Dickinson, Anna E. (Anna Elizabeth), 1842-1932

Alternative names
Birth 1842-10-28
Death 1932-10-22

Biographical notes:

Civil War orator and lyceum lecturer, Anna Elizabeth Dickinson was born in Philadelphia, the youngest child of John and Mary Edmondson Dickinson. For biographical information, see Notable American Women, 1607-1900 (1971).

From the description of Letters, 1865-1882 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232007077

Anna Elizabeth Dickinson was an American orator and author. Born in Philadelphia to Quaker parents, she overcame adverse conditions in her childhood to become a highly sought-after public speaker. Although often controversial, she spoke in earnest support of the nation during the Civil War. In addition to articles, she also wrote literature and drama, even acting in some of her own plays.

From the description of Anna E. Dickinson letter to George L. Goodale, 1880 Apr. 28. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 52863620

Orator, actress, playwright

From the description of Anna E. Dickinson papers [manuscript], 1871-1897. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 427532003

Author and lecturer; spoke against slavery and for women's suffrage; sympathized with radical Republicans against Abraham Lincoln's plan for reconstruction.

From the description of Letter : Phila[delphia, Pa.,] to Charles A. Chase, 1864 Dec. 2. (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library). WorldCat record id: 29551846

Lecturer, reformer, actress, and author.

From the description of Papers, 1859-1951 microform. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 238831256

American writer, anti-slavery and woman's suffrage activist.

From the description of Letter fragment, 1872 August 7, to Elisha Bliss, Jr., American Publishing Company, Hartford, Ct. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647824450

Civil War orator and lyceum lecturer. Born in Philadelphia.

From the description of Fragment with signature : [18--]. (Brown University). WorldCat record id: 122639591

Biographical Note

  • 1842, Oct. 28: Born, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • 1859 - 1860 : Taught school
  • 1861: Delivered her first full-length lecture, Concert Hall, Philadelphia, Pa.. Employee, United States Mint, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • 1862: Spoke in New England at invitation of William Lloyd Garrison
  • 1863: Campaigned for the Republican Party in Middle Atlantic states and New England
  • 1865 - 1875 : National lyceum movement lecturer
  • 1868: Published What Answer? (Boston: Ticknor and Fields. 301pp.)
  • 1869: Traveled to California on the transcontinental railroad
  • 1872: Campaigned for Horace Greeley for president
  • 1876: Debut at New Globe Theatre, Boston, Mass.
  • 1879: Published A Ragged Register of People, Places and Opinions (New York: Harper & Brothers. 286pp.)
  • 1888: Campaigned for the Republican Party in the Midwest
  • 1891: Committed to State Hospital for the Insane, Danville, Pa.
  • 1895 - 1901 : Waged libel suits against authorities responsible for her commitment to a hospital for the insane
  • 1895 - 1932 : Lived with George and Sallie Ackley, Goshen, N.Y.
  • 1932, Oct. 22: Died, Goshen, N.Y.

From the guide to the Anna E. Dickinson Papers, 1859-1951, (bulk 1859-1911), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)


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  • Presidents--United States--Election--1888
  • Psychiatric hospitals--Pennsylvania--Danville
  • Elections--United States--1872
  • Mentally ill--Commitment and detention--United States
  • Women's rights--United States
  • Presidents--United States--Election--1872
  • Elections--United States--1888
  • American literature--Women authors
  • Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)
  • Women orators
  • Slavery--United States
  • Education--United States
  • Orators--19th century--Correspondence
  • Theater--United States
  • Antislavery movements--United States
  • Women--Suffrage--United States


  • Authors
  • Actresses
  • Reformers
  • Lecturers
  • Orators


  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)