Women Who Walked Ahead

Women Who Walked Ahead

Green-Wood | Park Slope

Ever wondered about the pioneering women of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries who are now interred at Green-Wood? Join a trolley tour to learn about "Women Who Walked Ahead" from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, 2018.

From the first woman to sing live on radio, Eugenia Farrar, to the first black female doctor in New York State, Susan Smith McKinney Steward, this trolley tour celebrates the pioneering women of Green-Wood, including Caroline Weldon, a widowed Brooklyn artist who traveled to the Dakota Territory to become an assistant and liaison to Sitting Bull (Weldon’s story was featured in the 2017 film, “Woman Walks Ahead” starring Jessica Chastain).

Susan Smith McKinney Steward was the first African American woman to earn a medical doctorate in New York State in 1870 and the third in the United States. She practiced medicine for 48 years and when she died in Brooklyn in 1918, W.E.B. DuBois gave the eulogy at her funeral.

In October 1907, Ada Eugenia von Boos-Farrar, then a concert and opera singer, was invited to the crowded midtown laboratory of Dr. Lee DeForest — the “father of radio” — to test his new wireless “arc radiotelephone.”  Farrar performed two selections, including “I Love You Truly.” The transmission was successfully received by civil engineer Oliver Adams Wyckoff on the deck of the USS Dolphin, docked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, who reported that “he had heard the voice of an angel.”

In 1889 Caroline Weldon settled in the Dakota Territory to live among the Sioux tribe and pursue her artistic interests. While there, she befriended Sitting Bull and became his secretary and interpreter. She also joined the National Indian Defense Association, which worked to help the Sioux resist the United States government’s seizing of their tribal lands. Her reputation for advocating for Native American rights and for defying government officials spread quickly and attracted a lot of press, and she became notorious and hated by white Americans across the country.

Camilla Urso was one of the leading violinists of the 19th century. She accomplished this at a time when the violin was not considered to be a suitable instrument for a woman to play. Furthermore, she made the difficult transition from child prodigy to mature artist with a career that spanned more than fifty years and that took place on several continents.

Emma Stebbins was among the first notable American women sculptors and part of a group of who learned to work in marble in Rome in the mid-1800s. She produced her most famous works between 1859 and 1869, when she was in her forties and early fifties. Stebbins’ best-known work is Angel of the Waters (also known as Bethesda Fountain) at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, New York City. Bethesda Terrace complex is widely considered one of the great works of nineteenth-century American sculpture.

Women Who Walked Ahead at Green-Wood: Susan Smith McKinney Steward, Camilla Urso, Caroline Weldon

$20 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $25 for non-members.

 

GREEN-WOOD STORY

Founded in 1838 and now a National Historic Landmark, Green-Wood was one of the first rural cemeteries in America. By the early 1860s, it had earned an international reputation for its magnificent beauty and became the prestigious place to be buried, attracting 500,000 visitors a year, second only to Niagara Falls as the nation’s greatest tourist attraction. Crowds flocked there to enjoy family outings, carriage rides, and sculpture viewing in the finest of first generation American landscapes. Green-Wood’s popularity helped inspire the creation of public parks, including New York City’s Central and Prospect Parks.

Green-Wood is 478 spectacular acres of hills, valleys, glacial ponds and paths, throughout which exists one of the largest outdoor collections of 19th- and 20th-century statuary and mausoleums. Four seasons of beauty from century-and-a-half-old trees offer a peaceful oasis to visitors, as well as its 560,000 permanent residents, including Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Horace Greeley, Civil War generals, baseball legends, politicians, artists, entertainers and inventors.

A magnet for history buffs and bird watchers, Green-Wood is a Revolutionary War historic site (the Battle of Long Island was fought in 1776 across what is now its grounds), a designated site on the Civil War Discovery Trail and a registered member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System.