Pioneer for Women's Equal Rights

Early Years
When Rebecca Pennell, born in 1821, was four years old, her father died and her mother moved back to her childhood home in Franklin, Massachusetts. Rebecca's mother was the sister of the prominent educational reformer Horace Mann and had a strong relationship with him.

Mann took a particular interest in the education of his nieces and nephew after their father's death, and provided them with financial support. Rebecca remembered Mann as …Read More...

Educator and Suffragist

Mary Stafford Anthony was the youngest sister of the famous social reformer and feminist Susan B. Anthony. Often overshadowed by her older sibling, Mary was a suffragist and educator who served as the first female school principal in western New York. She played an active role in several social reform organizations, including the New York Women's Suffrage Association.

Image: Mary Stafford Anthony
At about 25 years of age

Early Years
Mary Stafford Anthony was born …

Pioneer in Education for African Americans and Children

Abolitionist, educator, philanthropist and suffragist from the village of Sherwood in Cayuga County, New York, Emily Howland was an avid supporter of education for women and African American children. She founded and financially supported fifty schools for emancipated blacks and taught in several of them. She donated the land and financial backing to build a school for black children in her hometown, which later became Emily Howland School.

Early Years
Emily …

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 and argued that it was social restrictions that threatened female health.

Image: Mary Corinna Putnam as a medical student, 1860s


Pioneer Educator and Innovative Administrator

As the first woman appointed to the Board of Supervisors of the Boston Public School System (1876), Lucretia Crocker pioneered the method of teaching mathematics and the natural sciences during her decade-long tenure. Earlier, she was among the first women elected to the Boston School Committee, and a strong advocate for higher education for women.

Early Years
Lucretia Crocker was born December 31, 1829 in Barnstable, Massachusetts on Cape Cod to Henry and Lydia …Read More...

Pioneer Doctor and Educator of Women in the Medical Professions

Dr. Mary Harris Thompson (1829–1895) was one of the first women to practice medicine in Chicago, and by some accounts the first female surgeon in the US. She was founder, head physician and surgeon of the Chicago Hospital for Women and Children, founder of the Women's Medical College, the first medical school for women in the Midwest, and Chicago's first nursing school.

Early Years
Mary Harris Thompson was born …