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Women's History Month

Discover the history of women in your family, and explore the lives of women who made a difference in the history of our country. Celebrate women's history through photos, documents, words, and deeds.


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Civil War Widows' Pensions

Rebecca Collingwood.jpg
2 images

Rebecca Richardson Collingwood lost her husband, Captain Joseph Collingwood, after the Battle of Fredericksburg where he fought with the Massachusetts 18th Regiment. He was wounded in the thigh and succumbed to his injury, most probably because of infection, on 24 December 1862.

Brady Civil War Photos

B-2003 Miss Edwards in front of Indian Rock,
3 images

Search on "Mrs" or "Miss" to uncover 150 photos of women, taken by Brady and his team in the 1860s.

Ardelia Hall Collection

Ardelia Hall worked extensively from 1954-61 on the project to catalog and research Nazi-looted artifacts, works of art, books, and other valuable materials.

Ardelia Ripley Hall was born 4 December 1899 in Weymouth, Massachusetts. She was a graduate of Smith College.

Explore the Ardelia Hall Collection from the Looted Valuables page within the Holocaust Collection.

Southern Claims Commission

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There are an abundance of claims submitted by women in the Southern Claims Commission files. The reason is most likely that they were alone while husbands, fathers, and brothers were fighting. They needed to prove their loyalty to the northern cause and therefore would probably avoid mention of male relations who were fightging against the North.

Elizabeth Gould of Alexandria, Virginia, is one of many women who received compensation for property confiscated by the Union Army. She received $6,349 (quite a large sum in the day) for 9,625 cords of wood taken from the "Edsall's Hill" tract of land. Her claim begins here.

Louisa Ferguson of Fairfax County, Virginia, claimed $150 for a horse. Her claim rejected. She was born free in about 1804 and eventually married William Ferguson, a slave of a farmer named Dennis Johnson in Fairfax County, Virginia. She had 16 children and supported the Union cause. In her deposition, Louisa says "My father belonged to Gen'l Washington, he was Gen'l Washington's carpenter. Gen'l Washington set him free. and my father afterwards bought my mother and set her free. I was born after my mother was set free." Read more about her case here.

Frances Perkins, first woman appointed to Cabinet

Frances Perkins.jpg

Find Frances Perkins on Fold3 in the 1930 census with her family in New York, prior to her appointment as Secretary of Labor under FDR. Information is also at Wikipedia.

Photo above is from the Frances Perkins Center online gallery

Lincoln Assassination Papers: Mary Surratt

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Mary Surratt is one of the accused in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

Captain Kathleen Nash Durant

Captain Kathleen Nash Durant, Major Jack W. Durant, and Colonel David F. Watson conspired to keep jewels of the House of Hesse and other property discovered in Schloss Friedrichshof at Kronberg, and smuggle them into the United States. The valuables were ultimately returned to the Hesse family and the three officers imprisoned. The trial documents include depositions, photographs, pleas and sentencing.

Learn more about Durant and her co-consipirators within the documents in the Hesse Crown Jewels Court-Martial case and on the Fold3 description page.

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