“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Georgiana Bruce Kirby

1818 – 1887

Georgiana Bruce Kirby Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 3, 2013
1. Georgiana Bruce Kirby Marker
Inscription.  An intellectual, humanitarian and suffragist, Georgiana raised her family in this house from 1854 until her death in 1887. Born in England and educated in the East by America’s leading thinkers and writers. She brought to California an intellectual fervor difficult for the pioneer town of Santa Cruz to comprehend. An early advocate of women’s rights, she founded the first Santa Cruz Society of Suffragists in 1869 and lobbied passionately for the vote. Her outspoken idea on social reform played a significant role in shaping attitudes in the new land.
Erected 1989 by El Viceroy Marquez de Branciforte Chapter 1797 & Mountain Charlie Chapter 1850, E Clampus Vitus.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Civil RightsWomen. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus, and the Women's Suffrage 🗳️ series lists.
Location. 36° 58.58′ N, 122° 2.046′ W. Marker is in Santa Cruz, California, in Santa Cruz County. Marker can be reached from Jordan Street
Georgiana Bruce Kirby House and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 3, 2013
2. Georgiana Bruce Kirby House and Marker
south of Escalona Drive, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 117 Jordan Street, Santa Cruz CA 95060, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Kirby House (a few steps from this marker); Colonial Revival Style (within shouting distance of this marker); Willey House (approx. ¼ mile away); Francisco Alzina House (approx. ¼ mile away); Site of Santa Cruz Mission (approx. ¼ mile away); Louden (London) Nelson (approx. 0.3 miles away); Remembering Chinese Pioneers (approx. 0.3 miles away); Grave of Grove C. Cook (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Santa Cruz.
Also see . . .  Two Women Reformers in Gold Rush California. This is a book review of Unsettling the West: Eliza Farnham and Georgiana Bruce Kirby in Frontier California, by JoAnn Levy. (Submitted on January 7, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
Additional comments.
1. Who is Georgiana Bruce Kirby?
Georgiana Bruce Kirby was a person of intellect, an advocate of social justice, and pioneer homesteader in Santa Cruz. She lived a passionate, balanced life of the mind, the heart, and hands that was well before her times.Georgiana Bruce, born in England in 1818, immigrated to the United States when she was just twenty. Living in Boston,
Georgiana Bruce Kirby image. Click for full size.
3. Georgiana Bruce Kirby
she became fascinated with Transcendentalism, and in the 1840s spent four years at Brook Farm, a famous utopian community based on Transcendentalist ideals. There she met many of the great thinkers of her time, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller.After her stay at Brook Farm, Georgiana Bruce began a career in teaching and became active in the anti-slavery movement. She also worked with Eliza Farnham at Sing Sing prison, where the two women instituted significant, though controversial, reforms in the treatment and education of the female inmates. It was through Farnham, who had inherited property in California, that Georgiana Bruce found the opportunity to travel west. With funding from journalist and politician Horace Greeley, Bruce arrived in the isolated community of Santa Cruz in the summer of 1850.In Santa Cruz, Georgiana Bruce met and married local businessman Richard Kirby, had five children, and created her own home and garden. She became a leading figure in the community and took up the causes of temperance and women’s suffrage, which she wrote about frequently in local and national papers. In 1869 she founded the first local society of Suffragists. Georgiana Bruce Kirby knew and collaborated with national women’s rights leaders such as Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Georgiana Bruce Kirby died in 1887 at the age of 68. Her memoirs,
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Years of Experience, were published the same year.
Source: Kirby Elementary School Website
    — Submitted January 13, 2013.

Additional keywords. women's suffrage
Credits. This page was last revised on October 23, 2019. It was originally submitted on January 7, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 964 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 7, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.   3. submitted on January 13, 2013. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 1, 2021