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Schlesinger, Elizabeth Bancroft (1886–1977) - U.S. Women’s History

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Elizabeth Bancroft Schlesinger was born in Columbus, Ohio, on July 3, 1886, to Arthur Bancroft, a newspaperman, and Clara Weilnman Bancroft. She attended Ohio State University, sometimes teaching in a one-room country school to get money for college. She graduated in 1910 and taught high school in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In 1914 she married Arthur M. Schlesinger, who eventually became a noted Harvard historian. Their son, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.,won the Pulitzer Prize in history in 1945 and served in President John F. Kennedy’s administration.

After World War II, Schlesinger began pioneering for the study of women’s history. She wrote articles on notable nineteenth-century American women such as “Fanny Fern” (Sara Willis Parton), “Jenny June” (Jane Cunningham Croly), Abigail May Alcott, Eliza Farrar, Eliza Follen, and many others for magazines such as the New England Quarterly, New York History, William and Mary Quarterly, New York Historical Society Quarterly , and American Heritage . In 1965 the Radcliffe College Women’s Archives were renamed the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. Elizabeth Bancroft Schlesinger died June 3, 1977, in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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