Lydia Leister Farm

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Farm on the Gettysburg Battlefield

Gettysburg farmer James Leister died in 1859, leaving his wife Lydia Leister and five children, ranging in age from 21 to 3. In March 1861, the widow Leister purchased a nine acre farm on Taneytown Road from Henry Bishop, Sr. for the sum of $900. The property included a modest, wood frame house with a [Read More ...]

Ellen Swallow Richards

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Pioneer Chemist and First Woman to Graduate from MIT

The most prominent American woman chemist of the 19th century, Ellen Swallow Richards (1842–1911) was a pioneer in sanitary engineering and the founder of home economics in the United States. She was the first woman admitted to any scientific school in the United States and the first female graduate of MIT. [Read More ...]

Ada Kepley

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First American Woman to Graduate from Law School

Ada Kepley was the first woman in the United States to graduate from law school (1870). When she applied for a license, she was told that Illinois law did not permit women to practice law. By the time the law was overturned, Kepley had diverted her energies to the support of social [Read More ...]

Bethenia Owens-Adair

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Pioneer Woman Doctor in Oregon

Bethenia Angelina Owens-Adair (1840 – September 11, 1926) was a social reformer and one of the first female physicians in Oregon Country with an MD (Doctor of Medicine). She was also a divorcee and a single mother, who overcame many hardships to fulfill her dream.

Some Oregon women, such as Mary Anna Cooke Thompson, called [Read More ...]

Women and the Battle of Baton Rouge

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Two Women Diarists Tell the Story

The Battle of Baton Rouge might have been considered small or insignificant by Civil War standards, but to the women who lived in that city, it was traumatic. Twice they were forced to flee from their homes when Union gunboats in the Mississippi River shelled their town.

Image: Civilians, including a young girl in [Read More ...]

Civil War Widows

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Women Who Lost Husbands in the Civil War

Approximately 620,000 soldiers died in the American Civil War. The Union lost around 360,000 soldiers - 110,000 killed in combat; the Confederacy lost around 260,000 men - 93,000 killed in combat. Disease killed the rest. While not all of these soldiers were married, the War created an unprecedented number of young white [Read More ...]