Born: March 5, 1824, Be­ver­ly, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Died: Ap­ril 17, 1893, Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Buried: Cen­tral Ce­me­te­ry, Be­ve­rly, Mas­sa­chu­setts.



Larcom was daugh­ter of Ben­ja­min Lar­com and Lo­is Bar­rett. Her sea cap­tain fa­ther died when she was ve­ry young. She ne­ver mar­ried.

When she was 11 years old, her fa­mi­ly moved to Lo­well, Mas­sa­chu­setts, where her mo­ther got a job as su­per­in­ten­dent of a fe­male dor­mi­to­ry at the lo­cal tex­tile mill. Lu­cy worked in the mills for 10 years.

Her spir­it was ir­re­pres­si­ble, though, and she be­came ac­quaint­ed with Quak­er po­et John Whit­ti­er, and was a good friend of his sis­ter. Thus be­gan a life­long as­so­ci­a­tion with the world of po­et­ry and writ­ing.

In 1846, Lu­cy left Lo­well, set­tling in Il­li­nois, where she taught school for three years. From 1849–52, she at­tend­ed Mon­ti­cel­lo Se­mi­na­ry in God­frey, Il­li­nois. Af­ter­ward, she re­turned to Be­ver­ly, where she paint­ed, stu­died French, and taught li­ter­a­ture.

In 1849, her work was men­tioned in Fe­male Po­ets of Am­er­i­ca, by Ru­fus W. Gris­wald. In 1854, Lu­cy won a prize for her po­em Call to Kan­sas. From 1854–62, she taught at Whea­ton in Nor­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: Eng­lish, mor­al phi­lo­so­phy, lo­gic, his­to­ry, and bo­ta­ny. She al­so found­ed the col­lege news­pa­per.


From 1865–73, she helped ed­it the child­ren’s ma­ga­zine Our Young Folks.

After leav­ing Whea­ton, Lu­cy spent the rest of her life writ­ing, con­tri­but­ing to Whit­ti­er’s an­tho­lo­gies, St. Ni­cho­las, the Youth’s Com­pan­ion, and the At­lan­tic Month­ly.

At one point, she de­clared would write on­ly hymns, if she could get the pub­lish­ers to ac­cept them: To sing of light and sal­va­tion for all, is not that the new song?

Her pub­lished works in­clude: