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Harriet Vaughan Cheney (September 9, 1796 – May 14, 1889)[1] was an American-Canadian novelist. The daughter of Hannah Webster Foster and sister of Eliza Lanesford Cushing, also both writers, she wrote a number of historical romances, among them A Peep at the Pilgrims in Sixteen Thirty-Six and The Rivals of Acadia, as well as religious works for children.

Cheney was born in Brighton, Massachusetts and published her first works in Boston. In 1830, she married Canadian merchant Edward Cheney, with whom she would have four children, and moved to Montreal, where she would spend the rest of her life. Her sister Eliza had also married a Canadian and moved to Montreal, and the two regularly contributed stories and poems to the Literary Garland, Canada's main literary periodical. Cheney continued to publish her longer works in Boston. After the deaths of their husbands in 1845 and 1846, the two sisters founded the Snow-Drop, a monthly girls' magazine "primarily concerned with social roles and domestic responsibilities appropriate for young women."[2] Cheney died in 1889.

Selected worksEdit

  • The Sunday-School, or Village Sketches (1820, with Eliza Cushing)
  • A Peep at the Pilgrims in Sixteen Thirty-Six: A Tale of Olden Times (1824, anonymous)
  • The Rivals of Acadia: an Old Story of the New World (1827, anonymous)
  • Sketches from the Life of Christ (1844)
  • Confessions of an Early Martyr (1846)
  • The Snow-Drop (periodical, 1847–52, with Eliza Cushing)
  • Stories for The Literary Garland:
  • "Jacques Cartier and the Little Indian Girl" (1848)
  • "The Emigrants" (1850)
  • "Cousin Emma" (1850)
  • "A Legend of the Lake" (1851)
  • "The Old Manuscript: A Memoire of the Past" (1851)
  • "Early Authorship" (essay for the Garland, 1850)


  1. ^ New, William (2002). Encyclopedia of literature in Canada. University of Toronto Press. p. 197.
    McMullen, Lorraine; Sandra Campbell (1993). Pioneering women: short stories by Canadian women : beginnings to 1880. University of Ottawa Press. pp. 89–90.
    Other sources erroneously give her birthdate as 1815, which would have made her five years old when The Sunday-School was published and nine years old when her first novel came out.
  2. ^ "Harriet Vaughan Cheney, Eliza Lanesford Cushing, Eleanor H. Lay". Celebrating Women's Achievements. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2010-11-30.

External linksEdit