BECK index

US Women Reformers 1869-97

by Sanderson Beck

Stanton, Anthony & Suffrage 1869-79
Women Reformers 1880-96
Victoria Woodhull
Howe & Mother’s Day
Woman’s Christian Temperance Union & Willard
Lydia Maria Child’s Aspirations of the World
Jane Addams & Hull House
Ida B. Wells & Lynching Statistics

Stanton, Anthony & Suffrage 1869-79

Mrs. Stanton, Lucretia Mott & Lucy Stone

      Elizabeth Cady Stanton gave a speech at a National Woman’s Suffrage Convention on 19 January 1869. She said,

   I urge a sixteenth amendment,
because “manhood suffrage,” or a man’s government,
is civil, religious, and social disorganization.
The male element is a destructive force, stern, selfish,
aggrandizing, loving war, violence, conquest, acquisition,
breeding in the material and moral world alike
discord, disorder, disease, and death.
See what a record of blood and cruelty
the pages of history reveal!
Through what slavery, slaughter, and sacrifice,
through what inquisitions and imprisonments,
pains and persecutions, black codes and gloomy creeds,
the soul of humanity has struggled for the centuries,
while mercy has veiled her face
and all hearts have been dead alike to love and hope!...
We ask woman’s enfranchisement, as the first step toward
the recognition of that essential element in government
that can only secure
the health, strength, and prosperity of the nation.
Whatever is done to lift woman to her true position
will help to usher in a new day of peace
and perfection for the race….
   Here that great conservator of woman’s love,
if permitted to assert itself, as it naturally would
in freedom against oppression, violence, and war,
would hold all these destructive forces in check,
for woman knows the cost of life better than man does,
and not with her consent would one drop of blood
ever be shed, one life sacrificed in vain.1

      The 15th Amendment would guarantee that the voting could not be denied based on race or color, but it did not mention sex. In March 1869 Senator George Washington Julian of Indiana introduced a similar amendment that did so, but it was largely ignored.
      On May 13 at the New York City meeting of the American Equal Rights Association (AERA) some feminists led by Mrs. Stanton refused to support the 15th Amendment because it did not include female suffrage, and this divided the equal rights movement. In her speeches Susan Anthony pointed out that history shows that whenever there is a disenfranchised class, they are a degraded class of labor. She cited statistics that three million women were supporting themselves in the United States at that time. Mrs. Stanton argued that women are needed to exalt purity, virtue, morality, true religion, and to lift men to a higher level of thought and action. Two days later the equal rights movement split as Mrs. Stanton and Susan Anthony founded the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). The AERA did not meet again.
      The New England Woman Suffrage Association had been organized in November 1868. They became the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) in November 1869 when Lucy Stone, her husband, and Mary Livermore, who edited the Woman’s Journal, organized their first convention at Cleveland that was attended by delegates from 21 states. This split the equal rights movement. Lucy Stone and the AWSA supported black suffrage. Mrs. Stanton and Anthony wanted votes for blacks and women but opposed the 15th Amendment that did not grant it to women. Frederick Douglass urged a 16th Amendment to give women the vote but argued that black voting was more urgent because of the violent persecution they faced.
      The wealthy Democrat George Francis Train (1829-1904) had helped organize the Union Pacific Railroad, and he provided the initial funding for the weekly newspaper The Revolution which began on 8 January 1868 and was published weekly until Train withdrew his financing in February 1872. The Revolution called for women’s rights and urged women to join unions and demand equal pay for equal work. While running for President in 1870 Train traveled around the world in 80 days even though he stayed in France for two months and was jailed for two weeks for supporting the Paris Commune. His trip inspired Jules Verne to write the novel Around the World in Eighty Days in 1872.
      Not many women were in the wild west, but the Utah and Wyoming territories granted them the vote in 1870. In February 1870 the Mormons in the Utah Territory legislature gave women the right to vote to overcome the votes of men who were not Mormons.
      In the 19 May 1870 edition of The Revolution Mrs. Stanton wrote,

The only revolution that we would inaugurate
is to make woman a self-supporting, dignified,
independent, equal partner with man
in the state, the church, and the home.

      In March 1870 in the Wyoming Territory they had placed six women and six men on the grand jury. On September 2 at South Pass City the first woman elected justice of peace, 55-year-old Esther McQuigg Morris, invited influential citizens and the two candidates for the legislature to a tea party. She asked them if they would introduce a bill for woman suffrage, and both the Democrat and the Republican said they would. On September 6 Wyoming’s Governor John A. Campbell signed into law a bill giving women the vote, and on that day Wyoming women voted for the first time. Later about a thousand women voted in Wyoming. The Wyoming Territory legislature met for the first time on October 1, and on November 9 the Senate voted 6-2 to let every woman vote or hold office. After much debate the House voted for it 6-4, and on December 10 the Republican Gov. John Campbell, who had once heard Susan B. Anthony speak, signed the bill. The Wyoming Territory’s Supreme Court recognized the right of women to be on juries.
      In Portland, Oregon women’s rights were pioneered by Abigail Scott Duniway who began her weekly newspaper The New Northwest on 5 May 1871, and she continued publishing it for sixteen years.
      Sojourner Truth in 1870 received $390 for having worked as a counselor for 26 months with the Freedmen’s Bureau. She criticized freedmen for accepting hand-outs from the government when they could be working. She urged them to seek education and practice cleanliness which she said was “a part of godliness.”
      In June 1872 Susan B. Anthony attended the Republican convention at Philadelphia. They included “respectful consideration to the rights of women” in their platform, and she called it a “splinter.” In early October she and Elizabeth Cady Stanton spoke at the Cooper Institute in New York City. Anthony tried to vote for Grant in Rochester and was arrested with election registrars who spent five days in jail.
      Four cases testing whether the 14th Amendment allowed women the right to vote were made in 1872, and the most significant was the effort led by Susan B. Anthony in Rochester, New York. She and fifteen other women risked a fine of $500 and a prison sentence of up to three years. Strict laws had been made to keep former secessionists from voting in the South. On November 26 a US Marshal arrested Anthony for having voted in Rochester. Before her trial she spoke in all 29 post office districts in Monroe County on “Is It a Crime for a Citizen of the United States to Vote?” When the prosecuting attorney got the trial transferred to Ontario County, she spoke in 21 districts there, and in the other sixteen Mathilda Joslyn Gage lectured on “The United States on Trial, not Susan B. Anthony.”
      Anthony’s lawyer was the former Appeals Court Judge Henry R. Selden, but Justice Ward Hunt of the US Supreme Court acting as a circuit judge would not even let Anthony testify. He ordered the jury to find her guilty as a question of law and then read his prepared decision. Selden’s request to poll the jury was denied. Before sentencing her on 19 June 1873 Judge Hunt asked Anthony if she had anything to say. She replied,

   Yes, your honor, I have many things to say;
for in your ordered verdict of guilty, you have
trampled underfoot every vital principle of our government.
My natural rights, my civil rights, my political rights,
my judicial rights, are all alike ignored.
Robbed of the fundamental privilege of citizenship,
I am degraded from the status of a citizen
to that of a subject; and not only myself individually
but all of my sex are, by your honor’s verdict,
doomed to political subjection
under this so-called republican form of government….
   May it please your honor, I am not arguing the question,
but simply stating the reasons why
sentence can not, in justice, be pronounced against me.
Your denial of my citizen’s right to vote,
is the denial of my right of consent as one of the governed,
the denial of my right of representation as one of the taxed,
the denial of my right to a trial by a jury of my peers
as an offender against law; therefore, the denial
of my sacred right to life, liberty, property and—…
   But your honor will not deny me
this one and only poor privilege of protest
against this high-handed outrage upon my citizen’s rights.
May it please the Court to remember that,
since the day of my arrest last November,
this is the first time that
either myself or any person of my disfranchised class
has been allowed a word of defense before judge or jury—…
   Of all my prosecutors, from the corner grocery politician
who entered the complaint, to the United States marshal,
commissioner, district attorney, district judge,
your honor on the bench—not one is my peer,
but each and all are my political sovereigns;
and had your honor submitted my case to the jury,
as was clearly your duty, even then I should have had
just cause of protest, for not one of those men was my peer;
but, native or foreign born, white or black, rich or poor,
educated or ignorant, sober or drunk,
each and every man of them was my political superior;
hence, in no sense my peer….
Precisely as no disfranchised person is entitled
to sit upon a jury, and no woman is entitled to the franchise,
so none but a regularly admitted lawyer
is allowed to practice in the courts,
and no woman can gain admission to the bar—hence,
jury, judge, counsel, all must be of the superior class.
   Judge Hunt—The Court must insist—the prisoner has been tried according to the established forms of law.
   Miss Anthony—Yes, your honor, but by forms of law
all made by men, interpreted by men, administered by men,
in favor of men and against women;
and hence your honor’s ordered verdict of guilty,
against a United States citizen
for the exercise of the “citizen’s right to vote,”
simply because that citizen was a woman and not a man.
But yesterday, the same man-made forms of law
declared it a crime punishable with $1,000 fine
and six months’ imprisonment to give a cup of cold water,
a crust of bread or a night’s shelter
to a panting fugitive tracking his way to Canada;
and every man or woman in whose veins coursed
a drop of human sympathy violated that wicked law,
reckless of consequences, and was justified in doing so.
As then the slaves who got their freedom had to take it
over or under or through the unjust forms of law,
precisely so now must women take it to get right
to a voice in this government; and I have taken mine,
and mean to take it at every opportunity….
   When I was brought before your honor for trial.
I hoped for a broad and liberal interpretation
of the Constitution and its recent amendments, which should
declare all United States citizens under its protecting aegis—
which should declare of rights the national guarantee
to all persons born or naturalized in the United States.
But failing to get this justice—
failing, even, to get a trial by a jury not of my peers—
I ask not leniency at your hands
but rather the full rigors of the law….
   May it please your honor,
I will never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.
All the stock in trade I possess is a debt of $10,000,
incurred by publishing my paper—The Revolution
the sole object of which was to educate all women to do
precisely as I have done, rebel against your man-made,
unjust, unconstitutional forms of law, which
tax, fine, imprison and hang women, while denying them
the right of representation in the government;
and I will work on with might and main
to pay every dollar of that honest debt,
but not a penny shall go to this unjust claim.
And I shall earnestly and persistently continue
to urge all women to the practical recognition
of the old Revolutionary maxim,
“Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.”2

She was fined $100 and costs of the prosecution, and she ended her statement by quoting the well-known revolutionary maxim favored by Thomas Jefferson. Judge Hunt, by releasing her even though she did not pay, took away her right to appeal to the US Supreme Court.
      Julia Ward Howe, Louisa May Alcott, and other women had asked President Grant to mention women’s suffrage in his inaugural address. He replied it was complete, though he approved their efforts to enlarge the influence of women. Like before, Grant let no one else even see his inaugural address. He denied he could give them votes, but he said he appointed over “5,000 postmistresses.”
       In 1872 Belva Ann Lockwood testified to the US Congress on equality for women, and they considered a law providing equal pay for equal work in all US Government work. In the 1870s she worked to end the social discrimination against women that excluded them from the US Supreme Court, and she became the first women sworn in to the Court’s bar in March 1879. The National Equal Rights Party made Lockwood their candidate for President in 1884 and again in 1888.
      On 28 March 1875 the US Supreme Court in Minor v. Happersett ruled 9-0 against woman suffrage in the case of Francis and Virginia Minor, who had sued Reese Happersett for not letting her register to vote in St. Louis on 15 October 1872.
      On 4 July 1876 Susan B. Anthony arraigned the nation’s rulers for persecuting women with bills of attainder, denial of a proper jury trial, taxation without representation, and unequal codes. She concluded,

   We declare our faith in the principles of self-government;
our full equality with man in natural rights;
that woman was made first for her own happiness,
with the absolute right to herself—
to all the opportunities and advantages
life affords for her complete development;
and we deny that dogma of the centuries,
incorporated in the codes of all nations—
that woman was made for man—
her best interests, in all cases, to be sacrificed to his will.
We ask of our rulers, at this hour, no special favors,
no special privileges, no special legislation.
We ask justice, we ask equality,
we ask that all the civil and political rights
that belong to citizens of the United States,
be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever.3

      The first American woman ordained a minister, Antoinette Brown Blackwell, founded the Association for the Advancement of Women in 1873, and in October 1875 she submitted a paper “On Marriage and Work” at their 3rd Women’s Congress. She encouraged more married and unmarried women who were intellectually gifted to take responsibility for duties in the outside world. Also in 1875 she published The Sexes Throughout Nature criticizing Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer for emphasizing male struggle more than the female balance and cooperation. Blackwell earned her master’s degree at Brown in 1878, the year she became a Unitarian.
      What became known as the “Anthony Amendment” was introduced into the United States Congress by California Senator Aaron Sargent in 1878; but it would take hundreds of campaigns and millions of signatures before it would be ratified in 1920.

Women Reformers 1880-96

      Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Frances Joslyn Gage compiled a detailed and extensive History of Woman Suffrage, publishing the first three volumes in 1881, 1882, and 1886. That year the US Senate voted against female suffrage. Anthony helped Ida Husted Harper complete and finance the fourth volume by 1902. Harper wrote the last two volumes on 1900-1920 of this comprehensive work that was published in 1922.
      In 1882 both houses of Congress appointed Select Committees on Woman Suffrage. Chairman Lucy Stone of the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) announced that they supported it, but in the years ahead the AWSA put most of their efforts into petitioning state legislatures.
      Referenda were held in Michigan (1874), Colorado (1877), Nebraska (1882), Oregon (1884), Rhode Island (1887), Washington (1889), and South Dakota (1890). Wyoming entered the Union in 1890 with female suffrage intact.
      In a four-day annual meeting beginning on 30 October 1887 in Philadelphia the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) members voted to consider merging with the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA).
      In 1888 Mrs. Stanton and Susan Anthony began efforts to heal the breech by reuniting the two woman suffrage organizations; they formed the International Council of Women, but the representatives of the women’s organizations declined to support the suffrage effort for two more years. By 1889 Women could vote in school elections in every state except twelve. Intellectual women developed their abilities by attending colleges and joining women’s clubs, and more working women joined unions.
      On 18 February 1890 the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) merged with the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Lucy Stone’s daughter Alice Stone Blackwell was instrumental in bringing about the merger, and they elected Elizbeth Cady Stanton their president. The first joint convention was held in Washington DC February 18 to 21. In her speech Mrs. Stanton said,

   Patience and persuasiveness are beautiful virtues
in dealing with children and feeble-minded adults,
but those who have the gift of reason
and understand the principles of justice,
it is our duty to compel to act up to the highest light
that is in them, and as promptly as possible.4

      Frances Willard was converted to the suffrage cause, and her Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) by 1890 had 160,000 members, including many in the South. This coalition aroused the liquor industry that began opposing woman suffrage because they feared women would vote in Prohibition.
      Elizabeth Cady Stanton was president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) until 1892 when she was succeeded by Susan B. Anthony. Mrs. Stanton devoted her efforts to divorce rights and to gain the franchise for educated women. Before the House Judiciary Committee she said,

   The strongest reason why we ask for woman
a voice in the government under which she lives;
in the religion she is asked to believe;
equality in social life, where she is the chief factor;
a place in the trades and professions,
where she may earn her bread,
is because of her birthright to self-sovereignty;
because, as an individual, she must rely on her herself….
   Nothing strengthens the judgment
and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility.
Nothing adds such dignity to character
as the recognition of one’s self-sovereignty;
the right to an equal place, everywhere conceded;
a place earned by personal merit,
not an artificial attainment by inheritance,
wealth, family, and position.
Seeing, then, that the responsibilities of life
rest equally on man and woman,
that their destiny is the same,
they need the same preparation for time and eternity.5

      On 13 August 1892 the Baltimore Afro-American began publishing twice a week edited by Dorothy S. Boulware and Jessica Dortch.
      Alice Blackwell’s motion to hold the annual convention in Washington only in alternate years was opposed by Anthony in 1893; but it carried, and that was the last year either house in Congress gave the suffrage bill a favorable report for many years. Party politics and the liquor lobby managed to defeat woman suffrage in most states. On 7 November 1893 the state of Colorado granted women the right to vote.
      On 16-19 January 1893 the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) convention passed a resolution noting that there are more women and more white women who can read and write than all negro voters, and more American women who can read and write than all foreign voters. Thus enfranchisement of women would help solve the problem of illiterate voters.
      On August 31 the anarchist Emma Goldman tried to speak at the Buffalo Hall in Philadelphia, but she was arrested and taken to New York on the charge of having incited a riot at Union Square in New York City for urging 3,000 unemployed to take action on August 21.
      Also in 1893 the young nurse Lillian D. Wald founded the Nurses’ Settlement in New York’s Lower East Side to provide health care and social services, and they served about 50,000 people each year. In 1895 a philanthropic banker bought them a townhouse that became the Henry Street Settlement.
      Alice Blackwell’s motion to hold the annual convention in Washington only in alternate years had been opposed by Anthony in 1893; but it carried, and that was the last year either house in Congress gave the suffrage bill a favorable report for many years. Starting in 1894 the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) began demanding “equal pay for equal work.”
      On 20 February 1894 the suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Isabella Beecher Hooker testified before a US Senate committee. Mrs. Stanton in a letter to the Woman’s Journal on September 1 advocated for a literacy test so that all voters would be required to understand English.
      City reform leaders had met in Philadelphia in the winter of 1893-94 to discuss urban reforms. Herbert Welsh in the April 1994 issue of Forum wrote “A Definite Step Toward Municipal Reform” arguing for a higher standard of public service. He commended the work at the conference by “intelligent, experienced, and enthusiastic women,” and he urged that women be allowed to vote.
      After the women’s classes were taught by Elizabeth Cary Agassiz at an Annex to Harvard University for 15 years, in 1894 they became Radcliffe College for Women.
      Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a committee of 26 women to help women understand their rights published a critique of the way women were treated in the Old Testament in The Woman’s Bible in 1895 with a second volume published in 1898.
      Idaho gave women the right to vote in February 1896. That year Utah regained female suffrage after having lost it for nine years because of Mormon polygamy. The popular speaker Mary Elizabeth Lease published The Problem of Civilization Solved, and in 1896 she moved to New York City and edited the democratic newspaper, The World.
      In July 1896 at the First Annual Convention of the National Federation of Afro-American Women in Washington DC the National Federation of African-American Women, the Woman’s Era Club of Boston, and the Colored Women’s League of Washington DC, led by Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin who was the editor of Woman’s Era, merged to form the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs.

      On 21 May 1881 Clara Barton founded the American branch of the International Committee of the Red Cross for which she worked during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-71. She was the first President of the American Red Cross, and she persuaded President Arthur that the Red Cross could serve not only in wars but also during natural disasters.
      Helen Hunt Jackson argued that the cheating, robbing, and broken promises of the white Americans must cease so that statesmanship, philanthropy, and Christianity can rectify this situation. She studied the California Indians and published her 56-page report in 1883, and her novel Ramona came out in 1884. In 1885 she published A Century of Dishonor which described in detail the history and current plight of the American Indians. She included the current estimates of Native Americans as 253,000 not counting Alaska with the following distribution:

   In Minnesota and States
east of the Mississippi, about 32,500;
in Nebraska, Kansas, and the Indian Territory, 70,650;
in the Territories of Dakota, Montana,
Wyoming, and Idaho, 65,000;
in Nevada and the Territories of Colorado,
New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona, 84,000,
and on the Pacific slope 48,000.
Of these 130,000 are self-supporting
on their own reservations, “receiving nothing
from the Government except interest on their moneys,
or annuities granted them in consideration
of the cession of their lands to the United States.”6

      In 1889 the journalist Jane Cunningham Croly organized a conference in New York for delegates from 61 women’s clubs that became the General Federation of Women’s Clubs the next year.
      Annie Nathan Meyer persuaded Columbia University trustees and alumni to found Barnard College for women in New York. The University of Idaho was begun at Moscow. German-Jewish groups organized the New York Educational Alliance for immigrants from eastern Europe living in the slums of the Lower East Side. Nellie Bly was a journalist who pretended to be insane in order to report on conditions in the Blackwell Island asylum. She traveled around the world mostly on trains and steamboats and visited with Jules Verne in India. On 25 January 1890 she completed her journey in 72 days.
      In 1890 the Irish home-rule advocate Mary Elizabeth Cylens Lease gave 161 speeches in Kansas for the Populist Party advising voters that they were being robbed by the Santa Fe Railroad and the bankers.

Victoria Woodhull

      On Friday 25 December 1868 Victoria Woodhull advised Cornelius Vanderbilt that the spirits predicted his Central Pacific Railroad stock would go up, and he declared an 80% dividend. On that day it had opened at $134 per share, and by the following Monday it was up to $165. In gratitude he gave Victoria and her younger sister Tennessee Claflin a share of his business profits. Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee invested in stocks, became brokers on Wall Street, and made a fortune. On 14 May 1870 they started publishing Woodhull and Clafin’s Weekly, and soon they had about 20,000 readers. They used it to defend the rights to abortion and free love. They denounced the double standard and advocated the licensing and medical inspection of prostitutes. Claflin believed in spiritual healing and also criticized capitalism. She had run for Congress in 1871 in a German-American district of New York and gave a speech in German.

      On 11 January 1871 Victoria Woodhull presented a petition and became the first woman to address the House Judiciary Committee in Washington. She argued that use of the word “person” in the 14th and 15th Amendments implied the right of suffrage for all persons including women, but they rejected her argument on February 1.
      The 22 April 1871 issue of Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly announced the candidacy of Victoria Woodhull in the Cosmo-Political Party for US President. Woodhull advocated female suffrage and on May 11 gave the keynote address to the annual meeting of the National Woman Suffrage Association at New York’s Apollo Hall, saying that she made war against marriage because it had become “the most terrible curse from which humanity now suffers, entailing more misery, sickness, and premature death than all other causes combined.” She asked only for equality and explained her belief in free love,

   Sexual freedom means the abolition of prostitution
both in and out of marriage,
means the emancipation of woman from sexual slavery
and her coming into ownership and control of her own body,
means the end of her pecuniary dependence upon man.7

She demanded a revolution to overthrow the “bogus Republic” and replace it with “a government of righteousness.” Woodhull had her speech printed and sold about 100,000 copies.
      On 20 November 1871 Woodhull spoke to 3,000 people at Steinway Hall in New York City on “The Principles of Social Freedom, Involving Questions of Free Love, Marriage, Divorce, and Prostitution” and said,

   There is no escaping the fact that the principle
by which the male citizens of these United States
assume to rule the female citizens
is not that of self-government but that of despotism….
Our government is based upon the proposition that
all men and women are born free and equal
and entitled to certain inalienable rights, among which
are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness….
   I am a free lover!
I have an inalienable, constitutional, and natural right
to love whom I may, to love
for as long as or as short a period as I can,
to change that love every day if I please!
And with that right neither you nor any law
have any right to interfere.8

      At the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) convention at New York in 1871 Woodhull made a speech in which she proposed treason, secession, and revolution; then she sold 10,000 copies of her speech. Woodhull and thirty women tried to vote, and in a public speech to 3,000 people she spoke on free love, marriage, divorce, and prostitution. Mrs. Stanton declined to criticize her radical promiscuity; but at the next NWSA meeting in 1872 Susan Anthony would not allow Woodhull to speak.
      After Victoria Woodhull was prevented from speaking at that NWSA meeting, she and her 500 followers changed the name of the People’s Party and formed the Equal Rights Party on 10 May 1872 in New York City. Their convention on June 6 ratified her nomination for US President with Frederick Douglass for Vice President. Her campaign was symbolic because she was not old enough to be President. Their platform called for government abolishing monopolies, taking charge of public enterprises for public use, employing the unemployed, abolishing capital punishment, giving public land to settlers and the vote to all men and women. Douglass did not agree to the nomination and campaigned for Grant’s re-election. Woodhull accused Rev. Henry Ward Beecher of hypocrisy for having an affair with the wife of Theodore Tilton. Woodhull in September at Boston resigned as president of the National Association of Spiritualists.
      On November 2 Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly published “The Beecher-Tilton Scandal Case: The Detailed Statement of the Whole Matter by Mrs. Woodhull.” She explained her philosophy and then concluded that the evil in the case comes from false and artificial opinion.

   Let it be once understood that whosoever is true to himself
or herself is thereby, and necessarily, true to all others,
and the whole social question will be solved.
The barter and sale of wives stands on
the same moral footing as the barter and sale of slaves.
The god-implanted human affections cannot, and will not,
be any longer subordinated to these external,
legal restrictions and conventional engagements.
Every human being belongs to himself or herself
by a higher title than any which,
by surrenders or arrangements or promises,
he or she can confer upon any other human being.
Self-ownership is inalienable.
These truths are the latest and greatest discoveries
of true science….
   I believe, as the law of peace, in the right of privacy,
in the sanctity of individual relations….
   The evil and the whole evil in this whole matter,
then, lies elsewhere.
It lies in a false and artificial or manufactured opinion,
in respect to this very question
of what is good or what is evil in such matters.
It lies in the belief that society has the right to prohibit,
to prescribe and regulate, or in any manner to interfere
with the private love manifestations of its members
any more than it has to prescribe their food and their drink.
It lies in the belief consequent upon this,
that lovers own their lovers,
husbands their wives and wives their husbands,
and that they have the right to complain of, to spy over,
and to interfere, even to the extent of murder,
with every other or outside manifestation of love.
It lies in the compulsory hypocrisy and systematic falsehood
which is thus enforced and inwrought
into the very structure of society, and in the consequent
and wide-spread injury to the whole community.9

      On that November 2, three days before the 1872 election, the vice crusader Anthony Comstock had Victoria and her sister Tennessee Claflin arrested for sending obscene material in the mail because their newspaper had just published evidence of Henry Ward Beecher’s alleged affair. On the 4th they each were released on $8,000 bail. On election day Woodhull and her sister were put in jail. The Claflin sisters were moved to the dreaded Tombs prison for a month. The sisters and Victoria’s husband Col. James Blood were put on trial in January 1873, but Judge Blatchford would not let Victoria testify because she was a woman. Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly accused Comstock of trying to burn books by many great authors including Byron, Cervantes, Swedenborg, Goethe, Dante, Plutarch, Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Hugo, Spencer, and Virgil. In this his first crusade Comstock in February claimed that he seized 134,000 pounds of obscene books, 194,000 lewd pictures, 60,300 rubber condoms, and 5,500 indecent playing cards, and after examining them he burned them all. Victoria and her relatives were arrested several times on various charges, and in June a jury after a hundred ballots found them not guilty.

Howe & Mother’s Day

      Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) was married to the abolitionist Samuel Gridley Howe, and they had six children. After meeting with President Lincoln in November 1861 on one night she wrote new lyrics for the song “John Brown’s Body” that became the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” She witnessed the devastation of the Civil War. She later wrote that at that time she

reached the conclusion that woman
must be the moral and spiritual equivalent of man.
How, otherwise could she be entrusted
with the awful and inevitable responsibilities of maternity?10

      At Boston in September 1870 she became aware of the Franco-Prussian War, and after its conclusion in early 1871 she was moved to start “A Woman’s Peace Crusade” which she described in a chapter of her Reminiscences.

   The Franco-Prussian war was little understood
by the world at large.
To us in America its objects were entirely unknown.
On general principles of good-will and sympathy
we were as much grieved as surprised
at the continual defeats sustained by the French.
For so brave and soldierly a nation
to go through such a war without a single victory
seemed a strange travesty to history.
When to the immense war indemnity the conquerors
added the spoliation of two important provinces,
indignation added itself to regret.
The suspicion at once suggested itself that
Germany had very willingly given a pretext for the war,
having known enough of the demoralized condition of France
to be sure of an easy victory,
and intending to make the opportunity serve
for the forcible annexation of provinces long coveted.
   As I was revolving these matters in my mind,
while the war was still in progress,
I was visited by a sudden feeling
of the cruel and unnecessary character of the contest.
It seemed to me a return to barbarism,
the issue having been one which
might easily have been settled without bloodshed.
The question forced itself upon me, “Why do not
the mothers of mankind interfere in these matters,
to prevent the waste of that human life
of which they alone bear and know the cost?”
I had never thought of this before.
The august dignity of motherhood
and its terrible responsibilities now appeared to me
in a new aspect, and I could think of no better way
of expressing my sense of these than that of sending forth
an appeal to womanhood throughout the world,
which I then and there composed….
   The little document which I drew up
in the heat of my enthusiasm implored women,
all the world over, to awake to the knowledge
of the sacred right vested in them as mothers
to protect the human life which costs them so many pangs.
I did not doubt but that my appeal would find
a ready response in the hearts of great numbers of women
throughout the limits of civilization.
I invited these imagined helpers to assist me
in calling and holding a congress of women in London,
and at once began a wide task of correspondence
for the realization of this plan.
My first act was to have my appeal
translated into various languages, to wit:
French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Swedish,
and to distribute copies of it as widely as possible.
I devoted the next two years almost entirely to
correspondence with leading women in various countries….
   In the spring of 1872 I visited England,
hoping by my personal presence to effect
the holding of a Woman’s Peace Congress
in the great metropolis of the civilized world.11

      Howe published her “Appeal to womanhood
throughout the world,” which later became known as
the Mother’s Day Proclamation:

   Again, in the sight of the Christian world,
have the skill and power of two great nations
exhausted themselves in mutual murder.
Again have the sacred questions of international justice
been committed to the fatal mediation of military weapons.
In this day of progress, in this century of light,
the ambition of rulers has been allowed
to barter the dear interests of domestic life
for the bloody exchanges of the battle field.
Thus men have done. Thus men will do.
But women need no longer be made a party to proceedings
which fill the globe with grief and horror.
Despite the assumptions of physical force,
the mother has a sacred and commanding word to say
to the sons who owe their life to her suffering.
That word should now be heard,
and answered to as never before.
   Arise then, Christian women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly: “We will not have questions
answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
for caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us
to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them
of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
will be too tender of those of another country
to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the voice of a devastated Earth
a voice goes up with our own.
It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
at the summons of war,
let women now leave all that may be left of home
for a great and earnest day of counsel.
   Let them meet first, as women,
to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other
as to the means whereby
the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress,
not of Caesar, but of God—
   In the name of womanhood and humanity,
I earnestly ask that a general congress of women
without limit of nationality, may be appointed
and held at someplace deemed most convenient,
and the earliest period consistent with its objects,
to promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
the amicable settlement of international questions,
the great and general interests of peace.12

Julia Ward Howe proposed June 2 as Mother's Day for Peace in 1872 and went on to work with Lucy Stone in the woman suffrage movement. Howe continued to promote June 2 as Mother's Day for Peace until she died in 1910.
      Julia Ward Howe co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Women (AAW) in October 1873 and was its president until 1881. In 1874 she published Sex and Education with essays disputing theories that woman were inferior to men and thus should have separate education. She wrote a biography of Margaret Fuller in 1883. In 1890 the AAW was transformed into the General Federation of Women's Clubs, and she directed its activities while founding clubs on her lecture tours.

Woman’s Christian Temperance Union & Willard

      After the Civil War the drinking of alcohol especially beer at saloons increased in the United States. The Independent Order of Good Templars (IOGT) had formed at Utica, New York in 1852 to promote “Friendship, Hope and Charity.” By 1869 they had several hundred thousand members, and they planned the Prohibition Party to stop the liquor trade. In December 1873 the homeopathic doctor Diocletian Lewis lectured at Fredonia, New York, and about two hundred women went to saloons singing, praying, and urging the renunciation of alcoholic beverages. Another of his many lectures at Hillsboro, Ohio aroused a similar response on December 22, and the next day they organized the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) claiming that 281 saloon-keepers had taken the pledge. The Ohio Farmer, the newspaper of the Ohio Grange in Cleveland, reported that a “war against whiskey” was spreading to thousands of homes.
      In August 1874 at a Chautauqua gathering the Methodist Bishop John Heyl Vincent with the Methodist Sunday-school superintendent, Lewis Miller, organized the first national Sunday-school teachers’ institute. Activists planned a national organization for a Woman’s Crusade, and on November 18 the WCTU held their first national convention at Cleveland. Men were invited as guests, but the WCTU would never accept men as voting members. They also engaged in other beneficial activities to ban child labor, get an 8-hour workday, remove toxic chemicals from medicine, end convict labor (especially for women and girls), and fund public education including kindergartens. Most of the women involved were Protestants, and some of these were anti-Catholic. WCTU organized departments that local groups could choose to work on that included one for the Suppression of Impure Literature. The first president elected was the Methodist Annie Wittenmyer who was a strict moralist. During the Civil War she had helped sick and wounded soldiers and led the efforts of the Sanitary Commission and then the Christian Commission which the scholar Charles Postel has called the “most highly organized philanthropic effort in U.S. history.” Wittenmyer supervised and organized supplies for more than one hundred hospital kitchens during the war. After the war she founded the Methodist Home Missionary Society and edited The Christian Woman. Wittenmyer was conservative and opposed letting women vote.
      Frances Willard was born on 28 September 1839. Her mother was a school teacher, and both her parents attended Oberlin College. Her father studied to be a minister, and his family became Methodists. Frances in 1855 signed a pledge to abstain from alcohol. She studied at the Milwaukee Normal Institute and graduated from North Western Female College. She read books by Carlyle, Emerson, and Margaret Fuller. In 1860 she enrolled at a Methodist academy in Kankakee, Illinois. She became engaged to its president Charles Henry Fowler; but she disagreed with him after he reduced her position to being an enforcement officer. She returned his ring in February 1862 and never married. She taught at a new public school in Evanston, at the Pittsburgh Female College for one year, then at a private elementary school for two years. In 1866-67 she was the principal of Genesee Wesleyan Seminary in Lima, New York. She helped take care of her father Josiah before his death by tuberculosis in January 1868. Willard and her friend Kate Jackson traveled in Europe from June 1868 to September 1870. In February 1871 she was appointed the president of the new Evanston College for Ladies which became the Woman’s College of Northwestern University in 1873. She resigned in June 1874 over the governance of women students.
      In October 1873 Willard had attended the Woman’s Congress in New York where they organized the Association for the Advancement of Women (AAW). She participated in a temperance rally at Old Orchard Beach in Maine, and she was made the vice-president of the Temperance Camp Meeting Association. She wondered how she would make a living and opened a Bible to Psalms 37:3 and read, “Trust in the Lord to do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” In September a letter from a new temperance group in Chicago offered her the presidency. For several months she worked with no financial compensation. At the second National Congress of Women in Chicago she was elected the secretary. She was the only one who spoke on temperance.
      At the founding convention of the WCTU in November 1874 Willard was elected the Corresponding Secretary, and she and went on a speaking tour for fifty days. In 1876 she was put in charge of its Publications Department and began editing their weekly The Union Signal. She had made speaking tours since 1874 that averaged 30,000 miles traveled per year giving about 400 lectures each year. In 1875 her Hints and Helps in Our Temperance Work recommended occasional days of fasting and prayer, gathering statistics on local intemperance, social clubs, and regular prayer meetings. She spoke at the WCTU national convention at Newark in October 1876. That year she wrote her first article on “Home Protection” in which she argued “that the votes or signatures of women should be required in a community before licenses for the sale of alcohol could be granted.”13
      Willard was a Methodist but was also influenced by Buddhists, Quakers, and Catholics to form a liberal spirituality. In Boston 1877 the famous evangelist Dwight Moody gave her a position on his staff. He held great revivals and preached to thousands in Chicago. On a Sunday afternoon she preached to 6,000 at the Boston Tabernacle on “What Think Ye of Christ,” and hundreds were converted. She met Anna Gordon who became her personal secretary for the rest of her life. In October 1877 Willard challenged Wittenmyer’s leadership at the Chicago conclave and spoke out for women voting which Wittenmyer opposed, and she resigned as corresponding secretary. At the 1878 convention Wittenmyer defeated her again for the presidency by ten votes.
      In 1878 Annie Wittenmyer published her History of the Women's Temperance Crusade. Willard wrote the introduction to that book and noted four effects of the crusade. First, women went beyond their Christian denominations as ecumenical Protestants. Second, they were exposed to life beyond their sheltered homes and became concerned about social issues. Third, they learned to do business and shape public opinion for suffrage and other issues. Fourth, middle-class women began using their leisure in positive ways. In October the Illinois WCTU elected Willard their president. In the spring of 1879 Willard led the campaign for the home protection ballot. In a speech to the Illinois Senate on April 10 she presented a petition with over 175,000 names that began,

   The last words of the great statesman De Tocqueville
to our Charles Sumner,
when the latter left the shores of France, were these:
“Life is neither a pleasure nor a pain.
It is a serious business, to be entered on
with courage and in a spirit of self-sacrifice.”14

      At the sixth annual convention at Indianapolis on November 3 the WCTU elected the more liberal Frances Willard over Wittenmyer 99 to 40, and Willard was president until her death in 1898. In Boston at the 1880 WCTU convention Willard emphasized educating women to seek suffrage, and they endorsed the home protection ballot. That year the WCTU helped the Republican Governor John St. John enact a law prohibiting the sale of alcohol, making Kansas the first “dry state.” In March 1881 Willard met with President Garfield before going on a 14-week speaking tour in the South where the women greeted her sympathetically. At the WCTU convention in October she favored a new political party to unite the country, and delegates approved the home protection ballot to enable women to vote on saloons. That year she joined the Prohibition Party, and at their national convention in 1882 they called for abolishing all monopolies that injured the equal rights of citizens. They demanded that the government regulate the railroads to protect labor and commerce. Willard persuaded them to change their name to the Prohibition Home Protection Party. Although she was brought up by Republican abolitionists, she allowed segregation in the southern unions.
      The child of free blacks, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, became the “superintendent for work among the colored people of the North” for the WCTU. In 1864 she had helped Frederick Douglass start the National Equal Rights League. In 1866 Harper attended the Woman’s Rights Convention that formed the American Equal Rights Association that Anthony, Stanton, and Douglass hoped would promote equal rights for women. The Christian Recorder in 1869 serialized Harper’s novel Minnie’s Sacrifice that described life in slave pens at New Orleans during the Civil War.
      In 1883 Willard published Woman and Temperance: Or, the Work and Workers of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and she organized the WCTU into bureaus. Her “Do Everything” policy allowed local unions to choose their own activities. That year she traveled to Nevada and California for 65 days and added 18 new unions with about a thousand members. Willard became committed to prohibition and federal legislation to solve the temperance problem, and she supported the Prohibition Party. At the WCTU convention in Detroit they adopted the equal suffrage resolution, and they formed a committee to revive the World WCTU. In July 1884 Willard gave a speech seconding the nomination of John St. John as the Prohibition Party’s presidential candidate, and at the WCTU convention at St. Louis in October they endorsed his candidacy.
      In the middle of the 1880s the WCTU cooperated with the Knights of Labor. They demanded political rights for women and “equal pay for equal work.” The Knights admitted women in 1882, and by 1885 they had 64 locals with 50,000 women members by 1886. That year the WCTU moved its national headquarters from New York City to Chicago, and Willard published How to Win: A Book for Girls recommending that the mission of the ideal woman is “to make the whole world homelike.” She joined the Knights of Labor in 1887.
      In 1888 Willard was a delegate at the International Council of Women organized by the National Woman Suffrage Association in early spring. Cady Stanton chose Willard to speak last to a United States Senate committee in April so that they would leave in a friendly mood. That month Mrs. Stanton and Susan Anthony initiated the National Council of Women at Washington DC, and they elected Willard as the first president. That summer she was elected president of its first local group, the Chicago Women’s League. She published Woman in the Pulpit and read Edward Bellamy’s novel Looking Backward 2000-1887 and became a Nationalist. At the WCTU convention in New York they organized a Department of Peace and International Arbitration.
      Willard worked for equal rights for women and emphasized that they are “human rights.” The WCTU advocated raising the age of female consent for sex from 10 to 18. During the 1880s the WCTU increased their membership from 27,000 to almost 200,000. In 1890 they would have 150,000 members who paid dues. Willard published her autobiographical Glimpses of Fifty Years in 1889. In February 1892 she attended the convention at St. Louis that founded the People’s Party. The next year she was influenced by British Fabians and became a Christian socialist, and with Mary A. Livermore she edited A Woman of the Century: 1,470 Biographical Sketches, Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Women in All Walks of Life. In 1895 she published Do Everything: A Handbook for the World’s White Ribboners. Willard caught influenza and died in February 1898.
      Howard Hyde Russell organized the Ohio Anti-Saloon League in 1893, and in 1895 it became national as the Anti-Saloon League.

Lydia Maria Child’s Aspirations of the World

      In 1878 Lydia Maria Child published her collection of Aspirations of the World: A Chain of Opals. Her introduction begins:

   In this book I have collected some specimens of the moral
and religious utterances of various ages and nations;
from the remotest known records down to the present time.
In doing this, my motive is simply to show that
there is much in which all mankind agree.
I have, therefore, avoided presenting
the theological aspects of any religion.
Sentiments unite men; opinions separate them.
The fundamental rules of Morality
are the same with good men of all ages and countries;
the idea of Immortality has been present with them all;
and all have manifested similar aspirations
toward an infinitely wise and good Being,
by whom they were created and sustained.
From these three starting-points many paths diverge,
leading into endless mazes of theology.
Into these labyrinths I do not consider it useful to look.
I do not assume that any one religion is right in its theology,
or that any others are wrong.
I merely attempt to show that the primeval impulses of
the human soul have been essentially the same everywhere;
and my impelling motive is to do all I can
to enlarge and strengthen the bond of human brotherhood.
   In the Sacred Scriptures of all peoples
the performance of moral and religious duties is enjoined,
with frequent promises of reward, either here or hereafter.
These promises I have systematically omitted, because
they seem to me to appeal, more or less, to selfishness;
for I think, in our highest spiritual states, we all realize that
“the reward is in keeping the commandments,
not for keeping them.”15

She noted “two classes of minds” in the world of mind, and she described these as follows:

   In ancient times Jesus said, “The Jews ask for a sign,
and the Greeks seek wisdom;”
and this distinction exists quite as strongly
in the mental organizations of people in modern times.
Some have no power to stand alone;
they seek some changeless authority to lean upon;
they cannot feel sure that truth is truth, unless it is endorsed
by some miraculous interposition of super-human power.
Another class of minds perceive that
truth is its own best evidence;
they are unable to believe that any authority can possibly
be unchangeable, and suited to all times and conditions;
they regard all seeming miracles
as the effects of universal laws, not understood;
and they have a settled conviction that any departure
from the established laws of creation,
to accomplish temporary purposes,
would inevitably resolve the universe into chaos.16

Child also discovered that ancient India seemed to have a large influence on the development of spiritual civilization. She wrote,

   The more we know of history,
the more does it seem likely that Hindustan,
or Central India, was the cradle of civilization.
Fragments of their ancient language, called the Sanscrit,
are found inlaid in languages
formerly deemed the most ancient in the world;
and it is surprising how many of our theological opinions,
customs, manufactures, and even games,
can be traced back to that source.
And now again India is leading the way in the great
movement destined to eventuate in a Church of the World.
There is an association existing among them called
Brahmo Somaj, which simply means “Worshippers of God.”
They accept the best teaching of all religions,
and try to embody it in just, pure, temperate,
benevolent, and religious lives.17

She organized the quotes in the following subjects: Supreme Being, Prayers, Immortality, Worship, Inspiration, Inward Light, Truth, Moral Courage, Natural Law of Justice, Good for Evil, Self-Control and Forgiveness, Temperance, Personal Purity, Honesty, Slander, Benevolence, Brotherhood, Family and Friends, Childlike Character, Reward, Work, Riches, Government, Animals, Nature, Maxims, Parables, Fraternity of Religions, and Sacred Books.
      Her sources includeVedas, Code of Manu, Moses, Psalms, Lao-zi, Buddha, Zarathushtra, Pythagoras, Confucius, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Mencius, Cicero, Jesus Christ, Plutarch, Muhammad, Alexander Pope, Hermes Trismegistus, David, John Milton, Euripides, Apollonius, Fenélon, Voltaire, William E. Channing, Theodore Parker, John G. Whittier, George Eliot, Heraclitus, Bhagavad-Gita, Paul, Gregory of Nysa, Herder, Thomas Paine, B. Franklin, Thomas Carlyle, R. W. Emerson, Solomon, Dhammapada, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Origen, Jeremiah, Plotinus, Kant, John Locke, S. T. Coleridge, Epictetus, Samuel Johnson, Thales, Talmud, Augustine, Thomas Browne, King Ashoka, Lactantius, Goethe, Emanuel Swedenborg, Isaiah, John Donne, Elizabeth B. Browning, Hillel, Chrysostom, Thomas à Kempis, Julia Ward Howe, J. G. Fichte, Margaret Fuller, and G. E. Lessing.

Jane Addams & Hull House

      Jane Addams was born on 6 September 1860 in Cedarville, Illinois, the youngest of eight children. Her mother died in childbirth in 1863, and her older sisters helped raised her. She admired her father John Addams who helped form the Republican Party in 1854 and was a state senator for the next 16 years. Jane suffered from health problems as a child. She read many books and was influenced by Dickens‘ novels and wanted to help the poor. Her father made her go to the Rockford Female Seminary instead of Smith College. He was also a banker for 17 years until his death in 1881, leaving $50,000 to each of his children. Jane was influenced by the spiritual writings of Tolstoy. In 1887 she learned about the Toynbee Hall settlement house for poor men, and she traveled with Ellen Gates Starr and other friends to visit it in England.
      In September 1889 Jane Addams and Starr turned an old mansion in the slums of Chicago into Hull House, a settlement community to shelter the homeless and help the poor. In the first year Addams spent about $4,300 refurbishing the two-story house. In 1890 the population of Chicago reached one million. In the third year they were joined by Florence Kelley who in 1892 republished her English translation of The Condition of the Working Class by Frederick Engels. Kelley was a member of the Chicago Woman’s Club, the Illinois Woman’s Alliance, and the Anti-Sweatshop League, and Addams joined them too. Other women moved in until they had 25 women living with them. Thousands visited Hull House especially in 1893 during the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago when Hull House organized the Congress of Social Settlements. In 1894 Addams read Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God Is Within You which she said was his “masterly exposition of the doctrine of nonresistance.”
      Jane Addams wrote Twenty Years at Hull-House and The Second Twenty Years at Hull-House describing how they worked to improve the lives of the poor. She believed in making reforms and wrote,

   The policy of the public authorities
of never taking an initiative,
and always waiting to be urged to do their duty,
is obviously fatal in a neighborhood
where there is little initiative among the citizens.
The idea underlying our self-government
breaks down in such a ward.
The streets are inexpressibly dirty,
the number of schools inadequate,
sanitary legislation unenforced, the street lighting bad,
the paving miserable and altogether lacking in the alleys
and smaller streets, and the stables foul beyond description.
Hundreds of houses are unconnected with the street sewer.
The older and richer inhabitants seem anxious
to move away as rapidly as they can afford it.
They make room for newly arrived immigrants
who are densely ignorant of civic duties.18

Their first project was to start a kindergarten, and they established clubs for children. On New Year’s Day they invited older people in the neighborhood. In 1892 they welcomed people from a summer school held at Plymouth, Massachusetts for the Ethical Culture Societies, and they discussed philanthropy and social progress. Addams wrote a paper on “The Subjective Necessity of Social Settlements” which she described as a “renaissance of the early Christian humanitarianism.” She concluded,

   It is always easy to make all philosophy point one
particular moral and all history adorn one particular tale;
but I may be forgiven the reminder that
the best speculative philosophy sets forth
the solidarity of the human race;
that the highest moralists have taught that
without the advance and improvement of the whole,
no man can hope for any lasting improvement
in his own moral or material individual condition;
and that the subjective necessity for Social Settlements
is therefore identical with that necessity,
which urges us on toward social and individual salvation.
The only coin current is the image of God,
and that is good for all we have.19

Many residents and visitors discussed economic issues, but she noted that trade-unionists were not prominent in those debates unless they were also socialists.

Ida B. Wells & Lynching Statistics

      Ida Bell Wells was born a slave on 16 July 1862 in Mississippi. Her paternal grandfather was a white man. She studied at a liberal college for blacks, and in September 1878 both her parents and her youngest brother died of yellow fever. Ida was the oldest child and kept her six brothers and sisters together, and she taught elementary school. In 1883 she and two sisters moved to Memphis, and she was paid more for teaching there. She also began writing for local newspapers and attended a black college there and also summer seminars at Fisk University in Nashville. In September 1883 she wrote in The Living Way Baptist newspaper about how she was thrown out of the “ladies car” on a railroad. By 1889 Wells was a journalist and co-owner of the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight. In 1891 the Memphis Board of Education fired her for exposing the inadequate facilities for black students.
      On 9 March 1892 she reported that three black men whom she knew had been lynched by their business competitors. In a Free Speech editorial on May 21 she reported on the eight lynchings since the previous issue of Free Speech, and she wrote,

Nobody in this section of the country believes
the threadbare old lie that Negroes rape white women.
If Southern men are not careful,
they will over reach themselves
and public sentiment will have a reaction;
a conclusion will be reached which will then be
very damaging to the moral reputation of their women.20

She urged blacks to leave Memphis because Thomas Moss before he was killed on March 9 had said, “Tell my people to go west, there is no justice here.” After newspapers published threats in May, a white mob ransacked the Free Speech office and destroyed the building and all her articles. She also wrote that the Southern Association of Chicago was working to aid colored people who wanted to leave the South. Her accounts of lynching in Memphis were published as “Exiled” in the New York Age on June 25. When the South exiled her, T. Thomas Fortune hired her using the name “Iola” to write for the New York Age. In November that newspaper published her first pamphlet, Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. In January 1893 she spoke to the blacks in the National Press Association on “The Requirements of Southern Journalism,” and this was published by the A.M.E. Zion Church Quarterly. She wrote,

   The assassin’s bullet and ku-klux whip is still heard
and the sight of the hangman’s noose
with an Afro-American dangling at the end,
is becoming a familiar object to the eyes of young America.
   If indeed “the pen is mightier than the sword,”
the time has come as never before that
the wielders of the pen belonging to the race
which is so tortured and outraged,
should take serious thought and purposeful action.
The blood, tears and groans of hundreds of murdered
cry to you for redress; the lamentations, distress and want,
of numberless widows and orphans appeal to you
to do the only thing which can be done—
and which is the first step toward revolution of every kind—
the creation of a healthy public sentiment….
   The Afro-American needs to be taught the power of union,
to realize his own strength; how to utilize that strength
to secure to himself his inherent rights
as did the plebeians of Rome.21

She urged blacks to emigrate to the “boundless west.”
      On 13 February 1893 Wells lectured at Tremont Temple in Boston and began,

   I am before the American people to-day
through no inclination of my own, but because of
a deep-seated conviction that the country at large
does not know the extent to which lynch law prevails
in parts of the Republic, nor the conditions which
force into exile those who speak the truth.
I cannot believe that the apathy and indifference
which so largely obtains regarding mob rule
is other than the result of ignorance of the true situation.
And yet, the observing and thoughtful must know that
in one section, at least, of our common country,
a government of the people, by the people,
and for the people, means a government by the mob;
where the land of the free and home of the brave means
a land of lawlessness, murder and outrage;
and where liberty of speech means the license of might
to destroy the business and drive from home those
who exercise this privilege contrary to the will of the mob.
Repeated attacks on the life, liberty, and happiness
of any citizen or class of citizens
are attacks on distinctive American institutions;
such attacks imperiling as they do
the foundation of government, law and order,
merit the thoughtful consideration of far-sighted Americans;
not from a standpoint of sentiment, not even so much
from a standpoint of justice to a weak race,
as from a desire to preserve our institutions.22

      During the World Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893 Ida B. Wells and Frederick Douglass printed 20,000 copies of the pamphlet The Reason Why the Colored American Is Not in the World’s Columbian Exposition: The Afro-American’s Contribution to Columbian Literature that they distributed on October 26. They wrote,

   The exhibit of the progress made by a race
in 25 years of freedom as against 250 years of slavery,
would have been the greatest tribute to the greatness
and progressiveness of American institutions
which could have been shown to the world.23

They condemned the Convict Lease System and Lynch Law. The author George W. Cable noted how many convicts had very long sentences in Georgia, Texas, and Mississippi. In the chapter “Lynch Law” they included the Chicago Tribune’s table which showed the number of Negroes murdered by mobs increased from 52 in 1882 to 169 in 1891, and they noted that 241 persons were lynched in 1892.
      Wells gave speeches in Britain from May to July in 1894. On July 30 the New York Herald Tribune published “She Pleads for Her Race. Miss Ida B. Wells Talks About Her Anti-Lynching Campaign.”
      In 1895 she began distributing her pamphlet A Red Record, Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States, 1892-1893-1894. Respectfully Submitted to the Nineteenth Century Civilization in “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” She estimated, “Ten thousand Negroes have been killed in cold blood” without a judicial trial and legal execution.


2. Voices of a People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, p. 130-132.
3. History of Woman Suffrage ed. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Gage, Volume 3, p. 34.
4. Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings, p. 156.
5. “Solitude of Self” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings, p. 158-159.
6. A Century of Dishonor by Helen Hunt Jackson, p. 131.
7. Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull by Barbara Goldsmith, p. 274.
8. Ibid., p. 300, 303.
9. Root of Bitterness: Documents of the Social History of American Women ed. Nancy F. Cott, p. 258, 260.
10. Reminiscences 1819-1899 by Julia Ward Howe, p. 373.
11. Ibid., p. 327-329.
12. Library of Congress Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 74, Folder 3.
13. Let Something Good Be Said: Speeches and Writings of Frances E. Willard, p. 17.
14. Ibid., p. 27.
15. Aspirations of the World: A Chain of Opals by Lydia Maria Frances Child, p. 1-2.
16. Ibid., p. 46-47.
17. Ibid., p. 48.
18. Forty Years at Hull-House by Jane Addams, p. 98-99.
19. Ibid., p. 127.
20. The Light of Truth: Writings of an Anti-Lynching Crusader by Ida B. Wells, p. v.
21. Ibid., p. 89, 91.
22. Ibid., p. 96-97.
23. Ibid., p. 127.

Copyright © 2022 by Sanderson Beck

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US Labor Unions & Railroads 1869-97
Edison, Bell & Inventions 1869-97
US Women Reformers 1869-97
American Philosophy & Religion 1869-97
American Education 1869-97
American Literature 1869-97
US Summary & Evaluation 1869-1897
United States & Capitalism 1869-1897 Bibliography
United States & McKinley’s War 1897-1901
US & Theodore Roosevelt 1901-09
United States & Taft 1909-13
Evaluating US Presidents Summary & Evaluation 1865-1913
Evaluating US Presidents 1865-1913 Bibliography

World Chronology
Chronology of United States 1845-1896

BECK index