Catherine Ann Ware (1817 – )

” Catherine Ann Ware was born in Washington, Mississippi, in the year 1817.  Her father was Nathaniel A. Ware, of that State, a man of wealth, and political economist of note in his day, whose ‘Views of the Federal Constitution’ of the United States is a work of ability still extant.  His wife was Sarah Percy, through whom, in Mrs. Warfield’s veins, mingle Northumberland currents that have come down from the ‘Home of Percy’s high-born race.’

Mrs. Warfield’s education was commenced at her mother’s knee, and finished at one of the best academies in Philadelphia.  Her poetic talent first manifested itself at Cincinnati, soon after leaving school.  At this early period she evinced great mastery of verse, and an aptness and force of epigrammatic satire, which she has had the good taste no to cultivate.

Miss Ware was married at Cincinnati, in the year 1833, to Elias Warfield, Jr., of Lexington, Kentucky.  After several years spent in foreign travel, and a somewhat protracted residence in Paris, the young couple returned to this country, and after living a year or two in Texas (at Galveston), settled at Lexington, where Mrs. W. has till recently been one of the chief ornaments of the wealthy, refined, and intellectual circles of that section of Kentucky.  A couple of years ago, Mr. Warfield purchased a handsome country-seat on one of the pleasant undulations of Pewee Valley–a locality about sixteen miles from the city of Louisville, on the Louisville and Lexington Railroad, where the family have been since resided, dispensing the charms of a refined and liberal hospitality to an attached circle of artists, poets, editors and other persons of culture.  Among her immediate neighbors are Edwin Bryant, on of the earliest American emigrants to California, and the first Alcalde of San Francisco; Noble Butler, the accomplished scholar, critic, grammarian, and teacher; William D. Gallagher, and other of like tastes, cultivation, and pursuits.

About eighteen years ago, a volume entitled ‘Poems by two Sisters of the West,’ was published in the city of New York, which deservedly attracted much attention.  Among competent critics who bestowed praise upon various portions of the collection, was Wm. C. Bryant, whose taste or judgment no one will dispute.  Two years afterward a new edition of the volume was called for, which was issued from the Cincinnati press.  The two sisters were Mrs. Warfield, and Mrs. Eleanor Percy Lee–a notice of whom is hereafter given.  A second volume of their poems was published in in 1846, which, with all the excellences of the first, has more maturity of thought, and envinces a judgement still ripening in the light of experience of observation.  Mr. Warfield is also a writer of elegant and vigorous prose, and could at will secure an honorable  place among the essayists and novelists of our country…”

Source:  The Poet and Poetry of the West: with Biographical and Critical Notices, by William Turner Coggeshall, Follett, Foster and Co. publishers, Columbus, 1860, page 319

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