Lillie Devereux Blake, a 19th century American writer and women’s rights reformer, played an important, though often overlooked, presence in social movements in the United States.
In 1833, Elizabeth Johnson Devereux was born in Raleigh, North Carolina to southerner George Pollock Devereux and northerner Sarah Elizabeth Johnson. Following her father’s death in 1837, her mother moved her two daughters back to her home in New Haven, Connecticut, where the young Lillie attended the Apthorp School for Young Ladies. Continue reading Lillie Devereux Blake →
Clara Barton is one of those names most of us know, but many of us don’t know much about her. Maybe we know that Barton was a nurse during the American Civil War, or that she went on to found the American Red Cross. But the immensity of her impact and the incredible woman behind it remains mostly a mystery. Continue reading Clara Barton; Mother to Humanity →
It is truly a tragedy that the name Laura Smith Haviland is not as recognizable as the names of some of her contemporaries, such as Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth. Instead of chapters on her achievements, Haviland’s story is relegated to footnotes in history texts, if it is included at all, yet rarely do we see an example of a person who was able to accomplish so much for the betterment of society despite the obstacles placed in her path.
Haviland was born in Canada in 1808 to the Reverend Daniel Smith and Sene Blancher and was raised as a Quaker. At the age of 16, she married fellow Quaker Charles Haviland. It was after her marriage that Haviland joined the Logan Female Anti-Slavery Society and, the more she became involved in the issue of slavery, the more she realized that the issue was causing a division in the Quaker church, and the Havilands ultimately left the church.
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Betsy Ross is a heroine of the American Revolution, and if you’ve attended grade school in the US, you probably know why. Or at least, you think you do.
Betsy Ross’s claim to fame is that she was approached by George Washington in the spring of 1776 and asked to sew the first American flag. She adapted the original design of the stars on the flag to a 5-point design, and produced the first American flag for the brand new country and remained a staunch patriot for the rest of her life.
Although that story is very famous, it is actually much more myth than reality. The real story of Betsy Ross is a little more ordinary but just as worthy of commemoration.
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