America's Joan of Arc: The Life of Anna Elizabeth Dickinson by J. Matthew Gallman

By J. Matthew Gallman

Essentially the most celebrated girls of her time, a spellbinding speaker dubbed the Queen of the Lyceum and America's Joan of Arc, Anna Elizabeth Dickinson was once a charismatic orator, author, and actress, who rose to status throughout the Civil struggle and remained within the public eye for the subsequent 3 a long time. J. Matthew Gallman deals the 1st full-length biography of Dickinson to seem in over part a century. Gallman describes how Dickinson's passionate patriotism and fiery kind, coupled along with her unabashed abolitionism and biting opinions of antiwar Democrats--known as Copperheads--struck a nerve along with her audiences. in just years, she rose from an unknown younger Philadelphia radical, to a winning New England stump speaker, to a real nationwide big name. on the top of her popularity, Dickinson counted a number of the nation's best reformers, authors, politicians, and actors between her pals. one of the dozens of well-known figures who populate the narrative are Susan B. Anthony, Whitelaw Reid, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Gallman exhibits how Dickinson's existence illuminates the chances and boundaries confronted through nineteenth-century girls, revealing how their habit may well immediately be noticeable as necessary, hugely valued, surprising, and deviant.

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25 Later the examinations of Dickinson’s appearance became more clinical, as observers seemed to look for clues to her great success. 26 While some dismissed Anna Dickinson as little more than a charmingly attractive curiosity, other reporters celebrated Dickinson as a serious public woman. As early as April 1862 the Providence Press applauded Dickinson as an orator in the abolitionist tradition of William Lloyd Garrison and Horace Greeley. Later that year a New Hampshire newspaper declared that “[t]here has been and still is great prejudice against female lecturers, but all reformers in all ages of the world have met with opposition.

Local Copperheads seized upon the published news that Dickinson had demanded enormous fees, questioning how one “so pretentious in her patriotism” could demand such a large compensation from such an important charity? 54 As her Chicago trip illustrated, by the middle of 1863 Dickinson’s fiercest Copperhead critics were ready to take the gloves off. “Mirrors, it is said, are unlike women, inasmuch as they reflect without speaking, while women are apt to speak without reflecting,” quipped the Democratic New York World following her Cooper Institute appearance.

Should your life ebb on some distant battle-field, where no woman’s hand can smooth your dying pillow, and no friendly ear receive your parting sigh —still even there our love and affection shall follow you,” she promised. 52 Dickinson’s Chicago visit was not without controversy. Local Copperheads seized upon the published news that Dickinson had demanded enormous fees, questioning how one “so pretentious in her patriotism” could demand such a large compensation from such an important charity? 54 As her Chicago trip illustrated, by the middle of 1863 Dickinson’s fiercest Copperhead critics were ready to take the gloves off.

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