Women during the Civil War: An Encyclopedia

By Judith E. Harper | Go to book overview

Selected Readings
Berlin, Ira and Barbara J. Fields, Seven F. Miller, Joseph P. Reidy, and Leslie S. Rowland, eds. Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War. New York: The New Press. 1992.
Glymph, Thavolia. “‘This Species of Property’: Female Slave Contrabands in the Civil War. ” In A Woman’s War: Southern Women, Civil War, and the Confederate Legacy. Edited by Edward D. C. Campbell, Jr. and Kym S. Rice. Richmond and Charlottesville, VA: The Museum of the Confederacy and the University Press of Virginia. 1996.
Sterling, Dorothy. We Are Your Sisters: Black Women in the Nineteenth Century. New York: W. W. Norton. 1984.

Coppin, Fanny Jackson (1837-1913)

A leading educator of the nineteenth century, Fanny Jackson Coppin was one of the first black women to receive a full-fledged collegiate education. At a time when the vast majority of African Americans were illiterate, and when most free blacks in the North were struggling to obtain an elementary education, Jackson, a former slave, was excelling in the most challenging courses at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. In the years following her graduation from Oberlin, Jackson became the first African-American woman to serve as head principal of a school of higher education in the United States (Perkins 1987, 90). She was renowned for her innovative teaching methods, her preparation of future teachers, and her crusade to establish industrial and vocational education for African-American men and women in Philadelphia.

Not much is known of Fanny Jackson’s early life, though it is known that she was born a slave in Washington, DC, in 1837. An aunt purchased her freedom when Jackson was a girl, probably when she was between ten and twelve years of age. Not long afterward, she lived with another aunt in New Bedford, Massachusetts, working as a domestic servant. Her work prevented her from attending school on a daily basis. As she explained in her memoir, “I could not go on wash day, nor ironing day, nor cleaning day, and this interfered with my progress” (Coppin 1995, 11). She felt her lack of education keenly, and it awakened a hunger for knowledge that remained with her throughout her life.

In 1851, when Jackson moved with her relatives to Newport, Rhode Island, she again worked as a domestic servant, this time for a wealthy, highly educated couple from whom she learned much about literature and the arts. At 14 years of age she was determined to obtain the education she had been craving throughout her childhood. With her wages of $7

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Women during the Civil War: An Encyclopedia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • List of Entries xvii
  • A 1
  • B 29
  • Selected Readings 47
  • C 55
  • Selected Readings 70
  • Selected Readings 83
  • Selected Readings 91
  • D 97
  • Selected Readings 116
  • Selected Readings 121
  • E 125
  • F 143
  • Selected Readings 157
  • G 161
  • Selected Readings 164
  • Selected Readings 174
  • H 183
  • Selected Reading 196
  • I 205
  • J 223
  • Selected Readings 225
  • K 227
  • L 235
  • Selected Readings 247
  • Selected Readings 255
  • M 257
  • N 279
  • P 293
  • Selected Reading 300
  • R 311
  • S 325
  • T 367
  • U 385
  • V 393
  • W 401
  • Selected Readings 403
  • Selected Readings 416
  • Z 425
  • Glossary 429
  • Bibliography 433
  • Index 449
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