Elizabeth Oakes Prince Smith (1806-1893) was an author, lyceum lecturer and early activist on behalf of women's rights. Her writings included novels, poetry, children's books, plays, essays, stories, and articles for newspapers and magazines. She was active in the women's rights movement and in 1848 attended the Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. She was one of the first female lecturers on the lyceum circuit. Her husband, Seba Smith, was a newspaper editor and writer. Collection consists of Smith's writings, correspondence, drawings, and printed matter providing information on her literary career and her activities as a lyceum lecturer and early women's rights advocate. Writings include manuscripts of Smith's autobiography; manuscripts and clippings of her articles, lectures, poems, stories, plays, dime novels, and other writings. Among her writings are reminiscences of Ralph Waldo Emerson and several chapters of an unfinished biography of George Washington. Also, a small quantity of correspondence of Smith and her children, materials concerning spiritualism and psychometry, and several drawings and a photograph.
Biographical/historical: Elizabeth Oakes (Prince) Smith (1806-1893) was an author, lyceum lecturer, and early activist on behalf of women's rights
Content: The papers document Smith's literary career as poet, playwright, journalist, and novelist; her interest and participation in various reform movements; her career as a lyceum lecturer during the 1850s; her writings and activities in support of woman suffrage and women's rights; and her friendship with prominent authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allen Poe, Horace Greeley, and William Cullen Bryant. The collection is a small and uneven one which cannot in and of itself illuminate any aspect of Smith's life in much detail. However, individual pieces in the collection offer important biographical information, insights into Smith's literary career, and information on her activities as lyceum lecturer and early women's rights advocate.