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Mary Ashley Townsend (1832-1901) was an American poet and writer. She was born in Lyons, New York. Her maiden name was Van Voorhis. She was educated in her native town and married Gideon Townsend, of New Orleans, Louisiana. She began to write for publication about 1856, and under the pen-name of "Xariffa" made a reputation as the author of Quillotypes, a series of humourous papers that appeared in the New Orleans Delta and were widely copied by the southern and western press. Her works include: The Brother Clerks: A Tale of New-Orleans (1857), Poems (1870), The Captain's Story (1874) and Down the Bayou and other Poems (1884). Her most important short poems are Creed, A Woman's Wish, The Bather and The Wind.
About the Author
Townsend was a novelist, newspaper columnist, and poet laureate of New Orleans.
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