Author to bring Vermont women ‘Out of the Shadows of History’ in June 24 talk

RIPTON — Many people have heard of Ann Story, who traveled to the area we now call Vermont in 1755 to live with her husband and five children. She became a spy and courier for Vermont’s militia during the American Revolution. Yet there are many more stories of brave women who lived here
Cyndy Bittinger, author of “Vermont Women, Native Americans and African Americans: Out of the Shadows of History.” will shed light on these women in a talk on Saturday, June 24, at 2 p.m. at Ripton Community Church. Sponsored by the Ripton Historical Society, Bittinger’s talk, “Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History: The Stories of Brave Vermont Women Who Did,” is based on her recent book.
Beginning with Native Americans, there is a hidden history of women creating their own narratives, which often gets lost in the emphasis on political, military, or economic history dominated by men. Bittinger has attempted to recover this history and will show that women also had a vision that should be integral to the nation’s culture.
Women made contributions that still resonate with us today. Abby Hemenway published town histories to help us appreciate and treasure our local history. Dorothy Canfield Fisher began the book of the month club and believed in adult lifelong learning. Daisy Turner kept alive her father’s history of slavery through oral verse. In 1814, Emma Willard of Middlebury believed women could learn math and science just like men did. Many were the first of their gender to strike out on a new path and knowing this history will enrich us all.

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