Tag Archives: National Citizen and Ballot Box
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What is Cruel Treatment? (1878)

CRUEL WORDS AS MUCH A GROUND
FOR DIVORCE AS PHYSICAL INJURIES.

Judge Sedgwick, of New York, has filed in a divorce suit an opinion that is novel as well as important to wives. Cruel and inhuman treatment forms one statutory cause for limited divorce, with alimony and care of children; but hitherto the current of opinion has been that this phrase signifies treatment of an exclusively physical nature.

The judge in referring to the allegations and evidence against the ill-treatment of the wife by the husband in Kennedy vs. Kennedy, said: “This constitutes cruel and inhuman treatment as meant by the statute, even if no bodily injury was done to her. There was sleeplessness and the consequences of nervous shock and derangement, which things are as definitely ‘bodily’ as the results of a blow, and last longer unless the blow is murderous. The plaintiff should have judgment for a separation.”

In this case the husband had employed his tongue as the sole weapon instead of his hand, a knife or stick.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Women’s Suffrage Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily (1849-1856), National Citizen and Ballot Box (1878-1881), The Revolution (1868-1872), The New Citizen (1909-1912), The Western Woman Voter (1911-1913), and the antisuffrage newspaper, The Remonstrance (1890-1913).

The rapid advance in public sentiment is truly wonderful. What a change from the time a man might beat his wife with a club or whip her with a stick as big as his thumb, down to this decision which forbids abusive language toward her. Great pains were taken in olden time to save a man from his wife’s tongue, in case she felt like using that little instrument in retaliation. There were stocks and the ducking stool for scolding wives, little implements of wife subjugation brought along by our puritan fathers to keep in due subordination the puritan mothers.

All honor to Judge Sedgwick for his decision against a husband’s cruel words, from which many a woman suffers whose husband prides himself upon the kindness with which he treats her; killing kindness, for no more “cruel and inhuman treatment” is possible than the tongue can give. Words kill.

Source: National Citizen and Ballot Box, September 1878


Woman Suffrage and the Darwinian Theory

Woman Suffrage and the Darwinian Theory (1878)

DEAR BALLOT BOX: Do you know that this interminable drudgery imposed on American mothers of petitioning—petitioning for the ballot—this humiliation of forever praying to their own sons to be allowed to enjoy their birthright with the men born of them, furnishes me with stronger evidence of the Darwinian theory than anything I am able to find elsewhere. Were it not for this relic which has no parallel in the history left us of the dark ages—of the long ago buried past, there would be little proof of such an age having once enshrouded the earth.

The brutish vulgarity which we see cropping out in men who ignorantly disgrace themselves by ignoring their own mothers, is conclusive evidence to me that the race must have come up through the long line of animal ancestry to the “man in the dugout,” and from thence to the men in our present Congress, some of whom still seem inclined to root, and grunt, and squeal, if others assert rights equal to their own: lest the visual line of their own pen be the world’s extent, and, if others should be allowed to enjoy like blessings, they would be crowded, off the stage of action. While there are other men on the same floor, who, I am proud to say, are infinitely in advance of all this, which is a promise and prophecy of the oncoming of those others, for which I thank God and take courage; and love to accept this theory because it gives us a better outlook—this law of eternal progress must in cycles of years lift the most sordid to a higher plane of nobler action.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Women’s Suffrage Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily (1849-1856), National Citizen and Ballot Box (1878-1881), The Revolution (1868-1872), The New Citizen (1909-1912), The Western Woman Voter (1911-1913), and the antisuffrage newspaper, The Remonstrance (1890-1913).

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circa 1898: American abolitionist and suffragette Susan B Anthony (1820 - 1906).   (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

Never Heard of Susan B. Anthony (1880)

This strongly worded letter to the Pittsburgh Leader on March 21, 1880 was reproduced in the April 1880 issue of the National Citizen and Ballot Box suffrage newspaper published by Matilda Joslyn Gage.

Editor Leader:

However startling, incredible and surprising it may appear, it is yet an actual fact that there is a so-called intelligent woman in this town who has never heard of Susan B. Anthony. A woman, too, who lives in luxury, wears satin de Lyon and sealskin and diamonds, a woman who can command leisure enough to read all the papers and no end of books, and yet she said she had never heard of Susan B., and confessed it, too, with all the nonchalance and coolness in the world. Good heavens I Maria, said her friend, do you never read the papers? Oh, yes, she answered, but I never read anything but the marriages and deaths and the “wants.” It is a great waste of time, you know, to read newspapers. Think of it! A woman so given over to tucking, ruffling, embroidering, tatting, pillow-shamming and crewel work, that she cannot read the papers. Think of a woman so given over to dressing, visiting, shopping, tea-partying and “sich,” that she knows nothing of the every day history of the world she lives in, except as regards the marriages, deaths and “wants” of our own dirty little corner of the earth. Think of a woman content to live along without knowledge, without reading, without a desire to know. Think of a woman who in these days of woman’s rights, has never heard of Susan B. Anthony. Surely she must be one of those dear, delightful ignoramuses—the angelical ideal of many men—who is shut up in that awfully hallowed spot which they calla “woman’s sphere,” and without a thought beyond. What a sweet, delightful, interesting, entertaining companion such a woman must be.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Women’s Suffrage Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily (1849-1856), National Citizen and Ballot Box (1878-1881), The Revolution (1868-1872), The New Citizen (1909-1912), The Western Woman Voter (1911-1913), and the antisuffrage newspaper, The Remonstrance (1890-1913).

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George Eliot's Death Coverage2

George Eliot Dead – December 22, 1880

Mary Anne Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880; alternatively “Mary Ann” or “Marian”), known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. She is the author of seven novels, including Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871–72), and Daniel Deronda (1876), most of which are set in provincial England and known for their realism and psychological insight.

She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure that her works would be taken seriously. Female authors were published under their own names during Eliot’s lifetime, but she wanted to escape the stereotype of women’s writing being limited to lighthearted romances. She also wanted to have her fiction judged separately from her already extensive and widely known work as an editor and critic.

Her death was shared in the January 1881 issue of the National Citizen and Ballot Box, a leading Suffrage newspaper in the United States:

George Eliot Dead

The unlooked for tidings that this grand woman, the greatest novelist of the century, has suddenly finished her career on earth, will bring deep sorrow, to a large circle of her readers, and untold bereavement to many a heart.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Women’s Suffrage Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily (1849-1856), National Citizen and Ballot Box (1878-1881), The Revolution (1868-1872), The New Citizen (1909-1912), The Western Woman Voter (1911-1913), and the antisuffrage newspaper, The Remonstrance (1890-1913).

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Average Woman

The Average American Woman (1878)

“Now is the time when the average American woman begins to negotiate for a handsome Christmas present for her husband —at some store where his credit is good.”— The Boone County (Iowa) Republican.

Exactly! It is the “average American woman” who tends the babies, washes, cooks, scrubs, washes dishes, irons, bakes and sews, and sits down in the evening tired and discouraged, to take up the weekly paper and read such cruel and insulting taunts and jeers, because in spite of her care and toil, she is unselfish enough to wish to give her husband a Christmas present.

It is the ‘average American woman” who takes ten cents worth of flour and converts it into thirty-five cents worth of bread.

Who earns the bread for the family, the husband who gives ten cents worth of labor, or the wife who gives twenty-five?

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Women’s Suffrage Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily (1849-1856), National Citizen and Ballot Box (1878-1881), The Revolution (1868-1872), The New Citizen (1909-1912), The Western Woman Voter (1911-1913), and the antisuffrage newspaper, The Remonstrance (1890-1913).

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