The Liz Library presents Irene Stuber's Women of Achievement

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February 24

Compiled and Written by Irene Stuber.

Excerpts from the autobiography of Anna Howard Shaw


QUOTES by Dale Spender and Marya Mannes.

Anna Howard Shaw, continued...

[Part 1 of excerpts from the autobiography of women's rights pioneer Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919) is in WOA02-23.]

When her father sent his family to a log cabin with a dirt floor and uncovered openings for windows and doors in the wilds of northern Michigan, he stayed in the city back east. She was 12.

      "When my father took up his claim and sent us to live there alone until he could join us eighteen months later, he gave no thought of the manner in which we were to make the struggle and survive the hardships before us.
      "He had furnished us with land and the four walls of a log cabin. We were one hundred miles from a railroad, forty miles from the nearest post-office, and half a dozen miles from any neighbors save Indians, wolves, and wildcats; we were wholly unlearned in the ways of the woods as well as in the most primitive methods of farming; we lacked not only every comfort, but even the bare necessities of life.
      "...We had brought with us enough coffee, pork, and flour to last for several weeks and the one necessity father had put inside the cabin wall was a great fireplace, made of mud and stones, in which our food could be cooked. We found a creek a long distance from the house; and for months we carried from this creek, in pails, every drop of water we used, save that which we caught in troughs when the rain fell... we had been in our new home only a few months my brother fell ill and was forced to go East for an operation. He was never able to return to us, and thus my mother, we three young girls, and my youngest brother, who was only eight years old, made our fight alone until father came to us, more than a year later.
      "During our first winter (the log cabin was unchinked so snow and the cold blew freely) we lived largely on cornmeal, making a little journey of twenty miles to the nearest mill to buy it."

(Ah, the good 'ole days when men were men and took care of their women - according the HIStory. Why aren't women taught the truth about what life was actually like for them in the past and why don't we tell our daughters the truth?)

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B. 02-24-1887, Mary Ellen Chase, professor of English at Smith College and author of Windswept and Sila Crockett (1935).

B. 02-24-1890, Marjorie Main, actor with the gravelly throat best known as the crusty hillbilly Ma Kettle in the Ma and Pa Kettle series of movies.

B. 02-24-1917, Dorothy Florence Raedler, founder and director of the American Savoyards which presented Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in the U.S.

B. 02-24-1956, Paula Zahn, TV personality.

Event 02-24-1975, Alice Rivlin assumes the post of Director, Congressional Budget Office.

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      "For many women, for many years, a crucial consideration in daily life has been male power; it has been a problem in numerous ways: it has had implications for virtually every aspect of women's existence. That we have not inherited a tradition in which male power is perceived as a problem, in which it is described, analysed or criticised, is not because it has not been a fundamental issue to women, nor because they have not attempted to explain it, but because male power is not ordinarily a problem for men, and it is men who ordain what the real and significant issues of society are to be."
            -- Spender, Dale. Women Of Ideas and What Men Have Done to Them. London: Pandora. 1982, 1988, 1990.

      "Women are repeatedly accused of taking things personally. I cannot see any other honest way of taking them."
            -- Marya Mannes, U.S. writer born 1904.

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© 1990-2006 Irene Stuber, Hot Springs National Park, AR 71902. Originally web-published at We are indebted to Irene Stuber for compiling this collection and for granting us permission to make it available again. The text of the documents may be freely copied for nonprofit educational use. Except as otherwise noted, all contents in this collection are © 1998-2009 the liz library.  All rights reserved. This site is hosted and maintained by the liz library.