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Lecture: Jeff Heller: “Frontier Feminists”

November 19, 2019, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Jeff Heller presents the stories of Marie Chouteau, Elizabeth Freeman and Molly Brant, three 18th-century women who found their voices and rose above their circumstances in very difficult times.

  • Marie Chouteau, who built a family dynasty in French-controlled St. Louis by shrewdly using French laws which (unlike English law) empowered widows to inherit fair shares of money from the estates of their deceased husbands;
  • Elizabeth Freeman, an enslaved African-American who successfully challenged the legality of slavery in Massachusetts courts, and in so doing, put one of the first “nails in the coffin” of slavery;
  • Molly Brant, an Iroquois whose life of adventure as a champion of her people inspired three women (among them, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott) to write the documents that launched the struggle for women’s rights in America.

Heller is a screenwriter and historical novelist whose lectures on Colonial America have been presented at libraries, cultural festivals and historical societies throughout the Delaware Valley. His next novel is scheduled to appear in 2020.

Presented with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this programming do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


November 19, 2019
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


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