LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY HANDWRITTEN LETTER SIGNED, "L. H. S." , 2 pgs., with inclusive envelope, "Hartford, April 28th, 1838, with nice content mention several famous poets and one of her own books, by the 19th Century American poet from Connecticut, to writer and editor, Dr. R. Shelton Mackenzie, Aberdeen, Scotland. In part: "...I thank you for your beautiful poems and also for propitiating Miss Browne's muse [probably referring to the then famous Irish poet, Frances Browne, known as "the blind poetess of Ulster]...I know not when the aforsaid Annual will ever be published...You will excuse me for writing so briefly, and for making Miss Browne and yourself partners in so poor a concern as such a letter...I shall improve to "send you a copy of my 'Letters to Young Ladies' [her book published in 1833]...my muse always insists on a quiet nook & a chair to sit on...My only boy, who is now seven, prefers to get his daily reading lesson in Wordsworth's poems, of which I have the Philadelphia edition, in one large volume...." The envelope seal is still attached, small piece missing on right edge where opened, several stains, minor edge chips, letter/envelope fold lines, but, in general in very good condition.
Lydia Huntley Sigourney, née Lydia Howard Huntley (1791-1865) was an American poet during the early and mid 19th century. She was commonly known as the "Sweet Singer of Hartford". Most of her works were published with just her married name Mrs. Sigourney. Some of her most popular work deals with Native American issues and injustices. An early advocate for social reform in slavery and emigration, as well, Sigourney felt obligated to use her position to help oppressed members of society. In her posthumously published autobiography, "Letters of Life", Sigourney stated that she wrote with the hope of 'being an instrument of good'. After her death, John Greenleaf Whittier composed a poem for her memorial tablet.
Dr. Robert Shelton Mackenzie (1809-80) was born in County Limerick and educated at a school at Fermoy in Cork. He worked as an apothecary's apprentice, opened a school, published poetry, and edited a newspaper. Mackenzie studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin, but did not practice. After 1830 he immigrated to London where he wrote for the London Magazine. In 1834 he was awarded the degree of LL.D. at Glasgow. In 1852 he emigrated to the United States, acting as literary editor for the New York Times before settling in Philadelphia as the literary editor, foreign editor, and dramatic critic at the Philadelphia Evening News in 1857. Mackenzie also wrote several original published works over the course of his life.