Let Her Speak for Herself: Nineteenth-Century Women Writing on the Women of Genesis

By Marion Ann Taylor; Heather E. Weir | Go to book overview

§7 Catherine Hunt Putnam
(1792–1869)

Catherine Hunt Putnam (née Palmer) was born in Framingham, Mass. Little is known about her education and upbringing. She married Henry Putnam, a lawyer trained at Harvard. Catherine Putnam ran a successful preparatory school, which supported the family through her husband's ill health. She was remembered for her benevolence. The Putnam's son, George Palmer Putnam, worked in publishing, and founded the firm eventually known as G. P. Putnam's Sons. Catherine Putnam died in New York in 1869.21

Catherine Putnam's publications, Scripture Text-Book (1837), and The Gospel by Moses in the Book of Genesis; or, The Old Testament Unveiled (1854) demonstrate that she was a well-educated and thoughtful Christian who confidently entered into the contemporary debate about typology. She supported her own position on typology with the views of the Scottish biblical scholar, Patrick Fairbairn (1805–1874), whose well-known book, Typology of Scripture (1845) advocated the continued use of typology, against the views of her American contemporaries, Calvin Stowe (1802–1886) and Moses Stuart (1780–1852). She published her first book anonymously as "a teacher," but she identified herself as the author of her second book.

Putnam's reading is very different than that of Grimké and Weld. Where Grimké found meaning in a fresh literal reading of the text, Putnam looked

21 Sources: Ronald J. Zboray, "George Palmer Putnam," in American National Biography
18:6–8. See also "Israel Putnam" published online at http://www.virtualology.com/virtualwar-
museum.com/revolutionarywarhall/ISRAELPUTNAM.ORG/ (accessed November 3, 2004).

-51-

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