Mary Theodosia Palmer Banks

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Wife of Union General Nathaniel Banks

Mary Theodosia Palmer was born October 16, 1819 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the daughter of Jeduthan and Sarah Palmer. In her youth, Mary worked at the spinning frame in a Waltham textile mill, where she met Nathaniel Prentice Banks, son of one of the foremen there. Banks had attended a one-room school run by his [Read More ...]

Celia Thaxter

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Poet, Essayist and Independent Woman

Image: Celia Thaxter at different stages of her life
Credit: Seacoast New Hampshire

Known as the Island poet, Celia Laighton Thaxter lived much of her life on the Isles of Shoals, a group of nine islands six miles off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire. She wrote primarily of her life on White, [Read More ...]

Poffenberger Farms of Antietam

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Field Hospitals at the Battle of Antietam

During the Battle of Antietam, farms owned by Joseph, Samuel, Alfred and John Poffenberger were used and abused by military personnel. The families passed down stories of hiding livestock and household valuables from the hordes of soldiers who were plundering farms and homes. A teenager at the time, Otho Poffenberger, son of John [Read More ...]

Mary Putnam Jacobi

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Pioneer for Women in the Medical Professions

Mary Putnam Jacobi was a prominent physician, author, scientist, activist, educator, and perhaps most importantly, a staunch advocate of women's right to seek medical education and training. Men in medicine claimed that a medical education would make women physically ill, and that women physicians endangered their profession. Jacobi worked to prove them wrong [Read More ...]

Josephine Sophia White Griffing

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Activist in the Abolitionist and Women's Rights Movements

Image: Family of Slaves
Washington, DC, 1861

Josephine Sophia White Griffing was a social reform activist who campaigned for the abolition of slavery and women's rights. In 1864, she moved to our nation's capital to help the newly freed slaves who were streaming into the capital by the thousands. Griffing worked [Read More ...]

Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin

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Journalist and Founder of African American Women's Clubs

Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin was an African American leader, a publisher, journalist and editor of Women's Era, the first newspaper published by and for African American women. She was an abolitionist and suffragist, and she is perhaps best remembered for her role in establishing clubs for African American women.

Early Years
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