Grace Allen (Fitch) Johnson, 1871-1952

Alternative names
birth 1871
death 1952

Biographical notes:

Grace Allen Johnson, educator, suffragist, civic reformer, internationalist, and lecturer, was born on September 29, 1871, in Maples, Ind., the fourth of the five daughters of Elizabeth Harriet (Bennett) and Appleton Howe Fitch, both from New England. Among her sisters was the well-known children's author and illustrator Lucy (Fitch) Perkins. The family lived in Indiana and Michigan, settling for a time in Kalamazoo; they returned to Hopkinton, Mass. (ancestral home of the Howe and Fitch families), when Grace was fourteen. She attended public school, graduating in 1890. Her adult life is summarized in the following chronology.

Graduates from Pratt Institute Library School, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Works as assistant reference librarian, Pratt Institute
Moves with family to Evanston, Ill.; studies botany at Harvard Summer School
Marries Lewis Jerome Johnson (Harvard A.B. 1887, C.E. 1888) in June
Studies chemistry at Northwestern University
Moves to Cambridge, Mass., where husband joins Engineering Department of Harvard University
Hhas son, Jerome Allen
Has second son, Chandler Winslow
Travels to Europe with family, becomes interested in woman suffrage
Serves as president, Cambridge Political Equality Association
One of three Massachusetts women delegates to Progressive Party national convention in Chicago; campaigns for Progressive Party candidates
President, Cambridge Public School Association
Congressional chairman, Middlesex County and Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA)
Member, National Council, National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA)
Chairman, State Board of MWSA
Defeat of anti-suffrage Sen. John Weeks (Mass.)
With Mary P. Sleeper, edits A Citizen's Guide for Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government
Lecturer, Garland School for Homemaking, Boston
Name entered on honor roll of NAWSA
Executive secretary, Massachusetts Woodrow Wilson Foundation
Member of Council, Massachusetts Foreign Policy Association
Attends Women's International League for Peace and Freedom convention, Washington, D.C.
Member, Board of Directors, Massachusetts League of Nations Association (LNA)
Chairman (state), Educational Committee, LNA
Spends Sept. in Geneva, Switzerland, attending commissions, council, and assembly of League of Nations
Lecturer, Wheelock Kindergarten Training School
Campaigns for Herbert Hoover
Member, Massachusetts Women's Law Enforcement Committee
Lecturer, Boston University School of Education; lecturer, Massachusetts Department of Education, University Extension
President, Board of Trustees, Garland School
Name entered on 10th anniversary honor roll of suffrage pioneers; member, National Council, LNA; writes Text for a Model Council and A Model Assembly of the League of Nations; writes The Dispute between Bolivia and Paraguay, 1930; testifies before U.S. Congress in support of prohibition
Writes The Case of the S.S. Lotus and the World Court; produces map showing disputes settled by World Court
Writes and supervises production of The Dispute Between China and Japan over Manchuria: A Dramatization of the 65th Session of the Council of the League of Nations
With Sir Herbert Ames, writes The Case of China and Japan before the League of Nations: A Dramatization of the Events of 1931-1933
Public Forum leader (U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Education), Manchester, N.H.
Delegate to Woman's Centennial Congress; Cambridge (Mass.) adopts "Plan E" form of government
Dies on January 17

Politically liberal, GAJ was an activist for woman suffrage, for United States participation in the League of Nations (and later the United Nations) and World Court, and for various civic reforms (e.g., initiative and referendum, proportional representation). She defined herself as an educator, lecturing and writing on a wide range of topics including suffrage, the status of women, prohibition, aspects of democracy and government structure, international cooperation, and public speaking techniques. Her husband, a civil engineer, shared her political beliefs; he published numerous pamphlets on political reform.

For additional biographical information see folders #Jo 1 and #Jo 5 in this series. The papers of Lewis Jerome Johnson are in the Harvard University Archives.

From the guide to the Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1840-1952, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

Biographical notes are generated from the bibliographic and archival source records supplied by data contributors.

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