Rose Hartwick Thorpe

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Rose Hartwick Thorpe
Rose Hartwick Thorpe from American Women, 1897.jpg
Born Rose Hartwick
July 18, 1850 – July 19, 1939
Mishawaka, Indiana, U.S.
Died August 19, 1939(1939-08-19) (aged 89)
Occupation poet, writer
Language English
Nationality U.S.
Notable works Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight
Spouse Edmund C. Thorpe

Rose Hartwick Thorpe (July 18, 1850 – July 19, 1939) was an American poet and writer, remembered largely for the narrative poem, Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight (1867), which gained national popularity. Other poems followed, among them being "The Station Agent's Story," "Red Cross," and "In a Mining Town." Although a busy and prolific author, she was ill for some years. In 1888, she and her family removed to San Diego, California, living in Rosemere, Pacific Beach.[1]

Early years[edit]

Rose Hartwick was born in Mishawaka, Indiana. Her father's family were artists.[1] In 1861, her parents removed to Hillsdale County, where she grew up, attended school, and began writing at an early age.[2]


Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight

Thorpe wrote Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight (based on a legendary incident of the time of Oliver Cromwell),[3] in April 1867,[4] while living in Litchfield, Michigan. A prose sketch, it was her first publication, and appeared in print when she was 18. In 1870, Curfew Must not Ring To-night was published by the Detroit Commercial Advertiser and was widely copied. Litchfield adopted the title of the poem as a symbol, having fire trucks and city website show the symbol of a bell reading "Curfew Shall Not Ring Tonight." A bell in the center of the town commemorates the poem and Thorpe's time spent in the town. Gaining confidence by the unexpected and highly flattering reception of that poem, she contributed others to the local press. Among these were "The Station Agent's Story," "In a Mining Town," and "Red Cross".[2] At the age of 21, she married Edmund C. Thorpe.[2]

In 1904, Thorpe wrote about the White Lady Cave in San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park in California. Visitors inside the cave could see the outline of a lady in the rock formations and local legend claimed a bride was trapped in the cave before her death. In The White Lady of La Jolla, Thorpe described: "She is robed in shimmering garments of light, wrapped in a misty veil, and on her head is a wreath like a coronet of orange blossoms."[5] Thorpe was also a successful writer of stories for the young, several of these were published in book form, and she also published a book of poems, styled "Ringing Ballads."[2]


The Year's Best Days, for Boys and Girls (Boston. 1889, Lee & Shepard) was a collection of stories in prose and in verse, for young people. "New Year's Day", "St. Valentine's Day", "April Fool's Day", "Easter Day", "Thanksgiving Day", "Birthday", "Christmas", among others, being clustered with memories of various kinds, and the associations connected with them, fill a space in children's lives, and are the subjects covered by Thorpe. She wove a series of entertaining stories for children, and included poetry and illustrations.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Thorpe was hindered for a few years by ill health.[2] She died in San Diego, July 19, 1939.

Selected works[edit]

  • 1887, Ringing ballads,: including Curfew must not ring tonight
  • 188?, The yule log : a cluster of Christmas selections from holiday times
  • 1881, Fred's dark days
  • 1886, Nina Bruce ; or, A girl's influence
  • 1887, Temperance poems
  • 1887, The Chester girls
  • 1888, The year's best days for boys and girls
  • 1896, As others see us, or, The rules and customs of refined homes and polite society ... : also complete self instruction in physical culture for both ladies and gentlemen
  • 1904, White lady of la jolla


  1. ^ a b Willard & Livermore 1893, p. 247.
  2. ^ a b c d e Moulton 1889, p. 225.
  3. ^ Ford 1893, p. 81.
  4. ^ Schaff 1885, p. 118.
  5. ^ Olten, Carol, Heather Kuhn, and the La Jolla Historical Society. Images of America: La Jolla. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2008: 12. ISBN 978-0-7385-5803-5
  6. ^ Tompkins 1889, p. 235.


External links[edit]