American Women!
A Celebration of Our History
April 22 -- October 29, 2000

FROM GROWTH TO CIVIL WAR
1800-1870
Revolutions in Territory, Industry, Morality, Equality

 

Click on the photo to see an enlarged view

In the decades before the Civil War, the United States experienced enormous social and economic changes. Pioneers pushed across the Appalachian Mountains to acquire new land and start new lives. After Meriwether Lewis and William Clark charted the Louisiana Territory, westward expansion continued without interruption all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Industrialization transformed the northeastern states from an agricultural society into a vast region of bustling factories. Women organized to help the poor and working class, and soon joined the movement for the abolition of slavery. As civil war loomed during the 1850s, Americans wrestled with the moral contradictions of human bondage in a society that claimed freedom for all.

When war came, women organized soldiers' aid societies to assemble medical supplies, and sew or knit everything from socks to blankets. Women ran farms and plantations, replaced male office clerks, and cared for the injured and dying. Over 3,000 Union Army nurses learned to dress wounds and cut bullets out of arms and legs.

After the war ended, women of the Confederacy sifted through the rubble of their war-shattered homes to piece their lives back together. Freed slaves continued to endure many hardships, but after 250 years, slavery in America was officially over. And women's rights activists renewed their crusade for social and political equality.


American Women!

Sacagawea, Native American Interpreter
Dolley Madison, First Lady and Hostess
Harriet Tubman, Conductor of the Underground Railroad
Emily Dickinson, Poet
Louisa May Alcott, Author
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abolitionist and Author
Clara Barton, Nurse and Humanitarian
Mary Todd Lincoln and Mary Surratt, Victims of the First Presidential Assassination?

"red arrow" Continue the story--NEXT..."From Prairie to Polls, 1870-1920"
or visit:
  From Colony to Country, 1600-1800 From Fifties to Feminism, 1950-1990
  From Jazz to War, 1920-1950 Into the 21st Century, 1990 onward
   
"red arrow" View an alphabetical list of all 106 women included in American Women! with links to photos and biographies for selected women
"red arrow" View a Thank You to over 100 lenders to Ameican Women!
"red arrow" Return to American Women! index page
"black arrow" Return to Hoover Library-Museum virtual exhibits page
"black arrow" Return to Hoover Library-Museum main index page