Catharine Maria Sedgwick

A novelist and prolific writer, Catharine Marie Sedgwick (1789 -1867) wrote about Mumbet and much of what we know about Mumbet is because of Catharine. Catharine was the daughter of Theodore Sedgwick and lived in the same household Mumbet served after leaving the Ashley House. Catharine is buried next to Mumbet in the “Sedgwick Pie.” Her brother Charles, who wrote Mumbet’s epitaph lies on Miss Sedgwick’s other side. Miss Sedgwick was born in Stockbridge, MA and later attended Payne’s Finishing School in Boston. According to Professor Lucinda Damon-Bach, Ph.D. English Department, Salem State College, and Founder of the Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society, upon her return to the Berkshires Catharine helped her sister-law run a school in Lenox, Massachusetts on Kemble Street on the site of what is now Springlawn at the National Music Foundation but spent most of her time writing. Professor Damon-Bach also says that Catharine “was one of the Sedgwick children who gave Mumbet her nickname” and Mumbet was the children’s substitute mother.

Catharine’s grave marker (close up) in the Sedgwick Pie
Catharine Marie Sedgwick – available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (Wikimedia Commons)
Engraved for James Herring and James Longacre’s National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans (1834-39), New-York Historical Society, Object Number:
Silhouette by Auguste Edouart, 1788 – 1861, Lithograph, chalk and cut paper on paper, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Object number

Links and References to Catharine Maria Sedgwick

• Behind the Veil? Catharine Sedgwick and Anonymous Publication, Melissa J. Homestead, Faculty Publications, Department of English, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
• Catharine Maria Sedgwick, AMERICAN WRITER, Encyclopædia Britannica
• Catharine Maria Sedgwick: Critical Perspectives, Journal article by Cheri Louise Ross; Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, Vol. 21, 2004
• Catharine M. Sedgwick / eng. by A.B. Durand ; painted by Chas. Ingham. Copyright by James Herring, Library of Congress Control Number
• Catharine Maria Sedgwick 1789-1867, FineArtAmerica
• Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s Contributions to Transcendentalism, Sarah Kingston, The Journal of Traditions & Beliefs, 2016
• Catharine Maria Sedgwick letters and portraits, 1837-1855, Special Collections Library. Pennsylvania State University
Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Sebra Prints
• Catharine Maria Sedgwick Papers, 1798-1908, Massachusetts Historical Society
• Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Writer And Novelist In Antebellum America, History of American Women Blog
• Catharine Sedgwick, Wikiwand
• Clarence: or, A Tale of Our Times (1830)
C.M. Sedgwick. From an original painting by Chas. Ingham., The New York Public Library, Digital Collections
• Didactic Tales: Home: Scenes and Characters Illustrating Christian Truth (1835)
• Catharine Maria Sedgwick Society
• Live and Let Live: or, Domestic Service (1837)
Married or Single?
“Mumbett” (manuscript draft), by Catharine Maria Sedgwick, 1853, Massachusetts Historical Society
• Negotiating a Self: The Autobiography and Journals of Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Mary Kelley and Catharine Maria Sedgwick
The New England Quarterly
Vol. 66, No. 3 (Sep., 1993), pp. 366-398
• Periodizing Authorship, Characterizing Genre: Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s Benevolent Literacy Narratives
American Literature – Volume 76, Number 1, March 2004, pp. 1-29, Robbins, Sarah.
Portrait of Catharine Maria Sedgwick,
Portraits of American Women Writers
• Science in Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s Hope Leslie Legacy
Volume 20, Number 1&2, 2003, pp. 22-37, Block, Shelley R. Madden, Etta M., 1962
• Sedgwick, Catharine Maria (1789 -1867), Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers
• Slavery in New England (1853), Complete Transcript, EPUB,
Shay’s Rebellion
• Tales and Sketches, Second Series (1844)
• ‘The dearest sacrifice’: Catharine Maria Sedgwick and the Celibate Life, Marshall Foleta, Journal American Nineteenth Century History, Volume 8, 2007 – Issue 1
• Wikipedia on CMS
• Washington State University Listing of CMS

Catharine Marie Sedgwick was a prolific writer which you can review a list of her novels on our books page.

Catharine Maria Sedgwick Books