American Women Through Time
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Go to: II. RESEARCH SOURCES (Historical Overviews, Primary Sources, and Secondary Sources)


Emma Hart Willard founds the Troy Female Seminary in New York.
Harvard's Women Working, 1800-1930 site includes a profile of Willard and links to works by and about Willard.

Adams Female Academy opens in Londonderry, New Hampshire under the leadership of Zilpah Polly Grant.
See the Zilpah P. Grant Banister Papers, part of the Five College Archives Digital Access Project.

Margaret O'Neale "Peggy" Timberlake marries John Eaton.
Watch the Booknotes Interview with John Marszalek, author of The Petticoat Affair: Manners, Mutiny and Sex in Andrew Jackson's White House.
Find The Petticoat Affair in a library.

Perkins School for the Blind Incorporated [Mass Moments, Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities]

The Indian Removal Act is signed into law. The ARC database includes a digital image of "Memorial from the ladies of Steubenville, Ohio, protesting Indian Removal, 02/15/1830."

Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society is founded.
Cornell's Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection includes annual reports of the society, beginning with 1835.

Oberlin College becomes the first coeducational collegiate institution in the United States.
Ohio Memory includes Oberlin student Betsy Mix Cowles' letters from the 1830s.

From Canterbury to Little Rock: The Struggle for Educational Equality for African Americans [Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plans, National Park Service]

Charlestown Convent Lies in Ruins [Mass Moments, Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities]

Listen to Nancy Schultz' lecture about the Charlestown Convent Fire of 1834 [WGBH Forum].

The Ursuline Convent Collection [American Catholic History Research Center] includes a hand-written copy of an eyewitness report of the convent's burning.

Advertisement for the capture of Harriet Jacobs. American Beacon, Norfolk Virginia, July 4, 1835 [Harriet Jacobs: Selected Writings and Correspondence]

Angelina Grimke's Appeal to the Christian Women of the South (1836) is available as part of the Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection [Cornell University Llibrary].

Whitman Mission
The Letters and Journals of Narcissa Whitman 1836-1847 [New Perspectives on the West, PBS]

See Whitman Mission National Historic Site includes information about the role of Narcissa and Marcus Whitman in establishing the Oregon Trail, as well as the conflicts that developed between the Cayuse people and the Whitmans.

Laura Bridgman becomes a student at the Perkins School for the Blind.
The Perkins School for the Blind History Museum offers a Biographical profile of Bridgman and a Laura Bridgman Photo Gallery.

Hannah Valentine and Lethe Jackson Slave Letters, 1837-1838 [Special Collections Library at Duke University]

Mary Lyon (1797-1849) founds Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in Massachusetts. See the Mary Lyon Collection, part of the Five College Archives Digital Access Project.

Angelina Grimke addresses Legislature [Mass Moments, Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities]

Fanny Kemble [Women Working, 1870-1930]
Includes an overview of Kemble's life, as well as links to digital editions of Kemble's Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839 and other publications.

Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears: The Forced Relocation of the Cherokee Nation [Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plans, National Park Service]

II. Research Sources

Advice Literature

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 from:
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 from:
Select "Browse the Collection," then "Conduct of Life" to retrieve digital editions of books published from 1800 to 1930. Results display in reverse chronological order.

Census Data

Historical Census Browser
Researchers can examine state and county topics for individual census years and over time, as well as generate maps of selected data.


Wisconsin Historical Museum Children's Clothing Collection [online]. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society, updated 26 June 2001 [cited 10 December 2001]. Available from:
Tour the collection by decade (then by gender and type of clothing).

Diaries & Letters

Latta Family Letters, 1824-1830 [online]. Charlotte: University of North Carolina, 1999. Available from:

Patients' Voices in Early 19th Century Virginia Letters to Doct. Carmichael and Son [online]. Charlottesville: Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia, 2005. Available from:
The letters were written between 1819 and 1830.

Halnon, Mary. Women in America: 1820-1842 [online]. The lives of American women from the perspective of Europeans.


Browse the Quilt Index by time period (e.g., "1800-1840")

Secondary Sources

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 1820 to 1839, enter 1820d or 1830d 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