Letter to Cornelia Cowles
In this letter, written while a student at Oberlin College in 1839, Betsy Cowles encourages her sister Cornelia to study harder, and gives her opinion of women's education. Cowles writes, "Oh! I do hope the time is not far distant when females will feel & act that they are made for something more than to flutter or to serve.”
Betsy Mix Cowles was one of Ohio's leading female educators and played a leading role in the abolition and suffrage movements in Ohio. In 1858, she became one of the first female superintendents of schools in Painesville, Ohio. Cowles joined the anti-slavery movement in Ashtabula County, and organized the Ashtabula County Female Anti-Slavery Society in 1835. She counted as close friends notable abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and Abby Kelley Foster.
Suffrage was also very important to Cowles. She presided at the Women's Rights Convention in Salem, Ohio in 1850, and gave a report on labor and wages at the 1851 Akron Women's Rights Convention, where Sojourner Truth delivered her "Ain't I a Woman" speech.
Cowles, Betsy Mix, 1810-1876
Kent State University
Special Collections and Archives
Betsy Mix Cowles papers
Finding Aid for the Betsy Mix Cowles papers
Page 2 of letter
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Curated by Kathleen Siebert Medicus with guest contributors