Thursday, March 19, 2020

More History Markers..Emily Chubbuck - Fanny Forester

Emily was born in Eaton, New York, and lived as a child in a cabin (Underhill Cottage)  built by her grandfather Simeon Chubbuck a Revolutionary War soldier.  The rustic cabin was located just off today's route 26 and the spot now sports a historic marker, though the cabin is long gone.

Emily's father never had much money and worked at a number of jobs including being a postman.  Her mother came from a fine family that most likely thought she had married beneath her.  So to help the family finances Emily was sent to work at a young age working for a woolen business, a silk thread business, and through need had to educate her self.

At 16 she walked to Nelson seeking the man who could hire her as a teacher, something that she did well, though in reality she made far less money as a teacher than as a worker. 

Emily managed to start writing little books of a religious nature.  Her mother, father & sister became stayed members of the Eaton 2nd Baptist Church thats pastor was Nathaniel Kendrick who became head of Madison University, today's Colgate. It is interesting to note however, that Emily did not join a church until later and she was chided by the locals who asked her, "When are you going to be saved?"

She eventually got a job at the Utica Seminary for woman where she bartered her education for teaching and made friends with the owners.  Taking a trip to New York with a friend she was struck by the difference and glamorousness of the city and wrote a tongue and check letter to N P Willis, editor of the New York Mirror - asking if he would hire her.  The letter was signed "Fanny Forester", which became a sensation for its day.  Willis never paid her for her writings, but he did make her famous, and her many articles about her hometown and life on the Eatonbrook became a book entitled Alderbrook Tales. or Musings and Trippings in Authorland.  These and her humorous pieces for the Mirror made Fanny Forester a well known name.

Fame did go to her head a bit, and she started enjoying spending time with friends in Philadelphia. It is there that she was introduced to a man 30 years her senior who was looking for someone to write a biography of his dead wife. The gentleman's name was Adoniram Judson, one of America's first Baptist Missionaries to Burma - a man who became a star in the Baptist circles that supported him. Emily ends up marrying him.

After the marriage she went back to Burma with Judson and becomes the missionary Emily C. Judson.  Emily bore Judson two children, a girl who lived and a boy that died at the same time as her husband.  After his death Emily returned to America and started writing poetry and pieces for  the missions.

Sick with Tuberculous, Emily died a short time later - after having been three famous people... teacher Emily Chubbuck, writer Fanny Forester, and the missionary  Emily C. Judson.

Her age at her death was only 37 years old... an interesting hometown woman that had been around the world and was an early woman writer of note!

For more history stories on Eaton go to


  1. She married a man 30 years younger, but she died at age 37? One of these must be a typo.

  2. It says the man was 30 years her senior, meaning 30 years older than her.