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A hearing before the
joint committee of the House and Senate of the District was
asked, in order to present the question of woman suffrage, and
granted. Elizabeth Cady Stanton made the argument in favor of
enfranchising women of the District of Columbia. It was clear,
incisive, and cogent; divested of all sentiment, and condensed
into a twenty-minutes' speech. It was very impressive. Susan B.
Anthony, Madam Anneke, and others made a few pertinent remarks.
At the close of the hearing, Hon. Charles Sumner said: "In my
twenty years' experience in the Senate of the United States, I
have never witnessed so fine a hearing as this one, so large an
attendance, and such respectful attention." Thus begins the
national history of this great reform--a fitting opening for
1870.

The work, not only in this country, but in Europe, was greatly
accelerated by the publication of John Stuart Mill's inestimable
book, "The Subjection of Woman," which has been extensively
circulated in a cheap form in this country, and has been
translated and reprinted in France, Prussia, and Russia. The
first National Woman Suffrage Convention was held in London,
July, 1869, at which Members of Parliament, professors of
science--noble men and noble women, still more ennobled by this
great work--took active part, and now women have the right of
suffrage there in the municipal elections. The bill was
introduced by Mr. Jacob Bright, and, says Prof. Fawcett: "In one
night it passed beyond ridicule, so ably and calmly was it
presented, and in less than one year it is a fixed fact." How
stands the comparison, Aristocratic England and Democratic
America? The Crown Princesses of Prussia and Italy are strong
advocates of this movement, while women, who pay taxes in Austria
and Russia, vote and have a voice in making laws. Will America
hold on to her barbarism in this, as she did to chattel slavery,
till all the nations of the earth cry out against her wrong to
womanhood?...

A few of the earlier women who came to this work should be named
here. Martha C. Wright, sister of Lucretia Mott, of Auburn, has
presided in most of the New York State Conventions, and in some
of the National, and her pen has always been sharpened in ready
defense of the cause and its leaders. A woman of rare good sense
and large sympathies, she is always to be trusted in emergencies.
Sarah Helen Whitman was the first literary woman of reputation
who gave her name to the cause, and her interest has never
lessened, though ill health has prevented any work. Alice Cary
for years gave her heartiest sympathy to the movement, and
socially she and her sister Phoebe have awakened an interest in a
large circle not easily penetrated by outside influences. Her
story, never completed, the "Born Thrall," published in _The
Revolution_, gave evidence of thought, experience, and deep
feeling. The songs of the sisters have a new sweet sadness, now
that Alice is singing hers on the other side of the river of
life. Grace Greenwood has done good service with her fluent pen
and voice through the press and on the platform. Mary L. Booth,
with her rich culture and her unsurpassed practical ability, her
skill as a translator of Martin's great History of France, and
numberless other works, has given aid to the cause with her pen,
one of the best in the country. As an editor she has done great
service by showing that a woman can work as earnestly and
persistently at a closely confining business as a man, and can
hold for years a place at the head of a profession so difficult
and so arduous.

As physicians, many women have won not only fame, but wealth. The
names are too many for our limits. A few only who have taken an
active interest in the principles which we have been urging can
be given. Dr. Mercy B. Jackson, Dr. Ann Preston, and Dr. Clemence
Lozier are some of the names which stand out conspicuously.

The government appointments within the last two years have been a
matter of great rejoicing. Many responsible offices are held by
women in different localities. There are 1,400 postmistresses,
some of them of first-class offices. The one in Richmond, Va., is
considered a model office, held by Miss Rachel Van Lew.

Ten years ago a young girl sprang, like Minerva from the head of
Jupiter, fully armed, into the moral and political arena, and has
stirred the heart of the Nation as no other speaker ever did.
Anna E. Dickinson has never feared to utter the boldest truths,
has never shrunk from, or withheld the most scathing rebukes of
sin in high places, has never faltered or failed in principle,
and yet is to-day a far more popular lecturer than those who have
pandered to a corrupt, vitiated public taste. Does this not prove
that the deep heart of the people is better than it has the
credit of being.

About the same time Theodore Tilton threw into the scale his
brilliant and varied talents, and the _Independent_, of which he
was editor, was found on the side of freedom for all. Judge
Samuel E. Sewall, always on the right side in every good work,
published, in 1868, a digest of the laws of Massachusetts in
relation to woman's disabilities, which has done good work.
Later, Prof. Hickox prepared one of like character for
Connecticut, which is enough to rouse the women of that State to
white heat.

Within the last two years of the second decade many new speakers
have appeared on our platform. Standing first is Mrs. Mary A.
Livermore, a woman of rare powers of oratory. Possessing a
magnetism which grasps and holds her audience whether they will
or no, she is a special pleader, and if her logic is not always
perfect it is most effective, for she has the power of unlocking
the hearts of her hearers. She has made within the last two years
extensive lecturing tours in the North and West, and verging
toward the South. Mrs. Julia Ward Howe came in November, 1868,
and laid her rich gifts on the altar of freedom, and has often
been heard in conventions, and twice or thrice before the
Legislature of Massachusetts. Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker, from
the family of ministers, also came about this time with her ready
available talents. Phoebe Couzins and Lilie Peckham, alike
generous, enthusiastic, cultured, and above all of high-toned
principles, lead a strong band of young workers. Charlotte B.
Wilbour, gifted in a high degree, calm in judgment and steady in
purpose, is always a tower of strength. Celia Burleigh, graceful,
poetic and earnest, is equally at home on the platform or in the
drawing-room, and Lillie Devereux Blake is always ready with pen
or voice. Myra Bradwell, with her legal knowledge, is another to
be grateful for; and with pride the names of Elizabeth O.
Willard, Catherine B. Waite, and Elizabeth Boynton are recorded
as having given their rare gifts to this work. We gladly pay
tribute to James W. Stillman, of Rhode Island, who has given most
generously of time, money, and, above all, talents, to this
cause, and that, at a time when ridicule and even the sacrifice
of position followed. His logical argument on the inherent right
of self-government has done great service.

Looking back over the names of our co-workers, those of Hannah
Tracy Cutler, and Frances D. Gage, and Jane Elizabeth M. Jones
are widely honored. Another of this class is Josephine S.
Griffing, a woman of rare endowments intellectually, with a heart
as true and gentle as God ever gave to woman. Modest, almost to a
fault, she is the unseen power that moves the machinery in the
very heart of the nation; asking no recognition, no applause, she
works on with a steady, systematic, careful earnestness which
commands the respect of the best and wisest.

Early among women journalists Mrs. Jane G. Swisshelm stands out
conspicuously. The Pittsburg _Saturday Visitor_, which she edited
for several years with marked ability, was the paper most often
quoted, and made war upon by all opposers of progress. Mrs. C. I.
H. Nichols also edited the Windham Co. _Democrat_, in
Brattleboro, Vt., with much ability, and though less radical and
aggressive than Mrs. Swisshelm's paper, it is to the seed sown by
her head and hands that all the spirit of progress there is in
that county is due.

There is yet one other name that well deserves not one page but
many, for his good deeds and unselfish work. A man with a strong,
vigorous mind, a quick conception of principles and perfectly
fearless in his advocacy of them, holding always his personality
so in reserve as sometimes to be overlooked among the many more
assuming. Parker Pillsbury was for some time editor of the
_National Anti-Slavery Standard_, and co-editor of the
_Revolution_. His editorials have been marked by an almost
prophetic spirit; and the profoundness of their thought will be
more justly appreciated as there is a larger development and a
higher demand for unqualified justice. The Hutchinson family were
among our earliest workers, giving of time and money liberally
without regard to party or sectionalism. Mr. John Hutchinson and
family went through Kansas with the lecturing tourists, in 1867,
and with their inspiring songs for freedom did much toward
increasing the vote for woman suffrage. They still continue their
work, penetrating into the most benighted regions, for freedom,
temperance, peace, and the reign of righteousness; they are doing
their quota in the world's great work.

Mrs.



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