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Call Her a Citizen

Progressive-Era Activist and Educator Anna Pennybacker

Kelley M. King

Publication Year: 2010

In an era when the dominant ideology divided the world into separate public and private spheres and relegated women to the private, Anna J. Hardwicke Pennybacker ardently promoted progressive causes including public education, women's suffrage, social reform, and the League of Nations. A Texas educator, clubwoman, writer, lecturer, and social and political activist whose influence in the early twentieth century extended nationwide, Pennybacker wrote A New History of Texas, which was the state-adopted textbook for Texas history from 1898–1913 and remained in classroom use until the 1940s. She was also active in the burgeoning women’s club movement and served as president of both the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (1912–14). The latter position was considered by some to be the most powerful position for a woman in America at that time. Kelley King has mined the fifty-two linear feet of Pennybacker archives at the University of Texas Center for American History to reconstruct the "hidden history" of a feminist's life and work. There, she uncovered an impressive record of advocacy, interlaced with a moderate style and some old-fashioned biases. King's work offers insight into the personal and political choices Pennybacker made and the effects these choices had in her life and on the American culture at large.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

CONTENTS

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pp. v-

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

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pp. vii-

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. ix-x

MANY PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS contributed to the completion of this work. I thank especially O. L. Davis Jr. for introducing me to Anna Pennybacker and suggesting her life and work were worthy of in-depth study. His careful comments and editing have shaped every part of this work. Don Carleton, director of the Center for American History at the University of Texas, provided invaluable insight into the ...

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. xi-xvi

MRS. PERCIVAL V. PENNYBACKER, born Anna McLaughlin Hardwicke, was a Texas educator, clubwoman, writer, lecturer, and social and political activist whose infl uence in the early twentieth century extended nationwide. As an educator and social activist, Pennybacker was infl uential in promoting public education, women’s suff rage, social reform, and the League of Nations. Born in the American South in ...

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Chapter One. 1861–1880: Early Life and Career

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pp. 1-14

RESIDENTS OF PETERSBURG, VIRGINIA, who numbered about eighteen thousand in 1860, realized that the election of Abraham Lincoln in November of that year threatened the economic and social systems on which the city, state, and region were based.1 In Petersburg, as in much of the South, the tension consumed the minds and emotions of the residents. The first half of 1861 saw southern states respond with a ...

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Chapter Two. 1880–1900: Called to Teach

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pp. 15-46

ANNA HARDWICKE FELT CALLED to the teaching profession from a young age and frequently expressed gratitude for the calling. “I entered the Sam Houston Normal Institute,” she would later write, “because it offered the best opportunity to continue my education and to give me preparation for the profession I had most wanted to follow, that of teaching.” Because she considered “any child fortunate who has ...

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Chapter Three. Pennybacker’s History of Texas

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pp. 47-64

WHEN ANNA MOVED TO AUSTION with her children, the Pennybacker name was a household word in Texas. With their involvement in educational affairs in the state, Anna and particularly Percy had gained recognition among Texas educators early in their careers. In the Pennybacker name broadly recognized, not just among educators, but among the general public of the state as well. In 1885–86, while principal ...

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Chapter Four . The Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs

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pp. 65-94

IN ADDITION TO HER WORK as an educator and author, Anna became increasingly involved in the growing women’s club involvement during the last decades of the nineteenth century. She became active in this movement early, at a moment in history when such clubs were poised to enter a period of enormous growth and increasing influence across the nation. Active in women’s clubs for the rest of her life, ...

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Chapter Five. The Most Powerful Position a Woman Could Hold

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pp. 95-126

PENNYBACKER'S SUCCESS as president of the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs led her to broader involvement in women’s clubs and to positions of greater national visibility with the General Federation in the years after her TFWC presidency. As her TFWC presidency came to a close in 1903, she traveled to Colorado to assume leadership of the ...

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Chapter Six. 1916-1920: World War and Women's Suffrage

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pp. 127-154

PENNYBACKER'S TERM AS GFWC PRESIDENT ended in the summer of 1916. In the ensuing years, no longer representing the gfwc as its president, Pennybacker felt less restrained and was more able and willing to engage in outwardly political struggles. Having attained national prominence leading the GFWC early in the decade, in the later teens Pennybacker used her recognition and public appeal to urge ...

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Chapter Seven. Promoting Ideals of Citizenship 159

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pp. 159-182

THE END OF WORLD WAR I and the granting of suffrage to women in 1920 brought to fruition some of the activities that had occupied Pennybacker during the latter half of the second decade of the century, and transformed other activities. As war work began to wind down and suffrage societies disbanded or shifted focus, Pennybacker, too, shifted ...

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Chapter Eight. A Citizen of the Nation and the World

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pp. 183-198

THE WORLD WAR had demonstrated to progressive women the importance of working not only at the local and national levels, but internationally as well. They understood the social issues they were addressing to be influenced by international events. This was certainly Pennybacker’s perspective. During the 1920s and into the 1930s, the range of activities and organizations Pennybacker was associated with ...

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EPILOGUE

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pp. 199-206

"THE BIOGRAPHICAL PROJECT IS AN ALLUSION," writes Norman Denzin, “for any coherence that a life has is imposed by the larger culture, by the researcher, and by the subject’s belief that his or her life should have coherence.1 In this view, biography is at best a fiction and at worst a delusion, an exercise based on a misguided belief that the discrete events that make up a life possess an inherent meaning and ...

NOTES

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pp. 207-246

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 247-254

INDEX

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pp. 255-265


E-ISBN-13: 9781603443302
E-ISBN-10: 1603443304
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603441858
Print-ISBN-10: 1603441859

Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 6 b&w photos. Bib. Index.
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Centennial Series of the Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Social reformers -- Texas -- Biography.
  • Educators -- Texas -- Biography.
  • General Federation of Women's Clubs -- History.
  • United States -- History -- 1913-1921.
  • Texas -- History -- 1846-1950.
  • Women social reformers -- Texas -- Biography.
  • Pennybacker, Percy V., Mrs., 1861-1938.
  • Women educators -- Texas -- Biography.
  • Texas Federation of Women's Clubs -- History.
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