Woman of the Century/Phoebe Cary
CARY, Miss Phoebe, poet, born in Hamilton county, near Cincinnati, Ohio, 24th September, 1824, and died in Newport, R. I., 31st July. 1871. Her early educational advantages were superior to those of her sister Alice, whose constant companion she was through life, and from whom she differed radically in person, in mind and in temperament. Phoebe, like her sister, began to write verses at the age of seventeen. One of her earliest poems, "Nearer Home." written in 1842, has achieved a world-wide reputation. The story of her early life, the loss of her mother, the re-marriage of her father, the want of harmony with the stepmother, and the maintenance of a separate home, is told in the story of her sister's life. Her poems are her chief productions Her genius did not take kindly to prose. Her verses were very different from those of her sister. Phoebe was a woman of cheerful and independent temper, and her verses were sparkling and hopeful, sunny and cheering, while those of Alice were more somber and redolent of the mournfulness of life. Some of her earlier productions were published in the "Ladies Repository," in "Graham's Magazine," and in the Washington "National lira." Phoebe was in society a woman of wit and brilliancy, but always kind and genial. She and her sister, in their New York City home, after they had become famous and popular, did many kindly deeds to encourage and bring out obscure young authors of promise. Phoebe was the more robust of the sisters, and, after they had settled in New York City, she from choice assumed the greater share of the household duties, and thereby shortened her time for literary labor, while giving Alice, who was in delicate health for many years, greater opportunities for her literary musings. One of the most touching tributes to the dead ever written is the tribute to Alice, written by Phoebe only a few days before her own death. It was published in the "Ladies' Repository" Phoebe's robust health was not sufficient to carry her through the trial of her PHOEBE CARY. sister's death. Weakened by intense sorrow, she began to fail after Alice's death. Her prostration was intensified by a malarial attack, and she was taken to Newport, R. I., for a change of air and scenes. The change delayed, but could not avert the blow. She grew gradually weaker and died there. Like her sister, Phoebe is mainly regarded as a poet. Her contributions to the "Poems of Alice and Phoebe Cary" (Philadelphia, 1850), number one-third of those contained in that volume. Her independent volumes are "'Poems and Parodies" (Boston, 1854), "Poems of Faith. Hope and Love" (New York, 1867), and a large number of the poems in "Hymns for all Christians" (1869). Both of the sisters were women of great native refinement.