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Drinker, Sophie Lewis Hutchinson (24 August 1888–06 September 1967), feminist and amateur historian, was born in Haverford, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Sydney Pemberton Hutchinson, a business executive, and Amy Lewis. As a dedicated student of history in later life, she took pride in the fact that the Hutchinson family had played a prominent role in the Philadelphia area since colonial times. While not conspicuously wealthy, the family was socially prominent and considered to represent “blue blood.” Drinker’s education was completed at St. Timothy’s School in Catonsville, Maryland, from which she graduated in 1906; she enjoyed her school years, and her historical studies there provided inspiration for her later work as a historian of women....

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Flexner, Eleanor (04 October 1908–25 March 1995), historian, feminist, and labor activist, was born in New York City, the second of two daughters of Abraham Flexner and Anne Crawford Flexner. Abraham was a prominent author and innovator in education reform who founded the Lincoln School at Teachers College of Columbia University and established the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Anne earned fame and fortune for her Broadway-produced play ...

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Emma Hart Willard. Brown-toned platinum print, c. 1900. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Dr. and Mrs. R. Ted Steinbock.

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Willard, Emma Hart (23 February 1787–15 April 1870), educator and historian, was born in Berlin, Connecticut, the daughter of Samuel Hart and Lydia Hinsdale, farmers. She attended a district school and a new academy in Berlin, then two schools in Hartford to study art and fine needlework. Her father, a Jeffersonian and a Universalist, introduced her to dissent and began her education in philosophy. She also found mentors outside the family....