Channing, Grace Ellery, 1862-1937

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1862
Death 1937

Biographical notes:

Grace Ellery Channing was an author; lifelong friend of feminist intellectual, Charlotte Perkins Gilman; and second wife of Gilman's husband, Charles Walter Stetson, a painter.

From the description of Letters, 1912. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 122656781

Author; granddaughter of William Ellery Channing, the founder of the American Unitarian Church; lifelong friend of feminist intellectual, Charlotte Perkins Gilman; and second wife of Gilman's first husband, Charles Walter Stetson, a painter. Grace Ellery Channing Stetson helped raise the daughter of Charlotte and Walter Stetson, Katharine Beecher Stetson Chamberlin. Stetson, a popular writer in her lifetime, was a war correspondent in Italy during WWI, and a political conservatve.

From the description of Papers, 1806-1973 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 122407614

Author; granddaughter of William Ellery Channing, the founder of the American Unitarian Church; lifelong friend of feminist intellectual, Charlotte Perkins Gilman; and second wife of Gilman's first husband, Charles Walter Stetson, a painter. Grace Ellery Channing Stetson helped raise the daughter of Charlotte and Walter Stetson, Katharine Beecher Stetson Chamberlin. Stetson, a popular writer in her lifetime, was a war correspondent in Italy during World War I, and a political conservative.

From the description of Additional papers of Grace Ellery Channing, 1884-1976 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 558914070

Grace Ellery Channing Stetson (Channing Stetson) was a writer-an essayist, poet, and World War I war correspondent. Her articles, stories, and poetry appeared in "Land of Sunshine" (later "Out West"), "Harper's," "The Atlantic Monthly," and "The Saturday Evening Post." Collections of her short stories were published under the titles "The Sister of a Saint," and "Other Stories" (1895) and "The Fortune of a Day" (1900); a collection of her poetry was published under the title "Sea Drift" (1899). Her work reflected support for late nineteenth and early twentieth century conservative political ideologies and traditional social values. Channing Stetson's youth was spent in Rhode Island. She was born to William Francis Channing and Mary Channing nee Farr on December 27, 1862 in Providence, Rhode Island. Channing Stetons's paternal grandfather William Ellery Channing was the founder of the American Unitarian Church. Her father was an inventor. Channing Stetson had two siblings: Mary Charming Wood (who had two children, Dorothy and Ellery) and Harold Channing. Channing Stetson received a private school education, graduating from the Normal Class for Kindergarten in 1882. After graduation, she taught at the free kindergarten in Providence. In 1885, she became ill, presumably with tuberculosis, and moved with her family to Pasadena, California.

Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman (Gilman), wife of artist Charles Walter Stetson, and her daughter Katharine visited the Channings in Pasadena in 1885 during Gilman's separation from her husband. Gilman was a leader in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century women's movement. After Gilman's divorce, Channing Stetson and Charles Walter Stetson were married in 1894. Gilman and Channing Stetson were life long friends and collaborators on several plays. Katharine Stetson Chamberlin, daughter of Gilman and Charles Watler Stetson, lived with Grace and Charles Stetson from the age of nine. Katharine maintained close ties with Channing Stetson throughout her lifetime. Channing Stetson traveled extensively in Europe-in Italy and Germany from 1890 to 1893, and in England, Italy, and Germany from 1897 to 1898. After residing in Boston from about 1898, Channing Stetson and Charles Walter Stetson lived in Rome from about 1902 until 1911. Charles Walter Stetson died on July 20, 1911, and Channing Stetson returned to the United States in 1912. In 1916, Channing Stetson was a war correspondent in France and on the Italian front. She lived in New York from 1918 until 1937, dying on April 3, 1937.

From the description of Grace Ellery Channing Stetson Collection,1862-1937, (bulk date 1899-1935) [manuscript materials] : at the Autry National Center. (Autry National Center). WorldCat record id: 428982547

Author Grace Ellery Channing (also known as Grace Ellery Channing Stetson), was born on December 27, 1862, in Providence, Rhode Island, the daughter of William Francis Channing and Mary (Tarr) Channing. Her grandfather was William Ellery Channing, the founder of the American Unitarian Church, and her father was an inventor who patented a portable electro-magnetic telegraph, an electric fire alarm, a ship railway, and other inventions. She had a sister, Mary (Channing) Wood (1860-1934), and a brother, Harold Channing (1869-1946). She was educated in private schools and taught in the free kindergarten on Fountain Street in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1885, Channing became ill with what was suspected to be tuberculosis, and moved with her family to Pasadena, California.

Channing began her career as a writer by editing her grandfather's memoirs, Dr. Channing's Notebook (1887). Her earliest essays were published in the periodical Land of Sunshine (later Outwest ). Following a visit to Italy from 1890 to 1893, Channing wrote articles including, "What lessons Rome can teach us" and "Florence of the English poets," which described Italy for the American audience. Many of her stories appeared in Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Saturday Evening Post . She published two collections of short stories, The Sister of a Saint (1895) and The Fortune of a Day (1900), as well as a collection of poems, Sea Drift, (1899).

Channing was a close friend of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and wrote and produced several successful plays with her. In June 1894, Channing married Gilman's ex-husband, Charles Walter Stetson, a painter, and together the couple raised Stetson and Gilman's daughter, Katharine Beecher Stetson Chamberlin. The family lived in Pasadena, California, and Boston, Massachusetts, before moving to Rome, Italy, in 1902. Stetson died on July 20, 1911, on the eve of his return to the United States for a major exhibition, from complications after intestinal surgery. Channing returned to the United States in 1912 and organized an extended touring exhibition of Stetson's paintings that was shown in Boston, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and Toledo, Ohio.

In 1916, Channing was accredited as a war correspondent and traveled to France and the Italian front. From 1918 to 1937 she lived in New York, and became increasingly concerned about debts, low income, and her poor health. She died on April 3, l937.

From the guide to the Additional papers of Grace Ellery Channing, 1884-1976, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

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Subjects:

  • Unitarianism
  • New Englanders--Family relationships
  • Lodging-houses--History--19th century
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Painters, American
  • Painters
  • Artists
  • Women authors
  • Inventors
  • Poetry
  • Authors
  • American literature--20th century
  • Family records
  • World War, 1914-1918--Journalists
  • Authors and publishers
  • American

Occupations:

  • Authors
  • Artists

Places:

  • Italy (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • Italy (as recorded)
  • Rhode Island (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • California (as recorded)
  • New England (as recorded)
  • Providence (R.I.) (as recorded)