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"By nature’s law designed" : the definition of womanhood in mid-nineteenth century America 1980

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"BY NATURE'S LAW. DESIGNED" - THE DEFINITION OF WOMANHOOD IN MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY AMERICA by ANNA E. GREEN B.A. (Hons), University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1977 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of History) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1980 © A n n a Green, 1980 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department nf Hvsto<g-V The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 DE-6 B P 75-51 1 E ABSTRACT This thesis explores how 'womanhood' was defined by a group of sixteen women publicists in mid-nineteenth century America, through their books, newspapers and journals published over a twenty-five year span leading up to the Civil War. Of the publicists, nine attended woman's rights conventions and were active in the movement, seven were adamantly opposed to the call for woman's rights. The sixteen publicists f a l l into three categories, conservative, liberal and radical; however, these do not correspond with membership, or non-membership, of the woman's rights movement. The conservative publicists believed that woman's nature rested upon the natural laws of her anatomy and physiology, which had been designed at the Creation to f u l f i l a specific function in God's ordered universe. Drawing upon the Bible, and popular scientific methods and concepts, the conservatives emphasised the structure and function of woman's body, and drew by analogy conclusions about the structure and function of her mind. The liberal publicists shared the belief in a fundamental sexual dualism permeating the natural world, and employed the same matter-mind analogies. However, pre-occupied with the cause of the exceptional woman, the liberals argued that the sexual dualism was not rigid, that women were born with exceptional creative talents that should be accepted as part of their womanhood and not repressed. The radical publicists denied the application of any such physiological determinism to the - i i i - d e f i n i t i o n of womanhood, and argued that nurture, not nature, moulded women to f u l f i l c u l t u r a l expectations.. Womanhood, they declared, was subject to the same natural laws as manhood, with the same needs, a b i l i t i e s , and c a p a c i t i e s . Upon these three d e f i n i t i o n s the p u b l i c i s t s rested various injunctions and p r e s c r i p t i o n s that were intended to show American women what t h e i r true function was, and how best to f u l f i l i t . However, these p r e s c r i p t i o n s do not correspond with the p u b l i c / p r i v a t e sphere dichotomy that h i s t o r i a n s have i d e n t i f i e d as the fundamental diffe r e n c e between members and non-members of the woman's ri g h t s movement. Rather the d i s t i n c t i o n to be made between the p u b l i c i s t s i s one of 'moral influence' versus ' s e l f - r e a l i s a t i o n ' . The conservative p u b l i c i s t s argued that woman's function was to exercise her 'moral influence', and t h i s could be extended into c l e a r l y defined p u b l i c a c t i v i t y , including that of suffrage. The l i b e r a l s fluctuated between t h i s approach and that of the r a d i c a l s , who argued that woman needed to achieve ' s e l f - r e a l i s a t i o n ' through the medium of labour and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n public a f f a i r s . - i v - TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter I. INTRODUCTION 1 I I . THE GREATEST SUFFERER 24 I I I . HER PECULIAR ORGANIZATION 49 IV. CONCLUSION 81 APPENDIX 1 0 1 BIBLIOGRAPHY 103 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I. wish to express my gratitude to Interlibrary Loan, University of British Columbia Library, for the help they gave me in tracking down numerous obscure sources. I would like to thank Dr June Gow, for acting as my supervisor, and Jack Vowles for his constant support and enthusiasm. - v i - From Mrs Mary S. Gove, Lectures to Ladies on Anatomy and Physiology (Boston: Saxton and Pierce, 1842). CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Mid-nineteenth century America became the scene of an intense debate over the nature and role of woman that emerged from the controversy surrounding the public participation of women in the Abolition movement during the late eighteen-thirties. This so provoked the clergy that a group in Massachusetts combined to publish their famous Pastoral Appeal in 1837, that was intended to remind women of the sphere of activity most suited to them: The power of woman is in her dependence, flowing from the consciousness of that weakness which God has given her for her protection, and which keeps her in those departments of life^that form the character of individuals of the nation. Although the woman's rights movement was not to be formed for another ten years, the debate over what became known as the "Woman Question" rapidly spread into a fu l l scale dispute over the very nature of woman, and the part she should play in American society. So much so, that a new journal commencing publication in 1851 could advertise the pressing topics of the moment that i t would be covering as follows: Science, criticism, Reviews., Literature, Morals, Theories of Government and Law, History, Taste, Wit, Anecdote, Romance, and the condition, needs., duties and destiny of Woman .... Participating in this debate were a group of women publicists, with diverse backgrounds and equally diverse opinions, who produced^ between - 2 - 1838 and 1864, a su b s t a n t i a l body of d e s c r i p t i v e , p r e s c r i p t i v e and didactic: l i t e r a t u r e on the topic of womanhood. The fundamental question they addressed, however, was the same : did the Creator when arranging the physi c a l and mental laws of woman's nature, design woman to f u l f i l a d i f f e r e n t function from that of man? If so, they further asked, what was this function, and did i t make woman d i f f e r e n t , i n f e r i o r , or superior to man? If not, was woman then the subject of the same phys i c a l and mental needs and desires as man, and equally capable of the same i n t e l l e c t u a l achievements? Historians w r i t i n g of t h i s period have tended to characterize the debate over the "Woman Question" on the part of women writers and reformers as one of two competing ideologies, that of domesticity versus 4 feminism. I t has been l a r g e l y accepted that those espousing the cause of domesticity wished to elevate woman's status within the private sphere, that of the home and family, while those supporting feminism were endeavouring to break into the pub l i c sphere, broadly defined as that of labour and suffrage. Further, there has been a tendency to accept an assumption that those women involved in.the woman's ri g h t s movement, founded i n 1848, subscribed to the view that woman's nature did not d i f f e r s u b s t a n t i a l l y from that of man, upon which b e l i e f they based t h e i r demands for c i v i l , l e g a l and s o c i a l reforms: But as the century approached i t s middle years, women recognised that they possessed the same human nature:.as. man. They ultimately concluded that woman had the same a b i l i t i e s , duties, and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and, therefore, merited i d e n t i c a l r i g h t s . - 3 - Yet a cursory glance at the writings of the p u b l i c i s t s , including both those inside and out of the woman's r i g h t s movement, indicates that d i v i s i o n s i n t h e i r thought were far more complex than t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n has allowed. Several p u b l i c i s t s , for example, supported the c a l l s f o r suffrage, equal pay, and l e g a l reform on the grounds of woman's difference from, and often s u p e r i o r i t y to, man. The implication of such an underlying philosophy i s important for a proper understanding of the strategy and reforms c a l l e d f o r by the woman's ri g h t s movement, e s p e c i a l l y since suffrage has been described as the most ' r a d i c a l ' demand made by mid-nineteenth feminists i n a very recent study of the movement by E l l e n DuBois. 6 In the attempts by the p u b l i c i s t s to resolve the debate over the nature of womanhood, they drew consistently upon two forms of evidence: f i r s t , B i b l i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l precedent, and second, s c i e n t i f i c p r i n c i p l e s and findings i n anatomy, physiology, phrenology and astronomy. The si g n i f i c a n c e of these.two sources i s explored i n the next two chapters, but i t should be noted that the search for a d e f i n i t i v e basis for woman's nature involved v i r t u a l l y no attention to the current l e g a l d e f i n i t i o n of woman. Rather the p u b l i c i s t s were debating the very basis of the law i t s e l f , f o r , as Elizabeth Cady Stanton - one of the founders of the woman's ri g h t s movement - pointed out, "the nature of a being decides i t s r i g h t s " , not the lawP But before examining the writings of the p u b l i c i s t s , who were they, hoth from the perspective of shared, and i n d i v i d u a l , identity? Collectively the women publicists share a number of interesting characteristics that tend to challenge some central tenets of the established historiography. Women writers and reformers of the mid- nineteenth century are often presented as a relatively affluent, educated g and newly leisured elite, but the experience of the women publicists rather illustrates the opposite. At least three lost their financial security in the Crash of 1837, and directly as a consequence began to write to make a living. Married to a newspaper editor bankrupted by the Crash, Elizabeth Oakes Smith was forced to begin writing to help support her five sons, and went on to make a successful career as a novelist. Caroline Dall had been born into a wealthy family, her father being an India merchant, but he lost nearly everything in 1837 and she began teaching to support herself. And the last of the three, Maria Mcintosh, one of the two publicists to have been born in the South, was living in New York by the time of the financial crisis that took what money she had. Ibrced to make a living for herself for the first time, she began by writing the popular Aunt Kitty's stories for children, 9 eventually moving on to ful l scale novels. Other women publicists, whose families were not wealthy in the first place, never married. Catharine Beecher made a career for herself both as a teacher, educational reformer and popular writer on domestic economy. Anne McDowell, about whom l i t t l e appears to he known, was apparently paralysed in one leg from an adult illness, but nonetheless became proprietor and editor of her own paper, and then later the - 5 - employee of another. S t i l l other p u b l i c i s t s were widowed early i n t h e i r l i v e s and l e f t with ch i l d r e n to support ; Sarah Hale, editor of the i n f l u e n t i a l Godey's Ladies Book, was one, and she explained to her readers that " i t was i n the hope of gaining the means for t h e i r support and education that she engaged i n the l i t e r a r y profession.""^ Or marriage could be less successful i n more ways that simply the f i n a n c i a l : Jane Swisshelm's rather harrowing autobiography r e l a t e s the emotional s t e r i l i t y as well as the f i n a n c i a l i n s e c u r i t y of her unhappy marriage. Despite the b i r t h of a long awaited c h i l d , she f i n a l l y decided to leave her husband i n 1857, having been for many years the only source of stable income i n the family, both through sewing and l a t e r e d i t i n g her own n e w s p a p e r E l i z a Farnham's l i f e ran the enti r e breadth of experiences: boarded out as a c h i l d , receiving v i r t u a l l y no education, she married twice. F i r s t widowed i n 1848 with chil d r e n , she became the f i r s t woman matron of Sing Sing prison. Her second marriage, i n 1852, lasted only four years, and so for most of her l i f e she was self-supporting and she t o l d her readers, "the press of circumstance has crowded me, during those years, into prospective affluence, and again reduced me to ,,12 poverty. In f a c t , only a few of the women p u b l i c i s t s were s u f f i c i e n t l y f i n a n c i a l l y secure to devote t h e i r attention to wr i t i n g e n t i r e l y out of choice, and even then those with several ch i l d r e n , such as Eliza b e t h Cady Stanton, hardly q u a l i f y for the epithet of l e i s u r e d , and were hard pressed to f i n d the time.l^ Understanding of the economic p o s i t i o n of - 6 - women during t h i s period has l a r g e l y been based upon Gerda Lerner's thesis that a f t e r the 1830's women separated into two classes, "the lady and the m i l l g i r l " . " ^ C ertainly Lerner's contention that the recognition of class s t r a t i f i c a t i o n at t h i s time i s e s s e n t i a l to the understanding of the hist o r y of women i s important. However, the evidence of t h i s small group of women p u b l i c i s t s would seem to indic a t e that the economic circumstances of women were more complex than that suggested by the two classes of the lady, and the m i l l g i r l . The e f f e c t of working for a l i v i n g upon the i n d i v i d u a l consciousness of the women p u b l i c i s t s i s harder to gage, e s p e c i a l l y since they r a r e l y discussed t h e i r own work. Ce r t a i n l y several of those who worked to support t h e i r f a m i l i e s became the leading exponents of the view that woman was by nature unsuited for wage labour. At the same time, others, such as Jane Swisshelm, became more i n d i f f e r e n t to public opinion as a r e s u l t of t h e i r labours. In her autobiography Swisshelm pointed out that she wished: to i l l u s t r a t e the force of education and the mutability of human character, by a personal narrative of one who, i n 1836, would have broken an engagement rather than permit her name to appear i n p r i n t , even i n the announcement of marriage; and who, i n 1850, had as much newspaper notoriety as any man of that time, and was si n g u l a r l y i n d i f f e r e n t to the praise or blame of the press. -* Although eleven of the sixteen p u b l i c i s t s considered here were forced to earn t h e i r own l i v i n g , for at least part of t h e i r l i v e s , few had i n fact d e l i b e r a t e l y prepared themselves for a vocation, and most f e l t t h e i r education to have been quite inadequate, which undoubtedly - 7 - contributed to the almost unanimous, stress l a i d upon improving the qua l i t y of education a v a i l a b l e to women. Many of the p u b l i c i s t s were educated at home by t h e i r mothers, and spent at most a year or two at the d i s t r i c t school. However, a home education was not necessarily a poor one: Sarah Grimke was educated with her brothers (although her father put h i s foot down on the question of L a t i n ) , as was Elizabeth Cady Stanton.-^ A f t e r having gone as f a r as she could at Johnstown Academy, and being unable to follow the boys to college (Oberlin did not open i t s doors u n t i l three years l a t e r , i n 1833) , Stanton was sent to Emma Willard's Seminary at Troy to complete her education with French, Music and Dancing. Later i n her l i f e , she swore, " i f there i s any one thing on earth from which I pray to God to save my daughters ... i t i s a g i r l ' s seminary.""^ Margaret F u l l e r , who was destined to become one of New England's most eminent Transcendental i n t e l l e c t u a l s , was subjected to an intense rigorous c l a s s i c a l education by her father; Caroline D a l l received the same attention from her father, being taught the alphabet by the time she was 18 eighteen months old. So the p u b l i c i s t s experienced the extremes of educational opportunities, from v i r t u a l l y none at a l l , to the equivalent of a good masculine education up to college entrance. Just as t h e i r educational background varied a good deal, so did t h e i r r e l i g i o u s a f f i l i a t i o n . Many of the women p u b l i c i s t s changed t h e i r denomination at least once during t h e i r l i v e s , a few leaving the f o l d of organised r e l i g i o n altogether. E l i z a Farnham came to the conclusion that - 8 - "there i s not i n existence, nor has there ever been, a Church which has had i t s o r i g i n i n any i n t e l l i g e n t understanding of the human being." It was not woman, but man, "who declared that a lake, burning forever with l i q u i d sulphur, was kept open for a l l the race of man, except h a l f a score 19 elected from a m i l l i o n . " Such revulsion from the tenets of orthodox Calvinism was shared by nearly every p u b l i c i s t , regardless of which sect they chose to j o i n , but such ' l i b e r a t i o n ' was usually accompanied by a good deal of s p i r i t u a l pain. Paulina Wright Davis spoke for many of her fellow p u b l i c i s t s when she wrote: I was not a happy c h i l d , nor a happy woman, u n t i l i n mature l i f e , I outgrew my early r e l i g i o u s f a i t h , and f e l t free to think and act from my own c o n v i c t i o n s . ^ The conversion experience expected i n most evangelical sects proved to be another requirement with which some p u b l i c i s t s could not comply. Jane Swisshelm, asked at sixteen years of age i f she was ready to j o i n the Church, found that, "I could not submit to God's w i l l ... then oh! the t o t a l depravity which could question 'the ways of God to man . L And the struggle between Lyman Beecher, the noted evangelical minister, and his daughter Catharine over her conversion has been w e l l documented by Katherine Kish Sklar; Catharine never did undergo conversion, and eventually she moved to the Episcopalian Church, a move echoed by several 22 other p u b l i c i s t s . The r e l a t i v e popularity of the Episcopalian Church at th i s time has been a t t r i b u t e d , by Ann Douglas., to its. edge i n prestige over other denominations. Further, f o r anyone torn by d o c t r i n a l doubts, the emphasis - 9 - of the Episcopalians upon the i n s t i t u t i o n a l and s o c i a l aspects of f a i t h 23 was less demanding. Other p u b l i c i s t s never found a r e l i g i o u s 'home' at a l l . Sarah Grimke relinquished her childhood f a i t h of Presbyterianism i n favour of the Quakers - a d r a s t i c move for the daughter of a wealthy Southern family - and moved to Philadelphia. But the authoritarianism of the Friends, and t h e i r r e f u s a l to oppose slavery c a t e g o r i c a l l y , gradually alienated her and towards the end of her l i f e she became 24 fascinated by s p i r i t u a l i s m . Whatever t h e i r denomination, or absence thereof, the i n t r i c a c i e s of t h e o l o g i c a l debate do not appear to play a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n the writings of the p u b l i c i s t s . They drew both upon revealed r e l i g i o n - the Bible - and natural theology as sources of divine authority, and despite t h e i r almost univ e r s a l disenchantment with Calvinism, i t continued to e x e r c i s e a potent e f f e c t upon t h e i r thinking. An example of t h i s can be seen i n the way that the idea of a chosen e l e c t among mankind was transferred i n the thoughts and writings of many of the p u b l i c i s t s to the c o l l e c t i v e mission of womanhood, to woman's r o l e i n p u r i f y i n g American society and leading i t closer to God. P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the reform movements of the day was to be very i n f l u e n t i a l i n catapulting some of the women p u b l i c i s t s into t h e i r careers. This i s e s p e c i a l l y so of those women whose economic status was more secure: Sarah Grimke, L u c r e t i a Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer and Paulina Wright Davis. The f i r s t three women, Grimke, Mott and Stanton, were a l l involved i n the anti-slavery movement through which they became - 10 - aware of the r e s t r i c t i o n s upon women's p a r t i c i p a t i o n , brought home sharply by the r e f u s a l of the World Anti-Slavery Convention held i n London, England, to admit women as delegates i n 1840. These were the p u b l i c i s t s l i k e l y to be found w r i t i n g and l e c t u r i n g on behalf of several reforms, and l e c t u r i n g on the popular lyceum c i r c u i t could be l u c r a t i v e , as Amelia Bloomer was to discover. Once, when l e c t u r i n g on temperance, she was asked what her fee would be; she decided to ask the same amount as that paid to Horace Mann, the noted New England education reformer, the previous week and despite the surprise of her hosts that a woman should request the same fee as a man, she received i t . Amelia Bloomer bad begun her career as a p u b l i c i s t i n the temperance movement, and i n fac t her paper, The L i l y , was conceived i n i t i a l l y as an exclusi v e l y temperance p u b l i c a t i o n . But i t very quickly succumbed to Bloomer's own burgeoning i n t e r e s t i n the "Woman Question", on which i t remained a steadfast advocate of woman's rights and so provoked the i r e of the l o c a l gazette i n Ohio that, when commenting upon the L i l y ' s move there i n 1853, the editor remarked, " L i l y ! thou shouldst have been c a l l e d crow-bar, sledge-hammer, quartz-crusher, or by some other name...' Of the seventeen women p u b l i c i s t s , seven published through a newspaper or j o u r n a l , monthly and weekly, and were i n some cases both proprietor and edi t o r . Bloomer's The L i l y was a more or less l o c a l a f f a i r u n t i l the notoriety of her espousal of a new form of dress, known as the Bloomer costume although i t did not or i g i n a t e with her, pushed her subscri p t i o n 27 l i s t over 6,000 i n 1853. Within the second year of her Pittsburgh Saturday V i s i t e r [ s i c ] , Jane Swisshelm achieved much the same c i r c u l a t i o n , - 11 - although her paper never endorsed any reform movement, and was i n fac t 28 rather h o s t i l e to the woman's rights conventions i n p a r t i c u l a r . But the debate on the "Woman Question" was in e l u c t a b l e , and the paper gradually became the ve h i c l e f o r Jane Swisshelm's views on the subject. Neither The Una, owned and edited by Paulina Wright Davis, nor The Woman's Advocate, owned and edited by Anne McDowell, appear to have had such large subscription l i s t s , although many of the p u b l i c i s t s 29 subscribed to both. The Una was published i n Rhode Island, and ca r r i e d as i t s motto, "Devoted to the in t e r e s t s of Woman"; af t e r a year or so of pub l i c a t i o n , Davis found the e d i t o r i a l and wr i t i n g commitments too onerous on her own, and Caroline D a l l became co-editor of the paper. The Woman's Advocate was published from Philadelphia and had the d i s t i n c t i o n of being the f i r s t paper to have a l l i t s typesetting and p r i n t i n g work done by women, "who are paid the standard prices of the men's typographical union."30 Anne McDowell came under f i r e from the woman's ri g h t s movement for her f a i l u r e to emphasize the importance of suffrage i n her paper, but although she was not opposed to the vote, she f e l t that the question of woman's labour and f a i r recompense were far more fundamental to woman's well-being, and consequently her paper focussed on these issues. Despite her i n t e r e s t i n , and sympathy f o r , the " i n d u s t r i a l classes" of women however, McDowell's paper was la r g e l y directed towards the employer class and middle-class philanthropic women. Although often these papers were s h o r t - l i v e d , from two to f i v e years, these p u b l i c i s t s had usually begun the paper themselves, running into - 12 - debt to do so, and carrying on despite considerable odds. They c l o s e l y i d e n t i f i e d with t h e i r papers, never w i l l i n g l y r e l i n q u i s h i n g them; Amelia Bloomer only gave up the L i l y when her husband decided to move as f a r west as Council B l u f f , Iowa, i n 1856, beyond the reach of the r a i l r o a d . Sadly she t o l d her readers that her husband, "on his return home l a s t month ... made known to us his purpose of making western Iowa our future home, and that he had made arrangements to remove t h i t h e r early i n the ,.31 spring .... However, the doyen of the newspaper editors among the women p u b l i c i s t s i s undoubtedly Sarah Hale, who was i n v i t e d to take over the editorship of Godey's Ladies Book i n 1837. When she arrived at the j o u r n a l , the 32 c i r c u l a t i o n was 10,000; by 1860 she had r a i s e d i t to 150,000. Aimed s o l e l y at a feminine audience, Godey's concentrated upon fashion and f i c t i o n , much of the l a t t e r being written by American women authors. But through the medium of the Editor's Table i n every issue, Sarah Hale expounded her views on the nature and place of woman. She was also author of a popular two volume h i s t o r y of women, e n t i t l e d , Woman's Record, which purported to contain "the picture of Woman's L i f e , as i t has been developed to the world from the Creation to the present date." But the i n t e n t i o n of the book was less h i s t o r i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n , and more p r e s c r i p t i v e as Hale openly confessed i n the introduction; she was "hoping the examples shown and characters portrayed, might have an i n s p i r a t i o n and power i n advancing the moral progress of society."33 - 13 - A s i m i l a r p r e s c r i p t i v e intent was behind most of the books published by these women on the nature of woman, although the changes advocated were f a r from unanimous. But the reading public remained less in t e r e s t e d i n t h e i r p r e s c r i p t i v e works than i n t h e i r other writings - being a successful n o v e l i s t , as was Eliza b e t h Oakes Smith, did not ensure that her n o n - f i c t i o n a l work sold w e l l . Any f i c t i o n , t r a v e l w r i t i n g s , or discussion of domestic economy could run through several e d i t i o n s , whereas d i d a c t i c l i t e r a t u r e on the nature of woman would be lucky to make two. One of the most p r o l i f i c writers among the p u b l i c i s t s , Catharine Beecher, did a great deal better with her works on domestic economy; her Domestic Receipt Book ran through some ten editions between 1846 and 1872, but The Duty of American Women to t h e i r Country was l i m i t e d to one ed i t i o n , i n 1845. Again, E l i z a Farnham's t r a v e l books from the West, e s p e c i a l l y her L i f e i n P r a i r i e Land ran through f i v e editions between 1848 and 1868, but her l i f e work, the two volume Woman and Her Era made only two edit i o n s . Nonetheless, achieving more than one p r i n t i n g with t h i s type of book was rare, and Margaret F u l l e r ' s Woman i n the Nineteenth Century q u a l i f i e s as a b e s t s e l l e r i n t h i s l i m i t e d contest, with f i v e editions between 1845 and 1860, and many more l a t e r i n the century. When F u l l e r f i n a l l y published Woman i n the Nineteenth Century i n 1845, "the whole e d i t i o n was sold o f f i n a week to the booksellers and $85 handed to me as my share", a fac t she couldn't help but f e e l indicated a * 35 measure of success. - 14 - In whatever form they chose to publish t h e i r views, ei t h e r through newspapers, journals or f u l l - l e n g t h books, the p u b l i c i s t s shared c e r t a i n . i n t e l l e c t u a l preoccupations, e s p e c i a l l y that of science, that are also found more widely among many of t h e i r contemporaries. Yet while t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n s of womanhood drew upon that espoused by doctors, ministers and reformers, the p u b l i c i s t s also enlarged upon or d i f f e r e d from these views i n important ways. What i s , however, of most s i g n i f i c a n c e are the d i s t i n c t i o n s that emerge i n the work of the women p u b l i c i s t s themselves. Certainly they were aware of the differences among themselves since most were aware of, and familar with, the writings of the others. Between Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Sarah Hale there was no love l o s t ; both knew that t h e i r ideas were d i a m e t r i c a l l y opposed. Stanton c a l l e d 3 6 Hale a, "thoroughly p o l i t i c and time-serving woman", and Hale responded by excluding Stanton completely from her supposedly comprehensive Woman's Record. Sarah Hale did not stop at that; she had only harsh words for those whose ideas were not i n accordance with her own. Margaret F u l l e r ' s work would not l a s t , according to Hale, and nature was stronger than L u c r e t i a Mott's reasoning. But those with whom she was i n agreement drew eulogies: Catharine Beecher had several pages devoted to her, and both Maria Mcintosh and Margaret Coxe drew favourable commend- 37 ations. Of course, personal d i s l i k e s could p r e v a i l over shared philosophies, and the other way around. Stanton i n p a r t i c u l a r tended to be suspicious of a l l her fellow, reformers; w r i t i n g to Susan B. Anthony, the incomparable organiser of the woman's rights movement, she commented, - 15 - "you must take Mrs Bloomer's suggestions with great caution, for she has 38 not the s p i r i t of a true reformer." Yet Bloomer's own writings share very c l o s e l y Stanton's ideas on the d e f i n i t i o n of womanhood. And despite great differences i n opinion, Stanton could not help l i k i n g Jane G. 39 Swisshelm, "although she i s forever saying something we wish unsaid." The only h i s t o r i a n to have paid attention to the d e f i n i t i o n of womanhood at th i s time i s Barbara Welter, i n her seminal a r t i c l e , "The Cult of True Womanhood". Drawing upon "women's magazines, g i f t annuals and r e l i g i o u s l i t e r a t u r e " , Welter found four c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s commonly used to define the concept of "true womanhood", and these were: "piety, p u r i t y , submissiveness and d o m e s t i c i t y " . ^ While these themes occur also i n the writings of the p u b l i c i s t s , they were frequently modified by the p u b l i c i s t s ' own experience, p a r t i c u l a r l y the themes of submissiveness and domesticity. Further, placing women writers i n t h e i r nineteenth century i n t e l l e c t u a l context, has only j u s t begun, with a pioneering study by Susan P. Conrad exploring the impact of Romanticism upon mid-century women i n t e l l e c t u a l s and how i t enabled them to reco n c i l e t h e i r a c t i v e l i t e r a r y l i v e s with the concept of "true womanhood".41 By Conrad's own d e f i n i t i o n , two p a r t i c u l a r features of Romanticism are important: the f i r s t , that Romanticism "relocated the source of value and order from the external world to the perceiving s e l f , investing i t with an almost divine authority", and the second, that " d i v e r s i t y , not uniformity, characterised the universe." Conrad then proceeds to argue that these two ideas encouraged women to enter the f i e l d s of l i t e r a t u r e , - 16 - art and education for they could do so without compromising their womanhood. But a close reading of the writings of some of her women intellectuals, those who are also included in this study, Illustrates that frequently neither of the two ideas that Conrad posits as crucial Romantic tenets are exhibited in their work. For example, Sarah Hale specifically repudiated German romantic thought: Yet why is a l l this enthusiasm for German? This peculiar reverence for its unpronouncable vocabularies, and unfathomable philosophy? Where a l l is mysticism, nothing can be clear.^ Her writings reveal a clear commitment to the idea of a divinely- sanctioned order in the universe, from which she drew authority for her beliefs, and a pluralist universe was outside her comprehension. On the other hand, Margaret Fuller was directly influenced by the German romantics, especially Goethe, as a young woman, and it led to terrible conflict between her belief in the supremacy of the individual conscious- ness, and her acceptance of certain innate feminine characteristics. Unfortunately Conrad fails to show how the central tenets of Romanticism really touched the thinking of a woman writer such as Sarah Hale, while tending to ignore the distinct differences of thought among her group of women intellectuals. However, in a perceptive article entitled, "Victorian Science and the 'Genius' of Woman", Elavia Alaya suggests that the impact of scientific ideas in the nineteenth century was the most potent intellectual influence upon the debate over the nature and place of woman. She refers to: - 17 - the impact of nineteenth century science, which gave such vigorous and persuasive reinforcement to the t r a d i t i o n a l dogmatic view of sexual character that i t not only strengthened the opposition to feminism but disengaged the ideals of feminists themselves from t h e i r philosophic roots.^3 Alaya suggests that the ph i l o s o p h i c a l tenets of feminism are traceable from Wollstonecraft (1792), through M i l l (1869), to de Beauvoir (1953), and that these tenets are i n t e g r a l with "the e x i s t e n t i a l i d e a l of human freedom synonymous with power over s e l f , and thus [opposes] those theories that would prescribe any l i m i t s a l l e g e d l y imposed by 'nature' on human personality or human p o t e n t i a l . T h e e f f e c t of s c i e n t i f i c ideas, according to Alaya, was to create a " d i s c o n t i n u i t y " i n feminist thought, that emerged during M i l l ' s l i f e t i m e . The writings of the American p u b l i c i s t s suggest, however, that the impact of science was f e l t early i n the 1840's, and that i t had the immediate e f f e c t of c l a r i f y i n g the terms of the debate over the "Woman Question". The d e f i n i t i o n s of womanhood employed by the sixteen p u b l i c i s t s f a l l i n to three categories, the conservative, l i b e r a l and r a d i c a l . The conservatives formed the largest s i n g l e group, eight of the p u b l i c i s t s : Catharine Beecher, Margaret Coxe, Hannah Tracy Cutler, Paulina Wright Davis, E l i z a Farnham, Sarah Hale, Maria Mcintosh and Jane G. Swisshelm. Of these p u b l i c i s t s , Cutler, Davis, and Farnham p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the woman's rig h t s movement, and Swisshelm endorsed some of i t s aims. The theory of womanhood subscribed to by the conservative p u b l i c i s t s can hest be described as f u n c t i o n a l i s t and p h y s i o l o g i c a l l y determinist; that i s . - 18 - woman's nature, both phy s i c a l and mental, rested upon natural laws d i f f e r e n t from those governing the nature of man. It was e s s e n t i a l l y an argument from design and began with the question of what purpose woman was designed to f u l f i l l . The l i b e r a l p u b l i c i s t s number only three: Caroline D a l l , Margaret F u l l e r and Elizabeth Oakes Smith. F u l l e r was i n I t a l y when the woman s rights movement began, and died only two years l a t e r on her way back to America, but both D a l l and Smith were ac t i v e i n the cause of woman's ri g h t s . These women shared very much the same ph i l o s o p h i c a l basis for t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n of womanhood as that of the conservative p u b l i c i s t s , but tempered with a f l e x i b i l i t y that would permit the rare, exceptionally talented woman to escape the s t r i c t u r e s imposed on the female sex as a re s u l t of that d e f i n i t i o n . Disputing the manner i n which the conservatives and l i b e r a l s employed both the Bible and science are the group of f i v e r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t s , Amelia Bloomer, Sarah Grimke, Anne McDowell, L u c r e t i a Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, of whom only Anne McDowell stood apart from the woman's rights movement. The r a d i c a l s argued that i t was the environment, family and society, that moulded woman's nature and they cfenied the existence of a fundamental sexual dualism i n the natural world. The two sources towards which they a l l looked for a u t h o r i t a t i v e evidence were woman's past, both B i b l i c a l and secular, and the findings of contemporary science. But since both were the work of an omnipotent God, i t i s to His r e v e l a t i o n and the subsequent h i s t o r y of woman that the p u b l i c i s t s turned to f i r s t of a l l . - 19 - NOTES; I The Liberator , v o l . 7, no. 33 (August 11, 1837), p. 129. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms, American Periodical; Series 1800-1850,- r e e l 392. 2 The Saturday V i s i t e r , v o l . 4, no. 54 (November 22, 1851), p. 202. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Publishing Company, r e e l 1. 3 The c r i t e r i a f o r s e l e c t i n g the women p u b l i c i s t s chosen for i n c l u s i o n i n t h i s study are as follows: a) the p u b l i c i s t s must be v e r i f i a b l y American. b) they must have published, e i t h e r through a serie s of newspaper a r t i c l e s , e d i t o r i a l s , or a book, an analysis of the nature and rol e of woman, between the years 1838-1864. F i c t i o n , h i s t o r i e s , travelogues did not q u a l i f y the author for i n c l u s i o n , although the p u b l i c i s t may well have also written these. The intent was to i s o l a t e a body of work devoted s p e c i f i c a l l y to both an empirical and a ph i l o s o p h i c a l analysis of woman's nature that may y i e l d a better comprehension of the determinants of women's thinking at the time of the inception of the woman's rights movement. See Appendix 'A' for a de t a i l e d breakdown of the sixteen women p u b l i c i s t s chosen for i n c l u s i o n i n t h i s study. 4 Nancy Cott, The Bonds of Womanhood: "Woman's Sphere" i n New England, 1780-1835 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977), p. 5; E l l e n DuBois, Feminism and Suffrage: The Emergence of an Independent Women's Movement i n America 1848-1869 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1978), p. 5; Keith E. Melder, Beginnings of Sisterhood: The American Woman's Rights Movement, 1800-1850 (New York: Schocken Books, 1977), pp. 1, 8-10, 129. 5 Barbara J . Berg, The Remembered Gate: Origins of American Feminism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), p. 244; see also, Glenda Gates Ri l e y , "The Subtle Subversion; Changes i n the T r a d i t i o n a l i s t Image of the American Woman", The H i s t o r i a n , 32 (1969): 227; th i s idea has continued despite the warning by Rosalind Rosenberg, "In Search of Woman's Nature, 1850-1920", Feminist Studies, 3 X 1 9 7 5 ) : 142, " i n focusing on feminists' demands for equal r i g h t s , h i s t o r i a n s have generally assumed that women were f i g h t i n g to be l i k e men and have overlooked t h e i r shared preoccupation with female uniqueness." - 20 - 6 DuBois, Feminism and Suffrage, pp. 16-17. 7 Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B.. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage, eds., History of Woman Suffrage, 6 vo l s . (New York: Fowler and Wells, 1881-1922), 1:679. 8 See Gerda Lerner, "The Lady and the M i l l G i r l : Changes i n the Status of Women i n the Age of Jackson", American Studies Journal, 10 (1969) : 11; and Susan J. Kleinberg's introduction to D.C. Bloomer, L i f e and Writings of Amelia Bloomer (New York: Schocken Books, 1975), p. v i i i . 9 For a l l subsequent biographical information, except where otherwise noted, see Edward T. James, ed., Notable American Women, 1607-1950, 3 v o l s . (Cambridge: Balknap Press, 1971). 10 Mrs Sarah J. Hale, Woman's Record; or, Sketches of a l l Distinguished Women from the Creation to A.D. 1868 Arranged i n Four Eras, 3rd Ed. (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1870), p. 686. 11 Jane Grey Swisshelm, Half a Century (Chicago: Jansen, McClung and Co., 1880). 12 E l i z a W. Farnham, Woman and Her Era, 2 v o l s . (New York: A.J. Davis and Co., 1864; New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 326), l : v i . 13 Eliz a b e t h Cady Stanton, Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences 1815-1897 (New York: Schocken Books, 1971), pp. 145 and 165. 14 Lerner, "The Lady and the M i l l G i r l " , p. 13. 15 Swisshelm, Half a Century, p. 4 16 Gerda Lerner, The Grimke S i s t e r s from South Carolina (Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n Co., 1967), p. 17. - 21 - 17 Stanton, Eighty Years and More, pp. 22 and 33] Louise R. Noun, Strong-Minded Women: The Emergence Of the Woman-Suffrage Movement i n Iowa (Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1969), p. 7. 18 Susan P. Conrad, Perish the Thought: I n t e l l e c t u a l Women i n Romantic America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976), p. 163. 19 Farnham, Woman and Her Era, 1:19 and 2:70. 20 Stanton et a l . , History of Woman Suffrage, 1:284. 21 Swisshelm, Half A Century, p. 36. 22 Kathryn Kish Sklar, Catharine Beecher: A Study i n American Domesticity (New York: W.W. Norton and Co. Inc., 1973), pp. 31 and 260. 23 Ann Douglas, The Feminization of American Culture (New York: Avon Books, 1977), p. I l l ; a l so, Timothy L. Smith, Revivalism and S o c i a l Reform i n Mid-Nineteenth Century America (New York: Abingdon Press, 1957), p. 30. The Episcopalian Church grew i n membership by 46% between 1855 and 1865. 24 Lerner, The Grimke Si s t e r s from South Carolina, p. 68. 25 Bloomer, L i f e and Writings of Amelia Bloomer, p. 172. 26 Quoted i n The L i l y , v o l . 6, no. 3 (February 1854), p. 22. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Company, r e e l 1. 27 Bloomer, L i f e and Writings of Amelia Bloomer, p. 68. 28 Swisshelm, Half A Century, p. 162. - 22 - 29 For example, Sarah Grimke subscribed to both The Una and The L i l y , see Lerner, The Grimke S i s t e r s from SOuth Carolina, p. 335. 30 The Woman's Advocate, v o l . 1, no. 40 (October 13, 1855). Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Company, r e e l 1. 31 The L i l y , v o l . 6, no. 13 (December 1854), p. 181. 32 James, Notable American Women, 2:113. 33 Hale, Woman's Record, p. 686. 34 Information on numbers of editions drawn from The National Union Catalogue (London: Mansell Information/Publishing Company, 1978). 35 Mason Wade, The Writings of Margaret F u l l e r (New York: The Viking Press, 1941), p. 575. 36 Conrad, Perish the Thought, p. 154. 37 Hale, Woman's Record, pp. 666, 753, 578, 742, and 826. 38 Theodore Stanton and Harriot Stanton Blatch, eds., E l i z a b e t h Cady Stanton: As Revealed i n Her L e t t e r s , Diary and Reminiscences, 2 v o l s . (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1922), 2:39. 39 The L i l y , v o l . 3, no. 7 (July 1851), p. 51. 40 Barbara Welter, "The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860", American Quarterly, 18 (1966); 152. 41 Conrad, Perish the Thought, pp. 8, 10 and 66. - 23 - 42 Hale, Woman's Record, p. 665. 43 F l a v i a Alaya, " V i c t o r i a n Science and the 'Genius' of Woman", Journal of the History of Ideas, 38 (.1977): 261-262. See also Elizabeth Fee, "The Sexual P o l i t i c s of V i c t o r i a n S o c i a l Anthropology", iri C l i o ' s Consciousness Raised: New Perspectives On the History of Women, Mary S. Hartman and Lois Banner, eds., (New York: Octagon Books, 1976), pp. 86-102. 44 Alaya, " V i c t o r i a n Science and the 'Genius' of Woman", p. 261. 45 The use of the term " l i b e r a l s " for those women p u b l i c i s t s who espoused aspects of both conservative and r a d i c a l thought i n t h i s context does not imply that these women subscribed to the enti r e p o l i t i c a l philosophy t r a d i t i o n a l l y associated with l i b e r a l i s m , although t h e i r commitment to the cause of i n d i v i d u a l freedom does make the term appropriate. - 24 - CHAPTER TWO THE GREATEST SUFFERER Writing i n 1849, Hannah Tracy Cutler declared that woman, "being the f i r s t to transgress, and mar the moral harmony of God's works ... j u s t l y became the greatest sufferer.""'" That woman was indeed "the greatest s u f f e r e r " a l l the p u b l i c i s t s could agree; but the nature of her s u f f e r i n g , and whether i t was j u s t , were matters of considerable disagreement. In the search for the cause of woman's unhappy condition, the conservative p u b l i c i s t s turned f i r s t of a l l to the B i b l e : had God created woman the i n f e r i o r sex; was her unhappy h i s t o r y the ju s t punishment for her r o l e i n mankind's f a l l from grace, as Hannah Tracy Cutler believed? Or had the Bible been misinterpreted by man, when he argued that God had made woman the weaker vessel? The p u b l i c i s t s combed Genesis f o r evidence of God's intentions for woman at both the Creation and the F a l l . Ultimately the r e - i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of B i b l i c a l events led a few p u b l i c i s t s to deny the divine o r i g i n of the B i b l e , describing i t as a creation of man himself, and consequently r e f l e c t i n g h i s own prejudices. The idea of masculine prejudice was also applied by the p u b l i c i s t s to the study of secular h i s t o r y . However diverse t h e i r findings might eventually turn out to be, about the causes and nature of woman's su f f e r i n g , the p u b l i c i s t s were agreed upon two things: the importance of i n s i g h t into the h i s t o r y of humanity for the understanding of woman's - 25 - true nature, f o r as Caroline D a l l , the self—appointed h i s t o r i a n of The Una wrote i n 1855, "without reading the past c l e a r l y i t i s impossible to go 2 to the root of present e v i l s " , and secondly, f or t h i s i n s i g h t to be achieved by the work of women themselves, for nearly a l l the p u b l i c i s t s profoundly d i s t r u s t e d masculine o b j e c t i v i t y . A s t r i k i n g example of th i s d i s t r u s t i s apparent when the conservative and r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t s could unite i n a general abhorrence of Milton's l i t e r a r y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of B i b l i c a l events. "This much admired sentimental nonsense i s fraught 3 with absurdity and wickedness", wrote Sarah Grimke of Paradise Lost, and Sarah Hale r e i t e r a t e d , "go not to Milton, or the Fathers, but to the 4 word of God." Sarah Hale took her own advice, and devoted a great deal of her attention towards r e - i n t e r p r e t i n g b i b l i c a l events and injunctions, as did many of her fellow-conservative p u b l i c i s t s . C a l l i n g the Bible "Woman's Magna Charter",~* Hale turned her attention i n i t i a l l y to the events of Genesis, for i f the divine intentions were to be found anywhere, she argued, i t would ;be at the Creation and the F a l l : I t i s only when we analyse the record of the p a r t i c u l a r process of Creation, and the hi s t o r y of the f a l l , and i t s punishment, that we can learn what were the pecu l i a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of man and woman as each came from the hand of God. This i n t e r e s t i n the creation of Eve was not merely an academic c u r i o s i t y on the part of Hale, for she believed that these events were of c r u c i a l importance to women of her own time. Eve's h i s t o r y , she wrote, " i n the sacred book, i s t o l d i n few words; but the mighty consequences of her l i f e w i l l be f e l t through time, and through e t e r n i t y . " ^ - 26 - Hale returns time and time again to two s p e c i f i c problems i n connection with the story of the Creation. The f i r s t was the manner i n .which woman had been created; while man was made from dust, woman had been formed from man. For Hale t h i s d i f f e r e n c e represented the key to the c r u c i a l d i s t i n g u i s h i n g t r a i t s of male and female character. Formed from the materials of the earth, man was i n e x t r i c a b l y t i e d to the material plane of l i f e , whereas woman, being formed from man, was one step nearer the s p i r i t u a l . In an i n t e r e s t i n g passage mixing s c i e n t i f i c and r e l i g i o u s metaphors, Hale uses the story of the Creation to prove woman's greater refinement, even her su p e r i o r i t y to man. "When created", she wrote, 8 "man and woman were unlike i n three important respects": 1st. The mode of t h e i r creation was d i f f e r e n t . 2nd. The materials* from which each was formed were unli k e . 3rd. The functions f or which each were designed were d i s s i m i l a r , *Chemically tested, t h e i r bodily elements were s i m i l a r ; ^ l i k e diamond from carbon, woman had been formed from man .... From th i s process, Hale concluded, "the man seems to have represented strength, the woman beauty; he reason, she f e e l i n g ; he knowledge, she wisdom; he the material or earthly, she the s p i r i t u a l or heavenly i n human n a t u r e . " ^ Consequently the second problem, cl o s e l y linked to the f i r s t , to which Hale often returned, was that of the sequence of creation - did man's precedence here imply superiority? Hale was adamant that i t did not; i n fact she argued, as did other conservative p u b l i c i s t s , that every step of the creation had represented an advance over the one before, and therefore woman was the pinnacle, the highest and f i n e s t of the Lord's works: - 27 - Every step i n the creation had been i n the ascending scale. Was the l a s t retrograde? It must have been, unless woman's nature was more re f i n e d , pure, s p i r i t u a l , a nearer a s s i m i l a t i o n with the angelic, a l i n k i n the chain connecting earth with heaven, more elevated than the nature Of man.^ It was t h i s very p e r f e c t i o n that had drawn the D e v i l , Hannah Tracy Cutler wrote, since woman represented "the most f i n i s h e d of a l l God's works, and because she was "the s p i r i t u a l leader, the most d i f f i c u l t to be won."''" How then, did the conservative p u b l i c i s t s reconcile t h e i r conviction of Eve's s u p e r i o r i t y with her r o l e i n the F a l l , her c a p i t u l a t i o n to the Devil? E s s e n t i a l l y there were two responses: the f i r s t r e -interpreted the event to put Eve i n a better l i g h t , and the second accepted Eve's actions as a lapse from obedience for which she and future generations of women had paid. Hale subscribed to the f i r s t response. Her re- in t e r p r e t a t i o n of the F a l l suggested that man and woman had sinned from d i f f e r e n t motives, and i n the process paradoxically r e f u t i n g man's ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s of strength and reason. Woman's s i n had been a "desire for knowledge", whereas man had eaten the apple offered by Eve purely to g r a t i f y his "sensuous inclinations.""'"^ he ate because hi s wife gave him the f r u i t . P r e c i s e l y such conduct we might expect from a lower nature towards a higher; compliance without reason or from i n f e r i o r considerations. "^ What i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n g about Hale's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the Creation and the F a l l i s her suggestion that i t was Adam, not God, that decreed that woman's p r i n c i p a l r o l e should be motherhood, and that t h i s took place a f t e r the expulsion from the Garden of Eden: "then i t was that - 28 - Adam gave to woman her specific name ̂  Eve, or the Mother ... Thus was motherhood predicated as the true field of woman's mission." This separates the highest function intended for woman - that of her moral influence - from her maternal duties, a distinction that is found in the writings of other conservative publicists. Eliza Farnham also came up with a more favourable interpretation of the sequence of events leading to the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. But in the process of formulating her own interpretation, she came to feel a far greater scepticism about the origin of the Bible than any of the other conservative publicists. But this did not prevent her from attempt- ing to show that man's understanding of woman's role in the f a l l of mankind was false, since she saw that a belief in woman's nefarious role lay "near the foundation of almost every religious faith entertained in Christendom.""'"̂  Her first argument lay in the paucity of the evidence to prove Eve's guilt: i f i t be urged that Eve did violate a command, both reason and the enlightened religious sentiment have the right to inquire where are the proofs? Can a few words of doubtful authenticity, a mere fragment of a book . . . . l ^ really be considered sufficient to indict woman throughout a l l time, she asked? The question was rhetorical, for from the way the question is phrased i t is clear that she did not believe i t was. But neither was it enough she wrote, to simply suggest "that Genesis is a fable which will 19 by-and-by f a l l to pieces of itself." No, the clearest evidence to vindicate Eve lay in examining the consequences of her act. The result - 29 - of Eve's disobedience, Farnham argued, was beneficial to mankind, for i t was "she whose moral courage opened up the door of a career to humanity 20 leading up to heaven . ..." Since the ability to make a distinction between good and evil is essential i f man is to attain moral growth, and Eve's disobedience paved the way, Farnham felt i t was therefore legitimate to question whether God had indeed ever forbidden Adam and Eve to taste the fruit in the first place: Disobedience to a divine law must result in evil. If good comes of the act, we are not simply to question the divinity of the law; we are bound, in reverence to its reputed Author, to deny that i t came from him.2^ But most of the conservative publicists did not take their desire to re-interpret the Bible as far as repudiation of its divine origin. Both Margaret Coxe and Hannah Tracy Cutler, while sure of woman's superior moral nature as derived from the hand of God, nonetheless accepted the divine indictment of woman following her capitulation to the Devil, and argued that her condition throughout history, and in their own contemporary society, was the consequence of that fatal act, "the fruit of 22 her disobedience." The only recourse for woman, according to these two conservative publicists, was "perfect submission to God's law", and acceptance of the ruling that "thy desire shall be to thy husband, and 23 he shall rule over thee." Most certainly the descendents of Eve should not presume to challenge their fate, for to do so was "to arraign the conduct of her judge , and anyway, his decisions were final: God's purposes towards the female sex will necessarily remain as immutable and permanent as any others formed by his unchangeable mind, and can never be counteracted with impunity.2^ - 30 - The purposes to which Coxe refers are established at length in the first part of her two volume Claims of the Country Upon American Females. For Coxe too, Eve represented an advance in the steps of the Creation, "one advanced, rather than degraded below her predecessor in destiny", and despite her role in the Fall, Coxe firmly maintained that woman was not "'a vessel formed for dishonor'; and appointed to an inferior mission under the divine economy".^ Convinced that God had created woman with a special purpose, not in the material universe but in the moral, Coxe wrote, "to Him, therefore, let us look in humble confidence, beseeching Him to show the daughters of America the place he has designed them to f i l l • v.- 1 " 2 7 in his moral universe .... Coxe did not, however, completely separate woman's position in the material world, from that she was supposed to f u l f i l l in the moral. Her physical subordination to man, Coxe believed, was especially designed to promote those very feminine and Christian virtues of piety, humility, gentleness, love, purity, self-renunciation and subjection of will: We firmly believe that the circumstances in which woman has been placed are, when viewed aright, and by the grace of God duly improved, powerfully calulated to develope [sic] and foster those Christian virtues which the Word of God specifies as the most important attributes of the renewed nature .... ̂ And through the exercise of these virtues, woman was in the position to save mankind, morally regenerate society and bring man himself closer to God. Coxe's work abounds in the imagery of battle, for example the 29 "artillery" of a wife leading her husband closer to God. The parallel between woman's mission on earth, and the character and mission of Jesus is quite clear, and indeed explicit references to the similarity between - 31 - Jesus and Woman are not infrequent i n the writings of the conservative p u b l i c i s t s . Sarah Hale exulted that woman had "the high honour of a 30 human nature akin to that of Jesus C h r i s t " , and the picture evoked by both Coxe and Hale of woman redeeming America i s a powerful one i n a l l the writings of the conservative p u b l i c i s t s . In a sense, the C a l v i n i s t b e l i e f i n an " e l e c t " appears almost to have been transferred by these p u b l i c i s t s to the nature and r o l e of woman. Just as the ele c t were chosen by God, so the conservative p u b l i c i s t s saw woman as chosen by God to f u l f i l l h is moral purposes on earth. Since, therefore, woman had been chosen by divine authority to f u l f i l a s p e c i f i c s p i r i t u a l mission on earth, i t i s not su r p r i s i n g to f i n d Hale asserting that " i t should ever be borne i n mind that a higher degree of moral power ought to be found i n the character of woman, i n whatever 31 s t a t i o n she occupies, than i s manifested by man." However, the lengths to which she would go i n Woman's Record to defend t h i s a s s e r t i o n confounded even some of her contemporaries. Few p u b l i c i s t s attempted to exonerate D e l i l a h , but f o r Hale even Delilah's story becomes the "history of woman's s p i r i t u a l nature over the physi c a l strength and mental powers 32 of man." The story of Deborah was one of the most popular among conservative p u b l i c i s t s looking for examplars of feminine behaviour i n the B i b l e ; i n a time of extreme danger Deborah assumed the leadership of her people and led them to safety, the aspect of her l i f e that Stanton 33 for one, a r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t , chose to emphasize. But Hale selected Deborah's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with motherhood as her most noble t r a i t : - 32 - How b e a u t i f u l i s her character shown i n the t i t l e she assumed f o r h e r s e l f ! Not "Judge", "Heroine", "Prophetess", though she was a l l these, but she chose the tender name of "Mother", as the highest s t y l e of 34 woman . . . . ̂ However, not a l l conservative p u b l i c i s t s were prepared to f i n d evidence of woman's superior moral nature i n the story of any and every woman i n the Bi b l e . Paulina Wright Davis for one deplored the "value judgments" 35 attached to each entry i n Hale's book. Davis i s an unusual conservative p u b l i c i s t . i n that she prevaricated over whether woman's d i f f e r e n t nature from that of man implied s u p e r i o r i t y . Her writings are e c l e c t i c and e r r a t i c i n argument, but nonetheless she did subscribe to a b e l i e f i n a r i g i d sexual dualism throughout nature and mankind. She t r i e d to argue that while man and woman were d i f f e r e n t , neither was superior to the other; however, as the next chapter w i l l i l l u s t r a t e , her attempt at some sort of n e u t r a l i t y on the question often f a i l e d . In her study of the B i b l e , though, she was firm that the examples of womanhood within i t did not prove woman's moral s u p e r i o r i t y ; she h e r s e l f "looked through the b i b l e 3 6 to see i f the women of olden time were higher morally than the men," but did not f i n d them so: We f i n d Judith with the head of Holoferness going out at evening to pray, we f i n d Sisera d r i v i n g a n a i l through the temple of her guest, before whom she had set food, and Bathsheba conspiring with David against U r i a , and Rebecca l y i n g and deceiving her husband for her favour i t e . The h i s t o r i e s of i n d i v i d u a l women i n the Bible could cause problems fo r the conservative p u b l i c i s t s , but generally they saw C h r i s t i a n i t y as e f f e c t i n g a great improvement i n the condition of woman. Writing about Hebrew women of the B i b l e , Margaret Coxe concluded: - 33 - In each and a l l we find the moral agency of woman infinitely transcending both in kind and degree, that which was exerted by the sex among the most intellectual heathen races of antiquity. For Coxe, even Christianity was too wide a term, for in a chapter entitled "Defective Creeds", she argues that under Catholicism women are unable to use the moral influence their Creator gave them as their most important attribute; in France, for example, "as God's moral agents [women] have effected l i t t l e for the best l i t t l e for the best interests of humanity ... they have failed to accomplish the object 39 designed in their creation." Only through Protestantism could woman f u l f i l her purpose as God's agent on earth, and Margaret Fuller was not above poking a l i t t l e fun at men and women, such as Coxe, who despite their earnest desire to re- interpret parts of the Bible more favourably towards woman, would nonetheless defend i t as woman's greatest safeguard: the man most narrow towards women will be flushed, as by the worst assault on Christianity, i f you say i t has made no improvement in her condition.^ Contrary to the conservative publicists, the liberal publicists such as Fuller did not devote much space in their writings to a detailed examination and analysis of the Bible. Elizabeth Oakes Smith dismissed the importance of the curse and exile from the Garden of Eden as having been superceded by 41 the testimony of Jesus, and his law of love. And in keeping with the liberal publicists' emphasis upon the right of each individual to develop his or her own talents, Smith wrote, "when God created me, I will not believe he bestowed a single power which he did not design me legitimately - 34 - to u s e . " ^ Margaret F u l l e r found the Bible inconsistent i n i t s p o r t r a y a l of womanhood, one the one hand elevating, on the other denigrating, woman: The severe nation which taught that the happiness of the race was f o r f e i t e d through the f a u l t of a Woman ... even they greeted, with solemn rapture, a l l great and holy women as heroines, prophetesses, judges i n I s r a e l ; and, i f they made Eve l i s t e n to the serpent, gave Mary as a : bride to the Holy S p i r i t . 4 3 Likewise Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the most p r o l i f i c of a l l the r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t s , though she was f a r more i n c l i n e d to lump the Bible together with the rest of man's l i t e r a r y e f f o r t s i n which were to be found only a dismal r e c i t a l of feminine examples: from the Bible down to Mother Goose's melodies, how much complacency, think you, you would f e e l i n your womanhood? The philosopher, the poet, and the s a i n t , a l l combine to make the n^me of woman synonymous with either f o o l or d e v i l .... However, two of the older r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t s , L u c r e t i a Mott and Sarah Grimke, did i n t h e i r early writings o f f e r a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the B i b l i c a l texts. L u c r e t i a Mott t o l d her readers that c a r e f u l reading of the Bible would provide women with a quite d i f f e r e n t understand- ing of the roles of the sexes: Those who read the Scriptures, and judge for themselves, not res t i n g s a t i s f i e d with the perverted a p p l i c a t i o n of the text, do not f i n d the d i s t i n c t i o n , that theology and e c c l e s t i a s t i c a l a u t h o r i t i e s have made, i n the conditions of the s e x e s . ^ The arguments put forward by these two Quakers were directed more towards the divine commandments, dealing with the question of woman's subjection i n this world, rather than any debate about her a f f i n i t y with the next. - 35 - Grimke suggested that God's command to man i n the Bible had been dire c t e d towards both sexes, and applicable to both, since man was "a generic term including man and woman", and anyway they had both been "created i n 46 perfect equality ... both made i n the image of God." As f o r the incident of the F a l l , i t only served to show Grimke the weakness of both 47 sexes, for "there was as much weakness exhibited by Adam as by Eve." But what r e a l l y captured her attention was the t r a n s l a t i o n made of God's judgement, "thou w i l t be subject to thy husband, and he w i l l r u l e over thee." Grimke was convinced that t h i s passage had been i n c o r r e c t l y translated, "and thus converted a p r e d i c t i o n to Eve into a command .to 48 Adam." Presumably the c r u c i a l d i f f e r e n c e here between a p r e d i c t i o n and a command i s one of moral content: Grimke was convinced God had only predicted what would happen, rather than commanding the course of events i n the future. And as for the injunctions of the Apostle Paul about women, Grimke had l i t t l e patience: "I believe h i s mind was under the influence of Jewish prejudices respecting women and she refused to 49 give them much credence. Although the s i g n i f i c a n c e attached to the Bible varied greatly among the p u b l i c i s t s , the outlines of the conservative, l i b e r a l and r a d i c a l positions on the nature of womanhood have begun to emerge. The conservatives were f a r more i n c l i n e d to accept, even i f to r e - i n t e r p r e t , the B i b l e , and a l l found within i t evidence of woman's d i f f e r e n t , and usually superior moral nature to have been determined at the very Creation. However, both the l i b e r a l and r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t s were less i n c l i n e d to - 36 - devote much att e n t i o n to B i b l i c a l teachings, often regarding the Bible l a r g e l y as a product of man himself;, not of divine i n s p i r a t i o n , and consequently r e f l e c t i n g man's own prejudices. The l i b e r a l s pointed to the inconsistency with which the Bible portrayed womanhood, while the ra d i c a l s denied the blanket d i s t i n c t i o n s of sex claimed by the conservatives. Much the same positions can be found when examining the writings of the p u b l i c i s t s on the secular h i s t o r y of mankind. Here both the conservative and l i b e r a l p u b l i c i s t s shared a common f a s c i n a t i o n with the s t o r i e s of ancient c i v i l i s a t i o n s and t h e i r mythology. E l i z a Farnham complained that with both C h r i s t i a n i t y and Mythology, the i d e a l and the r e a l i t y had been far apart, for "while his [man] sentiment exalted woman to the rank of a superior, his b e l i e f and conduct have degraded her to the actual p o s i t i o n of an i n f e r i o r . B u t despite t h i s dichotomy between myth and r e a l i t y , she found a great deal of consolation i n the "very general uniformity with which the feminine ... i s assigned to the control of the s p i r i t u a l , the e s s e n t i a l , the imperishable" i n mythology, whereas the masculine was assigned that "of the present, the t r a n s i t o r y , the external, the sensual.""^ I l l u s t r a t i n g her point, she drew up a l i s t for readers of feminine symbols. Earth, Spring, Summer and Autumn were a l l female, while Winter, "stern, f i x e d , u n f r u i t f u l " was male; even J u s t i c e , "that very masculine p r i n c i p l e " she 52 wrote tongue i n cheek, was represented by the feminine. Margaret F u l l e r was i n f u l l agreement, for "whatever may have been the domestic manners of the ancient nations, the idea of woman was nobly - 37 - manifested i n t h e i r mythologies and poems ...." J J Mythology came to be seen by both the conservative and l i b e r a l p u b l i c i s t s as evidence of a p r i m i t i v e recognition of the eternal v e r i t i e s of woman's nature: In the Pythia of Delphi, the S y b a l l a i and Vestates of Rome, before whom the wisest and proudest c i t i z e n s were compelled to bow i n r e v e r e n t i a l homage, we may read an i n s t i n c t i v e impression that woman was commissioned to ^ guard the most sacred elements of our common nature .... For Margaret F u l l e r , woman was the repository of mankind's creative impulse i n the widest sense, "the e l e c t r i c a l , the magnetic element", as she describes i t i n Woman jn the Nineteenth Century. "There are two aspects of woman's nature", she wrote i n another passage, "represented by the ancients as Muse and Minerva"; the Muse represented "unimpeded 56 clearness of the i n t u i t i v e powers", and Minerva representing wisdom. This fondness for the myths and legends of the past, rather than the l i v e s that women i n the past had ac t u a l l y l i v e d , i s p a r t i c u l a r l y evident among the l i b e r a l p u b l i c i s t s ; Margaret F u l l e r and Eliza b e t h Oakes Smith who were major l i b e r a l t h e o r i s t s , did a f t e r a l l see themselves f i r s t and foremost as l i t e r a r y women. But the idea that woman's true h i s t o r y would not be found i n the conventional concerns of h i s t o r i a n s was shared by a l l the p u b l i c i s t s ; h i s t o r y must r i s e above i t s past obsession with wars and diplomacy, wrote E l i z a Farnham, and concern i t s e l f with "human progress i n i t s f i n e r and subtler leadings ... the plane of psyc h i c a l motives and forces, where she has her stage of i n f l u e n c e s . E q u a l l y the p u b l i c i s t s were agreed that women must take the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the past into t h e i r own hands, and - 38 - Caroline D a l l was one of the f i r s t to undertake the task. She i s the only p u b l i c i s t to attempt to define the work of the h i s t o r i a n , and unlike Sarah Hale she deplored the attempt to launder woman's past: " i n books, goodness i s rewarded, v i c e unsuccessful, ... But i s i t so i n L i f e ? ... i s i t not r i g h t , when one knows such l i v e s are l i v e d , to sketch them t r u l y and f o r c i b l y , so as to reveal humanity to i t s e l f . " " ^ D a l l suggested that h i s t o r i a n s were of two kinds: "seekers", who " c o l l e c t , c o l l a t e , t e s t , and s i m p l i f y m a t e r i a l " , and "observers", who make use of t h i s material "and permit philosophic thought, general knowledge, and rare culture, to do t h e i r work with the accumulations so brought 59 together." Unfortunately, she f e l t that women had confined themselves to the r o l e of "seekers" and she made a s t a r t at r e c t i f y i n g t h i s imbalance Dall's new feminine approach to woman's h i s t o r y interpreted the past through a theory of woman's influence, rather than active p a r t i c i p a t i o n , i n worldly a f f a i r s . Their influence had been of several kinds, she concluded, and examples that she gave were Margaret F u l l e r ' s "atmospheric" influence, the Duchess of Devonshire's " l i t e r a r y influence", and Lady Hamilton's other sort of influence, "frequently of the worst kind, and almost always blended with p o l i t i c a l ... that of women over t h e i r l o v e r s . " In the p l u r a l i t y of her categories, D a l l places h e r s e l f among the l i b e r a l s but i n her emphasis upon feminine influence, with implications of a d i s t i n c t and separate feminine nature, overtly disapproving of, for exampl the search for power i n the p o l i t i c a l world, D a l l places h e r s e l f securely among the conservatives. - 39 - Dall's favourite heroine of history, and one she shared with several other radical publicists too, was Madame de Stael: i t is seldom that the varied faculties of the human soul, developed through the profoundest apprehension of Nature, Poetry, and Art, are exhibited in a single human being as they were in Anna Louisa Germaine Necker, Baronne de Stael- Holstein. 6 1 The name of Madame de Stael (.1766-1817) appears time and time again in the writings of the publicists, and i t is evident that something about her li f e and work struck a chord for many of these women. Even Sarah Hale forbore any critical comment in the biographical entry for Madame de Stael in Woman's Record. It was de Stael's novel, Corinne, that aroused the most enthusiasm - the story of a woman whose attempt to live an independent, intellectual l i f e was shattered when she gave her love to a man unworthy of her; unable to live with Corinne's brilliance, he chose another, suitably domestic, wife. Corinne's character clearly represented to many of the publicists their ultimate ideal of womanhood: intellectual, spiritual, unselfish, and they empathised with her refusal to comply with convention by suppressing her genius. Equally the prime emphasis of Corinne is upon the importance of self-realisation, self- development that was so important in the arguments of the radicals; however, this in Corinne is expressed through the acceptably feminine characteristics of creativity, intuitive genius so dear to the liberals. Usually, however, the radical publicists chose to emphasize heroines of the real world, and they eulogized those ,women who had managed, by whatever means, to triumph in the material world, the world of man. - 40 - Despite Elizabeth Cady Stanton's expressed b e l i e f that "wherever we turn, the hi s t o r y of woman i s sad, drear and dark, without any a l l e v i a t i n g circumstances - nothing from which we can draw consolation", she did manage to come up with some shining examples of her own. Catherine of Russia and Elizabeth of England were "distinguished f o r t h e i r statesman- l i k e q u a l i t i e s " , H a r r i e t Martineau and Madame de Stael for t h e i r " l i t e r a r y attainments", and Caroline Herschel and Mary Summerville f o r 6 3 t h e i r " s c i e n t i f i c researches". As Stanton's c o l l e c t i o n of notable women shows, the r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t s saw hi s t o r y i l l u s t r a t i n g the varied c a p a b i l i t i e s of woman, and Sarah Grimke made th i s point quite e x p l i c i t l y when she wrote about Elizabeth I of England, Catherine of Russia and Isa b e l l a of Spain: I mention these women only to prove that i n t e l l e c t i s not sexed; that strength of mind i s not sexed; and that our views about the duties of men and the duties of women, are mere a r b i t r a r y opinions, d i f f e r i n g i n d i f f e r e n t ages and countries, and dependent s o l e l y on the w i l l and judgment of er r i n g mortals. Contrast the attention given to these women by Grimke, with that of Margaret F u l l e r . L i t t l e i s made of t h e i r achievements by F u l l e r , but a great deal i s said about t h e i r character. As part of an example i l l u s t r a t i n g the malign influence of men upon women - one theme of F u l l e r ' s book i s the need for women to " r e t i r e within themselves, and explore the ft s ground-work of l i f e t i l l they f i n d t h e i r p e c u l i a r secret" - F u l l e r described Mary Stuart as "lovely even to allurement; quick i n apprehension and weak i n judgment; with grace and dignity of sentiment, but no - 41 - principle; credulous and indiscreet, yet artful; . ..." Elizabeth was "strong and prudent more than great or wise; ... without magnanimity of any kind. And so i t is clear that the women publicists interpreted the past, both divine and secular, in fundamentally different ways. They were al l agreed that woman had suffered, but what was meant by the term varied greatly. For the conservatives woman had suffered because man had suppressed the positive moral role that woman had been designed by the Creator to perform; like Christ to lead man to humility and piety, like Christ persecuted and scorned. Woman's nature was always moral, in whatever society or time, but only under Christianity could woman's innate worthy be truly recognized, and allowed to flourish. There are, however, distinctions to be made between the different conservative publicists. Both Hannah Tracy Cutler and Margaret Coxe saw woman's position in. society as a just punishment for her role in the Fall, and the product of divine judgment. Others, such as Sarah Hale and Eliza Farnham, insisted that the Bible had been incorrectly understood, dominated by masculine prejudice, and that woman's creation and role in the Fall only proved her mental and spiritual superiority to that of man. They saw history as the unjust usurpation of the rightful recognition of woman's superior nature. The liberal publicists agreed that man had misinterpreted and maligned woman throughout history, but worst of a l l woman had accepted man's estimate of her worth. Woman's, lot was worse than that of man because - 42 - she h e r s e l f was not responsible for the r e s t r i c t i o n s placed upon her: i t may be said that man does, not have his f a i r play e i t h e r ; his energies are repressed and d i s t o r t e d by the i n t e r p o s i t i o n of a r t i f i c i a l obstacles. Aye, but he himself has put them there; they have grown out of h i s own imperfections. If there i s a misfortune i n woman's l o t , i t i s i n the obstacles interposed by men, which do not mark her state .... So wrote Margaret F u l l e r , who did not accept the r i g i d sexual dualism of the conservatives, always entering a plea on behalf of the exceptional woman, yet whose writings about h i s t o r y share the focus of the conservatives upon the inner s e l f , woman's character, rather than her r o l e i n material l i f e . Radical p u b l i c i s t s had l i t t l e to say about woman's r o l e i n a moral universe, and were more interested i n what she had done i n the material universe. Arguing that women shared the same range and v a r i e t y of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s as man, r a d i c a l s selected examples from h i s t o r y to prove that women could, when allowed to do so, function as e f f e c t i v e l y , men i n p o l i t i c s , science and l i t e r a t u r e . Yet a l l the women p u b l i c i s t s , of whatever s t r i p e , were i n c l i n e d to complain that h i s t o r y was at best an u n r e l i a b l e i n d i c a t o r of woman's true nature, and when another t o o l came to hand i n the early 1840's, they embraced i t with enthusiasm. E l i z a Farnham suggested that t h i s new evidence was about to r e v o l u t i o n i s e h i s t o r y and man's understanding himself: - 43 - It has been well said, that History is re-written in the light of Modern Science. It is equally true that human nature, with its relations, the fountain and source of history, is to be re-read in the light of the wondrous revelations which this Nineteenth Century is making of its hitherto hidden parts. Farnham was writing about the impact of science upon the mid-nineteenth century popular mind. - 44 - NOTES 1 Hannah T.C. Cutler, Woman as She Was,1s, and Should Be (New York: S.W. Benedict, 1849), p. 21. 2 The Una, v o l . 3, no. 2 (February 1855), p. 25. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Company, r e e l 1. 3 Sarah Grimke, Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman (New York: Lennox H i l l , 1970), p. 90. 4 Hale, Woman's Record, p. xxxvi. 5 I b i d . , p. x i i . 6 I b i d . , p. 38. 7 I b i d . 8 I b i d . , p. x x x v i i . 9 Ibid. 10 I b i d . , p. 38. 11 Ibid. 12 Cutler, Woman as She Was, Is, and Should Be, p. 16. 13 Hale, Woman's Record, p. 38. 14 Ibid., p. 3. - 45 - 15 Ibid . 16 I b i d . , p. 38. 17 Farnham, Woman and Her Era, 1:135. 18 Ibid., p. 141. 19 Ibid., p. 136. 20 Ibi d . , p. 141. 21 Ibid., p. 142. 22 Cutler, Woman as She Was, Is, and Should Be, p. 27. 23 Ibi d . , pp. 161 and 16. 24 Margaret Coxe, Claims of the Country on American Females, 2 v o l s . (Columbus: Isaac N. Whiting, 1842; New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 198), 1:25. 25 Ibi d . , p. 48. 26 Ibid., pp. 31 and 25. 27 Ibi d . , p. 8. 28 I b i d . , p. 27. 29 Ibid., 2:40, 117. - 46 - 30 Hale, Woman's Record, p. x l v . 31 Ib i d . , p. 299. 32 Ib i d . , p. 36. 33 The L i l y , v o l . 3, no. 8 (August 1851), p. 59. 34 Hale, Woman's Record, p. 34. 35 Conrad, Perish the Thought, p. 172. 36 The Una, v o l . 1, no. 6 (July 1853), p. 88. 37 Ibid. 38 Coxe, Claims of the Country on American Females, 1:62. 39 I b i d . , p. 224. 40 The D i a l (New York: Russell and Russell Inc., 1961), p. 18 41 Elizabeth Oakes Smith, Woman and Her Needs (New York: Fowler and Wells, 1851; New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 296), p. 47. 42 I b i d . , p. 116. 43 The D i a l , p. 18. 44 Stanton et a l . , History of Woman Suffrage, 1:840. - 47 - 45 Lucretia Mott, Discourse on Woman (Philadelphia; W.P. Kildare, 1869), p. 5. 46 ( Grimke, Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, p. 4. 47 Ibid., p. 6. 48 Ibid., p. 7. 49 Ibid., p. 91. 50 Farnham, Woman and Her Era, 1:144. 51 Ibid., 1:128. 52 Ibid., pp. 121-122. 53 The Dial, p. 20. 54 Coxe, Claims of the Country on American Females, 1:30. 55 Margaret Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century (New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., 1971), p. 103. 56 Ibid., pp. 115-116. 57 Farnham, Woman and Her Era, 1:253. 58 Caroline Dall, Historical Pictures Retouched (Boston: Walker, Wise & Co., 1860; New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, reel 320), p. 225. 59 Ibid., p. vi. - 48 - 60 Ibi d . , pp. 177-183. 61 Ibi d . , p. 208. 62 The L i l y , v o l . 2, no. 1 (January 1850), p. 4. 63 Ibid . 64 Grimke, Letters on the Equality of the Sexes, p 65 F u l l e r , Woman i n the Nineteenth Century, p. 121 66 Ib i d . , p. 65. 67 The D i a l , p. 19. 68 Farnham, Woman and Her Era, 1:149. - 49 - CHAPTER THREE HER PECULIAR ORGANIZATION The work that Providence has appointed for woman i n the various d e t a i l s of domestic l i f e , i s ju s t that which, i f properly apportioned, i s f i t t e d to her pecu l i a r organization."'" So wrote Catharine Beecher, one of the foremost s o c i a l t h e o r i s t s among the conservative women p u b l i c i s t s , i n her Letters to the People on Health and Happiness.in 1856. The phrase, "her pecu l i a r organization" recurs frequently i n the writings of many of the p u b l i c i s t s , but what did they mean by the expression? F i r s t of a l l , the word "organization" encompassed both woman's physi c a l and mental a t t r i b u t e s , her physiology and her psychology. Through the use of analogy, and aided by the teachings of Phrenology, conclusions about woman's mental c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s were based by the v e r i f i a b l e facts of her material organization. Secondly, the term " p e c u l i a r " undoubtedly implied that a l l women shared a set of ph y s i c a l and mental a t t r i b u t e s d i s t i n c t from those of man, and unique to woman. Catharine Beecher's reference to "Providence" as the source of woman's po s i t i o n indicates a r e l i g i o u s foundation to her d e f i n i t i o n of womanhood - however, the women p u b l i c i s t s consistently moved beyond such r e l i g i o u s reference to use the concepts and analogies of contemporary popular science. Further, r e l i g i o n and science were not opposed at t h i s time, p r i o r to the evolutionary debate, and science was seen as the means to - 50 - discover the laws of nature and the universe that were i n i t i a l l y decreed by the Creator. Generally mid-nineteenth century America had developed a f a s c i n a t i o n f or science; William E l l e r y Channing, the notable Unita r i a n clergyman, w r i t i n g i n 1841, remarked: Through the press, discoveries and theories, once the monopoly of philosophers, have become the property of the multitudes ... Science, once the greatest of d i s t i n c t i o n s , i s becoming popular. 2 Despite the fact that the formal education of many of the women p u b l i c i s t s was u n l i k e l y to have included extensive study of science, popular books and a r t i c l e s were widely a v a i l a b l e , and read, by the 1840's. Lectures on s c i e n t i f i c developments were e s p e c i a l l y popular and formed a s i g n i f i c a n t part of the Lyceum programmes, which attracted large numbers 3 of women. The p u b l i c i s t s themselves included a r t i c l e s on s c i e n t i f i c topics ranging from Astronomy, Natural History to elementary Chemistry i n the papers and journals that they edited. "Science disperses chimeras as the sun does fogs", wrote Sarah Hale i n 1846, and i t seems 4 her fellow p u b l i c i s t s l a r g e l y agreed. The p u b l i c i s t s applied the lessons of popular science to t h e i r study of womanhood i n two ways. F i r s t of a l l , they wished p r i m a r i l y to be thought of as s c i e n t i f i c i n t h e i r work; and several attempted to apply the inductive method to t h e i r i n v e s t i g a t i o n of woman's nature. Secondly, they drew upon s c i e n t i f i c concepts and theories i n a general sense. S p e c i f i c a l l y such theories as the Nebular Theory, and Phrenology had a great influence, but perhaps more important were the general assumptions that underlay s c i e n t i f i c endeavour at t h i s time. Nature, including man, - 51 - was seen to be an orderly, predictable e n t i t y composed of numerous d i f f e r e n t parts each designed and adapted to f u l f i l a s p e c i f i c function 5 and responding to fi x e d laws. Consequently the majority of p u b l i c i s t s turned to woman's physiology as the key to her part i n t h i s p e r f e c t l y functioning harmonious universe, for as E l i z a Farnham announced, "the human being i s to be studied ... pri m a r i l y through the material 6 organization which f i r s t makes him known." What then, was the s c i e n t i f i c method, and how did the p u b l i c i s t s employ i t ? A prominent Boston surgeon and medical j o u r n a l i s t , John C. Warren, described the method of inquiry to be followed i n the ph y s i c a l sciences: " f i r s t , the c a r e f u l observation of facts - and secondly the comparison of these facts so as to deduce from them the laws of the science i n question."^ Despite the use of the word "deduce" by Warren, there i s no doubt that he i s describing the inductive process, that i s , reasoning from the p a r t i c u l a r to the general, and this kind of approach was adopted by several of the p u b l i c i s t s i n t h e i r d e t a i l e d empirical observation and comparison of woman's physical c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . However, one p u b l i c i s t , E l i z a Farnham, e x p l i c i t l y endorsed the deductive method i n the s c i e n t i f i c study of woman- F i r s t of a l l , deductive reasoning, she argued, was far more natural to woman with her superior i n t u i t i v e c a p a b i l i t i e s ; and second, t h i s was a better method anyway, for "which sees f a r t h e r " she asked, "the inventor who comes down from a unive r s a l p r i n c i p l e , to the machine which only i l l u s t r a t e s i t ... or the clockmaker or mechanic, who approaches the - 52 - p r i n c i p l e through the machine." But the contradiction between the s c i e n t i f i c community's inductive methodology, and the deductive approach of E l i z a Farnham, may be more apparent than r e a l . For many of the s c i e n t i s t s read by the p u b l i c i s t s , and the women p u b l i c i s t s themselves, shared c e r t a i n a p r i o r i assumptions about the natural world they were studying. The f i r s t assumption was the divine creation of the world; William Carpenter, whose works on human and comparative physiology were read, and extracts published, by the p u b l i c i s t s , concluded: A l l our science, then, i s but an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the mode i n which The Creator acts; i t s highest "laws" are but expressions of the mode i n which He manifests His agency to us.^ The second assumption, shared by both groups, was that t h i s d i v i n e l y created world was designed to function i n order and harmony, and that everything within i t had been created with a s p e c i f i c function and place for which i t had been c a r e f u l l y adapted. This h o l i s t i c approach was also endorsed by Carpenter, when he directed the attention of h i s readers to: the Evidences of Design presented by the structure of L i v i n g Beings, ... the perfect adaptation which ex i s t s between a l l t h e i r minute d e t a i l s , and the harmony of the parts they have to perform i n the grand system of the Universe. These two assumptions together generated a form of monism, according to Cynthia Russett, for i f the same hand had created the world, then i t could be argued that the same laws operated i n d i f f e r e n t spheres of r e a l i t y , and i t "encouraged employment of i d e n t i c a l methods of analysis and of i d e n t i c a l theories i n every s p h e r e . T h e d i r e c t influence of such - 53 - monism can be seen upon one of the conservative publicists in particular, Maria Mcintosh, who stated iri Woman in America that she wished to apply natural principles to the moral world: But if i t be admitted that the Great Spirit who presides over the natural phenomena of our world, arranges also its moral and social influences, will i t not follow that those principles which are invariably manifested in the one, will reappear in the other?^ And finally, such monism laid the basis for the widespread acceptance of the use of analogy as a valid scientific tool, and this was particularly useful when both the scientists and the women publicists were faced with describing a structure or process that they could not actually see, for example, woman's mind. William Carpenter described how analogy was to be used by the student of science: The analogies to be pursued must be those suggested from already ascertained laws and relations. Thus, in proportion to the extent of the inquirer's previous knowledge of such relations subsisting in other parts of Nature, will be his means of guidance to a correct train of inference in that before him. Such advice condoned a rather loose application of analogy, of which the conservative publicists particularly were prone to take advantage. They applied analogy to compare the structure of woman's mind with that of her body, and extracted analogies from nature and the universe to suggest woman's function and place in human society. And so, in conclusion, since both contemporary scientists in America and the women publicists, shared a number of explicit a priori assumptions about the nature of the world they were investigating, the difference between an inductive and deductive approach would appear to be only a - 54 - s l i g h t difference of emphasis. And one f i n a l assumption that was accepted by both the conservative and l i b e r a l p u b l i c i s t s , was a b e l i e f 14 i n a fundamental sexual dualism permeating a l l of nature. One unknown correspondent of The Una even applied such a dualism to inanimate matter I ^ Man and woman could empirically be shown to be both p h y s i c a l l y , and by analogy, mentally, t o t a l l y u n l i k e : two d i s t i n c t elements whose combined c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s formed a whole. What then, were the d i s t i n c t i v e p h y s i o l o g i c a l , and consequently psychological, a t t r i b u t e s of woman that combined to form her "peculiar organization"? There were two d i f f e r e n t arguments put forward by the conservative p u b l i c i s t s , both based on the study of woman's anatomy. The f i r s t , most thoroughly elucidated by Paulina Wright Davis, the publisher and editor of The Una, based woman's nature and function upon the f i n e r structure and more d e l i c a t e organization of woman's anatomy. The second, exhaustively present by E l i z a Farnham i n her two volume study, Woman and Her Era, defined woman through her reproductive structure and function. Both employed extensive use of analogy between matter and mind. Through a se r i e s of e d i t o r i a l s i n The Una between 1853 and 1855, Paulina Wright Davis explored i n depth the s i g n i f i c a n c e of woman's physiology. The sexual dualism i m p l i c i t i n her approach i s made quite cle a r : We have taken the ground that man and woman i n both body, and mind, are characterized r e s p e c t i v e l y by such differences i n organization, function, and adaptation, as may for Y ^ n t of a d e s c r i p t i v e phrase, be c a l l e d d i s t i n c t i o n of sex. - 55 - She began with a study of woman's, anatomy, and found that woman's skeletal and muscular construction was quite different from that of man: in the osseous system of the two there is a marked difference even in the substance of the bone, though chemically considered, of precisely the same elements; the texture is finer, the protuberances to which the muscles are attached, and which anatomists have taken so much pains to individualize and name, are smaller; .... ^ Such differences of kind were found throughout woman's anatomy, for example Davis found that even "the circulating and nervous systems are equally strongly marked, by theis exquisite perfection, indicating the 18 subtle spiritual-pervading of sex." The conclusions she drew from such anatomical differences between the two sexes were that "man exhibits the bolder outline; Woman has the more exquisite texture", but this did not imply that woman was necessarily weaker than man, or physically his inferior. Putting this belief into practice, Davis was one of the first women to travel around the north- eastern states giving lectures on woman's anatomy using a specially imported mannequin from Europe that, i t is reported, occasionally caused her audience to faint. She was a firm believer in the physical health, and potential strength, of women. First of a l l , employing a principle from the natural sciences, she argued that despite woman's smaller and finer structure, and the tax of maternity, woman lived longer and therefore: Reasoning from analogy, we rightly conclude that the mechanism is most perfect, though i t be most complex and apparently most delicate, which sustains the greatest amount of pressur,g and endures the wear and tear of work the longest. - 56 - Davis attributed the seemingly prevalent ill-health among her feminine contemporaries to both ignorance and the demands of fashion, in the form of tight lacing. "The physical weakness and slaveries of woman have nothing whatever to do with her original constitution", she wrote, "they 21 form no part of her nature." Other conservative publicists, who accepted Davis' analysis of the differences between masculine and feminine anatomy, nonetheless quailed at her robust attitude towards woman's potential physical strength. One of the most consistent in voicing her belief that woman was indeed physically weaker than man, and required special protection on that account, was Jane G. Swisshelm. "We have our belief that woman is physically weaker than man" she expounded in an editorial in the Saturday Visiter, "and naturally entitled to his protection on account 22 of her peculiar organisation." Indeed, Swisshelm believed that the customs of society were correctly based upon just this understanding: The rule which requires a gentleman to give a lady his arm to dinner, is an indication of a great law of nature which says he is the stronger, and owes her assistance. J It is rather ironic that Swisshelm should expound Woman's frailty; her own l i f e was a testimonial to the physical courage and mental strength of woman. Her husband was in the habit of keeping a wild cougar chained up in the house, and more than once when i t escaped Swisshelm had to defend l t 24 herself. However, what is most interesting about the analysis of woman's anatomy made by Paulina Wright Davis is not that woman did possess both - 57 - strength and endurance, but that she did not emphasize - indeed she barely mentions - the reproductive structure and function of woman. It would be easy to attribute this virtual omission to the fact that Davis herself had no children of her own - although during her second marriage she did adopt two - but this does not account for the fact that the majority of conservative publicists shared her position. In other words, they did not find woman's nature and function to be located in her womb; rather the basis for analogy between woman's body and mind was the smaller, more refined, nature of her entire anatomical structure. It is impossible to s eparate the assessment of the material and the immaterial in the analysis of womanhood made by the conservative publicists, and Davis was no exception: Anatomists, sculptors, and painters, recognize this [gender] difference in a hand, arm, or finger. Why then should we not recognize a2gorresponding difference in the sentiments and affections. There were two aspects to be considered by the publicists in connection with womanmind: her intellectual, and her moral capabilities. Davis devoted two editorials to woman's moral nature, and one to her intellectual abilities; her first editorial on.the question of woman's moral nature provoked such a flood of correspondence that she felt the subject merited a second attempt. Davis was unique among the conservative publicists in that she disclaimed any moral superiority on the part of woman; she insisted that man and woman simply displayed different moral virtues: - 58 - We have set up no claims to a superior moral nature for her. We-have kept steadily in view the dissimilarity of the sexes ... We have set aside the claim which we might plausibly institute on the ground of superior moral nature, and which would be readily accorded to us by a large class of men ....2^ In this she was right; a glance at virtually any of the speeches or polemics on the topic of Woman made at this period, by theologians, reformers, writers, or scientists, labors the point of woman's superior moral nature. William Carpenter explicitly linked woman's physical and mental character in the following way: in the superior purity and elevation of the feelings she is ... highly raised above him. Her whole character, physical as well as corporeal [sic], is beautifully adapted to supply what is deficient in man; and elevate and refine those powers which might otherwise be directed to low and selfish objects. ' Theodore Parker, Unitarian minister, reformer, and supporter of the woman's rights movement, made much the same point when he told the 1853 Woman's Eights Convention: I think man will always lead in affairs of intellect - of reason, imagination, understanding - he has the bigger brain; but woman will always lead in affairs of emotion - moral, affectional, religious - she has the better heart, the truer intuition of the right, the lovely, the holy. 2^ Theoretically Davis could not accept this view, partly because i t was usually coupled with a denial of woman's intellectual abilities as with Theodore Parker, and so she attempted to outline the "distinctive moral nature" of woman by reference to her physical organization. For example, discussing the qualities of benevolence, conscientiousness and hope, Davis concluded that for woman they were "especially sustained by her delicacy, - 59 - of sensitiveness, and the fine tone of her physical organization." Equally woman's intellectual capabilities differed from those of man; but her attempted neutrality in dealing with the different moral arid intellectual characteristics of the sexes becomes increasingly tenuous as her argument progresses. And i t is difficult not to see a qualitative judgement entering her analysis when she makes such statements as, "the intuition and inspiration which are distinctive of the feminine intellect rise above the systematic philosophy which is the special strength of the masculine mind."-5 Davis drew a parallel between man's physique and his mental capacities, just as she did for woman. As man's physical strength suited him to rough, manual work, his brain was best for the groundwork necessary for intellectual pursuits, and when bones and muscles, iron nerves and hard massive brains, .have well done their subsidiary work, feminine felicity of comprehension and execution will (^Qme in to the dominion in a l l the world of mind .... For Davis, woman's mind with its keener sensibilities and higher intuitive capabilities, was "eminently fitted to take up the completed issues of the masculine reason, and to hold and employ them in their highest forms 32 effectively." Finally she concludes, in a passage that most clearly illustrates the analogy between body and mind that is at the base of her interpretation of the attributes, of man and woman, that the mental powers of men are "superiority in inferior things. It is the bone and muscle of 33 mind, contrasted with the nerve and artery of i t . . . . " - 60 - In contrast with the anatomical approach represented by Paulina Wright Davis, i s the p h y s i o l o g i c a l study of woman done by E l i z a Farnham. Farnham developed the most complex and det a i l e d study of womanhood as the maternal function i n her two volume Woman and Her Era, written i n the l a t e 1850's. Beginning her study with the r h e t o r i c a l question, "has woman any c h a r a c t e r i s t i c form which ... inte r p r e t s Nature's purpose i n her corporeal constitution?", she answered by pointing to the s i z e and shape of woman's 34 p e l v i c region, and her womb. This "unique, i n t e r i o r , separating organ" conferred upon woman Nature's highest function, that of maternity, 35 and made her "Nature's chief executor." Farnham begins her study with a syllogism, the i n i t i a l premise of which was derived from the study of comparative anatomy: L i f e i s exalted i n proportion to i t s Organic and Functional Complexity; Woman's Organism i s more Complex and her t o t a l i t y of Function larger than those of any other being in h a b i t i n g our earth; therefore her p o s i t i n g i n the scale of L i f e i s the most exalted - the Sovereign one. Woman's organic and func t i o n a l complexity lay i n her reproductive organs, and since "each added organ i s Nature's d i r e c t testimony to the presence of an added power", i n t h i s case woman's "more expanded consciousness", Farnham's f i n a l conclusion, that woman i s superior to man by v i r t u e of her more complex physiology, was i n e v i t a b l e . " I t i s clear then, she wrote, 37 "that sex i s a grade of development." Unfortunately t h i s was, Farnham agreed, as yet an "unacknowledged t r u t h " among her contemporaries, but she argued that the disciples, of science were always slow to accept conclusions they had not yet reached themselves, and c e r t a i n l y "the conclusion i s the 38 most revolutionary yet reached i n our development." - 61 - Although, i n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, Farnham i s on record as having p a r t i c i p a t e d i n woman's ri g h t s conventions, she had l i t t l e patience i n p r i n t with many of t h e i r claims. In a series of a r t i c l e s w r itten to rebut the proposals of the movement, she concluded: i t seems scarcely possible that any person acquainted with the ph y s i c a l economy and structure of both sexes could f o r a moment believe they were designed for the same sphere of a c t i o n . ^ Since woman's primary function was maternity, her physi c a l and mental c a p a b i l i t i e s must be adapted purely toward that end, and Farnham did not accept that women could have other i n t e r e s t s or desires: But i f she be thus p h y s i c a l l y d i s q u a l i f i e d , she must necessarily be mentally so. Deity would never have endowed any being with desires and mental capacities to do what i t s phy s i c a l c o n s t i t u t i o n rendered impossible. 4^ Paulina Wright Davis and E l i z a Farnham represent the two extremes, as i t were, of the p h y s i o l o g i c a l reductionism applied to the study of woman by the conservative p u b l i c i s t s . The majority of the remaining conservative p u b l i c i s t s adopted the general anatomical approach of Davis, but added to i t Farnham's conviction of feminine s u p e r i o r i t y . Very few rested t h e i r case upon the structure and function of maternity alone; rather they drew from woman's smaller and more refined physique analogous conclusions about her more refined s e n s i b i l i t i e s and c a p a b i l i t i e s , the function of which were again best described by analogy, this, time with the grand laws of the universe. Sarah Hale described woman's innate power thus: The sun b r i l l i a n t and powerful, gives l i g h t and heat to our planetary system; a l l eyes may see his glory, a l l nature bask i n h i s beams;- but the mightier influence of g r a v i t a t i o n , which binds Orion and the Pleiades with our planet, controls the universe, and reaches - perchance - to the throne of God; who has seen g r a v i t a t i o n , or can estimate i t s power? Thus i t i s i n the moral world. ^ - 62 - The importance of using g r a v i t a t i o n as an analogy was l i k e l y taken by Hale from the "Nebular Theory" which was current at the time i n popular science a r t i c l e s . The L i l y ran a series of a r t i c l e s about i t , written by W.C.M., who described the primary importance of g r a v i t a t i o n l y i n g i n i t being "the f i r s t law established i n matter", and the means 42 by which the Creator held h i s creation together. By using such an analogy, therefore, Hale was implying that woman's morally redemptive function was the si n g l e most important aspect of her womanhood. The transference of laws from one realm of s c i e n t i f i c study to another, appears too i n the writings of Margaret Coxe, and Maria Mcintosh. Always woman's influence i s represented by analogy with an unseen force i n Nature, and Mcintosh equates i t with the v i t a l p r i n c i p l e i t s e l f . Again, the material world i s man's, "but while a l l the outward machinery of government, the body, the thews and sinews of society, are man's", woman "controls i t s v i t a l p r i n c i p l e ... l i k e nature i n secret, she regulates i t s pulsations." And Margaret Coxe, drawing again on the idea of the complementary nature of the sexes, chose to employ analogy with magnetism to explain how e s s e n t i a l the moral function of woman was: The i r r e s i s t a b l e and overwhelming compression of the material p a r t i c l e s of which our globe i s composed, which would have resulted from the unresisted sway of the law of a t t r a c t i o n , has been likewise prevented by the action of the opposing law of repulsion, which i n i t s turn, i f uncontrolled, would have caused to dissolve and di s s i p a t e into an aeriform f l u i d , the most s o l i d forms of matter ... may not the Almighty Parent of the human race i n framing the mental and moral constitutions of the two sexes, have had respect to the same great p r i n c i p l e of procedure, and prepared them to perform t h e i r respective parts i n the mechanism of society ....^ - 63 - In making these analogies between body and mind, and so accepting an organic difference i n the structure and operation of woman's mind, the p u b l i c i s t s were greatly influenced by the teachings of phrenology. Nearly every one of the p u b l i c i s t s ' l i v e s were touched i n one way or another by phrenology, and they a l l mention the great e f f e c t that i t had upon t h e i r thinking. Sarah Hale saw Spurzheim speak on his American tour i n 1832,. 45 and "the e f f e c t on my own feelings w i l l never be forgotten." When matron at Sing Sing prison, E l i z a Farnham "used to lecture her charges from George Combe's The Constitution of Man ...."46 and Paulina Wright Davis e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y endorsed phrenology i n the The Una: Before the days of Phrenology no author of d i s t i n c t i o n e i t h e r pretended c l e a r l y to understand the system of his predecessors or was w i l l i n g to accept his teachings. Metaphysics was the reproach of science and the disgrace of reason and an incompre- hensible puzzle i n i t s e l f besides. Now by the l i g h t shed upon the truth of nature through the labors of G a l l and Spurzheim the whole matter of the mental c o n s t i t u t i o n and laws i s trans- parently p l a i n , ... Every woman of to l e r a b l e talents comprehends the philosophy of mind as r e a d i l y as she learns Geography. Developed by G a l l and Spurzheim i n Europe, and widely p u b l i c i s e d by George Combe, a Scottish b a r r i s t e r , i n the f i r s t h a l f of the nineteenth century, phrenology posited that the mental powers of man consisted of separate f a c u l t i e s , each of which was located i n a s p e c i f i c region of the brain. From the s i z e of d i f f e r e n t regions of the b r a i n , determined by external examination of the cranium, the degree of development of d i f f e r e n t f a c u l t i e s could be determined. The r e l a t i v e strengths of f a c u l t i e s within each i n d i v i d u a l were i n h e r i t e d , but phrenologists also made judgements about group c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , the north American Indian for example, or - 64 - women. George Combe classified negroes as inferior, the north American A O Indian as "intractable and untameable", and Spurzheim had the following to say about woman: The basilar region of the female head is also smaller, the occipital more elongated, and frontal developed to a minor degree, the organs of the perceptive faculties being commonly larger than those of the reflective powers. The female cerebral fibre is slender and long rather than thick. Lastly, and in particular, the organs of philoprogenitiveness, ideality, and benevolence, are for the most part proportionately larger in the female .... Spurzheim did grant the possibility of a woman more intelligent than a man, but essentially he saw woman's mental characteristics as determined by her maternal function in society: " i t is quite evident," he concluded his study of the female head, "that nature has destined the two sexes to particular and dissimilar situations, and that she has endowed the various dispositions of each with different degrees of activity.""^ Again the idea of the complementary nature of the two sexes reappears, and George Combe emphasized the importance of order and harmony as the basis for his phrenological judgements: "that constitution of mind, also," he told his readers, "may be pronounced to be the best, which harmonizes most completely with the morality and religion established by the Creator's _ ,,51 arrangements. Not only were the conservative publicists greatly influenced by the teachings of phrenology; so too were the liberals. Elizabeth Oakes Smith found in phrenology the authoritative proof of woman's innate morality. "I see that the very base of my organization is upon Love", 52 she wrote,"I see this, not only philosophically, but phrenologically." - 65 - But Smith was not r e f e r r i n g to love i n a r e s t r i c t e d sense, for l i k e many of the conservatives, she did not confine her d e f i n i t i o n of womanhood to motherhood; nature "did not create her for the one purpose of the family r e l a t i o n . What then was the purpose of womanhood, and how did the l i b e r a l p u b l i c i s t s define i t ? The leading exponent of the l i b e r a l p o s i t i o n i s undoubtedly Margaret F u l l e r , who was i n turn e d i t o r of the Transcendental j o u r n a l , The D i a l , and l i t e r a r y c r i t i c of the New York Tribune. Her p r i n c i p a l book, published i n 1845 f i v e years before her death, Woman i n the Nineteenth Century, was for a long time the standard around which many i n the woman's rights movement r a l l i e d , yet F u l l e r h e r s e l f was not an active reformer. Margaret F u l l e r , and Eliz a b e t h Oakes Smith and Caroline D a l l , were committed above a l l to the concept of i n d i v i d u a l freedom. This commitment often t r a v e l l e d uneasily with t h e i r continuing b e l i e f i n innate feminine character, the two only being reconciled i n the case of F u l l e r by a concept of f l e x i b i l i t y i n human nature: Male and female represent the two sides of the great r a d i c a l dualism. But, i n f a c t , they are perpetually passing into one another. F l u i d hardens to s o l i d , s o l i d rushes to f l u i d . There i s no wholly masculine man, no purely feminine woman. F u l l e r had only contempt for those who i n s i s t e d upon a uniform, p h y s i o l o g i c a l reductionism defining the character of a l l women, for as she wrote: History jeers at the attempts of phys i o l o g i s t s to bind great o r i g i n a l laws by the forms which flow from them. They make a r u l e ; they say from observation what can and cannot be. In vain! Nature provides exceptions to every r u l e . She sends women to b a t t l e , and sets. Hercules spinning; .... - 66 - But despite t h i s brave stand, there i s no doubt that F u l l e r did believe i n a feminine character d i s t i n c t from that of the masculine, or as 56 Caroline D a l l remarked, the sexes were not "pre c i s e l y a l i k e . " "The especial genius of Woman", wrote F u l l e r , i s " e l e c t r i c a l i n movement, i n t u i t i v e i n function, s p i r i t u a l i n tendency".^ Even with a good i n t e l l e c t u a l education, which she advocated, F u l l e r f e l t that woman "must r e t a i n the same nervous s u s c e p t i b i l i t y while t h e i r p h y s i c a l structure i s such as i t i s . It i s c l e a r , then, that F u l l e r s estimation of woman's singular c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s rested upon the material foundation of woman's physique. E s s e n t i a l l y she did accept the sexual dualism so dear to the conservatives, for i n another passage she defines man as representing energy, power and i n t e l l e c t , woman as harmony, beauty 59 and love. Caroline D a l l expressed the same idea when she wrote that "God himself, i n balancing the world's forces, has blended her moral nature with her mental, purposely to check her brother's aggressiveness." What these l i b e r a l p u b l i c i s t s could not accept was the r i g i d conformity with which a l l women were supposed to behave, and the suppression of the talents of those born with exceptional g i f t s . The concern of the l i b e r a l p u b l i c i s t s was not with the cause of a l l women, or even most women, but with the few: I have no doubt, however, that a large proportion of women would give themselves to the same employments as now, because there are circumstances that must lead them. Mothers, w i l l delight to make the nest soft and warm. Nature would take care of that; no need to c l i p the wings of any b i r d that wants to soar and sing, or finds i n . i t s e l f the strength of pinion for a migratory f l i g h t unusual to i s kind. The difference would be that a l l need not^be constrained to employments for which some are u n f i t . - 67 - F u l l e r pleaded for the r i g h t of the few, h e r s e l f among them, to lead t h e i r own l i v e s according to t h e i r own d i c t a t e s , f o r the suppression of the talented or b e a u t i f u l was to her, the worst crime man could i n f l i c t on woman. "The gain of creation consists always", she wrote, " i n the growth of i n d i v i d u a l minds, which l i v e and aspire, as flowers bloom and 62 birds sing, i n the midst of morasses." Elizabeth Oakes Smith expressed the same anxiety on behalf of the g i f t e d i n d i v i d u a l . " I t i s because I recognize i n d i v i d u a l i t y , and reverence i t , that I w i l l not apply the same laws to a l l , " she wrote, and by way of example contrasted Florence Nightingale to "nice Biddy". "Do not", she implored, "attempt to convert the s o u l f u l harmonies of 6 3 the one into the everyday cackle of the other." But the same recognition of an innate sexual dualism i n human nature co-exists with her f a i t h i n i n d i v i d u a l i t y . "There i s a difference i n the soul as i n the bodies of the sexes,",she wrote, and man i s "Lord of the material 64 Universe", while woman i s "nearer a l l i e d to the heavenly." It sounds very f a m i l i a r . It i s , then, a l l the more s t a r t l i n g to f i n d a group of women p u b l i c i s t s who denied absolutely the existence of any fundamental sexual dualism i n human nature, and rejected the body-mind analogy at the basis of the thought of a l l the other women p u b l i c i s t s . Consistently over the years Elizabeth Cady Stanton labored the theme of woman's i d e n t i c a l needs and c a p a b i l i t i e s to those of man. Although she accepted the existence of laws of nature, s t a t i n g upon one occasion that "the laws of mind are as - 68 - immutable as those of matter", she argued that the same natural laws were applicable to both sexes and had nothing to do with differences in 65 physical organization. Man, she wrote upon one occasion: is thoroughly educated into the belief that woman's nature is altogether different from his own: he has no idea that she is governed by the same laws of mind with himself. Anne McDowell made her position just as explicit in the pages of her paper, the Woman's Advocate, in 1856. "To no innate faculty can he lay exclusive claim", she wrote about man, "the same passions, the same intellectual powers, the same moral sense which impel, illume, control him, modified by position and circumstances, impel, illume and control her."^ Through the pages of The Lily Stanton, often writing under her pseudonym 'Sunflower', engaged in running debates with other contributors over the nature of womanhood. To Jane G. Swisshelm, who maintained that society's customs were correctly based upon natural law, Stanton replied: In regard to Nature's Laws having anything to do with our customs, the fact is, we are so ar t i f i c i a l that we know precious l i t t l e about Nature ... The idea of a man offering a woman his arm to walk in to dinner, in obedience to a Law of Nature which says he stronger, and owes her assistance, strikes me as absurd. On another occasion Stanton wrote in The Lily that "the power of the mind 69 seems to be in no way connected with the size and strength of the body", provoking Antoinette Brown, a student of theology and a woman's rights lecturer, to ask, "but why does Mrs. Stanton deny al l natural mental d i f f e r e n c e ? T h e reason was clear in the mind of Elizabeth Cady Stanton: "admit a radical difference in sex, and you demand different 71 spheres - water for fish, and air for birds" she explained. Stanton - 69 - had no i n t e n t i o n of being assigned, as she described the Idea of her 72 contemporaries, 'a sphere somewhere mid earth and heaven." The p r i n c i p a l argument, however, employed by the r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t s to refute the p h y s i o l o g i c a l determinism of t h e i r fellow p u b l i c i s t s was the argument about the influence of the environment, society and cultu r e , upon woman's character. For once i n her l i f e drawing an analogy, Stanton compared the r e s t r a i n t s of society upon woman's freedom to develop f r e e l y with the e f f e c t s of the fashionable t i g h t l a c i n g : nature "has been gross enough to make the manifestations of mind and matter harmonize", she wrote, "and notions of freedom cannot be infused into hearts that have 73 no room to beat." To r e a l l y know what woman was, Stanton asked that "the childhood of woman must be free and untrammeled", f or she believed woman to be "modeled, l i k e a piece of clay" into an a r t i f i c i a l n a t u r e . ^ L u c r e t i a Mott agreed when she described woman as "crushed by customs", and she despaired of hope for woman "while man assumes that the present i s the o r i g i n a l state designed for woman, that the e x i s t i n g 'differences are not ,,75 a r b i t r a r y nor the r e s u l t of accident , but ground i n nature .... The r a d i c a l s believed that with the same educational opportunities woman was capable of the same i n t e l l e c t u a l achievements as man, and they blamed the poor education she had, and s t i l l continued to receive f o r her poor record of achievement. Amelia Bloomer repeatedly argued i n The L i l y : I t i s owing altogether to the f a l s e system of education, that we are such weak, helpless, dependent, good f or nothing c r e a t u r e s . ^ - 70 - "God made them d i f f e r e n t i n sex", she said of humanity at another time, "but equal i n i n t e l l e c t . A n n e McDowell subscribed to the same b e l i e f i n woman's c a p a b i l i t i e s , should she receive the same opportunity: Man has attained no mental eminence that i s not j u s t as attainable by woman, with the same f a c i l i t i e s , the same time for study, and the same inducements.^ It i s i n t e r e s t i n g that the r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t s often reached these convictions a f t e r being profoundly influenced by phrenology. Eli z a b e t h Cady Stanton read G a l l , Spurzheim and Combe, " a l l so r a t i o n a l and opposed to the old theologies" and which had the e f f e c t of l i b e r a t i n g her from the clutch of Calvinism: Thus, a f t e r many months of weary wandering i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l l a b y r i n t h of "the F a l l of Man", " O r i g i n a l Sin", "Total Depravity", ... I found my way out of the darkness into the clear sunlight of Truth. She even had her head "read", and wrote to her s c e p t i c a l father. Judge Cady, "I think you w i l l agree with me that i t often h i t s the n a i l on the head - I r e a l l y did not mean to make a phrenological comparison - i n a rather s t r i k i n g way. I t might seem d i f f i c u l t to re c o n c i l e t h i s enthusiastic response to phrenology with Stanton's own statements denying any mental difference between the sexes, and with her own undoubtedly f o r c e f u l and i n t e l l e c t u a l bent. However, w r i t i n g as.'Sunflower' i n The L i l y , she defended phrenology with the following argument: The phrenologist t e l l s us that woman's head has j u s t as many organs as man's, and that they are s i m i l a r l y located. He says too, that the gjgans that are the most exercised, are the most prominent. - 71 - And i n t h i s way Stanton was able to return to the theme of the negative e f f e c t the environment generally had upon the degree to which most women could develop t h e i r a b i l i t i e s . However, another r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t , Anne McDowell, took issue with the teachings of phrenology: since i t has been a pet theory of purblind Science that there does exist a marked and r a d i c a l d i f f e r e n c e i n the cerebral conformation of the sexes. This theory we 82 consider an impudent and r i d i c u l o u s l i b e l upon Nature. She herself made a point of checking the claims of the phrenologists; "we have examined the heads of hundreds of ch i l d r e n , and are s a t i s i f i e d 83 that from early infancy upward, there exists no such d i f f e r e n c e . " The trouble with science, McDowell t o l d her readers, was that i t employed l i t t l e common sense: We remember reading an elaborate work upon the cerebral difference of the sexes, i n which the author asserted that the superior or mental organs preponderated i n the male breed, and the i n f e r i o r or animal organs i n the female; and brought to prove the preponderance of the cerebellum i n Woman, the assertion that i n s o c i a l conversation she i n c l i n e s to throw her head back; thus putting e f f e c t for cause, as i s customary with theorizers. 4 The common response to why women threw back t h e i r heads, McDowell assured her readers, was that women were nearly always shorter than men. And so, i n conclusion, i t i s clear that the idea of a female "peculiar organization" was not shared by the r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t s . But even among those conservative and l i b e r a l p u b l i c i s t s who made .the idea of woman's "peculiar organization" the basis for t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n of womanhood, the way i n which the term was understood d i f f e r e d . Analyses v a r i e d from Paulina Wright Davis' r e f i n e d structure/elevated moral and i n t e l l e c t u a l - 72 - function, to E l i z a Farnham's emphasis upon the maternal structure and function. These isomorphic views of womanhood drew, however loosely they were applied, upon ideas i n the natural sciences, such as str u c t u r e , function, adaptation and equilibrium which i n turn undoubtedly played a part i n shaping the p u b l i c i s t s ' thought. It i s d i f f i c u l t to assess how far the conservative and l i b e r a l p u b l i c i s t s r e f l e c t e d current contemporary opinion on the nature of womanhood. Certainly they adopted the p r i n c i p l e of p h y s i o l o g i c a l determinism, of the overwhelming importance of function, that also lay 85 at the root of, for example, p r e v a i l i n g medical opinion. Most hi s t o r i a n s are agreed that medical l i t e r a t u r e i n the mid-nineteenth century t o t a l l y subjugated woman's s e l f , body and mind, to the influence of her uterus. In 1854 a physician wrote that "woman's reproductive organs are pre-eminent ... they exercise a c o n t r o l l i n g influence upon her entir e system. This view was not confined to the medical profession however, and i s to be found i n many other masculine contributions to the "Woman Question". In a lecture e n t i t l e d "Woman", and read before the woman's ri g h t s convention i n Boston on September 20th, 1855, Ralph Waldo Emerson e s s e n t i a l l y said the same thing. Charging both l i t e r a t u r e and the press with a morbid view of woman's nature, he s a i d : In a l l , the body of the joke i s one, namely to charge women with temperament; to describe them as victims of temperament; and i s i d e n t i c a l with Mahomet's opinion that women have not a s u f f i c i e n t moral or i n t e l l e c t u a l force to control the perturbations of t h e i r p h y s i c a l structure. But his audience were not about to hear a r e f u t a t i o n of that view, for a - 73 - few paragraphs l a t e r , he concluded: Rut for the general charge: no doubt i t i s we l l founded. They are victims of the f i n e r temperament ... Nature's end, of maternity for twenty years, was of so supreme importance that i t was to be secured at a l l events, even to the s a c r i f i c e of the highest beauty ... Men are not to the same degree temperamented, f or there are multitudes of men who l i v e to objects quite out of them, as to p o l i t i c s , to trade, to l e t t e r s or an a r t , unhindered by any influence of c o n s t i t u t i o n . ^ 7 However, as must be apparent, the conservative p u b l i c i s t s neither rested t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n of womanhood exclus i v e l y upon the maternal function, nor did they accept the i m p l i c i t loss of cont r o l over s e l f that i s apparent i n Emerson's l e c t u r e . And both the conservative and l i b e r a l p u b l i c i s t s applied the rules of physiology to both sexes, not jus t to woman alone; man was seen to be ju s t as much the product of h i s material organization as woman. The conservative p u b l i c i s t s , while accepting the importance of material organization as the basis f o r the correct d e f i n i t i o n of womanhood, nonetheless both expanded the function and attempted to develop a powerful image of womanhood that d i f f e r e d from that usually presented by t h e i r masculine contemporaries. And so the argument between the conservative and r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t s came down to a debate over nature versus nurture, with the l i b e r a l p u b l i c i s t s f l u c t u a t i n g between the two po s i t i o n s . Given t h i s fundamental dichotomy i n the thinking of the women p u b l i c i s t s , how did t h e i r p r e s c r i p t i o n s for the i l l s of woman, of t h e i r s o c i e t y , d i f f e r , and what reforms did they advocate? - 74 - NOTES 1 Catharine E. Beecher, Letters to the People on Health and Happiness (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1856; New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 243), p. 110. Catharine Beecher's use of the term "peculiar organization" would imply that at l east a degree of p h y s i o l o g i c a l determinism lay at the root of her thinking, which does not agree with Katherine Kish Sklar's contention that Beecher's p r e s c r i p t i o n s were based on s o c i a l and economic pragmatism. 2 Donald Zochert, "Science and the Common Man i n Ante-Bellum America", I s i s , 65 (1974): 448. 3 Deborah Jean Warner, "Science Education f o r Women i n Antebellum America", I s i s , 69 (1978): 58-67; and Ca r l Bode, The American Lyceum: Town Meeting of the Mind (New York: Oxford University Press, 1956). 4 Godey's Ladies Book, v o l . 33 (December 1846), p. 292. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms, American P e r i o d i c a l Series 1800-1850, reels 774-776. 5 See Walter E. Houghton, The V i c t o r i a n Frame of Mind 1830-1870 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957), p. 145; and Robert Young, "The Historiographic and Ideo l o g i c a l Contexts of the Nineteenth Century Debate on Man's Place i n Nature" i n Changing Perspectives i n the History of Science, Mikulas Teich and Robert Young, eds., (London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 1973) for a discussion of the importance of natural law i n V i c t o r i a n thought. 6 Farnham, Woman and Her Era, 1:20. 7 George H. Daniels, American Science i n the Age of Jackson (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968), p. 66. 8 Farnham, Woman and Her Era, 2:221^222. - 75 - 9 William B.. Carpenter, P r i n c i p l e s of Comparative Physiology (Philadelphia: Blanchard and Lea, 1854), p. 726. 10 Ib i d . , p. 726. 11 Cynthia E. Russett, The Concept Of Equilibrium i n American S o c i a l Thought (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966), p. 26. 12 Maria Mcintosh, Woman i n America, her Work and her Reward (New York: D. Appleton, 1850; New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 278). 13 Carpenter, P r i n c i p l e s of Comparative Physiology, p. 34. 14 R.W. Emerson att r i b u t e d t h i s to "Swedenborg, a sublime genius who gave a s c i e n t i f i c exposition of the part played s e v e r a l l y by man and woman i n the world, and showed the difference of sex to run through nature and through thought." Rosemary Agonito, ed., History of Ideas on Woman (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1977), p. 215. 15 The Una, v o l . 3, no. 5 (May 1855), p. 73. 16 Ibid., v o l . 1, no. 7 (July 1853), p. 88. 17 Ib i d . , v o l . 1, no. 2 (February 1853), p. 9. 18 Ibid. 19 Ibid. 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid. 22 The Saturday Visiter, vol. 5, no. 1 (January 24, 1852), 23 Ibid., vol. 4, no. 25 (July 12, 1851), p. 98. 24 Swisshelm, Half a Century, p. 146. 25 The Una, vol. 1, no. 7 (July 1853), p. 88. 26 Ibid., vol. 1, no. 8 (August 1853), p. 105. 27 The Woman's Advocate, vol. 2, no. 40 (October 18, 1856). 28 Stanton et al., History of Woman Suffrage, 1:281. 29 The Una, vol. 1, no. 8 (August 1853), p. 105. 30 Ibid., p. 120. 31 Ibid., p. 121. 32 Ibid., p. 120 33 Ibid., vol. 1, no. 4 (April 1853), p. 41. 34 Farnham, Woman and Her Era, 1:84. 35 Ibid., 1:29; 2:424. 36 Ibid., 1:20 37 Ibid., 1:27; 2:17 and 1:42. 38 Ibid., 1:27-28. 39 Brother Jonathan, v o l . 5, no. 9 (July 1, 1843), p. 266. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms, American P e r i o d i c a l Series, r e e l 809. 40 Ib i d . , p. 268. 41 Hale, Woman's Record, p. x l v . 42 The L i l y , v o l . 1, no. 2 (February 1849), p. 15. 43 Mcintosh, Woman i n America, p. 25; Farnham, Woman and Her Era, 2:137. 44 Coxe, Claims of the Country on American Females, p. 17. 45 John D. Davies, Phrenology Fad and Science: A 19th Century American Crusade (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1955), p. 19. 46 I b i d . , p. 102. 47 The Una, v o l . 1, no. 8 (August 1853), p. 121. 48 Davies, Phrenology Fad and Science, p. 145. 49 J. G. Spurzheim, Phrenology i n Connection with the Study of Physiognomy (Boston: Marsh, Capen and Lyon, 1833), p. 40. 50 Ibid., pp. 42-43. 51 George Combe, The Constitution of Man considered i n Relation to External Objects (Boston: Marsh, Capen, Lyon & Webb, 1839), p. 223. - 78 - 52 Smith, Woman and her Needs, p. 117. 53 Ibi d . , p. 66. 54 F u l l e r , Woman i n the Nineteenth Century, p. 115. 55 Ibid., p. 116. 56 D a l l , Woman's Right to Labor, or Low Wages and Hard Work (Boston: Walker, Wise and Co., 1860; New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 320), p. 76. 57 F u l l e r , Woman i n the Nineteenth Century, p. 115. 58 The D i a l , p. 38. 59 F u l l e r , Woman i n the Nineteenth Century, p. 169. 60 D a l l , Woman's Right to Labor, p. 13. 61 F u l l e r , Woman i n the Nineteenth Century, p. 175 62 I b i d . , p. 8. 63 Smith, Woman and her Needs, p. 81. 64 Ibid., p. 22. 65 The L i l y , v o l . 4, no. 4 ( A p r i l 1852), p. 28. 66 Ibi d . , v o l . 2, no. 5 (May 1850), p. 38. 67 The Woman's Advocate, v o l . 2, no. 4 (February 2, 1856). - 79 - 68 The Lily, vol. 3, no. 8 (August, 1851), p. 59. 69 Ibid., vol. 2, no. 4 (April 1850), p. 31. 70 The Una, vol. 3, no. 6 (June 1855), p. 119. 71 Stanton et al., History of Woman Suffrage, 1:603. 72 The Lily, vol. 3, no. 11 (November 1851), p. 82. 73 Ibid., p. 82. 74 Stanton et al., History of Woman Suffrage, 1:816. 75 Ibid., 1:359 and 368. 76 The Lily, vol. 3, no. 7 (July 1851), p. 55. 77 Bloomer, Life and Writings of Amelia Bloomer, p. 62. 78 The Woman's Advocate, vol. 2, no. 26 (July 5, 1856). 79 Stanton, Eighty Years and More, p. 43. 80 Stanton and Blatch, Elizabeth Cady Stanton as Revealed in her Letters, Diary and Reminiscences, 2:47. 81 The Lily, vol. 2, no. 4 (April 1850), p. 31. 82 The Woman's Advocate, vol. 2, no. 22 (June 7, 1856). - 80 - 83 Ibid . 84 Ib i d . 85 See C a r r o l l Smith-Rosenberg, "Puberty to Menopause: The Cycle Femininity i n Nineteenth Century America", Feminist Studies 1 (1973) 86 Ibid., p. 59. 87 Agonito, History of Ideas on Woman, pp. 215-217. - 81 - CHAPTER FOUR CONCLUSION How then d i d the conservative and l i b e r a l p u b l i c i s t s suggest that woman could f u l f i l the purpose evident i n her d e s i g n , and what was the future envisaged for woman by the r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t s ? The fundamental d i f f e r e n c e between the two sets of p r e s c r i p t i o n s can be c a t e g o r i s e d as the best means of e x e r c i s i n g woman's 'moral i n f l u e n c e ' f o r the c o n s e r v a t i v e s , or of a c h i e v i n g ' s e l f - r e a l i s a t i o n ' on the p a r t of the r a d i c a l s , with the l i b e r a l s hovering between the two p o s i t i o n s . The r a d i c a l s demanded that a l l b a r r i e r s to woman's f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n labour and p o l i t i c s , and a l l her l e g a l d i s a b i l i t i e s , be removed on the b a s i s of her i d e n t i c a l needs and a b i l i t i e s to those of man. However, the conservat ive p u b l i c i s t s founded t h e i r p r e s c r i p t i o n s upon s o c i e t y ' s need of woman's counterbalancing i n f l u e n c e , her innate m o r a l i t y . Yet how t h i s was to be achieved caused the conservative p u b l i c i s t s grave d i f f i c u l t i e s , and what emerges from t h e i r w r i t i n g s i s a s e r i o u s c o n t r a d i c t i o n between the p r e s c r i p t i o n s and i d e a l s of the majority of the conservative p u b l i c i s t s , and the facts of t h e i r own l i v e s . V i r t u a l l y none l i v e d the l i f e of serene d o m e s t i c i t y that they o f t e n urged upon t h e i r r e a d e r s , y e t , .perhaps i n r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t . t h e i r . o w n l i v e s , they often wrote about the u n s u i t a b i l i t y of woman's nature f o r l a b o u r . At the same time, they were aware that t h e i r injunctions, simply could not - 82 - be followed by many women forced to earn their own living, as they had themselves, or by many unmarried women. And so by removing the basis of woman's innate moral nature from her maternal structure and function, to locating it in her anatomy as a whole opened the way to a theory of limited participation in the public sphere which would enable women to support themselves without compromising their womanhood. Despite the fact that she herself ran a girl's seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio, Margaret Coxe continued to locate woman's sphere in the roles of wife and mother."'" She argued that through these roles women could influence public l i f e by forming the character of her husband and sons. Home, for Coxe, was the place for woman to direct most effectively her "special moral agency", and the example of her living piety would bring those around her to the practice of Christian 2 virtue. Equally Eliza Farnham stressed the role of motherhood, consistent with her belief in the supreme importance of the maternal function. "All that I ask for Woman is what Nature designs for her", she wrote, and "no female having the capacity for motherhood has the right to renounce i t . " Believing that woman "was endowed for a higher and broader sphere than physical action", Farnham felt that laboring in the material world compromised woman's innately spiritual nature; writing about peasants, serfs, slaves, and operatives, she concluded: - 83 - The departure i n personal development, from the true feminine type, which these women ex h i b i t , confirms ... Woman's peculiar t r a i t s , capacities and claims ... byjthe time they reach maturity, they are p h y s i c a l l y monsters i n form, and s p i r i t u a l l y such i n t h e i r natures - being somewhere between manhood and womanhood, without the graces and g i f t s of e i t h e r . 4 Yet despite t h i s evident conviction, Farnham was we l l aware that l i f e was less than perfect, and that women were forced by necessity to work to support themselves or contribute to th e i r family income. Since t h i s was so, she conceded that she was i n favour of women working i n those jobs where " i t i s possible to succeed i n i t without being a man, or becoming masculine", and she supported demands for equal pay."' However, not once are eith e r of these two proposals developed, and so i t i s unclear what work she f e l t was sui t a b l e for women or whether they should be competing for the same work as men, as the demand f o r equal pay would seem to imply. The same contradiction between conviction and experience i s to be found i n the writings of Jane Swisshelm. In the Saturday V i s i t e r Swisshelm had sharp words for what she perceived to be the hypocrisy of man i n his treatment of woman: We have looked at the Recorder and his clerks on a cold day, n i c e l y f i x e d i n a we l l warmed, l i g h t e d and v e n t i l a t e d o f f i c e , b u i l t with the public money raised by indiscriminate taxes on men and women, and then passed out to look at women, shivering at apple s t a l l s , carrying armfuls of s t i c k s , or baskets of co a l , and r e f l e c t e d that respectable female laborers were earning two d o l l a r s per week and boarding themselves, while we had ju s t paid the gentleman up i n the o f f i c e a d o l l a r , or perhaps, two an hour, for copying a piece of w r i t i n g ; and we have been deeply impressed with the fost e r i n g care and chi v a l r y which led men to confine women's sphere to 'the domestic c i r c l e ' . - 84 - Like Farnham, Swisshelm had to work to make enough money to support her family, and the experience appears, to have only sharpened her conviction that women should not do the same work as men. Certain that woman was p h y s i c a l l y more f r a g i l e than man, Swisshelm advocated that women, i f they had to work, should be allowed the l i g h t e r labour, perhaps such as the c l e r i c a l work above, which would further ensure no c o n f l i c t of i n t e r e s t between the sexes i n the workforce. Although Swisshelm only poured scorn on the conventions held by the woman's rights movement, she did have sympathy with some of t h e i r aims, such as f a i r pay for woman's labour, but she i n s i s t e d that men and women should not do the same work: The idea i s altogether a mistaken one that 'equal r i g h t s ' for woman implies that she has a r i g h t to do anything that men do, and v i c e versa ... When woman's proper work i s paid for according to i t s value, there w i l l he no women to spare as r i v a l s i n the men's department. And so, r e l u c t a n t l y , both Farnham and Swisshelm f e l t forced to acknowledge that labour for women was a r e a l i t y , and so supported some of the demands of the woman's ri g h t s movement. However, one conservative managed to achieve a p o s i t i v e synthesis between b e l i e f i n woman's pecu l i a r organization, and how she could exercise the moral influence t h i s gave her while not compromising her womanhood. This was Catharine Beecher who was extremely i n f l u e n t i a l among the conservative p u b l i c i s t s . Beecher began her argument f i r s t from the point of view that America needed woman's contribution e s p e c i a l l y at t h i s point i n i t s h i s t o r y , suggesting that the horrors of-the French - 85 - Revolution could happen i n America as the consequence of the floods of 8 new immigrants. Maria Mcintosh picked up on the same argument: "Europe i s pouring out her pent-up thousands", she warned her readers, 9 and entreated them to consider becoming missionaries i n America's West. Mcintosh directed a s p e c i a l appeal towards the women of the South, imploring them to combat prejudice, prejudice against labour for money, and i n America as a whole, women were to use t h e i r influence to " a l l a y the animosities of party and the prejudices of c a s t e . T h i s appeal appears not to have been, however, an attack on slavery, but rather one upon idleness, a popular theme among the conservative p u b l i c i s t s . The second reason employed by Beecher was that woman's p o s i t i o n had changed, and not for the better and she i s the only p u b l i c i s t to make any reference to woman's changing economic or s o c i a l r o l e : In former days, when women spun and wove, and made butter and cheese, t h e i r daughters were t h e i r i n t e l l i g e n t and w e l l - t r a i n e d a s s i s t a n t s ; and the s t y l e of dress and a l l the d e t a i l s of l i f e were simple, and easy, and comfortable. These days have passed away.H Beecher seems to have i d e n t i f i e d two s p e c i f i c causes for concern emerging from these changes: the emergence of a class of wealthy and l e i s u r e d women, whose idleness she deplored, and a new predicament for the s i n g l e woman. This l a t t e r concern was undoubtedly generated by the events of her own l i f e , f o r although the head of several very successful g i r l s ' seminaries, her own f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n was never very secure, and she 12 spent most of her l i f e without a home of her own. The r e s u l t of these concerns was a l i f e - l o n g campaign centering around woman's education. - 86 - F i r s t of a l l she attempted to improve the qu a l i t y of education received by g i r l s , and she h e r s e l f taught a wide range of subjects to her students, including Rhetoric, Logic, Chemistry, Moral Philosophy, and 13 L a t i n . These were subject that had not been a v a i l a b l e , for example, to E l i z a b e t h Cady Stanton at Emma Willard's seminary i n the 1830's. Secondly Beecher i n s t i t u t e d t r a i n i n g programmes for women teachers, and set up an organization to send women teachers to the newly developing western states of America. However, her i n c l u s i o n of subjects i n the c u r r i c u l a such as L a t i n and Chemistry did not mean that Beecher envisaged a completely new r o l e for woman, rather an extension of her t r a d i t i o n a l one. Her v i s i o n , as Sklar describes i t , was to create "a webb of in t e r l o c k i n g s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , including the family, the school, and the church" that "would form a new c u l t u r a l matrix within which woman would assume a c e n t r a l r o l e . " ^ In other words, the extension of woman's moral function into a s p e c i f i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the pu b l i c sphere. Catharine Beecher's emphasis upon education as the v e h i c l e by which to both promote woman's influence and improve her s o c i a l and economic p o s i t i o n struck a chord among many of the conservative p u b l i c i s t s . Despite t h e i r shared b e l i e f that woman's moral influence was destined for a wider sphere of a c t i v i t y than the nursery, many were vague about how thi s was to be achieved, and Beecher's programme provided one way to recon c i l e these two ideas. Sarah Hale, i n p a r t i c u l a r , was a vocal adherent of the push to improve woman's education, without however being at a l l s p e c i f i c about what reform she wished to see: - 87 - B.elieving, as we do, that the moral improvement of the world depends almost e n t i r e l y on the kind of education women receive, and the way i n which they use the influence i t gives them, we cannot r e f r a i n from urging, often, the subject upon our readers."^ While e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y endorsing Beecher's plans for women teachers, Hale s t i l l expected women to exercise t h e i r moral influence through domestic r o l e s . "Home i s the sacred residence designed by divine goodness for the happiness of woman", she wrote, and remained the best channel through which woman could hope to influence public l i f e . " ' " ^ For these conservative p u b l i c i s t s the idea of harmony was paramount i n t h e i r understanding of sexual r o l e s , and metaphors of chaos entered r e a d i l y into t h e i r vocabulary when they contemplated the demands made by the woman's rights movement that placed woman i n competition or c o n f l i c t with man. Sarah Hale denounced those of her contemporaries advocating woman's r i g h t s : Some of my own sex ... are seeking to 'emancipate' themselves, and contending f o r the r i g h t of entering the arena of business and public l i f e equally with men. The attempt w i l l never succeed. Thanks be to heaven, woman cannot put o f f the moral delicacy of her nature. Could she do so, i t would be as i f Venus, leaving her sweet o f f i c e of shining the morning and evening s t a r , should become a f i e r y comet, and rush through the sky, bringing dismay with her l i g h t , and causing a deeper darkness as she passed away.17 Hale was sure that the "theories of Mrs Mott would disorganize s o c i e t y " , Lucretia Mott being one of the r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t s ; "does she not perceive", Hale added, "that, i n estimating ph y s i c a l and mental a b i l i t y above moral excellence, she s a c r i f i c e s her own sex, who can never excel 18 i n those i n d u s t r i a l pursuits which belong to l i f e i n t h i s world." - 88 - For Hale, man represented the material, woman the s p i r i t u a l , and the furthest she could contemplate woman's a c t i v i t y extending into the publ i c sphere was i n the teaching of ch i l d r e n , s t i l l couched i n terms of moral influence. But other conservative p u b l i c i s t s could see no contradiction between woman's moral influence, and exercising i t through the r i g h t of suffrage. In f a c t , the question of the vote s p l i t the conservative p u b l i c i s t s down the middle. E l i z a Farnham, of course, was adamantly opposed for woman "was not made to exercise these powers; ... she cannot exercise them 19 without doing violence to her nature." Another argument against suffrage was advanced by Maria Mcintosh, who believed that p o l i t i c a l i n e q u a l i t y had been ordained by the B i b l e ; " l e t those who would destroy t h i s i n e q u a l i t y , pause ere they attempt to abrogate a law which 20 emanated from the a l l - p e r f e c t mind" she warned. However, Jane Swisshelm did not believe p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s such as suffrage emanated". from the B i b l e , but rather were l a i d down i n the Consti t u t i o n and she was proud to announce that "we were the f i r s t writer west of the mountains to 21 set up that claim of suffrage. Both Hannah Tracy Cutler and Paulina Wright Davis endorsed the r i g h t of suffrage p r e c i s e l y on the grounds of woman's superior moral nature. In an e d i t o r i a l i n 1854, Paulina Wright Davis denied that the vote would negatively a f f e c t woman's nature, and argued that the i n t e r e s t s of the country required woman's, moral influence: - 89 - Moreover the difference of sex and r e s u l t i n g difference of character, being always, and absolutely preserved as by the laws of nature they must be, the feminine element i n the c i v i l government of t h i s country i s required to counteract the mischief a r i s i n g from increased suffrage held as i t i s , by everything masculine ....^ Whereas Paulina Wright Davis emphasized^the need for woman's d i f f e r e n t , and complementary, influence i n public a f f a i r s , Hannah Tracy Cutler wished i t because woman was morally superior: not that we may become l i k e men i n our moral natures, but because that we are unlike them; and hence harmony demands the counterbalancing influence of our so f t e r sympathies, our more gentle natures, to balance the stern, cold, c a l c u l a t i n g s p i r i t of the other sex. And so the pre s c r i p t i o n s endorsed by the conservative women p u b l i c i s t s varied from domesticity to wage labour to suffrage, although the basic analysis of woman's nature, and i t s purpose, that was the foundation of conservative thought was the same. F i r s t of a l l , the b e l i e f i n woman's d i f f e r e n t anatomical, p h y s i o l o g i c a l and mental constitutions from that of man permeates t h e i r thinking, and secondly, the concept of woman's larger function as 'saving' American society and restoring C h r i s t i a n values to public l i f e . However, how woman was to best exercise her wider moral function without becoming tarnished by contact with the material world posed the conservative p u b l i c i s t s a problem, p a r t i c u l a r l y when i t was evident that not a l l women could avoid such contact. Consequently l i m i t e d p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the public sphere came to be accepted, r e l u c t a n t l y by some but more p o s i t i v e l y by others. Nonetheless, the dominating idea remained that of woman's singular influence being her paramount r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and contribution to society. - 90 - What is, perhaps, most striking about the prescriptions endorsed by the publicists, particularly those of the conservatives, is their lack of focus and detail. With the exception of Catharine Beecher, who both advocated and actively initiated educational reform and professional careers for girls as teachers, the practical advice given to readers on how to best f u l f i l the innate feminine function of moral influence was almost non-existent. These publicists could, for example, have suggested that women at once swell the ranks of the 'moral societies' that flourished during this period, engaging in temperance, prison reform, and missionary work. Often these societies were attached to the numerous evangelical churches, and the total absence of such advice suggests that the publicists had removed the responsibility for morality away from the sphere of the church altogether. Moral virtue had become the province of womanhood, but in an individual sense. Nancy Cott attributes this emphasis upon individual virtue to the "secularization of the evangelical Christian view that society improved as more and more people professed faith - i.e. individual moral qualities determined social 24 gain or failure." Consequently progress could only be achieved through the strengthening of individual character and not collective action. This explains the importance attached by the conservative publicists to the role of human will. Despite their fundamental determinism, will played a crucial part in whether woman chose to exercise her moral function. Margaret Coxe wrote that God "compels no one, irrespective of her own free 25 will as a moral agent, to discharge her appropriate vocation", and Hannah Tracy Cutler argued that i t was upon the will of woman that the - 91 - regeneration of human society depended. The laws governing woman's mind were similar to those governing woman's body - she could, as with tight lacing, choose to ignore them, but the result could only be damaging. Woman could ignore the laws of her being, but she could not choose in what direction to develop her mind, for as Sarah Hale made quite clear, "the difference in the constructive genius of man and woman 27 is the result of an organic difference in the operation of their minds." This same preoccupation with the moral influence of woman is equally apparent in the writings of the liberal publicists. Caroline Dall, who was active in the woman's rights movement, advocated suffrage because " i t is the power of conscience and love she is to bring to bear on the ballot- 28 box." Combined with this belief in woman's innate nature was the corresponding liberal commitment to the right of each individual to 29 develop "according to instinctive individual bias", and Dall supported the removal of a l l barriers to women in education, labour, and law. Yet there is more ambivalence in the liberal approach; the conservative publicists almost uniformly expected woman's reward to come in heaven, whereas the liberal publicists were equally inclined to emphasize the right of the individual to self-fulfillment, and recognition on this earth. Elizabeth Oakes Smith argued that woman would not be taken seriously by her contemporaries until she was seen as an equal, and in her society this meant that women had to satisfy economic criteria, for this, was the basis upon which individuals were judged. Pre-empting her critics, - 92 - Smith raised the query that " i t may be thought that, in claiming the right and dignity of labor for my sex, I am departing from the order of 30 Nature." Despite this, she argued: woman must be accepted as a creation, and i f society is so organized that the recognition of her as such must come through the medium of labour, the holding of property, then let her be no less a woman. Smith did not believe that woman's participation in society would affect or should compromise woman's innate moral nature, and she always maintained that for woman, "the indefinite influence springing from the 32 private circle is not enough." But Smith was not really very interested or concerned about the majority of women, for she is essentially writing about a specific minority, her fellow-intellectuals, whose position she felt was more frustrating in her generation that it had ever been before: In our age, unless the woman of intellect - (for the type is maturing itself to that development which is highest and most beautiful) - unless she is allowed the free exercise of her talents, is far more lonely and wretched than her poor sister of a bygone age. This pre-occupation with individual freedom, and that woman not be defined purely by her functions in marriage and motherhood, is also evident in Margaret Fuller's work. Fuller agreed that woman "seems 34 destined by nature rather for the inner circle", but she did not feel institutional constraints were necessary to keep her there. Let "every arbitrary barrier", she begged, "be thrown, down", and no chaos 35 would result, rather "a ravishing harmony of the spheres would ensue." Caroline Dall summarised the liberal creed most succinctly when she - 93 - wrote: The God-given impulse of sex, i f left in complete freedom, will establish, in time, certain distinctions for itself; but these distinctions should never be pressed on any individual soul. Both the liberal publicists Elizabeth Oakes Smith and Caroline Dall, and four of the five radical publicists endorsed through the woman's rights movement after 1848 a large number of specific reforms. Legal:.reforms, such as the right of married women to their own wages, and legal recognition of the right of mothers to the guardianship of their children were among the law reforms envisaged. Lucretia Mott was particularly concerned about the right of women to their wages, for she had "known cases of extreme cruelty from the hard earnings of the 37 wife being thus robbed by the husband, and no redress at law." In terms of the labour options open to women, these publicists called for both the opening of colleges and professional schools to women students and the opening of skilled j.obs .to women, for as Amelia Bloomer declared, "a girl's hand and head are formed very much like 38 those of a boy ... and capable of apprenticeship in any trade." And, of course, the demand for suffrage became increasingly important over the years, but the radicals demanded suffrage on the basis of woman's identical needs and capabilities, and not difference from, those of man. But Stanton was acutely aware that both arguments could be employed in favour of suffrage: If we are alike in our mental structure, then certainly we ought to have a voice in making the laws which govern us - if we are not alike, then we must make our own laws, as we alone can t e l l what we need. - 94 - Stanton and her fellow radicals endorsed suffrage for the former reason, Davis, Cutler and Swisshelm for the latter. This raises a rather interesting question about the nature of the suffrage demand, which has recently drawn the epithet of the most 'radical' demand made by the woman's rights movement.^ Since i t could be, and was, advocated on the basis of woman's similarity to man, and upon the basis of her difference from man, i t was virtually the one issue that allowed women of quite different philosophical assumptions about the nature and role of woman to work together. Suffrage was one demand made by the movement that did not force its exponents to agree upon a single definition of womanhood and publicists from the conservative, liberal and radical camps could, and did, endorse suffrage, either as the logical extension of woman's moral influence, or as woman's civ i l right. This may help explain why, after the Civil War, suffrage became the principal aim of both wings of the woman's rights movement. Only one radical publicist did not associate herself with the woman's rights movement, Anne McDowell. McDowell was convinced that the subject of expanding woman's labour opportunities, and securing adequate renumeration, were matters far more fundamental to the well-being of most women that the question of suffrage or law reform. She had few romantic illusions about the majority of work options open to women, and refers in her paper to the "slaves of the cotton loom", and sympathizes with domestics over the solitary nature, and long hours, of the job.̂ "*" - 95 - Through the advertisements in her paper she searched for women type- setters, watch-makers, and other skilled workers, and her creed is best illustrated by her claim that women have "the right to use their hands and heads, in any, and every capability, that they may have 4 2 a will, or ability to act in." Despite this parting of the ways over the best strategy to improve woman's position, McDowell shared a l l the philosophical beliefs of her fellow radical publicists, which she concisely expressed as follows on June 7, 1856: It is our earnest opinion that very much of the evil, inequality and false position of society has its origin in the supposition that boys^and girls are by nature differently constituted .... Perhaps Elizabeth Cady Stanton expressed indirectly the major difference between the radical view of womanhood, and that of the conservatives and liberals. Addressing the arguments of those men who argued that nature's laws determined women's subordination to man in al l spheres - a position which was vehemently denied by a l l of the publicists - she expressed a rejection of physiological determinism which broke completely with that underlying the established views of 44 womanhood common in her time. Both the conservative and liberal publicists assumed that woman had a singular function, the boundaries of which were physiologically determined. Woman might expand this function into new freedoms and roles, but only within narrow limits. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, by associating physiological determinism with male domination and rejecting both as arguments, which reinforced the subordination of women, could therefore escape much of the intellectual confusion and - 96 - inconsistency which plagued her s i s t e r s . Thus, as she put the question, from which the t i t l e of this, thesis, i s taken: I f I'm designed yon l o r d l i n g ' s slave By nature's law designed Why.was. an independent wish Ere planted i n my mind?^ The conservative and r a d i c a l p u b l i c i s t s began t h e i r quest i n search of the true nature of womanhood with completely d i f f e r e n t questions. The conservatives commenced with the over-riding preoccupation with function, what was woman's function and consequently, her nature. The ra d i c a l s asked why women were not allowed into c e r t a i n areas of l i f e , those of the public sphere. From these questions they emerged with completely d i f f e r e n t conceptions of woman's purpose and r o l e ; the conservatives i d e n t i f i e d woman's 'moral influence' as her primary function, while the r a d i c a l s pointed to her need for ' s e l f - r e a l i s a t i o n ' on the same basis as man. These answers are not e n t i r e l y congruent with the categories of domesticity versus feminism, and private versus p u b l i c sphere that have been used to conceptualize the thought of t h i s period. On the basis of 'moral influence' the conservatives argued for varying degrees of p a r t i c i p a t i o n by woman i n the public sphere above and beyond the domestic rol e s of wife and-mother, with her r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s extending beyond those of the immediate family. Further the ideas of the p u b l i c i s t s have never been placed i n the context of t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l l i v e s , and doing so proves to.be r e v e a l i n g . The conservative p u b l i c i s t s , who, with the exception of Davis, a l l worked - 97 - to support themselves and their families, were the least sympathetic to the cause of unlimited labour opportunities for women. It appears that their experience often only made them more adamant that women should not have to work for wages. Yet they developed a theory of womanhood that could accommodate limited and sex-specific work for women. Quite the opposite is true of the radical publicists, who with one exception again, did not have to work to support themselves. Yet these women had often been the eldest child, denied the education of the brothers, and acutely aware of the limits placed upon woman's aspirations on account of sex. On the other hand, the liberal publicists had received very good education from their fathers and yet were constrained by the customs and conventions of their society from utilizing their abilities to their fullest. It is hard to escape the conclusion that experience played a large role in determining how these publicists defined womanhood. Although the radical publicists made a complete break with the physiological determinism underlying mid-nineteenth century views of womanhood - and thereby made the most original contribution to the debate over the "Woman Question" - i t was the conservative definition of womanhood that was shared by the majority of women publicists. By skillfully developing the physiologically-based contemporary view of womanhood, the conservatives expanded womanis..function into a larger and more powerful role while maintaining the sexual dualism. The frontispiece, of the kneeling skeleton, symbolizes, the anatomical' design ands. its concomitant spiritual function meant by the majority of publicists when they described woman as "by nature's law designed". - 98 - NOTES 1 Hale, Woman's Record, p. 826. 2 Coxe, Claims of the Country on American Females, 1:37 and 13. 3 Farnham, Woman and Her Era, 1:29 and 86. 4 Ibid., 2:352; 1:88. 5 Ibid., 1:310; 2:341-346. The Saturday Visiter, vol. 5, no. 1 (January 24, 1852), p. 2. 7 The Woman's Advocate, vol. 2, no. 3 (January 26, 1856). 8 Catharine Beecher, The True Remedy for the Wrongs of Woman (Boston: Phillips, Sampson & Co., 1851; New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, reel 243), p. 64. 9 Mcintosh, Woman in America, p. 104; see also Paulina Wright Davis in The Una, vol. 2, no. 6 (June 1854), p. 280. 10 Mcintosh, Woman in America, p. 96. Beecher, Letters to the People on Health and Happiness, p. 108. 12 See Sklar, Catharine Beecher. 13 Ibid., p. 61. 14 Ibid., p. 172. - 99 - 15 Godey's Ladies Rook, vol. 23 (November 1841), p. 236. 16 Ibid., vol. 39 CNovember 1849), p. 366. 17' Hale, Woman's Record, p. xlv. 18 Ibid., p. 753. 19 Brother Jonathan, vol. 5, no. 9 (July 1, 1843), p. 268. 20 Mcintosh, Woman in America, pp. 21-22. 21 The Saturday Visiter, vol. 5, no. 1 (January 24, 1852), p. 2. 22 The Una, vol. 2, no. 6 (June 1854), p. 281. 23 Ibid., vol. 1, no. 1 (February 1853), p. 14. 24 Cott, The Bonds of Womanhood, p. 96. 25 Coxe, Claims of the Country on American Females, 1:47. 26 Cutler, Woman As She Was, Is, and Should Be, p. 21. 27 Hale, Woman's Record, p. xlv. 28 Caroline Dall, Woman's Rights Under the Law (Boston: Walker, Wise & Co., 1861; New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, reel 320), p. 150. 29. Ibid., p. 143 - 1Q0 - 30 Smith, Woman and her Needs., p. 47. 31 I b i d . , p. 47. 32 Ib i d . , p. 16. 33 Ib i d . , p. 109. 34 F u l l e r , Woman i n the Nineteenth Century, p. 34. 35 I b i d . , p. 37. 36 D a l l , The College, the Market, and the Court, p. 8. 37 Stanton et a l . , History of Woman Suffrage, 1:373. 38 Bloomer, L i f e and Writings of Amelia Bloomer, p. 165. 39 The L i l y , v o l . 2, no. 5 (May 1850), p. 38. 40 See DuBois, Feminism and Suffrage. 41 The Woman's Advocate, v o l . 2, no. 6 (February 16, 1856). 42 I b i d . , v o l . 2, no. 1 (January 12, 1856). 43 I b i d . , v o l . 2, no. 22 (June 7, 1856). 44 Contrary to Rosalind Rosenberg, "In Search of Woman's Nature", p. 146: "As long as the female personality remained a function of woman's unique metabolism, a r a d i c a l a l t e r n a t i v e to the V i c t o r i a n view of womanhood remained impossible." 46 The Una, v o l . 3, no. 3 (March 1855), p. 39. Name/Date of 'Birth. Catharine BEECHER b. 1800 Amelia BLOOMER b. 1818 Margaret COXE b. 1800 Hannah CUTLER b. 1815 Caroline DALL b. 1822 Paulina DAVIS b. 1813 Eliza FARNHAM b. 1815 Margaret FULLER b. 1810 Sarah GRIMKE b. 1792 Sarah HALE b. 1788 Anne MCDOWELL b. 1826 Maria MCINTOSH b. 1803 Lucretia MOTT b. 1793 Elizabeth SMITH b. 1806 Elizabeth STANTON b. 1815 - 101 - APPENDIX 'A' Regional Affiliation New England and Cincinnati New York State, Ohio 1853, Iowa 1856 New Jersey - Ohio New England Occupation Teacher and Head of Girl's Seminary Deputy Postmistress & Newspaper Editor Teacher and Head of Girl's Seminary Teacher and Writer New England New York State and Rhode Island New York State, Illinois New England South Carolina, Philadelphia & N. York New England and Philadelphia 1837 Delaware and Philadelphia Teacher & Newspaper Editor Newspaper Editor Teacher and Prison Matron Teacher, Newspaper Editor & Literary Critic None (private income) Teacher and Journal Editor Newspaper Editor Georgia and Writer New York City Massachusetts - Teacher Philadelphia Maine and New York Writer City 1837 New York State None Jane SWISSHELM b. 1815 Pittsburgh, and Kentucky 1857 Teacher and Newspaper Editor - 102 - APPENDIX 'A' .Religion Presbyterian- Episcopalian Presbyterian- Episcopalian Husband/Children None Lawyer & 2 adopted ch i l d r e n Father Presbyterian Minister C l o t h i e r Presbyterian Education Home & Sarah Pierce School, L i t c h f i e d Home and D i s t r i c t School Unknown Unknown Unknown Home Presbyterianr- Episcopalian Unitarian Presbyterian- Baptist - ? freethinker 1 ))Lawy er, 2 ) Army 3 ch i l d r e n U n i t a r i a n Minister 2 ch i l d r e n l)Merchant, 2) Manuf. 2 ad. c h i l d . 1)Lawyer, 2)1 - Div. 3 chi l d r e n Unknown India Merch. Uni t a r i a n Army Unknown Common School and Oberlin 1847-48 Father, governess & priva t e school "sketchy" formal education One year Quaker boarding school Transcend- e n t a l i s t Married i n I t a l y Lawyer 1 c h i l d Father and priv a t e school Episcopalian- Quaker - ? Episcopalian None Lawyer d. 1822 5 children Lawyer Episcopalian Private tutors Tavern keeper Mother and Brother Episcopalian? None Cabinet Maker Unknown Unknown Unknown Lawyer Mother and G i r l ' s Academy Quaker Congregation- a l i s t - Unitar. Presbyterian - Merchant 6 ch i l d r e n Newspaper Ed. 5 ch i l d r e n Lawyer 7 children Sea Captain Quaker Merchant Lawyer Public and priv a t e schools Private school Tutors, Johnstown Acad. & Troy Acad. Presbyterian- Business./Farm Convenanter-? div. 1857. 1 c h i l d Merchant Public school - 103 - BIBLIOGRAPHY. Primary Sources Beecher, Catharine E., The Duty of American Women to t h e i r Country. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1845. New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 191. The E v i l s Suffered by American Women and American Children: The Causes and The Remedy. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1846. New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 191. The True Remedy for the Wrongs of Woman. Boston: P h i l l i p s , Sampson and Co., 1851. New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 243. Letters to the People on Health and Happiness. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1856. New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 243. Bloomer, D.C, L i f e and Writings of Amelia Bloomer. New York: Schocken Books, 1975. Carpenter, William B., P r i n c i p l e s of Comparative Physiology. P h i l a d e l p h i a : Blanchard and Lea, 1854. Ch i l d , Lydia Maria, The History of the Condition of Women, i n Various Ages and Nations. 2 v o l s . Boston: J . A l l e n and 'Co., 1835. New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 159. Combe, George, The Constitution of Man Considered i n Relation to External Objects. Boston: Marsh, Capen, Lyon and Webb, 1839. Coxe, Margaret, Claims of the Country on American Females. 2 v o l s . Columbus: Isaac N. Whiting, 1842. New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 198. Cutler, Hannah T.C., Woman as She Was, Is, and Should Be. New York: S.W. Benedict, 1849. D a l l , Caroline H., Woman's Rights Under the Law. Boston: Walker, Wise and Co., 1861. New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 320. - 104 - D a l l , Caroline H., H i s t o r i c a l Pictures Retouched: a Volume of M i s c e l l a n i e s . Boston: Walker, Wise & Co., 1860. New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 320. Woman's Right to L a b o r ; or, Low Wages and Hard Work. Boston: Walker, Wise and Co., 1860. New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 320. The College, The Market, and The Court; or Woman's Relation to Education, Labor, and Law. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1867. De S t a e l , Madame Anna Louise, Corinne, or I t a l y . New York: Thomas D. Crowell and Co., n.d. Farnham, E l i z a W. Woman and Her Era. 2 v o l s . New York: A.J. Davis and Co., 1864. New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 326. My Early Days. New York: Thatcher and Hutchinson, 1859. F u l l e r , Margaret, Woman i n the Nineteenth Century. New York: W.W. Norton and Co. Inc., 1971. Gove, Mary S., Lectures to Ladies on Anatomy and Physiology. Boston: Saxton and Pierce, 1842. Grimke, Sarah M., Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman. New York: Lennox H i l l , 1970. Hale, Mrs Sarah J . , Woman's Record; or, Sketches of a l l Distinguished Women from The Creation to A.D. 1868 arranged i n Four Eras. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1870. Mott, L u c r e t i a , Discourse on Woman. Phi l a d e l p h i a : W.P. K i l d a r e , 1869. Mcintosh, Maria Jane, Woman i n America, her Work and her Reward.. New York: D. Appleton, 1850. New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications '.Inc., History of Women, r e e l 278. Parton, James, et a l . , Eminent Women of the Age. Hartford, Conn: S.M. Betts and Co., 1868. Smith, Eli z a b e t h Oakes, Woman and her Needs. New York: Fowler and Wells, 1851. New Haven, Conn.: Research Publications Inc., History of Women, r e e l 296. - 105 - Spurzheim, J.G., Phrenology, i n connexion with the Study of Physiognamy. Boston; Marsh, Capen and Lyon, 1833. Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Anthony, Susan B., Gage, Matilda Joslyn, History of Woman Suffrage. 6 v o l s . New York: Fowler and Wells, 1881-1922. Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences 1815-1897. New York: Schocken Books, 1971. Stanton, Theodore, Blatch, Harriot Stanton, Elizabeth Cady Stanton: As Revealed i n Her Le t t e r s , Diary and Reminiscences. 2 v o l s . New York: Harper and Brothers, 1922. Swedenborg, Emanual, The Animal Kingdom considered Anatomically, P h y s i c a l l y and P h i l o s o p h i c a l l y . P h i l a d e l p h i a : Boericke and T a f e l , 1912. Swisshelm, Jane Grey, Half a Century. Chicago: Jansen, McClung and Co., 1880. Newspapers Brother Jonathan, v o l . 5, no. 8 and no. 9 (June/July 1843). Ann Arbor; Michigan: University Microfilms, American P e r i o d i c a l Series 1800-1850, r e e l 809. The D i a l , v o l . 4, no. 1 (July 1843). New York: Rus s e l l and Russ e l l Inc., 1961. Godey's Ladies Book, v o l s . 21 - 41 (.1840-1850). Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms, American P e r i o d i c a l Series 1800-1850, reels 774-776. The L i l y , v o l s . 1 - 6 (1849-1854). Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Co., r e e l 1. 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New York: Oxford University Press, 1956. Coleman, William, Biology i n the Nineteenth Century: Problems of Form, Function, and Transformation. Cambridge: Cambridge Uni v e r s i t y Press, 1977. Conrad, Susan P., Perish the Thought: I n t e l l e c t u a l Women i n Romantic America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Cott, Nancy F., The Bonds of Womanhood: "Woman's Sphere" i n New England, 1780-1835. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977. Cross, Barbara M., The Educated Woman i n America. New York: Teachers College Press, 1965. Daniels, George H., American Science i n the Age of Jackson. New York: Columbia University Press, 1968. Davies, John D., Phrenology Fad and Science, A 19th Century American Crusade. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1955. Douglas, Ann, The Feminization of American Culture. New York: Avon Books, 1977. - 107 - DuBo i s , E l l e n Carol, Feminism and Suffrage: The Emergence of an " .  J. Independent Women's Movement i n America 1848-1869. Ithaca: Cornell University Press., 1978. Elson, Ruth M i l l e r , Guardians of T r a d i t i o n : American Schoolbooks of the Nineteenth Century. L i n c o l n : University of Nebraska Press, 1964. Flexner, Eleanor, Century of Struggle: The Woman's Rights Movement i n the United States. New York: Atheneum, 1970. Gordon, Michael, The American Family i n S o c i a l - H i s t o r i c a l Perspective. New York: St Martin's Press, 1978. Hartman, Mary S., and Banner, Lois B., C l i o ' s Consciousness Raised: New Perspectives on the History of Women. New York: Octagon Books, 1976. Houghton, Walter E., The V i c t o r i a n Frame of Mind 1830-1870. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957. Howe, Daniel Walker, The Unitarian Conscience: Harvard Moral Philosophy 1805-1861. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970. V i c t o r i a n America. Phil a d e l p h i a : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1976. Lerner, Gerda, The Grimke S i s t e r s from South Carolina. Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n Co., 1967. Lutz, Alma, Created Equal: A Biography of Eliza b e t h Cady Stanton, 1815- 1902. New York: The John Day Co., 1940. McLoughlin, William G., The American Evangelicals, 1800-1900. New York: Harper and Row, 1968. Melder, Keith, Beginnings of Sisterhood: The American Woman's Rights Movement, 1800-1850. New York: Schocken Books, 1977. Noun, Louise, Strong-Minded Women: The Emergence of the Woman-Suffrage Movement i n Iowa. Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1969. Peckham, Morse, Romanticism: The Culture of the Nineteenth Century. ... New York: George B r a z i l l e r , 1965. Rosenberg, Charles E., NO Other Gods:. On Science and American S o c i a l Thought. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1976. - 108 - Russett, Cynthia Eagle, The Concept of Equilibrium i n American S o c i a l Thought. New Haven; Yale University Press, 1966. Ryan, Mary P., Womanhood i n America frOm Col o n i a l Times to the Present. New York: F r a n k l i n Watts, 1975. Sklar, Kathryn Kish, Catharine Beecher: A Study i n American Domesticity. New York: W.W. Norton and Co. Inc., 1973. Smith, Timothy L., Revivalism and S o c i a l Reform i n Mid-Nineteenth Century America. New York: Abingdon Press, 1957. Teich, Mikulas, Young, Robert, Changing Perspectives i n the History of Science. London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 1973. Thackray, Arnold, Mendelsohn, Everett, Science and Values: Patterns of Tr a d i t i o n and Change. New York: Humanities Press, 1974. Tyle r , A l i c e F e l t , Freedom's Ferment: Phases of American S o c i a l History to 1860. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, 1944. Van Tassel, David D., H a l l , Michael G., Science and Society i n the United States. Homewood, I l l i n o i s : The Dorsey Press, 1966. V i c i n i u s , Martha, A Widening Sphere: Changing Roles of V i c t o r i a n Women. Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1977. Suffer and Be S t i l l : Women i n the V i c t o r i a n Age. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1972. Wade, Mason, The Writings of Margaret F u l l e r . New York: The Viking Press, 1941. Welter, Barbara, Dimity Convictions: The American Woman i n the Nineteenth Century. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1976. A r t i c l e s Alaya, F l a v i a , " V i c t o r i a n Science and the 'Genius' of Woman", Journal of the History of Ideas, 38 (.1977) . Rarker-Benfield, Ben, "The Spermatic Economy: A Nineteenth Century View of Sexuality", Feminist Studies, 1 CL972). - 109 - Bridges, William E., "Family Patterns and S o c i a l Values i n America, 1825- 1875", American Quarterly, 17 (1965). Cott, Nancy F,, "Young Women i n the Second Great Awakening", Feminist Studies, 3 (1975) . Degler, Carl N., "What Ought To Be and What Was: Women's Sexuality i n the Nineteenth Century", The American H i s t o r i c a l Review, 79 (1974). Dublin, Thomas, "Women, Work, and the Family: Female Operatives i n the Lowell M i l l s , 1830-1860", Feminist Studies, 3 (1975). Gribben, Alan, "Mark Twain, Phrenology and the "Temperaments": A Study of P s e u d o s c i e n t i f i c Influence", American Quarterly, 24 (1972). Howe, Daniel W., "American Victorianism as a Culture", American Quarterly, 27 (1975). J e f f r e y , Kirk 'ij "Marriage, Career, and Feminine Ideology i n Nineteenth Century America: Reconstructing the M a r i t a l Experience of Lydia Maria C h i l d , 1828-1874", Feminist Studies, 2 (1975). Lerner, Gerda, "New Approaches to the Study of Women i n American History", Journal of S o c i a l H i s t o r y , 3 (1969) . "The Lady and the M i l l G i r l : Changes i n the Status of Women i n the Age of Jackson", American Studies Journal, 10 (1969). Ortner, Sherry, "Is Female to Male As Nature i s to Culture?", Feminist Studies, 1 (1972) . Rile y , Glenda Gates, "The Subtle Subversion: Changes i n the T r a d i t i o n a l i s t Image of the American Woman", The H i s t o r i a n , 32 (.1969). Rosenberg, Charles, Smith-Rosenberg, C a r r o l l , "The Female Animal: Medical and B i o l o g i c a l Views of Woman and her Role i n Nineteenth Century America", The Journal of American History, 60 (1973). Rosenberg, Charles E., "Sexuality, Class and Role i n 19th-century America", American Quarterly, 25 (1973). Rosenberg, C a r r o l l Smith, "Beauty, the Beast and the M i l i t a n t Woman: A Case Study i n Sex Roles, and S o c i a l Stress i n Jacksonian America", American Quarterly, 23 (1971) . Rosenberg, Rosalind, "In Search of Woman's Nature, 1850-1920", Feminist Studies, 3 (.1975) . - 110 - Scott, Anne F i r o r , "What, Then, i s the American; 1 This New Woman?", The Journal of American History, 65 (3_978) . Scott-Smith, Daniel, "Family L i m i t a t i o n , Sexual Control, and Domestic Feminism i n V i c t o r i a n America", Feminist Studies, 1 (.1973) . Smith-Rosenberg, C a r r o l l , "Puberty to Menopause: The Cycle of Femininity i n Nineteenth Century.America", Feminist Studies, 1 (1973). "The Female World of Love and R i t u a l : Relations between Women i n Nineteenths Century America", Signs, 1 (1975). "The H y s t e r i c a l Woman: Sex Roles and Role C o n f l i c t i n 19th- century America", S o c i a l Research, 39 (1972). Trecker, Janice Law, "Sex, Science and Education", American Quarterly, 26 (1974). Verbrugge, Martha H., "Women and Medicine i n 19th-century America", Signs, 1 (1976). Warner, Deborah Jean, "Science and Education for Women i n Antebellum America", I s i s , 69 (1978). Welter, Barbara, "The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860", American Quarterly, 18 (1966). Zochert, Donald, "Science and the Common Man i n Ante-Bellum America", I s i s , 65 (1974). Encyclopedias James, Edward T., ed., Notable American Women,11607-1950. 3 vo l s . Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971. Malone, Dumas, ed., Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932.

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