Homeschool your kids and you may discover surprising things for and about yourself. The awesomeness of American History was my surprise, or one of them. Once I discovered antique history books, and how fascinating they are, I started collecting them and digging into history that, for the first time in my life, seemed to really matter. I’m not proud of the fact that I’d never much cared before, but modern history books really can be…boring.
Most of my collection was lost to mold years ago, but this one, Noble Deeds of American Women, which was published in 1851, is still in great condition and right here in my hands. So, in honor of Women’s History Month, I’ve decided to launch a new project. The plan, at this point, is to publish one new biography every week, starting at the beginning and working my way through the book. There is more than enough here to keep me going for a full year!
I will remain faithful to the original manuscript, not editing it in any way, and I will include all copyright information with every biography in case some should choose to reference it. If you are unaccustomed to reading such old documents, the wording and grammar may surprise you; that is part of what makes it so special.
To get things started, how about taking a look at the Editor’s Preface?
This work was suggested by one of similar character, entitled “Noble Deeds of Woman,” an English work, which contains but three references to American Women, two of which are of but very little importance. Only one article is the same in both works, and that is the letter written by Mrs. Sigourney to the women of Greece, in 1828, in behalf of the ladies of Hartford.
This failure to do justice to American women, may have been an oversight; be that as it may, a work of the kind here presented, seemed to be needed, and we regret that its preparation had not been assigned to an abler pen. Multitudes of works have been consulted, and such anecdotes gleaned as it is thought will have a salutary influence on the mind and heart. Should the records of female courage and virtue herein presented to the daughters of the land, encourage, even in the slightest degree, a laudable spirit of emulation, our humble labors will not have been put forth in vain.
Facts are more sublime that fictions; and American women have actually performed all the good, and grand, and glorious deeds which the honest and judicious novelist dares ascribe to the female sex; hence we have found no occasion, in striving to make this work interesting, to deviate from the path of historical truth.
The sources whence our materials have been derived, are largely indicated in the body of the work. Possibly, however, we may have failed, in some instances, to indicate our indebtedness to historians and biographers where such reference was justly demanded; suffice it to say, therefore, once for all, that, although something like two hundred of these pages are in our own language, we deserve but little credit for originality, and would prefer to be regarded as an unpretending compiler, rather than as an aspirant to the title of author.
NOTE TO THE REVISED EDITION.
The fact that eight thousand copies of this work have been published in less than a year after its appearance, indicates a degree of popularity which was not anticipated. In this edition we have thrown out a few pages of the old matter, and substituted, in most instances, fresher anecdotes; and this revision, with the illustrations which the liberal-minded publishers have added, will, it is hoped, render the work still more acceptable
Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York
And now I leave you, to start inputting the first biography. Blessings!