Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title

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pp. 4-4

Copyright

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pp. 5-5

Contents

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pp. v-7

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Introduction

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pp. 1-10

Thomas Wentworth Higginson wrote to Caroline Dall in the spring of 1854 to let her know he was bowled over by her biographical sketches in The Una, which he collectively labeled ‘‘Essays toward the History of Woman.’’ The questions that were being raised by the woman’s rights movement, questions inspiring Dall’s writing, were the most revolutionary ones of their generation, Higginson claimed...

I: Women, History, and Nation

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pp. 11-19

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Chapter 1 Domestic Citizenship and National Progress

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pp. 13-38

In the spring of 1774, Robert Aitken took out large ads in both the Pennsylvania Gazette and the Pennsylvania Packet to advertise his latest product, the Essay on the Character, Manners, and Genius of Women, in Different Ages. The book had been written by Antoine-Le´onard Thomas and published in Paris in 1772, then translated (and expanded) by William Russell, who published it in...

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Chapter 2 Revolutionary Responses

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pp. 39-68

Abigail Adams was exhausted by the efforts she had made to support the Revolution and her new government when she wrote to her husband, John, early in the summer of 1782. Interspersing neighborhood news with her opinions on diplomatic issues, she famously observed with some resignation that ‘‘Patriotism in the female Sex is the most disinterested of all virtues.’’1 William Russell...

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Chapter 3 The Challenges of Radical Reform

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pp. 69-100

Maria Stewart was angry and defiant in 1833 as she delivered a farewell address in Boston. As a follower of David Walker’s, Stewart had spent two years publicly speaking to fellow African Americans around Boston, urging them to join actively in the fight against slavery. She criticized their interests in gambling and dancing, advocating instead a path of religious devotion and rigorous education. Her criticisms...

II: Citizenship and Women's History

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pp. 101-109

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Chapter 4 Women's History and Woman's Rights

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pp. 103-131

In 1854, Elizabeth Cady Stanton addressed the New York legislature to claim the right to suffrage, arguing, ‘‘We have every qualification required by the constitution, necessary to the legal voter, but the one of sex.’’ Women, she pointed out, had ‘‘governed nations, led armies, filled the professor’s chair, taught philosophy and mathematics to the savans of our age, discovered planets, [and] piloted...

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Chapter 5 Domestic Histories

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pp. 132-163

The Literary World reviewed another new entry into the field of women’s history in 1850, and the reviewer noted that ‘‘these ladies’ books about ladies are decidedly the literary fashion of the day.’’ Whether the books were about queens, the distinguished women of France, or the women of the American Revolution, the reviewer noted, ‘‘The lady writers seem of late to have taken the potentates..

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Chapter 6 Caroline Dall's Usable Past: Women and Equal Citizenship

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pp. 164-189

As 1852 drew to a close, Caroline Dall grumbled in the pages of her journal, ‘‘Finished Miss Kavenaugh’s ‘Women of Christianity,’ and meditate a review of that stupid book Mrs. Hale has put out ‘Woman’s Record.’ I wish I could write it over, and consider it no small misfortune that the task fell into her hands.’’1 Dall was living in Toronto at the time, where her husband...

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Epilogue

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pp. 190-194

Dall may have given up on writing women’s history, but others did not.Matilda Gage took up the mantle of trying to write a broader history ofwomen with an activist’s conscience. In 1868, she began publishing essaysabout the importance of female inventors in the pages of Stanton and An-thony’s Revolution. Picking up on some of the issues of economic and intel-...

Notes

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pp. 195-220

Index

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pp. 221-226

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 227-228

As someone who has written women’s history, I have been fascinated by the ways in which the authors who produced early women’s histories, particularly in the nineteenth century, engaged key questions of political development and wrote for a wide range of readers with very few resources to support them. This realization has helped me to be acutely aware of the privileges I have experienced...