This first biography of Selina Campbell opens a window onto the
experience of women in one of the most dynamic religious groups of
Loretta M. Long examines the
life and influence of Selina Campbell, one of the most visible women in
the 19th-century Disciples of Christ movement. Best known as the wife of
Alexander Campbell, founder of the Disciples, Selina Campbell both
shaped and exemplified the role of women in this dynamic religious
group (also known as the Stone-Campbell movement). Her story
demonstrates the importance of faith in the lives of many women during
this era and adds a new dimension to the concept of the "separate
spheres" of men and women, which women like Campbell interpreted in the
context of their religious beliefs.
manager, mother, writer, and friend, Campbell held sway primarily in the
domestic sphere, but she was not held captive by it. Her relationship
with her husband was founded on a deep sense of partnership conditioned
by their strong faith in an all-powerful God. Each of them took on
complementary roles according to the perceived natural abilities of
their genders: Alexander depended on Selina to manage his property and
raise the children while he traveled the country preaching. Campbell
outlived her husband by 30 years, and during that time published several
newspaper articles and supported new causes, such as women in missions.
the end, as Long amply demonstrates, Selina Campbell was neither her
husband's shadow nor solely a domestic worker. She was, in her husband's
eyes, a full partner and a "fellow soldier" in the cause of Restoration.