Women's Rights Activist and Author

Lydia Maria Child was a women's rights activist, abolitionist, Indian rights activist, author and journalist. Her journals, fiction and domestic manuals reached wide audiences from the 1820s through the 1850s. Her writings were inspired by a strong sense of justice and love of freedom.

Born in Medford, Massachusetts, in 1802, Lydia Maria Francis was the youngest of six children. Her father was a baker famous for his Medford Crackers. She liked to be called Maria. …Read More...

Confederate Spy and Guerrilla Fighter

Nancy Hart, a Confederate spy and soldier, was born in 1846, in Raleigh, North Carolina. When she was an infant, her family moved to Tazewell, Virginia. Her mother was first cousin to Andrew Johnson, who became president after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

Image: Nancy Hart Douglas in 1862

In 1853, Nancy and her family moved in with her sister and brother-in-law, Mary and William Clay Price. In the next six years, …Read More...

Civil War Nurse and Feminist

During the Civil War, Mary Livermore organized a volunteer support network for the Union hospitals, wrote letters for wounded soldiers, escorted wounded soldiers from hospitals to their homes, and raised large sums of money to support the work of the U.S. Sanitary Commission. Livermore worked closely with Mary Ann Bickerdyke who was chief of nursing under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant and General William T. Sherman during the Atlanta Campaign.

Mary Ashton Rice …Read More...

Civil War Women Soldiers

Cousins Mary and Mollie Bell, aliases Bob Martin and Tom Parker, were adolescent farm girls from Virginia. After their uncle left to join the Union army, the girls decided to conceal their sex and enlist in a cavalry regiment under the command of Confederate General Jubal Early.

Image: Castle Thunder in Richmond, Virginia,
where the Bells were held for illegally
enlisting in the Confederate army

The Bells served for two years, and earned the …Read More...

Women in Art: 19th Century Sculptor

Edmonia Lewis was an American sculptor who created beautiful art and received great acclaim. In a world which did not encourage women of color, through incredible determination and sense of purpose, Lewis became the first professional African American and Native American sculptor, and often depicted African and Native peoples in her work. Among her best-known sculptures are Minnehaha, Charles Sumner, Phillis Wheatley and Abraham Lincoln.

Early Years
Edmonia Lewis' 1865 passport application states …Read More...

Runaway Slave from Kentucky

Margaret Garner was a fugitive slave who became widely known when she and her family made a brave escape to freedom in the years before the Civil War. Garner killed her own daughter rather than allow the child to be returned to slavery. Toni Morrison's Nobel Prize winning novel Beloved (1988) is based on this story.

Image: The Modern Medea
By Thomas Satterwhite Noble

Margaret Garner, an enslaved African American woman in pre-Civil War America, …Read More...