Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1815, Anna Ella Carroll was the eldest daughter of Maryland Governor Thomas King Carroll. By the early 1850s, she had become a political pamphleteer for the Know-Nothing Party, a nativist and anti-Catholic organization. She wrote a number of books and election pamphlets supporting the presidential candidacy of Millard Fillmore in 1856. In the election of 1860, she promoted the candidacy of John Minor Botts of Virginia, a strong Unionist.;When Civil War began, Carroll worked to support Lincoln's action, and wrote several pamphlets on his behalf. She argues, as did Lincoln, that the President could wield war-making powers to preserve the Union, even if wielding those powers infringed on certain legal rights. A number of politicians acknowledged the value of her arguments supporting the President's position, and one pamphlet was printed by the administration.;Carroll's most famous work came during the fall of 1861, when she visited the Western Theatre of the war and devised a plan to invade the Confederacy by going up the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, instead of down the Mississippi River. Unknown to her, the Union and Confederate forces both were aware of the strategic value of the rivers, and had plans to proceed in the manner she suggested to the War Department. Convinced she had presented a plan that had saved the Union by providing a successful route of invasion, Carroll attempted to convince Congress that she should be generously awarded for her work.;Carroll's cause was adopted by suffragists about 1880. Until the turn of the century, suffragists' organizations and periodicals supported Carroll and her cause as prime examples of man's inhumanity to woman. Carroll's story was revived in the 1940s by various writers. Although her claim to have developed the military strategy used by the Union army in Tennessee had been disproved, it was not until the 1970s that Carroll's other, more substantial work as a constitutional writer and political pamphleteer attracted attention and scholarly examination. This dissertation considers both her life and the methodology she employed that enabled her to work within the political sphere while retaining her connection to the "female sphere.".



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