5 women who influenced DC history

The just published book 111 places in Washington’s women’s history that you must not miss is full of interesting things. Here are a few women who have left their mark on the city.

Charlotte dupuy

Dupuy was enslaved by Henry Clay and lived in the Decatur House, spending years fighting for freedom and suing Clay for her release in 1829. She lost the case, but her bravery still resonates.

Flora Molton

For decades, passersby were fascinated by this downtown DC blues and gospel street artist. She died in 1990, and a converted emergency call box now serves as a memorial on the corner of 13th and G, Northwest.

Evalyn Walsh McLean

Walsh-McLean House on Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest, was a gift to DC socialite from her father. She bought the allegedly cursed Hope Diamond in 1911, after which her marriage ended, two of her children died, and her fortune dwindled.

Lavinia Ellen Ream

The first female artist commissioned by Congress, she is known for her Capitol Rotunda statue of Abraham Lincoln, which she started in 1866 when she was 18. Also notable is her statue of Civil War Admiral David Farragut in the square bearing his name.

Eliza scidmore

This geographer and photographer – the first woman on the National Geographic Society’s board – suggested bringing cherry blossoms to Potomac Park. The idea flourished when she recruited First Lady Helen Taft for the cause.

This article appears in the January 2022 issue of Washingtonian.

Zach Bright

Zach joined the Washingtonian in October 2021. He has previously written for The Colorado Sun, The Nevada Independent and SRQ Magazine.

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