Election Year 1892 ~ April

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There exist some tensions and rivalries in both the Republican and Democratic parties. Corporations increase in number and wealth. Women battling for their civil rights see little progress in the fight for the vote. Striking miners provide a foretaste of the labor struggles yet coming this year. Black people and Native Americans continue to be exploited. Germany is selling arms in Africa. Anarchists stir the pot as they can. And the incumbent president will replace a deceased Supreme Court justice in an election year without blind resistance from the opposition party.

April 1–Friday– Idaho–Mine owners across the state begin a lockout against 3,000 striking miners.

April 5–Tuesday– Lithonia, Georgia–A white mob lynches five black men.

April 7– Thursday– New York City– “Not all the men who were brought to the front in politics by the popular revolution of 1890 have justified the expectations of their supporters; some, indeed, who were elevated to important positions have proved miserable failures, and will very speedily be relegated to the obscurity out of which they were lifted. But there are some among the new men who were projected into Congress by that upheaval who have demonstrated genuine capacity, and are likely to impress themselves upon the legislation and policy of their time. Among these is Hon. William J. Bryan [1860–1925], of Nebraska, who was elected to Congress on the platform of tariff reform by a phenomenal majority in a strong Republican district, and has since attained, by a single speech, a commanding position in the House. Mr. Bryan, who is thirty-two years of age, is a man of fine appearance, of indomitable purpose and solid intellectual qualities, which make him a dangerous antagonist. He is a lawyer by profession, and is assisted in the preparation of cases by his young wife, who studied law and was admitted to the Bar in order that she might make herself more truly his helpmeet.” ~ Frank Leslie’s Weekly [Mary Elizabeth Baird Bryan is a year younger than her husband whom she married in 1884. Encouraged by her husband, she studied law at the Union College of Law in Chicago, Illinois, and was admitted to practice in November, 1888. Dies January 21, 1930.]

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Mary Pickford

 

April 8– Friday– Toronto, Ontario, Canada– Birth of Gladys Louise Smith a/k/a Mary Pickford who will appear in more than 175 films and become one of the co-founders of United Artists. [Dies May 29, 1979.]

April11– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “Now, therefore, I, Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States, do hereby declare and make known that all of the lands embraced in said reservation, saving and excepting the lands reserved for and allotted to said Indians and the lands reserved for other purposes in pursuance of the provisions of said agreement and the said act of Congress ratifying the same and other the laws relating thereto, will, at and after the hour of 12 o’clock noon (central standard time)on the 15th day of April, A. D. 1892, and not before, be opened to settlement under the terms of and subject to all the terms and conditions, limitations, reservations, and restrictions contained in said agreements, the statutes above specified, and the laws of the United States applicable thereto.” ~ Presidential proclamation opening lands taken by treaty from the Sioux to settlers.

April 11– Monday– Florence Italy– Birth of Francesca Bertini [born Elena Seracini Vitiello] who will become the premiere actress in Italian silent films. [Dies October 13, 1985.]

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President Benjamin Harrison

 

April 12– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– Now, therefore, I, Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested by the statutes hereinbefore mentioned, also an act of Congress entitled ‘An act making appropriations for the current and contingent expenses of the Indian Department and for fulfilling treaty stipulations with various Indian tribes for the year ending June 30, 1892, and for other purposes,’ approved March 3, 1891, and by other of the laws of the United States, and by said agreement, do hereby declare and make known that all of said lands hereinbefore described acquired from the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians by the agreement aforesaid, saving and excepting the lands allotted to the Indians as in said agreement provided, excepting also the lands hereinbefore described as occupied and claimed by the Wichita and affiliated bands of Indians, or otherwise reserved in pursuance of the provisions of said agreement and the said act of Congress ratifying the same, and other the laws relating thereto, will at the hour of 12 o’clock noon (central standard time), Tuesday, the 19th day of the present month of April, and not before, be opened to settlement under the terms of and subject to all the conditions, limitations, reservations, and restrictions contained in said agreement, the statutes above specified, and the laws of the United States applicable thereto.” ~ Presidential proclamation opening other Indian lands to settlers.

April 14– Thursday– New York City– “There can be no doubt at all that Senator Hill has injured his Presidential chances by his recent Southern tour. All the influential newspapers of that section agree in saying that his speeches were disappointing to the people, revealing the low and artful partisan rather than the enlightened statesman, and that very many Democrats who were at first disposed to give him their support are now convinced that success under his leadership would be impossible. They had expected to hear an intelligent discussion of principles and policies, but were treated to the drivel of the pot-house politician. They had expected to meet a man with strong and positive convictions, but their visitor evaded every important issue, and if he had convictions, obscured or concealed them by artifices of speech. . . . . No one who has been at all familiar with Senator Hill’s methods and has closely studied the man will be surprised at this result. The truth is that David B. Hill does not possess a single quality of genuine statesmanship. He has never, as to any question or measure, displayed that breadth and loftiness of spirit which characterizes the true publicist. He is a machine politician, pure and simple. He has made his way so far by what a contemporary aptly describes as a ‘comprehending sympathy with the heeler, ballot-box stuffer, the manipulator of returns, the vote-buyer, and all who are adepts in the dodges of the criminal side of politics.’ It is the cold truth that ‘every potency and agency for good, political, religious, and moral, in his State, abhors him as a man without principle or conscience.’ . . . . Thoughtful Democrats . . . are unwilling that the party standard should be committed to a man who has nothing to recommend him but the fact that he is an expert in political crime. So overwhelming is this growing sentiment that even in this State, if the question of his candidacy could be submitted to the Democratic voters for an expression of the real wishes of the party, without pressure or intimidation of any sort, he would, as we believe, be beaten two to one.” ~ Frank Leslie’s Weekly [Hill (1843– 1910) was a lawyer and career politician who served as governor of New York State from 1885 to 1891 and in the U S Senate from 1892 to 1897. At this point he has been vigorously seeking the Democratic nomination.]

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Senator David B Hill

 

April 15– Friday– Schenectady, New York– The General Electric Company is established through the merger of the Thomson-Houston Company and the Edison General Electric Company.

April 15– Friday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– Reliable sources indicate that Republican delegates to the national convention from this city will go to the convention as uncommitted.

April 15– Friday– Indianapolis, Indiana– It appears that all of the delegates from Indiana to the Democratic convention will support Grover Cleveland rather than Isaac P Gray, the former governor of the state. [Gray, 1828–1895, served in the Union Army during the Civil War. In 1876, upset by corruption in the administration of President Ulysses S Grant, Gray switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party.]

April 16– Saturday– Rochester, New York– A reporter asks Susan B Anthony what she thinks about the woman suffrage bill slowly making its way through the state legislature in Albany. She replies, “I am highly pleased, and I hope it will fare well . . . but I am not very enthusiastic. The cup has been brought to my lips so often and then dashed away that I have learned no to be too confident.” [Women will not gain the vote in New York until 1917.]

April 17– Sunday– Washington, D.C.– Dr Gardner, the physician taking care of First Lady Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison, reports that she is feeling a little better, despite her hard cough and her fever. [She will struggle with illness throughout the coming months and will die on October 25th, 24 days after her 60th birthday.]

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First Lady Caroline Harrison

 

April 17– Sunday– Paris, France– Britain and France are discussing ways to prevent arms sales to Africans, noting that partisans in Upper Niger and in Dahomey are armed with modern German-made rifles.

April 19– Tuesday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– In a move which speculators and dealers will describe as “a coal war”, the Pennsylvania Railroad announces a drastic cut in the rate it charges to haul coal, an effort to lure business away from other railroads.

April 20–Wednesday– Denmark–In national elections for the Folketing (literally, “the people’s thing”), the parliament, 63.8% of eligible voters cast ballots. The conservatives win 34.8% of the vote, taking 31 of 102 available seats. The center-right party captures 30 seats, the moderates 39 seats and the socialists only 2 seats.

April 21– Thursday– New York City– “The expressions of the newspaper press and of all the [state] political conventions which have recently been held go to show that there is practically no opposition to the renomination of President Harrison. There are a few political leaders who, out of disappointment at their failure to use the President for their own purposes, would be very glad to rally a more or less formidable opposition to him, but so far they have not succeeded in finding any candidate who is likely to commend himself at all to the national convention. Senator Cullom, who was at one time named as a candidate, has formally withdrawn from the field. Senator Allison will probably be presented by Iowa, but he has explicitly stated that he does not desire the nomination. . . . Taking the field as a whole, all the conditions are favorable to the practically unanimous renomination of the present executive. In proof of this statement we could fill our columns with extracts from the leading independent and Republican papers of the country.” ~ Frank Leslie’s Weekly

April 22– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Democratic leaders here assert that Indiana supporters of former governor Isaac P Gray are “indulging in . . . the sheerest nonsense” and the overwhelming majority of Democrats favor Grover Cleveland.

April 22– Friday– Louisville, Kentucky– At a meeting local Democrats express support for Grover Cleveland. “We believe him to possess the confidence of the masses to a greater extent than any other living American and that his nomination will carry the country by storm.”

April 23– Saturday– Buffalo, New York– Many prominent Republicans in the western part of the state favor Chauncey M Depew, age 58, a lawyer and president of the New York Central Railroad, instead of President Benjamin Harrison.

April 23– Saturday– London, England– The funeral of Mary Mowbray, wife of the labor organizer and anarchist Charles W Mowbray, takes place. The ceremony, with no religious component, provides an opportunity for anarchists and socialists to demonstrate. Some carry signs saying “Remember Chicago”, referring to the Haymarket bombing incident of 1886 after which 8 anarchist were arrested, put through a show trial in front of a biased judge and sentenced to death. Four were hanged and one committed suicide. Three remain in prison, two serving life sentences, one a sentence of 15 years. [Next year Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld will pardon those three and release them from prison. On the Haymarket affair, see: The Haymarket Tragedy (1984) by Paul Avrich; The History of the Haymarket Affair; a Study in the American Social-revolutionary and Labor Movements (1936) by Henry David; and on Governor Altgeld, see: Eagle Forgotten: the Life of John Peter Altgeld (1938) by Harry Barnard.]

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Memorial to the Haymarket Martyrs

 

April 27– Wednesday– Bangor, Maine– Republicans select delegates committed to James G Blaine to represent the state at the Republican national convention.

April 27– Wednesday– London, England– In Parliament, the House of Commons defeats a woman suffrage bill with 175 votes against it and 152 in favor. Suffrage leaders are pleased that the vote is that close.

April 28– Thursday– New York City– “There is an indication that the President is finding some difficulty in securing a successor to Justice [Joseph] Bradley, of the Supreme Court, owing to the meager salary paid these officials. One gentleman who is alleged to be eminently equipped for the Supreme Court bench is said to have declined the appointment on the ground that he cannot afford to accept it, being now in receipt of an income from his practice some ten times greater than the salary paid to judges. Of course the consideration of salary does not as a rule enter into the question of acceptance of this high position, but it would not diminish the dignity of the office if that salary should be more in proportion to the responsibility and excellent character of the services required of its incumbent.” ~ Frank Leslie’s Weekly [Bradley was a Republican from New York who died January 22, 1892 at age 78. President Harrison will nominate George Shiras, a Republican from Pennsylvania, age 60, to take his place. The Senate will confirm Shiras on July 26th– there will be no debate about whether or not the incumbent president could or should fill the vacancy on the court.]

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the late Justice Bradley

 

April 29– Friday– Washington, D.C.– From the states of New York, Maine and Colorado there seems to be increasing opposition among some Republicans to the renomination of President Harrison.

April 30– Saturday– London, England– Rumors declare that the recent visit by U S warships to Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a veiled attempt to forge an anti-British alliance between the United States and Argentina. American officials strongly deny the allegations.

Election Year 1856 ~ April

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Political issues taking the forefront: slavery, the conflict in Kansas, the rise of a new political party. Women assert their claims on civil rights, much to the distress of some men. Within abolitionist circles, the debate intensifies about non-violence versus the use of force. Peace has brought an end to the carnage of the Crimean War, a loss of life soon to be over-shadowed by America’s Civil War. Divisions manifest themselves among Democrats over who should be the nominee for president. The escapades of the freebooter William Walker draw some favorable attention in the United States at a time when many have imperialistic dreams of controlling the whole of the Western Hemisphere. His conduct angers Great Britain which has led to some talk of war with the United States. Anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant talk find voice in print.

April 1– Tuesday– Richmond, Indiana– “Man alone is but a piece– a fragment– a half of humanity, and he needs the other half by his side, with her smiles and indomitable fortitude, to strengthen his resolutions and share his aspirations and his toils. He will go heavenward when angel woman points the way, and cheers his path with the light of her genius, the power of her example, and the fascinations of her own loveliness. But when he attempts to go alone, he is too apt to go devilward, as he generally has done in political affairs. Could educated woman become an equal arbiter in the fate of nations, especially of this nation, soon indeed would the brain maddening and bloody traffic in alcoholic liquors be prohibited. Soon, too, would the gigantic wrong of American slavery be abolished. It would be no longer necessary for tender mothers to cut their children’s throats to protect them from the hellish despotism in a land which claims to be ‘the asylum of the oppressed, and the home of the free!’” ~ The Lily.

April 3– Thursday– Island of Rhodes– The Ottoman Turks who control the island use the Church of St John, attached to the almost 500 year old Palace of the Grand Masters, as a storehouse for ammunition. Today lightning strikes the church causing a fire and explosion which kills about 4,000 people and turns the two buildings into a huge pile of rubble

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April 4– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “The Twenty-Third Public Anniversary of the American Anti-Slavery Society will be held . . . In the city of New York, on Wednesday, May 7th, at 10 o’clock, A.M. . . . . As full an attendance of the members and friends of the Society as practicable, from all parts of the country, is earnestly desired and strongly urged. We reiterate our former declaration, that the object of the Society is not merely to make Liberty national and Slavery sectional, nor to prevent the acquisition of Cuba nor to restore the Missouri Compromise nor to repeal the Fugitive Slave Bill nor to make Kansas a free State nor to resist the admission of any new slave State into the Union nor to terminate slavery in the District of Columbia and in the National Territories but it is, primarily, Comprehensively, and uncompromisingly to effect the immediate, total and eternal overthrow of Slavery, wherever it exists on American soil, and to expose and confront whatever party or sect seeks to purchase peace or success at the expense of human liberty. Living or dying, our motto is, ‘No Union With Slaveholders, Religiously or Politically!’” ~ The Liberator.

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members of the American Antislavery Society

 

April 5– Saturday– New York City– New York Times quotes likely Democratic candidate James Buchanan as writing “The Missouri Compromise [of 1820] is gone, and gone forever. . . . The time for it has passed away, and I verily believe that the best– nay the only– mode now of putting down the fanatical and restless spirit of Abolition at the North, is to adhere to the existing settlement [the Compromise of 1850] without the slightest thought or appearance of wavering, and without regarding any storm which may be raised against it.”

April 9– Wednesday– Newark, New Jersey– A large number of people attend an organizing rally to create a state-wide Republican Party. Participants insist upon the admission of Kansas as a free state. “New Jersey will enroll herself among the ranks of the Freemen of the Union in the approaching struggle.”

April 9– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Senators of the free States, I appeal to you. Believe the prophets, I know you do. You know then, that Slavery neither works mines and quarries, nor founds cities, nor builds ships, nor levies armies, nor mans navies. Why, then, will you insist closing up this new Territory of Kansas, against all enriching streams of immigration, while you pour into it the turbid and poisonous waters of African Slavery? Which one of you all, whether of Connecticut, or of Pennsylvania, or of Illinois, or of Michigan, would consent thus to extinguish the chief light of civilization within the State in which your own fortunes are cast, and in which your own posterity are to live?” ~ Speech in the Senate by Senator William H Seward, age 54, of New York.

April 10– Thursday– New York City– “The people of this country already knew that Colonel [John C] Fremont was one of the boldest and most indomitable men who have explored our wilderness, and marked out the path of empire; but only his intimate friends knew how heartily and thoroughly he sympathized in every movement towards freedom and the emancipation of the country from an unscrupulous and oppressive oligarchy. There is no equivocation or hesitation in Colonel Fremont’s declaration of sentiments, as regards the [free state] Government of Kansas.” ~ New York Times.

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John C Fremont

 

April 10– Thursday– New Orleans, Louisiana– A ship with 200 recruits leaves to join the force of the freebooter William Walker in Nicaragua.

April 11– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– In response to the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher’s assertion that a Sharp’s rifle is a better argument against slavery than the Bible and his defense of the practice of sending guns to Northern settlers in Kansas, in today’s issue of The Liberator William Lloyd Garrison writes: “The rhetoric . . . is very fine, and the spirit of it as tender and magnanimous at is compatible with a deadly use of Sharp’s rifles. Mr. Beecher says, ‘There are times when self-defense is a religious duty’– but not with murderous weapons, we beg leave to add. Are there no times when martyrdom becomes such a duty from which one ‘cannot shrink, without leaving honor, manhood, and Christian fidelity behind’? ‘But I say unto you, Overcome evil with good. They that take the sword shall perish with the sword.’ The weapons of our struggle are not carnal.”

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a Sharp’s rifle

 

April 11– Friday– Rivas, Nicaragua– Costa Rican forces defeat the soldiers of the American mercenary and freebooter William Walker[ 1824-1860]. On Walker and his crimes and misdeeds, see, By-ways of War; the Story of the Filibusters (1901) by James J Roche; Filibusters and Financiers; the Story of William Walker and His Associates (1916) by William O Scroggs; William Walker, Filibuster (1932) by Merritt Parmelee Allen; The Filibuster: the Career of William Walker (1937) by Laurence Greene.

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William Walker

 

April 12– Saturday– New York City– “That Walker is selected as the instrument of important changes in Central and perhaps Southern America, we have a strong conviction. All the circumstances attendant upon his recent acts point to that result. The moderation which he has exhibited in his dealings with the other Central States, whilst it has won for him the respect and good will of the liberal portion of their populations, has only been regarded by their rulers as a proof of weakness. The Costa Rican government, with a fatuity which will be looked upon as suicidal, has thought fit to declare war against the man who holds its fate in his hands, and whose forbearance constituted its only security. Ere many weeks elapse, Costa Rica will in all probability be annexed to Nicaragua, under . . . Walker’s . . . sway, thereby forming the first link in the chain of a powerful Central American confederation. It is likely that this event will operate as a salutary lesson upon the other States; but if it should not, their hostility will only hasten the consummation of an object which all friends of liberty must regard as holding out the only hope of salvation for Central America.” ~ Frank Leslies Weekly

April 12– Saturday– California, Missouri– A sale of slaves includes a 5 year old boy for $505, a 7 year old boy for $886, a 10 year old boy for $1,015 and a 26 year old woman with her 18 month old child for $1355. [The $1355 would be the equivalent of $39,000 today, using the Consumer Price Index.]

April 15– Tuesday– Richmond, Indiana– “I would like to know if a woman does not need as much property to support a family of children as a man, who gets higher wages for labor? But no; they deprive her of property, reduce her wages, and then compel her to wear away her life in unremitting toil, for a mere pittance, to provide for herself and her helpless children. Now, I ask, what justice is there in this? It is no wonder that people blush at the name of Slavery! I do not intend to cast reflections upon all; for I am sure that we have some true and earnest friends– even among gentlemen– who consider that women are capable of fulfilling a higher mission than what is generally assigned them. But I do censure our unjust rulers, who pride themselves in revelry and drunkenness and he is considered the greatest hero, who can display the most vulgarity, and trample upon the rights of his fellow men!” ~ letter from Almira M. Smith in today’s The Lily.

April 18– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “To the exclusion of much other matter designed for our present [edition], we publish entire, (with the exception, of a small portion of the testimony which he adduced in support of his positions, as given by both parties in Kansas,) the very able, eloquent, comprehensive statesman-like speech of the Hon. William H. Seward, delivered in the U.S. Senate [April 9th] on the Kansas question. We are sure our subscribers will be eager to peruse it. Its arraignment of the President is bold, direct, explicit, worthy of the days of ‘76.” ~ The Liberator.

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William Seward

 

April 18– Friday– New York City– In response to a piece in the Richmond [Virginia] Enquirer which praises border ruffians as “the noblest type of mankind” and that without slavery that some white men will be reduced to the status of European peasants as “mere hereditary bondsmen” the New York Times comments “No solitary reason can be urged for extending Slavery into Kansas which would not have equal weight in favor of reducing to slavery the laboring classes in every Northern State.”

April 19– Saturday– New York City– “As the question of the probability of hostilities between this country and Great Britain has been happily set at rest by the common sense of the people of both, it hardly seems worth while to discuss any of the collateral issues raised by it. And yet there is a consideration which has been extensively made use of in the discussion of its chances, to which it may be useful, in view of future contingencies, to devote a few remarks. . . . Canada has now but little if any thing to gain by annexation to the United States. It enjoys as much of the privileges of self-government as it would do as a member of the Union, and commercially speaking, it is a question whether it could derive any additional advantages from the connection. We do not see in what respect we ourselves should be benefitted by it. The Canadian [provinces] would, to be sure, bring us a large additional territory, but of this we have enough as it is. We must not forget to balance against this acquisition the fact that it would also bring us a large French population, the most difficult of any to assimilate with our own, and with their religion likely to prove a troublesome element in our present political condition. We incline to the opinion that Canada is much more useful to us as it is than it could possibly be if it were a member of the Union. It serves as a sort of debatable land to which the discontented spirits who come out here from Europe, and who cannot settle down under republican institutions, may retire as a sort of compromise between their new prejudices and their old hatreds. We are best rid of such people. They only breed disorder and trouble amongst us, and it is, therefore, an advantage to have neighbors who are ready to take them off our hands.” ~ Frank Leslies Weekly

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Anna Sarah Kugler

 

April 19– Saturday– Ardmore, Pennsylvania– Birth of Anna Sarah Kugler, who will become a physician and serve as a Lutheran medical missionary to India from 1883 until her death on July 20, 1930.

April 20– Sunday– Springfield, Massachusetts– “Most heartily do I join with those friends of peace and good will, whose thank-offerings have, through the last number of The Liberator, been so cordially poured out to you for your most triumphant vindication of the heaven-descended doctrine of non-resistance, against the insane and illogical attacks of those, in other respects, sound, consistent, and excellent men, Henry Ward Beecher and Theodore Parker. Your words were timely and refreshing to every one whose mental and moral vision has been opened to see the divinity and beauty of those precepts of the Man of Nazareth, uttered in unostentatious and simple phrase – ‘Do good to them that hate you’ – ‘Resist not evil’ – &C To me, this is not only sound morality, but true philosophy. Like begets like. . . . it was no part of my intention to argue this question; you have done it completely. H.C. Wright and Adin Ballou have done it over and over again. Humanity in general owes much to them and to you for your joint and several labors in this sacred cause. I am greatly indebted to this distinguished triumvirate of peace; for the last fifteen years, there has scarcely been a day but I have thought more or less of each of you.” ~ letter from E. W. Twing to William Lloyd Garrison.

April 21– Monday– Rock Island, Illinois– The first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River opens between here and Davenport, Iowa.

April 25– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “Mr. Conway, pastor of the Unitarian Church in Washington, D.C., in a sermon lately preached there, said, ‘I have been ashamed to hear in Boston, the descendants of the Puritans apologizing for slavery. I am a Southern man, and they think Southerners like that. Southern politicians are willing to make use of such, while they laugh in their sleeves; but the noble men and women of the South grieve to see men falling thus meanly. I fear act contradiction from any one there when I say, they all respect a man from the North who will not bend from his principles; and not one of them thinks a doughface more to be valued than a cat’s-paw.’ We should think that Northerners who have apologized for slavery, and got down on their knees to do its bidding, would feel on reading this, that they have dirtied themselves all over for nothing.” ~ The Liberator.

April 25– Friday– New York City– The New York Times reports that President Pierce and Senator Stephen A Douglas of Illinois are supporting Senator Robert M Hunter of Virginia, age 47, in opposition to James Buchanan of Pennsylvania, as the Democratic nominee for president.

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Senator Robert Hunter

 

April 26– Saturday– Melbourne, Australia– Birth of Joseph George Ward, who will become the 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving from 1906 to 1912. [Dies July 8, 1930.]

April 29– Tuesday– New York City– “The official announcement that the treaty of peace [the Treaty of Paris, signed March 31st, ending the Crimean War] has at last been executed, will be received with almost universal satisfaction, although with little emotion, and no surprise. From the time when the propositions for peace were first suggested, up to yesterday afternoon, when the formal treaty was signed, scarcely any one, who gravely reflected on the matter, entertained much doubt as to what the issue would be. The public are not at present in possession of the particular terms upon which the treaty is based, but we believe that, as far as Great Britain is concerned, they will be strictly in accordance with what is fair and honorable. Although the mere announcement of the conclusion of Peace may be said to have excited comparatively little sensation, the circumstances attending it are already beginning to be felt. Lord Palmerston [British Prime Minister] assures us in his ministerial capacity, and with a full knowledge of what the terms of peace really are, that his ‘conviction is that the treaty which has just been concluded will be deemed satisfactory by this country and by Europe; that by the stipulations of the Treaty the integrity and independence of the Turkish Empire’ – that is to say, the sole object of the war– will be secured, as far as human arrangements can effect that purpose; that the Treaty is honorable to all Powers who are contracting parties to it, and that he (Lord Palmerston) trusts that while, on the one hand, it has put an end to a war which every friend of humanity must naturally have wished to see concluded, it will, on the other, lay the foundation of a lasting and enduring peace. Accompanying this assurance of the Premier, we may recognize the first fruits of peace in the general news of the day. The Bank of France has already reduced the rate of discount from £6 to £5 per cent., and the Bank of England is reported to be about to make a similar reduction. The accounts from the trading and manufacturing districts are also satisfactory.” ~ Frank Leslies Weekly

Election Year 1852~April

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Not one convention has taken place but the issues are coming into focus and candidates appearing. Issues include the expansion of slavery, enforcement of the Compromise of 1850, particularly the Fugitive Slave Act, the novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe, religious tolerance. And women are making an unusual amount of agitation.

April 1– Thursday– New York City– “Too many of those who are engaged in the present reform, seem to suppose that the great work we have to do, is to look to our fathers and brothers for help, and accept it when they grant it. True, we need their aid. To work efficiently and harmoniously, we must work together; but on woman rests the responsibility of elevating woman. . . . The law of progress is proclaimed by every page of human history, and whether we aid or retard the work, it still goes on, and they only are losers who oppose its progress. Let woman appeal to Legislative and Ecclesiastical bodies, as well as to Medical Colleges, setting forth the injury inflicted on humanity by the present laws and rules. Let her go herself before those public bodies, and set forth the difficulties under which she labors, the disabilities which are imposed upon her, the injustice of taxation without representation, and of not permitting her to be tried by a jury of her peers. It is objected to this last innovation, that if women sat as jurors, the sentences on woman would be less lenient than they now are. I shall not dispute this; time only can settle it. But admitting that it is so– that the sexes are more merciful to each other than to themselves, then so much greater the reason for woman to share the toil and the responsibility of jurorship. Let there be an interchange of good offices, that men may experience from them the mercy they have failed to find in man. Woman has a deep, intuitive, divine sense of justice, and she has a power of endurance, of quiet fortitude in bearing fatigue, hunger, thirst and sleeplessness, at least equal to man. Or if she has not, a superior education, by giving her habits of close attention and continued concentration of mind, will qualify her for the responsibility of jurorship. Of this I am very certain, if woman is not capable of fulfilling the duties of that post, she will not be elevated to it, or, if elevated, will soon vacate it. Character and ability, like water, will find their level as a general fact; and this accounts for the present position of woman. She is just beginning to realize her wealth of mind, and moral power.” ~ Letter from Sarah Grimke in The Lily. [On Sarah Grimke and her sister Angelina, see the excellent biography The Grimke Sisters from South Carolina: Pioneers for Woman’s Rights and Abolition (1967) by Gerda Lerner.]

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April 2– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– In The Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison criticizes Senator Stephen A Douglas of Illinois as a strong supporter of the South and southern interests.

April 5– Monday– New York City– Reverend W S Balch delivers a lengthy lecture to a large audience in which he argues that no one can be a good republican while claiming allegiance to the pope and the Roman Catholic Church.

April 5–Monday– Washington, D. C.–Congress passes a resolution affirming support of the Compromise of 1850 and mandating full enforcement of all its provisions.

April 8– Thursday– Rochester, New York– “My labors, since the last issue, have quite assured me of returning strength. I have delivered five anti-slavery lectures; two at Hemlock Lake, Livingston County, two at Honeoye, Ontario County, and one in the Congregational Church, St. Paul Street, Rochester: and from these labors, I have experienced no other inconvenience, save that necessarily involved in absence from my post. . . . In a word, I found them as clear as light, in respect to all important points connected with the anti-slavery question; and as strong as steel, in their adhesion to them. I speak this, however, as especially applying to the members of the Independent Congregational Church of Honeoye, for I doubt not, that outside of it there might easily be found many that would not answer his description. This being my first visit to Honeoye, the friends of the slave thought that it would be well for me to narrate my experience in slavery. – This I did, in my second lecture, and it was most gratifying to observe the evidence of sympathy, in old and young, as they listened to my simple story. At the close of my lecture, several came forward and subscribed for my paper, and otherwise rendered me “material aid.” The result of my lecturing tour, is, that I am cheered and strengthened; having had abundant evidence that there are yet “ears to hear,” and hearts to feel. Oh! that the means could be had to send anti-slavery lecturers into every section of the State. – The people must have “line upon line,” and “precept upon precept,” if they are ever confirmed in the great principles of human liberty, upon which the anti-slavery movement is founded.” ~ Frederick Douglass in his Frederick Douglass’ Paper.

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April 9– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “Mr. [Parker] Pillsbury took up the subject of the identity of the interests of the working classes with the anti-slavery cause, and showed, as far as words have power to show, that the laboring classes of the North cannot hope for better things until slavery is abolished at the South. He proved that the Northern and Southern slaveholder were banded together by the of interest and trade; that the Church was blessing and sanctifying the unholy union; and unless some change came to the relief of the toiling even of the North, they would, in the progress of a very few years, be at starving point– be literally crushed by this triple and relentless power. Yet his burning eloquence and cogent arguments reached only a very few ears. The people are being led by the priests and politicians like lambs to the slaughter. They assist robbers to rob their own pockets, and then pay the priesthood to reconcile the deed with Divine justice, and themselves to their condition. Father, forgive them all, lo! they know not what they do!” ~Letter from Alonzo J. Grover to The Liberator. [On the life and work of Parker Pillsbury, 1809-1898, see: American Chivalry (1913) by Lillie Buffum Chace Wyman; Parker Pillsbury: Radical Abolitionist, Male Feminist (2007) by Stacey M Robertson.]

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Parker Pillsbury

 

April 10– Saturday– New York City– The New York Times asserts that there is “a party, more or less complete, in different sections of the South, whose sole bond of union is the conservation of Southern rights as dependent upon the institution of slavery and its perpetuity.”

April 11–Sunday– Boston, Massachusetts–At the request of Reverend Theodore Parker, peace activist Adin Ballou preaches a sermon on peace and non-resistence at Parker’s large church. [On the life and work of Adin Ballou, 1803- 1890, see: Autobiography of Adin Ballou, Containing an Elaborate Record and Narrative of His Life from Infancy to Old Age; with Appendixes (1896) compiled and edited by William S Heywood.]

April 13– Tuesday– Rodman, New York– Birth of Frank Winfield Woolworth, American businessman. [Dies April 8 1919. At his death his personal worth is $76,500,000 and his chain of stores numbers over 1,000.]

April 15– Thursday– New York City– The New York Times denounces “Southern Fanaticism” and efforts to expand slave territory and to reopen international slave trade. “There will be no . . . triumphant achievement by means of Quixotic advocacy of the system of African Slavery, or through any schemes, of agitation or coalition, for its extension.”

April 16– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts–”The General’s Position Defined. A Washington correspondent of the Nashville Banner recently had an interview with General [Winfield] Scott, who it is said is indignant at the charge made in some of the newspaper, that his position in regard to some, of the Compromise measures is ambiguous. According to the writer, Scott, in his conversation with him, said: ‘How can any one doubt my past or present earnest support of the Compromise measures? Did I not, at the first meeting of the friends of the Union, held in Castle Garden, New York, publicly proclaim my approval of them; at a period, too, when but few in that city advocated the propriety of their adoption? Immediately after my perusal of Mr. Clay’s first great speech in their defense, made in the Senate of the United States, I wrote to him . . . [to express support].’” ~ The Liberator.

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April 19– Monday– Baltimore, Maryland– The Whig Party members in the area hold a convention and debate whether or not to support General Winfield Scott as the party’s nominee for president, his supporters noting that he is a Southern man, born near Petersburg, Virginia, and a supporter of the Compromise of 1850.

April 20– Tuesday– Rochester, New York– Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, Amelia Bloomer, Ann Fitzhugh Smith and Abigail Smith Delavan, among others, establish a Woman’s Temperance Society.

April 20– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– The Whig Party caucus ends up bitterly divided along sectional lines.

April 22– Thursday– Rochester, New York– “We take it for granted that the Free Soilers of New York, if they possess any of the sympathies which their name implies, will shudder at the thought of being instrumental to the election of any of those men whose names we have mentioned. Setting aside General Scott, all those men have been mainly instrumental in enacting those terrible laws which have so much shocked our sensibilities, and made our legal code the abhorrence of the civilized world. It is needless to detail the atrocities which they have enacted, and the ferocious and bloody tyranny with which they have sought and are still seeking to enforce them. The ‘compromise’ which they have made, and which they all rely on for the presidency, and which each argues himself as most anxious and able to enforce, for cruelty and injustice, is not surpassed by any other criminal act in the political history of mankind.” ~ Frederick Douglass’ Paper.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe

 

April 22– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “This beautiful new evangel of freedom– for so the book seems to us– does not suddenly flash the intolerable light of God’s truth upon souls benighted in error, but softly drops veil after veil till they stand in mid-day brightness, wondering and remorseful. . . . . We have undertaken nothing like a critique of this book; but we must be allowed to say, even in this circumscribed notice, that the work to us gives evidence of greater power, of deeper and more various resources, than any other novel of the time. It displays rare dramatic genius, its characters are strongly drawn, refreshingly peculiar and original, yet wondrously true to nature and to many a reader’s experience of life. It abounds alike with quaint, delicious humor, and the most heart-searching pathos; with the vividest word-painting, in the way of description, with argument, philosophy, eloquence, and poetry. And straight and pure through all– through characterization, conversation, description, and narrative, sweeps the continuous moral– the one deep thought, flowing ceaselessly from the soul of the writer, and fed by ‘under-springs of silent deity.’So great and good a thing has Mrs. Stowe here accomplished for humanity, for freedom, for God, that we cannot refrain from applying to her sacred words, and exclaiming, ‘Blessed art thou among women!’” ~ The National Era reviews Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or Life Among the Lowly which ran in this newspaper in serialized form beginning in June of 1851 and just appeared in a 2 volume book form on March 20th. [In its first sixteen months it will sell 1,200,000 copies.]

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April 23– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “In the midst of all this stir about men’s rights, on indefatigable Friend, Anne Knight, is pursuing her course with the patience of a martyr. She writes letters . . . and publishes them by hundreds. She is admitted to all classes of society, and whether you find her at the soirees of the nobility, or among the humble builders on the great walls of time, there you hear her untiring plea for the equal political rights of women. A few evenings since, I saw her in close with a brilliant wit and beauty connected with the court circle. Anne had on her Quaker cap with a black net over it, a black satin dress with a large black shawl thrown over her shoulders to conceal a large satchel that she always carries about her filled with papers. The other wore a white dress, with a opera cloak, trimmed with ermine. ‘Night and day personified,’ quoth the gentleman at my left hand. I could not but smile at the appropriateness; but, after all her meek face had in it much of the serenity of midsummer moonlight, and I could not but admire its earnestness and purity.” ~ Letter from Mrs. H.M. T reprinted in The Liberator. [Anne Knight, 1786– 1862, an English Quaker, spent her adult life as a feminist and abolitionist activist.]

April 23–Friday– New York City–David Low Dodge, merchant and peace activist, founder of the New York Peace Society and the New York Bible Society, dies at age 77. [For information about his life and work, see: Pacifism in the United States from the Colonial Era to the First World War (1968) by Peter Brock, pp 450-463, 466-471, 478-482.]

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April 24– Saturday– Peoria, Illinois– Birth of Annis Bertha Ford Eastman, Congregational minister, feminist and scholar who will mother Crystal Eastman and Max Eastman. [Dies October 22, 1910.]

April 27– Cincinnati, Ohio– An anti-slavery convention opens today. Prominent participants include Frederick Douglass, George Washington Julian, Charles Calistus Burleigh and Reverend John G Fee.

April 29– Thursday– Rochester, New York– “Again, what but an approaching presidential election could have wrought a universal pledge of the Whig and Democratic parties to the policy, sanctity, and perpetuity of the Fugitive Slave Law and its kindred measures of compromise? Were there no such election at hand, who believes the people could have been induced to set forward candidates professedly for no other purpose but their fitness to sustain and continue those unconstitutional and infernal measures? At this moment the only issue between the Democratic and Whig parties, is, whether [Winfield] Scott, or [Daniel] Webster, or Fillmore, is a more suitable man than Cass, or [Stephen A] Douglas, or Marcy, or [James] Buchanan, &c., to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law upon the people of the North. The issue is not whether that like measures shall be continued, whether they are politic, just and wise, but which of the parties can furnish a president of the greatest ability to compel the people of the North to submit to them and obey them. We have no hesitation to say that this is the only issue between these great parties. They are both agreed to enforce these most humiliating and diabolical measures, and disagree only as to be the intellectual and physical force of their infernal materials. What has become of the Tariff question, the Bank question, the Land Distribution question, and all those questions which once agitated the country? All gone– gone forever; and the parties are rushing into the campaign for a popular vote on the question which is best qualified and disposed to pollute and oppress the North with pro-slavery sentiments and measures.” ~ Frederick Douglass’ Paper

April 30– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– Parker Pillsbury writes that “we have just closed a fatiguing and every way trying [anti-slavery] campaign in Maine. In Portland we had meetings of a truly cheering character. . . . we had some disturbance, though slight compared with what we often encounter. In Bath we good meetings, and found a few excellent and good friends.” ~ The Liberator.

Women’s History ~ Lillien J Martin

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Dr Lillien J Martin

 

Lillien Jane Martin, psychologist, educator, school administrator, gerontologist and feminist, was born in Olean, New York, on July 7, 1851. She graduated from Vasser in 1880 and earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of Gottingen in Germany in 1898. In 1899, Dr Martin received a telegram from David Starr Jordan, then President of Stanford University, inviting her to join Professor Frank Angell in the psychology faculty at Stanford. She taught at Stanford from 1899 to 1916, quickly gaining a reputation as an extraordinary teacher, very conscientious and personally concerned over the development of her students. Her excellent administrative skills and her well-developed organizational ability led Professor Angell to entrust administrative tasks to her and when Angell made periodic pilgrimages to Germany, Dr Martin was appointed acting head of the department, the first woman to be appointed a department head at Stanford. At her retirement from teaching she went into private practice. At age 78 Dr Martin traveled alone to Russia, later learned to drive and at age 81 made a coast to coast drive across the United States by automobile. She made a six month tour of South America at age 87. Dr Martin died in San Francisco, California, on March 26, 1943.

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Dr Martin authored a large number of articles and several books. On her life and work, see: Psychologist Unretired: the Life Pattern of Lillien J Martin (1948) by Miriam Allen De Ford; and see generally: Models of Achievement: Reflections of Eminent Women in Psychology (1983) edited by Agnes N O’Connell and Nancy Felipe Russo; Untold Lives: the First Generation of American Women Psychologists (1987) by Elizabeth Scarborough and Laurel Furumoto.

Womens History~ Helen Hunt Jackson

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Helen Hunt Jackson

 

Helen Fiske Hunt Jackson, poet, author, social researcher and advocate for Native Americans, was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on October 15, 1830. By the time she was 18, she and her sister were orphans. However, their father had provided for their education. On October 28, 1852, she married Lieutenant Edward Hunt, a brother of New York’s Governor Washington Hunt. She bore two sons to Hunt, both of whom died as children. Hunt himself died in an accident in October of 1863. Ms Hunt began her writing career after the death of her husband. She was a life-long friend of the poet Emily Dickinson and became a friend of Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Ralph Waldo Emerson. While traveling in Colorado for her health she met William Jackson, a wealthy Quaker, whom she married on October 22, 1875. With the advantages of her husband’s wealth, Ms Jackson was free to pursue her social and political interests as well as her poetry and fiction writing. A fiery and prolific writer, Ms Jackson engaged in heated exchanges with federal officials over the injustices committed against Native American tribes. Among her special targets was the Secretary of Interior, Carl Schurz, whom she once labeled “the most adroit liar I ever knew,” as she exposed the government’s violation of numerous treaties with the tribes. She documented the corruption and misdealings of Indian agents, military officers, and white settlers stole reserved native lands. Ms Jackson won the support of several newspaper editors who published her reports, including editor William Hayes Ward of the New York Independent, Richard Watson Gilder of the Century Magazine, and publisher Whitelaw Reid of the New York Daily Tribune. Her dramatic and well-documented expose, Century of Dishonor, appeared in 1881 and her romantic novel about the same issues, Ramona, was published in 1884. Helen Hunt Jackson died of cancer on August 12, 1885 in San Francisco, California.

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Century of Dishonor continues to be in print and her novels and poems remain available to interested readers. For information about her life, See: Lives of Girls Who Became Famous (1886) by Sarah K Bolton; Report of Mrs Helen Hunt Jackson and Abbot Kinney on the Mission Indians in 1883 (1887); Helen Hunt Jackson (1939) by Ruth Odell; Helen Hunt Jackson (1987) by Rosemary Whitaker; Westward to a High Mountain: the Colorado Writings of Helen Hunt Jackson (1994) edited by Mark I West; She Wields a Pen: American Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century (1997) edited by Janet Gray; Helen Hunt Jackson and Her Indian Reform Policy (1997) by Valerie Sherer Mathes; The Indian Reform Letters of Helen Hunt Jackson, 1879-1885 (1998) edited by Valerie Sherer Mathes.

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Womens History~ Dr Sarah Stevenson

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Dr Sarah Ann Hackett Stevenson

 

Sarah Ann Hackett Stevenson, physician, educator, author, school administrator, temperance advocate and activist in the Methodist church and Chicago area women’s clubs, was born on February 2, 1841 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. She graduated from the State Normal University of Illinois in 1863 and taught school for several years as well as serving as a school principal, Later Ms Stevenson spent a year in London, England, studying under Thomas Huxley. In 1874 she graduated from the Woman’s Hospital Medical College of Chicago with her MD, the valedictorian of her class. Dr Stevenson became the first woman to be a member of the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1876. She helped to found the Illinois Training School for Nurses in 1880 and in 1893 Governor John Altgeld appointed her to the Illinois State Board of Health, the first woman to serve on that Board. For many years Dr Stevenson was a close friend of the English woman’s rights activist Emily Faithful. She died in Chicago on August 14, 1909.

Her published works include: Boys and Girls in Biology (1875); The Physiology of Women (1880); Wife and Mother: Or, Information for Every Woman (1888).

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V0047593 A female doctor takes the pulse of a male patient Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org A cartoon showing a lady physician attending to a young man in an armchair. The caption suggests he has purposefully caught a cold in order to be seen by the young pretty doctor. Engraving 1865 By: George Du MaurierPublished: 23 December 1865. Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

A good biographical profile can be found at “Monstrous Productions or the Best of Womanhood? Progressive-Era Women in Medicine” by Brigid Lusk in Chicago History vol 28 #2 (Fall 1999) pp 4-19; see generally Distinguished Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago (1904); History of Medicine and Surgery and Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago (1922); Medicine in Chicago, 1850–1950 (1957); Send us a Lady Physician: Women Doctors in America, 1835–1920 (1985); Doctors Wanted: No Women Need Apply (1977).

Women’s History~ Elizabeth Ellet

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Elizabeth Fries Lummis Ellet

 

Elizabeth Fries Lummis Ellet, author, historian, editor, public speaker and advocate for the poor, was born at Sodus Point, New York, most likely in October of 1812. One of her teachers, a Quaker woman, aroused Elizabeth’s interest in history. She became the first American writer to emphasize the role of women in the development of the United States, beginning with her two volume Women of the American Revolution, published in 1848, with an additional volume in 1850. Subsequent works followed. Ms Ellet died in New York City on June 3, 1877. Later historians such as Mary Beard and Alice Morse Earle recognized the great contribution by Ms Ellet.

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Her other works include: The Characters of Schiller (1839); Joanna of Sicily (1840); Rambles about the Country (1840); Evenings at Woodlawn (1849); Family Pictures from the Bible (1849); Domestic History of the American Revolution (1850); Watching Spirits (1851); Nouvelettes of the Musicians (1851); Pioneer Women of the West (1852); Summer Rambles in the West (1853); The Practical Housekeeper (1857); Women Artists in All Ages and Countries (1859); The Queens of American Society (1867); Court Circles of the Republic (1869).

There is no book length biography; however, a good biographical essay by Alma Lutz can be found in Notable American Women, 1607– 1950: A Biographical Dictionary (1974), volume 1, pp569– 570.

Women’s History ~ Hallie Q Brown

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Hallie Q Brown

 

Hallie Q Brown was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 10, 1850, one of the six children born to her parents who were both former slaves. Ms Brown became an educator, school administrator, lecturer, author, suffragist, temperance advocate, church leader and activist. She graduated from Wilberforce University in 1873, campaigned for woman suffrage and against lynching, taught public speaking to hundreds of young black people, participated in the International Congress of Women in London in 1899, twice had an audience with Queen Victoria, lectured in many parts of Europe about African American life in the United States with a frequent focus on black music and poetry, and was a leader in the formation of women’s clubs for black women. Ms Brown died on September 16, 1949 in Wilberforce, Ohio.

For more about her life and work, see her books: Bits and Odds: a Choice Selection of Recitations (1880); Elocution and Physical Culture (1910); Our Women: Past, Present and Future (1925); Tales My Father Told and Other Stories (1925); Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction (1926); Pen Pictures of Pioneers of Wilberforce (1937).

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In addition, see: Lifting as They Climb (1933) by Elizabeth Lindsay Davis; Reconstructing Womanhood: the Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist (1987) by Hazel V Carby; Great African American Women (1999) by Darryl Lyman; Activist Rhetorics and American Higher Education, 1885– 1937 (2001) by Susan Kates; Black Pioneers in Communication Research (2006) by Ronald L Jackson.

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Women’s History~ Mary C Wheelwright

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Mary C Wheelwright, c.1905

 

Mary Cabot Wheelwright, anthropologist, philanthropist and museum founder, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 2, 1878. She was her parents’ only child, born when her father Andrew was 51 and her mother Sarah was 42. Mary’s mother Sarah was a close friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson and raised Mary in the religious liberalism of the Transcendentalists and the Unitarian Church. The family had substantial wealth from its Yankee trading origins. Although Andrew and Sarah took their daughter traveling through Europe, Egypt, and California, they were extremely protective. Mary had little formal education but read widely in things which interested her, including music and history. Although obliged to “knuckle under and do just what she was told,” she developed and held to her own strong opinions. She involved herself in social projects such as helping to develop a music school at a Boston settlement house. Her father died in 1908 and her mother in 1917, leaving Mary a small fortune in trust and the freedom to live the life she chose. In 1918, shortly before her 40th birthday, Mary Wheelwright arrived in the town of Alcalde, New Mexico, with her cousin, Evelyn Sears. Soon she was an enthusiastic Westerner, devoted to trail riding, camping, and convincing cowboys “that it was possible to be a good sport and also drink tea.” After becoming friends with Hasteen Klah, an esteemed Navaho “singer”, that is a traditional healer, she committed herself to the preservation of New Mexico’s historic and cultural Navaho legacies. In addition to founding the Museum of Navajo Ceremonial Art in 1936-37 (now the Wheelwright Museum), Mary Wheelwright made significant contributions to the Indian Arts Fund, the New Mexico Historical Society, and the Spanish Colonial Arts Society. She bought a cottage on Sutton’s Island where she lived when not traveling in Europe, India or the western United States. When a book of ballads collected in Maine was about to be published without the tunes, she brought a musicologist to gather the music and thereby enriched the publication at her own expense. Becoming friends with Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, she helped to fund Ms Eckstorm’s work in the preservation of history and culture of Native American people in Maine. Ms Wheelwright died at Sutton’s Island on July 19, 1958.

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Wheelwright Museum

 

For more information about her, see: Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement Six, 1956– 1960 (1980) pp 687-88; her own incomplete draft of an autobiography entitled “Journey Towards Understanding” can be found in A Quilt of Words: Letters & Original Accounts of Life in the Southwest, 1860– 1960 (1988) compiled by Sharon Niederman. No book length biography has yet been written. Her papers can be found at the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Women’s History~ Emily Greene Balch

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Emily Greene Balch

 

Emily Greene Balch, peace advocate, feminist, social reformer, economist, educator, social worker, researcher, author, internationalist, journalist and Nobel Laureate, was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts on January 8, 1867. She graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1889 and studied political science at the Sorbonne during 1890 to 1891 and taught at Wellesley College from 1896 to 1918. A friend and colleague of women such as Jane Addams and Vida Scudder, she was active in the Woman’s Peace Party and was one of the founders of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) where she served for some years as one of the executive officers. Out of deeply-held personal convictions she became a Quaker in 1921. In 1926 she investigated conditions in Haiti and published an expose of problems there, many caused by repeated interventions by the United States. Always politically astute, Ms Balch encouraged the United States in 1939 to accept a large number of refugees fleeing conditions in Germany. During the Second World War she opposed the internment of Japanese Americans and advocated for fair treatment. In 1955 she reached out to the people of China via a poem addressed to them. A co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946, she said in her acceptance, “I am hoping that 1946 will mark a turning point in the age-old effort to rid the world of war, to national disarmament, to renunciation of power politics, and to development of international trusteeship, not only for dependent peoples, but for regions and interests which are essentially supranational in character, such as the Polar regions and the main waterways of the world . . .” She donated her prize money to the WILPF.

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In her Nobel Lecture which she delivered on April 7, 1948, Ms Balch declared, “As the world community develops in peace, it will open up great untapped reservoirs in human nature. Like a spring released from pressure would be the response of a generation of young men and women growing up in an atmosphere of friendliness and security, in a world demanding their service, offering them comradeship, calling to all adventurous and forward reaching natures. We are not asked to subscribe to any utopia or to believe in a perfect world just around the comer. We are asked to be patient with necessarily slow and groping advance on the road forward, and to be ready for each step ahead as it becomes practicable. We are asked to equip ourselves with courage, hope, readiness for hard work, and to cherish large and generous ideals.”

Zurich Congress Session, 1919

Zurich Congress Session, 1919

Emily Greene Balch died in Cambridge Massachusetts, on January 9, 1961, a day after her 94th birthday. On her life and work, see: Emily Greene Balch: the Long Road to Internationalism (2010) by Kristen E Gwinn; Champions for Peace: Women Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize (2006) by Judith Hicks Stiehm; Vote and Voice: Women’s Organizations and Political Literacy, 1915– 1930 (2004) by Wendy B Sharer; Pioneers for Peace: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, 1915– 1965 (2nd ed. 1980) by Gertrude Bussey and Margaret Tims; Beyond Nationalism: the Social Thought of Emily Greene Balch (1972) edited by Mercedes M Randall; For Peace and Justice: Pacifism in America, 1914– 1941 (1971) by Charles Chatfield; Improper Bostonian: Emily Greene Balch (1964) by Mercedes M Randall; The Miracle of Living (1941) by Emily Greene Balch; Women at the Hague: the International Congress of Women and its Results (1915) by Jane Addams, Emily Greene Balch and Alice Hamilton

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Balch, circa 1899

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