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Women and the National Experience: Primary Sources in American History, 2nd Edition

By Ellen Skinner

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Oct 29, 2002


This brief, affordable primary source reader contains more than one hundred different sources that describe the history of women in the United States.


Women and the National Experience, 2/e, is part of the Primary Sources in American History Series, which provides students with inexpensive collections of thought-provoking primary sources. Combining classic and unusual sources, this anthology explores the private voices and public lives of women throughout U.S. history, and also lets students experience what historians really do and how history is written.

Table of Contents

* indicates new readings.


1. Gender Patterns in the Colonial Era.

Anne Hutchinson, Trial (1638).

Anne Bradstreet, Before the Birth of One of Her Children (c. 1650).

Cotton Mather, The Wonders of the Invisible World: The Trial of Susanna Martin (1692).

Femme Sole Trader Act (1718).

Benjamin Wadsworth, A Well-Ordered Family (1712).

Chrestien Le Clercq, The Customs and Religion of the Indians (c. 1700).

Mary Jemison, A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison (1724).

Elizabeth Sprigs, Letter from an Indentured Servant (1756).

* Eliza Pinckney, Birthday Resoultions (1750s).

Judith Cocks, Letter to James Hillhouse (1795).

2. From Revolution to Republic: Moral Motherhood and Civic Mission.

* Ann Hulton, Letter of a Loyalist Lady (1774).

Esther DeBerdt Reed, Sentiments of an American Woman (1780).

Molly Wallace, The Young Ladies' Academy of Philadelphia (1790).

Abigail Adams, Letters to John Adams and His Reply (1776).

* Judith Sargent Murray, On the Equality of the Sexes (1790).

Ladies Society of New York, Constitution (1800).

Colored Female Religious and Moral Society of Salem, Massachusetts, Constitution (1818).

Emma Willard, Plan for Female Education (1819).

John S.C. Abbott, The Mother at Home (1833).

3. Emerging Industrialization: Opportunity and Protest.

Harriet Hanson Robinson, Lowell Textile Workers (1898).

Letters to the Voice of Industry (1846).

Ellen Monroe, Letter to the Boston Bee (1846).

Female Labor Reform Association, Testimony Before the Massachusetts Legislature (1845).

* Betsy Cowles, Report on Labor, Women's Rights Convention, Akron, Ohio (1851).

Caroline Dall, Women's Right to Labor (1860).

4. Moral Activism, Abolitionism, and the Contest over Woman's “Place.”

* Advocate of Moral Reform, Important Lectures to Females (1841).

Friend of Virtue, Died in Jaffrrey, Aged 27 (1841).

Dorothea Dix, On Behalf of the Insane (1843).

Catherine Beecher, The Evils Suffered by American Women and American Children (1846).

A Temperance Activist (1853).

Elizabeth Emery and Mary P. Abbott, Letter to the Liberator (1836).

Pastoral Letter to New England Churches (1837).

Sarah Grimke, Reply to Pastoral Letter (1837).

Proceedings of the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women, Philadelphia (1838).

Angelina Grimke, An Appeal to the Women of the Nominally Free States (1838).

Benjamin Drew, Narrative of Escaped Slaves (1855).

Harriet Tubman, Excerpts from a Biography by Her Contemporaries (c. 1880).

Elizabeth Dixon Smith Geer, Journal (1847-1850).

5. Woman's Rights: Pioneer Feminists Champion Gender Equality.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments (1848).

Women of Philadelphia (1848).

Caroline Gilman, Recollections of a Southern Matron (1838).

Lucretia Mott, Discourse on Women (1849).

Emily Collins, Reminiscences of the Suffrage Trail (c. 1881).

The Unwelcome Child (1845).

Sojourner Truth, Ain't I a Woman? (1851).

Ernestine Rose, This Is the Law but Where Is the Justice of It? (1852).

Lucy Stone and Henry B. Blackwell, Marriage Contract (1855).

H.M. Weber, Defends Dressing Like a Man, Letter to the Woman's Rights Convention, Worcester, Mass, (1850).

6. The Civil War, Reconstruction and Gender Politics.

Mary Boykin Chesnut, A Confederate Lady's Diary (1861).

Clara Barton, Nursing on the Firing Line (c. 1870).

Phoebe Yates Pember, Excerpts from A Southern Woman's Story (1879).

Charlotte Forten, Letter to William Lloyd Garrison (1862).

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, On Marriage and Divorce (c. 1850).

* Catharine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, Why Women Should Not Seek the Vote (1896).

* Victoria Claflin Woodhull, And the Truth Shall Make You Free (1871).

Susan B. Anthony, Proceedings of the Trial (1872).

Bradwell v. Illinois (1869).

Amelia Barr, Discontented Women (1896).

7. Building Sisterhood: The Limits of Inclusion.

Edward H. Clarke, Sex in Education (1874).

M. Carey Thomas, Present Tendencies in Women's Education (1908).

Anna Manning Comfort, Only Heroic Women Were Doctors Then (1916).

Martha E.D. White, Work of the Woman's Club (1904).

Grover Cleveland, Woman's Mission and Woman's Clubs (1905).

National Association of Colored Women, Club Activities (1906).

Frances Willard, On Behalf of Home Protection (1884).

Zitkala-Sa, The School Days of an Indian Girl (1900).

* Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Bible and Church Degrade Woman (1895).

Ida Wells Barnett, A Red Record (1895).

* Selena Butler, The Chain Gang System (1897).

8. Industrial Expansion and the Woman Worker: Gender, Race, and the Workplace.

Mary Church Terrell, What It Means to Be Colored in the Capital of the United States (1906).

Susan B. Anthony, Bread Not Ballots (c. 1866).

Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of Labor, The Working Girls of Boston (1884).

Leonora Barry, Investigator for the Knights of Labor (1888).

* Clara Lanza, Women as Clerks in New York (1891).

Mother Jones, The March of the Mill Children (1903).

Rose Schneiderman, A Cap Maker's Story (1905).

Rose Schneiderman, The Triangle Fire (1911).

New York Times, Miss Morgan Aids Girl Waist Strikers (1909).

9. Progressive Era: Maternal Politics, Protective Legislation, and Suffrage Victory.

Ann Garlin Spencer, Women Citizens (1898).

Jane Addams, The Clubs of Hull House (1905).

Florence Kelley, The Child, the State, and the Nation (1905).

Muller v. Oregon (1908).

National Women's Trade Union League, Legislative Goals (1911).

Anna Howard Shaw, NAWSA Convention Speech (1913).

Mollie Schepps, Senators v. Working Women (1912).

NAWSA, A Letter to Clergymen (1912).

Carrie Chapman Catt, Mrs. Catt Assails Pickets (1917).

Alice Paul, Why the Suffrage Struggle Must Continue (1917).

Jane Addams and Emily Greene Balch, Resolutions Adopted at the Hague Conference (1915).

10. Post-Suffrage Trends and the Uneven Rate of Gender Change.

U.S. Government, Survey of Employment Conditions: The Weaker Sex (1917).

* Mary G. Kilbreth, The New Anti-Feminist Campaign (1921).

Women Streetcar Conductors Fight Layoffs (1921).

Ann Martin, We Couldn't Afford a Doctor (1920).

The Farmer's Wife, The Labor Savers I Use (1923).

National Woman's Party, Declaration of Principles (1922).

*Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Speech Given at the Women's Interracial Conference.

Elisabeth Christman, What Do Working Women Say? (c. 1912).

* Eleanor Woodbridge, Petting and the Campus (1925).

Letter to Margaret Sanger (1928).

11. The Impact of the Depression and the New Deal.

Meridel Le Sueur, Women on the Breadlines (1932).

Ruth Shallcross, Shall Married Women Work? (1936).

* Pinkie Pilcher writes to President Roosevelt (1936).

Ann Marie Low, Dust Bowl Diary (1934).

Louise Mitchell, Slave Markets in New York City (1940).

Mary McLeod Bethune, A Century of Progress of Negro Women (1933).

* Jessie Daniel Ames, Southern Women and Lynching (1936).

Eleanor Roosevelt, Letter to Walter White (1936).

12. World War II and Postwar Trends: Disruption, Domestic Restoration, and Civil Rights Protest.

Richard Jefferson, African-American Women Factory Workers (1941).

Postwar Plans of Women Workers (1946).

* Marynia Farnham and Ferdinand Lundberg, Modern Women; The Lost Sex (1947).

* Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston from Farewell to Manzanar (1973).

* Loretta Collier, Interview: A Lesbian Remembers Her Korean War Military Service (1990).

Jo Ann Gibson Robinson, The Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955).

Anne Moody, The Movement (1963).

Betty Friedan, The Problem That Has No Name (1963).

13. Feminist Revival and Women's Liberation.

National Organization for Women, Statement of Purpose (1966).

Redstockings Manifesto (1969).

Gloria Steinem, Statement to Congress (1970).

* Joyce Maynard, An Eighteeen-Year-Old Looks Back at Life (1972).

Rape, an Act of Terror (1971).

Chicana Demands (1972).

National Black Feminist Organization, Manifesto (1974).

Lesbian Feminist Organization, Constitution (1973).

National Organization for Women, General Resolutions on Lesbians and Gay Rights (1973).

* Kathy Campell et al, Women's Night at the Free Clinic (1972).

14. Contested Terrain: Change and Resistance.

Roe v. Wade (1973).

Phyllis Schlafly, The Positive Woman (1977).

Letter from a Battered Wife (1983).

Gerda Lerner, A New Angle of Vision (1986).

Anita Hill, Statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee (1991).

Susan Faludi, Backlash (1992).

15. Entering the Twenty-First Century: Elusive Equality and Gender Gap Issues.

Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth (1991).

Paula Kamen, Acquaintance Rape: Revolution and Reaction (1996).

Susan Brownmiller, In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution (2000).

bell hooks, Feminist Theory, 2nd Edition (2000).

Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future (2000).

Concerned Women for America, Final Beijing +5 Battle Centers Around Abortion (2000).

Leila Ahmed, A Border Passage: From Cairo to America—A Woman's Journey (2000).

Kathleen Slayton, Gender Equity Gap in High Tech (2001).

Petra Mata, Interview: from Miriam Ching Yoon Louie, Sweatshop Warriors (2001).

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