Woman as Lawyer – The Bar has Surrendered

And now the Bar has surrendered. Woman carried Medicine and Ministry long ago. And now the Legal profession is hers. Some of the newspapers not long since thought the woman question was dying out. They even interpreted the President’s prayer, “ Let us have Peace,” as a hushbaby to the Woman question, with others. When this country has peace again, it will be in the name of justice and liberty, not despotism. Woman is going to possess the land in common with man. The whole land and all that appertains. Province after province surrenders. Here is what the Mount Pleasant (Iowa) Journal says of the admission of a lady lawyer to the bar:

During the term of the District Court, held in this city the fore part of last week, Mrs. Bell A. Mansfield, A. B., (Arabella Mansfield – May 23, 1846 – August 1, 1911 – born Belle Aurelia Babb) of this city was admitted to the bar and authorized to practice in the courts of the state.

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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‘Where the Dogs Go To’ (NYC in 1858)

Frank Leslie’s Weekly often contained extensive coverage of a single topic spread across two or more pages and broken down into smaller subsections.  What follows is an extensive report  on how  the stray and wild dog population was handled in New York City in the summer of 1858.

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.

NOTE: The writer speaks bluntly and clearly about brutality within the dog management system and how young boys were sometimes exposed to or a part of the brutality.  The materials here are presented the way they were published on August 14, 1858 without redaction or censorship.

I understand that some readers are sensitive to reports of animal cruelty or related topics, even in a historical context. Those readers should probably stop reading now.

For those who continue reading, I think it is important to note how far we have come, as a culture, in bettering the way animals are treated.  These advances are a direct result of  efforts by many hard working  and compassionate people who have kept up the pressure on lawmakers and civil servants to reform regulations regarding the health and safety of all types of animals.

Where the Dogs Go To

The doggiest of the dog days are upon us, and the reign of Sirius has become a serious matter. So say the farmers, so say the city men, “so say all of us.” But if the time be a perspiring time for the genushomo, it is an expiring time for that other genus, designated by scientific zoologists canis familiaris, but known of the vulgar world as dogs. For the inexorable Mayor has promulgated the fatal “dog law;” he has offered a premium of fifty cents per canine head for the dog population of the city, and daily some hundreds of these respectable animals fall wet martyrs to the popular prejudice against hydrophobia.

Interior of the Dog Pound on the First Avenue

Interior of the Dog Pound on the First Avenue

Numbers of the most distinguished dogs of Gotham are extinguished every night just before sundown, merely because they have a hereditary tendency to go mad in hot weather, and bite people who object to being bitten on account of the unpleasant consequences that sometimes follow. The would-not-be-bitees being in the majority, the would-be-biters have to suffer, and a damp death is daily administered to a large and varied assortment of curs of all degree, the immediate instruments being a hydrant, a hundred and twenty feet of leather hose, and an unlimited supply of Croton. “Accursed be the hour,” many a cur has undoubtedly said within the last fortnight, if their cursory remarks could have been translated into human English, but as a proficiency in the dog language has not yet become one of the necessary accomplishments of polite life, the doubtlessly valuable deathbed observations of the slaughtered canines are lost to the world for ever.

Reading over the foregoing bewildering sentences, I was naturally somewhat puzzled to know where it was all to end, and have finally resolved to begin over again with a succinct statement of what I am going to do—like the prosecuting attorney in the celebrated criminal case of the People v. John Doe et al, I will open my case by stating to the honorable court and the very respectable jury, what I propose to show.

  • Firstly, The city of New York at this time of the year buys large numbers of dogs, which the said city of New York puts into the said city of New York’ dog pound.
  • Secondly, The city of New York empties the said dog pound every night by drowning the dogs which it has purchased during the day, in a manner recklessly regardless of expense.

And these two points I propose to establish by the testimony of a credible witness, meaning myself. I visited the dog pound during the day, and was present at the Slaughter of the Innocents at night. Padlin was also there and another Sketcher, and the pictures they made of the dogs, both canine and human, are hereunto appended, and are herein intermingled.


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House and Home: Going to School in 1887

At five or six years old, the school-life of the majority of children begins, and the food question, that which will best supply waste and build up the growing body, assumes a new importance. Children are sometimes difficult to manage in regard to food. They have their “notions,” they imbibe prejudices, and are distressed by tastes which parents frequently consider should be ignored. Children are quite dependent on the presiding genius of the family, not only for the kind of food they get to eat, but for the time allotted to them in which to eat it. After long years of experience, I have found few families in which children were considerately and deliberately and zealously provided for. A hasty and indigestible breakfast is generally gulped down; a piece of bread and butter, with or without a scrap of cold meat, and a piece of dried or soggy cake is picked up for lunch, and upon this the active young body does its work. No wonder children grow pinched and sallow, and either succumb to the early inroads of disease, or struggle with all forms of dyspepsia.

The food may and should be plain, but it should be of the best, carefully and thoroughly cooked for school children, and served so as to give them abundance of time to eat without hurry, and start well the process of digestion before starting upon the school work of the day. Mothers often complain that their children will not eat healthful food—oatmeal and the like. The reason of this is frequently because the meal is not good, or well, or at least not regularly well-cooked. Some mothers do not even know the difference between one kind of oatmeal and another, or how it should be cooked, or with what it is best and most healthfully served, and will not take the trouble to cultivate healthful tastes by preparing nourishing and simple food in its most attractive way.


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converted PNM file

New American County Histories Online

One of our major efforts this year is the expansion of our American County Histories collection to cover the nation from coast to coast.  Our most recent update brings four books online as full text searchable material and thirty more as page images.  As each page is converted to text and double checked, they will become searchable too.

The Browse and/or Search links below are for visitors on networks with institutional access to this collection. Individuals with personal subscriptions must login at to access the Browse and Search features.

Full Text Online

Page Images Online

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Pickle Recipes: Godey’s Lady’s Book

These recipes appeared in the November 1862 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.


The flavoring ingredients of Indian pickles are a compound of curry powder, with a large proportion of mustard and garlic.

The following will be found something like the real mango pickle, especially if the garlic be used plentifully. To each gallon of the strongest vinegar put four ounces of curry powder, same of flower of mustard (some rub these together with half a pint of salad oil), three of ginger, bruised, and two of turmeric, half a pound (when skinned) of eschalots slightly baked in a Dutch oven, two ounces of garlic prepared in like manner, a quarter of a pound of salt, and two drachms of Cayenne pepper.

Put these ingredients into a stone jar, cover it with a bladder wetted with the pickle, and set it on a trivet by the side of the fire during three days, shaking it up three times a day; it will then be ready to receive gherkins, sliced cucumbers, sliced onions, button onions, cauliflowers, celery, broccoli, French beans, nasturtiums, capsicums, and small green melons. The latter must be slit in the middle sufficiently to admit a marrow-spoon, with which take out all the seeds; then parboil the melons in a brine that will bear an egg; dry them, and fill them with mustard seed, and two cloves of garlic, and bind the melon round with packthread.

Large cucumbers may be prepared in like manner.

Green peaches make the best imitation of the Indian mango.

The other articles are to be separately parboiled (excepting the capsicums) in a brine of salt and water strong enough to bear an egg; taken out and drained, and spread out, and thoroughly dried in the sun, on a stove, or before a fire for a couple of days, and then put into the pickle.

Anything may be put into this pickle, except red cabbage and walnuts.

It will keep several years.

Observations: — To the Indian mango pickle is added a considerable quantity of mustard-seed oil, which would also be an excellent warm ingredient in our salad sauces. (more…)

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