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"The Anchor of My Life": Middle-Class American Mothers and College-Educated Daughters, 1880-1920 Author(s): Linda W. Rosenzweig Source: Journal of Social History, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Autumn, 1991), pp. 5-25 Published by: Peter N. Stearns Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3788501 . Accessed: 08/09/2011 20:14
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"THE ANCHOR OF MY LIFE": MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICAN MOTHERS AND COLLEGE-EDUCATED DAUGHTERS 1880-1920 By LindaW. Rosenzweig Chatham College
In 1917 a contributorto the popularwomen's magazine,Good Housekeeping, made the following assertion: In the lifetime girlseven twenty of of be old, years the tradition whatgirlsshould It has as in anddo in the world changed muchasheretofore a century. usedto be to life Thatis thatgirlslooked forward confidence domestic astheirdestiny. with still the destinyof mostof them,but it is a destinythat in thisgeneration seems to be modified all, andavoided verymany... for by of out The mothers thesemodern areverymuchlikehensthathavehatched girls or not ducks. Whether believein current feminine they aspirations notmakes very ... muchdifference 1 These observationshighlighted a series of dramaticchanges which peaked around the turn of the century and significantlyaltered the expectations and aspirationsof American girls and young women. While the earliernineteenthand centuryworldhad offeredwomen few viable alternativesto marriage a traditional role in the family,the worldof the late nineteenth and earlytwentieth centuriesbroughtnew opportunitiesthat disturbedthe equilibriumof nineteenthcentury domesticity and family life. The middle-classVictorian cultural image of the "angel in the house"remainedthe ideal, but the distance between that image and the realityof women'slives was growingrapidly.2 Broaderhorizonsbeckoned the "newwoman."New kinds of work,for example clerical and departmentstore sales positions, offered more independence. Extendededucational experiences, including secondaryschool, and college for a growingnumberof middle-classgirls as well, enlargedthe boundariesof women's lives, as did the plethora of clubs and women's associations to which they were exposed. Innovations in fashion and social behavior-shorter skirts, differenthat styles, and public cigarette smoking-added to the mix.3 At the same time, socializationtowarddistinctive emotional styles, especiallythe control of anger,differentiatedgirls'experiences from those of their brothers;this contrastedwith earliersocializationregarding anger,which had not emphasized distinctions of this type.4 gender-based These changes in women'slives reflectedthe moregeneralculturaland social trends of the period. The yearsbetween 1880 and 1920 witnessed the acceleration of urbanizationand industrialization, majortechnological advances, the rise of largerand more formal organizations,and women's struggleto achieve autonomyand self-consciousness.No historical period can be characterized by one set of core values, but the division between tradition and innovation in American culturewas particularly pronouncedduringthe earlyyearsof mature
asarticulated in the GoodHousekeeping is commentary. Throughoutthe late nineteenth andearlytwentieth centuries.6 It was this disruptionof generationalcontinuity and the apparentattendant tension that concerned the author of the Good Housekeeping article and conto tributors other contemporary popularperiodicalsas well. Filene has underlinedthe novelty of the choices availableto the new femalegenerationand their mothers'anxiety about. to keep themselves young. nor those who are impatient of a child's many failuresand shortcomings. Forexample.particularlyin middleclass families. scale.In 1884.5 In this context."and the ambivalenceon the part of social commentatorswho both criticizedand admiredthe "newwoman"reflectedthis division." one writer advised.The extensive discussionof the "womanquestion. The severely critical mothers are not of this clan.and to avoid "sighing" melancholy moods."9 While communicationwas defined as the majorproblem. estrangement. the world of daughters. patternsof behavior. understandable."to take an interest in what daughterswere doing.To the limited extent that histoexperienced rianshave consideredmother-daughter interactionsin the past. which would make her "reticentand disinclined to talk of things nearest her heart.take as much care to cultivate the friendshipof yourmother as you would that of a stranger.editorials. it'sa thousandtimes moreworth having and she'll alwaysput you first.". of all you think and feel.8 and Daughterswere urgedto do their partto improvecommunication:"Neverbe ashamed to tell her.they have correspondinglystressedthe implicationsof generationaldifferencesin opportunity and behavior for mother-daughter relationships..For example. PeterG. but with a potential for sociallyderived misunderstanding added in. and speed of change contrastedwith an impulseto maintain earlierpatterns.andadvicecolumns relationimplied that seriousproblemsexisted in the area of mother-daughter ships. if not disapproval their increasingly"unladylike" of. the first year of its existence. She suggeststhat the disruptionof that continuity in the late nineteenth century introducedconflict. as efforts to accommodateto the scope.motherswere told to avoid sending a daughterto boardingschool. Carroll SmithRosenberghas pointed out that a continuity of expectation and experiencehad linked earlier female generations and fostered mother-daughter intimacy. who should be your best friend and confidant.differedfromthe worldthat their mothersand grandmothers had earlierin the nineteenth century. to rememberwhat it was like to be 18. Much magazinediscussioncentered on a lack of communication. Here was a translation into women's family relationshipsof a concern about adolescence spreadingaround 1900.and alienation into a previouslyharmonious relationship.articles. Certainlyduring the period from 1880 to 1920. frequentlyattributingdaughters'failuresto perceived confide in their mothers to maternalbehaviorsand attitudes.. Late nineteenth-centurype- .In the same vein. It is very strangethat so many young girlswill tell every person before 'mother' that which is most important she should know. the LadiesHomeJournaltook a firmstand on this matter: "Itis the companionablemotherswho are the only ones to keep their girls'confidences. the perceptionof an emergingfemalegenerationgap."7 Subsequentissues offeredadvice along similarlines..the discipline and trainingof young women also generatedconcern.6 journalof social history industrialsociety.Another suggested..
to and to talk to them about the books they read.an effort to addressthe perceivedconcerns of young women and thus to sell more magazines. tionships The theme of maternalresponsibility the maintenanceof peace and harmony for pervadedthis literatureas well. every plan. A mocherwho was "allshe ought to be"would see to it that her daughterwould l respecther..thereis lessneedof confidences twothanis generally supposed-andmuchmoreneedof confidence.1901 observedthat: of and The unnatural burden filialobligations scruples by imposed somemothers them[mothers and of between is the prime factor the secretantagonism existing .and riodicalscharacterized castigatedtheir mothersforthe fact that Americangirlswerenot aswell-behaved as their European Disrespectful daughterswere viewed as "vulgar. .they continued to be portrayedas the aggrievedparties.As the quotation from "The Motherof MyGirl"suggests. "Itis not enough that we encourageourchildren to talk freely to us . with the whimsof agingmothers. Additional communication difficultieswere cited during the period 1900-1920-the reluctance of mothers to answer their daughters' biological. every hope. and religiousquestions. reader the responsemayhave encouraged continued publicationof this point of view.13 In a volume dedicated"Tothe one who has mademy life most complete and ever been my dearestcomradeMy Daughter. conflict afterthe continued to emphasizemother-daughter Popularmagazines turn of the century. it is her mother'sfault. We must prove ourselvesworthyand able to give counsel no less than sympathy. If she does not. Jacksonemphasized"the mutualunderstanding which may and should be as inseparable from a mother's and daughter's intercourseas are life and breathing.must not have 'settled down' below the level of their the requirements.to take their concerns and interestsseriously. Advice manuals. The authorof a column foryoungwomen beganan articleentitled "TheMother of My Girl" with a referenceto the many letters from readersthat caused her to wonder "what the mothers all over the world are doing" regardingtheir obligationsto their daughters.like the popularperiodicals.she urgedmothers to respect daughters." counterparts. As a matter fact.the failureof college-educated daughtersand their mothers to respect each others' values and points of view. betweenthe of daughters].The mother'sresponsibilitywas clear: "There shouldbe no one uponearthto whom that daughtershould feel so readyto go with every thought." well-known writerMarionHarlandremindedher readers.In the same vein.THE ANCHOR OF MY LIFE 7 American daughtersas forwardand over-indulged. It also suggesteda marketingstrategy."14 . involve them in decoratingand caringfor their rooms." Gabrielle E.identifiedmother-daughter relaasa matterforconcern andstressedcommunicationas the key problem.. intellectual. an editorialin The Independent in September." Towardthe creationof this understanding.12 as The tendencyto depictdaughters the victimsof maternalineptnessreflected the more general trend toward the promulgationof "scientific"child-rearing advice designedto fosterthe development of mothersas expertsat their jobs.1lWhile and the impatienceof adultdaughters daughterswere admonishedto do their part to ease the strainsin the motherdaughterrelationship.
a daughtershould not be "hampered an overbearingmother. willgiveherconfidence of but with againfullyandfreelyas she didbefore.Thus what shouldbe a daughter's dower. ".. aspectsof her daughter's love hold uponthe daughter the daughter's forthe and criticaltest of the mother's to mother. pubertyand the facts of life. Articulating a point of view reminiscient of earlier . or misinformationabout. The advice literaturealso suggestedthat a mother'sjob became more difficult if her daughterwent awayto college. and aspirationspassing ently throughher mind duringadolescence.8 journalof social history Caroline W. Youngwomenwerenot likely to return surfaced afterfouryearsand settle comfortablyinto home routines."nor should she be expected to deferto her brothersas was the case in some families.. as they addressedan audience in need of new guidelines.Helen Ekin Starrettadvisedparentsto help their daughters them to findsatisfying to planforthis transitionby encouraging occupationssuch as teaching or settlement work even if this necessitated their leaving home."19 a between girlandher The important thingin thismatter... tersfromservantsand schoolmates.. is thatthe relation of that shallbe of sucha nature she willseekthe explanation thingshalf mother sourceandthuslearnthe rightwayof regarding from understood the legitimate them.18 Advice writersreprovedmothersfor their daughters'ignoranceof. unquestionably. too Again: bearingthe seal of the Divine Father" often became a "foulsecret.and visit the college wheneverpossibleto Additional problems ".15 evolution at thisperiod certainly just impair Here again. both tendencies which forcedyoung women to learn about these mat". make them feel that you are in a sense one of them. Mothers were indicted for their reluctanceto discussthese mattersandfor their inclinationsto protectdaughters fromsuch knowledgeor to invent silly storiesratherthan provideaccurateinformation. However other writersprojected a distinctly more conservative tone. She suggestedthat reticence on the part of a young woman reflectednot an intentional desire to and shut her motherout. relating"every little happeningof the home life. mothers were expected to assume full responsibilityfor fostering open communicationwith their daughters. interference the process selffor will confidence the future.20 Advice of this sort suggeststhat some authorsrealisticallyacknowledgedthe changes in women's lives and their implications. Noting that "the breakingup of mental and physical habits that have in four years'time become a kind of second nature"is very painfuland difficult. questions.17 Sangsterrecommendedthat daughterswho did remainat home after Maragaret by college should be treated as adults.." Hence mothersshouldwriteregularly theirdaughters. It wasvital forher to keep in touch with all a college activities for "college life is. She counseled patience and restraint: Ifa girlfinds herconfidence notforced is sensible thatsilentcompreand of that is no she hension sympathy and whichdemands recognition. but a temporary inabilityto understand expresscoherthe multitude of confusing new ideas..... Latimeroffered a more sophisticated interpretationof the apparent reluctance of daughtersto confide in their mothers."16 when daughters finishedcollege.they needed to have constructive activities.
mother-daughter conflict seems to have been baland anced.These youngwomen constituteda groupwhose untraditional behaviorclearly and conclusively refutedconventional standardsand expectations for daughters.. Aline LydiaHoffman arguedthat "Our lot.by powerfulsupport mutualcaring.Did mother-daughter relationshipsin middle-classfamiliesdevelop a new element of conflict duringthese yearsof culturaland social change?Does this conflictforeshadow senseof tension and ambivalencein the relationship the that would be articulatedboth formallyand informallyby even moreAmerican women in late twentieth-centurysociety?24 Personaldocumentsthat recordthe actualexperiencesof middle-class American women provideparticularly sourcesforthe investigationof these appropriate issues.. it can often mirrorreal concerns.26 An examinationof the relevant sourcescorroborates existence of a range the of mother-daughter conflicts."For daughterswho did not she marry.Typically.. he maintained. Thus it is reasonable to ask whether the decadesof the late nineteenth and earlytwentieth centuries definedanysortof turningpoint in femalefamilyrelationshipsin fact as well as in perception. motherhood is the paramountduty of and woman. Whether the tone wasconservativeor liberalhowever.Their activities were particularly likely to generate the sort of mother-daughter tension alludedto in the prescriptiveliterature.THE ANCHOR OF MY LIFE 9 nineteenth-century ideology.even in families .. our principal office is. but the documentsreveal a farmorecomplex pictureof relationsin two generationsof middle-class mothersandcollege-educated daughtersthan that suggestedby either Smith-Rosenbergor the periodicaland advice literature.21 James C.the existence of such a link seems highly plausiblein this case. maternity.They should remainat home "andhelp the dearmotherwho cared so tenderlyfor [them] in the wearyloving yearsgone by.. The contemporary prescriptiveliteratureclearly contention that unprecedentedconflict intruded supportsSmith-Rosenberg's upon the mother-daughter relationshipduringthe period 1880-1920. Ferald concurred. if not outweighed. the beginning the end of hersocialduty.Youngwomen fromgood homes should not compete for jobs with poor girls who really needed the token wages they might be paid. While prescriptiveliteraturecertainly cannot be assumedto reflect actual family behavior and experiences.25 This studyexaminesspecificallythe experiencesof the small but significant vanguardof middle-classyoung women who were able to attend college duringthis period. then.. she maintained that it was a mother'sduty to tell her daughterabout her responsibilitiesfor the happinessof others. both the substance and the frequency of the discussions of mother-daughter the relationshipsin the periodicaland advice literatureemphasized centralityof the issue and implied that tension and discordbetween mothersand daughters troubled more than a few middle-classAmerican families during this period of transition in women'slives. envisioned ".. "22 Thus the prescriptiveliteraturepresented two clearly differentperspectives on the mother-daughterissue.23Given the extent of the changes in women's lives and the frequencywith which the theme of intergenerational difficultiesappeared contemporary in periodicals. The striking contrast between traditional and modernistviews in this literaturemirroredthe largerculturaltension between traditionand innovation."To this end.. a futureof complete contentment in the motherhood which consists in their self-devotion to humanity and to their sufferingand afflicted neighbors.
..10 journalof social history wheredaughters' aspirationsand experiencesdifferedsignificantlyfromthose of their mothers. and a patient daughterwho found their relationship stressful.27 Annie not only wanted to please her mother.andreassure "Icannot imaginemyselfwishingto preventmymother from showing her full share of interest in me ..When Mrs.she was also willing to humor.encouraged her educational aspirations.critical mother who complained and nagged incessantly. correction dissatisfaction maybe in or of [sic] you yourfaceandeyesthat I do not dareto look up. Indeed mothersappearto have played as a vital enabling role in the processof daughters'taking advantageof the new best friend was options available to them. in many cases.."feeling free..one of Annie's contemporaries. replied.but loved and understoodher mother. I want you to understandme and not to worrysilently. CareyThomas..and applaudedher success as an educator and a contributor(underthe pen name MarionSprague)to the LadiesHomeJournal. And Annie remainedcommunicative. but because it sustained positive."she told her. that I makethe other childrenunbelieving.30 and M. the futurepresidentof MawrCollege. it is because careso muchto pleaseyou that I despair grow discouraged.28Mrs.that I barely heavens what a tolerate Father.and tolerant of her mother'sneeds. Winsor criticized and complained. "Do you realizethat you are habitually stooping a greatdeal?It'svery unbecomingand will soon become so fixed that you can't cure it. no uselivingandthenMother She says I outrageher every feeling.Annie.and that I am utterly and entirely selfish.. that I am so afraid the criticysm. but she also consistently expressed warm affection for her daughter. the "new woman's" actually her mother.Thereis that wouldsee in the morning shehadbeencruel.. but it was more complex.affectionate. This situation resulted in interactions characterizedat least as much by understanding by alienation. Mrs. describedher relationshipwith her mother in her journal Bryn when she was 22 yearsold: and I havejusthada talkwithMother I dobelieveI shallshootmyself..supportive.Hence the period 1880-1920 is an important one in the historyof mother-daughter relationships-not becauseit heraldedthe early stages of contemporarymatrophobictendencies.. her: support.now about 34 years old. Annie WinsorAllen offeran intercase. I am so afraid will not like my wayof doingthings.to ask her daughter.Winsor took her at her wordand continued to expressthat "fullshareof interest. Examplesof illustrativerelationships spanthe fortyyearsunderconsideration. supportiveinteractionseven in the context of significantgenerational differencesin opportunityand experience. Anne Bent WareWinsor and her daughter."29 On the surfacethis relationshipappearsto have been a LadiesHomeJournal classic. .for example. unless you set about it at once. And daughtersseem to have recognizedand valued the backingprovidedby their mothers. A collection of nearly thirty years'worth of letters esting first-generation reveals a demanding.my opinionsandmy tastesthat I seemindifferent and I andoffish. aged 21. that it is the greatestliving grief to her to have me in the house.. .. religion that makesa mothercast her daughteroff!31 .Winsorscoldedher for looking down while speaking..
36 In this instance. Hilda complained about her mother'sattitude more than once. 1917: "I cannot bearto have her gone.THE ANCHOR OF MY LIFE 11 This youngwoman'sproblemswith her motherstemmedfromweightierissues than postureand personalappearance.butI havehesitated with I because remember if as it wereyesterday-and is thirty it years ago-how hardit wasforme to get letters aboutmy Mother aftershe died. mother-daughter conflict.Did you add anything to it?Write me any moresaid about it! When does the next one come?"." she wrote. CareyThomas (whom she knew fromBrynMawr)on January 20.39 .She arguedfrequentlywith her mother abouther clothes.was offset by strong maternalsupport. Some twenty pagesof her journal recordher grief and her sense of loss over her mother'sillness and death from pneumonia on Christmas morning.myown splendid are with mother. tension was present in this relationship. She seriouslyquestioned her family'sreligious beliefs and eventually rebelled against her strict Quaker upbringing. 1918: Ever sinceI heard yourMother's of deathI havebeenwishing writeto tell you to howdeeplyI sympathized you.who. born in 1888. and her sense of responsibility.. she devoted herself to her studies. 1882: "Mother.. written by M.38 Among the letters of condolence she received is one of particularinterest.33 money to send her abroadfor graduatestudy.Thereis nothingin the worldquitelike one's Mother's deathandI thinkoneneverceases missherhowever onesurvives to long her.Smith often objected vigorously to any plans proposed by her children that would result in their living awayfromher. understoodher daughter'saspirations. Clearly (as Smith-Rosenberghas also noted).35 But her mother.had been deprivedof higher education herself. resisting any notion of traditional female roles and activities. I think I was more of a companion to her than the others. but in her journal..is it not too splendid to be true?"34 Here. Hilda Worthington Smith.32 Yetit had been Carey's motherwho supported encouraged educational and her aspirationsin the face of her father'sreligiouslybased opposition: "Manyand dreadful the talkswe have had uponthis subject. Even as a young girl. asking on November 25.as Mrs. Her ambivalenceseems to reflect more the fact that she was widowed at an early age than any fundamentaldisapproval of her daughter'sactivities.and with whom she ecstatically shared the triumph of the successfulcompletion of her dissertationand her comprehensiveexams. Like Carey Thomas in the previousgeneration. her interpersonal skills.labor educator.but Mother. whose health she worriedover while she was in Europe. [her siblings]we had readso much & done so many things together.She encouragedher college activities.37Yet with her mother'sblessing. providingboth moralsupportand laundryservice for Hilda at BrynMawr:"Iwas sureyourspeech wouldbe a success. in this case over fundamentalvalue issues. like CareyThomas'smother. maternalsupportwas somewhat ambivalent.and an administrator Bryn Mawr.Her conflict with her mother escalated when she lived at home following two years of study at Corell."she had written fouryearsearlier.she wrote enthusiasticallyon one occasion. as with Annie Winsor Allen.she became a successfulsocial worker. was committed to her studies. at where her mother eventually lived with her.helped me in this as she alwayshas in everythingand sympathized And it was her mother who borrowed me.
For example. Later.cut her hair.Neither ever married. Vida Scudder'swidowed mothertook her sewingand went with her daughterto tutorialsessionsat Oxford because the tutor preferrednot to meet alone with female students. I feel sorryfor these girls who have a mother so narrow. Annie Winsor Allen followed a more traditional path in that she marriedand had three children of her own. independent.philanthropist.Mrs. and cross-dressed mother encouragedher intellectual and culturalaspirations.. and in any case." she wrote in 1902."44 Despite the fact that Willa Cather assumeda male from the age of 14 to the age of 18. includingher participation.but she continued to pursueher career."42 The mothersof other Wellesley women between 1880 and 1920 providedcomparablesupportfor their daughters' aspirations. Maryexplained in her autobiography..Talbot. she never actuallyreceived a degree. it was a greatadventurefor us both .43 Active maternaladvocacytook variousformsin differentcontexts. expressly when moreconventional childhood to build a communityfor college graduates friends ostracizedher daughterfollowing her graduationfrom Boston University in 1880. although she studied at Radcliffefor several years.40MarySimkhovitch'smother also traveledwith her when she went abroadfor graduatestudy:"Girlswere not free then to take tripsby themselves..and author..while she was a daughter's strike on student at Barnard. own hair.I feel proudthat I have a child who can do so much good. I am so glad you could go to college .All three of these women experiencedconflict with their mothers. predecessorof the American Association of University Women.providedunequiv- .41 While few mothers would have had the freedom or the inclination to accompany daughtersto Europeanuniversities.that they have to wait until they are marriedbefore they can do the things that young people love to do .. and latersupported wish to go to college mother also approvedof her over her husband'sobjections.. I believe you have a futurebefore you .the wife of a prosperous herselfa social welfareadvocate. The sourcesdocument many other intriguinginstances of maternalsupport for daughters'untraditional activities..encouragedMarionto leave Boston to accept a position at the University of Chicago "thoughit cost her many a heart pang.providedher with her a privateattic bedroomof her own.herselfa formerteacher. Both were outstandinglysuccessful.other examples attest to the fact that unqualifiedsupportwas certainly not rarein either the firstor the second generation under consideration..45FredaKirchwey's untraditionalactivities. Her supportcontinued as Louisepursuedher career in social work:"Ienjoyed readingthe clipping you sent. The mother of MarionTalbot workedto organizethe Association of Collegiate Alumnae..Louise Marion Bosworth'smother offeredenthusiastic encouragementto her daughterat Wellesley. the picket lines duringa shirtwaistfactoryworkers' in 1913. her identity. It certainlyseems that yourwork is greatlyappreciated.but all relied on maternalsupportas they fulfilledtheir aspirations.46 Chicago bankerand Finally. professionalpeople.12 journalof social history Neither of these women was a "traditional" daughter. where she walked a mile and a half to the dormitoryat 6:30 her who had never "done" everymorningfor severalweeksto help her daughter. ". "Oh Louise. she had previouslyaccompaniedVida to Northamptonat the beginningof her freshman year at Smith.Ethel SturgesDummer.
THE ANCHOR OF MY LIFE 13 ocal supportfor all four of her college-educateddaughtersin diverse ways.harmoniousrelationfoundno evidence of discord shipshas been overstated.. Why did mutualityprevailover estrangementin a situationthat appearsto have been particularly conducive to conflict and hostility? In the firstplace. it seems clear that their mothersdid not repudiatethem or their world. while the "new"young women of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to some extent repudiatedthe world of their mothers as Smith.which may actuallyexplain why some young women'schoices could be particularly untraditional. Our love can make any leapsof time and distance. hostile mother-daughter relationshipgleaned from the examination of 48 collections of letters.49 Anderson'saccount of her interacMargaret tions with lier mother offers literally the only evidence of a totally negative. even when young women followed more traditionalpaths.she questionedthe young man'sparents' for preferencefor a postponement of the marriageof their children.10 autobiographies biographies.. Equallysupportiveof another daughter.as Peter Filene has observed.While the experiencesof daughterswho pursued higher education (and also manywho did not choose this option) between 1880 and 1920 frequentlydifferedsubstantially from those of their mothers. a reassessment the earliernineteenth-centurybackground of interactionsbetween 1880 and 1920 have been againstwhich mother-daughter measured suggeststhat the case for previouslyuntroubled.51 What explains the presence of strong maternal support for daughters'innovative aspirationsand activities during the period 1880-1920? During this transitionaltime.and and several compilations of selected letters between mothers and daughtersin the northeasternand midwesternUnited States.Thus.she assuredher: ".While Smith-Rosenberg .48 Examplesof this sortaccurately representa largerbodyof evidence that impels a distinction between careerpaths and intergenerationalharmony. example. daughtersrespondedin kind.50 a few cases. or knew only in part.One conspicuousexception by to this generalizationis the unmitigatedmother-daughter conflict depicted by Anderson in her autobiography..but it did not really divide middle-classmothers from their college-educateddaughters. the sourcesconsistently indicate that middle-classmothers were far more tolerant of daughters' untraditionalchoices and activities than the periodical and advice literature Indeed they appearto have providedessential supportin more than suggests. In a fascinatingletter (which maynever have been mailed) to the futuremother-inlaw of her oldest daughter.many of them "decisivelygrew into 'new women'" as a resultof their The "womanquestion"pervadedthe social and cultural college experiences. this divergence did not generallyresult in a relationship transformed fundamentalantagonism.52 climate and placed new and difficultdemandson their relationships. must be consideredas of most importance. if any plan comes up that really tempts you."Not her surprisingly. Yourlife must not be stunted by us .Rosenbergand others contend. daughters who pursued higher educationcertainlymoved into a world their mothershad not known.and journals."47 she and her husbandhelped the young couple to elope and accompaniedthem. that which you have to offer to the world. arguingthat "the content broughtby the consummationof love is the right of these young When his parentsdid not change their mindsaboutthe weddingdate. people. While conflict certainly existed.diaries. you and your life and work....
Such women may also have been able to fill the void left in their own lives by the loss of a spousethroughtheir involvement in lives. Research in the new field of the history of the emotions indicates that the as of collective emotional standards the period.also played a role in defining mother-daughter . motherswho were satisfiedand fulfilledin their own lives. personallyuncomfortable period. as Ethel SturgesDummer was.women'sparticularlife experienceshelp to account for the lack of conflict in specificinstances.They mayhave acceptedwhat.motherswhoseown educationalaspirations had not been fulfilledmay have lived out those desiresvicariouslythrough the act of assisting their daughtersto achieve their goals.57On the other hand. Similarly. century. tensions duringthis other sourcesdocument the presence of mother-daughter who wereprobably observers.53 Contemporary with the changes in the worldof women.conflict in the relationship. Hence a fuller explanation for this finding must be sought through the furtherexplorationof the complex interactionof social.56 and Certainly. the mothersof Vida Scudderand HildaWorthingtonSmith. Undoubtedly.The extensive discussionof mother-daughter then.and culturalfactorswith experiences of mothers and daughtersbetween 1880 and 1920-both those experiencesintrinsicto the relationshipand those unique to the period.or its absence.women'svariedpersonalitycharacteristics activities shape the mother-daughterrelationship during any historical period. Likewise. was unacceptableto them in the interestsof preservinga relationshipthat they needed for their own security." articulated in the prescriptiveliterature. in some sense. evidence of a major intensification of where discordafter 1880 would not be surprising.the "emotionology. it may also describemotherswhose daughters chose less conventional options. the sourcesdocument the absence of systematic conflict. Not all mothers nagged and complained as Annie Winsor Allen's mother did. continued this trend in the context of the "invention"of adolescence as the concept was elaboratedby G.Forexample. apparently exaggeratedthe novelty of the tensions between mothers and daughtersas well as the extent of the conflict they perceivedduringthe late nineteenth and earliertwentieth centuries.55 Despite this continuity.54 Both the physical and the emotional aspects of pubertyin young women had engagedthe attention of variousmedical and educationaladvisersearlierin the relationshipsafter 1880.certainwidowedmothersmay have felt that it wasessentialto remainin their daughters' good gracessince they wereotherwisealone in the world. was at least in part a function of the specific traitsof individuals. particularly mother-daughter chose to pursuethe option of higher education and the accompanydaughters ing independence. comfortablein their and marriages successfulin club and charitablework. However. While this situationwouldseem moretypicalin the case of their daughters' a marrieddaughterwith children.very few mothers were as sophisticatedand open as Ethel SturgesDummerwas. however. Stanley Hall and others. psychological. for example.14 journalof social history in her studyof the female worldin the firsttwo-thirdsof the nineteenth century. may have found it perfectlynaturaland comfortableto supportdaughters' effortsto move even furtherfrom traditionaldomestic roles. not all daughters were patient and tolerant as Annie was. In the same way.
both within and outside the home.specificallyanorexia nervosa and related eating disorders.to encompasscollege and careergoals. maternalsupportratherthan open conflict was In the manifestresult.however.This increase. Thus in while their daughters' extended beyond the boundariesof their own aspirations experiences. the researchsuggests that the nature of mother-daughter relationshipsbetween 1880 and 1920 reflected in part the emphasison the importanceof intergenerationalharmony in the emotionology of the period.unexpressed familyconflict.64 The theory of domestic feminism interpretsthe evolution of female domestic roles and the perceptionsthat developed from those roles. the suppression female angerwas specificallyencouraged.THE ANCHOR OF MY LIFE 15 For relationships.59 not indicate that women did not feel this emotion throughoutthe nineteenth century and beyond.Massachusetts 1824." has been documented with reference to women's exercise of control over sex and reproductionwithin marriage.g. their endeavorswere not as narrowlycircumscribed that concept suggests. they may have altered only their overt expressionsof emotions in accordancewith societal standards.63 Even within the home. their own socializationhad embracedthe concept that women's"sphere" reachedbeyond the home.certainlydoes tween mothersand daughters. Alternatively. which had been available earlier in the century in the form of private female academiesand seminariesand even in public high schools for girls of the sort founded in Worcester.60Recent research has suggested that for some middlemotherclassyoungwomen in the past. either case. e.expressedas a kind of "domesticfeminism. women'spresumedexpertise in homemakingand child- . Involvement in religiousand social organizations external activities was not a new idea to mothersbetween 1880 and 1920. Hence in changes in emotional standards the past may have resultedin changes in the emotions themselves.of emotions. evidence suggeststhat middle-classwomen experienced a significant increase in power and autonomy during the course of the nineteenth century. was manifestedthroughseriousillnesses. as well as the expression.women participatedin various and causesoutside the home. Women's collective experiences.Duringmost of the nineteenth century.58 example. nor was secondaryeducation. they may not have actually experienced significant negative emotions about their daughters'activities. If mothers fully internalizedthe emotional standardsprescribedfor them. also shaped their family relationships..61 While relatively few daughterssuffered and the represthese illnesses. particularly daughtertension.and this patternhelps explain the generalabsenceof overt expressionsof the emotion beFailureto expressanger. throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth of centuries. the possibleconnection between these disorders sion of mother-daughter conflict encouragesfurtherconsiderationof the role of psychological issues in the historical interpretationof the mother-daughter relationship.62 While it is difficultto documentexplicitly the influence of collective emotional standardson individual women. Current studies of the complex and subtle relationship between emotional standards and actual emotional experience indicate that emotionology may actually influence the experience.Although the domestic role still dominated the lives of middle-class women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth as centuries.
As MaryRyanhas noted.Variousother influencesfostereda patternof primarily positive. EdwardBok of The LadiesHomeJournalwho was not known for his liberal views. At least two other discernibleand importantculturaltrendsemergedin the of prescriptiveliterature:the "professionalization" motherhood in the second half of the nineteenth century and the development of formalpublic concern over adolescence at the beginning of the twentieth century.as positive developments.mothershad alteredtheir own views of womanhoodto such an extent that they felt comfortablesupportingdaughters' effortsto extend the activism they had developed at home into the public sphere. as in the case of M. Thus domestic feminism may have actually encouragedmaternalsupportfor daughters'activwhere paternalopposition was involved. particularly CareyThomas. ities.. of Undoubtedlythis discrepancy partlyreflectedthe individualidiosyncracies writersand editors. the subtext in the "instructions" was concerned with the preservationof the integrity of women'ssphere.the double emphasis in the prescriptiveliterature.69The growing emphasison the importanceof so-called expert advice as essential for proper child-rearing(which was exemplifiedin the proliferationof advice books) and the attendant tendency to preach to women partiallyexplain the prevalence of literaturethat blamed mothers for intergenerationaldifficulties. it is possible that by the late nineteenth century.66More significantly. supportive interactions.However. as Daniel Scott Smith has suggested.67 That emphasisalso reflectedsocietal anxiety aboutthe changesthat challenged the tenets of the nineteenth-centurycult of domesticityand threatened to dismantlethe barriers between the separatespheres. The maintenanceof harmoniousmother-daughter relationshipswouldenable mothersto continue to traindaughtersto fulfilltheir domesticroles.In this context.all of which have sought to escort them into roles that provide vital services to the social order. for example.65 Severalrelatedfactorsthus explain why the emergenceof a generationgap in opportunityand aspirationsdid not prove to be the most powerfuldeterminant of mother-daughter relationships in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.the connection between domestic feminism and mother-daughter relationshipsmay have been a crucialcomponent in that success.16 journalof social history rearing. American women in the past ". If.tensions that had been viewed formerlyas normal parts of family life-moody daughtersor .mother-daughter conflict would threaten that continuity.With the development of the concept of expertise in mothering and the articulationof the social definitionof adolescenceas a periodof stormand stress. the "dividedmind" of the era.the eventual successof women outside the domestic setting can be construedas an extension of their earlierprogresswithin the family."68 the In case of the periodicalsand advice manuals.on the importanceof avoiding conflict in the putativelyharmoniousmother-daughter relationshipand the responsibilitiesof mothersforrespondingappropriately daughters' to the needs. mirrored intensity of the culturaldialectic between traditionand innovation. have been subjectedto the most excessive amountsand extreme formsof instructions..a finalpoint remainsto be explored:the yawning discrepancyhetween the realityof mother-daughter relationshipsand the tone of the discussionin the contemporary periodicalsand advice manuals.
and the manifestdiscrepancybetween the portrayal of mother-daughter interactionsin the prescriptiveliteratureand the natureof most actualrelationships.e..this literaturewas not necessarilytotally irrelevantto their concerns. mother-daughter ment of positive capabilities.70 Despite this complexity. Yet the latter issue is particularly importantto considerinasmuchas these women functioned as part of the culture that was reflected in the literature.Self-in-relationtheoryarguesthat women develop and strengthena sense of self throughtheir involvement in both externalsocial relationshipsand in the internal experiences of relationshipscharacterized by mutualityand affectiveconnection.g.a complex rangeof possibilities defines the relation between prescriptionand behavior in the context of mother-daughter relationships.it is evident that mutualcaringandsupport ratherthan conflict dominated the relationshipsof college-educated daughtersand their mothersbetween 1880 and 1920.In modem western culture.. Hence. by focusing extensively on mother-daughter It is difficultto estimate the relative contributionsof each of these cultural strandsto the creation of the generationgap painted by the prescriptiveliterature. ".andstill moredifficultto unravelthe intricaciesof the connections between that literatureand the emotional and behavioralrealitiesof individualwomen's lives.Probablysome of them found an outlet in the periodicaland advice literaturefor tensions that could not be directly expressedat the conscious level due to the influence of women'ssocializationpatternsand the emotionologyof the period. for example-seem to have been upgradedor redefinedas seriousproblemsfor which properlyprofessionalmotherscould and should find solutions.and selfaffirmation. No doubt some middle-classmothers and daughters(whether or not they attended college) were troubledby aspects of their relationships. the full evolution of the image of an interactingself.ratherthan the restrictionof the individual'scapacity to function independently(as is posited by object-relationstheory which has also been applied to the analysis of mother-daughter relationships). self-esteem.The prescriptive literature contributedto the growthof this perception issues.readerswho did not identifypersonallywith the problems describedmay have enjoyed readingthe advice and congratulatingthemselves for avoidingsuch difficulties..THE ANCHOR OF MY LIFE 17 impatient mothers.73For self-in-relation .As these examplessuggest. motivations for action. while the magazinesand advice manualsapparentlydid not expressthe explicit reality of the experiences of college-educated"new women"and their mothers.the fundamentalharmonyis what surrounding standsout.as in women'shistory more generally. a self whose emotional core is respondedto by the other and who respondsback to the emotions of the other"is discouraged boys but in becomes the center of the self-imagein girls.At the other end of the spectrum.71This developmentis initiatedby the early mother-daughter relationshipin which children identifywith the mother as an active caretaker. Although the sourcesdo reveal some tensions both trivial and weightierissues.untraditionalbehaviors.72 attachments foster the developAccording to this model. Recent researchon women'spsychologicaldevelopment in late adolescence suggeststhe possibilityof a link between this lack of conflict and the ability of youngwomen in the late nineteenth and earlytwentieth centuriesto undertake new.
18 journalof social history theory. however. an importantmode of "intenseand abidingengagement.and earlytwentieth-centurymothers and daughtersspecificallylink them psychologicallywith their late twentiethThese issuesclearlymerit furtherresearch.and guilt necessarilydefine the modern relationship.but to me it has alwaysseemed the severest trial that a woman can meet.Perhaps this also explains why their mothers were able to cope with their doing so. why? Or do the experiencesof late nineteenth. the origins of this increase must be pursuedthroughfocused. I have no wordsto tell her how she is. centurycounterparts? edtheir daughters' The middle-classmotherswho encouragedand supported in the late nineteenth and earlytwentieth ucationaland professional aspirations centuries might not have agreedwith the thoughts of LydiaMariaChild..and early twentiethcenturymother-daughter relationshipswouldgeneratean importantpositive effect upon daughters' psychologicalabilities to function succesfullyin new roles and settings-on their ability to venturebeyond their mothers'worlds." disengagement.74 not the research findings that support this theory are based on the Although experiences of late twentieth-century women rather than those of mothers and daughtersbetween 1880 and 1920. mother-daughter Does the theory describea phenomenon that is characteristicof American women's psychologicaldevelopment over longer spans of time-and if so. As data clearlyindicate.."76Probably. it is possible to discern elements of congruence between the contemporaryself-in-relation model and the earlier interactionswithout claimingany sortof ahistoricaluniversalmother-daughter for the female experience.Such senticonflict has actuallyescalatedin the ments also indicate that if mother-daughter late twentieth century. antagonism. it is time to re-examinethe facile the turn-of-the-century assumptionthat conflict. 15232 . Yet the apparentcongruence between self-in-relationtheory and middle-class interactionsbetween 1880 and 1920 raisesfurtherquestions. They suggest the power of continuity rather than disruptionand change in women'sfeelings about the relationship. the anchorof my life. afterall. serioushistorical investigation of the natureof mother-daughter interactionsin the decadesfollowing 1920.75Thus the self-in-relationresearchsuggeststhat ity the mutuality and supportthat typifiedlate nineteenth. except the death of her loved ones."78 These sentiments highlight the role of the mother-daughter relationshipas a vital and enduringsourceof supportthat enabled middle-classAmerican women to face and respondto the challenges they confronted duringa period of rapid change in their lives.. who commented in 1863: "I know people are accustomedto congratulatemothers when their daughtersare married.as some participantsoccasionally claim.passingconflicts between adolescentdaughtersand their mothersrepresent a means of elaboratingthe continuity of connection to significantothers. mother-daughter Department History of PA Pittsburgh."77 daughterswould have echoed the feelings of a "new"woman who wrote in her journal in 1916: "Mymother is desperatelyill and the doctorssay she can't get well.they would have applaudedthe view expressedby one outspokenmoare ther in a letter written in 1910:"Daughters wonderfulluxuries.they arewell And no doubt other worth a bad husbandin my opinion: at least mine are.
LadiesHomeJournal5 (October. 7."Mothersand Daughters. 1884). 1979). The AmericanWomanin Transition. 1894): 16." Ladies HomeJournal (April. GoodHousekeeping (May. Him/HerSelf. 9.M. Writing in and 1970). ed. 35 12. (Baltimore. especiallyChapter4.Visionsof America(New York. 245-96. especiallyChapter 1. "AntagonismBe53 tween Mothers and Daughters. For overviews of the changes in women's lives.THE ANCHOR OF MY LIFE 19 ENDNOTES The researchfor this paper was funded in part by grants from the Radcliffe Research Support Program.E. "My Girls' Mothers.1888): 13.EllaWheeler 1888): 2. "MyMotherDidn'tTell Me." Independent (September26. Editorial. 1919): 132. 1903):14. "Maybell.D. 1870-1936. The . pp. Ruth Ashmore. the ChathamCollege Central ResearchFund. Ruth Ashmore. S." (August. Ideology Imagination America.""HearingWomen's Words:A Feminist and Reconstructionof History." in John American (Bloomington. Margaret 1870-1920 (New York."Harper's (January. History:Essaysin ModernScholarship Higham. Alice BartlettStimson. Sermonto Grown-upDaughters. Ruth Ashmore. LadiesHomeJournal1 (October. "The Case of the ElderlyMother. "AnEvil of AmericanDaughters. 11. Chapter 1."Ladies HomeJournal 24 (August." 20 Bok. FannyFern. "Where One Girl Began. "The Reorientation of American Culture in the 1890s. "How Shall Our Girls Behave?". 1907): 32. "The Female World of Love and Ritual. "When the College Girl Comes Home.1975). Stearnsand two anonymousreviewersfor their helpfulsuggestionsand comments on an earlierdraftof the paper. Him/Her/Self.At Odds: Women to and the Familyin America from the Revolution the Present(New York. see Carl Degler."Harper's "A Jefferson. 1901): 2311. pp. 5 Ladies HomeJournal (November.the National Endowment for the Humanities Travel to Collections and Program. "WhyDidn't My ParentsTell Me. 3. Sherwood. Womanhood America(New York." "The New Woman As Androgyne:Social Disorderand Gender Crisis. John Higham." 8 LadiesHomeJournal (May.1983). Peter Conn. William Lee Howard. Him/Her/Self. Edward 7 Wilcox. LadiesHomeJournal11 (September." "TheGirlWhose Mother 36 Ladies HomeJournal (March. 1890): 12. M. The DividedMind.1919): 112."LadiesHome Journal1 (November.Anger:The Struggle Emotional for America's History(Chicago. 64 E. Filene. 1890):3. 5 Ladies HomeJournal (June.The authorwishes to thank Professor PeterN. 17.' " LadiesHomeJournal (June.. 2nd in Ryan.1912):484. 5." in CarrollSmith-Rosenberg. 1884). 53-76. Him/Her/Self."LadiesHomeJournal7 (October. Editorial. Stearns and Peter N.1980). 10. 1986). 1888). 1908): 797-99. 46 1917): 7. Ladies Alan Cameron."The American Skeleton. Controlin 4. 18-19. 1986). Woman's 43 1916): 7. Wilson. Indiana. and Peter G. CharlesEdward Home Companion (February. 20-25." 1897):10. Carol Z. Stearns. 1917): 27." "A Girl'sBest Friend. 1898-1917 (Cambridge.HarrietBrunkhurst. HomeJournal14 (October. "Whatis a Lady.W. Bazaar42 523. G. is 'Old."A Woman'sMost GrievousMistake.1985) pp."LadiesHomeJournal (May." 8. Genderin Victorian pp."LadiesHome Journal34 Bazaar (October."TellYourMother. "How Girls Deceive Their Parents. 1881): 12. Filene. Mary P. 1.Filene. 11-52. 6." 2. 18-19.Disorderly Conduct. Martin.
"in Carol A Ruth Berkinand MaryBeth Norton. Wifeand Mother. Our Mothers' (Berkeley.1987).TheAmerican in FactandFiction 1974). 1986). Adrienne Rich. Latimer. Lucy Rose Fischer. 261-62. bookfor thetwentieth century (Indianapolis. 1975): 185-98. Womenof America. 1910). 1905)."The New Woman and the New History. MaryBeth Norton has comof mented on this topic. 1977). 1976). 24. Smith-Rosenberg. See. 138-44. Emotion SocialChange:Toward New Psychohistory (New York. 138. 85-86.see Jay Mechling. JamesC.140-46. pp. p.and journals.Illinois. Mother Daughter (New Yorkand London. Harland. 1905). however. 63. 24. p. 430-431. See also ErnestEarnest. 311-312.1981). 1891).The socialdutyof our daughters. 15. A and and PeterN. Helen Ekin Starrett.pp. Judith Arcana. 1979). Even middle class women's personal documents. for the historianinterestedin the analysisof the emotional qualityof women'slives."pp. 104. Dorothy Dinnerstein. 32-33. may not provide totally reliable data regardingfamily interactions. mother's and their growndaughters (Philadelphia.1896). 15-17. diaries. Girland Woman. p. Fernald. "The Rise of Sibling Jealousyin the Twentieth Century. it is feasible to begin with a focus on middle class women. 34. The Mermaid SexualArrangements HumanMalaise(New York.Myself (New York. For a more general exand the New History. and p. 23.pp. Mothers .AfterCollege. 3. pp. 7. History(Boston. Aline LydiaHoffman. for example. p. Nancy Daughters and Friday.1905). pp. 79. 20. 64-65.Thus. pp. Stearns.Eve'sDaughters. Eve'sDaughters CommonSensefor Maid. 193-22.Girland Woman."Feminist ample. specificallywith regardto the probablediscrepancybetween the diverseexperiencesof nineteenth-centurywomenandthe socialnormsformulated mainly by men and articulatedin advice manuals.Girland Woman. 22. 190-92.what?ForGirls(New York. Stearns. Jackson. 235-36. pp. CarrollSmith-Rosenberghas noted the importanceof examining the relationship between prescriptiveliteratureand unpublishedpersonaldocumentsspecificallyfor the development of knowledge about women'sexperiences in the past.20 journal of social history 13. and 14. eds.The LittleKingdom Home (New York. 195. 25.a Bookfor Mothers Daughters and (New Yorkand London. Signe Hamand the Minotaur: Feminine on and mer.Daughters Mothers-MothersandDaughters: Reflections theArchetypal and (Minneapolis. 13. 83. 1975): 45-63. see the discussionof the relationshipbetween the rise of sibling jealousy in the early twentieth century and the treatment of the topic in the prescriptiveliteraturein Peter N."in Carol Z. 16.1978). 114. 19.LinkedLives:AdultDaughters TheirMothas and ers (New York. "Advice to Historianson Advice to Mothers. Manymoremiddleclasswomen than workingclasswomen in the pasthave recorded their thoughtsand feelings in privatecorrespondence.eds. Of WomanBorn:Motherhood Experience Institution (New York." Journal SocialHistory9 (Fall.My Mother. MargaretSangster. Or (New York. Latimer. "The New Woman Studies3 (Fall.The New Womanhood (Boston. 129.Reprint of 1882 ed. 18.. 17. Eve (Urbana.1976).135-36. 81. p. of Radiant a mother motherhood.1908)."The Paradoxof'Women's'Sphere. On the pitfalls of assumingcorrespondencebetween prescriptive literatureand family behavior. pp. A talkswithmothers 21..Mother Daughter. 1976).
Stephen Seidman. Box 4. 1879. Fragment. 35.ed." 38." 26. Motherof coursewasfor.Shehasn't enough to do. "The New Woman As Androgyne.SchlesingerLibrary.100. Folder 397. 1893. RadcliffeCollege. 30. 28. Allen Papers. Box 3. Box 4. Series III. October 3. SchlesingerLibrary. 26. 1899. RadcliffeCollege. 88. . 41. January9. p. pp.oral historiescan also be unreliable. Box 10. 1875.c. 7. 37. 1915. January11."p. 40. 32. 1990): 47-67. 31.p. Entries in journals and diaries are often brief and incomplete. 34. 66-67. in The Making a Feminist: and Journals Letters M. representative of "tokenwomen"can also offervaluableinsight into what waspossibleand likely among a largergeneralityof women. Book 6. they should be viewed as tokens rather than as white middle-class However. Book 20. for example. 39. Carey of of Early Thomas.. Volume 64. 1909.1937). Volume 60. July 16.).and their recollections may be faulty and/ordistortedby their own biases. Volume 81. 36. correspondence.an investigationof the experiences daughters. 1886. Hilda WorthingtonSmith Papers." Presumably youngwomen who went to college weremoreambitiousand achievementoriented than their peers. Autobiographerstypically record their lives as older adults. Series III. Allen Papers. Box 2. Folder390. p. 1907. 1987). Neighborhood (New York. & realizesit sadly. Folder49. Nancy Cott has made this point with regardto the studyof the development of feminism. p. [emphasisadded]February 1871. MarySimkhovitch."The Powerof Desire and the Dangerof Pleasure: Journal SocialHistory24 (Fall.1917. Folder 171.p. The Makingof a Feminist. of SexualityReconsidered. December25. This could also contribute to heightened tensions between college-educateddaughters(and other middle-classdaughtersas well) and their Victorian mothers. May 16. Box 25. 47. 24. Book 23.On Journey(New York.THE ANCHOR OF MY LIFE 21 and daughtersdo not necessarilywrite to one another about hostile feelings. Smith Papers. 27. Neither does Cousin FrankKing and my such a disgusson[sic] they had.Boxes 23. 50. Box 24. A recent reappraisal the literatureon Victorian sexuality suggeststhat a female of generation gap in attitudes and beliefs about sex may have separatedyoung women and their mothersduringthis period. Box 3.Thomas'scommitment to education:"An Englishman JosephBeck was here to dinner the other day and he don't believe in the Educationof Women. of p. The Grounding ModernFeminism (New Haven. 152. The Makingof a Feminist. 25. 257. Annie Winsor Allen Papers. 33. 29.but should stay at home with Mother. Ohio. Box 25. November 11. Volume 78. Folder400. The Makingof a Feminist.. Smith Papers. See extensive mother-daughter Series III. An earlierjournalentry also documents Mrs. December 11. As such. 263. Allen Papers. MarjorieDobkin (Kent. Series III. Smith Papers. For these same reasons. Vida Scudder. 1979). August 7. and 27.p. Smith Papers:"It seems as if I should never get anywhere. 152. See. 1903.
1969).Box 45.ed. by and apparently experiencedsignificantreliefwhen her motherdied in 1882. lettersfromFrancesDummerLogan. My Thirty Alice Jamesand her mother offersan earlierexample of a troubledrelationship.1987).Box 12. practicalVictorianmother. August8. 46. 51. letter to "Happy"(Ethel) Dummer Mintzer. Possiblycollege-educatedwomen and their motherscomprisea sampleself-selectedto produceevidence of positive mother-daughter relationships. and Helen Library. For an interesting discussion of the positive contribution of families. DummerPapers.. 202-03. 1979). Maud (New York. Joyce Antler. FredaKirchwey.181.Box 10. 1980): 428.JeanStrouse. 64-68. Sharon O'Brien.. letters to KatharineDummer Fisher. Woman's Being.Schlesinger Library. complete list of sourcesconsulted is availablefrom the author."cited above. December3. 47. Folder895. Lynn D.SchlesingerLibrary.July 8. Carton 1." in MaryKelley. Folder924. 27. and letters from "Happy" (Ethel) DummerMintzer.mayhave been a crucialprecondition for daughterswho went to college. Patricia A. 1890-1912.A Biography (Boston. Palmieri. Marion Talbot.22 journal of social history 42. Landon Cass Letters.includinghighereducation. 1920. Gordon. 3. 1980).Morgan-HowesFamily Papers. Carton 1. p. Folder42. "Co-Education Two Campuses:Berkeleyand Chicago. For additional representativeexamples of relationshipsbetween college-educated daughtersand their mothers. firstpublishedin 1930. What?':New Graduatesand the Family Claim. the weight of the evidence in the present study . Womanof theNation (Cambridge. p.in this instance.Alice Mason Miller Letters. "Ibelieve this was never sent. particularly mothers. 1936). pencil. 1939). Box 10. BradleyFamilyPapersand Emerson-Nichols and Richard Lee Strout.Beyond Intellectual Rootsof ModernFeminism (New Haven. Years' War(New York. Folder63.Maternalsupportfor untraditional femaleactivity. Smith College. p. Folder 165a. p.Box 43. 1982).between an intelligent." Frontiers (Spring. Barbara Miller Solomon has also documented mothers'supportfor daughters' educational goals in the late nineteenth century and even earlier. pp.1912. 50. Folder 162. Folder 185. quoted in Rosalind Rosenberg. Helen LymanMiller Letters. 45. Separate Spheres: Voice(New York.in the Sophia Smith Collection.Amherst College Special Collections. p.June 28. to the continuing growth and development of college-educateddaughters. RadcliffeCollege. Representativeexamples of relationshipsbetween daughters who did not attend college and their mothers may be found in the Hills Family Papers. ed. See. therefore.1987). 104. pp. for example. More Than Lore (Chicago. Ethel SturgesDummerto Mabel Fisher.Woman's Place: FemaleIdentityand Vocationin AmericanHistory(Boston.to considerwhether a greater disparitybetween mothersand daughterswould be apparentin a largersamplerepresenting the wider middle class. " 'After College. p. "Patternsof Achievement of Single Academic Women at 5 Wellesley College. 1915. 11. Ethel RadcliffeCollege. The letter is markedin SturgesDummerPapers. 1980). 13. However. It is relevant. A Papers.in the Schlesinger Ames FamilyPapers. 1880-1920. letters from KatherineDummerFisher. SaraAlpern.1902. 43.Schlesinger Library.see Antler. Dorothea May Moore Papers." American 32 on Quarterly (Fall. see the following collections: MaryWilliams Dewson Papers. " 'After College.WillaCather:The Emerging A 46.The conflict between 49. invaliddaughterwho did not go to college and a capable. Louise Marion BosworthPapers.Alice Jamesfelt "emotionallyundernourished" her mother. What?':New Graduatesand the FamilyClaim. 44. 1985) p. Folder 925. AliceJames. note 42. in the Smith College Archives." 48.In the Companyof Educated Women(New Haven. Box 45. 63-67.
1988).Radcliffe College. 1977). 230-61. SocialHistoryand Human Consciousness. A Prisonof Expectations." mimeographedmanuscript. p. Anger. 126-140 and Theriot." in Carol Z. 262-69. 1985): 813-36. 23-38 and Margaret Clark. works cited in the bibliography in Steams and Stearns. Bulkley. Peter N.. Clarke. Theriot. Steams with Carol Z. Recent researchin emotions history includes Stearns and Stearns. 62. of 1780-1840 (New Haven. Jan Lewis. 209-29.Dissertation.eds.. discussions of the dangers of too much education for women.. Horn. Stearns. Examples of less than perfect earlier mother(New daughterinteractions are also cited in Nancy F Cott. contained in E. 119-132. The Culture(New Yorkand London. The Bondsof Womanhood Construction Femininity: Mothers Haven. 178. 1988).Mother and Me.cited previously. 55. An interestinganalysisof the relationshipamongcultural. Familyin Victorian rebel57. 61. for example. Margo E. 1977). 1988). 60. or. Sex in Education. of and see Shula Sommers.. Stearns."Historical Psychohistory in Emotionology:Froma Social Psychologist's Perspective. See. Fordiscussions the relationshipbetweenemotionalstandards actualemotions.Chapter4. Stearns. Stearnsand Stearns. Ibid. 67-68.Him/Her/Self. 1984). pp. 77. See also the essays and pp. A 53. and Lee Virginia Daughter A Chambers-Schiller.Anger. Barnesand Peter N. pp. and psychological factors and the dynamicsof family life is Stephen Mintz. Him/Her/Self. 1983). JosephE Kett. p. FamilyTies: The Blackwells. SomeInterdisciplinary Connections (New Yorkand London. SingleWomenin America:The Generations Liberty BetterHusband. The Biosocial Construction of Femininity. pp. See. "Mother'sLove: The Construction of an Emotion in NineteenthCentury America.social." both in Barnesand Stearns." AmericanHistoricalReview90 (October.THE ANCHOR OF MY LIFE 23 stronglysuggeststhat such a samplewould also documentmaternalsupportfor daughters' activities. 133-43. pp. H. of 58. Ritesof Passage: in Adolescence America1790 to thePresent (New York. p. 59. Studyin the Dynamicsof FamilyLifein Nineteenth CenturyAmerica.eds. Stearnsand PeterN. 52. Emotion SocialChange:Toward New and a S. "Grandmother. (New Yorkand London." AndrewE.Connecticut. TheBiosocial of in America(Westport. 215-38. A Fair Chancefor the Girls (Boston. See also Solomon. Schlesinger Library. "Suppressing Unpleasant Emotions:The Development of a Twentieth-CenturyAmerican Style. SocialHistoryand Issuesin HumanConsciousness. 1989)."Understanding Emotions:Some Interdisciplinary Considerations. In theCompany Educated Women. FastingGirls:The Emergence AnorexiaNervosaas a Modof em Disease(Cambridge. eds. Peter Filene suggeststhat mothers lived vicariouslythroughtheir daughters' lious and emancipatedbehaviorduringthe late nineteenth century. 1989). 1980. Emotion and Social Change. 56. Nini andDaughters Nineteenth-Century Herman. and Mary E. for example. 26. "Emotionology: Clarifyingthe History of Emotions and Emotional Standards. Steams."and Peter N.pp. eds. pp. 54.Nancy M. 23.TooLonga Child:TheMotherDyad(London. Joan JacobsBrumberg. . p. 1873).TuftsUniversity.
69. Womanhood America. 72. 27.At Odds."The Rise and Fall of Domesticity America(New York." 71. See Degler. Mitchell. p. ChristopherLasch. The Divided in 68. Dolores Hayden. Cott. In a DifferentVoice:Psychological Development (Cambridgeand London. CatharineBeecher:A Studyin AmericanDomesticity (New York.see The FamilyBesieged World: (New York." Workin Progress. 5. men. See also JaneFlax. Conn. Kaplanand Klein. 1973). 1978). Wellesley College. HartmanandLoisBanner.for example. 249-78. and DomesticFeminismin VictorianAmerica.24 journal of social history 63. pp. Norton. pp.Clio'sConsciousness Raised (New York.p. 256-57."The New Woman As Androgyne. 4 . Neighborhoods. 1983).p." Feminist Studies (June. Chodorow. "The Paradoxof 'Women'sSphere. 17. "Daughters Mothers:College Women Look at Their Relationships." KathrynKish Sklar. self-in-relationtheory.see Friday. Glenna a in Matthews.""HearingWomen'sWords:A Feminist Rein constructionof History. 17. For an example of the application of the theory to the analysis of contemporarymother-daughter relationships. The GrandDomesticRevolution: Historyof Feminist Designs and Harris.Sexual Control. 12.eds. A 1987). Cities (Cambridge. and Barbara for American Women theProfessions American and in BeyondHer Sphere.. pp.1978) in and JayR. Smith-Rosenbergalso comments on the activities of women outside the confines of domesticity. 1978): 171-89. Foran exampleof a currentstudythat supports Work and Gleason. "The Paradoxof 'Women's'Sphere. Chapter XIII for a discussionof women'sworld beyond the home. "The Relational Self in Late Adolescent WoNo. 3. Greenbergand Stephen A." 66. See also MaryBeth Norton. 75."p. 12-22. The issueof the applicationof ahistorical. Alexandra Kaplanand Rona Klein.. Carol Gilligan's model of female development also stressesthe role of affective connectedness in women'sconcepts of self. Smith-Rosenberg. 1-10. "Just Housewife."in MaryS. Stone Center. 74. See also Degler. 1985. The Bondsof Womanhood. pp. 12. Homes. Foran analysisof the effects on the familyof the emphasison outside expertise. ObjectRelations Psychoanalytic Theory (Cambridge.ChapterXI. Ethel Sturges Dummer. "The Relational Self." Disorderly Conduct. and The Reproduction Mothering: of of Psychoanalysis theSociology Gender(Berkeley. 119-36. 67. was involved in a wide variety of activities outside her home. "The Conflict Between of p.At Odds."pp."The New Woman and the New History. cited previously.Havenin a Heartless 70.CT. Daniel Scott Smith." Mind. History(Westport. Relevantdiscussionsof object relationstheorycan be foundin Nancy M.'. Ibid. Nurturanceand Autonomy in Mother-Daughter Relationshipsand Within Feminism. psychologicaltheoriesto the analysisof the familyin pastperiodsis consideredin Theriot. 64. CarrollSmith-Rosenberghas commented on the lack of congruence between the perspectivesof male authorsand the experiencesof women:"Iceased to search in men's writingsfor clues to women'sexperiences.see Nancy A. Smith.1977). No. Stone Center for DevelopmentalServices and Studies. The Biosocial Construction Femininity.My MotherMy Self.1974). 1982)." in Progress.1981). Theoryand Women's 73. Stearnsfor suggestinga possibleconnection between domestic feminismand maternalsupport. 65. "Family Limitation. I am gratefulto Professor Peter N. "Family Limitation.
RadcliffeCollege.THE ANCHOR OF MY LIFE 25 November 9. October 22.." brary. LydiaMariaChild to "Louise. to MaryBerenson. CareyThomas.Schlesinger Li76.SchlesingerLibrary. Box 1. ed. Volume 18. 1863.1950). 210. quoted in Degler. 1916.At Odds. Loring Papers. 77. . Hannah Whitall Smith. Clara Savage Littledale Papers. Quaker:The Lettersof September 28. p. Philadelphia HannahWhitall Smith(New York. 1910. 78. p. in Logan PearsallSmith.her daughter. aunt of M. Clara Savage Littledale. 106.
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