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Suffrage Society

How to Form a Woman Suffrage Society (1880)

First, speak with your neighbors. If they are already women of thought upon this subject the way is clear. If they are not, a few words will rouse their interest and show you they are not indifferent. Every woman wishes as good a chance for her daughter’s education as for her son’s. Every woman desires equal pay for equal work for herself and her daughter. Every woman desires the same laws to govern herself as govern her husband, father, brothers.

When once you have induced thought, speak of forming a society. Issue invitations for some convenient afternoon or evening. If but half a dozen, you have enough for a beginning. Hold your first meetings with women alone. Women are timid, brought up from childhood to have their opinions criticized, laughed at and treated with contempt, they will speak much more freely if no man is present.

Select an energetic, go-ahead woman as President. Have one, or two or three Vice Presidents. Elect an Executive Committee. See that its chairman is a worker. It does not matter so much in regard to the rest. Elect a Corresponding Secretary, also a Recording Secretary. Let the minutes of each meeting be read at the next one. Elect a Treasurer. Let there be a small membership fee. Money will be needed for stationery, tracts, etc.

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.


Independence Hall

The Colored Youth of Philadelphia (1867)

By a Massachusetts Teacher

Among many things that interested me in Philadelphia was a visit of three hours time to an institute for colored people, of which I had never heard till about a fortnight ago, when I attended its exhibition in National Hall. This institute has been in existence about ten years. It was founded by two Quakers, who left money in their wills to form a school in which colored children and youth should be thoroughly educated from the primary up to the collegiate department. It has an excellent building, three stories high, with large halls for schoolrooms. The primary departments are on the first floor; the academic on the second; and in the third story are recitation-rooms, with blackboards all round.

The exhibition was in the second largest hall in the city. Next year it is to be in the great Opera House. Every one of its present teachers is colored. The principal is a Mr. Bassett, who was educated in the Normal School of Connecticut. He is a broad-faced, very dark mulatto, in whom the negro nearly puts out all trace of the white. Nothing can be more modest and unassuming than his manners were at the exhibition. We had a Latin salutatory, a Greek oration, and several fine English essays and poems, by both males and females, of ages from twelve to twenty years. The exercises showed wit, humor, pathos, admirable thought and eloquence, and were well delivered. The primary classes recited simultaneously, first a poem, and then a psalm, making a really beautiful exercise.

Nothing could have been more creditable than all the performances, and they received rounds of applause from an audience of two thousand people, all of whom went in by ticket. In the two days before these performances there had been most searching examinations before the trustees and some of the best educated gentlemen of the city. And on the third day before, there had been a meeting of the alumni of the institute, on which occasion there were orations and poems. I understand that these were quite a marvel, and sufficient, as Mr. Turner said, to set at rest any doubt as to the equality of the negro to the white; for pure negroes did as well as any whites do on similar occasions. I was unable to attend the meeting of the alumni, but I was desirous to see the school in undress; so, after a week’s vacation, I went to Mr. Bassett’s.

National Anti-Slavery Standard was the official weekly newspaper of the American Anti-Slavery Society, an abolitionist society founded in 1833 by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan to spread their movement across the nation with printed materials. Frederick Douglass was a key leader of this society and often addressed meetings at its New York City headquarters.



Memorable Presidential Inaugurations

As the presidential inauguration fast approaches, let’s take a quick look back at some presidential inaugurations that were “memorable.” Frank Leslie’s Weekly provided unique reporting, complete with graphics and later photographs, of several presidential inaugurations during its publishing run.

Comparing early presidential inaugurations with contemporary ones, was a common feature in Leslie’s Weekly.

Check out the article below, entitled “Some of the Most Memorable Presidential Inaugurations,” and then tune into the upcoming inauguration.

Presidential Theodore Roosevelt Delivering His Inaugural Address, March 4, 1905

Presidential Theodore Roosevelt Delivering His Inaugural Address, March 4, 1905

Some of the Most Memorable Presidential Inaugurations

By Charles M. Harvey

When, on April 30th, 1789, George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States, the country had only eleven States (for North Carolina and Rhode Island did not ratify the Constitution or come under the government until many months afterward), all of which were east of the Alleghanies and north of Florida, which was Spanish territory until a third of a century later. New York City, then the national capital, with its 4,000,000 inhabitants in 1905, has 1,000,000 more people and many billions more wealth to-day than the entire United States had at that time. Yet April 30th, 1789, was the proudest day which New York City had seen in the century and two-thirds which had passed since Peter Minuit, representing Maurice of Nassau, the Stadtholder of Holland, bought the island of Manhattan from the Lenni-Lenape Indians for a gift of sixty guilders, or twenty-four dollars, in beads and ribbons, and started the colony of New Amsterdam on its picturesque career.

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.

Writing Desk

The Apple-Headed Young Man

Mrs. Stanton tells a capital story of a spruce, conceited-looking young man, with head the size of an apple, who approached her in the cars the morning after she had given one of her strong lectures. “I do not agree with your views, Madam,” said this small-headed youth, evidently thinking that his opposition would stop the wheels of progress, and change the whole current of reform.

We everywhere meet apple-headed young men—persons attempting to block advancement, whether material or spiritual. “I do not agree with you” murdered Lovejoy at Alton, imprisoned Garrison in Baltimore, burned Hess and Servetius at the stake, persecuted Luther, crucified our Lord. But, despite it all, reform goes on.

When Stephenson invented the locomotive it was bitterly opposed; scientific men declared it impracticable; men of wealth opposed it on the ground of its frightening the deer and other game; landlords objected on the ground of its taking away their custom. Amid the multitude of opponents; one man gravely saul, “And what, Mr. Stephenson, would be the consequences if your engine met a cow?” “It would be varry bod for the coo,” responded Mr. Stephenson in his broad Scotch dialect. And so it ever is.

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.



Building of a Log Cabin in Ohio County, WV

This description of building a log cabin appears in chapter three, Life Among the Early Settlers, in The Story of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens published in our American County Histories: West Virginia collection.

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.

Building of the Log Cabin

In the early history of Ohio County, an important and interesting event was the building of the log cabin. A certain day was set apart for the accomplishment of the undertaking, and the settlers for miles around were notified of the time and place at which they were to assemble and assist in its construction, which invitation was always responded to by them with alacrity. Upon arriving at the scene of the cabin’s intended location, they chose an experienced individual who was styled the “captain,” and who assigned to each his respective duties. Four of the most active and expert men in the use of the axe were chosen as corner men, who were required to clear the site, square it and place a large rock at each corner to build upon, after being properly leveled, then saddle and notch with precision the logs in finished and complete order.

The “captain” would then assign a number of men to select from the trees, near the site as possible, the largest growth, straight grained white oak for clapboards, which they were to fell and to crosscut into proper lengths. Then to split the cuts into square bolts and then to rive or split them.

Another set of men was required to provide puncheons for floors, doors, windows and chimney-corner jambs, out of such timber as was best suited for that purpose, such as oak, chestnut or ash, which made good floors when spotted on the underside at the ends out of the wind, and rested on sleepers placed at regular distances apart, with the upper straight and well dressed. These, when top-dressed by a competent adzman, made an excellent substitute for plank, which at that early day could not be obtained for the reason that there were no sawmills.

The “captain” would then send out a detail to cull out near the site suitable standing trees and fell them and chop them off at proper lengths for the proposed building, with teamsters to haul them in as they were logged off by dragging them on the ground by a chain with a hook at one end of the log. Other teamsters provided with rough wooden sleds hauled in the clapboards, puncheons and such other materials as would be required in the completion of the structure.