February 

Feb. 18th  ~ 2:00 p.m.

An Extraordinary Ordinary Woman

In 1820, Phebe Orvis began a journal that she faithfully kept for a decade. Richly detailed, her diary captures not only the everyday life of an ordinary woman in early nineteenth-century Vermont and New York, but also the unusual happenings of her family, neighborhood, and beyond. The journal entries trace Orvis’s transition from single life to marriage and motherhood, including her time at the Middlebury Female Seminary and her observations about the changing social and economic environment of the period. A Quaker, Orvis also recorded the details of the waxing passion of the Second Great Awakening in the people around her, as well as the conflict the fervor caused within her own family.

Susan M. Ouellette is Professor of History and American Studies at Saint Michael’s College and the author of US Textile Production in Historical Perspective: A Case Study from Massachusetts.