Anna Maria Wells

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Anna Maria Wells (née Foster; ca. 1794–1868) was an Early American poet and writer for children.


Born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, her father, Benjamin Foster, died when she was an infant. Her mother, Mary Ingersoll Foster, then married Joseph Locke. She was his second wife, the first being Mary's sister, Martha. Her mother and step-father had seven children, including the poet, Frances Sargent Osgood.[1] The family moved to Boston, where Wells received her education. She loved reading and of music.

In 1829 she married Thomas Wells, a minor poet, who worked for the US revenue service.[2] They had four children. Wells contributed to several periodicals. In 1831, she appeared before the public as anthoress of “Poems and Juvenile Sketches'. The predominant characteristics of her poetry are tenderness of feeling, and simplicity and perspicuity of language.[3] Her contemporaries were Caroline Howard Gilman, Hannah Flagg Gould, Sarah Josepha Hale, Eliza Leslie, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, and Lydia Huntley Sigourney.[4]


  • This article incorporates text from a work in the public domain: S. J. B. Hale's "The Ladies' Wreath: a Selection from the Female Poetic Writers of England and America, Etc" (1837)
  1. ^ Roller, Bert (May 1933). "Early American Writers for Children: Anna Maria Wells". The Elementary English Review. 10 (5): 119–120, 134. doi:10.2307/41381589. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  2. ^ The Female Poets of America. Ardent Media. 1873. pp. 63–. GGKEY:5L03N2GB1RC. 
  3. ^ Hale, Sarah Josepha Buell (1837). The Ladies' Wreath: a Selection from the Female Poetic Writers of England and America, Etc (Public domain ed.). pp. 286–. 
  4. ^ Price, Kenneth M.; Smith, Susan Belasco (1995). Periodical Literature in Nineteenth-century America. University of Virginia Press. pp. 93–. ISBN 978-0-8139-1629-3.