Hester Martha Poole

Hester Martha Poole (May 27, 1833/34 – 1932) was an American writer, poet, art critic, artist, and an advocate for women's rights.[1]

Hester Martha Poole
"A woman of the century"
"A woman of the century"
BornHester Martha Hunt
May 27, 1833/34
Whiting, Vermont, U.S.
Occupationwriter, poet, art critic, artist, advocate for women's rights
Alma materCastleton Seminary
Notable worksFruits and How to Use Them
C. O. Poole (m. 1865)

Early yearsEdit

Hester Martha Hunt was born in Georgia, Vermont, May 27, 1834,[2] or 1833.[3] She was the eighth child of Harry and Mary Staples Hunt, who were emigres from Connecticut to Vermont. The Hunts traced back their ancestry two hundred years, and were of Irish, Scotch and English descent. Harry Hunt, her father, was a soldier in the War of 1812 and 1814, and was a participant in the Battle of Plattsburgh. She was graduated from Castleton Seminary (now Castleton University), at an early age, afterward continuing her studies at Burlington, Vermont.[2] At an early age, she wrote poems and stories, which were often published.[4]


Prostrated from overwork, she went south for her health, and there engaged in teaching during several years, in the states of Mississippi and Tennessee. After her marriage to C. O. Poole of New York City on January 14, 1865, Poole became occupied with domestic pursuits. In 1868, the Pooles went abroad, where they traveled, during several months, in Great Britain and on the Continent. During these travels, Poole contributed a series of letters to a daily paper of New York from Edinburgh, London, Paris, Rome, Naples, and Geneva.[2]

Interrupted for some time by domestic duties, her contributions were resumed in the Continent and Manhattan magazines. Those consisted chiefly of illustrated articles upon the arts of decoration, and were followed in various publications by a large number of critical and descriptive essays upon those and similar topics. Her series of articles applied to the house appeared in the Home Maker, another in Good Housekeeping, and a large number of her illustrated articles appeared from time to time in the Decorator and Furnisher of New York. In them, there were schemes for house decoration, which were widely copied. Another series, "From Attic to Cellar," was furnished to the Home Magazine, and a still longer series, "The Philosophy of Living," was contributed by Poole to Good Housekeeping.[4] She also wrote many unsigned articles, including editorials, art and book criticisms and essays.[2]

In spite of her fondness for art, she also studied literary, ethical, and reformatory subjects. Upon one or another of those topics, she frequently gave conversations or lectures in drawing-rooms in those fields. Her articles were published with the Chautauquan, the Arena, the Union Signal, the Ladies' Home Journal and many others. During several years, she edited a column upon "Woman and the Household" in a weekly newspaper, and also wrote editorials for journals on ethics and reform. Her last book, entitled Fruits and How to Use Them (New York, 1891), was unique and attained a large circulation;[4] it contained nearly 700 recipes for the preparation of fruits.[3]

Poole served as an officer of Sorosis,[5] and furnished a History of Sorosis for the Woman's Library Building of the World's Columbian Exposition.[2] She was also a member of the New York Woman's Press Club. As a poet, Poole's contributions were less frequent. Some of her verses were included in Harper's Encyclopaedia of Poetry, edited by Epes Sargent.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

She made her home in Metuchen, New Jersey.[5] Poole died in 1932.[3]


  1. ^ Herman & Tal 1984, p. 264, 618.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Poole 1893, p. 39.
  3. ^ a b c Amerine & Borg 1996, p. 204.
  4. ^ a b c Willard & Livermore 1893, p. 580.
  5. ^ a b Willard & Livermore 1893, p. 581.


  •   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Poole, Murray Edward (1893). The History of Edward Poole of Weymouth, Mass. (1635) and His Descendants (Public domain ed.). Press of the Ithaca Democrat. p. 39.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  •   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Willard, Frances Elizabeth; Livermore, Mary Ashton Rice (1893). A Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-seventy Biographical Sketches Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Women in All Walks of Life (Public domain ed.). Moulton. p. 580.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)


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