Samuel Howe

Samuel Gridley Howe (1801 - 1876)

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Samuel Gridley Howe
Born in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USAmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 17 Apr 1843 in New York, New York, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USAmap
Profile last modified 10 Oct 2019 | Created 27 Apr 2014
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Samuel Howe was a part of the Civil Rights Movement.
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Samuel Gridley Howe (son of Joseph Neals Howe and Patty Gridley) was born 10 Nov 1801 in Boston, Mass, and died 09 Jan 1876 in Boston, Mass.

He graduated from Brown University in 1821 and from the Harvard Medical School in 1824. After serving as a soldier and doctor in the Greek War of Independence, he returned to Boston in 1831. He devoted the remainder of his life to philanthropic work of various kinds, such. as educational and prison reforms. He was conspicuous in his efforts to improve the methods for the education of the blind.

Samuel Howe was a reformer as well and founded the Perkins School for the Blind. An old friend from Brown University, Dr. John Dix Fisher, offered him the directorship and even though the school had no students and no buildings, he accepted. He believed that the blind should no longer be "doomed to inequality," to becoming only "mere objects of pity" and he believed that blind children could learn as much as other children.

His sympathies were always with the oppressed, and as might be presumed, he was an uncompromising opponent of slavery. He was one of the founders, and was for a time the editor with his wife Julia Ward Howe of "The Commonwealth," an anti-slavery paper established in Boston in 1851. During the Civil war he was a member of the Sanitary Commission, and also served with Robert Dale Owen and James McKay on a commission to inquire into the condition of the freedmen.

In 1863 he was made chairman of the Massachusetts Board of State Charities and wrote the annual reports from 1865 to 1874.

In 1870 he was appointed, together with Benjamin F. Wade and Andrew D. White, to investigate and report on the resources and condition of the inhabitants, of San Domingo.

He was the author of the "Historical Sketch of the Great Revolution" which passed through several editions, and contributed many articles to the magazines and newspapers uponeducational and philanthropic subjects. He received from Brown University the degree of L. L. D. and was the recipient of many medals and diplomas from European countries in recognition of his services in behalf of the blind.

He married Julia Ward on 17 Apr 1843 in New York, NY, daughter of Samuel Ward and Julia Rush Cutler. Children of Samuel Gridley Howe and Julia Ward are:

  1. Julia Romana Howe, b. 12 March 1844, Rome, Italy, d. 10 March 1886, Boston, Mass.
  2. Florence Marion Howe, b. 25 Aug 1845, Boston, Mass, d. 10 Apr 1922, Highbridge, NJ.
  3. Henry Marion Howe, b. 2 March 1848, Boston, Mass., d. 14 May 1922, Bedford Hills, NY.
  4. Laura Elizabeth Howe, b. 27 Feb 1850, Boston, Mass., d. date unknown.
  5. Maude Howe, b. 9 Nov 1854, Boston, Massl, d. date unknown.
  6. Samuel Gridley Howe, Jr., b. 25 Dec 1859, Boston, Mass. d. 17 May 1863.


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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Samuel by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

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Samuel is 12 degrees from T S Eliot, 15 degrees from Walter Howe and 15 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.