Helen Hunt Jackson
Helen Hunt Jackson, born Helen Maria Fiske on October 15, 1830 in Amherst, MA was orphaned as a child and raised by her aunt. Jackson was sent to private schools and formed a lasting childhood friendship with Emily Dickinson. At the age of 21, Jackson married Lieutenant Edward Bissell Hunt and together they had two sons. Jackson began writing poetry only after the early deaths of her husband and both sons.
Jackson published five collections of poetry, including Verses (1870) and Easter Bells (1884), as well as children’s literature and travel books, often using the pseudonyms “H.H.,” “Rip van Winkle,” or “Saxe Holm.”
Frequently in poor health, she moved to Colorado Springs, CO to take “The Cure” for respiratory illness on her physician’s recommendation. She met and married William Sharpless Jackson in 1875.
In 1881, Jackson became an activist on behalf of improved treatment of Native Americans by the United States after hearing an 1879 speech by Chief Standing Bear. In 1881 she wrote A Century
of Dishonor, an exposé of the rampant crimes against Native Americans. Her work led to the founding of the Indian Rights Association. In 1884 she published Ramona, a fictionalized account of the plight of Southern California’s dispossessed Mission Indians,.
Helen Hunt Jackson died on August 12, 1885, in San Franscico, CA and is buried at the Evergreen Cemetary in Colorado Springs, CO. She was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 1985.
(portrait of Helen Hunt Jackson Courtesy of New York Public Library)
Gabrielle V. Brown, Managing Editor of Pikes Peak Writers Blog, is an engineer by trade and a writer by passion. Her published works included government studies, textbook credits, research abstracts, training manuals and poetry. She has extensive experience in website design and maintenance, blog content and management, and SEO. Gabrielle has put words to paper since she could hold a crayon and currently writes speculative fiction, humorous short stories, poetry, and literary fiction. You can reach Gabrielle at email@example.com.