2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2021 10:57 AM by Lois Leveen

    Woman's Rights organizations in Reconstruction-era Savannah, Georgia

    Lois Leveen Newbie

      Hello,

      I have found a passing (derogatory!) reference in an 1868 Savannah, Georgia, white-run newspaper, describing a Black woman who "belonged to the Woman's Rights Association." Given the disdain both for women's rights and for African Americans in this article and in the newspaper more generally, it is possible that they did not accurately give the name of the organization in question. So my question is:  what associations, clubs, organizations, etc. might have existed to promote women's rights in Georgia immediately after the Civil War?  Would they have been racially integrated? (This seems unlikely to me, but a feminist researcher can dream, can't she??) Might any records from these organizations still exist somewhere? 

       

      I am so intrigued and definitely willing to travel to any archive that might hold relevant materials, once the pandemic abates. Or to rely on other historians' work in this area. I've consulted Jacqueline Jones's SAVING SAVANNAH but not found anything that might shed light on this.

       

      Thanks for any suggestions,

      Lois Leveen, PhD

       

        • Re: Woman's Rights organizations in Reconstruction-era Savannah, Georgia
          LOC Manuscript Division Tracker

          Hi Lois -

          It may be worth taking a look at some of the digitized collections from the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.  Specifically the Susan B. Anthony and Blackwell Family papers and the National American Woman Suffrage Association records. For what it is worth, I find the easiest way to access these collections is via the PDF versions of their respective finding aids.

          Although I did not notice any connection to Georgia in the finding aids for these collections, all three hold significant amounts of material relating to the women's rights movement in the immediate post-Civil War era.

          Best of luck with your research and feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance.

          Patrick

          Manuscript Division
          Library of Congress

          2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Woman's Rights organizations in Reconstruction-era Savannah, Georgia
              Lois Leveen Newbie

              Belated thanks, Patrick. As you note, neither of these collections' finding aids indicate materials related to Georgia, nor do they include any materials regarding any of the specific names of individuals whom I'm researching. This may reflect a difference in focus between Southern and Northern organizing for Women's Rights in the period immediately following the Civil War. Even in the North, there was some contention in this period regarding how African American women activists -- and the cause of black women's civil rights more generally -- were championed or not by white women's rights activists. I think I need to find an expert on what was happening in Georgia at this time, to help me understand the local organizations.

              -Lois