Virginia Women is the first of two volumes exploring the history of Virginia women through the lives of exemplary and remarkable individuals. This collection of essays, written by established and emerging scholars, recovers stories and voices of a diverse group of women, from the seventeenth century through the Civil war era. Placing their subjects in their larger historical contexts, the authors show how experiences of Virginia women varied by race, class, age, and marital status, and also across both space and time. Some essays examine the lives of well-known women--such as First Lady Dolley Madison--from a new perspective. Others introduce readers to relatively obscure historical figures; the convicted witch Grace Sherwood; the colonial printer Clementina Rind; Harriet Hemings, the enslaved daughter of Thomas Jefferson. Essays on the frontier heroine Mary Draper Ingles, and Civil war spy, Elizabeth Van Lew, examine the real women behind the legends. Altogether, the essays in this collection offer readers an engaging and personal window onto the experiences of women in the Old Dominion.
Cindy Kierner, who received her PhD from the University of Virginia, joined George Mason University's department of history in 2008 and became Director of the PhD Program in August 2010. A specialist in the fields of early history, women and gender, and early southern history, she is the author or editor of seven books and many articles. Kierner is an OAH Distinguished Lecturer, a past president of the Southern Association for Women Historians, and has served on several editorial boards. Her current research is on diasters in American history through the Civil War era. Sandra Gioia Treadway who received her PhD in history from the University of Virginia and a MS in Information Science from the University of Tennessee has been State Librarian of Virginia and director of the Library of Virginia since 2007. She is the author or editor of numerous books and articles. Treadway has served on numerous boards, been active in many professional organizations, and is a past president of southern association for Women Historians.