Fowle, Elida Barker

Fowle, Elida Barker (b. Rumsey)

(1842–1919) relief and welfare worker; born in New York City. During the Civil War she was a private hospital visitor, fundraiser, and field nurse, nationally celebrated for her youth, energy, and initiative. With her fiancé she founded the Soldier's Free Library, Washington, D.C. (1862). Noted for her beautiful voice, she sang in hospitals and to raise money for the troops; after her marriage in the nation's Capitol—in the presence of members of Congress and hundreds of spectators—she sang "The Star Spangled Banner." Her postwar life was devoted to her family and charitable works in New York and Massachusetts.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.