Caroline Healey Dall, née Wells, was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a well-to-do family and received an excellent education. She began writing at an early age. She ran a nursey school for the children of working mothers before becoming vice-principal of Miss English's School for Young Ladies in Washington, D.C. In 1844, she married the Rev. Charles Dall of Baltimore, Maryland, with whom she had two children. She worked with an organization that helped fugitive slaves, and became a leader of the women’s suffrage movement and a pioneer of women’s education in the USA. Among her major works were Woman's Right to Labor (1860), Woman's Rights Under the Law (1861), and The College, the Market, and the Court (1867). She also wrote historical books such as What We Really Know About Shakespeare (1886), Barbara Frietchie: A Study (1892), and biographies of two noted female physicians, Marie Zakrzewska (1860) and Anandabai Joshee (1888). She was a founder of the American Social Science Association, which she later served as vice-president. Her autobiographies were entitled My First Holiday; or, Letters Home from Colorado, Utah, and California (1881) and Alongside (1900).