Collection SCA415-GA483 - Reconstruction.

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1 cm of textual records

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Elizabeth "Lizzie" Doten (April 1, 1827 – January 15, 1913) was a prominent American lecturer, poet and trance medium. Lizzie was well known for her supposed ability to channel poetry from Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Burns and William Shakespeare. Born in Plymouth, Massachusetts both of her parents were Mayflower descendants. Two of her brothers would go on to lead the first two Union companies to deploy from Plymouth during the Civil War. Active on the lecture circuit from 1864-1880 she would speak in trances as well as lecture on topics including religious freedom, women's rights (including suffrage and equal pay), and abolition. Doten retired from lecturing in 1880 and in 1902 married her long time companion Zabdiel Adams Willard (1826–1918). They lived in Brookline, Massachusetts until her death in 1913.

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Broadside of a poem delivered by Lizzie Doten on September 23, 1866 at Library Hall, Chelsea, titled "Reconstruction." The poem addresses then President Andrew Johnson and criticizes his approach to the South at the end of the American Civil War. She believed that Johnson was too lenient on the South and allowed too much wealth and influence to remain with Southern Confederate politicians. She also criticizes Johnson for being unconcerned with Black suffrage or the rights of Black soldiers who fought for the Union. She ends her poem with the rallying cry "...let the ballot finish with the bayonet has begun."

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Purchased from Michael R. Thompson Rare Books, 2022.


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  • English

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Described by JB August 2022.

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  • English

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