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JULIA WARD HOWE Autograph Letter Signed Penned on Heavy Black Bordered “Mourning” Stationary July 1877

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JULIA WARD HOWE (1819-1910). American Abolitionist, Social Activist, and Poet, most famous as the Author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" (1862); Howe also co-founded the “American Woman Suffrage Association” and was the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1908 and championed Votes for Women.

July 16, 1877-Dated, Autograph Letter Signed “Julia Ward Howe”, 3 pages, measuring 4.5” x 7”, from Russell, NY, Choice Extremely Fine. Writer, lecturer, abolitionist and suffragist, Julia Ward Howe not only authored the Civil War anthem “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” but she also co-founded the American Woman Suffrage Association in 1868.

Here, Howe writes to a Mr. Bicknell concerning current social matters and his prior receipt of a gift. This Letter is written on a heavy black bordered “Mourning” stationary, well written in rich brown ink on quality wove period paper. After her husband’s death in 1876, Julia Howe wrote a flattering biography of him, despite his deathbed confession of having multiple adulterous affairs. This heavy black bordered special “Mourning” stationary was used in memory of Howe’s departed husband and is far more scarce as such.
Julia Ward Howe worked for the U.S. Sanitary Commission during the American Civil War, an organization which promoted clean and hygienic conditions for soldiers and hospitals. In 1862, the Magazine “Atlantic Monthly” published Howe’s famous poem, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which brought lasting fame and is considered the Union’s Civil War anthem.

After the war, an active clubwoman, Howe established and led major women’s organizations. She championed the vote for women, helping to found the New England Suffrage Association in 1868, as well as the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association. The National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) divided over whether to support the 15th Amendment, which promised voting rights for black men but not all women. Howe joined Lucy Stone in founding the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), which championed the Fifteenth Amendment, and broke with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s NWSA. Howe also helped establish the AWSA’s newspaper, the Woman’s Journal, which she edited for 20 years. In 1889, the groups reunited as the National American Woman Suffrage Association with the singular goal of votes for women.

Howe also became a peace advocate, presiding over the Women’s International Peace Association in 1871. Known as the “Dearest Old Lady in America,” she lectured widely, particularly for the Unitarian Church, founding clubs wherever she went. In 1873, she organized the Association for the Advancement of Women to improve women’s education and entry into the professions.

After her husband’s death in 1876, Howe wrote a flattering biography of him, despite his deathbed confession of multiple adulterous affairs. She continued to publish poems, essays, and books throughout the 1880s and was the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1908. She also received an honorary degree from Smith College.
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