Gilman, Caroline Howard, 1794-1888

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Caroline Howard Gilman (pen name, Mrs. Clarissa Packard; 1794–1888) was an American author. Her writing career spanned 70 years and include poems, novels, and essays.

She was born Caroline Howard in Boston, Massachusetts in 1794, the daughter of Samuel Howard. She was young when her parents died and grew up with an older sister and brothers.

She passed her school days at Concord, Cambridge and other towns in her native State of Massachusetts. Despite a poor formal education, she was motivated to teach herself and was granted access to the personal library of her neighbor, Governor Elbridge Gerry.

She began to write poems and stories at a very early age. Howard's first published work was a Bible-inspired poem called "Jephthah's Rash Vow", which was printed without her permission when she was 16 years old. In 1817, she allowed another of her religious poems, "On the Raising of Jairus’ Daughter", to be printed in the prestigious North American Review.

In 1819, she married Rev. Samuel Gilman, then a theological student at Harvard University who would later write the institution's alma mater, "Fair Harvard". The couple moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where her husband served as a Unitarian pastor from 1819 to 1858.

In 1832, she began to edit, at Charleston, a juvenile weekly paper, which she named The Rosebud, and which afterward took the title of The Southern Rose. She contributed to it most of the verses, tales, and novels, which were subsequently published in volumes. Aside from this, the paper contained instructions for young slaveholders, and critical reviews of abolitionist literature. Recollections of a Northern Housekeeper originally appeared in The Rosebud, in 1834; and Recollections of a Southern Matron in The Southern Rose, in 1835 and 1836. These, with Ruth Raymond, or Love’s Progress, and others of her popular works, passed through many editions, and were much admired for “their practical lessons as well as their genial simplicity and humor.” She was the author, for several years, of the Lady’s Annual Register and Almanac, and wrote also a book entitled The Poetry of Travelling in the United States. Her Verses of a Lifetime she gave to the press in 1849, and published her Oracles from the Poets in 1854, and, still later, The Sibyl, or New Oracles from the Poets, the latter “consisting of passages of verse ingeniously arranged to correspond to numbers which are to be taken at random.”

After Dr. Gilman's death in 1858, she resided for a time at Charleston, Cambridge, and subsequently at Tiverton, Long Island, Nova Scotia with her daughter, Mrs. Charles J. Bowen, and other members of the family circle.

In 1872, she and her daughter, Mrs. Caroline H. Jervey, published a small book of Stories and Poems for children, for whom Gilman, all through her life, rendered a literary service. Caroline Jervey was also the author of Poetry and Prose for the Young, 1856, as well as the stories, "Vernon Grove,” 1859, and “Hannah Courtenay,” 1866.

Gilman shared with her husband the toils and satisfactions of his long ministry at Charleston, and shared with him also the gift of song. Several of her hymns have, like his, were used during the service of praise.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers, 1828-1919 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1745-1916. Houghton Library
creatorOf Payne, John Howard, 1791-1852. Correspondence and miscellaneous items of John Howard Payne [manuscript], 1811-1896. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Gilman Family Papers, 1659-1935 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Dix, Dorothea Lynde, 1802-1887. Papers, 1798-1893 (bulk 1827-1887) Houghton Library
creatorOf Simms, William Gilmore, 1806-1870. William Gilmore Simms collection of papers, [1839]-[1869?]. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Gilman, Caroline Howard, 1794-1888. Caroline Howard Gilman papers, 1830-1934 (bulk 1853-1878). University of South Carolina, System Library Service, University Libraries
creatorOf Jewett, Sarah Orne, 1849-1909. Papers of Sarah Orne Jewett [manuscript], 1870-1908. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Gilman family. Papers, 1809-1888. American Antiquarian Society
referencedIn Gilman family. Gilman family papers, 1659-1935 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Gilman, Samuel, 1791-1858. Samuel Gilman papers, 1828-1961. University of South Carolina, System Library Service, University Libraries
creatorOf Gilman, Caroline Howard, 1794-1888. Correspondence with Miss Leslie, Jan. 17, 1835, Charleston and Dear Sir, Aug. 2, 1847, Charleston / Caroline Gilman. University of Wisconsin - Madison, General Library System
referencedIn William Gilmore Simms collection of papers, 1839]-[1869? The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Papers, 1830-1910. Houghton Library
creatorOf Gilman, Caroline Howard, 1794-1888. Letter to Samuel Colman : ALS, 1837 Apr. 26. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Gilman, Caroline Howard, 1794-1888. Letter [manuscript] : Tiverton, Rhode Island, to Mrs. Thomas P. James, 1875 April 14. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882. Letters to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1761-1904 (bulk 1820-1888) Houghton Library
referencedIn Ellet, E. F. (Elizabeth Fries), 1818-1877. Papers of E.F. Ellet, 1818-1877. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Gilman, Caroline Howard, 1794-1888. Caroline Howard Gilman papers, 1810-1880. South Carolina Historical Society
referencedIn Batchelder family papers, 1806-1902 Houghton Library
creatorOf Gilman, Caroline Howard, 1794-1888. Letters to D.H. Williams [manuscript], 1841-1849. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Letters to D. H. Williams, 1841-1849 Special Collections, University of Virginia Library
creatorOf Adams, James Truslow, 1878-1949. Barrett assorted authors collection, 1814-1947 University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Dwight, Theodore Frelinghuysen, 1846-1917. Papers II, 1734-1869, bulk: 1800-1864. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Deas, Alston, 1893-1985,. Carolina Howard Gilman papers. College of Charleston, Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library
referencedIn Loring, Ellis Gray, 1803-1858. Ellis Gray Loring Family papers, 1828-1923 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Unitarian Church (Charleston, S.C.). Unitarian Church of Charleston, S.C., records, 1819-2000. South Carolina Historical Society
referencedIn Harvard University. Autograph File, G. 1641-2009. Houghton Library
creatorOf Gilman, Caroline Howard, 1794-1888. Letter, 1835. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Batchelder family. family
associatedWith Coleman, Samuel. person
correspondedWith Dix, Dorothea Lynde, 1802-1887 person
associatedWith Dwight, Theodore Frelinghuysen, 1846-1917. person
associatedWith Ellet, E. F. (Elizabeth Fries), 1818-1877. person
associatedWith ELLIS GRAY LORING FAMILY family
associatedWith Fay, George Story. person
associatedWith Gilman family. family
associatedWith Gilman family. family
associatedWith Gilman family. family
associatedWith Gilman, Samuel, 1791-1858. person
associatedWith Hemans, Mrs., 1793-1835. person
correspondedWith Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1809-1894 person
associatedWith Howard family. family
associatedWith James, T. P. (Thomas Power), Mrs., person
associatedWith Jewett, Sarah Orne, 1849-1909. person
associatedWith Leslie, Eliza, 1787-1858. person
associatedWith Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865. person
correspondedWith Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882 person
associatedWith Loring, Ellis Gray, 1803-1858. person
associatedWith Marvin family. family
associatedWith Nayes, David, person
associatedWith Payne, John Howard, 1791-1852. person
associatedWith Rose bud. corporateBody
associatedWith Simms, William Gilmore, 1806-1870. person
associatedWith Southern rose. corporateBody
associatedWith Unitarian Church (Charleston, S.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith University of Wisconsin--Madison. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections. corporateBody
associatedWith White, Anna Marie Howard. person
associatedWith Whitney, James S., (fl. 1850) person
associatedWith Williams, D. H., person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Concord MA US
Charleston SC US
Boston MA US
Nova Scotia 7 CA
Cambridge MA US
Washington, D. C. DC US
Subject
American literature--Women authors
Periodicals--Publishing
Unitarian churches
Secession
Authors and publishers
American poetry
Women editors
Freedmen
Slaves--Emancipation
American literature
Women authors, American
Nullification (States' rights)
Occupation
Writer
Editors
Author
Activity

Person

Birth 1794-10-08

Death 1888-09-15

Female

Americans

English

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