Ten Hours' Labor: Religion, Reform, and Gender in Early New England

Synopsis

Although antebellum popular evangelicalism has been considered a middle-class phenomenon, Teresa Anne Murphy maintains that it was also a vital--and contested--arena of working-class life. Drawing on sources from labor and temperance journals to marriage records, diaries, and correspondence, she illuminates the extraordinary role of religion in the labor organization of New England mill towns. At the same time, she reconstructs the complex evolution in gender relations which enabled women workers to find a voice in the once exclusively male movement for a shorter workday.