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, Smuttynose and Appledore islands. The darling of literary Boston, she attracted some of New England's great writers and artists to …Read More...

Union Newspaperwomen in Confederate Virginia

Image: Lida and Lizzie Dutton

During the years preceding the Civil War, Quakers in Loudoun County, Virginia lived in a heated political situation. After their state seceded from the Union, they struggled to remain pacifists in the presence of Confederate troops. But three girl journalists in the town of Waterford had no problem asserting their support for the Union.

Educating the Dutton Girls
Like most Quakers, John and Emma Dutton of Loudoun County, Waterford, …Read More...

Writer and Advocate for Women's Education

Catherine Esther Beecher was a nineteenth century champion of education for women at a time when even wealthy women received minimal education. She educated herself through independent study, and established schools devoted to training women as teachers. Beecher believed that having women teach their own families was the basis for a well-ordered society.

Childhood and Early Years
Catherine (also spelled Catharine) Esther Beecher was born September 6, 1800 at East Hampton, Long Island, …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...

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...

Author and California Pioneer

Eliza Farnham (1815-1864) was an author, feminist, lecturer, activist for prison reform, and early proponent of the superiority of women. In her day, Farnham was once one of the most highly praised women nonfiction authors in the United States. She made national headlines with her writings and was at the vanguard of several social and political movements of her time, including abolitionism, women's rights and Spiritualism. Farnham's reform work was also her career and a matter …Read More...