1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cary, Alice and Phoebe
CARY, ALICE (1820–1871), and PHOEBE (1824–1871), American poets, were born at Mount Healthy, near Cincinnati, Ohio, respectively on the 26th of April 1820 and the 4th of September 1824. Their education was largely self-acquired, and their work in literature was always done in unbroken companionship. Their poems were first collected in a volume entitled Poems of Alice and Phoebe Carey [sic] (1850). In 1850–1851 they removed to New York, where the two sisters, befriended by Rufus W. Griswold (1815–1857), the quasi-dictator of American verse, and Horace Greeley, occupied a prominent position in literary circles. In 1868–1869 Alice Cary served for a short time as the first president of Sorosis, the first woman’s club organized in New York. Alice, who was much the more voluminous writer of the two, wrote prose sketches and novels, now almost forgotten, and various volumes of verse, notably The Lover’s Diary (1868). Her lyrical poem, Pictures of Memory, was much admired by Edgar Allan Poe. Phoebe published two volumes of poems (1854 and 1868), but is best known as the author of the hymn “Nearer Home,” beginning “One sweetly solemn thought,” written in 1852. Alice died in New York City on the 12th of February 1871, and Phoebe in Newport, Rhode Island, on the 31st of July of the same year. The collected Poetical Works of Alice and Phoebe Cary were published in Boston in 1886.