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date: 17 January 2021

Howe, Julia Ward locked

  • Paul C. Echols
  • , revised by Laurie Blunsom


(b New York, NY, May 27, 1819; d South Portsmouth, RI, Oct 17, 1910). American poet, author, and social activist. In 1843 she married Samuel Gridley Howe and moved with him to Boston, where both became prominent abolitionists and jointly edited an antislavery paper, The Commonwealth. She began publishing lyric verse in 1854, but in later life concentrated on writing essays and books, notably Sex and Education (1874), Modern Society (1881), and a life of Margaret Fuller (1883). Her primary focus, however, remained social issues, and throughout her life she supported various liberal causes, including suffrage, the peace movement, public health, and various women’s issues. She became and remains most famous, however, for her poem “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (“Mine eyes have seen the glory”), written on 19 November 1861 after a visit to a Union army camp near Washington, DC. The poem was widely circulated after its appearance in the ...

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Dictionary of American Biography (New York, 1928-37, suppls., 1944-)