JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Spring 2016) between brothers but also between sisters. Their relationships seemed to be more practical than affectionate, and the elder sister role had no counterpart in the south. Frontier siblings simply needed to cooperate and work together, and there was no clear pattern of recognized authority or deep emotional connections on the part of either elder brothers or elder sisters in the American west. Hemphill ends her richly detailed, complex, and well-argued family history with these lines: ``An understanding of the ways siblings functioned in past time can, if we want, inspire us to adopt new family values and promoter greater sibling solidarity today. It is not a bad idea . . . our brothers and sisters offer an alliance that is hard to beat'' (222). This is a powerful ending to a powerful book. Vi vian Bru ce C onge r is an associate professor and Robert Ryan Professor in the Humanities in the Department of History at Ithaca College. She is the author of The Widows' Might: Widowhood and Gender in Early British America (New York, 2009), and The Worlds of Deborah Read Franklin and Sally Franklin Bache: Transgenerational Lives in
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Feb 25, 2016
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