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A Woman of the Century:   A Crowdsourcing Project of the Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries

April 16 - April 22

Women of the Week

Woman suffragist and reformer Emma Curtiss Bascom, temperance reformer Mary A. Brayton Woodbridge, and General Federation of Women's Literary Clubs leader Charlotte Emerson Brown, had birthdays this week.

  •  To learn about them by viewing their items, please click on their images.  

  • To read their biographical sketches in A Woman of the Century, please click on the highlighted page number(s) to the left of their images.

Emma Curtis Bascom (2).jpg

BASCOM, Mrs. Emma Curtiss

April 20, 1828

woman suffragist and reformer

Sheffield, MA

p. 61-62

Woman suffragist and reformer Emma Curtiss Bascom was born in Sheffield, Massachusetts, on April 20, 1828. Her older sister Sophia Curtiss Hoffman is also in A Woman of the Century.

After having attended Great Barrington Academy, Pittsfield Institute, and Patapsco Institute, Emma taught at Kinderhook Academy and Stratford Academy.

Emma married John Bascom, a professor at Williams College, and became the mother of several children.  When John was appointed president of the University of Wisconsin in 1874, the family moved to Madison. 

While in Wisconsin, Emma was very involved with the Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association, The Association for the Advancement of Women, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and The Woman's Centennial Commission for the State of Wisconsin.

Emma passed away in 1916 and is buried with John at the University of Wisconsin.

Mary A. Brayton Woodbridge (3).jpg

WOODBRIDGE, Mrs. Mary A. Brayton

April 21, 1830

temperance reformer

Nantucket, MA

p. 797

Mary A. Brayton Woodbridge, born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on April 21, 1830, was a temperance reformer.  She married Frederick Wells Woodbridge when she was seventeen years old, and the couple settled in Cleveland, Ohio.  Mary became a mother, and her family eventually lived in Ravenna, Ohio.

Rev. Aaron Merritt Hills, Frances E. Willard, and others wrote about Mary's life in Life and Labors of Mrs. Mary A. Woodbridge.  She was very active in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and edited The Amendment Herald.  Mary's personal network included President James A. Garfield, Universalist minister and author Phebe A. Hanaford, astronomer Maria Mitchell, and educator Horace Mann.

She passed away on October 25, 1894.

Charlotte Emerson Brown (2).jpg

BROWN, Mrs. Charlotte Emerson

April 21, 1838

president of the General Federation of Women's Literary Clubs

Andover, MA

p. 125-126

Charlotte Emerson Brown, born in Andover, Massachusetts, on April 21, 1838, was an author, a businesswoman, a philanthropist, a suffragist, and a teacher.

As the leader of the General Federation of Women's Literary Clubs, Charlotte strove to expand its membership.  Her A Woman of the Century profile notes:

"Mrs. Brown is greatly interested in the woman's club movement and gladly devotes her whole time to work for its advancement.  She possesses unusual power of memory, mental concentration, energy and business ability, combined with such sweetness of disposition and deference for others as to make it easy for her to accomplish whatever she undertakes. She is enthusiastic and inspires others with her own magnetism. She combines the power of general plan with minute detail, and her motto is that what should be done at all should be done promptly and thoroughly" (125-126).

In addition, Charlotte was a member of the Woman's Board of Missions.

She passed away on February 4, 1895, and was buried in Newark, New Jersey.