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Yavneh sheds light on women's roles during U.S. Constitutional Convention

December 7, 2012

Naomi Yavneh, Ph.D., director of the Loyola University New Orleans Honors Program, wants to know just exactly what women were up to during America’s Revolutionary War period. Historical documents such as letters from Sarah Livingston Jay and Lady Christina, wife of Continental Congress President Cyrus Griffin, tell the story. To that end, Yavneh recently spoke on the role of women’s hospitality in ratification of the U.S. Constitution during the Annapolis Continental Congress Society’s convention Nov. 26-28.

During her talk at the convention, Yavneh focused on the indirect role women played in ratification efforts, through hospitality, letter-writing and other social activities. “It’s true that they did not participate in the Continental Congress, but the wives of some of the leading men of the period were still very much involved in the political process through correspondence and sometimes publication, as well as by hosting and attending gatherings where they might persuade members of congress or other political figures to support particular actions,” Yavneh said.

The Annapolis Continental Congress Society convention also included the exhibit, “America’s Four Republics,” a display of historical documents owned by Yavneh and her husband, Stanley Yavneh Klos.

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