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

May 17 - May 23

Women of the Week

Reformer Rosa Miller Avery, born on May 21, 1830, and reformer and author Louisa Morton Greene, born on May 23, 1819, 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.

<a href="/WOC/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=50&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=AVERY%2C+Mrs.+Rosa+Miller+">AVERY, Mrs. Rosa Miller </a>

AVERY, Mrs. Rosa Miller

May 21, 1830

reformer

Madison, OH

p. 38-39

Rosa Miller Avery was born in Madison, OH on May 21, 1830.  She married Cyrus Avery in 1853 and became the mother of Cyrus Miller Avery.  Her family lived in Ashtabula OH, Erie, PA, and then Chicago, IL.

A passionate reformer, Rosa worked for Anti-Slavery, Prison Reform, and Women's Rights. On February 11, 1860, Rosa hosted the first meeting of  the Ashtabula Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society and beame its Secretary and Treasurer.  She wrote an article about the Society's first Annual Meeting at Templars' Hall and the activities of its first year for the Astabula Weekly Telegraph. To gain attention to the cause during the Civil War, Rosa wrote articles under a male pseudonym.  Later, she wrote in support of women's rights in the Chicago Inter-Ocean. Rosa was a member of the National Council of Women in the United Staes and the National American Woman's Suffrage Association.

Rachel Foster Avery, a woman's rights advocate, was Rosa's daughter-in-law.  Rosa's vast social network included Lydia Maria Child, James A. Garfield, and James Redpath.

Devoted to women's rights, Rosa even paid for her newborn granddaughter, Julia Foster, Avery, to become a member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.  Rosa passed away in Chicago on November 9, 1894 and was buried in Middle Ridge Cemetery in Madison, OH.  In March of 1895, Rosa  and several other recently deceased members were honored at the annual meeting of the National Council of Women in the United States.

<a href="/WOC/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=50&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=GREENE%2C+Mrs.+Louisa+Morton">GREENE, Mrs. Louisa Morton</a>

GREENE, Mrs. Louisa Morton

May 23, 1819

reformer and author

Ashburnham, MA

p. 338-339

Louisa Morton Willard Greene was born in Ashburnham, MA on May 23, 1819. She worked in a woolen mill in Dedham, MA, where she began writing, and later taught in Portsmouth, NH.

After marrying businessman and politician Jonas Greene in 1841, Louisa became the mother of a son, Jonas Willard Greene, who was stillborn, two younger sons, Willard Jonas Greene and George Henry Greene, and five daughters, Martha, Estelle, Christina, Wilma, and Charlena.  The family lived in Peru, ME. 

Before the Civil War,  Louisa wrote poetry, contributed articles to the Oxford Democrat, and led anti-slavery efforts in her area   As her daughter Christina later remembered, Louisa was very active in the war effort:  "During the Civil War, Mrs. Greene's patriotic labors were untiring.  In addition to multitudinous household duties, which she always faithfully performed, she took upon herself the labor of collecting, preparing and forwarding hospital supplies for the boys at the front who were so dear to her heart."

In 1869, Louisa's family moved to Manassas, VA, residing at their home named "Birmingham."  Her husband passed away in 1873.  Louisa was involved in many philanthropic and reform activities during her life, including ministering to the sick using the Water Cure and participating in philanthropy, anti-slavery reform, temperance reform, and suffrage efforts. Louisa utilized her public speaking and journalistic talents on behalf of the causes she believed in.

She passed away in Washington, D.C. on March 5, 1900, and her ashes were buried in the family plot at St. Paul's Cemetery in Alexandria, VA.  In addition to Christina's beautiful obituary, Louisa's daughter Estella also penned a farewell announcement and included a poem that she had written about her mother's passing.  Within her tribute, Estella included Louisa's motto: ""Help for the living and hope for the dead."

At the National American Woman Suffrage Association Convention in February of 1902, it was announced that Louisa had bequeathed $100 to the organization.