Adelia Cleopatra Graves

Adelia Cleopatra Graves (pen name, Aunt Alice; March 17, 1821 - 1895)[1] was an American educator, author, and poet. At one time serving as Professor of Latin and Belles-lettres at Mary Sharp College, she went on to occupy the position of Matron and Professor of Rhetoric in the college.[2] In 1841, she married Prof. Zuinglius Calvin Graves (1816–1902), who was serving as president of Kingsville Academy. She was the author of several books including juvenile literature under the pseudonym of "Aunt Alice". She also contributed prose and verse to periodical literature. In her day, Graves was one of the most popular writers of the South. Her best-known works were: Life of Columbus; Poems for Children; Seclusarval, or the Arts of Romanism; and Jephtha's Daughter, a drama.[3]

Adelia Cleopatra Graves
"A woman of the century"
"A woman of the century"
BornAdelia Cleopatra Spencer
March 17, 1821
Kingsville, Ohio, U.S.
Pen nameAunt Alice
Occupationeducator, author, poet
Alma materKingsville Academy
Notable worksLife of Columbus; Poems for Children; Seclusarval, or the Arts of Romanism; and Jephtha's Daughter, a drama
Zuinglius Calvin Graves (m. 1841)
RelativesPlatt Rogers Spencer (uncle)

Early years and education

Adelia Cleopatra Spencer was born in Kingsville, Ohio, March 17, 1821.[3] She was the daughter of Dr. Daniel M. Spencer and Marian T. Cook, and a niece of Platt Rogers Spencer, the originator of the Spencerian script. Graves' mother was an intellectual. Her family was wealthy and cultured, all the men having for generations had the benefit of collegiate education. Her father especially excelled in the Greek and Latin languages.[4]

Graves spent her early life on the shores of Lake Erie, where she resolved to devote her life to literature. She loved to be alone, passing her time on the beach, or in the old forests near where she had been born. Her love of nature was a passion, the record of which was preserved in some of her earliest unpublished poems. Stanzas written before she was nine years old were models of correct versification, exhibiting simplicity of expression and happy choice of words which characterized the productions of her more mature years. She wrote because she could not restrain the flow of thoughts, taking shape in rhymes.[2]

She was a graduate of Kingsville Academy.[3]


In 1841, she married Dr. Zuinglius Calvin Graves,[5] who was at that time president of Kingsville Academy; later, president of Soule College; and founder and president of Mary Sharp College. A few years after her marriage, Graves received a bad injury, which crippled her physical energies. For five years, she could not walk across her room; and later found it difficult to walk a short distance.[2]

For years, she taught classes in languages in the Kingsville Academy. At Mary Sharp College, there were few positions she did not occupy at some point, save that of mathematics.[6] For 32 years, she was matron and professor of rhetoric, belles-lettres, elocution, and English composition. She also taught French, ancient history, ancient geography, and English literature.[4] [2]

The published works of Graves include Seclusaval, or the Arts of Romanism (1870), a work written to deter Protestants from sending children to Catholic schools; and Jephtha's Daughter, a drama, (1867). Besides these, there were two prize stories. Twelve or thirteen small volumes were also compiled from the Southern Child's Book, at the request of the Southern Baptist Sabbath School Union, for the use of Sunday schools. For years, Graves edited and wrote for that publication. She wrote the Old Testament Catechism in Rhyme (1859), on request of the same society, for African American slaves, for which she received US$0.20 a line. Her unpublished poems were numerous.[7]

Graves contributed to different periodicals, mostly fugitive poems, and two prose tales, and a prize tale. "Ruined Lives," published in the Southern Repository, in Memphis, Tennessee, and the drama of Jephthah's Daughter, were some of her other published works.[2]

Graves is mentioned in Woman in Sacred Song, and Southland Poets, as well as in the Successful Men of Tennessee for her extraordinary financial ability, having managed a business of US$15,000-20,000 per year for years at a time.[7]

Selected works

  • 1835, Woman in Sacred Song
  • 1854, First lessons in gentleness and truth.: By Aunt Alice
  • 1855, A home book : for good children
  • 1859, Melodies of heart and home
  • 1859, The child's scripture catechism in rhyme
  • 1867, Jephthah's Daughter. A Drama in Five Acts. Founded on the Eleventh Chapter of Judges
  • 1869, Seclusaval : or, The arts of romanism


  1. ^ White 2013, p. 218.
  2. ^ a b c d e Tardy 1870, p. 722-25.
  3. ^ a b c Herringshaw 1904, p. 416.
  4. ^ a b Willard 1893, p. 333.
  5. ^ Allibone 1896, p. 704.
  6. ^ Willard 1893, p. 334.
  7. ^ a b Willard 1893, p. 333-34.



External links

1821 in poetry

— words chiselled onto the tombstone of John Keats, at his request

Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature (for instance, Irish or France).



was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar, the 1895th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 895th year of the 2nd millennium, the 95th year of the 19th century, and the 6th year of the 1890s decade. As of the start of 1895, the Gregorian calendar was

12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

Graves (surname)

Graves is a surname of English origin. Notable people with the surname include:

Adam Graves, Canadian ice hockey player

Adelia Cleopatra Graves, (1821-1895) American educator and author

Alfred Perceval Graves, Irish writer

Bibb Graves, American politician

Bill Graves, American politician

Cecil Graves, BBC Director-General

Charles Graves (disambiguation), several people

Christopher and Kevin Graves, American actors

Clare W. Graves, American psychologist

Danny Graves, American baseball player

Denyce Graves, American mezzo soprano

Dixie Bibb Graves, American politician, wife of Bibb Graves

D. V. Graves (Dorsett Vandeventer Graves, 1886–1960), American college sports coach

Ed Graves (1917-1980), American art director

Edward O. Graves (1843-1909), American banker

Ernest Graves (actor), American actor

Ernest Graves, Sr., American athlete, coach, and military officer

Evelyn Paget Graves, 9th Baron Graves (1926–2002)

Ezra Graves (1809–1883), New York judge and politician

George Graves (biologist) (1784–1839), English naturalist

George Graves (actor) (1876–1949), English comic actor

George S. Graves, American politician

Henry Graves (disambiguation), several people

James Graves (disambiguation), several people

John Graves (disambiguation), several people

Josh Graves, American bluegrass musician

Kelly Graves (born 1963), American basketball coach

Kersey Graves, American theological reformist and writer

Leslie Graves, American actress

Lucia Graves, British novelist and translator

Lulu Grace Graves (1874 – 1949), American dietitian

Mary H. Graves, American minister, editor, writer

Michael Graves, American architect

Michael Graves (poker player) (born 1984), American poker player

Michale Graves, American singer/songwriter

Milford Graves, American-born jazz drummer

Morris Graves, American artist

Nancy Graves, American sculptor

Nell Cole Graves, American potter

Nelson Graves, Philadelphian cricketer

Paul D. Graves (1907–1972), New York politician and judge

Peter Graves (disambiguation), several people

Philip Graves, British journalist

Ralph Graves (1900–1977), American screenwriter, film director and actor

Ralph Graves (writer) (1924–2013), American writer

Randall Graves, New York politician, assemblyman 1829

Ray Graves, American footballer

Richard Graves (disambiguation), several people

Robert Graves (disambiguation), several people

Roosevelt Graves, American blues guitarist and singer

Ross Graves (1874–1940), New York politician

Rupert Graves, English actor

Sam Graves, American politician

Samuel Graves, British Admiral

Samuel Robert Graves, Irish-born businessman and Conservative politician (1818-1873)

Teresa Graves, African-American actress

Terrence C. Graves, American marine

Thomas Graves (disambiguation), several people

Tomás Graves, writer and musician

White Graves (born 1942), American football player

William Graves (disambiguation), several people

Kingsville, Ohio

Kingsville is a census-designated place in central Kingsville Township, Ashtabula County, Ohio, United States. Although it is unincorporated, it has a post office, with the ZIP code of 44048. It lies at the intersection of State Routes 84 and 193, less than one mile northwest of Interstate 90.

Kingsville was originally called Fobesdale or Fobesville, and under the latter name was laid out in 1810.

Kingsville Academy

Kingsville Academy was a school which was chartered in Kingsville, Ohio in 1834. Its building was constructed in 1836. In its 37-year history, the institution educated about 5,000 students. With the rise of the public high school, enrollment dwindled and, ultimately lead to the Academy`s demise and the building burned down in 1927.

List of poets from the United States

The poets listed below were either born in the United States or else published much of their poetry while living in that country.



Mary Sharp College

Mary Sharp College (1851–1896), first known as the Tennessee and Alabama Female Institute, was a women's college, located in Winchester, Tennessee. It was named after the abolitionist Mary Sharp.

Platt Rogers Spencer

Platt Rogers Spencer (also Platt R. Spencer) (November 7, 1800 – May 16, 1864) was the originator of Spencerian penmanship, a popular system of cursive handwriting. He was a teacher and active in the business school movement.

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