Robinson, later as the wife to a newspaper editor, wrote a detailed account of her life as a factory worker in the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts. She also included a description about the strike of 1836.
Robinson, who was deeply involved in political culture of her time, explained some of these family dynamics and depicted women in active participation in their own lives.
Harriet Hanson Robinson: What was the primary reason women worked in the mills, according to Harriet Hanson Robinson?
Robinson depicts the life of a millgirl.
What was her opinion of the strike’s effectiveness in 1836?
Catherine Sager Pringle and the Plains: A Journey to Oregon in 1844
Her experiences were preserved in her diary, which she published in 1860.
Pringle shares her memories of the trail and her emotional story about the loss of her parents in this extract from her first Chapter.
Catherine SagerPringle recollected some of the more tragic events that she witnessed along the trail.
What number of these mishaps could the immigrants have anticipated?
What is the most important thing Catherine Sager Pringle has learned about herself from her journey across the plains in 1844?
The first story, “A Lowell Mill Girl Told her Story (1836),” describes the lives of factory girls employed at the Lowell Mill. After the Industrial Revolution, America’s economic and social conditions changed dramatically (Internet History Sourcebooks).
Women during that time gained new identities and new roles in their employment. Factory work was one of the lowest types of employment.
Women during this period did not have financial status or social respect. They were considered “relicts” and, unless married, no respect was shown to them.
Massachusetts in the 1800s meant that a woman could not be treasurer of the group without a husband. A man must also be in charge of the woman.
The industrial revolution was a significant change in women’s lives. While it can’t be said that their circumstances were improved, it did bring about several improvements in the legal, social, and financial status of women.
Factory workers were considered to be the lowest of the society’s women.
Their employers mistreated them, abused them, and paid them less. This made it difficult for these women to be pure and respectable in society.
Despite all this social stigma, the women, even the little ones, continued to work in factories. The main purpose of most of these women was to educate their brothers, sons and relatives so they could attain respectable positions in society.
Many of the men who rose to the top of society were educated at the factory by women or factory girls.
The second story “Across the Plains, with Catherine Sager Pringle 1844” is about the Missouri Emigration. It tells the story of people from Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia emigrating to Missouri after Missouri was acquired by the United States of America (Pringle).
The story tells of a young girl’s experiences moving to Missouri with her family. She faced hardships along the way and lost her parents.
They traveled the Oregon Trail, which connects Missouri with Oregon.
The Irish and German were the largest communities to move to Missouri during this period. In this story, the German doctor is one of those who emigrated from their country to Missouri.
The Missouri saw a large German population between the 1830s and the 1850s.
Many other immigrants arrived in Missouri to improve their economy.
Missouri’s economy was built upon agriculture and mining. It was a booming sector at the time.
People from many backgrounds settled in Missouri. This led to a lot more fugitives, and violence became a regular part of the lives.
The third story “The Trials of a Slave Girl” is about Harriet Jacobs who, as a young black slave girl, was subject to constant sexual abuse and torture by Dr Flint (Jacobs).
She was allowed to spend time with her master’s children when she was younger. However, when she reached 15 years of age her master started whispering “foul words” into her ears and her attitude towards her changed.
He reminded her repeatedly that she was his property, and that no one can stop her from doing whatever he wishes with her.
According to her, the slaves’ situation was sad. They were made to feel like “chattel”, and their fate depended on their masters. She tried her best to protect her life but can’t.
This story reveals a deeper historical context. In the 19th Century, slaves were treated badly. They were flogged.
Slave owners could punish them if they tried to rebel against their masters. They also often abused slaves in order to establish their superiority over them.
Slavery of female slaves was common. It was mostly in the southern regions of America that the slaves were most required to work in plantations, where they were considered the property of their masters.
Slave mothers had babies, but they were not considered to have the same status as their white masters.
The Upper Southern areas of America saw a mix of races, even though the southern population believed in racial purity. However, many of the offsprings of mulatto were born there.
These stories show the economic and social conditions of American society in the 1800s.
These stories can help you understand three key themes.
The society’s women were looking for a place. The Lowell Mill was the first place that women protested in public about their employment issues. Harriet Hanson Robinson, Harriet Hanson Robinson, pointed out that while there was not much to the story, it caused ripples that continued into the future.
Catherine Sager’s experience was very different. She lost her parents as a child and was adopted by strangers.
Harriet Jacobs, a black girl who was abused by her owners in the 19th-century, is the last.
This gave her the chance to share her story with the world.
Each of the three historical documents shows the society of the 19th Century through the eyes of three protagonists. It also highlights three important historical topics.
Sourcebooks. Internet History Sourcebooks.
The life of a slave girl: Written and edited by her.
Harvard University Press 2009.
Pringle, Catherine Sager.
Across the Plains 1844.
Ye Galleon Press 1905.