Author: Renee Savits

ENTRY

Anna Maria Mead Chalmers (1809–1891)

Anna Maria Mead Chalmers was a writer and educator. She authored numerous children’s books in the 1830s, later wrote short works of fiction and devotion, and contributed to the Boston Home Journal, the New York Churchman, the New York Tribune, and the Southern Literary Messenger. In 1841, she opened a Richmond boarding and day school for girls, called Mrs. Mead’s School, and served as principal for twelve years. The rigorous curriculum was comparable to the best available education for boys in Virginia. Chalmers was married three times, and she outlived all three husbands and three out of four of her children. She settled in Halifax County with her third husband in 1856, and there she raised money and taught at Sunday schools for freedpeople that she established. In addition, in 1877 she formed the Southern Churchman Cot fund to support beds for poor children at Retreat for the Sick, a Richmond hospital. She died in Albemarle County in 1891.