Anne MacVicar was born in Scotland into a military family from Argyllshire and grew up near Albany, New York, where her father was posted. She attracted the notice of the Schuylers, the wealthy and prominent New York family, who helped to educate her. The MacVicars returned to Scotland before the outbreak of the American War of Independence. She married James Grant, a minister in the Highlands parish of Laggan and had 12 children. Anne MacVicar Grant's husband died in 1800 and she began writing to support herself and her children. She published a collection of her correspondence with friends and family written over 30 years, Letters from the Mountains (1807), focusing on the beauty of the Scottish Highlands. The book was a popular success and inspired other writers and artists to take an interest in the Highlands region. Her book Memoirs of an American Lady (1808) told the story of her youth in pre-revolutionary America. One of her final large pieces of work was Eighteen Hundred and Thirteen (1814), a lengthy poem.