Something In Common Among Us

It always surprises me how many people have adoption in their family histories in one way or another.  So I read today that Rachel Carson participated in a kinship adoption of her nephew, Roger Christie, who was the son of Rachel Carson’s niece Marjorie. Carson adopted Roger at age five after Marjorie’s sudden death.

This is a kind of adoption that I do think highly of and I already thought highly of Rachel Carson who was born on the same day as I was – May 27th.  She seems to have kept Roger out of the public eye as there is little one can find out about him.  She would have certainly instilled in any child in her orbit a respect for and love of wild nature.

Carson wrote in an article for The Women’s Home Companion in 1956, “the more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for destruction.”

Carson never married and had no children of her own. Her mother was always the most important person in her life, sharing her home and acting as her housekeeper and secretary. In their later years, they lived at the northern tip of Washington D.C in Silver Spring, Maryland.

That was not the first child Carson took under her wing. Carson’s elder sister Marian died of pneumonia in 1937. Marian’s husband had deserted her and their two daughters a few years earlier. Carson took the girls into her home. Carson’s mother, who was almost 70 years old, looked after them while Carson’s salary paid the bills. Carson and her mother cared for the girls until they were adults.

Rachel Carson died of a heart attack on April 14, 1964 in Silver Spring, Maryland. She was 56 years old. Carson’s will provided generously for the future of her adopted son Roger Christie who came under the guardianship of Carson’s close friend Paul Brooks, senior editor at Carson’s publishers Houghton Mifflin, and his wife Susie.

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