Frances Richardson Keller: Feminist historian, was 92

Historians in the News

Frances Richardson Keller, a feminist historian and retired lecturer at San Francisco State University, has died of a stroke in Cleveland.

She was 92 when she died on June 25.

Ms. Keller, past president of the Western Association of Women Historians, taught students for decades about themes such as ascendant patriarchy, slavery, polygamy and subjugation of women. Her teaching was not focused on facts and dates but on possible meaning, according to her son William Keller of Pittsburgh.

Her writings focused on justice and equity for women and African Americans, linking the discrimination against African Americans to the treatment of women as second class citizens in the 19th century.

Her son said Ms. Keller seemed to be inspired by the discovery that she was a distant relative of early women's rights advocate Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

"She wasn't a screaming feminist,'' her son said. "She was just determined that opportunity for women and African Americans were an essential part of democracy. She just continued to do article after article and book after book."...

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