Observations on the Real Rights of Women and Other Writings


Observations on the Real Rights of Women and Other Writings

Hannah Mather Crocker
Edited and with an introduction by Constance J. Post

Legacies of Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers Series

340 pages
2 tables


May 2011


$35.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

May 2011


$35.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Following in the path of her distinguished Puritan forebears, Hannah Mather Crocker used her skills as a writer primarily to persuade. Unlike those forebears, however, she did not begin her career as a published writer until well into middle age, after the death of her husband, Joseph Crocker, and after having raised ten children. The works collected here include previously unpublished poetry, drama, memoirs, sermons, and essays on American identity, education, and history, as well as the three texts published in her lifetime. This volume is named for her most famous work, Observations on the Real Rights of Women. Originally published in 1818, it is widely considered the first published treatise on women’s rights written by an American woman and serves as a rare example of women’s views of their own roles within the early American republic. This collection also mirrors the many changes that occurred in the United States during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, highlighting the shift in attitude toward women’s rights, education, and other reform movements as well as the American Revolution. Crocker’s writing provides a rare and valuable window into the concerns of women who embodied Enlightenment ideals during the years of the early republic.

Author Bio

Hannah Mather Crocker (1752–1829) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to minister Samuel Mather, son of the prominent author and minister Cotton Mather, and his wife, Hannah Hutchinson, sister of the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She published A Series of Letters on Free Masonry (1815), which she followed with The School of Reform, or Seaman’s Safe Pilot to the Cape of Good Hope (1816) and Observations on the Real Rights of Women (1818). Constance J. Post is an associate professor of English at Iowa State University and the author of Signs of the Times in Cotton Mather’s Paterna: A Study of Puritan Autobiography.

Table of Contents



A Note on the Text

Part 1. Finding a Voice, 1812<EN>1814

Fast Sermon

Thanksgiving Sermon

An Humble Address to the Reason and Wisdom of the American Nation

Antiquarian Researches, Pleasant and Easy

Part 2. Becoming an Advocate, 1815<EN>1819

A Series of Letters on Free Masonry

The School of Reform, or Seaman's Safe Pilot to the Cape of Good Hope

Observations on the Real Rights of Women, with Their Appropriate Duties, Agreeable to Scripture, Reason and Common Sense

The Midnight Beau

Part 3. Taking Stock, 1820<EN>1829

Selections from "Reminiscences and Traditions of Boston, Being an Account of the Original Proprietors of That Town, the Manners and Customs of Its People"




Also of Interest