Julia Ward Howe was a patriotic author, poet, and social reformer. She’s best known for writing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” (also known as the lyrics to “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory”) at the urging of President Abraham Lincoln, which became the anthem of the Union Army. However, her most prominent causes were pacifist feminism and suffrage for women.
In spite of the fact that her husband restricted her liberal progressivist causes, Julia published an abolitionist paper. After her husband’s death, she immersed herself in activism. She lectured on women’s rights while traveling around the United States as president of numerous women’s associations she led and, in some cases, founded. During this time she also founded and wrote for the Women’s Journal, which advocated for suffrage week after week. She also advocated for a then uncreated holiday called Mother’s Day, during which mothers from around the world would advocate for peace.
Unfortunately, she did not live to see women receive suffrage. When she died in 1910 at the age of 91, her funeral service was so densely attended that two services were held at the Church of the Disciples and at the Boston Symphony Hall. Julia Ward Howe is buried in Boston’s historic Mount Auburn Cemetery, where voters of all kinds can pay her a visit.