Mary Ashton Livermore

Birth: 1821


Mary Ashton [Rice] Livermore (1821-1905) was an American reformer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on the 19th of December 1821. She studied at the female seminary at Charlestown, Mass., taught French and Latin there, taught in a plantation school in southern Virginia; and for three years conducted a school of her own in Duxbury, Mass. Upon returning from Virginia she had joined the abolitionists, and she took an active part in the Washingtonian temperance movement.[1]

In 1845 she married Daniel Parker Livermore (1819–1899), a Universalist clergyman. In 1857 they removed to Chicago, Illinois, where she assisted her husband in editing the religious weekly, The New Covenant (1857–1869). During the Civil War, as an associate member of the United States Sanitary Commission, and as an agent of its North-western branch, she organized many aid societies, contributed to the success of the North-western Sanitary Fair in Chicago in 1863, and visited army posts and hospitals.

After the war she devoted herself to the promotion of woman’s suffrage and to temperance reform, founding in Chicago in 1869 The Agitator, which in 1870 was merged into the Woman’s Journal (Boston), of which she was an associate editor until 1872. She died in Melrose, Mass. on the 23rd of May 1905. She had been president of the Illinois, the Massachusetts and the American woman’s suffrage associations, the Massachusetts Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Woman’s Congress, and a member of many other societies.

She lectured in the United States, England and Scotland, contributed to magazines and wrote: The Children’s Army (1844), temperance stories; Thirty Years Too Late (1848), a temperance story; A Mental Transformation (1848); Pen Pictures (1863), short stories; What Shall We Do With Our Daughters? and Other Lectures (1883); My Story of the War (1888); and The Story of My Life (1897). With Frances E. Willard, she edited A Woman of the Century: Biographical Sketches of Leading American Women (1893).

[1] This movement was started in 1840 by habitués of a Baltimore (Md.) tavern, who then founded the Washington Temperance Society (named in honor of George Washington). The movement spread rapidly in 1841–1843, but by the close of 1843 it had nearly spent its force. The members of the Society made a pledge not to drink spirituous or malt liquors, wine or cider. Women organized Martha Washington Societies as auxiliary organizations.


1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 16. pgs. 803-804.

Books & Publications

Book Title Date
My Story of the War (1889) My Story of the War 1889
History of Humanity - History Archive Logo
History of Humanity - History Mysteries Logo
History of Humanity - Ancient Mesopotamia Logo
History of Humanity - Egypt History Logo
History of Humanity - Persian Empire Logo
History of Humanity - Greek History Logo
History of Humanity - Alexander the Great Logo
History of Humanity - Roman History Logo
History of Humanity - Punic Wars Logo
History of Humanity - Golden Age of Piracy Logo
History of Humanity - Revolutionary War Logo
History of Humanity - Mafia History Logo