An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Rowson, Susanna Haswell

(c. 1762-Mar. 2, 1824). Novelist and educator. She was born in Portsmouth, England. When she was seven her family settled in Nantasket, Massachusetts. Her first novel, published in 1786, was Victoria. It received good reviews. In 1791 she published Charlotte, a Tale of Truth, which was also known as Charlotte Temple. It was the leading “best seller” in America before Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), and it made her famous. From 1792 until 1797 she worked as an actress. In 1797 she opened a school for girls in Newton, Massachusetts. Rowson later opened a school for girls in Boston, where she worked until her retirement in 1822. During this period she continued to write. She was a contributor to The Boston Magazine and The Monthly Anthology and Boston Review. Rowson was editor of the Boston Weekly Magazine, 1802-1805. She also wrote textbooks to be used in girls' schools. She served for a while as president of the Boston Fatherless and Widows Society. Rowson was a communicant of Trinity Church, Boston. She died in Boston.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.