Without Precedent: The Life of Susie Marshall Sharp

By Anna R. Hayes | Go to book overview
Save to active project

INTRODUCTION

If, as F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function,” then Susie Marshall Sharp was a genius. 1

Brains and a propensity for hard work were two of Susie Sharp's most obvious characteristics. On both sides of her family, these qualities had enabled her forebears to survive and even prevail over the difficulties of war, poverty, and the general benightedness of the backcountry in the South. In her parents were joined long lines of patrician plantation owners on one side and yeoman farmers on the other, both sides smelted in the furnace of the Civil War and the hard years that followed. Susie Sharp embodied the paradoxes of the South, with its twin strands of pride and humility, romance and pragmatism. The brutal years after the Civil War had imbued her family with a deep-seated fear of poverty, ignorance, and stagnation, but also with a dawning and determined optimism arising from unprecedented opportunities. In Susie Sharp, the determination and optimism were matched to an exceptional intelligence, which seemingly catapulted her far ahead of her times, even as she retained many attitudes typical of the nineteenth century.

The story of her career is a significant piece of North Carolina history, with implications not only for women but also for every citizen, because every citizen in the state was affected by her jurisprudence and her administrative initiatives. As a female pioneer in the state's legal profession, Susie Sharp saw North Carolina women gain the right to serve on a jury, achieved recognition as one of the earliest female political operatives on a statewide level, and influenced the national outcome of the vote on the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

When she graduated at the top of her law school class in 1929, she was one of a bare handful of women in North Carolina, or in the country for

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Without Precedent: The Life of Susie Marshall Sharp
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 559

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?