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Text on one page: Few Medium Many
Wattles, the widow of the pioneer,
Augustus Wattles, shows woman's interest in the great struggle to make
Kansas the banner State of universal freedom and franchise.

MOUND CITY, _December 30, 1881_.

MY DEAR MISS ANTHONY:--Here, as in New York, the first in the
woman suffrage cause were those who had been the most earnest
workers for freedom. They had come to Kansas to prevent its being
made a slave State. The most the women could do was to bear their
privations patiently, such as living in a tent in a log cabin,
without any floor all winter, or in a cabin ten feet square, and
cooking out of doors by the side of a log, giving up their beds
to the sick, and being ready, night or day, to feed the men who
were running for their lives. Then there was the ever present
fear that their husbands would be shot. The most obnoxious had a
price set upon their heads. A few years ago a man said: "I could
have got $1,000 once for shooting Wattles, and I wish now I had
done it." When in Ohio, our house was often the temporary home of
the hunted slave; but in Kansas it was the _white_ man who ran
from our door to the woods because he saw strangers coming.

After the question of a free State seemed settled, we who had
thought and talked on woman's rights before we came to Kansas,
concluded that now was the woman's hour. We determined to strive
to obtain Constitutional rights, as they would be more secure
than Legislative enactments. On the 13th of February, 1858, we
organized the Moneka Woman's Rights Society. There were only
twelve of us, but we went to work circulating petitions and
writing to every one in the Territory whom we thought would aid
us. Our number was afterwards increased to forty; fourteen of
them were men. We sent petitions to Territorial Legislatures,
Constitutional Conventions, State Legislatures, and Congress.
Many of the leading men were advocates of women's rights.
Governor Robinson, S. N. Wood, and Erastus Heath, with their
wives, were constant and efficient workers. Mrs. Robinson wrote a
book on "Life in Kansas." "Allibone's Dictionary of Authors"
says: "Mrs. Robinson is an accomplished lady, the wife of
Governor Robinson. She possessed the knowledge of events and
literary skill necessary to produce an interesting and
trustworthy book, and one which will continue to have a permanent
value. The women of Kansas suffered more than the men, and were
not less heroic. Their names are not known; they were not elected
to office; they had none of the exciting delights of an active
out-door life on these attractive prairies; they endured in
silence; they took care of the home, of the sick. If 'home they
brought her warrior dead, she nor swooned nor uttered sigh.' It
is fortunate that a few of these truest heroes have left a
printed record of pioneer life in Kansas."

The last vigorous effort we made in circulating petitions was
when Congress was about extending to the colored men the right to
vote. Many signed then for the first time. One woman said, "I
know my husband does not believe in women voting, but he hates
the negroes, and would not want them placed over me." I saw in
_The Liberator_ that a bequest to the woman's rights cause had
been made by a gentleman in Boston, and I asked Wendell Phillips
if we could have some of it in Kansas. He directed me to Susan B.
Anthony, and you gave us $100. This small sum we divided between
two lecturers, and paying for tracts. John O. Wattles lectured
and distributed tracts in Southern Kansas. We were greatly
rejoiced when we found, by corresponding with Mrs. Nichols, that
she intended to work for our cause whether she had any
compensation or not. Kansas women can never be half thankful
enough for what she did for them. There has never been a time
since, when the same amount of effort would have accomplished as
much; and the little money we gave her could scarcely have paid
her stage fare.

When the question was submitted in 1867, and the men were to
decide whether women should be allowed to vote, we felt very
anxious about the result. We strongly desired to make Kansas the
banner State for Freedom. We did all we could to secure it, and
some of the best speakers from the East came to our aid. Their
speeches were excellent, and were listened to by large audiences,
who seemed to believe what they heard; but when voting day came,
they voted according to their prejudices, and our cause was
defeated. My work has been very limited. I have only been able to
talk and circulate tracts and papers. I took _The Una_, _The
Lily_, _The Sybil_, _The Pittsburg Visitor_, _The Revolution_,
_Woman's Journal_, _Ballot Box_, and _National Citizen_; got all
the subscribers I could, and scattered them far and near. When I
gave away _The Revolution_, my husband said, "Wife, that is a
very talented paper; I should think you would preserve that." I
replied: "They will continue to come until our cause is won, and
I must make them do all the good they can." I am delighted with
the "Suffrage History." I do not think you can find material to
make the second volume as interesting. I knew of most of the
incidents as they transpired, yet they are full of interest and
significance to me now. My book is now lent where I think it will
be highly appreciated.

Mrs. R. S. Tenney, M.D., one of the most earnest and efficient women
of Lawrence, adds another testimony to the spirit of that historic
canvass:

INDEPENDENCE, KANSAS, _Nov. 23, 1881_.

DEAR MISS ANTHONY:--So you and Mrs. Stanton are about to burn at
the stake the injustice of the men and measures of Kansas in
1867, and would like me to help pile on the fagots, which I will
most gladly do, believing it right that the wrong and wickedness
of every clime and nation should be stabbed or burned till they
are entirely dead. While the opponents of woman suffrage in 1867
thought they had achieved a great victory, it was only an
overwhelming defeat for a future day, a day when Col. John A.
Martin, Judge T. C. Sears, Col. D. W. Houston, G. H. Hoyt, then
Attorney-General, Col. J. D. Snoddy, Benj. F. Simpson, Hon. P. B.
Plumb, Jacob Stottler, Rev. S. E. McBurney, of the Methodist
church, and Rev. I. S. Kalloch, of the Baptist, and a host of
others I might mention, will be ashamed of the position which
they occupied, and the doctrines they advocated.

Although the question of woman suffrage was submitted to the
people by a Republican Legislature, prominent Republicans refused
to recognize it as a party measure, and the consideration the
Legislature bestowed upon the intelligent wives and mothers of
the young commonwealth, was evidenced by associating them in a
bill with ex-slaves and traitors. Rev. Richard Cordley said that
"if the women had waited till the negroes were enfranchised, he
would have worked for their cause most heartily." As though women
were the arbiters of their own fate; had convened in legislative
assembly and submitted their own case to the people. Revs.
McBurney and Kalloch, C. V. Eskridge and Judge Sears were in the
field working with might and main against woman suffrage; while
Gov. Crawford was President of the Impartial Suffrage Association
of the State, and Judge Wood, Secretary. Such old time radicals
as Hon. Chas. Robinson, the first Free State Governor of Kansas,
worked hard and well. Prof. John Horner, Senator Ross, Rev. Wm.
Starrett, Mr. J. M. Chase, and many others also did good work.
Hon. Sidney Clark left his post in the House of Representatives
at Washington, and canvassed the State for a re-election, having
it in his power to say many things and do much good for the cause
of woman, but he did it not. He returned to his own city,
Lawrence, to make his last great speech on the eve of election,
to find to his great consternation, that the only hall had been
engaged by the President of the Woman Suffrage Association of the
city for a meeting of their party on that eve. In vain did the
honorable gentleman and his friends strive to get possession of
that hall. It was paid for and booked to R. S. Tenney. Poor
Sidney then sought permission to address their woman suffrage
audience, but being refused, he was obliged to betake himself to
a dry-goods box in the street, where he tried to interest the
rabble, while Col. Horner, Rev. Mr. Starrett, and others, had a
fine, large audience in the hall.

It is to be greatly regretted that the Republican party that had
accomplished such great good when the nation was in its hour of
trouble, should have allowed such discord to enter its ranks and
thereby defeat both woman and negro suffrage. But Kansans have
made great progress since 1867, and many who voted against the
proposition then would to-day vote and work heartily for it, and
doubtless, if submitted again it would be carried by a large
majority. A recent conversation with Ex-Gov. Potter, who voted
against it, confirms this opinion, and Senator Plumb is
softening. A noticeable feature of the meetings of the political
campaign of 1880, was the presence of large numbers of women. On
the eve of the election, at a full meeting in the largest hall in
this place, a woman surprised the people by asking the chairman's
permission to speak, and amid rounds of applause, poured forth
such sentiments as compelled quite a number of prominent
Republican men to declare themselves in favor of woman suffrage,
an issue which was voluntarily recommended by many speakers in
both Democratic and Greenback meetings.



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