x

You’ve reached your limit of free articles for this month.
Get unlimited access to the best in independent Greek journalism starting as low as $1/week.

Default Category

Hellenic Post Issues Stamp Featuring Philhellene Samuel Gridley Howe

October 31, 2021

BOSTON – A year ago, the Hellenic Post Office, as the 200th anniversary since the start of the Greek Revolution was approaching, started designing a special series of stamps spotlighting the great philhellenes who participated in the struggle of the Greek revolutionaries. The Hellenic Post’s Board of Directors accepted the proposal of Stratos Efthimiou, the Consul General of Boston, to include an American physician from Boston in the pantheon of great philhellenes: Samuel Gridley Howe who, after graduating from Brown and Harvard Universities, went to Greece to fight alongside the rebellious Greeks.

Howe organized camps, coordinated humanitarian aid, and provided assistance and education to children who were orphaned during the Revolution. He fought on the side of the Greeks and was the first Surgeon General of the Greek navy; he also supported the Cretan Revolution.

His contributions to mankind, however, extended even further. Howe was a notable figure in the movement to abolish slavery in the United States, aided national liberation movements in Europe and Latin America, and pioneered the education of blind children worldwide as the founder of the renowned Perkins School for the Blind.

Samuel Gridley Howe depicted in the dress of a Greek soldier by John Elliott. Elliott married Howe’s daughter Maud Howe. (Photo: Public Domain)

Greece’s recognition of this Boston philhellene through the Hellenic Post’s issuance of a stamp became a reality thanks to the kind assistance of Polychronis Griveas, a beloved member of the Greek community of Boston, who the Community thanked just as warmly as they did the Hellenic Post.

It is recorded in the Wikipedia that, “Samuel Gridley Howe November 10, 1801-January 9, 1876, was an American physician, abolitionist, and an advocate of education for the blind. He organized and was the first director of the Perkins Institution. In 1824 he had gone to Greece to serve in the revolution as a surgeon; he also commanded troops. He arranged for support for refugees and brought many Greek children back to Boston with him for their education.

An abolitionist, in 1863 Howe was one of three men appointed by the Secretary of War to the American Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission, to investigate conditions of freedmen in the South since the Emancipation Proclamation and recommend how they could be aided in their transition to freedom. In addition to traveling to the South, Howe traveled to Canada West (now Ontario, Canada), where thousands of former slaves had escaped to freedom and established new lives. He interviewed freedmen as well as government officials in Canada.

Howe was born on Pearl Street in Boston, Massachusetts on November 10, 1801. His father Joseph Neals Howe, was a ship-owner and rope manufacturer in Boston. The business was prosperous until he supplied the U.S. Government with ropes during the war of 1812 and was never paid. His mother Patty (Gridley) Howe was considered to be one of the most beautiful women of her day. Samuel Gridley Howe’s grandfather Edward Compton Howe was one of the `Indians’ at the Boston Tea Party.

Howe was educated at Boston Latin School, where he was cruelly treated, and even beaten, according to his daughter. Laura (Howe) Richards later wrote: “So far as I can remember, my father had no pleasant memories of his school days.”

Samuel Gridley Howe brought many Greek refugee children back with him to the United States to educate them. Two who later gained prominence were John Celivergos Zachos, who became an abolitionist and activist for women’s rights, and Christophoros P. Kastanes. Kastanes survived the Chios massacre. He later wrote a memoir about these events, `The Greek Exile, Or, a Narrative of the Captivity and Escape of Christophorus Plato Castanis.’ He mentioned both Dr. Howe and John Celivergos Zachos in this book.

Samuel Gridley Howe died on January 9, 1876. His remains are buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

RELATED

THESSALONIKI - People skeptical of COVID-19 vaccines and outright resisters are turning their eyes toward the Holy Mountain of Mt.

Top Stories

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Society

NEW YORK – New research into Greek artifacts looted by the Nazis was highlighted in the New York Times on January 18 as “the topic of the Nazi role in antiquities looting is increasingly drawing attention, in part through the work of scholars who are peeling back the mysteries of what happened to the objects that were excavated or seized eight decades ago.

Video

Pentagon Releases First Video of Botched Kabul Airstrike

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has declassified and publicly released video footage of a US drone strike in Kabul that killed 10 civilians in the final hours of a chaotic American withdrawal that ended a 20-year war in Afghanistan.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.