Elizabeth Ayer's gravestone at Oakland Cemetery in Little Falls, Minnesota. Elizabeth's son Lyman, his wife Laura Hill Ayer, and his daughter Agnes are buried nearby. Photograph by Linda Louise Bryan, c.2013.
During the period historians call the "Second Great Awakening," publications such as the Missionary Herald inspired young people to dedicate their lives to spreading Christianity. Young Elizabeth Taylor read magazines like this one before devoting herself to mission work. Photograph by Linda Louise Bryan, c.2013.
Elizabeth Taylor Ayer's life spanned nearly the entire nineteenth century. In an era when women rarely had professional careers, her work as a teaching missionary gave her more status and independence than most women enjoyed.