Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Van Loon, Elizabeth

by Lloyd R. Bailey, Sr., 1996

5 Feb. 1843?–6 Feb. 1893?

The cover of The Shadow of Hampton Mead (1878) by Elizabeth Van Loon. Image from Van Loon, author, apparently was born in Yancey County. That she grew up there is attested by an explicit statement in one of her works, Hampton Mead (p. 140), and from the fact that members of the Bailey family in Yancey remember that she was described by their ancestors as a relative. Whether her family name was Bailey, or Hampton, or some other, cannot be established. Of her education, nothing is known.

She wrote four novels, each published by T. B. Peterson and Brothers of Philadelphia: The Shadow of Hampton Mead (1878), A Heart Twice Won; or, Second Love (1878), Under the Willows; or, The Three Countesses (1879), and The Mystery of Allanwold (1880). The first of these is set in the mountains of North Carolina, apparently in Yancey County, whose geographic features and minor place-names are recognizable to those familiar with the county. The Shadow of Hampton Mead was also published in paperback (from the same type) by Royal Publishing Company of Philadelphia, undated, as The White Slave.

By 1870 she had married Benjamin Franklin Van Loon, and they were residents of Memphis, Tenn. By 1885 they were living in Knoxville, Tenn., where they remained until her death. Van Loon disappears from the records, but Elizabeth was buried in the Van Loon cemetery at the site of Campbellite Church on Middlebrook Pike (Ball Camp), Knoxville. The cemetery is located on land that Van Loon deeded to the church. Their only child, a daughter named Frankie, married Henry Goosie and has numerous descendants in the Knoxville area.


Knoxville city directories, 1871–74.

Tennessee census records.

Elizabeth Van Loon, The Shadow of Hampton Mead (1878).

Additional Resources:

McGrath, Eileen. "Elizabeth Van Loon. The Shadow of Hampton Mead. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson & Brothers, 1878." Read North Carolina Novels (blog). North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. December 18, 2008.  (accessed May 20, 2013).

"Mystery of Allanwold." National Literary Monthly 1, no. 6 (August 1880).  401.

"We mentioned some time ago..." Daily Evening News [Jeffersonville, Indiana] 7, no. 284 (October 21, 1879). 1.

Image Credits:

[cover]. (accessed May 20, 2013).

Origin - location: