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Educator, reformer, philanthropist.

Emily Howland was born in Sherwood, New York in 1827, daughter of Slocum and Hanna (Tallcott) Howland. Her parents were prominent in the Society of Friends, and Emily was educated both at a private school in Sherwood and a Friends' school in Philadelphia. Early in life she became an active abolitionist, and during 1857-1859 was a teacher in a school for colored girls in Washington, D.C. In 1863-1864 she worked in a large camp for freed slaves in Arlington, Virginia, teaching them to read and write. With her father's aid, she opened an African-American school in 1867 at Heathsville, Virginia. She continued throughout her life to support this and other African-American schools in the South. In 1882 she took over the Sherwood select school until it was taken over by the New York Board of Regents in 1927. Howland was also active in reform movements such as women's suffrage, and peace and temperance organizations. Her niece, Isabel Howland, daughter of William and Hanna (Letchworth) Howland, also had a lifelong interest in educational and philanthropic activities.