Tag Archives: The Lily
Making Biscuits

The Lily: Aunt Dale’s Letter

March 15, 1855

Dear Editor:

My spectacles have been brightened; the nice escritoire, your brother presented to me, lies open. I cannot be contented with all these accidental circumstances so favorable, without presenting you a sketch of my last observation I promised you something about the lady round the corner.

Three years ago she lived in a large building and had her kitchen girl and chambermaid: now she has to do her own work, for a few boarders and hardly feeds her own little family at that. Three years ago she called on the ladies of this village, and proposed that only those who were able to keep help, should associate together. Much credit to the common sense still left, the proposal was rejected and she had to float along, a tolerated gentility.

As for evincing the least interest in the girls who worked for her, it was not to be thought of. At one time her girl was attacked with the measles, and it was the fourth day before she visited her in her hot bed room, off from the kitchen. Poor Jane was taken away by one of those unpretending ladies, whose quiet philanthropy is generally all sufficient for any affliction.

Time passed on, and this very girl married her good friend’s son, which at once raised her to opulence, while her former mistress was reduced to comparative poverty by the death of her husband and the confused state of his affairs. She is now happy if she can but get a bow from her former housemaid. Still, like all coarse minds, under lace and satin, she maintains, that all “adversity to herself, is an affliction, and to her friends, a judgment.”

For my part, I like to see “pride have a fall.” I came from Yankee land where conscience is not a scarce article of commerce in society; where, if woman bears down unjustly upon those whose sphere is a little different, straight way she feels the neglect of her friends, and, if she has any heart, the gnawings of self accusation. I never could see why, if woman wanted to have the name of Christian, she should act far beneath the heathen.

Ah! we have the heathen in our own country when man forgets man, and woman forgets woman. But I will close, for age and scandal makes me garrulous.

You may hear again from,

Lizzy Dale

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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Amelia Bloomer

Amelia Bloomer and the Birth of The Lily

Mrs. Bloomer herself tells the story of the newspaper’s beginnings and her connection with it as follows:

Up to about 1848-9 women had almost no part in all this temperance work. They could attend meetings and listen to the eloquence and arguments of men, and they could pay their money towards the support of temperance lecturers, but such a thing as their having anything to say or do further than this was not thought of.

They were fired with zeal after listening to the Washingtonian lecturers and other speakers on temperance who then abounded, and in some instances held little private meetings of their own, organized societies and passed resolutions expressive of their feelings on the great subject.

It was at a meeting of this kind in Seneca Falls, N. Y., which was then my home, that the matter of publishing a little temperance paper, for home distribution only, was introduced. The ladies caught at the idea and at once determined on issuing the paper. Editors were selected, a committee appointed to wait on the newspaper offices to learn on what terms the paper could be printed monthly, we furnishing all the copy.


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New Historic Marker Honors Amelia Jenks Bloomer’s Childhood Home

Monday, September 17, 2012 –Nearly 50 people turned out for the unveiling of a historic roadside marker on Main Street in Homer yesterday, the marker recognizes one of America’s foremost social reformers who was born in the Village.

With musical fanfare and an extensive history Homer Town Historian Martin Sweeney and Cortland resident Pamela Poulin unveiled the latest historical marker in Homer, this one dedicated to the early beginnings of women’s rights and temperance advocate Amelia Jenks Bloomer.

Through her research Poulin was able to determine that Jenks Bloomer was born in Homer in 1818 and lived at 43 Main Street. The young Jenks Bloomer was educated at the Homer academy on the Village Green. At age 22 she married the owner of the Seneca County Courier Newspaper and became a writer.

Read more at New Historic Marker in Homer Recognizes Women’s Rights Leader.


Amelia Bloomer

Amelia Jenks Bloomer

Amelia Jenks Bloomer’s 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.

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.

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Bar of Destruction

Another Rum Triumph in The Lily

Hell reigns again, and the grave open for another victim. But this time, the accursed scourge has fastened upon the child. But rumsellers are like the savage in their mode of warfare, with this difference. The one butchers for revenge, while the other murders by inches for the paltry sum he gets for his liquor. The traffic spares neither age, sex, nor condition.

While out South to attend our engagements on the 4th, we learned the following:

A poor family, by the name of Parks, have for some time lived in Venice, but now, we believe, live some distance from Parker’s tavern on the Owasco Hill. Parks is an intemperate man. Probably this, coupled with poverty and trouble. has plunged the wife into the same habits. They have led a miserable life, and been steadily robbed and cursed by the rumselling wretches that surround them. Their children have been allowed to drink whisky out of their little tin cups.


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Mother and Children (Illustration from Godey's Lady's Book)

The Moral Education of Children in The Lily

Children may be made amiable, obedient, and respectful, if duly directed and governed when young. They are naturally docile and affectionate. Those traits of character should be nursed and strengthened. But how often are they blunted and destroyed!

If subjected to unkind, harsh. arbitrary and severe treatment on the part of parents, all their natural docility and originally affectionate feelings will be destroyed or much impaired. Children are not born demons; they have a capacity for good, for moral improvement; a kind and genial soul may be found in their hearts, if the seeds of kindness and truth are duly sown.— Indeed, they are naturally found there, and only want a judicious, faithful and affectionate hand for the work of culture and improvement.


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