“WHAT NEW GRIEF HAS COME TO YOU?”: THE PERSONAL AND THE POLITICAL
In the half-dozen years following the Civil War, Anna Elizabeth Dickinson's personal life followed the patterns she had established in her early twenties. Among dozens of admirers, a series of men and women grew particularly enamored with the captivating orator. Only months after Elias Irish succumbed to tuberculosis in 1866, Illinois congressman John Baker — two decades her senior — sent Dickinson several romantic notes before abandoning his quest when she failed to reciprocate his affections. She was also linked, at one time or another, to Iowa Congressman William B. Allison, New York reporter Ralph Meeker, and Ohio reporter Whitelaw Reid. Dickinson also continued to develop close, often physically intimate, relationships with other women, including Lou Brackett and Susan B. Anthony.
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