Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1800-1925: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook

By Karlyn Kohrs Campbell | Go to book overview

which were the premises from which she argued for woman's rights and full suffrage and for full citizenship for former slaves. She also espoused the principles of universal justice, the premises underlying her arguments for fair treatment of all, including the lowliest workers, especially women. She did not pander to audience beliefs; she frequently championed positions that she knew would be anathema to those she addressed. In all likelihood, part of her appeal to audiences was her courage in demanding a fair hearing for unpopular causes.


CONCLUSION

The contemporary critic might turn to Dickinson's stump speeches as paradigmatic examples of this type of rhetoric at its most effective. Similarly, her lectures are nearly ideal exemplars of lyceum speeches, a form of popular culture that integrated diversion and edification. Finally, all her speeches vividly illustrate the dramatic, somewhat flamboyant style typical of nineteenth-century U.S. oratory.


SOURCES

The Anna E. Dickinson Papers (AEDP), Library of Congress, MS. Collection 17,984, contains holographic texts and newspaper clippings, including published reports of her lectures. Citations are from AEDP unless otherwise indicated. Published texts are:

Addresses of the Hon. W. D. Kelley, Anna E. Dickinson, and Frederick Douglass at a Mass Meeting, Held at National Hall, Philadelphia, July 6, 1863, for the Promotion of Colored Enlistments. Philadelphia, 1863. New York Public Library.

Anna E. Dickinson "Jeanne D'Arc." Texts in Context: Critical Dialogues on Significant Episodes in American Political Rhetoric. Eds. Michael C. Leff and Fred Kauffeld. Davis, Calif.: Hermagoras Press, 1989, pp. 279-310.


Biographical Sources

The most complete is Giraud Chester Embattled Maiden: The Life of Anna Dickinson. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1951, which lacks annotation but is based on the materials in AEDP. Other sources include:

Anderson Judith. "Anna E. Dickinson: A Biographical Sketch." M.A. thesis, Lehigh University, 1934.

-----. "Anna Dickinson, Antislavery Radical." Pennsylvania History 3 ( July 1936):147-163.

Horner Charles F. Life of James Redpath. New York: Barse & Hopkins, 1926.

Stanton Elizabeth Cady. "Anna E. Dickinson." Eminent Women of the Age; Being Narratives of the Lives and Deeds of the Most Prominent Women of the Present Generation. Hartford, Conn.: S. M. Betts, 1868, pp. 479-516.

Young James Harvey. "Anna Elizabeth Dickinson and the Civil War." Ph.D. diss., University of Illinois, 1941. AAC 0144452

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