Hillard, Harriet Low

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  • Harriet Low Hillard (1809-1877) was the second child of eleven of Seth Low, a merchant in Salem and his wife Mary Porter Low. At age 20, she accompanied her uncle and aunt, William Henry and Abigail Knapp Low, to China for 5 years to be her aunt's companion. Upon her return to the U.S. after years of foreign travel, she found it hard to settle down.
  • In 1836, she married John Hillard, a banker and moved to London. A relatively happy marriage in the beginning produced 5 girls and 3 boys including twins. Her husband was unsuccessful in business and in 1848, the family returned to the U.S. bankrupt.
  • The disgrace of bankruptcy and her husband's alcoholism caused an estrangement in the marriage. John Hillard died in 1859 and Harriet Low Hillard spent the rest of her life in Brooklyn, N.Y. supported and surrounded by the Low family who recognized that she had conquered the vicissitudes of her life by her independent spirit and faith in God.
  • Harriet was a diarist and kept a journal of her years in the east traveling. Her work is gathered in the book "Lights and Shadows of a Macao Life: the Journal of Harriett Low, travelling spinster."

See Also

  • Vertical File in Salem Collection - Hillard, Harriet Low