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Julia Ward Howe Biography, with Autograph Manuscript on Suffrage
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“I believe in suffrage…. I believe in the great awakening by the womanly soul a conscience which will rise up like a flood, & sweep away the petty & effete prejudices....

This biography of Julia Ward Howe by two of her daughters, assisted by a third, is illustrated with plates and portraits, including a facsimile manuscript of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” It won the 1917 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. Special edition, including a page handwritten by Howe on women’s suffrage. Howe refers to her first interest in suffrage “about fourteen years ago.”  She helped found the New England Woman Suffrage Association in 1868, so we date it as ca. 1892, 14 years later. But she might consider her interest in suffrage to have started a bit earlier, right around the end of the Civil War.

JULIA WARD HOWE. Autograph Manuscript, n.d. [ca. 1882], tipped into Laura E. Richards and Maude Howe Elliott, Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910, 2 vols. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1915. First edition. Two volumes in original cloth-backed boards and the scarce dustwrappers and original slipcase. Copy #438 of 450 copies of the Large-Paper Edition. [x],392,[2]; [x],434,[2] pp.1/1/1915.

Inventory #26018       Price: $3,500

Complete transcript of Autograph Manuscript

let me finish, as I began, with saying that I believe in suffrage. I believed in it, with unavoidable doubts, when I first began to work for it, perhaps fourteen years ago. I believe in it now without doubt or misgiving. And I no longer believe in it as an abstract right to be dreamed of by philosophers but more to be embodied in humane legislation. I believe in the great awakening by the womanly soul a conscience which will rise up like a flood, & sweep away the petty & effete prejudices....

 

Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) was born in New York City. Her father was a banker. Her mother died (in childbirth) when she was five years old. Raised as an Episcopalian, she became a Unitarian by 1841. She married Samuel Gridley Howe (1801-1876), a physician and reformer, in 1843, she had six children between 1844 and 1859. Her marriage was difficult, and they separated for a time in 1852. Raising her children in South Boston, and in 1852, she and her husband purchased a country home in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Howe attended lectures, studied foreign languages, and wrote essays, plays, and dramas. She published two volumes of poetry anonymously in the 1850s. She was an abolitionist, but like many of her day, she did not believe in racial equality. Her husband was one of John Brown’s “Secret Six.” After meeting Abraham Lincoln at the White House in November 1861, she was inspired to write “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which was first published in February 1862. She continued writing and became involved in pacifism and women’s suffrage. She became editor of the suffragist Woman’s Journal in 1872 and contributed to the publication for twenty years. She published a biography of Margaret Fuller in 1883 and her own memoirs in 1899. She served as president of a number of organizations, including the Association for the Advancement of Women and the New England Woman Suffrage Association, and in 1869 the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), which championed the Fifteenth Amendment (although it granted voting rights only to African American men, which caused a break between a significant part of the women’s suffrage movement and the abolition and civil rights movement.)

 

Condition: Fine in Very Good printed white dustwrappers with edgewear and a chip at the top of the spine of the second volume in a complete Good slipcase with an old tape repair on the bottom and torn at the top.


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