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Book/Printed Material Half a century.

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  • Half a century.


  • At the beginning of her autobiography, Jane Swisshelm announces that she intends to show the relationship of faith to the antislavery struggle, to record incidents characteristic of slavery, to provide an inside look at hospitals during the Civil War, to look at the conditions giving rise to the nineteenth-century struggle for women's rights, and to demonstrate, through her own life, the "mutability of human character." After her father's death in 1823, she helped support her family through hard work and teaching school. Her marriage in 1836 to James Swisshelm, a Methodist farmer's son, resulted in continual conflict with her husband's family, who sought to convert her to their own beliefs. After a few years in Louisville, Kentucky, where Swisshelm observed slavery first-hand, she left her husband to nurse her mother in Pittsburgh. She wrote several articles for the antislavery Spirit of Liberty and the Pittsburgh Commercial Journal, then in 1848 started her own anti-slavery newspaper, the Pittsburg Saturday Visiter [sic]. Her views on slavery, women's issues, and the Mexican- American War soon attracted a national readership. In 1856 she started another abolitionist paper, the Democrat, and began to lecture frequently on slavery and the legal disabilities of women. She opposed those who advocated leniency for the leaders of the 1862 Sioux uprising, and took her cause to Washington, D.C., on the advice of state officials. While there she secured a position nursing wounded Union soldiers and raising supplies for their benefit. Her narrative ends with her discharge and retirement to an old log block house on ten acres of her husband's family holdings.


  • Swisshelm, Jane Grey, 1815-1884.

Created / Published

  • Chicago, J.G. Swisshelm, 1880.


  • -  Swisshelm, Jane Grey,--1815-1884
  • -  Antislavery movements--United States
  • -  Women's rights--United States


  • -  Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress Web site, and on microfilm.
  • -  LAC brd 2019-04-26 no edits (2 cards)
  • -  Note from shelflist card: "Recollections of an abolitionist and advocate of woman's rights." LAC brd 2019-04-26


  • 363 p. 20 cm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • E449 .S969
  • Microfilm 19343 E

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 10007633

Online Format

  • image
  • pdf

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the materials in the Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910 materials. The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other rights holders (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, General Collections and Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Further copyright information is also available at American Memory and Copyright.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Swisshelm, Jane Grey. Half a Century. Chicago, J.G. Swisshelm, 1880. Pdf.

APA citation style:

Swisshelm, J. G. (1880) Half a Century. Chicago, J.G. Swisshelm. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Swisshelm, Jane Grey. Half a Century. Chicago, J.G. Swisshelm, 1880. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.