1840 Lowell Offering
section of Harvard Library's Women
1840 Lucretia Mott is denied a seat
at the World Anti-Slavery Conference in
London because of her gender.
Mott's account of her trip to Great Britain is reprinted as Slavery
and the "Woman Question" on the Worcester Women's History Project
1841 Catharine Beecher's A Treatise on Domestic Economy
Beecher (1800-1878), part of Women Working, 1800-1930 [Harvard
University Library], provides a biographical profile of Beecher and online
access to many of Beecher's works,
including A Treatise on Domestic Economy.
1841 Dorothea Dix begins her crusade
for the humane treatment of the
Dorothea Dix Begins Her Crusade, March 28, 1841 [ [Mass
Moments, Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities]
History Museum includes relevant documents and images of Dix.
1845 Margaret Fuller's Woman in the Nineteenth Century
in the Nineteenth Century is available online as part of Google Book
Preview Charles Capper's biography, Margaret Fuller: An
American Romantic Life (Oxford University Press, 1992).
1846 Six women demand equal rights in a petition to New York's
Ginzberg on Woman's Rights in Antebellum New York [December 1,
2005; audio; 29 min., 49 sec.]
1847 Lucy Stone graduates from Oberlin College. Stone refuses to
commencement address because she would not be allowed to read it
herself. See Women's Rights
Pioneer Lucy Stone Born [Mass Moments, Massachusetts Foundation for
the Humanities] for a profile of Stone. The site also includes the text of
from Stone to her parents in which she explains why she refused to
write a commencement address.
Elizabeth Ellet's The Women of the American Revolution is
Women of the American Revolution is available online as part of Google
Images Online [Beinecke Library, Yale] includes images of a letter
from Ellet to James Fenimore Cooper. Ellet asks questions about women in
the Revolutionary War.
1848 Ellen Craft escapes slavery by
posing as a white man.
Reenactor Marcia Estabrook portrays Craft in the video Ellen
Craft: Self-Emancipated Woman [WGBH Forum Network; 32 min., 32 sec.].
1848 The first women's rights
convention in the United States is held in
Seneca Falls, New York.
Listen to the Talking History program, The
150th Anniversary of the Women's Rights Convention at
Seneca Falls: A Talk with Ellen Dubois (13 July 1998).
Seneca Falls Convention, featured on the site American Treasures of the
Library of Congress.
1848 Maria Mitchell is elected to
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Mitchell (1818-1889) [Women Working, 1800-1930, Harvard University
Library] includes a biographical profile and digital editions of works by and
1849 Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman to receive the
Blackwell: That Girl There Is Doctor in Medicine, an online exhibit
from the National Library of Medicine, includes Blackwell's class notes,
brother's account of the graduation, and additional sources that document
American-Made Valentines Sold [Mass Moments, Massachusetts Foundation
for the Humanities]
Valentines: A Tradition in America, and online exhibit from the
American Antiquarian Society, includes images of valentines designed by
The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania becomes the first medical
school for women. The institution will be renamed Woman's Medical
College of Pennsylvania in 1867.
Physicians: 1850s-1970s [Drexel University College of Medicine]
documents the history and influence of the Woman's Medical College
of Pennsylvania with correspondence, scrapbooks, clippings, college
records, images, diaries, publications and ephemera.
1850 Fugitive Slave Law
database from the National Archives
includes Selected Documents Relating to Fugitive Slaves,
1837 - 1860 and Fugitive Slave Case Papers, 1850 - 1860 and
Under the Fugitive Slave Act (Fugitive Slave Petition Book),
See the Search
Hints before using the site.
1850 Harriet Tubman makes her first
trip to the South as a conductor on the
Listen to the Talk of the Nation interview with Catherine
Clinton [time: 28 min.], author of Harriet
Tubman: The Road to Freedom.
Watch Kate Clifford Larson's lecture, Harriet
Tubman: Bound for the Promised Land [Video; 52 min., 45 sec.].
A Common Past: Researching and Interpreting the Underground Railroad
[National Park Service] includes sections on historic context, using
primary sources, a case study, and a review of sources.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony become active in the Women's
New York State Temperance Society.
into the Temperance Movement, 1852-1853
chapter of The Papers of
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony includes documents,
images, and an introductory essay.
1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe's
Uncle Tom's Cabin is published.
Joan Hedrick discusses Uncle Tom's Cabin
on Talking History (25 February 2002).
Hedrick won the Pulitzer Prize for Harriet Beecher
Stowe: A Life (Oxford University Press, 1994).
Letter to Horace Mann (Massachusetts Historical Society), Stowe
announces that she has completed the novel. Later in 1852, she notes in a
to Ralph Wardlaw that the facts behind the novel are "darker &
sadder & more painful to write than the fiction." Search OhioLink Digital Media
Center for Stowe.
1852 Historian Carla Peterson
interprets speeches by Sojourner Truth
Frances Watkins Harper (1857) in Scholars
in Action: Analyze Abolitionist Speeches.
1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act
Read Nicole Etcheson's article, "'Labouring for
the Freedom of This Territory': Free-State Kansas Women in the
1850s" in Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains 21
Online includes primary source materials relating to women who are
described in Etcheson's article, including Julia Lovejoy, Clarina Nichols,
and Sara Robinson.
1855 Missouri v. Celia
and the Making of America, a companion site to the PBS film, offers
an overview of the case. A detailed account of the case can be found in
Melton A. McLaurin's Celia, A Slave: A True Story of Violence and
Retribution in Antebellum Missouri (University of
Georgia Press, 1991).
1859 Harriet Wilson's Our Nig; or Sketches from the Life of a Free
Black is published.
In Beyond Mortal
Vision: Harriet Wilson (WGBH video; 1 hour, 20 min.), P. Gabrielle
Reginald H. Pitts
discuss recently discovered information about Wilson's life.
1859 Martha J. Coston patents a
night signal flare in her husband's
J. Coston is featured in the Enterprising Women: 250
Years of American Business.
1859 Abolitionist Sarah Parker
Remond begins a two-year lecture tour that
will include stops in Scotland, Ireland, England, and France.
Abolitionists Archive [University of Detroit Mercy] includes newspaper
accounts of Remond's speeches.
Access note: select "People," then "Remond, Sarah Parker."
II. RESEARCH SOURCES
Peterson, Kelsy. The Glory
of Woman: Prescriptive Literature in the
Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture
[online]. Durham, NC: Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and
Culture, Duke University, 2003 [cited 21 November 2005]. Available
Researchers can browse this extensive, annotated bibliography by date.
Women Working, 1800-1930
[online]. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Library Open Collections
Program, 2004- [cited 21 November 2005]. Available
Select "Browse the Collection," then "Conduct of Life" to retrieve digital
editions of books published from 1800 to 1930. Results display in reverse
Costume: A Visual Dictionary of Fashion and
Historical Museum Children's Clothing Collection allow browsing by
Print sources for the history of clothing/fashion during this period
for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans
and Fashion, 1840-1900 (Kent State University
Browse the Quilt Index by time period (e.g.,
Bathsheba W. Bigler. Diary, 1847 and 1873 [Trails to Utah and the
Pacific: Diaries and Letters, 1846-1869]
Repository (1841-1876) [Making of America]
The database America: History & Life offers a simple option
for limiting a search for articles and other sources to a specific time
period. If you are searching for articles that cover 1840 to 1859,
enter 1840d or 1850d in the "Time Period" row of the search screen.
See America: History & Life: Searching by Time
Period for an example using another time period.
American Women Through Time
Maintained by Ken Middleton |
Walker Library, MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN 37132