News 8 Highlight Zone - October 25, 2019
TPIH Mary Tyler
3 amanda: at this place in history, we're in barre at the vermont history center.
I'm with executive director of the vermont historical center steve perkins.
And steve is going to tell us why we're here today.steve: so we're going to explore one of the very early, important vermont women.
Her name was mary tyler and she was writing in the early 19th century.
In 1811, she published a book about motherhood and how woman should take care of their families, really progressive thinking.
So we're going to go inside and learn a lot more about this lady.
Steve: so amanda we're here in the library at the vermont historical society and lynn blackwell is here to talk about mary tyler with us.
Amanda: so lynn, let's start with the basics, who is mary tyler?
Lynn: mary tyler was a daughter of the revolution.
She was born just outside of boston to a family of american patriots.
After the revolution, she migrated to vermont with her husband royall tyler.
He was a well-known playwright and also a lawyer.
He was appointed to the vermont supreme court.
Mary, meanwhile ,raised 11 children on their farm in brattleboro.
Interestingly, none of her children died in their early years so she was a very accomplished mother.
She wrote a famous childc are manual called the maternal physician.
Steve: and we have a copy of that right here.
Lynn: we do have a copy at the library in the vermont history center.
It is by an american matron.
It was written anonymously because women didn't publish their names very often at this point in time.
It was very unusual and of course her husband had published a number of thigns which helped her get access to the publishing world.
She was very interested in promoting the role of mothers and she challenged the role of doctors at this time.
She said mothers were much better than physicians or husbandsin monitoring their children's health, discipline and education.
Steve: was she part of a group of women that were advocating for this or was she a groundbreaker?
Lynn: in some ways she was a groundbreaker because this was the first comprehensive childcare manual written by an american woman.
Other women had written briefly about the importance of motherhood in the late 18th century.
The notion of sentimental motherhood became very powerful and then mary tyler began promoting not only taking care of their health and breastfeeding children, but also their education and discipline.
And that was an important innovation leading to what historians call republican motherhood.
The role of women in the new republic was incredibly important so many other women began writing about that in the time period her manual was published, 1811.amanda: so would say then her manual was well-received?
What was the reaction to it?lynn: interestingly it was well- received.
She didn't get any credit because it was written anonymously.
For many years people didn't know who was written it.
People in vermont knew who had written it but when i went to look at the story of mary tyler, most people outside of vermont didn't realize that the maternal physician was by mary palmer tyler.
After her husband died, her husband was quite a bit older than mary, she fell into poverty so she had to struggle to see how a woman could make a living in any
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