Adeline Dutton Train Whitney (pen name, A. D. T. Whitney; September 15, 1824 – March 20, 1906) was an American poet and prolific writer who published more than 20 books for girls. Her books expressed a traditional view of women's roles and were popular throughout her life.
Her first venture was a Book of Rhymes. Then followed: Mother Goose for Grown Folks, Boys at Chequassett, Faith Gartney's Girlhood, Hitherto —a Sfory of Yesterday, Prince Strong's Outings, The Gayworthys, Leslie Goldthwaite, We Girls, Holy Tides, Real Folks, The Other Girls, Sights and Insights, Odd and Even, Bannyborough Whiten Memories, Daffodils, Pansies, Homespun Yarns, Ascutney Street, A Golden Gossip, Bird Talk, and Just How.
Whitney was born Adeline Dutton Train in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Enoch Train and Adeline Train (née Dutton). Her father founded a line of packet ships that sailed between Boston and Liverpool, a major port of trade and emigration. Her cousin, George Francis Train, was a successful entrepreneur, a founder of the Union Pacific Railroad, and an adventurer, making three round-the-world trips.
Adeline was educated in Boston at private schools. She studied at the school of George B. Emerson from 1837 to 1842.
On November 7, 1843, she married Seth Dunbar Whitney, a wealthy merchant of Milton, who was twenty years older than she. They lived in Milton, where they raised their family. For many years her household obligations were such that she could not devote any time to her literary work. An occasional article to a religious journal was all the time she could afford.
Whitney started writing seriously in her thirties, after her children started school. She first published poems and stories in local journals. In 1859, she published her first book, Mother Goose for Grown Folks. She wrote mainly for young girls and supported conservative values. She promoted the message of the era that a woman's happiest place is in the home, the source of all goodness. As this was popular among parents, her books sold extremely well throughout her life. The 1905 New International Encyclopedia expressed the opinion that with Hitherto (1869) “the period of her best work ends.” Whitney also patented a set of alphabet blocks for children.
Whitney privately opposed women's suffrage, and took no part in public life (in accordance with the traditional approach for women expressed in her books.) Her daughter, Caroline Leslie Field, published prose and verse. She was known to the reading public through her contributions to periodicals. Whitney died in Milton at the age of 81.