Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart

By Elinore Pruitt Stewart

"Peopled with the types of characters so much novelists merely dream of" (Christian technological know-how Monitor), this vintage account of yankee frontier dwelling captures the rambunctious spirit of a pioneer who set out in 1909 to turn out lady may ranch. Stewart's pleasing missives from her dwelling house in Wyoming deliver to complete existence the wonder, isolation, and joys of operating the prairie.

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They were carving out for themselves a place in the public sphere. Moreover, through their statement of purpose, they were asserting a vision of a better Japan and claiming the right and responsibility to help realize it. In the months and years ahead, they would launch a variety of activities to achieve that vision, and through those activities they would provide not only a model of action and citizenship for others but also advance the feminist movement. indd 32 15/03/2010 3:56:55 PM 2 The Tumultuous Early Years of the Tokyo WCTU: 1886-92 The founding of the Tokyo WCTU did not occur in a vacuum of women’s public activism.

They circumvented the ban on direct evangelization of Japanese by using the Scriptures, Christian readers, and other works imparting or upholding Christian doctrine in the classroom – in other words, by infusing their language, history, and science instruction with religion. One missionary even hung the Ten Commandments and Scripture passages translated into Japanese on the walls of his dispensary. 3 Both before and after that, they imported Christian texts written in Chinese and English. The educated could read the former, and missionary instruction aimed to help students understand the latter.

In addition, he invited her to speak at the first in a series of lectures sponsored by the magazine’s publishing company. That meeting took place on July 17, and, though Iwamoto had advertised it as for women only, men joined in the audience of more than six hundred, including a teenage Yamamuro Gumpei, who a decade later would become the first Japanese officer in the Salvation Army. Leavitt had insisted on a female interpreter, probably in order to show her listeners what a Japanese woman could do in public.

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