Happy birthday Lydia Maria Child!

John DePol's black-and-white woodblock print of Columbine flowers.

Look for this image to find other timely posts highlighting pillars of our collections! Woodblock print by John DePol.

The Special Collections Library would like to wish Lydia Maria Child a happy 214th birthday!  Born on February 11, 1802 to a New England family, Child was a brave iconoclast of her time in her championship of the rights and just treatment of Native Americans, African slaves, and women.  While most famously remembered for her Thanksgiving poem “Over the River and Through the Wood,” Child was a literary chameleon.  Her prolific corpus includes novels, children’s books, domestic handbooks, and social justice manifestos:  

Cover page of the Frugal Housewife
Cover page of the Frugal Housewife (1829)

The Frugal Housewife, is a concise and handy household management manual in which Child tranparently offers the reader a variety of strategies for efficiently running a household.  Her advice offers suggestions for prudently managing household finances, strategies to best deligate and complete chores, and supplies the reader with a trove of recipes. 

Cover page of Authentic anecdotes of American slavery.
Cover page of Authentic anecdotes of American slavery (1838)

In Authentic anecdotes of American slavery, Child details the realities of the inhumane treatment of African slaves in pre-Civil War America.  A stern abolitionist, Child couples her brutally honest tone with sobering narratives from slaves themselves in order to highlight the unlawful and immoral nature of slavery in the United States.

Illustration of Jamie and Jeannie from A new flower for children.
Illustration of Jamie and Jeannie from A new flower for children (1856)

Child's juvenile materials offer readers whimsical tales of intrepid world travelers and precocious princesses along with lyrical poems about flora and fauna.

All of our Lydia Maria Child items can be requested through Mirlyn.  Please join us in the Special Collections Reading Room on the 8th floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library!