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

June 18 - June 24

Women of the Week

Caroline Wells Dall, an author who was born on June 22, 1822, Levancia Holcomb Plumb, a financier, and Agnes Dean Abbatt, an artist and art teacher who was born on June 23, 1847, 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.


DALL, Mrs. Caroline Wells

June 22, 1822


Boston, MA

p. 226

Caroline Dall was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 22, 1822. Her parents, Mark Healey and Caroline Foster, provided her with an exclusive education, consisting of private tutoring and private schooling, until she was 15 years old. From 1837 to 1842, she administered a nursery in the North End of Boston. In 1842, Caroline began teaching at Georgetown Female Seminary, where she met Unitarian minister Charles Dall, whom she would marry in 1844. 

Once married, Caroline was increasingly involved in women’s suffrage causes.  A gifted and prolific writer, reformer, and activist,  she became a staunch advocate for women’s rights. Caroline and Charles lived in Toronto in the early 1850s. By 1855, Charles Dall had traveled alone to India to work as a Unitarian missionary, returning only once to America before his death in 1886.

For many years, Caroline was actively involved in the Boston women’s rights movement. One of her many important books, The College, the Market, and the Court (1867), based on a series of lectures she gave in Boston in 1861-1862, is a collection of essays about women’s rights, education, economic advancement, and protection under the law.  

Her other publications include Historical Pictures Retouched: a Volume of Miscellanies (1859), in which she discusses lesser-known important women from history, Essays and Sketches (1849), and Women's Rights Under the Law: In Three Lectures, Delivered in Boston, January, 1861 (1862).

In 1865, Dall helped found the American Social Science Association. Along with suffragist Paulina Davis, Caroline Dall founded both the New England Women’s Rights Convention and Una, a journal devoted to advocating for women’s rights. Because of these activities, she is often associated with fellow activist, Transcendentalist, and journalist Margaret Fuller regarding their advocacy for the advancement of women.

Later in life, Caroline distanced herself from the women’s rights movement and published such eclectic and diverse works as Egypt's Place in History (1868), the Patty Gray's Journey (three volumes for children about the Civil War, 1869–70), What We Really Know About Shakespeare (1885), The Life of Dr. Anandabai Joshee (1888), Margaret and Her Friends: Ten Conversations with Margaret Fuller (1895), and Transcendentalism in New England (1897). In her 70s, she continued lecturing and giving sermons at the Unitarian Church.

After several years of suffering from arthritis, Caroline died of pneumonia on December 17, 1912, at the age of 90.

Levancia Holcomb Plumb (2).jpg

PLUMB, Mrs. L. H.

June 23, 1841


Sand Lake, NY

p. 576

Levancia Holcomb Plumb was born in Sand Lake, New York, on June 23, 1841, but she lived in Illinois for most of her life.  She attended Oberlin College, graduating in 1861.  On December 6, 1866, Levancia married Samuel H. Plumb in Lorain, Ohio.  They became the parents of three daughters and a son, and the family lived in Streator, Illinois.

She was a well-respected businesswoman and bank president who was affiliated with Frances E. Willard and worked closely with Julia A. Ames.

Levancia passed away in Streator, Illinois, where she had lived for fifty years, on April 10, 1923.

Agnes Dean Abbatt woc (2).jpg

ABBATT, Agnes Dean

June 23, 1847


New York, NY

p. 1-2

Agnes Dean Abbatt was born on June 23, 1847, in New York City. Educated at both the art school of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and the National Academy of Design, Agnes was successful as both an art teacher and an artist. She presented her art at many exhibitions, including the American Watercolor Society, of which she was a member.

The September 2, 1893, The Evening  Star of Washington, D.C., noted: "Miss Agnes D. Abbatt is very successful.  Her studio is in a new building on Fifth avenue, where many important artists live.  She is one of the few ladies who are members of the Water-Color Society.  Miss Abbatt paints also in oils, and is especially fond of landscapes.  Lately she has been devoting much time to pastels."

Agnes passed away on January 1, 1917, and was buried at Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery.