Lucy M. Freibert
Caroline Chesebrough, or Chesebro' as she named herself, came by the bold and unorthodox strain in her writing naturally. Born in Canandaigua, New York, on March 30, 1825, the fifth of eight children of Betsey Kimball and Nicholas Goddard Chesebrough, she descended from pioneers who had founded Stonington, Connecticut, in 1649. The year after Caroline's birth, her father, a sometime hatter, wool dealer, and postmaster, received a one-year jail sentence for joining in a conspiracy to thwart publication of a book revealing the secrets of Freemasonry.
Educated at the Canandaigua Seminary, Chesebro' read widely among British and American authors. Although school records, biographical works, and bibliographical indexes vary the spelling of her name, she signed correspondence " Caroline Chesebro'." In 1848, she placed her first story in Graham's American Monthly Magazine. Over the next three years, while continuing to write for Graham's, Chesebro' contributed to Holden's Dollar Magazine, The Knickerbocker Magazine, Sartain's Union Magazine of Literature and Art, The Peterson Magazine, and Godey's Lady's Book.
By 1851, Chesebro' had gained significant recognition. J. S. Redfield published nineteen of her magazine pieces and five new stories in Dream-Land by Daylight, a Panorama of Romance. In the preface, E. F. Ellet, a prominent historian, wrote that Chesebro' deepened her sensitivity by absorbing the natural beauty of western New York and expanded her knowledge by studying "authors whose works display the most profound knowledge of the human heart" (viii).
After the publication of Dream-Land, Chesebro' placed stories chiefly in Harper's New Monthly Magazine but wrote also for Appleton's Journal, Beadle'sMonthly