If Not for the Ladies: Ladies' Memorial Associations and the Making of the Lost Cause
Janney-Lucas, Caroline Elizabeth, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
Gallagher, Gary, Department of History, University of Virginia
Ayers, Edward, Department of History, University of Virginia
Aron, Millicent (Cindy), Department of History, University of Virginia
Cushman, Stephen, Department of English, University of Virginia
"If Not for the Ladies" restores white women's place in the historical narrative by exploring their role as the creators and purveyors of Confederate tradition in the post Civil War South. Through a study of the Ladies' Memorial Associations of Virginia from 1861-1914, it examines how and why middle- and upper-class southern white women came to shape the public rituals of Confederate memory, Reconstruction, and reconciliation. Members of LMAs not only helped to create and entrench Confederate traditions, but they also comprised the first systematic and enduring organizations among southern white women twenty to thirty years before the establishment of national groups such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Women's Christian Temperance Union. LMAs, therefore, are evidence of a collective southern white woman's consciousness and activism (what historians have labeled "organized womanhood") much earlier than many historians have supposed. Through their experiences in Ladies' Memorial Associations, middle- and upper-class southern white women altered their relationship to each other, men, and the state. They redefined what it meant to be both an "ex-Confederate" and a "southern lady" in the postwar South.
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.
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