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My name is Katie and I am doing an essay on American women who have contributed to society. Her impact must have occured prior to 1950. I am trying to find a woman who is not well known. My hopes are that with this essay, she will become known. Can you give me any suggestions on who to write about or where I could look? Thank you very much for you time, and any help you can give! - Katie, age 14

Thanks for your note and for welcoming suggestions. There are so many "unknown" women in history, that I honor your work to try to make them known.

Here are a few suggestions that you may or may not know about:

  • Victoria Woodhull, who was the first woman to have a brokerage house on Wall Street and the first woman nominated for President of the U.S. Both of these things occured in the 1880's.
  • Mrs. Frank Leslie--she was the Queen of publishing row in the late 1800's. She had to keep her husband's name after he died because people didn't take her seriously as a woman.
  • The Delaney Sisters, who wrote a book Having Our Say. They are crusaders in their everyday acts.
  • Sarah Josepha Hale was born in 1788 and was responsible for persuading Abraham Lincoln to declare the first Thanksgiving in 1864. She was also the author of "Mary Had A little Lamb" and for 40 years edited the Ladies Magazine, the first literary magazine for women. She was also a fervent opponent of slavery.

You could also do someone like Pochohantus or Sachagawea---the real story, not the one we always hear about. I hope this helps--and let me know if you want more suggestions.


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