19th Century Boston: Movers & Shakers

Continuing with this week’s theme…if I could chose another era I think I would love to live in Boston during the 1800’s. I’ve researched this area and time period for a project I’m working on and really enjoyed what I’ve discovered.

While I’m on this journey to publication, I haven’t quit my day job—I’m an advocate for families affected by disability. So I was fascinated to learn that Boston in the 19th century was the center of social reform. There were so many courageous men and women who worked hard and gave their lives to advocate for causes they were passionate about. And because of these people, changes were made that affected the course of history!

Here are just a few movers and shakers of the time:


William Lloyd Garrison was a leader in the abolition movement and began the publication of the antislavery newspaper The Liberator.


Robert Morris was the second African American to pass the bar exam in the US and the only practicing black lawyer in Boston during the 1840s. He was instrumental in the desegregation within public schools.


Laura Bridgman was the first person who was affected by blindness and deafness to learn language and communicate with others. She learned these valuable skills at the Perkins School. This academy is where Anne Sullivan received her training and was then able to teach Helen Keller.


Julia Ward Howe may be best remembered for writing The Battle Hymn of the Republic after meeting Abraham Lincoln in 1861. But she was a great political activist who focused on pacifism and women’s suffrage after the Civil War. She also established “Mother’s Day”.

It’s amazing to consider how everyday people followed their passions and the long lasting changes they brought about. This was just a small sampling of what occurred in that vibrant city. Boston was an interesting place in the 19th century.

Cherie Gagnon– Cherie

Can you think of a historical time period you would’ve liked to have been a part of?


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2 responses to “19th Century Boston: Movers & Shakers”

  1. Susan Mires says :

    Fascinating tidbits, Cherie! And don’t forget the fun of wearing fancy dresses and going for tea.

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