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Downtown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Julia Ward Howe

 
 
Julia Ward Howe - "Battle Hymn of the Republic" Marker. image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, March 18, 2008
1. Julia Ward Howe - "Battle Hymn of the Republic" Marker.
Inscription.
In honor of
Julia Ward Howe
who wrote the
"Battle Hymn of the Republic"
here at the Old Willard Hotel
November 21, 1861
"In the beauty of the lillies Christ was born
across the sea
with a glory in his bosom that transfigures
you and me."
Presented by the
Ladies of the Grand Army
of the Republic
January 24, 1938
Committee
Frances Martin Kuhns - Emily Jerman Tompkins
Annie Maria Michener - Edina Pearl Trigg
Margret Hopkins Worrell

Donors
Orpha M. Whitaker | Department of the Potomac
Alice M. Burke | Department of New Jersey
Josephine Mahar | Department of Pennsylvania
Mae B. Slattery | Department of California & Nevada
Ethelyn P. Smith | Department of Illinois
Mamie Giroux | Department of Kansas
Frances Dorsey | Department of Ohio
Dr. Ethel Richardson | Department of Iowa
Marie Copping | Department of Oklahoma
Betsy Ross Club | Department of Kentucky
Augusta Willich Circle No. 1 | Department of Nebraska
Ewing Circle, N.Y., No 10 | Department of Minnesota
Old Glory Circle, Ill. | Department of New York
Sherman Circle, Ill. | Department of Indiana
Springfield Circle, Ill. | Department of Colorado & Wyoming
San Diego California Circles | Department of Michigan
St. Louis, Mo. Circle
Willard Inter-Continental Hotel. image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, March 18, 2008
2. Willard Inter-Continental Hotel.
This marker is one of at least eight displayed on the building's south exterior wall near its main entrance.
No 37 | Department of West Virginia
West Virginia Circle No. 4 | Department of Washington & Alaska
Pennsylvania Circles Nos. 50 & 27 | Department of Missouri
Maj. McKinley Mo., No. 18 | Department of Oregon
Gettysburg Circle No. 44 | Department of Maine
Lincoln Circle, N.Y. | Department of Rhode Island
Spokane, Washington Juniors | Department of Montana
Cleveland, Ohio Juniors | Department of Idaho
Pitsburgh, Penna. Juniors | Department of Utah
Washington, D.C. Juniors

 
Erected 1938 by Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic.
 
Location. 38° 53.779′ N, 77° 1.93′ W. Marker is in Downtown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 0.1 miles west of 14th Street , NW (U.S. 1), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20004, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The New Willard (here, next to this marker); The Peace Convention (here, next to this marker); Willard Inter-Continental Hotel (a few steps from this marker); Jean Monnet (within shouting distance of
Battle Hymn of the Republic image. Click for full size.
J. J. Prats Postcard Collection
3. Battle Hymn of the Republic
Click on the image to enlarge to study the music.
this marker); National Press Club (within shouting distance of this marker); Reserve Officers Association of the United States (within shouting distance of this marker); The United States Court of Claims (within shouting distance of this marker); John J. Pershing, General of the Armies (1860-1948) (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Mrs. Howe was at the public review of the troops at this location the day before she wrote the lyrics.
 
Also see . . .
1. Battle Hymn of the Republic. Wikipedia entry. “Julia Ward Howe heard [the song ‘John Brown’s Body’] during a public review of the troops outside Washington on Upton Hill, Virginia. Rufus R. Dawes, then in command of Company K of the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, stated in his memoirs that the man who started the singing was Sergeant John Ticknor of his company. Howe’s companion at the review, the Reverend James Freeman Clarke, suggested to Howe that she write new words for the fighting men’s song. Staying
Julia Ward Howe (1819–1910) image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, March 18, 2008
4. Julia Ward Howe (1819–1910)
at the Willard Hotel in Washington on the night of November 18, 1861, Howe awoke with the words of the song in her mind and in near darkness wrote the verses to the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’.” (Submitted on January 25, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.) 

2. Julia Ward Howe. “She was the founder and president of the Association of American Women, a group which advocated for women’s education, from 1876 to 1897. She also served as president of organizations like the New England Women’s Club, the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, and the New England Suffrage Association, and the American Woman Suffrage Association.” “On January 28, 1908, Howe became the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Howe was inducted posthumously into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.” (Submitted on January 25, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.) 

3. Song and Photos of Civil War. Youtube video with the Battle Hymn, with a collection of Civil War era photographs and drawings. (Submitted on February 9, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 

4. A poet’s voice that would not be silenced. 2011 Washington Post article by Michael E. Ruane. “Later, looking back on the birth of ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’
. . . Julia didn’t mention her famous husband, Samuel Gridley Howe, who had funded the militant abolitionist John Brown. ¶ She didn’t say whether Samuel was with her in the
Julia Ward Howe Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 18, 2012
5. Julia Ward Howe Marker
room that morning as she ‘sprang’ from bed, grabbed a pen and scribbled the timeless verses before she could forget them. ¶ She didn’t mention whether he was in the carriage the day before with Clarke and ‘several other friends.’ ¶ Indeed, if her husband was there, he might have rolled his eyes at the suggestion that his wife take on another literary endeavor. ¶ Her writing had been one of the sources of the bitterness that had poisoned their marriage and would continue to do so until his death 15 years later, according to historians.” (Submitted on November 19, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Battle Hymn of the Republic
By Mrs. Julia Ward Howe

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;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence
Julia Ward Howe Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 13, 2016
6. Julia Ward Howe Marker
The marker is the farthest to the right along the front of the Willard Hotel.
by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the
Julia Ward Howe image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, February 16, 2015
7. Julia Ward Howe
This portrait begun by John Elliot in 1910 and finished by William H. Cotton c. 1925 hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

“For years Julia Ward Howe yearned to take a more active part in public affairs. But her husband, the noted Boston reformer Samuel Gridley Howe, insisted that she confine herself to running their home. In 1861, however, she unwittingly transformed her-self into a minor celebrity by writing the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic.’ Composed during a visit to Washington, this fiercely martial poem, dedicated to the Union cause, was set to the music of ‘John Brown's Body.’ By 1865 it had become the North's unofficial wartime anthem.

After the Civil War, Howe finally broke the constraints imposed by her husband to become one of the best-loved figures in the growing women's suffrage movement. This portrait was begun in Howe's last years by her son-in-law, who attempted to portray her as she might have looked years earlier, writing the ‘Battle Hymn.’” — National Portrait Gallery
brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.
    — Submitted November 19, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.

 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicNotable PersonsPatriots & PatriotismWar, US Civil
 
The Willard Hotel image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 18, 2012
8. The Willard Hotel
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 13, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 28, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,564 times since then and 136 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week November 20, 2011. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 28, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   3. submitted on November 19, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   4. submitted on March 28, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   5. submitted on April 23, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   6. submitted on September 13, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.   7, 8. submitted on April 23, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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