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Rock Street, San Francisco

Margaret McMillan was born in New York on
20th July 1860, and whilst her sister Rachel
McMillan stayed at their home in Iverness to care for their ill Grandmother,
Margaret had moved away to begin training to become a governess,
and worked as a junior superintendent in a young girls care home whilst Rachel
was looking after their grandmother. However, Their grandmother sadly passed
away in July 1888, which allowed for Rachel to move to London with her sister
Margaret, and Rachel convinced Margaret to become a socialist. And throughout their young
adulthood they went to various political gatherings and they met many
politicians such as: William Morris and Ben Tillet. Both sisters also wrote articles
for the Christian Socialist magazine and also gave free educational lessons to
working class girls in London. Margaret later wrote: “I taught them singing, or
rather I talked to them while they jeered at me”. This direct quote from McMillan
showed the connection between a persons physical environment and their
educational development. In 1902, both sisters joined the Labour party and
Margaret continued to publish books on education and health. In 1904, she
published her most influential book ‘Education Through the Imagination’. This
novel helped show the importance of sensory play and how it helps children’s
development. Margaret and Rachel supported the campaign for universal sufferage.
They were strongly against the use of violence to solve issues. At one campaign
meeting, both sisters were physically assaulted by a group of policemen.
When Rachel Died in 1917, Margaret continued their legacy and carried on
running Peckham nursery and she also carried on publishing books about their
research. Later in life, Margaret began researching the nursing profession, and
with financial help, she created a new college to train nurses and teachers,
which was named after her sister, and it opened on 8th May 1930. Margaret McMillan
died on 29 March, 1931. Afterwards her friend Walter Cresswell
wrote a memoir of the McMillan sisters: “Such persons, single-minded, pure
in heart, blazing with selfless love, are the jewels of our species. There is
more essential Christianity in them than in a multitude of bishops.”
(John Simkin, 2015).

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