An American children's writer and editor, she is most famous for Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates (1865), a novel that presents a portrait of early nineteenth-century Dutch life.
During her younger years, she received a good education from private tutors. She later collaborated with her father on the publication of the United States Journal.
She married lawyer William Dodge in 1851. Eight years later, as a result of financial woes, Dodge left the family and was later found dead.
She was the editor of St. Nicholas Magazine, which solicited stories from Mark Twain .