Julia Ward Howe’s Real Life’s Work Was Spreading ‘Helpful Philosophy’

Famous for Writing ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic,’ the Poet Sought to Uplift American Life

Julia Ward Howe’s fame rests largely on “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Written at one of the Civil War’s darkest moments, the poem appeared on the front page of the February 1862 issue of the abolitionist Atlantic Monthly, and quickly became the best-known anthem of the Union cause. It appeared in newspapers across the North and West, while preachers incorporated it into their sermons. President Lincoln wept as he heard it sung in the Capitol in 1864.

Yet Howe hoped to be remembered for much more. By its very …

What Do Readers Want From the Lives of American Women?

Over the Decades, the Expectations of Female Biography Subjects Have Changed, but Not as Much as We Might Think

A hundred years ago, in March 1916, the first biography of Julia Ward Howe was published to general acclaim. Written by Howe’s three daughters, Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910 was the …