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September 5

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber
who is solely responsible for its content.
This version of Women of Achievement has been taken
from the 1998 email distribution of Women of Achievement and Herstory.
The full text of this episode of Women of Achievement and Herstory
will be published here in the future.

One of the World's Greatest Examples of Bravery


QUOTE by Mary Daly.

One of the world's greatest examples of bravery and spirit.

Died 09-05-1850, Marie Dorion, a member of the Iowa-tribe whose tale of survival and protecting her small children should rank as one of the world's greatest examples of a woman's (or man's) bravery and spirit.

      While pregnant, this Indian woman with her guide/translator Indian husband and two children traveled with an overland expedition to from St. Louis to Astoria, Oregon, the mouth of the Columbia River. She gave birth in what is now Oregon after many male members of the expedition fell out exhausted and they didn't have the additional duties of family care giving, mothering, sexual demands, or pregnancy.
      Her children were offered a horse to ride, but since the youngest was only two, she mostly carried him on her back as shewalked. Her newborn child only survived a few days under the harsh conditions; for example, she had to ride a horse 20 miles the day after the birth.
      Her husband then led his family on a beaver-trapping expedition, trekking more than 300 miles away from the main post at Astoria. The men built a rough cabin near what is now Kingman, OR. Some of the men including her husband went out for beaver. She later left the cabin in what some sources say was an attempt to warn her husband of danger but her husband's group was massacred before she - along with her two children - could reach them. With her children, she made her way back to the cabin only to find the men there also murdered.
      She loaded what provisions she could find onto her horse and led her children towards the Columbia River, going some 120 miles before being trapped by a snow storm in the Blue Mountains. She constructed a lean-to of branches and packed snow where she and the children survived 53 days of the Oregon bitter winter. When the food was gone in mid-March (even the horse was killed for food) she attempted to reach safety on foot. She quickly became snow- blind but somehow found a Wallawalla Indian village. The friendly inhabitants gave her and her children refuge. Passing fur traders then took her to a post in northeast Washington.
      She had three more children in two more relationships, the latter two with Jean Baptiste Toupin whom she married. Her descendants still live in the area.

The facts of her struggles are well documented although after her death, her bravery was all but forgotten. Her name was variously recorded as Marie Iowa, Marie Aine, Ayvoise, L'Aguivoise, Marie Toupin, or Marie Dorion in trading and church records.
      Washington Irving's Astoria (1836) recounted her adventures and a number of pioneers from the city of Astoria told very similar tales of Marie Dorion's exploits, including A. J. Allen's Ten Years in Oregon (1850), Alexander Ross' Adventures of the First Settlers on the Oregon or Columbia River (1831), and Ross Cox's Adventures on the Columbia River (1831).
      She was said to have carried herself with great dignity and in her later years was greatly respected.

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Born 09-05-1809, Hannah O'Brien Chaplin Conant, American religious writer and translator.
      Despite ten children, HOCC wrote or translated more than five large volumes on religious or moral subjects and assisted her minister-husband in his translation of the bible for American Bible Union.
      She also edited Mother's Monthly Journal and contributed articles to periodicals. Her most noted and critically acclaimed work was The English Bible: History of the Translation of the Holy Scriptures into the English Tongue (1856).
      Her oldest child became editor of the New York Times and Harper's Bazaar.

B. 09-05-1853, Anna Charlotte Rice Cooke, American founder of the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

Died 09-05-1857, Mary Ann Dyke Duff, London born, U.S. actor who was often called the greatest actress in the world. She was an inspiration for Thomas Moore's poetry. However, she married Duff, an actor friend of Moore. The couple sailed to Boston and she did some acting which did not impress the critics. It was not until her husband became ill and she became the wage-earner for the growing family of ten children that she blossomed into a noted actor.
      She was often compared favorably to British stars, some even calling her the greatest actress in the world during her almost 30 years on the stage. She was particularly effective in roles that called for dignity. However, when it came to roles that were full of grief and suffering, she was the magic that brought everyone in the theater to tears.
      Her stardom waned after her husband died and she found herself in need of funds. She made a southern tour during which she became a local hero for nursing victims of a cholera epidemic. Another marriage that was quickly annulled was followed by a longtime alliance that took her to New Orleans where she retired from the stage in 1838 at age 42 preferring to devote herself to her family and children.

Born 09-05-1867, Amy Marcy Cheney Beach, aka Mrs. H. H. A. Beach, was the first woman to have her major orchestral works performed by American philharmonics. A noted concert pianist, she toured Europe where her compositions were also performed.
      Her music, as with all woman composers, fell into obscurity and only the women's movement and women musicians have rescued her very, very good music. She began picking out compositions on the family piano when she was four and was finally allowed to take piano lessons when she was six, giving her first formal recital at 16.
      She has more than 150 numbered works and more than 300 published compositions ranging from simple songs to masses to symphonies. Virginia Eskin recorded Beach's piano work as has Joanne Polk. Mary Louise Boehm recorded a number of her piano pieces in the 1970s and is redoing some of them.
      In 1926 AMCB co founded of the Association of American Women Composers. Her best-known works are Gaelic Symphony and her first piano concerto (1900).
      During her marriage to a much older man, Beach did not perform publically. With the encouragement of her well-to-do surgeon husband, she devoted herself to composition instead. Following his death when she was 42, she returned to the performing stage as Amy Beach. However, she switched to the more formal Mrs. H. H. A. Beach because she found, to her surprise, that she was famous as a composer under that name. She continued to perform and compose most of her life and was one of the most admired women of her time.
      Her music is romantic and some say the Victorian age lies like a shadow across it. Nevertheless, then she has composed works that have been compared to Wagner and to Bartok. Her music is now available in a breathtaking variety in sheet music but still not all that available on CD.
      But times is a'changin'.

B. 09-05-1892, Irene Lewisohn, U.S. philanthropist who with the wealth inherited from her parents became a major force in New York theater. She built a theater adjacent to the Henry Street Settlement House where she taught and produced drama. She premiered Eugene O'Neill's The First Man (1922) and discovered or produced early works of other noted playwrights.
      IL founded the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater. She created a number of productions for dance which were performed throughout the nation. She founded the Museum of Costume Arts which is now part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

B. 09-05-1895, Mary Graham Bonner, U.S. author who wrote thousands of articles during her fourteen years with the Associated Press. She wrote more than 35 books, often under M. G. Bonner to hide her sex, especially when she wrote her authoritative books on baseball.

DIED 09-05-1898, Sarah Emma Evelyn Edmonds (Seeleye). Born 1841 in New Brunswick, Canada, she ran away from home and settled in the U.S., dressing as a man, and selling Bibles. When the Civil War began, she enlisted in a Michigan infantry company, took part in two battles including the first Bull Run, becoming an aide to a commander.
      She reportedly made more than a dozen spy missions behind Confederate lines "disguised" as a woman. She deserted and became a nurse. The reason for her desertion varied from her falling ill and knowing a hospital stay would unmask her to a supposed love affair. It was not until 1886 that the term "deserter" was expunged from the official record of Sarah Emma Edmonds Seeleye, aka Franklin Thompson of Company F of the 2nd Michigan Regiment of Volunteer Infantry who served two years with the Army of the Potomac. She took part in the battles of Blackburn's Ford and first Bull Run and in the Peninsular campaign of 1862. At the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, she was an aide to Col. Orlando M. Poe.
      Her memoir Nurse and Spy was somewhat fictionalized because she presented herself as only a nurse rather than as a soldier and nurse. After her desertion, she was in the thick of such battles as Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg as a nurse - definitely staying in harm's way.
     When she attended the 1884 reunion of her company most were shocked to discover Frank had been a woman while some others (in diaries) recorded that he was a she. The way some men wrote of the deception leads one to believe it wasn't all that uncommon. She received a pension of $12 a month authorized by Congress after her fellow-veterans helped prove her identity. (National Archives - Pension Record #SC282,136).
      In 1897 she became the only woman member of the Grand Army of the Republic and is buried in the G.A.R. plot in Houston, the only woman buried there.
      She married (Seeleye is her married name) and had three children, none of whom survived childhood. Her exploits as a soldier did not become commonly known until she applied for the soldier's pension.

According to several sources, including Mary Livermore, at least 400 women served in the Union army in disguise, but the figure is low since many women served - and died - without being discovered. Edmonds claimed that as a nurse she buried one soldier at Antietam that she knew was a woman.
      In 1886, workers moving the graves of the union dead near Gesaca, Georgia, for re-internment to a national cemetery saw that the body of Charles Johehouse, Private 6th MO was noticeable by its small feet. Closer examination revealed Johehouse to be a woman in full uniform. She had been shot through the head. Her real name is unknown. Human bones unearthed outside Shiloh Battlefield Park while a home owner was planting a garden turned out to be those of nine union soldiers, eight men and one woman.
      There are hundreds of documented events in the Civil War such as that of Mary Jane Johnson, age 16, who was discovered to be a woman while at the Belle Island Prison in 1863. She had been with the 11th Kentucky Cavalry for about a year.
      The most famous case however, is that of Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, alias Pvt. Lyons Wakeman, 153rd Regiment, New York State Volunteers, 1862-1864. Her letters found in an old trunk many years after her death revealed that she was a woman serving with the Union Army when she died June 1864 during the Red River campaign. Cause of death was chronic diarrhea - an ailment that was probably the war's greatest killer. The letters chronicle her experiences in battle as well as boring guard duty.

09-05-1901, Florence Eldridge, American actor of stage and screen. She was noted as Queen Elizabeth in Mary of Scotland (1936) and won the New York Drama Critics Award for the lead in Long Days Journey into Night (1956).

B. 09-05-1903, Dorothy James Roberts, U.S. writer. Her novel The Enchanted Cup is her best-known work.

B. 09-05-1914, Hannah Marie Wormington, American archaeologist known primarily for her Paleo-Indian studies in the Western Hemisphere.

B. 09-05-1932, Carol Lawrence, had that one great shining experience that few in the theater ever experience. She created Maria to raves and constantly sold out house in the Broadway premier run of West Side Story 09-26-1957 through 09-27-1959. However CL was not chosen to recreate the role in the movies - a very common snub for women on Broadway. CL had a distinguished singing, dancing, and acting career in film, on stage, radio, and TV (Hollywood moguls are currently seeking to replace Helen Mirren with a young, sexy woman for the planned DI Tennison movie.)

B. 09-05-1940, Raquel Welch, U.S. actor.

Event 09-05-1945: Iva Toguri D'Aquino, a Japanese-American was arrested and charged with being the wartime broadcaster "Tokyo Rose." She was convicted of treason because she was considered a U.S. citizen, one of the few people who were charged with treason after World War II.
     D'Aquino served six years in prison and was pardoned in 1977 by President Gerald Ford.

B. 09-05-1950, Cathy Lee Guisewite, cartoonist of Cathy, the comic strip. Her mother worked in advertising before her marriage and taught grade school later. Cathy said of her mother, "She took (me) to art museums and foreign films and encouraged her children's artistic bents."

Event 09-05-1973, the U.S. Coast Guard announced the elimination of separate bathrooms onboard its ships if privacy is maintained.

Event 09-05-1975: President Ford escaped an attempt on his life by Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme. She is serving a life term in prison.

Event 09-05-1994: Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, a woman who spoke her mind, soundly lashed out at the Vatican and Muslim fundamentalists and other religions by defending abortion rights and sex education. In January 1998, she was named head of the World Health Organization, strongly supported by the United States administration of Bill Clinton.

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     "Hag is also defined as 'an ugly or evil-looking old woman.' But this, considering the source, may be considered a compliment. For the beauty of strong, creative women is 'ugly' by misogynistic standards of 'beauty.' "
          --Mary Daly, Gyn/Ecology.

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