Maria Mitchell In Her Own Words

Maria Mitchell, ca. 1865

Maria Mitchell, ca. 1865

Feb. 15, 1853. I think Dr. Hall (in his “Life of Mary Ware”) does wrong when he attempts to encourage the use of the needle. It seems to me that the needle is the chain of woman, and has fettered her more than the laws of the country.

Once emancipate her from the “stitch, stitch, stitch,” the industry of which would be commendable if it served any purpose except the gratification of her vanity, and she would have time for studies which would engross as the needle never can. I would as soon put a girl alone into a closet to meditate as give her only the society of the needle.

The art of sewing, so far as men learn it, is well enough; that is, to enable a person to take the stitches, and, if necessary, to make her own garments in a strong manner; but the dressmaker should no more be a universal character than the carpenter. I believe MM’s words are self-explanatory, no commentary needed on my part.