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Howland, Edward (1832-1890)

Essayist, Journalist, Reformer

Edward Howland was born in Charleston, South Carolina and was educated at Harvard. He is remembered as an "elegant scholar" who sold "his choice library he had spent many years and a fortune to collect" to help Henry Clapp launch the Saturday Press (Rawson 106). Howland was in charge of the business side of the publication (Miller 26) and is also listed among the “friendly contributors” who “were glad to furnish articles for nothing, being friendly toward the establishment of an absolutely independent critical paper” (Winter 294). While William Winter cites Howland as a fellow Bohemian at Pfaff’s, Thomas Butler Gunn characterizes him as a cash cow who was used for his money. Gunn writes of the Saturday Press, “The paper will last just as long as the milch-cow Howland sinks money in it” (10.18).

Howland co-authored two books on maritime history and adventures with fellow Pfaffian Frank Goodrich, before he, like Pfaff’s regular John Swinton, developed an interest in labor issues. In the 1870s, his work focused on the railroad industry and was published in the periodical Harper’s. He also published The Palace of Industry: An Account of the Experiment at Guise, France (1872).

Howland married Marie Case (nee Stevens) a “strong-minded New England school-teacher, who imbued him with schemes for the amelioration of the human race” (“General Gossip” 479). Her husband at the time, Lyman W. Case, rescinded the marriage on account of how happy his wife and Howland seemed together, and the three remained lifelong friends (Lause 68). Later, Howland and his wife journeyed to Mexico to become part of an "American socialistic colony at Topolobampo" (“General Gossip” 479). After his death, Howland’s widow continued their work in Mexico.