Memorabilia from a Dusty
In (478 BC), recorded 478 BC: Pindar writes of
the huntress Cyrene who vanquishes a lion by hand in an unarmed struggle,
witnessed by the god Apollo who promptly rapes the woman using his godlike
In 1660, Mary Dyer, Quaker martyr, was hanged
in Boston. She had been a friend of Anne Hutchinson who was banished from
the colony for holding religious meetings and when Anne was killed by Indians,
the Massachusetts colony celebrated.
In 1712 William Penn suffered a massive stroke
and was no longer capable of handling his or the Pennsylvania Colony affairs.
It was his second wife, Hanna, who forged his name to documents, made appointments
and managed things so that the British were unable to take back the colony.
Among her actions were the guarantee of religious freedom.
In 1715, Lady Mary Montagu suffered a disfiguring
case of smallpox. The next year she went to Turkey with her husband, the
British Ambassador to Turkey, and witnessed Turkish doctors scratching
people with needles infected with smallpox which gave them a mild case
of the disease and immunized them. She insisted her son be given the inoculation.
On her return to England, she spread the word. Even George Washington gave
his troops the "cowpox" treatment in the American revolutionary
war. It was commonly done among the "peasanty" but it was Edward
Jenner who has been given credit for "discovering" the inoculation
for smallpox. He used a slightly different method that proved to be safer
but the accounts of the dangers facing him by giving the initial innoculation
to a young boy are "slightly" exaggerated.
In 1776 - Empress Maria Theresa of Austria built
the LaScala in Milan, Italy, one of the finest opera houses in the world.
In 1793, the revolutionary French government outlawed
all women's political activity and when women began to ask for the right
to vote, they were specifically excluded from laws which had widened
the franchise for men.
In 1793, Catherine Lidfield Greene discussed an
idea of hers with Elie Whitney who was mechanically inclined. Her husband
was a Georgia plantation owner. The couple gave Whitney room and board
and an "allowance" while Whitney worked on the project. Legend
(and accounts written by women close to the event) indicated CLG made "suggestions"
for his model for the cotton gin that Whitney got a patent for in 1793.
Greene's name (as fitting to a proper lady) was never mentioned in the
patent application. Society decreed that women's names should never
be mentioned in public documents except marriage, births, and deaths.
In 1804, the Roman law which prevailed in the
south of France before the French Revolution, and gave married woman had
some legal capacity, the new Code Napoleon of 1804 was instituted in which
married women were classified with children, the insane, and criminals
as legal incompetents.
In 1814, Emma Hart Willard opened the Middlebury
Female Seminary in her home to teach women, the first real school for women
in the U.S. of A. Society and custom in those days prevented women from
learning anything but the most elemental reading and writing.
In 1829, a suggestion that women be taught geometry
in the United States was vilified by the press and academia.