an American writer. She was born in New Jersey in 1819. She spent most of her youth and young adult life in Massachusetts and later moved out West to California with her husband Fayette Clapp. It was out West where Louise took on the pen name of Dame Shirley and wrote her widely known Dame Shirley letters. Louise and Fayette eventually separated, but she remained out West teaching for some time. Louise eventually returned to New Jersey where she lived out the remainder of her life. The Shirley letters for which Louise is so well known were written between September 1851 and November of 1852. She authored a total of twenty three letters,all addressed to her sister Molly.
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