American Jewish girls and the politics of identity, 1860-1920

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


On a typical day in New Orleans during the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Clara Solomon rose early to go to the Louisiana Normal School. She dawdled over breakfast and left the house reluctantly, complaining of poor health. She would have much preferred to stay home with her mother. After a school day spent learning lessons in deportment as well as geography, arithmetic, elocution, and literature, Clara walked slowly home with friends, their usual after-school gatherings curtailed by the exigencies of war. When she got home, she discussed her day with her mother, sewed, played the piano, and waited to see if her father would be able to return from his business travels that evening. She accompanied her mother to pay a call on their Jewish neighbors and went home in time for a meal meager by prewar standards. After supper she settled down to read and do some schoolwork, all the while waiting impatiently for her sister to come upstairs to their room and companionably "book it" with her in their diaries. As she wrote her diary entry for the day, she privately cursed the war and all despicable Yankees. She and her sister washed up, returned to their diaries for a few more lines scribbled before bed, blew out the candles, and went to sleep.1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGirlhood
Subtitle of host publicationA Global History
PublisherRutgers University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780813547046
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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