American Women's Letters & Diaries: A Bibliography and Research Guide
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1773 Phillis Wheatley becomes the first African American to publish a book: Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. Phillis Wheatley [Massachusetts Historical Society] includes the poet's letters that mention the book.

1776 Abigail Adams' "Remember the Ladies" letter to John Adams, 31 March 1776. See Selected Manuscripts: Remember the Ladies from the Massachusetts Historical Society.

1785Martha Ballard's Diary Online [DoHistory]
Ballard, a Maine midwife, wrote in her diary almost every day from January 1, 1785 to May 12, 1812.

1814 Letter From Dolley Payne Madison to Anna Cutts, 23 August 1814. Dolley Madison Project

1819 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: http://carmichael.lib.virginia.edu/.
The letters were written between 1819 and 1830.

Letters from Troy Female Seminary, 1821-1834 [William L. Clements Library]

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

1847 Lucy Stone graduates from Oberlin College. Stone refuses to write a 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 a letter from Stone to her parents in which she explains why she refused to write a commencement address.

1852 In a Letter to Horace Mann (Massachusetts Historical Society), Stowe announces that she has completed the novel. Later in 1852, she notes in a letter to Ralph Wardlaw that the facts behind the novel are "darker & sadder & more painful to write than the fiction."

1861 Rose O'Neal Greenhow, a Confederate spy, is placed under house arrest.
Rose O'Neal Greenhow Papers [Duke University]. This site offers a selection of Greenhow's letters. Greenhow details her imprisonment in the Letter to the Hon. Wm. H. Seward, November 17, 1861.

1862 Letter, Mary Todd Lincoln to Abraham Lincoln advising her husband to remove the hesitant Gen. George B. McClellan from command, 2 November [1862]. In Words and Deeds in American History [Library of Congress].

1862 Sally Putnam visits the Aquarial Gardens

1865 Letter (pages 13-20), Varina Davis to Montgomery Blair describing the capture of her husband, Jefferson Davis, 6 June 1865. In Words and Deeds in American History [Library of Congress].

1872 Susan B. Anthony is arrested and brought to trial for attempting to vote in the presidential election.
The Stanton and Anthony Papers Project Online includes excerpts from Anthony's letters in Snapshot Stories: Anthony's Illegal Vote.

1881 Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary is founded by Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles. The institution is renamed Spelman Seminary in 1884 and Spelman College in 1924.
African-American Education in the Jim Crow South [Rockefeller Archive Center] includes Sophia Packard's letter to John D. Rockefeller from 1883 in which she asks for support for the institution.

1881 Camping with the Sioux: Fieldwork Diary of Alice Cunningham Fletcher [National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution]

1887 Anne Sullivan begins teaching Helen Keller.
Anne Sullivan Macy: Miracle Worker [American Federation for the Blind offers an illustrated overview of Sullivan's life and work. See in particular Sullivan's letters in which she describes her work with Keller.

1902 Susan B. Anthony to Ida Husted Harper upon the death of Elizabeth Cady Stanton [Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Papers Project]

1909 Mary Cassatt to John Wesley Beatty, 1909 Oct. 6 [Archives of American Art

1921 Amelia Earhart takes her first flying lesson from Neta Snoook.
Earhart's brief letter to Snook is a Featured Document on the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History's web site.

1939 Eleanor Roosevelt resigns from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) after it prevents Marian Anderson from performing at its Constitution Hall. Roosevelt also helps arrange Anderson's Lincoln Memorial concert.
The National Archives offers images of Eleanor Roosevelt's Letter to the DAR and the DAR's response.

1957 Read A Letter from Daisy Bates to Roy Wilkins, part of the Pages from Her Story [Library of Congress].

1961 Freedom Riders and the Albany Movement In Music of Social Change. Atlanta: Emory University, [2005].
Joan Browning was among the SNCC workers who were jailed in Albany, Georgia for demonstrating at bus and train stations. This site features letters and notes that Browning wrote on papers towels and tissue while in jail.

1969 Roxcy Bolton, Pioneer Feminist [Florida Memory Project] includes an overview of Bolton's work for women's rights, pro and con letters about the "men only" lunch sections, photographs of Bolton, and lesson plans for grades 7-9.

1995 Guerrilla Girls letter to Arthur Coleman Danto, 1995 May 20 [Archives of American Art]




American Women's Letters & Diaries: A Bibliography

Ken Middleton | Walker Library, MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN 37132