Born: March 5, 1824, Bev­er­ly, Mass­a­chu­setts.

Died: Ap­ril 17, 1893, Bos­ton, Mass­a­chu­setts.

Buried: Cen­tral Cem­e­te­ry, Bev­er­ly, Mass­a­chu­setts.

Larcom was the ninth of ten child­ren. Her sea cap­tain fa­ther died when she was ve­ry young. When she was 11 years old, her fam­i­ly moved to Low­ell, Mass­a­chu­setts, where her mo­ther got a job as su­per­in­ten­dent of a fe­male dor­mi­to­ry at the lo­cal tex­tile mill. Lu­cy he­rself worked in the mills for 10 years. Her spir­it was ir­re­press­i­ble, though, and she be­came ac­quaint­ed with Quak­er po­et John Whit­ti­er, and was a good friend of his sis­ter. Thus be­gan a life­long as­so­ci­a­tion with the world of po­e­try and writ­ing.

In 1846, Lu­cy left Low­ell, set­tling in Il­li­nois, where she taught school for three years. From 1849-1852, she at­tend­ed Mon­ti­cel­lo Sem­in­ary in God­frey, Il­li­nois. Af­ter­ward, she re­turned to Bev­er­ly, where she paint­ed, stu­died French, and taught lit­er­a­ture. In 1849, her work was men­tioned in Fe­male Po­ets of Amer­i­ca, by Ru­fus W. Gris­wald. In 1854, Lu­cy won a prize for her po­em “Call to Kan­sas.” From 1854-1862, she taught at Wheat­on in Nor­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: Eng­lish, mor­al phi­lo­so­phy, lo­gic, his­to­ry, and bo­ta­ny; she al­so found­ed the col­lege news­pa­per. From 1865-1873, she helped ed­it the child­ren’s mag­a­zine Our Young Folks.

After leav­ing Wheat­on, Lu­cy spent the rest of her life writ­ing, con­trib­ut­ing to Whit­ti­er’s an­thol­o­gies, St. Ni­cho­las, the Youth’s Com­pan­ion, and the At­lan­tic Month­ly. At one point, she de­clared would write on­ly hymns, if she could get the pub­lish­ers to ac­cept them: “To sing of light and sal­va­tion for all, is not that the new song?”

Lucy ne­ver mar­ried. Her works in­clude:

Sources

Hymns

  1. Draw Thou My Soul, O Christ
  2. Heavenly Helper, Friend Divine
  3. O God, Thy World Is Sweet with Pray­er
  4. Ring, Happy Bells of Easter Time