Emily Howland (1827-1929)

Dedicated teacher of those formerly enslaved, world’s first female bank director, ardent suffragist

Emily Howland, who believed that education was the key to equality, devoted much of her life to teaching freed slaves to read and write. She received the first honorary doctorate granted by the State University of New York for her efforts in education – and that was before women could even attend college with men. She then went on to found or support more than fifty schools for freed African Americans. Emily organized women’s rights lectures and meetings with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, gave speeches to convention crowds and to members of Congress, and even took tea with Queen Victoria. Oh, did we mention she was also the first female bank director in the world? Yes, the world. From what we can tell about this brave woman, Emily did not waste a single day of her 102 years.

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