South Carolina Women, Volume 1: Their Lives and Times

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This volume, which spans the long period from the sixteenth century through the Civil War era, is remarkable for the religious, racial, ethnic, and class diversity of the women it features. Essays on plantation mistresses, overseers' wives, nonslaveholding women from the upcountry, slave women, and free black women in antebellum Charleston are certain to challenge notions about the slave South and about the significance of women to the state's economy. South Carolina's unusual history of religious tolerance is explored through the experiences of women of various faiths, and accounts of women from Europe, the West Indies, and other colonies reflect the diverse origins of the state's immigrants.

The volume begins with a profile of the Lady of Cofitachequi, who sat at the head of an Indian chiefdom and led her people in encounters with Spanish explorers. The essays that follow look at well-known women such as Eliza Lucas Pinckney, who managed several indigo plantations; the abolitionist Angelina Grimke; and Civil War diarist Mary Boykin Chesnut. Also included, however, are essays on the much-less-documented lives of poor white farming women (the Neves family of Mush Creek), free African American women (Margaret Bettingall and her daughters), and slave women, the latter based on interviews and their own letters. The essays in volume 1 demonstrate that many women in this most conservative of states, with its strong emphasis on traditional gender roles, carved out far richer public lives than historians have often attributed to antebellum southern women.

Historical figures included:

  • The Lady of Cofitachequi
  • Judith Giton Manigault
  • Mary Fisher
  • Sophia Hume
  • Mary-Anne Schad
  • Mrs. Brown
  • Rebecca Brewton Motte
  • Eliza Lucas Pinckney
  • Harriott Pinckney Horry
  • Enslaved woman known as Dolly
  • Enslaved woman known as Lavinia
  • Enslaved woman known as Maria
  • Enslaved woman known as Susan
  • Women of the Bettingall-Tunno Family
  • Angelina Grimké
  • Elizabeth Allston Pringle
  • Mother Mary Baptista Aloysius
  • Mary Boykin Chesnut
  • Frances Neves
  • Lucy Holcombe Pickens
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This book will dispel any lingering notions you might have of southern women as fragile creatures who frittered away their lives fanning themselves on mansion porches. The energetic, resourceful females profiled in this arresting collection of essays seem to jump out of Colonial, Revolutionary, Antebellum, and Civil War times into our own era. The subjects are varied, ranging from a Native American who made peace with Spanish explorers to plantation owners, overseers' wives, slave women, feminists, and abolitionists. More proof that Women's History Month is really a 12-month a year affair.
From the Publisher

"This first volume of South Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times is an important contribution to our understanding of the history and culture of the Palmetto State. It is a welcome addition to my South Carolina bookshelf."--Walter Edgar, author of South Carolina: A History and editor of The South Carolina Encyclopedia

"This collection of lively essays on South Carolina women demonstrates the enormous diversity of women's situations and experiences and the ways in which race, class, religion, and history complicate gender as a category of analysis. It is a welcome addition to women's history and the history of the South."--Theda Perdue, Atlanta Distinguished Professor of Southern Culture, University of North Carolina

"Fascinating insights into some of the women who helped shape South Carolina . . . Together the essays show a collage of the types of women who make up our history and their strong ties to family."—Post and Courier

"The real value of this text . . . lies in its inclusiveness."—Journal of Southern History

“Engagingly written across all of the chapters, this book is suitable for a wide audience. . . . [R]eaders will be fascinated by the compelling array of women who added to South Carolina’s social, political, and economic history.”—Jennifer A. Stollman, The South Carolina Historical Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820329369
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2009
  • Series: Southern Women: Their Lives and Times Series, #1
  • Edition description: Volume 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,478,235
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Marjorie Julian Spruill is a professor of history at the University of South Carolina. Valinda W. Littlefield is an assistant professor of history at the University of South Carolina. Joan Marie Johnson is a lecturer at Northeastern Illinois University.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction 1
Marjorie Julian Spruill, Valinda W. Littlefield, and Joan Marie Johnson

Laura Towne and Ellen Murray
Northern Expatriates and the Foundations of Black Education in South Carolina, 1862– 1908 12
Ronald E. Butchart

Martha Fell Schofield and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright
Women Founders of South Carolina African American Schools 31
Larry D. Watson

The Rollin Sisters
Black Women in Reconstruction South Carolina 50
Willard B. Gatewood Jr.

Sarah Morgan Dawson
A New Southern Woman in Postwar Charleston 68
Giselle Roberts

Sallie Chapin
The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and Reconciliation after the Civil War 87
Joan Marie Johnson

Louisa B. Poppenheim and Marion B. Wilkinson
The Parallel Lives of Black and White Clubwomen 105
Joan Marie Johnson

Lucy Dugas Tillman
Child Custody, Motherhood, and the Power of a Populist Demagogue 128
Michele Grigsby Coffey

Eulalie Salley and Emma Dunovant
A Complementary Pair of Suffragists 144
James O. Farmer Jr.

Anita Pollitzer
A South Carolina Advocate for Equal Rights 166
Amy Thompson McCandless

Irene Goldsmith Kohn
An Assimilated “New South” Daughter and Jewish Women’s Activism in Early Twentieth- Century South Carolina 190
Belinda Friedman Gergel

Susan Pringle Frost
Historic Preservation in Charleston and Gendered Identity in the Emerging New South 215
Stephanie E. Yuhl

Josephine Pinckney
Literary Interpreter of the Modern South 234
Barbara L. Bellows

Alice Ravenel Huger Smith and Elizabeth O’Neill Verner 249
Champions of the Charleston Renaissance
Martha R. Severens

Matilda Evans
Health Care Activism of a Black Woman Physician 266
Darlene Clark Hine

Notes on Contributors 293
Index 297

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