National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Emily Howland Papers

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Emily Howland. Photomechanical print published in American Women: Fifteen Hundred Biographies with over 1,400 Portraits (1897). Library of Congress


(Microfilm Edition)

Cornell University

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Emily Howland (1827 –1929) was a philanthropist, educator, and an active abolitionist. Especially known for her activities and interest in the education of African Americans, she was also a strong supporter of women's rights and the temperance movement. Howland personally financed the education of many black students and contributed to institutions such as the Tuskegee Institute. She taught at the Normal School for Colored Girls in Washington, D.C. from 1857 to 1859. During the Civil War she worked in Arlington, Virginia teaching freed slaves to read and write as well as administering to the sick during a smallpox outbreak. In 1882 she assumed control over the Sherwood Select School, a position she held up to her one hundredth year in 1927, at which point it was renamed the Emily Howland School by the New York State Board of Regents. Howland became the first female director of a national bank in the United States, at the Aurora National Bank in Aurora, New York in 1890, where she served up to her death, at age 101. She was also active in women's suffrage and peace. Also active in temperance, she was a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. With a substantial inheritance, she founded and sustained several schools in Virginia and New York for the education of freedmen’s children. She has been credited with persuading Ezra Cornell that, as a Quaker, he should make Cornell University a coeducational institution.

15 reels, 38-page guide


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