Rachel A. Snell

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Snell’s article examines founder and first president of the American Peace Society William Ladd’s encouragement of women’s participation in the Early National peace movement as an example of politicized domesticity. Ladd’s encouragement built upon the popular perception that women’s virtue exerted a moralizing influence over men and families. By encouraging women to write peace essays and hymns for publication, Ladd sought to expand women’s power and influence beyond their families. The embrace of women’s persuasive abilities in reform activities is representative of the overlap between public and private space in Early National America as well as the ongoing negotiation of women’s public activity. Rachel A. Snell completed her PhD in History at the University of Maine in 2016. Her dissertation project focuses on discourses of domesticity through a comparative Atlantic perspective on the cultural construction of domesticity in Anglo-American print culture to better understand the everyday lives of middle-class, white women in the United States and British North America. The principal sources for this project, printed cookbooks authored by women for a female audience and manuscript cookbooks created by individual women for their personal use, reflect women’s agency in the definition of their roles.