Tag Archives: 19th century

The New Woman, Athletically Considered (1896)

This extensively illustrated article by W. Bengough appeared in the January 1896 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

The New Woman, Athletically Considered by W. Bengough

Our attention has been called to the “new woman” so frequently of late, and in such indefinite terms, that it is of some interest to inquire whence she came and whither she is going.

We are inclined to suspect that the professional paragrapher, ever upon the alert for some new thing, is to a great extent responsible for the prominent place which she has taken in public attention. He was her discoverer and christener, and in the capacity of advance agent he has created public interest and curiosity, and, without doubt, has made such a fad of her newness that the genuine “new woman” is in danger of being lost amid a myriad of shallow imitators.

Let us not be deceived. The “new woman,” as I mean the term, is not a temporary fad, but, on the contrary, the inevitable product of evolution. She has been slowly developed from carefully scattered seed, which, fifty years ago, amid the jeers and mud-throwing of scandalized conservatism, a small band of determined “new” women started out to plant, making the first efforts to obtain some recognition of the then scouted idea that women were men’s intellectual equals if only given an equal chance. These were the property called “strong-minded” women of our fathers, and results have proved that the name was well chosen, but it has become an honored title instead of a contemptuous one, as originally intended.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.



Reign of Terror at The South: Exiles from Kentucky (1860)

This article on the expulsion of anti-slavery Americans from Kentucky was part of a longer selection of coverage expulsions of people from other southern states including Alabama and Mississippi. It appeared in the National Anti-Slavery Standard on January 14, 1860.

From The Cincinnati Gazette, Dec. 31.

TWELVE families, embracing in all thirty-nine persons, arrived in this city at eight o’clock last evening, from Berea, Madison County, Kentucky, whence they were forced to move on account of entertaining anti-slavery views and opinions. The entire party took rooms at the Dennison House, the heads of families registering their names as follows: T. A. R. Rogers, John Smith, John G. Harrison, Jas. I. Davis, John F. Boughton, Swinglehurst Life, T. E. E. Hayes, G. W. Parker, W. F. Tony, C. W. Griffin and T. D. Reed.

Most of the number are natives of the State, and several were born and reared in the county which they were required by the authorities to leave. The greater part are young men, but there are others far past three score years and ten; these, added to children in arms and defenceless women, comprise the list that have for the past two weeks created such dread to that part of Kentucky geographically described as Madison County. In connection with the above list should appear the name of the Rev. John G. Fee, a native of Kentucky, and whose father is and has always been a large slaveholder.

The reverend gentleman founded several anti-slavery institutions in Madison County, which induced the slaveholding citizens, about two weeks ago, to notify Mr. Fee that he must leave the State. He did so, and is at present, with his companions, in this city. The full particulars of the whole matter will be found appended. The party, with whom our reporter had a lengthy conversation, had no definite object in view; bereft of their homes and firesides, they are driven ruthlessly into a strange State, among strange people, to seek new homes and new firesides, and all for the reason of a difference of opinion and its honest expression.

National Anti-Slavery Standard was the official weekly newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society, an abolitionist society founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan to spread their movement across the nation with printed materials. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often addressed meetings at its New York City headquarters.


The Capture of the California Steamer Ariel by the Alabama (1863 Report)

This report appeared in The Charleston Mercury on January 6, 1863. Accessible Archives The Civil War – Part 1: A Newspaper Perspective contains major articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865. The event recounted here occurred off the East tip of Cuba on December 7,1862.

The following is the full account of the recent capture of the California steamer Ariel, as given in the Northern papers:

As the passengers of the Ariel were seated at their dinner on Sunday, December 7th, Captain Jones was informed that a war steamer was bearing down upon them, and although he made light of the fact, still he left the dinner table and ascended to the deck. The war vessel was descried about four miles off, sailing under the Stars and Stripes; but Captain Jones soon discovered that the build and rigging were English, and suspecting mischief, ordered the Ariel to be put under a full head of steam, intending, if possible, to leave the suspicious craft far behind. But his efforts were unavailing; for shortly after a blank cartridge was fired, closely followed by two shells, one of which, a common round shell, cut a fearful piece from out of the foremast. The other shell, which fortunately passed over the vessel, the passengers were informed, was a stell pointed one hundred pound projectile, so constructed as to cause a destructive explosion immediately as it strikes an object. Had this shell burst over or against the Ariel, there is no knowing what loss of life might have been caused. The marines, who were one hundred and forty strong, under Major Garland, were ordered on deck to resist any attempt to board the Ariel by the crew of the pursuing vessel; but when the character of the craft was fully ascertained, it was considered entirely useless to make any resistance, and the marines were ordered below. Captain Jones, whose bravery is well known, insisted that his flag should not be lowered under any circumstances, but that he would fight it out. The marines, however, being disarmed, he had to give way, very reluctantly, and the Ariel was surrendered to the Alabama. At this time the Ariel was going about eight and a half knots, and the Alabama eleven knots, under only eleven pounds of steam.

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.


Dr. Gregory on Medical Instruction for Women (1860)

(Godey’s Lady’s Book, May, 1860) At a public meeting lately held in this College, Dr. S. Gregory, the indefatigable friend and promoter of the movement to give medical instruction to women, made some statements that show the steady progress of this good cause.

“He remarked that one of the results of the discussion and prosecution of the cause of female medical education during the past twelve years had been, as was intended and expected, a gradual transfer of the practice of midwifery from the hands of men to those of women.”::godey:: (more…)


Christmas in Germany and New Year’s Day in France (1848)

This piece by Francis J. Grund appeared in the January 1848 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book published in Philadelphia.

There is nothing so beautiful in this world of bright hopes and sad realities, as superstition. It is the vein of poetry, which runs unheeded and often unperceived through our lives, and tinges our earthly existence with hues of the unknown future. It is the dream of the heart in the midst of our presumptuous pursuits of knowledge— the magnetism of the mind, which deflects it continually from science to faith, from arrogant self-sufficiency toward the dusky regions of the unseen powers.

Nothing is more absurd than the pride of those who pretend to be above superstition. They are, for the most part, believers in fate, in accidents, in destiny, and in a thousand things which science would equally condemn, though it cannot account for their cause, however it may attempt to disprove them. We may make light of the belief in supernatural things; yet how much of nature do we see, and what little of it do we know? Can we account for a single phenomenon in nature, except by an hypothesis? Do we comprehend a single property of matter, except by inference from its laws, as far as these fall within the short compass of our experience? And what do we know about ourselves? Are not our births and deaths the eternal secrets of nature, and is not our whole life an enigma, solved only beyond the grave? Let us analyze our pains and pleasures, our hopes and fears, and they exist for the greater part only in the imagination— the most god-like quality of man— unbounded by the mathematical rules of time and space; confounding the present by the memory of the past, and configurating the future beyond the spheres. And what is superstition but the instantaneous action of the mind, or the imagination, without going through the tedium of logical deduction, and the slow and uncertain action of judgment? It is the harmonious sound of the AElolian harp touched by a simple whisper of the breeze, and yet far more accurate and true than when tortured by the artistical performer.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.


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