Cary, Phoebe

Born: September 4, 1824
Died: July 31, 1871

Ohio connection: Birth

Mount Healthy

Phoebe Cary was born in 1824 in Mt. Healthy, Ohio, one of eleven children of Robert and Elizabeth Jessup Cary. She grew up on a farm and had little formal education. Under the tutelage of her older sister Alice, she developed a great love for literature and eventually for writing. In 1850, the two sisters published a book entitled Poems by Alice and Phoebe Cary. Alice moved to New York City that same year, and Phoebe and another sister, Elmina, joined her in 1851. Phoebe was not as prolific a writer as Alice, her writings consisting mainly of poetry and hymns. She edited Hymns for All Christians in 1869. She also published two books of poetry, Poems and Parodies in 1854 and Poems of Faith, Hope, and Love in 1868. Her lyrics appeared in numerous church hymnals. “Nearer Home” is probably her most famous and well-loved hymn, which has been sung at many funerals, including her own and Alice’s. Phoebe Cary died in Newport, Rhode Island on July 31, 1871.