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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
  • SophiaHume
  • 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 Grimk√©
  • 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.
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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: 990,698
  • 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 Marjorie Julian Spruill Valinda W. Littlefield Joan Marie Johnson 1

The Lady of Cofitachequi: Gender and Political Power among Native Southerners Christina Snyder 11

Judith Giton: From Southern France to the Carolina Lowcountry Bertrand Van Ruymbeke 26

Mary Fisher, Sophia Hume, and the Quakers of Colonial Charleston: "Women Professing Godliness" Randy J. Sparks 40

Mary-Anne Schad and Mrs. Brown: Overseers' Wives in Colonial South Carolina Laura Rose Sandy 60

Eliza Lucas Pinckney and Harriott Pinckney Horry: A South Carolina Revolutionary-Era Mother and Daughter Constance B. Schulz 79

Rebecca Brewton Motte: Revolutionary South Carolinian Alexia Jones Helsley 109

Dolly, Lavinia, Maria, and Susan: Enslaved Women in Antebellum South Carolina Emily West 127

The Bettingall-Tunno Family and the Free Black Women of Antebellum Charleston: A Freedom Both Contingent and Constrained Amrita Chakrabarti Myers 143

Angelina Grimke: Abolition and Redemption in a Crusade against Slavery Charles Wilbanks 168

Elizabeth Allston Pringle: A Woman Rice Planter Charles Joyner 184

Mother Mary Baptista Aloysius (nee Ellen Lynch): A Confederate Nun and Her Southern Identity Nancy Stockton 214

Mary Boykin Chesnut: Civil War Redux Elisabeth Showalter Muhlenfeld 233

Frances Neves and Her Family: Upcountry Women in the Civil War Sara Marie Eye 255

Lucy Holcombe Pickens: Belle, Political Novelist, and Southern Lady Orville Vernon Georganne Burton 273

Notes on Contributors 299

Index 305

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