Religion: Pious Females Merged

The 19th Century saw U. S. women emancipated in many fields—but not in religion. The first U. S. women's missionary body, founded in 1819 after a Methodist divine exclaimed, "The help of the pious females must not be spurned," was purely ancillary to a male board. When, in 1869, eight women formed the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, an independent body, churchmen tried to persuade them to let it be administered by men, who knew about such things. But the women stuck to their purpose, which was "engaging and uniting the efforts of the...

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