Notable Women

The Peabody Sisters

Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (May 16, 1804-January 3, 1894), Mary Tyler Peabody Mann (November 16, 1807-February 11, 1887), and Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne (September 21, 1809-February 26, 1871)—were champions of reform movements, pioneers in modern educational theory, founders of the kindergarten movement in America and supporters of the arts.…

Adams, Hannah

Hannah Adams (Oct. 2, 1755-Dec. 15, 1831) born in Medfield MA, she was the first American, man or woman, known to attempt to support herself by the pen. Highly regarded in the field of historical documentation, she wrote several history books.

Masaryk, Charlotte Garrigue

Charlotte Garrigue Masaryk
Charlotte Garrigue Masaryk

Charlotte Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1923), first First Lady of Czechoslovakia, was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her father was Rudolph Garrigue, a businessman of Huguenot background whose parents and sister were Unitarian. Her mother was Charlotte Lydia Whiting, whose interest in transcendentalism led her to write to Ralph Waldo Emerson and be in contact with Brook Farm.

Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary

Elizabeth Cary Agassiz: A Biography - written by Lucy Allen Paton - 1919
Elizabeth Cary Agassiz

Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz (December 5, 1822-June 27, 1907) was an early advocate for the education of women. However, she was conservative about women’s rights. Instrumental in the founding of the Harvard Annex—later Radcliffe College, she would serve as its first president.

Blackwell, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Blackwell - ca. 1877 - Library of Congress
Elizabeth Blackwell – ca. 1877 – Library of Congress

Elizabeth Blackwell (February 23, 1821-May 31, 1910) was the first woman to earn a degree from medical school in the United States and the first woman to appear on the medical registry of the United Kingdom.

Reid, Helen Richmond Young

Helen Richmond Young Reid
Helen Richmond Young Reid

Helen Richmond Young Reid (December 11, 1869-June 8, 1941) was a Montreal social worker involved in local, national, and international reform movements. A life long Unitarian, she founded and directed a number of charitable and educational organizations.

Sessions, Kate Olivia

Kate O. Sessions
Kate O. Sessions

Kate Olivia (Ophelia) Sessions chose a very unusual profession for a woman in 1885. Her love of nature, of gardening and flowers caused her to abandon teaching and take up the propagation of plants as a commercial nurseryman.

Reid , Eliza Anne McIntosh

Eliza Anne McIntosh Reid - 1901
Eliza Anne McIntosh Reid – 1901

Eliza Anne McIntosh Reid (October 30, 1841-January 8, 1926) was a social reformer, women’s activist, and a leader in the movement to gain access to higher education for Canadian women. A life long Unitarian, her contributions would be continued and expanded by her daughter, Helen R.

Severance, Caroline

Carolina Seymour Severance (January 12, 1820-November 10, 1914), called Caroline, was for nearly seventy years an active social reformer, organizer, church woman and club woman whose varied work changed the lives of countless of people. The eldest of five children born to Orson and Caroline Maria Clarke Seymour in Canandaigua, New York, Caroline and her family moved to nearby Auburn, New York after her father died an early death in 1824.

Bowen, Georgene Esther

Georgene Esther Bowen
Georgene Esther Bowen

Georgene Esther Bowen (February 13, 1898-September 1984) was a Universalist missionary and social worker. She worked at the Blackmer Home for underprivileged girls in Japan and with girls clubs, settlement houses, and the elderly in the United States.

Crooker, Florence Ellen Kollock

Florence Ellen Kollock Crooker
Florence Ellen Kollock Crooker

Florence Ellen Kollock Crooker (Jan. 18, 1848 to April 21, 1925) was a Universalist minister and advocate of temperance and women’s suffrage. A capable organizer who combined intellect and passion in her work she was one of the first ministers to serve both Universalist and Unitarian congregations.

Billings, Mary

Mary BillingsMary Charlotte Ward Granniss Webster Billings (July 11, 1824-March 2, 1904) was a Universalist author, activist, and hymn writer. The wife of two Universalist ministers, she herself was ordained in 1892. Kind and generous, she exemplifies the nineteenth-century liberal missionary zeal that spread Universalism to the west.…