"OLIVE'S BRANCHES"

The 19th Century Writings Of
Olive A. Wadsworth

aka

Katherine Floyd Dana

January 21, 1835 - April 6, 1886

Because it was not deemed proper for a woman of Katherine Floyd Dana's social position to be known as a "writer"(apparantly not an approved avocation for a modern 19th Century Woman, according to the leading 12th century minds of men of the day) Kate had to write under a pen name. She carefully chose the name Olive A. Wadsworth and often signed her manuscripts and letters O. A. W. which to her inside circle really stood for "Only A Woman" One had to wonder how many leading financial moguls of the gilded age would of had a stroke if they only knew she was secretly helping her husband William B. Dana write his Commercial & Financial Chronicle . The "Chronicle" was the leading paper of the day for all things that dealt with commerce, business cash advance and BIG money. Many large financial decisions those titans of industry made, were based on what appeared on the pages of the Chronicle ............ and Buck & Kate's thoughts!!!!

On these next pages I am proudly presenting some samples of her writings for both children and adults that undoubtably had their roots in her birthplace and in her later years..... Mastic, Long Island, New York . I also find it fitting that the original location in 1948 for the proposed first school in Mastic (William Floyd School) was on her "Moss Lots" estate on the Forge River. Although the school was eventually built in 1950, just a stones throw westward on donated land from developer Walter T. Shirley, I tend to think that "Olive's Branches" spread the spirit of K.F.D. and resided quietly in our school library.

A NURSERY RHYME CLASSIC THAT LIVES ON TODAY

Kate Is Still Teaching Little Ones How To Count To Ten Based On Her Own Images

Of Mastic Childhood ....... One Hundred and Sixty Five Years Ago

Over in the meadow,
In the sand in the sun
Lived an old mother toadie
And her little toadie one
"Wink!" said the mother;
"I wink!" said the one,
So they winked and they blinked
In the sand in the sun

Over in the meadow,
Where the stream runs blue
Lived an old mother fish
And her little fishes two
"Swim!" said the mother;
"We swim!" said the two,
So they swam and they leaped
Where the stream runs blue

Over in the meadow,
In a hole in a tree
Lived an old mother bluebird
And her little birdies three
"Sing!" said the mother;
"We sing!" said the three
So they sang and were glad
In a hole in the tree

Over in the meadow,
In the reeds on the shore
Lived an old mother muskrat
And her little ratties four
"Dive!" said the mother;
"We dive!" said the four
So they dived and they burrowed
In the reeds on the shore

Over in the meadow,
In a snug beehive
Lived a mother honey bee
And her little bees five
"Buzz!" said the mother;
"We buzz!" said the five
So they buzzed and they hummed
In the snug beehive

Over in the meadow,
In a nest built of sticks
Lived a black mother crow
And her little crows six
"Caw!" said the mother;
"We caw!" said the six
So they cawed and they called
In their nest built of sticks

Over in the meadow,
Where the grass is so even
Lived a gay mother cricket
And her little crickets seven
"Chirp!" said the mother;
"We chirp!" said the seven
So they chirped cheery notes
In the grass soft and even

Over in the meadow,
By the old mossy gate
Lived a brown mother lizard
And her little lizards eight
"Bask!" said the mother;
"We bask!" said the eight
So they basked in the sun
On the old mossy gate

Over in the meadow,
Where the quiet pools shine
Lived a green mother frog
And her little froggies nine
"Croak!" said the mother;
"We croak!" said the nine
So they croaked and they splashed
Where the quiet pools shine

Over in the meadow,
In a sly little den
Lived a gray mother spider
And her little spiders ten
"Spin!" said the mother;
"We spin!" said the ten
So they spun lacy webs
In their sly little den


NEXT
THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY & "OUR PHIL"