Female Millhands, Lowell Mills, Essay and Poem, 1840s
Female operatives began to arrive in places like Lowell in the 1820s. Many of them were not only literate but also relatively well-educated. In their time off from work some organized study circles and wrote poetry, stories, and essays that they published in literary journals, often using pseudonyms. Within a couple of decades “mill girls” also began to agitate for better wages and working conditions and a few crafted pieces for radical labor newspapers.
In her essay, where does V.C.N. go, and why? How does her experience relate to mill work and her connection to nature?
In her poem, how does Mary tie industrial use of the river to her criticism of the mills?
V.C.N., “A Morning Walk,” Operatives Magazine, No. 3 (June 1841) and Mary, “Factory Thoughts,” Voice of Industry (12 June 1846)