This Week in History
One of Five But Not The Least!
For the week of Monday December 16, 2002
Henrietta Louise Muir was born in Montréal on December 19, 1849. A talented artist, she also became a militant feminist and played a pivotal role in achieving recognition for women as “persons” under the law in Canada.
In 1876, Henrietta married Dr. Oliver Edwards, with whom she had three children. Dr. Edwards practiced mainly on Aboriginal reserves and was required to move frequently. In 1883, the couple and their children left for Saskatchewan. This move did not curtail Henrietta’s social activities. There, she studied law and became involved in feminist organizations. In 1890, the Edwards family returned to Eastern Canada, settling in Ottawa. Three years later, together with Lady Aberdeen, wife of the Governor General of Canada, she founded the National Council of Women. For more than 35 years, she served as chair for Laws Governing Women and Children. Also in collaboration with Lady Aberdeen, she founded the Victorian Order of Nurses in 1897. In 1903, Henrietta and her family settled in Fort Macleod, Alberta.
Henrietta Muir Edwards, a person of national historical significance, died on November 10, 1931. A plaque in her honour can be found in Fort Macleod, Alberta, and another, commemorating the Persons Case will soon be unveiled at Emily Murphy Park, in Edmonton, Alberta.
Further information can be found in the archives of This Week in History: Women Are Persons... Aren't they?
- Date Modified: