Sarah Chauncey Woolsey

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Susan Coolidge
Susan Coolidge. 001.jpg
Born(1835-01-29)January 29, 1835
DiedApril 9, 1905(1905-04-09) (aged 70)
Pen nameSusan Coolidge

Sarah Chauncey Woolsey (January 29, 1835 – April 9, 1905) was an American children's author who wrote under the pen name Susan Coolidge.


Woolsey was born on January 29, 1835 into the wealthy, influential New England Dwight family, in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father was John Mumford Woolsey (1796–1870) and her mother Jane Andrews, and author and poet Gamel Woolsey was her niece. Her family moved to New Haven Connecticut in 1852.[1]

Woolsey worked as a nurse during the American Civil War (1861–1865), after which she started to write. She never married, and resided at her family home in Newport, Rhode Island, until her death. She edited The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mrs. Delaney (1879) and The Diary and Letters of Frances Burney (1880).

She is best known for her classic children's novel What Katy Did (1872). The fictional Carr family was modeled after her own, with Katy Carr inspired by Woolsey herself. The brothers and sisters were modeled on her four younger siblings: Jane Andrews Woolsey, born October 25, 1836, who married Reverend Henry Albert Yardley; Elizabeth Dwight Woolsey, born April 24, 1838, who married Daniel Coit Gilman and died in 1910;[2] Theodora Walton Woolsey, born September 7, 1840; and William Walton Woolsey, born July 18, 1842, who married Catherine Buckingham Convers, daughter of Charles Cleveland Convers.[1]



Short stories, poems and other publications[edit]


Articles on Susan Coolidge[edit]

1959: Susan Coolidge, the Horn Book Magazine of books and reading for children and young people. 14 pages in June 1959


  1. ^ a b Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight (1874). The history of the descendants of John Dwight, of Dedham, Mass. Vol. 1. J. F. Trow & son, printers and bookbinders. p. 288. ISBN 9781981482658.
  2. ^ "Obituary" (PDF). New York Times. January 17, 1910. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
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  7. ^ Making of America Books: Verses.: By Susan Coolidge (pseud.) at
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  9. ^ "A Short History of the City of Philadelphia (1880)". Archived from the original on 2006-10-14. Retrieved 2006-11-09.
  10. ^ Project Gutenberg Edition of Twilight Stories at
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  12. ^ NATIVE_NEWS: History: A Hundred Years Ago - Carlisle - Week 127 at
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-09-09. Retrieved 2006-11-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]