Harby. They made their home in Galveston, Tex., and while living in that city Mrs. Harby published one of her first important compositions, "Christmas Before the War" (1873). In 1879 Mrs. Harby removed to Houston, Tex. In 1880 she became known as a poet of superior powers through a poem of welcome to the Texas Press Association, which met in Houston in the spring of that year. Her reputation as a writer, of both prose and verse, grew rapidly. While living in Houston she became a contributor to many of the most prominent periodicals of the eastern cities, among them "Harper's Magazine" and the "Magazine of American History." To the latter periodical she contributed in the numbers of October and November, 1888, a striking paper entitled "The City of a Prince." a historical sketch of a colony of Germans established in Texas by Prince Solms-Braunfels, of Austria. That paper made her reputation as a historical writer, and it secured for her at once the unusual honor of an unsolicited election to membership in the American Historical Association, before which she read a paper upon "The Earliest Texas," in its last annual meeting in Washington, in December, 1891. The larger portion of ner historical work deals with the interesting subject of Texas, and she has achieved an important and valuable task in making a permanent LEE C. HARDY.jpgLEE C. HARDY. record of many events connected with the settlement of the State, which would have been lost to future historians. Her portrayals of the life, the types and the peculiarities of that part of the Republic have been given to the public in a series of illustrated articles in "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Paper." Besides her historical work, she has contributed to leading periodicals a series of poems, essays and stories, all of which have found wide favor. Among other societies of which Mrs. Harby is a member is Sorosis, which elected her to membership while she was yet a resident of the South. She now resides in New York City.