This letter from the editors appeared in the very first issue of The Lily. Editors Amelia Bloomer and Anna C. Mattison used the inaugural issue to outline their goals for the paper and revealed something of their personal philosophies. This scan of the first issue also gives some indication of its physical condition and the work Accessible Archive’s is undertaking in converting the pages into fully searchable text.
To the Patrons of the Lily.
Monday, January 1, 1848.
To the first number of the LILY is today presented to its patrons and the public; and as it is customary in such cases, we suppose it becomes us to say a few words as to the causes which led to its publication, and the course which will be pursued by those who have the supervision of its pages.
Many of the Ladies in this village have long felt a warm interest in the cause of Temperance. This we think we have a right to say, without arrogating to ourselves any undue zeal on the subject over those of the ladies of other sections of the country. When the great Washingtonian reformation commenced in this village in 1841, a Female Temperance Society was organized, and speedily numbered among its list of members, several hundred names. That society existed for several years, and was the means of doing much good. Owing to the death of its President, and the removal from the place of some of its most active members, it ceased to exist; and until the past autumn we have had no organization of the kind in our village.
The necessity for such a society was, however, universally acknowledged; and in September last an effort was made to organize anew. That effort was successful–and the society, whose Constitution, Pledge, list of officers, and avowal of sentiments, and principles, appear in our columns, was the result of the effort thus made.
Soon after the society was organized, the idea of publishing a Temperance Journal was suggested. It met the favorable consideration of several of our citizens to whom it was mentioned. A publishing committee was appointed, and a Prospectus issued asking for subscriptions. The number of subscribers already obtained is respectable, but not large enough to justify us in going on with the enterprise. We however confidently expect that the number will be largely increased, and no pains will be spared to carry it forward.
So much as to the causes which have brought the LILY into existence. A few words as to the course which will be pursued by its conductors, and the character of the matter which will fill its columns.
It is WOMAN that speaks through the LILY. It is upon an important subject, too, that she comes before the public to be heard. Intemperance is the great foe to her peace and happiness. It is that, above all, which has made her home desolate, and beggared her offspring. It is that above all, which has filled to brim the cup of her sorrows, and sent her mourning to the grave. Surely she has a right to wield the pen for its suppression. Surely she may, without throwing aside the modest retirement, which so much becomes her sex, use her influence to lead her fellow mortals away from the destroyer’s path. It is this which she proposes to do in the columns of the LILY.
The resolutions of our Temperance Society, constitute our declaration of sentiments on the subjects to which they relate. We shall zealously advocate those sentiments, and strive by all the ability we possess, to lead to their general adoption, by the whole community. We believe they point out plainly, the path of duty before us, and so believing, the LILY will urge all to walk therein.
While the advocacy of the great and holy cause of Temperance will be our great object, we shall not be unmindful of the claims of a healthy and moral Literature upon us. The columns of the LILY will therefore strive to please all who delight in productions of the imagination and the fancy–striving always, to have them so tempered with a chaste moral sentiment, that shall not be calculated to offend even the most fastidious. Original and selected tales, poetry, anecdote and repartee, will therefore find a place in our columns, and we shall strive to make this department both pleasant and agreeable.
Friends, and fellow-works in the great cause of humanity!–These are our objects, and aims–these are the causes which called us into existence. Like the beautiful flower from which it derives its name, we shall strive to make the LILY the emblem of “sweetness and purity” — and may Heaven smile upon this our attempt to advance the great cause of Temperance Reform.
Amelia Bloomer, Anna C. Mattison
Editors Of The Lily