Tag Archives: 19th century
stained-glass

Universal Suffrage and an Earnest Zeal for the Right

Sarah A. Talbot’s letter was published in The Revolution on November 4, 1871, almost fifty years before women won the right to vote throughout the country.

To the Editor of the Revolution:

What the cause of Universal Suffrage most needs, is the co-operation of both sexes to improve the condition of humanity everywhere by manifesting an earnest zeal for the right, and a strong determination to oppose wrong in all its forms. The ministration of good women is needed in our jails and asylums. Their influence is particularly required in the temperance cause and in the cure of the social evil.

I sometimes ask myself will the women of America, when admitted to the ballot, have the courage to attack these monster evils? When I heard Susan B. Anthony hissed while in the act of uttering wholesome but unpalatable truths to a Sin Francisco audience, I realized as never before what the women of this land might expect if they dared attack the evils of society! 

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Moss

Ferocious Dueling in Mobile

On Sunday a duel was fought between two gentlemen from New Orleans. The scene of it was in the grove, South of the buildings known as the “Six Sisters,” in the lower suburbs of the city.

The parties were Charles Roman, son of ex-governor Roman, and W. H. Bouligny, son of a late Senator from Louisiana of that name. The fight commenced at one o’clock with small swords for weapons. The first pass was made by Mr. Bouligny, whose sword struck upon the suspender button of his antagonist, and broke in two. In the pass of Mr. Roman, made simultaneously the sword penetrated the side of Mr. Bouligny, inflicting a slight but not dangerous wound. The sword being broken, the parties resorted to pistols at five paces. At first fire Mr. Bouligny received the ball of his antagonist back of the hip. The wound was painful, but slight. The shot of Mr. Bouligny passed on without touching.

We learn that the duel originated in an old misunderstanding, but after both parties had stood steel and fire, they conceived a higher respect for each other, and left the field reconciled. They returned to New Orleans yesterday in the steamer Oregon.

–Mobile Tribune, April 4.

Source: Frederick Douglass Paper, May 5, 1854

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.

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A Word for the Poor in The Lily

This appeal for help for the poor, penned by Helen Bruce, appeared in The Lily in the March 1855 issue.

A Word for the Poor

Winter is here—a winter in the midst of fearfully hard times, and we are surrounded with the starving poor. Why are our cities thronged with helpless paupers, when there are thousands of acres of land overflowing with nature’s bounty, waiting for them to come and take possession? If all this waste population could only be turned out to thrive and fatten, to grow light-hearted and joyous upon those rich unoccupied lands, what a blessed thing it would be. But they are not there—they are here, and they crowd, steaming and half-smothering into cellars and garrets, and live in destitution and distress.

Hundreds who are willing to work cannot get work, and they must beg, steal or starve. One poor widow in Brooklyn, two weeks before Christmas, went for three days without a single meal for herself and her five children! She had not been used to beg, but actual starvation drove her to it at last. This is but one case out of thousands.

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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Richmond-Cover

What will Virginia Do?

This is an excerpt from an editorial that ran in the Richmond Enquirer on April 9, 1861.  This periodical can be found in The Civil War Collection » Part I: A Newspaper Perspective.  A Newspaper Perspective contains major articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York HeraldThe Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.

What will Virginia Do?

This question is propounded to us from the North, the South, the East and the West. It is very properly viewed as a question the solution of which involves the most important consequences, not only to Virginia, but to the two competing Republics which now stand upon the ruins of the old Union.

The solicitude in regard to the future position of this hitherto renowned Commonwealth is therefore clearly explained. We are not authorized by Virginia to define the line of policy which she intends to adopt. No one can tell with infallible certainty the relations which she will hereafter sustain the governments respectively of the North and of the South. But our opinion as to the course she will pursue, and the reasons for that opinion, are candidly submitted to the anxious enquirer.

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Lucy Stone

Women’s Rights and The Liberator

The Liberator (1831-1865) was an abolitionist newspaper founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Isaac Knapp in 1831. They published weekly issues of The Liberator from Boston continuously for 35 years, from January 1, 1831, to the final issue of December 29, 1865. Although its circulation was only about 3,000, the newspaper earned nationwide notoriety for its uncompromising advocacy of “immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves” in the United States.

The Liberator also became an avowed woman’s rights newspaper when the prospectus for its 1838 issue declared that as the paper’s object was “to redeem woman as well as man from a servile to an equal condition,” it would support “the rights of woman to their utmost extent.

The paper carried announcements for Women’s Rights Conventions around the North East and often carried detailed reports on the meetings like the one here from September 28, 1855.

1855 Boston Woman’s Rights Convention

Harriot Kezia Hunt, First Woman to Apply to Harvard Medical School

Harriot Kezia Hunt, First Woman to Apply to Harvard Medical School

This convention met in September and the attendance was large, and to those present. Miss Harriot Kezia Hunt read an address on the progress of women in this country, to the women present.

The meeting appointed Paulina W. Davis, of Providence, as President. Miss Harriot K. Hunt, Mrs. Carolina H. Call, Mrs. Sean Harris, Mrs. Harris Carolina, Mrs. Richard Hildreth, and Rev. T.W. Higginson, as Vice-presidents, and Miss Cariton of Dorchester and William H. Fish, of Hopedale, as Secretarians.

Mrs. Davis took the chair with as address on the hopes and purposes of the Woman’s Rights government and incidentally advised that memorials be made to every State Legislature in the loud, asking for woman the right of citizenship, and that petitions must be everywhere circulated for same – urging zeal in the work.

Mrs. Caroline H. Dall read a report relating to the laws of Massachusetts regarding married women, stating their objectionable features which were as follows:

  1. All that give to the husband the custody of his wife’s person; these are fruitful in cruel
  2. Those which give the husband the exclusive central and guardianship of his children.
  3. Those which give to the husband the sole ownership of a wife’s personal and real estate; those are in part repealed—at least as for as old property not given to the wife by the husband, he concerned—by the 304th section of the statutes for 1858.
  4. Those which give the husband an absolute right to the property of his wife’s industry; all repealed by the Legislatures of 1855, but likely to be put in force again by the next Legislature.
  5. Those which give to the widower a larger and were permanent interest in the property of his deceased with, than they give to the widow in that of her deceased husband.
  6. Those which suspend the legal existence of a wife during marriage.

 
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.

A Harriot Kezia Hunt Quote

A Harriot Kezia Hunt Quote

Addresses were made, before dinner, by Mrs. Lucy Stone Blackwell, who was in favor of woman voting and by T.W. Higginson, of Worcester, who believed the time would come when it would be a disgrace not to be a Woman’s Rights man.

That evening, Dr. Harriot K. Hunt of Boston presented the following regulations:

Resolved, That the present position assumed by Medical schools, precluding Woman from the educational advantages enjoyed by Man, on the ground of delicacy, virtually acknowledges the impropriety of man over being her medical attendant. [Applause and laughter.]

Resolved, That we will do all in our power the sustain those women , who, from a conviction of duty, enter the medical profession, in their efforts to overcome the evils which have accumulated in their path, and in their attacks upon the strongholds of vice, in which women are so effectual.

Resolved, That the present army of snack nostrums and the utter incompetency of physicians to stay them, and the reception of some of them into the Pharmacopeias, together with the varied pathless and of the day, are suggestive of a need of that higher element in medical life, which can only be supplied by the admission of woman.

William Lloyd Garrison and his daughter, January 1875

William Lloyd Garrison and his daughter, January 1875

Miss Hunt mode a few remarks, chiefly in compliment to Dr. Buchanan’s Eclectic Medical School of Cincinnati, the Starling Medical College of Columbus, and the Cleveland College, all of Ohio, and to all of which woman are admitted. “Think of Massachusetts in this contract!” added Miss Hunt.

On Thursday, Mr. William Lloyd Garrison spoke, he began the evening pledging himself to the advancement of women. It was, he said, a reformation that was destined succeed here and over the world. No good argument can be brought against it.

The objections so it are similar to these made against the freeing of the slave. But this rights of a human being does not depend on sex. Wherever the rights of one human being is defended, there are the rights defended for every other human being on the face of the earth.

Mr. Garrison went on to show that all the Objectives, made to the women’s cause are identical with against the cause of the slave; and belong in the community of oppression. Whoever is not for women’s Rights is not for Human Rights. He is not a Republican.

Source: The Liberator, September 28, 1855
Top Image: Statue of Lucy Stone in the Boston Women’s Memorial