An American writer of romance novels and young women's fiction, she is particularly known for The Lamplighter, a bestselling 1854 novel. Her other works include Haunted Hearts, Around Mull, and Mabel Vaughan.
She studied at Mrs. Charles Sedgwick's Young Ladies' School in Lenox, Massachusetts.
She was the Massachusetts-born daughter of David Cummins and Maria F. Kittredge.
She and Samuel McIntire were both from Salem, Massachusetts.
Her famous novel, The Lamplighter, sold 70,000 copies in the year following its publication.