Consent of the Governed

Suffrage is Not a Natural Right

The Remonstrance was the official publication of the Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women. First published annually and later quarterly in Boston from February, 1890 until October, 1913, it provided a forum for women who opposed the expansion of voting rights to women.

Suffrage Not a Natural Right

(The Remonstrance, January 1894) It is further urged that discriminating against women at the polls is an implication of inferiority and an indignity to her sex. Not so is it generally regarded by women. The average woman deems her duties respectable, and about as onerous as she cares to assume, and feels no need of the honor the ballot would confer. Thirty years of faithful missionary labor have failed to make her realize that she is suffering for want of it.

Woman, it is further claimed, is a citizen having natural right to the ballot, and as all just government rests on the consent of the governed, it is unjust to deprive her of all share in choice of rulers and to exact obedience to laws in making which she has no part. This is absurd and atheistic. The right to govern does not rest upon the consent of the governed. The divine authority, to which all rightful human authority is subordinate, rests on no such basis. God never asked permission to reign. The right of the parent to govern does not rest on the consent of his children. Right to punish the criminal does not rest on his consent to be punished. Governments were ordained to govern, not to be governed. The right or duty to govern rests on the same foundation on which every other obligation rests—the claims of the highest good, the supreme law of the moral world. It is his duty and right to govern who can do it best. He is the right ruler whose services, in that capacity, the highest interest of all demands.

—The Rev. John M. Williams, in Bibliotheca Sacra.

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Carnegie Library, Pittsfield, Maine

Happy National Library Week 2017!

April 9-15 is National Library Week, a time to highlight the changing role of libraries, librarians and library workers.  Libraries aren’t only a place of quiet study, but also creative and engaging community centers where people can collaborate using new technologies, learn how to use a 3D printer or even record their own music.

Libraries of all types are evolving to meet the needs of the communities they serve. Elected officials, small business owners, students and the public at large depend upon libraries and the resources they offer to address the needs of their communities. By providing such resources as e-books and technology classes, materials for English-language learners, programs for job seekers or a safe haven in times of crisis, libraries and librarians transform their communities.


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A Chocolate Opportunity for America

(Frank Leslie’s Weekly – April 12, 1917) Comparatively few of the lovers of the soda-fountain and candy counter are concerned with the source of the chocolate in the confections they order. Chocolate comes from the seeds of the fruit of the cacao tree. The fruit, which is usually gathered from the trees twice yearly, is somewhat like a cucumber in shape and is red or yellow in color, according to the variety of the tree. The seeds, which completely fill the thick husk, as this picture shows, are removed, fermented, screened and dried, and from them are prepared cocoa, cocoa-butter and chocolate.

Americans are the largest users of candy in the world and we have a particular fondness for confections flavored with chocolate or composed chiefly of that article. The soda-fountain is found only in the United States and Canada and of all the syrups used chocolate is the favorite. Despite these facts our chief sources of supply for cacao and chocolate were England and the Netherlands, countries which produce neither sugar nor chocolate.

From these unattractive pods comes the chocolate for dainty bonbons.

From these unattractive pods comes the chocolate for dainty bonbons.

A striking change indeed has taken place in our imports of cacao and chocolate since the war began. In 1913 we purchased about 149,500,000 pounds of chocolate. Of this quantity Europe supplied us about 71,000,000 pounds; Central America and the West Indies 41,500,000 pounds; South America 36,000,000 pounds and Asia about 1,000,000 pounds.

In 1916 a peculiar condition developed in our chocolate market, the imports of which reached the enormous quantity of 243,000,000 pounds. Of this amount Europe contributed but 2,000,000 pounds; Central America and the West Indies, 95,600,000 pounds; South America 97,700,000 pounds and, most significant of all, Africa furnished 28,000,000 pounds, an unusually large proportion coming from the Gold Coast of Africa and isolated English colonies.

Following, there developed in this country a large re-export trade in this commodity. In 1915 our total re-exports of chocolate amounted to 29,000,000 pounds as against only 5,285,000 pounds in 1912.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, published from 1855 to 1922, was an American illustrated news publication started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies.

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Women in Politics

Women in Politics (The Revolution, 1868)

Such is the heading of an important article in the New York News. The suggestions made are too important to be overlooked. Coming from the very highest democratic authority, we may in reproducing some of them wake again republican wrath, as did Miss Anthony when she invaded the late Democratic Convention with her memorial for Woman’s Suffrage, without out first asking republican permission. But as we have decided not to make the republican party any longer the custodian of our cause, we shall here give our readers another sample of democratic reasoning on the subject, asking the republicans to match it, as they challenged so dramatically of their nominee at Chicago. The News says in opening:

The appearance of a female delegate in a national party Convention, such as that of Miss Anthony in the late Convention held in this city, marks an era in the woman’s rights movement. The acceptance and reading of her address is the first sign, of recognition, in a political sense, that woman has received from any of the great parties of the day. No doubt she will feel encouraged to urge on the enterprise she has undertaken. It is too late to cry down the female suffrage movement with contempt. Opponents of the proposed innovation in our political system must prepare themselves to grapple with a substantial foe.

Already the advocates of female suffrage have made an impression in England. Among those who favor the idea are such powerful and practical statesmen as John Bright and John Stuart Mill; and the strength its friends exhibited in the British Parliament astonished the keenest observers of the times. In our own country the strong-minded females have organized into a league, started a lively newspaper organ, instituted a series of public meetings, and enlisted the services of popular speakers, like George Wm. Curtis, James M. Scoville of New Jersey, and George Francis Train. In the recent elections in the State of Kansas the advocates of female suffrage were able to carry over nine thousand of the voter of the sterner sex with them, which was, at least one-third of the whole vote polled.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Newspapers Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily, The Revolution, and the National Citizen and Ballot Box.


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OG-Walks in DC

Walks About Washington (1915)

Francis E. Leupp’s Walks About Washington is a new title in the Washington D.C. segment of our American County Histories collection.  The full text has recently come online.


This is not a history. It is not a guidebook. It is not an encyclopedia. It is nothing more ambitious than the title would indicate: a stroll about Washington with my arm through my reader’s, and a bit of friendly chat by the way. Mr. Hornby, sketchbook in hand, will accompany us, to give permanence to our impressions here and there.

Walks About Washington

Walks About Washington

First, we will take a general look at the city and recall some of the more interesting incidents connected with its century and a quarter of growth. Next, we will walk at our leisure through its public places and [try to people them in imagination with the figures which once were so much in evidence there.

For the stories woven into our talk, I make no further claim than that they have come to me from a variety of sources—personal observation, dinner-table gossip, old letters and diaries, and local tradition. A few, which seemed rather too vague in detail, I have tried to verify.

My ardor for research, however, was dampened by the discovery of from two to a dozen versions of every occurrence, so that I have been driven to accepting those which appeared most probable or most picturesque, falling back upon the plea of the Last Minstrel:

“I cannot tell how the truth may be;
I say the tale as ’twas said to me.”

And now, let us be off!

F. E. L.

August 1, 1915.

The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county by using a single query. In addition, those wishing to read or browse the text on a page by page basis may do so in the original format merely by scrolling down the screen and then continuing to the next chapter.

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