Skip to main content
A Woman of the Century:   A Crowdsourcing Project of the Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries

June 25 - July 1

Women of the Week

Author Ednah Dow Cheney, who was born on June 27, 1824, and physician Juliet Severance, who was born on July 1, 1833, are this week's Women of the 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.

Edna Dow Cheney (2).jpg

CHENEY, Mrs. Ednah Dow

June 27, 1824

Boston, MA


p. 172

Ednah Dow Cheney, the daughter of Sargent Smith Littlehale and Edna Parker Littlehale, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 27, 1824.  She attended Mount Vernon School in Boston, but much of her literary education came through her participation in Margaret Fuller's "Conversations."  Ednah came to know Theodore Parker, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Amos Bronson Alcott, Abby May Alcott, and many other authors.

She married artist Seth Cheney and became mother to her daughter Margaret, but Seth died at a young age and Ednah did not remarry.  Instead, she focused on motherhood and her career.

Ednah was an author, a lecturer, a philanthropist, a reformer, a suffragist, and a teacher.  Passionate about education, she was involved with the Concord School of Philosophy, Boston School of Design for Women, Women's Medical College, and The Horticultural School for Women.

She participated in numerous organizations, including The Freedman's Aid Society, The Association for the Advancement of Women, The New England Woman's Club,  The New England Woman's Press Association, The Massachusetts School Suffrage Association, and The New England Hospital for Women and Children.

Ednah wrote articles for periodicals such as The North American ReviewThe Christian Examiner, and Woman's Journal.  She also penned books, including her 1902 autobiography, Reminiscences of Ednah Dow Cheney.  Two years later, on November 19, 1904, she passed away.

Juliet H. Severance (2).jpg

SEVERANCE, Mrs. Juliet H.

July 1, 1833


Nantucket, MA

p. 642-643

Dr. Juliet H. Severance was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, on July 1, 1833, and grew up in De Ruyter, New York. Juliet attended the De Ruyter Seminary. She taught in New York as a young woman before studying with physicians and becoming a doctor. 

Juliet married J. Dwight Stillman in 1852 and became the mother of three children.  By 1871, she resided in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her second husband, Anson Bigelow Severance, and her children.

Juliet practiced medicine in DeWitt, Iowa, Whiteaer, Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois., and New York, New York.  In addition to her medical practice, Juliet was very involved with the American Secular Union. Mattie A. Freeman was involved with that organization at the same time. Her personal network also included Lucretia Mott, who was her father's cousin, and Elizur Wright.

Juliet was a frequent public speaker on topics such as "the condition of workingwomen."

She passed away in New York, New York, on September 2, 1919.