Hodges Soileau: Julia Ward Howe
Artist: Hodges Soileau
The daughter of a noted New York banker, Julia Ward Howe was born on May 27, 1819. As she matured, she rejected the "life of cultivated leisure" which her parents lived. She married and moved to Boston with her husband Samuel Gridley Howe, a physician, reformer and pioneer teacher of the blind. Samuel and Julia Howe were ardent abolitionists, and her writings reflected this philosophy. Mrs. Howe's first book, a collection of poems, was published in 1854; thereafter, she wrote many volumes of verse, travel sketches and essays. However, none of these works impact or popularity of the patriotic song she composed in a tent one night visiting Union troops during the Civil War. "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was an instant success, and Mrs. Howe became one of America's most widely honored women. After the end of the War, Mrs. Howe organized the New England Woman Suffrage Association, and later the American Woman Suffrage Association. These organizations focused on the issues of woman's rights and encouraged the support of both men and women. Mrs. Howe died on October 17, 1910. She is best remembered for "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," which she wrote to help free the slaves, and later adapted for her suffrage campaign.
This artwork was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the U.S. 14¢ Julia Ward Howe stamp issued February 12, 1987.
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