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Other Daughters of the Revolution, The

The Narrative of K. White (1809) and the Memoirs of Elizabeth Fisher (1810)

Sharon Halevi, K. White, Elizabeth Fisher

Publication Year: 2006

Early in the nineteenth century, New York residents K. White and Elizabeth Fisher wrote and published two of the earliest autobiographies written by American women. Their lives ran along parallel courses: both were daughters of Loyalists who chose to remain in the United States; both found themselves entangled in unhappy marriages, abandoned for extend periods, and forced to take on the role of sole provider; and both became involved in property disputes with their male kin, which eventually landed them in prison, where they wrote their narratives. White’s tale is a highly crafted text, almost an embryonic novel, incorporating several subgenres and interweaving poetry and prose. Fisher’s story, while less sophisticated in terms of rhetoric and style, is nevertheless a compelling account of a woman’s life and struggles during the Revolution and the early years of the republic. Their narratives, read together, highlight many literary and historical issues. They present an unruly, disobedient, and assertive female subject and illuminate popular attitudes regarding women and marriage. By articulating a consistent and growing unease concerning the institution of marriage and the unlimited power husbands had over their wives, these narratives lay the groundwork for a political critique of marriage and the status of women within it.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page

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Contents

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pp. vii-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-

It is always a pleasure to thank those who have supported and encouraged me in my work, especially this book, which took a long and at times winding path. I would particularly like to thank Mary-Jo Klein and Ellen Wurtzel of the Jay Papers Collection at Columbia University, who have the unenviable task of wading through the family papers, for answering my...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-28

In the early years of the nineteenth century two fascinating American women, K. White and Elizabeth Fisher, published autobiographical accounts of their lives. Like scores of other women and men in postrevolutionary America, White and Fisher sought to become the “heroes of their own lives.”1 By refashioning the events of their lives and presenting their version of their trials and tribulations to an avid readership, the two...

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Narrative of the Life, Occurrences, Vicissitudes and Present Situation of K. White (1809)

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pp. 29-72

IN GIVING THE characters of the times, it ought not to be with a design to inflame the mind or corrupt the heart, but with a laudable desire and intention to contrast vice with virtue, that the former might be hated by being seen, and the latter caressed and admired, as leading to present and future happiness....

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MEMOIRS of MRS. ELIZABETH FISHER (1810)

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pp. 73-113

THE REV. HARRY MUNRO, my father, was a native of Scotland.1 After receiving his education, he was appointed Chaplain to the 77th regiment of foot,2 commanded by General Montgomery,3 and was sent to America at the conclusion of the war in the year ’59. My father became acquainted with the widow of an officer who belonged to the same regiment; this widow became wife to my father...

Bibliography

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pp. 115-121

Index

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pp. 123-130


E-ISBN-13: 9780791481394
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791468173
Print-ISBN-10: 0791468178

Page Count: 140
Publication Year: 2006

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Subject Headings

  • Women -- United States -- Biography.
  • Women -- United States -- History -- 18th century.
  • Women -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
  • Women -- United States -- Social conditions.
  • United States -- Biography.
  • White, K., b. 1772.
  • Fisher, Elizabeth Munro, b. 1759.
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