Date of Birth
Sept. 16, 1819
Date of Death
Feb. 24, 1834
Margaret Flower was born 200 years ago.
185 years ago, Margaret Flower passed away at the age of 14.
Letters Authored in Collection
|Oct. 5, 1829||Nancy Flower||Young girl writes about slavery; her memoir written by Lydia Huntley Sigourney|
Ten year old Margaret Flower writes home from boarding school to her mother and younger sister Henrietta. The content is about Margaret’s belief that slavery is cruel.
The American author, Lydia Huntley Sigourney, writes a memoir of Margaret and her younger sister, Henrietta, who die only weeks apart from Typhoid Fever at the ages of 15 and 12. The Memoir provides an intimate and detailed biography of Margaret and her younger sister, which in turn has enhanced the importance of this letter to the archive, for it is extremely rare that when collecting “old” letters, research uncovers anything but the most superficial attributes of the personalities contained within.
Margaret and Henrietta were the daughters of Ebenezer Flower, a wealthy shipping magnate and mayor of Hartford, Connecticut in the early 1850s. I became particularly interested in this letter when, through research on various genealogical data bases, I discovered that Margaret and Henrietta both died within a few weeks of each other at 15 years and 12 years of age respectively. Through further research, it was discovered that Margaret was a child prodigy and that she sent this letter from a select boarding school in Quincy Massachusetts to her family in Hartford when she was ten. The two girls contracted typhoid fever and died at home in Hartford in 1834. The American author, Lydia Howard Huntley Sigourney, published a book about their lives entitled, “Memoirs of Margaret and Henrietta Flowers" in 1835. The book was released again entitled “Margaret and Henrietta” in 1852. A copy of this second printing which is a ninety-five page biography of the girls has been added to the archive and includes a rather moving description of February 24, 1834, the day Margaret died. Ms. Sigourney rather vividly describes the scene where Henrietta, already weak from the disease, walks to Margaret’s bedroom, where the two girls said their goodbyes. (See images 3 and 4)
AUTHOR LYDIA SIGOURNEY
"Lydia Howard Huntley Sigourney (September 1, 1791 - June 10, 1865) was an extremely popular American poet during the early and mid 19th century. She was commonly known as the "Sweet Singer of Hartford." Most of her works were published with just her married name "Mrs. Sigourney."...her main themes including old age, death, responsibility, religion - a strong belief in God and the Christian faith - and work (Victorian Web). She often wrote elegies or poems for recently deceased neighbors, friends, and acquaintances. Her work is one example of Victorian-era death literature which views death as an escape to a better place, especially for children."