The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Julia Ward Howe

julia howe

Since yesterday was Memorial Day, I searched for patriotic women to quote, and I stumbled across Julia Ward Howe, who not only wrote a song familiar to many of us, but fought for women’s rights. Here’s a little more about her.

Julia Ward Howe (1819=1910) was the author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. She was inspired to write it in 1861 after meeting President Lincoln. A poet and social activist, she became the first woman to be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She advocated for women’s education, forming the Association of American Women and serving as its president from 1876 to 1897. To find out more about her, you can read her biography HERE.

Julia Ward Howe Quotes:

The strokes of the pen need deliberation as much as the sword needs swiftness.

Ambitious people climb, but faithful people build.

When I see the elaborate study and ingenuity displayed by women in the pursuit of trifles, I feel no doubt of their capacity for the most herculean undertakings.

I think nothing is religion which puts one individual absolutely above others, and surely nothing is religion which puts one sex above another.

Every life has its actual blanks, which the ideal must fill up, or which else remain bare and profitless forever.


I have to laugh at that third quote… so true so often. And sadly, so often true of myself. I’m going to try to remember that next time I obsess about something unimportant!

3 comments on “The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Julia Ward Howe

  1. tinamcho says:

    Fun stuff to learn about her. I used to teach at an elementary school named after her in Des Moines, IA. “Howe Elementary”

  2. mziskjr says:

    Love that third quote, too. In Howe’s day, many women were only allowed to pursue trifles.

  3. kamikinard says:

    I read that some schools were named after her, Tina. That is cool that you have a connection. You’re right, Mary, about what was allowed back then. At least today when I pursue trifles, it is usually by choice!

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