Woman Who Ran the Colt Firearms Factory

When firearms manufacturer Samuel Colt died in 1862, majority ownership in the Colt Fire Arms Company passed to his wife, Elizabeth Jarvis Colt. Called the Grande Dame of Connecticut, she worked tirelessly to preserve her husband's accomplishments and safeguard his legacy. The company continued to thrive under her leadership for almost forty years.

Image: Elizabeth Jarvis Hart Colt
With her son Caldwell
Portrait by Charles Loring Elliott

Early Years
Elizabeth …Read More...

First Woman to Exhibit Her Art at the Paris Salon

Elizabeth Gardner was among the first wave of Americans who sought art training in Paris during and after the Civil War. She was the first American woman to exhibit a painting at the Paris Salon, and the first woman awarded a gold medal there. Her prize-winning painting The Farmer's Daughter sold April 23, 2010 at Sotheby's New York for $494,500, significantly more than the $200,000 to $300,000 estimate.

Image: The …Read More...

Union Newspaperwomen in Confederate Virginia

Image: Lida and Lizzie Dutton

During the years preceding the Civil War, Quakers in Loudoun County, Virginia lived in a heated political situation. After their state seceded from the Union, they struggled to remain pacifists in the presence of Confederate troops. But three girl journalists in the town of Waterford had no problem asserting their support for the Union.

Educating the Dutton Girls
Like most Quakers, John and Emma Dutton of Loudoun County, Waterford, …Read More...

Businesswoman and Feminist in the Civil War Era

Lydia Pinkham concocted a patent medicine tonic - Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound - to treat menstrual and menopausal symptoms. She began selling her home-brewed herbal remedy to make ends meet after her wealthy husband went bankrupt, and developed a patent medicine empire.

In an age when women were second-class citizens, Lydia Pinkham not only succeeded in a man's world, she was one of the most successful American businesswomen of the 19th century. …Read More...