Amy Srebnick: Celebrating Women's History Month





Amy Srebnick, author and historian, kicked off the inaugural Women's History Month lecture at Stevens Institute of Technology. Srebnick started by presenting her book, The Mysterious Death of Mary Rogers: Sex and Culture in the Nineteenth-Century New York. The author read excerpts from her book and spoke about the development of modern society along with the relevance of her work to gender issues today.

The Mysterious Death of Mary Rogers: Sex and Culture in the Nineteenth-Century New York is a case study on the bizarre death of a young New York resident, whose dead body was found washed up along the Hudson River in Hoboken in 1841. She became a local celebrity by working at a Manhattan cigar store. Her unsolved death has been the subject of many books captured into fiction by Edgar Allen Poe.

The causes surrounding Mary Rogers's death is largely based on assumption and speculation. Testimonials later revealed that she died during a botched abortion. However, these testimonials are insubstantial and the cause of her death remains unsolved.
Abortion in the nineteenth century was controversial topic. Anti-abortion statutes first appeared in the 1820's. Rogers's death served as an example in the illegalization of abortion in 1845 in New York. Amy Srebnick felt that Rogers was wrongfully targeted, which opened up discussion about the legalization of abortion.

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