Preserving Charleston's Past, Shaping Its Future: The Life and Times of Susan Pringle Frost

Synopsis

In the post-Civil War period, Southern women slowly shook loose from the longstanding image of "the lady on the pedestal" and, through club work and group association, developed independence and began to affect public life. One such notable "new woman" was Charleston's Susan Pringle Frost (1873-1960). This book recounts the life story of this active woman, describing her background, philosophy, and accomplishments in the area of advancing the image of the woman in society. A member of an illustrious old family, Frost constantly challenged convention, as a federal district court stenographer, as a real estate woman with an office in the professional district, as a women's rights advocate. She helped get women admitted to the College of Charleston and headed city and state National Woman's Party efforts to achieve women's suffrage and later, the Equal Rights Amendment. Bland asserts that Frost is chiefly important, however, as an historic preservationist. In a rapidly expanding sweep, beginning about 1909, Miss Frost bought and renovated numerous houses in the historic East Battery ristrict. Indebtedness mounted, and to aid her efforts she founded and for many years headed the Preservation Society of Charleston. On several Charleston civic commissions and, in her seventies, still a member of the Zoning Board, Susan Frost was a life-long worker for city betterment and tirelessly monitored Charleston preservation efforts. Preserving Charleston's Past, Shaping Its Future shows how a preservation pioneer, Susan Pringle Frost, helped shape the Southern "new woman" image and served as a role model for women of all generations.