Cassandra A. Good
is the Associate Editor of the Papers of James Monroe
at the University of Mary Washington. Her book Founding Friendships: Friendships between Men and Women in the Early American Republic
(Oxford University Press, 2015) offers a historical examination of the cross-gender friendships that formed against great social odds and popular opinion that held that these relationships were highly irregular and impossible to maintain chaste. Beginning with the relationships of Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson; Eloise Richards Payne and William Ellery Channing; Charles Greely Loring and Mary Pierce and their elite circle, Good explores the depth of feelings, the language and tokens of love, issues of propriety, and the social and political risks of cross-gender friendship. These complicated relationships embodied the essential republican values of equality, freedom, choice, and virtue and challenged marriage as the ultimate human connection. Through her historical work, Good offers an opportunity to rethink the ways cross-gender friendships remain problematic.
Lilian Calles Barger, www.lilianbarger.com, is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her current book project is entitled
The World Come of Age: Religion, Intellectuals and the Challenge of Human Liberation.