Hannah Flagg Gould

Hannah Flagg Gould

03.09.1789 - 05.09.1865

American poet

Hannah Flagg Gould (September 3, 1789 – September 5, 1865) was an American poet.


Gould was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts, but while yet a child her father moved to Newburyport, Massachusetts. Her father, Benjamin Gould (1751-1841), had been a soldier in the American Revolutionary War, and after her mother's death, she became his constant companion, which accounts for the patriotism of her earlier verses.

Home of Hannah Flagg Gould in Newburyport, Massachusetts
Early in her career, she wrote for several periodicals, and in 1832 her poetical pieces were collected in a volume. In 1835 and in 1841 second and third volumes appeared, each titled simply Poems, and in 1846 she collected a volume of her prose compositions, titled Gathered Leaves. Of her poetry, a writer in the Christian Examiner remarked that it was "impossible to find fault. It is so sweet and unpretending, so pure in purpose and so gentle in expression that criticism is disarmed of all severity and engaged to say nothing of it but good. It is poetry for a sober, quiet, kindly-affectioned Christian heart. It is poetry for a united family circle in their hours of peace and leisure. For such companionship it was made, and into such it will find, and has found, its way". One of her more popular verses, A Name in the Sand, was often misattributed to better-known authors, such as Charles Dickens and George D. Prentice.

She led a quiet life in the homestead where she resided for half a century — a life that would have been as secluded as it was unostentatious but for her genial hospitality and the many visitors and distinguished authors who sought her acquaintance. Her nephew was the noted astronomer Benjamin Apthorp Gould. She died at Newburyport, September 5, 1865.

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