This month is Women’s History month — an excellent time to remember and celebrate some historically important women.


women-who-shaped-history-1Abigail Adams

Though her poor health kept her from receiving a formal education, Abigail rose above this, teaching herself to master several areas of study, including even learning a foreign language. She was the close confidant of her husband John Adams, who trusted her counsel and relied on her for sound military intelligence information as well as political guidance. She was an excellent business woman, a faithful wife, and a devoted mother. The first woman to live in the White House, she was the wife of one U. S. President and the mother of another. She was also a strong and outspoken Christian, leaving behind a rich legacy in her extensive personal writings.  [1]


women-who-shaped-history-2Florence Nightingale

Born into a wealthy English family, Florence Nightingale went against society’s expectations to fulfill God’s divine call of service on her life[2].  Famous for her nursing work on the battlefield, she left a legacy transforming the health standards not only in England but elsewhere. In fact, the President of the United States consulted her for advice during the Civil War. Author of 17 books and numerous articles, she worked relentlessly to better the hospital industry and health care, and to train nurses to care for the sick.[3]


women-who-shaped-history-3Susanna Wesley

“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”  From her post as the mother of a busy household in the Epworth rectory, Susanna Wesley trained up a generation that would change the world.  She provided the well-regulated primary education for her 10 children that lived past infancy.[4]  Two of these children, John and Charles, would become influential even across the Atlantic, helping found the Methodist movement in America. She is known as the Mother of Methodism.

 


[1] See for example Letters of Abigail Adams, the Wife of John Adams with an Introductory Memoir by her Grandson Charles Francis Adams, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Wilkins, Carter, and Company, 1848). See also: Charles Francis Adams, Familiar Letters of John Adams and His Wife Abigail Adams, During the Revolution (New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1876).

 

[2] Louise Selanders. “Florence Nightingale.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online (Accessed  on February 17, 2015).

 

[3] “The Life of Florence Nightingale,” Reynolds-Finley Historical Library (accessed on March 10, 2015). “Florence Nightingale Facts,” British Heritage (at: https://www.ctlibrary.com/ch/1990/issue25/2537.html) (accessed on March 11, 2015); “The Faith Behind the Famous: Florence Nightingale: Christian History Sampler,” Christianity Today, January 1, 1990 (at: https://britishheritage.com/florence-nightingale/).

 

[4] Abel Stevens. “The Women of Methodism.” (New York: Carlton & Porter, 1866), p. 16.

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