Tag Archives: American County Histories

The Women of Boston (1880)

When an English gentleman was asked what seemed to him the most remarkable thing in Boston, he promptly answered, “The Women!” Mary Carpenter said “she did not see what more the women of Boston could ask for,” so favorably did their position compare with that of women in any other country.

There is a strong and recognizable type of Boston women whose characteristics are clear and enduring; and the gradual formation of this type may be traced from the earliest periods of the town’s history, as in leading individuals those qualities are clearly seen which have made the woman of to-day what she is. The Boston woman inherits from a line of well-bred and well-educated ancestors, mostly English, a physical frame delicate and supple, but enduring. It is capable of great nervous force and energy, and can be made to serve the mind and will almost absolutely. But she is liable to attacks of disease, and under unfavorable conditions her nervous energy degenerates into irritability. More intellectual than passionate, her impulses are under control; and she is reserved and cold in manner, while a gentle purity inspires confidence even before it awakens affection.

Her morality is stern and exacting, and she does not understand the temptations which beset other natures; her own sense of chastity is so high that, like the lady in Comus, she walks amid a thousand dangers unheeding and unharmed. She shrinks from contact with evil until it appears as suffering, when duty and benevolence overcome her sensitiveness. She is speculative in theology, while conservative in her tastes; and, though indulging great freedom of thought, is devout in her habits. This conflict sometimes produces a strain upon her feelings too great for endurance, and she seeks refuge in an established church. Perhaps this is only a brief rest in her onward career, or it leads to a life of moral or benevolent activity in which she is content. Her aesthetic nature is serious and refined, preferring the classic music to the modern opera, and pre-Raphaelitism to sensuous beauty. The subdued style of her dress marks her position in the scale of refinement.

Aristocratic by tradition, she is in danger of becoming exclusive and narrow; but, liberalized by education, she is democratic in her work, if not in her tastes and social habits.

Her hospitality is not free, for her time is precious and her housekeeping orderly; but the old Boston matron made home a radiating centre of goodness and happiness. She gives the name of “friend” carefully, but holds it sacredly.

By Mrs. Ednah D. Cheney

The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county by using a single query. In addition, those wishing to read or browse the text on a page by page basis may do so in the original format merely by scrolling down the screen and then continuing to the next chapter.

Source: The Memorial History of Boston, September 17, 1880.
Image: Godey’s Lady’s Book, March, 1878


South Carolina: Women of the Confederacy

In none of the Southern States did the women — and in this class is included many who, in years, were girls only — enter into the work of physical alleviation and moral inspiration with more zest or unwavering loyalty than those of South Carolina.

The act of secession was still in its early infancy when the Women’s Relief Associations, Hospital Associations, sewing circles, and scores of other organizations were organized throughout the State, and as the war advanced and demands from the battlefields from stricken soldiers poured in upon them, in the midst of their tears they were stimulated to greater and greater labors of love.

It should not be forgotten that no “Sanitary” or “Christian Commission,” heavily endowed by leading capitalists and supplied with government funds, brought nourishing food and medicine to the wounded or fever-stricken Confederate. Not in South Carolina alone, but south of the Potomac it was the mission of woman to attempt and in hundreds of thousands of cases to successfully perform this self-imposed and unprecedented task.

During the last of the war when South Carolina had scarcely an able-bodied man in civil life, it was the women who upheld the morale of the soldiers in the field long after many of the stronger sex knew, in their hearts, that the Southern cause was lost.

The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county by using a single query. In addition, those wishing to read or browse the text on a page by page basis may do so in the original format merely by scrolling down the screen and then continuing to the next chapter.

Source: History of South Carolina – Volume II, by Yates Snowden, LL. D.

Explore the map above in detail at Colton’s South Carolina.


A Look Inside: History and Reminiscences of Dougherty County Georgia

This volume can be found in the Georgia section of our American County Histories: The Southeast collection. It was produced and distributed by members of the Thronateeska Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution from Albany, Georgia in 1924.


In loving memory this volume is dedicated to MRS. LOUISA BACON STROTHER, Organizing Regent of Thronateeska Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution.


The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which is the largest patriotic organization in the world, has for one of its many worthy objects the preservation of the records of our great country as a whole by recording the history of each county, these county histories to be deposited with the Compiler of Records of each state or published in book form, thus preserving for all time valuable information which otherwise would be lost.

Nelson Tift

Nelson Tift

The members of Thronateeska Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, in compliance with this request from the national organization, have for the last five years been collecting the data contained in this volume, and now, having exhausted all known sources of information relative to the affairs of our county from the time of the red man down to the present, we beg to present the “History and Reminiscences of Dougherty County“ to our fellow citizens in the earnest hope that it may meet with their approval.

The compilation of this work has been a great and unremunerated task. It was not undertaken or pursued with the idea of gain, but purely from a patriotic desire to trace the threads of local events that have long been relegated to the chambers of the Past; to separate the tangled skeins, and to weave them into a story which shall proclaim to the world the deeds of a great people.

In a work of this kind, in spite of our most careful attention, some errors may reasonably be expected. We anticipate that the reading of these pages by many of our citizens with whom we have not been able to confer will bring to light still further information. And again, many of our good people who have shared in the upbuilding of our city and county may justly feel that they should have been included in the roll call of constructive citizens. In this we must acknowledge our shortcoming and plead only that the lack of space has prevented the mention of others than those who have been most prominently identified with the county’s progress, from the viewpoint of long residence and conspicuous service.



Colored Schools in Louisville

Image Details: Part of the front of the Virginia Avenue Colored School, located at 3628 Virginia Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. Built in 1923, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This passage appears in one of the volumes in the Kentucky County Histories section of our American County Histories Collection.

Chapter XVI: The Public Schools of Louisville

The public school system of Louisville, Kentucky, in which all of her people feel a proper pride, has been a plant of slow growth. Its germ dates back to the earliest period of the town’s existence, and its history is, to a large extent, that of the common schools of the State, varied by local conditions. It found its first visible expression in the log school-house, taught by the private pedagogue–who received a fee for tuition–passing to a stage of partial State aid, and going through all the wearisome vagaries of a formative period. After a century of experiment and trial, it took permanent shape, and the system was extended so as to embrace the whole State.

Colored Schools

The adoption of the third charter, therefore, found the school system in a sound and prosperous condition, when a still further advance was made. Steps had been taken soon after the war and the emancipation of negroes to provide for the education of that race. Prior to that time their property had been exempt from taxation for school purposes, but in 1866 an act was passed setting aside the taxes paid by negroes as a separate fund for the education of their children, and an additional poll tax of $2 for each male negro over eighteen years old for the same purpose, and authorizing the trustees of the school districts throughout the State to open separate schools for the education of the negro and mulatto children.



Accessible Archives Adds Last Two Regions to American County Histories Database

Part VI: Central States and Part VII: Midwest
States Available Soon

Malvern, PA (January 27, 2015)Accessible Archives, Inc.®, an electronic publisher of full-text primary source historical databases, has announced the expansion of its American County Histories collection. The addition of the Central and Midwest regions will further the massive undertaking that began with the Mid-Atlantic states and now encompasses the New England, Southeast, Southwest and West regional collections. Included Central states are Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The Midwest covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Published primarily between 1870 and 1923, county histories are a cornerstone of local historical and genealogical research. They provide historians and genealogists with regional overviews and general community conditions. Ancestor research often yields collateral information about neighbors, friends and associates. Additional areas include government, medical and legal professions, churches, industries, schools, fire departments, cemeteries, transportation, and local and regional geological conditions. For an overview of non-traditional uses and original sources, please see our whitepaper on the topic.

As with all Accessible Archives databases these volumes will be carefully imaged and each article keyed and XML-tagged rather than using dirty OCR. Instead of plowing through as many as 50 separate sites with untagged images and multiple formats the user can search not just the only site with nationwide coverage in a unified manner, but is able to cross search through multiple related databases, as well.

Tom Nagy, COO of Accessible Archives, commented, “We’re very proud and, frankly, quite relieved to be nearing the end of this commitment. County histories are used on a daily basis in many libraries, but leafing through the individual volumes is a time-consuming effort. As the foremost digitized source for nationwide coverage of county histories we are gratified to be able to aid users as they conduct searches across a county, a state or the entire country in a matter of minutes rather than hours, days or weeks.”

In its role as exclusive sales and marketing agent for Accessible Archives, Unlimited Priorities LLC® helped expedite this project by providing technical and production assistance and product development while also arranging multiple license agreements and sourcing all content.

About Accessible Archives, Inc.

Founded in 1990, Accessible Archives utilizes computer technology and a team of conversion specialists to provide vast quantities of archived historical information previously available only in microformat, hard copy or as images. Diverse primary source materials reflecting broad views across American history and culture have been assembled into comprehensive databases. Developed by dedicated instructors and students of Americana, these databases allow access to the rich store of materials from leading books, newspapers and periodicals then current. Accessible Archives will continue to add titles covering important topics and time periods to assist scholars and students at all academic levels. Accessible Archives has retained Unlimited Priorities LLC as its exclusive sales and marketing agent.


Tom Nagy, COO
Accessible Archives, Inc.
Iris L. Hanney, President
Unlimited Priorities LLC