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Andrews, Eliza Frances (10 August 1840–21 January 1931), author and educator, was born at Haywood Plantation near Washington, Georgia, the daughter of Garnett Andrews, a judge and planter, and Annulet Ball. After attending the Ladies’ Seminary in Washington, Georgia, Andrews, often known as “Fanny,” was, in 1857, one of the first students to receive an A.B. degree at LaGrange Female College in LaGrange, Georgia....

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Barr, Amelia Edith Huddleston (29 March 1831–10 March 1919), author and teacher, was born in Ulverston, Lancashire, England, the daughter of the Reverend William Henry Huddleston and Mary Singleton. When Barr was young, her family moved often, according to her father’s assignment as a Methodist minister. Although her early education was frequently interrupted by relocations, returns on the Reverend Huddleston’s investments allowed Barr to attend the best private schools wherever the church sent the family. Furthermore, reading sophisticated books and treatises to her father reinforced her formal schooling and contributed to an excellent early education. This childhood security ended abruptly in 1847, when a family friend absconded to Australia with the Reverend Huddleston’s fortune, and Barr had to earn her own living as a “second teacher” at a school in Downham Market. Soon the family’s monetary situation improved and enabled Barr, in 1849, to attend Normal School in Glasgow to learn the Stowe teaching method, with its emphasis on moral training, lifelong learning, and understanding rather than rote learning. Marriage, in 1850, to Robert Barr, a prosperous young Scottish wool merchant, ended her teacher-training program. Nevertheless, teaching, on a formal or informal basis, was an important part of Barr’s life for the next twenty years....

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Bellamy, Elizabeth Whitfield Croom (17 April 1837–13 April 1900), author and teacher, was born near Quincy, Florida, the daughter of William Whitfield Croom, a plantation owner and merchant, and Julia Stephens. Elizabeth received her education in Philadelphia, at Pelham Priory, and in New York, at the Spingler Institute, under the direction of the Reverend ...

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Bonner, Marita Odette (16 June 1898–06 December 1971), educator and author, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Joseph Bonner, a machinist and laborer, and Mary A. Nowell. Educated in the Brookline, Massachusetts, public schools, she applied to Radcliffe College at the urging of her high school faculty adviser and was one of the few African-American students accepted for admission. She majored in English and comparative literature and founded the Radcliffe chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, a black sorority. A gifted pianist and student of musical composition, she won the Radcliffe song competition in 1918 and 1922. Bonner also studied German, a language in which she became fluent. During her last year in college she taught English at a Cambridge high school. After graduating with a B.A. in 1922, she taught at the Bluefield Colored Institute in Bluefield, Virginia, until 1924 and at Armstrong High School in Washington, D.C., from 1924 to 1930, when she married William Almy Occomy, a Brown graduate. The couple moved to Chicago, where they raised three children....

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Boyesen, Hjalmar Hjorth (23 September 1848–04 October 1895), author and educator, was born in Fredriksvaern, Norway, the son of Sarolf Boyesen, a mathematics instructor in the naval academy there, and Hanna (or Helga) Tveten Hjorth, the foster daughter of Judge Hjorth of Systrand. In 1854 Sarolf Boyesen, out of favor because he had joined the Swedenborgian church, sent his family to Judge Hjorth and entered the American army, for a period of two years. Hjalmar Boyesen loved the natural setting of Systrand, relished the servants’ folktales there, was sad when he was sent away to school, and found consolation in reading and writing. He attended Latin school at Drammen and Gymnasium at Christiania and graduated from the Royal Fredriks University in 1868—adept in several languages. He obtained family permission to go to the United States, which his father had extolled as the land of freedom and opportunity....

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Kay Boyle. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-113309).

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Boyle, Kay (19 February 1902–27 December 1992), writer, educator, and political activist, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the daughter of Howard Peterson Boyle, a lawyer, and Katherine Evans, a literary and social activist. Her grandfather had founded the West Publishing Company, and the financial security afforded by this background allowed the Boyle family to travel extensively. Boyle’s education was sporadic, culminating in two years of architecture classes at the Ohio Mechanics’ Institute (1917–1919). In 1922 Boyle joined her sister Joan in New York City, where she began to work for ...

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Mary Ellen Chase. Photograph by Eric Stahlberg. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-113308).

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Chase, Mary Ellen (24 February 1887–28 July 1973), writer and educator, was born in Blue Hill, Maine, the daughter of Edward Everett Chase, a lawyer, and Edith Lord, a teacher of Latin. Religion, education, and reading were basic to the Chase family’s way of life, as described by Chase herself in three autobiographical volumes: ...

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Clark, Walter Van Tilburg (03 August 1909–10 November 1971), novelist and teacher, was born in East Orland, Maine, the son of Walter Ernest Clark, a teacher and university president, and Euphemia Abrams. Clark once suggested that landscape creates character, implying that landscape not only forms the person but also the writer. He was speaking of the American West, which was essential to his own writing, giving him theme and setting for all of his best works. But the irony is that, Clark was not a native westerner. He was born in the East, and instead of spending his childhood on a ranch, he was reared as the eldest child of intellectuals. His father was head of the department of economics at City College of New York and was selected president of the University of Nevada in 1917; and his mother was a talented amateur musician. Being an outsider and an intellectual made Clark even more aware not only of landscape, but also of people’s relations to one another and to the natural world....

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Jessie Redmon Fauset. Oil on canvas, 1945, by Laura Wheeler Waring. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Harmon Foundation.

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Fauset, Jessie Redmon (27 April 1882–30 April 1961), writer, editor, and teacher, was born outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Camden County, New Jersey, the daughter of Redmon Fauset, an African Methodist Episcopal minister, and Annie Seamon. Fauset was probably the first black woman at Cornell University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in classical and modern languages in 1905. She taught briefly in Baltimore before accepting a job teaching French and Latin at the famed all-black M Street (later Dunbar) High School in Washington, D.C. While teaching, Fauset completed an M.A. in French at the University of Pennsylvania (1919)....

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Gerould, Katharine Fullerton (06 February 1879–27 July 1944), educator and author, was born in Brockton, Massachusetts. Orphaned in infancy, she was adopted by her uncle, Reverend Bradford Morton Fullerton, and his wife, Julia M. Bell Fullerton. She began her education at Miss Folsom’s School and received her B.A. (1900) and M.A. (1901) from Radcliffe College. She held a faculty position in English at Bryn Mawr until 1910....

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Gordon, Caroline Ferguson (06 October 1895–11 April 1981), author and teacher, was born on Merimont farm, near Trenton, Kentucky, the daughter of James Maury Morris Gordon, a teacher and preacher, and Nancy Minor Meriwether, a teacher. Gordon’s childhood at Merimont was both the inspiration for and the setting of her early fiction. From her mother’s sometimes eccentric family of local gentry she heard stories of frontier, antebellum, and Civil War days, and she learned of strong southern women. Her father, a Virginian who was often exasperated by the clannish Meriwethers, contributed to Gordon’s ability to appreciate the Meriwethers and the Southern past without lapsing into uncritical ancestor worship and nostalgia. She was for the most part educated privately by her parents, who stressed classical languages and literature. In 1912 she entered Bethany College in Wheeling, West Virginia, where she studied classics and graduated in 1916 with a bachelor’s degree and an associate degree in pedagogy....

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Herrick, Robert Welch (26 April 1868–23 December 1938), writer and university professor, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of William Augustus Herrick, an attorney, and Harriet Peabody Emery. Both parents came from long-settled New England families. After growing up in genteel near-poverty, he managed in 1885 to enroll in Harvard University with the help of his uncle ...

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Johnston, Richard Malcolm (08 March 1822–23 September 1898), educator and writer, was born near Powelton, in Hancock County, Georgia, the son of Malcolm Johnston, a planter and preacher, and Catherine Smith Davenport. A member of the first graduating class of Mercer University (1841), Johnston conducted a rural school in Mt. Zion before studying law under prominent attorneys in Augusta. He was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1843 and, returning to Hancock County, alternated between the occupations of schoolmaster and lawyer. In 1844 he married Mary Frances Mansfield of Sparta, Georgia. Their marriage, which produced twelve children, ended with her death in 1897....

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Krause, Herbert Arthur (25 May 1905–22 September 1976), novelist, English professor, poet, and naturalist, was born near Friberg, Minnesota, the son of Arthur Krause, a farmer and blacksmith, and Bertha Peters. Krause’s parents were first-generation descendants of devout German immigrants who settled as farmers in the hill country north of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Their folkways and fundamentalist Lutheran religion were important concerns in his first two novels....

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Lanusse, Armand (1812–16 March 1868), writer, civil rights activist, and educator, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Nothing is known of his personal life except that he married and had five children, four sons and a daughter. A brother, Numa Lanusse, also displayed considerable literary talent until his death at the age of twenty-six in a riding accident....

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Maclean, Norman (23 December 1902–02 August 1990), educator and writer, was born Norman Fitzroy Maclean in Clarinda, Iowa, the son of John Norman Maclean, a Scotch Presbyterian minister, and Clara Evelyn Davidson. The family, including a younger brother, moved to Missoula, Montana, in 1909. The father tutored young Norman in literature, writing, religion, and fly-fishing. He began to attend public schools only in 1913, worked summers for the U.S. Forest Service commencing in 1917, and entered Dartmouth College in 1920. In 1922 he and his father built a cabin near Seeley Lake, northeast of Missoula, and he enjoyed many summer vacations there. After graduating from Dartmouth College (B.A., 1924), Maclean was a teaching assistant in the English department there for two years. He worked for the forest service in Montana again (summers, 1926–1928), during which time he also hired on in logging camps....

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Norris, Mary Harriott (16 March 1848–14 September 1918), writer and educator, was born in Boonton, New Jersey, the daughter of Charles Bryan Norris and Mary Lyon Kerr. Her parents decided to send their daughter to Vassar even before its official opening. To prepare for college, Norris attended a private school where she learned Latin and chemistry, often the only girl in her class....