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Brown, Phoebe Hinsdalelocked

(01 May 1783–10 August 1861)
  • Jeanne M. Malloy


Brown, Phoebe Hinsdale (01 May 1783–10 August 1861), hymnist and religious writer, was born in Canaan, New York, the daughter of George Hinsdale (profession unrecorded) and Phoebe Allen. Brown’s father died ten months after she was born, and her mother died shortly before her eighth birthday. Brown and her sister Lydia spent the year after their mother’s death in the home of their maternal grandparents in Norwich, Connecticut, where Brown’s grandmother treated her kindly and instructed her in reading and religion. During this period Brown demonstrated her piety, her aptitude for learning, and her desire for education by reading the Bible through three times. From the ages of nine to eighteen, however, Brown lived with her married sister Chloe and Chloe’s tyrannical and brutish husband William Noyes, Jr., in Claverack, New York. Brown was miserable during these years not only because William Noyes overworked her and treated her like a servant, but also because he forbade her to attend church and to read books....

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