To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the feminist pioneer and writer of Battle Hymn of the Republic
Heiress. Poet. Author. Lecturer. Feminist. Pacifist. Abolitionist. Julia Ward Howe wrote a mildly shocking sexual novel that was published to good reviews. She also wrote the unforgettable words to the Civil War anthem, Battle Hymn of the Republic, after visiting the Union troops in Washington, DC the previous day. She helped to establish Mother’s Day and became a groundbreaking figure in the abolitionist and suffrage movements. There wasn’t anything Julia couldn’t do. That is—as long as she kept up with her domestic chores. Born in 1819, Julia’s world was very much a man’s world. She married Samuel Gridley Howe, a handsome accomplished doctor, renowned for his work at the Perkins Institute for the Blind. But he was a domineering husband who believed Julia should find all her happiness in her home and children. He did everything he could to stifle her creativity and independence; their entire marriage was a miserable power struggle. Upon his death, she wrote in her journal, “My new life begins today.” And, for the next forty years, she led a very remarkable life for her time…and any time.