Lincoln Discussion Symposium
Influential Women of the Civil War Period - Printable Version

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RE: Influential Women of the Civil War Period - Gene C - 05-12-2015 07:46 AM

Audrey, I am interested in how you develop your paper with the list of war time influences. Some of the names on the list I am unfamiliar with. Surprised to see Grace Bedell on there. Good choice, I wouldn't have thought of her.

Not sure if you want to consider Emilie Todd Helm to the list. She certainly wanted to be a war time influence, and she may have been, just not in the direction she wanted him to go.

Not sure if you are planning on going in this direction, but a post-war influence on Lincoln's legacy would be Ida Tarbell, Bernie Babcock and Augusta Stevenson. Ms. Stevenson was a prolific writer of biographies for children. Her work on Lincoln was written in 1932, and reprinted several times and still published and widely read today.

RE: Influential Women of the Civil War Period - Rob Wick - 05-12-2015 12:04 PM


Allow me to second Gene's mention of Ida Tarbell if only for the fact that her interest and fascination with Lincoln was probably her greatest literary legacy even in comparison to her work on the Standard Oil monopoly. Another avenue could be Tarbell's point of view on those women who influenced Lincoln and how her own anti-suffragist views may or may not have influenced her work on those women. Tarbell strongly wanted to believe the Ann Rutledge story, to the point where she unfortunately lent her name to the series of Atlantic Monthly articles faked by Wilma Minor, and also held a strong dislike (tempered over time) for Mary Lincoln. In addition to the many challenges she faced personally, Tarbell never knew a time when her own sex wasn't pointed out by her detractors, including Richard Watson Gilder, who once said that S.S. McClure "got a girl to write a life of Lincoln" and Senator Albert J. Beveridge, who coined the term "Tarbellize" in an attempt to distill and diminish her important work.

As an aside, I would also suggest, if only briefly, a mention of Phebe Ann Coffin Hanaford, who is actually the first woman to write a full-length biography of Lincoln, which was published in 1866. Although very obscure and highly hagiographic, it was well-received in its day.

Good luck.


RE: Influential Women of the Civil War Period - aawall16 - 06-02-2015 08:45 PM

Good Evening, Gene

I have considered using Emilie Todd Helm and until today had included her in my work. I had to cut several pages worth of material and I decided I could let her go this time. I am in the final stages of the writing now, it is due next week. Once it is completed, I will post it here. I am definitely going to be doing some more work in this area in the future.

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the recommendations, I am going to look around for these books.


RE: Influential Women of the Civil War Period - Gene C - 06-03-2015 07:54 AM

Good luck with your paper and thanks for the update. I'm not surprised about Emilie, you seemed to have enough women to consider who were influential and were more involved in his life than she was. With the comments you have made in this forum, I am sure you will be successful with your work.