Geographic Connection to Pennsylvania: New Brighton, Beaver County
New Brighton resident, Sara Lippincott, better known by the pseudonym Grace Greenwood, was one of the earliest female newspaper correspondents in the United States.
Born in 1823, Sara Jane Clarke Lippincott began publishing poems at the age of 13. She worked as a journalist for the majority of her career, but she also was one of the first women to become involved in publishing, literature, and politics. She died in 1904.
Sara Jane Clarke Lippincott was born on September 23, 1823 in Pompey, New York. Her parents were Thaddeus, a physician, and Deborah Baker Clarke. In 1853, she married Leander K. Lippincott, with whom she had one child.
Lippincott attended school for eight years and got her poems published when she was just 13 years old. In 1842, she and her family moved to New Brighton, Pennsylvania, where she first began her long career in journalism. In 1844, she began publishing under the pseudonym “Grace Greenwood,” which she became known by for the rest of her life. Lippincott published her first book, Greenwood Leaves, in 1850, and soon after that were Poems and History of My Pets.
Lippincott worked for most of her career as a journalist writing letters from abroad for newspapers and magazines, such as the National Era, the New York Times, Hearth and Home, and Ladies’ Home Journal. She also worked as a lecturer and an editor of one of the first juvenile magazines, the Little Pilgrim, which she and her husband started. Lippincott’s most popular book, Haps and Mishaps of a Tour in Europe, a collection of letters from her travels in Europe, continued to be printed for 40 years.
Lippincott was one of the first women to gain access and prominence in a number of fields, including journalism, publishing, literature and politics. She was both liked and disliked for her strong opinions on women’s rights and the abolition of slavery. Lippincott was praised in many journals, such as Female Prose Writers of America (1852), Female Poets of America (1859), and Eminent Women of the Age (1869). For her work in the Civil War in helping to abolish slavery, President Lincoln dubbed her “Grace Greenwood, the Patriot.”
Lippincott died on April 20, 1904, in New Rochelle, New York.
Greenwood Leaves: A Collection of Sketches and Letters. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields, 1850.
Recollections of My Childhood, and Other Stories. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields, 1852.
Stories from Famous Ballads; for Children. New York: International Book Co., 1859.
Stories and Sights of France and Italy. Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1867.
Queen Victoria. Her Girlhood and Womanhood. New York: J. R. Anderson & H. S. Allen/London: S. Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1883.
Stories and Sketches. New York: Tait, 1892.
Born, Donna. “Sarah Jane Clarke Lippincott.” Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 43: American Newspaper Journalists, 1690-1872. The Gale Group, 2002. 28 February 2002. <http://www.galenet.com>.