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Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward HoweAKA Julia Ward

Born: 27-May-1819
Birthplace: New York City
Died: 17-Oct-1910
Location of death: South Portsmouth, RI
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA

Gender: Female
Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Activist, Songwriter

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Battle Hymn of the Republic

American author and reformer, born in New York City on the 27th of May 1819. Her father, Samuel Ward, was a banker; her mother, Julia Rush Cutler (1796-1824), a poet of some ability. When only sixteen years old she had begun to contribute poems to New York periodicals. In 1843 she married Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, with whom she spent the next year in England, France, Germany and Italy. She assisted Dr. Howe in editing the Commonwealth in 1851-53.

The results of her study of German philosophy were seen in philosophical essays; in lectures on "Doubt and Belief", "The Duality of Character", etc., delivered in 1860-61 in her home in Boston, and later in Washington; and in addresses before the Boston Radical Club and the Concord school of philosophy. Samuel Longfellow his brother Henry, Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, Charles Sumner, Theodore Parker and James Freeman Clarke wer among her friends; she advocated abolition, and preached occasionally from Unitarian pulpits. She was one of the organizers of the American Woman-Suffrage Association and of the Association for the Advancement of Women (1869), in 1870 became one of the editors of the Woman's Journal, and in 1872 president of the New England Women's Club. In the same year she was a delegate to the Prison Reform Congress in London, and founded there the Woman's Peace Association, one of the many ways in which she expressed her opposition to war.

She wrote The World's Own (unsuccessfully played at Wallacks, New York, in 1855, published 1857), and in 1858, for Edwin Booth, Hippolytus, never acted or published. Her lyric poetry, thanks to her temperament, and possibly to her musical training, was her highest literary form: she published Passion Flowers (anonymously, 1854), Words for the Hour (1856), Later Lyrics (1866), and From Sunset Ridge: Poems Old and New (1898); her most popular poem is The Battle Hymn of the Republic, written to the old folk tune associated with the song of "John Brown's Body", when Mrs. Howe was at the front in 1861, and published (February 1862) in the Atlantic Monthly, to which she frequently contributed. She edited Sex and Education (1874), an answer to Sex in Education (1873) by Edward Hammond Clarke (1820-1877); and wrote several books of travel, Modern Society (1880) and Is Polite Society Polite? (1895), collections of addresses, each taking its title from a lecture criticizing the shallowness and falseness of society, the power of money, etc., A Memoir of Dr. Samuel G. Howe (1876), Life of Margaret Fuller (1883), in the "Famous Women" series. Sketches of Representative Women of New England (1905) and her own Reminiscences (Boston, 1899).

Her children were: Julia Romana Anagnos, who, like her mother, wrote verse and studied philosophy, and who taught in the Perkins Institution, in the charge of which her husband, Michael Anagnos (1837-1906), whose family name had been Anagnostopoulos, succeeded her father; Henry Marion Howe, the eminent metallurgist, and professor in Columbia University; Laura Elizabeth Richards, and Maud Howe Elliott, wife of John Elliott, the painter of a fine ceiling in the Boston library -- both these daughters being contributors to literature. Mrs. Howe died on the 17th of October 1910.

Father: Samuel Ward (banker, b. 1786, d. 1839)
Mother: Julia Rush Cutler (b. 1796, d. 1824)
Brother: Sam Ward (diplomat, b. 1814, d. 1884)
Husband: Samuel Gridley Howe (educator, m. 1843)
Daughter: Julia Romana Anagnos (teacher, b. 1844 in Rome, d. 1886)
Son: Henry Marion Howe (metallurgist, b. 1848)
Daughter: Laura Elizabeth Richards (b. 1850)
Daughter: Maud Howe Elliott (b. 1855)

    Songwriters Hall of Fame

Author of books:
A Trip To Cuba (1860)
Sex and Education (1874, nonfiction)
Modern Society (1881)
Life of Margaret Fuller (1883, biography)
Is Polite Society Polite? (1898)

Appears on postage stamps:
USA, Scott #2177 (14 cents, issued 12-Feb-1987)


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