Women

We Shall Not Be Moved: The Women's Factory Strike of 1909

By Joan Dash

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Thousands of young girls came all alone to New York City looking for work, and they found it in the factories, making lovely dresses for a cheap wage. Finally, Clara Lemlich had had enough. She stood up at her work table and announced in Yiddish, which most of the girls understood, that she had a plan to make things better. This book tells the beginnings of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, one of the first unions to recognize that women, as well as men, deserved decent pay and better hours.

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Elizabeth I: The Last Tudor Queen

The Tudor Family

Elizabeth's father was King Henry VIII of England--a big, red-haired man who liked to joust and feast. He also liked the ladies. For many years, he was mostly content with his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, a Spanish princess. They had a daughter, Mary, but no other children lived to maturity. Henry very much wanted a strong son to carry on his name and keep the kingdom safe.

Memories of a Long Life

By Betty Churchill Lacy

When I was five years old I was taken by my parents in their four horse coach to visit Dr. Peyton Grymes near Orange Court House. From there we drove to Montpelier to visit ex-President Madison. I distinctly recall Madison as a worn, feeble old man in dressing gown, and a black silk cap lying on a couch. It was not long before his death. Mrs. Dolly Madison in her turban also made an impression on me, for she was very kind, and took me all round the rooms to see the many beautiful things with which they were filled. I remember with special delight a music box that was wound up for my amusement.

A Yankee Spy in Richmond: The Civil War Diary of "Crazy Bet" Van Lew

By Elizabeth Van Lew

January 24, 1864

Alas for the suffering of the very poor! Women are begging for bread with tears in their eyes, and a different class from ordinary beggars. What an experience is that of an intelligent person, born and brought up in the Southern States, and continuing their residence there through this terrible rebellion. The peace, plenty, and freedom of the whites under the old government stands in strange contrast with the scarcity and apprehension of the Southern Confederacy Government.

Incidents of Hospital Life in 1864

By Phoebe Yates Pember

There were long discussions among those responsible during the war, as to the advisability of the frequent amputations on the field, and often when a hearty, fine-looking man in the prime of life would be brought in minus an arm or a leg, I would feel as if it might have been saved, but experience taught me the wisdom of prompt measures. Poor food and great exposure had thinned the blood and broken down the system so entirely that secondary amputations performed in the hospital almost invariably resulted in death, after the second year of the war. The blood lost on the battlefield when the wound was first received would enfeeble the already impaired system and render it incapable of further endurance.

"Miss Hale is a slim, puny silent Virgin…."

By Philip Vickers Fithian

From the Journal and Letters of Philip Vickers Fithian, A Plantation Tutor of the Old Dominion, 1773-1774

Editor's note: the spellings are to period and from Mr. Fithian's diary.

Fryday 24.

La[s]t night we had a Gust of Rain & Thunder; very acceptable—To Day in course Mr. Christians Dance happens here--He came before Breakfast—Miss Jenny Washington came also, & Miss Priscilla Hale while we were at Breakfast

Letter to Adrienne Lafayette from Valley Forge, January 6, 1778

What a date, My Dear Heart, and what a country from which to write in the month of January! It is in a camp in the middle of woods; it is fifteen hundred leagues from you that I find myself buried in midwinter. Not too long ago, we were separated from the enemy by a small river; now we are seven leagues away from them and it is here that the American army will spend the winter in small barracks hardly more cheerful than a jail. I do not know if the general … will decide to visit our new abode; should he, we would show him around. The bearer of this letter will describe to you the pleasant place which I seem to prefer to being with you, with all my friends and amidst all possible pleasures.

Recipes and Remedies in Her Own Hand

Vanilla Drops

This is the recipe I always use. Good.

Cream 1/2 cup butter and 2 cups sugar, add 2 eggs well beaten, 3/4 cup cold water, 2 heaping teaspoonfuls yeast powder, enough flour to make a stiff batter. Flavor with vanilla. Drop on well greased pans and bake in a moderately quick oven.*
This takes about 1 pt flour.

*about 375º

This recipe comes from a fascinating little book, Annie Flora Myer, Confederate Daughter of Fredericksburg: Recipes and Remedies in Her Own Hand, edited by her great grandniece Anne Ligon. It is available for reserve and check out through the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

Nurse and Spy in the Union Army

Emma Edmonds kept a wartime journal which she later expanded into a book, available today as Nurse and Spy in the Union Army. In this selection, "Frank Thompson" volunteers to substitute for General Hancock's aide-de-camp. Here she tells of a wild ride, an unexpected death, and a wounded officer.

Battle-field, Fredericksburg, VA.,
December 13, 1862

I rode three miles with General H. to General Franklin's headquarters, the second night we were at Fredericksburg, and all the night that I can recall to mind that was the darkest. On our way we had numerous ditches to leap, various ravines to cross, and mountains to climb, which can be better imagined than described. It was not only once or twice that horse and rider went tumbling into chasms head first, but frequently.

A Female Soldier in the Civil War: Emma E. Edmonds

Historians believe at least 400 women served in the Civil War as soldiers, but documented cases are very few.