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Cameron, Donaldina Mackenzie (26 July 1869–04 January 1968), missionary and social reformer, was born on the South Island of New Zealand, the daughter of Allan Cameron and Isabella Mackenzie, sheep ranchers. The family relocated to the San Joaquin Valley in California in 1871 and began raising sheep. After his wife’s death in 1874, Allan Cameron and his children moved to the San Jose area, where he worked for other ranchers and his older daughters kept house. Donaldina attended a local girls’ school, and after the Camerons moved to Oakland she went to high school. Her father became manager of a sheep ranch near Los Angeles, and the family relocated once again when Donaldina was age fifteen. She then began studying to become a teacher at Los Angeles Normal School, but in 1887 she discontinued her studies after the death of her father....

Article

Leavitt, Mary Greenleaf Clement (22 September 1830–05 February 1912), reformer and temperance missionary, was born in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, the daughter of Joshua H. Clement, a Baptist minister, and Eliza Harvey. She received her early education in Hopkinton and Thetford, Vermont. At the age of sixteen she began to teach in schools in New Hampshire and Vermont. After a year of study at the Thetford Academy, she enrolled in the Massachusetts State Normal School at West Newton. She graduated in 1851 and taught in Dover, Massachusetts, then in Boston at the Quincy Grammar School (1852–1854) and the Boylston Grammar School (1854–1857). In 1857 she quit work to marry Thomas H. Leavitt, a land speculator from Greenfield, Massachusetts, with whom she had three daughters. Her husband was a spendthrift and was incapable of supporting his family, so in 1867 Leavitt opened a private school in her home. Opposed to the school, her husband left his family to settle in Nebraska. The couple divorced in 1878....

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Porter, Eliza Emily Chappell (05 November 1807–01 January 1888), educator, relief worker, and missionary, was born in Geneseo, New York, the daughter of Robert Chappell and Elizabeth Kneeland, farmers. In 1811 her father died, increasing her emotional attachment to her highly religious mother. Nevertheless, when affluent relatives offered a home to the bright, attractive child, she agreed to live with them in Franklin, New York. She was educated with the family’s children but could not overcome her longing for her mother and guilt at the separation. She returned at twelve and, amid bouts of illness made worse by harsh medical treatments, sought comfort in religion. She joined the Presbyterian church in 1822; at fifteen she and her mother moved to Rochester to continue her education. Upon the death of her sister in childbirth, both returned to Geneseo....