David Ruggles Center: Women of Florence History Trail
Florence, Massachusetts

Florence, Massachusetts is recognized for its many sites related to African-American history, anti-slavery and the Underground Railroad. These landmarks remind us of a parallel history: the movement for women's rights and empowerment. The famous abolitionists and women's rights activists, Sojourner Truth and Lydia Maria Child, lived here for extended periods. The transcendentalist educator, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, played a key role in founding the the first free, endowed kindergarten in the United States, which continues today as the Hill Institute. But many other women of stature labored here. Anna Garlin Spencer, Sophia Foord, Elizabeth Powell Bond, Mary White Bond, Frances Judd, and Sarah Askin are but a few of those whose stories enrich a walk through the streets of Florence. Read the biographies of these women below or explore the map by clicking on the numbers.

Lydia Maria Child
Prudence Crandall
Sophia Foord
Dolly Stetson
Francis Judd
Sojourner Truth
Elizabeth Powell Bond
Mary White Bond
Anna Garlin Spencer
Sarah Askin
Elizabeth Palmer Peabody
Auretta Roys Aldrich