Tag Archives: The Lily
Asylum

Crazy Jane: A Temperance Story

The Lily, the first newspaper for women, was issued from 1849 until 1853 under the editorship of Amelia Bloomer (1818-1894).  Published in Seneca Falls, New York and priced at 50 cents a year, the newspaper began as a temperance journal for “home distribution” among members of the Seneca Falls Ladies Temperance Society, which had formed in 1848.

Most issues contained at least one anecdotal tale highlighting the dangers of alcohol abuse.

Crazy Jane

A few months ago, we visited the Poor House in a certain county in this state, and after being shown the various departments, the gentlemanly keeper conducted us to rooms occupied by the insane, where we beheld a strange melee of strange beings, among whom was a female, in whose countenance we detected the remains of an almost unearthly beauty—and while ruminating upon the probable cause of the apparent change, she suddenly darted forward, and throwing her arms around our neck, imprinted a burning kiss upon our cheek, while she addressed us in the most refined language, as her husband, making earnest inquires for her dear little Mary, and a great number of others, probably her former friends and associates. It was not until we had answered all her questions, and satisfied her as far as our fancy enabled us to, that she could be induced to relax her hold upon us, and not then until she had exacted a solemn promise that we would visit her again soon, accompanied by little Mary.

As we left the room, and the door closed behind us, which shut out the world from the unfortunate inmates, Jane (for so the keeper called the object of our attention) hurried to the grated window, and kissing her hand, bade us remember our engagement to visit her again soon. As we turned from her there was an expression on her countenance—a strange commingling of joy and grief, which still haunts our memory—visits us amid the busy scenes of life—and which an age would not suffice to efface from our memory.

An interest thus naturally awakened, led us to inquire into the history of “Crazy Jane,” as we afterwards learned was the cognomen assigned her by the citizens of the vicinity. The story is soon told. 

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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fretting

On Fretting from The Lily, 1856

Source: The Lily, February 15, 1856, the first newspaper for women, was issued from 1849 until 1853 under the editorship of Amelia Bloomer (1818-1894).

Published in Seneca Falls, New York and priced at 50 cents a year, the newspaper began as a temperance journal for “home distribution” among members of the Seneca Falls Ladies Temperance Society, which had formed in 1848.

On Fretting

“Fret not thyself,” says the Psalmist. Mankind have a proneness to fret themselves. Their business does not prosper according to their expectations; customers do not pay promptly; competition is sharp; those in whom they have confided prove treacherous; malice and envy hurl their envenomed shafts; domestic affairs go contrariwise; the wicked seem to prosper, while the righteous are abased. In every lot there is ample material to make a god of, which may pierce and wrankle in our souls, if we are only so disposed.

Fretting is of the nature of certain diseases, assuming various types. Diseases is sometimes acute—coming on suddenly in the midst of health, and with but little premonition, raging violently through the system, causing fever and racking pains; soon reaching its crisis, and rapidly running its course, either to kill or to be cured. So with fretting. At times it overtakes the constitutionally and habitually patient and gentle. Strong provocation assails them unawares, throws them off their guard, upsets their equanimity, and causes an overflow of spleen that they did not know was in them to that degree. Even the gentle may thus have occasion to take heed to the injunction, “Fret not”

Diseases, however, often assume the chronic type, becoming embedded in the system, deranging its organs, interfering with the performance of the natural and healthful functions, and lingering year after year, like a vampire, to extract the vital juices. In like manner fretting becomes chronic. Peevishness, irritability, censoriousness, complaining, indulged in, assume a habit; gaining thereby strength and power, until the prevailing tempter is fretfulness. It argues a sadly diseased condition of the soul, when this distemper becomes one of its fixtures. To such an one everything goes wrong. The whole mechanism of society is thrown out of gear; instead of moving smoothly, as when lubricated by the oil of kindness and charity, its cogs clash, and its pivots all grate harshly.

Neither wealth nor birth, but mind only, should be the aristocracy of a free people.

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.

Source: The Lily, February 15, 1856


mens-fashions

“Male Bloomers” in The Lily, 1854

Under this head many of our brother editors are aiming their wit and ridicule at those gentlemen who have donned the Shawl as a comfortable article of wearing apparel in cold weather.

There is a class of men who seem to think it their especial business to superintend the wardrobes of both men and women, and if any dare to depart from their ideas of propriety, they forthwith launch out into all sorts of witticisms and hard names, and proclaim their opinions, their likes and dislikes, with all the importance of authorized dictators. As to the Shawl, it would be well if it could be banished from use entirely; as it is an inconvenient and injurious article of apparel, owing to its requiring both hands to keep it on, and thereby tending to contract the chest, and cause stooping shoulders.

American Fashions, 1849-50

American Fashions, 1849-50

But if worn at all, men have the same right to it that women have. If they find it comfortable, that is enough; and no one has a right to object to their wearing it because women wear shawls. The sack coats of the men, and the sacks of the women at the present time are cut very nearly after the same pattern. Both find them comfortable and convenient, without being burdensome. The hands are left free to swing at the sides, or use at pleasure, and the form may be carried erect, with shoulders thrown back and chest expanded. This is the most comfortable and useful garment for the street, for both men and women, ever introduced; — and must either dispense with this comfortable garment because it is worn by the other?

In the judgment of these teachers of propriety, one or the other sex should relinquish this coat, and some new style of overcoat be introduced for the party which is deprived of the privilege of wearing this one. There is the same reason for raising a cry about this garment, as about the shawl. Indeed, we think the shawl of right belongs to the men; as it answers so well to the description of the garment prescribed for them in Duet. 22. 12: “Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture wherewith thou coverest thyself.” True, men have departed from this injunction in former years, and resigned to woman the dress prescribed for themselves, and worn by their fathers in olden times. But that is no reason why they should not again resume it.

In our opinion people have a right to wear about what they please — what may suit their own wants, or their fancy; and while we claim the right to decide for ourself in our own case, we accord the largest liberty to our brothers and sisters in the same matter. Let each one study to please himself and herself, and –let other people mind their own business.

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.

brulon

Lieutenant Madame Brulon: A Modern Heroine

The brilliant lady who writes to the Tribune from Paris over the signature of “Au Revoir,” expresses very naturally the force of habit in a kiss, by describing an embrace she received from a woman in masculine attire, the famous Madame Brulon, of the Hotel des Invalides. She says, “I feel a blush creeping to my cheeks as she kisses me and holds me in her cordial embrace, so much are we in the habit of believing that man walks in coat and pantaloons. If there is ‘safety in numbers,’ however, (as we are assured of there being, in kiss-dom) the lady is safe enough;” for in the same letter she says, “The Hotel des Invalides embraces what would compose quite an American village.” But this Madame Brulon is indeed a celebrity. Of such a heroine on pension it is well to repeat the history:

Madame Brulon, though eighty-three years of age, retains all the vivacity of youthful expression, and assured us that she felt no faculty missing but that to guide well her feet, the right leg having become more refractory than the wounded one.

She wears the uniform of the Invalides, and since her first adoption of military dress, has never left it but once, and that for a moment’s amusement to her grandchildren, when she assumed female attire. But the children, instead of being amused, burst into tears, and begged their grandpa-ma to go back again to her soldier’s clothes.

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suffrage-memorial

News for Women, by Women

Accessible Archives subscribers have access to three of America’s oldest newspapers published by and for women: The Lily, The Revolution, and National Citizen and Ballot Box.

 

Amelia Bloomer

Amelia Bloomer

The Lily, the first newspaper for women, was issued from 1849 until 1853 under the editorship of Amelia Bloomer (1818-1894). Published in Seneca Falls, New York and priced at 50 cents a year, the newspaper began as a temperance journal for “home distribution” among members of the Seneca Falls Ladies Temperance Society, which had formed in 1848.

Bloomer felt that as women lecturers were considered unseemly, writing was the best way for women to work for reform. The paper encountered a number of early obstacles and the Society’s enthusiasm died out, but Bloomer felt a commitment to publish and assumed full responsibility for editing and publishing the paper.

Originally, the title page had the legend “Published by a committee of ladies“, but after 1850 only Bloomer’s name appeared on the masthead.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (seated) and Susan B. Anthony

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (seated) and Susan B. Anthony

The Revolution, a weekly women’s rights newspaper, was the official publication of the National Woman Suffrage Association formed by feminists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony to secure women’s enfranchisement through a federal constitutional amendment.

Published between January 8, 1868 and February, 1872, it was edited by Stanton and Parker Pillsbury and initially funded by George Francis Train, a wealthy and eccentric Democrat, and David Melliss, financial editor of the New York World newspaper. Coincidentally, The Revolution was run out of a small office in the same building that housed the New York World.

The Revolution’s motto, printed on the masthead of the first edition’s front page, was, “Principle, not policy; Justice, not favors.” Beginning with the second edition, the following was added: “Men, their rights and nothing more; Women, their rights and nothing less.” Later editions had this motto: “The True Republic–Men, their rights and nothing more; Women, their rights and nothing less.”

Although its circulation never exceeded 3,000, The Revolution’s influence on the national woman’s rights movement was enormous.

Matilda Joslyn Gage

Matilda Joslyn Gage

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.

Gage bought The Ballot Box, a publication of a Toledo, Ohio suffrage association, in 1878 when its editor, Sarah R.L. Williams, decided to retire.

Gage renamed it the National Citizen and Ballot Box, and included her intentions for the paper in a prospectus: “Its especial object will be to secure national protection to women citizens in the exercise of their rights to vote…it will oppose Class Legislation of whatever form…Women of every class, condition, rank and name will find this paper their friend.”

Gage became the National Citizen and Ballot Box’s primary editor for the next three years (until 1881), producing and publishing essays on a wide range of issues. Each edition bore the motto “The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword”, and included regular columns about prominent women in history and female inventors.