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"The Personal Side of Esther Morris," was presented by one Esther's first cousins (5x's removed), Denise Lacey-Corcoran. This talk gave us an intimate look at Esther's early life in Tioga County, including her close relationship with niece Elizabeth Brown Chatfield, who was also an Owego native, suffragist, and secretary to Susan B. Anthony. The discussion detailed Esther's journey to Illinois, where she claimed land inherited from her first husband, married her second husband, and raised her family. We also learned about Esther's important move to Wyoming, where she continued to be a strong supporter of Women's rights, and where she became the first female judge in the United States of America. Kathryn Swim Cummings, who wrote the most comprehensive biography of Esther Morris to date, said that "Esther Morris lived a purposeful life. She was the sterling representation of a woman who though "not educated up to it" rose each morning taking on enormous responsibilities...One of the unintended consequences of Esther's life was fame...it [was] thrust upon her...the choices she made in the face of adversity brought her to the belief that women were as intelligent and capable as men and should be allowed to profit from employment, to act as full citizens, to create laws, and even to govern a nation."
Denise Lacey-Corcoran recommends the book Esther Hobart Morris - The Unembellished Story of the Nation's First Female Judge as a factual and informational read that includes Esther's early life in Tioga County, NY.
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