Amazing Mothers Throughout History

WORLD HISTORY | May 12, 2019

Ann Reeves Jarvis (mother) and Anna Jarvis (daughter). Source: (umc.org)

The inspiration for Mother’s Day came from Ann Reeves, from West Virginia, who not only cared for wounded soldiers during the Civil War but also helped to organize clubs that taught mothers how to take care of their children in order to prevent infant deaths. Her daughter, Anna Jarvis was so moved by her mother’s dedication that she wanted to see mothers everywhere recognized for the sacrifices they make. As a tribute to her mother’s death, she pushed for and became the founder of Mother’s Day.

Since then, Mother’s Day has become a day to celebrate mothers everywhere from every walk of life and remember mothers from different eras. Mothers throughout history have made their mark on future generations. And what would a loving mother do for her child? What lengths will they go to in order to protect them?

A Mother’s Sacrifice. Source: (pinterest.com)

There was one particular mother who was willing to give up her son in order to save him from certain death. An order was decreed throughout the land that all baby boys under the age of two were to be killed. This mother had hidden her son for three months and then put him in a basket made out of bulrushes and put the basket into the river. She told her daughter (his sister) to watch the basket to see what would happen to him. She knew if she had tried to keep him any longer, he would be killed. This, of course, was Moses who was found by Pharaoh’s daughter who took him in and raised him as her own.  

Amy Carmichael. Source: (youtube.com)

Born in Ireland in 1867, Amy Carmichael became a mother to many. At a young age, she felt called to the mission field. The first country overseas that she went to was Japan but later returned to England for health reasons. Next, she went to India where she established an orphanage which is where she stayed. To begin with, the orphanage was a refuge for “temple” girls only but later it expanded and accepted boys as well. The orphanage grew to around 50 as word spread. Her heart was full of love and devotion for the children. She fought for them just as if they were her own flesh and blood. The children all called her “Amma” which is the Tamil word for ‘mother.’

Then, in 1931, she had a bad fall into a pit that left her bed-bound. Despite this, when most would give up doing anything at all, she persevered and continued to do something that would benefit others. What she did was to write over 40 books that included poetry, inspirational readings, and other inspirational literary works to uplift others. 

Migrant Mother. Source: (mashable.com)

The Great Depression took its toll on people everywhere but this “unknown” woman eventually became known as the “Migrant Mother.” Her story is one of persistence and determination to care for and feed her 10 children.

Born in 1903 in what is now Oklahoma, Florence Leona Christie was born the daughter of a Cherokee. Her family was one of the families who were exiled from their native land.

Starting out at the age of 17 with her first husband, they migrated to and worked in Northern California on farms.  They had six children together but then her husband died of tuberculosis in 1931. After her husband died, she worked in the fields, worked in hospitals, tended bar, cooked, whatever she needed to do in order to make a living for her kids. In 1933, she had another child by a businessman in California. She later met and married Jim Hill and they had three more children.

While traveling to Pajaro Valley looking for more work, their car broke down and they ended up at a pea-pickers’ camp.  Florence was waiting there with the children while her husband and two sons were in town getting parts fixed for the car when a photographer came by and started taking pictures. She was taking pictures for the Resettlement Administration. She became an icon, but for over 40 years, no one even knew who she was.

Mother Sacrifices Herself For Her Five Children. Source: (littlethings.com)

A thirty-five-year-old modern-day mother sacrifices her own life for the lives of her five children.

This mother and her children were traveling to visit a relative when they suddenly ended up in a terrifying accident. A wet icy winding road can be very hazardous. They had hit a patch of black ice on the road while driving down a winding road. The family, including the sister, truly believed that she deliberately over-corrected the vehicle during the accident so that she would take the brunt of the impact in an effort to save her children. It obviously worked. That, along with the fact that they were all wearing seat belts resulted in all five children (ages one month to 15 years old) surviving although they did sustain injuries.

Many mothers throughout history have made their mark on future generations. Anna Jarvis is a credit to making this day a day to celebrate those mothers. Unfortunately, Anna Jarvis became disillusioned with Mother’s Day after seeing how Mother’s Day became more about monetization than remembering the ones who sacrificed. 

Tags: Ann Reeves | mothers | mothers day

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