Martha Walter (American Impressionist, 1875–1976) Lady Knitting in a Garden
In 1835, when she was 11 years old, Lucy Larcom's father died, & her mother moved the family from the coastal town of Beverly, Massachusetts, to Lowell. There, Lucy's mother ran a boardinghouse, & Lucy went to work in the textile mills. While at Lowell, she developed a friendship with John Greenleaf Whittier. In later years she became a teacher & poet, eventually publishing several books, among them A New England Girlhood.
"I think it must have been at home, while I was a small child, that I got the idea the chief end of woman was to make clothing for mankind… "This thought came over me with a sudden dread one Sabbath morning when I was a toddling thing, led along by my sister, behind my father and mother. As they walked arm in arm before me, I lifted my eyes from my father’s heels to his head, and mused: “How tall he is! And how long his coat looks! And how many thousand, thousand stitches there must be in his coat and pantaloons! And I suppose I have got to grow up and have a husband, and put all those little stitches into his coats and pantaloons. Oh, I never, never can do it!” "A shiver of utter discouragement went through me. With that task before me, it hardly seemed to me as if life were worth living. I went to meeting, and I suppose I forgot my trouble in a hymn." Lucy Larcom, A New England Girlhood, 1889