Rebecca Harding Davis is Born

Rebecca Blaine Harding Davis (1831-1910; born Rebecca Blaine Harding) was an American author and journalist.

She is deemed a pioneer of literary Realism in American literature. Her most important literary work is the novella Life in the Iron Mills published in the April 1861 edition of the Atlantic Monthly. Throughout her lifetime, Harding Davis sought to effect social change for blacks, women, Native Americans, immigrants, and the working class, by intentionally writing about these marginalised groups' plight in the 19th century.

Rebecca Harding Davis was born in 1831 in Washington, Pennsylvania and raised by a mother who loved learning and witing about language and a father compelled with storytelling. Davis learned the love of reading early in her childhood, and "most influential was her reading of Nathaniel Hawthorne, to whom she attributes the commonplace subject matter of her own writing."

Rebecca Harding Davis was considered one of the nation's first social historians and pioneering literary artists. She wrote to find social change for blacks, women, immigrants, and the working class throughout the Civil War. She was "one of the first writers to portray the Civil War non-polemically, expose political corruption in the North, and unmask bias in legal constraints on women, Davis's primary contribution to literary history rests in the innovations she introduced into American literature."