2017 New Hampshire and National Women’s History Month

History is not celebrated in a vacuum.  When you pay notice to an event such as National Women’s History Month, you must also include the history of New Hampshire women.

Women’s History Week was first observed in Sonoma County, California on 1 March 1978. Two years later the National Women’s History Project was founded. Cow Hampshire blog was created in 2006 and has from the beginning been focused on local women’s history. 

Example of an 18th century woman’s bonnet in the United States.

The official acknowledgement in 1980 of National Women’s History Month began under the administration of Jimmy Carter who was the first U.S. President to designate it as a national event. This year’s theme is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.” In addition the week that contains March 8th is always National Women’s History WEEK, while March 8th is International Women’s Day. We are a global community and the stories of women’s contributions to history are important all over the globe.

I urge bloggers, story tellers, historians, and those with an interest in the role of women throughout history to do one thing.  Just one.  Write, attend, read, promote about one woman you admire. Put women back into history.  By doing this you will show not only our daughters, but our sons that women contribute equally to life and to history.

Women posing with flag they have sewn at a mill in Manchester New Hampshire

To start off the month of March, I am posting several NEW stories about women in business and politics, and also recapping a few past stories specific to New Hampshire women renown for their business acumen.  From the innovative bonnet-making Burnap women of Merrimack to the Shaker Elderesses of Canterbury, our state has many stories of struggle and innovation.  Many are yet to be told.

NEW Stories about NH women to be posted in March 2017 include:

— New Hampshire WWI Military: Yeoman Anne (Frasier) Norton of Derry, Manchester and Portsmouth NH (1893-1918)

— Newport New Hampshire Teacher, Suffragist, Civic & Club Leader, Business Woman: Mary Matilda (Putnam) Sibley (1860-1927)

— Dover New Hampshire Suffragist and UNH Administrator: Carmita Aileen (Cameron) Murphy (1925-2003)

— New Hampshire’s First Woman Embalmer and Funeral Director: Minnie (Edwards) Atwood (1854-1904)

— Godmother of New Hampshire’s War for Independence: Elizabeth “Molly (Page) Stark (1737-1814)

— Librarian and Innovator of the ‘Bookmobile’: Farmington New Hampshire’s Mary Lemist Titcomb (1857-1932)

Later stories of 2016

Nashua New Hampshire’s Secretary, World War 2 WASP Aviator and Carmelite Nun: Anita L. Paul, aka Sister Teresa (1924-2010)

Recap of formerly published stories [specific to business or labor]

(Merrimack) New Hampshire’s Burnap “Leghorn Bonnets”

Winchester New Hampshire Businesswoman, Persis Foster (Eames) Albee (1836-1914) [The first Avon Lady]

Manchester New Hampshire Entrepreneur, Alma M. (Cavagnaro) Truesdale (1881-1973)

New Hampshire’s First Female Banker and Financier: Winchester’s Jane Grace Alexander (1848-1932)

New Hampshire’s Canterbury Shakers: Elderess Bertha Lindsay (1897-1990) and Gertrude Soule (1894-1988)

From 2006-2017: Articles Written (on this blog) About Women’s History Month

— March 2016: Celebrating National Women’s History Month
— National Women’s History Month: Weaving Stories in Granite (2015)
Celebrating Women’s History in 2014
Celebrating New Hampshire Women Through History (2011)
New Hampshire Women in History (published 2006, updated 2015)

***Additional Reading***

UNH (University of New Hampshire) Feminist Week is an annual week of events put together by the Women’s Studies Program in celebration of feminism and Women’s History Month

A Century of Progress: A Photographic Exhibit of Women’s History At University of NH — created in 2000 by the Class of 1950 at UNH for its 50th reunion. 15 panels showing women’s participation in higher education in New Hampshire. (PDF)

New Hampshire Women’s Foundation



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9 Responses to 2017 New Hampshire and National Women’s History Month

  1. Amy says:

    I have one in the hopper—a follow-up to the woman I wrote about last March, Rose Mansbach Schoenthal. I don’t have (yet) any female ancestors who were truly historic—no public figures or scientists or artists—but I believe every woman who held together a household, raised children, and was in some ways a silent partner to the men in her life deserves recognition as well.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Amy, every woman is important in history. Most of the women I write about are not “famous” per se, though their life was interesting and they contributed in subtle ways to their communities. I have written a few stories about women in my own family, though not usually during National Women’s History Month. I am looking forward to your story about Rose Mansbach Schoenthal. Your stories are always so detailed and your words bring your subjects to life, which is what I hope is the goal of genealogy bloggers. Thank you, as always, for reading my posts and commenting. This specific post was more of an introduction than a story, a lead-in to the month of March.

      • Amy says:

        Thanks, Janice. The post about Rose is about what I’ve learned about her background since last year. not really more about her life as an adult. But I also want to write one about my great-grandmother Hilda. And I agree—every woman–every person—matters!

  2. Steven says:

    Ms. Brown, let me urge you to tell more about Marilla Marks Young Ricker.
    Especially in the world we share today, the likes of Ms. Ricker could be an inspiration to many.

    And to Amy above, I could not have expressed it better; every woman who held together a household, raised children, and was in some ways a silent partner to the men in her life deserves recognition as well.

    New Hampshire has a history of remarkable and significant women, from the women taken by Indians to Quebec and who struggled to return (Christine Otis Baker and Elizabeth Hanson to name a couple) and it should not be forgotten that the founding of New Hampshire itself was in no small part due to the actions of Anne Hutchinson.

    Good works you are doing, Ms. Brown.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Steven, three years ago I wrote a lengthy story about her. Is there some part of her life that I left out in that story? http://www.cowhampshireblog.com/2014/12/01/new-durham-new-hampshires-lawyer-suffragist-and-author-marilla-marks-young-ricker-1840-1920/

      • Steven says:

        I of course read your story in 2014; and I have no criticism of that article. Thank you for it.

        I’m a bit prejudiced as Marilla is my 4th great-aunt, but I would have liked to read more about her practice with Robert G. Ingersoll, especially with regard to the Star Route trials, her close friendship with Susan B. Anthony, and a bit more of her writings in I’m Not Afraid, Are You?, The Four Gospels, and I Don’t Know, Do You?. Her contributions to Free Thought as a result of those books were perhaps her greatest contribution to feminism. I agree with Anne Gaylor that “the women’s movement has not acknowledged the debt it owes to the unorthodox, freethinking women in its ranks. … if there was one cause which had a logical and consistent affinity with freethought, it was feminism.”

        • Janice Brown says:

          Steven, since you are related to Marilla, and you have such an extensive knowledge about her, I think you should be the one to write about her. Start a blog or a web site, there are many free ones. Dedicate it to her and fill it with stories about her life. I would enjoy reading it!

  3. Pingback: New Hampshire Women in History | Cow Hampshire

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