National First Ladies Library

Background on the women of the White House.

Civil War Women

From the Duke University Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Special Collections Library: Resources by and about women during the Civil War.

African-American Women On-line Archival Collections

Historical collection of letters and memoirs by African-American women in the nineteenth-century.

  • Boycotting Baubles of Britain

    Created December 22, 2009
    Boycotting Baubles of Britain-boston tea party

    This lesson looks at the changes in British colonial policies and the American resistance through the topic of tea, clothing, and other British goods. Students analyze and interpret key historical artifacts as well as visual and textual sources that shed light on how commodities such as tea became important symbols of personal and political identity during the years leading up to the formal Declaration of Independence in 1776.

  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wall-paper"—Writing Women

    Front page illustration for the original serialized version of The Yellow  Wallpaper from the New England Magazine (1892).

    Charlotte Perkins Gilman's story "The Yellow Wall-paper" was written during this time of great change. This lesson plan, the second part of a two-part lesson, helps to set the historical, social, cultural, and economic context of Gilman's story.

  • Lesson 4: Abraham Lincoln, the 1860 Election, and the Future of the American Union and Slavery

    Created July 19, 2010
    Abraham Lincoln at the time of his historic debates with Stephen A. Douglas.

    This lesson plan will explore Abraham Lincoln's rise to political prominence during the debate over the future of American slavery. Lincoln's anti-slavery politics will be contrasted with the abolitionism of William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass and the "popular sovereignty" concept of U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas.

  • Emily Dickinson & Poetic Imagination: "Leap, plashless"

    Emily Dickinson

    Emily Dickinson's poetry often reveals a child-like fascination with the natural world.  She writes perceptively of butterflies, birds, and bats and uses lucid metaphors to describe the sky and the sea.

  • Lesson 5: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Rise of Social Reform in the 1930s

    Eleanor Roosevelt in Arthurdale, West Virginia, 1933.

    This lesson asks students to explore the various roles that Eleanor Roosevelt a key figure in several of the most important social reform movements of the twentieth century took on, among them: First Lady, political activist for civil rights, newspaper columnist and author, and representative to the United Nations.

  • Mapping Colonial New England: Looking at the Landscape of New England

    A Dutch Map of the English colonies in North America around 1685 with an inset  view of New Amsterdam.

    The lesson focuses on two 17th-century maps of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to trace how the Puritans took possession of the region, built towns, and established families on the land. Students will learn how these New England settlers interacted with the Native Americans, and how to gain information about those relationships from primary sources such as maps.