Portraits of American Women Writers That Appeared in Print Before 1861 - Header and Menu


Cecil B. Hartley. The Three Mrs. Judsons, the Celebrated Female Missionaries (Boston, 1860), frontispiece.


Ann Hasseltine Judson, was one of the first American missionaries. In February 1812, she married the Rev. Adoniram Judson, one of the first members of the newly established American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions; later that month, they embarked for India with the Rev. Samuel and Mrs. Harriet Newell. While en route, Mr. and Mrs. Judson had a change of faith and were baptized into the Baptist church upon their arrival in Calcutta . Estranged from the American Board, they began missionary work in Burma . Mrs. Judson cared for her husband and other foreigners the Burmese government imprisoned in Ava , Burma ’s capital, following the British Empire’s capture of Rangoon in 1824. She died two years later.

More than half a dozen accounts of Mrs. Judson’s life were published following her death. Several of them include tributes to Mrs. Judson for services she provided for the prisoners in Ava in 1824. One Englishman wrote:

“Mrs. Judson was the author of those eloquent and forcible appeals to the government, which prepared them by degrees for submission to terms of peace …. And while on this subject, the overflowings of grateful feelings, on behalf of myself and fellow prisoners, compel me to add a tribute of public thanks to that amiable and humane female, who, though living at a distance of two miles from our prison, without any means of conveyance, and very feeble in health, forgot her own comfort and infirmity, and almost every day visited us, sought out and administered to our wants and contributed in every way to alleviate our misery.” (p. 174-175)

Other portraits appear in:

James D. Knowles. Memoir of Mrs. Ann H. Judson. 3rd ed. (Boston, 1829), frontispiece.

James D. Knowles. Life of Mrs. Ann H. Judson (Philadelphia, 1830), frontispiece.

David F. Bacon, ed. Memoirs of Eminently Pious Women of Britain and America ( Hartford , 1833), plate containing five separate portraits, plate opposite p. [300].

Rufus S. Griswold. “The Heroism of the Knights Errant and the Female Missionaries of America,” in Godey’s Lady’s Book 37 (August, 1848): 61-68, frontispiece containing five separate portraits.

Sarah J. Hale, ed. Woman’s Record (New York, 1853), p. 367; also 1855 ed.

Abner D. Jones, ed. The Illustrated American Biography, vol. 1 (1853), p. 175 or p. 335 (two variant issues).

Abner D. Jones. The American Portrait Gallery (New York, 1855), p. [174].

Sketches of the Lives of Distinguished Females (New York, 1858), frontispiece.

The Ladies’ Repository (December, 1860), plate preceding p. 705.




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