Skip to main content

Ricketson, Anna, 1836-1927


Biographical note

Anna Ricketson was the daughter of Daniel Ricketson of New Bedford, Massachusetts. She was close friends with Louisa May Alcott. Early letters suggest Emma Bell Miles and Anna Ricketson became acquainted when Ricketson sent her a letter of "appreciation" after encountering one of Miles's published works. Letters indicate that they never met face to face, yet they were faithful correspondents during the final decade of Miles's life. Miles's letters to Ricketson indicate that she was a significant source of emotional, literary, and financial support to Miles.

Daniel Ricketson, 1813-1898, was a prominent Quaker lawyer, philanthropist, poet, author, benefactor, and abolitionist who in the mid-1800s hosted gatherings of the literary salon known informally as "The Shanty Society" at his estate, Brooklawn. Participants included the literary elite of the time, including Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, A. Bronson Alcott, George William Curtis, William Ellery Channing, Wendell Phillips, and William Lloyd Garrison.

Anna's brother Walton was an noted sculptor of portrait busts of prominent people including Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

In 1902, brother and sister published the volume Daniel Ricketson and His Friends; followed in 1910 by Daniel Ricketson: Autobiographic and Miscellaneous.