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Title: Woman Triumphant - The story of her struggles for freedom, education and - political rights. Dedicated to all noble-minded women by - an appreciative member of the other sex.
Author: Cronau, R.
Language: English
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                            WOMAN TRIUMPHANT
The Story of Her Struggles for Freedom, Education and Political Rights.

                               OTHER SEX.

[Illustration: _By R. Cronau_]

                         Published by R. CRONAU
                    340 East 198th Street, New York.

                      Copyright 1919 by R. CRONAU
                               New York.

                       WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

  =America, the History of Its Discovery.= 2 vols., with 545
      illustrations and 37 maps. (Leipzig 1890–92.) Award World’s
      Columbian Exposition.

  =America, historia de su descubrimiento.= 3 vols., with several
      hundred illustrations and maps. (Barcelona 1892.) Award World’s
      Columbian Exposition.

  =From Wonderland to Wonderland, Sketches of American Life and
      Scenery.= With 50 heliogravures. (Leipzig 1886.)

  =Through the Wild West=, Journeys of an Artist through the Prairies
      and Rocky Mountains of America. Illustrated. (Braunschweig 1890.)

  =Travels in the Land of the Sioux Indians.= (Leipzig 1886.)

  =Our Wasteful Nation; the Story of American Prodigality and the Abuse
      of Our National Resources.= Illustrated. (New York 1908.)

  =Three Centuries of German Life in the United States=, with 210
      illustrations. (Berlin 1909.) Award by the University of Chicago.

  =Illustrative Cloud Forms for the Guidance of Observers in the
      Classification of Clouds.= (U. S. Publication No. 112. Washington,
      D. C., 1897.)

                            SOON TO APPEAR:

  =In the Realm of Clouds and Gods.= Illustrated with 25 color-prints.

  =Three Great Questions in American History Answered.= With many maps
      and illustrations


Are you aware of the fact that you are living in the most important
period of human history? Not for the reason that a World’s War has been
fought and a “League of Nations” formed, but because all civilized
nations are beginning to acknowledge that women, who form the greater
part of the human race, are entitled to the same rights and recognition
as have heretofore been enjoyed by men only. The entry of woman into
industry, the professions, literature, science and art in modern times,
her participation in social and political life, mark the beginning of an
era of a significance, equal, if not greater, than when by the discovery
of America a New World was added to the old.

Although it is a fact that man owes innumerable benefits to woman’s
care, devotion, and mental initiative, it is also true that through
egoism and self-conceit he has never appreciated woman’s work and
achievements at their full value. On the contrary: while she was giving
all and asking little, while she shared with man all hardships and
perils, she was for thousands of years without any rights, not even as
regards her own person and property. From ancient times up to the
present day she has been an object of rape and barter, and quite often,
for sexual purposes, held in the most horrible slavery. During the
Middle Ages innumerable women were persecuted for witchcraft, subjected
to the most cruel tortures, dragged to the scaffold to be beheaded, or
burnt alive at the stake.

Woman’s status to-day is the result of her own energy, efforts and
ability. She overcame the prejudice and stubborn opposition of bigoted
priests, pedantic scholars and reactionary statesmen, who were unable to
see that the advance and emancipation of woman is synonymous with the
progress and liberation of the greater part of the entire human race. To
short sighted people such as these Tennyson directed his lines:

      “The Woman’s Cause is Man’s! They rise or sink together,
      dwarf’d or godlike, bond or free; if she be small,
      slight-natured, miserable, how shall men grow!”

The book submitted here gives an account of woman’s evolution, of her
enduring and trying struggles for liberty, education, and recognition.
While this account will make every woman proud of the achievements of
her sex, man, by reading it, will become aware that it is his solemn
duty not only to protect woman from injustice, brutality and
exploitation, but to give her all possible assistance in her endeavors
to attain that position in which she will be man’s ideal consort and

                                                         RUDOLPH CRONAU.


                     Women During the Remote Past.




While we were young and credulous, black-robed theologians impressed
upon our minds their theory of creation, according to which the first
man was moulded by the divine author of all things in his own image and
placed in an enchanting paradise. Here he enjoyed with his mate, whom
the same deity formed from one of man’s ribs, a state of innocence,
bliss and happiness, since want, sickness, and death were as yet
unknown, and all animals lived together in peace and harmony.

In later years, after we had become inquisitive, we found that this
story of creation is merely one of innumerable similar myths, invented
by aboriginal people when they began to ponder over their origin. We
also became acquainted with the theory of evolution, as taught by
Lamarck, Darwin, Haeckel, Huxley, Tylor, Lubbock, Osborn, and other
eminent anthropologists. And by investigating and comparing fossil facts
and living forms we became convinced that man was not specially created,
but gradually evolved from far lower animal forms. Furthermore, we
recognized that primitive man never enjoyed paradisical peace and
happiness, but was constantly compelled to a far more desperate struggle
for existence than any human beings had to carry on during later

To realize the innumerable hardships and terrors of this battle is
almost beyond the power of imagination. Try to place yourself in the
situation of such naked and unarmed beings. Day in and out they were
persecuted by wild beasts, which in size as well as in strength and
ferocity far surpassed those of to-day.

There were the terrible sabre-toothed tigers, whose enormous fangs hung
like daggers from their upper jaws. There were fierce lions and bears,
in comparison to which the present species would appear dwarfed. The
plains and forests were infested with bloodthirsty hyenas and wolves,
that hunted in packs and allowed no creature to escape which they were
able to cut off from its retreat. Ugly snakes, quick as lightning,
lurked in the underbrush and trees. The lakes and rivers were alive with
hideous alligators, that made every attempt to get a drink a hazardous
task. Even the skies were full of danger, as sharp-eyed eagles and
vultures circled about, ready to swoop on any living thing that might
expose itself to view. Awe-inspiring were also the immense mammoths,
elephants and rhinoceros, which with heavy tread broke through the dense

In contrast to these powerful beasts man was not protected at all.
Indeed, his means of defense were so poor, that his survival strikes us
almost as an inconceivable wonder. Neither was he armed with strong
teeth, sharp claws, horns or poisonous stings. His body had no covering
but a very thin and vulnerable skin. To escape his many pursuers, he was
compelled to hide in almost inaccessible places, among the branches of
high trees, or in the crags and on top of towering cliffs.

The never-ending struggle increased, when his kin multiplied and began
to split into various bands, tribes and races. With this separation
quarrels arose over the limits of the hunting grounds. Men began to
fight and kill their neighbors. Even worse, they slaughtered the
captives and devoured their flesh during cannibal feasts.



In physical appearance primeval men were far from resembling those ideal
figures of Adam and Eve, pictured by mediæval artists who strove to give
an idea of the glories of our lost Paradise. While these products of
imagination can claim no greater authenticity than the illustrations to
other fairy tales, we nevertheless owe to the diligent works of able
scientists restorations of the figures of primeval men. These deserve
full credit, as they are based on skeletons and bones, found in caves,
which some hundred thousand years ago were inhabited by human-like
beings. From such remains it appears that our predecessors were near
relatives to the so-called man-apes, the orang outang, chimpanzee,
gibbon, and gorilla. Ages passed before these ape-men, in the slow
course of evolution, developed into man, distinctly human, though still
on a far lower level than any savage people of to-day.

The ape-man probably knew no other shelter than nests of twigs and
leaves, similar to those constructed by the orang outang and the
gorilla. But with the gradual development of man’s brain and
intelligence he improved these nests to tree-huts like those still used
by certain aborigines of New Guinea, India, and Central Africa. To these
huts they retreated at night, to be safe from wild beasts, and also at
sudden attacks by superior enemies.



The cliff dwellings, abounding among the steep cañons of Colorado, New
Mexico and Arizona were similar retreats. Here we find thousands of
stone houses, many hidden at such places and so high above the rivers
that they can hardly be detected from below. In the cañon of the Rio
Mancos several cliff dwellings are 800 feet above the river. To locate
them from below a telescope is needed. How it was possible for human
beings to get to some of these places, is a mystery still unsolved.

Other dwellings stand on almost unscalable boulders, or they are placed
within the fissures and shallow caverns of perpendicular walls. They can
be reached only by descending from the upper rim of the cañon by means
of long ropes, or by climbing upwards from below by using hands as well
as feet. If one succeeds in getting to these places, one finds them
always provided with store rooms for food and water. Constant danger of
hostile assaults must have compelled people to live in such difficult
retreats, which could be prepared only at enormous expenditure of time
and labor.





Another form of refuge were the lake-dwellings, which were erected far
out in the lakes on platforms resting on heavy posts. Traces of such
structures have been found in many parts of the world. They are still
used by some of the aborigines of New Guinea and India, and also by the
Goajiro Indians of Northern Venezuela. Indeed, Venezuela owes its name
to the fact, that the Spanish discoverers of these lake-dwellings were
reminded of Venice, the queen city of the Adriatic.

When in time such aboriginal tribes increased, so that their number
spelled warning to their neighbors, they created more comfortable camps
on the shores. Or they moved into caves, such as abound in all countries
where limestone is prevailing.

Nomadic peoples like the Indians of North America and some tribes of
Siberia prepare tents of dressed skins, which are sewed together and
stretched over a framework of poles. Many aborigines of Southern Africa
and Australia are satisfied with bush shelters. Or they construct lodges
of willows, which they cover with bark or mud, to afford protection
against rain and the fierce rays of the sun.

People, living in cold regions like the Eskimo, seek shelter from the
biting winter storms by digging pits five or six feet deep. These holes
they cover with dome-shaped roofs of whale-ribs and turf. Where these
materials are not at hand the Eskimos rely on hemispherical houses,
built of regular blocks of snow laid in spiral courses. The entrance is
gained by a long passage-way that shuts off cold as well as penetrating

Having thus summarized the principal kinds of primitive dwellings, we
shall now briefly consider the activity of aboriginal peoples.





Explorers and scientists, who have lived among aboriginal tribes in
order to study their manners and customs, have always found, that each
sex has its own sphere of duty and work. To the stronger man fell the
obligation of protecting his family, which consisted of his wife or
wives and their offspring. It was also his share to support them with
the products of the chase, and to provide suitable material for the
building of the lodge. “These activities,” so states J .N. B. Hewitt in
the ‘Handbook of American Indians’ (Vol. II, 969), “required health,
strength and skill. The warrior was usually absent from the fireside on
the chase, on the warpath, or on the fishing-trip, days, weeks or
months, during which he often traveled many miles and was subjected to
the hardships and perils of hunting and fighting, and to the inclemency
of the weather, often without adequate shelter or food.”

To the lot of women fell the care of the children, the labor required in
the home and in all that directly affected it.

The essential principle governing this division of labor and
responsibility between the two sexes lies much deeper than in an
apparent tyranny of the man. The ubiquity of danger from human foes as
well as from wild beasts, the suddenness of their assaults when least
expected, compelled aboriginal men to keep their weapons always at hand.
During the day they hardly lay them aside, even for a minute, and at
night they are always within reach. This fact explains, why the women
and children transport all the loads, while the men carry nothing but
their weapons when aborigines move from one place to another.

This division of functions consequently led men to confine their
ingenuity and activity chiefly to the improvement and skillful handling
of their arms, to the invention of snares for the game and to methods of
fighting animal and human foes. It led also to the inclination to regard
hunting and warfare as the only occupations worthy of men, and to
relegate all domestic work to the women, since such labor would be
degrading to the warrior.

But the despised work of the weaker sex has proven of far greater value
to the progress of the human race than all heroic acts ever accomplished
by fighting men. To woman’s ingenuity we owe our comfortable homes.
Women kept the warming hearth-fire burning, prepared the meals, watched
faithfully over the children and made the clothes that gave protection
against rain and cold. To women’s inventive sense we owe also our most
important industries: agriculture, weaving, pottery, tannery, basketry,
dyeing, brewing, and many other peaceful arts.—

It has been said that human culture began with man’s knowledge and
control of fire, that mysterious, ever consuming, ever brightly flaming
element, which was regarded by all aborigines as a thing of life, by
some even as an animal. It must have all the more forcibly impressed
men’s imagination, inasmuch as it not alone promoted man’s comfort, but
even made life endurable, especially in cold climates.

It is certain that the practical knowledge of fire was obtained not at
one given spot only but in many different parts of the world and in a
variety of ways. In time men discovered also various methods of
producing sparks, generally by rubbing two sticks of wood or by knocking
two flints together. But as these methods were slow and laborious, it
became the custom for each band to maintain a constant fire for the use
of all families in order to avoid the troublesome necessity of obtaining
it by friction. Generally this constant fire was kept in the centre of
the village, to be in reach for everybody. The duty to keep it always
burning fell naturally to the women, as they remained always in the
village, and especially to those women not burdened with the cares of
maternity. As fire later on was regarded as a present of the good
spirits or gods to men, these central fires were held sacred, and so the
fire worship grew by degrees into a religious cult of great sanctity and



                  *       *       *       *       *



While searching for edible roots and berries, women became aware of the
usefulness of many plants. And soon they made attempts to cultivate them
in closer proximity to their lodges.

Having cleaned a suitable spot women made with their primitive digging
sticks the holes, into which they sunk the seeds, from which the plants
were expected to develop. Experience, the mother of all wisdom, taught
women that these plants needed constant attention. So the ground was
kept free from weeds and properly watered. From time to time it was
loosened with hoes, which in the beginning were made of bones, shells or
stones, and later on of metal.

Such was the origin of our vegetable gardens, orchards, and grain
fields. The continuous care, devoted to these plantations, greatly
improved the quality of useful plants. Poor and tasteless varieties
developed in time into those rich and palatable species, without which
our present human race could scarcely exist for a single day. I need
only name wheat, corn, barley, rye, peas, lentils, beans, rice, tapioca,
potatoes, yams, turnips, bread-fruit, pears, apples, plums, cherries,
bananas, dates, figs, nuts, oranges, coffee, cacao, tea, cotton and
hemp, to convince the reader of the immense value of women’s activity in

As simple as were the tools for the cultivation of the soil, just as
simple were the implements for the extraction of flour from the grain.
Recent archæological research has disclosed the fact that many thousand
years before Christ Egyptian women ground corn between two stones in
just the same manner as the women of the Apache and Pueblo Indians and
many other aboriginal tribes are doing to this day.

Other aboriginal women crushed the seeds in mortars of wood or stone. In
several parts of Asia women succeeded in inventing hand-mills, which
proved much more effective.

The necessity of storing provisions for the winter and hard times led to
the invention of receptacles in which grain, nuts and dried berries
might be kept and be safe from destruction by rain and animals. While
pondering over the best methods of accomplishing this, women observed
that certain insects and birds moulded their nests from wet clay, and
that such nests, after hardening, were rain-proof. By this observation
women became induced to use the same material for all kinds of nest-like
vessels, in which provisions could be stored successfully. By accident
such vessels came in contact with fire. Then it was found that by such
baking the hardness of the vessels increased considerably. And so the
preliminaries were discovered for the art of pottery, in which many
aborigines became masters.

Similar observations led to the art of weaving. The nets, spread out
everywhere by spiders for the capture of insects, gave women the first
hint to make similar fabrics for the capture of birds and fishes. The
spider’s thread was imitated by long hair and the fibres of certain
plants. These were twisted together in a manner similar to that used by
the weaver-birds in constructing their airy nests.

For many thousand years weaving was done exclusively by hand. But in
time all kinds of apparatus were invented. And so weaving developed into
an art that among many aboriginal tribes was improved to the highest
degree. At the same time these female weavers created a genuine native
art. So for instance the garters, belts, sashes and blankets of the
Navajo and Pueblo Indians are, for their splendid quality as well as for
their tasteful designs and colors, highly appreciated by all
connoisseurs. The same is true in regard to the ponchos of the Mexicans
and Peruvians, and the magnificent shawls and carpets, made by the women
of Cashmere, Afghanistan, Persia and other countries of the Orient.



Basketry, including matting and bagging, belongs also to the primitive
textile arts in which many native women excelled. By using choice
materials, or by adding resinous substances, some aboriginal women are
able to make baskets water-tight for holding or carrying water for
cooking. From crude beginnings basketry developed into an industry,
which in many countries grew to great importance, as for instance in
Morocco, where the markets are always supplied with large quantities of
bags and baskets of beautiful design and workmanship.

Aboriginal women also attended to the dressing and tanning of skins of
those animals which the men brought home from their hunting expeditions.
In the domestic economy of many tribes skins were and are the most
valued and useful property, especially in all regions having a severe
climate. Every kind of skin, large enough to be stripped from the
carcass of beast, bird or fish, is used here in some way.

A painting by George Catlin, the well-known artist, who during the first
part of the last century travelled among the various Indian tribes of
North America, illustrates the methods by which the skins of buffalo and
deer are staked out upon the ground or between poles. We see the women
engaged in scraping off the flesh and fat, a process which is followed
by several others until the skin is fit to be used for tent covers,
beddings, shields, saddles, lassoes, boats, clothes, mocassins, and
thousands of other things.

Most skillful tanners and dressmakers are likewise the women of the
Eskimo tribes. They make excellent suits from the skins and even the
entrails of whales, walrus, seals and other animals.

To the keen sense of women we also owe undoubtedly most of our domestic
implements. From the bones of fish and other animals they made needles
and pins; from the horns splendid spoons and combs. Gourds, pumpkins and
cocoanuts were turned into water bottles. Women also devised the
comfortable hammocks. About the cribs, cradles and swings, invented in
endless variety by aboriginal mothers for the protection and comfort of
their darlings, volumes might be written. And by innumerable pictures
and photographs it could be proven that the great care, bestowed
nowadays upon our babies, is not the outcome of our advanced culture,
but originated many thousand years ago among aboriginal women.

The same is true in regard to the dolls and play-things with which women
seek to amuse those little ones, dearest to their hearts. What motherly
affection, ever present and everlasting, has done for the welfare and
progress of mankind, no one can conceive, nor describe, nor illustrate.

As brief as these remarks about aboriginal woman’s activity are, they
indicate, however, sufficiently her share in the founding and evolution
of human culture. To appreciate this even more, we must not forget that
the life of those women was one of constant care, misery and danger. The
blissful happiness of aboriginal existence, of which we read sometimes
in novels, written by poetical dreamers, was never enjoyed by these
women. How full of hardships their share was in reality, we find by
investigating their place in the social life of their tribes.




Matrimony is, like all other human institutions, the result of
evolution. In the dim past, after the ape-man had evolved to true man,
it was not known at all. Most probably all the females were the common
property of the males, the strongest of whom took hold of several women,
leaving the rest to their inferior chums.

With the evolution of property rights these mates as well as their
offspring came to be regarded as the absolute property of the husband
and father, who could dispose of them at his pleasure by barter or
otherwise. So it was among primitive men a hundred thousand years ago
and so it is customary among aboriginal peoples to-day. At the death of
the husband his rights generally go to the oldest son or to the person
who becomes the head of the family.

Accordingly as girls are not masters of their own bodies, so the barter
for women is customary among all aboriginal tribes. If a man sees a girl
to his liking he bargains with the head of her family about the price.
Among pastoral tribes it is generally paid in cattle; among hunters in
skins or other objects of value.

Among the Zulu Kaffres the price for good-looking girls ranges from five
to thirty cows. In Uganda it is three or four oxen; among the Samoyedes
and Ostiaks of Siberia a number of reindeer; among the Sioux Indians two
to twenty horses; among the Bedouins a number of camels; in Samoa pigs
or canoes; among the Tatars sheep and several pounds of butter; among
the Bongo twenty pounds of iron and twenty spear-heads; among other
tribes a certain quantity of gold dust, beads, shells, and so on in
endless variety. As soon as the price is paid the girl, without being
asked her consent, is obliged to follow her new master.

As among aborigines women have no will of their own, they cannot object
if their husbands exchange, trade or loan them to other men. So it is
customary among many tribes that if persons of importance come visiting,
the daughters or the wives of the host are assigned to comfort them over

If among the inhabitants of the Fiji Islands men became tired of their
“better halves,” they killed and boiled them and arranged cannibal
feasts in which all neighbors participated.

Aboriginal women also must gracefully assent to their husbands’ taking
several wives. Their number depends on the man’s means. While poor men
satisfy themselves with one wife, chiefs generally buy numbers. The
despots of Dahomey in West Africa, for instance, filled their houses
with hundreds of women, who were obliged not only to amuse these kings
during their lifetime, but also to follow them in death. When such an
autocrat was assembled to his ancestors, his body was deposited in a
large cave. But in order that he should not travel alone through
eternity, his wives as well as all the members of his court were led
into the cave and provided with food for several days, whereupon the
entrance of the cave was closed and the occupants were left to their



If among the aborigines a man is too poor to buy a wife, he generally
tries to steal one. But as he must not do so within his own clan, as he
would trespass upon the property rights of his fellow-men, nothing
remains but to kidnap a girl of some neighboring tribe. So he lurks
around the villages till some day a girl, while gathering berries or
edible roots, unfortunately happens to come too near his hiding place.
In this case the manner of his proposal is sudden, but effective. A blow
with his war club makes the damsel unconscious, whereupon he drags her
to some secure place. Here he keeps her till she has recovered her
senses and is able to follow him to his lodge.

George Gray, who has written about the natives of Australia, states that
the life of young and attractive women among those tribes is a
continuous chain of capture by different men, terrible wounds and long
wanderings to unknown bands. In addition, such unfortunate females must
suffer very often extremely bad treatment by other women, to whom they
are brought as prisoners by their capturers.

But women have been kidnapped not merely for sexual reasons, but also
for their ability to work. Herewith we open the darkest chapter in
woman’s history: Slavery, a word which has not lost its terrible meaning
for women up to the present day.

Slavery has been practiced in all parts of the world in some form. But
Africa was the continent where it prevailed from time immemorial to the
greatest extent and assumed the most cruel forms. Phœnicians, Greeks,
Romans, Arabs, Turks, Spaniards, Portuguese, Italians, Frenchmen,
Dutchmen, Englishmen and Americans sailed to its coasts, to capture men
as well as women and children, to sell and use them for slaves.

It is impossible for human imagination to conceive the horrors and
misery, caused here by heartless pirates for thousands of years.

Imagine a peaceful village, approached stealthily in the night by cruel
enemies, who surround it and then set fire to the huts. As the
inhabitants rush out in terror, those who resist capture are killed, and
those who have escaped the blessing of immediate death are fettered and
marched off. Imagine long columns of such unfortunate and often severely
wounded men, women and children chained together and driven by ruthless
brutes through pathless jungles and arid deserts, to far away markets.
No matter how hot the sun burns down, they must move on. Woe to those
who break down! They are left where they have dropped, to perish of
hunger and thirst, or to be torn by wild beasts. Or, as a warning to the
others, they are butchered in cold blood by their drivers. For those who
reach their destination, where they are traded like cattle, an existence
is waiting that will have fewer moments of joy than there are oases in
an endless desert.

For time immemorial women also fell prey to religious superstition. To
keep evil demons in good humor, or to thank some imaginary gods for
victories and other blessings, human beings have been sacrificed by
thousands. The “Dark Continent” again holds the record in this respect.
And again the autocrats of Dahomey were those who, in religious frenzy,
spilled the blood of hundreds and thousands of men as well as of women.



  After a painting by W. Gentz.

From their country the so-called Vodoo-service, the worship of the
“Great Snake,” has been brought by slaves to the West Indies, where it
was handed down from generation to generation. It still prevails in
Hayti, “the black man’s republic.” Here it is, that the Vodoo priests
and their devout followers meet in silent forests, to pay homage to
their ugly god by sacrificing women as well as children.

Herodotus and other historians of classic times relate that every year
in Egypt, when the Nile began to rise, to which that country owes its
abundance, the priests persuaded a beautiful girl to become the bride of
the river-god. Adorned with jewels and flowers, and greeted by all the
people, this virgin was led to the flat roof of a temple overlooking the
mighty river. After prayers and invocations had been made, she was
tossed into the swirling floods, which swiftly carried her away.

Among the early Latin peoples similar sacrifices seem to have been
customary, as is indicated by the fact that in Rome on the 15th of May
in every year the Vestal virgins, in presence of all the priests,
municipal authorities and the people threw twenty-four life-size dolls,
the so-called Argeer, into the Tiber.

To calm the rage of the god of fire and earthquake, the priests of
ancient Japan also hurled beautiful virgins into the flaming crater of
Fuji Yama.

Humanity needed thousands of years to shake off such monstrous illusions
and customs, because nothing is so difficult as to eliminate ideas and
customs that are rooted in religious superstition, and, through being
handed down from generation to generation, become surrounded with a halo
of sacredness and solemnity.

To such institutions belonged also, what by some students of human
culture has been characterized as “hierarchical or sacred prostitution.”
As is generally known, there exist among almost all aboriginal tribes
crafty charlatans, who pretend to have influence over those supernatural
powers, which are believed to be the distributors of all blessings as
well as of all evils. These so-called sorcerers, healers, conjurors,
magicians, medicine-men, or shamans, the predecessors of the priests,
usurped among many tribes the privilege of deflouring all virgins before
their entrance into marriage. With the gradual evolution of priesthood
this practice was made a rite, which among various nations of antiquity
developed into the most voluptuous orgies known in history.

                  Women during the Ages of Antiquity.



                          WOMEN IN BABYLONIA.

As the cultivated nations of Antiquity sprang from inferior tribes, it
is only natural that in their social life many of the habits and customs
of prehistorical times survived. Nowhere was this fact more evident than
in the status of women. Everywhere we find a strange mixture of the rude
conceptions of the dim past and promising prospects for a brighter
future. In many places women were still regarded as inferior creatures,
subjected to the will of men and with no rights whatever over their own
persons. We also note that polygamy, barter, rape, slavery and
hierarchical prostitution still flourish in all kinds of forms and
disguises. But at the same time we are surprised to see that among
certain nations the members of the fair sex enjoy already the same
respect and almost a similar amount of rights and liberty, as our women
possess to-day.

Modern archæologists are inclined to recognize those formerly fertile
lands between the Persian Gulf and Asia Minor, and watered by the
Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, as the “Cradle of Civilization,” or the
place, where in misty ages, before history began, the so-called
Sumerians, a Semitic people, first attempted to form themselves into
organized communities. According to the traditions of the Hebrews here
was the original home of the human race, the “Garden of Eden,” and here
was, as is told in Genesis XI, “that men said one to another: ‘Go to,
let us build a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven; and let
us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the
whole earth.’”

This city was called Babylon, and the country =Babylonia=. Wonderful
stories and legends are connected with these two names, but still more
astounding are the revelations unearthed by the pick and shovel of
modern explorers. By their diligent work it has been discovered that the
people, living in this region somewhere about 4,000 to 6,000 years B. C.
were already a highly organized and civilized race, skilled in various
trades and professions, and living in towns of considerable size and
importance. The inhabitants of these cities were by no means awkward in
the fine arts. Most important of all, they had already evolved a very
complete and highly developed system of writing, which in itself must
have taken many centuries to reach the stage at which it was found by
the explorers.

As may be read in the elaborate works of Maspero, Hilprecht and other
explorers, they discovered in the ruins of the principal cities of
Babylonia several ancient libraries and archives containing thousands of
tablets of clay, stone and bronze, covered with inscriptions of
religious, astrological and magical texts, epics, chronicles and
syllabaries. There are also contracts; records of debts; leases of
lands, houses and slaves; deeds of transfer of all kinds of property;
mortgages; documents granting power of attorney; tablets dealing with
bankruptcy and inheritance; in fact, almost every imaginable kind of
deed or contract is found among them.

The most precious relic is the famous Code of Hammurabi, King of
Babylonia. This collection of laws, engraved on stone 2,250 years B. C.
and now preserved in the Louvre, is so elaborate and systematic that it
can hardly have been the first one. Back of it there must have been a
long period of usage and custom. But it is the first great collection of
laws that has come down to us. In 282 sections it regulates almost every
conceivable incident and relationship of life. Not only are the great
crimes dealt with and penalized, but life is regulated down to its most
minute details. There are laws on marriage, breach of promise, divorce,
desertion, concubinage, rights of women, purchase-money of brides,
guardianship of the widow and orphan, adoption of children, etc. Through
these laws we gain full information about the position of women in
ancient Babylonia. Three classes of women are recognized: wives,
concubines, and slaves. From other sources we know that all women of the
higher class were cloistered in the harem and never appeared by the side
of husbands or brothers in public. The harem system, at least for
Western Asia and Europe, most probably originated in Babylonia.

The National Geographic Magazine of February, 1916, gives the text of a
love letter, written several thousand years ago and sent by a young man
to his sweetheart. It reads as follows: “To Bibea, thus says Gimil
Marduk: may the Gods Shamash and Marduk permit thee to live forever for
my sake. I write to inquire concerning thy health. Tell me how thou art.
I went to Babylon, but did not see thee. I was greatly disappointed.
Tell me the reason for thy leaving, that I may be happy. Do come in the
month Marchesvan. Keep well always for my sake.”

In the same place we find the following example of a marriage contract:

“Nabu-nadin-akhi, son of Bel-akbe-iddin, grandson of Ardi-Nergal, spoke
thus to Shum-ukina, son of Mushallimu: ‘Give me thy Ina-Esagila-banat,
the virgin, to wife to Uballitsu-Gula, my son.’ Shum-ukina hearkened
unto him and gave Ina-Esagila-banat, his virgin daughter, to
Uballitsu-Gula, his son. One mina of silver, three female slaves,
Latubashinnu, Inasilli-esabat and Taslimu, besides house furniture, with
Ina-Esagila-banat, his daughter, as a marriage-portion he gave to
Nabu-nadin-akhi. Nanâ-Gishirst, the slave of Shum-ukina, in lien of
two-thirds of a mina of silver, her full price Shum-ukina gave to
Nabu-Nadin-akhi out of the one mina of silver for her marriage-portion.
One-third of a mina, the balance of the one mina, Shum-ukina will give
Nabu-nadin-akhi, and her marriage-portion is paid. Each took a writing
(or contract).”

This document, written on a tablet of clay, is signed by six witnesses
and the scribe.

As Professor Clay explains “it has been the custom with most peoples in
a large part of the ancient as well as the modern Orient to base a
betrothal upon an agreement of the man or his parents to pay a sum of
money to the girl’s father.” In Babylonia this “bride-money,” together
with the gift of the father and other gifts, formed the marriage-portion
which was given to the bride. There were prudential reasons for this
practice. It gave the woman protection against ill-treatment and
infidelity on the part of the husband, as well as against divorce; for
if she returned to her father’s house she took with her the marriage
portion unless she was the offending party. If she died childless, the
marriage-portion was divided among them.

In case the girl’s father rejected the suitor after the contract had
been made, he was required to return double the amount of the bride
price. The betrothals took place usually when the parties were young,
and as a rule the engagements were made by the parents. A marriage
contract was necessary to make a marriage legal. In some cases peculiar
conditions were made, such as the bride’s being required to wait upon
the mother-in-law, or even upon another wife. If it was stipulated that
the man should not take a second wife, the woman could secure a divorce
in case her husband broke the agreement.

Concubinage was indulged in, especially when the wife was childless and
she had not given her husband a slave maid that he might have children.
The law fully determined the status of the concubine and protected her

At the husband’s death the wife received her marriage-portion and what
was deeded to her during the husband’s life. If he had not given her a
portion of the estate during his life, she received a son’s share and
was permitted to retain her home, but she could marry again. A widow
with young children could only marry with the consent of the judge. An
inventory of the former husband’s property was made and it was intrusted
to the couple for the dead party’s children.

If a man divorced a woman, which he could do by saying to her “Thou art
not my wife!” she received her marriage-portion and went back to her
father’s home. In case there was no dowry, she received one mina of
silver, if the man belonged to the gentry; but only one-third of a mina
if he was a commoner.

For infidelity the woman could divorce her husband and take the
marriage-portion with her. In case of a woman’s infidelity, the husband
could degrade her as a slave; he even could have her drowned or put to
death with the sword. In case of disease, the man could take a second
wife, but was compelled to maintain his invalid wife in his home. If she
preferred to return to her father’s house, she could take the
marriage-portion with her.



  After a painting by Edwin Long.

From several of these engraved tablets it appears, that a woman received
the same pay for the same work when she took a man’s place.

To Herodotus, the so-called “Father of History,” we are indebted for
some highly interesting notes about the “marriage market of ancient
Babylon.” Its site, uncovered in 1913 by the German Oriental Society,
was in close neighborhood of the palaces of Nebuchadnezzar and
Belshazzar and occupied a rectangle of 100 by 150 feet. Open to the air
on all four sides, it was most probably shielded from the sun by rich
awnings devised to shelter the daughters of Babylon and bring out their
charms. The marble block upon which they stood while being bid for was
in the center of the spectators and richly carved with cherubs, who
worshiped and protected the “Tree of Life.” Several inscriptions leave
no doubt, that this was the actual market of which Herodotus gave the
following description: “Once a year the maidens of age to marry in
Babylon were collected at the market, while the men stood around them in
a circle. Then a herald called up the damsels one by one and offered
them for sale. He began with the most beautiful. When she was sold for
no small sum he offered for sale the one who came next to her in beauty.
All of them were to be sold as wives. The richest of the Babylonians who
wished to wed bid against each other for the loveliest maidens, while
the humbler wife seekers, who were indifferent about beauty, took the
more homely damsels with marriage-portions. For the custom was that when
the herald had gone through the whole number of the fair ones he should
then call up the ugliest—a cripple if there chanced to be one—and offer
her to the men, asking who would agree to take her with the smallest
marriage-portion. And the man who offered to take the smallest sum had
her assigned to him. The marriage-portions were furnished by the money
paid for the beautiful girls, and thus the fairer maidens portioned out
the uglier. No one was allowed to give his daughter to the man of his
choice, nor might any one carry away the damsel he had purchased without
finding bail really and truly to make her his wife. If, however, it was
found that they did not agree the money might be paid back. All who
liked might come, even from distant villages, and bid for the women.”

Herodotus as well as the Roman Curtius Rufus have written also about the
so-called “hierarchical or sacred prostitution,” as it was connected
with the service of Mylitta or Belit, the Babylonian goddess of the
producing agencies.[1] Her temple was surrounded by a grove, which, like
the temple, became the scene of most voluptuous orgies, about which
Jeremiah too has given indications in his letter directed to Baruch.
(Baruch VI. 42, 43.)

Footnote 1:

  About this subject Rev. T. M. Lindsay, Professor of Divinity and
  Church History, Free Church College, Glasgow, writes in the
  Encyclopædia Britannica in an essay about Christianity: “All paganism
  is at bottom a worship of Nature in some form or other, and in all
  pagan religions the deepest and most awe-inspiring attribute of nature
  was its power of reproduction. The mystery of birth and becoming was
  the deepest mystery of Nature; it lay at the root of all thoughtful
  paganism and appeared in various forms, some of a more innocent,
  others of a most debasing type. To ancient pagan thinkers, as well as
  to modern men of science the key to the hidden secret of the origin
  and preservation of the universe lay in the mystery of sex. Two
  energies or agents, one an active and generative, the other a
  feminine, passive, or susceptible one, were everywhere thought to
  combine for creative purpose, and heaven and earth, sun and moon, day
  and night, were believed to co-operate to the production of being.
  Upon some such basis as this rested almost all the polytheistic
  worship of the old civilization, and to it may be traced back, stage
  by stage, the separation of divinity into male and female gods, the
  deification of distinct powers of nature, and the idealization of
  man’s own faculties, desires, and lusts, where every power of his
  understanding was embodied as an object of adoration, and every
  impulse of his will became an incarnation of deity. But in each and
  every form of polytheism we find the slime-track of the deification of
  sex; there is not a single one of the ancient religions which has not
  consecrated by some ceremonial rite even the grossest forms of sensual
  indulgence, while many of them actually elevated prostitution into a
  solemn service of religion.”

According to these statements every woman was compelled to visit the
temple of Mylitta at least once during her life and give herself over to
any stranger, who would throw some money on her lap and with the words:
“I appeal to Mylitta!” indicate his desire to possess her. Such an
appeal could not be rejected, no matter how small the sum was, as this
money was to be offered on the altar of the goddess and thus became





The early =Hebrews= or =Israelites=, being of the same Semitic stock as
the Babylonians, but preferring a pastoral life, observed similar habits
in their relations to women. Matrimony to them was not a necessity based
on mutual love and respect, but a divine order, binding especially the
man. While it was his obligation to maintain the human race, especially
the Jewish stock, woman was merely the medium to reach this end by her
beauty and charm and by giving birth to children.

For the conclusion of a marriage the mutual consent of the two
contrahents was necessary. But generally the marriage was arranged by
the fathers or some other relations, who likewise settled the question
as to how much would be the dowry of the son as well as of the daughter.
That sometimes even a faithful servant was charged with the negotiation
of these delicate questions, is told in Genesis XXIV, where it is said
that Abraham, in order to secure for his son Isaac a wife of his
kindred, commissioned his eldest servant to make a journey to his former
home in Mesopotamia. While resting at a well, he met Rebekah, the
beautiful daughter of Bethuel, a son of Nahor, Abraham’s brother. When
Rebekah consented to become Isaac’s wife, Abraham’s servant brought
forth many jewels of silver and gold and raiment, and gave them to
Rebekah. Having given also to her brother and to her mother many
precious things, he started for the return journey, taking Rebekah and
her maid servants with him.

The story of Jacob and Rachel, as told in Genesis XXIX, proves, that
among the early Hebrews the barter for women was customary, but that the
wooer might obtain the girl of his longing likewise by serving her
father for a certain length of time. As the early Hebrew had an aversion
to mingling with the inhabitants of Canaan, Isaac, Jacob’s father, sent
him to Mesopotamia, the former habitat of the Hebrews, to select a wife
among the daughters of Laban, his mother’s brother.

Meeting Rachel, Laban’s youngest daughter, he became so deeply impressed
by her charm, and so eager to gain her, that he offered Laban to serve
him for Rachel for seven years. Having fulfilled his contract, Jacob
was, however, beguiled by Laban, who at the wedding-night substituted
his eldest daughter Leah for Rachel. When in the morning Jacob became
aware of the deception, Laban claimed that it was not customary, in his
country, to give away a younger daughter before the firstborn. And so he
succeeded in persuading Jacob to serve him for Rachel another term of
seven years.

While monogamy was the rule among the Hebrews, polygamy was permitted,
especially if the first wife was barren. As this was the case with
Sarah, the wife of Abraham, she gave her husband Hagar, an Egyptian
maid-servant, with whom Abraham begat a son, Ishmael. Of Leah and
Rachel, the two wives of Jacob, we may read in Genesis XXX, that they,
not having born children to Jacob, likewise introduced to him their
maids Bilhah and Zilpah, each of which bore Jacob two sons.—It is
certain that some of the patriarchs had a great number of wives, and
that not all of these held the same rank, some being inferior to the
principal wife. The right of concubinage was practically unlimited.
Abraham kept a number of concubines, as appears in Genesis XXV, 6, where
it is said that he, when dividing his property, gave gifts to the sons
of his concubines. Of Solomon the first book of Kings XI, 3, states,
that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines.

In the Mosaic law concubinage and divorce was a privilege of the husband
only. A wife accused of adultery was compelled to undergo the horrible
ordeal of the bitter water, as described in Numbers V. If found guilty,
she might be stoned to death.

To continue the male issue of the family was the paramount mission of
the wife. That the birth of a male baby was regarded as an event of far
greater importance than that of a female, appears from Leviticus XII,
where it is said, that a woman, giving birth to a son, was regarded
unclean for only seven days and must not touch hallowed things nor come
into the sanctuary for a period of thirty-three days. But if
unfortunately she became the mother of a girl, she was considered
unclean for fourteen days and had to abstain from religious service for
sixty-six days. Only after she had made atonement for the sin of
motherhood by offering a lamb or a pair of pigeons, was she forgiven.

The prejudice against woman is also confirmed by the fact, that,
according to Exodus XXIII, 17, all male Jews were required to appear
before the Lord three times in the year, and that they had to repair to
Jerusalem once a year, with all their belongings. But the women were not
privileged to accompany their husbands.





To investigate woman’s position among the other ancient nations of Asia
is also of interest.

The =Parsee= or =Parsis=, belonging to the great Aryan or Indo-Germanic
race, occupied two thousand years before Christ that part of Central
Asia known at present as Iran or Persia. Whether this country was the
original home of that race, is unknown. Some modern scientists are
inclined to seek it in more northern parts of Asia or even of Europe, as
the sacred songs of the Parsee contain indications, that the Aryans
originally came from countries with a temperate or frigid zone. When for
instance the Vedic singers in hot India prayed for long life, they asked
for “a hundred winters.”

In their treatment of women these Aryans or Parsee have been much more
noble than any other Asiatic race. They believed in marriage for higher
purposes than the mere begetting of children. The principal incentive to
conclude a marriage was the desire to contribute to the great renovation
hereafter, which, according to the sacred book of the Parsee, the
Zend-Avesta, is promised to humanity. This renovation cannot be carried
out in the individual self, but must be gradually worked out through a
continuous line of sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons. The motive of
marriage was therefore sacred. It was a religious purpose they had in
view, when the male and female individuals contributed by marital union
their assistance, first, in the propagation of the human race; second,
in spreading the Zoroastrian faith; and third, in giving stability to
the religious kingdom of God by contributing to the victory of the good
cause, which victory will be complete about the time of resurrection.
The objects of the marriage bond were, therefore, purely religious,
tending to the success of light, piety or virtue in this world. For this
reason the Avesta declares that married men are far above those who
remain single; that those who have a settled home are far above those
who have none; and that those who have children are of far greater value
to humanity than those who have no offspring.

While daughters were believed to be less useful than sons for the
continuation of the father’s race, they were, however, not disliked, but
also objects of love and tenderness. Marriages were not the result of
any barter or capture, but of pure selection on the part of the two
individuals. If they were still of minor age, the marriage was subject
to the confirmation of the parents or guardians.

Infanticide was strictly prohibited. There were also laws against the
destruction of the fruit of adultery. Such illegitimate offspring had to
be fed and brought up at the expense of the male sinner until they
became seven years of age.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Like the valleys of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, and like the
highlands of Central Asia, or Ariyana, so the mountains, plains and
forests of =India= were inhabited long before the dawn of history by
masses of men of various races and split into many hundreds of tribes.
Of these races descendants exist in almost the same conditions as their
ancestors did many thousand years ago. In Southern India the Kader are
still living in primitive tree-huts. Assam and Bhutan are regions
abounding with villages which are the exact counterparts of the
prehistorical lake-dwellings of Switzerland.

These vast regions of India were at some unknown time invaded by tribes
of =Aryan= or =Indo-Germanic= race. While among the aborigines of India
women were subjected to all the hardships and bad treatment of primeval
times, the women of the Aryans enjoyed, as stated above, a far higher
position. Like their husbands they were the “rulers of the house,” had
the entire management of household affairs, and were allowed to appear
freely in public. Husband and wife also drew near to the gods together
in prayer. That the education of the females was not neglected is proven
by the fact, that some of the most beautiful Vedas or national hymns and
lyric poems were composed by ladies and queens.—

With the decline of the Aryan race and culture in India, caused most
probably by the hot, enervating climate of the country, the position of
women also underwent a change for the worse. Especially the growing
despotism of the Brahmanic priests gradually robbed women of all their
former rights and liberty. In time they became completely subject to the
authority of man. Mothers owed obedience to their own sons, and
daughters were absolutely dependent upon the will of their fathers. The
system of conventional precepts, known as “Manu’s Code of Laws,” clearly
defined the relative position and the duties of the several castes and
sexes, and determined the penalties to be inflicted on any transgressors
of the limits assigned to each of them. But these laws are conceived
with no human or sentimental scruples on the part of their authors. On
the contrary, the offenses, committed by Brahmans against other castes,
are treated with remarkable clemency, whilst the punishments inflicted
for trespasses on the rights of the Brahmans and higher classes are the
more severe and inhuman the lower the offender stands in the social

Against the female sex Manu’s laws are full of hostile expressions:
“Women are able to lead astray in this world, not only the fools, but
even learned men, and to make them slaves of lust and anger.”—

“The cause of all dishonor is woman; the cause of hostility is woman;
the cause of our worldly existence is woman; therefore we must turn away
from woman.”—“Girls and wives must never do anything of their own will,
not even in their own homes.”—“Women are by their nature inclined to
seduce men; therefore no man shall sit even with his own relative in
lonely places.”—“The wife must be devoted to her husband during her
whole life as well as after his death. Even if he is not without blame,
even if he is unfaithful and without a good character, she must
nevertheless respect him like a god. She must do nothing that might
displease him, neither during his life nor after his death.”—“Day and
night must women be held in a state of dependence.”—

As the subjection of women was made a cardinal principle of the Brahman
priests, they did not shrink from misinterpreting the text of the Vedas
accordingly. So the sentence: “You wife, ascend into the realm of life!
Come to us! Do your duty toward your husband!” was explained to mean
that a widow must not marry again but ought to follow her husband also
in death. This led to the voluntary burning of the widows with the
corpse of the husband, a practice which assumed great dimensions and was
observed till the middle of the 19th Century. Mrs. Postans, an English
lady, who during the first part of the last century resided many years
in Cutch, one of the northern provinces of India, gave the following
account of such a ceremony: “News of the widow’s intentions having
spread, a great concourse of people of both sexes, the women clad in
their gala costumes, assembled round the pyre. In a short time after
their arrival the fated victim appeared, accompanied by the Brahmins,
her relatives, and the body of the deceased. The spectators showered
chaplets of mogree on her head, and greeted her appearance with
laudatory exclamations at her constancy and virtue. The women especially
pressed forward to touch her garments—an act which is considered
meritorious, and highly desirable for absolution and protection from the
“evil eye.””

“The widow was a remarkably handsome woman, apparently about thirty, and
most superbly attired. Her manner was marked by great apathy to all
around her, and by a complete indifference to the preparations which for
the first time met her eye. Physical pangs evidently excited no fears in
her; her singular creed, the customs of her country, and her sense of
confused duty excluded from her mind the natural emotions of personal
dread, and never did martyr to a true cause go to the stake with more
constancy and firmness, than did this delicate and gentle woman prepare
to become the victim of a deliberate sacrifice to the demoniacal tenets
of her heathen creed.”




                       WOMAN IN CHINA AND JAPAN.

While the fate of women in India was shaped by Manu’s Code of Laws, in
=China= it was decided by the orders of Confucius, the famous sage, born
in the year 550 B. C. and in popular histories of his life praised in
the lines:

            “Confucius! Confucius! How great was Confucius!
            Before him there was no Confucius,
            Since him there has been no other.
            Confucius! Confucius! How great was Confucius!”

In the rules, which this savant gave to his followers, he demanded full
subordination of woman to man; also, that the two sexes should have
nothing in common and live separated in two different parts of the
house. The husband must not mingle in the internal affairs of the home,
while the wife must not concern herself in any outside matter. Also
women should have no right to make decisions but in everything be guided
by the orders of their husbands.

Women have likewise no proper position before the law and cannot be
witnesses in any court. The father may sell his daughter, and the
husband may sell his wife. Concubines are permitted and often are housed
under the same roof with the wife. Daughters are not welcomed, but
treated with contempt.

To get rid of a superabundance of infant girls which were regarded as a
burden and as unwelcome eaters, the Chinese in former times resorted to
exposure and infanticide to such an appalling extent that these
cruelties became a national calamity and disgrace. Generally the female
babies were drowned. In the provinces of Fukian and Kiangsi infanticide
was so common, that, according to Douglas, at public canals stones could
be seen bearing the inscription: “Infants must not be drowned here!”—

To lessen these abuses one of the emperors of the Sung-dynasty decreed
that all persons, willing to adopt exposed children, should be
compensated by the government. But this well-meant decree brought evil
results, as many people, who adopted such foundlings, raised them for
the purpose of making them their own concubines, or to sell them to the
keepers of brothels, of which every Chinese city had an abundance.
Placed in these brothels when six or seven years old, the unfortunate
girls were compelled to serve the older inmates for several years. Later
on they assisted in entertaining visitors with song and music. But
having reached the age of twelve or thirteen, they were regarded as
sufficiently developed to bring profit in the lines of their actual

The final fate of such unfortunate beings was in most cases miserable
beyond description. Having been exploited to the utmost by their
heartless owners, they were, when withered and no longer desirable,
thrown into the streets, to perish in some filthy corner.

Women of the lower classes too had a hard life. In addition to such
unfavorable conditions there existed among the aristocrats a strict
adherence to ancient manners and customs. Accordingly the life of the
whole nation became rigid and ossified. Foreigners, who came in close
contact with Chinese aristocrats, speak of their women with greater pity
than of the females of the poor, describing them as dull and boring
creatures, with no higher interests than dress and gossip.

As in Japan the rules of Confucius were likewise in force, the position
of woman in “the Land of the Rising Sun” likewise was an inferior one.
Obedience was her lifelong duty. As a girl she owed obedience to her
father, as a wife to her husband, and as a widow to her oldest son. And
in the “Onna Deigaku,” the classic manual for the education of women,
she was advised to be constantly aware of the bar between the two sexes.





                       WOMAN AMONG THE EGYPTIANS.

Of the many nations that occupy the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the
=Egyptians= are the oldest. To them one of the foremost scholars, George
Ebers, paid the following compliment: “If it is true that the culture of
a nation may be judged by the more or less favorable position, held by
its women, then the culture of ancient Egypt surpassed that of all other
nations of Antiquity.”

Indeed, when we study the innumerable inscriptions, paintings and
sculptures of Egyptian tombs, and investigate the many well preserved
papyrus rolls, we find this praise fully justified. Not only did the
Egyptians generally confine themselves to one wife, but they also
extended to her more and greater privileges, than she had in any other
country. Woman was honored as the source of life, as the mother of all
being. Therefore contracts, carefully set up, protected her in her
rights and secured her the title Neb-t-em pa, “the mistress of the
house.” As such she had, if the authority of Diodorus can be credited,
absolute control over all domestic affairs and no objection was made to
her commands whatsoever they might be. It is also significant, that
where biographical notes appear, on tombs, statues and sarcophagi, the
name of the deceased mother is frequently given, while the name of the
father is not mentioned. So it reads for instance: “Ani, born by
Ptah-sit,” “Seti, brought to life by Ata.” The spirit of true affection
and real family life likewise found expression in many poetical names
given by sorrowful widowers to their departed wives. There is an
inscription, in which a husband praises his lost mate as “the palm of
loveliness and charm”; another one extols his spouse as “a faithful lady
of the house, who was devoted to her husband in true fondness.”

That the highly developed, culture of the Egyptians was based on strong
ethical principles, also appears from the text of the so-called “Papyrus
Prisse,” perhaps the oldest book of morals ever written. Its author,
Prince Ptah-hotep, who lived about 3350 B. C., gives hints and advice in
regard to social intercourse and manners, to be observed among people of
refinement. Hear what he says about the treatment of women: “If you are
wise, you will take proper care of your house and love your wife in all
honor. Nourish, clothe and adorn her, as this is the joy of her limbs.
Provide her with pleasing odors; make her glad and happy as long as you
live, because she is a gift that shall be worthy of its owner. Don’t be
a tyrant. By friendly conduct you will attain much more than by rough
force. Then her breath will be merry and her eyes bright. Gladly she
will live in your house and will work in it with affection and to her
heart’s content.”

Children were regarded as the gifts of the gods, and brought up in good
manners and obedience.

In company with their husbands Egyptian women took part in all kinds of
social and public festivals. At social affairs the master and mistress
of the house presided, sitting close together, while the guests, men and
women, frequently mingled, strangers as well as members of the same
family. Agreeable conversation was considered the principal charm of
polite society, and according to Herodotus it was customary at such
gatherings, to bring into the hall a wooden image of Osiris, the Lord of
Life and Death, to remind the guests not only of the transitoriness of
all earthly things and human pleasures, but also of the duty, to meet
all others during the short span of this earthly life with kindness and



That ladies’ parties are not an innovation of our times but date back
thousands of years before Christ, we learn from many finely executed
carvings and frescoes which represent feasts. In long rows we see the
fair ones sitting together, in finest attire, with hair carefully
dressed and adorned with lotus flowers. Waited upon by handmaids and
female slaves, they chat and enjoy the delicious sweets, cakes and
fruits, with which the tables are loaded. As the hours passed, fresh
bouquets were brought to them, and the guests are shown in the act of
burying their noses in the delicate petals, with an air of luxury which
even the conventionalities of the draughtsman cannot hide. Wine was also
partaken of, and that the ladies were not restricted in its use, is
evident from the fact, that the painters have sometimes sacrificed their
gallantry to a love of caricature. “We see some ladies call the servants
to support them as they sit; others with difficulty prevent themselves
from falling on those behind them; a basin is brought too late by a
reluctant servant, and the faded flower, which is ready to drop from
heated hands, is intended to be characteristic of their own

Footnote 2:

  Wilkinson, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, Vol. II, p.

In Egypt women were permitted to practice as physicians. They were
likewise admitted into the service of the temple. In most solemn
processions they advanced towards the altar with the priests, bearing
the sacred sistrum, an instrument emitting jingling sounds when shaken
by the dancer. Queens and princesses frequently accompanied the monarchs
while they offered their prayers and sacrifices to the deity, holding
one or two ceremonial instruments in their hands.

The constitution of Egypt also provided that, when at the death of a
king no male successor was at hand, the royal authority and supreme
direction of affairs might be entrusted without reserve to one of the
princesses, who in such case ascended the throne. History records
several Egyptian queens, among them Cleopatra VI, who became famous
through her relations to Cæsar and Anthony.




                        WOMAN AMONG THE GREEKS.

The great regard extended to women by the Egyptians could not fail to
influence to some extent those nations, with whom they came in contact,
especially the =Greeks= and the =Romans=.

Ancient Greece, or to be more correct, Hellas, was occupied by the
=Hellenes=, belonging to the Aryan or Indo-Germanic race, who had
immigrated from Central Asia in prehistoric times. A pastoral rather
than an agricultural people, they were divided into several branches, of
which the Dorians, Ionians, Aeolians, and Pelasgians were the most

No people has ever recognized the charm of women with greater enthusiasm
than the Greeks. To them the fair sex was the embodiment of cheerful
life, of the joy of being. To this conception we owe many of the most
excellent works of art, among them several unsurpassed statues of Venus,
the goddess of beauty and love.

In the treatment of their women the various branches of the Hellenes
were not alike. But all took deep interest in the harmonious development
of the body, of beauty and art. Gymnastic games and prize-fights were
the favorite entertainments, especially among the Dorians, one branch of
whom, the Spartans, became famous for their strict methods in rearing
and educating boys as well as girls.

To secure to the state a race of strong and healthy citizens, the
Spartans allowed no sickly infant to live, and girls were required to
take part in all gymnastic exercises of the young men. Women were even
admitted to co-operate in all public affairs. As great attention was
given also to their education, the women of Sparta gained in time such
great influence over their men, that the other Hellenes jokingly spoke
of “Sparta’s female government,” a remark, which was promptly answered
with the reply, that the women of Sparta were also the only ones, who
gave birth to real men.

That the Hellenic women were treated with great dignity during the
so-called “heroic age,” and that they enjoyed far greater liberty than
in later periods, is evident from the poems of Homer. In the Iliad
Achilles says: “Every true and sensible man will treat his wife
respectfully and take proper care of her.” And in another place Homer
declares that “besides beauty good judgment, intellect and skill in all
female works are the merits, by which a wife will become a respected
consort to her husband.”

In the “Odyssey” Homer gives in Penelope a very attractive example of
female faithfulness and dignity. He also makes Odysseus say to Nausikaa:
“There is nothing so elevating and beautiful, as when husband and wife
live in harmony in their home, to the annoyance of their adversaries, to
the rejoicing of their friends, and to their own honor!”

Among the many deities, worshiped by the Greeks, one of the most
attractive figures was Hestia, the goddess of the home or hearth fire.
As explained in a former chapter, the constant fire, kept by aboriginal
bands in the centre of their villages, became in time a sacred symbol of
home and family life, and by degrees grew into a religious cult of great
sanctity and importance. As women in ancient Hellas too were the
guardians of this tribal fire, so its deity was believed to be a
goddess, Hestia, whose name means “home—or hearth-fire.” As the tribal
fire was always kept burning so the fire in the Pytaneion, the temples
of Hestia, was to remain alive. If by any mischance it became
extinguished, only sacred fire made by friction, or got directly from
the Sun, might be used to rekindle it. The Pytaneion was always in the
center of the villages and cities. Around its fire the magistrates met,
and received foreign guests. From this fire, representing the life of
the city, was taken the fire wherewith that on the hearth of new
colonies was kindled.

In later times, however, the high conceptions the Greeks had of
womanhood underwent considerable change, and the close intimacy between
husband and wife, which had hitherto distinguished married life,
vanished. When with the extension of navigation and commerce the Greeks
came into closer touch with the luxurious life of Asiatic nations, they
adopted many of their manners and thoughts. Suspicion and jealousy,
conspicuous traits in the character of southern races, now made
themselves felt. Besides misogynists like Hipponax, Antiphanes, Eubulos
and others began to poison the minds of the people with degrading,
insulting remarks about women and matrimony. As did for instance
Hipponax by saying: “There are only two pleasant days in married life,
the first, when you take your bride in your home, and the second, when
you bury her.”—

And Eubulos is responsible for the sentence: “Deuce may take him, who
marries a second time! I shall not scold him, that he took his first
wife, as he did not know what was in store for him. But later on he
knows that this evil is woman.”—

Euripides is responsible for the most degrading comment. He wrote the
following lines:

            “Dire is the violence of ocean waves,
            And dire the blast of rivers and hot fires,
            And dire is want, and dire are countless things,
            But nothing is so dire and dread as woman.
            No painting could express her dreadfulness,
            No words describe it. If a god made woman
            And fashioned her, he was for man the artist
            Of woes unnumbered, and his deadly foe!”

The undermining effect of such remarks was increased by numerous
comedies in which married life was turned to ridicule, and husbands were
depicted as despicable slaves to women. So bye and bye the high
position, formerly held by the female sex, sank to a much lower level.
Their liberty was greatly curtailed, and daughters as well as wifes were
confined to the strict seclusion of the “Gynäkonitis” or women’s
quarters at the back of the house. Here they spent their time with
spinning, weaving, sewing and other female work, not seeing or hearing
much of the outside world. For this reason they were often nicknamed
“the locked up,” or “those reared in the shadow.” As they rarely got out
into the fresh air, they relied greatly on rouge and cosmetics, to hide
their faded complexion. The only interruption in this monotonous life
were the festivals of the various deities, during which they joined the
solemn processions and carried the ceremonial implements and vessels on
their heads.

As the education of the girls was greatly neglected, and as they
generally married very early, they had no influence whatever on the male
members of the family. They even didn’t appear at table with men, even
with their husbands’ guests in their own homes. But the principal cause
for the decline of woman’s, position and of family life in Hellas was
the rise and growing prevalence of the “heteræ” or courtesans, many of
whom became famous for their fascinating beauty and accomplishments.
Clever in graceful dances, well educated in song, music and in the art
of entertaining, these women, many of whom were natives of foreign
countries, in time became constant guests of the symposiums of prominent
citizens. Far outshining the housewives and their daughters in
gracefulness and wit, they soon won a domineering influence over the all
too susceptible men, many of whom became lost to their own neglected

The most striking illustration of this is offered by the life of the
famous Athenian statesman Pericles, who fell victim to the charms of
Aspasia, a courtesan born in Miletus, Asia Minor. Her extraordinary
beauty and still more remarkable mental gifts had gained her a wide
reputation, which increased after her association with Pericles. Having
divorced his wife, with whom he had been unhappy, Pericles attached
himself to Aspasia as closely as was possible under the Athenian law,
according to which marriage with a “barbarian” or foreigner was illegal
and impossible. And after the death of his two sons by his lawful wife
he secured the passage of a law, by which the children of irregular
marriages might be rendered legitimate. His son by Aspasia was thus
allowed to assume his father’s name.

Aspasia enjoyed a high reputation as a teacher of rhetoric. It is said
that she instructed Pericles in this art, and that even Socrates
admitted to have learned very much from her. The house of Aspasia became
the center of the most brilliant intellectual society. Men who were in
the advance guard of Hellenic thought, Socrates and his friends
included, gathered here.



  After a painting by H. Schneider.

Another noted courtesan was Phryne, who by her radiant beauty acquired
so much wealth that she could offer to rebuild the walls of Thebes,
which had been destroyed by Alexander (335 B. C.), on condition that the
restored walls bear the inscription, “Destroyed by Alexander, restored
by Phryne, the hetære.” When the festival of Poseidon was held at
Eleusis, she laid aside her garments, let down her hair and stepped into
the sea in the sight of the people, thus suggesting to Apelles his great
painting of “Aphrodite rising from the sea.” The famous sculptor
Praxiteles too used her as a model for his statue “the Cnidian
Aphrodite,” which Pliny declared to be the most beautiful statue in the

Anteia, Isostasion, Korinna, Phonion, Klepsydra, Thalatta, Danae, Mania,
Nicarete, Herpyllis, Lamia, Lasthenia, Theis, Bachis and Theodota are
the names of other courtesans, who became widely known for their
relations with prominent men of Hellas and acquired enormous wealth.

Sappho, the famous poetess, whom Plato dignified with the epithets of
“the tenth Muse,” “the flower of the Graces,” and “a miracle,” most
probably belonged likewise to this class. It is said that she
established in Mytilene a literary association of women of tastes and
pursuits similar to her own, and that these women devoted themselves to
every species of refined and elegant pleasure, sensual and intellectual.
Music and poetry, and the art of love, were taught by Sappho and her
older companions to the younger members of the sisterhood.

Hierarchical prostitution prevailed in Hellas. It was connected with the
service of Aphrodite, the Greek counterpart of the Babylonian Mylitta.
Strabo states, that in her temple of Corinth more than one thousand
courtesans were devoted to the service of this goddess. The amount of
money, earned by these girls and flowing into the priest’s treasury, was
so enormous that Solon, the great statesman and law maker, envying the
temples for such rich income, founded the Dikterion, a brothel of great
style, the income of which went into the treasury of the state.

Enticed by the luxurious and easy life of such courtesans, thousands of
young girls chose the same profession and entered the schools, which
were established by many courtesans for the special purpose of giving
instruction in all the arts of seduction. As the legislators, bribed by
heavy tributes, were most liberal in giving concessions to these
institutions as well as to prostitutes and keepers of brothels, public
life became in time thoroughly demoralized. In fact these conditions
were greatly responsible for the final decay and downfall of the whole
Hellenic nation.


                        WOMAN AMONG THE ROMANS.

Among the various nations who in early times occupied the Italian
peninsula, the =Latins=, =Sabines= and =Etruscans= were the most
prominent. That among them barter and the forceful abduction of women
was customary, is indicated by the well-known story of the “Rape of the
Sabine Women” by the original settlers of Rome.

As the legend runs Romulus and his band of adventurers, having no women
with them, and too poor to buy some from their neighbors, decided in the
fourth month after the foundation of Rome to get wives by resorting to a
stratagem. Accordingly they invited their Sabine neighbors to partake
with their wives and daughters in the celebration of a festival.
Suspecting nothing, the Sabines came and greatly enjoyed the
entertainments provided for them. But in the middle of the feast the
Romans, far outnumbering the unarmed Sabines, rushed upon their maiden
guests and carried them off by force. To avenge themselves, the Sabines
went to war, in which both parties suffered severely. But the fierce
struggle was brought to an end, when the kidnapped girls flung
themselves between the combatants, imploring their fathers and brothers
to become reconciled, as they would like to stay with their Roman
husbands. Their urgent appeals brought not alone peace, but resulted
even in the confederation of the Sabines and Romans.

It is impossible to say whether this legend rests on actual facts, but
it indicates that the forceful abduction of women was customary in
ancient Italy. Undoubtedly it took many centuries before this drastic
means of securing wives gave way to more peaceful methods. But to remind
people of the intervention by which the women had ended the bloodshed
between Romans and Sabines, the Romans celebrated a festival on the
first of March of each year, called “Matronalia.” It could only be
participated in by women, who went with girdles loose, and on the
occasion received presents from husbands, lovers, and friends.

Laws were also instituted for the protection of women. Woe to those who
dared to hurt their feelings by disorderly acts or insolent language.
They were brought before the blood-judge, who dealt very severely with
such evil-doers.



  After the painting by H. le Roux.

Like the Greeks the Romans venerated a divine guardian of family life.
Her name was Vesta, “the domestic hearth-fire.” The hearth, around which
the members of the family assembled in the evening, was the place
consecrated to her. Numa Pompilius is said to be the one who erected the
first temple to this goddess in Rome. Round in shape, its center
contained an altar with a fire that was never allowed to be
extinguished. To keep this sacred flame always burning and to offer
daily sacrifices and prayers for the welfare of the state, two virgins
of the noblest families were chosen by the Pontifex maximus or
High-Priest. Afterwards the number of these “Vestal Virgins” was
increased to four, and later to six. Their garments were of spotless
white, with a veil and a fillet round the hair. Strict observance of the
vow of chastity during the thirty years of their term of service was one
of their chief obligations.

The privileges extended to these virgins were very remarkable. Free from
any paternal control, except that of the Pontifex maximus, they could
dispose by will of their own property. When appearing in a public
procession they were preceded by a number of lictors, who carried with
them the symbols of their judicial office, the fasces, a bundle of
sticks, out of which an axe projected as a sign of sovereign power.
Should it happen that in the street they met a criminal on his way to
execution, they had the prerogative of pardoning him. In theatres, in
the arena, and at other places of amusement the best seats were reserved
for them. They also lived in great splendor; their home, the Atrium
Vestæ, was not only very large, but of the best material and
magnificently decorated. Like the emperors they shared the privilege of
intramural burial.

With all this esteem, the Vestal Virgin was severely punished if found
guilty of neglecting her duty or violating her vow of chastity. The
latter crime caused the whole city to mourn. While innumerable
sacrifices and prayers were offered up to appease the offended goddess,
preparations were made to punish the priestess as well as her seducer
horribly. The man was scourged to death on the public market; the
unfortunate priestess was placed in a subterranean chamber on the
criminals’ field. After she had been provided with a bed, a lighted
lamp, and some bread and water, the vault was closed, the earth thrown
over it, and the priestess left to die.

While the “Vestal Virgins” enjoyed many privileges, the Roman women
during the first time of the republic were completely dependent. A
daughter, if unmarried, remained under the guardianship of her father
during his life, and after his death, she came into the control of her
agnates, that is, those of her kinsmen by blood or adoption who would
have been under the power of the common ancestor had he lived. If
married she and her property passed into the power of her husband.
Whatever she acquired by her industry or otherwise while the marriage
lasted fell to her husband as a matter of course. Marriage was a
religious ceremony, conducted by the high priests in the presence of ten
witnesses. Its effect was to dissociate the wife entirely from her
father’s house and to make her a member of her husband’s, provided he
himself had grown to manhood and started a household of his own. If this
was not the case, his wife and their children, as they were born, fell
likewise into the power of the “pater familias,” the father-in-law of
the wife, and the latter was entitled to exercise over his
daughter-in-law and grandchildren the same rights as he had over his
sons and unmarried daughters.

Of the wife of the “pater-familias” the Romans spoke as the
“mater-familias,” the “housemother,” or as the Domina, “the mistress of
the house,” and she was treated as her husband’s equal. But in spite of
the fact that her position in the family was one of dignity, she could
not make a will or contract, nor could she be a witness or fill any
civil or public office.

So the life of a Roman woman was one of perpetual servitude. For
centuries she had no control over her own person, no choice in marriage,
no right to her own property, and no recourse against cruelty. Any man
could beat his wife, sell her, or give her to some one else, when he was
tired of her. He could even put her to death, acting as accuser, judge,
jury, and executioner.

The dependent position of the women changed considerably, when the
Romans came in touch with the Greeks and other nations. Marriage was
made easier. It became even possible, without the sanction of priests or
civil authorities, to conclude an agreement to which men and women might
live together on probation. If such union was kept up without
interruption for one year, then it was considered a regular marriage
with all its consequences. If, however, the two persons concerned wished
to reserve for themselves the right of separation later on, it was only
necessary that the wife should stay in the house of her parents for
three nights before the end of the year.

There was also perfect freedom in divorce, as it was regarded improper
to force persons to continue in the bonds of matrimony when conjugal
affection no longer existed.

In later times women secured full right to dispose over their own
property. Either they might manage it personally or have it administered
by a “Procurator.”

The Greek conception that the presence of women lends charm and luster
to festivals, was adopted by the Romans. As they were convinced that no
entertainment was worth while without the presence of the ladies,
festivals were developed to even a far greater extent than was the case
in Greece.

This step for the better was due to the greater intelligence of the
Roman women. Recognizing that the vast influence exerted by many
courtesans over the prominent men of Hellas was not due solely to the
beauty and grace of these women, but also to their refinement and
knowledge of literature, music and art, the Roman ladies, to attach
their husbands to their homes, eagerly endeavored to acquire similar
merits. And so they devoted themselves to the culture of everything that
makes life interesting and beautiful. We know the names of many Roman
women, who in this way became real companions of their husbands. Hear,
for instance, what Pliny, the famous naturalist, wrote about Kalpurnia,
his wife, in one of his letters. Having praised her keen intellect,
moderation and affection, he continues: “In addition to these virtues
comes her deep interest in literature. My own books she not only
possesses them, but reads them over and over again, until she knows them
by heart. If I have to give a lecture, she sits close by behind a
curtain, listening eagerly to the appreciation shown to me.” In similar
terms Plutarch speaks of the wives of Pompejus and Kato; Tacitus of the
wife of Agricola, of Cornelia, the mother of the Graches, of Aurelia and
Atia, the mothers of Cæsar and Augustus.

While such cultured women retained a strong sense of duty towards their
home and family, the influence of Hellas, however, made itself felt also
in other ways. Its universal corruption and immorality had made it easy
for Rome to subjugate the whole country. But during the occupation of
the country the Romans became acquainted with the luxurious life and
lascivious debaucheries in which the rich Greeks indulged in full
disregard of the dreadful distress of the lower classes. Many Roman
officers, consuls and prefects, morally unfit to resist the allurements
of such loose life, fell victims to all sorts of vices and crimes. And
when, after several years, they returned to Italy, they generally took
with them, besides enormous quantities of stolen valuables, numbers of
courtesans and slaves.

With the expansion of the empire these evils increased accordingly. And
so Rome became finally permeated with foreign elements, manners and

Even religious life became demoralized. Not only the voluptuous worship
of Aphrodite or Venus was transplanted to Roman cities, but also the
obscene service of Astarte, the Phœnician goddess of the begetting
agencies. The orgies, committed in the ostentatious temples of these
deities, formed indeed a striking contrast against the chaste worship of

By all these conditions the life of the Roman women became deeply
affected. The works of contemporary writers abound with complaints about
the growing emancipation of the female sex, the neglect of their duties,
and the ever increasing love of amusement. Comparing the women of his
time with those of former days, Kolumella remarks: “Now, our women are
sunk so deeply in luxury and laziness, that they are not even pleased to
superintend the spinning and weaving. Disdaining home-made goods, they
always seek in their perverted mania to extort from their husbands more
elaborate ones, for which often great sums and even fortunes must be
paid. No wonder that they regard housekeeping as a burden and that they
do not care to stay at their country seats even for a few days. Because
the ways of the former Roman and Sabine housewives are considered
old-fashioned, it is necessary to engage a housekeeper, who takes charge
of the duties of the mistress.”

Young girls liked to stroll through the shady colonnades of the temples
and through the groves, that surrounded them. Here they met their beaus,
who in the art of flirt were just as cunning as are the Lotharios of
to-day. The ladies of the aristocrats or patricians enjoyed to be
carried about in sedan-chairs, as in these comfortable means of
transportation they had full chance to show themselves to the public
richly dressed and in graceful positions. As these sedan-chairs were
always provided with costly canopies and curtains, and shouldered by
fine-looking Syrian slaves, clad in red and gold, such a sight could not
fail to attract general attention and to become the talk of the town.

That this mode of shopping and paying calls became a real fashion may be
concluded from a remark of Seneca, who grumbles that those husbands, who
forbid their wives to be carried about and exhibit themselves in such
manner are considered as unpolished and contemptible boors.

As appears from the works of Juvenal, Sueton, Plutarch, Martial and
others the growing passion for emancipation, notoriety and excitement,
combined with the rage for gossip was responsible for the production of
many unwomanly characters. We hear the complaint that scores of women
boldly intrude into the meetings of men and often compete with them, in
their drinking bouts. These authors also condemn that such females
eagerly mix with officers and soldiers, to discuss with them the details
and events of the war, while others try to spy out all domestic secrets,
only to blab them out again in the street.

Ovid too expresses his disappointment about the changes going on in the
life of the fair sex. “Disdaining matronly seclusion, our ladies
patronize circus, theatre and arena, eager to see and to be seen. Like
an army of ants or like a swarm of bees they hurry in elaborate attires
to the beloved plays, often in such crowds that I am utterly unable to
guess their numbers.”

This inordinate greediness for enjoyments grew in time into a real
intoxication of the senses. Nothing indicates this more than the
concentration of all thoughts, of the patricians as well as of the
plebejans, of the men as well as of the women, of the free as well as of
the slaves on the questions which party would win in the public games,
how many hundred gladiators would fight each other, or how many
thousands of wild beasts would be set loose in the arena.

When we read that such public shows sometimes lasted for weeks and
months, and that all regions of the known world were ransacked in order
to secure some new and more cruel feature, that would set people wild
with excitement, it will be clear that the susceptible mind of women
must have suffered most. And indeed with the increasing degeneration of
social life the female sex became more and more demoralized. As among
the foreign slaves as well as among the freed and enfranchised were many
fine-looking and accomplished persons, unfaithfulness and adultery
increased. Especially among the ladies of the upper classes the “nicely
curled procurator,” who managed the property of such women, served only
too often as a “Cicisbeo,” in which role he figures in many satires and
comedies. Men and women met in the public bath houses as well as in
watering-places like Bajae, an ill-reputed resort, where libertinism and
dissipation flourished, and from which it was said, that no virgin, who
went there, ever returned as a virgin.

Bajae and Rome were also the places where the mysterious rites of the
Bachanalia found the greatest number of devotees. Originally a festival
in honor of Dionysos, the Greek god of spring and wine, it degenerated
into wild orgies after its introduction to Rome. This is what Livy
writes about it: “The mysterious rites were at first imparted to a few,
but were afterwards communicated to great numbers, both men and women.
To their religious performances were added the pleasures of wine and
feasting, to allure a greater number of proselytes. When wine,
lascivious discourse, night, and the mingling of the sexes had
extinguished every sentiment of modesty, then debaucheries of every kind
were practiced, as every person found at hand that sort of enjoyment to
which he was disposed by the passion most prevalent in his nature. Nor
were they confined to one species of vice, the promiscuous intercourse
of freeborn men and women. From this storehouse of villainy proceeded
false witnesses, counterfeit seals, false evidences, and pretended
discoveries. In the same place, too, were perpetrated secret murders and
other unmentionable infamies. To consider nothing unlawful was the grand
maxim of their religion.”



  After a painting by L. Boulanger.

It was in Bajae where Marcellus, the son-in-law of Emperor Augustus, was
poisoned by intriguing Livia; and here Agrippina, the mother of Nero,
was clubbed to death after an attempt by her son to shipwreck and drown
her during a cruise in a magnificent gondola had failed.

In time adultery, poisoning and murder prevailed among the Roman society
to such an extent, that men became afraid to enter matrimony, and
addicted themselves to illicit intercourse.

This period of moral degeneration was, however, distinguished by a most
wonderful rise of literature, science and art. At no time before so many
beautiful temples, basilicas, theatres, arenas, public buildings,
palaces and country-seats were erected. And all these buildings were
adorned with an abundance of mosaics, mural paintings and works of
sculpture. There were also numbers of brilliant writers, poets,
dramatists, orators, law-makers and men who made themselves famous as
naturalists or philosophers.

Of the philosophers the so-called Stoics, among them Seneca, Lucan,
Epictetus and Musonius Rufus formed a school, which exerted a wide and
active influence upon the world at the busiest and most important time
in ancient history. This school was remarkable for its anticipation of
modern ethical conceptions, for the lofty morality of its exhortations
to forgive injuries and overcome evil with good. It also preached the
obligation to universal benevolence on the principle that all men are
brethren. Regarding virtue as the sole end, to be gained mainly by habit
and training, the Stoics furthermore succeeded in reforming matrimonial
life as well as the conceptions about women. In these efforts they were
aided later on by an ethical movement of still greater power, namely





Before we consider woman’s position in Christianity, we must take a
glance at her status among another important branch of the Aryan race,
the =Germans=.

As is familiar to every student of history, the Germans are indebted to
an alien, the Roman Tacitus, for the best account of the character and
manners of their ancestors. In his famous book “Germania” he describes
them as a pure and unmixed race and gives many valuable particulars
about their family life. He says: “Matrimony is the most respected of
their institutions. They are almost the only barbarians who are content
with one wife. Very few among them are exceptions to this rule and then
they do so not for sensuality but for political considerations. The
young men marry late, and their vigor is unimpaired. Nor are the maidens
hurried into marriage. Well-matched and in full health they wed, and
their offspring reproduce the strength of their parents. The wife does
not bring a dowry to the man, but the husband to his bride. These
presents are not trinkets to please female vanity or to serve for
adornment, but on the contrary, they consist of cattle, a bridled horse,
and a shield with sword and spear. While the wife is welcomed with such
gifts, she too presents her husband with a piece of armor. All these
things are held sacred as a mysterious symbol of matrimony. Lest the
wife should think that she is shut out from heroic aspirations and from
the perils of war, she is reminded by the ceremony which inaugurates
marriage that now she is her husband’s partner in his toil as well as in
all danger, and destined to share with him in peace and in war alike.
This is the meaning of the yoked oxen, the bridled horse and the
weapons. And she must live and die with the feeling that the weapons she
has received, have to be handed down untarnished and undepreciated to
her sons, from whom they are to pass to her daughters-in-law, and again
to the grandchildren.

“So the wife lives under the protection of clean manners, uncorrupted by
the allurements of voluptuous comedies or licentious festivals.
Clandestine communication by letters is absolutely unknown. Adultery
among this numerous people is exceedingly rare. Its punishment is left
to the husband and quickly executed. In the presence of her relatives
the guilty woman is kicked out of the house, naked and with her hair
cut. And thus she is whipped through the whole village. Loss of chastity
finds no excuse. Neither beauty nor youth nor wealth wins the culprit a
husband, because no one indulges in vice or pardons seduction. Blessed
the country where only virgins enter matrimony and where their vow to
the husband is binding and final for all time. As they are born only
once so are they married but once and they devote themselves to their
husband as well as to the duties of matrimony. To limit the number of
children or to kill one of them is regarded as a sacrilege. Thus good
habits accomplish more here than good laws in other countries.”

Tacitus as well as other Roman writers state likewise that the women
frequently accompanied the men in times of war and encouraged them in
battle by their cheers and actions. “They always stay near them, so that
the warriors may hear the voices of their wives and the wailing of their
children. Women’s approval and praise is to the men of the highest
value. To their mothers and wives they come with their wounds for
relief, and the women do not hesitate to count the gashes, and dress the
wounds. The women also encourage the men while they are fighting, and
provide them with food and water. We have been told that wavering battle
lines were made to stand fast by women, who with bare breasts mingled
with the warriors and admonished them by their cries to new



  After a painting by F. Leeke.

Many of the names given to members of the fair sex, indicate the men’s
great respect for women, and show that they were considered as able
consorts even in battle. The names Daghilt, Sneburga, Swanhilt and
Sunnihilt remind us of the purity of the daylight, the white of the snow
and the swan, and the gold of the sunshine. And the qualities of
strength, agility and skill in everything connected with war and victory
we find in names like Hildegund, “the protectoress of the home”;
Hadewig, “the mistress of battle”; Gertrud, “the thrower of the spear”;
Gudrun, “the expert in war”; Thusinhilde or Thusnelda, “the giant
fighter”; Sieglind, “the shield of victory”; Brunhild, “she who is
strong like a bear,” and in many other names.

The many noble female personages who figure in German mythology also
testify to the high conception the Germans had of womanhood. There was
Frigg, the spouse of Odin, and the ideal personification of a German
housewife. There was Freya, the goddess of spring, beauty and love;
Gerda, the bright consort of Fro, the sun god; Sigune, the faithful; not
to forget the Valkyries, those beautiful maidens who hovered over the
field of battle, wakened the dead heroes with a kiss and carried them on
their swift cloud horses to Valhalla, where they were welcomed and
feasted by the gods and enjoyed all kinds of martial games.

The Germans saw in women also something that was sacred and prophetic.
It was this belief that lent importance to Veleda, Alruna, and other
prophetesses, who were looked up to as oracles, and played a conspicuous
part during the time of the Roman invasion.


The same noble spirit that distinguished the German women, was likewise
found among the females of =Britain= and =Scandinavia=. Tacitus in his
“Annals” XIV gives an account of Boadicea, queen of the Iceni, a tribe
that occupied the eastern coasts of Britain. To defend the independence
of her country against the Romans, this queen succeeded in uniting some
of the British tribes and drove the invaders from several fortified
places. When Suetonius, on hearing of the revolt, hastened up with a
strong army, he found himself opposed by large numbers of the
aborigines, men as well as women. Among the fighters were many
priestesses or Druids, who, clothed in black, with streaming hair and
brandished torches, fought like furies. When they saw themselves far
outnumbered and realized that all was lost, these women preferred death
to slavery and perished among the flames, which destroyed their

When the Roman legions met the main body of the Britons, they beheld
Boadicea admonishing her warriors, to conquer or die in battle. In the
fearful contest 70,000 Romans and 80,000 Britons were slain. But when
the combat resulted in the complete defeat of the latter, Boadicea
poisoned herself to avoid falling into the hands of the victor.

The Edda and many other sagas of the Scandinavians contain likewise
accounts about heroic women such as they were in those days of the past:
strong in body as in mind, and equal to any emergency. Brave alike in
heart and in character, independent, open and frank, they were loyal to
their husbands and their duty when fitly matched. Fearlessly they joined
in the daring expeditions of their sea-kings, who packed their
“dragon-ships” to full capacity with warriors and made raids on all the
coasts of Europe, even on the countries that border the Mediterranean

From several interesting relics of old Icelandic literature we also know
that as early as in 986 A. D. Norse women went with Eric the Red to
Greenland. Here they helped in establishing a settlement, Brattahlid.
And when in 1007 Thorfin Karlsefne sailed from this place to Vinland,
some newly discovered country in the far Southwest, he too was
accompanied by several women, among them his wife Gudrid. Some time
after her arrival she gave birth to a son, Snorre, the first child of
white parentage born on American soil.

Another of these fearless women, Froejdisa, took active part in a hot
skirmish with the aborigines of Vinland. When the Norsemen were about to
yield to the overwhelming numbers of these “Skraelings,” it was she who
encouraged the men to stubborn resistance. Several years later, in 1012,
this same resolute woman, in company with two men, fitted out an
expedition of her own to Vinland. After an absence of one year she
returned to Brattahlid with a large cargo of valuable lumber, furs, and
other goods, but also suspected of having killed her partners as well as
their men with her own hands.





Just at the time, when the capitals of Hellas and Rome were reservoirs
for all the streams of wickedness and infamy, there originated in
Palestine a religious sect destined to exercise an enormous influence
upon the moral and political life of the world. Its adherents called
themselves =Christians=, “the Annointed,” and followed the doctrines of
Jesus, who, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, was condemned
for his teachings by Pilate, the Roman governor of Judæa, and crucified.

As Jesus left no records or gospels written by himself, we do not know
his personal views about woman, home, marriage, and maternity. We must
rely on the accounts which were written by his followers many years
after his death, and now are called the New Testament. After the death
of Jesus some of his followers drifted from Palestine to Syria, Greece
and Rome, where for their pure and austere morals they attracted the
attention of numerous persons who stood aghast in views of the vices
that surrounded them.

For the spread of a new religion such as Christianity, the Roman world
was wonderfully ripe. As it had been the politics of Rome not to
interfere with the religions of the peoples subdued by her armies, there
had been added to the already overcrowded pantheon of Rome many of the
principal deities of the conquered nations. But there existed also a
longing for some religion, which would have more individuality and
personal power in it then were supplied by the thoughts of a supreme
spiritual fate, or by the mere materialistic conception of the genius of
Rome. There was a decided thirst for information about sacred things.
Men discussed the claims of the various conflicting religions
philosophically, and amid all the gross materialism of the time there
were longings for some deeper, truer religion than any they had known.

This longing was satisfied by the simple but sublime conceptions of God
held by the Christians, and also by the noble purity of their life.
These Christians had no settled form of doctrine, no settled rule of
discipline, no body of magistrates. They were merely an association of
believers in a common faith, with common sentiments, feelings, emotions
and convictions. To women this new religion was particularly appealing,
as it preached many important reforms. First of all, it granted to woman
the full right of disposing of herself. By making her consent necessary
for marriage, woman remained no longer a piece of property, which might
be sold or disposed of at will by the father, brother, husband or other
relatives. She also was not compelled any more to accommodate, with her
own body, some visiting strangers. There was no hierarchical
prostitution, either, but matrimony was elevated to a sacred ceremony,
of which the benediction of a priest formed a necessary part. Chastity
was regarded a supreme law, which governed the whole family life.

The majority of these Christians consisted of poor illiterate people,
who tried to lead a clean and honest life. Their simple manners and
frugal habits contrasted strongly with the luxury of those Greek and
Roman patricians among whom they dwelt. They regarded such extravagance
with contempt, and the unlimited emancipation and licentiousness of the
rich women filled them with horror.

Accordingly they applied to themselves strict rules which would protect
them against any temptation. For this reason their women never adorned
themselves with jewelry or gaudy dresses of dyed cloth, silk, and
embroideries; they never wore false or colored hair. If married, they
took care of the house, attended to the children, and were devoted to
their husbands, whom they respected as the head of the family. The only
occasion for their going out was when they went to church, or to visit
some poor or sick neighbor.

Depending on one another, husband and wife endeavored to form that union
recommended by the scriptures as the goal of married life.

Such happy nuptial ties inspired Tertullian, a Carthaginian, who came in
contact with Christians in Rome, to the following lines: “Whence are we
to find language adequate to describe the happiness of that marriage
which the church cements and the oblation confirms, and the benediction
signs and seals, which angels report and the Father holds as ratified?
Together they pray, together prostrate themselves, together they perform
their fasts, mutually teaching, mutually exhorting, mutually

Commemorations of conjugal happiness, and commendations of such female
virtues as modesty, chastity, prudence and diligence, we also frequently
find in many sepulchral inscriptions of the Catacombs, those famous
subterranean cemeteries excavated by the early Christians of Rome for
the express and sole purpose of burying their dead. There are
inscriptions as for instance: “Our well deserving father and mother, who
lived together (for 20, 30, 50 or even 60 years) without any complaint
or quarrel, without taking or giving offense.”

During the first centuries of Christianity women took a prominent part
in all affairs of the church and they were allowed to be active wherever
there was a chance to spread the Gospel. In particular, they taught the
children, took charge of the orphans, and acted as door-keepers in the
assembly rooms, directing the worshipers to their places, and seeing
that all behaved quietly and reverently.

The new sect, which in every respect contrasted so strongly with Roman
customs and conceptions, could not fail to attract the attention and
inquisitiveness of the people as well as of the Government. But also
suspicion and hostility were aroused. As the Christians met secretly in
private houses, people suspected that they were conspirators banded
together for criminal purposes, that they occasionally slaughtered
infants, poured their blood into a cup, and that passing this cup around
they all drank of it. Their insistance in only one God, that of the
despised Jews, and their aim to discredit and overthrow all other creeds
of the world in order to fuse all mankind in their own faith, were
decried as contempt of those deities, under which Rome had become great
and prosperous. Naturally, their enmity against these deities was
regarded as enmity against the State, which stood under the protection
of these deities. Accused of being apostates and revolutionists, the
Christians soon enough became the objects of much bitter persecution;
such as has been described by Sienkiewicz in his famous book “Quo

During these persecutions the Christian women shared with their
husbands, children and brothers all the horrible cruelties Roman
ingenuity could invent. In the arena they were thrown before lions,
tigers, bears and other savage beasts. They were crucified, or besmeared
with pitch and publicly burned. Worst of all, many of those women who
regarded chastity as their highest virtue, were handed over to the
keepers of brothels and made victims to the voluptuous passions of the
lowest class of people.

But in time the pure and noble ideals which inspired the hearts of those
first Christians, began to appeal to the masses of the people. The
scriptures of the great apologists Tertullian, Justin, Origenes and
others were read and studied with growing interest. And when later on
Emperor Constantine, surnamed the Great, for motives of political
expediency, favored and adopted the new faith, the triumph of
Christianity was secured.




                      WOMAN AMONG THE MOHAMMEDANS.

While thus the followers of Christ reformed the position of woman in the
Roman empire, Mohammed, the founder of Islam or Mohammedanism, at the
same time endeavored to better the condition of woman in the Orient.
Born about the year 570 A. D. in Arabia he recognized, that the domestic
life of the Arabs was marked by many embarrassing improprieties.
Polygamy was customary everywhere, and while among the rich people the
wife was nothing but a toy, for no other purpose but to satisfy passion,
among the poorer classes she was merely a suppressed slave, who could be
sent away, when she was no longer young, or had lost her good looks, or
had become unable to work. Concubinage and prostitution prevailed among
the population of the cities as well as among the Bedouins, who led the
same nomadic life as had the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob several
thousand years ago.

To improve the position of woman, Mohammed inserted in the Koran, his
great moral codex, a number of instructions, which shine forth like gold
threads in the fabric of a beautiful curtain. He ordered the men to
treat their wives with forbearance and respect, as was becoming in the
stronger toward the weaker sex. Children were impressed to give love and
comfort to their parents to the end of their days and show them the
highest reverence.

To diminish polygamy and to give women a secure legal standing, Mohammed
also reduced the number of lawful wives to four, and allowed this number
to such men only as were wealthy enough to provide for certain comforts.
Furthermore, he placed the men under the obligation, to be faithful to
their wives and treat all with equal kindness.



To protect women from the many temptations of too close a social
intercourse with men, Mohammed took pains to exclude women as much as
possible from contact with the outer world. Therefore he insisted on the
strict observance of the ancient Oriental custom that women must not
appear in the streets or in presence of other men than their husbands
except with their faces heavily veiled. This order has been observed in
all Mohammedan countries up to the present day. Only slaves and peasant
women are allowed to go unveiled, as the veil would hinder them at work.
Therefore, outsiders can study the features of Mohammedan women only
from members of the lower classes. To find out who is who among the
veiled females seen in the streets of oriental cities is impossible even
for their own husbands.

About the domestic life of Mohammedan women during former centuries we
know practically nothing, as reliable reports by disinterested observers
are wanting. But the fact that Mohammedan homes and family life were
always secluded from the external world and inaccessible to Christian
explorers travelling through oriental countries, rendered the subject
peculiarly liable to highly exaggerated and sensational reports.
Especially the life in the “Harem,” the women’s quarter, has been
pictured innumerable times as a combination of boundless luxuriance,
lascivity, frivolity, laziness and intrigues. In contradiction several
ladies, who had a chance to study Mohammedan life during the last
century, have asserted, that these reports do not, by any means,
correspond with the truth. There is for instance an essay of Else
Marquardsen about the manners of the Turks, in which she discusses
polygamy. She says: “Throughout the course of many years I was allowed
to visit the homes of many prominent people as well as of the poorer
classes, but I remember only one case, where a man, a high official, had
more than one wife. As a rule I found in all families a spirit of quiet
faithfulness to duty, such as it is not always the case among us. The
women, often compelled to live together with the mother or other female
relatives of their husbands, maintain a good-natured kindness toward
each other, which is really solacing and knows no exception. The great
devotion, shown to the mother by her son as well as by his wife, and
which makes her the most respected member of the whole family, is an
education in humility and self-control, the results of which fill one
with admiration. As the life of the Mohammedan woman, of which her
husband forms the center, is one of repose and seclusion, so she retains
a child-like disposition of sentiment which is indeed touching. Unlike
as it is with us, she is reared in full knowledge of the natural
destination of woman. As soon as she has developed from childhood to
womanhood, she is offered to a man, unknown to her, but whom she
respects as the god-sent medium to impart the sacred mystery by which
she may become a mother. As he gives her the crown of life, she honors
him as her lord. But if it should be her fate to remain barren, then she
does as Sarah, Leah and Rachel did several thousand years ago; she goes
to find another woman, by whom her husband may have children.”

The marriageable age for Mohammedan girls is about twelve, sometimes
less and sometimes more, and the preliminaries are entirely a business
matter conducted by the nearest relatives with much ceremony. After a
definite contract is made it is then that the bride is permitted to see
and speak to her future husband.



According to an article by Broughton Brandenburg about the district of
Biskra, the night before the wedding the bride’s hands and feet are
steeped in henna, with which are stained the nails of all women who make
any pretense of keeping up appearances. When the day comes on which the
bride is to go to the house of her husband she is arrayed in rich robes;
on her arms and ankles are bracelets, and about her slender waist she
wears a corded girdle holding in place a broad plate of gold, silver and
turquoise, usually an heirloom of great age and rare workmanship. The
spangled bridal veil is cast over her head and she is led to the door by
her parents and given over to a company of joyous friends, hired
musicians and guests who parade through the streets beating the rawhide
tambourines and cymbals, dancing and shouting. So the tumultuous pageant
winds its way to the house of the groom, where the happy child takes off
the girdle and plate, and hands them to her husband with a deep
obeisance. After that, feasting and merry-making follow, and last as
long as the bridegroom keeps his purse open.—

But the great restrictions to which, for her own protection, the
Mohammedan woman was subjected by the Koran, also caused some great
disadvantages. Neither Mohammed nor his successors had a proper
appreciation of the dignity, the many possibilities and the real mission
of woman. Regarding her chiefly as the medium for the propagation of the
race, they neglected her intellectual life. In consequence she never
had, in her strict seclusion, a chance to develop her mental qualities.
Unable to read books and hearing nothing of the events of the outer
world, she remained in the state of semi-slavery, never attaining the
high position reached by many Christian women of to-day, namely that of
being a real consort to the husband.

So the very best influence of woman was wanting. And as in time polygamy
and concubinage increased again among many Mohammedan nations, the men
became enervated and unable to resist hostile assaults.

The most striking example is that of the Moors. After having conquered
large parts of Northern Africa as well as of Spain, they were expelled
again from Europe during the 15th Century. The charming Alhambra at
Granada, the Alcazars of Seville and Toledo, the magnificent mosque at
Cordova still preach the past glory of their former empire. But while we
wander through the elaborate rooms, that once were occupied by the women
of the califs and sultans, we cannot resist the conviction that these
splendid halls were but golden cages for beautiful creatures, whose
wings had been clipped.


                     Women During the Middle Ages.



                     WOMEN DURING THE MIDDLE AGES.

From the accounts, given by Tertullian and other writers about the life
of the early Christians, it appears that their conceptions in regard to
women gave promise for a better future. But during the Middle Ages,
which extend from the downfall of Rome to the discovery of America,
Christianity unfortunately failed to realize these promises.

First of all the ancient Oriental prejudice against women again took
hold of the minds of many Christian leaders. Instead of making
themselves champions of women’s rights and interests, they curtailed
women’s influence in order to subject them to the dominion of their
husbands. In these efforts the “Christian Fathers” complied with those
commands that Paul the Apostle had given in several of his epistles to
the Corinthians, Philippians, and to Timothy. They read as follows:

“The head of every man is Christ, and the head of every woman is the
man, and the head of Christ is God. For the man is not of the woman but
the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman but the
woman for the man.”—

“Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted
unto them to speak but they are commanded to be under obedience. And if
they would learn anything let them ask their husbands at home.”

“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a
woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in

These narrow views destroyed the beneficial influence of woman in
Christian lands and retarded her emancipation for more than eighteen
hundred years. Approving of Paul’s commands, Ambrose, one of the eminent
lights of the Church in the Fourth Century, said, to demonstrate the
inferiority of woman: “Remember that God took a rib out of Adam’s body,
not a part of his soul, to make her!” Another of these leaders made the
name “Eve” synonymous with “deceiver,” accusing woman of having been the
cause of men’s expulsion from Paradise. St. John Chrysostom wrote:
“Woman is the source of evil, the author of sin, the gate of the tomb,
the entrance to hell, the cause of all our misfortunes.” And St. John of
Damascus told the world, that “woman is an evil animal, a hideous worm
which makes its home in the heart of man.” Other teachers agreed with
Paul that woman must veil her head because she is not, as is man, in
God’s image!

In face of such vicious promulgations we must not be surprised that
among the discussions of the early “Fathers” none was more important
than that, “has woman a soul?” This question was argued in the Sixth
Century at the Council of Macon. It is also recorded that a few of these
pious leaders entertained the opinion that because of the great power
and goodness of the Almighty “women may possibly be permitted to rise as
men at the resurrection.” And the Council of Auxerre, held in the Sixth
Century, decided that women should wear gloves before they touched the
holy sacrament.

As at the same time ascetic thinkers impressed the minds of the
Christians with an inordinate estimate of the virtue of celibacy,
conceptions of matrimony also changed considerably. While marriage was
not condemned, it was, however, regarded as an inferior state, and it
was held, that persons who had not married, but remained pure, were
nobler and more exalted beings than those who had married. With the
advance of such ascetic ideas a large family came to be regarded almost
as a disgrace, as a proof of lasciviousness.—

All these doctrines of woman’s inferiority in time corroded the ideas of
the Christian nations about woman to such a degree that her position in
the religious service as well as in law and in all the customs of the
early Middle Ages sank to a very low level.

Another reason for the failure of Christianity in regard to woman’s
emancipation was that the minds of the leaders of the Church became
occupied by aims which to realize seemed to them of far greater value
and importance.

The early Christian communities had been simple associations of
believers in a common faith. They had no settled form of doctrine or
rules of discipline. They even had no body of magistrates. But the
moment these associations began to advance and became a corporation,
they started to mould a form of doctrine. At the same time the elders,
who taught and preached, and morally governed the congregation, became
priests, while those, who did service as overseers or inspectors, became

Among the latter the bishops of Rome adopted not only the title of
Pontiff or High-Priest, but also assumed dictatorship over the bishops
of all other dioceses. Professing to be of divine appointment and the
representative of Christ they claimed in his name authority over all
things, both temporal and spiritual. Accordingly they made the
propagation of the Christian faith throughout the world their chief
mission and organized for this purpose an army of clerical dignitaries,
who held themselves responsible to no other authority but the Pontiff or
Pope, to whom they were bound by the strongest vows. Also numerous
orders of monks and nuns were established, who assisted greatly in the
extension and strengthening of the Church.

The influence on human progress and culture of these vast religious
armies has always been greatly overrated. No doubt, under the management
of the monasteries and nunneries large tracts of virgin soil and forests
were cultivated, and that architecture and art, as long as they served
the interests of the Church, were patronized. But it is equally true
that the Church tried to prevent its followers from thinking
independently, that great masses of people, particularly those of the
rural districts, were held in strict servitude and mental bondage, and
that education and science were grossly neglected. Any attempts to
question the authority of the Church or the truth of the Scriptures,
were cursed as heresy and punished with death.

Among the first who had to suffer the wrath of the Popes, were the
Waldenses, Albigenses, Stedingers, and several other Christian sects,
which during the 9th, 10th and 11th Centuries had formed in various
parts of Europe for no other object than the re-establishment of the
simplicity and sincerity of the early Christian communities. As these
sects were found at variance with the rules of the Church, they were
decried as heretical, and almost extinguished.

Intolerant against all other creeds, the Popes also opened a series of
wars against the Mohammedans, professedly for the purpose of delivering
the “Holy Land” from the dominion of the “Infidels.” Aside from these
“Crusades” a similar war was directed against the most western branch of
the Mohammedans, the Moors, who had occupied a large part of the Iberian
Peninsula. These struggles ended in 1492 with the fall of Granada and
the surrender of the famous fortress Alhambra. While in the treaty of
peace certain stipulated privileges had been granted to the conquered,
one of which provided for free exercise of their religion, this liberty
of worship was treacherously withdrawn in 1499 and the Moors either
killed, expelled, or made Christians by forcible baptism. Those who
survived by intermingling with the Spaniards produced a new race, the
Andalusians, famous for their graceful women. The Spaniards adopted many
of the Moorish manners and institutions, among them certain restrictions
in the intercourse of the two sexes. Writers of the 15th Century state,
that in these times the Spanish women used to sit in Oriental fashion,
with legs crossed, on carpets and cushions, spending their time with
embroideries and gossip, or telling the beads of the rosary. The
husbands seldom sought their company, and even preferred to take their
meals alone. Married ladies were not allowed to receive male visitors,
and if their husbands brought friends along, they hardly dared to lift
their eyes. The only breaks in this monotonous life were occasional
calls by women friends, who were received with the greatest possible
display of dress and jewelry. This unnatural segregation of the sexes
still prevails in Spain to some extent and is chiefly due to the
jealousy of men. Well aware of their own unfaithfulness and great
inclination for love-adventures, they have no confidence in their wives
either, but always watch them with suspicion.

We find similar conditions in many other parts of Southern Europe. But
as restrictions are always apt to breed intrigues we hear everywhere of
plots and love-affairs, such as Boccaccio has related in his
“Decamerone.” The stories of this famous book, which was written between
1344 and 1350, without question are based on actual events, frequently
among the fashionable ladies and gentlemen of the age.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Far higher than in Southern Europe was the status of women in those
countries occupied by nations of Germanic stock.

At the time of Tacitus the Germans had no settlements, but lived in
isolated dwellings on the river banks or clearings in the majestic
forests. With the migration of the nations, however, caused by the
enormous pressure of vast Mongolian hordes upon the tribes of Eastern
and Central Europe, the Germans were compelled to abandon this mode of
life. For security’s sake they gathered together in villages and cities.
These they surrounded with heavy walls and towers, and protected them by
castles, erected on steep cliffs and mountains.

The custody of these strongholds was entrusted to the most efficient
warriors, who in time formed a separate class, the nobility, from which
the heads of the whole nation, the princes, kings and emperors were
chosen. The inhabitants of the cities formed the class of burghers, who
devoted themselves to the trades and handicrafts. There was a third
class, made up of the people remaining in the rural districts, the

Of course the positions of the women of these various classes differed
widely. While the women of the peasants and craftsmen were busy with the
functions of their every day’s work, the women-folk of the rich
merchants and the nobility had ample time to cultivate everything that
makes life worth while. With blissful hearts they took part in all
pleasures and festivals. And with the same feeling they accepted the
tokens of respect and admiration, extended to them by the knights as
well as by the many minstrels and troubadours, who travelled throughout
the country to entertain with their songs of love, adventure and heroism
all who liked to listen.

Many songs of the 12th and the 13th Century express the high esteem of
their authors for women. They also prove that the so-called
“Minnedienst” of the German and French knights was to a great extent an
ideal tribute and consisted chiefly in a restrained longing of the
heart, in a pure remembrance of the beloved one.

One of the best known rhymes dates from 1120 and reads as follows:

                   Du bist min, ih bin din:
                   des solt du gewis sin.
                   du bist beslozzen
                   in minem herzen;
                   verlorn ist das sluzzelin:
                   du musst immer darinne sin.

                   Thou art mine, I am thine!
                   Pray, what could be just as fine?
                   Thou art enclosed
                   Within my heart;
                   The key is lost, so, as it were—
                   Thou must now stay forever there.



  After a painting by B. Bruene.

Among the most beautiful poems, written in praise of women, we also find
the “May-song” of Walter von der Vogelweide. In modern German it reads
as follows:

      “Wenn die Blumen aus dem Grase dringen,
      Gleich als lachten sie hinauf zur Sonne
      Des Morgens früh an einem Maientag,
      Und die kleinen Vöglein lieblich singen
      Ihre schönsten Weisen, welche Wonne
      Böt’ wohl die Welt, die mehr ergötzen mag,
      Ist’s doch wie im Himmelreiche.
      Fragt ihr, was sich dem vergleiche,
      So sag’ ich was viel wohler noch
      Des öftern meinen Augen tat,
      Und immer tut, erschau ich’s noch:
      Denkt ein edles schönes Fräulein schreite
      Wohlgekleidet und bekränzt hernieder
      Unter Leuten froh sich zu ergehen,
      Hochgemut im höfischen Geleite.
      Züchtig um sich blickend und durch Anmut glänzend,
      Wie Sonne unter Sternen anzusehen.
      Welche Wonne käme gleich
      Solchen Weibes Huldgestalt?
      Der Mai mit allen Wundergaben
      Kann doch nichts so wonnigliches haben
      Als ihren minniglichen Leib.
      Wir lassen alle Blumen steh’n
      Und blicken nach dem werten Weib.”

      When from the sod the flowerets spring,
      And smile to meet the sun’s bright ray,
      When birds their sweetest carols sing,
      In all the morning pride of May,
      What lovelier than the prospects there?
      Can earth boast anything more fair?
      To me it seems an almost heaven,
      So beauteous to my eyes that vision bright is given.

      But when a lady chaste and fair,
      Noble, and clad in rich attire,
      Walks through the throng with gracious air,
      As sun that bids the stars retire,—
      Then where are all thy boastings, May?
        What hast thou beautiful and gay,
      Compared with that supreme delight?
      We leave the loveliest flowers, and watch that lady bright.



  After a drawing by F. A. Kaulbach.

Another German poet of the 13th Century was Heinrich von Meissen, better
known under the name “Frauenlob.” This sobriquet he received because he
sang much in praise of women, as for instance:

            “O Frau, du selten reicher Hort,
            Dass ich zu dir hie sprech’ aus reinem Munde.
            Ich lob’ sie in des Himmels Pfort’;
            Ihr Lob zu End’ ich nimmer bringen kunnte.
            Dess lob’ ich hier die Frauen zart mit Rechten,
            Und wo im Land ich immer fahr’
            Muss stets mein Herz für holde Frauen fechten.”

And at another time he sings:

              “Ich lob’ die Frau für des Spiegel’s Wonne:
              Dem Manne bringt sie grosse Freud’;
              Recht als die klare Sonne
              Durchleucht’ den Tag zu dieser Zeit,
              Also erfreut die Frau des Mann’s Gemüte”—

When in 1318 he died, in Mayence, the women of that city, in
appreciation of his devotion to their cause, carried his coffin solemnly
to the cathedral, in the cloisters of which he was buried.

One of the most beautiful love-songs ever written dates from 1350.
Having outlasted the centuries it is still sung and appreciated to-day
wherever German is spoken.

                    Ach wie ist’s möglich dann
                    Dass ich dich lassen kann,
                    Hab dich von Herzen lieb,
                    Das glaube mir.

                    Du hast die Seele mein
                    So ganz genommen ein
                    Dass ich kein’ and’re lieb’
                    Als dich allein.

                    Blau blüht ein Blümelein,
                    Das heisst Vergiss-nicht-mein;
                    Dies Blümlein leg’ an’s Herz
                    Und denk’ an mich.

                    Wär ich ein Vögelein,
                    Bald wollt’ ich bei dir sein;
                    Fürcht’ Falk’ und Habicht nicht,
                    Flög’ gleich zu dir.

                    Schöss’ mich ein Jäger tot,
                    Fiel ich in deinen Schoss;
                    Sähst du mich traurig an,
                    Gern stürb’ ich dann.

                    How can I leave thee so?
                    How can I bear to go?
                    That thou hast all my heart:
                    Trust me, mine own!

                    Thou hast this heart of mine
                    So closely bound to thine
                    None other can I love
                    But thee alone.

                    Blue is a floweret,
                    ’Tis called Forget-me-not,
                    Wear it upon thy heart
                    And think of me!

                    Flower and hope may die,
                    Rich, dear, are you and I,
                    Our love can’t pass away,
                    Sweetest, believe.

                    If I a bird could be,
                    Soon would I speed to thee,
                    Falcon nor hawk I’d fear
                    Flying to thee.

                    When by the fowler slain
                    I in thy lap should lie,
                    Thou sadly shouldst complain,
                    Gladly I’d die.

How deep-seated the respect for woman was among the German people in
those times is also shown by the reception extended to Isabella, the
sister of King Henry II. of England. When in 1235 she arrived at
Cologne, to become the bride of Emperor Frederick II. ten thousand
citizens, headed by all the clergy in full ornate, went out to greet her
with joyful songs. While all the bells were ringing, children and young
girls bestrewed the bride’s path with flowers.

From Cologne the bride went by boat up the River Rhine to Castle
Stolzenfels. Here she was met by the Emperor, who received his betrothed
on bended knee. From there both went to Worms, where the wedding was
celebrated with extraordinary splendor.—



  After a painting by L. Herterich.

Among the nobility as well as among the patricians weddings were great
feasts, which extended over weeks and to which all relatives and friends
from near and far were invited. After the priest had given his blessing
to the young couple, the servants prepared the banquet table. Bridegroom
and bride, occupying the place of honor, sat side by side on the
beautiful bridal chair, eating and drinking from the same plate and the
same goblet, to indicate, that now they regarded themselves as one soul
and one body.

If the young couple belonged to the nobility, the bridegroom led his
bride to his castle in a pompous cavalcade. A number of shield-bearers,
bedecked with flowers and ribbons, rode ahead, followed by a band of
musicians and singers. Then came the bridal pair on horseback, as well
as the parents of the bride, and the attendants. Such a cavalcade was
hailed everywhere, especially in those villages which belonged to the
dominion of the young nobleman. At the gate of the castle, however, the
parents of the bridegroom and all the other inhabitants of the castle
were waiting to welcome the new mistress with all honor.

It must be said emphatically, that the great respect paid to their women
by the Germans was indeed well deserved. For the majority of the German
women were not merely good housekeepers, affectionate wives and loving
mothers, but at the same time patronesses of everything that is
beautiful. It was for them, that the homes became comfortable and
artistic, as most of those exquisitely carved chests, buffets, tables,
chairs and beds, which are now the show-pieces of our museums, were
ordered by rich women fond of art. They adorned the cupboards of their
cozy and paneled rooms with costly vessels of crystal and silver; they
covered the floors with fine rugs and hung the walls with tapestries,
etchings and paintings of famous masters.

This taste for the beautiful would not allow the exterior of the houses
to be neglected. Carvings, paintings and flowers were seen everywhere;
even the most insignificant objects, such as the weather-vanes on the
roof, and the brass-knockers on the doors were ornamented.



The close contact which, during the middle ages, existed between Germany
and Italy also secured better conditions for the women of the latter
country. The most remarkable change came, however, during the 14th and
the 15th centuries, with that remarkable intellectual revolution known
as the Renaissance.

This movement, one of the most significant in the evolution of woman,
originated in Italy at a time when the whole country was suffering from
ecclesiastic and feudal despotism. It was then that men and women of
high standing, striving for greater spiritual freedom, became attracted
by the almost forgotten works of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Seneca,
Cicero, and other authors of the classic past. It is to the glory of
Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and other poets of Italy to have revived
interest in these literary treasures. Eager to unlock these rich stores
of beauty and wisdom, they collected the precious manuscripts and
established libraries and museums for their preservation.

Many noblemen, patricians and merchant-princes, inspired by this sacred
thirst for learning, and being aware that this effort was made in behalf
of the emancipation of enslaved intelligence, aided the movement by
their wealth. The art of printing with movable types, invented in 1450
by Johannes Gutenberg in Mayence, and introduced into Italy, France and
Spain by German printers, made it possible to reproduce what the
collectors had recovered. So learning remained no longer the pursuit of
monks and recluses only, but became fashionable and pervaded all
classes. Professors of classic literature and of humanism began to
journey from city to city, opening schools and lecture-rooms, or taking
engagements as tutors in the families of the princes, noblemen, and
wealthy merchants.

The universities, founded at Bologna, Padua, Salerno and various other
places, gave special attention to classical education and humanism. And,
strange to say, all these schools and universities admitted women on
equal terms with men. The number of women, who availed themselves of
this privilege, may have been small, but evidently the way was clear.
There were even several ladies, who acquired the degrees of doctor and
professor of Greek language and literature, or of civil and canon law.
Among these learned women were =Britisia Gozzadina=, who held a chair in
the university of Bologna; and =Olympia Morata=, who, with her German
husband, came to Heidelberg, where the chair for Greek at the university
was offered to her.

It was this revival of antique learning, art and science, and its
application to the literature of the 16th Century, that shattered the
narrow mental barriers imposed by mediæval orthodoxy.

The stimulating movement met with full success, when a number of Italian
princesses, in sincere enthusiasm, took the leadership. Among these
ladies were =Elisabeth Gonzaga=, Duchess of Urbino; =Isabella d’Este=,
Marchioness of Mantua; =Caterina Sforza=, Countess of Forli; =Veronica
Gambara=, Countess of Corregio; =Lucrezia Borgia=, Duchess of Ferrara;
the poetess =Lucrezia Tornabuoni= of Florence, and =Cassandra Fidelis=,
“the pride and glory of Venice.” But above all stood the famous
=Vittoria Colonna=, Marchioness Pescara, one of the most wonderful women
of these great times.

Ariosto said of her: “She has more eloquence and breathes more sweetness
than all other women, and gives such force to her lofty words that she
adorns the heavens in our day with another sun. She has not only made
herself immortal by her beautiful poems and style, than which I have
heard none better, but she can raise from the tomb those of whom she
speaks or writes, and make them live forever.”

Michael Angelo, to whom she was a close friend as well as an
inspiration, and a polar star, wrote: “By her genius I was raised toward
the skies; in her soul my thought was born; without wings, I flew with
her wings.”

Such exceptional women made their courts and drawing rooms the gathering
places of the most refined and beautiful ladies of the time, of great
artists like Raphael Sanzio, Leonardo da Vinci, Michael Angelo, Titian,
Corregio and Bellini, of famous authors, poets and philosophers like
Tasso, Ariosto, Bembo, and of distinguished statesmen, dignitaries and
men of the world. They met here to listen to interesting debates about
Humanism, the new doctrine, that man must endeavor to reconstitute
himself as a free being, and throw off the shackles, that held him the
thrall of theological despotism. They also read the classic
philosophers, enjoyed the inspiring works of composers, or harkened to
the wonderful accounts of daring discoverers, just returned from
adventurous expeditions to India and the New World.

Most attractive affairs were the festivals of the Roses, held in spring.
Then poets and poetesses contested with their latest songs, rondos and
sonnets, to be awarded laurel-wreaths or roses of gold and silver.

It was at such gatherings that intimate friends united sweet discourses
and platonic adoration, as shown in the following charming poem, written
in those idyllic times:

                “Donne e donzelle e giovanette accorte
                rallegrando si vanno a le gran feste
                d’amor si punte e deste
                che par ciascuna che d’amar appaghi
                e l’altre a punto in gonnellette corte
                ginocano a l’ombra delle gran foreste,
                tanto leggiadre e preste,
                quai solean ninfe stare appresso i laghi
                e in giovanetti vaghi
                veggio seguire e donnear costoro
                e talora danzare a mano a mano.”

Translated these rhymes mean: “I behold lovely women and maidens as they
joyfully hurry to the great feast. Struck and awakened by love they
flourish with sweet desire. I see them at play in the shadows of the
forest, and running with flowing garments, agile and graceful like
nymphs at the border of the lakes. Bright young men follow these sweet
women to amorous play. Here and there some of these happy couples
disappear, wandering hand in hand.”

It is difficult for us, to realize the great changes brought about by
this movement in social manners as well as in the position of women. “To
be a gentleman,” so J. A. Symonds says in his book “Renaissance in
Italy,” “meant at this epoch to be a man acquainted with the rudiments
at least of scholarship, refined in diction, capable of corresponding or
of speaking in choice phrases, open to the beauty of the arts,
intelligently interested in archæology, taking for his models of conduct
the great men of antiquity rather than the saints of the church. He was
also expected to prove himself an adept in physical exercises and in the
courteous observances which survived from chivalry.”

What was expected of a lady of rank we learn from a very interesting
booklet, written in 1514 by Count Baldassare Castiglione, entitled
“Libro del Cortegiano.” According to this “Manual for Courtiers” a lady
should not be inferior to her husband in intellectual accomplishment and
be able to read and write Latin. In classic literature as well as in
music and arts she should be versed to such an extent as to have a
correct judgment of her own; while she should possess individuality, her
behavior should be easy but graceful and blameless. It was also expected
that she should cultivate her personal merits and beauty. “Beauty,” so
the manual says, “is of far greater importance to a lady than to a
gentleman, because it is a divine gift which loses its charm when
connected with an unworthy person. In her whole appearance, in her
words, actions and attitude a lady must remain different from man. While
virility should distinguish him, a lady should never try to copy him and
be masculine. By nature woman is not inferior to man, therefore she
should not imitate him. Both sexes are created to enjoy equal rights,
but each sex has its own and individual right.”—



  After a painting by Jacques Wagrez.

From Italy the Revival of Learning with its new conceptions of
philosophy and religion spread to France, Germany, the Netherlands, and
England, stimulating everywhere great intellectual life and

In France it was ushered in by =Christine de Pisan=, the first French
lady of the 14th Century who, at least in prose, gave evidence of a
finished literary perception. In her works, which were often copied, she
tried to rouse the self-respect of women by informing them about their
sphere and duties. By her work “Cité des Dames” she made them acquainted
with the character of famous women of the past, and endeavored to
inspire their minds in order that they might join in the ethical efforts
of the time.

Christine de Pisan was perhaps also the first woman, who opened a sharp
protest against the narrow views many men of her time had in regard to
woman’s abilities and position. Defying the prejudice of woman’s
inferiority, she gained a complete victory in her literary skirmishes
over several clergymen of high standing.

In Germany the cities of Nuremberg, Augsburg, Strassburg and Basel
became the centers of learned societies, who gathered around scholars
like Schedel, Pirckheimer, Agricola, Peutinger, Reuchlin and Brant. Here
also Dürer, Holbein, Cranach, Schongauer and Vischer enriched the world
with works of art that rank among the greatest of the Middle Ages. But
most important of all, in Germany that great religious movement started
which was in truth the Teutonic Renaissance: the Reformation, in which
Luther, Melanchton, Hutten and Erasmus were the leading spirits.

Kindred movements were started in Switzerland by Zwingli, in France by
Lefevre d’Estaples, Berquin and Calvin; in England by Wycliffe, Bilney,
Cranmer and Cromwell.

While so numerous men and women strove for greater physical and
intellectual liberty, ecclesiastic despotism, to prevent anybody from
thinking independently, denounced all free thinkers as heretics who must
be exterminated by fire and sword. The life of many brilliant men and
women ended at the stake or on the scaffold. But far greater numbers
perished through obscure superstition, for the spread of which the
Church was in the first place responsible.




  After a painting by F. Piloty.


The belief in witchcraft, witches, evil spirits and devils is as old as
humanity. It prevailed among all primeval people as well as among all
nations of the classic past and the middle ages. It still exists among
many nations who call themselves civilized. Witches have been and are
feared as persons, who maintain intercourse with evil spirits, demons or
devils. They are believed to be able, through the assistance of these
spirits, of inflicting injury on other people, who attract their dislike
and hatred. In former times people were convinced, that such witches
could transform themselves into animals, clouds, water, rocks, trees or
anything else; that they could cause disastrous thunderstorms, hail,
invasions of grasshoppers, whirlwinds and droughts; that they could
steal the dew and the rain, hide the moon and the stars, and produce
plagues in men and cattle.

From the Hebrews, who were firm believers in witchcraft and sorcery,
this superstition was handed down to the early Christians, and with the
extension of Christianity, it affected all other European nations. The
earliest ecclesiastical decree against witchcraft appears to have been
that of Ancyra, 315 A. D., condemning soothsayers to five years’
penance. In canon law the Decretum subjected them to excommunication as
idolators and enemies of Christ. And in accordance with the command of
Moses: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live,” all women suspected of
witchcraft were killed.

Later on the Popes John XXII. and Eugene IV. issued bulls exhorting all
Christians to greater diligence “against heretics as well as the human
agents of the Prince of Darkness, and especially against those who have
the power to produce bad weather.” To exterminate these enemies of the
Holy Faith all fighting forces of the church were set in motion, among
them an institution, which had been founded in Spain during the 12th
Century: the Inquisition.

As its name, derived from the Latin “inquirere,” indicates, it was the
office of this institution to inquire about, or spy into all sins
committed against the Holy Faith and the authority of the church, and to
deliver witches as well as heretics to the proper authorities for

Confirmed and sanctioned by the Popes, this Inquisition had already
performed excellent work during the crusades against the Albigenses and
Waldenses. But the most vigorous crusade against witchcraft began when
in 1484 Pope Innocent VIII. published his bull “Summis desiderantes
affectibus,” of which Andrew D. White in his “History of the Warfare of
Science with Theology” has said that of all documents, ever issued, this
has doubtless caused the greatest shedding of innocent blood.

By this bull several professors of theology were appointed as
inquisitors for large parts of Germany, with full power to prevent the
further spread of heresy and witchcraft. The clergy as well as all other
authorities were warned that these inquisitors must not be hindered in
any way nor by anyone. “All who try to do so, will be, whatever office
they may hold, subdued by excommunication, suspension, interdict and
other still more terrible punishments, without any appeal: and if
necessary, they shall be turned over to the civil authorities. It shall
not be permitted to anyone to act wantonly contrary to our message.
Whoever may try to do so, should know that he directs upon himself the
wrath of Almighty God as well as of the Apostles Peter and Paul.”

Under the authority of this bull the inquisitors opened in Germany not
only a systematic crusade against witchcraft, but at the same time
prepared a manual, the Malleus Maleficarum, or “the Witch-Hammer,” which
became the great text-book on procedure in all witchcraft cases. Never
before had a volume been published that contained an equal amount of
idiotic superstition. And never before nor after has any book caused
more unnecessary suffering, misery, and disaster. When J. Scherr, one of
the foremost historians of Germany, said that this bungling composition
was written with the venom of monks, who had become crazy with violent
fanaticism, voluptuousness, avarice and the passion for cruelty, he
spoke only too true.

Of the unfortunate human beings, who fell victims to this madness, the
overwhelming majority were women.

In fact, the authors of the “Witch-Hammer” boldly asserted, that
witchcraft is more natural to women than to men, on account of the
inherent wickedness of their hearts. “What else is woman but a necessary
evil, a domestic danger, an attractive temptation, and a natural
mischief, painted with nice colors? According to her mind woman seems to
belong to another species than man. She is more voluptuous, as is proven
by many immodest and lustful acts. This fault became apparent in the
creation of the first woman, who was formed out of a crooked rib.”

The inquisitors go on to explain: “Witchcraft is the most unpardonable
among all acts of heresy and sins. Generally heretics are punished very
severely. If they do not recant, they are burned. If they change for the
better, they are imprisoned for life. But such dealing is not rigorous
enough for witches. They must be annihilated, even if they regret their
sins and announce their readiness to return to our Christian faith.
Because the sins of the witches are far greater than the sins of the
fallen angels and of the first men.”

After having made these statements, the authors of the “Witch-Hammer”
explain what witches are able to do to their unsuspecting fellow-men in
violation to the rules of the church.

Decency forbids the translation and reprinting of those passages which
deal with the character of the obscene acts, charged to witches. We must
confine ourselves to the remark that they were accused of sexual
intercourse with innumerable devils, and that, in describing the various
forms of such intercourse, the authors of the “Witch-Hammer” revealed
their own infernal depravity.

To point out only a few of the countless crimes ascribed to witches: it
was asserted that witches, disguised as midwives, killed unborn children
and tormented the unfortunate mothers by sharp thorns, bones and pieces
of wood, produced in their wombs. Other witches, by looking at mothers
and cows, made them dry; they also prevented milk from being churned
into butter. By dipping brooms into water and swinging them in the air,
numerous witches were accused of having caused terrible thunderstorms.
Witches also stopped springs, wells and rivers from flowing; others
caused an invasion of earthworms, mice, locusts, and other vermin.

To remain undetected in the performance of such hellish tricks, the
witches transformed themselves into dogs, cats, owls, bats and other

But the most horrible crime imputed to witches, was, that during certain
nights they would go up chimneys and ride on broomsticks, goats, or pigs
through the air to some bald hill, to take part in the celebration of
the Witch-Sabbath. Here they would meet their master, Satan, whose upper
half is that of a hairy man with a pale face and round fiery eyes. On
his forehead he has three horns, the middle one serving as a lantern and
radiating light similar to that of the full moon. The lower half of
Satan’s body is that of a buck, but the tail and the left foot are those
of a cow, while the right foot has the hoof of a horse. Assisted by
innumerable devils of lower degrees Satan would preside over the
Sabbath, during which the most sacred ceremonies of the church were
ridiculed. Having read the Mass, he would administer the Devil’s
Sacraments and the Devil’s Supper, after which the whole assemblage
would indulge in the most obscene orgies.

Even more nauseating volumes on witchcraft were published in Italy,
Spain, France and the Netherlands. Their authors had wrenched the most
insane confessions from tortured women about their carnal intercourse
with the Prince of Hell and with hosts of other evil spirits.
Notwithstanding the absurdity of such confessions they were believed by
the superstitious priests as well as by the people, because the Popes
and all other dignitaries of the church approved of such books and
summoned every true Christian to join in the universal warfare upon

As superstition, like hysteria and other mental diseases, is contagious,
it cannot surprise us that the belief in witches also affected the
countries in which the Reformation had taken root. We must consider that
in these times education was still confined to a few. It was a privilege
of the wealthy and of a small number of distinguished thinkers. Even
these stood entirely under the influence of the Bible, and they
believed, as the example of Luther proves, in the corporal existence of
the devil and evil spirits. Among the common people, who grew up in
blind credulity, enlightenment made very slow progress.

Thus, all Christianity became polluted with superstition and the belief
in witchcraft. Furthermore, from the European countries it spread to
every Spanish, French, Dutch and English colony founded in different
parts of the world.

But there is also another explanation for the passionate zeal developed
by the inquisitors. By the trials for witchcraft the church as well as
the inquisitors and other officials grew enormously rich, as all
property of the witches and their families was confiscated under the
pretense that the taint of witchcraft hung to everything that had
belonged to the condemned. If such property should remain, in the hands
of their relatives it might cause them all kinds of misfortune and
deliver them also into the hands of Satan.

Where thus suspicion, ignorance and avarice were lying in wait, no woman
was sure of her life for one hour. No matter what her social position
might be, the slightest grounds of suspicion, or the slandering
denunciation by some enemy was sufficient to deliver her into the power
of the inquisitors.

Generally the proceedings began with searching the body of the suspected
witch for the mark of Satan, as it was asserted that all who consorted
with devils had some secret mark about them, in some hidden place on
their bodies, as, for instance, on the inside of the lips, between the
hair of the eyebrows, in the hollows of the arm, inside of the thigh, or
in still more private parts, from whence Satan drew nourishment. To find
these marks, was the task of the “Witch-Prickers,” who, after divesting
the supposed witch of all clothing, minutely examined all parts of her
body. If they found a mole or another peculiar blemish, they pricked it
with a needle. If the place proved insensitive and did not bleed, this
was an undeniable proof that the person had sold herself to the devil,
and that she must be turned over to the inquisitors.

Then these human tigers began to ask questions, suggesting satisfactory
answers, and if these answers were not equal to a confession of guilt,
the prisoner was subjected to tortures which sooner or later surely
brought out such answers and in such language as was suggested to her by
the inquisitors. And these answers were given though the poor creature
knew that they would send her to the stake or scaffold.

To indicate the horrible sufferings, that hundreds of thousands of
delicate and aged women had to go through, a few of the many implements
of torture may be described. Robert G. Ingersoll in his great lecture
“The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child” has said about them:

“I used to read in books how our fathers persecuted mankind. But I never
appreciated it. I read it, but it did not burn itself into my soul. I
did not really appreciate the infamies that have been committed in the
name of religion, until I saw the iron arguments that Christians used. I
saw the Thumb-screw—two little pieces of iron, armed on the inner
surface with protuberances, to prevent their slipping; through each end
a screw uniting the two pieces. And when some person denied the efficacy
of baptism or her guilt of witchcraft, then they put his thumb between
these pieces of iron and in the name of love and forgiveness, began to
screw these pieces together. When this was done most men said “I will
confess!” Probably I should have done the same and I would have said:
“Stop! I will admit that there is one god or a million, one hell or a
billion; suit yourselves; but stop!”—

“But there was now and then a person who would not swerve the breadth of
a hair. Heroism did not excite the respect of our fathers. The person
who would not confess or recant was not forgiven. They screwed the
thumb-screws down to the last pang, and then threw their victim into
some dungeon, where, in the throbbing silence and darkness, he might
suffer the agonies of the fabled damned. This was done in the name of
love—in the name of mercy—in the name of the compassionate Christ!

“I saw, too, what they called the Collar of Torture. Imagine a circle of
iron, and on the inside a hundred points almost as sharp as needles.
This argument was fastened about the throat of the sufferer. Then he
could not walk, nor sit down, nor stir without the neck being punctured
by these points. In a little while the throat would begin to swell, and
suffocation would end the agonies.

“I saw another instrument, called the Scavenger’s Daughter. Think of a
pair of shears with handles, not only where they now are, but at the
points as well, and just above the pivot that unites the blades, a
circle of iron. In the upper handles the hands would be placed; in the
lower the feet; and through the iron ring, at the center, the head of
the victim would be forced. In this condition, he would be thrown prone
upon the earth, and the strain on the muscles produced such agony that
insanity would in pity end his pain.”

“I saw the Rack. This was a box like the bed of a wagon, with a windlass
at each end, with levers, and ratchets to prevent slipping; over each
windlass went chains; some were fastened to the ankles of the sufferer;
others to his wrists. And then priests, clergymen, divines, saints,
began turning these windlasses, and kept turning until the ankles, the
knees, the hips, the shoulders, the elbows, the wrists of the victim
were all dislocated, and the sufferer was wet with the sweat of agony.
And they had standing by a physician to feel his pulse. What for? To
save his life? Yes. In mercy? No; simply that they might rack him once

“This was done, remember, in the name of civilization; in the name of
law and order; in the name of mercy; in the name of religion; in the
name of the most merciful Christ.”

Christian people in England had invented a machine called the “Witches’
Bridle.” It was so constructed that by means of a loop which passed over
the victim’s head, a piece of iron having four points or prongs was
forcibly thrust into the mouth. Two of these prongs pressed against the
tongue and palate, the other outward to the cheeks. This infernal
instrument was secured by a padlock. At the back of the collar was fixed
a ring, by which to attach the witch to a staple in the wall of her
cell. Thus “bridled,” and day and night watched over by some person
appointed by her inquisitors, the unhappy creature, after a few days of
such torture, maddened by misery and pain, would be brought to the point
of confessing anything in order to be rid of her wretched life.

But thumb-screws, the collar, the scavenger’s daughter, the rack and the
bridle were not the only means of inflicting pain devised by the
ingenuity of cruelty. There was also the “Spider,” a diabolic implement
with curved claws, for tearing out a woman’s breast. There were the iron
Spanish Boots, the inner sides of which were set with points. After
these machines had been placed around the lower legs of the victim they
were screwed so tightly that often the shin-bones were crushed. To
increase the horrible pain the torturer from time to time knocked with a
hammer on the screws, so that sharp shocks like strokes of lightning
shot through the victim’s body.

Another implement was an iron band which was fastened around the head
and screwed tight and tighter until the eyes of the maltreated person
protruded and she went almost crazy.

If the rack had not brought confession, the inquisitors ordered the

After the writhing sufferer’s hands had been tied to the back, a rope,
running over a pulley on the ceiling, was fastened to the hands. Then,
by pulling the rope, the body of the victim was slowly lifted until the
contorted and dislocated arms stood over the head, while the feet were
high above the floor. To render such torment more severe, heavy stones
were fastened to the feet, and now and then the body was allowed to drop
suddenly, only to be lifted again after a while. In this dangling
position the heretic or witch was often left for hours, while the
tormentors sat in some nearby saloon over their ale and wine.

There were many other methods of torment, each more cruel than the
others, among them the gradual pouring of water drop by drop on a
particular part of the head or body, or the pouring of water onto a
piece of gauze in the back of the throat, thus gradually forcing the
gauze into the stomach. Boiling hot oil, burning sulphur and pitch, or
molten lead were poured on the naked body, or the poor creatures were
incessantly pricked and prodded in their dungeons so that they could not
rest a second for weeks at a time, until they were finally driven to
despair and madness.

No periods in human history are more terrible, revolting and depressing
to contemplate than these times of the Inquisition and of persecution
for witchcraft. The student, who has courage enough, to go through the
blood-stained documents of these dreadful times, must feel as Ingersoll
felt when he said:



  After a painting by H. Steinheil.

“Sometimes, when I read and think about these frightful things, it seems
to me that I have suffered all these horrors myself. It seems sometimes,
as though I had stood upon the shore of exile and gazed with tearful
eyes toward home and native land; as though my nails had been torn from
my hands, and into the bleeding quick needles had been thrust; as though
my feet had been crushed in iron boots; as though I had been chained in
the cell of the Inquisition and listened with dying ears for the coming
footsteps of release; as though I had stood upon the scaffold and had
seen the glittering axe fall upon me; as though I had been upon the rack
and had seen, bending above me, the white faces of hypocrite priests; as
though I had been taken from my fireside, from my wife and children,
taken to the public square, chained, as though fagots had been piled
about me; as though the flames had climbed around my limbs and scorched
my eyes to blindness, and as though my ashes had been scattered to the
four winds, by all the countless hands of hate.”

From the records of trials for witchcraft still preserved in the
archives of many European cities, it appears that the majority of
victims were aged women; very frequently they had reared families and
spent their youth and beauty in this self-denying work. But there are
also many cases of the torturing of mere children; in several such cases
little girls of seven and nine years gave affirmative answers to
questions, as to whether they had held sexual intercourse with the
devil. They even admitted to have given birth to children in consequence
of such intercourse. A record covering the years 1627, 1628 and January,
1629, states that during this period in Wurzburg, Bavaria, one hundred
and sixty-three persons were tortured, and burnt at the stake. Among
them were seventy-two women, and twenty-six children under fourteen
years. Among the latter were little girls of nine years or less, and one
was a little blind girl.

On March 7, 1679, in Heimfels, Tyrol, a poor woman, Emerencia Pichler,
was brought before the inquisitors. In spite of her solemn pledges by
God and the Virgin that she knew nothing about witchcraft she was
submitted to torture. On the third day of her sufferings the inquisitors
wrung from the unfortunate creature a confession, that Satan had visited
her one day, wearing a blue jacket, a white vest and red socks. In his
company she made a flight to a high mountain, both riding on the same
oven-shovel. Here they took part in the witches-sabbath, during which
several infants were killed and eaten. The remains were used in
concocting all kinds of ointments and powders, to be used in the
producing of thunderstorms and plagues. The most horrible part of these
confessions was that the woman, when questioned about accomplices, in
her agonies named twenty-four persons, among them her own four children.
Of course the poor woman withdrew her confessions, when the tortures
were interrupted. Nevertheless she was found guilty. On her way to the
place of execution she was twitched with red-hot pincers and afterwards
burnt at the stake.

Her two oldest children, a boy of fourteen and a girl of twelve, were
beheaded and their bodies burnt to ashes on July 29, 1679. Their little
brother Sebastian, nine years old, and his sister Maria, six years old,
were terribly flogged and forced to attend the execution of their mother
and playmates.

Of all the other “accomplices,” named by the woman, not one escaped the
clutches of the inquisitors and death at the stake.

There are on record thousands and thousands of similar cases, many of
them horrible beyond belief and defying description. No country in
Europe escaped the visitation of such inquisitors, many of whom
journeyed from place to place in search of victims. In numerous cities
the arrival of these fiends was regarded with greater fear than famine
or pestilence, especially by women, against whom their malice was
chiefly directed. That there was cause for such fear, is proven by the
fact that in Treves seven thousand women lost their lives. In Geneva
five thousand were executed in a single month. And in Toulouse, France,
four hundred witches were burnt in one day, dying the horrible death by
fire for a crime which never existed save in the imagination of their
benighted persecutors.—

Among the countless women burnt as witches was also Jeanette d’Arc, who
to-day is glorified by the French nation as =Jeanne d’Arc=, the Maid of
Orleans, and who has been lately canonized. Born about 1411 at Dom-Remy,
a small village in the Champagne, she witnessed the conquest of Northern
France by the English. While brooding over this mishap, it became fixed
in her mind that she was destined to deliver France from these invaders.
This impression was strengthened by a number of visions, in which she
believed to see St. Michael, the archangel of judgments and of battles,
who commanded her to take up arms and hurry to the assistance of the
king. In February, 1429, she set out on her perilous journey to the
court of the Dauphin at Chinon. Here she succeeded in convincing the
king of the divinity of her mission, so that she was permitted to start
with an army of 5000 men for the relief of Orleans. Clothed like a man
in a coat of mail, and carrying a white standard of her own design,
embroidered with lilies and the image of God, she inspired her followers
with a religious enthusiasm. Favored by good luck she entered the
besieged city on the 29th of April, 1429, and by incessant attacks so
discouraged the enemy that they withdrew on the 8th of May. However, in
several other enterprises her luck failed, and on the 24th of May, after
an unsuccessful sortie, she was taken prisoner through treachery,
because, being pursued by the enemy, some Frenchmen shut the gates of
the fortress into which she should have escaped.

With her capture the halo of supernatural power that had surrounded her,
vanished. Accused of being a heretic and a witch, she was turned over to
the Inquisition for trial. Her examination lasted six days. Among other
insidious and indelicate questions on the subject of her visions she was
asked whether, when St. Michael appeared to her, he was naked, and if
she had entertained sexual intercourse with the devil. But no point
seemed graver to the judges than the sin of having assumed male attire.
The judges told her that according to the canons, those who thus change
the habit of their sex, are abominable in the sight of God.

The decision to which the inquisitors finally came, was that the girl
was wholly the devil’s; was impious in regard to her parents; had
thirsted for Christian blood, adhered to a king who was a heretic and
schismatic, and was herself a heretic, apostate and idolator. For all
these crimes she was sentenced to death, and burnt alive on the market
place of Rouen, May 30th, 1431.—

As has been stated already persecutions for witchcraft were not confined
to European countries, but were also carried on by Christian priests and
judges in all colonies established by Europeans on other continents. In
the British colonies of North America the most sensational trial for
witchcraft was that in Salem, Massachusetts, about which J. M. Buckley
in an article written for the Century Magazine (Vol. XLIII, pp. 408–422)
speaks as follows:

“The first settlers of New England brought across the Atlantic the
sentiments which had been formed in their minds in Great Britain and on
the Continent, as well as the tendencies which were the common heritage
of such an ancestry. They were a very religious, and also a credulous
people; having few books, no papers, little news, and virtually no
science; removed by thousands of miles and months of time from Old-World
civilization; living in the midst of an untamed wilderness, surrounded
by Indians whom they believed to be under the control of the devil, and
whose medicine-men they accounted wizards. Such a mental and moral soil
was adapted to the growth of witchcraft, and to create an invincible
determination to inflict the punishments pronounced against it in the
Old Testament; but the co-operation of various exciting causes was
necessary to a general agitation and a real epidemic.



“Salem witchcraft thus arose: The Reverend Mr. Parris, minister of the
church in Salem village, had formerly lived in the West Indies, and
brought some negro slaves back with him. These slaves talked with the
children of the neighborhood, some of whom could not read, while the
others had but little to read. In the winter of 1691–92 they formed a
kind of circle which met at Mr. Parris’ house, probably unknown to him,
to practice palmistry and fortune-telling, and learn what they could of
magic and necromancy.

“Before the winter was over some of them fully believed that they were
under the influence of spirits. Epidemic hysteria arose; physicians
could not explain their state; the cry was raised that they were
bewitched; and some began to make charges against those whom they
disliked of having bewitched them. In the end those of a stronger mind
among them became managers and plotters directing the rest at their
will. By the time public attention was attracted Mr. Parris had come to
the conclusion that they were bewitched and, having a theory to
maintain, encouraged and flattered them, and by his questions made even
those who had not believed themselves bewitched think that they were.

“From March, 1692, to May, 1693, about two hundred persons were
imprisoned. Of these some escaped by the help of friends, some by
bribing their jailors; a number died in prison, and one hundred and
fifty were set free at the close of the excitement by the proclamation
of the Governor. Nineteen were executed, among them George Burroughs, a
minister of the Gospel.

“When it is remembered that a number of these persons were among the
most pious and amiable of the people of Salem; that they were related by
blood, marriage, friendship, and Christian fellowship to many who cried
out against them, both as accusers and supporters of the prosecutions,
the transaction must be classed among the darkest in human history.”

Several historians have made attempts to ascertain the number of men,
women and children, who lost their lives through this abominable
superstition. O. Waechter, who published a book about this subject,
calculates that the number of victims must have been at least three
millions! Imagine, what a terrible amount of sighs, tears, and physical
and mental agonies this number represents!

                         Women in Modern Times.



                           WOMAN IN SLAVERY.

When our historians date the beginning of Modern Times from the
discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, they are fully justified,
as no other event has caused so many radical changes in the thoughts of
men as well as in all commercial and social conditions. The earlier
views about our terrestrial globe and its relation to the universe gave
place to new and far greater conceptions. Almost every day brought new
and astonishing disclosures in natural history, physics and other
spheres of science.

The end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th Century was also the
time of the Renaissance as well as of the Reformation, of a revival of
the wisdom of the classic past and of the rise and establishment of new
sublime ideas about God and the destiny of man.

It could not fail that in this period of spiritual fermentation and
inspiration the views about women, matrimony and woman’s rights likewise
underwent considerable changes. But before these new conceptions found
general acceptance many mediæval traditions, prejudices and customs had
to be overcome and cleared away.

While the discovery of America brought incredible riches to various
European nations, it caused nothing but misery and disaster to the
aborigines of the New World. And to many million Africans as well.

It must not be forgotten that the conquest of Mexico, Peru and other
rich parts of America inflamed the greed of inumerable adventurers, and
that these men, in order to wring gold and other treasures from the
natives, resorted to the most heartless cruelties. We also must call to
mind, that in company with these conquerors went hosts of monks and
priests of all orders, eager to convert the “heathen” to the “only true
creed.” Ruthlessly invading the temples of the “infidels,” they turned
the banner of the Cross, this beacon light of promise, into an awful
oriflame of war, spreading destruction and disaster. The well known
accounts, given by the Spanish bishop Las Casas, disclose among other
horrible events the fact—heretofore unheard of in human history—that
whole bands and tribes of American Indians, to evade the tyranny of
their European oppressors, slaughtered their own children, and then
committed suicide.

These Indians had been compelled not only to work in the gold mines and
in the pearl fisheries, but to perform all other labor that white men
were unable or unwilling to do. As under the cruel treatment of their
oppressors the natives rapidly dwindled away and whole islands became
depopulated the Portuguese as well as the Spaniards resorted to the
importation of negro slaves, whom they captured in Africa and brought to

It was not long before the profits, derived from this trade, attracted
the eyes of English adventurers. The first to become engaged in that new
branch of business, was William Hawkins. It was he who undertook the
first regular slave hunts to the coast of Guinea and opened that
shameful traffic in which England was engaged for nearly three
centuries. His son, John Hawkins, sailing under a charter of Queen
Elizabeth, continued the lucrative business and grew rich.

That this men-hunter imagined himself under the special protection of
the heavenly father appears from several entries in his log-book. When,
invading a negro village near Sierra Leone, he almost fell into
captivity himself and would have been exposed to the same fate that he
inflicted, without compunction, upon thousands of other unfortunate men
and women, he wrote: “God, who worketh all things for the best, would
not have it so, and by Him all escaped without danger; His name be
praised for it.” At another time, when his vessels were becalmed for a
long time in midocean and great suffering ensued: “But Almighty God, who
never suffereth His elect to perish, sent us the ordinarie Breeze, which
is the northwest wind.”

To what extent the name of Christianity was abused, we see from the fact
that Hawkins, when entering upon his greatest expedition with five ships
in 1567 sacrilegiously named his flagship “Jesus Christ.”

Because of the riches Hawkins brought to England, Queen Elizabeth
knighted him and granted him a coat of arms, showing, on a black shield,
a golden lion rampant over blue waves. Three golden doubloons above the
lions represented the riches Hawkins had secured for England. To give
due credit to the piety of this “nobleman,” there was in the upper
quartering of the shield a pilgrim’s scallop-shell, flanked by two
pilgrim’s staffs, indicating that Hawkins’ slave-hunts were genuine
crusades, undertaken in the name of Christianity. For a crest this
coat-of-arms shows the half-length figure of a negro, with golden
armlets on his arms, but bound and captive.

In an article entitled “The American Slave,” published in “Pearson’s
Magazine” for 1900, James S. Metcalf states that the slave trade quickly
developed to tremendous extent and that from 1680 to 1786 there were
carried from Africa to the British colonies in America 2,130,000 slaves,
men as well as women. This does not include the number, vastly larger,
taken to the Spanish and Portuguese colonies before, during and after
the same period.

The same author states, that the traffic in human flesh was a recognized
commerce at the London Exchange, and that, in 1771, the English alone
sent to Africa 192 ships equipped for the trade and with a carrying
capacity of 47,146 slaves per trip.

It was the tribal warfare among the aborigines of Africa that furnished
the slave dealers with the greater part of their human merchandise.
Small and unprotected villages were constantly in danger of being
attacked by powerful roving bands. When in 1872 the famous explorer
Nachtigal traveled through Central Africa, he witnessed a tragedy that
happened at the shores of Chad Lake. Strong forces of Bagirmis made an
assault on a negro village, to capture the inhabitants and carry them
off for slaves. Alarmed by their guards, the negroes, terror-stricken,
fled to some tree-huts, prepared for such emergency in a nearby forest.
Here they considered themselves safe. But unfortunately the enemies were
in possession of a few guns, with which they picked a number of the
fugitives from the trees like birds. Falling from the dizzy heights, the
wounded were hacked to pieces. After a while the cruel enemies succeeded
in constructing some rough ladders, by which the trees were scaled.
Unable to escape, many of the assaulted, preferring death to slavery,
threw themselves upon the ground below, where they perished.





The most desperate fight ensued for the tree-house of the chief. It took
several hours, before the enemies succeeded in reaching the lower
platform, where within a rude enclosure food, water, and even a few
goats had been hidden. Unable to hold this place, the chief with his two
wives and four children withdrew to the highest branches. From there he
defended his family with such ability, that the foes, after having
exhausted their supply in powder, were compelled to abandon the siege.—

The stronger portion of the captives made during such raids, were
shackled hand and foot to prevent escape. The remainder often were
killed and the flesh distributed among the victors, who, as a rule,
after such a raid formed a small encampment, lighted their fires and
gorged upon the human flesh. They then marched over to one of the
numerous slave-markets on the rivers or the coasts, where they exchanged
the captives with the slave-traders for beads, cloth, brass wire and
other trinkets.

Woe to those who became sick or exhausted during the long march to the
markets! If unable to stagger on any longer they were, to set an example
for the others, either butchered on the spot, or left behind to perish
by hunger and thirst, or to be torn by wild beasts.

In the further transportation of such kidnapped men and women no regard
was paid to their comfort. In the best of slave-ships the height between
decks in the quarters set aside for the living cargo was five feet and
eight inches. Even in these not all the slaves had so much head room.
Around the sides of the vessel, halfway up, ran a shelf, giving room for
a double row of slaves, one above and one below. This was stowed with
undersized negroes, including women, boys, and children. In the worst
class of slavers the space between decks was no more than three feet,
compelling the wretched occupants to make the entire journey in a
sitting or crouching position, as they were oftentimes, in fact most of
the times, so crowded together that lying down was an impossibility. In
fact, the more ingenious traders often so figured out the available
space that the slaves were packed in with their feet and legs across one
another’s laps. To prevent revolt, the men were manacled in couples with
leg irons and stowed below. The irons were fastened to the ceiling. As a
rule the women were not handcuffed but crowded into compartments under
grated hatches and locked doors. At sea there might be a faint
possibility of a breath of air’s penetrating into those quarters, but
under all circumstances the mortality among the slaves was frightful.

“In the literature of the slave trade,” says Metcalff, “the horrors of
the path of commerce stand out as prominently as the persecutions of the
Roman emperors in the history of Christianity. When the sea gives up its
dead there will come from this highway of cruelty a prodigious army of
martyrs to man’s inhumanity to man. The best authorities agree in
estimating that of all the slaves taken from Africa at least
one-eighth—some authorities say more than a quarter—died or were killed
in transit. It staggers the imagination to think of how thickly the
traffic in these helpless savages, continued through almost four
centuries, must have strewn with corpses the lower depths of the

“Of course it was necessary, if any part of the cargo was to be
delivered alive, that the negroes should occasionally be brought on deck
and exercised. This was done with a few at a time, although their
masters never went so far as to free even these from their irons. Often
it was found when a couple was to be brought up that one of them had
died and that his mate had spent hours, days even, in the stifling
atmosphere of between-decks, manacled to and in constant contact with a
corpse. It is small wonder that, as often happened, when the slaves were
brought on deck they began jumping overboard in couples, sooner than
return to the heat, thirst, stench, and filth of the hold, where the
scalding perspiration of one ran to the body of another and where men
were constantly dying in their full view. Sooner than endure these
tortures even the savage Africans sought refuge in death by starvation.
This was a contingency provided for in advance by the experienced
trader, and if the gentle persuasion of the thumb-screw failed to cure
the would-be suicide, the ships were always provided with a clever
device to compel the human animal to take the nourishment which kept in
him the life without which he ceased to possess any pecuniary value.
This instrument consisted of a pair of iron compasses, the legs of which
were driven into the mouth when closed and then forced open and held
open by the action of a screw. Even the African negro, stoic to the
pains incident to a life of savagery, would renounce the privilege of
death by starvation to escape the immediate agony of forcibly distended
jaws, especially when at the same time his thumbs were under the
pressure of the screw with blood exuding from their ends.”

Branded like cattle, the negroes, after their arrival in the American
harbor, were sold by auction. And now the slave was, as the Civil Code
of Louisiana said, “subject to the power of his master in such a manner
that the master may sell him, dispose of his person, and of his labor.
He can do nothing, possess nothing, nor acquire anything but that may
belong to his master.”

Of course this master had also the right to punish the slave for any
neglect or wrong. To be sure, there were laws against excessive
punishment, but as most of the plantations were far from the cities,
such laws were practically ineffective against those who wished to
violate them.

We quote once more J. S. Metcalff: “Almost every plantation had its
whipping post, consisting of an upright set in the ground with a short
crosspiece near the top. The thumbs or wrists of the negro to be whipped
were securely tied together, and placed around the upright above the
crosspiece, so that the toes barely touched the ground. Sometimes the
offending slaves were sent to the nearest jail to be whipped by the
jailor, who was an expert in his line of work, and provided with the
right kind of whips as well as a strong arm and an accurate eye to make
his blows inflict the most pain. In other cases, this official paid
regular visits to the plantation, and inflicted the punishments
accumulated since his preceding visit. Thus the terror of anticipation
was often added to the agony of realization. These events were occasions
on the plantations, and the other slaves were compelled to witness the
punishments and sufferings of their fellows as a deterrent to wrongdoing
on their own part. In the case of some offenders which seemed cardinal
against the foundation principles of slavery, such as striking a master,
engaging in a conspiracy with other slaves, or aiding a fugitive, the
punishments were made extraordinarily severe, and slaves from
surrounding plantations were obliged by their masters to gather to
witness them.

“A case of this latter sort was the one of a negro and his wife, who had
given their owner a severe beating. In spite of the fact that the first
cause of the trouble was the rejection by the woman of the master’s
advances, the offence was so flagrant that neighboring slave-owners
feared to let it go by without severe and public punishment. At the time
set the slaves from neighboring plantations were gathered, and the man
and woman fastened to posts near each other. The man was to receive a
hundred and fifty lashes and the woman a hundred. As the first strokes
fell on the man’s back and loins he gave no sound, but the agony
betrayed itself in the ashening of his dark skin, and in the involuntary
contortion of his features. Meanwhile the woman encouraged him with
crude expressions of pity and love. As the blows increased in number the
torture became unbearable, and the sound of the regularly landing lash
was punctuated with the shrieks of its agonized victim. Finally a
blessed unconsciousness came to his relief, and he hung from the post a
limp, unfeeling mass of bruised and bleeding flesh. While his back was
being washed, the whipping of the woman began. The first blows brought
shrieks of anguish from her lips, but as the whipping went on these
subsided into a murmur of sobs, prayers, and appeals for mercy. With the
exception of an occasional rest for the tired arm of the man wielding
the whip, her punishment was carried to its end without her losing
consciousness, although it was apparent that there had come some numbing
influence to her faculties closely akin to insensibility. The man had
now been restored to his senses and his punishment was resumed. When it
was finished the wounds of both were washed with salt water, to
intensify the effect of the blows, to prevent blood-poisoning and to
heal the wounds more quickly, so that the slaves could resume their
accustomed labor. This matter of the slave’s ability to work was always
taken into account, and we have one instance of two economical lady
slave-owners in Georgia who always inflicted their punishments Sunday
mornings, so that by Monday the slaves would be able to go into the

As the slave-holders were absolute masters over the negroes, they made
their dusky female slaves only too often the objects of their passions.
The effects of this intermingling were soon seen in all slave-holding
countries of America in the mixed character of the population, which,
gradually extending itself as time wore on, resulted in the race of the
mulattoes. From the intercourse of these again with the whites or among
themselves, innumerable shades of color sprang up, giving rise to the
distinctions of octoroons, quadroons, terceroons, quinteroons, etc. To
all these people, regular or irregular in birth, light or dark in color,
were given the various names of “people of color,” “sang melée,” or
“mulattoes.” Notwithstanding the fact, that some of these quadroons and
octoroons could hardly be distinguished from white people in appearance,
their condition followed always that of their mothers, and they were
therefore chattels to be bought or sold.

“On the plantations where negro children were brought up to be sold, it
was,” as Metcalff states, “not an unheard-of thing for a master to sell
his own son or daughter. In the break-up of family estates it sometimes
happened that the heir was compelled to sell his own half-brother or
half-sister. These relationships were seldom or never recognized.”

In the slave-markets of New Orleans and the other large cities the
personal appearance of the younger women was a decided element in fixing
their value. The languorous beauty of the Southern quadroon and octoroon
is famous the world over, and on the auction block and at private sale
they brought the highest prices.

The glory of having written the first formal protest against slavery and
its countless cruelties, belongs to a small band of Mennonites from
Germany, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1683, in the neighborhood of
which city they started a settlement called Germantown.

Becoming aware that in the colonies slaves were sold without the
disapproval of the Puritans and Quakers, who claimed to be defenders of
human rights, the Mennonites drew up a protest against slavery on
February 18th, 1688. It was the first written in any language. This
remarkable document, still preserved in the archives of the “Society of
Friends” in Philadelphia, was directed to the Quakers and reads as

“This is to ye Monthly Meeting at Richard Warrel’s. These are the
reasons why we are against the traffic of men Body, as followeth: Is
there any that would be done or handled at this manner? to be sold or
made a slave for all time of his life? How fearfull and fainthearted are
many on sea when they see a strange vessel, being afraid it should be a
Turk, and they should be taken and sold for slaves into Turkey. Now what
is this better done as Turks do? Yea rather it is worse for them, which
say they are Christians; for we hear that ye most part of such Negers
are brought hither against their will and consent; and that many of them
are stollen. Now, tho’ they are black, we cannot conceive there is more
liberty to have them slaves, as it is to have other white ones. There is
a saying, that we shall doe to all men, like as we will be done our
selves; making no difference of what generation, descent or colour they
are. And those who steal or robb men, and those who buy or purchase
them, are they not alike? Here is liberty of conscience, which is right
and reasonable; here ought to be likewise liberty of ye body, except of
evil-doers, which is another case. But to bring men hither or to robb
and sell them against their will, we stand against. In Europe there are
many oppressed for conscience sake; and here there are those oppressed
which are of a black colour. And we, who know that men must not commit
adultery, some doe commit adultery in others, separating wifes from
their husbands and giving them to others; and some sell the children of
those poor creatures to other men. Oh! doe consider well this things,
you who doe it, if you would be done at this manner, and if it is done
according Christianity? You surpass Holland and Germany in this thing.
This makes an ill report in all those countries of Europe, where they
hear off, that ye Quakers doe here handel men like they handel there ye
cattel. And for that reason some have no mind or inclination to come
hither, and who shall maintain this your cause or plaid for it? Truly we
can not do so, except you shall inform us better hereof, that Christians
have liberty to practice this things. Pray! What thing on this world can
be done worse towards us, then if men should robb or steal us away, and
sell us for slaves to strange countries, separating husbands from their
wifes and children. Being now this is not done at that manner, we will
be done at, therefore we contradict and are against this traffick of
menbody. And we who profess that it is not lawful to steal, must
likewise avoid to purchase such things as are stollen, but rather help
to stop this robbing and stealing if possible; and such men ought to be
delivered out of ye hands of ye Robbers and sett free as well as in
Europe. Then is Pennsylvania to have a good report, instead it hath now
a bad one for this sake in other countries. Especially whereas ye
Europeans are desirous to know in what manner ye Quackers doe rule in
their Province; and most of them doe look upon us with an envious eye.
But if this is done, well, what shall we say is done evil?

“If once these slaves (which they say are so wicked and stubborn men)
should joint themselves, fight for their freedom and handel their
masters and mastrisses as they did handel them before, will these
masters and mastrisses tacke the sword at hand and warr against these
poor slaves, like we are able to believe, some will not refuse to doe?
Or have these Negers not as much right to fight for their freedom, as
you have to keep them slaves?

“Now consider well this thing, if it is good or bad? and in case you
find it to be good to handel these blacks at that manner, we desire and
require you hereby lovingly, that you may inform us here in, which at
this time never was done, that Christians have such a liberty to do so,
to the end we shall be satisfied in this point, and satisfie likewise
our good friends and acquaintances in our natif country, to whom it is a
terrour or fairfull thing that men should be handeld so in Pennsylvania.

“This is from our Meeting at Germantown held ye 18. of the 2. month
1688. to be delivered to the monthly meeting at Richard Warrel’s.

                                               “gerret hendericks
                                               derick op de graeff
                                               Francis Daniell Pastorius
                                               Abraham op Den graeff.”

This document, set up by the humble inhabitants of Germantown, compelled
the Quakers to think. Becoming aware that the traffic in human beings
did not harmonize with the Christian religion, they introduced in 1711
an act to prevent the importation of negroes and Indians into
Pennsylvania. Later on they also declared themselves against the slave
trade. But as the Government found such laws inadmissible, the question
dragged along, until 150 years later, by Lincoln’s Emancipation
Proclamation, this black spot on the escutcheon of the United States was
wiped out.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The Germans of Pennsylvania were also compelled to protest against other
gross abuses, of which white men and women had become the victims. To
review early immigration into America means to open one of the blackest
pages of Colonial history. The constant wars, prevailing in Europe, the
horrible persecutions to which the followers of certain religious sects
were exposed, the frequent times of famine and pestilence led many
thousands of unhappy beings to sail for the New World, where such
sufferings would not be encountered. But the means of travel, then
existing, did not meet the demands. Vessels, fit for the transportation
of large numbers, were few and their accommodations extremely poor.
Authorities took no interest in the proper treatment of the emigrants.
Everything was left to the owners of the ships, who were responsible to

What sort of people were these shippers? Many were smugglers and
pirates, always on the lookout for prey. Others were slave-dealers,
making fortunes in trading negro-slaves. No doubt, the moral standard of
these gentlemen was very low. Do we wonder that many of these
unscrupulous men established also a regular trade in =white= slaves, for
which the increasing exodus from Europe to America opened most alluring
inducements. If smart enough, they would amass great wealth and would no
longer have to make the perilous voyage to Guinea, to kidnap black
people at the risk of their own lives. For the white slaves could be
seduced by a bait that had a flavor of high-spirited benevolence.

Pretending willingness to help all persons without means, the
ship-owners offered to give such persons credit for their passage across
the ocean, on condition that they would work for it after their arrival
in America, by hiring out as servants for a certain length of time to
colonists, who would advance their wages by paying the passage money to
the ship-owners. As the persons were redeeming themselves by performing
this service, they were therefore called “Redemptioners.”

With this harmless-looking decoy many thousands of men and women were
lured on to sign contracts, only to find out later that they had become
victims of villainous knaves and had to pay for their inexperience with
the best years of their lives.

The voyage across the ocean took as many weeks as it takes days at
present. The ship-holds were in such horrible condition that words fail
to describe them. And these dirty rooms were always packed beyond
capacity. The food was poor and insufficient. Some captains kept their
passengers on half rations from the day of the start, pretending that it
was necessary to prevent famine. In consequence of the poor nourishment
and the overcrowded quarters, all sorts of sickness prevailed and the
mortality was terrific. For medical help and all other services
excessive prices were charged. So it came that at the end of the journey
almost all the passengers were deeply in debt. According to their amount
and the physical condition of each immigrant the length of time was
fixed for which he or she should serve any person, willing to pay the
captain the amount of the immigrant’s debt. This servitude extended
always from four to eight years, and sometimes to more. The captains had
no difficulty in turning the bonds, signed by redemptioners, into cash.
Cheaper labor could be obtained nowhere, and for this reason the
colonists were always eager to secure the services of redemptioners. The
offers were made through the newspapers or at the “Vendu,” the place
where negroes were bought and sold. When applicants came, the
redemptioner was not allowed to choose a master or to express wishes
about the kind of work that would suit him. Members of the same family
must not object to separation. So it happened frequently that a husband
became parted from his wife or children, or children from their parents
for many years or for life. As soon as the applicant paid the debt of a
redemptioner, the latter was obliged to follow him. In case this master
did not need his servant any longer, he could hire, transfer or sell him
like chattel to someone else.

As in such a case the redemptioner received no duplicate of his
contract, the poor creature depended entirely upon the good will of his
new master, who had it in his power to keep him or her in servitude far
beyond the expiration of the true contract time. If any dispute arose, a
redemptioner enjoyed no greater protection than a negro, like whom he
was treated in many respects. If found ten miles away from home without
the written consent of his master, he would be regarded as a run-away
and submitted to heavy physical punishment. Persons guilty of hiding or
assisting such fugitives were fined 500 pounds of tobacco for each
twenty-four hours such fugitive had remained under their roof. Who
captured a run-away was entitled to a reward of 200 pounds of tobacco or
50 dollars. And to the run-away’s servitude ten days were added for
every twenty-four hours absent, to say nothing of the severe whipping he
was liable to get.

The redemptioners went through all sorts of experiences, according to
the different tempers of their masters. Some were lucky enough to find
good homes, where they were well treated. But many fell into the hands
of heartless, selfish people, who in their eagerness to get as much as
possible out of the redemptioners, literally worked them to death, to
say nothing of providing insufficient food, scanty clothing and poor
lodging. Many owners made use of the right to punish redemptioners so
frequently and so cruelly, that a law became necessary whereby it was
forbidden to apply to a servant more than ten lashes for each “fault.”

Female redemptioners were quite often exposed to lives of shame, which
some of the laws seemed to invite. For instance in Maryland a law was
passed in 1663 providing that any freeborn white woman, who married a
colored slave, should together with her offspring become the property of
the owner of that slave.

Originally this abominable law was intended to deter white women from
intermarriage with colored men. But many depraved colonists misused this
law purposely and compelled their white female servants by threat or
deceit to marry colored slaves, as the master then would legally secure
permanent possession of the white freeborn woman as well as the children
she might bear. Though everybody knew that such devilish tricks were
practiced extensively, this law remained in force until 1721, when a
peculiar incident led to its repeal. When Lord Baltimore, the founder of
Maryland, visited his province in 1681, he brought over an Irish girl,
Nellie, who had agreed to redeem the cost of passage to America by doing
service. Before her time ended, Lord Baltimore returned to England.
Prior to his departure he sold the unexpired term of Nellie’s service to
a resident of Maryland, who some weeks thereafter gave Nellie to one of
his negroes, making her thereby, together with two children that were
born, forever his slave. When Lord Baltimore heard of this, he caused
the abolishment of the law of 1663. But all efforts to release his
former servant and her children were in vain. The case dragged along for
years, until the courts decided, that Nellie and her children must
remain slaves, as the latter were born before the annulment of the law.

Incidents of similar character stirred the German citizens of
Philadelphia to revolt against the unjust treatment to which their
immigrant countrymen and women were subjected. At a meeting on Christmas
Day of 1764, they formed “=The German Society of Pennsylvania=,” with
the purpose of securing laws for the abolishment of all abuses which had
grown out of the treatment of immigrants. Such a law was secured on May
18th of the following year.

The “German Society of Pennsylvania” became the model for many similar
institutions in all parts of America. By uncovering evils and by
vigorous persecutions of guilty persons, by continuously framing and
recommending effective laws, these societies secured at last a better
treatment of the immigrants on the ocean as well as after landing. With
full justice these societies may be called the true originators of our
modern immigration laws.—

They also established the “Legal Aid Societies,” to assist poor people
in need of legal advice and help. As these institutions spread over
hundreds of cities of America as well as of Europe, we see that since
the Christmas meeting in Philadelphia in 1764 untold millions of people
have profited by the earnest work, begun by that small band of Germans,
who had the welfare of their poor countrymen at heart, and showed what
genuine Christmas spirit can do for humanity, if it is only put to a
proper purpose.

                  *       *       *       *       *

There existed yet another form of female slavery, the worst of all. With
the development of the feudal system in mediæval Europe, which made the
poor man, especially the peasant, dependent on the lord or owner of the
land he cultivated, the lords appropriated in time unlimited sway over
their vassals. Among other rights they claimed not only that to marry
him or her to whomsoever the lord might chose, but also absolute control
of the vassal’s newly wedded bride for the first three days and nights.
This custom, known by a variety of names, as “jus primæ noctis, droit de
cuissage,” “marchetta” or “marquette,” had the sanction of the state as
well as of the church and compelled newly married women to the most
dishonorable servitude. If the female serf pleased the lord he enjoyed
her, and it was from this custom, that the eldest son of the serf was
always held as the son of the lord, “as perchance it was he, who begot

If it should happen that the young bride did not meet the fancy of the
lord, he let her alone, but in such case the husband had to redeem her
by paying the lord a certain amount of money, the name of which betrayed
its nature.

Matilde Joslyn Gage in her able book “Woman, Church and State” has
devoted a whole chapter to the history of marquette and says:

“The seigneural tenure of the feudal period was a law of Christian
Europe more dishonorable than the worship of Astarte at Babylon. In
order to fully comprehend the vileness of marquette we must remember
that it did not originate in the pagan country many thousand years
since; that it was not a heathen custom transplanted to Europe with many
others adopted by the church, but that it arose in Christian countries a
thousand years after the origin of that religion, continuing in
existence until within the last century.”

She further states that in France even the Bishops of Amiens and the
canons of the cathedral of Lyons possessed the right over the women of
their vassals, and that in several counties of the Piccardy the curés
imitated the bishops and took the right of cuissage, when the bishop had
become too old to take his right. She also states, that “marquette began
to be abolished in France toward the end of the 16th Century, but still
existed in the 19th Century in the County of Auvergne, and that the
lower orders of the clergy were very unwilling to relinquish this usage,
vigorously protesting to their archbishops against the deprivation of
this right, declaring they could not be dispossessed.

“But finally the reproach and infamy connected with the ‘droit de
cuissage’ became so great, and the peasants became so recalcitrant over
this nefarious exaction, that ultimately both lords spiritual and lords
temporal, fearing for their own safety, commenced to lessen their

From a letter, reproduced in the same book, it appears that instances of
the survival of the feudal idea as to the right of the lord to the
persons of his vassal woman occurred within the last decenniums of the
Nineteenth Century. This letter, written by Mr. D. R. Locke, and dated
December, 1891, reads: “One of the Landlords was shot a few years ago
and a great ado was made about it. In this case as in most of the others
it was not a question of rent. My Lord had visited his estates to see
how much more money could be taken out of his tenants, and his lecherous
eyes happened to rest upon a very beautiful girl, the eldest daughter of
a widow with seven children. Now this girl was betrothed to a nice sort
of boy, who, having been in America, knew a thing or two. My Lord,
through his agent, who is always a pimp as well as a brigand, ordered
Kitty to come to the castle. Kitty, knowing very well what that means,
refused. “Very well,” says the agent, “yer mother is in arrear for rent,
and you had better see My Lord, or I shall be compelled to evict
her.”—Kitty knew what that meant also. It meant that her gray-haired
mother, her six helpless brothers and sisters would be pitched out by
the roadside to die of starvation and exposure, and so Kitty, without
saying a word to her mother or anyone else, went to the castle and was
kept there three days, till My Lord was tired of her, when she was
permitted to go. She went to her lover, like an honest girl as she was,
and told him she would not marry him, but refused to give any reason.
Finally the truth was wrenched out of her, and Mike went and found a
shot-gun that had escaped the eye of the royal constabulary, and he got
powder and shot and old nails, and he lay behind a hedge under a tree
for several days. Finally one day My Lord came riding by all so gay, and
that gun went off. There was a hole, a blessed hole, clear through him,
and he never was so good a man as before because there was less of him.
Then Mike went out and told Kitty to be of good cheer and not to be cast
down, that the little difference between him and My Lord had been
settled, and that they would be married as soon as possible. And they
were married, and I had the pleasure of taking in my hand the very hand
that fired the blessed shot, and of seeing the wife, to avenge whose
cruel wrongs the shot was fired.”

In the same work we read that another of these British lords in Ireland,
Leitram, was noted for his attempts to dishonor the wives and daughters
of the peasantry upon his vast estate. His character was equal to that
of the worst feudal barons, and like these he used his power as
magistrate and noble, in addition to that of landlord, to accomplish his
purpose. After an assault upon a beautiful and intelligent girl, by a
brutal retainer of his lordship, his tenantry finally declared it
necessary to resort to the last means in their power to preserve the
honor of their wives and daughters. Six men were chosen as the
instruments of their crude justice. They took an oath to be true to the
end, in life or death, purchased arms, and seeking a convenient
opportunity shot the tyrant to death. Nor were those firing the fatal
shots ever discovered.


                     THE DAWNING OF BRIGHTER DAYS.

As the Reformation aimed at the restitution of the purity and simplicity
of the first Christian communities, the position of woman in the Church
as well as in private life was of course also considered.

As has been shown in former chapters, the authorities of the mediæval
Christian Church regarded the daughters of Eve not only as creatures
inferior to man, but also as the medium preferred by Satan above all
others to lead man astray. Seeing in woman nothing but a necessary evil,
they claimed also that a nun is purer than a mother, just as a celibate
monk is holier than a father. This prejudice of benighted theologians
against woman had influenced the conduct of the State toward the woman
and made her everywhere the victim of unjust laws. For a long time in
certain countries to ask rights for women exposed one to the suspicion
of infidelity.

Therefore it must be regarded as an event of greatest importance in the
history of woman, when Martin Luther, the most prominent figure in the
Reformation, decided to take a wife. He married =Catherine von Bora=, a
lady twenty-four years of age, of a noble Saxon family.

She had left the convent of Nimbschen together with eight other nuns in
order to worship Christ without being compelled to observe endless
ceremonies, which gave neither light to the mind nor peace to the soul.
Protected by pious citizens of Torgau, the former nuns had lived
together in retirement. Luther married his betrothed on June 11, 1525,
with Lucas Cranach and another friend as witnesses. The ceremony was
performed by Melanchton.

The marriage, blessed with six children, was a very happy one. Catherine
proved to be a congenial mate, of whom Luther always spoke as “his
heartily beloved house-frau.” The great reformer himself was a tender
husband, and the most loving of fathers. Nothing he liked better than to
sit amidst his dear ones, enjoying a glass of wine and those beautiful
folk-songs, in which German literature is so rich.

Many of these little poems breathe the sincere respect and high
appreciation, in which woman was held by the Germans since time
immemorial. There is for instance Simon Dach’s well known poem “Anne of
Tharau.” Written in 1637, it reads:



  After a painting by P. Thumann.

           “Aennchen von Tharau ist’s die mir gefällt,
           Sie ist mein Leben, mein Gut und mein Geld;
           Aennchen von Tharau hat wieder ihr Herz
           Auf mich gerichtet in Lieb und in Schmerz.
           Aennchen von Tharau, mein Reichtum, mein Gut,
           Du meine Seele, mein Fleisch und mein Blut.

           Würdest du gleich einmal von mir getrennt,
           Lebtest dort, wo man die Sonne nicht kennt,
           Ich will doch dir folgen durch Wälder und Meer,
           Durch Schnee und Eis und durch feindliches Heer,
           Aennchen von Tharau, mein Licht, meine Sonn’,
           Mein Leben schliess ich um deines herum.—

           Annie of Tharau, ’tis she that I love,
           She is my life and all riches above;
           Annie of Tharau has giv’n me her heart,
           We shall be lovers till death us do part!
           Annie of Tharau, my kingdom, my wealth,
           Soul of my body, and blood of my health.

           Say you should ever be parted from me,
           Say that you dwelt where the sun they scarce see,
           Where you go I go, o’er oceans and lands,
           Prisons and fetters, and enemies’ hands.
           Annie of Tharau, my sun and sunshine,
           This life of mine will I throw around thine.”

And who would be able to pay to female virtues a higher tribute than did
Paul Fleming in a poem, directed to his betrothed:

                 “Ein getreues Herz zu wissen
                 Ist des höchsten Schatzes Preis;
                 Der ist selig zu begrüssen
                 Der ein solches Kleinod weiss.
                 Mir ist wohl bei tiefstem Schmerz
                 Denn ich weiss ein treues Herz.

                 To call a faithful heart thine own
                 That’s life’s true and only pleasure,
                 And happy is the man alone
                 To whom was given such a treasure.
                 The deepest anguish does not smart
                 For I know a faithful heart.”

This poem was written at the time, when the tempests of the Thirty
Years’ War swept over Germany, ruining that country beyond recognition.
Hundreds of cities and villages were burned by Spanish, Italian,
Hungarian, Dutch and Swedish soldiers, who made the unfortunate country
their battleground. Of the seventeen million inhabitants thirteen
millions were killed or swept away by starvation and the pest.
Agriculture, commerce, industries and arts were annihilated. Of many
villages nothing remained but their names. According to the chronicles
of these times, one could wander for many miles without seeing a living
creature except wolves and raven. All joy and happiness, in which the
German people had been so rich, were extinguished. To women the cup of
sorrow would never become empty, as hate, revenge, cruelty, and the
lowest passions combined to fill their lives with endless mental and
physical agonies.

During these dreadful times such social gatherings as had become the
fashion among the refined people of Italy during the period of the
Renaissance, were of course out of the question. Far happier in this
respect was France, where the era of the “Salons” began, many of which
became known throughout Europe, for the inspiration and refinement that
spread out from them.

It was to the exceptional qualities of a young and noble-minded woman of
Italian birth, that the first salon in France owed its origin and its
distinctive character. This lady was =Catherine Pisani=, the daughter of
Jean de Vivonne, Marquis of Pisani. Born at Rome in 1588, she married
the French Marquis of Rambouillet, with whom she moved to Paris.
Repelled by the gilded hollowness and license of the court of King Henry
IV. she retired, about the year 1608, to her husband’s stately palace,
which became famous as the “Hotel Rambouillet.” Its pride was a suite of
salons or parlors, arranged for purposes of reception and so devised as
to allow many visitors to move easily. With their draperies in blue and
gold, their cozy corners, choice works of art, Venetian lamps, and
crystal vases always filled with fragrant flowers, these rooms were
indeed ideal places for social and literary gatherings.

As Amelia Gere Mason has described in a series of articles about the
French Salons, written for the “Century Magazine” of 1890, Mm. de
Rambouillet “sought to assemble here all that was most distinguished,
whether for wit, beauty, talent, or birth, into an atmosphere of
refinement and simple elegance which would tone down all discordant
elements and raise life to the level of a fine art. There was a strongly
intellectual flavor in the amusements, as well as in the discussions of
this salon, and the place of honor was given to genius, learning, and
good manners, rather than to rank. But the spirit was by no means purely
literary. The exclusive spirit of the old aristocracy, with its hauteur
and its lofty patronage, found itself face to face with fresh ideals.
The position of the hostess enabled her to break the traditional
barriers and form a society upon a new basis, but, in spite of the
mingling of classes hitherto separated, the dominant life was that of
the noblesse. Women of rank gave the tone and made the laws. Their code
of etiquette was severe. They aimed to combine the graces of Italy with
the chivalry of Spain. The model man must have a keen sense of honor and
wit without pedantry; he must be brave, heroic, generous, gallant, but
he must also possess good breeding and gentle courtesy. The coarse
passions and depraved manners which had disgraced the gay court of Henry
IV. were refined into subtle sentiments, and women were raised upon a
pedestal to be respectfully and platonically adored. In this reaction
from extreme license familiarity was forbidden, and language was
subjected to a critical censorship.”

This definition of the salon of “the incomparable Arthenice”—an anagram
for Mme. de Rambouillet, devised by two poets of renown—we find
confirmed by the words of many distinguished men, who were fortunate
enough to be admitted to this circle. Among them were Corneille,
Descartes, and all the founders of the Académie Française.

“Do you remember,” so said the eminent Abbé Fléchier many years later,
“the salons which are still regarded with so much veneration, where the
spirit was purified, where virtue was revered under the name of the
‘incomparable Arthenice’; where people of merit and quality assembled
who composed a select court, numerous without confusion, modest without
constraint, learned without pride, polished without affectation?”—

The salon of Mme. de Rambouillet continued till the death of its
mistress, the 27th of December, 1665, having been, as Saint-Simon
writes, “a tribunal with which it was necessary to count, and whose
decisions upon the conduct and reputation of people of the court and the
world had great weight.”

There were other salons, modeled more or less after the present one.
When the Hotel de Rambouillet was closed, Mademoiselle =Madeleine de
Scudéry= held regular reunions by receiving her friends on Saturdays.
Among this “Société du Samedi” were many authors and artists, who
conversed upon all topics of the day, from fashion to politics, from
literature and the arts to the last item of gossip. They read their
works and vied with one another in improvising verses.

About the personality of Mlle. de Scudéry Abbé de Pure wrote: “One may
call her the muse of our age and the prodigy of her sex. It is not only
her goodness and her sweetness, but her intellect shines with so much
modesty, her sentiments are expressed with so much reserve, she speaks
with so much discretion, and all that she says is so fit and reasonable,
that one cannot help both admiring and loving her. Comparing what one
sees of her, and what one owes to her personally, with what she writes,
one prefers, without hesitation, her conversation to her works. Although
her mind is wonderfully great, her heart outweighs it. It is in the
heart of this illustrious woman that one finds true and pure generosity,
an immovable constancy, a sincere and solid friendship.”

Fearing to lose her liberty Mlle. de Scudéry never married. “I know,”
she writes, “that there are many estimable men who merit all my esteem
and who can retain a part of my friendship; but as soon as I regard them
as husbands I regard them as masters, and so apt to become tyrants that
I must hate them from that moment; and I thank the gods for giving me an
inclination very much averse to marriage.”

Under the pseudonym of “Sappho” Mlle. de Scudéry was acknowledged as the
first “blue-stocking” of France and of the world. Several of her novels,
in which she aimed at universal accomplishments, were the delight of all
Europe. Having studied mankind in her contemporaries, she knew how to
analyze and describe their characters with fidelity and point.

Another noteworthy salon of the 17th Century was that of the beautiful
and amiable =Marquise de Sablé=, one of the favorites of Mme. de
Rambouillet. It was she who set the fashion, at that time, of condensing
the thoughts and experiences of life into maxims and epigrams. While
this was her special gift to literature, her influence became also felt
through what she inspired others to do. A few of her maxims, as proven
in Mrs. Mason’s articles about the French Salons, are worth copying, as
they show the estimate Mme. De Sablé placed upon form and measure in the
conduct of life.

“A bad manner spoils everything, even justice and reason. The =how=
constitutes the best part of things; and the air which one gives
thoughts, gilds, modifies and softens the most disagreeable.”—

“There is a certain command in the manner of speaking and acting which
makes itself felt everywhere, and which gains, in advance, consideration
and respect.”—

“Wherever it is, love is always the master. It seems truly that it is to
the soul of the one who loves, what the soul is to the body it

With the death of the Marquise de Sablé in 1678 the last salon of the
brilliant era of the Renaissance was closed. With the approach of that
period of affected and artificial life, known as the Rococo, new types
of women came to the surface, gay, witty, piquant and amusing, but lax
and without great moral sense or spiritual aspiration. The dangerous
influence of the many mistresses of Louis XIV. and Louis XV., of
Mesdames de Montespan, Maintenon and Pompadour pervaded the atmosphere,
and turned the salons into headquarters of intrigue and political
conspiracy. Especially at the time of the clever Mme. de Pompadour women
were everywhere the power, without which no movement could be carried
through successfully. “These women,” said the famous philosophical
historian Montesquieu, “form a kind of republic, whose members, always
active, aid and serve one another. It is a new state within the state;
and whoever observes the action of those in power, if he does not know
the women who govern them, is like a man who sees the action of a
machine but does not know its secret springs.”

Montesquieu himself, when in Paris, made the salons of =Madame de
Tencin= and =Madame d’Aiguillon= his favorite resorts.

Here he discussed with other brilliant thinkers of the time literary and
political questions, and those theories, which he embodied in the most
famous of his works: “Esprit des Lois” (the Spirit of the Laws). This
book, dealing with law in general, with forms of government, military
arrangements, taxation, economic matters, religion and individual
liberty, was the first open attack on absolutism. Put on the Index by
the Pope it was nevertheless eagerly read and discussed everywhere, and
thus it became one of the factors leading to the French Revolution.—

Among the salons of the 18th Century, known for their influence on
scientific and political life, the most remarkable was that of the
=Marquise de Lambert=. Her magnificent apartments in the famous Palais
Mazarin, decorated by artists like Watteau, were a rendezvous for the
most eminent men and women, among them the best of the “Forty
Immortals,” or members of the Académie Française. As candidates for
vacant chairs in this body were often proposed here the Salon Lambert
was called “the Antechamber to Immortality.”

The quality of the character and intellect of the hostess of this salon
may be judged from a few of the bits of advice she wrote to her son. “I
exhort you much more to cultivate your heart than to perfect your mind;
the true greatness of the man is in the heart.”—“Let your studies flow
into your manners, and your readings show themselves in your
virtues.”—“It is merit which should separate you from the people, not
dignity nor pride.”—“Too much modesty is a languor of the soul, which
prevents it from taking flight and carrying itself rapidly towards
glory.”—“Seek the society of your superiors, in order to accustom
yourself to respect and politeness. With equals one grows negligent; the
mind falls asleep.” She urged her daughter to treat servants with
kindness. “One of the ancients says they should be regarded as
unfortunate friends. Think that humanity and Christianity equalize

Up to the latter half of the 18th Century the salon had become the most
characteristic feature of Parisian society. Having multiplied
indefinitely, they catered to all tastes and thoughts. Besides the
rallying points for philosophers, literateurs and femmes d’esprit, there
were other salons, where sly maitresses and political adventurers met
the corrupt officials of the Government. Still other salons served as
meeting places of fiery spirits, who, disgusted with the debauchery and
unrestrained immorality of the ruling classes, made the discussion of
politics and the deliverance of the oppressed people their chief topic.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Like the French Renaissance so the English Renaissance received its
first impulse from Italy. But less concerned with culture as such, it
was more practical in England and distinguished itself chiefly by the
greater attention given to education. While the sons and daughters of
the nobility were carefully trained by tutors, the children of the
middle class received an education in grammar schools founded during the
reign of King Henry VIII.

This interest in education was greatly stimulated by the doctrines of
the Reformation, which had spread from Germany to England, and which
were favored by the king, as they served his political interests as well
as his passion for the beautiful =Anne Boleyn=, one of the queen’s
ladies-in-waiting. That he divorced his wife and married Anne Boleyn,
and that she, on September 7th, 1533, gave birth to a girl, are facts
familiar to everyone acquainted with English history.

This girl later on ascended the throne and as =Queen Elizabeth= became
famous as one of the most remarkable and illustrious of all female

Most remarkable was her attitude toward Rome. When the “Virgin Queen” in
her twenty-fifth year ascended the throne, it was not only as queen, but
also as the head of the rebellious Church. Religious strife had already
passed the point of reconciliation and Elizabeth’s position was
extremely difficult, as the Catholic party was still very strong and was
bent on maintaining the connection with Rome. Aware of this fact, the
Pope, claiming England as a fief of the Holy See, refused to recognize
Elizabeth’s title to the crown, and demanded that she should renounce
all her pretensions so much the more since she was an illegitimate
child. But whereas many monarchs would have cringed before the Pope,
Elizabeth ignored his demands and answered the subsequent bull by Pope
Pius V., by which all Catholics were released from their allegiance to
the queen, by the famous Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity. Striking
directly at the papal power, these acts compelled all clergymen and
public functionaries to renounce the temporal and spiritual jurisdiction
of every foreign prince and prelate; and all ministers, whether
beneficed or not, were forbidden to use any but the established liturgy.
These statutes were carried out with considerable severity, and many
Catholics suffered death. Thus bending priests and prelates to her fiery
will, the queen made England a bulwark of Protestantism.

That the long reign of Elizabeth, which lasted from 1558 to 1603, was
also a period of brilliant prosperity and advancement, during which
England put forth her brightest genius, valor, and enterprise, has been
recorded by history. It is also a well-known fact that the learning of
Elizabeth was considerable, even in that age of learned ladies. Horace
Walpole has assigned her a place in his “Catalogue of Royal and Noble
Authors,” and a list of thirteen literary productions, chiefly
translations from the Greek, Latin, and French, are attached to her

There were quite a number of English ladies interested in literature and
poetry. The most remarkable was =Mary Astell=, born in 1668 at
Newcastle-on-Tyne. Having received a careful education by her uncle, a
clergyman, she continued her studies in London. Here her attention and
efforts were especially directed to the mental uplift of her own sex,
and in 1697 she published a work entitled, “A Serious Proposal to the
Ladies, Wherein a Method is Offered for the Improvement of Their Minds.”
With the same end in view she elaborated a scheme for a ladies’ college,
which was favorably entertained by Queen Anne, and would have been
carried out had not Bishop Burnet interfered.

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth England was called “the Paradise of
Women,” on account of the great liberty, granted to them in all social
affairs. There exists an interesting account of a Dutch traveller, Van
Meteren, who spent some time in England. With surprise he saw that here
the members of the fair sex enjoyed considerable freedom. “They are,” so
he says, “not shut up as in Spain and elsewhere, and yet the young girls
are better behaved than in the Netherlands. Having fine complexions,
they also do not paint like the Italians and others. They sit before
their doors, decked in fine clothes, in order to see and be seen by the
passers-by. In all banquets and feasts they are shown the greatest
honor: they are placed at the upper end of the table where they are the
first served. All the rest of their time they employ in walking and
riding, in playing cards, or visiting their friends and keeping company,
conversing with their equals and neighbors, and making merry with them
at child-birth, christening, churchings and funerals. And all this with
the permission and knowledge of their husbands.”

In strange contrast herewith was the legal position of women. It was, as
D. Staars says in his interesting book “The English Woman,” “entirely
detrimental. They were under the absolute authority of their husbands.
In regard to property, husband and wife were considered by the law as
forming one indivisible person. Therefore a husband could not make a
deed of gift to his wife, or make a contract with her. The subordinate
position of the married women was evident in the whole of her existence.
The husband was his wife’s guardian, and if anyone carried her off he
had a right to claim damages. He could also inflict corporal punishment
on her sufficient to correct her. All the property which she might
afterwards acquire, became by her marriage the common property of
husband and wife, but only the husband had a right to the income,
because he alone had control and administration of the property. Not
only lands, but also funds, furniture, plate, and even the bed and
ornaments of a woman, all became the husband’s property on the wedding
day, and he could sell or dispose of it as he pleased. A married woman
could not even make a will. Only when she became a widow, her clothes
and personal possessions again became her own property, provided,
however, that her husband had not otherwise disposed of them in his
will. Furthermore, she had a right to the income of a third of all the
husband’s property.”

These unsatisfactory conditions later on caused the English women to
join their American sisters in the struggle for emancipation.


                    PIONEER WOMEN IN THE NEW WORLD.

At the same time that ladies and gentlemen of refinement discussed human
rights and liberty in the elegant salons of Italy and France, a race of
hardy men and women amid the wilderness of the New World was engaged in
establishing crude settlements, from which later on the spirit of
genuine freedom should radiate throughout the world.

When toward the end of the 16th Century European explorers arrived on
the eastern coast of the North American continent, they found what later
times demonstrated beyond dispute: the richest and finest land on the
face of the globe. The unsurpassed beauty and grandeur of the scenery
stirred their hearts with surprise and admiration. They became
enthusiastic about everything, and in their reports described the newly
discovered country as the most wonderful they had ever seen.

The more these explorers saw of America, the more their amazement
increased. When Henry Hudson in 1609 discovered that noble river which
now bears his name, its magnificent shores were a revelation to him, who
was accustomed to the modest surroundings of the Netherlands.

The French, who entered North America by the way of the St. Lawrence
River, met with still greater surprises. The Great Lakes, stretching
like oceans toward the setting sun, thundering Niagara, the royal Ohio,
the majestic Mississippi, and the beautiful forests girding these
shores, made their hearts beat with wonder and delight and filled their
imagination with dreams of vast empires full of wealth. Beyond the
“Father of Waters” and the regions of forest, the explorers found the
“Prairies,” boundless seas of fragrant grass and beautiful flowers.
Beyond these plains rose majestic mountain-chains, with lovely valleys
and parks, and snow-capped domes, towering above the clouds.

Such majestic nature must of necessity exert a most powerful influence
on all who came in contact with it. Many of those immigrants who in
their native countries had been restrained by narrow traditions and
customs, and oppressed by despotic rulers, were here given the first
chance to develop and prove their abilities. The unlimited freedom of
the boundless forests, plains, and mountains stimulated their energy and
imbued them with a spirit of enterprise, hitherto unknown.

New types of heroic men, such as never had lived in Europe, sprang into
existence: the trappers, traders and “voyageurs,” who in the pursuit of
the lucrative fur trade penetrated the vast continent in all directions,
fighting their way through countless hardships and dangers.



  Modeled by A. Jaegers.

Later on these daring forerunners of civilization were followed by
settlers, who, with their families, established the first permanent
homes: single log houses and hamlets, like little islands in the vast
ocean of the primeval forest.



These “backwoodsmen,” completely isolated from the civilized world and
compelled to wage constant battle with hostile nature as well as with
ferocious savages and wild animals, have been justly glorified as
heroes. They were at once explorers, carpenters, builders, woodmen,
farmers, breeders, trappers, hunters and fighters,—in short, everything.
But their wives and daughters, who accompanied them, certainly deserve
to be honored too, as one can hardly conceive situations more trying
than those which these courageous women had to face.

First of all there were the daily labors of the household and farm, the
unceasing cares of motherhood, the toils and sufferings in times of
drought or sickness. Because of the isolation of their homesteads, void
of even the slightest comforts and improvements, these women had to toil
from early morning till late in the night. They worked with their
husbands, clearing the lands. They planted and raised the vegetables in
the little kitchen gardens. They prepared the meals, baked the bread,
did the washing and scrubbing, the milking, preserving, pickling,
churning and brewing. They also broke and heckled the flax, from which
they spun the linens. They sheared the sheep and transformed the wool
into yarn and cloth, which they dyed, cut and turned into suits and
dresses. They knitted the socks and underwear, made the candles and many
of the furnishings, in short, they produced whatever the family needed
and consumed, giving all and asking little. They even helped to defend
the cabin and the settlement in times of danger.



  After an old engraving.

In the days of the Indian wars and of the Revolution such danger was
always imminent, particularly when the men were working in the fields,
or out hunting to provide food for the family. Then the women, with
loaded guns, stood guard to protect the home and children from lurking

The chronicles relating incidents of border warfare abound with stories
of heroines who played conspicuous parts in the defense of single log
houses, as well as of stations and forts. Moulding the bullets and
loading the guns, they handed them to the men, who could consequently
fire three times where they otherwise could have fired but once. If
there happened to be a lull during the fight, the women carried water
and food to the smoke-blackened fighters, tended the wounded, baked
bread and cared for the children. In cases of emergency, they stood at
the loop-holes, firing the rifles with all the skill and precision of

When, during the War of Independence, the Mohawk Valley became the scene
of many horrible ravages by the Indians and Tories, Christian Schell, a
Palatine, together with his wife and six sons, occupied a lonely log
house. It was in the early hours of August 6, 1781, when 48 Indians and
16 Tories made a sudden raid upon this family. Schell and his sons were
working in the field, but detected the enemy soon enough to make their
escape to the house. All succeeded in reaching it, except the two
youngest lads, who were captured by an Indian. The latter was shot by
Schell, but it was impossible to free the boys, as they were hurried off
by other Indians.

Then the battle commenced and an almost incessant firing was kept up
until night, =Mrs. Schell= assisting her husband and sons in loading the
guns. Several times the attacks of the enemy were repelled. But when
darkness had set in, McDonald, the leader of the Tories, succeeded in
reaching the door of the cabin and attempted to force an entrance by
using a crowbar he had found in front of the house. Suddenly a shot from
Schell hit him in the leg and brought him down. Quick as lightning the
bold German unbarred the door, grasped the wounded man and dragged him
in a prisoner, thus saving the house from being set fire to, for in such
a case the leader of the attacking party within, would likewise have
perished in the flames.

Enraged by the capture of their leader, the enemy made several furious
assaults. Jumping close to the house, they thrust their guns through the
loop-holes and began to fire into the building. But Mrs. Schell, cool
and courageous, seized an axe and by well-directed blows spoiled every
gun by destroying the barrels. As the men opened a terrific fire from
above at the same time, the besiegers fell back in a hurry, and the
following morning disappeared, having suffered a loss of twenty-three
dead and wounded.

Another example of noble-spirited womanhood is that of =Elizabeth Zane=,
a young girl of seventeen years, living near Fort Henry in West
Virginia. When in November, 1782, the fort was besieged by several
hundred Indians and the little garrison of forty-two men had been
reduced to only twelve, the situation became extremely desperate, as the
supply of powder was nearly exhausted.

There was a full keg of powder hidden in the cabin of the Zanes, but
this hut stood some ninety yards from the gate of the fort and could be
reached only by passing the whole distance under fire of the Indians, a
feat which seemed altogether hopeless. But the perilous attempt had to
be made. When the commander of the fort called for volunteers, several
responded, among them, to the general surprise, Elizabeth Zane. She
argued that the garrison of the fort was already too weak for the life
of one of the soldiers to be risked. As her own life was of no
importance, she claimed the privilege of attempting the dangerous task.
Refusing to listen to any objection, Miss Zane slipped out of the gate
and strolled leisurely to her home, as though there were no redskins in
the whole world. The Indians, wondering what it meant, made no attempt
to molest the girl.

Entering the cabin, she found the keg of powder, and a few minutes later
reappeared with the keg concealed under a tablecloth. Not before the
girl had gone some distance did the Indians realize the meaning of the
girl’s mission and at once opened a brisk fire on her. But the girl sped
with the fleetness of a fawn and reached the fort in safety amid a
shower of bullets, several of which passed through her clothes. By this
daring act the little garrison was so inspired and fought with such
tenacity that the Indians despaired of capturing the fort and finally

In 1787 John Merrill, a settler in Nelson County, Kentucky, was awakened
one night by the furious barking of his dogs. Opening the door of his
cabin to reconnoitre, he was shot by several Indians, but managed to bar
the door, before sinking dead to the floor. His wife, a woman of great
energy and strength, jumped out of bed, grasped a large axe and sprang
forward to be prepared for the coming attack. Scarcely had she reached
the door when the Indians began to chop it down with their tomahawks.
But as soon as the savages sought to enter the breach, the woman, making
a terrific effort, killed or badly wounded four of the enemy.

Foiled in their attempt to force the door, some of the redskins climbed
onto the roof of the cabin and tried to enter by way of the chimney. But
again the solitary woman confronted them. Snatching her featherbed and
hastily ripping it open, she flung its contents upon the still glowing
embers. At once a furious blaze and stifling smoke ascended the chimney,
overcoming two of the Indians. Dazed, they fell down into the fire,
where they were instantly dispatched with the axe. Then, with a quick
side stroke, the woman inflicted a terrible gash in the cheek of the
only remaining savage, whose head just appeared in the breach of the
door. With a horrible yell the intruder withdrew, to be seen no more.

In Western Pennsylvania, in the year 1792, there stood some twenty-five
miles from Pittsburgh the crude cabin of a settler, named Harbisson. One
day, during his absence, the home was attacked by Indians, who, after
ransacking the house, carried off the wife prisoner. But there were
three children, two boys aged five and three respectively, and an
infant. As the mother had no hand for the little fellow of three, one of
the savages relieved her from this embarrassment by grasping the child,
whirling it through the air and smashing his head against a tree. And
when the older brother began to weep, his crying was stopped forever by
cutting his throat. The mother fainted at the horrible sight, but the
savages brought her back to consciousness again by giving her a few
blows across the face. At night the poor woman noticed one of the
savages busying himself with making two small hoops. The captive watched
him with languid curiosity and saw that he had something in his hand.
Then a flash of horror-struck recognition flickered in the woman’s eyes.
She saw the bloody scalps of her children, which the savage was
stretching on the hoops to dry. “Few mothers,” so the unfortunate woman
said afterwards, “have been subjected to such dreadful trials. Those who
did not see the scalps of their own children torn from their heads and
handled in such a way, cannot imagine the horrible pain that tortured my

In the dark of the second night the poor mother managed to make her
escape. It rained in torrents, but hugging the baby to her breast, she
entered the endless forest and wandered the whole night and the next
days, making her way to the settlements. She arrived there on the sixth
day after incredible sufferings and almost starved. So changed was she
by the many hardships, that her nearest neighbors failed to recognize
her. The skin and flesh of her feet and legs was hanging in pieces,
pierced by hundreds of thorns, some of which went through her feet and
came out a long time afterwards at the top.—



  A scene during the Seminole Indian War.

Such were the hardships and dangers the women of the settlers had to
brave. But they endured their sufferings like heroines. In recognition
of this fact it may justly be said that the establishment of the
Republic of the United States of America, one of the grandest
achievements in all history, would not have been possible without their
aid. For it was among these hardy men and women that the spirit of
American liberty was born. Their surroundings and manner of life
compelled them to rely on themselves in everything. And while they
assisted one another in all embarrassments and perils, they made their
own regulations and selected their own officials, fully aware, that the
laws of England would never suffice for the wilderness.

From those autonomous settlements the spirit of independence spread in
time to all the towns and cities on the coast, inspiring many of their
inhabitants with the same enthusiasm for liberty. In New York and other
places the People’s Party was organized, which strongly opposed the
insolence and encroachments of the Government and aristocrats. Among its
members was Peter Zenger, the fearless printer, whose caustic articles
in the “New York Weekly Journal” in 1735 led to that famous trial,
whereby one of the highest privileges—=the freedom of the press=—became
established in America. And when in complete disregard of this
significant omen England continued in her selfish policies toward the
colonies, curtailing all privileges which had been granted to them by
their charters, the spirit of rebellion spread like wildfire, and the
great struggle for independence began.

When a Declaration of Independence was considered, the men, selected to
draw up such a document, were greatly influenced by two noble-minded
women, whose names should not be omitted in a history of remarkable
women: =Mrs. Mercy Otis Warren=, and =Abigail Smith Adams=. Mrs. Warren
was a sister of James Otis, the famous lawyer, whose fiery words did so
much to arouse the colonists against British aggression. She was one of
the first persons who advocated separation, and she energetically
impressed this view upon John Adams before the opening of the first
Congress. With Abigail Smith Adams, the wife of John Adams, she shared
the belief, that the declaration should not consider the freedom of man
alone, but that of woman also.

How outspoken Mrs. Adams was in her views about this question, appears
in a letter she wrote in March, 1776, to her husband, who was then
attending the Continental Congress. In this letter she says: “I long to
hear you have declared an independency; and, by the way, in the new code
of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire
you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to
them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands
of husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If
particular care and attention are not paid to the ladies, we are
determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound to
obey any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”—



The Declaration of Independence, accepted on July 4th, 1776, in
Philadelphia, by an assembly of delegates from all the colonies, is the
greatest and most important political document that was ever set up and
signed by men. Although the representatives knew that it would produce a
long and terrific war against the most powerful and most inconsiderate
government of the world, they solemnly agreed to choose liberty or
death. Liberty to make their own laws and to elect their own officials,
liberty of religion, liberty of speech and press, liberty of trade and
commerce, liberty for man, woman and child.

The eminent significance of the declaration becomes apparent from the
following sentences: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all
men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are
instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the
governed. That, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of
these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and
to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles,
and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most
likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

While the Declaration of Independence is silent in regard to women,
there are, however, positive proofs of the fact, that the men of 1776
regarded their faithful partners in all struggles and danger decidedly
as their equals and entitled to the same rights and privileges. Two days
before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, on July 2, 1776,
the Provincial Assembly of New Jersey, when writing the constitution of
that province, adopted the provision, that “=all inhabitants= of this
colony, of full age, who are worth fifty pounds money clear estate in
the same, and have resided within the county in which they claim to vote
for twelve months immediately preceding the election, shall be entitled
to vote for representatives in council and assembly, and also for all
other public officers that shall be elected by the people of the county
at large.”—

Under this provision, women and free colored men of property exercised
the electoral franchise for thirty years, voting also in the
Presidential election of 1804, when Thomas Jefferson was re-elected for
a second term. The acts of the New Jersey Legislature of 1790 clearly
recognized the women, voters, saying:

“No person shall be entitled to vote in any other town-house or precinct
than that in which =he= or =she= doth actually reside at the time of

At first the law was construed to admit single women only, but afterward
it was made to include females eighteen years old, married or single,
without distinction of race. But as most of the women were on the side
of the Federation and always delivered a heavy vote, a Democratic
legislature, to defranchise Federalists, passed in 1807 an act defining
the qualifications of electors, excluding women and free colored men by
the use of the words “White =male= citizens.” This was a partisan piece
of legislature, clearly in violation of the constitutional guarantee,
and made under the pretext that male voters, by disguising themselves as
women and negroes, had voted several times. It was on the strength of
this pretext that the unconstitutional act was passed and upheld.

It is on record that in Virginia likewise women at an early day
exercised the right of voting. But it is unknown, for what reason this
right was not preserved.



There are few events in history that created such world-wide interest as
the triumphant success of the American War for Liberation. The deepest
impression was made on the French nation, which for centuries had
suffered under the tyranny and coercion of extravagant kings, corrupt
officials, greedy clergy and feudal nobility. In sharp contrast to the
prodigality and lasciviousness of the court and its armies of courtiers
and courtesans, who all revelled in luxuries, there was among the people
a general feeling of misery and despair. Finances were in a frightful
condition; public scandals were every-day occurrences; famines were
frequent; the old creeds had lost their power to arouse enthusiasm,
while out-worn institutions and customs still encumbered the land, and
with their dead weight pressed men down. The deep longing to be
delivered from all these parasites and encumbrances, the urgent need of
reforms and relief was evident everywhere. In the streets, in all cafés,
clubs and salons the discussion of politics was the foremost topic.

The most conspicuous among such political salons were those of
=Théroigne de Méricourt=, =Marie Olympe de Gouges=, and =Madame Roland=.

The first of these three ladies was a quick-witted, strikingly handsome
woman, intensely passionate in temper, and commanding an almost volcanic
power of eloquence. Her salon was the birth-place of the “Club des Amis
de la Loi,” the most noteworthy members of which were Jerome Pétion,
author of “Les Lois Civiles,” and Camille Desmoulins, author of “La
France Libre.” Both writers were among the leaders of the revolution,
and it was Desmoulins, who in July, 1789, inflamed the people by his
violent speeches to take up arms and storm the Bastille. At the fall of
this ill-reputed prison Théroigne de Méricourt came prominently into
notice and it was she who proposed to erect a temple for the National
Assembly on the site of the razed fortress.

With her friends she also had a hand in framing the “Déclaration des
Droits de l’Homme,” which, together with the American Declaration of
Independence, ranks among the greatest human documents of history. The
most important points of this charter of the French Revolution are: that
all men are born and continue free and equal in rights; that Society is
an association of men to preserve the natural rights of men; that
Sovereignty is vested in the nation; that all Authority, held by an
individual or a body of men, comes expressly from the nation; that
Liberty is the power of doing what we will, so long as it does not
injure the same right of others; that the law can forbid only such
actions as are mischievous to society; that Law is the expression of the
general will; that all citizens have a right to take part, through their
representatives, in the making of laws; that laws must be equal to all;
that all citizens have equal rights to fulfill all offices in the state;
that society has a right to demand from every public servant an account
of his administration; that all men are free to hold what religious
views they will, provided that they are not subversive of public order;
that freedom of speech, of writing and printing is one of the most
precious of the rights of man and that public force is needed to
guarantee these rights; that property is an inviolable and sacred right,
of which no one can be deprived, save when public necessity, legally
established, evidently demands it, and then only with the condition of a
just and previously determined indemnity.

With the adoption of this declaration by the national assembly, all
hereditary distinctions, such as nobility and peerage, feudal regime,
titles, and orders of chivalry were abolished, also venality or
hereditary succession in offices, feudal privileges, religious vows or
other engagements which might be at variance with natural rights or the

Early in October, 1789, Théroigne de Méricourt also took a leading part
in the march of the women to Versailles and it was she who by the
violence of her speech won the royalist soldiers over to the revolution
and so enforced the return of the royal family to Paris.

Being accused of dangerous conduct and of having been engaged in a plot
against the life of the queen Marie Antoinette, the daughter of Empress
Maria Theresia of Austria, during a visit to Liége she was seized by
warrant of the Austrian Government and for some time interned at the
fortress of Kufstein. After her release in January, 1792, she returned
to Paris, where she was hailed as a martyr of liberty. Resuming her
former role she again became very active in all public affairs. On June
20, 1792, she even commanded in person the 3d Corps of the so-called
army of the Faubourges, and marched with them to the palace, where the
king, wearing the red cap, met the revolutionists and assured them “that
he would do whatever the constitution ordained that he should do.” But
as soon afterwards the king’s secret connections with Austria and
Prussia became public, the insurrection broke loose again, resulting in
the massacre of the national guard on August 10th, in the Place Véndome.
It was here, that Théroigne sprang at Suleau, a pamphleteer in royal
service, and dragged him among the infuriated mob, where he was
instantly killed.—

It was a year before these incidents that Madame Roland opened a salon
in Paris, whither her husband had been sent as the deputy from Lyons to
the constituent assembly. Her salon had nothing in common with those
frequented by people seeking recreation in conversation and belle
esprit. Generally there were no women present except the hostess. But
her salon was the rendezvous of such fiery spirits as Mirabeau, Brissot,
Vergniaud, Robespierre and others, interested in the great movement,
which was soon to reach its climax. It was in this salon that Madame
Roland impressed her enthusiasm for a republic upon those men who
likewise strove for progress and liberty. Here also she conceived the
plan of a journal, entitled “The Republican,” which, however, was
suppressed after its second issue. Here she penned that famous letter to
the king, which, as it remained unanswered, was read aloud by her
husband, the king’s appointed Minister of the Interior, in full council
and in the king’s presence. Containing many terrible truths as to the
royal refusal to sanction the decrees of the national assembly and as to
the king’s position in the state, this letter initiated the dethronement
of the king and the abolition of royalty.—

It was in these troubled times, also, that another remarkable woman
attracted great attention by matching the “Declaration of the rights of
man” with a “Declaration des Droits de la Femme,” a declaration of the
rights of women. In this document she preached for the first time not
only the principle of equality of both sexes but she also demanded the
right of women to vote and to hold public offices. This document was
published just at the time when the equality of both sexes before the
law and the guillotine had become a recognized fact, when not only the
head of the king but also that of the queen Marie Antoinette had rolled
into the dust. Pointing to these events Olympe de Gouges closed her
manifesto with the flaming words: “When women have the right to ascend
the scaffold then they must have the right to mount the platform of the

When Olympe de Gouges wrote these lines, she hardly anticipated her own
fate. Provoking in some way the anger of Robespierre, this rabid tyrant
did send her also to the guillotine.—

Théroigne de Méricourt likewise fell a victim of the furious hostility,
which in 1793 arose between the two leading parties, the Girondists and
the Montagnards, the latter party led by those most extreme autocrats as
Marat, Danton and Robespierre. When Théroigne, being aware that her own
party, the Gironde, was in peril at the hands of these bloodthirsty men,
one day urged the mob to moderate their courses, she was seized,
stripped naked and flogged in the public garden of the Tuilleries. This
infamous affront affected her so that she became a raving maniac, never
recovering her reason.—



  After the painting by C. L. Mueller.

For Madame Roland and her husband too the day of darkness was soon to
come. They found that they could no longer control those passions
which they had helped to call forth. Repulsed by the incredible
excesses, which were committed during the progress of the revolution,
Mr. Roland sent in his resignation on January 22, 1793, the day after
the execution of the king. But all his and his wife’s efforts to
regulate and elevate the Revolution failed. Both became more and more
the butt of calumny and the object of increasing dislike on the part
of the ultra-revolutionists, whose leaders, Marat and Danton, heaped
the foulest falsehoods upon them. At the instigation of these men
Madame Roland was arrested early on the morning of the last of July,
1793, and thrown into the same prison cell, that had been occupied by
Charlotte Corday a short time before. On November the 8th she was
conveyed to the guillotine. Before yielding her head to the block, she
bowed before the statue of Liberty, erected in the Place de la
Revolution, uttering her famous apostrophe: “O Liberty! what crimes
are committed in thy name!”—

After the elimination of the three leading spirits of woman’s
emancipation all attempts to claim political rights for women were
sternly repressed. The bold deed of Charlotte Corday, who on July 17th,
1793, killed Marat, the chief of the Mountain party, had given to his
followers a warning of what resolute women were able to do. And so all
female clubs and political meetings were forbidden by the Convention.
Women were even excluded from the galleries of the hall where it sat,
and Chaumette warned them that by entering into politics they would
violate the law of nature and would be punished accordingly. French
girls were also entirely excluded from all educational reforms that were
instituted by the Convention and, later on, by Napoleon, who always
maintained that female education should be of the most rudimentary

                  *       *       *       *       *

At the same time that Olympe de Gouges, Théroigne de Méricourt and
Madame Roland took such a conspicuous part in the French Revolution,
there appeared in England a most remarkable book, which might be called
the first comprehensive attempt to establish the equality of the sexes.
Its authoress was =Mary Wollstonecraft=, a woman of Irish extraction,
born at Hoxton on April 27, 1759. Compelled to earn her own living, she,
together with her sisters, had conducted a school for girls. Later on
she held a position as governess in the family of Lord Kingsborough, in
Ireland. Among her early publications are “Thoughts on the Education of
Daughters” (1787) and “The Female Reader” (1789). That she followed the
events of the French Revolution with the utmost interest, appears from
her book: “An Historical and Moral View of the Origin and Progress of
the French Revolution, and the Effects it has Produced in Europe.” It
was intended to comprise several volumes, but after the first one had
been published in 1790, the work remained unfinished. Two years later,
in 1792, appeared the work with which the name of Mary Wollstonecraft is
always associated, as from this book was born one of the grandest
movements which exists in the world to-day—the =Woman Suffrage

This book, entitled “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” was a sharp
protest against the assumption that woman is only a plaything of man. It
is also a demand on her to become his equal and his companion.

In the preface the authoress states the “main argument” of her work,
“built on this simple principle that, if woman be not prepared by
education to become the companion of man, she will stop the progress of
knowledge, for truth must be common to all, or it will be inefficacious
with respect to its influence or general practice.” In carrying out this
argument she explains that woman can never be free until she is free
economically; it makes no difference how poetic, romantic and chivalrous
we become,—the fact is, there can be little equality between the sexes
as long as the male partner has entire charge of the purse. Woman may be
free socially; she may get rid of all sexual superstition, and she may
crack and cast from her all theological trammels: but of what value is
all this if she is still dependent upon man for food, raiment and
shelter? What good does it do her to say “My body is my own, subject to
the whims and lusts of no man,” if upon that very man depends her
livelihood? Woman’s economic dependence is the root of that tree which
nourishes the poisonous fruits of her subjection and abject slavery.
Only when woman is on equal terms with man, can she be really virtuous
and useful. But this result can only be obtained by rejecting the
fallacious idea of weakness and refusing man’s help.

After that the authoress states, that woman by open air exercise can
become healthy and strong. By study she can acquire a solid education
and useful knowledge, and thus become fit to earn her own living.
Marriage will then cease to be her sole hope of salvation. If she
marries she must not expect infinite romantic love from her husband,
that would be an endeavor to perpetuate what is transitory in its very
essence. From her husband she should require esteem and friendship. But
before she can ask for or inspire these sentiments she must have shown
herself a lofty mind and a sincere, benevolent, and independent temper.

“But this ideal will remain a myth unless the system of education is
entirely changed. It is the duty of the Government to organize schools
and colleges, for boys and girls, both rich and poor, and of all ages.”

Mary Wollstonecraft recommends that boys and girls should study
together. She does not regard as an evil the attachment which might
result under these conditions. On the contrary, she is an advocate of
early marriage, and believes that the physical and moral health of young
people would be greatly benefited thereby. “Do not separate the sexes,
but accustom them to each other from infancy!” she demands. “By this
plan such a degree of equality should be established between the sexes
as would break up gallantry and coquetry, yet allow friendship and love
to temper the heart for the discharge of higher duties.”

Thus asking the widest opportunities of education for women, she demands
also her participation in industry, political knowledge, and the rights
of representation.

While Mary Wollstonecraft in this manner advanced progressive ideas, she
also discussed several questions, dangerous and explosive at that time.
In regard to marriage she recommended emancipation from the coercions
and ceremonies imposed upon all Christians by the Church. And where love
had ceased, divorce should be made easy. These points, together with her
extraordinary plainness of speech and her denial of the eternity of the
torments of hell, caused an outcry of all classes, to whom the dust of
tradition was sacred, or who saw their assumed authority endangered. The
air grew thick with insults and insinuations, hurled at the champion of
such principles by churchmen feeding on their worn-out thistle-creeds.
There were also the shrill, polished shrieks of society, whose
antiquated dogmas Mary Wollstonecraft had repudiated. But the impulse,
given by her, did not die. It became the heritage of later and more
advanced generations, who have tried to realize the ideas of this most
remarkable woman of the 18th Century.


                      WOMAN’S ENTRY INTO INDUSTRY.

Since the stirring years of the American War of Independence and of the
French Revolution the question of woman’s rights and woman suffrage has
remained constantly before the public. Its significance greatly
increased when with the invention of steam-engines, with the rapid
growth and extension of trade and commerce, and with the introduction of
modern methods all conditions of industrial life likewise became
revolutionized. Many of those industries in which women participated,
were transferred from the homes to factories, where the workmen and
women were placed at machines, producing within one day greater
quantities of goods than the laborers formerly had manufactured within
weeks or months.

With this industrial revolution came, however, also many evils. The
laborers remained no longer masters of their own time and efforts. While
hitherto they had been the owners of their little industry, now the
factory owners and the great industries began to own them. They found
themselves bound by strict rules, not of their own making, but
prescribed and enforced by their employers, many of whom had not the
slightest consideration for the people that worked for them. Just as
soulless as their machines, and thinking only of gain, they abused their
employees wherever possible, and in doing so often resorted to the
meanest tricks.

Nowhere did such evils become so appalling as in England, where the
politicians subordinated all other considerations to industry. It was
here that in order to reduce the small wages of the workman cheap woman-
and child-labor was first introduced on a large scale, and feeble,
defenseless creatures, without experience and organization, were
subjected to the most cruel oppression and exploitation.

At the end of the 18th and during the first half of the 19th Century
large numbers of women and pauper children were shipped from the
agricultural districts of Southern England to the northern districts to
work in the factories which had been established there in consequence of
the superior water-power.

Tender women and girls, and even children from six to ten years were
placed in cotton mills, where they were compelled to work in overcrowded
rooms thirteen to fourteen hours daily. Robert Mackenzie in his book
“The Nineteenth Century,” p. 77, states, that the accommodations
provided for these people were of the most wretched nature. “If such
children became over-tired and fell asleep they were flogged. Sometimes
through exhaustion they fell upon the machinery and were
injured—possibly crushed,—an occurrence which caused little concern to
any except the mothers, who had learned to bear their pangs in silence.
These children, who were stunted in size and disposed to various acute
diseases, were often scrofulous and consumptive.”

The Encyclopædia Britannica, in an article on Socialism, describes the
conditions of the working people in England at that time as follows:
“The English worker had no fixed interest in the soil. He had no voice
either in local or national government. He had little education or none
at all. His dwelling was wretched in the extreme. The right even of
combination was denied him. The wages of the agricultural laborer were
miserably low. The workman’s share in the benefits of the industrial
revolution was doubtful. Great numbers of his class were reduced to
utter poverty and ruin by the great changes consequent to the
introduction of improved machinery; the tendency to readjustment was
slow and continually disturbed by fresh change. The hours of work were
mercilessly long. He had to compete against the labor of women, and of
children brought frequently at the age of five or six from the
workhouses. These children had to work the same long hours as the
adults, and they were sometimes strapped by the overseers till the blood
came. Destitute as they so often were of parental protection and
oversight, with both sexes huddled together under immoral and unsanitary
conditions, it was only natural that they should fall into the worst
habits and that their offspring should to such a lamentable degree be
vicious, improvident, and physically degenerate.”

A report, delivered at the “International Congress of Women,” held in
July, 1899, at London, states that the weak legs of those children,
which were not strong enough to support the body for hours, were
sustained by boots of wood and lead, in which they were obliged to
stand. Hence the high scale of mortality among the children.

Most revolting conditions prevailed in the English coal mines. Married
women, girls and children worked here, harnessed to trucks and nearly
naked, dragging on their hands and knees loads of coal through long low
galleries to the pit mouth.

When some philanthropists made complaints about these conditions,
Parliament instituted a commission to inquire into the state of working
women in these mines and the wages paid them. From its official report
we quote the following: “Betty Harris, one of the numerous persons
examined, aged thirty-seven, drawer in the coal-pit, said: ‘I have a
belt around my waist and a chain between my legs to the truck, and I go
on my hands and feet. The road is very steep and we have to hold by a
rope, and when there is no rope, by anything we can catch hold of. There
are six women and about six boys and girls in the pit I work in; it is
very wet, and the water comes over our clog-tops always, and I have seen
it up to my thighs; my clothes are always wet.’—

“Margaret Hibbs, aged eighteen, said: ‘My employment after reaching the
wall-face (the place where the coal is broken) is to fill my bagie or
stype with two and a half or three hundred-weight of coal; I then hook
it on to my chain and drag it through the seam, which is from twenty-six
to twenty-eight inches high, till I get to the main road, a good
distance, probably two hundred to four hundred yards. The pavement I
drag over is wet, and I am obliged at all times to crawl on my hands and
feet with my bagie hung to the chain and ropes. It is sad, sweating,
sore and fatiguing work, and frequently maims the women.’

“Robert Bald, the government coal-viewer, stated: In surveying the
workings of an extensive colliery underground a married woman came
forward groaning under an excessive weight of coal, trembling in every
nerve, and almost unable to keep her knees from sinking under her. On
coming up she said in a plaintive and melancholy voice: ‘Oh sir, this is
sore, sore, sore work!’

“And a sub-commissioner said: ‘It is almost incredible that human beings
can submit to such employment—crawling on hands and knees, harnessed
like horses, over soft, slushy floors, more difficult than dragging the
same weight through our lowest sewers.’”—

Mackenzie, in his above mentioned book, states that “there was no
machinery in these English coal-pits to drag the coal to the surface,
and women climbed long wooden stairs with baskets of coal upon their
backs. Children of six were habitually employed. Their hours of labor
were fourteen to sixteen daily. The horrors among which they lived
induced disease and early death. Law did not seem to reach to the depths
of a coal-pit, and the hapless children were often mutilated and
occasionally killed with perfect impunity by the brutalized miners among
whom they labored.”

Other authorities state that the women were paid less than 20 cents per
day! For the same kind of work men got three times as much pay; but the
employers preferred girls and women to do the work “because of their
lower wages and greater docility!” In the iron districts of the Midlands
women earned for very hard work 4 to 5 shillings a week, (=$1.25) while
the men received 14 shillings.

These small wages, which forced upon the laborers the most barren mode
of living, were, however, taken away again from them through the meanest
tricks, devised by the employers particularly through the so-called
Truck System. Under this abominable system the employers, instead of
paying the wages in cash, forced their employees to take checks or
orders, redeemable in all kinds of necessities and goods, but valid only
in those “truck stores” or “tommy shops” run by the employers, or in
which they had an interest. By cheating the workmen with goods of
inferior quality, by overcharging them at the same time, by pressing
them to take goods far beyond their need and wages, and by making long
intervals—often from 40 to 60 days—between the real pay days, they
forced the laborers into debt and absolute slavery.

The situation of many thousands of those women who tried to make a
living as seamstresses was also desperate. Always put off with wages far
below the demands of a modest existence, they were real martyrs of
labor. Thomas Hood, one of the foremost English poets of the first half
of the 19th Century, gave in his famous “Song of the Shirt” a most
touching picture of such woman’s toil and misery, of woman in her wasted
life and in her hurried death. His poem reads:

             With fingers weary and worn,
             With eyelids heavy and red,
             A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
             Plying her needle and thread—
             Stitch! stitch! stitch!
             In poverty, hunger and dirt,
             And still with a voice of dolorous pitch,
             She sang the “Song of the Shirt!”

             “Work! work! work!
             While the cock is crowing aloof!
             And work—work—work,
             Till the stars shine through the roof!
             It’s Oh! to be a slave
             Along with the barbarous Turk,
             Where woman has never a soul to save,
             If this is Christian work!

             Till the brain begins to swim;
             Till the eyes are heavy and dim!
             Seam, and gusset, and band,
             Band, and gusset, and seam,
             Till over the button I fall asleep,
             And sew them on in a dream!

             “Oh, Men, with Sisters dear!
             Oh, Men, with Mothers and Wives!
             It is not linen you’re wearing out,
             But human creatures’ lives!
             In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
             Sewing at once, with a double thread,
             A Shroud as well as a Shirt.

             “But why do I talk of Death?
             That Phantom of grisly bone,
             I hardly fear his terrible shape,
             It seems so like my own,
             Because of the fasts I keep;
             Oh, God! that bread be so dear,
             And flesh and blood so cheap!

             My labor never flags;
             And what are its wages? A bed of straw,
             A crust of bread—and rags.
             That shatter’d roof—and this naked floor—
             A table—a broken chair—
             And a wall so blank, my shadow I thank
             For sometimes falling there!

             From weary chime to chime,
             As prisoners work for crime!
             Band, and gusset, and seam,
             Seam, and gusset, and band,
             Till the heart is sick, and the brain benumb’d
             As well as the weary hand.

             In the dull December light,
             And work—work—work,
             When the weather is warm and bright—
             While underneath the eaves
             The brooding swallows cling,
             As if to show me the sunny backs
             And twit me with the spring.

             “Oh! but to breathe the breath
             Of the cowslip and primrose sweet—
             With the sky above my head,
             And the grass beneath my feet,
             For only one short hour
             To feel as I used to feel,
             Before I knew the woes of want
             And the walk that costs a meal.

             “Oh! but for one short hour!
             A respite however brief!
             No blessed leisure for Love or Hope,
             But only time for Grief!
             A little weeping would ease my heart,
             But in their briny bed
             My tears must stop, for every drop
             Hinders needle and thread!”

             With fingers weary and worn,
             With eyelids heavy and red,
             A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
             Plying her needle and thread thread—
             Stitch! stitch! stitch!
             In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
             And still with a voice of dolorous pitch,
             Would that its tone could reach the Rich!
             She sang the “Song of the Shirt!”

Constantly struggling with want and poverty and seeing health menaced by
the machines, the working classes of England were filled with
bitterness, when they found that their complaints brought no relief,
while the law-makers, sitting in Parliament, favored any demands of the
employers and of the big interests. To forget for a few hours their
hopeless existence, large numbers of men and women resorted to liquor,
hereby hastening their final collapse and ruin.

Such was the life led by English laborers during the greater part of the
Nineteenth Century. Feeble attempts to improve these deplorable
conditions were made through a series of “Factory Acts,” the immediate
cause for which was the fearful spread of epidemic diseases which
wrought dreadful havoc among the laborers, especially among the women
and children. If we glance over these factory acts, as they are sketched
in the Encyclopædia Britannica, we find that even under these acts
children below the age of nine were permitted in silk factories, and
that they were required to work twelve hours a day, exclusive of an hour
and a half for meal times. An act of 1833 provided that young persons
from thirteen to eighteen and women were restricted to 68 hours a week.
Ten years later a mining act was passed which prohibited underground
work for children under ten and for women. In 1867 the Workshop
Regulation Act fixed the working day for children from 6 a. m. to 8 p.
m. = 14 hours, and for young persons and women from 5 a. m. to 9 p. m. =
16 hours! After having made such sad disclosures, the Encyclopædia
Britannica dared to say: “By these various enactments the state has
emphatically taken under its protection the whole class of children and
young persons employed in manufacturing industries. It has done this in
the name of the moral and physical health of the community.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

The despicable methods employed by the British mine and factory owners
in their dealings with the working classes spread to the Continent as
well as to America. In France, Germany and Austria they led to those
desperate struggles between capital and labor, out of which was born
that most remarkable movement of the 19th Century called “Socialism.”

In the United States soon enough attempts were made to imitate the
detestable methods of the British mine and factory owners. But as the
character of the population was quite different, the abuse of the
working men and women never became so appalling as in Great Britain.

The first industry to be established in factories was the weaving of
cotton in the New England States, where a number of rapid streams, among
them the Merrimac, the Connecticut and the Housatonic, furnished
excellent water-power. And as during the pioneer and colonial times the
housewives and daughters had spun and woven all the cloth and linen for
family use, there was an ample number of expert workers at hand. After
the first weaving machines were brought over from Europe, in 1814,
Dover, Lowell, Waltham, Great Falls and Newmarket became the principal
centers of the cotton industry.

Here the daughters of the farmers and settlers did the work that
formerly their mothers had done at home. Only they did it faster, by
tending the machines all day long. At first the girls did not know that
the employers might try to make the people in the factories work longer
hours without any rest and adequate pay. Soon enough they found this
out. But as the girls had inherited the independent spirit of their
fathers and grandfathers, trouble began to brew. In December, 1828, four
hundred girls in Dover, New Hampshire, formed a procession and marched
out of the factory, in order to show their indignation at the growing
oppression by their employers. They clad their complaints in verses, one
of which ran:

               “Who among the Dover girls could ever bear
               The shocking fate of slaves to share!”

Unorganized as they were at that time, they did not succeed in gaining
all they desired. But five years later they walked out again, eight
hundred strong, adopting resolutions stating that they had not been
treated as “daughters of freemen” by their employers and the unfriendly
newspapers. At the same time in Lowell, Mass., at a signal given by a
Dover girl, two thousand girls, who had formed a “=Factory Girls’
Association=,” joined in a sympathy strike, marched around town and
issued the following proclamation:



  After a painting by Carl Marr, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art,
    New York.

“Union Is Power.”

“Our present object is to have union and exertion, and we remain in
possession of our own unquestionable rights. We circulate this paper,
wishing to obtain the names of all who imbibe the spirit of our
patriotic ancestors, who preferred privation to bondage and parted with
all that renders life desirable—and even life itself—to produce
independence for their children. The oppressing hand of avarice would
enslave us, and to gain their object they very gravely tell us of the
pressure of the times; this we are already sensible of and deplore it.
If any are in want of assistance, the ladies will be compassionate and
assist them, but we prefer to have the disposing of our charities in our
own hands, and, as we are free, we would remain in possession of what
kind Providence has bestowed upon us, and remain daughters of freemen

“All who patronize this effort we wish to have discontinue their labor
until terms of reconciliation are made.

“Resolved. That we will not go back into the mills to work unless our
wages are continued to us as they have been.

“Resolved, That none of us will go back unless they receive us all as

“Resolved, That if any have not money enough to carry them home they
shall be supplied.

                  “Let oppression shrug her shoulders,
                  And a haughty tyrant frown,
                  And little upstart Ignorance
                  In mockery look down.
                  Yet I value not the feeble threats,
                  Of Tories in disguise,
                  While the flag of independence,
                  O’er our noble nation flies.”

In 1843 the girls in the cotton mills of Pittsburg, Pa., whose working
hours had been from five o’clock in the morning till a quarter of seven
in the evening, rebelled also, when their employers attempted to
increase the time one hour each day without extra pay. Two years later
they co-operated with the factory girls of New England, concurring in
the proposal to “declare their independence of the oppressive
manufacturing power” unless the work day was limited to ten hours.

The policy of these fighters for better conditions is outlined in the
constitution of the “=Lowell Female Labor Reform Association=,” which
had been organized in 1845. Article IX says:

“The members of this association disapprove of all hostile measures,
strikes and turn-outs until all pacific measures prove abortive, and
then that it is the imperious duty of everyone to assert and maintain
that independence which our brave ancestors bequeathed to us and sealed
with their blood.”

The spirit of these working women is likewise shown in the preamble
adopted at the annual meeting of the association in January, 1846. It

“It now only remains for us to throw off the shackles which are binding
us in ignorance and servitude and which prevent us from rising to that
scale of being for which God designed us. With the present system of
labor it is impossible. There must be reasonable hours for manual labor
and a just portion of time allowed for the cultivation of the mental and
moral faculties, and no other way can the great work be accomplished. It
is evident that with the present system of labor the minds of the mass
must remain uncultivated, their morals unimproved. Shall we, operatives
of America, the land where democracy claims to be the principle by which
we live and by which we are governed, see the evil daily increasing
which separates more widely and more effectually the favored few and the
unfortunate many without one exertion to stay the progress? God forbid!
Let the daughters of New England kindle the spark of Philanthropy in
every heart till its brightness shall fill the whole earth.”

Not satisfied with securing thousands of signatures of factory
operatives, who petitioned the legislature for a ten-hour day, prominent
members of the union went before the Massachusetts legislative committee
early in 1845 and testified as to the conditions in textile mills. This
was the first American governmental investigation of labor conditions,
and it was due almost solely to the petitions of the working women.
About the same time the union appointed a committee to investigate and
expose false statements published in newspapers concerning the factory
operatives. Nor was this all. In their work of publicity they did not
hesitate to call public men to account for assailing or ignoring their

The chairman of the legislative committee, before whom the working girls
had testified, was the representative from the Lowell district, and
should, therefore, have shown special interest in the complaints of the
girls. Instead, he had treated them in a high-handed manner, withholding
at the same time from the Legislature some of the most important facts
presented by the Lowell girls. The latter expressed their just
indignation in the following resolution, which was circulated before the
elections of that year:

“Resolved, That the Female Labor Reform Labor Association deeply deplore
the lack of independence, honesty and humanity in the committee to whom
were referred sundry petitions relative to the hours of labor,
especially in the chairman of that committee; and as he is merely a
corporation machine, or tool, we will use our best endeavors and
influence to keep him in the “City of Spindles,” where he belongs, and
not trouble Boston folks with him.”

That the “endeavors” of the girls met with full success is evident from
a second resolution published after election day:

“Resolved, That the members of this association tender their grateful
acknowledgments to the voters of Lowell for consigning William Schouler
to the obscurity he so justly deserves for treating so ungentlemanly the
defense made by the delegates of this association before the special
committee of the legislature, to whom was referred petitions for the
reduction of the hours of labor, of which he was chairman.”

The result of all this agitation against long hours of work was that in
1847, 1848, and 1851 the first ten-hour laws were passed in New
Hampshire, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The success, won by the textile workers, inspired women workers in the
tailoring and sewing trade, in the manufacture of shoes, cigars, and
other necessities to similar efforts. In the tailoring and sewing trade
wages were extremely low, as sweat-shop conditions existed from the
beginning, and the trade was overcrowded.

In 1845 New York City alone had over 10,000 sewing women, the majority
of whom worked from twelve to sixteen hours a day to earn only from two
to three dollars a week!

As similar conditions prevailed in other occupations, the number of
poorly paid women wage-earners in New York City in 1865 was between
50,000 to 70,000, of whom 20,000 were in a constant fight with
starvation, and of whom 7,000 lived in cellars. Their situation grew
from bad to worse, as at the same time that they were falling into a
state of physical and mental deterioration, the improvements in many
machines made greater and greater demands on the capability of those who
were operating them.

Thus the situation became such as was sketched by W. I. Thomas in an
article written some fifteen years ago for the “American Magazine,” in
which he said:

“The machine is a wonderful expression of man’s ingenuity, of his effort
to create an artificial workman, to whom no wages have to be paid, but
it falls just short of human intelligence. It has no discriminative
judgment, no control of the work as a whole. It can only finish the work
handed out to it, but it does this with superhuman energy. The
manufacturer has, then, to purchase enough intelligence to supplement
the machine, and he secures as low a grade of this as the nature of the
machine will permit. The child, the woman and the immigrant are
frequently adequate to furnish that oversight and judgment necessary to
supplement the activity of the machine, and the more ignorant and
necessitous the human being the more the profit to the industry. But now
comes the ironical and pitiful part. The machine which was invented to
save human energy, and which is so great a boon when the individual
controls it, is a terrible thing when it controls the individual.
Power-driven, it has almost no limit to its speed, and no limit whatever
to its endurance, and it has no nerves. When, therefore, under the
pressure of business competition the machine is speeded up and the girl
operating it is speeded up to its pace, =we have finally a situation in
which the machine destroys the worker=.”

The rapidly increasing misery among such exhausted women workers aroused
public attention and led to the formation of a number of woman’s
organizations with the purpose to investigate abuses among such women
workers, to teach them the value of trade unions, to agitate equal pay
for equal work, to shorten the number of working hours, and to abolish
child labor and prison work. The first national women’s trade union,
formed in the United States, was that of the “=Daughters of St.
Crispin=.” It held its first convention on July 28, 1869, at Lynn,
Massachusetts. The delegates represented not only the local lodges of
that state, but also lodges of Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois,
and California.

With the organization of the “=Knights of Labor=” in 1869, and the
“=American Federation of Labor=” the position of woman in the American
labor movement became more firmly established, as both federations made
it one of their principal objects “to secure for both sexes equal pay
for equal work.” They also appointed special committees to investigate
the conditions of working women, and to organize them for concerted

Other potent factors arising in this line were the “=National Consumers’
League=” and the “=Women’s Trade Union League=.” The founding of the
first federation was due to efforts to better the conditions of women in
department stores. In 1890 a group of saleswomen of New York City
pointed to the fact that girls in fashionable department stores were
receiving wages too low to allow them a decent living. They also
complained that these girls were forced to stand from ten to fourteen
hours a day, and that sanitary conditions in the cloak and lunch rooms
were such as to endanger health and life. While the plan of these
saleswomen, to unite all women clerks of the city into a labor union,
failed, their complaints, however, attracted the attention of a number
of influential ladies interested in philanthropic efforts. They
investigated the charges against the department stores, and what they
discovered made them resolve that conditions demanded radical changes.
In May, 1890, they called a mass meeting of prominent women and proposed
a constructive plan for raising the standard in shop conditions, not by
=blacklisting= any firm guilty of bad conduct, but by =white-listing=
those firms which treated their employees humanely. “We can make and
publish,” so the presiding lady said, “a list of all the shops where
employees receive fair treatment, and we can agree to patronize only
those shops. By acting openly, and publishing our White List we shall be
able to create an immense public opinion in favor of just employers.” In
other words, it was by the spirit of praise rather than condemnation
that these ladies sought to stimulate stores to raise their standards.

Adopting the name “=Consumers’ League of New York=,” the society
organized on January 1, 1891, and published its first White List. It was
a disappointingly small one, as it contained the names of only eight
firms. Still more disappointing was the indifference of the many hundred
other firms toward this reform movement. But soon enough these firms
found that the League had also introduced into the New York Assembly a
bill which became known as the “Mercantile Employers Bill.” It aimed to
regulate the employment of women and children in all mercantile
establishments, and to place all retail stores, from the smallest to the
largest, under the inspection of the State Factory Department.

Of course the merchants took prompt steps to defeat this obnoxious bill,
and they were most complacent when their representatives in the Assembly
succeeded in strangling it. But the bill appeared again and again,
finally resulting in the appointment of a State Commission for the
investigation of the conditions. As Reta Childe Dorr in her book “What
Eight Million Women Want” graphically relates, “The findings of this
Commission were sensational enough. Merchants reluctantly testified to
employing grown women at a salary of =thirty-three cents a day=. They
confessed to employing little girls of eleven and twelve years, in
defiance of the child-labor law. They declared that pasteboard and
wooden stock boxes were good enough seats for saleswomen; that they
should not expect to sit down in business hours, anyhow. They defended,
on what they called economic grounds, their long hours and uncompensated
overtime. They defended their system of fines, which sometimes took away
from a girl almost the entire amount of her weekly salary. They
threatened, if a ten-hour law for women under twenty-one years old were
passed, to employ older women. Thus thousands of young and helpless
girls would be thrown out of employment, and forced to appeal to

The Senate heard the report of the Commission, and in spite of the
merchants’ protests, the women’s bill was passed without a dissenting
vote. Its most important provision was the ten-hour limit which it
placed on the work of women under twenty-one. The bill also provided
seats for saleswomen, and specified the number of seats, one to every
three clerks. It forbade the employment of children, except those
holding working-certificates from the authorities.

But soon it was found that the smart representatives of the merchants
had succeeded in attaching to the bill a so-called “joker,” by which the
inspection of the stores was entrusted to the local boards of health. As
the officials of these boards, supposedly experts, proved, in fact,
ignorant of industrial conditions and their relation to health and
sanitation, the true objects of the bill could not be enforced. So the
Consumers’ League was compelled to wage another tedious war, until it
finally succeeded in convincing the Legislature that the inspection of
all department and retail stores should be turned over to the State
Factory Department. When this was done, there were reported in the first
three months of the enforcement of the Mercantile Law over 1200
violations in Greater New York. At the same time 923 under-age children
were taken out of their positions as cash girls, stock girls, and
wrappers, and sent back to school.

It was natural that the good results and the purely benevolent motives
of the Consumers’ League attracted wide attention. Similar Associations
were formed in many other cities and states. The movement spread so
rapidly, that in 1899 it was possible to organize “=The National
Consumers’ League=,” with branches in twenty-two states.

Encouraged by such success, the league now began to study the working
conditions of girls employed in restaurants. It was found that in many
cases these conditions were even worse than in the department stores.
Girls of twenty years were found working as cooks from 6:30 in the
morning to 11:30 at night, with no time off on Sundays or holidays! This
meant 119 hours a week, more than twice the time the law permits for
factory employees. Other girls, employed as waitresses, were serving
every day from 7:30 a. m. to 10:30 p. m., or 105 hours each week! In
going back and forth, they walked several miles a day, carrying heavy
trays at the same time. In rush hours they worked at a constant nervous
tension, for speed is one of their requirements. And they must not only
remember a dizzying list of orders, but must fill them quickly and keep
their temper under the exactions of the most rasping customer.

Based on such findings, the Consumers’ League of New York caused the
framing of a bill by which the hours of women in restaurants were
limited to 54 hours weekly, which gave the girls one day of rest in
seven, and prohibited their working between 10 p. m. and 6 a. m. In
October, 1917, this bill became a law. In a number of other states
minimum wage laws have also been secured.

The Consumers’ League of Philadelphia took pains to investigate
conditions in the silk mills of Pennsylvania. It was found that besides
overwork and underpay there were often other evils, due to an erring as
well as inhuman policy on the part of the employers. Like the owners of
the department stores many of these men were possessed by the idea that
the right to sit down would encourage slow work and laziness.
Accordingly the girls in these mills were forced to stand from early
morning till late at night, day after day, and month after month.

The secretary of the Consumers’ League, who, under an assumed name,
worked for some time in various mills, in order to study conditions,

“The harmful effect of continuous standing, upon young and growing
girls, is too well established a fact to require any elaboration. In
addition to the permanent ill effects, much immediate and unnecessary
suffering, especially in hot weather, is inflicted by the prohibition of
sitting. I could always detect the existence of this rule by a glance at
the stocking-feet of the workers, and at the rows of discarded shoes
beneath the frames. For after a few hours the strain upon the swollen
feet becomes intolerable, and one girl after another discards her

Another harsh and very common practice of employers is to cover the
lower sashes of the windows with paint, and to fasten them so that they
cannot be raised in hot weather. This is done “so that the girls don’t
waste time looking out.”

The cruelty of these unnecessary rules is often aggravated by a most
amazing lack of the common decencies and necessities of cleanliness.

One of the most difficult tasks of the Consumers’ League was to overcome
the absolute unwillingness of storekeepers to compensate their
saleswomen for overtime. If it would be possible to compute the amount
of such unpaid labor performed after the regular hours in many stores as
well as in the bookkeeping and auditing departments, especially during
the Christmas season, the sum would be startling indeed. A circular
issued by the Women’s Trade Union League of Chicago some years ago
stated that the 3000 clerks in only one department store of that city
had been required to work during the holiday season overtime to the
total amount of 96,000 hours, without receiving any compensation. At the
rate of only ten cents an hour these clerks suffered a loss of $9,600,
at the rate of 25 cents an hour a loss of $24,000.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The first “=Women’s Trade Union League=” was organized in 1875 by =Mrs.
Emma Paterson=, the wife of an English trade unionist. While travelling
in America, she had observed that women workers of various trades had
formed unions, among which the “Umbrella Makers’ Union,” the “Women’s
Typographical Union” and the “Women’s Protective Union” were the most
prominent. Convinced that the utility of such combinations could be
still more increased, Mrs. Paterson, after her return to England,
organized a federation of such women’s unions, the “=British Women’s
Trade Union League=,” which later on became the model for a similar
organization in America. It was founded on November 14th, 1903, for the
one main purpose to organize all women workers into trade unions, in
order to protect them from exploitation, to help them raise their wages,
shorten their hours, and improve sanitary conditions of the work shops.
Becoming affiliated with the “American Federation of Labor,” the league
gained a splendid victory during the years 1909 to 1911, when a series
of huge strikes in the sewing trades spread over the East and the Middle
West. Also an agreement was arrived at, that the principle of preference
to unionists, first enforced in Australia, should be acknowledged. Under
this plan manufacturers, when hiring help, must give to union workers of
the necessary qualifications and degree of skill precedence over
non-union workers.

At all times ready to express the sentiments and voice the aspirations
of those who toil, the “Women s Trade Union League” represents to-day
over 100,000 working women. While it has had a wonderful effect in
improving standards of wages, hours and sanitary conditions in what was
originally an underpaid and unhealthy industry, it also has become the
pioneer in another direction, that of education in the labor movement.
At the initiative of a group of girls an educational movement was
started which has extended into organizations including some half a
million workers, men as well as women. In public schools of New York,
Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other cities educators
of national reputation are co-operating with teachers and delegates from
labor unions in giving lecture courses for adults on such subjects as
social interpretation of literature, evolution of the labor movement,
problems of reconstruction, social problems, trade unionism and
co-operation, etc. At the same time a movement for co-operative housing
has been developing. “The New York Ladies’ Waist and Dressmaker’s Union”
for instance has bought in 1919 at a cost of several hundred thousand
dollars a magnificent summer home for the exclusive use of its members.
This “Unity House” at Forest Park, Pennsylvania, has accommodations for
500 guests. Situated at a beautiful lake, surrounded by shady forests
and green lawns, provided with tennis courts, a library and reading
rooms, it is an ideal recreation ground of first order. The money for
this estate was brought up by the 30,000 members of the union, each
contributing one day’s wages.

In New York City also a co-operative “Unity House” has been established
with quarters for fifty girls. A great extension of this movement in the
city is planned. The Philadelphia group of the same union is following
these examples and has acquired a fine estate worth $40,000.

At present the various woman’s organizations of the United States as
well as of other countries aim at the following issues:

 =1.=       =To limit the working day for women to eight hours.=

 =2.=       =To demand for women equal pay with men for equal work.=

 =3.=       =To establish for all the various occupations minimum wage
              scales, sufficient to grant all women workers an adequate

 =4.=       =To secure safe and sanitary working conditions, and clinics
              for the treatment of diseases resulting from certain
              industrial occupations.=

 =5.=       =To secure industrial insurance laws.=

 =6.=       =To secure for all women full citizenship with the right to
              vote in all municipal and national elections.=

As woman’s future position will depend on the realization of these
demands, their discussion is of utmost importance.


As has been shown in a former chapter, innumerable valuable lives of
workmen, women and, in former years, children have been sacrificed
through the unreasonable exploitation by employers, who in their greed
for profits had lost all consideration for the welfare of their
fellow-men. Hundreds of thousands of laborers have been slowly worked to
death as no sufficient amount of time for recuperation was granted them.

The only possible excuse for such incredible waste of human lives is
that neither the employers nor the law-makers of those bygone days
realized that the physical and mental abilities of the large laboring
classes belong to the resources of a nation just as truly as do the
water-power, the soil, the mineral deposits, the forests, and other
natural means. Moreover, nobody was aware of the fact that it is one of
the supreme duties of a wise government to guard these resources, so
fundamentally necessary to the prosperity of a nation, from unscrupulous
exploitation and possible destruction.

The danger of the reckless exploitation of laborers, especially of women
workers, has increased considerably with the improvement of many
machines, the greater speed and output of which demand far greater
attention and strain than before on the part of the men or women
operating them.

This is what Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War, said in 1917 at the
annual meeting of the National Consumers’ League:

“Machinery has given us one great delusion. People have imagined that
when a machine was operated by a steam engine or by an electric motor,
the steam engine or the electric motor actually did all the work, and
the people who were attending it while it operated were more or less
negligible. As a consequence, we indulged in the very unfortunate and
often fatal belief that unlimited hours of labor were possible because
it was the machines which were doing the work. We overlooked the fact,
which we have lately begun to appreciate, that the person who tends the
power-driven machine is far more susceptible to exhaustion, is far more
open to fatigue and to the poisons that affect the system and that come
from over-exertion than ever before.”

Mrs. Florence Kelley, the able General Secretary of the National
Consumers’ League, who studied woman’s occupation in the sewing trade,
states that of late years the speed of the sewing machines has been
increased so that girls using these improved machines are now
responsible for twenty times as many stitches as twenty years ago, and
that many girls and women, not capable of the sustained speed involved
in this improvement, are no longer eligible for this occupation. Those
who continue in the trade are required to feed twice as many garments to
the machine as were required five years ago. The strain upon their eyes
is, however, far more than twice what it was before the improvement. In
the case of machines carrying multiple needles this is obvious; but it
is true of the single needle machines as well.

When a girl cannot keep the pace she is thrown out. A comment frequently
made by the girls about such an unfortunate comrade is: “She got too
slow. She couldn’t keep up with her machine any longer.” It amounts to
this, that the girl can earn a living wage, if she is unusually gifted,
=until she is worn out=.

The nerve strain caused by innumerable rapid-working machines of the
present day has become obvious in many cases. As the compressed
air-hammer has shattered the nerves of many robust men, so the latest
machines used in the sewing and other trades have impaired the health of
many women. “Such nerve strain,” says Rheta Childe Dorr, “cannot be
regulated. It is a Gordian knot that cannot be untied. The only thing to
do is to cut it. The only solution of it is a shortened work-day. This
is true for men as well as for women, but, in all probability, not to
the same degree. Nerve strain affects men, certainly, and it demands,
even in their case, a progressively shortened work-day as an alternative
to a progressively shortened work-life. But with women the case becomes
infinitely more urgent, infinitely more tragic, in exact proportion as
woman’s nervous system is more unstable than man’s and more easily
shaken from its equilibrium.”

The advantages of an eight-hour day with rest at night for women and
children have been summed up as follows:

1.—Where the working day is short, the workers are less predisposed to
diseases arising from fatigue. They are correspondingly less in danger
of being out of work, for sickness is in turn one of the great causes of

2.—Accidents have diminished conspicuously wherever working hours have
been reduced.

3.—The workers have better opportunity for continuing their education
out of working hours. Where they do this intelligently they become more
valuable and are correspondingly less likely to become victims of

4.—A short working day established by law tends automatically to
regularize work. The interest of the employer is to have all hands
continuously active, and no one sitting idly waiting for needles, or
thread, or materials, or for machines to be repaired. Every effort is
bent towards having work ready for every hour of every working day in
the year. In unregulated industry, on the contrary, there are cruel
alternations of idleness and overwork.

5.—For married women wage-earners it is especially necessary to have the
working day short and work regular. For when they leave their workplace
it is to cook, sew, and clean at home, sometimes even to care for the

In the movement for an eight-hour day for the women workers its
advocates have already succeeded in Australia, Great Britain, Germany,
Denmark, Porto Rico, and Mexico. The eight-hour day has also been
secured for all employees of the U. S. Government and for the women and
workmen of a large number of the states.

                       EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK.

That women are entitled to equal pay with men for equal work, was
recognized by the ancient Babylonians five or six thousand years ago.
The justice of this demand is so self-evident, that it would hardly seem
to need any discussion. Notwithstanding all labor organizations have
been compelled to place it on their program, as many factory owners
employed the cheaper woman- and child-labor only in order to underbid
and reduce the wages of the male laborers. As female laborers have been
much more poorly organized than men, they have been less capable of
maintaining their claims.

The first equal opportunity and equal pay laws were passed in the State
of Washington. In 1890 a section was added to her Labor Laws reading as
follows: “Hereafter in this state every avenue of employment shall be
open to women; and any business, vocation, profession, and calling
followed and pursued by men may be followed and pursued by women, and no
person shall be disqualified from engaging in or pursuing any business,
vocation, profession, calling or employment on account of sex.”

Section 5 of Industrial Welfare Commission of the State of Washington,
Order of September 10, 1918, is the first general equal pay law: “That
women doing equal work with men in any occupation, trade, or industry in
this state shall receive the same compensation therefor as men during
work of the same character and of like quantity and quality, the
determination of what constitutes equal work to rest with the Industrial
Welfare Commission.”

                    THE MEANING OF THE MINIMUM WAGE.

The interests of every community demand that all workers, male as well
as female, shall receive a fair living wage, to save them from
pernicious effects upon their health and morals. The dangers to the
health of women have been found to be twofold: lack of adequate
nourishment and lack of medical care in sickness. Careful investigations
as well as statistics have proven that with insufficient wages food is
necessarily cut down below the requirements of subsistence, and health
inevitably suffers. In order to meet unavoidable expenses for lodging
and clothing, workingwomen reduce their diet to the lowest possible

On the moral side, authorities agree in the opinion that, while
underpayment and the consequent struggle to live may not be the primary
cause for entering upon an immoral life, it is inevitably a highly
important factor. When wages are too low to supply nourishment and other
human needs, temptation is more readily yielded to.

The discovery that inadequate wages menace the morals of women and
through them the interests and the good name of the community in which
they work, has had much to do with the adoption of minimum-wage laws in
America as well as in other parts of the world.

In the United States the first minimum-wage orders were those of the
Oregon Industrial Commission, which fixed $8.64 as the legal weekly
minimum for manufacturing establishments, and $9.25 for mercantile
establishments, in the City of Portland. These rates were based upon the
testimony of workers and employers gathered by the Oregon Consumers’
League. The testimony had shown that the prevailing wage for beginners
in department stores was $3.00 a week; that nearly half of these girls
and women employed were receiving less than $9.00, and that female
clerks never received above $10.00 a week, no matter how long the term
of their service.

After learning from the employers what wages were actually paid, the
Oregon investigators sought to determine the amount necessary to protect
the health and morals of the women workers through an examination of
market prices and a careful study of the actual expenditures of the
workers. One hundred and sixteen department-store workers furnished the
information for the following table of averages:

                                             Living at Home Adrift
    Rent                                            $315.51 $118.00
    Board                                                    196.25
    Carfare                                           31.20   23.42
    Clothing                                         161.36  139.63
    Laundry                                           24.28   16.27
    Doctor and Dentist                                29.23   23.82
    Lodge and Church                                  12.19    9.72
    Recreation                                        21.48   36.62
    Books, etc.                                       10.11    6.69
                                                    ——————— ———————
        Total Expenses                              $605.36 $570.42

    The total wages received in the average:
        Total Wages                                 $459.50 $480.57
                                                    ——————— ———————
        Deficit                                     $145.86  $89.85

These figures show that a majority of these women actually received less
than it cost them to live.

Investigations carried on in order to find how these women met the
difference, disclosed that many of them, whether living at home or
boarding, did extra chores in the morning before going to work and after
work-hours in the evening. Others went into debt. And still others
became “charity girls”—that is, they kept company with “gentlemen
friends,” who came up for the balance, sometimes under promise of
marriage when these “friends” should feel able to set up a household.
That such promises are not always kept and that the girls quite often
sink to lower levels, are facts well known.

The first law embodying the principle of the minimum wage was enacted in
New Zealand 25 years ago. From there it spread gradually to the other
Australian States. In 1896 Victoria, the largest industrial State of
Australia, passed the first act providing for special boards to fix
minimum wages in different trades. Beginning with a few sweat-shop
industries, the movement has grown by successive special acts, until, in
1916, there were about 150 trades or occupations in which minimum wages
were set by special wage boards.

The same general plan was followed by Great Britain in the trade boards
act of 1909. This bill, introduced in Parliament by delegates of the
English Anti-sweating League and of the National Consumers’ League in
January, 1909, was passed and signed in time to take effect at New
Years, 1910.

In the United States, up to the end of 1918, minimum-wage laws had been
enacted in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas,
Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin
and in the District of Columbia, guaranteeing a living wage to women
workers, especially in unorganized trades.


When in the industries human power began to be supplanted by
steam-driven machines, when competition grew fierce and fiercer, it was
found that with the ever increasing speed of the whirling wheels the
dangers that threatened the workmen increased enormously. The use of
almost every machine has brought with it some peculiar peril, this one
crushing a finger or cutting a limb of the person in charge; that one
tearing out an arm or killing the operator if for a fraction of a second
his thoughts strayed from his work, or if he became drowsy after long
hours of work.

It was also found that many persons, engaged in certain occupations,
became afflicted by peculiar diseases, unknown before and strictly
confined to the persons doing that special work.

According to conservative estimates, of the 38,000,000 wage earners of
the United States, in every year 30,000 to 33,000 are killed by
industrial accidents. In addition, there are approximately 2,000,000
non-fatal accidents.

Imagine a plain strewn with 35,000 corpses and two million men and women
crying out under the pain of severe lacerations, burns, cuts, bruises,
dislocations and fractures! Imagine the horrible sight of so many human
beings with limbs torn into shreds, with faces having empty eye-holes,
with breasts heaving from the effect of poisonous gases! If such numbers
of men and women were killed and wounded in one day at one place, the
whole world would be terrified, and register the day as the most
dreadful in history. But as these losses extend over a whole year and a
large territory, our nation takes only slight notice of them, hardly
thinking of the fact, that these immense losses and sufferings are
terrible realities, which affect the economic wealth of our nation as a
whole in a very serious way.

These conditions are the more deplorable as the majority of such
accidents could be avoided by intelligent and rational methods, as is
done in other civilized countries, where the possibilities for
successful prevention of accidents have been clearly demonstrated.

Granting that many of such industrial accidents are the result of
ignorance, reckless indifference or carelessness, the fact remains that
much that could be done in our country for the protection of working
people is neglected.

When in Europe with the increase of industries the number of accidents
and “professional diseases” swelled in proportion, some philanthropists
and economists, interested in the welfare of their fellow-citizens and
convinced that every life saved is a national asset, became alarmed and
searched for means to prevent such calamities. When in 1855 the first
World’s Exposition was held at Paris, it had a special department in
which were exhibited inventions for the safety of working people. Later
on a permanent “Musée social” was established.

Since then similar institutions have been opened in Berlin, Munich,
Vienna, Amsterdam, Brussels, Zurich, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Budapest,
Milan, Moscow, and several other places. These museums contain the
latest and most select inventions for the restriction of accidents and
in the interest of industrial hygiene. And as all exhibits are arranged
in separate groups according to the various professions, every
manufacturer and every working man and woman can inform himself without
loss of time about all new inventions relating to his special trade.

Perhaps the most comprehensive and most scientific of these museums is
that of Charlottenburg, a suburb of Berlin. Its wonderfully interesting
character is evident from the moment one enters the magnificent
building, which occupies a whole city block. There are long rows of
figures equipped with the various types of masks and helmets used by
miners, divers, fire-fighters, and laborers, working in rooms filled
with poisonous gases, dust, or irrespirable smoke. There are all the
implements and attachments for the protection of persons working on
men-killing machines.

There are casts in plaster and reproductions in wax illustrating all the
dreadful skin diseases and deformities of the limbs, by which the
laborers engaged in certain industries become afflicted. Other exhibits
illustrate what measures should be taken for the improvement of the
conditions of the working classes; how to furnish the best nourishment
at the lowest cost; how to settle laborers in pleasant colonies, and how
to treat those, who have become sick or afflicted with industrial

Among the most important exhibits are the statistics of three
institutions provided for all persons employed in workshops and

Germany was first among the nations to recognize the need of reforms in
the social conditions of the working classes. Before 1870 wages had been
low, and many of the evils that developed in other industrial countries
had spread to Germany. Believing that the working classes have a right
to be considered by the State the Government in 1881 initiated the era
of “State social politics,” which brought about an enormous change in
the condition of the working classes. Besides many reforms in regard to
the length of the working hours and to women’s and children’s labor,
this State socialism provided for three important institutions: first, a
compulsory insurance against sickness; second, a compulsory insurance
against accidents; third, a compulsory insurance against invalidity and
old age.

To the funds of the first class all laborers earning less than 2000
marks a year must pay two-thirds, and the employer one-third of the
weekly premiums. In case of sickness, the insured person receives half
the amount for twenty-six weeks. Doctors, hospitals and medicines are
free. In 1913 14,555,609 laborers, men and women, were protected in this
way. Many poor mothers were supported for several weeks before and after
confinement. To prevent sickness, especially tuberculosis, the
institution supported numbers of sanitariums and recreation homes, where
thousands of people, who would otherwise have perished, regained their

The insurance fees against accidents had to be paid entirely by the
employer. In case of an accident, it was not the employer in whose
factory it had happened who was held responsible, but the whole group of
employers in the same branch of industry. Every group was compelled to
establish an insurance company. In 1913 there were 25,800,000 men and
women thus protected. An injured laborer received, during the time of
his disability, two-thirds of his wages, also free medical treatment. In
case of his death the family received at once fifteen per cent. of his
annual wages and an annual support of sixty per cent. As the employers
naturally wish to keep the amount of expenses as low as possible, this
kind of compulsory insurance greatly stimulated the invention and
institution of measures by which accidents may be prevented.

The premiums for the insurance against invalidity and old age were paid
half by the employees and half by the employer. Support was given to
invalids without regard to age, and to persons above seventy years. To
every lawful pension the Government contributed 50 marks. In 1914
16,551,500 people were protected by this insurance. In the one year of
1913, the amount distributed among needy people by these three branches
of insurance was 775,000,000 marks. The miners of Germany were protected
by similar institutions. The splendid results of such compulsory
insurance induced the Government to prepare a special insurance for
widows and orphans. It may be mentioned that the management of these
insurance companies was entirely in the hands of the working classes and
the employers.

All in all, the “Permanent Expositions for the Welfare of the Working
Classes,” as they exist in Berlin and in other European capitals,
demonstrate what intelligent nations can do for the protection and the
welfare of their laborers. How many millions of useful lives have been
saved by the inventions brought here to the knowledge of the public, and
what vast amounts of suffering, sorrow and tears have been averted, we
can only guess.

In view of these facts it must be stated that our United States, which
of all countries is the greatest in industry and suffers most heavily
through industrial accidents and diseases, is among the most backward in
regard to social legislation as well as in the effort to interest
employers and employees in these welfare institutions which are of such
vital value for both parties.

Yes, there was in 1910 a “Museum of Safety” established in New York, but
so far it has remained the only one in the entire western hemisphere.
And, as it is housed in the lower floors of an insignificant building in
24th Street, it has failed to attract the attention and the support of
the masses.

In my opinion, every state should have a permanent museum which brings
to public knowledge all inventions relating to the special industries
and trades followed by its population. The agricultural states may
confine themselves to exhibits by which accidents connected with the
pursuit of agriculture can be prevented. The mining states may give
preference to everything that increases safety in the mines. The states
bordering our oceans and great lakes should collect all devices that
make navigation safer; our industrial states must direct their efforts
to collect such inventions as may restrict accidents in workshops and
factories. If this should be done, and if our governments, legislators
and factory inspectors would demand the installation of such inventions,
the terrific number of victims that perish every year upon our
industrial battlefields would most assuredly be greatly diminished. It
is to these aims that our statesmen as well as our male and female
workers should direct their utmost endeavors.


Perhaps in no other field of human activity has the disinclination of
Christian men to make any concessions to women been so strong as in all
matters regarding the church. While women were permitted to sit on
thrones and rule vast empires, theological prejudice would not allow
them to officiate at the altar or to occupy the pulpit. This vehement
opposition was due to mediæval traditions and customs. The saying of the
Apostle Paul: “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority
over the man, but to be in silence,” had been an inviolable law to all
Catholic and Protestant dignitaries of the church. And so during the
whole Middle Ages the idea was prevalent that a masculine priesthood
alone was acceptable to God.

The first attempt to overthrow these views was made in 1634 by =Anne
Hutchinson=, who came from Lincolnshire to Boston. Joining a church
there she found that the male members used to meet every week to discuss
the sermon they had heard the preceding Sunday. Believing that the power
of the Holy Ghost dwells in every believer, and that the inward
revelations of the spirit, the conscious judgment of the mind, are a
paramount authority. Mrs. Hutchinson established similar meetings for
the women. Soon she had large audiences, in which she set forth
sentiments of her own. But disputes arose among her followers and their
opponents, which grew so hot, that the continued existence of the two
opposing parties was considered inconsistent with public peace. A
convention of ministers, the first synod in America, was called in 1637,
which condemned the opinions of Mrs. Hutchinson, and caused her to be
summoned before the General Court. After a trial of two days, she was
convicted of censuring the ministers and advancing errors, and sentenced
to banishment from Massachusetts. She found refuge in Rhode Island, but
moved later on to the Dutch settlements, where she as well as her
children were killed by Indians.

In 1774 another English woman, =Anne Lee=, immigrated to New York.
Professing to have received a special persuasion, she organized at
Watervliet, N. Y., the first community of Shakers, to which she
promulgated a doctrine of celibacy. Their previous training had led
members of this sect to expect that the second coming of Christ would be
in the form of a woman; as Eve was the mother of all living, so in their
new leader the Shakers recognized “the first mother or spiritual parent
in the line of the female.” These Shakers gave their women an equal
share with men in the service and government of their society.

With the history of the “Salvation Army” likewise the names of several
women are closely connected. This religious body was organized in 1865
on military lines by Rev. William Booth. In his revival and mission work
among the lower classes of England he found in his wife Catherine a
perfect helpmate. Together they conquered with their revivals first
London, then the province, then the United Kingdom, and afterwards
country after country in every part of the world.



In England =Mrs. Booth= was the first woman preacher, and if she had
done nothing else but vindicate the right of woman to speak in public
and preach the Gospel, she would have done great work. But she did far
more than this. By making her whole life, and every thought and action
subservient to the cause of the Salvation Army, she brought comfort and
happiness to many thousands of poor souls.

The work of this “Mother of the Army” was continued by her daughter,
=Evangeline Booth=, known in the history of the organization as “The
Commander”; by =Emma Booth-Tucker=, known as “The Consul”; by =Mrs. W.
Branwell Booth=, “The General,” and by =Elizabeth Swift Brengle=, known
as “The Colonel.”

The first woman in the Christian world to be ecclesiastically ordained
was =Antoinette Brown Blackwell=, an American woman who had graduated
from Oberlin, Ohio. She was ordained in 1852 in South Butler, N. Y., by
a council called by the First Congregational Church. =Rev. Olympia
Brown= was the next woman ordained ten years later. In December, 1863,
the =Rev. Augusta J. Chapin= was the first woman to receive the title of
Doctor of Divinity.

Since the ordination of these women the number of female “clergymen” in
the various denominations has increased rapidly. According to the Census
of 1910 their number within the United States was 7395 in that year. The
success of woman in the pulpit is no longer a question but an
affirmation. This is what Rev. Phebe A. Hanford said on the subject:

“Other things being equal, why may not a woman preach and pray and
perform pastoral duty as well as a man? Why should she not preside at
the Lord’s table, consecrate in baptism the child whose parents would
dedicate their choicest possessions to God, or the adult who would thus
express his faith in Christ and his determination that “whatever others
may do he will serve the Lord”? When two loving hearts desire to join
hands and walk the earthly pathway side by side, why should not a woman
minister pronounce the sacred formula and convey the sanction of the Law
and the Gospel to their matrimonial purpose? And when the voice of
consolation is sorely needed, and the solemn words are to be spoken
which consign the silent dust to its last resting-place, why should not
a womanly woman officiate as well as any tender-hearted and eloquent
man? Surely woman is proverbially compassionate; and that she is often
eloquent with voice and pen, and with poetic expression and the fervor
of truth which can reach the heart, who can deny?”



It is hard to realize in these days of professional equality between the
sexes that only half a century ago a woman who desired to study medicine
was considered such a phenomenon that her morality and the purity of her
motives were questioned. And yet this desire is only natural, as the
life of every woman has moments when she has to call for medical help.
There are especially the transition to womanhood, all the experiences of
motherhood, and the many ailments peculiar to women. To be compelled to
consult in these cases a male physician, is for many bashful girls and
women such a repellant thought, that they quite often postpone it from
week to week, until too late.

No doubt such were the reasons and experiences which caused =Agnodice=,
an Athenian girl, born about 300 B. C., to disguise her sex in order
that she might study medicine. Like Dr. Mary Walker in the 19th Century,
she donned male attire and became a disciple of Herophilus, an eminent
physician and anatomist of the Alexandrian School. Her specialty was
midwifery and women’s diseases, and when she started to practice
herself, she met with such great success that her male colleagues became
jealous and tried to prevent her from practicing by accusing her of
corruption before the Areopagus. But the result of the proceedings was
quite contrary to their expectations, as a law was immediately passed
allowing all freeborn women to learn midwifery.

Since then female physicians practiced in Hellas as well as in
Alexandria and in Rome. And when in the 9th Century after Christ the
famous Schola Salernitana was established at Salerno, a department for
women’s diseases was included, with a number of female professors as
teachers. The names of several of these professors are still known; the
most noted was the celebrated =Tortula=, who lived in the 11th Century.
=Abella=, =Constanza=, =Calendas=, and =Hildegarde= too have been
praised for their great ability.

This eminent position held by women in the medical profession declined
slowly after the 12th Century, and practically disappeared after the
16th Century. The cause for this relapse was undoubtedly the increasing
hostility of the Christian Church toward any occupation of women with
sciences. This prejudice remained alive up to modern times. It was
dominant in 1845 when a young American woman, =Elizabeth Blackwell=,
decided to study medicine. The same motives as had moved the Athenian
Agnodice and the loss of a dear woman friend caused the young American
to write to various physicians asking as to the wisdom and possibility
of a woman becoming a doctor. The answers she received were unanimously
to the effect that while the idea was a valuable one it was impossible
of accomplishment for many reasons. This verdict only served to
intensify her determination to accomplish her purpose. After two years
of private study she went to Philadelphia, which in those days, 1847,
was considered the seat of medical learning in this country, and made
application to the four medical colleges for admission as a regular
student. But such a revolutionary idea was not to be entertained, and
all the doors remained closed to her. One kindly Quaker adviser said to
her: “Elizabeth, it is of no use trying. Thee cannot gain admission to
these schools. Thee must go to Paris and don masculine attire to gain
the necessary knowledge.”

It had now become a moral crusade with Miss Blackwell, and the justice
and common sense of her undertaking seemed so supreme that she
determined to push the warfare to the farthest limit. After similarly
unsuccessful attempts in New York, she obtained a complete list of all
the smaller institutions of the Northern States, examined their
prospectuses, and sent applications for admission to twelve of the most
promising. After long delay an answer came from the medical department
of the small university at Geneva, in the western part of New York
State. It seems that the faculty had submitted Miss Blackwell’s letter
to the medical class, who adopted the following resolutions:

“Resolved—That one of the radical principles of a republican government
is the universal education of both sexes; that to every branch of
scientific education the door should be open equally to all; that the
application of Elizabeth Blackwell to become a member of our class meets
our entire approbation; and in extending our unanimous invitation we
pledge ourselves that no conduct of ours shall cause her to regret her
attendance at this institution.”

Their gallantry won the day, the faculty cordially opened the doors of
the institution, and she began her studies there at once.

Being the first female student in the small place her appearance of
course gave rise to many comments. Many people looked at this new woman
in wonder; some even inclined to regard her as a lunatic, or a
disorderly person. But her behavior and seriousness compelled respect,
and when in 1849 she received her degree, the public press very
generally commented upon the event in favorable terms and even in Europe
some notice of it was taken. She found fewer obstacles in her path in
her studies abroad, especially in Paris. After her return to America she
began practice in New York City, and here again she had to do pioneer
work. The medical fraternity stood aloof, refusing to consult with her,
and society in general somewhat distrusted the innovation. But in time
her work received just recognition and the status of women in the
profession became fully established. In 1868 Dr. Blackwell founded the
“Woman’s Medical College of New York.” The later years of her life were
spent in England, where she also did much in moulding public opinion
along the lines of philanthropy, especially in opening hospitals and
dispensaries for women and children.

A few years after Miss Blackwell had received her diploma, another
remarkable woman, =Florence Nightingale=, aroused world-wide admiration
by her noble service during the Crimean war of 1853–56. Intensely
devoted to the alleviation of suffering, she had since 1849 paid great
attention to the sanitary conditions of civilian as well as military
hospitals, which in many cases she found rather poor. In 1851 she went
into training as a nurse, and when in 1853 war was declared with Russia,
and the hospitals on the Bosphorus were soon crowded with the sick and
wounded, she offered the English Government to go out and organize a
nursing department at Scutari. Starting with a unit of thirty-seven
nurses, she arrived at Constantinople when the mortality in the
hospitals had become appalling. Seeing clearly the cause for this
frightful state in the bad sanitary arrangements of the hospitals, Miss
Nightingale devoted incessant labor to the removal of these causes, as
well as to the mitigation of their effects, with such success, that in
the English army the death-rate fell from 22¼% to only 2¼%.

After her return to England, in 1856, the Government as well as Queen
Victoria and the public were not slow to acknowledge her splendid
services. While the Queen presented her with a cross set with diamonds,
the people subscribed a fund of several hundred thousand dollars for the
purpose of enabling her to found an institution for the training of a
superior order of nurses in connection with the St. Thomas’s and King’s
College Hospitals. Miss Nightingale also enriched the medical literature
by two valuable books, “Notes on Nursing” and “Notes on Hospitals,” in
which she gave the results of her lifelong observations.

The example of Miss Nightingale had much to do with calling forth the
exertions of American women during the Civil War. As soon as there were
wounded soldiers to heal, and military hospitals to serve, the patriotic
and benevolent women of America remembered the great work of Florence
Nightingale, and hastened to the front. As A. W. Calhoun states in his
“Social History of the American Family,” by 1864 there were busy in the
North 250 women physicians. Women planned and organized also the “U. S.
Sanitary Commission,” for the alleviation of the sufferings of the
battlefield. Its pre-eminent utility was universally recognized. It
caused likewise several great charity fairs, the last two of which were
held in New York and Philadelphia and yielded $1,000,000 and $1,200,000

Among the female physicians, who did service during the Civil War, the
most noteworthy was =Dr. Mary E. Walker=. Having studied medicine at the
Medical College in Syracuse, N. Y., she was the first woman commissioned
to serve on the surgical staff of any army in time of war. On assuming
her duties as surgeon in the war, she found hospital efficiency and
hoopskirts incompatible; so she sacrificed the skirt and donned a man’s
coat and trousers. In recognition of her able services Congress not only
awarded her a Medal of Honor, but also allowed her—the only instance in
history—by a special act to continue to wear male attire. Dr. Walker
declared many times that her sole reason for advocating dress reform for
women were hygienic ones. A real pioneer in her profession, she also
maintained for many years a farm for sufferers from tuberculosis and
carried on a school for prevention of that disease modelled after a plan
of her own.

Among the women, whose names appear in the history of the Civil War, one
of the most brilliant was =Miss Clara Barton=. Devoting herself to the
care of the wounded soldiers, she won for herself as superintendent of
the hospitals in the army of the James the surname “the Florence
Nightingale of America.” During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71 she
joined the German branch of the Red Cross Society, that noble
institution, which in 1859 had been founded by Henry Durant, a citizen
of Geneva, Switzerland.

Inspired by the example of Miss Nightingale, and horrified by the
ghastly scenes of the Italian battlefields, he resolved to work for the
proper treatment and nursing of wounded soldiers, while still on the
ground. At his strong appeal the Swiss Federal Council invited all
European nations to a convention in order to discuss proper steps to be
taken in this direction. Attended by delegates from Baden, Belgium,
Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Prussia, Switzerland and Wurtemberg,
the convention met on August 22, 1864, in Geneva, and decided, that
henceforth not only all places where wounded soldiers are treated, but
also all persons, engaged in this samaritan service, should be regarded
as neutrals and distinguished by white flags or white bands showing a
red cross. Such places must not be attacked, but protected by the
soldiers of all combating armies.

In the further history and evolution of this international =Society of
the Red Cross= women have played a most prominent part. Miss Barton
established during the Franco-Prussian War several military hospitals
and, by conducting them, distinguished herself so that she was decorated
with the Iron Cross. After her return to the United States she organized
in 1882 the “American Red Cross Society,” of which she became the first
president. The work of Miss Barton and the Red Cross in the
Spanish-American War and the great help given to the sufferers after the
great tidal wave in Galveston, Texas, caused the United States Senate
and the Texas Legislature to adopt resolutions of thanks.

All these great efforts of women could not fail to create a most
favorable impression toward woman’s activity in medicine. In England an
act of 1868 for the first time opened the study of pharmacy to women;
and after a long struggle they obtained their footing as physicians. In
1874 a special medical school was opened for women in London. In 1876 an
act authorized every recognized medical body to open its doors to women.
In 1878 a supplemental charter enabled the University of London to grant
degrees to women in all its faculties, including medicine. As a result
up to the close of 1895 264 women had been placed on the British
register as duly qualified medical practitioners.

In the United States similar progress was made.

According to the census of 1910, there were 7399 women physicians and
surgeons in the United States.

Whereas fifty years ago there was great objection to admitting women to
the medical societies, now the men of the profession welcome women
physicians to the societies and to their discussions, and are more than
willing to consult with them. The advantage of employing women
physicians has been recognized likewise by many hospitals, sanitariums
and insane asylums; the courts too recognize the justice of women’s
preferring women in the physical examination required by law. There can
be no doubt, that the 20th Century opens to women physicians
undreamed-of possibilities in science and in the art of healing.



When in the year of our Lord 1869 American papers reported that in Iowa
a woman had been admitted to the bar, most readers were inclined to
regard this “bit of news” as one of the many jokes, sprung occasionally
upon credulous people in order to warn them what the “new woman” might
be able to do. But in this case the “joke” turned out to be a fact. And
if people had been somewhat better acquainted with their Bibles, they
would have known that the woman lawyer of Iowa was only another
confirmation of Rabbi Ben Akiba’s famous saying: “There is nothing new
under the sun!”

Open your Bible and read in Chapter 4 of the Judges IV about =Deborah=,
the Joan of Arc of the Hebrews. Of this most extraordinary woman
recorded in Jewish history it is stated that she was a prophetess as
well as a judge, “to whom the children of Israel came for judgment.”

The Greeks and Romans too had female lawyers. From writers of the
classic past we know that =Aspasia= pleaded causes in the Athenian
forum, and =Amenia Sentia= and =Hortensia= in the Roman forum. And
Valerius Maximus (Hist. lib. VIII, Chapter 3) states that the right of
Roman women to follow the profession of advocate was taken away in
consequence of the obnoxious conduct of =Caliphurnia=, who, from “excess
of boldness” and “by reason of making the tribunals resound with
howlings uncommon in the forum,” was forbidden to plead. The law, made
to meet the especial case of Caliphurnia, ultimately “under the
influence of the anti-feministic tendencies” of the period, was
converted into a general one. In its wording the law sets forth that the
original reason for woman’s exclusion “rested solely on the doings of
said person.”

The “howlings of Caliphurnia” furnished the legislators of all later
periods with a welcome pretext to exclude women from practice of the
law, and it was not till 1869 that a woman again obtained admission to
the bar. This pioneer was =Miss Arabella A. Mansfield= of Mount
Pleasant, Iowa, who was admitted to the Iowa bar in 1869, under the
statute providing only for admission of “white male citizens.”

The next female lawyer was =Mrs. Belva Ann Lockwood=, a graduate of the
Law School of the National University at Washington, D. C. Having been
admitted in 1873 to practice before the Supreme Court of the District of
Columbia, she applied in October, 1876, for admission as practitioner of
the Supreme Court of the United States, but was rejected under the
following decision: “By the uniform practice of the Court from its
organization to the present time, and by the fair construction of its
rules, none but men are admitted to practice before it as attorneys and
counselors. This is in accordance with immemorial usage in England, and
the law and practice in all the States, until within a recent period;
and the Court does not feel called upon to make a change until such a
change is required by statute or a more extended practice in the highest
courts of the States.”



But if the members of the Supreme Court had entertained the hope of
scaring away women once and for all, they soon enough found that they
were mistaken. Mrs. Lockwood drafted a bill and secured its passage in
Congress, providing “that any woman who shall have been a member of the
bar of the highest court of any State or Territory, or of the Supreme
Court of the District of Columbia, for the space of three years, and
shall have maintained a good standing before such court, and who shall
be a person of good moral character, shall, on motion, and the
production of such record, be admitted to practice before the Supreme
Court of the United States.” This bill was approved on February 15th,
1879. Since then Mrs. Lockwood as well as a number of other female
lawyers have been admitted under this law to practice before the highest
court of the United States.

A “Woman’s International Bar Association” was organized in 1888, for the
purpose of establishing law schools for women and of promoting the
interests of female lawyers as well as of securing better legal
conditions for women.

According to the Census of 1910 there were 1010 woman lawyers in the
United States.

“Having taken up the law,” so said Miss Edith J. Griswold, herself a
counsellor-at-law, “woman will not rest until she stands on a level with
man, and the end of the Twentieth Century will probably find an
equilibrium in the United States Government that can only be obtained
(as in the home government) by the equal balancing of the different
propensities of male and female mind in the making and enforcing of
laws. The prophecy that the time is coming when woman will govern seems
ludicrous, and yet it is no more ludicrous than the present lopsided
arrangement whereby man has the exclusive power of government. With the
rapid advance of woman conditions are being manifested that require
woman’s judgment, and to obtain true justice in matters relating to both
sexes an equal number of men and women should compose both the court and
the jury. By the end of the Twentieth Century, I believe, a woman’s
judgment will carry as much weight as a man’s, and the opinions handed
down from our higher courts will have to be concurred in by an equal
number of male and female judges.”


                          WOMEN AS INVENTORS.

Sometimes, when the merits of the woman movement were discussed, its
opponents made it their trump that the female sex is without any
inventive spirit and that this want should be regarded as a convincing
evidence for the inferiority of woman s mind. That this assertion was
never true at all, but made in absolute ignorance of the real facts,
becomes evident, when we recall, that primeval and aboriginal women have
been the inventors of our most important industries, of agriculture,
weaving, basketry, pottery, tannery, brewing, and many other peaceful
arts. And there is not the slightest doubt, that during the times of
Antiquity and the Middle Ages women have been the greatest factor in the
evolution of these industries, in which they remained constantly busy.

Among the few instances of which records have been preserved, is that of
=Barbara Uttmann=, a German woman of Annaberg, Saxony, who in 1561
invented the Cluny-lace. Herewith she opened, for the extremely poor
people of the Erzgebirge, at the most critical time, a new and well
paying industry, in which in 1800 about 35,000 girls and women were

Another important invention was made in 1792 in America by the widow of
General Nathaniel Green. It was the so-called cotton gin by which the
difficult work to separate the seed from the lint was greatly
simplified. To pick the seed from one pound of cotton had been formerly
considered a good day’s work. With the aid of the cotton gin, which
consists of a series of saws revolving between the interstices of an
iron bed upon which the cotton is placed so as to be drawn through
whilst the seeds are left behind, several hundred pounds of cotton can
be cleaned in the same time. This invention stimulated enormously the
cultivation of cotton and the manufacture of cotton goods in America. In
the South, where so far cotton had been produced only in small
quantities, it now became the main product. While in 1792 the quantity
exported from the United States was 138,324 pounds, it increased by the
year 1800 to nearly 18,000,000 pounds. In the North it led to the
establishment of cotton mills and factories on a large scale.

As only few countries have taken the trouble to prepare statistics about
inventions made by women it is impossible to give reliable facts about
what women have contributed to human culture in this line.

Their most intensive activity has been observed in the United States,
especially since with the founding of woman’s colleges and the opening
of the universities, the education of the female sex became a more
careful and broader one.

The U. S. Patent Office at Washington, D. C., has published “Lists of
Women Inventors,” in three volumes, covering the period from 1790 to
March 1, 1895. From these lists it appears that till 1849 only 32
inventions by women have been registered at the Patent Office. This
number increased to 290 during the period from 1850 to 1870; during
1870–1890 to 2568, and up to 1910 to 7942. These numbers prove that with
the increase of woman’s knowledge and with the closer contact with
modern industrial life her inventive spirit has likewise developed. Also
the inventions became more manifold. While prior to 1850 they were
almost exclusively confined to dress and household, they now cover all
fields of human activity.

This fact became most evident during the terrible years of the World
War. Some time ago the “Women Lawyer Journal” reported that of all the
many inventions registered since 1914, fifty per cent. have been entered
by women. Among these inventions have been such for the better
protection of soldiers and aeronauts as well as for the greater comfort
of the wounded and crippled. Other inventions meant improvement in
wireless telegraphy, gas masks, submarine boats and hundreds of other


                       EMINENT FEMALE SCIENTISTS.

Just as hostile as had been the clergy to the admission of women to
ecclesiastical office, so unwilling were many prejudiced scholars to
admit women into the sacred realms of science. By hundreds of arguments
they tried to prove the inability of women to do any deeply scientific
work. They explained that the hard study would impair their health,
their chances of marriage, and their true destination as mothers. Higher
education would make women unfit for domestic life, and, besides, they
would hardly produce anything of real scientific value.

If these learned gentlemen would have taken the trouble to make
themselves somewhat more acquainted with the history of science they
would have found the names of numerous women on record, who, at their
time, were among the leaders in the most abstruse sciences. Several
centuries before Christ Hellas as well as Rome had a number of brilliant
female philosophers, among them =Damo=, the daughter of Pythagoras, who
lived about 580–500 B. C. She was one of his favorite disciples, and to
her the great savant entrusted all his writings, enjoining her not to
make public all the secrets of his philosophy. This command she strictly
obeyed, though tempted by large offers while she was struggling with

Socrates, the great philosopher, declares that he learned of a woman,
=Diotima=, the “divine philosophy,” how to find from corporeal beauty
the beauty of the soul, the angelical mind. Diotima lived in Greece,
about 468 B. C.

=Arete= is known as the daughter of Aristippus of Cyrene, the founder of
the Cyrenaic system of philosophy, who flourished about 380 B. C. She
was carefully instructed by her father, and after his death taught his
system with great success. =Leontium=, living about 350 B. C., was a
disciple of Epicure, and wrote in defense of his philosophy. =Tymicha=,
a Lacedaemonian, was the most celebrated female philosopher of the
Pythagorean school. When she, in 330 B. C., was brought before
Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse, as a prisoner, he made her very
advantageous offers, if she would reveal the mysteries of Pythagorean
science; but she rejected them all with scorn and contempt. And when he
threatened her with torture, she instantly bit off her tongue, and spat
it in the tyrant’s face, to show him that no pain could make her violate
the pledge of secrecy.

Of =Hipparchia=, a lady of Thrace, who lived about 328 B. C., it is
known that her attachment to learning was so great, that having attended
several lectures of Crates, the cynic, she resolved to marry him though
he was old, ugly, and deformed. She accompanied him everywhere to public
entertainments and other places, which was not customary with Greecian
women. She also wrote several philosophical theses, and reasonings and
questions proposed to Theodorus, the atheist; but none of her writings
are extant.

Ancient Rome too had a number of female philosophers, among them
=Cornelia=, “the mother of the Gracchi.” She frequently gave public
lectures and was more fortunate with her disciples than with her sons.
It was Cicero, who said of her that, had she not been a woman, she would
have deserved the first place among philosophers. In what esteem she was
held is shown by the fact that a statue was erected to her with the
inscription, “Cornelia, Mater Gracchorum.” She died about 230 B. C.

The most renowned female philosopher of the classic times was =Hypatia=,
the lovely daughter of Theon, the head of the famous Alexandrian School
in Alexandria, Egypt. Born in 370 A. D., Hypatia was taught by her
father and acquired such extensive knowledge and learning, that the
Bycantine Church historian Socrates, as well as Nicephorus placed her
far above all the philosophers of her time. Several other learned
contemporaries praise her in similar terms. Sinesius, bishop of
Ptolemais, never mentions her without the profoundest respect, and in
terms of affection little short of adoration. In a letter to his brother
Euoptius he writes: “Salute the most honored and the most beloved of
God, the Philosopher Hypatia, and that happy society, which enjoys the
blessing of her divine voice.” And in a long epistle he sends her with
the manuscript of a book, he asks her opinion and states his resolution
not to publish the book without her approbation.

Hypatia succeeded her father in the government of the Alexandrian
School, teaching from the chair where Ammonius, Hieracles, and other
celebrated philosophers had taught; and this at a time, when men of
immense learning abounded in Alexandria and in other parts of the Roman
empire. In fact her renown was so universally acknowledged, that she had
always a crowded auditorium. What a subject for an able artist, to
present this beautiful woman in her chair, with the flower of all the
youth of Africa, Asia and Europe sitting at her feet, eagerly imbibing
knowledge from this oracle of wisdom.

Socrates states that she was consulted by the magistrates of Alexandria
in all important cases. This frequently brought her among the greatest
assemblages of men without causing the least censure of her manners.
“Considering the confidence and authority which she had acquired by her
learning,” says Socrates, “she sometimes came to the judges with
singular modesty. Nor was she anything abashed to appear thus among a
crowd of men; for all persons, by reason of her extraordinary
discretion, did at the same time both reverence and admire her.”

Unfortunately this wonderful woman was to become a martyr of science.
The population of Alexandria was split into three hostile groups—the
Pagans, the Jews, and the Christians. The latter, under the leadership
of the patriarch Cyril, assailed in violent zeal Jews as well as pagans,
and heretics or supposed heretics alike, driving them by thousands from
the city, destroying their synagogues and temples, and pillaging their
houses. It was during one of these riots, that the illustrious Hypatia
was attacked by a mob of vicious monks, torn from her carriage, dragged
into a church, stripped naked and clubbed to death. Then the murderers
in fanatic frenzy tore the body to pieces, carried the limbs to a public
square and burnt them to ashes. This happened in Lent 415.

All the writings of Hypatia, among them her treatise “On the
Astronomical Canon of Diophantus” and another “On the Conics of
Apollonius” are lost. Most probably they too were destroyed by the
fanatic Christian mobs, who, after the murder of Hypatia, extinguished
the Greek School of philosophers and scientists at Alexandria.—

Astronomy, probably the most ancient of the sciences, has since early
days exerted a singular attraction on women.

Herman Davis, in his essay “Women Astronomers,” published in the reports
of Columbia University, New York, gives the names of a large number of
women astronomers, beginning with several of classic times. Of the
Egyptians he mentions =Aganice=, =Athyrta=, =Berenice=, =Hipparchia= and
=Occelo=, who were connected with the Alexandrian School. Of the Greeks
he names =Aristocle= and =Athenais=, and of Thessaly =Aglaonice=. But
nothing definite is known about their achievement.

Davis likewise gives an account of =Hildegarde=, abbess of the monastery
on Mount St. Rupert near Bingen on the Rhine. This learned woman, who
lived from 1099 to 1180, wrote a book in Latin, in which some marvelous
statements are claimed to have been made: 1. that the Sun is in the
midst of the firmament retaining by its force the stars which move
around it; 2. that when it is cold in the Northern hemisphere it is warm
in the Southern, that the celestial temperature may thus be in
equilibrium; 3. that the stars not only shine with unequal brilliancy
but are themselves really unequal in magnitude; 4. that as blood moves
in the veins and makes them pulsate, so do the stars move and send forth
pulsations of light. “If even one-half of these marvelous statements are
found in Hildegarde’s writings as early as the 12th Century,” says
Davis, “then this woman may well be classed with the great forerunners
of modern astronomy, with Copernicus, Galileo and Newton, for she was
three centuries earlier than the first of them.”

The first female astronomer of whom we have more intimate information,
was =Marie Cunitz=, born in 1610 as the eldest daughter of a physician
in Silesia. Commanding an extraordinary general culture, her principal
study was mathematics and astronomy. Her tables, published under the
title “Urania Propitia, sive Tabulæ Astronomicæ,” gained for her a great
reputation, and the by-name “the Silesian Pallas.” Dedicated to the
Emperor Ferdinand III. the book was published in Latin and in German in
1650 and 1651.

Another noted astronomer was =Caroline Lucretia Herschel=, born in 1750
at Hanover, Germany. In 1772 she accompanied her brother William to
England, and when he accepted the office of astronomer-royal, she became
his constant assistant in his observations. In this capacity she
succeeded in discovering independently eight comets, five of which had
not been observed before. Also she discovered many of the small stellar
nebulæ which were included in her brother’s catalogue. For her many
contributions to astronomy in 1835 she was presented by the Astronomical
Society with their gold medal, and was also elected an honorary member.

When the memoirs of Miss Herschel were published, the editor, in
describing her character, said: “Great men and great causes have always
some helper of whom the outside world knows but little. These helpers
and sustainers have the same quality in common—absolute devotion and
unwavering faith in the individual or the cause. Seeking nothing for
themselves, thinking nothing of themselves, they have all the intense
power of sympathy, a noble love of giving themselves for the service of
others. Of this noble company of unknown helpers Caroline Herschel was

This capacity of self-denial distinguished likewise a number of other
women, whose names are known in the history of astronomy, as for
instance =Theresa= and =Madeline Manfredi=, the daughters of Eustachio
Manfredi, from 1674 to 1739 director of the observatory of Bologna.
Further, =Marie Margarethe Kirch=, who assisted her husband, the
astronomer Kirch, in the upper Lausatia; Madame =Lepante=, the wife of
the famous clock-maker Jean Andre Lepante; and nearer our own time,
there is =Maria Mitchell=, born 1818 at Nantucket, Mass., who at an
early age became the assistant of her father. Carrying on a series of
independent observations, she was in 1865 appointed professor of
astronomy in Vassar College.

=Emilie de Bréteuil=, =Antonie C. Asher=, =Elizabeth von Matt=,
=Wilhelmine Witte= and =Agnes Mary Clerke= likewise distinguished
themselves in astronomy. The last named lady published in 1885 a
“History of Astronomy” and in 1890 “The System of the Stars.” These
writings, conspicuous for a careful sifting and due assimilation of
facts, with a happy diction that is at the same time both popular and
scientific, place the author in the foremost rank of writers on

As an eminent mathematician, linguist and philosopher =Maria Gaetana
Agnesi= is known to every student of science. Born 1718 at Milan, she
gave early indication of extraordinary ability and devoted herself to
the abstract sciences. In mathematics she attained such consummate
skill, that, when her father, professor of mathematics at Bologna, died,
the Pope allowed her to succeed him. In this capacity she wrote her
famous work: “Instituzions Analitiche ad Uso Gioventu Italiana,” which
was published at Milan in 1748. Its first volume treats of the analysis
of finite quantities, and the second of the analysis of infinitesimals.
The able mathematician John Colson, professor at the University of
Cambridge, considered this work so excellent, that he studied Italian in
order to translate it into English. Under the title “Analytical
Institutions” this translation was published in 1801, to do honor to
Maria Agnesi, and also to prove that women have minds capable of
comprehending the most abstruse studies.

Another female mathematician, =Sophie Germain=, born in 1776 in Paris,
won the grand prize, offered by the Institute of France for the best
memoir giving the mathematical theory of elastic surfaces and comparing
it with experience. This question had come up in 1808. Great
mathematicians were not wanting in Paris at that time—Lagrange, Laplace,
Poisson, Fourier, and others, but none of them were inclined to tackle
the question. Lagrange, in fact, had said that it could not be solved by
any of the then known mathematical methods. The offer was twice renewed
by the Institute, and in 1816 the prize was conferred upon Sophie
Germain, who in 1808 as well as in 1810 had made two unsuccessful
attempts to solve the difficult question. The same woman distinguished
herself by a number of other valuable papers and philosophical writings.

In more recent years =Sonja Kowalewska=, a Russian, who had studied
mathematics at the universities of Berlin and Goettingen, became famous
as the winner of the Prix Bordin, offered by the Academy of Paris. Later
on, as a professor of mathematics in Stockholm, she wrote a number of
excellent professional works, but died there in her fortieth year.

Among the British scientific writers of the 19th Century the most famous
was =Mary Somerville=, whom Laplace called the most learned woman of her
age and the only woman who understood his works. In translating his
brilliant work “Mécanique Celeste,” she greatly popularized its form.
Its publication in 1831 under the title of “The Mechanism of the
Heavens” at once made her famous. Her own works: “Connections of
Physical Science,” “Physical Geography” and “Molecular and Microscopic
Science” have been declared masterworks, distinguished by a clear and
crisp style, and the underlying enthusiasm for the subject.

In the history of chemistry the name of =Marie Curie= will be forever
connected with the wonderful discovery of Radium and Radio-activity.
Born on November 7, 1867, at Warsaw as Marja Sklodowska she came to
Paris in 1888 and studied at the Faculté des Sciences. In 1895 she
married Professor Pierre Curie and joined him in his chemical
investigations. It was in 1898 that she published a most valuable work
on metals in solution. Her investigations in collaboration with her
husband led to the discovery of two new bodies: Polonium and Radium,
which are found in certain minerals, especially in pitch blende in a
state of extreme solution; as a matter of fact, to the extent only of a
few decigrammes to the ton of mineral for Radium, and much less in the
case of Polonium. The separation of these elements presented extreme

Further investigations led to the observation of most interesting
phenomena in connection with these bodies—chemical effects, luminous
effects, effects of heating, etc. New realms of science were
disclosed—the science of Radio-active phenomena. In recognition of these
discoveries in 1903 the Nobel Prize was awarded to Professor Curie and
his wife. And when Mrs. Curie, after the tragic death of her husband,
accomplished the “isolation” of Radium and also determined its atomic
weight, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for a second time in 1911. At
present Mrs. Curie is Director of the Physico-Chemical Department of the
University of Paris.

For valuable research work in bacteriology =Dr. Rhoda Erdmann=, a former
assistant of the famous professor Robert Koch in Berlin, became most
favorably known. Having published several excellent treatises on the
amoeba and protozoa, she followed in 1913 a call to the
Sheffield-Institute of Yale University.

In the wide fields of archæology and ethnology likewise several women
have achieved remarkable results. Among those scientists who devoted
themselves to the study of archæology and the ancient history of America
the name of =Zelia Nuttall= is well known. She is the author of many
interesting essays on the relics left by the Aztecs, Toltecs, and Mayas.
Science is also indebted to her for the so-called “Codex Nuttall,” now
preserved in the Peabody-Museum at Cambridge, Mass.

Another noteworthy ethnologist was =Erminnie Adele Smith=, who, as
compiler of the famous Iroquois-English Dictionary, was distinguished by
being elected the first woman member of the New York Academy of Science.

=Alice Cunningham Fletcher= made most valuable investigations about the
religious and social conditions of several Indian tribes of the Far
West, especially of the Sioux, Omaha, and Pawnee Indians. Her very
exhaustive studies have been published in the Annual Reports of the
Bureau of American Ethnology.

The same reports contain highly interesting papers by =Matilda Cox
Stevenson= and =Tilly E. Stevenson= about the mythology, esoteric
societies and sociology of the Zuni Indians.

=Miss Elsie Clews Parsons= in New York has published valuable monographs
about the folk-lore of the Pueblo Indians and the Negroes of the Bahama
Islands. =A. M. Czaplicka=, =Mary Kingsley=, =Barbara Freire-Marreco=,
=Adele Breton=, =Mrs. Jochelson-Brodsky=, and =Maria Tubino= are
likewise most favorably known as writers on archæology and ethnology.

For a number of years =Johanna Mestorf= has held the position of
director of the Museum of Antiquities of Schleswig-Holstein.

=Cornelia Horsford=, the learned daughter of the late Professor Eben
Horsford of Cambridge, Mass., made great efforts to settle many
questions in regard to the early voyages of discovery by the Norsemen to
Greenland and Vinland. In the pursuit of these studies she sent several
scientific expeditions to Iceland as well as to Greenland and published
a number of valuable essays, among them “Graves of the Northmen”;
“Dwellings of the Saga Time in Iceland, Greenland and Vinland”; “Vinland
and its Ruins”; and “Ruins of the Saga-Times.”

=Anne Pratt= is known as an able botanist. And =Eleanor Anne Ormerod=
has been hailed in England as “the Protector of Agriculture,” as she
organized the valuable “Annual Series of Reports on Injurious Insects
and Pests,” distributed by the Government.

Among the explorers of the Dark Continent a Dutch lady, =Miss
Alexandrine Tinné=, created a sensation by her daring journeys in the
upper Nile regions. During her first expedition, which lasted from 1861
to 1864, she penetrated great stretches of unknown territory, and was
the first to enter the land of the Niam Niam. Several members of her
expedition died from the terrible hardships that had to be overcome.
After her return to Cairo Miss Tinné started in January, 1869, on a
still more hazardous expedition, which was to proceed from Tripoli to
Lake Tchad, and from there by way of Wadai, Darfur, and Kordofan to the
Upper Nile. But while her caravan was on the route from Murzuk to Rhat,
the daring explorer was murdered by her own escort.

An English lady, =Florence Caroline Dixie=, explored the wilderness of
Central Patagonia. =Isabelle Bishop= became known for her extensive
travels through Asia, and the masterful descriptions of those countries
she had traversed. Her best work is “Korea and Her Neighbors.”

=Therese, Princess of Bavaria=, wrote several highly interesting works
about her extensive travels in Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, and
the tropical regions of Brazil. =Cecilie Seler=, the wife of the famous
archæologist Eduard Seler, is the author of the valuable book “On
Ancient Roads in Mexico and Guatemala.”

While these examples—which might be increased by many others—give ample
proof of woman’s ability in regard to scientific work, it must be
stated, that, up to the middle of the 19th Century, men did very little
to encourage their struggling sisters in this line of activity. Indeed,
there are not a few instances of strong disinclination on the part of
statesmen as well as of scientists, to smooth woman’s road to higher
education. Centuries passed before women succeeded in gaining the right
to follow their studies in colleges and universities, a right they had
enjoyed in Italy during the 10th and 11th Centuries as well as during
the Renaissance.

The first institution of modern times, that admitted women on the same
footing with men, was Oberlin College in Ohio, founded in 1833 and open
to all irrespective of sex and color. The first woman who graduated here
was Miss Zerniah Porter, who in 1838 received her diploma in the
so-called literary course. The State universities of the West that were
founded later on all followed the example set by Oberlin College and
gradually the older ones adopted the same policy, so that all over the
West and South, where the State university is a strong influence, these
institutions are open to women. Throughout these regions women’s
education is for this reason almost synonymous with co-education. In the
Eastern part of the United States, however, the private college
predominates, and there is a greater degree of separation. But even here
the restrictions are gradually being removed, and most of the men’s
colleges and universities admit women to some departments with some
restrictions, or have an affiliated woman’s college.

America has also a number of independent colleges exclusively for women.
The best known among them are Vassar College, at Poughkeepsie, New York,
organized in 1861, with 1124 students and 144 teachers in 1918;
Wellesley College in Massachusetts, organized in 1875, and with 1612
students and 138 teachers in 1918; Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania organized
in 1880, and with 489 students and 63 teachers in 1918; Smith College at
Northampton, Mass.

France began to open its universities to women in 1858; England followed
in 1864; Switzerland in 1866; Sweden in 1870; Denmark, Holland, Finland
and India in 1875; Italy and Belgium in 1876; Australia in 1878; Norway
in 1884; Iceland in 1886; Hungary in 1895; Austria in 1897; Prussia in
1899, and Germany in 1900.

To-day no one clings any longer to the old prejudices against the
abilities of women. College education among women has become so common
as to attract little or no attention. It is regarded as the essential
training for intellectual, professional and business life, and it is no
longer an effort to secure it, but rather to make it of the greatest
possible value to the students and to the community. As women do a large
proportion of the teaching in public schools as well as in colleges for
both sexes, the education of the citizens of the 20th Century depends
largely upon the opportunities available to women in the past, present
and future.—

As educators as well as founders of learned institutions large numbers
of women became most favorably known. There was for instance =Jeanne
Louise Henriette Campan=. When the tempests of the French Revolution
began to rage, she held a position at the royal court as reader to the
young princesses. Thrown on her own resources after the dethronement and
execution of the King and the Queen she established a school at
Saint-Germain. The institution prospered, and was patronized by Mme.
Beauharnais, whose influence led to the appointment of Mme. Campan as
superintendent of the Academy founded by Napoleon at Ecouen, for the
education of the daughters and sisters of members of the Legion of
Honor. While in this position Mme. Campan wrote a treatise “De
l’Education des Femmes.”

=Emmy Hart Willard= in 1823 founded Troy Female Seminary at Troy, N. Y.,
over which she presided until 1838. =Mary Mason Lyon= established in
1836 Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, of which she was president until her
death in 1849.

=Elizabeth Palmer Peabody= in Boston was largely instrumental in
introducing Froebel’s kindergarten system in the United States. She
likewise wrote a number of educational works. In England =Emily Anne
Shireff= was active as President of the Froebel Society of England.
=Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon=, who worked for the extension of
university education to women, aided in 1868 in establishing Girton
College, at Cambridge, England. =Anne Jemima Clough= founded in 1867 the
North of England Council for Promoting the Higher Education of Women,
and in 1875 the Newnham College for Women.

The name of =Sophie Smith= is remembered as the founder of Smith College
at Northampton, Mass., the first woman’s college in New England; the
name of =Annie N. Meyer= as the founder of Barnard College, the woman’s
department of Columbia University in New York.

=Marie Montessori= was the inventor of a new system of teaching.



Reviewing the countless contributions women have made to literature is a
task that can be mastered only by devoting to this subject several
ponderous volumes. Whether such an attempt has even been made we are
unable to say. But the theme is so attractive that I hope that some
competent woman author may be inspired to undertake this task. What more
beautiful mission could she have than to study and analyze all the
scattered evidences of brilliant intellect, rich in imagination, deep
emotion, power of expression, soaring enthusiasm, scintillating wit, and
profound sorrow, to be found in many of the books written by women since
the days of =Sappho= and =Erinna=.

Only fragments remain of the beautiful odes, hymns and love-songs
produced by the poetesses of the classic past. But that they inspired
all Hellas and Rome we know from the testimony of the foremost authors
and critics of their time. When Meleager of Gadara, the famous sophist
and poet, selected the choicest poems of his predecessors and wove them
into that delicious “Garland,” to be hung outside the gate of the
Gardens of the Hesperides, he did not forget Sappho, because “though her
flowers were few, they were all roses.” And a critic, writing five
hundred years after Erinna’s death, speaks of still hearing her
swan-note clear above the jangling chatter of the jays, and of still
thinking those three hundred hexameter verses sung by this girl of
nineteen in “The Distaff” as lovely as the loveliest of Homer. There is
also a report, that =Corinna=, a native of Tanagra, in Bœotia, won five
times in poetical contests the prize in competition with Pindar, the
greatest lyric poet of Greece.

With greater kindness fate treated the works of =Alphaizuli=, a Moorish
poetess, who lived in Seville during the 8th Century A. D. Of her, who
was called “the Arabian Sappho,” two volumes of excellent verses are
preserved in the library of the Escurial. Likewise =Labana= and =Leela=,
two Moorish poetesses, were famous throughout beautiful Andalusia during
the 10th and the 13th Century. Of =Valada=, the daughter of the Moorish
King Almostakeph, of Corduba, her contemporaries report that she several
times contended with scholars noted for their eloquence and knowledge,
and quite often bore away the palm.

That such contests were held in great favor by learned ladies, appears
from the institution of those famous poetical festivals known as “Jeux
Floraux” or Floral Games. They are said to have been established in the
11th or the 12th Century by a gay company of French minstrels, called
“the seven troubadours.” But in time they had become forgotten. It is
due to =Clemence Isaure=, a poetess born in 1464 at Toulouse, that these
festivals were renewed. Fixing the first of May as the day of these
Floral Games, she invited all poets and poetesses to participate in
peaceful contest, assigning as prizes for the victors five different
flowers, wrought in gold and silver. There was an amaranth of gold for
the best ode; a silver violet for a poem of from sixty to one hundred
Alexandrine lines; a silver eglantine for the best prose composition; a
silver marigold for an elegy, and a silver lily for a hymn.

These contests have been held in Toulouse through all the centuries.
They were recognized by the French Government in 1694, and confirmed by
letters-patent from the king. Some twenty-five years ago they were
likewise introduced into Germany, and held first in Cologne.

The brilliant age of the Renaissance produced several women writers and
poets, whose works are still read. The literary annals of Italy shine
with such illustrious names as =Cassandra Fidelis=, the Venetian;
=Veronica Gambara=, of Brescia; =Lucia Bertana=, of Bologna; =Tarquenia
Molza=, of Modena; =Gaspara Stampa=, of Padua; and the great =Vittoria
Colonna=, of Marino, whose sonnets as well as her beauty and virtues
were extolled by all contemporaries.

In Spain =Marianne de Carbajal= and =Maria de Zayas=, during the 17th
Century, the classic period of Spanish literature, became the pride of
their country.

In France =Marguerite d’Angouleme= wrote a delightful book, “the
Heptameron,” similar in plan to the famous “Decamerone” by Boccaccio. In
the middle of the 16th Century =Louise Labbé=, known in French
literature as “La belle cordière,” produced her “Debat de Folie et
d’Amour,” a work full of wit, originality and beauty. Erasmus and La
Fontaine were both indebted to it; the former for the idea of “The
Praise of Folly,” and the latter for “L’Amour et la Folie.” In truth, La
Fontaine’s poem is only a versification of the prose story of Louise

Of the illustrious French women, who during the 16th, 17th and 18th
Centuries made their “salons” the gathering-places for men and women of
letters, several became widely known for their own poems and works of
fiction. As for instance =Madeline de Scudéry=, =Anne de Seguier=,
=Claudine de Tencin=, =Madame de la Sabliére=, =Madeline de Souvré=, and
=Anne Dacier=, of whom Voltaire said, that no woman ever rendered
greater services to literature.



  After a painting by F. Padilla.

In the literature of the 19th Century =Anne Louise Germaine Necker,
Baroness de Stael-Holstein=, held a singular position. Many of her
contemporaries exalted her as “the founder of the romantic movement” who
gave “ideas” to the world. To-day she is almost forgotten, and her
novels and plays, among them “Corinne” and “Sophie and Jane Grey” lie
undisturbed and dusty on the library shelves.

Perhaps her most remarkable contribution to literature was her book
“L’Allemagne,” which was announced in 1810. It gave a most intelligent
exposition of the science, literature, arts, philosophy, and other
characteristics of the Germans, gathered from the author’s own
observations. The work, written with a spirited independence, quite at
variance with the deadening political influence of Napoleon, irritated
the emperor to such a degree that he ordered the minister of police to
seize and destroy the whole edition of 10,000 copies. Besides this he
exiled the author from France. When, after the overthrow of Napoleon,
she returned to Paris, she had her book printed again, and had the
satisfaction of seeing it eagerly read by millions of Frenchmen.

Of all French authoresses of the 19th Century =Armantine Lucile Aurore
Dudevant=, or “=George Sand=,” holds the supreme rank. In the long line
of her thoughtful, concentrated and meditative novels “Valentine,”
“Indiana,” “Lelia,” “Mauprat,” and “Le Meunier d’ Angibault” are real
gems of fiction, whose influence can be traced in many later works by
writers of France and other nations.

Of her contemporaries =Louise Révoil Colet=, =Eugenie de Guérin=,
=Pauline de la Ferronay Craven=, and, above all, =Delphine de Girardin=
must be mentioned, whose “Letters Parisiennes” as well as her poems,
novels, dramas and comedies belong to the most excellent productions of
the 19th Century. By her dramatic pieces “L’Ecole des Journalistes,”
“Judith,” “Cleopatra,” “C’est la faute du mari,” “Lady Tartufe,” and
others she reaped a wide popularity. In the literary society of her time
she exercised no small personal influence. Balzac, Alfred de Musset,
Gautier, and Victor Hugo were among the frequenters of her salon.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Among the British woman writers of the latter part of the 18th Century
=Jane Austen= was the most distinguished. Her novels “Sense and
Sensibility,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Emma,” “Northanger Abbey” and
“Persuasion” have been likened to the carefully-executed paintings of
the Dutch masters for their charming pictures of quiet, natural life.

=Ann Ward Radcliffe= wrote three novels unsurpassed of their kind in
English literature: “The Romance of the Forest,” “The Mysteries of
Udolpho,” and “The Italian.” They are distinguished for originality,
ingenuity of plot, fertility of incident, and skill in devising
apparently supernatural occurrences capable of explanation by human
agency and natural coincidence.

=Mary Russell Mitford= edited several volumes of sketches of rural
character and scenery, delightful and finished in style, and unrivalled
in her manner of description. It is by these sketches of English life
that she obtained the greatest share of her popularity. She wrote also
an opera called “Sadak and Kalasrade,” and four tragedies, “Julian,”
“Foscari,” “Rienzi,” and “Charles the First.” All were successful;
“Rienzi,” in particular, long continued a favorite.

=Elizabeth Inchbald’s= two novels “The Simple Story” and “Nature and
Art,” have long ranked among standard works. Besides novels she wrote a
number of dramas, some of which were very successful.

=Maria Edgeworth= published a new work almost every year from the
beginning of the 19th Century to 1825. The novels “Castle Rackrent,”
“Belinda,” “Vivian.” “Harrington and Ormond,” and many others followed
each other rapidly, and all were welcomed and approved by the public.
Her best and last work of fiction, “Helen,” appeared in 1834.

=Mary Shelley=, the wife of the famous poet Percy Shelley, is renowned
as the author of the romances “Frankenstein,” “Valperga, or the Life and
Adventures of Castruccio, Prince of Lucca”; “Falkner”; “Lodore,” and
“The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck.” A most peculiar work is “The Last
Men,” a fiction of the final agonies of human society owing to the
universal spread of pestilence.

Among the dramatists of the 19th Century =Joanna Baillie= was the
foremost. In her “Plays of Passion” she illustrates each of the deepest
and strongest passions of the human mind, such as Hate, Love, Jealousy,
Fear, by a tragedy and a comedy. Other dramas were “The Family Legend”;
“Henriquez”; “The Separation,” and other plays, which show remarkable
power of analysis, and observation. They are all written in vigorous

Of the numerous novelists of the 19th Century =Charlotte Bronté= was
received with universal delight. Her novels “Jane Eyre,” “Shirley” and
“Villette” have all the vigor and individuality of poetic genius. She
was “a star-like soul, whose genius followed no tradition and left no

=Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell= will be remembered for her intensely
interesting books “Mary Barton,” “North and South,” the exquisitely
humorous “Cranford,” and “Cousin Phyllis,” which has been fitly called
an idyll in prose.

The prolific =Catherine Grace Gore= gives in the novels “The Banker’s
Wife,” “Cecil, or the Adventures of a Coxcomb,” “Greville,” and
“Ormington,” masterful pictures of the life and pursuits of the English
upper classes.

=Caroline Elizabeth Norton=, after having given in her novel “The
Undying One” a version of the legend of the Wandering Jew, became in her
book “A voice from the Factories” a most eloquent priestess of reforms.
She condemned especially child labor, the darkest blot on the social
conditions of England.

In the middle of the 19th Century =Mary A. Evans= became famous under
her nom de plume “=George Eliot=.” Having translated in 1844 David
Strauss’ brilliant work “Das Leben Jesu,” and Spinoza’s “Ethics,” she
published in 1858 her novel “Adam Bede,” which placed her at once in the
front rank of modern authors. Her later novels “The Mill on the Floss,”
“Silas Marner,” “Romola” and “Felix Holt” proved so many contributions
to her fame.

In recent times the works of =Mary Edgeworth=, =Charlotte R. Lenox=,
=Anne M. Fielding Hall=, =Mary Braddon=, =Elizabeth Sheppard=, =Louise
de la Ramée= (Ouida), =Matilde Blind=, =Anna Seward= and =Charlotte M.
Younge= have won much appreciation.

Of the woman-authors born in Scotland, =Margaret Oliphant= wrote
“Chronicles of Carlingford” and the charming novels “Merkland”; “The
Quiet Heart”; “Zaidee,” all of which are exquisite delineations of
Scottish life and character. Another Scottish woman-author deserving of
mention is =Mary Ferrier=, whose novels “Marriage,” “The Inheritance,”
and “Destiny” breathe much originality and humor.

Of the Irish novelists =Julia Kavanagh= and =Margaret Hamilton
Hungerford= must be mentioned, the former for her volumes “French Women
of Letters”; and “English Women of Letters,” as well as for her novels
“Adele”; “The Pearl Fountain”; “Sibyl’s Second Love”; and “Daisy Burns.”
Marg. Hungerford’s novel “Molly Brown” has been much admired.

=Mary Augusta Ward=, born in Tasmania, became favorably known through
her principal novel “Robert Elsmere,” which delineates effectively the
modern spiritual unrest and attempts to proclaim an ideal religion.

Another noteworthy author of Tasmania is =Louisa Anne Meredith=.

England has of course also a long roll of able poetesses, among them
=Sarah Flower Adams=, who wrote the beautiful hymn “Nearer, My God, to
Thee.” =Alison Cockburn=, =Anne Barnard= and =Caroline Oliphant= are the
authors of many fine Scotch songs and ballads, among them the famous
poems “Flowers of the Forest” and “Auld Robin Gray.”

In recognition of the grace and delicacy of her lyrics =Elizabeth
Barrett Browning= has been called “the most distinguished poet of her
sex that England ever produced,” but at the same time “the most
unreadable.” Her fame rests chiefly on her “Drama of Exile,” the “Casa
Guidi Windows,” and “Aurora Leigh.” The latter is a social epic, which
contains many noble passages that give evidence of great originality and

=Sarah Coleridge= has been much admired for the gracefulness and the
beautiful language of her poems “Phantasmion, a Fairy Tale”; “Sylvan
Stay,” and “One Face Alone.”

The poems of =Felicia Hemans= have been the result of a fine imagination
and temperament, and of a life spent in romantic seclusion. Many of
them, as for instance “Homes of England,” “The Treasures of the Deep,”
“The Better Land,” and “The Wreck” rank among the best ever produced.

=Adelaide Ann Proctor=, =Catherine Fowler Philips=, =Christina Rosetti=,
=Mary Blackford Tighe=, and =Caroline Oliphant= have been the
authoresses of many poems, still cherished for their beauty and nobility
of thought.

The United Kingdom has also several woman historians, among them
=Catharine Macaulay=, whose “History of England,” in six volumes,
appeared in 1763.

The love and reverence she was taught from childhood to cherish for the
queens of her country induced =Miss Agnes Strickland=, of Roydon Hall,
Suffolk, to write her great work “The Lives of the Queens of England.”
Its twelve volumes appeared at intervals from 1840 till 1848. In 1850
she began to publish a similar series about the “Lives of the Queens of
Scotland,” completing it in eight volumes in 1859. Unresting in her
industry, she wrote likewise “The Lives of the Last Four Stuart
Princesses,” published in 1872.

=Harriet Martineau= too deserves an honorable place among English women
of letters. Her series of tales designed as “Illustrations of Political
Economy” and “Illustrations of Taxation” brought her at once into great
prominence. Later on she produced an amazing quantity of works, relating
to the laws of man’s nature and development, mesmerism, travel, and
other subjects.

                  *       *       *       *       *

In American literature woman’s activity began with =Anne Bradstreet=,
the daughter of Governor Bradstreet of Massachusetts. To him she
dedicated the first volume of poetry published on the Western
hemisphere. Printed in 1642, it had the somewhat verbose title: “Several
Poems, compiled with great variety of wit and learning, full of delight;
wherein especially is contained a complete discourse and description of
the four elements, constitutions, ages of man, seasons of the year,
together with an exact epitome of the three first monarchies, viz.: the
Assyrian, Persian, Greecian, and Roman Commonwealth, from the beginning
to the end of their last king, with divers other pleasant and serious
poems. By a Gentlewoman of New England.” Three editions of this
collection appeared.

Of several poems, directed to her husband, we give the following lines:

               “If ever two were one, then surely we;
               If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
               If ever wife were happy in a man,
               Compare with me, ye women, if ye can!”

=Hannah Adams=, born in 1755, was the first American woman who made
literature her profession. Interested in religious controversy she
compiled a “View of Religions,” in three parts. After that she wrote
“Evidences of Christianity,” a “History of the Jews,” and a “History of
New England.” As far as pecuniary matters went, she was, however,
singularly unsuccessful, probably from her want of knowledge of
business, and ignorance in worldly matters. At the time when she was
engaged in compiling her books, so rare were woman-writers in America,
that she was looked upon as one of the wonders of her age.

In 1790 appeared a novel, “Charlotte Temple,” a story of love, betrayal,
and desertion, by =Mrs. Susanna Haswell Rowson=, a book of which more
than a hundred editions are known.

With the beginning of the 19th Century the number of American
authoresses increased rapidly. =Catharine= and =Susan Sedgwick= wrote
their “New England Tales,” which were received with such favor, that
Catharine in 1824 published a novel in two volumes, entitled “Redwood,”
a work which met with great success, was republished in England, and
translated into French and Italian. It was followed by a large number of
other novels, which were greatly appreciated for their purity of
language and grace of style.

Somewhat later =Lydia Maria Child= developed as one of the first and
foremost progressive writers. Having commenced her literary life with
“Hobomok, a Story of the Pilgrims,” she later on devoted herself to the
cause of woman and the abolition of slavery. She wrote a “History of
Woman,” which was followed in 1833 by a strong “Appeal for that Class of
Americans Called Africans,” the first anti-slavery work ever printed in
book form in America. In 1841 she moved to New York and assisted her
husband in editing “The National Anti-Slavery Standard.”

As is very generally known, her contemporary, =Harriet Beecher Stowe=,
too, was interested in the question of abolition. In 1850 she wrote for
the “National Era,” an anti-slavery paper, a serial entitled “Uncle
Tom’s Cabin.” When this novel was republished in book form it met with
tremendous success. In the United States between 300,000 and 400,000
copies were sold within three years, and the printing press had to run
day in and out to meet the demand. In Europe the book was devoured with
the same deep interest. There are thirty-five different editions in
English, and translations in at least twenty different languages. As the
novel was also dramatized in various forms, it became a great factor in
the abolishment of slavery.

Of the later stories by Mrs. Stowe “The Minister’s Wooing,” a tale of
New England life in the latter part of the 18th Century, has been
pronounced to be her best. But her reputation, while it lasts, will rest
chiefly upon “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

=Sarah Margaret Fuller= too belongs to those authors who espoused the
cause of woman’s rights. In “The Dial,” a little quarterly journal, the
organ of the transcendentalists and of the famous community at Brook
Farm, she first published “The Great Lawsuit.” It formed the nucleus of
a larger volume entitled “Woman in the Nineteenth Century.” Far in
advance of the ideas of her times, it is with its noble sentiments and
valuable hints a spirited plea for the rights of the female sex.

=Elizabeth Ellet= is favorably known for her valuable work “The Women of
the American Revolution,” published in 1848 in three volumes. It was
followed in 1850 by the “Domestic History of the American Revolution,”
designed to give an inside view into the spirit of that period, and to
describe the social and domestic conditions of the colonists and their
feelings during the war.

=Ann Sophia Stephens=, and =Emma D. Southworth= were likewise immensely
popular fiction writers during the first half of the 19th Century. So
was =Maria S. Cummins=, who in “The Lamplighter” achieved a success
comparable to that of Mrs. Stowe’s “Uncle Tom.”

The many short stories and novels of =Mary Virginia Terhune=, who wrote
under the pseudonym of Marion Harland; the romances of =Harriet Prescott
Spofford=, =Miriam Coles Harris=, =Elizabeth Barstow Stoddard=, and
=Adeline Whitney=, are now almost forgotten. Also the novels of =Lydia
Sigourney= of Norwich, Connecticut, who holds the record of being one of
the most prolific female writers in America. She produced not less than
fifty-seven volumes, among them “Letters to Mothers”; “Water-Drops,” a
contribution to the temperance-cause; “Pleasant Memories in Pleasant
Lands”; “Pocahontas”; and “Traits of the Aborigines of America,” a
descriptive poem in five cantos.

=Elizabeth Stuart Phelps= enjoyed with her “Sunny Side” and other tales
a phenomenal success. Her daughter, =Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward=, was
in her time regarded as the greatest American woman novelist, who has
most influenced the women of the United States. “The Silent Partner”;
“Hedged In”; “Dr. Zay”; “The Story of Avis” as almost all other stories
of the Phelps are laid in New England and exquisitely describe its
nature, past, and present conditions.

=Jane Goodwin Austin=, =Rose Terry Cooke=, =Annie Trumbull Slosson=,
=Clara Louise Burnham=, =Alice Brown= and =Mary E. Wilkins Freeman=
belong also to the woman-authors whose works deal with colonial and
present-day life in the New England States.

Of the woman-authors, who realized the possibilities of the romantic
life and history of the early settlers and pioneers, =Mary Johnston= and
=Mary Hartwell Catherwood= were the most successful. To the former we
are indebted for the romances “Prisoners of Hope,” and “To Have and to
Hold”; to the latter for the novels “The Lady of Fort St. John,” “The
White Islander,” “Old Kaskaskia,” “Lazarre” and others.

Under the pen name of Charles Egbert Craddock =Mary Noailles Murfree=
published a series of highly interesting short stories “In the Tennessee
Mountains.” Displaying an intimate knowledge of the mountaineers of
Eastern Tennessee, and full of life, these stories attracted at once
wide attention. They were followed later on by a large number of other
novels, of which “The Prophet of the Great Smoky Mountains,” “In the
Clouds,” “The Frontiersmen” and “The Storm Centre” have secured to Miss
Murfree a place of honor among present-day writers.

=Alice French= under her well-known pen name Octave Thanet sketched in
her short stories life in Iowa and Arkansas; =Ruth McEnery Stuart= wrote
amusing stories of negro life in Louisiana.

=Gertrude Franklin Atherton= achieved a wide reputation with her
charming romances of early Californian life, among which “The
Doomswoman” and “The Californians” are the most remarkable. Of her later
novels “The Conqueror” and “A Whirl Asunder” need to be mentioned.

=Mary Hallock Foote=, having likewise studied the conditions of the Far
West, in her admirable stories “The Led-Horse Claim,” “Cœur d’Alene,”
and “The Chosen Valley” carries the reader into the romance of Western
mining camps and of the virgin wilderness.

=Helen Hunt Jackson=, whose literary productions, over the signature “H.
H.,” began to attract attention about 1870, offered a truly native
flower to American literature in her poetic book “Ramona.” Intensely
alive and involving the reader in its movement, it yet contains an idyl
of singular loveliness. “Ramona,” says Helen J. Cone in an essay about
American literature, “stands as the most finished, though not the most
striking, example that what American women have done notably in
literature they have done nobly.”

The various works of =Constance Fenimore Woolson=, a grand-niece of
Fenimore Cooper, also enjoyed general approval. In her best known
novels: “East Angels,” “Jupiter Lights,” and “Horace Chase” she attained
a high standard of excellence.

=Frances Hodgson Burnett= created in her book “Through One
Administration” a pathetic story of the intricate political life in
Washington. Furthermore she gave in “Louisiana” and in “The Pretty
Sister of José” charming pictures of Southern conditions.

=Mrs. Burton N. Harrison= and =Edith Wharton= delighted their many
readers with highly interesting novels and short stories of New York
City Life, full of local color. Of the former author’s works “The
Anglomaniacs,” “Golden Rod,” and “The Circle of a Century” show her
great skill in the dialogue. Of the many novels and short stories of
Miss Wharton “The House of Mirth,”, “The Greater Inclination,”
“Sanctuary,” and “Crucial Instances” are perhaps the best.

Among the American novelists of our present days =Margaret Deland= is
without question one of the most popular. Her novels “John Ward,”
“Sidney,” “Tommy Dove,” “Philip and His Wife,” “The Wisdom of Fools,”
“Dr. Lavendar’s People,” and “The Awakening of Helen Richie” rank among
the best in American fiction.

The literary work of =Anna Katherine Green=, =Kate Douglas Wiggins=,
=Molly Elliot Seawell=, =Ellen Glasgow=, =Mary Shipman Andrews=, =Leona
Dalrymple=, =Margaret Sherwood=, and many other woman authors, excellent
as much as it is, can only be referred to summarily.

To enrol the names of those American women who since the days of Anne
Bradstreet have expressed their thoughts and emotions in poetry, would
be a task far exceeding the limits of this volume. Confining ourselves
to the most noteworthy, we mention first the sisters =Alice= and =Phœbe
Cary=. Among their many splendid poems and novels “Hualco, a Romance of
the Golden Age of Tezcuco,” is founded upon adventures of a young
Mexican chief, as related by several Spanish historians of the time of
the conquest. Of Alice Cary exist several hymns, one of which is almost
a classic in the purity of its sentiment.

The poetic spirit of =Julia Ward Howe= found expression in “Passion
Flowers” (1854) and “Lyrics” (1866). Her most memorable poem is the
“Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which breathes fervent patriotism and
gives expression to the deep moral purpose of the Civil War.

The poetry of =Helen Jackson= unquestionably takes rank above that of
any American woman. Emerson rated it above that of almost all American
men. Her works include simple poetry of domestic life as well as
love-poems of extraordinary intensity and imaginative fullness,
furthermore, verses showing most intimate sympathy with external nature;
and lastly, a few poems of the highest dignity and melody in the nature
of odes, such as “A Christmas Symphony” and “A Funeral March.”

The numerous lyrics of =Elizabeth Oakes Smith=, =E. O. Kinney=, =Frances
S. Osgood=, =Anne L. Botta=, =Sarah Helen Whitman=, =Maria Lowell=,
=Harriet W. Sewall=, =Emily Judson= and many other women poets of the
last half century show a development corresponding to that traceable in
the field of American fiction.

In recent times a large number of gifted women have contributed to the
general chorus new notes of unusual strength and beauty. Many names
deserve a place upon the honor roll; among them =Margaret J. Preston=,
=Elizabeth Allen=, =Julia Dorr=, =Mary E. Bradley=, =Nora Perry=, =Mary
C. Hudson=, =Margaret Sangster=, =Charlotte Bates=, =May Riley Smith=,
=Edna Dean Proctor=, =Elizabeth Stuart Phelps=, =Alice Wellington
Rollins=, =Edith Thomas=, =Emma Lazarus=, =Kate Osgood=, and =Ella
Wheeler Wilcox=.

In other branches of literature, to which comparatively few women have
chosen to devote themselves, as for instance in history, several
American women have shown remarkable talent and thoroughness.

First among these historians stands =Mrs. Mercy Otis Warren=, the same
who with Mrs. Abigail Smith Adams, the wife of President John Adams,
shared the belief that the Declaration of Independence should consider
not the freedom of man alone, but that of woman also. Having warmly
entered the contest between England and America, Mrs. Warren had
corresponded with many of the leading men of the time; these often
consulted her, and acknowledged the soundness of her judgment on many of
the important events before and after the war. The most valuable of her
writings appeared in 1805, under the title “The History of the Rise,
Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution, interspersed with
Biographical, Political, and Moral Observations.” The three volumes of
this work, dedicated to George Washington, are valuable as a true record
of the events and feelings of those great times.

To =Martha Lamb= the citizens of the metropolis on the Hudson River are
indebted for a comprehensive “History of New York City.” =Agnes Laut=
penned a series of articles about the discovery of the farthest
Northwest. =Ellen Mackay Hutchinson= compiled with Edmund Clarence
Stedman “A Library of American Literature,” which in 1888 appeared in
ten volumes; it shows excellent judgment, knowledge and care. =Ida
Tarbell= produced among many other works a “Life of Abraham Lincoln” and
an exceedingly interesting “History of the Standard Oil Company.”
=Katherine Coman= published the “Industrial History of the United

“A Century of Dishonor” is the title of a sensational book, written by
=Helen Hunt Jackson=, and published in 1881. During her extensive
travels in the Far West the author became deeply interested in the much
maltreated Indians. Disgusted by the shameless robberies and lawless
acts committed by many Indian Agents on the reservations, Mrs. Jackson
wrote her book, which is one of the strongest indictments ever directed
against the Government. Through this volume she succeeded in doing much
to ameliorate the unfortunate conditions of the Red Race.

=Mrs. John A. Logan= compiled a valuable volume, entitled “The Part
taken by Women in American History.”

Woman’s status in the laws of the forty-eight states belonging to the
United States of America has been treated by =Rose Falls Bres= in the
valuable book “The Law and the Woman,” published in 1917 at New York.

The great movement for Women Suffrage found of course likewise its
historians. Four of the most prominent leaders and best authorities:
=Elizabeth Cady Stanton=, =Susan B. Anthony=, =Matilda Joslyn Gage=, and
=Ida Husted Harper= combined for the difficult task of collecting,
sifting, and putting together the immense mass of material. Their
“History of Woman Suffrage,” published in five huge volumes, is not only
a noble record, but at the same time a magnificent monument to women’s
courage, indefatigability and perseverance.

A considerable number of women have also contributed to the literature
about suffrage, social culture, labor questions, and kindred subjects.
=Anna G. Spencer= produced the book “Woman’s Share in Social Culture”;
=Charlotte P. Gilman= devoted a volume to “Home” and a second volume to
“Woman and Economics”; =Alice M. Earle= described “Childlife in Colonial
Times”; =Ellen Key= gave a study of “Love and Marriage”; =Mary Eastman=
published “Woman’s Work in America”; =Olive Schreiner= wrote “Woman and
Labor,” and =Elisabeth Butler= “Woman in the Trades.” To =Jane Addams=
the world is indebted for several well written works, among them:
“Democracy and Social Ethics”; “The Spirit of Youth”; “An Ancient Evil
and a New Conscience,” and “New Ideals of Peace.” She gave a record of
her great settlement work in Chicago in her delightful book “Twenty
Years at Hull House.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

For many centuries the Germans have been known as great writers, poets
and philosophers. Perhaps no other nation has contributed so much to the
world’s literature. Before the unfortunate year of 1914 the annual
output of Germany in works of science, art, philosophy, technics and
fiction far surpassed that of any other country, even that of France,
Great Britain and America combined.

In these contributions German women have a conspicuous share. Their
great interest in this line of activity can be traced back to the early
days of the Middle Ages, when nuns like =Hroswitha= glorified the deeds
of great emperors, or, like the =Abbess of Hohenburg=, undertook the
bold enterprise of compiling a cyclopædia of general knowledge.

Germany had also the first periodicals for women, the earliest dating
back to 1644, much read and patronized by the members of the gentle sex.
Its title “Frauenzimmer-Gesprächspiele” (“Playful discussion for
ladies”) indicates that it was devoted exclusively to matters of the
“eternal feminine.”

A similar periodical was “Die vernünftigen Tadlerinnen” (“The reasonable
fault-finders”), edited by Johann Christoph Gottsched, professor of
philosophy and poetry at the University at Leipzig. The most faithful of
his assistants and collaborators was his wife, known in German
literature as =Louise Adelgunde Gottschedin=. To the “Deutsche
Schaubühne,” likewise published by her husband, she contributed several
translations of French Dramas and five comedies of her own, which are
still of interest as they illustrate the manners of the time, the middle
of the 18th Century.

=Meta Moller=, the wife of the famous poet Klopstock, =Friedericke C.
Neuber=, and =Rahel Levin=, the wife of the historian Varnhagen von
Ense, made similar use of their great literary abilities. The salon of
Mrs. Varnhagen in Berlin from 1814 to 1830 was the meeting place for the
most celebrated intellects of Germany, among them Humboldt, Fichte,
Schleiermacher, von Kleist, and Heinrich Heine.

The great poetess =Annette von Droste-Hülshoff= (1797–1848) wrote a most
powerful novel, “Die Judenbuche”, which is based on the belief that
murderers are forced by a mysterious power to return to the scene of
their crimes.

The prolific but now almost forgotten writers =Karoline Pichler=,
=Henriette Paalzow=, =Otilie Wildermut=, Countess =Ida Hahn-Hahn=,
=Fanny Lewald= and =Louise Mühlbach= were followed in the second part of
the 19th Century by =Eugenie John=, better known under her nom de plume
=Marlitt=. Her novels “Das Geheimniss der alten Mamsell” (“Old
Mamselle’s Secret”), “Heideprinzesschen” (“The Princess of the Moor”),
“Gold Else” (“Gold Elsie”) and others met with tremendous success and
have been in translations also enjoyed by many English and American

With like enthusiasm the women of Germany read the novels of =Wilhelmine
Heimburg=, =Louise von Francois= (“Die letzte Reckenburgerin”) and
=Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach=. The latter is regarded as the greatest of
all modern novelists of Germany, Paul Heyse not excepted. When the
University in Vienna bestowed upon her the degree of Doctor phil.
honoris causa, the enormous body of her readers heartily rejoiced. Her
most famous novel is “Das Gemeindekind” (“The child of the Parish”). She
also published a volume of “Aphorisms.”

=Wilhelmine von Hillern’s= once much read novel “Die Geierwally” has
been surpassed by far more valuable works of =Ilse Frapan=, =Ida
Boy-Ed=, =Helene Pichler=, =Margarete von Bülow=, =Bianca Bobertag=,
=Ossip Schubin=, =Helene Böhlau=, =Emma Vely=, =Emmy von Dinklage=,
=Dora Dunker=, =Marie von Bunsen=, =Sophie Junghans=, =Louise
Westkirch=, =Clara Blüthgen=, =Olga Wohlbrück=, =Carry Brachvogel= and a
number of other modern writers.

Among them =Enrica von Handel-Mazetti= and =Ricarda Huch= are
distinguished by their great ability in drawing strong characters as
well as deeply affecting situations. The first of the two authors
transports her readers in the two novels “Meinrad Helmpergers
denkwürdiges Jahr” and “Jesse und Maria” to the turbulent times of the
17th and 18th Centuries, when a superstitious world was upset by cruel
warfare between Catholics and Protestants. Ricarda Huch created works of
equal value in the novels “Erinnerungen von Ludolf Urslen dem Jüngeren”
(“Reminiscences of Ludolf Urslen, Junior”), “Aus der Triumphgasse”
(“From the Alley of Triumph”) and “The Verteidigung Roms” (“The Defense
of Rome”).

=Elizabeth von Heyking= carried the reader to the more recent times of
the Chinese Boxer War with her admirable novel “Briefe die ihn nicht
erreichten” (“Letters he did not get”).

=Clara Viebig= belongs likewise to the great novelists of modern times.
Having manifested in her first collection of short stories, “Kinder der
Eifel” (“Children of the Eifel Plateau”), a most extraordinary gift of
observation and description, she brought this talent to full development
in her splendid novels “Rheinlandstoechter” (“Daughters of the Rhein”),
“Das schlafende Heer” (“The sleeping army”) and “Absolve te.”

=Gabriele Reuter= treated in her novels “Aus guter Familie” (“Of good
family”), “Frau Bürgelin und ihre Söhne,” “Ellen von der Weiden,” and
“Liselotte von Reckling” various phases of the woman’s question. In the
first book she protests against the injustice created by custom and
tradition, which allows men to propose, while women are condemned to
remain silent.

Finally we must mention the noble woman who, most intensely realizing
the deep longing of mankind for peace, with her famous book “Die Waffen
nieder!” (“Lay down your arms!”) exerted probably the greatest influence
any author ever had through a single volume: the Austrian =Bertha von
Suttner=. The powerful appeal of this great book, which was translated
into more than twenty different languages, led Alfred B. Nobel, a rich
Swedish scientist and the inventor of dynamite, to bequeath the annual
interest of his great fortune to whoever has contributed most to the
peaceful progress of mankind during the year immediately preceding. It
was not more than just that the great merit of Madame von Suttner was
acknowledged by awarding to her in 1905 the Nobel Prize for peace.

Having devoted her whole life to the cause of peace, Bertha von Suttner
died in June, 1914, while engaged in preparations for an International
Peace Congress to be held in September of that same year in Vienna. Fate
spared her the bitter disappointment to see the outbreak of the most
cruel and destructive war in history. But her call “Lay down your arms!”
will live. It will remain the watchword and summons of all who with this
high-priestess of peace believe that war is the most unreasonable and
most criminal act men can commit.

Of course, German women have also contributed to the literature about
the woman’s question. Perhaps the most valuable work in this line is
=Dr. Kaethe Schirmacher’s= book “Die moderne Frauenbewegung,” giving a
history of the woman’s rights movement in all countries of the world. As
there has been no English book covering this broad subject, it was
translated by =C. C. Eckhardt= and in 1912 published at New York under
the title “The Modern Woman’s Rights Movement.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

Rich as German literature is in prose works of women writers, its poems
and lyrics written by women are no less noteworthy. There can be no
doubt that many of the beautiful folk songs of the Middle Ages were
created by women. For instance the following was discovered in a
collection of songs of the 13th Century, compiled by the nuns of a
convent at Blaubeuren, Bavaria:

                       Kume, kum, geselle min,
                       ih enbite harte din,
                       ih enbite harte din,
                       kume, kum, geselle min!

                       Süsser rosen-varmer munt,
                       kum und mache mich gesunt,
                       kum und mache mich gesunt,
                       süsser rosen-varmer munt!

That women took deep interest in folk-songs we know from the fact that
several of the most valuable collections of mediæval songs came down to
us through women like Clara Haetzler, a nun in Augsburg, and Katharine
Zell. The latter states that these lovely poems were sung by workmen and
vintages as well as by the mothers at the cradle, and by the servants
while they were washing the dishes.

It is not before the 17th Century that women authors of poems begin to
write under their names. Among them we find the countesses =Anna Sophie
von Hesse-Darmstadt= (1638–1683) and =Amalia Juliane von
Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt=. The latter was the author of about six hundred
songs, of which the funeral-hymn “Wer weiss wie nahe mir mein Ende” is
sung in all Protestant churches of Germany to-day.

The 18th Century produced a number of other women poets, among them
=Louise Adelgunde Gottsched=, =Dorothea, Countess von Zinzendorf=, =Anna
Louise Karsch=, =Sidonie Zäunemann=, and =Christine Marianne von
Ziegler=. The last two enjoyed the special patronage of the Emperor, who
bestowed upon them the title “Kayserlich gekrönte Poetinnen.”

With the beginning of the 19th Century appeared new groups of women
poets, among them =Bettina von Arnim=, =Karoline von Günderode=,
=Elisabeth Kulmann=, =Louise Brachmann=, =Betty Paoli=, =Louise von
Ploennies= and =Adelheid von Stolterfoth=, the “Philomele of the Rhine,”
so called for her lovely songs and tales in praise of that noble river.
In 1797 one of the greatest female poets of all times was born: =Annette
von Droste-Hülshoff=, a native of Westphalia. Compelled to lead a quiet,
secluded life by the delicate state of her health, she devoted herself
to study and literature, and wrote a number of masterful ballads of
which “The Battle in Loenerbruch” has few equals in powerful and
realistic description. Her poem “Die beschränkte Frau” is one of the
gems of German poetry.

Among the large numbers of German poets of the latter part of the 19th
and the beginning of the 20th Century =Isolde Kurz=, =Lulu von Strauss=,
=Margarete Beutler=, =Agnes Miegel=, =Tekla Lingen=, =Ricarda Huch=,
=Frieda Schanz=, =Anna Ritter=, =Hedwig Dransfeld=, =Wilhelmine
Wickenburg-Almasy=, =Hermione von Preuschen=, =Klara Müller-Jahnke=,
=Hedda Sauer=, =Maria Eugenie delle Grazie=, =Angelika von Hörmann=,
=Marie Janitschek=, =Ada Christen=, =Mia Holm=, =Alberta von
Puttkammer=, =Anna Klie=, are the names of a few of the many
distinguished poets of our present days.

Among American women of German descent we find likewise a number of
gifted poets. The two anthologies “Deutsch in Amerika” (Chicago, 1892)
and “Vom Lande des Sternenbanners” (Ellenville, N. Y., 1905) contain
many contributions of =Dorothea Boettcher=, =Elizabeth Mesch=, =Edna
Fern=, =Amalie von Ende=, =Marianne Kuenhold=, =Maria Raible=, =Minna
Kleeberg=, =Bella Fiebing=, =Henni Hubel=, =Martha Toeplitz=, and
others, distinguished in form as well as rich in imagination and
powerful in expression. Several German-American women also became
favorably known by valuable works in prose, as for instance =Therese
Albertine Louise Jacob=, the wife of Professor Robinson, of New York.
Under the name of Talvj, she wrote historical works about Captain John
Smith and the colonization of New England, and a “Historical Review of
the Language and Literature of the Slavic Nations, with a Sketch of
their Popular Poetry.” Of her many poems and translations Goethe spoke
with great admiration. Her novels are far superior to the average in
style and interest.

                  *       *       *       *       *

In the Netherlands the novels of =Elizabeth Bekker= were extremely
popular at the end of the 18th Century. She ranks high among Dutch
authors. Her “Historie van William Levend,” the “Historie van Sara
Burgerhart,” “Abraham Blankaart” and “Cornelia Wildshut” are her
greatest works. The poems of =Agathe Dekken= are to this day esteemed
masterpieces of Dutch poetry. During the 19th Century =Mrs.
Bosboom-Toussaint’s= novels, and =Helen Swarth’s= poems “Passiebloemen”
have been widely read.

The most eminent woman writer of Denmark was =Thomasine Kristine
Baroness Gyllembourg-Ehrensvärd=, who introduced into Danish literature
a novel vein of realism and domestic humor. Although she has had many
imitators, she is still without a rival. =Hadda Raonkilde= has exerted a
powerful influence upon Scandinavian literature.

The two most successful women-novelists of Norway are =Anna Magdalene
Thoresen= and =Jacobine Camilla Collet=, author of the excellent novel
“Amtmandens Döttre” (“The Governor’s Daughters”). In 1894 all Norway
celebrated her eightieth birthday as a national holiday.

The most eminent Swedish novelist of the 19th Century was =Frederika
Bremer=. Her “Sketches of Every Day Life” attracted immediate attention.
But this success was far surpassed by the novels “The H—— Family” and
“The Neighbors.” Both manifest the author’s purity, simplicity, and love
of domestic life. These books as well as almost all of the author’s
later works have been translated into English, German and French.

Another Swedish author of note was =Anne Charlotte Edgren=. Of =Emily
Carlen’s= novels “The Rose of Thistle Island” and “The Magic Goblet” are
most appreciated. =Anna Maria Lenngren= belongs likewise to the most
popular Swedish writers. The Swedish Academy ordered a medal cast in her
honor. And of the Swedish authors of the 20th Century =Selma Lagerloef=
was in 1909 awarded the Nobel Prize for her beautiful modern saga
“Goesta Berling.”

Finland and Poland too have noteworthy women-writers. Finland, “Country
of the thousand lakes,” was the birth-place of =Sarah Wacklin=,
=Wilhelmina Nordström= and =Helen Westermark=. The literature of Poland
was enriched by the poems and novels of =Elizabeth Jaraczewska=, =Lucya
Rautenstrauss=, =Narcyza Zwichowska= and =Comtesse Mostowska=.

Spain has produced in modern times several remarkable woman authors:
=Gertrudis de Avellaneda=, =Maria de Pinar-Sinues=, and =Angela Grassi=.
Italy has the excellent novelists =Rosa Taddei=, =Francesca Lutti=,
=Matilda Serao=, =Grazia Pierantoni-Mancini=, =Fanny Zampini-Salazar=,
and the Marchesa =Vincenza de Felice-Lancellotti=. Furthermore =Ada
Negri=, one of the most powerful poets of all times.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Having glanced at woman’s part in world’s literature, a few words should
be said about women journalists. During the middle of the last century
the publishers of several leading newspapers of England and America,
desiring to infuse new life into their papers, added a number of women
to their staffs. The complete success of this experiment was confirmed
by the rapid increase in the number of such women journalists. Whereas
in 1845 England had only 15 of them, this number grew to more than 800
in 1891. In the United States the number increased from 350 in 1889 to
2193 in 1910. Many of these women journalists received careful training
in the special schools of journalism at the universities of New York,
Philadelphia, and elsewhere.

Jeannette Gilder, herself a journalist, writes about her profession:
“Woman as a mere fashion writer is a thing of the past. To-day she
expects to rank with the man writer. In the future she will expect to be
his superior, for a woman is not stationary in her ambitions, she likes
variety. A man is wedded to his old clothes. He sighs when he has to
throw aside the old and comfortably fitting coat for a new one not so
comfortably fitting. A woman sighs when she has to wear an old dress.
She would like fashions to change every week instead of every three
months, as they do now. This love for variety in personal matters is
carried into her professional life. If she reports a Salvation Army
meeting to-day she hails with glee an opportunity to report an
automobile race to-morrow. With boundless ambition, with adaptability,
energy and a pleasing style, there is nothing to keep women from
monopolizing the journalistic profession if they put their minds to it.
The only trouble is they are apt to marry and leave the ranks. But, then
there are others standing ready to fill the vacant places. In the next
hundred years why may we not see all newspapers owned by women, edited
by women, written by women, with women compositors and women pressmen.
Already there is one such in France.”


                       WOMEN IN MUSIC AND DRAMA.

The prejudice which excluded women for centuries from the realms of
science, interfered likewise with their participation in music and art.
Up to the midst of the 19th Century almost all European conservatories
and art academies were closed to female students. Previous to 1876 no
women students of the violin were allowed at the High School in London,
and for a long time they could not compete for prizes or receive
diplomas. When =Elizabeth Sterling= presented her beautiful CXXX Psalm
for five voices and orchestra to the university at Oxford for the degree
of Mus. Bac., the degree, although the work was accepted and its merits
acknowledged, could not be given for want of power to confer this degree
upon a woman!

As the views of publishers of music and of conductors of orchestras were
influenced by similar prejudices, nobody should wonder that women’s work
in music has shown comparatively unsatisfactory results.

Yet, in spite of all these obstacles, there have been a number of women
composers, whose works were appreciated by all their contemporaries.
During the glorious time of the Renaissance =Francesca Caccini=, born in
1581 at Florence, was the pride of her city because of her magnificent
church music and madrigals. Compositions of =Vittoria Aleotti=, a native
of Argenta, were likewise much admired, especially her great opus, which
was published at Venice, in 1593, under the flowery title “Ghirlanda dei
Madrigali a 4 voci.” =Maddalena Casulana= of Brescia, produced also a
number of fine madrigals, which were issued in two volumes in 1568 and
1583. =Cornelia Calegari=, of Bergamo, =Barbara Strozzi=, of Venice,
belong also to the Italian composers of the Renaissance. =Maria Teresa
Agnesi=, born during the 18th Century, produced a number of cantatas,
and three operas, “Sophonisbe,” “Ciro in Armenia,” and “Nitocri,” which
were the delight of all Italy.

In Austria at the same time appeared =Maria Teresa Paradies=, born at
Vienna in 1759. Notwithstanding her blindness, dating from her fourth
year, she had become a most remarkable pianist and composer, dictating
her cantatas and several operettas. In 1784 she set out on a concert
tour through Germany and England, everywhere exciting admiration by her
rare endowments. She often moved her audiences to tears by a cantata,
the words of which were written by the blind poet Pfeffel, in which her
own fate was depicted. During the later part of her life she presided
over an excellent musical institute in Vienna.

In another native of Vienna, =Marianne Martinez=, the qualities of many
distinguished artists were combined. Not only did she sing beautifully,
but she was likewise an excellent pianist; her compositions showed a
vigor of conception together with extensive learning. She composed
several cantatas, and a miserere, with orchestral accompaniment. Her
oratorio “Isacca” was in 1788 produced by the Tonkuenstler Gesellschaft.
Her salons, in which she gave weekly concerts, were the rendezvous of
many musical celebrities.

Foremost among the women-composers of Germany was =Clara Josephine
Wieck-Schumann=, the accomplished pianist and unexcelled interpreter of
her husband’s, Robert Schumann’s, splendid works. She also produced a
large number of songs of great merit, many of which have been published.

=Francesca Lebrun=, born 1756 at Mannheim, wrote several sonatas for
piano, and trios for piano, violin and cello. =Louise Reichard=, of
Berlin, =Corona Schroeter=, the famous artist of the 18th Century,
=Fanny Cecilia Hensel=, born 1805 in Hamburg, and =Josephine Lang=, born
1815 in Munich, composed very beautiful songs. A “Suite for Pianoforte”
(Op. 2) by =Adele aus der Ohe= has likewise received highest praise.

Among the women composers of France =Elizabeth Claude Guerre=, born at
Paris in 1669; =Edme Sophie Gail Garré=, born in 1775, and =Louise
Bertin= were the pioneers. Elizabeth Guerre’s opera “Cephale et Pœris”
was performed at the Royal Academie. She also composed a Te Deum, and a
number of cantatas.

The most successful composer of recent years was =Cécile Louise
Stephanie Chaminade=, born at Paris in 1861. Her most ambitious
compositions are “Les Amazones,” a lyric symphony with choruses; “La
Sevillane”; “Callirhœ”; “Etude Symphonique,” and a large number of
compositions for piano, many of which became very popular.

Of =Augusta Mary Ann Holmes=, likewise a native of Paris, the opera
“Hero et Leandre” had great success.

Of the women composers of England =M. Virginia Gabriel= was very
popular. She wrote the cantatas “Evangeline” and “Dreamland,” and the
operettas “Grass Widows,” “Widows Bewitched” and “Who’s the Heir?” =Leza
Lehman= was the author of the song cycle “In a Persian Garden,” and of
“Nonsense Songs.” =Clara Angela Macirone’s= anthem “By the Waters of
Babylon” has been sung in all the cathedrals of Great Britain.

=Lady Helen Dufferin= is known principally for her songs and ballads,
which, both for comic humor and pathos, rank among the best in the
English language. “The Irish Emigrant’s Lament” compares favorably with
any English lyric. =Charlotte Sainton Dolby=, =Elizabeth Mounsey= and
=Harriet Abrams= composed likewise numerous songs, and =Kate Fanny
Loder= the operette “Fleur d’Epine.”

There exist also many splendid compositions by American women. When in
1893 the Woman’s Building at the World’s Columbian Exposition at Chicago
was dedicated, =Mrs. H. A. Beach’s= “Jubilate” was received with
greatest enthusiasm. Also her “Gaelic Symphony” was played by many
famous orchestras.

The “Dramatic Overture” (Op. 12) of =Miss Margaret Ruthven Lang= has
been frequently performed by the famous Boston Symphony Orchestra.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Of the innumerable virtuosos, who interpreted works of the above-named
composers and others, the American violinists =Arma Senkrah= and =Maud
Powell=, the Italian =Teresina Tua=, the German =Maria Soldat=, and the
South-American pianists =Terese Careno= and =Giomar Novaez=, not to
forget the Hungarian =Sophie Menter= and the Russian =Annette Essipoff=
have been the most eminent.

                  *       *       *       *       *

“Dem Mimen flicht die Nachwelt keine Kränze,” the great German poet
Schiller has said in one of his poems, pointing out that, while the
painter, sculptor, composer and writer transmit their works to remote
generations, the glory won by the actor and singer exhales with their
disappearance from the stage as quickly as does the fragrance of a
delicate flower. The record of the performer’s and singer’s gift remains
only as a tradition, as a legend.

So it is. The majority of those actors and singers, who in bygone times
held large audiences spellbound, are forgotten. There are only few
exceptions which in the history of dramatic art and music will remain.
So for instance with the history of the English stage of the latter part
of the 17th Century the names of two great actresses are inseparably
connected: =Gwynn= and =Elizabeth Barry=. The former especially was the
darling of the people, and much favored by King Charles II. During the
following century =Anne Oldfield=, =Mary Porter=, =Elizabeth
Billington=, =Anne Spranger Barry=, =Hannah Pritchard=, =Mary Robinson=,
=Jane Pope=, =Susanne Cibber=, =Frances Abington= and =Margaret
Woffington= were celebrated for their talent, charm, and elegance. Of
=Sarah Siddons=, called “the Incomparable,” it has been reported that by
means of her excellent art as well as by her beauty, dignity and
personal distinction she reduced her audiences to an awe-struck
reverence. Edmund Gosse, in an article devoted to the memory of Sarah
Siddons says: “Under the effect she produced, women as well as men lost
all command over themselves, and sobbed, moaned, and even howled with
emotion. Young ladies used suddenly to shriek; men were carried out,
gibbering, in hysterics.”

Of the many excellent English actresses of the 19th Century and of our
present days =Louise Nisbett=, =Mary Stirling=, =Elizabeth O’Neill=,
=Helen Faucit=, =Lillian Neilson=, =Deborah Lacy=, =Frances Kemble=,
=Adelaide Kemble-Sartoris=, =Charlotte Dolby=, =Ellen Terry=, =Gertrude=
and =Rose Coghlan= have to be mentioned. Also we must remember the great
triumphs of =Nellie Melba=, a native of Australia, but at home on the
stages and in the concert halls of Europe as well as of America.

The United States produced likewise a number of brilliant actresses and
opera stars. Among the former were =Clara Fisher=, =Mary Vincent=,
=Laura Keene=, =Anna Gilbert=, =Anna= and =Cora Ritshie=, not to forget
=Mary Ann Dyke-Duff=, whom the elder Booth declared to be “the greatest
actress in the world.” Furthermore, there was the classic =Mary
Anderson=, who was followed later on by such eminent performers as =Ida
Conquest=, =Adelaide Phillips=, =Julia Marlowe=, =Leslie Carter=, =Maud
Adams=, and =Ethel Barrymore=.

Our United States have been also the native land of the famous opera
stars =Minni Hauck=, =Lillian Nordica=, =Emma Eames=, =Olive Fremstadt=,
=Florence Macbeth=, =Mary Garden=, =Anna Case= and =Geraldine Farrar=.

Germany and Austria too have produced numbers of accomplished actresses
and singers who stood high in public esteem and thrilled vast audiences
by splendid revelations of their art. The name of =Charlotte Wolter= is
forever connected with the famous Burgtheater in Vienna as the greatest
tragedienne in the history of that famous institution. To the many
actresses, whose fame is not limited to their native countries but has
extended to America as well, belong the following stars of the 19th
Century: =Marie Seebach=, =Ottilie Genee=, =Kathie Schratt=, =Hedwig
Niemann-Rabe=, =Fanny Janauschek=, =Magda Irschik=, =Anna Haverland=,
=Marie Geistinger=, =Agnes Sorma=, =Helene Odilon=, =Francisca
Ellmenreich=, =Fanny Eysolt=, =Irene Triebsch= and =Else Lehmann=.

As stars in grand opera and concert singers the most famous of the
former century have been =Henriette Sontag=, =Pauline Lucca=, =Marie
Schroeder-Hanfstängl=, =Teresa Tietiens=, =Etelka Gerster=, =Lilli
Lehmann=, =Fanny Moran-Olden=, =Rosa Sucher=, =Amalie Materna=, =Marie
Brema=, =Katharine Klaffsky= and =Marianne Brand=. Our present
generation has paid tribute to =Milka Ternina=, =Marie Rappold=, =Alma
Gluck=, =Elene Gerhard=, =Johanna Gadski=, =Julia Culp=, =Ernestine
Schumann-Heink=, =Melanie Kurt=, =Margarete Ober=, and =Frida Hempel=.

With the history of the French drama the names of the great tragediennes
=Elizabeth Rachel= and =Sarah Bernhardt= are inseparably connected,
while in opera =Madeline Arnould=, =Magdalene Marie Desgarcins=, =Louise
Françoise Contat=, =Marie Felicite Malibran=, =Louise Angelique Bertin=,
=Sophie Cruvelli=, =Emma Calvé=, =Lucienne Breval=, =Felia Litvinne= and
=Desiré Artot= have been stars of the first order.

Italy gave birth to the famous actresses and singers =Guilia Grisi=,
=Marietta Alboni=, =Angelica Catalani=, =Adelaide Ristori=, =Eleonora
Duse=, =L. Scalchi=, =Louisa Tetrazzina=, and =Amelia Galli-Curci=.

Poland had her superb =Helena Modjeska= and =Marcella Sembrich=; Bohemia
the marvelous =Emmy Destinn=.

Sweden treasures the memory of =Jenny Lind= and =Christine Nilsson= as
superlative artists. Jenny Lind was called “the Swedish Nightingale,”
and was famous for her great charm as well as for her musical gifts. Her
splendid tour in America under the management of P. T. Barnum in 1849
was one of the greatest artistic and financial triumphs ever achieved by
one single artist.

A somewhat international position has been held by the famous =Adelina
Patti=, born in 1843 at Madrid, as the daughter of a Sicilian tenor and
the Spanish Signora Barilli. Taught singing by the Moravian Maurice
Strakosch, she commanded an unusually high soprano of rich bell-like
tone and remarkable evenness, and was equally at home in the tenderness
of deep passion and the sprightly vivacity of comedy, and in oratorio.
For these reasons she has been regarded as one of the greatest singers
of all times. That her reputation was founded on her rare qualities, is
best shown by the testimony of two of her fellow-artists, Marcella
Sembrich and Lilli Lehmann. The former expressed her admiration in the
words: “When one speaks of Patti one speaks of something that occurred
only once in the history of the world.” The latter, famous in a totally
different school of her art, wrote the following lines: “In Adelaine
Patti everything was united—the splendid voice, paired with great talent
for singing. All was absolutely good, correct and flawless, the voice
like a bell that you seemed to hear long after the singing had ceased.”



As is familiar to every student of the classic past the Greeks and
Romans hailed a female deity, Pallas Athene, or Minerva, as the
protectress of their arts and industries. She was believed to have
invented spinning, weaving, embroidering, painting, and every other
handicraft that has brought mankind comfort and happiness.

Of course this goddess had many eager women disciples. There was hardly
any Greek or Roman woman without a thorough command of the above named
crafts. Since the days of Homer, who praised Penelope, the beautiful
wife of Ulysses, for her skill in tapestry-weaving, all women devoted
themselves to useful arts. In Ephesus Pliny admired a picture of Diana,
painted by =Timarata=, the gifted daughter of an able artist. He also
praises =Laya= for her excellent miniature portraits on ivory, which
were held in great favor by the rich ladies of Rome. The names of
several other female artists are known, but unfortunately none of their
works have come down to us.

Enthusiastic authors of the Middle Ages glorify =Agnes, Abbess of
Quedlinburg=, for her great skill in illuminating manuscripts with
figures, beautiful initial letters and elaborate border ornaments, which
she enriched with all the splendor of color and gilding.

It was only natural, that the magnificent works of art, produced by
Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Correggio, Tintoretto and other
great masters of the Italian Renaissance, inspired the women who came in
daily contact with these men; especially their daughters, many of whom
inherited their fathers’ enthusiasm for beauty and art. Constantly
witnessing the origin and progress of the products of their fathers’
genius, it could not fail that such women likewise devoted themselves to
art. As did =Lavinia Fontana=, the daughter of Prospero Fontana of
Bologna, whom Michael Angelo recommended to Pope Julius III., in whose
service he remained for many years. Lavinia was born in Rome in 1552.
Inspired by her father’s art, she too won great fame. The old patrician
palaces of Rome, Bologna, and other Italian cities still contain many
portraits of beautiful women and illustrious men, who once were among
her sitters. She likewise painted various other works which show great
care and delicacy.

Among her most admired works are a Venus, now in the Museum at Berlin;
the Virgin lifting a veil from the sleeping infant Christ, now in the
Escurial; and the Queen of Sheba visiting Solomon. Her masterpiece,
however, is her own portrait, which shows her in all her radiant beauty.

=Sofonisba Anguisciola=, born in 1533 at Cremona, likewise ranks high
among the foremost portrait painters of the 16th Century. On
recommendation of the Duke of Alba, Philippe II., King of Spain, invited
her to his court in Madrid, where she was received with extraordinary
honors. Here she painted numerous portraits of the king as well as of
the queen, the infantas and the members of the court. A few specimens of
her art are still to be seen in the Escurial at Madrid and at Florence.
Van Dyck acknowledged himself more benefited by her than by his study of
all other masters.

=Marietta Tintoretto=, born in 1560, a daughter of the great Venetian
artist Jacopo Robusti, commonly called Tintoretto, was one of the most
appreciated portrait painters in the “Queen City of the Adriatic.” She
was so favorably known for the beauty of her work and the exactness of
resemblance that she was solicited by Emperor Maximilian as well as by
Philippe II., King of Spain, to visit their courts. But her affectionate
attachment to her father was so great that she declined these honors,
and remained in Venice, where she died in 1590.

The 17th Century likewise produced a number of excellent women artists.
Bologna, the birth-place of so many famous men and women, was also the
native town of =Elizabeth Sirani=, who, born in 1638 to Gian Andrea
Sirani, a painter of some reputation, attracted attention to her
attempts at drawing when scarcely more than an infant. Her rare talents
developed as she grew older. Before she had attained her eighteenth
year, she had finished several paintings, which were greatly admired and
given places of honor in various churches. Her most admired work, a
Lord’s Supper, grand in conception, is in the church of the Certosini,
and is considered one of the best examples of the Bolognesian School of
art. Unfortunately this promising woman died suddenly when only
twenty-seven years of age.

=Rosalba Carriera=, a Venetian, born in 1675, became famous over all
Europe for her admirable miniature- and crayon- or pastel-portraits,
which, through her, became the fashion of the 18th Century.

Among the Dutch artists of the 17th Century =Maria van Osterwyck= and
=Rachel Ruisch= excelled in painting flowers and fruits. =Elisabeth
Cheron=, a French woman, born in Paris in 1648, was famous for her
miniatures and historical subjects.

England too had some fine women artists: =Mary Beale=, born 1632 in
Suffolk, and =Anne Killigrew=, born in London. Both are known for
excellent portraits of notable persons. The National Portrait Gallery in
London contains for instance Mary Beale’s portraits of King Charles II.,
of the Duke of Norfolk, and of Cowley.



  After her own painting.

The 18th Century produced two women artists, who were among the leaders
of their time: =Angelica Kauffmann= and =Marie LeBrun=. Angelica
Kauffmann, the daughter of an artist, was born in 1740 at Coire in
Switzerland, from where she went later on to Italy, to study the great
masters. In 1765 she came to London. Here she painted many excellent
portraits as well as numerous classic and allegorical subjects. In 1781
she returned to Italy. Here she was always much feted and admired for
her talents as well as for her personal charm. Goethe, who met Angelica
Kauffmann in Rome, admired her works very much. “No living painter,” so
he wrote in a letter, “excels her in dignity or in the delicate taste
with which she handles the pencil.” And Raphael Mengs, one of the most
brilliant artists of the Rococo, praised her in the following words: “As
an artist Angelica Kauffmann is the pride of the female sex in all times
and all nations. Nothing is wanting; composition, coloring, fancy, all
are here.” When she died in November, 1807, she was honored by a
splendid funeral under the direction of Canova. The entire Academy of
St. Luke at Rome with numerous ecclesiastics and virtuosi followed her
funeral train and, as at the burial of Raphael, two of her latest
paintings were carried behind her coffin in the procession.

Of =Madame LeBrun=, who was born in 1755 in France, it has been said
that “a more ideal artist never lived.” The well-known portrait of
herself and her daughter has been termed “the tenderest of all
pictures.” She also painted several portraits of the unfortunate Queen
Marie Antoinette. The Louvre has one of her best paintings: “Peace
bringing back Abundance.”

Madame LeBrun was one of the most prolific artists of all times. In her
autobiography, entitled “Souvenirs,” she states that she finished six
hundred and sixty-two portraits, fifteen large compositions, and two
hundred landscapes, the latter sketched during her travels in
Switzerland and England.

During the 18th Century Germany was the scene of the greatest activity
of women artists. France held the second place and Italy the third, thus
reversing the conditions of preceding centuries. Flanders and Antwerp
too were famous for women artists, some of whom went to other countries
where they were recognized for their talent and attainments.

The most famous woman artist of the 19th Century was =Rosa Bonheur=,
born in 1832 at Bordeaux, the daughter of Raymond Bonheur, an artist of
merit. From him she received her first instructions. In 1841 she began
exhibiting in the Paris Salon, with several small animal paintings,
indicating the direction in which she was to attain her future eminence.
Her great success in painting animals was due to her conscientious study
of living subjects. One of her masterpieces, “Plowing with Oxen,” ranks
among the gems of the Luxembourg. Another excellent painting, “The Horse
Fair,” was the chief attraction of the Paris Salon in 1853, and later on
became the property of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Of all
animal paintings ever executed, this one is perhaps the most animated,
and the best in composition as well as in color. Another canvass,
“Horses Threshing Corn,” shows the same merits. Containing ten horses in
full life size, it is the largest animal picture ever produced.



  After the painting by Rosa Bonheur in the New York Metropolitan Museum
    of Art.

Another painting, “The Monarch of the Glen,” received much praise at the
World’s Columbian Exposition.

In just appreciation of her genius Rosa Bonheur was proposed in 1853 for
the Cross of the Legion of Honor, but because of her sex the decoration
was withheld until 1865.—

One of the four daughters of an early German pioneer of California, who
distinguished themselves in different lines of activity, =Anne Elizabeth
Klumpke= followed in the footsteps of Rosa Bonheur, of whom she became a
close friend, and who, in appreciation of her great talent, bequeathed
to her her beautiful chateau as well as her entire fortune.

The second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th Century
produced a surprising abundance of women artists, some of whom gained
the most coveted prizes and medals offered by the great annual
exhibitions in Paris, London, Berlin, Munich and other centers of art.
Clara Erskine Clemens in her book “Women in the Fine Arts” has compiled
notes about several hundred of them, without enumerating them all. To
mention a few of the most excellent, we name of the German artists
=Louise Parmentier Begas=, =Tina Blau=, =Dora Hitz=, =Lucia von Gelder=,
=Herminie von Janda=, =Countess Marie Kalckreuth=, =Minna Stock=, =Toni
Stadler=, =Frieda Ritter=, =Margarethe von Schack=, =Vilma Parlaghy=,
and =Margarethe Waldau=.

Italy names among its best modern painters =Alceste Campriani=, =Ada
Negri=, =Juana Romani=, =Erminia de Sanctis=, and =Clelia Bompiani=.

The French extol the genius of =Louise Labé=, =Marceline
Desbordes-Valmore= and =Louise Ackermann=.

Belgium and Holland number among their women artists =Therese
Schwartze=, =Adele Kindt= and =Henriette Ronner=; Spain points with
pride to the works of =Fernanda Frances y Arribas=, =Adele Gines= and
=Antonia de Banuelos=. Denmark’s famous artist, =Elizabet Jerichau
Baumann=, is remembered especially for her magnificent painting
“Christian Martyrs in the Catacombs”; Switzerland has two portraitists
of the first order, =Louise Catherine Breslau= and =Aimée Rapin=, while
Russia produced in =Marie Bashkirttseff= an artist of rare ability.

Perhaps in no other country is the number of female artists so large as
in England. We will name only a few of them. =Laura Alma Tadema= was the
gifted daughter of the famous artist Laurenz Alma Tadema. =Margaret
Sarah Carpenter= won wide reputation as a gifted portrait painter.
=Ethel Wright’s= beautiful painting “The Song of the Ages” belongs to
the best examples of English art. =Clara Montalba= is favorably known
for her splendid scenes of Venice, and landscapes of the Adriatic
coasts. =Elizabeth Thompson= demonstrated by many excellent sketches and
pictures that women are not afraid to make a specialty of battle scenes.

Ambitious American women are likewise hard at work gaining honor and
laurels in the various fields of art. The morning promises fair, as
there are already many shining names upon the scroll. To begin with one
of the middle of the last century, we mention =Cornelia Adele Facett=,
whose chief work, “The Election Commission in Open Session,” contains
258 portraits of men and women, prominent in the political, literary,
scientific and social circles of their time. It adorns the Senate
Chamber in the Capitol at Washington.

The most brilliant woman artist of the United States is without question
=Cecilia Beaux=, a Philadelphian, who, as a portrait painter, compares
with the very best of any nation. Her portrait of a “Girl in White,”
owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, verifies what a
critic said about her: “Miss Beaux has approached the task of painting
the society woman of to-day, not as one to whom this type is known only
by exterior, but with a sympathy as complete as a similar tradition and
artistic temperament will allow. Thus she starts with an advantage
denied to all but a very few American portrait painters, and this
explains the instinctive way in which she gives to her pictured subjects
an air of natural ease and good breeding.”

=Sadie Waters=, born in St. Louis, produced a number of religious
paintings, her best and largest showing the Madonna in a bower of roses.

=Violet Oakley= of New Jersey had a prominent part in decorating the new
Capitol at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, one of the most elaborate and
costly public buildings in America. The mural painting “The Romance of
the Founding of the State” in the Governor’s room is her work.

=Anna Mary Richards= excelled as a marine painter. Her large canvass
“The Wild Horses of the Sea” has been especially admired.

=Anny Shaw=, =Grace Hudson=, =Lucie Fairchild Fuller=, =Mary Cassatt=,
and =Matilde Lotz= are among the latest women artists of America,
favorably known for many creditable works.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Although comparatively few women have devoted themselves to sculpture,
there are several among them well worth mentioning.

The first female sculptor of whom anything is known, was =Sabina von
Steinbach=, a daughter of Erwin von Steinbach, the famous architect of
the magnificent cathedral at Strassburg, in Alsace. After the southern
portal of this minster had been erected, Sabina adorned it with the
statues of the apostles, one of which, that of John, held in his hands a
scroll with the following inscription:

        “Gratia divinæ pietatis adesto Savinæ,
        De petra dura per quam sum facta figura.”
        “The grace of God be with thee, O Sabina,
        Whose hands from this hard stone have formed my image.”

Nothing further is known about this artist of the end of the 13th

=Properzia de Rossi= was an Italian woman sculptor, born near the end of
the 15th Century at Bologna or Modena. The first-named city cherishes
still a number of her works, among them a fine marble statue of Count
Guido de Pepoli, and several figures that adorn the three gates of the
facade of St. Petroneus. Vasari in his biographies of celebrated artists
calls her “a virtuous maiden, possessing every merit of her sex,
together with science and learning all men may envy.” And when she died
in 1530, the following epitaph was written in her praise:

              Fero splendor di due begit occhi accrebbe
              Gia marmi a marmi; e stupor nuovo e strano
              Ruvidi marmi delicta mano
              Fea dianzi vivi, ahi! morte invidia n’ebbe.

In modern Germany =Anna von Kahle=, =Marie Schlafhorst=, =Dora Beer=,
=Helene Quitmann=, =Henny Geyer Spiegel= and =Lilly Finzelberg= have
done much excellent work.

In France several statues by =Jeanne Hasse=, a Parisian, have been
purchased by the government and presented to various provincial museums.

In England =Mary Thornycroft=, daughter and pupil of John Francis, the
sculptor, has won the praise of the severest critics.

In America =Annie Whitney’s= statue of “Lady Godiva” as well as her
“Africa” and “Roma” have been much praised.

=Helen Farnworth Mears= is well known for her “Fountain of Life.”
=Vinnie Ream Hoxie= modelled a life-size statue of Lincoln, which stands
in the rotunda of the Capitol at Washington. A statue of Farragut in
Farragut Square is by the same artist.

Another American woman sculptor of renown was =Harriet Hosmer=, born in
1830 in Watertown, Mass. Having received her first instruction in Boston
and St. Louis, she went to Rome in 1852 where she became a pupil of
Gibson. Of her various works, the best known are “Beatrice Cenci in Her
Cell”; “Willo’-the-Wisp”; “The Sleeping and the Waking Faun”; and a
colossal statue of “Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, in Chains.” She exhibited
a statue of Queen Isabella of Spain at the World’s Columbian Exposition.
A statue of “Puck” was so spirited and original, that it was ordered
more than thirty times, is also her work.

=Emma Stebbins= (1815–1882) produced a statue of Horace Mann for Boston,
and a large fountain for Central Park, New York, the subject being “The
Angel of the Waters.”

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has in its collections
several works by =Frances Grimes=, =Laura Gardin=, =Malvina Hoffman=,
and =Evelyn Longman=. Miss Hoffman’s best known work, “The Russian
Bachanale,” showing two almost nude dancing figures in bronze, was in
1919 presented by an American connoisseur to the famous Gardens of the
Luxembourg in Paris.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The United States of America produced also the first women architects.
In 1881 =Louise Bethune= took the lead. Somewhat later the New York firm
=Hands & Gannon=, both members of which were women, designed the plans
for numerous schools, hospitals, and model homes for the working people.
=Elizabeth Holman= in Philadelphia became favorably known for her
excellent designs for theatres, hotels, and cottages. =Mrs. Wagner= in
Pittsburgh made a specialty of university buildings, churches and

=Miss Sophie G. Hayden= of Boston, a graduate of the architectural
school of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was the architect
of the beautiful Women’s Pavilion at the World’s Columbian Exposition.
The task of adorning this building with sculptures, emblematic of
woman’s great work in the world, was after an extremely vigorous contest
awarded to =Miss Alice Rideout=, of San Francisco. Women architects
likewise designed the imposing woman’s palaces at the expositions in St.
Louis, Atlanta, and San Francisco. Since then the number of women in
this line of activity has steadily increased. According to the Census of
1910 the United States had in that year 1037 women architects, designers
and draftsmen.

Thus we find woman hard at work in all the various realms of art. And
since her joy in beauty is supreme, we may well expect that her
expression of the highest beauty, the spiritual, will in time favorably
compare with that of her brother-artists.


Woman and philanthropy have always been inseparably connected, for
charity has been regarded in all ages as one of the noblest virtues of
the gentle sex.

There is scarcely any country which does not cherish the memory of some
women for great works of charity. Germany, for instance, has the lovely
story of Elizabeth, the wife of Ludwig IV., landgrave of Thuringia, who
reigned during the first half of the 13th Century. Feeling an aversion
to worldly pleasures, and making the early Christians her example,
Elizabeth devoted herself to works of benevolence. In these she was so
liberal, that her husband became uneasy, fearing she might impoverish
his estate by her alms-giving. He accordingly bade her to give less to
the poor. But secretly she spent just as much. One day, while she was
carrying a heavy load of bread in her basket, she was stopped by her
husband, who inquired what she was hiding. “Roses, my Lord, roses!” she
said, hoping that he would not investigate. But when he insisted on
seeing them, she was forced to open her basket and, oh wonder! all the
loaves of bread had turned into the most beautiful roses.—

America remembers =Dorothea Dix= as one of the most distinguished women
it ever has produced. Compelled by declining health to go to Europe from
1834 to 1837, she had ample opportunity to study in Liverpool and other
cities of England the terrible conditions of the poor, especially of the
inmates of poor-houses and insane-asylums. As at that time similar
institutions in America were just as bad, she gave after her return to
the United States all her time, strength and influence to ameliorate
suffering, and to persuade the public to furnish suitable asylums, also
to improve the moral discipline of prisons and penitentiaries. For this
purpose she visited every State east of the Rocky Mountains, seeking out
intelligent and benevolent people, and trying to kindle in their hearts
the same enthusiasm that filled her own.

Fearless in lifting her voice against abuses, she was so persistent in
reiterating her protests and in pleading needed reforms, that attention
had to be given her. The founding of many state hospitals and
insane-asylums in the United States as well as in Nova Scotia and
Newfoundland is due to her indefatigable work.

A similar case is that of =Margaret Fuller=, the famous author. Warmly
espousing the cause of reform in many directions and making herself the
champion of truth and human rights at any cost, she visited prisons and
charitable institutions and talked freely with the female inmates. It
was on the common ground of womanhood that she approached these degraded
of her own sex, true to her unalterable faith in awakening whatever
divine spark might be there. She was surprised herself at the
results—the touching traits and the possibilities that still survived in
beings so forlorn and degraded. Many of them expressed a wish to see her
alone, in order to confide to her the secrets of their ruined lives, and
their ardent desire to enter a new course whereby they might regain
respectability. Thus making herself the friend of the friendless,
Margaret Fuller began what we call to-day “settlement work.”

In the matter of prison reform the name of =Elizabeth Guerney Fry=
(1780–1845) will likewise be remembered as one of the first women
promoters in this line of charity. An accidental visit to Newgate Prison
in London disclosed to her the horrible conditions prevailing in this
ill-reputed dungeon. Like most prisons at the time it was dark, damp,
and cold in winter. The prisoners were usually half-starved, and clad in
rags; often loaded with chains, and oftener yet pestered by vermin and
rats. The ward, into which Miss Fry penetrated, although strongly
dissuaded by the officials, was like a den of wild beasts. It was filled
with a hundred and sixty women and children, gambling, fighting,
swearing, yelling, dancing. It justly deserved its name of “hell above
ground.” The general disorder and abject misery of the women confined
there so impressed Miss Fry, that she took immediate and effectual means
to relieve them. The first step in the great public work of her life was
the forming of “The Association for the Improvement of the Female
Prisoners in Newgate,” in April, 1817. Its aim was the establishment of
what is now regarded as “prison discipline,” such as entire separation
of the sexes, classification of criminals, female supervision for the
women, and adequate provision for their religious and secular
instruction, as also for their useful employment. Disregarding sarcastic
critics, who protested against the “ultra-humanitarianism which sought
to make jails too comfortable and tended to pamper criminals,” Miss Fry
pursued her way and finally brought about the passing of Acts (1823–24),
in which it was laid down that over and above safe custody it was
essential to preserve health, improve morals, and enforce useful labor
in all prisons. Not content with these results, Miss Fry likewise
inspected during the time from 1818 to 1841 the principal prisons of
Scotland, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Southern
Germany, and Denmark, everywhere conferring personally with the leading
prison officials. By keeping up a constant correspondence with them she
had the satisfaction of hearing from almost every quarter of Europe that
the authorities were giving an ever increasing consideration to her

Following the example set by Miss Fry, women in many countries aided in
forming societies for the improvement of prison-discipline. They also
established reformatories for women and juvenile delinquents. For
instance =Mrs. Abbey Hopper Gibbons= assisted in founding the “Women’s
Prison Association of New York” in 1844 and the “Isaac T. Hopper Home.”
Its objects were: “First, the improvement of the condition of the
prisoners, whether detained on trial or finally convicted, or as
witnesses; secondly, the support and encouragement of reformed convicts
after their discharge, by affording them an opportunity of obtaining an
honest livelihood, and sustaining them in their efforts to reform.”

The association employs an executive secretary who visits all the places
where women are detained in the State or City of New York, keeps track
of the housing conditions and studies the treatment of the prisoners. On
the basis of this exact knowledge, the Association has proposed various
reforms; for example the establishment of Bedford Reformatory was
largely due to the efforts of this society, and the appointment of
police matrons in the city station houses. Through the instrumentality
of Mrs. Hopper Gibbons the “New York State Reformatory for Women and
Girls” was established by the Legislature.

Through the efforts of =Linda Gilbert= various prisons throughout the
country were provided with libraries. She also secured the incorporation
of the “Gilbert Library and Prisoners’ Aid Society” under the laws of
the State of New York. Furthermore she procured employment for thousands
of ex-convicts, and aided others in establishing in business in a small

To enumerate what women have contributed to culture as founders and
patronesses of infant homes, foundling and orphan asylums, industrial
schools and homes for boys and girls, of refuges for unfortunate women,
invalids and the aged, of hospitals for destitute children and for
people afflicted with tuberculosis, cancer, and incurable diseases, is a
task impossible for the limited space of this book. Besides, all
information is fragmentary and far too insufficient to give a true idea
of the vast sums and immense amount of time, labor, and effort, devoted
by women to these works of charity. Constantly on the lookout to
alleviate sorrow and provide comfort, they have not forgotten even those
lonely men, who do duty in remote light houses and life-saving stations.
It was through the efforts of women that these involuntary hermits, who
often do not come in touch with other human beings for several months,
are regularly provided with interesting books and entertaining games.

=Mrs. Matilde Ziegler= of New York has taken a special interest in the
blind. Mrs. Ziegler, at an expense of $20,000 a year, founded a monthly
magazine for the blind, which has a printing press of double the
capacity of any printing plant for the blind in any other country. Blind
girls do all the work connected with this magazine.

=Georgia Trader= in Cincinnati established school classes for the blind
and a library with over 25,000 volumes, from which books in raised type
are sent to the blind all over the country, free of any charge. She also
founded a working-home for blind girls, where they are profitably
employed in weaving rugs, and in various artistic work and handicraft.

=Jane Addams= in 1889 opened in Chicago a social settlement, known as
“Hull House.” Wonderful work in sociology is done there. Many thousands
of men, women and children are instructed in all kinds of handicraft,
and directed to places, where they can make an honest and profitable
living. They have also access to an excellent library, comfortable club
rooms, lecture-halls, kindergarten, play-grounds and other institutions.

Miss Addams is to-day recognized as one of the foremost women in her
line of work, and by her example as well as through her public lectures
and able books, has probably done more than anybody else for the
extension of practical sociology.

Women have also taken charge of thousands of tired working-girls and
sent them to the country for a short rest during the summer, thus
enabling them to take up their lives of toil with renewed vigor and

Similar organizations have established vacation schools to save children
from the demoralization of the long summer idleness, and to secure for
them fresh air vacations.

Moved by a sincere desire to improve the conditions of the despised and
maltreated American Indians, =Helen Hunt Jackson=, =Alice Fletcher=, and
=Mary L. Bonney= succeeded after indefatigable efforts in awakening
interest among the legislators in their work. Miss Fletcher, in her
valuable book “Indian Civilization and Education,” gave such ample proof
of her special qualifications that she was appointed by President
Cleveland in 1887 as a special agent of the Government, to allot lands
to various Indian tribes. Mary L. Bonney devoted herself principally to
educational work and, in 1881, was foremost in the task of organizing
the “Indian Treaty-Keeping and Protective Association” by which the many
unlawful encroachments of white settlers, and the oppression of the Red
Men by government agents were stopped.

In their efforts to alleviate the hard lot of negro slaves, =Lucretia
Mott=, =Sarah= and =Angelica Grimke=, =Harriet Beecher Stowe=, and many
others, braved criticism, insults and social ostracism.

By organizing societies for the prevention of cruelty to children and
animals, women have taken care of those who cannot speak for themselves.
In many cities they have likewise provided drinking fountains for men
and for animals.

All women members of the “National Association of the Audubon
Societies,” that protect bird-life in America, bind themselves never to
decorate their hats with plumes and feathers. They have also secured
laws that forbid hunters to kill useful birds, and prevent milliners
from buying or exhibiting feathers and stuffed skins of such birds.

As generous patronesses of education, science and art many women have
set themselves lasting monuments.

=Catherine L. Wolfe= donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New
York not only her magnificent collection of paintings, but likewise a
fund of $200,000 for its preservation and increase. A million dollars
was also bequeathed by her to several educational institutions founded
by her father and herself. She is also known as the founder of the New
York Home for Incurables.

=Mary Tileston Hemenway= supported the so-called Hemenway Expeditions
for the archæological exploration of certain regions of Arizona and New

=Jane Lathrop Stanford=, wife of Leland Stanford, railway constructor,
and U. S. Senator from California, founded in memory of her son the
“Leland Stanford Jr. University” at Palo Alto, near San Francisco. At
her own expense Mrs. Stanford established a museum, connected with the
university, containing objects of art, and many things she had collected
during her extensive travels. At her death the entire estate of the
Stanfords, amounting to about $50,000,000, was left to endow this great
university. Her San Francisco home, on Nob Hill, became an art gallery
and museum.

=Phœbe Hearst=, wife of George Hearst, and mother of William Randolph
Hearst, made large donations to the University of California. These
included $800,000 for the erection and equipment of the Hearst Memorial
Mining Building. She also made provision for twenty scholarships for
women, and founded a number of free libraries in mining towns with which
her husband had been associated. Mrs. Hearst was also actively
interested in every kind of organization for the welfare of women.
Furthermore she established and maintained two kindergarten schools in
San Francisco, and three in Washington, one of which is for colored
children. Her most important gift to the District of Columbia was the
National Cathedral School for Girls, erected on a beautiful site on the
outskirts of the city.

=Margaret Olivia Sage=, the widow of Russell Sage, donated between
seventy-five and eighty million dollars for charitable and educational
purposes. With ten millions she established in 1907 the “Sage Foundation
for Social Betterment.” Its purpose is the improvement of social and
living conditions in the United States. It does not attempt to relieve
individual or family need, but tries to seek out and eliminate causes of
this evil. It furthers education that more directly affects social and
living conditions, such as industrial education, education in household
arts, and the training of social workers. In the pursuit of these aims
the Sage Foundation subsidized worthy activities and organizations; it
has established investigational and propagandist departments of its own;
invested its funds in activities with a social purpose; and published
extensively books and pamphlets on social subjects. Since the work of
the Russell Sage Foundation aids social advance for people of every
nation, Mrs. Sage became one of the benefactors not only of this
country, but of the world.

Among the many donations Mrs. Sage made to other institutions, were
$600,000 to the Troy Female Seminary, which was one of the first schools
in America for the higher education of girls; $1,600,000 to the Woman’s
Hospital of New York; $1,600,000 to the Children’s Aid Society;
$1,600,000 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art; $1,600,000 to the American
Museum of Natural History; and $1,600,000 to Syracuse University.

The list here given mentions only a few of the innumerable philanthropic
works of American women. Similar lists could be made for all other
countries, but the material has never been properly collected. Besides,
by far the greatest number of such benevolent acts have been performed
without public knowledge. But wherever we go, we find women active,
helpful, and persevering, always rejoicing in the accomplishment of



“If particular care and attention are not paid to the ladies, we are
determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound to
obey any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”—This was the
warning directed by =Mrs. John Adams= in March, 1776, to her husband
while he was attending the Continental Congress, assembled in
Philadelphia to consider the Declaration of Independence.

When this document was framed and adopted without recognizing the rights
of women, Mrs. Adams and a number of other women, deeply indignant, made
good the threat of Mrs. Adams and opened that most remarkable warfare,
which has lasted for more than a hundred years and may be called
“=Woman’s Battle for Suffrage=.”

That they were deeply disappointed by the inattention of Congress, may
be inferred from a letter by =Hannah Lee=, the sister of General Lee, in
which she asks her brother to demand from Congress suffrage for women,
as otherwise they would not pay any taxes. The same request was made by
various other prominent women, who pointed to the fact that, while their
husbands and sons had fought for the inherent rights of men, they had
likewise fought for the rights of women. But as at that time American
women were not organized their demands failed to make the necessary
impression and remained unheeded. Besides, the majority of American
women receiving only a very limited education, took little interest in
the question, because of their ignorance of its importance. Thus, the
subject of woman’s rights and suffrage dragged on until women had
discovered, that there is strength in numbers, in federation, and that
federation is the preliminary requirement to make victory possible.

The evolution of women’s clubs during the 19th Century is one of the
most striking and most important phenomena in woman’s history. The
movement began with the sewing or spinning circles of long ago, and made
a great stride when the custom was initiated of some members reading
while the others sewed. Later on these circles evolved into
reading-clubs, which again developed into literary societies and
associations for public improvement, aiming at the establishment of
public schools and libraries, the erection of hospitals, orphan asylums,
the sanitation of the streets, and other public works.

Such women’s clubs were not even afraid to tackle such most difficult
problems as the abolition of slavery, which, at the end of the 18th and
the beginning of the 19th Century, became the burning question of the
time. The hot discussion of this problem split the population of the
United States into two hostile factions, of which the South with its
partisans in the North made desperate efforts to prevent the free
expression of opinion respecting the institution of slavery. In the
slave States even the Christian churches used their influence in favor
of the maintenance of slavery.

Among the first and strongest advocates of abolition were =Sarah= and
=Angelina Grimke=, the daughters of a family of Salzburgers, who during
the 18th Century had immigrated into South Carolina and Georgia. Shocked
by the inhuman treatment and cruelties inflicted upon the slaves all
round, and suffering intensely from the stand taken by their own
relatives, the sisters resolved to fight these abuses.

While visiting Philadelphia, Sarah came under the influence of the
Quakers, and read the strong protest against slavery, which Pastorius
and the settlers of Germantown in 1688 had directed to the Quaker
meeting. Returning to her home, Sarah besought her relatives to free
their slaves. Failing in this effort, she left her home, joined the
Quaker society of the “Friends” in Philadelphia, and in 1835 directed an
“Appeal to the Christian Women of the South,” imploring them to become
active on behalf of the slaves. This pamphlet aroused such a profound
sensation wherever it was read, that when some time afterward Miss
Grimke expressed a desire to visit her former home, the mayor of
Charleston called upon her mother and informed her that the police had
been instructed to prevent her daughter’s landing when the steamer
should come into port. He also would see to it that she might not
communicate with any person, by letter or otherwise, and that, if she
should elude the vigilance of the police and go ashore, she was to be
arrested and imprisoned until the return of the vessel. As threats of
personal violence were also made, Miss Grimke abandoned her visit, but
published soon afterward “An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern
States,” and, at the same time, began to address meetings in
Pennsylvania as well as in the New England States, in order to rouse the
dormant moral sense of the hearers to protest against the colossal sin
of the nation. She was assisted by her sister Angelina and such eloquent
speakers as =Lucretia Mott=, =Elizabeth Stanton=, =William Lloyd
Garrison= and others. These agitators finally created such a stir, that
the conservatives and opponents of abolition decided that they must be
silenced. Quite often their meetings were disturbed by mobs; halls were
refused them, and violence was threatened. The General Association of
Congregational Ministers of Massachusetts passed a resolution censuring
the Grimke sisters, and issued a pastoral letter containing a tirade
against “female preachers.” But in spite of all efforts, public
sentiment in the North in favor of abolition steadily grew, until it
became evident that the question could not be settled without an armed

At a gathering of abolitionists, held on July 19th, 1848, at the home of
=Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton= in Seneca, N.Y., the question of women’s
rights was eagerly discussed. Mrs. Stanton, the daughter of a lawyer,
had found by frequent visits to her father’s office that according to
the then existing laws, which had been adopted from England, married
women had no right of disposal over their own inherited property, their
own income, or their own children, no matter how unfit, degraded, and
cruel their husbands might be. There was even no redress for corporal
punishment which the husbands might inflict on their wives.



Another woman, present at the gathering, was =Lucretia Mott=, a Quaker
teacher. It had been her experience, that female teachers, having paid
for their education just as much as the males, obtained, when teaching,
only half of the compensation granted to male teachers.

But the indignation of the two women over the inferior position of woman
had been especially excited while attending the World’s Anti-Slavery
Convention, held in 1840 at London. Both women, together with Mrs.
Wendell Phillips, had been appointed delegates by the abolitionists of
America, and as they were able speakers, much had been expected from
their eloquence. But when the women submitted their credentials, they
discovered that the English abolitionists had not reformed their
antiquated views of male predominance and would not admit any woman as
delegate nor on the platform. When the question was submitted to vote,
the women were excluded by a large majority. This flat refusal to
recognize woman’s right to an equal participation in all social,
political, and religious affairs brought what is termed “the Woman
Question” into greater prominence than ever before. The gathering in the
Wesleyan chapel, at Seneca Falls, N.Y., Mrs. Stanton’s home, is known as
the =First Woman’s Rights Convention=. Held on the 19th and 20th of
July, 1848, it was attended by 68 women and 38 men. The simultaneous
discussion of the subject of slavery and the natural rights of man had
as their logical consequence, on the part of women, the demand of a
privilege exercised in many cases by persons far below them in
intelligence and education. They asserted that many of their number were
taxpayers, that all were interested in good government, and that it
would be unjust for women of intelligence to be deprived of a vote while
ignorant negroes could have a voice in the government. Furthermore they
asserted that the participation of women would have a purifying effect
on politics.

At the close of the second day the convention adopted the following:

                       Declaration of Sentiments.

“The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and
usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the
establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts
be submitted to a candid world.

“He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the
elective franchise.

“He has compelled her to submit to laws in the formation of which she
had no voice.

“He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant
and degraded men—both natives and foreigners.

“Having deprived her of this first right of a citizen, the elective
franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of
legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.

“He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.

“He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she

“He has so framed the laws of divorce as to what shall be the proper
causes, and, in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the
children shall be given, as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of
women—the law in all cases going upon a false supposition of the
supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands.

“After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single and the
owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which
recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.

“He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from
those she is permitted to follow she receives but a scanty remuneration.
He closes against her all the avenues of wealth and distinction which he
considers most honorable to himself. As a teacher of theology, medicine,
or law, she is not known.

“He allows her in church, as well as state, but a subordinate position,
claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry and,
with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of
the church.

“He has created a false public sentiment by giving to the world a
different code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies
which exclude women from society are not only tolerated but deemed of
little account in man.

“He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his
right to assign for her a sphere of action, when that belongs to her
conscience and God.

“He has endeavored, in every way that he could, to destroy her
confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make
her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.

“Now, in view of this disfranchisement of one-half the people of this
country, their social and religious degradation; in view of the unjust
laws mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved,
oppressed and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we
insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and
privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States.”

Of course, this declaration, modeled after the immortal Declaration of
1776, did not fail to create a sensation everywhere. Other conventions
were held in Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y., and in Salem, Ohio. They
brought to the front a number of wonderful women, whose names were
henceforth connected with this movement, first among them =Susan B.
Anthony=, =Lucy Stone=, =Paulina Wright Davis= and =Anna Howard Shaw=.
In October, 1850, the =First National Woman’s Rights Convention= was
held at Worcester, Mass. Attended by delegates from nine states it was
distinguished by addresses and papers of the highest character, which
filled the audiences with enthusiasm. A National Committee was formed,
under whose management conventions were held annually in various cities.
An account of the convention, written by =Mrs. John Stuart Mill=, in the
“Westminster Review,” London, marked the beginning of the movement for
woman suffrage in Great Britain. But in spite of all efforts and
agitation, progress was but slow. The first result was not gained before
1861, when Kansas granted school suffrage to women, a step that was not
followed by other states for many years afterwards.

How averse the stronger sex was to grant women suffrage became evident,
when in 1868 the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution of the
United States were adopted. These amendments abolished slavery and gave
the freed negroes of the South all privileges of citizenship, including
the right to vote. Section 1 of the 15th amendment reads:

      “The right of citizens to vote shall not be denied or
      abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account
      of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

As the advocates of woman suffrage were American citizens, they held
themselves entitled to the same rights as granted to the negroes. But
their demands to be registered as legal voters were denied by the
registrars of elections. Now the women appealed to the courts, to see if
their claim would be sustained by invoking the aid of those
constitutional amendments above cited. But the uniform decision in each
court was that these amendments had in no way changed or abridged the
right of each State to restrict suffrage to =males=, and that they
applied only to the men of color and to existing rights and privileges.
An appeal to the Supreme Court resulted in the decision that this body
was in accordance with the decisions of the State courts.

To test the application of the 14th and 15th amendments to the
Constitution =Susan B. Anthony=,—who in 1860 with others had been
successful in securing the passage of an Act of the New York
Legislation, giving to married women the possession of their earnings,
as well as the guardianship of their children,—cast in 1872 ballots at
the State and Congressional elections in New York. Miss Anthony was
indicted and in 1873 found guilty of criminal offense against the United
States for knowingly voting for congressmen without having a lawful
right to vote, which offense was punishable, under Act of Congress, by a
heavy fine or imprisonment. Fined $100 for illegal voting, Miss Anthony
declared that she would never pay the penalty, and in fact it has never
been collected.



Undaunted by the decision of the Court, Miss Anthony in 1875 proposed
the following amendment to Article 1 of the Constitution:

“Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not
be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on =account
of sex=.

“Section 2. Congress shall have power by appropriate legislation to
enforce the provisions of this article.”

This resolution was introduced by Senator Sargent of California in 1878,
but was rejected several times. In 1887 it secured in the Senate only 14
affirmative to 34 negative votes.

But several years before the indictment of Miss Anthony woman suffrage
had already won its first victory, in the Territory of Wyoming. The
Organic Act for the regulation of the Territorial governments provides
that at the first election in any Territory male citizens of the age of
twenty-one years shall vote, but

      “at all subsequent elections the qualifications of voters
      and for holding office shall be such as may be prescribed by
      the legislative assembly of each Territory.”

Under this act the first legislative assembly of Wyoming, in 1869,
granted women the right to vote and to hold office upon the same terms
as men. An effort made in 1871, to repeal this statute, failed, and to
the men of Wyoming belongs the honor, of having been first to recognize
the rights of women.

A further gain was made when the Republican National Convention of 1872
and 1876 resolved that “the honest demands” of women for additional
rights should be treated with respectful consideration.

Of still greater importance was the organization of two national Woman
Suffrage Associations, the one with headquarters in New York, the other
in Boston. A union of these two bodies was effected in 1890 under the
title of “=The National American Woman Suffrage Association=.”

Mrs. Stanton was elected president of the new organization. When in 1892
she resigned from her office because of advancing age, she was followed
by Miss Anthony, who in 1900 resigned at the age of 80. Her successors
were =Miss Anna Howard Shaw= and =Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt=.

Under the able leadership of these brilliant women victory was now
followed by victory. Up to 1914 Colorado, Idaho, Washington, California,
Arizona, Kansas, Oregon, Nevada, Utah and Montana had joined the ranks
of Woman Suffrage States; also the Territory of Alaska.

To these Western regions the Eastern and Southern States formed a
strange contrast, as so far the suffragists had been unable to conquer
one of them. For this surprising fact I fail to find any other
explanation but that the Western men are much more conscious of a great
historical truth, which the men in the East and South seem to have
almost forgotten, namely: =that to the women the founding of real
culture in America is due. Having heroically shared with their husbands
all hardships and dangers, having gone with them on their hazardous
journeys into the wilderness, even on their long voyages across the
prairies and Rocky Mountains to far Oregon and California, the women
provided the first permanent homes and filled them with comfort,
sunshine and happiness. In recognition of these facts the Western men
granted their partners only a well deserved tribute of gratitude.=

In many places the men expressed their respect for the gentler sex by
electing women to important public offices, and in almost all cases
these positions have been filled to the fullest satisfaction.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The steady progress of woman suffrage in the United States was followed
by the women of other countries with intense interest, especially by
those of Great Britain and Australia. Encouraged to like activity, they
demonstrated with convincing clearness the injustice of the legislatures
toward women and thus prepared the way for a similar movement in favor
of woman suffrage. The result was that the English government in 1869
adopted the Municipal Reform Act, which permits women to vote in all
municipal elections. An Act of 1870 gave them the school vote. The Act
of 1888 made them voters for the county councils. An Act of 1894
abolished in all departments of local government the qualification of



New Zealand, one of the most progressive of all countries, went even
farther. The women there were granted suffrage in 1893 on the same basis
with men. A similar step was taken in the following year by South
Australia. And when in 1901 the Commonwealth of Australia was formed by
the federation of the six provinces, or states, of New South Wales,
Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania,
one of the first steps was to give all women full national suffrage.

In the countries of continental Europe the evolution of local women’s
organizations to State- and National Unions had been the same as in the
United States and in England. But the majority of these societies
remained conservative in regard to woman suffrage. Germany since 1813
has had the “=Vaterlaendische Frauenverein=” (Patriotic Women’s League),
a union of wonderful helpers for suffering humanity, both in peace and
in war. Since 1865 a “General Association of German Women” tried to
secure new rights for women, both along political and economic lines. A
“=Society for Woman Suffrage=” was not formed before 1902. But only two
years later the “=International Suffrage Alliance=” was formed in
Berlin, with =Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt=, of New York, as president. The
progressive movement in Germany took largely the form of educational and
industrial training. And the women shared the national belief that
education precedes every good, and that for their legal and political
protection from injustice they might rely upon their male relatives.



In certain districts of Germany, Austria, Denmark, Hungary and Russia
women who owned property, were permitted to cast their votes on various
communal matters, either by proxy or in person. In Belgium, the
Netherlands, France, Italy, Switzerland, Roumania and Bulgaria women had
no political rights whatever, but were permitted to vote for certain
state boards—educational, philanthropic, correctional and industrial. In
France, women as a rule showed little sympathy with suffrage, retaining
their racial instinct that they might accomplish more through social
influence, personal suasion and the special charms of their sex than by
working openly through the ballot.

In Switzerland few women had the courage to seek emancipation, as those
who favored the movement were looked upon as disreputable persons
without regard for social laws. In Portugal and Spain women remained
absolutely indifferent. Sweden had given women the right to vote in all
elections, except for representatives, while Finland and Norway in 1906
and 1907 granted full suffrage rights and eligibility to women upon
exceedingly generous terms.

Since the beginning of the 20th Century the Modern Woman’s Rights
Movement has also caused significant changes in the status of the women
of the Balkan States, and of the countries of the Orient and the Far
East. Restrictions and obstacles, placed on woman by tradition and
religious rules, have been abolished. Many Mohammedan women for instance
appear to-day on the streets without veils, a thing that no prominent
woman could do formerly. The establishment of girls’ schools, woman’s
colleges, universities, woman clubs and journals mark likewise the
progress of the movement. And in Servia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Egypt
and Japan exist federations of women’s clubs, which can be regarded as
political organizations.

Thus, at the beginning of the memorable year of 1914 woman throughout
the civilized world had gained various degrees of freedom in the
exercise of her political rights.


                   WHY WOMEN WANT AND NEED THE VOTE.

Few questions have been so universally and intensely discussed as the
right and expediency of Woman Suffrage. Its opponents assert that the
true woman needs no governing authority conferred upon her by law. While
discussing this question one “gentleman” said “that the highest evidence
of respect that man could exhibit toward woman, and the noblest service
he could perform for her, were to vote =Nay= to the proposition that
would take from her the diadem of pearls, the talisman of faith, hope
and love, by which all other requests are won from men, and substitute
for it the iron crown of authority.”

The chief arguments brought forward against woman suffrage are: that the
majority of the women never desired it, because they were already
represented by their husbands, fathers and brothers; that there were
already too many voters, and that by admitting women to suffrage the
whole machinery and cost of voting would be doubled without changing the
result; that women would not have time to perform their political duties
without neglecting their higher duties at home; that women were too
emotional and sentimental to be entrusted with the ballot; that women
would cease to vote after the novelty had worn off; that the
introduction of women into political life would increase its bitterness,
and would abolish chivalry with its refining influence on men; that the
franchise, in a large majority of instances, would be exercised under
the influence of priests, parsons, and ministers, under the power of
religious prejudice, and that religious feuds would affect political
life much more than under present circumstances. And finally it has been
asserted that woman suffrage would place a new and terrible strain upon
family relations as the introduction of political disputes into domestic
life would lead to quarrels and divorce.

These arguments were answered in an editorial of the “New York American”
of October 6, 1912, as follows:

“The ballot is the weapon that men use in defending their rights. It is
the voice with which men express their opinions, their wishes, as to
law, in the more settled civilization where the ballot is the recognized
power. Little by little the mass of the people—that is to say, of the
men—have got the ballot. Originally there was no ballot. Savage tribes
held disorganized meetings, and shouted their opinions. The loudest
shouters won, and the man who could hit the hardest led the others.
Little by little the big man formed his own opinions, alone reached his
own decisions, and the others had nothing to say. The expression of
opinion was confined to one, or to a few leaders, gathered under a
chief, or, where religion ruled, opinion was controlled by the priests
in the old temples making up their minds what would be good =for them=,
and forcing their will on ignorant people. For many centuries the kings,
the nobles and the priests ruled—and the people had nothing to say. =Men
and women alike were without the vote.=

“Little by little, the men got the vote, and now, in civilized
countries, universal suffrage became the rule, =as regards men=. The
women were shut out because men always have had the idea that voting was
in some way connected with fighting. Their thoughts went back to the old
savage mob shouting its determination to attack and kill—leaving the
women at home. And the ignoring of women persists, although little by
little the voting power has been used, not to make war, =but to prevent

“Now, in every country calling itself civilized, the chief use of the
ballot is to express ideas of peace—justice. The ballot that was once
the expression of man’s fighting quality is now the expression of his
=better nature=, and for that reason it is time to give that ballot to
the better half of the human race, to the women that have civilized it.

“Supporters of women suffrage are, and for many years have been, the
best men in the country. Men that are unselfish, just, scorning
ridicule, and proud to vindicate the rights of their own mothers and
sisters, have long demanded votes for women. The women that have worked
and fought for the suffrage have been, beyond all comparison, the best
women of this and other countries. Humorists used to talk of
“short-haired women and long-haired men” as the advocates of woman
suffrage. That is a foolish and false division. The women with good
foreheads, earnest, gentle and dignified faces have been the advocates
of votes for women. The women with low foreheads, plastered with hair,
the women with their faces painted, the women with a hundred thoughts
for dress and no thought for anything else, have been the opponents of
women suffrage. And the men, brutal, conceited, looking upon woman as a
piece of property, created for man’s pleasure or for his service, have
been the men that opposed suffrage. Another class opposed to woman
suffrage is the most dangerous class of all. That is the class that
would keep in ignorance women, and men, too, if it could. Those that
prey upon the ignorance and superstition of women are anxious that women
shall know as little as possible. They do not want the women to vote,
=for voting means thinking, and thinking means freedom=. Wherever women
have voted they have bettered conditions.”—

Lecky in his valuable book “Democracy and Liberty” writes on page 547:
“It has been gravely alleged that the whole character of the female sex
would be revolutionized, or at least seriously impaired, if they were
brought by the suffrage into public life. There is perhaps no subject in
which exaggerations so enormous and so grotesque may be found in the
writings of considerable men. Considered in itself, the process of
voting is now merely that of marking once in several years a
ballot-paper in a quiet room, and it may be easily accomplished in five
minutes. And can it reasonably be said that the time or thought which an
average male elector bestows on the formation of his political opinions
is such as to interfere in any appreciable degree with the currents of
his thoughts, with the tendencies of his character or life? Men wrote on
this subject as if public life and interests formed the main occupation
of an ordinary voter. It is said that domestic life should be the one
sphere of woman. Very many women—especially those to whom the vote would
be conceded—have no domestic, or but few domestic duties to attend to,
and are compelled, if they are not wholly frivolous or wholly apathic,
to seek spheres of useful activity beyond their homes. Even a full
domestic life is scarcely more absorbing to a woman than professional
life to a man. Scarcely any woman is so engrossed in it that she cannot
bestow on public affairs an amount of time and intelligence equal to
that which is bestowed on it by thousands of masculine voters. Nothing
can be more fantastic than to argue as if electors were a select body,
mainly occupied with political studies and public interests.

“Women form a great section of the community, and they have many special
interests. The opening to them of employments, professions and
endowments; the regulation of their labor; questions of women’s property
and succession; the punishment of crimes against women; female
education; laws relating to marriage, guardianship, and divorce, may all
be cited; and in the great drink question they are even more interested
than men, for though they are the more sober sex, they are also the sex
which suffers most from the consequences of intemperance. With such a
catalogue of special interests it is impossible to say that they have
not a claim to representation.”—

Among the arguments in favor of woman suffrage the most important are
the following: As women are citizens of a Government =of= the people,
=by= the people, and =for= the people, and =as women are people=, who
wish to do their civic duty, it is unfair that they should be governed
by laws in the making of which they have no voice. As women are equally
concerned with men in good and bad government, and equally responsible
for civic righteousness, and as they must obey the laws just as men do,
they should vote equally with men.

If it is true that “taxation without representation is tyranny” then
tax-paying women who support the government by paying taxes, should have
the right to vote to elect such representatives, who protect them
against unjust taxation.

Working women need the ballot to regulate the conditions under which
they work. Millions of women are wage-earners and their health is often
endangered by bad working conditions and sweat-shop methods that can
only be remedied by legislation.

Business women need the ballot to secure for themselves a fair
opportunity in their business, and to protect themselves against adverse

Mothers and housekeepers need the vote to regulate the moral and
sanitary conditions under which their families must live. Women are
forever told that their place is in the home. But what do men expect of
them in the home? Merely to stay there is not enough. They are a failure
unless they do certain things for the home. They must minister, as far
as their means allow, to the health and welfare, moral as well as
physical, of their family, and especially of the children. They, more
than anybody else, are held responsible for what becomes of the
children. Women are responsible for the cleanliness of the house, for
the wholesomeness of the food, for their children’s health and morals.
But mothers cannot control these things, if the neighbors are allowed to
live in filth, if dealers are permitted to sell poor or adulterated
food, if the plumbing in the house is unsanitary, if garbage accumulates
and the halls and stairs are left dirty. They can take every care to
avoid fire, but if the house has been badly built, if the fire-escapes
are insufficient or not fire-proof, they cannot guard their children
from the horrors of being maimed or killed by fire. They can open the
windows to give the children the air that we are told is so necessary.
But if the air is laden with infection and contagious diseases, they
cannot protect the children from this danger. They can send the children
out for air and exercise, but if the conditions that surround them in
the streets are immoral and degrading, they cannot protect them from
these influences. Women alone cannot make these things right. But the
City administration can do it. The administration is elected by the
people, to protect the interests of the people. As men hold women
responsible for the conditions under which the children live, the women
should have something to say about the city’s housekeeping, even if they
must introduce an occasional house-cleaning.

What enormous influence women are able to exert in vital questions has
been demonstrated in the =Temperance Movement=; which originated in the
United States. Since the beginning of the colonization of the Western
Hemisphere Americans have been heavy consumers of rum, whiskey, and
other intoxicating liquors. “Everybody drank, and on all occasions,”
says a writer who has left us a pen picture of these bibulous days.
Drunkenness and all the evils resulting from it increased with the
gradual development of the “saloon” and the habit of “treating,” two
institutions peculiar to America and almost unknown in Europe.

For generations the women were the greatest sufferers from the
intemperance of the men, because many husbands came home besotted, their
faculties benumbed to an unconsciousness of their own degradation, with
wages gone, and employment forfeited. The purer and gentler the wife in
such case, the more intense her suffering. So it was but natural, that
when the first “=Anti-Spirits Association=” was formed in 1808 in
Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York, several women should join it. The
movement made rapid progress, and in 1826 the “=American Temperance
Society=” was founded. In 1829 and 1830 similar associations were
started in Ireland and England; and in 1846 the first “=World’s
Temperance Convention=” was held at London. In 1873 women became a real
force in the field when the women inhabitants of Hillsborough, a small
town in Ohio, started what became known as “The Women’s Crusade.”

Frances E. Willard, one of its principal leaders, described the
proceedings in the following graphic manner: “Usually the women came in
a long procession from their rendezvous at some church, where they had
held a morning prayer meeting. Marching two and two in a column, they
entered the saloon with kind faces, and the sweet songs of church and
home upon their lips, while some Madonna-like leader with the Gospel in
her looks, took her stand beside the bar and gently asked if she might
read God’s word and offer prayer. After that the ladies seated
themselves, took their knitting or embroidery, and watched the men who
patronized the saloons. While some of them cursed the women openly, and
some quietly slunk out of sight, others began to sign the pledge these
women brought with them. In the meantime one of the ladies pleaded with
the proprietor to give up his business. Many of these liquor dealers
surrendered and then followed stirring scenes, and amid songs and the
ringing of the church bells the contents of barrels and bottles were
gurgling into the gutter, while the whole town assembled to rejoice in
this new fashion of exorcising the evil spirits.

“Not everywhere the ladies met with success. In Cincinnati such a
procession of women, including the wives of leading pastors, were
arrested and locked up in jail; at other places dogs were set on the
crusaders, or they were smoked out, or had the hose turned on them.”

The movement, wholly emotional, and in many cases hysterical, spread
throughout the country like a prairie fire. In 1874 it led to the
organization of “=The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union=,” and, in
1883, to the founding of “=The World’s Women’s Temperance Union=,” the
members of which wear a white ribbon and have the motto: “Woman will
bless and brighten every place she enters, and she will enter every

Since the founding of this world’s union the movement has extended over
many countries and has branched out into a multitude of organizations.
Their influence has been widely felt in legislatures, and in all
elections in which laws have been voted upon for the regulation of the
production and sale of liquors.—

Another question in which women are deeply concerned is that of
=Child-labor=, the reckless exploitation of children in the interest of
industry. Evidences that in England the dreadful abuses, committed by
unscrupulous mine- and factory-owners, as described in a former chapter,
have continued to the present times, were submitted to the International
Women’s Congress, held in 1899 in London. It was reported that at that
time 144,026 children below the age of 12 years were employed in
workshops, mines, factories and warehouses. Of these children 131 had
not yet reached the age of 7 years; 1120 were under 8; 4211 under 9;
11,027 under 10, and 122,131 under 11 years of age. Miss Montessori, the
Italian delegate to the Congress, described the hard work of the
children employed in the sulphur mines of Sicily. As they have to carry
heavy loads on their shoulders through low gangways and over steep
ladders and stairways, they are compelled to walk in a stooped position,
and therefore in time become deformed and crippled.

In the United States the question of child-labor is likewise a matter of
deep concern to men as well as to women. As every State has its own
Legislature, there exists a varied assortment of child-labor laws. Ten
or fifteen years ago several states had none whatever. Others prohibited
the employment of children under ten years, while still others had an
age limit of twelve or fourteen years. The same diversity prevailed in
regard to the hours of labor. Some states had no legislation in this
direction, while others forbade any child to work longer than ten hours

During the year 1890 there was a total of 860,786 children between the
ages of ten and fifteen years at work in various occupations in the
United States. A report of the Bureau of Mines of Pennsylvania for 1901
stated 24,023 of the employees of the anthracite coal mines in
Pennsylvania were children.

In 1918 investigators of the children’s bureau of the Department of
Labor reported that the number of minors employed in factories, mines
and quarries has increased at a rapid rate since the U. S. Supreme
Court, on June 5th, 1918, nullified the child-labor act of 1916 as
unconstitutional. Not only are a greatly increased number of children
employed, but they are kept at work longer hours than before. Since the
future of such children as well as the future of the country depend to a
very great extent upon what legislators do in regard to children, it is
obvious that women are deeply concerned in this question.—

The need of women’s participation in government and of an “occasional
house-cleaning” in the Legislatures as well as in the Municipal
Administrations becomes evident, when we realize that one of the most
revolting crimes is committed daily in our communities, quite often with
the silent protection of corrupt officials and politicians. We refer to
the =White Slave Trade=. As few people have any definite idea of its
extent and terrors, some authentic facts are here given, which, at the
same time, demonstrate men’s indifference as well as the urgent need of
woman’s interference for its suppression.

As everybody knows, the traffic in young girls for purposes of
prostitution is as old as humanity. It has flourished in all ages and in
all countries. But it was during the 19th Century that it found its
systematic organization and its most extensive development.

With alarming frequency, the papers report that some young woman or girl
is “missing,” having stepped out of her home on some household errand,
and from this moment having vanished as though swallowed by the earth.
Such was the case of Dorothy Arnold, who some years ago left her cosy
home in New York, to do some shopping in a department store. She never
returned and no trace of her was ever discovered. This particular case
attracted wide attention all over the United States, as Miss Arnold, a
beautiful girl of eighteen, was the daughter of wealthy parents, who
spent a fortune in desperate but futile attempts to recover their

Every year hundreds of similar cases occur in our country, some in San
Francisco, some in New York, Baltimore, St. Louis, Chicago and
elsewhere. If the exact number of such missing girls could be known, the
public might well be shocked; and horrified if it would know the sad lot
that befalls the majority of these unfortunate girls. Where efforts to
ascertain their fate have met with success, it was found that in ninety
out of a hundred cases such girls became victims of the most detestable
fiends on earth, human ghouls, who make fortunes by luring innocent and
inexperienced women into the most degrading slavery.

There were many events that favored the development of the white slave
trade. The discovery of gold in California and the construction of many
transcontinental railroads were followed by the opening of the rich
mining- and lumber-districts in the northwestern and western parts of
the United States, and in Canada. In more recent years came the opening
of the gold and diamond fields in South Africa, of the gold grounds in
Alaska, the construction of the Panama Canal and the great
transcontinental railroads through Siberia and Africa. All these great
undertakings attracted many thousands of men, who were ready to squander
their earnings in gambling, drinking and any other kind of dissipation.
Women, of course, stood at the head of things in demand. And as there
are always people eager to profit by catering to such passions, the
white slave trade assumed most threatening proportions.

To ensnare victims, the slave dealers insert enticing advertisements
offering profitable positions to waitresses, chambermaids, servants,
governesses, and other female help in hotels, boarding houses and
private families. They send their “procurers” or agents to the
dance-halls and cheap pleasure resorts, and to those industrial towns,
where large numbers of poorly paid young girls toil in mills and
factories. Here they approach their prey under all kinds of disguises
and pretenses. One especially ingenious procurer of New York has been
credited with gaining the acquaintance of young girls in the garb of a
priest. And George Kibbe Turner in an article “The Daughters of the
Poor” (published in 1910 in McClure’s Magazine) made the statement that
a gang of such fiends worked under the name “The New York Independent
Benevolent Association”!

However, the chief recruiting-grounds for the white slave trade are the
miserable Jewish Ghettos of Poland, Russia, Galicia, Hungary, Austria
and Roumania, where always numbers of degraded men can be found, ready
to sell their own kindred for any price offered. With the help of such
procurers four principal centers of the white slave trade were created:
Lemberg, London, Paris and New York, with branches in all parts of
America, Africa and Asia.

Of course such a villainous trade would not be possible without the
silent protection of corrupt officials and political machines, who share
in its enormous profits. Inside information on this subject was received
through the disclosures, made during the latter parts of the last
century about conditions in the mining and lumber regions of Michigan
and Wisconsin. In January, 1887, Representative Breen appeared before
the House Judiciary Committee of the legislature of Michigan and stated
the existence of a regular trade in young and innocent girls for
purposes of prostitution between Chicago, Duluth and other cities with
the mining and lumber districts south of Lake Superior. As he said that
the horrors of the camps into which these girls were lured beggared
description, several newspapers, among them the “Chicago Herald” and
“The New York World,” dispatched representatives, disguised as woodmen,
to those regions to investigate the truth of these statements. They
found that almost without exception the girls, kept in these camps, had
been secured under promise of respectable employment. The houses, in
which they were imprisoned, were surrounded by stockades twenty or
thirty feet in height, the one door guarded night and day by a man with
a rifle, while within were a number of bulldogs to prevent the girls
from escaping. In the largest of such lumber camps dens from twenty to
seventy-five girls were found.

On January 24, 1887, the “New York World” published the story of an
unfortunate girl, who had been lured by an advertisement to work in a
lumberman’s hotel in the North. Believing the position to be
respectable, she went there, but after her arrival at the place she was
taken to a rough two-story building surrounded by a slab fence twenty
feet high, within which was a cordon of bulldogs, thirteen in number,
chained to iron stakes driven into the ground. In this place she was
compelled, like all the other girls, of which there were always from
eleven to thirty, to drink and dance with the men of the mining and
lumber camps. They were not permitted to refuse any request of those
visitors. A complaint of any kind, even of sickness, meant a whipping,
frequently with a rawhide upon the naked body, sometimes with the butt
of a revolver. When the log drives were going on, there would be
hundreds of men there night and day, not human beings, but fiends.

“Oh, it was awful, awful!” cried the girl after her release. “I would
rather stay in prison until I die than go back there for one day. I
tried to escape three times and was caught. They unchained the dogs and
let them get so near me that I cried out in terror and begged them to
take the dogs away and I would go back. Then, of course, I was beaten. I
tried, too, to smuggle out notes to the Sheriff through visitors, but
they would take them to the proprietor instead, and he would pay for
them. Once I did get a note to the Deputy Sheriff at Florence,
Wisconsin, and he came and inquired. But the proprietor gave him $50,
and he went away. I was awfully beaten then. While I lived this life,
from March until September, two inmates died, both from brutal
treatment. They were as good as murdered. Nearly all the girls came
without knowing the character of the house, and first implored to get
away. The county officers came to the places to drink and dance with the
girls. They are controlled by a rich man in Iron Mountain, who owns
these houses and rents them for $100 a month.”

That the den keepers were always on good terms with the officials,
appears also from the following report of the “Chicago Herald” of April
17, 1892, in which attention is called to the continuance of the
horrible conditions in the mining- and lumber-camps. “Four years ago,
when “The Herald” exposed the pinery dens, Marinette was known as the
wickedest city in the country. It was the rendezvous of every species of
bad men. Thugs, thieves and gamblers practically held possession of the
town. Their influence was felt in all municipal affairs. Certain
officers of the law seemed in active sympathy with them, and it was
almost impossible to secure the arrest and conviction of men guilty of
infamous crimes. Dives of the vilest character ran open on the outskirts
of the town. Their inmates, recruited from all parts of the country by
the subtle arts of well known procurers, were kept in a state of abject
slavery. Iron balls and chains, suffocating cords and the whistling lash
were used on refractory girls and women. Bodies of ill-starred victims
were sometimes found in the woods, but the discovery was rarely followed
by investigation. The dive keepers were wealthy and knew how to ease the
conscience of any over-zealous officer.”

Another report states: “Many den-keepers wield a powerful influence in
the local elections; one of the worst of such, after paying the
constable $12 for the return of a girl who had tried to escape, beat her
with a revolver until tired and was then only prevented by a woodman
from turning loose a bulldog upon her; but such was his political
influence that he was elected justice of the peace the following

About the same time, at a session of the National Social Purity Congress
held in Baltimore, the following statement was made: “Of the 230,000
erring girls in this country, over half have been snared or sold into
their lives of shame. Their average life is five years. Forty-six
thousand are carted out to Potters Field every year. Over one hundred
American homes have to be desolated every day to recruit the ranks of
shame. Isn’t it time for somebody to try to save these girls from
falling into those dens of iniquity? Twenty million Christians can
rescue 230,000 erring girls, or surely the religion of Jesus Christ is a

Terrible happenings, as for instance the murder of Ruth Cruger of New
York in 1917, and similar cases in February and March, 1919, have
disclosed that gangs of white slave traders still exist in America and
do a flourishing business. The prices paid to agents depend upon the
girl’s youth and beauty, ranging from $20 to $1000, and even more.

The enormous and thoroughly organized traffic in girl-children in
England was exposed by the revelations of the “Pall Mall Gazette,” which
roused the people to earnest efforts against this commerce and secured
the formation of the “Society for the Prevention of Traffic in English
Girls.” In giving details of this traffic the paper said:

“London, the great metropolis of Christian England, the largest city of
ancient and modern times, is acknowledged by statisticians and
sociologists to be the point where crime, vice, despair, and misery are
found in their deepest depth and greatest diversity. Not Babylon of old,
whose name is the synonym of all that is vile; not Rome, “Mother of
Harlots,” not Corinth, in whose temple a thousand girls were kept for
prostitution in service of God, not the most savage lands in all their
barbarity have ever shown a thousandth part of the human woe to be found
in the city of London, that culmination of modern Christian
civilization. The nameless crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah, the vileness of
ancient Greece, which garnered its most heroic men, its most profound
philosophers, are but amusements among young men of the highest rank in
England; West End, the home of rank and wealth, of university education,
being the central hell of this extended radius of vice.”

As in many countries priests and police departments have failed to stop
this heinous traffic in young girls, women must step in, and, by their
votes, must place such legislators and police commissioners in office,
that proper laws and their strict enforcement can be expected.

In Germany the “white slave trade” is practically unknown. For many
years two women associations have existed,—a Protestant and a
Catholic,—whose representatives, recognizable by distinct arm bands,
patrol all important railway stations, in order to furnish correct
information to incoming girls who are looking for positions, and to
escort them to the homes of the associations, where they may stay till
respectable places have been found for them.

It is obvious, that the problems connected with the temperance question,
child-labor and the white slave trade are of vital importance to every
woman and mother. Salvation must come through the woman’s ballot. They
must defend themselves and their children as men have done: by
co-operating in the elections, by controlling those that make the laws,
and by controlling those who are appointed to enforce them.

                  *       *       *       *       *

A few words may be said in regard to the claim that woman would cease to
vote “after the novelty of her new toy had worn off.” Statistics as well
as the testimony of competent observers confute this claim. In all
states where women enjoy full suffrage, they have shown themselves eager
to vote. In Idaho the Chief Justice and all the justices of the State
Supreme Court signed a statement that “the large vote cast by the women
establishes the fact that they take a lively interest.” In Wyoming,
Colorado and other full suffrage states it has been observed that 90 per
cent. of the women vote.

In Australia, in 1903, at the first national election in which women
took part, 359,315 women voted; in 1906, 431,033; in 1910, 601,946.

In New Zealand the number has increased at each triennial parliamentary
election. In 1893 90,290 women voted; in 1896, 108,793; in 1899,
119,550; in 1902, 138,565; in 1905, 175,046; in 1908, 190,114; in 1911,

The following is a testimonial from Sir Joseph Ward, Prime Minister of
New Zealand, in regard to Woman Suffrage in practice:

                                          Prime Minister’s Office,
                                            Wellington, Oct. 17th, 1907.

Woman Suffrage exists in New Zealand because it dawned upon the minds of
thinking men that they were daily wasting an almost unlimited supply of
mental and moral force. From the time their baby hands had found support
and safety by holding the folds of their mother’s gowns, they had
trusted the happiness of their lives hourly to the common sense, the
purity and the sympathy of women. Strange to say, in one department of
life alone, and that perhaps the most important, viz.: the political,
had they denied the right of speech and of direct influence to women.
Men of different countries had for centuries preached and written of
evils which deformed their systems of Government and even tainted the
aspirations of statesmen for just laws within the state, and equitable
relations abroad. Nevertheless these men neglected, or refused to avail
themselves of the support and counsel of women’s hearts and women’s
brains, which they accepted on other matters. Indeed, they were ready to
listen to foolish arguments against the idea of women entering political
life; such as: women would lose their grace, modesty, and love of home
if they voted; since they could not be soldiers, they had no right to
control questions of peace and war.

In New Zealand we have not found that making a “pencil mark on a voting
paper” once in three years has resulted in any loss of grace or beauty
among our women, or even in neglect of home duties. On the contrary the
women’s vote has had a distinctly clarifying effect on the process of
elections. The old evil memories of election day, the ribaldry, the
fighting, have been succeeded by a decorous gravity befitting people
exercising their highest national privilege. When the contention, that
women should not be entitled to vote because they cannot bear arms, is
used by one whose mother could only make his life and citizenship
possible by passing through pain and danger greater than the average
soldier has to face, it becomes inconsistently ridiculous. Besides, many
men (clergymen, government officials, etc., etc.), are exempt from
actual military service, and that fact has never been used to deprive
them of a vote. The main argument, however, which weighed with us, was
that of right, of abstract right. If the foundation of government is the
consent of the governed, it appears monstrously unfair that one half of
the population should not be represented or have any share in it.
Therefore, after long and grave consideration, we gave our women an
equal right with men in deciding on the qualifications of candidates to
represent them in Parliament.

We have no reason to regret the decision. I feel confident that if any
great crisis in national morals should arise, the women’s vote would
press with irresistable weight in the direction of clean, honest and
efficient legislation. New Zealand has not repented having abolished set
disqualifications among those men and women who have unitedly helped to
build the foundations of a nation. I write as one who advocated the
extension of the franchise to women before my entry into Parliament
twenty years ago. I have always supported it in Parliament, and, while
closely watching its effect, have never seen any genuine cause for
believing that it has not worked for the good of the Dominion.

Similar testimonials have been given by the governors of all Western
States of the Union.

Governor Bryant B. Brooks of Wyoming said: “Nothing can be so far from
the truth as the idea that Woman Suffrage has the slightest tendency to
disrupt the home. Indeed it has the very opposite effect. As a result of
it politics is talked freely in the family circle, and political
questions are settled by intelligent discussion. This has a great and
good influence on the growing generation. The children grow up in an
atmosphere that encourages intelligent consideration and debate of
public problems, and are thus better equipped to deal with public
questions when they reach voting age.”

Governor Shafroth of Colorado said: “Our State has Woman Suffrage for
many years, and has found it of inestimable benefit to her people,” and
Governor James H. Brady of Idaho said: “Woman Suffrage has been an
unqualified success, not only in Idaho, but in all Western States
adopting the principle.”




When in August, 1914, the most dreadful disaster that ever befell
humanity burst upon the European nations, women at first stood paralyzed
with fear and terror, foreseeing the tremendous burden and sacrifices
they would have to bear. But after every hope for a peaceful solution
had vanished and nothing remained but to face the inevitable, they
rallied and prepared to weather the coming hurricane.

The manner in which they met it during the long and terrible years of
1914, 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918 was perhaps the greatest revelation the
world has ever experienced. Never before have members of the “weaker
sex” braved such a catastrophe more heroically and made such supreme
sacrifices. In fact, woman’s activity during the World War has been a
grand manifestation, which stands out in glorious colors from a black
background of man’s hatred, revengefulness, slander, calumniation,
treason, avarice, atrocities, and murder.

When the vast armies were mobilized it became necessary to close the
innumerable gaps caused by the sudden drafting and departure of so many
million men. To refill the positions they had occupied, was the most
urgent necessity, as otherwise the whole machinery of national life
would become disorganized, and that at the most critical time.

At once immense numbers of women and girls responded to the call. They
went into the tramway and railway service to act as ticket sellers and
punchers, as conductors, brakemen and motormen. They replaced the letter
carriers and chauffeurs; they climbed the lofty seats formerly occupied
by cab-drivers and postilions. Mounting motor-cycles they delivered
telegrams and performed other urgent errands. They formed
street-cleaning and fire-brigades and took care of the sanitation and
protection of the cities. In the offices and stores they assumed the
duties of the bookkeeper and floor-walker; in the schools they
substituted for male teachers who had followed the call of the war
trumpet. They repaired telegraph-wires and installed telephones; they
became blacksmiths and repaired the roofs of houses. They cleaned
windows and chimneys, delivered newspapers and carried the coal from the
wagon into the bins and bunkers. They acted as “ice-men” and collected
the garbage and ashes. They tilled the fields and vegetable gardens, and
brought in the crops and the harvests. They thrashed the wheat and
served in the mills as well as in the bakeries. They furnished clothes,
and made and mended shoes. They finished the public roads and other
works that had been left uncompleted. They built houses and tore down
others. In Berlin the excavation for a new underground railway, badly
needed, was done by women, and half of the gangs that worked on the
railroad tracks were made up of girls.



In England as well as in France and Germany thousands of women could be
seen in the ship-yards working side by side with men on the scaffolds,
at bolting and riveting, forging and casting, as if they had always done
this work. In fact, women did everything that heretofore had been
regarded as “man’s work.”

But they did much more. Hundreds of thousands of women entered the gun-
and ammunition factories in order that the armies might not lack ample
means for the defense of the country.



Donning overalls, oil-cloth caps and gas masks they became engaged in
the hazardous manufacture of high explosives, of filling and packing the
deadly gas-shells and other projectiles. At the same time millions of
busy hands prepared the bandages and other necessities for the treatment
of the wounded. Whole brigades of Red Cross nurses were formed and went
to the battlefields and hospitals, to attend those who in the grim
conflict might lose their limbs, their eye-sight, or become sufferers
from the effect of poisonous gases.

All too soon long trains and hospital-ships brought in such
unfortunates, at first a few hundred, then in ever increasing numbers,
by the thousands and by tens of thousands. Within a few months most of
the countries engaged in the dreadful struggle were turned into immense
hospitals, filled with moaning and suffering. What noble and
indefatigable women did here to alleviate this misery and distress, can
never be fully told and will never be forgotten. Whoever was witness of
the self-control and perseverance shown year after year by many Red
Cross nurses will always think of them with reverence.

There is not a single Army Medical Corps of the many nations engaged in
the World War, which does not freely admit, that the immense amount of
work could not have been done without the help of women. In a tribute to
the Red Cross Major-General Merritte W. Ireland, Surgeon-General U. S.
Army, said:

“Probably the greatest single service rendered by the Red Cross home
forces was the supply of trained nurses it furnished our hospitals. The
Army Medical Corps trains a few nurses, but could never hope to turn out
the large number provided through Miss Delano’s department. If we needed
a thousand nurses for a given work, we telegraphed the War Department.
The War Department notified Miss Delano. And the nurses arrived on

“An especially notable service rendered by Red Cross nurses occurred
during the early American campaign when our men were brigaded with
French divisions. When wounded, they were, of course, taken to French
hospitals. Unable to answer questions or tell their needs, they were in
a very unhappy plight. Scores of Red Cross nurses speaking both French
and English were immediately sent to these hospitals—and the problem was

“The work of the Red Cross was often the theme of discussions at
American General Headquarters at Chaumont. I remember that it was
enlarged upon there in a conversation between General Pershing, Mr. H.
P. Davison, the Chairman of the War Council of the American Red Cross,
and myself. We were speaking of the value of the service rendered by the
millions of our women and how they helped keep the influence of home
about the boys at the front. And General Pershing said: “The women of
the United States deserve a large share of the credit for the success of
the American forces.”

“Our Army officers have often admired not only the spirit but the
efficiency of the American Red Cross organization. It provided an
inexhaustible store of supplies; it possessed a remarkable facility for
adapting itself to any emergency, however unexpected; and its personnel
always evinced the finest readiness for co-operation. The millions of
surgical dressings, knitted articles, refugee garments, and other
supplies it contributed—for these things alone it would have deserved
the Army’s unstinted praise. All the splints used in all our hospitals
in France, both of the Army and of the Red Cross, came from the Red
Cross. It furnished more than a quarter of a billion surgical dressings.
It sent over enough sweaters for every man in our overseas forces to
possess one.”

Similar tributes have been freely extended to the nurses of all other
Red Cross branches, which co-operated with the Medical Corps of the
various powers engaged in the terrible war.



While performing their merciful work, many women had to bear the
depressing anxiety caused by husbands, sons, or brothers, fighting in
the trenches or on the ocean; or for those unfortunates who as prisoners
had fallen into the hands of the enemy.

The women of the Central powers had to face many additional problems of
the most perplexing nature. As the soil of Germany and Austria does not
yield enough to support the whole population, and as all imports of
foodstuffs were cut off by hostile fleets, provisions became more scarce
and more expensive from day to day. There was not sufficient milk to
keep the millions of babies alive; and not enough food to save adults
from slow starvation. To stretch the scant supplies the most careful and
rigid methods of administration had to be invented and applied. Public
kitchens were established to reduce the cost of living to the lowest
point possible. In Berlin twenty-three committees of the National
Women’s Service with several thousand voluntary workers were running
such charitable kitchens, from which tens of thousands regularly
received their daily meals. The same organizations later on supervised
the system of bread-, milk-, grocery- and butter-cards, when the
increasing shortage of food forced the governments to the severest

Among the many German relief organizations those of the Red Cross took
the leading place. Originally divided into five main sections under the
general control of a central committee and designed to combat of
sickness and destitution in the civil population, it now was increased
to twenty-three divisions. Their welfare work assumed such importance
during the progress of the war that it had to be subdivided into three
groups, the first of which became engaged in fighting tuberculosis and
contagious diseases, the second in the protection of infancy and
motherhood, the third in family welfare work in the narrower meaning of
the term. In all these branches the organization of the Red Cross
provided the framework within which the numerous national, state and
local social activities of the country grouped themselves naturally in
accordance with their separate functions.

The activity of the organizations during the years 1917, 1918, and 1919,
the dreadful years of general distress and starvation, forms one of the
most pathetic chapters in woman’s history. Not only the food, but the
cotton, wool, leather, rubber, fat, oil, soap, and hundreds of other
necessities gave out completely. People were compelled to live on
substitutes. And as these became too scarce or too expensive, they lived
on substitutes for these substitutes. Imagine the heartrending pain
mothers were bearing when at the end of 1918 and in 1919 large numbers
of mayors of German cities and numerous professors of medicine were
compelled to send urgent appeals for help to all medical faculties of
the world, stating that since the signing of the truce 800,000 people in
Germany had died from starvation. “Many millions of human beings,” one
of the appeals reads, “are living on only half or even less than half
the quantity of food necessary to sustain life. Utterly exhausted they
have lost all power of resistance and succumb to any kind of sickness
that may befall them. The worst sufferers are the children and those
mothers, who fast for the sake of their children. There are too the
neurasthenics of all kinds, the numbers of which have, for four years,
increased immensely. Furthermore, there are the overworked, and those
who have become sick through the unheard-of monotony of food and from
the absolute absence of every stimulant. Their existence becomes more
unbearable from day to day. While the physicians of Germany are
profoundly impressed with the terrible ravages caused by hunger, they
have absolutely no means of combating them.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

While during these dreadful times millions of women devoted themselves
to the noble work of healing the terrible wounds and sufferings, other
groups eagerly tried to bring about a cessation of hostilities.
Immediately after the first declaration of war, the “International Woman
Suffrage Alliance” directed an urgent appeal to the British Foreign
Office as well as to all Foreign Embassies in London, to leave untried
no method of conciliation or arbitration to avert the threatening
disaster. Numerous women’s societies in Holland, Sweden, Germany and
Switzerland arose simultaneously and joined the good cause. Soon a great
movement for peace began to sweep through the women of the entire world.

But women’s efforts to bring the conflict to a standstill lacked as yet
the necessary strength. They were overpowered by the influence and
machinations of those statesmen, financiers, publishers of newspapers
and countless others, who wanted war. And so nothing remained for women
but to repeat ever and again their protests against the madness of men.

When in December, 1914, suffering Christianity prepared to celebrate the
natal day of the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, a noble-minded woman of
London, =Miss Emily Hobhouse=, wrote the following letter:

 “To American Women, Friends of Humanity and Peace!

“Friends:—May I appeal to you in the name of Humanity, on behalf of the
children of Europe, before whom suffering or death has already taken
place, and whose future is fraught with pain? In you lies our hope of
help for them, for you are free to speak and act.

“Will you not come to our troubled world, unite with the women of other
neutral lands and initiate a crusade—a real ‘holy’ war, fought with the
swords of the Spirit?

“Appalling as is this massacre of the manhood of Europe, that is not the
worst. As long as men adopt barbaric methods of settling disputes they
must abide by the consequences; but for those innocent victims, the
non-combatants—women, babes, old and sick—I crave your help. Their names
and numbers will never be known. They are multiplying in Poland and
Galicia, in Belgium and France, in East Prussia and Holland, and
elsewhere. Ponder this vast host, voiceless, suffering, dying, crouching
beside their blackened ruins or fleeing from the devastated areas both
east and west. Think of disease let loose, of the horrors of cold and

“I know it is not easy to visualize details of conditions so foreign to
average experience. It needs a mental effort few can make. It is because
I was daily witness of such things in the South African War that I dare
not be silent. Disease, devastation, starvation and death were words I
then learned as war interprets them. I saw a country burnt and
devastated as large parts of Europe are to-day; I saw old and sick,
women and children turned out of house and home; I saw them, half clad,
starving, lying sick to death upon the bare earth; I saw babies that
were born in open, crowded trucks; I saw haggard, endless sick, gaunt
skeletons, hourly deaths. There in the Boer States death swept away
non-combatants in the proportion of five to one of those who fell in the

“It is because I know the brunt of this war, too, is falling and must
fall, heaviest upon the weak and young, that I appeal now on their
behalf, not merely to those who love peace, but to the great body of
women who love children. Little children, more sensitive to exposure, to
extremes of heat and cold, to tainted food, to starvation, and to the
stench, the poisonous stench of war, quickly fade, quickly die.

“Will you not arise and work for peace?—For peace alone can save the
children. It would be, I well know, a struggle against powers of
darkness and will need the whole armor of God. Yet every sentiment of
pity and of civilization, leave alone Christianity, demands the effort.
The victims cannot help themselves; succor must come from without.

“Relief, we know, you pour most generously, but relief cannot meet a
want so colossal, neither can it touch the worst ills. Cut at the root
of the evil—the war itself. A strong lead is needed. Myriads want peace;
they never wanted war. In each country this is true; constant proofs
reach us from Germany and France, as well as various parts of England.
The press of each nation asserts that the people are unanimous for war.
It is not so, but those who have the means of speaking, and who swim
with their governmental streams, can speak the loudest and alone are
heard. Many dare not, many cannot speak. Others make a truce and save
thousands of human lives and receive the blessings of thousands of wives
and mothers.

“A union of neutral women could investigate the facts of the sufferings
amongst non-combatants, and founded upon acquired personal knowledge
they could in the name of Humanity formulate demands persistent, cogent,
irresistible, not in favor of any one party or nation, but simply for

“It seems futile to turn to statesmen, governments or prelates for aid.
They are tied and bound by position, custom and mutual fear. They await
propitious movements. Famine, disease and death do not wait.

“=Women have this advantage: they are still unfettered by custom and
expediency; they need consult only the dictates of humanity. If ever the
world needed their intervention on a vast scale, it needs it now!=

“Failure in such a task would have no fears for them; failure in a noble
effort is often a measure to success! The greatest have seemed to fail.
Judged by human standards, Christ’s life on earth was a failure. =The
effort in any case would leave its mark upon the thought and history of
the world. Womanhood will have arisen in vindication of a higher
humanity—to avenge desolated motherhood and protect martyred children;
it will have asserted its right to shield the weak and young from the
fatal results of the organized murder called war.=”



The appeal was not made in vain. The day after its receipt a number of
prominent American women called a convention in Washington, D. C., on
January 10th, 1915. =Miss Jane Addams= of Chicago acted as chairman. The
result of this meeting was the organization of the “=Woman’s Peace
Party=,” which adopted the following

                         Preamble and Platform.

“We women of the United States, assembled in behalf of World Peace,
grateful for the security of our own country, but sorrowing for the
misery of all involved in the present struggle among warring nations, do
hereby band ourselves together to demand that war be abolished.

“Equally with men pacifists, we understand that planned-for, legalized,
wholesale, human slaughter is to-day the sum of all villainies.

“=As women, we feel a peculiar moral passion of revolt against both the
cruelty and the waste of war. As women, we are especially the custodians
of the life of the ages.= We will not longer consent to its reckless

“=As women, we are particularly charged with the future of childhood and
with the care of the helpless and the unfortunate.= We will not longer
endure without protest that added burden of maimed and invalid men and
poverty-stricken widows and orphans which war places upon us.

“=As women, we have builded by the patient drudgery of the past the
basic foundation of the home and of peaceful industry.= We will not
longer accept without a protest, that must be heard and heeded by men,
that hoary evil which in an hour destroys the social structure that
centuries of toil have reared.

“=As women, we are called upon to start each generation onward toward a
better humanity.= We will not longer tolerate without determined
opposition that denial of the sovereignty of reason and justice by which
war and all that makes war to-day render impotent the idealism of the

“Therefore, as human beings and the mother half of humanity, we demand
that our right to be consulted in the settlement of questions concerning
not alone the life of individuals but of nations be recognized and

“We demand that women be given a share in deciding between war and peace
in all the courts of high debate—within the home, the school, the
church, the industrial order, and the state.

“So protesting, and so demanding, we hereby form ourselves into a
national organization to be called the =Woman’s Peace Party=.

“We hereby adopt the following as our platform of principles, some of
the items of which have been accepted by a majority vote, and more of
which have been the unanimous choice of those attending the conference
that initiated the formation of this organization. We have sunk all
differences of opinion on minor matters and given freedom of expression
to a wide divergence of opinion in the details of our platform and in
our statement of explanation and information, in a common desire to make
our woman’s protest against war and all that makes for war, vocal,
commanding and effective. We welcome to our membership all who are in
substantial sympathy with that fundamental purpose of our organization,
whether or not they can accept in full our detailed statement of


“The Purpose of this Organization is to enlist all American women in
arousing the nations to respect the sacredness of human life and to
abolish war. The following is adopted as our platform:

 1.  The immediate calling of a convention of neutral nations in the
       interest of early peace.

 2.  Limitation of armaments and the nationalization of their

 3.  Organized opposition to militarism in our own country.

 4.  Education of youth in the ideals of peace.

 5.  Democratic control of foreign policies.

 6.  The further humanizing of governments by the extension of the
       franchise to women.

 7.  “Concert of Nations” to supersede “Balance of Power.”

 8.  Action toward the gradual organization of the world to substitute
       Law for War.

 9.  The substitution of an international police for rival armies and

 10. Removal of the economic causes of war.

 11. The appointment by our Government of a commission of men and women,
       with an adequate appropriation, to promote international peace.”

In the meantime women of other countries had not remained idle. =Dr.
Aletta H. Jacobs=, President of the Dutch National Society for Woman
Suffrage, directed a letter to the most prominent women societies of
various nations, saying that it was of the greatest importance to bring
those women, representing the women societies of the world, together in
an =international meeting in a neutral country=, to show “that in =these
dreadful times, in which so much hate has been spread among the
different nations, the women at least retained their solidarity and that
they were able to maintain mutual friendship=.” At the same time she
suggested to hold this International Congress in Holland, and offered to
make the necessary arrangements.

While many women welcomed this first effort to renew international
relations it was only natural that, especially in belligerent countries,
a fierce criticism should be directed against this daring move. This
criticism came even from some of the women’s organizations. “It was to
be impossible to hold the Congress! No one would attend! Even if the
Congress were held the nationalities would quarrel amongst themselves!”
But those who had undertaken the work were not deterred by this
criticism, but encouraged by many enthusiastic responses. The
announcement that Miss Jane Addams had accepted the invitation to
preside at the Congress gave courage to all who were working for it. And
so the memorable “=International Congress of Women for Permanent Peace=”
came to pass. It was held at the Hague from April 28 to May 1, 1915, and
attended by 1136 delegates and a large number of visitors. The countries
represented were Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Great
Britain, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United
States of America.

In her address of Welcome, Dr. Aletta H. Jacobs, the President of the
Executive Committee, said: “In arranging this International Congress we
have naturally had to put aside all thoughts of a festive reception, we
have simply endeavored to receive you in such a way that you may feel
assured of our sympathy, our mutual sisterly feelings, our goodwill to
link the nations together again in the bonds of fellowship and trustful

“With mourning in our hearts we stand united here. We grieve for the
many brave young men, who have lost their lives in barbaric fratricide
before even attaining their full manhood; we mourn with the poor mothers
bereft of their sons; with thousands and thousands of young widows and
fatherless children; we will not endure in this Twentieth Century
civilization, that governments shall longer tolerate brute force as the
only method of solving their international disputes. The culture of
centuries standing and the progress of science must no longer be
recklessly employed to perfect the implements of modern warfare. The
accumulated knowledge, handed down to us through the ages, must no
longer be used to kill and to destroy and to annihilate the products of
centuries of toil.

“Our cry of protest must be heard at last. Too long already has the
mother-heart of woman suffered in silence. O, I know and feel most
strongly, that it is impossible that a world-fire, such as has been
blazing forth for the last nine months, can be extinguished, until the
last bit of inflamable material has been reduced to ashes, but I also
feel most strongly that we must raise our voices now, if the new era of
civilization that will arise from these ashes is to rest upon a more
substantial basis, a basis on which the women with their inherent
conserving and pacific qualities shall have the opportunity to assist
men in conducting the world’s affairs.

“We women judge war differently from men. Men consider in the first
place its economic results. What it costs in money, its loss or its gain
to national commerce and industries, the extension of power and so
forth. But what is material loss to us women, in comparison to the
number of fathers, brothers, husbands and sons who march out to war
never to return. We women consider above all the damage to the race
resulting from war, and the grief, the pain and misery it entails. We
know only too well that whatever may be gained by a war, it is not worth
the bloodshed and the tears, the cruel sufferings, the wasted lives, the
agony and despair it has caused.

“Important as are the economic interests of a country, the interests of
the race are more vital. And, since by virtue of our womanhood, these
interests are to us of greater sanctity and value, women must have a
voice in the governments of all countries.

“Not until women can bring direct influence to bear upon Governments,
not until in the parliaments the voice of the women is heard mingling
with that of the men, shall we have the power to prevent recurrence of
such catastrophes.

“The Governments of the world, based on the insight of the half of
humanity, have failed to find a right solution of how to settle
international disputes. We therefore feel it more and more strongly,
that it is the duty, the sacred duty of every woman, to stand up now and
claim her share with men in the government of the world. Only when women
are in the parliaments of all nations, only when women have a political
voice and vote, will they have the power effectively to demand that
international disputes shall be solved as they ought to be, by a court
of arbitration or conciliation. Therefore on a programme of the
conditions whereby wars in future may be avoided, the question of woman
suffrage should not be lacking, on the contrary, it should have the
foremost place.

“May this Congress be the dawn of a better world, a world in which each
realizes that it is good to serve one’s own country, but that above the
interests of one’s Country stand the interests of humanity, by serving
which a still higher duty is fulfilled.”—

The business sessions, presided over by Miss Jane Addams, led to the
adoption of the following resolutions:

                           I. WOMEN AND WAR.

1. Protest.

We women, in International Congress assembled, protest against the
madness and the horror of war, involving as it does a reckless sacrifice
of human life and the destruction of so much that humanity has labored
through centuries to build up.

2. Women’s Sufferings in War.

This International Congress of Women opposes the assumption that women
can be protected under the conditions of modern warfare. It protests
vehemently against the odious wrongs of which women are the victims in
time of war, and especially against the horrible violation of women
which attends all war.

                       II. ACTION TOWARDS PEACE.

3. The Peace Settlement.

This International Congress of Women of different nations, classes,
creeds and parties is united in expressing sympathy with the suffering
of all, whatever their nationality, who are fighting for their country
or laboring under the burden of war.

Since the mass of the people in each of the countries now at war believe
themselves to be fighting, not as aggressors but in self-defence and for
their national existence, there can be no irreconcilable differences
between them, and their common ideals afford a basis upon which a
magnanimous and honorable peace might be established. The Congress
therefore urges the Governments of the world to put an end to this
bloodshed, and to begin peace negotiations. It demands that the peace
which follows shall be permanent and therefore based on principles of
justice, including those laid down in the resolutions 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9
adopted by this Congress.

4. Continuous Mediation.

This International Congress of Women resolves to ask the neutral
countries to take immediate steps to create a conference of neutral
nations which shall without delay offer continuous mediation. The
Conference shall invite suggestions for settlement from each of the
belligerent nations and in any case shall submit to all of them
simultaneously, reasonable proposals as a basis of peace.


5. Respect for Nationality.

This International Congress of Women, recognizing the right of the
people to self-government, affirms that there should be no transference
of territory without the consent of the men and women residing therein,
and urges that autonomy and a democratic parliament should not be
refused to any people.

6. Arbitration and Conciliation.

This International Congress of Women, believing that war is the negation
of progress and civilization, urges the governments of all nations to
come to an agreement to refer future international disputes to
arbitration and conciliation.

7. International Pressure.

This International Congress of Women urges the governments of all
nations to come to an agreement to unite in bringing social, moral and
economic pressure to bear upon any country, which resorts to arms
instead of referring its case to arbitration or conciliation.

8. Democratic Control of Foreign Policy.

Since War is commonly brought about not by the mass of the people, who
do not desire it, but by groups representing particular interests, this
International Congress of Women urges that Foreign Politics shall be
subject to Democratic Control; and declares that it can only recognize
as democratic a system which includes the equal representation of men
and women.

9. The Enfranchisement of Women.

Since the combined influence of the women of all countries is one of the
strongest forces for the prevention of war, and since women can only
have full responsibility and effective influence when they have equal
political rights with men, this International Congress of Women demands
their political enfranchisement.


10. Third Hague Conference.

This International Congress of Women urges that a third Hague Conference
be convened immediately after the war.

11. International Organization.

This International Congress of Women urges that the organization of the
Society of Nations should be further developed on the basis of a
constructive peace, and that it should include:

_a._ As a development of the Hague Court of Arbitration, a permanent
International Court of Justice to settle questions or differences of a
justifyable character, such as arise on the interpretation of treaty
rights or of the law of nations.

_b._ As a development of the constructive work of the Hague Conference,
a permanent International Conference holding regular meetings in which
women should take part, to deal not with the rules of warfare but with
practical proposals for further International Co-operation among the
States. This Conference should be so constituted that it could formulate
and enforce those principles of justice, equity and goodwill in
accordance with which the struggles of subject communities could be more
fully recognized and the interests and rights not only of the great
Powers and small Nations but also those of weaker countries and
primitive peoples gradually adjusted under an enlightened international
public opinion.

This International Conference shall appoint:

A permanent Council of Conciliation and Investigation for the settlement
of international differences arising from economic competition,
expanding commerce, increasing population and changes in social and
political standards.

12. General Disarmament.

The International Congress of Women, advocating universal disarmament
and realizing that it can only be secured by international agreement,
urges, as a step to this end, that all countries should, by such an
international agreement, take over the manufacture of arms and munitions
of war and should control all international traffic in the same. It sees
in the private profits accruing from the great armament factories a
powerful hindrance to the abolition of war.

13. Commerce and Investments.

_a._ The International Congress of Women urges that in all countries
there shall be liberty of commerce, that the seas shall be free and the
trade routes open on equal terms to the shipping of all nations.

_b._ Inasmuch as the investment by capitalists of one country in the
resources of another and the claims arising therefrom are a fertile
source of international complications, this International Congress of
Women urges the widest possible acceptance of the principle that such
investments shall be made at the risk of the investor, without claim to
the official protection of his government.

14. National Foreign Policy.

_a._ This International Congress of Women demands that all secret
treaties shall be void and that for the ratification of future treaties,
the participation of at least the legislature of every government shall
be necessary.

_b._ This International Congress of Women recommends that National
Commissions be created, and International Conferences convened for the
scientific study and elaboration of the principles and conditions of
permanent peace, which might contribute to the development of an
International Federation.

These Commissions and Conferences should be recognized by the
Governments and should include women in their deliberations.

15. Women in National and International Politics.

This International Congress of Women declares it to be essential, both
nationally and internationally, to put into practice the principle that
women should share all civil and political rights and responsibilities
on the same terms as men.

                     V. THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN.

=16.= This International Congress of Women urges the necessity of so
directing the education of children that their thoughts and desires may
be directed towards the ideal of constructive peace.


=17.= This International Congress of Women urges, that in the interests
of lasting peace and civilization the Conference which shall frame the
Peace settlement after the war should pass a resolution affirming the
need in all countries of extending the parliamentary franchise to women.

=18.= This International Congress of Women urges that representatives of
the people should take part in the conference that shall frame the peace
settlement after the war, and claims that amongst them women should be

                        VII. ACTION TO BE TAKEN.

19. Women’s Voice in the Peace Settlement.

This International Congress of Women resolves that an international
meeting of women shall be held in the same place and at the same time as
the Conference of the Powers which shall frame the terms of the peace
settlement after the war for the purpose of presenting practical
proposals to that Conference.

20. Envoys to the Governments.

In order to urge the Governments of the world to put an end to this
bloodshed and to establish a just and lasting peace, this International
Congress of Women delegates envoys to carry the message expressed in the
Congress Resolutions to the rulers of the belligerent and neutral
nations of Europe and to the President of the United States.

These Envoys shall be women of both neutral and belligerent nations,
appointed by the International Committee of this Congress. They shall
report the result of their missions to the International Women’s
Committee for Constructive Peace as a basis for further action.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The memorable Congress adjourned on May 1. In closing the sessions
Miss Addams said: “This is the first International Congress of Women
met in the cause of peace in the necessity brought about by the
greatest war the world has ever seen. For three days we have met
together, so conscious of the bloodshed and desolation surrounding us,
that all irrelevant and temporary matters fell away and we spoke
solemnly to each other of the great and eternal issues as to those who
meet around the bedside of the dying. We have been able to preserve
good will and good fellowship, we have considered in perfect harmony
and straightforwardness the most difficult propositions, and we part
better friends than we met. It seems to me most significant that women
have been able to do this at this moment and that they have done it,
in my opinion, extremely well.

“We have formulated our message and given it to the world to heed when
it will, confident that at last the great Court of International Opinion
will pass righteous judgment upon all human affairs.”—

In accordance with Paragraph 20 of the resolutions the members of the
different delegations appointed to present the resolutions to the rulers
of the belligerent and neutral nations of Europe and to the President of
the United States of America began their work on May 7th. Various
delegations with Miss Addams and Dr. Jacobs as speakers, were received
on that day in the Hague by Prime Minister Cort van der Linden; on May
13th and 14th in London by Foreign Minister Sir Edward Grey and Prime
Minister Asquith; on May 21st and 22d in Berlin by Foreign Minister von
Jagow and Chancellor von Bethmann Hollweg; on May 26th in Vienna by
Foreign Minister von Burian; on May 30th in Buda Pest by Prime Minister
von Tisza; on June 2d in Berne by Foreign Minister Hoffmann and
President Motta; on June 4th and 5th in Rome by Foreign Minister
Sonnino, and Prime Minister Salandra; on June 8th by the Pope; on June
12th and 14th in Paris by Foreign Minister Delcassé and Prime Minister
Viviani; and on June 16th in Havre by the Foreign Minister of Belgium,
M. d’Avignon. Other delegations submitted the resolutions to the Prime
Ministers of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Russia. The resolutions were
likewise sent to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of all countries not
visited by the delegates, and to President Woodrow Wilson.—

That all these efforts by noble-minded women, to secure the cessation of
hostilities, failed, is a grave reproach to those men who directed the
war. Blinded by hate and revenge they insisted that the murderous
struggle be carried on to the bitter end. And to do this unhindered and
unmolested, they decried all “pacifists” as despicable creatures to whom
no attention should be paid. To speak of peace was made a crime, equal
to illoyalty and sedition, and so the resolutions of the Woman’s Peace
Conference were drowned under waves of detraction and calumny.

One of the most glaring examples of this sort of warfare was that of
=Miss Jeanette Rankin=, who in 1917 had been sent by the State of
Montana as the first woman member to the House of Representatives. Her
first act in this body was very dramatic. When on the memorable April
6th, 1917, the House voted on the question, if the United States should
enter the World War, she answered the call with the words: “I love my
country and I want to stand by it. But I cannot vote for war! No!” After
these words she sank, tears in her eyes, into her chair. Although Miss
Rankin had without doubt expressed the feeling of the overwhelming
majority of American women, she nevertheless excited the wrath of the
notorious “National Security League,” who in 1918 defeated the
re-election of Miss Rankin by sending broadcast to Montana tons of
literature in which her vote against the declaration of war was
stigmatized as an “infamous and damning act.”

Undaunted by such persecutions the gallant women once more raised their
voices when it became evident that the so-called Peace Congress of the
allied delegates at Versailles, instead of giving quick relief to the
starving millions, and instead of promoting good will and better
understanding among the different nations, was degenerating into an orgy
of autocracy, merciless extortion and land-grabbing, repudiating all the
high-sounding phrases of humanity, democracy, self-government, political
and economic liberty, with which the war had been carried on.

On May 12th, 1919, delegates of the “International Women’s Party for
Permanent Peace” assembled at Zurich, Switzerland, to discuss the work
of the Peace Congress in Versailles and the movement for a League of
Nations. Sixteen countries were represented, the neutral with
thirty-five, the countries of the Entente with forty-nine, and the
Central Powers with thirty-six delegates. Among the twenty-three
delegates of the United States were Jane Addams, and Jeanette Rankin,
ex-member of Congress for Montana. Again Miss Addams acted as president.

The noble spirit, that had brought these women together, found
expression first in the following address of the French delegates to the
German women:

“To-day for the first time our hands which have sought each other in the
night can be joined. We are a single humanity, we women. Our work, our
joys, our children, are the same. French and Germans! The soldiers which
have been killed between are for both of us alike victims. It is our
brothers and our sisters who have suffered. We do not want vengeance. We
hate all war. We push from us both the pride of victory and the rancor
of defeat. United by the same faith, by the same sense of service, we
agree to consecrate ourselves to the fight against war and to the
struggle for everlasting peace.

“All women against all wars!

“Come, to work! Publicly, in the face of those who have vowed eternal
hate, let us unite, let us love each other!”

To this address the German women made the following reply:

“We German women have heard the greetings of our French sisters with the
deepest joy, and we respond to them from the depths of our souls. We too
protest against the perpetuation of a hate which was always foreign to
women’s hearts. Our French sisters! It is with joy that we grasp your
extended hand. We will stand and march together, in common effort for
the good of mankind. On the ruins of a materialist world, founded by
force and violence, on misunderstanding and hate, we women will, through
death and sorrow, clear the road to the new humanity. As mothers of the
coming generations, we, women of all nations, want love and
understanding and peace. Despite the dark gloom of the present we
stumble, comforted, toward the sunshine of the future.”

On May the 14th the delegates passed the following resolution, which was
sent to the Congress at Versailles:

“This International Congress of Women expresses its deep regret that
the terms of peace proposed at Versailles should so seriously violate
the principles upon which alone a just and lasting peace can be
secured, and which the Democracies of the world had come to accept. By
guaranteeing the fruits of the secret treaties to the conquerors the
terms tacitly sanction secret diplomacy. They deny the principle of
self-determination, recognize the right of the victors to the spoils
of war, and create all over Europe discords and animosities, which can
lead only to future wars. By the demand for the disarmament of one set
of belligerents only, the principle of justice is violated and the
rule of force is continued. By the financial and economic proposals a
hundred million people of this generation in the heart of Europe are
condemned to poverty, disease and despair, which must result in the
spread of hatred and anarchy within each nation. With a deep sense of
responsibility this Congress strongly urges the Allied Governments to
accept such amendments of the terms as may be proposed to bring the
peace into harmony with those principles first enunciated by President
Wilson upon the faithful carrying out of which the honor of the Allied
peoples depends.”

This communication was proposed by Mrs. Philip Snowden of England and
seconded by Miss Jeanette Rankin of the United States.

Another resolution protested against the prolongation of the blockade as
bringing starvation and death to innumerable innocent women and children
of the Central Powers. It also urged that all resources of the world,
food, raw materials, finance, transport should be organized immediately
for the relief of the peoples, in order to serve humanity and bring
about the reconciliation and union of the peoples. A third resolution
demanded representation in the League of Nations for women, and that
Miss Addams be the first woman representative. At its concluding session
the Congress voted unanimously to call a world-wide strike of women in
the event another war be declared, even if such a war should be
sanctioned by the League of Nations.


                           WOMAN TRIUMPHANT.

The wonderful spirit displayed by many millions of women during the
World War gave foundation to the hope that universal suffrage would be
an inevitable result of the war, and that the law-makers of all the
belligerent countries would no longer deny this crowning privilege to
those mothers, wives, and sisters, who had worked so nobly, suffered so
keenly, and endured so patiently through the long years of this cruel
catastrophe. In a large number of countries this expectation has been
verified. To name them in chronological order, we begin with neutral
=Denmark=, which in 1915 granted to her women full parliamentary
suffrage and eligibility. Nine women were elected to Parliament.
=Iceland= extended to her women the same rights, and one woman was sent
to Parliament.

The next country was =England=, for many years the storm center of the
suffrage movement. While in all other lands had been steps in evolution,
England was the scene of a revolution. Not one with guns, and powder and
bloodshed, but nevertheless with all other evidences of war. As Mrs.
Carrie Chapman Catt, President of the International Woman Suffrage
Alliance, graphically described, “there were brave generals and well
trained armies, and many a well-fought battle; there have been tactics
and strategies, sorties, sieges, and even prisoners of war, many of whom
had to be released as they went on a hunger-strike. But in time, by the
restless activity of the leaders, every class, including women of the
nobility, working girls, housewives and professional women, became
engaged in the campaign, and not a man, woman or child in England was
permitted to plead ignorance concerning the meaning of woman suffrage.
Together, men and women suffragists carried their appeal into the byways
and most hidden corners of the kingdom. They employed more original
methods, enlisted a larger number of women workers, and grasped the
situation in a bolder fashion than had been done elsewhere. In other
countries persuasion had been the chief, if not the only, weapon relied
upon; in England it was persuasion plus political methods.

“First, the world expressed disgust at the alleged unfeminine conduct of
English suffragists. Editorial writers in many lands scourged the
suffrage workers of their respective countries over the shoulders of
these lively English militants. But time passed; comment ceased; and the
world, which had ridiculed, watched the contest in silence, but with
never an eye closed. It assumed the attitude of the referee who realizes
he is watching a cleverly played game, with the chances hanging in the
balance. Then came a laugh. The dispatches flashed the news to the
remotest corners of the globe that English Cabinet Ministers were
“protected” in the street by bodyguards; the houses of Cabinet Ministers
were “protected” by relays of police, and even the great Houses of
Parliament were “protected” by a powerful cordon of police. Protected!
and from what? The embarrassing attack of unarmed women! In other lands
police have protected emperors, czars, kings and presidents from the
assaults of hidden foes, whose aim has been to kill. That there has been
such need is tragic; and when, in contrast, the vision was presented of
the Premier of England hiding behind locked doors, skulking along side
streets, and guarded everywhere by officers, lest an encounter with a
feminine interrogation point should put him to rout, it proved too much
for the ordinary sense of humor.

“Again, the dispatches presented another view. Behold, they said, the
magnificent and world-renowned House of Parliament surrounded by police,
and every woman approaching that sacred precinct, halted, examined, and
perhaps arrested! Behold all this elaborate precaution to save members
of Parliament from inopportune tidings that women would have votes; yet,
despite it all, the forbidden message is delivered, for over the Houses
floats conspicuously and defiantly a huge “Votes for Women” kite.
Perhaps England did not know the big world laughed then; but the world
did laugh, and more, from that moment it conceded the victory to the
suffragists. The only question remaining unanswered, was: ‘How will the
Government surrender, and at the same time preserve its dignity and

Surrender came when in January, 1917, the Lower House of Commons adopted
a resolution favoring a bill making women eligible as members of

The bill was discussed again in October, 1918, and a vote of 274 to 25
on October 24th gave women the right to sit as members of Parliament.

Voting in the general elections on December 14th, 1918, for the first
time, the British women enjoyed at last the victory for which they
bravely fought. While they did not succeed to elect one of their women
candidates for a seat in the Parliament, the election was nevertheless
one of the most notable in years. Nearly in all districts the women
voters made a satisfactory showing as compared to that of men. In
=Ireland= one woman, Countess =Georgina Markievicz=, an Irish by birth
and the leading female figure in the Sinn Fein movement, was elected to
the House of Commons, the first woman ever sent to this body.

=Canada= likewise granted full suffrage to women. A bill passed the
third reading on May 3d and received Royal Assent May 23d, 1918.

In =Nova Scotia= a bill was passed April 26th, 1919.

In =South Africa= Parliament accepted a Woman Suffrage Bill on April
1st, 1919, by 44 votes to 42.

When the revolution came in =Russia=, equal suffrage for women was
accepted by the men of all parties without opposition. It has had, as
Catherine Breshkovsky, the “Grandmother of the Russian Revolution,”
explained, “a profound effect upon the minds of the peasant women. They
used to be often beaten by their husbands. Now the idea of freedom and
equal rights has taken firmer root among them. Instead of submitting to
beatings from her husband the sturdy peasant woman defends herself, and
sometimes she even beats him, especially if he is drunk. The fact that
during the war the women have had to do every kind of work has also
contributed to this sense of independence.”

When in November, 1918, the =German Republic= was declared, paragraph 31
of the Constitution provided that the representatives of the people be
elected by all men as well as women over twenty years, and that women
are eligible for all Federal and State Legislatures and municipal
bodies. Under this regulation on January 19th, 1919, 36 women were
elected to the Federal Parliament, and 22 to State Legislatures. Among
the women elected to the Parliament were several of the most prominent
leaders of the suffrage movement in Germany: =Dr. Gertrud Bäumer=, =Dr.
Käthe Schirmacher=, and =Dr. Alice Salomon=.

In =Austria= the downfall of the monarchy nullified the law which
forbade women to take part in political societies. The 12th of November,
1918, brought to the women universal, equal, direct, and secret suffrage
and eligibility with the announcement of the republic. Seven women were
elected, among them the well-known suffragist =Adelheid Popp=, who was
also elected to the Vienna Municipal Council.

The Government of the =Hungarian Republic= likewise adopted a suffrage
law which gives the vote to all men of 21 and to women of 24 if they can
read and write. While this is not equality of the sexes yet, the
government gave at the same time evidence of its profound respect for
the abilities of women by taking one of the most important steps in the
history of woman’s progress. It appointed =Miss Rose Bédy Schwimmer=,
highly respected for her activity and literary works on suffrage and
peace, as ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to
Switzerland. But the conservative members of the Federal Council of that
country refused to accept a woman ambassador, and so Miss Bédy Schwimmer
found it advisable to tender her resignation, a month after having
accepted her difficult task.

The new republic =Czecho-Slovakia= as well as the newly reconstituted
state of =Poland= at once conceded full political citizenship to their
women. In Czecho-Slovakia eight, and in Poland five women were elected
to the Parliaments.

In =Sweden= full suffrage was accorded to women May 28th, 1919, when a
bill was passed by large majorities in both houses of the National
Parliament, according to which every subject, man or woman, who has
attained his or her twenty-third year, is qualified to vote.

In =France= the “Union Française pour le Suffrage des Femmes” sent on
January 24th, 1919, a proclamation to the Parliament demanding that
French women be given the franchise. The proclamation pointed to the
fact that the right to vote had been recognized in enemy and allied
countries and that therefore France should not be backward. But in spite
of this on April 4th two women suffrage amendments to the Electoral
Reform Bill were killed in the Chamber of Deputies. The provision making
women eligible for election to the Chamber was defeated, 302 votes to
187. The vote against transmission of the right to vote to the next of
kin of heads of families, without distinction of sex, was defeated 335
to 134. But on May 20th the Chamber of Deputies adopted a bill granting
women the right to vote in all elections for members of the Communal and
Departmental Assemblies. The vote was 377 to 97. The measure then went
to the Senate.

=Switzerland=, with the European spread of woman suffrage all around,
may be expected to soon respond to the wave of democratic sentiment. On
January 22, 1919, the delegates of the Swiss Union of Women’s Clubs
adopted a resolution to request the Federal Council to order a radical
revision of the Constitution, and grant to women equal political rights
with men. On March 17th, the Grand Council of the Canton of Neuchâtel
declared for the principle of Woman Suffrage, and likewise instructed
the Government to prepare a suffrage bill. If passed this bill will
probably be decided by referendum.

The =Belgian= Chamber of Deputies, by unanimous vote, adopted on April
11th, 1919, an Electoral Reform Bill, under the terms of which the right
to vote is limited to widows who have not remarried, to the mothers of
soldiers killed in battle and to the mothers of civilians shot by the

In =Holland= the first Chamber of the Dutch Parliament adopted on July
12th, 1919, a motion to introduce woman suffrage by a vote of 34 to 5.

In the United States of America the Western States have, as pointed out
in a former chapter, never hesitated to acknowledge the rights of women
to vote. But the Southern and Eastern States had remained reluctant in
granting this privilege. And so the suffragists were compelled to
conquer these regions step by step. The women of New York won full
suffrage in 1917, those of South Dakota, Michigan and Oklahoma in 1918.
Presidential suffrage was secured in 1917 in North Dakota, Nebraska, and
Rhode Island, and in 1919 in Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin,
Missouri and Maine.

For many years efforts had also been made by the friends of Woman
Suffrage to induce Congress to act on the so-called “Susan Anthony
Amendments to the Constitution,” reading as follows:

“Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not
be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of

“Section 2. The Congress shall have power by appropriate legislation to
enforce the provisions of this article.”

In 1914 the Senate again voted these amendments down by 11 votes. Again,
in September, 1918, it was rejected by two votes, and again in February,
1919, by one vote. The House voted upon the resolution three times,
rejecting it in 1915 by 78 votes, passing it in 1918 by a margin of one
vote, and again, on May 21st, 1919, by a vote of 304 to 89. The fight
ended on June 4, 1919, when the Senate adopted the resolution by a vote
of 56 to 25.

“The credit of having won this victory,” so the “New York American” said
in an editorial, “belongs chiefly to the resourceful women of the land
who have, for generations, been pushing this issue to the front in spite
of stupid opposition and almost as stupid indifference.

“Liberal-minded men, a few in the early days, many more recently, have
helped. But, primarily, it is a woman’s victory, and no man will
begrudge the acknowledment. Equal partners in the economic and social
life of the nation, American women will now be equal sharers in its
political life and in the responsibilities which this will involve.

“The joy of triumph will be of brief duration. The period of
responsibility will be long and trying. But the women of America will
certainly meet it equally with the men, and if they do that the men will
have no just basis of complaint. Political rule by men has been full of
blunders. Women, too, will blunder, but they will not be likely to make
the same kind of blunders that men make. The blunders that men make will
tend to be corrected by the superior insight and intuition of women; and
probably in time the blunders to which women will be prone will have
counteraction by the men. So instead of the blundering being increased
by the widened circle of electoral responsibility it is more likely to
be lessened, for the cure for the ills of democracy is always more

“Anyhow, the change is here. It is world-wide. It comes as a resultant
of increased freedom and it presages more freedom.”

                     WOMAN’S MISSION IN THE FUTURE.

As woman now is man’s equal partner, she must share in the difficult
task of solving the many problems connected with the economic, social
and political life of that nation to which she belongs. That she will
assume this obligation, fully aware of its significance, cannot be
doubted; we need only recall the noble spirit, enthusiasm, intelligence
and perseverance which have distinguished all the leaders in the great
movement for woman’s emancipation.

Woman’s mission in the future will be many-sided. Paramount among all
questions, that demand her utmost consideration, is the prevention of
future wars. And it may be said right here that mankind, through the
efforts of women, will most probably find the final realization of hopes
cherished for centuries by all right-minded people. We hardly need point
to the glaring contrasts between the Peace Congresses called together by
women at the Hague and in Zurich, and the conferences held by men at
Versailles to secure a League of Nations. While the former meetings were
distinguished by the perfect harmony and cordiality among the delegates
of all belligerent and neutral nations, and while their resolutions
expressed the good will and lofty disinterestedness of all members, the
wearisome discussions at Versailles were characterized by suspicion,
avarice and merciless extortion. The “Allies” no longer spoke for a
common cause, but were rivals over the spoils of war. Each clamored for
an individual gain. And instead of extending brotherly hands to the
conquered enemy, instead of instilling hope in the hearts of the
desperate, and instead of feeding the starving, they increased the
bitterness and sufferings by an unwarranted and cruel blockade, through
which more than a million innocent children and women were condemned to
agony and death.

Many far-seeing men have expressed grave doubts that the “Covenant of
Peace” and the “League of Nations” can prevent future wars. So we hope
that women, who would again become the greatest sufferers through such a
catastrophe, will continue in their efforts to re-establish
international good will and solidarity. Deep abysses of antagonism must
be bridged; hate and the thirst for revenge must be quenched, and
thousands of smarting wounds must be healed before humanity can hope for
a better future. But women can perform these wonders. Since the
organization of the “International Woman’s Peace Party” the voice of
women will be heard in the council of nations, and their influence will
be mighty, for the women outnumber the men.

Most naturally the demands of women will also be directed to an
international regulation of women’s relations to men, which in most
countries are far from satisfactory. The World War has emphasized the
fact that in almost all countries women, on marrying foreigners, forfeit
their own nationality and are compelled to adopt that of their husbands.
Thus it happened in 1914 that many French and English women, having
married Germans or Austrians, residents or citizens in France or
England, were deported from their native countries, at the same time
losing all personal property that they were unable to take with them.

Under the laws of the United States a loyal American woman, who marries
an alien enemy, becomes herself an alien enemy, while a woman enemy
alien who marries an American becomes herself a loyal American. By
allowing the woman no choice of allegiance this law works injustice both
to her and to the country.

An international agreement has been proposed that women shall not be
deprived of their own nationality against their will, irrespective of
marriage, and, when deported into enemy territory, shall be restored to
their own country.—

Full equality between husband and wife, father and mother is also
desired in regard to property and responsibilities, especially parental.
In some countries, as for instance in Great Britain, under the existing
laws only the father is recognized as the guardian of the children. He
is the sole judge of what shall be their maintenance and education; and
he has, prima facie, the sole right to their custody.

Another important question which demands regulation through
international agreement, is the suppression of the White Slave Trade,
that horrible evil, which under the imperfect conditions of civilization
has assumed such amazing proportions. To abolish it, women have
presented to the League of Nations Commission resolutions saying, that
States who enter into the League shall undertake to suppress the sale of
women and children and to punish severely the traffic in women, whether
under or over age, and of children of both sexes, for the purposes of

The suppression of tuberculosis, of syphilis and other venereal diseases
is likewise a serious problem calling for international regulation. The
energetic co-operation of women is of utmost importance, as far too
often innocent women become sufferers from these horrible diseases
through infection from their unscrupulous husbands, who have concealed
from their wives the fact that they were afflicted with such maladies.

The supervision of such diseases by health officers, and the provision
of clinics for all infected persons will be demanded by woman
legislators; likewise penalizing for infecting with venereal diseases.

While in most countries no questions are asked in regard to the health
of the candidates for marriage, it has been through the activity of
women, that the new marriage law that came into force in Norway on
January 1st, 1919, demands that both candidates must declare in writing
that they are not suffering from epilepsy, leprosy, syphilis,
tuberculosis, or other diseases in an infectious form. Written
declarations must also be given as to previous marriages and to children
born to them out of wedlock. As this new marriage law contains not less
than eighty-one sections, it is evident that henceforth in Norway it
will be difficult to marry in haste.

Such laws for the protection of women are nowhere more needed than in
the forty-eight States which together form the American Union. As
everyone of these States makes its own laws, there exists a variety of
laws in regard to the “age of consent,” to marriage and divorce, far too
intricate for any woman or lawyer to be thoroughly informed about them
all. For instance the legislators of Florida have fixed the “age of
consent” at 10 years (!), documenting herewith their utter ignorance in
such a serious question. In other States it is 12 or 14 years, in
Wyoming it is 18. How competent women think about this subject, may be
judged by a resolution of the “Woman’s Political Association of
Australia,” asking the Government to raise the age of consent to 21
years, and to extend this provision to cover girls as well as boys.

Very heterogeneous are also the marriage laws of the United States. In
Tennessee girls may marry without their parents’ consent when only
twelve years old, while in other states they must not do so before
eighteen, or even twenty-one. Missouri is one of the few states which
still recognize common law marriages. As this state sets no minimum
legal age for marriage, a boy or girl of twelve may without their
parents’ consent live together as man and wife.

Still more perplexing is the diversity in regard to the causes for
absolute divorce. While South Carolina grants no divorce, other states
are very liberal and acknowledge eight or ten different reasons as
sufficient reasons for divorce. Marriages between Whites and Indians, or
between Whites and Negroes or persons of negro descent, or between
Whites and Chinese are prohibited and punishable in a number of states,
while they are allowed in others.

Improvement in the status of the illegitimate child; child-labor and
welfare; woman’s status in industries; mothers’ insurance during
maternity; proper insurance for the invalid and aged; combating of
alcoholism; the suppression of the traffic in opium and other injurious
narcotics; the traffic in arms, especially with uncivilized or
semi-civilized tribes and nations, and many other questions call for
international regulation and the co-operation of women. To compare the
laws of the various countries and to select the best and clearest laws
to be used as a standard to which other states should be urged to raise
their legislation, will be one of the great missions for the women
lawyers connected with the various national leagues of women voters.

That women have the ability as well as the hearty desire to contribute
in this way to the progress and welfare of the human race, needs no
further explanation. It is for the men to accept and encourage their
help and to utilize it to the fullest extent. The beneficial result of
such co-operation can not be doubted. Women with their intuitive
judgment, spiritual insight and knowledge of the needs of women,
children, public education, sanitation, philanthropy, etc., will become
a most important factor in the vast task of human betterment. And man,
working with woman side by side in these noble endeavors, will not only
profit, but learn that nature has given him nothing more sublime than



 Women During the Remote Past.
     Primeval Man, His Origin and Severe Struggle for Existence        7
     The Division of Labor and Responsibilities                       14
     Women as Objects or Rape, Barter and Religious Sacrifice         22

 Women During the Ages of Antiquity.
     Women in Babylonia                                               29
     Woman’s Status Among the Hebrews                                 36
     Woman’s Status Among the Parsee and Hindoo                       39
     Woman in China and Japan                                         43
     Woman Among the Egyptians                                        46
     Woman Among the Greeks                                           50
     Woman Among the Romans                                           56
     Woman’s Position Among the Germanic Nations                      65
     Woman Among the Early Christians                                 70
     Woman Among the Mohammedans                                      74

 Women During the Middle Ages.
     Women During the Middle Ages                                     81
     The Glorious Time of the Renaissance                             93
     The Darkest Chapter in Woman’s History                           98

 Women in Modern Times.
     Women in Slavery                                                113
     The Dawning of Brighter Days                                    130
     Pioneer Women in the New World                                  140
     Women of the French Revolution                                  152
     Woman’s Entry Into Industry                                     159
     Women as Ministers of the Gospel                                184
     Women in the Medical Profession                                 187
     Woman in the Profession of the Law                              192
     Women as Inventors                                              195
     Eminent Female Scientists                                       197
     Noteworthy Women in World Literature                            207
     Women in Music and Drama                                        227
     What Women Have Accomplished in Art                             232
     Great Monuments of Woman’s Philanthropy                         241
     The Hundred Years’ Battle for Woman Suffrage                    247
     Why Women Want and Need the Vote                                258
     Woman’s Activity During the World War                           271
     Woman Triumphant                                                292
     Woman’s Mission in the Future                                   297

                          OUR WASTEFUL NATION

The Story of American Prodigality and the Abuse of our National

                           By RUDOLF CRONAU.


  The Land of Inexhaustible Resources—The Destruction of Our Forests—The
      Waste of Water—The Waste of Soil—The Waste of Our Mineral
      Resources—The Extermination of Our Game, Fur, and Great Marine
      Animals—Our Vanishing Birds—Our Decreasing Fish Supplies—The Waste
      of Public Lands and Privileges—The Waste of Public Money and of
      Property—The Waste of Human Lives—Conclusion.

One of the weightiest problems before the American nation is here
treated in a most impressive manner. Based upon cold facts, the book
shows conclusively that our nation suffers, by sheer carelessness and
wasteful methods, losses amounting to many hundred millions of dollars

“The book tells a story that is astounding. Some of the descriptions of
the past are told in figures so great as to be beyond our

                                                —_Word To-Day_, Chicago.

“This volume should be read, pondered and re-read by every individual in
America who has reached the age of reasoning.”

                                                    —_Union_, New Haven.

“The book is a practical little sermon, much needed in this period.”

                                             —_San Francisco Chronicle._

“There are but 134 pages in this book, but within the limited compass
there is set forth the most terrific impeachment that was ever laid to
the charge of a nation. This little volume should be scattered over the
country in tens of thousands.”

                                                       —_Boston Herald._

“It is a book, that every person should be compelled to learn by heart.”

                                                  —_Chicago Daily News._

   At all Booksellers, or from Author, 340 E. 198 St., New York, sent
                     postpaid on receipt of price.

                  WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BOARDS. $1.00 NET

[Illustration: OUR WASTEFUL NATION _by Rudolf Cronau_]


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected typographical errors and variations in spelling.
 2. Anachronistic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings retained as
 3. Footnotes have been re-indexed using numbers.
 4. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.
 5. Enclosed bold font in =equals=.

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