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JULIA WARD HOWE (1819–1910)

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 837 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JULIA WARD HOWE (1819–1910), American author and reformer, was born in New York City on the 27th of May 1819. Her father, Samuel Ward, was a banker; her mother, Julia Rush [Cutler] (1796–1824), a poet of some ability. When only sixteen years old she had begun to contribute poems to New York periodicals. In 1843 she married Dr Samuel Gridley Howe (q.v.), with whom she spent the next year in England, France, Germany and Italy. She assisted Dr Howe in editing the Commonwealth in 1851–1853. The results of her study of German philosophy were seen in philosophical essays; in lectules on " Doubt and Belief," " The Duality of Character," &c., delivered in 186o–1861 in her home in Boston, and later in Washington; and in addresses before the Boston Radical Club and the Concord school of philosophy. Samuel Longfellow, his brother Henry, Wendell Phillips, W.L. Garrison, Charles Sumner, Theodore Parker and James Freeman Clarke were among her friends; she advocated abolition, and preached occasionally from Unitarian pulpits. She was one of the organizers of the American Woman-Suffrage Association and of the Association for the Advancement of Women (1869), and in 187o became one of the editors of the Woman's Journal, and in 1872 president of the New England Women's Club. In the same year she was a delegate to the Prison Reform Congress in London, and founded there the Woman's Peace Association, one of the many ways in which she expressed her opposition of the colonies was making rapid progress, and Howe was known to be in sympathy with the colonists. He had sought the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin, who was a friend of his sister Miss Howe, a clever eccentric woman well known in London society, and had already tried to act as a peacemaker. It was doubtless because of his known sentiments that he was selected to command in America, and was joined in commission with his brother Sir William Howe, the general at the head of the land forces, to make a conciliatory arrangement. A committee appointed by the Continental Congress conferred with the Howes in September 1776 but nothing was accomplished. The appointment of a new peace commission in 1778 offended the admiral deeply, and he sent in a resignation of his command. It was reluctantly accepted by Lord Sandwich, then First Lord, but before it could take effect France declared war, and a powerful French squadron was sent to America under the count d'Estaing. Being greatly outnumbered, Howe had to stand on the defensive, but he baffled the French admiral at Sandy Hook, and defeated his attempt to take Newport in Rhode Island by a fine combination of caution and calculated daring. On the arrival of Admiral John Byron from England with reinforcements, Howe left the station in September. Until the fall of Lord North's ministry In 1782 he refused to serve, assigning as his reason that he could not trust Lord Sandwich. He considered that he had not been properly supported in America, and was embittered both by the supersession of himself and his brother as peace commissioners, and by attacks made on him by the ministerial writers in the press. On the change of ministry in March 1782 he was selected to command in the Channel, and in the autumn of that year, September, October and November, he carried out the final relief of Gibraltar. It was a difficult operation, for the French and Spaniards had in all 46 line-of-battle ships to his 33, and in the exhausted state of the country it was impossible to fit his ships properly or to supply them with good crews. He was, moreover, hampered by a great convoy carrying stores. But Howe was eminent in the handling of a great multitude of ships, the enemy was awkward and unenterprising, and the operation was brilliantly carried out. From the 28th of January to the 16th of April 1783 he was First Lord of the Admiralty, and he held that post from December 1783 till August 1788, in Pitt's first ministry. The task was no pleasant one, for he had to agree to economies where he considered that more outlay was needed, and he had to disappoint the hopes of the many officers who were left unemployed by the peace. On the outbreak of the Revolutionary war in 1793 he was again named to the command of the Channel fleet. His services in 1794 form the most glorious period of his life, for in it he won the epoch-making victory of the 1st of June (see FIRST OF JUNE, BATTLE OF). "Though Howe was now nearly seventy, and had been trained in the old school, he displayed an originality not usual with veterans, and not excelled by any of his successors in the war, not even by Nelson, since they had his example to follow and were served by more highly trained squadrons than his. He continued to hold the nominal command by the wish of the king. but his active service was now over. In 1797 he was called on to pacify the mutineers at Spithead, and his great influence with the seamen who trusted him was conspicuously shown. He died on the 5th of August 1799, and was buried in his family vault at Langar. His monument by Flaxman is in St Paul's Cathedral. In 1782 he was created Viscount Howe of Langar, and in 1788 Baron and Earl Howe. In June 1797 he was made a knight of the Garter. With the sailors he was always popular, though he was no popularity hunter, for they knew him to be just. His nickname of Black Dick was given on account of his swarthy complexion, and the well-known portrait by Gainsborough shows that it was apt. Lord Howe married, on the loth of March 1758, Mary Hartop, the daughter of Colonel Chiverton Hartop of Welby in Leicester-shire, and had issue two daughters. His Irish title descended to his brother William, the general, who died childless in 1814. The earldom, and the viscounty of the United Kingdom, beinglimited to heirs male, became extinct, but the barony, being to heirs general, passed to his daughter, Sophia Charlotte (1762-1835), who married the Hon. Penn Assheton Curzon. Their son, Richard William Curzon (1796-1870), who succeeded his paternal grandfather as Viscount Curzon in 182o, was created Earl Howe in 1821; he was succeeded by his son, George Augustus (1821-1876), and then by another son, Richard William (1822-1900), whose son Richard George Penn Curzon-Howe (b. 1861) became 4th Earl Howe in 190o. The standard Life is by Sir John Barrow (1838). Interesting reminiscences will be found in the Life of Codrington, by Lady Bourchier. Accounts of his professional services are in Charnock's Biographia Navalis, v. 457, and in Ralf s Naval Bio raphies, i. 83. See also Beatson's Naval and Military Annals, James's Naval History, and Chevalier's Histoire de la Marine francaise, vols. i. and ii. (D. H.)
End of Article: JULIA WARD HOWE (1819–1910)
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