Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington 1848-1868

Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington 1848-1868

Cokie Roberts Paperback, 544 pages; 2016 (2015)
#UL3352 $15.99 Members' Price: $13.59

American women didn't get the vote until 1920, and the first woman wasn't elected to Congress until 1916. But that doesn't mean women had no voice in nineteenth-century Washington, D.C. - just that their "legislative offices" were usually the city's dining rooms, sitting rooms, and bedrooms. Intelligent, ambitious, and fiercely patriotic, many of the capital city's power players were the wives and daughters of senators, congressmen, even presidents, women reared on politics who exerted tremendous influence over their menfolk at a time of national upheaval. Some, like Kathryn Chase Sprague, Jessie Benton Frémont, and Lizzie Blair Lee, ruled Washington society with diplomatic acumen and razor-sharp tongues; others, like Dorothea Dix and Clara Barton, saved the lives of thousands with their wartime medical work; Varina Davis and Mary Todd Lincoln were first ladies dodging political minefields on opposite sides of the Civil War; still others served their nation as spies, journalists, and abolitionists. All are Capital Dames indeed, resulting in this rousing journey through American history! (KG)

(UL3352) Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington 1848-1868

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