Using a new source of nineteenth-century state prison records and robust statistics, this study contrasts the effects of social conditions on the stature of comparable African American and white women during the economic development of the United States. Across the stature distribution, Great Lakes, Plains, and Southern women were taller than women with other US and international nativities. Women from the Northeast and Middle Atlantic were the shortest within the US, but were taller than British and European immigrants. White women were consistently taller than black women. Stature also varied over time with industrialization and emancipation. Across the stature distribution, women in outdoor, unskilled occupations were taller than women in indoor, skilled occupations. These results show that US women's average statures reflect net nutritional conditions that are not available in traditional measures of economic well-being.To view the full text of this article or book review, please see our instruction on accessing the publisher's website.