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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2214

Julia Ward Howe papers


Correspondence of various members of the Ward and Howe families, and compositions of Julia Ward Howe.


  • Creation: 1790-1951


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.


8 linear feet (23 boxes)

This collection contains correspondence between the Ward, Howe, and Richards families. These letters discuss topic such as religion and divine providence, personal finance, domestic concerns, life in Boston in the 19th century, and death and illness in the family. The correspondence of Julia Ward Howe concerns women's suffrage, writing and publishing in several journals (including the New York Observer, Ladies' Home Journal, and Century magazine), and a letter to President Roosevelt concerning foreign policy. Letters written by Samuel Howe to his daughter discuss travels in Greece. Correspondence of Rosalind Richards includes many letters from Louis Vernon Ledoux concerning donating papers to Harvard, writing and publishing, and also letters from poet Harold Trowbridge Pulsifer. The collection also consists of literary manuscripts of Julia Ward Howe, including "Education in Regard of Sex," "Is Polite Society Polite?" and manuscripts concerning women's suffrage, women's work and wages, philosophy, marriage, and government. Also includes plays written by Julia Ward Howe based on various fairy tales and other subjects. Collection contains a playbill and script of Hippolytus written by Julia Ward Howe, which was produced at the Tremont Theater.

Biographical / Historical

Julia Ward Howe authored the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and participated in women's suffrage as a club leader and lecturer. In February 1862, the Atlantic Monthly published her poem "Battle Hymn of the Republic," which she wrote in 1861 during a visit to an army camp near Washington, D.C. Her husband Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe was director of the Perkins Institute for the Blind, Boston. Among their daughters were authors Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards and Maud Howe Elliott. Their granddaughter was Rosalind Richards (the donor).


Arranged into the following five series:

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Prose compositions and speeches
  3. III. Poems
  4. IV. Notebooks
  5. V. Miscellany

Physical Location

b, pf

Immediate Source of Acquisition

51M-283. Gift of Rosalind Richards, Gardiner, Maine; received: 1951 May 31.

Processing Information

Much of the prose compositions and speeches series of this collection is unsorted.

Some materials processed by Charlotte Gray.

Processing Information

This finding aid was revised in 2024 to address outdated and potentially harmful descriptive language. During that revision, description was changed in the description of a single item; the term appears in a formal title and thus was not removed, but a contextual historical note as well as a processing information note explaining the term's presence were added to the item's description. If you have questions or comments about these revisions, please contact Houghton Library. If you have questions or comments about these revisions, please contact Houghton Library. For more information on reparative archival description at Harvard, see Harvard Library’s Statement on Harmful Language in Archival Description.

Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910. Julia Ward Howe papers, 1790-1951: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

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