Date Thesis Awarded


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




James P. Whittenburg

Committee Member

Kathleen Joan Bragdon

Committee Member

Julie Richter


American women in the early decades of the nineteenth century lived in a tumultuous world of revolution, backlash, and complex social norms. Opinions on the traits that constituted masculinity and femininity split after the Revolutionary War into several different camps. Male and female authors, journalists, satirists, and correspondents hotly debated women's roles in the post-Revolutionary era, and many women actively broke from the traditional submissive, eighteenth-century stereotype. Bluestockings, Republican Mothers, or Enlightenment ladies alike, these women's use of visual aids provides a lens that helps to clarify a tumultuous past. The choices they made about vision aids made firm statements about their self-imaging and chosen roles within the fluctuating social construct of the Early American Republic.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.