During the Women’s Rights Movement of 1848 to 1920, many women fought for not only their own rights, but also many other issues such as abolition, child labor laws, prison reforms, and schools that didn’t only cater to upper-class white men. Women took to protesting, by gathering together to write inspiring speeches, pamphlets, and letters like Elizabeth Stanton’s ‘To the Women of the Republic’ written on January 25, 1864. In this letter, she strives to inspire women to sign a petition to end slavery, by comparing their suffering and hardships to their own, and noting that the Civil war would not be an issue, if it weren’t for slavery.
Elizabeth Stanton, was born on November 12, 1815, in Johnstown, New York, was an American reformer who was very adamant about changing the way women were treated during her time. “Her attention was first attracted to the disabilities of her sex when at 15 she was prepared to enter college and found none in which she could obtain the education which her brothers received”. President of the Women’s Loyal League in 1861 and the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1865-93. Author of the letter titled “To the Women of the Republic”, She was so well known, in fact, that she, and some of her most notable accomplishments made their way into the 1920 edition of The Encyclopedia Americana.
American reference work. Many different editors. “Known for its detailed coverage of American and Canadian geography and history. Americana is also strong in biography and scientific and technical subjects. Major articles are signed, many by scholars preeminent in their fields.” The Encyclopedia Americana had many different editors, most of which had noteworthy reputations as professors, historians, or authors. The main editor of the encyclopedia was Francis Lieber, who originally published the first 13 books in 1820. The edition that includes Elizabeth was not published until 1920 and was consistently revised thereafter. The Encyclopedia Americana is a collection of books, first compiled in 1829 by Francis Lieber, a U.S. political philosopher. He published the first 13 books, however, since 1911 an additional 50 volumes were added. The last edition was released in 2006. This collection of data was edited by hundreds of notable scholars and historians who collected both primary and secondary sources to bring this series all together. In 1920, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s works were officially added into the encyclopedia, noting that, “Her intellect, energy and perseverance, and her womanly traits made her generally respected, and she is rightfully regarded as the mother of the movement.” Of course, some of the articles within the encyclopedia may be a bit biased, overall, the focus of the series was to record data, rather than praise or condemn the event or person being written about.
This letter’s use of powerful language and the fiery passion of the woman who wrote it speaks in a way that n her lecture called, “Our Girls” Stanton inspires her listeners to realize their uniqueness and independence by saying, “I would have girls regard themselves not as adjectives, but as nouns”.
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