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Andrews, Fannie Fern Phillips (25 September 1867–23 January 1950), pacifist and educational reformer, was born in Margaretville, Nova Scotia, the daughter of William Wallace Phillips, a shoemaker, and Anna Maria Brown, a church activist. Andrews grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts; she graduated from Salem Normal School in 1884 and taught school in Lynn between 1884 and 1890. In 1890 she married Edwin G. Andrews, a salesman in Lynn; they had no children. In 1895–1896 Andrews resumed her studies, at the Harvard summer school, and in 1902 she received her A.B. from Radcliffe in education and psychology....

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Blum, Virgil Clarence (27 March 1913–05 April 1993), educator, author, activist, and clergyman, was born in Defiance, Iowa, one of twelve children of John Peter and Elizabeth (Rushenberg) Blum, both farmers. His grade school and high school years were spent at St. Peter's school in Defiance. In 1932 he began college at Dowling College, Des Moines, Iowa, and the next year transferred to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. On 31 Aug. 1934 he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary at Florissant, Missouri, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Latin and English in 1938. (A brother, Victor Joseph, also became a Jesuit and became a professor of geophysics and seismology at St. Louis University). Virgil studied philosophy at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, continuing studies in the summer until he earned a master's degree in history and political science in 1945....

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Curry, Jabez Lamar Monroe (05 June 1825–12 February 1903), politician and educational reformer, was born in Lincoln County, Georgia, the son of William Curry and Susan Winn, planters. He attended school in Lincoln County until his family moved to Talladega County, Alabama, in 1838. In 1839 he entered Franklin College (now the University of Georgia) in Athens, Georgia. He graduated from Franklin in 1843 and then enrolled in the Law School of Harvard College. He received his law degree in 1845 and returned to Talladega, where he read law and then joined the bar. In 1847 Curry married Ann Alexander Bowie; they had four children, two of whom died in infancy....

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Dennett, Mary Coffin Ware (04 April 1872–25 July 1947), birth control and sex education reformer and pacifist, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the daughter of George Whitefield, a wool merchant, and Livonia Coffin Ware. When Dennett was ten her father died and the family moved to Boston, where she attended public schools and went on to Miss Capen’s School for Girls in Northampton, Massachusetts. Dennett then studied at the school of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, where she displayed a great talent for tapestry and leather design. From 1894 to 1897 she headed the Department of Design and Decoration at the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia. After a trip to Europe with her sister, during which they collected gilded Cordovan leather wall hangings, the sisters opened a handicraft shop in Boston. Dennett helped organize the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts in 1897. She served on the council of the society until 1905, when her interest in politics and social welfare began to supersede her interest in the arts. In 1900 she married William Hartley Dennett, a Boston architect with whom she had two sons. The marriage ended in divorce in 1913 with Dennett receiving custody of their children....

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Garnett, James Mercer (08 June 1770–23 April 1843), congressman, agricultural reformer, and educator, was born at “Mount Pleasant” plantation, near present-day Loretto in Essex County, Virginia, the son of planters Muscoe Garnett and Grace Fenton Mercer. He was privately educated, and in 1793 married his first cousin, Mary Eleanor Dick Mercer. The couple had four daughters and four sons....

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Greene, Roger Sherman (29 May 1881–27 March 1947), diplomat, medical administrator, and lobbyist, was born in Westborough, Massachusetts, the son of Daniel Crosby Greene and Mary Jane Forbes, two of the earliest American missionaries to work in Japan. He received his early education in Japan, where he spent most of his life before college. At Harvard University he earned an A.B. in 1901 and an A.M. in 1902....

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Thomas Smith Grimké. Portrait of Thomas Smith Grimké (1786-1834). Oil on canvas. Portrait by Abraham G.D. Tuthill. Courtesy of Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, Ohio.

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Grimké, Thomas Smith (26 September 1786–12 October 1834), lawyer, educational and peace reformer, politician, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the second son of John Faucheraud Grimké and Mary Smith Grimké. John Grimké, a native Charlestonian of French Huguenot stock, was educated at the University of Cambridge, an officer in the American Revolution, and head justice of the state’s Court of Appeals. Mary Grimké, a descendant of an English landgrave, the state’s founding aristocracy, and the famous Irish rebel leader Rory O’Moore, was a co-founder of Charleston’s female benevolent society. Other children included ...

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Hallowell, Anna (01 November 1831–06 April 1905), civic leader and education reformer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Morris Longstreth Hallowell, a prominent Quaker merchant, and Hannah Smith Penrose. She was reared in a family that grappled with religious and social concerns. In 1827 Anna’s parents had allied themselves with the liberal Hicksite (“heterodox”) branch of the Society of Friends. Within their social circle were Hicksite activists like abolitionist ...

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Keppel, Francis C. (16 April 1916–19 February 1990), educational administrator, was born in New York City, the son of Frederick Paul Keppel and Helen Tracy Brown. His father was dean of Columbia College and in 1923 became president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York....

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Malkiel, Theresa Serber (01 May 1874–17 November 1949), trade union leader, woman suffragist, publicist, and educator, was born in Bar, Russia. In 1891 she emigrated with her parents to the United States.

Soon after her arrival, Theresa Serber became a pioneer in the Jewish workers’ movement and socialist labor agitation in New York City. Employed in the garment industry, she joined the Russian Workingmen’s Club in 1892. In October 1894 she was among a group of seventy women who founded the Infant Cloak Makers Union (ICMU). Although it was a depression year, she and her associates decided not to accept wage cuts and deteriorating labor conditions any longer. Their action was front-page news. Eventually the ICMU became part of the Socialist Trades and Labor Alliance. In 1896, Serber was among the delegates to the first convention of the latter alliance; in 1899, along with many others, she broke with labor leader ...

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Prichard, Edward Fretwell, Jr. (21 January 1915–23 December 1984), lawyer, public official, and educational reformer, was born in Paris, Kentucky, the son of E. F. Prichard, a horse-breeder, beer distributor, and sometime politician, and Aileen Power. A precocious boy and voracious reader, young Prichard skipped grades and spent his afternoons not at the playground but at the Bourbon County courthouse soaking up Kentucky legal and political lore....

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Thayer, Eli (11 June 1819–15 April 1899), educator and congressman, was born in Mendon, Massachusetts, the son of Cushman Thayer, a farmer and storekeeper, and Miranda Pond. Thayer studied at Worcester Manual Labor High School (later Worcester Academy) and entered Brown University in 1840. He graduated in 1845, and that year he married Caroline M. Capron. They had seven children. Settling in Worcester, Massachusetts, Thayer taught in the town’s school and served as its principal from 1847 to 1849. He purchased land in Worcester on which he supervised the construction (1848–1852) of a castle-style building that housed the Oread Collegiate Institute, a pioneering school for young women. The building also served for nearly fifty years as the Thayer family home. As Thayer established himself as a New England educational reformer, he also entered politics as a champion of the Free Soil party. In 1852 he won election to the Massachusetts General Court....

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Valentine, Lila Hardaway Meade (04 February 1865–14 July 1921), proponent of public schools, public health, and woman suffrage, was born in Richmond, Virginia, the daughter of Richard Hardaway Meade, a businessman, and Kate Fontaine. Largely self-taught, she read widely. She married Benjamin Batchelder Valentine, a poet and businessman, in 1886. Beginning in 1888, with major surgery after the stillbirth of their only child, her physical health remained always precarious....