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Lowell Stories: Women's History

Harriot F. Curtis (1813-1889)

Image: Cover “The Lowell Offering,” University of Massachusetts Lowell, Center for Lowell History, Lowell Historical Society Collection.

Harriot F. Curtis (1813-1889) born in Vermont, daughter of Asahal Curtis and Betsey Brigham.

According to Judith A. Ranta: "Harriot Curtis, editor of the factory women's periodical, the Lowell Offering, published in Lowell, Massachusetts, from 1840 to 1845, to which she also contributed much fiction and nonfiction.

“Curtis's working-class feminism developed within Lowell's largely female community where feminist sentiment was quite common. Women there had learned to organize and assert their rights during the 1834 and 1836 strikes, and challenges to women's oppression had been published in the Lowell Offering by such contributors as Betsey Chamberlain. The working-class character of Curtis's feminism can be found in her forthright voice and awareness of economic exploitation.
She published two novels, as well as a collection of opinion pieces.

“Along with chronicling Curtis's little-known biography, this essay brings attention to the striking feminism advanced in her writings. Hers was a brave, early voice in American letters expressing a passionate belief in women's intrinsic worth and equality with men."

Related Resources:

Ranta, Judith A. “Harriot F. Curtis: Worker, Author, Editor.” ATQ (The American Transcendental Quarterly), vol. 22, no. 1, Mar. 2008, p. 327.