31 results for “Gender and society”

Heroism of a Pioneer Woman

A tableau of frontier violence. This image accompanied the tale of a 1791 attack on the John Merrill home in Kentucky in which Mrs. Merrill killed five attackers with her ax. Along with stories of white settlers taken captive by American Indians, images like this portrayed settlers as victims of Indian aggression and celebrated the strength of settler women as a sign of the strength of the young American nation.

Date
1860
Subjects
Frontier and pioneer life
Gender and society
Indians of North America
Violence
Places
Mississippi River Valley
West (U.S.)
Photograph of Elizabeth Packard

As a result of disagreements over religion and money, Theophilus Packard committed his wife of twenty-one years, Elizabeth Ware Packard, to the Illinois insane asylum in 1860. Three years later, Elizabeth's son secured her release. Immediately upon her return to their Kankakee home, Theophilus locked her inside and prepared to move her out of the state. Through the help of friends, Elizabeth proved her sanity in court. She convinced Illinois to change its commitment process and spent the rest of her life advocating for greater protections for wives from tyrannical husbands.

Date
1866
Subjects
Gender and society
Places
Illinois
People
Packard, Elizabeth
Rights of Married Women

Myra Colby Bradwell began publishing the Chicago Legal News in 1868, to agitate for a wide range of women's rights. In this editorial, Bradwell argued for the broadest possible interpretation of an 1869 Illinois law granting married women the right to control their own incomes. As a married woman, Bradwell confronted several legal problems. She had to obtain a special state charter in order to control the publication of her own newspaper. Also, she was qualified to become an attorney, but she was denied admission to the bar because she was married. She appealed this decision to the United States Supreme Court, but lost. Twenty years later, Illinois changed its law and, acting on her original petition of 1869, admitted Bradwell to the bar.

Creator
Bradwell, Myra
Date
1869
Subjects
Civil rights
Gender and society
Law
People
Bradwell, Myra
Emigrants Crossing the Plains

A family traveling by covered wagon stops to cook a meal. In the background a line of wagons stretches to the horizon.

Date
1869
Subjects
Emigration and immigration
Gender and society
Transportation
Places
Great Plains
West (U.S.)
Annie Oakley

The sharpshooter Annie Oakley (1860-1926) was born Phoebe Ann Moses to a poor Ohio farming family. To feed and support her family she learned to trap and shoot, and later performed shooting tricks on stage. She became a regular part of William Cody's Wild West Show in 1885. This portrait from 1899 suggests how Oakley stretched the conventional roles for women in the late 19th century as an expert shooter, although she always wore a skirt and rode sidesaddle in deference to audiences expectations.

Creator
Fox, Richard, K.
Date
1899
Subjects
Gender and society
Theater
Wild West Show
I Await the Devil's Coming

Nineteen-year-old Mary MacLane from Butte, Montana, may have been the original flapper. She wrote “I Await the Devil's Coming” and sent it to Chicago's Stone and Kimball Company. When it appeared in print in 1902, re-titled The Story of Mary MacLane, the book sparked controversy with its references to the author's sexual longings. Literary critics proclaimed it a work of refreshing openness, while more traditional readers thought it improper for a young woman. For a time, her name became synonymous with female sexuality. MacLane went on to write several other books and to act in early films. Never married, she lived in Chicago until her death in 1929.

Creator
MacLane, Mary
Date
1901
Subjects
Gender and society
Literature
Places
Montana
Woman's Protest Against Woman Suffrage

Chicago novelist Caroline F. Corbin considered socialism and women's suffrage closely allied evils. Together, she believed, the two would undermine the traditional family and ultimately harm women. In 1897, Corbin formed the Illinois Association Opposed to the Extension of Suffrage to Women (IAOESW). In this tract, IAOESW argues that imposing the obligations of suffrage upon women will undermine their ability to fulfill their civic responsibilities as mothers and wives. Instead, it argues that women are fully represented by the votes of their husbands, brothers, and sons.

Creator
Illinois Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage
Date
1909
Subjects
Gender and society
Political campaigns
Suffrage
Photograph of Margery Currey Dell

Margery Currey Dell and her husband Floyd Dell were part of a social network of writers, journalists and artists who comprised the literary movement known as the Chicago Renaissance.

Subjects
Gender and society
Literature
Suffrage
People
Currey, Margery
Theodore Roosevelt to Edith Wyatt

Despite mixed feelings, Theodore Roosevelt officially supported women's suffrage in his 1912 presidential campaign. His discomfort with the subject is evident in a letter he wrote in reply to Chicago literary critic Edith Franklin Wyatt. Roosevelt suggests that women's suffrage might help in the fight against prostitution. He also expresses doubts about the positive effects of women's votes, however, noting that there has been little change in states that have granted them suffrage.

Creator
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919
Date
December 15, 1912
Subjects
Gender and society
Suffrage
People
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919
Letter from Margery Currey to Eunice Tietjens, August 8, 1912

This letter between two women of Chicago's early 20th century literary community, recounts Currey's participation in the Progressive Party convention of 1912. At the time Currey was married to the writer and critic Floyd Dell, and the couple's home was the scene of regular meetings to discuss literary, cultural, and political issues.

Date
1912
Subjects
Gender and society
Suffrage
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
People
Currey, Margery
Tietjens, Eunice