Welcome to the (18)50s!

Bloomer Costume

The Bloomer Costume, 1855

1850

In 1850, fashion advocate Amelia Jenkins Bloomer launches the dress reform movement introducing a pantaloon style of attire that allowed women greater freedom of movement. The "Bloomer costume" faced backlash from convservative men and women and many suffrage supporters abandoned the style as they believed it detracted from the message of the suffrage movement.

Lucy Stanton

1850

American abolitionist and feminist Lucy Stanton becomes the first African-American woman to complete a four-year course of a study at a college or university. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1850. 

Object number 2008.1.303; Weave Structure: Beiderwand; Weaver: G. Engel ; Date: 1851; Location: Ohio

Object number 2008.1.303; Weave Structure: Beiderwand; Weaver: G. Engel; Date: 1851; Location: Ohio

Object number 2008.1.303; Weave Structure: Beiderwand; Weaver: G. Engel ; Date: 1851; Location: Ohio

1851

In 1851 Soujournor Truth gives her famous Ain’t I a Woman Speech that addressed racial and gender inequality.

Object number 2008.1.013; Weave Structure: Double Weave; Weaver: Samuel Graham ; Date: 1855; Location: Indiana

Object number 2008.1.013; Weave Structure: Double Weave; Weaver: Samuel Graham ; Date: 1855; Location: Indiana

Object number 2008.1.013; Weave Structure: Double Weave; Weaver: Samuel Graham ; Date: 1855; Location: Indiana

1855

1855 In Missouri v. Celia, an enslaved Black woman is declared by law to be property without a right to defend herself against a master’s act of rape. Celia is executed under a murder charge for defending herself. The case legally solidifies a longstanding precedent that Black woman's body is not her own. Long after the end of slavery, Black women will continue to confront a legal system that refuses to denounce white men's sexual violence.

Object numbers 2014.1.5