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Women in Maryland

A guide to resources on Women in Maryland. It is intended as an introduction to Web and print resources.

Notable Maryland Women

A short list of significant women who have at least some Maryland connection. Many more women could be added. Many more books are available than those listed here; check the Finding Books page for help finding more books.

Bertha Sheppard Adkins

Bertha Sheppard Adkins (1906-1983) was a political activist, educator, and public servant from Salisbury, Maryland who served as Under-Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare during the Eisenhower administration. She served as Assistant Chairman of the Republican National Committee and became the first chair of the Federal Council on Aging.

Clara Barton

Clara Barton (1821-1912) is best known as a famous Civil War nurse and as the founder of the American Red Cross. She spent the last 15 years of her life in the house in Glen Echo, Maryland which also served as the headquarters of the American Red Cross. The National Park Service now administers the house as the Clara Barton Historic Site. See more resources

Betsy Bonaparte

Betsy Bonaparte (1785-1879), born in Baltimore, became an international celebrity on account of her short-lived marriage to Jérôme Bonaparte, Napoleon's youngest brother. 

Margaret Brent

Margaret Brent (ca. 1601-1671) was a prominent colonial Marylander who emigrated from England in 1638. In 1648, she petitioned the Maryland General Assembly for the right to vote as a landowner and as an attorney for Lord Baltimore.

Rosalie Stier Calvert

Rosalie Stier Calvert (1778-1821) chronicled her life as mistress of a busy Maryland plantation in the early republic in letters she wrote to her family in Europe. Her son Charles Benedict Calvert founded the Maryland Agricultural College which is now the University of Maryland. Her home of Riversdale in Riverdale Park has been restored and can be visited.

Anna Ella Carroll

Anna Ella Carroll (1815-1894) was a politician, writer, and lobbyist active in the nineteenth century. See more resources

Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson (1907-1964) was a biologist, writer, and environmentalist whose 1962 book Silent Spring on the use of pesticides had a powerful impact on the environmental movement. See more resources

Claribel Cone and Etta Cone

Claribel Cone (1864-1929) and Etta Cone (1870-1949) were sisters who collected a premier art collection which they donated to the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Mary Elizabeth Garrett

Mary Elizabeth Garrett (1864-1915) was an influential philantrophist and champion of women's education. She contributed the endowment to establish the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, helped to found and sustain the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, and was an important benefactor to Bryn Mawr College.

Mary Katherine Goddard

Mary Katherine Goddard (1738-1816) was an early American printer, newspaper and almanac publisher, and post master. She published the Maryland Journal for many years and was post master of Baltimore for fourteen years.

Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday​ (1915-1959) was one of the greatest jazz vocalists. She grew up in Baltimore. See more resources

Claire McCardell

Claire McCardell (1905-1958) was a fashion designer who pioneered American ready-to-wear womens' fashion in the 1930s to 1950s. She is especially known for her casual yet stylish clothes.​

Juanita Jackson Mitchell

Juanita Jackson Mitchell (1913-1992) is famous as a civil rights activist who effectively fought against discrimination through the judicial system. She was the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Maryland Law School and the first black woman to practice law in Maryland.​

Rosa Ponselle

Rosa Ponselle (1897-1981) was a legendary operatic soprano who sang at the New York Metropolitan Opera. She lived in Baltimore from the late 1930s until her death in 1981. See more resources

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) was the first native born American to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Seton is located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. She founded the Sisters of Charity which established schools, orphanages, and hospitals throughout the world. See more resources.

Adele Hagner Stamp

Adele Hagner Stamp (1893-1974) was the University of Maryland's first Dean of Women. She held this position from 1922 until her retirement as Dean Emerita in 1960.

Henrietta Szold

Henrietta Szold (1860-1945) was an educator and social activist from Baltimore who was the founder and first president of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America. She created the Youth Aliyah program which saved many thousands of Jewish children from concentration camps. See more resources.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman (1820?-1913) was born a slave in Dorchester County, Maryland, but escaped to freedom when she was 25. She returned to conduct over 300 slaves to freedom earning the title "Moses of her people." See more resources

Verda Freeman Welcome

Verda Freeman Welcome (1907-1990) became America's first black female state senator when she was elected to the Maryland Senate in 1962. She served in the Maryland Senate for twenty years. Among her significant legislative accomplishments was passage of legislation dealing with discrimination in public accommodations, mixed marriages, equal pay for equal work, and university status for Morgan State College.