Woman's Work in the Civil War: A Record of Heroism, Patriotism and Patience

By L. P. Brockett; Mary C. Vaughan | Go to book overview

MRS. JOSEPHINE R. GRIFFIN.

IF the most thoroughly unselfish devotion of an earnest and gifted woman to the interests and welfare of a despised and down-trodden race, to the manifest injury and detriment of her own comfort, ease, or pecuniary prospects, and without any hope or desire of reward other than the consciousness of having been their benefactor, constitutes a woman a heroine, then is Mrs. Griffin one of the most remarkable heroines of our times.

Of her early history we know little. She was a woman of refinement and culture, has always been remarkable for her energy and resolution, as well as for her philanthropic zeal for the poor and oppressed. The beginning of the war found her a widow, with, we believe, three children, all daughters, in Washington, D. C. Of these daughters, the eldest has a position in the Treasury Department, a second has for some time assisted her mother in her labors, and the youngest is in school. Mrs. Griffin was too benevolent ever to be rich, and when the freedmen and their families began to concentrate in the District of Columbia, and on Arlington Heights, across the Potomac, she sought them out, and made the effort to ameliorate their condition. At that time they hardly knew whether they were to be permanently free or not, and massed together as they were, their old slave habits of recklessness, disorder, and over-crowding soon gained the predominance, and showed their evil effect in producing a fearful amount of sickness and death. They were not, with

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