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Upcoming United States Holidays
Labor DaySeptember 06, 2021
Columbus DayOctober 11, 2021
HalloweenOctober 31, 2021
Veterans DayNovember 11, 2021
Thanksgiving DayNovember 25, 2021

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Geography. 17, 4 (1991) 435452
Landscapes of women and men: rethinking the regional historical geography of the United States and Canada Jeanne Kay
This paper proceeds from the premise that historical geographers are not prejudiced against women, but many are unsure how to incorporate information on women into their research. The result unfortunately is a historical landscape in which only half of the residents normally are visible, despite many models of regional studies published in women’s history. Historical geographers of rural Canada and the United States are to some extent limited by their frequent use of one narrative form, the national epic, that cannot readily portray women as important actors unless its essential plot line is reinterpreted in ways less familiar to geographers. Taking the examples of three western frontier women, I discuss how their narratives indicate ways to give a more balanced impression of both women and men in studies of regional economies and landscape modification. Incorporating female experience is likely to change some fundamental assumptions about the historical geography of the United States and Canada.
The male orientation and near-absence of material on women in North American regional historical geography are easy enough to document. The persistence of this bias despite nearly 20 years of scholarly publications in women’s history can no longer be justified. The challenge awaiting regional historical geographers who are no longer content with gender-blind studies is to demonstrate how gender-balanced research could be conducted and what probably will be the implications of doing so. A discussion of alternatives to the patriarchical assumptions of most regional historical geography of Canada and the United States is overdue. Ignoring the vast published literature in women’s studies and ethno-history that would directly contribute to full and balanced regional historical geography is essentially inadequate research. Androcentric assumptions about societies, communities, or regions create logical fallacies and unsupported conclusions.t’l Casting women only as helpmeets or bit players in a Euro-American male drama does not do justice to the people who made the past that we study: it simply indicates that historical geographers interpret the past in terms of mythic type-scenes that validate their own ideologies. Many historians and geographers of women have an ambitious scholarly and political agenda. My relatively modest goal for this paper is simply to move historical geography to “phase one” of a women’s historical geography imperative: to determine how historical geographers of rural regions might incorporate information on women, to reinterpret or extend our traditional narrative forms, and to explore new versions that seem more gender-balanced. I therefore do not 0305-7488/91/040435 + 18 $03.00/O
X2)1991 Academic Press Limited
argue for dropping historical geography’s traditional emphases on the domains of staple export production and landscape modification, but rather for relating these topics in ways that incorporate women, such as including the domain of domestic household economies and more fine-grained scales of landscape analysis. Historical geographers might also reinterpret our traditional forms of narratives in order for them to apply to individuals’ lived experience, as well as to collective male economic and political activities, and thus become more appropriate for women as well as men. Obviously, many more approaches to a gender-balanced historical geography are possible and desirable.t21 The implications of more gender-balanced research, however, are not likely to be simply a richer or more nuanced extension of our current regional literature, but rather, a strikingly different picture of the past. Scott argued from a deconstructionist perspective that unitary concepts in history, such as accepted constructions of community, in reality depend on the suppression or negation of contradictory material.131 Historians, therefore, cannot “present any particular story as if it were complete, universal, or objectively determined.” Incorporating material on women is indeed likely to challenge standard images of the past that are derived from men’s activities and perspectives. The analysis of ostensibly empirical historical geography books, using some of the same inquiries that would apply to a work of literature, is therefore a useful way to understand how and why historical geographers often restrict their analyses to specifically male experiences. Interpreting historical geography as narrative or text, following the recent interest in narrativism in history, can illuminate both current practice and future possible directions for our field. This paper offers a critique of gender-blindness in the literature on the regional historical geography of North America and a discussion of its narrative conventions, followed by prescriptions for gender-balanced research as illustrated through the writings of three women who settled in western North America. Their published volumes illustrate the themes of an expanded historical geography of economic activity and landscape modification, as well as a reinterpreted plot for frontier settlement. I conclude with some implications of research in individual women’s lives for the regional historical geography of the United States and Canada.
Gender bias in regional North American historical geography At least three principal types of bias towards women may be found in the recent literature of the historical geography of North American regions.t41 Our most noticeable biases are: the virtual invisibility of women as subjects; authors’ explicitly androcentric (and often ethnocentric) biases about people in the past; and the assumption that studies of “societies” and “communities” refer to both men and women, when such generalizations would either be historically incorrect or else demonstrably inapt. Journal article formats allow explicit identification of only a few books for each type of bias, but I hope they point to larger trends in the historical geography literature. I stress at the outset that most of the following volumes have been favorably reviewed elsewhere, and with good reason, by reviewers who were not particularly concerned with a feminist critique and who evaluated the books according to other criteria. But I also hope the following examples will demonstrate that
addressing the exclusion of women from historical geography goes well beyond a simplistic plea for “political correctness,” because this exclusion has serious implications for the quality of scholarship which historical geographers produce. Worse, it deprives women students and scholars of an understanding of our own heritage. Women as subjects or actors have indeed been banished from most of the regional historical geography books on North America. One may scan indexes and texts at length without finding explicit references to women. Where mention of women would indeed be appropriate to the topic at hand, most authors refer to women only indirectly (for example, in passive voice,) if such a rhetorical strategy can be said to constitute a reference to women at all. Most of the handful of oblique references to women are in the context of sexual relations or reproduction; seldom in relation to economic activities, landscape modification, or other standard geographic themes. Donald Meinig, for example, in his major undertaking, The Shaping of Atlantic America, includes no material that I could discover on women of European extraction. L5]The few indirect references to women that I could find were for women of color primarily in the context of the emergence of bi-racial populations in the South. Yet the role of slave women in reproducing the mulatto population is not addressed: the mothers are erased. Meinig denotes women of color in antebellum Louisiana as “wives, mistresses, children and partners of various sorts.” The invisibility of women in Atlantic America has several intellectual consequences. One is the amoral quality lent to the text. In treating the creation of the southern Black population with much the same tone as he treats, say, the immigration of Palatine Germans; Meinig ignores and thus glosses over the sordid history of White male sexual exploitation of Black women and absence of social (and in most cases legal) sanctions against it that forced women to color into the status of “mistresses” and “partners of various sorts.” Without delving into the social and economic inducements to planters’ exploitation of slave women, Meinig essentially eschews any real literature review or explanation of the emergence of a new dualrace population-whose mothers’ labor relations and social status (slavery) defined those of the group as a whole.[6l Like Meinig, Jordan and Kaups have virtually nothing to say about women of European backgrounds. [n The authors refer to relations between Native American women and Euro-American men primarily and obliquely in terms of miscegenation, although they have an explicit interest in themes that must have depended on Native women, such as diffusion of Native foodways and material culture into backwoods Euro-American life. Jordan and Kaups quaintly refer to intimate relations between Native women and European men as “mixing”, and as Pocahontas “consorting” with planters. Their inattention to the role of Indian women as creative partners in the new and blended backwoods subcultures has the effect of generating an incomplete explanation for sections of their study. The authors also exhibit a peculiarly ethnocentric bias, in confounding a conservative Euro-American definition of “cohabitation” with marriage customs of traditional Native societies, where nuptuals and divorces were seldom marked with public ceremonies. [*IIt seems impossible to understand backwoods relationships between Euro-American men and Native American women apart from Indian-not European-marriage customs and understanding of kinship alliances. If traders “set the pattern” it was often because Indians perceived advantages in kinship with a man who distributed valued goods, because Indians harbored few of the Euro-American racist objections to intermarriage.
and because traders perceived advantages in attracting the business of a large extended family.191 Jordan and Kaups’s brief treatment of Native women raises other serious questions. How neutral or “universal” is the point of view being expressed when authors describe inter-racial relations only from the perspective of a conservative Euro-American male, even when other alternative interpretations (Indian female) are available and arguably have more explanatory power for the topic at hand? Which sex’s or culture’s point of view are being expressed in the following lines from Andrew Clark’s Aca&~?[‘~l Resort to Indian women must have been common enough among the fur traders, but it never became accepted or established practice in the organized settlements, in good part because of the influence of the priests. In any event. dalliance with the Indian maids was more likely to lead the men to the forest than the women to the cornfields.
Historical geographers will continue to produce insufficient explanations so long as our literature is written from the point of view of one sex and one culture. The notion that regional historical geography has a neutral, objective stance is truly questionable. Nor is a particularistic male perspective absent from historical geographies where the family or household is a specific focus of study. Most families or households include females. Yet Ostergren’s emphasis on family history does not prevent him from focusing on male patriarchs at the expense of wives or daughters. [“I Virtally all of the settlers discussed in William Wyckoff’s The Developer’s Frontier are men. (‘*IIn the two pages (117-I 18) where the author specifically addresses the theme of women on the frontier, he selects two individual women settlers as examples. They are not even identified by name, but simply as wives of men whom Wyckoff does identify by name. Wyckoff occasionally alludes to even more faceless “wives” or “families” among the dozens of individual male settlers whom he explicitly identifies and discusses. A study of household patriarchs is certainly a justifiable research project. The danger comes in assuming that data so generated and conclusions so drawn can be generalized to entire “families”, presumably including wives and daughters whose experiences would have been very different. Similarly, a study of EuroAmerican men written from a Euro-American male perspective is intellectually justifiable, provided one distinguishes it from historical geography’s larger objective of generalizing above entire “communities”, “towns’*, and “countries.” This distinction between male and female experience is readily understandable if one reflects, with Kolodny, on the different images of the frontier and metaphors used to describe if that emerge in the writings of women versus men.ti31One might similarly reflect with Monk that generalizations about typical occupations of a society do not readily cross the gender boundary.t141 Unfortunately, we often read about frontier societies engaged in “mining and fishing” as their principal means of support, but seldom about the hidden female economic activities of dressmaking, taking in boarders, gardening, and dairying, without which families within those same societies would never have survived. Male economic and immigration experiences cannot readily be generalized to women, yet historical geographers routinely write as though they could be, assuming that a distinctively male set of experiences typifies a society as a whole.
Wynn asserts “the majority of New Brunswick’s early nineteenth century residents were farmers,” and “versatility and flexibility were common characteristics of the craftsmen, the farmers, and the labourers who made up the bulk of New Brunswick’s population. “~~1Such statements could be accurate only with a strongly unbalanced sex ratio or with a substantial number of women personally involved in these types of work. Wynn also asserts that, “Farm families gave their time to clearing, ploughing, sowing, threshing, fence-building, woodchopping, sugar-making, or taking wheat to the mill. . .” If such activities in actuality pertained not to the entire family unit, but only to a smaller subset of it such as the father and older sons, than it is probably innacuratefor the majority of individuals comprising New Brunswick farm families, and thus gives a distorted picture of what “families” actually did. This distinction has critical implications for discussions of landscape planning and morphology. Was the agricultural landscape of survey systems, field patterns and architectural styles a distinctly male creation? If so, is it accurate to write as though entire communities or ethnic groups participated in its creation? If the cultural landscape is a male creation, then the exclusion of women from economic and landscape development should be made explicit. If the cultural landscape is not a uniquely male creation, then is there is distinct subtext of women modifying the land? In generalizing from particularistic male activities to a society at large, historical geographers thereby create distortions if not errors of fact for that substantial percentage of the society who did not fit the workingage male experience. Patriarchy has had a real and unquestionable impact on the quality and quantity of documents that illustrate the historical geography of gender relations. However, the historical record is more ample than many suppose, as scores of fine books and articles in women’s history now demonstrate. Nor does patriarchy expressed by primary sources justify scholars’ display of scarcely less enlightened attitudes today. As Monk and Hanson argue, “. , . knowledge is a social creation. The kind of knowledge that emerges from a discipline depends very much upon who produces that knowledge, what methods are used to procure knowledge, and what purposes knowledge is acquired for. “~~1In seeking to explain the male bias of historical geography scholarship, it would be relatively simple to blame individual geographers’ apparent squeamishness towards women and research on women, or to point out the miniscule representation of female professors in the “fraternity” of historical geography scholars. I believe, however, that enlightening my male colleagues or adding more women to the professoriate is a necessary yet only partial solution to the problem of gender-blindness. An equally critical task is understanding more about the kind of literature that historical geographers write, so that we can better understand how adding material on women will modify it.
Historical geography as legend At an old settlers’ association meeting in Louisa County [Iowa] in 1860, one man noted that, “Man has too long monopolized the entire attention of history and of the world. Men occupy themselves in celebrating and perpetuating the deeds and heroic action of men, while those of women are unmentioned and forgotten.”
The task facing historical geographers is daunting. We must read and assimilate a vast amount of data for times we have never experienced, for places that no longer exist in the form in which we hope to understand them.[‘*] Our data are necessarily relicts and surrogates, whose survival into the present depends on what observers of our study area and period thought was important to record and what subsequent generations thought was important to preserve. Even more difficult than the challenge of assimilating large amounts of preserved data is the problem of facts that were never recorded or were lost. Sometimes there is far too much historical material for us to use even in a large volume; sometimes there is too little for us to address really important questions. Historical geographers must mediate between the data points of an incompletely and often chaotically preserved historical record. We can do so only through the lenses and filters of our own culture-bound values and biases, as well as those of our sources. The very nature of our materials and task therefore encourages either the development of an active imagination in order to weave a whole cloth of historical narrative, or else a numbing and narrow restriction to a specific set of accounts at hand. The most widely cited historical geographers, regardless of whether their work is primarily quantitative and analytical or descriptive, use their imaginations and become expert “weavers”. But history and historical geography, by virtue of weaving together the data, making them understandable given our own biases and limitations, or extrapolating from them, thereby require a vivid imagination and the ability to organize material around a coherent plot. Scholars often project upon the past their own values and wishes. What is it, after all, that fundamentally attracts each of us to study the past? For some it may be the discovery of one’s own ethnic or regional roots, for others it may be a fascination with the exotic. Students of frontier society may be attracted to values of freedom, individualism, and human perfectability. Social scientists may protest that their work strictly displays and analyses historical data, but authors do not select out of their plethora of facts about the past a set of random or mundane events as they occur to people in everyday life, even when the scholarly analysis and presentation is largely quantitative. Rather authors must select a focused sample of events, shape a scholarly text, and make sense of their meaning according to some understandable and often preconceived pattern of significance or resonance. Historical geography thus has a narrative or literary component to it, in that a critic may discern how historical geographers shaped and stuctured books or articles, emphasized certain themes and ignored others; how they tried to convey to readers the same sense of excitement about the topic that they felt, and overlaid their own values on the material. [I91The whole notion of revisionist history points to changing tastes in the art of narrating the unchanging past. A narrative that is based in the past but not entirely constrained by it, particularly when its actors take on a heroic quality, is to some extent legend as much as it is social science or empirical history. Much of the legendary quality of historical geography is not explicitly articulated, but it can be readily inferred. For example, the surveying of new land and laying out towns is a theme that often appears in historical geography texts as being of primary significance to understanding regional geographies of North America. Yet who directed or performed such work? Probably only a minority of male leaders of the community or society and their employees did so. At the same time, planting gardens and washing dishes were also of paramount importance to frontier families. Without gardening, many settlers would have
had serious vitamin deficiencies, and without dishwashing they would have died of food poisoning. Why don’t historical geographers ever investigate domestic activities? Obviously laying out new towns in the wilderness has a more significant, even heroic quality to it than washing up does. Which types of events did authors of both primary and secondary sources find it significant to record? Geography’s traditional emphasis on landscapes at the scale of neighborhoods or larger area1 units nearly ensures this bias towards enduring male public activities. Regional and national historical geographies of North America might thus fail into the narrative form known as the national epic, defined by the Unabridged Oxford English Dictionary as: . embodying a nation’s conception of its own past history or of the events in that history which it finds most worthy of remembrance. Hence by some writers the phrase national epic to any imaginative work (whatever its form) which is considered to fill this function.
Much regional historical geography also bears similarities to one of the world’s best known national epics, the biblical Exodus narrative. Both the Pentateuch and Acadia depict a group of Chosen People leaving the Old Country, undertaking a difficult journey, and finding the new Promised Land. The men proceed to divide up and allocate the new territory according to some plan, to drive out the indigenous people, and to build up an urban and agricultural infrastructure. The land is to respond productively to these developments. Population is to grow. Principal agricultural products are identified. The historical geography of rural North America reveals that many groups of Christian immigrants themselves believed the bibilical national epic literally enough to reinact and articulate certain features of it as they settled the New World-the Puritans and the Mormons are obvious examples.[20]What disturbs me is that historical geographers have adopted an Exodus plot as well, apparently unconsciously. Although we have secularized and shaped the mythos according to our research needs, we have kept its basic outline intact in our literature, playing it out over and over again, from Andrew Clark’s Acadia to Terry Jordan’s 1989 AAG Presidential Address. t2’]The parallels between the Book of Joshua and the historical geography of rural North America are striking. Both depict an immigrant people and how they occupied and divided up the land. National epics often use the literary device of pathetic fallacy, where the landscape mirrors human progress or moral failure. Thus the theme of land transformation under the efforts of the Chosen People appears in Frederick Jackson Turner’s stages of frontier economic development and in studies by Andrew Clark and his students on regional economic development, agricultural systems, and staple export trades. Today the narratives often go by names like “European Expansion Overseas”, “ the Shaping of America” or “the Forging of Canada.” Lest the reader be unconvinced of the literary as well as the factual basis of national epics (after all, real societies did immigrate, divide up the land, and so on, presumably including the Israelites) one might point out this plot’s variants in a variety of non-Christian national origin legends (Hungarian, Icelandic, Native American), in historical novels (Rolvaag’s Giants in the earth, Cather’s M, Antonia) as well as in works of science fiction (Le Guin’s The word-for world
is forest). But does the legend’s story line follow and integrate the facts of migration and settlement? Or does it pre-exist as an ancient icon through which the multitudinous facts of subsequent immigrations can be sorted and understood? What happens to the plethora of minor details and facts of an actual immigration that are not encoded because they cannot be evaluated according to the mythos? The whole point of mythic resonance, as Joseph Campbell pointed out, is that widespread and basic myths clearly speak to something very basic in the human psyche. He and other scholars from the classics, anthropology, and comparative literature have shown that fundamental elements of myths and legends are usually cross-cultural and ahistorical.l”l Certain type scenes, archetypical characters, and plots repeat themselves around the globe and through the ages, The classics and the Bible, as the “Great Code” of western thought, have certainly influenced a wide variety of immigration myths, such as the West as garden and Manifest Destiny. t231Obviously several layers of story can interpret single events: the author’s, the reader’s, and the subjects’ own version. The implications for feminists confronting a mythos, however, are daunting, because women normally do not appear as protagonists in national epics, but only in novels and children’s fairy tales. Women, if they appear at all in national epics, typically do so as camp followers, titillating distractions, rewards for male heroism, or answers to male loneliness. This feature of national epics may help explain the restriction of most references to women in historical geography texts to modest circumlocutions. The Micmac woman’s version of Acadia and Andrew Clark’s would seem to be mutually exclusive. In her study of women on the Overland Trail, Schlissel concluded that the woman’s version of westward migration would emphasize the struggles to keep families together and to adjust to peripatetic husbands; hardly the stuff of Americans’ familiar legends.t241 One of the most widely discussed recent books on western history, Patricia Limerick’s The Legacy of Conquest, is an incisive feminist and minority-oriented critique of Western history as a heroic national epic.tZ51Limerick sets out to demolish the myth of the Golden West by arguing that the West was more often a land or failure than the Promised Land for settlers; and that incorporating female and minority accounts of traditional male-oriented western history debilitates the myth completely. I am not saying that writers of history and geography should avoid mythic constructions. I don’t think we can. I don’t propose to do so here. Myths have the advantage of resonance and comfort. A narrative that sounded like nothing we had heard before would probably bewilder or bore us. I do suggest that we should recognize the literary traditions that we adopt-and deliberately choose them, articulate them, or test them-rather than assume their validity. We should not confuse them with an objective, empirical, or neutral study of the past. There would seem to be two principal approaches to reinterpreting national epics in order to include women. One way would simply be to include women’s role in the epic’s specific themes: making a living, transforming the land, the experience of the journey. Another way would be to understand that the root meaning of immigration legends really has less to do with a summary of activities (muddling through the wilderness, displacing indigenes, carving up territory) than with the elemental theme of refinement of character through difficult travels and hard work in a new land. At this level, the epic becomes both
more individual and more applicable to both men and women. The distilled and personal meaning of a national epic to someone engaged in it lends itself both to other scholarly variants of the Euro-American settlement plot (as in Frederick Jackson Turner’s emphasis on the liberating potential of the frontier) as well as to the records of individual lives with which women’s history so often is concerned.l26l Yet it is a genre that geographers have scarcely touched.l*‘l Three Western women: towards a new regional historical geography
If regional historical geographies of the United States and Canada emphasize the themes of male immigration, land division, and agricultural yields it is at first difficult to see how to develop a historical geography of women during periods when sex roles and the division of labor were more restrictive than they are today, and where comparatively little material was written by or about women. Themes from Western women’s history are used here as informative and appropriate guides to a gender-balanced regional historical geography.t281 This literature has strong parallels in other North American regions. On the western frontier, women’s activities included homesteading, teaching school, gardening, dairying, homemaking, and hiring out one’s labor.[291In mining communities and elsewhere, they included urban land use decisions and prostitution.13’] Geographers should acknowledge that women’s experiences were not homogenous, but varied by class and ethnicity, and often by husband’s occupation.[3’l Many literate women recorded their own impressions of the West, through letters, diaries and memoirs, sometimes intended for publication. As an illustration of ways to develop a gender-balanced regional historical geography, I will discuss the letters and memoirs of three “Anglo” women who settled in western North America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.t3*l All three women lived on isolated landholdings within an agricultural economy traditionally defined by its staple exports. The memoirs are: Daisy Phillips’s accounts of homesteading in eastern British Columbia during 1912-1913, edited by Cole Harris as Letters from Windermere; Elinor Pruitt Stewart’s recorded experiences in southern Wyoming during 1909-1913, and Nannie Alderson’s memoir of ranch life in eastern Montana beginning in 1883.t331Although these volumes indicate frontier settlement systems and staple export production, they provide relatively little information on the marginal commercial farming and ranching operations within which these woman lived. Yet the writings of Phillips, Stewart, and Alderson are unusually descriptivemost frontier women’s diaries provide less information than these. Of what, then, are we to construct an historical geography that incorporates a female point of view? The Phillips, Stewart, and Alderson letters and memoirs provide a glimpse into the “other” Anglo economic system of the frontier-the domestic, subsistence economy. The model of the dual economy-that is, a subsistence or secondary commercial economy that functions within the commercial staple export economy-derives from an extensive literature on modern Third World economic development, rural sociology, and women’s economic history.[341On the far western frontier, the domestic economy was sometimes limited to housekeeping and food preparation in the sense of “home economics”; but typically it comprised selling home-grown food products and handicrafts, or selling one’s skilled labor in the service sector, and thus had an income-
generating dimension that was often activated. The large-scale commercial, export economy such as wheat farming or cattle ranching can be seen as comprising public, spatially extensive, capital-intensive activities. The domestic and related service economy, such as a mother’s making butter at home for the local market or a daughter’s dressmaking, can be seen as more private, spatially small-scale or intensive activities that required little capital. The two economies swing in and out of balance with one another-when the wheat crop fails, for example, and consumption and marketing of women’s home-grown produce and eggs becomes more important to the frontier family’s survival. It is tempting to define the domestic economy as the female domain and the commercial economy as the male domain, or as what Nicholson termed “the doctrine of sexual spheres. “t35]This approach has been criticized by feminists as legitimizing a limiting view of women’s activities and potentials. The doctrine of sexual spheres is not supported by the literature on the domestic economy in American frontier society, nor by the three primary sources surveyed here. I think it is defensible to view domestic and commercial spheres as useful economic and spatial abstractions independent of gender, and then to see how men and women moved between them. Elinore Pruitt Stewart clearly functioned within the domestic domain of housekeeping, sewing, and gardening, but in the words of the editor of her Elk Hunt letters (xi): A woman’s work was essential on any frontier, and Elinore always did more than her share. She grew her potatoes and plowed her land; she raised the family’s food at 7,000 feet above sea level; she boasted of the only apple trees in the valley; and she contributed to the ranch’s scanty income with her weekly cream and butter check; she delivered and doctored the children of the community; and she somehow found time to enjoy the mountains she loved and to write.
This passage left out Elinore’s own homestead of 240 acres, her mowing the hay crops, and fishing and hunting excursions. Western women of the Stewart model not only fully activated various dimensions of the household economy, but moved into the staple export domain, as well, in cutting the hay and homesteading a ranch. The Stewart letters also reveal that the frontier’s many unmarried men had to function within the domestic, subsistence sphere.t361Elinore visited sheepherders, mountain hermits, and forest wardens who tended to their own cooking and cleaning. Daisy Phillips’s experiences were worlds apart, even though she and Elinore Stewart were contemporaries. Daisy’s letters reveal none of the glories of life amid the mountains; nor do they show a woman sowing potatoes and making butter for market. They show instead a recently married and immigrated urban Englishwoman whose major obsession in life was replicating in her frontier home a middle class English interior, down to the last picture frame and teaspoon. Once she had these furnishings reasonably well in place, her passion was to maintain middle class English standards of housekeeping and etiquette. Unfortunately, middle class Englishwomen in England in 19 I3 had servants to wash dishes, clothes, and floors. Daisy and husband Jack did not. Young women in domestic service were few and in great demand on the British Columbian frontier, although one of their neighbors did hire an Asian man to take on the domestic chores. 13’]The strain of producing meals on china and sterling, of washing linen table cloths-indeed all laundry-by hand meant that
the chivalrous Jack Phillips spent a fair bit of his energy within the domestic domain in assisting Daisy with the housework. Nannie Alderson’s role in the domestic economy of eastern Montana was somewhere between these two. As a new bride on her husband’s open range cattle ranch, she found that the cowboys had previously divided up cooking and other domestic chores. They continued these activities for the ranch’s “extended family” of Aldersons, cowboys, business partners, and visitors after Nannie arrived.t3*l Her role in either economic domain was limited. She was too distant from town to market her own produce. She only briefly owned cattle in her own right, and spent most of her time tending to her rapidly expanding young family. Following devastating blizzards and declining cattle prices, the Alderson family moved to town in 1893, where husband Walter was killed in an accident. As a widow with four children, Nannie took in boarders, ran the post office, and developed a small catering business, thus supporting herself and her children through her domestic skills.t391 The variety of options in household economies depicted in the narratives ranged from primarily cash outlays for store-bought foods (the Phillipses) to a predominently self-sufficient home provisionment program that even generated agricultural income (Stewart) to parlaying one’s domestic skills in the service sector (Alderson). The shifts between these and expanded wage-earning options as the frontier became increasingly developed is an interesting opportunity for future research. The dual economy model also offers the flexibility to incorporate multiple ethnic groups. Chinese men, when prevented by discrimination from land ownership and staple export production, tended to enter the domestic economy as cooks and laundry workers. Basque women ran boarding houses in towns frequented by sheepherders. An understanding of the domestic economy, whether internal to the household or for profit and wage labor, does not contradict the significance of the staple export economy. It rather expands and complements the more traditional model, both through a fuller appreciation of the variety of economic activities on the frontier and through greater opportunity to integrate gender, ethnicity, and the flavor of real lives. The most surprising finding from the three women’s narratives is an expanded definition of the heroic male in the Old Wild West that includes domestic activities. Although the West was a place where Anglo women might enter the commercial economy, perhaps with more freedom than they could do in the East, the West was also a place where men strongly entered the domestic sphere. If the West was “heaven for men and dogs” it was also a place where men cooked and cleaned for themselves, and sometimes for women as well. Not all men in the narratives nor within the wider literature on western history worked within the home: Clyde Stewart and Walter Alderson were absent from the domestic scence in their wives’ descriptions; but Elinore and Nannie both observed many other western “he-men” actively engaged in household tasks. Jack Phillips, a career soldier, frequently worked alongside Daisy within their home. Pioneer men’s diaries, letters, and memoirs seldom recorded their domestic activities, but there are obvious inferences to be drawn from their lifestyles as well as the unbalanced sex ratios recorded in census data; and literate women on the frontier tended to describe domestic life in some detail. To the extent that the frontier saga has helped define Western American constructions of gender, a notable dimension of domesticity could be elicited from the
men’s lives upon which it is based for an expanded and more historically accurate portrayal of the heroic male cowboy, rancher and settler.[40]Real men washed dishes. Many subtexts of the national epic can, of course, be elicited about women and appear in the Phillips, Alderson, and Stewart writings. Turning to themes of the creation of new societies and transformation of new lands, the three women’s volumes indicate the relative success of their immigration to the West and assimilation into a frontier lifestyle. Daisy, the civilized urban Englishwoman, never felt at home in Canada. Her homesickness for family in England probably amounted to clinical depression. Elinore grew up with poverty on a farm in the Indian Country of Oklahoma and had lived in Colorado.t4’] Homesteading in Wyoming was an adventuresome extension of a lifestyle she already knew. Nannie Alderson is again something of a hybrid. Although raised in a “plantation” atmosphere by a genteel family in West Virginia, Nannie loved the openness of the West and its people from the start. Her attitude deteriorated somewhat after Indians burned down her house and when she had to come to terms with the reality of childbirth, rattlesnake bites, and horse kicks in a home isolated from medical care.t4*] The traditional image of the western woman dreading frontier life, as well as the revisionist picture of the confident outdoorswoman, should both be set in the context of their socio-economic backgrounds, personality, and prior familiarity with a strenuous, isolated, and often dangerous way of life. Western women’s writings indicate little emphasis on historical geographers’ familiar fare of survey systems and field patterns, unless these affected their own situation, as was the case with female homesteaders. Women’s day-to-day sense of territorial organization was based more on the location of other female companions. Female neighbors often lived within visiting distance of the authors. The three were all snobbish enough not to consider unmannered lower class women as suitable friends, although the poorest of frontierswomen might extend their own household economy by taking in washing for middle class neighbors like the Aldersons. t43]Although Elinore Stewart had herself come from a background of poverty and had taken in washing for her income before her move to Wyoming and subsequent marriage, she was an upwardly mobile, highly articulate woman whose attitude towards poor neighbors was usually one of noblesse oblige. Friendship with members of one’s class, even more than of one’s ethnic background, proved to be the cement that encouraged all three frontier women to travel long distances for social and communal work activities. Frontier domestic arrangements between men and women were possibly more open to innovation than were class-related patterns of female friendship, with associated travel and activity patterns, between women who were educated and socially mobile and those who were not. If women’s role in modifying and planning the landscape is difficult to discern at community or regional scales, the Phillips, Alderson, and Stewart materials suggest no shortage of data on spatial order, provided scholars will, as appropriate, rethink our customary scales of analysis and consider interiors as well as exteriors. Daisy, indeed, spent much time planning her environment as a transfer of English culture overseas. Her spatial order existed not as a land survey system, but within four walls, a terrain that geographers seldom investigate. The house interior, the garden, the clothesline, the root cellar, the dairy, the poultry house-these were typically women’s space in agricultural
areas, and geographers might profitably investigate allocation of space at the scale of the individual farmstead.
Individualizing the mythos At a fundamental level, the book of Exodus or Icelandic sagas are not specifically about a group of male visionaries leading a select ethnic group to the Promised Land, although they recount such events. The land itself is fundamentally less of a narrative focus than the immigrants’ transformative process within it. What gives such national epics their deep resonance is that they fundamentally symbolize a spiritual journey from servitude into freedom, of refining and improving character through a difficult passage. Each society, each individual is asked to experience this passage, if only vicariously.t441 As such, the journey and the transformation can be taken both as a common human experience that crosses boundaries of gender, ethnicity, and class; as well as a deeply personal, individual experience. Nineteenth century women’s letters and diaries are indeed ideally suited to this line of inquiry, for their purpose often was to be a record of personal progress. Taken at its most elemental level, how might the theme of self-improvement through struggle in a new land apply to the narratives of Stewart, Phillips, and Alderson? Elinor Stewart personifies the sojourner triumphant. She performed enormously hard physical labor both before and after her move to southern Wyoming. The difference was that Elinore in Wyoming was able to work for herself and realize the independence that came from the proceeds of her labor. Although crippled after a mowing accident in 1926, the former Denver widow and washerwoman of the “Letters” confidently concluded in 1913:[451 I never did like to theorize, and so this year I set out to prove that a woman could ranch if she wanted to. . . I have tried every kind of work this ranch affords, and I can do any of it. Of course I urn extra strong, but those who try know that strength and knowledge come with doing. I just love to experiment. to work, and to prove out things. so that ranch life and “roughing it” suits me just fine.
Daisy Phillips’s Canadian experience, in contrast, was more like a descent from the Promised Land to exile in the wilderness. The transformative potential of the frontier never developed in Daisy. Her frontier life seemed an endless round of the drudgery that her unrelenting slavery to English middle class housekeeping standards required. Sharing none of Elinore’s exhilaration amidst the mountains, Daisy chose to “admire” but not to love her wild surroundings, principally because they were not English. 141Tragically, the quality of Daisy’s life deteriorated after the outbreak of World War I when Jack Phillips was called back to active military duty in the British army. The family returned to Europe, and Jack died of battle wounds. Daisy, a widow with a young child, faced a lifetime of financial insecurity in England. Nannie Alderson’s experience was intermediate between the two. As a young woman on the open range of Montana, she shared Elinore’s love of wild scenery and appreciation of western characters. Years later as an impoverished, widowed mother of four, Nannie shared Daisy’s grim economic forecast. But Nannie’s personal journey through “the wilderness” transformed her in a way that Daisy’s western experience never did. Nannie went West in 1883 as a 23-
year-old Southern Belle who seldom performed household tasks: her sole domestic accomplishment then consisted of making biscuits. In 1942 her editor described Nannie as an octagenarian, then living on a daughter’s ranch:l471 Tiny and frail as she is to look at, she has the energy of a woman half her age and twice her size. and will still lift mammoth kettles of boiling wild-plum jam or will tote pails of water around unless someone stops her. And she has gotten up at five o’clock every morning of her life, until the last few years. Since she is always exceedingly dainty and smartly dressed. with nothing rugged about her to outward view, you would never guess that she was a pioneer woman except for something about her eyes. They look at you very straight, without flinching. Few women reared in luxury have eyes like that. and all the surviving women I have met. who have lived against [Nannie’s] hard background, have them.
The bride who went west was indeed purified in passage. Conclusions Gender-blindness in much historical geography research, some of the reasons for it, and some ways to correct it seem straightforward enough. In the introduction to this paper, I suggested that gender-balanced research and research specifically on women have the potential to change our image of the past. What, if anything, about my illustrations of three western women suggests that this might be so? The emphasis in western women’s history of capturing the real flavor of women’s lives is much at odds with normative, empirical regional historical geography. Although historical geographers extensively use personal autobiographical documents as source materials, we seldom focus specifically on the range of lived experience, but rather we aggregate diaries, letters, and memoirs for large-scale studies of communities, regions and nations, even where family patriarchs are an ostensive topic of study. Historical geography thus differs from other humanities and social science disciplines, not only in its emphasis on places, but in the absence of a clear emphasis on individual lives. Should historical geographers contemplate extending their scale from communities and societies to individuals, and doing so from female as well as male perspectives, several inferences about rural, regional historical geography emerge. One is that at the level of the dairy life of the individual woman diarist or letter writer, and from her perspective, few of the historical geographer’s familiar broad-brush images of the “forging of Canada”, “the shaping of North America” and the like are visible. Few western women’s diaries, for example, record any interest in the “making of the continent.” Most women were committed to survival, improvement of their lot as possible, sustaining family and friends, and their own sense of self in relation to a new and sometimes overpowering landscape. Part of this conclusion rests in the nature and purpose of women’s writings themselves, as opposed to the type of historical geography research that aggregates them with a variety of other sources to examine issues at a broader scale. Nationality shows up as a critical issue for Daisy Phillips only-and her loyalties clearly were English, not Canadian. She barely tolerated native-born Canadians and devoted her efforts to creating a tiny middle-class English haven in her home. Though apprehensive about the outbreak of World War I, she expressed little regret about returning to England. Nannie Alderson scoffed at
the whole notion of western history as a grand tableau: “If we were empire builders we didn’t look or act the part.t481 Elinore Stewart’s letters reverberate with the power of a woman seeking and indeed actualizing her own identity in a rough yet beautiful land, not to mention through the back-breaking work (literally, in her own instance) of being economically viable within it. Although these women’s actions contributed to “the shaping of America” as subsequently depicted by scholars, the topic was pretty far from the minds of the three subjects. A “grand theme” does seem to emerge from western women’s volumes: individuation and self-actualization in a new land, or the passage from fearfulness about the future to security and competence. National or regional concerns generally appear in this context only negatively during bouts of homesickness, which could be acute. Despite many differences in the three women’s backgrounds and circumstances, their daily concerns with making a pleasant home under difficult circumstances, raising babies, making a living, coping with loneliness, maintaining one’s dignity in the face of poverty, are strikingly similar. Household chores and childbirth made few regional or national distinctions. A focus on individual women’s lives and the domestic economy thus reveals similarities in three women’s frontier experiences despite national and generational differences. Just as feminist historians claim that standard constructions of historical periods assume an elitist, male-oriented view of what constitutes significant past events, historical geographers might well question the influence of scale on gender-blindness or examine the meaning of standard regions from the perspective of women who occupied them. My own preliminary exploration of femaleoriented regional delineations suggests that a few standard historical regions do indeed make sense from a female as well as a male perspective, notably the old South, where the slaveholding system fostered unique relations between men and women of all races. But the content of the domestic lives of isolated, middleclass agricultural women of the nineteenth century did not vary greatly across the American East, Middle West, West, nor in Ontario, Canada; and the differences that existed were ones that women in more primitive frontier situations sought rapidly to eliminate. Childbirth and childcare respected few of the geographers’ typical boundaries. Women’s sense of place seems more rooted to the concept of home and relatedness, less to the staple export or political region. To the extent that the American Far West emerges as a distinctive place in rural women’s writings-apart from the novelty of a new frontier-they seemed to center more on the grandeur and openness of rugged western landscapes, seemingly with the realization that this Western emptiness would never finally be filled with settlement. The purpose of my paper is not to silence Euro-American male voices. It is, unambitiously, simply to extend the register of what historical geographers will hear, so that other voices can tell their stories with equal legitimacy and with expectation of a receptive response. My purpose is not to suppress national epics: it is to ensure that the variety of people who participated in them can add their own stories to the narratives. But adding them and listening to them will create a different composition. The opportunities for such gender-balanced research in historical geography are enormous. The intellectual consequences of avoiding them are serious. What I have suggested is not so much a negation of past research, as enlarging its
focus. Such extension nevertheless should create a very different view of the past. Developing a more complete and balanced picture of the past and linking our field to exciting developments in history seem ample rewards. Historical geographers will, I am convinced, determine in which directions the future lies. Department of Geography, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska 68.508.
Acknowledgements Thanks are due to the following individuals for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper: the anonymous reviewers, Leonard Guelke, Paul Kay, John Radford, Lallie Scott, Joni Seager, and David Wishart. Notes [l] M. Eichler, Nonsexist research methods: a practical guide (Winchester 1987) [2] G. Rose and M. Ogborn, Feminism and historical geography Journal of Historical Geography 14 (1988) 405409 [3] J. W. Scott, Gender and the politics of history (New York 1988) 7-9 [4] For some examples of historical geography that does include women, see: N. L. Wilkinson, Women on the Oregon Trail Landscape 23 (1) (1979) 4347; A. G. Macpherson, Migration fields in a traditional Highland community, 1350-1850 Journal of Historical Geography 10 (1984) 1-14; V. Norwood and J. Monk (Eds) The desert is no lady (New Haven 1987); S. A. Marston, Who are ‘the people’?: gender, citizenship, and the making of the American nation Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 8 (1990) 449-458; J. H. Momsen, Gender, class and ethnicity in western Canadian mining towns Journal of Women and Gender Studies 1 (1990) 119-134 [S] D. W. Meinig, The shaping of America: a geographicalperspective on 500 years of history. Vol. 1. Atlantic America, 1492-1800 (New Haven 1986) 1567, 229 [6] For some examples see: D. G. White, Ar ‘n‘t Z a Woman? Female slaves in the plantation South (New York 1985); C. M. Dillman, The sparsity of research and publications on southern women: definitional complexities, methodological problems, and other impediments, in C. M. Dillman (Ed.), Southern Women (New York 1988), 1-17; M. Gehman, Toward an understanding of the Quadroon society of New Orleans, 1780-1860, in Ibid, 47-55; J. V. Hawks and Sheila L. Skemp (Ed.), Sex, race, and the role of women in the South (Jackson 1983); C. Clinton, The plantation mistress: woman’s world in the old South (New York 1982) (see especially ch. XI on “The sexual dynamics of slavery”); E. Fox-Genovese, Within the plantation household: Black and White women of the old South (Chapel Hill 1988) [7] T. G. Jordan and M. Kaups, The American backwoods frontier: An ethnic and ecological interpretation (Baltimore 1989) 87, 92 [8] I. Goddard, Delaware in B. G. Trigger (ed.), Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 15: Northeast (Washington, D.C. 1978) 219 [9] For books on relationships between Native women and Euro-American men on other remote frontiers, see: S. Van Kirk, Many tender ties: women in fur trade society, 1670-1870 (Norman 1980); J. S. H. Brown, Strangers in blood: fur trade company families in Indian Country (Vancouver 1980); J. Peterson and J. S. H. Brown (eds.) The newpeoples: being and becoming Metis in North America (Lincoln 1985); J. Peterson, Women dreaming: the religio-psychology of Indian-White intermarriage and the rise of Metis Culture. in L. Schlissell. V. Ruiz, and J. Monk (Eds) Western women: their land, their lives (Albuquerque 1988) 49-78; J. M. Faragher, The custom of the country: cross-cultural marriage in the far western fur trade, in Ibid., 1999 216 [lo] A. H. Clark, Acadia (Madison 1969) 89 [I l] R. Ostergren, A community transplanted the trans-Atlantic experience of a Swedish immigrant
settlement in the upper Middle West, 1835-1915 (Madison 1988). On the distinction between family history and women’s history, see: L. A. Tilly, Women’s history and family history: fruitful collaboration or missed connection? Journal of Fumilv History 12 (1987) 3033 15 [12] W. Wyckoff, The developer’s frontier: The making of the western New York Ian&ape (New Haven 1988) [13] A. Kolodny, The land before her (Chapel Hill 1984) [ 141 J. Monk, review of M. Eichler, Nonsexist research methods: A practical guide, in Annals of the Association of American Geographers 79 (1989) 466468 (151 G. Wynn, Timber colony (Toronto 1981) 3, 22, 23 [16] J. Monk and S. Hanson, On not excluding half of the human in human geography The Professional Geographer 34 (1982) 12 [ 171 G. Riley, Frontierswomen: the Iowa experience (Ames 1981) 172. See also G. Riley, The female frontier: A comparative view of women on the prairie and the plains (Lawrence 1988) [18] D. Lowenthal, The past is a foreign country (Cambridge, UK 1985) 217-19, 234-36 [19] For more detailed rationales of this argument see: H. White, Historical text as literary artifact, in R. H. Canary and H. Rozicki (Eds) The writing of history: literary form and historical understanding (Madison 1978) 41-62; H. White, The content of the form: narrative discourse and historical representation (Baltimore 1987) 33-36; R. Anchor, Narrativity and the transformation of historical consciousness Clio 16 (1987) 121-37; T. C. Jacques, The primacy of narrative in historical understanding, Clio 19 (1990) 197-214. One of the earliest formulations of this argument is C. Levi-Strauss, The Savage Mind (Chicago 1962) 257-58 [20] R. Smolinski, Israel redivivus: The eschatological limits of Puritan typology in New England The New England Quarterly 63 (1990) 357-395; J. Kay and C. J. Brown, Mormon beliefs about land and natural resources, 1847-1877 Journal of Historical Geography 11 (1985) 253267 [2l] A. H. Clark, op. cit.; T. G. Jordan, Preadaptation and European colonization in rural North America Annals of the Association of Americun Geographers 79 (1989) 489-500 [22] For example: J. Campbell, The hero with (I rhousundfuces (New York 1970); R. F. Hardin. Archetypal criticism, in G. D. Atkins and L. Morrow (Ed.) Contemporary Literary Theory (Amherst 1989) 42-59; L. H. Lefkovitz, Creating the world: structuralism and semiotics, in Ibid 6&80 (231 N. Frye, The great code: the Bible and Iiterature (New York 1982); H. N. Smith, Virgin Land. the American West in symbol and myth (New York 1950) [24] L. Schlissel, Women’s diaries of the westwardjourney (New York: 1982) 150 [25] P. Limerick, The legacy of conquest: The unbroken past of the American West (New York: 1987) [26] F. J. Turner, The signi$cance of the frontier in American history (New York: 1963) 1271 For notable exceptions, see B. Cragg, Mary Hallock Foote’s images of the old West Landscape 24 (3) (1980) 42247; C. B. McIntosh, One man’s sequential land alienation on the Great Plains. The Geographical Review 71 (1981) 427445 [28] For good overviews see: S. L. Myres, Westering women and thefrontier experience, 1800-1915 (Albuquerque 1982); P. Petrick, The gentle tamers in transition: women in the transMississippi West, Feminist Studies 11 (1985) 677-694; S. Armitage and E. Jameson (Eds), The women’s West (Norman 1987); L. Schlissel, V. Ruiz and J. Monk (Eds), Western women: their land, their lives (Albuquerque 1988) [29] S. Paterson-Black, Women homesteaders on the Great Plains frontier Frontiers 1 (1976) 6788; H. E. Lindgren, “Ethnic women homesteading on the plains of North Dakota, Great Plains Quarterly 9 (1989) 157-173; C. E. Rankin, Teaching: opportunity and limitation for Wyoming women The Western Historical Quarterly 21 (1990) 147-70; E. L. Silverman, The last best West: Women on the Albertafrontier, 1880-1930 (Montreal 1984); J. M. Jensen, With these hands: women working on the land (New York 1981) [30] P. Petrik, No step backward: women and famiIy on the Rocky Mountain Mining frontier, Helena, Montana, 1865-1900 (Seattle 1988); A. M. Butler, Daughters ofjoy, sisters of misery: prostitutes in the American West, 1865-1900 (Urbana 1985); A. Simmons, Red light ladies: settlement patterns and material culture on the mining frontier Anthropology Northwest 4 (Corvallis 1989) [31] L. S. Pickle, Rural German-speaking women in early Nebraska and Kansas: ethnicity as a factor in frontier adaptation Great Plains Quarterly 9 (1989) 239-251; S. L. Myres, Army women’s narratives as documents of social history: some examples from the western frontier, 184&1900 New Mexico Historical Review 65 (1990) 175-198; L. Schlissel, V. Ruiz, J. Monk
[32] [33]
[36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44]
[45] [46] [47] [48]
J. KAY op. cit.; A. P. Malone, Women on the Te.-asfrontier.. a cross-culturui perspective (El Paso 1983) Daisy Phillips was an English emigrant. Nannie Alderson and Elinore Stewart were of British-American descent. R. C. Harris and E. Phillips (Eds) Letter.s.from Windermere 19/?-1914 (Vancouver: 1984); E. P. Stewart, Letters ofa woman homesteader (Lincoln 1989); E. P. Stewart, Letters on UNelk hunt by a woman homesteader (Lincoln 1979); N. T. Alderson and H. H. Smith, A bride goes West (Lincoln 1969). See also: S. L. Smith, Single women homesteaders; the perplexing case of Ehnore Pruitt Stewart, Western Historical Quartet+ 22 (1991) 1633183; S. K. Lindau. My blue and gold Wyoming: the life and letters of Elinore Pruitt Stewart (doctoral diss.. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1988) Some good economic history sources include D. Fink, Open Country Iowa: rurul vvomen. tradition and change (Albany 1986); S. J. Kleinberg, Women in the economy of the United States from the American Revolution to 1920, in S. J. Kleinberg (Ed.) Retrieving vr’onzen’s history: changing perceptions of”the role of Mlomenin politics and society (Oxford 1988). 186. 214; C. E. Sachs, The invisiblefarmers: vvonzenin agriculturalproduction (Totawa 1983): J. M. Jensen, Cloth, butter and boarders: women’s household production for the market, Revietijof RadicaI Political Economics 12 (1980) 14-24; J. M. Jensen, With these hands: vyomen Marking on the land (Old Westbury 1981); M. G. Cohen. Women’s Mlork, markets and economic development in nineteenth century Ontario (Toronto 1988) L. J. Nicholson, Gender and historv: the limits of social theory in the age of the family (New York 1986); see also L. K. Kerber, separate spheres, female worlds, women’s place: the rhetoric of women’s history The Journal of American History 75 (1988) 9-39 Stewart (1989) op. cit., 71, 1088109, 1745, 182, 239 Harris and Phillips, op. cit., 102, 114, 129 Alderson and Smith, op cit.. 40-41, 1433144, 177 Ibid., 265-272 Myres, op cit., 164 E. F. Ferris. Foreword to Stewart (1979) op. cit., vii-x Alderson and Smith, op. cit., 8-9, 97-99, 178-179 Alderson and Smith, op. cit., 37; Harris and Phillips, op cit., 222, Stewart (1989) op. cit., 201204 This interpretation is basic in the Jewish tradition, where participants are reminded during the Passover Seder that each of them personally partakes of the individual liberation meaning of the story Stewart (1989) op. cit., 279-282 Harris and Phillips op. cit., 152-153, xxi Alderson and Smith, op. cit., 19, v-vi Alderson, op. cit., 49-52