Designed to encourage critical thinking about history, the Major Problems in American History series introduces students to both primary sources and analytical essays on important topics in U.S. history. Major Problems in American Women's History is the leading reader for courses on the history of American women, covering the subject's entire chronological span. While attentive to the roles of women and the details of women's lives, the authors are especially concerned with issues of historical interpretation and historiography. The Fourth Edition features greater coverage of the experiences of women in the Midwest and the West, immigrant women, and more voices of women of color. Key pedagogical elements of the Major Problems format have been retained: 14 to 15 chapters per volume, chapter introductions, headnotes, and suggested readings.
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Mary Beth Norton, the Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History at Cornell University, received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. She teaches courses in the history of exploration, early America, women's history, Atlantic world, and American Revolution. Her many books have won prizes from the Society of American Historians, Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and English-Speaking Union. Her book, FOUNDING MOTHERS & FATHERS (1996), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2011 her book SEPARATED BY THEIR SEX: WOMEN IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE IN THE COLONIAL ATLANTIC WORLD was published. She was Pitt Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge in 2005-2006. The Rockefeller Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, and Huntington Library, among others, have awarded her fellowships. Professor Norton has served on the National Council for the Humanities and is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has appeared on Book TV, the History and Discovery Channels, PBS, and NBC as a commentator on Early American history.
Ruth M. Alexander is Professor of History at Colorado State University and an Affiliate Faculty member with the CSU Public Lands History Center. She received her B.A. from the City College of New York and her Ph.D. from Cornell University. Professor Alexander is the author of THE "GIRL PROBLEM": FEMALE SEXUAL DELINQUENCY IN NEW YORK, 1900-1935 (1998). She has won research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Schlesinger Library, New York State Library, and Western Association of Women Historians. Her scholarly interests center on modernity's distortion of the natural in the 1960s writings of Jane Jacobs, Rachel Carson, and Betty Friedan. She teaches courses in women's history and environmental history.
Note: Each chapter concludes with "Further Reading." 1. Approaches to American Women's History ESSAYS Kate Haulman, Defining "American Women's History" Gisela Bock, Challenging Dichotomies in Women's History Antonia I. Castaneda, Women of Color and the Rewriting of Western History Leslie M. Alexander, Rethinking the Position of Black Women in American Women's History 2. Native American Women DOCUMENTS 1. The French Explorer Samuel de Champlain Describes the Lives of Huron Women and Men in the Great Lakes Region, 1616 2. Mary Musgrove Assists the Georgians in Dealing with the Choctaws, 1734 3. Mary Musgrove Seeks Aid from Georgia in Return for Past Service and Losses, 1747 4. The Moravian Missionary John Heckewelder Observes Delaware Indian Families in the Mid-18th Century 5. The Captive John Tanner in 1830 Recalls His Foster Mother, Net-no-kwa, an Ottawa, in the 1790s ESSAYS Michele Gillespie, Mary Musgrove and the Sexual Politics of Race and Gender in Georgia Bruce M. White, Gender Roles in the Ojibwa Fur Trade 3. Witches and Their Accusers in Seventeenth-Century New England DOCUMENTS 1. Elizabeth Godman Sues Her Neighbors for Accusing Her of Being a Witch, 1653 2. Elizabeth Godman Is Tried for Witchcraft, 1655 3. Bridget Bishop Is Convicted of Witchcraft, 1692 4. The "Casco Girls" (Susannah Sheldon, Mercy Lewis, and Abigail Hobbs) Accuse George Burroughs, 1692 ESSAYS John Putnam Demos, The Characteristics of Accused Witches Mary Beth Norton, The Accusers of George Burroughs 4. The Economic Roles of Early American Women DOCUMENTS 1. Elizabeth Sandwith Drinker, a Wealthy Philadelphian, Describes Her Work and That of Other Women, 1758-1794 2. Landon Carter Complains about his Female Slaves, 1771-1773 3. George Washington Lists His Slaves, 1786 4. George Washington Assigns Work to His Slaves, 1786-1788 5. Eulalia Perez Recalls her Work in a Mission in Spanish California in the Early Nineteenth Century, 1877 ESSAYS Carole Shammas, The Work of Enslaved Women on Virginia Plantations Karin Wulf, Women's Work in Colonial Philadelphia Virginia Marie Bouvier, Women's Work in California's Spanish Missions 5. The Impact of the American Revolution DOCUMENTS 1. Abigail Adams, John Adams, and Mercy Otis Warren Discuss "Remembering the Ladies," 1776 2. Taylor & Duffin Report Molly Brant's Opinions and Actions, 1778 3. Daniel Claus Assesses Molly Brant's Influence, 1779 4. The Patriot Esther DeBerdt Reed Describes the "Sentiments of an American Woman," 1780 5. Thomas Jefferson's Slaves Join the British, 1781 6. Sarah Osborn, a Camp Follower, Recalls the Revolution, 1837 ESSAYS Mary Beth Norton, The Positive Impact of the American Revolution on White Women Jacqueline Jones, The Mixed Legacy of the American Revolution for Black Women James Taylor Carson, Molly Brant's War 6. Women's Activism in the Early Republic DOCUMENTS 1. Mrs. Isabella Graham Addresses Members of the Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small Children, April 1800, and Their Daughters (Volunteer Teachers), April 1806 2. The Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women Meets in New York City, May 1837 3. The American Female Moral Reform Society Warns Mothers About the "Solitary Vice," 1839 4. The Seneca Falls Convention Issues a "Declaration of Sentiments," 1848 5. Elizabeth McClintock and Elizabeth Cady Stanton Defend the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention, 1848 6. Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of Godey's Lady's Book, Praises Women's Indirect Political Influence, 1852 ESSAYS Julie Roy Jeffrey, Ordinary Women in the Antislavery Movement Nancy Isenberg, Women's Rights and the Politics of Church and State in Antebellum America Anne M. Boylan, Women's Organizations in New York and Boston 7. African American Women and Slavery DOCUMENTS 1. Lucinda, a Free Woman, Asks to be Reenslaved, 1813 2. "A Colored Woman" from Connecticut Implores Other Free Black Women to Sign Antislavery Petitions, 1839 3. Mary Still, a Prominent Black Abolitionist, and Other Free Women in Philadelphia Form the "Female Publication Society" to Promote the Moral Uplift of Free and Enslaved African Americans, 1861 4. Rose Williams Recalls Her Forced Marriage in the 1850s to Rufus, Another Slave, 1937 5. Mrs Virginia Hayes Shepherd Reminisces About Her Enslaved Mother and Diana, an Enslaved Neighbor, 1937 ESSAYS Thelma Jennings, The Sexual Exploitation of African American Slave Women Shirley J. Yee, Free Black Women in the Abolitionist Movement Loren Schweninger, Free Women of Color in the South 8. White Women in the Civil War Crisis DOCUMENTS 1. Ada Bacot, a Confederate Nurse, Comments on Two Wounded Yankees, 1862 2. Maria Daly, a New Yorker, Criticizes Southern Women and Records the War Work of Her Acquaintances, 1862 3. The Louisianian Sarah Morgan Proudly Proclaims Herself a Rebel, 1863 4. A Union Nurse, Cornelia Hancock, Describes the Aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863 5. Caroline Kirkland Offers "A Few Words in Behalf of the Loyal Women of the United States," 1863 6. Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas Describes Conditions in the Confederacy and Criticizes Northern Women, 1865 7. Mary Livermore Recalls Northern Women's Response to the Beginning of the Civil War, 1890 ESSAYS LeeAnn Whites, Southern White Women and the Burdens of War Jeanie Attie, Northern White Women and the Mobilization for War 9. Women in the Trans-Mississippi Frontier West DOCUMENTS 1. Susan Shelby Magoffin Describes Her First Days in Santa Fe, 1846 2. A Citizen Protests the Rape of Indian Women in California, 1862 3. Bills of Sale of Chinese Prostitutes, 1875-1876 4. Zitkala-Sa Travels to the Land of the Big Red Apples, 1884 5. Mrs. A.M. Green's Account of Frontier Life in Colorado, 1887 6. Violet Cragg, Ex-Slave and Former Army Nurse, Requests an Army Pension, 1908 ESSAYS Judy Yung, Chinese Women in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco Deena J. Gonzalez, The Life and Legend of Gertrudis Barcelo in Ninteenth-Century Santa Fe 10. Women's Work and Work Cultures in Modern America, 1890-1920s DOCUMENTS 1. Rose Cohen Describes Her First Job in New York City, 1892 2. Fannie Barrier Williams Describes the "Problem of Employment for Negro Women," 1903 3. Harriet Brunkhurst Laments the Home Problems of "Business Girls," 1910 4. The New York Times Reports on the Tragedy of the Triangle Factory Fire, 1911 5. The Vice Commission of Chicago Reports on the Working Conditions in Department Stores that Lead Female Employees into Prostitution, 1911 ESSAYS Daniel E. Bender, Women Workers and Sexual Harassment in the Garment Industry Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, Community Life and Work Culture Among African American Domestic Workers in Washington, D.C. 11. The "New Woman" in Public Life and Politics, 1900-1930 DOCUMENTS 1. Mary Church Terrell Praises the Club Work of Colored Women, 1901 2. Mary Church Terrell Describes Lynching from a Negro's Point of View, 1904 3. The U.S. Supreme Court Upholds a Maximum Hours Law for Working Women in Muller v. Oregon, 1908 4. Margaret Dreier Robins Describes the Purposes of the Women's Trade Union League, 1909 5. Jane Addams Applauds the "Beginnings of a New Conscience" Regarding the "Ancient Evil" of Prostitution, 1912 6. Inez Haynes Irwin Recalls the Militancy of Suffragists in the National Woman's Party, 1921 7. Elsie Hill and Florence Kelly take Opposing Positions on a Proposed Woman's Equal Rights Bill, 1922 Elsie Hill Explains Why Women Should Have Full Legal Equality Florence Kelly Explains Her Opposition to Full Legal Equality 8. Margaret Sanger Publishes Letters Documenting American Wives' and Husbands' Urgent Need for Legal Birth Control, 1928 ESSAYS Kathryn Kish Sklar, Differences in the Political Cultures of Men and Women Reformers During the Progressive Era Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, Diplomats to the White Community: African American Women in Progressive-Era North Carolina 12. Women in America During the Great Depression and New Deal DOCUMENTS 1. The New York Times Reports, "Destitute Women on Increase Here," 1932 2. Anne Marie Low Records Her Feelings About Life in the Dust Bowl, 1934 3. Dorothy Dunbar Bromley Comments on Birth Control and the Depression, 1934 4. Lydia Mendoza, the First Star of Tejano Music, Recalls Her Early Career During the Great Depression, 1936 5. Eleanor Roosevelt Urges "Better Understanding and Cooperation of Both the White and Negro Races," 1936 6. Eleanor Roosevelt Applauds the Repeal of the Married Persons Clause of the Economy Act, 1937 7. P'ing Yu Publicizes a Shameful Demonstration of Racism Among White Clubwomen in California, 1937 8. Louise Mitchell Denounces the "Slave Markets" Where Domestics Are Hired in New York City, 1940 ESSAYS Elaine S. Abelson, Women and Homelessness in the Great Depression, 1930-1934 Andrea Tone, Women, Birth Control, and the Marketplace in the 1930s 13. Women and the Disputed Meanings of Gender, Race, and Sexuality during World War II DOCUMENTS 1. Mary McLeod Bethune Urges President Roosevelt to Turn to Qualified Negro Women for Help in the War Effort, 1940 2. Mrs. Norma Yerger Queen Reports on the Problems of Employed Mothers in Utah, 1944 3. The Challenges of Maintaining the Health, Discipline, and Morale of the Women's Army Corps in North Africa and the Mediterranean during World War II 4. Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, a Schoolgirl at Manzanar, 1940s ESSAYS Megan Taylor Shockley, African American Women, Citizenship, and Workplace Democracy During World War II Valerie Matsumoto, Japanese American Women During World War II Leisa D. Meyer, The Regulation of Sexuality and Sexual Behavior in the Women's Army Corps During World War II 14. Women and the Feminine Ideal in Post-War America DOCUMENTS 1. Louise Randall Church Explores the Duties of Parents as Architects of Peace, 1946 2. Psychiatrist Marynia F. Farnham and Sociologist Fedinand Lundberg Denounce the Modern Woman as the "Lost Sex," 1947 3. African American Pauli Murray Explains Why Negro Girls Stay Single, 1947 4. Nonconformist Joyce Johnson Recounts Her Experience in Obtaining an Illegal Abortion in New York City, 1955 5. A Letter to the Editor of The Ladder from an African-American Lesbian, 1957 6. Betty Friedan Reveals the "Problem That Has No Name," 1963 ESSAYS Joanne Meyerowitz, Competing Images of Women in Pos...
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