Margaret Junkin Preston

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Margaret Junkin Preston
Margaret Junkin Preston
Born Margaret Junkin
(1820-05-19)May 19, 1820
Milton, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died March 28, 1897(1897-03-28) (aged 76)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Resting place Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia
Residence Lexington, Virginia
Occupation Poet, author
Spouse(s) John Thomas Lewis Preston (1857-1890; his death)
Children 2
Parent(s) George Junkin
Julia Rush (Miller) Junkin
Relatives Elinor Jackson (sister)

Margaret Junkin Preston (May 19, 1820 – March 28, 1897)[1] was an American poet and author.[2]


She was born in Milton, Pennsylvania, in 1820.[3][4] Her father was George Junkin, a Presbyterian minister and college president.[2][3][4][5][6] She learned Latin and Ancient Greek at the age of twelve.[3] She married Major John Thomas Lewis Preston in 1857,[7] a professor of Latin at Virginia Military Institute.[2][3][4][5][6] Her sister, Elinor (Ellie), had in 1853 married Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, a colleague of Preston's at VMI.[8] Major Preston served on the staff of Stonewall Jackson during the Civil War.[9]

She wrote many volumes of prose and poetry, and published some of her writing in the Southern Literary Messenger and Graham's Magazine.[10] She also published a few articles in Harper's Magazine.[11]Preston's 1856 novel Silverwood is a subtle exploration of the clash between traditional values of honor and family and the new market economy that was sweeping through the United States and the Shenandoah Valley.[12] She is remembered for espousing the Confederacy in her poems,[6] and she was known informally as the Poet Laureate of the Confederacy.[13]

She became blind in the late 1880s, and died in Baltimore in 1897.[3][5]


  • Silverwood, a Book of Memories (1856) at Internet Archive
  • Beechenbrook: A Rhyme of War (1865)
  • Old Song and New (1870)
  • Cartoons (1875)
  • Centennial Poem for Washington and Lee University: Lexington, Virginia, 1775-1885 (1885)
  • A Handful of Monographs: Continental and English (1886)
  • For Love's Sake: Poems of Faith and Comfort (1886)
  • Colonial Ballads, Sonnets and Other Verse (1887)
  • Semi-Centennial Ode for the Virginia Military Institute: Lexington, Virginia, 1839-1889 (1889)
  • Aunt Dorothy: An Old Virginia Plantation Story (1890)


  1. ^ "Pr - New General Catalog of Old Books & Authors". Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Margaret Junkin Preston Papers, 1812-1892, 1938, 1997". Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Southern Writers: A Biographical Dictionary (Southern Literary Studies), Robert Bain (ed.), Jr. Louis D. Rubin (ed.), Joseph M. Flora (ed.), Louisiana State University Press, 1979, pp.365-366 [1]
  4. ^ a b c Southern Life in Southern Literature, Maurice Garland Fulton (ed.), Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 268 [2]
  5. ^ a b c Charles William Hubner, Representative Southern Poets, BiblioLife, 2008, p. 147 [3]
  6. ^ a b c "Margaret Junkin Preston, Poet of the Confederacy". Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  7. ^ "Margaret Junkin Preston (1820-1897) - Poetess Laureate of the South". Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "Eleanor Junkin (1825-1854) - first wife of Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson". Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  9. ^,Margaret_Junkin.html
  10. ^ "History Cooperative - A Short History of Nearly Everything!". Archived from the original on 30 June 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  11. ^ "Margaret Junkin Preston - Harper's Magazine". Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  12. ^ Alfred L. Brophy & Douglas Thie, Land, Slaves, and Bonds: Probate in the Pre-Civil War Shenandoah Valley, West Virginia Law Review 116 (2016): 345, 348-50 (beginning exploration of trust law in the Shenandoah Valley with the central conflict in Silverwood -- a trustee's stealing of the inheritance of the Irvine family).
  13. ^ Virginia is for Lovers (i.e., Virginia Tourism Corporation). "Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery". Retrieved September 17, 2017. 

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