Friday, March 2, 2018

A Post for Women's History Month: Women's Suffrage, Racism, and Nativism in the Progressive Era

Hello readers! I know it's been a while since I last posted. I'm hard at work finishing up work for graduate school, but with March being Women's History Month I wanted to make sure I could post something. Here is a paper I wrote as an undergrad, which was used as part of my admissions to graduate school. It's about women's suffrage, racism, and nativism in the Progressive Era--looking at the women's suffrage movement not from the perspective of the well-known feminist leaders but of little-known and unknown women who were considered racial minorities in the Progressive Era and the struggles they faced in fighting for suffrage.

The Progressive Era was a time period in American history that lasted from the 1890s through the 1920s. This period is associated with the Progressives wanting to reform New York City by eliminating corruption and vice, undercutting political machines such as Tammany Hall and the bosses who ran those machines, and prohibition as well as the continued rise of urbanization and industrialization and the second half of the women’s suffrage movement. On February 3, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified to the Constitution. This amendment granted African-American males the right to vote by stating that “the rights of citizens of the United States, or any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude”. From then on, what would be known as the women’s suffrage movement (and will be known as the First Wave Feminist Movement later) would get its start. Many women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Smith Miller would rise to prominence as leaders during the first half of the movement and speak out about women’s roles in society and how their voices were not being heard or how their desires were not being reflected in government actions. However, after their deaths, the movement slowed. In 1902, Harriot Stanton Blatch, the daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, wanted to rejuvenate the suffrage movement and would later go on to form the Women’s Political Union and recruit working class women into the suffrage movement. In the 1910s, other women such as Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt joined the movement to enfranchise women.
These women and others were not just working towards enfranchisement; these women were also working on issues related to sexuality, marriage, and childbirth. This was another movement within the larger movement and was to ensure that women could access birth control information and devices, to raise the consent age in the state, to censor pornography, to abolish prostitution and human trafficking, promoted sexual education, asserted the rights of women to refuse sex within the marriage, and worked to hold men to the same sexual standards as women. An important figure to step out of this movement was Margaret Sanger, a nurse who would go on to open the first birth control clinic in New York City in 1916, which would eventually become Planned Parenthood.
The Progressive Era also saw many important changes in the lives of African-American women. Thousands had migrated from the South to the North and from rural settings to urban settings. These women went from being employed in agricultural jobs to working in the factories and as domestic servants. Slavery had been over for quite some time, but these women continued to feel its effects in New York City during this era. In addition to “peaceful” racism, where segregation and other Jim Crow laws were in effect but no physical harm came to these people, these women faced violent acts such as lynching. From race based issues such as segregation and lynching, and others, sprung another movement, one in which African-Americans such as Anna Arnold Hedgeman, Cecilia Cabaniss Saunders, W.E.B. Du Bois, and other men and women founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to not just help the African-American men but to help the women as well.
During the Progressive Era, a lot of changes were occurring, but there was no change that was quite as controversial as the women’s suffrage movement. This movement encompassed more than just the right for women to vote, it also encompassed a sexual revolution in an era where women were supposed to be pure and many other reform movements such as education reform, health reform, housing reform, and labor reform. This was the movement that started it all; this was the movement that propelled women to finally be considered as citizens and showed everyone what women can do when they come together as an unrelenting force. However, this movement also showed that although minorities wanted the same things, many were not included or allowed to take part in the larger movements and had to develop their own clubs and organizations and create their own movement. This paper will highlight the different movements within the larger movement and will show that African-American women, as well as immigrants fighting to have the same rights as those born in the United States, succeeded in their fight for rights despite hardships they faced along the way and without help from those involved in the larger suffragette movement. This paper will also show the different forms of racism, such as segregation and discrimination, within the larger movement and what whiteness and citizenship meant in the early twentieth century.
At the turn of the twentieth century in New York City, immigration was increasing the number of inhabitants in the city (and the country as a whole). One question, though, is who was considered a citizen? Naturalization laws were different in the early twentieth century compared to what they are today in the twenty-first century. In the early 1900s, there were three steps in the naturalization process. The first step was to file a declaration of intent, these were either filed immediately upon arrival or two years after the person had been in the country. Certain groups like women, children under the age of 21, and men who served and were honorably discharged from the United States military after 1862 were exempt from this first step. The second step was to file a naturalization petition, which was a set of formal applications submitted to the court by individuals who had met residency requirements and who declared their intent to become citizens The final step was to receive the certificate of naturalization, which contained the name of the individual, the name of the court, and the date of the issue. What is interesting to note is that “derivative” citizenship was granted to wives and children as long as the children were under 21 years of age, of naturalized men. This meant that they became citizens, but also meant that if an alien woman married a U.S. citizen then she would be granted citizenship, and if an American woman married an alien that her citizenship would be revoked. The status of citizenship was truly through the man, and this fact will be looked at in detail throughout this paper.
What did this mean in terms of whiteness? Many people who we consider to be white today were not considered white during this era because of where they came from, not strictly based on the color of their skin. According to the Bureau of the Census, “in 1900 about one out of eight Americans was of a race other than white”. Who was white in the 1900s and why does it matter? Anyone who fit the standard of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) was white, and those who didn’t fit the description were not white. This includes, among others, those of African descent, those of Italian descent, and those of Jewish descent. This matters because many people know what white women have done in regards to suffrage and other rights we take for granted but not many know what the “minorities” have done, and that is what I want to show in this paper.
During the Victorian Era, which was roughly between 1837 and 1901, coverture was the law of the land. Coverture was the practice of treating women as property, and many of the laws that were encompassed into coverture are still traditions that we continue to have in our society today, such as taking the husband’s name in marriage. Others include the wife’s property becoming her husband’s property, including the money she earned if she had a job during their marriage, and even property that the woman into the marriage with her became the property of her husband. In his work Commentaries on the Laws of England, William Blackstone described the laws that were in place in England’s common law, as well as the common law here in the United States when it was in place. Blackwell states, “By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law: that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband: under whose wing, protection, and cover, she performs everything; and is therefore called into our law--French a feme-covert; is said to be covert-baron, or under the protection and influence of her husband, her baron, or lord; and her condition during her marriage is called her coverture”. These laws lasted well into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and affected the lives of the women in the United States.
The women of the early suffrage movement undoubtedly felt the effects of coverture, however, many of these women did have amicable unions with men who fought for women’s suffrage alongside their wives, such as Henry Brewster Stanton, the husband of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the father of Harriot Stanton Blatch. However, many more women were not so lucky, and even many women were against the right to vote because they believed that their place was to be subservient to their husbands and to be in the home, as they were raised to believe. According to a March 1896 article by Henry B. Blackwell titled “Objections to Women’s Suffrage Answered” which was published in a women’s suffrage leaflet from Massachusetts, many men sided alongside the women who were fighting for the right to vote. Some of those men included: “Among others, Abraham Lincoln, Chief Justice Chase, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Samuel G. Howe, John G. Whittler, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Sumner, Henry Wilson, President Hayes, Governors Banks, Boutwell, Clatlin, Washburn, Talbot, Long, Butler, Brackett, and Greenhalge, U.S. Senators Geo. F. Hoar and Henry L. Dawes; John M. Forbes, Robert Collyer, Bishops Haven, Bowman and Simpson, Neal Dow, George William Curtis, the Republicans of Massachusetts in successive platforms since 1870. The national Republican conventions of 1872, 1876, and 1896”. Even W.E.B. Du Bois was a proponent of women’s suffrage, as is mentioned at the beginning of this paper. However, there were many anti-suffrage women and they proved to be more of an adversary than the men. If women couldn’t unite over this one cause, would they be able to unite at all? Let’s look at the evidence.
As mentioned at the beginning of this paper, there was a racial separation when it came to the women’s suffrage movement and larger First Wave Feminist movement. To prove this point, I will be highlighting the experiences of African-American women, Italian immigrants and their American-born daughters, and Jewish immigrants and their daughters.
In Talk with You Like a Woman: African American Women, Justice, and Reform in New York, 1890-1935, Cheryl D. Hicks describes the struggle of black working-class women in regards to racism and sexism in the twentieth century. She describes the reform programs of middle class white and black activists, the labor and housing markets, poverty, maternity, domestic violence, and police violence. In this book, Hicks brings to life the voices and the viewpoints of these working class women and how these women challenged views about black women and morality in the country.
African-Americans made their way from the South to the North in an event known as the Great Migration, which began during the post-Civil War Reconstruction period and swelled during the years of World War I. Many migrant women felt that the move to New York City was beneficial and although they had to make sacrifices some women were able to make a better life for themselves that they would not have experienced if they had remained in the South. Eager to leave the South and its racial and economic limitations behind, these migrant women soon found out that the urban North had its own problems with race relations.
Blacks had always had a strong presence in New York City. They arrived as indentured servants and slaves when New York was under control of the Dutch in the 1600s and their labor and constant numbers contributed to the growth of the region. With this in mind, it should not be a surprise that these men and women would be at the forefront of several movements, such as the anti-lynching movements and early civil rights movements like eliminating voting restrictions like poll taxes and literacy tests. However, many of the new migrants were not welcomed to New York City with opened arms and many of the black activists and community leaders “were concerned that the influx of working class and poor southerners would impair their own social, political, and economic standing”.
As mentioned in previous pages, white middle class and wealthy women were fighting for the right to vote during the era of the Great Migration, and it is possible that African American women would hear the rhetoric these women were shouting and wanted to join their movements. The white suffragettes were handing out pamphlets and other literature, organized marches, and even picketed the White House. Through these grassroots campaigns, these women were able to get the right to vote, but what did the African American women do?
In Black Women and Politics in New York City, Julie A. Gallagher wrote about sixty years of politically active black women in New york City who dealt with struggles for rights, equality, and justice through formal politics rather than grassroots activism. Gallagher tells about black women activists who formed women’s clubs and organizations in New York City and broke out into national politics and how they dealt with race, gender, and the state itself as well as how those black women influenced the Democratic Party and its policies over time.
Many activists in New York City, like Anna Arnold Hedgeman and Cecilia Cabaniss Saunders, spent their lives pursuing for themselves and others the rights they believed they were entitled to as citizens of the state and country as a whole. Hedgeman, who was a migrant to New York City from the South, witnessed first-hand what black women could do because she was a part of the movement. Black women of different backgrounds and social status in New York stepped into the public sphere to fight for civil, economic, and political rights. Many of these women were middle class and college educated and they were sensitive to the struggles faced by poor and working class women. There were tensions between the middle class and the poor and working class women, as we saw with the white suffragettes, however the native New Yorkers had allies with the migrants. There was a myriad of challenges but they did not keep black women from trying to help create a more just society, in fact, those challenges increased the number of women who wanted to take part in the movement towards becoming enfranchised. Black women were involved in the suffrage movement with the white women at first but due to racial tensions they broke away and had to form their own movements. This movement started out through grassroots campaign but black women, and men, began to become more politically active and used their knowledge of the political system of the early twentieth century to get their points across, to mobilize women and men to their cause, and would eventually gain the right to vote alongside white women.  
White middle and upper class women and African-American women were not the only ones who fought for the right to vote and who would eventually be called feminists, Italian immigrant women and their daughters also fought for the right to vote.
More Italians have immigrated to the United States during the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century than any other ethnic group. Italians were known for their close-knit families and were very community-oriented, and the rules of the family were law. Many Italians, men and women alike, worked in the garment industry when they arrived in New York City because that was what they did when they were in Italy, and it was no surprise when that the men and women would unionize, joining unions such as the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and would bring their radical ideas to fruition. Radical ideas, it is important to note, amounted to stricter fire safety codes, better and stronger fire escapes, and all around safer factories. However, these Italian men and women were also known for their social activism.
In “Transnational Feminism’s Radical Past: Lessons from Italian Immigrant Women Anarchists in Industrializing America”, author Jennifer Guglielmo examines the activism of working class Italian immigrant women in the United States with a focus on New York City.
“Italian immigrant women’s activism differed markedly from traditional models of “first wave” feminism, including forms of labor activism”. Some women involved in the movement used the word feminismo to describe themselves and what they were doing while others used the word emancipazione because it distinguished themselves from the “bourgeois feminism”. Italian women, although they did join movements later on as stated above, they were not quick to join the feminist movement or labor movement at first for a multitude of reasons, one of which was discrimination. Northern Italians tended to be lighter-skinned, and the Northern Italian elites would justify their treatment and exploitation of the Southern Italian women by racializing these women as “sexual and political deviants, pathetic beasts of burden” and as “dark, swarthy, and kinky-haired” and seeing the treatment of people who were dark-skinned in the United States, Southern Italians, men and women alike, came to learn that to be dark-skinned “was to be despised and degraded”. However, many more people believed that Italians were white, and Southern Italian immigrant women managed to rise up from the bottom of racial hierarchy in Italy to surpassing African-Americans, Chinese, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and others on the racial hierarchy here in the United States, mainly those who were seen as agents of social disorder rather than victims of it. Racialization, and nativism, play a major role in the treatment of others in this era. Due to the negative connotations connected to the Southern Italians, such as anarchism and the mafia, the women were looked down on as well. The Southern Italian women, already having been treated as lesser beings due to their darker skin, were thought of as terrorists, loose women, and “unruly subversives who threatened the fiber of the nation”.
During the Red Scare of World War I, and the execution of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, nativism and criminalization of dissent crippled Italian immigrant radicalism. As a result of this, Italians began to move away from anarchist and socialist movements and moved towards nationalism and whiteness. Later, the generation of Italian-Americans would embrace the ideas for economic justice, anarchism, socialism, and communism.
At the dawn of the twentieth century, Italian immigrant women entered into political activism through labor militancy. Italian immigrant women rarely held leadership positions in unions or strike committees but they were exceptional at mobilizing co-workers to win labor struggles. Since the majority of Italian immigrant women were unskilled workers who were concentrated in low-wage jobs they were not initially recruited by most United States labor and political organizations. Due to this, they formed mutual aid societies as a way of self-help and survival, and these groups would also create schools, libraries, churches, food cooperatives, theater troupes, and presses. It was through these mutual aid societies where immigrant women created spaces for feminist activism, especially in the years before World War I. “Between the 1880s and World War I, hundreds of these radical circles formed across the New York metro area. By 1914, there were over a dozen in the Lower East Side and Mulberry districts alone, and at least one in virtually every other Italian neighborhood. They flourished in Harlem, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as across the Hudson River throughout New Jersey”. One such radical circle was formed by Sicilian anarchists and was called Club Avanti. Club Avanti “supported education, sponsored lectures on peace, religion, and sexual and family questions, on women’s emancipation, nationalism, imperialism, major immigrant strikes, the Mexican Revolution, the problems of political prisoners in Italy, and, more generally, current events”.
Women were very active in clubs but there were men who relied on masculine rhetoric to get what they wanted and who would put themselves in positions of power, thus not being what a real socialist was supposed to be.The men would also belittle the women, claim that they were weak and uneducated and did not have the drive to emancipate themselves. Women expressed their opinions in writing about how men reacted to them within the movement, but the women usually remained anonymous, used pen names, or just went by their first names in their writings.
These radical Italian women were not fighting for the right to vote, they were fighting for the changing of laws and to be free in an America that they did not see as a place for freedom, despite what the branding of the country was. These women declared: “We are not feminists in the manner of the bourgeoisie, who claim the equality or supremacy of our sex, and would be satisfied with the realization of these dreams...We want to tear down all the false prejudices that infest the world. It is not with changing certain laws that we can call ourselves free...You see, my sister workers, these laws are made by the bourgeoisie for their interests”. As anarchists, these women believed that the government, the church, and private property were harmful because they forced people to live within a set of rules which placed people on different levels of a social hierarchy which in turn put them on unequal terms with one another. Anarchists believed that no one was free until everyone was free, and these women, through their clubs, labor organizations, and through the literature they produced tried to make everyone equal. They were not fighting for the right to vote as others were, as previously stated, but despite this they managed to rally a large number of people to their causes and their abilities to mobilize people to a cause were used by other women who had the urge to mobilize others to causes they were fighting for, whether those causes were for voting rights or a host of other causes people were fighting for or against during the Progressive Era.
There are several historians who have written about the lives of the immigrant Jewish women and the first generation of American-born Jewish women and what they have accomplished during the early years of the twentieth century. This section will explore the lives of these women and their reform movements.
In “Assimilation in the United States: Twentieth Century” by Deborah Dash Moore, the author discusses the lengths that Jewish women went to in order to assimilate into the American culture. Just like with the Italians and other groups, assimilation began with immigration. Most of the immigrant Jewish women did not resist adapting to the language and the way of life in America, and those who had difficulty adjusting often returned to Europe. However, over 90% stayed in the United States and in their choice of paid employment, household labor, attitudes towards love and marriage, and their methods of child rearing all worked to establish the first models of American Jewish womanhood for their daughters.
American Jewish women grew up well integrated into their Jewish families, and many enjoyed the luxuries of middle-class families where mothers managed the household and the children went to school. Many families in the beginning of the Progressive Era did not feel the need to educate their daughters as they did with their sons. However, American Jewish women benefitted from the expanding education opportunities for American women, due to the many education reforms in New York City, and the country as a whole, in this era, and these American Jewish women were going to high schools and normal schools and even attending colleges. The advent of the women’s suffrage movement and the larger women’s rights movement undoubtedly opened many opportunities for white middle-class women, and this included the Jewish women as well. Even if these Jewish women were not radical enough to support the women’s suffrage movement, these women came to realize that they did not necessarily need to be married and/or have children. “Social feminism, the idea that women’s particular strengths in caring for the vulnerable required that she leave her home and enter public life, attracted many women and provided rationale for organizational activity”.
During the Progressive Era, many Jewish immigrants and American Jewish girls and women worked in the textile factories in New York City. Like the Italians who had always been involved in the textile trades, the Jewish women were often skilled in this particular trade as well, and Jewish women impacted this industry in a powerful way.
On November 23, 1909 more than 20,000 Yiddish-speaking immigrants, mostly young women who were in their early teens and twenties, began an 11-week general strike in New York’s shirtwaist industry. Known to historians as the Uprising of the 20,000, this was the largest strike by women to date in American history and began with the inability of women to organize, along with the grievances about wages, hours, workplace safety, and incidents such as sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances, threats, and invasions of privacy. The strikers only won a small portion of their demands, and many women did not win anything, but this uprising would spark a five year long revolt in which the garment industry would be transformed into one of the best-organized trades in the United States.
The shirtwaist, what we call a blouse today, was designed in the early 1890s and came at a time when the production of women’s clothing went from piecework being done in the home by the entire family to factories. By 1909, there were 600 shops operating in New York City and they employed 30,000 workers and produced $50 million in merchandise annually. New York City was the center of garment manufacturing in the United States during the Progressive Era, and would later become one of the fashion capitals of the world.
In the shops, there was definitely a hierarchy. On the bottom tier were the “learners”--the women who were unskilled and had the lowest paying jobs--even when they had mastered their tasks, they were still called “learners” and would earn three to four dollars per week. In the middle were the semiskilled “operators” who comprised about half of the workforce and earned seven to twelve dollars per week. On the top of the worker pyramid were the highly skilled sample makers, cutters, and pattern makers who earned fifteen to twenty-three dollars per week; they were almost exclusively male and they were most likely unionized before the uprising.
“The movement that culminated in the uprising of the 20,000 began with spontaneous strikes against the Leiserson Company, the Rosen Brothers, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Company--New York’s largest manufacturer of shirtwaists during the summer/fall busy season of 1909...The Rosen Brothers settled with their employees after five weeks, but Leiserson and Triangle remained intransigent”. Right from the start, the strikers faced opposition from the manufacturers, police, and the court system. Harris and Blanck, the owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, hired thugs and prostitutes to abuse the strikers, either by beating them or by having them falsely arrested by being associated with street walkers, and with the aid of policemen, the strikers would often be arrested on over-exaggerated charges of assault. The Local 25 of the ILGWU, which represented shirtwaist makers, asked the Women’s Trade Union League to monitor the picket lines, but after police arrested Mary Dreier, the head of the WTUL for allegedly harassing a scab worker, the strikers won the sympathy of an indifferent public. By early November, the Local 25 was running out of money in its strike fund and many strikers chose to return to work instead of facing arrest, harassment and personal injury, but things were about to change later that month. “On November 22, thousands of young women packed into Cooper union to discuss Local 25’s recommendations. Samuel Gompers and Mary Dreier spoke, along with a number of luminaries of the Jewish labor movement...Frustrated after two hours, Clara lemlich Shavelson...In words now legendary, the impassioned twenty-three-year-old declared, “I am a working girl, one of those who are on strike against intolerable conditions. I am tired of listening to speakers who talk in general terms. What we are here to decide is whether we shall or shall not strike. I offer a resolution that a general strike be declared--now.” Lemlich ignited the audience. In unison, the crowd pledged support for the general strike by reciting a secularly adapted Hebrew oath chanted by [Benjamin] Feigenbaum [the meeting’s chair]. In one month of the general strike, 723 were arrested and 19 were sentenced to the workhouse; in a response to this, the WTUL organized mass rallies at places like Carnegie Hall and City Hall in which the plight of the strikers was connected to the suffragist cause--this alliance produced a new perspective that merged class consciousness with feminism and would later be called industrial feminism. “Though not a complete victory, the uprising achieved significant, concrete gains. Out of the Associated Waist and Dress Manufacturers’ 353 firms, 339 signed contracts granting most demands: a fifty-two-hour week, at least four holidays with pay per year, no discrimination against union loyalists, provision of tools and materials without fee, equal division of work during slack seasons, and negotiation of wages with employees. By the end of the strike, 85 percent of all shirtwaist makers in New York had joined the ILGWU. Local 25, which began the strike with a hundred member, now counted ten thousand”.
However, not everyone benefitted from the Uprising of the 20,000 and what happened on March 25, 1911 was proof of that.
On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory erupted into flames in the late afternoon. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire was the deadliest industrial disaster in New York City history at that time, and this could have been prevented had Harris and Blanck agreed to some of the demands of the Local 25, such as stricter fire codes and more fire escapes. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers who died from being burned alive, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women in their teens and early twenties. This fire, documented in many newspapers from across the country, led to legislation which would improve factory safety standards.
According to a March 26, 1911 New York Tribune article, Harris and Blanck were warned that something like this would happen and that they were told a couple of weeks before that they were not up to code and had to do several things to get their factory up to code. Fire Chief Cocker was stated in the article as saying: “This calamity is just what I have been predicting. There were no outside fire escapes on this building. I have been advocating and agitating that fire escapes be put on buildings just such as this. This large loss of life is due to this neglect”.
On June 30, 1911, Governor John Dix signed legislation which created the Factory Investigation Commission (FIC). The FIC was established to investigate the various factories in New York City and would later pass laws through the state legislature ensuring safer conditions in factories, including stricter safety codes and child labor laws. Later, as a result of this, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, was established in 1971 to ensure that these Progressive Era laws would remain intact and that men, women, and young adults would remain safety in the workplace.
In 1958, Leon Stein interviewed survivors of the fire, and on September 4, 1958, he interviewed Rose Hauser, who was on the ninth floor of the building that housed the factory. Rose is quoted as saying: “When I began to go down to the 8th floor, I was choking. The fire was in the hall on the 8th floor. I put my muff around my head tightly and I ran right through the fire. The fur caught on fire. When we got down stairs they kept us in the hall and they wouldn’t let us go into the street because the bodies were falling down. The firemen finally came and took us out across the street and we stood numb in the doorway of a Chinese import store. I saw one woman jump and get caught on a hook on the 6th floor and watched how a fireman saved her”.
Women came together to fight for what they wanted, but unfortunately not everyone got what they were fighting for. While many women were fighting for various rights, primarily the right to vote, there were others who were working against them.
The Anti-Suffrage Movement was alive and well in New York City during the Progressive Era. The Anti-Suffrage Movement was a primarily female movement against women’s suffrage. One of the main arguments for not granting women the right to vote was that women belonged in their own private sphere, in the home, married, and taking care of the children; this was called “domestic feminism” and was used to argue that women had dominion over the home.The anti-suffragettes believed that the behavior of the suffragettes was becoming and chastised the suffragettes for their unfemininity, violence, sexual deviance, hysteria, unnaturalness, and threat to other women represented as exposing women to ridicule and insult.
“By 1916 almost all of the major suffrage organizations were united behind the goal of a constitutional amendment. When New York adopted woman suffrage in 1917 and President Woodrow Wilson changed his position to support an amendment in 1918, the political balance began to shift in favor of the vote for women”. Despite this, there was still a strong opposition to the women’s suffrage movement. In 1917, the Women Voters Anti-Suffrage Party of New York sent a petition to the United States Senate. This document declares that the fight for women’s suffrage was harassing the public men and was distracting the people from doing work for the war effort; this document urged the United States Senate to “pass no measure involving such a radical change in our government while the attention of the patriotic portion of the American people is concentrated on the all-important task of winning the war, and during the absence of the over a million men abroad”.
Even with the opposition, women were granted suffrage on May 18, 1919 with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. The Nineteenth Amendment states: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation”. With the passing and ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, women were finally having their voices heard, but throughout this era it was not just the middle-class white women reformers who were fighting for their rights and making strides in different reform movements which would change the course of history and would lead to this ultimate goal; immigrant women and African-American women had their own movements so they could experience the full benefits of citizenship. When studying about women’s suffrage, it is imperative to recognize that more women, those whose names may be forever lost in history and those who were not native to New York City or the country as a whole, were involved in many of the reform movements of the Progressive Era and even influenced the suffrage movement. Despite the hardships that many of these women have faced, we can now enjoy a right that so many people take for granted.


Primary Sources

Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; ARC Identifier 596314/MLR Number A-1 5A (National Archives: Archival Research Catalog).

Petition from Carrie Chapman Catt of the National American Woman Suffrage Association Asking that a Committee on Woman Suffrage be appointed in the House of Representatives as in the Senate; ARC Identifier 306662 (National Archives: Archival Research Catalog).

Henry Blackwell, “Objections to Woman Suffrage Answered” (Boston, MA: Office of the Woman’s Journal, March 1896); ARC Identifier 306657.

Petition from the Women Voters Anti-Suffrage party of New York to the United States Senate (

Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (published 1765).

New York Tribune, March 26, 1911;

Leon Stein, “Interview with Rose Hauser, September 4, 1958”.

Secondary Sources

Julie Gallagher, Black Women and Politics in New York City (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2012).

Cheryl D. Hicks, Talk with You Lie a Woman: African-American Women, Justice, and Reform in New York, 1890-1935 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010).

Susan Goodier, No Votes for Women: New York State Anti-Suffrage Movement (Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2013).

Fran Hobbs and Nicole Stoops, U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Special Reports, Series CENSR-4, Demographic Trends in the 20th Century (U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, DC, 2002).

Jennifer Guglielmo, “Transnational Feminism’s Radical Past: Lessons from Italian Immigrant Women Anarchists in Industrialized America” (Journal of Women’s History, spring 2010).

Deborah Dash Moore, “Assimilation in the United States: Twentieth Century” from Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia (Jewish Women’s Archive, 2005).

Tony Michels, “Uprising of the 20,000 (1909)” from Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia (Jewish Women’s Archive, 2005).

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Social Media

Hello readers! This is just a quick post to remind everyone that The Half-Pint Historian has a Facebook page, which you can visit here: I post videos, pictures, and share some interesting tidbits of historical information on the Facebook page fairly regularly when I don't have the time to write a full blog post. Head on over to the Facebook page and give it a "Like" to stay updated!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Albert Cashier: Non-Binary/Transgender During the Civil War

Hello readers! I have had a couple of days off from graduate school as I was in-between terms. In my time off, I've been conducting research so I can give you all some new blog posts!

Over the past couple of months, I've been writing a lot about the Civil War, and that's because there's just so much to write about. One of the topics that fascinated me while I was taking a class about the Civil War was how women would disguise themselves as men and fight in the war for both sides--now, this is not unique to the Civil War, but what is unique to the topic of the Civil War is Albert Cashier--a young soldier who was born a woman but lived life as a man, both before the war began and long after the war had ended. I wrote a short historiography about the life of Albert Cashier and other non-binary and/or transgender soldiers titled Non-Binary: A Historiographical Account of the Importance of the Life of Albert Cashier which is posted below.

The LGBTQ+ Movement of the modern era in America has been controversial for many. While many believe in equal rights and representation for everyone, others believe that those equal rights are in reality special rights and show the corruption of a once great Christian nation. Many believe that the emergence of those who identify as LGBTQ+ is a new phenomenon but that is not the case. Throughout history and in numerous parts of the world, a “third gender” has been identified; this “third gender” has been defined as individuals who had been born biologically male but took on feminine roles and as individuals who had been born biologically female but took on masculine roles. For the sake of this historiographic paper, the “third gender” will be referred to as “non-binary” or “gender queer”. “Non-Binary: A Historiographical Account of the Importance of the Life of Albert Cashier” will utilize the gender and sexuality historical lenses to provide an accurate and detailed account on Cashier’s life, using his/her life to fully examine how gender queer individuals have had a lasting impact on American history. “Non-Binary” seeks to use the life of Albert Cashier/Jennie Hodgers to answer a series of questions, including the following: Albert Cashier/Jennie Hodgers lived and fought at the time of the Civil War. How did the Civil War change how Americans thought about gender, sex and sexuality? What were the reasons Jennie Hodgers, if any can be found, spent her life as Albert Cashier? What were the reasons that women would dress and act like men during the time of the Civil War and continue to live their lives as men after the war had ended? What could be the benefits of looking at the Civil War and the life of Jennie Hodgers/Albert Cashier through the gender and sexuality lenses? These questions will allow me to explore the full extent of Cashier’s/Hodgers’s life so that I may understand the intricacies of how this individual was able to be a “passing woman” in the 19th century.
The life of Albert Cashier was a unique one. Born Jennie Hodgers in 1843 in the village of Clogher Head in Ireland, there are numerous stories as to how Jennie transitioned to Albert. In his book Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago before Stonewall, St. Sukie de la Croix notes that stories surrounding Hodgers’s/Cashier’s early days include arriving in New York as a stowaway or a cabin boy, or immigrating with her poverty-stricken parents who dressed her as a boy and sent her to work in a shoe factory[1]. The early days of Hodgers’s/Cashier’s life is lost, but what historians do know is that a nineteen-year-old Albert Cashier signed up for the Union Army in Belvidere, Illinois on August 3, 1862; Cashier belonged in the 95th Illinois Infantry Volunteers and fought in over forty battles and skirmishes, including the Battle of Vicksburg[2]. There were other women who disguised themselves as men and fought for both sides of the Civil War, however, Hodgers kept her identity as Albert Cashier long after the war had ended.
After being discharged with the rest of the regiment at the end of the Civil War, Hodgers/Cashier would move to a small town in Illinois where she/he would live for the next four decades. Hodgers/Cashier would never marry, and would find gainful employment as a jack of all trades around the town, working as a farmhand, handyman, church caretaker, and other odd jobs[3]. In 1911, Hodgers/cashier was accidentally hit by an automobile and suffered a fractured femur; the doctor attending to Albert soon learned of Albert’s true sex but took an oath of confidentiality to preserve the long-held secret while arrangements were made for Albert to be admitted to the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home at Quincy, Illinois[4]. “Two years later, after some erratic behavior, Albert was committed to a public mental hospital and the news was out. National headlines told the secret. Old comrades rallied to her support, testifying to Albert’s bravery in combat and public good work in later life. Albert/Jennie died at Watertown State Hospital in 1915, at age seventy-one. Her headstone reads: “Albert D.J. Cashier, Company G. 95th Illinois Infantry””[5].
The life of Albert Cashier/Jennie Hodgers is one that made waves, even if that individual did not intend to do so. Questions remain about the life of Albert Cashier/Jennie Hodgers. The first question is a question in two parts: why would a woman disguise herself as a man a fight in the Civil War, and why would she choose to remain to live as a man for the rest of her days? There are, of course, multiple answers to these questions.
Once the Civil War broke out, the women would mobilize for the war effort; many would make monetary donations, take over the farms as their male relatives left to fight, or would make homemade goods and uniforms for the army; other women would become battlefield nurses or even disguise themselves as soldiers and fight in the war themselves. According to the Civil War Trust, estimates place female soldiers’ numbers between 400-750 total between both sides of the conflict; as for the reasons why women chose to go to war, some chose to follow their loved ones into battle, other chose to fight because they believed in the cause(s) for which they were fighting and believed that it was their patriotic duty to fight as well, and still other joined because of the promise of adventure and reliable wages[6]. Despite the strides women were trying to make when it came to equal rights prior to the war and once the war had come to an end, women were continuing to fight to be on equal footing with men in the United States when it came to citizenship and the law long after the Civil war had come to an end. For many women, this meant a long, hard-fought battle for suffrage as well as property rights. In the United States in the nineteenth century, it was much more beneficial to be born a male. Women were subjected to the law of coverture, meaning that once a woman was married she was no longer considered an individual; in marriage under coverture the husband “exercised almost exclusive power and responsibility and rarely had to consult his wife to make decisions about property matters…and, unless some prior specific provision separating a woman’s property from her husband’s had been made, stripped a woman of control over real and personal property”[7]. Given these reasons, a woman choosing to live her life as a man would not necessarily seem out of the ordinary given the societal benefits men had over women. However, Hodgers/Cashier lived her/his entire life as a male by some accounts and did not have a choice in doing so (as mentioned in a previous paragraphs, one of the possible reasons Jennie transitioned to Albert was her parents dressing her as a boy in order to get work in a factory). DeAnne Blanton and Lauren Cook Wike, the authors of They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the Civil War, simply believe that, despite Hodgers’s/Cashier’s reasons for living as a man not being delineated, her male persona had been so well-established with her family and friends that Jennie felt she had no choice but to continue being Albert[8]. Another possible reason for the Jennie/Albert transition is one allegedly told by Jennie/Albert—that she had begun dressing as man in order to enlist in the army with a lover who was wounded early in the war, and upon  his deathbed he made Jennie promise him that she would never wear a dress[9]. There are numerous possible reasons why Jennie would have taken on the role of Albert, but with a lack of evidence from Jennie/Albert, historians will never be able to know for sure; instead, historians are left to speculate on the reasons, mulling over the above given the time of the events as a series of possibilities.
In his book A Queer History of the United States, Michael Bronski spends a very brief time describing the life of Jennie Hodgers/Albert Cashier, and does so while putting the label of “transgender” on Hodgers/Cashier. While Hodgers/Cashier may very well have been transgender, this historiographical account deems it safer to place a different label—that of non-binary. Non-binary is not a new label, but it is one that is just coming into the spotlight due to the modern LGBTQ+ Movement. Non-binary goes by other names, such as “agender” or even “gender queer”, with the most common of its other monikers being “androgynous” or “unisex”. The term non-binary itself has become an umbrella term for the spectrum of human gender identity; non-binary has come to be known as any gender that is not exclusively male or female. Historiography, particularly when it comes to the sexuality and gender lenses, is lacking when it comes to the history of non-binary people. What was especially interesting material to come across was any information about “passing women”. Bronski mentioned passing women very briefly when describing the life of Hodgers/Cashier. In a 2013 article on, Marlo Thomas went more in-depth to describe the reasons why women would want to pass as men. “Outside of fiction, women’s attempts to “pass” as a man have often been a desperate response to professional or societal roadblocks. Some felt they needed to adopt the masquerade in order to break into male-dominated fields. Others simply wanted to get a job — make a living, support themselves — the way men always had”[10]. For Jennie/Albert, there must have been a deeper reason behind dressing as a man and spending her life as a man, but as mentioned, without knowing from her, historians can only speculate.
One of the main questions historians who write about sex and gender during the Civil War era seek to answer is as follows: How did the Civil War change how Americans thought about gender, sex and sexuality? In his book The Story the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell: Sex in the Civil War by Dr. Thomas P. Lowry, as well as in the book, Sex and the Civil War: Soldiers, Pornography, and the Making of American Morality by Judith Giesburg, both authors describe the Victorian era, of which the Civil War fell roughly in the middle and was thus heavily influenced. The Victorian era lasted from 1837 to 1801, and one of the things the period was known for was sexual morality, especially in terms of women, however, the Victorian era was also known for people who disobeyed the rules of society. The case for cross-dressing in the Victorian era was strong; in a 2012 article on by Juliet Jacques, she states, “With female working rights limited, the few contemporary reports of women who presented as men suggest a belief that they did so to find work. Seeing no reason why men would dress as women, the Victorian authorities assumed sexual motives - particularly that they did it to trick men into sex with them”[11]. As can be seen, this idea of women looking for employment as men persists. However, Dr. Lowry describes acts of homosexuality and homosexual behavior in the Union army during the Civil War; “If a conservative 1 percent figure is true, then at least 10,000 of the boys in blue were physically attracted to other boys in blue—and might well have been attracted to boys in gray as well, if a wall of bayonets had not separated them”[12]. Historians cannot be sure what Hodgers’s/Cashier’s sexuality was as she/he never married nor was seen with a partner of either sex, but this percentage is worth noting based to attempt to get a number of what the Union army was potentially dealing with when it came to its ranks. Anti-sodomy laws were not as strict in the 1860s as they were one hundred years later; in the 1860s, arrest for same-sex behavior was rare, with only one instance being in the state of Virginia[13], showing that “Both the psychology and true incidence of homosexuality in the 860s appear to be mysteries”[14].
For some, including Jennie/Albert, private lives were meant to be kept private and behind closed doors, but for one man in the Victorian era, what two consenting adults regardless of sex, sexuality, and gender did in the comfort of their own home did not matter. That man was the notorious Anthony Comstock. Judith Giesburg describes Anthony Comstock and his crusade of morality during the Victorian era in great detail. “Anthony Comstock, it is often said, burst onto the scene in 1872, one year after New York passed a strict antiobscenity law, and within months was given virtually unlimited authority under federal law to police the nation’s morals by controlling not only what got into the mails but also what people wrote about sex and what they did”[15]. Comstock Laws, or versions of Comstock Laws, are still on the books in many states, and initially had to do with the spread of information about various forms of contraception as well as pornography through the mail; until 1962, and sometimes even later, Comstock Laws trumped privacy laws in many states.
In the Victorian era, specifically during the Civil War, definitions of “masculinity” and “femininity” where in flux, especially when it comes to those who disguised themselves as men and joined the army. Editors Catherine Clinton and Nina Silber explore definitions of “masculinity” and “femininity” in the context of the 1860s to expand on the understanding of sexuality and politics of the era, and deal with the question of why so many women adopted male identities during the war in their book Battle Scars: Gender and Sexuality During the Civil War. For example, “…Victorian notions of “appropriate” female behavior during the war ultimately have lasting progressive effects for American women. For not only did these women’s stories fill the pages pf both early and subsequent histories of women’s Civil War service but also, more to the point, they ended up altering gender norms in the long term by paving the way for Northern middle-class American women after the war to expand the scope and social impact of the various humanitarian endeavors in which they had already been engaged during the antebellum period”[16].
            Ideas about what it meant to be “masculine” and what it meant to be “feminine” where changing during the 1860s in relation to the Civil War and after, but when it came to Jennie/Albert, sex and gender were still seen as one and the same, and as binary, not seen as a spectrum as many see sex and gender today. Some of the historians mentioned throughout this historiography have labeled Jennie/Albert as transgender, but I have chosen to label Jennie/Albert as non-binary, using the definition “not exclusively male or female” that was given earlier in the paper. In the end, Jennie/Albert would die at the Watertown State Hospital for the Insane on October 10, 1915[17]. Jennie/Albert had been forced to wear a dress in her later years, having been discovered to be a biological woman, but the Hospital for the Insane allowed her to fashion pants by using pins[18].
            For some, Jennie/Albert remains the first out-and-out transgender individual in American history and thus has had a major impact on the modern-day LGBTQ+ Movement and on the Women’s Rights Movement as well. As far as women’s rights are concerned, women have fought for the right to fight—women have wanted to serve in the military in the same capacity as men, but have been barred from doing so, so they had no choice but to disguise themselves as men and fight. However, women officially began serving in the United States military in the same capacity as men in 1915. Part of the reason for this change, allowing women to fight in the military officially, was because of the women of the Civil War. In Camouflage Isn’t Only for Combat: Gender, Sexuality, and Women in the Military by Melissa S. Herbert, there remained a stigma as to the type of woman who joined the military, who chose to enter the most male of the male domains: “A “real woman” doesn’t want to do “men things”. Sociocultural notions of what constitutes femininity and masculinity are used to ensure that women who push the boundaries of gender are censured for such behaviors. While one mechanism is the threat that they are somehow less than “real women”, another is the threat of labeling them “lesbian”. A “real woman” does not do that most manly of “men things”, sleep with women. Gender and sexuality are intertwined in such a way that notions of appropriateness in one are used to reinforce the other”[19]. In the 1940s, because the use of women in the military and working in support roles for the military (working in the munitions factories for example) was necessary, makeup companies began to promote specific colors over others, promoting them to women as more patriotic and makeup would even become a part of a military woman’s uniform, a way to separate her from one of the guys; thus sexuality and gender became even more ingrained with the work these women were doing in the military. Herbert continues her book by saying that “When a given occupational role is defined as masculine, many automatically challenge women’s ability or suitability to assume that role. In a society where we either fail to acknowledge traits in a woman that seem masculine or censure them [why I chose to label Jennie/Albert as non-binary as opposed to transgender as other historians have chosen to do so], women who seek to enter a work role that is defined as masculine are faced with a number of barriers to their participation. Women may be seen as deviant, and they may find that they have to work at creating an image that allows them to balance their sex-defined role with the gendered occupational role”[20]. The history of women in the United States Armed Forces is a lengthy one, and it is a history that continues to be made today. Women fought in the American Revolution under male aliases just as they had done in the Civil War when Jennie/Albert fought, women served in the Second World War in non-combat roles but their roles in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps were still dangerous, women served in various roles in the Korean War as well as in the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and in the current conflicts in the Middle East. The subject of women in combat is a controversial one for many; apart from the stereotypes of what it means to be masculine and feminine, opponents of women in the military are often concerned about having women drafted into the military. The United States had not had a draft since 1973 during the Vietnam War, however, in 2016 the U.S. Senate voted in favor to require women to register with the Selective Service, women turning 18 on or after January 1, 2018 would be required to register[21]; as of August 2017 that bill did not pass in the House of Representatives and thus did not become a law[22].
            Women have come a long way in the armed forces since Jennie/Albert served, however, members of the LGBTQ+ community have seen rights given to them and taken away. This historiographical account has already briefly mentioned homosexuals in the military, but a deeper examination must be taken, especially when it comes to rights and the potential impact that Jennie/Albert had had on the military.
            Members of the LGBTQ+ community have also served in the United States Armed Forces in all aspects, however there remains an open hostility to members of the LGBTQ+ community who choose to make the ultimate sacrifice of entering into the armed forces; if they voluntarily sign their life away for their country, why is there such a hostility towards them? Should not the ranks of the U.S. military be the one great equalizer? If those who are “straight” and those who are not both choose to give their lives to their country, why is there such controversy surrounding the groups that are labeled as “not straight”?
            In his book Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military, Randy Shilts mentions that there seemed to be more actions against lesbians than against gay men in the armed forces, “There are many men who never wanted women in their Army or their Navy in the first place, and the military regulations regarding homosexuality have been the way to keep them out for the past decade. Until proven otherwise, women in the military are often suspected of being lesbian. Why else, the logic goes, would they want to join a man’s world? Many of these women take jobs that have traditionally been held by men. If they are successful, they are suspect for not being womanly enough; if they fail, they are harassed for not being man enough to do the job. The way women can prove themselves to be nonlesbians is to have sex with men. Thus antigay regulations have encouraged sexual harassment of women. Those who will not acquiesce to a colleague’s advances are routinely accused of being a lesbian are subject to discharge. Some women have allowed themselves to be raped by male officers, afraid that the alternative would be a charge of lesbianism”[23]. Gay men, too, faced open hostility at times, but throughout Shilts’s work, we see example upon example of lesbians or assumed lesbians bring discharged from their WAC posts for their sexuality, with the military sometimes going so far as to spy on the women by tapping their phones[24]. The idea of sexuality and military service is a complex one, especially when looking into the modern era. In 1993, President Bill Clinton issued the policy known as “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” or DADT which meant that military applicants should not be asked about their sexual orientation, but it also meant that homosexuals and bisexuals could not serve openly in the military, and those servicemen and women who were discovered to be homosexual or bisexual could be discharged[25]. In 2010, DADT was overturned under the Obama administration, officially taking effect in September 2011.
            Where do transgender individuals fit in? For many, the idea of transgender individuals serving in the military is a new concept, and that may well be the case if there were not others like Jennie/Albert throughout history who managed to live their lives as the opposite sex, whether by their own volition or not. Many civilians may see transgender individuals as confused and that the military is no place for these individuals to be, or that these individuals are treating the military as an experiment. In July 2016 “the Pentagon had lifted a long-standing ban against transgender men and women serving openly in the military, removing one of its last discriminatory hurdles and placing protection of gender rights on par with race, religion, color, sex, and sexual orientation”[26]; however, in July 2017 President Donald Trump used the popular social media website Twitter to say he was barring transgender individuals from serving in any capacity from the U.S. military[27]. People around the country are livid, while others rejoice at the action the current President has taken. Transgender members of the military, past and present, have been speaking out about the current administration’s actions.
            Despite this, the life of Jennie Hodgers/Albert Cashier remains a part of national news, as the life of Jennie/Albert has been adapted into a musical titled “The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier” written by Jay Paul Deratany. The life of Jennie/Albert continues to have a lasting impact on members of the LGBTQ+ community, and will have a lasting impact on the U.S. armed forces in some way as the nation struggles to figure out which direction it wants move in, on which side of history it wants to be on in regards to LGBTQ+ rights.
            When discussing the Civil War, and looking at the lives of specific soldiers who fought in the war, there are numerous benefits of using the gender and sexuality lenses. Gender history explores how the sexes have interacted with one another and sexuality history explores human interaction via sexuality over time. Using these lenses to look at the Civil War and the lives of the soldiers, or a specific soldier, historians can explore how the Victorian era had an impact on the war and on the interaction the soldiers would have had with one another.
            Albert Cashier/Jennie Hodgers had a major impact on the LGBTQ+ Movement at various stages, especially when it came to the act of being an LGBTQ+ individual in the military such as Cashier/Hodgers. For a time, the story of Cashier/Hodgers circulated in the newspapers, outing the war vet as “just a woman” when, clearly, that was not how Cashier had been identifying, and hadn’t been for quite some time. Regardless of that, the story of Cashier/Hodgers is one that should be more famous than it is, and one that remains in American discourse because of off-Broadway plays about the life of this individual and because of blurbs about the life of this individual in various historical monographs of various topics relating to the Civil War or queer history, whether about women who disguised themselves as men and fought in the war, or about the overall history of queers and other LGBTQ+ individuals who have made a difference in American history. Cashier/Hodgers was not the first non-binary individual of their time, nor will they be the last, but as LGBTQ+ individuals continue to join the military, and as actions against them entering into the military continue, Cashier/Hodgers will continue to have a place in Civil War historiography as well as gender and sexuality historiography.

[1] St. Sukie de la Croix, Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago before Stonewall (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2012), 29.
[2] de la Croix, Chicago Whispers, 30.
[3]Thomas P. Lowry, The Story the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell: Sex in the Civil War (Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 1994), 121.
[4] Lowry, Sex in the Civil War, 121.
[5] Lowry, Sex in the Civil War, 121.
[6] “Female Soldiers in the Civil War”,, accessed August 3,2017.
[7] The editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Coverture”,, accessed August 3, 2017.
[8] DeAnne Blanton and Lauren Cook Wike, They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2002), 170.
[9] Blanton, Wike, They Fought Like Demons, 175.
[10] Marlo Thomas, “The Curious Case of Women Who ‘Passed’ As Men In Pursuit of a Dream”,, accessed August 3, 2017.
[11] Juliet Jacques, “Cross-dressing in Victorian London”,, accessed August 3, 2017.
[12] Thomas P. Lowry, The Story the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell: Sex in the Civil War (Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 1994), 110.
[13] Lowry, Sex in the Civil War, 114.
[14] Lowry, Sex in the Civil War, 114.  
[15]Judith Giesberg, Sex and the Civil War: Pornography and the Making of American Morality (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017), 2.
[16]Catherine Clinton and Nina Silber, Battle Scars: Gender and Sexuality During the Civil War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 110.
[17] St. Sukie de la Croix, Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago before Stonewall (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2012), 31.
[18] de la Croix, Chicago Whispers, 31.
[19] Melissa S. Herbert, Camouflage Isn’t Only For Combat: Gender, Sexuality, and Women in the Military (New York: New York University Press, 1998), 2.
[20] Herbert, Camouflage Isn’t Only for Combat, 31.  
[21] Jennifer Steinhauer, “Senate Votes to Require Women to Register for the Draft”,, accessed August 6, 2017.
[22] “Women and the Draft”,, accessed August 6, 2017.
[23] Randy Shilts, Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military  (New York: Open Road Media, 2014), prologue.  
[24] Shilts, Conduct Unbecoming, Book One chapter three “The Rules”.
[25] Ethan Klapper, “On This Day in 1993, Bill Clinton Announced ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’”,, accessed August 6, 2017.
[26] W.J. Hennigan, “Trump bars transgender people from serving ‘in any capacity’ in the U.S. military”,, accessed August 6, 2017.
[27] Hennigan, “Trump bars transgender people from serving ‘in any capacity’ in the U.S. military”, accessed August 6, 2017.  


Book Sources 
de la Croix, St. Sukie. Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago before Stonewall. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2012 

Lowry, Thomas PThe Story the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell: Sex in the Civil War. Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 1994. 

BlantonDeAnne and Cook WikeLauren. They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2002. 

GiesbergJudith. Sex and the Civil War: Pornography and the Making of American Morality.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017. 

Clinton, Catherine and Silber, Nina. Battle Scars: Gender and Sexuality During the Civil War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006 

Herbert, Melissa S. Camouflage Isn’t Only For Combat: Gender, Sexuality, and Women in the MilitaryNew York: New York University Press, 1998 

ShiltsRandy. Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. MilitaryNew York: Open Road Media, 2014. 

Online Sources 

“Female Soldiers in the Civil War”,, accessed August 3, 2017. 

The editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Coverture”,, accessed August 3, 2017. 

Thomas, Marlo. “The Curious Case of Women Who ‘Passed’ As Men In Pursuit of a Dream”,, accessed August 3, 2017. 

Jacques, Juliet. “Cross-dressing in Victorian London”,, accessed August 3, 2017. 

Steinhauer, Jennifer. “Senate Votes to Require Women to Register for the Draft”, August 6, 2017 

“Women and the Draft”, August 6, 2017. 

Klapper, Ethan. “On This Day in 1993, Bill Clinton Announced ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’”,, accessed August 6, 2017 

HenniganW.J. “Trump bars transgender people from serving ‘in any capacity’ in the U.S. military”,, accessed August 6, 2017. 

A Post for Women's History Month: Women's Suffrage, Racism, and Nativism in the Progressive Era

Hello readers! I know it's been a while since I last posted. I'm hard at work finishing up work for graduate school, but with March...