Lights hanging inside the O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center

Lindsay Schwab

Major: History
Topic: The Affect of the Civil War on Southern Planter-class Marriage
Faculty Mentor:

Dr. Joseph Fitzharris

I wanted to focus on particular families living on plantations. During the war, particularly when the men went off to join the Confederate Army, women were left on plantations to take care of all of the work that their husbands had once been in charge of. This was a new experience for them, and completely rocked their traditional view of subordinate and domestic women. I thought that after the war many of the marriages would be broken, but I was wrong! It turns out that many women were thrilled for their husbands to come home because they were exhausted and missed their simple antebellum lives.

Favorite part of the project:

I had never been farther south than Chicago, so going to North and South Carolina was the best part. It was a huge culture change, but really enjoyable. I had the opportunity to work in two huge research libraries.

Research Challenge:

About halfway through the summer I discovered that my original thesis for my project was completely wrong. With the help of my mentor, I was able to rework my paper so that my thesis could be easily adapted.