Women Take Aim
On May 12, 1820, Florence Nightingale, known as the founder of modern nursing, was born to an English family. She was educated by her father and during her spare time she stole away to visit local hospitals.
At age 31, Nightingale spent three months as a nursing student in a German hospital and continued to visit hospitals to learn all she could about their operations. In 1854 she was asked to offer her nursing services to the Crimean War soldiers in Scutari along with 38 nurses. Six months after her arrival the death rate of the soldiers dropped from an incredible 60% to 2%! By the end of the war it came to just 1%. Nightingale earned her nickname "The Lady with the Lamp" for caring for the soldiers later than anyone else.
By 1860 the war was over and the Nightingale Fund was raised in tribute to her by her many admirers. With the money from the fund, Nightingale started the first modern school for nurses at St. Thomas Hospital in London. Nightingale received many honors throughout her life, including the British Order of Merit in 1907. She was the first woman to receive it.
She made the first textbook for nurses, Notes on Nursing in 1860. Florence Nightingale passed away on August 13, 1909. She inspired many women to become nurses and showed what makes a good nurse.
Harriet Tubman was born in 1820 and later in her life became a slave. Back then, if your skin was dark, you werent considered human. To most white people, blacks were considered property. Tubman helped change this attitude during her lifetime.
In 1844, she married John Tubman, a freed slave. In 1849, Harriet escaped from slavery. She helped more than 300 slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. This was neither a railroad nor underground,but was a route from the south United States to Canada, where slaves would be free.
Harriet took 19 trips on the Underground Railroad and was never caught. She also never lost a slave. Harriet died in 1913. She freed more than 1,000 slaves during her lifetime.
Helen Keller was born in 1880 in Alabama. She was extremely ill before the age of two, and the doctors were not sure if she would make it. Helen did, but she was still not all right. She became blind and deaf.
Because of her affliction, she was not very well behaved. She would eat with her fingers, and not silverware. She also ate off of everyone's plate, not just her own. When Helen's sister was born, she was even worse. Helen would tip over the crib, while her sister was in it and Helen did most of the kicking and screaming between the two of them.
Helen's parents went to Dr. Alexander Graham Bell for help, and they were told to phone Perkins School for the Blind in Boston, Massachusetts. They sent a teacher on March 3,1887, which was the day Helen later called "the birthday of her soul". The teacher's name was Anne Sullivan, and she worked with Helen until she learned to behave. Helen did learn to behave. She also learned to understand sign language, to speak and to read. Anne didn't leave Helen; they stayed together until Anne died.
Lucretia Coffin Mott was born in Nantucket, Mass., on January 3, 1793. Lucretia was an American Quaker, preacher, abolitionist and suffragist. She married a fellow Quaker, James Mott, in 1811.
She began preaching in 1818 and soon became an acknowledged minister. In 1848, Lucretia and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized a convention in Seneca Falls, New York, about womens rights.
In 1866, she participated in the founding of the American Equal Rights Association. After being influenced by Elias Hicks, and other abolitionists, Lucretia attended the founding convention of the American Antislavery Society in 1833.
Lucretia died on November 11, 1880, forty years before women gained the right to vote.
On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride was in a spaceship up in the sunny Florida sky. She was aboard the space shuttle, The Challenger. Sally made history as the first American woman in space. She, along with an astronaut named John Fabian, helped launch satellites for Canada and Indonesia and conducted complicated scientific experiments on that trip.
When the Challenger landed June 24 at Edwards Air Force Base in California, Sally Ride was a national heroine. She attended Swarthmore College and Stanford University, studying medicine. She then saw an ad for NASA in the school newspaper. In 1978, Sally was one of 35 astronauts chosen from more than 8,000 men and women.
Lucy Stone was born in 1818 and died in 1893. She was raised on a family farm, she later learned the difficulties that women had to face. Stone attended Oberlin,a pioneering co-educational college at the age of 25. Lucys study of Greek and Hebrew convinced her that crucial passages in the Bible (those declaring women inferior) had been translated wrongly.
When Lucy graduated from Oberlin in 1847,she became the first women to earn a college degree. Lucy was a gifted public speaker, and a dedicated abolitionist. She was soon appointed a lecture for the American Anti-slavery Society. Even though her natural eloquence drew large crowds, she often faced hostility.
In 1850 Lucy Stone helped organize a women's right convention in Massachusetts. There at the first "national" convention she delived a speechon women's rights.
When she married Henry Blackwell Stone kept her own last name. Then the phrase "Lucy Stoner" came to describe a married women who keeps her maiden name.
Lucy Stone took the lead in organizing the American Women Sufferage Association. This association was considered the most moderate wing of the women sufferage movement. Stone and her husband founded and edited the organization's weekly newspaper, The Women's Journal. Lucy Stone spent her life battling for women's rights and inspiring others to join her cause.
Frances E. Willard
Frances Willard was born in Churchville, New York in 1838 and died in 1898. Frances was an American educator and temprance leader, she belived that women could gain political power through temprance crusade.
Willard later became the president of the Women's Christian Temprance Union. Frances helped found the Prohibition party in 1882 and she wrote Women and Temperance in 1883.
Frances E.Willard was a major figure in the nineteenth century in America and the entire English speaking world. After her death in 1898 her admirers placed her statue in the United States Capital Building.
Sojourner Truth (born as Isabella Baumfree) was born in Hurley, New York in 1727. Her parents, James and Elizabeth, were slaves of a wealthy man from Holland. When Sojourner was a teenage she was sold to a man named John Dumont. Mr. Dumont forced her to marry another slave named Thomas, together they had five children. Dumont was a creul man and sold away some of their children.
In 1827 Sojourner escaped from Dumont and was taken in by a Quaker family named Van Wagener. With help from the Wageners Sojourner had her son Peter returned to her. In 1828 she was freed under the New York State Anti-Slavery Act.
Although Sojourner was extremly tall, she also was an excellent speaker. Where ever Sojourner spoke large crowds gathered to listen. Even though Truth was illerate she became a famous traveling preacher. She was the voice of women's rights and slavery. Though some men would disagree Sojourner belived she could do any job just as well as any men.
In 1943 Sojourner changed her name from Isabella to Sojourner because she said God had told her to. God also told her to leave the city of New York and to travel throughout the country to spread the truth.
While the Civil War was going on Truth traveled to Washington, D. C. There she sang and preached to raise money for black soliders serving in the Union army. After the war Sojourner settled in Washington where she preached about slavery and women's rights. Sourner Truth died on November 26,1883 in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Susan B. Anthony
Susan Anthony was bornin 1820 and died in 1906. She taught school in New Rochelle and Canajoharie, NY and discovered that the male teachers were getting paid several times her salary. Susan's first reform efforts were devoted to anti-slavery and to temprance. When she rose to speak at a temprance convention she was told that the sisters were not invited here to speak, she enlisted in the cause of women's rights.
Along with the partnership of Elizabeth Cady Staton, Anthony's skill and selfless dedication formed the women's rights movement. The ballot she belived was the necessary foundation for all other advances. Susan and Staton published a newspaper called The Revolution, the motto for this newspaper was "Men their rights and nothing more; women their rights and nothing less." In order to press a test case of her belief that womrn should not be denied the ballot, she voted. Anthony was tried and fined for voting illegally.
For more than 30 years she traveled the country working for women's rights. In 1906, her heath failing Susan addressed her last women's sufferage convention. Although she knew the cause would not be won in her lifetime, she looked out across the assembled women and told them, "Failure is impossible."
Elizabeth Cady Staton
Elizabeth Cady Staton was born in Johnstown, New York on November 12, 1815. She became aware of the discrimination against women while studying law with her father. Then was when she took up the cause of womens rights.
Elizabeth married Henry Staton in 1840 and in the same year she accompanied him to London for a world anti-slavery convention. In the convention female delegates were refused recognition.
In 1848 Stanton and Lucretia Mott convened the first womens rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York. Elizabeth read a Declaration of Sentiments that she had written that was modeled on the Declaration of Independence. This convention adopted numerous resolutions demanding the womens right to vote.
Elizabeth Cady Staton founded the national Women Suffrage Association in 1869 and was president for the next 20 years. Susan B. Anthony and Staton edited and published Revolution, weekly newspaper for womens rights. In 1920 the 19th amendment to the constitution was passed. She died on October 26, 1902 in New York City.Amelia Bloomer In 1818 a woman known as Amelia Bloomer was born. She described in her newspaper, The Lily, her feelings about how women were treated. She began her newspaper career in 1849 in Seneca Falls, New York, where Amelia lived with her husband. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, as contributor of the newspaper, guided Amelia through her writing. The focus became mainly on womens rights because of all the issues on how women were being treated. The newspaper not only gave cooking recipes, but attempted to teach about the inequities women faced. Its goal was major social reform. The newspaper became a model for suffrage leaders through the long and many years women fought for the right to vote.
Amelia was not only known for her newspaper, but her support in the making of an outfit with a tunic and full "pantelette." These dresses became known as "The Bloomer Costume" after Amelia, even though she had no part in its creation. Later Bloomer and many other feminists stopped wearing the outfit because they thought people were paying too much attention to their clothes instead of their ideas.
Carrie Chapman Catt
Carrie Lane, who grew up on an Iowa frontier, was active and self-reliant. She worked hard to put herself through Iowa State College, and she became a principal and a school superintendent, which were unusual occupations for women. She married Leo Chapman, and joined him in co-editing a newspaper. Their marriage was cut short by his sudden death. As a widow she started to lecture and took to womens suffrage. She then was remarried to George Catt. She then became a dynamic speaker and showed a great talent for organization. More than any other woman, besides Susan B. Anthony, Catt secured the right to vote. She became the head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Carrie died in 1947, but she died knowing that she had helped women all over America.
Mary Ann Shadd Cary
Mary Ann Shadd Cary, born in Wilmington, Delaware, was a terrific role model for women in education and law. She received an education from Pennsylvania Quakers, and then spent the first part of her life fighting as an abolitionist, working on the underground railroad, and she was the first African-American woman in North America to edit a weekly newspaper, which was called the Provincial Freeman. Then she became a teacher, in schools for Negroes in Wilmington, West Chester, New York, Morristown, and Canada. She was the first woman to speak at a national Negro convention. During the Civil War, she was a recruiter for African-American soldiers for the Union Army. She was also the first African-American woman to obtain a law degree and among the first women in the United States to do so. Among her peers were Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They fought for womens rights side by side. Mary Ann Shadd Cary was an amazing person.
Alice Paul was born in 1885 and died in 1987. While she was earning her degrees in law school and social work Alice also studied in London. In London she joined the radical British suffrage movement. Paul was also included into The National American Women Suffrage.
At first Alice worked within the NAWSA, but then worked in her own rival organizations. Later she demonstrated her political savvy by stealing limelight at Woodrow Wilsons inauguration with a large suffrage parade. Then after Wilson proved slow to the women's suffrage cause Paul adopted the British strategy of holding the party in power. The Congressional Union (her group), campaigned against Democrats in the states that women had already won the vote.
After World War I broke out, Alice Paul was placed in solitary confinement in a psychopathic ward, she was force-fed but her spirit was unbroken. In the 1920s the National Womens Party ( Alices group) won the vote, next target would be an Equal Rights Amendment.Eleanor Roosevelt
From early on in her life, Eleanor Roosevelt was pressured to comply with traditional female roles. She lost her parents as a child and was raised by her strict grandmother. Her lonely upbringing changed when she married her cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt. After six kids, Roosevelt gradually abandoned being a proper female and became a self-confident woman who worked for important causes.
She joined the League of Women Voters and started to work for womens causes. When Franklin was paralyzed by polio in 1921 she broadened her political activities. Once he was elected president she made a whole new image of what a first lady could be. She held her own press conferences and spoke her mind in the newspaper and on the radio. Eleanor took on the causes of black people, youth, the poor, and the unemployed.
After she died in 1962, Adlai Stevenson said, "She would rather light candles than curse the darkness, and her glow warmed the world."
Clara Barton was born in 1821 and died in 1912. Before she became a nurse Clara taught school and worked as a clerk at the U.S. Patent Office. At 40 years of age she began to assemble and distribute supplies to Union soldiers. Knowing that nurses were needed at the battlefield, Barton went to the field.
At various places Clara assisted surgeons in stitching up wounds and in bloody amputations. Her timidness disappeared when she began to help others, she was calm and resourceful. People began to call Clara "the angel of the battlefield" but she was also "everyones old maid aunt."
After the Civil War ended she coordinated a national effort to search for lost soldiers who were missing in action. Later Clara Barton became the founder of the American Red Cross and served for many years as its president. Clara died in 1912.
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