Harriet Mabel Spalding

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Harriet Mabel Spalding
"A woman of the century"
"A woman of the century"
BornJanuary 10, 1862
Gloversville, New York, U.S.
DiedAugust 14, 1935(1935-08-14) (aged 73)
Schenectady, New York, U.S.
Resting placeAlbany Rural Cemetery, Menands, New York, U.S.
Occupationpoet, litterateur
Alma materAlbany Female Academy

Harriet Mabel Spalding (January 10, 1862 – August 14, 1935) was an American litterateur and poet.[1] She became well known in the highest circles of art and literature in Albany, New York, Chicago, and New York City.[2]

Early years and education[edit]

Harriet Mabel Spalding was born in Gloversville, New York, January 10, 1862. She was the daughter of Rev. N. G. Spalding, a prominent clergyman in the Troy conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Her parents possessed literary talents. Her father was a graduate of Union College, and a brilliant orator. Her mother, Harriet Dorr, was a graduate of Mrs. Willard's Troy Seminary, and an artist of merit.[3] Harriet had there siblings: Dorr Spalding, Dr. Warren Clyde Spalding, and Nathaniel Bull Spalding.[2]

Harriet inherited the talents of both parents. In 1868, the family removed to Schodack Landing, New York. Harriet was carefully and liberally educated.[3] In 1877, she was graduated in the Albany Female Academy, where she won six gold medals offered by the alumni in various branches of composition.[4]


She began to write verses at the age of nine years. She wrote much and her work was widely copied.[4] Spalding was the author of a volume of poems.[1]

She died August 14, 1935, in Schenectady, New York, and was buried at Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, New York.

Style and themes[edit]

Her sonnets have been characterized by a critic as among the finest in the English language. A singular charm pervades all her verse. Its art was always sure, her methods of composition being invariably conscientious and painstaking, while its spirit –whether dealing with pathos or passion– is of rare grace and beauty. One sonnet in particular, "The Singers", fairly takes one's breath away with its pity and power.


  1. ^ a b Herringshaw 1914, p. 875.
  2. ^ a b Raymond 1907, p. 129.
  3. ^ a b Willard & Livermore 1893, p. 671.
  4. ^ a b Willard & Livermore 1893, p. 672.


  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herringshaw (1914). Herringshaw's American Blue-book of Biography: Prominent Americans of ... (Public domain ed.). American Publishers' Association.
  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Raymond, Andrew Van Vranken (1907). Union University: Its History, Influence, Characteristics and Equipment, with the Lives and Works of Its Founders, Benefactors, Officers, Regents, Faculty, and the Achievements of Its Alumni. Union College, Albany Medical College, Albany Law School, Dudley Observatory, Albany College of Pharmacy (Public domain ed.). Lewis Publishing Company.
  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Willard, Frances Elizabeth; Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice (1893). A Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-seventy Biographical Sketches Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Women in All Walks of Life (Public domain ed.). Moulton.

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