Dickinson was financially provided for and did not need to marry or work to support herself or her family. In 1856 when Edward Dickinson moved his family back into the newly renovated Homestead, he had just finished a term in Congress and established his son, the future of the Dickinson lineage, as his law partner. As one scholar writes, “Edward was oblivious to the fact that his mansion housed a poet, that it was his brilliant, reclusive eldest daughter, Emily, who would secure his family name and reputation beyond his wildest imagining.”
Polly Longsworth, “The ‘Latitude of Home’: Life in the Homestead and The Evergreens,” The Dickinsons of Amherst (Hanover: Univ. Press of New England, 2001), 518.