Women of Valor

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Civil War

Rebecca Gratz, 1781 - 1869

While Gratz did not see herself as a political or public person, she held strong opinions about slavery and sectionalism and used her influence to assert them. Her siblings, nieces, and nephews were scattered throughout the North and the South and Gratz tried to maintain contact and provide moral counsel to all of them. She regularly admonished her brother Benjamin's second wife, Ann, that "one of the curses of slavery is the entire dependence the poor mistress is reduced to." When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Gratz was disturbed that members of her family would be on opposing sides. As she wrote to Ann, "I have been reading some loving letters from some so near to me in blood and affections whose arms are perhaps now raised against those hearts at which they have fed."

Notes: 
  1. "one of the curses..." From a letter from Rebecca Gratz to Maria Gist Gratz, November 11, 1820. From Letters of Rebecca Gratz, edited by David Philipson. (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1929)198.
  2. "I have been reading..." Rebecca Gratz to Ann Boswell Gratz, September 12, 1861. From Letters of Rebecca Gratz, edited by David Philipson. (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1929)227.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Rebecca Gratz - Civil War." (Viewed on April 20, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/gratz/civil-war>.