City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
Ann Eliza Bleecker (1752-1783)
Ann Eliza Bleecker (October 1752 – November 23, 1783) was an American poet and correspondent. Following a New York upbringing, Bleecker married John James Bleecker, a New Rochelle lawyer, in 1769. He encouraged her writings, and helped her publish a periodical containing her works.
The American Revolution saw John join the New York Militia, while Ann fled with their two daughters. She continued to write, and what remained of the family returned to Tomhannock following Burgoyne's surrender. She was saddened and affected by the deaths of numerous family members over the years, and died in 1783.
Bleecker's pastoral poetry is studied by historians to gain perspective of life on the front lines of the revolution, and her novel Maria Kittle, the first known Captivity novel, set the form for subsequent Indian Capture novels which saw great popularity after her death.