The Town Book Store will be hosting a Meet & Greet for local historian and Union County Clerk Joanne Hamilton Rajoppi, author of Northern Women in the Aftermath of the Civil War on Saturday April 8, 2017 from 2:00-4:00 PM. 

Three million husbands, fathers, sons, uncles and brothers marched to war between 1861 and 1865. Of that number, nearly 750,000 never returned home. For Mary Ann Hamilton of New Jersey the conflict separated her from her husband and three sons. Her beloved youngest ultimately perished in battle and her war-wounded husband lingered in pain at home before finally dying. Rendered economically helpless, a woman like Mary Ann with young children--including a daughter considered "insane" at the time--eked out a living as best she could.

Northern Women tells the story of the perseverance and stamina of women facing an altered world, many of whom were confronted by widowhood, burdened with returning soldiers addicted to alcoholism or drugs, or strained by the care of men suffering from post-traumatic stress. The story of the Hamilton family relates the legacy as well as the dreams and hopes that these women left their children in the context of a rapidly evolving America--the new Federal pension system, the westward migration, industrialization and the start of the modern business culture--all of which opened new careers for women leading to their eventual emancipation at the start of the twentieth century.

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Ms.Rajoppi, a former journalist, is a lifelong resident of New Jersey. A history aficionado, she chronicled the military service of her great-grandfather during the Civil War in her book New Brunswick and the Civil War: The Brunswick Boys in the Great Rebellion based on the letters he wrote to his family.

A contributor to Meet Your Revolutionary Neighbors: Crossroads of the American Revolution, she also has authored several pamphlets and calendars detailing the history of the region. She is also a trustee and officer of the Union County Historical Society. She serves as the Union County Clerk and is a former mayor of her hometown.

Meet Joanne Rajoppi at The Town Book Store located at 270 East Broad Street in Westfield (corner of East Broad and Elmer Streets). If you are unable to attend this event, feel free to call The Town Book Store at (908) 233-3535 to reserve an autographed copy of Northern Women in the Aftermath of the Civil War.