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Elizabeth Lawton Barker

 

Eliza Harris Lawton Barker, daughter of Moses Turner Lawton and Elizabeth Tillinghast Lawton, was married on October g, 1873, to Hon. Richard Jackson Barker, a distinguished ex-union officer. Mrs. Barker is a direct descendant of Admiral George Lawton of the Royal Navy, belonging to one of the oldest families of Rhode Island, which was established by George and Thomas Lawton at Portsmouth.

Mrs. Barker completed her education at Vassar College, and probably is the best known woman in Rhode Island in educational and literary circles. She has always been deeply interested in the public school system and was elected twenty-five years ago a member of the school committee of the town of Tiverton. For sixteen years she has been chairman of the school board. She has been historian of the Colonial Dames of Rhode Island, she is an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and has been vice-president general of the National Society, to which exalted office she was elected by a large majority at the National Congress of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which was held at Washington, D. C, in April, 1906.

Fourteen years previous she had been an active officer of Gaspee Chapter of Providence, resigning the office of regent to accept the one to which she had been elected. The Gaspee Chapter presented her with a beautiful silver-mounted gavel made from wood taken from the old Gaspee room. She is honorary state regent of Rhode Island and has been made an honorary member of several Rhode Island and Massachusetts Chapters.

In the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, she has filled many prominent places, at one time being chairman of the Magazine Committee, chairman of the Purchasing Committee, a member of the Auditing Committee, member of the Continental Hall Committee, member of the Jamestown Committee, chairman for New England of the Daughters of the American Revolution Exhibit at the Jamestown Exposition Mrs. Barker was honored by her state by being made hostess at the Rhode Island State Building by the Commissioners of Rhode Island at the Jamestown, Virginia, Exposition.

For four years she was state historian of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was thirteen years chairman of the Gaspee Prize Committee. She is state regent of the Pocahontas Memorial Association and vice-president of the Rhode Island Institute of Instruction. She was one of the chairmen of the Rhode Island Sanitary Relief Association during the Spanish War; was one of the women commissioners of Rhode Island at the Atlanta Exposition.

Among the other various important positions held ty Mrs. Barker, she has been a member of the Board of the Woman's College, Brown University, ever since it was founded, vice-president of the Woman's Board of the Union Hospital, secretary of the 13th Congressional District George Washington Memorial Committee. She has been for years actively interested in hospital and other benevolences of Fall River and Tiverton, Rhode Island. She has been especially interested in patriotic education in the public schools and has taken a very active part in every progressive movement in the line of education. She is an exceptional speaker and presiding officer, wields a gifted pen and exercises an incomparable influence for human welfare and progress.

Mrs. Barker is President for Rhode Island of Women's Rivers and Harbors Congress of the United States.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.

 

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