The Strange Disappearance Of Dorothy Francis, The New York City Heiress Who Vanished While Shopping On Fifth Avenue

Library of Congress - pictured above is Dorothy

On July 1, 1886, Dorothy Harriet Camille Arnold was born in New York City to her prominent parents, Mary Parks Arnold and Francis Rose.

Dorothy’s father was a distinguished Harvard graduate who eventually rose to senior partner at F.R. Arnold and Co, a perfume and cologne import business. And the Arnold family were actually descendants of William Brewster, a Mayflower passenger.

So, the Arnolds lived an exorbitantly wealthy life– gaining a spot on the New York City Social Register and enjoying a first-class Big Apple experience.

Dorothy was the eldest daughter of her parents and attended Veltin School for Girls for her primary education. Then, she went on to attend Bryn Mawr College– earning a literature and language degree.

The young woman’s largest goal was to become a prolific writer. But, after she graduated in 1905 and moved back into her parent’s home on East 79th Street to pursue this dream, her parents were far from supportive.

During the spring of 1910, Dorothy stuck her neck out and submitted a short story to a popular publication known as McClure’s Magazine.

Her work was rejected, though, and her family and friends were quick to ridicule her aspirations.

Still, Dorothy refused to give up and even got a P.O. box in order to correspond with publishers in secret and evade her family’s opinions.

Then, later that fall, she again tried to get published in McClure’s by submitting a second short story. To Dorothy’s sheer sadness, though, she was rejected again. And despite opting to share this upsetting news with her family again in hopes of feeling some support, they reportedly just kept teasing her.

Library of Congress – pictured above is Dorothy

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