Biographical / Historical
The first Quaker Talcott (later changed to Tallcot to conform to pronunciation) was Nathan, the son of Governor Joseph Talcott of Connecticut. Nathan's son, Gaius, was a member of Nine Partners Monthly Meeting in Dutchess County, New York, and his son, Joseph, moved to Scipio, New York, and was the grandfather of Emily Howland.
The Howland family also moved to central New York from New England, where they had been persecuted for being members of the Society of Friends. Slocum Howland, the son of Benjamin and Mary (Slocum) Howland, married Hannah Tallcot at Scipio Monthly Meeting in 1821. They set up a household at Sherwood, Cayuga County, New York, and Slocum ran a general supply store with Thomas Alsop. The Howlands were committed abolitionists and may have been active in the Underground Railroad.
Their third child and only daughter, Emily, was born in 1827. She was educated locally and for a brief time in Philadelphia, and then left Sherwood in 1857 to teach at a school for the daughters of freed slaves in Washington D.C.; during the Civil War, she worked at a “contraband camp” in Virginia, establishing a school there and coordinating relief activities. Her father died in 1881. After a sixteen month tour of Europe, Emily returned to Sherwood to contribute time and money to the maintenance of the Sherwood School. She continued to take an interest in a number of schools for African-American youth in the South and also was involved in women's suffrage and temperance. She was elected Director of the First National Bank of Aurora in 1891. Emily Howland never married, and died in Sherwood at the age of 101.