“I think we miss each other more every day that we grow older, for we’re all unlike most everyone, and are therefore more dependent on each other for delight”
Edward and Emily Norcross Dickinson had three children: William Austin born in 1829, Emily Elizabeth in 1830, and Lavinia “Vinnie” Norcross in 1833. This portrait of the three young Dickinsons was painted by Otis Bullard when the poet was around nine years old. It is striking that the young Dickinson, seated at left, holds a book and a flower—–perhaps her lifelong passion for reading and gardening began in her earliest years. The Dickinsons were a close knit group and remained so all their lives.
Emily Dickinson to Austin Dickinson (L114), April 8 1853, in The Letters of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1965), 1:239.