Josephine K. Henry

On this date in 1846, Josephine K. Henry was born in Kentucky. Settling in Versailles, Ky, with her husband, the accomplished musician was the first woman in the South to run for State office. As a candidate of the Prohibition party of Kentucky for clerk of the Court of Appeals in 1890, Henry received nearly 5,000 votes in the notoriously anti-suffrage state. Kentucky was the last state in the union to grant women such basic rights as property ownership, guardianship of their children, and the right to make a will. Henry was credited as the main force behind the adoption of the 1894 Woman's Property Act, garnering ten thousand signatures on behalf of women's property rights. Serving on the Revising Committee of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's The Woman's Bible, Henry submitted two letters, which were published in the appendix. For this heresy, she was declared an "undesirable member" of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association. Henry wrote a 30-page booklet, "Woman and the Bible" (1905), followed by a critique of the treatment of women in the marriage institution, "Marriage and Divorce" (c. 1907). D. 1928.

“Is not the Church to-day a masculine hierarchy, with a female constituency, which holds woman in Bible lands in silence and in subjection? No institution in modern civilization is so tyrannical and so unjust to woman as is the Christian Church. It demands everything from her and gives her nothing in return.”

—Josephine K. Henry, letter responding to Frances Willard's praise of the bible. Published in the Appendix of The Woman's Bible, 1897. For more information on Josephine K. Henry, see a href=

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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