Letter to Cornelia Cowles

Description 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.

Author/Photographer Cowles, Betsy Mix, 1810-1876
Date 1839-08-11
Extent 4 pages
Institution Kent State University
Repository Special Collections and Archives
Provenance/Collection Betsy Mix Cowles papers
Finding aid Finding Aid for the Betsy Mix Cowles papers
Portion Digitized Page 2 of letter
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Format of Original document


Curated by Kathleen Siebert Medicus with guest contributors