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Hoge, Jane Currie Blaikie (31 July 1811–26 August 1890), Civil War relief leader and welfare laborer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of George D. Blaikie, a wealthy merchant, and Mary Monroe. Jane attended the Young Ladies’ College, a classical school in Philadelphia, and graduated first in her class. A talented musician, she continued to play all of her life. In June 1831 she married Alexander Holmes Hoge, a comfortable Pittsburgh merchant. They had thirteen children, eight of whom reached maturity. During their fourteen-year stay in Pittsburgh, Jane Hoge served as secretary of the Pittsburgh Orphan Asylum. In 1848 the couple moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she continued in her charitable activities, establishing and managing the Home for the Friendless, a refuge for women and children. The Hoges were also active in the Old School Presbyterian Church, where Alexander Hoge was a ruling elder....

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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....

Article

Reed, Esther De Berdt (22 October 1746–18 September 1780), civic leader for soldiers' relief, civic leader for soldiers’ relief, was born in London, the only daughter of Dennys De Berdt, a prosperous merchant who was engaged in the British–North American colonial trade, and Martha Symons. The De Berdts were descendants of Flemish Huguenot refugees who had fled to England. In 1765–1770 Dennys De Berdt served as an agent to the British government for Massachusetts and Delaware. Esther De Berdt’s early life was spent at her parents’ home in Artillery Court, near the Houses of Parliament, and at their summer estate in Enfield, nine miles from London. It is not known whether Esther had any formal education outside of home, but certainly the stern Calvinist precepts imparted by her religiously devout father were tempered by an almost constant flow of merchant visitors to the De Berdt household from England and abroad. William B. Reed, Esther’s grandson, described her as “slight of frame, with light hair, and fair complexion, and an air of sprightly intelligence and refinement” (...

Article

Wood, Carolena (21 May 1871–12 March 1936), farmer, relief worker, and reformer, was born at “Braewold,” a farm in Mount Kisco, New York, the daughter of James Wood, a farmer, and Emily Hollingsworth Morris. The farm, which Wood ran for her father and her brother, was situated on “the Woodpile,” as her extended clan of cousins called the hilltop of family homes. She took courses at the New York School of Social Work, and in 1891–1892 she wintered with her family in Dresden and traveled through Egypt and Palestine. In 1897 she was chosen to be a recorder at a quinquennial gathering of delegates from all the regional “yearly meetings” of “orthodox” Quakers (Christ- and Bible-centered, as compared with the more universalist “Hicksite” Friends). Her father presided as the conference set up the first permanent central Quaker federation, the Five Years Meeting. Wood took a keen interest in the United Society of Friends Women and coordinated its Quaker missions, also visiting and reporting on Quaker schools in Mexico in 1902....

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Wormeley, Katharine Prescott (14 January 1830–04 August 1908), Civil War relief worker, translator, and biographer, was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, the daughter of Ralph Wormeley and Caroline Preble. Wormeley’s father was born in Virginia and raised in England, where he became a rear admiral in the Royal Navy. He married Preble in Boston then returned to Virginia to help found the College of William and Mary. From 1836 to 1847 the family lived in London, except for the years 1839–1842, which were spent in France and Switzerland. When her father died in 1852, Wormeley, her mother, and her siblings wintered in either Boston or Washington and lived the remainder of the year among the literary elite in Newport, Rhode Island....