Embarking on a study of early American women’s intellectual history calls for a strong bibliographical base, and I’m using this post to learn your news and views of useful literature. Hopefully, we can refer to and build on Patrick S. O’Donnell’s excellent list of resources regarding “Women Intellectuals in the European Enlightenment,” published here. Since this nascent project has a public history feel—I’m interested in how women’s lives and intellectual contributions (ca. 1612-1891) are reflected in everything from standard scholarship to city statues and social crusades—I have listed select digital and archival resources for the first phase (1612-1848), below.
This is, of course, only a preliminary list. Paging all historians, librarians, editors, archivists, journalists, and history fans: Please add your recommendations in the comments.
Early American Women in Intellectual History: Books & Digital Resources
Allgor, Catherine. Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of Washington Help Build a City and a Government. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000.
American Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States.
Baym, Nina. American Women Writers and the Work of History, 1790-1860. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1995.
Berkin, Carol. First Generations: Women in Colonial America. New York: Hill and Wang, 1996.
Carol Berkin, Margaret S. Crocco, Barbara Winslow, eds. Clio in the Classroom: A Guide for Teaching U.S. Women’s History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Boydston, Jeanne. Home and Work: Housework, Wages, and the Ideology of Labor in the Early Republic. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Braude, Ann. Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-Century America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001.
Brekus, Catherine A. Sarah Osborn’s World: The Rise of Evangelical Christianity in Early America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013.
Brown, Kathleen M. Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
Burgett, Bruce. Sentimental Bodies: Sex, Gender, and Citizenship in the Early Republic. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998.
Cott, Nancy F. The Bonds of Womanhood: “Woman’s Sphere” in New England, 1780-1835. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997.
Duke Universities Libraries, African American Women’s History Resources at Rubenstein Library.
Foster, Thomas A., ed. Women in Early America. New York: New York University Press, 2015.
Gundersen, Joan R. To Be Useful to the World: Women in Revolutionary America, 1740-1790. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.
Hayes, Kevin J. A Colonial Woman’s Bookshelf. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1996.
Heidi Brayman Hackel and Catherine E. Kelly, eds. Reading Women: Literacy, Authorship, and Culture in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.
Helsinger, Elizabeth K. The woman Question: Society and Literature in Britain and America, 1837-1883. New York: Garland, 1983.
Hinding, Andrea, ed., et al. Women’s History Sources: A Guide to Archives and Manuscript Collections in the United States. New York: Bowker, 1979.
Kelley, Mary. Learning to Stand and Speak: Women, Education, and Public Life in America’s Republic. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.
Kelly, Catherine E. In the New England Fashion: Reshaping Women’s Lives in the Nineteenth Century. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999.
Kerber, Linda K. Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America. New York: Norton, 1986.
Kierner, Cynthia A. Southern Women in Revolution, 1776-1800: Personal and Political Narratives. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1998.
Kraus, Natasha Kirsten. A New Type of Womanhood: Discursive Politics and Social Change in Antebellum America. Durham: Duke University Press, 2008.
Rebecca Kugel and Lucy Eldersveld Murphy, eds. Native Women’s History in Eastern North America Before 1900: A Guide to Research and Writing. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007.
McMahon, Lucia. Mere Equals: The Paradox of Educated Women in the Early American Republic. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012.
McMillen, Sally G. Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women’s Rights Movement. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Myres, Sandra L. Westering Women and the Frontier Experience, 1800-1915. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1982.
Nash, Margaret A. Women’s Education in the United States, 1780-1840. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
National Archives, Research Guide, American Women’s History.
New-York Historical Society, Center for the Study of Women’s History
New York Public Library, Digital Schomburg, African American Women Writers of the 19th Century.
Norton, Mary Beth. Liberty’s Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996.
Plane, Ann Marie. Colonial Intimacies: Indian Marriage in Early New England. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000.
Richter, Amy G. Home on the Rails: Women, the Railroad, and the Rise of Public Domesticity. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005.
Rust, Marion. Prodigal Daughters: Susanna Rowson’s Early American Women. Chapel Hill: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, by the University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 2008.
Salmon, Marylynn. Women and the Law of Property in Early America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1986.
Snyder, Terri L. Brabbling Women: Disorderly Speech and the Law in Early Virginia. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003.
Stansell, Christine. City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789-1860. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987.
Tetrault, Lisa. The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014.
Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812. New York: Knopf, 1990.
Winterer, Caroline. The Mirror of Antiquity: American Women and the Classical Tradition, 1750-1900. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007.
Wulf, Karin A. Not All Wives: Women of Colonial Philadelphia. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000.
Woloch, Nancy. Early American Women: A Documentary History, 1600-1900. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014.
Zagarri, Rosemarie. Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.
Early American Women in Intellectual History: Articles
Brown, Kathleen M. “Beyond the Great Debates: Gender and Race in Early America.” Reviews in American History 26 (1998): 96-123.
Gaul, Theresa Strouth. “Recovering Recovery: Early American Women and Legacy’s Future.” Legacy 26 (2009): 262-283.
Gordon, Jean. “Early American Women Artists and the Social Context in Which They Worked.” American Quarterly 30 (1978): 54-69.
Scott, Joan W. “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis.” The American Historical Review 91 (1986): 1053-1075.
Snyder, Terri L. “Refiguring Women in Early American History.” The William and Mary Quarterly 69 (2012): 421-450.
Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. “Of Pens and Needles: Sources in Early American Women’s History.” The Journal of American History 77 (1990): 200-207.
Winterer, Caroline. “Is There an Intellectual History of Early American Women?” Modern Intellectual History 4 (2007): 173-190.