As the writer of "Iowa's Devoted Daughter", it was great fun to imagine what life was like for Harriet from 1844 to 1921. When you read the book, or if you have already read it, you too can think about and learn about the times of her life. For example:
Role of Women:
What was the role of women? How did Harriet approach her role as a woman? Did Harriet Louise resent men and their opinions or did she understand their positions even if she disagreed? hint: see Page 112
The Great Rebellion:
What position did the Ankeny family have toward war? Toward slavery? Toward abolition?
What changes did Harriet Louise experience regarding personal hygiene, outdoor to indoor toiletry, water and sewer systems, closets, travel conveniences and inconveniences?
The Ankeny children all received advanced education and training, even the girls. How did Harriet Louise’s Hudson Girl Seminary education affect her?
What must it have been like to wait for months for a letter from a loved one? The extensive letter writing of the Ankeny family preserved the history of their lives, their dreams, their opinions, their beliefs.
How did transportation change over Harriet Louise’s lifetime?
Her Father, Joseph: Why did he vehemently oppose her going to the Mason meetings? (hint: look up the Morgan conflicts)
Her Sisters-in-Law, Nieces, Nephews:
What made her special? What was Harriet's approach to convincing others?