– Lucy Larcom (1824 – 1893)
– American Poet / Author / Teacher
– Ninth of Ten Children
– Worked the cotton mills in Lowell Massachusetts & devoted a number of published songs, poems and letters describing life at the mill
– Served as a model for the change in women’s roles in society.
Excerpt From Larcom’s 1889 Memoir A New England Girlhood.
“My sister Emilie became acquainted with a family of bright girls, near neighbors of ours, who proposed that we should join with them, and form a little society for writing and discussion, to meet fortnightly at their house. [We] named ourselves “The Improvement Circle.” If I remember rightly, my sister was our first president. The older ones talked and wrote on many subjects quite above me. I was shrinkingly bashful, as half-grown girls usually are, but I wrote my little essays and read them, and listened to the rest, and enjoyed it all exceedingly. Out of this little “Improvement Circle” grew the larger one whence issued the “Lowell Offering,” a year or two later.
When a Philadelphia paper copied one of my little poems, suggesting some verbal improvements, and predicting recognition for me in the future, I felt for the first time that there might be such a thing as public opinion worth caring for, in addition to doing one’s best for its own sake.