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Read, Thomas Buchanan (22 March 1822–11 May 1872), poet, painter, and sculptor, was born in Corner Ketch, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Very little is known about his parents. The death of Read’s father in about 1832 propelled the breakup of the family. Thomas was apprenticed to a tailor whose reputedly cruel treatment of the boy prompted him to run away to Philadelphia. He worked for a cigar maker and a grocer before moving, at about age fifteen, to Cincinnati, the home of a married sister. He evidently received little formal education. In Cincinnati he found employment as a sign painter and a cigar maker, and he also worked as an apprentice tombstone carver for the sculptor ...

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Whitney, Anne (02 September 1821–23 January 1915), sculptor and poet, was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, to Nathaniel Ruggles Whitney, Jr., a justice of the peace, and Sally Stone. Whitney’s parents belonged to a liberal sect of the Unitarian church. Its doctrine professed the belief that men and women were created equal. Whitney was educated as a liberal thinker, believing in the equality of the sexes and the races and deploring oppression and injustice of any kind....