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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward Howe (May 27, 1819 – October 17, 1910) was a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, and poet most famous as the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."



Born Julia Ward in New York City, she was the fourth of seven children born to Samuel Ward (May 1, 1786 – November 27, 1839) and Julia Rush Cutler. Among her siblings was Samuel Cutler Ward. Her father was a well-to-do banker. Her mother died when she was five. When she was a daughter of William Greene (August 16, 1731 – November 30, 1809), Governor of Rhode Island and his wife Catharine Ray.


Social activism

Howe's "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", set to William Steffe's already-existing music, was first published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1862 and quickly became one of the most popular songs of the Union during the American Civil War.

In 1870 Howe was the first to proclaim Mother's Day, with her Mother's Day Proclamation.

After the war Howe focused her activities on the causes of pacifism and women's suffrage. From 1872 to 1879, she assisted Lucy Stone and Henry Brown Blackwell in editing Woman's Journal.

From 1891 to 1909 she was interested in the cause of Russian freedom. Howe supported Russian emigre Stepniak-Kravchinskii and became the member of the Society of American Friends of Russian Freedom (SAFRF).


Howe in her later years

Howe died on October 17, 1910, at her home, Oak Glen, in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, at the age of 91.[1] Her death was caused by pneumonia. She is buried in the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


On January 28, 1908, Howe became the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Howe was inducted posthumously into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.

She was featured on a 15 cent US stamp issued in 1987.

The Julia Ward Howe School of Excellence in Chicago's Austin community is named in her honor.

Her home in Rhode Island, Oak Glen, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.


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Works and collections

  • The Hermaphrodite. Incomplete, but probably composed between 1846 and 1847. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004.
  • Passion-Flowers. Poetry of Julia Ward Howe. Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1854.
  • Words for the Hour. Poetry of Julia Ward Howe. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1857.
  • From Sunset Ridge; Poems Old and New]]. Poetry of Julia Ward Howe. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin & Co. 1898
  • Later Lyrics. Poetry of Julia Ward Howe. Boston: J. E. Tilton & company, 1866.
  • At Sunset. Poetry of Julia Ward Howe. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1910.
    • Woman's work in America. New York: N. Holt and Co., 1891
  • Reminiscences: 1819–1899. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1899.
  • Julia Ward Howe and the woman suffrage movement: a selection from her speeches and essays. Boston. D. Estes, 1913.

See also

Further reading

  • Representative women of New England. Boston: New England Historical Pub. Co., 1904.
  • Richards, Laura Elizabeth. Julia Ward Howe, 1819–1910. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1916. 2 vol.
  • Clifford, Deborah Pickman. Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Biography of Julia Ward Howe. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1978.
  • Wlliams, Gary. Hungry Heart: The Literary Emergence of Julia Ward Howe. Amherst: U Massachusetts P, 1999.


  1. ^ Ehrlich, Eugene and Gorton Carruth. The Oxford Illustrated Literary Guide to the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982: 71. ISBN 0195031865

External links

Works and papers





Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord...

Julia Ward Howe (27 May 1819 - 17 October 1910) American writer, poet, and social activist.



  • The strokes of the pen need deliberation as much as the sword needs swiftness.
    • As quoted in Stories Behind the Hymns That Inspire America: Songs That Unite Our Nation (2003) by Ace Collins, p. 36
  • Weave no more silks, ye Lyons looms,
    To deck our girls for gay delights!
    The crimson flower of battle blooms,
    And solemn marches fill the nights.
    • Our Orders.
  • The flag of our stately battles, not struggles of wrath and greed,
    Its stripes were a holy lesson, its spangles a deathless creed:
    'T was red with the blood of freemen and white with the fear of the foe;
    And the stars that fight in their courses 'gainst tyrants its symbols know.
    • The Flag.
  • I am confirmed in my division of human energies. Ambitious people climb, but faithful people build.
    • quoted in "1001 Greatest Things Ever Said About Massachusetts" - Page 392 by Patricia Harris, David Lyon - Reference - 2007

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword...
  • Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
    He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
    His truth is marching on.
    • First lines of the published version, in the Atlantic Monthly (February 1862); Howe stated that the title “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was devised by the Atlantic editor James T. Fields.
    • Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
      He is trampling out the wine press, where the grapes of wrath are stored,
      He hath loosed the fateful lightnings of his terrible swift sword,
      His truth is marching on.
      • First lines of the first manuscript version (19 November 1861)
I have seen him in the watchfires of an hundred circling camps...
They have builded him an altar in the evening dews and damps...
  • I have seen him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps
    They have builded him an altar in the evening dews and damps,
    I have read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps,
    His Day is marching on.
    • All versions
  • I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
    "As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
    Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
    Since God is marching on."
    • Published version, in the Atlantic Monthly (February 1862)
  • He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
    He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat.

    Oh! be swift my soul to answer him, be jubilant my feet!
    Our God is marching on.
    • Published version, in the Atlantic Monthly (February 1862)
    • He has sounded out the trumpet that shall never call retreat,
      He has waked the earth's dull sorrow with a high ecstatic beat...
      • First manuscript version (19 November 1861)
He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, he is succour to the brave...
  • In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
    With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me:
    As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
    While God is marching on.
    • Published version, in the Atlantic Monthly (February 1862)
    • In the whiteness of the lilies he was born across the sea,
      With a glory in his bosom that shines out on you and me,
      As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
      Our God is marching on.
      • First manuscript version (19 November 1861)
  • He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
    He is wisdom to the mighty, he is succour to the brave,
    So the world shall be his footstool, and the soul of Time his slave,
    Our God is marching on.
    • First manuscript version (19 November 1861)

Mother's Day Proclamation (1870)

  • Arise then... women of this day!
    Arise, all women who have hearts!
  • We, the women of one country,
    Will be too tender of those of another country
    To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
  • From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
    Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
    The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
    Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
    Nor violence indicate possession.

    As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
    At the summons of war,
    Let women now leave all that may be left of home
    For a great and earnest day of counsel.
    Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
    Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
    Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
  • In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
    That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
    May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
    And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
    To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
    The amicable settlement of international questions,
    The great and general interests of peace.

What is Religion? (1893)

Speech at the "Parliament of World Religions", Columbian Exposition, Chicago World's Fair (1893)
  • I only hope you may be able not only to listen, but also to hear me. Your charity must multiply my small voice and do some such miracle as was done when the loaves and fishes fed the multitude in the ancient tune which has just been spoken of.
  • Before I say anything on my own account, I want to take the word Christianity back to Christ himself, back to that mighty heart whose pulse seems to throb through the world to-day, that endless fountain of charity out of which I believe has come all true progress and all civilization that deserves the name. As a woman I do not wish to dwell upon any trait of exclusiveness in the letter which belongs to a time when such exclusiveness perhaps could not be helped, and which may have been put in where it was not expressed. I go back to that great Spirit which contemplated a sacrifice for the whole of humanity. That sacrifice is not one of exclusion, but of an infinite and endless and joyous inclusion. And I thank God for it.
  • It has been extremely edifying to hear of the good theories of duty and morality and piety which the various religions advocate. I will put them all on one basis, Christian and Jewish and ethnic, which they all promulgate to mankind. But what I think we want now to do is to inquire why the practice of all nations, our own as well as any other, is so much at variance with these noble precepts? These great founders of religion have made the true sacrifice. They have taken a noble human life, full of every human longing and passion and power and aspiration, and they have taken it all to try and find out something about this question of what God meant man to be and does mean him to be. But while they have made this great sacrifice, how is it with the multitude of us? Are we making any sacrifice at all? We think it was very well that those heroic spirits should study, should agonize and bled for us. But what do we do?
  • I need not stand here to repeat any definition of what religion is. I think you will all say that it is aspiration, the pursuit of the divine in the human; the sacrifice of everything to duty for the sake of God and of humanity and of our own individual dignity.
  • What is it that passes for religion? In some countries magic passes for religion, and that is one thing I wish, in view particularly of the ethnic faiths, could be made very prominent— that religion is not magic. I am very sure that in many countries it is supposed to be so. You do something that will bring you good luck. It is for the interests of the priesthood to cherish that idea. Of course the idea of advantage in this life and in another life is very strong, and rightly very strong in all human breasts. Therefore, it is for the advantage of the priesthoods to make it to be supposed that they have in their possession certain tricks, certain charms, which will give you either some particular prosperity in this world or possibly the privilege of immortal happiness. Now, this is not religion. This is most mischievous irreligion, and I think this Parliament should say, once for all, that the name of God and the names of his saints are not things to conjure with.
  • I think nothing is religion which puts one individual absolutely above others, and surely nothing is religion which puts one sex above another. Religion is primarily our relation to the Supreme, to God himself. It is for him to judge; it is for him to say where we belong, who is highest and who is not; of that we know nothing. And any religion which will sacrifice a certain set of human beings for the enjoyment or aggrandizement or advantage of another is no religion. It is a thing which may be allowed, but it is against true religion. Any religion which sacrifices women to the brutality of men is no religion.
  • From this Parliament let some valorous, new, strong, and courageous influence go forth, and let us have here an agreement of all faiths for one good end, for one good thing— really for the glory of God, really for the sake of humanity from all that is low and animal and unworthy and undivine.

Reminiscences (1899)

  • We returned to the city very slowly, of necessity, for the troops nearly filled the road. My dear minister was in the carriage with me, as were several other friends. To beguile the rather tedious drive, we sang from time to time snatches of the army songs so popular at that time, concluding, I think, with
      John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the ground;
      His soul is marching on.

    The soldiers seemed to like this, and answered back, "Good for you!" Mr. Clarke said, "Mrs. Howe, why do you not write some good words for that stirring tune?" I replied that I had often wished to do this, but had not as yet found in my mind any leading toward it.
    I went to bed that night as usual, and slept, according to my wont, quite soundly. I awoke in the gray of the morning twilight; and as I lay waiting for the dawn, the long lines of the desired poem began to twine themselves in my mind. Having thought out all the stanzas, I said to myself, "I must get up and write these verses down, lest I fall asleep again and forget them." So, with a sudden effort, I sprang out of bed, and found in the dimness an old stump of a pen which I remembered to have used the day before. I scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper. I had learned to do this when, on previous occasions, attacks of versification had visited me in the night, and I feared to have recourse to a light lest I should wake the baby, who slept near me. I was always obliged to decipher my scrawl before another night should intervene, as it was only legible while the matter was fresh in my mind. At this time, having completed the writing, I returned to bed and fell asleep, saying to myself, "I like this better than most things that I have written."
  • While the war was still in progress, I was visited by a sudden feeling of the cruel and unnecessary character of the contest. It seemed to me a return to barbarism, the issue having been one which might easily have been settled without bloodshed. The question forced itself upon me, "Why do not the mothers of mankind interfere in these matters, to prevent the waste of that human life of which they alone bear and know the cost?" I had never thought of this before. The august dignity of motherhood and its terrible responsibilities now appeared to me in a new aspect, and I could think of no better way of expressing my sense of these than that of sending forth an appeal to womanhood throughout the world, which I then and there composed.
    • On the Franco-Prussian War as the inspiration for her "Mother's Day Proclamation" of 1870 calling for mothers to arise as a social force against war in general.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

JULIA WARD HOWE (1819-1910), American author and reformer, was born in New York City on the 27th of May 1819. Her father, Samuel Ward, was a banker; her mother, Julia Rush [Cutler] (1796-1824), a poet of some ability. When only sixteen years old she had begun to contribute poems to New York periodicals. In 1843 she married Dr Samuel Gridley Howe, with whom she spent the next year in England, France, Germany and Italy. She assisted Dr Howe in editing the Commonwealth in 1851-1853. The results of her study of German philosophy were seen in philosophical essays; in lectures on "Doubt and Belief," "The Duality of Character," &c., delivered in1860-1861in her home in Boston, and later in Washington; and in addresses before the Boston Radical Club and the Concord school of philosophy. Samuel Longfellow, his brother Henry, Wendell Phillips, W. L. Garrison, Charles Sumner, Theodore Parker and James Freeman Clarke were among her friends; she advocated abolition, and preached occasionally from Unitarian pulpits. She was one of the organizers of the American Woman-Suffrage Association and of the Association for the Advancement of Women (1869), and in 1870 became one of the editors of the Woman's Journal, and in 1872 president of the New England Women's Club. In the same year she was a delegate to the Prison Reform Congress in London, and founded there the Woman's Peace Association, one of the many ways in which she expressed her opposition to war. She wrote The World's Own (unsuccessfully played at Wallack's, New York, in 1855, published 1857), and in 1858, for Edwin Booth, Hippolytus, never acted or published. Her lyric poetry, thanks to her temperament, and possibly to her musical training, was her highest literary form: she published Passion Flowers (anonymously, 1854), Words for the Hour (1856), Later Lyrics (1866), and From Sunset Ridge: Poems Old and New (1898); her most popular poem is The Battle Hymn of the Republic, written to the old folk-tune associated with the song of "John Brown's Body," when Mrs Howe was at the front in 1861, and published (Feb. 1862) in the Atlantic Monthly, to which she frequently contributed. She edited Sex and Education (1874), an answer to Education (1873) by Edward Hammond Clarke (1820-1877); and wrote several books of travel, Modern Society (1880) and Is Polite Society Polite ? (1895), collections of addresses, each taking its title from a lecture criticizing the shallowness and falseness of society, the power of money, &c., A Memoir of Dr Samuel G. Howe (1876), Life of Margaret Fuller (1883), in the "Famous Women" series, Sketches of Representative Women of New England (1905) and her own Reminiscences (Boston, 1899). Her children were: Julia Romana Anagnos (1844-1886), who, like her mother, wrote verse and studied philosophy, and who taught in the Perkins Institution, in the charge of which her husband, Michael Anagnos (1837-1906), whose family name had been Anagnostopoulos, succeeded her father; Henry Marion Howe (b. 1848), the eminent metallurgist, and professor in Columbia University; Laura Elizabeth Richards (b. 1850), and Maud Howe Elliott (b. 1855), wife of John Elliott, the painter of a fine ceiling in the Boston library, - both these daughters being contributors to literature. Mrs Howe died on the 17th of October 1910.

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