Before the women’s rights movement began in the late nineteenth century, women in the United States were expected to be wives, mothers, and submissive to their husbands. This gallery represents the “Desperate Housewives” of America, from women who are subjected to domestic chores to slave women who are conflicted with the decision of whether or not to kill their children. It includes artifacts that reveal sentiments toward women during early America, as well as artifacts that reveal the ways women felt during this time.

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