The role of women in American society during its first 50 years (1776-1830) varied. Women, however, built and maintained the Republic but were not granted access to the Academy (Nash, 2005, Kerber, 1997). At the threshold of the Revolutionary War, women served not only their home, family, and husbands, they began to serve the broader country. In the first third of the 19th century, white women of wealth engaged in political acts of service and in acts of disruption (Kerber, 1997). The rest of this paper examines how women leaders of early America laid the foundation for women’s access to chartered institutions of higher education and the influences of this foundation. I assert that the women of 1776-1830, through their resilience and what I have coined the capacity- social capital-finance framework, paved a path for the women to come (e.g., Catherine Beecher, Mary Lyon, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells). Through historical research, I explore the philosophical underpinnings of 1776 through 1830 and explain women’s capacity, their social capital, and the eventual access to their own money. I also apply this framework to current day standards.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.