Julia Ward Howe

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Date Submitted: 02/26/2013 10:45 PM

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Julia Ward Howe

Born in 1819, in New York City, Julia Ward Howe was one of seven children of Samuel Ward, a Wall Street Banker and Julia Ward, a published poet. Her mother passed away during the birth of her seventh child, so Julia and her siblings were taken care of by their strict, but loving father until he passed away in1839. Because education was limited to women during this time, Julia educated herself without her father knowing, and grew to be a very intelligent woman. After her father’s death, Julia moved to live with her brother Sam and his wife Emily, until she quickly started her own life.

In 1843, Julia met and married Samuel Gridley Howe, who was a teacher at Perkins Institute for the blind in Watertown, Massachusetts. He was a great deal older than her and took complete control over everything Julia did. She was not allowed to work, but instead had to stay home and perform the duties of a wife and mother. Her husband even took control of her inheritance and ended up wasting most of it on bad investments. Despite her husband’s controlling behavior Julia still managed to educate herself further, become a famous writer, and have a huge impact on the reform movement, especially

women’s suffrage.

I believe that Julia Ward Howe is very worthy of study. Aside from her obvious intelligence and famous writing, she helped start the women’s rights movement and impacted it greatly. Her writing is what started it all for her and helped her become famous. Passion Flowers, her first collection of poems made into a book, were published anonymously, but people soon realized who the author was. Although, her husband was not happy about it, Julia’s poems gained a lot of attention. They were said to be grave and rare to the times and called "a product wrung with tears and prayer from the deepest soul of the writer" by George Ripley of the New York Tribune. This was the start of some very bold moves on Julia’s part and it is something that I admire. She...