In this Book

Before They Could Vote
summary

The life narratives in this collection are by ethnically diverse women of energy and ambition—some well known, some forgotten over generations—who confronted barriers of gender, class, race, and sexual difference as they pursued or adapted to adventurous new lives in a rapidly changing America. The engaging selections—from captivity narratives to letters, manifestos, criminal confessions, and childhood sketches—span a hundred years in which women increasingly asserted themselves publicly. Some rose to positions of prominence as writers, activists, and artists; some sought education or wrote to support themselves and their families; some transgressed social norms in search of new possibilities. Each woman’s story is strikingly individual, yet the brief narratives in this anthology collectively chart bold new visions of women’s agency.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-ix
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Introduction: Living in Public
  2. pp. 3-22
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  1. 1. An Authentic Statement of the Case and Conduct of Rose Butler, who was tried, convicted, and executed for the crime of arson (1819)
  2. pp. 23-36
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  1. 2. A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison (as told to James E. Seaver) (1824)
  2. pp. 37-123
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  1. 3. The Life and Religious Experience of Jarena Lee (1836)
  2. pp. 124-146
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  1. 4. Selections from Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838–1839 (1863)
  2. pp. 147-176
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  1. 5. Transcription of Speech Given at the Akron Women’s Rights Convention, from the Anti-Slavery Bugle (June 21, 1851)
  2. pp. 177-179
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  1. 6. Selections from “Youth,” from Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1852)
  2. pp. 180-201
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  1. 7. “Testimony” Given in Canada (1855)
  2. pp. 202-204
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  1. 8. “A Brief Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Adele M. Jewel”(1869) Adele
  2. pp. 205-218
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  1. 9. Selections from Her Journals (1874/78)
  2. pp. 219-231
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  1. 10. “The Yakima Affair,” from Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims (1883)
  2. pp. 232-242
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  1. 11. “An Old Woman and Her Recollections” (as recorded by Thomas Savage) (1877)
  2. pp. 243-253
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  1. 12. “Beginning to Work,” from A New England Girlhood (1889)
  2. pp. 254-269
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  1. 13. “Looking Back on Girlhood” (1892)
  2. pp. 270-278
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  1. 14. “The Club Movement among Colored Women of America” (1900)
  2. pp. 279-297
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  1. 15. Sketches from The Atlantic Monthly
  2. pp. 298-339
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  1. 16. “Nurslings of the Sky,” from The Land of Little Rain (1903)
  2. pp. 340-346
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  1. 17. “Mary MacLane Meets the Vampire on the Isle of Treacherous Delights” (1910)
  2. pp. 347-355
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  1. 18. “The Promised Land,” from The Promised Land (1912)
  2. pp. 356-374
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  1. 19. Lives in The Independent and the Question of Rac
  2. pp. 375-397
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  1. 20. “How I Made My First Big Flight Abroad: My Flight Across the English Channel” (1912)
  2. pp. 398-404
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  1. 21. Autobiographical Essays
  2. pp. 405-426
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  1. 22. Selections from Madeleine: An Autobiography (1919)
  2. pp. 427-446
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 447-454
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