This chapter describes the events following Julia Ward Howe's arrival in New Orleans. For instance, Howe expected to walk in and begin work in the Woman's Department upon her arrival. However, physical and cultural obstacles barred her way. At the least, the area for the Women's Department was still an empty shell, no matter how often newspapers painted optimistic portraits of buildings nearing completion. Howe also granted an interview to a male journalist from the Times-Democrat, who portrayed her as “a lady of advanced years, slight and small, with an intellectual head and a noble countenance, which when lit by her rare, slow smile, is very charming.” For those who wondered, he concluded that her “masculine mind” had not diminished the “femininity of manner” that put her interviewer at ease. This kind of reassurance was important to southern readers, for it could assuage an imagined threat from exposure to “strong-willed” women. The chapter also details the extravagant opening day celebrations on December 16, 1884.
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