The Age of Homespun

Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth

Author: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307416860

Category: Social Science

Page: 512

View: 3025

They began their existence as everyday objects, but in the hands of award-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, fourteen domestic items from preindustrial America–ranging from a linen tablecloth to an unfinished sock–relinquish their stories and offer profound insights into our history. In an age when even meals are rarely made from scratch, homespun easily acquires the glow of nostalgia. The objects Ulrich investigates unravel those simplified illusions, revealing important clues to the culture and people who made them. Ulrich uses an Indian basket to explore the uneasy coexistence of native and colonial Americans. A piece of silk embroidery reveals racial and class distinctions, and two old spinning wheels illuminate the connections between colonial cloth-making and war. Pulling these divergent threads together, Ulrich demonstrates how early Americans made, used, sold, and saved textiles in order to assert their identities, shape relationships, and create history. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Age of Homespun

Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth

Author: Laurel Ulrich

Publisher: Knopf


Category: History

Page: 501

View: 3231

A portrait of early industrialization in America chronicles the production of cloth and its influence on the cultural, economic, social, and political world of early America.

The Golden Age of Homespun

Author: Jared Van Wagenen, Jr.

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 1501717235

Category: History

Page: 300

View: 5316

The Golden Age of Homespun chronicles the occupations, handicrafts, and traditions that defined rural life in upstate New York—and throughout much of America—in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History

Author: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1400075270

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 284

View: 1341

Examines three key works by women--the fifteenth-century "Book of the City of Ladies" by Christine de Pizan, Elizabeth Cady Stanton's memoirs, and Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own," to explore the making of history from a woman's perspective.

A House Full of Females

Plural Marriage and Women's Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870

Author: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1101947977

Category: Religion

Page: 528

View: 1619

From the author of A Midwife's Tale, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize for History, and The Age of Homespun--a revelatory, nuanced, and deeply intimate look at the world of early Mormon women whose seemingly ordinary lives belied an astonishingly revolutionary spirit, drive, and determination. A stunning and sure-to-be controversial book that pieces together, through more than two dozen nineteenth-century diaries, letters, albums, minute-books, and quilts left by first-generation Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, the never-before-told story of the earliest days of the women of Mormon "plural marriage," whose right to vote in the state of Utah was given to them by a Mormon-dominated legislature as an outgrowth of polygamy in 1870, fifty years ahead of the vote nationally ratified by Congress, and who became political actors in spite of, or because of, their marital arrangements. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, writing of this small group of Mormon women who've previously been seen as mere names and dates, has brilliantly reconstructed these textured, complex lives to give us a fulsome portrait of who these women were and of their "sex radicalism"--the idea that a woman should choose when and with whom to bear children. From the Hardcover edition.

Tangible Things

Making History through Objects

Author: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich,Ivan Gaskell,Sara Schechner,Sarah Anne Carter,Samantha van Gerbig

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199382301

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 6628

In a world obsessed with the virtual, tangible things are once again making history. Tangible Things invites readers to look closely at the things around them, ordinary things like the food on their plate and extraordinary things like the transit of planets across the sky. It argues that almost any material thing, when examined closely, can be a link between present and past. The authors of this book pulled an astonishing array of materials out of storage--from a pencil manufactured by Henry David Thoreau to a bracelet made from iridescent beetles--in a wide range of Harvard University collections to mount an innovative exhibition alongside a new general education course. The exhibition challenged the rigid distinctions between history, anthropology, science, and the arts. It showed that object-centered inquiry inevitably leads to a questioning of categories within and beyond history. Tangible Things is both an introduction to the range and scope of Harvard's remarkable collections and an invitation to reassess collections of all sorts, including those that reside in the bottom drawers or attics of people's houses. It interrogates the nineteenth-century categories that still divide art museums from science museums and historical collections from anthropological displays and that assume history is made only from written documents. Although it builds on a larger discussion among specialists, it makes its arguments through case studies, hoping to simultaneously entertain and inspire. The twenty case studies take us from the Galapagos Islands to India and from a third-century Egyptian papyrus fragment to a board game based on the twentieth-century comic strip "Dagwood and Blondie." A companion website catalogs the more than two hundred objects in the original exhibition and suggests ways in which the principles outlined in the book might change the way people understand the tangible things that surround them.

A Midwife's Tale

The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812

Author: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307772985

Category: Social Science

Page: 464

View: 9492

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE Drawing on the diaries of one woman in eighteenth-century Maine, this intimate history illuminates the medical practices, household economies, religious rivalries, and sexual mores of the New England frontier. Between 1785 and 1812 a midwife and healer named Martha Ballard kept a diary that recorded her arduous work (in 27 years she attended 816 births) as well as her domestic life in Hallowell, Maine. On the basis of that diary, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich gives us an intimate and densely imagined portrait, not only of the industrious and reticent Martha Ballard but of her society. At once lively and impeccably scholarly, A Midwife's Tale is a triumph of history on a human scale. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Good Wives

Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750

Author: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307772977

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 5746

This enthralling work of scholarship strips away abstractions to reveal the hidden--and not always stoic--face of the "goodwives" of colonial America. In these pages we encounter the awesome burdens--and the considerable power--of a New England housewife's domestic life and witness her occasional forays into the world of men. We see her borrowing from her neighbors, loving her husband, raising--and, all too often, mourning--her children, and even attaining fame as a heroine of frontier conflicts or notoriety as a murderess. Painstakingly researched, lively with scandal and homely detail, Good Wives is history at its best. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Here, George Washington Was Born

Memory, Material Culture, and the Public History of a National Monument

Author: Seth C. Bruggeman

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

ISBN: 9780820342726

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 3991

In Here, George Washington Was Born, Seth C. Bruggeman examines the history of commemoration in the United States by focusing on the George Washington Birthplace National Monument in Virginia's Northern Neck, where contests of public memory have unfolded with particular vigor for nearly eighty years. Washington left the birthplace with his family at a young age and rarely returned. The house burned in 1779 and would likely have passed from memory but for George Washington Parke Custis, who erected a stone marker on the site in 1815, creating the first birthplace monument in America. Both Virginia and the U.S. War Department later commemorated the site, but neither matched the work of a Virginia ladies association that in 1923 resolved to build a replica of the home. The National Park Service permitted construction of the "replica house" until a shocking archeological discovery sparked protracted battles between the two organizations over the building's appearance, purpose, and claims to historical authenticity. Bruggeman sifts through years of correspondence, superintendent logs, and other park records to reconstruct delicate negotiations of power among a host of often unexpected claimants on Washington's memory. By paying close attention to costumes, furnishings, and other material culture, he reveals the centrality of race and gender in the construction of Washington's public memory and reminds us that national parks have not always welcomed all Americans. What's more, Bruggeman offers the story of Washington's birthplace as a cautionary tale about the perils and possibilities of public history by asking why we care about famous birthplaces at all.

Hands to the Spindle

Texas Women and Home Textile Production, 1822-1880

Author: Paula Mitchell Marks

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press

ISBN: 9780890966990

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 133

View: 2173

In nineteenth-century Texas women's hands often created the fabrics their families wore, the blankets used to cover their tired bodies, and the textiles that furnished their homes. Through spinning, weaving, dyeing, and knitting of clothing and linens, women displayed their abilities and their dreams of a better future. These day-to-day activities of Texas women spinners and weavers come to life in award-winning author Paula Mitchell Marks's Hands to the Spindle. The hum of the spinning wheel and the clatter of the loom provided regular accompaniment to the lives of many Texas women immigrants and their families. Producing much-needed garments and cloth also provided an escape from the worries and isolation of frontier life. One early chronicler, Mary Crownover Rabb, kept her spinning wheel whistling all day and most of the night because the spinning kept her "from hearing the Indians walking around hunting mischief." Through the stories of real women and an overview of their textile crafts, Paula Mitchell Marks introduces readers to a functional art rarely practiced in our more hurried times. Photographs of some of their actual handiwork and evocative pen sketches of women at work and the tools and dye plants they used, delicately drawn by artist Walle Conoly, bring the words to life.

Art in a Season of Revolution

Painters, Artisans, and Patrons in Early America

Author: Margaretta M. Lovell

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 9780812219913

Category: Art

Page: 341

View: 5475

Focusing on the rich heritage of art-making in the eighteenth century, this lushly illustrated book positions both well-known painters and unknown artisans within the framework of their economic lives, their families, and the geographies through which they moved as they created notable careers and memorable objects. In considering both painting and decorative arts simultaneously, Art in a Season of Revolution departs from standard practice and resituates painters as artisans. Moreover, it gives equal play to the lives of the makers and the lives of the objects, to studying both within the interdependent social and economic webs linking local and distant populations of workers, theorists, suppliers, and patrons throughout the mercantile Atlantic. Emphasizing maritime settlements such as Salem, Newport, and Boston and viewing them within the larger framework of the Atlantic world, Margaretta Lovell considers the ways eighteenth-century New England experience was conditioned by its source cultures and markets. Colonial material culture participated in a nonsubsistence international economy, deriving ideas, pigments, and conventions from abroad, and reexporting them in the effort to enlarge market opportunities or to establish artistic reputations in distant London. Exploring these and other key aspects of the aesthetic and social dimensions of the cultural landscape, Lovell concentrates on a cluster of central issues: the relevance of aesthetic production to social hierarchies; the nature and conditions of artisan career trajectories; the role of replication, imitation, and originality in the creation and marketing of art products; and the constituent elements of individual identity for the makers, for the patrons who were their subjects, and for the creations that were their objects. Art in a Season of Revolution illuminates the participation of pictures, objects, and makers in their cultures. It invites historians to look at the material world as a source of evidence in their pursuit of even very abstract concerns such as the nature of virtue, the uses of identity, and the experience of time. Arguing in favor of a more complex approach to research at the nexus of aesthetic and ideological concerns, this provocative new book challenges established frameworks for understanding the production of art in British America during the tumultuous decades bracketing the Revolution.

Uncommon Ground

Archaeology and Early African America, 1650-1800

Author: Leland Ferguson

Publisher: Smithsonian Institution

ISBN: 1588343588

Category: Social Science

Page: 232

View: 3060

Winner of the Southern Anthropological Society's prestigious James Mooney Award, Uncommon Ground takes a unique archaeological approach to examining early African American life. Ferguson shows how black pioneers worked within the bars of bondage to shape their distinct identity and lay a rich foundation for the multicultural adjustments that became colonial America.Through pre-Revolutionary period artifacts gathered from plantations and urban slave communities, Ferguson integrates folklore, history, and research to reveal how these enslaved people actually lived. Impeccably researched and beautifully written. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Sagebrush Soldier

Private William Earl Smith's View of the Sioux War of 1876

Author: Sherry L. Smith

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

ISBN: 9780806133355

Category: History

Page: 158

View: 4783

Sagebrush Soldier is an account of military life during the Indian Wars in the late nineteenth-century West. Private William Earl Smith describes daily camp life, battle scenes, and the behavior of famous men - Ranald Mackenzie and George Crook - in public and private poses. His diary covers the war from the enlisted men’s viewpoint, as he worries about what he will eat and how he will keep warm in freezing conditions, and how he will keep calm when bullied by the sergeant major, of whom he says he would give "five years of my life to [have] walked up to him and smacked him in the nose." To complete the picture of the Sioux War, and particularly the Powder River Expedition, Sherry Smith frames Private Smith’s narrative with contemporary accounts written by other participants in these events. She assembles a balanced, comprehensive history by also incorporating the testimony of officers, their Indian scouts and allies, and their enemy, the Northern Cheyennes. In camp on Christmas Eve, 1876, Smith bought a can of peaches, which cost him two dollars, to share with his bunkmate. Meanwhile, he sees another man give ten dollars for a bottle of whiskey. His own words best convey the feelings of a young man far from home at Christmas: "We had a regular Old Christmas Dinner, a little piece of fat bacon and hard tack and a half cup of coffee. You bet I thought of home now if ever I did. But fate was a gane me and I could not bee there. My Bunkey bought some candy and we ate it." Christmas candy and thoughts of home; some things never change, as readers will learn in this picture of military life unique in its eloquent honesty.

Trading Identities

The Souvenir in Native North American Art from the Northeast, 1700-1900

Author: Ruth Bliss Phillips

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 9780295976488

Category: Art

Page: 334

View: 8047

Indians in northeastern North America produced a variety of art objects for sale to travelers and tourists during the 18th and 19th centuries. This art is of high quality and great aesthetic interest, but has been largely ignored by scholars. This study combines fieldwork, art historical analysis,

The Weaver's Craft

Cloth, Commerce, and Industry in Early Pennsylvania

Author: Adrienne Hood

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 9780812203240

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 240

View: 6515

"If American studies scholars needed an example of how local history can be writ large, they can effectively point to this study of weavers in Chester County, Pennsylvania."—American Studies

Museums and American Intellectual Life, 1876-1926

Author: Steven Conn

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226114934

Category: History

Page: 314

View: 2577

Conn's study includes familiar places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Academy of Natural Sciences, but he also draws attention to forgotten ones, like the Philadelphia Commercial Museum, once the repository for objects from many turn-of-the-century world's fairs. What emerges from Conn's analysis is that museums of all kinds shared a belief that knowledge resided in the objects themselves. Using what Conn has termed "object-based epistemology," museums of the late nineteenth century were on the cutting edge of American intellectual life. By the first quarter of the twentieth century, however, museums had largely been replaced by research-oriented universities as places where new knowledge was produced. According to Conn, not only did this mean a change in the way knowledge was conceived, but also, and perhaps more importantly, who would have access to it.

Death in the Dining Room and Other Tales of Victorian Culture

Author: Kenneth L. Ames

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 1566393337

Category: History

Page: 280

View: 6963

In this provocative look at Victorian America, Kenneth Ames explores the minds of Victorians by examining some of their most distinctive and fascinating creations. Featuring five once-prominent home furnishings, he reconstructs a vanished culture and demonstrates the centrality of the artifact to historical understanding. Richly illustrated with photographs of surviving objects as well as images from a wide variety of period sources, the five essays discuss specific pieces—hallstands, sideboards, embroidered mottoes, parlor organs, and seating furniture—within the context of broader cultural issues and concerns. Ames reveals not only the major outlines of Victorian culture but also the conflicts and tensions deep within that culture. An extraordinary proliferation of goods characterizes the Victorian world. Throughout the study, Ames considers the relationship of some of these household objects to issues of class, gender, and place. For example, the importance of public image was dramatized by the rituals of the front hall in Victorian homes: its placement within the house, the massive hallstand with its receptacles for calling cards and umbrellas, accommodations for temporary and usually uncomfortable seating. The dining room was a shrine to the notion of "man's" dominion over nature—each elaborately carved sideboard displayed a frieze of slaughtered game and harvested vegetation. Parlor organs, a blending of the sacred and the profane, provided an occasion to display feminine accomplishment and to symbolize the role of the bourgeois Christian lady. Ames also discusses how the prevailing class and gender hierarchy was echoed in the posture of seating furniture and its arrangement. The author is one of the premier interpreters of Victorian culture in America. His witty, provocative, and irreverent commentary on the "quaint" fixtures of the Victorian household will fascinate scholars, antique buffs, and collectors on nostalgia. Author note: Kenneth L. Ames is Chief of Historical and Anthropological Surveys at the New York State Museum and was formerly Chair of the Office of Advanced Studies at the Winterthur Museum.

The Early American Table

Food and Society in the New World

Author: Trudy Eden

Publisher: N.A


Category: Cooking

Page: 193

View: 3985

An exploration in the history of biopolitics, The Early American Table offers a unique study of the ways in which English colonists in North America incorporated the "you are what you eat" philosophy into their conception of themselves and their proper place in society. Eden aptly demonstrates that ideas about the body--ideas that may seem irrelevant or even laughable today--not only guided day-to-day personal behavior but also influenced society and politics. According to the 17th- and 18th-century understanding of the body, food affected the blood, bones, mind, and spirit in ways other social markers (e.g. clothes, manners, speech) did not because food was directly assimilated by the consumer. A plentiful, varied diet of high-quality refined foods created virtuous, refined individuals fit to govern society. In contrast, a more restricted diet of poor quality, coarse foods made an individual coarse, even beastly, and unfit to lead. In the Old World, especially before 1600, poverty, legal restrictions, and the scarcity of land prohibited most individuals from purchasing or raising foods believed to produce refinement and virtue. Only the wealthy were able to enjoy such a diet. In turn, this elite diet marked their social status and reaffirmed their entitlement to power. The English men and women who colonized North America throughout the colonial period held the idea that diet shaped character. After only a few decades of settlement, many of them enjoyed the unprecedented prosperity enabled by the fertile environment. Lower and middling families could set their tables with a greater variety and higher quality of food than their social counterparts in England. As a result, in contrast to England where an aristocrat's dinner was far different than a laborer's, in America, the differences between the diets of artisans and urban laborers, of plantation owners and small farmers, were not as great. In short, the American diet was a democratic diet that had social and political consequences.

Anonymous Was a Woman

A Celebration in Words and Images of Traditional American Art and the Women Who Made It

Author: Mirra Bank,Phyllis Rose

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780312134303

Category: Art

Page: 128

View: 3675

Juxtaposes color reproductions of samplers, quilts, and needle-pictures with excerpts from the diaries and journals of eighteenth and nineteenth-century women

American Dreamers

How the Left Changed a Nation

Author: Michael Kazin

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307279197

Category: History

Page: 329

View: 6939

A panoramic history of liberal politics in America by a forefront historian and author of A Godly Hero analyzes the impact of major movements throughout the past two centuries, from abolitionism and industrial-age labor disputes to the civil-rights movement and the emergence of alternative political groups.