Elizabeth Cady Stanton definitely had a mind of her own. She had no interest in things that women were supposed to find fascinating. Instead, she had an insatiable desire to involve herself in chemistry, law, mathematics, the freeing of slaves, and improving the rights of women.
In 1823, many laws were unfair to women. This becomes even more personal for Elizabeth when a girl she was friends with in college comes to her talking about how unhappy her marriage is and how coldhearted her husband is. As the law stands at the moment, if her friend leaves her coldhearted husband, she will lose everything.
In 1825, the Erie Canal opened, diverting stagecoach travelers from the roads that ran through Johnstown, and business was suffering. Ring-around-the rosie was still being played.
Baseball was still a new game in 1826. This year, Elizabeth finds a Negro boy hiding in their basement. Her eyes are soon opened to the things her father is involved in.
Schools are selective about who is allowed to attend them and learn. To the Negro that lives with and serves them—Peter is not a slave—Elizabeth vows to change the laws so that females and Negroes are both free to go to school.
In 1831, cholera is making its rounds. Thousands become victims of this horrible sickness. The presidential election between Mr. Clay and Mr. Jackson in takes place this year. In this memorable year, train service begins between Troy and Johnston with the Troy station near Emma Willard.
Shopping for Christmas was so much simpler back then. Instead of going shopping and buying the latest new gadget or toy, many gifts were at least partially homemade and much more personal.
In 1832, the novelty of transport by water gains popularity with crowds of people seeking passage to New York City. Elizabeth just has to go to New York City by water, but the trip turns out to be much less enjoyable than she had anticipated. Once she arrives, she notices that horses and horse-drawn vehicles fill the streets of this bustling city.
Aspirin and Tylenol weren’t around to combat headaches with, Instead, in 1839, powdered willow bark was used to ease the pain of such things.
It was also a smelly time to live. Horses and other livestock used the bathroom wherever they were, even if they were on Main Street. Perfumed handkerchiefs were commonly carried by females to mask disagreeable odors, such as body odors and horse manure.
Many famous people are mentioned in The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Imagine living during a time when you would have had the chance to meet James Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Horace Greely, Henry Ward Beecher, Frederick Douglas, and/or Henry Thoreau.
In a character sketch I wrote for high school many, many years ago, I described Scarlett O’Hara as a woman born before her time. But Scarlett O’Hara was a fictional character. Elizabeth Cady Stanton is not a fictional character, and she was truly a woman born before her time. Or maybe she born at just the right time so that she could bring to light the injustices shown to the women of her time.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you would like your own copy to read and enjoy, I have provided an Amazon link below.
Amazon Link: The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Recommended Article: Women Continue to Fight for Equality – Guest Post by Sarah Bates
Every time she found something truly fun to do, it seemed wrong to her mother.
Each wretched story she heard called attention to the heartless laws that did nothing to protect women.
She’d pulled tight the heavy draperies at her windows, but slivers of light from the full moon crisscrossed her rug and furniture turning them into unrecognizable shapes.
Was slavery similar to the way women were treated?
There is a time to be serious-minded, but it is dreary to behave like that all the time.
New Words Learned:
mesmerism – hypnotism
pannier – an oval framework formerly used for distending the skirt of a woman’s dress at the hips.
About the Author:
Sarah Bates’ new novel The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton published February 22, 2016. The story is a historical fiction account about the early life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a pioneer for women’s rights. The novel won 2nd place in the 2014 San Diego Book Awards Best Unpublished Novel category.
In 2012, she published Twenty-One Steps of Courage, an Army action novel about a Sentinel Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and in 2005, along with co-author Carmi Cosmos, they published a collection of short stories entitled Out of Our Minds, Wild Stories by Wild Women.