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Title: Eighty Years and More; Reminiscences 1815-1897
Author: Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 1815-1902
Language: English
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[Illustration: Elizabeth Cady Stanton]



EIGHTY YEARS AND MORE

REMINISCENCES 1815-1897


ELIZABETH CADY STANTON



"Social science affirms that woman's place in society marks the level of
civilization."



I DEDICATE THIS VOLUME TO

SUSAN B. ANTHONY,

MY STEADFAST FRIEND FOR HALF A CENTURY.



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER

I. CHILDHOOD
II. SCHOOL DAYS
III. GIRLHOOD
IV. LIFE AT PETERBORO
V. OUR WEDDING JOURNEY
VI. HOMEWARD BOUND
VII. MOTHERHOOD
VIII. BOSTON AND CHELSEA
IX. THE FIRST WOMAN'S RIGHTS CONVENTION
X. SUSAN B. ANTHONY
XI. SUSAN B. ANTHONY (_Continued_)
XII. MY FIRST SPEECH BEFORE A LEGISLATURE
XIII. REFORMS AND MOBS
XIV. VIEWS ON MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE
XV. WOMEN AS PATRIOTS
XVI. PIONEER LIFE IN KANSAS--OUR NEWSPAPER "THE
REVOLUTION"
XVII. LYCEUMS AND LECTURERS
XVIII. WESTWARD HO!
XIX. THE SPIRIT OF '76
XX. WRITING "THE HISTORY OF WOMAN SUFFRAGE"
XXI. IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE
XXII. REFORMS AND REFORMERS IN GREAT BRITAIN
XXIII. WOMAN AND THEOLOGY
XXIV. ENGLAND AND FRANCE REVISITED
XXV. THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN
XXVI. MY LAST VISIT TO ENGLAND
XXVII. SIXTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CLASS OF 1832--THE
WOMAN'S BIBLE
XXVIII. MY EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY
INDEX OF NAMES



LIST OF PORTRAITS.

The Author, _Frontispiece_
Margaret Livingston Cady
Judge Daniel Cady
Henry Brewster Stanton
The Author and Daughter
The Author and Son
Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Smith Miller
Children and Grandchildren
The Author, Mrs. Blatch, and Nora
The Author, Mrs. Lawrence, and Robert Livingston Stanton



EIGHTY YEARS AND MORE.



CHAPTER I.

CHILDHOOD.


The psychical growth of a child is not influenced by days and years, but
by the impressions passing events make on its mind. What may prove a
sudden awakening to one, giving an impulse in a certain direction that
may last for years, may make no impression on another. People wonder why
the children of the same family differ so widely, though they have had
the same domestic discipline, the same school and church teaching, and
have grown up under the same influences and with the same environments.
As well wonder why lilies and lilacs in the same latitude are not all
alike in color and equally fragrant. Children differ as widely as these
in the primal elements of their physical and psychical life.

Who can estimate the power of antenatal influences, or the child's
surroundings in its earliest years, the effect of some passing word or
sight on one, that makes no impression on another? The unhappiness of
one child under a certain home discipline is not inconsistent with the
content of another under this same discipline. One, yearning for broader
freedom, is in a chronic condition of rebellion; the other, more easily
satisfied, quietly accepts the situation. Everything is seen from a
different standpoint; everything takes its color from the mind of the
beholder.

I am moved to recall what I can of my early days, what I thought and
felt, that grown people may have a better understanding of children and
do more for their happiness and development. I see so much tyranny
exercised over children, even by well-disposed parents, and in so many
varied forms,--a tyranny to which these parents are themselves
insensible,--that I desire to paint my joys and sorrows in as vivid
colors as possible, in the hope that I may do something to defend the
weak from the strong. People never dream of all that is going on in the
little heads of the young, for few adults are given to introspection,
and those who are incapable of recalling their own feelings under
restraint and disappointment can have no appreciation of the sufferings
of children who can neither describe nor analyze what they feel. In
defending themselves against injustice they are as helpless as dumb
animals. What is insignificant to their elders is often to them a source
of great joy or sorrow.

With several generations of vigorous, enterprising ancestors behind me,
I commenced the struggle of life under favorable circumstances on the
12th day of November, 1815, the same year that my father, Daniel Cady, a
distinguished lawyer and judge in the State of New York, was elected to
Congress. Perhaps the excitement of a political campaign, in which my
mother took the deepest interest, may have had an influence on my
prenatal life and given me the strong desire that I have always felt to
participate in the rights and duties of government.

My father was a man of firm character and unimpeachable integrity, and
yet sensitive and modest to a painful degree. There were but two places
in which he felt at ease--in the courthouse and at his own fireside.
Though gentle and tender, he had such a dignified repose and reserve of
manner that, as children, we regarded him with fear rather than
affection.

My mother, Margaret Livingston, a tall, queenly looking woman, was
courageous, self-reliant, and at her ease under all circumstances and in
all places. She was the daughter of Colonel James Livingston, who took
an active part in the War of the Revolution.

Colonel Livingston was stationed at West Point when Arnold made the
attempt to betray that stronghold into the hands of the enemy. In the
absence of General Washington and his superior officer, he took the
responsibility of firing into the _Vulture_, a suspicious looking
British vessel that lay at anchor near the opposite bank of the Hudson
River. It was a fatal shot for André, the British spy, with whom Arnold
was then consummating his treason. Hit between wind and water, the
vessel spread her sails and hastened down the river, leaving André, with
his papers, to be captured while Arnold made his escape through the
lines, before his treason was suspected.

On General Washington's return to West Point, he sent for my grandfather
and reprimanded him for acting in so important a matter without orders,
thereby making himself liable to court-martial; but, after fully
impressing the young officer with the danger of such self-sufficiency on
ordinary occasions, he admitted that a most fortunate shot had been sent
into the _Vulture_, "for," he said, "we are in no condition just now to
defend ourselves against the British forces in New York, and the
capture of this spy has saved us."

My mother had the military idea of government, but her children, like
their grandfather, were disposed to assume the responsibility of their
own actions; thus the ancestral traits in mother and children modified,
in a measure, the dangerous tendencies in each.

Our parents were as kind, indulgent, and considerate as the Puritan
ideas of those days permitted, but fear, rather than love, of God and
parents alike, predominated. Add to this our timidity in our intercourse
with servants and teachers, our dread of the ever present devil, and the
reader will see that, under such conditions, nothing but strong
self-will and a good share of hope and mirthfulness could have saved an
ordinary child from becoming a mere nullity.

The first event engraved on my memory was the birth of a sister when I
was four years old. It was a cold morning in January when the brawny
Scotch nurse carried me to see the little stranger, whose advent was a
matter of intense interest to me for many weeks after. The large,
pleasant room with the white curtains and bright wood fire on the
hearth, where panada, catnip, and all kinds of little messes which we
were allowed to taste were kept warm, was the center of attraction for
the older children. I heard so many friends remark, "What a pity it is
she's a girl!" that I felt a kind of compassion for the little baby.
True, our family consisted of five girls and only one boy, but I did not
understand at that time that girls were considered an inferior order of
beings.

To form some idea of my surroundings at this time, imagine a two-story
white frame house with a hall through the middle, rooms on either side,
and a large back building with grounds on the side and rear, which
joined the garden of our good Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Simon
Hosack, of whom I shall have more to say in another chapter. Our
favorite resorts in the house were the garret and cellar. In the former
were barrels of hickory nuts, and, on a long shelf, large cakes of maple
sugar and all kinds of dried herbs and sweet flag; spinning wheels, a
number of small white cotton bags filled with bundles, marked in ink,
"silk," "cotton," "flannel," "calico," etc., as well as ancient
masculine and feminine costumes. Here we would crack the nuts, nibble
the sharp edges of the maple sugar, chew some favorite herb, play ball
with the bags, whirl the old spinning wheels, dress up in our ancestors'
clothes, and take a bird's-eye view of the surrounding country from an
enticing scuttle hole. This was forbidden ground; but, nevertheless, we
often went there on the sly, which only made the little escapades more
enjoyable.

The cellar of our house was filled, in winter, with barrels of apples,
vegetables, salt meats, cider, butter, pounding barrels, washtubs, etc.,
offering admirable nooks for playing hide and seek. Two tallow candles
threw a faint light over the scene on certain occasions. This cellar was
on a level with a large kitchen where we played blind man's buff and
other games when the day's work was done. These two rooms are the center
of many of the merriest memories of my childhood days.

I can recall three colored men, Abraham, Peter, and Jacob, who acted as
menservants in our youth. In turn they would sometimes play on the banjo
for us to dance, taking real enjoyment in our games. They are all at
rest now with "Old Uncle Ned in the place where the good niggers go."
Our nurses, Lockey Danford, Polly Bell, Mary Dunn, and Cornelia
Nickeloy--peace to their ashes--were the only shadows on the gayety of
these winter evenings; for their chief delight was to hurry us off to
bed, that they might receive their beaux or make short calls in the
neighborhood. My memory of them is mingled with no sentiment of
gratitude or affection. In expressing their opinion of us in after
years, they said we were a very troublesome, obstinate, disobedient set
of children. I have no doubt we were in constant rebellion against their
petty tyranny. Abraham, Peter, and Jacob viewed us in a different light,
and I have the most pleasant recollections of their kind services.

In the winter, outside the house, we had the snow with which to build
statues and make forts, and huge piles of wood covered with ice, which
we called the Alps, so difficult were they of ascent and descent. There
we would climb up and down by the hour, if not interrupted, which,
however, was generally the case. It always seemed to me that, in the
height of our enthusiasm, we were invariably summoned to some
disagreeable duty, which would appear to show that thus early I keenly
enjoyed outdoor life. Theodore Tilton has thus described the place where
I was born: "Birthplace is secondary parentage, and transmits character.
Johnstown was more famous half a century ago than since; for then,
though small, it was a marked intellectual center; and now, though
large, it is an unmarked manufacturing town. Before the birth of
Elizabeth Cady it was the vice-ducal seat of Sir William Johnson, the
famous English negotiator with the Indians. During her girlhood it was
an arena for the intellectual wrestlings of Kent, Tompkins, Spencer,
Elisha Williams, and Abraham Van Vechten, who, as lawyers, were among
the chiefest of their time. It is now devoted mainly to the fabrication
of steel springs and buckskin gloves. So, like Wordsworth's early star,
it has faded into the light of common day. But Johnstown retains one of
its ancient splendors--a glory still fresh as at the foundation of the
world. Standing on its hills, one looks off upon a country of enameled
meadow lands, that melt away southward toward the Mohawk, and northward
to the base of those grand mountains which are 'God's monument over the
grave of John Brown.'"

Harold Frederic's novel, "In the Valley," contains many descriptions of
this region that are true to nature, as I remember the Mohawk Valley,
for I first knew it not so many years after the scenes which he lays
there. Before I was old enough to take in the glory of this scenery and
its classic associations, Johnstown was to me a gloomy-looking town. The
middle of the streets was paved with large cobblestones, over which the
farmer's wagons rattled from morning till night, while the sidewalks
were paved with very small cobblestones, over which we carefully picked
our way, so that free and graceful walking was out of the question. The
streets were lined with solemn poplar trees, from which small yellow
worms were continually dangling down. Next to the Prince of Darkness, I
feared these worms. They were harmless, but the sight of one made me
tremble. So many people shared in this feeling that the poplars were all
cut down and elms planted in their stead. The Johnstown academy and
churches were large square buildings, painted white, surrounded by these
same sombre poplars, each edifice having a doleful bell which seemed to
be ever tolling for school, funerals, church, or prayer meetings. Next
to the worms, those clanging bells filled me with the utmost dread; they
seemed like so many warnings of an eternal future. Visions of the
Inferno were strongly impressed on my childish imagination. It was
thought, in those days, that firm faith in hell and the devil was the
greatest help to virtue. It certainly made me very unhappy whenever my
mind dwelt on such teachings, and I have always had my doubts of the
virtue that is based on the fear of punishment.

Perhaps I may be pardoned a word devoted to my appearance in those days.
I have been told that I was a plump little girl, with very fair skin,
rosy cheeks, good features, dark-brown hair, and laughing blue eyes. A
student in my father's office, the late Henry Bayard of Delaware (an
uncle of our recent Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, Thomas F.
Bayard), told me one day, after conning my features carefully, that I
had one defect which he could remedy. "Your eyebrows should be darker
and heavier," said he, "and if you will let me shave them once or twice,
you will be much improved." I consented, and, slight as my eyebrows
were, they seemed to have had some expression, for the loss of them had
a most singular effect on my appearance. Everybody, including even the
operator, laughed at my odd-looking face, and I was in the depths of
humiliation during the period while my eyebrows were growing out again.
It is scarcely necessary for me to add that I never allowed the young
man to repeat the experiment, although strongly urged to do so.

I cannot recall how or when I conquered the alphabet, words in three
letters, the multiplication table, the points of the compass, the
chicken pox, whooping cough, measles, and scarlet fever. All these
unhappy incidents of childhood left but little impression on my mind. I
have, however, most pleasant memories of the good spinster, Maria Yost,
who patiently taught three generations of children the rudiments of the
English language, and introduced us to the pictures in "Murray's
Spelling-book," where Old Father Time, with his scythe, and the farmer
stoning the boys in his apple trees, gave rise in my mind to many
serious reflections. Miss Yost was plump and rosy, with fair hair, and
had a merry twinkle in her blue eyes, and she took us by very easy
stages through the old-fashioned school-books. The interesting Readers
children now have were unknown sixty years ago. We did not reach the
temple of knowledge by the flowery paths of ease in which our
descendants now walk.

I still have a perfect vision of myself and sisters, as we stood up in
the classes, with our toes at the cracks in the floor, all dressed alike
in bright red flannel, black alpaca aprons, and, around the neck, a
starched ruffle that, through a lack of skill on the part of either the
laundress or the nurse who sewed them in, proved a constant source of
discomfort to us. I have since seen full-grown men, under slighter
provocation than we endured, jerk off a collar, tear it in two, and
throw it to the winds, chased by the most soul-harrowing expletives. But
we were sternly rebuked for complaining, and if we ventured to introduce
our little fingers between the delicate skin and the irritating linen,
our hands were slapped and the ruffle readjusted a degree closer. Our
Sunday dresses were relieved with a black sprig and white aprons. We had
red cloaks, red hoods, red mittens, and red stockings. For one's self to
be all in red six months of the year was bad enough, but to have this
costume multiplied by three was indeed monotonous. I had such an
aversion to that color that I used to rebel regularly at the beginning
of each season when new dresses were purchased, until we finally passed
into an exquisite shade of blue. No words could do justice to my dislike
of those red dresses. My grandfather's detestation of the British
redcoats must have descended to me. My childhood's antipathy to wearing
red enabled me later to comprehend the feelings of a little niece, who
hated everything pea green, because she had once heard the saying, "neat
but not gaudy, as the devil said when he painted his tail pea green." So
when a friend brought her a cravat of that color she threw it on the
floor and burst into tears, saying, "I could not wear that, for it is
the color of the devil's tail." I sympathized with the child and had it
changed for the hue she liked. Although we cannot always understand the
ground for children's preferences, it is often well to heed them.

I am told that I was pensively looking out of the nursery window one
day, when Mary Dunn, the Scotch nurse, who was something of a
philosopher, and a stern Presbyterian, said: "Child, what are you
thinking about; are you planning some new form of mischief?" "No, Mary,"
I replied, "I was wondering why it was that everything we like to do is
a sin, and that everything we dislike is commanded by God or someone on
earth. I am so tired of that everlasting no! no! no! At school, at home,
everywhere it is _no_! Even at church all the commandments begin 'Thou
shalt not.' I suppose God will say 'no' to all we like in the next
world, just as you do here." Mary was dreadfully shocked at my
dissatisfaction with the things of time and prospective eternity, and
exhorted me to cultivate the virtues of obedience and humility.

I well remember the despair I felt in those years, as I took in the
whole situation, over the constant cribbing and crippling of a child's
life. I suppose I found fit language in which to express my thoughts,
for Mary Dunn told me, years after, how our discussion roused my sister
Margaret, who was an attentive listener. I must have set forth our
wrongs in clear, unmistakable terms; for Margaret exclaimed one day, "I
tell you what to do. Hereafter let us act as we choose, without asking."
"Then," said I, "we shall be punished." "Suppose we are," said she, "we
shall have had our fun at any rate, and that is better than to mind the
everlasting 'no' and not have any fun at all." Her logic seemed
unanswerable, so together we gradually acted on her suggestions. Having
less imagination than I, she took a common-sense view of life and
suffered nothing from anticipation of troubles, while my sorrows were
intensified fourfold by innumerable apprehensions of possible
exigencies.

Our nursery, a large room over a back building, had three barred windows
reaching nearly to the floor. Two of these opened on a gently slanting
roof over a veranda. In our night robes, on warm summer evenings we
could, by dint of skillful twisting and compressing, get out between the
bars, and there, snugly braced against the house, we would sit and enjoy
the moon and stars and what sounds might reach us from the streets,
while the nurse, gossiping at the back door, imagined we were safely
asleep.

I have a confused memory of being often under punishment for what, in
those days, were called "tantrums." I suppose they were really
justifiable acts of rebellion against the tyranny of those in authority.
I have often listened since, with real satisfaction, to what some of our
friends had to say of the high-handed manner in which sister Margaret
and I defied all the transient orders and strict rules laid down for our
guidance. If we had observed them we might as well have been embalmed as
mummies, for all the pleasure and freedom we should have had in our
childhood. As very little was then done for the amusement of children,
happy were those who _conscientiously_ took the liberty of amusing
themselves.

One charming feature of our village was a stream of water, called the
Cayadutta, which ran through the north end, in which it was our delight
to walk on the broad slate stones when the water was low, in order to
pick up pretty pebbles. These joys were also forbidden, though indulged
in as opportunity afforded, especially as sister Margaret's philosophy
was found to work successfully and we had finally risen above our
infantile fear of punishment.

Much of my freedom at this time was due to this sister, who afterward
became the wife of Colonel Duncan McMartin of Iowa. I can see her now,
hat in hand, her long curls flying in the wind, her nose slightly
retroussé, her large dark eyes flashing with glee, and her small
straight mouth so expressive of determination. Though two years my
junior, she was larger and stronger than I and more fearless and
self-reliant. She was always ready to start when any pleasure offered,
and, if I hesitated, she would give me a jerk and say, emphatically:
"Oh, come along!" and away we went.

About this time we entered the Johnstown Academy, where we made the
acquaintance of the daughters of the hotel keeper and the county
sheriff. They were a few years my senior, but, as I was ahead of them in
all my studies, the difference of age was somewhat equalized and we
became fast friends. This acquaintance opened to us two new sources of
enjoyment--the freedom of the hotel during "court week" (a great event
in village life) and the exploration of the county jail. Our Scotch
nurse had told us so many thrilling tales of castles, prisons, and
dungeons in the Old World that, to see the great keys and iron doors,
the handcuffs and chains, and the prisoners in their cells seemed like a
veritable visit to Mary's native land. We made frequent visits to the
jail and became deeply concerned about the fate of the prisoners, who
were greatly pleased with our expressions of sympathy and our gifts of
cake and candy. In time we became interested in the trials and sentences
of prisoners, and would go to the courthouse and listen to the
proceedings. Sometimes we would slip into the hotel where the judges and
lawyers dined, and help our little friend wait on table. The rushing of
servants to and fro, the calling of guests, the scolding of servants in
the kitchen, the banging of doors, the general hubbub, the noise and
clatter, were all idealized by me into one of those royal festivals Mary
so often described. To be allowed to carry plates of bread and butter,
pie and cheese I counted a high privilege. But more especially I enjoyed
listening to the conversations in regard to the probable fate of our
friends the prisoners in the jail. On one occasion I projected a few
remarks into a conversation between two lawyers, when one of them turned
abruptly to me and said, "Child, you'd better attend to your business;
bring me a glass of water." I replied indignantly, "I am not a servant;
I am here for fun."

In all these escapades we were followed by Peter, black as coal and six
feet in height. It seems to me now that his chief business was to
discover our whereabouts, get us home to dinner, and take us back to
school. Fortunately he was overflowing with curiosity and not averse to
lingering a while where anything of interest was to be seen or heard,
and, as we were deemed perfectly safe under his care, no questions were
asked when we got to the house, if we had been with him. He had a long
head and, through his diplomacy, we escaped much disagreeable
surveillance. Peter was very fond of attending court. All the lawyers
knew him, and wherever Peter went, the three little girls in his charge
went, too. Thus, with constant visits to the jail, courthouse, and my
father's office, I gleaned some idea of the danger of violating the law.

The great events of the year were the Christmas holidays, the Fourth of
July, and "general training," as the review of the county militia was
then called. The winter gala days are associated, in my memory, with
hanging up stockings and with turkeys, mince pies, sweet cider, and
sleighrides by moonlight. My earliest recollections of those happy days,
when schools were closed, books laid aside, and unusual liberties
allowed, center in that large cellar kitchen to which I have already
referred. There we spent many winter evenings in uninterrupted
enjoyment. A large fireplace with huge logs shed warmth and cheerfulness
around. In one corner sat Peter sawing his violin, while our youthful
neighbors danced with us and played blindman's buff almost every evening
during the vacation. The most interesting character in this game was a
black boy called Jacob (Peter's lieutenant), who made things lively for
us by always keeping one eye open--a wise precaution to guard himself
from danger, and to keep us on the jump. Hickory nuts, sweet cider, and
_olie-koeks_ (a Dutch name for a fried cake with raisins inside) were
our refreshments when there came a lull in the fun.

As St. Nicholas was supposed to come down the chimney, our stockings
were pinned on a broomstick, laid across two chairs in front of the
fireplace. We retired on Christmas Eve with the most pleasing
anticipations of what would be in our stockings next morning. The
thermometer in that latitude was often twenty degrees below zero, yet,
bright and early, we would run downstairs in our bare feet over the cold
floors to carry stockings, broom, etc., to the nursery. The gorgeous
presents that St. Nicholas now distributes show that he, too, has been
growing up with the country. The boys and girls of 1897 will laugh when
they hear of the contents of our stockings in 1823. There was a little
paper of candy, one of raisins, another, of nuts, a red apple, an
_olie-koek_, and a bright silver quarter of a dollar in the toe. If a
child had been guilty of any erratic performances during the year, which
was often my case, a long stick would protrude from the stocking; if
particularly good, an illustrated catechism or the New Testament would
appear, showing that the St. Nicholas of that time held decided views
on discipline and ethics.

During the day we would take a drive over the snow-clad hills and
valleys in a long red lumber sleigh. All the children it could hold made
the forests echo with their songs and laughter. The sleigh bells and
Peter's fine tenor voice added to the chorus seemed to chant, as we
passed, "Merry Christmas" to the farmers' children and to all we met on
the highway.

Returning home, we were allowed, as a great Christmas treat, to watch
all Peter's preparations for dinner. Attired in a white apron and
turban, holding in his hand a tin candlestick the size of a dinner
plate, containing a tallow candle, with stately step he marched into the
spacious cellar, with Jacob and three little girls dressed in red
flannel at his heels. As the farmers paid the interest on their
mortgages in barrels of pork, headcheese, poultry, eggs, and cider, the
cellars were well crowded for the winter, making the master of an
establishment quite indifferent to all questions of finance. We heard
nothing in those days of greenbacks, silver coinage, or a gold basis.
Laden with vegetables, butter, eggs, and a magnificent turkey, Peter and
his followers returned to the kitchen. There, seated on a big ironing
table, we watched the dressing and roasting of the bird in a tin oven in
front of the fire. Jacob peeled the vegetables, we all sang, and Peter
told us marvelous stories. For tea he made flapjacks, baked in a pan
with a long handle, which he turned by throwing the cake up and
skillfully catching it descending.

Peter was a devout Episcopalian and took great pleasure in helping the
young people decorate the church. He would take us with him and show us
how to make evergreen wreaths. Like Mary's lamb, where'er he went we
were sure to go. His love for us was unbounded and fully returned. He
was the only being, visible or invisible, of whom we had no fear. We
would go to divine service with Peter, Christmas morning and sit with
him by the door, in what was called "the negro pew." He was the only
colored member of the church and, after all the other communicants had
taken the sacrament, he went alone to the altar. Dressed in a new suit
of blue with gilt buttons, he looked like a prince, as, with head erect,
he walked up the aisle, the grandest specimen of manhood in the whole
congregation; and yet so strong was prejudice against color in 1823 that
no one would kneel beside him. On leaving us, on one of these occasions,
Peter told us all to sit still until he returned; but, no sooner had he
started, than the youngest of us slowly followed after him and seated
herself close beside him. As he came back, holding the child by the
hand, what a lesson it must have been to that prejudiced congregation!
The first time we entered the church together the sexton opened a white
man's pew for us, telling Peter to leave the Judge's children there.
"Oh," he said, "they will not stay there without me." But, as he could
not enter, we instinctively followed him to the negro pew.

Our next great fête was on the anniversary of the birthday of our
Republic. The festivities were numerous and protracted, beginning then,
as now, at midnight with bonfires and cannon; while the day was ushered
in with the ringing of bells, tremendous cannonading, and a continuous
popping of fire-crackers and torpedoes. Then a procession of soldiers
and citizens marched through the town, an oration was delivered, the
Declaration of Independence read, and a great dinner given in the open
air under the trees in the grounds of the old courthouse. Each toast was
announced with the booming of cannon. On these occasions Peter was in
his element, and showed us whatever he considered worth seeing; but I
cannot say that I enjoyed very much either "general training" or the
Fourth of July, for, in addition to my fear of cannon and torpedoes, my
sympathies were deeply touched by the sadness of our cook, whose drunken
father always cut antics in the streets on gala days, the central figure
in all the sports of the boys, much to the mortification of his worthy
daughter. She wept bitterly over her father's public exhibition of
himself, and told me in what a condition he would come home to his
family at night. I would gladly have stayed in with her all day, but the
fear of being called a coward compelled me to go through those trying
ordeals. As my nerves were all on the surface, no words can describe
what I suffered with those explosions, great and small, and my fears
lest King George and his minions should reappear among us. I thought
that, if he had done all the dreadful things stated in the Declaration
of '76, he might come again, burn our houses, and drive us all into the
street. Sir William Johnson's mansion of solid masonry, gloomy and
threatening, still stood in our neighborhood. I had seen the marks of
the Indian's tomahawk on the balustrades and heard of the bloody deeds
there enacted. For all the calamities of the nation I believed King
George responsible. At home and at school we were educated to hate the
English. When we remember that, every Fourth of July, the Declaration
was read with emphasis, and the orator of the day rounded all his
glowing periods with denunciations of the mother country, we need not
wonder at the national hatred of everything English. Our patriotism in
those early days was measured by our dislike of Great Britain.

In September occurred the great event, the review of the county militia,
popularly called "Training Day." Then everybody went to the race course
to see the troops and buy what the farmers had brought in their wagons.
There was a peculiar kind of gingerbread and molasses candy to which we
were treated on those occasions, associated in my mind to this day with
military reviews and standing armies.

Other pleasures were, roaming in the forests and sailing on the mill
pond. One day, when there were no boys at hand and several girls were
impatiently waiting for a sail on a raft, my sister and I volunteered to
man the expedition. We always acted on the assumption that what we had
seen done, we could do. Accordingly we all jumped on the raft, loosened
it from its moorings, and away we went with the current. Navigation on
that mill pond was performed with long poles, but, unfortunately, we
could not lift the poles, and we soon saw we were drifting toward the
dam. But we had the presence of mind to sit down and hold fast to the
raft. Fortunately, we went over right side up and gracefully glided down
the stream, until rescued by the ever watchful Peter. I did not hear the
last of that voyage for a long time. I was called the captain of the
expedition, and one of the boys wrote a composition, which he read in
school, describing the adventure and emphasizing the ignorance of the
laws of navigation shown by the officers in command. I shed tears many
times over that performance.



CHAPTER II.

SCHOOL DAYS.


When I was eleven years old, two events occurred which changed
considerably the current of my life. My only brother, who had just
graduated from Union College, came home to die. A young man of great
talent and promise, he was the pride of my father's heart. We early felt
that this son filled a larger place in our father's affections and
future plans than the five daughters together. Well do I remember how
tenderly he watched my brother in his last illness, the sighs and tears
he gave vent to as he slowly walked up and down the hall, and, when the
last sad moment came, and we were all assembled to say farewell in the
silent chamber of death, how broken were his utterances as he knelt and
prayed for comfort and support. I still recall, too, going into the
large darkened parlor to see my brother, and finding the casket,
mirrors, and pictures all draped in white, and my father seated by his
side, pale and immovable. As he took no notice of me, after standing a
long while, I climbed upon his knee, when he mechanically put his arm
about me and, with my head resting against his beating heart, we both
sat in silence, he thinking of the wreck of all his hopes in the loss of
a dear son, and I wondering what could be said or done to fill the void
in his breast. At length he heaved a deep sigh and said: "Oh, my
daughter, I wish you were a boy!" Throwing my arms about his neck, I
replied: "I will try to be all my brother was."

[Illustration: MARGARET LIVINGSTON CADY.] [Illustration: JUDGE DANIEL
CADY.] Then and there I resolved that I would not give so much time as
heretofore to play, but would study and strive to be at the head of all
my classes and thus delight my father's heart. All that day and far into
the night I pondered the problem of boyhood. I thought that the chief
thing to be done in order to equal boys was to be learned and
courageous. So I decided to study Greek and learn to manage a horse.
Having formed this conclusion I fell asleep. My resolutions, unlike many
such made at night, did not vanish with the coming light. I arose early
and hastened to put them into execution. They were resolutions never to
be forgotten--destined to mold my character anew. As soon as I was
dressed I hastened to our good pastor, Rev. Simon Hosack, who was always
early at work in his garden.

"Doctor," said I, "which do you like best, boys or girls?"

"Why, girls, to be sure; I would not give you for all the boys in
Christendom."

"My father," I replied, "prefers boys; he wishes I was one, and I intend
to be as near like one as possible. I am going to ride on horseback and
study Greek. Will you give me a Greek lesson now, doctor? I want to
begin at once."

"Yes, child," said he, throwing down his hoe, "come into my library and
we will begin without delay."

He entered fully into the feeling of suffering and sorrow which took
possession of me when I discovered that a girl weighed less in the scale
of being than a boy, and he praised my determination to prove the
contrary. The old grammar which he had studied in the University of
Glasgow was soon in my hands, and the Greek article was learned before
breakfast.

Then came the sad pageantry of death, the weeping of friends, the dark
rooms, the ghostly stillness, the exhortation to the living to prepare
for death, the solemn prayer, the mournful chant, the funeral cortège,
the solemn, tolling bell, the burial. How I suffered during those sad
days! What strange undefined fears of the unknown took possession of me!
For months afterward, at the twilight hour, I went with my father to the
new-made grave. Near it stood two tall poplar trees, against one of
which I leaned, while my father threw himself on the grave, with
outstretched arms, as if to embrace his child. At last the frosts and
storms of November came and threw a chilling barrier between the living
and the dead, and we went there no more.

During all this time I kept up my lessons at the parsonage and made
rapid progress. I surprised even my teacher, who thought me capable of
doing anything. I learned to drive, and to leap a fence and ditch on
horseback. I taxed every power, hoping some day to hear my father say:
"Well, a girl is as good as a boy, after all." But he never said it.
When the doctor came over to spend the evening with us, I would whisper
in his ear: "Tell my father how fast I get on," and he would tell him,
and was lavish in his praises. But my father only paced the room,
sighed, and showed that he wished I were a boy; and I, not knowing why
he felt thus, would hide my tears of vexation on the doctor's shoulder.

Soon after this I began to study Latin, Greek, and mathematics with a
class of boys in the Academy, many of whom were much older than I. For
three years one boy kept his place at the head of the class, and I
always stood next. Two prizes were offered in Greek. I strove for one
and took the second. How well I remember my joy in receiving that prize.
There was no sentiment of ambition, rivalry, or triumph over my
companions, nor feeling of satisfaction in receiving this honor in the
presence of those assembled on the day of the exhibition. One thought
alone filled my mind. "Now," said I, "my father will be satisfied with
me." So, as soon as we were dismissed, I ran down the hill, rushed
breathless into his office, laid the new Greek Testament, which was my
prize, on his table and exclaimed: "There, I got it!" He took up the
book, asked me some questions about the class, the teachers, the
spectators, and, evidently pleased, handed it back to me. Then, while I
stood looking and waiting for him to say something which would show that
he recognized the equality of the daughter with the son, he kissed me on
the forehead and exclaimed, with a sigh, "Ah, you should have been a
boy!"

My joy was turned to sadness. I ran to my good doctor. He chased my
bitter tears away, and soothed me with unbounded praises and visions of
future success. He was then confined to the house with his last illness.
He asked me that day if I would like to have, when he was gone, the old
lexicon, Testament, and grammar that we had so often thumbed together.
"Yes, but I would rather have you stay," I replied, "for what can I do
when you are gone?" "Oh," said he tenderly, "I shall not be gone; my
spirit will still be with you, watching you in all life's struggles."
Noble, generous friend! He had but little on earth to bequeath to
anyone, but when the last scene in his life was ended, and his will was
opened, sure enough there was a clause saying: "My Greek lexicon,
Testament, and grammar, and four volumes of Scott's commentaries, I will
to Elizabeth Cady." I never look at these books without a feeling of
thankfulness that in childhood I was blessed with such a friend and
teacher.

I can truly say, after an experience of seventy years, that all the
cares and anxieties, the trials and disappointments of my whole life,
are light, when balanced with my sufferings in childhood and youth from
the theological dogmas which I sincerely believed, and the gloom
connected with everything associated with the name of religion, the
church, the parsonage, the graveyard, and the solemn, tolling bell.
Everything connected with death was then rendered inexpressibly
dolorous. The body, covered with a black pall, was borne on the
shoulders of men; the mourners were in crape and walked with bowed
heads, while the neighbors who had tears to shed, did so copiously and
summoned up their saddest facial expressions. At the grave came the
sober warnings to the living and sometimes frightful prophesies as to
the state of the dead. All this pageantry of woe and visions of the
unknown land beyond the tomb, often haunted my midnight dreams and
shadowed the sunshine of my days. The parsonage, with its bare walls and
floors, its shriveled mistress and her blind sister, more like ghostly
shadows than human flesh and blood; the two black servants, racked with
rheumatism and odoriferous with a pungent oil they used in the vain hope
of making their weary limbs more supple; the aged parson buried in his
library in the midst of musty books and papers--all this only added to
the gloom of my surroundings. The church, which was bare, with no
furnace to warm us, no organ to gladden our hearts, no choir to lead our
songs of praise in harmony, was sadly lacking in all attractions for the
youthful mind. The preacher, shut up in an octagonal box high above our
heads, gave us sermons over an hour long, and the chorister, in a
similar box below him, intoned line after line of David's Psalms, while,
like a flock of sheep at the heels of their shepherd, the congregation,
without regard to time or tune, straggled after their leader.

Years later, the introduction of stoves, a violoncello, Wesley's hymns,
and a choir split the church in twain. These old Scotch Presbyterians
were opposed to all innovations that would afford their people paths of
flowery ease on the road to Heaven. So, when the thermometer was twenty
degrees below zero on the Johnstown Hills, four hundred feet above the
Mohawk Valley, we trudged along through the snow, foot-stoves in hand,
to the cold hospitalities of the "Lord's House," there to be chilled to
the very core by listening to sermons on "predestination,"
"justification by faith," and "eternal damnation."

To be restless, or to fall asleep under such solemn circumstances was a
sure evidence of total depravity, and of the machinations of the devil
striving to turn one's heart from God and his ordinances. As I was
guilty of these shortcomings and many more, I early believed myself a
veritable child of the Evil One, and suffered endless fears lest he
should come some night and claim me as his own. To me he was a personal,
ever-present reality, crouching in a dark corner of the nursery. Ah! how
many times I have stolen out of bed, and sat shivering on the stairs,
where the hall lamp and the sound of voices from the parlor would, in a
measure, mitigate my terror. Thanks to a vigorous constitution and
overflowing animal spirits, I was able to endure for years the strain of
these depressing influences, until my reasoning powers and common sense
triumphed at last over my imagination. The memory of my own suffering
has prevented me from ever shadowing one young soul with any of the
superstitions of the Christian religion. But there have been many
changes, even in my native town, since those dark days. Our old church
was turned into a mitten factory, and the pleasant hum of machinery and
the glad faces of men and women have chased the evil spirits to their
hiding places. One finds at Johnstown now, beautiful churches,
ornamented cemeteries, and cheerful men and women, quite emancipated
from the nonsense and terrors of the old theologies.

An important event in our family circle was the marriage of my oldest
sister, Tryphena, to Edward Bayard of Wilmington, Delaware. He was a
graduate of Union College, a classmate of my brother, and frequently
visited at my father's house. At the end of his college course, he came
with his brother Henry to study law in Johnstown. A quiet, retired
little village was thought to be a good place in which to sequester
young men bent on completing their education, as they were there safe
from the temptations and distracting influences of large cities. In
addition to this consideration, my father's reputation made his office a
desirable resort for students, who, furthermore, not only improved their
opportunities by reading Blackstone, Kent, and Story, but also by making
love to the Judge's daughters. We thus had the advantage of many
pleasant acquaintances from the leading families in the country, and, in
this way, it was that four of the sisters eventually selected most
worthy husbands.

Though only twenty-one years of age when married, Edward Bayard was a
tall, fully developed man, remarkably fine looking, with cultivated
literary taste and a profound knowledge of human nature. Warm and
affectionate, generous to a fault in giving and serving, he was soon a
great favorite in the family, and gradually filled the void made in all
our hearts by the loss of the brother and son.

My father was so fully occupied with the duties of his profession, which
often called him from home, and my mother so weary with the cares of a
large family, having had ten children, though only five survived at this
time, that they were quite willing to shift their burdens to younger
shoulders. Our eldest sister and her husband, therefore, soon became our
counselors and advisers. They selected our clothing, books, schools,
acquaintances, and directed our reading and amusements. Thus the reins
of domestic government, little by little, passed into their hands, and
the family arrangements were in a manner greatly improved in favor of
greater liberty for the children.

The advent of Edward and Henry Bayard was an inestimable blessing to us.
With them came an era of picnics, birthday parties, and endless
amusements; the buying of pictures, fairy books, musical instruments and
ponies, and frequent excursions with parties on horseback. Fresh from
college, they made our lessons in Latin, Greek, and mathematics so easy
that we studied with real pleasure and had more leisure for play. Henry
Bayard's chief pleasures were walking, riding, and playing all manner of
games, from jack-straws to chess, with the three younger sisters, and we
have often said that the three years he passed in Johnstown were the
most delightful of our girlhood.

Immediately after the death of my brother, a journey was planned to
visit our grandmother Cady, who lived in Canaan, Columbia County, about
twenty miles from Albany. My two younger sisters and myself had never
been outside of our own county before, and the very thought of a journey
roused our enthusiasm to the highest pitch. On a bright day in September
we started, packed in two carriages. We were wild with delight as we
drove down the Mohawk Valley, with its beautiful river and its many
bridges and ferryboats. When we reached Schenectady, the first city we
had ever seen, we stopped to dine at the old Given's Hotel, where we
broke loose from all the moorings of propriety on beholding the paper on
the dining-room wall, illustrating in brilliant colors the great events
in sacred history. There were the Patriarchs, with flowing beards and in
gorgeous attire; Abraham, offering up Isaac; Joseph, with his coat of
many colors, thrown into a pit by his brethren; Noah's ark on an ocean
of waters; Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea; Rebecca at the well, and
Moses in the bulrushes. All these distinguished personages were familiar
to us, and to see them here for the first time in living colors, made
silence and eating impossible. We dashed around the room, calling to
each other: "Oh, Kate, look here!" "Oh, Madge, look there!" "See little
Moses!" "See the angels on Jacob's ladder!" Our exclamations could not
be kept within bounds. The guests were amused beyond description, while
my mother and elder sisters were equally mortified; but Mr. Bayard, who
appreciated our childish surprise and delight, smiled and said: "I'll
take them around and show them the pictures, and then they will be able
to dine," which we finally did.

On our way to Albany we were forced to listen to no end of dissertations
on manners, and severe criticisms on our behavior at the hotel, but we
were too happy and astonished with all we saw to take a subjective view
of ourselves. Even Peter in his new livery, who had not seen much more
than we had, while looking out of the corners of his eyes, maintained a
quiet dignity and conjured us "not to act as if we had just come out of
the woods and had never seen anything before." However, there are
conditions in the child soul in which repression is impossible, when the
mind takes in nothing but its own enjoyment, and when even the sense of
hearing is lost in that of sight. The whole party awoke to that fact at
last. Children are not actors. We never had experienced anything like
this journey, and how could we help being surprised and delighted?

When we drove into Albany, the first large city we had ever visited, we
exclaimed, "Why, it's general training, here!" We had acquired our ideas
of crowds from our country militia reviews. Fortunately, there was no
pictorial wall paper in the old City Hotel. But the decree had gone
forth that, on the remainder of the journey, our meals would be served
in a private room, with Peter to wait on us. This seemed like going back
to the nursery days and was very humiliating. But eating, even there,
was difficult, as we could hear the band from the old museum, and, as
our windows opened on the street, the continual panorama of people and
carriages passing by was quite as enticing as the Bible scenes in
Schenectady. In the evening we walked around to see the city lighted, to
look into the shop windows, and to visit the museum. The next morning we
started for Canaan, our enthusiasm still unabated, though strong hopes
were expressed that we would be toned down with the fatigues of the
first day's journey.

The large farm with its cattle, sheep, hens, ducks, turkeys, and geese;
its creamery, looms, and spinning wheel; its fruits and vegetables; the
drives among the grand old hills; the blessed old grandmother, and the
many aunts, uncles, and cousins to kiss, all this kept us still in a
whirlpool of excitement. Our joy bubbled over of itself; it was beyond
our control. After spending a delightful week at Canaan, we departed,
with an addition to our party, much to Peter's disgust, of a bright,
coal-black boy of fifteen summers. Peter kept grumbling that he had
children enough to look after already, but, as the boy was handsome and
intelligent, could read, write, play on the jewsharp and banjo, sing,
dance, and stand on his head, we were charmed with this new-found
treasure, who proved later to be a great family blessing. We were less
vivacious on the return trip. Whether this was due to Peter's untiring
efforts to keep us within bounds, or whether the novelty of the journey
was in a measure gone, it is difficult to determine, but we evidently
were not so buoyant and were duly complimented on our good behavior.

When we reached home and told our village companions what we had seen in
our extensive travels (just seventy miles from home) they were filled
with wonder, and we became heroines in their estimation. After this we
took frequent journeys to Saratoga, the Northern Lakes, Utica, and
Peterboro, but were never again so entirely swept from our feet as with
the biblical illustrations in the dining room of the old Given's Hotel.

As my father's office joined the house, I spent there much of my time,
when out of school, listening to the clients stating their cases,
talking with the students, and reading the laws in regard to woman. In
our Scotch neighborhood many men still retained the old feudal ideas of
women and property. Fathers, at their death, would will the bulk of
their property to the eldest son, with the proviso that the mother was
to have a home with him. Hence it was not unusual for the mother, who
had brought all the property into the family, to be made an unhappy
dependent on the bounty of an uncongenial daughter-in-law and a
dissipated son. The tears and complaints of the women who came to my
father for legal advice touched my heart and early drew my attention to
the injustice and cruelty of the laws. As the practice of the law was my
father's business, I could not exactly understand why he could not
alleviate the sufferings of these women. So, in order to enlighten me,
he would take down his books and show me the inexorable statutes. The
students, observing my interest, would amuse themselves by reading to me
all the worst laws they could find, over which I would laugh and cry by
turns. One Christmas morning I went into the office to show them, among
other of my presents, a new coral necklace and bracelets. They all
admired the jewelry and then began to tease me with hypothetical cases
of future ownership. "Now," said Henry Bayard, "if in due time you
should be my wife, those ornaments would be mine; I could take them and
lock them up, and you could never wear them except with my permission. I
could even exchange them for a box of cigars, and you could watch them
evaporate in smoke."

With this constant bantering from students and the sad complaints of the
women, my mind was sorely perplexed. So when, from time to time, my
attention was called to these odious laws, I would mark them with a
pencil, and becoming more and more convinced of the necessity of taking
some active measures against these unjust provisions, I resolved to
seize the first opportunity, when alone in the office, to cut every one
of them out of the books; supposing my father and his library were the
beginning and the end of the law. However, this mutilation of his
volumes was never accomplished, for dear old Flora Campbell, to whom I
confided my plan for the amelioration of the wrongs of my unhappy sex,
warned my father of what I proposed to do. Without letting me know that
he had discovered my secret, he explained to me one evening how laws
were made, the large number of lawyers and libraries there were all over
the State, and that if his library should burn up it would make no
difference in woman's condition. "When you are grown up, and able to
prepare a speech," said he, "you must go down to Albany and talk to the
legislators; tell them all you have seen in this office--the sufferings
of these Scotchwomen, robbed of their inheritance and left dependent on
their unworthy sons, and, if you can persuade them to pass new laws, the
old ones will be a dead letter." Thus was the future object of my life
foreshadowed and my duty plainly outlined by him who was most opposed
to my public career when, in due time, I entered upon it.

Until I was sixteen years old, I was a faithful student in the Johnstown
Academy with a class of boys. Though I was the only girl in the higher
classes of mathematics and the languages, yet, in our plays, all the
girls and boys mingled freely together. In running races, sliding
downhill, and snowballing, we made no distinction of sex. True, the boys
would carry the school books and pull the sleighs up hill for their
favorite girls, but equality was the general basis of our school
relations. I dare say the boys did not make their snowballs quite so
hard when pelting the girls, nor wash their faces with the same
vehemence as they did each other's, but there was no public evidence of
partiality. However, if any boy was too rough or took advantage of a
girl smaller than himself, he was promptly thrashed by his fellows.
There was an unwritten law and public sentiment in that little Academy
world that enabled us to study and play together with the greatest
freedom and harmony.

From the academy the boys of my class went to Union College at
Schenectady. When those with whom I had studied and contended for prizes
for five years came to bid me good-by, and I learned of the barrier that
prevented me from following in their footsteps--"no girls admitted
here"--my vexation and mortification knew no bounds. I remember, now,
how proud and handsome the boys looked in their new clothes, as they
jumped into the old stage coach and drove off, and how lonely I felt
when they were gone and I had nothing to do, for the plans for my future
were yet undetermined. Again I felt more keenly than ever the
humiliation of the distinctions made on the ground of sex.

My time was now occupied with riding on horseback, studying the game of
chess, and continually squabbling with the law students over the rights
of women. Something was always coming up in the experiences of everyday
life, or in the books we were reading, to give us fresh topics for
argument. They would read passages from the British classics quite as
aggravating as the laws. They delighted in extracts from Shakespeare,
especially from "The Taming of the Shrew," an admirable satire in itself
on the old common law of England. I hated Petruchio as if he were a real
man. Young Bayard would recite with unction the famous reply of Milton's
ideal woman to Adam: "God thy law, thou mine." The Bible, too, was
brought into requisition. In fact it seemed to me that every book taught
the "divinely ordained" headship of man; but my mind never yielded to
this popular heresy.



CHAPTER III.

GIRLHOOD.


Mrs. Willard's Seminary at Troy was the fashionable school in my
girlhood, and in the winter of 1830, with upward of a hundred other
girls, I found myself an active participant in all the joys and sorrows
of that institution. When in family council it was decided to send me to
that intellectual Mecca, I did not receive the announcement with unmixed
satisfaction, as I had fixed my mind on Union College. The thought of a
school without boys, who had been to me such a stimulus both in study
and play, seemed to my imagination dreary and profitless.

The one remarkable feature of my journey to Troy was the railroad from
Schenectady to Albany, the first ever laid in this country. The manner
of ascending a high hill going out of the city would now strike
engineers as stupid to the last degree. The passenger cars were pulled
up by a train, loaded with stones, descending the hill. The more
rational way of tunneling through the hill or going around it had not
yet dawned on our Dutch ancestors. At every step of my journey to Troy I
felt that I was treading on my pride, and thus in a hopeless frame of
mind I began my boarding-school career. I had already studied everything
that was taught there except French, music, and dancing, so I devoted
myself to these accomplishments. As I had a good voice I enjoyed
singing, with a guitar accompaniment, and, having a good ear for time, I
appreciated the harmony in music and motion and took great delight in
dancing. The large house, the society of so many girls, the walks about
the city, the novelty of everything made the new life more enjoyable
than I had anticipated. To be sure I missed the boys, with whom I had
grown up, played with for years, and later measured my intellectual
powers with, but, as they became a novelty, there was new zest in
occasionally seeing them. After I had been there a short time, I heard a
call one day: "Heads out!" I ran with the rest and exclaimed, "What is
it?" expecting to see a giraffe or some other wonder from Barnum's
Museum. "Why, don't you see those boys?" said one. "Oh," I replied, "is
that all? I have seen boys all my life." When visiting family friends in
the city, we were in the way of making the acquaintance of their sons,
and as all social relations were strictly forbidden, there was a new
interest in seeing them. As they were not allowed to call upon us or
write notes, unless they were brothers or cousins, we had, in time, a
large number of kinsmen.

There was an intense interest to me now in writing notes, receiving
calls, and joining the young men in the streets for a walk, such as I
had never known when in constant association with them at school and in
our daily amusements. Shut up with girls, most of them older than
myself, I heard many subjects discussed of which I had never thought
before, and in a manner it were better I had never heard. The healthful
restraint always existing between boys and girls in conversation is apt
to be relaxed with either sex alone. In all my intimate association with
boys up to that period, I cannot recall one word or act for criticism,
but I cannot say the same of the girls during the three years I passed
at the seminary in Troy. My own experience proves to me that it is a
grave mistake to send boys and girls to separate institutions of
learning, especially at the most impressible age. The stimulus of sex
promotes alike a healthy condition of the intellectual and the moral
faculties and gives to both a development they never can acquire alone.

Mrs. Willard, having spent several months in Europe, did not return
until I had been at the seminary some time. I well remember her arrival,
and the joy with which she was greeted by the teachers and pupils who
had known her before. She was a splendid-looking woman, then in her
prime, and fully realized my idea of a queen. I doubt whether any royal
personage in the Old World could have received her worshipers with more
grace and dignity than did this far-famed daughter of the Republic. She
was one of the remarkable women of that period, and did a great
educational work for her sex. She gave free scholarships to a large
number of promising girls, fitting them for teachers, with a proviso
that, when the opportunity arose, they should, in turn, educate others.

I shall never forget one incident that occasioned me much unhappiness. I
had written a very amusing composition, describing my room. A friend
came in to see me just as I had finished it, and, as she asked me to
read it to her, I did so. She enjoyed it very much and proposed an
exchange. She said the rooms were all so nearly alike that, with a
little alteration, she could use it. Being very susceptible to flattery,
her praise of my production won a ready assent; but when I read her
platitudes I was sorry I had changed, and still more so in the
_denouement_.

Those selected to prepare compositions read them before the whole
school. My friend's was received with great laughter and applause. The
one I read not only fell flat, but nearly prostrated me also. As soon as
I had finished, one of the young ladies left the room and, returning in
a few moments with her composition book, laid it before the teacher who
presided that day, showing her the same composition I had just read. I
was called up at once to explain, but was so amazed and confounded that
I could not speak, and I looked the personification of guilt. I saw at a
glance the contemptible position I occupied and felt as if the last day
had come, that I stood before the judgment seat and had heard the awful
sentence pronounced, "Depart ye wicked into everlasting punishment." How
I escaped from that scene to my own room I do not know. I was too
wretched for tears. I sat alone for a long time when a gentle tap
announced my betrayer. She put her arms around me affectionately and
kissed me again and again.

"Oh!" she said, "you are a hero. You went through that trying ordeal
like a soldier. I was so afraid, when you were pressed with questions,
that the whole truth would come out and I be forced to stand in your
place. I am not so brave as you; I could not endure it. Now that you are
through it and know how bitter a trial it is, promise that you will save
me from the same experience. You are so good and noble I know you will
not betray me."

In this supreme moment of misery and disgrace, her loving words and warm
embrace were like balm to my bruised soul and I readily promised all
she asked. The girl had penetrated the weak point in my character. I
loved flattery. Through that means she got my composition in the first
place, pledged me to silence in the second place, and so confused my
moral perceptions that I really thought it praiseworthy to shelter her
from what I had suffered. However, without betrayal on my part, the
trick came to light through the very means she took to make concealment
sure. After compositions were read they were handed over to a certain
teacher for criticism. Miss ---- had copied mine, and returned to me the
original. I had not copied hers, so the two were in the same
handwriting--one with my name outside and one with Miss ----'s.

As I stood well in school, both for scholarship and behavior, my sudden
fall from grace occasioned no end of discussion. So, as soon as the
teacher discovered the two compositions in Miss ----'s writing, she came
to me to inquire how I got one of Miss ----'s compositions. She said,
"Where is yours that you wrote for that day?"

Taking it from my portfolio, I replied, "Here it is."

She then asked, "Did you copy it from her book?"

I replied, "No; I wrote it myself."

"Then why did you not read your own?"

"We agreed to change," said I.

"Did you know that Miss ---- had copied that from the book of another
young lady?"

"No, not until I was accused of doing it myself before the whole
school."

"Why did you not defend yourself on the spot?"

"I could not speak, neither did I know what to say."

"Why have you allowed yourself to remain in such a false position for a
whole week?"

"I do not know."

"Suppose I had not found this out, did you intend to keep silent?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Did Miss ---- ask you to do so?"

"Yes."

I had been a great favorite with this teacher, but she was so disgusted
with my stupidity, as she called my timidity, that she said:

"Really, my child, you have not acted in this matter as if you had
ordinary common sense."

So little do grown people, in familiar surroundings, appreciate the
confusion of a child's faculties, under new and trying experiences. When
poor Miss ----'s turn came to stand up before the whole school and take
the burden on her own shoulders she had so cunningly laid on mine, I
readily shed the tears for her I could not summon for myself. This was
my first sad lesson in human duplicity.

This episode, unfortunately, destroyed in a measure my confidence in my
companions and made me suspicious even of those who came to me with
appreciative words. Up to this time I had accepted all things as they
seemed on the surface. Now I began to wonder what lay behind the visible
conditions about me. Perhaps the experience was beneficial, as it is
quite necessary for a young girl, thrown wholly on herself for the first
time among strangers, to learn caution in all she says and does. The
atmosphere of home life, where all disguises and pretensions are thrown
off, is quite different from a large school of girls, with the petty
jealousies and antagonisms that arise in daily competition in their
dress, studies, accomplishments, and amusements.

The next happening in Troy that seriously influenced my character was
the advent of the Rev. Charles G. Finney, a pulpit orator, who, as a
terrifier of human souls, proved himself the equal of Savonarola. He
held a protracted meeting in the Rev. Dr. Beaman's church, which many of
my schoolmates attended. The result of six weeks of untiring effort on
the part of Mr. Finney and his confreres was one of those intense
revival seasons that swept over the city and through the seminary like
an epidemic, attacking in its worst form the most susceptible. Owing to
my gloomy Calvinistic training in the old Scotch Presbyterian church,
and my vivid imagination, I was one of the first victims. We attended
all the public services, beside the daily prayer and experience meetings
held in the seminary. Our studies, for the time, held a subordinate
place to the more important duty of saving our souls.

To state the idea of conversion and salvation as then understood, one
can readily see from our present standpoint that nothing could be more
puzzling and harrowing to the young mind. The revival fairly started,
the most excitable were soon on the anxious seat. There we learned the
total depravity of human nature and the sinner's awful danger of
everlasting punishment. This was enlarged upon until the most innocent
girl believed herself a monster of iniquity and felt certain of eternal
damnation. Then God's hatred of sin was emphasized and his
irreconcilable position toward the sinner so justified that one felt
like a miserable, helpless, forsaken worm of the dust in trying to
approach him, even in prayer.

Having brought you into a condition of profound humility, the only
cardinal virtue for one under conviction, in the depths of your despair
you were told that it required no herculean effort on your part to be
transformed into an angel, to be reconciled to God, to escape endless
perdition. The way to salvation was short and simple. We had naught to
do but to repent and believe and give our hearts to Jesus, who was ever
ready to receive them. How to do all this was the puzzling question.
Talking with Dr. Finney one day, I said:

"I cannot understand what I am to do. If you should tell me to go to the
top of the church steeple and jump off, I would readily do it, if
thereby I could save my soul; but I do not know how to go to Jesus."

"Repent and believe," said he, "that is all you have to do to be happy
here and hereafter."

"I am very sorry," I replied, "for all the evil I have done, and I
believe all you tell me, and the more sincerely I believe, the more
unhappy I am."

With the natural reaction from despair to hope many of us imagined
ourselves converted, prayed and gave our experiences in the meetings,
and at times rejoiced in the thought that we were Christians--chosen
children of God--rather than sinners and outcasts.

But Dr. Finney's terrible anathemas on the depravity and deceitfulness
of the human heart soon shortened our newborn hopes. His appearance in
the pulpit on these memorable occasions is indelibly impressed on my
mind. I can see him now, his great eyes rolling around the congregation
and his arms flying about in the air like those of a windmill. One
evening he described hell and the devil and the long procession of
sinners being swept down the rapids, about to make the awful plunge
into the burning depths of liquid fire below, and the rejoicing hosts in
the inferno coming up to meet them with the shouts of the devils echoing
through the vaulted arches. He suddenly halted, and, pointing his index
finger at the supposed procession, he exclaimed:

"There, do you not see them!"

I was wrought up to such a pitch that I actually jumped up and gazed in
the direction to which he pointed, while the picture glowed before my
eyes and remained with me for months afterward. I cannot forbear saying
that, although high respect is due to the intellectual, moral, and
spiritual gifts of the venerable ex-president of Oberlin College, such
preaching worked incalculable harm to the very souls he sought to save.
Fear of the judgment seized my soul. Visions of the lost haunted my
dreams. Mental anguish prostrated my health. Dethronement of my reason
was apprehended by friends. But he was sincere, so peace to his ashes!
Returning home, I often at night roused my father from his slumbers to
pray for me, lest I should be cast into the bottomless pit before
morning.

To change the current of my thoughts, a trip was planned to Niagara, and
it was decided that the subject of religion was to be tabooed
altogether. Accordingly our party, consisting of my sister, her husband,
my father and myself, started in our private carriage, and for six weeks
I heard nothing on the subject. About this time Gall and Spurzheim
published their works on phrenology, followed by Combe's "Constitution
of Man," his "Moral Philosophy," and many other liberal works, all so
rational and opposed to the old theologies that they produced a profound
impression on my brother-in-law's mind. As we had these books with us,
reading and discussing by the way, we all became deeply interested in
the new ideas. Thus, after many months of weary wandering in the
intellectual labyrinth of "The Fall of Man," "Original Sin," "Total
Depravity," "God's Wrath," "Satan's Triumph," "The Crucifixion," "The
Atonement," and "Salvation by Faith," I found my way out of the darkness
into the clear sunlight of Truth. My religious superstitions gave place
to rational ideas based on scientific facts, and in proportion, as I
looked at everything from a new standpoint, I grew more and more happy,
day by day. Thus, with a delightful journey in the month of June, an
entire change in my course of reading and the current of my thoughts, my
mind was restored to its normal condition. I view it as one of the
greatest crimes to shadow the minds of the young with these gloomy
superstitions; and with fears of the unknown and the unknowable to
poison all their joy in life.

After the restraints of childhood at home and in school, what a period
of irrepressible joy and freedom comes to us in girlhood with the first
taste of liberty. Then is our individuality in a measure recognized and
our feelings and opinions consulted; then we decide where and when we
will come and go, what we will eat, drink, wear, and do. To suit one's
own fancy in clothes, to buy what one likes, and wear what one chooses
is a great privilege to most young people. To go out at pleasure, to
walk, to ride, to drive, with no one to say us nay or question our right
to liberty, this is indeed like a birth into a new world of happiness
and freedom. This is the period, too, when the emotions rule us, and we
idealize everything in life; when love and hope make the present an
ecstasy and the future bright with anticipation.

Then comes that dream of bliss that for weeks and months throws a halo
of glory round the most ordinary characters in every-day life, holding
the strongest and most common-sense young men and women in a thraldom
from which few mortals escape. The period when love, in soft silver
tones, whispers his first words of adoration, painting our graces and
virtues day by day in living colors in poetry and prose, stealthily
punctuated ever and anon with a kiss or fond embrace. What dignity it
adds to a young girl's estimate of herself when some strong man makes
her feel that in her hands rest his future peace and happiness! Though
these seasons of intoxication may come once to all, yet they are seldom
repeated. How often in after life we long for one more such rapturous
dream of bliss, one more season of supreme human love and passion!

After leaving school, until my marriage, I had the most pleasant years
of my girlhood. With frequent visits to a large circle of friends and
relatives in various towns and cities, the monotony of home life was
sufficiently broken to make our simple country pleasures always
delightful and enjoyable. An entirely new life now opened to me. The old
bondage of fear of the visible and the invisible was broken and, no
longer subject to absolute authority, I rejoiced in the dawn of a new
day of freedom in thought and action.

My brother-in-law, Edward Bayard, ten years my senior, was an
inestimable blessing to me at this time, especially as my mind was just
then opening to the consideration of all the varied problems of life. To
me and my sisters he was a companion in all our amusements, a teacher
in the higher departments of knowledge, and a counselor in all our
youthful trials and disappointments. He was of a metaphysical turn of
mind, and in the pursuit of truth was in no way trammeled by popular
superstitions. He took nothing for granted and, like Socrates, went
about asking questions. Nothing pleased him more than to get a bevy of
bright young girls about him and teach them how to think clearly and
reason logically.

One great advantage of the years my sisters and myself spent at the Troy
Seminary was the large number of pleasant acquaintances we made there,
many of which ripened into lifelong friendships. From time to time many
of our classmates visited us, and all alike enjoyed the intellectual
fencing in which my brother-in-law drilled them. He discoursed with us
on law, philosophy, political economy, history, and poetry, and together
we read novels without number. The long winter evenings thus passed
pleasantly, Mr. Bayard alternately talking and reading aloud Scott,
Bulwer, James, Cooper, and Dickens, whose works were just then coming
out in numbers from week to week, always leaving us in suspense at the
most critical point of the story. Our readings were varied with
recitations, music, dancing, and games.

As we all enjoyed brisk exercise, even with the thermometer below zero,
we took long walks and sleighrides during the day, and thus the winter
months glided quickly by, while the glorious summer on those blue hills
was a period of unmixed enjoyment. At this season we arose at five in
the morning for a long ride on horseback through the beautiful Mohawk
Valley and over the surrounding hills. Every road and lane in that
region was as familiar to us and our ponies, as were the trees to the
squirrels we frightened as we cantered by their favorite resorts.

Part of the time Margaret Christie, a young girl of Scotch descent, was
a member of our family circle. She taught us French, music, and dancing.
Our days were too short for all we had to do, for our time was not
wholly given to pleasure. We were required to keep our rooms in order,
mend and make our clothes, and do our own ironing. The latter was one of
my mother's politic requirements, to make our laundry lists as short as
possible.

Ironing on hot days in summer was a sore trial to all of us; but Miss
Christie, being of an inventive turn of mind, soon taught us a short way
out of it. She folded and smoothed her undergarments with her hands and
then sat on them for a specified time. We all followed her example and
thus utilized the hours devoted to our French lessons and, while reading
"Corinne" and "Télémaque," in this primitive style we ironed our
clothes. But for dresses, collars and cuffs, and pocket handkerchiefs,
we were compelled to wield the hot iron, hence with these articles we
used all due economy, and my mother's object was thus accomplished.

As I had become sufficiently philosophical to talk over my religious
experiences calmly with my classmates who had been with me through the
Finney revival meetings, we all came to the same conclusion--that we had
passed through no remarkable change and that we had not been born again,
as they say, for we found our tastes and enjoyments the same as ever. My
brother-in-law explained to us the nature of the delusion we had all
experienced, the physical conditions, the mental processes, the church
machinery by which such excitements are worked up, and the impositions
to which credulous minds are necessarily subjected. As we had all been
through that period of depression and humiliation, and had been
oppressed at times with the feeling that all our professions were arrant
hypocrisy and that our last state was worse than our first, he helped us
to understand these workings of the human mind and reconciled us to the
more rational condition in which we now found ourselves. He never grew
weary of expounding principles to us and dissipating the fogs and mists
that gather over young minds educated in an atmosphere of superstition.

We had a constant source of amusement and vexation in the students in my
father's office. A succession of them was always coming fresh from
college and full of conceit. Aching to try their powers of debate on
graduates from the Troy Seminary, they politely questioned all our
theories and assertions. However, with my brother-in-law's training in
analysis and logic, we were a match for any of them. Nothing pleased me
better than a long argument with them on woman's equality, which I tried
to prove by a diligent study of the books they read and the games they
played. I confess that I did not study so much for a love of the truth
or my own development, in these days, as to make those young men
recognize my equality. I soon noticed that, after losing a few games of
chess, my opponent talked less of masculine superiority. Sister Madge
would occasionally rush to the defense with an emphatic "Fudge for these
laws, all made by men! I'll never obey one of them. And as to the
students with their impertinent talk of superiority, all they need is
such a shaking up as I gave the most disagreeable one yesterday. I
invited him to take a ride on horseback. He accepted promptly, and said
he would be most happy to go. Accordingly I told Peter to saddle the
toughest-mouthed, hardest-trotting carriage horse in the stable. Mounted
on my swift pony, I took a ten-mile canter as fast as I could go, with
that superior being at my heels calling, as he found breath, for me to
stop, which I did at last and left him in the hands of Peter, half dead
at his hotel, where he will be laid out, with all his marvelous
masculine virtues, for a week at least. Now do not waste your arguments
on these prigs from Union College. Take each, in turn, the ten-miles'
circuit on 'Old Boney' and they'll have no breath left to prate of
woman's inferiority. You might argue with them all day, and you could
not make them feel so small as I made that popinjay feel in one hour. I
knew 'Old Boney' would keep up with me, if he died for it, and that my
escort could neither stop nor dismount, except by throwing himself from
the saddle."

"Oh, Madge!" I exclaimed; "what will you say when he meets you again?"

"If he complains, I will say 'the next time you ride see that you have a
curb bit before starting.' Surely, a man ought to know what is necessary
to manage a horse, and not expect a woman to tell him."

Our lives were still further varied and intensified by the usual number
of flirtations, so called, more or less lasting or evanescent, from all
of which I emerged, as from my religious experiences, in a more rational
frame of mind. We had been too much in the society of boys and young
gentlemen, and knew too well their real character, to idealize the sex
in general. In addition to our own observations, we had the advantage
of our brother-in-law's wisdom. Wishing to save us as long as possible
from all matrimonial entanglements, he was continually unveiling those
with whom he associated, and so critically portraying their intellectual
and moral condition that it was quite impossible, in our most worshipful
moods, to make gods of any of the sons of Adam.

However, in spite of all our own experiences and of all the warning
words of wisdom from those who had seen life in its many phases, we
entered the charmed circle at last, all but one marrying into the legal
profession, with its odious statute laws and infamous decisions. And
this, after reading Blackstone, Kent, and Story, and thoroughly
understanding the status of the wife under the old common law of
England, which was in force at that time in most of the States of the
Union.



CHAPTER IV.

LIFE AT PETERBORO.


The year, with us, was never considered complete without a visit to
Peterboro, N.Y., the home of Gerrit Smith. Though he was a reformer and
was very radical in many of his ideas, yet, being a man of broad
sympathies, culture, wealth, and position, he drew around him many
friends of the most conservative opinions. He was a man of fine
presence, rare physical beauty, most affable and courteous in manner,
and his hospitalities were generous to an extreme, and dispensed to all
classes of society.

Every year representatives from the Oneida tribe of Indians visited him.
His father had early purchased of them large tracts of land, and there
was a tradition among them that, as an equivalent for the good bargains
of the father, they had a right to the son's hospitality, with annual
gifts of clothing and provisions. The slaves, too, had heard of Gerrit
Smith, the abolitionist, and of Peterboro as one of the safe points _en
route_ for Canada. His mansion was, in fact, one of the stations on the
"underground railroad" for slaves escaping from bondage. Hence they,
too, felt that they had a right to a place under his protecting roof. On
such occasions the barn and the kitchen floor were utilized as chambers
for the black man from the southern plantation and the red man from his
home in the forest.

The spacious home was always enlivened with choice society from every
part of the country. There one would meet members of the families of the
old Dutch aristocracy, the Van Rensselaers, the Van Vechtens, the
Schuylers, the Livingstons, the Bleeckers, the Brinkerhoffs, the Ten
Eycks, the Millers, the Seymours, the Cochranes, the Biddles, the
Barclays, the Wendells, and many others.

As the lady of the house, Ann Carroll Fitzhugh, was the daughter of a
wealthy slaveholder of Maryland, many agreeable Southerners were often
among the guests. Our immediate family relatives were well represented
by General John Cochrane and his sisters, General Baird and his wife
from West Point, the Fitzhughs from Oswego and Geneseo, the Backuses and
Tallmans from Rochester, and the Swifts from Geneva. Here one was sure
to meet scholars, philosophers, philanthropists, judges, bishops,
clergymen, and statesmen.

Judge Alfred Conkling, the father of Roscoe Conkling, was, in his late
years, frequently seen at Peterboro. Tall and stately, after all life's
troubled scenes, financial losses and domestic sorrows, he used to say
there was no spot on earth that seemed so like his idea of Paradise. The
proud, reserved judge was unaccustomed to manifestations of affection
and tender interest in his behalf, and when Gerrit, taking him by both
hands would, in his softest tones say, "Good-morning," and inquire how
he had slept and what he would like to do that day, and Nancy would
greet him with equal warmth and pin a little bunch of roses in his
buttonhole, I have seen the tears in his eyes. Their warm sympathies and
sweet simplicity of manner melted the sternest natures and made the most
reserved amiable. There never was such an atmosphere of love and peace,
of freedom and good cheer, in any other home I visited. And this was the
universal testimony of those who were guests at Peterboro. To go
anywhere else, after a visit there, was like coming down from the divine
heights into the valley of humiliation.

How changed from the early days when, as strict Presbyterians, they
believed in all the doctrines of Calvin! Then, an indefinite gloom
pervaded their home. Their consciences were diseased. They attached such
undue importance to forms that they went through three kinds of baptism.
At one time Nancy would read nothing but the Bible, sing nothing but
hymns, and play only sacred music. She felt guilty if she talked on any
subject except religion. She was, in all respects, a fitting mate for
her attractive husband. Exquisitely refined in feeling and manner,
beautiful in face and form, earnest and sincere, she sympathized with
him in all his ideas of religion and reform. Together they passed
through every stage of theological experience, from the uncertain ground
of superstition and speculation to the solid foundation of science and
reason. The position of the Church in the anti-slavery conflict, opening
as it did all questions of ecclesiastical authority, Bible
interpretation, and church discipline, awakened them to new thought and
broader views on religious subjects, and eventually emancipated them
entirely from the old dogmas and formalities of their faith, and lifted
them into the cheerful atmosphere in which they passed the remainder of
their lives. Their only daughter, Elizabeth, added greatly to the
attractions of the home circle, as she drew many young people round her.
Beside her personal charm she was the heiress of a vast estate and had
many admirers. The favored one was Charles Dudley Miller of Utica,
nephew of Mrs. Blandina Bleecker Dudley, founder of the Albany
Observatory. At the close of his college life Mr. Miller had not only
mastered the languages, mathematics, rhetoric, and logic, but had
learned the secret windings of the human heart. He understood the art of
pleasing.

These were the times when the anti-slavery question was up for hot
discussion. In all the neighboring towns conventions were held in which
James G. Birney, a Southern gentleman who had emancipated his slaves,
Charles Stuart of Scotland, and George Thompson of England, Garrison,
Phillips, May, Beriah Greene, Foster, Abby Kelly, Lucretia Mott,
Douglass, and others took part. Here, too, John Brown, Sanborn, Morton,
and Frederick Douglass met to talk over that fatal movement on Harper's
Ferry. On the question of temperance, also, the people were in a
ferment. Dr. Cheever's pamphlet, "Deacon Giles' Distillery," was
scattered far and wide, and, as he was sued for libel, the question was
discussed in the courts as well as at every fireside. Then came the
Father Matthew and Washingtonian movements, and the position of the
Church on these questions intensified and embittered the conflict. This
brought the Cheevers, the Pierponts, the Delevans, the Nortons, and
their charming wives to Peterboro. It was with such company and varied
discussions on every possible phase of political, religious, and social
life that I spent weeks every year. Gerrit Smith was cool and calm in
debate, and, as he was armed at all points on these subjects, he could
afford to be patient and fair with an opponent, whether on the platform
or at the fireside. These rousing arguments at Peterboro made social
life seem tame and profitless elsewhere, and the youngest of us felt
that the conclusions reached in this school of philosophy were not to be
questioned. The sisters of General Cochrane, in disputes with their
Dutch cousins in Schenectady and Albany, would end all controversy by
saying, "This question was fully discussed at Peterboro, and settled."

The youngsters frequently put the lessons of freedom and individual
rights they heard so much of into practice, and relieved their brains
from the constant strain of argument on first principles, by the wildest
hilarity in dancing, all kinds of games, and practical jokes carried
beyond all bounds of propriety. These romps generally took place at Mr.
Miller's. He used to say facetiously, that they talked a good deal about
liberty over the way, but he kept the goddess under his roof. One
memorable occasion in which our enthusiasm was kept at white heat for
two hours I must try to describe, though words cannot do it justice, as
it was pre-eminently a spectacular performance. The imagination even
cannot do justice to the limp, woe-begone appearance of the actors in
the closing scene. These romps were conducted on a purely democratic
basis, without regard to color, sex, or previous condition of servitude.

It was rather a cold day in the month of March, when "Cousin Charley,"
as we called Mr. Miller, was superintending some men who were laying a
plank walk in the rear of his premises. Some half dozen of us were
invited to an early tea at good Deacon Huntington's. Immediately after
dinner, Miss Fitzhugh and Miss Van Schaack decided to take a nap, that
they might appear as brilliant as possible during the evening. That they
might not be late, as they invariably were, Cousin Lizzie and I decided
to rouse them in good season with a generous sprinkling of cold water.
In vain they struggled to keep the blankets around them; with equal
force we pulled them away, and, whenever a stray finger or toe appeared,
we brought fresh batteries to bear, until they saw that passive
resistance must give place to active hostility. We were armed with two
watering pots. They armed themselves with two large-sized syringes used
for showering potato bugs. With these weapons they gave us chase
downstairs. We ran into a closet and held the door shut. They quietly
waited our forthcoming. As soon as we opened the door to peep out, Miss
Fitzhugh, who was large and strong, pulled it wide open and showered us
with a vengeance. Then they fled into a large pantry where stood several
pans of milk.

At this stage Cousin Charley, hearing the rumpus, came to our
assistance. He locked them in the pantry and returned to his work,
whereupon they opened the window and showered him with milk, while he,
in turn, pelted them with wet clothes, soaking in tubs near by. As they
were thinly clad, wet to the skin, and the cold March wind blew round
them (we were all in fatigue costume in starting) they implored us to
let them out, which we did, and, in return for our kindness, they gave
us a broadside of milk in our faces. Cousin Lizzie and I fled to the
dark closet, where they locked us in. After long, weary waiting they
came to offer us terms of capitulation. Lizzie agreed to fill their guns
with milk, and give them our watering pots full of water, and I agreed
to call Cousin Charley under my window until they emptied the contents
of guns and pots on his head. My room was on the first floor, and Miss
Fitzhugh's immediately overhead. On these terms we accepted our freedom.
Accordingly, I gently raised the window and called Charley
confidentially within whispering distance, when down came a shower of
water. As he stepped back to look up and see whence it came, and who
made the attack, a stream of milk hit him on the forehead, his heels
struck a plank, and he fell backward, to all appearance knocked down
with a stream of milk. His humiliation was received with shouts of
derisive laughter, and even the carpenters at work laid down their
hammers and joined in the chorus; but his revenge was swift and capped
the climax. Cold and wet as we all were, and completely tired out, we
commenced to disrobe and get ready for the tea party. Unfortunately I
had forgotten to lock my door, and in walked Cousin Charley with a quart
bottle of liquid blacking, which he prepared to empty on my devoted
head. I begged so eloquently and trembled so at the idea of being dyed
black, that he said he would let me off on one condition, and that was
to get him, by some means, into Miss Fitzhugh's room. So I ran screaming
up the stairs, as if hotly pursued by the enemy, and begged her to let
me in. She cautiously opened the door, but when she saw Charley behind
me she tried to force it shut. However, he was too quick for her. He had
one leg and arm in; but, at that stage of her toilet, to let him in was
impossible, and there they stood, equally strong, firmly braced, she on
one side of the door and he on the other. But the blacking he was
determined she should have; so, gauging her probable position, with one
desperate effort he squeezed in a little farther and, raising the
bottle, he poured the contents on her head. The blacking went streaming
down over her face, white robe, and person, and left her looking more
like a bronze fury than one of Eve's most charming daughters. A yard or
more of the carpet was ruined, the wallpaper and bedclothes spattered,
and the poor victim was unfit to be seen for a week at least. Charley
had a good excuse for his extreme measures, for, as we all by turn
played our tricks on him, it was necessary to keep us in some fear of
punishment. This was but one of the many outrageous pranks we
perpetrated on each other. To see us a few hours later, all absorbed in
an anti-slavery or temperance convention, or dressed in our best, in
high discourse with the philosophers, one would never think we could
have been guilty of such consummate follies. It was, however, but the
natural reaction from the general serious trend of our thoughts.

It was in Peterboro, too, that I first met one who was then considered
the most eloquent and impassioned orator on the anti-slavery platform,
Henry B. Stanton. He had come over from Utica with Alvin Stewart's
beautiful daughter, to whom report said he was engaged; but, as she soon
after married Luther R. Marsh, there was a mistake somewhere. However,
the rumor had its advantages. Regarding him as not in the matrimonial
market, we were all much more free and easy in our manners with him than
we would otherwise have been. A series of anti-slavery conventions was
being held in Madison County, and there I had the pleasure of hearing
him for the first time. As I had a passion for oratory, I was deeply
impressed with his power. He was not so smooth and eloquent as Phillips,
but he could make his audience both laugh and cry; the latter, Phillips
himself said he never could do. Mr. Stanton was then in his prime, a
fine-looking, affable young man, with remarkable conversational talent,
and was ten years my senior, with the advantage that number of years
necessarily gives.

Two carriage-loads of ladies and gentlemen drove off every morning,
sometimes ten miles, to one of these conventions, returning late at
night. I shall never forget those charming drives over the hills in
Madison County, the bright autumnal days, and the bewitching moonlight
nights. The enthusiasm of the people in these great meetings, the
thrilling oratory, and lucid arguments of the speakers, all conspired to
make these days memorable as among the most charming in my life. It
seemed to me that I never had so much happiness crowded into one short
month. I had become interested in the anti-slavery and temperance
questions, and was deeply impressed with the appeals and arguments. I
felt a new inspiration in life and was enthused with new ideas of
individual rights and the basic principles of government, for the
anti-slavery platform was the best school the American people ever had
on which to learn republican principles and ethics. These conventions
and the discussions at my cousin's fireside I count among the great
blessings of my life.

One morning, as we came out from breakfast, Mr. Stanton joined me on the
piazza, where I was walking up and down enjoying the balmy air and the
beauty of the foliage. "As we have no conventions," said he, "on hand,
what do you say to a ride on horseback this morning?" I readily accepted
the suggestion, ordered the horses, put on my habit, and away we went.
The roads were fine and we took a long ride. As we were returning home
we stopped often to admire the scenery and, perchance, each other. When
walking slowly through a beautiful grove, he laid his hand on the horn
of the saddle and, to my surprise, made one of those charming
revelations of human feeling which brave knights have always found
eloquent words to utter, and to which fair ladies have always listened
with mingled emotions of pleasure and astonishment.

One outcome of those glorious days of October, 1839, was a marriage, in
Johnstown, the 10th day of May, 1840, and a voyage to the Old World.

Six weeks of that charming autumn, ending in the Indian summer with its
peculiarly hazy atmosphere, I lingered in Peterboro. It seems in
retrospect like a beautiful dream. A succession of guests was constantly
coming and going, and I still remember the daily drives over those grand
old hills crowned with trees now gorgeous in rich colors, the more
charming because we knew the time was short before the cold winds of
November would change all.

The early setting sun warned us that the shortening days must soon end
our twilight drives, and the moonlight nights were too chilly to linger
long in the rustic arbors or shady nooks outside. With the peculiar
charm of this season of the year there is always a touch of sadness in
nature, and it seemed doubly so to me, as my engagement was not one of
unmixed joy and satisfaction. Among all conservative families there was
a strong aversion to abolitionists and the whole anti-slavery movement.
Alone with Cousin Gerrit in his library he warned me, in deep, solemn
tones, while strongly eulogizing my lover, that my father would never
consent to my marriage with an abolitionist. He felt in duty bound, as
my engagement had occurred under his roof, to free himself from all
responsibility by giving me a long dissertation on love, friendship,
marriage, and all the pitfalls for the unwary, who, without due
consideration, formed matrimonial relations. The general principles laid
down in this interview did not strike my youthful mind so forcibly as
the suggestion that it was better to announce my engagement by letter
than to wait until I returned home, as thus I might draw the hottest
fire while still in safe harbor, where Cousin Gerrit could help me
defend the weak points in my position. So I lingered at Peterboro to
prolong the dream of happiness and postpone the conflict I feared to
meet.

But the Judge understood the advantage of our position as well as we
did, and wasted no ammunition on us. Being even more indignant at my
cousin than at me, he quietly waited until I returned home, when I
passed through the ordeal of another interview, with another
dissertation on domestic relations from a financial standpoint. These
were two of the most bewildering interviews I ever had. They succeeded
in making me feel that the step I proposed to take was the most
momentous and far-reaching in its consequences of any in this mortal
life. Heretofore my apprehensions had all been of death and eternity;
now life itself was filled with fears and anxiety as to the
possibilities of the future. Thus these two noble men, who would have
done anything for my happiness, actually overweighted my conscience and
turned the sweetest dream of my life into a tragedy. How little strong
men, with their logic, sophistry, and hypothetical examples, appreciate
the violence they inflict on the tender sensibilities of a woman's
heart, in trying to subjugate her to their will! The love of protecting
too often degenerates into downright tyranny. Fortunately all these
sombre pictures of a possible future were thrown into the background by
the tender missives every post brought me, in which the brilliant
word-painting of one of the most eloquent pens of this generation made
the future for us both, as bright and beautiful as Spring with her
verdure and blossoms of promise.

However, many things were always transpiring at Peterboro to turn one's
thoughts and rouse new interest in humanity at large. One day, as a bevy
of us girls were singing and chattering in the parlor, Cousin Gerrit
entered and, in mysterious tones, said: "I have a most important secret
to tell you, which you must keep to yourselves religiously for
twenty-four hours."

We readily pledged ourselves in the most solemn manner, individually and
collectively.

"Now," said he, "follow me to the third story."

This we did, wondering what the secret could be. At last, opening a
door, he ushered us into a large room, in the center of which sat a
beautiful quadroon girl, about eighteen years of age. Addressing her, he
said:

"Harriet, I have brought all my young cousins to see you. I want you to
make good abolitionists of them by telling them the history of your
life--what you have seen and suffered in slavery."

Turning to us he said:

"Harriet has just escaped from her master, who is visiting in Syracuse,
and is on her way to Canada. She will start this evening and you may
never have another opportunity of seeing a slave girl face to face, so
ask her all you care to know of the system of slavery."

For two hours we listened to the sad story of her childhood and youth,
separated from all her family and sold for her beauty in a New Orleans
market when but fourteen years of age. The details of her story I need
not repeat. The fate of such girls is too well known to need rehearsal.
We all wept together as she talked, and, when Cousin Gerrit returned to
summon us away, we needed no further education to make us earnest
abolitionists.

Dressed as a Quakeress, Harriet started at twilight with one of Mr.
Smith's faithful clerks in a carriage for Oswego, there to cross the
lake to Canada. The next day her master and the marshals from Syracuse
were on her track in Peterboro, and traced her to Mr. Smith's premises.
He was quite gracious in receiving them, and, while assuring them that
there was no slave there, he said that they were at liberty to make a
thorough search of the house and grounds. He invited them to stay and
dine and kept them talking as long as possible, as every hour helped
Harriet to get beyond their reach; for, although she had eighteen hours
the start of them, yet we feared some accident might have delayed her.
The master was evidently a gentleman, for, on Mr. Smith's assurance that
Harriet was not there, he made no search, feeling that they could not do
so without appearing to doubt his word. He was evidently surprised to
find an abolitionist so courteous and affable, and it was interesting to
hear them in conversation, at dinner, calmly discussing the problem of
slavery, while public sentiment was at white heat on the question. They
shook hands warmly at parting and expressed an equal interest in the
final adjustment of that national difficulty.

In due time the clerk returned with the good news that Harriet was safe
with friends in a good situation in Canada. Mr. Smith then published an
open letter to the master in the New York _Tribune_, saying "that he
would no doubt rejoice to know that his slave Harriet, in whose fate he
felt so deep an interest, was now a free woman, safe under the shadow of
the British throne. I had the honor of entertaining her under my roof,
sending her in my carriage to Lake Ontario, just eighteen hours before
your arrival: hence my willingness to have you search my premises."

Like the varied combinations of the kaleidoscope, the scenes in our
social life at Peterboro were continually changing from grave to gay.
Some years later we had a most hilarious occasion at the marriage of
Mary Cochrane, sister of General John Cochrane, to Chapman Biddle, of
Philadelphia. The festivities, which were kept up for three days,
involved most elaborate preparations for breakfasts, dinners, etc.,
there being no Delmonico's in that remote part of the country. It was
decided in family council that we had sufficient culinary talent under
the roof to prepare the entire _menu_ of substantials and delicacies,
from soup and salmon to cakes and creams. So, gifted ladies and
gentlemen were impressed into the service. The Fitzhughs all had a
natural talent for cooking, and chief among them was Isabella, wife of a
naval officer,--Lieutenant Swift of Geneva,--who had made a profound
study of all the authorities from Archestratus, a poet in Syracuse, the
most famous cook among the Greeks, down to our own Miss Leslie.
Accordingly she was elected manager of the occasion, and to each one was
assigned the specialty in which she claimed to excel. Those who had no
specialty were assistants to those who had. In this humble
office--"assistant at large"--I labored throughout.

Cooking is a high art. A wise Egyptian said, long ago: "The degree of
taste and skill manifested by a nation in the preparation of food may be
regarded as to a very considerable extent proportioned to its culture
and refinement." In early times men, only, were deemed capable of
handling fire, whether at the altar or the hearthstone. We read in the
Scriptures that Abraham prepared cakes of fine meal and a calf tender
and good, which, with butter and milk, he set before the three angels in
the plains of Mamre. We are told, too, of the chief butler and chief
baker as officers in the household of King Pharaoh. I would like to call
the attention of my readers to the dignity of this profession, which
some young women affect to despise. The fact that angels eat, shows that
we may be called upon in the next sphere to cook even for cherubim and
seraphim. How important, then, to cultivate one's gifts in that
direction!

With such facts before us, we stirred and pounded, whipped and ground,
coaxed the delicate meats from crabs and lobsters and the succulent peas
from the pods, and grated corn and cocoanut with the same cheerfulness
and devotion that we played Mendelssohn's "Songs Without Words" on the
piano, the Spanish Fandango on our guitars, or danced the minuet, polka,
lancers, or Virginia reel.

During the day of the wedding, every stage coach was crowded with guests
from the North, South, East, and West, and, as the twilight deepened,
carriages began to roll in with neighbors and friends living at short
distances, until the house and grounds were full. A son of Bishop Coxe,
who married the tall and stately sister of Roscoe Conkling, performed
the ceremony. The beautiful young bride was given away by her Uncle
Gerrit. The congratulations, the feast, and all went off with fitting
decorum in the usual way. The best proof of the excellence of our viands
was that they were all speedily swept from mortal view, and every
housewife wanted a recipe for something.

As the grand dinner was to come off the next day, our thoughts now
turned in that direction. The responsibility rested heavily on the heads
of the chief actors, and they reported troubled dreams and unduly early
rising. Dear Belle Swift was up in season and her white soup stood
serenely in a tin pan, on an upper shelf, before the town clock struck
seven. If it had not taken that position so early, it might have been
incorporated with higher forms of life than that into which it
eventually fell. Another artist was also on the wing early, and in
pursuit of a tin pan in which to hide her precious compound, she
unwittingly seized this one, and the rich white soup rolled down her
raven locks like the oil on Aaron's beard, and enveloped her in a veil
of filmy whiteness. I heard the splash and the exclamation of surprise
and entered the butler's pantry just in time to see the heiress of the
Smith estate standing like a statue, tin pan in hand, soup in her curls,
her eyebrows and eyelashes,--collar, cuffs, and morning dress
saturated,--and Belle, at a little distance, looking at her and the soup
on the floor with surprise and disgust depicted on every feature. The
tableau was inexpressibly comical, and I could not help laughing
outright; whereupon Belle turned on me, and, with indignant tones, said,
"If you had been up since four o'clock making that soup you would not
stand there like a laughing monkey, without the least feeling of pity!"
Poor Lizzie was very sorry, and would have shed tears, but they could
not penetrate that film of soup. I tried to apologize, but could only
laugh the more when I saw Belle crying and Lizzie standing as if hoping
that the soup might be scraped off her and gathered from the floor and
made to do duty on the occasion.

After breakfast, ladies and gentlemen, alike in white aprons, crowded
into the dining room and kitchen, each to perform the allotted task.
George Biddle of Philadelphia and John B. Miller of Utica, in holiday
spirits, were irrepressible--everywhere at the same moment, helping or
hindering as the case might be. Dear Belle, having only partially
recovered from the white-soup catastrophe, called Mr. Biddle to hold the
ice-cream freezer while she poured in the luscious compound she had just
prepared. He held it up without resting it on anything, while Belle
slowly poured in the cream. As the freezer had no indentations round the
top or rim to brace the thumbs and fingers, when it grew suddenly
heavier his hands slipped and down went the whole thing, spattering poor
Belle and spoiling a beautiful pair of gaiters in which, as she had very
pretty feet, she took a laudable pride. In another corner sat Wealthea
Backus, grating some cocoanut. While struggling in that operation, John
Miller, feeling hilarious, was annoying her in divers ways; at length
she drew the grater across his nose, gently, as she intended, but alas!
she took the skin off, and John's beauty, for the remainder of the
festivities, was marred with a black patch on that prominent feature.
One can readily imagine the fun that must have transpired where so many
amateur cooks were at work round one table, with all manner of culinary
tools and ingredients.

As assistant-at-large I was summoned to the cellar, where Mrs. Cornelia
Barclay of New York was evolving from a pan of flour and water that
miracle in the pie department called puff paste. This, it seems, can
only be accomplished where the thermometer is below forty, and near a
refrigerator where the compound can be kept cold until ready to be
popped into the oven. No jokes or nonsense here. With queenly dignity
the flour and water were gently compressed. Here one hand must not know
what the other doeth. Bits of butter must be so deftly introduced that
even the rolling pin may be unconscious of its work. As the artist gave
the last touch to an exquisite lemon pie, with a mingled expression of
pride and satisfaction on her classic features, she ordered me to bear
it to the oven. In the transit I met Madam Belle. "Don't let that fall,"
she said sneeringly. Fortunately I did not, and returned in triumph to
transport another. I was then summoned to a consultation with the
committee on toasts, consisting of James Cochrane, John Miller, and
myself. Mr. Miller had one for each guest already written, all of which
we accepted and pronounced very good.

Strange to say, a most excellent dinner emerged from all this uproar and
confusion. The table, with its silver, china, flowers, and rich viands,
the guests in satins, velvets, jewels, soft laces, and bright cravats,
together reflecting all the colors of the prism, looked as beautiful as
the rainbow after a thunderstorm.

Twenty years ago I made my last sad visit to that spot so rich with
pleasant memories of bygone days. A few relatives and family friends
gathered there to pay the last tokens of respect to our noble cousin.
It was on one of the coldest days of gray December that we laid him in
the frozen earth, to be seen no more. He died from a stroke of apoplexy
in New York city, at the home of his niece, Mrs. Ellen Cochrane Walter,
whose mother was Mr. Smith's only sister. The journey from New York to
Peterboro was cold and dreary, and climbing the hills from Canastota in
an open sleigh, nine hundred feet above the valley, with the thermometer
below zero, before sunrise, made all nature look as sombre as the sad
errand on which we came.

Outside the mansion everything in its wintry garb was cold and still,
and all within was silent as the grave. The central figure, the light
and joy of that home, had vanished forever. He who had welcomed us on
that threshold for half a century would welcome us no more. We did what
we could to dissipate the gloom that settled on us all. We did not
intensify our grief by darkening the house and covering ourselves with
black crape, but wore our accustomed dresses of chastened colors and
opened all the blinds that the glad sunshine might stream in. We hung
the apartment where the casket stood with wreaths of evergreens, and
overhead we wove his favorite mottoes in living letters, "Equal rights
for all!" "Rescue Cuba now!" The religious services were short and
simple; the Unitarian clergyman from Syracuse made a few remarks, the
children from the orphan asylum, in which he was deeply interested, sang
an appropriate hymn, and around the grave stood representatives of the
Biddles, the Dixwells, the Sedgwicks, the Barclays, and Stantons, and
three generations of his immediate family. With a few appropriate words
from General John Cochrane we left our beloved kinsman alone in his
last resting place. Two months later, on his birthday, his wife, Ann
Carroll Fitzhugh, passed away and was laid by his side. Theirs was a
remarkably happy union of over half a century, and they were soon
reunited in the life eternal.



CHAPTER V.

OUR WEDDING JOURNEY.


My engagement was a season of doubt and conflict--doubt as to the wisdom
of changing a girlhood of freedom and enjoyment for I knew not what, and
conflict because the step I proposed was in opposition to the wishes of
all my family. Whereas, heretofore, friends were continually suggesting
suitable matches for me and painting the marriage relation in the most
dazzling colors, now that state was represented as beset with dangers
and disappointments, and men, of all God's creatures as the most
depraved and unreliable. Hard pressed, I broke my engagement, after
months of anxiety and bewilderment; suddenly I decided to renew it, as
Mr. Stanton was going to Europe as a delegate to the World's
Anti-slavery Convention, and we did not wish the ocean to roll between
us.

Thursday, May 10, 1840, I determined to take the fateful step, without
the slightest preparation for a wedding or a voyage; but Mr. Stanton,
coming up the North River, was detained on "Marcy's Overslaugh," a bar
in the river where boats were frequently stranded for hours. This delay
compelled us to be married on Friday, which is commonly supposed to be a
most unlucky day. But as we lived together, without more than the usual
matrimonial friction, for nearly a half a century, had seven children,
all but one of whom are still living, and have been well sheltered,
clothed, and fed, enjoying sound minds in sound bodies, no one need be
afraid of going through the marriage ceremony on Friday for fear of bad
luck. The Scotch clergyman who married us, being somewhat superstitious,
begged us to postpone it until Saturday; but, as we were to sail early
in the coming week, that was impossible. That point settled, the next
difficulty was to persuade him to leave out the word "obey" in the
marriage ceremony. As I obstinately refused to obey one with whom I
supposed I was entering into an equal relation, that point, too, was
conceded. A few friends were invited to be present and, in a simple
white evening dress, I was married. But the good priest avenged himself
for the points he conceded, by keeping us on the rack with a long prayer
and dissertation on the sacred institution for one mortal hour. The Rev.
Hugh Maire was a little stout fellow, vehement in manner and speech, who
danced about the floor, as he laid down the law, in the most original
and comical manner. As Mr. Stanton had never seen him before, the hour
to him was one of constant struggle to maintain his equilibrium. I had
sat under his ministrations for several years, and was accustomed to his
rhetoric, accent, and gestures, and thus was able to go through the
ordeal in a calmer state of mind.

Sister Madge, who had stood by me bravely through all my doubts and
anxieties, went with us to New York and saw us on board the vessel. My
sister Harriet and her husband, Daniel C. Eaton, a merchant in New York
city, were also there. He and I had had for years a standing game of
"tag" at all our partings, and he had vowed to send me "tagged" to
Europe. I was equally determined that he should not. Accordingly, I
had a desperate chase after him all over the vessel, but in vain. He had
the last "tag" and escaped. As I was compelled, under the circumstances,
to conduct the pursuit with some degree of decorum, and he had the
advantage of height, long limbs, and freedom from skirts, I really stood
no chance whatever. However, as the chase kept us all laughing, it
helped to soften the bitterness of parting.

[Illustration: H.B. Stanton] [Illustration: MRS. STANTON AND DAUGHTER,
1857.]

Fairly at sea, I closed another chapter of my life, and my thoughts
turned to what lay in the near future. James G. Birney, the anti-slavery
nominee for the presidency of the United States, joined us in New York,
and was a fellow-passenger on the Montreal for England. He and my
husband were delegates to the World's Anti-slavery Convention, and both
interested themselves in my anti-slavery education. They gave me books
to read, and, as we paced the deck day by day, the question was the
chief theme of our conversation.

Mr. Birney was a polished gentleman of the old school, and was
excessively proper and punctilious in manner and conversation. I soon
perceived that he thought I needed considerable toning down before
reaching England. I was quick to see and understand that his criticisms
of others in a general way and the drift of his discourses on manners
and conversation had a nearer application than he intended I should
discover, though he hoped I would profit by them. I was always grateful
to anyone who took an interest in my improvement, so I laughingly told
him, one day, that he need not make his criticisms any longer in that
roundabout way, but might take me squarely in hand and polish me up as
speedily as possible. Sitting in the saloon at night after a game of
chess, in which, perchance, I had been the victor, I felt complacent
and would sometimes say:

"Well, what have I said or done to-day open to criticism?"

So, in the most gracious manner, he replied on one occasion:

"You went to the masthead in a chair, which I think very unladylike. I
heard you call your husband 'Henry' in the presence of strangers, which
is not permissible in polite society. You should always say 'Mr.
Stanton.' You have taken three moves back in this game."

"Bless me!" I replied, "what a catalogue in one day! I fear my Mentor
will despair of my ultimate perfection."

"I should have more hope," he replied, "if you seemed to feel my rebukes
more deeply, but you evidently think them of too little consequence to
be much disturbed by them."

As he found even more fault with my husband, we condoled with each other
and decided that our friend was rather hypercritical and that we were as
nearly perfect as mortals need be for the wear and tear of ordinary
life. Being both endowed with a good degree of self-esteem, neither the
praise nor the blame of mankind was overpowering to either of us. As the
voyage lasted eighteen days--for we were on a sailing vessel--we had
time to make some improvement, or, at least, to consider all friendly
suggestions.

At this time Mr. Birney was very much in love with Miss Fitzhugh of
Geneseo, to whom he was afterward married. He suffered at times great
depression of spirits, but I could always rouse him to a sunny mood by
introducing her name. That was a theme of which he never grew weary,
and, while praising her, a halo of glory was to him visible around my
head and I was faultless for the time being. There was nothing in our
fellow-passengers to break the monotony of the voyage. They were all
stolid, middle-class English people, returning from various parts of the
world to visit their native land.

When out of their hearing, Mr. Birney used to ridicule them without
mercy; so, one day, by way of making a point, I said with great
solemnity, "Is it good breeding to make fun of the foibles of our
fellow-men, who have not had our advantages of culture and education?"
He felt the rebuke and blushed, and never again returned to that
subject. I am sorry to say I was glad to find him once in fault.

Though some amusement, in whatever extraordinary way I could obtain it,
was necessary to my existence, yet, as it was deemed important that I
should thoroughly understand the status of the anti-slavery movement in
my own country, I spent most of my time reading and talking on that
question. Being the wife of a delegate to the World's Convention, we all
felt it important that I should be able to answer whatever questions I
might be asked in England on all phases of the slavery question.

The captain, a jolly fellow, was always ready to second me in my
explorations into every nook and cranny of the vessel. He imagined that
my reading was distasteful and enforced by the older gentlemen, so he
was continually planning some diversion, and often invited me to sit
with him and listen to his experiences of a sailor's life.

But all things must end in this mortal life, and our voyage was near
its termination, when we were becalmed on the Southern coast of England
and could not make more than one knot an hour. When within sight of the
distant shore, a pilot boat came along and offered to take anyone ashore
in six hours. I was so delighted at the thought of reaching land that,
after much persuasion, Mr. Stanton and Mr. Birney consented to go.
Accordingly we were lowered into the boat in an armchair, with a
luncheon consisting of a cold chicken, a loaf of bread, and a bottle of
wine, with just enough wind to carry our light craft toward our
destination. But, instead of six hours, we were all day trying to reach
the land, and, as the twilight deepened and the last breeze died away,
the pilot said: "We are now two miles from shore, but the only way you
can reach there to-night is by a rowboat."

As we had no provisions left and nowhere to sleep, we were glad to avail
ourselves of the rowboat. It was a bright moonlight night, the air
balmy, the waters smooth, and, with two stout oarsmen, we glided swiftly
along. As Mr. Birney made the last descent and seated himself, doubtful
as to our reaching shore, turning to me he said: "The woman tempted me
and I did leave the good ship." However, we did reach the shore at
midnight and landed at Torquay, one of the loveliest spots in that
country, and our journey to Exeter the next day lay through the most
beautiful scenery in England.

As we had no luggage with us, our detention by customs officers was
brief, and we were soon conducted to a comfortable little hotel, which
we found in the morning was a bower of roses. I had never imagined
anything so beautiful as the drive up to Exeter on the top of a coach,
with four stout horses, trotting at the rate of ten miles an hour. It
was the first day of June, and the country was in all its glory. The
foliage was of the softest green, the trees were covered with blossoms,
and the shrubs with flowers. The roads were perfect; the large,
fine-looking coachman, with his white gloves and reins, his rosy face
and lofty bearing and the postman in red, blowing his horn as we passed
through every village, made the drive seem like a journey in fairyland.
We had heard that England was like a garden of flowers, but we were
wholly unprepared for such wealth of beauty.

In Exeter we had our first view of one of the great cathedrals in the
Old World, and we were all deeply impressed with its grandeur. It was
just at the twilight hour, when the last rays of the setting sun,
streaming through the stained glass windows, deepened the shadows and
threw a mysterious amber light over all. As the choir was practicing,
the whole effect was heightened by the deep tones of the organ
reverberating through the arched roof, and the sound of human voices as
if vainly trying to fill the vast space above. The novelty and solemnity
of the surroundings roused all our religious emotions and thrilled every
nerve in our being. As if moved by the same impulse to linger there a
while, we all sat down, silently waiting for something to break the
spell that bound us. Can one wonder at the power of the Catholic
religion for centuries, with such accessories to stimulate the
imagination to a blind worship of the unknown?

Sitting in the hotel that evening and wanting something to read, we
asked the waiter for the daily papers. As there was no public table or
drawing room for guests, but each party had its own apartment, we needed
a little change from the society of each other. Having been, as it were,
shut from the outside world for eighteen days, we had some curiosity to
see whether our planet was still revolving from west to east. At the
mention of papers in the plural number, the attendant gave us a look of
surprise, and said he would get "it." He returned saying that the
gentleman in No. 4 had "it," but he would be through in fifteen minutes.
Accordingly, at the end of that time, he brought the newspaper, and,
after we had had it the same length of time, he came to take it to
another party. At our lodging house in London, a paper was left for half
an hour each morning, and then it was taken to the next house, thus
serving several families of readers.

The next day brought us to London. When I first entered our lodging
house in Queen Street, I thought it the gloomiest abode I had ever seen.
The arrival of a delegation of ladies, the next day, from Boston and
Philadelphia, changed the atmosphere of the establishment, and filled me
with delightful anticipations of some new and charming acquaintances,
which I fully realized in meeting Emily Winslow, Abby Southwick,
Elizabeth Neal, Mary Grew, Abby Kimber, Sarah Pugh, and Lucretia Mott.
There had been a split in the American anti-slavery ranks, and delegates
came from both branches, and, as they were equally represented at our
lodgings, I became familiar with the whole controversy. The potent
element which caused the division was the woman question, and as the
Garrisonian branch maintained the right of women to speak and vote in
the conventions, all my sympathies were with the Garrisonians, though
Mr. Stanton and Mr. Birney belonged to the other branch, called
political abolitionists. To me there was no question so important as the
emancipation of women from the dogmas of the past, political, religious,
and social. It struck me as very remarkable that abolitionists, who felt
so keenly the wrongs of the slave, should be so oblivious to the equal
wrongs of their own mothers, wives, and sisters, when, according to the
common law, both classes occupied a similar legal status.

Our chief object in visiting England at this time was to attend the
World's Anti-slavery Convention, to meet June 12, 1840, in Freemasons'
Hall, London. Delegates from all the anti-slavery societies of civilized
nations were invited, yet, when they arrived, those representing
associations of women were rejected. Though women were members of the
National Anti-slavery Society, accustomed to speak and vote in all its
conventions, and to take an equally active part with men in the whole
anti-slavery struggle, and were there as delegates from associations of
men and women, as well as those distinctively of their own sex, yet all
alike were rejected because they were women. Women, according to English
prejudices at that time, were excluded by Scriptural texts from sharing
equal dignity and authority with men in all reform associations; hence
it was to English minds pre-eminently unfitting that women should be
admitted as equal members to a World's Convention. The question was
hotly debated through an entire day. My husband made a very eloquent
speech in favor of admitting the women delegates.

When we consider that Lady Byron, Anna Jameson, Mary Howitt, Mrs. Hugo
Reid, Elizabeth Fry, Amelia Opie, Ann Green Phillips, Lucretia Mott, and
many remarkable women, speakers and leaders in the Society of Friends,
were all compelled to listen in silence to the masculine platitudes on
woman's sphere, one may form some idea of the indignation of
unprejudiced friends, and especially that of such women as Lydia Maria
Child, Maria Chapman, Deborah Weston, Angelina and Sarah Grimké, and
Abby Kelly, who were impatiently waiting and watching on this side, in
painful suspense, to hear how their delegates were received. Judging
from my own feelings, the women on both sides of the Atlantic must have
been humiliated and chagrined, except as these feelings were outweighed
by contempt for the shallow reasoning of their opponents and their
comical pose and gestures in some of the intensely earnest flights of
their imagination.

The clerical portion of the convention was most violent in its
opposition. The clergymen seemed to have God and his angels especially
in their care and keeping, and were in agony lest the women should do or
say something to shock the heavenly hosts. Their all-sustaining conceit
gave them abundant assurance that their movements must necessarily be
all-pleasing to the celestials whose ears were open to the proceedings
of the World's Convention. Deborah, Huldah, Vashti, and Esther might
have questioned the propriety of calling it a World's Convention, when
only half of humanity was represented there; but what were their
opinions worth compared with those of the Rev. A. Harvey, the Rev. C.
Stout, or the Rev. J. Burnet, who, Bible in hand, argued woman's
subjection, divinely decreed when Eve was created.

One of our champions in the convention, George Bradburn, a tall
thick-set man with a voice like thunder, standing head and shoulders
above the clerical representatives, swept all their arguments aside by
declaring with tremendous emphasis that, if they could prove to him that
the Bible taught the entire subjection of one-half of the race to the
other, he should consider that the best thing he could do for humanity
would be to bring together every Bible in the universe and make a grand
bonfire of them.

It was really pitiful to hear narrow-minded bigots, pretending to be
teachers and leaders of men, so cruelly remanding their own mothers,
with the rest of womankind, to absolute subjection to the ordinary
masculine type of humanity. I always regretted that the women themselves
had not taken part in the debate before the convention was fully
organized and the question of delegates settled. It seemed to me then,
and does now, that all delegates with credentials from recognized
societies should have had a voice in the organization of the convention,
though subject to exclusion afterward. However, the women sat in a low
curtained seat like a church choir, and modestly listened to the French,
British, and American Solons for twelve of the longest days in June, as
did, also, our grand Garrison and Rogers in the gallery. They scorned a
convention that ignored the rights of the very women who had fought,
side by side, with them in the anti-slavery conflict. "After battling so
many long years," said Garrison, "for the liberties of African slaves, I
can take no part in a convention that strikes down the most sacred
rights of all women." After coming three thousand miles to speak on the
subject nearest his heart, he nobly shared the enforced silence of the
rejected delegates. It was a great act of self-sacrifice that should
never be forgotten by women.

Thomas Clarkson was chosen president of the convention and made a few
remarks in opening, but he soon retired, as his age and many infirmities
made all public occasions too burdensome, and Joseph Sturge, a Quaker,
was made chairman. Sitting next to Mrs. Mott, I said:

"As there is a Quaker in the chair now, what could he do if the spirit
should move you to speak?"

"Ah," she replied, evidently not believing such a contingency possible,
"where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."

She had not much faith in the sincerity of abolitionists who, while
eloquently defending the natural rights of slaves, denied freedom of
speech to one-half the people of their own race. Such was the
consistency of an assemblage of philanthropists! They would have been
horrified at the idea of burning the flesh of the distinguished women
present with red-hot irons, but the crucifixion of their pride and
self-respect, the humiliation of the spirit, seemed to them a most
trifling matter. The action of this convention was the topic of
discussion, in public and private, for a long time, and stung many women
into new thought and action and gave rise to the movement for women's
political equality both in England and the United States.

As the convention adjourned, the remark was heard on all sides, "It is
about time some demand was made for new liberties for women." As Mrs.
Mott and I walked home, arm in arm, commenting on the incidents of the
day, we resolved to hold a convention as soon as we returned home, and
form a society to advocate the rights of women. At the lodging house on
Queen Street, where a large number of delegates had apartments, the
discussions were heated at every meal, and at times so bitter that, at
last, Mr. Birney packed his valise and sought more peaceful quarters.
Having strongly opposed the admission of women as delegates to the
convention it was rather embarrassing to meet them, during the intervals
between the various sessions, at the table and in the drawing room.

These were the first women I had ever met who believed in the equality
of the sexes and who did not believe in the popular orthodox religion.
The acquaintance of Lucretia Mott, who was a broad, liberal thinker on
politics, religion, and all questions of reform, opened to me a new
world of thought. As we walked about to see the sights of London, I
embraced every opportunity to talk with her. It was intensely gratifying
to hear all that, through years of doubt, I had dimly thought, so freely
discussed by other women, some of them no older than myself--women, too,
of rare intelligence, cultivation, and refinement. After six weeks'
sojourn under the same roof with Lucretia Mott, whose conversation was
uniformly on a high plane, I felt that I knew her too well to sympathize
with the orthodox Friends, who denounced her as a dangerous woman
because she doubted certain dogmas they fully believed.

As Mr. Birney and my husband were invited to speak all over England,
Scotland, and Ireland, and we were uniformly entertained by orthodox
Friends, I had abundant opportunity to know the general feeling among
them toward Lucretia Mott. Even Elizabeth Fry seemed quite unwilling to
breathe the same atmosphere with her. During the six weeks that many of
us remained in London after the convention we were invited to a
succession of public and private breakfasts, dinners, and teas, and on
these occasions it was amusing to watch Mrs. Fry's sedulous efforts to
keep Mrs. Mott at a distance. If Mrs. Mott was on the lawn, Mrs. Fry
would go into the house; if Mrs. Mott was in the house, Mrs. Fry would
stay out on the lawn. One evening, when we were all crowded into two
parlors, and there was no escape, the word went round that Mrs. Fry felt
moved to pray with the American delegates, whereupon a profound silence
reigned. After a few moments Mrs. Fry's voice was heard deploring the
schism among the American Friends; that sol many had been led astray by
false doctrines; urging the Spirit of All Good to show them the error of
their way, and gather them once more into the fold of the great Shepherd
of our faith. The prayer was directed so pointedly at the followers of
Elias Hicks, and at Lucretia Mott in particular, that I whispered to
Lucretia, at the close, that she should now pray for Mrs. Fry, that her
eyes might be opened to her bigotry and uncharitableness, and be led by
the Spirit into higher light. "Oh, no!" she replied, "a prayer of this
character, under the circumstances, is an unfair advantage to take of a
stranger, but I would not resent it in the house of her friends."

In these gatherings we met the leading Quaker families and many other
philanthropists of different denominations interested in the
anti-slavery movement. On all these occasions our noble Garrison spoke
most effectively, and thus our English friends had an opportunity of
enjoying his eloquence, the lack of which had been so grave a loss in
the convention.

We devoted a month sedulously to sightseeing in London, and, in the line
of the traveler's duty, we explored St. Paul's Cathedral, the British
Museum, the Tower, various prisons, hospitals, galleries of art, Windsor
Castle, and St. James's Palace, the Zoological Gardens, the schools and
colleges, the chief theaters and churches, Westminster Abbey, the Houses
of Parliament, and the Courts. We heard the most famous preachers,
actors, and statesmen. In fact, we went to the top and bottom of
everything, from the dome of St. Paul to the tunnel under the Thames,
just then in the process of excavation. We drove through the parks,
sailed up and down the Thames, and then visited every shire but four in
England, in all of which we had large meetings, Mr. Birney and Mr.
Stanton being the chief speakers. As we were generally invited to stay
with Friends, it gave us a good opportunity to see the leading families,
such as the Ashursts, the Alexanders, the Priestmans, the Braithwaites,
and Buxtons, the Gurneys, the Peases, the Wighams of Edinburgh, and the
Webbs of Dublin. We spent a few days with John Joseph Gurney at his
beautiful home in Norwich. He had just returned from America, having
made a tour through the South. When asked how he liked America, he said,
"I like everything but your pie crust and your slavery."

Before leaving London, the whole American delegation, about forty in
number, were invited to dine with Samuel Gurney. He and his brother,
John Joseph Gurney, were, at that time, the leading bankers in London.
Someone facetiously remarked that the Jews were the leading bankers in
London until the Quakers crowded them out.

One of the most striking women I met in England at this time was Miss
Elizabeth Pease. I never saw a more strongly marked face. Meeting her,
forty years after, on the platform of a great meeting in the Town Hall
at Glasgow, I knew her at once. She is now Mrs. Nichol of Edinburgh,
and, though on the shady side of eighty, is still active in all the
reforms of the day.

It surprised us very much at first, when driving into the grounds of
some of these beautiful Quaker homes, to have the great bell rung at the
lodge, and to see the number of liveried servants on the porch and in
the halls, and then to meet the host in plain garb, and to be welcomed
in plain language, "How does thee do, Henry?" "How does thee do
Elizabeth?" This sounded peculiarly sweet to me--a stranger in a strange
land. The wealthy English Quakers we visited at that time, taking them
all in all, were the most charming people I had ever seen. They were
refined and intelligent on all subjects, and though rather conservative
on some points, were not aggressive in pressing their opinions on
others. Their hospitality was charming and generous, their homes the
beau ideal of comfort and order, the cuisine faultless, while peace
reigned over all. The quiet, gentle manner and the soft tones in
speaking, and the mysterious quiet in these well-ordered homes were like
the atmosphere one finds in a modern convent, where the ordinary duties
of the day seem to be accomplished by some magical influence.

Before leaving London we spent a delightful day in June at the home of
Samuel Gurney, surrounded by a fine park with six hundred deer roaming
about--always a beautiful feature in the English landscape. As the
Duchess of Sutherland and Lord Morpeth had expressed a wish to Mrs. Fry
to meet some of the leading American abolitionists, it was arranged that
they should call at her brother's residence on this occasion. Soon after
we arrived, the Duchess, with her brother and Mrs. Fry, in her state
carriage with six horses and outriders, drove up to the door. Mr. Gurney
was evidently embarrassed at the prospect of a lord and a duchess under
his roof. Leaning on the arm of Mrs. Fry, the duchess was formally
introduced to us individually. Mrs. Mott conversed with the
distinguished guests with the same fluency and composure as with her own
countrywomen. However anxious the English people were as to what they
should say and do, the Americans were all quite at their ease.

As Lord Morpeth had some interesting letters from the island of Jamaica
to read to us, we formed a circle on the lawn to listen. England had
just paid one hundred millions of dollars to emancipate the slaves, and
we were all interested in hearing the result of the experiment. The
distinguished guest in turn had many questions to ask in regard to
American slavery. We found none of that prejudice against color in
England which is so inveterate among the American people; at my first
dinner in England I found myself beside a gentleman from Jamaica, as
black as the ace of spades. After the departure of the duchess, dinner
was announced. It was a sumptuous meal, most tastefully served. There
were half a dozen wineglasses at every plate, but abolitionists, in
those days, were all converts to temperance, and, as the bottles went
around there was a general headshaking, and the right hand extended
over the glasses. Our English friends were amazed that none of us drank
wine. Mr. Gurney said he had never before seen such a sight as forty
ladies and gentlemen sitting down to dinner and none of them tasting
wine. In talking with him on that point, he said:

"I suppose your nursing mothers drink beer?"

I laughed, and said, "Oh, no! We should be afraid of befogging the
brains of our children."

"No danger of that," said he; "we are all bright enough, and yet a cask
of beer is rolled into the cellar for the mother with each newborn
child."

Colonel Miller from Vermont, one of our American delegation, was in the
Greek war with Lord Byron. As Lady Byron had expressed a wish to see
him, that her daughter might know something of her father's last days,
an interview was arranged, and the colonel kindly invited me to
accompany him. His account of their acquaintance and the many noble
traits of character Lord Byron manifested, his generous impulses and
acts of self-sacrifice, seemed particularly gratifying to the daughter.
It was a sad interview, arranged chiefly for the daughter's
satisfaction, though Lady Byron listened with a painful interest. As the
colonel was a warm admirer of the great poet, he no doubt represented
him in the best possible light, and his narration of his last days was
deeply interesting. Lady Byron had a quiet, reserved manner, a sad face,
and a low, plaintive voice, like one who had known deep sorrow. I had
seen her frequently in the convention and at social teas, and had been
personally presented to her before this occasion. Altogether I thought
her a sweet, attractive-looking woman.

We had a pleasant interview with Lord Brougham also. The Philadelphia
Anti-slavery Society sent him an elaborately carved inkstand, made from
the wood of Pennsylvania Hall, which was destroyed by a pro-slavery mob.
Mr. Birney made a most graceful speech in presenting the memento, and
Lord Brougham was equally happy in receiving it.

One of the most notable characters we met at this time was Daniel
O'Connell. He made his first appearance in the London convention a few
days after the women were rejected. He paid a beautiful tribute to woman
and said that, if he had been present when the question was under
discussion, he should have spoken and voted for their admission. He was
a tall, well-developed, magnificent-looking man, and probably one of the
most effective speakers Ireland ever produced. I saw him at a great
India meeting in Exeter Hall, where some of the best orators from
France, America, and England were present. There were six natives from
India on the platform who, not understanding anything that was said,
naturally remained listless throughout the proceedings. But the moment
O'Connell began to speak they were all attention, bending forward and
closely watching every movement. One could almost tell what he said from
the play of his expressive features, his wonderful gestures, and the
pose of his whole body. When he finished, the natives joined in the
general applause. He had all Wendell Phillips' power of sarcasm and
denunciation, and added to that the most tender pathos. He could make
his audience laugh or cry at pleasure. It was a rare sight to see him
dressed in "Repeal cloth" in one of his Repeal meetings. We were in
Dublin in the midst of that excitement, when the hopes of new liberties
for that oppressed people all centered on O'Connell. The enthusiasm of
the people for the Repeal of the Union was then at white-heat. Dining
one day with the "Great Liberator," as he was called, I asked him if he
hoped to carry that measure.

"No," he said, "but it is always good policy to claim the uttermost and
then you will be sure to get something."

Could he have looked forward fifty years and have seen the present
condition of his unhappy country, he would have known that English greed
and selfishness could defeat any policy, however wise and far-seeing.
The successive steps by which Irish commerce was ruined and religious
feuds between her people continually fanned into life, and the nation
subjugated, form the darkest page in the history of England. But the
people are awakening at last to their duty, and, for the first time,
organizing English public sentiment in favor of "Home Rule." I attended
several large, enthusiastic meetings when last in England, in which the
most radical utterances of Irish patriots were received with prolonged
cheers. I trust the day is not far off when the beautiful Emerald Isle
will unfurl her banner before the nations of the earth, enthroned as the
Queen Republic of those northern seas!

We visited Wordsworth's home at Grasmere, among the beautiful lakes, but
he was not there. However, we saw his surroundings--the landscape that
inspired some of his poetic dreams, and the dense rows of hollyhocks of
every shade and color, leading from his porch to the gate. The gardener
told us this was his favorite flower. Though it had no special beauty in
itself, taken alone, yet the wonderful combination of royal colors was
indeed striking and beautiful. We saw Harriet Martineau at her country
home as well as at her house in town. As we were obliged to converse
with her through an ear trumpet, we left her to do most of the talking.
She gave us many amusing experiences of her travels in America, and her
comments on the London Convention were rich and racy. She was not an
attractive woman in either manner or appearance, though considered great
and good by all who knew her.

We spent a few days with Thomas Clarkson, in Ipswich. He lived in a very
old house with long rambling corridors, surrounded by a moat, which we
crossed' by means of a drawbridge. He had just written an article
against the colonization scheme, which his wife read aloud to us. He was
so absorbed in the subject that he forgot the article was written by
himself, and kept up a running applause with "hear!" "hear!" the English
mode of expressing approbation. He told us of the severe struggles he
and Wilberforce had gone through in rousing the public sentiment of
England to the demand for emancipation in Jamaica. But their trials were
mild, compared with what Garrison and his coadjutors had suffered in
America.

Having read of all these people, it was difficult to realize, as I
visited them in their own homes from day to day, that they were the same
persons I had so long worshiped from afar!



CHAPTER VI.

HOMEWARD BOUND.


After taking a view of the wonders and surroundings of London we spent a
month in Paris. Fifty years ago there was a greater difference in the
general appearance of things between France and England than now. That
countries only a few hours' journey apart should differ so widely was to
us a great surprise. How changed the sights and sounds! Here was the old
diligence, lumbering along with its various compartments and its
indefinite number of horses, harnessed with rope and leather, sometimes
two, sometimes three abreast, and sometimes one in advance, with an
outrider belaboring the poor beasts without cessation, and the driver
yelling and cracking his whip. The uproar, confusion, and squabbles at
every stopping place are overwhelming; the upper classes, men and women
alike, rushing into each other's arms, embrace and kiss, while drivers
and hostlers on the slightest provocation hurl at each other all the
denunciatory adjectives in the language, and with such vehemence that
you expect every moment to see a deadly conflict. But to-day, as fifty
years ago, they never arrive at that point. Theirs was and is purely an
encounter of words, which they keep up, as they drive off in opposite
directions, just as far as they can hear and see each other, with
threats of vengeance to come. Such an encounter between two Englishmen
would mean the death of one or the other.

All this was in marked contrast with John Bull and his Island. There the
people were as silent as if they had been born deaf and dumb. The
English stagecoach was compact, clean, and polished from top to bottom,
the horses and harness glossy and in order, the well-dressed, dignified
coachman, who seldom spoke a loud word or used his whip, kept his seat
at the various stages, while hostlers watered or changed the steeds; the
postman blew his bugle blast to have the mail in readiness, and the
reserved passengers made no remarks on what was passing; for, in those
days, Englishmen were afraid to speak to each other for fear of
recognizing one not of their class, while to strangers and foreigners
they would not speak except in case of dire necessity. The Frenchman was
ready enough to talk, but, unfortunately, we were separated by different
languages. Thus the Englishman would not talk, the Frenchman could not,
and the intelligent, loquacious American driver, who discourses on
politics, religion, national institutions, and social gossip was unknown
on that side of the Atlantic. What the curious American traveler could
find out himself from observation and pertinacious seeking he was
welcome to, but the Briton would waste no breath to enlighten Yankees as
to the points of interest or customs of his country.

Our party consisted of Miss Pugh, Abby Kimber, Mr. Stanton, and myself.
I had many amusing experiences in making my wants known when alone,
having forgotten most of my French. For instance, traveling night and
day in the diligence to Paris, as the stops were short, one was
sometimes in need of something to eat. One night as my companions were
all asleep, I went out to get a piece of cake or a cracker, or whatever
of that sort I could obtain, but, owing to my clumsy use of the
language, I was misunderstood. Just as the diligence was about to start,
and the shout for us to get aboard was heard, the waiter came running
with a piping hot plate of sweetbreads nicely broiled. I had waited and
wondered why it took so long to get a simple piece of cake or biscuit,
and lo! a piece of hot meat was offered me. I could not take the
frizzling thing in my hand nor eat it without bread, knife, or fork, so
I hurried off to the coach, the man pursuing me to the very door. I was
vexed and disappointed, while the rest of the party were convulsed with
laughter at the parting salute and my attempt to make my way alone. It
was some time before I heard the last of the "sweetbreads."

When we reached Paris we secured a courier who could speak English, to
show us the sights of that wonderful city. Every morning early he was at
the door, rain or shine, to carry out our plans, which, with the aid of
our guidebook, we had made the evening before. In this way, going
steadily, day after day, we visited all points of interest for miles
round and sailed up and down the Seine. The Palace of the Tuileries,
with its many associations with a long line of more or less unhappy
kings and queens, was then in its glory, and its extensive and beautiful
grounds were always gay with crowds of happy people. These gardens were
a great resort for nurses and children and were furnished with all
manner of novel appliances for their amusement, including beautiful
little carriages drawn by four goats with girls or boys driving, boats
sailing in the air, seemingly propelled by oars, and hobby horses
flying round on whirligigs with boys vainly trying to catch each other.
No people have ever taken the trouble to invent so many amusements for
children as have the French. The people enjoyed being always in the open
air, night and day. The parks are crowded with amusement seekers, some
reading and playing games, some sewing, knitting, playing on musical
instruments, dancing, sitting around tables in bevies eating, drinking,
and gayly chatting. And yet, when they drive in carriages or go to their
homes at night, they will shut themselves in as tight as oysters in
their shells. They have a theory that night air is very injurious,--in
the house,--although they will sit outside until midnight. I found this
same superstition prevalent in France fifty years later.

We visited the Hôtel des Invalides just as they were preparing the
sarcophagus for the reception of the remains of Napoleon. We witnessed
the wild excitement of that enthusiastic people, and listened with deep
interest to the old soldiers' praises of their great general. The ladies
of our party chatted freely with them. They all had interesting
anecdotes to relate of their chief. They said he seldom slept over four
hours, was an abstemious eater, and rarely changed a servant, as he
hated a strange face about him. He was very fond of a game of chess, and
snuffed continuously; talked but little, was a light sleeper,--the
stirring of a mouse would awaken him,--and always on the watch-tower.
They said that, in his great campaigns, he seemed to be omnipresent. A
sentinel asleep at his post would sometimes waken to find Napoleon on
duty in his place.

The ship that brought back Napoleon's remains was the _Belle Poule_
(the beautiful hen!), which landed at Cherbourg, November 30, 1840. The
body was conveyed to the Church of the Invalides, which adjoins the
tomb. The Prince de Joinville brought the body from Saint Helena, and
Louis Philippe received it.

At that time each soldier had a little patch of land to decorate as he
pleased, in which many scenes from their great battles were illustrated.
One represented Napoleon crossing the Alps. There were the cannon, the
soldiers, Napoleon on horseback, all toiling up the steep ascent,
perfect in miniature. In another was Napoleon, flag in hand, leading the
charge across the bridge of Lodi. In still another was Napoleon in
Egypt, before the Pyramids, seated, impassive, on his horse, gazing at
the Sphinx, as if about to utter his immortal words to his soldiers:
"Here, forty centuries look down upon us." These object lessons of the
past are all gone now and the land used for more prosaic purposes.

I little thought, as I witnessed that great event in France in 1840,
that fifty-seven years later I should witness a similar pageant in the
American Republic, when our nation paid its last tributes to General
Grant. There are many points of similarity in these great events. As men
they were alike aggressive and self-reliant. In Napoleon's will he
expressed the wish that his last resting place might be in the land and
among the people he loved so well. His desire is fulfilled. He rests in
the chief city of the French republic, whose shores are washed by the
waters of the Seine. General Grant expressed the wish that he might be
interred in our metropolis and added: "Wherever I am buried, I desire
that there shall be room for my wife by my side." His wishes, too, are
fulfilled. He rests in the chief city of the American Republic, whose
shores are washed by the waters of the Hudson, and in his magnificent
mausoleum there is room for his wife by his side.

Several members of the Society of Friends from Boston and Philadelphia,
who had attended the World's Anti-slavery Convention in London, joined
our party for a trip on the Continent. Though opposed to war, they all
took a deep interest in the national excitement and in the pageants that
heralded the expected arrival of the hero from Saint Helena. As they all
wore military coats of the time of George Fox, the soldiers, supposing
they belonged to the army of some country, gave them the military salute
wherever we went, much to their annoyance and our amusement.

In going the rounds, Miss Pugh amused us by reading aloud the
description of what we were admiring and the historical events connected
with that particular building or locality. We urged her to spend the
time taking in all she could see and to read up afterward; but no, a
history of France and Galignani's guide she carried everywhere, and,
while the rest of us looked until we were fully satisfied, she took a
bird's-eye view and read the description. Dear little woman! She was a
fine scholar, a good historian, was well informed on all subjects and
countries, proved an invaluable traveling companion, and could tell more
of what we saw than all the rest of us together.

On several occasions we chanced to meet Louis Philippe dashing by in an
open barouche. We felt great satisfaction in remembering that at one
time he was an exile in our country, where he earned his living by
teaching school. What an honor for Yankee children to have been taught,
by a French king, the rudiments of his language.

Having been accustomed to the Puritan Sunday of restraint and solemnity,
I found that day in Paris gay and charming. The first time I entered
into some of the festivities, I really expected to be struck by
lightning. The libraries, art galleries, concert halls, and theaters
were all open to the people. Bands of music were playing in the parks,
where whole families, with their luncheons, spent the day--husbands,
wives, and children, on an excursion together. The boats on the Seine
and all public conveyances were crowded. Those who had but this one day
for pleasure seemed determined to make the most of it. A wonderful
contrast with that gloomy day in London, where all places of amusement
were closed and nothing open to the people but the churches and drinking
saloons. The streets and houses in which Voltaire, La Fayette, Mme. de
Staël, Mme. Roland, Charlotte Corday, and other famous men and women
lived and died, were pointed out to us. We little thought, then, of all
the terrible scenes to be enacted in Paris, nor that France would emerge
from the dangers that beset her on every side into a sister republic. It
has been a wonderful achievement, with kings and Popes all plotting
against her experiment, that she has succeeded in putting kingcraft
under her feet and proclaimed liberty, equality, fraternity for her
people.

After a few weeks in France, we returned to London, traveling through
England, Ireland, and Scotland for several months. We visited the scenes
that Shakespeare, Burns, and Dickens had made classic. We spent a few
days at Huntingdon, the home of Oliver Cromwell, and visited the estate
where he passed his early married life. While there, one of his great
admirers read aloud to us a splendid article in one of the reviews,
written by Carlyle, giving "The Protector," as his friend said, his true
place in history. It was long the fashion of England's historians to
represent Cromwell as a fanatic and hypocrite, but his character was
vindicated by later writers. "Never," says Macaulay, "was a ruler so
conspicuously born for sovereignty. The cup which has intoxicated almost
all others sobered him."

We saw the picturesque ruins of Kenilworth Castle, the birthplace of
Shakespeare, the homes of Byron and Mary Chaworth, wandered through
Newstead Abbey, saw the monument to the faithful dog, and the large
dining room where Byron and his boon companions used to shoot at a mark.
It was a desolate region. We stopped a day or two at Ayr and drove out
to the birthplace of Burns. The old house that had sheltered him was
still there, but its walls now echoed to other voices, and the fields
where he had toiled were plowed by other hands. We saw the stream and
banks where he and Mary sat together, the old stone church where the
witches held their midnight revels, the two dogs, and the bridge of Ayr.
With Burns, as with Sappho, it was love that awoke his heart to song. A
bonny lass who worked with him in the harvest field inspired his first
attempts at rhyme. Life, with Burns, was one long, hard struggle. With
his natural love for the beautiful, the terrible depression of spirits
he suffered from his dreary surroundings was inevitable. The interest
great men took in him, when they awoke to his genius, came too late for
his safety and encouragement. In a glass of whisky he found, at last,
the rest and cheer he never knew when sober. Poverty and ignorance are
the parents of intemperance, and that vice will never be suppressed
until the burdens of life are equally shared by all.

We saw Melrose by moonlight, spent several hours at Abbotsford, and
lingered in the little sanctum sanctorum where Scott wrote his immortal
works. It was so small that he could reach the bookshelves on every
side. We went through the prisons, castles, and narrow streets of
Edinburgh, where the houses are seven and eight stories high, each story
projecting a few feet until, at the uppermost, opposite neighbors could
easily shake hands and chat together. All the intervals from active
sight-seeing we spent in reading the lives of historical personages in
poetry and prose, until our sympathies flowed out to the real and ideal
characters. Lady Jane Grey, Anne Boleyn, Mary Queen of Scots, Ellen
Douglas, Jeanie and Effie Deans, Highland Mary, Rebecca the Jewess, Di
Vernon, and Rob Roy all alike seemed real men and women, whose shades or
descendants we hoped to meet on their native heath.

Here among the Scotch lakes and mountains Mr. Stanton and I were
traveling alone for the first time since our marriage, and as we both
enjoyed walking, we made many excursions on foot to points that could
not be reached in any other way. We spent some time among the Grampian
Hills, so familiar to every schoolboy, walking, and riding about on
donkeys. We sailed up and down Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond. My husband
was writing letters for some New York newspapers on the entire trip, and
aimed to get exact knowledge of all we saw; thus I had the advantage of
the information he gathered. On these long tramps I wore a short dress,
reaching just below the knee, of dark-blue cloth, a military cap of the
same material that shaded my eyes, and a pair of long boots, made on the
masculine pattern then generally worn--the most easy style for walking,
as the pressure is equal on the whole foot and the ankle has free play.
Thus equipped, and early trained by my good brother-in-law to long
walks, I found no difficulty in keeping pace with my husband.

Being self-reliant and venturesome in our explorations, we occasionally
found ourselves involved in grave difficulties by refusing to take a
guide. For instance, we decided to go to the top of Ben Nevis alone. It
looked to us a straightforward piece of business to walk up a mountain
side on a bee line, and so, in the face of repeated warnings by our
host, we started. We knew nothing of zigzag paths to avoid the rocks,
the springs, and swamps; in fact we supposed all mountains smooth and
dry, like our native hills that we were accustomed to climb. The
landlord shook his head and smiled when we told him we should return at
noon to dinner, and we smiled, too, thinking he placed a low estimate on
our capacity for walking. But we had not gone far when we discovered the
difficulties ahead. Some places were so steep that I had to hold on to
my companion's coat tails, while he held on to rocks and twigs, or
braced himself with a heavy cane. By the time we were halfway up we were
in a dripping perspiration, our feet were soaking wet, and we were
really too tired to proceed. But, after starting with such supreme
confidence in ourselves, we were ashamed to confess our fatigue to each
other, and much more to return and verify all the prognostications of
the host and his guides. So we determined to push on and do what we had
proposed. With the prospect of a magnificent view and an hour's
delicious rest on the top, we started with renewed courage. A steady
climb of six hours brought us to the goal of promise; our ascent was
accomplished. But alas! it was impossible to stop there--the cold wind
chilled us to the bone in a minute. So we took one glance at the world
below and hurried down the south side to get the mountain between us and
the cold northeaster.

When your teeth are chattering with the cold, and the wind threatening
to make havoc with your raiment, you are not in a favorable condition to
appreciate grand scenery. Like the king of France with twice ten
thousand men, we marched up the hill and then, marched down again. We
found descending still more difficult, as we were in constant fear of
slipping, losing our hold, and rolling to the bottom. We were tired,
hungry, and disappointed, and the fear of not reaching the valley before
nightfall pressed heavily upon us. Neither confessed to the other the
fatigue and apprehension each felt, but, with fresh endeavor and words
of encouragement, we cautiously went on. We accidentally struck a trail
that led us winding down comfortably some distance, but we lost it, and
went clambering down as well as we could in our usual way. To add to our
misery, a dense Scotch mist soon enveloped us, so that we could see but
a short distance ahead, and not knowing the point from which we started,
we feared we might be going far out of our way. The coming twilight,
too, made the prospect still darker. Fortunately our host, having less
faith in us than we had in ourselves, sent a guide to reconnoiter, and,
just at the moment when we began to realize our danger of spending the
night on the mountain, and to admit it to each other, the welcome guide
hailed us in his broad accent. His shepherd dog led the way into the
beaten path. As I could hardly stand I took the guide's arm, and when we
reached the bottom two donkeys were in readiness to take us to the
hotel.

We did not recover from the fatigue of that expedition in several days,
and we made no more experiments of exploring strange places without
guides. We learned, too, that mountains are not so hospitable as they
seem nor so gently undulating as they appear in the distance, and that
guides serve other purposes besides extorting money from travelers. If,
under their guidance, we had gone up and down easily, we should always
have thought we might as well have gone alone. So our experience gave us
a good lesson in humility. We had been twelve hours on foot with nothing
to eat, when at last we reached the hotel. We were in no mood for
boasting of the success of our excursion, and our answers were short to
inquiries as to how we had passed the day.

Being tired of traveling and contending about woman's sphere with the
Rev. John Scoble, an Englishman, who escorted Mr. Birney and Mr. Stanton
on their tour through the country, I decided to spend a month in Dublin;
while the gentlemen held meetings in Cork, Belfast, Waterford, Limerick,
and other chief towns, finishing the series with a large, enthusiastic
gathering in Dublin, at which O'Connell made one of his most withering
speeches on American slavery; the inconsistency of such an "institution"
with the principles of a republican government giving full play to his
powers of sarcasm. On one occasion, when introduced to a slaveholder, he
put his hands behind his back, refusing to recognize a man who bought
and sold his fellow-beings. The Rev. John Scoble was one of the most
conceited men I ever met. His narrow ideas in regard to woman, and the
superiority of the royal and noble classes in his own country, were to
me so exasperating that I grew more and more bellicose every day we
traveled in company. He was terribly seasick crossing the Channel, to my
intense satisfaction. As he always boasted of his distinguished
countrymen, I suggested, in the midst of one of his most agonizing
spasms, that he ought to find consolation in the fact that Lord Nelson
was always seasick on the slightest provocation.

The poverty in Ireland was a continual trial to our sensibilities;
beggars haunted our footsteps everywhere, in the street and on the
highways, crouching on the steps of the front door and on the
curbstones, and surrounding our carriage wherever and whenever we
stopped to shop or make a visit. The bony hands and sunken eyes and
sincere gratitude expressed for every penny proved their suffering real.
As my means were limited and I could not pass one by, I got a pound
changed into pennies, and put them in a green bag, which I took in the
carriage wherever I went. It was but a drop in the ocean, but it was all
I could do to relieve that unfathomed misery. The poverty I saw
everywhere in the Old World, and especially in Ireland, was a puzzling
problem to my mind, but I rejected the idea that it was a necessary link
in human experience--that it always had been and always must be.

As we drove, day by day, in that magnificent Phoenix Park, of fifteen
hundred acres, one of the largest parks, I believe, in the world, I
would often put the question to myself, what right have the few to make
a pleasure ground of these acres, while the many have nowhere to lay
their heads, crouching under stiles and bridges, clothed in rags, and
feeding on sea-weed with no hope, in the slowly passing years, of any
change for the better? The despair stamped on every brow told the sad
story of their wrongs. Those accustomed to such everyday experiences
brush beggars aside as they would so many flies, but those to whom such
sights are new cannot so easily quiet their own consciences. Everyone in
the full enjoyment of all the blessings of life, in his normal
condition, feels some individual responsibility for the poverty of
others. When the sympathies are not blunted by any false philosophy, one
feels reproached by one's own abundance. I once heard a young girl,
about to take her summer outing, when asked by her grandmother if she
had all the dresses she needed, reply, "Oh, yes! I was oppressed with a
constant sense of guilt, when packing, to see how much I had, while so
many girls have nothing decent to wear."

More than half a century has rolled by since I stood on Irish soil, and
shed tears of pity for the wretchedness I saw, and no change for the
better has as yet come to that unhappy people--yet this was the land of
Burke, Grattan, Shiel, and Emmett; the land into which Christianity was
introduced in the fifth century, St. Patrick being the chief apostle of
the new faith. In the sixth century Ireland sent forth missionaries from
her monasteries to convert Great Britain and the nations of Northern
Europe. From the eighth to the twelfth century Irish scholars held an
enviable reputation. In fact, Ireland was the center of learning at one
time. The arts, too, were cultivated by her people; and the round
towers, still pointed out to travelers, are believed to be the remains
of the architecture of the tenth century. The ruin of Ireland must be
traced to other causes than the character of the people or the Catholic
religion. Historians give us facts showing English oppressions
sufficient to destroy any nation.

The short, dark days of November intensified, in my eyes, the gloomy
prospects of that people, and made the change to the _Sirius_ of the
Cunard Line, the first regular Atlantic steamship to cross the ocean,
most enjoyable. Once on the boundless ocean, one sees no beggars, no
signs of human misery, no crumbling ruins of vast cathedral walls, no
records of the downfall of mighty nations, no trace, even, of the mortal
agony of the innumerable host buried beneath her bosom. Byron truly
says:

    "Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow--
    Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now."

When we embarked on the _Sirius_, we had grave doubts as to our safety
and the probability of our reaching the other side, as we did not feel
that ocean steamers had yet been fairly tried. But, after a passage of
eighteen days, eleven hours, and fifteen minutes, we reached Boston,
having spent six hours at Halifax. We little thought that the steamer
_Sirius_ of fifty years ago would ever develop into the magnificent
floating palaces of to-day--three times as large and three times as
swift. In spite of the steamer, however, we had a cold, rough, dreary
voyage, and I have no pleasant memories connected with it. Our
fellow-passengers were all in their staterooms most of the time. Our
good friend Mr. Birney had sailed two weeks before us, and as Mr.
Stanton was confined to his berth, I was thrown on my own resources. I
found my chief amusement in reading novels and playing chess with a
British officer on his way to Canada. When it was possible I walked on
deck with the captain, or sat in some sheltered corner, watching the
waves. We arrived in New York, by rail, the day before Christmas.
Everything looked bright and gay in our streets. It seemed to me that
the sky was clearer, the air more refreshing, and the sunlight more
brilliant than in any other land!



CHAPTER VII.

MOTHERHOOD.


We found my sister Harriet in a new home in Clinton Place (Eighth
Street), New York city, then considered so far up town that Mr. Eaton's
friends were continually asking him why he went so far away from the
social center, though in a few months they followed him. Here we passed
a week. I especially enjoyed seeing my little niece and nephew, the only
grandchildren in the family. The girl was the most beautiful child I
ever saw, and the boy the most intelligent and amusing. He was very fond
of hearing me recite the poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes entitled "The
Height of the Ridiculous," which I did many times, but he always wanted
to see the lines that almost killed the man with laughing. He went
around to a number of the bookstores one day and inquired for them. I
told him afterward they were never published; that when Mr. Holmes saw
the effect on his servant he suppressed them, lest they should produce
the same effect on the typesetters, editors, and the readers of the
Boston newspapers. My explanation never satisfied him. I told him he
might write to Mr. Holmes, and ask the privilege of reading the original
manuscript, if it still was or ever had been in existence. As one of my
grand-nephews was troubled in exactly the same way, I decided to appeal
myself to Dr. Holmes for the enlightenment of this second generation. So
I wrote him the following letter, which he kindly answered, telling us
that his "wretched man" was a myth like the heroes in "Mother Goose's
Melodies":

     "DEAR DR. HOLMES:

     "I have a little nephew to whom I often recite 'The Height of the
     Ridiculous,' and he invariably asks for the lines that produced the
     fatal effect on your servant. He visited most of the bookstores in
     New York city to find them, and nothing but your own word, I am
     sure, will ever convince him that the 'wretched man' is but a
     figment of your imagination. I tried to satisfy him by saying you
     did not dare to publish the lines lest they should produce a
     similar effect on the typesetters, editors, and the readers of the
     Boston journals.

     "However, he wishes me to ask you whether you kept a copy of the
     original manuscript, or could reproduce the lines with equal power.
     If not too much trouble, please send me a few lines on this point,
     and greatly oblige,

     "Yours sincerely,

     "ELIZABETH CADY STANTON."


     "MY DEAR MRS. STANTON:

     "I wish you would explain to your little nephew that the story of
     the poor fellow who almost died laughing was a kind of a dream of
     mine, and not a real thing that happened, any more than that an old
     woman 'lived in a shoe and had so many children she didn't know
     what to do,' or that Jack climbed the bean stalk and found the
     giant who lived at the top of it. You can explain to him what is
     meant by imagination, and thus turn my youthful rhymes into a text
     for a discourse worthy of the Concord School of Philosophy. I have
     not my poems by me here, but I remember that 'The Height of the
     Ridiculous' ended with this verse:

    "Ten days and nights, with sleepless eye,
     I watched that wretched man,
    And since, I never dare to write
     As funny as I can."

     "But tell your nephew he mustn't cry about it any more than because
     geese go barefoot and bald eagles have no nightcaps. The verses are
     in all the editions of my poems.

     "Believe me, dear Mrs. Stanton,

     "Very Truly and Respectfully Yours,

     "OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES."

After spending the holidays in New York city, we started for Johnstown
in a "stage sleigh, conveying the United States mail," drawn by spanking
teams of four horses, up the Hudson River valley. We were three days
going to Albany, stopping over night at various points; a journey now
performed in three hours. The weather was clear and cold, the sleighing
fine, the scenery grand, and our traveling companions most entertaining,
so the trip was very enjoyable. From Albany to Schenectady we went in
the railway cars; then another sleighride of thirty miles brought us to
Johnstown. My native hills, buried under two feet of snow, tinted with
the last rays of the setting sun, were a beautiful and familiar sight.
Though I had been absent but ten months, it seemed like years, and I was
surprised to find how few changes had occurred since I left. My father
and mother, sisters Madge and Kate, the old house and furniture, the
neighbors, all looked precisely the same as when I left them. I had
seen so much and been so constantly on the wing that I wondered that all
things here should have stood still. I expected to hear of many births,
marriages, deaths, and social upheavals, but the village news was
remarkably meager. This hunger for home news on returning is common, I
suppose, to all travelers.

Our trunks unpacked, wardrobes arranged in closets and drawers, the
excitement of seeing friends over, we spent some time in making plans
for the future.

My husband, after some consultation with my father, decided to enter his
office and commence the study of the law. As this arrangement kept me
under the parental roof, I had two added years of pleasure, walking,
driving, and riding on horseback with my sisters. Madge and Kate were
dearer to me than ever, as I saw the inevitable separation awaiting us
in the near future. In due time they were married and commenced
housekeeping--Madge in her husband's house near by, and Kate in Buffalo.
All my sisters were peculiarly fortunate in their marriages; their
husbands being men of fine presence, liberal education, high moral
character, and marked ability. These were pleasant and profitable years.
I devoted them to reading law, history, and political economy, with
occasional interruptions to take part in some temperance or anti-slavery
excitement.

Eliza Murray and I had classes of colored children in the Sunday school.
On one occasion, when there was to be a festival, speaking in the
church, a procession through the streets, and other public performances
for the Sunday-school celebration, some narrow-minded bigots objected to
the colored children taking part. They approached Miss Murray and me
with most persuasive tones on the wisdom of not allowing them to march
in the procession to the church. We said, "Oh, no! It won't do to
disappoint the children. They are all dressed, with their badges on, and
looking forward with great pleasure to the festivities of the day.
Besides, we would not cater to any of these contemptible prejudices
against color." We were all assembled in the courthouse preparatory to
forming in the line of march. Some were determined to drive the colored
children home, but Miss Murray and I, like two defiant hens, kept our
little brood close behind us, determined to conquer or perish in the
struggle. At last milder counsels prevailed, and it was agreed that they
might march in the rear. We made no objection and fell into line, but,
when we reached the church door, it was promptly closed as the last
white child went in. We tried two other doors, but all were guarded. We
shed tears of vexation and pity for the poor children, and, when they
asked us the reason why they could not go in, we were embarrassed and
mortified with the explanation we were forced to give. However, I
invited them to my father's house, where Miss Murray and I gave them
refreshments and entertained them for the rest of the day.

The puzzling questions of theology and poverty that had occupied so much
of my thoughts, now gave place to the practical one, "what to do with a
baby." Though motherhood is the most important of all the
professions,--requiring more knowledge than any other department in
human affairs,--yet there is not sufficient attention given to the
preparation for this office. If we buy a plant of a horticulturist we
ask him many questions as to its needs, whether it thrives best in
sunshine or in shade, whether it needs much or little water, what
degrees of heat or cold; but when we hold in our arms for the first
time, a being of infinite possibilities, in whose wisdom may rest the
destiny of a nation, we take it for granted that the laws governing its
life, health, and happiness are intuitively understood, that there is
nothing new to be learned in regard to it. Yet here is a science to
which philosophers have, as yet, given but little attention. An
important fact has only been discovered and acted upon within the last
ten years, that children come into the world tired, and not hungry,
exhausted with the perilous journey. Instead of being thoroughly bathed
and dressed, and kept on the rack while the nurse makes a prolonged
toilet and feeds it some nostrum supposed to have much needed medicinal
influence, the child's face, eyes, and mouth should be hastily washed
with warm water, and the rest of its body thoroughly oiled, and then it
should be slipped into a soft pillow case, wrapped in a blanket, and
laid to sleep. Ordinarily, in the proper conditions, with its face
uncovered in a cool, pure atmosphere, it will sleep twelve hours. Then
it should be bathed, fed, and clothed in a high-necked, long-sleeved
silk shirt and a blanket, all of which could be done in five minutes. As
babies lie still most of the time the first six weeks, they need no
dressing. I think the nurse was a full hour bathing and dressing my
firstborn, who protested with a melancholy wail every blessed minute.

Ignorant myself of the initiative steps on the threshold of time, I
supposed this proceeding was approved by the best authorities. However,
I had been thinking, reading, observing, and had as little faith in the
popular theories in regard to babies as on any other subject. I saw
them, on all sides, ill half the time, pale and peevish, dying early,
having no joy in life. I heard parents complaining of weary days and
sleepless nights, while each child, in turn, ran the gauntlet of red
gum, jaundice, whooping cough, chicken-pox, mumps, measles, scarlet
fever, and fits. They all seemed to think these inflictions were a part
of the eternal plan--that Providence had a kind of Pandora's box, from
which he scattered these venerable diseases most liberally among those
whom he especially loved. Having gone through the ordeal of bearing a
child, I was determined, if possible, to keep him, so I read everything
I could find on the subject. But the literature on this subject was as
confusing and unsatisfactory as the longer and shorter catechisms and
the Thirty-nine Articles of our faith. I had recently visited our dear
friends, Theodore and Angelina Grimke-Weld, and they warned me against
books on this subject. They had been so misled by one author, who
assured them that the stomach of a child could only hold one
tablespoonful, that they nearly starved their firstborn to death. Though
the child dwindled, day by day, and, at the end of a month, looked like
a little old man, yet they still stood by the distinguished author.
Fortunately, they both went off, one day, and left the child with Sister
"Sarah," who thought she would make an experiment and see what a child's
stomach could hold, as she had grave doubts about the tablespoonful
theory. To her surprise the baby took a pint bottle full of milk, and
had the sweetest sleep thereon he had known in his earthly career. After
that he was permitted to take what he wanted, and "the author" was
informed of his libel on the infantile stomach.

So here, again, I was entirely afloat, launched on the seas of doubt
without chart or compass. The life and well-being of the race seemed to
hang on the slender thread of such traditions as were handed down
by-ignorant mothers and nurses. One powerful ray of light illuminated
the darkness; it was the work of Andrew Combe on "Infancy." He had,
evidently watched some of the manifestations of man in the first stages
of his development, and could tell, at least, as much of babies as
naturalists could of beetles and bees. He did give young mothers some
hints of what to do, the whys and wherefores of certain lines of
procedure during antenatal life, as well as the proper care thereafter.
I read several chapters to the nurse. Although, out of her ten children,
she had buried five, she still had too much confidence in her own wisdom
and experience to pay much attention to any new idea that might be
suggested to her. Among other things, Combe said that a child's bath
should be regulated by the thermometer, in order to be always of the
same temperature. She ridiculed the idea, and said her elbow was better
than any thermometer, and, when I insisted on its use, she would
invariably, with a smile of derision, put her elbow in first, to show
how exactly it tallied with the thermometer. When I insisted that the
child should not be bandaged, she rebelled outright, and said she would
not take the responsibility of nursing a child without a bandage. I
said, "Pray, sit down, dear nurse, and let us reason together. Do not
think I am setting up my judgment against yours, with all your
experience. I am simply trying to act on the opinions of a
distinguished physician, who says there should be no pressure on a child
anywhere; that the limbs and body should be free; that it is cruel to
bandage an infant from hip to armpit, as is usually done in America; or
both body and legs, as is done in Europe; or strap them to boards, as is
done by savages on both continents. Can you give me one good reason,
nurse, why a child should be bandaged?"

"Yes," she said emphatically, "I can give you a dozen."

"I only asked for one," I replied.

"Well," said she, after much hesitation, "the bones of a newborn infant
are soft, like cartilage, and, unless you pin them up snugly, there is
danger of their falling apart."

"It seems to me," I replied, "you have given the strongest reason why
they should be carefully guarded against the slightest pressure. It is
very remarkable that kittens and puppies should be so well put together
that they need no artificial bracing, and the human family be left
wholly to the mercy of a bandage. Suppose a child was born where you
could not get a bandage, what then? Now I think this child will remain
intact without a bandage, and, if I am willing to take the risk, why
should you complain?"

"Because," said she, "if the child should die, it would injure my name
as a nurse. I therefore wash my hands of all these new-fangled notions."

So she bandaged the child every morning, and I as regularly took it off.
It has been fully proved since to be as useless an appendage as the
vermiform. She had several cups with various concoctions of herbs
standing on the chimney-corner, ready for insomnia, colic, indigestion,
etc., etc., all of which were spirited away when she was at her dinner.
In vain I told her we were homeopathists, and afraid of everything in
the animal, vegetable, or mineral kingdoms lower than the two-hundredth
dilution. I tried to explain the Hahnemann system of therapeutics, the
philosophy of the principle _similia similibus curantur_, but she had no
capacity for first principles, and did not understand my discourse. I
told her that, if she would wash the baby's mouth with pure cold water
morning and night and give it a teaspoonful to drink occasionally during
the day, there would be no danger of red gum; that if she would keep the
blinds open and let in the air and sunshine, keep the temperature of the
room at sixty-five degrees, leave the child's head uncovered so that it
could breathe freely, stop rocking and trotting it and singing such
melancholy hymns as "Hark, from the tombs a doleful sound!" the baby and
I would both be able to weather the cape without a bandage. I told her I
should nurse the child once in two hours, and that she must not feed it
any of her nostrums in the meantime; that a child's stomach, being made
on the same general plan as our own, needed intervals of rest as well as
ours. She said it would be racked with colic if the stomach was empty
any length of time, and that it would surely have rickets if it were
kept too still. I told her if the child had no anodynes, nature would
regulate its sleep and motions. She said she could not stay in a room
with the thermometer at sixty-five degrees, so I told her to sit in the
next room and regulate the heat to suit herself; that I would ring a
bell when her services were needed.

The reader will wonder, no doubt, that I kept such a cantankerous
servant. I could get no other. Dear "Mother Monroe," as wise as she was
good, and as tender as she was strong, who had nursed two generations of
mothers in our village, was engaged at that time, and I was compelled to
take an exotic. I had often watched "Mother Monroe" with admiration, as
she turned and twisted my sister's baby. It lay as peacefully in her
hands as if they were lined with eider down. She bathed and dressed it
by easy stages, turning the child over and over like a pancake. But she
was so full of the magnetism of human love, giving the child, all the
time, the most consoling assurance that the operation was to be a short
one, that the whole proceeding was quite entertaining to the observer
and seemingly agreeable to the child, though it had a rather surprised
look as it took a bird's-eye view, in quick succession, of the ceiling
and the floor. Still my nurse had her good points. She was very pleasant
when she had her own way. She was neat and tidy, and ready to serve me
at any time, night or day. She did not wear false teeth that rattled
when she talked, nor boots that squeaked when she walked. She did not
snuff nor chew cloves, nor speak except when spoken to. Our discussions,
on various points, went on at intervals, until I succeeded in planting
some ideas in her mind, and when she left me, at the end of six weeks,
she confessed that she had learned some valuable lessons. As the baby
had slept quietly most of the time, had no crying spells, nor colic, and
I looked well, she naturally came to the conclusion that pure air,
sunshine, proper dressing, and regular feeding were more necessary for
babies than herb teas and soothing syrups.

Besides the obstinacy of the nurse, I had the ignorance of physicians
to contend with. When the child was four days old we discovered that the
collar bone was bent. The physician, wishing to get a pressure on the
shoulder, braced the bandage round the wrist. "Leave that," he said,
"ten days, and then it will be all right." Soon after he left I noticed
that the child's hand was blue, showing that the circulation was
impeded. "That will never do," said I; "nurse, take it off." "No,
indeed," she answered, "I shall never interfere with the doctor." So I
took it off myself, and sent for another doctor, who was said to know
more of surgery. He expressed great surprise that the first physician
called should have put on so severe a bandage. "That," said he, "would
do for a grown man, but ten days of it on a child would make him a
cripple." However, he did nearly the same thing, only fastening it round
the hand instead of the wrist. I soon saw that the ends of the fingers
were all purple, and that to leave that on ten days would be as
dangerous as the first. So I took that off.

"What a woman!" exclaimed the nurse. "What do you propose to do?"

"Think out something better, myself; so brace me up with some pillows
and give the baby to me."

She looked at me aghast and said, "You'd better trust the doctors, or
your child will be a helpless cripple."

"Yes," I replied, "he would be, if we had left either of those bandages
on, but I have an idea of something better."

"Now," said I, talking partly to myself and partly to her, "what we want
is a little pressure on that bone; that is what both those men aimed at.
How can we get it without involving the arm, is the question?"

"I am sure I don't know," said she, rubbing her hands and taking two or
three brisk turns round the room.

"Well, bring me three strips of linen, four double." I then folded one,
wet in arnica and water, and laid it on the collar bone, put two other
bands, like a pair of suspenders, over the shoulders, crossing them both
in front and behind, pinning the ends to the diaper, which gave the
needed pressure without impeding the circulation anywhere. As I finished
she gave me a look of budding confidence, and seemed satisfied that all
was well. Several times, night and day, we wet the compress and
readjusted the bands, until all appearances of inflammation had
subsided.

At the end of ten days the two sons of Aesculapius appeared and made
their examination and said all was right, whereupon I told them how
badly their bandages worked and what I had done myself. They smiled at
each other, and one said:

"Well, after all, a mother's instinct is better than a man's reason."

"Thank you, gentlemen, there was no instinct about it. I did some hard
thinking before I saw how I could get a pressure on the shoulder without
impeding the circulation, as you did."

Thus, in the supreme moment of a young mother's life, when I needed
tender care and support, I felt the whole responsibility of my child's
supervision; but though uncertain at every step of my own knowledge, I
learned another lesson in self-reliance. I trusted neither men nor books
absolutely after this, either in regard to the heavens above or the
earth beneath, but continued to use my "mother's instinct," if "reason"
is too dignified a term to apply to woman's thoughts. My advice to every
mother is, above all other arts and sciences, study first what relates
to babyhood, as there is no department of human action in which there is
such lamentable ignorance.

At the end of six weeks my nurse departed, and I had a good woman in her
place who obeyed my orders, and now a new difficulty arose from an
unexpected quarter. My father and husband took it into their heads that
the child slept too much. If not awake when they wished to look at him
or to show him to their friends, they would pull him out of his crib on
all occasions. When I found neither of them was amenable to reason on
this point, I locked the door, and no amount of eloquent pleading ever
gained them admittance during the time I considered sacred to the baby's
slumbers. At six months having, as yet, had none of the diseases
supposed to be inevitable, the boy weighed thirty pounds. Then the
stately Peter came again into requisition, and in his strong arms the
child spent many of his waking hours. Peter, with a long, elephantine
gait, slowly wandered over the town, lingering especially in the busy
marts of trade. Peter's curiosity had strengthened with years, and,
wherever a crowd gathered round a monkey and hand organ, a vender's
wagon, an auction stand, or the post office at mail time, there stood
Peter, black as coal, with "the beautiful boy in white," the most
conspicuous figure in the crowd. As I told Peter never to let children
kiss the baby, for fear of some disease, he kept him well aloft,
allowing no affectionate manifestations except toward himself.

My reading, at this time, centered on hygiene. I came to the
conclusion, after much thought and observation, that children never
cried unless they were uncomfortable. A professor at Union College, who
used to combat many of my theories, said he gave one of his children a
sound spanking at six weeks, and it never disturbed him a night
afterward. Another Solomon told me that a very weak preparation of opium
would keep a child always quiet and take it through the dangerous period
of teething without a ripple on the surface of domestic life. As
children cannot tell what ails them, and suffer from many things of
which parents are ignorant, the crying of the child should arouse them
to an intelligent examination. To spank it for crying is to silence the
watchman on the tower through fear, to give soothing syrup is to drug
the watchman while the evils go on. Parents may thereby insure eight
hours' sleep at the time, but at the risk of greater trouble in the
future with sick and dying children. Tom Moore tells us "the heart from
love to one, grows bountiful to all." I know the care of one child made
me thoughtful of all. I never hear a child cry, now, that I do not feel
that I am bound to find out the reason.

In my extensive travels on lecturing tours, in after years, I had many
varied experiences with babies. One day, in the cars, a child was crying
near me, while the parents were alternately shaking and slapping it.
First one would take it with an emphatic jerk, and then the other. At
last I heard the father say in a spiteful tone, "If you don't stop I'll
throw you out of the window." One naturally hesitates about interfering
between parents and children, so I generally restrain myself as long as
I can endure the torture of witnessing such outrages, but at length I
turned and said:

"Let me take your child and see if I can find out what ails it."

"Nothing ails it," said the father, "but bad temper."

The child readily came to me. I felt all around to see if its clothes
pinched anywhere, or if there were any pins pricking. I took off its hat
and cloak to see if there were any strings cutting its neck or choking
it. Then I glanced at the feet, and lo! there was the trouble. The boots
were at least one size too small. I took them off, and the stockings,
too, and found the feet as cold as ice and the prints of the stockings
clearly traced on the tender flesh. We all know the agony of tight
boots. I rubbed the feet and held them in my hands until they were warm,
when the poor little thing fell asleep. I said to the parents, "You are
young people, I see, and this is probably your first child." They said,
"Yes." "You don't intend to be cruel, I know, but if you had thrown
those boots out of the window, when you threatened to throw the child,
it would have been wiser. This poor child has suffered ever since it was
dressed this morning." I showed them the marks on the feet, and called
their attention to the fact that the child fell asleep as soon as its
pain was relieved. The mother said she knew the boots were tight, as it
was with difficulty she could get them on, but the old ones were too
shabby for the journey and they had no time to change the others.

"Well," said the husband, "if I had known those boots were tight, I
would have thrown them out of the window."

"Now," said I, "let me give you one rule: when your child cries,
remember it is telling you, as well as it can, that something hurts it,
either outside or in, and do not rest until you find what it is.
Neither spanking, shaking, or scolding can relieve pain."

I have seen women enter the cars with their babies' faces completely
covered with a blanket shawl. I have often thought I would like to cover
their faces for an hour and see how they would bear it. In such
circumstances, in order to get the blanket open, I have asked to see the
baby, and generally found it as red as a beet. Ignorant nurses and
mothers have discovered that children sleep longer with their heads
covered. They don't know why, nor the injurious effect of breathing over
and over the same air that has been thrown off the lungs polluted with
carbonic acid gas. This stupefies the child and prolongs the unhealthy
slumber.

One hot day, in the month of May, I entered a crowded car at Cedar
Rapids, Ia., and took the only empty seat beside a gentleman who seemed
very nervous about a crying child. I was scarcely seated when he said:

"Mother, do you know anything about babies?"

"Oh, yes!" I said, smiling, "that is a department of knowledge on which
I especially pride myself."

"Well," said he, "there is a child that has cried most of the time for
the last twenty-four hours. What do you think ails it?"

Making a random supposition, I replied, "It probably needs a bath."

He promptly rejoined, "If you will give it one, I will provide the
necessary means."

I said, "I will first see if the child will come to me and if the mother
is willing."

I found the mother only too glad to have a few minutes' rest, and the
child too tired to care who took it. She gave me a suit of clean
clothes throughout, the gentleman spread his blanket shawl on the seat,
securing the opposite one for me and the bathing appliances. Then he
produced a towel, sponge, and an india-rubber bowl full of water, and I
gave the child a generous drink and a thorough ablution. It stretched
and seemed to enjoy every step of the proceeding, and, while I was
brushing its golden curls as gently as I could, it fell asleep; so I
covered it with the towel and blanket shawl, not willing to disturb it
for dressing. The poor mother, too, was sound asleep, and the gentleman
very happy. He had children of his own and, like me, felt great pity for
the poor, helpless little victim of ignorance and folly. I engaged one
of the ladies to dress it when it awoke, as I was soon to leave the
train. It slept the two hours I remained--how much longer I never heard.

A young man, who had witnessed the proceeding, got off at the same
station and accosted me, saying:

"I should be very thankful if you would come and see my baby. It is only
one month old and cries all the time, and my wife, who is only sixteen
years old, is worn out with it and neither of us know what to do, so we
all cry together, and the doctor says he does not see what ails it."

So I went on my mission of mercy and found the child bandaged as tight
as a drum. When I took out the pins and unrolled it, it fairly popped
like the cork out of a champagne bottle. I rubbed its breast and its
back and soon soothed it to sleep. I remained a long time, telling them
how to take care of the child and the mother, too. I told them
everything I could think of in regard to clothes, diet, and pure air. I
asked the mother why she bandaged her child as she did. She said her
nurse told her that there was danger of hernia unless the abdomen was
well bandaged. I told her that the only object of a bandage was to
protect the navel, for a few days, until it was healed, and for that
purpose all that was necessary was a piece of linen four inches square,
well oiled, folded four times double, with a hole in the center, laid
over it. I remembered, next day, that I forgot to tell them to give the
child water, and so I telegraphed them, "Give the baby water six times a
day." I heard of that baby afterward. It lived and flourished, and the
parents knew how to administer to the wants of the next one. The father
was a telegraph operator and had many friends--knights of the
key--throughout Iowa. For many years afterward, in leisure moments,
these knights would "call up" this parent and say, over the wire, "Give
the baby water six times a day." Thus did they "repeat the story, and
spread the truth from pole to pole."



CHAPTER VIII.

BOSTON AND CHELSEA.


In the autumn of 1843 my husband was admitted to the bar and commenced
the practice of law in Boston with Mr. Bowles, brother-in-law of the
late General John A. Dix. This gave me the opportunity to make many
pleasant acquaintances among the lawyers in Boston, and to meet,
intimately, many of the noble men and women among reformers, whom I had
long worshiped at a distance. Here, for the first time, I met Lydia
Maria Child, Abby Kelly, Paulina Wright, Elizabeth Peabody, Maria
Chapman and her beautiful sisters, the Misses Weston, Oliver and
Marianna Johnson, Joseph and Thankful Southwick and their three bright
daughters. The home of the Southwicks was always a harbor of rest for
the weary, where the anti-slavery hosts were wont to congregate, and
where one was always sure to meet someone worth knowing. Their
hospitality was generous to an extreme, and so boundless that they were,
at last, fairly eaten out of house and home. Here, too, for the first
time, I met Theodore Parker, John Pierpont, John G. Whittier, Emerson,
Alcott, Lowell, Hawthorne, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel E. Sewall, Sidney Howard
Gay, Pillsbury, Foster, Frederick Douglass, and last though not least,
those noble men, Charles Hovey and Francis Jackson, the only men who
ever left any money to the cause of woman suffrage. I also met Miss
Jackson, afterward Mrs. Eddy, who left half her fortune, fifty thousand
dollars, for the same purpose.

I was a frequent visitor at the home of William Lloyd Garrison. Though
he had a prolonged battle to fight in the rough outside world, his home
was always a haven of rest. Mrs. Garrison was a sweet-tempered,
conscientious woman, who tried, under all circumstances, to do what was
right. She had sound judgment and rare common sense, was tall and
fine-looking, with luxuriant brown hair, large tender blue eyes,
delicate features, and affable manners. They had an exceptionally fine
family of five sons and one daughter. Fanny, now the wife of Henry
Villard, the financier, was the favorite and pet. All the children, in
their maturer years, have fulfilled the promises of their childhood.
Though always in straitened circumstances, the Garrisons were very
hospitable. It was next to impossible for Mr. Garrison to meet a friend
without inviting him to his house, especially at the close of a
convention.

I was one of twelve at one of his impromptu tea parties. We all took it
for granted that his wife knew we were coming, and that her preparations
were already made. Surrounded by half a dozen children, she was
performing the last act in the opera of Lullaby, wholly unconscious of
the invasion downstairs. But Mr. Garrison was equal to every emergency,
and, after placing his guests at their ease in the parlor, he hastened
to the nursery, took off his coat, and rocked the baby until his wife
had disposed of the remaining children. Then they had a consultation
about the tea, and when, basket in hand, the good man sallied forth for
the desired viands, Mrs. Garrison, having made a hasty toilet, came
down to welcome her guests. She was as genial and self-possessed as if
all things had been prepared. She made no apologies for what was lacking
in the general appearance of the house nor in the variety of the
_menu_--it was sufficient for her to know that Mr. Garrison was happy in
feeling free to invite his friends. The impromptu meal was excellent,
and we had a most enjoyable evening. I have no doubt that Mrs. Garrison
had more real pleasure than if she had been busy all day making
preparations and had been tired out when her guests arrived.

The anti-slavery conventions and fairs, held every year during the
holidays, brought many charming people from other States, and made
Boston a social center for the coadjutors of Garrison and Phillips.
These conventions surpassed any meetings I had ever attended; the
speeches were eloquent and the debates earnest and forcible. Garrison
and Phillips were in their prime, and slavery was a question of national
interest. The hall in which the fairs were held, under the auspices of
Mrs. Chapman and her cohorts, was most artistically decorated. There one
could purchase whatever the fancy could desire, for English friends,
stimulated by the appeals of Harriet Martineau and Elizabeth Pease, used
to send boxes of beautiful things, gathered from all parts of the
Eastern Continent. There, too, one could get a most _recherché_ luncheon
in the society of the literati of Boston; for, however indifferent many
were to slavery _per se_, they enjoyed these fairs, and all classes
flocked there till far into the night. It was a kind of ladies' exchange
for the holiday week, where each one was sure to meet her friends. The
fair and the annual convention, coming in succession, intensified the
interest in both. I never grew weary of the conventions, though I
attended all the sessions, lasting, sometimes, until eleven o'clock at
night. The fiery eloquence of the abolitionists, the amusing episodes
that occurred when some crank was suppressed and borne out on the
shoulders of his brethren, gave sufficient variety to the proceedings to
keep the interest up to high-water mark.

There was one old man dressed in white, carrying a scythe, who imagined
himself the personification of "Time," though called "Father Lampson."
Occasionally he would bubble over with some prophetic vision, and, as he
could not be silenced, he was carried out. He usually made himself as
limp as possible, which added to the difficulty of his exit and the
amusement of the audience. A ripple of merriment would unsettle, for a
moment, even the dignity of the platform when Abigail Folsom, another
crank, would shout from the gallery, "Stop not, my brother, on the order
of your going, but go." The abolitionists were making the experiment, at
this time, of a free platform, allowing everyone to speak as moved by
the spirit, but they soon found that would not do, as those evidently
moved by the spirit of mischief were quite as apt to air their vagaries
as those moved by the spirit of truth.

However, the Garrisonian platform always maintained a certain degree of
freedom outside its regular programme, and, although this involved extra
duty in suppressing cranks, yet the meeting gained enthusiasm by some
good spontaneous speaking on the floor as well as on the platform. A
number of immense mass meetings were held in Faneuil Hall, a large,
dreary place, with its bare walls and innumerable dingy windows. The
only attempt at an ornament was the American eagle, with its wings
spread and claws firmly set, in the middle of the gallery. The gilt was
worn off its beak, giving it the appearance, as Edmund Quincy said, of
having a bad cold in the head.

This old hall was sacred to so many memories connected with the early
days of the Revolution that it was a kind of Mecca for the lovers of
liberty visiting Boston. The anti-slavery meetings held there were often
disturbed by mobs that would hold the most gifted orator at bay hour
after hour, and would listen only to the songs of the Hutchinson family.
Although these songs were a condensed extract of the whole anti-slavery
constitution and by-laws, yet the mob was as peaceful under these paeans
to liberty as a child under the influence of an anodyne. What a welcome
and beautiful vision that was when the four brothers, in blue broadcloth
and white collars, turned down _à la_ Byron, and little sister Abby in
silk, soft lace, and blue ribbon, appeared on the platform to sing their
quaint ballads of freedom! Fresh from the hills of New Hampshire, they
looked so sturdy, so vigorous, so pure, so true that they seemed fitting
representatives of all the cardinal virtues, and even a howling mob
could not resist their influence. Perhaps, after one of their ballads,
the mob would listen five minutes to Wendell Phillips or Garrison until
he gave them some home thrusts, when all was uproar again. The Northern
merchants who made their fortunes out of Southern cotton, the
politicians who wanted votes, and the ministers who wanted to keep peace
in the churches, were all as much opposed to the anti-slavery agitation
as were the slaveholders themselves. These were the classes the mob
represented, though seemingly composed of gamblers, liquor dealers, and
demagogues. For years the anti-slavery struggle at the North was carried
on against statecraft, priestcraft, the cupidity of the moneyed classes,
and the ignorance of the masses, but, in spite of all these forces of
evil, it triumphed at last.

I was in Boston at the time that Lane and Wright, some metaphysical
Englishmen, and our own Alcott held their famous philosophical
conversations, in which Elizabeth Peabody took part. I went to them
regularly. I was ambitious to absorb all the wisdom I could, but,
really, I could not give an intelligent report of the points under
discussion at any sitting. Oliver Johnson asked me, one day, if I
enjoyed them. I thought, from a twinkle in his eye, that he thought I
did not, so I told him I was ashamed to confess that I did not know what
they were talking about. He said, "Neither do I,--very few of their
hearers do,--so you need not be surprised that they are incomprehensible
to you, nor think less of your own capacity."

I was indebted to Mr. Johnson for several of the greatest pleasures I
enjoyed in Boston. He escorted me to an entire course of Theodore
Parker's lectures, given in Marlborough Chapel. This was soon after the
great preacher had given his famous sermon on "The Permanent and
Transient in Religion," when he was ostracised, even by the Unitarians,
for his radical utterances, and not permitted to preach in any of their
pulpits. His lectures were deemed still more heterodox than that sermon.
He shocked the orthodox churches of that day--more, even, than Ingersoll
has in our times.

The lectures, however, were so soul-satisfying to me that I was
surprised at the bitter criticisms I heard expressed. Though they were
two hours long, I never grew weary, and, when the course ended, I said
to Mr. Johnson:

"I wish I could hear them over again."

"Well, you can," said he, "Mr. Parker is to repeat them in
Cambridgeport, beginning next week." Accordingly we went there and heard
them again with equal satisfaction.

During the winter in Boston I attended all the lectures, churches,
theaters, concerts, and temperance, peace, and prison-reform conventions
within my reach. I had never lived in such an enthusiastically literary
and reform latitude before, and my mental powers were kept at the
highest tension. We went to Chelsea, for the summer, and boarded with
the Baptist minister, the Rev. John Wesley Olmstead, afterward editor of
_The Watchman and Reflector_. He had married my cousin, Mary Livingston,
one of the most lovely, unselfish characters I ever knew. There I had
the opportunity of meeting several of the leading Baptist ministers in
New England, and, as I was thoroughly imbued with Parker's ideas, we had
many heated discussions on theology. There, too, I met Orestes Bronson,
a remarkably well-read man, who had gone through every phase of
religious experience from blank atheism to the bosom of the Catholic
Church, where I believe he found repose at the end of his days. He was
so arbitrary and dogmatic that most people did not like him; but I
appreciated his acquaintance, as he was a liberal thinker and had a
world of information which he readily imparted to those of a teachable
spirit. As I was then in a hungering, thirsting condition for truth on
every subject, the friendship of such a man was, to me, an inestimable
blessing. Reading Theodore Parker's lectures, years afterward, I was
surprised to find how little there was in them to shock anybody--the
majority of thinking people having grown up to them.

While living in Chelsea two years, I used to walk (there being no public
conveyances running on Sunday) from the ferry to Marlborough Chapel to
hear Mr. Parker preach. It was a long walk, over two miles, and I was so
tired, on reaching the chapel, that I made it a point to sleep through
all the preliminary service, so as to be fresh for the sermon, as the
friend next whom I sat always wakened me in time. One Sunday, when my
friend was absent, it being a very warm day and I unusually fatigued, I
slept until the sexton informed me that he was about to close the doors!
In an unwary moment I imparted this fact to my Baptist friends. They
made all manner of fun ever afterward of the soothing nature of Mr.
Parker's theology, and my long walk, every Sunday, to repose in the
shadow of a heterodox altar. Still, the loss of the sermon was the only
vexatious part of it, and I had the benefit of the walk and the
refreshing slumber, to the music of Mr. Parker's melodious voice and the
deep-toned organ.

Mrs. Oliver Johnson and I spent two days at the Brook Farm Community
when in the height of its prosperity. There I met the Ripleys,--who
were, I believe, the backbone of the experiment,--William Henry
Channing, Bronson Alcott, Charles A. Dana, Frederick Cabot, William
Chase, Mrs. Horace Greeley, who was spending a few days there, and many
others, whose names I cannot recall. Here was a charming family of
intelligent men and women, doing their own farm and house work, with
lectures, readings, music, dancing, and games when desired; realizing,
in a measure, Edward Bellamy's beautiful vision of the equal conditions
of the human family in the year 2000. The story of the beginning and end
of this experiment of community life has been told so often that I will
simply say that its failure was a grave disappointment to those most
deeply interested in its success. Mr. Channing told me, years after,
when he was pastor of the Unitarian church in Rochester, as we were
wandering through Mount Hope one day, that, when the Roxbury community
was dissolved and he was obliged to return to the old life of
competition, he would gladly have been laid under the sod, as the
isolated home seemed so solitary, silent, and selfish that the whole
atmosphere was oppressive.

In 1843 my father moved to Albany, to establish my brothers-in-law, Mr.
Wilkeson and Mr. McMartin, in the legal profession. That made Albany the
family rallying point for a few years. This enabled me to spend several
winters at the Capital and to take an active part in the discussion of
the Married Woman's Property Bill, then pending in the legislature.
William H. Seward, Governor of the State from 1839 to 1843, recommended
the Bill, and his wife, a woman of rare intelligence, advocated it in
society. Together we had the opportunity of talking with many members,
both of the Senate and the Assembly, in social circles, as well as in
their committee rooms. Bills were pending from 1836 until 1848, when the
measure finally passed.

My second son was born in Albany, in March, 1844, under more favorable
auspices than the first, as I knew, then, what to do with a baby.
Returning to Chelsea we commenced housekeeping, which afforded me
another chapter of experience. A new house, newly furnished, with
beautiful views of Boston Bay, was all I could desire. Mr. Stanton
announced to me, in starting, that his business would occupy all his
time, and that I must take entire charge of the housekeeping. So, with
two good servants and two babies under my sole supervision, my time was
pleasantly occupied.

When first installed as mistress over an establishment, one has that
same feeling of pride and satisfaction that a young minister must have
in taking charge of his first congregation. It is a proud moment in a
woman's life to reign supreme within four walls, to be the one to whom
all questions of domestic pleasure and economy are referred, and to hold
in her hand that little family book in which the daily expenses, the
outgoings and incomings, are duly registered. I studied up everything
pertaining to housekeeping, and enjoyed it all. Even washing day--that
day so many people dread--had its charms for me. The clean clothes on
the lines and on the grass looked so white, and smelled so sweet, that
it was to me a pretty sight to contemplate. I inspired my laundress with
an ambition to have her clothes look white and to get them out earlier
than our neighbors, and to have them ironed and put away sooner.

As Mr. Stanton did not come home to dinner, we made a picnic of our noon
meal on Mondays, and all thoughts and energies were turned to speed the
washing. No unnecessary sweeping or dusting, no visiting nor
entertaining angels unawares on that day--it was held sacred to soap
suds, blue-bags, and clotheslines. The children, only, had no deviation
in the regularity of their lives. They had their drives and walks,
their naps and rations, in quantity and time, as usual. I had all the
most approved cook books, and spent half my time preserving, pickling,
and experimenting in new dishes. I felt the same ambition to excel in
all departments of the culinary art that I did at school in the
different branches of learning. My love of order and cleanliness was
carried throughout, from parlor to kitchen, from the front door to the
back. I gave a man an extra shilling to pile the logs of firewood with
their smooth ends outward, though I did not have them scoured white, as
did our Dutch grandmothers. I tried, too, to give an artistic touch to
everything--the dress of my children and servants included. My dining
table was round, always covered with a clean cloth of a pretty pattern
and a centerpiece of flowers in their season, pretty dishes, clean
silver, and set with neatness and care. I put my soul into everything,
and hence enjoyed it. I never could understand how housekeepers could
rest with rubbish all round their back doors; eggshells, broken dishes,
tin cans, and old shoes scattered round their premises; servants ragged
and dirty, with their hair in papers, and with the kitchen and dining
room full of flies. I have known even artists to be indifferent to their
personal appearance and their surroundings. Surely a mother and child,
tastefully dressed, and a pretty home for a framework, is, as a picture,
even more attractive than a domestic scene hung on the wall. The love of
the beautiful can be illustrated as well in life as on canvas. There is
such a struggle among women to become artists that I really wish some of
their gifts could be illustrated in clean, orderly, beautiful homes.

Our house was pleasantly situated on the Chelsea Hills, commanding a
fine view of Boston, the harbor, and surrounding country. There, on the
upper piazza, I spent some of the happiest days of my life, enjoying, in
turn, the beautiful outlook, my children, and my books. Here, under the
very shadow of Bunker Hill Monument, my third son was born. Shortly
after this Gerrit Smith and his wife came to spend a few days with us,
so this boy, much against my will, was named after my cousin. I did not
believe in old family names unless they were peculiarly euphonious. I
had a list of beautiful names for sons and daughters, from which to
designate each newcomer; but, as yet, not one on my list had been used.
However, I put my foot down, at No. 4, and named him Theodore, and, thus
far, he has proved himself a veritable "gift of God," doing his
uttermost, in every way possible, to fight the battle of freedom for
woman.

During the visit of my cousin I thought I would venture on a small,
select dinner party, consisting of the Rev. John Pierpont and his wife,
Charles Sumner, John G. Whittier, and Joshua Leavitt. I had a new cook,
Rose, whose viands, thus far, had proved delicious, so I had no anxiety
on that score. But, unfortunately, on this occasion I had given her a
bottle of wine for the pudding sauce and whipped cream, of which she
imbibed too freely, and hence there were some glaring blunders in the
_menu_ that were exceedingly mortifying. As Mr. Smith and my husband
were both good talkers, I told them they must cover all defects with
their brilliant conversation, which they promised to do.

Rose had all the points of a good servant, phrenologically and
physiologically. She had a large head, with great bumps of caution and
order, her eyes were large and soft and far apart. In selecting her,
scientifically, I had told my husband, in triumph, several times what a
treasure I had found. Shortly after dinner, one evening when I was out,
she held the baby while the nurse was eating her supper, and carelessly
burned his foot against the stove. Then Mr. Stanton suggested that, in
selecting the next cook, I would better not trust to science, but
inquire of the family where she lived as to her practical virtues. Poor
Rose! she wept over her lapses when sober, and made fair promises for
the future, but I did not dare to trust her, so we parted. The one
drawback to the joys of housekeeping was then, as it is now, the lack of
faithful, competent servants. The hope of co-operative housekeeping, in
the near future, gives us some promise of a more harmonious domestic
life.

One of the books in my library I value most highly is the first volume
of Whittier's poems, published in 1838, "Dedicated to Henry B. Stanton,
as a token of the author's personal friendship, and of his respect for
the unreserved devotion of exalted talents to the cause of humanity and
freedom." Soon after our marriage we spent a few days with our gifted
Quaker poet, on his farm in Massachusetts.

I shall never forget those happy days in June; the long walks and
drives, and talks under the old trees of anti-slavery experiences, and
Whittier's mirth and indignation as we described different scenes in the
World's Anti-slavery Convention in London. He laughed immoderately at
the Tom Campbell episode. Poor fellow! he had taken too much wine that
day, and when Whittier's verses, addressed to the convention, were
read, he criticised them severely, and wound up by saying that the soul
of a poet was not in him. Mr. Stanton sprang to his feet and recited
some of Whittier's stirring stanzas on freedom, which electrified the
audience, and, turning to Campbell, he said: "What do you say to that?"
"Ah! that's real poetry," he replied. "And John Greenleaf Whittier is
its author," said Mr. Stanton.

I enjoyed, too, the morning and evening service, when the revered mother
read the Scriptures and we all bowed our heads in silent worship. There
was, at times, an atmosphere of solemnity pervading everything, that was
oppressive in the midst of so much that appealed to my higher nature.
There was a shade of sadness in even the smile of the mother and sister,
and a rigid plainness in the house and its surroundings, a depressed
look in Whittier himself that the songs of the birds, the sunshine, and
the bracing New England air seemed powerless to chase away, caused, as I
afterward heard, by pecuniary embarrassment, and fears in regard to the
delicate health of the sister. She, too, had rare poetical talent, and
in her Whittier found not only a helpful companion in the practical
affairs of life, but one who sympathized with him in the highest flights
of which his muse was capable. Their worst fears were realized in the
death of the sister not long after. In his last volume several of her
poems were published, which are quite worthy the place the brother's
appreciation has given them. Whittier's love and reverence for his
mother and sister, so marked in every word and look, were charming
features of his home life. All his poems to our sex breathe the same
tender, worshipful sentiments.

Soon after this visit at Amesbury, our noble friend spent a few days
with us in Chelsea, near Boston. One evening, after we had been talking
a long time of the unhappy dissensions among anti-slavery friends, by
way of dissipating the shadows I opened the piano, and proposed that we
should sing some cheerful songs. "Oh, no!" exclaimed Mr. Stanton, "do
not touch a note; you will put every nerve of Whittier's body on edge."
It seemed, to me, so natural for a poet to love music that I was
surprised to know that it was a torture to him.

From our upper piazza we had a fine view of Boston harbor. Sitting there
late one moonlight night, admiring the outlines of Bunker Hill Monument
and the weird effect of the sails and masts of the vessels lying in the
harbor, we naturally passed from the romance of our surroundings to
those of our lives. I have often noticed that the most reserved people
are apt to grow confidential at such an hour. It was under such
circumstances that the good poet opened to me a deeply interesting page
of his life, a sad romance of love and disappointment, that may not yet
be told, as some who were interested in the events are still among the
living.

Whittier's poems were not only one of the most important factors in the
anti-slavery war and victory, but they have been equally potent in
emancipating the minds of his generation from the gloomy superstitions
of the puritanical religion. Oliver Wendell Holmes, in his eulogy of
Whittier, says that his influence on the religious thought of the
American people has been far greater than that of the occupant of any
pulpit.

As my husband's health was delicate, and the New England winters proved
too severe for him, we left Boston, with many regrets, and sought a more
genial climate in Central New York.



CHAPTER IX.

THE FIRST WOMAN'S RIGHTS CONVENTION.


In the spring of 1847 we moved to Seneca Falls. Here we spent sixteen
years of our married life, and here our other children--two sons and two
daughters--were born.

Just as we were ready to leave Boston, Mr. and Mrs. Eaton and their two
children arrived from Europe, and we decided to go together to
Johnstown, Mr. Eaton being obliged to hurry to New York on business, and
Mr. Stanton to remain still in Boston a few months. At the last moment
my nurse decided she could not leave her friends and go so far away.
Accordingly my sister and I started, by rail, with five children and
seventeen trunks, for Albany, where we rested over night and part of the
next day. We had a very fatiguing journey, looking after so many trunks
and children, for my sister's children persisted in standing on the
platform at every opportunity, and the younger ones would follow their
example. This kept us constantly on the watch. We were thankful when
safely landed once more in the old homestead in Johnstown, where we
arrived at midnight. As our beloved parents had received no warning of
our coming, the whole household was aroused to dispose of us. But now in
safe harbor, 'mid familiar scenes and pleasant memories, our slumbers
were indeed refreshing. How rapidly one throws off all care and anxiety
under the parental roof, and how at sea one feels, no matter what the
age may be, when the loved ones are gone forever and the home of
childhood is but a dream of the past.

After a few days of rest I started, alone, for my new home, quite happy
with the responsibility of repairing a house and putting all things in
order. I was already acquainted with many of the people and the
surroundings in Seneca Falls, as my sister, Mrs. Bayard, had lived there
several years, and I had frequently made her long visits. We had quite a
magnetic circle of reformers, too, in central New York. At Rochester
were William Henry Channing, Frederick Douglass, the Anthonys, Posts,
Hallowells, Stebbins,--some grand old Quaker families at
Farmington,--the Sedgwicks, Mays, Mills, and Matilda Joslyn Gage at
Syracuse; Gerrit Smith at Peterboro, and Beriah Green at Whitesboro.

The house we were to occupy had been closed for some years and needed
many repairs, and the grounds, comprising five acres, were overgrown
with weeds. My father gave me a check and said, with a smile, "You
believe in woman's capacity to do and dare; now go ahead and put your
place in order." After a minute survey of the premises and due
consultation with one or two sons of Adam, I set the carpenters,
painters, paper-hangers, and gardeners at work, built a new kitchen and
woodhouse, and in one month took possession. Having left my children
with my mother, there were no impediments to a full display of my
executive ability. In the purchase of brick, timber, paint, etc., and in
making bargains with workmen, I was in frequent consultation with Judge
Sackett and Mr. Bascom. The latter was a member of the Constitutional
Convention, then in session in Albany, and as he used to walk down
whenever he was at home, to see how my work progressed, we had long
talks, sitting on boxes in the midst of tools and shavings, on the
status of women. I urged him to propose an amendment to Article II,
Section 3, of the State Constitution, striking out the word "male,"
which limits the suffrage to men. But, while he fully agreed with all I
had to say on the political equality of women, he had not the courage to
make himself the laughing-stock of the convention. Whenever I cornered
him on this point, manlike he turned the conversation to the painters
and carpenters. However, these conversations had the effect of bringing
him into the first woman's convention, where he did us good service.

In Seneca Falls my life was comparatively solitary, and the change from
Boston was somewhat depressing. There, all my immediate friends were
reformers, I had near neighbors, a new home with all the modern
conveniences, and well-trained servants. Here our residence was on the
outskirts of the town, roads very often muddy and no sidewalks most of
the way, Mr. Stanton was frequently from home, I had poor servants, and
an increasing number of children. To keep a house and grounds in good
order, purchase every article for daily use, keep the wardrobes of half
a dozen human beings in proper trim, take the children to dentists,
shoemakers, and different schools, or find teachers at home, altogether
made sufficient work to keep one brain busy, as well as all the hands I
could impress into the service. Then, too, the novelty of housekeeping
had passed away, and much that was once attractive in domestic life was
now irksome. I had so many cares that the company I needed for
intellectual stimulus was a trial rather than a pleasure.

There was quite an Irish settlement at a short distance, and continual
complaints were coming to me that my boys threw stones at their pigs,
cows, and the roofs of their houses. This involved constant diplomatic
relations in the settlement of various difficulties, in which I was so
successful that, at length, they constituted me a kind of umpire in all
their own quarrels. If a drunken husband was pounding his wife, the
children would run for me. Hastening to the scene of action, I would
take Patrick by the collar, and, much to his surprise and shame, make
him sit down and promise to behave himself. I never had one of them
offer the least resistance, and in time they all came to regard me as
one having authority. I strengthened my influence by cultivating good
feeling. I lent the men papers to read, and invited their children into
our grounds; giving them fruit, of which we had abundance, and my
children's old clothes, books, and toys. I was their physician,
also--with my box of homeopathic medicines I took charge of the men,
women, and children in sickness. Thus the most amicable relations were
established, and, in any emergency, these poor neighbors were good
friends and always ready to serve me.

But I found police duty rather irksome, especially when called out dark
nights to prevent drunken fathers from disturbing their sleeping
children, or to minister to poor mothers in the pangs of maternity.
Alas! alas! who can measure the mountains of sorrow and suffering
endured in unwelcome motherhood in the abodes of ignorance, poverty,
and vice, where terror-stricken women and children are the victims of
strong men frenzied with passion and intoxicating drink?

Up to this time life had glided by with comparative ease, but now the
real struggle was upon me. My duties were too numerous and varied, and
none sufficiently exhilarating or intellectual to bring into play my
higher faculties. I suffered with mental hunger, which, like an empty
stomach, is very depressing. I had books, but no stimulating
companionship. To add to my general dissatisfaction at the change from
Boston, I found that Seneca Falls was a malarial region, and in due time
all the children were attacked with chills and fever which, under
homeopathic treatment in those days, lasted three months. The servants
were afflicted in the same way. Cleanliness, order, the love of the
beautiful and artistic, all faded away in the struggle to accomplish
what was absolutely necessary from hour to hour. Now I understood, as I
never had before, how women could sit down and rest in the midst of
general disorder. Housekeeping, under such conditions, was impossible,
so I packed our clothes, locked up the house, and went to that harbor of
safety, home, as I did ever after in stress of weather.

I now fully understood the practical difficulties most women had to
contend with in the isolated household, and the impossibility of woman's
best development if in contact, the chief part of her life, with
servants and children. Fourier's phalansterie community life and
co-operative households had a new significance for me. Emerson says, "A
healthy discontent is the first step to progress." The general
discontent I felt with woman's portion as wife, mother, housekeeper,
physician, and spiritual guide, the chaotic conditions into which
everything fell without her constant supervision, and the wearied,
anxious look of the majority of women impressed me with a strong feeling
that some active measures should be taken to remedy the wrongs of
society in general, and of women in particular. My experience at the
World's Anti-slavery Convention, all I had read of the legal status of
women, and the oppression I saw everywhere, together swept across my
soul, intensified now by many personal experiences. It seemed as if all
the elements had conspired to impel me to some onward step. I could not
see what to do or where to begin--my only thought was a public meeting
for protest and discussion.

In this tempest-tossed condition of mind I received an invitation to
spend the day with Lucretia Mott, at Richard Hunt's, in Waterloo. There
I met several members of different families of Friends, earnest,
thoughtful women. I poured out, that day, the torrent of my
long-accumulating discontent, with such vehemence and indignation that I
stirred myself, as well as the rest of the party, to do and dare
anything. My discontent, according to Emerson, must have been healthy,
for it moved us all to prompt action, and we decided, then and there, to
call a "Woman's Rights Convention." We wrote the call that evening and
published it in the _Seneca County Courier_ the next day, the 14th of
July, 1848, giving only five days' notice, as the convention was to be
held on the 19th and 20th. The call was inserted without signatures,--in
fact it was a mere announcement of a meeting,--but the chief movers and
managers were Lucretia Mott, Mary Ann McClintock, Jane Hunt, Martha C.
Wright, and myself. The convention, which was held two days in the
Methodist Church, was in every way a grand success. The house was
crowded at every session, the speaking good, and a religious earnestness
dignified all the proceedings.

These were the hasty initiative steps of "the most momentous reform that
had yet been launched on the world--the first organized protest against
the injustice which had brooded for ages over the character and destiny
of one-half the race." No words could express our astonishment on
finding, a few days afterward, that what seemed to us so timely, so
rational, and so sacred, should be a subject for sarcasm and ridicule to
the entire press of the nation. With our Declaration of Rights and
Resolutions for a text, it seemed as if every man who could wield a pen
prepared a homily on "woman's sphere." All the journals from Maine to
Texas seemed to strive with each other to see which could make our
movement appear the most ridiculous. The anti-slavery papers stood by us
manfully and so did Frederick Douglass, both in the convention and in
his paper, _The North Star_, but so pronounced was the popular voice
against us, in the parlor, press, and pulpit, that most of the ladies
who had attended the convention and signed the declaration, one by one,
withdrew their names and influence and joined our persecutors. Our
friends gave us the cold shoulder and felt themselves disgraced by the
whole proceeding.

If I had had the slightest premonition of all that was to follow that
convention, I fear I should not have had the courage to risk it, and I
must confess that it was with fear and trembling that I consented to
attend another, one month afterward, in Rochester. Fortunately, the
first one seemed to have drawn all the fire, and of the second but
little was said. But we had set the ball in motion, and now, in quick
succession, conventions were held in Ohio, Indiana, Massachusetts,
Pennsylvania, and in the City of New York, and have been kept up nearly
every year since.

The most noteworthy of the early conventions were those held in
Massachusetts, in which such men as Garrison, Phillips, Channing,
Parker, and Emerson took part. It was one of these that first attracted
the attention of Mrs. John Stuart Mill, and drew from her pen that able
article on "The Enfranchisement of Woman," in the _Westminster Review_
of October, 1852.

The same year of the convention, the Married Woman's Property Bill,
which had given rise to some discussion on woman's rights in New York,
had passed the legislature. This encouraged action on the part of women,
as the reflection naturally arose that, if the men who make the laws
were ready for some onward step, surely the women themselves should
express some interest in the legislation. Ernestine L. Rose, Paulina
Wright (Davis), and I had spoken before committees of the legislature
years before, demanding equal property rights for women. We had
circulated petitions for the Married Woman's Property Bill for many
years, and so also had the leaders of the Dutch aristocracy, who desired
to see their life-long accumulations descend to their daughters and
grandchildren rather than pass into the hands of dissipated, thriftless
sons-in-law. Judge Hertell, Judge Fine, and Mr. Geddes of Syracuse
prepared and championed the several bills, at different times, before
the legislature. Hence the demands made in the convention were not
entirely new to the reading and thinking public of New York--the first
State to take any action on the question. As New York was the first
State to put the word "male" in her constitution in 1778, it was fitting
that she should be first in more liberal legislation. The effect of the
convention on my own mind was most salutary. The discussions had cleared
my ideas as to the primal steps to be taken for woman's enfranchisement,
and the opportunity of expressing myself fully and freely on a subject I
felt so deeply about was a great relief. I think all women who attended
the convention felt better for the statement of their wrongs, believing
that the first step had been taken to right them.

Soon after this I was invited to speak at several points in the
neighborhood. One night, in the Quaker Meeting House at Farmington, I
invited, as usual, discussion and questions when I had finished. We all
waited in silence for a long time; at length a middle-aged man, with a
broad-brimmed hat, arose and responded in a sing-song tone: "All I have
to say is, if a hen can crow, let her crow," emphasizing "crow" with an
upward inflection on several notes of the gamut. The meeting adjourned
with mingled feelings of surprise and merriment. I confess that I felt
somewhat chagrined in having what I considered my unanswerable arguments
so summarily disposed of, and the serious impression I had made on the
audience so speedily dissipated. The good man intended no disrespect, as
he told me afterward. He simply put the whole argument in a nutshell:
"Let a woman do whatever she can."

With these new duties and interests, and a broader outlook on human
life, my petty domestic annoyances gradually took a subordinate place.
Now I began to write articles for the press, letters to conventions held
in other States, and private letters to friends, to arouse them to
thought on this question.

The pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Mr. Bogue, preached several
sermons on Woman's Sphere, criticising the action of the conventions in
Seneca Falls and Rochester. Elizabeth McClintock and I took notes and
answered him in the county papers. Gradually we extended our labors and
attacked our opponents in the New York _Tribune_, whose columns were
open to us in the early days, Mr. Greeley being, at that time, one of
our most faithful champions.

In answering all the attacks, we were compelled to study canon and civil
law, constitutions, Bibles, science, philosophy, and history, sacred and
profane. Now my mind, as well as my hands, was fully occupied, and
instead of mourning, as I had done, over what I had lost in leaving
Boston, I tried in every way to make the most of life in Seneca Falls.
Seeing that elaborate refreshments prevented many social gatherings, I
often gave an evening entertainment without any. I told the young
people, whenever they wanted a little dance or a merry time, to make our
house their rallying point, and I would light up and give them a glass
of water and some cake. In that way we had many pleasant informal
gatherings. Then, in imitation of Margaret Fuller's Conversationals, we
started one which lasted several years. We selected a subject each week
on which we all read and thought; each, in turn, preparing an essay ten
minutes in length.

These were held, at different homes, Saturday of each week. On coming
together we chose a presiding officer for the evening, who called the
meeting to order, and introduced the essayist. That finished, he asked
each member, in turn, what he or she had read or thought on the subject,
and if any had criticisms to make on the essay. Everyone was expected to
contribute something. Much information was thus gained, and many spicy
discussions followed. All the ladies, as well as the gentlemen, presided
in turn, and so became familiar with parliamentary rules. The evening
ended with music, dancing, and a general chat. In this way we read and
thought over a wide range of subjects and brought together the best
minds in the community. Many young men and women who did not belong to
what was considered the first circle,--for in every little country
village there is always a small clique that constitutes the
aristocracy,--had the advantages of a social life otherwise denied them.
I think that all who took part in this Conversation Club would testify
to its many good influences.

I had three quite intimate young friends in the village who spent much
of their spare time with me, and who added much to my happiness: Frances
Hoskins, who was principal of the girls' department in the academy, with
whom I discussed politics and religion; Mary Bascom, a good talker on
the topics of the day, and Mary Crowninshield, who played well on the
piano. As I was very fond of music, Mary's coming was always hailed with
delight. Her mother, too, was a dear friend of mine, a woman of rare
intelligence, refinement, and conversational talent. She was a Schuyler,
and belonged to the Dutch aristocracy in Albany. She died suddenly,
after a short illness. I was with her in the last hours and held her
hand until the gradually fading spark of life went out. Her son is
Captain A.S. Crowninshield of our Navy.

My nearest neighbors were a very agreeable, intelligent family of sons
and daughters. But I always felt that the men of that household were
given to domineering. As the mother was very amiable and
self-sacrificing, the daughters found it difficult to rebel. One summer,
after general house-cleaning, when fresh paint and paper had made even
the kitchen look too dainty for the summer invasion of flies, the queens
of the household decided to move the sombre cook-stove into a spacious
woodhouse, where it maintained its dignity one week, in the absence of
the head of the home. The mother and daughters were delighted with the
change, and wondered why they had not made it before during the summer
months. But their pleasure was shortlived. Father and sons rose early
the first morning after his return and moved the stove back to its old
place. When the wife and daughters came down to get their breakfast (for
they did all their own work) they were filled with grief and
disappointment. The breakfast was eaten in silence, the women humbled
with a sense of their helplessness, and the men gratified with a sense
of their power. These men would probably all have said "home is woman's
sphere," though they took the liberty of regulating everything in her
sphere.

[Illustration: MRS. STANTON AND SON, 1854.]

[Illustration: Susan B. Anthony 1820-Feb. 15, 1858--]



CHAPTER X.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY.


The reports of the conventions held in Seneca Falls and Rochester, N.Y.,
in 1848, attracted the attention of one destined to take a most
important part in the new movement--Susan B. Anthony, who, for her
courage and executive ability, was facetiously called by William Henry
Channing, the Napoleon of our struggle. At this time she was teaching in
the academy at Canajoharie, a little village in the beautiful valley of
the Mohawk.

"The Woman's Declaration of Independence" issued from those conventions
startled and amused her, and she laughed heartily at the novelty and
presumption of the demand. But, on returning home to spend her vacation,
she was surprised to find that her sober Quaker parents and sister,
having attended the Rochester meetings, regarded them as very profitable
and interesting, and the demands made as proper and reasonable. She was
already interested in the anti-slavery and temperance reforms, was an
active member of an organization called "The Daughters of Temperance,"
and had spoken a few times in their public meetings. But the new gospel
of "Woman's Rights," found a ready response in her mind, and, from that
time, her best efforts have been given to the enfranchisement of women.

As, from this time, my friend is closely connected with my narrative
and will frequently appear therein, a sketch of her seems appropriate.

Lord Bacon has well said: "He that hath wife and children hath given
hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises
either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest
merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless
men; which, both in affection and means, have married and endowed the
public."

This bit of Baconian philosophy, as alike applicable to women, was the
subject, not long since, of a conversation with a remarkably gifted
Englishwoman. She was absorbed in many public interests and had
conscientiously resolved never to marry, lest the cares necessarily
involved in matrimony should make inroads upon her time and thought, to
the detriment of the public good. "Unless," said she, "some women
dedicate themselves to the public service, society is robbed of needed
guardians for the special wants of the weak and unfortunate. There
should be, in the secular world, certain orders corresponding in a
measure to the grand sisterhoods of the Catholic Church, to the members
of which, as freely as to men, all offices, civic and ecclesiastical,
should be open." That this ideal will be realized may be inferred from
the fact that exceptional women have, in all ages, been leaders in great
projects of charity and reform, and that now many stand waiting only the
sanction of their century, ready for wide altruistic labors.

The world has ever had its vestal virgins, its holy women, mothers of
ideas rather than of men; its Marys, as well as its Marthas, who, rather
than be busy housewives, preferred to sit at the feet of divine wisdom,
and ponder the mysteries of the unknown. All hail to Maria Mitchell,
Harriet Hosmer, Charlotte Cushman, Alice and Phoebe Gary, Louisa Alcott,
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, Frances Willard, and Clara Barton! All honor to
the noble women who have devoted earnest lives to the intellectual and
moral needs of mankind!

Susan B. Anthony was of sturdy New England stock, and it was at the foot
of Old Greylock, South Adams, Mass., that she gave forth her first
rebellious cry. There the baby steps were taken, and at the village
school the first stitches were learned, and the A B C duly mastered.
When five winters had passed over Susan's head, there came a time of
great domestic commotion, and, in her small way, the child seized the
idea that permanence is not the rule of life. The family moved to
Battenville, N.Y., where Mr. Anthony became one of the wealthiest men in
Washington County. Susan can still recall the stately coldness of the
great house--how large the bare rooms, with their yellow-painted floors,
seemed, in contrast with her own diminutiveness, and the outlook of the
schoolroom where for so many years, with her brothers and sisters, she
pursued her studies under private tutors.

Mr. Anthony was a stern Hicksite Quaker. In Susan's early life he
objected on principle to all forms of frivolous amusement, such as
music, dancing, or novel reading, while games and even pictures were
regarded as meaningless luxuries. Such puritanical convictions might
have easily degenerated into mere cant; but underlying all was a broad
and firm basis of wholesome respect for individual freedom and a brave
adherence to truth. He was a man of good business capacity, and a
thorough manager of his wide and lucrative interests. He saw that
compensation and not chance ruled in the commercial world, and he
believed in the same just, though often severe, law in the sphere of
morals. Such a man was not apt to walk humbly in the path mapped out by
his religious sect. He early offended by choosing a Baptist for a wife.
For this first offense he was "disowned," and, according to Quaker
usage, could only be received into fellowship again by declaring himself
"sorry" for his crime in full meeting. He was full of devout
thankfulness for the good woman by his side, and destined to be thankful
to the very end for this companion, so calm, so just, so far-seeing. He
rose in meeting, and said he was "sorry" that the rules of the society
were such that, in marrying the woman he loved, he had committed
offense! He admitted that he was "sorry" for something, so was taken
back into the body of the faithful! But his faith had begun to weaken in
many minor points of discipline. His coat soon became a cause of offense
and called forth another reproof from those buttoned up in conforming
garments. The petty forms of Quakerism began to lose their weight with
him altogether, and he was finally disowned for allowing the village
youth to be taught dancing in an upper room of his dwelling. He was
applied to for this favor on the ground that young men were under great
temptation to drink if the lessons were given in the hotel; and, being a
rigid temperance man, he readily consented, though his principles, in
regard to dancing, would not allow his own sons and daughters to join in
the amusement. But the society could accept no such discrimination in
what it deemed sin, nor such compromise with worldly frivolity, and so
Mr. Anthony was seen no more in meeting. But, in later years, in
Rochester he was an attentive listener to Rev. William Henry Channing.

The effect of all this on Susan is the question of interest. No doubt
she early weighed the comparative moral effects of coats cut with capes
and those cut without, of purely Quaker conjugal love and that
deteriorated with Baptist affection. Susan had an earnest soul and a
conscience tending to morbidity; but a strong, well-balanced body and
simple family life soothed her too active moral nature and gave the
world, instead of a religious fanatic, a sincere, concentrated worker.
Every household art was taught her by her mother, and so great was her
ability that the duty demanding especial care was always given into her
hands. But ever, amid school and household tasks, her day-dream was
that, in time, she might be a "high-seat" Quaker. Each Sunday, up to the
time of the third disobedience, Mr. Anthony went to the Quaker meeting
house, some thirteen miles from home, his wife and children usually
accompanying him, though, as non-members, they were rigidly excluded
from all business discussions. Exclusion was very pleasant in the bright
days of summer; but, on one occasion in December, decidedly unpleasant
for the seven-year-old Susan. When the blinds were drawn, at the close
of the religious meeting, and non-members retired, Susan sat still. Soon
she saw a thin old lady with blue goggles come down from the "high
seat." Approaching her, the Quakeress said softly, "Thee is not a
member--thee must go out." "No; my mother told me not to go out in the
cold," was the child's firm response. "Yes, but thee must go out--thee
is not a member." "But my father is a member." "Thee is not a member,"
and Susan felt as if the spirit was moving her and soon found herself in
outer coldness. Fingers and toes becoming numb, and a bright fire in a
cottage over the way beckoning warmly to her, the exile from the chapel
resolved to seek secular shelter. But alas! she was confronted by a huge
dog, and just escaped with whole skin though capeless jacket. We may be
sure there was much talk, that night, at the home fireside, and the good
Baptist wife declared that no child of hers should attend meeting again
till made a member. Thereafter, by request of her father, Susan became a
member of the Quaker church.

Later, definite convictions took root in Miss Anthony's heart. Hers is,
indeed, a sincerely religious nature. To be a simple, earnest Quaker was
the aspiration of her girlhood; but she shrank from adopting the formal
language and plain dress. Dark hours of conflict were spent over all
this, and she interpreted her disinclination as evidence of
unworthiness. Poor little Susan! As we look back with the knowledge of
our later life, we translate the heart-burnings as unconscious protests
against labeling your free soul, against testing your reasoning
conviction of to-morrow by any shibboleth of to-day's belief. We hail
this child-intuition as a prophecy of the uncompromising truthfulness of
the mature woman. Susan Anthony was taught simply that she must enter
into the holy of holies of her own self, meet herself, and be true to
the revelation. She first found words to express her convictions in
listening to Rev. William Henry Channing, whose teaching had a lasting
spiritual influence upon her. 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. She has not stood
aside, shivering in the cold shadows of uncertainty, but has moved on
with the whirling world, has done the good given her to do, and thus, in
darkest hours, has been sustained by an unfaltering faith in the final
perfection of all things. Her belief is not orthodox, but it is
religious. In ancient Greece she would have been a Stoic; in the era of
the Reformation, a Calvinist; in King Charles' time, a Puritan; but in
this nineteenth century, by the very laws of her being, she is a
Reformer.

For the arduous work that awaited Miss Anthony her years of young
womanhood had given preparation. Her father, though a man of wealth,
made it a matter of conscience to train his girls, as well as his boys,
to self-support. Accordingly Susan chose the profession of teacher, and
made her first essay during a summer vacation in a school her father had
established for the children of his employés. Her success was so marked,
not only in imparting knowledge, but also as a disciplinarian, that she
followed this career steadily for fifteen years, with the exception of
some months given in Philadelphia to her own training. Of the many
school rebellions which she overcame, one rises before me, prominent in
its ludicrous aspect. This was in the district school at Center Falls,
in the year 1839. Bad reports were current there of male teachers driven
out by a certain strapping lad. Rumor next told of a Quaker maiden
coming to teach--a Quaker maiden of peace principles. The anticipated
day and Susan arrived. She looked very meek to the barbarian of fifteen,
so he soon began his antics. He was called to the platform, told to lay
aside his jacket, and, thereupon, with much astonishment received from
the mild Quaker maiden, with a birch rod applied calmly but with
precision, an exposition of the _argumentum ad hominem_ based on the _a
posteriori_ method of reasoning. Thus Susan departed from her
principles, but not from the school.

But, before long, conflicts in the outside world disturbed our young
teacher. The multiplication table and spelling book no longer enchained
her thoughts; larger questions began to fill her mind. About the year
1850 Susan B. Anthony hid her ferule away. Temperance, anti-slavery,
woman suffrage,--three pregnant questions,--presented themselves,
demanding her consideration. Higher, ever higher, rose their appeals,
until she resolved to dedicate her energy and thought to the burning
needs of the hour. Owing to early experience of the disabilities of her
sex, the first demand for equal rights for women found echo in Susan's
heart. And, though she was in the beginning startled to hear that women
had actually met in convention, and by speeches and resolutions had
declared themselves man's peer in political rights, and had urged
radical changes in State constitutions and the whole system of American
jurisprudence; yet the most casual review convinced her that these
claims were but the logical outgrowth of the fundamental theories of our
republic.

At this stage of her development I met my future friend and coadjutor
for the first time. How well I remember the day! George Thompson and
William Lloyd Garrison having announced an anti-slavery meeting in
Seneca Falls, Miss Anthony came to attend it. These gentlemen were my
guests. Walking home, after the adjournment, we met Mrs. Bloomer and
Miss Anthony on the corner of the street, waiting to greet us. There she
stood, with her good, earnest face and genial smile, dressed in gray
delaine, hat and all the same color, relieved with pale blue ribbons,
the perfection of neatness and sobriety. I liked her thoroughly, and why
I did not at once invite her home with me to dinner, I do not know. She
accuses me of that neglect, and has never forgiven me, as she wished to
see and hear all she could of our noble friends. I suppose my mind was
full of what I had heard, or my coming dinner, or the probable behavior
of three mischievous boys who had been busily exploring the premises
while I was at the meeting.

That I had abundant cause for anxiety in regard to the philosophical
experiments these young savages might try the reader will admit, when
informed of some of their performances. Henry imagined himself possessed
of rare powers of invention (an ancestral weakness for generations), and
so made a life preserver of corks, and tested its virtues on his
brother, who was about eighteen months old. Accompanied by a troop of
expectant boys, the baby was drawn in his carriage to the banks of the
Seneca, stripped, the string of corks tied under his arms, and set
afloat in the river, the philosopher and his satellites, in a rowboat,
watching the experiment. The baby, accustomed to a morning bath in a
large tub, splashed about joyfully, keeping his head above water. He was
as blue as indigo and as cold as a frog when rescued by his anxious
mother. The next day the same victimized infant was seen, by a passing
friend, seated on the chimney, on the highest peak of the house. Without
alarming anyone, the friend hurried up to the housetop and rescued the
child. Another time the three elder brothers entered into a conspiracy,
and locked up the fourth, Theodore, in the smoke-house. Fortunately, he
sounded the alarm loud and clear, and was set free in safety, whereupon
the three were imprisoned in a garret with two barred windows. They
summarily kicked out the bars, and, sliding down on the lightning rod,
betook themselves to the barn for liberty. The youngest boy, Gerrit,
then only five years old, skinned his hands in the descent. This is a
fair sample of the quiet happiness I enjoyed in the first years of
motherhood.

It was 'mid such exhilarating scenes that Miss Anthony and I wrote
addresses for temperance, anti-slavery, educational, and woman's rights
conventions. Here we forged resolutions, protests, appeals, petitions,
agricultural reports, and constitutional arguments; for we made it a
matter of conscience to accept every invitation to speak on every
question, in order to maintain woman's right to do so. To this end we
took turns on the domestic watchtowers, directing amusements, settling
disputes, protecting the weak against the strong, and trying to secure
equal rights to all in the home as well as the nation. I can recall many
a stern encounter between my friend and the young experimenter. It is
pleasant to remember that he never seriously injured any of his victims,
and only once came near fatally shooting himself with a pistol. The ball
went through his hand; happily a brass button prevented it from
penetrating his heart.

It is often said, by those who know Miss Anthony best, that she has been
my good angel, always pushing and goading me to work, and that but for
her pertinacity I should never have accomplished the little I have. On
the other hand it has been said that I forged the thunderbolts and she
fired them. Perhaps all this is, in a measure, true. With the cares of a
large family I might, in time, like too many women, have become wholly
absorbed in a narrow family selfishness, had not my friend been
continually exploring new fields for missionary labors. Her description
of a body of men on any platform, complacently deciding questions in
which woman had an equal interest, without an equal voice, readily
roused me to a determination to throw a firebrand into the midst of
their assembly.

Thus, whenever I saw that stately Quaker girl coming across my lawn, I
knew that some happy convocation of the sons of Adam was to be set by
the ears, by one of our appeals or resolutions. The little portmanteau,
stuffed with facts, was opened, and there we had what the Rev. John
Smith and Hon. Richard Roe had said: false interpretations of Bible
texts, the statistics of women robbed of their property, shut out of
some college, half paid for their work, the reports of some disgraceful
trial; injustice enough to turn any woman's thoughts from stockings and
puddings. Then we would get out our pens and write articles for papers,
or a petition to the legislature; indite letters to the faithful, here
and there; stir up the women in Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Massachusetts;
call on _The Lily, The Una, The Liberator, The Standard_ to remember our
wrongs as well as those of the slave. We never met without issuing a
pronunciamento on some question. In thought and sympathy we were one,
and in the division of labor we exactly complemented each other. In
writing we did better work than either could alone. While she is slow
and analytical in composition, I am rapid and synthetic. I am the better
writer, she the better critic. She supplied the facts and statistics, I
the philosophy and rhetoric, and, together, we have made arguments that
have stood unshaken through the storms of long years; arguments that no
one has answered. Our speeches may be considered the united product of
our two brains.

So entirely one are we that, in all our associations, ever side by side
on the same platform, not one feeling of envy or jealousy has ever
shadowed our lives. We have indulged freely in criticism of each other
when alone, and hotly contended whenever we have differed, but in our
friendship of years there has never been the break of one hour. To the
world we always seem to agree and uniformly reflect each other. Like
husband and wife, each has the feeling that we must have no differences
in public. Thus united, at an early day we began to survey the state and
nation, the future field of our labors. We read, with critical eyes, the
proceedings of Congress and legislatures, of general assemblies and
synods, of conferences and conventions, and discovered that, in all
alike, the existence of woman was entirely ignored.

Night after night, by an old-fashioned fireplace, we plotted and planned
the coming agitation; how, when, and where each entering wedge could be
driven, by which women might be recognized and their rights secured.
Speedily the State was aflame with disturbances in temperance and
teachers' conventions, and the press heralded the news far and near that
women delegates had suddenly appeared, demanding admission in men's
conventions; that their rights had been hotly contested session after
session, by liberal men on the one side, the clergy and learned
professors on the other; an overwhelming majority rejecting the women
with terrible anathemas and denunciations. Such battles were fought over
and over in the chief cities of many of the Northern States, until the
bigotry of men in all the reforms and professions was thoroughly
exposed. Every right achieved, to enter a college, to study a
profession, to labor in some new industry, or to advocate a reform
measure was contended for inch by inch.

Many of those enjoying all these blessings now complacently say, "If
these pioneers in reform had only pressed their measures more
judiciously, in a more ladylike manner, in more choice language, with a
more deferential attitude, the gentlemen could not have behaved so
rudely." I give, in these pages, enough of the characteristics of these
women, of the sentiments they expressed, of their education, ancestry,
and position to show that no power could have met the prejudice and
bigotry of that period more successfully than they did who so bravely
and persistently fought and conquered them.

Miss Anthony first carried her flag of rebellion into the State
conventions of teachers, and there fought, almost single-handed, the
battle for equality. At the close of the first decade she had compelled
conservatism to yield its ground so far as to permit women to
participate in all debates, deliver essays, vote, and hold honored
positions as officers. She labored as sincerely in the temperance
movement, until convinced that woman's moral power amounted to little as
a civil agent, until backed by ballot and coined into State law. She
still never loses an occasion to defend co-education and prohibition,
and solves every difficulty with the refrain, "woman suffrage," as
persistent as the "never more" of Poe's raven.



CHAPTER XI.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY--_Continued_.


It was in 1852 that anti-slavery, through the eloquent lips of such men
as George Thompson, Phillips, and Garrison, first proclaimed to Miss
Anthony its pressing financial necessities. To their inspired words she
gave answer, four years afterward, by becoming a regularly employed
agent in the Anti-slavery Society. For her espoused cause she has always
made boldest demands. In the abolition meetings she used to tell each
class why it should support the movement financially; invariably calling
upon Democrats to give liberally, as the success of the cause would
enable them to cease bowing the knee to the slave power.

There is scarce a town, however small, from New York to San Francisco,
that has not heard her ringing voice. Who can number the speeches she
has made on lyceum platforms, in churches, schoolhouses, halls, barns,
and in the open air, with a lumber wagon or a cart for her rostrum? Who
can describe the varied audiences and social circles she has cheered and
interested? Now we see her on the far-off prairies, entertaining, with
sterling common sense, large gatherings of men, women, and children,
seated on rough boards in some unfinished building; again, holding
public debates in some town with half-fledged editors and clergymen;
next, sailing up the Columbia River and, in hot haste to meet some
appointment, jolting over the rough mountains of Oregon and Washington;
and then, before legislative assemblies, constitutional conventions, and
congressional committees, discussing with senators and judges the letter
and spirit of constitutional law.

Miss Anthony's style of speaking is rapid and vehement. In debate she is
ready and keen, and she is always equal to an emergency. 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. Filled with consternation, I usually
appealed to her to go first; and, without a moment's hesitation, she
could always fill five minutes with some appropriate words and inspire
me with thoughts and courage to follow. 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.

One night, crossing the Mississippi at McGregor, Iowa, we were icebound
in the middle of the river. The boat was crowded with people, hungry,
tired, and cross with the delay. Some gentlemen, with whom we had been
talking on the cars, started the cry, "Speech on woman suffrage!"
Accordingly, in the middle of the Mississippi River, at midnight, we
presented our claims to political representation, and debated the
question of universal suffrage until we landed. Our voyagers were quite
thankful that we had shortened the many hours, and we equally so at
having made several converts and held a convention on the very bosom of
the great "Mother of Waters." 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'?"

Much curiosity has been expressed as to the love-life of Miss Anthony;
but, if she has enjoyed or suffered any of the usual triumphs or
disappointments of her sex, she has not yet vouchsafed this information
to her biographers. While few women have had more sincere and lasting
friendships, or a more extensive correspondence with a large circle of
noble men, yet I doubt if one of them can boast of having received from
her any exceptional attention. She has often playfully said, when
questioned on this point, that she could not consent that the man she
loved, described in the Constitution as a white male, native born,
American citizen, possessed of the right of self-government, eligible to
the office of President of the great Republic, should unite his
destinies in marriage with a political slave and pariah. "No, no; when I
am crowned with all the rights, privileges, and immunities of a citizen,
I may give some consideration to this social institution; but until then
I must concentrate all my energies on the enfranchisement of my own
sex." Miss Anthony's love-life, like her religion, has manifested itself
in steadfast, earnest labors for men in general. She has been a watchful
and affectionate daughter, sister, friend, and those who have felt the
pulsations of her great heart know how warmly it beats for all.

As the custom has long been observed, among married women, of
celebrating the anniversaries of their wedding-day, quite properly the
initiative has been taken, in late years, of doing honor to the great
events in the lives of single women. Being united in closest bonds to
her profession, Dr. Harriet K. Hunt of Boston celebrated her
twenty-fifth year of faithful services as a physician by giving to her
friends and patrons a large reception, which she called her silver
wedding. From a feeling of the sacredness of her life work, the admirers
of Susan B. Anthony have been moved to mark, by reception and
convention, her rapid-flowing years and the passing decades of the
suffrage movement. To the most brilliant occasion of this kind, the
invitation cards were as follows:

     The ladies of the Woman's Bureau invite you to a reception on
     Tuesday evening, February 15th, to celebrate the fiftieth birthday
     of Susan B. Anthony, when her friends will have an opportunity to
     show their appreciation of her long services in behalf of woman's
     emancipation.

     No. 49 East 23d St., New York,

     February 10, 1870.

     Elizabeth B. Phelps,

     Anna B. Darling,

     Charlotte Beebe Wilbour.

In response to the invitation, the parlors of the bureau were crowded
with friends to congratulate Miss Anthony on the happy event, many
bringing valuable gifts as an expression of their gratitude. Among other
presents were a handsome gold watch and checks to the amount of a
thousand dollars. The guests were entertained with music, recitations,
the reading of many piquant letters of regret from distinguished people,
and witty rhymes written for the occasion by the Cary sisters. Miss
Anthony received her guests with her usual straightforward simplicity,
and in a few earnest words expressed her thanks for the presents and
praises showered upon her. The comments of the leading journals, next
day, were highly complimentary, and as genial as amusing. All dwelt on
the fact that, at last, a woman had arisen brave enough to assert her
right to grow old and openly declare that half a century had rolled over
her head.

Of carefully prepared written speeches Miss Anthony has made few; but
these, by the high praise they called forth, prove that she can--in
spite of her own declaration to the contrary--put her sterling thoughts
on paper concisely and effectively. After her exhaustive plea, in 1880,
for a Sixteenth Amendment before the Judiciary Committee of the Senate,
Senator Edmunds accosted her, as she was leaving the Capitol, and said
he neglected to tell her, in the committee room, that she had made an
argument, no matter what his personal feelings were as to the
conclusions reached, which was unanswerable--an argument, unlike the
usual platform oratory given at hearings, suited to a committee of men
trained to the law.

It was in 1876 that Miss Anthony gave her much criticised lecture on
"Social Purity" in Boston. As to the result she felt very anxious; for
the intelligence of New England composed her audience, and it did not
still her heart-beats to see, sitting just in front of the platform, her
revered friend, William Lloyd Garrison. But surely every fear vanished
when she felt the grand old abolitionist's hand warmly pressing hers,
and heard him say that to listen to no one else would he have had
courage to leave his sick room, and that he felt fully repaid by her
grand speech, which neither in matter nor manner would he have changed
in the smallest particular. But into Miss Anthony's private
correspondence one must look for examples of her most effective writing.
Verb or substantive is often wanting, but you can always catch the
thought, and will ever find it clear and suggestive. It is a strikingly
strange dialect, but one that touches, at times, the deepest chords of
pathos and humor, and, when stirred by some great event, is highly
eloquent.

From being the most ridiculed and mercilessly persecuted woman, Miss
Anthony has become the most honored and respected in the nation. Witness
the praises of press and people, and the enthusiastic ovations she
received on her departure for Europe in 1883. Never were warmer
expressions of regret for an absence, nor more sincere prayers for a
speedy return, accorded to any American on leaving his native shores.
This slow awaking to the character of her services shows the abiding
sense of justice in the human soul. Having spent the winter of 1882-83
in Washington, trying to press to a vote the bill for a Sixteenth
Amendment before Congress, and the autumn in a vigorous campaign through
Nebraska, where a constitutional amendment to enfranchise women had been
submitted to the people, she felt the imperative need of an entire
change in the current of her thoughts. Accordingly, after one of the
most successful conventions ever held at the national capital, and a
most flattering ovation in the spacious parlors of the Riggs House, and
a large reception in Philadelphia, she sailed for Europe.

Fortunate in being perfectly well during the entire voyage, our traveler
received perpetual enjoyment in watching the ever varying sea and sky.
To the captain's merry challenge to find anything so grand as the ocean,
she replied, "Yes, these mighty forces in nature do indeed fill me with
awe; but this vessel, with deep-buried fires, powerful machinery,
spacious decks, and tapering masts, walking the waves like a thing of
life, and all the work of man, impresses one still more deeply. Lo! in
man's divine creative power is fulfilled the prophecy, 'Ye shall be as
Gods!'"

In all her journeyings through Germany, Italy, and France, Miss Anthony
was never the mere sight-seer, but always the humanitarian and reformer
in traveler's guise. Few of the great masterpieces of art gave her real
enjoyment. The keen appreciation of the beauties of sculpture, painting,
and architecture, which one would have expected to find in so deep a
religious nature, was wanting, warped, no doubt, by her early Quaker
training. That her travels gave her more pain than pleasure was,
perhaps, not so much that she had no appreciation of aesthetic beauty,
but that she quickly grasped the infinitude of human misery; not because
her soul did not feel the heights to which art had risen, but that it
vibrated in every fiber to the depths to which mankind had fallen.
Wandering through a gorgeous palace one day, she exclaimed, "What do you
find to admire here? If it were a school of five hundred children being
educated into the right of self-government I could admire it, too; but
standing for one man's pleasure, I say no!" In the quarters of one of
the devotees, at the old monastery of the Certosa, at Florence, there
lies, on a small table, an open book, in which visitors register. On the
occasion of Miss Anthony's visit the pen and ink proved so unpromising
that her entire party declined this opportunity to make themselves
famous, but she made the rebellious pen inscribe, "Perfect equality for
women, civil, political, religious. Susan B. Anthony, U.S.A." Friends,
who visited the monastery next day, reported that lines had been drawn
through this heretical sentiment.

During her visit at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sargent, in Berlin, Miss
Anthony quite innocently posted her letters in the official envelopes of
our Suffrage Association, which bore the usual mottoes, "No just
government can be formed without the consent of the governed," etc. In a
few days an official brought back a large package, saying, "Such
sentiments are not allowed to pass through the post office." Probably
nothing saved her from arrest as a socialist, under the tyrannical
police regulations, but the fact that she was the guest of the Minister
Plenipotentiary of the United States.

My son Theodore wrote of Miss Anthony's visit in Paris: "I had never
before seen her in the role of tourist. She seemed interested only in
historical monuments, and in the men and questions of the hour. The
galleries of the Louvre had little attraction for her, but she gazed
with deep pleasure at Napoleon's tomb, Notre Dame, and the ruins of the
Tuileries. She was always ready to listen to discussions on the
political problems before the French people, the prospects of the
Republic, the divorce agitation, and the education of women. 'I had
rather see Jules Ferry than all the pictures of the Louvre, Luxembourg,
and Salon,' she remarked at table. A day or two later she saw Ferry at
Laboulaye's funeral. The three things which made the deepest impression
on Miss Anthony, during her stay at Paris, were probably the interment
of Laboulaye (the friend of the United States and of the woman
movement); the touching anniversary demonstration of the Communists, at
the Cemetery of Père La Chaise, on the very spot where the last
defenders of the Commune of 1871 were ruthlessly shot and buried in a
common grave; and a woman's rights meeting, held in a little hall in the
Rue de Rivoli, at which the brave, far-seeing Mlle. Hubertine Auchet was
the leading spirit."

While on the Continent Miss Anthony experienced the unfortunate
sensation of being deaf and dumb; to speak and not to be understood, to
hear and not to comprehend, were to her bitter realities. We can imagine
to what desperation she was brought when her Quaker prudishness could
hail an emphatic oath in English from a French official with the
exclamation, "Well, it sounds good to hear someone even swear in old
Anglo-Saxon!" After two months of enforced silence, she was buoyant in
reaching the British Islands once more, where she could enjoy public
speaking and general conversation. Here she was the recipient of many
generous social attentions, and, on May 25, a large public meeting of
representative people, presided over by Jacob Bright, was called, in our
honor, by the National Association of Great Britain. She spoke on the
educational and political status of women in America, I of their
religious and social position.

Before closing my friend's biography I shall trace two golden threads in
this closely woven life of incident. One of the greatest services
rendered by Miss Anthony to the suffrage cause was in casting a vote in
the Presidential election of 1872, in order to test the rights of women
under the Fourteenth Amendment. For this offense the brave woman was
arrested, on Thanksgiving Day, the national holiday handed down to us by
Pilgrim Fathers escaped from England's persecutions. She asked for a
writ of habeas corpus. The writ being flatly refused, in January, 1873,
her counsel gave bonds. The daring defendant finding, when too late,
that this not only kept her out of jail, but her case out of the Supreme
Court of the United States, regretfully determined to fight on, and gain
the uttermost by a decision in the United States Circuit Court. Her
trial was set down for the Rochester term in May. Quickly she canvassed
the whole county, laying before every probable juror the strength of her
case. When the time for the trial arrived, the District Attorney,
fearing the result, if the decision were left to a jury drawn from Miss
Anthony's enlightened county, transferred the trial to the Ontario
County term, in June, 1873.

It was now necessary to instruct the citizens of another county. In this
task Miss Anthony received valuable assistance from Matilda Joslyn Gage;
and, to meet all this new expense, financial aid was generously given,
unsolicited, by Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Gerrit Smith, and other
sympathizers. But in vain was every effort; in vain the appeal of Miss
Anthony to her jurors; in vain the moral influence of the leading
representatives of the bar of Central New York filling the courtroom,
for Judge Hunt, without precedent to sustain him, declaring it a case of
law and not of fact, refused to give the case to the jury, reserving to
himself final decision. Was it not an historic scene which was enacted
there in that little courthouse in Canandaigua? All the inconsistencies
were embodied in that Judge, punctilious in manner, scrupulous in
attire, conscientious in trivialities, and obtuse on great principles,
fitly described by Charles O'Conor--"A very ladylike Judge." Behold him
sitting there, balancing all the niceties of law and equity in his Old
World scales, and at last saying, "The prisoner will stand up."
Whereupon the accused arose. "The sentence of the court is that you pay
a fine of one hundred dollars and the costs of the prosecution." Then
the unruly defendant answers: "May it please your Honor, I shall never
pay a dollar of your unjust penalty," and more to the same effect, all
of which she has lived up to. The "ladylike" Judge had gained some
insight into the determination of the prisoner; so, not wishing to
incarcerate her to all eternity, he added gently: "Madam, the court
will not order you committed until the fine is paid."

It was on the 17th of June that the verdict was given. On that very day,
a little less than a century before, the brave militia was driven back
at Bunker Hill--back, back, almost wiped out; yet truth was in their
ranks, and justice, too. But how ended that rebellion of weak colonists?
The cause of American womanhood, embodied for the moment in the liberty
of a single individual, received a rebuff on June 17, 1873; but, just as
surely as our Revolutionary heroes were in the end victorious, so will
the inalienable rights of our heroines of the nineteenth century receive
final vindication.

In his speech of 1880, before the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Harvard,
Wendell Phillips said--what as a rule is true--that "a reformer, to be
conscientious, must be free from bread-winning." I will open Miss
Anthony's accounts and show that this reformer, being, perhaps, the
exception which proves the rule, has been consistently and
conscientiously in debt. Turning over her year-books the pages give a
fair record up to 1863. Here began the first herculean labor. The
Woman's Loyal League, sadly in need of funds, was not an incorporated
association, so its secretary assumed the debts. Accounts here became
quite lamentable, the deficit reaching five thousand dollars. It must be
paid, and, in fact, will be paid. Anxious, weary hours were spent in
crowding the Cooper Institute, from week to week, with paying audiences,
to listen to such men as Phillips, Curtis, and Douglass, who contributed
their services, and lifted the secretary out of debt. At last, after
many difficulties, her cash-book of 1863 was honorably pigeon-holed. In
1867 we can read account of herculean labor the second. Twenty thousand
tracts are needed to convert the voters of Kansas to woman suffrage.
Traveling expenses to Kansas, and the tracts, make the debtor column
overreach the creditor some two thousand dollars. There is recognition
on these pages of more than one thousand dollars obtained by soliciting
advertisements, but no note is made of the weary, burning July days
spent in the streets of New York to procure this money, nor of the ready
application of the savings made by petty economies from her salary from
the Hovey Committee.

It would have been fortunate for my brave friend, if cash-books 1868,
1869, and 1870 had never come down from their shelves; for they sing and
sing, in notes of debts, till all unite in one vast chorus of far more
than ten thousand dollars. These were the days of the _Revolution_, the
newspaper, not the war, though it was warfare for the debt-ridden
manager. Several thousand dollars she paid with money earned by
lecturing, and with money given her for personal use. One Thanksgiving
was, in truth, a time for returning thanks; for she received, canceled,
from her cousin, Anson Lapham, her note for four thousand dollars. After
the funeral of Paulina Wright Davis, the bereaved widower pressed into
Miss Anthony's hand canceled notes for five hundred dollars, bearing on
the back the words, "In memory of my beloved wife." One other note was
canceled in recognition of her perfect forgetfulness of self-interest
and ready sacrifice to the needs of others. When laboring, in 1874, to
fill every engagement, in order to meet her debts, her mother's sudden
illness called her home. Without one selfish regret, the anxious
daughter hastened to Rochester. When recovery was certain, and Miss
Anthony was about to return to her fatiguing labors, her mother gave
her, at parting, her note for a thousand dollars, on which was written,
in trembling lines, "In just consideration of the tender sacrifice made
to nurse me in severe illness." At last all the _Revolution_ debt was
paid, except that due to her generous sister, Mary Anthony, who used
often humorously to assure her she was a fit subject for the bankrupt
act.

There is something humorously pathetic in the death of the
_Revolution_--that firstborn of Miss Anthony. Mrs. Laura Curtis Bullard
generously assumed the care of the troublesome child, and, in order to
make the adoption legal, gave the usual consideration--one dollar. The
very night of the transfer Miss Anthony went to Rochester with the
dollar in her pocket, and the little change left after purchasing her
ticket. She arrived safely with her debts, but nothing more--her pocket
had been picked! Oh, thief, could you but know what value of faithful
work you purloined!

From the close of the year 1876 Miss Anthony's accounts showed favorable
signs as to the credit column. Indeed, at the end of five years there
was a solid balance of several thousand dollars earned on lecturing
tours. But alas! the accounts grow dim again--in fact the credit column
fades away. "The History of Woman Suffrage" ruthlessly swallowed up
every vestige of Miss Anthony's bank account. But, in 1886, by the will
of Mrs. Eddy, daughter of Francis Jackson of Boston, Miss Anthony
received twenty-four thousand dollars for the Woman's Suffrage Movement,
which lifted her out of debt once more.

In vain will you search these telltale books for evidence of personal
extravagance; for, although Miss Anthony thinks it true economy to buy
the best, her tastes are simple. Is there not something very touching in
the fact that she never bought a book or picture for her own enjoyment?
The meager personal balance-sheets show four lapses from
discipline,--lapses that she even now regards as ruthless
extravagance,--viz.: the purchase of two inexpensive brooches, a much
needed watch, and a pair of cuffs to match a point-lace collar presented
by a friend. Those interested in Miss Anthony's personal appearance long
ago ceased to trust her with the purchase-money for any ornament; for,
however firm her resolution to comply with their wish, the check
invariably found its way to the credit column of those little cash-books
as "money received for the cause." Now, reader, you have been admitted
to a private view of Miss Anthony's financial records, and you can
appreciate her devotion to an idea. Do you not agree with me that a
"bread-winner" can be a conscientious reformer?

In finishing this sketch of the most intimate friend I have had for the
past forty-five years,--with whom I have spent weeks and months under
the same roof,--I can truly say that she is the most upright,
courageous, self-sacrificing, magnanimous human being I have ever known.
I have seen her beset on every side with the most petty annoyances,
ridiculed and misrepresented, slandered and persecuted; I have known
women refuse to take her extended hand; women to whom she presented
copies of "The History of Woman Suffrage," return it unnoticed; others
to keep it without one word of acknowledgment; others to write most
insulting letters in answer to hers of affectionate conciliation. And
yet, under all the cross-fires incident to a reform, never has her hope
flagged, her self-respect wavered, or a feeling of resentment shadowed
her mind. Oftentimes, when I have been sorely discouraged, thinking that
the prolonged struggle was a waste of force which in other directions
might be rich in achievement, with her sublime faith in humanity, she
would breathe into my soul renewed inspiration, saying, "Pity rather
than blame those who persecute us." So closely interwoven have been our
lives, our purposes, and experiences that, separated, we have a feeling
of incompleteness--united, such strength of self-assertion that no
ordinary obstacles, difficulties, or dangers ever appear to us
insurmountable. Reviewing the life of Susan B. Anthony, I ever liken her
to the Doric column in Grecian architecture, so simply, so grandly she
stands, free from every extraneous ornament, supporting her one vast
idea--the enfranchisement of woman.

As our estimate of ourselves and our friendship may differ somewhat from
that taken from an objective point of view, I will give an extract from
what our common friend Theodore Tilton wrote of us in 1868:

     "Miss Susan B. Anthony, a well-known, indefatigable, and lifelong
     advocate of temperance, anti-slavery, and woman's rights, has been,
     since 1851, Mrs. Stanton's intimate associate in reformatory
     labors. These celebrated women are of about equal age, but of the
     most opposite characteristics, and illustrate the theory of
     counterparts in affection by entertaining for each other a
     friendship of extraordinary strength.

     "Mrs. Stanton is a fine writer, but a poor executant; Miss Anthony
     is a thorough manager, but a poor writer. Both have large brains
     and great hearts; neither has any selfish ambition for celebrity;
     but each vies with the other in a noble enthusiasm for the cause to
     which they are devoting their lives.

     "Nevertheless, to describe them critically, I ought to say that,
     opposites though they be, each does not so much supplement the
     other's deficiencies as augment the other's eccentricities. Thus
     they often stimulate each other's aggressiveness, and, at the same
     time, diminish each other's discretion.

     "But, whatever may be the imprudent utterances of the one or the
     impolitic methods of the other, the animating motives of both are
     evermore as white as the light. The good that they do is by design;
     the harm by accident. These two women, sitting together in their
     parlors, have, for the last thirty years, been diligent forgers of
     all manner of projectiles, from fireworks to thunderbolts, and have
     hurled them with unexpected explosion into the midst of all manner
     of educational, reformatory, religious, and political assemblies;
     sometimes to the pleasant surprise and half welcome of the members,
     more often to the bewilderment and prostration of numerous victims;
     and, in a few signal instances, to the gnashing of angry men's
     teeth. I know of no two more pertinacious incendiaries in the whole
     country. Nor will they, themselves deny the charge. In fact this
     noise-making twain are the two sticks of a drum, keeping up what
     Daniel Webster called 'The rub-a-dub of agitation.'"



CHAPTER XII.

MY FIRST SPEECH BEFORE A LEGISLATURE.


Women had been willing so long to hold a subordinate position, both in
private and public affairs, that a gradually growing feeling of
rebellion among them quite exasperated the men, and their manifestations
of hostility in public meetings were often as ridiculous as humiliating.

True, those gentlemen were all quite willing that women should join
their societies and churches to do the drudgery; to work up the
enthusiasm in fairs and revivals, conventions and flag presentations; to
pay a dollar apiece into their treasury for the honor of being members
of their various organizations; to beg money for the Church; to
circulate petitions from door to door; to visit saloons; to pray with or
defy rumsellers; to teach school at half price, and sit round the
outskirts of a hall, in teachers' State conventions, like so many
wallflowers; but they would not allow them to sit on the platform,
address the assembly, or vote for men and measures.

Those who had learned the first lessons of human rights from the lips of
Henry B. Stanton, Samuel J. May, and Gerrit Smith would not accept any
such position. When women abandoned the temperance reform, all interest
in the question gradually died out in the State, and practically nothing
was done in New York for nearly twenty years. Gerrit Smith made one or
two attempts toward an "anti-dramshop" party, but, as women could not
vote, they felt no interest in the measure, and failure was the result.

I soon convinced Miss Anthony that the ballot was the key to the
situation; that when we had a voice in the laws we should be welcome to
any platform. In turning the intense earnestness and religious
enthusiasm of this great-souled woman into this channel, I soon felt the
power of my convert in goading me forever forward to more untiring work.
Soon fastened, heart to heart, with hooks of steel in a friendship that
years of confidence and affection have steadily strengthened, we have
labored faithfully together.

From the year 1850 conventions were held in various States, and their
respective legislatures were continually besieged; New York was
thoroughly canvassed by Miss Anthony and others. Appeals, calls for
meetings, and petitions were circulated without number. In 1854 I
prepared my first speech for the New York legislature. That was a great
event in my life. I felt so nervous over it, lest it should not be
worthy the occasion, that Miss Anthony suggested that I should slip up
to Rochester and submit it to the Rev. William Henry Channing, who was
preaching there at that time. I did so, and his opinion was so favorable
as to the merits of my speech that I felt quite reassured. My father
felt equally nervous when he saw, by the Albany _Evening Journal_, that
I was to speak at the Capitol, and asked me to read my speech to him
also. Accordingly, I stopped at Johnstown on my way to Albany, and, late
one evening, when he was alone in his office, I entered and took my seat
on the opposite side of his table. On no occasion, before or since, was
I ever more embarrassed--an audience of one, and that the one of all
others whose approbation I most desired, whose disapproval I most
feared. I knew he condemned the whole movement, and was deeply grieved
at the active part I had taken. Hence I was fully aware that I was about
to address a wholly unsympathetic audience. However, I began, with a
dogged determination to give all the power I could to my manuscript, and
not to be discouraged or turned from my purpose by any tender appeals or
adverse criticisms. I described the widow in the first hours of her
grief, subject to the intrusions of the coarse minions of the law,
taking inventory of the household goods, of the old armchair in which
her loved one had breathed his last, of the old clock in the corner that
told the hour he passed away. I threw all the pathos I could into my
voice and language at this point, and, to my intense satisfaction, I saw
tears filling my father's eyes. I cannot express the exultation I felt,
thinking that now he would see, with my eyes, the injustice women
suffered under the laws he understood so well.

Feeling that I had touched his heart I went on with renewed confidence,
and, when I had finished, I saw he was thoroughly magnetized. With
beating heart I waited for him to break the silence. He was evidently
deeply pondering over all he had heard, and did not speak for a long
time. I believed I had opened to him a new world of thought. He had
listened long to the complaints of women, but from the lips of his own
daughter they had come with a deeper pathos and power. At last, turning
abruptly, he said: "Surely you have had a happy, comfortable life, with
all your wants and needs supplied; and yet that speech fills me with
self-reproach; for one might naturally ask, how can a young woman,
tenderly brought up, who has had no bitter personal experience, feel so
keenly the wrongs of her sex? Where did you learn this lesson?" "I
learned it here," I replied, "in your office, when a child, listening to
the complaints women made to you. They who have sympathy and imagination
to make the sorrows of others their own can readily learn all the hard
lessons of life from the experience of others." "Well, well!" he said,
"you have made your points clear and strong; but I think I can find you
even more cruel laws than those you have quoted." He suggested some
improvements in my speech, looked up other laws, and it was one o'clock
in the morning before we kissed each other good-night. How he felt on
the question after that I do not know, as he never said anything in
favor of or against it. He gladly gave me any help I needed, from time
to time, in looking up the laws, and was very desirous that whatever I
gave to the public should be carefully prepared.

Miss Anthony printed twenty thousand copies of this address, laid it on
the desk of every member of the legislature, both in the Assembly and
Senate, and, in her travels that winter, she circulated it throughout
the State. I am happy to say I never felt so anxious about the fate of a
speech since.

The first woman's convention in Albany was held at this time, and we had
a kind of protracted meeting for two weeks after. There were several
hearings before both branches of the legislature, and a succession of
meetings in Association Hall, in which Phillips, Channing, Ernestine L.
Rose, Antoinette L. Brown, and Susan B. Anthony took part. Being at the
capital of the State, discussion was aroused at every fireside, while
the comments of the press were numerous and varied. Every little country
paper had something witty or silly to say about the uprising of the
"strong-minded." Those editors whose heads were about the size of an
apple were the most opposed to the uprising of women, illustrating what
Sidney Smith said long ago: "There always was, and there always will be
a class of men so small that, if women were educated, there would be
nobody left below them." Poor human nature loves to have something to
look down upon!

Here is a specimen of the way such editors talked at that time. The
_Albany Register_, in an article on "Woman's Rights in the Legislature,"
dated March 7, 1854, says:

     "While the feminine propagandists of women's rights confined
     themselves to the exhibition of short petticoats and long-legged
     boots, and to the holding of conventions and speech-making in
     concert rooms, the people were disposed to be amused by them, as
     they are by the wit of the clown in the circus, or the performances
     of Punch and Judy on fair days, or the minstrelsy of gentlemen with
     blackened faces, on banjos, the tambourine, and bones. But the joke
     is becoming stale. People are getting cloyed with these
     performances, and are looking for some healthier and more
     intellectual amusement. The ludicrous is wearing away, and disgust
     is taking the place of pleasurable sensations, arising from the
     novelty of this new phase of hypocrisy and infidel fanaticism.

     "People are beginning to inquire how far public sentiment should
     sanction or tolerate these unsexed women, who would step out from
     the true sphere of the mother, the wife, and the daughter, and
     taking upon themselves the duties and the business of men, stalk
     into the public gaze, and, by engaging in the politics, the rough
     controversies and trafficking of the world, upheave existing
     institutions, and overrun all the social relations of life.

     "It is a melancholy reflection that, among our American women, who
     have been educated to better things, there should be found any who
     are willing to follow the lead of such foreign propagandists as the
     ringleted, gloved exotic, Ernestine L. Rose. We can understand how
     such a man as the Rev. Mr. May, or the sleek-headed Dr. Channing,
     may be deluded by her into becoming one of her disciples. They are
     not the first instances of infatuation that may overtake
     weak-minded men, if they are honest in their devotion to her and
     her doctrines; nor would they be the first examples of a low
     ambition that seeks notoriety as a substitute for true fame, if
     they are dishonest. Such men there are always, and, honest or
     dishonest, their true position is that of being tied to the apron
     strings of some strong-minded woman, and to be exhibited as rare
     specimens of human wickedness or human weakness and folly. But that
     one educated American should become her disciple and follow her
     insane teachings is a marvel."

When we see the abuse and ridicule to which the best of men were
subjected for standing on our platform in the early days, we need not
wonder that so few have been brave enough to advocate our cause in later
years, either in conventions or in the halls of legislation.

After twelve added years of agitation, following the passage of the
Property Bill, New York conceded other civil rights to married women.
Pending the discussion of these various bills, Susan B. Anthony
circulated petitions, both for the civil and political rights of women,
throughout the State, traveling in stage coaches, open wagons, and
sleighs in all seasons, and on foot, from door to door through towns and
cities, doing her uttermost to rouse women to some sense of their
natural rights as human beings, and to their civil and political rights
as citizens of a republic. And while expending her time, strength, and
money to secure these blessings for the women of the State, they would
gruffly tell her that they had all the rights they wanted, or rudely
shut the door in her face; leaving her to stand outside, petition in
hand, treating her with as much contempt as if she was asking alms for
herself. None but those who did that work in the early days, for the
slaves and the women, can ever know the hardships and humiliations that
were endured. But it was done because it was only through petitions--a
power seemingly so inefficient--that disfranchised classes could be
heard in the State and National councils; hence their importance.

The frivolous objections some women made to our appeals were as
exasperating as they were ridiculous. To reply to them politely, at all
times, required a divine patience. On one occasion, after addressing the
legislature, some of the ladies, in congratulating me, inquired, in a
deprecating tone, "What do you do with your children?" "Ladies," I said,
"it takes me no longer to speak, than you to listen; what have you done
with your children the two hours you have been sitting here? But, to
answer your question, I never leave my children to go to Saratoga,
Washington, Newport, or Europe, or even to come here. They are, at this
moment, with a faithful nurse at the Delevan House, and, having
accomplished my mission, we shall all return home together."

When my children reached the magic number of seven, my good angel, Susan
B. Anthony, would sometimes take one or two of them to her own quiet
home, just out of Rochester, where, on a well-cultivated little farm,
one could enjoy uninterrupted rest and the choicest fruits of the
season. That was always a safe harbor for my friend, as her family
sympathized fully in the reforms to which she gave her life. I have many
pleasant memories of my own flying visits to that hospitable Quaker home
and the broad catholic spirit of Daniel and Lucy Anthony. Whatever
opposition and ridicule their daughter endured elsewhere, she enjoyed
the steadfast sympathy and confidence of her own home circle. Her
faithful sister Mary, a most successful teacher in the public schools of
Rochester for a quarter of a century, and a good financier, who with her
patrimony and salary had laid by a competence, took on her shoulders
double duty at home in cheering the declining years of her parents, that
Susan might do the public work in the reforms in which they were equally
interested. Now, with life's earnest work nearly accomplished, the
sisters are living happily together; illustrating another of the many
charming homes of single women, so rapidly multiplying of late.

Miss Anthony, who was a frequent guest at my home, sometimes stood guard
when I was absent. The children of our household say that among their
earliest recollections is the tableau of "Mother and Susan," seated by a
large table covered with books and papers, always writing and talking
about the Constitution, interrupted with occasional visits from others
of the faithful. Hither came Elizabeth Oakes Smith, Paulina Wright
Davis, Frances Dana Gage, Dr. Harriet Hunt, Rev. Antoinette Brown, Lucy
Stone, and Abby Kelly, until all these names were as familiar as
household words to the children.

Martha C. Wright of Auburn was a frequent visitor at the center of the
rebellion, as my sequestered cottage on Locust Hill was facetiously
called. She brought to these councils of war not only her own wisdom,
but that of the wife and sister of William H. Seward, and sometimes
encouraging suggestions from the great statesman himself, from whose
writings we often gleaned grand and radical sentiments. Lucretia Mott,
too, being an occasional guest of her sister, Martha C. Wright, added
the dignity of her presence at many of these important consultations.
She was uniformly in favor of toning down our fiery pronunciamentos. For
Miss Anthony and myself, the English language had no words strong enough
to express the indignation we felt at the prolonged injustice to women.
We found, however, that, after expressing ourselves in the most vehement
manner and thus in a measure giving our feelings an outlet, we were
reconciled to issue the documents in milder terms. If the men of the
State could have known the stern rebukes, the denunciations, the wit,
the irony, the sarcasm that were garnered there, and then judiciously
pigeonholed and milder and more persuasive appeals substituted, they
would have been truly thankful that they fared no worse.

Senator Seward frequently left Washington to visit in our neighborhood,
at the house of Judge G.V. Sackett, a man of wealth and political
influence. One of the Senator's standing anecdotes, at dinner, to
illustrate the purifying influence of women at the polls, which he
always told with great zest for my especial benefit, was in regard to
the manner in which his wife's sister exercised the right of suffrage.

He said: "Mrs. Worden having the supervision of a farm near Auburn, was
obliged to hire two or three men for its cultivation. It was her custom,
having examined them as to their capacity to perform the required labor,
their knowledge of tools, horses, cattle, and horticulture, to inquire
as to their politics. She informed them that, being a widow and having
no one to represent her, she must have Republicans to do her voting and
to represent her political opinions, and it always so happened that the
men who offered their services belonged to the Republican party. I
remarked to her, one day, 'Are you sure your men vote as they promise?'
'Yes,' she replied, 'I trust nothing to their discretion. I take them in
my carriage within sight of the polls and put them in charge of some
Republican who can be trusted. I see that they have the right tickets
and then I feel sure that I am faithfully represented, and I know I am
right in so doing. I have neither husband, father, nor son; I am
responsible for my own taxes; am amenable to all the laws of the State;
must pay the penalty of my own crimes if I commit any; hence I have the
right, according to the principles of our government, to representation,
and so long as I am not permitted to vote in person, I have a right to
do so by proxy; hence I hire men to vote my principles.'"

These two sisters, Mrs. Worden and Mrs. Seward, daughters of Judge
Miller, an influential man, were women of culture and remarkable natural
intelligence, and interested in all progressive ideas. They had rare
common sense and independence of character, great simplicity of manner,
and were wholly indifferent to the little arts of the toilet.

I was often told by fashionable women that they objected to the woman's
rights movement because of the publicity of a convention, the immodesty
of speaking from a platform, and the trial of seeing one's name in the
papers. Several ladies made such remarks to me one day, as a bevy of us
were sitting together in one of the fashionable hotels in Newport. We
were holding a convention there at that time, and some of them had been
present at one of the sessions. "Really," said I, "ladies, you surprise
me; our conventions are not as public as the ballroom where I saw you
all dancing last night. As to modesty, it may be a question, in many
minds, whether it is less modest to speak words of soberness and truth,
plainly dressed on a platform, than gorgeously arrayed, with bare arms
and shoulders, to waltz in the arms of strange gentlemen. And as to the
press, I noticed you all reading, in this morning's papers, with evident
satisfaction, the personal compliments and full descriptions of your
dresses at the last ball. I presume that any one of you would have felt
slighted if your name had not been mentioned in the general description.
When my name is mentioned, it is in connection with some great reform
movement. Thus we all suffer or enjoy the same publicity--we are alike
ridiculed. Wise men pity and ridicule you, and fools pity and ridicule
me--you as the victims of folly and fashion, me as the representative of
many of the disagreeable 'isms' of the age, as they choose to style
liberal opinions. It is amusing, in analyzing prejudices, to see on what
slender foundation they rest." And the ladies around me were so
completely cornered that no one attempted an answer.

I remember being at a party at Secretary Seward's home, at Auburn, one
evening, when Mr. Burlingame, special ambassador from China to the
United States, with a Chinese delegation, were among the guests. As soon
as the dancing commenced, and young ladies and gentlemen, locked in each
other's arms, began to whirl in the giddy waltz, these Chinese gentlemen
were so shocked that they covered their faces with their fans,
occasionally peeping out each side and expressing their surprise to each
other. They thought us the most immodest women on the face of the earth.
Modesty and taste are questions of latitude and education; the more
people know,--the more their ideas are expanded by travel, experience,
and observation,--the less easily they are shocked. The narrowness and
bigotry of women are the result of their circumscribed sphere of thought
and action.

A few years after Judge Hurlbert had published his work on "Human
Rights," in which he advocated woman's right to the suffrage, and I had
addressed the legislature, we met at a dinner party in Albany. Senator
and Mrs. Seward were there. The Senator was very merry on that occasion
and made Judge Hurlbert and myself the target for all his ridicule on
the woman's rights question, in which the most of the company joined, so
that we stood quite alone. Sure that we had the right on our side and
the arguments clearly defined in our minds, and both being cool and
self-possessed, and in wit and sarcasm quite equal to any of them, we
fought the Senator, inch by inch, until he had a very narrow platform to
stand on. Mrs. Seward maintained an unbroken silence, while those ladies
who did open their lips were with the opposition, supposing, no doubt,
that Senator Seward represented his wife's opinions.

When we ladies withdrew from the table my embarrassment may be easily
imagined. Separated from the Judge, I would now be an hour with a bevy
of ladies who evidently felt repugnance to all my most cherished
opinions. It was the first time I had met Mrs. Seward, and I did not
then know the broad, liberal tendencies of her mind. What a tide of
disagreeable thoughts rushed through me in that short passage from the
dining room to the parlor. How gladly I would have glided out the front
door! But that was impossible, so I made up my mind to stroll round as
if self-absorbed, and look at the books and paintings until the Judge
appeared; as I took it for granted that, after all I had said at the
table on the political, religious, and social equality of women, not a
lady would have anything to say to me.

Imagine, then, my surprise when, the moment the parlor door was closed
upon us, Mrs. Seward, approaching me most affectionately, said:

"Let me thank you for the brave words you uttered at the dinner table,
and for your speech before the legislature, that thrilled my soul as I
read it over and over."

I was filled with joy and astonishment. Recovering myself, I said, "Is
it possible, Mrs. Seward, that you agree with me? Then why, when I was
so hard pressed by foes on every side, did you not come to the defense?
I supposed that all you ladies were hostile to every one of my ideas on
this question."

"No, no!" said she; "I am with you thoroughly, but I am a born coward;
there is nothing I dread more than Mr. Seward's ridicule. I would rather
walk up to the cannon's mouth than encounter it." "I, too, am with you,"
"And I," said two or three others, who had been silent at the table.

I never had a more serious, heartfelt conversation than with these
ladies. Mrs. Seward's spontaneity and earnestness had moved them all
deeply, and when the Senator appeared the first words he said were:

"Before we part I must confess that I was fairly vanquished by you and
the Judge, on my own principles" (for we had quoted some of his most
radical utterances). "You have the argument, but custom and prejudice
are against you, and they are stronger than truth and logic."



CHAPTER XIII.

REFORMS AND MOBS.


There was one bright woman among the many in our Seneca Falls literary
circle to whom I would give more than a passing notice--Mrs. Amelia
Bloomer, who represented three novel phases of woman's life. She was
assistant postmistress; an editor of a reform paper advocating
temperance and woman's rights; and an advocate of the new costume which
bore her name!

In 1849 her husband was appointed postmaster, and she became his deputy,
was duly sworn in, and, during the administration of Taylor and
Fillmore, served in that capacity. When she assumed her duties the
improvement in the appearance and conduct of the office was generally
acknowledged. A neat little room adjoining the public office became a
kind of ladies' exchange, where those coming from different parts of the
town could meet to talk over the news of the day and read the papers and
magazines that came to Mrs. Bloomer as editor of the _Lily_. Those who
enjoyed the brief reign of a woman in the post office can readily
testify to the void felt by the ladies of the village when Mrs.
Bloomer's term expired and a man once more reigned in her stead.
However, she still edited the _Lily_, and her office remained a
fashionable center for several years. Although she wore the bloomer
dress, its originator was Elizabeth Smith Miller, the only daughter of
Gerrit Smith. In the winter of 1852 Mrs. Miller came to visit me in
Seneca Falls, dressed somewhat in the Turkish style--short skirt, full
trousers of fine black broadcloth; a Spanish cloak, of the same
material, reaching to the knee; beaver hat and feathers and dark furs;
altogether a most becoming costume and exceedingly convenient for
walking in all kinds of weather. To see my cousin, with a lamp in one
hand and a baby in the other, walk upstairs with ease and grace, while,
with flowing robes, I pulled myself up with difficulty, lamp and baby
out of the question, readily convinced me that there was sore need of
reform in woman's dress, and I promptly donned a similar attire. What
incredible freedom I enjoyed for two years! Like a captive set free from
his ball and chain, I was always ready for a brisk walk through sleet
and snow and rain, to climb a mountain, jump over a fence, work in the
garden, and, in fact, for any necessary locomotion.

Bloomer is now a recognized word in the English language. Mrs. Bloomer,
having the _Lily_ in which to discuss the merits of the new dress, the
press generally took up the question, and much valuable information was
elicited on the physiological results of woman's fashionable attire; the
crippling effect of tight waists and long skirts, the heavy weight on
the hips, and high heels, all combined to throw the spine out of plumb
and lay the foundation for all manner of nervous diseases. But, while
all agreed that some change was absolutely necessary for the health of
women, the press stoutly ridiculed those who were ready to make the
experiment.

A few sensible women, in different parts of the country, adopted the
costume, and farmers' wives especially proved its convenience. It was
also worn by skaters, gymnasts, tourists, and in sanitariums. But, while
the few realized its advantages, the many laughed it to scorn, and
heaped such ridicule on its wearers that they soon found that the
physical freedom enjoyed did not compensate for the persistent
persecution and petty annoyances suffered at every turn. To be rudely
gazed at in public and private, to be the conscious subjects of
criticism, and to be followed by crowds of boys in the streets, were
all, to the very last degree, exasperating. A favorite doggerel that our
tormentors chanted, when we appeared in public places, ran thus:

    "Heigh! ho! in rain and snow,
    The bloomer now is all the go.
    Twenty tailors take the stitches,
    Twenty women wear the breeches.
    Heigh! ho! in rain or snow,
    The bloomer now is all the go."

The singers were generally invisible behind some fence or attic window.
Those who wore the dress can recall countless amusing and annoying
experiences. The patience of most of us was exhausted in about two
years; but our leader, Mrs. Miller, bravely adhered to the costume for
nearly seven years, under the most trying circumstances. While her
father was in Congress, she wore it at many fashionable dinners and
receptions in Washington. She was bravely sustained, however, by her
husband, Colonel Miller, who never flinched in escorting his wife and
her coadjutors, however inartistic their costumes might be. To tall,
gaunt women with large feet and to those who were short and stout, it
was equally trying. Mrs. Miller was also encouraged by the intense
feeling of her father on the question of woman's dress. To him the whole
revolution in woman's position turned on her dress. The long skirt was
the symbol of her degradation.

The names of those who wore the bloomer costume, besides those already
mentioned, were Paulina Wright Davis, Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony,
Sarah and Angelina Grimke, Mrs. William Burleigh, Celia Burleigh,
Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, Helen Jarvis, Lydia Jenkins, Amelia Willard,
Dr. Harriet N. Austin, and many patients in sanitariums, whose names I
cannot recall. Looking back to this experiment, I am not surprised at
the hostility of men in general to the dress, as it made it very
uncomfortable for them to go anywhere with those who wore it. People
would stare, many men and women make rude remarks, boys followed in
crowds, with jeers and laughter, so that gentlemen in attendance would
feel it their duty to show fight, unless they had sufficient
self-control to pursue the even tenor of their way, as the ladies
themselves did, without taking the slightest notice of the commotion
they created. But Colonel Miller went through the ordeal with coolness
and dogged determination, to the vexation of his acquaintances, who
thought one of his duties as a husband was to prescribe his wife's
costume.

Though we did not realize the success we hoped for by making the dress
popular, yet the effort was not lost. We were well aware that the dress
was not artistic, and though we made many changes, our own good taste
was never satisfied until we threw aside the loose trousers and adopted
buttoned leggins. After giving up the experiment, we found that the
costume in which Diana the Huntress is represented, and that worn on the
stage by Ellen Tree in the play of "Ion," would have been more artistic
and convenient. But we, who had made the experiment, were too happy to
move about unnoticed and unknown, to risk, again, the happiness of
ourselves and our friends by any further experiments. I have never
wondered since that the Chinese women allow their daughters' feet to be
encased in iron shoes, nor that the Hindoo widows walk calmly to the
funeral pyre; for great are the penalties of those who dare resist the
behests of the tyrant Custom.

Nevertheless the agitation has been kept up, in a mild form, both in
England and America. Lady Harberton, in 1885, was at the head of an
organized movement in London to introduce the bifurcated skirt; Mrs.
Jenness Miller, in this country, is making an entire revolution in every
garment that belongs to a woman's toilet; and common-sense shoemakers
have vouchsafed to us, at last, a low, square heel to our boots and a
broad sole in which the five toes can spread themselves at pleasure.
Evidently a new day of physical freedom is at last dawning for the most
cribbed and crippled of Eve's unhappy daughters.

It was while living in Seneca Falls, and at one of the most despairing
periods of my young life, that one of the best gifts of the gods came to
me in the form of a good, faithful housekeeper. She was indeed a
treasure, a friend and comforter, a second mother to my children, and
understood all life's duties and gladly bore its burdens. She could fill
any department in domestic life, and for thirty years was the joy of our
household. But for this noble, self-sacrificing woman, much of my public
work would have been quite impossible. If by word or deed I have made
the journey of life easier for any struggling soul, I must in justice
share the meed of praise accorded me with my little Quaker friend Amelia
Willard.

There are two classes of housekeepers--one that will get what they want,
if in the range of human possibilities, and then accept the inevitable
inconveniences with cheerfulness and heroism; the other, from a kind of
chronic inertia and a fear of taking responsibility, accept everything
as they find it, though with gentle, continuous complainings. The latter
are called amiable women. Such a woman was our congressman's wife in
1854, and, as I was the reservoir of all her sorrows, great and small, I
became very weary of her amiable non-resistance. Among other domestic
trials, she had a kitchen stove that smoked and leaked, which could
neither bake nor broil,--a worthless thing,--and too small for any
purpose. Consequently half their viands were spoiled in the cooking, and
the cooks left in disgust, one after another.

In telling me, one day, of these kitchen misadventures, she actually
shed tears, which so roused my sympathies that, with surprise, I
exclaimed: "Why do you not buy a new stove?" To my unassisted common
sense that seemed the most practical thing to do. "Why," she replied, "I
have never purchased a darning needle, to put the case strongly, without
consulting Mr. S., and he does not think a new stove necessary." "What,
pray," said I, "does he know about stoves, sitting in his easy-chair in
Washington? If he had a dull old knife with broken blades, he would soon
get a new one with which to sharpen his pens and pencils, and, if he
attempted to cook a meal--granting he knew how--on your old stove, he
would set it out of doors the next hour. Now my advice to you is to buy
a new one this very day!"

"Bless me!" she said, "that would make him furious; he would blow me
sky-high." "Well," I replied, "suppose he did go into a regular tantrum
and use all the most startling expletives in the vocabulary for fifteen
minutes! What is that compared with a good stove 365 days in the year?
Just put all he could say on one side, and all the advantages you would
enjoy on the other, and you must readily see that his wrath would kick
the beam." As my logic was irresistible, she said, "Well, if you will go
with me, and help select a stove, I think I will take the
responsibility."

Accordingly we went to the hardware store and selected the most
approved, largest-sized stove, with all the best cooking utensils, best
Russian pipe, etc. "Now," said she, "I am in equal need of a good stove
in my sitting room, and I would like the pipes of both stoves to lead
into dumb stoves above, and thus heat two or three rooms upstairs for my
children to play in, as they have no place except the sitting room,
where they must be always with me; but I suppose it is not best to do
too much at one time." "On the contrary," I replied, "as your husband is
wealthy, you had better get all you really need now. Mr. S. will
probably be no more surprised with two stoves than with one, and, as you
expect a hot scene over the matter, the more you get out of it the
better."

So the stoves and pipes were ordered, holes cut through the ceiling, and
all were in working order next day. The cook was delighted over her
splendid stove and shining tins, copper-bottomed tea kettle and boiler,
and warm sleeping room upstairs; the children were delighted with their
large playrooms, and madam jubilant with her added comforts and that
newborn feeling of independence one has in assuming responsibility.

She was expecting Mr. S. home in the holidays, and occasionally weakened
at the prospect of what she feared might be a disagreeable encounter. At
such times she came to consult with me, as to what she would say and do
when the crisis arrived. Having studied the _genus homo_ alike on the
divine heights of exaltation and in the valleys of humiliation, I was
able to make some valuable suggestions.

"Now," said I, "when your husband explodes, as you think he will,
neither say nor do anything; sit and gaze out of the window with that
far-away, sad look women know so well how to affect. If you can summon
tears at pleasure, a few would not be amiss; a gentle shower, not enough
to make the nose and eyes red or to detract from your beauty. Men cannot
resist beauty and tears. Never mar their effect with anything bordering
on sobs and hysteria; such violent manifestations being neither refined
nor artistic. A scene in which one person does the talking must be
limited in time. No ordinary man can keep at white heat fifteen minutes;
if his victim says nothing, he will soon exhaust himself. Remember every
time you speak in the way of defense, you give him a new text on which
to branch out again. If silence is ever golden, it is when a husband is
in a tantrum."

In due time Mr. S. arrived, laden with Christmas presents, and Charlotte
came over to tell me that she had passed through the ordeal. I will give
the scene in her own words as nearly as possible. "My husband came
yesterday, just before dinner, and, as I expected him, I had all things
in order. He seemed very happy to see me and the children, and we had a
gay time looking at our presents and chatting about Washington and all
that had happened since we parted. It made me sad, in the midst of our
happiness, to think how soon the current of his feelings would change,
and I wished in my soul that I had not bought the stoves. But, at last,
dinner was announced, and I knew that the hour had come. He ran upstairs
to give a few touches to his toilet, when lo! the shining stoves and
pipes caught his eyes. He explored the upper apartments and came down
the back stairs, glanced at the kitchen stove, then into the dining
room, and stood confounded, for a moment, before the nickel-plated
'Morning Glory.' Then he exclaimed, 'Heavens and earth! Charlotte, what
have you been doing?' I remembered what you told me and said nothing,
but looked steadily out of the window. I summoned no tears, however, for
I felt more like laughing than crying; he looked so ridiculous flying
round spasmodically, like popcorn on a hot griddle, and talking as if
making a stump speech on the corruptions of the Democrats. The first
time he paused to take breath I said, in my softest tones: 'William,
dinner is waiting; I fear the soup will be cold.' Fortunately he was
hungry, and that great central organ of life and happiness asserted its
claims on his attention, and he took his seat at the table. I broke what
might have been an awkward silence, chatting with the older children
about their school lessons. Fortunately they were late, and did not know
what had happened, so they talked to their father and gradually restored
his equilibrium. We had a very good dinner, and I have not heard a word
about the stoves since. I suppose we shall have another scene when the
bill is presented."

A few years later, Horace Greeley came to Seneca Falls to lecture on
temperance. As he stayed with us, we invited Mr. S., among others, to
dinner. The chief topic at the table was the idiosyncrasies of women.
Mr. Greeley told many amusing things about his wife, of her erratic
movements and sudden decisions to do and dare what seemed most
impracticable. Perhaps, on rising some morning, she would say: "I think
I'll go to Europe by the next steamer, Horace. Will you get tickets
to-day for me, the nurse, and children?" "Well," said Mr. S., "she must
be something like our hostess. Every time her husband goes away she cuts
a door or window. They have only ten doors to lock every night, now."

"Yes," I said, "and your own wife, too, Mrs. S., has the credit of some
high-handed measures when you are in Washington." Then I told the whole
story, amid peals of laughter, just as related above. The dinner table
scene fairly convulsed the Congressman. The thought that he had made
such a fool of himself in the eyes of Charlotte that she could not even
summon a tear in her defense, particularly pleased him. When
sufficiently recovered to speak, he said: "Well, I never could
understand how it was that Charlotte suddenly emerged from her thraldom
and manifested such rare executive ability. Now I see to whom I am
indebted for the most comfortable part of my married life. I am a
thousand times obliged to you; you did just right and so did she, and
she has been a happier woman ever since. She now gets what she needs,
and frets no more, to me, about ten thousand little things. How can a
man know what implements are necessary for the work he never does? Of
all agencies for upsetting the equanimity of family life, none can
surpass an old, broken-down kitchen stove!"

In the winter of 1861, just after the election of Lincoln, the
abolitionists decided to hold a series of conventions in the chief
cities of the North. All their available speakers were pledged for
active service. The Republican party, having absorbed the political
abolitionists within its ranks by its declared hostility to the
extension of slavery, had come into power with overwhelming majorities.
Hence the Garrisonian abolitionists, opposed to all compromises, felt
that this was the opportune moment to rouse the people to the necessity
of holding that party to its declared principles, and pushing it, if
possible, a step or two forward.

I was invited to accompany Miss Anthony and Beriah Green to a few points
in Central New York. But we soon found, by the concerted action of
Republicans all over the country, that anti-slavery conventions would
not be tolerated. Thus Republicans and Democrats made common cause
against the abolitionists. The John Brown raid, the year before, had
intimidated Northern politicians as much as Southern slaveholders, and
the general feeling was that the discussion of the question at the North
should be altogether suppressed.

From Buffalo to Albany our experience was the same, varied only by the
fertile resources of the actors and their surroundings. Thirty years of
education had somewhat changed the character of Northern mobs. They no
longer dragged men through the streets with ropes around their necks,
nor broke up women's prayer meetings; they no longer threw eggs and
brickbats at the apostles of reform, nor dipped them in barrels of tar
and feathers, they simply crowded the halls, and, with laughing,
groaning, clapping, and cheering, effectually interrupted the
proceedings. Such was our experience during the two days we attempted to
hold a convention in St. James' Hall, Buffalo. As we paid for the hall,
the mob enjoyed themselves, at our expense, in more ways than one. Every
session, at the appointed time, we took our places on the platform,
making, at various intervals of silence, renewed efforts to speak. Not
succeeding, we sat and conversed with each other and the many friends
who crowded the platform and anterooms. Thus, among ourselves, we had a
pleasant reception and a discussion of many phases of the question that
brought us together. The mob not only vouchsafed to us the privilege of
talking to our friends without interruption, but delegations of their
own came behind the scenes, from time to time, to discuss with us the
right of free speech and the constitutionality of slavery.

These Buffalo rowdies were headed by ex-Justice Hinson, aided by younger
members of the Fillmore and Seymour families, and the chief of police
and fifty subordinates, who were admitted to the hall free, for the
express purpose of protecting our right of free speech, but who, in
defiance of the mayor's orders, made not the slightest effort in our
defense. At Lockport there was a feeble attempt in the same direction.
At Albion neither hall, church, nor schoolhouse could be obtained, so we
held small meetings in the dining room of the hotel. At Rochester,
Corinthian Hall was packed long before the hour advertised. This was a
delicately appreciative, jocose mob. At this point Aaron Powell joined
us. As he had just risen from a bed of sickness, looking pale and
emaciated, he slowly mounted the platform. The mob at once took in his
look of exhaustion, and, as he seated himself, they gave an audible
simultaneous sigh, as if to say, what a relief it is to be seated! So
completely did the tender manifestation reflect Mr. Powell's apparent
condition that the whole audience burst into a roar of laughter. Here,
too, all attempts to speak were futile. At Port Byron a generous
sprinkling of cayenne pepper on the stove soon cut short all
constitutional arguments and paeans to liberty.

And so it was all the way to Albany. The whole State was aflame with the
mob spirit, and from Boston and various points in other States the same
news reached us. As the legislature was in session, and we were
advertised in Albany, a radical member sarcastically moved "That as Mrs.
Stanton and Miss Anthony were about to move on Albany, the militia be
ordered out for the protection of the city." Happily, Albany could then
boast of a Democratic mayor, a man of courage and conscience, who said
the right of free speech should never be trodden under foot where he had
the right to prevent it. And grandly did that one determined man
maintain order in his jurisdiction. Through all the sessions of the
convention Mayor Thatcher sat on the platform, his police stationed in
different parts of the hall and outside the building, to disperse the
crowd as fast as it collected. If a man or boy hissed or made the
slightest interruption, he was immediately ejected. And not only did the
mayor preserve order in the meetings, but, with a company of armed
police, he escorted us, every time, to and from the Delevan House. The
last night Gerrit Smith addressed the mob from the steps of the hotel,
after which they gave him three cheers and dispersed in good order.

When proposing for the Mayor a vote of thanks, at the close of the
convention, Mr. Smith expressed his fears that it had been a severe
ordeal for him to listen to these prolonged anti-slavery discussions. He
smiled, and said: "I have really been deeply interested and instructed.
I rather congratulate myself that a convention of this character has, at
last, come in the line of my business; otherwise I should have probably
remained in ignorance of many important facts and opinions I now
understand and appreciate."

While all this was going on publicly, an equally trying experience was
progressing, day by day, behind the scenes. Miss Anthony had been
instrumental in helping a much abused mother, with her child, to escape
from a husband who had immured her in an insane asylum. The wife
belonged to one of the first families of New York, her brother being a
United States senator, and the husband, also, a man of position; a large
circle of friends and acquaintances was interested in the result. Though
she was incarcerated in an insane asylum for eighteen months, yet
members of her own family again and again testified that she was not
insane. Miss Anthony, knowing that she was not, and believing fully that
the unhappy mother was the victim of a conspiracy, would not reveal her
hiding place.

Knowing the confidence Miss Anthony felt in the wisdom of Mr. Garrison
and Mr. Phillips, they were implored to use their influence with her to
give up the fugitives. Letters and telegrams, persuasions, arguments,
and warnings from Mr. Garrison, Mr. Phillips, and the Senator on the one
side, and from Lydia Mott, Mrs. Elizabeth F. Ellet, and Abby Hopper
Gibbons, on the other, poured in upon her, day after day; but Miss
Anthony remained immovable, although she knew that she was defying and
violating the law and might be arrested any moment on the platform. We
had known so many aggravated cases of this kind that, in daily counsel,
we resolved that this woman should not be recaptured if it were possible
to prevent it. To us it looked as imperative a duty to shield a sane
mother, who had been torn from a family of little children and doomed to
the companionship of lunatics, and to aid her in fleeing to a place of
safety, as to help a fugitive from slavery to Canada. In both cases an
unjust law was violated; in both cases the supposed owners of the
victims were defied; hence, in point of law and morals, the act was the
same in both cases. The result proved the wisdom of Miss Anthony's
decision, as all with whom Mrs. P. came in contact for years afterward,
expressed the opinion that she was, and always had been, perfectly sane.
Could the dark secrets of insane asylums be brought to light we should
be shocked to know the great number of rebellious wives, sisters, and
daughters who are thus sacrificed to false customs and barbarous laws
made by men for women.



CHAPTER XIV.

VIEWS ON MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE.


The widespread discussion we are having, just now, on the subject of
marriage and divorce, reminds me of an equally exciting one in 1860. A
very liberal bill, introduced into the Indiana legislature by Robert
Dale Owen, and which passed by a large majority, roused much public
thought on the question, and made that State free soil for unhappy wives
and husbands. A similar bill was introduced into the legislature of New
York by Mr. Ramsey, which was defeated by four votes, owing, mainly, to
the intense opposition of Horace Greeley. He and Mr. Owen had a
prolonged discussion, in the New York _Tribune_, in which Mr. Owen got
decidedly the better of the argument.

There had been several aggravated cases of cruelty to wives among the
Dutch aristocracy, so that strong influences in favor of the bill had
been brought to bear on the legislature, but the _Tribune_ thundered
every morning in its editorial column its loudest peals, which
reverberated through the State. So bitter was the opposition to divorce,
for any cause, that but few dared to take part in the discussion. I was
the only woman, for many years, who wrote and spoke on the question.
Articles on divorce, by a number of women, recently published in the
_North American Review_, are a sign of progress, showing that women dare
speak out now more freely on the relations that most deeply concern
them.

My feelings had been stirred to their depths very early in life by the
sufferings of a dear friend of mine, at whose wedding I was one of the
bridesmaids. In listening to the facts in her case, my mind was fully
made up as to the wisdom of a liberal divorce law. We read Milton's
essays on divorce, together, and were thoroughly convinced as to the
right and duty not only of separation, but of absolute divorce. While
the New York bill was pending, I was requested, by Lewis Benedict, one
of the committee who had the bill in charge, to address the legislature.
I gladly accepted, feeling that here was an opportunity not only to
support my friend in the step she had taken, but to make the path clear
for other unhappy wives who might desire to follow her example. I had no
thought of the persecution I was drawing down on myself for thus
attacking so venerable an institution. I was always courageous in saying
what I saw to be true, for the simple reason that I never dreamed of
opposition. What seemed to me to be right I thought must be equally
plain to all other rational beings. Hence I had no dread of
denunciation. I was only surprised when I encountered it, and no number
of experiences have, as yet, taught me to fear public opinion. What I
said on divorce thirty-seven years ago seems quite in line with what
many say now. The trouble was not in what I said, but that I said it too
soon, and before the people were ready to hear it. It may be, however,
that I helped them to get ready; who knows?

As we were holding a woman suffrage convention in Albany, at the time
appointed for the hearing, Ernestine L. Rose and Lucretia Mott briefly
added their views on the question. Although Mrs. Mott had urged Mrs.
Rose and myself to be as moderate as possible in our demands, she quite
unconsciously made the most radical utterance of all, in saying that
marriage was a question beyond the realm of legislation, that must be
left to the parties themselves. We rallied Lucretia on her radicalism,
and some of the journals criticised us severely; but the following
letter shows that she had no thought of receding from her position:

     "Roadside, near Philadelphia,

     "4th Mo., 30th, '61.

     "My Dear Lydia Mott:

     "I have wished, ever since parting with thee and our other dear
     friends in Albany, to send thee a line, and have only waited in the
     hope of contributing a little 'substantial aid' toward your neat
     and valuable 'depository.' The twenty dollars inclosed is from our
     Female Anti-slavery Society.

     "I see the annual meeting, in New York, is not to be held this
     spring. Sister Martha is here, and was expecting to attend both
     anniversaries. But we now think the woman's rights meeting had
     better not be attempted, and she has written Elizabeth C. Stanton
     to this effect.

     "I was well satisfied with being at the Albany meeting. I have
     since met with the following, from a speech of Lord Brougham's,
     which pleased me, as being as radical as mine in your stately Hall
     of Representatives:

     "'Before women can have any justice by the laws of England, there
     must be a total reconstruction of the whole marriage system; for
     any attempt to amend it would prove useless. The great charter, in
     establishing the supremacy of law over prerogative, provides only
     for justice between man and man; for woman nothing is left but
     common law, accumulations and modifications of original Gothic and
     Roman heathenism, which no amount of filtration through
     ecclesiastical courts could change into Christian laws. They are
     declared unworthy a Christian people by great jurists; still they
     remain unchanged.'

     "So Elizabeth Stanton will see that I have authority for going to
     the root of the evil.

     "Thine,

     "LUCRETIA MOTT."

Those of us who met in Albany talked the matter over in regard to a free
discussion of the divorce question at the coming convention in New York.
It was the opinion of those present that, as the laws on marriage and
divorce were very unequal for man and woman, this was a legitimate
subject for discussion on our platform; accordingly I presented a series
of resolutions, at the annual convention, in New York city, to which I
spoke for over an hour. I was followed by Antoinette L, Brown, who also
presented a series of resolutions in opposition to mine. She was, in
turn, answered by Ernestine L. Rose. Wendell Phillips then arose, and,
in an impressive manner pronounced the whole discussion irrelevant to
our platform, and moved that neither the speeches nor resolutions go on
the records of the convention. As I greatly admired Wendell Phillips,
and appreciated his good opinion, I was surprised and humiliated to find
myself under the ban of his disapprobation. My face was scarlet, and I
trembled with mingled feelings of doubt and fear--doubt as to the
wisdom of my position and fear lest the convention should repudiate the
whole discussion. My emotion was so apparent that Rev. Samuel
Longfellow, a brother of the poet, who sat beside me, whispered in my
ear, "Nevertheless you are right, and the convention will sustain you."

Mr. Phillips said that as marriage concerned man and woman alike, and
the laws bore equally on them, women had no special ground for
complaint, although, in my speech, I had quoted many laws to show the
reverse. Mr. Garrison and Rev. Antoinette L. Brown were alike opposed to
Mr. Phillips' motion, and claimed that marriage and divorce were
legitimate subjects for discussion on our platform. Miss Anthony closed
the debate. She said: "I hope Mr. Phillips will withdraw his motion that
these resolutions shall not appear on the records of the convention. I
am very sure that it would be contrary to all parliamentary usage to say
that, when the speeches which enforced and advocated the resolutions are
reported and published in the proceedings, the resolutions shall not be
placed there. And as to the point that this question does not belong to
this platform--from that I totally dissent. Marriage has ever been a
one-sided matter, resting most unequally upon the sexes. By it man gains
all; woman loses all; tyrant law and lust reign supreme with him; meek
submission and ready obedience alone befit her. Woman has never been
consulted; her wish has never been taken into consideration as regards
the terms of the marriage compact. By law, public sentiment, and
religion,--from the time of Moses down to the present day,--woman has
never been thought of other than as a piece of property, to be disposed
of at the will and pleasure of man. And at this very hour, by our
statute books, by our (so-called) enlightened Christian civilization,
she has no voice whatever in saying what shall be the basis of the
relation. She must accept marriage as man proffers it, or not at all.

"And then, again, on Mr. Phillips' own ground, the discussion is
perfectly in order, since nearly all the wrongs of which we complain
grow out of the inequality of the marriage laws, that rob the wife of
the right to herself and her children; that make her the slave of the
man she marries. I hope, therefore, the resolutions will be allowed to
go out to the public; that there may be a fair report of the ideas which
have actually been presented here; that they may not be left to the
mercy of the secular press, I trust the convention will not vote to
forbid the publication of those resolutions with the proceedings."

Rev. William Hoisington (the blind preacher) followed Miss Anthony, and
said: "Publish all that you have done here, and let the public know it."

The question was then put, on the motion of Mr. Phillips, and it was
lost.

As Mr. Greeley, in commenting on the convention, took the same ground
with Mr. Phillips, that the laws on marriage and divorce were equal for
man and woman, I answered them in the following letter to the New York
_Tribune_.

     "_To the Editor of the New York Tribune_:

     "Sir: At our recent National Woman's Rights Convention many were
     surprised to hear Wendell Phillips object to the question of
     marriage and divorce as irrelevant to our platform. He said: 'We
     had no right to discuss here any laws or customs but those where
     inequality existed for the sexes; that the laws on marriage and
     divorce rested equally on man and woman; that he suffers, as much
     as she possibly could, the wrongs and abuses of an ill-assorted
     marriage.'

     "Now it must strike every careful thinker that an immense
     difference rests in the fact that man has made the laws cunningly
     and selfishly for his own purpose. From Coke down to Kent, who can
     cite one clause of the marriage contract where woman has the
     advantage? When man suffers from false legislation he has his
     remedy in his own hands. Shall woman be denied the right of protest
     against laws in which she had no voice; laws which outrage the
     holiest affections of her nature; laws which transcend the limits
     of human legislation, in a convention called for the express
     purpose of considering her wrongs? He might as well object to a
     protest against the injustice of hanging a woman, because capital
     punishment bears equally on man and woman.

     "The contract of marriage is by no means equal. The law permits the
     girl to marry at twelve years of age, while it requires several
     years more of experience on the part of the boy. In entering this
     compact, the man gives up nothing that he before possessed, he is a
     man still; while the legal existence of the woman is suspended
     during marriage, and, henceforth, she is known but in and through
     the husband. She is nameless, purseless, childless--though a woman,
     an heiress, and a mother.

     "Blackstone says: 'The husband and wife are one, and that one is
     the husband.' Chancellor Kent, in his 'Commentaries' says: 'The
     legal effects of marriage are generally deducible from the
     principle of the common law, by which the husband and wife are
     regarded as one person, and her legal existence and authority lost
     or suspended during the continuance of the matrimonial union.'

     "The wife is regarded by all legal authorities as a _feme covert_,
     placed wholly _sub potestate viri_. Her moral responsibility, even,
     is merged in her husband. The law takes it for granted that the
     wife lives in fear of her husband; that his command is her highest
     law; hence a wife is not punishable for the theft committed in the
     presence of her husband. An unmarried woman can make contracts, sue
     and be sued, enjoy the rights of property, to her inheritance--to
     her wages--to her person--to her children; but, in marriage, she is
     robbed by law of all and every natural and civil right. Kent
     further says: 'The disability of the wife to contract, so as to
     bind herself, arises not from want of discretion, but because she
     has entered into an indissoluble connection by which she is placed
     under the power and protection of her husband.' She is possessed of
     certain rights until she is married; then all are suspended, to
     revive, again, the moment the breath goes out of the husband's
     body. (See 'Cowen's Treatise,' vol. 2, p. 709.)

     "If the contract be equal, whence come the terms 'marital power,'
     'marital rights,' 'obedience and restraint,' 'dominion and
     control,' 'power and protection,' etc., etc.? Many cases are
     stated, showing the exercise of a most questionable power over the
     wife, sustained by the courts. (See 'Bishop on Divorce,' p. 489.)

     "The laws on divorce are quite as unequal as those on marriage;
     yea, far more so. The advantages seem to be all on one side and the
     penalties on the other. In case of divorce, if the husband be not
     the guilty party, the wife goes out of the partnership penniless.
     (Kent, vol. 2, p. 33; 'Bishop on Divorce,' p. 492.)

     "In New York, and some other States, the wife of the guilty husband
     can now sue for a divorce in her own name, and the costs come out
     of the husband's estate; but, in the majority of the States, she is
     still compelled to sue in the name of another, as she has no means
     for paying costs, even though she may have brought her thousands
     into the partnership. 'The allowance to the innocent wife of _ad
     interim_ alimony and money to sustain the suit, is not regarded as
     a strict right in her, but of sound discretion in the court.'
     ('Bishop on Divorce,' p. 581.)

     "'Many jurists,' says Kent, 'are of opinion that the adultery of
     the husband ought not to be noticed or made subject to the same
     animadversions as that of the wife, because it is not evidence of
     such entire depravity nor equally injurious in its effects upon the
     morals, good order, and happiness of the domestic life.
     Montesquieu, Pothier, and Dr. Taylor all insist that the cases of
     husband and wife ought to be distinguished, and that the violation
     of the marriage vow, on the part of the wife, is the most
     mischievous, and the prosecution ought to be confined to the
     offense on her part. ("Esprit des Lois," tom. 3, 186; "Traité du
     Contrat de Mariage," No. 516; "Elements of Civil Law," p. 254).'

     "Say you, 'These are but the opinions of men'? On what else, I ask,
     are the hundreds of women depending, who, this hour, demand in our
     courts a release from burdensome contracts? Are not these delicate
     matters left wholly to the discretion of courts? Are not young
     women from the first families dragged into our courts,--into
     assemblies of men exclusively,--the judges all men, the jurors all
     men? No true woman there to shield them, by her presence, from
     gross and impertinent questionings, to pity their misfortunes, or
     to protest against their wrongs?

     "The administration of justice depends far more on the opinions of
     eminent jurists than on law alone, for law is powerless when at
     variance with public sentiment.

     "Do not the above citations clearly prove inequality? Are not the
     very letter and spirit of the marriage contract based on the idea
     of the supremacy of man as the keeper of woman's virtue--her sole
     protector and support? Out of marriage, woman asks nothing, at this
     hour, but the elective franchise. It is only in marriage that she
     must demand her right to person, children, property, wages, life,
     liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How can we discuss all the
     laws and conditions of marriage, without perceiving its essential
     essence, end, and aim? Now, whether the institution of marriage be
     human or divine, whether regarded as indissoluble by ecclesiastical
     courts or dissoluble by civil courts, woman, finding herself
     equally degraded in each and every phase of it, always the victim
     of the institution, it is her right and her duty to sift the
     relation and the compact through and through, until she finds out
     the true cause of her false position. How can we go before the
     legislatures of our respective States and demand new laws, or no
     laws, on divorce, until we have some idea of what the true relation
     is?

     "We decide the whole question of slavery by settling the sacred
     rights of the individual. We assert that man cannot hold property
     in man, and reject the whole code of laws that conflicts with the
     self-evident truth of the assertion.

     "Again, I ask, is it possible to discuss all the laws of a
     relation, and not touch the relation itself?

     "Yours respectfully,

     "Elizabeth Cady Stanton."

The discussion on the question of marriage and divorce occupied one
entire session of the convention, and called down on us severe
criticisms from the metropolitan and State press. So alarming were the
comments on what had been said that I began to feel that I had
inadvertently taken out the underpinning from the social system. Enemies
were unsparing in their denunciations, and friends ridiculed the whole
proceeding. I was constantly called on for a definition of marriage and
asked to describe home life as it would be when men changed their wives
every Christmas. Letters and newspapers poured in upon me, asking all
manner of absurd questions, until I often wept with vexation. So many
things, that I had neither thought nor said, were attributed to me that,
at times, I really doubted my own identity.

However, in the progress of events the excitement died away, the earth
seemed to turn on its axis as usual, women were given in marriage,
children were born, fires burned as brightly as ever at the domestic
altars, and family life, to all appearances, was as stable as usual.

Public attention was again roused to this subject by the
McFarland-Richardson trial, in which the former shot the latter, being
jealous of his attentions to his wife. McFarland was a brutal,
improvident husband, who had completely alienated his wife's
affections, while Mr. Richardson, who had long been a cherished
acquaintance of the family, befriended the wife in the darkest days of
her misery. She was a very refined, attractive woman, and a large circle
of warm friends stood by her through the fierce ordeal of her husband's
trial.

Though McFarland did not deny that he killed Richardson, yet he was
acquitted on the plea of insanity, and was, at the same time, made the
legal guardian of his child, a boy, then, twelve years of age, and
walked out of the court with him, hand in hand. What a travesty on
justice and common sense that, while a man is declared too insane to be
held responsible for taking the life of another, he might still be
capable of directing the life and education of a child! And what an
insult to that intelligent mother, who had devoted twelve years of her
life to his care, while his worthless father had not provided for them
the necessaries of life!

She married Mr. Richardson on his deathbed. The ceremony was performed
by Henry Ward Beecher and Rev. O.B. Frothingham, while such men as
Horace Greeley and Joshua Leavitt witnessed the solemn service. Though
no shadow had ever dimmed Mrs. Richardson's fair fame, yet she was
rudely treated in the court and robbed of her child, though by far the
most fitting parent to be intrusted with his care.

As the indignation among women was general and at white heat with regard
to her treatment, Miss Anthony suggested to me, one day, that it would
be a golden opportunity to give women a lesson on their helplessness
under the law--wholly in the power of man as to their domestic
relations, as well as to their civil and political rights. Accordingly
we decided to hold some meetings, for women alone, to protest against
the decision of this trial, the general conduct of the case, the tone of
the press, and the laws that made it possible to rob a mother of her
child.

Many ladies readily enlisted in the movement. I was invited to make the
speech on the occasion, and Miss Anthony arranged for two great
meetings, one in Apollo Hall, New York city, and one in the Academy of
Music, in Brooklyn. The result was all that we could desire. Miss
Anthony, with wonderful executive ability, made all the arrangements,
taking on her own shoulders the whole financial responsibility.

My latest thought on this question I gave in _The Arena_ of April, 1894,
from which I quote the following:

     "There is a demand just now for an amendment to the United States
     Constitution that shall make the laws of marriage and divorce the
     same in all the States of the Union. As the suggestion comes
     uniformly from those who consider the present divorce laws too
     liberal, we may infer that the proposed national law is to place
     the whole question on a narrower basis, rendering null and void the
     laws that have been passed in a broader spirit, according to the
     needs and experiences, in certain sections, of the sovereign
     people. And here let us bear in mind that the widest possible law
     would not make divorce obligatory on anyone, while a restricted
     law, on the contrary, would compel many, marrying, perhaps, under
     more liberal laws, to remain in uncongenial relations.

     "As we are still in the experimental stage on this question, we are
     not qualified to make a perfect law that would work satisfactorily
     over so vast an area as our boundaries now embrace. I see no
     evidence in what has been published on this question, of late, by
     statesmen, ecclesiastics, lawyers, and judges, that any of them
     have thought sufficiently on the subject to prepare a well-digested
     code, or a comprehensive amendment to the national Constitution.
     Some view it as a civil contract, though not governed by the laws
     of other contracts; some view it as a religious ordinance--a
     sacrament; some think it a relation to be regulated by the State,
     others by the Church, and still others think it should be left
     wholly to the individual. With this wide divergence of opinion
     among our leading minds, it is quite evident that we are not
     prepared for a national law.

     "Moreover, as woman is the most important factor in the marriage
     relation, her enfranchisement is the primal step in deciding the
     basis of family life. Before public opinion on this question
     crystallizes into an amendment to the national Constitution, the
     wife and mother must have a voice in the governing power and must
     be heard, on this great problem, in the halls of legislation.

     "There are many advantages in leaving all these questions, as now,
     to the States. Local self-government more readily permits of
     experiments on mooted questions, which are the outcome of the needs
     and convictions of the community. The smaller the area over which
     legislation extends, the more pliable are the laws. By leaving the
     States free to experiment in their local affairs, we can judge of
     the working of different laws under varying circumstances, and thus
     learn their comparative merits. The progress education has achieved
     in America is due to the fact that we have left our system of
     public instruction in the hands of local authorities. How
     different would be the solution of the great educational question
     of manual labor in the schools, if the matter had to be settled at
     Washington!

     "The whole nation might find itself pledged to a scheme that a few
     years would prove wholly impracticable. Not only is the town
     meeting, as Emerson says, 'the cradle of American liberties,' but
     it is the nursery of Yankee experiment and wisdom. England, with
     its clumsy national code of education, making one inflexible
     standard of scholarship for the bright children of the
     manufacturing districts and the dull brains of the agricultural
     counties, should teach us a lesson as to the wisdom of keeping
     apart state and national government.

     "Before we can decide the just grounds for divorce, we must get a
     clear idea of what constitutes marriage. In a true relation the
     chief object is the loving companionship of man and woman, their
     capacity for mutual help and happiness and for the development of
     all that is noblest in each other. The second object is the
     building up a home and family, a place of rest, peace, security, in
     which child-life can bud and blossom like flowers in the sunshine.

     "The first step toward making the ideal the real, is to educate our
     sons and daughters into the most exalted ideas of the sacredness of
     married life and the responsibilities of parenthood. I would have
     them give, at least, as much thought to the creation of an immortal
     being as the artist gives to his landscape or statue. Watch him in
     his hours of solitude, communing with great Nature for days and
     weeks in all her changing moods, and when at last his dream of
     beauty is realized and takes a clearly defined form, behold how
     patiently he works through long months and years on sky and lake,
     on tree and flower; and when complete, it represents to him more
     love and life, more hope and ambition, than the living child at his
     side, to whose conception and antenatal development not one soulful
     thought was ever given. To this impressible period of human life,
     few parents give any thought; yet here we must begin to cultivate
     virtues that can alone redeem the world.

     "The contradictory views in which woman is represented are as
     pitiful as varied. While the Magnificat to the Virgin is chanted in
     all our cathedrals round the globe on each returning Sabbath day,
     and her motherhood extolled by her worshipers, maternity for the
     rest of womankind is referred to as a weakness, a disability, a
     curse, an evidence of woman's divinely ordained subjection. Yet
     surely the real woman should have some points of resemblance in
     character and position with the ideal one, whom poets, novelists,
     and artists portray.

     "It is folly to talk of the sacredness of marriage and maternity,
     while the wife is practically regarded as an inferior, a subject, a
     slave. Having decided that companionship and conscientious
     parenthood are the only true grounds for marriage, if the relation
     brings out the worst characteristics of each party, or if the home
     atmosphere is unwholesome for children, is not the very _raison
     d'être_ of the union wanting, and the marriage practically
     annulled? It cannot be called a holy relation,--no, not a desirable
     one,--when love and mutual respect are wanting. And let us bear in
     mind one other important fact: the lack of sympathy and content in
     the parents indicates radical physical unsuitability, which
     results in badly organized offspring. If, then, the real object of
     marriage is defeated, it is for the interest of the State, as well
     as the individual concerned, to see that all such pernicious unions
     be legally dissolved. Inasmuch, then, as incompatibility of temper
     defeats the two great objects of marriage, it should be the primal
     cause for divorce.

     "The true standpoint from which to view this question is individual
     sovereignty, individual happiness. It is often said that the
     interests of society are paramount, and first to be considered.
     This was the Roman idea, the Pagan idea, that the individual was
     made for the State. The central idea of barbarism has ever been the
     family, the tribe, the nation--never the individual. But the great
     doctrine of Christianity is the right of individual conscience and
     judgment. The reason it took such a hold on the hearts of the
     people was because it taught that the individual was primary; the
     State, the Church, society, the family, secondary. However, a
     comprehensive view of any question of human interest, shows that
     the highest good and happiness of the individual and society lie in
     the same direction.

     "The question of divorce, like marriage, should be settled, as to
     its most sacred relations, by the parties themselves; neither the
     State nor the Church having any right to intermeddle therein. As to
     property and children, it must be viewed and regulated as a civil
     contract. Then the union should be dissolved with at least as much
     deliberation and publicity as it was formed. There might be some
     ceremony and witnesses to add to the dignity and solemnity of the
     occasion. Like the Quaker marriage, which the parties conduct
     themselves, so, in this case, without any statement of their
     disagreements, the parties might simply declare that, after living
     together for several years, they found themselves unsuited to each
     other, and incapable of making a happy home.

     "If divorce were made respectable, and recognized by society as a
     duty, as well as a right, reasonable men and women could arrange
     all the preliminaries, often, even, the division of property and
     guardianship of children, quite as satisfactorily as it could be
     done in the courts. Where the mother is capable of training the
     children, a sensible father would leave them to her care rather
     than place them in the hands of a stranger.

     "But, where divorce is not respectable, men who have no paternal
     feeling will often hold the child, not so much for its good or his
     own affection, as to punish the wife for disgracing him. The love
     of children is not strong in most men, and they feel but little
     responsibility in regard to them. See how readily they turn off
     young sons to shift for themselves, and, unless the law compelled
     them to support their illegitimate children, they would never give
     them a second thought. But on the mother-soul rest forever the care
     and responsibility of human life. Her love for the child born out
     of wedlock is often intensified by the infinite pity she feels
     through its disgrace. Even among the lower animals we find the
     female ever brooding over the young and helpless.

     "Limiting the causes of divorce to physical defects or
     delinquencies; making the proceedings public; prying into all the
     personal affairs of unhappy men and women; regarding the step as
     quasi criminal; punishing the guilty party in the suit; all this
     will not strengthen frail human nature, will not insure happy
     homes, will not banish scandals and purge society of prostitution.

     "No, no; the enemy of marriage, of the State, of society is not
     liberal divorce laws, but the unhealthy atmosphere that exists in
     the home itself. A legislative act cannot make a unit of a divided
     family."



CHAPTER XV.

WOMEN AS PATRIOTS.


On April 15, 1861, the President of the United States called out
seventy-five thousand militia, and summoned Congress to meet July 4,
when four hundred thousand men were called for, and four hundred
millions of dollars were voted to suppress the Rebellion.

These startling events roused the entire people, and turned the current
of their thoughts in new directions. While the nation's life hung in the
balance, and the dread artillery of war drowned, alike, the voices of
commerce, politics, religion, and reform, all hearts were filled with
anxious forebodings, all hands were busy in solemn preparations for the
awful tragedies to come.

At this eventful hour the patriotism of woman shone forth as fervently
and spontaneously as did that of man; and her self-sacrifice and
devotion were displayed in as many varied fields of action. While he
buckled on his knapsack and marched forth to conquer the enemy, she
planned the campaigns which brought the nation victory; fought in the
ranks, when she could do so without detection; inspired the sanitary
commission; gathered needed supplies for the grand army; provided nurses
for the hospitals; comforted the sick; smoothed the pillows of the
dying; inscribed the last messages of lave to those far away; and marked
the resting places where the brave men fell. The labor women
accomplished, the hardships they endured, the time and strength they
sacrificed in the War that summoned three million men to arms, can never
be fully appreciated.

Indeed, we may safely say that there is scarcely a loyal woman in the
North who did not do something in aid of the cause; who did not
contribute time, labor, and money to the comfort of our soldiers and the
success of our arms. The story of the War will never be fully written if
the achievements of women are left untold. They do not figure in the
official reports; they are not gazetted for gallant deeds; the names of
thousands are unknown beyond the neighborhood where they lived, or the
hospitals where they loved to labor; yet there is no feature in our War
more creditable to us as a nation, none from its positive newness so
well worthy of record.

While the mass of women never philosophize on the principles that
underlie national existence, there were those in our late War who
understood the political significance of the struggle; the
"irrepressible conflict" between freedom and slavery, between National
and State rights. They saw that to provide lint, bandages, and supplies
for the army, while the War was not conducted on a wise policy, was to
labor in vain; and while many organizations, active, vigilant, and
self-sacrificing, were multiplied to look after the material wants of
the army, these few formed themselves into a National Loyal League, to
teach sound principles of government and to impress on the nation's
conscience that freedom for the slaves was the only way to victory.
Accustomed, as most women had been to works of charity and to the relief
of outward suffering, it was difficult to rouse their enthusiasm for an
idea, to persuade them to labor for a principle. They clamored for
practical work, something for their hands to do; for fairs and sewing
societies to raise money for soldier's families, for tableaux, readings,
theatricals--anything but conventions to discuss principles and to
circulate petitions for emancipation. They could not see that the best
service they could render the army was to suppress the Rebellion, and
that the most effective way to accomplish that was to transform the
slaves into soldiers. This Woman's Loyal League voiced the solemn
lessons of the War: Liberty to all; national protection for every
citizen under our flag; universal suffrage, and universal amnesty.

After consultation with Horace Greeley, William Lloyd Garrison, Governor
Andrews, and Robert Dale Owen, Miss Anthony and I decided to call a
meeting of women in Cooper Institute and form a Woman's Loyal League, to
advocate the immediate emancipation and enfranchisement of the Southern
slaves, as the most speedy way of ending the War, so we issued, in tract
form, and extensively circulated the following call:

     "In this crisis of our country's destiny, it is the duty of every
     citizen to consider the peculiar blessings of a republican form of
     government, and decide what sacrifices of wealth and life are
     demanded for its defense and preservation. The policy of the War,
     our whole future life, depend on a clearly defined idea of the end
     proposed and the immense advantages to be secured to ourselves and
     all mankind by its accomplishment. No mere party or sectional cry,
     no technicalities of constitutional or military law, no mottoes of
     craft or policy are big enough to touch the great heart of a nation
     in the midst of revolution. A grand idea--such as freedom or
     justice--is needful to kindle and sustain the fires of a high
     enthusiasm.

     "At this hour, the best word and work of every man and woman are
     imperatively demanded. To man, by common consent, are assigned the
     forum, camp, and field. What is woman's legitimate work and how she
     may best accomplish it, is worthy our earnest counsel one with
     another. We have heard many complaints of the lack of enthusiasm,
     among Northern women; but when a mother lays her son on the altar
     of her country, she asks an object equal to the sacrifice. In
     nursing the sick and wounded, knitting socks, scraping lint, and
     making jellies the bravest and best may weary if the thoughts mount
     not in faith to something beyond and above it all. Work is worship
     only when a noble purpose fills the soul. Woman is equally
     interested and responsible with man in the final settlement of this
     problem of self-government; therefore let none stand idle
     spectators now. When every hour is big with destiny, and each delay
     but complicates our difficulties, it is high time for the daughters
     of the Revolution, in solemn council, to unseal the last will and
     testaments of the fathers, lay hold of their birthright of freedom,
     and keep it a sacred trust for all coming generations.

     "To this end we ask the Loyal Women of the Nation to meet in the
     Church of the Puritans (Dr. Cheever's), New York, on Thursday, the
     14th of May next.

     "Let the women of every State be largely represented in person or
     by letter.

     "On behalf of the Woman's Central Committee,

     "Elizabeth Cady Stanton,

     "Susan B. Anthony."

Among other resolutions adopted at the meeting were the following:

"_Resolved_, There never can be a true peace in this Republic until the
civil and political rights of all citizens of African descent and all
women are practically established.

"_Resolved_, That the women of the Revolution were not wanting in
heroism and self-sacrifice, and we, their daughters, are ready, in this
War, to pledge our time, our means, our talents, and our lives, if need
be, to secure the final and complete consecration of America to
freedom."

It was agreed that the practical work to be done to secure freedom for
the slaves was to circulate petitions through all the Northern States.
For months these petitions were circulated diligently everywhere, as the
signatures show--some signed on fence posts, plows, the anvil, the
shoemaker's bench--by women of fashion and those in the industries,
alike in the parlor and the kitchen; by statesmen, professors in
colleges, editors, bishops; by sailors, and soldiers, and the
hard-handed children of toil, building railroads and bridges, and
digging canals, and in mines in the bowels of the earth. Petitions,
signed by three hundred thousand persons, can now be seen in the
national archives in the Capitol at Washington. Three of my sons spent
weeks in our office in Cooper Institute, rolling up the petitions from
each State separately, and inscribing on the outside the number of names
of men and women contained therein. We sent appeals to the President the
House of Representatives, and the Senate, from time to time, urging
emancipation and the passage of the proposed Thirteenth, Fourteenth,
and Fifteenth Amendments to the National Constitution. During these
eventful months we received many letters from Senator Sumner, saying,
"Send on the petitions as fast as received; they give me opportunities
for speech."

Robert Dale Owen, chairman of the Freedman's Commission, was most
enthusiastic in the work of the Loyal League, and came to our rooms
frequently to suggest new modes of agitation and to give us an inkling
of what was going on behind the scenes in Washington. Those who had been
specially engaged in the Woman Suffrage movement suspended their
conventions during the war, and gave their time and thought wholly to
the vital issues of the hour. Seeing the political significance of the
war, they urged the emancipation of the slaves as the sure, quick way of
cutting the Gordian knot of the Rebellion. To this end they organized a
national league, and rolled up a mammoth petition, urging Congress so to
amend the Constitution as to prohibit the existence of slavery in the
United States. From their headquarters in Cooper Institute, New York
city, they sent out the appeals to the President, Congress, and the
people at large; tracts and forms of petition, franked by members of
Congress, were scattered like snowflakes from Maine to Texas. Meetings
were held every week, in which the policy of the Government was freely
discussed, and approved or condemned.

That this League did a timely educational work is manifested by the
letters received from generals, statesmen, editors, and from women in
most of the Northern States, fully indorsing its action and principles.
The clearness to thinking women of the cause of the War; the true
policy in waging it; their steadfastness in maintaining the principles
of freedom, are worthy of consideration. With this League abolitionists
and Republicans heartily co-operated. A course of lectures was delivered
for its benefit in Cooper Institute, by such men as Horace Greeley,
George William Curtis, William D. Kelly, Wendell Phillips, E.P. Whipple,
Frederick Douglass, Theodore D. Weld, Rev. Dr. Tyng, and Dr. Bellows.
Many letters are on its files from Charles Sumner, approving its
measures, and expressing great satisfaction at the large number of
emancipation petitions being rolled into Congress. The Republican press,
too, was highly complimentary. The New York Tribune said: "The women of
the Loyal League have shown great practical wisdom in restricting their
efforts to one subject, the most important which any society can aim at
in this hour, and great courage in undertaking to do what never has been
done in the world before, to obtain one million of names to a petition."

The leading journals vied with each other in praising the patience and
prudence, the executive ability, the loyalty, and the patriotism of the
women of the League, and yet these were the same women who, when
demanding civil and political rights, privileges, and immunities for
themselves, had been uniformly denounced as "unwise," "imprudent,"
"fanatical," and "impracticable." During the six years they held their
own claims in abeyance to those of the slaves of the South, and labored
to inspire the people with enthusiasm for the great measures of the
Republican party, they were highly honored as "wise, loyal, and
clear-sighted." But when the slaves were emancipated, and these women
asked that they should be recognized in the reconstruction as citizens
of the Republic, equal before the law, all these transcendent virtues
vanished like dew before the morning sun. And thus it ever is: so long
as woman labors to second man's endeavors and exalt his sex above her
own, her virtues pass unquestioned; but when she dares to demand rights
and privileges for herself, her motives, manners, dress, personal
appearance, and character are subjects for ridicule and detraction.

Liberty, victorious over slavery on the battlefield, had now more
powerful enemies to encounter at Washington. The slaves set free, the
master conquered, the South desolate; the two races standing face to
face, sharing alike the sad results of war, turned with appealing looks
to the general government, as if to say, "How stand we now?" "What
next?" Questions our statesmen, beset with dangers, with fears for the
nation's life, of party divisions, of personal defeat, were wholly
unprepared to answer. The reconstruction of the South involved the
reconsideration of the fundamental principles of our Government and the
natural rights of man. The nation's heart was thrilled with prolonged
debates in Congress and State legislatures, in the pulpits and public
journals, and at every fireside on these vital questions, which took
final shape in the three historic amendments to the Constitution.

The first point, his emancipation, settled, the political status of the
negro was next in order; and to this end various propositions were
submitted to Congress. But to demand his enfranchisement on the broad
principle of natural rights was hedged about with difficulties, as the
logical result of such action must be the enfranchisement of all
ostracized classes; not only the white women of the entire country, but
the slave women of the South. Though our senators and representatives
had an honest aversion to any proscriptive legislation against loyal
women, in view of their varied and self-sacrificing work during the War,
yet the only way they could open the constitutional door just wide
enough to let the black man pass in was to introduce the word "male"
into the national Constitution. After the generous devotion of such
women as Anna Carroll and Anna Dickinson in sustaining the policy of the
Republicans, both in peace and war, they felt it would come with a bad
grace from that party to place new barriers in woman's path to freedom.
But how could the amendment be written without the word "male," was the
question.

Robert Dale Owen being at Washington, and behind the scenes at the time,
sent copies of the various bills to the officers of the Loyal League, in
New York, and related to us some of the amusing discussions. One of the
committee proposed "persons" instead of "males." "That will never do,"
said another, "it would enfranchise wenches." "Suffrage for black men
will be all the strain the Republican party can stand," said another.
Charles Sumner said, years afterward, that he wrote over nineteen pages
of foolscap to get rid of the word "male" and yet keep "negro suffrage"
as a party measure intact; but it could not be done.

Miss Anthony and I were the first to see the full significance of the
word "male" in the Fourteenth Amendment, and we at once sounded the
alarm, and sent out petitions for a constitutional amendment to
"prohibit the States from disfranchising any of their citizens on the
ground of sex." Miss Anthony, who had spent the year in Kansas, started
for New York the moment she saw the proposition before Congress to put
the word "male" into the national Constitution, and made haste to rouse
the women in the East to the fact that the time had come to begin
vigorous work again for woman's enfranchisement.

Leaving Rochester, October 11, she called on Martha Wright at Auburn;
Phebe Jones and Lydia Mott at Albany; Mmes. Rose, Gibbons, Davis, at New
York city; Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown Blackwell in New Jersey;
Stephen and Abby Foster at Worcester; Mmes. Severance, Dall, Nowell, Dr.
Harriet K. Hunt, Dr. M.E. Zackesewska, and Messrs. Phillips and Garrison
in Boston, urging them to join in sending protests to Washington against
the pending legislation. Mr. Phillips at once consented to devote five
hundred dollars from the "Jackson Fund" to commence the work. Miss
Anthony and I spent all our Christmas holidays in writing letters and
addressing appeals and petitions to every part of the country, and,
before the close of the session of 1865-66, petitions with ten thousand
signatures were poured into Congress.

One of my letters was as follows:

     "_To the Editor of the Standard_:

     "Sir: Mr. Broomall of Pennsylvania, Mr. Schenck of Ohio, Mr.
     Jenckes of Rhode Island, and Mr. Stevens of Pennsylvania, have each
     a resolution before Congress to amend the Constitution.

     "Article First, Section Second, reads thus: 'Representatives and
     direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which
     may be included within this Union, according to their respective
     numbers.'

     "Mr. Broomall proposes to amend by saying, 'male electors'; Mr.
     Schenck,'male citizens'; Mr. Jenckes, 'male citizens'; Mr. Stevens,
     'male voters,' as, in process of time, women may be made 'legal
     voters' in the several States, and would then meet that requirement
     of the Constitution. But those urged by the other gentlemen,
     neither time, effort, nor State Constitutions could enable us to
     meet, unless, by a liberal interpretation of the amendment, a coat
     of mail to be worn at the polls might be judged all-sufficient. Mr.
     Jenckes and Mr. Schenck, in their bills, have the grace not to say
     a word about taxes, remembering, perhaps, that 'taxation without
     representation is tyranny.' But Mr. Broomall, though unwilling that
     we should share in the honors of government, would fain secure us a
     place in its burdens; for, while he apportions representatives to
     "male electors" only, he admits "all the inhabitants" into the
     rights, privileges, and immunities of taxation. Magnanimous M.C.!

     "I would call the attention of the women of the nation to the fact
     that, under the Federal Constitution, as it now exists, there is
     not one word that limits the right of suffrage to any privileged
     class. This attempt to turn the wheels of civilization backward, on
     the part of Republicans claiming to be the liberal party, should
     rouse every woman in the nation to a prompt exercise of the only
     right she has in the Government, the right of petition. To this end
     a committee in New York have sent out thousands of petitions, which
     should be circulated in every district and sent to its
     representative at Washington as soon as possible.

     "Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

     "New York, January 2, 1866."



CHAPTER XVI.

PIONEER LIFE IN KANSAS--OUR NEWSPAPER, "THE REVOLUTION."


In 1867 the proposition to extend the suffrage to women and to colored
men was submitted to the people of the State of Kansas, and, among other
Eastern speakers, I was invited to make a campaign through the State. As
the fall elections were pending, there was great excitement everywhere.
Suffrage for colored men was a Republican measure, which the press and
politicians of that party advocated with enthusiasm.

As woman suffrage was not a party question, we hoped that all parties
would favor the measure; that we might, at last, have one green spot on
earth where women could enjoy full liberty as citizens of the United
States. Accordingly, in July, Miss Anthony and I started, with high
hopes of a most successful trip, and, after an uneventful journey of one
thousand five hundred miles, we reached the sacred soil where John Brown
and his sons had helped to fight the battles that made Kansas a free
State.

Lucy Stone, Mr. Blackwell, and Olympia Brown had preceded us and opened
the campaign with large meetings in all the chief cities. Miss Anthony
and I did the same. Then it was decided that, as we were to go to the
very borders of the State, where there were no railroads, we must take
carriages, and economize our forces by taking different routes. I was
escorted by ex-Governor Charles Robinson. We had a low, easy carriage,
drawn by two mules, in which we stored about a bushel of tracts, two
valises, a pail for watering the mules, a basket of apples, crackers,
and other such refreshments as we could purchase on the way. Some things
were suspended underneath the carriage, some packed on behind, and some
under the seat and at our feet. It required great skill to compress the
necessary baggage into the allotted space. As we went to the very verge
of civilization, wherever two dozen voters could be assembled, we had a
taste of pioneer life. We spoke in log cabins, in depots, unfinished
schoolhouses, churches, hotels, barns, and in the open air.

I spoke in a large mill one night. A solitary tallow candle shone over
my head like a halo of glory; a few lanterns around the outskirts of the
audience made the darkness perceptible; but all I could see of my
audience was the whites of their eyes in the dim distance. People came
from twenty miles around to these meetings, held either in the morning,
afternoon, or evening, as was most convenient.

As the regular State election was to take place in the coming November,
the interest increased from week to week, until the excitement of the
people knew no bounds. There were speakers for and against every
proposition before the people. This involved frequent debates on all the
general principles of government, and thus a great educational work was
accomplished, which is one of the advantages of our frequent elections.

The friends of woman suffrage were doomed to disappointment. Those in
the East, on whom they relied for influence through the liberal
newspapers, were silent, and we learned, afterward, that they used what
influence they had to keep the abolitionists and Republicans of the
State silent, as they feared the discussion of the woman question would
jeopardize the enfranchisement of the black man. However, we worked
untiringly and hopefully, not seeing through the game of the politicians
until nearly the end of the canvass, when we saw that our only chance
was in getting the Democratic vote. Accordingly, George Francis Train,
then a most effective and popular speaker, was invited into the State to
see what could be done to win the Democracy. He soon turned the tide,
strengthened the weak-kneed Republicans and abolitionists, and secured a
large Democratic vote.

For three months we labored diligently, day after day, enduring all
manner of discomforts in traveling, eating, and sleeping. As there were
no roads or guide-posts, we often lost our way. In going through cañons
and fording streams it was often so dark that the Governor was obliged
to walk ahead to find the way, taking off his coat so that I could see
his white shirt and slowly drive after him. Though seemingly calm and
cool, I had a great dread of these night adventures, as I was in
constant fear of being upset on some hill and rolled into the water. The
Governor often complimented me on my courage, when I was fully aware of
being tempest-tossed with anxiety. I am naturally very timid, but, being
silent under strong emotions of either pleasure or pain, I am credited
with being courageous in the hour of danger.

For days, sometimes, we could find nothing at a public table that we
could eat. Then passing through a little settlement we could buy dried
herring, crackers, gum arabic, and slippery elm; the latter, we were
told, was very nutritious. We frequently sat down to a table with bacon
floating in grease, coffee without milk, sweetened with sorghum, and
bread or hot biscuit, green with soda, while vegetables and fruit were
seldom seen. Our nights were miserable, owing to the general opinion
among pioneers that a certain species of insect must necessarily
perambulate the beds in a young civilization. One night, after traveling
over prairies all day, eating nothing but what our larder provided, we
saw a light in a cottage in the distance which seemed to beckon to us.
Arriving, we asked the usual question,--if we could get a night's
lodging,--to which the response was inevitably a hearty, hospitable
"Yes." One survey of the premises showed me what to look for in the way
of midnight companionship, so I said to the Governor, "I will resign in
your favor the comforts provided for me to-night, and sleep in the
carriage, as you do so often." I persisted against all the earnest
persuasions of our host, and in due time I was ensconced for the night,
and all about the house was silent.

I had just fallen into a gentle slumber, when a chorus of pronounced
grunts and a spasmodic shaking of the carriage revealed to me the fact
that I was surrounded by those long-nosed black pigs, so celebrated for
their courage and pertinacity. They had discovered that the iron steps
of the carriage made most satisfactory scratching posts, and each one
was struggling for his turn. This scratching suggested fleas. Alas!
thought I, before morning I shall be devoured. I was mortally tired and
sleepy, but I reached for the whip and plied it lazily from side to
side; but I soon found nothing but a constant and most vigorous
application of the whip could hold them at bay one moment. I had heard
that this type of pig was very combative when thwarted in its desires,
and they seemed in such sore need of relief that I thought there was
danger of their jumping into the carriage and attacking me. This thought
was more terrifying than that of the fleas, so I decided to go to sleep
and let them alone to scratch at their pleasure. I had a sad night of
it, and never tried the carriage again, though I had many equally
miserable experiences within four walls.

After one of these border meetings we stopped another night with a
family of two bachelor brothers and two spinster sisters. The home
consisted of one large room, not yet lathed and plastered. The furniture
included a cooking stove, two double beds in remote corners, a table, a
bureau, a washstand, and six wooden chairs. As it was late, there was no
fire in the stove and no suggestion of supper, so the Governor and I ate
apples and chewed slippery elm before retiring to dream of comfortable
beds and well-spread tables in the near future.

The brothers resigned their bed to me just as it was. I had noticed that
there was no ceremonious changing of bed linen under such circumstances,
so I had learned to nip all fastidious notions of individual cleanliness
in the bud, and to accept the inevitable. When the time arrived for
retiring, the Governor and the brothers went out to make astronomical
observations or smoke, as the case might be, while the sisters and I
made our evening toilet, and disposed ourselves in the allotted corners.
That done, the stalwart sons of Adam made their beds with skins and
blankets on the floor. When all was still and darkness reigned, I
reviewed the situation with a heavy heart, seeing that I was bound to
remain a prisoner in the corner all night, come what might. I had just
congratulated myself on my power of adaptability to circumstances, when
I suddenly started with an emphatic "What is that?" A voice from the
corner asked, "Is your bed comfortable?" "Oh, yes," I replied, "but I
thought I felt a mouse run over my head." "Well," said the voice from
the corner, "I should not wonder. I have heard such squeaking from that
corner during the past week that I told sister there must be a mouse
nest in that bed." A confession she probably would not have made unless
half asleep. This announcement was greeted with suppressed laughter from
the floor. But it was no laughing matter to me. Alas! what a
prospect--to have mice running over one all night. But there was no
escape. The sisters did not offer to make any explorations, and, in my
fatigue costume, I could not light a candle and make any on my own
account. The house did not afford an armchair in which I could sit up. I
could not lie on the floor, and the other bed was occupied. Fortunately,
I was very tired and soon fell asleep. What the mice did the remainder
of the night I never knew, so deep were my slumbers. But, as my features
were intact, and my facial expression as benign as usual next morning, I
inferred that their gambols had been most innocently and decorously
conducted. These are samples of many similar experiences which we
encountered during the three months of those eventful travels.

Heretofore my idea had been that pioneer life was a period of romantic
freedom. When the long, white-covered wagons, bound for the far West,
passed by, I thought of the novelty of a six-months' journey through
the bright spring and summer days in a house on wheels, meals under
shady trees and beside babbling brooks, sleeping in the open air, and
finding a home, at last, where land was cheap, the soil rich and deep,
and where the grains, vegetables, fruit, and flowers grew bountifully
with but little toil. But a few months of pioneer life permanently
darkened my rosy ideal of the white-covered wagon, the charming picnics
by the way, and the paradise at last. I found many of these adventurers
in unfinished houses and racked with malaria; in one case I saw a family
of eight, all ill with chills and fever. The house was half a mile from
the spring water on which they depended and from which those best able,
from day to day, carried the needed elixir to others suffering with the
usual thirst. Their narrations of all the trials of the long journey
were indeed heartrending.

In one case a family of twelve left their comfortable farm in Illinois,
much against the earnest protests of the mother; she having ten
children, the youngest a baby then in her arms. All their earthly
possessions were stored in three wagons, and the farm which the mother
owned was sold before they commenced their long and perilous journey.
There was no reason for going except that the husband had the Western
fever. They were doing well in Illinois, on a large farm within two
miles of a village, but he had visions of a bonanza near the setting
sun. Accordingly they started. At the end of one month the baby died. A
piece of wood from the cradle was all they had to mark its lonely
resting place. With sad hearts they went on, and, in a few weeks, with
grief for her child, her old home, her kindred and friends, the mother
also died. She, too, was left alone on the far-off prairies, and the sad
pageant moved on. Another child soon shared the same fate, and then a
span of horses died, and one wagon, with all the things they could most
easily spare, was abandoned. Arrived at their destination none of the
golden dreams was realized. The expensive journey, the struggles in
starting under new circumstances, and the loss of the mother's thrift
and management, made the father so discouraged and reckless that much of
his property was wasted, and his earthly career was soon ended. Through
the heroic energy and good management of the eldest daughter, the little
patrimony, in time, was doubled, and the children well brought up and
educated in the rudiments of learning, so that all became respectable
members of society. Her advice to all young people is, if you are
comfortably established in the East, stay there. There is no royal road
to wealth and ease, even in the Western States!

In spite of the discomforts we suffered in the Kansas campaign, I was
glad of the experience. It gave me added self-respect to know that I
could endure such hardships and fatigue with a great degree of
cheerfulness. The Governor and I often laughed heartily, as we patiently
chewed our gum arabic and slippery elm, to think on what a gentle
stimulus we were accomplishing such wonderful feats as orators and
travelers. It was fortunate our intense enthusiasm for the subject gave
us all the necessary inspiration, as the supplies we gathered by the way
were by no means sufficiently invigorating for prolonged propagandism.

I enjoyed these daily drives over the vast prairies, listening to the
Governor's descriptions of the early days when the "bushwhackers and
jayhawkers" made their raids on the inhabitants of the young free State.
The courage and endurance of the women, surrounded by dangers and
discomforts, surpassed all description. I count it a great privilege to
have made the acquaintance of so many noble women and men who had passed
through such scenes and conquered such difficulties. They seemed to live
in an atmosphere altogether beyond their surroundings. Many educated
families from New England, disappointed in not finding the much talked
of bonanzas, were living in log cabins, in solitary places, miles from
any neighbors. But I found Emerson, Parker, Holmes, Hawthorne, Whittier,
and Lowell on their bookshelves to gladden their leisure hours.

Miss Anthony and I often comforted ourselves mid adverse winds with
memories of the short time we spent under Mother Bickerdyke's hospitable
roof at Salina. There we had clean, comfortable beds, delicious viands,
and everything was exquisitely neat. She entertained us with her
reminiscences of the War. With great self-denial she had served her
country in camp and hospital, and was with Sherman's army in that
wonderful march to the sea, and here we found her on the outpost of
civilization, determined to start what Kansas most needed--a good hotel.
But alas! it was too good for that latitude and proved a financial
failure. It was, to us, an oasis in the desert, where we would gladly
have lingered if the opposition would have come to us for conversion.
But, as we had to carry the gospel of woman's equality into the highways
and hedges, we left dear Mother Bickerdyke with profound regret. The
seed sown in Kansas in 1867 is now bearing its legitimate fruits. There
was not a county in the State where meetings were not held or tracts
scattered with a generous hand. If the friends of our cause in the East
had been true and had done for woman what they did for the colored man,
I believe both propositions would have been carried; but with a narrow
policy, playing off one against the other, both were defeated. A policy
of injustice always bears its own legitimate fruit in failure.

However, women learned one important lesson--namely, that it is
impossible for the best of men to understand women's feelings or the
humiliation of their position. When they asked us to be silent on our
question during the War, and labor for the emancipation of the slave, we
did so, and gave five years to his emancipation and enfranchisement. To
this proposition my friend, Susan B. Anthony, never consented, but was
compelled to yield because no one stood with her. I was convinced, at
the time, that it was the true policy. I am now equally sure that it was
a blunder, and, ever since, I have taken my beloved Susan's judgment
against the world. I have always found that, when we see eye to eye, we
are sure to be right, and when we pull together we are strong. After we
discuss any point together and fully agree, our faith in our united
judgment is immovable and no amount of ridicule and opposition has the
slightest influence, come from what quarter it may.

Together we withstood the Republicans and abolitionists, when, a second
time, they made us the most solemn promises of earnest labor for our
enfranchisement, when the slaves were safe beyond a peradventure. They
never redeemed their promise made during the War, hence, when they
urged us to silence in the Kansas campaign, we would not for a moment
entertain the proposition. The women generally awoke to their duty to
themselves. They had been deceived once and could not be again. If the
leaders in the Republican and abolition camps could deceive us, whom
could we trust?

Again we were urged to be silent on our rights, when the proposition to
take the word "white" out of the New York Constitution was submitted to
a vote of the people of the State, or, rather, to one-half the people,
as women had no voice in the matter. Again we said "No, no, gentlemen!
if the 'white' comes out of the Constitution, let the 'male' come out
also. Women have stood with the negro, thus far, on equal ground as
ostracized classes, outside the political paradise; and now, when the
door is open, it is but fair that we both should enter and enjoy all the
fruits of citizenship. Heretofore ranked with idiots, lunatics, and
criminals in the Constitution, the negro has been the only respectable
compeer we had; so pray do not separate us now for another twenty years,
ere the constitutional door will again be opened."

We were persistently urged to give all our efforts to get the word
"white" out, and thus secure the enfranchisement of the colored man, as
that, they said, would prepare the way for us to follow. Several editors
threatened that, unless we did so, their papers should henceforth do
their best to defeat every measure we proposed. But we were deaf alike
to persuasions and threats, thinking it wiser to labor for women,
constituting, as they did, half the people of the State, rather than for
a small number of colored men; who, viewing all things from the same
standpoint as white men, would be an added power against us.

The question settled in Kansas, we returned, with George Francis Train,
to New York. He offered to pay all the expenses of the journey and
meetings in all the chief cities on the way, and see that we were fully
and well reported in their respective journals. After prolonged
consultation Miss Anthony and I thought best to accept the offer and we
did so. Most of our friends thought it a grave blunder, but the result
proved otherwise. Mr. 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, as
one of his speeches, which he illustrated, imitating the poor wife at
the washtub and the drunken husband reeling in, fully showed. He gave
his audience charcoal sketches of everyday life rather than argument. He
always pleased popular audiences, and even the most fastidious were
amused with his caricatures. As the newspapers gave several columns to
our meetings at every point through all the States, the agitation was
widespread and of great value. 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, as the accession of Mr. Train increased the agitation
twofold. If these fastidious ladies and gentlemen had come out to Kansas
and occupied the ground and provided "the sinews of war," there would
have been no field for Mr. Train's labors, and we should have accepted
their services. But, as the ground was unoccupied, he had, at least,
the right of a reform "squatter" to cultivate the cardinal virtues and
reap a moral harvest wherever he could.

Reaching New York, 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. In looking over the
editorials I find but one that I sincerely regret, and that was a retort
on Mr. Garrison, written under great provocation, but not by me, which
circumstances, at the time, forbade me to disown. Considering the
pressure brought to bear on Miss Anthony and myself, I feel now that our
patience and forbearance with our enemies in their malignant attacks on
our good, name, which we never answered, were indeed marvelous.

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 of our clerks once published
a bread powder advertisement, which I did not see until the paper
appeared; so, in the next number, I said, editorially, what I thought of
it. I was alone in the office, one day, when a man blustered in. "Who,"
said he, "runs this concern?" "You will find the names of the editors
and publishers," I replied, "on the editorial page." "Are you one of
them?" "I am," I replied. "Well, do you know that I agreed to pay
twenty dollars to have that bread powder advertised for one month, and
then you condemn it editorially?" "I have nothing to do with the
advertising; Miss Anthony pays me to say what I think." "Have you any
more thoughts to publish on that bread powder?" "Oh, yes," I replied, "I
have not exhausted the subject yet." "Then," said he, "I will have the
advertisement taken out. What is there to pay for the one insertion?"
"Oh, nothing," I replied, "as the editorial probably did you more injury
than the advertisement did you good." 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."



CHAPTER XVII.

LYCEUMS AND LECTURERS.


The Lyceum Bureau was, at one time, a great feature in American life.
The three leading bureaus were in Boston, New York, and Chicago. The
managers, map in hand, would lay out trips, more or less extensive
according to the capacity or will of the speakers, and then, with a
dozen or more victims in hand, make arrangements with the committees in
various towns and cities to set them all in motion. As the managers of
the bureaus had ten per cent. of what the speakers made, it was to their
interest to keep the time well filled. Hence the engagements were made
without the slightest reference to the comfort of the travelers. With
our immense distances, it was often necessary to travel night and day,
sometimes changing cars at midnight, and perhaps arriving at the
destination half an hour or less before going on the platform, and
starting again on the journey immediately upon leaving it. The route was
always carefully written out, giving the time the trains started from
and arrived at various points; but as cross trains often failed to
connect, one traveled, guidebook in hand, in a constant fever of
anxiety. As, in the early days, the fees were from one to two hundred
dollars a night, the speakers themselves were desirous of accomplishing
as much as possible.

In 1869 I gave my name, for the first time, to the New York Bureau, and
on November 14 began the long, weary pilgrimages, from Maine to Texas,
that lasted twelve years; speaking steadily for eight months--from
October to June--every season. That was the heyday of the lecturing
period, when a long list of bright men and women were constantly on the
wing. Anna Dickinson, Olive Logan, Kate Field,--later, Mrs. Livermore
and Mrs. Howe, Alcott, Phillips, Douglass, Tilton, Curtis, Beecher, and,
several years later, General Kilpatrick, with Henry Vincent, Bradlaugh,
and Matthew Arnold from England; these and many others were stars of the
lecture platform.

Some of us occasionally managed to spend Sunday together, at a good
hotel in some city, to rest and feast and talk over our joys and
sorrows, the long journeys, the hard fare in the country hotels, the
rainy nights when committees felt blue and tried to cut down our fees;
the being compelled by inconsiderate people to talk on the train; the
overheated, badly ventilated cars; the halls, sometimes too warm,
sometimes too cold; babies crying in our audiences; the rain pattering
on the roof overhead or leaking on the platform--these were common
experiences. In the West, women with babies uniformly occupied the front
seats so that the little ones, not understanding what you said, might be
amused with your gestures and changing facial expression. All these
things, so trying, at the time, to concentrated and enthusiastic
speaking, afterward served as subjects of amusing conversation. We
unanimously complained of the tea and coffee. Mrs. Livermore had the
wisdom to carry a spirit lamp with her own tea and coffee, and thus
supplied herself with the needed stimulants for her oratorical
efforts. The hardships of these lyceum trips can never be appreciated
except by those who have endured them. With accidents to cars and
bridges, with floods and snow blockades, the pitfalls in one of these
campaigns were without number.

[Illustration: ELIZABETH SMITH MILLER.] [Illustration]

On one occasion, when engaged to speak at Maquoketa, Iowa, I arrived at
Lyons about noon, to find the road was blocked with snow, and no chance
of the cars running for days. "Well," said I to the landlord, "I must be
at Maquoketa at eight o'clock to-night; have you a sleigh, a span of
fleet horses, and a skillful driver? If so, I will go across the
country." "Oh, yes, madam!" he replied, "I have all you ask; but you
could not stand a six-hours' drive in this piercing wind." Having lived
in a region of snow, with the thermometer down to twenty degrees below
zero, I had no fears of winds and drifts, so I said, "Get the sleigh
ready and I will try it." Accordingly I telegraphed the committee that I
would be there, and started. I was well bundled up in a fur cloak and
hood, a hot oak plank at my feet, and a thick veil over my head and
face. As the landlord gave the finishing touch, by throwing a large
buffalo robe over all and tying the two tails together at the back of my
head and thus effectually preventing me putting my hand to my nose, he
said, "There, if you can only sit perfectly still, you will come out all
right at Maquoketa; that is, if you get there, which I very much doubt."
It was a long, hard drive against the wind and through drifts, but I
scarcely moved a finger, and, as the clock struck eight, we drove into
the town. The hall was warm, and the church bell having announced my
arrival, a large audience was assembled. As I learned that all the roads
in Northern Iowa were blocked, I made the entire circuit, from point to
point, in a sleigh, traveling forty and fifty miles a day.

At the Sherman House, in Chicago, three weeks later, I met Mr. Bradlaugh
and General Kilpatrick, who were advertised on the same route ahead of
me. "Well," said I, "where have you gentlemen been?" "Waiting here for
the roads to be opened. We have lost three weeks' engagements," they
replied. As the General was lecturing on his experiences in Sherman's
march to the sea, I chaffed him on not being able, in an emergency, to
march across the State of Iowa. They were much astonished and somewhat
ashamed, when I told them of my long, solitary drives over the prairies
from day to day. It was the testimony of all the bureaus that the women
could endure more fatigue and were more conscientious than the men in
filling their appointments.

The pleasant feature of these trips was the great educational work
accomplished for the people through their listening to lectures on all
the vital questions of the hour. Wherever any of us chanced to be on
Sunday, we preached in some church; and wherever I had a spare
afternoon, I talked to women alone, on marriage, maternity, and the laws
of life and health. We made many most charming acquaintances, too,
scattered all over our Western World, and saw how comfortable and happy
sensible people could be, living in most straitened circumstances, with
none of the luxuries of life. If most housekeepers could get rid of
one-half their clothes and furniture and put their bric-a-brac in the
town museum, life would be simplified and they would begin to know what
leisure means. When I see so many of our American women struggling to be
artists, who cannot make a good loaf of bread nor a palatable cup of
coffee, I think of what Theodore Parker said when art was a craze in
Boston. "The fine arts do not interest me so much as the coarse arts
which feed, clothe, house, and comfort a people. I would rather be a
great man like Franklin than a Michael Angelo--nay, if I had a son, I
should rather see him a mechanic, like the late George Stephenson, in
England, than a great painter like Rubens, who only copied beauty."

One day I found at the office of the _Revolution_ an invitation to meet
Mrs. Moulton in the Academy of Music, where she was to try her voice for
the coming concert for the benefit of the Woman's Medical College. And
what a voice for power, pathos, pliability! I never heard the like.
Seated beside her mother, Mrs. W.H. Greenough, I enjoyed alike the
mother's anxious pride and the daughter's triumph. I felt, as I
listened, the truth of what Vieuxtemps said the first time he heard her,
"That is the traditional voice for which the ages have waited and
longed." When, on one occasion, Mrs. Moulton sang a song of Mozart's to
Auber's accompaniment, someone present asked, "What could be added to
make this more complete?" Auber looked up to heaven, and, with a sweet
smile, said, "Nothing but that Mozart should have been here to listen."
Looking and listening, "Here," thought I, "is another jewel in the crown
of womanhood, to radiate and glorify the lives of all." I have such an
intense pride of sex that the triumphs of woman in art, literature,
oratory, science, or song rouse my enthusiasm as nothing else can.

Hungering, that day, for gifted women, I called on Alice and Phebe Cary
and Mary Clemmer Ames, and together we gave the proud white male such a
serving up as did our souls good and could not hurt him, intrenched, as
he is, behind creeds, codes, customs, and constitutions, with vizor and
breastplate of self-complacency and conceit. In criticising Jessie
Boucherett's essay on "Superfluous Women," in which she advises men in
England to emigrate in order to leave room and occupation for women, the
_Tribune_ said: "The idea of a home without a man in it!" In visiting
the Carys one always felt that there was a home--a very charming one,
too--without a man in it.

Once when Harriet Beecher Stowe was at Dr. Taylor's, I had the
opportunity to make her acquaintance. In her sanctum, surrounded by
books and papers, she was just finishing her second paper on the Byron
family, and her sister Catherine was preparing papers on her educational
work, preparatory to a coming meeting of the ladies of the school board.
The women of the Beecher family, though most of them wives and mothers,
all had a definite life-work outside the family circle, and other
objects of intense interest beside husbands, babies, cook stoves, and
social conversations. Catherine said she was opposed to woman suffrage,
and if she thought there was the least danger of our getting it, she
would write and talk against it vehemently. But, as the nation was safe
against such a calamity, she was willing to let the talk go on, because
the agitation helped her work. "It is rather paradoxical," I said to
her, "that the pressing of a false principle can help a true one; but
when you get the women all thoroughly educated, they will step off to
the polls and vote in spite of you."

One night on the train from New York to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, I
found abundant time to think over the personal peculiarities of the many
noble women who adorn this nineteenth century, and, as I recalled them,
one by one, in America, England, France, and Germany, and all that they
are doing and saying, I wandered that any man could be so blind as not
to see that woman has already taken her place as the peer of man. While
the lords of creation have been debating her sphere and drawing their
chalk marks here and there, woman has quietly stepped outside the barren
fields where she was compelled to graze for centuries, and is now in
green pastures and beside still waters, a power in the world of thought.

These pleasant cogitations were cut short by my learning that I had
taken the wrong train, and must change at Harrisburg at two o'clock in
the morning. How soon the reflection that I must leave my comfortable
berth at such an unchristian hour changed the whole hue of glorious
womanhood and every other earthly blessing! However, I lived through the
trial and arrived at Williamsport as the day dawned. I had a good
audience at the opera house that evening, and was introduced to many
agreeable people, who declared themselves converted to woman suffrage by
my ministrations. Among the many new jewels in my crown, I added, that
night, Judge Bently.

In November, 1869, I passed one night in Philadelphia, with Miss
Anthony, at Anna Dickinson's home--a neat, three-story brick house in
Locust Street. This haven of rest, where the world-famous little woman
came, ever and anon, to recruit her overtaxed energies, was very
tastefully furnished, adorned with engravings, books, and statuary. Her
mother, sister, and brother made up the household--a pleasing,
cultivated trio. The brother was a handsome youth of good judgment, and
given to sage remarks; the sister, witty, intuitive, and incisive in
speech; the mother, dressed in rich Quaker costume, and though nearly
seventy, still possessed of great personal beauty. She was intelligent,
dignified, refined, and, in manner and appearance, reminded one of
Angelina Grimké as she looked in her younger days. Everything about the
house and its appointments indicated that it was the abode of genius and
cultivation, and, although Anna was absent, the hospitalities were
gracefully dispensed by her family. Napoleon and Shakespeare seemed to
be Anna's patron saints, looking down, on all sides, from the wall. The
mother amused us with the sore trials her little orator had inflicted on
the members of the household by her vagaries in the world of fame.

On the way to Kennett Square, a young gentleman pointed out to us the
home of Benjamin West, who distinguished himself, to the disgust of
broadbrims generally, as a landscape painter. In commencing his career,
it is said he made use of the tail of a cat in lieu of a brush. Of
course Benjamin's first attempts were on the sly, and he could not ask
paterfamilias for money to buy a brush without encountering the good
man's scorn. Whether, in the hour of his need and fresh enthusiasm, poor
puss was led to the sacrificial altar, or whether he found her reposing
by the roadside, having paid the debt of Nature, our informant could not
say; enough that, in time, he owned a brush and immortalized himself by
his skill in its use. Such erratic ones as Whittier, West, and Anna
Dickinson go to prove that even the prim, proper, perfect Quakers are
subject to like infirmities with the rest of the human family.

I had long heard of the "Progressive Friends" in the region round
Longwood; had read the many bulls they issued from their "yearly
meetings" on every question, on war, capital punishment, temperance,
slavery, woman's rights; had learned that they were turning the cold
shoulder on the dress, habits, and opinions of their Fathers; listening
to the ministrations of such worldlings as William Lloyd Garrison,
Theodore Tilton, and Oliver Johnson, in a new meeting house, all painted
and varnished, with cushions, easy seats, carpets, stoves, a musical
instrument--shade of George Fox, forgive--and three brackets with vases
on the "high seat," and, more than all that, men and women were
indiscriminately seated throughout the house.

All this Miss Anthony and I beheld with our own eyes, and, in company
with Sarah Pugh and Chandler Darlington, did sit together in the high
seat and talk in the congregation of the people. There, too, we met
Hannah Darlington and Dinah Mendenhall,--names long known in every good
work,--and, for the space of one day, did enjoy the blissful serenity of
that earthly paradise. The women of Kennett Square were celebrated not
only for their model housekeeping but also for their rare cultivation on
all subjects of general interest.

In November I again started on one of my Western trips, but, alas! on
the very day the trains were changed, and so I could not make
connections to meet my engagements at Saginaw and Marshall, and just
saved myself at Toledo by going directly from the cars before the
audience, with the dust of twenty-four hours' travel on my garments.
Not being able to reach Saginaw, I went straight to Ann Arbor, and spent
three days most pleasantly in visiting old friends, making new ones, and
surveying the town, with its grand University. I was invited to
Thanksgiving dinner at the home of Mr. Seaman, a highly cultivated
Democratic editor, author of "Progress of Nations." A choice number of
guests gathered round his hospitable board on that occasion, over which
his wife presided with dignity and grace. Woman suffrage was the target
for the combined wit and satire of the company, and, after four hours of
uninterrupted sharpshooting, pyrotechnics, and laughter, we dispersed to
our several abodes, fairly exhausted with the excess of enjoyment.

One gentleman had the moral hardihood to assert that men had more
endurance than women, whereupon a lady remarked that she would like to
see the thirteen hundred young men in the University laced up in
steel-ribbed corsets, with hoops, heavy skirts, trains, high heels,
panniers, chignons, and dozens of hairpins sticking in their scalps,
cooped up in the house year after year, with no exhilarating exercise,
no hopes, aims, nor ambitions in life, and know if they could stand it
as well as the girls. "Nothing," said she, "but the fact that women,
like cats, have nine lives, enables them to survive the present _régime_
to which custom dooms the sex."

While in Ann Arbor I gave my lecture on "Our Girls" in the new Methodist
church--a large building, well lighted, and filled with a brilliant
audience. The students, in large numbers, were there, and strengthened
the threads of my discourse with frequent and generous applause;
especially when I urged on the Regents of the University the duty of
opening its doors to the daughters of the State. There were several
splendid girls in Michigan, at that time, preparing themselves for
admission to the law department. As Judge Cooley, one of the professors,
was a very liberal man, as well as a sound lawyer, and strongly in favor
of opening the college to girls, I had no doubt the women of Michigan
would soon distinguish themselves at the bar. Some said the chief
difficulty in the way of the girls of that day being admitted to the
University was the want of room. That could have been easily obviated by
telling the young men from abroad to betake themselves to the colleges
in their respective States, that Michigan might educate her daughters.
As the women owned a good share of the property of the State, and had
been heavily taxed to build and endow that institution, it was but fair
that they should share in its advantages.

The Michigan University, with its extensive grounds, commodious
buildings, medical and law schools, professors' residences, and the
finest laboratory in the country, was an institution of which the State
was justly proud, and, as the tuition was free, it was worth the trouble
of a long, hard siege by the girls of Michigan to gain admittance there.
I advised them to organize their forces at once, get their minute guns,
battering rams, monitors, projectiles, bombshells, cannon, torpedoes,
and crackers ready, and keep up a brisk cannonading until the grave and
reverend seigniors opened the door, and shouted, "Hold, enough!"

The ladies of Ann Arbor had a fine library of their own, where their
clubs met once a week. They had just formed a suffrage association. My
visit ended with a pleasant reception, at which I was introduced to the
chaplain, several professors, and many ladies and gentlemen ready to
accept the situation. Judge Cooley gave me a glowing account of the laws
of Michigan--how easy it was for wives to get possession of all the
property, and then sunder the marriage tie and leave the poor husband to
the charity of the cold world, with their helpless children about him. I
heard of a rich lady, there, who made a will, giving her husband a
handsome annuity as long as he remained her widower. It was evident that
the poor "white male," sooner or later, was doomed to try for himself
the virtue of the laws he had made for women. I hope, for the sake of
the race, he will not bear oppression with the stupid fortitude we have
for six thousand years.

At Flint I was entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Jenny. Mr. Jenny was a
Democratic editor who believed in progress, and in making smooth paths
for women in this great wilderness of life. His wife was a remarkable
woman. She inaugurated the Ladies' Libraries in Michigan. In Flint they
had a fine brick building and nearly two thousand volumes of choice
books, owned by the association, and money always in the treasury. Here,
too, I had a fine audience and gave my lecture entitled "Open the Door."

At Coldwater, in spite of its name, I found a warm, appreciative
audience. The president of the lyceum was a sensible young man who,
after graduating at Ann Arbor, decided, instead of starving at the law,
to work with his hands and brains at the same time. When all men go to
their legitimate business of creating wealth, developing the resources
of the country, and leave its mere exchange to the weaker sex, we shall
not have so many superfluous women in the world with nothing to do. It
is evident the time has come to hunt man into his appropriate sphere.
Coming from Chicago, I met Governor Fairchild and Senator Williams of
Wisconsin. It was delightful to find them thoroughly grounded in the
faith of woman suffrage. They had been devout readers of the
_Revolution_ ever since Miss Anthony induced them to subscribe, the
winter before, at Madison. Of course a new glow of intelligence
irradiated their fine faces (for they were remarkably handsome men) and
there was a new point to all their words. Senator Williams, like myself,
was on a lecturing tour. "Man" was his theme, for which I was devoutly
thankful; for, if there are any of God's creatures that need lecturing,
it is this one that is forever advising us. I thought of all men, from
Father Gregory down to Horace Bushnell, who had wearied their brains to
describe woman's sphere, and how signally they had failed.

Throughout my lyceum journeys I was of great use to the traveling
public, in keeping the ventilators in the cars open, and the dampers in
fiery stoves shut up, especially in sleeping cars at night. How many
times a day I thought what the sainted Horace Mann tried to impress on
his stupid countrymen, that, inasmuch as the air is forty miles deep
around the globe, it is a useless piece of economy to breathe any number
of cubic feet over more than seven times! The babies, too, need to be
thankful that I was in a position to witness their wrongs. Many, through
my intercessions, received their first drink of water, and were
emancipated from woolen hoods, veils, tight strings under their chins,
and endless swaddling bands. It is a startling assertion, but true,
that I have met few women who know how to take care of a baby. And this
fact led me, on one trip, to lecture to my fair countrywomen on
"Marriage and Maternity," hoping to aid in the inauguration of a new era
of happy, healthy babies.

After twenty-four hours in the express I found myself in a pleasant room
in the International Hotel at La Crosse, looking out on the Great Mother
of Waters, on whose cold bosom the ice and the steamers were struggling
for mastery. Beyond stretched the snow-clad bluffs, sternly looking down
on the Mississippi, as if to say, "'Thus far shalt thou come and no
farther'--though sluggish, you are aggressive, ever pushing where you
should not; but all attempts in this direction are alike vain; since
creation's dawn, we have defied you, and here we stand, to-day, calm,
majestic, immovable. Coquette as you will in other latitudes, with
flowery banks and youthful piers in the busy marts of trade, and
undermine them, one and all, with your deceitful wooings, but bow in
reverence as you gaze on us. We have no eyes for your beauty; no ears
for your endless song; our heads are in the clouds, our hearts commune
with gods; you have no part in the eternal problems of the ages that
fill our thoughts, yours the humble duty to wash our feet, and then pass
on, remembering to keep in your appropriate sphere, within the barks
that wise geographers have seen fit to mark."

As I listened to these complacent hills and watched the poor Mississippi
weeping as she swept along, to lose her sorrows in ocean's depths, I
thought how like the attitude of man to woman. Let these proud hills
remember that they, too, slumbered for centuries in deep valleys down,
down, when, perchance, the sparkling Mississippi rolled above their
heads, and but for some generous outburst, some upheaval of old Mother
Earth, wishing that her rock-ribbed sons, as well as graceful daughters,
might enjoy the light, the sunshine and the shower--but for this soul of
love in matter as well as mind--these bluffs and the sons of Adam, too,
might not boast the altitude they glory in to-day. Those who have ears
to hear discern low, rumbling noises that foretell convulsions in our
social world that may, perchance, in the next upheaval, bring woman to
the surface; up, up, from gloomy ocean depths, dark caverns, and damper
valleys. The struggling daughters of earth are soon to walk in the
sunlight of a higher civilization.

Escorted by Mr. Woodward, a member of the bar, I devoted a day to the
lions of La Crosse. First we explored the courthouse, a large, new brick
building, from whose dome we had a grand view of the surrounding
country. The courtroom where justice is administered was large, clean,
airy--the bench carpeted and adorned with a large, green, stuffed chair,
in which I sat down, and, in imagination, summoned up advocates, jurors,
prisoners, and people, and wondered how I should feel pronouncing
sentence of death on a fellow-being, or, like Portia, wisely checkmating
the Shylocks of our times. Here I met Judge Hugh Cameron, formerly of
Johnstown. He invited us into his sanctum, where we had a pleasant chat
about our native hills, Scotch affiliations, the bench and bar of New
York, and the Wisconsin laws for women. The Judge, having maintained a
happy bachelor state, looked placidly on the aggressive movements of
the sex, as his domestic felicity would be no way affected, whether
woman was voted up or down.

We next surveyed the Pomeroy building, which contained a large,
tastefully finished hall and printing establishment, where the La Crosse
_Democrat_ was formerly published. As I saw the perfection, order, and
good taste, in all arrangements throughout, and listened to Mr. Huron's
description of the life and leading characteristics of its chief, it
seemed impossible to reconcile the tone of the _Democrat_ with the moral
status of its editor. I never saw a more complete business
establishment, and the editorial sanctum looked as if it might be the
abiding place of the Muses. Mirrors, pictures, statuary, books, music,
rare curiosities, and fine specimens of birds and minerals were
everywhere. Over the editor's table was a beautiful painting of his
youthful daughter, whose flaxen hair, blue eyes, and angelic face should
have inspired a father to nobler, purer, utterances than he was wont, at
that time, to give to the world.

But Pomeroy's good deeds will live long after his profane words are
forgotten. Throughout the establishment cards, set up in conspicuous
places, said, "Smoking here is positively forbidden." Drinking, too, was
forbidden to all his employés. The moment a man was discovered using
intoxicating drinks, he was dismissed. In the upper story of the
building was a large, pleasant room, handsomely carpeted and furnished,
where the employés, in their leisure hours, could talk, write, read, or
amuse themselves in any rational way.

Mr. Pomeroy was humane and generous with his employés, honorable in his
business relations, and boundless in his charities to the poor. His
charity, business honor, and public spirit were highly spoken of by
those who knew him best. That a journal does not always reflect the
editor is as much the fault of society as of the man. So long as the
public will pay for gross personalities, obscenity, and slang, decent
journals will be outbidden in the market. The fact that the La Crosse
_Democrat_ found a ready sale in all parts of the country showed that
Mr. Pomeroy fairly reflected the popular taste. While multitudes turned
up the whites of their eyes and denounced him in public, they bought his
paper and read it in private.

I left La Crosse in a steamer, just as the rising sun lighted the
hilltops and gilded the Mississippi. It was a lovely morning, and, in
company with a young girl of sixteen, who had traveled alone from some
remote part of Canada, bound for a northern village in Wisconsin, I
promenaded the deck most of the way to Winona, a pleased listener to the
incidents of my young companion's experiences. She said that, when
crossing Lake Huron, she was the only woman on board, but the men were
so kind and civil that she soon forgot she was alone. I found many
girls, traveling long distances, who had never been five miles from home
before, with a self-reliance that was remarkable. They all spoke in the
most flattering manner of the civility of our American men in looking
after their baggage and advising them as to the best routes.

As you approach St. Paul, at Fort Snelling, where the Mississippi and
Minnesota join forces, the country grows bold and beautiful. The town
itself, then boasting about thirty thousand inhabitants, is finely
situated, with substantial stone residences. It was in one of these
charming homes I found a harbor of rest during my stay in the city. Mrs.
Stuart, whose hospitalities I enjoyed, was a woman of rare common sense
and sound health. Her husband, Dr. Jacob H. Stuart, was one of the very
first surgeons to volunteer in the late war. In the panic at Bull Run,
instead of running, as everybody else did, he stayed with the wounded,
and was taken prisoner while taking a bullet from the head of a rebel.
When exchanged, Beauregard gave him his sword for his devotion to the
dying and wounded.

I had the pleasure of seeing several of the leading gentlemen and ladies
of St. Paul at the Orphans' Fair, where we all adjourned, after my
lecture, to discuss woman's rights, over a bounteous supper. Here I met
William L. Banning, the originator of the Lake Superior and Mississippi
Railroad. He besieged Congress and capitalists for a dozen years to
build this road, but was laughed at and put off with sneers and
contempt, until, at last, Jay Cooke became so weary of his continual
coming that he said: "I will build the road to get rid of you."

Whittier seems to have had a prophetic vision of the peopling of this
region. When speaking of the Yankee, he says:

    "He's whittling by St. Mary's Falls,
     Upon his loaded wain;
    He's measuring o'er the Pictured Rocks,
     With eager eyes of gain.

    "I hear the mattock in the mine,
     The ax-stroke in the dell,
    The clamor from the Indian lodge,
     The Jesuits' chapel bell!

    "I hear the tread of pioneers
     Of nations yet to be;
    The first low wash of waves, where soon
     Shall roll a human sea."

The opening of these new outlets and mines of wealth was wholly due to
the forecast and perseverance of Mr. Banning. The first engine that went
over a part of the road had been christened at St. Paul, with becoming
ceremonies; the officiating priestess being a beautiful maiden. A cask
of water from the Pacific was sent by Mr. Banning's brother from
California, and a small keg was brought from Lake Superior for the
occasion. A glass was placed in the hands of Miss Ella B. Banning,
daughter of the president, who then christened the engine, saying: "With
the waters of the Pacific Ocean in my right hand, and the waters of Lake
Superior in my left, invoking the Genius of Progress to bring together,
with iron band, two great commercial systems of the globe, I dedicate
this engine to the use of the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad,
and name it William L. Banning."

From St. Paul to Dubuque, as the boats had ceased running, a circuitous
route and a night of discomfort were inevitable. Leaving the main road
to Chicago at Clinton Junction, I had the pleasure of waiting at a small
country inn until midnight for a freight train. This was indeed dreary,
but, having Mrs. Child's sketches of Mmes. De Staël and Roland at hand,
I read of Napoleon's persecutions of the one and Robespierre's of the
other, until, by comparison, my condition was tolerable, and the little
meagerly furnished room, with its dull fire and dim lamp, seemed a
paradise compared with years of exile from one's native land or the
prison cell and guillotine. How small our ordinary, petty trials seem
in contrast with the mountains of sorrow that have been piled up on the
great souls of the past! Absorbed in communion with them twelve o'clock
soon came, and with it the train.

A burly son of Adam escorted me to the passenger car filled with German
immigrants, with tin cups, babies, bags, and bundles innumerable. The
ventilators were all closed, the stoves hot, and the air was like that
of the Black Hole of Calcutta. So, after depositing my cloak and bag in
an empty seat, I quietly propped both doors open with a stick of wood,
shut up the stoves, and opened all the ventilators with the poker. But
the celestial breeze, so grateful to me, had the most unhappy effect on
the slumbering exiles. Paterfamilias swore outright; the companion of
his earthly pilgrimage said, "We must be going north," and, as the heavy
veil of carbonic acid gas was lifted from infant faces, and the pure
oxygen filled their lungs and roused them to new life, they set up one
simultaneous shout of joy and gratitude, which their parents mistook for
agony. Altogether there was a general stir. As I had quietly slipped
into my seat and laid my head down to sleep, I remained unobserved--the
innocent cause of the general purification and vexation.

We reached Freeport at three o'clock in the morning. As the depot for
Dubuque was nearly half a mile on the other side of the town, I said to
a solitary old man who stood shivering there to receive us, "How can I
get to the other station?" "Walk, madam." "But I do not know the way."
"There is no one to go with you." "How is my trunk going?" said I. "I
have a donkey and cart to take that." "Then," said I, "you, the donkey,
the trunk, and I will go together." So I stepped into the cart, sat down
on the trunk, and the old man laughed heartily as we jogged along
through the mud of that solitary town in the pale morning starlight.
Just as the day was dawning, Dubuque, with its rough hills and bold
scenery, loomed up. Soon, under the roof of Myron Beach, one of the
distinguished lawyers of the West, with a good breakfast and sound nap,
my night's sorrows were forgotten.

I was sorry to find that Mrs. Beach, though a native of New York, and
born on the very spot where the first woman's rights convention was held
in this country, was not sound on the question of woman suffrage. She
seemed to have an idea that voting and housekeeping could not be
compounded; but I suggested that, if the nation could only enjoy a
little of the admirable system with which she and other women
administered their domestic affairs, Uncle Sam's interests would be
better secured. This is just what the nation needs to-day, and women
must wake up to the consideration that they, too, have duties as well as
rights in the State. A splendid audience greeted me in the Opera House,
and I gave "Our Girls," bringing many male sinners to repentance, and
stirring up some lethargic _femmes coverts_ to a state of rebellion
against the existing order of things.

From Dubuque I went to Dixon, a large town, where I met a number of
pleasant people, but I have one cause of complaint against the telegraph
operator, whose negligence to send a dispatch to Mt. Vernon, written and
paid for, came near causing me a solitary night on the prairie,
unsheltered and unknown. Hearing that the express train went out Sunday
afternoon, I decided to go, so as to have all day at Mt. Vernon before
speaking; but on getting my trunk checked, the baggageman said the train
did not stop there. "Well," said I, "check the trunk to the nearest
point at which it does stop," resolving that I would persuade the
conductor to stop one minute, anyway. Accordingly, when the conductor
came round, I presented my case as persuasively and eloquently as
possible, telling him that I had telegraphed friends to meet me, etc.,
etc. He kindly consented to do so and had my trunk re-checked. On
arriving, as there was no light, no sound, and the depot was half a mile
from the town, the conductor urged me to go to Cedar Rapids and come
back the next morning, as it was Sunday night and the depot might not be
opened, and I might be compelled to stay there on the platform all night
in the cold.

But, as I had telegraphed, I told him I thought someone would be there,
and I would take the risk. So off went the train, leaving me solitary
and alone. I could see the lights in the distant town and the dark
outlines of two great mills near by, which suggested dams and races. I
heard, too, the distant barking of dogs, and I thought there might be
wolves, too; but no human sound. The platform was high and I could see
no way down, and I should not have dared to go down if I had. So I
walked all round the house, knocked at every door and window, called
"John!" "James!" "Patrick!" but no response. Dressed in all their best,
they had, no doubt, gone to visit Sally, and I knew they would stay
late. The night wind was cold. What could I do? The prospect of spending
the night there filled me with dismay. At last I thought I would try my
vocal powers; so I hallooed as loud as I could, in every note of the
gamut, until I was hoarse. At last I heard a distant sound, a loud
halloo, which I returned, and so we kept it up until the voice grew
near, and, when I heard a man's heavy footsteps close at hand, I was
relieved. He proved to be the telegraph operator, who had been a brave
soldier in the late war. He said that no message had come from Dixon. He
escorted me to the hotel, where some members of the Lyceum Committee
came in and had a hearty laugh at my adventure, especially that, in my
distress, I should have called on James and John and Patrick, instead of
Jane, Ann, and Bridget. They seemed to argue that that was an admission,
on my part, of man's superiority, but I suggested that, as my sex had
not yet been exalted to the dignity of presiding in depots and baggage
rooms, there would have been no propriety in calling Jane and Ann.

Mt. Vernon was distinguished for a very flourishing Methodist college,
open to boys and girls alike. The president and his wife were liberal
and progressive people. I dined with them in their home near the
college, and met some young ladies from Massachusetts, who were teachers
in the institution. All who gathered round the social board on that
occasion were of one mind on the woman question. Even the venerable
mother of the president seemed to light up with the discussion of the
theme. I gave "Our Girls" in the Methodist church, and took the
opportunity to compliment them for taking the word "obey" out of their
marriage ceremony. I heard the most encouraging reports of the
experiment of educating the sexes together. It was the rule in all the
Methodist institutions in Iowa, and I found that the young gentlemen
fully approved of it.

At Mt. Vernon I also met Mr. Wright, former Secretary of State, who gave
me several interesting facts in regard to the women of Iowa. The State
could boast one woman who was an able lawyer, Mrs. Mansfield. Mrs. Berry
and Mrs. Stebbins were notaries public. Miss Addington was
superintendent of schools in Mitchell County. She was nominated by a
convention in opposition to a Mr. Brown. When the vote was taken, lo!
there was a tie. Mr. Brown offered to yield through courtesy, but she
declined; so they drew lots and Miss Addington was the victor. She once
made an abstract of titles of all the lands in the county where she
lived, and had received an appointment to office from the Governor of
the State, who requested the paper to be made out "L." instead of Laura
Addington. He said it was enough for Iowa to appoint women to such
offices, without having it known the world over. I was sorry to tell the
Governor's secrets,--which I did everywhere,--but the cause of womanhood
made it necessary.



CHAPTER XVIII.

WESTWARD HO!


In the month of June, 1871, Miss Anthony and I went to California,
holding suffrage meetings in many of the chief cities from New York to
San Francisco, where we arrived about the middle of July, in time to
experience the dry, dusty season.

We tarried, on the way, one week in Salt Lake City. It was at the time
of the Godby secession, when several hundred Mormons abjured that
portion of the faith of their fathers which authorized polygamy. A
decision had just been rendered by the United States Supreme Court
declaring the first wife and her children the only legal heirs. Whether
this decision hastened the secession I do not know; however, it gave us
the advantage of hearing all the arguments for and against the system.
Those who were opposed to it said it made slaves of men. To support four
wives and twenty children was a severe strain on any husband. The women
who believed in polygamy had much to say in its favor, especially in
regard to the sacredness of motherhood during the period of pregnancy
and lactation; a lesson of respect for that period being religiously
taught all Mormons.

We were very thankful for the privilege granted us of speaking to the
women alone in the smaller Tabernacle. Our meeting opened at two o'clock
and lasted until seven, giving us five hours of uninterrupted
conversation. Judge McKeon had informed me of the recent decisions and
the legal aspects of the questions, which he urged me to present to them
fully and frankly, as no one had had such an opportunity before to speak
to Mormon women alone. So I made the most of my privilege. I gave a
brief history of the marriage institution in all times and countries, of
the matriarchate, when the mother was the head of the family and owned
the property and children; of the patriarchate, when man reigned supreme
and woman was enslaved; of polyandry, polygamy, monogamy, and
prostitution. We had a full and free discussion of every phase of the
question, and we all agreed that we were still far from having reached
the ideal position for woman in marriage, however satisfied man might be
with his various experiments. Though the Mormon women, like all others,
stoutly defend their own religion, yet they are no more satisfied than
any other sect. All women are dissatisfied with their position as
inferiors, and their dissatisfaction increases in exact ratio with their
intelligence and development.

After this convocation the doors of the Tabernacle were closed to our
ministrations, as we thought they would be, but we had crowded an
immense amount of science, philosophy, history, and general reflections
into the five hours of such free talk as those women had never heard
before. As the seceders had just built a new hall, we held meetings
there every day, discussing all the vital issues of the hour; the Mormon
men and women taking an active part.

We attended the Fourth of July celebration, and saw the immense
Tabernacle filled to its utmost capacity. The various States of the
Union were represented by young girls, gayly dressed, carrying beautiful
flags and banners. When that immense multitude joined in our national
songs, and the deep-toned organ filled the vast dome the music was very
impressive, and the spirit of patriotism manifested throughout was deep
and sincere.

As I stood among these simple people, so earnest in making their
experiment in religion and social life, and remembered all the
persecutions they had suffered and all they had accomplished in that
desolate, far-off region, where they had, indeed, made "the wilderness
blossom like the rose," I appreciated, as never before, the danger of
intermeddling with the religious ideas of any people. Their faith finds
abundant authority in the Bible, in the example of God's chosen people.
When learned ecclesiastics teach the people that they can safely take
that book as the guide of their lives, they must expect them to follow
the letter and the specific teachings that lie on the surface. The
ordinary mind does not generalize nor see that the same principles of
conduct will not do for all periods and latitudes. When women understand
that governments and religions are human inventions; that Bibles,
prayerbooks, catechisms, and encyclical letters are all emanations from
the brain of man, they will no longer be oppressed by the injunctions
that come to them with the divine authority of "Thus saith the Lord."

That thoroughly democratic gathering in the Tabernacle impressed me more
than any other Fourth of July celebration I ever attended. As most of
the Mormon families keep no servants, mothers must take their children
wherever they go--to churches, theatres, concerts, and military
reviews--everywhere and anywhere. Hence the low, pensive wail of the
individual baby, combining in large numbers, becomes a deep monotone,
like the waves of the sea, a sort of violoncello accompaniment to all
their holiday performances. It was rather trying to me at first to have
my glowing periods punctuated with a rhythmic wail from all sides of the
hall; but as soon as I saw that it did not distract my hearers, I simply
raised my voice, and, with a little added vehemence, fairly rivaled the
babies. Commenting on this trial, to one of the theatrical performers,
he replied: "It is bad enough for you, but alas! imagine me in a tender
death scene, when the most profound stillness is indispensable, having
my last gasp, my farewell message to loved ones, accentuated with the
joyful crowings or impatient complainings of fifty babies." I noticed in
the Tabernacle that the miseries of the infantile host were in a measure
mitigated by constant draughts of cold water, borne around in buckets by
four old men.

The question of the most profound interest to us at that time, in the
Mormon experiment, was the exercise of the suffrage by women. Emeline B.
Wells, wife of the Mayor of the city, writing to a Washington
convention, in 1894, said of the many complications growing out of
various bills before Congress to rob women of this right:

     "Women have voted in Utah fourteen years, but, because of the
     little word 'male' that still stands upon the statutes, no woman is
     eligible to any office of emolument or trust. In three successive
     legislatures, bills have been passed, providing that the word
     'male' be erased; but, each time, the Governor of the Territory,
     who has absolute veto power, has refused his signature. Yet women
     attend primary meetings in the various precincts and are chosen as
     delegates. They are also members of county and territorial central
     committees, and are thus gaining practical political experience,
     and preparing themselves for positions of trust.

     "In 1882 a convention was held to frame a constitution to be
     submitted to the people and presented to the Congress of the United
     States. Women were delegates to this convention, and took part in
     all its deliberations, and were appointed to act on committees with
     equal privileges. It is the first instance on record, I think,
     where women have been members and taken an active part in a
     constitutional convention.

     "Much has been said and written, and justly, too, of suffrage for
     women in Wyoming; but, in my humble opinion, had Utah stood on the
     same ground as Wyoming, and women been eligible to office, as they
     are in that Territory, they would, ere this, have been elected to
     the legislative Assembly of Utah.

     "It is currently reported that Mormon women vote as they are told
     by their husbands. I most emphatically deny the assertion. All
     Mormon women vote who are privileged to register. Every girl born
     here, as soon as she is twenty-one years old, registers, and
     considers it as much a duty as to say her prayers. Our women vote
     with the same freedom that characterizes any class of people in the
     most conscientious acts of their lives."

These various questions were happily solved in 1895, when Utah became a
State. Its Constitution gives women the right to vote on all questions,
and makes them eligible to any office.

The journey over the Rocky Mountains was more interesting and wonderful
than I had imagined. A heavy shower the morning we reached the alkali
plains made the trip through that region, where travelers suffer so
much, quite endurable. Although we reached California in its hot, dry
season, we found the atmosphere in San Francisco delightful, fanned with
the gentle breezes of the Pacific, cooled with the waters of its
magnificent harbor. The Golden Gate does indeed open to the eye of the
traveler one of the most beautiful harbors in the world.

Friends had engaged for us a suite of apartments at the Grand Hotel,
then just opened. Our rooms were constantly decked with fresh flowers,
which our "suffrage children," as they called themselves, brought us
from day to day. So many brought tokens of their good will--in fact, all
our visitors came with offerings of fruits and flowers--that not only
our apartments, but the public tables were crowded with rare and
beautiful specimens of all varieties. We spoke every night, to crowded
houses, on all phases of the woman question, and had a succession of
visitors during the day. In fact, for one week, we had a perfect
ovation. As Senator Stanford and his wife were at the same hotel, we had
many pleasant interviews with them.

While in San Francisco we had many delightful sails in the harbor and
drives to the seashore and for miles along the beach. We spent several
hours at the little Ocean House, watching the gambols of the celebrated
seals. These, like the big trees, were named after distinguished
statesmen. One very black fellow was named Charles Sumner, in honor of
his love of the black race; another, with a little squint in his eye,
was called Ben Butler; a stout, rotund specimen that seemed to take life
philosophically, was named Senator Davis of Illinois; a very belligerent
one, who appeared determined to crowd his confrères into the sea, was
called Secretary Stanton. Grant and Lincoln, on a higher ledge of the
rocks, were complacently observing the gambols of the rest.

California was on the eve of an important election, and John A. Bingham
of Ohio and Senator Cole were stumping the State for the Republican
party. At several points we had the use of their great tents for our
audiences, and of such of their able arguments as applied to woman. As
Mr. Bingham's great speech was on the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and
Fifteenth Amendments, every principle he laid down literally
enfranchised the women of the nation. I met the Ohio statesman one
morning at breakfast, after hearing him the night before. I told him his
logic must compel him to advocate woman suffrage. With a most cynical
smile he said "he was not the puppet of logic, but the slave of
practical politics."

We met most of our suffrage coadjutors in different parts of California.
I spent a few days with Mrs. Elizabeth B. Schenck, one of the earliest
pioneers in the suffrage movement. She was a cultivated, noble woman,
and her little cottage was a gem of beauty and comfort, surrounded with
beautiful gardens and a hedge of fish-geraniums over ten feet high,
covered with scarlet flowers. It seemed altogether more like a fairy
bower than a human habitation. The windmills all over California, for
pumping water, make a very pretty feature in the landscape, as well as
an important one, as people are obliged to irrigate their gardens
during the dry season. In August the hills are as brown as ours in
December.

Here, too, I first met Senator Sargent's family, and visited them in
Sacramento City, where we had a suffrage meeting in the evening and one
for women alone next day. At a similar meeting in San Francisco six
hundred women were present in Platt's Hall. We discussed marriage,
maternity, and social life in general. Supposing none but women were
present, as all were dressed in feminine costume, the audience were
quite free in their questions, and I equally so in my answers. To our
astonishment, the next morning, a verbatim report of all that was said
appeared in one of the leading papers, with most respectful comments. As
I always wrote and read carefully what I had to say on such delicate
subjects, the language was well chosen and the presentation of facts and
philosophy quite unobjectionable; hence, the information being as
important for men as for women, I did not regret the publication. During
the day a committee of three gentlemen called to know if I would give a
lecture to men alone. As I had no lecture prepared, I declined, with the
promise to do so the next time I visited California. The idea was novel,
but I think women could do much good in that way.

My readers may be sure that such enterprising travelers as Miss Anthony
and myself visited all the wonders, saw the geysers, big trees, the
Yosemite Valley, and the immense mountain ranges, piled one above
another, until they seemed to make a giant pathway from earth to heaven.
We drove down the mountain sides with Fox, the celebrated whip; sixteen
people in an open carriage drawn by six horses, down, down, down, as
fast as we could go. I expected to be dashed to pieces, but we safely
descended in one hour, heights we had taken three to climb. Fox held a
steady rein, and seemed as calm as if we were trotting on a level,
though any accident, such as a hot axle, a stumbling horse, or a break
in the harness would have sent us down the mountain side, two thousand
feet, to inevitable destruction. He had many amusing anecdotes to tell
of Horace Greeley's trip to the Geysers. The distinguished journalist
was wholly unprepared for the race down the mountains and begged Fox to
hold up. Sitting in front he made several efforts to seize the lines.
But Fox assured him that was the only possible way they could descend in
safety, as the horses could guide the stage, but they could not hold it.

At Stockton we met a party of friends just returning from the Yosemite,
who gave us much valuable information for the journey. Among other
things, I was advised to write to Mr. Hutchins, the chief authority
there, to have a good, strong horse in readiness to take me down the
steep and narrow path into the valley. We took the same driver and
carriage which our friends had found trustworthy, and started early in
the morning. The dust and heat made the day's journey very wearisome,
but the prospect of seeing the wonderful valley made all hardships of
little consequence. Quite a large party were waiting to mount their
donkeys and mules when we arrived. One of the attendants, a man about as
thin as a stair rod, asked me if I was the lady who had ordered a strong
horse; I being the stoutest of the party, he readily arrived at that
conclusion, so my steed was promptly produced. But I knew enough of
horses and riding to see at a glance that he was a failure, with his low
withers and high haunches, for descending steep mountains. In addition
to his forward pitch, his back was immensely broad. Miss Anthony and I
decided to ride astride and had suits made for that purpose; but alas!
my steed was so broad that I could not reach the stirrups, and the
moment we began to descend, I felt as if I were going over his head. So
I fell behind, and, when the party had all gone forward, I dismounted,
though my slender guide assured me there was no danger, he "had been up
and down a thousand times." But, as I had never been at all, his
repeated experiences did not inspire me with courage. I decided to walk.
That, the guide said, was impossible. "Well," said I, by way of
compromise, "I will walk as far as I can, and when I reach the
impossible, I will try that ill-constructed beast. I cannot see what you
men were thinking of when you selected such an animal for this journey."
And so we went slowly down, arguing the point whether it were better to
ride or walk; to trust one's own legs, or, by chance, be precipitated
thousands of feet down the mountain side.

It was a hot August day; the sun, in the zenith, shining with full
power. My blood was at boiling heat with exercise and vexation.
Alternately sliding and walking, catching hold of rocks and twigs,
drinking at every rivulet, covered with dust, dripping with
perspiration, skirts, gloves, and shoes in tatters, for four long hours
I struggled down to the end, when I laid myself out on the grass, and
fell asleep, perfectly exhausted, having sent the guide to tell Mr.
Hutchins that I had reached the valley, and, as I could neither ride nor
walk, to send a wheelbarrow, or four men with a blanket to transport me
to the hotel. That very day the Mariposa Company had brought the first
carriage into the valley, which, in due time, was sent to my relief.
Miss Anthony, who, with a nice little Mexican pony and narrow saddle,
had made her descent with grace and dignity, welcomed me on the steps of
the hotel, and laughed immoderately at my helpless plight.

As hour after hour had passed, she said, there had been a general
wonderment as to what had become of me; "but did you ever see such
magnificent scenery?" "Alas!" I replied, "I have been in no mood for
scenery. I have been constantly watching my hands and feet lest I should
come to grief." The next day I was too stiff and sore to move a finger.
However, in due time I awoke to the glory and grandeur of that wonderful
valley, of which no descriptions nor paintings can give the least idea.
With Sunset Cox, the leading Democratic statesman, and his wife, we had
many pleasant excursions through the valley, and chats, during the
evening, on the piazza. There was a constant succession of people going
and coming, even in that far-off region, and all had their adventures to
relate. But none quite equaled my experiences.

We spent a day in the Calaveras Grove, rested beneath the "big trees,"
and rode on horseback through the fallen trunk of one of them. Some
vandals sawed off one of the most magnificent specimens twenty feet
above the ground, and, on this the owners of the hotel built a little
octagonal chapel. The polished wood, with bark for a border, made a very
pretty floor. Here they often had Sunday services, as it held about one
hundred people. Here, too, we discussed the suffrage question, amid
these majestic trees that had battled with the winds two thousand
years, and had probably never before listened to such rebellion as we
preached to the daughters of earth that day.

Here, again, we found our distinguished statesmen immortalized, each
with his namesake among these stately trees. We asked our guide if there
were any not yet appropriated, might we name them after women. As he
readily consented, we wrote on cards the names of a dozen leading women,
and tacked them on their respective trees. Whether Lucretia Mott, Lucy
Stone, Phoebe Couzins, and Anna Dickinson still retain their identity,
and answer when called by the goddess Sylvia in that majestic grove, I
know not. Twenty-five years have rolled by since then, and a new
generation of visitors and guides may have left no trace of our work
behind them. But we whispered our hopes and aspirations to the trees, to
be wafted to the powers above, and we left them indelibly pictured on
the walls of the little chapel, and for more mortal eyes we scattered
leaflets wherever we went, and made all our pleasure trips so many
propaganda for woman's enfranchisement.

Returning from California I made the journey straight through from San
Francisco to New York. Though a long trip to make without a break, yet I
enjoyed every moment, as I found most charming companions in Bishop
Janes and his daughter. The Bishop being very liberal in his ideas, we
discussed the various theologies, and all phases of the woman question.
I shall never forget those pleasant conversations as we sat outside on
the platform, day after day, and in the soft moonlight late at night. We
took up the thread of our debate each morning where we had dropped it
the night before. The Bishop told me about the resolution to take the
word "obey" from the marriage ceremony which he introduced, two years
before, into the Methodist General Conference and carried with but
little opposition. All praise to the Methodist Church! When our girls
are educated into a proper self-respect and laudable pride of sex, they
will scout all these old barbarisms of the past that point in any way to
the subject condition of women in either the State, the Church, or the
home. Until the other sects follow her example, I hope our girls will
insist on having their conjugal knots all tied by Methodist bishops.

The Episcopal marriage service not only still clings to the word "obey,"
but it has a most humiliating ceremony in giving the bride away. I was
never more struck with its odious and ludicrous features than on once
seeing a tall, queenly-looking woman, magnificently arrayed, married by
one of the tiniest priests that ever donned a surplice and gown, given
away by the smallest guardian that ever watched a woman's fortunes, to
the feeblest, bluest-looking little groom that ever placed a wedding
ring on bridal finger. Seeing these Lilliputians around her, I thought,
when the little priest said, "Who gives this woman to this man," that
she would take the responsibility and say, "I do," but no! there she
stood, calm, serene, as if it were no affair of hers, while the little
guardian, placing her hand in that of the little groom, said, "I do."
Thus was this stately woman bandied about by these three puny men, all
of whom she might have gathered up in her arms and borne off to their
respective places of abode.

But women are gradually waking up to the degradation of these
ceremonies. Not long since, at a wedding in high life, a beautiful girl
of eighteen was struck dumb at the word "obey." Three times the priest
pronounced it with emphasis and holy unction, each time slower, louder,
than before. Though the magnificent parlors were crowded, a breathless
silence reigned. Father, mother, and groom were in agony. The bride,
with downcast eyes, stood speechless. At length the priest slowly closed
his book and said, "The ceremony is at an end." One imploring word from
the groom, and a faint "obey" was heard in the solemn stillness. The
priest unclasped his book and the knot was tied. The congratulations,
feast, and all, went on as though there had been no break in the
proceedings, but the lesson was remembered, and many a rebel made by
that short pause.

I think all these reverend gentlemen who insist on the word "obey" in
the marriage service should be removed for a clear violation of the
Thirteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution, which says there shall
be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude within the United States.
As I gave these experiences to Bishop Janes he laughed heartily, and
asked me to repeat them to each newcomer. Our little debating society
was the center of attraction. One gentleman asked me if our woman
suffrage conventions were as entertaining. I told him yes; that there
were no meetings in Washington so interesting and so well attended as
ours.

As I had some woman-suffrage literature in my valise, I distributed
leaflets to all earnest souls who plied me with questions. Like all
other things, it requires great discretion in sowing leaflets, lest you
expose yourself to a rebuff. I never offer one to a man with a small
head and high heels on his boots, with his chin in the air, because I
know, in the nature of things, that he will be jealous of superior
women; nor to a woman whose mouth has the "prunes and prisms"
expression, for I know she will say, "I have all the rights I want."
Going up to London one day, a few years later, I noticed a saintly
sister, belonging to the Salvation Army, timidly offering some leaflets
to several persons on board; all coolly declined to receive them. Having
had much experience in the joys and sorrows of propagandism, I put out
my hand and asked her to give them to me. I thanked her and read them
before reaching London. It did me no harm and her much good in thinking
that she might have planted a new idea in my mind. Whatever is given to
us freely, I think, in common politeness, we should accept graciously.

While I was enjoying once more the comforts of home, on the blue hills
of Jersey, Miss Anthony was lighting the fires of liberty on the
mountain tops of Oregon and Washington Territory. All through the months
of October, November, and December, 1871, she was jolting about in
stages, over rough roads, speaking in every hamlet where a schoolhouse
was to be found, and scattering our breezy leaflets to the four winds of
heaven.

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." As Miss Anthony had other pressing engagements in Kansas and
Nebraska, 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. Beside several
public meetings, I had parlor talks and scattered leaflets, so that my
time was not lost.

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." We amused ourselves
on the long journey with whist and woman suffrage discussions. We
noticed a dyspeptic-looking clergyman, evidently of a bilious
temperament, eying us very steadily and disapprovingly the first day,
and in a quiet way we warned each other that, in due time, he would give
us a sermon on the sin of card playing.

Sitting alone, early next morning, he seated himself by my side, and
asked me if I would allow him to express his opinion on card playing. I
said "Oh, yes! I fully believe in free speech." "Well," said he, "I
never touch cards. I think they are an invention of the devil to lead
unwary souls from all serious thought of the stern duties of life and
the realities of eternity! I was sorry to see you, with your white hair,
probably near the end of your earthly career, playing cards and talking
with those reckless army officers, who delight in killing their
fellow-beings. No! I do not believe in war or card playing; such things
do not prepare the soul for heaven." "Well," said I, "you are quite
right, with your views, to abjure the society of army officers and all
games of cards. You, no doubt, enjoy your own thoughts and the book you
are reading, more than you would the conversation of those gentlemen and
a game of whist. We must regulate our conduct by our own highest ideal.
While I deplore the necessity of war, yet I know in our Army many of the
noblest types of manhood, whose acquaintance I prize most highly. I
enjoy all games, too, from chess down to dominoes. There is so much that
is sad and stern in life that we need sometimes to lay down its burdens
and indulge in innocent amusements. Thus, you see, what is wise from my
standpoint is unwise from yours. I am sorry that you repudiate all
amusements, as they contribute to the health of body and soul. You are
sorry that I do not think as you do and regulate my life accordingly.
You are sure that you are right. I am equally sure that I am. Hence
there is nothing to be done in either case but to let each other alone,
and wait for the slow process of evolution to give to each of us a
higher standard." Just then one of the officers asked me if I was ready
for a game of whist, and I excused myself from further discussion. I met
many of those dolorous saints in my travels, who spent so much thought
on eternity and saving their souls that they lost all the joys of time,
as well as those sweet virtues of courtesy and charity that might best
fit them for good works on earth and happiness in heaven.

In the spring I went to Nebraska, and Miss Anthony and I again made a
Western tour, sometimes together and sometimes by different routes. A
constitutional convention was in session in Lincoln, and it was
proposed to submit an amendment to strike the word "male" from the
Constitution. Nebraska became a State in March, 1867, and took "Equality
before the law" as her motto. Her Territorial legislature had discussed,
many times, proposed liberal legislation for women, and her State
legislature had twice considered propositions for woman's
enfranchisement. I had a valise with me containing Hon. Benjamin F.
Butler's minority reports as a member of the Judiciary Committee of the
United States House of Representatives, in favor of woman's right to
vote under the Fourteenth Amendment. As we were crossing the Platte
River, in transferring the baggage to the boat, my valise fell into the
river. My heart stood still at the thought of such a fate for all those
able arguments. After the great General had been in hot water all his
life, it was grievous to think of any of his lucubrations perishing in
cold water at last. Fortunately they were rescued. On reaching Lincoln I
was escorted to the home of the Governor, where I spread the documents
in the sunshine, and they were soon ready to be distributed among the
members of the constitutional convention.

After I had addressed the convention, some of the members called on me
to discuss the points of my speech. All the gentlemen were serious and
respectful with one exception. A man with an unusually small head,
diminutive form, and crooked legs tried, at my expense, to be witty and
facetious. During a brief pause in the conversation he brought his chair
directly before me and said, in a mocking tone, "Don't you think that
the best thing a woman can do is to perform well her part in the role of
wife and mother? My wife has presented me with eight beautiful
children; is not this a better life-work than that of exercising the
right of suffrage?"

I had had my eye on this man during the whole interview, and saw that
the other members were annoyed at his behavior. I decided, when the
opportune moment arrived, to give him an answer not soon to be
forgotten; so I promptly replied to his question, as I slowly viewed him
from head to foot, "I have met few men, in my life, worth repeating
eight times." The members burst into a roar of laughter, and one of
them, clapping him on the shoulder, said: "There, sonny, you have read
and spelled; you better go." This scene was heralded in all the Nebraska
papers, and, wherever the little man went, he was asked why Mrs. Stanton
thought he was not worth repeating eight times.

During my stay in Lincoln there was a celebration of the opening of some
railroad. An immense crowd from miles about assembled on this occasion.
The collation was spread and speeches were made in the open air. The men
congratulated each other on the wonderful progress the State had made
since it became an organized Territory in 1854. There was not the
slightest reference, at first, to the women. One speaker said: "This
State was settled by three brothers, John, James, and Joseph, and from
them have sprung the great concourse of people that greet us here
to-day." I turned, and asked the Governor if all these people had
sprung, Minerva-like, from the brains of John, James, and Joseph. He
urged me to put that question to the speaker; so, in one of his eloquent
pauses, I propounded the query, which was greeted with loud and
prolonged cheers, to the evident satisfaction of the women present. The
next speaker took good care to give the due meed of praise to Ann, Jane,
and Mary, and to every mention of the mothers of Nebraska the crowd
heartily responded.

In toasting "the women of Nebraska," at the collation, I said: "Here's
to the mothers, who came hither by long, tedious journeys, closely
packed with restless children in emigrant wagons, cooking the meals by
day, and nursing the babies by night, while the men slept. Leaving
comfortable homes in the East, they endured all the hardships of pioneer
life, suffered, with the men, the attacks of the Dakota Indians and the
constant apprehension of savage raids, of prairie fires, and the
devastating locusts. Man's trials, his fears, his losses, all fell on
woman with double force; yet history is silent concerning the part woman
performed in the frontier life of the early settlers. Men make no
mention of her heroism and divine patience; they take no thought of the
mental or physical agonies women endure in the perils of maternity,
ofttimes without nurse or physician in the supreme hour of their need,
going, as every mother does, to the very gates of death in giving life
to an immortal being!"

Traveling all over these Western States in the early days, seeing the
privations women suffered, and listening to the tales of sorrow at the
fireside, I wondered that men could ever forget the debt of gratitude
they owed to their mothers, or fail to commemorate their part in the
growth of a great people. Yet the men of Nebraska have twice defeated
the woman suffrage amendment.

In 1874 Michigan was the point of interest to all those who had taken
part in the woman-suffrage movement. The legislature, by a very large
majority, submitted to a vote of the electors an amendment of the
Constitution, in favor of striking out the word "male" and thus securing
civil and political rights to the women of the State. It was a very
active campaign. Crowded meetings were held in all the chief towns and
cities. Professor Moses Coit Tyler, and a large number of ministers
preached, every Sunday, on the subject of woman's position. The
Methodist conference passed a resolution in favor of the amendment by a
unanimous vote. I was in the State during the intense heat of May and
June, speaking every evening to large audiences; in the afternoon to
women alone, and preaching every Sunday in some pulpit. The Methodists,
Universalists, Unitarians, and Quakers all threw open their churches to
the apostles of the new gospel of equality for women. We spoke in jails,
prisons, asylums, depots, and the open air. Wherever there were ears to
hear, we lifted up our voices, and, on the wings of the wind, the glad
tidings were carried to the remote corners of the State, and the votes
of forty thousand men, on election day, in favor of the amendment were
so many testimonials to the value of the educational work accomplished.

I made many valuable acquaintances, on that trip, with whom I have
maintained lifelong friendships. One pleasant day I passed in the home
of Governor Bagley and his wife, with a group of pretty children. I
found the Governor deeply interested in prison reform. He had been
instrumental in passing a law giving prisoners lights in their cells and
pleasant reading matter until nine o'clock. His ideas of what prisons
should be, as unfolded that day, have since been fully realized in the
grand experiment now being successfully tried at Elmira, New York.

I visited the State prison at Jackson, and addressed seven hundred men
and boys, ranging from seventy down to seventeen years of age. Seated on
the dais with the chaplain, I saw them file in to dinner, and, while
they were eating, I had an opportunity to study the sad, despairing
faces before me. I shall never forget the hopeless expression of one
young man, who had just been sentenced for twenty years, nor how ashamed
I felt that one of my own sex, trifling with two lovers, had fanned the
jealousy of one against the other, until the tragedy ended in the death
of one and the almost lifelong imprisonment of the other. If girls
should be truthful and transparent in any relations in life, surely it
is in those of love, involving the strongest passions of which human
nature is capable. As the chaplain told me the sad story, and I noticed
the prisoner's refined face and well-shaped head, I felt that the young
man was not under the right influences to learn the lesson he needed.
Fear, coercion, punishment, are the masculine remedies for moral
weakness, but statistics show their failure for centuries. Why not
change the system and try the education of the moral and intellectual
faculties, cheerful surroundings, inspiring influences? Everything in
our present system tends to lower the physical vitality, the
self-respect, the moral tone, and to harden instead of reforming the
criminal.

My heart was so heavy I did not know what to say to such an assembly of
the miserable. I asked the chaplain what I should say. "Just what you
please," he replied. Thinking they had probably heard enough of their
sins, their souls, and the plan of salvation, I thought I would give
them the news of the day. So I told them about the woman suffrage
amendment, what I was doing in the State, my amusing encounters with
opponents, their arguments, my answers. I told them of the great changes
that would be effected in prison life when the mothers of the nation had
a voice in the buildings and discipline. I told them what Governor
Bagley said, and of the good time coming when prisons would no longer be
places of punishment but schools of reformation. To show them what women
would do to realize this beautiful dream, I told them of Elizabeth Fry
and Dorothea L. Dix, of Mrs. Farnham's experiment at Sing Sing, and
Louise Michel's in New Caledonia, and, in closing, I said: "Now I want
all of you who are in favor of the amendment to hold up your right
hands." They gave a unanimous vote, and laughed heartily when I said, "I
do wish you could all go to the polls in November and that we could lock
our opponents up here until after the election." I felt satisfied that
they had had one happy hour, and that I had said nothing to hurt the
feelings of the most unfortunate. As they filed off to their respective
workshops my faith and hope for brighter days went with them. Then I
went all through the prison. Everything looked clean and comfortable on
the surface, but I met a few days after a man, just set free, who had
been there five years for forgery. He told me the true inwardness of the
system; of the wretched, dreary life they suffered, and the brutality of
the keepers. He said the prison was infested with mice and vermin, and
that, during the five years he was there, he had never lain down one
night to undisturbed slumber. The sufferings endured in summer for want
of air, he said, were indescribable. In this prison the cells were in
the center of the building, the corridors running all around by the
windows, so the prisoners had no outlook and no direct contact with the
air. Hence, if a careless keeper forgot to open the windows after a
storm, the poor prisoners panted for air in their cells, like fish out
of water. My informant worked in the mattress department, over the room
where prisoners were punished. He said he could hear the lash and the
screams of the victims from morning till night. "Hard as the work is all
day," said he, "it is a blessed relief to get out of our cells to march
across the yard and get one glimpse of the heavens above, and one breath
of pure air, and to be in contact with other human souls in the
workshops, for, although we could never speak to each other, yet there
was a hidden current of sympathy conveyed by look that made us one in
our misery."

Though the press of the State was largely in our favor, yet there were
some editors who, having no arguments, exercised the little wit they did
possess in low ridicule. It was in this campaign that an editor in a
Kalamazoo journal said: "That ancient daughter of Methuselah, Susan B.
Anthony, passed through our city yesterday, on her way to the Plainwell
meeting, with a bonnet on her head looking as if it had recently
descended from Noah's ark." Miss Anthony often referred to this
description of herself, and said, "Had I represented twenty thousand
voters in Michigan, that political editor would not have known nor cared
whether I was the oldest or the youngest daughter of Methuselah, or
whether my bonnet came from the ark or from Worth's."



CHAPTER XIX.

THE SPIRIT OF '76.


The year 1876 was one of intense excitement and laborious activity
throughout the country. The anticipation of the centennial birthday of
the Republic, to be celebrated in Philadelphia, stirred the patriotism
of the people to the highest point of enthusiasm. As each State was to
be represented in the great exhibition, local pride added another
element to the public interest. Then, too, everyone who could possibly
afford the journey was making busy preparations to spend the Fourth of
July, the natal day of the Republic, mid the scenes where the
Declaration of Independence was issued in 1776, the Government
inaugurated, and the first national councils were held. Those interested
in women's political rights decided to make the Fourth a woman's day,
and to celebrate the occasion, in their various localities, by
delivering orations and reading their own declaration of rights, with
dinners and picnics in the town halls or groves, as most convenient. But
many from every State in the Union made their arrangements to spend the
historic period in Philadelphia. Owing, also, to the large number of
foreigners who came over to join in the festivities, that city was
crammed to its utmost capacity. With the crowd and excessive heat,
comfort was everywhere sacrificed to curiosity.

The enthusiasm throughout the country had given a fresh impulse to the
lyceum bureaus. Like the ferryboats in New York harbor, running hither
and thither, crossing each other's tracks, the whole list of lecturers
were on the wing, flying to every town and city from San Francisco to
New York. As soon as a new railroad ran through a village of five
hundred inhabitants that could boast a schoolhouse, a church, or a
hotel, and one enterprising man or woman, a course of lectures was at
once inaugurated as a part of the winter's entertainments.

On one occasion I was invited, by mistake, to a little town to lecture
the same evening when the Christy Minstrels were to perform. It was
arranged, as the town had only one hall, that I should speak from seven
to eight o'clock and the minstrels should have the remainder of the
time. One may readily see that, with the minstrels in anticipation, a
lecture on any serious question would occupy but a small place in the
hearts of the people in a town where they seldom had entertainments of
any kind. All the time I was speaking there was a running to and fro
behind the scenes, where the minstrels were transforming themselves with
paints and curly wigs into Africans, and laughing at each other's jests.
As it was a warm evening, and the windows were open, the hilarity of the
boys in the street added to the general din. Under such circumstances it
was difficult to preserve my equilibrium. I felt like laughing at my own
comical predicament, and I decided to make my address a medley of
anecdotes and stories, like a string of beads, held together by a fine
thread of argument and illustration. The moment the hand of the clock
pointed at eight o'clock the band struck up, thus announcing that the
happy hour for the minstrels had come. Those of my audience who wished
to stay were offered seats at half price; those who did not, slipped
out, and the crowd rushed in, soon packing the house to its utmost
capacity. I stayed, and enjoyed the performance of the minstrels more
than I had my own.

As the lyceum season lasted from October to June, I was late in reaching
Philadelphia. Miss Anthony and Mrs. Gage had already been through the
agony of finding appropriate headquarters for the National Suffrage
Association. I found them pleasantly situated on the lower floor of No.
1431 Chestnut Street, with the work for the coming month clearly mapped
out. As it was the year for nominating candidates for the presidency of
the United States, the Republicans and Democrats were about to hold
their great' conventions. Hence letters were to be written to them
recommending a woman suffrage plank in their platforms, and asking seats
for women in the conventions, with the privilege of being heard in their
own behalf. On these letters our united wisdom was concentrated, and
twenty thousand copies of each were published.

Then it was thought pre-eminently proper that a Woman's Declaration of
Rights should be issued. Days and nights were spent over that document.
After many twists from our analytical tweezers, with a critical
consideration of every word and sentence, it was at last, by a consensus
of the competent, pronounced very good. Thousands were ordered to be
printed, and were folded, put in envelopes, stamped, directed, and
scattered. Miss Anthony, Mrs. Gage, and I worked sixteen hours, day and
night, pressing everyone who came in, into the service, and late at
night carrying immense bundles to be mailed. With meetings, receptions,
and a succession of visitors, all of whom we plied with woman suffrage
literature, we felt we had accomplished a great educational work.

Among the most enjoyable experiences at our headquarters were the
frequent visits of our beloved Lucretia Mott, who used to come from her
country home bringing us eggs, cold chickens, and fine Oolong tea. As
she had presented us with a little black teapot that, like Mercury's
mysterious pitcher of milk, filled itself for every coming guest, we
often improvised luncheons with a few friends. At parting, Lucretia
always made a contribution to our depleted treasury. Here we had many
prolonged discussions as to the part we should take, on the Fourth of
July, in the public celebration. We thought it would be fitting for us
to read our Declaration of Rights immediately after that of the Fathers
was read, as an impeachment of them and their male descendants for their
injustice and oppression. Ours contained as many counts, and quite as
important, as those against King George in 1776. Accordingly, we applied
to the authorities to allow us seats on the platform and a place in the
programme of the public celebration, which was to be held in the
historic old Independence Hall. As General Hawley was in charge of the
arrangements for the day, I wrote him as follows:

     "1431 Chestnut Street, July 1, 1876.

     "General Hawley.

     "_Honored Sir_: As President of the National Woman's Suffrage
     Association, I am authorized to ask you for tickets to the
     platform, at Independence Hall, for the celebration on the Fourth
     of July. We should like to have seats for at least one
     representative woman from each State. We also ask your permission
     to read our Declaration of Rights immediately after the reading of
     the Declaration of Independence of the Fathers is finished.
     Although these are small favors to ask as representatives of
     one-half of the nation, yet we shall be under great obligations to
     you if granted.

     "Respectfully Yours,

     "Elizabeth Cady Stanton."

To this I received the following reply:

     "U.S.C.C. Headquarters, July 2.

     "Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

     "_Dear Madam_: I send you, with pleasure, half a dozen cards of
     invitation. As the platform is already crowded, it is impossible to
     reserve the number of seats you desire. I regret to say it is also
     impossible for us to make any change in the programme at this late
     hour. We are crowded for time to carry out what is already
     proposed.

     "Yours Very Respectfully,

     "Joseph R. Hawley,

     "President, U.S.C.C."

With this rebuff, Mrs. Mott and I decided that we would not accept the
offered seats, but would be ready to open our own convention called for
that day, at the First Unitarian church, where the Rev. William H.
Furness had preached for fifty years. But some of our younger coadjutors
decided that they would occupy the seats and present our Declaration of
Rights. They said truly, women will be taxed to pay the expenses of
this celebration, and we have as good a right to that platform and to
the ears of the people as the men have, and we will be heard.

That historic Fourth of July dawned at last, one of the most oppressive
days of that heated season. Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Sara
Andrews Spencer, Lillie Devereux Blake, and Phoebe W. Couzins made their
way through the crowds under the broiling sun of Independence Square,
carrying the Woman's Declaration of Rights. This Declaration had been
handsomely engrossed by one of their number, and signed by the oldest
and most prominent advocates of woman's enfranchisement. Their tickets
of admission proved an "open sesame" through the military barriers, and,
a few moments before the opening of the ceremonies, these women found
themselves within the precincts from which most of their sex were
excluded.

The Declaration of 1776 was read by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, about
whose family clusters so much historic fame. The moment he finished
reading was determined upon as the appropriate time for the presentation
of the Woman's Declaration. Not quite sure how their approach might be
met, not quite certain if, at this final moment, they would be permitted
to reach the presiding officer, those ladies arose and made their way
down the aisle. The bustle of preparation for the Brazilian hymn covered
their advance. The foreign guests and the military and civil officers
who filled the space directly in front of the speaker's stand,
courteously made way, while Miss Anthony, in fitting words, presented
the Declaration to the presiding officer. Senator Ferry's face paled as,
bowing low, with no word he received the Declaration, which thus became
part of the day's proceedings. The ladies turned, scattering printed
copies as they deliberately walked down the platform. On every side
eager hands were outstretched, men stood on seats and asked for them,
while General Hawley, thus defied and beaten in his audacious denial to
women of the right to present their Declaration, shouted, "Order,
order!"

Passing out, these ladies made their way to a platform, erected for the
musicians, in front of Independence Hall. Here, under the shadow of
Washington's statue, back of them the old bell that proclaimed "liberty
to all the land and all the inhabitants thereof," they took their
places, and, to a listening, applauding crowd, Miss Anthony read the
Woman's Declaration. During the reading of the Declaration, Mrs. Gage
stood beside Miss Anthony and held an umbrella over her head, to shelter
her friend from the intense heat of the noonday sun. And thus in the
same hour, on opposite sides of old Independence Hall, did the men and
women express their opinions on the great principles proclaimed on the
natal day of the Republic. The Declaration was handsomely framed, and
now hangs in the Vice President's room in the Capitol at Washington.

These heroic ladies then hurried from Independence Hall to the church,
already crowded with an expectant audience, to whom they gave a full
report of the morning's proceedings. The Hutchinsons of worldwide fame
were present in their happiest vein, interspersing the speeches with
appropriate songs and felicitous remarks. For five long hours on that
hot midsummer day a crowded audience, many standing, listened with
profound interest and reluctantly dispersed at last, all agreeing that
it was one of the most impressive and enthusiastic meetings they had
ever attended.

All through our Civil War the slaves on the Southern plantations had an
abiding faith that the terrible conflict would result in freedom for
their race. Just so through all the busy preparations of the Centennial,
the women of the nation felt sure that the great national celebration
could not pass without the concession of some new liberties to them.
Hence they pressed their claims at every point, at the Fourth of July
celebration in the exposition buildings, and in the Republican and
Democratic nominating conventions; hoping to get a plank in the
platforms of both the great political parties.

The Woman's Pavilion upon the centennial grounds was an afterthought, as
theologians claim woman herself to have been. The women of the country,
after having contributed nearly one hundred thousand dollars to the
centennial stock, found there had been no provision made for the
separate exhibition of their work. The centennial board, of which Mrs.
Gillespie was president, then decided to raise funds for the erection of
a separate building, to be known as the Woman's Pavilion. It covered an
acre of ground, and was erected at an expense of thirty thousand
dollars--a small sum in comparison with the money which had been raised
by women and expended on the other buildings, not to speak of the State
and national appropriations, which the taxes levied on them had largely
helped to swell.

The Pavilion was no true exhibit of woman's art. Few women are, as yet,
owners of the business which their industry largely makes remunerative.
Cotton factories, in which thousands of women work, are owned by men.
The shoe business, in some branches of which women are doing more than
half the work, is under the ownership of men. Rich embroideries from
India, rugs of downy softness from Turkey, the muslin of Decca,
anciently known as "The Woven Wind," the pottery and majolica ware of P.
Pipsen's widow, the cartridges and envelopes of Uncle Sam, Waltham
watches, whose finest mechanical work is done by women, and ten thousand
other industries found no place in the pavilion. Said United States
Commissioner Meeker of Colorado, "Woman's work comprises three-fourths
of the exposition; it is scattered through every building; take it away,
and there would be no exposition."

But this pavilion rendered one good service to woman in showing her
capabilities as an engineer. The boiler, which furnished the force for
running its work, was under the charge of a young Canadian girl, Miss
Allison, who, from childhood, had loved machinery, spending much time in
the large saw and grist mills of her father, run by engines of two and
three hundred horse-power, which she sometimes managed for amusement.
When her name was proposed for running the pavilion machinery, it caused
much opposition. It was said that the committee would, some day, find
the pavilion blown to atoms; that the woman engineer would spend her
time reading novels instead of watching the steam gauge; that the idea
was impracticable and should not be thought of. But Miss Allison soon
proved her capabilities and the falseness of these prophecies by taking
her place in the engine room and managing its workings with perfect
ease. Six power looms, on which women wove carpets, webbing, silks,
etc., were run by this engine. At a later period the printing of _The
New Century for Woman_, a paper published by the centennial commission
in the woman's building, was done by its means. Miss Allison declared
the work to be more cleanly, more pleasant, and infinitely less
fatiguing than cooking over a kitchen stove. "Since I have been
compelled to earn my own living," she said, "I have never been engaged
in work I like so well. Teaching school is much harder, and one is not
paid so well." She expressed her confidence in her ability to manage the
engines of an ocean steamer, and said that there were thousands of small
engines in use in various parts of the country, and no reason existed
why women should not be employed to manage them,--following the
profession of engineer as a regular business,--an engine requiring far
less attention than is given by a nursemaid or a mother to a child.

But to have made the Woman's Pavilion grandly historic, upon its walls
should have been hung the yearly protest of Harriet K. Hunt against
taxation without representation; the legal papers served upon the Smith
sisters when, for their refusal to pay taxes while unrepresented, their
Alderney cows were seized and sold; the papers issued by the city of
Worcester for the forced sale of the house and lands of Abby Kelly
Foster, the veteran abolitionist, because she refused to pay taxes,
giving the same reason our ancestors gave when they resisted taxation; a
model of Bunker Hill monument, its foundation laid by Lafayette in 1825,
but which remained unfinished nearly twenty years, until the famous
German danseuse, Fanny Ellsler, gave the proceeds of a public
performance for that purpose. With these should have been exhibited
framed copies of all the laws bearing unjustly upon women--those which
rob her of her name, her earnings, her property, her children, her
person; also the legal papers in the case of Susan B. Anthony, who was
tried and fined for claiming her right to vote under the Fourteenth
Amendment, and the decision of Mr. Justice Miller in the case of Myra
Bradwell, denying national protection for woman's civil rights; and the
later decision of Chief Justice Waite of the United States Supreme Court
against Virginia L. Minor, denying women national protection for their
political rights; decisions in favor of State rights which imperil the
liberties not only of all women, but of every white man in the nation.

Woman's most fitting contributions to the Centennial Exposition would
have been these protests, laws, and decisions, which show her political
slavery. But all this was left for rooms outside of the centennial
grounds, upon Chestnut Street, where the National Woman's Suffrage
Association hoisted its flag, made its protests, and wrote the
Declaration of Rights of the women of the United States.

To many thoughtful people it seemed captious and unreasonable for women
to complain of injustice in this free land, amidst such universal
rejoicings. When the majority of women are seemingly happy, it is
natural to suppose that the discontent of the minority is the result of
their unfortunate individual idiosyncrasies, and not of adverse
influences in established conditions. But the history of the world shows
that the vast majority, in every generation, passively accept the
conditions into which they are born, while those who demanded larger
liberties are ever a small, ostracized minority, whose claims are
ridiculed and ignored. From our standpoint we would honor any Chinese
woman who claimed the right to her feet and powers of locomotion; the
Hindoo widows who refused to ascend the funeral pyre of their husbands;
the Turkish women who threw off their masks and veils and left the
harem; the Mormon women who abjured their faith and demanded monogamic
relations. Why not equally honor the intelligent minority of American
women who protest against the artificial disabilities by which their
freedom is limited and their development arrested? That only a few,
under any circumstances, protest against the injustice of
long-established laws and customs, does not disprove the fact of the
oppressions, while the satisfaction of the many, if real, only proves
their apathy and deeper degradation. That a majority of the women of the
United States accept, without protest, the disabilities which grow out
of their disfranchisement is simply an evidence of their ignorance and
cowardice, while the minority who demand a higher political status
clearly prove their superior intelligence and wisdom.

At the close of the Forty-seventh Congress we made two new demands:
First, for a special committee to consider all questions in regard to
the civil and political rights of women. We naturally asked the
question, As Congress has a special committee on the rights of Indians,
why not on those of women? Are not women, as a factor in civilization,
of more importance than Indians? Secondly, we asked for a room, in the
Capitol, where our committee could meet, undisturbed, whenever they saw
fit. Though these points were debated a long time, our demands were
acceded to at last. We now have our special committee, and our room,
with "Woman Suffrage" in gilt letters, over the door. In our struggle
to achieve this, while our champion, the senior Senator from
Massachusetts, stood up bravely in the discussion, the opposition not
only ridiculed the special demand, but all attempts to secure the civil
and political rights of women. As an example of the arguments of the
opposition, I give what the Senator from Missouri said. It is a fair
specimen of all that was produced on that side of the debate. Mr. Vest's
poetical flights are most inspiring:

     "The Senate now has forty-one committees, with a small army of
     messengers and clerks, one-half of whom, without exaggeration, are
     literally without employment. I shall not pretend to specify the
     committees of this body which have not one single bill, resolution,
     or proposition of any sort pending before them, and have not had
     for months. But, Mr. President, out of all committees without
     business, and habitually without business, in this body, there is
     one that, beyond any question, could take jurisdiction of this
     matter and do it ample justice. I refer to that most respectable
     and antique institution, the Committee on Revolutionary Claims. For
     thirty years it has been without business. For thirty long years
     the placid surface of that parliamentary sea has been without one
     single ripple. If the Senator from Massachusetts desires a tribunal
     for a calm, judicial equilibrium and examination--a tribunal far
     from the 'madding crowd's ignoble strife'--a tribunal eminently
     respectable, dignified and unique; why not send this question to
     the Committee on Revolutionary Claims? It is eminently proper that
     this subject should go to that committee because, if there is any
     revolutionary claim in this country, it is that of woman suffrage.
     (Laughter.) It revolutionizes society; it revolutionizes religion;
     it revolutionizes the Constitution and laws; and it revolutionizes
     the opinions of those so old-fashioned among us as to believe that
     the legitimate and proper sphere of woman is the family circle, as
     wife and mother, and not as politician and voter--those of us who
     are proud to believe that

    "Woman's noblest station is retreat:
    Her fairest virtues fly from public sight;
    Domestic worth--that shuns too strong a light.

     "Before that Committee on Revolutionary Claims why could not this
     most revolutionary of all claims receive immediate and ample
     attention? More than that, as I said before, if there is any
     tribunal that could give undivided time and dignified attention, is
     it not this committee? If there is one peaceful haven of rest,
     never disturbed by any profane bill or resolution of any sort, it
     is the Committee on Revolutionary Claims. It is, in parliamentary
     life, described by that ecstatic verse in Watts'
     hymn--

    "There shall I bathe my wearied soul
     In seas of endless rest.
    And not one wave of trouble roll
     Across my peaceful breast.

     "By all natural laws, stagnation breeds disease and death, and what
     could stir up this most venerable and respectable institution more
     than an application of the strong-minded, with short hair and
     shorter skirts, invading its dignified realm and elucidating all
     the excellences of female suffrage. Moreover, if these ladies could
     ever succeed in the providence of God in obtaining a report from
     that committee, it would end this question forever; for the public
     at large and myself included, in view of that miracle of female
     blandishment and female influence, would surrender at once, and
     female suffrage would become constitutional and lawful. Sir, I
     insist upon it that, in deference to this committee, in deference
     to the fact that it needs this sort of regimen and medicine, this
     whole subject should be so referred."

This gives a very fair idea of the character of the arguments produced
by our opponents, from the inauguration of the movement. But, as there
are no arguments in a republican government in favor of an aristocracy
of sex, ridicule was really the only available weapon. After declaring
"that no just government can be formed without the consent of the
governed," "that taxation without representation is tyranny," it is
difficult to see on what basis one-half the people are disfranchised.



CHAPTER XX.

WRITING "THE HISTORY OF WOMAN SUFFRAGE."


The four years following the Centennial were busy, happy ones, of varied
interests and employments, public and private. Sons and daughters
graduating from college, bringing troops of young friends to visit us;
the usual matrimonial entanglements, with all their promises of
celestial bliss intertwined with earthly doubts and fears; weddings,
voyages to Europe, business ventures--in this whirl of plans and
projects our heads, hearts, and hands were fully occupied. Seven boys
and girls dancing round the fireside, buoyant with all life's joys
opening before them, are enough to keep the most apathetic parents on
the watch-towers by day and anxious even in dreamland by night. My spare
time, if it can be said that I ever had any, was given during these days
to social festivities. The inevitable dinners, teas, picnics, and dances
with country neighbors, all came round in quick succession. We lived, at
this time, at Tenafly, New Jersey, not far from the publisher of the
_Sun_, Isaac W. England, who also had seven boys and girls as full of
frolic as our own. Mrs. England and I entered into all their games with
equal zest. The youngest thought half the fun was to see our enthusiasm
in "blindman's buff," "fox and geese," and "bean bags." It thrills me
with delight, even now, to see these games!

Mr. England was the soul of hospitality. He was never more happy than
when his house was crowded with guests, and his larder with all the
delicacies of the season. Though he and Mr. Stanton were both connected
with that dignified journal, the New York _Sun_, yet they often joined
in the general hilarity. I laugh, as I write, at the memory of all the
frolics we had on the blue hills of Jersey.

In addition to the domestic cares which a large family involved, Mrs.
Gage, Miss Anthony, and I were already busy collecting material for "The
History of Woman Suffrage." This required no end of correspondence. Then
my lecturing trips were still a part of the annual programme. Washington
conventions, too, with calls, appeals, resolutions, speeches and
hearings before the Committees of Congress and State legislatures, all
these came round in the year's proceedings as regularly as pumpkin pies
for Thanksgiving, plum pudding for Christmas, and patriotism for
Washington's birthday. Those who speak for glory or philanthropy are
always in demand for college commencements and Fourth of July orations,
hence much of Miss Anthony's eloquence, as well as my own, was utilized
in this way.

On October 18, 1880, I had an impromptu dinner party. Elizabeth Boynton
Harbert, May Wright Thompson (now Sewall), Phoebe W. Couzins, and
Arethusa Forbes, returning from a Boston convention, all by chance met
under my roof. We had a very merry time talking over the incidents of
the convention, Boston proprieties, and the general situation. As I gave
them many early reminiscences, they asked if I had kept a diary. "No," I
said, "not a pen scratch of the past have I except what might be
gathered from many family letters." They urged me to begin a diary at
once; so I promised I would on my coming birthday.

My great grief that day was that we were putting in a new range, and had
made no preparations for dinner. This completely upset the presiding
genius of my culinary department, as she could not give us the bounteous
feast she knew was expected on such occasions. I, as usual, when there
was any lack in the viands, tried to be as brilliant as possible in
conversation; discussing Nirvana, Karma, reincarnation, and thus turning
attention from the evanescent things of earth to the joys of a life to
come,--not an easy feat to perform with strong-minded women,--but, in
parting, they seemed happy and refreshed, and all promised to come
again.

But we shall never meet there again, as the old, familiar oaks and the
majestic chestnut trees have passed into other hands. Strange lovers now
whisper their vows of faith and trust under the tree where a most
charming wedding ceremony--that of my daughter Margaret--was solemnized
one bright October day. All Nature seemed to do her utmost to heighten
the beauty of the occasion. The verdure was brilliant with autumnal
tints, the hazy noonday sun lent a peculiar softness to every
shadow--even the birds and insects were hushed to silence. As the
wedding march rose soft and clear, two stately ushers led the way; then
a group of Vassar classmates, gayly decked in silks of different colors,
followed by the bride and groom. An immense Saint Bernard dog, on his
own account brought up the rear, keeping time with measured tread. He
took his seat in full view, watching, alternately, the officiating
clergyman, the bride and groom, and guests, as if to say: "What does
all this mean?" No one behaved with more propriety and no one looked
more radiant than he, with a ray of sunlight on his beautiful coat of
long hair, his bright brass collar, and his wonderful head. Bruno did
not live to see the old home broken up, but sleeps peacefully there,
under the chestnut trees, and fills a large place in many of our
pleasant memories.

On November 12, 1880, I was sixty-five years old, and, pursuant to my
promise, I then began my diary. It was a bright, sunny day, but the
frost king was at work; all my grand old trees, that stood like
sentinels, to mark the boundary of my domain, were stripped of their
foliage, and their brilliant colors had faded into a uniform brown; but
the evergreens and the tall, prim cedars held their own, and, when
covered with snow, their exquisite beauty brought tears to my eyes. One
need never be lonely mid beautiful trees.

My thoughts were with my absent children--Harriot in France, Theodore in
Germany, Margaret with her husband and brother Gerrit, halfway across
the continent, and Bob still in college. I spent the day writing letters
and walking up and down the piazza, and enjoyed, from my windows, a
glorious sunset. Alone, on birthdays or holidays, one is very apt to
indulge in sad retrospections. The thought of how much more I might have
done for the perfect development of my children than I had accomplished,
depressed me. I thought of all the blunders in my own life and in their
education. Little has been said of the responsibilities of parental
life; accordingly little or nothing has been done. I had such visions of
parental duties that day that I came to the conclusion that parents
never could pay the debt they owe their children for bringing them into
this world of suffering, unless they can insure them sound minds in
sound bodies, and enough of the good things of this life to enable them
to live without a continual struggle for the necessaries of existence. I
have no sympathy with the old idea that children owe parents a debt of
gratitude for the simple fact of existence, generally conferred without
thought and merely for their own pleasure. How seldom we hear of any
high or holy preparation for the office of parenthood! Here, in the most
momentous act of life, all is left to chance. Men and women, intelligent
and prudent in all other directions, seem to exercise no forethought
here, but hand down their individual and family idiosyncrasies in the
most reckless mariner.

On November 13 the New York _Tribune_ announced the death of Lucretia
Mott, eighty-eight years old. Having known her in the flush of life,
when all her faculties were at their zenith, and in the repose of age,
when her powers began to wane, her withdrawal from among us seemed as
beautiful and natural as the changing foliage, from summer to autumn, of
some grand old oak I have watched and loved.

The arrival of Miss Anthony and Mrs. Gage, on November 20, banished all
family matters from my mind. What planning, now, for volumes, chapters,
footnotes, margins, appendices, paper, and type; of engravings, title,
preface, and introduction! I had never thought that the publication of a
book required the consideration of such endless details. We stood
appalled before the mass of material, growing higher and higher with
every mail, and the thought of all the reading involved made us feel as
if our lifework lay before us. Six weeks of steady labor all day, and
often until midnight, made no visible decrease in the pile of documents.
However, before the end of the month we had our arrangements all made
with publishers and engravers, and six chapters in print. When we began
to correct proof we felt as if something was accomplished. Thus we
worked through the winter and far into the spring, with no change except
the Washington Convention and an occasional evening meeting in New York
city. We had frequent visits from friends whom we were glad to see.
Hither came Edward M. Davis, Sarah Pugh, Adeline Thompson, Frederick
Cabot of Boston, Dr. William F. Channing, and sweet little Clara Spence,
who recited for us some of the most beautiful selections in her
repertoire.

In addition we had numberless letters from friends and foes, some
praising and some condemning our proposed undertaking, and, though much
alone, we were kept in touch with the outside world. But so conflicting
was the tone of the letters that, if we had not taken a very fair gauge
of ourselves and our advisers, we should have abandoned our project and
buried all the valuable material collected, to sleep in pine boxes
forever.

At this time I received a very amusing letter from the Rev. Robert
Collyer, on "literary righteousness," quizzing me for using one of his
anecdotes in my sketch of Lucretia Mott, without giving him credit. I
laughed him to scorn, that he should have thought it was my duty to have
done so. I told him plainly that he belonged to a class of "white male
citizens," who had robbed me of all civil and political rights; of
property, children, and personal freedom; and now it ill became him to
call me to account for using one of his little anecdotes that, ten to
one, he had cribbed from some woman. I told him that I considered his
whole class as fair game for literary pilfering. That women had been
taxed to build colleges to educate men, and if we could pick up a
literary crumb that had fallen from their feasts, we surely had a right
to it. Moreover, I told him that man's duty in the world was to work, to
dig and delve for jewels, real and ideal, and lay them at woman's feet,
for her to use as she might see fit; that he should feel highly
complimented, instead of complaining, that he had written something I
thought worth using. He answered like the nobleman he is; susceptible of
taking in a new idea. He admitted that, in view of the shortcomings of
his entire sex, he had not one word to say in the way of accusation, but
lay prostrate at my feet in sackcloth and ashes, wondering that he had
not taken my view of the case in starting.

Only twice in my life have I been accused of quoting without giving due
credit. The other case was that of Matilda Joslyn Gage. I had, on two or
three occasions, used a motto of hers in autograph books, just as I had
sentiments from Longfellow, Lowell, Shakespeare, Moses, or Paul. In long
lyceum trips innumerable autograph books met one at every turn, in the
cars, depots, on the platform, at the hotel and in the omnibus. "A
sentiment, please," cry half a dozen voices. One writes hastily
different sentiments for each. In this way I unfortunately used a pet
sentiment of Matilda's. So, here and now, I say to my autograph
admirers, from New York to San Francisco, whenever you see "There is a
word sweeter than Mother, Home, or Heaven--that word is Liberty,"
remember it belongs to Matilda Joslyn Gage. I hope, now, that Robert and
Matilda will say, in their posthumous works, that I made the _amende
honorable_, as I always strive to do when friends feel they have not
been fairly treated.

In May, 1881, the first volume of our History appeared; it was an
octavo, containing 871 pages, with good paper, good print, handsome
engravings, and nicely bound. I welcomed it with the same feeling of
love and tenderness as I did my firstborn. I took the same pleasure in
hearing it praised and felt the same mortification in hearing it
criticised. The most hearty welcome it received was from Rev. William
Henry Channing. He wrote us that it was as interesting and fascinating
as a novel. He gave it a most flattering notice in one of the London
papers. John W. Forney, too, wrote a good review and sent a friendly
letter. Mayo W. Hazeltine, one of the ablest critics in this country, in
the New York _Sun_, also gave it a very careful and complimentary
review. In fact, we received far more praise and less blame than we
anticipated. We began the second volume in June. In reading over the
material concerning woman's work in the War, I felt how little our
labors are appreciated. Who can sum up all the ills the women of a
nation suffer from war? They have all of the misery and none of the
glory; nothing to mitigate their weary waiting and watching for the
loved ones who will return no more.

In the spring of 1881, to vary the monotony of the work on the history,
we decided to hold a series of conventions through the New England
States. We began during the Anniversary week in Boston, and had several
crowded, enthusiastic meetings in Tremont Temple. In addition to our
suffrage meetings, I spoke before the Free Religious, Moral Education,
and Heredity associations. All our speakers stayed at the Parker House,
and we had a very pleasant time visiting together in our leisure hours.
We were received by Governor Long, at the State House. He made a short
speech, in favor of woman suffrage, in reply to Mrs. Hooker. We also
called on the Mayor, at the City Hall, and went through Jordan & Marsh's
great mercantile establishment, where the clerks are chiefly young
girls, who are well fed and housed, and have pleasant rooms, with a good
library, where they sit and read in the evening. We went through the
Sherborn Reformatory Prison for Women, managed entirely by women. We
found it clean and comfortable, more like a pleasant home than a place
of punishment.

Mrs. Robinson, Miss Anthony, and I were invited to dine with the Bird
Club. No woman, other than I, had ever had that honor before. I dined
with them in 1870, escorted by "Warrington" of the Springfield
_Republican_ and Edwin Morton. There I met Frank Sanborn for the first
time. Frank Bird held about the same place in political life in
Massachusetts, that Thurlow Weed did in the State of New York for forty
years. In the evening we had a crowded reception at the home of Mrs.
Fenno Tudor, who occupied a fine old residence facing the Common, where
we met a large gathering of Boston reformers. On Decoration Day, May 30,
we went to Providence, where I was the guest of Dr. William F. Channing.
We had a very successful convention there. Senator Anthony and
ex-Governor Sprague were in the audience and expressed great pleasure,
afterward, in all they had heard. I preached in Rev. Frederick
Hinckley's church the previous Sunday afternoon.

From Providence I hurried home, to meet my son Theodore and his bride,
who had just landed from France. We decorated our house and grounds with
Chinese lanterns and national flags for their reception. As we had not
time to send to New York for bunting, our flags--French and
American--were all made of bright red and blue cambric. The effect was
fine when they arrived; but, unfortunately, there came up a heavy
thunderstorm in the night and so drenched our beautiful flags that they
became colorless rags. My little maid announced to me early in the
morning that "the French and Americans had had a great battle during the
night and that the piazza was covered with blood." This was startling
news to one just awakening from a sound sleep. "Why, Emma!" I said,
"what do you mean?" "Why," she replied, "the rain has washed all the
color out of our flags, and the piazza is covered with red and blue
streams of water." As the morning sun appeared in all its glory, chasing
the dark clouds away, our decorations did indeed look pale and limp, and
were promptly removed.

I was happily surprised with my tall, stately daughter, Marguerite
Berry. A fine-looking girl of twenty, straight, strong, and sound,
modest and pleasing. She can walk miles, sketches from nature with great
skill and rapidity, and speaks three languages. I had always said to my
sons: "When you marry, choose a woman with a spine and sound teeth;
remember the teeth show the condition of the bones in the rest of the
body." So, when Theodore introduced his wife to me, he said, "You see I
have followed your advice; her spine is as straight as it should be, and
every tooth in her head as sound as ivory." This reminds me of a young
man who used to put my stoves up for the winter. He told me one day that
he thought of getting married. "Well," I said, "above all things get a
wife with a spine and sound teeth." Stove pipe in hand he turned to me
with a look of surprise, and said: "Do they ever come without spines?"

In July, 1881, sitting under the trees, Miss Anthony and I read and
discussed Wendell Phillips' magnificent speech before the Phi Beta Kappa
Society at Harvard College. This society had often talked of inviting
him, but was afraid of his radical utterances. At last, hoping that
years might have modified his opinions and somewhat softened his speech,
an invitation was given. The élite of Boston, the presidents and college
professors from far and near, were there. A great audience of the wise,
the learned, the distinguished in State and Church assembled. Such a
conservative audience, it was supposed, would surely hold this radical
in check. Alas! they were all doomed, for once, to hear the naked truth,
on every vital question of the day. Thinking this might be his only
opportunity to rouse some liberal thought in conservative minds, he
struck the keynote of every reform; defended labor strikes, the
Nihilists of Russia, prohibition, woman suffrage, and demanded
reformation in our prisons, courts of justice, and halls of legislation.
On the woman question, he said:

     "Social science affirms that woman's place in society marks the
     level of civilization. From its twilight in Greece, through the
     Italian worship of the Virgin, the dreams of chivalry, the justice
     of the civil law, and the equality of French society, we trace her
     gradual recognition, while our common law, as Lord Brougham
     confessed, was, with relation to women, the opprobrium of the age
     of Christianity. For forty years earnest men and women, working
     noiselessly, have washed away the opprobrium, the statute books of
     thirty States have been remodeled, and woman stands, to-day, almost
     face to face with her last claim--the ballot. It has been a weary
     and thankless, though successful struggle. But if there be any
     refuge from that ghastly curse, the vice of great cities, before
     which social science stands palsied and dumb, it is in this more
     equal recognition of women.

     "If, in this critical battle for universal suffrage, our fathers'
     noblest legacy to us and the greatest trust God leaves in our
     hands, there be any weapon, which, once taken from the armory, will
     make victory certain, it will be as it has been in art, literature,
     and society, summoning woman into the political arena. The literary
     class, until within half a dozen years, has taken no note of this
     great uprising; only to fling every obstacle in its way.

     "The first glimpse we get of Saxon blood in history is that line of
     Tacitus in his 'Germany,' which reads, 'In all grave matters they
     consult their women.' Years hence, when robust Saxon sense has
     flung away Jewish superstition and Eastern prejudice, and put under
     its foot fastidious scholarship and squeamish fashion, some second
     Tacitus from the valley of the Mississippi will answer to him of
     the Seven Hills: 'In all grave questions, we consult our women.'

     "If the Alps, piled in cold and silence, be the emblem of
     despotism, we joyfully take the ever restless ocean for ours, only
     pure because never still. To be as good as our fathers, we must be
     better. They silenced their fears and subdued their prejudices,
     inaugurating free speech and equality with no precedent on the
     file. Let us rise to their level, crush appetite, and prohibit
     temptation if it rots great cities; intrench labor in sufficient
     bulwarks against that wealth which, without the tenfold strength of
     modern incorporations, wrecked the Grecian and Roman states; and,
     with a sterner effort still, summon woman into civil life, as
     re-enforcement to our laboring ranks, in the effort to make our
     civilization a success. Sit not like the figure on our silver coin,
     looking ever backward.

    "'New occasions teach new duties,
     Time makes ancient good uncouth,
    They must upward still and onward,
     Who would keep abreast of truth.
    Lo! before us gleam her watch fires--
     We ourselves must pilgrims be,
    Launch our _Mayflower_, and steer boldly
     Through the desperate winter sea,
    Nor attempt the future's portal
     With the past's blood-rusted key.'"

That Harvard speech in the face of fashion, bigotry, and
conservatism--so liberal, so eloquent, so brave--is a model for every
young man, who, like the orator, would devote his talents to the best
interests of the race, rather than to his personal ambition for mere
worldly success.

Toward the end of October, Miss Anthony returned, after a rest of two
months, and we commenced work again on the second volume of the History.
November 2 being election day, the Republican carriage, decorated with
flags and evergreens, came to the door for voters. As I owned the house
and paid the taxes, and as none of the white males was home, I suggested
that I might go down and do the voting, whereupon the gentlemen who
represented the Republican committee urged me, most cordially, to do so.
Accompanied by my faithful friend, Miss Anthony, we stepped into the
carriage and went to the poll, held in the hotel where I usually went to
pay taxes. When we entered the room it was crowded with men. I was
introduced to the inspectors by Charles Everett, one of our leading
citizens, who said: "Mrs. Stanton is here, gentlemen, for the purpose of
voting. As she is a taxpayer, of sound mind, and of legal age, I see no
reason why she should not exercise this right of citizenship."

The inspectors were thunderstruck. I think they were afraid that I was
about to capture the ballot box. One placed his arms round it, with one
hand close over the aperture where the ballots were slipped in, and
said, with mingled surprise and pity, "Oh, no, madam! Men only are
allowed to vote." I then explained to him that, in accordance with the
Constitution of New Jersey, women had voted in New Jersey down to 1801,
when they were forbidden the further exercise of the right by an
arbitrary act of the legislature, and, by a recent amendment to the
national Constitution, Congress had declared that "all persons born or
naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction
thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they
reside" and are entitled to vote. I told them that I wished to cast my
vote, as a citizen of the United States, for the candidates for United
States offices. Two of the inspectors sat down and pulled their hats
over their eyes, whether from shame or ignorance I do not know. The
other held on to the box, and said "I know nothing about the
Constitutions, State or national. I never read either; but I do know
that in New Jersey, women have not voted in my day, and I cannot accept
your ballot." So I laid my ballot in his hand, saying that I had the
same right to vote that any man present had, and on him must rest the
responsibility of denying me my rights of citizenship.

All through the winter Miss Anthony and I worked diligently on the
History. My daughter Harriot came from Europe in February, determined
that I should return with her, as she had not finished her studies. To
expedite my task on the History she seized the laboring oar, prepared
the last chapter and corrected the proof as opportunity offered. As the
children were scattered to the four points of the compass and my husband
spent the winter in the city, we decided to lease our house and all take
a holiday. We spent a month in New York city, busy on the History to the
last hour, with occasional intervals of receiving and visiting friends.
As I dreaded the voyage, the days flew by too fast for my pleasure.



CHAPTER XXI.

IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE.


Having worked diligently through nearly two years on the second volume
of "The History of Woman Suffrage," I looked forward with pleasure to a
rest, in the Old World, beyond the reach and sound of my beloved Susan
and the woman suffrage movement. On May 27, 1892, I sailed with my
daughter Harriot on the _Château Léoville_ for Bordeaux. The many
friends who came to see us off brought fruits and flowers, boxes of
candied ginger to ward off seasickness, letters of introduction, and
light literature for the voyage. We had all the daily and weekly papers,
secular and religious, the new monthly magazines, and several novels. We
thought we would do an immense amount of reading, but we did very
little. Eating, sleeping, walking on deck, and watching the
ever-changing ocean are about all that most people care to do. The sail
down the harbor that bright, warm evening was beautiful, and, we
lingered on deck in the moonlight until a late hour.

I slept but little, that night, as two cats kept running in and out of
my stateroom, and my berth was so narrow that I could only lie in one
position--as straight as if already in my coffin. Under such
circumstances I spent the night, thinking over everything that was
painful in my whole life, and imagining all the different calamities
that might befall my family in my absence. It was a night of severe
introspection and intense dissatisfaction. I was glad when the morning
dawned and I could go on deck. During the day my couch was widened one
foot, and, at night, the cats relegated to other quarters.

We had a smooth, pleasant, uneventful voyage, until the last night,
when, on nearing the French coast, the weather became dark and stormy.
The next morning our good steamer pushed slowly and carefully up the
broad, muddy Gironde and landed us on the bustling quays of Bordeaux,
where my son Theodore stood waiting to receive us. As we turned to say
farewell to our sturdy ship--gazing up at its black iron sides
besprinkled with salty foam--a feeling of deep thankfulness took
possession of us, for she had been faithful to her trust, and had borne
us safely from the New World to the Old, over thousands of miles of
treacherous sea.

We spent a day in driving about Bordeaux, enjoying the mere fact of
restoration to _terra firma_ after twelve days' imprisonment on the
ocean. Maritime cities are much the same all the world over. The forests
of masts, the heavily laden drays, the lounging sailors, the rough
'longshoremen, and the dirty quays, are no more characteristic of
Bordeaux than New York, London, and Liverpool. But Bordeaux was
interesting as the birthplace of Montesquieu and as the capital of
ancient Guienne and Gascony.

But I must not forget to mention an accident that happened on landing at
Bordeaux. We had innumerable pieces of baggage, a baby carriage, rocking
chair, a box of "The History of Woman Suffrage" for foreign libraries,
besides the usual number of trunks and satchels, and one hamper, in
which were many things we were undecided whether to take or leave. Into
this, a loaded pistol had been carelessly thrown. The hamper being
handled with an emphatic jerk by some jovial French sailor, the pistol
exploded, shooting the bearer through the shoulder. He fell bleeding on
the quay. The dynamite scare being just at its height, the general
consternation was indescribable. Every Frenchman, with vehement
gestures, was chattering to his utmost capacity, but keeping at a
respectful distance from the hamper. No one knew what had caused the
trouble; but Theodore was bound to make an investigation. He proceeded
to untie the ropes and examine the contents, and there he found the
pistol, from which, pointing upward, he fired two other bullets. "Alas!"
said Hattie, "I put that pistol there, never dreaming it was loaded."
The wounded man was taken to the hospital. His injuries were very
slight, but the incident cost us two thousand francs and no end of
annoyance. I was thankful that by some chance the pistol had not gone
off in the hold of the vessel and set the ship on fire, and possibly
sacrificed three hundred lives through one girl's carelessness. Verily
we cannot be too careful in the use of firearms.

Bordeaux is a queer old town, with its innumerable soldiers and priests
perambulating in all directions. The priests, in long black gowns and
large black hats, have a solemn aspect; but the soldiers, walking lazily
along, or guarding buildings that seem in no danger from any living
thing, are useless and ridiculous. The heavy carts and harness move the
unaccustomed observer to constant pity for the horses. Besides
everything that is necessary for locomotion, they have an endless number
of ornaments, rising two or three feet above the horses' heads--horns,
bells, feathers, and tassels. One of their carts would weigh as much as
three of ours, and all their carriages are equally heavy.

It was a bright, cool day on which we took the train for Toulouse, and
we enjoyed the delightful run through the very heart of old Gascony and
Languedoc. It was evident that we were in the South, where the sun is
strong, for, although summer had scarcely begun, the country already
wore a brown hue. But the narrow strips of growing grain, the acres of
grape vines, looking like young currant bushes, and the fig trees
scattered here and there, looked odd to the eye of a native of New York.

We passed many historical spots during that afternoon journey up the
valley of the Garonne. At Portets are the ruins of the Château of
Langoiran, built before America was discovered, and, a few miles farther
on, we came to the region of the famous wines of Sauterne and
Château-Yquem. Saint Macaire is a very ancient Gallo-Roman town, where
they show one churches, walls, and houses built fifteen centuries ago.
One of the largest towns has a history typical of this part of France,
where wars of religion and conquest were once the order of the day. It
was taken and retaken by the Goths, Huns, Burgundians, and Saracens,
nobody knows how many times, and belonged, successively, to the kings of
France, to the dukes of Aquitaine, to the kings of England, and to the
counts of Toulouse. I sometimes wonder whether the inhabitants of our
American towns, whose growth and development have been free and
untrammeled as that of a favorite child, appreciate the blessings that
have been theirs. How true the lines of Goethe: "America, thou art much
happier than our old continent; thou hast no castles in ruins, no
fortresses; no useless remembrances, no vain enemies will interrupt the
inward workings of thy life!"

We passed through Moissac, with its celebrated organ, a gift of Mazarin;
through Castle Sarrazin, founded by the Saracens in the eighth century;
through Montauban, that stronghold of the early Protestants, which
suffered martyrdom for its religious faith; through Grisolles, built on
a Roman highway, and, at last, in the dusk of the evening, we reached
"the Capital of the South," that city of learning--curious, interesting
old Toulouse.

Laura Curtis Bullard, in her sketch of me in "Our Famous Women," says:
"In 1882, Mrs. Stanton went to France, on a visit to her son Theodore,
and spent three months at the convent of La Sagesse, in the city of
Toulouse." This is quite true; but I have sometimes tried to guess what
her readers thought I was doing for three months in a convent. Weary of
the trials and tribulations of this world, had I gone there to prepare
in solitude for the next? Had I taken the veil in my old age? Or, like
high-church Anglicans and Roman Catholics, had I made this my retreat?
Not at all. My daughter wished to study French advantageously, my son
lived in the mountains hard by, and the garden of La Sagesse, with its
big trees, clean gravel paths, and cool shade, was the most delightful
spot.

In this religious retreat I met, from time to time, some of the most
radical and liberal-minded residents of the South. Toulouse is one of
the most important university centers of France, and bears with credit
the proud title of "the learned city." With two distinguished members
of the faculty, the late Dr. Nicholas Joly and Professor Moliner of the
law school, I often had most interesting discussions on all the great
questions of the hour. That three heretics--I should say, six, for my
daughter, son, and his wife often joined the circle--could thus sit in
perfect security, and debate, in the most unorthodox fashion, in these
holy precincts, all the reforms, social, political, and religious, which
the United States and France need in order to be in harmony with the
spirit of the age, was a striking proof of the progress the world has
made in freedom of speech. The time was when such acts would have cost
us our lives, even if we had been caught expressing our heresies in the
seclusion of our own homes. But here, under the oaks of a Catholic
convent, with the gray-robed sisters all around us, we could point out
the fallacies of Romanism itself, without fear or trembling. Glorious
Nineteenth Century, what conquests are thine!

I shall say nothing of the picturesque streets of antique Toulouse;
nothing of the priests, who swarm like children in an English town;
nothing of the beautifully carved stone façades of the ancient mansions,
once inhabited by the nobility of Languedoc, but now given up to trade
and commerce; nothing of the lofty brick cathedrals, whose exteriors
remind one of London and whose interiors transfer you to "the gorgeous
East"; nothing of the Capitol, with its gallery rich in busts of the
celebrated sons of the South; nothing of the museum, the public garden,
and the broad river winding through all. I must leave all these
interesting features of Toulouse and hasten up into the Black
Mountains, a few miles away, where I saw the country life of modern
Languedoc.

At Jacournassy, the country seat of Mme. Berry, whose daughter my son
Theodore married, I spent a month full of surprises. How everything
differed from America, and even from the plain below! The peasants, many
of them at least, can neither speak French nor understand it. Their
language is a patois, resembling both Spanish and Italian, and they
cling to it with astonishing pertinacity. Their agricultural implements
are not less quaint than their speech. The plow is a long beam with a
most primitive share in the middle, a cow at one end, and a boy at the
other. The grain is cut with a sickle and threshed with a flail on the
barn floor, as in Scripture times. Manure is scattered over the fields
with the hands. There was a certain pleasure in studying these old-time
ways. I caught glimpses of the anti-revolutionary epoch, when the king
ruled the state and the nobles held the lands. Here again I saw, as
never before, what vast strides the world has made within one century.

But, indoors, one returns to modern times. The table, beds, rooms of the
château were much the same as those of Toulouse and New York city. The
cooking is not like ours, however, unless Delmonico's skill be supposed
to have extended to all the homes in Manhattan Island, which is,
unfortunately, not the case. What an admirable product of French genius
is the art of cooking! Of incalculable value have been the culinary
teachings of Vatel and his followers.

One of the sources of amusement, during my sojourn at Jacournassy, was
of a literary nature. My son Theodore was then busy collecting the
materials for his book entitled "The Woman Question in Europe," and
every post brought in manuscripts and letters from all parts of the
continent, written in almost every tongue known to Babel. So just what I
came abroad to avoid, I found on the very threshold where I came to
rest. We had good linguists at the château, and every document finally
came forth in English dress, which, however, often needed much altering
and polishing. This was my part of the work. So, away off in the heart
of France, high up in the Black Mountains, surrounded with
French-speaking relatives and patois-speaking peasants, I found myself
once more putting bad English into the best I could command, just as I
had so often done in America, when editor of _The Revolution_, or when
arranging manuscript for "The History of Woman Suffrage." But it was
labor in the cause of my sex; it was aiding in the creation of "The
Woman Question in Europe," and so my pen did not grow slack nor my hand
weary.

The scenery in the Black Mountains is very grand, and reminds one of the
lofty ranges of mountains around the Yosemite Valley in California. In
the distance are the snow-capped Pyrenees, producing a solemn beauty, a
profound solitude. We used to go every evening where we could see the
sun set and watch the changing shadows in the broad valley below.
Another great pleasure here was watching the gradual development of my
first grandchild, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, born at Paris, on the 3d of
May, 1882. She was a fine child; though only three months old her head
was covered with dark hair, and her large blue eyes looked out with
intense earnestness from beneath her well-shaped brow.

One night I had a terrible fright. I was the only person sleeping on
the ground floor of the château, and my room was at the extreme end of
the building, with the staircase on the other side. I had frequently
been cautioned not to leave my windows open, as someone might get in.
But, as I always slept with an open window, winter and summer, I thought
I would take the risk rather than endure a feeling of suffocation night
after night. The blinds were solid, and to close them was to exclude all
the air, so I left them open about a foot, braced by an iron hook. A
favorite resort for a pet donkey was under my window, where he had
uniformly slept in profound silence. But one glorious moonlight night,
probably to arouse me to enjoy with him the exquisite beauty of our
surroundings, he put his nose through this aperture and gave one of the
most prolonged, resounding brays I ever heard. Startled from a deep
sleep, I was so frightened that at first I could not move. My next
impulse was to rush out and arouse the family, but, seeing a dark head
in the window, I thought I would slam down the heavy sash and check the
intruder before starting. But just as I approached the window, another
agonizing bray announced the innocent character of my midnight visitor.
Stretching out of the window to frighten him away, a gentleman in the
room above me, for the same purpose, dashed down a pail of water, which
the donkey and I shared equally. He ran off at a double-quick pace,
while I made a hasty retreat.

On August 20, I returned to Toulouse and our quiet convent. The sisters
gave me a most affectionate welcome and I had many pleasant chats,
sitting in the gardens, with the priests and professors. Several times
my daughter and I attended High Mass in the cathedral, built in the
eleventh century. Being entirely new to us it was a most entertaining
spectacular performance. With our American ideas of religious devotion,
it seemed to us that the people, as well as the building, belonged to
the Dark Ages. About fifty priests, in mantles, gowns, and capes, some
black, some yellow,--with tinseled fringes and ornamentation,--with all
manner of gestures, genuflections, salutations, kneelings, and burning
of incense; with prayers, admonitions, and sacraments, filled the altar
with constant motion.

A tall man, dressed in red, wheeled in a large basket filled with bread,
which the priests, with cups of wine, passed up and down among those
kneeling at the altar. At least half a dozen times the places at the
altar were filled--chiefly with women. We counted the men,--only
seven,--and those were old and tremulous, with one foot in the grave.
The whole performance was hollow and mechanical. People walked in,
crossed themselves at the door with holy water, and, while kneeling and
saying their prayers, looked about examining the dress of each newcomer,
their lips moving throughout, satisfied in reeling off the allotted
number of prayers in a given time. The one redeeming feature in the
whole performance was the grand music. The deep-toned organ, whose
sounds reverberated through the lofty arches, was very impressive.

The convent consisted of three large buildings, each three stories high,
and a residence for the priests; also a chapel, where women, at their
devotions, might be seen at various hours from four o'clock in the
morning until evening. Inclosed within a high stone wall were beautiful
gardens with fountains and shrines, where images of departed saints, in
alcoves lighted with tapers were worshiped on certain days of the year.

Such were our environments, and our minds naturally often dwelt on the
nature and power of the religion that had built up and maintained for
centuries these peaceful resorts, where cultivated, scholarly men, and
women of fine sensibilities, could find rest from the struggles of the
outside world. The sisters, who managed this large establishment, seemed
happy in the midst of their severe and multifarious duties. Of the
undercurrent of their lives I could not judge, but on the surface all
seemed smooth and satisfactory. They evidently took great pleasure in
the society of each other. Every evening, from six to eight, they all
sat in the gardens in a circle together, sewing, knitting, and chatting,
with occasional merry bursts of laughter. Their existence is not, by
many degrees, as monotonous as that of most women in isolated
households--especially of the farmer's wife in her solitary home, miles
away from a village and a post office. They taught a school of fifty
orphan girls, who lived in the convent, and for whom they frequently had
entertainments. They also had a few boarders of the old aristocracy of
France, who hate the Republic and still cling to their belief in Popes
and Kings. For the purpose of perfecting herself in the language, my
daughter embraced every opportunity to talk with all she met, and thus
learned the secrets of their inner life. As Sister Rose spoke English, I
gleaned from her what knowledge I could as to their views of time and
eternity. I found their faith had not made much progress through the
terrible upheavals of the French Revolution. Although the Jesuits have
been driven out of France, and the pictures of Saints, the Virgin Mary,
and Christ, have been banished from the walls of their schools and
colleges, the sincere Catholics are more devoted to their religion
because of these very persecutions.

Theodore, his wife, and baby, and Mr. Blatch, a young Englishman, came
to visit us. The sisters and school children manifested great delight in
the baby, and the former equal pleasure in Mr. Blatch's marked attention
to my daughter, as babies and courtships were unusual tableaux in a
convent. As my daughter was studying for a university degree in
mathematics, I went with her to the Lycée, a dreary apartment in a
gloomy old building with bare walls, bare floors, dilapidated desks and
benches, and an old rusty stove. Yet mid such surroundings, the
professor always appeared in full dress, making a stately bow to his
class. I had heard so much of the universities of France that I had
pictured to myself grand buildings, like those of our universities; but,
instead, I found that the lectures were given in isolated rooms, here,
there, and anywhere--uniformly dreary inside and outside.

The first day we called on Professor Depesyrons. After making all our
arrangements for books and lectures, he suddenly turned to my daughter,
and, pointing to the flounces on her dress, her jaunty hat, and some
flowers in a buttonhole, he smiled, and said: "All this, and yet you
love mathematics?" As we entered the court, on our way to the Lycée and
inquired for the professor's lecture room, the students in little groups
watched us closely. The one who escorted us asked several questions, and
discovered, by our accent, that we were foreigners, a sufficient excuse
for the novelty of our proceeding. The professor received us most
graciously, and ordered the janitor to bring us chairs, table, paper,
and pencils.

Then we chatted pleasantly until the hour arrived for his lecture. As I
had but little interest in the subject, and as the problems were
pronounced in a foreign tongue, I took my afternoon nap. There was no
danger of affronting the professor by such indifference to his
eloquence, as he faced the blackboard, filling it with signs and figures
as rapidly as possible; then expunging them to refill again and again,
without a break in his explanations; talking as fast as his hand moved.
Harriot struggled several days to follow him, but found it impossible,
so we gave up the chase after cubes and squares, and she devoted herself
wholly to the study of the language. These were days, for me, of perfect
rest and peace. Everything moved as if by magic, no hurry and bustle,
never a cross or impatient word spoken. As only one or two of the
sisters spoke English, I could read under the trees uninterruptedly for
hours. Emerson, Ruskin, and Carlyle were my chosen companions.

We made several pleasant acquaintances among some Irish families who
were trying to live on their reduced incomes in Toulouse. One of these
gave us a farewell ball. As several companies of the French army were
stationed there, we met a large number of officers at the ball. I had
always supposed the French were graceful dancers. I was a quiet "looker
on in Vienna," so I had an opportunity of comparing the skill of the
different nationalities. All admitted that none glided about so easily
and gracefully as the Americans. They seemed to move without the least
effort, while the English, the French, and the Germans labored in their
dancing, bobbing up and down, jumping and jerking, out of breath and red
in the face in five minutes. One great pleasure we had in Toulouse was
the music of the military band in the public gardens, where, for half a
cent, we could have a chair and enjoy pure air and sweet music for two
hours.

We gave a farewell dinner at the Tivollier Hotel to some of our friends.
With speeches and toasts we had a merry time. Professor Joly was the
life of the occasion. He had been a teacher in France for forty years
and had just retired on a pension. I presented to him "The History of
Woman Suffrage," and he wrote a most complimentary review of it in one
of the leading French journals. Every holiday must have its end. Other
duties called me to England. So, after a hasty good-by to Jacournassy
and La Sagesse, to the Black Mountains and Toulouse, to Languedoc and
the South, we took train one day in October, just as the first leaves
began to fall, and, in fourteen hours, were at Paris. I had not seen the
beautiful French capital since 1840. My sojourn within its enchanting
walls was short,--too short,--and I woke one morning to find myself,
after an absence of forty-two years, again on the shores of England, and
before my eyes were fairly open, grim old London welcomed me back. But
the many happy hours spent in "merry England" during the winter of
1882-83 have not effaced from my memory the four months in Languedoc.



CHAPTER XXII.

REFORMS AND REFORMERS IN GREAT BRITAIN.


Reaching London in the fogs and mists of November, 1882, the first
person I met, after a separation of many years, was our revered and
beloved friend William Henry Channing. The tall, graceful form was
somewhat bent; the sweet, thoughtful face somewhat sadder; the crimes
and miseries of the world seemed heavy on his heart. With his refined,
nervous organization, the gloomy moral and physical atmosphere of London
was the last place on earth where that beautiful life should have ended.
I found him in earnest conversation with my daughter and the young
Englishman she was soon to marry, advising them not only as to the
importance of the step they were about to take, but as to the minor
points to be observed in the ceremony. At the appointed time a few
friends gathered in Portland Street Chapel, and as we approached the
altar our friend appeared in surplice and gown, his pale, spiritual face
more tender and beautiful than ever. This was the last marriage service
he ever performed, and it was as pathetic as original. His whole
appearance was so in harmony with the exquisite sentiments he uttered,
that we who listened felt as if, for the time being, we had entered with
him into the Holy of Holies.

Some time after, Miss Anthony and I called on him to return our thanks
for the very complimentary review he had written of "The History of
Woman Suffrage." He thanked us in turn for the many pleasant memories
we had revived in those pages, "but," said he, "they have filled me with
indignation, too, at the repeated insults offered to women so earnestly
engaged in honest endeavors for the uplifting of mankind. I blushed for
my sex more than once in reading these volumes." We lingered long,
talking over the events connected with our great struggle for freedom.
He dwelt with tenderness on our disappointments, and entered more fully
into the humiliations suffered by women, than any man we ever met. His
views were as appreciative of the humiliation of woman, through the
degradation of sex, as those expressed by John Stuart Mill in his
wonderful work on "The Subjection of Women." He was intensely interested
in Frances Power Cobbe's efforts to suppress vivisection, and the last
time I saw him he was presiding at a parlor meeting where Dr. Elizabeth
Blackwell gave an admirable address on the cause and cure of the social
evil. Mr. Channing spoke beautifully in closing, paying a warm and
merited compliment to Dr. Blackwell's clear and concise review of all
the difficulties involved in the question.

Reading so much of English reformers in our journals, of the Brights,
McLarens, the Taylors; of Lydia Becker, Josephine Butler, and Octavia
Hill, and of their great demonstrations with lords and members of
Parliament in the chair,--we had longed to compare the actors in those
scenes with our speakers on this side of the water. At last we met them
one and all in great public meetings and parlor reunions, at dinners and
receptions. We listened to their public men in Parliament, the courts,
and the pulpit; to the women in their various assemblies; and came to
the conclusion that Americans surpass them in oratory and the conduct of
their meetings. A hesitating, apologetic manner seems to be the national
custom for an exordium on all questions. Even their ablest men who have
visited this country, such as Kingsley, Stanley, Arnold, Tyndall, and
Coleridge, have all been criticised by the American public for their
elocutionary defects. They have no speakers to compare with Wendell
Phillips, George William Curtis, or Anna Dickinson, although John Bright
is without peer among his countrymen, as is Mrs. Besant among the women.
The women, as a general rule, are more fluent than the men.

I reached England in time to attend the great demonstration in Glasgow,
to celebrate the extension of the municipal franchise to the women of
Scotland. It was a remarkable occasion. St. Andrew's immense hall was
packed with women; a few men were admitted to the gallery at half a
crown apiece. Over five thousand people were present. When a Scotch
audience is thoroughly roused, nothing can equal the enthusiasm. The
arrival of the speakers on the platform was announced with the wildest
applause; the entire audience rising, waving their handkerchiefs, and
clapping their hands, and every compliment paid the people of Scotland
was received with similar outbursts. Mrs. McLaren, a sister of John
Bright, presided, and made the opening speech. I had the honor, on this
occasion, of addressing an audience for the first time in the Old World.
Many others spoke briefly. There were too many speakers; no one had time
to warm up to the point of eloquence.

Our system of conventions, of two or three days' duration, with long
speeches discussing pointed and radical resolutions, is quite unknown in
England. Their meetings consist of one session of a few hours, into
which they crowd all the speakers they can summon. They have a few tame,
printed resolutions, on which there can be no possible difference of
opinion, with the names of those who are to speak appended. Each of
these is read and a few short speeches are made, that may or may not
have the slightest reference to the resolutions, which are then passed.
The last is usually one of thanks to some lord or member of the House of
Commons, who may have condescended to preside at the meeting or do
something for the measure in Parliament. The Queen is referred to
tenderly in most of the speeches, although she has never done anything
to merit the approbation of the advocates of suffrage for women.

From Glasgow quite a large party of the Brights and McLarens went to
Edinburgh, where the Hon. Duncan McLaren gave us a warm welcome to
Newington House, under the very shadow of the Salisbury crags. These and
the Pentland Hills are remarkable features in the landscape as you
approach this beautiful city with its mountains and castles. We passed a
few charming days driving about, visiting old friends, and discussing
the status of woman on both sides of the Atlantic. Here we met Elizabeth
Pease Nichol and Jane and Eliza Wigham, whom I had not seen since we sat
together in the World's Anti-slavery Convention, in London, in 1840. Yet
I knew Mrs. Nichol at once; her strongly marked face was not readily
forgotten.

I went with the family on Sunday to the Friends' meeting, where a most
unusual manifestation for that decorous sect occurred. I had been told
that, if I felt inclined, it would be considered quite proper for me to
make some remarks, and just as I was revolving an opening sentence to a
few thoughts I desired to present, a man arose in a remote part of the
house and began, in a low voice, to give his testimony as to the truth
that was in him. All eyes were turned toward him, when suddenly a Friend
leaned over the back of the seat, seized his coat tails and jerked him
down in a most emphatic manner. The poor man buried his face in his
hands, and maintained a profound silence. I learned afterward that he
was a bore, and the Friend in the rear thought it wise to nip him in the
bud. This scene put to flight all intentions of speaking on my part lest
I, too, might get outside the prescribed limits and be suppressed by
force. I dined, that day, with Mrs. Nichol, at Huntly Lodge, where she
has entertained in turn many of our American reformers. Her walls have
echoed to the voices of Garrison, Rogers, Samuel J. May, Parker
Pillsbury, Henry C. Wright, Douglass, Remond, and hosts of English
philanthropists. Though over eighty years of age, she was still awake to
all questions of the hour, and generous in her hospitalities as of yore.

Mrs. Margaret Lucas, whose whole soul was in the temperance movement,
escorted me from Edinburgh to Manchester, to be present at another great
demonstration in the Town Hall, the finest building in that district. It
had just been completed, and, with its ante-room, dining hall, and
various apartments for social entertainments, was by far the most
perfect hall I had seen in England. There I was entertained by Mrs.
Matilda Roby, who, with her husband, gave me a most hospitable
reception. She invited several friends to luncheon one day, among
others Miss Lydia Becker, editor of the _Suffrage Journal_ in that city,
and the Rev. Mr. Steinthal, who had visited this country and spoken on
our platform. The chief topic at the table was John Stuart Mill, his
life, character, writings, and his position with reference to the
political rights of women. In the evening we went to see Ristori in
'"Queen Elizabeth." Having seen her, many years before, in America, I
was surprised to find her still so vigorous. And thus, week after week,
suffrage meetings, receptions, dinners, luncheons, and theaters
pleasantly alternated.

The following Sunday we heard in London a grand sermon from Moncure D.
Conway, and had a pleasant interview with him and Mrs. Conway at the
close of the session. Later we spent a few days at their artistic home,
filled with books, pictures, and mementos from loving friends. A
billiard room, with well-worn cues, balls, and table--quite a novel
adjunct to a parsonage--may, in a measure, account for his vigorous
sermons. A garden reception to Mr. and Mrs. Howells gave us an
opportunity to see the American novelist surrounded by his English
friends.

Soon after this Mr. Conway asked me to fill his pulpit. I retired
Saturday night, very nervous over my sermon for the next day, and the
feeling steadily increased until I reached the platform; but once there
my fears were all dissipated, and I never enjoyed speaking more than on
that occasion, for I had been so long oppressed with the degradation of
woman under canon law and church discipline, that I had a sense of
relief in pouring out my indignation. My theme was, "What has
Christianity done for Woman?" and by the facts of history I showed
clearly that to no form of religion was woman indebted for one impulse
of freedom, as all alike have taught her inferiority and subjection. No
lofty virtues can emanate from such a condition. Whatever heights of
dignity and purity women have individually attained can in no way be
attributed to the dogmas of their religion.

With my son Theodore, always deeply interested in my friends and public
work, I called, during my stay in London, on Mrs. Grey, Miss Jessie
Boucherett, and Dr. Hoggan, who had written essays for "The Woman
Question in Europe"; on our American minister (Mr. Lowell), Mr. and Mrs.
George W. Smalley, and many other notable men and women. By appointment
we had an hour with the Hon. John Bright, at his residence on
Piccadilly. As his photograph, with his fame, had reached America, his
fine face and head, as well as his political opinions, were quite
familiar to us. He received us with great cordiality, and manifested a
clear knowledge and deep interest in regard to all American affairs.
Free trade and woman suffrage formed the basis of our conversation; the
literature of our respective countries and our great men and women were
the lighter topics of the occasion. He was not sound in regard to the
political rights of women, but it is not given to any one man to be
equally clear on all questions. He voted for John Stuart Mill's
amendment to the Household Suffrage Bill in 1867, but he said, "that was
a personal favor to a friend, without any strong convictions as to the
merits of what I considered a purely sentimental measure."

We attended the meeting called to rejoice over the passage of the
Married Women's Property Bill, which gave to the women of England, in
1882, what we had enjoyed in many States in this country since 1848.
Mrs. Jacob Bright, Mrs. Scatcherd, Mrs. Elmy, and several members of
Parliament made short speeches of congratulation to those who had been
instrumental in carrying the measure. It was generally conceded that to
the tact and persistence of Mrs. Jacob Bright, more than to any other
person, belonged the credit of that achievement. Jacob Bright was at the
time a member of Parliament, and fully in sympathy with the bill; and,
while Mrs. Bright exerted all her social influence to make it popular
with the members, her husband, thoroughly versed in Parliamentary
tactics, availed himself of every technicality to push the bill through
the House of Commons. Mrs. Bright's chief object in securing this bill,
aside from establishing the right that every human being has to his own
property, was to place married women on an even plane with widows and
spinsters, thereby making them qualified voters.

The next day we went out to Barn Elms to visit Mr. and Mrs. Charles
McLaren. He was a member of Parliament, a Quaker by birth and education,
and had sustained, to his uttermost ability, the suffrage movement. His
charming wife, the daughter of Mrs. Pochin, is worthy of the noble
mother who was among the earliest leaders on that question--speaking and
writing with ability, on all phases of the subject. Barn Elms is a grand
old estate, a few miles out of London. It was the dairy farm of Queen
Elizabeth, and was presented by her to Sir Francis Walsingham. Since
then it has been inhabited by many persons of note. It has existed as an
estate since the time of the early Saxon kings, and the record of the
sale of Barn Elms in the time of King Athelstane is still extant. What
with its well-kept lawns, fine old trees, glimpses here and there of the
Thames winding round its borders, and its wealth of old associations, it
is, indeed, a charming spot. Our memory of those days will not go back
to Saxon kings, but remain with the liberal host and hostess, the
beautiful children, and the many charming acquaintances we met at that
fireside. I doubt whether any of the ancient lords and ladies who
dispensed their hospitalities under that roof did in any way surpass the
present occupants. Mrs. McLaren, interested in all the reforms of the
day, is radical in her ideas, a brilliant talker, and, for one so young,
remarkably well informed on all political questions.

It was at Barn Elms I met, for the first time, Mrs. Fannie Hertz, to
whom I was indebted for many pleasant acquaintances afterward. She is
said to know more distinguished literary people than any other woman in
London. I saw her, too, several times in her home; meeting, at her
Sunday-afternoon receptions, many persons I was desirous to know. On one
occasion I found George Jacob Holyoake there, surrounded by several
young ladies, all stoutly defending the Nihilists in Russia, and their
right to plot their way to freedom. They counted a dynasty of Czars as
nothing in the balance with the liberties of a whole people. As I joined
the circle, Mr. Holyoake called my attention to the fact that he was the
only one in favor of peaceful measures. "Now," said he, "I have often
heard it said on your platform that the feminine element in politics
would bring about perpetual peace in government, and here all these
ladies are advocating: the worst forms of violence in the name of
liberty." "Ah!" said I, "lay on their shoulders the responsibility of
governing, and they would soon become as mild and conservative as you
seem to be." He then gave us his views on co-operation, the only remedy
for many existing evils, which he thought would be the next step toward
a higher civilization.

There, too, I met some Positivists, who, though liberal on religious
questions, were very narrow as to the sphere of woman. The difference in
sex, which is the very reason why men and women should be associated in
all forms of activity, is to them the strongest reason why they should
be separated. Mrs. Hertz belongs to the Harrison school of Positivists.
I went with her to one of Mrs. Orr's receptions, where we met Robert
Browning, a fine-looking man of seventy years, with white hair and
mustache. He was frank, easy, playful, and brilliant in conversation.
Mrs. Orr seemed to be taking a very pessimistic view of our present
sphere of action, which Mr. Browning, with poetic coloring, was trying
to paint more hopefully.

The next day I dined with Margaret Bright Lucas, in company with John P.
Thomasson, member of Parliament, and his wife, and, afterward, we went
to the House of Commons and had the good fortune to hear Gladstone,
Parnell, and Sir Charles Dilke. Seeing Bradlaugh seated outside of the
charmed circle, I sent my card to him, and, in the corridor, we had a
few moments' conversation. I asked him if he thought he would eventually
get his seat. He replied, "Most assuredly I will. I shall open the next
campaign with such an agitation as will rouse our politicians to some
consideration of the changes gradually coming over the face of things
in this country."

The place assigned ladies in the House of Commons is really a disgrace
to a country ruled by a queen. This dark perch is the highest gallery,
immediately over the speaker's desk and government seats, behind a fine
wire netting, so that it is quite impossible to see or hear anything.
The sixteen persons who can crowd into the front row, by standing with
their noses partly through the open network, can have the satisfaction
of seeing the cranial arch of their rulers and hearing an occasional
paean to liberty, or an Irish growl at the lack of it. I was told that
this network was to prevent the members on the floor from being
disturbed by the beauty of the women. On hearing this I remarked that I
was devoutly thankful that our American men were not so easily
disturbed, and that the beauty of our women was not of so dangerous a
type. I could but contrast our spacious galleries in that magnificent
Capitol at Washington, as well as in our grand State Capitols, where
hundreds of women can sit at their ease and see and hear their rulers,
with these dark, dingy buildings. My son, who had a seat on the floor
just opposite the ladies' gallery, said he could compare our appearance
to nothing but birds in a cage. He could not distinguish an outline of
anybody. All he could see was the moving of feathers and furs or some
bright ribbon or flower.

In the libraries, the courts, and the House of Lords, I found many
suggestive subjects of thought. It was interesting to find, on the
frescoed walls, many historical scenes in which women had taken a
prominent part. Among others there was Jane Lane assisting Charles II.
to escape, and Alice Lisle concealing the fugitives after the battle of
Sedgemoor. Six wives of Henry VIII. stood forth, a solemn pageant when
one recalled their sad fate. Alas! whether for good or ill, women must
ever fill a large space in the tragedies of the world.

I passed a few pleasant hours in the house where Macaulay spent his last
years. The once spacious library and the large bow-window, looking out
on a beautiful lawn, where he sat, from day to day, writing his glowing
periods, possessed a peculiar charm for me, as the surroundings of
genius always do. I thought, as I stood there, how often he had
unconsciously gazed on each object in searching for words rich enough to
gild his ideas. The house was owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Stephen
Winckworth. It was at one of their sociable Sunday teas that many
pleasant memories of the great historian were revived.

One of the most remarkable and genial women I met was Miss Frances Power
Cobbe. She called one afternoon, and sipped with me the five o'clock
tea, a uniform practice in England. She was of medium height, stout,
rosy, and vigorous-looking, with a large, well-shaped head, a strong,
happy face, and gifted with rare powers of conversation. I felt very
strongly attracted to her. She was frank and cordial, and pronounced in
all her views. She gave us an account of her efforts to rescue unhappy
cats and dogs from the hands of the vivisectionists. We saw her, too, in
her home, and in her office in Victoria Street. The perfect order in
which her books and papers were arranged, and the exquisite neatness of
the apartments, were refreshing to behold.

My daughter, having decided opinions of her own, was soon at
loggerheads with Miss Cobbe on the question of vivisection. After we had
examined several German and French books, with illustrations showing the
horrible cruelty inflicted on cats and dogs, she enlarged on the
hypocrisy and wickedness of these scientists, and, turning to my
daughter, said: "Would you shake hands with one of these
vivisectionists? Yes," said Harriot, "I should be proud to shake hands
with Virchow, the great German scientist, for his kindness to a young
American girl. She applied to several professors to be admitted to their
classes, but all refused except Virchow; he readily assented, and
requested his students to treat her with becoming courtesy. 'If any of
you behave otherwise,' said he, 'I shall feel myself personally
insulted.' She entered his classes and pursued her studies, unmolested
and with great success. Now, would you, Miss Cobbe, refuse to shake
hands with any of your statesmen, scientists, clergymen, lawyers, or
physicians who treat women with constant indignities and insult?" "Oh,
no!" said Miss Cobbe. "Then," said Harriot, "you estimate the physical
suffering of cats and dogs as of more consequence than the humiliation
of human beings. The man who tortures a cat for a scientific purpose is
not as low in the scale of beings, in my judgment, as one who sacrifices
his own daughter to some cruel custom."

As we were, just then, reading Froude's "Life of Carlyle," we drove by
the house where Carlyle had lived, and paused a moment at the door where
poor Jennie went in and out so often with a heavy heart. The book gives
a painful record of a great soul struggling with poverty and
disappointment; the hope of success, as an author, so long deferred and
never realized. His foolish pride of independence and headship, and his
utter indifference to his domestic duties and the comfort of his wife
made the picture still darker. Poor Jennie! fitted to shine in any
circle, yet doomed, all her married life, to domestic drudgery, instead
of associations with the great man for whose literary companionship she
had sacrificed everything.

At one of Miss Biggs' receptions Miss Anthony and I met Mr. Stansfeld,
M.P., who had labored faithfully for the repeal of the Contagious
Diseases Act, and had in a measure been successful. We had the honor of
an interview with Lord Shaftesbury, at one of his crowded "at homes,"
and found him a little uncertain as to the wisdom of allowing married
women to vote, for fear of disturbing the peace of the family. I have
often wondered if men see, in this objection, what a fatal admission
they make as to their love of domination.

Miss Anthony was present at the great Liberal Conference, at Leeds, on
October 17, 1882, to which Mrs. Helen Bright Clark, Miss Jane Cobden,
Mrs. Tanner, Mrs. Scatcherd, and several other ladies were duly elected
delegates from their respective Liberal Leagues. Mrs. Clark and Miss
Cobden, daughters of the great corn-law reformers, spoke eloquently in
favor of the resolution to extend Parliamentary suffrage to women, which
was presented by Walter McLaren of Bradford. As Mrs. Clark made her
impassioned appeal for the recognition of woman's political equality in
the next bill for extension of suffrage, that immense gathering of
sixteen hundred delegates was hushed into profound silence. For a
daughter to speak thus in that great representative convention, in
opposition to her loved and honored father, the acknowledged leader of
that party, was an act of heroism and fidelity to her own highest
convictions almost without a parallel in English history, and the effect
on the audience was as thrilling as it was surprising. The resolution
was passed by a large majority. At the reception given to John Bright
that evening, as Mrs. Clark approached the dais on which her noble
father stood shaking the hands of passing friends, she remarked to her
husband, "I wonder if father has heard of my speech this morning, and if
he will forgive me for thus publicly differing with him?" The query was
soon answered. As he caught the first glimpse of his daughter he stepped
down, and, pressing her hand affectionately, kissed her on either cheek.

The next evening the great Quaker statesman was heard by the admiring
thousands who could crowd into Victoria Hall, while thousands, equally
desirous to hear, failed to get tickets of admission. It was a
magnificent sight, and altogether a most impressive gathering of the
people. Miss Anthony, with her friends, sat in the gallery opposite the
great platform, where they had a fine view of the whole audience. When
John Bright, escorted by Sir Wilfrid Lawson, took his seat, the immense
crowd rose, waving hats and handkerchiefs, and, with the wildest
enthusiasm, gave cheer after cheer in honor of the great leader. Sir
Wilfrid Lawson, in his introductory remarks, facetiously alluded to the
resolution adopted by the Conference as somewhat in advance of the ideas
of the speaker of the evening. The house broke into roars of laughter,
while the Father of Liberalism, perfectly convulsed, joined in the
general merriment.

But when at length his time to speak had come, and Mr. Bright went over
the many steps of progress that had been taken by the Liberal party, he
cunningly dodged the question of the emancipation of the women of
England. He skipped round the agitation of 1867, and John Stuart Mill's
amendment presented at that time in the House of Commons; the extension
of the municipal suffrage in 1869; the participation of women in the
establishment of national schools under the law of 1870, both as voters
and members of school boards; the Married Women's Property Bill of 1882;
the large and increasing vote for the extension of Parliamentary
suffrage in the House of Commons, and the adoption of the resolution by
that great Conference the day before. All these successive steps toward
woman's emancipation he carefully remembered to forget.

While in London Miss Anthony and I attended several enthusiastic reform
meetings. We heard Bradlaugh address his constituency on that memorable
day at Trafalgar Square, at the opening of Parliament, when violence was
anticipated and the Parliament Houses were surrounded by immense crowds,
with the military and police in large numbers, to maintain order. We
heard Michael Davitt and Miss Helen Taylor at a great meeting in Exeter
Hall; the former on home rule for Ireland, and the latter on the
nationalization of land. The facts and figures given in these two
lectures, as to the abject poverty of the people and the cruel system by
which every inch of land had been grabbed by their oppressors, were
indeed appalling. A few days before sailing we made our last visit to
Ernestine L. Rose, and found our noble coadjutor, though in delicate
health, pleasantly situated in the heart of London, as deeply interested
as ever in the struggles of the hour.

A great discomfort, in all English homes, is the inadequate system of
heating. A moderate fire in the grate is the only mode of heating, and
they seem quite oblivious to the danger of throwing a door open into a
cold hall at one's back, while the servants pass in and out with the
various courses at dinner. As we Americans were sorely tried, under such
circumstances, it was decided, in the home of my son-in-law, Mr. Blatch,
to have a hall-stove, which, after a prolonged search, was found in
London and duly installed as a presiding deity to defy the dampness that
pervades all those ivy-covered habitations, as well as the neuralgia
that wrings their possessors. What a blessing it proved, more than any
one thing making the old English house seem like an American home! The
delightful summer heat we, in America, enjoy in the coldest seasons, is
quite unknown to our Saxon cousins. Although many came to see our stove
in full working order, yet we could not persuade them to adopt the
American system of heating the whole house at an even temperature. They
cling to the customs of their fathers with an obstinacy that is
incomprehensible to us, who are always ready to try experiments.
Americans complain bitterly of the same freezing experiences in France
and Germany, and, in turn, foreigners all criticise our overheated
houses and places of amusement.

While attending a meeting in Birmingham I stayed with a relative of
Joseph Sturge, whose home I had visited forty years before. The meeting
was called to discuss the degradation of women under the Contagious
Diseases Act. Led by Josephine Butler, the women of England were deeply
stirred on the question of its repeal and have since secured it. I heard
Mrs. Butler speak in many of her society meetings as well as on other
occasions. Her style was not unlike that one hears in Methodist camp
meetings from the best cultivated of that sect; her power lies in her
deeply religious enthusiasm. In London we met Emily Faithful, who had
just returned from a lecturing tour in the United States, and were much
amused with her experiences. Having taken prolonged trips over the whole
country, from Maine to Texas, for many successive years, Miss Anthony
and I could easily add the superlative to all her narrations.

It was a pleasant surprise to meet the large number of Americans usually
at the receptions of Mrs. Peter Taylor. Graceful and beautiful, in full
dress, standing beside her husband, who evidently idolized her, Mrs.
Taylor appeared quite as refined in her drawing room as if she had never
been exposed to the public gaze while presiding over a suffrage
convention. Mrs. Taylor is called the mother of the suffrage movement.
The reform has not been carried on in all respects to her taste, nor on
what she considers the basis of high principle. Neither she nor Mrs.
Jacob Bright has ever been satisfied with the bill asking the rights of
suffrage for "widows and spinsters" only. To have asked this right "for
all women duly qualified," as but few married women are qualified
through possessing property in their own right, would have been
substantially the same, without making any invidious distinctions. Mrs.
Taylor and Mrs. Bright felt that, as married women were the greatest
sufferers under the law, they should be the first rather than the last
to be enfranchised. The others, led by Miss Becker, claimed that it was
good policy to make the demand for "spinsters and widows," and thus
exclude the "family unit" and "man's headship" from the discussion; and
yet these were the very points on which the objections were invariably
based. They claimed that, if "spinsters and widows" were enfranchised,
they would be an added power to secure to married women their rights.
But the history of the past gives us no such assurance. It is not
certain that women would be more just than men, and a small privileged
class of aristocrats have long governed their fellow-countrymen. The
fact that the spinsters in the movement advocated such a bill, shows
that they were not to be trusted in extending it. John Stuart Mill, too,
was always opposed to the exclusion of married women in the demand for
suffrage.

My sense of justice was severely tried by all I heard of the
persecutions of Mrs. Besant and Mr. Bradlaugh for their publications on
the right and duty of parents to limit population. Who can contemplate
the sad condition of multitudes of young children in the Old World whose
fate is to be brought up in ignorance and vice--a swarming, seething
mass which nobody owns--without seeing the need of free discussion of
the philosophical principles that underlie these tangled social
problems? The trials of Foote and Ramsey, too, for blasphemy, seemed
unworthy a great nation in the nineteenth century. Think of
well-educated men of good moral standing thrown into prison in solitary
confinement, for speaking lightly of the Hebrew idea of Jehovah and the
New Testament account of the birth of Jesus! Our Protestant clergy never
hesitate to make the dogmas and superstitions of the Catholic Church
seem as absurd as possible, and why should not those who imagine they
have outgrown Protestant superstitions make them equally ridiculous?
Whatever is true can stand investigation and ridicule.

In the last of April, when the wildflowers were in their glory, Mrs.
Mellen and her lovely daughter, Daisy, came down to our home at
Basingstoke to enjoy its beauty. As Mrs. Mellen had known Charles
Kingsley and entertained him at her residence in Colorado, she felt a
desire to see his former home. Accordingly, one bright morning, Mr.
Blatch drove us to Eversley, through Strathfieldsaye, the park of the
Duke of Wellington. This magnificent place was given to him by the
English government after the battle of Waterloo. A lofty statue of the
duke, that can be seen for miles around, stands at one entrance. A drive
of a few miles further brought us to the parish church of Canon
Kingsley, where he preached many years, and where all that is mortal of
him now lies buried. We wandered through the old church, among the
moss-covered tombstones, and into the once happy home, now silent and
deserted--his loved ones being scattered in different quarters of the
globe. Standing near the last resting place of the author of "Hypatia,"
his warning words for women, in a letter to John Stuart Mill, seemed
like a voice from heaven saying, with new inspiration and power, "This
will never be a good world for women until the last remnant of the canon
law is civilized off the face of the earth."

We heard Mr. Fawcett speak to his Hackney constituents at one of his
campaign meetings. In the course of his remarks he mentioned with
evident favor, as one of the coming measures, the disestablishment of
the Church, and was greeted with loud applause. Soon after he spoke of
woman suffrage as another question demanding consideration, but this
was received with laughter and jeers, although the platform was crowded
with advocates of the measure, among whom were the wife of the speaker
and her sister, Dr. Garrett Anderson. The audience were evidently in
favor of releasing themselves from being taxed to support the Church,
forgetting that women were taxed not only to support a Church but also a
State in the management of neither of which they had a voice. Mr.
Fawcett was not an orator, but a simple, straightforward speaker. He
made one gesture, striking his right clenched fist into the palm of his
left hand at the close of all his strongest assertions, and, although
more liberal than his party, he was a great favorite with his
constituents.

One pleasant trip I made in England was to Bristol, to visit the Misses
Priestman and Mrs. Tanner, sisters-in-law of John Bright. I had stayed
at their father's house forty years before, so we felt like old friends.
I found them all liberal women, and we enjoyed a few days together,
talking over our mutual struggles, and admiring the beautiful scenery
for which that part of the country is celebrated. The women of England
were just then organizing political clubs, and I was invited to speak
before many of them. There is an earnestness of purpose among English
women that is very encouraging under the prolonged disappointments
reformers inevitably suffer. And the order of English homes, too, among
the wealthy classes, is very enjoyable. All go on from year to year with
the same servants, the same surroundings, no changes, no moving, no
building even; in delightful contrast with our periodical upheavals,
always uncertain where we shall go next, or how long our main
dependents will stand by us.

From Bristol I went to Greenbank to visit Mrs. Helen Bright Clark. One
evening her parlors were crowded and I was asked to give an account of
the suffrage movement in America. Some clergymen questioned me in regard
to the Bible position of woman, whereupon I gave quite an exposition of
its general principles in favor of liberty and equality. As two distinct
lines of argument can be woven out of those pages on any subject, on
this occasion I selected all the most favorable texts for justice to
woman, and closed by stating the limits of its authority. Mrs. Clark,
though thoroughly in sympathy with the views I had expressed, feared
lest my very liberal utterances might have shocked some of the strictest
of the laymen and clergy. "Well," said I, "if we who do see the
absurdities of the old superstitions never unveil them to others, how is
the world to make any progress in the theologies? I am in the sunset of
life, and I feel it to be my special mission to tell people what they
are not prepared to hear, instead of echoing worn-out opinions." The
result showed the wisdom of my speaking out of my own soul. To the
surprise of Mrs. Clark, the Primitive Methodist clergyman called on
Sunday morning to invite me to occupy his pulpit in the afternoon and
present the same line of thought I had the previous evening. I accepted
his invitation. He led the services, and I took my text from Genesis i.
27, 28, showing that man and woman were a simultaneous creation,
endowed, in the beginning, with equal power.

Returning to London, I accepted an invitation to take tea one afternoon
with Mrs. Jacob Bright, who, in earnest conversation, had helped us
each to a cup of tea, and was turning to help us to something more, when
over went table and all--tea, bread and butter, cake, strawberries and
cream, silver, china, in one conglomerate mass. Silence reigned. No one
started; no one said "Oh!" Mrs. Bright went on with what she was saying
as if nothing unusual had occurred, rang the bell, and, when the servant
appeared, pointing to the débris, she said, "Charles, remove this." I
was filled with admiration at her coolness, and devoutly thankful that
we Americans maintained an equally dignified silence.

At a grand reception, given in our honor by the National Central
Committee, in Princess' Hall, Jacob Bright, M.P., presided and made an
admirable opening speech, followed by his sister, Mrs. McLaren, with a
highly complimentary address of welcome. By particular request Miss
Anthony explained the industrial, legal, and political status of
American women, while I set forth their educational, social, and
religious condition. John P. Thomasson, M.P., made the closing address,
expressing his satisfaction with our addresses and the progress made in
both countries.

Mrs. Thomasson, daughter of Mrs. Lucas, gave several parties,
receptions, and dinners,--some for ladies only,--where an abundant
opportunity was offered for a critical analysis of the idiosyncrasies of
the superior sex, especially in their dealings with women. The patience
of even such heroic souls as Lydia Becker and Caroline Biggs was almost
exhausted with the tergiversations of Members of the House of Commons.
Alas for the many fair promises broken, the hopes deferred, the votes
fully relied on and counted, all missing in the hour of action! One
crack of Mr. Gladstone's whip put a hundred Liberal members to
flight--members whom these noble women had spent years in educating. I
never visited the House of Commons that I did not see Miss Becker and
Miss Biggs trying to elucidate the fundamental principles of just
government to some of the legislators. Verily their divine faith and
patience merited more worthy action on the part of their alleged
representatives!

Miss Henrietta Müller gave a farewell reception to Miss Anthony and me
on the eve of our departure for America, when we had the opportunity of
meeting once more most of the pleasant acquaintances we had made in
London. Although it was announced for the afternoon, we did, in fact,
receive all day, as many could not come at the hour appointed. Dr.
Elizabeth Blackwell took breakfast with us; Mrs. Fawcett, Mrs. Saville,
and Miss Lord were with us at luncheon; Harriet Hosmer and Olive Logan
soon after; Mrs. Peter Taylor later, and from three to six o'clock the
parlors were crowded.

Returning from London I passed my birthday, November 12, 1883, in
Basingstoke. It was a sad day for us all, knowing that it was the last
day with my loved ones before my departure for America. When I imprinted
the farewell kiss on the soft cheek of my little granddaughter Nora in
the cradle, she in the dawn and I in the sunset of life, I realized how
widely the broad ocean would separate us. Miss Anthony, met me at
Alderly Edge, where we spent a few days with Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Bright.
There we found their noble sisters, Mrs. McLaren and Mrs. Lucas, young
Walter McLaren and his lovely bride, Eva Müller, whom we had heard
several times on the suffrage platform. We rallied her on the step she
had lately taken, notwithstanding her sister's able paper on the
blessedness of a single life. While there, we visited Dean Stanley's
birthplace, but on his death the light and joy went out. The old church
whose walls had once echoed to his voice, and the house where he had
spent so many useful years, seemed sad and deserted. But the day was
bright and warm, the scenery beautiful, cows and sheep were still
grazing in the meadows, and the grass was as green as in June. This is
England's chief charm,--it is forever green,--perhaps in compensation
for the many cloudy days.

As our good friends Mrs. McLaren and Mrs. Lucas had determined to see us
safely on board the Servia, they escorted us to Liverpool, where we met
Mrs. Margaret Parker and Mrs. Scatcherd. Another reception was given us
at the residence of Dr. Ewing Whittle. Several short speeches were made,
and all present cheered the parting guests with words of hope and
encouragement for the good cause. Here the wisdom of forming an
international association was first considered. The proposition met with
such favor from those present that a committee was appointed to
correspond with the friends in different nations. Miss Anthony and I
were placed on the committee, and while this project has not yet been
fully carried out, the idea of the intellectual co-operation of women to
secure equal rights and opportunities for their sex was the basis of the
International Council of Women, which was held under the auspices of the
National Woman Suffrage Association in Washington, D. C, in March, 1888.

On the Atlantic for ten days we had many opportunities to review all we
had seen and heard. Sitting on deck, hour after hour, how often I
queried with myself as to the significance of the boon for which we were
so earnestly struggling. In asking for a voice in the government under
which we live, have we been pursuing a shadow for fifty years? In
seeking political power, are we abdicating that social throne where they
tell us our influence is unbounded? No, no! the right of suffrage is no
shadow, but a substantial entity that the citizen can seize and hold for
his own protection and his country's welfare. A direct power over one's
own person and property, an individual opinion to be counted, on all
questions of public interest, are better than indirect influence, be
that ever so far reaching.

Though influence, like the pure white light, is all-pervading, yet it is
ofttimes obscured with passing clouds and nights of darkness. Like the
sun's rays, it may be healthy, genial, inspiring, though sometimes too
direct for comfort, too oblique for warmth, too scattered for any
purpose. But as the prism divides the rays, revealing the brilliant
colors of the light, so does individual sovereignty reveal the beauty of
representative government, and as the burning-glass shows the power of
concentrating the rays, so does the combined power of the multitude
reveal the beauty of united effort to carry a grand measure.



CHAPTER XXIII.

WOMAN AND THEOLOGY.


Returning from Europe in the autumn of 1883, after visiting a large
circle of relatives and friends, I spent six weeks with my cousin,
Elizabeth Smith Miller, at her home at Geneva, on Seneca Lake.

Through Miss Frances Lord, a woman of rare culture and research, my
daughter and I had become interested in the school of theosophy, and
read "Isis Unveiled," by Madame Blavatsky, Sinnett's works on the
"Occult World," and "The Perfect Way," by Anna Kingsford. Full of these
ideas, I soon interested my cousins in the subject, and we resolved to
explore, as far as possible, some of these Eastern mysteries, of which
we had heard so much. We looked in all directions to find some pilot to
start us on the right course. We heard that Gerald Massey was in New
York city, lecturing on "The Devil," "Ghosts," and "Evil Spirits"
generally, so we invited him to visit us and give a course of lectures
in Geneva. But, unfortunately, he was ill, and could not open new fields
of thought to us at that time, though we were very desirous to get a
glimpse into the unknown world, and hold converse with the immortals. As
I soon left Geneva with my daughter, Mrs. Stanton Lawrence, our occult
studies were, for a time, abandoned.

My daughter and I often talked of writing a story, she describing the
characters and their environments and I attending to the philosophy and
soliloquies. As I had no special duties in prospect, we decided that
this was the time to make our experiment. Accordingly we hastened to the
family homestead at Johnstown, New York, where we could be entirely
alone. Friends on all sides wondered what had brought us there in the
depth of the winter. But we kept our secret, and set ourselves to work
with diligence, and after three months our story was finished to our
entire satisfaction. We felt sure that everyone who read it would be
deeply interested and that we should readily find a publisher. We
thought of "Our Romance" the first thing in the morning and talked of it
the last thing at night. But alas! friendly critics who read our story
pointed out its defects, and in due time we reached their conclusions,
and the unpublished manuscript now rests in a pigeonhole of my desk. We
had not many days to mourn our disappointment, as Madge was summoned to
her Western home, and Miss Anthony arrived armed and equipped with
bushels of documents for vol. III. of "The History of Woman Suffrage."
The summer and autumn of 1884 Miss Anthony and I passed at Johnstown,
working diligently on the History, indulging only in an occasional
drive, a stroll round the town in the evening, or a ride in the open
street cars.

Mrs. Devereux Blake was holding a series of conventions, at this time,
through the State of New York, and we urged her to expend some of her
missionary efforts in my native town, which she did with good results.
As the school election was near at hand Miss Anthony and I had several
preliminary meetings to arouse the women to their duty as voters, and to
the necessity of nominating some woman for trustee. When the day for
the election arrived the large upper room of the Academy was filled with
ladies and gentlemen. Some timid souls who should have been there stayed
at home, fearing there would be a row, but everything was conducted with
decency and in order. The chairman, Mr. Rosa, welcomed the ladies to
their new duties in a very complimentary manner. Donald McMartin stated
the law as to what persons were eligible to vote in school elections.
Mrs. Horace Smith filled the office of teller on the occasion with
promptness and dignity, and Mrs. Elizabeth Wallace Yost was elected
trustee by a majority of seven. It is strange that intelligent women,
who are supposed to feel some interest in the question of education,
should be so indifferent to the power they possess to make our schools
all that they should be.

This was the year of the presidential campaign. The Republicans and
Democrats had each held their nominating conventions, and all classes
participated in the general excitement. There being great
dissatisfaction in the Republican ranks, we issued a manifesto: "Stand
by the Republican Party," not that we loved Blaine more, but Cleveland
less. The latter was elected, therefore it was evident that our efforts
did not have much influence in turning the tide of national politics,
though the Republican papers gave a broad circulation to our appeal.
Dowden's description of the poet Shelley's efforts in scattering one of
his suppressed pamphlets, reminded me of ours. He purchased bushels of
empty bottles, in which he placed his pamphlets; having corked them up
tight, he threw the bottles into the sea at various fashionable watering
places, hoping they would wash ashore. Walking the streets of London in
the evening he would slip his pamphlets into the hoods of old ladies'
cloaks, throw them in shop doors, and leave them in cabs and omnibuses.
We scattered ours in the cars, inclosed them in every letter we wrote or
newspaper we sent through the country.

The night before election Mr. Stanton and Professor Horace Smith spoke
in the Johnstown courthouse, and took rather pessimistic views of the
future of the Republic should James G. Blaine be defeated. Cleveland was
elected, and we still live as a nation, and are able to digest the
thousands of foreign immigrants daily landing at our shores. The night
of the election a large party of us sat up until two o'clock to hear the
news. Mr. Stanton had long been one of the editorial writers on the New
York Sun, and they sent him telegrams from that office until a late
hour. However, the election was so close that we were kept in suspense
several days, before it was definitely decided.

Miss Anthony left in December, 1884, for Washington, and I went to work
on an article for the North American Review, entitled, "What has
Christianity done for Women?" I took the ground that woman was not
indebted to any form of religion for the liberty she now enjoys, but
that, on the contrary, the religious element in her nature had always
been perverted for her complete subjection. Bishop Spaulding, in the
same issue of the Review, took the opposite ground, but I did not feel
that he answered my points.

In January, 1885, my niece Mrs. Baldwin and I went to Washington to
attend the Annual Convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association.
It was held in the Unitarian church on the 20th, 21st, and 22d days of
that month, and went off with great success, as did the usual reception
given by Mrs. Spofford at the Riggs House. This dear friend, one of our
most ardent coadjutors, always made the annual convention a time for
many social enjoyments. The main feature in this convention was the
attempt to pass the following resolutions:

     "Whereas, The dogmas incorporated in religious creeds derived from
     Judaism, teaching that woman was an after-thought in the creation,
     her sex a misfortune, marriage a condition of subordination, and
     maternity a curse, are contrary to the law of God (as revealed in
     nature), and to the precepts of Christ, and,

     "Whereas, These dogmas are an insidious poison, sapping the
     vitality of our civilization, blighting woman, and, through her,
     paralyzing humanity; therefore be it

     "_Resolved_, That we call on the Christian ministry, as leaders of
     thought, to teach and enforce the fundamental idea of creation,
     that man was made in the image of God, male and female, and given
     equal rights over the earth, but none over each other. And,
     furthermore, we ask their recognition of the scriptural declaration
     that, in the Christian religion, there is neither male nor female,
     bond nor free, but all are one in Christ Jesus."

As chairman of the committee I presented a series of resolutions,
impeaching the Christian theology--as well as all other forms of
religion, for their degrading teachings in regard to woman--which the
majority of the committee thought too strong and pointed, and, after
much deliberation, they substituted the above, handing over to the Jews
what I had laid at the door of the Christians. They thought they had so
sugar-coated my ideas that the resolutions would pass without
discussion. But some Jews in the convention promptly repudiated this
impression of their faith and precipitated the very discussion I
desired, but which our more politic friends would fain have avoided.

From the time of the decade meeting in Rochester, in 1878, Matilda
Joslyn Gage, Edward M. Davis, and I had sedulously labored to rouse
women to a realization of their degraded position in the Church, and
presented resolutions at every annual convention for that purpose. But
they were either suppressed or so amended as to be meaningless. The
resolutions of the annual convention of 1885, tame as they are, got into
print and roused the ire of the clergy, and upon the following Sunday,
Dr. Patton of Howard University preached a sermon on "Woman and
Skepticism," in which he unequivocally took the ground that freedom for
woman led to skepticism and immorality. He illustrated his position by
pointing to Hypatia, Mary Wollstonecraft, Frances Wright, George Eliot,
Harriet Martineau, Mme. Roland, Frances Power Cobbe, and Victoria
Woodhull. He made a grave mistake in the last names mentioned, as Mrs.
Woodhull was a devout believer in the Christian religion, and surely
anyone conversant with Miss Cobbe's writings would never accuse her of
skepticism. His sermon was received with intense indignation, even by
the women of his own congregation. When he found what a whirlwind he had
started, he tried to shift his position and explain away much that he
had said. We asked him to let us have the sermon for publication, that
we might not do him injustice. But as he contradicted himself flatly in
trying to restate his discourse, and refused to let us see his sermon,
those who heard him were disgusted with his sophistry and
tergiversation.

However, our labors in this direction are having an effect. Women are
now making their attacks on the Church all along the line. They are
demanding their right to be ordained as ministers, elders, deacons, and
to be received as delegates in all the ecclesiastical convocations. At
last they ask of the Church just what they have asked of the State for
the last half century--perfect equality--and the clergy, as a body, are
quite as hostile to their demands as the statesmen.

On my way back to Johnstown I spent ten days at Troy, where I preached
in the Unitarian church on Sunday evening. During this visit we had two
hearings in the Capitol at Albany--one in the Senate Chamber and one in
the Assembly, before the Committee on Grievances. On both occasions Mrs.
Mary Seymour Howell, Mrs. Devereux Blake, Mrs. Caroline Gilkey Rogers,
and I addressed the Committee. Being open to the public, the chamber was
crowded. It was nearly forty years since I had made my first appeal in
the old Capitol at Albany. My reflections were sad and discouraging, as
I sat there and listened to the speakers and remembered how long we had
made our appeals at that bar, from year to year, in vain. The members of
the committee presented the same calm aspect as their predecessors, as
if to say, "Be patient, dear sisters, eternity is before us; this is
simply a question of time. What may not come in your day, future
generations will surely possess." It is always pleasant to know that
our descendants are to enjoy life, liberty, and happiness; but, when one
is gasping for one breath of freedom, this reflection is not satisfying.

Returning to my native hills, I found the Lenten season had fairly set
in, which I always dreaded on account of the solemn, tolling bell, the
Episcopal church being just opposite our residence. On Sunday we had the
bells of six churches all going at the same time. It is strange how long
customs continue after the original object has ceased to exist. At an
early day, when the country was sparsely settled and the people lived at
great distances, bells were useful to call them together when there was
to be a church service. But now, when the churches are always open on
Sunday, and every congregation knows the hour of services and all have
clocks, bells are not only useless, but they are a terrible nuisance to
invalids and nervous people. If I am ever so fortunate as to be elected
a member of a town council, my first efforts will be toward the
suppression of bells.

To encourage one of my sex in the trying profession of book agent, I
purchased, about this time, Dr. Lord's "Beacon Lights of History," and
read the last volume devoted to women, Pagan and Christian, saints and
sinners. It is very amusing to see the author's intellectual wriggling
and twisting to show that no one can be good or happy without believing
in the Christian religion. In describing great women who are not
Christians, he attributes all their follies and miseries to that fact.
In describing Pagan women, possessed of great virtues, he attributes all
their virtues to Nature's gifts, which enable them to rise superior to
superstitions. After dwelling on the dreary existence of those not of
Christian faith, he forthwith pictures his St. Teresa going through
twenty years of doubts and fears about the salvation of her soul. The
happiest people I have known have been those who gave themselves no
concern about their own souls, but did their uttermost to mitigate the
miseries of others.

In May, 1885, we left Johnstown and took possession of our house at
Tenafly, New Jersey. It seemed very pleasant, after wandering in the Old
World and the New, to be in my own home once more, surrounded by the
grand trees I so dearly loved; to see the gorgeous sunsets, the
twinkling fireflies; to hear the whippoorwills call their familiar note,
while the June bugs and the mosquitoes buzz outside the nets through
which they cannot enter. Many people complain of the mosquito in New
Jersey, when he can so easily be shut out of the family circle by nets
over all the doors and windows. I had a long piazza, encased in netting,
where paterfamilias, with his pipe, could muse and gaze at the stars
unmolested.

June brought Miss Anthony and a box of fresh documents for another
season of work on vol. III. of our History. We had a flying visit from
Miss Eddy of Providence, daughter of Mrs. Eddy who gave fifty thousand
dollars to the woman suffrage movement, and a granddaughter of Francis
Jackson of Boston, who also left a generous bequest to our reform. We
found Miss Eddy a charming young woman with artistic tastes. She showed
us several pen sketches she had made of some of our reformers, that were
admirable likenesses.

Mr. Stanton's "Random Recollections" were published at this time and
were well received. A dinner was given him, on his eightieth birthday
(June 27, 1885), by the Press Club of New York city, with speeches and
toasts by his lifelong friends. As no ladies were invited I can only
judge from the reports in the daily papers, and what I could glean from
the honored guest himself, that it was a very interesting occasion.

Sitting in the summerhouse, one day, I witnessed a most amusing scene.
Two of the boys, in search of employment, broke up a hornets' nest.
Bruno, our large Saint Bernard dog, seeing them jumping about, thought
he would join in the fun. The boys tried to drive him away, knowing that
the hornets would get in his long hair, but Bruno's curiosity outran his
caution and he plunged into the midst of the swarm and was soon
completely covered. The buzzing and stinging soon sent the poor dog
howling on the run. He rushed as usual, in his distress, to Amelia in
the kitchen, where she and the girls were making preserves and ironing.
When they saw the hornets, they dropped irons, spoons, jars, everything,
and rushed out of doors screaming. I appreciated the danger in time to
get safely into the house before Bruno came to me for aid and comfort.
At last they played the hose on him until he found some relief; the
maidens, armed with towels, thrashed right and left, and the boys, with
evergreen branches, fought bravely. I had often heard of "stirring up a
hornets' nest," but I had never before seen a practical demonstration of
its danger. For days after, if Bruno heard anything buzz, he would rush
for the house at the top of his speed. But in spite of these occasional
lively episodes, vol. III. went steadily on.

My suffrage sons and daughters through all the Northern and Western
States decided to celebrate, on the 12th of November, 1885, my
seventieth birthday, by holding meetings or sending me gifts and
congratulations. This honor was suggested by Mrs. Elizabeth Boynton
Harbert in _The New Era_, a paper she was editing at that time. The
suggestion met with a ready response. I was invited to deliver an essay
on "The Pleasures of Age," before the suffrage association in New York
city. It took me a week to think them up, but with the inspiration of
Longfellow's "Morituri Salutamus," I was almost converted to the idea
that "we old folks" had the best of it.

The day was ushered in with telegrams, letters, and express packages,
which continued to arrive during the week. From England, France, and
Germany came cablegrams, presents, and letters of congratulation, and
from all quarters came books, pictures, silver, bronzes, California
blankets, and baskets of fruits and flowers. The eulogies in prose and
verse were so hearty and numerous that the ridicule and criticism of
forty years were buried so deep that I shall remember them no more.
There is no class who enjoy the praise of their fellow-men like those
who have had only blame most of their lives. The evening of the 12th we
had a delightful reunion at the home of Dr. Clemence Lozier, where I
gave my essay, after which Mrs. Lozier, Mrs. Blake, Miss Anthony, "Jenny
June," and some of the younger converts to our platform, all made short
speeches of praise and congratulation, which were followed by music,
recitations, and refreshments.

All during the autumn Miss Anthony and I looked forward to the spring,
when we hoped to have completed the third and last volume of our
History, and thus end the labors of ten years. We had neither time nor
eyesight to read aught but the imperative documents for the History. I
was hungering for some other mental pabulum.

In January, 1886, I was invited to dine with Laura Curtis Bullard, to
meet Mme. Durand (Henri Gréville), the novelist. She seemed a politic
rather than an earnest woman of principle. As it was often very
inconvenient for me to entertain distinguished visitors, who desired to
meet me in my country home during the winter, Mrs. Bullard generously
offered always to invite them to her home. She and her good mother have
done their part in the reform movements in New York by their generous
hospitalities.

Reading the debates in Congress, at that time, on a proposed
appropriation for a monument to General Grant, I was glad to see that
Senator Plumb of Kansas was brave enough to express his opinion against
it. I fully agree with him. So long as multitudes of our people who are
doing the work of the world live in garrets and cellars, in ignorance,
poverty, and vice, it is the duty of Congress to apply the surplus in
the national treasury to objects which will feed, clothe, shelter, and
educate these wards of the State. If we must keep on continually
building monuments to great men, they should be handsome blocks of
comfortable homes for the poor, such as Peabody built in London. Senator
Hoar of Massachusetts favored the Grant monument, partly to cultivate
the artistic tastes of our people. We might as well cultivate our tastes
on useful dwellings as on useless monuments. Surely sanitary homes and
schoolhouses for the living would be more appropriate monuments to wise
statesmen than the purest Parian shafts among the sepulchers of the
dead.

The strikes and mobs and settled discontent of the masses warn us that,
although we forget and neglect their interests and our duties, we do it
at the peril of all. English statesmen are at their wits' end to-day
with their tangled social and industrial problems, threatening the
throne of a long line of kings. The impending danger cannot be averted
by any surface measures; there must be a radical change in the relations
of capital and labor.

In April rumors of a domestic invasion, wafted on every Atlantic breeze,
warned us that our children were coming from England and France--a party
of six. Fortunately, the last line of the History was written, so Miss
Anthony, with vol. III. and bushels of manuscripts, fled to the peaceful
home of her sister Mary at Rochester. The expected party sailed from
Liverpool the 26th of May, on the _America_ After being out three days
the piston rod broke and they were obliged to return. My son-in-law,
W.H. Blatch, was so seasick and disgusted that he remained in England,
and took a fresh start two months later, and had a swift passage without
any accidents. The rest were transferred to the _Germanic_, and reached
New York the 12th of June. Different divisions of the party were
arriving until midnight. Five people and twenty pieces of baggage! The
confusion of such an invasion quite upset the even tenor of our days,
and it took some time for people and trunks to find their respective
niches. However crowded elsewhere, there was plenty of room in our
hearts, and we were unspeakably happy to have our flock all around us
once more.

I had long heard so many conflicting opinions about the Bible--some
saying it taught woman's emancipation and some her subjection--that,
during this visit of my children, the thought came to me that it Would
be well to collect every biblical reference to women in one small
compact volume, and see on which side the balance of influence really
was. To this end I proposed to organize a committee of competent women,
with some Latin, Greek, and Hebrew scholars in England and the United
States, for a thorough revision of the Old and New Testaments, and to
ascertain what the status of woman really was under the Jewish and
Christian religion. As the Church has thus far interpreted the Bible as
teaching woman's subjection, and none of the revisions by learned
ecclesiastics have thrown any new light on the question, it seemed to me
pre-eminently proper and timely for women themselves to review the book.
As they are now studying theology in many institutions of learning,
asking to be ordained as preachers, elders, deacons, and to be admitted,
as delegates, to Synods and General Assemblies, and are refused on Bible
grounds, it seemed to me high time for women to consider those
scriptural arguments and authorities.

A happy coincidence enabled me at last to begin this work. While my
daughter, Mrs. Stanton Blatch, was with me, our friend Miss Frances
Lord, on our earnest invitation, came to America to visit us. She landed
in New York the 4th of August, 1886. As it was Sunday she could not
telegraph, hence there was no one to meet her, and, as we all sat
chatting on the front piazza, suddenly, to our surprise and delight, she
drove up. After a few days' rest and general talk of passing events, I
laid the subject so near my heart before her and my daughter. They
responded promptly and heartily, and we immediately set to work. I wrote
to every woman who I thought might join such a committee, and Miss Lord
ran through the Bible in a few days, marking each chapter that in any
way referred to women. We found that the work would not be so great as
we imagined, as all the facts and teachings in regard to women occupied
less than one-tenth of the whole Scriptures. We purchased some cheap
Bibles, cut out the texts, pasted them at the head of the page, and,
underneath, wrote our commentaries as clearly and concisely as possible.
We did not intend to have sermons or essays, but brief comments, to keep
"The Woman's Bible" as small as possible.

Miss Lord and I worked several weeks together, and Mrs. Blatch and I,
during the winter of 1887, wrote all our commentaries on the Pentateuch.
But we could not succeed in forming the committee, nor, after writing
innumerable letters, make the women understand what we wanted to do. I
still have the commentaries of the few who responded, and the letters of
those who declined--a most varied and amusing bundle of manuscripts in
themselves. Some said the Bible had no special authority with them;
that, like the American Constitution, it could be interpreted to mean
anything--slavery, when we protected that "Institution," and freedom,
when it existed no longer. Others said that woman's sphere was clearly
marked out in the Scriptures, and all attempt at emancipation was flying
in the face of Providence. Others said they considered all the revisions
made by men thus far, had been so many acts of sacrilege, and they did
hope women would not add their influence, to weaken the faith of the
people in the divine origin of the Holy Book, for, if men and women
could change it in one particular, they could in all. On the whole the
correspondence was discouraging.

Later Miss Lord became deeply interested in psychical researches, and I
could get no more work out of her. And as soon as we had finished the
Pentateuch, Mrs. Blatch declared she would go no farther; that it was
the driest history she had ever read, and most derogatory to women. My
beloved coadjutor, Susan B. Anthony, said that she thought it a work of
supererogation; that when our political equality was recognized and we
became full-fledged American citizens, the Church would make haste to
bring her Bibles and prayer books, creeds and discipline up to the same
high-water mark of liberty.

Helen Gardener said: "I consider this a most important proposal, and if
you and I can ever stay on the same side of the Atlantic long enough, we
will join hands and do the work. In fact, I have begun already with
Paul's Epistles, and am fascinated with the work. The untenable and
unscientific positions he takes in regard to women are very amusing.
Although the first chapter of Genesis teaches the simultaneous creation
of man and woman, Paul bases woman's subjection on the priority of man,
and because woman was of the man. As the historical fact is that, as far
back as history dates, the man has been of the woman, should he
therefore be forever in bondage to her? Logically, according to Paul, he
should."

I consulted several friends, such as Dr. William F. Channing, Mr. and
Mrs. Moncure D. Conway, Gertrude Garrison, Frederick Cabot, and Edward
M. Davis, as to the advisability of the work, and they all agreed that
such a volume, showing woman's position under the Jewish and Christian
religions, would be valuable, but none of them had time to assist in the
project. Though, owing to all these discouragements, I discontinued my
work, I never gave up the hope of renewing it some time, when other of
my coadjutors should awake to its importance and offer their services.

On October 27, 1886, with my daughter, nurse, and grandchild, I again
sailed for England. Going out of the harbor in the clear early morning,
we had a fine view of Bartholdi's statue of Liberty Enlightening the
World. We had a warm, gentle rain and a smooth sea most of the way, and,
as we had a stateroom on deck, we could have the portholes open, and
thus get all the air we desired. With novels and letters, chess and
whist the time passed pleasantly, and, on the ninth day, we landed in
Liverpool.



CHAPTER XXIV.

ENGLAND AND FRANCE REVISITED.


On arriving at Basingstoke we found awaiting us cordial letters of
welcome from Miss Biggs, Miss Priestman, Mrs. Peter Taylor, Mrs.
Priscilla McLaren, Miss Müller, Mrs. Jacob Bright, and Mme. de Barrau.
During the winter Mrs. Margaret Bright Lucas, Drs. Kate and Julia
Mitchell, Mrs. Charles McLaren, Mrs. Saville, and Miss Balgarnie each
spent a day or two with us. The full-dress costume of the ladies was a
great surprise to my little granddaughter Nora. She had never seen bare
shoulders in a drawing room, and at the first glance she could not
believe her eyes. She slowly made the circuit of the room, coming nearer
and nearer until she touched the lady's neck to see whether or not it
was covered with some peculiar shade of dress, but finding the bare skin
she said: "Why, you are not dressed, are you? I see your skin!" The
scene suggested to me the amusing description in Holmes' "Elsie Venner,"
of the efforts of a young lady, seated between two old gentlemen, to
show off her white shoulders. The vicar would not look, but steadily
prayed that he might not be led into temptation; but the physician, with
greater moral hardihood, deliberately surveyed the offered charms, with
spectacles on his nose.

In December Hattie and I finished Dowden's "Life of Shelley," which we
had been reading together. Here we find a sensitive, refined nature,
full of noble purposes, thrown out when too young to meet all life's
emergencies, with no loving Mentor to guard him from blunders or to help
to retrieve the consequences of his false positions. Had he been
surrounded with a few true friends, who could appreciate what was great
in him and pity what was weak, his life would have been different. His
father was hard, exacting, and unreasonable; hence he had no influence.
His mother had neither the wisdom to influence him, nor the courage to
rebuke her husband; and alas! poor woman, she was in such thraldom
herself to conventionalisms, that she could not understand a youth who
set them all at defiance.

[Illustration: THREE GENERATIONS.]

[Illustration: MY EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY.]

We also read Cotton Morrison's "Service of Man," which I hope will be a
new inspiration to fresh labors by all for the elevation of humanity,
and Carnegie's "Triumphant Democracy," showing the power our country is
destined to wield and the vastness of our domain. This book must give
every American citizen a feeling of deeper responsibility than ever
before to act well his part. We read, too, Harriet Martineau's
translation of the works of Auguste Comte, and found the part on woman
most unsatisfactory. He criticises Aristotle's belief that slavery is a
necessary element of social life, yet seems to think the subjection of
woman in modern civilization a matter of no importance.

All through that winter Hattie and I occupied our time studying the
Bible and reading the commentaries of Clark, Scott, and Wordsworth
(Bishop of Lincoln). We found nothing grand in the history of the Jews
nor in the morals inculcated in the Pentateuch. Surely the writers had a
very low idea of the nature of their God. They make Him not only
anthropomorphic, but of the very lowest type, jealous and revengeful,
loving violence rather than mercy. I know no other books that so fully
teach the subjection and degradation of woman. Miriam, the eldest sister
of Moses and Aaron, a genius, a prophetess, with the family aptitude for
diplomacy and government, is continually set aside because of her
sex--permitted to lead the women in singing and dancing, nothing more.
No woman could offer sacrifices nor eat the holy meats because,
according to the Jews, she was too unclean and unholy.

But what is the use, say some, of attaching any importance to the
customs and teachings of a barbarous people? None whatever. But when our
bishops, archbishops, and ordained clergymen stand up in their pulpits
and read selections from the Pentateuch with reverential voice, they
make the women of their congregation believe that there really is some
divine authority for their subjection. In the Thirty-First Chapter of
Numbers, in speaking of the spoils taken from the Midianites, the live
stock is thus summarized: "Five thousand sheep, threescore and twelve
thousand beeves, threescore and one thousand asses, and thirty-two
thousand women and women-children," which Moses said the warriors might
keep for themselves. What a pity a Stead had not been there, to protect
the child-women of the Midianites and rebuke the Lord's chosen people as
they deserved! In placing the women after the sheep, the beeves, and the
asses, we have a fair idea of their comparative importance in the scale
of being, among the Jewish warriors. No wonder the right reverend
bishops and clergy of the Methodist Church, who believe in the divine
origin and authority of the Pentateuch, exclude women from their great
convocations in the American Republic in the nineteenth century. In view
of the fact that our children are taught to reverence the book as of
divine origin, I think we have a right to ask that, in the next
revision, all such passages be expurgated, and to that end learned,
competent women must have an equal place on the revising committee.

Mrs. Margaret Bright Lucas came, in February, to spend a few days with
us. She was greatly shocked with many texts in the Old Testament, to
which we called her attention, and said: "Here is an insidious influence
against the elevation of women, which but few of us have ever taken into
consideration." She had just returned from a flying visit to America;
having made two voyages across the Atlantic and traveled three thousand
miles across the continent in two months, and this at the age of
sixty-eight years. She was enthusiastic in her praises of the women she
met in the United States. As her name was already on the committee to
prepare "The Woman's Bible," we had her hearty approval of the
undertaking.

In October Hattie went to London, to attend a meeting to form a Woman's
Liberal Federation. Mrs. Gladstone presided. The speeches made were
simply absurd, asking women to organize themselves to help the Liberal
party, which had steadily denied to them the political rights they had
demanded for twenty years. Professor Stuart capped the climax of insult
when he urged as "one great advantage in getting women to canvass for
the Liberal party was that they would give their services free." The
Liberals saw what enthusiasm the Primrose Dames had roused for the Tory
party, really carrying the election, and they determined to utilize a
similar force in their ranks. But the whole movement was an insult to
women.

The one absorbing interest, then, was the Queen's Jubilee. Ladies formed
societies to collect funds to place at the disposal of the Queen. Every
little village was divided into districts, and different ladies took the
rounds, begging pennies at every door of servants and the laboring
masses, and pounds of the wealthy people. One of them paid us a visit.
She asked the maid who opened the door to see the rest of the servants,
and she begged a penny of each of them. She then asked to see the
mistress. My daughter descended; but, instead of a pound, she gave her a
lecture on the Queen's avarice. When the fund was started the people
supposed the Queen was to return it all to the people in liberal
endowments of charitable institutions, but her Majesty proposed to build
a monument to Prince Albert, although he already had one in London. "The
Queen," said my daughter, "should celebrate her Jubilee by giving good
gifts to her subjects, and not by filching from the poor their pennies.
To give half her worldly possessions to her impoverished people, to give
Home Rule to Ireland, or to make her public schools free, would be deeds
worthy her Jubilee; but to take another cent from those who are
hopelessly poor is a sin against suffering humanity." The young woman
realized the situation and said: "I shall go no farther. I wish I could
return every penny I have taken from the needy."

The most fitting monuments this nation can build are schoolhouses and
homes for those who do the work of the world. It is no answer to say
that they are accustomed to rags and hunger. In this world of plenty
every human being has a right to food, clothes, decent shelter, and the
rudiments of education. "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark"
when one-tenth of the human family, booted and spurred, ride the masses
to destruction. I detest the words "royalty" and "nobility," and all the
ideas and institutions based on their recognition. In April the great
meeting in Hyde Park occurred--a meeting of protest against the Irish
Coercion Bill. It was encouraging to see that there is a democratic as
well as an aristocratic England. The London journals gave very different
accounts of the meeting. The Tories said it was a mob of inconsequential
cranks. Reason teaches us, however, that you cannot get up a large,
enthusiastic meeting unless there is some question pending that touches
the heart of the people. Those who say that Ireland has no grievances
are ignorant alike of human nature and the facts of history.

On April 14 I went to Paris, my daughter escorting me to Dover, and my
son meeting me at Calais. It was a bright, pleasant day, and I sat on
deck and enjoyed the trip, though many of my fellow passengers were pale
and limp. Whirling to Paris in an easy car, through the beautiful
wheatfields and vineyards, I thought of the old lumbering diligence, in
which we went up to Paris at a snail's pace forty years before. I
remained in Paris until October, and never enjoyed six months more
thoroughly. One of my chief pleasures was making the acquaintance of my
fourth son, Theodore. I had seen but little of him since he was sixteen
years old, as he then spent five years at Cornell University, and as
many more in Germany and France. He had already published two works,
"The Life of Thiers," and "The Woman Question in Europe." To have a son
interested in the question to which I have devoted my life, is a source
of intense satisfaction. To say that I have realized in him all I could
desire, is the highest praise a fond mother can give.

My first experience in an apartment, living on an even plane, no running
up and down stairs, was as pleasant as it was surprising. I had no idea
of the comfort and convenience of this method of keeping house. Our
apartment in Paris consisted of drawing room, dining room, library, a
good-sized hall, in which stood a large American stove, five bedrooms,
bathroom, and kitchen, and a balcony fifty-two feet long and four feet
wide. The first few days it made me dizzy to look down from this balcony
to the street below. I was afraid the whole structure would give way, it
appeared so light and airy, hanging midway between earth and heaven. But
my confidence in its steadfastness and integrity grew day by day, and it
became my favorite resort, commanding, as it did, a magnificent view of
the whole city and distant surroundings.

There were so many Americans in town, and French reformers to be seen,
that I gave Wednesday afternoon receptions during my whole visit. To one
of our "at homes" came Mlle. Maria Deraismes, the only female Free Mason
in France, and the best woman orator in the country; her sister, Mme.
Féresse-Deraismes, who takes part in all woman movements; M. Léon
Richer, then actively advocating the civil and political rights of women
through the columns of his vigorous journal; Mme. Griess Traut, who
makes a specialty of Peace work; Mme. Isabelle Bogelot, who afterward
attended the Washington Council of 1888, and who is a leader in charity
work; the late Mme. Emilie de Morsier, who afterward was the soul of the
International Congress of 1889, at Paris; Mme. Pauline Kergomard, the
first woman to be made a member of the Superior Council of public
Instruction in France, and Mme. Henri Gréville, the novelist.

Among the American guests at our various Wednesday receptions were Mr.
and Mrs. John Bigelow, Mr. and Mrs. James G. Blaine, Mr. Daniel C.
French, the Concord sculptor; Mrs. J.C. Ayer, Mr. L. White Busbey, one
of the editors of the Chicago _Inter-Ocean_; Rev. Dr. Henry M. Field,
Charles Gifford Dyer, the painter and father of the gifted young
violinist, Miss Hella Dyer; the late Rev. Mr. Moffett, then United
States Consul at Athens, Mrs. Governor Bagley and daughter of Michigan;
Grace Greenwood and her talented daughter, who charmed everyone with her
melodious voice, and Miss Bryant, daughter of the poet. One visitor who
interested us most was the Norwegian novelist and republican,
Bjornstjorne Bjornson.

We had several pleasant interviews with Frederick Douglass and his wife,
some exciting games of chess with Theodore Tilton, in the pleasant
apartments of the late W.J.A. Fuller, Esq., and his daughter, Miss Kate
Fuller. At this time I also met our brilliant countrywoman, Louise
Chandler Moulton. Seeing so many familiar faces, I could easily imagine
myself in New York rather than in Paris. I attended several receptions
and dined with Mrs. Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, greatly enjoying her clever
descriptions of a winter on the Nile in her own dahabeeyeh. I heard Père
Hyacinthe preach, and met his American wife on several occasions. I took
long drives every day through the parks and pleasant parts of the city.
With garden concerts, operas, theaters, and the Hippodrome I found
abundant amusement. I never grew weary of the latter performance--the
wonderful intelligence displayed there by animals, being a fresh
surprise to me every time I went.

I attended a reception at the Elysée Palace, escorted by M. Joseph
Fabre, then a deputy and now a senator. M. Fabre is the author of a play
and several volumes devoted to Joan of Arc. He presented me to the
President and to Mme. Jules Grévy. I was also introduced to M. Jules
Ferry, then Prime Minister, who said, among other things: "I am sorry to
confess it, but it is only too true, our French women are far behind
their sisters in America." The beautiful, large garden was thrown open
that evening,--it was in July,--and the fine band of the Republican
Guard gave a delightful concert under the big trees. I also met M.
Grévy's son-in-law, M. Daniel Wilson. He was then a deputy and one of
the most powerful politicians in France. A few months later he caused
his father's political downfall. I have a vivid recollection of him
because he could speak English, his father having been a British
subject.

I visited the picture galleries once more, after a lapse of nearly fifty
years, and was struck by the fact that, in that interval, several women
had been admitted to places of honor. This was especially noticeable in
the Luxembourg Sculpture Gallery, where two women, Mme. Bertaux and the
late Claude Vignon, wife of M. Rouvier, were both represented by good
work--the first and only women sculptors admitted to that gallery.

At a breakfast party which we gave, I made the acquaintance of General
Cluseret, who figured in our Civil War, afterward became War Minister
of the Paris Commune, and is now member of the Chamber of Deputies. He
learned English when in America, and had not entirely forgotten it. He
told anecdotes of Lincoln, Stanton, Sumner, Fremont, Garibaldi, the
Count of Paris, and many other famous men whom he once knew, and proved
to be a very interesting conversationalist.

Old bookstands were always attractive centers of interest to Theodore,
and, among other treasure-troves, he brought home one day a boy of
fourteen years, whose office it had been to watch the books. He was a
bright, cheery little fellow of mixed French and German descent, who
could speak English, French, and German. He was just what we had
desired, to run errands and tend the door. As he was delighted with the
idea of coming to us, we went to see his parents. We were pleased with
their appearance and surroundings. We learned that they were members of
the Lutheran Church, that the boy was one of the shining lights in
Sunday school, and the only point in our agreement on which they were
strenuous was that he should go regularly to Sunday school and have time
to learn his lessons.

So "Immanuel" commenced a new life with us, and as we had unbounded
confidence in the boy's integrity, we excused his shortcomings, and, for
a time, believed all he said. But before long we found out that the
moment we left the house he was in the drawing room, investigating every
drawer, playing on the piano, or sleeping on the sofa. Though he was
told never to touch the hall stove, he would go and open all the
draughts and make it red-hot. Then we adopted the plan of locking up
every part of the apartment but the kitchen. He amused himself burning
holes through the pantry shelves, when the cook was out, and boring
holes, with a gimlet, through a handsomely carved bread board. One day,
in making up a spare bed for a friend, under the mattress were found
innumerable letters he was supposed to have mailed at different times.
When we reprimanded him for his pranks he would look at us steadily, but
sorrowfully, and, immediately afterward, we would hear him dancing down
the corridor singing, "Safe in the Arms of Jesus." If he had given heed
to one-half we said to him, he would have been safer in our hands than
in those of his imaginary protector. He turned out a thief, an
unmitigated liar, a dancing dervish, and, through all our experiences of
six weeks with him, his chief reading was his Bible and Sunday-school
books. The experience, however, was not lost on Theodore--he has never
suggested a boy since, and a faithful daughter of Eve reigns in his
stead.

During the summer I was in the hands of two artists, Miss Anna Klumpke,
who painted my portrait, and Paul Bartlett, who molded my head in clay.
To shorten the operation, sometimes I sat for both at the same time.
Although neither was fully satisfied with the results of their labors,
we had many pleasant hours together, discussing their art, their early
trials, and artists in general. Each had good places in the _Salon_, and
honorable mention that year. It is sad to see so many American girls and
boys, who have no genius for painting or sculpture, spending their days
in garrets, in solitude and poverty, with the vain hope of earning
distinction. Women of all classes are awaking to the necessity of
self-support, but few are willing to do the ordinary useful work for
which they are fitted. In the _Salon_ that year six thousand pictures
were offered, and only two thousand accepted, and many of these were
"skyed."

It was lovely on our balcony at night to watch the little boats, with
their lights, sailing up and down the Seine, especially the day of the
great annual fête,--the 14th of July,--when the whole city was
magnificently illuminated. We drove about the city on several occasions
at midnight, to see the life--men, women, and children enjoying the cool
breezes, and the restaurants all crowded with people.

Sunday in Paris is charming--it is the day for the masses of the people.
All the galleries of art, the libraries, concert halls, and gardens are
open to them. All are dressed in their best, out driving, walking, and
having picnics in the various parks and gardens; husbands, wives, and
children laughing and talking happily together. The seats in the streets
and parks are all filled with the laboring masses. The benches all over
Paris--along the curbstones in every street and highway--show the care
given to the comfort of the people. You will see mothers and nurses with
their babies and children resting on these benches, laboring men eating
their lunches and sleeping there at noon, the organ grinders and
monkeys, too, taking their comfort. In France you see men and women
everywhere together; in England the men generally stagger about alone,
caring more for their pipes and beer than their mothers, wives, and
sisters. Social life, among the poor especially, is far more natural and
harmonious in France than in England, because women mix more freely in
business and amusements.

Coming directly from Paris to London, one is forcibly struck with the
gloom of the latter city, especially at night. Paris with its electric
lights is brilliant everywhere, while London, with its meager gas jets
here and there struggling with the darkness, is as gloomy and desolate
as Dore's pictures of Dante's Inferno. On Sunday, when the shops are
closed, the silence and solitude of the streets, the general smoky
blackness of the buildings and the atmosphere give one a melancholy
impression of the great center of civilization. Now that it has been
discovered that smoke can be utilized and the atmosphere cleared, it is
astonishing that the authorities do not avail themselves of the
discovery, and thus bring light and joy and sunshine into that city, and
then clean the soot of centuries from their blackened buildings.

On my return to England I spent a day with Miss Emily Lord, at her
kindergarten establishment. She had just returned from Sweden, where she
spent six weeks in the carpenter's shop, studying the Swedish Slöjd
system, in which children of twelve years old learn to use tools, making
spoons, forks, and other implements. Miss Lord showed us some of her
work, quite creditable for her first attempts. She said the children in
the higher grades of her school enjoyed the carpenter work immensely and
became very deft in the use of tools.

On November 1, 1887, we reached Basingstoke once more, and found all
things in order. My diary tells of several books I read during the
winter and what the authors say of women; one the "Religio Medici," by
Sir Thomas Browne, M.D., in which the author discourses on many high
themes, God, Creation, Heaven, Hell, and vouchsafes one sentence on
woman. Of her he says: "I was never married but once and commend their
resolution who never marry twice, not that I disallow of second, nor in
all cases of polygamy, which, considering the unequal number of the
sexes, may also be necessary. The whole world was made for man, but the
twelfth part of man for woman. Man is the whole world--the breath of
God; woman the rib and crooked piece of man. I speak not in prejudice
nor am averse from that sweet sex, but naturally amorous of all that is
beautiful. I can look all day at a handsome picture, though it be but a
horse."

Turning to John Paul Friedrich Richter, I found in his chapter on woman
many equally ridiculous statements mixed up with much fulsome
admiration. After reading some volumes of Richter, I took up Heinrich
Heine, the German poet and writer. He said: "Oh, the women! We must
forgive them much, for they love much and many. Their hate is, properly,
only love turned inside out. Sometimes they attribute some delinquency
to us, because they think they can, in this way, gratify another man.
When they write they have always one eye on the paper and the other eye
on some man. This is true of all authoresses except the Countess Hahn
Hahn, who has only one eye." John Ruskin's biography he gives us a
glimpse of his timidity in regard to the sex, when a young man. He was
very fond of the society of girls, but never knew how to approach them.
He said he "was perfectly happy in serving them, would gladly make a
bridge of himself for them to walk over, a beam to fasten a swing to for
them--anything but to talk to them." Such are some of the choice
specimens of masculine wit I collected during my winter's reading!

At a reception given to me by Drs. Julia and Kate Mitchell, sisters
practicing medicine in London, I met Stepniak, the Russian Nihilist, a
man of grand presence and fine conversational powers. He was about to go
to America, apprehensive lest our Government should make an extradition
treaty with Russia to return political offenders, as he knew that
proposal had been made. A few weeks later he did visit the United
States, and had a hearing before a committee of the Senate. He pointed
out the character of the Nihilist movement, declaring Nihilists to be
the real reformers, the true lovers of liberty, sacrificing themselves
for the best interests of the people, and yet, as political prisoners,
they are treated worse than the lowest class of criminals in the prisons
and mines of Siberia.

I had a very unpleasant interview, during this visit to London, with
Miss Lydia Becker, Miss Caroline Biggs, and Miss Blackburn, at the
Metropole, about choosing delegates to the International Council of
Women soon to be held in Washington. As there had been some
irreconcilable dissensions in the suffrage association, and they could
not agree as to whom their delegate should be, they decided to send none
at all. I wrote at once to Mrs. Priscilla Bright McLaren, pointing out
what a shame it would be if England, above all countries, should not be
represented in the first International Council ever called by a suffrage
association. She replied promptly that must not be, and immediately
moved in the matter, and through her efforts three delegates were soon
authorized to go, representing different constituencies--Mrs. Alice
Cliff Scatcherd, Mrs. Ormiston Chant, and Mrs. Ashton Dilke.

Toward the last of February, 1888, we went again to London to make a
few farewell visits to dear friends. We spent a few days with Mrs. Mona
Caird, who was then reading Karl Pearson's lectures on "Woman," and
expounding her views on marriage, which she afterward gave to the
Westminster Review, and stirred the press to white heat both in England
and America. "Is Marriage a Failure?" furnished the heading for our
quack advertisements for a long time after. Mrs. Caird was a very
graceful, pleasing woman, and so gentle in manner and appearance that no
one would deem her capable of hurling such thunderbolts at the
long-suffering Saxon people.

We devoted one day to Prince Krapotkine, who lives at Harrow, in the
suburbs of London. A friend of his, Mr. Lieneff, escorted us there. We
found the prince, his wife, and child in very humble quarters;
uncarpeted floors, books and papers on pine shelves, wooden chairs, and
the bare necessaries of life--nothing more. They indulge in no luxuries,
but devote all they can spare to the publication of liberal opinions to
be scattered in Russia, and to help Nihilists in escaping from the
dominions of the Czar. The prince and princess took turns in holding and
amusing the baby--then only one year old; fortunately it slept most of
the time, so that the conversation flowed on for some hours. Krapotkine
told us of his sad prison experiences, both in France and Russia. He
said the series of articles by George Kennan in the _Century_ were not
too highly colored, that the sufferings of men and women in Siberia and
the Russian prisons could not be overdrawn. One of the refinements of
cruelty they practice on prisoners is never to allow them to hear the
human voice. A soldier always accompanies the warder who distributes
the food, to see that no word is spoken. In vain the poor prisoner asks
questions, no answer is ever made, no tidings from the outside world
ever given. One may well ask what devil in human form has prescribed
such prison life and discipline! I wonder if we could find a man in all
Russia who would defend the system, yet someone is responsible for its
terrible cruelties!

We returned to Basingstoke, passed the few remaining days in looking
over papers and packing for the voyage, and, on March 4, 1888, Mrs.
Blatch went with me to Southampton. On the train I met my companions for
the voyage, Mrs. Gustafsen, Mrs. Ashton Dilke, and Baroness Gripenberg,
from Finland, a very charming woman, to whom I felt a strong attraction.
The other delegates sailed from Liverpool. We had a rough voyage and
most of the passengers were very sick. Mrs. Dilke and I were well,
however, and on deck every day, always ready to play whist and chess
with a few gentlemen who were equally fortunate. I was much impressed
with Mrs. Dilke's kindness and generosity in serving others. There was a
lady on board with two children, whose nurse at the last minute refused
to go with her. The mother was sick most of the way, and Mrs. Dilke did
all in her power to relieve her, by amusing the little boy, telling him
stories, walking with him on deck, and watching him throughout the day,
no easy task to perform for an entire stranger. The poor little mother
with a baby in her arms must have appreciated such kindly attention.

When the pilot met us off Sandy Hook, he brought news of the terrible
blizzard New York had just experienced, by which all communication with
the world at large was practically suspended. The captain brought him
down into the saloon to tell us all about it. The news was so startling
that at first we thought the pilot was joking, but when he produced the
metropolitan journals to verify his statements, we listened to the
reading and what he had to say with profound astonishment. The second
week in March, 1888, will be memorable in the history of storms in the
vicinity of New York. The snow was ten feet deep in some places, and the
side streets impassable either for carriages or sleighs. I hoped the
city would be looking its best, for the first impression on my foreign
friends, but it never looked worse, with huge piles of snow everywhere
covered with black dust.

I started for Washington at three o'clock, the day after our arrival,
reached there at ten o'clock, and found my beloved friends, Miss Anthony
and Mrs. Spofford, with open arms and warm hearts to receive me. As the
vessel was delayed two days, our friends naturally thought we, too, had
encountered a blizzard, but we had felt nothing of it; on the contrary
the last days were the most pleasant of the voyage.



CHAPTER XXV.

THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN.


Pursuant to the idea of the feasibility and need of an International
Council of Women, mentioned in a preceding chapter, it was decided to
celebrate the fourth decade of the woman suffrage movement in the United
States by calling together such a council. At its nineteenth annual
convention, held in January, 1887, the National Woman Suffrage
Association resolved to assume the entire responsibility of holding a
council, and to extend an invitation, for that purpose, to all
associations of women in the trades, professions, and reforms, as well
as those advocating political rights. Early in June, 1887, a call was
issued for such a council to convene under the auspices of the National
Woman Suffrage Association at Washington, D. C, on March 25, 1888. The
grand assemblage of women, coming from all the countries of the
civilized globe, proved that the call for such a council was opportune,
while the order and dignity of the proceedings proved the women worthy
the occasion. No one doubts now the wisdom of that initiative step nor
the added power women have gained over popular thought through the
International Council.

As the proceedings of the contention were fully and graphically reported
in the _Woman's Tribune_ at that time, and as its reports were afterward
published in book form, revised and corrected by Miss Anthony, Miss
Foster, and myself, I will merely say that our most sanguine
expectations as to its success were more than realized. The large
theater was crowded for an entire week, and hosts of able women spoke,
as if specially inspired, on all the vital questions of the hour.
Although the council was called and conducted by the suffrage
association, yet various other societies were represented. Miss Anthony
was the financier of the occasion and raised twelve thousand dollars for
the purpose, which enabled her to pay all the expenses of the delegates
in Washington, and for printing the report in book form. As soon as I
reached Washington, Miss Anthony ordered me to remain conscientiously in
my own apartment and to prepare a speech for delivery before the
committees of the Senate and House, and another, as President, for the
opening of the council. However, as Mrs. Spofford placed her carriage at
our service, I was permitted to drive an hour or two every day about
that magnificent city.

One of the best speeches at the council was made by Helen H. Gardener.
It was a criticism of Dr. Hammond's position in regard to the inferior
size and quality of woman's brain. As the doctor had never had the
opportunity of examining the brains of the most distinguished women,
and, probably, those only of paupers and criminals, she felt he had no
data on which to base his conclusions. Moreover, she had the written
opinion of several leading physicians, that it was quite impossible to
distinguish the male from the female brain.

The hearing at the Capitol, after the meeting of the council, was very
interesting, as all the foreign delegates were invited to speak each in
the language of her own country; to address their alleged
representatives in the halls of legislation was a privilege they had
never enjoyed at home. It is very remarkable that English women have
never made the demand for a hearing in the House of Commons, nor even
for a decent place to sit, where they can hear the debates and see the
fine proportions of the representatives. The delegates had several
brilliant receptions at the Riggs House, and at the houses of Senator
Stanford of California and Senator Palmer of Michigan. Miss Anthony and
I spent two months in Washington, that winter. One of the great
pleasures of our annual conventions was the reunion of our friends at
the Riggs House, where we enjoyed the boundless hospitality of Mr. and
Mrs. Spofford.

The month of June I spent in New York city, where I attended several of
Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll's receptions and saw the great orator and
iconoclast at his own fireside, surrounded by his admirers, and heard
his beautiful daughters sing, which gave all who listened great
pleasure, as they have remarkably fine voices. One has since married,
and is now pouring out her richest melodies in the opera of lullaby in
her own nursery.

In the fall of 1888, as Ohio was about to hold a Constitutional
convention, at the request of the suffrage association I wrote an appeal
to the women of the State to demand their right to vote for delegates to
such convention. Mrs. Southworth had five thousand copies of my appeal
published and distributed at the exposition in Columbus. If ten
righteous men could save Sodom, all the brilliant women I met in
Cleveland should have saved Ohio from masculine domination.

The winter of 1888-89 I was to spend with my daughter in Omaha. I
reached there in time to witness the celebration of the completion of
the first bridge between that city and Council Bluffs. There was a grand
procession in which all the industries of both towns were represented,
and which occupied six hours in passing. We had a desirable position for
reviewing the pageant, and very pleasant company to interpret the
mottoes, symbols, and banners. The bridge practically brings the towns
together, as electric street cars now run from one to the other in ten
minutes. Here, for the first time, I saw the cable cars running up hill
and down without any visible means of locomotion.

As the company ran an open car all winter, I took my daily ride of nine
miles in it for fifteen cents. My son Daniel, who escorted me, always
sat inside the car, while I remained on an outside seat. He was greatly
amused with the remarks he heard about that "queer old lady that always
rode outside in all kinds of wintry weather." One day someone remarked
loud enough for all to hear: "It is evident that woman does not know
enough to come in when it rains." "Bless me!" said the conductor, who
knew me, "that woman knows as much as the Queen of England; too much to
come in here by a hot stove." How little we understand the comparative
position of those whom we often criticise. There I sat enjoying the
bracing air, the pure fresh breezes, indifferent to the fate of an old
cloak and hood that had crossed the Atlantic and been saturated with
salt water many times, pitying the women inside breathing air laden with
microbes that dozens of people had been throwing off from time to time,
sacrificing themselves to their stylish bonnets, cloaks, and dresses,
suffering with the heat of the red-hot stove; and yet they, in turn,
pitying me.

My seventy-third birthday I spent with my son Gerrit Smith Stanton, on
his farm near Portsmouth, Iowa. As we had not met in several years, it
took us a long time, in the network of life, to pick up all the stitches
that had dropped since we parted. I amused myself darning stockings and
drawing plans for an addition to his house. But in the spring my son and
his wife came to the conclusion that they had had enough of the solitude
of farm life and turned their faces eastward.

Soon after my return to Omaha, the editor of the _Woman's Tribune_, Mrs.
Clara B. Colby, called and lunched with us one day. She announced the
coming State convention, at which I was expected "to make the best
speech of my life." She had all the arrangements to make, and invited me
to drive round with her, in order that she might talk by the way. She
engaged the Opera House, made arrangements at the Paxton House for a
reception, called on all her faithful coadjutors to arouse enthusiasm in
the work, and climbed up to the sanctums of the editors,--Democratic and
Republican alike,--asking them to advertise the convention and to say a
kind word for our oppressed class in our struggle for emancipation. They
all promised favorable notices and comments, and they kept their
promises. Mrs. Colby, being president of the Nebraska Suffrage
Association, opened the meeting with an able speech, and presided
throughout with tact and dignity.

I came very near meeting with an unfortunate experience at this
convention. The lady who escorted me in her carriage to the Opera House
carried the manuscript of my speech, which I did not miss until it was
nearly time to speak, when I told a lady who sat by my side that our
friend had forgotten to give me my manuscript. She went at once to her
and asked for it. She remembered taking it, but what she had done with
it she did not know. It was suggested that she might have dropped it in
alighting from the carriage. And lo! they found it lying in the gutter.
As the ground was frozen hard it was not even soiled. When I learned of
my narrow escape, I trembled, for I had not prepared any train of
thought for extemporaneous use. I should have been obliged to talk when
my turn came, and if inspired by the audience or the good angels, might
have done well, or might have failed utterly. The moral of this episode
is, hold on to your manuscript.

Owing to the illness of my son-in-law, Frank E. Lawrence, he and my
daughter went to California to see if the balmy air of San Diego would
restore his health, and so we gave up housekeeping in Omaha, and, on
April 20, 1889, in company with my eldest son I returned East and spent
the summer at Hempstead, Long Island, with my son Gerrit and his wife.

We found Hempstead a quiet, old Dutch town, undisturbed by progressive
ideas. Here I made the acquaintance of Chauncey C. Parsons and wife,
formerly of Boston, who were liberal in their ideas on most questions.
Mrs. Parsons and I attended one of the Seidl club meetings at Coney
Island, where Seidl was then giving some popular concerts. The club was
composed of two hundred women, to whom I spoke for an hour in the dining
room of the hotel. With the magnificent ocean views, the grand concerts,
and the beautiful women, I passed two very charming days by the seaside.

My son Henry had given me a phaeton, low and easy as a cradle, and I
enjoyed many drives about Long Island. We went to Bryant's home on the
north side, several times, and in imagination I saw the old poet in the
various shady nooks, inditing his lines of love and praise of nature in
all her varying moods. Walking among the many colored, rustling leaves
in the dark days of November, I could easily enter into his thought as
he penned these lines:

    "The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
    Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.
    Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
    They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread."

In September, 1889, my daughter, Mrs. Stanton Lawrence, came East to
attend a school of physical culture, and my other daughter, Mrs. Stanton
Blatch, came from England to enjoy one of our bracing winters.
Unfortunately we had rain instead of snow, and fogs instead of frost.
However, we had a pleasant reunion at Hempstead. After a few days in and
about New York visiting friends, we went to Geneva and spent several
weeks in the home of my cousin, the daughter of Gerrit Smith.

She and I have been most faithful, devoted friends all our lives, and
regular correspondents for more than fifty years. In the family circle
we are ofttimes referred to as "Julius" and "Johnson." These euphonious
names originated in this way: When the Christy Minstrels first appeared,
we went one evening to hear them. On returning home we amused our
seniors with, as they said, a capital rehearsal. The wit and philosopher
of the occasion were called, respectively, Julius and Johnson; so we
took their parts and reproduced all the bright, humorous remarks they
made. The next morning as we appeared at the breakfast table, Cousin
Gerrit Smith, in his deep, rich voice said: "Good-morning, Julius and
Johnson," and he kept it up the few days we were in Albany together. One
after another our relatives adopted the pseudonyms, and Mrs. Miller has
been "Julius" and I "Johnson" ever since.

From Geneva we went to Buffalo, but, as I had a bad cold and a general
feeling of depression, I decided to go to the Dansville Sanatorium and
see what Doctors James and Kate Jackson could do for me. I was there six
weeks and tried all the rubbings, pinchings, steamings; the Swedish
movements of the arms, hands, legs, feet; dieting, massage, electricity,
and, though I succeeded in throwing off only five pounds of flesh, yet I
felt like a new being. It is a charming place to be in--the home is
pleasantly situated and the scenery very fine. The physicians are all
genial, and a cheerful atmosphere pervades the whole establishment.

As Christmas was at hand, the women were all half crazy about presents,
and while good Doctors James and Kate were doing all in their power to
cure the nervous affections of their patients, they would thwart the
treatment by sitting in the parlor with the thermometer at seventy-two
degrees, embroidering all kinds of fancy patterns,--some on muslin, some
on satin, and some with colored worsteds on canvas,--inhaling the
poisonous dyes, straining the optic nerves, counting threads and
stitches, hour after hour, until utterly exhausted. I spoke to one poor
victim of the fallacy of Christmas presents, and of her injuring her
health in such useless employment. "What can I do?" she replied, "I must
make presents and cannot afford to buy them." "Do you think," said I,
"any of your friends would enjoy a present you made at the risk of your
health? I do not think there is any 'must' in the matter. I never feel
that I must give presents, and never want any, especially from those who
make some sacrifice to give them." This whole custom of presents at
Christmas, New Year's, and at weddings has come to be a bore, a piece of
hypocrisy leading to no end of unhappiness. I do not know a more pitiful
sight than to see a woman tatting, knitting, embroidering--working cats
on the toe of some slipper, or tulips on an apron. The amount of nervous
force that is expended in this way is enough to make angels weep. The
necessary stitches to be taken in every household are quite enough
without adding fancy work.

From Dansville my daughters and I went on to Washington to celebrate the
seventieth birthday of Miss Anthony, who has always been to them as a
second mother. Mrs. Blatch made a speech at the celebration, and Mrs.
Lawrence gave a recitation. First came a grand supper at the Riggs
House. The dining room was beautifully decorated; in fact, Mr. and Mrs.
Spofford spared no pains to make the occasion one long to be remembered.
May Wright Sewall was the mistress of ceremonies. She read the toasts
and called on the different speakers. Phoebe Couzins, Rev. Anna Shaw,
Isabella Beecher Hooker, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Clara B. Colby, Senator
Blair of New Hampshire, and many others responded. I am ashamed to say
that we kept up the festivities till after two o'clock. Miss Anthony,
dressed in dark velvet and point lace, spoke at the close with great
pathos. Those of us who were there will not soon forget February 15,
1890.

After speaking before committees of the Senate and House, I gave the
opening address at the annual convention. Mrs. Stanton Blatch spoke a
few minutes on the suffrage movement in England, after which we hurried
off to New York, and went on board the _Aller_, one of the North German
Lloyd steamers, bound for Southampton. At the ship we found Captain
Milinowski and his wife and two of my sons waiting our arrival. As we
had eighteen pieces of baggage it took Mrs. Blatch some time to review
them. My phaeton, which we decided to take, filled six boxes. An easy
carriage for two persons is not common in England. The dogcarts prevail,
the most uncomfortable vehicles one can possibly use. Why some of our
Americans drive in those uncomfortable carts is a question. I think it
is because they are "so English." The only reason the English use them
is because they are cheap. The tax on two wheels is one-half what it is
on four, and in England all carriages are taxed. Before we Americans
adopt fashions because they are English, we had better find out the
_raison d'être_ for their existence.

We had a very pleasant, smooth voyage, unusually so for blustering
February and March. As I dislike close staterooms, I remained in the
ladies' saloon night and day, sleeping on a sofa. After a passage of
eleven days we landed at Southampton, March 2, 1890. It was a beautiful
moonlight night and we had a pleasant ride on the little tug to the
wharf. We reached Basingstoke at eleven o'clock, found the family well
and all things in order.



CHAPTER XXVI.

MY LAST VISIT TO ENGLAND.


As soon as we got our carriage put together Hattie and I drove out every
day, as the roads in England are in fine condition all the year round.
We had lovely weather during the spring, but the summer was wet and
cold. With reading, writing, going up to London, and receiving visitors,
the months flew by without our accomplishing half the work we proposed.

As my daughter was a member of the Albemarle Club, we invited several
friends to dine with us there at different times. There we had a long
talk with Mr. Stead, the editor of the _Pall Mall Gazette_, on his
position in regard to Russian affairs, "The Deceased Wife's Sister
Bill," and the divorce laws of England. Mr. Stead is a fluent talker as
well as a good writer. He is the leader of the social purity movement in
England. The wisdom of his course toward Sir Charles Dilke and Mr.
Parnell was questioned by many; but there is a touch of the religious
fanatic in Mr. Stead, as in many of his followers.

There were several problems in social ethics that deeply stirred the
English people in the year of our Lord 1890. One was Charles Stewart
Parnell's platonic friendship with Mrs. O'Shea, and the other was the
Lord Chancellor's decision in the case of Mrs. Jackson. The pulpit, the
press, and the people vied with each other in trying to dethrone Mr.
Parnell as the great Irish leader, but the united forces did not succeed
in destroying his self-respect, nor in hounding him out of the British
Parliament, though, after a brave and protracted resistance on his part,
they did succeed in hounding him into the grave.

It was pitiful to see the Irish themselves, misled by a hypocritical
popular sentiment in England, turn against their great leader, the only
one they had had for half a century who was able to keep the Irish
question uppermost in the House of Commons year after year. The course
of events since his death has proved the truth of what he told them, to
wit: that there was no sincerity in the interest English politicians
manifested in the question of Home Rule, and that the debates on that
point would cease as soon as it was no longer forced on their
consideration. And now when they have succeeded in killing their leader,
they begin to realize their loss. The question evolved through the
ferment of social opinions was concisely stated, thus: "Can a man be a
great leader, a statesman, a general, an admiral, a learned chief
justice, a trusted lawyer, or skillful physician, if he has ever broken
the Seventh Commandment?"

I expressed my opinion in the _Westminster Review_, at the time, in the
affirmative. Mrs. Jacob Bright, Mrs. Ellen Battelle Dietrick of Boston,
Kate Field, in her _Washington_, agreed with me. Many other women spoke
out promptly in the negative, and with a bitterness against those who
took the opposite view that was lamentable.

The Jackson case was a profitable study, as it brought out other
questions of social ethics, as well as points of law which were ably
settled by the Lord Chancellor. It seems that immediately after Mr. and
Mrs. Jackson were married, the groom was compelled to go to Australia.
After two years he returned and claimed his bride, but in the interval
she felt a growing aversion and determined not to live with him. As she
would not even see him, with the assistance of friends he kidnaped her
one day as she was coming out of church, and carried her to his home,
where he kept her under surveillance until her friends, with a writ of
_habeas corpus_, compelled him to bring her into court. The popular idea
"based on the common law of England," was, that the husband had this
absolute right. The lower court, in harmony with this idea, maintained
the husband's right, and remanded her to his keeping, but the friends
appealed to the higher court and the Lord Chancellor reversed the
decision.

With regard to the right so frequently claimed, giving husbands the
power to seize, imprison, and chastise their wives, he said: "I am of
the opinion that no such right exists in law. I am of the opinion that
no such right ever did exist in law. I say that no English subject has
the right to imprison another English subject, whether his wife or not."
Through this decision the wife walked out of the court a free woman. The
passage of the Married Women's Property Bill in England in 1882 was the
first blow at the old idea of coverture, giving to wives their rights of
property, the full benefit of which they are yet to realize when
clearer-minded men administer the laws. The decision of the Lord
Chancellor, rendered March 18, 1891, declaratory of the personal rights
of married women, is a still more important blow by just so much as the
rights of person are more sacred than the rights of property.

One hundred years ago, Lord Chief Justice Mansfield gave his famous
decision in the Somerset case, "That no slave could breathe on British
soil," and the slave walked out of court a free man. The decision of the
Lord Chancellor, in the Jackson case, is far more important, more
momentous in its consequences, as it affects not only one race but
one-half of the entire human family. From every point of view this is
the greatest legal decision of the century. Like the great Chief Justice
of the last century, the Lord Chancellor, with a clearer vision than
those about him, rises into a purer atmosphere of thought, and
vindicates the eternal principles of justice and the dignity of British
law, by declaring all statutes that make wives the bond slaves of their
husbands, obsolete.

How long will it be in our Republic before some man will arise, great
enough to so interpret our National Constitution as to declare that
women, as citizens of the United States, cannot be governed by laws in
the making of which they have no part? It is not Constitutional
amendments nor statute laws we need, but judges on the bench of our
Supreme Court, who, in deciding great questions of human rights, shall
be governed by the broad principles of justice rather than precedent.
One interesting feature in the trial of the Jackson case, was that both
Lady Coleridge and the wife of the Lord Chancellor were seated on the
bench, and evidently much pleased with the decision.

It is difficult to account for the fact that, while women of the highest
classes in England take the deepest interest in politics and court
decisions, American women of wealth and position are wholly indifferent
to all public matters. While English women take an active part in
elections, holding meetings and canvassing their districts, here, even
the wives of judges, governors, and senators speak with bated breath of
political movements, and seem to feel that a knowledge of laws and
constitutions would hopelessly unsex them.

Toward the last of April, with my little granddaughter and her nurse, I
went down to Bournemouth, one of the most charming watering places in
England. We had rooms in the Cliff House with windows opening on the
balcony, where we had a grand view of the bay and could hear the waves
dashing on the shore. While Nora, with her spade and pail, played all
day in the sands, digging trenches and filling them with water, I sat on
the balcony reading "Diana of the Crossways," and Bjornson's last novel,
"In God's Way," both deeply interesting. As all the characters in the
latter come to a sad end, I could not see the significance of the title.
If they walked in God's way their career should have been successful.

I took my first airing along the beach in an invalid chair. These bath
chairs are a great feature in all the watering places of England. They
are drawn by a man or a donkey. The first day I took a man, an old
sailor, who talked incessantly of his adventures, stopping to rest every
five minutes, dissipating all my pleasant reveries, and making an
unendurable bore of himself. The next day I told the proprietor to get
me a man who would not talk all the time. The man he supplied jogged
along in absolute silence; he would not even answer my questions.
Supposing he had his orders to keep profound silence, after one or two
attempts I said nothing. When I returned home, the proprietor asked me
how I liked this man. "Ah!" I said, "he was indeed silent and would not
even answer a question nor go anywhere I told him; still I liked him
better than the talkative man." He laughed heartily and said: "This man
is deaf and dumb. I thought I would make sure that you should not be
bored." I joined in the laugh and said: "Well, to-morrow get me a man
who can hear but cannot speak, if you can find one constructed on that
plan."

Bournemouth is noteworthy now as the burial place of Mary Wolstonecraft
and the Shelleys. I went to see the monument that had been recently
reared to their memory. On one side is the following inscription:
"William Godwin, author of 'Political Justice,' born March 3rd, 1756,
died April 7th, 1836. Mary Wolstonecraft Godwin, author of the
'Vindication of the Rights of Women,' born April 27th, 1759, died
September 10th, 1797." These remains were brought here, in 1851, from
the churchyard of St. Pancras, London. On the other side are the
following inscriptions: "Mary Wolstonecraft Godwin, daughter of William
Godwin and widow of the late Percy Bysshe Shelley, born August 30th,
1797, died February 1st, 1851. Percy Florence Shelley, son of Percy
Shelley and Mary Wolstonecraft, third baronet, born November 12th, 1819,
died December 5th, 1889. "In Christ's Church, six miles from
Bournemouth, is a bas-relief in memory of the great poet. He is
represented, dripping with seaweed, in the arms of the Angel of Death.

As I sat on my balcony hour after hour, reading and thinking of the
Shelleys, watching the changing hues of the clouds and the beautiful
bay, and listening to the sad monotone of the waves, these sweet lines
of Whittier's came to my mind:

    "Its waves are kneeling on the strand,
     As kneels the human knee,--
    Their white locks bowing to the sand,
     The priesthood of the sea!

    "The blue sky is the temple's arch,
     Its transept earth and air,
    The music of its starry march
     The chorus of a prayer."

American letters, during this sojourn abroad, told of many losses, one
after another, from our family circle; nine passed away within two
years. The last was my sister Mrs. Bayard, who died in May, 1891. She
was the oldest of our family, and had always been a second mother to her
younger sisters, and her house our second home.

The last of June my son Theodore's wife and daughter came over from
France to spend a month with us. Lisette and Nora, about the same size,
played and quarreled most amusingly together. They spent their mornings
in the kindergarten school, and the afternoons with their pony, but
rainy days I was impressed into their service to dress dolls and tell
stories. I had the satisfaction to hear them say that their dolls were
never so prettily dressed before, and that my stories were better than
any in the books. As I composed the wonderful yarns as I went along, I
used to get very tired, and sometimes, when I heard the little feet
coming, I would hide, but they would hunt until they found me. When my
youngest son was ten years old and could read for himself, I graduated
in story telling, having practiced in that line twenty-one years. I
vowed that I would expend no more breath in that direction, but the
eager face of a child asking for stories is too much for me, and my vow
has been often broken. All the time I was in England Nora claimed the
twilight hour, and, in France, Lisette was equally pertinacious. When
Victor Hugo grew tired telling his grandchildren stories, he would wind
up with the story of an old gentleman who, after a few interesting
experiences, took up his evening paper and began to read aloud. The
children would listen a few moments and then, one by one, slip out of
the room. Longfellow's old gentleman, after many exciting scenes in his
career, usually stretched himself on the lounge and feigned sleep. But
grandmothers are not allowed to shelter themselves with such devices;
they are required to spin on until the bedtime really arrives.

On July 16, one of the hottest days of the season, Mrs. Jacob Bright and
daughter, Herbert Burroughs, and Mrs. Parkhurst came down from London,
and we sat out of doors, taking our luncheon under the trees and
discussing theosophy. Later in the month Hattie and I went to Yorkshire
to visit Mr. and Mrs. Scatcherd at Morley Hall, and there spent several
days. We had a prolonged discussion on personal rights. One side was
against all governmental interference, such as compulsory education and
the protection of children against cruel parents; the other side in
favor of state interference that protected the individual in the
enjoyment of life, liberty, and happiness. I took the latter position.
Many parents are not fit to have the control of children, hence the
State should see that they are sheltered, fed, clothed, and educated. It
is far better for the State to make good citizens of its children in
the beginning, than, in the end, to be compelled to care for them as
criminals.

While in the north of England we spent a few days at Howard Castle, the
summer residence of Lord and Lady Carlisle and their ten children. So
large a family in high life is unusual. As I had known Lord and Lady
Amberley in America, when they visited this country in 1867, I enjoyed
meeting other members of their family. Lady Carlisle is in favor of
woman suffrage and frequently speaks in public. She is a woman of great
force of character, and of very generous impulses. She is trying to do
her duty in sharing the good things of life with the needy. The poor for
miles round often have picnics in her park, and large numbers of
children from manufacturing towns spend weeks with her cottage tenants
at her expense. Lord Carlisle is an artist and a student. As he has a
poetical temperament and is aesthetic in all his tastes, Lady Carlisle
is the business manager of the estate. She is a practical woman with
immense executive ability. The castle with its spacious dining hall and
drawing rooms, with its chapel, library, galleries of paintings and
statuary, its fine outlook, extensive gardens and lawns was well worth
seeing. We enjoyed our visit very much and discussed every imaginable
subject.

When we returned to Basingstoke we had a visit from Mrs. Cobb, the wife
of a member of Parliament, and sister-in-law of Karl Pearson, whose
lectures on woman I had enjoyed so much. It was through reading his
work, "The Ethic of Free Thought," that the Matriarchate made such a
deep impression on my mind and moved me to write a tract on the subject.
People who have neither read nor thought on this point, question the
facts as stated by Bachofen, Morgan, and Wilkeson; but their truth, I
think, cannot be questioned. They seem so natural in the chain of
reasoning and the progress of human development. Mrs. Cobb did a very
good thing a few days before visiting us. At a great meeting called to
promote Mr. Cobb's election, John Morley spoke. He did not even say
"Ladies and gentlemen" in starting, nor make the slightest reference to
the existence of such beings as women. When he had finished, Mrs. Cobb
arose mid great cheering and criticised his speech, making some
quotations from his former speeches of a very liberal nature. The
audience laughed and cheered, fully enjoying the rebuke. The next day in
his speech he remembered his countrywomen, and on rising said, "Ladies
and gentlemen."

During August, 1891, I was busy getting ready for my voyage, as I was to
sail on the _Ems_ on August 23. Although I had crossed the ocean six
times in the prior ten years I dreaded the voyage more than words can
describe. The last days were filled with sadness, in parting with those
so dear to me in foreign countries--especially those curly-headed little
girls, so bright, so pretty, so winning in all their ways. Hattie and
Theodore went with me from Southampton in the little tug to the great
ship _Ems_. It was very hard for us to say the last farewell, but we all
tried to be as brave as possible.

We had a rough voyage, but I was not seasick one moment. I was up and
dressed early in the morning, and on deck whenever the weather
permitted. I made many pleasant acquaintances with whom I played chess
and whist; wrote letters to all my foreign friends, ready to mail on
landing; read the "Egotist," by George Meredith, and Ibsen's plays as
translated by my friend Frances Lord. I had my own private stewardess, a
nice German woman who could speak English. She gave me most of my meals
on deck or in the ladies' saloon, and at night she would open the
porthole two or three times and air our stateroom; that made the nights
endurable. The last evening before landing we got up an entertainment
with songs, recitations, readings, and speeches. I was invited to
preside and introduce the various performers. We reached Sandy Hook the
evening of the 29th day of August and lay there all night, and the next
morning we sailed up our beautiful harbor, brilliant with the rays of
the rising sun.

Being fortunate in having children in both hemispheres, here, too, I
found a son and daughter waiting to welcome me to my native land. Our
chief business for many weeks was searching for an inviting apartment
where my daughter, Mrs. Stanton Lawrence, my youngest son, Bob, and I
could set up our family altar and sing our new psalm of life together.
After much weary searching we found an apartment. Having always lived in
a large house in the country, the quarters seemed rather contracted at
first, but I soon realized the immense saving in labor and expense in
having no more room than is absolutely necessary, and all on one floor.
To be transported from the street to your apartment in an elevator in
half a minute, to have all your food and fuel sent to your kitchen by an
elevator in the rear, to have your rooms all warmed with no effort of
your own, seemed like a realization of some fairy dream. With an
extensive outlook of the heavens above, of the Park and the Boulevard
beneath, I had a feeling of freedom, and with a short flight of stairs
to the roof (an easy escape in case of fire), of safety, too.

No sooner was I fully established in my eyrie, than I was summoned to
Rochester, by my friend Miss Anthony, to fill an appointment she had
made for me with Miss Adelaide Johnson, the artist from Washington, who
was to idealize Miss Anthony and myself in marble for the World's Fair.
I found my friend demurely seated in her mother's rocking-chair hemming
table linen and towels for her new home, anon bargaining with butchers,
bakers, and grocers, making cakes and puddings, talking with enthusiasm
of palatable dishes and the beauties of various articles of furniture
that different friends had presented her. All there was to remind one of
the "Napoleon of the Suffrage Movement" was a large escritoire covered
with documents in the usual state of confusion--Miss Anthony never could
keep her papers in order. In search of any particular document she roots
out every drawer and pigeon hole, although her mother's little spinning
wheel stands right beside her desk, a constant reminder of all the
domestic virtues of the good housewife, with whom "order" is of the
utmost importance and "heaven's first law." The house was exquisitely
clean and orderly, the food appetizing, the conversation pleasant and
profitable, and the atmosphere genial.

A room in an adjoining house was assigned to Miss Johnson and myself,
where a strong pedestal and huge mass of clay greeted us. And there, for
nearly a month, I watched the transformation of that clay into human
proportions and expressions, until it gradually emerged with the
familiar facial outlines ever so dear to one's self. Sitting there four
or five hours every day I used to get very sleepy, so my artist
arranged for a series of little naps. When she saw the crisis coming she
would say: "I will work now for a time on the ear, the nose, or the
hair, as you must be wide awake when I am trying to catch the
expression." I rewarded her for her patience and indulgence by summoning
up, when awake, the most intelligent and radiant expression that I could
command. As Miss Johnson is a charming, cultured woman, with liberal
ideas and brilliant in conversation, she readily drew out all that was
best in me.

Before I left Rochester, Miss Anthony and her sister Mary gave a
reception to me at their house. As some of the professors and trustees
of the Rochester University were there, the question of co-education was
freely discussed, and the authorities urged to open the doors of the
University to the daughters of the people. It was rather aggravating to
contemplate those fine buildings and grounds, while every girl in that
city must go abroad for higher education. The wife of President Hill of
the University had just presented him with twins, a girl and a boy, and
he facetiously remarked, "that if the Creator could risk placing sexes
in such near relations, he thought they might with safety walk on the
same campus and pursue the same curriculum together."

Miss Anthony and I went to Geneva the next day to visit Mrs. Miller and
to meet, by appointment, Mrs. Eliza Osborne, the niece of Lucretia Mott,
and eldest daughter of Martha C. Wright. We anticipated a merry meeting,
but Miss Anthony and I were so tired that we no doubt appeared stupid.
In a letter to Mrs. Miller afterward, Mrs. Osborne inquired why I was
"so solemn." As I pride myself on being impervious to fatigue or
disease, I could not own up to any disability, so I turned the tables on
her in the following letter:

     "New York, 26 West 61st Street,

     November 12, 1891.

     "Dear Eliza:

     "In a recent letter to Mrs. Miller, speaking of the time when we
     last met, you say, 'Why was Mrs. Stanton so solemn?' to which I
     reply: Ever since an old German emperor issued an edict, ordering
     all the women under that flag to knit when walking on the highway,
     when selling apples in the market place, when sitting in the parks,
     because 'to keep women out of mischief their hands must be busy,'
     ever since I read that, I have felt 'solemn' whenever I have seen
     any daughters of our grand Republic knitting, tatting,
     embroidering, or occupied with any of the ten thousand digital
     absurdities that fill so large a place in the lives of Eve's
     daughters.

     "Looking forward to the scintillations of wit, the philosophical
     researches, the historical traditions, the scientific discoveries,
     the astronomical explorations, the mysteries of theosophy,
     palmistry, mental science, the revelations of the unknown world
     where angels and devils do congregate, looking forward to
     discussions of all these grand themes, in meeting the eldest
     daughter of David and Martha Wright, the niece of Lucretia Mott,
     the sister-in-law of William Lloyd Garrison, a queenly-looking
     woman five feet eight in height, and well proportioned, with
     glorious black eyes, rivaling even De Staël's in power and pathos,
     one can readily imagine the disappointment I experienced when such
     a woman pulled a cotton wash rag from her pocket and forthwith
     began to knit with bowed head. Fixing her eyes and concentrating
     her thoughts on a rag one foot square; it was impossible for
     conversation to rise above the wash-rag level! It was enough to
     make the most aged optimist 'solemn' to see such a wreck of
     glorious womanhood.

     "And, still worse, she not only knit steadily, hour after hour, but
     she bestowed the sweetest words of encouragement on a young girl
     from the Pacific Coast, who was embroidering rosebuds on another
     rag, the very girl I had endeavored to rescue from the maelstrom of
     embroidery, by showing her the unspeakable folly of giving her
     optic nerves to such base uses, when they were designed by the
     Creator to explore the planetary world, with chart and compass to
     guide mighty ships across the sea, to lead the sons of Adam with
     divinest love from earth to heaven. Think of the great beseeching
     optic nerves and muscles by which we express our admiration of all
     that is good and glorious in earth and heaven, being concentrated
     on a cotton wash rag! Who can wonder that I was 'solemn' that day!
     I made my agonized protest on the spot, but it fell unheeded, and
     with satisfied sneer Eliza knit on, and the young Californian
     continued making the rosebuds. I gazed into space, and, when alone,
     wept for my degenerate countrywoman. I not only was 'solemn' that
     day, but I am profoundly 'solemn' whenever I think of that queenly
     woman and that cotton wash rag. (One can buy a whole dozen of these
     useful appliances, with red borders and fringed, for twenty-five
     cents.) Oh, Eliza, I beseech you, knit no more!

     "Affectionately yours,

     "Elizabeth Cady Stanton."

To this Mrs. Osborne sent the following reply:

     "Dear Mrs. Stanton:

     "In your skit
    Against your sisterhood who knit,
     Or useful make their fingers,
    I wonder if--deny it not--
    The habit of Lucretia Mott
     Within your memory lingers!

    "In retrospective vision bright,
    Can you recall dear Martha Wright
     Without her work or knitting?
    The needles flying in her hands,
    On washing rags or baby's bands,
     Or other work as fitting?

    "I cannot think they thought the less,
    Or ceased the company to bless
     With conversation's riches,
    Because they thus improved their time,
    And never deemed it was a crime
     To fill the hours with stitches.

    "They even used to preach and plan
    To spread the fashion, so that man
     Might have this satisfaction;
    Instead of idling as men do,
    With nervous meddling fingers too,
     Why not mate talk with action?

    "But as a daughter and a niece,
    I pride myself on every piece
     Of handiwork created;
    While reveling in social chat,
    Or listening to gossip flat,
     My gain is unabated.

    "That German emperor you scorn,
    Seems to my mind a monarch born,
     Worthy to lead a column;
    I'll warrant he could talk and work,
    And, neither being used to shirk,
     Was rarely very solemn.

    "I could say more upon this head,
    But must, before I go to bed.
     Your idle precepts mocking,
    Get out my needle and my yarn
    And, caring not a single darn.
     Just finish up this stocking."



CHAPTER XXVII.

SIXTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CLASS OF 1832--THE WOMAN'S BIBLE.


I returned from Geneva to New York city in time to celebrate my
seventy-sixth birthday with my children. I had traveled about constantly
for the last twenty years in France, England, and my own country, and
had so many friends and correspondents, and pressing invitations to
speak in clubs and conventions, that now I decided to turn over a new
leaf and rest in an easy-chair. But so complete a change in one's life
could not be easily accomplished. In spite of my resolution to abide in
seclusion, my daughter and I were induced to join the Botta Club, which
was to meet once a month, alternately, at the residences of Mrs. Moncure
D. Conway and Mrs. Abby Sage Richardson. Though composed of ladies and
gentlemen it proved dull and unprofitable. As the subject for discussion
was not announced until each meeting, no one was prepared with any
well-digested train of thought. It was also decided to avoid all
questions about which there might be grave differences of opinion. This
negative position reminded me of a book on etiquette which I read in my
young days, in which gentlemen were warned, "In the presence of ladies
discuss neither politics, religion, nor social duties, but confine
yourself to art, poetry, and abstract questions which women cannot
understand. The less they know of a subject the more respectfully they
will listen." This club was named in honor of Mrs. Botta, formerly Miss
Anne Lynch, whose drawing room for many years was the social center of
the literati of New York.

On January 16, 1892, we held the Annual Suffrage Convention in
Washington, and, as usual, had a hearing before the Congressional
Committee. My speech on the "Solitude of Self" was well received and was
published in the Congressional Record. The _Woman's Tribune_ struck off
many hundreds of copies and it was extensively circulated.

Notwithstanding my determination to rest, I spoke to many clubs, wrote
articles for papers and magazines, and two important leaflets, one on
"Street Cleaning," another on "Opening the Chicago Exposition on
Sunday." As Sunday was the only day the masses could visit that
magnificent scene, with its great lake, extensive park, artificial
canals, and beautiful buildings, I strongly advocated its being open on
that day. One hundred thousand religious bigots petitioned Congress to
make no appropriation for this magnificent Exposition, unless the
managers pledged themselves to close the gates on Sunday, and hide this
vision of beauty from the common people. Fortunately, this time a sense
of justice outweighed religious bigotry. I sent my leaflets to every
member of Congress and of the State legislatures, and to the managers of
the Exposition, and made it a topic of conversation at every
opportunity. The park and parts of the Exposition were kept open on
Sunday, but some of the machinery was stopped as a concession to narrow
Christian sects.

In June, 1892, at the earnest solicitation of Mrs. Russell Sage, I
attended the dedication of the Gurley Memorial Building, presented to
the Emma Willard Seminary, at Troy, New York, and made the following
address:

     "MRS. PRESIDENT, MEMBERS OF THE ALUMNAE:

     "It is just sixty years since the class of '32, to which I
     belonged, celebrated a commencement in this same room. This was the
     great event of the season to many families throughout this State.
     Parents came from all quarters; the _élite_ of Troy and Albany
     assembled here. Principals from other schools, distinguished
     legislators, and clergymen all came to hear girls scan Latin verse,
     solve problems in Euclid, and read their own compositions in a
     promiscuous assemblage. A long line of teachers anxiously waited
     the calling of their classes, and over all, our queenly Madame
     Willard presided with royal grace and dignity. Two hundred girls in
     gala attire, white dresses, bright sashes, and coral ornaments,
     with their curly hair, rosy cheeks, and sparkling eyes, flitted to
     and fro, some rejoicing that they had passed through their ordeal,
     some still on the tiptoe of expectation, some laughing, some in
     tears--altogether a most beautiful and interesting picture.

     "Conservatives then, as now, thought the result of the higher
     education of girls would be to destroy their delicacy and
     refinement. But as the graduates of the Troy Seminary were never
     distinguished in after life for the lack of these feminine virtues,
     the most timid, even, gradually accepted the situation and trusted
     their daughters with Mrs. Willard. But that noble woman endured for
     a long period the same ridicule and persecution that women now do
     who take an onward step in the march of progress.

     "I see around me none of the familiar faces that greeted my coming
     or said farewell in parting. I do not know that one of my
     classmates still lives. Friendship with those I knew and loved best
     lasted but a few years, then our ways in life parted. I should not
     know where to find one now, and if I did, probably our ideas would
     differ on every subject, as I have wandered in latitudes beyond the
     prescribed sphere of women. I suppose it is much the same with many
     of you--the familiar faces are all gone, gone to the land of
     shadows, and I hope of sunshine too, where we in turn will soon
     follow. "And yet, though we who are left are strangers to one
     another, we have the same memories of the past, of the same type of
     mischievous girls and staid teachers, though with different names.
     The same long, bare halls and stairs, the recitation rooms with the
     same old blackboards and lumps of chalk taken for generation after
     generation, I suppose, from the same pit; the dining room, with its
     pillars inconveniently near some of the tables, with its thick,
     white crockery and black-handled knives, and viands that never
     suited us, because, forsooth, we had boxes of delicacies from home,
     or we had been out to the baker's or confectioner's and bought pies
     and cocoanut cakes, candy and chewing gum, all forbidden, but that
     added to the relish. There, too, were the music rooms, with their
     old, second-hand pianos, some with rattling keys and tinny sound,
     on which we were supposed to play our scales and exercises for an
     hour, though we often slyly indulged in the 'Russian March,'
     'Napoleon Crossing the Rhine,' or our national airs, when, as
     slyly, Mr. Powell, our music teacher, a bumptious Englishman, would
     softly open the door and say in a stern voice, 'Please practice the
     lesson I just gave you!'

     "Our chief delight was to break the rules, but we did not like to
     be caught at it. As we were forbidden to talk with our neighbors in
     study hours, I frequently climbed on top of my bureau to talk
     through a pipe hole with a daughter of Judge Howell of Canandaigua.
     We often met afterward, laughed and talked over the old days, and
     kept our friendship bright until the day of her death. Once while
     rooming with Harriet Hudson, a sister of Mrs. John Willard, I was
     moved to a very erratic performance. Miss Theresa Lee had rung the
     bell for retiring, and had taken her rounds, as usual, to see that
     the lights were out and all was still, when I peeped out of my
     door, and seeing the bell at the head of the stairs nearby, I gave
     it one kick and away it went rolling and ringing to the bottom. The
     halls were instantly filled with teachers and scholars, all in
     white robes, asking what was the matter. Harriet and I ran around
     questioning the rest, and what a frolic we had, helter-skelter, up
     and down stairs, in each other's rooms, pulling the beds to pieces,
     changing girls' clothes from one room to another, etc., etc. The
     hall lamps, dimly burning, gave us just light enough for all manner
     of depredations without our being recognized, hence the unbounded
     latitude we all felt for mischief. In our whole seminary
     course--and I was there nearly three years--we never had such a
     frolic as that night. It took all the teachers to restore order and
     quiet us down again for the night. No suspicion of any
     irregularities were ever attached to Harriet and myself. Our
     standing for scholarship was good, hence we were supposed to
     reflect all the moralities.

     "Though strangers, we have a bond of union in all these memories,
     of our bright companions, our good teachers, who took us through
     the pitfalls of logic, rhetoric, philosophy, and the sciences, and
     of the noble woman who founded the institution, and whose unselfish
     devotion in the cause of education we are here to celebrate. The
     name of Emma Willard is dear to all of us; to know her was to love
     and venerate her. She was not only good and gifted, but she was a
     beautiful woman. She had a finely developed figure, well-shaped
     head, classic features, most genial manners, and a profound
     self-respect (a rare quality in woman), that gave her a dignity
     truly royal in every position. Traveling in the Old World she was
     noticed everywhere as a distinguished personage. And all these
     gifts she dedicated to the earnest purpose of her life, the higher
     education of women.

     "In opening this seminary she could not find young women capable of
     teaching the higher branches, hence her first necessity was to
     train herself. Amos B. Eaton, who was the principal of the
     Rensselaer Polytechnic School for boys here in Troy, told me Mrs.
     Willard studied with him every branch he was capable of teaching,
     and trained a corps of teachers and regular scholars at the same
     time. She took lessons of the Professor every evening when he had
     leisure, and studied half the night the branches she was to teach
     the next day, thus keeping ahead of her classes. Her intense
     earnestness and mental grasp, the readiness with which she turned
     from one subject to another, and her retentive memory of every rule
     and fact he gave her, was a constant surprise to the Professor.

     "All her vacation she devoted to training teachers. She was the
     first to suggest the normal-school system. Remembering her deep
     interest in the education of women, we can honor her in no more
     worthy manner than to carry on her special lifework. As we look
     around at all the educated women assembled here to-day and try to
     estimate what each has done in her own sphere of action, the
     schools founded, the teachers sent forth, the inspiration given to
     girls in general, through the long chain of influences started by
     our alma mater, we can form some light estimate of the momentous
     and far-reaching consequences of Emma Willard's life. We have not
     her difficulties to overcome, her trials to endure, but the
     imperative duty is laid on each of us to finish the work she so
     successfully began. Schools and colleges of a high order are now
     everywhere open to women, public sentiment welcomes them to
     whatever career they may desire, and our work is to help worthy
     girls struggling for a higher education, by founding scholarships
     in desirable institutions in every State in the Union. The most
     fitting tribute we can pay to Emma Willard is to aid in the
     production of a generation of thoroughly educated women.

     "There are two kinds of scholarships, equally desirable; a
     permanent one, where the interest of a fund from year to year will
     support a succession of students, and a temporary one, to help some
     worthy individual as she may require. Someone has suggested that
     this association should help young girls in their primary
     education. But as our public schools possess all the advantages for
     a thorough education in the rudiments of learning and are free to
     all, our scholarships should be bestowed on those whose ability and
     earnestness in the primary department have been proved, and whose
     capacity for a higher education is fully shown.

     "This is the best work women of wealth can do, and I hope in the
     future they will endow scholarships for their own sex instead of
     giving millions of dollars to institutions for boys, as they have
     done in the past. After all the bequests women have made to Harvard
     see how niggardly that institution, in its 'annex,' treats their
     daughters. I once asked a wealthy lady to give a few thousands of
     dollars to start a medical college and hospital for women in New
     York. She said before making bequests she always consulted her
     minister and her Bible. He told her there was nothing said in the
     Bible about colleges for women. I said, 'Tell him he is mistaken.
     If he will turn to 2 'Chron. xxxiv. 22, he will find that when
     Josiah, the king, sent the wise men to consult Huldah, the
     prophetess, about the book of laws discovered in the temple, they
     found Huldah in the college in Jerusalem, thoroughly well informed
     on questions of state, while Shallum, her husband, was keeper of
     the robes. I suppose his business was to sew on the royal buttons.'
     But in spite of this Scriptural authority, the rich lady gave
     thirty thousand dollars to Princeton and never one cent for the
     education of her own sex.

     "Of all the voices to which these walls have echoed for over half a
     century, how few remain to tell the story of the early days, and
     when we part, how few of us will ever meet again; but I know we
     shall carry with us some new inspiration for the work that still
     remains for us to do. Though many of us are old in years, we may
     still be young in heart. Women trained to concentrate all their
     thoughts on family life are apt to think--when their children are
     grown up, their loved ones gone, their servants trained to keep the
     domestic machinery in motion--that their work in life is done, that
     no one needs now their thought and care, quite forgetting that the
     hey-day of woman's life is on the shady side of fifty, when the
     vital forces heretofore expended in other ways are garnered in the
     brain, when their thoughts and sentiments flow out in broader
     channels, when philanthropy takes the place of family selfishness,
     and when from the depths of poverty and suffering the wail of
     humanity grows as pathetic to their ears as once was the cry of
     their own children.

     "Or, perhaps, the pressing cares of family life ended, the woman
     may awake to some slumbering genius in herself for art, science, or
     literature, with which to gild the sunset of her life. Longfellow's
     beautiful poem, 'Morituri Salutamus,' written for a similar
     occasion to this, is full of hope and promise for all of us. He
     says:

    "'Something remains for us to do or dare;
    Even the oldest tree some fruit may bear.
    Cato learned Greek at eighty; Sophocles
    Wrote his grand Oedipus, and Simonides
    Bore off the prize of verse from his compeers,
    When each had numbered more than four-score years.
    And Theophrastus, at three-score and ten,
    Had but begun his Characters of Men;
    Chaucer, at Woodstock with the nightingales,
    At sixty wrote the Canterbury Tales;
    Goethe at Weimar, toiling to the last,
    Completed Faust when eighty years were past.
    These are indeed exceptions; but they show
    How far the gulf-stream of our youth may flow
    Into the Arctic regions of our lives,
    Where little else than life itself survives.
    For age is opportunity no less
    Than youth itself, though in another dress,
    And as the evening twilight fades away
    The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.'"

On December 21, 1892, we celebrated, for the first time, "Foremothers'
Day." Men had celebrated "Forefathers' Day" for many years, but as women
were never invited to join in their festivities, Mrs. Devereux Blake
introduced the custom of women having a dinner in celebration of that
day. Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker spent two days with me, and together
we attended the feast and made speeches. This custom is now annually
observed, and gentlemen sit in the gallery just as ladies had done on
similar occasions.

My son Theodore arrived from France in April, 1893, to attend the
Chicago Exposition, and spent most of the summer with me at Glen Cove,
Long Island, where my son Gerrit and his wife were domiciled. Here we
read Captain Charles King's stories of life at military posts, Sanborn's
"Biography of Bronson Alcott," and Lecky's "History of Rationalism."

Here I visited Charles A. Dana, the Nestor of journalism, and his
charming family. He lived on a beautiful island near Glen Cove. His
refined, artistic taste, shown in his city residence in paintings,
statuary, and rare bric-a-brac, collected in his frequent travels in the
Old World, displayed itself in his island home in the arrangement of an
endless variety of trees, shrubs, and flowers, through which you caught
glimpses of the Sound and distant shores. One seldom meets so gifted a
man as the late editor of the _Sun_. He was a scholar, speaking several
languages; an able writer and orator, and a most genial companion in the
social circle. His wife and daughter are cultivated women. The name of
this daughter, Zoe Dana Underhill, often appears in our popular
magazines as the author of short stories, remarkable for their vivid
descriptions.

I met Mr. Dana for the first time at the Brook Farm Community in 1843,
in that brilliant circle of Boston transcendentalists, who hoped in a
few years to transform our selfish, competitive civilization into a
Paradise where all the altruistic virtues might make co-operation
possible. But alas! the material at hand was not sufficiently plastic
for that higher ideal. In due time the community dissolved and the
members returned to their ancestral spheres. Margaret Fuller, who was a
frequent visitor there, betook herself to matrimony in sunny Italy,
William Henry Channing to the Church, Bronson Alcott to the education of
the young, Frank Cabot to the world of work, Mr. and Mrs. Ripley to
literature, and Charles A. Dana to the press. Mr. Dana was very
fortunate in his family relations. His wife, Miss Eunice MacDaniel, and
her relatives sympathized with him in all his most liberal opinions.
During the summer at Glen Cove I had the pleasure of several long
conversations with Miss Frances L. MacDaniel and her brother Osborne,
whose wife is the sister of Mr. Dana, and who is now assisting Miss
Prestona Mann in trying an experiment, similar to the one at Brook Farm,
in the Adirondacks.

Miss Anthony spent a week with us in Glen Cove. She came to stir me up
to write papers for every Congress at the Exposition, which I did, and
she read them in the different Congresses, adding her own strong words
at the close. Mrs. Russell Sage also came and spent a day with us to
urge me to write a paper to be read at Chicago at the Emma Willard
Reunion, which I did. A few days afterward Theodore and I returned her
visit. We enjoyed a few hours' conversation with Mr Sage, who had made
a very generous gift of a building to the Emma Willard Seminary at
Troy. This school was one of the first established (1820) for girls in
our State, and received an appropriation from the New York legislature
on the recommendation of the Governor, De Witt Clinton. Mr. Sage gave us
a description that night of the time his office was blown up with
dynamite thrown by a crank, and of his narrow escape. We found the great
financier and his wife in an unpretending cottage with a fine outlook on
the sea. Though possessed of great wealth they set a good example of
simplicity and economy, which many extravagant people would do well to
follow.

Having visited the World's Exposition at Chicago and attended a course
of lectures at Chautauqua, my daughter, Mrs. Stanton Lawrence, returned
to the city, and as soon as our apartment was in order I joined her. She
had recently been appointed Director of Physical Training at the
Teachers' College in New York city. I attended several of her
exhibitions and lectures, which were very interesting. She is doing her
best to develop, with proper exercises and sanitary dress, a new type of
womanhood.

My time passed pleasantly these days with a drive in the Park and an
hour in the land of Nod, also in reading Henry George's "Progress and
Poverty," William Morris on industrial questions, Stevenson's novels,
the "Heavenly Twins," and "Marcella," and at twilight, when I could not
see to read and write, in playing and singing the old tunes and songs I
loved in my youth. In the evening we played draughts and chess. I am
fond of all games, also of music and novels, hence the days fly swiftly
by; I am never lonely, life is ever very sweet to me and full of
interest.

The winter of 1893-94 was full of excitement, as the citizens of New
York were to hold a Constitutional Convention. Dr. Mary Putnam Jacobi
endeavored to rouse a new class of men and women to action in favor of
an amendment granting to women the right to vote. Appeals were sent
throughout the State, gatherings were held in parlors, and enthusiastic
meetings in Cooper Institute and at the Savoy Hotel. My daughter, Mrs.
Stanton Blatch, who was visiting this country, took an active part in
the canvass, and made an eloquent speech in Cooper Institute. Strange to
say, some of the leading ladies formed a strong party against the
proposed amendment and their own enfranchisement. They were called the
"Antis." This opposing organization adopted the same plan for the
campaign as those in favor of the amendment. They issued appeals,
circulated petitions, and had hearings before the Convention.

Mrs. Russell Sage, Mrs. Henry M. Sanders, Mrs. Edward Lauterbach, Mrs.
Runkle, and some liberal clergymen did their uttermost to secure the
insertion of the amendment in the proposed new constitution, but the
Committee on Suffrage of the Constitutional Convention refused even to
submit the proposed amendment to a vote of the people, though half a
million of our most intelligent and respectable citizens had signed the
petition requesting them to do so. Joseph H. Choate and Elihu Root did
their uttermost to defeat the amendment, and succeeded.

I spent the summer of 1894 with my son Gerrit, in his home at Thomaston,
Long Island. Balzac's novels, and the "Life of Thomas Paine" by Moncure
D. Conway, with the monthly magazines and daily papers, were my mental
pabulum. My daughter, Mrs. Stanton Lawrence, returned from England in
September, 1894, having had a pleasant visit with her sister in
Basingstoke. In December Miss Anthony came, and we wrote the woman
suffrage article for the new edition of Johnson's Cyclopedia.

On March 3, 1895, Lady Somerset and Miss Frances Willard, on the eve of
their departure for England, called to see me. We discussed my project
of a "Woman's Bible." They consented to join a revising committee, but
before the committee was organized they withdrew their names, fearing
the work would be too radical. I especially desired to have the opinions
of women from all sects, but those belonging to the orthodox churches
declined to join the committee or express their views. Perhaps they
feared their faith might be disturbed by the strong light of
investigation. Some half dozen members of the Revising Committee began
with me to write "Comments on the Pentateuch."

The chief thought revolving in my mind during the years of 1894 and 1895
had been "The Woman's Bible." In talking with friends I began to feel
that I might realize my long-cherished plan. Accordingly, I began to
read the commentators on the Bible and was surprised to see how little
they had to say about the greatest factor in civilization, the mother of
the race, and that little by no means complimentary. The more I read,
the more keenly I felt the importance of convincing women that the
Hebrew mythology had no special claim to a higher origin than that of
the Greeks, being far less attractive in style and less refined in
sentiment. Its objectionable features would long ago have been apparent
had they not been glossed over with a faith in their divine inspiration.
For several months I devoted all my time to Biblical criticism and
ecclesiastical history, and found no explanation for the degraded status
of women under all religions, and in all the so-called "Holy Books."

When Part I. of "The Woman's Bible" was finally published in November,
1895, it created a great sensation. Some of the New York city papers
gave a page to its review, with pictures of the commentators, of its
critics, and even of the book itself. The clergy denounced it as the
work of Satan, though it really was the work of Ellen Battelle Dietrick,
Lillie Devereux Blake, Rev. Phebe A. Hanaford, Clara Bewick Colby,
Ursula N. Gestefeld, Louisa Southworth, Frances Ellen Burr, and myself.
Extracts from it, and criticisms of the commentators, were printed in
the newspapers throughout America, Great Britain, and Europe. A third
edition was found necessary, and finally an edition was published in
England. The Revising Committee was enlarged, and it now consists of
over thirty of the leading women of America and Europe.[A]

The month of August, 1895, we spent in Peterboro, on the grand hills of
Madison County, nine hundred feet above the valley. Gerrit Smith's fine
old mansion still stands, surrounded with magnificent trees, where I had
played in childhood, chasing squirrels over lawn and gardens and wading
in a modest stream that still creeps slowly round the grounds. I
recalled as I sat on the piazza how one time, when Frederick Douglass
came to spend a few days at Peterboro, some Southern visitors wrote a
note to Mr. Smith asking if Mr. Douglass was to sit in the parlor and at
the dining table; if so, during his visit they would remain in their
own apartments. Mr. Smith replied that his visitors were always treated
by his family as equals, and such would be the case with Mr. Douglass,
who was considered one of the ablest men reared under "The Southern
Institution." So these ladies had their meals in their own apartments,
where they stayed most of the time, and, as Mr. Douglass prolonged his
visit, they no doubt wished in their hearts that they had never taken
that silly position. The rest of us walked about with him, arm in arm,
played games, and sang songs together, he playing the accompaniment on
the guitar. I suppose if our prejudiced countrywomen had been introduced
to Dumas in a French salon, they would at once have donned their bonnets
and ran away.

Sitting alone under the trees I recalled the different generations that
had passed away, all known to me. Here I had met the grandfather, Peter
Sken Smith, partner of John Jacob Astor. In their bargains with the
Indians they acquired immense tracts of land in the Northern part of the
State of New York, which were the nucleus of their large fortunes. I
have often heard Cousin Gerrit complain of the time he lost managing the
estate. His son Greene was an enthusiast in the natural sciences and
took but little interest in property matters. Later, his grandson,
Gerrit Smith Miller, assumed the burden of managing the estate and, in
addition, devoted himself to agriculture. He imported a fine breed of
Holstein cattle, which have taken the first prize at several fairs. His
son, bearing the same name, is devoted to the natural sciences, like his
uncle Greene; whose fine collection of birds was presented by his widow
to Harvard College.

The only daughter of Gerrit Smith, Elizabeth Smith Miller, is a
remarkable woman, possessing many of the traits of her noble father. She
has rare executive ability, as shown in the dispatch of her extensive
correspondence and in the perfect order of her house and grounds. She
has done much in the way of education, especially for the colored race,
in helping to establish schools and in distributing literature. She
subscribes for many of the best books, periodicals, and papers for
friends not able to purchase for themselves. We cannot estimate the good
she has done in this way. Every mail brings her letters from all
classes, from charitable institutions, prisons, Southern plantations,
army posts, and the far-off prairies. To all these pleas for help she
gives a listening ear. Her charities are varied and boundless, and her
hospitalities to the poor as well as the rich, courteous and generous.
The refinement and artistic taste of the Southern mother and the heroic
virtues of the father are happily blended in their daughter. In her
beautiful home on Seneca Lake, one is always sure to meet some of the
most charming representatives of the progressive thought of our times.
Representatives of all these generations now rest in the cemetery at
Peterboro, and as in review they passed before me they seemed to say,
"Why linger you here alone so long?"

My son Theodore arrived from Paris in September, 1895, and rendered most
important service during the preparations for my birthday celebration,
in answering letters, talking with reporters, and making valuable
suggestions to the managers as to many details in the arrangements, and
encouraging me to go through the ordeal with my usual heroism. I never
felt so nervous in my life, and so unfitted for the part I was in duty
bound to perform. From much speaking through many years my voice was
hoarse, from a severe fall I was quite lame, and as standing, and
distinct speaking are important to graceful oratory, I felt like the
king's daughter in Shakespeare's play of "Titus Andronicus," when rude
men who had cut her hands off and her tongue out, told her to call for
water and wash her hands. However, I lived through the ordeal, as the
reader will see in the next chapter.

After my birthday celebration, the next occasion of deep interest to me
was the Chicago Convention of 1896, the platform there adopted, and the
nomination and brilliant campaign of William J. Bryan. I had long been
revolving in my mind questions relating to the tariff and finance, and
in the demands of liberal democrats, populists, socialists, and the
laboring men and women, I heard the clarion notes of the coming
revolution.

During the winter of 1895-96 I was busy writing alternately on this
autobiography and "The Woman's Bible," and articles for magazines and
journals on every possible subject from Venezuela and Cuba to the
bicycle. On the latter subject many timid souls were greatly distressed.
Should women ride? What should they wear? What are "God's intentions"
concerning them? Should they ride on Sunday? These questions were asked
with all seriousness. We had a symposium on these points in one of the
daily papers. To me the answer to all these questions was simple--if
woman could ride, it was evidently "God's intention" that she be
permitted to do so. As to what she should wear, she must decide what is
best adapted to her comfort and convenience. Those who prefer a spin of
a few hours on a good road in the open air to a close church and a dull
sermon, surely have the right to choose, whether with trees and flowers
and singing birds to worship in "That temple not made with hands,
eternal in the heavens," or within four walls to sleep during the
intonation of that melancholy service that relegates us all, without
distinction of sex or color, to the ranks of "miserable sinners." Let
each one do what seemeth right in her own eyes, provided she does not
encroach on the rights of others.

In May, 1896, I again went to Geneva and found the bicycle craze had
reached there, with all its most pronounced symptoms; old and young,
professors, clergymen, and ladies of fashion were all spinning merrily
around on business errands, social calls, and excursions to distant
towns. Driving down the avenue one day, we counted eighty bicycles
before reaching the post-office. The ancient bandbox, so detested by our
sires and sons, has given place to this new machine which our daughters
take with them wheresoever they go, boxing and unboxing and readjusting
for each journey. It has been a great blessing to our girls in
compelling them to cultivate their self-reliance and their mechanical
ingenuity, as they are often compelled to mend the wheel in case of
accident. Among the visitors at Geneva were Mr. Douglass and his
daughter from the island of Cuba. They gave us very sad accounts of the
desolate state of the island and the impoverished condition of the
people. I had long felt that the United States should interfere in some
way to end that cruel warfare, for Spain has proved that she is
incompetent to restore order and peace.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote A: Part II. of "The Woman's Bible," which completes the work,
will be issued in January, 1898.]



CHAPTER XXVIII.

MY EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY.


Without my knowledge or consent, my lifelong friend, Susan B. Anthony,
who always seems to appreciate homage tendered to me more highly than
even to herself, made arrangements for the celebration of my eightieth
birthday, on the 12th day of November, 1895. She preferred that this
celebration should be conducted by the National Council of Women,
composed of a large number of organizations representing every
department of woman's labor, though, as the enfranchisement of woman had
been my special life work, it would have been more appropriate if the
celebration had been under the auspices of the National Woman's Suffrage
Association.

Mrs. Mary Lowe Dickinson, President of the National Council of Women,
assumed the financial responsibility and the extensive correspondence
involved, and with rare tact, perseverance, and executive ability made
the celebration a complete success. In describing this occasion I cannot
do better than to reproduce, in part, Mrs. Dickinson's account,
published in _The Arena_:

"In the month of June, 1895, the National Council of Women issued the
following invitation:

"'Believing that the progress made by women in the last half century may
be promoted by a more general notice of their achievements, we propose
to hold, in New York city, a convention for this purpose. As an
appropriate time for such a celebration, the eightieth birthday of
Elizabeth Cady Stanton has been chosen. Her half century of pioneer work
for the rights of women makes her name an inspiration for such an
occasion and her life a fitting object for the homage of all women.

"'This National Council is composed of twenty organizations; these and
all other societies interested are invited to co-operate in grateful
recognition of the debt the present generation owes to the pioneers of
the past. From their interest in the enfranchisement of women, the
influence of Mrs. Stanton and her coadjutor, Miss Anthony, has permeated
all departments of progress and made them a common center round which
all interested in woman's higher development may gather.'

"To this invitation came responses, from the Old World and the New,
expressing sympathy with the proposed celebration, which was intended to
emphasize a great principle by showing the loftiness of character that
had resulted from its embodiment in a unique personality. The world
naturally thinks of the personality before it thinks of the principle.
It has, at least, so much unconscious courtesy left as to honor a noble
woman, even when failing to rightly apprehend a noble cause. To afford
this feeling its proper expression, to render more tangible all vague
sympathy, to crystallize the growing sentiment in favor of human
freedom, to give youth the opportunity to reverence the glory of age, to
give hearts their utterances in word and song was perhaps the most
popular purpose of the reunion. In other words, it gave an opportunity
for those who revered Mrs. Stanton as a queen among women to show their
reverence, and to recognize the work her life had wrought, and to see in
it an epitome of the progress of a century.

"The celebration was also an illustration of the distinctive idea of the
National Council of Women, which aims to give recognition to all human
effort without demanding uniformity of opinion as a basis of
co-operation. It claims to act upon a unity of service, notwithstanding
differences of creed and methods. The things that separate, shrank back
into the shadows where they belong, and all hearts brave enough to
think, and tender enough to feel, found it easy to unite in homage to a
life which had known a half century of struggle to lift humanity from
bondage and womanhood from shame.

"This reunion was the first general recognition of the debt the present
owes to the past. It was the first effort to show the extent to which
later development has been inspired and made possible by the freedom to
think and work claimed in that earlier time by women like Lucretia Mott,
Lucy Stone, Mrs. Stanton, and many others whose names stand as synonyms
of noble service for the race. To those who looked at the reunion from
this point of view it could not fail of inspiration.

"For the followers in lines of philanthropic work to look in the faces
and hear the voices of women like Clara Barton and Mary Livermore; for
the multitude enlisted in the crowded ranks of literature to feel in the
living presence, what literature owes to women like Julia Ward Howe; for
the white ribbon army to turn from its one great leader of to-day whose
light, spreading to the horizon, does not obscure or dim the glory of
the crusade leaders of the past; for art lovers and art students to
call to mind sculptors like Harriet Hosmer and Anna Whitney, and
remember the days when art was a sealed book to women; for the followers
of the truly divine art of healing to honor the Blackwell sisters and
the memory of Mme. Clemence Lozier; for the mercy of surgery to reveal
itself in the face of Dr. Cushier, who has proved for us that heart of
pity and hand of skill need never be divorced; for women lifting their
eyes to meet the face of Phebe A. Hanaford and Anna Shaw and other women
who to-day in the pulpit, as well as out of it, may use a woman's right
to minister to needy souls; for the ofttime sufferers from unrighteous
law to welcome women lawyers; for the throng of working women to read
backward through the story of four hundred industries to their beginning
in the 'four,' and remember that each new door had opened because some
women toiled and strove; for all these the exercises were a part of a
great thanksgiving paean, each phase of progress striking its own chord,
and finding each its echo in the hearts that held it dear.

"To the student of history, or to him who can read the signs of the
times, there was such a profound significance in this occasion as makes
one shrink from dwelling too much upon the external details. Yet as a
pageant only it was a most inspiring sight, and one truly worthy of a
queen. Indeed as we run the mind back over the pages of history, what
queen came to a more triumphant throne in the hearts of a grateful
people? What woman ever before sat silver-crowned, canopied with
flowers, surrounded not by servile followers but by men and women who
brought to her court the grandest service they had wrought, their best
thought crystallized in speech and song. Greater than any triumphal
procession that ever marked a royal passage through a kingdom was it to
know that in a score or more of cities, in many a village church on that
same night festive fires were lighted, and the throng kept holiday,
bringing for tribute not gold and gems but noblest aspirations, truest
gratitude, and highest ideals for the nation and the race.

"The great meeting was but one link in a chain; yet with its thousands
of welcoming faces, with its eloquence of words, with its offering of
sweetest song from the children of a race that once was bound but now is
free, with its pictured glimpses of the old time and the new flashing
out upon the night, with the home voices offering welcome and gratitude
and love, with numberless greetings, from the great, true, brave souls
of many lands, it was indeed a wonderful tribute, worthy of the great
warm heart of a nation that offered it, and worthy of the woman so
revered.

"It seemed fitting that Mme. Antoinette Sterling, who, twenty years ago,
took her wonderful voice away to England, where it won for her a unique
place in the hearts of the nation, should, on returning to her country,
give her first service to the womanhood of her native land. 'I am coming
a week earlier,' so she had written, 'that my first work in my own
beloved America may be done for women. I am coming as a woman and not as
an artist, and because I so glory in that which the women of my country
have achieved.' So when she sang out of her heart, 'O rest in the Lord;
wait patiently for him!' no marvel that it seemed to lift all listening
hearts to a recognition of the divine secret and source of power for all
work.

"One charming feature of the entertainment was a series of pictures
called 'Then and Now,' each illustrating the change in woman's condition
during the last fifty years. And after this, upon the dimness there
shone out, one after another, the names of noble women like Mary Lyon,
Maria Mitchell, Emma Willard, and many others who have passed away. Upon
the shadows and the silence broke Mme. Sterling's voice in Tennyson's
'Crossing the Bar.' And when this was over, as with one voice, the whole
audience sang softly 'Auld Lang Syne.'

"And last but not least should be mentioned the greetings that poured in
a shower of telegrams and letters from every section of the country, and
many from over the sea. These expressions, not only of personal
congratulation for Mrs. Stanton, but utterances of gladness for the
progress in woman's life and thought, for the conditions, already so
much better than in the past, and for the hope for the future, would
make of themselves a most interesting and wonderful chapter. Among them
may be mentioned letters from Lord and Lady Aberdeen, from Lady Henry
Somerset and Frances E. Willard, from Canon Wilberforce, and many
others, including an address from thirty members of the family of John
Bright, headed by his brother, the Right Honorable Jacob Bright; a
beautifully engrossed address, on parchment, from the National Woman
Suffrage Society of Scotland, an address from the London Women's
Franchise League, and a cablegram from the Bristol Women's Liberal
Association; a letter from the Women's Rights Society of Finland, signed
by its president, Baroness Gripenberg of Helsingfors; telegrams from the
California Suffrage Pioneers; and others from the Chicago Woman's Club,
from the Toledo and Ohio Woman's Suffrage Society, from the son of the
Rev. Dr. William Ellery Channing, and a telegram and letter from
citizens and societies of Seneca Falls, New York, accompanied with
flowers and many handsome pieces of silver from the different societies.
There were also letters from Hon. Oscar S. Strauss, ex-minister to
Turkey, Miss Ellen Terry, and scores of others. An address was received
from the Women's Association of Utah, accompanied by a beautiful onyx
and silver ballot box; and from the Shaker women of Mount Lebanon came
an ode; a solid silver loving cup from the New York City Suffrage
League, presented on the platform with a few appropriate words by its
President, Mrs. Devereux Blake.

"Hundreds of organizations and societies, both in this country and
abroad, wished to have their names placed on record as in sympathy with
the movement. Many organizations were present in a body, and one was
reminded, by the variety and beauty of the decorations of their boxes,
of the Venetian Carnival, as the occupants gazed down from amid the
silken banners and the flowers, upon the throng below. The whole
occasion was indeed a unique festival, unique in its presentation, as
well as in its purpose, plan, character, and spirit. No woman present
could fail to be impressed with what we owe to the women of the past,
and especially to this one woman who was the honored guest of the
occasion. And no young woman could desire to forget the picture of this
aged form as, leaning upon her staff, Mrs. Stanton spoke to the great
audience of over six thousand, as she had spoken hundreds of times
before in legislative halls, and whenever her word could influence the
popular sentiment in favor of justice for all mankind."

My birthday celebration, with all the testimonials of love and
friendship I received, was an occasion of such serious thought and deep
feeling as I had never before experienced. Having been accustomed for
half a century to blame rather than praise, I was surprised with such a
manifestation of approval; I could endure any amount of severe criticism
with complacency, but such an outpouring of homage and affection stirred
me profoundly. To calm myself during that week of excitement, I thought
many times of Michelet's wise motto, "Let the weal and woe of humanity
be everything to you, their praise and blame of no effect; be not puffed
up with the one nor cast down with the other."

Naturally at such a time I reviewed my life, its march and battle on the
highways of experience, and counted its defeats and victories. I
remembered when a few women called the first convention to discuss their
disabilities, that our conservative friends said: "You have made a great
mistake, you will be laughed at from Maine to Texas and beyond the sea;
God has set the bounds of woman's sphere and she should be satisfied
with her position." Their prophecy was more than realized; we were
unsparingly ridiculed by the press and pulpit both in England and
America. But now many conventions are held each year in both countries
to discuss the same ideas; social customs have changed; laws have been
modified; municipal suffrage has been granted to women in England and
some of her colonies; school suffrage has been granted to women in half
of our States, municipal suffrage in Kansas, and full suffrage in four
States of the Union. Thus the principle scouted in 1848 was accepted in
England in 1870, and since then, year by year, it has slowly progressed
in America until the fourth star shone out on our flag in 1896, and
Idaho enfranchised her women! That first convention, considered a "grave
mistake" in 1848, is now referred to as "a grand step in progress."

My next mistake was when, as president of the New York State Woman's
Temperance Association, I demanded the passage of a statute allowing
wives an absolute divorce for the brutality and intemperance of their
husbands. I addressed the Legislature of New York a few years later when
a similar bill was pending, and also large audiences in several of our
chief cities, and for this I was severely denounced. To-day fugitives
from such unholy ties can secure freedom in many of the Western States,
and enlightened public sentiment sustains mothers in refusing to hand
down an appetite fraught with so many evil consequences. This, also
called a "mistake" in 1860, was regarded as a "step in progress" a few
years later.

Again, I urged my coadjutors by speeches, letters, and resolutions, as a
means of widespread agitation, to make the same demands of the Church
that we had already made of the State. They objected, saying, "That is
too revolutionary, an attack on the Church would injure the suffrage
movement." But I steadily made the demand, as opportunity offered, that
women be ordained to preach the Gospel and to fill the offices as
elders, deacons, and trustees. A few years later some of these
suggestions were accepted. Some churches did ordain women as pastors
over congregations of their own, others elected women deaconesses, and a
few churches allowed women, as delegates, to sit in their conferences.
Thus this demand was in a measure honored and another "step in
progress" taken.

In 1882 I tried to organize a committee to consider the status of women
in the Bible, and the claim that the Hebrew Writings were the result of
divine inspiration. It was thought very presumptuous for women not
learned in languages and ecclesiastical history to undertake such work.
But as we merely proposed to comment on what was said of women in plain
English, and found these texts composed only one-tenth of the Old and
New Testaments, it did not seem to me a difficult or dangerous
undertaking. However, when Part I. of "The Woman's Bible" was published,
again there was a general disapproval by press and pulpit, and even by
women themselves, expressed in resolutions in suffrage and temperance
conventions. Like other "mistakes," this too, in due time, will be
regarded as "a step in progress."

Such experiences have given me confidence in my judgment, and patience
with the opposition of my coadjutors, with whom on so many points I
disagree. It requires no courage now to demand the right of suffrage,
temperance legislation, liberal divorce laws, or for women to fill
church offices--these battles have been fought and won and the principle
governing these demands conceded. But it still requires courage to
question the divine inspiration of the Hebrew Writings as to the
position of woman. Why should the myths, fables, and allegories of the
Hebrews be held more sacred than those of the Assyrians and Egyptians,
from whose literature most of them were derived? Seeing that the
religious superstitions of women perpetuate their bondage more than all
other adverse influences, I feel impelled to reiterate my demands for
justice, liberty, and equality in the Church as well as in the State.

The birthday celebration was to me more than a beautiful pageant; more
than a personal tribute. It was the dawn of a new day for the Mothers of
the Race! The harmonious co-operation of so many different
organizations, with divers interests and opinions, in one grand jubilee
was, indeed, a heavenly vision of peace and hope; a prophecy that with
the exaltation of Womanhood would come new Life, Light, and Liberty to
all mankind.



INDEX OF NAMES.

       *       *       *       *       *
Aberdeen, _Lord_ and _Lady_,
Addington, Laura,
Albert, _Prince_,
Alcott, A. Bronson,
Alcott, Louisa M.,
Allison, Miss,
Amberly, _Lord_ and _Lady_,
Ames, Mary Clemmer,
Anderson, Dr. Garrett,
André, _Major_ John,
Andrews, _Governor_ John A.,
Anthony, Daniel,
Anthony, _Senator_ Henry B.,
Anthony, Lucy,
Anthony, Mary,
Anthony, Susan B.,
Arnold, _General_ Benedict,
Arnold, Matthew,
Astor, John Jacob,
Auchet, Hubertine,
Austin, _Dr_. Harriet N.,
Ayer, Mrs. J.C.,

Backus, Wealthea,
Bagley, _Governor_,
Bagley, Mrs.,
Baird, _General_,
Baldwin, Elizabeth McMartin,
Balgarnie, Miss,
Banning, Ella B.,
Banning, William L.,
Barclay, Cornelia,
Barrau, Caroline de,
Bartlett, Paul,
Barton, Clara,
Bascom, Mr.,
Bascora, Mary,
Bayard, _Dr_. Edward,
Bayard, Henry,
Bayard, Thomas F.,
Bayard, Tryphena Cady,
Beach, Myron,
Beaman, _Rev. Dr_.,
Becker, Lydia,
Beecher, Catharine,
Beecher, _Rev_. Henry Ward,
Bellamy, Edward,
Bellows, Rev. Henry,
Benedict, Lewis,
Bently, _Judge_,
Berry, Mme.,
Berry, Marguerite,
Berry, Mrs.,
Bertaux, Mme. Léon,
Besant, Annie,
Bickerdyke, _Mother_,
Biddle, Chapman,
Biddle, George,
Biggs, Caroline,
Bigelow, John,
Bigelow, Mrs. John,
Bingham, John A.,
Bird, Frank W.,
Birney, James Gr.,
Bjornson, Bjornstjorne,
Blackburn, Miss,
Blackwell, Antoinette Brown,
Blackwell, _Dr_. Elizabeth,
Blackwell, H.B.,
Blaine, _Senator_ James G.,
Blaine, Mrs. James G.,
Blair, _Senator_ Henry W.,
Blake, Lillie Devereux,
Blatch, Harriot Stanton,
Blatch, Nora Stanton,
Blatch, William H.,
Blavatsky, Mme.,
Bloomer, Amelia,
Bogelot, Isabella,
Bogue, _Rev. Dr_.,
Bonaparte, Napoleon,
Botta, Anne Lynch,
Boucherett, Jessie,
Bowles, Samuel,
Bradburn, George,
Bradlaugh, _Hon_. Charles, M, P.,
Bradwell, Myra,
Bright, _Hon_. Jacob, M.P.,
Bright, Mrs. Jacob,
Bright, _Hon_. John, M.P.,
Broomall, John M.,
Brougham, Henry, Lord,
Brown, Antoinette L.,
Brown, John,
Brown, Olympia,
Brown, Mr.,
Browne, Sir Thomas, M.D.,
Browning, Robert,
Brownson, Orestes A.,
Bryan, William J..
Bryant, Miss,
Bryant, William Cullen,
Bullard, Laura Curtis,
Burlingame, Anson,
Burleigh, Celia,
Burleigh, Mrs. William,
Burnet, Rev. J.,
Burr, Frances Ellen,
Burroughs, Herbert,
Busbey, L. White,
Bushnell, Horace,
Butler, General Benjamin F.,
Butler, Josephine,
Byron, Lady,
Byron, Lord,

Cabot, Frederick,
Cady, Judge Daniel,
Cady, Eleazer,
Cady, Margaret Livingston,
Caird, Mona,
Cameron, Judge Hugh,
Carlisle, Lora and Lady,
Carlyle, Thomas,
Carnegie, Andrew,
Carroll, Anna,
Cary, Alice,
Cary, Phoebe,
Channing, Rev. Dr. William Ellery,
Channing, Dr. William F.,
Channing, Rev. William Henry,
Chant, Ormiston,
Chapman, Maria,
Chase, William,
Cheever, Rev. George B.,
Child, Lydia Maria,
Choate, Joseph H.,
Christie, Margaret,
Clark, Helen Bright,
Clarkson, Thomas,
Cleveland, Grover,
Clinton, Governor De Witt C,
Cluseret, General,
Cobb, Mr. and Mrs.,
Cobbe, Frances Power,
Cobden, Jane,
Cochrane, James,
Cochrane, _General_ John,
Cochrane, Mary,
Colby, Clara B.,
Cole, Senator Cornelius,
Coleridge, Lady,
Collyer, Rev. Robert,
Combe, Andrew,
Comte, Auguste,
Conkling, Judge Alfred,
Conkling, Roscoe,
Conway, Rev. Moncure D.,
Conway, Mrs. Moncure D.,
Cooley, Judge Thomas M.,
Couzins, Phoebe W.,
Croly, Jennie C,
Crowninshield, Captain A.S.,
Crowninshield, Mary,
Cox, S.S.,
Coxe, Bishop,
Curtis, George William,
Cushier, Dr.,
Cushman, Charlotte,

Dana, Charles A.,
Dana, Eunice MacDaniel,
Darling, Anna B.,
Darlington, Chandler,
Darlington, Hannah,
Davis, Edward M.,
Davis. Paulina Wright,
Davitt, Michael.
Depesyrons, Professor,
Deraismes, Mme. Féresse,
Deraismes, Maria,
Dickinson, Anna E.,
Dickinson, Mary Lowe,
Dietrick, Ellen Battelle,
Dilke, Mrs. Ashton,
Dilke, Sir Charles,
Dix, Dorothy, L.,
Dix, General John A.,
Douglass, Frederick,
Douglass, Mr.,
Dowden, Professor,
Dudley, Blandina Bleecker,
Dumas, Alexandre,
Durand, Mme. M.E.,
Dyer, Charles Gifford,
Dyer, Hella,

Eaton, Professor Amos B.,
Eaton, Daniel C,
Eaton, Harriet Cady,
Eddy, Miss,
Eddy, Mrs. Jackson,   s
Edmunds, Senator George F.,
Eliot, George,
Euet, Elizabeth F.,
Ellsler, Fanny,
Elmy, Mrs.,
Emerson, Ralph Waldo,
England, Isaac W.,
England, Mrs. Isaac W.,
Everett, Charles,

Fabre, Senator Joseph,
Fairchild, Governor Lucius,
Faithful, Emily,
Farnham, Mrs..
Fawcett, Henry, M.P.,
Fawcett, Milicent J.,
Ferry, Jules,
Ferry, Senator Thomas W.,
Field, Rev. Dr. Henry M.,
Field, Kate,
Fine, Judge,
Finney, Rev. Charles G.,
Fitzhugh, Ann Carroll,
Fitzhugh, Miss,
Folsom, Abigail,
Forbes, Arethusa,
Forney, John W.,
Foster, Abby Kelly,
Foster, Rachel,
Foster, Stephen,
Frederic, Harold,
Fremont, _General_ John C,
French, Daniel C,
Frothingham, _Rev_. O.B.,
Fronde, James Anthony,
Fry, Elizabeth,
Fuller, Kate,
Fuller, Margaret,
Fuller, W.J.A.,
Furness, _Rev_. William H.,

Gage, Frances Dana,
Gage, Matilda Joslyn,
Gardener, Helen H.,
Garibaldi, _General_ G.,
Garrison, Gertrude,
Garrison, William Lloyd,
Garrison, Mrs. W.L.,
Gay, Sidney Howard,
Geddes, Mr.,
George, Henry,
Gestefeld, Ursula N.,
Gibbons, Abby Hopper,
Gillespie, Mrs.,
Gladstone, _Right Hon_., William E.,
Gladstone, Mrs. W.E.,
Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft,
Godwin, William,
Grant, _General_, Ulysses S.,
Greeley, Horace,
Greeley, Mrs. Horace,
Greene, Beriah,
Greenough, Mrs. W.H.,
Greenwood, Grace,
Gréville, Henri,
Grévy, _President_ Jules,
Grévy, Mme. Jules,
Grew, Mary,
Grey, Maria G.,
Grimké, Angelina,
Grimké, Sarah,
Gripenberg, _Baroness_ Alexandra,
Gurney, John Joseph,
Gurney, Samuel,
Gustafsen, Mrs.,

Hammond, _Dr_. William A.,
Hanaford, _Rev_. Phebe A.,
Harbert, Elizabeth Boynton,
Harberton, _Lady_,
Harvey, _Rev_. A.,
Hawley, _General_ Joseph R.,
Hawthorne, Nathaniel,
Hazeltine, Mayo W.,
Heine, Heinrich,
Hertell, _Judge_
Hertz, Fannie,
Hicks, Elias,
Higginson, Thomas Wentworth,
Hill, Octavia,
Hill, _President_,
Hinckley, _Rev_. Frederick A.,
Hoar, _Senator_ George F.,
Hoggan, _Dr_. Frances E.,
Hoisington, Rev. William,
Holmes, Oliver Wendell,
Hooker, Isabella Beecher,
Holyoake, George Jacob,
Hosack, _Rev_. Simon,
Hoskins, Frances,
Hosmer, Harriet,
Hovey, Charles,
Howe, Julia Ward,
Howell, _Judge_,
Howell, Mary Seymour,
Howells, William D.,
Howells, Mrs. William D.,
Howitt, Mary,
Hudson, Harriet,
Hugo, Victor,
Hunt, Jane,
Hunt, _Dr_. Harriet K.,
Hunt, _Judge_ Ward,
Hunt, Richard,
Hurlbert, _Judge_,
Huron, Mr.,
Hutchinson, _Family_,
Hutchins, Mr.,
Hyacinthe, _Père_,

Ingersoll, Robert G.,

Jackson, Francis,
Jackson, _Dr_. James,
Jackson, _Dr_. Kate,
Jackson, Mr. and Mrs.,
Jackson, Mrs.,
Jacobi, _Dr_. Mary Putnam,
Jameson, Anna,
Janes, _Bishop_,
Jarvis, Helen,
Jenckes, Thomas A.,
Jenkins, Lydia,
Jenney, Mr. and Mrs.,
Johnson, Adelaide,
Johnson, Mariana,
Johnson, Oliver,
Johnson, _Sir_ William,
Joly, _Professor_ Nicholas,
Jones, Phoebe,
June, Jennie,

Kelley, William D.,
Kelley, Abby,
Kennan, George,
Kent, _Chancellor_,
Kergomard, Pauline,
Kilpatrick, _General_,
Kimber, Abby,
King, _Captain_ Charles,
Kingsford, Anna,
Kingsley, _Canon_ Charles,
Klumpke, Anna,
Krapotkine, _Prince_,

Laboulaye, Edouard R.L.,
LaFayette, _Marquis_ de,
Lampson, _Father_,
Lapham, Anson,
Lauterbach, Mrs. Edward,
Lawrence, Frank E.,
Lawrence, Margaret Stanton,
Lawson, _Sir_ Wilfrid,
Leavitt, Joshua,
Lecky, W.E.H.,
Lee, Richard Henry,
Lee, Theresa,
Lieneff, Mr.,
Lincoln, Abraham,
Livermore, Mary A.,
Livingston, Colonel James,
Livingston, Margaret,
Livingston, Mary,
Logan, Olive,
Long, Governor John D.,
Longfellow, Henry W.,
Longfellow, Rev. Samuel,
Lord, Dr.,
Lord, Emily,
Lord, Frances,
Louis Philippe,
Lowell, James Russell,
Lozier, Dr. Clemence S.,
Lucas, Margaret Bright,
Lyon, Mary,

McClintock, Elizabeth,
McClintock, Mary Ann,
McKeon, Judge,
McLaren, Charles,
McLaren, Mrs. Charles,
McLaren, Hon. Duncan, M.P.,
McLaren, Priscilla Bright,
McLaren, Walter,
McMartin, Donald,
McMartin, Duncan,
McMartin, Margaret Cady,
MacDaniel, Eunice,
MacDaniel, Frances L.,
MacDaniel, Osborne,
Macaulay, Thomas Babbington,
Maire, Rev. Hugh,
Mann, Horace,
Mann, Prestona,
Mansfield, Lord Chief Justice,
Mansfield, Mrs. A.A.,
Marsh, Luther R.,
Martineau, Harriet,
Massey, Gerald,
May, Rev. Samuel J.,
Mellen, Mrs. William,
Mendenhall, Dinah,
Meredith, George,
Michel, Louise,
Michelet, Jules,
Milinowski, Captain Arthur,
Mill, John Stuart,
Mill, Mrs. John Stuart,
Miller, Charles Dudley,
Miller, Colonel,
Miller, Elizabeth Smith,
Miller, Gerrit Smith,
Miller, Jenness,
Miller, John B.,
Miller, Judge,
Miller, Justice Samuel F.,
Minor, Virginia L.,
Mitchell, Dr. Julia,
Mitchell, Dr. Kate,
Mitchell, Professor Maria,
Moffett, Rev. Dr.,
Moliner, Professor,
Morley, John,
Morpeth, Lord,
Morris, William,
Morrison, Cotton,
Morsier, Emilie de,
Morton, Edwin,
Mott, Lucretia,
Mott, Lydia,
Moulton, Louise Chandler,
Moulton, Mrs.,
Müller, Eva,
Müller, Henrietta,
Murray, Eliza, in,

Napoleon,
Neal, Elizabeth,
Nichol, Elizabeth Pease,

O'Connell, Daniel,  go,
O'Conor, Charles,
Olmstead, Rev. John W.,
Olmstead, Mary Livingston,
Opie, Amelia,
Orr, Mrs.,
Osborne, Eliza W.,
O'Shea, Mrs. Kitty,
Owen, Robert Dale,

Palmer, Senator John M.,
Parker, Margaret,
Parker, Theodore,
Parkhurst, Mrs.,
Parnell, Charles Stewart,
Parsons, Chauncey C,
Parsons, Mrs. Chauncey C,
Patton, Rev. Dr.,
Peabody, Elizabeth,
Pearson, Karl,
Pease, Elizabeth,
Phelps, Elizabeth B.,
Phillips, Ann Green,
Phillips, Wendell,
Pierpont, John,
Pillsbury, Parker,
Plumb, Senator Preston B.,
Pochin, Mrs.,
Pomeroy, "Brick,"
Powell, Aaron,
Powell, Professor,
Priestman, Annie,
Priestman, Mary,
Pugh, Sarah,

Quincy, Edmund,

Ramsey, Mr.,
Reid, Mrs. Hugo,
Remond, Charles,
Richer, Léon,
Richter, Jean Paul Friedrich,
Ripley, George,
Ripley, Mrs. George,
Richardson, Abby Sage,
Ristori, Marchionesse Adelaide,
Robinson, Governor Charles,
Roby, Matilda,
Rogers, Caroline Gilkey,
Rogers, Nathaniel P.,
Roland, Mme.,
Rosa, Mr.,
Rose, Ernestine L.,
Root, Elihu,
Rouvier, M.,
Runkle, Mrs.,
Ruskin, John,

Sackett, Fudge Gerrit V.,
Sage, Russell,
Sage, Mrs. Russell,
Sanborn, Frank,
Sanders, Mrs. Henry M.,
Sargent, Senator Aaron A.,
Sargent, Mrs. Aaron A.,
Saville, Mrs.,
Scatcherd, Alice Cliff,
Scatcherd, Mr.,
Schenck, Elizabeth B.,
Schenck, Robert C,
Scoble, Rev. John,
Seaman, Mr.,
Seidl, Professor,
Sewall, May Wright,
Sewall, Samuel E.,
Sewall, Mrs. Samuel E.,
Seward, Governor William H.,
Seward, Mrs. William H.,
Shaftesbury, Lord,
Shaw, Rev. Anna,
Shelley, Percy Bysshe,
Shelley, Percy Florence,
Smalley, George W.,
Smith, Ann Carroll Fitzhugh,
Smith, Elizabeth Oakes,
Smith, Gerrit,
Smith, Greene,
Smith, Professor Horace,
Smith, Mrs. Horace,
Smith, Peter Sken,
Smith, Sidney,
Smith, Sisters,
Somerset, Lady Henry,
Southwick, Abby,
Southwick, Joseph,
Southwick. Thankful,
Southworth, Louisa,
Spaulding, Bishop,
Spence, Clara,
Spencer, John C,
Spencer, Sarah Andrews,
Spofford, Jane Snow,
Spofford, Mr.,
Sprague, Governor William,
Staël, Mme. de,
Stanford, Senator Leland,
Stanley, Dean,
Stansfeld, Mr., M.P.,
Stanton, Hon. Daniel Cady,
Stanton, Edwin M.,
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Granddaughter of author,
Stanton, _Hon_. Gerrit Smith,
Stanton, Harriot Eaton,
Stanton, Henry,
Stanton, _Hon_. Henry Brewster,
Stanton, Margaret Livingston,
Stanton, Marguerite Berry,
Stanton, Robert Livingston,
Stanton, Theodore,
Stead, William T.,
Stebbins, Catharine F.,
Stebbins, Giles,
Stebbins, Mrs.,
Steinthal, _Rev_. Mr.,
Stepniak,
Sterling, Antoinette,
Stevens, Thaddeus,
Stevenson, Robert Louis,
Stewart, Alvin,
Stone, Lucy,
Stout, _Rev_. C.,
Stowe, Harriet Beecher,
Straus, Oscar S.,
Stuart, Charles,
Stuart, _Dr_. Jacob H.,
Stuart, Mrs. Jacob H.,
Stuart, _Professor_,
Sturge, Joseph,
Sumner, Charles,
Sutherland, _Duchess_ of,
Swift, Isabella,
Swift, _Lieutenant_,

Tanner, Mrs.,
Taylor, Helen,
Taylor, Mrs. Peter A.,
Terry, Ellen,
Thacher, _Mayor_,
Thomson, Adeline,
Thomasson, _Hon_. John P., _M. P_.,
Thomasson, Mrs. John P.,
Thompkins, _Governor_ Daniel D.,
Thompson, George,
Thompson, May Wright,
Tilton, Theodore,
Train, George Francis,
Traut, Mme. Griess,
Tree, Ellen,
Tudor, Mrs. Fenno,
Tyler, _Professor_, Moses Coit,
Tyng, _Dr_. Stephen,

Underhill, Zoe Dana,

Van Vechten, Abraham,
Vest, _Senator_ George G.,
Victoria, _Queen_,
Vignon, Claude,
Villard, Fanny Garrison,
Villard, Henry,
Vincent, Henry,
Virchow, _Professor_,

Waite, _Chief Justice_ Morrison R.,
Walter, Ellen Cochrane,
Walsingham, _Sir_ Francis,
"Warrington,"
Washington, _General_ George,
Weed, Thurlow,
Weld, Angelina Grimke,
Weld, Theodore D.,
Wellington, _Duke_ of,
Wells, Emeline B.,
West, Benjamin,
Weston, Deborah,
Whipple, E.P.,
Whitney, Anna,
Whittier, John G.,
Whittle, _Dr._ Ewing,
Wigham, Eliza,
Wigham, Jane,
Wilberforce, Canon,
Wilberforce, William,
Wilbour, Charlotte Beebe,
Wilkeson, Catherine Cady,
Wilkeson, Samuel,
Willard, Amelia,
Willard, Emma,
Willard, Frances E.,
Willard, Mrs. John,
Williams, _Senator_ C.G.,
Williams, Elisha,
Wilson, Daniel,
Winckworth, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen,
Winslow, Emily,
Woodhull, Victoria,
Wollstonecraft, Mary,
Woodward, Mr.,
Worden, Mrs.,
Wright, David,
Wright, Frances,
Wright, Henry C.,
Wright, Martha C.,
Wright, Mr.,
Wright, Paulina,

Yost, Elizabeth W.,
Yost, Maria,

Zackesewska, _Dr._ M.E.,

[_Portions of Chapters X. and XI. of this book are taken by permission
from an article written by Mrs. Stanton for "Our Famous Women,"
published by A.D. Worthington & Co._]





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