Discovering History: A Guide to Primary Sources
Letters & Diaries on Microfilm
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Papers of the Blackwell Family (Location: Microtext, 2nd Floor, MFM 501)
The Blackwell family papers trace the evolution of women's rights in many fields - political, religious, medical, economic, and domestic. Beginning with the pioneer work of Lucy Stone, who in 1847 gave her first lecture on women's rights, and continuing until 1950, the year of the death of her daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell, these papers present a century of dramatic change in the status of women. Twenty family members are represented. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive an M.D. Degree, and her diaries (1836-1908), correspondence, and writings document her struggle to open the medical profession to women. Emily Blackwell followed her sister Elizabeth and was a co-founder of the first women's hospital staffed by women physicians in the U.S. The papers of Henry B. Blackwell, a renowned advocate of woman suffrage and abolition, contain financial papers, autobiographical sketches (1825-1858) and correspondence. His wife, Lucy Stone, was also a leader in antislavery and women's rights and her correspondents include many famous names. Papers of their daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell, include diaries (1872-1937) documenting her own work for women's rights. Another family member, Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell, was the first woman to be ordained a minister (ordained as Congregationalist in 1853, she later became a Unitarian). This collection was filmed from manuscripts at the Library of Congress.