Woman of the Century/Louisa Morton Greene
LOUISA MORTON GREENE . GREENE, Mrs. Louisa Morton, reformer and author, born in Ashburnham, Mass., 23rd May, 1819. She is a descendant from sturdy New England ancestors. Her father, Henry Willard. blacksmith and farmer, removed from Vermont and settled in Ashburnham in the early years of the present century. Bereft of both parents in early childhood, she was deprived <>f schooling and thrown upon her own resources at the age of thirteen years. She obtained employment in a woolen factory in Dedham, Mats., and worked for several yearsfor the pittance of one to two dollars per week and board, working fourteen hours a day. There, upon the heads of bobbins, she learned to write. Notwithstanding her long hours of labor, she found time for constant improvement by reading and study. Her habits of strict economy enabled her to save a portion of her wages, and at the age of seventeen she had one-hundred-fifty dollars in the bank. Then came her first revolt against the injustice shown to women in industrial pursuits. Gross discrimination in the matter of wages was made, simply on the ground of sex. Called upon at one time to take a man's place at a spindle, she performed her duties with greater dispatch and to the acknowledged satisfaction of her employer. When pay-day came around and she demanded the same compensation that the man had been securing, her request was received with amazement. The plucky young girl stood her ground and refused to return to the spindle unless paid at the same rate as the man whose place she was filling. She was promptly dismissed from the factory, to be recalled a few weeks later at increased wages. In 1840 she taught school near Portsmouth, N. H. There she formed the acquaintance of Jonas Greene, of Maine, becoming his wife in 1841. Mr. Greene subsequently became a prominent politician, representing his district in each branch of the State legislature for several successive terms. His success in life he ascribed largely to the cooperation and support of his prudent, intelligent and broad-minded wife. Removing with her husband to the then somewhat sparsely settled Oxford county. Maine, a new and active life opened for her. While performing faithfully her duties, she found time to enter vigorously into the philanthropic and reform work of the times. Early becoming a convert to the " Water Cure " system of treating the sick, she familiarized herself with it and soon developed a remarkable ability for the care and treatment of the sick. Physicians and medicines were unknown in her household, and her skill was in demand in the community. In 1850 Mrs. Greene began to espouse the anti-slavery cause. She, with a few kindred spirits, gathered the country women together and organized anti-slavery societies. Literature was distributed, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was read far and near, and many stirring articles from her pen appeared in the local papers, and sentiment against the system was rapidly created. During the Civil War Mrs. Greene's patriotic labors were untiring. When hospital supplies were called for, she spent much time in collecting, preparing and forwarding them. Mrs. Greene s newspaper contributions for years covered a wide range of subjects. The temperance and suffrage causes were early championed by her and have ever commanded her best service of pen and voice. In 1869 she removed with her family to Manassas, Va., where her husband died in 1873. With advancing years, Mrs. Greene has withdrawn largely from active philanthropic work.