Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Active Feminist in the Roberts Family

 First Wave Feminist Movement (1848-1920)

In a time when women were relegated to home and kitchen, the women of Joel Ninde’s ancestry were definitely ahead of their time. According to Mary P. Van Antwerp’s excerpts from the 1860’s diary of Joel Ninde’s great aunt Laura Roberts Pillans, “Today for the hundredth time I have been signally snubbed for presuming—I being only a woman and a household drudge—to express any opinion on any subject.” She went on to say, “This morning I ventured to discuss the merit of a book I was reading and was deeply interested in. I liked it because it helped me to think”. Not only did Laura think and read; she was a woman of action. Laura founded the “Confederate Rest” section of Magnolia Cemetery and gave “pep talks” to Confederate troops, according to her Civil War (1860-1865) diary. Laura would have been considered part of the first wave of feminism which started in 1848 and ended shortly after suffrage movement in 1920.

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