Woman of the Century/Helen Maria Fiske Jackson
JACKSON. Mrs. Helen Maria Fiske, author, poet and philanthropist, born in Amherst, Mass., 18th October, 1831, and died in San Francisco, HELEN MARIA FISKE JACKSON. Cal., 12th August, 1885. She was the daughter of Professor Nathan W. Fiske, of Amherst College. She was educated in the female seminary in Ipswich, Mass. In 1852 she became the wife of Captain Edward B. Hunt, of the United States Navy. She lived with him in various military posts until his death, in October, 1863. In 1866 she removed to Newport, R. I., where she lived until 1872. Her children died, and she was left desolate. Alone in the world, she turned to literature. In early life she had published some verses in a Boston newspaper, and aside from that she had shown no signs of literary development up to 1865. In that year she began to contribute poems to the New York "Nation." Then she sent poems and prose articles to the New York "Independent" and the "Hearth and Home." She signed the initials " H. H." to her work, and its quality attracted wide and critical attention. In 1873 and 1874 she lived in Colorado for her health. In 1875 she became the wife of William S. Jackson, a merchant of Colorado Springs. In that town she made her home until her death. She traveled in New Mexico and California, and spent one winter in New York City, gathering facts for her book in behalf of the Indians, "A Century of Dishonor," which was published in 1881. Her Indian novel, "Ramona." was published in 1884. That is her most powerful work, written virtually under inspiration. Her interest in the Indians was profound, and she instituted important reforms in the treatment of the Red Men y the Government. Her other published works are: "Verses by H. H." (1870, enlarged in 1874), "Bits of Travel" (1873), "Bits of Talk About Home Matters" (1873), "Sonnets and Lyrics" (1876), several juvenile books and two novels in the "No Name" series, "Mercy Philbrick's Choice" (1876), and " Hetty's Strange History " (1877). A series of powerful stories published under the pen-name "Saxe Holme" has been attributed to her, but there has been no proof published that she was "Saxe Holme." She left an unfinished novel, "Zeph," a work in a vein different from all her other work. She was injured in June, 1884, receiving a bad fracture of her leg. She was taken to California, to a place that proved to be malarious, and while confined and suffering there, a cancerous affection developed. The complication of injuries and diseases resulted in her death. Her remains were temporarily interred in San Francisco, and afterwards were removed to Colorado and buried near the summit of Mount Jackson, one of the Cheyenne peaks named in her honor, only four miles from Colorado Springs.