Author. She is remembered as an American evangelical writer of religious fiction, children's fiction, and theological works. Her father was a successful New York City lawyer and her mother came from a wealthy fashionable family from New York's Hudson Square. Her mother died when she was young and her father lost his fortune in the Panic of 1837, which forced the family to move from their New York City mansion to an old Revolutionary War-era farmhouse on Constitution Island near West Point, New York. In 1849, in an effort to improve the family's financial situation, she began writing to earn an income. She wrote 30 novels under the name of "Elizabeth Wetherell," many of which went into multiple editions, with her first novel "The Wide, Wide World" (1850) being the most popular and was translated into several other languages, including French, German, and Dutch. Other than Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1852), it was perhaps the most widely circulated story of American authorship at that time. Her other works include "Queechy" (1852), "Wych Hazel" (1853), "The Law and the Testimony" (1853), "Mr. Rutherford's Children" (1855), "The Hills of the Shatemuc" (1856), "Say and Seal" (1860), "The Old Helmet" (1863), "Melbourne House" (1864), "What She Could" (1871), "The Flag of Truce" (1874), "The Gold of the Chickaree" (1876), "My Desire" (1879), "The End of A Coil" (1880), and "Nobody" (1882). 19th century critics admired the depictions of rural American life in her early novels and American reviewers also praised her Christian and moral teachings, while English reviewers tended not to favor her didacticism. Early 20th critics classified her work as "sentimental" and thus lacking in literary value, but in the latter part of the 20th century, feminist critics rediscovered "The Wide, Wide World," discussing it as a quintessential domestic novel and focusing on analyzing its portrayal of gender dynamics. Some of her works were written jointly with her younger sister Anna Bartlett Warner, including "Wych Hazel," "Mr. Rutherford's Children," "The Hills of the Shatemuc," and "The Gold of the Chickaree." She also wrote the famous children's Christian song "Jesus Bids Us Shine" (1868) while her sister was the author of the well-known Christian children's song "Jesus Loves Me", which she wrote at her request. A devout Christian from the 1830s, she became a Presbyterian but was drawn into the Methodist faith later in her life. Both she and her sister held Bible studies for the cadets at the US Military Academy, West Point for over 40 years, where their uncle had been a chaplain from 1828 until 1838. She died at the age of 65. Her former family home is now a museum on the grounds of the US Military Academy.
Bio by: William Bjornstad
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them. Rev 14:13
We would see Jesus, the Great Rock Foundation, whereon our feet were set by sovereign grace. Not life nor death with all their agitation can thence remove us if we see his face.