Saturday, October 18, 2008

Women (3)

Topic: Distinguished Women of New York State #3

Lewis, Edmonia

(1845---). An American sculptor. She was born in New York, July 4, 1845, of negro and Indian parentage. She received little instruction in sculpture, but attracted attention by exhibiting a bust of Colonel Shaw at Boston in 1865. In the same year she went to Rome to study, and after 1867 made her residence there. Among her works are the "Freedwoman;" "Death of Cleopatra," exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition (1876); "Asleep;" "Marriage of Hiawatha;" "Madonna with the Infant Christ." Among her portrait busts in terra-cotta are those of Longfellow, Charles Sumner, John Brown, and Abraham Lincoln, in the Library of San Jose, Cal. Her work is mostly in Europe.

McIntosh, Maria Jane

(1803-78). An American author, born in Georgia. She removed to New York City, and having lost her fortune in the panic of 1837, undertook authorship as a means of support by publishing in 1841, under the pseudonym "Aunt Kitty," a juvenile story, Blind Alice. This was followed by other tales, all republished in London. Subsequent works, written for adults, were Two Lives, or to Seem and to Be (1846) ; Charms and Counter Charms (1848); The Lofty and the Lowly (1852), a story of plantation life; Metta Gray (1858); Two pictures (1863).

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady

An American reformer and promoter of the woman's rights movement born at Johnstown, N.Y. She was educated at Johnstown and at Troy, N.Y., and married Henry B. Stanton (q.v.), the anti-slavery reformer. She became interested in the anti-slavery and other reform movements at an early age, and through acquaintance with Lucretia Mott (q.v.) was led to sign the call for the first woman's rights convention, which was held in Seneca Falls, N.Y., in July, 1848. This convention made the first formal demand for the extension of the suffrage to women, and of the National Woman's Suffrage Association there formed Mrs. Stanton became the first president, retaining that office until 1893. From 1848 she devoted a greater part of her time to traveling from State to State, addressing political conventions, State Legislatures, and educational bodies in behalf of woman's rights. In 1868 she was a candidate for Congress. She was connected editorially with various reform periodicals, was a frequent contributor to magazines, and was joint author of A History of Woman's Suffrage (3 vols., 1880-86). Eighty Years and More, an autobiography, was published in 1895.

Thursby, Emma

(1857---). An American singer, born in Brooklyn, N.Y. She studied under Julius Meyer and Erani, and sang in the Plymouth Church choir, Brooklyn, 1870, after which she went to Italy to study in 1873, and returned to complete her musical education under Erani and Mme. Ruderstdorf. She made a successful tour of the United States and Canada (1875), and was warmly received in England and France (1878-79), afterwards being engaged by Maurice Strakosch as prima Donna of his company (1880). A subsequent tour of the United States with Theodore Thomas was especially successful, and she frequently appeared in concert with Annie Louise Cary (q.v.). Her concerts in Europe were noteworthy, and gave her high rank as a concert singer.

Willard, Emma C.

(1787-1870). A pioneer in the field of higher education for women, born at Berlin, Conn. In 1803 she became a teacher in the village school; three years later she received a position in an academy at Westfield, Conn., but after a few weeks became principal of an academy for girls at Middlebury, Vt. In 1809 she married Dr. John Willard. In the same year she established at Middlebury a girl's boarding-school with improved methods of teaching. Five years later she submitted to Governor Clinton of New York a manuscript entitled "A Plan for Improving Female Education. The ideas she advanced met with favor, and in 1821 she was able to establish at Waterford, N.Y., a girls' seminary, partly supported by the State. Two years later she removed the school to Troy, where it acquired a wide reputation.

Her husband died in 1825, but she continued to manage the institution until 1838, when she placed it in the hands of her son. In 1830 she made a tour in Europe, and three years later published Journal and Letters from France and Great Britain. The proceeds from the sale of the book she gave to a school for women that she had helped to found in Athens, Greece. In 1838 she married Dr. Christopher C. Yates, but was divorced from him in 1843. Among her other published works are: The Woodbridge and Willard Geographies and Atlases (1823); History of the United States (1828); Universal History in Perspective (1883); Treatise on the Circulation of the Blood (1846); and Last Leaves of American History (1849). In 1830 she also published a book of poems, of which the best known is Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep. Her Life was written by John Lord (New York, 1873). In recognition of her services to the cause of higher education for women a statue was unveiled in her honor at Troy in 1895. (14)

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