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Southern Women: Their Lives and Times

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Alabama Women

Their Lives and Times

Edited by Susan Youngblood Ashmore and Lisa Lindquist Dorr

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Georgia Women

Their Lives and Times

Ann Short Chirhart

This first of two volumes extends from the founding of the colony of Georgia in 1733 up to the Progressive era. From the beginning, Georgia women were instrumental in shaping the state, yet most histories minimize their contributions. The essays in this volume include women of many ethnicities and classes who played an important role in Georgia's history.

Though sources for understanding the lives of women in Georgia during the colonial period are scarce, the early essays profile Mary Musgrove, an important player in the relations between the Creek nation and the British Crown, and the loyalist Elizabeth Johnston, who left Georgia for Nova Scotia in 1806. Another essay examines the near-mythical quality of the American Revolution-era accounts of "Georgia's War Woman," Nancy Hart. The later essays are multifaceted in their examination of the way different women experienced Georgia's antebellum social and political life, the tumult of the Civil War, and the lingering consequences of both the conflict itself and Emancipation. After the war, both necessity and opportunity changed women's lives, as educated white women like Eliza Andrews established or taught in schools and as African American women like Lucy Craft Laney, who later founded the Haines Institute, attended school for the first time. Georgia Women also profiles reform-minded women like Mary Latimer McLendon, Rebecca Latimer Felton, Mildred Rutherford, Nellie Peters Black, and Martha Berry, who worked tirelessly for causes ranging from temperance to suffrage to education. The stories of the women portrayed in this volume provide valuable glimpses into the lives and experiences of all Georgia women during the first century and a half of the state's existence.

Historical figures include:

  • Mary Musgrove
  • Nancy Hart
  • Elizabeth Lichtenstein Johnston
  • Ellen Craft
  • Fanny Kemble
  • Frances Butler Leigh
  • Susie King Taylor
  • Eliza Frances Andrews
  • Amanda America Dickson
  • Mary Ann Harris Gay
  • Rebecca Latimer Felton
  • Mary Latimer McLendon
  • Mildred Lewis Rutherford
  • Nellie Peters Black
  • Lucy Craft Laney
  • Martha Berry
  • Corra Harris
  • Juliette Gordon Low

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Georgia Women

Their Lives and Times

Ann Short Chirhart

Women were leading actors in twentieth-century developments in Georgia, yet most histories minimize their contributions. The essays in the second volume of Georgia Women, edited by Ann Short Chirhart and Kathleen Ann Clark, vividly portray a wide array of Georgia women who played an important role in the state’s history, from little-known Progressive Era activists to famous present-day figures such as Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alice Walker and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

Georgia women were instrumental to state and national politics even before they achieved suffrage, and as essays on Lillian Smith, Frances Pauley, Coretta Scott King, and others demonstrate, they played a key role in twentieth-century struggles over civil rights, gender equality, and the proper size and reach of government. Georgia women’s contributions have been wide ranging in the arena of arts and culture and include the works of renowned blues singer Gertrude “Ma” Rainey and such nationally prominent literary figures as Margaret Mitchell, Carson McCullers, and Flannery O’Connor, as well as Walker.

While many of the volume’s essays take a fresh look at relatively well-known figures, readers will also have the opportunity to discover women who were vital to Georgia’s history yet remain relatively obscure today, such as Atlanta educator and activist Lugenia Burns Hope, World War II aviator Hazel Raines, entrepreneur and carpet manufacturer Catherine Evans Whitener, and rural activist and author Vara A. Majette. Collectively, the life stories portrayed in this volume deepen our understanding of the multifaceted history of not only Georgia women but also the state itself.

Published with the generous support of the Honorable Dr. M. Louise McBee

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Kentucky Women

Their Lives and Times

Melissa A. McEuen

Kentucky Women: Their Lives and Times introduces a history as dynamic and diverse as Kentucky itself. Covering the Appalachian region in the east to the Pennyroyal in the west, the essays highlight women whose aspirations, innovations, activism, and creativity illustrate Kentucky’s role in political and social reform, education, health care, the arts, and cultural development. The collection features women with well-known names as well as those whose lives and work deserve greater attention.

Shawnee chief Nonhelema Hokolesqua, western Kentucky slave Matilda Lewis Threlkeld, the sisters Emilie Todd Helm and Mary Todd Lincoln, reformers Madeline Mc- Dowell Breckinridge and Laura Clay, activists Anne McCarty Braden and Elizabeth Fouse, politicians Georgia Davis Powers and Martha Layne Collins, sculptor Enid Yandell, writer Harriette Simpson Arnow, and entrepreneur Nancy Newsom Mahaffey are covered in Kentucky Women, representing a broad cross section of those who forged Kentucky’s relationship with the American South and the nation at large.

With essays on frontier life, gender inequality in marriage and divorce, medical advances, family strife, racial challenges and triumphs, widowhood, agrarian culture, urban experiences, educational theory and fieldwork, visual art, literature, and fame, the contributors have shaped a history of Kentucky that is both grounded and groundbreaking.

Contributors: Lindsey Apple on Madeline McDowell Breckinridge; Martha Billips on Harriette Simpson Arnow; James Duane Bolin on Linda Neville; Sarah Case on Katherine Pettit and May Stone; Juilee Decker on Enid Yandell; Carolyn R. Dupont on Georgia Montgomery Davis Powers; Angela Esco Elder on Emilie Todd Helm and Mary Todd Lincoln; Catherine Fosl on Anne Pogue McGinty and Anne McCarty Braden; Craig Thompson Friend on Nonhelema Hokolesqua, Jemima Boone Callaway, and Matilda Lewis Threlkeld; Melanie Beals Goan on Mary Breckinridge; John Paul Hill on Martha Layne Collins; Anya Jabour on Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge; William Kuby on Mary Jane Warfield Clay; Karen Cotton McDaniel on Elizabeth “Lizzie” Fouse; Melissa A. McEuen on Nancy Newsom Mahaffey; Mary Jane Smith on Laura Clay; Andrea S. Watkins on Josie Underwood and Frances Dallam Peter.

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North Carolina Women

Their Lives and Times

Michele Gillespie

North Carolina has had more than its share of accomplished, influential women—women who have expanded their sphere of influence or broken through barriers that had long defined and circumscribed their lives, women such as Elizabeth Maxwell Steele, the widow and tavern owner who supported the American Revolution; Harriet Jacobs, runaway slave, abolitionist, and author of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; and Edith Vanderbilt and Katharine Smith Reynolds, elite women who promoted women’s equality. This collection of essays examines the lives and times of pathbreaking North Carolina women from the late eighteenth century into the early twentieth century, offering important new insights into the variety of North Carolina women’s experiences across time, place, race, and class, and conveys how women were able to expand their considerable influence during periods of political challenge and economic hardship, particularly over the course of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

These essays highlight North Carolina’s progressive streak and its positive impact on women’s education—for white and black alike— beginning in the antebellum period on through new opportunities that opened up in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They explore the ways industrialization drew large numbers of women into the paid labor force for the first time and what the implications of this tremendous transition were; they also examine the women who challenged traditional gender roles, as political leaders and labor organizers, as runaways, and as widows. The volume is especially attuned to differences in region within North Carolina, delineating women’s experiences in the eastern third of the state, the piedmont, and the western mountains.

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North Carolina Women

Their Lives and Times

Michele Gillespie

By the twentieth century, North Carolina’s progressive streak had strengthened, thanks in large part to a growing number of women who engaged in and influenced state and national policies and politics. These women included Gertrude Weil who fought tirelessly for the Nineteenth Amendment, which extended suffrage to women, and founded the state chapter of the League of Women Voters once the amendment was ratified in 1920. Gladys Avery Tillett, an ardent Democrat and supporter of Roosevelt's New Deal, became a major presence in her party at both the state and national levels. Guion Griffis Johnson turned to volunteer work in the postwar years, becoming one of the state's most prominent female civic leaders. Through her excellent education, keen legal mind, and family prominence, Susie Sharp in 1949 became the first woman judge in North Carolina and in 1974 the first woman in the nation to be elected and serve as chief justice of a state supreme court. Throughout her life, the Reverend Dr. Anna Pauline "Pauli" Murray charted a religious, literary, and political path to racial reconciliation on both a national stage and in North Carolina.

This is the second of two volumes that together explore the diverse and changing patterns of North Carolina women's lives. The essays in this volume cover the period beginning with women born in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries but who made their greatest contributions to the social, political, cultural, legal, and economic life of the state during the late progressive era through the late twentieth century.

Contributors: Jane Becker on Lucy Morgan; Eileen Boris on Ellen Black Winston; Heather Bryson on Ella Josephine Baker; Ann Short Chirhart on Charlotte Hawkins Brown; M. Anna Fariello on Olive Dame Campbell; Joey Fink on Crystal Lee Sutton; Rebecca Godwin on North Carolina Women Writers; Anna Ragland Hayes on Susie Marshall Sharp; Amy Hill Hearth on the Delany Sisters; Lu Ann Jones on North Carolina’s Farm Women; Sally G. McMillen on Gladys Avery Tillett; Elizabeth Gillespie McRae on Nell Battle Lewis; Sarah C. Thuesen on Guion Griffis Johnson; Melissa Walker on Margaret Jarman Hagood; Jessica Wilkerson on Ella May Wiggins; Emily Herring Wilson on Gertrude Weil; Lauren F. Winner on Pauli Murray.

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South Carolina Women

Their Lives and Times

Edited by Marjorie J. Spruill, Valinda W. Littlefield, and Joan Marie Johnson

This volume, which spans the long period from the sixteenth century through the Civil War era, is remarkable for the religious, racial, ethnic, and class diversity of the women it features. Essays on plantation mistresses, overseers' wives, nonslaveholding women from the upcountry, slave women, and free black women in antebellum Charleston are certain to challenge notions about the slave South and about the significance of women to the state's economy. South Carolina's unusual history of religious tolerance is explored through the experiences of women of various faiths, and accounts of women from Europe, the West Indies, and other colonies reflect the diverse origins of the state's immigrants.

The volume begins with a profile of the Lady of Cofitachequi, who sat at the head of an Indian chiefdom and led her people in encounters with Spanish explorers. The essays that follow look at well-known women such as Eliza Lucas Pinckney, who managed several indigo plantations; the abolitionist Angelina Grimke; and Civil War diarist Mary Boykin Chesnut. Also included, however, are essays on the much-less-documented lives of poor white farming women (the Neves family of Mush Creek), free African American women (Margaret Bettingall and her daughters), and slave women, the latter based on interviews and their own letters. The essays in volume 1 demonstrate that many women in this most conservative of states, with its strong emphasis on traditional gender roles, carved out far richer public lives than historians have often attributed to antebellum southern women.

Historical figures included:

  • The Lady of Cofitachequi
  • Judith Giton Manigault
  • Mary Fisher
  • Sophia Hume
  • Mary-Anne Schad
  • Mrs. Brown
  • Rebecca Brewton Motte
  • Eliza Lucas Pinckney
  • Harriott Pinckney Horry
  • Enslaved woman known as Dolly
  • Enslaved woman known as Lavinia
  • Enslaved woman known as Maria
  • Enslaved woman known as Susan
  • Women of the Bettingall-Tunno Family
  • Angelina Grimké
  • Elizabeth Allston Pringle
  • Mother Mary Baptista Aloysius
  • Mary Boykin Chesnut
  • Frances Neves
  • Lucy Holcombe Pickens

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South Carolina Women

Their Lives and Times

Marjorie Julian Spruill

Covering an era from the early twentieth century to the present, this volume features twenty-seven South Carolina women of varied backgrounds whose stories reflect the ever-widening array of activities and occupations in which women were engaged in a transformative era that included depression, world wars, and dramatic changes in the role of women. Some striking revelations emerge from these biographical portraits—in particular, the breadth of interracial cooperation between women in the decades preceding the civil rights movement and ways that women carved out diverse career opportunities, sometimes by breaking down formidable occupational barriers. Some women in the volume proceeded cautiously, working within the norms of their day to promote reform even as traditional ideas about race and gender held powerful sway. Others spoke out more directly and forcefully and demanded change.

Most of the women featured in these essays were leaders within their respective communities and the state. Many of them, such as Wil Lou Gray, Hilla Sheriff, and Ruby Forsythe, dedicated themselves to improving the quality of education and health care for South Carolinians. Septima Clark, Alice Spearman Wright, Modjeska Simkins, and many others sought to improve conditions and obtain social justice for African Americans. Others, including Victoria Eslinger and Tootsie Holland, were devoted to the cause of women's rights. Louise Smith, Mary Elizabeth Massey, and Mary Blackwell Butler entered traditionally male-dominated fields, while Polly Woodham and Mary Jane Manigault created their own small businesses. A few, including Mary Gordon Ellis, Dolly Hamby, and Harriet Keyserling exercised political influence. Familiar figures like Jean Toal, current chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, are included, but readers also learn about lesser-known women such as Julia and Alice Delk, sisters employed in the Charleston Naval Yard during World War II.

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Tennessee Women

Their Lives and Times

Beverly Greene Bond

The second volume of Tennessee Women: Their Lives and Times contains sixteen essays on Tennessee women in the forefront of the political, economic, and cultural history of the state and assesses the national and sometimes international scope of their influence. The essays examine women’s lives in the broad sweep of nineteenth- and twentieth-century history in Tennessee and reenvision the state’s past by placing them at the center of the historical stage and examining their experiences in relation to significant events. Together, volumes 1 and 2 cover women’s activities from the early 1700s to the late 1900s.

Volume 2 looks at antebellum issues of gender, race, and class; the impact of the Civil War on women’s lives; parades and public celebrations as venues for displaying and challenging gender ideals; female activism on racial and gender issues; the impact of state legislation on marital rights; and the place of women in particular religious organizations. Together these essays reorient our views of women as agents of change in Tennessee history.

Contributors: Beverly Greene Bond on African American women and slavery in Tennessee; Zanice Bond on Mildred Bond Roxborough and the NAACP; Frances Wright Breland on women’s marital rights after the 1913 Married Women’s Property Rights Act; Margaret Caffrey on Lide Meriwether; Gary T. Edwards on antebellum female plainfolk; Sarah Wilkerson Freeman on Tennessee’s audacious white feminists, 1825–1910; M. Sharon Herbers on Lilian Wyckoff Johnson’s legacy; Laura Mammina on Union soldiers and Confederate women in Middle Tennessee; Ann Youngblood Mulhearn on women, faith, and social justice in Memphis, 1950–1968; Kelli B. Nelson on East Tennessee United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1914–1931; Russell Olwell on the “Secret City” women of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, during World War II; Mary Ellen Pethel on education and activism in Nashville’s African American community, 1870–1940; Cynthia Sadler on Memphis Mardi Gras, Cotton Carnival, and Cotton Makers’ Jubilee; Sarah L. Silkey on Ida B. Wells; Antoinette G. van Zelm on women, emancipation, and freedom celebrations; Elton H. Weaver III on Church of God in Christ women in Tennessee, early 1900s–1950s.

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Texas Women

Their Histories, Their Lives

Edited by Elizabeth Hayes Turner, Stephanie Cole, and Rebecca Sharpless

Texas Women: Their Histories, Their Lives engages current scholarship on women in Texas, the South, and the United States. It provides insights into Texas’s singular geographic position, bordering on the West and sharing a unique history with Mexico, while analyzing the ways in which Texas stories mirror a larger American narrative. The biographies and essays illustrate an uncommon diversity among Texas women, reflecting experiences ranging from those of dispossessed enslaved women to wealthy patrons of the arts. That history also captures the ways in which women’s lives reflect both personal autonomy and opportunities to engage in the public sphere. From the vast spaces of northern New Spain and the rural counties of antebellum Texas to the growing urban centers in the post–Civil War era, women balanced traditional gender and racial prescriptions with reform activism, educational enterprise, and economic development.Contributors to Texas Women address major questions in women’s history, demonstrating how national and regional themes in the scholarship on women are answered or reconceived in Texas. Texas women negotiated significant boundaries raised by gender, race, and class. The writers address the fluid nature of the border with Mexico, the growing importance of federal policies, and the eventual reforms engendered by the civil rights movement. From Apaches to astronauts, from pioneers to professionals, from rodeo riders to entrepreneurs, and from Civil War survivors to civil rights activists, Texas Women is an important contribution to Texas history, women’s history, and the history of the nation.

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