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Anna Howard ShawThe Work of Woman Suffrage$
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Trisha Franzen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038150

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038150.001.0001

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The Road to Independence (1871–1880)

The Road to Independence (1871–1880)

(p.32) Chapter 2 The Road to Independence (1871–1880)
Anna Howard Shaw

Trisha Franzen

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes events in the life of Anna Howard Shaw from 1871 to 1880. Shaw had a vision that God had called her to a larger life. However, with no independent means of wealth, her choices appeared to be limited to marrying or resigning herself to struggle along as an impoverished schoolteacher, living in her parents' home. To gain access to any formal education for herself, she would have to leave that home. At this point Anna turned to the only resource she did have beyond her own dreams, ingenuity, and determination—her sister Mary, who had married a successful entrepreneur. So it was that Anna made the difficult and seemingly selfish decision to leave her parents' home and move in with her sister to seek her options in the small town of Big Rapids, Michigan. On August 26, 1873, the Big Rapids District Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church enthusiastically licensed twenty-six-year-old “Annie Howard Shaw” as a local preacher. In June 1878 Shaw sailed for Europe. By then she had earned her education and possessed her first investments. This thirty-one-year-old daughter of impoverished immigrants returned to tour the great sights of the continent.

Keywords:   Anna Howard Shaw, biography, education, Big Rapids, Europe, grand tour, Methodist Episcopal Church, preachers

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