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They asked why
the women could not go into the stores and sell shoes, cloth, and
dry goods, and why should not men build cities and sail ships and
do what larger muscles fit them for? and they quoted the words of
King Solomon, who spoke of a good wife sending out ships and
dealing in merchandise. Women entered stores and became not only
clerks but merchants, and some of the best stores she knew to-day
were owned by women, who do not look to the time when they are to
go to the workhouse or some worse place even, but were laying by
some means to give them comfortable maintenance in their old age.
Fathers who had daughters looked forward with more courage,
because there were more avenues for woman's industry and better
pay to reward it.

When Chicago was burned, the telegraphic dispatches most promptly
forwarded and accurately worded were sent by women, and a
generous public appreciated the fact. In medical matters they
said, "Here is a department--here is a field for which women are
peculiarly adapted, and to which they would be welcomed in the
hour of peril." They were laughed at and called "she doctors" by
those who thought women would be scared by their vulgarity; and
some young doctors threw stones and mud, literally, and tried to
prevent women being physicians. But gentlemen who had wives and
daughters looked in the faces of those half-bearded boys mocking
at women wishing to study medicine, and asked, "Are these the
fellows who wish to come to our homes and practice?" And when
those boys knew they would not be welcome to those houses, they
smoothed down their anger, went back to their studies, and have
behaved better ever since. The speaker mentioned the case of a
sister of the Fowlers who kept a horse and carriage, and a man to
drive. She has a large practice, with $15,000 a year. They next
asked that there should be women lawyers. She believed the day
was not far off when women would as worthily fill that as any
other profession. What they asked was, that woman should have a
wider sphere of activity.

The speaker next alluded to the fact that the captain of a ship
going to California had fallen sick and died. The captain's wife,
who had been on many voyages, asked the sailors over the dead
body of her husband to be as loyal to her as they had been to
him, and every man swore fealty to the woman, whom they knew to
be worthy of command. When she brought the ship safe to port, the
grateful underwriters made up a purse for the woman who had saved
the ship.

After relating a similar anecdote in relation to a ship that
sailed from China, the speaker narrated the progress made by
women in being admitted to the Christian ministry. When they had
so many rights, they were sure they could earn their own bread;
and they must have the right to vote in this Government, where
they were taxed, and where their sons could be sent to fight in
war. In a republican government they were entitled to vote; and
now the Republican party--the great Republican party that had
swept the country by such a magnificent vote--had made the cause
its own and could carry them on to triumph; giving them the
suffrage as it had given it to the negroes. The Convention at
Philadelphia listened respectfully to their claim, and the
Republican party of the State of Massachusetts had put it in
their platform. In the last campaign the suffragists won five
hundred thousand votes of men who were bound to vote for them by
and by, and they were sure to win. She believed the final hour of
victory could not be far away.

Mrs. HOWE, chairman of the Executive Committee, gave a long and
deeply interesting report. Mr. BLACKWELL read the following
letters:

MRS. LUCY STONE:--_Dear Madam_--I should be glad to meet
with you at St. Louis and to add my testimony to that of the
noble band, who, after so long a conflict for another step
in the advance of humanity, seem on the eve of seeing their
wishes fulfilled. I have never been sanguine as to the near
and rapid accomplishment of the admission of women to the
right and duty of suffrage, but I have never doubted of its
ultimate accomplishment, because I believe that every
movement, founded in justice and wisdom, will at length
prevail. The cause of woman suffrage never seemed to me more
worthy of the consideration of thoughtful men than now. What
it has suffered, all causes that strike at deep principles
must expect to suffer in their early history. And it has
been relieved of its hindrances sooner than might have been
expected. The action of political conventions, State and
National, has been significant. If the articles on suffrage
are vague as to principle, they are striking as the record
of the conclusions of observant politicians in respect to
the currents and tendencies of the public mind. They felt
the need of saying something, and if they did it
reluctantly, it is all the more significant. While then I
can not be with you personally, I am with you in sympathy,
and in the firm faith of the justice of your cause and of
its final victory. Very truly yours,

BROOKLYN, _November 9, 1872_. HENRY WARD BEECHER.


_My Dear_ MRS. HOWE _and_ LUCY STONE:--I am sorry that I
must decline your kind invitation to attend the annual
meeting of the American Woman Suffrage Association at St.
Louis. I am too old (approaching seventy-six) and infirm to
make long journeys. Let woman be of good cheer. She will not
have to wait for the ballot much longer. The arguments are
unanswerable and will soon be crowned with success. Allow me
to send you the enclosed twenty-five dollars toward
defraying the expenses of the meeting. With great regard,
Your friend,

PETERBORO, N. Y., _November 15, 1872_. GERRIT SMITH.


DEAR LUCY:--I am glad to hear that the American Woman
Suffrage Association is to meet at St. Louis this month. The
more women are brought to think on this subject, the more
they will be convinced that their spiritual growth has been
stinted by customs and opinions which have no real
foundation in nature and truth; and the frank, free West is
more courageous than the East in carrying its convictions
promptly into practice. I rejoiced in the recent political
action of women in Massachusetts and elsewhere--first,
because it was salutary for women themselves as all things
are which promote the activity of their minds on important
subjects; and, secondly, because the promptness and
earnestness with which they almost universally took the
right side has greatly helped to convince those who needed
convincing that women are competent to examine into affairs
of National interest and to form rational conclusions
therefrom.

Although I feel grateful to the Republican party for
treating our claims with more respectful consideration than
any other party has done, yet my principal reason for
earnestly desiring its continuance in power is, that it is
essentially the party of progress. It owes its existence to
progress, and its vitality has been preserved by its
practical support of progressive ideas. It embodies a very
large portion of the culture, the conscientiousness, and the
enlightened good sense of the nation, and its elements are
so harmonized as to produce a safe medium between old
fogyism and radical rashness. It is natural for such a party
to respect our claims, because they have become accustomed
to respect what is founded on principles of justice. It was
the learning of that lesson which originally made them a
powerful party, and they can not be false to ideas of true
progress without committing suicide. Of course, with
changing events, party names will change; but I hope women
will carefully notice what principles underlie these
changes, and will conscientiously give their influence to
whatever party proves itself most friendly to the largest
freedom regulated by wise and equal laws.

With a cordial greeting to our sisters of the West and to
our brothers also, I wish you God-speed on your mission of
enfranchisement to half the human race.

WAYLAND, _November 12, 1872_. L. MARIA CHILD.

The Business Committee reported resolutions,[193] which after
much discussion were adopted. Officers[194] for the ensuing year
were then proposed and elected.

Miss EASTMAN was announced. As she stepped to the front she was
received with applause. She gave an able address, answering the
questions, "What is to be gained and what is to be lost, by
giving women the ballot?" She confined her attention to the
latter question principally, by reviewing the condition of women
in the past, and their condition in foreign countries. She
answered the charge that women are unfit to use the ballot. There
was quite an array of facts in her discourse, and extreme beauty
in her language, though the latter covered at times exquisite
sarcasm that was relished by all. She made a decided impression
upon the audience, and concluded amid demonstrations of applause.

LUCY STONE made the closing speech, and said that after the
golden words to which we had been listening, silence was most
fitting; what she had to say, therefore, would be brief and
without preliminary.



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