Domestic Servants: Seen, but Rarely Heard

American Athena will consider the relationships between women of varied ethnicities, religions, and social and economic backgrounds. I’m especially interested in those women who worked as domestic servants because of their close relationships with the middle class women who attended the female schools in Jacksonville. Finding that information, however, is not easy. During the nineteenthContinue reading “Domestic Servants: Seen, but Rarely Heard”

The Power of the Past at the Congregational Library & Archives

Congregational Library and Archives in Boston, MA is my final stop on this leg of my NERFC journey. The founders of Illinois College: John Ellis, Julian Sturtevant, Edward Beecher, Asa Turner, and others, were Congregational ministers and I am here asking the question: as they and other Congregational missionaries went West to establish churches and educationalContinue reading “The Power of the Past at the Congregational Library & Archives”

Pieces of the Puzzle at the Schlesinger Library

This week finds me in at the Schlesinger Library in Cambridge, MA, another glorious repository of women’s history goodness. Walking into an archive, you never know how the day will unfold. Even if you’ve spent hours searching the on-line catalog and exchanged dozens of e-mails with archivists, there’s no telling what the actual sources willContinue reading “Pieces of the Puzzle at the Schlesinger Library”

My Favorite Research Tools: #Evernote

I’ve just returned from seven weeks of research in New England with a suitcase that weighed approximately the same as when I left. Let me explain: back in the old days (2010), the best way to keep track of documents was the good ol’ photocopy. A few daring archives had installed scanners at that time andContinue reading “My Favorite Research Tools: #Evernote”

Women, Slavery, and Politics

I’m still at the Vermont Historical Center this week, working my way through the diary of Augusta Merrill Bickford who, in 1848-1849, attended the Bradford Female Seminary in Bradford, MA. Her richly detailed account of daily life at a women’s school is a rare find, but in this season of presidential primaries, I am especiallyContinue reading “Women, Slavery, and Politics”