As well as being much more time consuming, it was also more expensive. In an essay on the advantages of railways compared road travel and rail travel between Liverpool and Manchester before and after the opening of the railway. By road, the journey took four hours and cost 10 shillings inside the coach and 5 shillings outside. By train, the same journey took one and three-quarter hours, and cost 5 shillings inside and 3 shillings 6 pence outside. Compared to canal the time savings were even more significant.
The same journey had taken 20 hours by canal.
The cost of canal carriage was 15 shillings a ton, whereas by rail it was 10 shillings a ton. The Post Office began using railways right at the very beginning, when the Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened in They began using letter-sorting carriages in , and the railway quickly proved to be a much quicker and more efficient means of transport that the old mail coaches.
The subjection of women
It was estimated in that using the Liverpool and Manchester Railway to transport mail between the two cities reduced the expense to the government by two-thirds. Newspapers could also be sent around the country with greatly increased speed. Railway expansion at this time was rapid.
Between and , miles of track had opened. By the time the South Eastern Railway opened as far as Dover, in , miles of line had been opened, making travel around the country faster, more comfortable and less expensive. Railways allowed people to travel further, more quickly. Nevertheless, women such as Forten who had never left their region before had to make more efforts to adjust to their new lives.
Even though all four women travelled quite extensively in order to teach black Americans — which was quite exceptional and daring for women at the time — they did not meet realities that were dramatically different from their own. Suzie King Taylor considered other African Americans without any class or regional pre-conceptions for she was herself a southern woman of modest means who had had the opportunity to learn how to read and write. She seemed to think that she and other black people on Saint Simons Island shared the same cultural and geographical identity. Kate Drumgoold taught poor southern people in Virginia and West Virginia and she shared a common culture and the same regional origin with them, even though she had lived in Brooklyn from an early age and had enjoyed the greater racial tolerance of the North.
The students of Mary Church Terrell came from well-to-do backgrounds like her. Although her father never allowed her to teach in the South, he reluctantly agreed to her choosing a teaching career in the North. Working mainly in the North and in Washington, DC throughout her career, she eventually submitted to the regional, social, and gender norms defined by her father. In her diary, she comments extensively on how different life in South Carolina was compared to Massachusetts.
Not only was she taken aback by material difficulties, she also expresses surprise when facing different social and cultural habits. For women such as Charlotte Forten who had not previously lived outside their native region, the gap could be wide indeed. Like her, several well-off women left well-paying teaching positions when they applied for positions at the American Missionary Association AMA or Relief associations during the American Civil War and expressed their strong patriotism by working as teachers thousands of miles away from home at a time of military uncertainty and danger.
Numerous black and white women had shown patriotism during the war, either by teaching freedmen, by sewing and sending clothes to soldiers through missionary associations, or by working as nurses or cooks in the army. Some of them even acted as spies on either side.
In her diary, Forten also rejoices over the fact that freedmen and freedwomen could be legally married, showing that she shared white Christian upper- and middle-class values. Additionally, Forten expressed preconceived ideas about the South and she sometimes passed judgment on the locals. I thought everybody sang down here. Certainly every boat crew ought. He is the most comical creature I ever saw. Six couples were married today.
Some of the dresses were unique. It looked like a white silk covered with lace. The lace sleeves and other trimmings were in rather a decayed state, the white cotton gloves were well ventilated.
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But the bride looked nonetheless happy for that. It was amusing to see some of the headdresses. One, of tattered flowers and ribbons, was very ridiculous. Despite her comments, Charlotte Forten felt sincere sympathy for the local people and did everything in her power to help them. She overcame the existing cultural gap thanks to her naturally empathetic character. Since she was present on the island at the time the Emancipation Proclamation was read, she lived this momentous time with the freedmen and writes several times about rejoicing over emancipation with the newly emancipated people.
Forever free! I shall be glad to do all that I can to help you. Their regional and class identity also influenced the way they perceived their own lives in the other region. Yet, despite the cultural shock and the social gap they experienced, all of them invested all their time and energy in the promotion of education.
Women who had lived in both regions tended to adapt to their new circumstances more easily than women like Forten who had never lived outside of their native regions. A dual regional identity thus constituted an advantage as few ordinary people — whether black or white — travelled outside their county or State at that time. Despite exacting teaching experiences and daunting situations, these four African American women teachers showed unabated motivation to promote education for their people.
At different periods in American history, they provided the larger African American community with access to education in order to guarantee greater freedom and independence for all, as well as a responsible exercise of citizenship and political power. Their accounts testify to the fact that they were deeply aware that during the war and immediately after emancipation, teaching their race represented the key to genuine freedom and upward social mobility.
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While the country was experiencing major legal, political, and social changes, while profound legislative and constitutional transformations were being made — with the passage of the three Reconstruction Amendments from and and of Civil Rights legislation —, while the South was going through major economic changes after emancipation, some of these women did not hesitate to travel far from home. Whether they belonged to the northern black bourgeoisie or were newly emancipated slaves, whether they had just escaped from bondage, like Taylor, or had grown up in families who had been free for four generations, like Forten, whether they had grown up in the North or in the South, like Taylor, or had lived in both regions, like Terrell and Drumgoold, their driving forces were similar.
Their motivations were rooted in their racial consciousness, in their family history, in feminine role models as well as in historical circumstances and religion. As educators, they encountered more difficulties than white female teachers because they often confronted racism and hostility. Yet northern and southern black women did not experience their lives as teachers in the same way. We may say that women who had a dual regional identity, such as Kate Drumgoold, adjusted to their lives as teachers in a different region more easily or rapidly.
Here, class interestingly appears as somewhat less important than region or race.
In her eyes, it was: a lovely city, where there are those that love and fear God, and who love the souls of the negro as well as those of the white, the red, the yellow or brown races of the earth, for we have ever found some of the people who do not forget us day or night in their prayers, that God will send a blessing to us as a race.
On the importance of social class and region Each teacher came with a set of beliefs and values of her own that was shaped by both her class and regional affiliations. Conclusion Despite exacting teaching experiences and daunting situations, these four African American women teachers showed unabated motivation to promote education for their people. See preface, p. The existence of the diary could be kept secret but it could also be disclosed to family members. Emmanuel S. Nelson, Westport, Greenwood P, , p. Not all of them did, though, and it is more than probable that they would not have given such interviews in the late s or in the s.
It seems that she started teaching in West Virginia in Her mother was a successful businesswoman who made a fortune in the s as a fashionable hairdresser, while her father Robert Church made profitable investments in real estate following the Memphis yellow fever epidemic of Among black people born after , literacy rates were even higher.
Taylor, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp , p. For instance, Howard University was named after General O. Sterling shows that some black women wrote to the recruiters of the AMA in order to obtain a better salary because the amount proposed by the AMA was too low.
A Victorian Fancy Dress Ball: Popular Costumes of the Late 19th Century | Author Mimi Matthews
Butchart, Schooling the Freed People , p. Race uplift was a major concern for both men and women in the black community. See for instance the writings of W.