Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward Howe (May 27, 1819 - October 17, 1910) was a prominent United States abolitionist, social activist, and poet.

Born Julia Ward in New York City, she was the third of six children of a well-to-do banker. In 1843 she married a fellow abolitionist, physician Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe. The couple made their home in Boston, and were active in the Free Soil Party.

Howe's Battle Hymn of the Republic was first published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1862 and quickly became one of the most popular songs for the Union during the American Civil War.

After the war she focused her activities on the causes of Pacifism and women's suffrage. She was a member of the Unitarian church.

In 1870 she was the first to proclaim Mother's Day, with her Mother's Day Proclamation.

On January 28, 1908 Julia Ward Howe became the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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