American women part 2 | American history homework help


Chicago Style

3 ½ pages

Our assigned readings capture the lives of many women, ranging from “ordinary” women carrying out their day-to-day duties to a number of “extraordinary” women who in the years leading up to the Civil War began engaging in political and social activities that ultimately changed the course of history for American women. Biographical Essay is to prepare a biographic essay about one of these noteworthy women.

Because we are studying women’s history, I have chosen a collective approach as a way of illuminating one more method of feminist history writing. Feminist work often is done collectively and emphasizes the creation of knowledge through conversations. I hope you enjoy this project.

Here’s what I’d like you to do:

Read chapters 4 and 5 of Through Women’s Eyes to select a 19th century “noteworthy woman”. You may also want to look ahead to chapters 6 and 7 for additional ideas about “noteworthy women” of the later half of the 19th century [the 1800s]


Your biographical essay or slide show should analyze the life of the noteworthy woman you are studying in the context of:

major (or minor) historical events occurring in the USA during the time the woman lived, such as the relationships of the individual woman’s life to social institutions, social movements, political events, cultural or artistic movements, etc. Not all of these aspects need to be covered in each of your essays–just what is relevant to explaining your noteworthy woman’s significance and her contributions to American history.

The woman we are studying (from previous assignment)

Ellen Craft is one of the most noteworthy women of the 19th century, born in 1826. She is known for her innovation to escape slavery, where she passed as a white man and escaped slavery because of her mixed-race parentage (Dubois & Dumenil, 2018). Ellen and her husband, William, navigated the pre-Civil War US, with William buying men’s clothing for Ellen’s disguise. Her escape highlighted the dangerous lives of fugitive slaves and showed the human spirit’s resilience, and the lengths people would go to break the chains of oppression during a pivotal period in American history. She lived at a time when slavery was mainstream, and black people, including women, suffered significantly due to the slavery institution,

Ellen Craft’s role in preserving their terrifying escape and enslavement makes her an interesting individual in American History. Ellen and her husband, William, wrote “Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom,” a captivating slave narrative published in London in 1860 (Scafe, 2020). This story shows their perseverance and drive for freedom. Ellen and William Craft vividly described their daring flight from Georgia’s harsh South to Boston’s beacon of hope in their book Their story is crucial to 19th-century American history because it exposed slavery’s harshness and galvanized the abolitionist movement. Her story has a significant influence in the fight for freedom and equality.

She powerfully reminds individuals of the resilience of enslaved people in the 19th century, in the southern region of the USA. It shows the complex obstacles and dangers faced by individuals who defied slavery to find freedom besides serving as a historical narrative. Ellen’s creativity and strength in navigating race and gender throughout her daring escape are remarkable. She broke conventional constraints that limited her identity by passing as a white male, eluding even those who doubted her sincerity. Additionally, her relationship with William Craft shows how love and resilience can be strengthened through hardship. Overall, her innovativeness makes her interesting as a true reflection of the lengths women in slavery went through to gain their freedom.


DuBois, E. C., & Dumenil, L. (2018). 
Through women’s eyes: An American history with documents. Macmillan Higher Education.

Scafe, S. (2020). Performing Ellen: Mojisola Adebayo’s Moj of the Antarctic: An African Odyssey (2008) and Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom; Or, the Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery (1860). 
The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 55(3), 406-420.


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