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 primarily as an agent for the Freedmen's Bureau in Washington, DC.

Early Years
Josephine White was born December …Read More...

Feminists and Activists for Women's Equal Rights

Image: Executive Committee of the National Woman Suffrage Association (1869)

Women fought for more than 200 years to obtain the rights that were guaranteed to men in the U.S. Constitution. When the nineteenth century began, a woman was not permitted to vote or hold office; she had few rights to her own property or earnings; she could not take custody of her children if she divorced; she did not have access …Read More...

19th Century Author and Women's Rights Activist

Lillie Devereux Blake was a leading feminist and reformer, as well as a prominent fiction writer, journalist, essayist and lecturer, who worked with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony for women's suffrage (the right to vote).

She was born Elizabeth Johnson Devereux on August 12, 1833 to planters George Pollock Devereux and Sarah Elizabeth Johnson Devereux in Raleigh, North Carolina, but spent much of her early childhood on a plantation in Roanoke, …Read More...

Women Find New Power and Independence

The American Civil War illustrates how gender roles can be transformed when circumstances demand that women be allowed to enter into previously male-dominated positions of power and independence. This was the first time in American history that women played a significant role in a war effort, and by the end of the war the notion of true womanhood had been redefined.

During the decades prior to the Civil War, female activists flocked to …Read More...

Feminist and California Pioneer

Georgiana Bruce Kirby was a woman with ideas far ahead of her time - an early suffragist, educator and a California pioneer. In a world dominated by men, Kirby's intelligence and questioning mind would not allow her to accept a traditional life in which she could not pursue her ambitions and goals. Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School in Santa Cruz was named in her honor.

Early Years
Georgiana Bruce was born in Bristol, England on …Read More...

Author and Women's Rights Activist

Caroline Wells Healey Dall was an author, journalist, lecturer and champion of women's rights. A feminist and Unitarian Church liberal, Dall played a significant role in the antislavery movement and as spokesperson for woman's access to education and employment.

Caroline Healey was born on June 22, 1822, the oldest of eight children born to wealthy Bostonians, Mark and Caroline Foster Healey. Her father was a successful merchant, banker and investor in railroads who taught 18-month-old …Read More...