Olive E. Dana

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Olive E. Dana
Born(1859-12-24)December 24, 1859
Augusta, Maine, U.S.
Occupationauthor
LanguageEnglish
NationalityU.S.
Alma materAugusta, Maine High School
Genreshort-stories, essays, poetry, sketches, juvenile literature
Notable worksUnder Friendly Eaves, "The Magi", "The Laggard Land"
RelativesDana family, Thomas Savage

Olive E. Dana (December 24, 1859 - ?) was an American author of short-stories, essays, poetry, and sketches. In her literary work, Dana showed her New England heritage. She was born in Augusta, Maine, in 1859, where she always resided. After high school graduation in 1877, she began to write for the press. Except when incapacitated by illness, she was a constant contributor thereafter, both in prose and verse, to many of the literary and religious publications, having published some 300 articles since her literary career began. Her work included articles on home topics and reviews, biographical sketches and short stories. She was a frequent contributor to the columns of the Journal of Education, the Cottage Hearth, Good Housekeeping, Portland Transcript, and Illustrated Christian Weekly.[1] "The Magi", is illustrative of her best poetic ability.[2]

Early years and education[edit]

Olive E. Dana was born in Augusta, Maine, December 24, 1859. Her parents were James Wolcott Dana and Sarah W. Savage.[3] She was a direct descendant of Richard Dana, whose name appears upon the records of Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1640, and who was the founder of a family which contributed in a marked degree to the social, literary, and political advancement of the United States. Patriots, soldiers, preachers, editors, authors, scientists, college presidents and professors bear the name of Dana. The immigrant Dana was of English birth, but it is believed that there was some French ancestry in his family, and this may have given to the Danas some of the characteristics noted in the work of many authors who are French-English. This family also inherited an intellectual brilliance which made them a recognized power in U.S. civic and literary history.[3]

Her great-grandfather, Phineas Dana, a descendant of Joseph Dana, the second son of the original Richard, settled in Oxford, Massachusetts. He married Mehitabel Wolcott, of that town, daughter of Josiah Wolcott and his wife Isabella, daughter of the Rev. John Campbell. This eminent divine, who for 40 years served as pastor of the church at Oxford, Massachusetts, was a native of Scotland and a graduate of Edinburgh University. An early ancestor of Dana's on the maternal side was Major Thomas Savage, who came from England to Boston in 1633. Of this New England line was James Savage, one of the earliest and most prominent settlers of Augusta, Maine. His wife was Eliza Bickford, of Alton, New Hampshire. Sarah W. Savage, the daughter of James and Eliza Bickford Savage, married James Wolcott Dana, and became the mother of Olive E. Dana.[3]

Dana graduated from the Augusta, Maine High School in 1877.[1]

Career[edit]

Under Friendly Eaves

Dana's first published article appeared in 1877. Her short stories were compiled in the volume, Under Friendly Eaves. Many of her stories were for children and young people. In addition to her abilities as a story-teller, Dana possessed the poet's instinct for interpretation. Her published verses included "The Summons", "Explanation," "For Light," "Shakespeare's Day," and "It Always Comes". They disclosed insight into nature and humanity, and were widely copied. Dana also contributed to the Journal of Education, and other similar publications.[3]

Dana exerted a wide influence in her large circle of friends and among her readers. During the period of 1884-1904, while constantly contributing to the press, she was also interested and active in church, philanthropic and educational movements of the day. She was one of the founders of the Current Events Club of Augusta, serving as president for two years. She was also a member of the Unity Club, and one of her most noted poems, "The Laggard Land", was written for a banquet held at this literary society.[3]

Selected works[edit]

  • James T. Fields, 1816-1881., 1887
  • Columbus : birthday exercise, 1891
  • Thanksgiving Day, 1892
  • ALFRED TENNYSON. A Memorial Exercise, 1892
  • JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER, 1892
  • AUTUMN'S PROMISE, 1892
  • FLOWER-FAITH, 1893
  • A ROLL-CALL OF HEROES, 1893
  • THANKFULNESS, 1893
  • SOME APRIL BIRTHDAYS, 1893
  • LOVE'S ERRAND, 1893
  • MEMORABLE MAY DAYS, 1893
  • OCTOBER BIRTHDAYS, 1893
  • SOME SEPTEMBER DAYS, 1893
  • MIDWINTER BIRTHDAYS, 1893
  • NEW ENGLAND'S STORY, 1893
  • THE CHRISTMAS HOPE, 1894
  • THE SILENT SPEECH, 1894
  • NEW YEAR'S VOICES, 1894
  • FEBRUARY BIRTHDAYS, 1894
  • Under friendly eaves, 1894
  • DECORATION DAY, 1895
  • A SONG FOR SEPTEMBER, 1895
  • THE WAY OF HARVEST, 1895
  • PORTLAND AND ITS ASSOCIATIONS, 1895
  • VACATION CLUBS, 1895
  • A BELIEVER IN THE IDEAL, 1895
  • THE CHRIST-CHILD'S GIFTS, 1895
  • THE FIRST DAY, 1896
  • ABRAHAM LINCOLN. An Original Exercise for the Schoolroom, 1896
  • THE REAPERS, 1896
  • ARBOR DAY, 1896
  • HER MEANING, 1896
  • Abraham Lincoln -- the man and his work : a programme for the twelfth of February, 1897
  • WASHINGTON AND HIS FRIENDS, 1898
  • AN AFTERNOON WITH THE OLD MASTERS, 1898
  • SHAKESPEARE'S DAY.—APRIL 23, 1898
  • SONGS OF THANKSGIVING, 1899
  • CHRISTMAS JOYS.—AN EXERCISE, 1899
  • PLANTING THE TREES, 1899
  • OUR CONSTITUTION: ITS MAKERS AND ITS MAKING, 1907

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Griffith 1888, p. 826-27.
  2. ^ Kingsbury & Deyo 1892, p. 258.
  3. ^ a b c d e Howe & Graves 1904, p. 278-.

Bibliography[edit]

  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Griffith, George Bancroft (1888). The Poets of Maine: A Collection of Specimen Poems from Over Four Hundred Verse-makers of the Pine-tree State (Public domain ed.). Elwell, Pickard & Company.
  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Howe, Julia Ward; Graves, Mary Hannah (1904). Representative Women of New England (Public domain ed.). New England Historical Publishing Company.
  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Kingsbury, Henry D.; Deyo, Simeon L. (1892). Illustrated History of Kennebec County, Maine; 1625–1799-1892 (Public domain ed.). H.W. Blake & Company.

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