Whew! Whew! Whew! Hannah Kimberly featured speaker for Cape Ann Chamber Business Women’s Fall Luncheon

Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce Annual Fall Business Women’s Luncheon, October 12, 11:30AM-1PM, Gloucester House, 63 Rogers Street, Gloucester, MA

The Keynote Speaker will be Hannah Kimberly. I was reading Hannah Kimberly’s biography, A Woman’s Place is at the Top, about Annie Smith Peck when I heard the news that Saudi women would be granted the right to drive sometime in 2018 (though they still  need a sign off to marry, divorce, travel, get a passport, open a bank account.) I remember when my mother could get a credit card without my father’s signature. An Annie Smith Peck quote from 1874 brought to light in Kimberly’s research shows Peck knew this pain of persistent lobbying for permission:

“I have reflected for years, I am reflecting, I shall continue to reflect. The longer I reflect, the more convinced I am that it would be wise to go to college. Years ago I made up my mind that I should never marry and consequently that it would be desirable for me to get my living in the best possible way and to set about it as any boy would do. I do not think it is my duty to sacrifice myself, my happiness, and all prospect of distinction, to say nothing of usefulness for the very doubtful pleasure of my parents. Should I remain at home, as some people would have me, I should then be utterly unfitted for active life and should only be a burden to my brothers, useless and unhappy. If I am ever to be anybody or do anything, the time is now…John (her brother) would not have me on par with college graduates? Whew! Whew! Whew! What an opinion must he have of his own and William’s attainments if he considers that I am superior to what they were when they graduated…Why did John not pursue such a course as himself? ‘Too good talents to give them the benefit of a collegiate education.’ Dare you say that aloud? What if you applied it to a young man? Are you crazy? I am not afraid that my fame would be lessened should I be Valedictorian of the class of ’78 (1878!) in Michigan.” -Annie Smith Peck 

Michigan State fans will be happy:

Kimberly writes that in 1874 Peck “wouldn’t be able to place her finger on it at the time, but somehow, within her first semester, like the handful of other women studying the classics, Annie was treated as if she were equal to the men in her class. Indeed it was a blip in the history of co-education — a golden decade — when some of the first groups of women attended the University of Michigan and were recognized as mysterious, capable, attractive, intelligent, and not yet too numerous to be a threat to male power.” – Hannah Kimberly

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One thought on “Whew! Whew! Whew! Hannah Kimberly featured speaker for Cape Ann Chamber Business Women’s Fall Luncheon

  1. Oh the 1800’s had some classic ladies indeed thanks for sharing this I saw a quote in a magazine by Eleanor Roosevelt with the same path! My grandmother was born in 1896. Just few I saw:

    The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent

    🙂 Dave & Kim 🙂

    Like

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