Anna Elizabeth Dickinson

image for Anna Elizabeth Dickinson
Exhibition Label
Born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
One of the most romantic figures of the nineteenth century, the “girl orator” of the Civil War era lyceum (or lecture) circuit, Anna Elizabeth Dickinson enchanted the antebellum United States with her passion for justice. When she was just eighteen years old, Dickinson addressed the Pennsylvania Antislavery Society with a speech entitled “The Rights and Wrongs of Women.” It launched a wildly successful career on the lecture circuit. In 1864, she became the first woman to address the House of Representatives.
At the height of her popularity in 1872, Dickinson earned $23,000 annually—about $477,000 in 2018—which was more than the income of male contemporaries like Mark Twain. Her lecture, “What Shall We Do with Our Daughters?” analyzed societal standards for young girls, specifically their education and required dress. Likened to a modern-day Joan of Arc, Dickinson’s spellbinding lectures moved many women and men to further women’s rights.
Una de las figuras más románticas del siglo XIX fue la “niña oradora” Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, quien deleitó al país con su pasión por la justicia en los umbrales de la Guerra Civil. A los 18 años pronunció un discurso ante la Sociedad Antiesclavista de Pensilvania titulado “Los derechos y agravios de la mujer”, el cual propulsó su exitosísima carrera en el circuito de conferencias. En 1864 se convirtió en la primera mujer que habló ante la Cámara de Representantes.
En la cumbre de su popularidad, hacia 1872, Dickinson ganaba $23,000 al año (unos $477,000 en 2018), superando los ingresos de sus contemporáneos varones como Mark Twain. En su conferencia “¿Qué haremos con nuestras hijas?” analizó las normas sociales aplicadas a las niñas y jovencitas, sobre todo su educación y vestimenta. Comparada con una moderna Juana de Arco, Dickinson inspiró con sus charlas a muchos hombres y mujeres en la lucha por los derechos femeninos.
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Laurie A. Baty
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence
On View
NPG, South Gallery 120
c. 1863
Object number
NPG.87.290
Artist
Mathew B. Brady, 1823? - 15 Jan 1896
Sitter
Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, 28 Oct 1842 - 22 Oct 1932
Topic
Anna Elizabeth Dickinson: Female
Anna Elizabeth Dickinson: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Abolitionist
Anna Elizabeth Dickinson: Literature\Writer\Playwright
Anna Elizabeth Dickinson: Education\Orator
Portrait
Medium
Albumen silver print
Dimensions
Image: 8.6 × 5.5 cm (3 3/8 × 2 3/16")
Sheet: 10.1 × 6.2 cm (4 × 2 7/16")
Mat: 35.6 × 27.9cm (14 × 11")
National Portrait Gallery
Type
Photograph