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Debating a Woman’s Place in America, 1860-1880

October 14 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Seminar in Three Sessions: September 16, September 30 & October 14

The 19th Amendment forbids denying the right to vote on the basis of sex.  Yet its passage a century ago was less a definitive declaration of women’s equality than it was one episode in a longer history.  This seminar contextualizes this important anniversary by examining the 19th-century roots of foundational questions about gender roles: what can women do?  What should their roles in society be?  The Library Company’s collections illustrate the competing answers posed during the crucial decades of the 1860s and 1870s.  American women, both White and Black, shaped political conversations and public spaces in ways that were varied and complex, local and national, progressive and conservative – much like they do today.




Library Company of Philadelphia