Master of Arts (M.A.)
“Defenceless Wives” and “Female Furies”: Late Eighteenth Century Periodicals’ Depictions of Frontier Women The frontier had a firm hold on late eighteenth century popular imagination, trailing through newspapers and magazines of the era, which included, time after time, prominent accounts of the women who had made their homes on the outskirts of the “settled” colonies and early republic. My project examines the ways in which eighteenth century newspapers and magazines discussed frontier women’s experiences. Periodicals sought through their representations of women to illustrate the perils of the frontier by dramatizing women’s tales of trauma and woe, appropriating them in order to generate arguments in favor of political and military causes: anti-British sentiments, the Revolutionary War, and campaigns against Native Americans. Pursuing a multicultural consideration of the frontier, my paper compares the ways in which periodicals discussed white and Native American frontier women’s experiences. Ultimately, I demonstrate the pervasiveness of the female frontier in eighteenth century popular culture. Botany and the Early American Family As botany became increasingly popular and formalized in the eighteenth century, several well-known British North American botanists emerged, including Cadwallader Colden, William Byrd II, and John Bartram. These men collected, named, and categorized the flora of the New World, exchanging specimens and ideas with members of the British Royal Society. While historians have commonly portrayed these and other early American botanists as working alone or in the company of other learned men, I argue that scholarship of early botany has missed the most local of knowledge producers: the family. Early American botanists – and the knowledge they proliferated – were dependent upon family labor and connections. Participating family members included immediate family (spouses and children), as well as members of their household (slaves and servants) and kin who lived far away. My paper illustrates the ways in which botanists’ families assisted them in their projects. It demonstrates the importance of botanical knowledge production undertaken by entire families to our understanding of early American botany.
© The Author
Gruntner, Holly, "“Defenceless Wives” and “Female Furies” / Botany and the Early American Family" (2017). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. Paper 1516639671.
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