Tag Archives: 19th century

Lucy Brand: The First Woman Voter of New York

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.

Lucy Brand Votes

How she Heard the News. How she Voted.

Mrs. Lucy A. Brand, Principal of the Genesee School of this city, a woman with abilities as good as those of any male principal, but who, because she is a woman, receives five hundred and fifty dollars less salary a year than a male principal, was the first woman in the State of New York to cast a vote under the new school law.

On Saturday afternoon she was at a friend’s house, when the Journal was thrown in, containing the first editorial notice of the passage of the law. Mrs. Brand saw the welcome announcement. “Let us go and register,” she at once said, her heart swelling with joy and thankfulness that even this small quantity of justice had been done woman. “Where is my shawl? I feel as if I should die, if I don’t get there,” for the hour was late, and the time for closing the registry lists was near at hand. To have lost this opportunity would have placed her in position of a second Tantalus, the cup withdrawn just as it touched her lips.

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.


New Treatment of Criminals

New Treatment of Criminals (1868)

There is one law, one court, one penalty awaiting every criminal alike, in what are called our courts of justice. Whatever may have been the culture, or want of it, whatever the temptation or power to resist, the courts have no discretion really, and so are bound to pass sentence according to law and evidence on all alike. The injustice, not to say cruelty, of this, would be less grievous, were our penalties and prisons designed for reformation, as hospital cures instead of modes and means of torture as in the past ages. The New York Tribune, on Christmas morning, proclaimed the following on the treatment of criminals. It is an evangel worthy that auspicious morn; almost literally fulfilling the promise of eighteen hundred years ago, “to open the prison doors to them that are bound.”

In the Irish Times, we find an account of a treatment of criminals so new, so surprising, and successful, as to be worthy of special notice. About twelve years ago Government secured the title to 170 acres of land, at Lusk, 14 miles north of the city of Dublin, overlooking Dublin Bay, and a beautiful wooded country. The object was to make an experiment with convicted criminals in redeeming the land and in carrying on a farm. This was to be what is termed the “intermediate system.” For many years the land had been a common; a part was swampy, much of the surface had been removed by neighboring farmers, and it was of little value. A gang of convicts was brought on, and, under judicious managers, the land was drained, the subsoil brought to the surface, manure was applied and also lime to correct the acidity; houses, barns and outbuildings were erected, and, finally, the tract has been brought to a high state of fertility.

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.



Do Women Ever Do Any Hard Work?

It is a very common saying by many persons who are opposed to the Woman’s Rights question, that the women never claim the right to do any of the hard and laborious work; all they want is the right to do any of the easy kind, and leave the hard work for the men to do.

But such is not the fact; and if such objectors would take a journey into Europe they would find that the women did their share of hard work as well as men, particularly in Germany and France. Also in England, go into the harvest fields, and you will find the women reaping down the wheat, all day long, and receiving the same wages as the men; go into the hay fields and the women are there; look into the fields of barley, beans, oats, peas and turnips, and the women are there; ’tis true they don’t do any of the mowing, but they perform various sorts of labor there, the like of which is seldom seen in this country; to be sure a great deal of it is of a very healthy character, and has a beneficial effect upon the constitution.

You will find the women in all the large Gardens, Shrubberies and Orchards at work; and in the Dairies, there they are, milking the cows, and making the butter and cheese.

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.



Three Bits of Advice from Godey’s Lady’s Book

Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine contained long short stories, plays, recipes, craft patterns, fashion plates, poems, and other items. These three bits of advice for their readers’ families appeared in the June 1866 issue as people were pulling their lives back together after the Civil War.


It is often said of persons, in a complimentary way, that they are sociable, meaning that they are friendly and talkative; but it depends somewhat on the character of a person’s speech, as well as its quantity, whether his acquaintance is desirable or not. Persons may be ever so well meaning, but if their conversation is only of the prevailing sickness, or the last horrible murder in the papers, unless you incline particularly to such kind of entertainment, they will be likely to prove dull companions in the end.

Or if an acquaintance is simply prosy, and talks with as dignified an air as if he fancied himself to be delivering a lecture on some moral subject, without any of the familiar language which makes intercourse with friends so charming, you will be as likely to go to sleep during his discourse as you would in a railway carriage while it is in motion, and wake up when he stopped. Or, if your caller should happen to be one full of his or her own petty cares, who will treat you to a history of all their little vexations, you will soon become tired, or irritable, or both; but no matter, you must hear all their plans for the present and future, whether you will or not. Sometimes, too, from this kind of sociable people, you will hear nothing but bits of flying gossip about people you are not at all interested in.

But when a friend enters about your own stamp, and you cannot speak without calling up a response from his mind; when your ideas and experiences correspond, and you heart grows lighter with the friendly interchange of thought, you are enjoying one of the highest pleasures of social intercourse. Such hours need not be counted among the vanishing pleasures, for the recollection of them is agreeable to both ever after.



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!