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Frances Hackley (Oct. 27, 1820-Sept. 3, 1913) Unitarian
Frances was the largest single contributor to the American Unitarian Association for some years. She endowed the Hackley School, a boys’ preparatory school (1899), in Tarrytown, New York, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Santa Cruz County (1902), in California. She was well- known for her philanthropic works. Her portrait hangs at the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Mary Lamson Joy Hadley (1861-1924) Universalist
In 1885 she married Perley Hadley in Boston, MA, and from 1895-1911 she preached as a Baptist minister. In 1911, she served the Union Church in Gardner MA, and while there converted to Universalism. She was ordained as a Universalist minister in 1912. She had pastorates in Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Florida, and Maine. While in Maine, she served as chaplain for the Maine House of Representatives and Senate. She was also apparently the first woman ever settled in any Protestant church in Canada, in Huntingville, Quebec, from 1913-15. She served as superintendent for the Cradle Roll and Cradle Roll-at-Large, and was superintendent for the General Sunday School Association. She was president of the Florida State Convention, second vice president and vice president of the Maine State Convention from 1922-24. She was also trustee of the Women’s Universalist Missionary Society of Maine.
Lucretia Peabody Hale (Sept 2, 1820-June 12, 1900) Unitarian
This author wrote, with her brother Edward Everett Hale, a religious novel, Margaret Percivalin America (1850), published five short stories in Atlantic Monthly (1858-1863): a novel Struggle For Life (1861); two anthologies of devotional readings; and a children’s story in Our Young Folks. Her most popular writings are stories of the Peterkin family, gathered in book form as The Peterkin Papers(1880) and The Last of the Peterkins (1886). She wrote a series of game books, sewing and embroidery books, and Sunday school reading lessons. Other titles are An Uncloseted Skeleton (1888) and The New Harry and Lucy (1892). Her family papers are at Smith College.
Susan Hale (Dec. 5, 1833-Sept 17, 1910) Unitarian
Born in Boston, the sister of Lucretia Peabody Hale and Edward Everett Hale, this artist and author, though informally educated, began teaching in the 1850s. During the Civil War she used her literary skills in the service of local benefits. She edited the Balloon-Post, the newspaper for the French Fair in 1871 and Sheets for the Cradle, a newspaper published to aid the Massachusetts Infant Asylum Fair in 1875, among others. She frequently traveled abroad and with Edward wrote the Family Flight series of travel books for young people. In the 1870s she began reading aloud to groups of women and over the years expanded that activity into lectures on the authors of the 18th century. Men and Manners of the Eighteenth Century (Boston: 1898) and Life and Letters of the Boston poet Thomas Gold Appleton (Boston, 1885) displayed her interest in that era. Although liberal religiously, she remained a Republican politically and was not an advocate of women’s rights or other liberal causes. She died of a cerebral hemorrhage at Matuunuck, where she is buried.
Charlotte (Gail) Gailband Hamaker (Nov. 14, 1925-Feb. 15, 1986) Unitarian Universalist
Gail was born in southern California. Her mother died when she was nine, and her father sent her to a Catholic boarding school. She graduated from the University of California with a BA in history at 15 and later did graduate work in art history. She was a museum curator. She married Frank M. Hamaker in 1951 and had four children. She taught Sunday School at the Palo Alto Unitarian Church, served on its Board and other committees and ran the church book store. She served for eight years on the General Assembly Planning Committee for the Unitarian Universalist Association, as well as on committees for disabilities and gender inclusive language. She was also involved in the American Association of University Women, Little League, the Palo Alto Dance Group and other community organizations. Women’s issues were her focus, and she was secretary to her congregation’s Women’s Alliance and editor of its newsletter. She served on the Women and Religion Task Force in the Pacific Central District and credits these women with inspiring her and energizing her for her numerous involvements.
Phebe Ann Coffin Hanaford (May 6, 1829-June 2, 1921) Universalist
The first Universalist woman ordained to the ministry in New England, Phebe was also a feminist activist and author. Her poems are published in From Shore to Shore and Other Poems (Boston: B.B. Russell, 1971). The final poem in that volume, “The Question Answered,” suggested by an incident in the lives of Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown Blackwell, is a debate concerning whether or not women should strive for the ministry. Phebe also published a collection of biographies of prominent American women, many of whom she knew personally, in Women of the Century (1876). Another source is “Twenty Years in the Pulpit,” Woman’s Journal, Dec. 27, 1890, p. 409. She also wrote a number of books for children: Abraham Lincoln: His Life and Public Services (1865); Life of Charles Dickens (1871); and True Blue Series, including Frank Nelson: or the Runaway Boy. She edited two Universalist papers, Ladies’ Repository and Myrtle. Her life partner was musician and composer, Ellen Miles, with whom she wrote hymns; the text of one of these is in the Wakefield Historical Society. Her papers are located at the Peter Folger Museum, Nantucket, MA. Excerpts from her writings are included in Standing Before Us: Unitarian Universalist Women and Social Reform, 1776-1936 (Boston: Skinner House, 2000).
Eliza Rice Hanson (April 11, 1825 -?) Universalist
Concerned that women eminent in the Universalist Church for their literary and philanthropic contributions would be forgotten, she compiled a book of sketches titled Our Woman Workers (1881). She wrote more than two thousand letters to collect facts for her entries and found both women and men eager to contribute to the chronicles. The text is a collection of “word pictures” depicting the special qualities or contributions of roughly 150 women during the first century of American Universalism.
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (Sept. 24, 1825-Feb. 22, 1911) Unitarian
One of the few African American women associated with the denomination, Frances was a prolific writer, lecturer, and reformer. Her books include Forest Leaves (1845), which is apparently lost; Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects (1854), anti-slavery verse; Moses: A Story of the Nile (1869); Sketches of a Southern Life (1872); The Martyr of Alabaina and Other Poems (1892); and Iola Leroy (1892). This last book, a compelling novel about African American life during Reconstruction, has been republished by Beacon Press (1987). Although she wrote materials for the African Methodist Episcopal church, she was a member of the Unitarian church in Philadelphia, and her funeral was conducted there. She was buried in what was thought to be an unmarked grave in Eden Cemetery. In the fall of 1992, when the Coalition of African American Unitarian Universalist Organizations held a special celebration in her honor and dedicated a new monument to mark her grave, the original marker was discovered. Excerpts from her writing are included in Standing Before Us: Unitarian Universalist Women and Social Reform, 1 776-1 936 (Boston: Skinner House, 2000).
Ida A. Hasted Harper (Feb. 18, 1851-Mar. 14, 1931) Unitarian
Journalist and suffragist, she showed an early talent for writing. Her first published works were under a male pseudonym in the Terre Haute Saturday Evening Mail, (IN), for which she later wrote a column, “A Woman’s Opinion,” and was paid despite her husband’s objections. Then she became editor-in-chief of the Terre Haute Daily News. Long active in Women’s suffrage, she was selected by Susan B. Anthony to take charge of press relations during the state suffrage campaign. She lived with Susan, edited her biography, collaborated with her on volume 4 of the History of Woman Suffrage, and later completed the series by writing volumes 5 and 6. She travelled with Susan, became a public lecturer herself and wrote extensively on feminist issues. She edited a column in the New York Sunday Sun (1899-1903) and a women’s page in Harper’s Bazaar(1909-1913), as well as writing syndicated weekly letters and articles for newspapers in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago, and Indianapolis. The Library of Congress has several scrapbooks of her clippings.
Vilma Szantho Harrington (Jan. 15, 1913-Oct. 15, 1982) Hungarian/US Unitarian Universalist
The first woman minister in Central and Eastern Europe, she was born in Hungary and graduated from the Unitarian Theological Seminary in Kolozsvar, Transylvania (now Clug, Romania). In 1938 she was ordained in Kolozsvar, where she served as Assistant Minister. Later she became Assistant Minister in Torda. In 1939, she married Donald Harrington and moved to the US. He was ordained later that year and together they served churches in Chicago and New York City. She was a cofounder of the Beverly Church in Illinois. In the 1970s she was the Metro New York UU District Minister to college students.
M. Louise Hastings (Dates unknown) Unitarian
Secretary of the American Unitarian Association, she edited Behold the Sower! A Book of Religious Teaching for the Home (Beacon, 1919).
Rebecca Hawes (Jan. 24, 1836-Dec. 8, 1924) Unitarian
Born in New Bedford MA and educated at a Boston girls’ school, she was a life-long Unitarian. The family moved to Buffalo NY and, after her father’s death, to Ridgewood NJ. Rebecca started her own private school in 1877. She taught music and was the organist in the Dutch Reformed Church. Although they could attend services at the Unitarian church in Montclair, in 1874 they formed a local group which met at homes. Rebecca was a founding member of the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood and sat on the Board of Trustees. She organized the Women’s Alliance and served as in various offices. It was named the Rebecca Williams Hawes Alliance in her honor. She was a radical suffragist holding the founding meeting of the Ridgewood branch of the Women’s Political Union in her home. She participated in parades and corner rallies.
Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne (Sept. 21, 1809-Mar. 3, 1871) Unitarian
Artist and writer, she was the sister of Elizabeth Peabody and Mary Peabody Mann and wife of Nathaniel Hawthorne. She was educated in classes held by her sister, Elizabeth, and through her own extensive reading. At the Peabody family bookshop in Boston, she met many famous intellectuals of the day. She shared a studio with Mary Newall, where a number of noted artists visited and gave her lessons. Her work was excellent and began appearing in books by Bronson Alcott and by her future husband. One of her best-known works was her bust of Laura Dewey Bridgman, the famous deaf-mute. After a long engagement, she and Nathaniel were married by the Unitarian minister. James Freeman Clarke. They lived in Concord and then Salem, but until he published The Scarlet Letter , she had to help support the family by painting and selling shades and screens. She also helped edit her husband’s books. Her own writing included selections in Atlantic Monthly and a travel journal, Notes in England and Italy (1869). To raise funds to support her family after her husband’s death, she edited his notebooks, which were then published as Passages from the American Note-Books of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1868); Passages from the English Note- Books of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1870): Passages from the French and Italian Note-Books (1871).
Harriet Hayden (c. 1816-1893) Unitarian
Harriet was born in slavery. Later she married Lewis Hayden, African American leader, and their home at 66 Phillips Street, Boston, became a station on the Underground Railroad. She and Lewis were parishoners of Theodore Parker. Harriet left a scholarship for “needy and worthy colored students” to attend Harvard Medical School.
Lorenza Haynes (Apr. 15, 1820-June 6, 1899) Universalist
She attended academies in Massachusetts and taught for over thirty years before entering the Universalist ministry. Principal of the Chester NH Academy, she later organized a seminary for young women in Rochester NY. While a librarian in Waltham MA, she lectured frequently and began her studies for the Universalist ministry by working with Olympia Brown for a year. She entered Canton Theological School as the only woman in her class, graduated with the highest grades, and was ordained in 1875. She officiated as chaplain in the Maine State Senate and House of Representatives and was also chaplain of the Soldiers’ Home in Togus, ME (the first woman to hold all three positions). She served churches in Hallowell, Fairfield and Skowhegan ME; and Marlboro, Rockport, and Pigeon Cove MA. She was a member and first vice president of the Women’s Ministerial Conference. Social reformer and suffrage advocate, she frequently spoke before the legislative committees of the Maine and Massachusetts state governments. She was a lifelong friend of Mary Livermore.
Margaret Hazlitt (Dec. 10, 1770-Sept. 19, 1841) Irish Unitarian
Born in Maidstone in Ireland, daughter of the Rev. William Hazlitt and his wife, Grace Loftus Hazlitt, Margaret and her family spent four years in America, where her father preached the gospel of the rational Unitarian belief. Because of his radical views, the Rev. Hazlitt was unable to find a permanent settlement, and so the family returned to Ireland. The memory of those years (1883-1887) remained with her as probably the most lively and interesting time of her life. Although she was very talented as an artist and writer, it was her brothers who received instruction and she devoted herself mostly to domestic life. The Journal of Margaret Hazlitt, (edited and annoted by Ernest J. Moyne, University of Kansas Press, 1967), was written to preserve the memory of her father and record their time in America.
Clara Cook Helvie (Jan. 24, 1876-July 22, 1969) Unitarian
She graduated from business school and worked as a secretary. In 1902 she married Charles Helvie. For eight years the couple lived in Manila P1, where she edited the women’s page of The Manila Times. Upon her return to the US in 1910, she worked as Correspondence Clerk for the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Co. in Buffalo. Becoming a widow in 1916, she decided to go to Meadville Theological School. When she applied for ordination to the Unitarian ministry, she found that no woman had been ordained into the denomination since Rowena Mann in 1906, and although 39 women had been ordained since 1871, many men were opposed to it. She was told, essentially, that except for Margaret Barnard women hadn’t contributed any worthwhile work. Finally, several churches offered to ordain her, and she chose the Wheeling WV Unitarian Church. She worked continuously, except for a time during the Depression when, as with most professions, men often had first choice of jobs. She was a minister for parishes in West Virginia, Indiana, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. She served on many denominational committees and was the only woman minister to take part in the dedication service of the Unitarian Headquarters in Boston and of the First Church in Washington DC. Using correspondence with women in the ministry and research in denominational publications, Clara wrote two manuscripts: “Unitarian Women Ministers” (1928) and “Necrology of Women Serving in the Universalist Ministry” (1950). While these works were never published, they provide important material for subsequent research, including Catherine F. Hitchings Universalist and Unitarian Women Ministers (1975, 1985).
Mary Porter Tileston Hemenway (Dec. 20, 1820-Mar. 6, 1894) Unitarian
A noted Boston philanthropist, Mary’s chief concerns were strengthening education in the South, improving the homemaking skills of girls in Boston, and promoting knowledge of the American past. She gave a substantial amount to the Tileston Normal School (Wilmington NC) initiated there by the American Unitarian Association to educate poor whites, and she contributed to the Hampton and Tuskegee institutes. In Boston, she helped subsidize teachers and materials for sewing, cooking, and physical education classes. Her considerable financial backing helped save the Old South Meeting House, a Revolutionary War landmark in Boston. Her proposal that the Meeting House be used for the purposes of historical education resulted in written materials that were later incorporated into the public schools.
Alice Henry (Mar. 21, 1857-Feb. 14, 1943) Unitarian
Journalist and women’s trade union leader, she was born in Australia and wrote for the Melbourne newspapers. In 1906, she emigrated to the U.S. and became an associate of Anna Garlin Spencer, Susan B. Anthony, and Harriot Stanton Blatch. She was editor of Life and Labor, a monthly magazine of the Chicago Women’s Trade Union League, and author of The Trade Union Woman (1915), updated as Woman and the Labor Movement (1923). She also wrote poetry, lectured widely, and did field work for the labor organization. Her Memoirs of Alice Henry was edited by Nettie Palmer and published in mimeograph form in 1944.
Lottie Champlin Hersey (Oct. 28, 1878-Sept. 11, 1963) Universalist
Born in Hartford CT, educated in schools there, and a graduate of Connecticut State Normal School, she was the first girl to head the Connecticut Young People’s Christian Union. She taught school and married the Rev. Henry Adams Hersey who was settled in Danbury. She was President of the Connecticut Women’s Missionary Society and served on the Board of the Women’s National Missionary Association of the Universalist Church. She taught at Women’s Summer Institutes at Ferry Beach ME and Murray Grove NJ. She was a life member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and many other community organizations. When her husband died, she became a resident of the Doolittle Home in Foxborough MA, where she ministered to residents for 13 years.
Dorothy Dyar Hill (Apr. 10, 1896-Aug. 9, 1966) Unitarian Universalist
She graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 1927, and while there she was vice president of the Student Federation of Religious Liberals and a member of the executive committee. She was ordained later that year at the University Church in Seattle WA. From 193 1-33, she acted as Dean of the Tuckerman School in Boston. She was a parish assistant at Berkeley CA, (1933) and then at Sacramento (1935). She was dropped from the Unitarian fellowship in 1939, possibly because she had turned to writing.
Florence Hill (Dates unknown) British Unitarian
Octavia Hill’s sister, Florence ran the Unitarian Postal Mission.
Hannah Hill (Sept. 17, 1784-Mar. 16, 1838) Unitarian
Hannah was born aboard “The Rambler,” the ship on which her family was sailing from Ireland to the United States. Together with Joanna Prince (See Joanna Prince Edwards) she started what may have been the first Sunday school in the US. Both were members of First Parish Church in Beverly, MA. They organized the school in 1810 to offer religious instruction to children whose families did not belong to a church and who received no such training at home.
Octavia Hill (1838-1912) raised British Unitarian
A member of Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, she was a pioneer in working class housing. She was also a founder of the Open Spaces Society and one of the four founders of The National Trust (for England and Wales) which holds in trust large areas of British countryside.
Verna Hills (Dates unknown) Unitarian
She co-authored the Martin and Judy series with Sophia Fahs.
Gladys Roberts Hilton (Dates unknown) Unitarian
Gladys wrote “Leadership Resources in the Local Church,” a Unitarian pamphlet.
Lotta Hitschmanova (Nov. 28, 1909-1990) Canadian Unitarian
Originally from Czechoslovakia she received her doctorate in literature from Prague University. She became a journalist there, but in 1938 fled to escape the Nazis and eventually settled in Canada in 1942, where she became a member of the Ottawa Unitarian congregation. In 1945 she founded the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada, as a post-war relief organization which did development work in the Third World. She received the Royal Bank’s annual award for human welfare work and contributing to the common good. She was named the companion of the Order of Canada in 1980, and received the Rotary International Award for World Understanding in 1983. A catalog of her letters is available in Studies in the American Renaissance
Elizabeth Hoar (1814-1878) Unitarian
Born into the prominent and public-spirited Hoar family of Concord, she was engaged to marry Ralph Waldo Emerson’s younger brother, Charles, and continued in close association with the Emerson family after his untimely death. She was one of the few women who participated in the meetings of the Transcendentalists She wrote the memoir of Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley in Worthy Women of Our First Century (1877).
Mary Phelps Austin Holley (Aug. 30, 1784-Aug. 2, 1846) Unitarian
Born in New Haven CT and reared Episcopalian, she married Horace Holley, minister of the Hollis Street Church, Boston, and with him became Unitarian. He was appointed president of Transylvania College in Lexington KY and died in 1827. She then went to Texas at the invitation of her cousin, Stephen F. Austin, who gave her land on Galveston Bay. She wrote Texas: Observations Historical, Geographical and Descriptive (1833) and an expanded version, Texas (1836), which stimulated immigration to Texas, supported Texas’ independence from Mexico and its recognition as a state. Her papers are in the Eugene C. Barker History Center at the University of Texas. Mattie Austin Hatcher wrote Letters of an Early American Traveler: Mary Austin Holley, Her Life and Her Works, 1784-1846 (1933), and Rebecca Smith Lee wrote Mary Austin Holley: A Biography (1962).
Sallie HolIey (Feb. 17, 1818-Jan. 12, 1893) Unitarian
Abolitionist writer, lecturer, and educator, she joined the Unitarian church in Buffalo NY in 1841. Later she also became interested in Christian Science and Ethical Culture. Radicalized by a speech she heard in college by Abby Kelley Foster, she was appointed agent of the American Anti-Slavery Association and began lecturing regularly for the cause. Letters describing her lecture tours and summaries of her speeches appear in the Liberator (April 16, 1852-Dec. 22, 1865). An ardent feminist, her graduation speech from Oberlin, “Ideal of Womanhood” calls for women’s rights to vote and to preach. During and after the Civil War, she lectured for Negro suffrage, collected clothing for people who had formerly been held as slaves, and wrote for the National Anti-Slavery Standard. In 1870 she joined Caroline Putnam in Lottsburg VA in creating a school for black students, later known as the Holley School. Her letters are found in the Gerrit Smith papers at Syracuse University and in the anti-slavery collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Boston Public Library. Excerpts from her writing are included in Standing Before Us: Unitarian Universalist Women and Social Reform, 1 776-1936 (Boston: Skinner House, 2000).
Hope Kerr Holway (1886-1968) Unitarian Universalist
A graduate of Radcliffe College and historian, she taught extension Courses at the University of Oklahoma. She was a founder of the All Souls Church (Unitarian) in Tulsa as well as the Tulsa Little Theater and a lecture series known as Tulsa Town Hall. Her works include a history of women missionaries in the West and a history of All Souls Church. Hope Unitarian Church in Tulsa was named for her.
Isabella Beecher Hooker (Feb. 22, 1822-Jan. 25, 1907) Unitarian
The eleventh of the Rev. Lyman Beecher’s thirteen children, she was four years old when the family moved to Boston where he became the pastor of the Hanover Street Church, specifically organized to combat Unitarianism. Alter the death of her mother, she lived with a half-sister in Hartford, where she met and married John Hooker, a lawyer. At first shocked at the “notoriety” of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, she eventually became convinced of the need for suffrage and was one of the founders of the New England Woman Suffrage. She became active in the cause and spent several years in Washington, working to build support for the suffrage amendment. She also supported Victoria Woodhull who charged Isabella’s brother, Henry Ward Beecher, with adultery. Through her, she became interested in spiritualism and certain that she had a mystical destiny. She endorsed Olympia Brown’s Federal Suffrage Association and served as president of the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association. She died at 85 in Hartford. Her funeral service was conducted by a Unitarian minister.
Ellen Sturgis Hooper (Feb. 17, 1812-Nov. 3, 1848) Unitarian
She was a poet associated with the transcendentalist movement. She married Dr. Robert Hooper in 1837. She and her sister, Caroline Sturgis Tappan, both contributed to the Transcendentalist journal, Dial. She regularly attended the Church of the Disciples in Boston.
Verda Ejvjra Dowdie Horne (Oct. 22, 1905-Nov. 27, 1987) Unitarian Universalist
Verda was a co-founder of the Fairhope AL Fellowship and active in state, regional and national Unitarian affairs. Trained in biology and botany, she was a founder of various movements in Alabama, such as the Alabama Conservancy and Bertram Trails. She was active in the Audubon and other environmental groups, the League of Women Voters and Common Cause. Her involvement in the civil rights marches in the J960s led to her losing her job at the University of Alabama. She taught at the School of Organic Education, a private progressive school in Fairhope. From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s she served on the board of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
Lydia Maria Knapp Horton (Aug. 7, 1843-Oct. 17, 1926) Unitarian
Born in Newburyport MA, Lydia married Lt. William Knapp of the Navy in 1866. In 1868 she sailed with her first son through Panama to San Francisco where they lived at the Presidio and where a second son was born. Shortly afterward they moved to San Diego, where they became friends with the Horton family and where the two couples were instrumental in the founding of the Unitarian Society. In the early 1880s Lt. Knapp was transferred back to San Francisco where he died in 1885. Lydia returned to Boston, where she joined the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Society, but moved again to San Diego in 1888. There she taught art. She wrote and spoke and advocated women’s rights. In 1890 she married Alonzo E. Horton, and thereafter she presided over one of the most elegant and progressive households in the area. She was active in many community organizations and raised money for the Children’s Home Association. From 1904 to 1910 she was librarian at the State Normal School.
Eliza Flagg Turner Hosking (?- Nov. 9, 1959) Universalist
A graduate of Canton Theological School, she was ordained in 1894 and served churches in Mottville NY and Belleville OH. In 1898 she married Sidney Hosking, field representative for The Universalist Leader, and joined him in his extensive travels. After his death, she served as matron for the Doolittle Universalist Home in Foxboro MA and later did social work in Boston.
Harriet Goodhue Hosmer (Oct. 9, 1830-Feb. 21, 1908) Unitarian
Raised by her father to be physcially rugged because of early deaths from tuberculosis of her mother and sister, she developed into an energetic and eccentric young woman who pursued a professional career as a sculptor. Unable to study anatomy formally because she was female, she arranged private instruction with a doctor and in 1852 went to Rome to continue her studies. Her first commission was for the St. Louis Mercantile Library in 1857. Her statue “Puck” made her famous when a replica of it was bought by the Prince of Wales and 50 more were sold at $ 1000 each. Dressing in masculine clothes, she was known as a “phenomenon” of female independence and Elizabeth Barrett Browning said of her: “She emancipates the eccentric life of a perfectly ’emancipated female’ from all shadow of blame by the purity of hers.” Dolly Sherwood has written a recent biography, Harriet Hosmer: American Sculptor.
Fannie Howe (1842-1937) Unitarian
A resident of Leominster MA, Fannie was active in the Unitarian Church, where she taught Sunday school for 72 years. She studied music at the Boston Conservatory of Music. She was well read and well-to-do. Her book, 14,000 Miles, a Carriage, and Two Women (Fitchburg Sentinel Printing,1906), describes her various travels over a 35-year period with her companion. Fannie Allen. At this time, it was highly unusual for two women to travel together by carriage, and they had many fascinating adventures. Some of the material in the book was previously published in a newspaper column in the Boston Transcript.
Julia Ward Howe (May 27, 1819-Oct. 17, 1910) Unitarian
Although now probably best known as the author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Julia was one of the most prominent women of her time. Women’s club and suffrage leader and popular lecturer, she also found time for much writing. Her Reminiscences, 1819-1899 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1900), makes excellent reading; this book details her transformation from a more conservative position to radical feminism. Her “Appeal to Womanhood Throughout the World” (1870) is a call to women to work for peace; it is included as a reading in the current hymnbook of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Singing the Living Tradition. She also wrote words to various hymns, one of which is included in “Singing, Shouting Celebrating, Universalist and Unitarian Women,” available from the UU Women’s Heritage Society. Her published works include Passion Flowers (1854), poems; Words for the Hour (1857), poems; Lenora, or the World’s Own (1857), play; Sex and Education (1874), which she edited; Modern Society (1880), lecture; Is Polite Society Polite (1895), lecture; and Walk With God (1919). She also edited the Woman’s Journal from 1870 to 1890. Historical Account of the Association for the Advancement of Women, 1873-93 (Dedham, MA: Transcript Steam Job Print, 1893) contains some of her addresses. Her papers, including her journals, are in Harvard’s Houghton Library. Excerpts from her writing are included in Standing Before Us: Unitarian Universalist Women and Social Reform, 1776-1936 (Boston: Skinner House, 2000).
Marie Hoffendahl Jenney Howe (Dec. 26, 1870-Feb. 28, 1934) Unitarian
One of the “Iowa Sisterhood,” Marie was ordained in 1898 at May Memorial in Syracuse, with Mary Safford, Florence Buck, and Marion Murdock participating. She shared ministry with Safford in Sioux City IA from 1899-1903. She then married and became a public lecturer, working for women’s suffrage. She moved in radical circles in New York, lived in partnership with Rose Young, and founded the Heterodoxy Club, where members could believe and do anything they wished. Her papers have not been found, but several of her letters have been published by other feminist writers, including Charlotte Perkins Gilman in Women and Economics and Matilda Joslin Gage in Woman, Church, and State. The National Woman Suffrage Association published her humorous “Anti-Suffrage Monologue.” She also wrote a biography of George Sand. Excerpts from her writing are included in Standing Before Us: Unitarian Universalist Women and Social Reform, 1776-1 936 (Boston: Skinner House, 2000).
Catherine Matteson Hughes (1854-Sept. 14, 1921) Universalist
In 1880 she married the Rev. John Hughes, a Universalist minister. He was a great Universalist debater and took part in more than forty public debates, several of which were printed. Catherine was a preacher who often lectured on equal suffrage and temperance. She was ordained into the Universalist ministry at Galesburg, IL in 1895. While in Illinois, she remained an active defender of suffrage and became president of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association. After her husband’s death in 1916, she moved to Battle Creek MI.
Elizabeth Gertrude Huidekoper (1819-1908) Unitarian
President of the Board of Trustees of Meadville Theological School from 1891 until her death, she influenced hundreds of students and contributed significantly to the library and to student financial aid. She is called “the mother of Meadville.”
Ida C. Hultin (1858-Dec. 27, 1938) Unitarian
Part of the “Iowa Sisterhood,” she served churches in Agona and Des Moines IA, Moline IL, and Allston and Sudbury MA. She played a prominent role in the Unitarian movement in the midwest, serving as president of the Women’s Western Unitarian Conference and vice-president of the Central States Conference of Unitarian Churches. She was an accomplished speaker, often in demand as a guest minister, and delivered conference sermons at the Iowa Conference (1887) and the Western Unitarian Conference (1888 and 1896). Other major speeches include one at the World’s Parliament of Religions, a memorial sermon for Julia Ward Howe (“Mrs. Howe as Reformer,” Women’s Conference, Nov. 7, 1910), and an address at the Woman Suffrage Convention, Washington, DC.
Harriot Kezia Hunt (Nov. 9, 1805-Jan. 2, 1875) Universalist
Sometimes called the first woman to practice medicine in the US, Harriot and her sister Sarah trained with local physicians in Boston to become doctors. Although it was difficult to establish their practice without professional training, they taught themselves physiology and built up a practice of women and children. Their preventative health regimen consisted of good nursing, diet, bathing, exercise, rest and sanitation. Sarah gave up medicine in 1840 to get married. Harriot was an advocate of health education and lectured to women about their health. She attended the women’s rights convention in Worcester MA in 1850. She traveled widely, speaking on the importance of women entering the medical profession, and worked for the abolition of slavery. In 1850, she was given permission to attend lectures at Harvard Medical School, but the protest was so great that she gave up. The national publicity caused the Female Medical College of Philadelphia to grant her an honorary degree in 1853. She helped found a school of design in Boston for women, to widen their opportunities for employment. Excerpts from her autobiography, Glances and Glimpses; Or, Fifty Years Social, Including Twenty Years Professional Life (1856), are included in Standing Before Us: Unitarian Universalist Women and Social Reform, 1776-1936 (Boston: Skinner House, 2000).
Abigail Jemima Hutchinson (Aug. 29, 1829-Nov. 24, 1892) Unitarian and Universalist connections
Known as Abby, a singer, reformer and feminist, she was born on the family farm near Milford, NH, the youngest of sixteen children. She began performing in public at age 10. In 1841, she joined her brothers John, Judson and Asa in a singing group, “The Hutchinson Family.” She attended school in the spring and summer and joined her brothers for singing tours in the Fall and Winter. They were encouraged by Frederick Douglass to tour England in 1845 and were supported in their efforts there by Charles Dickens. Influenced by Universalists, beginning in 1843, they sang abolitionist songs and became well known as temperance advocates. They were remembered for the reform song “There’s a Good Time Coming” and for their singing of “One Hundred Years Hence” (words by Frances Gage), republished in “Singing, Shouting, Celebrating Universalist and Unitarian Women,” available from the UU Women’s Heritage Society. Abby married Ludlow Patton, a New York stockbroker in 1849 and they lived in Orange, New Jersey. Thereafter, she sang only when her brothers were in the area or for a few women’s rights conventions. In 1860, she sang with her brothers for Lincoln’s candidacy and then for troops during the Civil War, often singing “Tenting on the Old Camp Ground.” She and John sang in 1867 for the founding of the Free Religious Association in Boston. She was also interested in spiritualism. After her husband’s retirement in 1873, they spent 10 years traveling in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the United States, and she wrote accounts of these journeys for the Portland Transcript, a Maine newspaper. She printed a collection of her poetry and aphorisms, A Handful of Pebbles, in 1891. Funeral services were held in New York and at the Unitarian church in Milford, New Hampshire, where she was buried.