Woman of the Century/Harriet Abbot L. Coolidge

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COOLIDGE, Mrs. Harriet Abbot Lincoln, philanthropist, author and reformer, born in Boston, Mass. Her great-grandfather, Amos Lincoln, was a captain of artillery and one of the intrepid band who, in 1773, consigned the tea to the water in Boston harbor. He was in the battle of Bunker Hill, attached to Stark's brigade, in action at Bennington, Brandywine and Monmouth, and aided in the suppression of Shays's Rebellion, and was also one of Governor Hancock's aids. On 14th June, 1781, he was married to Deborah, a daughter of Paul Revere of revolutionary fame, which makes Mrs. Coolidge a great-great-granddaughter of that famous rider. Amos Lincoln's first ancestor in this country was Samuel Lincoln, of Hingham, Mass., one of whose sons was Mordecai, the ancestor of President Lincoln. The father of Mrs. Coolidge, Frederic W. Lincoln, was called the War Mayor of Boston, as he held that office all through the Civil War and was reelected and served seven years. Mrs. Coolidge was delicate in childhood, and her philanthropic spirit was early shown in flower-mission and hospital work in Boston. For several years she was instructed at home, and she was sent to the private boarding-school of Dr. Dio Lewis, of Lexington, Mass. In November, 1872, Harriet Abbott Lincoln became the wife of George A. Coolidge, a publishing agent of Boston. With maternal duties came the untiring devotion of conscientious motherhood. Mrs. Coolidge gave her children her best thoughts and studied closely the best methods of infant hygiene. She soon began a series of illustrated articles for the instruction of mothers in a New York magazine, and while residing in that city studied for three years and visited the hospitals for children. Ill health obliged her to return to Washington, D. C, where, before going to New York, she was interested in charities and hospitals for children. Meeting the mothers of both the rich and the poor, and seeing the great need of intelligent care in bringing up little children, she soon found a large correspondence on her hands. Her devotion to the waifs of the Foundling Hospital in Washington, and the great hygienic reformation she brought about, gave that institutional record of no deaths among its inmates during the six months she acted as a member of its executive board of officers. Frequent inquiries from mothers desiring information on hygienic subjects relating to children suggested the idea of a series of nursery talks to mothers and the fitting up of a model nursery in tier residence, where every accessory of babyhood could be practically presented. "Nursery Talks" were inaugurated by a "Nursery Tea," and five-hundred women from official and leading circles were present. Classes were formed, and a paid course and a free one made those lectures available for all desiring information. Even into midsummer, at the urgent request of mothers, Mrs. Coolidge continued to give her mornings to answering questions. She remained in Washington during the summer, guiding those who did not know how to feed their infants proper food, and, as a consequence, her health was impaired, and she was obliged to give up her nursery lectures until her health was restored. She then commenced a scientific course of hygienic study, and was made president of the Woman's Clinic, where women and children are treated by women physicians, free of charge or for a mere trine. Mrs. Coolidge is always busy. She is an active member of four of the leading charity organizations in Washington, a valued member of the Woman's National Press Association and devoted to every movement in which women's higher education is considered.