Woman of the Century/Sarah A. Brock Putnam
PUTNAM, Mrs. Sarah A. Brock, author, was born in Madison, Madison county, Va. She is known in literature by her maiden name, Sallie A. Brock. She is a daughter of the late Ansalem and Elizabeth Beverley Buckner Brock. Her ancestry includes many names prominent in the colonial and Revolutionary history of her native State. Her education was conducted privately, under the supervision of her father, a man of literary culture, through whose personal instruction she was grounded in grammatical construction and analysis of the English language. She studied with a tutor, a graduate of Harvard University, who lived four years in the family. It was not until after the termination of the Civil War, the death of her mother, and the breaking up of her home in Richmond, that Miss Brock had any experience of life outside of Virginia. During the summer of 1865 she visited New York City, and was induced, by the acceptance of articles for the press, to devote herself to literature. Her first book, "Richmond During the War," a record of personal experience and observations in the Confederate capital, was published in 1867, simultaneously in New York and London. SARAH A. BROCK PUTNAM. Its favorable acceptation encouraged her to make a compilation of the war poetry of the South, a volume entitled "The Southern Amaranth" (New York). In that work a number of her earlier poems are inserted. At the request of Rev. A. T. Twing, secretary and general agent of the domestic department of the board of missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church, she prepared a catechetical history of the missions of that society in the United States. It was issued as a serial under the title "The Domestic Missionary Catechism." In the autumn of 1869, under the escort of Bishop Lynch, of Charleston, S. C , Miss Brock crossed the Atlantic and, spending a short time in Kngland, joined friends in Paris and traveled with them in France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Germany. A portion of the winter and the following spring she spent in Rome, during the session of the last oecumenical council. She was presented at the Papal Court and to His Holiness, Pope Pius IX. While abroad, she wrote letters for several periodicals with which she was connected. On her return to America Miss Brock was engaged for "Frank Leslie's Lady's Journal," a connection which was continued uninterruptedly for more than ten years. For five years she was connected with "Frank Leslie's Lady's Magazine." Her contributions to the "New York Home Journal" cover a period of more than fifteen years. she has been associated with other periodicals of New York, the Sacramento "Journal," and a magazine of Baltimore. She was one of two women contributors to Appleton's "Picturesque America." A descriptive and critical article by her pen from Richmond for the " Home Journal," entitled "Fine Arts in Richmond," was copied in "Il Cosmopolita," a journal of Rome, printed in the Italian, English, French and Spanish languages. Her " Kenneth, My King " a novel published in New York and London, a romance of life in Virginia previous to the late war, is a faithful transcript of the conditions which then existed. She has a work on the poets and poetry of America in preparation, which has occupied her leisure hours for several years. She has two other volumes in manuscript and material for a third book. Her numerous contributions to magazines and other periodicals comprise editorials, descriptive articles, letters, essays, extended and short stories, critiques and poems. Her poems number over two-hundred, and some of them have been widely copied. Her favorite metrical structure is the sonnet. On 11th January, 1882, Miss Brock became the wife of Rev. Richard F. Putnam, then of New York, and for the last few years rector of Trinity Church, Lime Rock, Conn. In December, 1891. Rev. and Mrs. Putnam crossed the Atlantic, and while abroad traveled in England, France, Italy, Egypt, Palestine and other portions of Syria, Turkey in Asia, Turkey in Europe, and Greece, returning through Italy, Switzerland, France and Belgium. Since her marriage Mrs. Putnam's literary work has been diminished, but not discontinued, and each month finds her in the city of New York, planning the editorials and other article^ to be written in the quiet rectory.