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Influential Women of the Civil War Period
05-12-2015, 12:04 PM
Post: #17
RE: Influential Women of the Civil War Period

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.


Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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RE: Influential Women of the Civil War Period - Rob Wick - 05-12-2015 12:04 PM

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