Years in the United States

Poem by Agnes Ethelwyn Wetherald written about the death of Abraham Lincoln years later


The family had left Rockwood Academy in 1864, so that William Wetherald could pursue an opportunity as Superintendent of Haverford College, a Quaker boarding school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The family only remained here for two years before returning to Canada.  

Ethelwyn's time in the United States inspired her interests in political conversation and also found a way into her poetry.  At a time, much later in life, she penned a poem about the death of Abraham Lincoln.  Lincoln's assassination occured when Ethelwyn was nearly 8 years old.  Her family was still in Philadelphia at the time when Lincoln's body arrived on board a train.  The poem "The Voice of Lincoln" uses her own words and those of Lincoln to describe his impact internationally.  

Article from the Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune "'Octo' Left a Few Things Unsaid in Her Last Letter - Remembers a Christmas Spent at School Many Long Years Ago" by Agnes Ethelwyn Wetherald, 3 February 1940

The Wetheralds returned to Canada, purchased a fifty-acre farm in Pelham township and settled into a welcoming Quaker community.  Ethelwyn would not be here long, as her family received an offer for her to stay with a Quaker family in New York state.  She attended a girls school called The Friends Boarding school in Union Springs, N.Y.  

Her experiences at school in the United States would later serve a different writing style.  In her later years, she reflected on her adventures as a young girl at boarding school in a children's column for the Welland Tribune newspaper.