Elegantly depicted by British artist Edward Hughes, Juliette Gordon Low radiates the luxury of elite American birth and marriage to a wealthy Englishman. Low’s satisfaction with her privileged lifestyle, however, soon faded. Following her unfaithful husband’s death, she became interested in the Girl Guides, an organization established by her friend, British general Sir Robert Baden-Powell, who had also founded the Boy Scouts. Working with disadvantaged girls living near her Scottish estate, Low became a troop leader, imparting practical skills to her charges. After creating troops in London, Low brought the idea to the United States, establishing a troop in 1912 in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia. Three years later, Low incorporated the Girl Scouts of America. Today the organization continues to inspire girls to pursue “the highest ideals of character, conduct, patriotism, and service that they may become happy and resourceful citizens.”
Credit Line: Text courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.