Ellen Clemenentine Howarth was born in Cooperstown, NY, the daughter of a calico-printer. After her marriage in 1845 to an English calico printer, she and her husband settled in Trenton where they struggled to make a living. Howarth helped support the family by caning chairs. Howarth wrote her poems whenever inspiration struck her. She kept a pencil and paper on her at all times in case inspiration came while doing the laundry or other chores. “The Tress of Golden Hair” and other Howarth poems have been set to music by contemporary New Jersey composer Godfrey Schroth.