Amelia Russell was born in France in 1798 to American parents (her father was a diplomat to Sweden and was a signer of the Treaty of Ghent). She was later educated in Woburn, MA, Providence and Newport RI, and then Philadelphia, PA. Letters between family members reveal that her “liveliness of temperament” caused her father “much anxiety.”
Her mother died in the 1811 when she was 13, and in 1817 she traveled with her father to Stockholm and throughout Europe. She returned to live in Milton, MA with family, and for a short time, ran a school in Providence.
At the age of 45, in 1842, she moved to Brook Farm. She was known as the Mistress of the Revels, and as a member of the Amusement Group, she organized many plays, games, and dances. She never supported Fourierism, but stayed at Brook Farm until its end.
At the age of 63, she became a nurse in the Union Army. After the war, she traveled abroad again with her sister, retracing the earlier trip she had taken with her father.
Amelia Russell was an accomplished painter, embroiderer, educator, and dancer. Her frequently-referenced memoir, “Home Life of the Brook Farm Association,” was published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1878. She died in 1880 at the age of 83.