Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MA in Women's History


Women’s History Graduate Program


This thesis concerns constructions and reproductions of whiteness in familial memory-making in the South during Reconstruction, the late nineteenth century, and in the immediate decades following the Civil Rights Movement. The chapters discuss three generations of women in the Payne-Wooten-Russell family and their keepsaking and storytelling. Frances Payne’s (1832-1918) life as a wife of a Confederate veteran dictated the majority of her memory-making project, and she reconstructed the Southern white male as glorified and honorable. She took part in original reproductions of Lost Cause ideology. Through scrapbooking, Josephine Payne Wooten (1861-1937) looked beyond the Southern landscape to echo a national acceptance of Lost Cause narratives as well as a global interpretation of whiteness within the project of civilization. In the final chapter, Bryce Wooten Russell (1900-1996) returned to her grandmother’s project by re-telling stories to her children that contained Lost Cause ideology. These women show that private memorymaking in the home mirrors the project of memory in the public landscape.