Georgia Women: Their Lives and Times

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Women were leading actors in twentieth-century developments in Georgia, yet most histories minimize their contributions. The essays in the second volume of Georgia Women, edited by Ann Short Chirhart and Kathleen Ann Clark, vividly portray a wide array of Georgia women who played an important role in the state’s history, from little-known Progressive Era activists to famous present-day figures such as Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alice Walker and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

Georgia women were instrumental to state and national politics even before they achieved suffrage, and as essays on Lillian Smith, Frances Pauley, Coretta Scott King, and others demonstrate, they played a key role in twentieth-century struggles over civil rights, gender equality, and the proper size and reach of government. Georgia women’s contributions have been wide ranging in the arena of arts and culture and include the works of renowned blues singer Gertrude “Ma” Rainey and such nationally prominent literary figures as Margaret Mitchell, Carson McCullers, and Flannery O’Connor, as well as Walker.

While many of the volume’s essays take a fresh look at relatively well-known figures, readers will also have the opportunity to discover women who were vital to Georgia’s history yet remain relatively obscure today, such as Atlanta educator and activist Lugenia Burns Hope, World War II aviator Hazel Raines, entrepreneur and carpet manufacturer Catherine Evans Whitener, and rural activist and author Vara A. Majette. Collectively, the life stories portrayed in this volume deepen our understanding of the multifaceted history of not only Georgia women but also the state itself.

Published with the generous support of the Honorable Dr. M. Louise McBee

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“An amazing group of women shines forth in this collection of essays. They represent the best of Georgia in the twentieth century, from the farm to the city; in the classrooms, the arts, and the halls of law; and on the streets, fighting for social justice. Georgia women have brought significant vitality and change to their home state, and their stories come together brilliantly in this volume.”—Rebecca Sharpless, author of Cooking in Other Women’s Kitchens: Domestic Workers in the South, 1865–1960

“A comprehensive and interesting collection of essays that reveals both the depth and the breadth of the contributions women have made to the state’s modern history. The volume highlights the many ways race, class, family structure, historical and economic forces, and creativity shaped the lives of these interesting women.”—Susan Youngblood Ashmore, author of Carry It On: The War on Poverty and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, 1964–1972

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820333366
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 8/25/2009
  • Series: Southern Women: Their Lives and Times Series, #1
  • Edition description: Volume 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Short Chirhart is associate professor of history at Indiana State University and the author of Torches of Light: Georgia Teachers and the Coming of the Modern South. Kathleen Ann Clark is associate professor of history at the University of Georgia and the author of Defining Moments: African American Commemoration and Political Culture in the South, 1863–1913.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Ann Short Chirhart with Betty Wood 1

Mary Musgrove (ca. 1700– 1765)
Maligned Mediator or Mischievous Malefactor? 11
Julie Anne Sweet

Nancy Hart (ca. 1735– ca. 1830)
“Too Good Not to Tell Again” 33
John Thomas Scott

Elizabeth Lichtenstein Johnston (1764– 1848)
“Shot Round the World but Not Heard” 58
Ben Marsh

Ellen Craft (ca. 1826– 1891)
The Fugitive Who Fled as a Planter 82
Barbara McCaskill

Fanny Kemble (1809– 1893) and Frances Butler Leigh (1838– 1910)
Becoming Georgian 106
Daniel Kilbride

Susie King Taylor (1848– 1912)
“I Gave My Services Willingly” 130
Catherine Clinton

Eliza Frances Andrews (1840– 1931)
“I Will Have to Say ‘Damn!’ Yet, Before I Am Done with Them” 147
Christopher J. Olsen

Amanda America Dickson (1849– 1893)
A Wealthy Lady of Color in Nineteenth- Century Georgia 173
Kent Anderson Leslie

Mary Gay (1829– 1918)
Sin, Self, and Survival in the Post– Civil War South 199
Michele Gillespie

Rebecca Latimer Felton (1835– 1930)
The Problem of Protection in the New South 224
LeeAnn Whites

Mary Latimer McLendon (1840– 1921)
“Mother of Suff rage Work in Georgia” 245
Stacey Horstmann Gatti

Mildred Lewis Rutherford (1851– 1928)
The Redefi nition of New South White Womanhood 272
Sarah Case

Nellie Peters Black (1851– 1919)
Georgia’s Pioneer Club Woman 297
Carey Olmstead Shellman

Lucy Craft Laney (1855– 1933) and Martha Berry (1866– 1942)
Lighting Fires of Knowledge 318
Jennifer Lund Smith

Corra Harris (1869– 1935)
The Storyteller as Folk Preacher 341
Donald Mathews

Juliette Gordon Low (1860– 1927)
Late- Blooming Daisy 370
Anastatia Hodgens Sims

Selected Bibliography 391
List of Contributors 399
Index 403

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