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Anna Howard Shaw

Born: 14-Feb-1847
Birthplace: New-Castle-on-Tyne, England
Died: 2-Jul-1919
Location of death: Moylan, PA
Cause of death: Pneumonia
Remains: Cremated, ashes given to friends

Gender: Female
Religion: Methodist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Activist, Religion, Doctor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: National American Women's Suffrage Association

In a time when women rarely attended college let alone had professional careers, Reverend Doctor Anna Howard Shaw was the first female Methodist minister, one of America's first female physicians, and a life-long campaigner for women's suffrage. She came to the United States with her family when she was about four years old, and was raised on an isolated farm in Michigan, forty miles from the nearest town or post office. She had next-to-no schooling, and worked the farm after her father left home to find work and her mother became ill. Self-taught through reading, she became a school teacher at 15, then lived with her sister after the Civil War, when she was finally able to enter high school at the age of 24.

She attended Albion College, graduated from divinity school at Boston University, and in her church work she would not perform marriages with the traditional word "obey" in the vows. She entered medical school while leading two churches, before resigning her pastoral duties in 1885 and earning her MD in 1886. She was President of the National American Women's Suffrage Association, and chaired the Women's Council of National Defense during World War I, for which she was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. In the midst of a speaking tour to promote President Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations proposal, she became ill and returned to her home, where she died on 2 July 1919, a year before American women were allowed to vote with passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Sister: Eleanor Shaw
Brother: Henry Shaw
Brother: James Shaw
Brother: John Shaw
Sister: Mary Shaw
Brother: Thomas Shaw

    High School: Big Rapids High School, Big Rapids, MI (1873)
    University: Albion College (1875)
    Theological: Boston University (1878)
    Medical School: MD, Boston University (1886)

    National Women's Hall of Fame 2000
    Distinguished Service Medal 1919
    Committee on Suffrage and Right of Citizenship
    International Council of Women
    International Woman Suffrage Alliance
    National American Women's Suffrage Association President (1904-15)
    National American Women's Suffrage Association Vice President (1892-1904)
    Women's Christian Temperance Union
    Women's Committee of the Council of National Defense Chairman
    Ordained United Methodist Church (1880)
    Naturalized US Citizen
    Scottish Ancestry
    English Ancestry

Author of books:
The Yellow Ribbon Speaker: Readings and Recitations (1891, with Alice Stone Blackwell and Lucy Elmina Anthony)
The Story of a Pioneer (1915, memoir)

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