Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Preferred Name

Tess Evans

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of History


Philip Dillard

Gabrielle Lanier

Emily Westkaempe


This thesis project investigates how northern American women in the nineteenth-century defied civility and what the consequences were. Primary and secondary source research of poetry, prose, letters, government documents, and personal accounts reveal that these women were able to step out of the domestic sphere to create a new world for themselves without the aid of males. This paper and accompanying online exhibit, Civil War Successes, explores how defying the notions of a civil woman paved the way for an earlier women’s movement than the twentieth-century. A nation torn apart by civil war saw women creating outlets for their thoughts, inspiring others, as well as liberating and acculturating African Americans in the South Carolina Sea Islands.