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Booth, Maud Elizabeth Charlesworth Ballington (13 September 1865–26 August 1948), Salvation Army leader, cofounder of the Volunteers of America, and prison reformer, was born in Limpsfield Surrey, England, the daughter of Samuel Beddome Charlesworth and Maria Beddome, Samuel’s first cousin. Her father served as the minister of an aristocratic country parish but was reassigned to a church in a poor section of London in 1868. William Booth, the itinerant Wesleyan preacher who had broken from the Methodist church three years earlier to found the Christian Mission (renamed the Salvation Army in 1878), had rented the building across the street from Maud’s father’s church, and Booth’s open-air meetings introduced Maud to the Salvation Army’s noisy style of street-corner evangelism....

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Comstock, Elizabeth Leslie Rous Wright (30 October 1815–03 August 1891), Quaker minister and reformer, was born in Maidenhead, Berkshire, England, the daughter of William Rous, a shopkeeper, and Mary Kekwick. Her parents were Quakers with family ties to the Society of Friends going back to the seventeenth century. They reared her in a strict Quaker atmosphere, an upbringing reinforced by education in Quaker schools at Islington and Croyden. In 1839 Elizabeth Rous returned to Croyden as a teacher; in 1842 she joined the staff of the Friends school at Ackworth. She remained there until her marriage in 1848 to Leslie Wright, a Quaker market gardener of Walthamstow in Essex. They had one child. After her husband’s death in 1851, Elizabeth Wright kept a shop for a time at Bakewell in Devonshire. In 1854 she immigrated with her daughter and an unmarried sister to Belleville, Ontario. Four years later she married John T. Comstock, a prosperous Quaker farmer of Rollin, Michigan, where Elizabeth Comstock and her daughter moved....

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Davis, Katharine Bement (15 January 1860–10 December 1935), social worker, prison reformer, and sex researcher, was born in Buffalo, New York, the daughter of Frances Bement and Oscar Bill Davis, a manager for the Bradstreet Company, precursor of Dun and Bradstreet, the credit rating firm. When her father suffered business reversals following the panic of 1873, Davis had to postpone plans for college and work as a public school teacher for ten years. She continued her studies independently and in 1890 entered Vassar College at the age of thirty, graduating two years later with honors....

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Duffy, Clinton T. (24 August 1898–11 October 1982), prison warden, was born in San Rafael, California, the son of William J. Duffy, a San Quentin prison guard, and Eugenia Palmer. Raised at the San Quentin prison reservation and a graduate of San Quentin High School, Duffy left during World War I to fight with the U.S. Marines. After the war he worked briefly for the Northwestern Pacific Railroad. In the late 1920s he returned to San Quentin, where he began his career in prison administration. Throughout the 1930s Duffy held positions such as assistant to the warden’s executive secretary and assistant secretary of the parole board. Later in the decade a number of public scandals exposed harsh conditions, rebellion among inmates, and corruption by officials at San Quentin. In response, in 1940 the state board of prison directors, under the direction of Governor Culbert Olson, fired warden Court Smith, replacing him with Duffy. Duffy married Gladys Carpenter, and they had one son....

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Farnham, Eliza Wood Burhans (17 November 1815–15 December 1864), author, prison reformer, and proponent of the superiority of women, was born in Rensselaerville, New York, the daughter of Cornelius Burhans and Mary Wood. Her father’s occupation is not known; her mother, a Quaker, died in 1820, after which her five children were scattered. Eliza eventually went to live with an aunt and uncle in Maple Springs, New York. The aunt, she later recalled, raised her through “neglect and hardship” ( ...

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Gibbons, Abigail Hopper (07 December 1801–16 January 1893), prison reformer and abolitionist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Isaac Tatem Hopper and Sarah Tatum, Quakers. Her father earned a moderate living as a tailor and later as a bookseller but devoted most of his time to aiding runaway slaves and free blacks. Her mother was a minister in the Society of Friends. Two years after her mother’s death in 1822, her father remarried, and in 1829 he moved with most of his family to New York City. Abigail joined them in 1830 and helped support the family by teaching at a Quaker school....

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Griffith, Goldsborough Sappington (04 November 1814–24 February 1904), civic and religious leader, prison reformer, and philanthropist, was born in Harford County, Maryland, the son of James Griffith and Sarah Cox. His father died in the War of 1812, leaving Griffith, not one year old, the youngest of eight. His mother subsequently remarried and, when Griffith was twelve, moved to Baltimore with her husband and family of fourteen children. Griffith left school and obtained regular employment in a tobacco manufacturing house to help support the family. He continued his education in night school and devoted his leisure time to reading. Several years later he found a rewarding position as a paperhanger and, at the age of twenty-two, with $500 in savings and a knowledgeable partner, began a prosperous paperhanging and upholstery business. In 1854 he sold this thriving business to his half brothers and turned his attentions to his very successful wholesale and retail carpet business in which he was joined by his nephews....

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Harris, Mary Belle (19 August 1874–22 February 1957), prison administrator, was born in Factoryville, Pennsylvania, the daughter of John Howard Harris, a Baptist minister, and Mary Elizabeth Mace, who died when Mary Belle was six years old. First educated at the Keystone Academy, Mary Belle graduated from Bucknell University, where her father had become president in 1889. In 1893 she received a music degree from Bucknell; she earned an A.B. in 1894 and an A.M. in Latin and classics in 1895. She next enrolled at the University of Chicago, where she obtained a Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indo-European Comparative Philology in 1900....

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Hodder, Jessie Donaldson (30 March 1867–19 November 1931), women's prison reformer, women’s prison reformer, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughter of William Donaldson, a tradesman, and Mary Hall. Her mother died when she was two, and her father remarried. Following physical abuse by her stepmother, Jessie was rescued and taken in by her paternal grandmother. Later an uncle, Andrew Donaldson, joined and supported the household. In 1883 Andrew Donaldson’s career with the Erie Railroad took the family from Cincinnati to New York City, where Jessie studied music. Either there or possibly in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she met Alfred LeRoy Hodder, whose family also had ties to Cincinnati and who was a favored doctoral student of Harvard University philosopher ...

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Isaac T. Hopper. From the frontispiece to Lydia Maria Child, Isaac T. Hopper: A True Life, 1853. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-75190).

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Hopper, Isaac Tatem (03 December 1771–07 May 1852), Quaker abolitionist and reformer, was born in Deptford township, near Woodbury, New Jersey, the son of Levi Hopper and Rachel Tatem, farmers. Educated in local schools, Isaac Hopper went to Philadelphia at sixteen to learn tailoring from an uncle, with whom he lived. He made his living there as a tailor and soon came to own his own shop....

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Jackson, George (23 September 1941–21 August 1971), political revolutionary and prisoners' rights activist, political revolutionary and prisoners’ rights activist, was born George Lester Jackson in Chicago, Illinois, the second of five children of Lester Jackson, a U.S. Postal Service employee originally from East Saint Louis, Illinois, and Georgia Davis Jackson of Harrisburg, Illinois. Growing up on Chicago’s Near West Side shaped George’s young life. After a white student beat George in kindergarten, his parents enrolled him and his older sister, Delora, in St. Malachy School, a segregated Catholic school. With Chicago’s white neighborhoods largely off-limits and in need of a larger apartment for their growing family, the Jacksons moved into a recently constructed public housing project. As he entered his teen years, the police began routinely picking up George for questioning....

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Korematsu, Fred (30 Jan. 1919–30 March 2005), prisoner of incarceration camps for Japanese Americans during World War II and civil liberties activist, was born in Oakland, California, the third of four sons of Kakusaburo Korematsu and Kotsui Aoki, immigrants from Japan who owned a flower nursery where the family worked. Korematsu’s given name was Toyosaburo, but when one of his elementary school teachers could not pronounce his first name, she asked to call him “Fred.” He used that name throughout his life. He attended public schools in Oakland, graduating from Castlemont High School, and was involved in the Boy Scouts and the San Lorenzo Japanese Holiness Church as a youth....

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Little, Sophia Louisa Robbins (1799–1893), writer and reformer, was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the daughter of U.S. senator Asher Robbins, an attorney, and Mary Ellery. Educated locally, she married William Little, Jr., of Boston in 1824; they had three children. Her first publication was a poem, “Thanksgiving,” included in a Boston gift book, ...

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McClaughry, Robert Wilson (22 July 1839–09 November 1920), warden and prison reformer, was born in Fountain Green, Illinois, the son of Matthew McClaughry and Marry (maiden name unknown). McClaughry attended Monmouth College in Illinois, receiving a B.A. in 1860. On 17 June 1862 he married Elizabeth C. Maiden, with whom he had five children. Two months after marrying Elizabeth, McClaughry became a private in the 118th Illinois Infantry. During the sectional conflict, McClaughry served in the Army of the Tennessee for two years and the payroll department for one, advancing to the rank of major in December, 1862. Mustered out of the army in October 1865, McClaughry returned to Illinois, taking a job as Hancock County Clerk....

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Nicholson, Timothy (02 November 1828–15 September 1924), Quaker reformer and printer, was born in Perquimans County, North Carolina, the son of Josiah Nicholson, a teacher and farmer, and Anna White. Both parents came from families long prominent in Quaker affairs in North Carolina, and by Timothy Nicholson’s own account, their influence and that of Quaker neighbors was such that he never questioned Quaker teachings. He was educated in the Quaker Belvidere Academy in Perquimans County and at the Friends Boarding School (now Moses Brown School) in Providence, Rhode Island. He married twice, first in 1853 to Sarah N. White, who died in 1865, and then in 1868 to her sister, Mary White. There were six children by the first marriage and two by the second....

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Peter, Sarah Worthington King (10 May 1800–06 February 1877), penal reformer, women's advocate, and benefactress, penal reformer, women’s advocate, and benefactress, was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, the daughter of Thomas Worthington and Eleanor Van Swearingen. Her father was a wealthy landowner, politician, and a U.S. senator and later governor of Ohio....

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Round, William M. F. (26 March 1845–02 January 1906), journalist and reformer, was born William Marshall Fitts Round in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the son of Daniel Round, a Baptist minister, and Elizabeth Ann Fitts. After attending local schools, he enrolled in Harvard Medical School but was forced to drop out because of ill health. He then began a career as a journalist, working at various times for the ...

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Tutwiler, Julia Strudwick (15 August 1841–24 March 1916), educator, reformer, and humanitarian, was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The daughter of Henry Tutwiler and Julia Ashe, she grew up in a home devoted to education, which became her lifework. Her father had earned a master’s degree in foreign languages at the University of Virginia and had accepted a position as the first professor of ancient languages at the University of Alabama when it had opened in 1831. Resigning in 1837 because of a financial dispute, he established Greene Springs Academy in Havana, south of Tuscaloosa. His daughters studied Latin, science, and mathematics with boys, upsetting many citizens. Tutwiler and her father taught slaves and poor white children to read. This experience influenced her to devote her life to serving others. Many of her classmates gained prominent positions as adults and supported her causes....

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Wines, Frederick Howard (09 April 1838–31 January 1912), Presbyterian minister and prison reformer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Enoch Cobb Wines, a minister and prison reformer, and Emma Stansbury. After attending Washington College in Pennsylvania, Wines enrolled in the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1857. Forced to leave because of illness, he traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, where in 1860 the American Sunday School Union granted him a license to preach. Wines served as missionary in Springfield, Missouri, until 1862 when he received a commission as a hospital chaplain in the Union army. During the Civil War, Wines was the chaplain in charge of refuges at Springfield, Missouri, and served in the battle of Springfield (8 Jan. 1863). In 1864 he returned to Princeton and his studies, finally graduating from the seminary in 1865. That year he married Mary Frances Hackney, with whom he had eight children. The couple moved to Springfield, Illinois, where Wines spent the next four years as the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church....