New Yorik: Wm. C. [B]ryant & Co., 1863. First edition. “It has lately become the fashion to say that, with regard to their interest in the present most unhappy war, the women of the North have not equaled those of the South in patriotic interest, labors, and sacrifices,” (p. 1). Spine partially split. Light dustsoiling to wrappers. Very clean and bright internally. A very good copy of this feminist and abolitionist tract. Original printed buff paper wrappers. 5 in. x 9 in. 23 pp. Item #17148
Caroline M. Kirkland (1801 – 1864) rebukes the notion that Southern women were kinder more virtuous than Northern women, who were stereotyped as haughty and morally compromised. Kirkland also responds to the stereotype that Northern women were unpatriotic and unwilling to make personal sacrifices for the Union Army, while Southern women ignored their own needs to support the Confederacy. Kirkland points out that Northern women were loyal to the Union, while Southern women supported the cause of slavery. Kirkland writes, “We are told of the sacrifices [Southern women] have made in the cause of War—have they ever made a sacrifice in the cause of Truth? If all the women in the rebellious States who disapprove of slavery, and believe it to be an evil and a sin, had…remonstrated against this war…there would have been no war,” (p. 21).
Kirkland was a novelist, educator, and newspaper editor whose literary circle included Harriet Martineau, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Drew Stoddard, the Brownings, and Charles Dickens. Several of Kirkland’s novels are based on her experiences on the frontier after she and her family moved to the Michigan Territory in 1835. Poe was an admirer of Kirkland’s works on frontier life, and wrote, Poe wrote, “Unquestionably [Kirkland] is one of our best writers, has a province of her own, and in that province has few equals,” (quoted in ANB). After the death of her husband in 1846, Kirkland became the editor of The Union Magazine of Literature and Art, in which she published the work of literary friends like William Cullen Bryant and Nathaniel Park Willis. Kirkland was also a dedicated support of the Union Army who organized fundraisers and supply drives for the cause.