My father always had a weekly newspaper, and when young [William Lloyd] Garrison started his "Free Press" at Newburyport, he took it in the place of the "Haverhill Gazette."
My sister, who was two years older than myself, sent one of my poetical attempts to the editor. Some weeks afterwards the news-carrier came along on horseback and threw the paper out from his saddle-bags. My uncle and I were mending fences. I took up the sheet, and was surprised and overjoyed to see my lines in the "Poet's Corner." I stood gazing at them in wonder, and my uncle had to call me several times to my work before I could recover myself.
Soon after, Garrison came to our farmhouse, and I was called in from hoeing in the cornfield to see him. He encouraged me, and urged my father to send me to school.
I longed for education, but the means to procure it were wanting. Luckily, the young man who worked for us on the farm in summer, eked out his small income by making ladies' shoes and slippers in the winter; and I learned enough of him to earn a sum sufficient to carry me through a term of six months in the Haverhill Academy. The next winter I ventured upon another expedient for raising money, and kept a district school in the adjoining town of Amesbury, thereby enabling me to have another academy term.
"Writer's Autobiography in letter form" Amesbury, 5th Mo., 1882