Author: Lydia Maria Child

Lydia Maria Child, from Letters of Lydia Maria Child, 1882

Lydia Maria Child (1802–80) is best remembered today for her beloved children’s poem, “Thanksgiving Day,” (1844) which opens with the famous words, “Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go.” (The famous house was restored in 1976 by Tufts University and is still located in Medford, Massachusetts.) In 1826, she founded the children’s periodical Juvenile Miscellany. In addition to writing, Child, a devout Unitarian who was influenced by the abolitionist beliefs of her brother, a Harvard Divinity School professor, remained active in social causes throughout her life. 

Thanksgiving Day

Lydia Maria Child

This famous poem, written in 1844, describes, in stages, the journey and eager anticipation of children traveling once again, over the river and through the wood, to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner at their grandparents’ home.