Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
This Grand ExperimentWhen Women Entered the Federal Workforce in Civil War-Era Washington, D.C.$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jessica Ziparo

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469635972

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469635972.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

A Strange Time to Seek a Residence in Washington

A Strange Time to Seek a Residence in Washington

Perils and Possibilities of Life for Female Federal Clerks

Chapter:
(p.100) Chapter Four A Strange Time to Seek a Residence in Washington
Source:
This Grand Experiment
Author(s):

Jessica Ziparo

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469635972.003.0005

Chapter 4 describes the challenges and opportunities of life for women in the nation’s capital during the 1860s. During the Civil War, Washington, D.C., was on the front lines of the conflict. After the war, annual reports of the Board of Metropolitan Police to Congress make clear that Washingtonians continued to endure overcrowding, housing shortages, crime, and disease. Women not only survived in this chaotic context; many—including Patent Office clerk Julia Wilbur, whose diary offers an intriguing window into the everyday life of a female federal employee—thrived in this tough city, enjoying independence, filling their leisure time, and changing the demographics of Washington. For those who chose to do so, female federal employees’ salaries, newly acquired political knowledge, and personal associations provided them with the financial and practical wherewithal to participate in philanthropy and political movements, including the suffrage movement. Female federal employees were visible all over the city, helping to normalize the presence of middle-class women in the streets of Washington. In forming this new, conspicuous community of independent women in full view of the nation’s politicians, female federal employees became a part of the struggle for women’s rights, whether they intended to or not.

Keywords:   Washington, D.C., Julia Wilbur, Housing, Suffrage, Independence, Demographics, Women’s rights, Daily life, Leisure, Philanthropy

North Carolina Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .