Annie Trumbull Slosson

Annie Trumbull Slosson (May 18, 1838 Stonington, Connecticut - October 4, 1926 New York City) was an American author and entomologist.

Annie Trumbull Slosson
Born(1838-05-18)May 18, 1838
DiedOctober 4, 1926(1926-10-04) (aged 88)
NationalityUnited States
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materHartford Female Seminary
Scientific career
InstitutionsNew York Entomological Society
Author abbrev. (zoology)Slosson


She was the daughter of Gurdon Trumbull (1790-1875) and Sarah Ann (Swan) Trumbull of Stonington, Connecticut. Her given name was Anna, but she appears to have used Annie consistently. Her father, Gurdon Trumbull was originally from Norwich. He was a merchant and local politician in Stonington, and made a fortune in the whale and seal fisheries active in New England at that time. Annie Trumbull was the ninth of ten children, seven of whom survived to adulthood. In 1852 the family moved to Hartford, where she attended public schools and Hartford Female Seminary. She was married in Hartford on June 27, 1867, (another date given is June 6) to Edward Slosson (c. 1814-1871), a lawyer and politician in New York City. They had no children. Annie Trumbull Slosson died at her home (26 Gramercy Park, New York City) on October 4, 1926, and was buried in Hartford, Connecticut.[1]

Family members

Several others of her family were notable in literary, scientific, and religious life:[2]

  • James Hammond Trumbull (1821–1897) (brother), philologist
  • Annie Eliot Trumbull (1857-1949) (niece), author
  • Gurdon Trumbull Jr. (1841-1903, brother), ornithologist and artist/illustrator
  • Henry Clay Trumbull (brother) author, editor, and Sunday-school missionary
  • William Cowper Prime (1825–1905) (brother-in-law), art historian, married in 1851 to sister Mary Hollister Trumbull, (1829 or 1830 - 1872). Annie traveled with William Prime after both were widowed, and he also was involved with the New York Entomological Society.[3]


Slosson is considered a significant author in the "local color" (regionalism) movement of the late 19th century (Edwin Mellen Press, 2009). Most of her works were short stories, many published in The Atlantic Monthly and Harper's Bazaar. Some were collected into book form. Literary works by Slosson include:

  • The China Hunter's Club (1878)
  • Aunt Randy. An Entomological Sketch (1887)
  • Fishin' Jimmy (1889)
  • Seven Dreamers (1890)
  • The Heresy Mehetabel Clark (1892)
  • Anna Malann (1894)
  • Dumb Foxglove and Other Stories (1898)
  • Story-Tell Lib (1900)
  • Aunt Abby's Neighbors (1902)
  • White Christopher (1905)
  • Simples from the Masters Garden (1907)
  • A Dissatisfied Soul - A Tale of the White Mountains (1908)
  • A local colorist (1909)
  • A Little Shepherd of Bethlehem (1914)
  • Puzzled Souls (1915)
  • ...and Other Folks (1918)

Noted angling story teller, Henry Van Dyke said this about Fishin' Jimmy:(Van Dyke 1932)

The loveliest of all her simple narratives is that which I have chosen to stand near the end of this book,--a kind of benediction on anglers.


Slosson devoted much of her time to entomology later in life, especially after 1886, though she had no formal college-level training in entomology.[4] In 1892, she was one of the founding members of the New York Entomological Society (and its first female member), and it met for some time in her home in New York City. Later, through her efforts, The society met at the American Museum of Natural History. She wrote numerous scientific papers in the field of entomology, and a few in botany as well (Davis, 1926). Her entomological papers were published in a number of journals, including Journal of the New York Entomological Society, Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society, Entomological News, Canadian Entomologist, and Entomologica Americana (Tolley-Stokes, 2008). Slosson collected extensively in Florida (especially near Miami) as well as New York City and the White Mountains of New Hampshire (Nadel, 2005; Tolley-Stokes, 2008). Over one-hundred newly described insects bear the species epithet slossoni (or slossonae) in her honor,[5] often because she collected the first specimen. Her collection of some 35,000 insects was donated to the American Museum of Natural History.[6] Some examples of insects named for her include: Coelioxys slossoni, a leaf-cutter bee,[7] Rhopalotria slossoni, a weevil associated with cycads, especially Zamia pumila,[8] and Zethus slossonae, a wasp.[9]

She described, herself, several species, including: Eubaphe meridiana, a geometer moth.[10]

By the time of her death in 1926, she was known for her entomological work, but her fiction was largely forgotten.[11]

  1. Leonard, 1914; McAtee et al., 1940; Tolley-Stokes, 2008
  2. McAtee et al., 1940; Tolley-Stokes, 2008
  3. Nadel, 2005; Leng, 1918; Tolley-Stokes, 2008
  4. (Tolley-Stokes, 2008; Nadel, 2005)
  5. Edwin Mellen Press 2009; Hadley
  6. Hadley; Tolley-Stokes, 2008
  7. BugGuide
  8. BugGuide
  9. BugGuide
  10. (BugGuide)
  11. Edwin Mellen Press, 2009
  • Biodiversity Heritage Library. Entry for Trumbull, Gurdon (1841 - 1903)
  • Davis, William T. (1926). "Annie Trumbull Slosson (obituary)". Journal of the New York Entomological Society, Vol. 34, No. 4 (Dec., 1926), pp. 361–365 (JSTOR link)
  • Edwin Mellen Press (2009). Summary of "The Life and Work of Writer Annie Trumbull Slosson – A Connecticut Local Colorist".
  • Hadley, Debbie. "Women Entomologists of the 19th and Early 20th Centuries"—accessed 14 February 2010.
  • The Harpers Magazine Foundation. Slosson, Annie Trumbull (1838–1926) Stories by Annie Trumbull Slosson—accessed 14 February 2010.
  • Ifkovic, E. 2004. The Life and Works of Writer Annie Trumbull Slosson - a Connecticut Local Colorist. Edwin Mellen Press; Lewiston, NY. viii + 481 pp. ISBN 0-7734-6396-8.
  • Leng, Charles W. (1918). "History of The New York Entomological Society, 1893-1918". Journal of the New York Entomological Society 26: 129-133. (Biodiversity Heritage Library)
  • Leonard, William John (1914). Woman's Who's Who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada. Volume 1, p. 752 (Google Books).
  • McAtee, W. L., A. K. Fisher and S. G. Emilio (1940). "Obituary for Gurdon Trumbull, Jr." The Auk 57: 597-599 (JSTOR link).
  • Nadel, Hannah (2005). Review of Ifkovic, E. (2004), "The Life and Works of Writer Annie Trumbull Slosson". Florida Entomologist 88(3): 344-345 September 2005 (PDF).
  • New York Entomological Society (no date given). "A Short History of the Society"—accessed 14 February 2010.
  • New York Times (6 August 1897, p. 5). Death list of a day. (obituary for James Hammond Trumbull--link to entry)
  • New York Times (5 October 1926, p. 29) (obituary for Annie Trumbull Slosson--Abstract)
  • Slosson, Annie T. (1918). "Reminiscences of the Early Days of The New York Entomological Society". Journal of the New York Entomological Society 26: 134-137 (Biodiversity Heritage Library)
  • Tolley-Stokes, Rebecca (2008). Annie Trumbull Slosson (May 18, 1838 - October 4, 1926). In: Patterson, Daniel, Roger Thompson, and J. Scott Bryson, eds. Early American Nature Writers: A Biographical Encyclopedia, pp. 320–327. ISBN 978-0-313-34680-4.
  • Van Dyke, Henry, ed. (1932). A Creelful of Fishing Stories. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons..
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