The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002 Page: 380
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380 Southwestern Historical Quarterly October
African Americans are featured more frequently in the second half of the text as
they relate to the white community. Chapter Seven, entitled "City of Mothers,"
presents an intriguing look, not seen elsewhere with this depth and mastery, at
the development of social services in Dallas. Elizabeth York Enstam has written a
social and economic history of Dallas with an emphasis on the role and impact
of women in the city's transition from pioneer town to urban city. This work will
benefit both social and economic historians as well as scholars of women's histo-
ry and those interested in the city itself.
Dallas, Texas Tara Neal
Negotiating Boundaries of Southern Womanhood: Dealing wzth the Powers That Be. Edit-
ed by Janet Coryell, Thomas H. Appleton Jr., Anastatia Sims, and Sandra
Gioia Treadway. (Southern Women Series. Columbia: University of Missouri
Press, 2ooo. Index. ISBN 0-8262-1295-6. $34.95, cloth.)
The Southern Association of Women's Historians has played a critical role in
ensuring that historians recognize the wide diversity of women in U.S. history.
Their conferences and the volumes published from them, like Negotiating
Boundaries of Southern Womanhood, affirm that gender is not the only factor af-
fecting women. Whatever the explicit topic, issues of race, slavery, and Civil War
are ever-present. Women discussed are elite, middle class and working class,
black and white, rural and urban. None appear simply as oppressed victims or
all-powerful heroines, in their struggles to deal with the powers that defined
Articles here are well researched and written and provide new perspectives on
women's lives. Often sharply focused, they indicate broader contexts and are
richly descriptive rather than analytical. Often the complexity of real women de-
scribed fall outside familiar categories, from black Catholic nuns to the wealthy
Southern spinsters. Several articles, such as those on the Civil War, students
would find insightful.
The antebellum South is the context for several articles. One considers free
"women of color" in Memphis, describing how they obtained freedom, dealt
with families, and, traditionally but successfully, earned their livings. Another is
about a convent of black nuns in Baltimore which includes strong women root-
ed among Haitian refugees and exchanging support in the larger black commu-
nity. Anomalies among the white elite appear in articles depicting the Southern
version of the spinster aunt and the networks of obligation and influence which
enabled slave-owning widows to appear feminine while managing their property.
One Civil War article looks at white working-class women of Richmond, Vir-
ginia, and reveals the gap between the reality of their lives and their descrip-
tions. The diary of a prominent woman of Wincester, Virginia, explores
changing patterns of social acceptance and extended family assistance during
the war. An article about Colorado County, Texas, shows that women who acted
independently during the Civil War did not challenge their husbands' right to
control their property afterward.
Focusing on Reconstruction Virginia, one article depicts how African Ameri-
can women had stronger roles in Emancipation Day ceremonies than Anglo
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/m1/410/?rotate=270: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.