Women in the Texas Populist movement: Their letters to the "Southern Mercury"
Barthelme, Marion Knox
Haskell, Thomas L.
Master of Arts
Many rural Texas women joined the Farmers' Alliance and Populist Party, components of the agrarian reform movement in America in the 1880's and 1890's. Some expressed their interest in the movement by writing letters to the Southern Mercury, a Dallas-based newspaper that became the official organ of the Farmers' State Alliance and Populist Party. These letters, over one hundred in number, give some idea of the concerns, thoughts and daily lives of ordinary women in the movement. They provide a view of women's perceptions of their domestic sphere and their hopes and expectations for the Alliance and Populist Party. They suggest that many women found community, mutuality and a stronger sense of self through participation in the movement and in writing and reading each others' letters to the Southern Mercury.
American history; Women's studies