Friday, September 28, 2018

Winning Women's Suffrage in the Upper Midwest

A new book has been reviewed on H-Net (Humanities and social sciences online) that may be of interest to genealogists:

Woman Suffrage and Citizenship in the Midwest, 1870-1920 (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2018) by Sara Egge (who teaches history at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky) has an interesting review at H-Net. The book focuses on the upper Midwest -- Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota. I haven't seen the book but those researching folks in those states may be interested in the resources Egge drew on.

There's also an overarching lesson -- one that historians know and that genealogists, including me, may need to be reminded of -- not all things that we might consider good ideas run together. Especially after the U.S. joined World War I, women often promoted their right to vote by endorsing both the war and anti-immigrant nativism. Another interesting angle is that the book discusses the many failures of suffrage activism prior to its eventual success.

The book is widely available in top libraries (including Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne) according to WorldCat. The summary there notes that the author focused on Clay County, Iowa; Lyon County, Minnesota; and Yankton County, South Dakota. There is also a link to a Google preview.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Potentially bad news for genealogists: privacy rights for the dead?

Law professor Michael D. Breidenbach argues for privacy for the deceased.

"If society is a partnership among the living, dead and unborn, then historians should interpret figures from the past, even those with mortal failings, with as much justice and charity as we ought to extend to the living. History is not gossip about dead people." (Washington Post, 6 September 2018)

If this isn't the "right to be forgotten," it's a close cousin.