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

Anna Jane Linnard (1800-1835)

E. W. Garrison. Memoir of Mrs. Rebekah P. Pinkham. (Portland, 1840), frontispiece.

Rebekah Porter Pinkham (1792-1839)

Rebekah Porter Pinkham was born in Freeport, Maine, the second of eleven children. After her marriage to the Rev. Ebenezer Pinkham in 1812, she moved to Sedgwick, Maine, where her husband became pastor of the local Baptist church. Rebekah was the president of the First Female Primary Society and in this role addressed numerous groups to promote sabbath schools and raise money for the Baptist mission in Burma. Rebekah also wrote two books, including one entitled A Narrative of the Life of Miss Lucy Cole of Sedgwick, Maine, in Which Is Exhibited the Controlling Power of Piety in Early Life (Boston, 1830).

Rebekah died, childless, of tuberculosis (then known as “consumption”) in 1839 at the age of forty-eight. The year after her death, the Rev. E. W. Garrison wrote a memorial to her which contained excepts from her journal, sketches she wrote concerning public events that that she attended with her husband, and letters to and from her friends and family. She was interested in the salvation of all souls, and in a letter to the editor of Zion’s Advocate, wrote passionately about the un-Christian aspects of slavery:

“I had not realized as I should how many of my fellow mortals were groaning in bondage in this land of liberty – the land of gospel privileges and blessings…. I sincerely fear that many Christians among us do not feel on this subject as they ought…. [Slaves] are placed in bondage, many of them with masters who call themselves Christians, and yet are never told that they have immortal souls, but are kept in profound ignorance and total darkness with respect to their future state…. Ah! My Christian friends, can we not pray more that God would cause his people to break their bondage, and let the captive go free?” (p. 127-128)



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