Interesting quotes by Ethel Lynn Beers
“Only a mother’s heart can be, Patient enough for such as he.”
A brief biography of Ethel Lynn Beers
Ethel Lynn Beers was born Ethelinda Eliot in Goshen, New York on January 13, 1827. She was a descendant of John Eliot, “Apostle to the Indians”, founder of the Roxbury Latin School, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1645. Ethel was very interested in ascertaining her family’s lineage back to John Eliot. In her poem, John Eliot, The Indian Apostle, she described her late ancestor as he paused on the deck of the ship, Lyon, when the anchor sank into the Boston Harbor:
“He did not know He saw his kingdom stretched before him, His crown beneath New England’s snow. Ah ! how my pulse leaps to remember More than two hundred years have gone, And still within this wrist-vein purple That blessed Pilgrim blood flows on !”
When Beers first began writing, she would opt for signing work as “Ethel Lynn”—a variation of her first name, Ethelinda. She felt her maiden name was too ordinary. It wasn’t until Ethel married her husband, William H. Beers, that she would affix her married name to her compositions. Beers’ renowned poem, All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight, would make it’s debut in Harper’s Weekly in 1861, originally titled, The Picket Guard. She wrote many other poems, which were often published in the New York Ledger.
According to the New York Ledger, in an article published in November, 1879, just days after her death, it stated, “She possessed an uncommonly cheerful and sunny nature, but even in her cheerfulness she was subject to strange premonitions, one of which was that as soon as she printed her poems she should die.” Ethel Lynn Beers died on October 11, 1879 in Orange, New Jersey. Her death occured one day after All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight and Other Poems debuted. The premonition came true and Ethel Lynn Beers was laid to rest in her hometown of Goshen, New York.
There was a sermon—at a service memorial for Ethel Lynn—that conveyed insight to her apprehensive belief: “On both sides her ancestors were of Puritan stock and remarkable for their strong religious convictions. This fact had a ruling influence over the life of our sister. Who can tell what a power on human destiny is the entail of a moral character embalmed in records of heroic deeds. ‘A good man leaveth an inheritance unto his children’s children.’ There is force in the purpose not to dishonor our shield.”