Freethought Almanac

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January 21: Helen Hamilton Gardener (1853)

It was on this date, January 21, 1853, that Helen Hamilton Gardener was born, the daughter of a clergyman. She graduated from the Cincinnati (Ohio) Normal School in 1873 and was a schoolteacher for two years until she married Charles S. Smart. The couple moved to New York City in 1880, where Alice Smart came under the influence of the famous freethinker Robert Ingersoll. She began writing for newspapers and delivering a series of lectures on Freethought topics, then published them in 1885 as Men, Women, and Gods, and Other Lectures, using the name Helen Hamilton Gardener. She kept the name and rose to fame as one of a vanguard of Freethinkers among American feminists of the second half of the 19th century…

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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer




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