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Reviews117 these essays. In her chapter on family life in antebellum North Carolina, for example, Johnson has a wonderful discussion of spring cleaning. All five historians were resourceful in locating archival sources and in using city directories, tax lists, and court and legislative records—primary materials usually associated with more recent scholarship. The footnotes for each piece are still a treasure trove of informative sources. At the same time, African American women are conspicuously absent from this collection . With the exception of Johnson, who showed an abiding interest in racial issues and included a chapter on "the slave community" in her book on the Sea Islands, these historians were largely, though not exclusively, preoccupied with the roles and responsibilities of white women, seemingly unaware of the racial and class dynamics that affected all southern women so powerfully. Historians today understand that it is difficult to study one group—whether rich, poor, male, female, black, white—in isolation; rather, the history of one is contingent on the histories of the others. Unheard Voices is a moving tribute to some of the foremothers of southern history; it would be heartening to think that this is the first in a series of efforts to recapture the lives and achievements of forgotten women historians. Southern Women: Histories and Identities. Edited by Virginia Bernhard, Betty Brandon , Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, and Theda Perdue. University of Missouri Press, 1993. 203 pp. Cloth, $29.95. Reviewed by Kathleen C. Berkeley, professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She specializes in the education, labor, and community work of white and black women in the New South era. Author ofseveral articles, she is writing a biography of the noted North Carolina educator and social reformer Charlotte Hawkins Brown. Southern Women: Histories and Identities has a history. In June 1988 the Southern Association for Women Historians sponsored its first Southern Conference on Women's History at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Although the organizers anticipated that the conference would draw participants whose research reflected all aspects of women's history from a regional to an international perspective, they were inundated instead with proposals about southern women. Spanning the years between Bacon's rebellion and the modern civil rights movement, these papers explored issues that separated southern women along the fault lines of race, class, and ethnicity even as their common regional heritage and identity drew them together. Of the more than sixty papers on southern women presented at the conference, nine were selected for this volume. Fittingly, the first and last selections in Southern Women are the opening and closing presentations made by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall and Darlene Clark Hine. Hall's tour de force analysis of the secondary literature, "Partial Truths: Writing Southern Women's History," and Hine's reflective essay, "Rape and the Inner Lives of Southern Black Women: Thoughts on the Culture of Dissemblance," both appeared in print within a year of the conference, although Hall substantially reworked her contribution for this volume. The seven previously unpublished essays offer fresh insights into historical eras and topics often overlooked by historians of southern women. Two essays—Susan Westbury's 118Southern Cultures "Women in Bacon's Rebellion" and Kathy Coker's "The Calamities of War: Loyalism and Women in South Carolina"—probe the effects of political and military events on colonial women's lives. In Westbury's examination of Bacon's rebellion, women emerge as political actors in their own right. Several women actively supported Bacon's army by supplying the men with food and ammunition and by carrying messages. A few women indicated their willingness to bear arms in support of the rebellion, and one woman even pleaded with the colonial government to punish her instead of her husband for committing treason, because her "influence" had led him to join Bacon's cause. Not surprisingly, Westbury found that the state favored different forms of punishment for men and women. Most often, women who violated the gendered mores of colonial Virginia by engaging in "unfeminine" political acts were treated as sexual pariahs. Coker covers more familiar ground in her examination of loyalist women as victims of war. Her study of sixty-five cases in which...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 117-120
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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