North Carolina Women: Making History

North Carolina Women: Making History

by Margaret Supplee Smith, Emily Herring Wilson


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For generations, books on North Carolina history have included the names of only a few women. But in addition to such well-known and legendary figures as Queen Elizabeth I and Virginia Dare, a multitude of other women influenced the making of North Carolina. These women's stories have rarely been told, in part because their contributions tended to occur in the relative privacy of their families and communities.

This lively and comprehensive volume finally accords North Carolina women their long-awaited place in history. Margaret Supplee Smith and Emily Herring Wilson bring together a wealth of materials to demonstrate how North Carolina women lived, from the days of early native settlements to the end of World War II. Filled with names, places, colorful anecdotes, and more than two hundred photographs and documents that bring to life important moments in history, North Carolina Women establishes the critical influence of women in shaping the character and economy of the state and the values of its citizens.

The narratives embedded in women's history, presented chronologically, create an enormous landscape across time—broadly analyzed and meticulously detailed. By considering the particular contours of gender, race, class, religion, and geography, the authors reveal the diversity and complexity of women's lives and experiences. Interspersed throughout the book are biographies of twenty-two North Carolina women, from Cherokee Beloved Woman Nanye'hi and frontierswoman Rebecca Bryan Boone to civil rights scholar and priest Pauli Murray and political activist Gladys Avery Tillett.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807858202
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 02/26/2007
Edition description: 1
Pages: 420
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Margaret Supplee Smith is professor of art at Wake Forest University. She coordinated the North Carolina Women's History Project for the North Carolina Museum of History and curated the women's history exhibition that opened the museum's new building.

Emily Herring Wilson is author of Two Gardeners: Katharine S. White and Elizabeth Lawrence—A Friendship in Letters and No One Gardens Alone: A Life of Elizabeth Lawrence. She lives in Winston-Salem.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Circumstances and Winners Change, by Doris Betts Preface by Elizabeth F. Buford Acknowledgments Introduction

Part I. Prehistory through the Eighteenth Century
Chapter 1. The First Settlers of This Land: Native American Women Nanye'hi/Nancy Ward, 1738?-1822
Chapter 2. The Most Industrious Sex in That Place: Women on the Carolina Frontier, 1587-1729
Chapter 3. A Pattern of Industry: Women from the Colonial to Republican Eras Rebecca Bryan Boone, 1739-1813
Ann Matthews Floyd Jessop, 1738-1822
Moravian Women, 1753-1836
The Bondswomen of Somerset Place, 1786-1860

Part II. The Nineteenth Century through Reconstruction
Chapter 4. A Hardier Mold: Women, Family, and Society, 1800-1860
Chapter 5. The Labor of Her Own Hands: Women and Work, 1800-1860
Chapter 6. Women Enter the Struggle: War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction, 1860-1876
Harriet Jacobs, ca. 1813-1897
Catherine Devereux Edmondston, 1823-1875
Cornelia Phillips Spencer, 1825-1908
Rhoda Strong Lowry, 1849-1909

Part III. Reconstruction through World War II
Chapter 7. The Task That Is Ours: Women, Work, and Advocacy, 1877-1910
Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, 1858-1964
Sallie Southall Cotten, 1846-1929
Julia Westall Wolfe, 1860-1945
Chapter 8. More Was Expected of Us: Women Making a Difference, 1910-1941
Charlotte Hawkins Brown, 1883-1961
Jane Simpson McKimmon, 1867-1957
Olive Dame Campbell, 1882-1954
Gertrude Weil, 1899-1971
Ella May Wiggins, 1900-1929
Mary Martin Sloop, 1873-1962
Chapter 9. Turning Point or Temporary Gain: Women and World War II, 1941-1945
Minnie Evans, 1892-1987
Elizabeth Lawrence, 1904-1985
Pauli Murray, 1910-1985
Gladys Avery Tillett, 1893-1984

Epilogue Notes Bibliography Index

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Stunning in scope, elegantly presented, and meticulously researched, North Carolina Women fills a huge void in our understanding of the role of women in the Tar Heel state. Not only is this essential reading for scholars, but the volume should appeal to anyone interested in North Carolina, southern, and women's history.—Alan D. Watson, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Richly annotated, copiously illustrated and painstakingly researched, this volume seeks to fill in all the gaps caused by partial and incomplete histories of North Carolina's women. . . . A valuable reference work for American and women's history.—Kliatt

[A] stupendous addition to the literature of the state.—Fayetteville Observer Times

A comprehensive, richly textured survey that integrates women into North Carolina's history from the pre-colonial era to the end of World War II. . . . A useful reference for historians yet accessible to a general audience as well.—Journal of Southern History

Authoritative. . . . The elegant, outsized volume is an inviting, lavishly illustrated narrative that fills in the glaring gaps that marred the standard histories. . . . A marvelously organized, superbly readable portrayal of what women were doing while explorers were exploring, soldiers were soldiering, governors were governing, from those early days of Raleigh's early colony through World War II, when women actually got into the fight themselves. . . . Its uniqueness gives it wings and its incomparable execution is sure to earn it accolades in more than one field.—Durham Herald-Sun

Makes clear to men as well as women the mutual benefit of knowing the whole story that generations of Tar Heels have shared. To have in schools, libraries, and homes this readable and carefully researched history is a joyful circumstance for all readers, who will realize anew how much better our shared future becomes when we learn from the shared past.—Doris Betts, from the Foreword

Using the women's own voices, taken from their written words and collections of oral histories, along with the revealing, passing remarks of leading men of the day, the authors chronicle a story of change that at times shows women taking one step forward and three steps back. . . . With sometimes stunning detail, it fills in some of the holes left in other books that claim to tell how North Carolina came to be what it is.—Raleigh News & Observer

This is a book for all North Carolinians of whatever race, age or sex. Every book club in the state should undertake it as a project. It does more than add a dimension to North Carolina history: it significantly reorders the past.—Anne Firor Scott, Duke University

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