|Sarah Elizabeth Carmichael|
Sarah Elizabeth Carmichael arrived in the Salt Lake Valley with her family in 1850. Her literary talent developed in the West with the support of her father and in spite of pioneer Utah’s limited educational resources. The gifted young writer saw her first poem published in the Deseret News in 1858, a piece so well done some doubted its authorship. The Salt Lake City paper went on to print more than fifty of her poems over the next eight years. At age twenty, she received both encouragement and public praise from Eliza R. Snow. Sarah’s appeal came from her ability to speak on themes such as friendship, personal integrity, and love from a nonsectarian stance. Often called a literary genius, she received national recognition when William Cullen Bryant and May Wentworth each selected her poems for their anthologies. In 1866 a group of her friends and admirers came together to publish a volume of twenty-six of her poems. That same year she married Jonathan M. Williamson, an army surgeon who had been stationed at Camp Douglas. Carmichael’s literary zenith was cut short when a year after her marriage she suffered an unspecified mental decline that may have been the result of a genetic problem, her parents being “double cousins.” She died in 1901 after more than thirty years of mental debilitation. [from Discoveries: Two Centuries of Poems by Mormon Women, 95]
Included in 75 Significant Mormon Poets
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|Also Known As
||November 10, 1901|
||Setauket, Long Island, New York|
||William Carmichael, Sarah Elizabeth Carmichael|
||Jonathon M. Williamson (married November 4, 1866)|
|Other Biographical Information
||About a year after her marriage in 1866, Lizzie went into a severe mental decline which she never recovered from.|
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