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HOWE, Julia Ward [1819-1901] -- American author, philanthropist, reformer

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She was born in New York city, May 27, 1819; daughter of Samuel Ward ¤ [1786-1839] and Julia Cutler. Among her ancestors were the Marions of South Carolina, Governor Samuel Ward, of the Continental congress, and Roger Williams.

Her father was a successful banker, and after the death of her mother in 1824 had the charge of her education, which was extremely liberal for the time, including the ancient and modern languages. Julia inherited poetic genius from her mother. After her father's death in 1839 she visited Boston and while there met Margaret Fuller.

She was married in New York in 1843 to Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, the eminent philanthropist. They spent the first year of their married life abroad and their first child, Julia Romana, was born in Rome, Italy. Mrs. Howe was already well acquainted with the French, German and Italian languages. Before the civil war she conducted with her husband "The Commonwealth", an anti-slavery paper, and in 1861 she wrote the famous "Battle Hymn of the Republic." A trip to Greece in 1867 resulted in her entertaining work, "From the Oak to the Olive."

In 1869 she espoused the cause of woman suffrage, and her first speech before a legislative committee was made in the green room of the state house, Boston, in the winter of 1869. She was an original member of the New England club, of which she was elected president. She presided from time to time over the deliberations of the American Woman Suffrage association and was a delegate to the World's Prison Reform Congress in London in 1872. During her stay in England she made every effort to promote the formation of an international peace association of women, for which she had already published one appeal at the close of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870. She was president of the Woman's branch of the New Orleans exposition, 1884-85, and was elected vice-president of the American Author's guild in 1898. She preached in Rome, Italy, Santo Domingo and from Unitarian pulpits in the United States, and lectured before the Concord School of Philosophy.

Of Mrs. Howe's family, the well-known Sam Ward [1814-84] of New York and Washington society was her brother; the elder of her sisters was the wife of the sculptor, Thomas Crawford, and the mother of Francis Marion Crawford, the novelist; her youngest sister married, in 1846, Adolph Mailliard, whose father was administrator of the American estate of Joseph Bonaparte, ex-king of Spain; her daughter Julia Romana was a distinguished educator; her daughter Laura E. Richards became a well-known author; her daughter Maud, also an author, was married to John Elliott, the artist; her daughter Florence became a writer on social topics, and her son Henry Marion acquired a wide reputation as a writer on iron and steel manufacture.

Her poetical works include: "Passion Flowers" (1854); "Words of the Hour" (1856); "Later Lyrics" (1866); "From Sunset Ridge" (1898). Her plays include: "The World's Own", acted at Wallack's theatre, 1855, and "Hippolytus", a tragedy never produced, written for Edwin Booth in 1858. Her prose works include: "A Trip to Cuba" (1860); "From the Oak to the Olive" (1868); "Modern Society" (1881); "Life of Margaret Fuller" (1883), and a volume of essays entitled: "Is Polite Society Polite?" (1898); and she edited: "Sex and Education", a reply to Dr. Edward H. Clarke's "Sex in Education" (1874). She was associate editor of the "Woman's Journal" and contributed to the various reviews and magazines.  -30-
 

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Julia Ward Howe
USPS 14˘ 1987
Famous Americans series
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