Woman of the Century/Martha Violet Ball

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BALL, Miss Martha Violet, educator and philanthropist, born in Boston, Mass., 17th May, 1811. She was educated in the public schools and by private tutors. She was a school teacher for thirty years and a Sunday-school teacher for forty years. In 1838, under the auspices of the New England Moral Reform Society, she commenced her labors for fallen, intemperate women and unfortunate young girls. That association has rescued thousands from lives of intemperance, and thousands of young girls have been sought out and sheltered in the temporary home of the society. Miss Hall served on "The Home Guardian," a monthly periodical published by the society, for twenty-seven years, ten years as assistant and seventeen years as editor. She resigned in 1890, on account of the illness of her sister. She was one of the women who in 1833 assisted in forming the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society in the parlor of Mrs. J. N. Barbour, and was recording secretary of the society when the mob, in 1835, designated as "gentlemen of property and standing," entered the hall at number 46 Washington street and broke up a quarterly meeting. She continued to labor for the overthrow of slavery until it was abolished. In 1836, assisted by a few friends, she opened an evening school for young colored girls in the west part of Boston. In 1842 Miss Hall was sent as a delegate to an anti-slavery convention of women held in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania Hall, where the convention met, was attacked by a mob of several thousands, the women were driven out and pelted with stones, mud and missiles of various kinds, and Miss Hall was struck in her chest by a piece of brick. The hall was shortly after burned to the ground by the mob. Miss Hall aided in forming the Ladies' Baptist Bethel Society and was secretary for a time; she was then elected president, and retained that office for thirty years. The society became a large and influential body, laboring under the auspices of the Boston Baptist Bethel Society. In 1860 Miss Ball, with a few other women, organized The Woman's Union Missionary Society for Heathen Lands.