Sarah T. Bolton

(18 December 1814–5 August 1893 / Newport, Kentucky)

Sarah T. Bolton
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Sarah T. Bolton (Sarah Tittle Botlon, née Barrett, an American poet and Indiana's "pioneer poet," is best known for her poem “Paddle Your Own Canoe” (1850). An activist for women’s rights, she worked with Robert Dale Owen during Indiana's 1850–1851 Constitutional Convention to include the recognition of women's property rights. Her husband Nathaniel Bolton (25 July 1803–26 November 1858) co-founded Indianapolis’s first newspaper, the Gazette, and was Indiana State Librarian from 1851 to 1854.

Early Life

She was born in Newport, Kentucky but moved to Indiana as a child. The family first settled in Jennings County, and later Madison.

As a young woman ... more »

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Best Poem of Sarah T. Bolton

Paddle Your Own Canoe

Voyager upon life's sea,
To yourself be true,
And where'er your lot may be
Paddle your own canoe.
Never, though the winds may rave,
Falter nor look back;
But upon the darkest wave
Leave a shinning track.

Nobly dare the wildest storm,
Stem the hardest gale;
Brave of heart and strong of arm,
You will never fail.
When the world is cold and dark,
Keep an aim in view,
And toward the beacon mark
Paddle your own canoe.

Every wave that bears you on
To the silent shore,
From its sunny source has gone
To return no more.
Then let not ...

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