The sources used to prepare the narrative essay can all be found listed in footnotes to the essay. In working out possibilities for exercises in Section I, I used the printed United States Censuses available in the Connecticut State Library in Hartford. Many public libraries also have copies of the printed census and statistical abstracts are available. Use your librarian to help you locate what you need. The census was compiled for every decade beginning in 1790. Though there is not a great deal of consistency in categories from one decade to the next, it is possible to determine for some decades the number of women of childbearing age and the number of children born in the decade. Also the number of foreign born residents were enumerated. And population is broken down by county and town. Students will need direction and patience.
Secondary Sources: General Works
I. Abortion, Contraception, and the Development of Medicine:
The Horrors of the Half-Known Life
. New York: Harper and Row, 1976. (A lively and harsh account of the development of American medicine: best for teachers)
The Birth Controllers
. New York: Stein and Day, 1966. (Lacking in a feminist perspective and so a little out of date now, but gives a good account of the development of the philosophy and practice of contraception in the 19th century; stresses connections between the U.S. and Britain. For teachers and advanced students.)
Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth
Control in America
. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1976. (Provides a feminist perspective and is especially good on the period after the 1870s. For teachers and advanced students.)
Mohr, James C.
Abortion in America
. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. (Comprehensive study of the development of abortion legislation in the 19th century. Useful for teachers and for students doing extended research.)
Wrigley, E. A. et. al. An
Introduction to English Historical Demography
. New York: Basic Books, 1966. (A classic in the field; contained excellent material on how to do family reconstitution. For teachers.)
The Bonds of Womanhood: Women’s Sphere in New England
, 1780-1835. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972. (Whole book worth reading but excellent chapter on domesticity. For teachers and advanced students.)
Sklar, Kathryn Kish.
Catharine Beecher: A Study in American Domesticity
. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1973. (Beautifully written biography of the Connecticut champion of women’s moral character. For more advanced students and a must for teachers.)
Calhoun, Arthur W.
A Social History of the American Family
. vol. II, New York: Barnes and Noble, 1960. (Early attempt to write family history using literary sources;, now outdated in approach, but contains useful quoted material. First published in 1945. Read when you have nothing else to do. For teachers.)
At Odds: Women and the Family in America from the
Revolution to the Present
. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981. (A controversial but well-informed study, making use of much monographic material and relating family history, demographic history and women’s history. For teachers.)
Womanhood in America
. 2nd ed., New York: New Viewpoints, 1979. (Best general history of women for teachers and students. Chapter Two deals with fertility decline and Chapter Three with cultural values in the antebellum period.)
James, Edward T. Janet James and Paul Boyer,
Notable American Women,
1607-1950. 3 vol., Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974. (Excellent biographical guide to American women; a must for your library. Brief but pithy biographies reflecting new scholarship on women and extremely useful for students doing brief or extended research. Gives further bibliographical information on women cited.)
Secondary Sources: Collections of Articles
Cott, Nancy F. and Elizabeth H. Pleck, eds.,
A Heritage of Her Own
. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979. (Contains many excellent articles on demography, family history and women’s history. Useful for teachers and students doing research. Note Cott on divorce, Wells on 18th century demographic history, Lerner on professionalization of medicine, and Smith on the relation between family limitation and female power.)
Gordon, Michael, ed.
The American Family in Social-Historical Perspective
. 2nd ed., New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1978. (Excellent selections by leading scholars on all aspects of the family; note Welter on domesticity. Valuable methodological introduction for teachers. Students with a special interest can handle articles.)
Frazier, Thomas R., ed.
The Private Side of American History: Readings in Everyday Life
. vol. II, 2nd ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979. (Many good articles dealing with women and social history. Note Kennedy for introduction to the scare over fertility decline. Good for teachers and for students with an interest in social history.)
Hartman, Mary and Lois Banner, eds.
Clio’s Consciousness Raised
. New York: Harper and Row, 1974. (Excellent selections dealing with women’s health, cultural values, work, and family limitation. Note Gordon on voluntary motherhood. For students and teachers.)
Rabb, Theodore and Robert Rotberg., eds.
The Family in History
. New York: Harper and Row, 1973. (Good introduction for teachers looking for a comparative approach;, contains both American and European materials.)