Woman of the Century/Josephine Kirby W. Henry
JOSEPHINE KIRBY WILLIAMSON HENRY. HENRY, Mrs. Josephine Kirby Williamson, woman suffragist, born in Newport. Ky., 22nd February, 1846. After receiving a liberal education she became the wife, in 1868, of Captain William Henry, a Confederate soldier, a distinguished scholar and one of the most noted educators in the South. Their only child, Frederick Williamson Henry, who was killed in the terrible railroad disaster in Crete, III., inherited the genius of his mother and the talent of his father. Mrs. Henry enjoys the distinction of being the leader in her State of the most advanced political and social reform party in the country, the Equal Rights or Woman Suffrage party. She knows human nature and history well enough to realize that "human virtue demands her champions and martyrs." With courage, zeal and industry Mrs. Henry has for years been struggling with "supreme prejudice and sublime mediocrity" in her efforts to awaken in the breasts of her countrymen a sentiment of justice toward women, and in her countrywomen a sense of the dignity of true womanhood. What she has already accomplished marks an advance in the political and social history, not only of Kentucky, but of the Southern States. She is the only woman in the South who ever ran for a State office. She was a candidate of the Prohibition party of Kentucky, in 1890, for clerk of the Court of Appeals, receiving nearly five-thousand votes, and that in a State where, perhaps, the popular prejudice is stronger against "Woman's Rights" than in any other in the Union. She has spoken before the legislature and the constitutional convention and has addressed large audiences all over the State on woman's suffrage. Although she is physically frail and delicate, she can address a public meeting for an hour or more with the force of true eloquence and with happy touches of humor and quiet sarcasm. She is a woman of literary talent. She has written several poems of merit, and her prose is clear, bold and incisive. Over three-hundred articles of hers on the subject of "Married Women's Property Rights" have been published. Her leaflet on "Kentucky Women and the Constitution" and her editorials in the "Clarion," published in Versailles, attracted general attention and were copied into papers all over the country. She is superintendent of legislative and petition work of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association. She is an accomplished musician and pianist. As a vocalist she has achieved success. Her home is in Versailles, Ky.