Against the Tide: Women Reformers in American Society

By Paul A. Cimbala; Randall M. Miller | Go to book overview

her death. Of equal importance were Beecher's contributions to the emerging debate over the origins and scope of woman's influence on society. Although her ideas about womanhood became more contested in the post-Civil War era, especially when cast in the light of the debates over the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution, Beecher did not relinquish her position without a fight. Retirement from public life was not something she relished. She wrote endlessly, traveled, and lectured whenever possible. As support for woman's suffrage gained ground, she redoubled her critique of the movement. In December 1870 Beecher debated woman's rights activist Mary Livermore at Boston's Music Hall, and expanded and published her address, Woman's Suffrage and Woman's Profession, in 1871. 39

Never having a home to call her own, Beecher moved about in her last years, from relative to relative. In 1877 she made her last move, retiring to the Elmira, New York, home of her brother Thomas. The generosity of her brother and sister-in-law, the availability of a nearby water cure establishment, and the presence of Elmira College, where she could lecture to young women, made her last year tolerable. Two days after suffering a debilitating stroke, Catharine Esther Beecher died in her sleep on 12 May 1878.


NOTES
1.
Jeanne Boydston, Mary Kelly, and Anne Margolis, The Limits of Sisterhood: The Beecher Sisters on Women's Rights and Woman's Sphere ( Chapel Hill, N.C., 1988), 13.
2.
Kathryn Kish Sklar, Catharine Beecher, a Study in American Domesticity ( New York, 1976), 270.
3.
Catharine Beecher, Woman's Suffrage and Woman's Profession ( Hartford, Conn.: 1871), dedication page.
4.
Catharine Beecher, Educational Reminiscences and Suggestions ( New York, 1874), dedication page.
5.
Barbara Miller Solomon, In the Company of Educated Women: A History of Women in Higher Education in America ( New Haven, 1985), xviii.
6.
Catharine Beecher, "Female Education," American Journal of Education 2 ( 1827): 219-222, 264-269. The quote is on 221.
7.
Ibid., 221.
8.
Catharine Beecher, A Treatise on Domestic Economy ( New York, 1841), 222.
9.
Kathryn Kish Sklar, "Catharine Beecher," in G. J. Barker-Benfield and Catharine Clinton , eds., Portraits of American Women: From Settlement to the Present ( New York, 1991), 178.
10.
Joan M. Jensen, "Not Only Ours but Others: The Quaker Teaching Daughters of the Mid-Atlantic, 1790-1850," History of Education Quarterly 24 ( 1984): 3.
11.
Sklar, Catharine Beecher, 7.
12.
Ibid., 7-8.
13.
Milton Rugoff, T he Beechers: An American Family in the Nineteenth Century ( New York, 1981), 43.
14.
Sklar, Catharine Beecher, 18.
15.
Boydston Kelly, and Margolis, The Limits of Sisterhood, 34.

-16-

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Against the Tide: Women Reformers in American Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Catharine Beecher and Domestic Relations 1
  • Notes 16
  • Bibliography 17
  • Mary Ann Shadd Cary and Black Abolitionism 19
  • Notes 38
  • Bibliography 40
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Woman's Rights Movement 41
  • Notes 51
  • Bibliography 53
  • Dorothea Dix and Mental Health Reform 55
  • Notes 69
  • Bibliography 71
  • Frances Willard and Temperance 73
  • Notes 82
  • Bibliography 83
  • Jane Addams and the Settlement House Movement 85
  • Notes 97
  • Bibliography 98
  • Ida Wells-Barnett and the African-American Anti-Lynching Campaign 99
  • Notes 110
  • Bibliography 111
  • Jessie Daniel Ames and the White Women's Anti- Lynching Campaign 113
  • Notes 123
  • Bibliography 123
  • Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement 125
  • Notes 136
  • Bibliography 137
  • Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement 139
  • Notes 151
  • Bibliography 152
  • Betty Friedan and the National Organization for Women 153
  • Notes 164
  • Bibliography 165
  • Index 167
  • About the Editors and Contributors 171
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