Julia Ward Howe

May 27 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of American writer and activist Julia Ward Howe. Howe is perhaps best remembered today as the author of “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” but during her lifetime, she was acclaimed as a poet, lecturer, abolitionist, and advocate for the rights of women. She helped to found several women’s suffrage organizations and other clubs and advocacy groups.

Shown here is a commemorative item (VMSS 537) celebrating Howe’s birthday and the founding of the New England Women’s Club, which Howe helped to establish in May 1868. Howe has signed it and addressed it to Mrs. Mary J. Judah. The Greek inscription lauds Howe as a “Poetess/Philosopher/Philanthropist.”


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