Women and the National Experience Sources in American History, Combined Volume

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-10-26
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Combining classic and unusual sources, this anthology explores the private voices and public lives of women throughout U.S. history.

Author Biography

A graduate of Smith College, Ellen Skinner received an MA from Columbia University and a PhD from NYU.  She chaired the History Department at Pace University’s Westchester campus from 1987 to 2006. Her teaching career spanned four decades and in 2008 she was appointed Professor Emerita.  In both her teaching and writing she strives to make women’s history accessible to students and relevant to their lives. Now in its third edition, Women and the National Experience first was published in 1995. Professor Skinner continues to teach women’s history online and to search the archives for women’s lost voices. Her current research focuses on women’s human rights as well as the connections between women’s history and the environment.

Table of Contents

*New to this edition


1 Gender, Race and Class in the Colonial Era                 

    Anne Hutchinson, Trial 1638)

    Sor (Sister ) Juana Ines de la Crux, “Response to the Most Illustrious Poetess, Sor Filotea De La Cruz”*

    Anne Bradstreet, Before the Birth of One of Her Children (c.1650)

    Assembly of Virginia, Statute Outlawing Interracial Unions (1691)*

    Cotton Mather, Th e Wonders of the Invisible World: Trial of Susanna Martin (1692)

    Benjamin Wadsworth, A Well-Ordered Family (1712)

    Chrestien Le Clercq, The Customs and Religion of the Indians (1700)

    Mary Jemison, A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison                        

    Elizabeth Sprigs, Letter from an Indentured Servant 1756)

    Eliza Pinckney, Birthday Resolutions (c.1750)

    Phillis Wheatley, Letter to the Reverend Samuel Occom  (Feb.11, 1774)*

    Judith Cocks, Letter to James Hillhouse (1795)                                                           


2 From Revolution to Republic: Moral Motherhood and Civic Mission 

   Anne Hulton, Letter of a Loyalist Lady 1774)                                                             

    Esther DeBerdt Reed, Sentiments of an American Woman 1780)

    Molly Brant Letter to Daniel Claus (June 23rd, 1778)*

    Abigail Adams, Letters to John Adams and His Reply (1776)

    Molly Wallace, The Young Ladies, Academy of Philadelphia (1790)

    Eulalia Callis, Petition to Divorce her Husband Pedro Fages (1784-85)*

    Abigail Abbot Bailey, Excerpt from Memoirs (1788-89)*

    Judith Sargent Murray, On the Equality of the Sexes (1790)

    Letter from Paul Revere on Behalf of Deborah Sampson Gannet (1804)*

    Ladies Society of New York, Constitution (1800)

    Colored Female Religious and Moral Society of Salem, Massachusetts, Constitution 1818)

    Emma Willard, Plan for Female Education (1819)

    John S. C. Abbott, The Mother at Home 1833)


3 Emerging Industrialization and Expanding Roles: The Intersection of  Opportunity and Domestic Ideals

   Prudence Crandall, Advertisement in The Liberator, “Regarding the Opening of A High School

        for Young Colored Ladies and Misses” (1833)*

   Mary Lyon, Mt. Holyoke Seminary, Letter to Mrs. Cooley, Feb. (1843)*

   Barilla Taylor, Letter to Her Family (1844)*

   Harriet Hanson Robinson, Lowell Textile Workers (1898)

   Letters to the Voice of Industry (1846)

   Sarah Bagley, Letter to Mrs. Martin (March 13, 1848)*

   Ellen Monroe, Letter to the Boston Bee (1846) 

   Female Labor Reform Association,Testimony Before the Massachusetts Legislature (1845)

   Catharine Beecher, The Evils Suffered by American Women and American Children (1846)*

   Sarah Josepha Hale, Godey’s Lady’s Book, Editor’s Table, Copy of Petition sent to Congress, Jan. (1856)*     

   Sarah Josepha Hale, Godey’s Lady’s Book, Editor’s Table, Twelve Reasons Why Women Should Received a

        Medical Education (1857)*  

   “We Are Not Slaves,” New York Times, Female Shoe and Textile Workers Strike Marblehead, Massachusetts, (Feb. 28th 1860)*

   Betsy Cowles, Report on Labor, Proceedings of the Woman’s Rights Convention, Akron, Ohio (1851)   

   Caroline Dall, Women’s Right to Labor (1860)     


4 From Moral Reform to Free Love and Voluntary Motherhood: Issues of Vulnerability and Sexual Agency     

    Female Moral Reform Society NYC, Excerpt from First Annual Report: “Licentious Men”(1835)*

    Important Lectures to Females (1839)*                                                                                  

    Friend of Virtue, Died in Jaffrey, N.H., Aged 27 (1841)

    Caroline Healy Dall, Letter to Paulina Davis and the Woman’s Rights Convention (1851)*

    Dr. William W. Sanger, Excerpt from The History of Prostitution, Its Extent, Causes, Effects throughout the

           World (1859)*

    Lucy Stone, Letter to Antoinette Brown Blackwell (July 11, 1855)*

    Paulina Wright Davis, Letter to Women’s Rights Conference, Akron, Ohio (1851)*

    The Unwelcome Child (1845)*

    Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Address: The Whole World’s Temperance Convention, September (1853)*

    A Temperance Activist (1853)

    Victoria Woodhull, And the Truth Shall Make You Free (1871)*

    Harriot Stanton Blatch, “Voluntary Motherhood”, Speech, The National Woman’s Council (1891)*

    Winnifred Harper Cooley, The New Womanhood (1904)*


5 Enslaved Women: Race, Gender and the Plantation Patriarchy [New Chapter]

    Benjamin Drew, Narrative of an Escaped Slave (1855)                                                 

    Harriet Tubman, Excerpts from A Biography by Her Contemporaries c.1880)

    Bethany Veney, The Autobiography of Bethany Veney, A Slave Woman (1889)*

    Harriet Jacobs (Linda Brent), Excerpt from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)*

    Elizabeth Keckley, Excerpt from Behind the Scenes, or Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House (1868)*

    State v. Celia, a Slave, Excerpt from her Trial for Murder, Missouri (1855)*

    Rose Williams, Interview, Texas, W.P.A., (1930’s)*

    Fanny Kemble, Journal Excerpt (1838)*

    Mary Boykin Chesnut, A Confederate Lady’s Diary (1861)*

    Gertrude Clanton Thomas, Excerpt from The Secret Eye (Sept. 17, 1864)*

    Letitia Burwell, A Girl’s Life in Virginia Before the War (1895)*


6 Abolitionist Women and the Issue of Racial Equality [New Chapter]

    Maria M.Stewart, Farewell Address to my Friends (Sept. 21st 1833)

    Elizabeth Emery and Mary P. Abbott, Letter to The Liberator (1836)

    Sarah Mapps Douglass, Letter to William Basset, a Lynn Massachusetts abolitionist (1837)

    Lydia Maria Child, Excerpt from the Appeal: “Prejudices Against People of Color, and our Duties in Relation to this

             Subject” (1833)

    Pastoral Letter to New England Churches (1837)

    Sarah Grimké, Reply to Pastoral Letter (1837)

    Angelina Grimke Weld, Speech at Pennsylvania Hall (1838)

    Angelina Grimké, An Appeal to the Woman of the Nominally Free States (1838)

    Julia Hardy Lovejoy, Letter to The Independent Democrat, Concord New Hampshire (August 1st, 1855)

    Elizabeth Jennings Graham, “A Wholesome Verdict” New York Tribune, 23rd Feb. pp.7: 4 (1855)

    Frances Watkins Harper, Excerpt from Speech (1857)

    Sarah Remond, Excerpt from her Autobiography (1861)


7 Women’s Rights and the Contest over Woman’s “Place”

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments 1848)

    Catharine Beecher, An Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism in Reference to the Duty of American Females, 1837

    Caroline Gilman, Recollections of a Southern Matron (1838)

    Lucretia Mott, Discourse on Women 1849)

    Emily Collins, Reminiscences of the Suffrage Trail (c.188 )

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton, On Marriage and Divorce (c.1850)

    Sojourner Truth, A’n’t I a Woman? (1851)

    Ernestine Rose,This Is the Law but Where Is the Justice of It? (1852)

    Lucy Stone and Henry B. Blackwell,Marriage Contract (1855)

    Rebecca Gratz, Unsigned letter on Behalf of Founding a Jewish Orphanage (1850)

    Elizabeth Smith Miller “Reflections on Woman’s Dress and the Record of a Personal Experience” (1892)

    Frances Willard “A Wheel within a Wheel; How I Learned to Ride a Bicycle” (1895)


8 Western Expansion: Diverse Stories, Different Viewpoints [New Chapter] 

    Nancy Ward and Cherokee Women Petition their Tribal Leaders (1817)

    Ladies of Steubenville Ohio, Petition Against Indian Removal (Feb.15th 1830)

    Harriet L. Noble, Excerpt from her Recollections recorded in Elizabeth Ellet, Pioneer Women of the West (1852)

    Journal of Narcissa Whitman, Letter to her Mother (May 2nd 1840)

    Guri Olsdatter, Letter to her Family (1866)

    Eulalia Perez, Reminiscences Transcribed, 1877

    Isadora Filomena, Testimony of the Widow of Prince Solano (1874)

    Rosalia Vallejo Leese, “Hoisting of the Bear Flag” (1877)

    The Biography of Guadalupe Lupita Galligos Federal Writers’ Project,( Oct. 27, 1938)

    Luzena Stanley Wilson‘49er, “Memories Recalled for her Daughter, Correnah Wilson Wright” (1881)

    Mary Ballou California Gold Rush, “Hogs in my Kitchen”(1852)

    Bridget (Biddy) Mason (1818-1891), Court Trial, Mason v. Smith (1856)

    Labor Contract for Chinese Prostitutes, (1886)


9 Civil War, Reconstruction, Racial and Gender Politics 

   Rose O’Neal Greenhow, Letter to the Hon. William H. Seward Nov. 1, 1861

    Clara Barton, Nursing on the Firing Line (c.1870)                                                         

    Phoebe Yates Levy Pember, A Southern Woman’s Story 1879)

    Charlotte Forten, Letter to William Lloyd Garrison (1862)

    Elizabeth Packard, Excerpt from the Prisoner’s Hidden Life or Insane Asylums Unveiled (1868)

    Frances Watkins Harper, “We Are All Bound Up Together,” Address to the 11th National Women’s

    Convention, New York (1866)

    Catharine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, Why Women Should Not Seek the Vote (1869)

    Susan B. Anthony, Proceedings of the Trial (1873)

    Edward H. Clarke, Sex in Education; Or a Fair Chance for the Girls (1873)

    Bradwell v. Illinois (1873)                                                                                                

    Amelia Barr, Discontented Women (1896)


10 Separate Sisterhoods: Identity and Division

    Anna Julia Cooper, Address to the World’s Congress of Representative Women, Chicago (1893)

    M. Carey Thomas, Present Tendencies in Women’s Education (1908)

    Anna Manning Comfort, Only Heroic Women Were Doctors Then (1916)

    Martha E.D. White, Work of the Woman’s Club (1904)

    Grover Cleveland, Woman’s Mission and Woman’s Clubs (1905)

    National Association of Colored Women, Club Activities (1906)                                  

    Frances Willard, On Behalf of Home Protection (1884)                                              

    Zitkala—Sa, The School Days of an Indian Girl  (1900)

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Bible and Church Degrade Women (1898)

    Ida Wells Barnett, A Red Record (1895)                                                                               

    Selena S. Butler,The Chain Gang System  


11 Women’s Roles: Americanization and the Multicultural West

    Martha (Mattie) Virginia Oblinger, Letter to her Family (June 16th 1873)

    Sarah Thal, Recollections of a German-Jewish Woman in North Dakota (1882)

    Helen Hunt Jackson, Excerpt from A Century of Dishonor (1883)

    Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, Life Among The Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims (1883)

    Alice Fletcher (1838-1923) Dependent Races, National Council of Women (1891)

    Sister Blandina Segale, Excerpt: At the End of the Santa Fe Trail

    Johanna July, Interview, Federal Writers Project (1936-1940)

    Emmeline Wells “Is It Ignorance?” Woman’s Exponent (July 1st,  1883)

    Fanny Stenhouse , Tell It All: A Woman’s Life in Polygamy  (1875)

    Elizabeth Piper Ensley, Suffrage Victory in Colorado (1893)

    Mary McGladery Tape A Chinese Mother Protests School Segregation in San Francisco, Letter to

        School Board (1885) 

    Elinoir Pruitt Stewart, Letter from a Woman Homesteader,”Filing a Claim”(1911)


12  Gilded Age Protest and Women Activists:  Empowering Women Workers        

    Mary Church Terrell, What It Means to Be Colored in the Capital of the United States (1906)

    Susan B. Anthony, Bread Not Ballots (c.1867)                                                 

    Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of Labor, The Working Girls of Boston (1884)

    Leonora Barry, Investigator for the Knights of Labor (1888)

    Mary Elizabeth Lease, A Populist Crusader (1892)

    Clara Lanza, Women as Clerks in New York (1891)

    Mother Jones, The March of the Mill Children (1903)

    Rose Schneiderman, A Cap Maker’s Story  (1905)

    Rose Schneiderman, The Triangle Fire (1911)

   New York Times, Miss Morgan Aids Girl Waist Strikers (1909) 


13 Progressive Era: Maternal Politics and Suffrage Victory        

    Anna Garlin Spencer, Women Citizens (1898)

    “Conquering Little Italy,” Transactions of the National Council of Women (Feb 22-25, 1891)

    Mary White Ovington “How the NAACP Began” (1914)

    Jane Addams, The Clubs of Hull House  (1905)

    Lillian Wald, New York Times, “Good Metal in our Melting Pot Says Miss Wald,” (Nov. 16th 1913)

    Florence Kelley, The Child, the State, and the Nation (1905)                                        

    Muller v. Oregon (1908)

    National Women’s Trade Union League, Legislative Goals (1911)

    Alice Duer Miller, “A Consistent Anti to her Son”(1915)

    Anna Howard Shaw, NAWSA Convention Speech (1913)

    Mollie Schepps, Senators v. Working Women (1912)

    NAWSA, A Letter to Clergymen (1912)

    Carrie Chapman Catt, Mrs. Catt Assails Pickets (1917) 

    Alice Paul, Why the Suffrage Struggle Must Continue (1917)                                          

    Jane Addams and Emily Balch, Resolutions Adopted at the Hague Congress  (1915)


14 Post-Suffrage Trends and the Limits of Liberated Behavior

    Dr. Irving Steinhardt, Ten Sex Talks to Young Girls  (1914)

    Ma Rainey (Gertrude Pridgett ) “Prove it on Me Blues”

    Ellen Welles Page, “A Flapper’s Appeal to her Parents” Outlook, (Dec.1922)

    U.S. Government, Survey of Employment Conditions: The Weaker Sex

    Mary G. Kilbreth, The New Anti-Feminist Campaign (1921)                                     

    Women Streetcar Conductors Fight Layoffs (1921)

    Ann Martin, We Couldn’t Afford a Doctor (1920)

    The Farmer’s Wife, The Labor Savers I Use (1923)

    National Woman’s Party, Declaration of Principles  (1922)

    Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Speech Given at the Women’s Interracial Conference (1920)

    Elisabeth Christman, What Do Working Women Say?  (c.1912)

    Eleanor Wembridge, Petting and the College Campus  (1925)

    Letter to Margaret Sanger  (1928)


15  The Great Depression and the New Deal: Desperate Lives and Women Leaders                                                                                      

    Meridel Le Sueur, The Despair of Unemployed Women  (1932)

    Ruth Shallcross, Shall Married Women Work?  (1936)

    Pinkie Pilcher, Letter to President Roosevelt  (1936)

    Ann Marie Low, Dust Bowl Diary  (1934)

    Louise Mitchell, Slave Markets in New York City  (1940)

    Mary McLeod Bethune, A Century of Progress of Negro Women (1933)

    Jessie Daniel Ames, Southern Women and Lynching (1936)                                            

    Eleanor Roosevelt, Letter to Walter White  (1936)

    Frances Perkins and Alice Hamilton, Tri-State Conference on Silicosis, Missouri Testimony (1940)


16 World War II and Postwar Trends: Disruption, Conformity and Counter Currents    

    Richard Jefferson, African-American Women Factory Workers  (1941)

    Eleanor Roosevelt “Women’s Place After the War” (Aug. 1944)

    Postwar Plans of Women Workers  (1946)

    Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Farewell to Manzanar (1973)

    Amram Scheinfeld , “Are American Moms a Menace?” Ladies Home Journal (Nov. 1946)

    Marynia Farnham and Ferdinand Lundberg, Modern Women: The Lost Sex (1947)

    Loretta Collier, A Lesbian Recounts Her Korean War Military Experience (1990)

    Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, The Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955)

    Anne Moody, The Movement (1963)

    Adlai Stevenson, ”A Purpose for Modern Woman,” Smith College Commencement Speech, 1955

    Betty Friedan, The Problem That Has No Name (1963)  


17 From Municipal House Keeping to Environmental Justice 

    Rebecca Harding Davis, Excerpt from Life in the Iron Mills (1861)

    Ellen Swallow Richards, “Transcript to Woman’s Education Association 1877”

    Transactions of the National Council of Women of the United States, Washington, D.C. “In Behalf of

            Clean Streets” (1891)

    Alice Hamilton, Autobiography, Exploring The Poisonous Trades (1943)

    Mary Hunter Austin , The Land of Little Rain (1903)

    Marion Crocker, Department of Conservation Speech to 4th annual Conservation Congress, “The

            Conservation Imperative” (1912)

    Rachel Carson, Excerpt from, Silent Spring (1962)

    Bella Stavitsy Abzug, Plenary Speech, United Nations, Fourth World Conference on Women (1995)

    Terry Tempest Williams, “Clan of One-Breasted Women”(1991)

    Lois Gibbs, “Learning From Love Canal: “ 20th Anniversary Retrospective”(1998)

    Theo Colburn, “Theo Colburn Reflects on Working Toward Peace”(1995)

    Margie Eugene Richard “Taking Our Human Rights Struggle to Geneva”

    Winona LaDuke , U.N. Address, Beijing China, “The Indigenous Women’s Network, Our Future, Our

            Responsibility (1995)


18 Feminist Revival and Women’s Liberation                    

    National Organization for Women, Statement of Purpose (1966)

    U.S. Supreme Court, Griswold v Connecticut, March, 1965

    Redstockings Manifesto (1969)                                                                                

    Gloria Steinem, Statement to Congress (1970)

    Joyce Maynard, An Eighteen Year Old Looks Back at Life (1972)

    Rape, An Act of Terror (1971)                                                                                                

    Chicana Demands (1972)                                                                                             

    National Black Feminist Organization, Manifesto (1974)

    Lesbian Feminist Organization, Constitution (1973)                                                        

    National Organization for Women, General Resolution on Lesbian/Gay Rights (1973)


19  Contested Terrain: Change and Resistance            

    Roe v. Wade (1973)                                                                                          

    Phyllis Schlafly, The Positive Woman  (1977)

    A Letter from a Battered Wife (1983)

    Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” (1984)

    Mab Segrest, Excerpt from” Confessions of a Closet Baptist” (1985)

    Susan Brownmiller, In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution (1999)

    Anita Hill, Statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee (1991)

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg, On Being Nominated to the Supreme Court (1993)

    Susan Faludi, Backlash (1992)


20 Entering the Twenty-First Century: Elusive Equality

    Robin Morgan, Sisterhood is Global (1984)

    Naomi Wolf,The Beauty Myth (1992)                                                                                   

    Paula Kamen, Acquaintance Rape: Revolution and Reaction                      

    Susan Brownmiller, In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution (1999)

    bell hooks, Feminist Theory  (2000)                                                                              

    Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, ManifestA: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future (2000)

    Leila Ahmed, A Border Passage: From Cairo to America–A Woman’s Journey (2000)

    Kathleen Slayton, Gender Equity Gap in High Tech (2001)

    Miriam Ching Yoon Louie, Sweatshop Warriors


21 Women’s Rights:  National and Global Perspectives

    Hillary Clinton Speech, Beijing U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women (1995)

    Concerned Women for America, Final +5 Beijing Battle Centers Around Abortion (2000)

    Senator Obama, Statement on 35th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Supreme Court Decision (Jan. 22nd 2008)

    Independent Women’s Forum, Opposition to Lilly Ledbetter Pay Equity Act (2009) Open Letter to Obama, “Feminist

             Historians for a New, New Deal” (2009)

    Melanne Verveer, Written Testimony before Congress  (2009)

    Equality Now, Women’s Action, “United States: Female Genital Mutilation and Political Asylum -The Case of

             Fauziya Kasinga” (1995-1996)

    Laura Bush, Speech on Afghan Women, Radio Address (Nov.17, 2001)

    Eleanor Curti Smeal, “Keep Pledges to Afghan Women and Girls, Build Lasting Peace” (December 1, 2009)

    Dorchen A. Leidholdt, CATW, “Demand and the Debate” (2004)

    Sister Louise Akers, “Cincinnati’s Pilarczyk Bans Nun from Teaching” Cincinnati.com. (Sept. 2nd, 2009)

    Jessica Valenti, Excerpt from Full Frontal Feminism, (2007)

    Deborah Siegel, Excerpt from Sisterhood, Interrupted from Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild  (2007)

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