Lydia Marin Child, an American authoress, born at Med ford, Mass., Feb. 11, 1802. Her father, David Francis, was a baker. In 1824 she published her first book, "Hobomok, an Indian Story," which was followed the next year by "The Rebels, a Tale of the Revolution." The scene was laid in Massachusetts, and some of the characters were the historical men of that period. The book for several years held its place as a standard novel, the times and the events with which it dealt giving it a strong hold upon the popular esteem. A speech which she put into the mouth of James Otis was believed by many to have been actually delivered by him. A sermon of Whitefield's was also given, which was inserted in the New England school reading books as a genuine sermon of the great preacher. In 1826 she commenced the " Juvenile Miscellany," a monthly magazine, which for eight years was under her management. She published a cookery book, under the title of " The American Frugal Housewife," which later publications upon the same subject have not displaced. In October, 1828, she was married to David Lee Child, a lawyer of Boston. "The Girls' Own Book" and "TheMothers' Book" (1831) testified to her strong interest in practical education.
About this time the anti-slavery movement was commenced in Boston, and Mrs. Child identified herself with it at the beginning. One of the first distinctive anti-slavery books was her "Appeal in behalf of that class of Americans called Africans," in which she advocated the immediate emancipation of the blacks. This is her largest and most comprehensive work upon the subject of slavery; but it was followed in subsequent years by various smaller publications of a similar character. In 1836 she published "Philothea," a Grecian romance of the time of Pericles and Aspasia. In 1841 she removed to New York to take charge as editor of the "National Anti-Slavery Standard," of which she remained editor, assisted by Mr. Child, for two years. In its columns she commenced a series of "Letters from New York," which, with others written subsequently, were collected in two volumes (1843-'4). She afterward published " History of the Condition of Women in all Ages and Nations" (2 vols., 1845), "Biographies of Good Wives" (1846), and several volumes of stories for children. In 1859 she wrote a letter of sympathy to John Brown, which involved her in a correspondence with Gov. Wise and Mrs. Mason of Virginia. This correspondence was published in a pamphlet of which 300,000 copies were circulated.
Her other works are: "Life of Isaac T. Hopper" (1853); "Progress of Religious Ideas" (3 vols., 1855); "Autumnal Leaves" (1857); "Looking toward Sunset" (1860); "The Freedman's Book" (1865); and "A Romance of the Republic " (1867).