Julia Ward Howe and the Academy of Arts and Letters

Julia Ward Howe was a prolific writer of the late nineteenth century. On January 28, 1908, she became the first woman elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters. But Howe is perhaps best known as the writer of the words for the Battle Hymn of the Republic—the most enduring song of the Civil War period.

It remains an iconic national song. Heard often at times of national mourning or celebration, it contains many biblical references and metaphors. In the first verse, Howe references language from Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Revelation: “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored."

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