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Aquash, Annie Mae (27 March 1945– December 1975), First Nations (Mi'kmaq) activist and American Indian Movement leader, First Nations (Mi’kmaq) activist and American Indian Movement leader, was born Annie Mae Pictou in the Shubenacadie band (now Indian Brook First Nation) reserve in central Nova Scotia, Canada, the youngest daughter of Mary Ellen Pictou and Francis Thomas Levi. (Most contemporary sources refer to her as Anna, but family members confirmed that Annie is the accurate form of her given name.) Her father left the family shortly before her birth, and Annie Mae spent the first four years of her life in the Shubenacadie reserve. Her mother remarried and brought her three daughters to live in the small Pictou Landing reserve near New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, where she also gave birth to a fourth child....

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Bishop, Bernice Pauahi (19 December 1831–16 October 1884), native Hawaiian high chiefess and philanthropist, was born Pauahi in Honolulu, the daughter of Abner Paki and Konia (maiden name unknown), both of chiefly rank. She was the great-granddaughter of King Kamehameha I, who united the islands under his rule in 1810. Her father was an adviser to ...

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Emma (02 January 1836–25 April 1885), queen consort of Kamehameha IV of Hawaii and philanthropist, queen consort of Kamehameha IV of Hawaii and philanthropist, was born either in Honolulu or in Kawaihae on the island of Hawaii, the daughter of George Naea and Fanny Kekelaokalani Young, high-ranking ...

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Hutchinson, Anne (1591?–1643), religious leader, was born in Alford, Lincolnshire, England, the daughter of Francis Marbury, minister of the Church of England, and Bridget Dryden. She learned scripture and theology from her father, who had been silenced and imprisoned for long periods of time by his bishop for complaining about the poor training of English clergymen....

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Johnson, Osa (14 March 1894–07 January 1953), author, lecturer, and film producer, was born Osa Helen Leighty in Chanute, Kansas, the daughter of William Sherman Leighty, a railroad engineer, and Ruby Isabel Holman. In 1910 she left high school to marry Martin Johnson, whom she had met eleven years earlier when he visited Chanute as an eighteen-year-old itinerant photographer. In the meantime he had visited Europe alone and traveled with ...

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Martineau, Harriet (12 June 1802–27 June 1876), author, was born in Norwich, England, the daughter of Thomas Martineau, a textile manufacturer, and Elizabeth Rankin. The family was Unitarian, republican, and laissez-fairist, and these traditions shaped both Harriet’s early thinking and her implicit belief in natural law and the rights of the individual. Although her education was inferior to that given her brothers, it was more rigorous than was customary for girls of the period. In adolescence she developed a hearing disorder that left her permanently hard of hearing, but, despite this disability and her inferior status as a woman in the nineteenth century, she made her living as a writer and earned an international reputation doing so....

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Pleasant, Mary Ellen (1812?–1904), legendary African-American woman of influence and political power in Gold Rush and Gilded Age San Francisco, was born, according to some sources, a slave in Georgia; other sources claim that her mother was a Louisiana slave and her father Asian or Native American. Many sources agree that she lived in Boston, as a free woman, the wife of James W. Smith, a Cuban abolitionist. When he died in 1844 he left her his estate, valued at approximately $45,000....

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Salm-Salm, Agnes Elisabeth Winona Leclercq Joy (25 December 1844–21 December 1912), princess, adventurer, and wartime humanitarian, was born in Swanton, Vermont (or southern Canada), the daughter of William Leclercq Joy, a farmer, and his second wife, Julia Willard. Salm-Salm always remained secretive about her youth, thereby feeding romantic rumors about her age, ancestry, and past. After spending some time in Cuba, as she asserted in her autobiography, she arrived in Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1861, a vivacious, pretty young woman. There she attracted the attentions of Prince Felix zu Salm-Salm, the adventurous younger son of an old aristocratic German family. After serving in the Prussian and Austrian armies the prince had left Europe to escape his debts and to seek employment in the American Civil War....

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Wauneka, Annie Dodge (10 April 1910–10 November 1997), Native-American activist, was born on the Navajo reservation near present-day Sawmill, Arizona, the daughter of Henry Chee Dodge, a rancher, and K'eehabah, one of Dodge's three wives in a tribe where polygamy was permitted. Chee Dodge, as her father was known, was a prestigious Navajo leader, the wealthiest man in the local community, and the first elected chairman of the Navajo Business Council (1922–1928) as well as the fifth chairman of the Navajo Tribal Council, (1941–1947). He was also fluent in English; he had worked as an interpreter on the reservation. Annie spent her early childhood tending sheep on her father's ranch and entered the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school at Fort Defiance, Arizona, at eight years of age. Four years later she went to the government boarding school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That school included students of many tribes and so all classes were conducted in English, in which Annie became as fluent as her father....

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Sarah Winnemucca. Albumen silver print, 1883, by Norval H. Busey. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Winnemucca, Sarah (1844?–17 October 1891), spokeswoman for the Northern Paiute, was born near the sink of the Humboldt River in western Nevada, the daughter of Winnemucca, a Paiute chief, and Tuboitonie. In 1857 Chief Truckee, her maternal grandfather, arranged for Sarah and her younger sister Elma to live in the household of his friend, Major William Ormsby, a Virginian who managed a stage line at Mormon Station (Genoa). The girls worked at domestic chores and helped serve passengers at his stage stop. They were also companions to Ormsby’s only child, nine-year-old Lizzi. Here Sarah and Elma learned to read, write, and sing in English, picked up some Spanish phrases, and studied American history and the Bible. One year later the Ormsby family and the Paiute girls moved to Carson City, but in late September 1859 Sarah and Elma were suddenly called home by their father....