Author photo. Elizabeth Akers Allen (1832-1911)

Elizabeth Akers Allen (1832-1911)

Elizabeth Akers Allen (1832–1911)

Author of Poems

Includes the names: Elizabeth (Florence Percy) Akers

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Elizabeth Akers Allen, née Chase, grew up in Farmington, Maine, where she attended Farmington Academy (later Maine State Teachers College). She began to write as a teenager. In 1851, she married Marshall S.M. Taylor; they divorced within a few years. She got a job writing for the Portland Transcript and in 1855, published her first book, a volume of poems called Forest Buds from the Woods of Maine, under the pen name Florence Percy. With her royalties, she travelled in Europe, and also served as a foreign correspondent for the Portland Transcript and the Boston Evening Gazette. It was while staying in Rome that she wrote her most famous poem, "Rock Me to Sleep." She started contributing to the Atlantic Monthly magazine in 1858. In 1860, she married Paul Akers, a sculptor; after his death a year later, she worked in Washington, D.C., as a government clerk. She married her third husband, Elijah M. Allen, in 1865. Her collection entitled Poems (1866) appeared under the name Elizabeth Akers. She returned to Maine and served as literary editor of the Daily Advertiser in Portland for seven years. After 1881, she lived in Tuckahoe, New York. Other collections of her poems included Queen Catherine’s Rose (1885), The High-Top Sweeting (1891), and The Ballad of the Bronx (1901).
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