Anna Elizabeth Dickinson - Encyclopedia




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DICKINSON, ANNA ELIZABETH (1842-), American author and lecturer, was born, of Quaker parentage, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the 28th of October 1842. She was educated at the Friends' Free School in Philadelphia, and was for a time a teacher. In 1861 she obtained a clerkship in the United States mint, but was removed for criticizing General McClellan at a public meeting. She had gradually become widely known as an eloquent and persuasive public speaker, one of the first of her sex to mount the platform to discuss the burning questions of the hour. Before the Civil War she lectured on anti-slavery topics, during the war she toured the countryon behalf of the Sanitary Commission, and also lectured on reconstruction, temperance and woman's rights. She wrote several plays, including The Crown of Thorns (1876); Mary Tudor (1878), in which she appeared in the title role; Aurelian (1878); and An American Girl (1880), successfully acted by Fanny Davenport. She also published a novel, Which Answer? (1868); A Paying Investment, a Plea for Education (1876); and A Ragged Register of People, Places and Opinions (1879).

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