[p. 14] She excelled in many lines—juvenile literature, fiction, essays, history, biography, domestic science. A further list of her books are ‘Philothea,’ 1836; ‘A Brief History of the Condition of Women in Various Ages and Nations,’ two volumes, 1854; ‘Fact and Fiction’; ‘Aspirations of the Spirit’; ‘The Freedmen's Book,’ 1865; ‘Progress of Religious Ideals Through Successive Ages,’ three volumes, 1869; ‘Romance of the Republic,’ 1867; ‘Autumnal Leaves,’ 1857; ‘Looking Toward Sunset,’ 1865; ‘Biographies of Good Wives’; and ‘Letters,’ collected after her death. Maria Gowen Brooks was born in Medford in 1794. She went abroad, met many famous people, and achieved an international reputation for her poetry—‘Judith, Esther, and Other Poems,’ 1820; ‘Zophiel,’ 1825; and an ‘Ode to the Departed.’ Robert Southey was said to have given her the name Maria del Occidente, which she used as a nom de plume. She wrote a novel in 1843 called ‘Idomen,’ supposed to have been autobiographical. Many believed her to have been the original of the ‘Woman in White,’ by Wilkie Collins. Dr. John Brooks, one of Medford's most distinguished citizens, delivered an oration before the Society of the Cincinnati in 1787; a ‘Eulogy on George Washington,’ 1800; ‘Discourse Before the Humane Society,’ 1795; and a remarkable ‘Farewell to the Militia of the Commonwealth’ in 1823, all of which are in print. Of his inaugural address, when governor of Massachusetts, President Monroe said, ‘I am willing to take the principles of that speech as the basis of my administration.’ Among other early writers we find Timothy Bigelow, lawyer, many of whose orations from 1767 to 1790 have been preserved, and a ‘Journal of a Tour to the Falls of Niagara,’ reprinted. Samuel Hall was editor of the Essex Gazette, New England Chronicle, Salem Gazette, and Massachusetts Gazette, 1768-1807.
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