Ritchie, Eliza

Eliza Ritchie, educator, feminist (b at Halifax 20 May 1856; d there 5 Sept 1933). Ritchie graduated from Dalhousie in 1887 and 2 years later obtained her PhD from Cornell, probably the first Canadian woman to secure a doctorate. After further study at Leipzig, Germany, and Oxford she taught at Wellesley College, Mass. In 1901 she returned to teach philosophy at Dalhousie. A strong suffragist, she quickly joined sisters Mary and Ella in leadership positions in the Victoria School of Fine Art, the VON and the local Council of Women. With Agnes DENNIS and Edith ARCHIBALD she dominated the feminist movement in Halifax until the end of World War I. She showed tact in working with other women, was noted for the clarity of her writing style, and displayed a commitment to a Maritime region. Her appointment to the Dalhousie board of governors in 1919 was hailed as another first in Canada. Her publications include The Problem of Personality (1889) and Songs of the Maritimes (1931).