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Harriet Chalmers Adams. Harriet Chalmers Adams. Harriet Chalmers Adams, 1908. Glass negative. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-DIG-npcc-19900).

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Adams, Harriet Chalmers (22 October 1875–17 July 1937), explorer, lecturer, and writer, was born Harriet Chalmers in Stockton, California. Her father, Alexander Chalmers, Canadian via Scotland, came to California in 1864 to try his luck mining; he later ran a dry goods store with his brother before becoming a mine superintendent and part-owner. Her mother, Frances Wilkins, had grown up in the Sierra Nevada foothills. From the age of eleven Harriet and her sister Anna had private tutors. Her mother encouraged Harriet’s love of reading, while travels with her father developed her interest in the natural world as well as the Native American and Spanish-speaking cultures in the region. At thirteen Harriet and her father spent more than six months meandering the length of the Sierras from Oregon to Mexico, cementing her lifelong love of adventure. As a young woman Harriet continued her indoor and outdoor studies and had an active social life. She was fluent in Spanish and spoke Portuguese, French, Italian, and German as well....

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de Lima, Agnes Abinun (05 August 1887–27 November 1974), progressive journalist, publicist, and educator, was born in Holywood, New Jersey, the daughter of Elias S. Abinun de Lima, a partner in D. A. de Lima and Sons, a banking firm, and Esther Abinun de Lima. Her parents were from Curacao. De Lima was raised in an upper-class home in New York City and Larchmont Manor, New York, and was taught by tutors and music teachers....

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Ende, Amalie von (19 June 1856–25 August 1932), German-American writer, musician, and teacher, was born Amalie Kremper in Warsaw, Poland. The names of her parents are not known. Neither of her parents was native to Poland, but they became entangled in the Polish rebellions of the early 1860s and were forced to leave Poland. At age six von Ende arrived in Milwaukee, where she received early training in music. A student of the German-American writer and activist ...

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Holt, Claire (23 August 1901–29 May 1970), Indonesian specialist and journalist, was born Claire Bagg in Riga, Latvia, the daughter of Boris Bagg, a successful leather dealer and manufacturer, and Cecile Hodes. In 1914 the family moved to Moscow, where Claire attended Gymnasiums from 1914 to 1918. In 1920 she married Bernard Hopfenberg, and in 1921 the couple emigrated to the United States. They settled in New York, and Claire gave birth to a son in 1927. Her husband died in 1928....

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Lane, Rose Wilder (05 December 1886–30 October 1968), a popular magazine writer, novelist, children's author, and noted libertarian thinker, was born near De Smet in the Dakota Territory (later South Dakota), the only surviving child of the homesteaders Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo Wilder. During Rose's early childhood the family struggled to make a living as pioneers, traveling in a covered wagon throughout the Midwest before finally settling in Mansfield, Missouri, when Rose was eight. Rose's childhood was marked by poverty and the uncertainty of frontier life. She was ostracized by classmates for her shabby clothes and her worn shoes, and she worried constantly about burdening her parents. Among her most charged and symbolic early memories was a house fire that destroyed the family's home and possessions. Young Rose had started the fire to assist her ailing mother on her sickbed, and she would blame herself for the tragedy well into adulthood. Despite these difficulties Lane would later valorize the pioneer experience as a source of fundamental American values—including hard work, stoicism, and mutual aid—that were threatened by the modern welfare state....

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Rose Wilder Lane urging support of the Ludlow Resolution which is being considered by a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee, 10 May 1939. Photograph by Harris ﹠ Ewing. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-DIG-hec-26664)

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Ida M. Tarbell Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-7371).

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Tarbell, Ida M. (05 November 1857–06 January 1944), investigative journalist and historian, was born Ida Minerva Tarbell in a log cabin on her maternal grandparents’ farm at Hatch Hollow, Erie County, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Franklin Sumner Tarbell, a farmer, carpenter, river pilot, and teacher, and Esther Ann McCullough, a former schoolteacher. In 1860 Franklin Tarbell, who constructed wooden tanks to hold oil, moved with his family to Cherry Run for work in an encampment (later called Rouseville) in the oil fields around Titusville, Pennsylvania....

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White, Frances Emily (07 May 1832–29 December 1903), medical educator and social critic, was born in Andover, New Hampshire, the daughter of Thomas R. White and Mary H. May, farmers. During White’s childhood her family prospered and moved to the neighboring town of Franklin, a newly established mill center on the Merrimack River. White’s father held several town offices and was regarded as an important member of the Congregational church. One of White’s older sisters married Austin Pike, Franklin’s leading attorney and later a U.S. senator. White, who never married, intermittently lived in the Pike household after her parents’ deaths....