MassMoments reminds us that on this day April 17, 1893 – Lucy Larcom – author, newspaper writer, poet, Lowell mill girl – died in Boston. In her autobiography “A New England Girlhood” – Larcom captured an element of the “Lowell Experiment” seen through the eyes of that Yankee mill girl toiling in the early more idealistic days when “Lowell had a high reputation for good order, morality, piety, and all that was dear to the old-fashioned New Englander’s heart.”
…in 1893, Lucy Larcom died. A popular poet during her lifetime, she would be forgotten today except for a work of prose that she wrote in 1889. Her autobiography, A New England Girlhood, tells the story of her early childhood in the coastal village of Beverly and her move to Lowell, the mill town on the Merrimack River, where she lived and worked for more than a decade. She was a regular contributor to the Lowell Offering. The magazine was published by a group of “mill girls,” as the young women who made up the great majority of workers in Massachusetts textile factories were called. Larcom’s reputation as a poet soon faded, but A New England Girlhood remains an American classic.