Louisa May Alcott

Art & Culture

The Legend of Little Women

Louisa May Alcott macdougal street greenwich village

About Louisa May Alcott

 & why it made the Carpe City list

  • 130-132 McDougal St. is a pair of connected Greek Revival brownstones that date to 1852. 
  • The literary and artistic history of McDougal Street is rich, and when thinking of creatives in the Village, most think of Bob Dylan or Jack Kerouac. Not many think of another famous McDougalstreet resident, Louisa May Alcott, the abolitionist, feminist, Civil War nurse, and best-selling author of Little Women.  
  • She lived at 130-132 McDougal Street, staying with her uncle, who owned the property. 
  • Legend has it that Alcott finished Little Women in this house, though there’s no record of it, and Alcott herself told the New York Times in that she wrote the novel in Boston. 
  • Today, New York University owns the building and uses it as housing for law school students. 

Carpe City Trivia

Who was Louisa May Alcott?

  • She grew up in Massachusetts and lived briefly with her family on a Transcendentalist commune. 
  • Her family helped hide slaves making their way north on the Underground Railroad. 
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau taught Alcott and were also her father’s friends. 
  • Her friends included Friedrick Douglas and suffragist Julia Ward Howe. 
  • In 1879, the state of Massachusetts allowed women to vote in local elections on matters concerning education and children, Alcott became the first woman in Concord, Massachusetts registered to vote! 

By: Lucie Levine

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