Caroline Howard Gilman

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Caroline Howard Gilman, painted by John Wesley Jarvis, ca. 1820

Caroline Howard Gilman (1794–1888) was an American author.


She was born Caroline Howard in Boston, Massachusetts in 1794, the daughter of Samuel Howard. She was young when her parents died and grew up with an older sister and brothers. Despite a poor formal education, she was motivated to teach herself and was granted access to the personal library of her neighbor, Governor Elbridge Gerry.[1] Howard's first published work was a Bible-inspired poem called "Jephthah's Rash Vow", which was printed without her permission when she was 16 years old. In 1817, she allowed another of her religious poems, "Jarius's Daughter", to be printed in the prestigious North American Review.[1]

In 1819, she married Rev. Samuel Gilman, then a theological student at Harvard University who would later write the institution's alma mater, "Fair Harvard".[1] The couple moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where her husband served as a Unitarian pastor from 1819 to 1858.

In 1832, she began to edit the Rosebud, a juvenile weekly newspaper, which subsequently took the name of the Southern Rose.

Her writing career spanned 70 years and include poems, novels, and essays.[1] Among them are:

  • Recollections of a New England Housekeeper (1835) (written as Mrs. Clarissa Packard)
  • Recollections of a Southern Matron (1836)
  • Poetry of Traveling in the United States (1838)
  • Tales and Ballads (1839)
  • Ruth Raymond (1840)
  • Verses of a Life Time (1849)
  • Poems and Stories by a Mother and Daughter (1872), written with her daughter, Mrs. Jervey


  1. ^ a b c d Rumenik, Dorothy J. "Caroline Howard Gilman (1794–1888)". Writers of the American Renaissance: An A to Z Guide. Denise D. Knight, editor. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2003: 142. ISBN 0-313-32140-X


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