Probably the First Lay Guide for Women Published in the United States Mansfield, Edward D. The Legal Rights, Liabilities and Duties of Women; With an Introductory History of Their Legal Condition in the Hebrew, Roman and Feudal Civil Systems. Including the Law of Marriage and Divorce, The Social Relations of Husband and Wife, Parent and Child, of Guardian and Ward, and of Employer and Employed. Salem: Published by John P. Jewett & Co., 1845. 369 pp. Reprinted 2005 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN-13: 9781584774693. ISBN-10: 158477469X. Hardcover. New. $34.95 * Published three years before the Seneca Falls Convention, this lay guide for women is probably the first ever published in the United States. It is infused with the spirit of early feminism. As Mansfield [1801-1880] states in the preface: "Rights, and the knowledge of rights are no longer hidden from the masses of men; and why should they be from women?" (6). The book has four parts. The first is a general history of woman's legal status from biblical times to the 1840s. The second is an account of the American woman's civil rights. The third reviews the laws of property common to both genders. The final section reviews the rights, liabilities and duties of women in domestic relations. Mansfield was a Connecticut lawyer who later moved to Cincinnati, where he became professor of constitutional law and history at Cincinnati College.
Book number 40702