Woman of the Century/Marietta Holley
MARIETTA HOLLEY. HOLLEY, Miss Marietta, humorist, was born in a pleasant country place between the two villages, Adams and Pierrepont -Manor, N. Y. Her country home stands now in that place, where five generations of the Holleys have resided. The Holleys went to Jefferson county from Connecticut. Her maternal grandfather, "Old Squire Taber." as he was called, went to Pierrepont Manor from Rhode Island. Miss Holley commenced to write at an early age, both verses and sketches, which she used to hide jealously from every eye. Her first appearance in print was in a newspaper published in Adams. Her first pen-name was "Jemyma." The editor of that paper encouraged the young aspirant with some timely praise, as did Charles J. Peterson, for whom she wrote later. The editors of the "Christian Union" published what they called "a sweet little poem" from her pen. She wrote also for the "Independent" and several other weekly and monthly journals. Her articles at that time were mostly poems, and were widely copied in this country and in Europe. It was in a dialect sketch written for "Peterson's Magazine" that she first adopted the pen-name "Josiah Allen's Wife. "That name and "jemyma" were a sort of protest against the too musical pen-names of literary aspirants. Those articles attracted the attention of Elijah Bliss, president of the American Publishing Company, of Hartford, Conn. Against the protest of his company, he brought out Miss Holley's work. He urged her to w rite a book for him, which she did, and it was an immediate success, and was republished at once in England and Canada. The name of that book was "My Opinions and Betsy Bobbers" (Hartford, 1872). Her next book, " Samantha at the Centennial," appeared in 1877. "The Wayward Pardner" appeared in 1880. "Miss Richard's Boy." a book of stories not in dialect, was published in 188a. These books were brought out by the American Publishing Company, and the same firm published an illustrated poem of hers called "The Mormon Wife." Miss Holley has also written "Sweet Cicely, or Josiah Allen's Wife as a Politician," (New York, 1885); "Samantha at Saratoga" (Philadelphia, 1887); a book of "Poems" (New York, 1887), and "Samantha Amongst the Brethern," in 1891. Miss Holley's work appeals to all classes of society. Her readers are scattered over the entire world and include men and women of every station and grade. Her books are widely read in Europe.