Woman of the Century/Rebecca N. Hazard

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HAZARD, Mrs. Rebecca N., philanthropist and woman suffragist, born in Woodsfield, Ohio, 10th November, 1826. With her parents, at an early age, she removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, and thence to Quincy, Ill., where, in 1844, she became the wife of William T. Hazard, of Newport, R. I. Five children were born to this union. In 1850 the family removed to St. Louis, Mo. For many years domestic affairs claimed the attention of Mrs. Hazard, but, being deeply imbued with religious principles, the wants and woes of humanity everywhere manifested received a share of her activities. In 1854 she united with other women in establishing an Industrial Home for Girls in St. Louis. For five years she was on the board of managers of that institution, which has sheltered thousands of homeless children. At the breaking out of the war Mrs. Hazard, who was an ardent Unionist, engaged in hospital work, giving all the time she could spare from her family to the care of sick and wounded soldiers. She helped to organize the Union Aid Society and served as a member of the executive committee in the great Western Sanitary Fair. Finding that large numbers of negro women and children were by the exigencies of war helplessly stranded in the city, Mrs. Hazard sought means for their relief. They were in a deplorable condition, and, as the supplies contributed to the soldiers could not be used for them, she organized a society known as the Freedmen's Aid Society, for their special benefit. At the close of the war that society was merged in an orphan asylum. Closely following that work came the establishment of a home for fallen women, promoted and managed chiefly by the same workers. It was maintained under great difficulties for some years, and was finally abandoned. Deeply impressed with the disabilities under which women labor in being deprived of political rights, Mrs. Hazard with a few other earnest women met one May day in 1867, and formed the Woman Suffrage Association of Missouri, the first society bearing the name, and having for its sole object the ballot for woman. To this cause Mrs. Hazard gave devoted service for many years, REBECCA N. HAZARD A woman of the century (page 378 crop).jpgREBECCA N. HAZARD. filling the various offices of the association, and also serving one term as president of the American Woman Suffrage Association. In 1870 the city of St. Louis, falling under evil counsels, framed into law man's lowest thought concerning woman. Realizing the danger to good morals, Mrs. Hazard at once engaged in the conflict for the overthrow of that iniquity, a conflict more distasteful than any she had ever been called to share. Victory was with the right, and the law was repealed by the Missouri Legislature in 1874, one member only voting against repeal. The call for the formation of the association for the advancement of women, known as the Woman's Congress, was signed by Mrs. Hazard, and she has ever since been a member of that body, contributing at various times to its sessions the following papers: "Home Studies for Women," "Business Opportunities for Women," and "Crime and its Punishment." Mrs. Hazard is a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and of the American Akademc, a philosophical society having headquarters in Jacksonville, Ill. Since the death of her husband, in 1879, she has practically retired from public work, but at her home in Kirkwood, a suburb of St. Louis, a class of women meets each week for study and mutual improvement. As a result of these studies Mrs. Hazard has published two papers on the "Divina Commetlia." She has also written a volume on the war period in St. Louis, not yet published, and her contributions to local and other papers have been numerous.