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Eighty Years And More; Reminiscences 1815-1897 by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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While attending a meeting in Birmingham I stayed with a relative of
Joseph Sturge, whose home I had visited forty years before. The meeting
was called to discuss the degradation of women under the Contagious
Diseases Act. Led by Josephine Butler, the women of England were deeply
stirred on the question of its repeal and have since secured it. I heard
Mrs. Butler speak in many of her society meetings as well as on other
occasions. Her style was not unlike that one hears in Methodist camp
meetings from the best cultivated of that sect; her power lies in her
deeply religious enthusiasm. In London we met Emily Faithful, who had
just returned from a lecturing tour in the United States, and were much
amused with her experiences. Having taken prolonged trips over the whole
country, from Maine to Texas, for many successive years, Miss Anthony
and I could easily add the superlative to all her narrations.

It was a pleasant surprise to meet the large number of Americans usually
at the receptions of Mrs. Peter Taylor. Graceful and beautiful, in full
dress, standing beside her husband, who evidently idolized her, Mrs.
Taylor appeared quite as refined in her drawing room as if she had never
been exposed to the public gaze while presiding over a suffrage
convention. Mrs. Taylor is called the mother of the suffrage movement.
The reform has not been carried on in all respects to her taste, nor on
what she considers the basis of high principle. Neither she nor Mrs.
Jacob Bright has ever been satisfied with the bill asking the rights of
suffrage for "widows and spinsters" only. To have asked this right "for
all women duly qualified," as but few married women are qualified
through possessing property in their own right, would have been
substantially the same, without making any invidious distinctions. Mrs.
Taylor and Mrs. Bright felt that, as married women were the greatest
sufferers under the law, they should be the first rather than the last
to be enfranchised. The others, led by Miss Becker, claimed that it was
good policy to make the demand for "spinsters and widows," and thus
exclude the "family unit" and "man's headship" from the discussion; and
yet these were the very points on which the objections were invariably
based. They claimed that, if "spinsters and widows" were enfranchised,
they would be an added power to secure to married women their rights.
But the history of the past gives us no such assurance. It is not
certain that women would be more just than men, and a small privileged
class of aristocrats have long governed their fellow-countrymen. The
fact that the spinsters in the movement advocated such a bill, shows
that they were not to be trusted in extending it. John Stuart Mill, too,
was always opposed to the exclusion of married women in the demand for

My sense of justice was severely tried by all I heard of the
persecutions of Mrs. Besant and Mr. Bradlaugh for their publications on
the right and duty of parents to limit population. Who can contemplate
the sad condition of multitudes of young children in the Old World whose
fate is to be brought up in ignorance and vice--a swarming, seething
mass which nobody owns--without seeing the need of free discussion of
the philosophical principles that underlie these tangled social
problems? The trials of Foote and Ramsey, too, for blasphemy, seemed
unworthy a great nation in the nineteenth century. Think of
well-educated men of good moral standing thrown into prison in solitary
confinement, for speaking lightly of the Hebrew idea of Jehovah and the
New Testament account of the birth of Jesus! Our Protestant clergy never
hesitate to make the dogmas and superstitions of the Catholic Church
seem as absurd as possible, and why should not those who imagine they
have outgrown Protestant superstitions make them equally ridiculous?
Whatever is true can stand investigation and ridicule.

In the last of April, when the wildflowers were in their glory, Mrs.
Mellen and her lovely daughter, Daisy, came down to our home at
Basingstoke to enjoy its beauty. As Mrs. Mellen had known Charles
Kingsley and entertained him at her residence in Colorado, she felt a
desire to see his former home. Accordingly, one bright morning, Mr.
Blatch drove us to Eversley, through Strathfieldsaye, the park of the
Duke of Wellington. This magnificent place was given to him by the
English government after the battle of Waterloo. A lofty statue of the
duke, that can be seen for miles around, stands at one entrance. A drive
of a few miles further brought us to the parish church of Canon
Kingsley, where he preached many years, and where all that is mortal of
him now lies buried. We wandered through the old church, among the
moss-covered tombstones, and into the once happy home, now silent and
deserted--his loved ones being scattered in different quarters of the
globe. Standing near the last resting place of the author of "Hypatia,"
his warning words for women, in a letter to John Stuart Mill, seemed
like a voice from heaven saying, with new inspiration and power, "This
will never be a good world for women until the last remnant of the canon
law is civilized off the face of the earth."

We heard Mr. Fawcett speak to his Hackney constituents at one of his
campaign meetings. In the course of his remarks he mentioned with
evident favor, as one of the coming measures, the disestablishment of
the Church, and was greeted with loud applause. Soon after he spoke of
woman suffrage as another question demanding consideration, but this
was received with laughter and jeers, although the platform was crowded
with advocates of the measure, among whom were the wife of the speaker
and her sister, Dr. Garrett Anderson. The audience were evidently in
favor of releasing themselves from being taxed to support the Church,
forgetting that women were taxed not only to support a Church but also a
State in the management of neither of which they had a voice. Mr.
Fawcett was not an orator, but a simple, straightforward speaker. He
made one gesture, striking his right clenched fist into the palm of his
left hand at the close of all his strongest assertions, and, although
more liberal than his party, he was a great favorite with his

One pleasant trip I made in England was to Bristol, to visit the Misses
Priestman and Mrs. Tanner, sisters-in-law of John Bright. I had stayed
at their father's house forty years before, so we felt like old friends.
I found them all liberal women, and we enjoyed a few days together,
talking over our mutual struggles, and admiring the beautiful scenery
for which that part of the country is celebrated. The women of England
were just then organizing political clubs, and I was invited to speak
before many of them. There is an earnestness of purpose among English
women that is very encouraging under the prolonged disappointments
reformers inevitably suffer. And the order of English homes, too, among
the wealthy classes, is very enjoyable. All go on from year to year with
the same servants, the same surroundings, no changes, no moving, no
building even; in delightful contrast with our periodical upheavals,
always uncertain where we shall go next, or how long our main
dependents will stand by us.

From Bristol I went to Greenbank to visit Mrs. Helen Bright Clark. One
evening her parlors were crowded and I was asked to give an account of
the suffrage movement in America. Some clergymen questioned me in regard
to the Bible position of woman, whereupon I gave quite an exposition of
its general principles in favor of liberty and equality. As two distinct
lines of argument can be woven out of those pages on any subject, on
this occasion I selected all the most favorable texts for justice to
woman, and closed by stating the limits of its authority. Mrs. Clark,
though thoroughly in sympathy with the views I had expressed, feared
lest my very liberal utterances might have shocked some of the strictest
of the laymen and clergy. "Well," said I, "if we who do see the
absurdities of the old superstitions never unveil them to others, how is
the world to make any progress in the theologies? I am in the sunset of
life, and I feel it to be my special mission to tell people what they
are not prepared to hear, instead of echoing worn-out opinions." The
result showed the wisdom of my speaking out of my own soul. To the
surprise of Mrs. Clark, the Primitive Methodist clergyman called on
Sunday morning to invite me to occupy his pulpit in the afternoon and
present the same line of thought I had the previous evening. I accepted
his invitation. He led the services, and I took my text from Genesis i.
27, 28, showing that man and woman were a simultaneous creation,
endowed, in the beginning, with equal power.

Returning to London, I accepted an invitation to take tea one afternoon
with Mrs. Jacob Bright, who, in earnest conversation, had helped us
each to a cup of tea, and was turning to help us to something more, when
over went table and all--tea, bread and butter, cake, strawberries and
cream, silver, china, in one conglomerate mass. Silence reigned. No one
started; no one said "Oh!" Mrs. Bright went on with what she was saying
as if nothing unusual had occurred, rang the bell, and, when the servant
appeared, pointing to the debris, she said, "Charles, remove this." I
was filled with admiration at her coolness, and devoutly thankful that
we Americans maintained an equally dignified silence.

At a grand reception, given in our honor by the National Central
Committee, in Princess' Hall, Jacob Bright, M.P., presided and made an
admirable opening speech, followed by his sister, Mrs. McLaren, with a
highly complimentary address of welcome. By particular request Miss
Anthony explained the industrial, legal, and political status of
American women, while I set forth their educational, social, and
religious condition. John P. Thomasson, M.P., made the closing address,
expressing his satisfaction with our addresses and the progress made in
both countries.

Mrs. Thomasson, daughter of Mrs. Lucas, gave several parties,
receptions, and dinners,--some for ladies only,--where an abundant
opportunity was offered for a critical analysis of the idiosyncrasies of
the superior sex, especially in their dealings with women. The patience
of even such heroic souls as Lydia Becker and Caroline Biggs was almost
exhausted with the tergiversations of Members of the House of Commons.
Alas for the many fair promises broken, the hopes deferred, the votes
fully relied on and counted, all missing in the hour of action! One
crack of Mr. Gladstone's whip put a hundred Liberal members to
flight--members whom these noble women had spent years in educating. I
never visited the House of Commons that I did not see Miss Becker and
Miss Biggs trying to elucidate the fundamental principles of just
government to some of the legislators. Verily their divine faith and
patience merited more worthy action on the part of their alleged

Miss Henrietta Mueller gave a farewell reception to Miss Anthony and me
on the eve of our departure for America, when we had the opportunity of
meeting once more most of the pleasant acquaintances we had made in
London. Although it was announced for the afternoon, we did, in fact,
receive all day, as many could not come at the hour appointed. Dr.
Elizabeth Blackwell took breakfast with us; Mrs. Fawcett, Mrs. Saville,
and Miss Lord were with us at luncheon; Harriet Hosmer and Olive Logan
soon after; Mrs. Peter Taylor later, and from three to six o'clock the
parlors were crowded.

Returning from London I passed my birthday, November 12, 1883, in
Basingstoke. It was a sad day for us all, knowing that it was the last
day with my loved ones before my departure for America. When I imprinted
the farewell kiss on the soft cheek of my little granddaughter Nora in
the cradle, she in the dawn and I in the sunset of life, I realized how
widely the broad ocean would separate us. Miss Anthony, met me at
Alderly Edge, where we spent a few days with Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Bright.
There we found their noble sisters, Mrs. McLaren and Mrs. Lucas, young
Walter McLaren and his lovely bride, Eva Mueller, whom we had heard
several times on the suffrage platform. We rallied her on the step she
had lately taken, notwithstanding her sister's able paper on the
blessedness of a single life. While there, we visited Dean Stanley's
birthplace, but on his death the light and joy went out. The old church
whose walls had once echoed to his voice, and the house where he had
spent so many useful years, seemed sad and deserted. But the day was
bright and warm, the scenery beautiful, cows and sheep were still
grazing in the meadows, and the grass was as green as in June. This is
England's chief charm,--it is forever green,--perhaps in compensation
for the many cloudy days.

As our good friends Mrs. McLaren and Mrs. Lucas had determined to see us
safely on board the Servia, they escorted us to Liverpool, where we met
Mrs. Margaret Parker and Mrs. Scatcherd. Another reception was given us
at the residence of Dr. Ewing Whittle. Several short speeches were made,
and all present cheered the parting guests with words of hope and
encouragement for the good cause. Here the wisdom of forming an
international association was first considered. The proposition met with
such favor from those present that a committee was appointed to
correspond with the friends in different nations. Miss Anthony and I
were placed on the committee, and while this project has not yet been
fully carried out, the idea of the intellectual co-operation of women to
secure equal rights and opportunities for their sex was the basis of the
International Council of Women, which was held under the auspices of the
National Woman Suffrage Association in Washington, D. C, in March, 1888.

On the Atlantic for ten days we had many opportunities to review all we
had seen and heard. Sitting on deck, hour after hour, how often I
queried with myself as to the significance of the boon for which we were
so earnestly struggling. In asking for a voice in the government under
which we live, have we been pursuing a shadow for fifty years? In
seeking political power, are we abdicating that social throne where they
tell us our influence is unbounded? No, no! the right of suffrage is no
shadow, but a substantial entity that the citizen can seize and hold for
his own protection and his country's welfare. A direct power over one's
own person and property, an individual opinion to be counted, on all
questions of public interest, are better than indirect influence, be
that ever so far reaching.

Though influence, like the pure white light, is all-pervading, yet it is
ofttimes obscured with passing clouds and nights of darkness. Like the
sun's rays, it may be healthy, genial, inspiring, though sometimes too
direct for comfort, too oblique for warmth, too scattered for any
purpose. But as the prism divides the rays, revealing the brilliant
colors of the light, so does individual sovereignty reveal the beauty of
representative government, and as the burning-glass shows the power of
concentrating the rays, so does the combined power of the multitude
reveal the beauty of united effort to carry a grand measure.



Returning from Europe in the autumn of 1883, after visiting a large
circle of relatives and friends, I spent six weeks with my cousin,
Elizabeth Smith Miller, at her home at Geneva, on Seneca Lake.

Through Miss Frances Lord, a woman of rare culture and research, my
daughter and I had become interested in the school of theosophy, and
read "Isis Unveiled," by Madame Blavatsky, Sinnett's works on the
"Occult World," and "The Perfect Way," by Anna Kingsford. Full of these
ideas, I soon interested my cousins in the subject, and we resolved to
explore, as far as possible, some of these Eastern mysteries, of which
we had heard so much. We looked in all directions to find some pilot to
start us on the right course. We heard that Gerald Massey was in New
York city, lecturing on "The Devil," "Ghosts," and "Evil Spirits"
generally, so we invited him to visit us and give a course of lectures
in Geneva. But, unfortunately, he was ill, and could not open new fields
of thought to us at that time, though we were very desirous to get a
glimpse into the unknown world, and hold converse with the immortals. As
I soon left Geneva with my daughter, Mrs. Stanton Lawrence, our occult
studies were, for a time, abandoned.

My daughter and I often talked of writing a story, she describing the
characters and their environments and I attending to the philosophy and
soliloquies. As I had no special duties in prospect, we decided that
this was the time to make our experiment. Accordingly we hastened to the
family homestead at Johnstown, New York, where we could be entirely
alone. Friends on all sides wondered what had brought us there in the
depth of the winter. But we kept our secret, and set ourselves to work
with diligence, and after three months our story was finished to our
entire satisfaction. We felt sure that everyone who read it would be
deeply interested and that we should readily find a publisher. We
thought of "Our Romance" the first thing in the morning and talked of it
the last thing at night. But alas! friendly critics who read our story
pointed out its defects, and in due time we reached their conclusions,
and the unpublished manuscript now rests in a pigeonhole of my desk. We
had not many days to mourn our disappointment, as Madge was summoned to
her Western home, and Miss Anthony arrived armed and equipped with
bushels of documents for vol. III. of "The History of Woman Suffrage."
The summer and autumn of 1884 Miss Anthony and I passed at Johnstown,
working diligently on the History, indulging only in an occasional
drive, a stroll round the town in the evening, or a ride in the open
street cars.

Mrs. Devereux Blake was holding a series of conventions, at this time,
through the State of New York, and we urged her to expend some of her
missionary efforts in my native town, which she did with good results.
As the school election was near at hand Miss Anthony and I had several
preliminary meetings to arouse the women to their duty as voters, and to
the necessity of nominating some woman for trustee. When the day for
the election arrived the large upper room of the Academy was filled with
ladies and gentlemen. Some timid souls who should have been there stayed
at home, fearing there would be a row, but everything was conducted with
decency and in order. The chairman, Mr. Rosa, welcomed the ladies to
their new duties in a very complimentary manner. Donald McMartin stated
the law as to what persons were eligible to vote in school elections.
Mrs. Horace Smith filled the office of teller on the occasion with
promptness and dignity, and Mrs. Elizabeth Wallace Yost was elected
trustee by a majority of seven. It is strange that intelligent women,
who are supposed to feel some interest in the question of education,
should be so indifferent to the power they possess to make our schools
all that they should be.

This was the year of the presidential campaign. The Republicans and
Democrats had each held their nominating conventions, and all classes
participated in the general excitement. There being great
dissatisfaction in the Republican ranks, we issued a manifesto: "Stand
by the Republican Party," not that we loved Blaine more, but Cleveland
less. The latter was elected, therefore it was evident that our efforts
did not have much influence in turning the tide of national politics,
though the Republican papers gave a broad circulation to our appeal.
Dowden's description of the poet Shelley's efforts in scattering one of
his suppressed pamphlets, reminded me of ours. He purchased bushels of
empty bottles, in which he placed his pamphlets; having corked them up
tight, he threw the bottles into the sea at various fashionable watering
places, hoping they would wash ashore. Walking the streets of London in
the evening he would slip his pamphlets into the hoods of old ladies'
cloaks, throw them in shop doors, and leave them in cabs and omnibuses.
We scattered ours in the cars, inclosed them in every letter we wrote or
newspaper we sent through the country.

The night before election Mr. Stanton and Professor Horace Smith spoke
in the Johnstown courthouse, and took rather pessimistic views of the
future of the Republic should James G. Blaine be defeated. Cleveland was
elected, and we still live as a nation, and are able to digest the
thousands of foreign immigrants daily landing at our shores. The night
of the election a large party of us sat up until two o'clock to hear the
news. Mr. Stanton had long been one of the editorial writers on the New
York Sun, and they sent him telegrams from that office until a late
hour. However, the election was so close that we were kept in suspense
several days, before it was definitely decided.

Miss Anthony left in December, 1884, for Washington, and I went to work
on an article for the North American Review, entitled, "What has
Christianity done for Women?" I took the ground that woman was not
indebted to any form of religion for the liberty she now enjoys, but
that, on the contrary, the religious element in her nature had always
been perverted for her complete subjection. Bishop Spaulding, in the
same issue of the Review, took the opposite ground, but I did not feel
that he answered my points.

In January, 1885, my niece Mrs. Baldwin and I went to Washington to
attend the Annual Convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association.
It was held in the Unitarian church on the 20th, 21st, and 22d days of
that month, and went off with great success, as did the usual reception
given by Mrs. Spofford at the Riggs House. This dear friend, one of our
most ardent coadjutors, always made the annual convention a time for
many social enjoyments. The main feature in this convention was the
attempt to pass the following resolutions:

"Whereas, The dogmas incorporated in religious creeds derived from
Judaism, teaching that woman was an after-thought in the creation,
her sex a misfortune, marriage a condition of subordination, and
maternity a curse, are contrary to the law of God (as revealed in
nature), and to the precepts of Christ, and,

"Whereas, These dogmas are an insidious poison, sapping the
vitality of our civilization, blighting woman, and, through her,
paralyzing humanity; therefore be it

"_Resolved_, That we call on the Christian ministry, as leaders of
thought, to teach and enforce the fundamental idea of creation,
that man was made in the image of God, male and female, and given
equal rights over the earth, but none over each other. And,
furthermore, we ask their recognition of the scriptural declaration
that, in the Christian religion, there is neither male nor female,
bond nor free, but all are one in Christ Jesus."

As chairman of the committee I presented a series of resolutions,
impeaching the Christian theology--as well as all other forms of
religion, for their degrading teachings in regard to woman--which the
majority of the committee thought too strong and pointed, and, after
much deliberation, they substituted the above, handing over to the Jews
what I had laid at the door of the Christians. They thought they had so
sugar-coated my ideas that the resolutions would pass without
discussion. But some Jews in the convention promptly repudiated this
impression of their faith and precipitated the very discussion I
desired, but which our more politic friends would fain have avoided.

From the time of the decade meeting in Rochester, in 1878, Matilda
Joslyn Gage, Edward M. Davis, and I had sedulously labored to rouse
women to a realization of their degraded position in the Church, and
presented resolutions at every annual convention for that purpose. But
they were either suppressed or so amended as to be meaningless. The
resolutions of the annual convention of 1885, tame as they are, got into
print and roused the ire of the clergy, and upon the following Sunday,
Dr. Patton of Howard University preached a sermon on "Woman and
Skepticism," in which he unequivocally took the ground that freedom for
woman led to skepticism and immorality. He illustrated his position by
pointing to Hypatia, Mary Wollstonecraft, Frances Wright, George Eliot,
Harriet Martineau, Mme. Roland, Frances Power Cobbe, and Victoria
Woodhull. He made a grave mistake in the last names mentioned, as Mrs.
Woodhull was a devout believer in the Christian religion, and surely
anyone conversant with Miss Cobbe's writings would never accuse her of
skepticism. His sermon was received with intense indignation, even by
the women of his own congregation. When he found what a whirlwind he had
started, he tried to shift his position and explain away much that he
had said. We asked him to let us have the sermon for publication, that
we might not do him injustice. But as he contradicted himself flatly in
trying to restate his discourse, and refused to let us see his sermon,
those who heard him were disgusted with his sophistry and

However, our labors in this direction are having an effect. Women are
now making their attacks on the Church all along the line. They are
demanding their right to be ordained as ministers, elders, deacons, and
to be received as delegates in all the ecclesiastical convocations. At
last they ask of the Church just what they have asked of the State for
the last half century--perfect equality--and the clergy, as a body, are
quite as hostile to their demands as the statesmen.

On my way back to Johnstown I spent ten days at Troy, where I preached
in the Unitarian church on Sunday evening. During this visit we had two
hearings in the Capitol at Albany--one in the Senate Chamber and one in
the Assembly, before the Committee on Grievances. On both occasions Mrs.
Mary Seymour Howell, Mrs. Devereux Blake, Mrs. Caroline Gilkey Rogers,
and I addressed the Committee. Being open to the public, the chamber was
crowded. It was nearly forty years since I had made my first appeal in
the old Capitol at Albany. My reflections were sad and discouraging, as
I sat there and listened to the speakers and remembered how long we had
made our appeals at that bar, from year to year, in vain. The members of
the committee presented the same calm aspect as their predecessors, as
if to say, "Be patient, dear sisters, eternity is before us; this is
simply a question of time. What may not come in your day, future
generations will surely possess." It is always pleasant to know that
our descendants are to enjoy life, liberty, and happiness; but, when one
is gasping for one breath of freedom, this reflection is not satisfying.

Returning to my native hills, I found the Lenten season had fairly set
in, which I always dreaded on account of the solemn, tolling bell, the
Episcopal church being just opposite our residence. On Sunday we had the
bells of six churches all going at the same time. It is strange how long
customs continue after the original object has ceased to exist. At an
early day, when the country was sparsely settled and the people lived at
great distances, bells were useful to call them together when there was
to be a church service. But now, when the churches are always open on
Sunday, and every congregation knows the hour of services and all have
clocks, bells are not only useless, but they are a terrible nuisance to
invalids and nervous people. If I am ever so fortunate as to be elected
a member of a town council, my first efforts will be toward the
suppression of bells.

To encourage one of my sex in the trying profession of book agent, I
purchased, about this time, Dr. Lord's "Beacon Lights of History," and
read the last volume devoted to women, Pagan and Christian, saints and
sinners. It is very amusing to see the author's intellectual wriggling
and twisting to show that no one can be good or happy without believing
in the Christian religion. In describing great women who are not
Christians, he attributes all their follies and miseries to that fact.
In describing Pagan women, possessed of great virtues, he attributes all
their virtues to Nature's gifts, which enable them to rise superior to
superstitions. After dwelling on the dreary existence of those not of
Christian faith, he forthwith pictures his St. Teresa going through
twenty years of doubts and fears about the salvation of her soul. The
happiest people I have known have been those who gave themselves no
concern about their own souls, but did their uttermost to mitigate the
miseries of others.

In May, 1885, we left Johnstown and took possession of our house at
Tenafly, New Jersey. It seemed very pleasant, after wandering in the Old
World and the New, to be in my own home once more, surrounded by the
grand trees I so dearly loved; to see the gorgeous sunsets, the
twinkling fireflies; to hear the whippoorwills call their familiar note,
while the June bugs and the mosquitoes buzz outside the nets through
which they cannot enter. Many people complain of the mosquito in New
Jersey, when he can so easily be shut out of the family circle by nets
over all the doors and windows. I had a long piazza, encased in netting,
where paterfamilias, with his pipe, could muse and gaze at the stars

June brought Miss Anthony and a box of fresh documents for another
season of work on vol. III. of our History. We had a flying visit from
Miss Eddy of Providence, daughter of Mrs. Eddy who gave fifty thousand
dollars to the woman suffrage movement, and a granddaughter of Francis
Jackson of Boston, who also left a generous bequest to our reform. We
found Miss Eddy a charming young woman with artistic tastes. She showed
us several pen sketches she had made of some of our reformers, that were
admirable likenesses.

Mr. Stanton's "Random Recollections" were published at this time and
were well received. A dinner was given him, on his eightieth birthday
(June 27, 1885), by the Press Club of New York city, with speeches and
toasts by his lifelong friends. As no ladies were invited I can only
judge from the reports in the daily papers, and what I could glean from
the honored guest himself, that it was a very interesting occasion.

Sitting in the summerhouse, one day, I witnessed a most amusing scene.
Two of the boys, in search of employment, broke up a hornets' nest.
Bruno, our large Saint Bernard dog, seeing them jumping about, thought
he would join in the fun. The boys tried to drive him away, knowing that
the hornets would get in his long hair, but Bruno's curiosity outran his
caution and he plunged into the midst of the swarm and was soon
completely covered. The buzzing and stinging soon sent the poor dog
howling on the run. He rushed as usual, in his distress, to Amelia in
the kitchen, where she and the girls were making preserves and ironing.
When they saw the hornets, they dropped irons, spoons, jars, everything,
and rushed out of doors screaming. I appreciated the danger in time to
get safely into the house before Bruno came to me for aid and comfort.
At last they played the hose on him until he found some relief; the
maidens, armed with towels, thrashed right and left, and the boys, with
evergreen branches, fought bravely. I had often heard of "stirring up a
hornets' nest," but I had never before seen a practical demonstration of
its danger. For days after, if Bruno heard anything buzz, he would rush
for the house at the top of his speed. But in spite of these occasional
lively episodes, vol. III. went steadily on.

My suffrage sons and daughters through all the Northern and Western
States decided to celebrate, on the 12th of November, 1885, my
seventieth birthday, by holding meetings or sending me gifts and
congratulations. This honor was suggested by Mrs. Elizabeth Boynton
Harbert in _The New Era_, a paper she was editing at that time. The
suggestion met with a ready response. I was invited to deliver an essay
on "The Pleasures of Age," before the suffrage association in New York
city. It took me a week to think them up, but with the inspiration of
Longfellow's "Morituri Salutamus," I was almost converted to the idea
that "we old folks" had the best of it.

The day was ushered in with telegrams, letters, and express packages,
which continued to arrive during the week. From England, France, and
Germany came cablegrams, presents, and letters of congratulation, and
from all quarters came books, pictures, silver, bronzes, California
blankets, and baskets of fruits and flowers. The eulogies in prose and
verse were so hearty and numerous that the ridicule and criticism of
forty years were buried so deep that I shall remember them no more.
There is no class who enjoy the praise of their fellow-men like those
who have had only blame most of their lives. The evening of the 12th we
had a delightful reunion at the home of Dr. Clemence Lozier, where I
gave my essay, after which Mrs. Lozier, Mrs. Blake, Miss Anthony, "Jenny
June," and some of the younger converts to our platform, all made short
speeches of praise and congratulation, which were followed by music,
recitations, and refreshments.

All during the autumn Miss Anthony and I looked forward to the spring,
when we hoped to have completed the third and last volume of our
History, and thus end the labors of ten years. We had neither time nor
eyesight to read aught but the imperative documents for the History. I
was hungering for some other mental pabulum.

In January, 1886, I was invited to dine with Laura Curtis Bullard, to
meet Mme. Durand (Henri Greville), the novelist. She seemed a politic
rather than an earnest woman of principle. As it was often very
inconvenient for me to entertain distinguished visitors, who desired to
meet me in my country home during the winter, Mrs. Bullard generously
offered always to invite them to her home. She and her good mother have
done their part in the reform movements in New York by their generous

Reading the debates in Congress, at that time, on a proposed
appropriation for a monument to General Grant, I was glad to see that
Senator Plumb of Kansas was brave enough to express his opinion against
it. I fully agree with him. So long as multitudes of our people who are
doing the work of the world live in garrets and cellars, in ignorance,
poverty, and vice, it is the duty of Congress to apply the surplus in
the national treasury to objects which will feed, clothe, shelter, and
educate these wards of the State. If we must keep on continually
building monuments to great men, they should be handsome blocks of
comfortable homes for the poor, such as Peabody built in London. Senator
Hoar of Massachusetts favored the Grant monument, partly to cultivate
the artistic tastes of our people. We might as well cultivate our tastes
on useful dwellings as on useless monuments. Surely sanitary homes and
schoolhouses for the living would be more appropriate monuments to wise
statesmen than the purest Parian shafts among the sepulchers of the

The strikes and mobs and settled discontent of the masses warn us that,
although we forget and neglect their interests and our duties, we do it
at the peril of all. English statesmen are at their wits' end to-day
with their tangled social and industrial problems, threatening the
throne of a long line of kings. The impending danger cannot be averted
by any surface measures; there must be a radical change in the relations
of capital and labor.

In April rumors of a domestic invasion, wafted on every Atlantic breeze,
warned us that our children were coming from England and France--a party
of six. Fortunately, the last line of the History was written, so Miss
Anthony, with vol. III. and bushels of manuscripts, fled to the peaceful
home of her sister Mary at Rochester. The expected party sailed from
Liverpool the 26th of May, on the _America_ After being out three days
the piston rod broke and they were obliged to return. My son-in-law,
W.H. Blatch, was so seasick and disgusted that he remained in England,
and took a fresh start two months later, and had a swift passage without
any accidents. The rest were transferred to the _Germanic_, and reached
New York the 12th of June. Different divisions of the party were
arriving until midnight. Five people and twenty pieces of baggage! The
confusion of such an invasion quite upset the even tenor of our days,
and it took some time for people and trunks to find their respective
niches. However crowded elsewhere, there was plenty of room in our
hearts, and we were unspeakably happy to have our flock all around us
once more.

I had long heard so many conflicting opinions about the Bible--some
saying it taught woman's emancipation and some her subjection--that,
during this visit of my children, the thought came to me that it Would
be well to collect every biblical reference to women in one small
compact volume, and see on which side the balance of influence really
was. To this end I proposed to organize a committee of competent women,
with some Latin, Greek, and Hebrew scholars in England and the United
States, for a thorough revision of the Old and New Testaments, and to
ascertain what the status of woman really was under the Jewish and
Christian religion. As the Church has thus far interpreted the Bible as
teaching woman's subjection, and none of the revisions by learned
ecclesiastics have thrown any new light on the question, it seemed to me
pre-eminently proper and timely for women themselves to review the book.
As they are now studying theology in many institutions of learning,
asking to be ordained as preachers, elders, deacons, and to be admitted,
as delegates, to Synods and General Assemblies, and are refused on Bible
grounds, it seemed to me high time for women to consider those
scriptural arguments and authorities.

A happy coincidence enabled me at last to begin this work. While my
daughter, Mrs. Stanton Blatch, was with me, our friend Miss Frances
Lord, on our earnest invitation, came to America to visit us. She landed
in New York the 4th of August, 1886. As it was Sunday she could not
telegraph, hence there was no one to meet her, and, as we all sat
chatting on the front piazza, suddenly, to our surprise and delight, she
drove up. After a few days' rest and general talk of passing events, I
laid the subject so near my heart before her and my daughter. They
responded promptly and heartily, and we immediately set to work. I wrote
to every woman who I thought might join such a committee, and Miss Lord
ran through the Bible in a few days, marking each chapter that in any
way referred to women. We found that the work would not be so great as
we imagined, as all the facts and teachings in regard to women occupied
less than one-tenth of the whole Scriptures. We purchased some cheap
Bibles, cut out the texts, pasted them at the head of the page, and,
underneath, wrote our commentaries as clearly and concisely as possible.
We did not intend to have sermons or essays, but brief comments, to keep
"The Woman's Bible" as small as possible.

Miss Lord and I worked several weeks together, and Mrs. Blatch and I,
during the winter of 1887, wrote all our commentaries on the Pentateuch.
But we could not succeed in forming the committee, nor, after writing
innumerable letters, make the women understand what we wanted to do. I
still have the commentaries of the few who responded, and the letters of
those who declined--a most varied and amusing bundle of manuscripts in
themselves. Some said the Bible had no special authority with them;
that, like the American Constitution, it could be interpreted to mean
anything--slavery, when we protected that "Institution," and freedom,
when it existed no longer. Others said that woman's sphere was clearly
marked out in the Scriptures, and all attempt at emancipation was flying
in the face of Providence. Others said they considered all the revisions
made by men thus far, had been so many acts of sacrilege, and they did
hope women would not add their influence, to weaken the faith of the
people in the divine origin of the Holy Book, for, if men and women
could change it in one particular, they could in all. On the whole the
correspondence was discouraging.

Later Miss Lord became deeply interested in psychical researches, and I
could get no more work out of her. And as soon as we had finished the
Pentateuch, Mrs. Blatch declared she would go no farther; that it was
the driest history she had ever read, and most derogatory to women. My
beloved coadjutor, Susan B. Anthony, said that she thought it a work of
supererogation; that when our political equality was recognized and we
became full-fledged American citizens, the Church would make haste to
bring her Bibles and prayer books, creeds and discipline up to the same
high-water mark of liberty.

Helen Gardener said: "I consider this a most important proposal, and if
you and I can ever stay on the same side of the Atlantic long enough, we
will join hands and do the work. In fact, I have begun already with
Paul's Epistles, and am fascinated with the work. The untenable and
unscientific positions he takes in regard to women are very amusing.
Although the first chapter of Genesis teaches the simultaneous creation
of man and woman, Paul bases woman's subjection on the priority of man,
and because woman was of the man. As the historical fact is that, as far
back as history dates, the man has been of the woman, should he
therefore be forever in bondage to her? Logically, according to Paul, he

I consulted several friends, such as Dr. William F. Channing, Mr. and
Mrs. Moncure D. Conway, Gertrude Garrison, Frederick Cabot, and Edward
M. Davis, as to the advisability of the work, and they all agreed that
such a volume, showing woman's position under the Jewish and Christian
religions, would be valuable, but none of them had time to assist in the
project. Though, owing to all these discouragements, I discontinued my
work, I never gave up the hope of renewing it some time, when other of
my coadjutors should awake to its importance and offer their services.

On October 27, 1886, with my daughter, nurse, and grandchild, I again
sailed for England. Going out of the harbor in the clear early morning,
we had a fine view of Bartholdi's statue of Liberty Enlightening the
World. We had a warm, gentle rain and a smooth sea most of the way, and,
as we had a stateroom on deck, we could have the portholes open, and
thus get all the air we desired. With novels and letters, chess and
whist the time passed pleasantly, and, on the ninth day, we landed in



On arriving at Basingstoke we found awaiting us cordial letters of
welcome from Miss Biggs, Miss Priestman, Mrs. Peter Taylor, Mrs.
Priscilla McLaren, Miss Mueller, Mrs. Jacob Bright, and Mme. de Barrau.
During the winter Mrs. Margaret Bright Lucas, Drs. Kate and Julia
Mitchell, Mrs. Charles McLaren, Mrs. Saville, and Miss Balgarnie each
spent a day or two with us. The full-dress costume of the ladies was a
great surprise to my little granddaughter Nora. She had never seen bare
shoulders in a drawing room, and at the first glance she could not
believe her eyes. She slowly made the circuit of the room, coming nearer
and nearer until she touched the lady's neck to see whether or not it
was covered with some peculiar shade of dress, but finding the bare skin
she said: "Why, you are not dressed, are you? I see your skin!" The
scene suggested to me the amusing description in Holmes' "Elsie Venner,"
of the efforts of a young lady, seated between two old gentlemen, to
show off her white shoulders. The vicar would not look, but steadily
prayed that he might not be led into temptation; but the physician, with
greater moral hardihood, deliberately surveyed the offered charms, with
spectacles on his nose.

In December Hattie and I finished Dowden's "Life of Shelley," which we
had been reading together. Here we find a sensitive, refined nature,
full of noble purposes, thrown out when too young to meet all life's
emergencies, with no loving Mentor to guard him from blunders or to help
to retrieve the consequences of his false positions. Had he been
surrounded with a few true friends, who could appreciate what was great
in him and pity what was weak, his life would have been different. His
father was hard, exacting, and unreasonable; hence he had no influence.
His mother had neither the wisdom to influence him, nor the courage to
rebuke her husband; and alas! poor woman, she was in such thraldom
herself to conventionalisms, that she could not understand a youth who
set them all at defiance.

[Illustration: THREE GENERATIONS.]


We also read Cotton Morrison's "Service of Man," which I hope will be a
new inspiration to fresh labors by all for the elevation of humanity,
and Carnegie's "Triumphant Democracy," showing the power our country is
destined to wield and the vastness of our domain. This book must give
every American citizen a feeling of deeper responsibility than ever
before to act well his part. We read, too, Harriet Martineau's
translation of the works of Auguste Comte, and found the part on woman
most unsatisfactory. He criticises Aristotle's belief that slavery is a
necessary element of social life, yet seems to think the subjection of
woman in modern civilization a matter of no importance.

All through that winter Hattie and I occupied our time studying the
Bible and reading the commentaries of Clark, Scott, and Wordsworth
(Bishop of Lincoln). We found nothing grand in the history of the Jews
nor in the morals inculcated in the Pentateuch. Surely the writers had a
very low idea of the nature of their God. They make Him not only
anthropomorphic, but of the very lowest type, jealous and revengeful,
loving violence rather than mercy. I know no other books that so fully
teach the subjection and degradation of woman. Miriam, the eldest sister
of Moses and Aaron, a genius, a prophetess, with the family aptitude for
diplomacy and government, is continually set aside because of her
sex--permitted to lead the women in singing and dancing, nothing more.
No woman could offer sacrifices nor eat the holy meats because,
according to the Jews, she was too unclean and unholy.

But what is the use, say some, of attaching any importance to the
customs and teachings of a barbarous people? None whatever. But when our
bishops, archbishops, and ordained clergymen stand up in their pulpits
and read selections from the Pentateuch with reverential voice, they
make the women of their congregation believe that there really is some
divine authority for their subjection. In the Thirty-First Chapter of
Numbers, in speaking of the spoils taken from the Midianites, the live
stock is thus summarized: "Five thousand sheep, threescore and twelve
thousand beeves, threescore and one thousand asses, and thirty-two
thousand women and women-children," which Moses said the warriors might
keep for themselves. What a pity a Stead had not been there, to protect
the child-women of the Midianites and rebuke the Lord's chosen people as
they deserved! In placing the women after the sheep, the beeves, and the
asses, we have a fair idea of their comparative importance in the scale
of being, among the Jewish warriors. No wonder the right reverend
bishops and clergy of the Methodist Church, who believe in the divine
origin and authority of the Pentateuch, exclude women from their great
convocations in the American Republic in the nineteenth century. In view
of the fact that our children are taught to reverence the book as of
divine origin, I think we have a right to ask that, in the next
revision, all such passages be expurgated, and to that end learned,
competent women must have an equal place on the revising committee.

Mrs. Margaret Bright Lucas came, in February, to spend a few days with
us. She was greatly shocked with many texts in the Old Testament, to
which we called her attention, and said: "Here is an insidious influence
against the elevation of women, which but few of us have ever taken into
consideration." She had just returned from a flying visit to America;
having made two voyages across the Atlantic and traveled three thousand
miles across the continent in two months, and this at the age of
sixty-eight years. She was enthusiastic in her praises of the women she
met in the United States. As her name was already on the committee to
prepare "The Woman's Bible," we had her hearty approval of the

In October Hattie went to London, to attend a meeting to form a Woman's
Liberal Federation. Mrs. Gladstone presided. The speeches made were
simply absurd, asking women to organize themselves to help the Liberal
party, which had steadily denied to them the political rights they had
demanded for twenty years. Professor Stuart capped the climax of insult
when he urged as "one great advantage in getting women to canvass for
the Liberal party was that they would give their services free." The
Liberals saw what enthusiasm the Primrose Dames had roused for the Tory
party, really carrying the election, and they determined to utilize a
similar force in their ranks. But the whole movement was an insult to

The one absorbing interest, then, was the Queen's Jubilee. Ladies formed
societies to collect funds to place at the disposal of the Queen. Every
little village was divided into districts, and different ladies took the
rounds, begging pennies at every door of servants and the laboring
masses, and pounds of the wealthy people. One of them paid us a visit.
She asked the maid who opened the door to see the rest of the servants,
and she begged a penny of each of them. She then asked to see the
mistress. My daughter descended; but, instead of a pound, she gave her a
lecture on the Queen's avarice. When the fund was started the people
supposed the Queen was to return it all to the people in liberal
endowments of charitable institutions, but her Majesty proposed to build
a monument to Prince Albert, although he already had one in London. "The
Queen," said my daughter, "should celebrate her Jubilee by giving good
gifts to her subjects, and not by filching from the poor their pennies.
To give half her worldly possessions to her impoverished people, to give
Home Rule to Ireland, or to make her public schools free, would be deeds
worthy her Jubilee; but to take another cent from those who are
hopelessly poor is a sin against suffering humanity." The young woman
realized the situation and said: "I shall go no farther. I wish I could
return every penny I have taken from the needy."

The most fitting monuments this nation can build are schoolhouses and
homes for those who do the work of the world. It is no answer to say
that they are accustomed to rags and hunger. In this world of plenty
every human being has a right to food, clothes, decent shelter, and the
rudiments of education. "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark"
when one-tenth of the human family, booted and spurred, ride the masses
to destruction. I detest the words "royalty" and "nobility," and all the
ideas and institutions based on their recognition. In April the great
meeting in Hyde Park occurred--a meeting of protest against the Irish
Coercion Bill. It was encouraging to see that there is a democratic as
well as an aristocratic England. The London journals gave very different
accounts of the meeting. The Tories said it was a mob of inconsequential
cranks. Reason teaches us, however, that you cannot get up a large,
enthusiastic meeting unless there is some question pending that touches
the heart of the people. Those who say that Ireland has no grievances
are ignorant alike of human nature and the facts of history.

On April 14 I went to Paris, my daughter escorting me to Dover, and my
son meeting me at Calais. It was a bright, pleasant day, and I sat on
deck and enjoyed the trip, though many of my fellow passengers were pale
and limp. Whirling to Paris in an easy car, through the beautiful
wheatfields and vineyards, I thought of the old lumbering diligence, in
which we went up to Paris at a snail's pace forty years before. I
remained in Paris until October, and never enjoyed six months more
thoroughly. One of my chief pleasures was making the acquaintance of my
fourth son, Theodore. I had seen but little of him since he was sixteen
years old, as he then spent five years at Cornell University, and as
many more in Germany and France. He had already published two works,
"The Life of Thiers," and "The Woman Question in Europe." To have a son
interested in the question to which I have devoted my life, is a source
of intense satisfaction. To say that I have realized in him all I could
desire, is the highest praise a fond mother can give.

My first experience in an apartment, living on an even plane, no running
up and down stairs, was as pleasant as it was surprising. I had no idea
of the comfort and convenience of this method of keeping house. Our
apartment in Paris consisted of drawing room, dining room, library, a
good-sized hall, in which stood a large American stove, five bedrooms,
bathroom, and kitchen, and a balcony fifty-two feet long and four feet
wide. The first few days it made me dizzy to look down from this balcony
to the street below. I was afraid the whole structure would give way, it
appeared so light and airy, hanging midway between earth and heaven. But
my confidence in its steadfastness and integrity grew day by day, and it
became my favorite resort, commanding, as it did, a magnificent view of
the whole city and distant surroundings.

There were so many Americans in town, and French reformers to be seen,
that I gave Wednesday afternoon receptions during my whole visit. To one
of our "at homes" came Mlle. Maria Deraismes, the only female Free Mason
in France, and the best woman orator in the country; her sister, Mme.
Feresse-Deraismes, who takes part in all woman movements; M. Leon
Richer, then actively advocating the civil and political rights of women
through the columns of his vigorous journal; Mme. Griess Traut, who
makes a specialty of Peace work; Mme. Isabelle Bogelot, who afterward
attended the Washington Council of 1888, and who is a leader in charity
work; the late Mme. Emilie de Morsier, who afterward was the soul of the
International Congress of 1889, at Paris; Mme. Pauline Kergomard, the
first woman to be made a member of the Superior Council of public
Instruction in France, and Mme. Henri Greville, the novelist.

Among the American guests at our various Wednesday receptions were Mr.
and Mrs. John Bigelow, Mr. and Mrs. James G. Blaine, Mr. Daniel C.
French, the Concord sculptor; Mrs. J.C. Ayer, Mr. L. White Busbey, one
of the editors of the Chicago _Inter-Ocean_; Rev. Dr. Henry M. Field,
Charles Gifford Dyer, the painter and father of the gifted young
violinist, Miss Hella Dyer; the late Rev. Mr. Moffett, then United
States Consul at Athens, Mrs. Governor Bagley and daughter of Michigan;
Grace Greenwood and her talented daughter, who charmed everyone with her
melodious voice, and Miss Bryant, daughter of the poet. One visitor who
interested us most was the Norwegian novelist and republican,
Bjornstjorne Bjornson.

We had several pleasant interviews with Frederick Douglass and his wife,
some exciting games of chess with Theodore Tilton, in the pleasant
apartments of the late W.J.A. Fuller, Esq., and his daughter, Miss Kate
Fuller. At this time I also met our brilliant countrywoman, Louise
Chandler Moulton. Seeing so many familiar faces, I could easily imagine
myself in New York rather than in Paris. I attended several receptions
and dined with Mrs. Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, greatly enjoying her clever
descriptions of a winter on the Nile in her own dahabeeyeh. I heard Pere
Hyacinthe preach, and met his American wife on several occasions. I took
long drives every day through the parks and pleasant parts of the city.
With garden concerts, operas, theaters, and the Hippodrome I found
abundant amusement. I never grew weary of the latter performance--the
wonderful intelligence displayed there by animals, being a fresh
surprise to me every time I went.

I attended a reception at the Elysee Palace, escorted by M. Joseph
Fabre, then a deputy and now a senator. M. Fabre is the author of a play
and several volumes devoted to Joan of Arc. He presented me to the
President and to Mme. Jules Grevy. I was also introduced to M. Jules
Ferry, then Prime Minister, who said, among other things: "I am sorry to
confess it, but it is only too true, our French women are far behind
their sisters in America." The beautiful, large garden was thrown open
that evening,--it was in July,--and the fine band of the Republican
Guard gave a delightful concert under the big trees. I also met M.
Grevy's son-in-law, M. Daniel Wilson. He was then a deputy and one of
the most powerful politicians in France. A few months later he caused
his father's political downfall. I have a vivid recollection of him
because he could speak English, his father having been a British

I visited the picture galleries once more, after a lapse of nearly fifty
years, and was struck by the fact that, in that interval, several women
had been admitted to places of honor. This was especially noticeable in
the Luxembourg Sculpture Gallery, where two women, Mme. Bertaux and the
late Claude Vignon, wife of M. Rouvier, were both represented by good
work--the first and only women sculptors admitted to that gallery.

At a breakfast party which we gave, I made the acquaintance of General
Cluseret, who figured in our Civil War, afterward became War Minister
of the Paris Commune, and is now member of the Chamber of Deputies. He
learned English when in America, and had not entirely forgotten it. He
told anecdotes of Lincoln, Stanton, Sumner, Fremont, Garibaldi, the
Count of Paris, and many other famous men whom he once knew, and proved
to be a very interesting conversationalist.

Old bookstands were always attractive centers of interest to Theodore,
and, among other treasure-troves, he brought home one day a boy of
fourteen years, whose office it had been to watch the books. He was a
bright, cheery little fellow of mixed French and German descent, who
could speak English, French, and German. He was just what we had
desired, to run errands and tend the door. As he was delighted with the
idea of coming to us, we went to see his parents. We were pleased with
their appearance and surroundings. We learned that they were members of
the Lutheran Church, that the boy was one of the shining lights in
Sunday school, and the only point in our agreement on which they were
strenuous was that he should go regularly to Sunday school and have time
to learn his lessons.

So "Immanuel" commenced a new life with us, and as we had unbounded
confidence in the boy's integrity, we excused his shortcomings, and, for
a time, believed all he said. But before long we found out that the
moment we left the house he was in the drawing room, investigating every
drawer, playing on the piano, or sleeping on the sofa. Though he was
told never to touch the hall stove, he would go and open all the
draughts and make it red-hot. Then we adopted the plan of locking up
every part of the apartment but the kitchen. He amused himself burning
holes through the pantry shelves, when the cook was out, and boring
holes, with a gimlet, through a handsomely carved bread board. One day,
in making up a spare bed for a friend, under the mattress were found
innumerable letters he was supposed to have mailed at different times.
When we reprimanded him for his pranks he would look at us steadily, but
sorrowfully, and, immediately afterward, we would hear him dancing down
the corridor singing, "Safe in the Arms of Jesus." If he had given heed
to one-half we said to him, he would have been safer in our hands than
in those of his imaginary protector. He turned out a thief, an
unmitigated liar, a dancing dervish, and, through all our experiences of
six weeks with him, his chief reading was his Bible and Sunday-school
books. The experience, however, was not lost on Theodore--he has never
suggested a boy since, and a faithful daughter of Eve reigns in his

During the summer I was in the hands of two artists, Miss Anna Klumpke,
who painted my portrait, and Paul Bartlett, who molded my head in clay.
To shorten the operation, sometimes I sat for both at the same time.
Although neither was fully satisfied with the results of their labors,
we had many pleasant hours together, discussing their art, their early
trials, and artists in general. Each had good places in the _Salon_, and
honorable mention that year. It is sad to see so many American girls and
boys, who have no genius for painting or sculpture, spending their days
in garrets, in solitude and poverty, with the vain hope of earning
distinction. Women of all classes are awaking to the necessity of
self-support, but few are willing to do the ordinary useful work for
which they are fitted. In the _Salon_ that year six thousand pictures
were offered, and only two thousand accepted, and many of these were

It was lovely on our balcony at night to watch the little boats, with
their lights, sailing up and down the Seine, especially the day of the
great annual fete,--the 14th of July,--when the whole city was
magnificently illuminated. We drove about the city on several occasions
at midnight, to see the life--men, women, and children enjoying the cool
breezes, and the restaurants all crowded with people.

Sunday in Paris is charming--it is the day for the masses of the people.
All the galleries of art, the libraries, concert halls, and gardens are
open to them. All are dressed in their best, out driving, walking, and
having picnics in the various parks and gardens; husbands, wives, and
children laughing and talking happily together. The seats in the streets
and parks are all filled with the laboring masses. The benches all over
Paris--along the curbstones in every street and highway--show the care
given to the comfort of the people. You will see mothers and nurses with
their babies and children resting on these benches, laboring men eating
their lunches and sleeping there at noon, the organ grinders and
monkeys, too, taking their comfort. In France you see men and women
everywhere together; in England the men generally stagger about alone,
caring more for their pipes and beer than their mothers, wives, and
sisters. Social life, among the poor especially, is far more natural and
harmonious in France than in England, because women mix more freely in
business and amusements.

Coming directly from Paris to London, one is forcibly struck with the
gloom of the latter city, especially at night. Paris with its electric
lights is brilliant everywhere, while London, with its meager gas jets
here and there struggling with the darkness, is as gloomy and desolate
as Dore's pictures of Dante's Inferno. On Sunday, when the shops are
closed, the silence and solitude of the streets, the general smoky
blackness of the buildings and the atmosphere give one a melancholy
impression of the great center of civilization. Now that it has been
discovered that smoke can be utilized and the atmosphere cleared, it is
astonishing that the authorities do not avail themselves of the
discovery, and thus bring light and joy and sunshine into that city, and
then clean the soot of centuries from their blackened buildings.

On my return to England I spent a day with Miss Emily Lord, at her
kindergarten establishment. She had just returned from Sweden, where she
spent six weeks in the carpenter's shop, studying the Swedish Sloejd
system, in which children of twelve years old learn to use tools, making
spoons, forks, and other implements. Miss Lord showed us some of her
work, quite creditable for her first attempts. She said the children in
the higher grades of her school enjoyed the carpenter work immensely and
became very deft in the use of tools.

On November 1, 1887, we reached Basingstoke once more, and found all
things in order. My diary tells of several books I read during the
winter and what the authors say of women; one the "Religio Medici," by
Sir Thomas Browne, M.D., in which the author discourses on many high
themes, God, Creation, Heaven, Hell, and vouchsafes one sentence on
woman. Of her he says: "I was never married but once and commend their
resolution who never marry twice, not that I disallow of second, nor in
all cases of polygamy, which, considering the unequal number of the
sexes, may also be necessary. The whole world was made for man, but the
twelfth part of man for woman. Man is the whole world--the breath of
God; woman the rib and crooked piece of man. I speak not in prejudice
nor am averse from that sweet sex, but naturally amorous of all that is
beautiful. I can look all day at a handsome picture, though it be but a

Turning to John Paul Friedrich Richter, I found in his chapter on woman
many equally ridiculous statements mixed up with much fulsome
admiration. After reading some volumes of Richter, I took up Heinrich
Heine, the German poet and writer. He said: "Oh, the women! We must
forgive them much, for they love much and many. Their hate is, properly,
only love turned inside out. Sometimes they attribute some delinquency
to us, because they think they can, in this way, gratify another man.
When they write they have always one eye on the paper and the other eye
on some man. This is true of all authoresses except the Countess Hahn
Hahn, who has only one eye." John Ruskin's biography he gives us a
glimpse of his timidity in regard to the sex, when a young man. He was
very fond of the society of girls, but never knew how to approach them.
He said he "was perfectly happy in serving them, would gladly make a
bridge of himself for them to walk over, a beam to fasten a swing to for
them--anything but to talk to them." Such are some of the choice
specimens of masculine wit I collected during my winter's reading!

At a reception given to me by Drs. Julia and Kate Mitchell, sisters
practicing medicine in London, I met Stepniak, the Russian Nihilist, a
man of grand presence and fine conversational powers. He was about to go
to America, apprehensive lest our Government should make an extradition
treaty with Russia to return political offenders, as he knew that
proposal had been made. A few weeks later he did visit the United
States, and had a hearing before a committee of the Senate. He pointed
out the character of the Nihilist movement, declaring Nihilists to be
the real reformers, the true lovers of liberty, sacrificing themselves
for the best interests of the people, and yet, as political prisoners,
they are treated worse than the lowest class of criminals in the prisons
and mines of Siberia.

I had a very unpleasant interview, during this visit to London, with
Miss Lydia Becker, Miss Caroline Biggs, and Miss Blackburn, at the
Metropole, about choosing delegates to the International Council of
Women soon to be held in Washington. As there had been some
irreconcilable dissensions in the suffrage association, and they could
not agree as to whom their delegate should be, they decided to send none
at all. I wrote at once to Mrs. Priscilla Bright McLaren, pointing out
what a shame it would be if England, above all countries, should not be
represented in the first International Council ever called by a suffrage
association. She replied promptly that must not be, and immediately
moved in the matter, and through her efforts three delegates were soon
authorized to go, representing different constituencies--Mrs. Alice
Cliff Scatcherd, Mrs. Ormiston Chant, and Mrs. Ashton Dilke.

Toward the last of February, 1888, we went again to London to make a
few farewell visits to dear friends. We spent a few days with Mrs. Mona
Caird, who was then reading Karl Pearson's lectures on "Woman," and
expounding her views on marriage, which she afterward gave to the
Westminster Review, and stirred the press to white heat both in England
and America. "Is Marriage a Failure?" furnished the heading for our
quack advertisements for a long time after. Mrs. Caird was a very
graceful, pleasing woman, and so gentle in manner and appearance that no
one would deem her capable of hurling such thunderbolts at the
long-suffering Saxon people.

We devoted one day to Prince Krapotkine, who lives at Harrow, in the
suburbs of London. A friend of his, Mr. Lieneff, escorted us there. We
found the prince, his wife, and child in very humble quarters;
uncarpeted floors, books and papers on pine shelves, wooden chairs, and
the bare necessaries of life--nothing more. They indulge in no luxuries,
but devote all they can spare to the publication of liberal opinions to
be scattered in Russia, and to help Nihilists in escaping from the
dominions of the Czar. The prince and princess took turns in holding and
amusing the baby--then only one year old; fortunately it slept most of
the time, so that the conversation flowed on for some hours. Krapotkine
told us of his sad prison experiences, both in France and Russia. He
said the series of articles by George Kennan in the _Century_ were not
too highly colored, that the sufferings of men and women in Siberia and
the Russian prisons could not be overdrawn. One of the refinements of
cruelty they practice on prisoners is never to allow them to hear the
human voice. A soldier always accompanies the warder who distributes
the food, to see that no word is spoken. In vain the poor prisoner asks
questions, no answer is ever made, no tidings from the outside world
ever given. One may well ask what devil in human form has prescribed
such prison life and discipline! I wonder if we could find a man in all
Russia who would defend the system, yet someone is responsible for its
terrible cruelties!

We returned to Basingstoke, passed the few remaining days in looking
over papers and packing for the voyage, and, on March 4, 1888, Mrs.
Blatch went with me to Southampton. On the train I met my companions for
the voyage, Mrs. Gustafsen, Mrs. Ashton Dilke, and Baroness Gripenberg,
from Finland, a very charming woman, to whom I felt a strong attraction.
The other delegates sailed from Liverpool. We had a rough voyage and
most of the passengers were very sick. Mrs. Dilke and I were well,
however, and on deck every day, always ready to play whist and chess
with a few gentlemen who were equally fortunate. I was much impressed
with Mrs. Dilke's kindness and generosity in serving others. There was a
lady on board with two children, whose nurse at the last minute refused
to go with her. The mother was sick most of the way, and Mrs. Dilke did
all in her power to relieve her, by amusing the little boy, telling him
stories, walking with him on deck, and watching him throughout the day,
no easy task to perform for an entire stranger. The poor little mother
with a baby in her arms must have appreciated such kindly attention.

When the pilot met us off Sandy Hook, he brought news of the terrible
blizzard New York had just experienced, by which all communication with
the world at large was practically suspended. The captain brought him
down into the saloon to tell us all about it. The news was so startling
that at first we thought the pilot was joking, but when he produced the
metropolitan journals to verify his statements, we listened to the
reading and what he had to say with profound astonishment. The second
week in March, 1888, will be memorable in the history of storms in the
vicinity of New York. The snow was ten feet deep in some places, and the
side streets impassable either for carriages or sleighs. I hoped the
city would be looking its best, for the first impression on my foreign
friends, but it never looked worse, with huge piles of snow everywhere
covered with black dust.

I started for Washington at three o'clock, the day after our arrival,
reached there at ten o'clock, and found my beloved friends, Miss Anthony
and Mrs. Spofford, with open arms and warm hearts to receive me. As the
vessel was delayed two days, our friends naturally thought we, too, had
encountered a blizzard, but we had felt nothing of it; on the contrary
the last days were the most pleasant of the voyage.



Pursuant to the idea of the feasibility and need of an International
Council of Women, mentioned in a preceding chapter, it was decided to
celebrate the fourth decade of the woman suffrage movement in the United
States by calling together such a council. At its nineteenth annual
convention, held in January, 1887, the National Woman Suffrage
Association resolved to assume the entire responsibility of holding a
council, and to extend an invitation, for that purpose, to all
associations of women in the trades, professions, and reforms, as well
as those advocating political rights. Early in June, 1887, a call was
issued for such a council to convene under the auspices of the National
Woman Suffrage Association at Washington, D. C, on March 25, 1888. The
grand assemblage of women, coming from all the countries of the
civilized globe, proved that the call for such a council was opportune,
while the order and dignity of the proceedings proved the women worthy
the occasion. No one doubts now the wisdom of that initiative step nor
the added power women have gained over popular thought through the
International Council.

As the proceedings of the contention were fully and graphically reported
in the _Woman's Tribune_ at that time, and as its reports were afterward
published in book form, revised and corrected by Miss Anthony, Miss
Foster, and myself, I will merely say that our most sanguine
expectations as to its success were more than realized. The large
theater was crowded for an entire week, and hosts of able women spoke,
as if specially inspired, on all the vital questions of the hour.
Although the council was called and conducted by the suffrage
association, yet various other societies were represented. Miss Anthony
was the financier of the occasion and raised twelve thousand dollars for
the purpose, which enabled her to pay all the expenses of the delegates
in Washington, and for printing the report in book form. As soon as I
reached Washington, Miss Anthony ordered me to remain conscientiously in
my own apartment and to prepare a speech for delivery before the
committees of the Senate and House, and another, as President, for the
opening of the council. However, as Mrs. Spofford placed her carriage at
our service, I was permitted to drive an hour or two every day about
that magnificent city.

One of the best speeches at the council was made by Helen H. Gardener.
It was a criticism of Dr. Hammond's position in regard to the inferior
size and quality of woman's brain. As the doctor had never had the
opportunity of examining the brains of the most distinguished women,
and, probably, those only of paupers and criminals, she felt he had no
data on which to base his conclusions. Moreover, she had the written
opinion of several leading physicians, that it was quite impossible to
distinguish the male from the female brain.

The hearing at the Capitol, after the meeting of the council, was very
interesting, as all the foreign delegates were invited to speak each in
the language of her own country; to address their alleged
representatives in the halls of legislation was a privilege they had
never enjoyed at home. It is very remarkable that English women have
never made the demand for a hearing in the House of Commons, nor even
for a decent place to sit, where they can hear the debates and see the
fine proportions of the representatives. The delegates had several
brilliant receptions at the Riggs House, and at the houses of Senator
Stanford of California and Senator Palmer of Michigan. Miss Anthony and
I spent two months in Washington, that winter. One of the great
pleasures of our annual conventions was the reunion of our friends at
the Riggs House, where we enjoyed the boundless hospitality of Mr. and
Mrs. Spofford.

The month of June I spent in New York city, where I attended several of
Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll's receptions and saw the great orator and
iconoclast at his own fireside, surrounded by his admirers, and heard
his beautiful daughters sing, which gave all who listened great
pleasure, as they have remarkably fine voices. One has since married,
and is now pouring out her richest melodies in the opera of lullaby in
her own nursery.

In the fall of 1888, as Ohio was about to hold a Constitutional
convention, at the request of the suffrage association I wrote an appeal
to the women of the State to demand their right to vote for delegates to
such convention. Mrs. Southworth had five thousand copies of my appeal
published and distributed at the exposition in Columbus. If ten
righteous men could save Sodom, all the brilliant women I met in
Cleveland should have saved Ohio from masculine domination.

The winter of 1888-89 I was to spend with my daughter in Omaha. I
reached there in time to witness the celebration of the completion of
the first bridge between that city and Council Bluffs. There was a grand
procession in which all the industries of both towns were represented,
and which occupied six hours in passing. We had a desirable position for
reviewing the pageant, and very pleasant company to interpret the
mottoes, symbols, and banners. The bridge practically brings the towns
together, as electric street cars now run from one to the other in ten
minutes. Here, for the first time, I saw the cable cars running up hill
and down without any visible means of locomotion.

As the company ran an open car all winter, I took my daily ride of nine
miles in it for fifteen cents. My son Daniel, who escorted me, always
sat inside the car, while I remained on an outside seat. He was greatly
amused with the remarks he heard about that "queer old lady that always
rode outside in all kinds of wintry weather." One day someone remarked
loud enough for all to hear: "It is evident that woman does not know
enough to come in when it rains." "Bless me!" said the conductor, who
knew me, "that woman knows as much as the Queen of England; too much to
come in here by a hot stove." How little we understand the comparative
position of those whom we often criticise. There I sat enjoying the
bracing air, the pure fresh breezes, indifferent to the fate of an old
cloak and hood that had crossed the Atlantic and been saturated with
salt water many times, pitying the women inside breathing air laden with
microbes that dozens of people had been throwing off from time to time,
sacrificing themselves to their stylish bonnets, cloaks, and dresses,
suffering with the heat of the red-hot stove; and yet they, in turn,
pitying me.

My seventy-third birthday I spent with my son Gerrit Smith Stanton, on
his farm near Portsmouth, Iowa. As we had not met in several years, it
took us a long time, in the network of life, to pick up all the stitches
that had dropped since we parted. I amused myself darning stockings and
drawing plans for an addition to his house. But in the spring my son and
his wife came to the conclusion that they had had enough of the solitude
of farm life and turned their faces eastward.

Soon after my return to Omaha, the editor of the _Woman's Tribune_, Mrs.
Clara B. Colby, called and lunched with us one day. She announced the
coming State convention, at which I was expected "to make the best
speech of my life." She had all the arrangements to make, and invited me
to drive round with her, in order that she might talk by the way. She
engaged the Opera House, made arrangements at the Paxton House for a
reception, called on all her faithful coadjutors to arouse enthusiasm in
the work, and climbed up to the sanctums of the editors,--Democratic and
Republican alike,--asking them to advertise the convention and to say a
kind word for our oppressed class in our struggle for emancipation. They
all promised favorable notices and comments, and they kept their
promises. Mrs. Colby, being president of the Nebraska Suffrage
Association, opened the meeting with an able speech, and presided
throughout with tact and dignity.

I came very near meeting with an unfortunate experience at this
convention. The lady who escorted me in her carriage to the Opera House
carried the manuscript of my speech, which I did not miss until it was
nearly time to speak, when I told a lady who sat by my side that our
friend had forgotten to give me my manuscript. She went at once to her
and asked for it. She remembered taking it, but what she had done with
it she did not know. It was suggested that she might have dropped it in
alighting from the carriage. And lo! they found it lying in the gutter.
As the ground was frozen hard it was not even soiled. When I learned of
my narrow escape, I trembled, for I had not prepared any train of
thought for extemporaneous use. I should have been obliged to talk when
my turn came, and if inspired by the audience or the good angels, might
have done well, or might have failed utterly. The moral of this episode
is, hold on to your manuscript.

Owing to the illness of my son-in-law, Frank E. Lawrence, he and my
daughter went to California to see if the balmy air of San Diego would
restore his health, and so we gave up housekeeping in Omaha, and, on
April 20, 1889, in company with my eldest son I returned East and spent
the summer at Hempstead, Long Island, with my son Gerrit and his wife.

We found Hempstead a quiet, old Dutch town, undisturbed by progressive
ideas. Here I made the acquaintance of Chauncey C. Parsons and wife,
formerly of Boston, who were liberal in their ideas on most questions.
Mrs. Parsons and I attended one of the Seidl club meetings at Coney
Island, where Seidl was then giving some popular concerts. The club was
composed of two hundred women, to whom I spoke for an hour in the dining
room of the hotel. With the magnificent ocean views, the grand concerts,
and the beautiful women, I passed two very charming days by the seaside.

My son Henry had given me a phaeton, low and easy as a cradle, and I
enjoyed many drives about Long Island. We went to Bryant's home on the
north side, several times, and in imagination I saw the old poet in the
various shady nooks, inditing his lines of love and praise of nature in
all her varying moods. Walking among the many colored, rustling leaves
in the dark days of November, I could easily enter into his thought as
he penned these lines:

"The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread."

In September, 1889, my daughter, Mrs. Stanton Lawrence, came East to
attend a school of physical culture, and my other daughter, Mrs. Stanton
Blatch, came from England to enjoy one of our bracing winters.
Unfortunately we had rain instead of snow, and fogs instead of frost.
However, we had a pleasant reunion at Hempstead. After a few days in and
about New York visiting friends, we went to Geneva and spent several
weeks in the home of my cousin, the daughter of Gerrit Smith.

She and I have been most faithful, devoted friends all our lives, and
regular correspondents for more than fifty years. In the family circle
we are ofttimes referred to as "Julius" and "Johnson." These euphonious
names originated in this way: When the Christy Minstrels first appeared,
we went one evening to hear them. On returning home we amused our
seniors with, as they said, a capital rehearsal. The wit and philosopher
of the occasion were called, respectively, Julius and Johnson; so we
took their parts and reproduced all the bright, humorous remarks they
made. The next morning as we appeared at the breakfast table, Cousin
Gerrit Smith, in his deep, rich voice said: "Good-morning, Julius and
Johnson," and he kept it up the few days we were in Albany together. One
after another our relatives adopted the pseudonyms, and Mrs. Miller has
been "Julius" and I "Johnson" ever since.

From Geneva we went to Buffalo, but, as I had a bad cold and a general
feeling of depression, I decided to go to the Dansville Sanatorium and
see what Doctors James and Kate Jackson could do for me. I was there six
weeks and tried all the rubbings, pinchings, steamings; the Swedish
movements of the arms, hands, legs, feet; dieting, massage, electricity,
and, though I succeeded in throwing off only five pounds of flesh, yet I
felt like a new being. It is a charming place to be in--the home is
pleasantly situated and the scenery very fine. The physicians are all
genial, and a cheerful atmosphere pervades the whole establishment.

As Christmas was at hand, the women were all half crazy about presents,
and while good Doctors James and Kate were doing all in their power to
cure the nervous affections of their patients, they would thwart the
treatment by sitting in the parlor with the thermometer at seventy-two
degrees, embroidering all kinds of fancy patterns,--some on muslin, some
on satin, and some with colored worsteds on canvas,--inhaling the
poisonous dyes, straining the optic nerves, counting threads and
stitches, hour after hour, until utterly exhausted. I spoke to one poor
victim of the fallacy of Christmas presents, and of her injuring her
health in such useless employment. "What can I do?" she replied, "I must
make presents and cannot afford to buy them." "Do you think," said I,
"any of your friends would enjoy a present you made at the risk of your
health? I do not think there is any 'must' in the matter. I never feel
that I must give presents, and never want any, especially from those who
make some sacrifice to give them." This whole custom of presents at
Christmas, New Year's, and at weddings has come to be a bore, a piece of
hypocrisy leading to no end of unhappiness. I do not know a more pitiful
sight than to see a woman tatting, knitting, embroidering--working cats
on the toe of some slipper, or tulips on an apron. The amount of nervous
force that is expended in this way is enough to make angels weep. The
necessary stitches to be taken in every household are quite enough
without adding fancy work.

From Dansville my daughters and I went on to Washington to celebrate the
seventieth birthday of Miss Anthony, who has always been to them as a
second mother. Mrs. Blatch made a speech at the celebration, and Mrs.
Lawrence gave a recitation. First came a grand supper at the Riggs
House. The dining room was beautifully decorated; in fact, Mr. and Mrs.
Spofford spared no pains to make the occasion one long to be remembered.
May Wright Sewall was the mistress of ceremonies. She read the toasts
and called on the different speakers. Phoebe Couzins, Rev. Anna Shaw,
Isabella Beecher Hooker, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Clara B. Colby, Senator
Blair of New Hampshire, and many others responded. I am ashamed to say
that we kept up the festivities till after two o'clock. Miss Anthony,
dressed in dark velvet and point lace, spoke at the close with great
pathos. Those of us who were there will not soon forget February 15,

After speaking before committees of the Senate and House, I gave the
opening address at the annual convention. Mrs. Stanton Blatch spoke a
few minutes on the suffrage movement in England, after which we hurried
off to New York, and went on board the _Aller_, one of the North German
Lloyd steamers, bound for Southampton. At the ship we found Captain
Milinowski and his wife and two of my sons waiting our arrival. As we
had eighteen pieces of baggage it took Mrs. Blatch some time to review
them. My phaeton, which we decided to take, filled six boxes. An easy
carriage for two persons is not common in England. The dogcarts prevail,
the most uncomfortable vehicles one can possibly use. Why some of our
Americans drive in those uncomfortable carts is a question. I think it
is because they are "so English." The only reason the English use them
is because they are cheap. The tax on two wheels is one-half what it is
on four, and in England all carriages are taxed. Before we Americans
adopt fashions because they are English, we had better find out the
_raison d'etre_ for their existence.

We had a very pleasant, smooth voyage, unusually so for blustering
February and March. As I dislike close staterooms, I remained in the
ladies' saloon night and day, sleeping on a sofa. After a passage of
eleven days we landed at Southampton, March 2, 1890. It was a beautiful
moonlight night and we had a pleasant ride on the little tug to the
wharf. We reached Basingstoke at eleven o'clock, found the family well
and all things in order.



As soon as we got our carriage put together Hattie and I drove out every
day, as the roads in England are in fine condition all the year round.
We had lovely weather during the spring, but the summer was wet and
cold. With reading, writing, going up to London, and receiving visitors,
the months flew by without our accomplishing half the work we proposed.

As my daughter was a member of the Albemarle Club, we invited several
friends to dine with us there at different times. There we had a long
talk with Mr. Stead, the editor of the _Pall Mall Gazette_, on his
position in regard to Russian affairs, "The Deceased Wife's Sister
Bill," and the divorce laws of England. Mr. Stead is a fluent talker as
well as a good writer. He is the leader of the social purity movement in
England. The wisdom of his course toward Sir Charles Dilke and Mr.
Parnell was questioned by many; but there is a touch of the religious
fanatic in Mr. Stead, as in many of his followers.

There were several problems in social ethics that deeply stirred the
English people in the year of our Lord 1890. One was Charles Stewart
Parnell's platonic friendship with Mrs. O'Shea, and the other was the
Lord Chancellor's decision in the case of Mrs. Jackson. The pulpit, the
press, and the people vied with each other in trying to dethrone Mr.
Parnell as the great Irish leader, but the united forces did not succeed
in destroying his self-respect, nor in hounding him out of the British
Parliament, though, after a brave and protracted resistance on his part,
they did succeed in hounding him into the grave.

It was pitiful to see the Irish themselves, misled by a hypocritical
popular sentiment in England, turn against their great leader, the only
one they had had for half a century who was able to keep the Irish
question uppermost in the House of Commons year after year. The course
of events since his death has proved the truth of what he told them, to
wit: that there was no sincerity in the interest English politicians
manifested in the question of Home Rule, and that the debates on that
point would cease as soon as it was no longer forced on their
consideration. And now when they have succeeded in killing their leader,
they begin to realize their loss. The question evolved through the
ferment of social opinions was concisely stated, thus: "Can a man be a
great leader, a statesman, a general, an admiral, a learned chief
justice, a trusted lawyer, or skillful physician, if he has ever broken
the Seventh Commandment?"

I expressed my opinion in the _Westminster Review_, at the time, in the
affirmative. Mrs. Jacob Bright, Mrs. Ellen Battelle Dietrick of Boston,
Kate Field, in her _Washington_, agreed with me. Many other women spoke
out promptly in the negative, and with a bitterness against those who
took the opposite view that was lamentable.

The Jackson case was a profitable study, as it brought out other
questions of social ethics, as well as points of law which were ably
settled by the Lord Chancellor. It seems that immediately after Mr. and
Mrs. Jackson were married, the groom was compelled to go to Australia.
After two years he returned and claimed his bride, but in the interval
she felt a growing aversion and determined not to live with him. As she
would not even see him, with the assistance of friends he kidnaped her
one day as she was coming out of church, and carried her to his home,
where he kept her under surveillance until her friends, with a writ of
_habeas corpus_, compelled him to bring her into court. The popular idea
"based on the common law of England," was, that the husband had this
absolute right. The lower court, in harmony with this idea, maintained
the husband's right, and remanded her to his keeping, but the friends
appealed to the higher court and the Lord Chancellor reversed the

With regard to the right so frequently claimed, giving husbands the
power to seize, imprison, and chastise their wives, he said: "I am of
the opinion that no such right exists in law. I am of the opinion that
no such right ever did exist in law. I say that no English subject has
the right to imprison another English subject, whether his wife or not."
Through this decision the wife walked out of the court a free woman. The
passage of the Married Women's Property Bill in England in 1882 was the
first blow at the old idea of coverture, giving to wives their rights of
property, the full benefit of which they are yet to realize when
clearer-minded men administer the laws. The decision of the Lord
Chancellor, rendered March 18, 1891, declaratory of the personal rights
of married women, is a still more important blow by just so much as the
rights of person are more sacred than the rights of property.

One hundred years ago, Lord Chief Justice Mansfield gave his famous
decision in the Somerset case, "That no slave could breathe on British
soil," and the slave walked out of court a free man. The decision of the
Lord Chancellor, in the Jackson case, is far more important, more
momentous in its consequences, as it affects not only one race but
one-half of the entire human family. From every point of view this is
the greatest legal decision of the century. Like the great Chief Justice
of the last century, the Lord Chancellor, with a clearer vision than
those about him, rises into a purer atmosphere of thought, and
vindicates the eternal principles of justice and the dignity of British
law, by declaring all statutes that make wives the bond slaves of their
husbands, obsolete.

How long will it be in our Republic before some man will arise, great
enough to so interpret our National Constitution as to declare that
women, as citizens of the United States, cannot be governed by laws in
the making of which they have no part? It is not Constitutional
amendments nor statute laws we need, but judges on the bench of our
Supreme Court, who, in deciding great questions of human rights, shall
be governed by the broad principles of justice rather than precedent.
One interesting feature in the trial of the Jackson case, was that both
Lady Coleridge and the wife of the Lord Chancellor were seated on the
bench, and evidently much pleased with the decision.

It is difficult to account for the fact that, while women of the highest
classes in England take the deepest interest in politics and court
decisions, American women of wealth and position are wholly indifferent
to all public matters. While English women take an active part in
elections, holding meetings and canvassing their districts, here, even
the wives of judges, governors, and senators speak with bated breath of
political movements, and seem to feel that a knowledge of laws and
constitutions would hopelessly unsex them.

Toward the last of April, with my little granddaughter and her nurse, I
went down to Bournemouth, one of the most charming watering places in
England. We had rooms in the Cliff House with windows opening on the
balcony, where we had a grand view of the bay and could hear the waves
dashing on the shore. While Nora, with her spade and pail, played all
day in the sands, digging trenches and filling them with water, I sat on
the balcony reading "Diana of the Crossways," and Bjornson's last novel,
"In God's Way," both deeply interesting. As all the characters in the
latter come to a sad end, I could not see the significance of the title.
If they walked in God's way their career should have been successful.

I took my first airing along the beach in an invalid chair. These bath
chairs are a great feature in all the watering places of England. They
are drawn by a man or a donkey. The first day I took a man, an old
sailor, who talked incessantly of his adventures, stopping to rest every
five minutes, dissipating all my pleasant reveries, and making an
unendurable bore of himself. The next day I told the proprietor to get
me a man who would not talk all the time. The man he supplied jogged
along in absolute silence; he would not even answer my questions.
Supposing he had his orders to keep profound silence, after one or two
attempts I said nothing. When I returned home, the proprietor asked me
how I liked this man. "Ah!" I said, "he was indeed silent and would not
even answer a question nor go anywhere I told him; still I liked him
better than the talkative man." He laughed heartily and said: "This man
is deaf and dumb. I thought I would make sure that you should not be
bored." I joined in the laugh and said: "Well, to-morrow get me a man
who can hear but cannot speak, if you can find one constructed on that

Bournemouth is noteworthy now as the burial place of Mary Wolstonecraft
and the Shelleys. I went to see the monument that had been recently
reared to their memory. On one side is the following inscription:
"William Godwin, author of 'Political Justice,' born March 3rd, 1756,
died April 7th, 1836. Mary Wolstonecraft Godwin, author of the
'Vindication of the Rights of Women,' born April 27th, 1759, died
September 10th, 1797." These remains were brought here, in 1851, from
the churchyard of St. Pancras, London. On the other side are the
following inscriptions: "Mary Wolstonecraft Godwin, daughter of William
Godwin and widow of the late Percy Bysshe Shelley, born August 30th,
1797, died February 1st, 1851. Percy Florence Shelley, son of Percy
Shelley and Mary Wolstonecraft, third baronet, born November 12th, 1819,
died December 5th, 1889. "In Christ's Church, six miles from
Bournemouth, is a bas-relief in memory of the great poet. He is
represented, dripping with seaweed, in the arms of the Angel of Death.

As I sat on my balcony hour after hour, reading and thinking of the
Shelleys, watching the changing hues of the clouds and the beautiful
bay, and listening to the sad monotone of the waves, these sweet lines
of Whittier's came to my mind:

"Its waves are kneeling on the strand,
As kneels the human knee,--
Their white locks bowing to the sand,
The priesthood of the sea!

"The blue sky is the temple's arch,
Its transept earth and air,
The music of its starry march
The chorus of a prayer."

American letters, during this sojourn abroad, told of many losses, one
after another, from our family circle; nine passed away within two
years. The last was my sister Mrs. Bayard, who died in May, 1891. She
was the oldest of our family, and had always been a second mother to her
younger sisters, and her house our second home.

The last of June my son Theodore's wife and daughter came over from
France to spend a month with us. Lisette and Nora, about the same size,
played and quarreled most amusingly together. They spent their mornings
in the kindergarten school, and the afternoons with their pony, but
rainy days I was impressed into their service to dress dolls and tell
stories. I had the satisfaction to hear them say that their dolls were
never so prettily dressed before, and that my stories were better than
any in the books. As I composed the wonderful yarns as I went along, I
used to get very tired, and sometimes, when I heard the little feet
coming, I would hide, but they would hunt until they found me. When my
youngest son was ten years old and could read for himself, I graduated
in story telling, having practiced in that line twenty-one years. I
vowed that I would expend no more breath in that direction, but the
eager face of a child asking for stories is too much for me, and my vow
has been often broken. All the time I was in England Nora claimed the
twilight hour, and, in France, Lisette was equally pertinacious. When
Victor Hugo grew tired telling his grandchildren stories, he would wind
up with the story of an old gentleman who, after a few interesting
experiences, took up his evening paper and began to read aloud. The
children would listen a few moments and then, one by one, slip out of
the room. Longfellow's old gentleman, after many exciting scenes in his
career, usually stretched himself on the lounge and feigned sleep. But
grandmothers are not allowed to shelter themselves with such devices;
they are required to spin on until the bedtime really arrives.

On July 16, one of the hottest days of the season, Mrs. Jacob Bright and
daughter, Herbert Burroughs, and Mrs. Parkhurst came down from London,
and we sat out of doors, taking our luncheon under the trees and
discussing theosophy. Later in the month Hattie and I went to Yorkshire
to visit Mr. and Mrs. Scatcherd at Morley Hall, and there spent several
days. We had a prolonged discussion on personal rights. One side was
against all governmental interference, such as compulsory education and
the protection of children against cruel parents; the other side in
favor of state interference that protected the individual in the
enjoyment of life, liberty, and happiness. I took the latter position.
Many parents are not fit to have the control of children, hence the
State should see that they are sheltered, fed, clothed, and educated. It
is far better for the State to make good citizens of its children in
the beginning, than, in the end, to be compelled to care for them as

While in the north of England we spent a few days at Howard Castle, the
summer residence of Lord and Lady Carlisle and their ten children. So
large a family in high life is unusual. As I had known Lord and Lady
Amberley in America, when they visited this country in 1867, I enjoyed
meeting other members of their family. Lady Carlisle is in favor of
woman suffrage and frequently speaks in public. She is a woman of great
force of character, and of very generous impulses. She is trying to do
her duty in sharing the good things of life with the needy. The poor for
miles round often have picnics in her park, and large numbers of
children from manufacturing towns spend weeks with her cottage tenants
at her expense. Lord Carlisle is an artist and a student. As he has a
poetical temperament and is aesthetic in all his tastes, Lady Carlisle
is the business manager of the estate. She is a practical woman with
immense executive ability. The castle with its spacious dining hall and
drawing rooms, with its chapel, library, galleries of paintings and
statuary, its fine outlook, extensive gardens and lawns was well worth
seeing. We enjoyed our visit very much and discussed every imaginable

When we returned to Basingstoke we had a visit from Mrs. Cobb, the wife
of a member of Parliament, and sister-in-law of Karl Pearson, whose
lectures on woman I had enjoyed so much. It was through reading his
work, "The Ethic of Free Thought," that the Matriarchate made such a
deep impression on my mind and moved me to write a tract on the subject.
People who have neither read nor thought on this point, question the
facts as stated by Bachofen, Morgan, and Wilkeson; but their truth, I
think, cannot be questioned. They seem so natural in the chain of
reasoning and the progress of human development. Mrs. Cobb did a very
good thing a few days before visiting us. At a great meeting called to
promote Mr. Cobb's election, John Morley spoke. He did not even say
"Ladies and gentlemen" in starting, nor make the slightest reference to
the existence of such beings as women. When he had finished, Mrs. Cobb
arose mid great cheering and criticised his speech, making some
quotations from his former speeches of a very liberal nature. The
audience laughed and cheered, fully enjoying the rebuke. The next day in
his speech he remembered his countrywomen, and on rising said, "Ladies
and gentlemen."

During August, 1891, I was busy getting ready for my voyage, as I was to
sail on the _Ems_ on August 23. Although I had crossed the ocean six
times in the prior ten years I dreaded the voyage more than words can
describe. The last days were filled with sadness, in parting with those
so dear to me in foreign countries--especially those curly-headed little
girls, so bright, so pretty, so winning in all their ways. Hattie and
Theodore went with me from Southampton in the little tug to the great
ship _Ems_. It was very hard for us to say the last farewell, but we all
tried to be as brave as possible.

We had a rough voyage, but I was not seasick one moment. I was up and
dressed early in the morning, and on deck whenever the weather
permitted. I made many pleasant acquaintances with whom I played chess
and whist; wrote letters to all my foreign friends, ready to mail on
landing; read the "Egotist," by George Meredith, and Ibsen's plays as
translated by my friend Frances Lord. I had my own private stewardess, a
nice German woman who could speak English. She gave me most of my meals
on deck or in the ladies' saloon, and at night she would open the
porthole two or three times and air our stateroom; that made the nights
endurable. The last evening before landing we got up an entertainment
with songs, recitations, readings, and speeches. I was invited to
preside and introduce the various performers. We reached Sandy Hook the
evening of the 29th day of August and lay there all night, and the next
morning we sailed up our beautiful harbor, brilliant with the rays of
the rising sun.

Being fortunate in having children in both hemispheres, here, too, I
found a son and daughter waiting to welcome me to my native land. Our
chief business for many weeks was searching for an inviting apartment
where my daughter, Mrs. Stanton Lawrence, my youngest son, Bob, and I
could set up our family altar and sing our new psalm of life together.
After much weary searching we found an apartment. Having always lived in
a large house in the country, the quarters seemed rather contracted at
first, but I soon realized the immense saving in labor and expense in
having no more room than is absolutely necessary, and all on one floor.
To be transported from the street to your apartment in an elevator in
half a minute, to have all your food and fuel sent to your kitchen by an
elevator in the rear, to have your rooms all warmed with no effort of
your own, seemed like a realization of some fairy dream. With an
extensive outlook of the heavens above, of the Park and the Boulevard
beneath, I had a feeling of freedom, and with a short flight of stairs
to the roof (an easy escape in case of fire), of safety, too.

No sooner was I fully established in my eyrie, than I was summoned to
Rochester, by my friend Miss Anthony, to fill an appointment she had
made for me with Miss Adelaide Johnson, the artist from Washington, who
was to idealize Miss Anthony and myself in marble for the World's Fair.
I found my friend demurely seated in her mother's rocking-chair hemming
table linen and towels for her new home, anon bargaining with butchers,
bakers, and grocers, making cakes and puddings, talking with enthusiasm
of palatable dishes and the beauties of various articles of furniture
that different friends had presented her. All there was to remind one of
the "Napoleon of the Suffrage Movement" was a large escritoire covered
with documents in the usual state of confusion--Miss Anthony never could
keep her papers in order. In search of any particular document she roots
out every drawer and pigeon hole, although her mother's little spinning
wheel stands right beside her desk, a constant reminder of all the
domestic virtues of the good housewife, with whom "order" is of the
utmost importance and "heaven's first law." The house was exquisitely
clean and orderly, the food appetizing, the conversation pleasant and
profitable, and the atmosphere genial.

A room in an adjoining house was assigned to Miss Johnson and myself,
where a strong pedestal and huge mass of clay greeted us. And there, for
nearly a month, I watched the transformation of that clay into human
proportions and expressions, until it gradually emerged with the
familiar facial outlines ever so dear to one's self. Sitting there four
or five hours every day I used to get very sleepy, so my artist
arranged for a series of little naps. When she saw the crisis coming she
would say: "I will work now for a time on the ear, the nose, or the
hair, as you must be wide awake when I am trying to catch the
expression." I rewarded her for her patience and indulgence by summoning
up, when awake, the most intelligent and radiant expression that I could
command. As Miss Johnson is a charming, cultured woman, with liberal
ideas and brilliant in conversation, she readily drew out all that was
best in me.

Before I left Rochester, Miss Anthony and her sister Mary gave a
reception to me at their house. As some of the professors and trustees
of the Rochester University were there, the question of co-education was
freely discussed, and the authorities urged to open the doors of the
University to the daughters of the people. It was rather aggravating to
contemplate those fine buildings and grounds, while every girl in that
city must go abroad for higher education. The wife of President Hill of
the University had just presented him with twins, a girl and a boy, and
he facetiously remarked, "that if the Creator could risk placing sexes
in such near relations, he thought they might with safety walk on the
same campus and pursue the same curriculum together."

Miss Anthony and I went to Geneva the next day to visit Mrs. Miller and
to meet, by appointment, Mrs. Eliza Osborne, the niece of Lucretia Mott,
and eldest daughter of Martha C. Wright. We anticipated a merry meeting,
but Miss Anthony and I were so tired that we no doubt appeared stupid.
In a letter to Mrs. Miller afterward, Mrs. Osborne inquired why I was
"so solemn." As I pride myself on being impervious to fatigue or
disease, I could not own up to any disability, so I turned the tables on
her in the following letter:

"New York, 26 West 61st Street,

November 12, 1891.

"Dear Eliza:

"In a recent letter to Mrs. Miller, speaking of the time when we
last met, you say, 'Why was Mrs. Stanton so solemn?' to which I
reply: Ever since an old German emperor issued an edict, ordering
all the women under that flag to knit when walking on the highway,
when selling apples in the market place, when sitting in the parks,
because 'to keep women out of mischief their hands must be busy,'
ever since I read that, I have felt 'solemn' whenever I have seen
any daughters of our grand Republic knitting, tatting,
embroidering, or occupied with any of the ten thousand digital
absurdities that fill so large a place in the lives of Eve's

"Looking forward to the scintillations of wit, the philosophical
researches, the historical traditions, the scientific discoveries,
the astronomical explorations, the mysteries of theosophy,
palmistry, mental science, the revelations of the unknown world
where angels and devils do congregate, looking forward to
discussions of all these grand themes, in meeting the eldest
daughter of David and Martha Wright, the niece of Lucretia Mott,
the sister-in-law of William Lloyd Garrison, a queenly-looking
woman five feet eight in height, and well proportioned, with
glorious black eyes, rivaling even De Stael's in power and pathos,
one can readily imagine the disappointment I experienced when such
a woman pulled a cotton wash rag from her pocket and forthwith
began to knit with bowed head. Fixing her eyes and concentrating
her thoughts on a rag one foot square; it was impossible for
conversation to rise above the wash-rag level! It was enough to
make the most aged optimist 'solemn' to see such a wreck of
glorious womanhood.

"And, still worse, she not only knit steadily, hour after hour, but
she bestowed the sweetest words of encouragement on a young girl
from the Pacific Coast, who was embroidering rosebuds on another
rag, the very girl I had endeavored to rescue from the maelstrom of
embroidery, by showing her the unspeakable folly of giving her
optic nerves to such base uses, when they were designed by the
Creator to explore the planetary world, with chart and compass to
guide mighty ships across the sea, to lead the sons of Adam with
divinest love from earth to heaven. Think of the great beseeching
optic nerves and muscles by which we express our admiration of all
that is good and glorious in earth and heaven, being concentrated
on a cotton wash rag! Who can wonder that I was 'solemn' that day!
I made my agonized protest on the spot, but it fell unheeded, and
with satisfied sneer Eliza knit on, and the young Californian
continued making the rosebuds. I gazed into space, and, when alone,
wept for my degenerate countrywoman. I not only was 'solemn' that
day, but I am profoundly 'solemn' whenever I think of that queenly
woman and that cotton wash rag. (One can buy a whole dozen of these
useful appliances, with red borders and fringed, for twenty-five
cents.) Oh, Eliza, I beseech you, knit no more!

"Affectionately yours,

"Elizabeth Cady Stanton."

To this Mrs. Osborne sent the following reply:

"Dear Mrs. Stanton:

"In your skit
Against your sisterhood who knit,
Or useful make their fingers,
I wonder if--deny it not--
The habit of Lucretia Mott
Within your memory lingers!

"In retrospective vision bright,
Can you recall dear Martha Wright
Without her work or knitting?
The needles flying in her hands,
On washing rags or baby's bands,
Or other work as fitting?

"I cannot think they thought the less,
Or ceased the company to bless
With conversation's riches,
Because they thus improved their time,
And never deemed it was a crime
To fill the hours with stitches.

"They even used to preach and plan
To spread the fashion, so that man
Might have this satisfaction;
Instead of idling as men do,
With nervous meddling fingers too,
Why not mate talk with action?

"But as a daughter and a niece,
I pride myself on every piece
Of handiwork created;
While reveling in social chat,
Or listening to gossip flat,
My gain is unabated.

"That German emperor you scorn,
Seems to my mind a monarch born,
Worthy to lead a column;
I'll warrant he could talk and work,
And, neither being used to shirk,
Was rarely very solemn.

"I could say more upon this head,
But must, before I go to bed.
Your idle precepts mocking,
Get out my needle and my yarn
And, caring not a single darn.
Just finish up this stocking."



I returned from Geneva to New York city in time to celebrate my
seventy-sixth birthday with my children. I had traveled about constantly
for the last twenty years in France, England, and my own country, and
had so many friends and correspondents, and pressing invitations to
speak in clubs and conventions, that now I decided to turn over a new
leaf and rest in an easy-chair. But so complete a change in one's life
could not be easily accomplished. In spite of my resolution to abide in
seclusion, my daughter and I were induced to join the Botta Club, which
was to meet once a month, alternately, at the residences of Mrs. Moncure
D. Conway and Mrs. Abby Sage Richardson. Though composed of ladies and
gentlemen it proved dull and unprofitable. As the subject for discussion
was not announced until each meeting, no one was prepared with any
well-digested train of thought. It was also decided to avoid all
questions about which there might be grave differences of opinion. This
negative position reminded me of a book on etiquette which I read in my
young days, in which gentlemen were warned, "In the presence of ladies
discuss neither politics, religion, nor social duties, but confine
yourself to art, poetry, and abstract questions which women cannot
understand. The less they know of a subject the more respectfully they
will listen." This club was named in honor of Mrs. Botta, formerly Miss
Anne Lynch, whose drawing room for many years was the social center of
the literati of New York.

On January 16, 1892, we held the Annual Suffrage Convention in
Washington, and, as usual, had a hearing before the Congressional
Committee. My speech on the "Solitude of Self" was well received and was
published in the Congressional Record. The _Woman's Tribune_ struck off
many hundreds of copies and it was extensively circulated.

Notwithstanding my determination to rest, I spoke to many clubs, wrote
articles for papers and magazines, and two important leaflets, one on
"Street Cleaning," another on "Opening the Chicago Exposition on
Sunday." As Sunday was the only day the masses could visit that
magnificent scene, with its great lake, extensive park, artificial
canals, and beautiful buildings, I strongly advocated its being open on
that day. One hundred thousand religious bigots petitioned Congress to
make no appropriation for this magnificent Exposition, unless the
managers pledged themselves to close the gates on Sunday, and hide this
vision of beauty from the common people. Fortunately, this time a sense
of justice outweighed religious bigotry. I sent my leaflets to every
member of Congress and of the State legislatures, and to the managers of
the Exposition, and made it a topic of conversation at every
opportunity. The park and parts of the Exposition were kept open on
Sunday, but some of the machinery was stopped as a concession to narrow
Christian sects.

In June, 1892, at the earnest solicitation of Mrs. Russell Sage, I
attended the dedication of the Gurley Memorial Building, presented to
the Emma Willard Seminary, at Troy, New York, and made the following


"It is just sixty years since the class of '32, to which I
belonged, celebrated a commencement in this same room. This was the
great event of the season to many families throughout this State.
Parents came from all quarters; the _elite_ of Troy and Albany
assembled here. Principals from other schools, distinguished
legislators, and clergymen all came to hear girls scan Latin verse,
solve problems in Euclid, and read their own compositions in a
promiscuous assemblage. A long line of teachers anxiously waited
the calling of their classes, and over all, our queenly Madame
Willard presided with royal grace and dignity. Two hundred girls in
gala attire, white dresses, bright sashes, and coral ornaments,
with their curly hair, rosy cheeks, and sparkling eyes, flitted to
and fro, some rejoicing that they had passed through their ordeal,

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