Woman of the Century/Emily Howard Jennings Stowe
STOWE, Mrs. Emily Howard Jennings. physician, born in Norwich, Ontario, Canada, 1st May, 1831 She was educated in her native place, and Toronto, Ont., receiving a diploma of the grade A from the Toronto Normal School. She followed the profession of teacher prior and subsequent to her marriage. Her health becoming impaired, she determined that the infancy of her three children should not prevent the materialization of a long cherished desire to enter the field of medicine, at that time in Canada untrodden by women. That purpose received stimulus from the invalidism of her husband, whose feeble health demanded rest from business. She pursued her medical course in New York City, whither she was forced to go for the opportunity by that fear of intellectual competition with women which drives men to monopolize collegiate advantages. In 1866, obtaining the degree of Doctor of Medicine, she returned to Toronto to practice. A prevision of the difficulties which beset the path of a pioneer failed to daunt a courage born of the optimism of youth and a noble resolve for freedom in the choice of life's rights and duties. The notable incidents in her professional life are focused in the fact of successful achievements, which may be summed up as, first, in the secured professional standing of women physicians in Ontario, and second, in her individual financial success over the many economic difficulties which beset a woman who, without money, seeks to cast up for herself and others a new highway through society's brushwood of ignorance and prejudice, by creating a favorable public sentiment through her own isolated and laborious efforts. A just tribute is cheerfully accorded by her to the sustaining and helpful encouragement she has received from husband and children. Two of her children have entered the professional arena. The oldest, Dr. Augusta Stowe Gullen, was the first woman to obtain the medical degree from an Ontario university. She is following in the professional footsteps of her mother and is now numbered among the faculty of the Toronto Woman's Medical College. EMILY HOWARD JENNINGS STOWE. Through the law of heredity to Dr. Stowe was bequeathed in more than ordinary degree the intuitive knowledge that natural individual rights have for their basis our common humanity, and all legislation to control the exercise of these individual rights is subversive of true social order, and therefore she was among the first women to seek equal opportunities for education by demanding admittance into the University of Toronto, which was refused to her. She has been in her native country a leader in the movement for the political enfranchisement of women, which is now in part accomplished.