Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington

Time Period
1861 to 1876
Media Type
Civil War
Politics & Government
Women's History
Cokie Roberts

On May 12 at noon, Cokie Roberts delivered a Banner Lecture entitled "Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington By Cokie Roberts."

With the outbreak of the Civil War, the small, social southern town of Washington, D.C., found itself caught between warring sides in a four-year struggle to determine the future of the United States. While the nation’s men marched off to war, either on the battlefield or into the halls of Congress, the women of Washington joined the cause as well, serving as nurses, supply organizers, relief workers, and journalists. Cokie Roberts brings the war-torn capital into focus through the lives of formidable ladies like Sara Agnes Pryor and Elizabeth Blair Lee. Compelling social history at its best, Capital Dames concludes that the war not only changed Washington, but it also forever changed the role of women in American society.

Cokie Roberts was a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. She won countless awards and in 2008 was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. She was the author of several bestselling books, including Founding Mothers, Ladies of Liberty, and Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848–1868.

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

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