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> American National Biography Online > > > Hoge, Jane Currie Blaikie (31 July 1811-26 Aug. 1890), Civil > War relief leader and welfare laborer, was born in Philadelphia, > Pennsylvania, the daughter of George D. Blaikie, a wealthy merchant, > and Mary Monroe. Jane attended the Young Ladies' College, a classical > school in Philadelphia, and graduated first in her class. A talented > musician, she continued to play all of her life. In June 1831 > she married Alexander Holmes Hoge, a comfortable Pittsburgh merchant. > They had thirteen children, eight of whom reached maturity. During > their fourteen-year stay in Pittsburgh, Jane Hoge served as secretary > of the Pittsburgh Orphan Asylum. In 1848 the couple moved to > Chicago, Illinois, where she continued in her charitable activities, > establishing and managing the Home for the Friendless, a refuge > for women and children. The Hoges were also active in the Old > School Presbyterian Church, where Alexander Hoge was a ruling elder. > > At the onset of the Civil War, two of Hoge's sons enlisted in > the Union army. Like many women in both the North and South, > she volunteered to help soldiers and the war effort through supply > work. This benevolent reform united women in the war. In 1861, > while nursing soldiers at Camp Douglas in Chicago, Hoge and Mary > Livermore, a friend, organized and served as cochairmen of the > Northwestern Branch of the U.S. Sanitary Commission in Chicago. > They were responsible for coordinating aid offered by local relief > agencies and societies and for recruiting nurses. Hoge was helpful > in any capacity deemed appropriate. Livermore, who had tremendous > respect for Hoge and her limitless abilities, later wrote of > their relationship that Hoge was a forceful character, assiduous > worker, compelling public speaker, and extremely good organizer. > In 1862 Hoge and Livermore were appointed Sanitary Commission > agents and prepared to visit Mississippi River military hospitals. > > In March 1862 Hoge traveled to army hospitals in St. Louis, > Missouri; Cairo, Illinois; Mound City, Illinois; and Paducah, > Kentucky, on the first of three trips to the Army of the Southwest. > She visited an estimated 100,000 men, offering comfort, aid, > and supplies. First stopping at Mound City, Hoge wrote "I took > my slow and solemn walk through this congregation of suffering > humanity, furnished with dainty sheets, and pillows . . . from > the Sanitary Commission" (quoted in Women's Work in the Civil > War). As part of her work for the Sanitary Commission, Hoge inspected > military hospitals, reporting on their conditions, and suggesting reforms. > > > In November 1862 Hoge and Livermore traveled to Washington, > D.C., representing the Chicago Branch at the Women's Council, > and met with President Abraham Lincoln to discuss their work. > On the recommendation of Mark Skinner, president of the Chicago > Branch of the Sanitary Commission, Hoge and Livermore were named > associate directors in December 1862. Hoge welcomed the challenge > of an overwhelming amount of work. She wrote compelling circulars > seeking special supplies and lobbied for aid from societies throughout > the Northwest, encouraging women to donate money, clothes, food, > and medicines. In addition to issuing emotional appeals and providing > management and distribution of supplies, Hoge performed nursing > and continued her inspection of hospitals. She was unswerving > in her devotion to the soldiers, often braving inclement weather > and risking disease to help relieve the suffering. > > In June 1863 she was invited to Vicksburg, where one of her > sons, a colonel in the 113th Regiment Illinois Volunteers, had > been wounded. Aware of nutritional deficiencies, she acted as > a liaison between the army and homefront, securing a thousand > bushels of vegetables to combat scurvy. Hoge talked to soldiers, > sang hymns with them, and promised to deliver messages to their families. > > > Perhaps Hoge's most significant accomplishment was the staging > of the Northwestern Sanitary Fair in Chicago. Planning with Livermore, > Eliza Porter, and other civil relief leaders, Hoge hoped through > the fair to secure donations to establish a soldiers' home in > Chicago. Beginning 27 October 1863, the two-week fair, featuring > parades, exhibits, food, entertainment, and merchandise, raised > almost $100,000 for war work and a soldiers' home and inspired > women in other regions to hold similar fundraising fairs to promote > patriotism and unite communities. > > Hoge continued to travel with Livermore, and their names became > household words. She attended the January 1864 council of women > in Washington, D.C., at which she recounted her experiences with > aid societies. As the war waned, Hoge continued speaking. In > 1867 she published her memoir, The Boys in Blue; or Heroes of > the 'Rank & File', one of the first accounts to be written by > a woman relief worker and to be focused on soldiers, not officers. > Hoge's emotional rhetoric and patriotic imagery biased her information, > although historians consider her account of the war in the West > to be valuable. She claimed that she wrote the book because "justice > to the soldier, and historical accuracy, compel me to represent > affairs as they were, thus placing the honor and the shame where > they justly belong." Hoge also lauded the "self-denying liberality, > labor and zeal of thousands of our countrywomen" who assisted > soldiers and wanted to "offer an example, calculated to stimulate > and encourage women in all time to come." > > After the war, Hoge received numerous public tributes. She continued > her charity and social work. In 1869 she and a group of women > opened the Chicago Home for the Friendless to provide shelter > and aid for impoverished women and children, especially foundlings, > wards of the court, and the elderly. Hoge organized an 1871 fundraiser > to establish the Evanston College for Ladies. From 1872 to 1885 > Hoge served as director of the Women's Presbyterian Board of > Foreign Missions in the Northwest, urging women who had nursed > during the war to pursue missionary work. Hoge died in Chicago. > > Hoge, a religious woman, saw it as her duty to help relieve > the suffering of the northern soldiers. Having an unflagging > energy and devotion to the cause, Hoge was instrumental in giving > significant aid to soldiers all over the North. She often battled > weather and disease to provide a reprieve for the sick and dying. > She secured supplies and food when it was desperately needed. > She also dedicated tremendous enthusiasm to fundraisers, exceeding > even her own expectations and facilitating the establishment > of a soldiers' home, a homeless shelter, and a women's college. > A powerful humanitarian, Hoge made great strides to relieve suffering > during the Civil War and is remembered as a "patient, persistent" worker. > > > > Bibliography > > Scant biographical material is in the Northwestern Soldiers' > Fair Records at the Chicago Historical Society, and in Chicago > Home for the Friendless and Northwestern Sanitary Fair Records > at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Circle Library. An > excellent source of biographical information is L. P. Brockett > and Mary C. Vaughan, Woman's Work in the Civil War: A Record > of Heroism, Patriotism and Patience (1867). An insightful source > on the Sanitary Commission is Sarah E. Henshaw, Our Branch and > Its Tributaries: Being a History of the Work of the Northwestern > Sanitary Commission and Its Auxiliaries during the War of the > Rebellion (1868). A valuable record of Hoge's fundraiser is in > History of the Northwestern Soldiers' Fair Held in Chicago (1864). > Hoge's own book, The Boys in Blue; or, Heroes of the 'Rank & > File' (1867), provides a favorable history of the auxiliary work > given by women and other nonofficers. Robert A. Kantor and Marjorie > S. Kantor, Sanitary Fairs: A Philatelic and Historical Study > of Civil War Benevolence (1992), offers another worthy description > of beneficent works during the war. Hoge's close friend Mary > A. Livermore wrote My Story of the War (1889), giving an excellent > accounting of her and Hoge's efforts to relieve suffering. > > Michelle E. Osborn > Elizabeth D. Schafer > > > Citation: > Michelle E. Osborn > Elizabeth D. Schafer. "Hoge, Jane Currie Blaikie"; > http://www.anb.org/articles/12/12-01769.html; > American National Biography Online Feb. 2000. > Access Date: > Copyright (c) 2000 American Council of Learned Societies. Published > by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. > > > > > Note: This email has been sent in plain text format so that it may be > read with the standard ASCII character set. Special characters and > formatting have been normalized. > > Copyright Notice > Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of the > American National Biography of the Day and Sample Biographies provided > that the following statement is preserved on all copies: > > From American National Biography, published by Oxford University > Press, Inc., copyright 2000 American Council of Learned Societies. > Further information is available at http://www.anb.org. > > American National Biography articles may not be published commercially > (in print or electronic form), edited, reproduced or otherwise altered > without the written permission of Oxford University Press which acts as > an agent in these matters for the copyright holder, the American Council > of Learned Societies. Contact: Permissions Department, Oxford University > Press, 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016; fax: 212-726-6444. > >