Julia Ward was born in New York and married Samuel Gridley Howe in 1843. They had six children and co-edited the abolitionist organ The Commonwealth. Her penning of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and her extraordinary work on behalf of the state and women earned her many honors: she was the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and President of the New England Woman Suffrage Association. Her activities and interests are well documented in her Reminiscences (1899) and in several biographies: Deborah Pickman Clifford's Mine Eyes have Seen the Glory (Boston: Little, Brown, 1979; PS 2018 C55 Robarts Library) and Mary H. Grant's Private Woman, Public Person: An Account of the Life of Julia Ward Howe from 1819 to 1868 (Brooklyn: Carlson, 1994; PS 2018 G73 1994 Robarts Library). She lived to 91 years and divided her residence between New York and Newport.