On the Edge

During the Civil War, there were woman who stayed in the sphere of domesticity, but also woman who ventured out to make a difference in the war. Some women stayed at home and did what they were “expected” to do: cook, clean, and take care of the children. But many woman, when their husbands went off to war, stepped up and took the role of both the man and the woman in their family. In class, we compiled information about 12 different women and where they landed about the sphere of domesticity. Once we gathered the information, we created quilt squares about them. We put these, along with descriptions and quotes, on a Padlet. here is the QR code for the site.

(and the link http://padlet.com/wall/bblockcivilwarquilt)

One example of a woman who stayed inside the sphere was Alice Chapin. Although she did step up and help burn victims in the war, she did not venture far. Because of her outstanding job of nursing these soldiers (which was something acceptable for them to do), she was offered a high position. She refused it, which shows she wasn’t willing to step out of her comfort zone and do something that wasn’t expected of her. She also did a lot of charity work, which was something OK for woman to do back then.

A woman who started in the sphere was stepped out was Martha Costen. She was married to a man and had five children by the age of 20. Her husband was inventing flares for the Navy, but when he died she had to take over. Almost having to start from scratch because her husband did not keep good track of his worth, Coston invented red, white, and blue flares that were relied heavily on by the army. One million infamous “Coston flares” were sold to the US Navy, and were used for many years after (flares used on the Titanic).


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