Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PICKEN, Joanna Belfage, poet, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, 8 May, 1798; died in Montreal, Canada, 24 March, 1849. She was the daughter of Ebenezer Picken, called the "Poet of Paisley," and Robina, sister of the Reverend Dr. Henry Belfrage, the author and philanthropist, and was early left an orphan. In 1828 she contributed poems to Glasgow papers, and in 1842 emigrated to Canada and settled in Montreal, where she taught music and wrote for periodicals under the pen-name of "Alpha." Her poems, which were never published in book-form, number about forty-five, and include "An Auld Friend with a New Face" and " The Death Watch."--Her brother, Andrew Belfrage, poet, born in Edinburgh, 5 November, 1802 : died in Montreal, Canada, 1 July, 1849, became involved in Sir Gregor Macgregor's colonization schemes, and afterward was engaged with a mahogany merchant in the West Indies, but returned to his native country. In 1830 he came to the United States, and afterward settled in Montreal, where he became known as an artist and taught painting and drawing. Mr. Picken contributed to newspapers and magazines of Montreal until his death, His principal poem is " The Bedouins" in three cantos, and his best tale is thought to be " The Plague Ship." Several of his poems have been erroneously ascribed to Andrew Picken, of Paisley, who was the author of occasional verses and several popular novels. See" The Poets and Poetry of Scotland," by General James Grant Wilson (New York, 1876).
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