Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LEONOWENS, Anna Harriette Crawford, author, born in Caernarvon, Wales, 5 November, 1834. She was the daughter of Thomas M. Crawford, a British officer, who was killed by the Sikhs, in Lahore, and married Thomas Leonowens, of the British army, after whose death she was compelled to support herself. In 1863 she was selected to fill the post of governess to the family of the king of Siam, who had acquired English from the missionaries, and desired that his children should be educated in that language. She spent four years in Bangkok, occupying not only the place of instructor to the royal family, but also that of secretary to the king in his foreign correspondence. The present king of Siam was educated under her special supervision, and showed his enlightenment by the abolition of slavery in 1868. She came to the United States in 1867, and settled in New York city, where she established a school for the education of teachers in the kindergarten system. Besides articles in the " Atlantic" and other magazines, she has published "The English Governess at the Court of Siam" (Philadelphia, 1870); "The Romance of the Harem" (1872); and "Life and Travels in India" (1884).
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