Botta, Anne C. Lynch (Anne Charlotte Lynch), 1815-1891

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Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta (November 11, 1815 – March 23, 1891) was an American poet, writer, teacher and socialite whose home was the central gathering place of the literary elite of her era.

She was born Anne Charlotte Lynch in Bennington, Vermont. Her father was Patrick Lynch (died 1819), of Dublin, Ireland, who took part in the United Irishmen Rebellion of 1798. For this, he was imprisoned and then banished from Ireland. He came to the United States at the age of 18, eventually making his way to Bennington where he set up a dry-goods business, and where he met his future wife, Charlotte Gray (1789-1873), daughter of Revolutionary War veteran Lt. Col. Ebenezer Gray (1743-1795). Patrick Lynch and Charlotte Gray married in 1812. Along with their daughter Anne, they had a son, Thomas Rawson Lynch (1813-1845). Lynch's father died in 1819, shipwrecked off the coast of Puerto Principe, in the West Indies. After the death of her father, the family moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where Anne and her brother were sent to the best schools. When she was sixteen she was sent to the Albany Female Academy, where she graduated with high honors in 1834 and stayed there as a teacher for a few years.

She moved to Providence, Rhode Island with her mother in 1838, where she continued to teach. In 1841, she compiled and edited "The Rhode Island Book", a collection of poems and verse from the best regional writers of the time, including two poems of her own. She also began to invite these writers to her home for her evening receptions. It was said in 1843, that "the very best literary society of Providence could be found in the parlor of Miss Lynch".

In 1845, Lynch met the famed actress Fanny Kemble, who became very attached to her and introduced her to a wider circle of literary friends". In the same year she moved to Manhattan with her mother. She began teaching English composition at the Brooklyn Academy for Young Ladies; she continued her writing and was published in periodicals such as the New-York Mirror, The Gift, the Diadem, Home Journal, and the Democratic Review. In New York, she also continued her literary receptions which she held every Saturday evening. It was at one of these receptions that she introduced the unknown Edgar Allan Poe to the literary society of New York. In 1848, her book "Poems" by Anne C. Lynch, was published by George P. Putnam. Edgar Allan Poe said of her: "She is chivalric, self-sacrificing, equal to any fate, capable even of martyrdom, in whatever should seem to her a holy cause. She has a hobby, and this is, the idea of duty."

Anne Lynch lived in Washington DC from 1850 to 1853, while serving as the personal secretary to Senator Henry Clay.

Lynch traveled to Europe in 1853, where she met Vincenzo Botta, an Italian professor of philosophy in Turin. They married in 1855. Mrs. Botta told an intimate friend of her marriage, "it satisfied her judgement, pleased her fancy, and, above all, filled her heart".

For many years she was a well-known and popular leader in society. She hosted intellectual gatherings at her home on West 37th Street. Unlike other salons, which had more to do with seeing and being seen by the high society of New York, her receptions provided a creative space in which artists could meet and collaborate. It was said of her salons that no one was either neglected or treated like a celebrity, and every one went away feeling stimulated, refreshed, and happy. At Mrs. Botta's receptions every Saturday night, attendees would find the most well-known writers, actors and artists, such as Poe, Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Amos Bronson Alcott, Louisa May Alcott, Horace Greeley, Richard Henry Stoddard, Andrew Carnegie, Mary Mapes Dodge, Julia Ward Howe, Charles Butler, Fitz-Greene Halleck, Delia Bacon, Grace Greenwood, Bayard Taylor, William Cullen Bryant, Helen Hunt Jackson, actress Fanny Kemble, Daniel Webster, and many more. Her friend Kate Sanborn started her literary lecturing career at these receptions. Said a Boston writer: "It was not so much what Mrs. Botta did for literature with her own pen, as what she helped others to do, that will make her name a part of the literary history of the country."

In 1860, Mrs. Botta published the Handbook of Universal Literature, which contained concise accounts of authors and their work. She wrote: "This work was begun many years ago, as a literary exercise, to meet the personal requirements of the writer." This book was used as a text book in many educational institutions.

She was also a sculptor of portrait busts. Her sculpture of Charles Butler, done in marble, was donated to New York University. She said: "Beauty in art, in my opinion, does not consist in simply copying nature, but in retaining the true features of the subject, and breathing on them a breath of spiritual life, which should bring them up to their ideal form."

Anne Charlotte Botta died of pneumonia at age 75. She is buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery in New York.

Mrs. Botta refused to write an autobiography, so after her death, her husband collected correspondence, poems, and biographical information and had a book published, in 1893, called the Memoirs of Anne C. L. Botta: Written by Her Friends. A quote by her friend, Mrs. L Runkle: "Life was the material with which she wrought." One of her noteworthy legacies is a quinquennial prize of $1,000 she founded at the Académie Française for the best essay on "The Condition of Woman." She also promoted the establishment of Barnard College.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Botta, Anne C. Lynch (Anne Charlotte Lynch), 1815-1891. Letter to Mr. Champlin, Dec. 12 or 13, 1885 and holograph poems : Great men and Dreams and Byron and the Mediterranean. University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
creatorOf Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910. Letter to Mme. Botta. Boston, MA. 1865 Mar. 3. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Arnold, Isaac Newton, 1815-1894. Letter, 1882, January 31, Chicago, to Mrs. Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta, Providence, Rhode Island. Brown University Archives, John Hay Library
referencedIn Century Company records, 1870-1924 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Botta, Anne Charlotte (Lynch), 1815-1891. Autograph letter signed : [New York], to Edgar Allan Poe, [1845] Jul. 17. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Botta, Anne C. Lynch (Anne Charlotte Lynch), 1815-1891. In the library, 1886. University of Michigan
creatorOf Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879,. Petition signed by 83 American authors to the Committee on Ways and Means, January 17th, 1866. Brown University Archives, John Hay Library
referencedIn Nathaniel Parker Willis Collection, 1835-1863 University of Virginia. Library. Special Collections Dept.
referencedIn Autograph File, F, 1447-1994. Houghton Library
creatorOf Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910. Papers of Julia Ward Howe, 1858-1908. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Sarah Helen Whitman papers, Whitman (Sarah Helen) papers, 1816-1878, 1816-1878 Brown University Library, Special Collections
creatorOf Bishop, Elizabeth, 1911-1979. Women authors collection, Bi-Bo, 1807-1969. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Joseph Halle Schaffner autograph collection, 1683-1948. Houghton Library
creatorOf Alden, Timothy, 1736-1828. American and English literary and historical papers collected by Atcheson L. Hench [manuscript] 1753-1952. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Fanny, Aunt, 1822-1894. Frances Barrow letters, 1864-1876. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Fanny, Aunt, 1822-1894. Correspondence with Mr. Seaver, Jan. 8, 1859, Miss Booth, Mrs. Botta, 3 East 34th St., Dec. 19, 1870, and Mr. Prime, 173 E. 13th St. / Fanny Barrow. University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
creatorOf Botta, Anne C. Lynch (Anne Charlotte Lynch), 1815-1891. Sonnet [manuscript], 1850 August. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882. Letters to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1761-1904 (bulk 1820-1888) Houghton Library
creatorOf Willis, Nathaniel Parker, 1806-1867. Papers of Nathaniel Parker Willis, 1835-1866. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta letters and miscellany, 1879 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882. Ralph Waldo Emerson collection, 1793-1937. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Stedman, Edmund Clarence, 1833-1908,. Poets of America collection, 1800-1908. University of Michigan
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company contracts, 1831-1979 (inclusive) 1880-1940 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Botta, Anne C. Lynch (Anne Charlotte Lynch), 1815-1891. Papers, 1835-1894. Brown University Archives, John Hay Library
creatorOf Halleck, Fitz-Greene, 1790-1867. Papers of Fitz-Greene Halleck, 1803-1948 (bulk 1814-1867). University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Dean, Amos, 1803-1868. Notebooks : manuscript, 1830-1835, 1857, and undated. Houghton Library
referencedIn Sylvester Manor Archive, 1649-1996 Fales Library & Special Collections
referencedIn Ralph Waldo Emerson letters from various correspondents, ca. 1814-1882. Houghton Library
referencedIn Botta, Vincenzo. Letter to A.H. Ioline, 1892 June 12. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Botta, Vincenzo. Letters and a portrait, 1866. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Sylvester Manor Archive, 1649-1996 Fales Library & Special Collections
referencedIn Booth, Edwin, 1833-1893,. Autograph letters signed from Edwin Booth to various recipients [manuscript], 1858-1893. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Elizabeth Oakes Smith Collection, 1843-1883 University of Virginia. Library. Special Collections Dept.
creatorOf Botta, Anne C. Lynch (Anne Charlotte Lynch), 1815-1891. Letter to W. E. Ambler. New York, NY. 1890 Feb. 19. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Harris, Caleb Fiske, 1818-1881. Papers, 1867-1881. Brown University Archives, John Hay Library
creatorOf Botta, Anne C. Lynch (Anne Charlotte Lynch), 1815-1891. Letters of Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta [manuscript] 1867-70. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Rosenstock autograph collection, 1800-1950 L. Tom Perry Special Collections20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
referencedIn Willis, Nathaniel Parker, 1806-1867. Letter to Vincenzo Botta, 1863 July 4. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Agassiz, Alexander, 1835-1910,. American and English literary and historical papers collected by Atcheson L. Hench [manuscript] 1300-1926. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Prentice, George D. (George Denison), 1802-1870. George D. Prentice : miscellaneous papers, 1849-1868. The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence and records, 1832-1944. Houghton Library
creatorOf Thomas, Edith Matilda, 1854-1925. Papers of Edith Matilda Thomas, 1881-1925. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Whitman, Sarah Helen, 1803-1878. Papers of Sarah Helen Whitman [manuscript], 1872, n.d. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Thomas, Edith Matilda, 1854-1925. Correspondence with Miss Dyer, Nov. 27, Executive Council Author's Club, Jan. 23, West New Brighton, N.Y., Mr. Stoddard, Jan. 12, 1885, Geneva, Ohio, William J. Bolt, Geneva, Ohio, March 3, 1887, Mr Baldwin, Geneva, Ohio, Oct. 9, 1885, and Mrs. Botta, Geneva, Ohio, July 5, 1884, and 3 poems, "The Oread," "Three autographs," and "The rainbow" / Edith M. Thomas. University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
referencedIn Alcott, Louisa May, 1832-1888. Papers, 1862-1888. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Autograph File, B, ca.1500-1976. Houghton Library
creatorOf Botta, Anne C. Lynch (Anne Charlotte Lynch), 1815-1891. Anne Lynch Botta letters and poems, 1868, n.d. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Botta, Anne C. Lynch (Anne Charlotte Lynch), 1815-1891. Letter to Edgar Allan Poe. : [s.l.] [1845] July 17. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Smith, Elizabeth Oakes Prince, 1806-1893. Papers of Elizabeth Oakes Prince Smith, 1843-1883. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Rogers Memorial Collection: Papers of James R. Osgood and A. V. S. Anthony, 1853-1912. Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Hutchinson, Eleanor Jones. Lady in a Circle; Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta : biography, [1960-1967]. Brown University Archives, John Hay Library
creatorOf Greenwood, Grace, 1823-1904. Papers of Grace Greenwood, 1844-1903. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Barnard, Henry, 1811-1900. Autograph letter signed : Hartford, to Anne C. Lynch Botta, 1860 Oct. 13. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849. Correspondence in the Griswold Collection, Boston Public Library [manuscript] 1829-1849. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Lippincott, Sara Clarke, 1823-1904. Sara Clarke Lippincott/Grace Greenwood Collection, 1844-1903 University of Virginia. Library. Special Collections Dept.
creatorOf Botta, Anne C. Lynch (Anne Charlotte Lynch), 1815-1891. Anne Lynch Botta correspondence, 1835-1855. New-York Historical Society Library
referencedIn Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872. Horace Greeley collection, 1840-1872. New-York Historical Society Library
creatorOf Laurence, Samuel, 1812-1884. Letter to Mrs Botta. [s.l.]. 1865 Oct. 9. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Botta, Anne C. Lynch (Anne Charlotte Lynch), 1815-1891. Ode for the fourth of July [manuscript], 1840. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Hay, John, 1838-1905. Autograph letter signed : New York, to Mrs. [Anne Charlotte Lynch] Botta, 1873 July 31. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882. Letter to Mrs. [Vincenzo] Botta. Concord. 1873 Aug. 9. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910. ALS : Oak Elm, [Boston?], to Mrs. [Anne C.] Botta, July 27. Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square
creatorOf Botta, Anne C. Lynch (Anne Charlotte Lynch), 1815-1891. Letter to My dear friend. New York, NY. 1862 Oct. 27. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Nathaniel Parker Willis Collection, 1863 Jul 4 University of Virginia. Library. Special Collections Dept.
creatorOf North, Marianne, 1830-1890. Autograph letter signed : Kingston, Jamaica, to Mrs. Botta, [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company contracts, 1831-1979 (inclusive) 1880-1940 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Giles, Henry, 1809-1882,. Autograph letters signed from Henry Giles to various people [manuscript], [1841?]-1863. Folger Shakespeare Library
referencedIn Alcott family additional papers, 1707-1904 (inclusive), 1821-1888 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Bloor, A. J. (Alfred Janson), 1828-1917. Papers, [ca. 1848-1916]. Churchill County Museum
Relation Name
associatedWith Alcott family (Louisa May Alcott, 1832-1888) family
associatedWith Alcott, Louisa May, 1832-1888 person
associatedWith Allibone, S. Austin (Samuel Austin), 1816-1889. person
associatedWith Ambler, W. E., person
associatedWith Arnold, Isaac Newton, 1815-1894. person
associatedWith Aylesworth, Barton O. (Barton Orville), 1860-1933 person
associatedWith Barnard, Henry, 1811-1900. person
associatedWith Bigelow, John, 1817-1911. person
associatedWith Bloor, A. J. (Alfred Janson), 1828-1917. person
correspondedWith Booth, Edwin, 1833-1893, person
associatedWith Booth, Mary L. (Mary Louise), 1831-1889, person
spouseOf Botta, Vincenzo. person
correspondedWith Century Company corporateBody
associatedWith Dean, Amos, 1803-1868. person
correspondedWith Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 person
associatedWith Dodge, Mary Mapes, 1830-1905. person
associatedWith Elton, Romeo, 1790-1870. person
associatedWith Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882. person
associatedWith Fanny, Aunt, 1822-1894. person
correspondedWith Fiske, Andrew, 1912-1992 person
correspondedWith Gardiner, Samuel Smith, 1789-1859 person
correspondedWith Giles, Henry, 1809-1882, person
associatedWith Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872. person
associatedWith Greene, Albert G. (Albert Gorton), 1802-1868. person
associatedWith Greenwood, Grace, 1823-1904 person
associatedWith Halleck, Fitz-Greene, 1790-1867. person
associatedWith Harris, Caleb Fiske, 1818-1881. person
associatedWith Hay, John, 1838-1905. person
correspondedWith Horsford, Eben Norton, 1818-1893 person
associatedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910. person
associatedWith Hutchinson, Eleanor Jones. person
associatedWith Laurence, Samuel, 1812-1884. person
correspondedWith L'Hommedieu, Ezra, 1734-1811 person
correspondedWith Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882 person
associatedWith Lynch, Anne Charlotte. person
associatedWith Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, 1898-1968, person
associatedWith North, Marianne, 1830-1890. person
associatedWith Platt, Anna. person
associatedWith Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849, person
associatedWith Pope, Dr., person
associatedWith Prentice, George D. (George Denison), 1802-1870. person
associatedWith Rogers, Henry Munroe, 1839-1937 person
associatedWith Rosenstock, Fred A., b. 1895 person
associatedWith Schaffner, Joseph Halle, 1897-1972 person
associatedWith Sedgwick, Theodore, 1811-1859. person
associatedWith Sherwood, Lizzie. person
associatedWith Smith, Elizabeth Oakes Prince, 1806-1893. person
associatedWith Stedman, Edmund Clarence, 1833-1908, person
associatedWith Stoddard, Richard Henry, 1825-1903. person
correspondedWith Sylvester, Nathaniel, 1610-1680 person
associatedWith Thomas, Edith Matilda, 1854-1925. person
associatedWith University of Wisconsin--Madison. Libraries. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections. corporateBody
associatedWith Wallace, Lew, 1827-1905 person
associatedWith Whitman, Sarah Helen, 1803-1878 person
correspondedWith Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892 person
associatedWith Willis, Nathaniel Parker, 1806-1867. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Bennington VT US
Hartford CT US
New York City NY US
Providence RI US
Washington, D. C. DC US
Subject
American literature--Women authors
Women authors, American - 19th century--Correspondence
Occupation
Writer
Teacher
Poet
Socialites
Private secretaries
Activity

Person

Birth 1815-11-11

Death 1891-03-23

Female

Americans

English

Information

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