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Despite their prevailing image and stereotype, southern women have often gone "beyond convention," living on their own terms within a society that revered tradition and compliance. Spanning the colonial era to the mid-twentieth century, Beyond Image and Convention documents women from widely varied social, economic, religious, and ethnic backgrounds who acted outside the accepted gender boundaries of their day.
Reflecting the quality and breadth of current scholarship in the field of southern women's history, this collection of essays relies upon previously untapped documentary evidence and, in the process, crafts provocative new interpretations of our collective past. The essays explore the historical experience of black and white southern women across nearly three centuries, including a white woman's sexual misconduct in colonial North Carolina, one slave woman's successful attempt to carve out an autonomous existence in southwestern Virginia, an ex-slave's fight for freedom in postbellum Missouri, and the civil rights activism of two white southern women—Sarah Patton Boyle of Virginia and Alice Norwood Spearman of South Carolina.
Breaking new ground in the study of women's history, Beyond Image and Convention provides valuable insights for both specialists and general readers.
|"Common Disturbers of the Peace": The Politics of White Women's Sexual Misconduct in Colonial North Carolina||10|
|Between Mistress and Slave: Elizabeth Wirt's White Housekeepers, 1808-1825||28|
|Enthusiasm, Possession, and Madness: Gender and the Opposition to Methodism in the South, 1770-1810||53|
|Making the Most of Life's Opportunities: A Slave Woman and Her Family in Abingdon, Virginia||74|
|Her Will against Theirs: Eda Hickam and the Ambiguity of Freedom in Postbellum Missouri||99|
|Half My Heart in Dixie: Southern Identity and the Civil War in the Writings of Mary Virginia Terhune||119|
|Making the Connection: Public Health Policy and Black Women's Volunteer Work||138|
|Sarah Patton Boyle's Desegregated Heart||158|
|Alice Norwood Spearman Wright: Civil Rights Apostle to South Carolinians||184|
|About the Authors and the Editors||209|