Open main menu

SUSAN E. DICKINSON.jpgSUSAN E. DICKINSON DICKINSON, Miss Susan E., journalist, born near Reading Pa, was reared and educated in Philadelphia. Her mother's family were among the early settlers of Maryland. They were Quakers, who left England in 1660 and 1661 and settled on the eastern shore of the colony of Maryland. Her father's ancestors were of the same religious faith as her mother's, and were among the Maryland pioneers. About 1750 the Dickinsons moved into southern Pennsylvania. Miss Dickinson's father was a wholesale and retail dry-goods merchant in Philadelphia, he died and left a family of five young children, who were carefully reared by the mother. They were educated in the select schools of the Society of Friends in Philadelphia, and in the Westtown boarding-school in Chester county. Susan, at the age of seventeen, became a teacher in the public schools of Philadelphia. She began to write poetry at an early age. Her poems appeared first in the "Saturday Evening Post", the Boston "True Flag," and other journals, under the pen-names "Effie Evergreen," "Violet May" and "Ada Vernon." In 1872 she began to sign her own name to her productions. Her first book was a memoir of a young friend, written for the Presbyterian Board of Publication. Her first regular journalistic work was in the biographical or obituary department of the New York "Herald," to which she was a contributor from November, 1874, until 1881. From 1875 to 1878 she was a regular contributor to the New York "Daily Graphic." From 1875 to 1882 she was a correspondent from northeastern Pennsylvania to the Philadelphia "Press." She also wrote a good deal for the papers of Scranton and Wilkes-Barré, Pa., and for the Boston "Evening Traveller." Other duties seriously interrupted her literary work for years, but she has never wholly given it up. Since June, 1891, she has been a member of the editorial staff of the Scranton "Truth." She contributes occasionally to other journals. Miss Dickinson has been a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church ever since she left school. She writes herself down a journalist, although her inclinations have always been towards purely literary work, and she has accomplished enough to justify the name "author." Domestic cares have hindered her in her work, but the Quaker courage born in her has carried her over obstacles that seemed insurmountable.