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Today—July 14—is my sister’s birthday, my “sweet sister Cam!” Top left image is the back cover of my book Girls: A History of Growing Up Female in America. Cam, at age six, is the middle photograph in the bottom row.

Celebrating her birthday prompted me to think about historic sisters, in particular preeminent sisters that I have written about. For example, the

Grimké sisters— Sarah and Angelina: Daughters of a South Carolina slave owner, Sarah and Angelina were prominent women’s rights activists and abolitionists, writers, and orators. (Right image, l-r: Angelina, Sarah)

The Edmondson sisters—Mary and Emily were formerly enslaved young women who became star activists in the abolition movement. (Left image, l-r Mary, Emily. See my post Sept. 23, 2022 about my visit to the Edmondson Sisters Memorial.)


Elizabeth Blackwell, first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, and her sister Emily who also received a medical degree. The Blackwell sisters were founders of the New York Infirmary for Indigent Women and Children in New York City. (Right image, l-r: Elizabeth, Emily)

Alice Hamilton, pioneer in field of toxicology and occupational health, and her sister Edith, educator, renown classicists, and author of books on ancient cultures, including The Greek War. (The statues plus one of their cousin Agnes, a civic advocate, are in Headwater Park, Fort Wayne, IN. It is on my to-visit list! Edith is seated and Alice is standing.)




Cam was born the month before I left for college. (My mother’s solution to her rapidly emptying nest of 3 boys and me.) I took baby pictures and delighted in getting letters about what my father affectionately dubbed her "antics." Now, although years apart in age and separated by many miles, we cherish having adventures together.

The bottom image of Cam and my partner Linda was taken in Alaska where Cam and her husband were managing a campground.


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