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Austin, Harriet N. (1825–1891), hydropathic physician and health and dress reformer, was born in Connecticut but raised in Moravia, New York. Little is known about her parentage or early life. At age twenty-six she enrolled in the first class of the coeducational American Hydropathic Institute operated by ...

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Nichols, Mary Gove (10 August 1810–30 May 1884), reformer and author, was born Mary Sargeant Neal in Goffstown, New Hampshire, the daughter of William A. Neal and Rebecca R. Neal. Although Mary’s formal education was limited, with encouragement from her freethinking father she was reading by the age of six. Her father treated her like a son, and the two often engaged in “intellectual sparring.” Despite her abilities, Mary was a shy and lonely child who never felt equal to her siblings....