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Overview

Beyond the popular myths of spirited young women and iron-willed matrons of the 19th century South were women of substance and diversity. Many were prolific diarists, letter writers, and record keepers of deep insight and keen observation. In this important microfilm publication from UPA, fascinating collections of their writings shed light on the world they knew. Courtship, slavery, education, child rearing, marriage, and religion are common threads running through the thoughts of many disparate women documented in the series. Series B comprises the detailed records of women at Shirley Plantation on the James River in Charles City County, Virginia. Robert R. Carter had prepared his daughter, Alice, for the responsibility of running Shirley after his death. Alice Carter Bransford, with the help of her sister, Marion, and her mother, Louise, settled his estate and operated the plantation for 30 years. Louise kept diaries of their life and the happenings at Shirley until her death in 1906. Alice and Marion continued their mother's tradition. In addition to the diaries there are several volumes with copied or original essays and poetry, address books, scrapbooks, and other items, as well as extensive family, personal, and social correspondence. The Carter family papers, 1888-1989, are a continuation of the Shirley Plantation collection, 1650-1888, documenting earlier members of the Carter family and available in UPA's Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series K.

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