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Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Clara Barton, Julia Ward Howe, and Sarah Josepha Hale came from backgrounds that ranged from abject enslavement to New York City’s elite. Surmounting social and political obstacles, they emerged before and during the worst crisis in American history, the Civil War. Their actions became strands in a tapestry of courage, truth, and patriotism that influenced the lives of millions—and illuminated a new way forward for the nation. In this collective biography, Robert C. Plumb traces these five remarkable women’s awakenings to analyze how their experiences shaped their responses to the challenges, disappointments, and joys they encountered on their missions. Here is Tubman, fearless conductor on the Underground Railroad, alongside Stowe, the author who awakened the nation to the evils of slavery. Barton led an effort to provide medical supplies for field hospitals, and Union soldiers sang Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic” on the march. And, amid national catastrophe, Hale’s campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday moved North and South toward reconciliation.
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About the Author
Robert C. Plumb is a writer, marketing consultant, and former marketing executive for two Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of Your Brother in Arms: A Union Soldier’s Odyssey and has written for the Montgomery County Historical Society’s journal, the Washington Post, and the Washington Post Magazine. He lives outside Washington, DC. Elisabeth Griffith is the author of In Her Own Right: The Life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a contributor to Ken Burns’s documentary Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations Foreword Elisabeth Griffith Acknowledgments 1. The Better Angels of Our Nature 2. Women in Antebellum America 3. The Underground Railroad 4. Abolitionism in America 5. The “Seething Hell of War” 6. Noble Watchwords and Inspiring Ideas 7. Tending to the Wounded and Missing 8. The Prolonged War 9. “With Malice toward None, with Charity for All” 10. “Joy My Freedom!” 11. Women in Post–Civil War America 12. Concluding Remarkable Lives 13. The Angels among Us Still 14. “Contemplating Their Example” 15. Voce Angeli, or “Voices of the Angels” Notes Bibliography Index