Strong Women Past and Present

The National Citizen and Ballot Box was a monthly journal deeply involved in the roots of the American feminist movement. It was owned and edited by Matilda Joslyn Gage, American women’s rights advocate, who helped to lead and publicize the suffrage movement in the United States.

This recurring segment highlighted the strength and influence of women in the past. This list is from the December 1880 issue.

Women Past and Present

ALLAQUIPPA was a celebrated savage queen residing near Pittsburg, Pa., before the Revolution. Washington is said to have called upon her when a young subaltern of the English army he was sent out to ascertain the designs of the French. Her name has been preserved in a countryseat near Pittsburg.

Miss Delia Bacon

Miss Delia Bacon

MISS DELIA BACON, a highly intellectual and eloquent woman, was the first to call in question the authorship of the plays ascribed to Shakspeare. Some twenty-five years ago she made her public appearance in Boston as a lecturer on history. Graceful and dignified in bearing, a fine reader and speaker, lecturing entirely without notes, she produced a marked impression in Boston and Cambridge. In course of her historical studies she became thoroughly convinced that Lord Bacon was the author of the plays attributed to Shakspear. In search of proof she visited England, remaining a year at St. Albans, where Lord Bacon lived in retirement, and where she supposed he wrote those matchless plays. She passed through many humiliations in behalf of her work, and poverty so great that she wrote in bed in order to keep warm, being unable to pay for fire. Hawthorne, then consul at Liverpool, helped her secure the publication of her book. It brought her a storm of abuse and adverse criticism, which following so closely upon her prolonged and exhausting literary labor, drove her insane. She was brought back to America where she soon died. But the theory she started as to the real authorship of Shakspeare’s plays, did not die with her. It has ever since continued to be the most interesting of all literary discussions; the authorship of the Junius letters pales before it. Miss Bacon, during her stay in England, wished, despite the curse, to open Shakspeare’s grave, believing she would there find the most convincing proof as to the authorship of these world renowned literary gems, but this she was not permitted to do. But the doubt she threw upon their Shakspearian authenticity is perennial. In the August Appleton’s Journal, Mr. Appleton Morgan, in a scholarly and convincing article, sustained Miss Bacon’s views. He deems it impossible that Shakspeare could have written the plays, and unhesitatingly ascribes their authorship, where Miss Bacon placed it, i. e., with Lord Francis Bacon.

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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An Englishman’s Impressions of America (1865)


SIR: Having in my native land, during your late war, taken a deep interest in everything relating to your country, I became strongly impressed with a desire to pay a visit, in order that by personal observation the views I had previously entertained might be confirmed or corrected. While in England, I was repeatedly told that in your churches you had “nigger”-pews; negro carriages, like lumber boxes, on your railways; no seats for negroes in your horse-cars; and that in every possible way, even in the enlightened North, the negro was punished and trampled upon for no other reason than that he belonged to what was supposed to be an outcast race. Even in our large public meetings held for the purpose of discussing the great American struggle, the advocates of freedom were repeatedly told that, in the North, the hatred of the whites to the blacks was shown by hanging the negroes at the lamp-posts in the streets. Of course, we know that the terrible New York riot was not the work of the freedom-loving North, but was entirely to be attributed to the sympathizers with the South; yet in England, to a very large extent,the fiction was believed to be true, and the darker the falsehood, the more readily it was received. I have seen your churches, your railroads, and your cars, and have seen nothing which indicates to me that you regard the negroes as a proscribed race, over whom Providence has placed you to rule and punish with a rigorous hand. It is true, there is some prejudice against the negro on account of his color, but this prejudice is not general, nor is it anymore bitter than I have seen evidenced in England against the Irish. I have often seen in the news-papers where vacant situations are advertised, that the concluding sentence has been, “No Irish need apply. ”

Then again, it was said that the North, in endeavoring to put down the rebellion, was engaged in an impossible task. and the South must ultimately triumph. Mr. JOSEPH BARKER, who formerly lived in America, and whom many of your readers know, proclaimed most positively, time after time, on the English platforms, that this was a moral certainty. Before I left England, not only Mr. Barker, but every member of the “Southern Independence Association,” and every newspaper editor who sympathized with Southern despotism, were compelled to see how egregiously they had blundered, and how ridiculously foolish they had made themselves appear, by the dogmatical and dictatorial course which they had pursued.

William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator was a weekly abolitionist newspaper published in Boston. The paper held true to the founder’s ideals. Garrison was a journalistic crusader who advocated the immediate emancipation of all slaves and gained a national reputation for being one of the most radical of American abolitionists.

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Victorian Woman

Preserving the Health of Body and Mind

To promote soundness and vigor of mind measures should be adopted and habits formed analogous to those recommended for supplying the body with fresh air and change of air, and securing to it the advantage of free ventilation. We often, and very intelligibly to all, speak of the “atmosphere” in which a person lives; meaning by the term the moral and intellectual influences to which he is constantly subjected, in the family or in society.

And we as often, and most justly, attribute to these influences the improvement or deterioration of his character. Above all things it is essential to a good education that the sentiments and principles, the demeanor and habits, of those with whom a child is in daily intercourse, should be such as, by the force of example and the necessity of conforming to circumstances, may contribute to the repression of the evil and the development of the good instincts of our nature. These are advantages which it is very difficult to secure; impossible, perhaps, to secure to entire satisfaction. Especially it is found impracticable, in most cases, to select for a child such juvenile associates as may merely do him no harm, to say nothing of such as may promote his progress in intelligence and virtue.

We must be contented, and thankful, if we can effect an approximation to the best state of things, by keeping or placing our children under guardianship which shelters from the assault of the open and grosser forms of evil, and under such a system of association with their fellows as shall insure the minimum of corrupting communication, and the maximum of respect for the principles of honor, justice, and truth. It may be considered, in some respects, a counterpoise to the difficulty of preserving the mind in an altogether pure atmosphere, that much good is to be expected from what may be termed mental ventilation.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.

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The Men Who Made Europe’s Great War

One hundred and two years ago today, in response to an act of terrorism, Austria-Hungary lit the fuse that set-off the powder keg of political tension and saber-rattling  in Europe. On July 28, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and within a fortnight most of the European continent was at war.

This article from Frank Leslie’s Weekly highlights the leaders involved in the “greatest war in history.” The article outlines the chronology of the beginning of the war.

Foreign correspondents working for Frank Leslie’s Weekly were embedded in each belligerent nation’s capital, with the armies in camp, and in the front line trenches of both sides. Their news reports provided an unprecedented look at total war in words and photography.  The American public snapped-up copies of Leslie’s Weekly’s reporting on the progress of the war, the divisive issue of America’s neutrality, and the economic consequences of the war.

A Topographical Review of the Decisive Battles and Important Events of the European War from 1914 to 1917

A Topographical Review of the Decisive Battles and Important Events of the European War
from 1914 to 1917

The Men Who Made Europe’s Great War

“Going to the Front in Motor Buses” - Frank Leslie’s Weekly, September 10, 1914

“Going to the Front in Motor Buses” – Frank Leslie’s Weekly, September 10, 1914

All Europe was convulsed by the peremptory demands made by the Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria-Hungary on Servia as a result of the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand. It was generally assumed that Germany was behind Austria. Servia, determining that it was not consistent with her honor to meet Austria’s demands, gave an unsatisfactory reply and looked to Russia to defend her.

The Czar accepted the implied challenge of Austria and Germany, and the efforts of Great Britain and France to avert war were unsuccessful. The responsibility may justly be placed upon the three war lords of Europe, the only Emperors in the civilized world whose power approaches that of absolute monarchs. Austria declared war against Servia on July 28th.

On August 1st, Germany declared war on Russia, alleging the mobilization of Russian troops on the German frontier. Immediately Germany marched through neutral states upon France, Russia’s ally, with three armies.

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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Eating Advice from a Mother to a Daughter

(The Revolution – March 1868) – In trying to impress upon you the advantage of a sound body, I would speak of diet as being chief of all hygienic means. It is absurd to expect a healthful balance of mind and body, without good, farinaceous food, at regular hours. Cake and highly seasoned dishes render the stomach irritable and the whole system feverish. Children fed on dainties can never grow robust. A craving for stimulants is thus induced and that is not confined to boys. Girls manifest this depraved condition of the digestive apparatus in other ways than in a love of tippling, but with effects nearly as baleful. Condiments of every kind or highly concentrated food, as in cake and sweetmeats, tax every force of the system to digest, and draw the life-forces from the extremities, leaving them unduly sensitive. The outposts undefended, disease creeps in and attacks the citadel.

The life-forces need to be preserved in perfect equilibrium to keep you growing as beautifully as a plant grows. That takes into its thousand stomachs, or cells, only what it needs to nourish its own life.

Plain food builds up the system in just the same way. The wonderful work of growth goes on unconsciously, in sleep or awake; all we have to do is to supply the right nutriment and we build up, as the plant builds, cell by cell. Each tiny particle attracts its kindred particle, and is deposited wherever a useless atom has been removed.

In avoiding stimulating food, you avoid undue brain excitement and unhealthy imagination and give no room to brooding thoughts of an unreal life, from which come trains of evils that have ruined thousands of lovely girls. Late suppors and rich delicacies create a thirst for novel-reading to a great extent. Fiction has its use, but also its great abuse. Yellow-covered literature would be less eagerly sought if our tables were not loaded with nerve-exciting viands. Real life palls upon the taste, home becomes monotonous, and daily duties irksome, while the day-dreamer roams in enchanted lands.

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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