Tag Archives: 19th century
womens rights 3

Women’s Rights in The Lily (1856)

I ask if the laws are right, in case a married woman possess real estate, (for of course she can possess no personal property,) and dies, leaving a husband; according to the laws of Ohio, (if I mistake not,) he is entitled to the whole amount. But if a man possesses property and dies, leaving a widow, she is entitled to none of his personal property, and only allowed the use of the third of his real estate; the surplus is to be divided equally among the children, if they have any, when the youngest is twenty-one years of age; also the remaining third, after the death of the widow. But if she has no children, it will go to the deceased husband’s relatives.

I would like to know if a woman does not need as much property to support a family of children as a man, who gets higher wages for labor?

But no; they deprive her of property, reduce her wages, and then compel her to wear away her life in unremitting toil, for a mere pittance, to provide for herself and her helpless children. Now, I ask, what justice is there in this? It is no wonder that people blush at the name of Slavery!

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.


The Present – An Age of Hope (1837)

Hope is made up of two ingredients, desire and expectation. Hope for a special object, is a desire for that object, in full expectation of obtaining it, accompanied with prominent reasons why.

Desire for an object, without expecting to obtain it is not hope, and to expect an object with no desire for it, is also, not hope; but both united is real hope.

Such hope, produces corresponding action, and influences to such steps as will secure the end hoped for. It leads the mind, wisely, to adopt those measures, which are most appropriate to accomplish the end in view; in a word, it makes the subject a consistent one. The present age of time, may be considered verily, one of hope; for wherever we turn our eyes, we see men of all classes buoyant with hope. The mechanic, and the artisan, each hoping to excel; the merchant and the commercial man sustained principally by hope, in their enterprises; and in the great political contest, and amidst the rage of speculation, the one, hoping for political honor, and the other, that fortune may attend his emergencies. But with no class of citizens is the above more emphatically true, than with colored Americans.

We have everything to hope and nothing to fear. It is impossible, that our condition in this land of republicanism, and in this age of reform, can be worse than it has been; we must, therefore, be on the verge of a better condition. – It is one of hope.

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.

A Platform for the Labor-Reformers

A Platform for the Labor-Reformers (1870)

After the Civil War ended and slavery was abolished, the National Anti-Slavery Standard, continued through 1870 reporting on the advances of the former slave population as well as other progressive movements like Woman Suffrage and Labor Reform. This item ran in the February 19, 1870 issue.

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.

A Platform for the Labor-Reformers

At a recent Convention in Natick of the Boston Eight-Hour League, Mrs. Rockwood offered the following resolutions:

  • Resolved, That we congratulate the workingmen of Massachusetts on the great success of our first political effort, which has thrown 14,000 vote and elected twenty-five numbers of the Legislature; valuing this not only for its own sake, but because it secures that thorough discussion of our question by the press upon which our success must finally depend.
  • Resolved, That while we consider the currency, the rate of interest, banking and a protective tariff, subjects of great importance to workingmen, and requiring at a proper time the most thorough discussion, we still believe that the shortening of the hours of labor and thus securing leisure for self-improvement, to be the first measure to be pressed, both on its own account and to prepare the way for co-operation—the only thing which will bring capital and labor into right relation.
  • Resolved, That we urge the friends of the cause that, wherever possible, all facts going to prove the practicability and success of co-operation be communicated to the public journals.
  • Resolved, That we pledge ourselves, and urge on our fellow-workingmen, to make such use of leisure for self-improvement by aid of lectures, libraries, schools and debating-societies, as will show our critics we need only a fair chance to make ourselves full sharers in the culture and development that have hitherto distinguished the capitalist classes.
  • Resolved, That we determine, and urge our friends, to resolve, to stand by and carry out the political movement so well begun.
  • Resolved, That we thank the last Legislature for the establishment of the Labor Commission, recognizing the great aid it will be to our cause, and that we ask the present Legislature to enlarge and continue it.
  • Resolved. That we join hands in the determination to ask all the workingmen of the State to help us make Massachusetts the pioneer State in this great cause wrapped up in what, in our judgment, is the success of republican institutions.

This is a practical and sensible platform, and should be received with respect. The resolutions were adopted. Speeches were made by Merssrs. Carruthers of Lynn, Steward, McNeill, Place and Bates, and Mrs. Rockwood, of Boston. A Mr. Jones sent in a suggestive and encouraging letter.


The Progress of the Southern Revolt

(The Charleston Mercury – January 3, 1861) Every effort of the General Government to avert its dissolution, only hastens on its fate. Major Anderson abandons Fort Moultrie and garrisons Fort Sumter. The President approves and the Northern press praises the achievement. The New York Evening Post even declares that this step to coercion raises the price of Stocks in New York. But what follows in the South, where the great game of disunion is going on?

The people of South Carolina are made more resolute in their determination to throw off the Government. Our city is like an armed camp. Martial music fills the air. Offers of assistance come by thousands from the neighboring States. Fort Moultrie, Castle Pinckney, Fort Johnson, and the United States Arsenal, are occupied with our troops. Disciplined companies are arriving by the railroad from the interior of the State.

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.

The New American Monarchy in the Pacific

The New American Monarchy in the Pacific (1875)

(Frank  Leslies Weekly August 21, 1875) – The phrase, American Monarchy, will, no doubt, sound strange to many of our readers. The words, to most minds, imply a contradiction. Our separate nationality grew out of a deadly and destructive war against monarchical power and monarchical principles, and the most notional American never dreamed that the national flag would float over a kingdom created and sustained by American power. We live, however, in extraordinary times; and things the most wonderful and apparently impossible do come to pass.

Far away in the Southern Pacific, and a little to the northeastward of the Tonga groups, lie the Samoan or Navigator’s Islands. The Samoan group, which forms and extended chain running east and west, consists of the four larger islands of Manua, Tutuila, Upolu and Savaii, with several of smaller size. The islands are beautiful and fertile, the largest, Savaii, being about forty miles long by twenty-five broad. As far back as 1839 these islands were visited and surveyed by Lieutenant Wilkes and the other officers of the United States Exploring Expedition. About three years ago a friend of President Grant, by name Steinberger, and a “Colonel,” went to Samoa in a ship-of-war, on what he himself called a “mission.” At the time, very considerable mystery was associated with this mission. It now appears, however, that Colonel Steinberger’s real object was to induce the natives to sign a petition asking the assistance of the United States in their efforts to organize a government of their own, with the special request that he himself be sent out in the capacity of general superintendent. The “mission” was successfully accomplished; and, armed with the petition, Colonel Steinberger reappeared in Washington. Of course he must have reported, although to whom we are left at liberty to form our own opinion. Congress was in session, but Congress was left in as much ignorance of the whole affair as was the general public. As yet, nothing was made of the affair, because nothing was known about it. The people were indifferent, because the people were uninformed.

The second phase of the affair is greatly more interesting than the first. The prayer of the petitioners is granted; and Colonel Steinberger, in a ship-of-war which had been placed at his disposal, well supplied with cannon, small-arms and ammunition, and with numberless articles intended as presents to the native chiefs, is off again for Samoa. It was not possible now for the secret much longer to be preserved. Nor have we any reason to believe that there was any intention longer to maintain the mystery. The work had been done, and mystery was no longer a necessity in the case. Arrived at Samoa, Commander Erben, from the quarter-deck of the United States Steamer Tuscarora, spoke to the assembled people as follows: “I am sent by the Government of the United States to convey, in the vessel-of-war Tuscarora, Colonel A. B. Steinberger, sent by the President of the United States to remain among you.”

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.