Lilian Leland

On this date in 1857, Lilian Leland was born in the United States. The daughter of freethinkers, she traveled 60,000 miles alone around the world at the age of 25 for nearly two years, starting with a voyage around Cape Horn. Her mother, Mary A. Leland, was one of the first women to study medicine in the U.S. and lectured on anatomy as early as 1852. Her father, Theron C. Leland, was a popular lecturer in the Liberal League. Leland was brought up to play chess and read widely, conceiving her plan to travel after reading “The Merchant of Venice.” She wrote a book, Traveling Alone: A Woman’s Journey Around the World, and married the son of Stephen Pearl Andrews, abolitionist and freethinker.

Freedom From Religion Foundation