Howe, Julia Ward, 1819–1910, American author and social reformer, b. New York City. She assisted her husband, Samuel Gridley Howe, in his philanthropic projects and in editing the Boston Commonwealth, an abolitionist paper. Her first book of poetry was published in 1854. Mrs. Howe wrote and lectured in behalf of woman suffrage, African-American emancipation, and other causes, and helped found a world peace organization. In Nov., 1861, after watching Union troops march into battle, she wrote "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," her most famous work. It was published in the Atlantic Monthly in Feb., 1862. The American Academy of Arts and Letters elected her as its first woman member (1908). Besides writing several volumes of poetry, she was the author of Sex and Education (1874), Modern Society (1881), and a biography of Margaret Fuller (1883).
See her Reminiscences, 1819–1899 (1899); biographies by her daughters L. E. Richards and M. H. Elliott (1915, repr. 1970) and by V. H. Ziegler (2004); L. H. Tharp, Three Saints and a Sinner (1956).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.