A Tale of Two Josephines: Class, Gender and Self-sovereignty in Gilded Age
Using court records and newspaper accounts, this article analyses the ‘Blann-Ammon’ controversy in the context of nineteenth-century liberal feminism. Risking social ostracism and imprisonment, Josephine Ammon, a wealthy and well connected Cleveland matron, sought to defend the legal rights and autonomy of Josephine Blann, her neighbour of working-class origins; but in her efforts to empower Blann, Ammon constructed perceptions of Blann, and of the case, to serve her own political and ideological purposes. This article suggests the class limitations on both constructions of womanhood and notions of feminist self-sovereignty.
Lasser, Carol. 2001. "A Tale of Two Josephines: Class, Gender and Self-sovereignty in Gilded Age." Gender & History 13(1): 65-96.
Gender & History