“Be Swift My Soul”
A Civil War Era Salon with Julia Ward Howe
Libby Franck presents Julia Ward Howe – a woman transformed from a wealthy New York belle to a Boston writer and abolitionist in the decades leading up to the Civil War. As the wife of reformer Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, Director of the Perkins Institute for the Blind – she entertained and visited with poets, politicians, reformers, writers and exceptional women. Her friends included H.W. Longfellow, Edgar Alan Poe, Florence Nightingale, Margaret Fuller, Charles Sumner and Charles Dickens among others. These acquaintances, along with her travels abroad, her love of language and music all gave birth to the compelling verses of The Battle Hymn of the Republic first sung in Framingham at the Plymouth Church 152 years ago – February 22, 1862.