KanColl: The Kansas Historical Quarterlies

The Forgotten Feminist ofKansas:  The Papers of
Clarina I. H. Nichols, 1854-1885



Winter, 1974 (Vol. 40, No. 4), pages 503 to 562
Transcribed and composed in HTML by Barbara J. Scott;
edited by Name withheld upon request;
digitized with permission of the Kansas State Historical Society.
NOTE: The numbers in brackets are links to footnotes for thistext.


VIII. THE PAPERS, 1881-1885

Jan. 12, 1881.

[EDITORS Press:]

     Having begged your hospitality and invited your lady contributors to a "Home" coming, it seems incumbent upon me to see to it that the table is neatly set, the tea fragrant, the bisquits light, the cream and butter sweet, and then with my budget of good news -- which, when you hear it you will not be surprised that I am in haste to circulate it -- and the nom de plume offerings, and the characteristic sentiments of the circle, I don't believe that "just a corner" will be conceded for the retreat of that "veteran contributor" who should sit at the right hand of the host, let who will "pour the tea" (the honorary duty in our young days) or pass the sugar. With a hearty good-evening to responding friends, and a grip of the editorial hands, I am happy to announce that Vermont -- that conservative, old-school veteran -- has cut off his cue, made a bonfire of his wig, exchanged his small clothes and buckles for a new-school rig, and having, like Job of old, divided to his daughters an inheritance among their brethren, has taken passage on the western train of modern civilization. And happily there is no doubt that, like Job's, his later days will be more blessed; for this act of justice to his daughters, who -- notably capable -- are emigrating to other States where their services are appreciated, and rewarded by civil positions of profit and trust.

     Why am I so jubilant over Vermont? It is not alone that it is my native State, that I rejoice to see her progressing "in the way in which she should go." I confess to a personal interest in the matter; that with earnest heart and sorely tried, I was first to break ground for this new departure, and before any other State had moved in the interest of school suffrage for women. It is, that what was then a doubtful act in the common estimation, is now justified by a common approval. Let me tell you how it happened, and then you will see how it is that Sister Nichols' Christmas and New Year are brightened with trophies from the past. But first let me tell this good news. It is that by a vote of 139 to 33 in the House, and 25 to 2 in the Senate, the women of Vermont have henceforth the same right as men to vote in all school-district meetings, and in the election of school commissioners in towns and cities; and the same right to hold offices relating to school affairs. By another act of the same Legislature, women may be town superintendents and trustees, and also, women doing business in their own name, may sue and be sued in their own name, though married. [2]

     Twenty-eight years ago the 26th [29th] of last October, I spoke before the Vermont House of Representatives, by invitation of that body, on the merits of a petition signed by some 250 citizens of Brattleboro, asking for women of Vermont the school suffrage granted by this Legislature. [3] The petition which I had drawn up, signed by tax-paying women and men from all professions, political parties and business departments, many of them names of influence throughout the State, was referred to the Educational Committee, whose Chairman (a brother editor), [4] being bitterly opposed to "women's rights," I appealed to Judge Thompson, [5] editor of the Green Mountain Freeman, to enlist some friendly member to defend it against a blackguarding report. Judge T. replied that he "had consulted all the leading members of the three political parties, and they advised, as the best course, that Mrs. Nichols come to Montpelier and speak to the petition herself; and if she would do so, they would procure a vote of the House to give her a hearing," "And," added Judge T., "you can hang on it the whole subject of women's rights. Come, and I will stand by you like a brother. My wife joins me in inviting you to our home," etc.

     When I referred the matter to my husband, and asked, "Shall I go?" his Yankee reply was, "Can you; have you the nerve?" I explained that I could not leave home to present the subject in every town in the State, but that in the Legislature every town had a representative of at least average intelligence; and if I could make a favorable impression, if only to allay prejudices, so that members when inquired of by their constituents, would give a fair report; discussion would result; repressed sympathies would find expression; the guns of our opponents would be spiked, and the beginning of a successful end would be assured. Any immediate accomplishment of the object of the petition I did not expect. On the contrary, I assured my husband that I expected misrepresentation and reproaches, from outsiders, at least; that I knew my family relatives would be pained by them. "And now tell me, would they give you pain?" His emphatic reply -- "There should be no reproach for the performance of duty," said as plainly as words could have said it, that the consciousness of duty performed should be a sovereign cure for the pain of misrepresentation and reproach. I went to the capitol, and presented the whole subject of woman's legal wrongs including the denial of her mother's rights in the custody and control of her children, and the conduct of their education in the schools, as results of her disfranchisement.

     I cannot tell you how anxiously I looked for the comments of the press (our exchange list included every paper published in the State), nor how relieved I felt that my personal friends were given no cause to regret the step I had taken. The chairman of the committee, whose outspoken and unmanly opposition to the resolution inviting me to speak before the House (he had given the only negative vote), had been signally rebuked -- in noticing my address in his editorial columns only remarked that "with all her efforts Mrs. Nichols could not unsex herself; even her voice was full of womanly pathos." The report, though adverse, was respectful. The ladies of Montpelier who had attended only at the earnest solicitation of Judge Thompson, met me on the platform, exclaiming, "Mrs. Nichols, we did not know what woman's rights were, but we are for woman's rights." And they pledged me there and then that they would use their social influence in the interest of justice to woman. And for many years I know they kept their pledge, and still are working for woman's political enfranchisement. Twenty years are a long vista in the untried future, but looking back, they do not seem so very long, when every one has brought token of germinating forces for an abundant harvest home. The lesson, dear friends, that I have sought to read you is: "In the morning sow thy seed; in the evening, withold not thy hand," for the providences of God are always abroad, harrowing in his truths and insuring the harvest.


[January, 1881]

[Dear Editor:]

     The Secretary of the Interior [7] to-day decided that a married woman whose husband is still living, but has exhausted his right under the law, can make an entry and acquire title in her own right under the Desert Land Act. [8] This decision of Secretary [Carl] Schurz is based upon the broad ground that a woman is a citizen just as truly as a man is, and as the law in question provides for entries of desert land simply by citizens of the United States, the enjoyment of its benefits cannot properly be restricted to male citizen. --  Ex[change].

     The reasoning that here justifies the decision of Secretary Schurz, in the case of public land, applies with equal force to the ballot for woman. Decisions all along the line are weakening in the direction of equality before the law. *

     From a recent newspaper report, I see that a woman's vote for State Supt. of Schools, was received in the late Kansas election. When the women of Kansas some fifteen years ago offered their votes for state and county Supts. under the constitutional provision, that "In providing for common schools, the Legislature should make no distinction between the rights of males and females in the formation and conduct of schools" -- their votes were rejected, and in the trial of a test case, the judge decided that under a legislative act defining the scope of the constitutional provision, women were barred from voting for state and county officials. Popular opinion will soon repeal that legislation. [9]

     As for Sec'y Schurz's land decision -- keen irony it might seem -- there is many a woman who would hail the right to make herself a home on desert land, as a real godsend. The decision besides suggests that possibly the powers that be are preparing to endow the mother pioneers with homesteads and pre-emption rights as they have men and single women of all conditions.


     * The desert land so called, only needs irrigation to make it very fruitful.

[February, 1881]

Editor Journal: --

     In your issue of Jan. 22d you copy acts of the late Vermont Legislature on change of names and adoption of heirs. [11] Heartily endorsing your brief comment, I would suggest by way of encouragement to friends of our cause that the acts criticised are a gratifying improvement on the enactment of 1853, which empowered a married man to adopt a minor or other person as his heir by simply depositing in the Probate office a prescribed declaration to that intent. Section 2 of the same act empowered a married woman to do the same, "provided her husband joined her" in the act. [12]

     The enactment of this law was sprung upon the unsuspecting friends of the law of 1850, which gave to the widow of a childless husband the whole estate if not in excess of $1000, with one half of any property in excess of that sum, and if there were no near relatives she took the whole. By this adoption law the widow of a childless husband might be cut off with the one-third use provision of other widows, which was worse than the original law that gave her one-half in fee simple. [13]

     When I asked our member if he knew what he had done and explained it to him, he exclaimed in surprise, "I never thought of that." If a woman had been there she would have seen the pinch, sir. This is why we need the ballot. Blind men and selfish men misrepresent us.


[April, 1881]

[Editors Press:]

     "The very worst class of women would vote," would they? Well, Peter, how many women in all your acquaintance can you count, bad enough to vote for the laws which you declare to be "so abominable and unfair, that you cannot comprehend why they are allowed to remain on the statute book of any State that lays claim to civilization?" How many, friend Peter? It took a majority of all the men, good, bad and indifferent to put them there, and it is a majority of the same that keeps them there. I ask you, simply, how many women you can name of all you have ever known, who would make or retain laws giving away from themselves the custody and control of their babies, their earnings and their wearing apparel -- who would license a traffic, which, by the operation of such laws, despoils even the best of women of means to "adorn and make home happy," and sends them and their children to the "dirty arena" of squalid poverty or the poor house?

     You say "it is a well-known fact that all well-regulated households think and act alike religiously and politically; that if the head of the family is anything like a decent man, his family would vote the same ticket;" and then you draw the inference -- which, if your premises were not disproved at every election, would be indisputable -- that the result of the women's vote would be simply to swell the number of votes. But you know better, Peter; I say it in all kindness, you know better than to claim the votes of women of any class for men that "pull wires" barbed for their own bosoms and the bosoms of those dear to them. And you betray that you know better by indirectly excepting from your alleged political unity the ill regulated households, and the family "whose head is not anything like a decent man." From such families would come the reserve corps of a just and pitying God -- the woman's vote, which, joined with the votes of good men and good women, would wrest the balance of power from the classes of men willing to profit by unjust laws. Women are already voting in 13 states, and it is the united testimony of friends and opponents that only the best classes of women have offered their votes.

     You say "there is the drunkard, and both men and women to lift out of the sinks of iniquity and crime, and other serious evils to battle with, which the God-given woman can reform in a much easier and more respectable way than by entering the dirty arena of politics." Oh, Peter! If it isn't already pre-empted, and you would only show us the way! The 100,000 daughters of temperance who have tried every easy and respectable way they could think of -- even to kneeling in the dirty streets, and singing and praying in the tobacco-fouled rum-holes -- and failed -- alas, Peter, failed -- these 100,000 (with the countless waifs of intemperance shivering in their rear) will bless you and engrave on their banners -- "Pipkin forever!" Only point out that "easier and more respectable way" to a consummation so eminently Christian!

     But, Peter, do you not comprehend that in this "dirty arena" is brewed the "devil's broth" that devastates our homes, demoralizes our sons and makes a holocaust of our daughters? And that until she is free to roll up a majority that fears God and obeys his law of love to the brother, this "God-given woman" is only a Mrs. Partington, brandishing her mop in the face of a drunken majority rule -- a majority accomplished by the votes of the worst class of men?

     The comparative intellectual status of men and women has no bearing on the point in debate, since men only one remove from idiocy are eligible to vote. But a wise benevolence, which is universally claimed as the initiatory of Christian government, is entitled to paramount consideration, as the element preservative of all human institutions; the synonym for virtue and intelligence. And this you concede to woman, inasmuch as you admit that in works of benevolence and unselfish acts of kindness, she far excels man. Then what sensible pretext has he for dictating to her the ways and means for accomplishing work in which she excels him. In their personal and business affairs men assign to master workmen the direction of the novices; to assume that God has subjected his master workman, woman, to the direction of the novices in works of benevolence, whether political, educational or religious, is to "charge God foolishly." Where man has done so his plans are failures.

     You say woman excels man in works of benevolence and unselfish acts of kindness "because this is her God-given sphere." Where, then, did he, this inferior in benevolence and unselfishness, get the commission which he is utilizing as master workman and monopolizes of saving grace, religious and political? What right has he to prevent or hinder woman from participating, on equal terms with himself, in a government whose very life is involved in the accomplished benevolence of its institutions and laws, in all of which she, too, has an evident and acknowledged interest?

     What right has he to shake the finger of scorn at the worst class of women, as if there were no corresponding class of men? How could there be a class of vile women, if all men were good and true protectors, as they claim to be, of womanly purity and virtue?

     But it is as you say, Peter, there "is not one word in the Bible about woman suffrage." Neither is there one word about apple dumplings. I don't believe they had any in Paul's day; nor man suffrage either, for there is not a word in the good book about suffrage for anybody, but instead it reads: "Submit yourselves to the powers that be."

     And again you are right, Peter, Paul does indeed say, "Let your women keep silence in the churches." And here you have stumbled on an arena for women where "silence is golden." Nearly every protestant sect in this country allows women to vote in Church affairs; and the church membership being two-thirds women, the silent majority is a developing power in the church. Can it be that St. Paul foresaw this coming woman-power when he issued his command of submission to the powers that be? But why, in quoting I. Cor. XIV., 35, did you omit "let them ask of their husbands," which is the vital point in the apostle's plan of home education for knowledge-seeking wives? And did it occur to you that it was cruelly discriminating against women who have no husbands, and a dangerous license to the wives of infidel and equal-rights' husbands? Dear old St. Paul! Woman's best friend! But for him men might never have known what measure of love they owe their wives! And how he has been berated and misinterpreted, and all because of his unselfish efforts to become in his own person, and to have women become, "all things to all men, that thereby they might" -- between them -- "save some."

     The working creed of E. J. S. ( Mrs. Squires?) [15] is the gospel creed for both men and women -- "love to God and love to man." "Little children love one another." "Love worketh no ill to the neighbor; therefore it is the fulfilling of the law." Precious words, holding the whole mystery of the true life of the State, the home and the individual.

     In conclusion, friend Peter, I confess to the suspicion expressed by our Antioch sister in regard to thy name, and hazard the opinion that thee would see clearer and feel more like a responsible member of our "Circle" if thee would come out of thy Pipkin. [16] And there is the "look of the thing"; a family man and "a grandfather" firing at women in the open field from behind a -- a Pipkin! Excuse my plainness, Peter, I am a "great grandmother" to two precious boys -- voters to be, and for equal rights, like their fathers and grandfathers! [17]


     P. S. -- My grateful acknowledgments to guests of the "Circle" reception, each and all.

Aug. 21st, 1881

Dear Susan --

     I am neglecting everything & everybody to keep up thro' this hot weather & gain a little strength. I have had a very hard spell, but am over it -- I was sick & did too much getting into my new nice room. My cousin Corinne Sinnet [19] was too have been in Brooklyn N. Y. 2  mo[nth]'s ago, was in Florida when she wrote & thought of going to Europe ere long. Her father painted my portrait in '56 it was said to be good in expression particularly. Don't know what became of it when he broke up his studio in Elmira after his wife's (my cousin's) death & spent a year in Europe. He owns a house that has a studio in Middletown, N. Y. & was intending to go to Europe again on a visit this summer. But it will be a costly & I fear unsatisfactory chase -- this for my likeness. Oh, if I had dreamed of such a demand I would have been ready years ago with a fine picture.

     Now while I think of it -- [a] full half [of] your printed envelopes come worn open on the long edges -- The one with Mrs. [Harriet H.]  Rob[inson]'s [20] notice of your dear self had been tied up on the way to keep the contents in. Don't send me much paper -- enough for your correspondence only. I  re[ceive]d a letter from Lenora Van Brunt [21] inclosing $10, saying she had "more than she needed," [from] her "own earnings" & she hoped I "would not take it amiss that she sent me that moiety of what she owed me," that but for me, Miss Anthony & Mrs. Stanton she "would have been sat down on to this day by that divinely appointed head of hers" & added, that her "father taught her if she knew she owed any body, whether they knew it or not -- to pay the debt." I inclose the $10 to you as I have waited in vain to get a paper  ex[changed]. for silver here about with bill of Fowlers for [the]  Hist[ory]. & want you to pay it & apply value on postage &c. to that debt of [the] 2d vol. [of your] History [22] --

     My reasons in brief [for entering the woman's rights movement] were the character of leadership, superior elements of progress in western character of thought; fossilized conservatism of New England; and the male admixtures already dominating & thus handicapping the feminine activities, thought &c. What do you think of it? Don't be alarmed if I feel it right to speak rather freely of Susan & indirectly of Lucy & her  support[er]s (not by name tho') in general. I am tired out for now. Bless you for "Light of Asia." [23] A grand & beautiful but sad poem: and lets in light to scatter religious dogmatism & so helps to free the soul of thought.

     Lucy sent me "Fool's Errand" [24] in memory of an old time visit at our home in  B[rattleboro]. an incident of which would be nice in a chapter of my co-workers if I had time & it were desirable.

     Have you seen the Circular "Nichols Memorial" issued by the Kansas Women's Committee? [25] Its value to me is in its kindly recognition of my work: I expect nothing more substantial, i. e., in a pecuniary way & to me love & sympathy have always, all my life been the very substance & kernel of all good & yet I have been utterly unable to withhold my hand from doing of a duty even to win them. I might have married again (tender love from life long acquaintance) but duty to these children forbade & then freedom to work for our cause. Don't mention this Susan dear.

     I owe you more than I can ever pay & often wonder at myself that I am so great a debtor to any body without feeling beggardly & mean, & conclude that the reason is to be found in the transferring nature of your great benevolence which makes one feel as if part & parcel of yourself. But to base that feeling of restfulness in your tender thoughtful love, would take from me the comfort that comes often in my distress to whisper hope and makes me cling to the remnant of life for the sake of the reports from you &c.

     Sometimes in my distress I have tho't I did not care to live longer, then I have thought of our cause and of your great work & my heart sprung up & resolved to hold on: your letters would still come and fill me with content in your sympathy, purposes and labors. I love Mrs. Stanton & all the faithful workers, but it seems to me that we two more than any I know, live in this woman  move[men]t because we see in it the divine development of humanity as a whole. We seem set apart as it were from all hindering socialties & conventialities. You have no family ties depending & mine are able to care for themselves or very nearly without me. I am only an encyclopedia; a book of reference; a note of admiration: a period here, a comma there & a smile of love & approbation, or a reproof, perhaps, lingering in my house, who when I am gone, tho' missed & mourned, will soon leave the life current smooth & untroubled. Let it be so. I can not bear to think my going will sadden the hearts I leave.

     Now about the History -- it is a grand success withal, but there will be criticism to weight it on account of the "Church & State Chapter." [26] I know the reading of the section will help our cause greatly by setting thought in motion & it can't fail of emancipating minds from bible prejudices. But it seems an  u[n]necessary & uncalled for "fling" at the church as one says, to put in the table of Contents the conclusions of the author, & will prevent many from purchasing who otherwise would have  bo[ugh]'t the book, read it & come to the conclusion themselves without jar. Perhaps I ought not to criticise, but I have found my best success in presenting truth ready peeled of burrs if possible, but always without any foreign condiments of a bitter & acrid nature, & naturally I cringe all thro' at anything that stirs up prejudice & provokes resistance without helping to just results. I have always seen it hindering (Abby  Kell[e]y [27] -- dear good soul did a great deal of this) & so may be forgiven for trusting my experience. I am waiting to feel in best trim for giving my reasons for remaining with the National wing of the  suff[rage] movement which properly belongs [remainder of paragraph missing]

     The girls report "paper all gone" so I will wind up for this mail. I have sold my remaining real estate (in Kansas it was) for ½ its value (if I could have kept it) -- & got enough in hand to get present comforts and furnish very plainly my new apartments. In all this time I have had no room to myself: the only comfortable one in our cabin being the large living room, with fireplace, in which was my bed &c.

      Geo[rge] & I are one in pecuniary interests: he sacrificed to my infirmities (I not being able to go on to new land in the woods) and he needing me to keep his little ones with him (in the first instance). He is saving, industrious, uses no tobacco, never tastes liquor, swears not at all, loves reading of solid & fact sort & never to wife or mother said (or had need to say) we can't afford any thing we asked -- & never makes debts. You ought to see his indignation at men who judge and claim rights over women: he was called to witness a neighbors will -- property to wife while she remained his widow! & he a paralyzed burden on her hands & heart for years from intemperance.

     I am going to give Katie my cloth vol. of [the] History & want the 2d vol. for Nellie. I want 2 copies of the leather bound -- one for my son A. O. & one for  Geo[rge] -- a present from mother. When he has done with it he can give it to one of the girls & she can give her vol. to the other & each have a copy of her own.

     So if you can really afford it you may send me the two leather bound copies and I would be glad to have Eliza A. Nichols [28] have vol. I cloth bound a gift from me. She is my eldest step- ch[ild] who was always dear to me & has devoted all her life for the last 50 years to her 2 insane sisters, one of them has recovered her reason, & niece -- daughter of the one you saw. That niece was educated -- a splendid musician -- by her aunt, a rich childless widow & just as she had won a fine opening to her talent & thought to support her poor demented mother and this eldest sister of her mother's, who had kept her from a baby -- she lost her reason & is in [an] insane asylum in  Mass[achusetts]. My three single step-daughters live by themselves & earn a good living as printers. The 4th (also a widow) working with them. There are 6 of all; 2 widows; Eliza keeps house & boards the printers & Martha, the insane mother. Her address is --

Miss Eliza A. Nichols
23 School Street -- Boston, Mass.

     My own family friends are able to buy the work: and I think care enough for my reminisces [sic] of a life they begrudged to the cause & know little of, to say so. My sisters & sister-in-law & youngest brother never pained me by disparaging the woman's rights movement, neither did my brothers-in-law. They thought too much of my feelings to do that. The nephews & nieces will buy it all round, for they "think there was never one like Aunt  C[larina]": so say their friends & acquaintances of them.


     I have written a shamefully careless letter. Burn it when read.

May 13th, 1881

Dear Susan. --

     I have been too ill to prepare a greeting worthy of the anniversary meeting in Boston on the 26th and 27th, but I cannot forbear an attempt to convey through you an expression of my earnest sympathy and unfaltering trust in the generous purpose and wise conduct of its deliberations in behalf of a disfranchised humanity. Regarding suffrage as a means and enfranchisement as the object of our movement, it seems to me of paramount importance to secure every advantage in the direction of the latter as making success in either direction more available for a speedy result. To illustrate the distinction I have in mind, I cite the case of the freedmen on the one side, with their right of suffrage -- a comparatively bare possession -- and on the other, the womanhood of the country gathering rich out-lying fruits of enfranchisement without the right of suffrage. The full enfranchisement of both these classes of citizens has from the first been a question of time and effort, the desired result depending upon the education of all classes in a thorough knowledge and appreciation of human rights and duties in their relations to each other and to the individual.

     That our work should be well done, is of immeasurably more consequence than that it should be done soon. In this view of the subject I see no cause for regret that our demands for the ballot have met rebuffs and postponements, since the educational preparation for its exercise -- which is the happy result of the protracted struggle for the ballot -- is an invaluable voucher for its intelligent use when won. If, because in some directions accomplished results seem disproportioned to the efforts put forth, we are tempted to drop the laboring oar and fall into the wake of the movement, let the reflection that it is in Gods years, not our short lives, that the sum of human effort shall attain to its grandest results, inspire us with a self-forgetful energy worthy the servitors of a Christian civilization. In our own soul-growth we are sure of a rich reward.

     The subject to which I would ask of the convention a careful and earnest attention, is the civil law of marriage which from present appearances our opponents are disposed to force upon us as a controlling issue in our movement.

     You have probably noticed the appointment of a commission of eminent men, selected from prominent centers in the middle and eastern states -- to inquire into and suggest a remedial treatment for the alarming increase of divorce -- an important and truly worthy subject for benevolent investigation. Not having seen the names of the gentlemen selected for this work associated with any reform in the interest of women; and there being no woman's name associated with them in an inquiry which most concerns women -- three-fourths of the divorces, as charged, being obtained by women; and believing that the appointment of such commission emanates from a class of men, who have persistently opposed our demand for equal rights; first, on the ground of "free love" and a "loose morality," and now, that it "makes women discontented with the conditions and sphere for which God and nature designed them" and threatens to destroy the divine institution of marriage, I would submit for the consideration of the convention -- a commission of women associated with a minority of men, if desirable, as counsel -- appointees of the convention or its executive committee -- to collect facts and statistics clearly and impartially setting forth the causes and prevention of divorce. There is no doubt that the increase of divorce is due to the combined pressure of autocratic rights in the marriage relation and the aristocracy of sex in government upon the increasing intelligence and conscious moral responsibility of women, who, seeing more clearly are feeling more deeply, that in sequestering the rights of any class of its citizens government is nursing a despotism fruitful of danger to the home and the country.

     The inquiry proposed is a legitimate one. The need for our reform originated, not in the disfranchsement of women, but in the wrongs growing out of the suppression of the wife's equal personal and property rights in the marriage relation. A candid presentation of the fundamental injustice is the true policy in our efforts for enfranchisement.

     In discussing the legal disabilities of the wife, widow and mother, with one of the purest and noblest of New England's sons, -- a United States District Judge -- having frankly admitted the wrongs of which I complained and the justice of my claim for equal rights in these relations he remarked in conclusion: "The reform which you ask is fundamental and would destroy the harmony of the statutes. I have consulted with leading members of the bar, my brother judges, and we cannot as yet see any way to right the wrongs of which you complain, that will not destroy the harmony of the statutes."

     The relation between the sexes being the primal relation in which all other human relations have their origin, the poison of despotism here is infused through the vitals of the nation till its best men have come to regard the harmony of statutes founded in injustice as better entitled to their guardian care than "the righteousness which exalteth a nation." Woman, more clear-sighted, from being the victim of this injustice owes it to man equally as to herself, to meet the commission of eminent men with the overwhelming logic of facts and statistics every where ready to her call vindicating the necessity, purity and patriotism of the movement for woman's enfranchisement.


[August, 881]

     Woman's legal wrongs, results as they are of her political disabilities, are unanswerable reasons for her enfranchisement. And the advocates of equal rights having used these wrongs to arrest attention and quicken the popular conscience, have thrown down their gage and challenged the governments of christendom to her enfranchisement. Governments and the governed have at length taken an attent attitude. Our bitterest opponents concede that our cause is progressing -- that our enfranchisement is but a question of time. Having accepted the situation, thinking minds advance to the consideration of probable results. What will be the effect on woman -- on man -- on government? are questions asked on every side. And it becomes our duty, as advocates of equal rights, to answer. In doing so it is necessary to analyze government as instituted by divine wisdom and groped after by human intelligence. And here let me say, it seams proper to place the ultimate of Christian civilization in civil government. Organization is God's method of growth, of progress, of perfecting his creations. Through organized government He is working out the salvation of the races. In a truly Christian government we will have the aggregate forces.

     It will be conceded that man is an organized being; that he is the subject of inherent laws, both physical and spiritual; that God in making him subject to laws initiated government -- the government of man as an individual. He made man accountable to himself, and that he might be responsible as well as accountable, he made him a free agent. This free agency involved the power to use or abuse his faculties, to obey or disobey the laws of his being, with the right to use and obey only. Free agency, then, implies power without the right to act in disobedience of natural or inherent laws, with both the power and the right to act in harmony with such laws. The right of self-government then, as involved in human free agency, we understand to be the right of an individual to use and enjoy himself -- all his faculties, physical and spiritual -- subject only to natural and inherent laws.

     If man had been created to live in isolation, self-government, as towards God and himself, would be the ultimate of government. But God has set us in families and neighborhoods and thus necessitated the extension to our social relations of those self-governing laws which inhere or are God-imposed upon the individual. The government of the individual man and the government of man in the mass, is the same in principle. The law that rules the individual in his relations with others, is the law that should govern the state in its relations to the individual citizen. The individual, exercising his rights of self-government, does by others as he would have others do by him -- regards the rights of his neighbor in property, industries, associations and opinions as he would have his neighbor regard his. A Christian government simply makes this regard for individual rights a matter of individual obligation, in order that any not disposed to act justly may be coerced into good citizenship and restrained from abusing their power to do wrong.

     As families, neighborhoods and numbers combine, the diversity of interests, industries, and needs complicate government action, but in no wise release it from the fundamental law of right that governs the individual citizen. As the individual cannot divest himself of his right of self-government -- its exercise being a duty as well as a right -- so the State cannot rightfully take it from him, by assuming to discharge the responsibilities and perform the duties involved in its exercise. Neither can the individual usurp the rights of his neighbors, but he can combine with them in the exercise of self-governing powers, on the basis of individual, self-governing right, and thus organize civil government. Such a government can have no other nor higher powers than the individuals composing it had to confer. The stream cannot rise higher than its fountain, and the fountain of a Christian, or God-provided government, is the sovereignty of the individual over himself -- not over his neighbor. Hence the axiom -- "All governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed."

     Whither is civilization tending? is the anxious query of many minds, especially of minds trained to venerate and conserve the customs of their fathers. Christian men and women are prone to forget, that while the ark of civilization is jostled on men's shoulders, as was the "ark of the covenant" on the shoulders of oxen, its temple is being builded after the divine plan without sound of axe or hammer. Whither should civilization tend? is the true question; for in the omnipotent will of the Governor of the universe it will tend whither it should.

     Through individual suffering and national disorder, through revolution and reconstruction, the grand ultimate of Christian civilization is coming to us in a Christian government -- a government controlled by moral forces in which, self-governed and self-governing, the subject shall exercise and enjoy all his natural and inherent rights and the ruler no more; a government which recognizes Christ's teachings of love and duty as practical rules and not abstract principles to be admired in theory and ignored in the life of the individual and the State.

     Whither should civilization tend? has for every human being a grand significance. For us component members and working forces in this world of intelligence and feeling, our individual action either helps or hinders its divinely ordered course. The question is eminently one of working forces. These forces are divine and human, co-operative or antagonistic. In their co-operation is progress; in their antagonism civilization is like a ship struggling against adverse winds with mainsails furled -- its advance is necessarily slow.

     Again, the gems of progress are with the individual, and while a nation seems to stand still under the shadow of some great wrong, in the soul of a Garrison, or the heart of a loving woman, the fires are lighted which, in the course of a generation, may purge the State and elevate a whole people to a higher plane of civilization. This explains why progress in civil government is so slow. Truth promulgated first by individuals, must permeate the masses, reconstruct social thought, and win upon the convictions of a governing majority to secure its embodiment in constitutional law. Venerated customs and established habits of life and thought obstruct the track, and to the work of introducing the new is added the labor of eliminating the old and cherished. Another reason for the slow development of Christian government is to be found in the exclusion of large classes of virtuous and intelligent citizens from participation in its responsibilities and duties. For lack of intelligent, moral force at the ballotboxes, our ship of State well nigh foundered. It only saved itself by practically acknowledging the claim of four millions of slaves to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." To secure to itself the primary conditions of a just and enduring power, it has yet to acknowledge by constitutional law, the equal legal and political rights of twenty millions of women.

     Injustice to women, though it threatens neither bloodshed nor "dissolution of the Union," is a costly injustice whose removal promises more for the moral and intellectual progress of our country than the enfranchisement of the negro [sic]. The State could not afford the disfranchisement of the negro [sic], still less can it afford the disfranchisement of its women. Conceding that virtue and intelligence are the life and security of the State, and ignorance and injustice its bane, our government has escaped Scylla only to encounter Carybides if, enfranchising a million of ignorant bondmen, with their non-co-operative masters, it fails also to enfranchise, and thus bring to its support, the morality, loyalty, and intelligence represented by the half of the community excluded on the ground of sex.

     An earnest protest against intemperance and oppression; a persistent worker in the educational field; holding two thirds the membership of the Christian churches -- who can doubt what would have been the influence of woman in the past, or what it will be in the future as a political element in the government of State?

     With only the right of petition, free speech and pen, against the enfranchised forces of intemperance, ignorance and oppression; in face of reproach and prophecies of demoralization to herself, woman has made her record bright with benefits to her sex and country; has won the endorsement and co-operation of good men and secured from the State government, human concessions of rights which have already opened to her wider fields of remunerative industry, arts, sciences, professions from which, scarcely a quarter of a century since, she was absolutely excluded. These concessions have placed in her hands a proportion of taxable property and financial consideration which make her enfranchisement a claim of honor as well as right. The mothers of the State, especially the war-widowed mothers, who are still discharging to minor children the duties of both father and mother, have special claims to enfranchisement. The moral and intellectual interest of their children are a higher claim to representation than any mere property qualification of the government.

     If possession of the dollar pleads for the enfranchisement of men who are neither husbands nor fathers, surely the child is a better reason for the enfranchisement of the mother from whom he must learn the fundamental principles of just government. What would be thought of the farmer who should call all his hands together and gravely lecture them on their responsibilities as harvesters, to secure the crop with the greatest dispatch and in the best possible condition, and then, to prepare them for their best endeavor, should tie their right hands behind them? And this is what our government has done for woman. It has withheld from her all power to make good laws or veto bad ones; and yet holds her responsible for the morals of society and the proper training of her children. It legalizes dram-shops at her very door to compete against her for the souls and bodies of husband and sons. This exclusion from participation in a government which controls even her home and the tenure by which she holds it, is bad economy for the government, and in face of its assumed character of protector, convicts it of either criminal weakness or bad faith, or both. It is bad economy, inasmuch as it robs the State and the home of wealth which she is pre-eminently qualified to create and apply for common good, and of a manly self-respect which cooperative womanly intelligence is fitted to infuse. Her exclusion from participation in the humanitarian interests controlled by government, is a grievous wrong done to humanity itself.

     The assertion that a legitimate participation in the affairs of government degrades men morally, and would degrade woman, is either a libel, or a confession that the government has no claim to the title of Christian. If a libel, such an assertion is a crime against the State: as a "confession of faith" its influence is to hand over the offices of the government to men who seek to gratify their greed for spoils and power in the selfish use of its franchises. For good men who hold such a faith, and men who hold on to "reputations above reproach,["] alike refuse to enter the lists.

     Excluded from pursuits that give invigorating mental occupation, dissuaded from healthful, industrial pursuits, as irreconcilable with grace and beauty and position, woman, with a temperament more active and impressible than man's, must needs find something to fill her hungry mind and restless hands. What wonder, then, that in our cities and villages, where household work is largely done by servants, women turn to the gayeties of fashionable life as their only resource? Why wonder that many should make it the business of their lives to deck their persons and display their accomplishments, when in their society men of their own class and kin habitually banish from their conversation all allusions to the nobler pursuits and purposes of life, and pay homage to grace and beauty and uselessness, as if these were the end and exaltation of womanly existence? What wonder that with only such a career open to them, women should be found who systematically and suicidally thwart the laws of their being and become criminals to escape maternal cares, which would transfer them from the intoxicating scenes of fashionable life to the cares and confinement of the nursery? What wonder that in the pettinesses taught by their disfranchised condition, such women should shrink from responsibilities beyond their grasp and duties made irksome by false estimates and unnatural views of life and its noble possibilities? What wonder that men who marry such women, and aid, instigate and abet them in their career, should find their reward at last in domestic infelicity, ruined reputations and beggared ambitions?

     Possibly, with the sad experience of dissipated husband, father, brother, the disenchanted women shrinks from the doubtful responsibility of guiding boyhood's steps amid the pitfalls opened by customs beyond her reach or licensed by laws she cannot veto. God help the state if there be no clay potent to remove the moral blindness of men who urge the results of their own course towards woman as evidence of her unfitness for the responsibilities which belong to her right of self-government.

     Never has justice been done to a disfranchised class; and even though its interests might be protected to-day, the exigencies of the future would develop interests and combinations of interests in which the enfranchised would suffer with the disfranchised, because of the powerlessness of the latter. The temperance interest is a case in point. Man may at present be more competent than woman to engineer the financial affairs of the state, yet, lacking woman's vote in the moral and social, he may fail in the saving of expenditures. She may fail to calculate the expense of a prison, but he can rely on her moral influence -- with a ballot in her hand -- to save the need of it. In every department of life, God has so intwined the interests of the sexes that they cannot be ignored by either man or woman without loss to both.

     If in the prosecution of her individual interests woman needs to be enfranchised; if in attaining to the perfect development and vigor of her moral and intellectual faculties, she needs to exercise her self-governing faculties, man has no less need of her co-operative moral sense, her quicker perception of humanitarian interests, and her faithful mother-heart, in the practical accomplishment of a truly Christian government.



Dear Miss Hemenway,

     Twenty seven years ago -- it doesn't seem half that -- I  rec[eive]d a request from you to furnish something original from my pen for a volume of "Vermont Authors" (I forget the precise title of the book) which you were then preparing for publication. [32] Your request found me anxious and overburdened in preparations for the removal of myself and family to Kansas. I had not at my command the leisure and quiet necessary to the preparation of anything; and to select anything suitable from my unpublished and incomplete jottings, or my published articles, which being chiefly editorial would require redressing and furbishing, would have been equally impossible, though in your kindness suggested as "acceptable." -- I postponed a reply till I should find in the rude surroundings of my anticipated wilderness home, what I fancied would be ample opportunity for a happier compliance with your request. But with the rude conveniencies [sic] of a pioneer settlement came sickness, bereavement and the border troubles which resulted in years of domestic privations and public service for the new State, in the interest of humanity, especially of its mother-fountains. And now, at 71 years of age, and an invalid of two years standing -- I am answering your question of 1855 with an explanation and a suggestion.

     Did you ever dream of finding yourself in respectable company denuded of your shoes and stockings, perhaps with your nightcap on your head; or that in dispersing you had unwittingly exchanged garments with a guest and were out of taste, or in -- a fix? I have felt something like this in reading personal history and biographical notices -- floating in the press and collected in local histories -- of persons and incidents with whom I have been associated as an actor, or of which I have been a part. And I confess, as one sister may to another -- that I am appealing to you against such a fate in your forthcoming History of which I have seen only the brief mention in proceedings of the late Legislature. [33] The possibility of being placed in a niche of Vermont History flashed upon my thought in connexion with your having deemed me worthy of a place with Vermont writers, and has been further stimulated by a notice of my editorial position in the History of Brattleboro just published. [34] As I would like, if noticed at all, to be noticed in connexion with my lifework -- in which for some five years I labored in Vt. first and alone, against reproaches, ridicule, and tile prejudices of many dear to me (for what has now become a settled policy of my dear native State, assuring the ultimate enfranchisement of its noble home-loving, home-adorning daughters). I inclose to you a statement which contains some leading facts for the verity of which there are in your vicinity men who will vouch. It may be too late. If so, I shall regret that I had not before taken thought and courage to come out from behind the old haunting fear of seeming to seek publicity, which I felt, and justly, would lessen my personal influence and prejudice the cause of woman.

     I feel sure [that] you will understand me and sympathize with what -- as a woman -- I must have suffered in my public advocacy of equality for woman, when "pantaloons" were threatened my advent at the Capitol, and prejudice every where cried "shame," precedent to a hearing, &c., &c.


March 9th, 1882

Editors Wyandotte Gazette: --

     In reply to your kind suggestion, that recollections of life in Kansas, in ante-bellum days, from my pen, would gratify you and be acceptable to your readers, I promise a cordial effort to realize both. The freedom implied in your considerate assurance, that you would not limit my contribution to a summary, nor exact dates, or dictate subjects, but leave me free to draw on my fund of facts, chronicled or unchronicled, alone renders my compliance with your request possible, weighted as I am by physical conditions which will more or less interfere with, if not detract from, the interest and spirit of my pen tracks. Many an incident petty in itself, gave a zest to that pioneer experience that redeemed it from insipidity; while many another apparently isolated fact, has proved its significance of results already gathered up and preserved by the careful historian. In jotting impressions of the past they present themselves or are suggested by journalistic notices of the day -- without worry or special research, which would probably defeat the object by indefinitely postponing its accomplishment -- I will undoubtedly give occasion for criticism, which kindly made will be as cordially entertained. Having thus made terms with publishers and readers of the GAZETTE -- old friends all around -- I will begin with a reminiscence brief and pertinent to the occasion -- my introdution to Wyandotte -- recalled to mind by a recent reference in one of your State papers, to the experimental navigation of the Kaw in the early day of Kansas settlement.

     In memory's gallery, in a setting all by itself, is a clean cut picture of that pleasant three days trip in March, '57, when the genial [William F. M.] Arny, [36] Judge Bailey [37] and the irrepressible [Richard] Realf, [38] were conspicuous in the party of immigrants that, having arrived at Wyandotte in the early morning and refreshed themselves in an old river steamer -- improvised as a hotel -- with over-done cold biscuits, gristle steaks and muddy coffee, took passage on the


-- which was waiting in the Kaw [Kansas river] -- for Lawrence, the Mecca of the Free State pilgrims. Wyandotte was then a paper city, at nurse; little to be seen beyond its site up in the morning sunshine.

     As we steamed up the river in our neat little craft, our surroundings were cheerful. I might say exhilarating. The company, generally intelligent and happily expectant, was a mixture of fresh recruits from the east with a generous sprinkling of earlier settlers from Lawrence, who had joined us for the up river voyage. To say that each individual was an animated interrogation point, differing in the manner rather than the subjects of their questioning, will convey a pretty good idea of the general tone of conversation in the little circles collected on deck, in cabin or steerage.

     The man who hugged capital in his belt, anxious to ascertain the quantity and prospective value of the soil it might be made to represent, was blandly entertained by the man solicitous to transfer at a profit, investments already made. City agents interested in the sale of town lots were there also, bidding for desirable elements of prosperous growth, so that between the rival town interests and the floating capital there was a very amiable triangular movement of a business character.

     Women, most eager to learn the home side of the whole matter, questioned and listened, their hopes and fears shadowed in their eager eyes. While a few disembarrassed souls fell back on their mental resources and stirred the social element with enjoyable success.

     Of the latter class were Judge Bailey and Realf. No two individuals could have been more unlike in every point of view. The former one of the finest specimens of a man in size, physical development and unstudied ease; the latter studying for effect and nervously "uneasy as a fish out of water," suggested rather than promised an erratic maturity; for he was, in years a minor. The Judge, whose nature was nicely inlaid with a wholesome poetic temperament, was a perfect compendium of the best poetry of the best school of poets -- cheerful, invigorating, restful, patriotic poets. With a voice and delivery to make even ordinary poetry agreeable, he held his auditors in refreshing sympathy with his favorite authors.

     Realf, possessed by the most erratic of poetic imaginings and enwrapt in his own compositions, would repeat folio, after folio in a strained monotone that rasped the nerves of a critical reader beyond power to appreciate the merits of his best -- and there were stanzas quite above the ordinary -- poems. Poor Realf! It may be that intuitive apprehensions for his highly strung and ill-balanced character, had something to do with the innate repulsion I felt in his society. There seemed to be no real life for him. Nothing practical; not a hook to hang fruition on, cropped out in his poetic ravings and I felt a painful sympathy as for one frantically battling in waters beyond his depth. With all his good qualities he lacked the necessary outfit for the world he was in; what a world it would have been -- a world fitted to him!

     If the course of true love never runs smooth so neither does the trimmest vessel with a drunken pilot, which misfortune, attached to our beautiful experiment, eventually invited disaster in the shape of a conflict between our towering smoke-stacks and a leaning treetop on the river's bank. I think it was in the forenoon of the second day, when the women and children were quietly enjoying themselves in the upper part of the cabin and numbers of the men were sitting and standing around the long dinner table at the lower end, that there came a crash as if the heavens had fallen -- shivered over our heads. Clutching hastily at my children I made towards the steerage; suddenly the tumult was arrested by the reassuring tones of an unpretending little woman admonishing us (women) "not to act like fools." Turning in the doorway, the first man I saw was Realf, who, hurrying out from under the table sprang into a chair in our end of the cabin and with a theatrical wave of his hand exclaimed:

     "Let us be men! Our women are turned to melt and our men are all women!"

     Judge Bailey's whereabout during this scene, I cannot now recall: he may have been under the table with Mr. [Carmi W.] Babcock [40] and the rest of Realf's women, but the amusement at the table not being of a kind to attract him, I doubt if he was near enough to avail himself of its shelter; and then, I would not fail to remember his then portly figure, as I do Babcock's -- his face all aglow -- creeping out, the observed of all observers -- if he had emerged from that womanly (?) retreat. If however my doubt should seem to the Judge insufficient for a verdict in his favor, let him speak; we all will be glad to hear him. The Judge is a charming conversationalist, and never speaks but to the edification of his hearers.

     The mirth which followed this comic tragedy, with a sanguine mood of the party, the social chats and the evening dance, soon repaired all damages inside; and outside efforts, with the delay of a few hours, finally landed us safely at Lawrence, where friends, old and new, gave us a hearty welcome.

Yours Truly,       

     P. S. -- I could not in this my first communication to a Kansas journal, since the notable event, neglect to congratulate all the parties interested in the appointment of Mrs. Cora M. Downs a regent of the university, a position she will occupy to the credit of her sex. [41] Happier still for the State and womanhood, is the fact, that scores of women eminently qualified are waiting to be installed in positions equally honorable and vital to the interests of education and good government, in your glorious State. Give them a chance.

June 6th, 1882

[For the Gazette:]

     Dear old Quindaro, holding in thy ragged bluffs the open secret of disappointed ambitions, ruined fortunes and dismantled homes who that enjoyed thy bright, fresh morning and participated in thy waning fortunes, would forget thee. Who, of all thy strayed ones, would have thy later prosperity wipe out the remembrance of privations cheerfully shared, -- of tender tones and kindly deeds, comforting in sorrows and brightening with hope of a happier to-morrow? Not one who had a friend in his great needs; not one whose small needs, in the day of thy deepest gloom, were sore enough to lighten his heavy heart with gratitude for small favors. And yet I feel sure that not one of the old time castle-builders of that defunct city, would not rejoice to know that those old bluffs -- consecrated by many a conquest for temperance and freedom -- from which time and the elements and a thoughtless vandalism have removed many a once cherished land mark -- were dotted with cottage homes and fruitful vineyards, orchards and gardens, as they surely will be in the thrifty future.

     How we toiled up and down those side hill paths, till from the sheer force of habit we would fain have limped on the level highway. But many a brave deed was done there, and many a mean one circumvented, of which the world outside knew nought -- many a deed that might "point a moral or adorn a tale" and reflect credit on actors who would perhaps blush to be called by name. And yet will not an old friend be tolerated in touching up the lights and shadows of that fading past by way of refreshment and in contrast with the self sustaining present prosperity of the new Quindaro -- the Quindaro so largely indebted for its bone, sinew and soul to the dry-nursing of its cremated predecessor? Strange tales and homely -- already forgotten by some and never known to the many, yet holding still-life pictures of sweet growths o'er bitter fountains trailed -- are whispered by the evening breeze in the moon-lit gorges of old Quindaro -- tales that illustrate the rise and decadence of a city whose founders -- his political antipodes -- were aptly designated by a pro-slavery lawyer of Wyandotte, long since deceased, as "the Philantropists of Quindaro."

     Three well defined eras marked the brief existence of Quindaro on the bluffs. In the first era, like mushrooms in a spring rain, snug cottages and stone castles rushed up at call of men who had come to stay. In the second, unlike the Arabs they left their tents and stole sorrowfully away. Its third and last estate, may be best and quickly told in the significant remark of our old friend Judge Nelson Cobb, [43] now of Kansas City, who had just sold the flooring of the Quindaro house, the siding of which had been stolen little by little for kindlings -- I asked the judge if he would sell me the chimney to brick up my cistern. With a twinkle in his eye he replied, "Yes, Mrs. Nichols, if you will steal it."

     Doors, windows, casings, everything of its vacated tenements but their stone walls, was fast disappearing from the bluffs. To save a remnant of their property the owners were compelled to remove or sell for removal piece meal, all that could be put to use elsewhere. And so the surrounding country absorbed in its improvements, the depopulated city. What depopulated it? Not one cause but many had conspired to this end. The roughness of the town site and its approaches -- too lightly estimated in the cost of building and leveling of the streets -- was a heavy tax both on the citizens and town company. The unsettled territory in its vicinity and its connections with the interior settlements by roads that encouraged profanity in im-pious teamsters and cruelty to their animals in pious ones -- were serious obstacles to remunerative commerce in that direction, which only an increased population with developed industries could overcome; and for this redeeming future the almost bankrupt population of Quindaro could not wait.

     We might have done better for ourselves, but for the menace of our political relations with the Missouri border -- scowling on our front -- which discouraged industrial ventures of a permanent class, while the value of our commercial relations in that direction was -- not inaptly -- represented in Mrs. W.___'s sales of the gatherings of her deserted hen's nests to "the Quindaro Abolitionists." The early restoration of safe conduct to eastern emigration and freights through Missouri landings more acceptable to the settlements, removed the commercial necessity which first originated and then fostered the location as a Kansas river port for the immigration and trade of Free State settlers. The consequent decrease of business through its river connection, followed by the reaction of the money pressure in the east, arrested all business enterprise and forced the citizens to fall back on their reserve funds for subsistence. For such as had expended their all in laying the foundations for permanent residence, there seemed no solution of the situation, but a courageous retreat. And the stampede that marked this conclusion was an additional evidence of Yankee enterprise.

     Not withstanding all these embarrassments the new city might have bided for a time and eventually rounded into a quiet, unpretending and enjoyable maturity but for the unsettling fact of its contested land titles, which discouraged industries possible in the circumstances and suited to the location. With undisputed titles, owners of substantial homes would have improved their holdings for present support, adding the unoccupied lands as opportunity invited -- ignoring air lines, bee lines and the suicidal angles of professional street engineers and accommodating public outlets and private inclosures to natures suggestions; terracing and draping the steeps with the graceful vine; planting the levels and slopes to vegetables, flowers and fruit -- kindred and co-operative industries, -- always on the look-out for an opening -- would ultimately have contributed the exchanges and supplies of a thriving community. In a ten years occupancy, under great disadvantages and with only a limited area, I proved the value of its northern exposure for the culture of fruit. Apples, peaches, cherries, currants, gooseberries and grapes, were never cut off by frost and produced in abundance. I will never cease to regret my Quindaro home, with its mingled memories and defeated possibilities. And I seldom think of it without a humorous reminder of an incident illustrating the rough-and-tumble conditions and grotesque social relations of that free territory experience.

     One day in picking my way among the felled trees and rubbish which covered the town site. I came suddenly upon a new settler who was swearing and goading half a dozen yokes of oxen hitched to a immense log, which their non-cooperate efforts ware unable to move. As he paused and turned on discovering me, I expressed a doubt as to the "orthodoxy of his cattle," which seemed utterly devoid of any wholesome fear of God or the devil. He broke out with the declaration that, "if it hadn't been for Mrs. Nichols he'd never have been there -- that he had heard her lecture in his town, east, about Kansas being such a smooth, level country &c." I would have felt terribly humiliated as well as regretful, but for the humorous outlook or my responsibility in the matter of his choice -- he having set his stakes on the ragged edge of the smoothest country in the Union. As he did not pull up stakes, but stayed and "made his pile" he has probably released me from the responsibility of his fortunate location.

     My chapter -- Mainly introductory -- is already too long. Health permitting I will resume my collections of the early days of Kansas in better time.


Sept. 25th, 1882

My Dear Mrs. Robinson,

     When I told you that last week I answered 8 letters, and have 10 still lying beside awaiting, not their turn, but supposed forbearance of affection or importance, and that yours, which was the 3rd to come is the 9th to be replied to, can you make any estimate of your supposed good will or the importance of your communication to the friend who read and re-read in its interesting contents? I think not, for another consideration added to the delay, viz. -- right comfortable conditions at the leisure moment. I can write to an indifferent correspondent, or a mere business one, as well in one set of conditions as another ordinarily, but the dear friends; I want all the conditions and surrounding in happy accord to enjoy a talk with them, and the cooler weather of which we have had a few days interspersed with an atmosphere between 90 & 104 other days, has made a comfortable use of the pen -- possible. You can't think how cheery it seems to be able to sit in my easy chair, with only an hour or two in bed to rest, in the day, and two days last week all day -- reading & writing, but most of the time cutting & preparing fruit for drying or canning &c. It is so nice to spread our fruit & not leave to gather it in from the showers or cover from the dews as further east.

     I get about the house and yard a little, but always with more or less distress from a breaking, tearing feeling across my back which however does not, as it has done, result in enforced abstinence from exercise of my feet. I cannot ride even a half mile for the jarring motion of the carriage, so I am kept at home, but it is a pleasant home surrounded by fine bred cattle, horses and poultry as well as a small flock of high grade merinos with their playful lambs. I was always in love with the country -- anything but 4 base walls in the desolate prairie. I can sympathize both with your husband's love for farming and your objection to his overwork. But my observation, quickened by experience, tells me that the change from active pursuits to which we have become agreeably habituated, to a life of leisure, is more trying to mental continuity than a degree of physical strain, and acting on this idea I have held on to my life long pursuits, varying or alternating instead of abandoning, either my head or hand labor. When for months I could only sit to have my bed made, I made many a small garment or parts of large ones and wrote some & read hours in bed. I know or believe I have lived longer for it: it took my sensitive spirit from self miseries into association and genial companionship with dear old life & with humanity in all its phases.

     You speak of not having leisure. I never knew what is was to have any disengaged time: there was always something to be done that seemed waiting for me to do it. How often I have wished I could beg, borrow or buy the time I saw others idling away or killing. And there is no less work or more time now, but I have become quite acquiescent in the reconstruction of the message to suit my ability to do. I can sympathize with your physical ailment too, for many years -- from 25 to 40 yrs of age -- I suffered more or less from sciatica: oh, how hard it was to do any extra work on my feet or lift or go up stairs &c. These spinal troubles take the courage down below 0.

     I never hear from any old Kansas friends in  Cal[ifornia]. The Shafters from my Vt. home neighborhood -- Judge Jas. McM. and a brother & sister & their families are in San  Fr[ancisc]o & vicinity. I spent a month with them in '76 & every year the Judge sends me a box of such Japan tea as I never found elsewhere, pure & mild. He sent me a gallon of Vt. maple Sugar in May. It tastes all the better from a friend of the old home. You see I take tea with him every day!

     You ask about Miss Cobb's Book. [45] It is one of the books I have seen noticed and wished I could find it in some library. I have feasted on the cheap republications of English Classical  liter[ature] from the Alden Book Concern N. York; but their fine type often makes me think of my eyes -- whether they will bear strain as long as I may live. Lucy Stone sent me "The Fool's Errand" and Susan Anthony Edwin Arnold's "Light of Asia." I have a comfortable support, but it would take more than I can venture, to buy all the books I would like. The "Encyclopedia" and Websters unabridged we got as premiums with the N. Y. Tribune; and buy other books for the girls on science & for reference.

     There have been two books of Kansas, I always meant to have, but waited for spare funds viz. Wilder's [Annals of Kansas] & another I forget. I have read Richardson's [Beyond the Mississippi] [46] & Redpath's [The Public Life of Capt. John Brown] [47] & do not want them so much. I borrowed your book when I was in the narrows, as I call the most trying pecuniary years of my Kansas life & meant to get it sometime: but it is probably like most limited editions out of print now when it has the new value of a history of the past. [48] I tried to find a copy of the "Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention at  Wy[andotte]" in '59, six months after its  pub[licatio]n & the edition was all taken & I was never able to get a copy. I highly prize the publications of the Historical Society & am gradually making up items of my experience which I have promised Judge [Franklin G.] Adams. [49] The histories I mentioned I think would refresh my memory of names and possibly incidents which have slipped my memory. I have no means of learning the prices but by asking the information of you or some other obliging friend. Now I hope you wont suspect me of indirect beggary for your munificent promise of  Gov[ernor']s engravers face which "didn't come yet" and the possibility of your own additional, has already placed me on record as forever your debtor.

     And of all my Kansas friends -- a half doz. occasional & Mrs. [Lucy B.] Armstrong a regular semi-annual one, you have told me most of the old friends. I hope you didn't send the pictures for then they are safe as yet -- in the perspective. I wish Gov' [Robinson] name headed the  Rep[ublican]. Ticket, but he is a respected "figurehead" to the party loyal to principle and equality of rights -- without expectation of spoils, which latter is an absent voucher for the good faith of officers of possible & probable majorities. I never hear of Mr. & Mrs. E. D. Brown. [50] My correspondents forget to tell me, tho' I have asked the question. I saw a notice of "The Brown divorce trial. Question of alimony deferred." And that is the beginning & end of my information. I knew there were good reasons for divorce on her part -- from no word of hers tho'.

     Bertia lives in Cavendish, Vt. is busy with the Church duties of Deacon's wife a fine village society, and a Jersey butter dairy! Her stepdaughters, two excellent girls have graduated from good schools and the youngest child of the 3 -- a son of 19 is finishing his school term at the Vermont Academy, a very excellent half way University -- for a farmer. They are fond & proud of their mother the people say & she seems very content & happy. I suppose you have  rec[eive]d the 2d Vol. of the  Suff[rage] History. It is a grand work. More patriotism and statesmanship crops out of its details than any history of the same dates, the Union thro', to my thinking. It is not befogged with petty evasions, but is outspoken & clear. The  Chap[ter]. "Women in the War" will fire the hearts of young & old & teach the reader that if women can't fight & won't made for it, they have proved ability to "boss the job" for men to fight with success. [51]

     There is no insane Asylum in San  Fr[ancisco]. but in Stockton & one at Napa -- a new one with hundreds already in it. The proportion of insane is greater than in any other State. Do you know one thing I have frequently declared for, is the crediting of earnings (over & above their expenses) to prisoners to be given to their families or if none dependent on them -- divided to them on leaving it at their disposal by will in case of death. I see many prisoners are becoming or are already more than self supporting & I do not believe the State has any right to defraud the prisoners -- or his heirs of property rights any more than it has a  Consti[tutiona]l right to confiscate rebel property from the heirs of rebels. This will surely be a question in the future when labor demands equality of rights. The property owned by a criminal before conviction is not taken from him nor should be after, I believe.

     Read Col. [John A.] Martin's [52] editorial page, 2 Vol.  W[oman's]. S[uffrage]. History. I wonder if his stomach will not settle like Cora Downs -- enough to accept office when women's vote is helpful to place & profit. How she did sneer & snub me in the old time & later in the [Wyandotte] Gazette for my unwomanly notoriety in working for woman's equality of rights, and I think very lately too. My paper is full. I am very smiling over the changes I assure you can afford to smile.

     4 or 5 yrs ago Colby was in Watsonville Cal. We learned this from a gentlemen here from there.

     With warm regards to Gov. and the hope to hear from you when the Spirit moves, (I pray it may move soon).

Affec[tionatel]y Yours,
Dec. 10, 1882.

Editor Journal:

     In your paper of Nov. 18, you say that "during the last fifteen years woman suffrage amendments have been submitted to the voters of five states," and name Vermont as one of the five. Is not this a mistake? The constitution of Vermont originally provided for the submission of all amendments of its constitution by a permanent council, which held its conventions every tenth year. Up to 1870 this body, under the title "Council of Censors," had been a permanent department of the State Government, its office being to pass upon the constitutionality of all laws and amendments of laws which had been officially promulgated since the convention of its predecessor; also to recommend for legislative action any amendment or repeal of laws inconsistent with the constitution, or inimical to the public weal; and to prepare for submission to the voters of the state such constitutional changes, if any, as to them seemed wise or expedient.

     This council -- its office and title suggestive of much legal talent gone to seed, -- was a conservative brake to the car of progress in political reforms, which compelled Vermont to "make haste slowly." The last convention of this council was held in 1869. In this convention Hon. Charles Reed of Montpelier -- a member -- urged the submission of a woman suffrage amendment. [54] It received but one affirmative vote, -- his own, of course. Happily, I doubt not, for the woman's cause, the council provided for its own extinguishment by a popular vote amending itself from the constitution. But, as though to stave off to the latest possible moment the suffrage which they saw looming up in the near future, they also submitted a provision prohibiting any amendment of the constitution within the next ten or twelve years.

     Both amendments having been adopted, no suffrage amendment could have been submitted prior to 1880. The Legislature of that year took the first step to woman's enfranchisement -- a step which the old fogies in Council would not commend to favorable legislation, for the avowed reason that it might prove the "inch that takes an ell." They passed a school suffrage bill placing the women of the state on an exact equality with its men in the control of school district affairs, including offices and taxation for school purposes. The present biennial legislature is the second elected since the expiration by limitation, of the Censorial prohibition of constitutional amendments by the people through their legislature. The leading spirits of that last Council -- who from their local influence had a large following -- and I may add have nearly all passed with their amendment from life and its issues -- were from the first our bitter opponents. With the new generation and the more intelligent policy of the present educational forces, Vermont women will soon take the ell given them by the "inch" already conceded. [55]


[December, 1882]

[Editor Gazette:]

     What a blessed leveler is poverty to the vulgar demoralizing pride that seeks position through false pretence of superabundant means. In the impecuniosity of that grand collapse of the city of Quindaro, we extended our empty hands warm with human sympathy, and eyes smiled into eyes that lighted with a glad sense of brave companionship. No man or woman was ashamed to confess the honest shifts compelled by circumstances pressing alike on all. In that time of lean larders and collapsed purses, woman's wit and woman's thrift and sympathy were factors of some account in the general summing up. We counseled together in our straits; congratulated and imparted to each other the inventive skill which made the best of what we had -- "made something out of nothing," as the saying is and trimmed it with our ingenuity, and were dimly conscious of enrichment in the growth of moral independence, and courageous endurance.

     We of the feminine gender turned our Sunday skirts -- frayed and faded -- wrong side out and topside down. We repaired the masculine ward-robe; binding the worn cuffs and in the worn places of coat body and sleeves, inserting new; reseating the pants and cutting off and turning the legs before the knees quite came through, -- thus saving the expense of a new outfit; I should have said averting the rags and nudity which befel many a scoffer at yankee economy. I have not forgotten that such repairing was not a new thing under the sun, and that it is stiff practiced, as I hope it will long be, by good housewives. Indeed I find it quite impossible to dissociate such repairs from good housewifery.

     But not then, as in our "better days;" were there better suits hanging in our closets to fall back upon for Sunday and holiday wear. Not now as then, when a citizen of the district is sent to represent his fellow citizens in the Legislature, does his clothing represent his wife's ability to make garments "good as new" of soiled and worn ones. Neighbor B____, firmer than the city bluffs which could cave upon occasion -- would rather have gone coatless than to have appeared among his political compeers in a turned one. [57] And I am not sure that discreet wife ever enlightened him as to the vest, a fine cassimere that, turned, washed and pressed, completed his very respectable outfit for a place in that august body.

     But scant as were our wardrobes, money in hand was equally rare as proved by our friend W. W. D.____, in his preparation to take neighbor B's place in the succeeding legislature. [58] His credit was good, as is always the case with those who make no debts to disappoint when pay day comes, -- but not a man in all Quindaro could spare him the price of a stage ride to the Capital!

     It was a genial face -- it could in no circumstances have been otherwise -- which met me in my kitchen the evening prior to his contemplated journey, and a somewhat embarrassed utterance that apologized for an "untimely call." He had been to every man where there was hope of raising the necessary three dollars, and his mother, as a last resort, had sent him to me. "She knew if Mrs. Nichols had it she would lend it to him." "O, woman, great is thy faith" said our Savior. And the faith may be great though the subject matter of it be ever so small. And it took the faith of two women in that day, to extract the last cent, though only three dollars, from a purse whose mains were all cut off. True indeed were they who could draw on my faith like W. W. D.____then; and now, when two decades have passed, he and his are remembered as among the truest and best. It is in our need, whether of sympathy or counsel or means, that life long friendships are sealed.

     I hardly need say that at this time, speculation which at an earlier day had made fortunes and sacrificed competence, was cornered; and without money nobody could "turn an honest penny," for credit there was none, and hands and brains were idle for lack of work that would command bread. There was demand; the difficulty was wherewith to pay. Another neighbor, had negotiated for a load of Col. Park's apples, which he would sell in Lawrence, if ony he could borrow the purchase money. He had tried and failed. If I had it to spare till his return from Lawrence he would divide to me half his profits. I had become so accustomed -- indeed so expectant of loss, that the suddenly presented idea of unearned gain was quite unsettling. So I substituted a trifling business commission and secured the enjoyment of my neighbor's successful venture.

     But why am I telling these simple tales? Ah, tell me why memory has stored them among her treasures? -- why hung such simple pictures in the best light to catch the sunset glow? Perhaps because they are among the most satisfactory financial transactions of that sharp pioneer experience; or perhaps like halflights, they tone the shadows and brighten the surroundings. In such trifles as these are chronicled the dead, financial calm of the two years immediately proceeding the winter of '62, when the 2d Kansas Regt. quartered in the vacated buildings among the bluffs, spiced with a pungent variety the outer and inner circles of Quindaro life. [59]

     '57 and '58, had been full of stirring interest for the immigrants. In the first of these years a hundred buildings -- many of them of stone and brick -- including hotels, Dry Goods, Hardware and Grocery stores, a Church and School house, had been built. Substantial private residences with cellars walled in cement, and conveniences of the eastern pattern, astonished our Missouri border neighbors.

     The year '58, saw many substantial additions and improvements, notwithstanding the checks on business which had already made an impression on the more cautious and experienced of the population and decimated the speculators, whose funds and victims were less ready to their hands. In all the excitement of changed conditions and inflated hopes, the great moral and social questions were not left in the rear.

     Temperance and freedom eagle-eyed sentineled the town, and when either sounded its call, there was an immediate and effective rally. The town Company was pledged against liquor license; and that pledge had been the inducement to many immigrants, especially women to prefer the City on the Bluff to the more smooth and inviting location of Wyandotte.

     The first onslaught of the temperance police, if I recollect aright, was caused by vagaries of hidden whisky in the hollow west of the Quindaro House. Half a dozen women from that vicinity, led by Mrs. Hugh Gibbons, [60] an intelligent Scotchwoman with whom my after acquaintance ripened into a warm and confidential friendship -- centered a complaint at the Company's office, and were referred to me with the suggestion that a petition, regularly got up and presented to the Company, would receive immediate attention. The petition with some 30 names of women only, was formally presented, a meeting called, and before set of sun the obnoxious whisky barrel was hauled from beneath the owner's bed and spilled in the street gutter. [61] Only toward its final breaking up was there any serious effect for the toleration of liquor saloons in Quindaro. Then a meeting was called, at which it transpired that certain empiries in council had decided on a whisky prescription, as a specific for the failing vitality of the doomed city. But all in vain. To its last expiring breath it was never so demented as to consent to the sale of intoxicating liquors within its corporate limits.

     A majority of the settlers were from the industrial classes of the rural districts of the eastern States. This was notably true of a bevy of young men -- "mothers boys," considerate, affectionate, helpful; nurtured in home love, and inured to the toil, care, and responsibilities of the farm or work shop. -- Beardless youths crowned with the sovereignty of a first or perhaps second vote -- they had come to Kansas with the purpose of becoming woof to the warp of freedom -- of putting hand and brain into the struggle for "Free Kansas." They did not wait for affairs to get settled, but went to work in their own way to settle them. They supplemented the hard toil of the day with books of physical social and moral science in homes improvised by their own skill. One of these bachelor homes -- "Uncle Tom's Cabin," -- has a historical interest apart from its uses as the intellectual center where sundry citizens, your correspondent among the number, were wont to meet for Lyceum discussion and to enjoy the wit and wisdom of its weekly journal "The Cradle of Progress." [62] "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was dedicated to emancipation without proclamation, and as such one of the most convenient stations on the Underground Rail Road, which had several branches and termini in the interior of the Territory. Of the many slaves who took the train of freedom there, it was remarkable that only one and he through, lack of caution in his approach for help, was ever taken back to Missouri from Quindaro. Uncle Tom's boys could tell of some exciting escapes from Quindaro to the interior, by day and by night. In '58 I carried to my native town in Vermont a pair of manacles filed by Uncle Tom's boys from the ankle of a stalwart black, who had escaped from the vicinity of Parkville, having drawn one foot from the encircling iron and brought the chain still attached to the other, in his hand. [63] The man having learned that he was sold south attempted to escape and was at once put in irons. The night before the time set for delivery of the property, assisted by a fellow slave he got loose. The absence of a boat from the vicinity would have indicated their course so they hauled an old dug-out to the riverbank and travelled ten miles up the river where they confiscated a boat and floating down the stream, turned the boat adrift just above the Quindaro landing, where they concealed themselves in the brush-wood at the foot of the bluff on the side of which stood Uncle Tom's Cabin in solitary but inviting hospitality.

     Later, a freight wagon, with two large, dry-goods boxes, in passing Bartles, [64] a hotel on the Lawrence road, was accosted by an Indianian who had known the driver as conductor of an eastern U. G. Road, with -- "Hello T____, wheregoing?" "To Lawrence," "What you got in your boxes, -- niggers?" "Well, what do you think?" -- was the careless, smiling answer, and the trembling freight was carried leisurely and safely through. Just before setting off T____ had said to me, "if I can get by Bartles' I'm safe; but there's a fellow, there who knew me at home and it would be like him to overhaul me." He was a man so reticent and quite -- trained among friends -- that we had none of us suspected, till now that there was need of this, his reserve of qualifications for the emergency.

     My cistern -- every brick of it rebuilt in the chimney of my late Wyandotte home -- played its part in the drama of freedom. One beautiful evening late in October '61, as twilight was fading from the bluff, a hurried message came to me from our neighbor -- Fielding Johnson, [65] -- "You must hide Caroline. Fourteen slave hunters are camped on the Park -- her master among them." My cistern had been cleaned and nicely dried preparatory to a crash of cement for some undiscernable leakage. Its dimensions were 7 x 12 (square) and a rock bottom; eight feet in depth and reached from a trap in the floor of the wing; an open space between the floor and cistern's mouth -- when left uncovered -- affording ventilation from the outside. Into this cistern Caroline was lowered with comforters, pillow and chair. A washtub over the trap with the usual appliances of a washroom standing around, completed the hiding. But poor Caroline trembling and almost paralyzed with fear of discovery her nerves weakened by grieving for her little girl transported to Texas, and the cruel blows which had broken her arm and scarred her body -- could not be left alone through the night. As I must have an excuse if found up at an unusual hour, I improvised a sick room. My son sleeping on the sitting-room lounge for a patient; my rocking chair; a stand with cups, vials and night lamp beside him were above suspicion.

     All night I crept to and fro in slippered feet. Peering from the skylight in the roof, from which in the bright moonlight all the approaches could be plainly seen anon; whispering words of cheer to Caroline in her cell, and back again to watch and wait and whisper. At 12 o'clock -- mid the cheerful crowing of cocks on both sides of the river -- having taken a careful survey from the skylight, I passed a cup of fresh hot coffee to Caroline and sitting by the open floor drank my own with apparent cheerfulness, but really in a tremor of indignation and fear; fear of a prolonged incarceration of the poor victim of oppression and indignation at the government that protected and the manhood that stayed its hand from "breaking the bonds and telling the oppressed go free." Seven o'clock in the morning the slave-hunters rode out of town into the interior. When evening fell again Caroline and another girl of whom the hunters were in pursuit found a safe conveyance to Leavenworth friends.


May 24, 1883

[Editors Press:]

     My earnest thanks are due to Mrs. Rancher, for her very kind appreciation of myself personally, and not less for her honest expression of difference on the subject of woman's rights -- as expressed under the heading, "To vote or not to vote;" in the Press of Dec. 9th. [67] And I feel sure she will accept my long delayed response with due consideration for physical conditions that more or less interfere with the "willing spirit."

     Mrs. Rancher's view of the consideration due to sex -- or rather as not due -- gave me especial pleasure. Next to that reverent regard for truth and justice, which deals only in candid statements and legitimate conclusions, the highest compliment which men and women can pay each other, in discussing human interests, is a delicate forgetfulness of sex, and a courtesy that remembers to remind one of the inferiority of her sex, a self-respecting woman must detest even when excepted herself from its uncomplimentary application.

     Quoting  J[osiah]. G[ilbert]. Holland's comparison of the ballot for women, to "the right of women to sing bass," Mrs. R. asks: "And would not the one be as unnatural and awkward for us as the other?" It would undoubtedly be unnatural and awkward for women to sing bass who have not bass voices -- as it is for women or men to sing anything, who have neither voices nor ears for music -- as it was for J. G. Holland, with his social class limitations, to comprehend the unconventional devotion of woman suffragists to the rights and duties of a common humanity. I had a friend, one of a large musical family who, when her brothers were absent, rung the bass in their family concerts; and in the church choir, when the bass was absent or weak. Nobody hinted its impropriety or uncomeliness even. On the contrary it was noticed as fortunate in the emergency.

     It was certainly exceptional, but not unnatural, for the frantic mother, when male friends drew back apalled, to climb the Alpine height for the rescue of her babe from the eagle's eyrie. But too common to be exceptional is the mother-love which plunges into fire and flood, braves every danger, even death itself, to save the object of its devotion. It seems to me both natural and graceful for an earnest thoughtful woman to do whatever she is able to do, if necessary or desirable. I once say a stout, healthy woman holding an umbrella over her feeble husband's head, to protect it from the hot sun, while he hoed the potato patch. It struck me that hoeing the potatoes would have been more naturally womanly, than the umbrella service of this capable woman, whose action in the case suggested neighborhood relations with the conventional Mrs. Grundy.

     But this question of woman suffrage is not one of grace or beauty, but as a right, involving just and loving uses, it is something infinitely more desirable and precious, especially to the mother-heart of woman.

     It is true in the main, as Mrs. A. says, that "women who must always be mothers, sisters and wives, fall naturally to the duties connected with the home, and that men are quite as naturally fitted for outside work." But it is equally true that men, "who must always be fathers, husbands and brothers," are quite as naturally fitted for their co-ordinate home relations as are women; and that home, with its privileges and duties, is of primary importance to both -- thus establishing that "evident common interest," which is the declared basis of our republican government -- the sole and sufficient claim of the individual citizen to political equality under a government that alike dominates both home and outside relations.

     In this connection Mrs. R. suggests that "being equally amenable to the laws, woman's disfranchisement might he thought a hardship, but for the reason that it (the ballot) is unnecessary -- the influence of a wise woman over husband, father or brother, giving her as much of a voice in the elections as if she went to the polls." Sixty years of observation and full fifty of experience in the crusade of influence without the ballot, compel my unqualified dissent to this claim for the power of influence. It may speak through a sympathizing voter, but it is the vote, not the influence, that decides a matter and is a power at the polls. And I do not disparage woman's influence when I claim that as both wise men and wise women are necessary to the integrity of home, so are the influence and votes of both necessary to the support of a wise paternal government for the whole people.

     I accept sister R.'s illustration of the watch, so far as its application is apparent. In the working world, fitness of the laborer for his work is a controlling consideration. As in the past, so in the future, the demand for skilled and adaptive labor, especially in the higher departments, will increase with intelligence and the extended appliance of scientific principles. As in material, so in social affairs. In its developing needs, the world no longer hesitates to accept a boon because the hand that offers it is a woman's. It has ceased indeed to look manward for its moral reserves, and though still haggling over methods, is calling frantically on woman to arrest, by her influence, evils which men with their combined moral and political power find themselves powerless to accomplish. Here the logical mind, if unprejudiced by custom, is arrested by the absurdity of inviting influence while rejecting its legitimate expression, which, in the case under consideration, is the vote that makes the influence effective, and without which the influence is like a bolt without its nut. Such a separation looks to me like a divorce of what God has joined -- a wrong as vital as the separation of faith and works, or example and precept.

     Sister R.'s perfected watch serves the purpose for which it was designed -- it keeps true time. But by her own showing, this government which controls all our interests, whether outside the house (home?) or in it, fails to serve the purposes for which it was instituted -- fails in morals and humanity, departments for which the whole civilized world recognizes woman's pre-eminent fitness. Does not this fact suggest that elements of power essential to overcome the friction of conflicting interests and weight the scales of truth and justice, have been left in the homes? The "expert pivot-turners," perhaps, the wives and mothers, made wise by experience, whose convictions of the domestic and political economy of temperance and equality of rights, though explained and urged in just and loving terms, have not been voiced at the polls by husbands, fathers and brothers -- not voiced because of their debased appetites, greed of gain or office, or indifference to wrongs, which, not having felt themselves, they feel not for others.

      Is it strange that with such home experiences, beggared widows, wives and mothers cry out with the "discontented pendulum?" "O, if I were but the hands" -- armed with the ballot that represents home, bread and children vs. saloons, gambling hells and the crime and misery they engender -- against laws that, professing to protect, only take out of our hands the means, and rob us of the right to protect ourselves! Ah, my sister, is here no necessity? Is it no "hardship" in such need, to be denied the first and last resort of good men and great, as of petty and mean men -- the ballot?

     "But" continues Mrs. R., objecting to the "inadequacy" of the ballot.

     When we see how unlawful and wicked means are constantly brought to bear to influence voters; how men in high standing are open to bribery and deaf to the cry of the oppressed; how monopolies flourish, and juries are bought, and wickedness carries itself with a high hand -- do we not see that the root of the matter lies deeper than we have yet dug?

     And when we remember that women as well as men love the uppermost seats in the synagogue and a grand place in society, and the favor of the powerful ones, can we expect our wrongs righted but by that moral force that alone can make the crooked path straight?

     Let us never forget that politics as they now stand are a filthy pool; let us never draggle our skirts in their slime, nor descend into this pool till we have carried away the slum of selling a vote for a drink of whisky and of devouring greed for office, and have filled in their place the sweet waters of true temperance on a solid basis of honesty and justice.

     Did our sister ever see a sink-hole -- beyond arms-length -- cleansed without a suitable hose to reach it? with the ballot for our hose, we can turn on "the sweet waters of temperance" and submerge the forces of dishonesty and injustice without "draggling our skirts" in vain efforts to influence men who have made politics the sink they are -- men "open to bribery and deaf to the cry of the oppressed." Give the ballot to woman, and the women who are asking for it, joined by an army of women rum-bereft of husbands, children and the necessaries of life, and a large number still who would use, but for obvious reasons do not ask for it -- will together make the polls such life and healthsaving resorts, that lookers-on in the dress circle -- "women who love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and a grand place in society, and the favor of the powerful ones" -- in short all who pay willing or unwilling court to Mrs. Grundy -- will discover that they too, have husbands, sons and brothers to be saved, and daughters to be protected; and Mrs. Grundy herself, will be first to snub them, that where humanity had such need, they should have gingerly gathered up their skirts and stood aloof."

     The root of the matter does indeed lie deeper than we have yet dug. But with our soft, empty hands we have laid bare enough of the ugly things to assure us of the character and force of the machinery we need, to root it out of the Government preserves, and cultivate it out of the outlying nurseries. This knowledge, gained from well-defined successes and defeats, makes us masters of the situation, provided we are true to ourselves, true to humanity -- for God is with us, inspiring and directing our obedience to His supreme law of benevolence, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

     Referring to the Southern slaves who, "with good homes and kind masters" desired no freedom," Mrs. R. asks, "Have we not our freedom? Could we accomplish any more by exercising the elective franchise?"

     As I have said, this question of suffrage is not a question of grace or beauty. Neither is it a question of privileges, or the freedom of unshackled limbs. It includes all these and infinitely more, for at every point it strikes the key notes of the moral life for good or ill; for harmony or discord. Our freedom! Alas, what is our freedom that we should proclaim it, if shackled and defeated in the proper discharge of our home responsibilities and duties? What is our freedom that we should not challenge the quality of its license, when it deadens our ears to the cry of the oppressed by withholding from us the power to "undo their heavy burdens?" Better for the world and happier for woman, than good homes and kind masters (husbands?) that bribe to silence and inaction -- have been the sad experiences, that from Eve down, have brought her into sympathy with those in bonds as bound with them -- that have bound upon her forehead and written upon her heart, "Whatsoever ye would that others do to you, do ye even so to them," as the crown jewel in all human relations.

     Under a combination of oppression and repression, woman has learned, that from the cradle to the grave, from the government to the homes that are its primaries, no basis for honesty and justice is found outside the "love that worketh no ill," but dealeth justly by wife and neighbor. And this love, enfranchised, is the moral force to which both men and women must look for the righting of all their wrongs -- legal and conventional. Ultimately our cause must rest with an enfranchised force, for disfranchised in influence, being without authority, is essentially wanting in force; and working outside the government, works wastefully and to disadvantage, either in helping or hindering the enfranchised forces within it.

     And when shall we look for this force -- available in quality and quantity -- if not to the twenty and more million females associated in all their human interests, from the cradle to the grave, so closely that a wrong to either sex is a burden or grief and loss to both? Where find it but in the mother love that cannot be bribed, and is quick to hear the cry of the oppressed?

     As manhood suffrage has no home margin from which to draft reinforcements, we must look abroad, and here we meet a rush from mule christendom, a foreign emigration anxious to be made sovereigns over themselves and American womanhood. The "mother country," setting a generous example, is shipping to us her homeless, lawless and ignorant poor. The intensely male autocracies of other foreign nations, whose women are worked in harness with cattle, and driven by their husbands, in the fields and highways, are grudgingly sparing us material for voters by the million. Need we look any further for the moral force that is to right woman's wrongs? Surely it must be apparent to thoughtful, well informed women and men, that the enfranchisement of our women, who are more than half the population, has already become a national necessity, and a wise economy suggests that the sooner it is done the better, while the disproportion between native and foreign citizens will secure the largest majority to the native element. Blinded apparently by an unexampled material prosperity, our government is rapidly drifting into the meshes of combining and competing forces, whose selfish ambition and licensed and unlicensed vices are sapping its moral power to bless humanity or save itself.

     Pin up your trains, my sisters. Upward and onward is the slogan of nineteenth century humanity.



[Dear Susan -- ]

     Yes, Susan dear" I have -- "more copy" -- and hope -- having accomplished some to your liking, I may live to see it in Vol. III of the grandest history of the time. [69]

     You did not tell me how Rev. [William Henry] Channing [70] estimated Vol. II. I was & am rejoiced at the fine effort Mrs. [Helen M.] Gougar produced in the east &c. [71] I am sorry [that] I criticised the action of the  Nat[ional]. Convention in adopting her paper &c. But not sorry I inclosed good cause for my feeling, as I hoped you might -- & very properly, caution her in regard to-to -- to lack of refinement! You understand me. I got 2  pub[lication]s & lost them when what they had paid for (6  mo[nth]s) in advance on the year was  rec[eive]d. They didn't like it, & both were strong  temp[eranc]e &  w[oman's]. rights. I have had a hard winter: my suffering abates gradually and symptoms improve, but I gain no flesh or strength as yet: sleep well from 6 to 8  h[our]s; & have a good regular appetite for the simplest food (don't indulge in any other): oat meal, brown bread crumbed in weak tea with cream & sugar, some times toast spread with cream & a soft boiled egg: brown meal in thick porridge: potatoes baked, or in a soup with only onions (the onions act medicinally in the urinary organs) or tomatoes: rice & sometimes simple meat broth from beef shank or bird; & fresh fish.

     My kidney difficulty gives me little trouble; the cold which culminated in my bronchial experience, transferred the trouble to my bladder & for weeks I suffered 0, I can't tell how! Enough to say I can now control the distress -- get it within endurance, by application of hot wet cloths or baths in a few minutes, often seconds. I then keep still or to sleep if bed time. The day -- from rising (at) or on 8 to 2 o' cl[ock]. I can read, often write an hour or two & forget myself in blessed privilege! May you never have need to prove its value -- the forgetfulness I mean.

     30th. Just received a long soulful letter from Mrs. C. E. Larned, [72] Wellington, Sumner Co., Kansas in '81 & '82 she was Champaign  Co[unty]. [Illinois] Supt. of Schools -- a Vt. girl I trained by rewriting her articles for the [Windham County] Democrat, & soon as I could find out her real name & residence, I wrote her that I had rewritten because there were nuggets of great promise in the ideas and lines of thought and with her consent I would continue to guide & criticise.(I always did this for young writers of promise & my labor bore good spirit which I often see even now in noble men & women scattered over the land.) She afterwards taught one  Brattle[bor]o primary school where  Geo[rge] & we all learned to love her.

     She is, I hardly need tell, an earnest worker for  Tem[peranc]e, Suffrage, social Science & reclamation from & prevention of prostitution; -- every movement for the uplifting of humanity to the plane of truth, justice and saving love. She addresses me "Dear Mother Nichols." Her own mother is dead: her family blood is mingled with the "Ballous" -- known world wide for its benevolence of creed, & talent in the Universalist pulpit. [73] Her brothers & other relatives are many of them moral & intellectual leaders -- all born & sent out from a farm house of moderate means but princely virtues & earning, by teaching mostly, the means to qualify them for influential positions in life. You will probably meet her sometime & I want you to know of her from me -- perhaps when I have "passed over." She says she is coming to see me: had arranged to come to the Conclave of "Sir  K[nigh]ts" [74] but the burning of their buildings prevented.

     I enclose a Lithograph of the new building erected on the ruins &c. Her  hus[ban]d & son-in-law -- in the Hardware business, -- with  P[ost]. O[ffice]. & Drug Store on 1st floor: Hotel in 2 upper stories. She is out in a log hut (went in Sept.) pre-empting a ranch, organizing a School  distr[ict]. & Sunday School, 1½ miles from permanent  inhabit[ant]s where  he[r] husband visits her every week. Her married  dau[ghter]. graduated with honors in Cham[paign] Co. [Illinois] University & is a fine wood engraver: the youngest  dau[ghter] is now supplementing her University ed[ucatio]n in Chicago in Music, art & repousse in brass work & needlework. She has but the 2 children. Mrs. Haggart [75] lectured in Wellington & stopped with her in her Kansas trip. There I have nearly filled my sheet, but must tell you that her letter, which came to hand when I had just emerged from a "spell" (wrapped in hot rags) told me that in the  Co[unty].  Con[vention]. of the  W[oman's].  Chr[istian]. T[emperance].  U[nion]. [76] at Emporia recently my "name was mentioned reverently, gratefully," &c. She has been using my  Cal[ifornia]. W[omans].  Suf[frage]. articles to the  "R[ural] Press" in their club meetings & I am preparing some for her to get reprinted there in the papers to influence &c. I have some articles that I think would tell well in "leaflets" or tracts. Could you use or put them to such use? Or have our friends plenty?

     I wish I could ever have had your company long enough to open my whole soul -- map out my plan of work for humanity -- for salvation of woman & thru & by her of the race. For I have always worked on a plan -- pre-meditated every step from the first. And Susan I am happily conscious of having accomplished a great deal more than I know of -- a great deal more than any body else knows of. I am a great deal better woman than I expected to be -- more self-controlled, self-contained than I dared hope and I am so because I began determined to know nothing but woman (humanity) crucified -- to count no sacrifice, indulge no regrets, and make no reprisals for offended dignity.

     My early marriage experience "set me apart," consecrated, called me to the work. This work has been the caustic, the balm, the pabulum insuring development, growth, strength and a supreme content in my sunset hour. In the beginning I feared that, like most enthusiasts -- I might say all I had known personally out of the Garrison circle, -- I might tire of the pressure & weaken, but not for one moment have I felt that: my courage was steadily taken to avoid attachments, alliances, that might tempt or throw obstacles in the way of my freedom of action. I take no credit to myself for this, for my pleasure secured at the cost of a sacrificed or neglected duty was always full of pain & regret from my earliest recollection.

     I have turned my back on pecuniary advantages when they stood in the way or absorbed my activities to the detriment of our cause. I have even run the risk of being thought niggardly -- felt so myself, to have contributed no monies to the cause -- a sort of beneficiary to appearance, when my co-workers gave of their substance as well as worked for the cause. (I have always  expend[ed] a good deal in postage -- sending  Wom[an]'s papers & every good article or document to some one who would be benefitted or informed. But not a half  doz[en] times given a pity lecture except in the years  [18]52 &  [185]3. I mean outside campaign work. Not $20 too $100 lectures ever.)

     My Rev. brother-in-law [77] -- a dear good man, now deceased -- used often to apologize to me for giving (several thousands in all) from his own & sister Katie's patrimony to heathen & theological funds, by saying that "Katie & I think the Howards don't give enough to these objects & we must give more." I always replied that I thought it the better christianity to give one's labor, the money-making talent itself, to the lifting of the heathen all around us, to the converting of good men & women to the work of freeing whom God had made free, from the robbery and enslavement under legalized oppression," &c. My male relations often assured me I could make money if I would let alone the  ab[olitionis]m & Women's Rights &c. (My sisters & sisters-in-law always endorsed my views, and my brothers & brothers-in-law with the exception of one brother on  wom[an]'s rights -- all came on my platform years ago, & my father had long before he died.)

     Has Mrs. [Matilda Joslyn] Gage dropped out of your  His[tor]y work. Is she well -- remember me to her when you think of it in your  com[municatio]ns to her. I forgot to ask after your legacy. I think Lucy [Stone] did not study law -- she conveyed -- to my mind as well as Aunt Fanny's [78] that the will ("declared valid") had passed for distribution, else she should have given with that notice, what I infer to be the fact -- that the contestant had appealed to another or higher Court. Aunt Fanny is ahead of me however in supposing that personally money left for trust uses enriches you. And yet it is riches to your benevolent instincts, of the best kind. I am glad for you & doubly glad for you and our cause. Is it Mrs. Eddy's [79] husband -- fighting her will? -- or sons-in-law? Lucy said the daughters were in favor of the disposition of the money made by their mother.

     How easy you & Mrs. Stanton must be & it is so contentful, restful, to keep open heads as well as open house without fear of offending or misunderstanding each other.

     There is just one in all the world whom I never feared to burden with my troubles, never feared to be misunderstood, or loved & trusted the less for full revelations of my hopes, purposes, likes & dislikes -- Sister Ellen (Cobb), and her husband is so one with her that I feel the same trust in him. Bertia's husband is an old fogy: a great devotion of Edmonds & his Church. [80] I laugh when I think of the Suffrage literature being turned in upon that haunt of conservative  Bap[tist]. Clergyman. The [Theodore] Weld's used to send her an excellent (free religious) Magazine. After her marriage I used to read & send it [to] her: when I had sent 2 nos. she requested me not to send any more. I guessed why -- their minister stopped with them, & soon she was impressed into church service. Her husband, I was told, was very proud of having "the daughter of a woman of so much mark," & bought the  Vol[ume]. Eminent Women edited by Higginson, Mrs. Stanton &c. because I was mentioned in it. [81] Still has favor to woman's equality it seems to me is an assumed suzerainty. I couldn't feel free with him. But with  Sis[ter] E[llen]'s husband & my boys I feel that I stand all right.


February 25, 1884

Dear Friends:

     In reading numerous plans and suggestions for the "higher education of women," I have been forcibly reminded of a story I once read of a baby-girl who blossomed into young womanhood while her ambitious mother was wholly absorbed in devising an elaborate system for her education. From my stand-point of observation it looks as though women, in their struggle for rights versus wrongs, are rapidly developing a higher education for themselves than any so generously devised for them on the old plans of limited womanhood. Pope [83] says:

"Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring;
'Tis shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
But drinking largely sobers us again."

     Women love sobriety. In our pleas for constitutional rights, we frankly deny the authority of expediency in all matters touching the moral life and development of the nation or the citizen. Our government, in its initiatory appeal to natural or divine law for its right to be, acknowledged the supremacy of such law in the abstract, but has, alas! ignored it whenever seeming expediency counseled its evasion. And in this course we find the political weakness which hesitates and compromises when prompt action in the line of truth and justice offers the only safe and permanent solution. And it is a significant fact, that expediency (Sojourner Truth's [84] "Weasel," in the Constitution), has been hatching crocodiles from the beginning. The revolution that secured our independence as a people, bound that independence with the galling chains of slavery, which avenged itself in a civil war costing thousands of millions of dollars, and life of incomputable value, with suffering and sorrow for which no afterthought of justice can ever atone. The miserable expediency which hesitates and compromises, is now paying the same costly tribute to popular vices that demoralize the citizen, pauper the home and threaten the National life -- and, blind as a bat in daylight, disfranchises the innocent and gives to the guilty a controlling voice in public affairs. And this is named statesmanship!

     Women plead for the protection of acknowledged rights, and our political Gamaliels snub us as incompetents placed by the supreme ruler of the universe in perpetual tutelage, and justify their wholesale robbery of our property, personal and mother rights, as theirs by divine right of guardianship. And while indebted to the inspiration and leadership of women for the efficiency of the benevolent reforms of the age, they deny that the sex is endowed with adequate reasoning powers for self-government. Nevertheless, duty to our brother man, to ourselves and humanity, urges that we let our rushlight shine, and, keeping step to truth, justice and love, hasten the noon-day glory of universal benevolence -- for not one of the great social moral questions of the day, affecting the happiness of a whole people, can ever be permanently settled without the light of woman's intellect and the transfusing of her mother heart and her vote. God's promise is to and through woman to all the nations of the earth.

     I think, considering the patience with which we have listened to details of our general incapacity for political questions, I will not be outraging the amenities if, in this connection, I confess that the moral and intellectual shortsightedness of men schooled in the science of government and practiced in courts and legislation, touching practical questions in those lines, is simply amazing. The treatment of the Utah question, a matter of vital importance to women, is a case in point. [85] Senator [George F.] Edmunds, [86] who took the Congressional leadership in legislating for the suppression of polygamy, and whose first bill has failed to accomplish the good hoped from it, has prepared a supplementary bill by which he proposes to increase the efficiency of the first, mainly, as I understand it, by suppressing Woman Suffrage in that Territory. In his supplementary bill he objects to the government of the Territory by a commission, which virtually disfranchises all its citizens -- that "it is revolutionary and deprives the innocent as well as the guilty of all voice in public affairs," and adds, "Nothing but the direst necessity could justify such a step." As this objection to the commission is the exact measure of his provision for the suppression of Woman Suffrage in the Territory, we can most cordially adopt it as our objection to the latter, and further, challenge the need that justifies his provision for the suppression of Woman Suffrage in the Territory.

     In the first place, as it is polygamy that is on trial, not Woman Suffrage, the dire need for its suppression should be a polygamous character, which would limit its application to Mormon citizens, but he does not propose to suppress the male Mormon vote, from which we might infer that said vote held within itself some redeeming quality which the Mormon woman's vote lacks; and yet the objection to the latter has been that it is controlled by the males in the interest of polygamous Mormonism. Hence the conclusion is inevitable that the votes of Mormon men and women are alike open to objection, alike entitled to "a voice in public affairs." Second, where shall we look for the dire necessity that counsels the suppression of the gentile woman's vote, which is solid versus polygamy -- the crime on trial? Is it to be found in the supposition that it would be used by gentile men versus polygamy? That it would give womanly impressment to just and wholesome laws?

     I must say that this supplementary provision for the suppression of polygamy looks on examination like a mistake in terms -- a statesmanship that pulls up the wheat and leaves the tares. In discussing the question in the New York Independent he expresses the belief that polygamy is to be overcome "by processes apparently slow and by means that will gather into the opposition to it all the non-polygamous Mormons," and that it is quite clear to his mind that the suppression of polygamy will be just as far off with the government of the Territory in the hands of a commission as it is now, if not further; for it will only serve to solidify and intensify a class feeling of the Mormons, and tend to draw to the support of the hierarchy and polygamists the whole body of the Mormon people. "On the whole," he says, "I have the best reason for believing that, if we go calmly and steadily forward, preserving our self-possession, we shall eradicate the evil of polygamy in that Territory."

     I have only time to call attention to two features of this remarkable plan of the Senator's: First, the recommendation of "slow processes" in a warfare with vigilant, energetic and well organized schemes of immigration and colonization of ignorant, superstitious proselytes, not amenable to intelligent argument. The second, his dependence for means to accomplish his purpose upon recruits from the ranks of the enemy. A general in the field, facing the enemy's camp, who should promulgate such a plan would be relieved of his commission as a lunatic. I can see no motive for the Senator's gratuitous thrust at Woman Suffrage in Utah but a hope of arresting the Woman Suffrage movement and defeating its recognition by Congress in the admission of the territories to State rights.

     Our dear Wendel Phillips has gone from us. [87] It was he who said, "You must speak now, Mrs. Nichols," and led me to the Worcester desk for my debut thirty-two years ago. At first my heart cried out at the loss, and that it was just now! But more and more I see that now is the accepted time. His life is being emphasized by his death to revive and sow broadcast his burning words and glorious example of unswerving integrity and wise forethought in the highways and byways inaccessible to them in the long past by reason of prejudice, and lost sight of in the newer and exciting scenes of later years. Such a man was given to teach the grand possibilities of human love and devotion.

     I am watching your movements hopefully. Remember, if in a good cause we don't get all we expect, we're sure to get a good deal of advantage we didn't expect.

Yours lovingly,
Mar[ch]. 25th '84

Hon. F[ranklin]. G. Adams
Dear Friend,

     I fear from examination of my papers that I neglected to acknowledge the copy of dear old John Brown's report of battle of Black Jack [89] of which you were so kind as to send me a copy & which I prize very highly. My memory has become very treacherous in matters of the near past, more so in representing acts intended as acts performed. I ought to keep a record of both but the languor which makes me neglectful in the performance of duties [fails] in the record as well.

     Your mention of the "Debates of the  Consti[tutiona]l Convention" opened upon a very regretful page in my experience. I have never had the perusal of a copy. I was assured of an opportunity to purchase a copy when printed. But several months passed before I had the money and then I learned that the edition was all taken. I inquired of friends and those likely to have duplicates and gave it up. This was during the years when I was hard pressed with debt -- incurred by disablement of my eldest son by a fall, whose debt to a Missourian I felt obliged to assume to save his home from the hammer of the auctioneer -- and without other means of support at my command. I have not space to tell, but you can understand what the vol[ume]. would have been in reviving memories & fixing dates of scenes occuring in life sessions, all of which excepting 2 I attended. For the fear of inaccuracy has prevented me from writing out for the press many an incident which such records would have sharply outlined. If I am spared another year or two I may be able to add a little to your collection in that line. I am more & more aware that only those who write out their acts and relations to historic events will escape misrepresentation or win just recognition.

     I was somewhat relieved by a remark of the Wyandotte Gazette in criticism of the Chicago (?) History of Kansas [90] -- that there were "no women in it." I of course was safe in its silence, tho' a brief but just mention would have pleased me better. I would have written my life years ago from the beginning, but for the conviction that it would be like "the play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out," for the ten years of my life -- from April '21 to March '43 [sic] which educated, disciplined and developed my conscious unity and obligation to humanity -- could not be given to the public without wounding the faithful friends of my first husband's family -- who all stood by me & without a single reproach, -- and paining (with mortification for his base memory) my good children (his), whose honorable lives are making their own record.

     I think you know that I procured a divorce from Mr. [Justin] Carpenter & returned to my  V[ermon]t. home with my 3 little ones. As  V[ermon]t. laws gave no divorces for causes occurring out of the State, the law had to he amended -- in favor of "natives of the State returning to the State for a home." [91] A  com[mitte]e of [the]  Legis[latur]e to whom the petition or bill asked for, was referred, thro' Senator [Justin S.] Morrill [92] (now member of  Cong[ress]) who was Chairman, privately asked me thro' our member for a plea & statement of case from myself -- I wrote one & the  amend[men]t which opened a way of escape for me, let several other poor women escape also. In all my public & private relations in  V[ermon]t these facts, with the outspoken testimony of his father & brother -- who aided me -- that by the testimony of my husband they knew "I had never given him an unkind word & had supported my family from the first." So in my editorial life & elsewhere I was never even reminded of the painful memory: & opponents of  wom[an']s rights said "Mrs. Nichols has a right to advocate  wom[an']s rights for she [has] borne  wom[an']s wrongs right womanly."

     This private disclosure of my past I gave as a reason why I have never kept a diary. As I couldn't keep it truthfully & safely in those 7 yrs. I had not formed the habit & the succeeding yrs. were too crowded with action & the making of history to commence one.


June 12th 1884

Hon. F[ranklin]. G. Adams
Dear Friend --

     I sent you a letter and Autobiography of Rev. Lorenzo Waugh [94] -- containing a few references to Kanzas Shawnee Mission in the early day & Mrs. [Lucy B.] Armstrong in her Ohio home &c. -- early in April. As our eastern mail was robbed some miles below here May 5th and I have rec[eive]d no acknowledgment from you I fear it (the letter) may have been intercepted. As I mentioned in my letter that I had not heard from you of receipt of my son A. O. Carpenter's photograph sent by Express, expressage paid -- more than a year ago, I felt you would give me early word of its safe arrival -- if indeed it were safe &c. I write now in haste & hope to hear from you soon, for it was a living picture & recognized by all at once.

     [James G.] Blaine [95] & [John A.] Logan [96] will sweep the deck as it has not been carried in my remembrance. That tariff has pulled the wool off  Cal[ifornia]. eyes: democrats are cheering the Blaine flags which is agreeable to anti-China also. [97] Well,  B[laine]. was my candidate after & I feel sure has the firm hand, steady will & clear eye needed to weed out the democratic heresies. [George F.] Edmunds lacks breadth, is controlled & too much ill-formed by petty prejudices. I never liked him as Blaine. I am very curious to see what the  Dem[ocrat]s will do especially about [Samuel J.] Tilden. [98]

     I hope [Solon O.] Thatcher will be Gov. before [John A.] Martin who is bitter vs.  Wom[an's].  Suff[rage]. He insulted the women in '67 in his  pub[lic] sneers.

     You will think I am a very lively invalid. I believe my interest in the progress of affairs all over the world keeps me alive.

     I am improving a little. Crops are immense. All the Spring we have had showery weather like the eastern which has put gardens & grass unusually forward. Just now a two day's rain is wetting hay down & in cock & lodging the grain.

     I hope your wife & daughter -- I forgot if you have a son -- are well. I go out over the rockys and the prairies to your quiet Kansas home often in my thoughts and grateful memories rise up all around me. And often I laugh over my -- I must say only provoking experience in that lecture trip. The  Com[mitte] man -- I forgot his name -- who met me first & took me to (I forgot the name of the place) Atchison, & after much inquiry found us lodgings with an old deacon (?) near a sawmill just put up but not finished, in which as it was most central & roomy the lecture was to be. The old lady was cross & the poor man cringed & shrunk under her sarcasms. She didn't "believe in women mixing up with men's affairs." "St. Paul commanded them" &c. &c.

     The husband came home from the lecture a new man, which made her the madder. So she put me in the middle bed of 3, with only the space of a chair between the beds, my friend & 2 mill hands in the other 2 beds & 2 other men lying on the floor & innumerable regiments of boys to keep me conscious of my surroundings all night. So she "mixed me up with the men folks." I have often wished I had kept her address. She had 3 nice daughters with one of whom I might have slept in a large airy room if she had not found sweetness in revenge.

     I have a dear old friend Mrs. C. E. B. Larned (of Vt.) settled in Wellington Sumner Co. Kansas. She is busy in  Temp[erance]., Suff[rage]., Social Science & every good cause: has educated her 2  dau[ghter]s -- one married recently: wood engraver & other branches of art & the other music, brasswork &c. You & daughters & their mother may meet them & I want you to accept my introduction if you do.

June 25th [1884]

[Dear Susan:]

     I have a chance to send to  P[ost]. Office -- will write again soon. Have waited to get that pamphlet report. Has anything happened to it? Think of me when you & dear Mrs. Stanton get together. It will comfort me to know you think of me in your home woods. Heaven bless you. I have loved & trusted you -- for what I saw you were and would grow to. I meant to put it all on paper for you sometime. But I fear I may never be able.

Lovingly always

     P. S. Writing on my back in bed in haste.

Nov. 8th 1884

Eds. Woman's Journal,

     In your issue of the 25th ult. you say "Mrs. C. I. H. Nichols sends us her earnest protest against the election of Mr. [Grover] Cleveland" [101] -- but you ignore the pith and point of my protest which was against the whitewashing of Mr. Cleveland by "T. W. H." for the Presidency. [102]

     The stepping down of a representative woman suffragist from a platform -- every plank of which is pledged to truth, purity and justice in the personal and public relations of the sexes -- to excuse their violation by such a man and for such a purpose -- seems to me a crime more demoralizing, -- because more far-reaching than an ordinary lapse from virtue. And in my judgment, earnest expression of dissent from such "independent" departures, are due alike from the "earliest advocates of woman's rights" and the latest. Any apparent skirking of this duty will retort upon our reform the old and exploded charge of "free love," to dye the cheeks of thousands of women, who depend on those who control our pens and presses to speak for them.

     I have asked to be heard in this matter through your courtesy, in justice to Mr. Higginson, who makes his appeal in Cleveland's interest through the Journal, and to prevent any misconception of my position on the several Presidential nominations. While no person with whom I have any influence, would need to be told that I was opposed to Cleveland's election -- a fact you naturally inferred from my remonstrance against his support as above -- I also in that same remonstrance, placed myself on record as "standing by the Republican party"" regarding it as the only security against the northern saloon and the southern shot-gun, both of which threaten a war of extermination against virtue, intelligence and the institutions they sustain. [103]


January 7, 1885

[Dear Susan:]

     I am very sick of acute bronchitis. I am not utterly hopeless of rallying for a few weeks or months longer; but my friends think I have little expectation of many days. My last words in your (our) good work for humanity through its author is, "God is with us -- there can be no failure, and no defeat outside ourselves that will not roll up the floodwood and rush away every obstruction."

     "Farewell! farewell!" if forever (but I have hope yet). Remember my granddaughter when I am gone, and don't forget my loved ones. [105]


JOSEPH G. GAMBONE is a member of the manuscript and archives staff of the Kansas State Historical Society. He wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to Vivian Bryan, Vermont State Library at Montpelier, T. D. Seymour Bassett, University of Vermont at Burlington, and Eva J. Leech, Brooks Memorial Library at Brattleboro, Vt., for their assistance in gathering these papers.

1. Pacific Rural Press, San Francisco, January 29, 1881. The Pacific Rural Press was an agricultural journal which began publication in 1871. Mrs. Nichols became a regular contributor to the Press shortly after her arrival in California. Although she wrote numerous letters on various topics, only that material related to her role in the feminist movement is published in this installment.

2. For the complete text of the woman's rights legislation passed by the 1880 Vermont legislature, see Acts and Resolves Passed by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont, 1880, pp. 102-103.

3. For additional information on Mrs. Nichols's speech before the Vermont legislature, see HWS, v. 1, pp. 173-174; Gambone, "The Forgotten Feminist of Kansas: The Papers of Clarina I. H. Nichols, 1854-1885," KHQ, v. 39 (Spring, 1973), pp. 15-16.

4. Mrs. Nichols refers here to Joseph H. Barrett of Middlebury, who was chairman of the house committee on education in 1852 and editor of the Middlebury Register from 1847 until 1856. For additional biographical information, see The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, v. 13 (New York, James T. White & Company, 1906), p. 167; H. P. Smith, ed., History of Addison County, Vermont (Syracuse, D. Mason & Co., 1886), p. 187.

5. Daniel P. Thompson. lawyer, jurist, and Democratic politician was editor of the Green Mountain Freeman, Montpelier, from 1849 until 1856. For additional biographical information, see Hemenway, The Vermont Historical Gazetteer, v. 4, pp. 69-70.

6. The National Citizen and Ballot Box, February, 1881.

7. Carl Schurz served as secretary of the interior during the Hayes administration (1877-1881). He maintained an enlightened Indian policy, preserved the public domain, and began the development of national parks. For additional biographical information, see Joseph Schafer, Carl Schurz, Militant Liberal (Evansville, Wis., The Antes Press, 1930).

8. The desert land act of 1877 allowed a settler to purchase 640 acres of land if he would irrigate it within three years after filing. For the text of the legislation, see U. S. Statutes at Large, v. 19, p. 377.

9. Mrs. Nichols refers here to the Winan's election case that was decided by the Kansas supreme court in 1869. For additional information, see Gambone, "The Forgotten Feminist of Kansas: The Papers of Clarina I. H. Nichols, 1854-1885," KHQ, v. 40 (Spring, 1974), pp. 130-132.

10. The Woman's Journal, March 5, 1881.

11. In regard to the Vermont legislation, The Woman's Journal asserted: "The above shows the disadvantages under which a disfranchised class exists. It should be published here, to help create that wholesome discontent, which is the first sign of revolt, the first indication of desire to break away from unequal conditions. Once awake to the humiliation and helplessness of being a mere appendage, the desire for equal rights cannot die."Ibid., January 22, 1881.

12. For the complete late text of the 1853 adoption of persons law, see The Acts and Resolves Passed by the Legislature of the State of Vermont, 1853, pp. 42-44.

13. For the complete text of the 1850 descent of real estate law, see ibid., 1850, pp. 8-9.

14. Pacific Rural Press, April 9, 1881. Mrs. Nichols's letter was a rejoinder to an article denouncing the woman's rights movement written by Peter Pipkin, who was a regular contributor to the Press. In his criticism Pipkin wrote that Mrs. Nichols attempted "to make it appear that the ballot for woman is the great heal-all, the universal panacea for all the ills, orally, socially mentally, bodily and politically that womankind is heir to, they would show to the world that they were trying to work out or up a reform that would benefit the downtrodden class of woman . . . by the tyrant man." -- Ibid., March 12, 1881.

15. Mrs. Squires was a regular contributor to the Pacific Rural Press. No biographical information has been found.

16. Mrs. Nichols refers here to "The Home Circle" which was a section in the Pacific Rural Press devoted to general correspondence on topics other than agriculture.

17. In regard to the journalistic controversy over the woman's rights question, the editor of the Pacific Rural Press wrote: "We announced this discussion closed, but we believe there is a higher law which says that womankind must have the last words, and we humbly submit. Now, at all events, let us choose other subjects for a season." -- Ibid., April 9, 1881. For the letters published on the woman's rights question, see Pipkin to the editor, Ferndale, Cal. [December, 1880], cited in ibid., December 18, 1880; Mrs. W. D. Ashley to the editor, Stockton, Cal. [January, 1881], and Edward Berwick to the editor, Monterey, Cal. [January, 1881), cited in ibid., February 5, 1881.

18. ALS in "Susan B. Anthony Papers," Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College.

19. No biographical information has been found on Miss Sinnett.

20. Harriet H. Robinson, woman's suffrage leader from Massachusetts, was the author of Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement (1881). She affiliated herself with Miss Anthony's National Woman Suffrage Association in 1881. For additional biographical information, see NAW, v. 3, pp. 181-182.

21. No biographical information bas been found on Miss Van Brunt.

22. Mrs. Nichols refers here to the New York publishing firm of Fowler & Wells which published the first two volumes of the History of Woman Suffrage.

23. Edwin Arnold, Light of Asia (Chicago, Homewood Publishing Co. [1879]). Arnold's work was an elaborate poem of the life and teaching of Buddha.

24. [Albion w. Tourgée] A Fool's Errand (New York, Fords, Howard & Hulbert [1879]). Tourgée's book was the first literary effort to deal with reconstruction.

25. The "Nichols Memorial" was a fund established by Kansas men to have Mrs. Nichols portrait engraved for publication in the History of Woman Suffrage. For the text of the "Nichols Memorial," see "Nichols Memorial," May 10, 1881, in "Kansas Biographical Pamphlets."

26. See Matilda Joslyn Gage, "Woman, Church, and State," in HWS, v. 1, pp. 753-799.

27. Abigail Kelley Foster, abolitionist and woman's rights activist, committed herself totally to the reform movement and had few equals as an agitator. She was dogmatic and fanatical, and attacked harshly those who disagreed with her. For additional biographical information, see NAW, v. 1, pp. 647-650.

28. Eliza A. Nichols was the eldest daughter of George W. Nichols, Clarina's second husband. No additional biographical information has been found.

29. The National Citizen and Ballot Box, June, 1881. Mrs. Nichols's letter was read at the annual convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association held in Boston on May 26-27, 1881. For the proceedings of the Boston convention, see Boston Daily Globe, May 26-28, 1881. For additional information, see HWS, v. 3, pp. 192-197.

30. Woman's Herald of Industry, San Francisco, September and October, 1881. Mrs. Nichols's article was published in two installments.

31. AL in the private collection of Mrs. Rabinovitz. Abby M. Hemenway, Vermont historian and anthologist, was the author of several historical works including Poets and Poetry of Vermont (1858) and the multi-volume The Vermont Historical Gazetteer (1860-1890). For additional biographical information, see NAW, v. 2, pp. 178-179; M. D. Gilman, ed., The Bibliography of Vermont (Burlington, The Free Press Association, 1897), p. 121.

32. Mrs. Nichols refers here to Miss Hemenway's Poets and Poetry of Vermont which was an admixture of doggerel and competent verse.

33. Mrs. Nichols refers here to Miss Hemenway's The Historical Vermont Gazetteer which was a series of town and country histories, and biographical sketches.

34. Mrs. Nichols refers here to Henry Burnham, Brattleboro, Windham City Vermont, Early History With Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Citizens (Brattleboro, D. Leonard, 1880).

35. Wyandotte Gazette, March 31, 1882.

36. William F. M. Arny migrated to Kansas in 1855 and was active in the organization of the Republican party in the territory. He played an active role in the relief work of both 1856-1857 and 1860-1861. In September, 1862 he was appointed by President Lincoln as territorial governor of New Mexico and held that position til mid-1867. For additional biographic information, see Murphy, Frontier Crusader -- William F. M. Arny.

37. Lawrence D. Bailey, a New England attorney, migrated to Kansas in the spring of 1857. He served in the territorial legislature and was elected associate judge of the state supreme court under the Wyandotte constitution in 1859. For additional biographical information, see United States Biographical Dictionary, Kansas Volume, pp. 191-192; Edwin H. Austin, "The Supreme Court of the State of Kansas," KHC, v. 13 (1913-1914), p. 114. For Bailey's brief account of his arrival in Kansas, see "Kansas History Clippings," v. 5, pp. 148-149, library, KSHS.

38. Richard Realf, noted poet and abolitionist, migrated to Kansas in 1856 as a newspaper correspondent for several Eastern journals. In 1858 he was chosen secretary of state John Brown's curious provisional government. For additional biographical information, see DAB, v. 15, pp. 434-435; Rossiter Johnson, "Richard Realf," Lippincott's Magazine, Philadelphia, v. 23 (March, 1879), pp. 293-300.

39. The Lightfoot, a stern-wheeler steamboat, 100 x 24 feet with probably 75 tons of freight capacity, was purchased by Thaddeus Hyatt in Pittsburgh, Pa., for assisting Free-State immigration into Kansas. For additional information on the Lightfoot's journey from Wyandotte to Lawrence, see Albert R. Greene, "The Kansas River -- Its Navigation," KHC, v. 9 (1905-1906), pp. 338-340, and Edgar Langsdorf, "More About Kansas River Steamboats," KHQ, v. 18 (November, 1950), pp. 405-407.

40. Carmi W. Babcock migrated to Kansas to 1854 and settled in Lawrence where he was appointed the first postmaster and later was elected mayor. He served in the territorial legislature and was president of the territorial council. In 1869 he was appointed surveyor-general of Kansas by President Grant and was reappointed in 1873. For additional biographical information, see Portrait and Biographical Record of Leavenworth, Douglas and Franklin Counties Kansas (Chicago, Chapman Publishing Company, 1899), pp. 354-355; "Biographies of the Members of the Free-State Legislature of 1857-'58," KHC, v. 10 (1907-1908), p. 205; Lawrence Republican, January 20, 1859.

41. Mrs. Downs was appointed regent by Governor St. John on December 27, 1881. No additional biographical information has been found. For the text of Governor St. John's letter appointing Mrs. Downs as a university regent, see Lawrence Journal-World, August 6, 1953.

42. Wyandotte Gazette, June 16, 1882.

43. Nelson Cobb was the second chief justice of the Kansas supreme court. For additional biographical information, see Austin, "The Supreme Court of the State of Kansas," pp. 113-114.

44. ALS in "Clarina I. H. Nichols Papers," Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College. Sara T. D. Robinson was the wife of Gov. Charles Robinson and the author of Kansas, Its Interior and Exterior Life (1856). For additional biographical information, see Blackmar, Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc., v. 2, p. 599; Eighteenth Biennial Report of the Kansas State Historical Society (Topeka, State Printing Office, 1913), pp. 34-35.

45. Mrs. Nichols refers here to Frances Power Cobbe, British philanthropist, feminist, editor, and philosophical and religious writer. In 1881 she wrote The Duties of Woman. For additional biographical information, see Clarence L. Barnhart, ed., The New Century Cyclopedia of Names, v. 1 (New York, Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1954), p. 1010; John Verschoyle, "Frances Power Cobbe," The Living Age, Boston, v. 24 (July 9, 1904), pp. 70-80. Also, see Cobbe, The Duties of Women. A Course of Lectures by Frances Power Cobbe (Boston, G. H. Ellis, 1881).

46. See Albert D. Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi: From the Great River to the Great Ocean (Hartford, American Publishing Company, 1867).

47. See James Redpath, The Public Life of Capt. John Brown (Boston, Thayer and Eldridge, 1860).

48. Mrs. Nichols refers to Mrs. Robinson's book, Kansas, Its Interior and Exterior Life (Boston, Crosby, Nichols and Company, 1856).

49. Mrs. Nichols refers here to the first volume of the Kansas Historical Collections and to Franklin G. Adams who was then secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society.

50. No biographical information has been found on Mr. and Mrs. E. D. Brown.

51. See HWS, v., 2, pp. 1-89.

52. John A. Martin, journalist and Republican politician, was editor of the Atchison Daily Champion and an opponent to the woman's rights movement. For Martin's commentary, see ibid., pp. 249-250.

53. The Woman's Journal, December 30, 1882.

54. Charles Reed, lawyer and Democratic politician, was chosen member of the council of censors in 1869 and vigorously advocated the enfranchisement of women. For additional biographical information, see Hemenway, The Vermont Historical Gazetteer, v. 4, pp. 513-515.

55. In regard to Mrs. Nichols's letter, Henry B. Blackwell wrote: "Mrs. Nichols is not correct in saying that the Council of Censors is an obstruction to woman suffrage. On the contrary the Council was a generation in advance of the men of Vermont. This was shown by the action of the Constitutional Convention which rejected the proposal of the Council. Nor is it true that the women of Vermont have the right to vote on school questions on the same terms as men. By the law as construed, only those whose names appear on the 'grand list,' or in other words who pay taxes, have the right. As the family property is usually in the name of the husband, the women of Vermont are generally excluded from school suffrage." -- The Woman's Journal, December 30, 1882.

56. Wyandotte Gazette, December 22 and 29, 1882. Mrs. Nichols's letter was published in two installments.

57. Mrs. Nichols apparently refers here to M. W. Bottom of Quindaro who served in the 1863 and 1864 state legislatures. No additional biographical information has been found.

58. Mrs. Nichols refers here to William W. Dickinson of Quindaro who served in the 1862 state legislature. For additional biographical information, see Andreas and Cutler, History of the State of Kansas, p. 1250. Apparently Mrs. Nichols is in error in stating that Dickinson succeeded Bottom in the state legislature.

59. The Second Kansas cavalry was quartered in Quindaro from January 20 to March 12, 1862. The soldiers gutted the town by tearing up everything for firewood. For additional information, see Farley, "Annals of Quindaro: A Kansas Ghost Town," p. 318; Fifteenth Biennial Report of the Kansas State Historical Society (Topeka, State Printing Office, 1907), pp. 60-61; Andreas and Cutler, History of the State of Kansas, p. 182.

60. No biographical information has been found on Mrs. Gibbons.

61. For the text of the petition, see Gambone, "The Forgotten Feminist of Kansas: The Papers of Clarina I. H. Nichols, 1854-1885," KHQ, v. 39 (Autumn, 1973), p. 403.

62. No information has been found on the newspaper, The Cradle of Progress.

63. This is the only reference that Mrs. Nichols made concerning a trip to Vermont in 1858. No additional information has been located.

64. Mrs. Nichols refers here to Six-Mile House, a tavern just west of Quindaro on the stage road from Independence to Leavenworth that was owned and operated by J. A. and Theodore Bartles. No biographical information has been located on the Bartleses. For additional information on Six-Mile House, see Farley, "Annals of Quindaro: A Kansas Ghost Town," pp. 317-319.

65. Fielding Johnson migrated to Kansas in 1857 and settled at Quindaro. In 1866 he moved to Topeka and engaged in the mercantile business until his death in 1872. For additional biographical information, see "Kansas Biographical Pamphlets," v. 8, library, KSHS.

66. Pacific Rural Press, June 16, 1883.

67. Mrs. Rancher was a regular contributor to the Pacific Rural Pres. In her letter to the editor, Mrs. Rancher wrote: "I am sure Mrs. Nichols would neither ask nor accept consideration because of her sex, but many years, and the wide experience that comes from a long and useful life, should entitle the possessor to all courtesy. And when we of middle age look down from our height and note with what changed eyes we now look on life, may we not with reason expect other changes as we climb the hill day by day and little by little add to our experience? But looking at the subject from where I now stand (and by no means denying that laws oppressive to women do exist), the ballot seems a poor remedy. First from its unfitness to the duties that fall naturally to our lot." -- Ibid., December 9, 1882.

68. AL in "Susan B. Anthony Papers," Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College.

69. The third volume of the History of Woman Suffrage was published in 1887.

70. William Henry Channing, Unitarian clergyman, author, and reformer, was an active supporter of the women's rights movement and labored for the emancipation of women. For additional biographical information, see DAB, v. 4, pp. 9-10.

71. Helen M. Gougar, suffrage and temperance leader, was instrumental in securing municipal woman suffrage in Indiana in 1887. For additional biographical information, see, NAW, v. 2, pp. 69-71.

72. No biographical information has been found on Mrs. Larned.

73. Mrs. Nichols refers here to the Ballou family of Rhode Island who were Universalist ministers. For biographical sketches of the Ballous, see DAB, v. 1, pp. 556-560.

74. The Conclave of Knights Templar was held in San Francisco during the week of August 18-24, 1883. For additional information, see Pacific Rural Press, August 11, 1883; San Francisco Chronicle, August 18-24, 1883.

75. No biographical information has been located on Mrs. Haggart.

76. The Kansas Woman's Christian Temperance Union was organized in 1878. For a brief history of the Kansas temperance movement, see Eva M. Murphy, "The Woman's Christian Temperance Union," KHC, v. 10 (1907-1908), pp. 37-43. Also, see Agnes D. Hays, The White Ribbon in the Sunflower State: A Biography of Courageous Conviction, 1878-1953 (Topeka, The Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Kansas [1953]).

77. Mrs. Nichols refers here to Mark Carpenter, the husband of her sister, Catharine Amelia. No biographical information has been found on Mr. Carpenter.

78. "Aunt Fanny" was the pseudonym for Frances D. Gage.

79. No biographical information has been found on Mrs. Eddy.

80. No biographical information has been found on Edmonds.

81. For the brief biographical sketch of Mrs. Nichols, see James Parton, et al, Eminent Women of the Age; Being a Narration of the Lives and Deeds of the Most Prominent Women of the Present Generation (Hartford, S. M. Betts & Company, 1868), pp. 395-396.

82. National Woman Suffrage Association. Report of the Sixteenth Annual Washington Convention (Rochester, Press of Charles Mann, 1884), pp. 129-131. Mrs. Nichols's letter was read at the woman suffrage convention held in Washington on March 4-7, 1884.

83. Alexander Pope was the most distinguished of the classical poets of the Augustan age. For a biographical sketch, see DNB, v. 46,, pp. 109-127.

84. Sojourner Truth, an ex-slave, was a black abolitionist and reformer who was active in the early woman's rights movement. For additional biographical information, see NAW, v. 3, pp. 479-481.

85. For a brief survey of the political ramifications of the Utah question, 1882-1884, see Wayne Stout, History of Utah, 1870-1896, v. 1 (Salt Lake City [n. p.], 1967), pp. 159-217. For a brief account of the woman's suffrage movement in Utah, see HWS, v. 4, pp. 936-956.

86. George F. Edmunds, U. S. senator from Vermont from 1866 until his retirement in 1891, was chairman of the senate committee on the judiciary. For additional biographical information, see DAB, v. 6, pp. 24-27.

87. Wendell Phillips, noted New England abolitionist, died on February 2, 1884. For additional biographical information, see DAB, v. 14, pp. 546-547.

88. ALS in "Nichols Papers," KSHS.

89. For John Brown's report on the Battle of Black Jack, see New York Daily Tribune, July 11, 1856. For additional contemporary records, see "John Brown Papers," manuscript division, KSHS.

90. Mrs. Nichols refers here to Andreas and Cutler, History of the State of Kansas.

91. For the amended Vermont divorce law, see Acts and Resolves Passed by the Legislature of the State of Vermont, 1844. p. 18.

92. Mrs. Nichols incorrectly refers here to Justin S. Morrill as the legislator who maneuvered the 1844 divorce law through the Vermont legislature. Senator Morrill was not a member of the 1844 Vermont legislature. Mrs. Nichols probably meant Asa Morrill of Danville, Vt., who was a state legislator in 1844. For a short biographical statement, see Hamilton Child, compiler, Gazetteer of Caledonia and Essex Counties, Vt., 1764-1887 (Syracuse, The Syracuse Journal Company, 1887), p. 183. For a biographical sketch of Justin S. Morrill, see DAB, v. 13, pp. 198-199.

93. ALS in "Nichols Papers," KSHS.

94. The Rev. Lorenzo Waugh was appointed as missionary to the Shawnee Methodist Mission in 1837. For additional biographical information, see Waugh, Autobiography of Lorenzo Waugh (2d ed., San Francisco, A. Buswell & Co., 1884); Kansas Daily Commonwealth, August 27, 1884.

95. James G. Blaine was the Republican party's unsuccessful presidential candidate in the election of 1884. For additional biographical information, see DAB, v. 2, pp. 322-329; David S. Muzzey, James G. Blaine: A Political Idol of Other Days (New York, Dodd, Mead and Company, 1934); Blaine, Twenty Years of Congress: From Lincoln to Garfield (2 vols., Norwich, The Henry Bill Publishing Company, 1884-1886).

96. John A. Logan, an ex-Union soldier and ex-Democrat, was the Republican party's vice-presidential candidate in the election of 1884. For additional biographical information, see DAB, v. 11, pp. 363-365.

97. Mrs. Nichols refers here to the "Mongrel tariff" of 1883 and the Chinese exclusion act of 1882.

98. Samuel J. Tilden, ex-governor of New York, was the unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate in the disputed election of 1876. For additional biographical information, see, DAB, v. 18, p. 537-541.

99. ALS in "Susan B. Anthony Papers," Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College.

100. Ibid. Mrs. Nichols's letter was not published in The Woman's Journal. In a scribbled note on the letter, Mrs. Nichols wrote: "My 1st article referred to below was sent before the election (in Oct.)." This letter was never published.

101. Grover Cleveland, governor of New York, was the successful Democratic presidential candidate in the election of 1884. For additional biographical information, see Allan Nevins, Grover Cleveland: A Study in Courage (New York, Dodd, Mead & Company, 1933); Robert McElroy, Grover Cleveland, the Man and the Statesman (2 vols., New York, Harper & Brothers, 1923).

102. Mrs. Nichols refers here to Thomas Wentworth Higginson's articles on Cleveland's Presidential campaign published in The Woman's Journal. For Higginson's articles, see The Woman's Journal, October 4, 11, 18, 1884. Higginson, a New England reformer and author, was a regular contributor to the Journal and was outspoken in his support of woman's rights. During the 1884 Presidential election, he associated himself with the mugwump movement and supported the candidacy of Cleveland. For additional biographical information, see Tilden G. Edelstein, Strange Enthusiasm: A Life of Thomas Wentworth Higginson (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1968).

103. In reply to Mrs. Nichols's letter, Lucy Stone wrote: "I intended to write you to say I had sent the article to Col. T. W. H., but what with the Journal & my family & with Conventions & meetings & much besides to do: and all this together with the fact that I am not getting younger caused me to put off or not to do, many things, and the letter to you was one. . . . I take the same view that you do of Cleveland's election -- but now that he is elected, it does not seem to us best to continue criticisms, so I return your article as requested. . . ." -- Stone to Nichols, Boston, December 3, 1884, "Susan B. Anthony Papers," Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College.

104. The New Era, Chicago, v. 1 (February, 1885), p. 60. Mrs. Nichols wrote this letter four days before her death. On January 20, 1885, her letter was read at the annual convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association in Washington.

105. Mrs. Nichols died on January 11, 1885, at the age of 74. In announcing her death, the editor of the Pacific Rural Press wrote: "For many years she has occupied an honored place in our 'Home Circle,' and all have looked longingly for her words so full of vigor and wisdom, so inspiring, so powerful always in their championship of virtue and individual rights, so weighty when directed against vice and oppression. Mrs. Nichols has been a reformer from the very beginning of her public efforts, and what she really accomplished it would require a volume to describe. . . . We would give all honor to her memory. Her words will live. The memory of her deeds and the influence of them will linger to bless the world." -- Pacific Rural Press, January 24, 1885.
   In memory of Mrs. Nichols, the following poem, written by Mallie Stafford, was published in the Pacific Rural Press on February 14, 1885:

What did she leave?
An honored name, the ring of which is but
Another term for right; brave words,
Strength to the weak, and courage to
The fainting; proud deeds, whose influence
Shall be felt adown the coming ages,
And hosts of loving hearts who grieved to-day
For her whose spirits gone before, now

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