Jan. 7, 1861 —
Dear Mrs. Wright—Here we are—Mrs. Stanton, Green & I— alive— after the Buffalo Mob —
I have forgotten whether I have asked you to have the Auburn Convention published in your weekly papers to date— so send this—
We have dispatched notes of the Buffalo riot— to Tribune, Standard & Liberator & hope some of them will get out to the world—There was a more determined union to put down a speech, not to the mind of the masses— but we must face it through—
Mrs. Stanton's pen is scratching on free speech— She is getting a grand speech— & we are doing nicely, only want to see the faces of Powell & May— Good Bye—S. B. A.
A Burlesque Procession — Burning in Effigy and other Outrageous Proceedings. Last evening a mob of about twenty rowdies and loafers assembled at the usual rendezvous, James McGurk’s Grocery, in the Courier Building, and obtaining a Band and several transparencies and effigies which had been previously prepared by the leaders, these miserable tools marched through several streets of our city, and finally halted on Hanover Square, where some disgusting exercises took place, a few brutal speeches were made, and the effigies burned in a bonfire made upon the Square … one intends to represent Miss Anthony, and the other Rev. Mr. May. … The transparencies included: The Rights of the South Must Be Protected! Freedom of Speech, But Not of Treason!
The State Woman's Rights Convention was held in Albany, February 7 and 8. Mr. Garrison, Mrs. Rose, Lucretia Mott and many of the old brilliant galaxy were among the speakers. They little thought that this was the last convention they would hold for five years, that a long and terrible war would cast its shadow over every household before they met again, that differences would arise in their own ranks, and that never more would they come together in the old, fraternal spirit that had bound them so closely and given them strength to bear the innumerable hardships which so largely had been their portion.
After the Albany meeting, Miss Anthony at once began preparations for the National Woman's Rights Convention in New York in May. The date was set, the Tabernacle secured and many of the speakers engaged, but in the meantime the affairs of the nation had become more and more complicated; the threatened secession of the Southern States had been accomplished; the long-expected, long-dreaded crisis seemed close at hand; the people were uncertain and bewildered in the presence of the dreadful catastrophe. All thought, all
interest, all action were centered in the new President. The whole nation was breathlessly awaiting the declaration of Lincoln's policy. To call any kind of meeting which had an object other than that relating to the preservation of the Union seemed almost a sacrilege. Letters poured in upon Miss Anthony urging her to relinquish all idea of a convention, but she never had learned to give up.
Even after the fall of Sumter and the President's call for troops, the letters were still insisting that she declare the meeting postponed; but it was not until the abandonment of the Anti-Slavery Anniversary, which always took place the same week, and until she found there were absolutely no speakers to be had, that she finally yielded.
About this time she takes care of a sister with a baby, and writes Mrs. Stanton:
"O this babydom, what a constant, never-ending, all-consuming strain! We should never ask anything else of the woman who has to endure it. I realize more and more that rearing children should be looked upon as a profession which, like any other, must be made the primary work of those engaged in it. It can not be properly done if other aims and duties are pressing upon the mother."
And yet so great was her spirit of self-sacrifice that in this same letter she offers to take entire charge of Mrs. Stanton's seven children while she makes a three months' trip abroad. At a later date, when caring for a young niece, she says:
"The dear little Lucy engrosses most of my time and thoughts. A child one loves is a constant benediction to the soul, whether or not it helps to the accomplishment of great intellectual feats."
D.R. Anthony served during the war as an officer in the First Kansas Cavalry; he ordered his
|Kansas Cavalry Members|
Susan Anthony returned to the family farm in Rochester, New York.
From her diary may be obtained an idea of the busy life which only allowed the briefest entries, but these show her restlessness and dissatisfaction:
"Tried to interest myself in a sewing society; but little intelligence among
them.... Attended Progressive Friends' meeting; too much namby-pamby-ism.... Went to colored church to hear Douglass. He seems without solid basis. Speaks only popular truths.... Quilted all day, but sewing seems to be no longer my calling.... I stained and varnished the library bookcase today, and superintended the plowing of the orchard.... The last load of hay is in the barn; all in capital order. Fitted out a fugitive slave for Canada with the help of Harriet Tubman.... Washed every window in the house today. Put a quilted petticoat in the frame. Commenced Mrs. Browning's Portuguese Sonnets. .... I wish the government would move quickly, proclaim freedom to every slave and call on every able-bodied negro to enlist in the Union army. How not to do it seems the whole study at Washington. Good, stiff-backed Union Democrats would dare to move; they would have nothing to lose and all to gain for their party. The present incumbents have all to lose; hence dare not avow any policy, but only wait. To forever blot out slavery is the only possible compensation for this merciless war.
. . . While all the women were giving themselves, body and soul, to the great work of the war, the New York Legislature, April 10, 1862, finding them off guard, very quietly amended the law of 1860 and took away from mothers the lately-acquired right to the equal guardianship of their children. They also repealed the law which secured to the widow the control of the property for the care of minor children. Thus at one blow were swept away the results of nearly a decade of hard work on the part of women, and wives and mothers were left in almost the same position as under the old common law. . . . Miss Anthony's anger and sorrow were intense when she heard of the repeal of the laws which she had spent seven long years to obtain, tramping through cold and heat to roll up petitions and traversing the whole State of New York in the dead of winter to create public sentiment in their favor.
This year began the acquaintance with Anna Dickinson, whose letters are as refreshing as a breeze from the ocean:
"The sunniest of sunny mornings to you, how are you today? Well and happy, I hope. To tell the truth I want to see you very much indeed, to hold your hand in mine, to hear your voice, in a word, I want you--I can't have you? Well, I will at least put down a little fragment of my foolish self and send it to look up at you.... I work closely and happily at my preparations for next winter--no, for the future--nine hours a day, generally; but I never felt better, exercise morning and evening, and never touch book or paper after gaslight this warm weather; so all those talks of yours were not thrown away upon me. What think you of the 'signs of the times?' I am sad always, under all my folly;--this cruel tide of war, sweeping off the fresh, young, brave life to be dashed out utterly or thrown back shattered and ruined! I know we all have been implicated in the 'great wrong,' yet I think the comparatively innocent suffer today more than the guilty. And the result--will the people save the country they love so well, or will the rulers dig the nation's grave? Will you not write to me, please, soon? I want to see a touch of you very much. Very Affectionately Yours Anna E. Dickinson"Anna Elizabeth Dickinson was well-known abolitionist lecturer. Dickinson was born to Quaker parents in Philadelphia; her father died when she was two years old after giving a speech against slavery. She and her four siblings were raised by her mother. As a 14-year-old, she published a passionate anti-slavery essay in The Liberator. She addressed the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society in 1860. In 1861, she worked as a clerk for the United States Mint, but was fired for criticizing General George McClellan at a public meeting. She became widely known as an eloquent public speaker. During the war she toured the country speaking on the politics of the war and other issues. Dickinson and Susan B. Anthony became close friends; Anthony addressed her in some letters as “Chickie Dickie.”
After speaking at intervals through the summer, she started on a regular tour early in the fall, writing Lydia Mott:
"I can not feel easy in my conscience to be dumb in an hour like this. I am speaking now extempore and more to my satisfaction than ever before. I am amazed at myself, but I could not do it if any of our other speakers were listening to me. I am entirely off old anti-slavery grounds and on the new ones thrown up by the war. What a stay, counsel and comfort you have been to me, dear Lydia, ever since that eventful little temperance meeting in that cold, smoky chapel in 1852. How you have compelled me to feel myself competent to go forward when trembling with doubt and distrust. I never can express the magnitude of my indebtedness to you."On November 22, 1862 Frederick Douglass had written to fellow abolitionist Theodore Tilton that "Our friend Miss Anthony is at home watching by the bedside of her father who
has been quite ill--but now convalescent." Daniel Anthony died three days later.
She had come home for a few days, and the Sunday morning after election was sitting with her father talking over the political situation. They had been reading the Liberator and the Anti-Slavery Standard and were discussing the probable effect of Lincoln's proclamation, when suddenly he was stricken with acute neuralgia of the stomach. He had not had a day's illness in forty years and had not the slightest premonition of this attack. He lingered in great suffering for two weeks and died on November 25, 1862.
No words can express the terrible bereavement of his family. He had been to them a tower of strength. From childhood his sons and daughters had carried to him every grief and perplexity and there never had been a matter concerning them too trivial to receive his careful attention. . . . He was far ahead of his time in his recognition of the rights of women. Years before he had written to a brother: "Take your family into your confidence and give your wife the purse." He was never willing to enter into any pleasure which his wife did not share. They tell of him that once the daughters persuaded him to remain in town on a stormy evening and go to the Hutchinson concert. As they were driving home he said: "Never again ask me to do such a thing; I suffered more in thinking of your mother at home alone than any enjoyment could possibly compensate."
A short time before his death he and his wife went to Ontario Beach one afternoon and did not return till 10 o'clock. When asked by the daughters what detained them, the mother answered that they had a fish supper and then strolled on the beach by moonlight; and on their laughing at her and saying she was worse than the girls, she replied: "Your father is more of a lover today than he was the first year of our marriage."
He was a broad, humane, great-hearted man, always mindful of the rights of others, always standing for liberty to every human being. Public-spirited, benevolent and genial in disposition, his loss was widely mourned. The family's devoted friend, Rev. Samuel J. May, conducted the funeral services, at which Frederick Douglass and several prominent Abolitionists paid affectionate tribute, expressing "profound reverence for Mr. Anthony's character as a man, a friend and a citizen."
An immense audience, mostly women, assembled in Dr. Cheever's famous church. Miss Anthony called the convention to order . . . Stirring addresses were made by Mrs. Stanton and the veteran anti-slavery speaker, Angelina Grimké Weld, while the Hutchinson family with their songs added inspiration to the occasion. Miss Anthony presented a series of patriotic resolutions with the following spirited address:
"There is great fear expressed on all sides lest this shall be made a war for the negro. I am willing that it shall be. It is a war which was begun to found an empire upon slavery, and shame on us if we do not make it one to establish the freedom of the negro--against whom the whole nation, North and South, East and West, in one mighty conspiracy, has combined from the beginning. Instead of suppressing the real cause of the war, it should have been proclaimed not only by the people but by the President, Congress, Cabinet and every military commander. Instead of President Lincoln's waiting two long years before calling to the aid of the government the millions of allies whom we have had within the territory of rebeldom, it should have been the first decree he sent forth. . . . Every interest of the insurgents, every dollar of their property, every institution, every life in every rebel State even, if necessary, should have been sacrificed, before one dollar or one man should have been drawn from the free States. How much more then was it the President's duty to confer freedom on the millions of slaves, transform them into an army for the Union, cripple the rebellion and establish justice, the only sure foundation of peace.
"I therefore hail the day when the government shall recognize that this is a war for freedom. We talk about returning to 'the Union as it was' and 'the Constitution as it is'--about "restoring our country to peace and prosperity--to the blessed conditions which existed before the war!" I ask you what sort of peace, what sort of prosperity, have we had? Since the first slave ship sailed up the James river with its human cargo and there, on the soil of the Old Dominion, it was sold to the highest bidder, we have had nothing but war. . . . Between the slave and the master there has been war, and war only. This is but a new form of it.
"No, no; we ask for no return to the old conditions. We ask for something better. We want a Union which is a Union in fact, a Union in spirit, not a sham. . . .
"Woman must now assume her God-given responsibilities and make herself what she is clearly designed to be, the educator of the race. Let her no longer be the mere reflector, the echo of the worldly pride and ambition of man. Had the women of the North studied to know and to teach their sons the law of justice to the black man, they would not now be called upon to offer the loved of their households to the bloody Moloch of war."
. . . The fourth resolution, asking equal rights for women as well as negroes, was seriously objected to by several who insisted that they did not want political rights. Lucy Stone, Mrs. Weld, Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Coleman made strong speeches in its favor, and Miss Anthony said: "This resolution merely makes the assertion that in a genuine republic, every citizen must have the right of representation. You remember the maxim 'Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.' This is the fundamental principle of democracy, and before our government can be placed on a lasting foundation, the civil and political rights of every citizen must be practically established. This is the meaning of the resolution. . . . This is the question before us: Is it possible that peace and union shall be established in this country, is it possible for this government to be a true democracy, a genuine republic, while one-sixth or one-half of the people are disfranchised?"
. . .Soon after closing the league headquarters, Miss Anthony went to Auburn to attend the wedding of Wm. Lloyd Garrison, Jr., and Ellen, daughter of her dear friend Martha C. Wright and niece of Lucretia Mott, a union of two families very acceptable to the friends of both.
From this scene of festivity she returned home to meet a fresh sorrow in the sudden death, almost at the hour of her arrival, of Ann Eliza, daughter of her eldest sister Guelma and Aaron McLean, the best beloved of all her nieces. She was twenty-three years old, beautiful and talented, a good musician and an artist of fine promise. In her Miss Anthony had centered many hopes and ambitions, and the letters show that she was always planning and working for her future as she would have done for that of a cherished daughter. She was laid to rest on the silver wedding anniversary of her parents. Miss Anthony writes: "She had ceased to be a child and had become the full grown woman, my companion and friend. I loved her merry laugh, her bright, joyous presence, and yet my loss is so small compared to the awful void in her mother's life that I scarcely dare mention it." Months afterwards she wrote her sister Hannah:
"Today I made a pilgrimage to Mount Hope. The last rays of red, gold and
purple fringed the horizon and shone serenely on the mounds above our dear father and Ann Eliza. What a contrast in my feelings; for the one a subdued sorrow at the sudden ending of a life full-ripened, only that we would have basked in its sunshine a little longer; for the other a keen anguish over the untimely cutting off in the dawn of existence, with the hopes and longings but just beginning to take form, the real purpose of life yet dimly developed, a great nature but half revealed. The faith that she and all our loved and gone are graduated into a higher school of growth and progress is the only consolation for death."
At another time she wrote her brother: "This new and sorrowful reminder of the brittleness of life's threads should soften all our expressions to each other in our home circles and open our lips to speak only words of tenderness and approbation. We are so wont to utter criticisms and to keep silence about the things we approve. I wish we might be as faithful in expressing our likes as our dislikes, and not leave our loved ones to take it for granted that their good acts are noted and appreciated and vastly outnumber those we criticise. The sum of home happiness would be greatly multiplied if all families would conscientiously follow this method."
There were urgent appeals in these days from the lately-married brother and his wife for sister Susan to come to Kansas and, as no public work seemed to be pressing, she started the latter part of January, 1865. She stopped in Chicago to visit her uncle Albert Dickinson, was detained a week by heavy storms, and reached Leavenworth the last day of the month. . . . Her brother was renominated for mayor and plunged at once into the thick of a political campaign, while Miss Anthony went to the office to help manage his newspaper, limited only by his injunction "not to have it all woman's rights and negro suffrage."
The labor, however, which she most enjoyed was among the colored refugees. Soon after the slaves were set free they flocked to Kansas in large numbers, and what should be done with this great body of uneducated, untrained and irresponsible people was a perplexing question. She went into the day schools,
Sunday-schools, charitable societies and all organizations for their relief and improvement. The journal shows that four or five days or evenings every week were given to this work and that she formed an equal rights league among them. A colored printer was put into the composing-room, and at once the entire force went on strike. The diary declares "it is a burning, blistering shame," and relates her attempts to secure other work for him. She met at this time Hiram Revels, a colored Methodist preacher, afterwards United States senator from Mississippi.
Hiram Revels Rhodes
. . . Mrs. Stanton insisted that she should not remain buried in Kansas and concluded a long letter:
"I hope in a short time to be comfortably located in a new house where we will have a room ready for you when you come East. I long to put my arms around you once more and hear you scold me for my sins and short-comings. Your abuse is sweeter to me than anybody else's praise for, in spite of your severity, your faith and confidence shine through all. O, Susan, you are very dear to me. I should miss you more than any other living being from this earth. You are intertwined with much of my happy and eventful past, and all my future plans are based on you as a coadjutor. Yes, our work is one, we are one in aim and sympathy and we should be together. Come home."
. . . The threatened division in the Abolitionist ranks and the reported
determination of Mr. Garrison to disband the Anti-Slavery Society, filled her with dismay and she sent back the strongest protests she could put into words:
"How can any one hold that Congress has no right to demand negro suffrage in the returning rebel States because it is not already established in all the loyal ones? What would have been said of Abolitionists ten or twenty years ago, had they preached to the people that Congress had no right to vote against admitting a new State with slavery, because it was not already abolished in all the old States? It is perfectly astounding, this seeming eagerness of so many of our old friends to cover up and apologize for the glaring hate toward the equal recognition of the manhood of the black race."
. . . A letter from Mr. Phillips said: "Thank you for your kind note. I see you understand the lay of the land and no words are necessary between you and me. Your points we have talked over. If Garrison should resign, we incline to Purvis for president for many, many reasons." All the letters received by Miss Anthony during May and June were filled with the story of the dissension in the Anti-Slavery Society.
. . . Those most intimately connected with Miss Anthony sustained the position of Mr. Phillips--Mrs. Stanton, Parker Pillsbury, Robert Purvis, Charles Remond, Stephen Foster, Lucretia and Lydia Mott, Anna Dickinson, Sarah Pugh--and she herself was his staunchest defender. Believing as strongly as she did that the suffrage is the very foundation of liberty, that without it there can be no real freedom for either man or woman, she could not have done otherwise, and yet, so great was her reverence and affection for Mr. Garrison, it was with the keenest regret she found herself no longer able to follow him. She writes: "I am glad I was spared from witnessing that closing scene. It will be hard beyond expression to leave him out of our councils, but he never will be out of our sympathies. I hope you will refrain from all personalities. Pro-slavery signs are too apparent and too dangerous at this hour for us to stop for personal adjustments. To go forward with the great work pressing upon the society, without turning to the right or the left, is the one wise course."
|Pages from Anthony's diary|
"I was reading the President's last speech when the stunning telegram of his assassination reached me. . . . My soul was sad and sick at what seemed his settled purpose - to consign the ex-slaves back to the tender mercies of the disappointed, desperate, sullen revengeful ex-lords of the lash . . . re-arming our enemies with the ballot, the mightiest weapon for good or evil . . . disarming and disfranchsing our loyal black soldiers - men to whom our nation is largely, if not altogether, indebted for its triumphs in the field over the rebellion . . .To me it looked like the crimes of crimes . . .
"God's one great purpose, is that this nation shall establish and practice his law of the perfectly equal humanity of all races, nations and colors. "
Miss Anthony was seated in her brother's office reading the papers when she learned to her amazement that several resolutions had been offered in the House of Representatives sanctioning disfranchisement on account of sex. Up to this time the Constitution of the United States never had been desecrated by the word "male," and she saw instantly that such action would create a more formidable barrier than any now existing against the enfranchisement of women. She hesitated no longer but started immediately on her homeward journey . . .
This was the first demand ever made for Congressional action on this question.
The Fourteenth Amendment, as proposed, contained in Section 2, to which the women objected, the word "male" three times . . .If it had been adopted without this word "male," all women would have been virtually enfranchised, as men would have let women vote rather than have them counted out of the basis of representation. Thaddeus Stevens made a vigorous attempt to have women included in the provisions of this amendment.
. . . She went to Philadelphia to visit James and Lucretia Mott and interest
Mary Grew and Sarah Pugh and all the friends in that locality; then back to New York with tireless energy and unflagging zeal. She wrote articles for the Anti-Slavery Standard, sent out petitions and left no stone unturned to accomplish her purpose. The diary shows the days to have been well filled:
Loyal League Petition
"Went to Tilton's office to express regrets at not being able to attend their tin wedding. He read us his editorial on Seward and Beecher. Splendid!... Went to hear Beecher, morning and evening. There is no one like him.... Spent the day at Mrs. Tilton's and went with her to Mrs. Bowen's....Excellent audience in Friends' meeting house, at Milton-on-the-Hudson. . . . Went over to New Jersey to confer with Lucy Stone and Antoinette Blackwell.... Called at Dr. Cheever's, and also had an interview with Robert Dale Owen.... Went to Worcester to see Abby Kelly Foster and from there to Boston.... Took dinner at Garrison's. Saw Whipple and May, then went to Wendell Phillips'.... Returned to New York and commenced work in earnest. Spent nearly all the Christmas holidays addressing and sending off petitions."
Henry Ward Beecher and Theodore Tilton entered heartily into the plans ofSusan Anthony headed back east after she learned that an amendment to the U.S. Constitution had been proposed that would provide citizenship for African Americans but would also for the first time introduce the word "male" into the constitution. Anthony supported citizenship for blacks but opposed any attempt to link it with a reduction in the status of women. Her ally Stanton agreed, saying "if that word 'male' be inserted, it will take us a century at least to get it out." Both Stanton and Anthony broke with their abolitionist backgrounds and lobbied strongly against ratification of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, which granted African American men citizenship and the right to vote.
Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton. Mr. Tilton proposed that they should form a National Equal Rights Association, demanding suffrage for negroes and for women, that Mr. Phillips should be its president, the Anti-Slavery Standard its official organ; and Mr. Beecher agreed to lecture in behalf of this new movement. Mr. Tilton came out with a strong editorial in the Independent, advocating suffrage for women and paying a beautiful tribute to the efficient services in the past of those who were now demanding recognition of their political rights
Henry Ward Beecher
The Fourteenth Amendment explicitly designated voters as "male citizens." For the first time, the United States Constitution included a sexual distinction. Both Stanton and Anthony were angry that the abolitionists, their former partners in working for both African American and women's rights, refused to demand that the language of the amendments be changed.
Robert Purvis, one of the most elegant and scholarly colored men our country
has known . . sent this noble response:
"I can not agree that this or any hour is 'especially the negro's.' I am an anti-slavery man because I hate tyranny and in my nature revolt against oppression, whatever its form or character. As an Abolitionist, therefore, I am for the equal rights movement, and as one of the confessedly oppressed race, how could I be otherwise? With what grace could I ask the women of this country to labor for my enfranchisement, and at the same time be unwilling to put forth a hand to remove the tyranny, in some respects greater, to which they are subjected? Again wishing you a successful meeting, I am very gratefully yours."
. . . The Woman's Rights Convention met in Dr. Cheever's church, May 10, 1866, with a large audience present. It was their first meeting since before the war, and while it had many elements of gladness, yet it was not unmixed with sorrow. Mr. Garrison was absent, the first rift had been made in the love and gratitude in which for many years Mr. Phillips had been held, and a vague feeling of distrust and alarm was beginning to creep over the women, lest, after all these years of patient work, they were again to be sacrificed. . .
A short time thereafter Miss Anthony, Mrs. Stanton, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Tilton were in the Standard office discussing the work. Mr. Phillips argued that the time was ripe for striking the word "white" out of the New York constitution, at its coming convention, but not for striking out "male." Mr. Tilton supported him, in direct contradiction to all he had so warmly advocated only a few weeks before, and said what the women should do was to canvass the State with speeches and petitions for the enfranchisement of the negro, leaving that of the women to come afterward, presumably twenty years later, when there would be another revision of the constitution. Mrs. Stanton, entirely overcome by the eloquence of these two gifted men, acquiesced in all they said; but Miss Anthony, who never could be swerved from her standard by any sophistry or blandishments, was highly indignant and declared that she would sooner cut off her right hand than ask the ballot for the black man and not for woman.
. . . For the purpose of arousing public interest in the approaching New York
Constitutional Convention, an equal rights meeting was held at Albany, in Tweddle Hall, November 21. To make this a success Miss Anthony spent many weeks of hard work. . . . At this Albany convention political differences began to appear. Mrs. Stanton complimented the Democrats for the assistance they had rendered; Frederick Douglass objected to their receiving any credit, branding their advocacy as a trick of the enemy, and there were frequent sharp encounters. . . . A form of petition was approved asking that women might be members of the coming Constitutional Convention and vote on the new constitution. Respectful reports were made by the New York papers with the exception of the World, which said in a long and abusive article:
"Altogether the ablest, most dignified and best-balanced man in the body is Frederick Douglass, and there is a deep feeling for him for United States senator in spite of the drift of the convention, which is evidently in favor of Susan B. Anthony; notwithstanding which Elizabeth Cady Stanton is likewise a candidate with considerable strength, favoring as she does the Copperheads, the Democratic party and other dead and buried remains of alleged disloyalty.
"Susan is lean, cadaverous and intellectual, with the proportions of a file and the voice of a hurdy-gurdy. She is the favorite of the convention. Mrs. Stanton is of intellectual stock, impressive in manner and disposed to henpeck the convention which of course calls out resistance and much cackling.... Susan has a controlling advantage over her in the fact that she is unencumbered with a husband. As male members of Congress rarely have wives in Washington, so female members will be expected to be without husbands at the capital....
"Parker Pillsbury, one of the notabilities of the body, is a good-looking white
man naturally, but has a cowed and sneakish expression stealing over him, as though he regretted he had not been born a nigger or one of these females.... Lucy Stone, the president of the convention, is what the law terms a 'spinster.' She is a sad old girl, presides with timidity and hesitation, is wheezy and nasal in her pronunciation and wholly without dignity or command.... Mummified and fossilated females, void of domestic duties, habits and natural affections; crack-brained, rheumatic, dyspeptic, henpecked men, vainly striving to achieve the liberty of opening their heads in presence of their wives; self-educated, oily-faced, insolent, gabbling negroes, and Theodore Tilton, make up the less than a hundred members of this caravan, called, by themselves, the American Equal Rights Association."
. . . In November Miss Anthony went to a great anti-slavery meeting in Philadelphia. Between the two sessions, Lucretia Mott invited about twenty of the leading men and women to lunch with her. At her request Miss Anthony acted as spokesman and, in behalf of the women, begged Mr. Phillips to reconsider his position and make the woman's and the negro's cause identical, but here, in the presence of the women who had stood shoulder to shoulder with him in all his hard-fought battles of the last twenty years, he again refused, declaring that their time had not yet come. Miss Anthony sent the most impassioned appeals to the Joint Committee of Fifteen, with Thaddeus Stevens as chairman, which had charge of the congressional policy on reconstruction, urging that if they could not report favorably on the petitions, at least they would not interpose any new barrier against woman's right to the ballot; but, although Mr. Stevens had ever been friendly to the claims of women, he refused to recognize them now. . . .
This letter from Lucretia Mott shows that some men remained true to the woman's cause: "My husband and myself cordially hail this movement. The negro's hour came with his emancipation from cruel bondage. He now has advocates not a few for his right to the ballot. Intelligent as these are, they must see that this right can not be consistently withheld from women. We pledge $50 toward the necessary funds."
. . . In her diary Antony writes: "Even Charles Sumner bends to the spirit of
compromise and presents a constitutional amendment which concedes the right to disfranchise law-abiding, tax-paying citizens."
Robert Purvis again expressed his cordial sympathy: "I am heartily with you in the view 'that the reconstruction of the Union is a work of greater importance than the restoration of the rebel States;' and that it should be in accordance with the true republican idea of the personal rights of all our citizens, without regard to sex or color. If the settlement of this question upon the comprehensive basis of equal rights and impartial justice to all should require the postponement of the enfranchisement of the colored man, I am willing for the delay, though it should take a decade of years to 'fight it out on that line.'" Mr. Purvis frequently said in the debates of those days that he would rather his son never should be enfranchised than that his daughter never should be, as she bore the double disability of sex and color and, by every principle of justice, should be the first to be protected.
|George Francis Train|
The following year, the organization became active in Kansas where black suffrage and woman suffrage were to be decided by popular vote. Henry Blackwell and Kansas Senator Samuel Wood invited George Francis Train to campaign in Kansas; they hoped that Train, a Democratic, would attract more of the Democratic voters. Lucretia Mott was horrified at the alliance of Stanton and Anthony with Train. In a letter to her sister, Martha, she said that she did not intend to subscribe to their newspaper, The Revolution. She was concerned that Train's racism was a bad influence on Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In November, she wrote in a letter:
New York, 11th mo. 12th, 1866. . . . Patty went with me yesterday to Elizabeth Stanton's to lunch, Lucy Stone and S. B. Anthony meeting us there; the time all taken up in discussing the coming convention . . . Elizabeth was like herself, full of spirits, and so pleasant. . . This Equal Rights movement is no play — but I cannot enter into it! Just hearing their talk and the reading made me ache all over, and glad to come away and lie on the sofa here to rest . . . Tomorrow we lunch at Sarah Hicks', and then come back to company to tea; something all the time. On First-day I dined at Hannah Haydock's after Fifteenth st. meeting; found S. B. Anthony waiting for me to go somewhere in a carriage with her to meet Horace Greeley and an Hon. Mr. Griffing. I just couldn't do it. Moreover, Susan and some others wanted me to go hear Beecher and have him talk with us afterwards, preparatory to his speech in Albany, — but I couldn't do that any more than the other! There is no rest !
. . . I was wondering, the other day, what use the increasing number of churches would be put to, as civilization outgrew them.
The negroes are all against us. There has just now left us an ignorant black preacher named Twine, who is very confident that women ought not to vote. These men ought not to be allowed to vote before we do, because they will be just so much more dead weight to lift.
The hardships of a campaign in the early days of Kansas scarcely can be described. Much of the travelling had to be done in wagons, fording streams, crossing the treeless prairies, losing the faintly outlined road in the darkness of night, sleeping in cabins, drinking poor water and subsisting on bacon, soda-raised bread, canned meats and vegetables, dried fruits and coffee without cream or milk, sweetened with sorghum. The nights offered the greatest trial, owing to a species of insect supposed to breed in the cotton wood trees. In one of her letters home Miss Anthony says:
"It is now 10 A. M. and Mrs. Stanton is trying to sleep, as we have not slept a wink for several nights, but even in broad daylight our tormentors are so active that it is impossible. We find them in our bonnets, and this morning I think we picked a thousand out of the ruffles of our dresses. I can assure you that my avoirdupois is being rapidly reduced. It is a nightly battle with the infernals.... Twenty-five years hence it will be delightful to live in this beautiful State, but now, alas, its women especially see hard times, and there is no poetry in their lives. . . . It is enough to exhaust the patience of Job, the slip-shod way in which telegraph, express and post offices are managed here. It is almost impossible to arrange for halls or to get literature delivered at the point where it is sent. We speak in school houses, barns, sawmills, log cabins with boards for seats and lanterns hung around for lights, but people come twenty miles to hear us. The opposition follow close upon our track, but they make converts for us. The fact is that most of them are notoriously wanting in right action toward women. Their objections are as low and scurrilous as they used to be in the East fifteen or twenty years ago. There is a perfect greed for our tracts, and the friends say they do more missionary work than we ourselves. If our suffrage advocates only would go into the new settlements at the very beginning, they could mould public sentiment, but they wait until the comforts of life are attainable and then find the ground occupied by the enemy.
. . . A striking instance of the first reception usually accorded the two ladies is given by Mrs. Starrett, in her Kansas chapter in the History of Woman Suffrage:
"All were prepared beforehand to do Mrs. Stanton homage for her talents and fame, but many persons who had formed their ideas of Miss Anthony from the unfriendly remarks in opposition papers had conceived a prejudice against her. Perhaps I can not better illustrate how she everywhere overcame and dispelled this prejudice than by relating my own experience. A convention was called at Lawrence, and the friends of woman suffrage were asked to entertain strangers who might come from abroad. Ex-Governor Robinson asked me to entertain Mrs. Stanton. We had all things in readiness when I received a note stating that she had found relatives in town with whom she would stop, and Miss Anthony would come instead. I hastily put on bonnet and shawl, saying, 'I won't have her and I am going to tell Governor Robinson so.' At the gate I met a dignified Quaker-looking lady with a small satchel and a black and white shawl on her arm. Offering her hand she said, 'I am Miss Anthony, and I have been sent to you for entertainment during the convention.'... Half disarmed by her genial manner and frank, kindly face, I led the way into the house and said I would have her stay to tea and then we would see what farther arrangements could be made. While I was looking after things she gained the affections of the babies; and seeing the door of my sister's sick-room open, she went in and in a short time had so won the heart and soothed instead of exciting the nervous sufferer, entertaining her with accounts of the outside world, that by the time tea was over I was ready to do anything if Miss Anthony would only stay with us. And stay she did for over six weeks, and we parted from her as from a beloved and helpful friend. I found afterwards that in the same way she made the most ardent friends wherever she became personally known."
. . . The Hutchinsons--John, his son Henry and lovely daughter Viola--were giving a series of concerts, travelling in a handsome carriage drawn by a span of white horses. As they had one vacant seat, they were carrying Rev.
Olympia Brown, a talented Universalist minister from Massachusetts, who had been canvassing the State for several months, and she spoke for suffrage while they sang for both the negro and woman.
. . . On the 7th of October came a telegram from George Francis Train, who was then at Omaha, largely interested in the Union Pacific railroad. He had been invited by the secretary and other members of the St. Louis Suffrage Association to go to Kansas and help in the woman's campaign. Accordingly he telegraphed that if the committee wanted him he was ready, would pay his own expenses and win every Democratic vote. Miss Anthony never had seen Mr. Train; she merely knew of him as very wealthy and eccentric. . . .
On election day the Hutchinsons, Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton, in open carriages, visited all the polling-places in Leavenworth, where the two ladies spoke and the Hutchinsons sang. Both amendments were overwhelmingly defeated, that for negro suffrage receiving 10,843 votes, and that for woman suffrage 9,070, out of a total of about 30,000. These 9,000 votes were the first ever cast in the United States for the enfranchisement of women. How many of them were Republican and how many Democratic, and how much influence Mr. Train may have had one way or another, never can be known; but it is a significant fact that Douglas county, the most radical Republican district, gave the largest vote against woman suffrage, and Leavenworth, the strongest Democratic county, gave the largest majority in its favor.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote in a letter:
If George Francis Train had done for the negro all that he has done for woman . . . the Abolitionists would enshrine him as a saint. The attacks on Susan and me by a few persons have been petty and narrow, but we are right and this nine days' wonder will soon settle itself. . . . We have reason to congratulate
ourselves that we have shocked more friends of the cause into life . . . People who never gave a cent or said a word for our movement are the most concerned lest Susan and I should injure it. Mr. Train has some extravagances and idiosyncrasies, but he is willing to devote his energies to our cause when no other man is, and we should be foolish not to accept his aid.
The History of Woman Suffrage stated the conclusions drawn by the wing of the movement associated with Anthony and Stanton:
Our liberal men counseled us to silence during the war, and we were silent on our own wrongs; they counseled us again to silence in Kansas and New York, lest we should defeat 'negro suffrage,' and threatened if we were not, we might fight the battle alone. We chose the latter, and were defeated. But standing alone we learned our power... woman must lead the way to her own enfranchisement.
I would say, no; I would not trust him with all my rights; degraded, oppressed himself, he would be more despotic with the governing power than even our Saxon rulers are. I desire that we go into the kingdom together.Sojourner Truth, a former slave, said that, "if colored men get their rights, and not colored
My friends, I am rejoiced that you are glad, but I don't know how you will feel when I get through. I come from another field-the country of the slave. They have got their liberty-so much good luck to have slavery partly destroyed; not entirely. I want it root and branch destroyed. Then we will all be free indeed.
I feel that if I have to answer for the deeds done in my body just as much as a man, I have a right to have just as much as a man. There is a great stir about colored men getting their rights, but not a word about the colored women; and if colored men get their rights, and not colored women theirs, you see the colored men will be masters over the women, and it will be just as bad as it was before.
So I am for keeping the thing going while things are stirring; because if we wait till it is still, it will take a great while to got it going again. White women are a great deal smarter, and know more than colored women, while colored women do not know scarcely anything. They go out washing, which is about as high as a colored woman gets, and their men go about idle, strutting up and down; and when the women come home, they ask for their money and take it all, and then scold because there is no food. I want you to consider on that, chil'n I call you chil'n; you are somebody's chil'n and I am old enough to be mother of all that is here.
I want women to have their rights. In the courts women have no right, no voice; nobody speaks for them. . . . If it is not a fit place for women, it is unfit for men to be there.
I am above eighty years old; it is about time for me to be going. I have been forty years a slave and forty years free, and would be here forty years more to have equal rights for all. I suppose I am kept here because something remains for me to do, I suppose I am yet to help to break the chain. I have done a great deal of work; as much as a man, but did not get so much pay. I used to work in the field and bind grain, keeping up with the cradler; but men doing no more, got twice as much pay; so with the German women. They work in the field and do as much work, but do not got the pay. We do as much, we eat as much, we want as much.
. . . I want to keep the thing stirring, now that the ice is cracked. What we want is a little money. You men know that you get as much again as women when you write, or for what you do. When we get our rights we shall not have to come to you for money, for then we shall have money enough in our own pockets; and may be you will ask us for money. . . . When we have got this battle once fought we shall not be coming to you any more.
You have been having our rights so long, that you think, like a slave-holder, that you own us. I know that it is hard for one who has held the reins for so long to give up; it cuts like a knife. It will feel all the better when it closes up again.
. . . Now I will do a little singing. I have not heard any singing since I came here.
Accordingly, suiting the action to the word, Sojourner sang, "We are going home." "There, children," said she, "in heaven we shall rest from all our labors; first do all we have to do here. There I am determined to go, not to stop short of that beautiful place, and I do not mean to stop till I get there, and meet you there, too."
According to the notes of the convention, there were debates on Friday morning, May 10:
GEORGE T. DOWNING wished to know whether he had rightly understood
that Mrs. Stanton and Mrs. Mott were opposed to the enfranchisement of the colored man, unless the ballot should also be accorded to woman at the same time.
Mrs. STANTON said: All history proves that despotisms, whether of one man or millions, can not stand, and there is no use of wasting centuries of men and means in trying that experiment again. Hence I have no faith or interest in any reconstruction on that old basis. To say that politicians always do one thing at a time is no reason why philosophers should not enunciate the broad principles that underlie that one thing and a dozen others. We do not take the right step for this hour in demanding suffrage for any class; as a matter of principle I claim it for all. But in a narrow view of the question as a matter of feeling between classes, when Mr. Downing puts the question to me, are you willing to have the colored man enfranchised before the woman, I say, no; I would not trust him with all my rights; degraded, oppressed himself, he would be more despotic with the governing power than even our Saxon rulers are. I desire that we go into the kingdom together, for individual and national safety demand that not another man be enfranchised without the woman by his side.
. . . CHARLES L. REMOND said that if he were to lose sight of expediency, he must side with Mrs. Stanton, although to do so was extremely trying; for he could not conceive of a more unhappy position than that occupied by millions of American men bearing the name of freedmen while the rights and privileges of free men are still denied them.
Mrs. STANTON said: That is equaled only by the condition of the women by their side. There is a depth of degradation known to the slave -women that man can never feel. To give the ballot to the black man is no security to the woman. Saxon men have the ballot, yet look at their women, crowded into a few half-paid employments. Look at the starving, degraded class in our 10, 000 dens of infamy and vice if you would know how wisely and generously man legislates for woman.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
. . . Miss ANTHONY said -- The question is not, is this or that person right, but what are the principles under discussion. As I understand the difference between Abolitionists, some think this is harvest time for the black man, and seed-sowing time for woman.
Others, with whom I agree, think we have been sowing the seed of individual rights, the foundation idea of a republic for the last century, and that this is the harvest time for all citizens who pay taxes, obey the laws and are loyal to the government. (Applause.)
Mr. REMOND said : In an hour like this I repudiate the idea of expediency. All I ask for myself I claim for my wife and sister, Let our action be based upon the rock of everlasting principle. No class of citizens in this country can be deprived of the ballot without injuring every other class. I see how equality of suffrage in the State of New York is necessary to maintain emancipation in South Carolina. Do not moral principles, like water, seek a common level ? Slavery in the Southern States crushed the right of free speech in Massachusetts and made slaves of Saxon men and women, just as the $250 qualification in the Constitution of this State degrades and enslaves black men all over the Union.
as editor. The main thrust of The Revolution was to promote women’s and African-Americans’ right to suffrage, but it also discussed issues of equal pay for equal work, more liberal divorce laws and the church’s position on women’s issues. Controversy over Train's involvement continued; in an early issue of The Revolution, Anthony printed a letter from William Lloyd Garrison:
January 4th 
Dear Miss Anthony:
In all friendliness, and with the highest regard for the Woman's Rights movement, I cannot refrain from expressing my regret and astonishment that you and Mrs. Stanton should have taken such leave of good sense, and departed so far from true self respect, as to be travelling companions and associate lecturers with that crack-brained harlequin and semi-lunatic, George Francis Train!
. . . You will only subject yourselves to merited ridicule and condemnation, and turn the movement which you aim to promote into unnecessary contempt. . .
The colored people and their advocates have not a more abusive assailant before him, to whom he delights to ring the changes upon the 'nigger,' 'nigger’ ad nauseam. He is as destitute of principle as he is of sense, and is fast gravitating toward a lunatic asylum. He may be of use in drawing an audience; but so would a kangaroo, a gorilla, or a hippopotamus.
It seems you are looking to the Democratic party, and not to the Republican, to give success politically to your movement! I should as soon think of looking to the Great Adversary to espouse the cause of righteousness. The Democratic party is the 'anti nigger' party, and composed of all that is vile and brutal on the land with very little that is decent and commendable.
New York, Jan 13 1868
Mr Higginson Dear Friend,
Our "pathway" is straight to the ballot box, with no variableness nor shadow of turning. I know we have shocked our old friends who were half asleep on the woman question into a new life, just waking from slumber they are cross, can't see clearly where we are going, but time will show that Miss Anthony & myself are neither idiots or lunatics . . . We do care what all good men like you say, but just now the men that will do something to help us are more important. . . . You know the "white male" is the aristocracy of this county, we belong to the peasantry, the ruling class never did see the wrongs of the oppressed under its own heel. My cousin Gerrit Smith always laughs when I say to him that he
believes in equality on a southern plantation, but not in his own home! The position of men as Garrison, Phillips, Sumner in their treatment of our question today proves that we must not trust any of you. All these men who have pushed us aside for years saying "this is the negro's hour" now when we turn from them & find help in other quarters, turn up the white of their eyes! & cry out the cause
. . . Do they ignore everyone who is false to women? by no means. - Why ask us to ignore everyone who is false to the negro . . . We are right in our present position. We demand suffrage for all the citizens of the republic . . . I would not talk of negroes or women, but citizens . . .
George Francis Train was then in his prime–a large, fine-looking man, a gentleman in dress and manner, neither smoking, chewing, drinking, nor gormandizing. He was an effective speaker and actor . . . To be sure our friends, on all sides, fell off, and those especially who wished us to be silent on the question of woman's rights, declared "the cause too sacred to be advocated by such a charlatan as George Francis Train." We thought otherwise . . . Mr. Train made it possible for us to establish a newspaper, which gave another impetus to our movement. The Revolution, published by Susan B. Anthony and edited by Parker Pillsbury and myself, lived two years and a half and was then consolidated with the New York Christian Enquirer, edited by the Rev. Henry Bellows, D. D. I regard the brief period in which I edited the Revolution as one of the happiest of my life, and I may add the most useful. . . . We said at all times and on all other subjects just what we thought, and advertised nothing that we did not believe in. No advertisements of quack remedies appeared in our columns. . . . One day, when a man blustered in. . . . On leaving, with prophetic vision, he said, "I prophesy a short life for this paper; the business world is based on quackery, and you cannot live without it." With melancholy certainty, I replied, "I fear you are right.
On the very day the first copy of The Revolution appeared, Mr. Train announced that he was going to England immediately. Miss Anthony wrote in her diary:
"My heart sank within me; only our first number issued and our strongest helper and inspirer to leave us! This is but another discipline to teach us that we must stand on our own feet."
Mr. Train gave her $600 and assured her that he had arranged with Mr.
Melliss to supply all necessary funds during his short absence, but she felt herself invested with a heavy responsibility. . . . Instead of Mr. Train's securing writers and subscribers in Europe, he was arrested for complicity with the Fenians the moment he made his first speech, and spent the year in a Dublin jail. He wrote that the finding of fifty copies of The Revolution in his possession was an additional reason for his arrest, as the officials did not stop to read a word, the name was sufficient. While Mr. Train continued his contributions to the paper during his residence in jail, he was not able to meet his financial obligations to it. . . .Miss Anthony was used to such care. She had been the financial burden-bearer of every reform with which she had been connected, but to this crushing weight was added such a persecution as she never had experienced before, even in the days of pro-slavery mobs. Then the attacks had been made by open and avowed enemies, and she had had a host of staunch supporters to share them and give her courage; now her persecutors were in ambush and were those who had been her nearest and dearest friends; and now she was alone except for Mrs. Stanton and Mr. Pillsbury. . . . The excuse for this persecution was that the Equal Rights Association was injured by the publication of The Revolution.
George Francis Train
The following graphic description, by the correspondent, Nellie Hutchinson, was published in the Cincinnati Commercial:
There's a peculiarly resplendent sign at the head of the third flight of stairs, and obeying its directions I march into the north corridor and enter The Revolution office. Nothing so very terrible after all. The first face that salutes my vision is a youthful one--fresh, smiling, bright-eyed, auburn-crowned. It belongs to one of the employees of the establishment, and its owner conducts me to a comfortable sofa, then trips lightly through a little door opposite to inform Miss Anthony of my presence. I glance about me. . . . Actually a neat carpet on the floor, a substantial round table covered by a pretty cloth, engravings and photographs hung thickly over the clear white walls. Here is Lucretia Mott's saintly face, beautiful with eternal youth; there Mary Wollstonecraft looking into futurity with earnest eyes. In an arched recess are shelves containing books and piles of pamphlets, speeches and essays of Stuart Mill, Wendell Phillips, Higginson, Curtis. Two screens extend across the front of the room, inclosing a little space around the two large windows which give light, air and glimpses of City Hall park. Glancing around the corner we see editor Pillsbury seated at his desk by the further window. Opposite is another desk covered with brown wrappers and mailing books. Close against the screen stands yet another, at which sits the bookkeeper, an energetic young woman who ably manages all the business affairs of The Revolution. There's an atmosphere of womanly purity and delicacy about the place; everything is refreshingly neat and clean, and suggestive of reform.
The Revolution's office at the far right
Ah! here comes Susan--the determined--the invincible, the Susan who is possibly destined to be Vice-President or Secretary of State some of these days! What a delicious thought! I tremble as she steps rapidly toward me and I perceive in her hand a most statesmanlike roll of MSS. The eyes scan me coolly and interrogatively but the pleasant voice gives me a yet pleasanter greeting. There's something very attractive, even fascinating in that voice--a faint echo of the alto vibration--the tone of power. Her smile is very sweet and genial, and lights up the pale, worn face rarely. She talks awhile in her kindly, incisive way. "We're not foolishly or blindly aggressive," says she, tersely; "we don't lead a fight against the true and noble institutions of the world. We only seek to substitute for various barbarian ideas, those of a higher civilization--to develop a race of earnest, thoughtful, conscientious women." And I thought as I remembered various newspaper attacks, that here was not much to object to. The world is the better for thee, Susan.
She rises; "Come, let me introduce you to Mrs. Stanton." And we walk into the
inner sanctum, a tiny bit of a room, nicely carpeted, one-windowed and furnished with two desks, two chairs, a little table--and the senior editor, Mrs. Stanton. The short, substantial figure, with its handsome black dress and silver crown of curls, is sufficiently interesting. The fresh, girlish complexion, the laughing blue eyes and jolly voice are yet more so. Beside her stands her sixteen-year-old daughter, who is as plump, as jolly, as laughing-eyed as her mother. We study Cady Stanton's handsome face as she talks on rapidly and facetiously. Nothing little or mean in that face; no line of distrust or irony; neither are there wrinkles of care--life has been pleasant to this woman.
We hear a bustle in the outer room--rapid voices and laughing questions--then the door is suddenly thrown open and in steps a young Aurora, habited in a fur-trimmed cloak, with a jaunty black velvet cap and snowy feather set upon her dark clustering curls. What sprite is this, whose eyes flash and sparkle with a thousand happy thoughts, whose dimples and rosy lips and white teeth make so charming a picture? "My dear Anna," says Susan, starting up, and there's a
shower of kisses. Then follows an introduction to Anna Dickinson. As we clasp hands for a moment, I look into the great gray eyes that have flashed with indignation and grown moist with pity before thousands of audiences. They are radiant with mirth now, beaming as a child's, and with graceful abandon she throws herself into a chair and begins a ripple of gay talk. The two pretty assistants come in and look at her with loving eyes; we all cluster around while she wittily recounts her recent lecturing experience.
As the little lady keeps up her merry talk, I think over these three representative women. The white-haired, comely matron sitting there hand-in-hand with her daughter, intellectual, large-hearted, high-souled--a mother of men; the grave, energetic old maid--an executive power; the glorious girl, who, without a thought of self, demands in eloquent tones justice and liberty for all, and prophesies like an oracle of old. May we not hope that America's coming woman will combine these salient qualities, and with all the powers of mind, soul and heart vivified and developed in a liberal atmosphere, prove herself the noblest creature in the world? And so I leave them there--the pleasant group--faithful in their work, happy in their hopes.
The right of woman to vote is as sacred in my judgment as that of man, and I am quite willing at any time to hold up both hands in favor of this right. It does not however follow that I can come to Washington or go elsewhere to deliver lectures upon this special subject. I am now devoting myself to a cause [if] not more sacred, certainly more urgent, because it is one of life and death to the long enslaved people of this country, and this is: negro suffrage. While the negro is mobbed, beaten, shot, stabbed, hanged, burnt and is the target of all that is malignant in the North and all that is murderous in the South, his claims may be preferred by me without exposing in any wise myself to the imputation of narrowness or meanness towards the cause of woman. … She is the victim of abuses, to be sure, but it cannot be pretended I think that her cause is as urgent as … ours. I never suspected you of sympathizing with Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton in their course. Their principle is: that no negro shall be enfranchised while woman is not.
While the dominant party has with one hand lifted up two million black men and crowned them with the honor and dignity of citizenship, with the other it has dethroned fifteen million white women—their own mothers and sisters, their own wives and daughters—and cast them under the heel of the lowest orders of manhood.
Several AERA members expressed anger and dismay over the activities of Stanton and Anthony during this period, including their deal with Train that gave him space to express his views in The Revolution. Some, including Lucretia Mott, president of the organization, and African Americans Frederick Douglass and Frances Harper, voiced their disagreements with Stanton and Anthony but continued to maintain working relationships with them. In the case of Lucy Stone, however, the disputes of this period led to a personal rift, one that had important consequences for the women's movement.
Notwithstanding the protests and petitions of the women, the Fourteenth Amendment had been formally declared ratified July 28, 1868, the word "male" being thereby three times branded on the Constitution.
In the resolutions of Senator Pomeroy and Mr. Julian, however, they found new
hope and fresh courage. They had learned that the Federal Constitution could be so amended as to enfranchise a million men who but yesterday were plantation slaves. Here, then, was the power which must be invoked for the enfranchisement of women. From the office of The Revolution went out thousands of petitions to the women of the country to be circulated in the interests of an amendment to regulate the suffrage without making distinctions of sex. It was decided that a convention should be held in Washington in order to meet the legislators on their own ground. A suffrage association had been formed in that city with Josephine S. Griffing, founder of the Freedmen's Bureau, president; Hamilton Willcox, secretary. This was the first ever held in the capital, and it brought many new and valuable workers into the field. Clara
Barton here made her first appearance at a woman suffrage meeting, and was a true and consistent advocate of the principle from that day forward. The venerable Lucretia Mott presided, and Senator Pomeroy opened the convention with an eloquent speech, January 19, 1869. A feature of this occasion was the appearance of several young colored orators, speaking in opposition to suffrage for women and denouncing them for jeopardizing the black man's claim to the ballot by insisting upon their own. One of them, George Downing, standing by the side of Lucretia Mott, declared that God intended the male should dominate the female everywhere! Another was a son of Robert Purvis, who was earnestly and publicly rebuked by his father. Edward M. Davis, son-in-law of Lucretia Mott, also condemned the women for their temerity and severely criticised the resolutions, which demanded the same political rights for women as for negro men.
. . . The passage of the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery, and the
Fourteenth establishing the citizenship of the negro, did not prove sufficient to protect him in his right of suffrage and, although Sumner and other Republican leaders contended that another amendment was not necessary for this, the majority of the party did not share this opinion and it became evident that one would have to be added. Those proposed by Pomeroy and Julian securing universal suffrage were brushed aside without debate, and the following was submitted by Congress to the State legislatures, February 27, 1869:
"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude."
dressed in a cap and great circular cape of wolf skins. He really presented a
most formidable and ferocious aspect … As I had been talking against the pending amendment of ‘manhood suffrage,’ I trembled in my shoes and was almost as paralyzed as Red Riding Hood in a similar encounter. But unlike the little maiden, I had a friend at hand and, as usual, in the hour of danger, I fell back in the shadow of Miss Anthony, who stepped forward bravely and took the wolf by the hand. His hearty words of welcome and gracious smile reassured me … Our joy in shaking hands here and there with Douglass, Tilton, and Anna Dickinson, through the West was like meeting ships at sea; as pleasant and as fleeting. Douglass’s hair is fast becoming as white as snow, which adds greatly to the dignity and purity of his countenance … We had an earnest debate with Douglass as far as we journeyed together, and were glad to find that he was gradually working up to our ideas on the question of Suffrage. … As he will attend the Woman Suffrage Anniversary in New York in May, we shall have an opportunity for a full and free discussion of the whole question.”
The majority of the attendees supported the pending Fifteenth Amendment, but debate was contentious. Douglass said, "I do not see how anyone can pretend that there is the same urgency in giving the ballot to woman as to the negro. With us, the matter is a question of life and death, at least in fifteen States of the Union." Anthony replied, "Mr. Douglass talks about the wrongs of the negro; but with all the outrages that he to-day suffers, he would not exchange his sex and take the place of Elizabeth Cady Stanton."
I thank God for that XV Amendment, and hope that it will be adopted in every State. I will be thankful in my soul if any body can get out of the terrible pit. But I believe that the safety of the government would be more promoted by the admission of woman as an element of restoration and harmony than the negro.
The third anniversary of the Equal Rights Association opened at Steinway Hall, May 12, 1869, Mrs. Stanton presiding, and proved to be the most stormy and unsatisfactory meeting ever held. . . . The usual number of fine addresses were made and all promised fair, but Stephen S. Foster soon disturbed the harmony by suggesting that it was time for Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton to withdraw from the association, as they had repudiated its principles and the Massachusetts society could no longer co-operate with them. This called forth indignant speeches from all parts of the house, and he was soon silenced.
Frederick Douglass and several other men attempted to force the adoption of a resolution that "we gratefully welcome' the pending Fifteenth Amendment prohibiting disfranchisement on account of race and earnestly solicit the State legislatures to pass it without delay."
Miss Anthony declared indignantly that she protested against this amendment because it did not mean equal rights; it put 2,000,000 colored men in the position of tyrants over 2,000,000 colored women, who until now had been at least the equals of the men at their side. She continued:
"The question of precedence has no place on an equal rights platform. The only reason it ever forced itself here was because certain persons insisted that woman must stand back and wait until another class should be enfranchised. In answer we say: 'If you will not give the whole loaf of justice to the entire people, if you are determined to extend the suffrage piece by piece, then give it first to women, to the most intelligent and capable of them at least. . . ' If Mr. Douglass had noticed who applauded when he said "black men first and white women afterwards," he would have seen that it was only the men. When he tells us that the case of black men is so perilous, I tell him that even outraged as they are by the hateful prejudice against color, he himself would not today exchange his sex and color with Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Mr. Douglass--"Will you allow me a question?"
Miss Anthony--"Yes, anything for a fight today."
Mr. Douglass--"I want to inquire whether granting to woman the right of suffrage will change anything in respect to the nature of our sexes."
Miss Anthony--"It will change the nature of one thing very much, and that is the dependent condition of woman. It will place her where she can earn her own bread, so that she may go out into the world an equal competitor in the struggle for life; so that she shall not be compelled to take such positions as men choose to accord and then accept such pay as men please to give.... It is not a question of precedence between women and black men; the business of this association is to demand for every man, black or white, and every woman, black or white, that they shall be enfranchised and admitted into the body politic with equal rights and privileges."
. . . At each recurring anniversary the conviction had been growing that the term "equal rights" was too comprehensive, permitting entirely too much latitude as to speakers and subjects. Ever themselves having been repressed and silenced, when at last women made a platform on which they had a right to stand, they declared first of all for "free speech." They would not refuse to any human being what so long had been denied to them and, as a result, fanatics, visionaries and advocates of all reforms flocked to this platform, delighted to find such audiences. According to the tenets of the association, all speakers must have equal rights on their platform and there was no escape. Sometimes it was nothing more harmful than a man with a map to explain how the national debt could be paid without money, or a woman with a system of celestial kites by which she proposed to communicate with the other world. Occasionally the advocates of various political theories would secure possession, consuming the time and diverting attention from the main issue. At the convention just closed, the hobby-riders were present in greater force than ever before and it seemed imperative that some means should be adopted to shut them out thereafter.
It was proposed to change the name to Woman Suffrage Association, which would bar all discussion of a miscellaneous character. . . . At the close of the convention a reception was held at the Woman's Bureau, Saturday evening, May 15, 1869, and attended by women from nineteen States who had come as representatives to the Equal Rights Association. At their earnest request, it was decided to form a new organization to be called the National Woman Suffrage Association, whose especial object should be a Sixteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution, securing the ballot to the women of the nation on equal terms with men.
. . . The following week at Cooper Institute Anna Dickinson made her great speech for the rights of women, entitled "Nothing Unreasonable," to inaugurate the new National Woman Suffrage Association, and before an immense audience she pleaded for woman with the same beauty and eloquence as in days past she had pictured the wrongs of the slave and urged his emancipation.
. . . In the midst of her exacting duties and many annoyances, Miss Anthony found time to write numerous letters and obtain a testimonial for Ernestine L. Rose, who was about to return with her husband to England, after having given many years of valuable service to the women of America. She secured a handsome sum of money and a number of presents for her, and Mrs. Rose went on board ship laden with flowers and very happy and grateful. Miss Anthony wrote to Lucretia Mott: "Was it not a little funny that this unsentimental personage should have suggested the thing and stirred so many to do the sentimental, and yet could not even take the time to go to the wharf and say good-by? I spent Sunday evening with her and it is a great comfort to me that I helped others contribute to her pleasure." On the back of this letter, which was sent to her sister, Martha Wright, Mrs. Mott penned: "Think of the complaints made of Susan when she does so much and puts others up to doing, and always keeps herself in the background."
In the summer of 1869, under the auspices of the National Association, large and successful conventions were held at Saratoga and Newport in the height of the season.
Congress approved the Fifteenth Amendment in February 1869, and it was ratified by the states a year later.
|"The age of brass. or the triumphs of Woman's rights", |
an 1869 lithograph print published by Currier and Ives
The better-funded, larger, and more representative woman suffragist vehicle American
A note from the tax collector called forth this indignant answer from Miss Anthony:
"I have your polite note informing me that as publisher of The Revolution, I am indebted to the United States in the sum of $14.10 for the tax on monthly sales of that journal. Enclosed you will find the amount, but you will please understand that I pay it under protest. The Revolution, you are aware, is a journal the main object of which is to apply to these degenerate times the great principle for which our ancestors fought, that taxation and representation should go together.
"I am not represented in the United States government, and yet it taxes me; and it taxes me, too, for publishing a paper the chief purpose of which is to rebuke the glaring inconsistency between its professions and its practices. Under the circumstances, the federal government ought to be ashamed to exact this tax of me."
. . . Conventions were held in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio. At the latter Miss Anthony gave a scathing review of the laws affecting married women, the control which they allowed the husband over the wife, children and property, making, however, no attack upon men but only upon laws. Each of the other speakers, all of whom were married, in turn took up the cudgel, and proceeded to tell how good her own husband was, and to say that if Miss Anthony only had a good husband she never would have made that speech, but each admitted that the men were better than the laws. In her closing remarks Miss Anthony used their own testimony against them and created great merriment in the audience.
Miss Anthony was pleasantly transported to Cincinnati, by the night train, arriving just in time to go into the Convention. Mrs. M.S. Longley of the National Woman's Suffrage Association was in the chair. . . . The meetings were large and enthusiastic . . . At Cincinnati, Miss Anthony was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Carter, who not only treated her to the most excellent coffee (on which we regret to say she depends for much of her executive ability), but gave her some charming drives about the town . . . She drove by Mr. George Pendleton's
castle, and if she had had time would have gone in to chat with him . . .
George Pendelton's Mansion
One of the great features of the suffrage revival in Cincinnati was a grand reception at the Burnet House. The magnificent parlors were thrown open, and for hours, Mrs. Stone, Mrs. Livermore and Miss Anthony received their friends. Hundreds of visitors . . . crowded there to talk over the great question of the age - Woman's suffrage. Many gentlemen from the South and far West, who had never seen a strong minded woman, came to take their first look at these wonderful creatures, and were so much surprised to find them human, that they urged the ladies to make a southern campaign at once.
Auburn Nov 4th ’69
My dear Susan--
I was glad to see, by yr. recent letter to Eliza, that there was some chance of our seeing you here. Of course, you will come directly to our house, yr. home, where we always gladly welcome you. When Eliza told me some time ago, that she had asked you to come there, I thought I should write at once & tell you I should not let you, but the wedding put it out of my head. Eliza I suppose wd. not object now, as she is tied to her little Nelly, who has Measles, Tom having just recovered. Nearly all the children in town have had measles, or are threatened.
. . . I want very much to see you & talk over the present aspects of our cause. I think the malcontents have done, & are doing incalculable injury to it. Dissensions in our own camp of course lead the enemy to triumph & weaken a cause that needs all the strength that unity of action can give. I will copy for you, my answer to Lucy.
“My dear Lucy--I recd. yr. letter & circular, proposing a Convention to form an American Womans Suffrage Association, but as there is already a National Association, I cannot agree with you that the cause will be better served by two. In union there is strength, & I feel persuaded that our cause will be weakened & the day of our success postponed, by unwise dissension, or the attempt to ostracise some of the truest & noblest pioneers, & most indefatigable workers in it. It may be wise to meet in Convention with a view to making the present organization “more comprehensive, & more truly representative” if it is lacking in these essentials. There was honest difference of opinion as to the wisdom of the 15th Amendment, but have we not always claimed the fullest freedom of opinion, & does not the attempt to control it lead inevitably to petty feuds, & final disorganization & defeat? Let us now work in unison for the passage of the 16th & in our final triumph forget all past differences."
I hope we shall see you while this pleasant Indian Summer weather lasts. Eliza & I got home from Johnstown just in time for the advent of Frank’s little daughter. I should not have go, if I had tho’t there was so little time to spare. We came Friday morning, & the baby Saturday afternoon--after 19 hours of dreadful suffering, but all doing well now.
Affectionately Yr. friend
M. C. Wright
In 1869 Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker came actively into the suffrage work and proved a valuable ally. She had been much prejudiced against Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton by newspaper reports and by the misrepresentations of some of her acquaintances, and in order to overcome this feeling Paulina Wright Davis arranged that the three should visit her for several days at her home in Providence, R.I., saying in her invitation: "I once had a prejudice against Susan B. Anthony but am ashamed of it. I investigated carefully every charge made against her, and I now know her to be honest, honorable, generous and above all petty spites and jealousies." Mrs. Hooker was so delightfully disappointed in the two ladies that she became at once and forever their staunchest friend and advocate. To Caroline M. Severance she wrote:
Paulina Wright Davis
"I have studied Miss Anthony day and night for nearly a week, and I have taken
the testimony of those who have known her intimately for twenty years, and all are united in this resume of her character: She is a woman of incorruptible integrity and the thought of guile has no place in her heart. In unselfishness and benevolence she has scarcely an equal, and her energy and executive ability are bounded only by her physical power, which is something immense. Sometimes she fails in judgment, according to the standard of others, but in right intentions never, nor in faithfulness to her friends. I confess that after studying her carefully for days, and under the shadow of ----'s letters against her, and after attending a two-days' convention in Newport engineered by her in her own fashion, I am obliged to accept the most favorable interpretation of her which prevails generally, rather than that of Boston.
"Mrs. Stanton, too, is a magnificent woman, and the truest, womanliest one of us all. I have spent three days in her company, in the most intense, heart-searching debate I ever undertook in my life. I have handled what seemed to me to be her errors without gloves, and the result is that I love her as well as I do Miss Anthony. I hand in my allegiance to both as the leaders and representatives of the great movement."
|Isabella and John Hooker at Nook Farm|
From 1869 to 1873 Miss Anthony and I made several trips through Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Nebraska, holding meetings at most of the chief towns; I speaking in the afternoons to women alone on "Marriage and Maternity." . . . I went alone to Texas, speaking in Dallas, Sherman, and Houston, where I was delayed two weeks by floods and thus prevented from going to Austin, Galveston, and some points in Louisiana, where I was advertised to lecture. In fact I lost all my appointments for a month. However, there was a fine hotel in Houston and many pleasant people, among whom I made some valuable acquaintances. . . . As the floods had upset my plans for the winter, I went straight from Houston to New York over the Iron Mountain Railroad. I anticipated a rather solitary trip; but, fortunately, I met General Baird, whom I knew, and some other army officers, who had been down on the Mexican border to settle some troubles in the "free zone."
My purpose tonight is to demonstrate the great historical fact that
disfranchisement is not only political degradation, but also moral, social, educational and industrial degradation; and that it does not matter whether the disfranchised class live under a monarchical or a republican form of government, or whether it be white workingmen of England, negroes on our southern plantations, serfs of Russia, Chinamen on our Pacific coast, or native born, tax-paying women of this republic.
Susan B. Anthony
. . . Disfranchisement means inability to make, shape or control one's own circumstances. The disfranchised must always do the work, accept the wages, occupy the position the enfranchised assign to them. . . . You remember the old adage, "Beggars must not be choosers;" they must take what they can get or nothing!
That is exactly the position of women in the world of work today; they can not choose.
. . . It is said women do not need the ballot for their protection because they are supported by men.
Statistics show that there are 3,000,000 women in this nation supporting themselves.
In the crowded cities of the East they are compelled to work in shops, stores and factories for the merest pittance. In New York alone, there are over 50,000 of these women receiving less than fifty cents a day. . .
The question with you, as men, is not whether you want your wives and daughters to vote, nor with you, as women, whether you yourselves want to vote; but whether you will help to put this power of the ballot into the hands of the 3,000,000 wage-earning women, so that they may be able to compel politicians to legislate in their favor and employers to grant them justice.
The law of capital is to extort the greatest amount of work for the least amount of money; the rule of labor is to do the smallest amount of work for the largest amount of money. Hence there is, and in the nature of things must continue to be, antagonism between the two classes; therefore, neither should be left wholly at the mercy of the other. It was cruel, under the old regime, to give rich men the right to rule poor men. It was wicked to allow white men absolute power over black men. It is vastly more cruel, more wicked to give to all men--rich and poor, white and black, native and foreign, educated and ignorant, virtuous and vicious--this absolute control over women. . . . I not only agree with Abraham Lincoln that, "No man is good enough to govern another man without his consent;" but I say also that no man is good enough to govern a woman without her consent, and still further, that all men combined in government are not good enough to govern all women without their consent. There might have been some plausible excuse for the rich governing the poor, the educated governing the ignorant, the Saxon governing the African; but there can be none for making the husband the ruler of the wife, the brother of the sister, the man of the woman, his peer in birth, in education, in social position, in all that stands for the best and highest in humanity.
I believe that by nature men are no more unjust than women. If from the beginning women had maintained the right to rule not only themselves but men also, the latter today doubtless would be occupying the subordinate places with inferior pay in the world of work; women would be holding the higher positions with the big salaries; widowers would be doomed to a "life interest of one-third of the family estate;" husbands would "owe service" to their wives, so that every one of you men would be begging your good wives, "Please be so kind as to 'give me' ten cents for a cigar."
The principle of self-government can not be violated with impunity. The individual's right to it is sacred--regardless of class, caste, race, color, sex or any other accident or incident of birth.
What we ask is that you shall cease to imagine that women are outside this law, and that you shall come into the knowledge that disfranchisement means the same degradation to your daughters as to your sons. . . .
If a business man should advertise for a book-keeper and ten young men, equally well qualified, should present themselves and, after looking them over, he should say, "To you who have red hair, we will pay full wages, while to you with black hair we will pay half the regular price;" that would not be a more flagrant violation of the law of supply and demand than is that now perpetrated upon women because of their sex. . . .
We recognize that the ballot is a two-edged, nay, a many-edged sword, which may be made to cut in every direction. If wily politicians and sordid capitalists may wield it for mere party and personal greed; if oppressed wage-earners may invoke it to wring justice from legislators and extort material advantages from employers; if the lowest and most degraded classes of men may use it to open wide the sluice-ways of vice and crime; if it may be the instrumentality by which the narrow, selfish, corrupt and corrupting men and measures rule--it is quite as true that noble-minded statesmen, philanthropists and reformers may make it the weapon with which to reverse the above order of things, as soon as they can have added to their now small numbers the immensely larger ratio of what men so love to call "the better half of the people."
. . . Hence to secure both national and "domestic tranquillity," to "establish justice," to carry out the spirit of our Constitution, put into the hands of all women, as you have into those of all men, the ballot, that symbol of perfect equality, that right protective of all other rights.
At Peoria, the editor of the Democratic paper stated that the laws of Illinois were better for women than for men. Colonel Robert Ingersoll, whom she never had seen, was in the audience, and sent a note to the president of the meeting, asking that Miss Anthony should not answer the editor but give him that privilege. He then took up the laws, one after another, and, illustrating by cases in his own practice, showed in his eloquent manner how cruelly unjust they were to women and proved how necessary it was that women should have a voice in making them. He also offered the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted: "We pledge ourselves, irrespective of party, to use all honorable means to make the women of America the equals of men before the law."
New York City to celebrate her fiftieth birthday. The poem Phoebe Cary wrote for the occasion was published in Rochester as a keepsake.
Immediately after the Suffrage Anniversary in May, 1870, Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton decided to call a mass meeting of women to discuss the questions involved in the McFarland-Richardson trial, which had set the country ablaze with excitement.
The case in brief was that McFarland was a drunken, improvident husband, and his wife, Abby Sage, was compelled to be the breadwinner for the family, first as an actress and later as a public reader. She was a woman of education, refinement and marked ability, and enjoyed an intimate friendship with some of the best families of New York. Boarding in the same house with her was Albert D. Richardson, a prominent newspaper man, a stockholder in the Tribune and a special favorite of Mr. Greeley. He befriended Mrs. McFarland, protected her against the brutality of her husband and learned to love her. It was understood among their mutual friends that when she was legally free they would be married.
She secured her divorce; and a few days later McFarland walked into
the Tribune office, shot and fatally wounded Richardson. Some hours before he died, Mrs. McFarland was married to him, Revs. Henry Ward Beecher and O.B. Frothingham officiating, in the presence of Mr. Greeley and several other distinguished persons.
McFarland was tried, acquitted on the ground of
insanity, given the custody of their little son and allowed to go free. Press and pulpit were rent with discussions and, although the general verdict was that if McFarland were insane he should be placed under restraint and not permitted to retain the child, Mrs. Richardson was persecuted in the most cruel and unmerciful manner. The women of New York especially felt indignant at the result of the trial. Miss Anthony offered to take the responsibility of a public demonstration, with Mrs. Stanton to make the address.
Although Anthony struggled to maintain The Revolution, it proved too expensive for her to continue. In June 1870, Laura Curtis Bullard, a writer whose parents became wealthy from selling a popular morphine-containing patent medicine called "Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup," bought the rights to The Revolution for one dollar, with Anthony assuming its $10,000 debt, an amount equal to $184,000 in current value.
The beginning of one of the most sorrowful tragedies in her life--the giving up of The Revolution! The favorable financial auspices under which it was launched have been described, and an imperfect idea given of the storm of opposition it encountered because of the alliance with Mr. Train. He put into the paper about $3,000 and severed his connection with it after sixteen months. . . . From a pecuniary point of view things looked very dark for The Revolution. Every newspaper, in its early days, swallows up money like a bottomless well. The Revolution had started on an expensive basis; its office rent was $1,300 per annum; it was printed on the best of paper, which at that time was very costly; typesetting commanded the highest prices. Partly as a matter of pride and partly for the interest of the paper, Miss Anthony was not willing to reduce expenses. At the end of the first year The Revolution had 2,000, and at the end of the second year 3,000 bona fide, paying subscribers, but these could not sustain it without plenty of advertising, and advertisers never lavish money on a reform paper. Mr. Pillsbury's valuable services were given at a minimum price, Mrs. Stanton received no salary and Miss Anthony drew out only what she was compelled to use for her actual expenses.
. . . Her letters to friends and relatives at this time, appealing for funds to carry on the paper, are heart-breaking. A dearly loved Quaker cousin, Anson Lapham, of Skaneateles, loaned her at different times $4,000. To him she wrote:
"My paper must not, shall not go down. I am sure you believe in me, in my honesty of purpose, and also in the grand work which The Revolution seeks to do, and therefore you will not allow me to ask you in vain to come to the rescue. . . . We only need time to win financial success. I know you will save me from giving the world a chance to say, 'There is a woman's rights failure; even the best of women can't manage business.' If I could only die, and thereby fail honorably, I would say 'amen,' but to live and fail--it would be too terrible to bear."
"I wonder why it is that I must forever feel compelled to take the rough things of the world. Why can't I excuse myself from the overpowering and disagreeable struggles? I can not tell, but after such a day as yesterday, my heart fails me--almost.
"Then I remember that the promise is to those only who hold out to the end--and nerve myself to go forward. I am grateful nowadays for every kind word and every dollar."
On the back is inscribed: "My pride would not let me send this, and I substituted merely a cordial note of thanks."
. . . Her sister Mary loaned her the few thousands she had been able to save by many years' hard work in the schoolroom, and the mother contributed from her small estate. Her brother Daniel R., a practical newspaper man, assured her that he was ready at any time to be one of a stock company to support the paper, but that it was useless to sink any more money in the shape of individual subscriptions. He urged her to cut down expenses, make it a semi-monthly or monthly if necessary, but not to go any more deeply in debt, saying:
"I know how earnest you are, but you stand alone. Very few think with you, and they are not willing to risk a dollar. You have put in your all and all you can borrow, and all is swallowed up. You are making no provision for the future, and you wrong yourself by so doing. No one will thank you hereafter. Although you are now fifty years old and have worked like a slave all your life, you have not a dollar to show for it. This is not right. Do make a change."
Her sister Mary spent all her vacation in New York one hot summer looking after the business of the paper, while Miss Anthony went out lecturing and getting subscribers. After returning home she wrote:
"You can not begin to know how you have changed, and many times every day the tears would fill my eyes if I allowed myself a moment to reflect upon it. I beg of you for your own sake and for ours, do not persevere in this work unless people will aid you enough to do credit to yourself as you always have done. Make a plain statement to your friends, and if they will not come to your rescue, go down as gracefully as possible and with far less indebtedness than you will have three months from now. It is very sad for all of us to feel that you are working so hard and being so misunderstood, and we constantly fear that, in some of your hurried business transactions, your enemies will delight to pick you up and make you still more trouble."
. . . A movement was begun for forming a stock company of several wealthy women, on a basis of $50,000, to relieve Miss Anthony of all financial responsibility, making her simply the business manager. . . .The promised contributions did not materialize, and The Revolution received no aid of any description. The struggle was bravely continued throughout the first five months of 1870. . . .Laura Curtis Bullard was much interested in reform work, possessed of literary ability and very desirous of securing The Revolution. Theodore Tilton, who was editing the New York Independent and the Brooklyn
Daily Union, promised to assist her in managing the paper. Miss Anthony at last agreed to let her have it, and on May 22, 1870, the formal transfer was made. She received the nominal sum of one dollar, and assumed personally the entire indebtedness. She had this dollar alone to show for two and a half years of as hard work as ever was performed by mortal, besides all the money she had earned and begged which had gone directly into the paper. During that time $25,000 had been expended, and the present indebtedness amounted to $10,000 more. . . . Into this paper she had put her ambition, her hope, her reputation. The stronger the opposition, the firmer was her determination not to yield, nor was it a relief to be rid of it. She would have counted no cost too great, no work too hard, no sacrifice too heavy, could she but have continued the publication. Not only was it a terrible blow to her pride, but it wrung her heart. . . . On the evening of the day when the paper passed out of her hands forever, she wrote in her diary, "It was like signing my own death-warrant;" and in a letter to a friend she said, "I feel a great, calm sadness like that of a mother binding out a dear child that she could not support."
. . . Miss Anthony went to fill a lecture engagement at Kalamazoo . . . She spokeWhile in Iowa, SBA wrote Martha Coffin Wright:
also at Grand Rapids and other points in Michigan. At Chicago she was fortunate enough to have a day with Mrs. Stanton, also on a lecturing tour, and then took the train for Leavenworth. At Kansas City the papers said she made "the success of the lecture season." She spoke in Leavenworth, Lawrence, Topeka, Paola, Olathe and other places throughout the State. Although it was very cold and the half-frozen mud knee deep, she usually had good audiences. At Lincoln, Neb., she was entertained at the home of Governor Butler and introduced by him at her lecture. At Omaha her share of the receipts was $100. At Council Bluffs she was the guest of her old fellow-worker, Amelia Bloomer. Cedar Rapids and Des Moines gave packed houses. She lectured in a number of
Illinois towns, taking trains at midnight and at daybreak; and, waiting four hours at one little station, the diary says she was so thoroughly worn-out she was compelled to lie down on the dirty floor. On the homeward route she spoke at Antioch College, and was the guest of President Hosmer's family. According to the infallible little journal: "The president said he had listened to all the woman suffrage lecturers in the field, but tonight, for the first time, he had heard an argument; a compliment above all others, coming from an aged and conservative minister."
Antioch College, Ohio
Mt. Pleasant - Iowa - March 21, 1871
My Dear Mrs Wright - When we women begin to search individual records and antecedents of those who bring influence, brains or cash to our work or enfranchising women - we shall begin with the men -
Now I have heard gossip of undue familiarity with persons of the opposite sex - relative to Beecher, Higginson, Butler, Carpenter, Pomeroy - and before I shall consent to an arraignment of Woodhull or any other earnest woman worker who shall come to our Platform in Washington or elsewhere - I shall insist upon the closest investigation into all the scandals afloat about those men - not one of whom have I heard Mrs Hooker or any other woman express any fears of accepting whatever they may say or do for us -
When we shall require of the men . . . to prove that they have never been unduly familiar with any woman . . . it will be time enough for us to demand of the women to prove that no man has ever trifled with or descrated them -
. . . It isn't for you nor me nor Mrs. Hooker to say who may & who may not be worthy to stand on our platform . . . I say with the man of Nazareth - Let her who has never had a line in her history but that she would be perfectly willing to have spread out to the gaze of the coarse, gross, brutal world - be the first to cast a stone at Mrs. Woodhull -
Cartoon about Woodhull and "Free Love"
She spoke also at Wilberforce University, at Dayton, Springfield, Crestline, and in Columbus before the two Houses of the Legislature. At Salem she ran across Parker Pillsbury, who was lecturing there. When she took the train at Columbus "there sat Mrs. Stanton, fast asleep, her gray curls sticking out." Then again into Michigan she went, speaking at Jackson, Lansing, Ann Arbor and other cities. . . . Then to Chicago, where she spoke at a suffrage matinee in Farwell Hall and at the Cook county annual suffrage convention, and dined at Robert Collyer's; back to Iowa, speaking at Burlington, Davenport, Mount Pleasant and Ottumwa; over into Nebraska once more, from there returning to Illinois; into Indiana, thence to Milwaukee and points in Wisconsin; and once more to Chicago, where, as was often the case, she was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Fernando Jones; from here across to Painesville and other towns in northern Ohio; then on to numerous places in western New York, and finally home to Rochester, April 25, having slept scarcely two nights in the same bed for over three months.
. . . The suffrage anniversary was held in Apollo Hall, New York, May 11 and 12, 1871. . . . There were strong objections by a number of ladies to sitting on the
platform with Mrs. Woodhull, but Mrs. Stanton said she should be sandwiched between Lucretia Mott and herself and that surely would give her sufficient respectability. . . . The great dailies headed all reports, "The Woodhull Convention." The injustice and vindictiveness of the Tribune, that paper which once had been the champion of woman's cause, were especially hard to bear. It rang the changes upon the term "free love," insisted that, because the women allowed Mrs. Woodhull to stand upon their platform and advocate suffrage, they thereby indorsed all her ideas on social questions, and by every possible means it cast odium on the convention. There is no doubt that the advocates of "free love," in its usually accepted sense, did endeavor to insinuate themselves among the suffrage women and make this movement responsible for their social doctrines, but every great reform has to suffer from similar parasites. The lives of Miss Anthony, Mrs. Mott, Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Hooker, Mrs. Davis, and of all the old and tried leaders in this cause, form the strongest testimony of their utter repudiation of any such heresy. It was impossible, however, for the world in general to understand their broad ground that it was their business to accept valuable services without inquiring into the private life of the persons who offered them. If this were a mistake, these pioneers, who fought single-handed such a battle as the women of later days can not comprehend, had to learn the fact by experience.
. . . At the close of the New York convention . . . Miss Anthony hastened to her own home to prepare for a long journey, as she and Mrs. Stanton had decided to make a lecture tour through California. She left Rochester the last day of May, and met Mrs. Stanton in Chicago where a reception was given them by the suffrage club, in its elegant new headquarters. They spoke in a number of cities en route and attended numerous handsome receptions held in their honor. At Denver they were entertained by Governor and Mrs. McCook. . . . At Laramie City they were accompanied to the station by a hundred women whom Mrs. Stanton addressed from the platform. A letter written by Miss Anthony during the journey contains these beautiful paragraphs:
"We have a drawing-room all to ourselves, and here we are just as cozy and happy as lovers. We look at the prairie schooners slowly moving along with ox-teams, or notice the one lone cabin-light on the endless plains, and Mrs. Stanton will say: "In all that there is real bliss, if only the two are perfect equals, two loving people, neither assuming to control the other.
"Yes, after all, life is about one and the same thing, whether in the prairie schooner and sod cabin, or the Fifth Avenue palace. Love for and faith in each other alone can make either a heaven, and without these any home is a hell. It is not the outside things which make life, but the inner, the spirit of love which casteth out all devils and bringeth in all angels."
. . . While at Salt Lake they received complimentary passes to California and
throughout that State, from Governor Leland Stanford, always a helpful friend to woman suffrage. They reached San Francisco July 9, and took rooms at the Grand Hotel, at that time the best in the city. Their coming had been heralded by the press and they experienced the royal California welcome, receiving flowers, fruit, calls and invitations in abundance. Mrs. Stanton made her first speech in Platt's Hall to an audience of 1,200; all seemed delighted and the papers were very complimentary.
At that time the whole coast was much excited over the murder of A.P. Crittenden by Laura D. Fair, and the entire weight of opinion was against her. Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton, always ready to defend their sex, determined to hear the story from her own lips, hoping for the sake of womanhood to learn some mitigating circumstances. The afternoon papers came out with an attack upon them for making this visit to the jail, and in the evening at Miss Anthony's first lecture there was an immense audience, including many friends of Crittenden, determined that there should be no justification of the woman who killed him.
Miss Anthony made a strong speech on "The Power of the Ballot," which was well received until she came to the peroration. Her purpose had been to prove false the theory that all women are supported and protected by men. She had demonstrated clearly the fact that in the life of nearly every woman there came a time when she must rely on herself alone. She asserted that while she might grant, for the sake of the argument, that every man protected his own wife and daughter, his own mother and sister, the columns of the daily papers gave ample evidence that man did not protect woman as woman. She gave sundry facts to illustrate this point, among them the experience of Sister Irene, who had established a foundling hospital in New York two years before, and at the close of the first year reported 1,300 little waifs laid in the basket at the door. These figures, she said, proved that there were at least 1,300 women in that city who had not been protected by men. She continued impressively:
"If all men had protected all women as they would have their own wives and
daughters protected, you would have no Laura Fair in your jail tonight."
Then burst forth a tremendous hissing, seemingly from every part of the house! She had heard that sound in the old anti-slavery days and quietly stood until there came a lull, when she repeated the sentence. Again came a storm of hisses, but this time they were mingled with cheers. Again she waited for a pause, and then made the same assertion for the third time. Her courage challenged the admiration of the audience, which broke out into a roar of applause, and she closed by saying: "I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand."
The next morning, however, she was denounced by the city papers as having vindicated the murder and justified the life which Mrs. Fair had led! Those who had not heard the lecture believed these reports, and other papers in the State took up the cry. Even the press of New York and other eastern cities joined in the chorus, but the latter was much more severe on Mrs. Stanton, who in newspaper interviews did not hesitate to declare her sympathy for Mrs. Fair; and yet for some reason, perhaps because Miss Anthony had dared refer boldly to crime in high places in San Francisco, the batteries there were turned wholly upon her. In her diary she says: "Never in all my hard experience have I been under such fire." So terrific was the onslaught that no one could come to her rescue with a public explanation or defense. Miss Anthony had cut San Francisco in a sore spot and it did not propose to give her another chance to use the scalpel. She attempted to speak in adjacent towns but her journal says: "The shadow of the newspapers hung over me."
At length she resolved to cancel all her lecture engagements and wait quietly until the storm passed over and the public mind grew calm. She writes in her diary, a week later: "Some friends called but the clouds over me are so heavy I could not greet them as I would have liked. I never before was so cut down." She tells the story to her sister Mary, who replies:
"I am so sorry for you. It will spoil your pleasure, and then I think of that load of debt which you hoped to lighten, yet I should have felt ashamed of you if you had failed to say a word in behalf of that wretched woman. I am sick of one-sided justice; for the same crime, men glorified and women gibbeted. If your words for Mrs. Fair have made your trip a failure, so let it be--it is no disgrace to you. It is scandalous the way the papers talk of you, but stick to what you feel to be right and let the world wag."
. . . On July 22, Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton started for the Yosemite Valley, a harder trip in those days even than now. It is best described in her own words:
"We shall have compassed the Calaveras Big Trees and the Yosemite Valley in
twelve days out from Stockton, where we expect to arrive August 2. Mrs. Stanton is to speak there Thursday night and I at San Jose, where I shall learn whether the press has forgiven me. We both lecture the rest of the week, and Sunday get into San Francisco, speak at different points the 7th and 8th, and on the 9th go to the Geysers and stay two nights; then out again and on with meetings almost every night till the end of the month. We shall visit lakes Donner and Tahoe and some other points of interest as they come in our reach. Mr. Hutchings would not take a penny for our three days' sojourn in the valley, horses and all, so our trip is much less expensive than we had anticipated. With our private carriage we drove three miles nearer the top of the mountain than the stage passengers go.
"Mrs. Stanton and I each had a pair of linen bloomers which we donned last Thursday morning at Crane's Flats, and we arrived at the brow of the mountain at 9 o'clock. Our horses were fitted out with men's saddles, and Mrs. Stanton, perfectly confident that she would have no trouble, while I was all doubts as to my success, insisted that I should put my foot over the saddle first, which I did by a terrible effort. Then came her turn, but she was so fat and her pony so broad that her leg wouldn't go over into the stirrup nor around the horn of a sidesaddle, so after trying several different saddles she commenced the walk down hill with her guide leading her horse, and commanded me to ride on with the other. By this time the sun was pouring down and my horse was slowly fastening one foot after another in the rocks and earth and thus carefully easing me down the steeps, while my guide baited me on by saying,
"You are doing nicely, that is the worst place on the trail," when the fact was it hardly began to match what was coming. At half-past two we reached Hutchings', and a more used-up mortal than I could not well exist, save poor Mrs. Stanton, four hours behind in the broiling sun, fairly sliding down the mountain. I had Mr. Hutchings fit out my guide with lunch and tea, and send him right back to her. About six she arrived, pretty nearly jelly. We both had a hot bath and she went supperless to bed, but I took my rations. . . .
"The next day Mrs. Stanton kept her bed till nearly noon; but I was up and on my horse at eight and off with the McLean party for the Nevada and Vernal Falls.... Saturday morning, with Stephen M. Cunningham for my guide, I went up the Mariposa trail seven miles to Artist's Point, and there under a big pine tree, on a rock jutting out over the valley, sat and gazed at the wondrous walls with their peaks and spires and domes. I could take in not only the whole circuit of the mountain tops but the valley enshrined below, with the beautiful Merced river meandering over its pebbly bed among the grass and shrubs and towering pines.
View from Artist's Point
"We reached the hotel at 7 P.M.--tired--tired. Not a muscle, not one inch of flesh from my heels to my hands that was not sore and lame, but I took a good rub-off with the powerful camphor from the bottle mother so carefully filled for me, and went to bed with orders for my horse at 6 A.M.
"Sunday morning's devotion for Minister McLean and the Rochester strong-minded was to ride two and a half miles to Mirror lake, and there wait and
watch the coming of the sun over the rocky spires, reflected in the placid water. Such a glory mortal never beheld elsewhere. The lake was smooth as finest glass; the lofty granite peaks with their trees and shrubs were reflected more perfectly than costliest mirror ever sent back the face of most beautiful woman, and as the sun slowly emerged from behind a point of rock, the thinnest, flakiest white clouds approached or hung round it, and the reflection shaded them with the most delicate, yet most perfect and richest hues of the rainbow. And while we watched and worshipped we trembled lest some rude fish or bubble should break our mirror and forever shatter the picture seemingly wrought for our special eyes that Sunday morning.
"Then and there, in that holy hour, I thought of you, dear mother, in the body, and of dear father in the beyond, with eyes unsealed, and of Ann Eliza and Thomas King. I talked to John of them and wondered if they too sat not with us in that holy of holies not made with hands. O, how nothing seemed man-made temples, creeds and codes!"
. . . Miss Anthony could not entirely recover from the disappointment of her reception in San Francisco, but a letter written to Mrs. Stanton, just before her first lecture in Oregon, shows no regrets but a wish that she had put the case even more strongly:
"I am awaiting my Wednesday night execution with fear and trembling such as I never before dreamed of, but to the rack I must go, though another San Francisco torture be in store for me.... The real fact is we ought to be ashamed of ourselves that we failed to say the whole truth and illustrate it too by the one terrible example in their jail. That would have caused not me alone but both of us to be hissed out of the hall and hooted out of that Godless city--Godless in its treading of womanhood under its heel. I assure you, as I rolled on the ocean last week feeling that the very next strain might swamp the ship, and thinking over all my sins of omission and commission, there was nothing undone which haunted me like that failure to speak the word at San Francisco over again and more fully. I would rather today have the satisfaction of having said the true and needful thing on Laura Fair and the social evil, with the hisses and hoots of San Francisco and the entire nation around me, than all that you or I could possibly experience from their united eulogies with that one word unsaid. . . . It was like going down into South Carolina and failing to illustrate human oppression by negro slavery. I hope you are not haunted with it as I am. God helping me, I will yet ease my spirit of the load."
After this lecture she wrote again:
"The first fire is passed. I send you the Bulletin and Oregonian notices. I have not seen the Democratic paper--the Herald--but am told it says Miss Anthony failed to interest her audience. Not a person stirred save when I made them laugh. . . . I hope to present the fact of our right to vote under these amendments with a great deal more freedom. If I am able to do so, I shall talk to women alone Saturday afternoon on the social evil; then, if interest warrants, answer objections Monday evening, and close here. I have contracted for one-half the gross receipts of evening and the entire receipts of afternoon lectures. I want to tell you that with my gray silk I wore a pink bow at my throat and a narrow pink ribbon in my hair! Mrs. Duniway is delighted, so you see my tide is turning a little from that terrible, killing experience."
. . . The journal depicts the hardships of a new country, the poor hotels, the long stage-rides, the inconvenient hours, etc. At one place, where there was an appalling prospect of spending Sunday in the wretched excuse for a hotel, a lady came and took her to a fine, new home and Miss Anthony was delighted; but when the husband appeared he announced that he "did not keep a tavern," and so, after her evening lecture, she returned to her former quarters, the wife not daring to remonstrate. After meeting one woman who had had six husbands, and at least a dozen whose husbands had deserted them and married other women without the formality of a divorce, she writes in her journal, "Marriage seems to be anything but an indissoluble contract out here on the coast."
. . . From Roseburg she wrote her mother, November 24:
"I am now over one hundred miles on my stage-route south, and horrible indeed are the roads--miles and miles of corduroy and then twenty miles of 'Joe Lane black mud,' as they call it, because old Joseph Lane settled right here in the midst of it. It is heavy clay without a particle of loam and rolls up on the wheels until rim, spokes and hub are one solid circle. The wheels cease to turn and actually slide over the ground, and then driver and men passengers jump out and with chisels and shingles cut the clay off the wheels. . . . How my thought does turn homeward, mother. I wanted always to be at home every recurring birthday of yours so long as you remained this side with us. I can not this year, but in spirit I shall be with you all that day, as I am so very, very often on every other day."
. . . Miss Anthony hastened to her home in Rochester, which she had not seen
since her departure to California eight months before. Soon after her arrival she was invited to meet a number of her acquaintances at the home of her dear friend, Amy Post, and give them an account of her experiences on the Pacific slope. At its conclusion she was surprised by the presentation of a purse containing $50, with a touching address by Mrs. Post asking her to accept it as a testimonial of the appreciation in which her friends and neighbors held her work for woman and humanity.
At the same time she received a gift of money from Sarah Pugh, in an envelope marked, "For thine own dear self." In her acknowledgment she says:
"The tears started when I read your sweet letter. Were it not for the loving sympathy and confidence of the little handful of ever-faithful such as you, my spirit, I fear, would have fainted long ago. There are yourself, dear Lucretia and her equally dear sister, Martha, who never fail to know just the moment when my purse is drained to the bottom and to drop the needed dollar into it. It is really wonderful how I have been carried through all these years financially. I often feel that Elijah's being fed by the ravens was no more miraculous than my being furnished with the means to do the great work which has been for the past twenty years continuously presenting itself--yes, presenting itself, for it has always come to me. My thought has been to escape the hardships but they come ever and always, and so I try to accept the situation and work my way through as best I can."
. . . Early in April, while waiting at a little railroad station in Illinois, a gentleman came in and handed her a copy of Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly containing this double-leaded announcement:
"The undersigned citizens of the United States, responding to the invitation of the National Woman Suffrage Association, propose to hold a convention at Steinway Hall, in the city of New York, the 9th and 10th of May. We believe the time has come for the formation of a new political party whose principles shall meet the issues of the hour and represent equal rights for all. As women of the country are to take part for the first time in political action, we propose that the initiative steps in the convention shall be taken by them.... This convention will declare the platform of the People's party, and consider the nomination of candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States, who shall be the best possible exponents of political and industrial reform....
ELIZABETH CADY STANTON, SUSAN E. ANTHONY, ISABELLA B. HOOKER, MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE."
. . . Miss Anthony was thunderstruck. Not only had she no knowledge of this action, but she was thoroughly opposed both to the forming of a new party and to the National Association's having any share in such a proceeding. She immediately telegraphed an order to have her name removed from the call, and wrote back indignant letters of protest against involving the association in such an affair.
A month prior to this, on March 13, she had written Mrs. Stanton and Mrs. Hooker from Leavenworth:
"We have no element out of which to make a political party, because there is not a man who would vote a woman suffrage ticket if thereby he endangered his Republican, Democratic, Workingmen's or Temperance party, and all our time and words in that direction are simply thrown away. My name must not be used to call any such meeting. I will do all I can to support either of the leading parties which may adopt a woman suffrage plank or nominee; but no one of them wants to do anything for us, while each would like to use us.... I tell you I feel utterly disheartened--not that our cause is going to die or be defeated, but as to my place and work.
"Mrs. Woodhull has the advantage of us because she has the newspaper, and
she persistently means to run our craft into her port and none other."
. . . After sending this letter she had supposed the question settled until she saw this notice, hence her anger and dismay can be imagined.
The regular anniversary meeting of the National Association was to begin in New York on May 9, and on the 6th Miss Anthony reached the city to prevent, if possible, the threatened coalition with the proposed new party. . . . As soon as the suffrage committee opened its business session, Mrs. Woodhull and her friends appeared by previous arrangement made during Miss Anthony's absence in the West, and announced that they would hold joint sessions with the suffrage convention the next two days at Steinway Hall. It was only by Miss Anthony's firm stand and indomitable will that this was averted, and that the set of resolutions which they brought, cut and dried, was defeated in the committee. She positively refused to allow them the use of Steinway Hall, which had been rented in her name, and at length they were compelled to give up the game and engage Apollo Hall for their "new party" convention.
Mrs. Stanton and Mrs. Hooker called her narrow, bigoted and headstrong, but the proceedings of the "people's convention" next day, which nominated Mrs. Woodhull for President, showed how suicidal it would have been to have had it under the auspices of the National Suffrage Association. The forces of the latter, however, were greatly demoralized, the attendance at the convention was small, and Mrs. Stanton refused to serve longer as president. Miss Anthony was elected in her stead and, just as she was about to adjourn the first evening session, to her amazement Mrs. Woodhull came gliding in from the side of the platform and moved that "this convention adjourn to meet tomorrow morning at Apollo Hall!" An ally in the audience seconded the motion, Miss Anthony refused to put it, an appeal was made from the decision of the chair, Mrs. Woodhull herself put the motion and it was carried overwhelmingly. Miss Anthony declared the whole proceeding out of order, as the one making the motion, the second, and the vast majority of those voting were not members of the association. She adjourned the convention to meet in the same place the next morning and, as Mrs. Woodhull persisted in talking, ordered the janitor to turn off the gas.
. . . At the request of many suffrage advocates, Miss Anthony and Laura DeForce Gordon went to the National Liberal Convention, at Cincinnati, May 2, 1872, with a resolution asking that as liberal Republicans they should hold fast to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and recognize the right of women to the franchise. The ladies were politely treated and invited to seats on the platform, but were not allowed to appear before the committee and no attention was paid to their resolution. They expected no favors from the presiding officer, Carl Schurz, the foreign born, always a bitter opponent of woman suffrage, but they had hoped for assistance from B. Gratz Brown, George W. Julian, Theodore Tilton and other leading spirits of the meeting, who had been open and avowed friends; but it was the old, old story--political exigency required that women must be sacrificed, and this so-called Liberal convention was no more liberal on this subject than all which had preceded it.
Laura De Force Gordon
Rochester Nov 5th 1872
Dear Mrs Stanton Well I have been & gone & done it!!--positively voted the Republican ticket--strait this a.m. at 7 O'clock--& swore my vote in at that--was registered on Friday & 15 other women followed suit in this ward--then on Sunday others some 20 or thirty other women tried to register, but all save two were refused--all my three sisters voted--Roda De Garmo too--Amy Post was rejected & she will immediately bring action for that--similar to the
Washington action--& Hon Henry R. Selden will be our Counsel--he has read up the law & all of our arguments & is satisfied that we our right & ditto the Old Judge Selden--his elder brother. so we are in for a fine agitation in Rochester on the question--I hope the morning's telegrams will tell of many women all over the country trying to vote--It is splendid that without any concert of action so many should have moved here so impromptu-- ....Haven't we wedged ourselves into the work pretty fairly & fully--& now that the Repubs have taken our votes--for it is the Republican members of the Board--The Democratic paper is out against us strong & that scared the Dem's on the registry board--How I wish you were here to write up the funny things said & done--Rhoda De Garmo told them that she wouldn't swear of affirm--"but would tell the truth"--& they accepted that When the Democrat said my vote should not go in the box--one Republican said to the other--What do you say Marsh!--I say put it in!--So do I said Jones--and "we'll fight it out on this line if it takes all winter"....If only now--all the women suffrage women would work to this end of enforcing the existing constitution--supremacy of national law over state law--what strides we might make this winter--But I'm awful tired--for five days I have been on the constant run--but to splendid purpose--So all right--I hope you voted too.Affectionately,Susan B. Anthony
Miss Anthony's trial was set for the term of court beginning May 13, 1873 and she decided to make a canvass of Monroe county, not to argue her own case but in order that the people might be educated upon the constitutional points involved. Commencing March 11, she spoke in twenty-nine of the post-office districts. Being informed that District-Attorney Crowley threatened to move her trial into another county because she would prejudice the jury, she notified him she would see that that county also was thoroughly canvassed, and asked him if she were prejudicing a jury by reading and explaining the Constitution of the United States.
. . . When the time for trial came, true to his promise, District-Attorney Crowley obtained an order removing the cause to the U.S. Circuit Court which was held at Canandaigua. This left just twenty-two days and, calling to her aid Matilda Joslyn Gage, Miss Anthony spoke in twenty-one places on the question, "Is it a crime for a United States citizen to vote?" and Mrs. Gage in sixteen on "The United States on trial, not Susan B. Anthony." Their last meeting was held in Canandaigua the evening before the trial, and resolutions against this injustice toward woman were heartily endorsed by the audience.
. . . Judge Hunt: (Ordering the defendant to stand up), "Has the prisoner anything to say why sentence shall not be pronounced?"
Trial Court House
Miss Anthony: Yes, your honor, I have many things to say; for in your ordered verdict of guilty, you have trampled under foot every vital principle of our government. My natural rights, my civil rights, my political rights, my judicial rights, are all alike ignored. Robbed of the fundamental privilege of citizenship, I am degraded from the status of a citizen to that of a subject; and not only myself individually, but all of my sex, are, by your honor's verdict, doomed to political subjection under this, so-called, form of government.
Judge Hunt: The Court cannot listen to a rehearsal of arguments the prisoner's counsel has already consumed three hours in presenting.
Miss Anthony: May it please your honor, I am not arguing the question, but;
simply stating the reasons why sentence cannot, in justice, be pronounced against me. Your denial of my citizen's right to vote, is the denial of my right of consent as one of the governed, the denial of my right of representation as one of the taxed, the denial of my right to a trial by a jury of my peers as an offender against law, therefore, the denial of my sacred rights to life, liberty, property and—
Judge Hunt: The Court cannot allow the prisoner to go on.
Miss Anthony: But your honor will not deny me this one and only poor privilege of protest against this high-handed outrage upon my citizen's rights. May it please the Court to remember that since the day of my arrest last November, this is the first time that either myself or any person of my disfranchised class has been allowed a word of defense before judge or jury—
Judge Hunt: The prisoner must sit down — the Court cannot allow it.
Miss Anthony: All of my prosecutors, from the 8th ward corner grocery politician, who entered the complaint, to the United States Marshal, Commissioner, District Attorney, District Judge, your honor on the bench, not one is my peer, but each and all are my political sovereigns; and had your honor submitted my case to the jury, as was clearly your duty, even then I should have had just cause of protest, for not one of those men was my peer; but, native or foreign born, white or black, rich or poor, educated or ignorant, awake or asleep, sober or drunk, each and every man of them was my political superior; hence, in no sense, my peer. Even, under such circumstances, a commoner of England, tried before a jury of Lords, Would have far less cause to complain than should I, a woman, tried before a jury of men. Even my counsel, the Hon. Henry R. Selden, who has argued my cause so ably, so earnestly, so unanswerably before your honor, is my political sovereign. Precisely as no disfranchised person is entitled to sit upon a jury, and no woman is entitled to the franchise, so, none but a regularly admitted lawyer is allowed to practice in the courts, and no woman can gain admission to the bar hence, jury, judge, counsel, must all be of the superior class.
Judge Hunt: The Court must insist—the prisoner has been tried according to the established forms of law.
Miss Anthony: Yes, your honor, but by forms of law all made by men, interpreted by men, administered by men, in favor of men, and against women; and hence, your honor's ordered verdict of guilty, against a United States citizen for the exercise of " that citizen? a right to vote" simply because that citizen was a woman and not a man. But, yesterday, the same man made forms of law, declared it a crime punishable with $1,000 line and six months' imprisonment, for you, or me, or any of us, to give a cup of cold water, a crust of bread, or a night's shelter to a panting fugitive as he was tracking his way to Canada. And every man or woman in whose veins coursed a drop of human sympathy violated that wicked law, reckless of consequences, and was justified in so doing. As then, the slaves who got their freedom must take it over, or under, or through the unjust forms of law, precisely so, now, must women, to get their right to a voice in this government, take it; and I have taken mine, and mean to take it at every possible opportunity.
Judge Hunt: The Court orders the prisoner to sit down. It will not allow another word.
Miss Anthony—When I was brought before your honor for trial, I hoped for a broad and liberal interpretation of the Constitution and its recent amendments, that should declare all United States citizens under its protecting aegis—that should declare equality of rights the national guarantee to all persons born or naturalized in the United States. But failing to get this justice—failing, even, to get a trial by a jury not of my peers—I ask not leniency at your hands—but rather the full rigors of the law.
Judge Hunt: The Court must insist—(Here the prisoner sat down.)
Judge Hunt: The prisoner will stand up.(Here Miss Anthony arose again.)
The sentence of the Court is that you pay a fine of one hundred dollars and the costs of the prosecution.
Miss Anthony: May it please your honor, I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty. All the stock in trade I possess is a $10,000 debt, incurred by publishing my paper—The Revolution—four years ago. the sole object of which was to educate all women to do precisely as I have done, rebel against your manmade, unjust, unconstitutional forms of law, that tax, tine, imprison and hang women, while they deny them the right of representation in the government; and I shall work on with might and main to pay every dollar of that honest debt, but not a penny shall go to this unjust claim. And I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old revolutionary maxim, that "Resistance to, tyranny is obedience to God."
Judge Hunt: Madam, the Court will not order you committed until the fine is paid.
MY DEAR MOTHER: How continually, except the one hour when I am on the platform, is the thought of you and your loss and my own with me! How little we realize the constant presence in our minds of our loved and loving ones until they are forever gone. We would not call them back to endure again their suffering, but we can not help wishing they might have been spared to us in health and vigor. Our Guelma, does she look down upon us, does she still live, and shall we all live again and know each other, and work together and love and enjoy one another? In spite of instinct, in spite of faith, these questions will come up again and again.... She said you would soon follow her, and we know that in the nature of things it must be so. When that time comes, dear mother, may you fall asleep as sweetly and softly as did your eldest born; and as the sands of life ebb out into the great eternal, may all of us be with you to make the way easy. It does seem too cruel that every one of us must be so overwhelmingly immersed in work, but may the Good Father help us so to do that there may be no vain regrets for things done or left undone when the last hour comes.
Henry Ward Beecher had publicly denounced Woodhull's advocacy of free love. Outraged at
what she saw as his hypocrisy, in 1872 she published a story titled "The Beecher-Tilton Scandal Case" in the November 2 issue of her paper, Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly. The article made allegations that America's most renowned clergyman was secretly practicing the free-love doctrines that he denounced from the pulpit. The story created a national sensation. Woodhull was arrested in New York City and imprisoned for sending obscene material through the mail.
In 1873, Plymouth Church withdrew Tilton's membership in the church, owing to his attacks on Beecher and his relationship with Woodhull, who he apparently had an affair with. Angered, Tilton published responses to attacks on him in several major papers, and the matter became the subject of intense public interest.
Beecher directed a Plymouth Church committee to investigate the matter; despite much published evidence of the affair, Beecher was exonerated by the committee of his close supporters. Subsequently, Tilton brought suit against Beecher.
The trial in 1875 became a became a national sensation. At the end of the six-month trial,
During the summer of 1874 Miss Anthony lectured in many places in
Massachusetts and New York, striving to pay the interest and reduce by a little her pressing debts, and slipping home occasionally to see her mother who was carefully tended by the devoted sister Mary. At one of these times she writes in her diary: "It is always so good to get into my own humble bed." August 22 she sent a letter of congratulation on his fiftieth birthday to her brother Daniel R.
Susan B. Anthony
. . . In the summer of 1874 the so-called Beecher-Tilton scandal, which had been smouldering a long time, burst into full blaze. Miss Anthony had been for many years on intimate terms with all the parties in this unfortunate affair, and there was a persistent rumor that she had at one time received a confession from Mrs. Tilton which, if given by her to the public, would settle the vexed question beyond a doubt. It is scarcely possible to describe the pressure brought to bear to force her to disclose what she knew. During her lecture tours of that summer and fall, while the trial was in progress before the church committee, she never entered a railroad car, an omnibus or a hotel but there was somebody ready to question her. In every town and city she was called upon for an interview before she had time to brush off the dust of travel. . . .She often remarked that "in this case men proved themselves the champion gossips of the world."
. . . Most of the charges made against her during this ordeal were so manifestly absurd they did not need refuting, but the oft-repeated assertions that she believed in what was popularly termed "free love" were a source of great annoyance. In a letter written at this time to Elizabeth Smith Miller she thus definitely expressed herself:
"I have always believed the 'variety' system vile, and still do so believe. I am convinced that no one has yet wrought out the true social system. I am sure no theory can be correct which a mother is not willing for her daughter to practice. Decent women should not live with licentious husbands in the relation of wife. As society is now, good, pure women, by so living, cover up and palliate immorality and help to violate the law of monogamy. Women must take the social helm into their own hands and not permit the men of their own circle, any more than the women, to be transgressors."
. . . In her positive refusal to speak the word which would criminate a woman, Miss Anthony was actuated by the highest sense of honor. She loved Mr. and Mrs. Tilton as her own family. She had enjoyed the hospitality of their beautiful home and seen their children grow up from babyhood. Mrs. Tilton was one of the loveliest characters she ever had known, an exquisite housekeeper, an ideal mother; a woman of wide reading and fine literary taste, of sunny temperament and affectionate disposition. To violate the confidence of such a woman, given in an hour of supreme anguish, would have been treachery unparalleled. . . .
In answer to the charge that Mrs. Tilton was a very weak or a very wicked woman, Miss Anthony always maintained that none ever was called upon to suffer such temptation. On the one hand was her husband, one of the most brilliant writers and speakers of the day, a man of marvellously attractive powers in the home as well as in the outside world. At his table often sat Phillips, Garrison, Sumner, Wilson and many other prominent men, who all alike admired and loved him. On the other hand was her pastor, the most powerful and magnetic preacher and orator not only in Brooklyn but in the nation. When he spoke on Sunday to his congregation of 3,000 people, there was not a man present but felt that he could get strength by touching even the hem of his garment. If his power were such over men, by the law of nature it must have been infinitely greater over women. Since it was thus irresistible in public, how transcendent must it have been in the close and intimate companionship of private life! The house of the Tiltons was the second home of Mr. Beecher, and scarcely a day passed that he did not visit it. He found here the brightness, congeniality, sympathy and loving trust which every human being longs for. . . .Miss Anthony recalls one occasion when she went on Saturday evening to stay over Sunday, Mrs. Tilton said, as she dropped into a low chair: "Mr. Beecher sat here all the morning writing his sermon. He says there is no place in the world where he can get such inspiration as at Theodore's desk, while I sit beside him in this little chair darning the children's stockings."
In all of these and many similar occurrences Miss Anthony saw nothing but a warm and sincere friendship. To Mr. Tilton, Mr. Beecher was as a father or an elder brother. He had placed the ambitious and talented youth where he could achieve both fame and fortune, had introduced him into the highest social circles and shown to the world that he regarded him as his dearest confidential friend, and for years the two men had enjoyed the closest and strongest intimacy. Mrs. Tilton had been born into Plymouth church, baptized by Mr. Beecher, had taught in his Sunday school, visited at his home. He loved her as his own, and she adored him as a very Christ. . . . She was wholly dominated by two powerful influences. . . .
At the close of 1874, December 28, the cause of woman suffrage lost a strong supporter by the death of Gerrit Smith. Miss Anthony felt the loss deeply, as he had been her warm personal friend for twenty-five years and always ready with financial aid for her projects; but she suffered a keener shock one week later when the news came of the sudden death of Martha C. Wright, January 4, 1875. She says in her diary:
"It struck me dumb, I could not believe it; clear-sighted, true and steadfast almost beyond all other women! Her home was my home, always so restful and refreshing, her friendship never failed; the darker the hour, the brighter were her words of encouragement, the stronger and closer her support. I can not be reconciled."Anthony wrote to Ellen Wright Garrison:
Twelve years ago when my dear father died - aged 69 - in the full strength & vigor of body & mind . . . it seemed to me the world and everybody in it must stop -
It was months before I could recover myself - and at last it came to me; that the best way I could prove my love & respect for his memory, was to try to do more & better work for humanity than ever before -
And from that day to this the feeling, in my triumphs and defeats, that my Father rejoiced and sorrowed with me - has been a constant stimulus to urge me ever to rally to new effort.
While Miss Anthony was in attendance at the May Suffrage Anniversary in New York, a telegram came announcing that her brother Daniel R., of Leavenworth, had been shot and fatally wounded. Her friends feeling that they could not go through with the meeting without her, retained the telegram until after her speech in the evening, and then she could get no train before the next day. She did not go to bed that night but, in the midst of her grief, she examined every bill for the convention and put each in an envelope with the money to pay it.
In the early morning she took a local train for Albany and stopped off to bid a last farewell to her old friend, Lydia Mott, who was dying of consumption. Her sisters met her at the Rochester station with wrapper, slippers and comfortable things for the sickroom, and she learned that her brother was still alive. . . . . She finally reached Leavenworth at midnight, May 14, and was gladly received by her brother who had watched the clock and counted her progress every hour. The shooting had grown out of some criticisms in his paper. The ball had fractured the clavicle and severed the subclavian artery. His devoted wife and brother Merritt were in constant attendance. Then began the long struggle for life. For nine weeks Miss Anthony sat by his bedside giving the service of a born nurse, added to the gentleness of a loving sister. At the end of the first month the physicians decided on a continued pressure upon the artery above the wound to prevent the constant rush of blood into the aneurism which had formed. Owing to its peculiar position this could be done only by pressing the finger upon it, and so the family and friends took turns day and night, sitting by the patient and pressing upon this vital spot. After five weeks, to the surprise of the whole medical fraternity, the experiment proved a success and recovery was no longer doubtful.
. . . Miss Anthony took back to Rochester her little four-year-old niece and namesake, Susie B., and many touching entries in her journal show how closely the child entwined itself about her heart. She found that Lydia Mott still lived, and, allowing herself only two days' rest after all the hard weeks of physical and mental strain, she went to Albany to stay with her friend till the end came, a month later. The diary of August 20 says:
"There passed out of my life today the one who, next to my own family, has been the nearest and dearest to me for thirty years."
On October 2, 1875, she heard Frances E. Willard lecture for the first time, and
comments, "A lovely, spirited and spiritual woman, characterized by genuine Christian simplicity." . . . The rest of the year was spent in finishing the interrupted lectures in Iowa, and the beginning of 1876 found her in the far West with so many engagements that she decided, for the first time in all the years, not to go to Washington to the National Convention. This was in the capable hands of Mrs. Gage, who was then president; so she sent an encouraging letter and a liberal contribution.
I could not believe it; clear-sighted, true and steadfast almost beyond all other women! Her home was my home, always so restful and refreshing, her friendship never failed; the darker the hour, the brighter were her worlds of encouragement, the stronger and closer her support. I cannot be reconciled.
By May 1, 1876, she was able to write, "The day of Jubilee for me has come. I have paid the last dollar of The Revolution debt!"
It was just six years to the very month since she had given up her cherished paper and undertaken to pay off its heavy indebtedness, and all her friends rejoiced with her that it was finally rolled from her shoulders and she was free.
Going out through the crowd, they made their way to a platform erected for the musicians in front of Independence Hall. Here on this historic ground, under the shadow of of Washington's statue, back of them the old bell which proclaimed "liberty to all the land and all the inhabitants thereof," they took their places, and to a listening, applauding crowd, Miss Anthony read a copy of the Declaration just presented to Mr. Ferry.
It was warmly applauded at many points, and after again scattering a number of printed copies, the delegation descended from the platform and hastened to the convention of the National Association. A meeting had been appointed at 12 o'clock, in the First Unitarian church, where Rev. William H. Furness preached for fifty years, but whose pulpit was then filled by Joseph May, a son of Rev. Samuel J. May. They found the church crowded with an expectant audience, which greeted them with thanks for what they had just done; the first act of this memorable day taking place on the old centennial platform in Independence Square, the last in a church so long devoted to equality and justice.
The venerable Lucretia Mott, then in her eighty-fourth year, presided. Belva A. Lockwood took up the judiciary, showing the way that body lends itself to party politics. Matilda Joslyn Gage spoke upon the writ of habeas corpus, pointing out what a mockery to married women was that constitutional guarantee.
Lucretia Mott reviewed the progress of the reform from the first convention.
Sara Andrews Spencer illustrated the evils arising from two codes of morality. Lillie Devereux Blake spoke upon trial by jury; Susan B. Anthony upon taxation without representation, illustrating her remarks by incidents of unjust taxation of women during the present year. Elizabeth Cady Stanton pictured the aristocracy of sex and the evils arising from manhood suffrage. Judge Esther Morris, of Wyoming, said a few words in regard to suffrage in that territory. Phoebe Couzins, with great pathos, told of woman's work in the war. Margaret Parker, president of the women's suffrage club of Dundee, Scotland, and of the newly formed International W.C.T.U., declared this was worth the journey across the Atlantic.
Lillie Devereux Blake
. . . The Hutchinsons were present and in their best vein interspersed the
speeches with appropriate and felicitous songs. Lucretia Mott did not confine herself to a single speech but, in Quaker style, whenever the spirit moved made many happy points. As her sweet and placid countenance appeared above the pulpit, the Hutchinsons burst into, "Nearer, My God, to Thee." The effect was marvellous; the audience at once arose, and spontaneously joined in the hymn. For five long hours of that hot midsummer day, that crowded audience listened earnestly to woman's demand for equality of rights before the law. When the meeting at last adjourned, the Hutchinsons singing, "A Hundred Years Hence," it was slowly and reluctantly that the great audience left the house.
Miss Anthony proceeded to carry out her cherished plan of writing the history
of the woman's rights movement. She had sent the most peremptory orders to Mrs. Stanton not to make a lecture engagement before December 1, so that in August, September, October and November they might prepare this history. She then shipped to Mrs. Stanton's home several large trunks and boxes full of letters, reports and various documents which she had carefully preserved during the past quarter of a century, and the first day of August they set to work. The entries in the diary for the next two months give some idea of her state of mind:
Anthony and Stanton
"I am immersed to my ears and feel almost discouraged.... The work before me is simply appalling.... The prospect of ever getting out a satisfactory history grows less each day.... Would that the good spirits in my own brain would come to the rescue!... O, these old letters! It makes me sad and tired to read them over, to see the terrible strain I was under every minute then, have been ever since, am now and shall be, I think, the rest of my life."
On August 24 occurred the death of Paulina Wright Davis and, at the husband's request, Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton spoke at the funeral. The former felt that again she had lost a friend who never could be replaced. Mrs. Davis was a woman of beauty, culture, wealth and social position and a life-long advocate of woman suffrage. In October the dear cousin Anson Lapham passed away, and in the diary that night was written: "No man except my father ever gave me such love and confidence, and his acts were equal to his faith."
. . . She lectured through February and March, but by this time her sister, Mrs. Hannah Mosher, whose failing health had sent her to Kansas in the hope of benefit, was declared by the physicians beyond recovery. Miss Anthony's first impulse was to hasten to her side, but she was confronted with her lecture engagements and told that it would be impossible to release her until May. She was almost desperate to be with the loved one and at last could bear it no longer, so telegraphing Mr. Slayton to cancel everything after April 5, regardless of consequences, she took the train at Chicago and reached Leavenworth on the 7th. She found her sister rapidly declining with the same inexorable disease which had claimed another four years before, and at once installed herself beside the invalid, who was rejoiced indeed to have her companionship and ministrations. All that loving hands could do she had had from husband, children and brothers, but she had longed for the presence of her sister and it filled her with joy and peace. In just a week, though her heart was breaking,Miss Anthony was obliged to return to Illinois to fill four or five engagements in places which threatened claims for damages if this were not done.
She hastened back to Leavenworth, reaching the bedside of her sister at midnight, April 20, and scarcely leaving it a moment until the end came, May 12. Between herself and this sister, just nineteen months younger, beautiful in character and strong in affection, there ever had existed the closest sympathy.
. . . The legislature of Colorado had submitted the question of woman suffrage to be voted on October 2, 1877, and notwithstanding the lucrative business under the lyceum bureau, Miss Anthony could not resist offering her services to the women of Colorado with their little money and few speakers. From Dr. Alida C. Avery, president of the State Suffrage Association, came the quick response: "Your generous proposal was duly received, and laid before the executive committee, who resolved that the thanks of the association be tendered you for your friendly offer, which we gratefully accept."
Although inured to hardship, Miss Anthony found this Colorado campaign the most trying she ever had experienced, not excepting that of Kansas ten years before. The country was new, many of the towns were off the railroad among the mountains and in most of them woman suffrage never had been heard of; there was no one to advertise the meetings, nobody to meet her when she reached her destination, hotels were of the most primitive nature and there were few public halls. . . .
To reach Del Norte Miss Anthony rode sixty-five miles by stage over a vast, arid tract evidently once the bed of an inland sea, but the terrible discomforts of the journey were almost overlooked in the enjoyment of the magnificent scenery. She travelled all the next night; at Wagon Wheel Gap the stage stopped for a while and, taking a cup, she went alone down to the river, drank of its icy waters and stood a long time absorbed in the glory of the moonlight on the mountain peaks. In all this weary journey of two days, she was the only woman in a stage filled with men. When she reached Lake City she was delightfully entertained, finding her hostess to be a college graduate, and spoke in the evening from a dry-goods box on the courthouse steps to an enthusiastic audience of a thousand persons.
Del Norte Peak
Ouray was the next place marked on the route sent her, but to reach it would require a ride of fifty miles over a dangerous mountain trail or a three days' journey of 150 miles around, for which she must hire a private conveyance, so she gave it up. She rested one whole day and night and started at 6 A.M. on a buckboard for the next place, wound around the mountainsides by the picturesque Gunnison river, and reached her destination at 5 o'clock. She found a disbeliever of equal rights in her landlady, whom she describes as "a weak, silly woman and a wretched cook and housekeeper." To be an opponent of suffrage and a poor housekeeper Miss Anthony always regarded as two unpardonable sins. The husband, however, intended to vote for it.
At the next stopping-place her hostess was a cultured woman, her house neatly kept and meals well-cooked, and she wanted to vote. The husband in this case was violently opposed and expected to cast his ballot against the amendment. Thus it is that wives are "represented by their husbands."
On she went, over mountain and through canyon, across the "great divide," sometimes having large audiences, more often only a handful, and enduring every possible hardship in the way of travel, sleep and food. At Oro City she
lectured in a saloon, as she had done at a number of places, and Governor Routt, happening to be in town, stood by her and spoke also in favor of woman suffrage.
At many places she slept on a straw-filled tick laid on planks, with sometimes a "corded" bed for a luxury. A door with a lock scarcely ever was found. Once she had a room with a board partition which extended only half-way up, separating it from one adjoining where half a dozen men slept. It is hardly necessary to say that this was a wakeful night and the dawn was hailed with rejoicing.
At Leadville the gold fever was at its height and she spoke in a big saloon to the
roughest crowd she had encountered. They were good-natured, however, and when they saw she was coughing from the tobacco smoke, put out their pipes and made up for the sacrifice by more frequent drinks.
At Fair Play she found the Democratic editor had placarded the town with bills announcing in big letters: "A New Version! Suffrage! Free Love in the Ascendency. Anthony! On the Gale Tonight." The citizens were indignant, there was a large and respectful audience, Miss Anthony was introduced by Judge Henry and resolutions were unanimously passed denouncing the posters.
Fair Play, Colorado
On election day, her work finished, she started on a stage ride of eighty-five miles to Denver. . . . At Denver she met Margaret Campbell, of Iowa, and Matilda Hindman, of Pennsylvania, who also had been campaigning in Colorado. They had an amusing time comparing notes, but as Mrs. Campbell had travelled in her own carriage with her husband, and Miss Hindman had spoken mostly in towns along the railroad, their experiences had been less picturesque and less harrowing. She also met here Abby Sage Richardson, who was giving a course of readings in Denver. It was in this locality that her sister Hannah had spent many weary weeks the year
before, seeking for health, and Miss Anthony hunted up every person who had known her, hoping each would recall some incident of her stay; visited every spot her sister had loved, and felt the whole place haunted with her hallowed memory.
. . . As Miss Anthony was still under contract with the lecture bureau, she was once more compelled to forego the satisfaction of attending the annual convention in Washington, January 8 and 9, 1878, but as in 1876 she sent $100 of the money she had worked so hard to earn. "It is not quite just to myself to do it," she wrote a friend, "but if the women of wealth and leisure will not help us, we must give both the labor and the money."
While this convention was a success as to numbers and enthusiasm, several things occurred which the ladies thought might have been avoided if Miss Anthony had been in command with her cool head and firm hand. Especially was this true in regard to a prayer meeting which some of the religious zealots, in spite of the most urgent appeals from the other members, persisted in holding in the reception room of the Capitol directly after a morning session of the convention. The affair itself was most inopportune but, to make it still worse, the cranks and bores who always are watching for an opportunity, gained control and turned it into a farce. In her disgust and wrath Mrs. Stanton wrote Miss Anthony:
"Mrs. Sargent and I did not attend the prayer meeting. As God has never taken
a very active part in the suffrage movement, I thought I would stay at home and get ready to implore the committee, having more faith in their power to render us the desired aid." . . . Virginia L. Minor sent this earnest plea: "Can not you and Mrs. Stanton, before another convention, manage in some way to civilize our platform and keep off that element which is doing us so much harm? I think the ship never floated that had so many barnacles attached as has ours.'"
. . . The entire year of 1878, with the exception of the three summer months, was spent in the lecture field. On July 19 Miss Anthony and other workers arranged a celebration at Rochester of the thirtieth anniversary of the first woman's rights convention. This was held in place of the usual May Anniversary in New York and was attended by a distinguished body of women. The Unitarian
church, in spite of the intense heat, was filled with a representative audience. The noble Quaker, Amy Post, now seventy-seven years old, who had been the leading spirit in the convention of thirty years before, assisted in the arrangements. The usual brilliant and logical speeches were made by Mrs. Mott, Mrs. Stanton, Miss Anthony, Mrs, Gage, Dr. Lozier, Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. Sargent, Frederick Douglass, Miss Couzins and others. . .
This was the last convention Lucretia Mott ever attended, and she had made the journey hither under protest from her family, for she was nearly eighty-six years old, but her devoted friend Sarah Pugh accompanied her. She spoke several times in her old, gentle, half-humorous but convincing manner and was heard with rapt attention. As she walked down the aisle to leave the church, the whole audience arose and Frederick Douglass called out with emotion, "Good-by, Lucretia."
|"FLOCKING FOR FREEDOM (They Saved the Ancient Capital; They Besiege the Modern)"|
Miss Anthony went to Tenafly with Mrs. Stanton for a few days, to aid in
disentangling the mass of material which was being prepared for the History; then started again into the lecture field, commencing at Skowhegan, Me. She lectured through New Hampshire and Vermont, taking long sleigh-rides from point to point, through wind and sleet, but comforted by the thought that many of her audience had done likewise to receive the gospel she preached.
Anthony and Stanton
On her way westward she stopped at home for one short day, the first for four months, and then started on the old route through the States of the Middle West, this year adding Kentucky to the list. It is not essential to a full appreciation of her work to follow in detail these tours, which extended through a number of years and were full of pleasant as well as disagreeable features; nor is it possible to quote extensively the comments of the press.
. . . On May 24, 1879, Miss Anthony received notice of the death of her old and revered fellow-laborer, Wm. Lloyd Garrison. She could not attend the funeral but wrote at once, saying in part:
"The telegrams of the last few days had prepared us for this morning's tidings that your dear father and humanity's devoted friend had passed on to the beyond, where so many of his brave co-workers had gone before; and where his devoted life-companion, your precious mother, awaited his coming.... It is impossible for me to express my feelings of love and respect, of honor and gratitude, for the life, the words, the works, of your father; but you all know, I trust, that few mortals had greater veneration for him than I. His approbation was my delight; his disapproval, my regret.... Blessed are you indeed, that you mourn so true, so noble, so grand a man as your loved and loving father."
In her diary that night she wrote: "I sent a letter, but how paltry it seemed compared to what was in my heart. Why can I not put my thought into words?"
The last of May she went home, having lectured and worked every day since the previous October. She records with much delight that she has now snugly tucked away in bank $4,500, the result of her last two lecture seasons. During the one just closed she spoke 140 nights, besides attending various conventions. This bank account did not represent all she had earned, for she always gave with a lavish hand. How much she has given never can be known, but in the year 1879, for instance, one friend acknowledges the receipt of $50 to enable her to buy a dress and other articles so that she can attend the Washington convention. Another writes: "I have just learned that the $25 you handed me to pay my way home from the meeting had been given you to pay your own." To an old and faithful fellow-worker, now in California, she sends by express a warm flannel wrapper. There is scarcely a month which does not record some gift varying from $100 in value down to a trinket for remembrance. Each year she contributed $100 to the suffrage work, besides many smaller sums at intervals, and the account-books show that her benefactions were many. She never spared money if an end were to be accomplished, and never failed to keep an engagement, no matter at what risk or expense. On several occasions she chartered an engine, even though the cost was more than she would receive for the lecture. As she was now approaching her sixtieth birthday, relatives and friends were most anxious that she should lay aside part of her earnings for a time when even her indomitable spirit might have to succumb to physical weakness, but she herself never seemed to feel any anxiety as to the future.
. . . During the decade from 1870 to 1880, there was a large accession ofFrances Elizabeth Willard was a temperance reformer and educator; she developed the slogan "Do everything" for the women of the WCTU to incite lobbying, petitioning, preaching, publication, and education. Her vision included federal aid to education, free school lunches, unions for workers, the eight-hour work day, work relief for the poor, municipal sanitation and boards of health, national transportation, strong anti-rape laws, and protections against child abuse.
valuable workers to the cause of woman suffrage and many new friends came into Miss Anthony's life. Among these were May Wright Sewall; the sisters, Julia and Rachel Foster; Clara B. Colby; Zerelda G. Wallace; Frances E. Willard; J. Ellen Foster; the wife and three talented daughters of Cassius M. Clay, Mary B., Laura and Sallie Clay Bennett; M. Louise Thomas; Elizabeth Boynton Harbert and others, who became her devoted adherents and fellow-workers, and whose homes and hospitality she enjoyed during all the years which followed.
Susan Anthony and Rachel Foster
Willard was born near Rochester, New York, but spent most of her childhood in Wisconsin. In the 1860s, Willard suffered a series of personal crises: both her father and her younger sister Mary died, and her brother became an alcoholic. Willard's family underwent financial difficulty due to her brother's excessive gambling and drinking. Willard eventually focused her energies on a new career, traveling the American East Coast participating in the women’s temperance movement. Her tireless efforts for women's suffrage and prohibition included a fifty-day speaking tour in 1874, an average of 30,000 miles of travel a year, and an average of four hundred lectures a year for a ten-year period.
In 1874, Willard participated in the creation of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) where she was elected the first corresponding secretary. In 1879 she sought presidency of the National WCTU and held the post until her death. As president of the WCTU, the crux of Willard’s argument for female suffrage was based on the platform of "Home Protection", which she described as
The movement...the object of which is to secure for all women above the age of twenty-one years the ballot as one means for the protection of their homes from the devastation caused by the legalized traffic in strong drink.These "devastations" were the violent acts against women committed by intoxicated men, both in and outside the home. Willard argued that it was too easy for men to get away with their crimes without women's suffrage. The "Home Protection" argument was used to garner the support of the "average woman," who was told to be suspicious of female suffragists by the patriarchal press, religious authorities, and society. The desire for "home protection" gave the average woman a socially appropriate avenue to seek out enfranchisement. Willard insisted that women must forgo the notion that they were the "weaker" sex and embrace their natural dependence on men. She encouraged women to join the movement to improve society, stating "Politics is the place for woman."
The health of Miss Anthony's mother was now so precarious that she did not
dare go far from home and a course of lectures was arranged for her through Pennsylvania by Rachel Foster, a young girl of wealth and distinction, who was growing much interested in the cause of woman and very devoted to Miss Anthony personally. Frequent trips were made to the home in Rochester through the inclement weather, and toward the last of March she saw that the end was near and did not go away.
The beloved mother fell asleep on the morning of April 3, 1880, the two remaining daughters by her side. She was in her eighty-seventh year, her long life had been passed entirely within the immediate circle of home, but her interest in outside matters was strong. The husband and children, in whatever work they were engaged, felt always the encouragement of her sanction and sympathy. Her ambition was centered in them, their happiness and success were her own; she was content to be the home-keeper, to have the house swept and garnished and the bountiful table ready for their return, finding a rich reward in their unceasing love and appreciation. . . . As the four children gathered about the still form and looked lovingly upon the placid face, they could not remember that she ever had spoken an unkind word. And so, with tenderness and affection, they laid her to rest by the side of the husband whose memory she had so faithfully cherished for eighteen years.
A month later Miss Anthony again set forth on the weary round, leaving her
sister Mary in the lonely house with two young nieces, Lucy and Louise, whose education she was superintending. Just before going she wrote to Rachel Foster:
Parlor of Anthony House
"Yes, the past three weeks are all a dream--such constant watching and care and anxiety for so many years all taken away from us! But my mother, like my father, if she could speak would bid us 'go forward' to greater and better work. She never asked me to stop at home when she was living, not even after she became feeble, but always said, 'Go and do all the good you can;' and I know my highest regard for her and for my father and sisters gone before will be shown by my best and noblest doing."
|Democratic National Convention in Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio|
After a lecture at Waynesburg, Penn., when she had gone to her train at 4 a.m. to find it an hour late, she wrote on the ticket-office shelf, by the light of a smoky lamp, this letter to her sister:
"Just three years ago this day was our dear Hannah's last on earth, and I can see her now sitting by the window and can hear her say, 'Talk, Susan.' I knew she wanted me to talk of the future meetings in the great beyond, all of them, as she often said, so certain and so beautiful to her; but they were not to me, and I could not dash her faith with my doubts, nor could I pretend a faith I had not; so I was silent in the dread presence of death.
"Three years—and yet what a living presence has she been in my thoughts all the days! There has been scarcely one waking hour that I have not felt the loss of her. We can not help trying to peer through the veil to find the certainty of things over there, but nothing comes to our eyes unless we accept the Spiritualistic testimony, which we can not wholly do.
"Well, only you and I are left of mother's four girls, and when and how we also shall pass on is among the unknown problems of the future. Of course I feel and know that your loss is far beyond mine; for never was there a child who so faithfully devoted herself to a mother, and made all other interests subserve that mother's happiness as did you, and I feel, too, that but for you I never could have done my public work."
. . . Miss Anthony was greatly disgusted with the action of the Republican and Democratic conventions . . . [in a September letter to Republican candidate James Garfield, she wrote:]
"The Republican party did run well for a season in the "line of liberty," but since 1870, its congressional enactments, majority reports, Supreme Court decisions, and now its presidential platform, show a retrograde movement—not only for women but for colored men—limiting the power of the national government in the protection of United States citizens against the injustice of the States, until what we gained by the sword is lost by political surrenders.
We need nothing but a Democratic administration to demonstrate to all Israel and the sun the fact, the sad fact, that all is lost by the Republican party. I mean, of course, the one vital point of national supremacy in the protection of United States citizens in the enjoyment of their right to vote, and the punishment of States or individuals thereof, for depriving citizens of the exercise of that right. . . . Grant did not protect the negro's ballot in the presidential election of 1876—Hayes can not in 1880—nor will Garfield be able to do so in 1884. . .
As Mrs. Stanton's health forbade her going on the lecture platform in the autumn of 1880, and as Miss Anthony had now enough money ahead to dare claim a little leisure from public work, they decided to settle down to the serious business of writing the History of Woman Suffrage. For this purpose Miss Anthony went to Tenafly in October and ensconced herself in Mrs. Stanton's cosy home among the "blue hills of Jersey." The work already was advanced far enough to show that it could not possibly be restricted to the one volume into which it had enlarged from the 500-page pamphlet at first intended, and the task loomed up in an appalling manner. . . . They went on with the work, delving among old papers and letters, compiling, cutting, pasting, writing and re-writing, sending over and over to the women of different States for local history, going into New York again and again to see the publishers, and performing all the drudgery demanded by such an undertaking, which can be appreciated only by the few who have experienced it.
Miss Anthony hated this kind of work and it was torture for her to give up her active life and sit poring over the musty records of the past. Her diary contains the usual impatient expressions of this feeling, and in her letters to friends she says:
"O, how tired and sick I am of boning down to facts and figures perpetually, and how I long to be set free from what to me has been a perfect prison for the last six months!"
She stuck to it with Spartan heroism, however, knowing that otherwise it never would be done, but she was not unwilling occasionally to sally forth and fill a lecture engagement or attend a convention. At the Rhode Island annual
meeting she made the principal address, and the next day went, with Mrs. J. Ellen Foster, to Danbury, Mass., to call on John G. Whittier. Almost his first words were, "And so our dear Lucretia Mott is gone!" She had died the evening before, November 11, aged nearly eighty-eight.
John Greenleaf Whittier
Miss Anthony had expected her death, but was inexpressibly grieved to lose from out her life that sweet presence which had been an inspiration for thirty years, whose staunch support had never failed, even when friends were fewest and fortune at its lowest ebb. In times of greatest perplexity she could slip down to the Philadelphia home for sympathy and encouragement, and there was always a corner in the pocketbook from which a contribution came when it was most needed. If ever any human character was without a flaw it was that of Lucretia Mott. Her motto was "Truth for authority, not authority for truth."
. . . On election day, prompted no doubt by the unconquered and unconquerable Miss Anthony, Mrs. Stanton made an effort to vote. This act created much excitement and called forth columns of comment in the newspapers, to the great amusement of the two conspirators in their quiet retreat.
Twice only did I personally meet Susan B. Anthony, although I knew her well. The first time was at Terre Haute, Indiana, my home, in 1880, and the last time shortly before her death at her home at Rochester, New York.
I can never forget the first time I met her. She impressed me as being a wonderfully strong character, self-reliant, thoroughly in earnest, and utterly indifferent to criticism.
There was never a time in my life when I was opposed to the equal suffrage of the sexes. I could never understand why woman was denied any right or opportunity that man enjoyed. Quite early, therefore, I was attracted to the woman suffrage movement. I had of course read of Susan B. Anthony and from the ridicule and contempt with which she was treated I concluded that she must be a strong advocate of, and doing effective work for, the rights of her sex.
It was then that I determined, with the aid of Mrs. Ida Husted Harper, the brilliant writer, who afterward became her biographer, to arrange a series of meetings for Miss Anthony at Terre Haute. In due course of time I received a telegram from Miss Anthony from Lafayette announcing the time of her arrival at Terre Haute and asking me to meet her at the station. I recognized the distinguished lady or, to be more exact, the notorious woman, the instant she stepped from the train. She was accompanied by Lily Devereaux Blake and other woman suffrage agitators and I proceeded to escort them to the hotel where I had arranged for their reception.
I can still see the aversion so unfeelingly expressed for this magnificent woman. Even my friends were disgusted with me for piloting such an “undesirable citizen” into the community. It is hard to understand, after all these years, how bitter and implacable the people were, especially the women, toward the leaders of this movement.
As we walked along the street I was painfully aware that Miss Anthony was an object of derision and contempt, and in my heart I resented it and later I had often to defend my position, which, of course, I was ever ready to do.
The meetings of Miss Anthony and her co-workers were but poorly attended and all but barren of results. Such was the loathing of the community for a woman who dared to talk in public about “woman’s rights” that people would not go to see her even to satisfy their curiosity. She was simply not to be tolerated and it would not have required any great amount of egging-on to have excited the people to drive her from the community.
To all of this Miss Anthony, to all appearance, was entirely oblivious. She could not have helped noticing it for there were those who thrust their insults upon her but she gave no sign and bore no resentment.
I can see her still as she walked along, neatly but carelessly attired, her bonnet somewhat awry, mere trifles which were scarcely noticed, if at all, in the presence of her splendid womanhood. She seemed absorbed completely in her mission. She could scarcely speak of anything else. The rights and wrongs of her sex seemed to completely possess her and to dominate all her thoughts and acts.
On the platform she spoke with characteristic earnestness and at times with such intensity as to awe her audience, if not compel conviction. She had an inexhaustible fund of information in regard to current affairs, and dates and data for all things. She spoke with great rapidity and forcefullness; her command of language was remarkable and her periods were all well-rounded and eloquently delivered. No thoughtful person could hear her without being convinced of her honesty and the purity of her motive. Her face fairly glowed with the spirit of her message and her soul was in her speech. But the superb quality, the crowning virtue she possessed, was her moral heroism.
The Thirteenth Annual Convention of the National Association opened January
18, 1881, Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the chair. The first session was devoted to a memorial service for Lucretia Mott. The stage was decorated with draperies and flowers and a large portrait of Mrs. Mott stood on an easel. . . . Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton went from Washington to the home of Mrs. Mott, where they were welcomed by her daughters, who sent for Sarah Pugh, and the old friends had a lovely day, made sacred by reminiscences of the dear one gone forever. For more than a quarter of a century this had been Miss Anthony's stopping-place when in Philadelphia, but she was welcomed at once into another beautiful home, that of the wife and daughters of J. Heron Foster, founder of the Pittsburgh Dispatch. All were deeply interested in the great question, and Julia and Rachel henceforth were ranked among the most earnest and valued workers.
Stanton and Anthony
. . . The first volume of The History of Women's Suffrage was issued in May, 1881, a royal octavo of 900 pages, bringing the record down to the beginning of the Civil War. . . .Nobody realized so well as the authors the imperfections of the work, but when one considered that it had to be gathered piecemeal from old letters, personal recollections, imperfect newspaper reports, mere scraps of material which never had been put into shape as to time and place, the result was remarkable. They were indeed correct in their assertion that no one but the actual participants ever could have described the early history of this movement to secure equal rights for women.
In response to many urgent letters written by Mrs. Stanton from England, and encouraged by friends at home who felt that she needed a long rest after more than thirty years of uninterrupted public work, Miss Anthony decided to make a trip abroad. As Rachel Foster contemplated a few years' study in Europe, the pleasant arrangement was made that she should undertake the financial management of the journey, act as interpreter and give Miss Anthony the care and attention her loving heart would suggest.
Miss Anthony's sixty-third birthday being near at hand, the friends in Philadelphia, led by the Citizens' Suffrage Association, Edward M. Davis, president, tendered her a reception, which circumstances rendered it necessary to hold on the 19th instead of the 15th of February. . . .The two ladies sailed from Philadelphia on the morning of February 23 . . .
Edward M. Davis
Rome, No. 75 Via Nazionale, March 22.
My Dear Sister: Here it is a whole month tomorrow since we took a last glimpse of each other and scarce a decent letter have I written you; but it is fearfully hard work to find the minutes. There is so much to tell, and the spelling and pronunciation of the names are so perfectly awful.... At Liverpool we drove two hours in the Princess and Sefton parks and then went to the city museum, where the most interesting things to us were the portraits of all the Bonapartes—men and women, old and young—Josephine's very lovely; and to the city library, which is free. There is also an immense free lecture hall, which was built for an aquarium but found impracticable, so it is an enormous circle, seated from the circumference down to the center, with a large platform at one side and every step and seat cut out of solid stone. Here the most learned men of the English colleges give free lectures, the city fund being ample to meet all expenses. The librarian, on hearing we were Americans, took great pains to show us everything. Of course when he said, "We have over 80,000 volumes," I asked, "Have you among them the History of Woman Suffrage, by Mesdames Stanton, etc., of America?" And lo, he had never heard of it!
Thursday morning we took train—second-class carriage—for London. Mrs. Stanton was at the station, her face beaming and her white curls as lovely as ever, and we were soon landed at our boarding-house. Lydia Becker came to dinner by Mrs. Stanton's invitation, so she was the first of England's suffrage women for us to meet. Friday afternoon we glanced into the House of Commons and happened to see Gladstone presenting some motion. Spent the evening chatting with Mrs. Stanton—a world of things to talk over....Saturday we went again to Bayswater to see Mrs. Rose—found her very lonely because of the death of her devoted husband a year ago. She threw her arms around my neck and her first words were: "O, that my heart would break now and you might close my eyes, dear Susan!" She is vastly more isolated in England because of her non-Christian views than she ever was in America. Sectarianism sways everything here more now than fifty years ago with us.
That afternoon I left for Basingstoke, the new home of darling Harriot Stanton,The Contagious Diseases Acts, also known as the CD Acts, were originally passed by Britain's Parliament in 1864. A committee had been established to inquire into venereal disease in the armed forces; on its recommendation the first Contagious Diseases Act was passed. The legislation allowed police officers to arrest prostitutes in certain ports and army towns, and the women were then subjected to compulsory checks for venereal disease. If a woman was declared to be infected, she would be confined in what was known as a Lock Hospital until "cured." The original act was only lawful in a few selected naval ports and army towns, but by 1869 the acts had been extended to be in operation in eighteen "subjected districts". The Act of 1864 stated that women found to be infected could be interned in locked hospitals for up to three months, a period gradually extended to one year with the 1869 Act. These measures were justified by medical and military officials as the most effective method to shield men from venereal disease. As military men were discouraged from marriage and homosexual behaviour was criminal, prostitution was considered a necessary evil.
now with Blatch suffixed. Her husband is a fine specimen of a young Englishman of thirty. Sunday morning he took me in a dog-cart through two gentlemen's parks, a pleasant drive through pasture and woodland, thousands of acres enclosed by a stone wall. When I said, "What a shame that all these acres should thus lie waste, while myriads of poor people are without an inch of ground whereon to set foot," he replied: "They would be no better off if all should be cut up into forty-acre farms and divided among the poor, for no man could possibly support a family upon one. The owners of these parks are actually reduced to poverty trying to keep them up." So you see it is of no use to talk of giving every Englishman a farm, when the land is so poor no one can make a living off of it. Of course this is not true of all England, but evidently its inhabitants must be fed from other countries. On our return I was conducted through the garden and green-house of Mr. Blatch's father, where I saw peach trees in blossom and grape vines budding. The tree-trunks were not larger than my arm and I exclaimed, "How many peaches can you get off these little trees?" "Why, last year, we had 250," said he. How is that by the side of our old farm harvest of 1,000 trees? And yet these English people talk as if they raised fruit!
Harriot Stanton Blatch
However, no provision was made for the examination of prostitutes' clientele, which became one of the many points of contention in a campaign to repeal the Acts. The issue exploded the debate over the double standards between men and women. Men were responsible for the demand for prostitutes, yet only women had to endure humiliating personal medical examinations and be contained in locked hospitals if found to be infected; women's reputations were threatened but not men's.
After 1866, proposals were introduced to extend the acts to the north of England and to the
Wednesday afternoon Mrs. Rebecca Moore, our old Revolution correspondent, took me to a meeting at Mrs. Müller's, about the Contagious Diseases Acts—fifty or sixty ladies present—was introduced, and several invited me to speak for them when I returned to London. Miss Rye, who has made between thirty and forty trips across the Atlantic with little girls, taking over more than 10,000 and placing them in good homes in Canada, was there and spoke. She said all her efforts could accomplish nothing in thinning out the more than 1,000,000 surplus women of the island. Not one seemed to dare speak out the whole of the facts and philosophy. Each promised, "I will not shock you by calling the names," etc. Mrs. Peter Taylor's reception that evening was an unusually brilliant affair. She is looked upon as the mother of the English movement, as Mrs. Stanton is of the American. She is a magnificent woman and acted the part of hostess most gracefully. Her husband is a member of Parliament. At eleven we went home and packed our trunks to be off for Rome on the morrow, half-regretting that we had planned to leave London....
Rome, March 23.
My Dear Sister: It is noon—Good Friday—and just set in for a steady rain, so I will give you the goings, seeings and sayings of our company since leaving London.... We started from Victoria Station—second-class carriage, no sleeper—for a three days' and two nights' journey to Rome. It looked appalling, even to so old a traveller as myself, but I inwardly said, "I can stand it if the younger ones can." The crossing of the straits of Dover was rough, the sea dashing over the sides of the boat, but Rachel and I went through the two hours without a quaver. At Calais we had the same good luck as at London—a compartment of the car all to ourselves. Here we were to be settled without change for that night and the next day, so with bags and shawl-straps, bundles, lunch-baskets and a peck of oranges, we adjusted ourselves. We breakfasted at Basle, after having pillowed on each other for the night as best we could. Now we were in the midst of the Jura mountains, and all day long we wound up and down their snowy sides and around the beautiful lakes nestling at their feet—through innumerable tunnels, one of them, the St. Gothard, taking twenty-three minutes—over splendid bridges and along lovely brooks and rivers.
We arrived at Milan at 7:50 p. m., when even the bravest of our party voted to stop over twenty-four hours and try the virtues of a Christian bed. Rachel and I shared a large old-fashioned room with a soap-stone stove, where we had a wood-fire built at once. (Remember that all the houses have marble floors and stairs, and are plastered on the stone walls, so they seem like perfect cellars.) We had two single bedsteads (I haven't seen any other sort on the continent) with the same bedclothes covering both. Our big room was lighted with just two candles! We "slept solid" till 8 a. m., when Rachel got out her Italian phrase-book, rang the bell and ordered a fire and hot water. After fairly good steak and coffee, we five began a day of steady sight-seeing.... In the evening we went to the station, and here found a wood-fire in a fireplace and monstrous paintings of Christ and the saints on the walls. All who had trunks had now to pay for every pound's weight. I had brought only my big satchel and shawl-strap. We were not so fortunate as to find a compartment to ourselves but had two ladies added to our number, while four or five men in the next one smoked perpetually and the fumes came over into ours. We growled but that availed nothing, as men here have the right of way. At Genoa the ladies left us—midnight—and two men took their places. These proved to be seafarers and could talk English, so we learned quite a bit from them. At ten we were halted and rushed in to breakfast.
Sunday afternoon we reached the Eternal City and came direct to the Pension Chapman, tired and hungry, but later went to St. John's Cathedral to vespers.... After dinner we were glad to lay ourselves away. We have a pleasant room, with windows opening upon a broad court and lovely garden and fountain. Monday we drove around the city for bird's-eye views from famous points. Such wonders of ruins upon ruins!
Sunday Evening.—It is of no avail that I try and try to write-when the sight-seeing is done for the day I am too tired.... Last evening the Coliseum was illuminated—a weird, wonderful sight. Today, Easter Sunday, I have seen crowds of people reverently kissing St. Peter's big toe. Tomorrow we go to Naples for a week and then return and finish Rome.
Naples, March 27.
Here we are, Rachel and I, at the Pension Brittanique, far up a high hill, in a room overlooking the beautiful bay of Naples. It is lovely, lovely! The little island of Capri, the city, the bold shores and mountain setting—a perfect gem.... We have a little bit of wood-fire with the smallest sticks—twigs we should call them—two sperm candles to light our bedroom and no matches except what we furnish. But 8 o'clock is here and we are all to meet for breakfast....Yesterday was a lovely May day, and our party drove to the village of Resina, which is built forty feet above the ruins of Herculaneum. There, with a guide, we descended a hundred steps and walked through the old theater, over the same stone stairs and seats which two thousand years ago were occupied by the gayest of mortals. Then we went to the ruins of Pompeii and ate our lunch under large old trees growing upon the debris left by the great eruption. We passed through the narrow streets, over stone pavements worn by the tread of long-buried feet, through palaces, public gardens and baths, temples, the merchants' exchange, customhouse and magnificent theater....
Rome, April 1.
Dear Brother D. R.: We have climbed Vesuvius. One feels richly paid when the puffing and exploding and ascending of the red-hot lava meet the ears and eyes. The mountains, the Bay of Naples, the sail to Capri and the Blue Grotto are fully equal to my expectations.... The squalid-looking people, however, and their hopeless fate make one's stay at any of these Italian resorts most depressing. Troops of beggars beset one all along the streets and roads, and with tradesmen there is no honesty. For instance, a man charged some twenty francs for a shell comb, then came down to seven, six, five, and finally asked, "What will you give?" I, never dreaming he would take it, said, "two francs," and he threw the comb into the carriage....
Our hotel here is an old monastery, and on one side of the court is the cathedral with its grotesque paintings. One becomes fairly sickened with the ghastly spectacle of the dead Christ. It is amazing how little they make of the living Christ.
. . . But we are back in Rome now and this forenoon we spent in the galleries of the Vatican. One is simply dazed with the wealth of marble—not only statuary, but stairs, pillars and massive buildings. We stop here till the 9th, then go to Florence.
It is good for our young civilization to see and study that of the old world, and observe the hopelessness of lifting the masses into freedom and freedom's industry, honesty and integrity. How any American, any lover of our free institutions based on equality of rights for all, can settle down and live here is more than I can comprehend. It will be only by overturning the powers that education and equal chances ever can come to the rank and file. The hope of the world is indeed in our republic; so let us work to make it a genuine democracy, where every citizen—woman as well as man—shall be crowned with the one symbol of equality—the ballot....
Rome, April 5.
My Dear Sister: How these anniversary days of our dear mother's illness and death bring back to me everything, even at this distance and amid these strange surroundings. How she would have enjoyed these sights because of her knowledge and love of history. She could have told the Bible story of every one of these great frescoes. What a woman she would have been, could she have had the opportunities of education and culture which her granddaughters are having....
This evening Rachel has gone to a friend's to study German so as to make our way with that nationality. What a jumble, that by just crossing an imaginary line one finds people who can't understand a word one says!
Zurich, April 23.
My Dear Sister: We spent Friday night at Milan—there took our last look at Italian cathedrals, as we did our first, and its own still holds highest place as to beauty. We left early next morning and very soon were among the Alps.... The eleven hours' stretch was tiresome and disgusting inside our compartment, with from three to five stalwart men puffing away at their pipes all day long, and at every station rushing out for a drink of wine or beer. Our only chance of a free breath was to open the window, and then all the natives were in consternation!
We reached Zurich at six and, after a splendid dinner of roast chicken, green peas and lettuce, took a cab and called on Elizabeth Sargent, who is studying medicine at the university, and found her very happy and glad to see us. In the afternoon we took a delightful drive, as it was too cold and misty for the lake excursion we had intended. The highest Alps are still lost to us by fog and clouds. . . .
Tuesday.—At Munich. We saw princes and princesses galore out driving this afternoon, but not the king. We leave tomorrow morning for Nuremberg, and reach Berlin Saturday, and there I hope to rest at least a week—but then the Emperor William must be seen, and lots of other curiosities.... If I could command the money, as soon as each of our girls graduated, I would take her first on a tour of her own continent and then through the old world, before she settled down to the hard work of life either in a profession or in marriage. Thus she would have much to think of and live over, no matter how heavy might be the burdens and sorrows of her after life....
Cologne, May 8.
My Dear Sister: We left Berlin yesterday morning after a delightful week with
the Sargents. I do not believe our nation ever has been represented at any foreign court by such genuine republican women, in the truest and broadest sense, as are Mrs. Sargent and her daughters. Mr. Sargent, too, touches the very height of democratic principle. Their association with monarchial governments and subjects but makes them love our free institutions the more.
Our last evening was spent with the Frau Dr. Liburtius—formerly Henriette Hirschfeldt—a practicing dentist in Berlin since 1869, who studied at the Philadelphia Dental College. No college in Germany will admit women. Frau Libertius is dentist for various members of the royal family as well as for the Sisters of Charity. She says there are no dental colleges in the world equal to those of America....
May 10.—At Worms—where Martin Luther made his glorious declaration for the right of private judgment. There is a magnificent monument in a beautiful square; Luther's is the central statue—a standing one; below, at the corners, are sitting Huss, Savonarola, Wycliffe and Peter Waldo, and on a still lower pedestal are four more worthies—one of them Melancthon.... We spent Tuesday at Cologne—visited the splendid cathedral and the church of St. Ursula. The latter contains the bones of 11,000 virgins martyred at Cologne in the fifth century. Whole broadsides of chapels are lined with shelves of skulls, which the noble ladies of the twelfth century partly covered with embroidery. Wednesday we took steamer up the Rhine at six in the morning and landed at Mayence at eight. It was a beautiful panorama, but not surpassing all others I have seen. The vine-clad hillsides, the ruins of the old castles (nothing like as many of them as I had thought) and the winding of the river were all very lovely. We visited the cathedral, the monuments of Gutenberg and Schiller, and then the fortress and the remains of a Roman monument erected nine years before Christ....
Heidelberg, May 11.
Dear Brother D. R.: As I clambered among the ruins of Heidelberg Castle
today, I wished for each of my loved ones to come across old ocean and look upon the remains of ancient civilization—of art and architecture, bigotry and barbarism. I am enjoying my "flying," though I would not again make such a rush, but I am getting a good relish for a more deliberate tour at some later day. All of life should not be given to one's work at home, whether that be woman suffrage, journalism or government affairs.
After being perpetually among people whose language I could not understand, it was doubly grateful to be in the midst of not only my countrymen but my dearest friends, and I enjoyed their society so much that I almost forgot there were any wonders to be seen in Berlin. But we did make an excursion to Potsdam—a jolly company of us, Mr. and Mrs. Sargent and their gifted daughter Ella, also the professor of Greek in your Kansas State University, Miss Kate Stephens. She interpreted the utterances of the ever-present guides, whose jabber was worse than Greek.
At Potsdam we were shown the very rooms in which Frederick the Great lived and moved and had his being, plotted and planned to conquer his neighbors. In the little church are myriads of tattered flags, taken in their many wars, and two great stone caskets in which repose the bodies of Frederick the Great and his father, Frederick William, peaceful in death, however warlike in life. We also visited the new palace where the present Emperor spends the summer. We saw parlors, dining-rooms, bedrooms, the plain, narrow bedstead the Emperor sleeps upon, the great workshop, in which are maps and all sorts of material for studying and planning how to hold and gain empires. I even peered into the kitchen and saw the pitchers, plates, coffee-pots and stew-pans. It was my first chance of a real mortal living look of things, so I enjoyed it hugely. There are rooms enough in these palaces for an army of people. All of these magnificent displays of wealth in churches, palaces and castles, citadels, fortifications and glittering military shows of monarchial governments, only make more conspicuous the poverty, ignorance and degradation of the masses; and all pleasure in seeing them is tinged with sadness.
Paris, May 20.
My Dear Mrs. Spofford: I have just come from a call on Mademoiselle Hubertine Auclert, editor of La Citoyenne. I can not tell you how I constantly long to be able to speak and understand French. I lose nearly all the pleasure of meeting distinguished people, because they are as powerless with my language as I with theirs. . .
Miss Foster has gone to London for presentation at Court. She had the "regulation" dress made in Berlin—cream-white satin, low neck, no sleeves at all, and a four-yard train!...
I have not decided when I shall go home, but before many months, for I long to be about the work that remains undone. The fact is, I am weary of mere sight-seeing. Amidst it all my head and heart turn to our battle for women at home. Here in the old world, with its despotic governments, its utter blotting out of woman as an equal, there is no hope, no possibility of changing her condition, so I look to our own land of equality for men, and partial equality for women, as the only one for hope or work.
Paris, May 24.
My Dear Rachel: I am glad to hear that you were not cheated out of teetering through the palace halls in front of the princess, and that you are not utterly prostrated by it.... I attended the suffrage meeting last evening, and heard and saw several men speak—well, I inferred from the cheering and shouting of "bravo!"
This afternoon I visited the tomb of Napoleon. It surpasses every mausoleum I have ever seen, not excepting that of Frederick the Third and Queen Louise in Berlin. It is well that his memory should be thus honored, for had he been born a hundred years later, when the march of civilization had pointed to some other goal to gratify his great nature than that of bloody conquest of empire, I believe he would have stood at the head of those who strive to make free and independent sovereigns of all men and all women. Everywhere here are reminders of the ravages of war, the madness of ignorance and unreason. I want to get away from them and their saddening associations. You will think I am blue. So I am, from having lived a purposeless life these three months. I don't know but the women of America, myself in particular, will be the greater and grander for it, but I can not yet see how this is to be....
London, June 7.
My Dear Sister: For the hundredth time I am going to beg you to shut up the house and come over here. It does seem as if now we two sisters, left so alone, ought to be able to travel and enjoy together. You can not know how I long to have you with me; it hurts every minute to think of you treading round and round, with never a moment of leisure or enjoyment. Surely you have given a mother's love and care to our nieces for eight years, and now you can let them go out from under your eye....
Rachel and I came up from Basingstoke on Sunday to attend a small reception at Mrs. Jacob Bright's. Her husband has championed woman suffrage in Parliament for years, and she has led the few who have dared say, "And married women, too, should have the franchise." When the powers that be forbade her to include married women in the Parliamentary Suffrage Bill now pending, Mrs. Bright withdrew and started a bill for their property rights, which was passed last session and is now in force.
Monday morning we went to Bedford Park and spent two hours at Moncure D.
Conway's. His charming wife read us what a delegate here from the American Unitarians says of Emerson, Alcott, Frothingham and George Ripley—that all are wearying of their early theories and theologies and returning to the old faith. Today I had an hour with William Henry Channing, and he virtually told me this was true of himself! I exclaimed: "Do you mean to say that you have returned to the belief in the immaculate conception of Jesus and in the miracles—that you no longer explain all these things as you used to do in your Bible readings at Rochester?" He replied: "I never disbelieved in miracles. Man's levelling and tunnelling the mountains is a miracle." Well, I was stunned and left. Even if all these grand men, in old age, or when broken in body, decide that the conclusions of their early and vigorous manhood were false, which shall we accept as most likely to be true—the strong or the weakened thought? It is very disheartening if we are so constituted that with our deepest, sincerest study we grope and dwell in error through our threescore and ten, and after those allotted years find all we believed fact to be mere hallucination. It is—it must be—simply the waning intellect returning to childish teachings.
That evening we visited the House of Commons and heard several members speak as we peeped through the wire latticework of the ladies' cage. The next afternoon we attended a large reception at Mrs. J. P. Thomasson's, daughter of Margaret Bright Lucas and wife of a member of Parliament. There we met the leading suffrage women. Wednesday morning I went to Tunbridge Wells—thirty miles—to see Mrs. Rose, who is trying the waters there in hope of relief.... I should have told you that I dined on Sunday with Margaret Lucas—John Bright's sister—and lunched today with Mrs. Mellen, mother-in-law of General Palmer, of Colorado, president of the Rio Grande R. R.—an elegant and wealthy woman.
London, June 22.
My Dear Sister: ... Sunday morning we went to hear Stopford Brooke, a seceder from the established church. I could see no diminution in the poppings up and down, nor in the intonings and singsongs, but when, after a full hour of the incantations, he came to his sermon on the Christian duty of total abstinence, he gave us a splendid one. Before commencing he said that, from his request the previous Sunday, twenty members out of his congregation of 600 came to the meeting to form a Church Total Abstinence Society, and ten of those made special and earnest protest against the formation of such a society! Can you imagine the chilliness of the spiritual air in that church as he laid down the Christian's duty of denying himself that he might save his fellow who had not the power to drink moderately?
London, July 19.
My Dear Rachel: ... I am to attend a suffrage meeting at the Westminster Palace Hotel Hall this afternoon, and tomorrow at 10:25 a. m. I start for Edinburgh with Mrs. Moore. I am bound to suck all the honey possible out of everybody and everything as they come to me or I go to them.
It is such unwisdom, such unhappiness, not to look for and think and talk of the best in all things and all people; so you see at threescore and three I am still trying always to keep the bright and right side up.
Edinburgh, July 22.
My Dear Sister: Here I am in Huntley Lodge, the delightful home of Mrs.
Elizabeth Pease Nichol, whose name we so often used to see in the Liberator and the Anti-Slavery Standard, and of whom we used to hear from Mr. Phillips and others who had visited England. We had a most cordial welcome from Mrs. Nichol—a queenly woman. She is now seventy-seven, and lives in this handsome house, two miles from the center of the city, with only her servants.... Mrs. Nichol has gone to her room to rest and Mrs. Moore and I are writing in the little, sunny southeast parlor. I have an elegant suite of three rooms, the same Mr. Garrison occupied when he visited here in 1867 and in 1877. Mrs. Nichol is one of the few left of that historic World's Anti-Slavery Convention of 1840. We are going to a "substantial tea" with Dr. Agnes McLaren, daughter of Duncan McLaren. She is very bright—spent four years in France studying her profession—has a good practice, takes a house by herself, and invites to it her friends. So many young Englishwomen are doing this, and indeed it is a good thing for single women to do.
Elizabeth Pease Nichol
The suffrage society—Eliza Wigham, president, Jessie M. Wellstood, secretary—has invited a hundred or more of the friends to an afternoon tea on Tuesday next in honor of my visit, and I am to make a brief speech, so what to say and how to say it come uppermost with me again....
Ballachulish Hotel, August 13.
My Dear Sister: Miss Julia Osgood and I are here, waiting for sunshine.... While in Edinburgh Mrs. Nichol drove us out to Craigmillar Castle, where I saw the very rooms in which Queen Mary lived. We bought for a shilling a basket of strawberries plucked—no, "pulled"—the old man who sold them said, from the very garden in which berries and vegetables were "pulled" for Queen Mary three hundred years ago. One evening Professor Blackie, of the Edinburgh University, dined with Mrs. Nichol. At my reception he had said he did not want to "see refined, delicate women going down into the muddy pool of politics," and I asked him if he had ever thought that, since the only places which were too filthy for women were those where men alone went, perhaps they might be so from lack of women. At dinner Mrs. Nichol rallied him on the report that he had been converted, and he admitted that it was true; so as he was leaving I said, "Then I am to reckon an Edinboro' professor among my converts?" He seized my hand and kissed it, saying, "I'll seal it with a kiss." Don't be alarmed—he is fully eighty years of age but blithe and frolicsome—sang and acted out a Scotch war-song in the real Gaelic.
On August 1 we saw 200 medical students capped—and not a woman among them, because the powers ruled that none should be admitted. That afternoon we called on Professor Masson, a great champion of co-education. We took tea with Mrs. Jane and Miss Eliza Wigham. The stepmother, now eighty-two, was Jane Smeale in 1840. In their house have visited Henry C. Wright, Parker Pillsbury, and of course Mr. Garrison. . . .
Tuesday at 2 o'clock Miss Osgood and I landed at Stirling. At 4:30 we reached Callander, where I found no trunk, and not a man of them could give a guess as to its whereabouts. They give you no check here, but just stick a patch on your trunk. I had expected not to find it at every stop, and now it was gone for sure; but the station-master was certain he could find it and forward it to me, so he wrote out its description and telegraphed in every direction. Meanwhile we went to a hotel for luncheon and there in the hall was my trunk! Nobody knew why or how it got there and all acknowledged our American check system superior. I was raging at their stupidity, and no system at all, but laughingly said, "You ought to send this trunk free a thousand miles to pay for my big scold at you." The man good-naturedly replied, "Where will you have it sent?" I answered "Oban," and he booked it.
At 6 o'clock we took the front seat with the driver on a great high stage which we mounted by a ladder—they call the stage the "machine"—and drove a few miles to the Trossachs Hotel, past Loch Achray and Loch Vennachar.... While the rain rested this noon I took a walk up the ravine and it seemed very like going up the mountain at Grandfather Anthony's. Indeed, there is nothing here more beautiful than we have in America, only everything has some historic or poetic association....
Bruntsfield Lodge, Whitehouse Loan, Edinburgh, August 23.
My Dear Sister: Here am I, back in Edinboro' again, at Dr. Jex-Blake's delightful home—at least one hundred and fifty years old, with an acre or more of garden all enclosed with a six-foot wall. Lodge means a walled-in house; loan means lane, and the street took its name from a white house which two hundred and fifty years ago stood in this road. Every day the doctor has taken me a long and beautiful ride in her basket-carriage, driving her own little pony, White Angel, or her hay horse, while her boy-groom rides in his perch behind. Today she drove me through Lord Rosebery's park of thousands of acres. It is lovely as a native forest—the roads macadamized all through—and a palace-like residence set deep within....
Ambleside, August 27.
My Dear Sister: Last Thursday I left Edinburgh for Penrith, which has a fine view of the lake and the hills beyond. Next morning I took steamer at Pooley Bridge. The trip the whole length of the lake was beautiful, but can not compare with Lake George—indeed, nothing I have seen equals that—but the hills (mountains, they call them here), the water and the sky all were lovely. At Patterdale I had a cup of tea, with bread and butter and the veritable orange marmalade manufactured at Dundee. Thence I took a stage over Kirkstone Pass, and walked two miles up the hills to a small hotel with a signboard saying it is the highest inhabited house in England, 1,114 feet above the sea—not very much beside Denver's 6,000 and others in Colorado 10,000 or 12,000. Arrived at Ambleside to find the hotel overflowing, so they sent me to a farmer's house where I had a good bed, splendid milk and sweet butter. Saturday morning I went by coach to Coniston, then railway to Furness Abbey, a seven-hundred-year-old ruin of magnificent proportions. After four hours there, I took a train to Lakeside and then steamer up Lake Windermere back to Ambleside. The hotel still being full, "the Boots," as they call the porter or runner, found me lodgings at a private house, where I am now. It is the tiniest little stone cottage, but they have a cow, so I am in clover. My breakfasts consist of a bit of ham, cured by the hostess, a boiled egg, white and graham bread with butter and currant jam, and a cup of tea.
Saturday evening I strolled out and entered the gate of Harriet Martineau's home. On the terrace I met the present occupants, Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Hills. They invited me to call in the morning, when they would be happy to show me over the house. In naming the hour they said: "We never go to church—we are Liberal Friends—real Friends." At that I immediately felt at home with them. I called and spent two hours sitting and chatting in the drawing-room where Harriet Martineau received her many distinguished guests, and in the kitchen saw the very same table, chairs and range which were there when she died, and sitting on the door sill was the same black-and-yellow cat, said to be fourteen years old now. The Hills invited me to 5 o'clock tea, which we took in the library, where Miss Martineau used to sit and study as well as entertain her guests at dinner. It seemed impossible to realize that I was actually in her house. It is not large and is covered with ivy, which grows most luxuriantly everywhere. It fronts on a large field, much lower than the knoll on which it stands, and fine hills stretch off beyond. The old gardener, who has been here more than thirty years, still lives in a little stone cottage just under the terrace.
Dublin, September 10.
My Dear Sister: I stayed in Belfast some days, and visited the Giant's Causeway
with Miss Isabella Tod, amidst sunshine and drenching showers; still it was a splendid sight, fully equal to Fingal's Cave. The day before, we went nearly one hundred miles into the country to a village where she spoke at a temperance meeting. Here we were guests of the Presbyterian minister—a cousin of Joseph Medill, of the Chicago Tribune—and a cordial greeting he and his bright wife gave me. They have three Presbyterian churches in that one little village. All welcomed the woman speaker most kindly, but not a person could be urged to vote down the whiskey shops, as these are licensed by a justice of the peace, appointed by the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, who receives his appointment from the Queen of England!
So all she could ask was that every one should become a total abstainer. I do not see how they can submit to be thus voiceless as to their own home regulations.
Saturday I took tea with Mrs. Haslam, a bright, lovely "come-outer" from the Friends. She had invited some twenty or thirty to be present at eight, and I spoke, they asking questions and I answering. Among them were a son of the Abolitionist Richard D. Webb, and ever so many nephews and nieces. Eliza Wigham's brother Henry and his wife had come ten miles to be there.
Cork, September 16.
My Dear Sister: Your heart would break if you were here to see the poverty and rags, and yet the people seem cheerful under it all. Something surely must be wrong at the root to bear such fruit. I have had an awfully "hard side of a board time" of ten hours in a third-class car, paying therefor just as much as I would on the N. Y. Central for a first-class ticket. I not only saved $4.25 by going third-class, but I saw the natives. Men, women, boys and girls who had been to the market towns with their produce were on the train, and to see them as they tumbled in toward evening, at town after town, one would think that whiskey and tobacco were the main articles they bought. Any number of men and boys, and at least four women, were drunk enough, and they brought bottles with them and added to their puling idiocy as they went on. Nothing short of a pig-sty could match the filth, but it is only in that class of cars that you see anything of the vast number of poor farmers and laborers. If they can not pay exorbitant rates, refined, educated men and women are thrust into pens and seated face to face with the smoking, drinking, carousing rabble. I have everywhere protested against this outrage and urged the women to demand that the railway companies should give them separate cars, with no smoking allowed.
During that time she met with Stanton, who was now spending much of her time abroad, and other British and European feminists to lay plans for what became the International Council of Women.Leamington, October 1.My Dear Rachel: I must have told you of my good times at Belfast with Miss Tod, who gave a reception for me and I had a welcome all round. Miss Osgood met me at Cork, and we went by rail to Macroom. Tuesday morning we visited the convent, nuns' schools, and the poorhouse with 400 helpless mortals, old and young; then took an Irish jaunting-car, and were driven some forty miles through "the Gap" to Glengariff. It rained almost all the way, much to our disgust. Next morning we packed into two great stages with thirty or more others, and started for the lakes of Killarney; but soon the rain poured again, and as we were losing so much of the scenery we stopped half-way at Kenmare. We visited the convent and the Mother Abbess showed us every cranny. Thirty girls were at work on beautiful Irish point and Limerick lace. These nuns have 400 pupils, and give 200 of the poorest their breakfast and lunch—porridge and a bit of bread. At two we took stage again, the sky looked promising, but alas! for half an hour it fairly poured. Then it grew lighter, and we got very fine views of hills and dales. Killarney is lovely....
Saturday I sauntered along the streets of Killarney, passed the market, and saw all sorts of poor humanity coming in with their cattle to sell or to buy. Many rode in two-wheeled carts without seat or spring, drawn by little donkeys, and nearly all the women and girls were bareheaded and barefooted. On the bridge I saw some boys looking down. I looked too and there was a spectacle—a ragged, bareheaded, barefooted woman tossing a wee baby over her shoulders and trying to get her apron switched around to hold it fast on her back. I heard her say to herself, "I'll niver do it," so I said, "Boys, one of you run down there and help her." At that instant she succeeded in getting the baby adjusted, and to my horror took up a bundle from the grass and disclosed a second baby! Then I went down. I learned that she had just come from the poorhouse, where she had spent six weeks, and before going further had laid her two three-weeks-old boys on the cold, wet grass, while she washed out their clothes in the stream. The clothing was the merest rags, all scrambled up in a damp bundle. She had heard her old mother was ill in Milltown and had "fretted" about her till she could bear it no longer, so had started to walk ten miles to her. I hailed a boy with a jaunting-car—told her to wait and I would take her home—got my luncheon—fed the boy's horse, bought lunch for boy and woman—and off we went, she sitting on one side of the car with her two babies, wet bundle, two milk bottles and rubber appendages, bare feet and flying hair, and I on the other, with the boy in front.
For a long way both babies cried; they were blue as pigeons, and had on nothing but little calico slips, no socks even. She had four children older than these—a husband who went to fairs selling papers and anything he could to support them all—and an aged father and mother who lived with them. She said if God had given her only one child, she could still help earn something to live on, but now He had given her two, she couldn't. When we reached Milltown I followed her home. It was in a long row of one-room things with a door—but no window. Some peat was smouldering under a hole in the roof called a chimney, and the place was thick with smoke. On the floor in one corner was some straw with a blanket on it, which she said was her bed; in another were some boards fastened into bed-shape, with straw packed in, and this belonged to her father and mother. Where the four other children, with the chickens and the pig, found their places to sleep, I couldn't see.
I went to the home of another tenant, and there again was one room, and sitting around a pile of smoking-hot potatoes on the cold, wet ground—not a board or even a flag-stone for a floor—were six ragged, dirty children. Not a knife, fork, spoon or platter was to be seen. The man was out working for a farmer, his wife said, and the evidences were that "God" was about to add a No. 7 to her flock. What a dreadful creature their God must be to keep sending hungry mouths while he withholds the bread to fill them!
London, October 27.
My Dear Sister: On Saturday, Mrs. Ford took me to Haworth, the home of the
Brontë sisters. It is a bleak enough place now, and must have been even more so forty or fifty years ago when those sensitive plants lived there. A most sad day it was to me, as I looked into the little parlor where the sisters walked up and down with their arms around each other and planned their novels, or sat before the fireplace and built air-castles. Then there were the mouldering tombstones of the graveyard which lies in front and at one side of the house, and the old church-pew, directly over the vault where lay their loved mother and two sisters. And later, when Emily and Anne and the erring brother Branwell had joined the others, poor Charlotte sat there alone. The pew had to be removed every time the vault was
opened to receive another occupant. Think of those delicate women sitting in that fireless, mouldy church, listening to their old father's dry, hard theology, with their feet on the cold, carpetless stones which covered their loved dead. It was too horrible! Then I walked over the single stone pathway through the fields toward the moor, opened the same wooden gates, and was, and still continue to be, dipped into the depths of their utter loneliness and sadness, born so out of time and place. How much the world of literature has lost because of their short and ill-environed lives, we can guess only from its increased wealth in spite of all their adverse conditions.
. . . Miss Anthony's nine-months' trip abroad had been spent in Great Britain. To her all the other attractions of the old world were as nothing compared with its living, breathing humanity. On the continent she was deprived of any exchange of thought with its people because she spoke no language but her own, and this made her prefer England; but there was another and a stronger interest—the great progressive movement which was going forward in regard to woman. Here she found women of fine intellect and high social position engaged in the same work to which she had given more than thirty years of her own life; and here she met sympathy and recognition which would have been impossible in any other country in Europe.
. . . The Washington correspondent of the Cleveland Leader thus began a long interview:
"Susan B. Anthony is back from Europe, and is here for the winter's fight in behalf of woman suffrage. She seems remarkably well, and has gained fifteen pounds since she left last spring. She is sixty-three, but looks just the same as twenty years ago. There is perhaps an extra wrinkle in her face, a little more silver in her hair, but her blue eyes are just as bright, her mouth as serious and her step as active as when she was forty. She would attract attention in any crowd. She is of medium height and medium form but her face is wonderfully intellectual, and she moves about like the woman of a purpose that she is. "
Sunday, February 3, 1884, Miss Anthony read in the morning papers of the sudden death of Wendell Phillips. He had been to her always the one being without a peer, the purest, sweetest, best of men. The news overwhelmed her with grief and she wrote at once to Robert Purvis:L&WofSBA:
"How cut down I am at the telegram, 'Wendell Phillips is dead,' and I know you are equally so. I hope you can go on to Boston to the funeral, and help tenderly to lay away that most precious human clay. Who shall say the fitting word for Wendell Phillips at this last hour as lovingly and beautifully as he has done so many, many times for the grand men and women who have gone before him? There seem none left but you and Parker Pillsbury to pour out your souls' dearest love in his memory. Would that I had the tongue of an angel and could go and bear my testimony to the grandeur of that noblest of God's works! I can think of no one who can rightly and fully estimate that glorious character. What a sad hour for his beloved wife! He said to me on my last visit: 'My one wish has come to be that I may live to bury Ann.' He doubtless knew of his impending disease of the heart. . . .
She could not stay away and, inclement as was the weather, went to Boston three days later to look for the last time upon the loved face.
. . . In August occurred the death of Sarah Pugh, the gentle Quaker and staunch Abolitionist, her old and faithful friend. It was followed by that of Frances D. Gage a few months later; and in December passed away the true and helpful ally, William Henry Channing. Each left a void in her heart, and yet the memory of these great souls impelled to renewed effort.
The Seventeenth National Convention which met as usual in Washington, January 20, 1885. . . . It was in this convention that the resolution denouncing dogmas and creeds was introduced by Mrs. Stanton, and caused much commotion and heated argument. Miss Anthony opposed it, saying:
"I object to the words 'derived from Judaism.' It does not matter where the dogma came from. I was on the old Garrison platform, and found long ago that the settling of any question of human rights by people's interpretation of the Bible is utterly impossible. I hope we shall not go back to that war. We all know what we want, and that is the recognition of woman's perfect equality. We all admit that such recognition never has been granted in the centuries of the past; but for us to begin a discussion here as to who established this injustice would be anything but profitable. Let those who wish go back into their history, but I beg it shall not be done on our platform."
The public, which always longed for a sensation at these suffrage conventions and was disappointed if it did not come, seized upon this resolution, and press and pulpit made it a text. The following Sunday W. W. Patton, D. D., president of Howard University, preached in the Congregational church of Washington a sermon entitled, "Woman and Skepticism." He took the ground that as soon as women depart from their natural sphere they become skeptical if not immoral. He gave as examples Hypatia, Madame Roland, Harriet Martineau, Frances Power Cobbe and George Eliot! Then turning his attention to America he said that "the recent convention of woman suffragists gave evidence of atheism and immorality," and that "Victoria Woodhull was the representative of the movement in this country." And this when Mrs. Woodhull had not been on the suffrage platform for thirteen years!
Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton occupied front seats and at the close of the sermon went forward, shook hands with the preacher and Miss Anthony remarked earnestly: "Doctor, your mother, if you have one, should lay you across her knee and give you a good spanking for that sermon." "O, no," said Mrs. Stanton quickly, "allow me to congratulate you. I have been trying for years to make women understand that the worst enemy they have is in the pulpit, and you have illustrated the truth of it." Then, while the great divine was trying to recover his breath, they walked out of the church.
. . . Apropos of this discussion, an amusing anecdote is related of Miss Anthony. When confronted, in an argument, with the passage of scripture, "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands," etc., she replied: "Gentlemen, no one objects to the husband being the head of the wife as Christ was the head of the church—to crucify himself; what we object to is his crucifying his wife."
. . . Early in June Miss Anthony slipped away from the work long enough to go to the Progressive Friends' meeting at Kennett Square, Penn., where she was the guest of Deborah Pennock and met, for the first time, Sarah J. Eddy. In her diary she says: "Last evening as I sat on the sofa Miss Eddy put her arms around me and said, 'I am so glad I love you; I should have felt very sorry if I had not.' And so should I, for the sake of her dear mother and grandfather, who had so much confidence in me." The two went on to New York together and then over to Mrs. Stanton's for a little visit, and the friendship formed at that time has been maintained ever since. Later when Miss Eddy was going to Rochester to a convention, Miss Anthony wrote Mrs. Hallowell: "I am sure you would be glad to entertain her; she is a sweet, lovely little woman; thoroughly sympathizing with everything and everybody that suffers injustice. I am very sorry that sister Mary and I must be away and can not have the dear girl with us."
. . . On November 12 Mrs. Stanton's seventieth birthday was celebrated by a
large reception held in the parlors of Dr. Lozier in New York, where Mrs. Stanton read a charming paper on "The Pleasures of Old Age." Her daughter, Harriot Stanton Blatch, sent the following bright and breezy message:
"How I wish I could give my congratulations in the flesh! Distance is the foe of love. Kiss dear Susan and let her kiss you for me. On November 12 I shall think of you both, for you two are not easily separated in my mind, and there will be a tenderness in my thoughts and a thankfulness that you both have lived. In your worries over the History, remember that at least one woman appreciates the fact that her life has been made easier because of your combined public work. You ought to be overflowing with gratitude for each other's existence, for neither without the other would have achieved the work you have accomplished. Every day of your lives let your hearts praise the good fortune that brought you together. Friendship is the grandest relation in the world, and I feel infinitely blessed in having two such women as friends. You and dear Susan are not yet to be sainted; you have no end of work in you still, and must labor on for many a long year, and gain many a triumphant victory."
. . . Miss Anthony started for Washington toward the last of January, 1886, with a lighter heart than she had possessed for many years. The dreadful burden of the labor on the History was lifted, all the bills were paid, she had given a helping hand to several of the old workers, which made her very happy, and she had one or two good dresses in her trunk. There was nothing which the paragrapher who hated what Miss Anthony represented, liked so well as to make disagreeable flings at her clothes, and yet it is an indisputable fact of history that she was one of the most perfectly dressed women on the platform, although her tastes were very plain and simple. A lady once wrote her asking if it would not be possible to make the suffrage conventions a little more æsthetic, they were so painfully practical. She sent the letter to Mrs. Stanton, who commented:
"Well now, perhaps if we could paint injustice in delicate tints set in a framework of poetical argument, we might more easily entrap the Senator Edmunds and Oscar Wilde types of Adam's sons. Suppose at our next convention all of us dress in pale green, have a faint and subdued gaslight with pink shades, write our speeches in verse and chant them to a guitar accompaniment. Ah me! alas! how can we reform the world æsthetically?"
. . . In July she went as the guest of her friend Adeline Thomson, of Philadelphia, for two weeks at Cape May and here had her first experience in sea-bathing, although she always had lived within a short distance of the ocean. She says: "This is my first seaside dissipation. It seems very odd to be one of the giddy summer resort people!" She took Miss Thomson with her up into the Berkshire hills of northwestern Massachusetts to Adams, her birthplace, and visited the home of her grandfather. In the early days of her peregrinations she used to come often to this picturesque spot, but it now had been twenty years since her last visit. Time does not bring many changes to the New England nooks or the people who live in them, and she greatly enjoyed the nine days spent with uncles, aunts and cousins, exploring the well-remembered spots.
. . . During this summer Miss Anthony undertook to arrange her many years' accumulation of letters, clippings, etc., and knowing her reluctance ever to destroy a single scrap, Mrs. Stanton wrote from Paris:
"I am glad to hear that you have at last settled down to look over those awful papers. It is well I am not with you. I fear we should fight every blessed minute over the destruction of Tom, Dick and Harry's epistles. Unless Mary, on the sly, sticks them in the stove when your back is turned, you will never diminish the pile during your mortal life. (Make the most of my hint, dear Mary.)"
It is safe to say it was just as large at the end of the examination as at the beginning.
. . . It had long been the dream of Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton to form an International Suffrage Association for purposes of mutual helpfulness and the strength of co-operation. During 1883, when in Great Britain, they discussed this subject with the women there and, as a result, a large committee of correspondence had been established to promote the forming of such an association. After a time it was judged expedient to enlarge its scope and make it an International Council, which should represent every department of woman's work.
This was called to meet at Washington in 1888, the fortieth anniversary of the first organized demand for the rights of women, the convention at Seneca Falls, and active preparations had been in progress for more than a year. It was decided at the suffrage convention held the previous winter that the National Association should assume the entire responsibility for this International Council and should invite the participation of all organizations of women in the trades, professions, reforms, etc.
Mrs. Stanton and Mrs. Spofford were in Europe and this herculean task was
borne principally by Miss Anthony, May Wright Sewall and Rachel Foster. Miss Anthony stayed in Washington for two months preceding the council, perfecting the last arrangements. The amount of labor, time, thought and anxiety involved in this year of preparation can not be estimated. Nothing to compare with it ever had been attempted by women. Not the least part of the undertaking was the raising of the $13,000 which were needed to defray expenses, all secured by personal letters of appeal and admission fees, and disbursed with careful economy and judgment. The intention was to give the suffrage association the same prominence as other organizations. . .
In response to her letter asking him to take part on Pioneer Day, Frederick Douglass wrote:
"I certainly shall, if I live and am well. The cause of woman suffrage has under it a truth as eternal as the universe of thought, and must triumph if this planet endures. I have been calling up to my mind's eye that first convention in the small Wesleyan Methodist church at Seneca Falls, where Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Mott and those other brave souls began a systematic and determined agitation for a larger measure of liberty for woman, and how great that little meeting now appears! It seems only yesterday since it took place, and yet forty years have passed away and what a revolution on this subject have we seen in the sentiment of the American people and, in fact, of the civilized world!
. . . The council opened Sunday, March 25, in Albaugh's new opera house, with
religious services conducted entirely by women, Revs. Phebe A. Hanaford, Ada C. Bowles, Antoinette Blackwell, Amanda Deyo, and a matchless sermon by Rev. Anna H. Shaw, "The Heavenly Vision." . . . Among the social courtesies extended to this distinguished body of women, were a reception at the White House by President and Mrs. Cleveland; handsome entertainments by Senator and Mrs. Leland Stanford, and Senator and Mrs. T. W. Palmer; a reception at the Riggs House; many smaller parties, dinners and luncheons; and numerous social gatherings of women doctors, lawyers, etc. At all of the large functions Miss Anthony, Mrs. Stanton and Lucy Stone stood at the left hand of the hostess, while the other officials and the foreign delegates were also in the "receiving line." At the White House Miss Anthony made the presentations to the President. . . .
Anna Howard Shaw
"I remember when I was dreadfully afraid of Susan, and Lucy too; but now I love and honor them, and I can not put into words my sense of what it means to me to have the blessing of these women who have made it possible for more timid ones like myself to come forward and take our part in the world's work. If they had not blazed the trees and pioneered the way, we should not have dared to come. If there is one single drop of chivalric blood in woman's veins, it ought to bring a tinge of pride to the face that Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Julia Ward Howe and these other grand women, our leaders and our foremothers, are here for us to greet; that they, who heard so much that was not agreeable, may hear an occasional pleasant word while they are alive."Rachel Foster shocked Anthony when she and her sister, Julia, adopted a baby girl in 1887. The news greatly distressed Susan B. Anthony who feared that this new responsibility would distract Avery's attention from working for the woman suffrage movement. In 1888, organizing the International Council of Women, Rachel met Cyrus Miller Avery, the son of a well-known Chicago NWSA member. They married in November 1888.
In this autumn of 1888, Miss Anthony received a severe shock in the announcement of the approaching marriage of Rachel Foster to Cyrus Miller Avery, of Chicago. He had attended the International Council the preceding spring with his mother, Rosa Miller Avery, known prominently in suffrage and other public work in Illinois. Here he had seen Miss Foster in her youth and beauty, carrying a large part of the responsibility connected with that important gathering, and had fallen in love with her at first sight. During her long life Miss Anthony had seen one young girl after another take up the work of woman's regeneration, fit herself for it, grow into a power, then marry, give it all up and drop out of sight. "I would not object to marriage," she wrote, "if it were not that women throw away every plan and purpose of their own life, to conform to the plans and purposes of the man's life. I wonder if it is woman's real, true nature always to abnegate self." Miss Foster had developed unusual ability and for a number of years had been Miss Anthony's mainstay in the suffrage work, and had grown very close into her heart; it is not surprising, therefore, that she learned of the coming marriage with dismay. She accepted the situation as gracefully as possible, however, and, although too far away to attend the wedding, sent most cordial wishes for the happiness of the newly-married.Anna Howard Shaw was a physician and one of the first ordained female Methodist ministers in the United States. She was born in England in 1847; at the age of four, her family emigrated to the United States and settled in Massachusetts. When she was twelve years old, her father took a claim of three hundred and sixty acres of land in the wilderness of northern Michigan and sent her mother and five young children to live there alone. Her mother had envisioned their Michigan home to be “an English farm,” and was devastated on their arrival to discover that it was actually a “forlorn and desolate” log cabin “in what was then a wilderness, 40 miles from a post office and 100 miles from a railroad.” Shaw became very active during this period, helping her siblings take care of their home and supporting her mother in her time of despair. Shaw chopped wood for the fireplace and dug a well. Shaw blamed her irresponsible father for "having given no thought to the manner in which [their family was] to make the struggle and survive the hardships." While her mother was overburdened with chores on the farm, her father in Massachusetts spent his time on the Abolition cause and other public movements of the day. The family's misfortunes grew worse: during the Civil War, her sister Eleanor died giving birth, and her brother Tom was wounded in battle. When Shaw was fifteen, she became a school teacher and, after her older brothers and father joined the army, she used her earnings to help support her family.
The year 1888 brought to Miss Anthony many honors, but it brought also the usual quota of the bereavements which come with every passing year when one nears threescore and ten. Her cherished friend, Dr. Clemence Lozier, had passed away; Edward M. Davis, whose faithful friendship never had failed, was no more; A. Bronson Alcott and his daughter Louisa had gone to test the truth of the new philosophy; and other dear ones had dropped out of the narrowing circle.
But as a partial compensation, there had come into her life some new friends who were destined, if not to fill the place of those who were gone, to make another for themselves in her affections and her labors quite as helpful and important. Chief among these was Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, who, from the time of the International Council, gave her deepest love and truest allegiance.
After the Civil War, she abandoned her teaching job and moved in with her married sister Mary in Big Rapids, Michigan, where she became a seamstress. Her preaching career began when she was inspired by Reverend Marianna Thompson, who supported her pursuit of an education. With Thompson's help, Shaw entered Big Rapids High School. At the age of twenty-four, Shaw was invited by Dr. Peck, a man looking to ordain a woman in the Methodist ministry, to give her first sermon. Despite the success of her first sermon, her passion to preach received disapproval from her classmates, friends, and family. Family members offered to help pay for her college education only if she abandoned preaching. Anna Shaw chose to keep on preaching. Mary A. Livermore, a prominent lecturer who came to Big Rapids, gave her the following advice: “if you want to preach, go on and preach…No matter what people say, don’t let them stop you!”
In 1873, Shaw entered Albion College, a Methodist school in Michigan, and earned money by giving lectures on temperance. In 1880, she finally achieved ordination in the Methodist Protestant Church. After her ordination, Shaw received an M.D. from Boston University in 1886. During her time in medical school, Shaw became an outspoken advocate of political rights for women. Her focus on temperance subsided as she became more heavily involved in the suffrage movement by lecturing for the Massachusetts Suffrage Association and later the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA). Shaw first met Susan B. Anthony in 1887, who encouraged her to join the NWSA.
Anthony became close friends with William Channing Gannett, who became the minister of
On February 11, Miss Anthony spoke in Cincinnati to an audience of 2,000, under the management of A. W. Whelpley, city librarian. The Commercial Gazette commented:
"Miss Susan B. Anthony had every reason for congratulation on the audience, both as to quality and quantity, which greeted her Sunday afternoon at the Grand Opera House. Her discourse proved to be one of the most entertaining of the Unity Club lectures this season, and if she did not succeed in gaining many proselytes to her well-known views regarding woman's emancipation, she certainly reaped the reward of presenting the arguments in an interesting and logical manner. Every neatly turned point was received with applause and that good-natured laughter that carries with it not a little of the element of conviction. As of old, this pioneer of the woman's cause is abundantly able to return sarcasm for sarcasm, as well as to present an array of facts in a manner which would do credit to the most astute of our politicians."
. . . Miss Anthony was the guest of the Burnet House with a fine suite of
apartments. In a letter home she writes: "The chambermaid said, 'Why, you have had more calls than Mrs. Hayes had when she occupied these rooms.'"
. . . Miss Anthony was much gratified at the cordial reception given her in Cincinnati and the evident success of her speech, and Tuesday morning, with a happy heart, took the train for her western lecture tour. She settled herself comfortably, glanced over her paper and was about to lay it aside when her eye caught the word "Leavenworth." A hasty glance told her of the drowning the day before of Susie B. Anthony, while out skating with a party of schoolmates! Susie B., her namesake, her beloved niece, as dear as a daughter, and with many of her own strong characteristics—she was almost stunned. Telegraphing at once to cancel her engagements, she hastened to Leavenworth. Just six months before, Colonel and Mrs. Anthony had lost a little daughter, five years old, and now the sudden taking away of this beautiful girl in her seventeenth year was a blow of crushing force. She found a stricken household to whom she could offer but small consolation out of her own sorrowing heart. . . . In a letter to a friend who had just suffered a great bereavement, she said:
"It is a part of the inevitable and the living can not do otherwise than submit, however rebellious they may feel; but we will clutch after the loved ones in spite of all faith and all philosophy. By and by, when one gets far enough away from the hurt of breaking the branch from its tree, there does, there must, come a sweet presence of the spirit of the loved and gone that soothes the ache of the earlier days. That every one has to suffer from the loss of loving and loved ones, does not make our anguish any the less."
To the sorrowing father she wrote after she returned home:
On March 11, 1889, she wrote to her friend Olympia Brown:"Can you not feel when you look at those lonely mounds, that the spirits, the part of them that made life, are not there but in your own home, in your own heart, ever present? It surely is more blessed to have loved and lost than never to have loved.... Which of us shall follow them first we can not tell, but if it should be I, lay my body away without the heartbreak, the agony that must come when the young go. Try to believe that all is well, that however misunderstood or misunderstanding, all there is clear to the enlarged vision. Whenever I have suffered from the memory of hasty or unkind words to those who have gone, my one comfort always has been in the feeling that their spirits still live and are so much finer that they understand and forgive."
I am content to do all I can to make the conditions of this life better for the next generation to live in - assured that right living here is not only the best thing for me and the world here - but for the best possible fitting for whatever is to come in the hereafter.
On November 11, 1889, at the beginning of the northern winter, she went from here to South Dakota. A woman suffrage amendment had been submitted to be voted on in 1890, and Miss Anthony had been receiving urgent letters from the members of the State Suffrage Association to assist them in a preliminary canvass and advise as to methods of organization, etc. . . .Miss Anthony began the canvass at Redfield, November 12, introduced by Judge Isaac Howe. . . .She held meetings throughout the State, had fine audiences and found strong friends at each place. . . . To the Woman's Tribune she wrote:
"I want to help our friends throughout this State to hold the canvass for woman suffrage entirely outside all political, religious or reform questions—that is, keep it absolutely by itself. I advise every man and woman who wishes this amendment carried at the ballot-box next November to wear only the badge of yellow ribbon—that and none other. This morning I cut and tied a whole bolt of ribbon, and every woman went out of the court-house adorned with a little sunflower-colored knot. The one work for the winter before our good friends in South Dakota, should be that of visiting every farmhouse of every school district of every county in the State; talking and reading over the question at every fireside these long evenings; enrolling the names of all who believe in woman suffrage; leaving papers and tracts to be read and circulated, and organizing equal suffrage committees in every district and village. With this done, the entire State will be in splendid trim for the opening of the regular campaign in the spring of 1890."
She started eastward the very day her canvass ended, reaching Chicago on Thanksgiving evening, and went directly to Detroit where she spoke November 29, and was the guest of her old friends of anti-slavery days, Giles and Catharine F. Stebbins. Her nephew, Daniel R. Jr., came over from Michigan University to hear her and accompanied her back to Ann Arbor, where she was entertained by Mrs. Olivia B. Hall. He thus gives his impressions to his parents:
"Aunt Susan spoke here for the benefit of the Ladies, Library Association, and had an excellent audience; and Sunday night she spoke at the Unitarian church. It was jammed full and people were in line for half a block around, trying to get inside. At the beginning of her lecture Aunt Susan does not do so well; but when she is in the midst of her argument and all her energies brought into play, I think she is a very powerful speaker.
"Dr. Sunderland, the Unitarian minister, invited her to dinner and, as I was her nephew, of course I had to be included. The Halls are very fine people and as I took nearly every meal at their house while she was here, I can also testify that they have good things to eat. I brought Aunt Susan down to see where I lived. It being vacation time of course the house was closed and hadn't been aired for a week, and some of the boys having smoked a good deal she thought the odor was dreadful, but that otherwise we were very comfortably fixed."
. . . Death had robbed her of many friends during the past year. On February 1 her old co-worker Amy Post, of Rochester, was laid to rest, one of the veteran Abolitionists who commenced the work in 1833 with Garrison, and who had stood by the cause of woman as faithfully as by that of the slave. In March passed away in the prime of womanhood, Mary L. Booth, editor of Harper's Bazaar from its beginning in 1867. In June died Maria Mitchell, the great
astronomer, in the fullness of years, having completed threescore and ten. In November was finished the work of Dinah Mendenhall, the venerable Quaker and philanthropist, wife of Isaac Mendenhall, whose home near Philadelphia had been for sixty years the refuge of the poor and oppressed, without regard to sex, color or creed.
Maria Mitchell and student
. . . On the evening of her 70th birthday over 200 of her distinguished friends were seated in the great dining-room of the Riggs House, including a delegation from Rochester and a number of relatives from Leavenworth, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. Miss Anthony occupied the place of honor, on her right hand were Senator Blair and Mrs. Stanton; on her left, Robert Purvis, Isabella Beecher Hooker and May Wright Sewall. The room was beautifully decorated and the repast elaborate, but with such an array of intellect, the after-dinner speeches were the distinguishing feature of the occasion. The Washington Star, in a long account, said:
"A company of the most remarkable women in the world were assembled. As she sat there, surrounded by the skirted knights of her long crusade, Miss Anthony looked no older than fifty, but she had got a good start into her seventy-first year before the dinner ended. May Wright Sewall presided.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, that venerable and beautiful old stateswoman, sat at the right of Senator Blair, looking as if she should be the Lord Chief-Justice, with her white hair puffed all over her head, and her amiable and intellectual face marked with the lines of wisdom. Isabella Beecher Hooker, who reminds one of her great brother, with the stamp of genius on her brow and an energy of intellect expressed upon her face, sat at the left of Miss Anthony. Old John Hutchinson, the last of the famous singing family, his white hair and beard forming a fringe about his shoulders; Clara Barton, her breast sparkling with Red Cross medals; and many other women of wide fame were present. Before the banquet the guests assembled in the Red Parlor of the Riggs, where a levee was held and congratulations were offered. It was after 10 o'clock when the line was formed and the guests marched down to the dining-room, Miss Anthony, on the arm of Senator Blair, leading the way."
. . . Robert Purvis eloquently referred to Miss Anthony's grand work for the abolition of slavery, which, he said, was still continued in the vaster and more complicated work for the freedom of women. Mrs. Stanton's two daughters, Mrs. Lawrence and Mrs. Blatch, made sparkling responses. . . The main address was made by Mrs. Stanton, who responded to the sentiment "The Friendships of Women," in an oration full of humor, and closed:
"If there is one part of my life which gives me more intense satisfaction than another, it is my friendship of more than forty years' standing with Susan B. Anthony. Ours has been a friendship of hard work and self-denial.... Emerson says, "It is better to be a thorn in the side of your friend than his echo." If this add weight and stability to friendship, then ours will endure forever, for we have indeed been thorns in the side of each other. . . . She has kept me on the war-path at the point of the bayonet so long that I have often wished my untiring coadjutor might, like Elijah, be translated a few years before I was summoned, that I might spend the sunset of my life in some quiet chimney-corner and lag superfluous on the stage no longer. . . Well, I prefer a tyrant of my own sex, so I shall not deny the patent fact of my subjection; for I do believe that I have developed into much more of a woman under her jurisdiction, fed on statute laws and constitutional amendments, than if left to myself reading novels in an easy-chair, lost in sweet reveries of the golden age to come without any effort of my own."
As Mrs. Stanton concluded, "The Guest of the Evening" was announced and, amidst long continued applause and waving of handkerchiefs, Miss Anthony arose and made one of those little speeches that never can be reported, in which she said:
"I have been half inclined while listening here to believe that I had passed on to the beyond. If there is one thing I hope for more than another, it is that, should I stay on this planet thirty years longer, I still may be worthy of the wonderful respect you have manifested for me tonight.
"The one thought I wish to express is how little my friend or I could have accomplished alone. What she said is true; I have been a thorn in her side and in that of her family too, I fear. I never expect to know any joy in this world equal to that of going up and down the land, getting good editorials written, engaging halls, and circulating Mrs. Stanton's speeches. If I ever have had any inspiration she has given it to me, for I never could have done my work if I had not had this woman at my right hand. If I had had a husband and children, or opposition in my own home, I never could have done it. My father and mother, my brothers and sisters, those who are gone and those who are left, all have been a help to me.
"How much depends on the sympathy and co-operation of those about us! It is not necessary for all to go to the front. Every woman presiding over her table in the homes where I have been, has helped sustain me, I wish they could know how much."
. . . Among many newspaper editorials upon this celebration, an extract from the Boston Traveller, which bears the impress of the gifted Lilian Whiting, may be taken as an example of the general sentiment:
"Without any special relay of theories on the subject, Miss Susan B. Anthony discovered early in life the secret of imperishable youth and constantly increasing happiness—a secret that may be translated as personal devotion to a noble purpose. To devote one's self to something higher than self—this is the answer of the ages to those who would find the source of immortal energy and enjoyment. It is a statement very simply and easily made but involving all the philosophy of life. Miss Anthony recognized it intuitively. She translated it into action with little consciousness of its value as a theory; but it is the one deepest truth in existence, and one which every human soul must sometime or somewhere learn.
"On February 15, 1820, when Susan B. Anthony was born, Emerson was a youth of seventeen; Henry Ward Beecher was a child of seven and Harriet Beecher Stowe a year his junior; Wendell Phillips was nine, Whittier thirteen, and Wm. Lloyd Garrison fifteen years of age. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was four years old, and Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe and James Russell Lowell were Miss Anthony's predecessors in this world only by one or two years. Margaret
Fuller was ten, Abraham Lincoln was eleven, and thus, between 1803-20, inclusive, were born a remarkable group of people. . . It is only now, as the work of these immortals begins to assume something of the definite outline of completeness; as some results of the determining forces for which this great galaxy has stood, begin to be discerned, that we can adequately recognize how important to the century their lives have been. There are undoubtedly high spirits sent to earth with a definite service to render to their age and generation; a service that prepares the way for the next ascending round on the great cycle of progress, and it is no exaggeration to say that Susan B. Anthony is one of these."
. . . Miss Anthony was a welcome guest at dinners and receptions in the homes of many of the dignitaries in Washington, but accepted these invitations only when she saw an opportunity thereby to further the cause of woman suffrage. She realized fully that one important step in the work was to interest women of influence, socially and financially, and the high plane of respectability which this question had now attained was at least partly due to her winters in Washington, where, at the Riggs House and in society, she met and made friends with prominent men and women from all parts of the country and converted them to her doctrines, which they disseminated in their various localities upon returning home.
She writes her sister, in describing social events, of a dinner at the handsome home of John R. McLean, owner of the Cincinnati Enquirer, who in person brought the invitation, while his wife, the daughter of General Beale, looked after her "as if she had been the Queen of Sheba." Here she met Senator and Mrs. Payne of Ohio, Senator and Mrs. Cockrell of Missouri, Senator and Mrs. Butler of South Carolina, Speaker and Mrs. Reed of Maine, Justice and Mrs.
Field and other notables. . . . While Miss Anthony was still in Washington she sat for her bust by a young sculptor, Adelaide Johnson. "So marble and canvas both are to tell the story," she wrote, "for I have sat also for a painting. The time draws near when I must start out campaigning and O, how I dread it!"
Adelaide Johnson in studio
During this winter she received an invitation from a State W. C. T. U. to bring a suffrage convention to their city and they would bear the expenses, stipulating only that she herself should be present, and that "no speaker should say anything which would seem like an attack on Christianity." She wrote Miss Shaw:
"Won't that prevent your going, Rev. Anna? I wonder if they'll be as particular to warn all other speakers not to say anything which shall sound like an attack on liberal religion. They never seem to think we have any feelings to be hurt when we have to sit under their reiteration of orthodox cant and dogma. The boot is all on one foot with the dear religious bigots—but if they will all pull together with us for suffrage we'll continue to bear and forbear, as we have done for the past forty years."
. . . In this winter of 1890 many loving letters passed between Miss Anthony and Rachel Foster Avery, almost too sacred to be quoted, and yet a few sentences may be used to show the maternal tenderness in the nature of the great reformer:
"Of course I miss you from my side, but do not feel for a moment that any doubt
of your love and loyalty ever crosses my mind. No, my dear, you and all of us must consider only the best interests of the loved though not yet seen. Banish anxiety and let the rest of us take all the work and care. Be happy in the new life you are molding; avoid all but lovely thoughts; let your first and nearest and dearest feelings be for the precious little one whose temperament and nature you are now stamping. Your every heartbeat, not only of love and peace and beauty, but of the reverse as well, is making its mark on the unborn.... I feel much better satisfied to know Sister Mary is with you for a few days. If her presence is comforting, why don't you ask her to stay with you till the wee one arrives?"
Susan Anthony with Rachel Foster Avery and children
And so the serene and helpful sister Mary remains until a telegram is sent to the anxious one, by that time in far-off Dakota, announcing the birth of a daughter. "My heart bounded with joy," wrote Miss Anthony, "to hear the ordeal was passed and the little, sassie Rose Foster Avery safely launched upon the big ocean of time." And in a little while the mother replied:
"Darling Aunt Susan, when I lie with baby Rose in my arms, I think so often of what she and I and all women, born and to be born, owe to you, and my heart overflows with love and gratitude."
Miss Anthony left Washington to attend the wedding of her nephew, Wendell Phillips Mosher, and Carolyn Louise Mixer, at Cleveland, Ohio, April 17; stopped in Chicago for a day, and reached Huron, South Dakota, April 23, 1890. During the early winter she had had the most urgent letters from this State, begging her to hasten her coming, that all depended upon her. . . .When she had been in South Dakota the previous autumn, all had united in urging her to take charge of the campaign, and for months she had been receiving appeals for help. . . .
It was a hard campaign, the summer the hottest ever known, the distances long, the entertainment the best which could be offered, good in the towns but in the rural districts sometimes very poor, and the speakers slept more than once in sod houses where the only fuel for preparing the meals consisted of "buffalo chips." The people were in severe financial straits. A two years' drouth had destroyed the crops, and prairie fires had swept away the little which was left. "Starvation stares them in the face," Miss Anthony wrote. "Why could not Congress have appropriated the money for artesian wells and helped these earnest, honest people, instead of voting $40,000 for a commission to come out here and investigate?"
Frequently the speakers had to drive twenty miles between the afternoon and evening meetings, in the heat of summer and the chill of late autumn; at one time forty miles on a wagon seat without a back. On the Fourth of July, a roasting day, Miss Anthony spoke in the morning, drove fifteen miles to speak again in the afternoon, and then left at night in a pouring rain for a long ride in a freight-car. At one town the school house was the only place for speaking purposes, but the Russian trustees announced that "they did not want to hear any women preach," so after the long trip, the meeting had to be given up. Several times in the midst of their speeches, the audience was stampeded by cyclones, not a soul left in the house. The people came twenty and thirty miles to these meetings, bringing their dinners. Miss Anthony speaks always in the highest terms of the fine character of the Dakota men and women, and of their large families of bright, healthy children.
. . . They had been warned to keep away from a certain hotel, at one place, as it was the very worst in the whole State. At the close of the afternoon meeting there, a man came up and said he would be pleased to entertain the speakers and could make them very comfortable. This seemed to be a sure escape, so they thankfully accepted his invitation, but when they reached his home, they discovered that he was the landlord of the poor hotel! Miss Anthony charged Mrs. Howell to make the best of it without a word of complaint. They went to supper, amidst heat and flies, and found sour bread, muddy coffee and stewed green grapes. Miss Anthony ate and drank and talked and smiled, and every little while touched Mrs. Howell's foot with her own in a reassuring manner. After supper Mrs. Howell went to her little, bare room, which she soon learned by the clatter of the dishes was next to the kitchen, and through the thin partition she heard the landlady say: "Well, I never supposed I could entertain big-bugs, and I thought I couldn't live through having Susan B. Anthony here, but I'm getting along all right. You ought to hear her laugh; why, she laughs just like other people!"
Mrs. Howell gives this graphic description of the meetings at Madison, July 10:
"In the afternoon we drove some distance to a beautiful lake where Miss Anthony spoke to 1,000 men, a Farmers' Alliance picnic. When she asked how many would vote for the suffrage amendment, all was one mighty "aye," like the deep voice of the sea. That evening we spoke in the opera house in the city. While Miss Anthony was speaking a telegram for her was handed to me, and as I arose to make the closing address I gave it to her. I had just begun when she came quickly forward, put her hand on my arm and said, "Stop a moment, I want to read this telegram." It was from Washington, saying that President Harrison had signed the bill admitting Wyoming into the Union with woman suffrage in its constitution. Before she could finish reading the great audience was on its feet, cheering and waving handkerchiefs and fans. After the enthusiasm had subsided Miss Anthony made a short but wonderful speech. The very tones of her voice changed; there were ringing notes of gladness and tender ones of thankfulness. It was the first great victory of her forty years of work. She spoke as one inspired, while the audience listened for every word, some cheering, others weeping."
When Miss Anthony was starting for South Dakota she was urged not to go, through fear of the effect of such a campaign on her health. Her reply was, "Better lose me than lose a State."
. . . As very few women were able to hire help, many were obliged to bring their babies to the meetings and, before the speaking was over, the heat and confusion generally set them all to crying. Miss Anthony was very patient and always expressed much sympathy for the overworked and tired mothers. One occasion, however, was too much for her, and Anna Shaw thus describes it:
"One intensely hot Sunday afternoon, a meeting was held by the side of a sod church, which had been extended by canvas coverings from the wagons. The audience crowded up as close as they could be packed to where Miss Anthony stood on a barn door laid across some boxes. A woman with a baby sat very near the edge of this improvised platform. The child grew tired and uneasy and finally began to pinch Miss Anthony's ankles. She stepped back and he immediately commenced to scream, so she stepped forward again and he resumed his pinching. She endured it as long as she could, but at last stooped down and whispered to the mother, 'I think your baby is too warm in here; take him out and give him a drink and he will feel better.' The woman jerked it up and started out, exclaiming, 'Well, this is the first time I have ever been insulted on account of my motherhood!' A number of men gathered around her, saying, 'That is just what to expect from these old maid suffragists.' Some one told Miss Anthony she had lost twenty votes by this. 'Well,' she replied, 'if they could see the welts on my ankles where they were pinched to keep that child still, they would bring their twenty votes back.'
"She said to me the next day: 'Now, Anna, no matter how many babies cry you must not say one word or it will be taken as an insult to motherhood.' That afternoon I gave a little talk. The church was crowded and there were so many children it seemed as if every family had twins. There were at least six of them crying at the top of their lungs. The louder they cried, the louder I yelled; and the louder I yelled, the louder they cried, for they were scared. Finally a gentleman asked, 'Don't you want those children taken out?' 'O, no,' said I, 'there is nothing that inspires me so much as the music of children's voices,' and although a number of men protested, I would not allow one of them taken from the room. I was bound I wouldn't lose any votes."
In September Carrie Chapman Catt, one of the coolest, most logical and level-headed women who ever went into a campaign, at the request of the State executive committee gave her opinion of the situation as follows:
"We have not a ghost of a show for success. Our cause can be compared with the work of prohibition, always remembering ours is the more unpopular.
"Last year the Methodist church led off in State conference and declared for
prohibition. It was followed by every other church, except the German Lutheran and Catholic, even the Scandinavian Lutherans voting largely for it. Next the Republican, the strongest party, stood for it, because if they did not it meant a party break. The Farmers' Alliance were solid for it. The leaders were put to work, a large amount of money was collected and representative men went out in local campaigns. It was debated on the street, and men of influence converted those of weaker minds.
Carrie Chapman Catt
"Now what have we? 1st.—The Lutherans, both German and Scandinavian, and the Catholics are bitterly opposed. The Methodists, our strongest friends everywhere else, are not so here. 2d.—We have one party openly and two others secretly against us. 3d.—While this county, for instance, gave $700 to prohibition, it gives $2.50 to suffrage and claims that for hall rent, the amount then not being sufficient. 4th.—When I suggested to the committee to start a vigorous county campaign and get men of influence to go out and speak, they did not know of one man willing to face the political animosities it would engender. With the exception of the work of a few women, nothing is being done. We have opposed to us the most powerful elements in the politics of the State. Continuing as we are, we can't poll 20,000 votes. We are converting women to 'want to vote' by the hundreds, but we are not having any appreciable effect upon the men. This is because men have been accustomed to take new ideas only when accompanied by party leadership with brass bands and huzzahs. We have a total lack of all. Ours is a cold, lonesome little movement, which will make our hearts ache about November 5."
. . . The campaign was continued, however, with all the zeal and ability which both State and national workers could command. . .What was the result of all this expenditure of time, labor and money? There were 68,604 ballots cast; 22,972 for woman suffrage; 45,632 opposed; majority against, 22,660.
Eight months of hard work by a large corps of the ablest women in the United States, 1,600 speeches, $8,000 in money, for less than 23,000 votes! There were 30,000 foreigners in South Dakota, Russians, Scandinavians, Poles and other nationalities. It is claimed they voted almost solidly against woman suffrage, but even if this were true they must have had the assistance of 15,000 American men.
. . .There never in any State was a more shameless and corrupt buying and selling of votes, and the woman suffrage amendment was one of the chief articles of barter. The bribers, the liquor dealers and gamblers, were reinforced here, as had been the case in other State campaigns, by their faithful allies, "the Remonstrants of Boston," who circulated their anonymous sheet through every nook and corner of the State.Carrie Chapman Catt was born Carrie Clinton Lane in Wisconsin and spent her childhood in Iowa. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at Iowa State Agricultural College in Ames. Her father was initially reluctant to allow her to attend college, but he relented, contributing only a part of the costs. To make ends meet, Catt worked as a dishwasher, in the school library, and as a teacher at rural schools during school breaks. Catt graduated in 1880 with a Bachelor of Science degree; she was the valedictorian and only female in her graduating class. She worked as a law clerk after graduating, then he became a teacher. She became superintendent of schools in Mason City, Iowa; she was the first female superintendent of the district.
Carrie married newspaper editor Leo Chapman, but he died soon after in California of typhoid fever. She remained in San Francisco where she worked as the city's first female reporter. In 1890, she married George Catt, a wealthy engineer and Alumnus of Iowa State University. He encouraged her being involved in suffrage. Catt also joined the Women's Christian Temperance Union. From 1890 to 1892, Catt served as the Iowa Woman Suffrage association’s state organizer and groups recording secretary. During her time in office, Catt began working nationally for the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), and was a speaker at its 1890 convention in Washington D.C.
|Anthony house in Rochester|
Miss Anthony arrived in Washington January 3, 1891, and received the usual welcome by Mr. and Mrs. Spofford. On the 24th she went to Boston in response to an invitation to attend the Massachusetts Suffrage Convention. She reached the Parker House Sunday morning, but Wm. Lloyd Garrison came at once and took her to his hospitable home in Brookline, and a most fortunate thing it was. Since leaving South Dakota she had been fighting off what seemed to be a persistent form of la grippe and the next morning she collapsed utterly, pneumonia threatened and she was obliged to keep her room for a week. She received the most loving attention from her hostess, Ellen Wright Garrison, and had many calls and numerous pleasant letters, among them the following:
"What a mercy it was that you fell into the shelter and care of the Garrisons when so serious an illness came upon you. Of course everybody was disappointed that you could not be at the meeting so that they might at least see you. Now that you are convalescing and we trust on the high road to recovery we want to arrange an informal reception at our office, so that those or some of those who were sorry not to see you at the meeting, may have a chance to do so. I was too tired today to go with my two, and maybe you would have been too tired to see us if we had gone. It is not quite the same when we are seventy-two as when we are twenty-seven; still I am glad of what is left, and wish we might both hold out till the victory we have sought is won, but all the same the victory is coming. In the aftertime the world will be the better for it.
Trusting you may soon be well again, I am your fellow-worker,
. . . After their mother's death, Miss Mary rented the lower part of the house, which now belonged to her, reserved the upper rooms for herself and sister, and took her meals with her tenants. This plan was followed for a number of years. Now, however, Miss Anthony had passed one year beyond the threescore and ten which are supposed to mark the limit of activity if not of life, and her friends urged that she should give up her long journeys from one end of the continent to the other, her hard State campaigns, her constant lectures and conventions. She felt as vigorous as ever but had long wished for the comforts and conveniences of her own home, and she concluded that perhaps her friends were right and she should settle down in one place and direct the work, rather than try to do so much of it herself. She thought this might be safely done now, as so many new and efficient workers had been developed and the cause had acquired a standing which made its advocacy an easy task compared to what it had been in the past, when only a few women had the courage and strength to take the blows and bear the contumely. So Miss Mary took possession of the house; masons, carpenters, painters and paper-hangers were put to work, and by June all was in in beautiful readiness.
. . . When Miss Anthony returned from her eastern trip on June 11, a pleasant surprise awaited her. The Political Equality Club had taken part in the housekeeping program. Handsome rugs had been laid on the floor, lace curtains hung at the windows, easy chairs placed in the rooms, a large desk in Miss Mary's study, a fine oak table in the dining-room, all the gift of the club. Mrs. Avery had sent a big, roomy desk and Mrs. Sewall an office chair for Miss Anthony's study; Miss Shaw and Lucy Anthony, a set of china; Mr. Avery, the needed cutlery; the brother Daniel R., a great box of sheeting, spreads, bolts of muslin, table linen and towels, enough to last a lifetime. From other friends came pictures, silver and bric-a-brac without limit. . .
In June she made a long-promised visit to her friend Henrietta M. Banker at her home in the Adirondacks, which she thus describes:
"Rev. Anna Shaw and I have had a lovely week. Almost every day we drove out among the mountains; one day to the Ausable lakes, through beautiful woods, up ravines a thousand feet; another to Professor Davidson's summer school, high up on the mountainside.
"But the day of days was when we drove to the farm-home of old Captain John Brown at North Elba. We found a broad plateau, surrounded with mountain peaks on every side. We ate our dinner in the same dining-room in which the old hero and his family partook of their scanty fare in the days when he devoted his energies to teaching the colored men, who accepted Gerrit Smith's generous offer of a bit of real estate, which should entitle the possessor to a right to vote. Of all who settled on those lands, called the 'John Brown opening,' only one grayheaded negro still lives, though many of their old houses and barns yet stand, crumbling away on their deserted farms.
"In front of the house is a small yard and occupying one-half of it is a grand old boulder with steps leading to the top, where one sees chiseled in large letters, 'John Brown, December 2, 1859.' At the foot is the grave of the martyr, marked by an old granite headstone which once stood at his grandfather's grave, and on it are inscribed the names of three generations of John Browns. The vandals visiting that sacred spot chipped off bits of the granite until it became necessary to make a cover and padlock it down, so that the farmer unlocks the cap and lifts it off for visitors now. Thus is commemorated that fatal day which marks the only hanging for treason against the United States Government. John Brown was crucified for doing what he believed God commanded him to do, 'to break the yoke and let the oppressed go free,' precisely as were the saints of old for following what they believed to be God's commands. The barbarism of our government was by so much the greater as our light and knowledge are greater than those of two thousand years ago."
. . . Miss Anthony attended the golden wedding of John and Isabella Beecher Hooker, in Hartford, August 5; "a most beautiful occasion," she writes in her diary, "but to the surprise of all there was no speaking." An affair without speeches was to her what a feast without wine would have been to the ancients.
. . . Hospitality was her strongest instinct, and during all these years she had accepted so much from her friends in Rochester and elsewhere without being able to return it, that now she wanted to entertain everybody and all at once. The diary speaks often of ten and twelve at the table for dinner or tea, and Miss Mary, who constituted the committee of ways and means, was quite overwhelmed with the new regime. The story in the journal runs like this:
"Our dear old friends, Sarah Willis and Mary Hallowell, shared our first Sunday dinner with us.... Our old Abolition friends, Giles B. and Catharine F. Stebbins and three or four others took tea with us tonight.... My old friend Adeline Thomson has come to stay several weeks with us. How nice to have my own home to entertain my friends.... Anna Shaw and niece Lucy came today and we had five others to dinner. A very pleasant thing to be able to ask people to stop and dine.... Brother D. R., sister Anna and niece Maud came today for a week. It is so good to receive them in our own home. D. R. enjoys the fire on the hearth.... Had Maria Porter, Mr. and Mrs. Greenleaf and eleven altogether to tea this evening. How I do enjoy it!... Who came this day? O, yes, Mrs. Lydia Avery Coonley, of Chicago, her son and her mother, Mrs. Susan Look Avery, of Louisville, Ky. It makes me so happy to return some of the courtesies I have had in their beautiful home.... Just before noon Mrs. Greenleaf popped into the woodshed with a great sixteen-quart pail full of pound balls of the most delicious butter, and we made her stay to dinner. The girl was washing and I got the dinner alone: broiled steak, potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes and peach pudding, with a cup of tea. All said it was good and I enjoyed it hugely.
"How I love to receive in my own home and at my own table!"
. . . The Anthony home in Rochester stands in Madison street, one of the nicely paved, well-shaded avenues in the western part of that beautiful city. It is a
plain, substantial two-and-a-half story brick house of thirteen rooms, with modern conveniences, and belongs to Miss Mary. It is furnished with Quakerlike simplicity but with everything necessary to make life comfortable. In the front parlor are piano, easy chairs and many pictures and pieces of bric-a-brac, given by friends. Over the mantel hangs a fine, large painting of the Yosemite, presented to Miss Anthony in 1896 by William Keith, the noted artist of California. Beneath it stand three fine photographs, Mary Wollstonecraft, Lucretia Mott and Frederick Douglass. Between the windows is the very mahogany table upon which were written the call and resolutions for the first woman's rights convention ever held—the gift of Mrs. Stanton.
Front parlor of Anthony home
In the back parlor the most conspicuous object is the library table strewn with the papers and magazines which come by every mail. This is surrounded with arm-chairs, tempting one to pause awhile and enjoy this luxury of literature. On one side are the bookcases, and on the walls large engravings of Elizabeth
Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and a handsome copy of Murillo's Madonna, while in one corner stands the mother's spinning-wheel. Opening out of this room is Miss Mary's study, the big desk filled with work pertaining to the Political Equality Club of 200 members, whose efficient president she has been for a number of years; and here she spends several hours every day looking after her own work and relieving her sister of a part of hers. There is a sewing-machine here also, and a big, old-fashioned haircloth sofa, suggesting a nap and a dream of bygone days.
In the dining-room is a handsomely carved mahogany sideboard, a family heirloom, containing china and silver which belonged to mother and grandmother, and here hang very old steel engravings of Washington and Lincoln. The large, light kitchen, with its hard coal range, is a favorite apartment, and Miss Anthony especially enjoys sitting there in a low rocking-chair while she reads the morning paper.
The front room upstairs, with little dressing-room attached, is the guest chamber. It contains a great chest of drawers, a dressing-table and mirror which were part of the mother's wedding outfit over eighty years ago, a
mahogany bedstead and a modern writing-desk and rocking-chairs. On the walls are several paintings, the work of loved hands long since at rest, and two engravings, over one hundred years old, such as used to hang in every Abolitionist's parlor in early days. They are copies of paintings by G. Morland, engraved in 1794, by "J. R. Smith, King St., Covent Garden, engravers to H. R. H. the Prince of Wales." One is entitled "African Hospitality," and represents a ship wrecked off the coast of Africa with the white passengers rescued and tenderly cared for by
the natives; the other is named "The Slave Trade," and shows these same negroes loaded with chains and driven aboard ship by the white men whom they had saved. These pictures have little meaning to the present generation, but one can imagine how they must have fired the hearts of those who were laboring to eradicate the curse of slavery from the nation.
"The Slave Trade"
Back of the guest chamber, in this interesting home, is Miss Mary's sleeping-room, with quaint old furniture and family pictures; then the maid's room, another guest chamber and, in the southwest corner, next the bathroom, the pleasant bedroom of Miss Anthony with the pictures of those she loves best, and the dresser littered with the little toilet articles of which she is very fond.
The most attractive room in the house, naturally, is Miss Anthony's study in the south wing on the second floor. It is light and sunshiny and has an open gas fire. Looking down from the walls are Benjamin Lundy, Garrison, Phillips, Gerrit Smith, Frances Wright, Ernestine L. Rose, Abby Kelly Foster, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lucy Stone, Lydia Maria Child and, either singly or in groups, many more of the great reformers of the past and present century. On one side are the book shelves, with cyclopedia, histories and other volumes of reference; on another an inviting couch, where the busy worker may drop down for a few moment's repose of mind and body. By one window is the typewriter, and by the other the great desk weighted with letters and documents.
|Anthony at her desk|
. . . From the time that Mrs. Stanton had decided to return to America for the remainder of her days, Miss Anthony had hoped they might have a home together and finish their life-work of history and reminiscence. When she learned that her friend, with a widowed daughter and a bachelor son, contemplated taking a house in New York, she was greatly distressed, as she felt that this would be the end of all her plans. She wrote her immediately:
"We have just returned from the Unitarian church where we listened to Mr. Gannett's rare dissertation on the religion of Lowell; but all the time there was an inner wail in my soul, that by your fastening yourself in New York City I couldn't help you carry out the dream of my life—which is that you should take all of your speeches and articles, carefully dissect them, and put your best utterances on each point into one essay or lecture; first deliver them in the Unitarian church on Sunday afternoon, and then publish in a nice volume, just as Phillips culled out his best.
"Your Reminiscences give only light and incidental bits of your life—all good but not the greatest of yourself. This is the first time since 1850 that I have anchored myself to any particular spot, and in doing it my constant thought was that you would come here, where are the documents necessary to our work, and stay for as long, at least, as we must be together to put your writings into systematic shape to go down to posterity. I have no writings to go down, so my ambition is not for myself, but it is for one by the side of whom I have wrought these forty years, and to get whose speeches before audiences and committees has been the delight of my life.
"Well, I hope you will do and be as seemeth best unto yourself, still I can notOn January 18, 1892, Stanton joined Anthony, Stone, and Isabella Beecher Hooker to address the issue of suffrage before the United States House Committee on the Judiciary.
help sending you this inner groan of my soul, lest you are not going to make it possible that the thing shall be done first which seems most important to me. Then, too, I have never ceased to hope that we would finish the History of Woman Suffrage, at least to the end of the life of the dear old National."
Anthony at door of Rochester home
On her way to the convention of 1892, Miss Anthony stopped in New York in response to an urgent letter from Mrs. Stanton, now comfortably ensconced in a pleasant flat overlooking Central Park, saying that unless she came and took her bodily to Washington she should not be able to go. . . . She was now in her seventy-seventh year and naturally her children desired that she should give up public work; but Miss Anthony knew that inaction meant rust and decay and, as her fellow-worker was in the prime of mental vigor, she was determined that the world should continue to profit by it. Her address this year was entitled "The Solitude of Self," considered by many one of her finest papers.
Mrs. Stanton received a great ovation at the opening session, January 16, but this proved to be her last appearance at a national convention. For more than forty years she had presided with a grace and dignity which never had been surpassed, and now she begged that the scepter, or more properly speaking the gavel, might be transferred to Miss Anthony, whose experience had been quite as extended as her own. The delegates yielded to her wishes and Miss Anthony was elected national president. . . .
It is not surprising that Miss Anthony writes in her journal at the beginning of the New Year, 1893:
"The clouds do not lift from my spirit. I am simply overwhelmed with the feeling that I can not make my way through the work before me."
Never a year in all her crowded life opened with such a mountain of things to be attended to—suffrage conventions, council meetings, the great Woman's Congress at the World's Fair, State campaigns, Industrial School matters, lecture engagements—the list seemed to stretch out into infinity . . .In a letter to a friend she said:
"The other day a millionaire who wrote me, 'wondered why I didn't have my letters typewritten.' Why, bless him, I never, in all my fifty years of hard work with the pen, had a writing desk with pigeonholes and drawers until my seventieth birthday brought me the present of one, and never had I even a dream of money enough for a stenographer and typewriter. How little those who have realize the limitations of those who have not."
We shall someday be heeded, and when we shall have our amendment to the Constitution of the United States, everybody will think it was always so, just exactly as many young people think that all the privileges, all the freedom, all the enjoyments which woman now possesses always were hers. They have no idea of how every single inch of ground that she stands upon today has been gained by the hard work of some little handful of women of the past.
The year 1894 is distinguished in the annals of woman suffrage for two great campaigns: one in New York to secure from the Constitutional Convention an amendment abolishing the word "male" from the new constitution which was to be submitted to the voters at the fall election; the other in Kansas to secure a majority vote on an amendment which had been submitted by the legislature of 1893, and was to be voted on in November.
. . . The convention opened in Metzerott's Music Hall, February 15 . . . Appropriate memorial services were held for the distinguished dead of the past year who had rendered especial service to the cause of woman suffrage: Lucy Stone, George W. Childs, Leland Stanford, Elizabeth Peabody, Elizabeth Oakes Smith. . . . At the opening session, on Miss Anthony's birthday, she was presented by the enfranchised women of Wyoming and Colorado with a beautiful silk flag which bore two shining stars on its blue field. . . . A little later, when Virginia D. Young brought the greetings of South Carolina, Miss Anthony said:
"I think the most beautiful part of our coming together in Washington for the last twenty-five years, has been that more friendships, more knowledge of each other have come through the hand-shakes here, than would have been possible through any other instrumentality. I shall never cease to be grateful for all the splendid women who have come up to this great center for these twenty-six conventions, and have learned that the North was not such a cold place as they had believed; I have been equally glad when we came down here and met the women from the sunny South and found they were just like ourselves, if not a little better. In this great association, we know no North, no South, no East, no West. This has been our pride for twenty-six years. We have no political party. We never have inquired what anybody's religion was. All we ever have asked is simply, "Do you believe in perfect equality for women?" That is the one article in our creed."
. . . The New York State Constitutional Convention assembled in Albany, May 8,
and elected Joseph H. Choate, of New York City, president. Although only a few months previous he had expressed himself favorable to woman suffrage, all his influence in the convention was used against it. Mr. Choate, according to universal opinion, accepted this office with the expectation that it would lead to his nomination as governor of the State, and he had no intention of offending the power behind the gubernatorial chair. The amendment was doomed from the moment of his election. . . . In all his efforts to kill the amendment beyond hope of resurrection, Mr. Choate was actively supported by his first lieutenant, Hon. Elihu Root, also of New York City.
. . . Miss Anthony was invited to address the suffrage committee May 24, and the hearing was held in the Assembly room of the Capitol. Not only the committee but most of the delegates were in their seats and a large audience was present. This was said to be one of her best efforts and she seemed to have almost the complete sympathy of her audience. She spoke for three-quarters of an hour, and then urged that those opposed should state their reasons and give her an opportunity to answer them. Although there were twelve men on the committee who even then intended to bring in an adverse report, and ninety-eight delegates who afterwards voted against it, not one could be persuaded to rise and present his objections. . . . The women of New York City were accorded a hearing May 31, and it was on this occasion, with the petitions of the 600,000 stacked on a table in front of her, that Dr. Mary Putnam Jacobi made that masterly speech which ranks as a classic.
. . . One hearing was given to the "Remonstrants," or "Antis," as the press had
dubbed them. Because of their extreme modesty, and for other more obvious reasons, they did not make their own appeals but were represented by the male of their species. Their petition was presented by Elihu Root. Hon. Francis M.
Scott, whose wife was one of the leading "Antis" in New York, made the principal address. He described pathetically the timid and shrinking class of women for whom he pleaded, insisted that the legislature never had refused women anything they asked, declared the suffrage advocates represented only an "insignificant minority," and closed with the eloquent peroration:
"I vote, not because I am intelligent, not because I am moral, but solely and simply because I am a man."
Rev. Clarence A. Walworth, Hon. Matthew Hale and J. Newton Fiero were the other speakers. The first individual did not believe in universal manhood suffrage and could not favor anything which would double the vote. Mr. Hale devoted most of his argument to the so-called "bad women," declaring there were over 100,000 of them in the State who would sell their votes as they did their bodies—enough to overcome the votes of the virtuous women. Mr. Fiero said woman was unfitted for the ballot because she was influenced by pity, passion and prejudice rather than by judgment. . . . These insults to their sex seemed very acceptable to the fashionably dressed "Antis" who occupied the front rows of seats. . .
While the liquor dealers were sending to wavering members their kegs of beer and jugs of whiskey, the "Antis" supplemented their efforts with champagne suppers, flowers, music and low-necked dresses. And the suffrage advocates hoped to offset these political methods by trudging through mud and snow with their petitions and using their scanty funds to send out literature! A mistaken policy, perhaps, but the only one possible to the class of women who are asking for enfranchisement.
. . . The opponents were led by Elihu Root, of New York, who begged pathetically that "we be not robbed of the women of our homes;" and declared that "he would hesitate to put into the hands of women the right to defend his wife and the women he loved and respected." William P. Goodelle, of Syracuse, chairman of the committee, closed the discussion with a long speech in which he asserted that "the question was not whether large numbers of male and female citizens asked for woman suffrage, or protested against it, or are taxed or not, but was it for the benefit of the State?"
This being the case, why did Mr. Goodelle not favor its being submitted to the voters of the State in order that they might decide?
It required an hour and a half to take the vote . . In favor of submission 58, opposed 98. . . . From the hour when she learned that a Constitutional Convention would be held, up to the opening of this convention, Miss Anthony had believed that it would incorporate a suffrage amendment which, in all probability, would be allowed by the voters to pass with the rest of the constitution. She found herself outwitted by the politicians, as she had been so many times before, but while this defeat was the bitterest disappointment of her life, it did not crush her dauntless spirit. It is related of her that as she came down the steps of the Capitol with the other ladies at midnight, after the vote had been taken, she began planning another campaign.
. . .The Kansas legislature of 1893 had submitted an amendment conferring full suffrage on women, to be voted on in November, 1894. . . . When the Kansas women came to the Washington convention in February, 1894, Miss Anthony for the first time had her suspicions aroused that the politicians of that State were getting in some shrewd work to prevent them from pressing the question of planks in the platforms. Mrs. Johns had made the serious mistake of accepting also the presidency of the State Republican Woman's Association, and had been actively organizing clubs and conferring with Republican leaders. She insisted that she was making woman suffrage the primary feature of her work, but Miss Anthony held that her strong Republican affiliations could not avoid weakening her influence with the Populists. She did, it is true, send out circulars urging the local organizations to work for planks in both State conventions; and she did advise the women to keep clear of partisan action, but this advice could hardly be effective coming from the State president of the Republican Woman's Association. Miss Anthony wrote her:
"My dear Laura, you must choose whom you will serve—the Republican party or the cause of woman's enfranchisement;" and she replied: "Please don't insult my loyalty with any such suggestion as this; I have never served anything but the suffrage cause since I began the suffrage work;" and continued to look after the welfare of her Republican clubs and arrange Republican meetings. . .
Miss Anthony, Mrs. Catt and Miss Shaw went to Kansas to open the spring canvass, May 4, to influence the State conventions. Miss Anthony had been advertised for forty-three speeches. The women of New York, where a great campaign was in progress, were highly indignant that she should leave her own State, but she had put her heart into this Kansas campaign as never into any other, and she fully believed that, if properly managed, the result could not fail to be victory for the amendment.
. . . Miss Anthony made a speech which fairly raised the hair of her audience, demanding in unqualified terms the endorsement of the amendment by the Republican and People's parties. . . .That night she wrote in her journal: "Never did I speak under such a fearful pressure of opposition. Mrs. Johns, presiding, never smiled, and other women on the platform whispered angrily and said audibly, 'She is losing us thousands of votes by this speech.'"
. . . The Republican convention met June 6. C. V. Eskridge, of Emporia, the oldest and bitterest opponent of woman suffrage in the State of Kansas, was made chairman of the committee on resolutions. The proposal to hear the women speak, during an interim in the proceedings, was met by a storm of noes. Finally Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Johns were permitted to present the claims of women, but neither Miss Anthony nor Miss Shaw was given an opportunity to address the convention. They did, however, plead the women's cause most eloquently before the resolution committee of thirty-five members, but the platform was entirely silent on the subject, not even containing the usual complimentary allusions, recognition of their services, etc.
Not the slightest attempt was made to deny the fact that agents of the party had been at work for weeks among the various county conventions to see that delegates were appointed who were opposed to a suffrage plank, and that the resolution committee had been carefully "packed" to prevent any danger of one. In conversations which Miss Anthony held with several of the leading candidates who in times past had advocated woman suffrage, they did not hesitate to admit that the party had formed an alliance with the whiskey ring to defeat the Populists. "We must redeem the State," was their only cry. "Redeem it from what?" she asked. "From financial heresies," was the answer. "Yes," she retorted, "even if you sink it to the depths of hell on moral issues."
It is not probable that any earthly power could have secured Republican endorsement at this time, although heretofore the party always had posed as the champion of this cause. . . . Men who had stood boldly for woman suffrage in the legislature, men who had spoken for it on the platform in every county in the State, sat dumb as slaves in this convention, sacrificing without scruple a lifelong principle for the sake of a paltry political reward. While many of the papers had spoken earnestly in favor of the amendment, the Leavenworth Times, owned and edited by D. R. Anthony, was the only one of size and influence which demanded party endorsement. The Republican managers had but one idea—to overthrow Populist rule and get back the reins of government—and they were ready to take on or pitch overboard whatever would contribute to this end.
. . . The suffrage question had its opponents and advocates among leaders and delegates. It occupied the resolution committee until late at night, and finally went down to defeat, 8 to 13. When the resolutions were reported they considered finance, labor, taxes, banks, bonds, arbitration, pensions, irrigation, freight rates, transportation, initiative and referendum—everything under the sun but the suffrage amendment.
. . . She returned home June 20 and all the Rochester reporters were on hand for an interview. The following from the Democrat and Chronicle is practically what appeared in all:
"Miss Anthony was perfectly willing to talk, and this is a resume of what the reporter learned: 1. Miss Anthony is not a Populist. 2. Miss Anthony is not a Democrat. 3. Miss Anthony is not a Republican.
"4. Miss Anthony can not say what party she will join when the right to vote is given her. . .
"But," said the reporter, "it always has been understood that you are a strong Republican." "Why has it been so understood? Simply because a majority of the national legislators who have favored us have been Republicans. Suppose the Republican party of New York, at its coming convention, refuses to endorse woman suffrage; suppose the Democratic does endorse it. My action with the Democrats would be just what it was with the Populists of Kansas. I am for woman suffrage and will work with any party which will help us.
"Remember I say 'with,' not 'for.'"
. . .In a public address made this summer, Miss Anthony referred to the matter in the following beautiful words:
"I was born and reared a Quaker, and am one still; I was trained by my father, a cotton manufacturer, in the Henry Clay school of protection to American products; but today all sectarian creeds and all political policies sink into utter insignificance compared with the essence of religion and the fundamental principle of government—equal rights. Wherever, religiously, socially, educationally, politically, justice to woman is preached and practiced, I find a bond of sympathy, and I hope and trust that henceforth I shall be brave enough to express my thanks to every individual and every organization, popular or unpopular, that gives aid and comfort to our great work for the emancipation of woman, and through her the redemption of the world."
. . . The amendment was lost by 34,827 votes; 95,302 for; 130,139 against. The total vote cast for governor was 299,231; total vote on suffrage amendment, 225,441; not voting on amendment, 73,790. . .
Though she had expected defeat, her regret was none the less keen. In all the past years she had given more time and work to Kansas than to any other State, even her own. Her hopes had been centered there. It having been the first State to grant school suffrage and the first to grant municipal suffrage to women, she had confidently expected that when the amendment for full suffrage was again submitted it would be carried.
. . . November 15, she returned to Rochester. She had just concluded two of the hardest campaigns ever made for woman suffrage; for almost one year she had found no rest for the sole of her foot, not an hour's respite for the tired brain, and yet the letters and the entries in the journal show her to be as cheerful, as philosophical, as full of hopeful plans, as ever she had been in all her long and busy life.
. . . On December 30, Miss Anthony received word of the death of her old co-worker, Amelia Bloomer, at Council Bluffs, Ia., aged seventy-seven, and sent a telegram of sympathy to the husband. A death felt most keenly in 1894 was that of Virginia L. Minor, of St. Louis, August 14, which closed a beautiful and unbroken friendship of thirty years. . . .
The New Year of 1895 promised less in the way of work and anxiety than the
one which had just closed. There were to be no State amendment campaigns with their annoying complexities, their arduous labors, their usual defeats. So many capable and energetic women had come into the national organization that Miss Anthony was relieved of much of the burden which used to rest upon her in the olden times, when she had to attend personally to details of arrangement and assume the financial responsibility. She found it difficult at first to adapt herself to the new regime, but soon learned to have confidence in the judgment and ability of her much-loved "body guard," as she liked to call the official board. . . . The voluminous correspondence shows, however, that the new workers were very glad to feel the touch of her firm and experienced hand on the helm, and that usually she was consulted on every point.
Susan B. Anthony
She especially impressed upon them the necessity of keeping the financial accounts with the strictest care and accuracy, and for a number of years would not allow a report to be published until she herself had examined every detail. At one time when two contributions had been accidentally omitted from the statement sent for her inspection, she wrote: "Not finding those two in your copy congealed the blood to the very ends of my fingers and toes, lest the givers should think I had not sent their money to you."
. . . New Year's Day twelve friends were gathered around the Anthony table, the
Gannetts, the Greenleafs, the Sanfords, Mrs. Hallowell and Mrs. Willis, and the occasion was a pleasant one.
A week later Miss Anthony started on an extended southern trip. There had been practically no suffrage work done in the South, with the exception of Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and Louisiana. As the national convention was to meet in Atlanta, Miss Anthony thought it advisable to make a lecture tour through the South to arouse a sentiment which might be felt there a month later. She invited Mrs. Chapman Catt to accompany her, guaranteeing her expenses although she had no assurance she would be able to make even her own.
At Lexington they were guests in the fine old home of Mrs. Mary J. Warfield
Clay and daughter Laura, and spoke in the Christian church to a sympathetic audience. They held meetings at Wilmore, Louisville, Owensboro, Paducah and Milan, receiving many social courtesies at each place visited, and they reached Memphis January 17. The management here was in the capable hands of the Woman's Council and a fine audience greeted them at the Young Men's Hebrew Association Hall. They were introduced by their hostess, Mrs. Lide Meriwether, president of the Equal Suffrage Club, and cordially received. The Appeal, Avalanche and Scimitar gave long and interesting reports. . . .Saturday morning they were guests of the Colored Women's Club; in the afternoon the Woman's Council, composed of forty-six local clubs, tendered a large reception, and in the evening they lectured again. Sunday morning they spoke in the Tabernacle to the colored people; and they left at 5.30 p. m.feeling they had not wasted much time at Memphis.
They reached New Orleans Monday morning; were met at the train by the president and several members of the Portia Club, and escorted to the residence of Judge Merrick. Each of the daily papers contained lengthy and excellent mention of the lectures. . . . They left this charming and hospitable city Wednesday evening, Mrs. Catt going to Greenville, Miss Anthony to Shreveport. Here she was entertained by Mrs. M. F. Smith and Professor C. E. Byrd, principal of the high school. The Hypatia Club sent her two lovely floral offerings. Of her lecture the Times said editorially:
"This veteran apostle of woman's rights addressed a magnificent audience last evening at the court-house, a representative assemblage comprising all the best elements of all the best classes of Shreveport's citizens, and one which was equally divided between men and women. Miss Anthony is certainly a remarkable woman in every respect, and one whose genius will leave its mark not only on the recorded history of the nineteenth century, but in the advanced position of woman now and for all time to come. She was one of the first women in America to raise her voice in advocacy of woman's rights, and she has lived to see herself and her sisters gradually released from legalized bondage and, in everything but suffrage, made the full equal of man. No one can deny that her claims are founded on justice; and in the light of cold and clear reason, divested of all sentiment and cleansed of all prejudice, her arguments can not be successfully controverted."
The Twenty-seventh Annual Convention opened in Atlanta, Georgia, at De Give's opera house, January 31, continuing six days. Ninety-three delegates were present from twenty-eight states, numbers were in attendance from southern cities, and the people of Atlanta turned out en masse. . . .
Miss Anthony was much revered by the colored race and while here she addressed the students of the Atlanta University, and spoke with Bishop Turner to an immense audience at Bethel church. She was invited also to address the alumnæ of the girls' high school. At the close of the convention she went, with her sister Mary, niece Lucy, Anna Shaw and Mrs. Upton, for a three days' visit at the spacious old-time mansion of the Howards, in Columbus. She left for
Aiken, S. C., February 9, where she spoke in the courthouse and was introduced by the Baptist minister. Here she was the guest of Miss Martha Schofield, and was much interested in the very successful industrial school for colored children, founded by her during the war.
. . . Miss Anthony reached Washington on the morning of her seventy-fifth birthday, February 15. The National Woman's Council was to open its second triennial meeting on the 18th, and its official board and many delegates were already in the city. When she arrived she found that "her girls," as she was fond of designating the younger workers, had arranged for a banquet in her honor at the Ebbitt House that evening. Covers were laid for fifty and it was a beautiful affair.
After a number of speeches had been made, Rachel Foster Avery arose and stated that the friends of Miss Anthony from ocean to ocean and the lakes to the gulf, had placed in her hands sums of money amounting to $5,000. This she had put into a trust fund, purchasing therewith an "annuity" of $800, which she now took great pleasure in presenting. There were 202 contributors and although Mrs. Avery had been for several months collecting the money, incredible as it may seem, the whole matter was a complete surprise to Miss Anthony. Realizing that during the last forty-five years she had spent practically all she had earned and all that had been given her, to advance the cause to which she had devoted her life, they determined to put this testimonial into such shape as would make it impossible thus to expend it. She was greatly overcome and for once could not command the words to voice her feelings.
As each three months have rolled around since that occasion, and the $200 check has been sent with a pleasant greeting from the Penn Mutual insurance company, hoping that she might live to use the entire principal, her heart has thrilled anew with gratitude and affection to Mrs. Avery and the friends who put their love and appreciation into this material shape. It suffices to pay the monthly expenses of the modest household and, with the income from the few thousands that have been laid away, an occasional paid lecture and the gifts from generous friends, Miss Anthony is freed from financial anxiety, although obliged to exercise careful economy.
It is impossible in this limited space to attempt a description of that great council extending through the days and evenings of two weeks, attended by delegates from twenty national organizations, representing the highest intellects and activities among women and covering a wide range of vital questions. . . . Frederick Douglass came into the council the afternoon of the 20th and was invited by the president, Mrs. Sewall, to a seat on the platform. He accepted, but declined to speak, acknowledging the applause only by a bow. Upon entering his home in Anacostia, a few hours later, he dropped to the floor and expired instantly. Funeral services were held in the African Metropolitan church, Washington, February 25, in which, at the request of the family, Miss Anthony took part, paid a brief tribute and read Mrs. Stanton's touching memorial of the only man who sustained her demand for the enfranchisement of women in that famous first convention of 1848.
Frederick Douglass' funeral was held on February 25 at the Metropolitan African Methodist
From Mrs. Avery's suburban home at Somerton, Miss Anthony sent grateful letters to every one of the 202 contributors to her annuity. . . The day after Miss Anthony reached home she read in the morning paper that two of the State Industrial School girls and two of the free academy boys had been seen the night before coming out of a questionable place; the girls were arrested and locked up in the station house, the boys were told to go home. It was an everyday injustice but she determined to protest, so she went straightway to the police court, where she insisted that the boys should not go free while the girls were punished. She pleaded in vain; the girls were sent to the reformatory, the boys being used as witnesses against them and then dismissed without so much as a reprimand.
A short time afterwards Miss Anthony went to the Baptist church one Sunday
evening to hear a young colored woman, Miss Ida Wells, lecture on the lynching of negroes in the South. The speaker was rudely interrupted several times by a fellow from Texas who was in Rochester attending the theological school. She answered him politely but at length he asked: "If the negroes don't like it in the South, why don't they leave and go North?" At this Miss Anthony, who had been growing more indignant every moment, sprung to her feet and, with flashing eyes and ringing voice, said:
Ida B. Wells
"I will tell you why; it is because they are treated no better in the North than they are in the South." She then related a number of instances, which had come to her own knowledge, of the cruel discrimination made against colored people, to the utter amazement of the audience who did not believe such things possible.
She took Miss Wells home with her for the rest of her stay. She had employed a young woman stenographer for a few weeks to clear up her accumulated correspondence and, having to go away the next day, she told Miss Wells the girl might help her with her pile of letters. When she returned in the evening she found her scribbling away industriously and the stenographer at leisure. In answer to her inquiry the latter replied: "I don't choose to write for a colored person." "If you can not oblige me by assisting a guest in my house," said Miss Anthony, "you can not remain in my employ." The girl, although in destitute circumstances, gave up her situation.
In 1883, Ida B. Wells took three of her younger siblings to Memphis, Tennessee to live with their aunt. She also learned that she could earn higher wages there as a teacher.Later, Wells was offered an editorial position for the Evening Star, and also wrote weekly articles for The Living Way weekly newspaper. In 1889, she became co-owner and editor of Free Speech and Headlight, an anti-segregationist newspaper that published articles about racial injustice. In 1889 Thomas Moss, a friend of Wells, opened the People's Grocery in a neighborhood just outside the Memphis city limits. It did well and served as competition with a white-owned grocery store across the street. A white mob invaded her friends' store, and three white men were shot and injured. Thomas Moss and two other black owners were arrested and jailed; a lynch mob stormed the jail and killed the three men. Wells wrote about the lynching and urged blacks to boycott white businesses, and leave Memphis if they could. After being threatened with violence, she later wrote, "They had made me an exile and threatened my life for hinting at the truth."The murder of her friends drove Wells to research and document lynchings and their causes. She began looking at the charges given for the murders, and officially started her anti-lynching campaign. She spoke on the issue at black women’s clubs, and raised money to investigate lynchings and publish her results.
Wells found that blacks were lynched for such reasons as failing to pay debts, not appearing to give way to whites, competing with whites economically, and being drunk in public. She published her findings in a pamphlet entitled "Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases." On May 27, 1892, while she was away in Philadelphia, a mob destroyed the offices of the Free Speech and Headlight in retaliation for her controversial articles. Because of the threats to her life, she moved from Memphis to Chicago. Wells continued to wage her anti-lynching campaign and to write columns attacking Southern injustices.In 1895, Wells married Ferdinand Barnett, an attorney and newspaper publisher. She set an early precedent as being one of the first married American women to keep her own last name along with her husband's. The couple had four children. In her autobiography, A Divided Duty, Wells described the difficulty she had splitting her time between her family and her work. She continued to work after the birth of her first child, traveling and bringing the infant Charles with her. Although she tried to balance her world, she could not be as active in her work. Susan B. Anthony seemed irritated with her, and Wells-Barnett asked “Miss Anthony, don’t you believe in women getting married?” She said, “Oh, yes, but not women like you who had a special call for special work. . . . I know of no one in this country better fitted to do the work you had in hand than yourself.Since you have gotten married, agitation seems practically to have ceased…you have a divided duty. ”
After having her second child, Wells-Barnett stepped out of her touring and public life for a time. She did not take any work outside the home until the youngest child was eight-years-old and able to attend school alone.
The California legislature, the previous winter, had submitted a woman suffrage amendment which was to be voted on in 1896. This visit would enable her to look over the field, talk with the men and women, and render any assistance they might desire towards planning their campaign. She wrote Mrs. Cooper stating that she did not wish to make the journey alone, that she liked to have one of her "lieutenants" to relieve her of the burden of much speaking, and would be glad of the privilege of bringing with her Rev. Anna Shaw. Mrs. Cooper responded with a check of $450, for travelling expenses, saying: "We rejoice to know that Miss Shaw will come with you, as another grand helper for us. I send you the money and want you to have every possible comfort on the journey."
. . . She reached Denver May 8, at 4 a. m. . . . While in the city she was entertained at the home of Hon. Thomas M. Patterson, of the Rocky Mountain News, whose progressive and cultured wife was her warm personal friend and had been an advocate of suffrage long before it was granted to the women of Colorado. Reverend Anna was the guest of ex-Governor and Mrs. Routt. That afternoon Miss Anthony went to Boulder, where she was engaged to lecture.
The next day the Woman's Club gave a large reception in their honor at the Brown Palace Hotel, attended by over 1,200 women. . . . At Salt Lake, on Sunday morning, a large delegation of women, representing the different religious sects and political organizations, met the travellers and drove to the Templeton, where seventy-five sat down to breakfast, and they were then taken for a drive over the city. Miss Anthony was the guest of Mrs. Beatie, daughter of Brigham and Zina D. H. Young, and Miss Shaw of Mrs. McVicker.
. . . The Woman's Congress opened at Golden Gate Hall, on the morning of May 20. The newspapers of San Francisco had decreed that this congress should be a success, and to this end they had been as generous with space and as complimentary in tone as the most exacting could have desired. . . . On May 29 the Ebell Club of Oakland gave them a breakfast at 11:30; at 2 p. m. they addressed the Alameda County Auxiliary of the Woman's Congress, Rev. Eliza Tupper Wilkes, president. The audience filled every inch of space in the Unitarian church, the most prominent ladies of Oakland occupied seats on the platform, and a large reception in the parlors followed the speaking. . . .
The next afternoon they started for the Yosemite Valley, having for companions Dr. Elizabeth Sargent and Dr. Henry A. Baker, Miss Anthony's grand-nephew. There Miss Anthony, at the age of seventy-five, made the usual trips on the back of a mule. She relates that the name of her steed was Moses and Anna Shaw's Ephraim, and they had great sport over them. They enjoyed to the full all the beauties of that wonderful region, which never pall, no matter how often one visits them or how long one remains among them. During this trip Miss Shaw went with one of the Yosemite commissioners, George B. Sperry, to the Mariposa Big Trees.
Anthony riding in Yosemite
. . . The State Suffrage Association, with a good delegate representation, met in Golden Gate Hall, July 3, for their annual convention. . . .There was a great shout from the immense crowd, "Miss Anthony, Miss Anthony!" Finally she was obliged to come forward and, when a stillness had settled upon the audience, she said in strong, ringing tones:
"You have heard today a great deal of what George Washington, the father of his country, said a hundred years ago. I will repeat to you just one sentence which Abraham Lincoln, the savior of his country, uttered within the present generation: 'No man is good enough to govern another man without his consent.' Now I say unto you, 'No man is good enough to govern any woman without her consent;'" and sat down amidst roars of applause.
. . . Miss Anthony preserves, as a memento of this visit, a large scrap-book of over 200 pages entirely filled with personal notices from the newspapers of that State during the six weeks of her stay, all, with a few exceptions, of such a character as to make their reading a pleasure. A source of even greater satisfaction was the wide discussion of woman suffrage which her visit had inspired and the favorable consideration accorded it by the press. In the months which followed she received scores of letters from California women, many of them unknown to her, expressing the sentiments of one from a teacher, which may be quoted:
"Many of us who could attend but few of the meetings and had not even time to meet you personally, have caught something of their spirit and have been with you in heart. We bless the day which brought you to us; for your kindly words to women, and to men for women, have lifted the fog, and the veiling mists are drifting away, leaving us a clearer view of our duty not only to humanity but to ourselves.
. . . She arrived at Chicago July 15, and was thus described by a Herald reporter:
"Miss Anthony has grown slightly thinner since she was in Chicago attending the World's Fair Congresses, thinner and more spiritual-looking. As she sat last night with her transparent hands grasping the arms of her chair, her thin, hatchet face and white hair, with only her keen eyes flashing light and fire, she looked like Pope Leo XIII. The whole physical being is as nearly submerged as possible in a great mentality. She recalls facts, figures, names and dates with unerring accuracy."
. . . The next day she resumed her journey with Mr. and Mrs. Gross and Harriet Hosmer, who were going to Bar Harbor. She reached her own home at daybreak . . .The first word received from Miss Shaw was that she had arrived at her summer home on Cape Cod with a raging fever, the result of the great strain of constant speaking and travelling so many weeks without rest, and she continued alarmingly ill the remainder of the summer. She was much distressed because of an engagement she had to lecture to the Chautauqua Assembly at Lakeside, Ohio, and to relieve her mind Miss Anthony telegraphed her that she would go in her place. She herself felt not the slightest ill effect from her journey, and the long interviews published in all the Rochester papers during the week she was at home, displayed the keenest and strongest mental power.
She reached Lakeside on the 25th of July and the next day spoke to a large audience. Towards the close of her address, she ended abruptly, dropped into her chair and sank into a dead faint.
She was taken at once to Mrs. Southworth's summer home, at which she was a guest, and telegrams were sent out by the press reporters announcing that she could not live till morning. She learned afterwards that long obituary notices were put in type in many of the newspaper offices. One Chicago paper telegraphed its correspondent: "5,000 words if still living; no limit, if dead." She was very much vexed at this momentary weakness and, using her will-power, by the next day had rallied sufficiently to return home. The national suffrage business committee, by previous arrangement, met at her house, and she forced herself to keep up for two days, but felt very dull and tired, and on the morning of July 30 she did not rise. A physician was summoned and a trained nurse, and for a month she lay helpless with nervous prostration; her first serious illness in seventy-five years.
. . . Mrs. Stanton wrote: "I never realized how desolate the world would be to me without you until I heard of your sudden illness. Let me urge you with all the strength I have, and all the love I bear you, to stay at home and rest and save your precious self."
. . .In September she began to walk out a little and then to call on the nearest friends, and by the last of the month she attended a few committee meetings. The rumor had been persistently circulated that she was to resign the presidency of the National-American Association and retire to private life. In fact, she never had the slightest intention of giving up active work. She realized that inactivity meant stagnation and hastened both physical and mental decay, and she was determined to keep on and "drop in the harness" when the time came to stop.
It was evident, however, that she must have relief in her immense
correspondence. This she recognized, and so secured an efficient stenographer and typewriter in Mrs. Emma B. Sweet, who assumed her duties October 1, 1895. The five large files packed with copies of letters sent out during the remaining months of the year show how pressing was the need of her services. Miss Anthony relates in her diary with much satisfaction, that she "managed to have a letter at every State suffrage convention held that fall."
Susan Anthony and Emma Sweet
She thought possibly she might have to work a little more moderately for a while, and one of her first letters was written to the head of the Slayton Lecture Bureau: "I should love dearly to say 'yes' to your proposition for a series of lectures at $100 a night. Nothing short of that would tempt me to go on the lyceum platform again, and even to that, for the present, I must say 'nay.' I am resolved to be a home-body the coming year, with the exception of attending the celebration of Mrs. Stanton's eightieth birthday and our regular Washington convention."
Reporters were constantly besieging her for her views on "bloomers," which had been re-introduced by the bicycle, and she usually replied in effect:
"My opinion about 'bloomers' and dress generally for both men and women is that people should dress to accommodate whatever business or pastime they pursue. It would be quite out of good taste as well as good sense, for a woman to go to her daily work with trailing skirts, flowing sleeves, fringes and laces; and certainly, if women ride the bicycle or climb mountains, they should don a costume which will permit them the use of their legs. It is very funny that it is ever and always the men who are troubled about the propriety of the women's costume. My one word about the 'bloomers' or any other sort of dress, is that every woman, like every man, should be permitted to wear exactly what she chooses. When women have equal chances in the world they will cease to live merely to please the conventional fancy of men. As long as there was no alternative for women but to marry, it was about as much as any woman's life was worth to be an old maid, and her one idea was to dress and behave so as to escape this fate. She now has other objects in life, and her new liberty has brought with it a freedom in matters of dress which is cause for rejoicing."
She started for New York November 6 to be present at an event to which she had looked forward with more pleasure than to anything of that nature in all her life—the celebration of the eightieth birthday of Mrs. Stanton. . . . On the evening of the 12th occurred the birthday fête. . . . On the stage was a throne of flowers and above it an arch with the name "Stanton" wrought in red
carnations on a white ground. When Mrs. Stanton entered, the entire audience of 3,000 rose to salute her with waving handkerchiefs. At the right and left of the floral throne sat Miss Anthony and Mrs. Dickinson. . . . The next day a large reception was given at the Savoy by Mrs. Henry Villard, the only daughter of Wm. Lloyd Garrison; and after various luncheons and dinners and good-by calls, Miss Anthony returned to Rochester.
Fanny Garrison Villard
Miss Anthony was very glad to go back to Washington with the annual convention, which was held January 23 to 28, 1896. . . . The principal cause of rejoicing at this convention was the admission of Utah as a State with the full enfranchisement of women. . . . There was also rejoicing over the fact that, during the autumn of 1895, the full franchise had been conferred upon the women of South Australia.
The occurrence of the convention which forever made its memory a sad one to Miss Anthony was the so-called "Bible resolution." It had this effect not only because of the resolution itself but because those who were responsible for it were especially near and dear to her.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, assisted by a committee of women, had been for several years preparing a work called the "Woman's Bible." It contained no discussion of doctrinal questions but was simply a commentary upon those texts and chapters directly referring to women, and a few others from which they were conspicuously excluded. Naturally, however, this pamphlet caused a great outcry, especially from those who had not read a word of it.
. . . Mrs. Stanton was honorary president of the National-American Suffrage Association, but had not attended its meetings or actively participated in its work for a number of years. Several members of the board, who were children when she and Miss Anthony founded that organization, and unborn when Mrs. Stanton called the first woman's rights convention, decided that her Woman's Bible was injuring the association . . . They determined that this body should take official action on the question, but they understood perfectly that it would have to be brought before the convention without any previous knowledge on the part of Miss Anthony. Therefore it was planned to have a paragraph of condemnation and renunciation of the Woman's Bible incorporated in the report of the corresponding secretary. When it was read in open meeting she was struck dumb.
. . . The committee on resolutions reported the following:
"This association is non-sectarian, being composed of persons of all shades of religious opinions, and has no official connection with the so-called Woman's Bible, or any theological publication."
This resolution was wholly gratuitous. While true that the association was composed of persons of all shades of religious opinion, it comprised also among some of its oldest and ablest members those who entertained no so-called religious beliefs. Mrs. Stanton invariably had announced that this revision of the Scriptures was the individual work of herself and her committee, and there was no ground for holding the whole association responsible. The resolution, however, was debated for an hour. Miss Anthony was moved as never before. Not only was she fired with indignation at this insult to the woman whom she loved and revered above all others, but she was outraged at this deliberate attempt to deny personal liberty of thought and speech. Leaving the chair she said in an impassioned appeal:
"The one distinct feature of our association has been the right of individual opinion for every member. We have been beset at each step with the cry that somebody was injuring the cause by the expression of sentiments which differed from those held by the majority The religious persecution of the ages has been carried on tinder what was claimed to be the command of God.
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
"All the way along the history of our movement there has been this same contest on account of religious theories, Forty years ago one of our noblest men said to
me: 'You would better never hold another convention than allow Ernestine L. Rose on your platform' because that eloquent woman, who ever stood for justice and freedom, did not believe in the plenary inspiration of the Bible. Did we banish Mrs. Rose? No, indeed!
"Every new generation of converts threshes over the same old straw. The point is whether you will sit in judgment on one who questions the divine inspiration of certain passages in the Bible derogatory to women. If Mrs. Stanton had written approvingly of these passages you would not have brought in this resolution for fear the cause might be injured among the liberals in religion. In other words, if she had written your views, you would not have considered a resolution necessary. To pass this one is to set back the hands on the dial of reform.
"What you should say to outsiders is that a Christian has neither more nor less rights in our association than an atheist. When our platform becomes too narrow for people of all creeds and of no creeds, I myself can not stand upon it. Many things have been said and done by our orthodox friends which I have felt to be extremely harmful to our cause; but I should no more consent to a resolution denouncing them than I shall consent to this. Who is to draw the line? Who can tell now whether these commentaries may not prove a great help to woman's emancipation from old superstitions which have barred its way?
". . . I shall be pained beyond expression if the delegates here are so narrow and illiberal as to adopt this resolution. You would better not begin resolving against individual action or you will find no limit. This year it is Mrs. Stanton; next year it may be I or one of yourselves who will be the victim.
"If we do not inspire in women a broad and catholic spirit, they will fail, when enfranchised, to constitute that power for better government which we have always claimed for them. Ten women educated into the practice of liberal principles would be a stronger force than 10,000 organized on a platform of intolerance and bigotry. I pray you vote for religious liberty, without censorship or inquisition. This resolution adopted will be a vote of censure upon a woman who is without a peer in intellectual and statesmanlike ability; one who has stood for half a century the acknowledged leader of progressive thou-lit and demand in regard to all matters pertaining to the absolute freedom of women."The resolution was adopted by 53 yeas, 41 nays.
Miss Anthony's feelings could not be put into words. At first she seriously contemplated resigning her office, but from all parts of the country came letters from the pioneer workers—the women who had stood by her for more than two score years—pointing out that this action of the convention was a striking illustration of the necessity for her remaining at the helm. Mrs. Stanton urged that they both resign, but Miss Anthony replied:
"During three weeks of agony of soul, with scarcely a night of sleep, I have felt I must resign my presidency, but then the rights of the minority are to be respected and protected by me quite as much as the action of the majority is to be resented; and it is even more my duty to stand firmly with the minority because principle is with them. I feel very sure that after a year's reflection upon the matter, the same women, and perhaps the one man, who voted for this interference with personal rights, will be ready to declare that their duty as individuals does not require them to disclaim freedom of speech in their co-workers. Sister Mary says the action of the convention convinces her that the time has not yet come for me to resign; whereas she had felt most strongly that I ought to do it for my own sake. No, my dear, instead of my resigning and leaving those half-fledged chickens without any mother, I think it my duty and the duty of yourself and all the liberals to be at the next convention and try to reverse this miserable, narrow action."
In letters to the different members of her "cabinet," who had voted in favor of the resolution, she thus expressed herself:
"In this action I see nothing but the beginning of a petty espionage, a revival of the Spanish inquisition, subjecting to spiritual torture every one who speaks or writes what the other members consider not good for the association. Such disclaimers bring quite as much of martyrdom for our civilization as did the rack and fire in the barbarous ages of the past. That a majority of the delegates could see no wrong personally to Mrs. Stanton and no violation of the right of individual judgment, makes me sick at heart; and still, I don't know what better one could expect when our ranks are now so filled with young women not yet out of bondage to the idea of the infallibility of that book.
To every person who really believes in religious freedom, it is no worse to criticise those pages in the Bible which degrade woman than it is to criticise the laws on our statute books which degrade her. Everything spoken or written by Jew or Greek, Gentile or Christian, or by any human being whomsoever, is not too sacred to be criticised by any other human being.
. . . At the close of the convention the principal speakers and many of the
delegates went to Philadelphia to a national conference, which was largely attended. It was here that "Nelly Bly" had the famous interview published in the New York World of February 2, 1896. She had tried to secure this in Washington, but Miss Anthony could not spare time for it, so she followed her to Philadelphia. It filled a page of the Sunday edition and contained Miss Anthony's opinions on most of the leading topics of the day, in the main correctly reported, although not a note was taken. It began thus:
Susan B. Anthony! She was waiting for me. I stood for an instant in the doorway and looked at her. She made a picture to remember and to cherish. She sat in a low rocking-chair, an image of repose and restfulness. Her well-shaped head, with its silken snowy hair combed smoothly over her ears, rested against the back of the chair. Her shawl had half fallen from her shoulders and her soft black silk gown lay in gentle folds about her. Her slender hands were folded idly in her lap, and her feet, crossed, just peeped from beneath the edge of her skirt. If she had been posed for a picture, it could not have been done more artistically.
"Do you know the world is a blank to me?" she said after we had exchanged greetings. "I haven't read a newspaper in ten days and I feel lost to everything. Tell me about Cuba! I almost would be willing to postpone the enfranchisement of women to see Cuba free...."
"Do you believe in immortality?"
"I don't know anything about heaven or hell," she answered, "or whether I will meet my friends again or not, but as no particle of matter is ever destroyed, I have a feeling that no particle of mind is ever lost. I am sure that the same wise power which manages the present may be trusted with the hereafter."
"Then you don't find life tiresome?"
"O, mercy, no! I don't want to die as long as I can work; the minute I can not, I want to go. I dread the thought of being enfeebled. The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball—the further I am rolled the more I gain. But," she added, significantly, "I'll have to take it as it comes. I'm just as much in eternity now as after the breath goes out of my body."
"Do you pray?"
"I pray every single second of my life; not on my knees, but with my work. My prayer is to lift woman to equality with man. Work and worship are one with me. I can not imagine a God of the universe made happy by my getting down on my knees and calling him 'great.'...
"What do I think of marriage? True marriage, the real marriage of soul, when two people take each other on terms of perfect equality, without the desire of one to control the other, is a beautiful thing; it is the highest condition of life; but for a woman to marry for support is demoralizing; and for a man to marry a woman merely because she has a beautiful figure or face is degradation...."
"I'll tell you what I think of bicycling," she said, leaning forward and laying a hand on my arm. "I think it has done more to emancipate woman than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood."
"What do you think the new woman will be?"
"She'll be free," said Miss Anthony. "Then she'll be whatever her best judgment dictates. We can no more imagine what the true woman will be than what the true man will be. We haven't him yet, and it will be generations after we gain freedom before we have the highest man and woman. They will constantly change for the better, as the world does. What is the best possible today will be outgrown tomorrow."
. . . Miss Anthony had been home from California but a short time in 1895 when
Ellen C. Sargent, president of the State association, wrote an earnest official request for the help of the national board. At the same time Sarah B. Cooper, president of the campaign committee, sent the strongest letter her eloquent pen could write, emphasizing Mrs. Sargent's invitation. These were followed by similar pleas from the other members of the board and from many prominent women of the State.
Miss Anthony felt at first as if it would not be possible for her to make the long trip and endure the fatigue of a campaign, which she understood so well from having experienced it seven times over. On the other hand she realized what a tremendous impetus would be given to the cause of woman suffrage if the great State of California should carry this amendment, and she longed to render every assistance in her power. It was not, however, until early in February that she yielded to the appeals and decided to abandon all the plans she had cherished for the year. . . . The question now arose with Miss Anthony what she should do with her secretary, whom she had engaged for a year but did not feel able to take with her. This was settled in a few days through the action of Rev. and Mrs. W. C. Gannett, who went among the friends and in a short time raised the money to pay Mrs. Sweet's expenses to California and back, all agreeing that Miss Anthony must have some one to relieve her of the mechanical part of the burden she was about to assume. This seemed too good to be true, as she had had no such help in all her forty-five years of public work. The two started on the evening of February 27, a large party of friends assembling at the station to say good-by to the veteran of seventy-six years about to enter another battle.
. . . She reached San Diego March 10 and, after attending the Woman's Club, went to Los Angeles where she was beautifully received . . She arrived at San Francisco a few days later, being joyfully greeted at the Oakland station by Mrs. Cooper and Harriet. She went directly to the Sargent residence, and from this delightful home, Miss Anthony, the National president, and Mrs. Sargent, the State president, directed the great campaign.
|Mary McHenry Keith|
1630 Folsom St San Francisco Mch 20/'96
My Dear Mrs Keith
Dr. Elizabeth Sargent brings me your note and the News Letter clipping— How can I state our position as to the political parties—so as to be understood—
Women can belong to no party—in the sense that men belong— We stand outside of each and all alike—and plead with the leaders of all—alike—to put Suffrage Amendment resolutions in their platforms—thereby making their party editors—and party stump orators free to advocate the amendment without being told they are going outside their platform of principles and policies—
What we try to do is to keep our women from saying they'll belong to—or work for—any political party—until after they are enfranchised— Now—we are beggars of each and all—to declare they'll help carry the amendment—
If one, or all, of the parties—puts a plank in platform—they will not only tolerate men's advocating the amendment—but will be likely to invite women to speak at their party rallies—all over the State—and our speakers are implored to speak only on the one plank—that of Suffrage amdt— For instance—if any one of the State Committees should invite me to speak at one of their party meetings—I should say yes—I shall be happy to do so—provided I may speak only on the W.S. plank—but that I should say nothing on their other planks—whether gold or silver—free trade or tariff—etc— You see our policy is—and will be not to be partisan—but to help the amendment by speaking for it anywhere and everywhere we can get the opportunity to do so. Of all the other points—or plots—in the article, you can deal better blows than can I.
If such men could only believe in Nature's Laws—that neither men nor women can change their sex—that to allow women's opinions to be counted at the ballot-box, will no more interfere with their wifehood and motherhood—than voting now interferes with men's husbandhood or father-hood.
The great fact of woman-hood is over and under all the incidents of life—as manhood is over and above all the incidents of his life—
Isn't it sickening that these old flimsey objections are thrust before us today—just as they were a half century ago when our claim was first made Sincerely Yours
Susan B. Anthony
No description could give an adequate idea of the amount of labor performed by Miss Anthony during those eight months. There was scarcely a day, including Sundays, that she did not make from one to three speeches, often having a long journey between them. She addressed great political rallies of thousands of people; church conventions of every denomination; Spiritualist and Freethinkers' gatherings; Salvation Army meetings; African societies; Socialists; all kinds of labor organizations; granges; Army and Navy Leagues; Soldiers' Homes and military encampments; women's clubs and men's clubs; Y. M. C. A.'s and W. C. T. U.'s. She spoke at farmers' picnics on the mountaintops, and Bethel Missions in the cellars of San Francisco; at parlor meetings in the most elegant homes; and in pool-rooms where there was printed on the blackboard, "Welcome to Susan B. Anthony."
In June the National Republican Convention was held at St. Louis. Miss Anthony could not make the long journey but she sent the following resolution and asked its adoption: "The Republican Party in national convention assembled hereby recommends that Congress shall submit an amendment to the Federal Constitution providing that the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account of sex."
The platform committee labored and this is what it brought forth:
"The Republican party is mindful of the rights and interests of women. Protection of American industries includes equal opportunities, equal pay for equal work, and protection to the home. We favor the admission of women to wider spheres of usefulness, and welcome their co-operation in rescuing the country from Democratic mismanagement and Populist misrule."
Miss Anthony's indignation, anger and contempt when she read this resolution can not be put into words. It required the combined efforts of those who were nearest her to prevent the expression of her opinion in reply to the many reporters and letters wanting to know how she regarded this plank. "You must not offend the Republicans and injure our amendment," they argued, and she would acquiesce and subside. Then, after thinking it over, she would again burst forth and declare the women of the country should not be compelled to submit to this insult without a protest from her. "Women want the suffrage as a sword to smite down Democratic and Populist misrule. Infamous!" she exclaimed again and again. "That climaxes all the outrages ever offered to women in the history of political platforms." To Mrs. Stanton she wrote: "O, that you were young and strong and free, and could fire off of the planet such ineffable slush as is being slobbered over our cause!" But she held her peace, and all the brainy women who were conducting this great campaign kept silent, although there was not one of them who did not feel exactly like Miss Anthony in regard to this plank. Nor was there a woman in the country, who was able to comprehend the resolution, that did not regard it as an insult and feel that she would prefer never again to have women mentioned in a national platform if the men who should make it had no higher conception of justice than this.
. . . Up to within a few weeks of election, in spite of all the drawbacks, it looked as if the amendment would win. The general sentiment throughout the State seemed to be in favor. The mere mention of the subject at any meeting was received with the greatest enthusiasm.
. . . There was one element more powerful than all these combined, which had not yet shown its hand. It never had failed in any State to fight woman suffrage to the death, and there was no reason to believe it would not kill it in California.
Ten days before election the fatal blow came. The representatives of the Liquor Dealers' League met in San Francisco and resolved "to take such steps as were necessary to protect their interests." The political leaders, the candidates, the rank and file of the voters recognized the handwriting on the wall. From that moment the fate of the amendment was sealed. The women had determined, from the beginning of the campaign, that they would give the liquor business no excuse to say its interests were threatened, and therefore the temperance question had been kept out of the discussion as had the religious, the tariff and the financial questions. They took the sensible view that it had no more place than these in the demand for women's right to vote as they pleased on all subjects. Therefore the action of the liquor dealers had no justification in anything which the women had said or done. It simply showed that they considered woman suffrage a dangerous foe.
The following letter, signed by the wholesale liquor firms of San Francisco, was sent to the saloon-keepers, hotel proprietors, druggists and grocers throughout the State:
"At the election to be held on November 3, Constitutional Amendment No. Six, which gives the right to vote to women, will be voted on. It is to your interest and ours to vote against this amendment. We request and urge you to vote and work against it and do all you can to defeat it. See your neighbor in the same line of business as yourself, and have him be with you in this matter."
The men in the slums of San Francisco were taken in squads and, with sample ballots, were taught how to put the cross against the suffrage amendment and assured that if it carried there never would be another glass of beer sold in the city. When the chairman of the press committee went to a prominent editor, who was opposed to woman suffrage and knew that these things were being done, and asked if there were no way by which some suffrage literature could be given to those men so that they might see there was no ground for these threats, he said: "Most of them can not read and if they could the whiskey men would never allow a page of it to get into their hands." In what way the liquor dealers worked upon the political parties, it is not necessary to speculate. The methods were not new and are pretty well understood. They control tens of thousands of votes not only in California but in every State, which they can deliver to either of the great parties that does their bidding and regards their interests.
It is absurd, however, to attribute the defeat of the suffrage amendment wholly to the liquor dealers, or to the densely ignorant, or to the foreigners. In the wealthiest and most aristocratic wards of San Francisco and Oakland, where there were none of these, the proportion of votes against the amendment was just as great as it was in the slum wards of the two cities. Those respectable, law-abiding citizens who cast their ballots against the amendment, thereby voted to continue the power of the above mentioned classes.
. . . There were 247,454 votes cast on the suffrage amendment; 110,355 for; 137,099 against; defeated by 26,734.
Certainly the most picturesque, if not the most interesting incident of the afternoon's meeting was the appearance on the rostrum of Susan B. Anthony... leading by the hand an old colored woman. Miss Anthony introduced her as Mrs. Harriet Tubman...The old woman was once a slave, and as she stood before the assemblage in her cheap black gown and goat, and big black straw bonnet without adornment, her hand held in Miss Anthony's, she impressed one with the venerable dignity of her appearance. Her face was very black, with her race characteristics, but through it all there shows an honesty and true benevolence of purpose which commanded respect.
|Ida Husted Harper|
She had exacted a promise from Mrs. Harper, who had charge of the State press during that long and trying period, to come to Rochester and write the biography. She herself agreed to remain at home till the work should be finished, and give every possible assistance from the storehouse of reminiscence and the wealth of material which had been so carefully garnered during all the years. So the first of March, 1897, the work began. A little while before, Miss Anthony had written to a friend: "Some one soon will write the story of my life and will want everything she can get about me, but she will find there is precious little when she sits down to the task."
What the biographer did find was two large rooms filled, from floor to ceiling,
with material of a personal and historical nature. It seemed at first as if nothing less than a cyclopedia could contain what would have to be used. Ranged around the walls were trunks, boxes and bags of letters and other documents, dating back for a century and tied in bundles just as they had been put away from year to year. There were piles of legal papers, accounts, receipts and memoranda of every description, and the diaries and note-books of sixty years. The shelves were filled with congressional, convention and other reports; there were stacks of magazines and newspapers, large numbers of scrap-books and bushels of scraps waiting to be pasted. There was, in fact, everything of this nature which can be imagined, all carefully saved and put away, waiting for the leisure when they could be sorted and classified.
Harper and Anthony in Attic Workroom
. . . With the assistance of their efficient secretary, Miss Genevieve Lel Hawley, the work went steadily on from daylight till dark for many days, until at length the sheep all were separated from the goats; the matter likely to be used placed in one room, and the remainder arranged conveniently for reference in the other. Every scrap of writing was pressed out and each year's quota not only placed in a separate box, but arranged according to months and days. The printed matter was carefully classified and the scrap-books all finished, a complete set of nearly fifty years.
Then commenced the far more difficult labor of culling the most important and interesting points from this great mass of material, and condensing them into such space as would permit the reading of the biography during at least an average lifetime.
. . . The attic workrooms were an ideal place for this long and exacting task, secluded from all interruption and dedicated so entirely to the work that not a book or paper ever was disturbed.
In a letter to Mrs. Stanton she said:
"Mrs. Besant lunched with us, and I heard her last evening for the second time. She is master of the English language, and whether or not one can believe she sees and hears from the world of the disembodied what she feels she does, one can not but realize that she is a great woman and has a wonderful theory of how human souls return to earth. But I tell her that it seems to me repellent that we have to come back here through Dame Nature's processes, after a period of such great freedom in the occult world, and again go through with teething, mumps, measles, and similar inflictions. The truth is, I can no more see through Theosophy than I can through Christian Science, Spiritualism, Calvinism or any other of the theories, so I shall have to go on knocking away to remove the obstructions in the road of us mortals while in these bodies and on this planet; and leave Madam Besant and you and all who have entered into the higher spheres, to revel in things unknown to me.... I will join you at Mrs. Miller's
Saturday, and we'll chat over men, women and conditions—not theories, theosophies and theologies, they are all Greek to me."
Elizabeth Miller and her daughter with Mary & Susan Anthony
A relative in California wrote that "God would punish the people in that State who worked against the woman suffrage amendment," and Miss Anthony replied:
"It is hardly worth while for you or anybody to talk about 'God's punishing people.' If He does, He has been a long time about it in a good many cases and not succeeded in doing it very thoroughly. He certainly didn't punish the liquor dealers of San Francisco; instead of that, He let them rejoice over us women because of their power to cheat us out of right and justice. I think it is quite time, at least for anybody who has Anthony blood in her, to see that God allows the wheat and the tares to grow up together, and that the tares frequently get the start of the wheat and kill it out. The only difference between the wheat and human beings is that the latter have intellect and ought to combine and pull out the tares, root and branch. Instead of that, good men stay away from the ballot-box or else form third, fourth and forty-'leventh parties, thus leaving the liquor men and vicious elements, who always know enough to stand together, a balance of power on the side of the candidate or the party that will do most for their interests.
"If the good men were as bright as the bad men, they would pull together instead of separately."
. . . The habit of many women of continually intruding their religious beliefs into their public work was a great annoyance to Miss Anthony. To a prominent speaker on the Prohibition platform with whom she was well acquainted, she wrote:
"It seems to me that by your using constantly the words 'God' and 'Jesus' as if they were material beings, when to you they are no longer such, you impress upon your audience, grounded as the vast majority yet are in the old beliefs, that you still hold to the idea of their personality. The world, especially women, love to cling to a personal, material help—God a strong man, Jesus a loving man."
And then a little further on, referring to the common habit of regarding physical misfortunes as the punishment of God, she said:
"God is not responsible for our human ills and we should not believe or disbelieve in Him on account of our aches and pains. It surely is not the good people who escape bodily ailments. Certain fixed laws govern all, and those who come nearest to obeying these laws will suffer least; but even then we must suffer for the failures of our ancestors."
One of the leading women in a State where a suffrage amendment was pending, wrote her that she felt sure the Lord would interpose in its behalf and she should try to influence the voters by prayer. In response Miss Anthony said:
"I think you do not fully realize that the vast majority of the men whom you have to convert to suffrage, neither know nor care whether you and the rest of the women who want to vote, are especially inspired by God to make the demand. Those who are good Methodists like yourself ought to believe in suffrage already, and therefore your appeals are to be made to the men who are not Methodists, possibly not even Christians, and would be repelled by your presenting any of the religious motives which are so powerful with you and other church members. To prevail with the rank and file of voters, you must appeal to their sense of justice. I am glad to have you tell me personally about your communings with the Lord, but for you to give that talk of 'miraculous intervention' to the common run of voters would be, as the Good Book says, 'casting pearls before swine.'"
. . . An amusing letter turns up among the almost nine hundred received in 1897, in which a county official, not seventy-five miles from Rochester, asks these questions: "In how many cities have you spoken? How many lectures delivered? Have you ever spoken in Washington before Congress? Have you ever spoken in Albany before the legislature? How many people would you think you had addressed in your lifetime?" Miss Anthony responded: "It would be hard to find a city in the northern and western States in which I have not lectured, and I have spoken in many of the southern cities. I have been on the platform over forty-five years and it would be impossible to tell how many lectures I have delivered; they probably would average from seventy-five to one hundred every year. I have addressed the committees of every Congress since 1869, and our New York legislature scores of times."
. . . By the middle of July the biography was so well advanced that the two workers felt entitled to a vacation during midsummer. The completed chapters were locked securely in the safety deposit vault and, with a fervent hope that the house would not catch fire and burn up the unwritten part of the book during their absence, they started, July 15, for a little tour, going first to the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Sargent on "Summerland," one of the loveliest of the Thousand Islands. Here Miss Anthony tried very hard for a whole week to do nothing. Even letter-writing was laid aside and she sat on the veranda and watched the great steamers and the pleasure boats go up and down the broad St. Lawrence; took long naps in the hammock swayed by the soft breezes; wandered through the picturesque ravine and along the water's edge; at evening watched the sun set in gorgeous splendor, leaving a trail of glory on the waters which slowly faded as the stars came out in the beauty of the night and were reflected in the still depths. Every day, with host and hostess and the other guests in the house, she boarded the little launch and sailed up the river, winding in and out among those wonderful islands with their diversity of hotels, clubhouses, elegant mansions and pretty cottages; but all surpassed by the adornments of nature, tall trees with luxuriant vines climbing to the very tops, and the great rocks of the ages, rent and cleft and covered with mosses and ferns.
. . . The event of 1897 which gave Miss Anthony more pleasure than all others, in fact one of the happiest incidents of her life, was the Anthony Reunion at Adams, Mass., the last of July.
Anthony Family Reunion
The Historical and Scientific Society of Berkshire had for many years held an annual meeting at some one of the historic spots for which that county is especially noted. In 1895 this had been held in the dooryard of the old Anthony homestead, and she had been invited to be present, but was otherwise engaged. It had been the custom to eulogize her highly at these gatherings but it was determined that now she must come and speak for herself, therefore the invitation was repeated for 1896, but then she was in California. In 1897 the letter from the president, A. L. Perry, said: "The present writing is to give you a formal and official invitation, in the name of the people of the entire county, whose representatives we are, to be present and participate in our next meeting. You may be sure of a warm welcome from your old neighbors who remain, and from the generation of Berkshire people, men and women, now on the stage." The meeting was to be held in Lee, and she
wrote that if they would again hold it at the old Anthony homestead she would put aside everything else and come. . . . She appointed a meeting of the national suffrage committee that week, and thus brought to Adams her "body guard," Miss Shaw, Miss Blackwell, Mrs. Catt, Mrs. Avery, Mrs. Upton and, by invitation, Mrs. Sewall, Mrs. Colby and Mrs. Harper. She had decided also to have at this time a family reunion, and for many weeks had been writing far and wide to the Anthonys, the Laphams, the Reads and the Richardsons, bidding all come to Adams on the 29th of July, and as a result the "Old Hive" swarmed as it never had done, even in the early days. She went on a week ahead and joined forces with her cousin, Mrs. Fannie Bates, who lived in the house. Albert Anthony, another cousin and near neighbor, put himself, his horses and vehicles at their service; other relatives came to their assistance, beds were set up, provisions laid in; and for a week fifteen people picnicked in the old homestead. The overflow was received in the hospitable homes of other relatives in the neighborhood, and even Hotel Greylock, in the village, was pressed into service to entertain the guests, who came from Kansas, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Hampshire and other States.
The suffrage committee meetings were held during several days and evenings preceding the Historical Society celebration. It was a picture always to be remembered, that group of distinguished women, standing at the very head of the greatest progressive movement of the age, gathered in serious conclave in those old-fashioned, low-ceiled rooms built over a century ago, concocting schemes which would have filled their Quaker owners with holy horror. It seemed almost as if they would come back from the dim past to ask what it all meant. And yet, when one recalled that the Quakers never commanded their women to keep silence in the meeting house, but recognized their full equality there and elsewhere, and stood for liberty in a world given over to religious and political tyranny, it seemed indeed most fitting that the representatives of this great association for securing freedom to all, should come together under the roof of one of these old Friends.
. . . The day after the meeting of the Historical Society, occurred the Anthony Reunion at the old homestead, when eighty of the clan sat down at the long tables spread in grandfather's room, the keeping-room and the weaving-room; and what a dinner the famous cooks of the Anthony-Lapham-Read-Richardson families had prepared for this great occasion! Not the least important features were the eighteen apple-pies eaten with the world-renowned Berkshire cheese; and then the sweet bread and butter, the fried chicken, the baked beans, the rich preserves and cream, the delicious cake—but why attempt to describe a New England dinner prepared by New England women? Those who have eaten know what it is; those who have not, can not be made to understand.
Where Susan B. Anthony sat was the head of the table; at her right hand, the
brother Daniel R.; at her left, the brother Merritt; and close by, the quiet, smiling sister Mary; and then all along down the line, the cousins, the nephews, the nieces, three and four generations, who had joined so heartily with her for the success of this rare occasion. Before the dinner began, Miss Anthony asked that, in accordance with the custom of their ancestors, there might be a moment of silent thanks; and at the close of the meal, when the chatter and mirth were stilled, she arose and in touching words paid tribute to the loved and gone who once blessed these rooms by their presence.
Mary and Susan Anthony
If I were asked to name the chief cause obstructing organization, I should not hesitate to reply. It is not to be found in the antisuffragists nor in ignorance nor in convervatism. . .
It is to be found in the hopeless, lifeless, faithless members of our own organization . . . Appalled by the magnitude of the undertaking, they decide that organization is impossible because there is no money, and they make no effort to secure funds . . .
"It cannot be done" is their motto . . . .
Let us banish from our vocabulary the word "can't."
Let our watchwords be "Organization and Union."
To-day Miss Anthony is an agnostic. As to the nature of the Godhead and of the life beyond her horizon she does not profess to know anything. Every energy of her soul is centered upon the needs of this world. To her, work is worship.
. . . There is scarce a town, however small, from New York to San Francisco, that has not heard her ringing voice. . . . Many times in traveling with her through the West, especially on our first trip to Kansas and California, we were suddenly called upon to speak to the women assembled at the stations. . . . The climax of these occasions was reached in an institution for the deaf and dumb in Michigan. I had just said to my friend, "There is one comfort in visiting this place; we shall not be asked to speak," when the superintendent, approaching us, said, "Ladies, the pupils are assembled in the chapel, ready to hear you. I promised to invite you to speak to them as soon as I heard you were in town." The possibility of addressing such an audience was as novel to Miss Anthony as to me; yet she promptly walked down the aisle to the platform, as if to perform an ordinary duty, while I, half distracted with anxiety, wondering by what process I was to be placed in communication with the deaf and dumb, reluctantly followed. But the manner was simple enough, when illustrated. The superintendent, standing by our side, repeated, in the sign language, what was said as fast as uttered; and by laughter, tears, and applause, the pupils showed that they fully appreciated the pathos, humor, and argument. . .
Only once in all these wanderings was Miss Anthony taken by surprise, and that was on being asked to speak to the inmates of an insane asylum. "Bless me!" said she, "it is as much as I can do to talk to the sane! What could I say to an audience of lunatics?" Her companion, Virginia L. Minor of St. Louis, replied: "This is a golden moment for you, the first opportunity you have ever had, according to the constitutions, to talk to your 'peers,' for is not the right of suffrage denied to 'idiots, criminals, lunatics, and women'?"
On every hand American civilization—which we are introducing into Isles of the Atlantic & Pacific—is putting its heel on the head of the negro race—Now this barbarism does not grow out of ancient Jewish Bibles—but out of our own sordid meanness!! and the like of you ought to stop hitting poor old St Paul . . . Nobody does right or wrong because Saint Paul [tells] them to—but because of their own black “true inwardness”—The trouble is in ourselves to day—not in men or books of thousands of years ago. . . I do wish you could centre your big brain on the crimes we ourselves as a people are responsible for—to charge our offenses to false books or false interpretations—is but a way of seeking a “refuge of lies.”
It will come, but I shall not see it...It is inevitable. We can no more deny forever the right of self-government to one-half our people than we could keep the Negro forever in bondage. It will not be wrought by the same disrupting forces that freed the slave, but come it will, and I believe within a generation.
We had a wonderful meeting last eveg.-- The church was packed--seats, aisles,
standing room and all-- It was most uncomfortable... The enthusiasm of the occasion made us at least try to forget our discomforts and the speeches were fine, as far as they went-- Hattie Stanton [Blatch] presented a well thought out little argument which was rather too studied and not sufficiently spontaneous. She was a little bit self conscious but she is a beauty and very graceful. She is growing stout and will be like her ma in time.... It is time we were starting for the Birthday p.m. meeting-- Poor SBA [Susan B. Anthony] will have to use her tired lungs anew-- She bears the strain wonderfully and Rev. Anna [Howard Shaw] is at her side every minute, tending her like a daughter--they are both darling dears and Anna is the levelest headed, if Susan is like a great Lion. She really does look like a lion!
Susan Anthony, 1900
|Stanton and Anthony|
My dear Mrs. Stanton,
I shall indeed be happy to spend with you November 12, the day on which your round out your four-score and seven . . . It is fifty-one years since we first met and we have been busy through every one of them, stirring up the world to recognize the rights of women. . . . We little dreamed when we began this contest, optimistic with the hope and buoyancy of youth, that half a century later we would be compelled to leave the finish of the battle to another generation of women.
But our hearts are filled with joy to know that they enter upon this task equipped with a college education, with business experience, with the fully admitted right to speak in public—all of which were denied to women fifty years ago. They have practically one point to gain—the suffrage; we had all.
. . . And we, dear friend, shall move on to the next sphere of existence - higher and larger, we cannot fail to believe, and one where women will not be placed in an inferior position but will be welcomed on a plane of perfect intellectual and spiritual equality.
Every lovingly yours,
Susan B. Anthony
Oh, this awful hush! It seems impossible that voice is stilled which I have loved to hear for fifty years. Always I have felt I must have Mrs. Stanton's opinion of things before I knew where I stood myself. I am all at sea. . .
What a world it is, it goes on and on just the same no matter who lives or who dies!
Rochester, NY, October 26, 1902—The news of the death of Elizabeth Cady Stanton fell with almost crushing weight upon Miss Susan B. Anthony, who had planned to go to New York on November 12 to assist the venerable advocate of women's suffrage in the celebration of her eighty-seventh birthday. Miss Anthony said to-night:
"Through the early days, when the world was against us, we stood together. Mrs. Stanton was always a courageous woman, a leader of thought and new movements. She was a most finished writer, and every State paper presented to Congress or the State Legislatures in the early days was written by Mrs. Stanton.
"I cannot express myself at all as I feel. I am too crushed to say much, but, if she had outlived me, she would have found fine words with which to express our friendship."
"What period of your lives gave you the greatest pleasure?" was asked. "When we were digging together. When she forged the thunderbolts and I fired them. The greatest campaign we ever had together was in 1869, at the constitutional convention held in Kansas for suffrage and the same year in New York State.
"In spite of her big family, to whom she was devoted, and the great amount of work she did outside her home, she was one of the finest housekeepers I ever saw."
This most wonderful woman - Harriet Tubman - is still alive - I saw her the other day at the home of Eliza Wright Osborne, the daughter of Martha C. Wright - in company with Elizabeth Smith Miller - the only daughter of Gerrit Smith. Miss Emily Howland - Rev. H. Thaw - and Miss Ella Wright Garrison, the daughter of Martha C. Wright & wife of William Lloyd Garrison, Jr. - all of us were visiting at the Osbornes - a real love feast of the few that are left - and here came Harriet Tubman!
You almost feel a reformer yourself when you enter the parlor of Miss Susan B. Anthony’s spotless home; the walls are veritably crowded with pictures of America’s famous reformers– Garrison, Mrs. Stanton and Wendell Phillips, Lucretia Mott and Channing, the Cary sisters, Anna Dickerson and Greeley. . . .
In an upper room, before the fire of her quiet study, you find Miss Anthony
herself. You think of the tranquility of Whistler’s portrait of his mother, as she insists that you take her own high-backed chair and slips a little footstool under your feet.
You are wondering, after reading her life and finding how continually women failed her and politicians deceived, that she is still an optimist. “You seem to have kept right on believing when it was raining cats and dogs,” you say. “How could you ever do it?”
“Oh, that was because I knew that the sun was shining and must prevail, no matter what came between,” she replied. “The cause was too just a one for me to believe in anything but its final triumph. The first work was, of course, all propaganda. The idea of women was so new that we had to go up and down the land, and sow and harrow, and be harrowed. We had to create and educate a sentiment for our reform.”
. . . “Are the men who are interested in suffrage to-day to be compared to those anti-slavery men who looked for it?”
“Oh, they never really worked for it. They believed in it abstractly, but there was always something else to be done first.”
“Doesn’t it seem strange that we haven’t got more influence with our husbands, fathers, and sons in getting suffrage- they are so willing to give us everything else?”
“Yes, that is just the point. They give us, like to have us ask for, things. We must look pretty, ask prettily. Those women who have too much self-respect to do so are called shrews,” she said, with a twinkle of humor in voice and eyes.
“Just think of the years that we have our sons before they become voters. Why don’t we influence them more?” I asked. “That is because we have no real power, after all,” Miss Anthony replied. “A boy may think his mother lovely, have the greatest admiration for her character, but when he goes out in the world and sees the respect shown his father’s opinions, even through he drinks, smokes, and swears, he isn’t going to be influenced greatly by what his mother thinks. This father can, if he chooses, help to make and enforce the laws that regulate conduct and shape life. What can his mother do?”
“Do you think men’s lives to-day are really so much broader than those of women?” “A ditch digger has a broader life than a woman,” was the emphatic answer. “But, Miss Anthony, he only digs his ditch, comes in contact with one or two of his kind, drinks a little with them perhaps, talks over the political situation after his light, and now and then votes as his is bidden.”
“But don’t you see that even then he comes into more direct relations with life?” she insisted. “The labor and wage question, the tariff, the character of the man who is boss, the liquor laws, all these vital things are talked over and reasoned about by the handful of diggers.” “Then you don’t think that women’s contact with the grocer, the butcher, the baker, the candlestickmaker, the food question, the money problem, the tariff as it affects the family purse, and our church and charitable connection is real life?”
“Oh, yes, but how can women help or hinder social conditions that they don’t like, and that they know are wrong?”
. . . I asked Miss Anthony if she had a message to send to the young women of the country who are interested in suffrage- a word of advice, perhaps of caution.” "A word of advice?” she repeated, smilingly. “Why, there never yet was a young woman who did not feel that if she had had the management of the work from the beginning of the cause, she would have carried it long ago. I felt just so when I was young.”
“Annie Nathan Meyers seems to think woman in politics a question of the Lady or the Tiger. Which do you think it will be?”
“The Lady, beyond doubt,” said Miss Anthony, emphatically, as she closed the interview.
When will the men do something besides extend congratulations? I would rather have President Roosevelt say one word to Congress in favor of amending the Constitution than to praise me endlessly!
There have been others also just as true and devoted to the cause--I wish I could name every one--but with such women consecrating their lives, failure is impossible.
No matter what id done or is not done, how you are criticized or misunderstood, or what efforts are made to black your path, remember that the only fear you need have is the fear of not standing by the thing you believe to be right.
On Sunday, about two hours before she became unconscious, I talked with Miss Anthony, and she said: 'To think I have had more than sixty years of hard struggle for a little liberty, and then to die without it seems so cruel."
There are no symbols and no words which can tell the love and sorrow which
fill our hearts. And yet out of the depths of our grief arise feelings of truest gratitude for the beauty, the tenderness, the nobility of example, of our peerless leader's life. There is no death for such as she. There are no last words of love. The ages to come will revere her name. Unnumbered generations of the children of men shall rise up to call her blessed. Her words, her work, and her character will go on to brighten the pathway and bless the lives of all peoples. That which seems death to our unseeing eyes is to her translation. Her work will not be finished, nor will her last word be spoken while there remains a wrong to be righted, or a fettered life to be freed in all the earth.
. . . she taught us that the real beauty of a true life is found in the harmonious blending of diverse elements, and her life was the epitome of her teaching. She merged a keen sense of justice with the deepest love; her masterful intellect never for one moment checked the tenderness of her emotions; her splendid self-assertion found its highest realization in perfect self-surrender; she demonstrated the divine principle that the truest self-development must go hand in hand with the greatest and most arduous service for others.
. . . Her talismanic words, the last she ever utttered before a public audience,
"Failure is impossible," should be inscribed on our banners and engraved on our hearts.
She has not only blessed us in the legacy of her life and work, but she has left us the dearest legacy of her love. The world knew Miss Anthony as the courageous, earnest, unfaltering champion of a great principle, and the friend of all reforms. Those of us who knew her best knew that she was all this and more; that she was one of the most home-making and home-loving of women. To her home her heart always turned with tenderest longing, and for the one who made home possible she felt the most devoted love and gratitude. She inscribed upon the first volume of her life history, "To my youngest sister, Mary, without whose faithful and constant home-making there could have been no freedom for the out-going of her grateful and affectionate sister."