Woman of the Century/Jean Brooks Greenleaf

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GREENLEAF, Mrs. Jean Brooks, woman suffragist, born in Bernardston, Franklin county, Mass., 1st October, 1832. She is the daughter of John Brooks, M.D., and Mary Bascom Brooks. Dr. Brooks was a man of decided opinions, a liberal in both religion and politics, and had the courage of his convictions His ideas were advanced, for his time, with regard to the training of his daughters for lives of usefulness and independence, and the cultivation of a habit of independent thought on matters of vital interest. Mrs. Brooks, a devoted mother, was very domestic in her taste, caring well for her household, and, although an invalid, actively alive in alleviating the wants of those less fortunate in life than herself. Jean was the youngest of the six children of Dr. Brooks who lived to advanced years. Her school life was limited to a few years in the public schools and academy of her native village, supplemented by two terms in Melrose Seminary, in West Brattleboro, Vt. At the age of seventeen years the confirmed invalidism of her mother necessitated the ending of school life, and from that time until her marriage, three years later, she assumed largely the cares and duties of her father's household. Her interests in the rights and wrongs of woman was early awakened while listening to the spirited remonstrance of a widowed aunt, Mrs. Willard, against paying taxes upon property that she had acquired by her own exertions, when she had no representation at the polls, while a miserable drunkard in the neighborhood, who was supported by his wife and daughters, and who owned no property, was allowed to vote in opposition to what both she and the wife and daughters of the drunkard believed to be for the best interests of the community. Since 1862, the year of Mrs. Greenleaf’s marriage to Halbert S. Greenleaf, her life has been passed quietly at home. Her husband has given both military and civil service to his country, having commanded the 52nd Massachusetts Volunteers in the late war for the Union, and is now serving his second term as member of Congress. He is in full sympathy with his wife in her views respecting the enfranchisement of women. The changes brought about by the war made a residence in Louisiana necessary for a few years, but for the last twenty-four years, Rochester, N. Y., has been the home of their adoption. The cause of woman suffrage is most dear to Mrs. Greenleaf. For its sake she is ready JEAN BROOKS GREENLEAF.jpgJEAN BROOKS GREENLEAF. and happy to make all needful sacrifice. For the past three years she has been president of the Woman's Political Club of Rochester, and in December, 1890, was elected to succeed Mrs. Lillie Devereux Blake as the president of the New York State Woman's Suffrage Association.