This document project, by Laurie Arnold, is Section II of Indigenous Women's Voices in North America, American Empire and the Global South, 1820-2020: A Syllabus with Documents. This section spotlights Mourning Dove, also known as Christine Quintasket or Humishuma, one of the earliest Native American women novelists. Arnold provides context for a selection of her letters and one of the stories she wrote to convey Okanagan culture to non-Indians. The syllabus project also includes a preface by Kathryn Kish Sklar and Thomas Dublin and an introduction by Sasha Maria Suarez and Brianna Theobald.
“Do not toss this letter away": Women’s Hardship Petitions to the U.S. Federal Government during the Civil War
This document project, by Cayla Regas, Frances M. Clarke, and Rebecca Jo Plant, reveals how the economic and emotional hardships of the U.S. Civil War led Northern women to employ an old method of political redress—petitioning government officials—in new ways. Deprived of male breadwinners who had enlisted as soldiers, many thousands of ordinary women for the first time appealed directly to the federal government for assistance. Petitions from twenty-six women featured in this document project include urgent pleas to furlough or discharge husbands and sons, complaints about the inconsistency of the military pay system, and appeals for information about missing relatives, among other requests. In vivid detail, these letters illuminate ordinary women’s struggles as they tried to maintain households and farms in the absence of male support.
Following the November 1920 elections Black women suffragists approached the National Woman’s Party and the League of Women Voters, seeking white women’s support for a call on Congress to investigate Southern denials of Black women’s right to vote. This document project, by Thomas Dublin, traces the organizing efforts of Addie Hunton of the NAACP and varied responses of white women suffragists to these appeals.
What Was the Relationship between Mary Church Terrell's International Experience and Her Work against Racism in the United States?
This document project, by Alison M. Parker, explores how Mary Church Terrell's international experiences and perspectives were reflected in her analysis of race relations and her call for racial justice in the United States. Terrell returned from her European visits with anti-colonial insights and fresh ammunition in her struggle against American racial prejudice. Her international experiences and perspectives allowed Terrell to approach the fight for civil rights as a broader, linked struggle for all women and people of color around the world.
#EmpireSuffrageSyllabus seeks to enrich our historical understanding and pedagogy by placing the U.S. suffrage movement in a much broader context—temporally, thematically, and geographically—than it has traditionally been conceived. Viewing the struggle for the vote as only one piece of women’s quest for greater power, the project charts the expansive scope of women's political activities, focusing in particular on their involvement in a wide range of social movements. Above all, it insists that recognition of the U.S. as an empire and an appreciation of the intertwined development of democracy and imperial power is crucial for understanding how, why, and when some women obtained the vote, while others did not.
This five-volume biographical dictionary, the first large-scale scholarly work in its field, grew out of a commitment to women's history which Radcliffe College originally undertook in 1943. That year the suffrage leader Maud Wood Park, a Radcliffe graduate of 1898, gave the college her woman's rights collection, including her own papers, those of many co-workers, and material she had gathered on the whole history of the woman's rights movement. Two Harvard historians, W. K. Jordan, then president of Radcliffe, and Arthur M. Schlesinger, a member of the college Council, Radcliffe's top governing board, saw the gift as an opportunity for a women's college to make a special contribution to scholarship. Under their guidance the collection by 1950 had grown into the Women's Archives, a research library for the study not merely of the suffrage movement but of all phases of women's activity in the American past.