Woman of the Century/Helen Hinsdale Rich
RICH, Mrs. Helen Hinsdale, poet, born in a pioneer log cabin on her father's farm in Antwerp, Jefferson county, N. Y., 18th June, 1827. On her father's side she is akin to Emma Willard. She is known as "The Poet of the Adirondacks." She ran away to school one frosty morning at the age of four, and her life from that time was centered in books and the beautiful in nature. Few of the first were allowed to her, but she reveled in forest and stream, rock and meadow. At twelve years of age she wrote verses. HELEN HINSDALE RICH. She led her classes in the academy and won prizes in composition. She attended a single term. She becams proficient in botany at the age of thirteen in the woods on the farm. She was obliged to read all debates in Congress aloud to her father, and the speeches of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster made her an ardent patriot and politician. Her poetry has appeared in the Springfield "Republican," Boston "Transcript," the "Overland Monthly" and other prominent Journals. She has published one volume of her poems, "A Dream of the Adirondacks, and Other Poems" (New York, 1884), which was compiled by Charles G. Whiting, who is preparing another volume for a Boston house. She was the first woman of northern New York to embrace woman suffrage. For two seasons she gave lectures for the Union cause in the Civil War. She has always been a defender of woman's right to assist in making the laws that govern her. She has carried out her ideas of woman's ability and need of personal achievement, self-support and self-reliance in the rearing of her daughter. Her "Madame de Stael" has the endorsement of eminent scholars as a literary lecture. Her "Grand Armies" is a brilliant Memorial Day address. She excels in poems of the affections. Mr. Whiting has said in his introduction to her volume: "Her works have a distinctive literary quality, which all can appreciate, but few can express. She is one of the best interpreters of mother-love in this country. Her "Justice in Leadville," in the style of Bret Harte, is pronounced by the London 'Spectator' to be worthy of that poet or of John Hay." That highly dramatic poem and "Little Phil" are included in nearly all the works of elocution of the present day. She became the wife, at the age of twenty, of a man of scholarly tastes and fine ability, who cordially sympathizes with her ambitions and cherished sentiments. Her culture has been gained by the devotion of hours seized from the engrossing domestic cares of a busy and faithful wife and mother. Her home is in Chicago, Ill.