Louisa May Alcott II

Lead:   It took two and a half months, but with poverty knocking on the family door, Louisa May Alcott finally delivered to her anxious publisher a “story for girls.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: At first, Alcott balked at her publisher’s assignment, saying she had “never liked girls or knew many except my sister…” The novel, which was loosely autobiographical, was set during the Civil War and describes the domestic experiences of the Marchs, a New England family of modest means. It examines the lives of four sisters, Meg, , Beth, Amy and Jo, as they wrestle with their own character flaws and each other’s. The literary world was entranced. The novel was hailed for its simplicity and realistic depiction of the struggles of adolescence.

Louisa May Alcott I

Lead:   In December 1862 an unknown writer from Concord, Massachusetts, got her start as an author nursing soldiers at the Union Hotel Hospital in Washington.            

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1832, but spent the bulk of her life in eastern Massachusetts. Louisa’s father, Bronson Alcott, was a self-educated philosopher, education reformer and leader in the transcendentalist movement. Louisa’s mother, Abigail May, was well educated and hailed from a prominent Boston family. Bronson Alcott worked sporadically – having several unsuccessful experimental educational ventures and a brief period as a communal farmer. His professional drift kept the family in virtual poverty, but apparently Louisa and her three sisters had a happy childhood. The Alcott’s circle of friends included some of the notable thinkers of the time – Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne and especially, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson occasionally helped the struggling family and became one Louisa’s mentors.

Harriet Tubman III

Lead: In 1861, hard against the onset of the American Civil War, Underground Railroad leader, Harriet Tubman, despite the danger, continued her crusade for freedom.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By the time the American Civil War broke out, Harriet Tubman, a former slave, was well known for her successful forays into the south where she rescued hundreds of slaves. Between 1850 and 1860 she was a leader or "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, a network of antislavery activists, who facilitated passage of freedom for fugitive slaves in the South. Tubman, herself, took great risks on nineteen rescue missions - all of which were successful.

Harriet Tubman II

Lead: In 1850 Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave, began a series of return visits to the South. There she gathered other slaves and guided them to freedom.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Tubman was born into slavery on the eastern shore of Maryland.
In 1849 at the age of 29, she rode the Underground Railroad to Philadelphia. There she met William Still, the antislavery activist and one of the founders of this secret effort to bring slaves out of the South. She worked hard to familiarize herself with the Underground Railroad operation and the routes it followed and became trained as a "conductor."

Harriet Tubman I

Lead: In 1849, Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery in Maryland. Over many years she became a prominent leader of that network set up to free slaves, the Underground Railroad.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Tubman was born about 1820 on the eastern shore of Maryland to plantation slave parents, Harriet Greene and Benjamin Ross. One of eleven children, she was named Araminta Ross, but was called by her mother’s name. Harriet was hired out as a house slave at age five and throughout her childhood was subjected to cruel treatment.

New Jersey Gives Women the Vote

Lead: In its 1776 constitution, almost by accident, the state of New Jersey gave women the right to vote.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The New Jersey Constitution was a hastily assembled affair, put together under the pressure of wartime. Its only requirement for suffrage was a property requirement. The franchise was extended to all inhabitants who were worth £50 or more. This included women and, for that matter, free blacks who were able to muster the financial assets. This did not mean that women voted in large numbers at first. Few married women owned property independently from their husbands. That left prosperous single women and widows who were not in abundance.


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Molly Corbin, Revolutionary Soldier

Lead: During the Battle of Fort Washington in November, 1776 Molly Corbin fought the British as hard as any man.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Margaret Corbin was a camp follower. At that time women were not allowed to join military units as combatants but most armies allowed a large number of women to accompany units on military campaigns. They performed tasks such as cleaning and cooking and due to their proximity to battle often got caught up in actual fighting. Mrs. Washington was a highly ranked camp follower. She often accompanied the General on his campaigns and was at his side during the dark winter of 1777 at Valley Forge. Many of these women were married, some were not and occasionally performing those rather dubious social duties associated with a large number of men alone far from home.


Eleanor Gwyn II

Lead:  In the aftermath of the puritan ascendency, in the 1660s England re-opened its theaters. There on the stage of King’s Theater on Drury Lane, acclaimed comedienne Eleanor “Nell” Gwyn auditioned for her greatest role.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After nearly two decades of Puritan rule, the revival of English theater gave opportunity to actresses such as Nell Gwyn. By the age of 15, she had extracted herself from a dead job serving drinks at her mother's brothel and become England's most acclaimed comedienne. She captured the hearts of audiences and, eventually, that of the kingdom's most renowned theater lover, Charles Stuart, King of England.

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