Saturday, February 27, 2021

From the 19C Newspapers - A Curious Case of Kidnapping in June 1857

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Unknown American Artist Baby in a Red Chair 1825

A German girl named Bertha Bushkill, “was arrested on Sunday last, in New York, for kidnapping a child. Her purpose was that she might induce a young man who had been courting her to marry her.

She had told him that he was the father of a child which she pretended was being taken care of by some of her friends.

Her lover consented to marry her, provided she would produce the child. She accordingly, stole a child; took it home, and her lover being pleased with the appearance of the child agreed to fulfill his part of the contract.

Preparations were going forward for the marriage at the time of the arrest.”

From the Semi-Weekly Western Sun, June 30, 1857

Friday, February 26, 2021

Fighting for Equality - Florence Allen 1884-1966

Florence Allen attended Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University), graduating with honors in 1904. After graduation, Allen traveled to Germany to further her music studies. Unfortunately, a nerve injury kept her from pursuing a career in music, and she returned to the United States in 1906.

Between 1906 and 1909, Allen utilized her musical training as a music critic for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. At the same time, she pursued a graduate degree in political science and constitutional law at Western Reserve. She received her master's degree in 1908, and in the following year, she moved to New York City to work for the New York League for the Protection of Immigrants. She also earned a law degree from the New York University School of Law in 1913.

Back in Cleveland, Allen joined the Ohio bar and established her own law practice because she couldn’t find a law firm to hire her, despite her education and experience. In 1920, with women voting for the first time because of passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Allen was elected judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. In 1922, Allen won a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. She was the first woman to serve on a supreme court in any state.

In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her to the Sixth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. Once again, Allen was the first woman judge in a federal court. She eventually became chief judge of the court, serving until her retirement in 1959.

Throughout her life, Allen challenged traditional assumptions about women's roles and acted as a role model for women who wanted to pursue legal careers. Her contributions to numerous women's organizations and improvements in women's status throughout the 20C have been recognized through dozens of honorary degrees and induction into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

From the 19C Newspapers - Old Fogies

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Mrs. W. H. Clausen gave birth to a healthy son weighing fifteen pounds. And yet old fogies croak about the degeneration of the human race.
-from the Burlington Hawkeye, Des Moines, Iowa, March 19, 1874

From Tweets of Old



Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Life in North Carolina during Reconstruction

WOMAN WITH COLLARD LEAF ON HER HEAD TO CURE A HEADACHE by Mary Lyde Hicks William (1866-1959) Mary reflected daily life she saw on her uncle's plantation during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

19C American Women - Allen Smith Jr (1810–1890)

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Allen Smith Jr (American artist, 1810–1890) The Artist's Mother

New York-trained artist, Allen Smith, Jr. settled in Cleveland, Ohio in 1841, having been in New York City from 1930, and swiftly rose to prominence there as a portrait & genre painter.
Allen Smith Jr (American artist, 1810–1890) The Young Mechanic

Like all artists, Smith suffered greatly during the Panic of 1857, forcing him to take a job in James F. Ryder’s studio where, according to his employer’s advertisements, he produced the “best oil painted photographs in Ohio.”
Allen Smith Jr (American artist, 1810–1890) A Lady

With 8 children to support, Smith collaborated with other photographers in times of need, both in Cleveland & Cincinnati, but ended his days happily in Ohio's Lake County, painting landscapes in the Big Creek Valley.
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Monday, February 22, 2021

American Folk Art - Unconventional Portrait of an Early 19C American Woman

Unknown Vermont Artist. Woman in a Rose Dress c 1805-1815

Several New England artists shared a unique painting style during the 1820s-30s. Women depicted by these artists exhibit several similar characteristics - pale, sculptural faces; prominent thin, delicately arched eyebrows; small bowed mouths; & elaborate classical Greek hairstyles of tight curls intertwined with jewelry, flowers, & other adornments.  The paintings are usually watercolors.  The artists paint strong features, sharply defined, with arched, curved eyebrows.  The watercolors are similar to fashion plates appearing in magazines such as Ackerman’s Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions & Politics, published in London in 1809 through 1829.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

American Folk Art - Bonnets & Books: America's Very Straightlaced Female Readers

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Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Mrs Dodge

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Mr and Mrs William Vaughan of Aurora, Illinois

Ammi Phillips (American artist, 1788-1865) Katherine Salisbury Newkirk Hickok, c. 1825

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Anna Gould Crand and Granddaughter Jenette 1837

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844) Ann Gennett Pixley Lacey (1809 - 1841)

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Unidentified Couple

Ammi Phillips (American artist, 1788-1865) 1824 Woman With a Shawl & Bonnet Holding Book

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844) Unknown Lady with Book & Shawl

Ammi Phillips (American artist, 1788-1865) Portrait of a Woman

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Woman Holding a Book

Ammi Phillips (American artist, 1788-1865) Lady in Black Dress Holding Book

Milton W. Hopkins (1789-1844). Fanny Aiken, 1835

Ammi Phillips (American artist, 1788-1865) Jeanette Payne

Sheldon Peck (American painter, 1797-1868) Young Woman from New York

Ammi Phillips (American artist, 1788-1865) Old Woman with a Bible

Ammi Phillips (American artist, 1788-1865) Marie Pells Phillips

William Sidney Mount (American artist, 1807–1868) Mrs Gideon Tucker 1830

Ammi Phillips (American artist, 1788-14 1865) Wife of the Journalist

Ammi Phillips (American artist, 1788-1865) 1817 Mrs. Tobias Steller

Ammi Phillips (American artist, 1788-1865) 1824 Pauline Daring Denton

Ammi Phillips (American artist, 1788-1865) 1820 Sarah Mynderse Campbell

Ammi Phillips (American artist, 1788-1865) 1836 Mrs. Isaac Cox

Samuel Shaver (American artist, 1816–1878) Mrs Samuel Chastain (Elizabeth White)
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Friday, February 19, 2021

From the 19C Newspapers - The Hair on the Back of Their Heads...

The Atlanta Constitution says: “In Russia the girls carry dynamite in their back hair. In Georgia they carry it in their dear little eyes.”
-from the Richmond Dispatch, Richmond, Virginia, August 8, 1884, quoting the Atlanta Constitution.

note: Back then, “back hair” referred to the hair worn on the back side of the head.

From Tweets of Old


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

From the 19C Newspapers - Female Farmer


A young woman in Dakota who works 160-acres, says she could work twice that if marriage-minded men would stop bothering her.

-from the Vernon Courier, Vernon, Alabama, 1887

From Tweets of Old



Monday, February 15, 2021

19C American Women - Folk Art - David Waite Bowdoin (c 1819-c 1872)

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In 1840, David Waite Bowdoin (ca. 1819-ca. 1872), an obscure portraitist (only 2 paintings are known & the other is of his father) from New Braintree, Massachusetts, painted an intense portrait of his mother wearing an unusual brown dress and bonnet with yellow ribbons.
David Waite Bowdoin (ca. 1819-ca. 1872), The Artist's Mother Tirzah Waite Bowdoin, New Braintree, Mass., 1840

Sunday, February 14, 2021

19C American Women - Folk Art - Emily Eastman (Loudon, New Hampshire (1804-1841)

attributed to Emily Eastman (Loudon, New Hampshire, 1804-? ) Woman in Veil c 1825

Several New England artists shared a unique painting style during the 1820s-30s. Women depicted by these artists exhibit several similar characteristics - pale, sculptural faces; prominent thin, delicately arched eyebrows; small bowed mouths; & elaborate classical Greek hairstyles of tight curls intertwined with jewelry, flowers, & other adornments.  The paintings are usually watercolors.  The artists paint strong features, sharply defined, with arched, curved eyebrows.  The watercolors are similar to fashion plates appearing in magazines such as Ackerman’s Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions & Politics, published in London in 1809 through 1829.

Emily Eastman was one of these painters who was also from New Hampshire.  When Emily Eastman was born on February 16, 1804, her father, David Eastman (1763-1824) was 41, and her mother, Ruth Carter (1763-1822), was 40. They had three sons and four daughters. Emily Eastman married Albert Merrill in 1822 in Conway, New Hampshire. They had three children during their marriage. She died on April 2, 1841, in Conway, New Hampshire, at the age of 37.

Between about 1820 & 1830, Eastman completed several portraits of women, drawn in graphite and then completed in watercolors, in high fashion dress with tightly curled hair. An issue of the contemporary The Lady’s Magazine, described popular fashion of the period,  “Our fair females are covered with transparent shawls, which float and flutter over their shoulders and upon their bosoms, which are seen through them. With gauze veils, which conceal half of the face to pique our curiosity.” A likeness of a young girl is also included here.
attributed to Emily Eastman (Loudon, New Hampshire, 1804-? ) Lady's Coiffure with Flowers and Jewels

Eastman reportedly was born in Loudon, New Hampshire, 75 miles northwest of Boston, Massachusetts. She married Dr. Daniel Baker in 1824.
attributed to Emily Eastman (Loudon, New Hampshire, 1804-? ) Feathers and Pearls

Eastman rarely signed her paintings, but those that are unsigned display similarities such as prominent thin, delicately arched eyebrows; small bowed mouths; & elaborate coiffures of tight curls intertwined with jewelry, flowers, & other adornments.
attributed to Emily Eastman (Loudon, New Hampshire, 1804-? ) Girl Bedecked with Flowers
attributed to Emily Eastman (Loudon, New Hampshire, 1804-? ) Attributed to Eastman - Woman Holding a Bible
attributed to Emily Eastman (Loudon, New Hampshire, 1804-? ) Lady's Coiffure with Spray of Wheat and Wild Flowers
attributed to Emily Eastman (Loudon, New Hampshire, 1804-? ) Young Woman with Flowers in Her Hair c 1820-30
attributed to Emily Eastman (Loudon, New Hampshire, 1804-? )  Young Lady in a Gold Colored gown, her hair dressed with flowers and pearls c 1820
attributed to Emily Eastman (Loudon, New Hampshire, 1804-? ) Girl in Blue Dress
attributed to Emily Eastman (Loudon, New Hampshire, 1804- )