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Abstract

Around the turn of the century, as she was suffering from breast cancer, Marietta Stow began constructing a scrapbook to document her life. On the front cover of this remarkable tome, she pasted a slip of paper, upon which she wrote, "Whoever has charge of my effects, during my life or after my death, I charge to keep this book sacred as a memoranda [sic] of noble work. Never let anyone see it alone, for fear of . . .vandalism. /s/ Mrs. Stow" Stow's scrapbook was not meant to be a private memoir. In fact, little of Stow's life had been lived privately. She seemed driven to translate personal events into public statements, at the same time seeking recognition and accolades for her work on a variety of reform movements. This scrapbook, assembled in her twilight years, was a deliberate attempt to shape the attitudes of any future biographer. Yet, for all her efforts, Stow's primary role in the nineteenth-century women's rights movement has yet to be fully recognized or contextualized.

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