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

February 18 - February 24

Women of the Week

Politician and journalist Annie LePorte Diggs, lecturer and woman suffragist Isabella Beecher Hooker, woman suffragist Josephine Kirby Williamson Henry, and author Jane Austin Goodwin 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 numbers to the left of their images.

Annie Le Porte Diggs.jpg

DIGGS, Mrs. Annie Le Porte

February 22, 1853

politician and journalist

London, Ontario, CAN

p. 244

Politician and journalist Annie Le Porte Diggs was born in London, Ontario, Canada on February 22, 1853.

She moved to Lawrence, Kansas, and was very involved with the People's Party, the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association, and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. In her reform efforts, Annie was affiliated with Martia L. Davis Berry and  Anna C. Wait.

Annie later lived in Washington, D.C.  She passed away on September 7, 1916.

Isabella Beecher Hooker (2).jpg

HOOKER, Mrs. Isabella Beecher 

February 22, 1822

lecturer and woman suffragist

Litchfield, CT

p. 390-392

Isabella Beecher Hooker, a member of the famous Beecher family, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, on February 22, 1822.  She was the youngest daughter of Lyman Beecher.  Her family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, and later to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Isabella married John Hooker on August 5, 1841, and became the mother of four children.  The Hookers lived in Farmington, Connecticut, until 1851, when they moved to Hartford, Connecticut.

As a member of the National Woman Suffrage Association,  Isabella gave many speeches on behalf of women's rights.  She also was a writer who contributed to Putnam's Monthly.  

In addition to Catharine Esther BeecherHarriet Beecher StoweEdward BeecherHenry Ward Beecher, and her other siblings, Isabella's personal network included Ella Bagnell Kendrick and Lucy Stone.

Josephine Kirby Williamson Henry (2).jpg

HENRY, Mrs. Josephine Kirby Williamson

February 22, 1843

woman suffragist

Newport, KY

p. 372-373

In the 1800s, Josephine K. Henry went outside the boundaries of a typical woman during that time by being a women’s rights leader, writer, and political activist. Josephine was born February 22, 1843, into the wealthy Williamson family in Newport, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Captain Euclid Williamson, a Virginian, and Mary Kirby Williamson of Leeds, England. Josephine grew up and married Captain William Henry of Versailles, Kentucky in 1868. Captain William Henry was an eminent scholar and one of the most well-known educators in the South. They resided in Kentucky and became deeply involved in state and local affairs. One year later they welcomed their only son, Fredrick W. Henry. Fredrick was a writer and reporter for the Chicago Inter Ocean, where he would later die in a train fire while writing an article. 

Josephine Kirby Henry was an American Progressive Era women’s rights leader, a suffragist, a social reformer, and a writer. She was a strong advocate for women and was a leading proponent of legislation that would grant married women property rights. Henry lobbied hard for the adoption of the Kentucky 1894 Married Women’s Property Act, and is credited for being instrumental in its passage. She was the first woman to campaign publicly for a statewide office in Kentucky. Josephine would later die in 1928, but not without leaving an impact on the world and in the eyes of women. 

Jane Goodwin Austin (2).jpg

AUSTIN, Jane Goodwin

February 25, 1831


Worcester, MA

p. 36

Jane Goodwin Austin was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on February 25, 1831.  She married Loring H. Austin in 1850 and became the mother of three children.  

A prolific writer, Jane was a frequent contributor to Atlantic MonthlyGalaxy, Harper’s MonthlyPeterson’s Magazine, and Putnam’s Magazine.

Austin wrote many books, several related to the Plymouth Colony. She had a variety of publishers, including J. E. Tilton and Company, Sheldon and Company, J. R. Osgood and Company, Houghton, Mifflin and Company, F. M. Lupton Publishing Company.  Her books were widely noticed in periodicals, with The Desmond Hundred (1882), Standish of Standish (1889), and Dr. LeBaron and His Daughters (1890) being reviewed by at least nine periodicals.

Over the course of her life, Jane also lived in Lincoln, Massachusetts, Concord, Massachusetts, and Roxbury, Massachusetts.  She passed away on March 30, 1894.