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Full text of "Life And Writings Of Amelia Bloomer"

IFE AND WRITINGS OF 
AMELIA BLOOMER 



BY 

D. C. BLOOMER, LL. D. 

WITH PORTRAITS 




BOSTON 

ARENA PUBLISHING COMPANY 
COPLEY SQUARE 

1895 

Republished 1^6 

Scholarly Press, Inc., 22929 Industrial Drive Fast 
St. Clair Shores, Michigan 4KOKO 



COPYRIGHTED, 1895, 

BY 
D. C. BLOOMER, 



Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data 

Bloomer, Dexter C 1820-1900. 

Life and writings of Amelia Bloomer. 

Reprint of the ed. published by Arena Pub. Co., 
Boston. 

1. Bloomer, Amelia Jenks, I8l8-l89ii-. 2. Wom- 
en's rights United States. I. Title. 
HQU13.B6B6 1975b 301. M 1 2 '0921+ 72-78650 

ISBN 0-403-0199lf-X 



TO MY WIFE. 



PREFACE. 



As MRS. BLOOMER 'was one of the pioneers in 
what is sometimes called the "Woman's Move- 
ment," it seems right that a record of her work 
should be placed in durable form. Such a record 
I have endeavored to set forth in the following- 
pages. While giving- a brief narrative of her life, 
I have also included, as being most satisfactory, 
quite extended extracts from her writings ; and one 
of her lectures is printed in full. I will add for 
the information of the curious that a complete 
bound copy in one volume of the LILY, as printed 
and issued by Mrs. Bloomer for six years, is de- 
posited in the State Library, in Albany, N. Y. , 
and is probably "the only copy of that work In 

existence. 

IX C. BLOOMER. 
September, 1895. 



CONTENTS. 



PBEF ACE 



CHAPTER I. 

HEB EABLY LIFE HEB MABBIAGE TIPPECANOE AND 
TYLEB, TOO! A WBITEB FOB NEWSPAPEBS 
WASHINGTONIANISM JOINS THE CHUBCH ..... ... 7 

CHAPTER II. 

UNJUST LAWS FOB WOMEN BEFOBM BEGINS WOMEN 
TO THE FBONT MBS. BLOOMEB THOPECS ABOUT 
IT .......................... . .................... 28 

CHAPTER III. 

SHE WBITES ABOUT IT BIBTH OF THE JDILY NEW 
WOBK FOB HEB FIBST IN THE FIELD MB8 
STANTON APPEAJRS MBS. BLOOMEB CONVEBTED 
BECOMES ASSISTANT POSTMASTEB THE LILY ON 
HEB HANDS TISITS NEW YOBK CITY MISS AN- 
THONY IS INTBODUCED MBS. BLOOMEB ON THE 
TENNESSEE LEGISLATURE FOB WOMAN 8UF- 
FBAGE LETTER TO AKBON CONVENTION "BUL- 
TNG A WIFE " ................................... 38 

CHAPTER IT. 

THE BEFOBM: DBESS WOMAN'S ATTIBE FASHION IN 

DBESS ............................... .,,.., ---- 65 

I 



CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER V. PAGE 

THE LILY PROSPEROUS WOMAN'S TEMPERANCE SO- 
CIETY MRS. BLOOMER ON DIVORCE CONVENTION 
INFLUENCE THE WOMEN REJECTED AT SYRACUSE 
CONVENTION IN ALBANY A LECTURER IN 
NEW YORK CITY AT HORACE GREELEY'S HOUSE 
AT METROPOLITAN HALL MRS. BLOOMER'S 
SPEECH IN BUFFALO AT HOME HATING THK 

MEN GOOD TEMPLARS IN THE PULPIT IN 

ROCHESTER AGAIN ; A CHANGE A. LECTURE 
TOUR; FOURTH OF JULY RESTING NEW LEC- 
TURES A CLUB OF TALKERS 82 

CHAPTER VI. ' 

AT THE WORLD'S CONVENTION A WESTERN TRIP 
CONTINUES HER JOURNEY AN ANNOUNCEMENT; 
A REMOVAL A TESTIMONIAL DEMONSTRATION 
OF RESPECT TO MR. AND MRS. BLOOMER 133 

CHAPTER VII. 

AN ASSISTANT EDITOR PROSPERITY OF THE LILY 

ENFRANCHISEMENT OF WOMAN WOMAN 5 S RIGHT 

WOMAN'S CLAIM DESTROYING LIQUOR GOLDEN 
RULES FOR WIVES THE CLERGY MALE BLOOM- 
ERS WOMEN MECHANICS WOMAN'S DRESS 

WOMEN DRUNKARDS PROGRESS SEWING MA- 
CHINES GOVERNOR SEYMOUR'S VRTO FIGHTING 

HER WAY ON THE LECTURE PLATFORM AT THE 
OHIO STATE CONVENTION A WOMAN TYPESETTER 
A STRIKE FOLLOWED LUCY STONE APPEARS 
A VISIT TO NEW YORK STATE AT THE NEW 
YORK STATE CONVENTION GOOD TEMPLARS IN 
OHIO THE LILY SOLD SHE IS SORRY 149 

CHAPTER VIII. 

ON HER TRAVELS STARTS FOR IOWA EARLY DAYS 
IN THE WEST DELAYED IN ST. LOUIS THE MIS- 

2 



CONTENTS. 

3PAGS 

SOURI RIVER'S RAVAGES-~KX>NSENTS TO DELIVER 

A LECTURE ODD MKTHO3D OF ADVERTISING OFF 

IN A STAGECOACH BEFBIENDS A STRANGEB 

AB RIVES AT GLENWOOD EABLY HARDSHIPS 

SUFFFB FROM DROUTH FURNITURE WAS SCABCE 

BAYS OF HOSPITALITY EABLY OMAHA 

PLASTJSBED HOUSES WEBE SCABCE WORSHIPPED 

IN I*OQ- CHUBCHES EARLY CHURCH WOBK DE- 
FENDS WOMAN' S RIGHTS THE NEBBASKA LEGIS- 
LATURE INTERESTED DANGERS MET IN CBO6S- 
INGh THE MISSOUBI BUFFETS THE ICE IN A SKIFF 
WOMAN'S EQUALITY IN LAW DESCBIBES COUN- 
CIL BLUFFS DESCBIBES HEB NEW HOME LIFE IN 
COUNCIL BLUFFS AG-AINST STBONG- DBINK HER 
EXPEBIENCES FOB WOMAN'S ENFRANCHISEMENT 

VOTING AND FIOHTING PBOOBESS STATE SUF- 

FBAGE SOCIETY HISTOBY OF IOWA SUFFBAGE 

WOBK ESSAYS BY MBS. BLOOMEB " WIFELY 

DUTIES" " NAMES OF MABKIED WOMEN" " IS 

IT BIGHT FOB WOMEN TO LECTUBE ? " ** WOMAN'S 

RIGHT TO PBEACH" "PETTICOAT PBESENTATION" 
** OBJECTIONS TO WOMAN SUFFBAGE AN- 
SWEBED " " ON HOUSEKEEPING ; WOMAN'S BUB- 
DENS " THE CIVIL WAB MBS. BLOOMEB*S AD- 
DBESS LETTEB TO CONVENTION OF LOYAL, 
WOMEN VISITS WASHINGTON IN NEW YOBK 
CITY VISITS COLOBADO A LETTEB ADOPTED 

CHILDBEN CHBISTIAN LIFE AND WOBK HER 

CHABACTEB ANALYZED " ABOUT THE FIBST SIN- 
NEK" GOLDEN ANNIVEBSABY CLOSING YEABS 

END OF AN EABNEST LIFE PASSES AWAY PEACE- 
FULLY GBEAT LOSS TO COUNCIL BLUFFS HEB 

LIFE A BUSY ONE HKB CHBISTIAN CHARACTER 

LABGE CIRCLE OF FRIENDS MEMORIAL DIS- 
COURSE 190 



CONTENTS. 

APPENDIX. PAG* 

RI0HT TO THE BALLOT 335 

A BEPiLY * 365 

MBS. STABTTOH OK MBS. BLOOMEK 375 

MEM.OBIAX. SEKMOKo ,.,.... *.* 876 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



AMELIA BLOOMER Frontispiece. 

BEXTEB c. BLOOMEE : Facing page 198. 



LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

AMELIA BLOOMER. 



CHAPTER FIRST. 

HER EARLY LIFE. 

THE early life of the subject of this Memoir 
was devoid of any striking incidents. Her 
parents were natives of the little State founded 
by Roger Williams, where both were born, 
passed their early years, and were married some 
time in the year 1806. Her father, Ananias 
Jenks, was a clothier by trade, and was a man 
of a great deal of force of character. The 
maiden name of her mother was Lucy Webb. 
She was a devoted Christian woman, and had 
enjoyed to the fullest extent the training of 
a New-England Puritan family of the last cent- 



8 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

ury. She was a faithful member of the Pres- 
byterian church, and she aimed to bring up her 
children in its somewhat strict teachings. With 
her and her family the holy Sabbath com- 
menced with the going down of the sun on 
Saturday evening, and ended with the setting 
of the sun on the following day. This was an 
old Puritan notion, and was very convenient for 
the boys and girls who wished to form acquaint- 
ances and spend pleasant hours together on 
the evening of the first day of the week. 
Ananias Jenks, the father of Amelia Jenks, 
removed to the state of New York with his 
wife in the early days of their married life, re- 
siding successively in the counties of Onondaga, 
Cortlandt, Wayne, and Seneca. To Ananias 
and Lucy Jenks several children were born, at 
least four daughters and two sens. One of the 
latter died in early childhood ; but the other, 
Augustus, was spared until about his thirtieth 
year. He married, removed to the state of 
Michigan, where five children were born in his 
family, enlisted as a volunteer in one of the 
Michigan regiments in the Civil War, and lost 



AMELIA BLOOMER. g 

his life at the great battle of Gettysburg. The 
four daughters were Adalme, Elvira, Amanda, 
and Amelia ; Amelia being the youngest of the 
family, with perhaps the exception of Augustus, 
who may have been younger. All the children 
married : Adaline left children surviving her ; 
Amanda, one only, a daughter ; while none 
were born to either Elvira or Amelia. 

The last named, Amelia, was bom in the town 
of Homer, Cortlandt County, New York, on the 
27th day of May, 1818. In some autobiograph- 
ical notes left by her, we find the following in 
reference to her early years ; 

" My earliest recollections are of a pleasant 
home in Homer, Cortlandt County, New York. 
Here was I born, and here the first six years of 
my life were passed. But little of these early 
days can now be recalled after sixty years have 
been added to them, yet there are a few inci- 
dents that are so deeply impressed upon mem- 
ory, that they seem but the occurrence of a 
week ago. First I recall the visit of some 
Indians to my father's house, and the latter 
buying a large knife of them. The Indians, 
my father and the knife come before me now 



10 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

as though they were indeed a reality of the 
present. Again, a - scene conies before the 
mind's eye; of my brother and myself looking 
from an upper window, and seeing some Indians 
knocking at the door of a small untenanted 
house opposite to us. My brother, who was a 
few years older than myself, called out Come 
in/ The Indians opened the door and stepped 
in, then out, and looked up and around sorely 
puzzled at hearing a voice, but seeing no one, 
while my brother and I laughed and danced 
behind the blind at the trick which we had 
played upon them. Several children were on 
their way to school. One little girl jumped 
upon the wheel of a wagon which stood in front 
of a house, intending to get in and ride to 
school. The horse became frightened while she 
stood on the wheel, and ran away, throwing 
her violently to the ground and injuring her 
severely. The mirth of childhood was turned 
to sadness, and we trudged on to school, after 
seeing her unconscious form carried into the 
house. I could not have been over four or five 
years old when these things happened, but 
they are deeply engraved on memory's tablet/' 

Amelia was carefully trained at home by her 
truly Christian mother, and from her she im- 



AMELIA BLOOMER. n 

bibed those high sentiments of honesty, truth, 
duty, fidelity and regard for the rights of 
others which actuated her during the whole 
course of her life. Her educational opportuni- 
ties were limited to the district school of those 
early days. Then, It was commonly thought 
that about all a girl should be taught was to 
read and write, with a little grammar and less 
arithmetic. These essentials of a common- 
school education were fairly mastered by the 
little girl, and to such an extent that, when she 
arrived at about the age of seventeen years, 
she was employed as a teacher in one of the 
district schools at or near the village of Clyde, 
in Wayne County, New York. A single short 
term, however, was the whole extent of her life 
as a teacher. For the brief period of her en- 
gagement, we are told, she discharged her duties 
with much acceptance. Her kindness of heart, 
united with wonderful firmness and a strict re- 
gard for truth and right, qualities which dis- 
tinguished her throughout her whole life, en- 
deared her to the children who came under her 
care. 



13 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 



HER MARRIAGE. 

School-teaching however soon ended ; and 
shortly after, she became a member of the 
family of her sister Elvira, then recently married 
and residing in Waterloo, New York, to which 
place her father's family also removed about 
the same time. Here the days passed along 
smoothly and quietly until about the year 
1837, when she became an inmate in the family 
of Mr. Oren Chamberlain residing near Water- 
loo, as the governess and tutor of his three 
youngest children. This position she continued 
to fill with entire satisfaction for two or three 
years. The children all lived to years of ma- 
turity, and always manifested great affection in 
subsequent years for their former teacher. In 
this family, the life of Miss Jenks moved 
along quietly and evenly. She enjoyed fully 
its confidence and the love of her pupils. She 
formed new friendships and the circle of her 
acquaintances was widened. Among the latter, 
was a young man residing in Seneca Falls en- 



AMELIA BLOOMER. jj 

gaged in the study of law, while taking also a 
large interest in the political movements of that 
day. They met quite frequently, and soon 
strong ties of friendship were formed between 
them, and the friendship ripened as the months 
passed by into love. They became engaged, 
and finally were married at the residence of 
John Lowden in the village of Waterloo, New 
York, on the i$th day of April, 1840, by the 
Rev. Samuel H. Gridley, the Presbyterian 
clergyman of the village ; and in subsequent 
years Mrs. Bloomer frequently alluded with 
much satisfaction to the fact that he omitted 
altogether the word "obey" in the marriage 
ceremony. Only a few friends were present at 
the marriage, but among them besides Mr. and 
Mrs. Lowden were A. E. Chamberlain, Miss 
Caroline Starks, and Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Fuller, 
all of whom together with Mr, Lowden are still 
living at the time (March, 1895) of writing 
these lines. 

At the time of this marriage Mr. Bloomer 
was twenty-four years of age, quite tall and 
slim, weighing about one hundred and fifty 



14 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

pounds, with gray eyes, a rather tall forehead, 
and long arms, and of bashful and reserved 
demeanor. His bride was much smaller, five 
feet four inches in height, and weighed about a 
hundred pounds. She had a well-formed head, 
bright, blue eyes bordering on black, auburn 
hair and an exceedingly pleasant and winning 
smile. Like her husband, she was reserved in 
manner, and very unwilling to force herself 
upon the notice of strangers, but when she 
once became acquainted with them she enjoyed 
their society most heartily. She was small in 
person and modest in demeanor, and standing 
beside her tall husband, at once attracted the 
attention and secured the confidence of her 
friends and associates. She was twenty-two 
years of age at the time of her marriage. Her 
husband, Dexter C. Bloomer, was of Quaker 
parentage, had a fairly good common-school 
and academic education, had spent several 
years in teaching school, commenced the study 
of law at the age of twenty, and at the time 
of his marriage was still a student and one of 
the proprietors and editors of the Seneca County 



AMELIA BLOOMER. jg 

Courier , a weekly newspaper printed In Seneca 
Falls, N. Y. 

The day following their marriage Mr. and 
Mrs. Bloomer drove in a carriage to the resi- 
dence of Mr. Isaac Fuller, in Seneca Falls, 
where rooms had been prepared for their recep- 
tion. Mr. Fuller was Mr. Bloomer's partner 
in the printing business, and both he and his 
excellent wife are still (in 1895) living in the 
same town, and have ever proved most dear 
and excellent friends of the young couple who 
on the i6th day of April, 1840, took up their 
residence with them. 

Mr. Bloomer had very many friends in the 
town, and on the evening of his arrival with 
his bride they filled Mr. Fuller's rooms to wel- 
come the newly wedded couple to their new 
home and their new life. With them came 
many members of a fire company of which Mr. 
Bloomer was a member, accompanied by a band 
of music, and all went merry as a marriage bell. 
Refreshments were of course served, and among 
them a plentiful supply of wine, for in those 
days, this was the almost certain accompani- 



1 6 LIFE AiVD WRITINGS OP 

ment of all social gatherings. All, or nearly 
all, partook of it; and just then occurred an 
incident which told most instructively as to the 
moral character and firmness of the young and 
happy bride. Glasses were filled with the 
sparkling beverage, and one of them was pre- 
sented to her by the bridegroom himself, but 
she firmly yet pleasantly declined to accept it. 
" What/' he said with the greatest earnestness, 
" will you not drink a glass of wine with me on 
this joyful occasion ? Surely it can do you 
no harm/' " No/' she smilingly yet firmly re- 
plied, " I cannot, I must not." A crowd of 
guests standing around could but admire her 
great self-denial and devotion to principles ; and 
ever after, to the end of her days, she was the 
firm and consistent advocate of Temperance 
and the unceasing enemy of strong drink in all 
its varied forms. 

TIPPECANOE AND TYLER, TOO ! 

The year 1840 was a memorable one in the 
history of this country, It witnessed the great 



AMELIA BLOOMER. I j 

u Tippecanoe and Tyler, too/' campaign, In 
which Gen. William Henry Harrison and Mar- 
tin Van Buren were opposing candidates. The 
whole country went wild with political speech- 
making, songs, log-cabins, great gatherings of 
people and enormous processions of the oppos- 
ing hosts. Mr. Bloomer was absorbed heart and 
soul in the contest. He was the editor of the 
only Whig paper in the village and county, 
and he was present at political caucuses, con- 
ventions and assemblages in all that region. 
His wife at first took little interest in the great 
hubbub raised over the land. In fact, her 
health was quite delicate that first summer of 
her married life. It Is remembered distinctly 
now by the writer of these lines, that while he 
was on the 4th of July, 1840, delivering an ad- 
dress at a political celebration, she was at home 
prostrated with some form of intermittent 
fever. His address over, he hastened to her 
bedside ; and soon after, having so far re- 
covered as to leave her room, she was taken to 
Avon Springs, in western New York, where 
she regained her health so as to return to her 



1 8 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

boarding place early in August. But Mrs. 
Bloomer gradually became interested in the 
political turmoil so far as to attend political 
gatherings, visit the log-cabin which stood ofl 
one of the principal streets of the town, and 
assist in preparing badges and mottoes for the 
use of those who espoused the cause advocated 
by her husband. 

And so the months moved quietly along 
during that eventful year, and the first Of 
October found Mr. and Mrs. Bloomer settled 
down to housekeeping in a modest dwelling Jtl 
Seneca Falls. The great election contest ter- 
minated in November, and they both rejoiced 
most heartily in the result, although what par- 
ticular benefit it would be to either of them, 
except the satisfaction of being on the winning 
side, it would have been very difficult for either 
to very fully explain. 

A WRITER FOR NEWSPAPERS. 

As has already been stated, Mr. Bloomer 
one of the editors of a village paper printed in 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 19 

Seneca Falls. He was a great reader of books 
and newspapers, and sought to inspire in his 
young wife a similar love for the current litera- 
ture of the day* This was no difficult task, 
for she also was fond of books and sought in 
all suitable ways to store her mind with useful 
knowledge. But Mr. Bloomer desired her to 
go further and become a writer for the papers 
also. He had got the idea well fixed in his 
mind, from letters received from her during the 
years preceding their marriage, that she pos- 
sessed the power of expressing her thoughts 
on paper with both ease and grace. But from 
the natural modesty of her character, she was 
quite unwilling to embark in this to her new 
and untried field of mental experience. Never- 
theless, through the kind and persuasive appeals 
of the husband the young wife began to commit 
her thoughts to paper, and from time to time 
there appeared in the newspapers of the town 
various articles bearing upon the social, moral 
and political questions of those times. They 
all appeared anonymously, sometimes written 
over one signature and then over another, but 



20 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

they all came from Mrs. Bloomer's pen and 
excited no little curiosity among the people of 
the town as to their real author. It was in this 
way that Mrs. Bloomer acquired that easy and 
pleasant style of writing for publication which 
so marked her career in later years. 

WASHINGTONIANISM, 

Meantime, the great Washingtonian Tem- 
perance Reformation of 1840 and 1841 made 
its appearance, led by the six reformed drunk- 
ards of Baltimore. It swept over the country 
like a whirlwind ; thousands of men under its 
influence were led to abandon their drinking 
habits and become useful and sober citizens, 
while thousands more attached their name to 
the Temperance pledge of total abstinence from 
all intoxicating liquors. This movement 
reached Seneca Falls and produced a great 
sensation, almost revolutionizing public senti- 
ment on the subject. Pollard and Wright, 
two of the reformed men of Baltimore, visited 
the town and held public meetings in halls and 
parks and were listened to by great crowds of 



AMELIA BLOOMER* 21 

people. An " Independent Temperance Total- 
Abstinence Society " was formed headed by 
reformed men, and the current topics of the 
time nearly all turned upon this all-absorbing 
subject. 

Into this movement Mrs. Bloomer entered 
with her whole heart and soul. Along with 
her husband, she attended the great Temper- 
ance gatherings, and took an active part in 
carrying forward the great reformation* She 
acted on committees, and wrote articles in sup- 
port of the good work* A newspaper called 
the Water Bucket was issued as the organ of 
the Temperance society of the village. For 
this Mrs, Bloomer wrote freely and vigorously. 
A copy of this paper cannot be found, but a 
few articles from her pen have been preserved. 
Here is one of them. It was written in 1842 
and Is a fair specimen of Mrs. Bloomer's then 
style of composition. She has been answering 
objections to the Temperance pledge, when she 
proceeds as follows : 

il Another cannot make cake fit to eat without 



22 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

wine or brandy. A third must have brandy on 
her apple dumplings, and a fourth comes out 
boldly and says she likes to drink once in a 
while herself too well What flimsy excuses 
these ! brandy and apple dumplings, forsooth ! 
That lady must be a wretched cook indeed who 
cannot make apple dumplings, mince pies or 
cake palatable without the addition of poison- 
ous substances. But I would ask these ladies 
if they have ever tried to do without it? Their 
answer I fear would be in the negative. They 
do not wish to do without it. They act from 
purely selfish motives. Would they but visit 
the drunkard's home and see the misery and 
wretchedness that is brought upon families 
once happy and prosperous as themselves, 
and hear the drunkard's wife recount her tale 
of woe, methinks their hearts would soften. 
They could then sympathize with those who 
are trying to break loose from the galling yoke 
of intemperance 7 and instead of being stum- 
bling blocks in our way, they would come to our 
aid with their whole hearts and devote their 
talents to the cause of temperance, nor cease 
in their efforts until drunkenness should be 
completely driven from the land. What ex- 
amples these ladies are setting before their 
families ! Have they a husband, a brother or 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 33 

a son, and have they no fear that the example 
they are now setting them may be the means 
of their filling a drunkard's grave ? Have they a 
daughter? Their example teaches her to re- 
spect moderate-drinking young men, and re- 
ceive their addresses, and should she unite her 
fate with such an one, almost certain ruin 
awaits her, * * * Could all those ladies who 
oppose the efforts which we are making to re- 
form our land, but have their minds awakened 
to the importance of the subject ! Could they 
but know the experience of thousands of their 
own sex, who from being surrounded by every 
happiness that wealth and station can impart, 
have through the means of that fell destroyer, 
intemperance, sunk to the lowest depth of 
misery and degradation, and, more than all, 
did they but know how far their influence may 
be instrumental in saving a fellow-creature, 
they would hasten to the standard of temper- 
ance and unite their influence against the dis- 
turber of human happiness, and become volun- 
teers in the moral contest to extirpate the fell 
monster from our shores. 

The above article was signed " Gloriana/ 1 a 

favorite signature of Mrs, Bloomer's* Another 
which is preserved, and was printed over the 



24 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

signature of <c Eugene " at about the same 
date, is as follows : 

" Many people think there is nothing more 
to do towards the advancement of temperance 
in this place, because we have succeeded in 
breaking up the drinking of ardent spirits in a 
measure, and have enlisted some four or five 
hundred members under our banners. This is 
a mistaken idea, and if cherished long, those 
who feel most secure will find to their dismay 
that the viper has only been crushed fora time, 
and will arise again upon his victim with a 
firmer and more deadly grasp than before. It 
is the duty of every man to be at his post, to 
lend his aid in sustaining the weak, and to en- 
courage others by his presence and example 
of perseverance in the course they have begun, 
If the reformed inebriates see those whom they 
have looked upon to sustain and encourage 
them in this great work grow careless and in- 
different towards them and the cause, have we 
not reason to fear that they too will drop off 
one by one into their old practices, and forsake 
that Temperance Hall where they have long 
passed their evenings so pleasantly and so profit- 
ably for their old haunts, the grogshop and the 
gutter ? * * * Let it not be said of Seneca Falls 



AMELIA BLOOMED 25 

that she deserted her post in the hour of dan- 
ger, but let every temperance man feel that he 
has a duty to perform and that there is no 
time for rest or inaction until the 4 hydra- 
headed monster * shall be driven from our 
borders. 1 * 

These extracts show how earnestly Mrs. 
Bloomer gave herself to the great Temperance 
reform. Of some of the features of the reform 
she gives the following sketch in an historical 
review written at a much later date : 

" In 1840 a great impulse was given to the 
temperance cause, such as had never been 
known before in the world's history. This 
movement originated with seven drunkards of 
Baltimore, who met in a saloon in that city 
and then and there, with their glasses filled be- 
fore them, resolved that they would drink no 
more. They poured out the liquor and went 
home. They at once formed a society for the 
promotion of total abstinence among those 
who, like themselves, had been addicted to the 
use of intoxicating drink Only one of the 
seven fa known to have backslidden, while the 
others lived and died honoring the cause they 



26 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

had embraced. Several of these men became 
eloquent speakers, and traveled the country 
over, holding meetings, pleading earnestly for 
the reformation of others, and depicting in 
burning words the sad lot of the drunkard and 
his wretched family. No such temperance 
meetings have been held since, no such elo- 
quent appeals made for temperance. This was 
called the great * Washingtonian movement/ 
and by it an impetus was given that has led to 
all subsequent effort in that cause. Following 
this movement various societies were started, 
some open, some secret. We had the Sons of 
"Temperance, Reformed Brotherhood, Recha- 
bites, Cadets of Temperance, Carson Leagues, 
Alliances, Good Templars, Temple of Honor, 
and open local, county and state societies, and 
finally the Women's Christian Temperance 
Union." 

JOINS THE CHURCH, 

About this time (1843) Mrs. Bloomer and also 
her husband united with and became members 
of the Episcopal Church, in Seneca Falls ; she 
maintained her membership in that body until 
the end of her life, a period of over fifty years, 
This new relation opened a new field for her 



AMELIA &LQOMER. 27 

quiet and gentle activities. She became very 
soon deeply interested in parish work in its va- 
rious forms, and as a member of various paro- 
chial organizations labored faithfully to advance 
Christian progress. This was especially notice- 
able after her removal to her new home in the 
West, as we shall have occasion to remark 
further on. We may add here that Mrs, 
Bloomer, while a firm believer in the truth of 
the Christian religion, always insisted that cer- 
tain passages in the Scriptures relating to 
women had been given a strained and unnat- 
ural meaning, and that the whole teaching of 
the Bible, when fully interpreted, elevated her 
to a joint companionship with her brother in 
the government and salvation of the race. 



28 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 



CHAPTER SECOND. 

UNJUST LAWS FOR WOMEN. 

UP to about the middle of the nineteenth 
century, the maxims of the common law of 
England relating to the rights and responsibili- 
ties of married women were in force in nearly 
all the states of the Union* This was true 
especially in the state of New York. They 
were exceedingly stringent in their character, 
and confined her, so far as related to her prop- 
erty rights, within exceedingly narrow limits. 
Indeed, in some respects they might well be 
regarded as brutal. They merged the legal 
being of the wife in her husband. Without 
him, and apart from him, she could hold no 
property, make no contracts, nor even exercise 
control over Her children. If she earned money 
by whatever means, she could not collect it* 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 29 

Her time and her earnings belonged to her 
husband ; and her children, when above the 
age of infancy, could be taken from her by will 
or otherwise and committed to the charge of 
strangers. On the decease of the husband, the 
personal property acquired through their joint 
efforts and industry passed at once to his heirs, 
through the legal administration of his estate ; 
while the wife was turned off with a bare life 
estate in one-third of the real property standing 
in his name at the time of his decease. 

The gross injustice of these laws began to 
excite attention soon after the adoption of the 
new constitution in the state of New York, in 
1846, The first step towards their modification 
was taken in the legislature of 1844-5, when 
certain recognitions of the property rights of 
married women were enacted into laws ; and in 
other states attention about that time began to 
be turned in the same direction* These were 
the beginning of the series of laws since en- 
acted in nearly all the states as well as in the 
dominions and provinces of the British Empire, 
by which the old and absurd and barbarous 



30 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

features of the old common law of England 
applicable to married women have been to a 
large extent abrogated. But this result has 
been the work of years of earnest thought, 
earnest labor and earnest devotion to the prin- 
ciples of right and justice, upon which it is our 
boast that all our laws are based. 

REFORM BEGINS. 

To Ansel Bascom, a lawyer of Seneca Falls, 
a member of the Constitutional Convention of 
1846 and of the first legislature following its 
adoption, and to David Dudley Field, a distin- 
guished citizen of the state, were largely due 
the modifications in the laws relating to mar* 
ried women which began about that time. 
These gentlemen were also largely instrumental 
in securing the adoption of the reformed code 
of practice in the courts, which has since been 
substantially enacted in nearly all the states of 
the Union. But women themselves had much 
to do in this most important work. Two of 
them were Lucretia Mott, a well-known Quaker 



AMELIA BLOOMER. $ l 

preacher of those days, and Elizabeth Cady 
Stanton, wife of Henry B, Stanton and daugh- 
ter of Daniel Cady, an eminent lawyer and 
judge. These ladies had been delegates to an 
anti-slavery convention in London, to which 
they were refused admission on account of 
being women, and they mutually resolved to 
enter upon an effort to secure an amelioration 
in the laws relating to the legal and property 
rights of their sex. They even went further 
and asked that the constitutions of the several 
states should be so amended, that to women 
should be extended the right to vote and even 
to hold office. That was a new thing under 
the sun. It was the beginning of what has 
since been so widely known as the women's 
rights movement, the agitation of which has 
occupied a large, place in the public discussions 
of the last half century* 

WOMEN TO THE FRONT. 

The first public meeting to bring these ques- 
tions prominently before the country was held 



32 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

in the Wesleyan Chapel, in Seneca Falls, on 
the i gth day of July, 1848. It was attended 
by the ladies I have mentioned, by Mr. Bas- 
com, by Mr. Thomas McClintoch, a Quaker 
preacher and member of his family, by several 
clergymen, and other persons of some prom- 
inence in the village. Frederick Douglass was 
also present. Mr. James Mott, the husband 
of Lucretia, presided, and that lady opened the 
meeting with a careful statement of women's 
wrongs and grievances and made a demand for 
their redress, Mr. Stanton read a clearly writ- 
ten paper to the same purport and reported a 
woman's declaration of independence, in which 
her wrongs were fully set forth and her rights 
as fully insisted upon and proclaimed. The 
position was boldly taken that the ballot should 
be placed in her hands on a perfect equality 
with man himself, as only through the ballot 
could her rights be effectually asserted and 
maintained. The discussion lasted through 
two days, and the declaration was signed by 
fifty women and about the same number of 
men. The papers over the country generally 



AMELIA & LOO ME ft. ~~ 

oo> 

noticed the gathering, and with few exceptions 
ridiculed the whole movement, while bearing 
testimony to the earnestness of those engaged 
in it. 

Two weeks later, a second meeting of the 
same character was held In Rochester; and 
this one, as showing signs of progress, was 
presided over by a woman, the first event of 
the kind that had occurred up to that date, 
although since then it has become a common 
occurrence, and as a general rule it has been 
found that women make excellent presiding 
officers. Several new recruits were enlisted at 
the Rochester meeting, both women and men, 
among the latter being the Rev. William Henry 
Channing, a popular Unitarian clergyman of 
that city. The Rochester meeting fully en- 
dorsed the resolutions and declaration of in- 
dependence of the Seneca-Falls meeting, and 
from that time the new movement of women's 
rights was fully launched upon the great ocean 
of public discussion and public opinion. Lu~ 
cretia Mott and Mrs. Stanton were the acknowl- 
edged leaders; but soon other advocates of 
3 



34 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

wide influence were enrolled in the causd, and 
its influence from that day has continued to 
widen and extend, until it now includes men 
and women of great distinction and power in 
every English-speaking country in the world, 

MRS. BLOOMER THINKS ABOUT IT. 

Mrs. Bloomer, at the time these meetings 
were held, was residing quietly at her home in 
Seneca Falls, engaged in a modest way in re- 
ligious and temperance work. She had not 
yet thought much on the subject of women's 
rights, so called, except so far as it related to 
the obstacles which the laws as then formed 
threw in the way of securing the triumph 
of total-abstinence principles. The Washing- 
tonian movement had continued to exert its 
influence upon the community. Now total- 
abstinence societies sprang up, among them 
the Sons and Daughters of Temperance,- 
separate organizations, but including within 
their lists of members many thousands of both 
sexes. The Temperance Star of Rochester was 
an organ of these organizations, and Mrs. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 35 

Bloomer wrote freely and frequently for its 
columns, She attended the Mott-Stanton con- 
vention in Seneca Falls, but took no part in its 
proceedings and did not sign either the resolu- 
tions or declaration of independence. 

But the principles promulgated in those 
documents began to have an effect upon 
her thoughts and actions, as they did upon 
those of many other women of that day. 
They realized, almost for the first time, that 
there was something wrong in the laws under 
which they lived, and that they had something 
to do in the work of reforming and improving 
them. Hence they moved slowly out of the 
religious circles in which their activities had 
hitherto been confined and, while not neglect- 
ing these, yet began in a modest way to organ- 
ize societies in which they could work for the 
improvement of their surroundings and the 
moral regeneration of society. In Seneca 
Falls a Ladies* Temperance Society was organ- 
ized for the first time in 1848. Mrs* Bloomer 
became a member of it and one of its officers. 
Whether she ever became a member of the 



36 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

u Daughters of Temperance " lodges is not now 
remembered, but it is thought no lodge of that 
order had been organized in the place of her 
residence. 

Of some of these movements, Mrs. Bloomer 
in later years wrote as follows : 

"In 1848 or '49, after the order of the 
* Sons ' was started, which order excluded 
women, some one among them conceived the 
idea of starting a similar order for women. 
This was probably as a salve to the wounded 
feelings of the women, just as Masons and 
Odd Fellows at this day will not admit women 
to their lodge-rooms, but to pacify them have 
branches called Star of Hope and Daughters 
of Rebekah, composed of women. Be this as 
it may, the order of the Daughters of Temper- 
ance was started, composed of women entirely* 
It continued many years and may still be in ex- 
istence, though I have not heard of it for years. 
The order was planted in twenty-four states 
and in England and the British provinces* 
The daughters held state and national con- 
ventions, issued addresses and appeals to the 
women of the state, circulated petitions to the 
legislature, and were very zealous in good 



AMELIA BLOOMED. 37 

works. In 1851 this order numbered over 
twenty thousand members. It was a secret 
society, and no one could gain admittance to 
their meetings without the password. This, 
so far as I know, was the first organized 
movement ever made by women to make them- 
selves felt and heard on the great temperance 
question, which was then agitating the minds 
of the people as it never had done before* 
And so long as they kept to themselves and 
held secret meetings they were not molested, 
their right to talk and resolve was not called in 
question. But as the years rolled on, women 
became more earnest and self-reliant, and were 
not satisfied with these secret doings. They 
wanted to let their light be seen. So a few 
prominent daughters, with Susan B, Anthony 
(who up to that time had only been known as 
a Daughter of Temperance, an earnest temper- 
ance worker and a school-teacher) as leader, 
called an open temperance meeting at Albany, 
This was not largely responded to, women not 
daring to come out openly after having so 
long heard * let you women keep silence ' 
sounded in their ears from the sacred desk. 
This meeting was conducted so quietly it 
hardly caused a ripple of excitement, and 
passed almost unnoticed by the press.'* 



3& LIFE AND WRITINGS OP 



CHAPTER THIRD. 

SHE WRITES ABOUT IT. 

WOMEN up to this time had never, or very 
seldom, indeed, come forward as public speak- 
ers in behalf of Temperance or any other re- 
form movements. True, Abby Kelly Foster 
had made her appearance on the platform as 
an abolition lecturer, but her speeches were so 
radical and denunciatory in their character 
that they added little strength to the position 
or popularity of women speakers. The Qua- 
ker preachers were of both sexes ; of these 
Lucretia Mott was the recognized leader 
among the gentler sex, and the purity of her 
character and the mildness of her addresses, 
compared with those of Mrs. Foster, made her 
popular with all classes. Mrs. Bloomer heard 
both of these women, and her husband well 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 39 

remembers that, on one occasion after she had 
been listening to Mrs. Foster's radical criti- 
cisms on an article which appeared in the 
editorial columns of his paper, she cain^ home 
greatly distressed and with tears in her eyes 
over the denunciations, to which she had 
listened. She learned in subsequent years to 
take such things more calmly. 

But though public sentiment did not then 
sanction the appearance of women speakers 
even to advocate so good a cause as Temper- 
ance, yet they could use their pens in its sup- 
port. Mrs. Bloomer did this quite freely as we 
have seen, but the little society in Seneca Falls 
concluded that it must have a paper of its own, 
and on the ist of January, 1849, such a paper 
was commenced in that place. 

BIRTH OF THE LILY. 

Mrs. Bloomer herself tells the story of its 
birth and her connection with it as follows : 

"Up to about 1848-9 women had almost 
no part in all this temperance work. They 
could attend meetings and listen to the elo- 



40 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

quence and arguments of men, and they could 
pay their money towards the support of tem- 
perance lecturers, but such a thing as their 
having anything to say or do further than this 
was not thought of. They were fired with 
zeal after listening to the Washingtonian 
lecturers and other speakers on temperance 
who then abounded, and in some instances 
held little private meetings of their own, 
organized societies and passed resolutions 
expressive of their feelings on the great sub- 
ject. It was at a meeting of this kind in 
Seneca Falls, N. Y., which was then my home, 
that the matter of publishing a little temper- 
ance paper, forliome distribution only, was in- 
troduced. "The ladies caught at the idea and 
at once determined on issuing the paper. 
Editors were selected, a committee appointed 
to wait on the newspaper" offices to learn 
on what terms the paper cotild be printed 
monthly, we furnishing all the copy. The 
president was to name the paper, the report 
to be made at next meeting by committee. 
And so we separated, satisfied and elated with 
our doings. But on my reporting my proceed- 
ings to my husband on my return home he 
* threw cold water* on the whole thing- He 
said we women did not not know what we 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 4I 

were talking about, that it cost a good deal of 
money to print a paper, and that we could not 
carry on such an enterprise and would run our- 
selves into debt, get into trouble and make a 
failure of it. He advised that I counsel the 
ladies to abandon all thought of such a move- 
ment. At the next meeting I reported all he 
said, but it was of no avail. The ladies had their 
hearts set on the paper and they determined 
to go ahead with it. They were encouraged 
thereto by a temperance lecturer who was travel- 
ing over the state. He promised to get subscrib- 
ers for them and greatly help them. He kept 
his word so far as sending us a goodly list of 
names, but the * money did not accompany 
them and we never saw the man or the 
money afterwards, This was very discourag- 
ing, and the zeal of the ladies abated wonder- 
fully, They began to realize that they had 
been hasty in incurring a great responsibility 
for which they were not fitted, and very soon 
the society decided to give up the enterprise 
altogether, But meantime we had been get- 
ting subscribers and money, had issued a 
prospectus, and every arrangement was made 
at the printing office for bringing out the 
paper January x, 1849. We had even ordered 
a head from New York. I could not so lightly 



42 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

throw off responsibility. Our word had gone 
to the public and we had considerable money 
on subscriptions. Besides the dishonesty of 
the thing, people would say it was 'just like 
women ' ; ' what more could you expect of 
them ? ' As editor of the paper, I threw myself 
into the work, assumed the entire responsibil- 
ity, took the entire charge editorially and 
financially, and carried it successfully through." 

The following is taken from the first editorial 
in the new paper, written by Mrs. Bloomer : 

" It is woman that speaks through The Lily. 
It is upon an important subject, too, that she 
comes before the public to be heard. Intem- 
perance is the great foe to her peace and hap- 
piness. It is that above all which has made 
her home desolate and beggared her offspring. 
It is that above all which has filled to its brim 
her cup of sorrow and sent her moaning to the 
grave. Surely she has a right to wield the pen 
for its suppression. Surely she may, without 
throwing aside the modest retirement which so 
much becomes her sex, use her influence to 
lead her fellow-mortals away from the destroy- 
er's path. It is this which she proposes to do 
in the columns of this paper. Like the beauti- 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 43 

ful flower from which it derives its name, we 
shall strive to make the Lily the emblem of 
' sweetness and purity ; ' and may heaven smile 
upon our attempt to advocate the great cause 
of Temperance reform ! " 

NEW WORK FOR HER. 

With the birth of this little journal, a new 
life opened before Mrs. Bloomer. She was at 
once initiated into all the mysteries and details 
of an editor and publisher. She had to make 
contracts for the printing and publication, to 
send out circulars to friends asking for their as- 
sistance in extending its circulation, place the 
papers in proper covers and send them to sub- 
scribers through the mails, to prepare editorials 
and other matter for its columns, to read the 
proofs and, in short, to attend to all the de- 
tails of newspaper publication. She gave her- 
self heartily and earnestly to the work. Of 
the first issue of the Lily not over two or three 
hundred copies were printed, but the number 
of its subscribers steadily .increased. Many 
friends came forward from different parts of 



44 LIFE AMD WRITINGS OF 

the state to help in adding new names to its 
lists. Among these none were more zealous 
and earnest than Miss Susan B. Anthony, then 
a very competent school-teacher in the city of 
Rochester, but whose name has since become 
one of world-wide fame as that of the great 
leader in the cause of woman's emancipation. 
Mrs. Mary C. Vaughan, a most estimable lady 
and fine writer, also came forward both with 
her pen and lists of new subscribers to help in 
the great Temperance reform to which the Lily 
was devoted. 

FIRST IN THE FIELD. 

The Lily was very nearly, if not quite, the 
first journal of any kind published by a woman. 
Mrs. Nichols, in Vermont, and Mrs. Swishelm, 
in Pennsylvania, were connected with news- 
papers published in each case by their husbands, 
and they wrote vigorous editorials for their 
papers, but neither of them took upon herself 
the entire charge of the publication. Mrs. 
Bloomer 'did this to the fullest extent, and it 
therefore may be justly claimed that she was 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 45 

the pioneer \voman editor and proprietor. True, 
her journal was not a very large one, yet it la- 
bored zealously in the cause to which it was 
devoted and prepared the way for other and 
more pretentious publications to follow, under 
the charge of women. It showed what women 
could do when their thoughts and energies 
were directed to some practical and beneficial 
purpose, and so made ready for the great ad- 
vance which has since taken place in opening 
for her wider fields of usefulness. 

Mrs. Bloomer herself writes as follows : 

" The Lily was the first paper published de- 
voted to the interests of woman and, so far as 
I know, the first one owned, edited and pub- 
lished by a woman. It was a novel thing for 
me to do in those days and I was little fitted 
for it, but the force of circumstances led me 
into it and strength was given me to carry it 
through. It was a needed instrumentality to 
spread abroad the truth of the new gospel to 
woman, and I could not withhold my hand to 
stay the work I had begun. I saw not the end 
from the beginning and little dreamed whereto 
my proposition to the society would lead 



46 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 



MRS. STANTON APPEARS. 

Among those who soon became writers for 
the Lily was Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a 
resident of Seneca Falls. One day during the 
summer of 1849, s ^ e came into the post office 
where the editor of the Lily was busily engaged 
and introduced herself to Mrs. Bloomer, and 
proposed to write for the columns of her paper. 
The offer was gladly accepted, and very soon 
articles began to appear in the columns of the 
Lily over the signature- of " Sunflower." They 
were forcibly written and displayed not a little 
wit and many sharp hits at some of the prevail- 
ing " fads " of the day. At first they were on 
Temperance and literary subjects, and the 
duties of parents in bringing up their children. 
The various theories of education were also vig- 
orously analyzed and some new ideas put forth. 
By and by, as months went by, her readers 
were apprised as to her views on Woman's 
Rights, so called. . They learned something 
from her of the unjust laws relating to mar- 



AMELIA BLOOMMR. 4 j 

ried women, and saw that the writer was about 
right in asking that they should be changed 
and made better. And then the paragraphs 
moved further along and intimated that women 
should vote also for her rulers and legislators. 
Mrs. Bloomer herself became a convert to these 
views. How this came around, she herself tells 
in the two following paragraphs : 

MRS. BLOOMER CONVERTED. 

" When a child of fifteen years, my feelings 
were deeply stirred by learning that an old lady, 
a dear friend of mine, was to be turned from 
her home and the bulk of her property taken 
from her. Her husband died suddenly, leaving 
no will. The law would allow her but a life in- 
terest in one-third of the estate, which had 
been accumulated by the joint earnings and 
savings of herself and husband through many 
years. They had no children and the nearest 
relative of the husband was a second or third 
cousin, and to him the law gave two-thirds of 
her property, though he had never contributed 
a dollar towards its accumulation, and was to 
them a stranger. Later, other similar cases 
coming to my knowledge made me familiar 



4& LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

With the cruelty of the law towards women ; 
arid when the Woman's Rights Convention put 
forth its declaration of sentiments, I was ready 
to join with that party in demanding for women 
such change in the laws as would give her a 
right to her earnings, and her children a right 
to wider fields of employment and a better 
education, and also a right to protect her inter- 
ests at the ballot-box/' 

BECOMES ASSISTANT POSTMASTER. 

"In the spring of 1849, m 7 husband was ap- 
pointed postmaster at Seneca Falls, N. Y. He 
proposed that I should act as his deputy. I 
accepted the position, as I had determined to 
give a practical demonstration of woman's right 
to fill any place for which she had capacity. I 
was sworn in as his deputy, and filled the posi- 
tion for four years, during the administration 
of Taylor and Fillmore. It was a novel step for 
me to take in those days, and no doubt many 
thought I was out of woman's sphere ; but the 
venture was very successful and proved to me 
conclusively that woman might, even then, en- 
gage in any respectable business and deal with 
all sorts of men, and yet be treated with the 
utiiiost respect and consideration/' 



AMELIA BLOOMER* 49 

THEZ7XF ON HER HANDS. 

During the first year of its existence, the 
Lily bore at its head the words " published by 
a committee of ladies " ; but the truth was 
that no person, save Mrs. Bloomer herself, had 
any responsible share in its management or 
control. Therefore, at the beginning of the 
new year 1850 that fiction was dropped, and 
her name alone appeared as publisher and 
editor, and at its head stood the legend " de- 
voted to the interests of woman." Says Mrs. 
Bloomer : 

" I never liked the name of the paper, but 
the society thought it pretty and accepted it 
from the president. It started with that name, 
and became known far and wide. It had been 
baptized with tears and sent forthwith anxious 
doubts and fears. It was not easy to change, 
and so it remained The Lily to the end, pure 
in motive and purpose as in name. * * * It 
was never the organ of any society, party or 
clique, or of any individual but myself. That 
it was always loyal to temperance is evidenced 
by the fact that its files are sought after by 
4 



SO LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

writers of temperance history. That subject 
was never lost sight of in a single number, as its 
files will show. Mrs. Stanton became a con- 
tributor to the Lily near the close of its first 
year. Her subjects were temperance and 
woman's rights. Her writings added interest to 
the paper and she was welcome to its columns, 
as were Frances D. Gage, Mary C. Vaughan, 
and many others who came to my aid. She 
occupied the same position as any other con- 
tributor, and she never attempted to control 
the paper in any way." 

The year 1850 was a quiet one for Mrs. 
Bloomer. Early in the spring, her husband 
purchased a modest cottage. This had to be 
fitted up and occupied, and took up a good 
deal of her attention. Then several hours 
each day were spent in the post office in the 
work of receiving and delivering letters. Once 
a month the Lily continued to make its ap- 
pearance, filled with good, substantial temper- 
ance arguments and pleadings, and occasional 
articles pointing strongly in the direction of 
the new doctrines of woman's rights then 
coming more and more into prominence. Her 



AMELIA BLOOMER. j! 

editorials were written plainly but with a good 
deal of spirit, and whoever attacked her posi- 
tion on either of these subjects was sure to re- 
ceive a sharp rejoinder from her pen. Several 
weeks during the summer were spent at a 
sanatorium in Rochester, from which she re- 
turned greatly improved in health. Sometime 
during the year a great anti-slavery meeting 
was held in the town, attended by the cele- 
brated English orator, George Thompson, and 
many prominent abolitionists of the state. 
Among others came Susan B. Anthony, who 
was the guest of Mrs. Bloomer and whom she 
introduced to Mrs. Stanton, and then com- 
menced that life-long intimacy of these two 
celebrated women. 

VISITS NEW YORK CITY. 

During the winter of 1849-50 Mrs. Bloomer 
visited the city of New York for the first time, 
accompanied by her husband. They passed 
up Cayuga Lake on a steamer, and from there 
were in the first railroad cars, by special invita- 



52 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

tion, over the Erie railroad from that village to 
the metropolis. It is remembered that several 
of the men who afterwards became distin- 
guished as railroad magnates were on that train, 
and their conversation was listened to with a 
great deal of interest. That was long before the 
days of sleeping cars, and they had to pass the 
night as comfortably as they couldin their seats 
in the passenger coach. In the city, they spent 
three or four days visiting some of the noted 
places, including Barnum's Museum on Broad- 
way, then one of the great attractions of the 
growing town. They returned by the same 
route in the midst of a great snowstorm which, 
with the high wind that came along with it, 
made their trip down the lake somewhat 
hazardous. 

Mrs. Bloomer wrote of this trip as follows : 

" We traveled by the route of the lake and 
the New-York-and-Erie railroad. Those who 
have not been qver this road can form no idea 
of its sublimity and grandeur. To one who like 
myself had never been beyond the level country 
of western New York, it presents a grand, im- 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 



S3 



posing spectacle. The prospect is at one 
moment bounded on either side by lofty 
mountain peaks covered with evergreens, and 
the next by solid masses of rock towering 
higher than the eye can reach, and through 
which at an enormous expense and great 
amount of labor the road has been cut. The 
water pouring over these rocks from above had 
frozen in its descent, and now hung in masses 
and irregular sheets down their perpendicular 
sides, forming a beautiful contrast to their 
surface. Occasionally you come into a more 
open country, while at one spot you find your- 
self on the summit of a mountain where you 
have a view of ten miles in extent through the 
valley below. * * * Winter had robed all 
in her snowy mantle on our return, adding 
new beauty to the scene. Summer, we think, 
would lend enchantment to the picture ; and 
should we ever take a trip over this road again, 
we shall aim to do so at a more mild and genial 
season. 

"We were fortunate in meeting several 
directors of the road on our downward trip 
from Ithaca. To them, and especially to Mr. 
Dodge, of New York City, we are indebted for 
much information concerning the road. Every 
attention was shown us by this enterprising 



54 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

gentleman from the time we left Ithaca until 
*ve shook hands with him at parting upon our 
arrival in the city/' 

^ MISS ANTHONY IS INTRODUCED. 
Mrs. Bloomer, in later years, wrote : 

"It was in the spring of 1850 that I intro- 
duced Susan B. Anthony to Mrs. Stanton. 
Miss Anthony had come to attend an anti- 
slavery meeting in Seneca Falls, held by George 
Thompson and William Lloyd Garrison, and 
was my guest. Returning from the meeting, 
we stopped at the street corner and waited for 
Mrs. Stanton, and I gave the introduction 
which has resulted in a life-long friendship. 
Afterwards, we called together at Mrs. Stanton's 
house and the way was opened for future 
intercourse between them. It was, as Mrs. 
Stanton says in her history, an eventful meet- 
ing that henceforth in a measure shaped their 
lives. Neither would have done what she did 
without the other. Mrs. Stanton had the in- 
tellectual, and Susan the executive, ability to 
carry forward the movement then recently in- 
augurated. Without the push of Miss An- 
thony, Mrs. Stanton would probably never 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 



ss 



have gone abroad into active life, or achieved 
half she has done ; and without the brains of 
Mrs. Stanton, Miss Anthony would never have 
been so largely known to the world by name 
and deeds. They helped and strengthened 
each other, and together they have accom- 
plished great things for woman and humanity. 
The writer is glad for the part she had in 
bringing two such characters together.'* 

MRS. BLOOMER ON THE TENNESSEE 
LEGISLATURE. 

The columns of the Lily during the first 
year of its publication were almost exclusively 
filled with articles bearing upon the great pur- 
pose for which it was established, the promo- 
tion of the Temperance cause. True, some 
other questions were touched upon by Mrs. 
Stanton, and perhaps by other correspondents ; 
but Mrs. Bloomer's editorials were all directed 
to that end. With the March Lily for 1850 
she struck out in a new direction, as will 
appear from the following article which ap- 
peared in the editorial columns for that 
month : 



56 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

" The legislature of Tennessee have in their 
wisdom decided after gravely discussing the 
question that women have no souls, and no 
right to hold property. Wise men these, and 
worthy to be honored with seats in the halls 
of legislation in a Christian land. Women no 
souls ! Then, of course, we are not account- 
able beings : and if not accountable to our 
Maker, then surely not to man. Man repre- 
sents us, legislates for us, and now holds him- 
self accountable for us! How kind in him, 
and what a weight is lifted from us ! We shall 
no longer be answerable to the laws of God or 
man, no longer be subject to punishment for 
breaking them, no longer be responsible for 
any of our doings. Man ia whom iniquity is 
perfected has assumed the whole charge of us 
and left us helpless, soulless, defenseless crea- 
tures dependent on him for leave to speak or 
act. 

** We suppose the wise legislators consider 
the question settled beyond dispute, but we 
fear they will have some trouble with it yet. 
Although it may be an easy matter for them 
to arrive at such a conclusion, it will be quite 
another thing to make women believe it. We 
are not so blind to the weakness or imperfec- 
tions of man as to set his word above that of 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 57 

our Maker, or so ready to yield obedience to 
his laws as to place them before the laws of 
God. However blindly we may be led by 
him, however much we may yield to his 
acquired power over us, we cannot yet fall 
down and worship him as our superior. Some 
men even act as though women had no souls, 
but it remained for the legislature of Tennessee 
to speak it to the world. 

" We have not designed ourself saying much 
on the subject of * Woman's Rights ; ' but we 
see and hear so much that is calculated to keep 
our sex down and impress us with a conviction 
of our inferiority and helplessness, that we feel 
compelled to act on the defensive and stand 
for what we consider our just rights. If things 
are coming to such a pass as that indicated by 
the above decision, we think it high time that 
women should open their eyes and look where 
they stand. It is quite time that their rights 
should be discussed, and that woman herself 
should enter the contest. 

" We have ever felt that in regard to property, 
and also as to many other things, the laws were 
unjust to women. Men make laws without 
consulting us, and of course they will make 
them all in their own favor, especially as we 
are powerless and cannot contend for our rights. 



58 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

We believe that most women are capable of 
taking care of their own property, and that 
they have the right to hold it, and to dispose 
of it as they please, man's decision to the con- 
trary notwithstanding. As for ourselves, we 
have no fears but we could take care of a 
fortune if we had one, without any assistance 
from legislators or lawyers, and we should 
think them meddling with what did not con- 
cern them should they undertake to control it 

for us. 

" The legislature of our own state has 
taken a step in advance on this subject and 
granted to women the right to their own prop- 
erty. We trust this is but a forecast of the 
enlightened sentiment of the people of New 
York, and that it will pave the way to greater 
privileges, and the final elevation of women to 
that position in society which shall entitle her 
opinions to respect and consideration.'* 

FOR WOMAN SUFFRAGE. 

And from that time on, a considerable part 
of the Lily was devoted to the same subject. 
The above article related simply to property 
rights, but Mrs. Bloomer's views rapidly 
widened out until she took the position, also, 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 59 

that women should be granted the right of 
suffrage and thus possess a controlling influence 
in the passage of all laws. Nevertheless, she 
remained true and faithful to her temperance 
principles and firm in their advocacy. Witness 
the following written and printed in her paper 
in 1853: 

" We think it all-important that woman ob- 
tain the right of suffrage, but she cannot do 
this at once. She must gradually prepare the 
way for such a step by showing that she is 
worthy of receiving and capable of exercising 
it. If she do this, prejudices will gradually 
give way and she will gain her cause. We 
cannot consent to have woman remain silent 
on the Temperance question till she obtain her 
right of suffrage. Great as is our faith in the 
speedy triumph of temperance principles were 
women allowed their right of franchise, and 
strong as is our hope that this right will be 
granted ere many years, we feel that the day 
is too far distant for her to rest all her hopes 
and labors on that issue. Let her work with 
her whole heart in this cause and, while she 
demands a law that entirely prohibits the 
traffic in strong drink, let her also obtain a 



60 LIFE 4tf> WAITINGS OF 



right to a voice in making all laws by which 
she is to be governed/* 

LETTER TO AKRON CONVENTION. 

On the ninth of May, 1851, Mrs. Bloomer 
addressed an elaborate letter to the women's 
convention held at Akron, O., in that month, 
in which she discussed at great length the 
position of woman as regards her education, 
her right to employment, and the laws relating 
to her property rights. She first takes up the 
liquor traffic and shows wherein it was unjust 
to woman in her dearest privilege, the enjoy- 
ment of children, family and home. She " un- 
folds the great wrong done to woman in her 
circumscribed sphere of industry, and the 
meagre wages she receives for her industry/' 
Passing on from this, the property rights of 
married women are considered, and their un- 
just provisions are pointed out. She con- 
cludes as follows : 

" But woman is herself aroused to a sense of 
her wrongs, and sees the necessity of action on 
her part if she would have justice done her. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 6 1 

A brighter day has dawned for her. A 
spirit of inquiry has awakened in her bosom, 
\vhich neither ridicule nor taunts can quench. 
Henceforth her course is upward and onward. 
Her mind is capable of grasping things hither- 
to beyond her reach and she will not weary of 
the chase until she has reached the topmost 
round in the ladder. She will yet prove con- 
clusively that she possesses the same God- 
given faculties which belong to man, and that 
she is endowed with powers of mind and body 
suitable for any emergency in which she may 
be placed." 

" RULING A WIFE." 

During this year, Mr. T. S. Arthur published 
a book bearing this title, in which he under- 
took to define the duties of the wife of a hard- 
hearted, thoughtless man, and to show that 
even under the most shocking circumstances 
of injustice it was still the wife's duty to sub- 
mit and obey. Mrs. Bloomer took exception 
to this position. Mr. Arthur answered her, 
and she then wrote in reply in part as follows : 

" I have too good an opinion of my sex to 
admit that they are such weak, helpless crea- 



62 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

tures, or to teach them any such ideas. Much 
rather would I arouse them from their depend- 
ent, inferior position, and teach them to rely 
more upon themselves and less upon man, so 
that when called upon, as many of them are 
and ever will be, to battle with the rough 
things of the world, they may go forth with 
confidence in their own powers of coping suc- 
cessfully with every obstacle and with courage 
to meet whatever dangers and difficulties may 
lie in their way. The more you impress this 
upon their minds, the more you show that she 
is man's equal, and not his slave, so much the 
more you do to elevate woman to her true 
position. The present legal distinctions be- 
tween the sexes have been made by man and 
not by God. Man has degraded woman from 
her high position in which she was placed as 
his companion and equal, and made of her a 
slave to be bought and sold at his pleasure. 
He has brought the Bible to prove that he is 
her lord and master, and taught her that resist- 
ance to his authority is to resist God's will. I 
deny that the Bible teaches any such doctrine. 
God made them different in sex, but equal in 
intellect, and gave them equal dominion. You 
deny that they are ' intellectually equal/ As 
a whole, I admit that at the present day they 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 63 

are not ; though I think there have been indi- 
vidual cases where woman's equality cannot be 
denied. But at her creation no difference ex- 
isted. It is the fault of education that she is 
now intellectually inferior. Give her the same 
advantages as men, throw open the door of our 
colleges and schools of science and bid her en- 
ter, teach her that she was created for a higher 
purpose than to be a parlor ornament or mere 
plaything for man, show her that you regard 
her as an equal and that her opinions are en- 
titled to consideration, in short, treat her as an 
intelligent, accountable being, and when all this 
has been done, if she prove herself not man's 
equal in intellect I will yield the point and ad- 
mit her inferiority. It is unjust to condemn 
her as inferior when we consider the different 
education she has received and the estimation 
in which she has ever been held. We are by 
the laws and customs of society rendered de- 
pendent and helpless enough, at the best ; but 
it is both painful and mortifying to see our 
helplessness shown up to the world in such 
colors, and by such a writer as yourself. If, 
instead of leading Mrs. Long into such diffi- 
culties after she had left her husband, you had 
allowed her to hire out as a servant, if nothing 
better presented itself, you would have done 



64 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

justice to woman, set her a better example, and 
more truly drawn her character/' 

The above presents very fully the views of 
Mrs. Bloomer at that time (1850). She was 
pleading for the elevation of woman, for her 
redemption from the curse of drink, for a better 
education for her, and wider fields for the work 
of her hands. She had not yet troubled herself 
much about the suffrage question, the right to 
the ballot ; that came along later in life, as we 
have already seen. 



AM&LIA BLOOMER. 



CHAPTER FOURTH. 

THE REFORM DRESS. 

THE reform-dress movement was simply an 
episode in Mrs. Bloomer's life and work, al- 
though perhaps an important one. She never 
dreamed of the wonderful celebrity which it 
brought to her name. This came upon her acci- 
dentally, as we 'shall see later on. It was first 
mentioned in the Lily in February, 1851. 
Other short articles on the subject appeared 
in subsequent numbers during that year, with 
pictures of herself dressed in the new costume. 
The whole story she herself tojd in the follow- 
ing article which appeared originally some 
years ago in the Chicago Tribune and is here 
reproduced in full, followed by some further 
items bearing on the subject : 

" In January or February, 1851, an article ap- 
peared editorially in the Seneca County Courier, 
Seneca Falls, N. Y., on ' Female Attire/ in 
5 



66 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

which the writer showed up the inconvenience, 
unhealthfulness and discomfort of woman's 
dress, and advocated a change to Turkish pan- 
taloons and a skirt reaching a little below the 
knee. 

" At the time, I was publishing a monthly 
paper in the same place devoted to the inter- 
ests of woman, temperance and woman's rights 
being the principal subjects. As the editor of 
the Courier was opposed to us on the woman's- 
rights question, this article of his gave me an 
opportunity to score him one on having gone 
so far ahead of us as 'to advocate our wearing 
pantaloons, and in my next issue I noticed him 
and his proposed style in a half-serious, half- 
playful article of some length. He took up 
the subject again and expressed surprise that 
I should treat so important a matter with lev- 
ity. I replied to him more seriously than be- 
fore, fully indorsing and approving his views 
on the subject of woman's costume. 

" About this time, when the readers of the 
Lily and the Courier were interested in and 
excited over the discussion, Elizabeth Smith 
Miller, daughter of the Hon, Gerrit Smith, of 
Peterboro, N. Y., appeared on the streets of 
our village dressed in short skirts and full 
Turkish trousers. She came on a visit to her 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 67 

cousin, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was then 
a resident of Seneca Falls. Mrs. Miller had 
been wearing the costume some two or three 
months at home and abroad. Just how she 
came to adopt it I have forgotten, if I ever 
knew. But she wore it with the full sanction 
and approval of her father and husband. Dur- 
ing her father's term in congress she was in 
Washington, and the papers of that city de- 
scribed her appearance on the streets in the 
short costume. 

" A few days after Mrs. Miller's arrival in 
Seneca Falls Mrs. Stanton came out in a dress 
made in Mrs. Miller's style. She walked our 
streets in a skirt that came a little above 
the knees, and trousers of the same material 
black satin. Having had part in the discussion 
of the dress question, it seemed proper that 
I should practise as I preached, and as the 
Coiirier man advised ; and so a few days later 
I, too, donned the new costume, and in the 
next issue of my paper announced that fact to 
my readers. At the outset, I had no idea of 
fully adopting the style ; no thought of setting 
a fashion ; no thought that my action would 
create an excitement throughout the civilized 
world, and give to the style my name and the 
credit due Mrs. Miller. This was all the work 



68 LIFE AND WRITINGS OP 

of the press. I stood amazed at the furor I 
had unwittingly caused. The New York 
Tribune contained the first notice I saw of my 
action. Other papers caught it up and handed 
it about- My exchanges all had something to 
say. Some praised and some blamed, some 
commented, and some ridiculed and condemned^ 

* Bloomerism/ * Bloomerites/ and * Bloomers ' 
were the headings of many an article, item and 
squib; and finally some one I don't know to 
whom I am indebted for the honor wrote the 

* Bloomer .Costume/ and the name has con- 
tinued to cling to the short dress in spite of my 
repeatedly disclaiming all right to it and giving 
Mrs. Miller's name as that of the originator or 
the first to wear such dress in public. Had she 
not come to us in that style, it is not probable 
that either Mrs. Stanton or myself would have 
donned it. 

" As soon as it became known that I was 
wearing the new dress, letters came pouring in 
upon me by hundreds from women all over the 
country making inquiries about the dress and 
asking for patterns showing ho'w ready and 
anxious women were to throw off the burden 
of long, heavy skirts. It seemed as though half 
the letters that came to our office were for me. 

" My subscription list ran up amazingly into 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 6n 

the thousands, and the good woman's-rights 
doctrines were thus scattered from Canada to 
Florida and from Maine to California. I had 
gotten myself into a position from which I could 
not recede if I had desired to do so. I there- 
fore continued to wear the new style on all oc- 
casions, at home and abroad, at church and on 
the lecture platform, at fashionable parties and 
in my business office. I found the dress com- 
fortable, light, easy and convenient, and well 
adapted to the needs of my busy life. I was 
pleased with it and had no desire to lay it 
aside, and so would not let the ridicule or 
censure of the press move me. For some six 
or eight years, or so long; as I remained in active 
life and until the papers had ceased writing- 
squibs at my expense, I wore no other costume. 
During this time I was to some extent in the 
lecture field, visiting in all the principal cities 
of the North and lecturing on temperance and 
woman suffrage ; but at no time, on any oc- 
casion, alluding to my style of costume. I felt 
as much at ease in it as though I had been arrayed 
In the fashionable draggle skirts. In all my 
travels I met with nothing disagreeable or un- 
pleasant, but was universally treated with res- 
pect and attention by both press and people 
wherever I appeared. Indeed, I received from 



70 LIFE AMD WRITINGS OP 

the press flattering notices of my lectures. If the 
dress drew the crowds that came to hear me it 
was well. They heard the message I brought 
them, and it has borne abundant fruit. 

" My paper had many contributions on the 
subject of dress and that question was for some 
time kept before my readers. Mrs, Stanton 
was a frequent contributor and ably defended 
the new style. She continued to wear it at 
home and abroad, on the lecture platform and 
in the social parlor, for two or three years ; and 
then the pressure brought to bear upon her by 
her father and other friends was so great, that 
she finally yielded to their wishes and returned 
to long skirts. 

" Lucy Stone, of the Woman's Journal, 
adopted and wore the dress for many years on 
all occasions ; but she, too, with advancing 
years, saw fit to return to the old style. We 
all felt that the dress was drawing attention 
from what we thought of far greater importance 
the question of woman's right to better edu- 
cation, to a wider field of employment, to better 
remuneration for her labor, and to the ballot 
for the protection of her rights. In the minds 
of some people, the short dress and woman's 
rights were inseparably connected. With us, 
the dress was but an incident, and we were not 
willing to sacrifice greater questions to it. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

a * * * i h ave no t worn the short dress for 
thirty years, and it does seem as though in 
that time the interest concerning it must 
have died out. My reasons for abandoning I 
have in substance stated above. I never set up 
for a dress reformer, like Anna Jenness-Miller 
of the present day. Mrs. Miller, if I understand 
her correctly, really believes the short skirt and 
trousers the true style for woman's costume ; 
but that the time for its adoption has not yet 
fully come. Women are not sufficiently free 
and independent to dare to strike for health 
and freedom. Jenness-Miller is going over the 
country lecturing on dress and disposing of 
patterns, and is doing a vast amount of good. 
I am glad to know that she is not assailed and 
made the butt of ridicule and caricatured by the 
press/' 

In reference to the further connection of 
Mrs. Bloomer with the dress she wrote to a 
friend, in 1865, as follows: 

" It is very true that I have laid aside the 
short dress which I wore for a number of years, 
and to which the public (not I) gave my name. 
I have not worn the dress for the last six years 
or more. * * * As to my reasons for laying 



72 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

aside the dress, they may not satisfy you, 
though they were sufficient for me. It was 
not at my husband's dictation, by any means, 
but was my own voluntary act. * * * After 
retiring from public life and coming to this 
land of strangers where I was to commence life 
anew and make new friends, I felt at times like 
donning long skirts when I went into society, 
at parties, etc., and did so. I found the high 
winds which prevail here much of the time 
played sad work with short skirts when I went 
out, and I was greatly annoyed and mortified 
by having my skirts turned over my head and 
shoulders on the streets. Yet I persevered 
and kept on the dress nearly all the time till 
after the introduction of hoops. Finding them 
light and pleasant to wear and doing away with 
the necessity for heavy underskirts (which was 
my greatest objection to long dresses), and find- 
ing it very inconvenient as well as expensive 
keeping up two wardrobes a long and short 
I gradually left off the short dress. I con- 
sulted my own feelings and inclinations and 
judgment in laying it off, never dreaming but 
I had the same right to doff that I had to don 
it, and not expecting to be accountable for my 
doings, or required to give a reason to every 
one that asked me. There were other ques- 



AMELIA JBLOQMER* 73 

tions of greater importance than J*e length of 
a skirt under discussion at the time, and I felt 
my influence would be greater in the dress 
ordinarily worn by women than in the one 
I was wearing. *~ * * I always liked the dress 
and found it convenient and comfortable at all 
times, and especially so for a working dress. I 
never encountered any open opposition while 
wearing it, though I have traveled much in the 
dress and freely walked the streets of all our 
large cities. On the contrary, I was always 
treated with respect and should continue to be, 
I have no doubt, did I still wear it. * "* * When 
I saw what a furor I had raised, I determined 
that I would not be frightened from my posi- 
tion, but would stand my groun4 and wear the 
dress when and where I pleased, till all ex- 
citement on the subject had died away. And 
I did so." 

As to just how the reform dress should be 
prepared, Mrs. Bloomer gave her idea as follows 
in the Lily at the time when the subject was 
most prominently before the public eye : 

" We would have the skirt reaching down to 
nearly half way between the knee and the ankle, 
and not made quite so full as is the present 



74 ZJF A&& WRITINGS OF 

fashion. Underneath this skirt, trousers made 
moderately full, in fair mild weather coming 
down to the ankle (not instep) and there 
gathered in with an elastic band. The shoes 
or slippers to suit the occasion. For winter or 
wet weather the trousers also full, but coming 
down into a boot, which should rise at least 
three or four inches above the ankle. This boot 
should be gracefully sloped at the upper edge 
and trimmed with furor fancifully embroidered, 
according to the taste of the wearer. The 
material might be cloth, morocco, mooseskin 
and so forth, and made waterproof if desirable/' 

The above describes the dress as Mrs, Bloomer 
wore it at the time it was written, but she after- 
wards abandoned the elastic band and allowed 
the trousers to hang loose about the ankle. 
The general opinion expressed in those early 
days was favorable. 

Mrs. Russell Sage, now a venerable and 
highly respected matron, was a young woman 
and a resident of Syracuse at the time of Mrs. 
Bloomer's visit to that place to attend a Tem- 
perance convention ; in a recent interview, she 
thus describes her appearance at that time : 



AMELIA BLOOMER. *r 

" Mrs, Bloomer came as a delegate and her 
appearance excited some attention. Her man- 
ner was unpretentious, quiet and delicately 
feminine. Her costume showed a total disre- 
gard for effect, and was mannish only to the 
extent of practicability. Her bodice was soft 
and belted at the waist, her collar simple and 
correct, as was also her prim bonnet ; her skirt 
fell half way from knee to ankle, and then the 
bloomer really a pantalet made of black 
material, as the rest of her costume, reaching 
to her boot tops." 

The interviewer continues : 

" As Mrs. Sage so knew Mrs. Bloomer, she 
agreed she was entirely what she aimed to be 
a practical woman, progressive and competent 
of realizing results from her theories/' 

WOMAN'S ATTIRE. 

On this subject Mrs. Bloomer, in an elaborate 
review (only a part of which is here presented) 
of a sermon by the Rev. Dr. Talmage in which 
he had quoted Moses as authority for women 
not wearing men's attire, wrote as follows : 



76 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

"There are laws of fashion in dress older 
than Moses, and it would be as sensible for the 
preacher to direct us to them as to him. The 
first fashion we have any record of was set us 
by Adam and Eve, and we are not told that 
there was any difference in the styles worn by 
them. * And they sewed fig-leaves together, and 
made themselves aprons': Genesis, iii., 7. 
Nothing here to show that his apron was bifur- 
cated, and hers not ; that hers was long, and 
his short We are led to suppose that they were 
just alike. 

" The second fashion was made by God Him- 
self, and it would be supposed that if He in- 
tended the sexes to be distinguished by their 
garments explicit directions would have been 
given as to the style of each. * Unto Adam, 
also, and unto his wife, did the Lord God make 
coats of skins and clothed them ' : Gen. iii., 21. 
Not a word as to any difference in the cut and 
make-up of the coats. No command to her 
that she must swathe and cripple herself in 
long, tight, heavy, draggling skirts, while he 
dons the more comfortable, healthy, bifurcated 
garment. God clothed them just alike, and 
made no signs that henceforth they should be 
distinguished by apparel. And for long years 
there was little, if any, difference/' 



AMELIA BLOOMER. jj 

After showing the character of the dress of 
different ancient nations, Egyptians, Baby- 
lonians, Israelites, Persians, Romans, Saxons, 
Normans, Turks, and Chinese, and that there 
was no essential difference between the dress 
worn by men and women, Mrs. Bloomer pro- 
ceeds : 



all the history of male and female 
attire before him, and with so much proof of 
the similarity in dress, how can Mr. Talmage 
set up the claim that men have a right to any 
particular style, and that if women dare to ap- 
proach that style they break divine law and 
commit great sin and wrong? It is a presump- 
tion and insult which women everywhere should 
resent. 

" It matters not to us what Moses had to say 
to the men and women of his time about what 
they should wear. Our divine entirely disre- 
gards the command of the ancient lawgiver by 
not putting fringes and blue ribbons on his 
garments. Common sense teaches us that the 
dress which is the most convenient, and best 
adapted to our needs, is the proper dress for 
both men and women to wear. There is no 
reason why woman should burden herself with 



jS LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

clothes to the detriment of her health, com- 
fort and life, while man adopts a style that gives 
freedom of limb and motion. There is no 
divine law requiring such doings. A hundred 
other laws and customs of the days of Adam, 
Noah, Abraham and Moses are as binding upon 
the men and women of this day as the text 
from which he gives his lecture. Judging from 
the present customs, men have transgressed 
that law more than women. 

" We do not advocate the same style of dress, 
altogether, for both sexes and should be sorry 
to see women dress just like men ; yet we 
should like to see a radical reform in woman's 
costume, so that she might be the free, healthy 
being God made her instead of the corseted, 
crippled, dragged-down creature her slavery to 
clothes has made her. No law of God stands 
in the way of her freedom. Her own judg- 
ment and inclination should be her guide in 
all matters of attire. 

" If divine law or vengeance is ever visited 
upon woman because of the cut of her garments, 
it will be upon the wearers of the suicidal long, 
heavy skirts, instead of upon those who have 
rid themselves of the grievous burden. That 
sorrow and suffering are visited upon woman 
because of her clothes we know, and that her 



AMELIA BLOOMER, 



79 



sin is visited upon her we know ; and yet how 
dare she throw off the burden and the sin, when 
the clergy from the pulpit hold over her head 
the threatenings of divine vengeance ! 

" No sensible woman can sit under such 
preaching. Would that women had the inde- 
pendence to act out the right in defiance of such 
sermons, and in disregard of all laws that con- 
demn her to the slavery of a barbarous age. 

" A. B." 

FASHION IN DRESS. 

On the general subject of" Fashion in Dress," 
Mrs. Bloomer wrote to Charlotte A. Joy, June 
3, 1857, as follows : 

" Your letter inviting me to attend the annual 
meeting of the National Dress Association to 
be held in Syracuse on the i/th inst. is received. 
Owing to the great distance and my imperfect 
health, it will be impossible for me to be with 
you on that occasion, much as I should be 
pleased to meet some of the members personally 
and listen to their deliberations on so important 
a subject as a reform in woman's costume. 

"At the present moment there is perhaps no 
subject which is more frequently pressed upon 
the attention of the public than that of dress. 



8o LIFE AND WRITINGS OP 

Our magazines are radiant with fashion plates 
illustrating the latest styles; our newspapers 
abound with allusions and discussions bearing 
upon the subject, as though it were a matter 
of national concernment ; and it is continually 
the theme of conversation and a subject either 
of praise or satire wherever men and women 
meet together. It would be fortunate, indeed, 
if this discussion should result in securing a re- 
form in all those styles and modes of woman's 
dress which are incompatible with good health, 
refined taste, simplicity, economy and beauty ; 
and it is to be hoped that the labors of your 
association may be so discreetly directed and so 
faithfully prosecuted, that they may go far to 
the accomplishment of this end. 

The costume of woman should be suited to 
her wants and necessities. It should conduce 
at once to her health, comfort, and usefulness ; 
and, while it should not fail also to conduce to 
her personal adornment, it should make that 
end of secondary importance. I certainly need 
not stop to show that these conditions are not 
attained by the present style of woman's dress. 
All admit that they are not. Even those who 
ridicule most freely the labors of your associ- 
ation are ready to admit the folly and inutility 
of the prevailing styles. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 8r 

" It is well, perhaps, in the present aspect of 
the movement, that its friends should abstain 
from prescribing any particular form of dress. 
It is better to learn wisdom from the experience 
of the past and, while successively lopping off 
all excrescences, produce at last that outward 
form of personal garniture which shall most 
fully secure the great end to be attained. 

" What may be the next feat of the fickle god- 
dess of Fashion, or how near or how soon it may 
approach the more rational and more desirable 
form recommended by your association, none 
can say. At present, we must admit, the re- 
form dress is quite obnoxious to the public 
and all who bear testimony in its favor, either by 
precept or example, must expect to meet with 
some trials and discouragements ; yet it may, 
as you believe it will, be ultimately adopted. 
In bringing about such a result your association 
will have a leading part to perform, and in your 
labors you will have the good wishes, if not 
the active cooperation, of all who desire the 
emancipation of woman from the tyranny of 

prejudice and fashion, 

"A. B." 
6 



82 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 



CHAPTER FIFTH. 

THE LILY PROSPEROUS. 

As intimated by Mrs. Bloomer in the pre- 
ceding pages, the circulation of her paper was 
largely increased through the notoriety given 
to it by her adoption and defense of the new 
costume. Nearly every newspaper in the land 
had to have its comments on it, as well as upon 
those who had the courage to wear it. Some 
denounced, some ridiculed. Besides receiv- 
ing numerous letters on the subject, many per- 
sons called to see how the little woman ap- 
peared in the short dress and trousers. Fort- 
unately or otherwise, they became her very 
well ; usually they were becoming when worn by 
small persons or those of medium stature. Peo- 
ple generally retired well pleased with their in- 
terview with hen She said but little about it in 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 83 

her paper, as she had subjects of much greater 
importance to engage her attention and fill its 
columns. Occasionally a sharp article appeared 
in its defense. She had many offers to take 
the platform as a public speaker. Even the 
stage was suggested as a fit place for bringing 
the new costume before the public. The in- 
terest in the subject was not confined to this 
country only, but extended to England, also ; 
the matter was commented on by the press of 
Great Britain very generally, and the London 
Graphic contained pictures of the new costume 
more or less correct. . 

All these proposals for public action were 
declined by Mrs. Bloomer ; but nevertheless the 
suggestion as to public speaking, the advocacy 
by woman of temperance and woman's rights 
through the medium of the public platform and 
her own voice as a public speaker, were not 
forgotten by her and brought forth from her 
very much in these directions in future years. 
But for the time being she continued on in the 
even tenor of her work, transforming her paper 
steadily more and more, as the months went 



84 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

by, into an advocate of woman's enlargement 
in various directions. " Devoted to the in- 
terests of woman," was now its motto, and she 
strove to faithfully carry out the legend. It 
was still the ardent advocate of temperance, 
but it insisted also that the evils of intemper- 
ance could only be effectually overthrown by 
giving to woman a more potent voice both in 
the making and enforcement of the laws de- 
signed to overthrow that great evil. 

WOMAN'S TEMPERANCE SOCIETY. 

We now copy again from Mrs. Bloomer's 
writings : 

"In the Spring of 1852 a few of the 
daughters [of Temperance] celebrated an open 
two-days temperance meeting- at Rochester, 
N. Y. It was very largely attended, between 
four and five hundred women being present 
at the first session. The numbers increased, 
and at the later sessions the large hall, which 
would contain 1,800, was packed to the plat- 
form with eager, earnest temperance men and 
women. This meeting was not only not secret, 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 85 

it was not exclusive, men forming a large part 
of it and doing their share of talking. It was 
at this meeting that I first let my voice be 
heard in public after much persuasion. Able 
men came to our aid among them I remem- 
ber the Rev. William H. Channing (the 
younger), an eloquent divine of those days ; and 
the meeting was very enthusiastic, and was the 
beginning of much in the same direction that 
followed. This convention resulted in organiz- 
ing a woman's state Temperance Society, which 
became very effective and had much to do in 
breaking down the barriers and introducing 
women into temperance and other work. Some 
half-dozen women were employed b)'' the 
society as agents on salaries of twenty-five 
dollars per month and their expenses. These 
lecturers traveled through the state, holding 
meetings, and securing membership to the 
society and signatures to the pledge, and peti- 
tions to the legislature. They were well re- 
ceived on all sides, partly because of the novelty 
of a woman speaking, and partly because the 
principle of total abstinence and Washingtonian 
temperance was stirring all hearts. Up to 
these times no woman had thought of speak- 
ing in public outside a Quaker meeting-house. 
To have attempted such a thing at an earlier 



86 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

day would have called down upon her much 
censure, and St. Paul would have been freely 
quoted to silence her. Now, however, women 
took matters Into their own hands and acted as 
their own impulses prompted and their con- 
sciences approved. And it was surprising how 
public sentiment changed and how the zeal of 
temperance men and women helped on the new 
movement of women." 

Mrs. Bloomer and Miss Anthony were 
secretaries of this convention, and Elizabeth 
Cady Stanton president ; in the final organiza- 
tion Mrs. Stanton was made president, Mrs. 
Bloomer corresponding secretary, and Miss 
Anthony and Mary C. Vaughan recording sec- 
retaries. 

MRS. BLOOMER ON DIVORCE. 

At this convention, Senator Gale used very 
strong language in regard to women who had 
petitioned the legislature for a Maine Law. 
Mrs. Bloomer criticised him for saying in a 
sneering way "that representatives were not 
accustomed to listen to the voice of women in 
legislating upon great public questions." A 
resolution was proposed in the convention that 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 87 

" no woman should remain in the relation of 
wife to the confirmed drunkard, and that no 
drunkard should be father of her children/' 
On this Mrs. Bloomer said : 

" We believe the teachings which have been 
given to the drunkard's wife, inculcating duty 
the commendable examples of angelic wives 
which she has been exhorted to follow have 
done much to continue and aggravate the vices 
and crimes of society growing out of intemper- 
ance. Drunkenness is ground for divorce, and 
every woman who is tied to a confirmed drunk- 
ard should sunder the ties : and if she do it 
not otherwise, the law should compel it, espe- 
cially if she have children. 

" We are told that such sentiments are ex- 
ceptional, abhorrent, that the moral sense of 
society is shocked and outraged by their pro- 
mulgation. Can it be possible that the moral 
sense of a people is more shocked at the idea 
of a pure-minded, gentle woman sundering the 
tie which binds her to a loathsome mass of cor- 
ruption, than it is to see her dragging out her 
days in misery tied to his besotted and filthy 
carcass ? Are the morals of society less endan- 
gered by the drunkard's wife continuing to live 



88 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

in companionship with him, giving birth to a 
large family of children who inherit nothing 
but poverty and disgrace, and who will grow 
up criminal and vicious, filling our prisons and 
penitentiaries and corrupting and endangering 
the purity and peace of the community, than 
they would be should she separate from him 
and strive to win for herself and her children 
comfort and respectability ? The statistics of 
our prisons, poorhouses, and lunatic asylums 
teach us a fearful lesson on this subject of 
morals ! 

" The idea of living with a drunkard is so 
abhorrent, so revolting to all the finer feelings 
of our nature, that a woman must fall very low 
before she can endure such companionship. 
Every pure-minded person must look with 
loathing and disgust upon such a union of vir- 
tue and vice ; and he who would compel her to 
it, or dissuade the drunkard's wife from separat- 
ing herself from such wretchedness and deg- 
radation, is doing much to perpetuate drunk- 
enness and crime and is wanting in the noblest 
feelings of human nature. Thanks to our legis- 
lature, if they have not given us the Maine law 
they are deliberating on giving to wives of 
drunkards and tyrants a loophole of escape 
from the brutal cruelty of their self-styled lords 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 89 

and masters. A bill of this kind has passed 
the house, but may be lost in the senate. 
Should it not pass now, it will be brought up 
again and passed at no distant day* Then, if 
women have any spirit, they will free them- 
selves from much of the depression and wrong 
which they have hitherto by necessity borne/' 

CONVENTION INFLUENCE. 

Probably, no single event ever had so great 
an influence in promoting the cause of woman's 
enlargement as this Rochester convention. It 
opened the door wide for women to enter. It 
brought out a number of faithful workers in 
that cause, as well as in the cause of Temper- 
ance, who from that time devoted their lives 
to the work. Some took a wider view of their 
work than others, but all devoted themselves 
with a singular fidelity and earnestness to the 
noble aims before them. Nor was the influ- 
ence confined solely to women who took part 
in that convention. Others, in every part of 
the country, soon enlisted in the cause and be- 
came zealous advocates of woman's redemption 
from the thralldom of evil habits and unjust 



90 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

laws. Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony con- 
tinued a tower of strength for half a century 
and upwards, and Mrs. Bloomer nearly as long, 
but in the latter years of her life not so prom- 
inently ; and there came to their aid Lucy 
Stone, Frances D. Gage, Mrs. C. H. Nichols, 
Antoinette L. Brown, Mary A. Livermore, 
Lydia A. Fowler, and many more who might 
be mentioned. 

Mrs. Bloomer, as corresponding secretary of 
the new society, was brought into immediate 
and close connection with its agents and 
friends. Her home was at all times open to 
them, and they often visited and consulted 
with her and Mrs. Stanton, who resided in the 
same village. Mrs. Vaughan, Mrs. Albro, and 
Miss Emily Clark, besides Miss Anthony, were 
earnest workers in the good cause. Mrs. 
Bloomer's correspondence was also very exten- 
sive ; but in her removals from place to place 
it has been mostly destroyed, and the death of 
nearly all her correspondents renders it imprac- 
ticable to procure copies of her letters to 
them. 



AMETJA BLOOMER. 9 ! 

THE WOMEN REJECTED AT SYRACUSE. 

At the Rochester convention Gerrit Smith, 
Mrs. Bloomer, and Miss Anthony were ap- 
pointed delegates to the state convention then 
soon to meet in Syracuse. The call was to all 
temperance organizations to send delegates to 
it, and clearly included the Woman's Temper- 
ance Society. Mrs. Bloomer and Miss Anthony 
accepted the appointment and attended ; but 
their simple appearance caused a tremendous 
hubbub, and after a whole day spent by the 
men in discussing the question of their admis- 
sion they were excluded. Mrs. Bloomer de- 
scribes the scene as follows : 

" The women had friends in the convention 
who were as determined on their side that 
women should be recognized, and so they had 
it, each side determined to have it's way a 
dozen men talking at the same time all over 
the house, each claiming the floor, each insist- 
ing on being- heard till all became confusion, 
a perfect babel of noises. No order could be 
kept and the president left his chair in disgust. 



92 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

Time and words fail to give you the details of 
this disgraceful meeting. The ringleaders were 
prominent clergymen of Albany, Lockport, and 
Buffalo. Their names and faces are indelibly 
engraven on my memory. During this whole 
day's quarrel of the men, no woman said a word, 
except once Miss Anthony addressed the chair 
Intending to prefer a request for a donation 
of temperance tracts for distribution by our 
society. She got no farther than * Mr. Presi- 
dent/ when she was rudely called to order by 
one of the belligerent clergymen and told to 
sit down. She sat down and no other woman 
opened her mouth, though they really were en- 
titled to all the rights of any delegate, under 
the call ; and the treatment they received was 
not only an insult to the women present, but 
to the organization that sent them." 

In referring to this incident, on page 488 
Vol. I. of History of Woman Suffrage, it is 
said : " Rev. Luther Lea offered his church just 
before adjournment, and Mr. May announced 
that Miss Anthony and Mrs. Bloomer would 
speak there in the evening. ,They had a 
crowded house, while the conservatives scarcely 
had fifty. The general feeling was hostile to 



A MEL /A BLOOMER. 93 

the action of the convention. The same battle 
on the temperance platform was fought over 
and over again in various parts of the state, 
and the most deadly opposition uniformly 
came from the clergy, though a few noble men 
m that profession ever remained true to prin- 
ciple through all the conflicts of those days 
in the anti-slavery, temperance, and woman's 
rights movements." 

CONVENTION IN ALBANY. 

In the winter of 1852 and 1853, meetings of 
both the regular state Temperance societies 
were held in Albany for the purpose of in- 
fluencing the legislature then in session to pass 
the Maine prohibitory law. Mrs. Bloomer at- 
tended the women's convention, and delivered 
an elaborate speech in the Baptist church. She 
herself gives the following* report of the pro- 
ceedings at the convention : 

" The ladies were there with their officers and * 
lecturers. During the day they held meetings 
in the large Baptist church which was packed, 
seats and aisles, to its utmost capacity. During 



$4 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

the morning session a committee of three 
ladies, previously appointed, slipped out through 
a back entrance and wended their way to the 
capitol bearing between them a large basket 
filled with petitions from 30,000 women of the 
state, each petition neatly rolled and tied with 
ribbon and bearing upon it the name of the 
place from which it came, and the number of 
names it contained. We were met at the state- 
house door by Hon. Silas M. Burroughs, of 
Orleans, according to previous arrangement, 
and escorted by him within the bar of the 
house. Mr. Burroughs then said : ( Mr. 
Speaker, there is a deputation of ladies in this 
house with a petition of 30,000 women for a 
prohibitory law, and I request that the deputa- 
tion may present the petition in person.* He 
moved a suspension of the rules for that pur- 
pose. Some objection was raised by two or 
three members who sneered at the idea of 
granting such privileges to women, ' but the 
vote was taken and carried ; and then the com- 
mittee and the big basket, carried by two of us 
by the handles at each end, passed up in front 
of the speaker's desk, when one of our number 
made a little speech appealing for prohibition 
and protection from the rum power in the 
name of the 30,000 women of the state whom 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 95 

we represented. The petitions were sent up 
to the clerk's desk, while we retired again to 
the bar where we were surrounded and received 
congratulations of members. We soon after 
retired and returned to the meeting at the 
church. On the announcement being made to 
the meeting of what we had done and our suc- 
cess, it was received with a perfect shout of 
congratulation by the vast audience. It was 
an unheard-of thing for women to do, and our 
reception augured success to the hopes of tem- 
perance people for a prohibitory law. But 
alas ! Our petitions availed us nothing, as we 
learned in due time. Those 30,000 petitioners 
were only women ; and what cared our so-called 
representatives for the petitions of a disfran- 
chised class ? Our meetings were kept up dur- 
ing the day and evening, women doing all the 
talking though men composed full half the 
audience. In the evening, in addition to the 
Baptist church meetings were held in another 
church and in the representatives' hall, the cap- 
itol having been placed at" our service, our lady 
speakers separating and going by twos and 
threes to each house ; and all were crowded, 
every foot of standing room being occupied/* 

It should be added, that Mrs. Bloomer was 



96 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

one of the Committee of Three who appeared 
before the legislature and presented the peti- 
tions. The other members were Miss Emily 
Clark and Mrs. Albro, 

A LECTURER. 

Mrs. Bloomer's life during the latter part of 
1853 was a very busy one. In addition to her 
duties as editor and publisher of the Lily and 
clerk in the post office, she was also frequently 
invited to deliver addresses on Temperance. 
A few of these invitations she accepted, and 
appeared before well-pleased audiences in vil- 
lages of western New York. She never until 
later years acquired the habit of extempo- 
raneous speaking, but all her addresses were 
carefully written out and delivered from manu- 
script. There is a big pile of her writings now 
before me. They are all characterized by great 
earnestness in appeal both to the reason and 
sympathies of her hearers. 

Mrs. Bloomer's appeals were mainly addressed 
to her own sex, but she never failed to call upon 
the men also to practise total abstinence and 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 97 

give their influence in all proper ways for the 
overthrow of the liquor traffic. She also intro- 
duced other questions into her addresses. She 
insisted that the laws relating to women were 
narrow and unjust and should be changed. 
She thought that women should have a voice 
in making the laws and also in their enforce- 
ment. When this change should be brought 
around, she had hopes that woman would be 
relieved from the curse of drunkenness under 
which she suffered so keenly. And it so hap- 
pened that it was frequently said of Mrs. 
Bloomer that " she talks on temperance, but 
she gives us a large supply of woman's rights, 
also/* To this Mrs. Bloomer In the Lily In 
April, 1853, made the following reply: 

" Some of the papers accuse me of mix- 
ing Woman's Rights with our Temperance, as 
though it was possible for woman to speak on 
Temperance and Intemperance without also 
speaking of Woman's Rights and Wrongs in 
connection therewith. That woman has rights, 
we think that none will deny ; that she has 
been cruelly wronged by the law-sanctioned 
liquor traffic, must be admitted by all. Then 
7 



98 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

why should we not talk of woman's rights and 
temperance together? Ah, how steadily do 
they who are guilty shrink from reproof ! How 
ready they are to avoid answering our argu- 
ments by turning their attention to our personal 
appearance, and raising a bugbear about Wo- 
man's Rights and Woman's Wrongs! and a 
ready response to the truth we utter wells up 
from women's hearts, and breaks forth in bless- 
ings and a hearty God-speed in our mission/' 

IN NEW YORK CITY. 

We now quote from Mrs. Bloomer's personal 
reminiscences : 

" In February, 1853, in company with Miss 
Susan B. Anthony, Rev. Antoinette L. Brown, 
and Mrs. L. N. Fowler, I held three meetings in 
the city of New York. We had been attending a 
Temperance mass meeting in the city of Albany, 
where we had both day and evening been ad- 
dressing the assembled temperance hosts that 
had come together from all parts of the state 
in response to a call for that purpose. At 
these meetings we were met by parties from 
New York, who invited us to visit that city 
and hold a series of meetings, assuring us that 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 



99 



every preparation would be made and we 
should be received by good audiences. We 
accepted the invitation and in a few days went 
to New York to fill the engagement* Full 
notice had been given and all things Jput in 
readiness for us. These meetings were held 
in Metropolitan Hall, where Jennie Lind made 
her dtbut on arriving in this country, which has 
since been burned down ; and in the old Broad- 
way Tabernacle ; and in Knickerbocker Hall. 

" That was in the early days of the woman's 
movement, and women speaking in public was 
a new thing outside of a Quaker meeting-house. 
We were the first to address an audience of 
New Yorkers from a public platform ; and much 
curiosity was excited to hear and see the won- 
derful women who had outstepped their sphere 
and were turning the world upside down by 
preaching a new doctrine which claimed that 
women were human beings, endowed with in- 
alienable rights, among which was the right 
to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

" The halls at each of these meetings were 
filled to their utmost capacity, from 3,000 to 
5,000 persons being the estimated number 
in attendance. At the Metropolitan, Horace 
Greeley and wife, Dr. S. P. Townsend, Colonel 
Snow, and a number of others were seated with 



100 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

us on the platform ; and in all the after meet- 
ings, Mr. Greeley was present and manifested 
much interest in our work, taking copious notes 
and giving columns of the Tribune to reports 
of our speeches. While in the city we were 
guests of the great phrenologist, L. N. Fowler, 
one of the editors of the Phrenological Journal, 
and his wife, and Mrs. S. P. Townsend ; and the 
evening was spent at the home of the Greeleys. 

"AT HORACE GREELEY*S HOUSE. 

" At the latter place we met about a dozen 
of New York's literati. Of these I only re- 
member Charles A. Dana, then on the Tribune 
staff ; Mrs. E. F. Ellet, a prominent story writer 
of that time ; and Alice and Phoebe Gary, the 
poet sisters. I remember the latter as dressed 
with very low necks and arms bared to the 
shoulders, while their skirts trailed upon the 
floor. Around their necks were hung huge 
boas, four feet long, the style of that day ; as 
a protection, I suppose, from the cold. These 
being heaviest in the middle were continually 
sagging out of place, and kept the wearers quite 
busy adjusting them. I confess to a feeling 
short of admiration for this dress display at a 
little social gathering in midwinter, and my 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 101 

estimation of the good sense of the Gary sisters 
sank accordingly. And I never read of them 
to this day but those bare necks and shoulders 
and trailing skirts appear before me. They, 
no doubt, were as much disgusted with my 
short dress and trousers which left no part of 
the person exposed. Tastes differ, that is 
all ; and I was not used to seeing women in 
company half-dressed. 

" It was in the early days of spiritualism, 
when the Rochester rappings had excited 
much wonder throughout the country. Horace 
Greeley was known to have taken a good deal 
of interest in the subject, to have given time 
to its investigation, and to have entertained its 
first propagandists, the Fox sisters, for days at 
his house. During the evening of our visit 
that subject came up and Mr. Greeley warmly 
espoused the side of the spiritualists. He said 
many things in confirmation of his belief in the 
new doctrine of spirit visitation. Standing 
midway of the two parlors and pointing to a 
table that stood against the wall between the 
front windows, he said : * I must believe what 
my eyes have seen. I have seen that table 
leave its place where it now stands, come for- 
ward and meet me here where I now stand, 
and then go back to its place without any one 



102 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

touching it, or being near it. I have also seen 
that table rise from the floor, and the weight 
of a man sitting on it would not keep it down. 
I cannot deny the evidence of my own eyes/ 
Miss Fox was in the house at the time of this 
occurrence, but not in the room. This he said 
in answer to questions." 



AT METROPOLITAN HALL. 

Of the meeting in Metropolitan Hall, the 
New York Tribune stated that it was nearly as 
large and fully as respectable as the audiences 
which nightly greeted Jenny Lind and Cath- 
erine Hayes during their engagements in that 
hall. Mrs. Lydia N. Fowler presided, and de- 
livered an address. The Tribune gave a full 
report of the meeting. It said : " Mrs. Bloomer 
was attired in a dark-brown changeable tunic, 
a kilt descending just below the knees, the skirt 
of which was trimmed with rows of black velvet. 
The pantaloons were of the same texture and 
trimmed in the same style. She wore gaiters. 
Her headdress was cherry and black. Her 
dress had a large open corsage, with bands of 



AMELIA BLOOMER. IO3 

velvet over the white chemisette in which was 
a diamond-stud pin. She wore flowing sleeves, 
tight undersleeves and black lace mitts. Her 
whole attire was rich and plain in appearance. 
* * * She was introduced to the audience 
and proceeded to her address which occupied 
more than an hour/' And as giving a fair ex- 
pression of Mrs. Bloomer's then views on the 
subject of temperance and woman's duty in 
reference to it, the Tribune $ full report of her 
address is here given : 

MRS. BLOOMER'S SPEECH. 

" Mrs. Bloomer, of Seneca Falls, was intro- 
duced and proceeded to read an address which 
occupied nearly an hour. She commenced by 
remarking that, from the earliest agitation of 
the subject of temperance down through the 
whole past course of the cause, woman has had 
a great and important part to perform in the 
great struggle for freedom. And most nobly 
has she performed her part, according to the 
light she possessed. She has done all that the 
custom of the time permitted her to do. She 
has faithfully attended temperance meetings 



104 LIFE AW WRITINGS OF 

and listened to many wise discourses from tem- 
perance lecturers. During all this woman has 
imagined that she was doing the cause good 
service. But lo ! she still sees the great de- 
stroyer passing triumphantly on in his work 
of death ; she sees poverty, wretchedness and 
despair still rampant in our midst ; she sees 
that her prayers to rumsellers to desist from 
their murderous work have fallen upon hearts 
of stone ; she sees that, in spite of her remon- 
strances, the stream of death still flows on and 
that thousands and tens of thousands are still 
going to destruction. But, though she is often 
weary, yet is she not hopeless; she still has 
faith to look beyond the clouds to the bright 
prospect beyond still has faith to look beyond 
the efforts of man to One who is mighty for 
deliverance. 

" Yet, notwithstanding the efforts already 
put forth in this work, woman was not without 
guilt in this matter. While man endeavors to 
compel obedience to his laws, and make woman 
dependent upon him and an echo of his 
thoughts, while man has greatly sinned in thus 
usurping this great prerogative, woman has 
greatly sinned in submitting to this power. 
Woman has suffered her individuality to be 
merged in a name. She forgets that God 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 



105 



created them equal ; she forgets that our 
Heavenly Father has not made one to rule over 
the other. She forgets that she is as necessary 
to his happiness as he is to hers. They are 
created to work hand in hand, bearing equally 
the burden of life ; and though we may fail to 
do our duty on earth, yet will our individuality 
be recognized and held to account on the Last 
Day. The plea often raised that it is immodest 
and unladylike, that we are out of our sphere 
in thus battling against the evils of intemper- 
ance, will not avail in the sight of God who has 
commanded that even one talent should be put 
to a good use. He has created woman intelli- 
gent and responsible and given her a great 
work to do, and woe unto her if she does it 
not ! Woe unto him who hinders her in its 
fulfillment ! Her individuality must be recog- 
nized before the evils of intemperance can cease 
to exist. How absurd the idea, how degrading 
the thought, that before marriage woman can 
enjoy freedom of thought, but afterwards must 
endorse her husband's sentiments be they good 
or bad ! Call you not this slavery ? But if she 
acts the part of true womanhood, the path of 
duty will be made so plain that she cannot err 
therein. 

" The speaker next said that she proposed 



106 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 



to show how woman, by her own acts, had re- 
tarded the cause of temperance. And, first, 
woman had done much to retard the cause by 
herself partaking of stimulating drink during 
lactation, and thus transmitting it through the 
system of her infant. She imagines that this 
gives her stimulus and strength. But in this 
she sins from ignorance. As the child grows, 
his appetite grows perverted, and he will desire 
still stronger stimulus such as tobacco and 
cigars. Let mothers study the physiology of 
themselves and their children that they may 
know how to feed them so as to give them 
regular appetites. Woman has also done much 
to retard the cause of temperance by presenting 
the intoxicating cup to her guest. Not un- 
frequently does the first glass taken from, the 
hands of woman destroy both body and soul 
forever. Home is said to be woman's sphere ; 
herein, at least, she should forbid the intoxi- 
cating cup to enter. Women, Christian women, 
as you hope for salvation, let not this guilt rest 
upon your souls ! 

" Woman has also retarded the cause of 
temperance by using intoxicating drinks for 
culinary purposes. Such an one voluntarily 
yields up her children to the Moloch of in- 
temperance. Let no woman think this a little 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 



107 



matter. Let no woman think that because 
she occupies a high place in society the de- 
stroyer will pass her by. Such is not his course. 
He delights to cut down the high and noble 
and trample them beneath his iron hoofs. 

" Another class who in my view greatly retard 
the cause of temperance principles are those who 
profess love for our cause and hope that it will 
triumph, but do nothing for it. They say we 
have men to attend to this work and that it is 
none of woman's business. Deliver us from 
such dead weights on society and on the spirit 
of Progress ! None of woman's business, when 
she is subject to poverty and degradation and 
made an outcast from respectable society ! 
None of woman's business, when her starving, 
naked babes are compelled to suffer the horrors of 
the winter's blast ! None of woman's business, 
when her children are stripped of their cloth- 
ing and compelled to beg their bread from door 
to door ! In the name of all that is sacred, 
what is woman's business if this be no concern 
of hers ? (Great applause.) None of woman's 
business ! What is woman ? Is she a slave ? 
Is she a mere toy ? Is she formed, like a piece 
of fine porcelain, to be placed upon the shelf to 
be looked at ? Is she a responsible being? 
or has she no soul ? Alas, alas for the ignorance 



io8 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

and weakness of woman ! Shame ! Shame on 
woman when she refuses all elevating action 
and checks all high and holy aspirations for the 
good of others ! (Applause.) Sisters, the liquor 
traffic does concern woman deeply ; and it is 
her business to bring her influence to bear 
against it, both by private and public acts. 
Some mothers say it is as much as they can do 
to look after their own children without going 
to the trouble of looking after children of their 
neighbors. If all mothers would do this and 
train up their own children in the right way, it 
would be all well. But such is not the case,; and 
therefore are we to go out into the world and 
help reclaim the children of poverty and crime 
around us. 

" Another obstacle to the progress of tem- 
perance principles is that women live in close 
companionship with drunken husbands. This 
may be a delicate point upon which to enter 
and many may object to mentioning it, but 
nevertheless the truth must be spoken. In 
my mind no greater sin is committed than by 
woman consenting to remain the wife of the 
drunkard, rearing children in poverty and 
wretchedness and thus transmitting his sins. 
A pure and virtuous woman tied to such a 
piece of corruption, and giving birth to chil- 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

dren who will grow up to be a curse to them- 
selves and society ! The drunkard knows that 
the gentle being is bound close to him and is 
literally his slave, and that she will remain with 
him be his conduct what it may. Thus are 
thousands surrounded by these gentle and lov- 
ing creatures, when they are not worthy to 
have even a dog for a companion, (Applause.) 

" And yet public sentiment and law bid 
woman to submit to this degradation and to 
kiss the hand that smites her to the ground. 
Let things be reversed let man be made 
subject to these various insults and how long 
would he suffer anger, hunger, cold and naked- 
ness ! How many times would he allow him- 
self to be thus trampled upon ! (Applause.) 
Not long not long I think ! With his right 
arm would he free himself from such degrading 
bondage. (Applause.) But thanks to a few 
brave hearts, the idea of relief to woman has 
been broached to society. She has dared to 
stand forth and disown any earthly master. 
(Applause.) Woman must banish the drunkard 
from her society. Let her utterly refuse to be 
the companion of a drunkard, or the man who 
puts the intoxicating cup to his lips, and we 
shall see a new order of society. 

" Woman must declare an unceasing war to 



no LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

this great foe, at all times and upon every 
occasion that presents itself. She must not 
wait for man to help her ; this is her business 
as much as his. Let her show to the world 
that she possesses somewhat of the spirit and 
the blood of the daughters of the Revolution ! 
Such thoughts as these may be thought unlady- 
like ; but if they are so, they are not unwomanly. 
(Applause.) 

" Mrs. Bloomer then made a brief argument 
in favor of the Maine Law, and concluded her 
remarks amid long continued applause, 

" It will be seen that Mrs. Bloomer's address 
was almost entirely confined to women, and 
marked out an entirely new field in temperance 
thought ; and it therefore attracted not a little 
attention." 

The meeting in New York city did not end 
the work of the three ladies in the Temperance 
cause during the winter. They made a tour of 
the state, holding meetings in Brooklyn, 
Poughkeepsie, Sing Sing, Hudson, Troy, 
Cohoes, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, Lockport, 
Buffalo, and other places along the Hudson 
River and the line of the Central Railroad. 
They were everywhere received by great 



AMELIA BLOOMER. IIS 

crowds of people anxious to see the now famous 
speakers and listen to their words. It was a 
new thing for women to speak in public ; and 
no doubt the fashion of the dresses worn by 
Mrs. Bloomer and Miss Anthony had some- 
thing to do with calling out the people to their 
meetings. 

IN BUFFALO. 

Mrs, Bloomer described the closing meeting 
of the series at Buffalo as follows ; 

*' Townscnd Hall was crowded at an early 
hour by the curious and interested portions of 
the community, who came together to see the 
women who had made themselves notorious by 
their boldness in daring to face a city audience, 
and to listen to the strange and * funny things ' 
they might utter on the worn and rather un- 
popular subject of temperance. The capacity 
of the hall is said to be sufficient to seat i/xx>. 
Every spot where a standing place could be had 
was occupied, and very many went away unable 
to gain admittance. Steps were immediately 
taken by some friends here to secure a hall for 
another meeting the next evening, Townsend 
Hall and American Hall were both engaged, 



LIFE AiVD WRITINGS OF 

and the Eagle-Street Theatre was secured ; 
and last night, for the first time in many years, 
I attended a 'theatre' not as a looker-on but 
as an actor in the play. I don't know the 
capacity of the theatre but it was estimated 
that fully 1,200 persons were present, the body 
of the house and lower gallery being densely 
filled, while many occupied the lower gallery 
and the rostrum. Seldom I think is a theatre 
put to better use, and pity it is that all its per- 
formances and performers are not as truthful 
and earnest in laboring for the good of human- 
ity. The audience appeared interested, and 
was for the most part quiet and attentive. 

" We received calls from a large number of 
ladies of the city who were interested in our 
movement, and we hear from all the same ex- 
pression of feeling and that is : * We must have 
the Maine law ; what can we do to obtain this 
law?* I find there is a strong woman's-rights 
sentiment prevailing on the subject among 
those whom I have met here. All feel that 
the only way in which women can do anything 
effectually in this cause is through the ballot- 
box, and they feel themselves fettered by be- 
ing denied the right to thus speak their senti- 
ments in a manner that could not be misunder- 
stood. If voters would but all do their duty, 



AMELIA BLOOMER. II3 

all would be well and we should soon have a 
prohibitory liquor-law; and methinks that if 
voters who claim to be temperance men could 
hear all comments made by women upon their 
actions, and see themselves in the light that 
women see them, they would blush and hang 
their heads in shame at their treachery and 
inefficiency/' 

AT HOME. 

On returning home from one of her tours, 
Mrs. Bloomer wrote as follows : 

" After an absence of two weeks, we again 
find ourselves in our own loved home, where 
we meet with a hearty welcome. Most forci- 
bly do the words of the poet come before our 
mind as we enter our quiet sanctum, and from 
the depths of our heart we endorse them : 
* Home, sweet home ! be it ever so humble, 
there's no place like home/ 

" During the two weeks spent in jaunting 
through some of the cities and villages of the 
beautiful Hudson, we have seen much of the 
grand and beautiful in nature and made the 
acquaintance of some of the choice spirits of that 
section of the state. It has been a relaxation 

from cares we much needed, and we trust will 
8 



114 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

prove time profitably spent both to us and to 
those who listened to the message we bore 

them." 

HATING THE MEN. 

The editor of the Utica Telegraph having 
charged Mrs. Bloomer \vith " hating the men/* 
she replied to the insinuation as follows : 

" Bless your soul, Mr. Telegraph ! we dearly 
love them all except rumsellers and those 
editors who patronize and sustain them In 
their ruin-and-death-dealing business. Hate 
the men? Why, such an idea never entered 
our head and we are sure our tongue never 
gave expression to such a thought ! You must 
have had a curtain lecture before going to 
the meeting that night, Mr. Telegraph, which 
soured your feelings toward all womankind so 
that you saw through green glasses and heard 
through a cracked ear-tube ; or else you must 
be a devotee to the wine cup, and are frightened 
lest the women are going to adopt some mea- 
sure to make it unlawful and disreputable for 
you to gratify your low appetite. Oh, dear ! 
how people are worried about our domestic 
relations. How much sympathy our * bigger 
half ' receives because of his sore domestic 



AMELIA BLOOMER. uj 

troubles ! Strange that the Telegraph forgot 
to speak of our * five neglected children ' ! 
They have met with great sympathy from many 
people, but are entirely overlooked by this 
student of the * Natural Sciences/ We do 
wish those editors who are so much interested 
in our domestic affairs would appoint a com- 
mittee to Investigate the matter and devise 
some plan of relief for our poor suffering hus- 
band and ' five children/ Ha, ha ! we should like 
to see the workings of our ' gude man's ' face as 
they offered words of condolence and sympathy, 
and hear the kind and unruffled tones in which 
he would thank them for their tender solicitude 
and politely bid them return and bestow equal 
care on their own domestic relations." 

GOOD TEMPLARS. 

Up to 1852-3 women were excluded from 
the several temperance secret fraternities 
which had come into existence, such as the 
" Sons of Temperance " and similar societies. 
To give to women a chance to work for the 
cause in the same way the order of the 
" Daughters of Temperance ** was organized, 
but Mrs. Bloomer persistently refused to con- 



Ii6 LIFE AA'D WRITINGS OF 

nect herself with them for the reason that she 
believed that women and men should be ad- 
mitted to all such societies on a footing of per- 
fect equality. The church opened its doors to 
both alike ; so she insisted the secret societies 
should do the same. But in the latter part of 
1852, the order of " Good Templars " was organ- 
ized in Onondaga County, and soon spread out 
over the adjacent counties. It admitted women 
to membership and to all offices on an entire 
equality with men, Mrs. Bloomer was greatly 
pleased with the idea, and when a lodge of the 
new order was established in the village she soon 
became an active member, took great interest 
in its work, and held various positions in the 
lodge. She believed that it furnished an open- 
ing for women's work in the Temperance cause 
which should not be neglected. In a notice of 
this new temperance organization, in the July 
number of the Lily, Mrs, Bloomer says : 

" Of course, to those who believe that 
women should not work together with the 
men in the Temperance Cause this organiza- 
tion presents insuperable objections. No man 



AMELIA BLOOM-ER. II? 

who is not willing to admit woman to entire 
equality with himself in labors, duties,honorsand 
offices, who is not willing that her vote should 
be deposited with his in the same ballot-box, 
and her voice be raised with his on all questions 
relating to its affairs, need apply for member- 
ship in this order. But the number of such 
men is small, indeed, and is daily growing 
beautifully less. It has long been the desire of 
many Sons of Temperance to admit women 
into their doors, and the recent omission of the 
National Division of that order to comply 
with that desire has sadly disappointed many 
of its best members. But what the Sons of 
Temperance have refused to do, the Good 
Templars amply provided for, and this feature 
we believe to be one of its chief excellencies, 
and which more than any other will commend 
the order to the hearty approval of the high- 
minded and right-thinking portion of the tem- 
perance community." 

The first State gathering of the new order 
was held in Ithaca, in June, 1853, Mrs* 
Bloomer was appointed a delegate to it from 
her local lodge, along with her husband, and 
when the state grand-lodge was organized she 



LI/<E AND WRITINGS OF 

was admitted to that, also. A Rev. Mr. Wil- 
son had been engaged to deliver the address, 
but he failed to attend. Mrs. Bloomer 
describe^ the result as follows : 

" They then selected me to take his place. 
On the morning of the public demonstration, 
an unthought-of trouble arose. The church 
which- had been engaged to Mr. Bristol was 
now refused to a woman. Its trustees would 
not open it for a woman to speak in. This 
caused a great excitement among the men. 
They gathered in the lodge-room to consider 
the situation. They were puzzled to know 
what to do. They would not give up their 
speaker. There was talk of going to a grove, 
but it was too far; talk of speaking in the 
street, but there was no shade ; and the lodge- 
room was not large enough. Finally the Bap- 
tists came to their relief and offered their 
church, and I did the talking to the immense 
throng who gathered there.** 

IN THE PULPIT. 

At the time of the above occurrence it was a 
new thing indeed for women to appear in pub- 
lic, and especially to stand in the pulpit to 



A MEL/ A BLOOMER. Ijg 

deliver their thoughts. All this is now greatly 
changed. Mrs. Bloomer in writing on this 
subject in subsequent years says : 

" The pulpit was sacred ground, that no 
woman's foot must profane. One minister in 
Syracuse preached a sermon against us and had 
it printed in pamphlet form. These he sent 
out by hundreds to ministers of his church 
throughout the state for them to scatter 
among the women of their congregations, 
hoping to head off this new movement 
of women. Whether these determined op- 
ponents of other days who meant to crush 
the women's movement in the bud ever 
became reconciled to the part she has 
since played in the world's doings, I don't 
know. Some of them, and probably all, have 
passed to their account where they have learned 
that God's ways are not man's ways. I sup- 
pose that we cannot greatly blame them when 
we remember that, up to that time, the world 
had been educated to believe woman an in- 
ferior creation ; that she had been placed by 
her Creator in an inferior and subordinate 
position ; and that St. Paul's injunction to the 
uneducated women of his day to keep silence 
in the churches was intended for the women of 



120 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

all time, included public halls as well as 
churches, and political, social, temperance and 
all other subjects as well as the gospel of 
Christ, of which women were to know nothing 
except what they learned from their husbands 
at home. We find a very different state of 
things in these days, when the clergy every- 
where are ready to listen to women nay, to 
welcome and invite them to their desks ; and 
even dismiss their own services that the women 
may be heard. They must have learned a 
new gospel, or a new interpretation of the old 
one. In those early days, ministers before 
hearing us would refuse to open our meetings 
with prayer feeling, I suppose, that we had 
gotten too far out of our sphere to be bene- 
fited by their prayers. Now, they hesitate 
not to lend us all the aid in their power. 
There may be here and there one who turns 
the cold shoulder, but the cause is too far ad- 
vanced to be affected by anything such can 
bring against it." 

IN ROCHESTER AGAIN A CHANGE. 



In May, 1853, *& e annual meeting of the 
Woman's State Temperance Society con- 
vened in the city of Rochester. It was very 



AMELIA KLOOMER. 121 

largely attended by many of the prominent 
Temperance workers in the state. Mrs. 
Bloomer was present and took an active part 
in the proceedings. At the convention, the 
question of admitting men as members came 
up and excited a great deal of interest. It was 
agreed that, as both sexes were equally inter- 
ested in the work, they should all bear an 
equal responsibility in guiding the doings and 
sharing in the labor of the society. Those 
who took this view insisted that it should be 
placed on the broad grounds of equal rights 
and equal duties for alL Others thought the 
time had not yet come for so radical a change 
in the constitution, but preferred that it should 
continue to be an exclusively feminine organ- 
'ization. Mrs. Bloomer took this view and so 
the majority decided, with the result that Mrs. 
Stanton declined a reelection as president and 
Miss Anthony also declined a reelection as 
secretary. 

In their places, Mrs. Mary C Vaughan \vas 
elected president ; Mrs. Angelina Fish, secre- 
tary ; Mrs. Albro, chairman of the executive 



122 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

committee, and Mrs. Bloomer corresponding 
secretary. These ladies continued the work of 
the society with great zeal and fidelity. It 
kept its lecturers in the field and continued to 
labor earnestly in promoting its temperance 
work Mrs. Bloomer's connection with it 
ended with her removal from the state at the 
end of the year. She always exceedingly re- 
gretted that this divergence of views occurred 
between her and Mrs. Stanton and Miss An- 
thony, but their old-time friendship continued 
on as of old and Mrs. Stanton continued her 
interesting contributions to the columns of the 
Lily. 

The proceedings of this convention, as also 
of the Good-Templars meeting at Ithaca, were 
printed as a double number of the Lily soon 
after the adjournment of these bodies. Many 
extra copies were also printed, for which there 
was a very active demand. Mrs. Bloomer in- 
sisted that the work of the Woman's Tem- 
perance Society should go on vigorously, as in 
the preceding years, and she exerted all her 
influence to that end as one of its officers. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 123 

She however did not long remain a resident 
of New York, and after leaving the state she 
was no longer responsible for the work. The 
zeal of some of the workers may have become 
cold, or rather (which seems to have been the 
fact) was turned Into other channels. Mrs. 
Bloomer always looked upon her connection 
with the society as one of the most useful and 
interesting events of her life. 

After the close of the convention Mrs. 
Bloomer visited Niagara Falls for the first 
time, accompanied by her husband, spending a 
couple of days of much needed rest and re- 
creation. While there they looked over nearly 
all the most noted points, including a visit to 
Termination Rock under the mighty cataract 
itself, passing on their way under Table Rock, 
which has since disappeared, 

A LECTURE TOUR FOURTH OF JULY. 

Of one of her lecturing tours, Mrs. Bloomer 
gives the following report : 

" We left home on Saturday the second in- 
stant for Harford, where we were engaged as 



124 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

orator for the celebration on the Fourth. The 
weather was fine and the trip up the lake a 
delightful one, made doubly so by meeting 
some old acquaintances and the forming of 
some new ones on the boat. Arrived at Ithaca 
we found friends awaiting from Harford, and 
were soon on our way to that place, where we 
arrived after a pleasant carriage ride of sixteen 
miles at about ten o'clock in the evening. The 
glorious Fourth was ushered in by a salute at 
daybreak and another at sunrise. At an early 
hour people began to arrive from the country, 
and the streets soon presented a lively appear- 
ance. At ten o'clock the procession was 
formed in front of the Union Church and, the 
Good Templars and Sons of Temperance in the 
regalia of their orders first, led by a band 
of music and followed fay the people, proceeded 
to a grove where seats and a stand handsomely 
decorated had been prepared for the occasion. 
We were escorted by a committee of ladies all 
in short dresses to the stand, where after the 
usual exercises came the address ; but of the 
merits of this it becometh us not to speak. 
Suffice it to say that the large audience of 
fifteen hundred or two thousand persons 
listened to us throughout with the most earn- 
est attention, and judging from their counte- 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

nances the novelty of hearing a woman was 
lost in the interest excited by the subject." 

Mrs. Bloomer's toast at the dinner was as 
follows : 

" By Mrs. Bloomer : < The Women of the 
Revolution. Although they toiled along with 
the men of the Revolution for independence 
and freedom yet they failed, when the struggle 
was over, to secure an equality in those rights 
and duties which are the common birthright of 
alL May their daughters of the present gener- 
ation be more fortunate in their struggle for 
rights so long withheld ! ' " 

After several sentences laudatory of her 
hosts, Mrs. Bloomer continues : 

" On our return home we were escorted as 
far as Homer by our friends from Harford. 
Homer is our native village, and as we had not 
been there since the days of our childhood we 
took advantage of our stay to stroll through 
the place in quest of our old home around 
which clustered many fond recollections. We 
had no one to guide us in the search, but the 
impressions left on our mind at six years of age 
were so strong that we could not be mistaken. 



126 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

The place was soon found and, though much 
altered, It still retained enough of its former 
likeness to enable us to identify it after an 
absence of twenty-nine years. Emotions both 
pleasurable and painful were awakened as we 
gazed upon the spot where we first drew breath 
and where we spent the early years of our life. 
Scenes long since forgotten arose in memory as 
clearly as though but yesterday enacted. Not 
to the old home only has change come, to us 
and ours Time has brought much of change and 
somewhat of sorrow ; yet upon us personally 
has his hand rested lightly, to us he has im- 
parted kindness and blessing far more liberally 
than sorrow, With saddened feelings we re- 
turned to the hotel where we left our friends. 
Here we were soon surrounded by those who 
had known us in childhood and were intimate 
friends of our parents. Somehow, they, had 
gotten notice of our being there and came for- 
ward to offer congratulations and welcome us 
back to our early home. Intercessions were 
made for us to remain with them for the night 
and give them a lecture, which we decided to 
do. After bidding adieu to our kind friends 
from Harford, who now turned their steps 
homeward, we were escorted to the mansion of 
William Sherman who with his estimable wife 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

and family contributed largely to the pleasures 
of our visit to Homer. 

u The Presbyterian church was at once opened 
to us, and notice of the meeting circulated as 
fully as possible in the brief time that remained 
before the evening. The house though large 
was densely filled with an attentive and intel- 
ligent audience. On the earnest invitation of 
a committee of gentlemen we remained over 
another day and spoke in the same church on 
the following evening, when the body of the 
house and the large gallery were again as full 
as could be comfortably seated. Though we 
interspersed our lecture pretty freely with 
woman's rights, or rather we might say with 
woman's wrongs, no one seemed at all alarmed ; 
but, if we may believe the assertions of the 
people, new trains of thought were awakened 
and a most favorable impression made on the 
minds of the community." 

Mrs. Bloomer then proceeded by stage to 
Glen Haven where she received a most cordial 
welcome from Dr. Jackson, and at his request : 

" We addressed the patients and other in- 
mates of the house in a large sitting room on 
Thursday evening, and at his solicitation con- 



128 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

eluded to accept the Invitation of Judge Osborn, 
of Scott, to return to that place and speak on 
Friday evening, instead of returning home as 
we had intended to do. Accordingly on Friday 
evening we rode over to Scott, a distance of 
three or four miles. The church in which the 
meeting was held was densely filled, and we 
could but wonder where all the people canie 
from in so small a place. Many warm though 
strange friends gathered around us here, and 
bade us a hearty God-speed in our mission. 
They would have kept us for another night, 
but home after a week's absence was doubly 
endeared to us and we could be detained no 
longer ; so we again took the stage for the 
Glen on Saturday morning, and from thence 
on steamboat and cars returned home on Satur- 
day evening* Altogether the excursion was a 
delightful one and we have no cause to regret 
that we were induced to accept the invitation 
of our Harford friends to join with them in 
celebrating the 77th anniversary of the birth- 
day of our National Independence/* 

RESTING. 

Mrs. Bloomer's activities during the year had 
been so unremitting that she now needed rest. 



AMELJA BLOOMER. 129 

Small in person and fragile in health, she had 
been enabled to endure so much only by her 
indomitable courage and the spirit of persever- 
ance which ever controlled all her actions. 
This needed rest she therefore sought at Dr. 
Jackson's water cure, on the beautiful shores 
of Skaneateles Lake. Here secluded from 
public gaze she spent some weeks in retire- 
ment ; and yet not entirely so, for she was 
there invited and consented to deliver her 
lecture on Woman's Enfranchisement to the 
inmates of the cure, 

NEW LECTURES. 

This lecture had been prepared during the 
early months of the year and the closing 
months of 1852. She delivered it on many 
occasions in subsequent years in various parts 
of the country, rewriting it several times in 
whole or in part for that purpose. Towards 
the closing years of her life she revised it once 
more, fully setting forth her ideas and convic- 
tions on the subject of woman suffrage; and in 
this completed form it is printed in full in the 
9 



130 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

Appendix of this work. It Is believed to be 
one of the strongest arguments that has ever 
been written in favor of woman's right to the 
ballot. Mrs. Bloomer also prepared lectures on 
woman's right to employment and education as 
fully in all respects as that enjoyed by the other 
sex. These lectures, she delivered to audi- 
ences in different parts of the country as occa- 
sion offered. They were radical in their claims 
for equality for woman in all the employments 
and acquirements of life with man, for at that 
time this claim was only just beginning to be 
discussed. No colleges were then open to 
women. No universities offered her the liter- 
ary advantages of their halls and lecture rooms, 
and the general opinion was entertained among 
the mass of the people that the three studies 
of reading, writing ^.nd arithmetic were enough 
for her. So also there was little for women to 
do but to sew and stitch, and occasionally teach 
school for wages far below those paid to men. 
There were no women lawyers, no women 
preachers, except among the Quakers, no type- 
writers, no clerks in the stores, no public 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 131 

offices filled by women. Mrs. Bloomer in her 
lectures insisted that all this was wrong. She 
argued that the schoolroom, the workshop, 
the public office, the lawyer's forum and the 
sacred desk should be opened to her sex on 
entire equality xvith man. These were then 
unpopular doctrines to promulgate either in 
the public press or on the lecturer's platform ; 
but Mrs. Bloomer was spared long enough to 
see her rather radical ideas on this subject 
brought into practical application, for at the 
end of 1894 woman's right to both education 
and employment on an equality with man had 
come to be almost universally recognized. 

A CLUB OF TALKERS. 

Mrs. Bloomer derived much mental culture 
from attending the conversation-club which 
had been organized through Mrs. Stanton's 
exertions and was led by her. It followed 
largely the line of thought and action set forth 
in the Life of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, published 
about that time, who had conducted clubs of 



132 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

like character some years before in Boston. It 
met from time to time in the parlors of promi- 
nent residents of the village and many ques- 
tions social, literary and even political were 
freely discussed at its meetings, each member 
being required to take some part in the conver- 
sation. It was not exactly a ladies' club, for 
gentlemen also were invited to attend and did 
so to some extent; but the attendance and 
discussions were mainly confined to the other 
sex. Mrs. Stanton was eminently qualified to 
lead the club as she was and is a woman of 
great general information, of large culture and 
literary attainments, and an excellent talker. 
Occasionally an essay was read by some mem- 
ber previously appointed, and on the whole the 
club added greatly to the mental attainments 
of its members. Seneca Falls as a village was 
noted at that time for its liberality in all re- 
formatory movements. It was the residence 
of Mrs. Stanton, of Bascom, of Tellman, and 
other leaders in liberal thought, to say nothing 
of the Bloomers, 



AMELIA BLOOMED 



CHAPTER SIXTH. 

AT THE WORLD'S CONVENTION. 

IN September, Mrs* Bloomer attended the 
two great temperance conventions held in that 
month in the city of New York. During her 
stay of ten days she was the guest of Mrs. L. 
N. Fowler, where for the first time she met 
her old correspondent, Mrs. Frances D. Gage, 
between whom and Mrs. Bloomer there existed 
for many years and until Mrs. Gage's decease 
the warmest friendship. She also here again 
met her old co-laborers in temperance and 
other reform work, Miss Lucy Stone and Miss 
Antoinette L. Brown. When the World's 
Temperance Convention met in Metropolitan 
Hall a most bitter wrangle at once Commenced 
over the question of admitting women to seats 
in the convention, and after one or two days 



134 J-JFE *WD WRITINGS OF 

spent In Its discussion it was decided in the 
negative. The Whole World's Temperance 
Convention then followed, over which Rev. T. 
W. Higginson presided. To this convention 
both men and women were admitted as dele- 
gates, and the proceedings throughout were 
intensely interesting. A public meeting held In 
the Tabernacle was interrupted to some extent 
by a noisy demonstration whenever a man at- 
tempted to speak, but the women were listened 
to without Interruption. Among the speakers 
were Miss Stone, Miss Brown, Mrs. Gage, and 
Wendell Phillips. Mrs. Bloomer was an in- 
tensely interested participant in all these meet- 
ings, and in a quiet way took part In them, 
speaking briefly from the platform in Metropol- 
itan Hall. She also delivered a temperance 
address In Broadway Tabernacle to a very large 
audience, Miss Emily Clark and Mrs, Mary C. 
Vaughan being the other speakers. While in 
the city Mrs. Bloomer also attended the Crys- 
tal Palace exhibition then open to the public. 
It was a very interesting presentation of the 
progress of the world up to that time in the 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

several departments of human skill, industry 
and the fine arts, but has been far exceeded in 
extent and variety in subsequent years. One 
of the curious things occurring at these gather- 
ings was a vegetarian banquet held in the Met- 
ropolitan Hall in which, it was said by the 
newspapers of the day, were gathered all the 
reformers of every description then in the city. 
The table was abundantly supplied with all 
kinds of fruit and vegetable productions, but 
every form of animal food was strictly excluded. 
Some speeches were made ; but, on the whole, 
the affair was not esteemed a very great suc- 
cess. On the following day Rev. Miss Brown 
delivered a sermon from the platform in the 
same hall to a fair congregation on that old 
subject, " The exceeding sinfulness of sin/' 

Of the Whole World's Temperance Conven- 
tion Mrs. Bloomer wrote as follows : 

" It was largely attended, and passed off 
most happily. There were no old fogies pres- 
ent to raise a disturbance and guy the speakers ; 
no questioning the right of each individual, 
whether man or woman, to utter his thoughts 



i 3 6 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

on the great subject which they had met to 
consider. All was peace and harmony and it 
did the heart good to be there. 

" There were delegates present from some 
twenty states and Canada and Europe, and a 
more earnest and Intelligent set of men and 
women were never met together. We had the 
pleasure of meeting and taking by the hand 
many of our friends and co-workers to whom 
though personally unknown we had long been 
attached. 

"The time allotted to the convention was 
too short to allow so full and free an interchange 
of sentiment as was desirable. Many who had 
come up hither with hearts burning with zeal 
for the good cause, many from whom it would 
have been pleasant and profitable to hear, were 
obliged to forego the privilege of speaking on 
account of the limited time which had been 
fixed upon for the convention. The ' whole 
world* could not possibly be heard in two days, 
yet all appeared satisfied with the rich feast that 
had been furnished them;* and we trust that 
those who were not heard in New York have 
gone home strengthened and better prepared 
to make themselves heard and their influence 
felt in the coming contest.*' 



AMELIA J3LOQMER. 137 

Returning home Mrs. Bloomer issued another 
number of her paper, and then with her hus- 
band started on a Western trip. Of the first 
part of this tour, Mrs, Bloomer herself gave 
the following report : 

A WESTERN TRIP. 

"Columbus, Oct. 10, 1853- We reached 
Cleveland about six o'clock on Sunday mom- 
ing, when we soon found our old friend C. E. 
Wheeler and wife where we spent the few days 
of our stay very pleasantly. We had heard 
much of the beauty of Cleveland, but in this 
respect I think it has not been overrated. It 
is indeed a fine city full of life and enterprise. 
The broad streets so nicely shaded give it an 
appearance of health and comfort unlike that 
of any other city I have ever visited. It is 
rapidly growing in population and wealth, and 
great numbers of fine buildings are now In pro- 
cess of erection. It is destined ere long to 
take rank in importance with any city in the 
West, 

" On Monday evening, I addressed a large 
and attentive audience at the Athenaeum on 



138 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

the subject of temperance and the Maine law. 
The subject Is attracting great attention in 
this state this fall, and great efforts are being 
made to secure the passage of a prohibitory 
law at the next session of the legislature. Party 
lines are set aside and the frowns and threats 
of party leaders entirely disregarded in many 
sections. This is the only true course to be 
pursued, and I rejoice to see the men thus 
breaking away from party shackles and earn- 
estly contending for the right. 

" Yesterday, the National Woman' s-Rights 
Convention commenced its session. The at- 
tendance, though respectable, was not large. 
There are many here from abroad, and I should 
judge the Northern states were well represented. 
Mrs. F. D, Gage, our dear Aunt Fanny, is pres- 
ident. I was prevented from attending the af- 
ternoon session on account of having accepted 
an invitation extended to me by the Temper- 
ance Convention to repeat before that body 
the address delivered on Monday evening at 
the Athenaeum. Gen. Gary, Dr. Jewitt, and 
others of the great men were present. I was 
rather disappointed in Dr. Jewitt ; but I was 
under the necessity of leaving before he finished 
his speech, to n^eet another engagement. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

u The attendance at the Woman's-Rights 
Convention at the Melodeon, in the evening, 
was very large. Mrs. Garrison read several 
resolutions submitted by the business com- 
mittee. I followed with an address of about 
three-quarters of an hour on woman's right of 
franchise, after which Lucretia Mott occupied 
a half-hour or more in her usual happy and 
interesting style of speech. 

" We next visited Mount Vernon, which is a 
pleasant village of about 6,000 inhabitants, and 
where I addressed the people on the Maine 
law. There are four papers published here ; 
among them is the Western Home Visitor, 
which is a reformatory paper of high character 
and has a circulation of about four thousand 
copies. Newart was our next stopping place. 
It has a rather bad reputation for hard drinking, 
but it has a division of the Sons of Temperance 
which is doing good work. I judge there is a 
considerable reform spirit here, also, from the 
fact that the First Presbyterian church was 
opened to me by the unanimous consent of the 
trustees, that I might be heard on the Maine 
law. 

" We arrived in this city on Saturday, and 
stopped at the Niel House where the attend- 
ance is excellent. Just opposite is the magntf- 



140 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

icent state house in process of erection, which 
when completed will be second in size and 
grandeur only to the National Capitol at Wash- 
ington. I addressed a large audience on Sat- 
urday evening on the Maine law, and this 
evening I propose speaking again on intemper- 
ance and the wrongs of woman. I had the 
pleasure of a call from Mrs. Janney, secretary 
of the Woman's State-Temperance Society of 
this state, from whom I learned that the society 
is far less efficient than ours though it is slowly 
gaining ground. The reason for this inefficiency 
is doubtless the fact that its leaders are. unwill- 
ing to send out agents of their own sex to lec- 
ture and gather funds to promote the cause. 
To-montSw we leave here and travel westward/' 

CONTINUES HER JOURNEY. 

* 

Mrs, Bloomer then passed on to Richmond, 
Indianapolis, Detroit, Chicago, and Milwaukee, 
Unfortunately, her own report of her visits to 
these cities is lost and cannot be reproduced. 
She remained one or two days in each of them, 
and in each delivered one or two addresses, 
certainly two in Detroit, Chicago, and Milwau- 
kee, one on temperance and one on woman's 



AMELIA BLOOMED 

enfranchisement in each city. In all she was 
favored with large audiences and listened to 
with the closest attention, and highly favorable 
notices of her lectures appeared in the news- 
papers of all the cities visited. With the ex- 
ception of Lucy Stone, who had previously 
spoken in some of them, she was up to that 
time the first woman who had been heard on 
the platform in the large towns of the great 
West, 

But the journey, with all she did during its 
continuance, was really beyond her strength 
and she was very glad to return home the latter 
part of the month and secure the rest she so 
greatly needed. But she could not keep quiet, 
and her pluck and perseverance enabled her to 
go on with her work. The issues of the Lily 
were resumed, and she was soon again in . the 
lecture field in reply to pressing invitations 
from surrounding towns. . Her last lecture, at 
this time, in New York was delivered at the 
courthouse in Ovid, in. which beautiful town 
some of the earlier years of her life had been 
spent. 



142 JLIFM AN& WAITINGS OF 

AN ANNOUNCEMENT A REMOVAL. 

The December number of the Lily contained 
the following announcement ; 

" Our husband having purchased an interest 
in the Western Home Visitor published at 
Mount Vernon, Ohio, and determined upon 
moving to that place forthwith we, as a true 
and faithful wife, are bound to say in the lan- 
guage of Ruth * where thou goest, I will go * ; 
and so, before another number of the Lily 
reaches its subscribers, we shall if all is well be 
settled in our Western home. 

" This announcement, we are well aware, will 
be an unpleasant surprise to many of our read- 
ers and friends in this state ; yet we trust that 
our change of location will not be deemed by 
them sufficient cause for deserting us. We go 
but a short distance to the west. The Lily 
will continue to be published and its character 
will be in no wise changed. * Uncle Sam ' will 
carry it as safely and regularly to the homes of 
our friends as he has done heretofore, and also 
convey all letters and remittances to us as safely 
and securely in Ohio as in New York. Then, 
friends, we pray you let not our change of 
location affect our intercourse with each other ; 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

but remember that, there as well as here, we 
shall labor for the promotion of the great and 
good cause to which we have devoted so many 
years of our life. We look confidently to you 
for that support and encouragement which you 
have -bestowed so liberally heretofore, and we 
trust that your efforts in behalf of the Lily will 
be increased rather than diminished* 

** We feel that it matters little in what part 
of the vineyard we are placed, so we but im- 
prove and cultivate to the best of our ability 
the part assigned us. And this feeling bears 
us up under the heart-sorrow occasioned by the 
sundering of the many ties that bind us to 
home and friends in our native state. We bid 
farewell to all with an aching heart. 

" Yet our grief in parting with associations 
so dear, is mingled with hope for the future. 
We prefer to look on the bright side of every 
picture, and to do what we can to render life's 
journey pleasant and happy rather than darken 
and embitter it by mournings and grief. So 
we will dash aside the tears, and school our 
heart to bear with fortitude this the greatest 
sorrow ever laid upon us ; believing that it is 
for our interest to take this step, though it be 
so agonizing to part with those we love. 

**We go to seek a home among strangers, 



144 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

not knowing what will be our reception, or 
whether kindred spirits are . there to gather 
around and cheer our loneliness ; but in this, 
too, we have hope that we shall be met in the 
same spirit of kindness which we bear with us. 
" We have never been pleased with the ap- 
pearance of our paper in folio form, and so 
have determined to change it back to a quarto ; 
and we shall hope, with the increased facilities 
which we shall have for printing it at Mount 
Vernon, that The Lily will present a more 
respectable appearance than it has done the 
past year.*' 

The removal of Mr, and Mrs. Bloomer from 
Seneca Falls excited a good deal of interest, 
as they had been many years residents of that 
place and had taken an active part in the events 
of village life. A public meeting was called 
and largely attended by their friends and ad- 
mirers, at which speeches were made and a fine 
supper served. A report of this gathering will 
be given in full. The editor of the Courier, 
Mr. Isaac Fuller, who had been intimately ac- 
quainted with Mr. and Mrs. Bloomer for many 
years, published the following article in his 
paper : 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 145 

A TESTIMONIAL, 

" The Lily. This paper will hereafter be 
published at Mount Vernon, Ohio, its editor 
and proprietor having moved with her husband 
to that place. Although we disapprove of some 
of the measures advocated in the Lily^ we part 
with it and its worthy editor with sincere re- 
gret. It is now five years since Its publication 
was commenced, and during the whole time 
Mrs. Bloomer has had the entire direction of 
it, both editorially and financially, displaying 
talents and business qualifications possessed by 
few of the gentler sex and which but few of 
her friends were prepared to see her exhibit. 
The ability and energy with which the Lily has 
been conducted have attained for it a circulation 
of over four thousand copies in different parts 
of the Union, thus giving to our enterprising 
village notoriety which it would not have other- 
wise obtained. Our business engagements 
with Mrs, Bloomer have been such as to give 
us a knowledge of the facts above mentioned, 
to which we add that she possesses in an emi- 
nent degree, those social virtues which every- 
where command respect and which give value 
to character in every position occupied by mem- 
bers of refined society. We say this because 
10 



146 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

we know that strangers are wont to consider 
the editor of theLtfy a coarse, unrefined woman 
possessing few or none of the traits which adorn 
the female character, and as cherishing a disre- 
gard of the duties devolving upon woman In 
the domestic relations of society ; whereas just 
the reverse is the fact. We hope the Lily will 
lose none of its vitality from being transplanted, 
and may its amiable editor enjoy a long and 
happy life ! " * 

DEMONSTRATION OF RESPECT TO MR, AND MRS. 
BLOOMER. 

" D. C. Bloomer, Esq., having made known 
his intention to remove from the village where 
he has resided for sixteen years past, the numer- 
ous friends of himself and wife assembled by 
appointment at Union Hall, on Tuesday even- 
ing last, for the purpose of publicly testifying 
their respect for them. The proceeding origin- 
ated with the Good Templars, a temperance 
order to which Mr. and Mrs. Bloomer belong, 
but was participated in by citizens <Jf all classed 
The assemblage composed about equally of 
both sexes was very large, numbering we should 
judge from 400 to 500 persons* Five tables 

* From Seneca County Courier, Dec. 1853. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 



147 



most bountifully spread and extending the 
whole length of the hall were twice filled. 
After the refreshments were disposed of C. 
Salisbury, Esq., was called to the chair, and 
speeches and toasts followed. Appropriate 
and extended remarks were made by Gilbert 
Wilcoxen, Esq., C. H. Reed, Esq., S. D. Till- 
man, Esq., Rev. Mr. Fraly, and others. We 
are not able to report what was said, tjut the 
sentiments offered were highly complimentary 
to Mr. and Mrs. Bloomer, both of whom re- 
sponded in a very handsome manner. The 
following resolutions were presented and passed 
by a hearty and unanimous * aye ' : 

" Whereas we have learned that our respected 
friend and fellow-citizen, Dexter C. Bloomer, 
and his wife, Mrs. Amelia Bloomer, are about 
to remove from this village ; 

" And whereas they have, during the long 
period they have resided among us not only sus- 
tained the character of good citizens, but have 
been known as efficient and active workers in 
the cause of temperance ; therefore, 

u Resolved that we, the temperance men and 
women of Seneca Falls here assembled on this 
occasion, do tender to Mr. and Mrs. Bloomer 
our warmest and most sincere acknowledgments 
for their faithful and devoted service in promot- 



148 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

Ing the noble work of redeeming the world from 
the evils of intemperance. 

a Resolved ib^t, as citizens of the village, we 
also desire to tender to Mr. and Mrs. Bloomer 
an expression of the high regard we entertain 
for them, and to beat our willing testimony to 
the general esteem and respect in which they 
are held by their neighbors and associates 
among whom they have so long resided. 

" Resolved $&&t, while we part with our friends 
with sincere regret, our warmest wishes for 
their future welfare will go with them to their 
new home, and we shall always hear of their 
prosperity with the greatest satisfaction. 

" The serious part of the proceedings having 
been gotten along with, music and dancing 
were introduced and the festivities were pro- 
longed to a late hour, when the assembly dis- 
persed and all retired to their homes with a 
consciousness of having discharged their duty 
to valued friends who were about removing 
from their midst, 

"The whole of the proceedings passed off 
most agreeably and pleasantly, and we regard 
the affair as the very highest compliment that 
could have been paid to those in whose honor 
it was gotten up/* 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 



149 



CHAPTER SEVENTH. 

AN ASSISTANT EDITOR. 

ON taking up her residence in Mount Ver- 
non, Mrs. Bloomer became assistant editor of 
the Western Home Visitor \ of which her husband 
was editor and one of the proprietors. This 
was a weekly family paper, having a large cir- 
culation and printed in folio form on a large 
sheet. It was devoted to educational progress 
and all reformatory questions designed to ad- 
vance the interests of the community in which 
it circulated. It advocated temperance and 
sound morality, and its columns were filled 
weekly with matter appropriate to be read in 
the family circle. Its columns contained no 
advertisements, and it depended for its support 
solely on its patrons* yearly subscriptions. We 
give below Mrs. Bloomer's salutatory, and also 



150 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

her first additional article on assuming her 
position as assistant editor : 

" Salutatory. Following the custom set to 
me by my husband, I make my editorial bow 
to the readers of the Visitor. I suppose it is 
not necessary for me to enterlnto any detailed 
account of myself, as the papers have already 
done that for me. Neither do I suppose it 
necessary to make any statements in regard to 
my sentiments and principles, as they are al- 
ready generally well known to the public. 
What I have been in the past, I expect to be 
in the future, an uncompromising opponent 
of wrong and oppression in every form, and a 
sustainer of the right and the true, with what- 
ever subject it may be connected. I have no 
promises to make, preferring to stand uncom- 
mitted and at liberty to write as the spirit 
moves me, or as the circumstances of the case 
may require. Having a separate organ of my 
own independent of any other paper or person 
through which I can speak forth my sentiments 
on the great reform questions of the day, freely 
and independently, I probably shall not intro- 
duce into the columns of the Visitor anything 
particularly obnoxious on those subjects ; yet I 
may frequently come In contact with old prej- 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 



151 



udlces and bigoted notions, for it is impossible 
for the free progressive spirit of the present day 
to be bound by the opinion and prejudices of a 
former age. I trust, however, that my readers 
will bear with me and listen to me even though 
they do not approve, and if I say anything 
very bad, attribute it to my womanly folly or 
ignorance. And, as it is but right that I should 
bear whatever censure my doings may deserve, 
I shall write over my own initials in all matters 
of any moment. With this much for an intro- 
duction I extend to you, readers of the Visitor 
one and all, a cordial greeting, and wish you 
not only a ' Happy New-Year * but that it may 
prove happy and prosperous to you to its close/' 
" Woman's Right to Employment. To woman 
equally with man has been given the right to 
iabor, the right to employment for both mind 
and body ; and such employment is as necessary 
to her health and happiness, to her mental and 
physical development, as to his. All women 
need employment, active, useful employment ; 
and if they do not have it, they sink down into a 
state of listlessness and insipidity and become 
enfeebled in health and prematurely old simply 
because denied this great want of their nature. 
Nothing has tended more to the physical and 
moral degradation of the race than the erroiie- 



152 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 



ous and silly Idea that woman is too weak, too 
delicate a creature to have imposed upon her 
the more active duties of life, that it is not 
respectable or praiseworthy for her to earn a 
support or competence for herself. 

" We see no reason why it should be con- 
sidered disreputable for a woman to be usefully 
employed, while it is so highly respectable for 
her brother ; why it is so much more commend- 
able for her to be a drone, dependent on the 
labors of others, than for her to make for her- 
self a name and fortune by her own energy and 
enterprise. A great wrong is committed by 
parents toward their daughters in this respect* 
While their sons as they come to manhood are 
given some kind of occupation that will afford 
not only healthy exercise of the body and mind 
but also the means of an honorable independ- 
ence, the daughters are kept at home in 
inactivity and indolence, with no higher object 
in life than to dress, dance, read novels, gossip, 
flirt and * set their caps * for husbands. How 
well the majority of them are fitted to be the 
companions and mothers of men, every day's 
history will telL 

" Certainly, our girls would be far better and 
happier than now if they were educated and 
encouraged to occupy their hands and minds 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

in some useful business occupation ; and parents 
do a great injustice to their daughters when 
they doom them to a life of idleness or, what 
is worse, to a life of frivolity and fashionable 
dissipation. 

" It was said by a distinguished clergyman 
of one who had passed away from earth, * She 
ate, she drank, she slept, she dressed, she danced 
and she died/ Such may be truly said to be 
the history of many women of the present day. 
They eat, they drink, they sleep, they dress, 
they dance and at last die, without having ac- 
complished the great purposes of their creation. 
Can woman be content with this aimless, 
frivolous life ? Is she satisfied to lead a mere 
butterfly existence, to stifle and crush all as- 
pirations for a nobler destiny, to dwarf the in- 
tellect, deform the body, sacrifice the health 
and desecrate all the faculties which the 
Almighty Father has given her and which He 
requires her to put to good use and give an 
account thereof to Him? While all other 
created things both animal and vegetable per- 
form their allotted parts in the universe of 
being, shall woman, a being created in God's 
own image, endowed with reason and intellect, 
capable of the highest attainments and des- 
tined to an immortal existence, alone be an 



154 -/# AM WRITINGS OF 

idler, a drone, and pervert the noble faculties 
of her being from the great purposes for which 
they were given ? 

" It will not always be thus ; the public mind 
is undergoing a rapid change in its opinion of 
woman and is beginning to regard her sphere, 
rights and duties in altogether a different light 
from that in which she has been viewed in past 
ages. Woman herself is doing much to rend 
asunder the dark veil of error and prejudice 
which has so long blinded the world in regard 
to her true position ; and we feel assured that, 
when a more thorough education is given to 
her and she is recognized as an intelligent 
being capable of self-government, and in all 
rights, responsibilities and duties man's equal, 
we shall have a generation of women who will 
blush over the ignorance and folly of the pres- 
ent day. 

"A. B." 



And for six months thereafter, the Visitor 
contained nearly every week one or more 
articles from her pen. Some were on temper- 
ance, some on woman's " fads " and foibles of 
that day* She aimed to sustain every good 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 155 

word and deed and to rebuke vice in all its 
forms. 

Of course she did not escape criticism in 
prosecuting her work. * Especially, people at 
that early day would not listen quietly to her 
severe analysis of the laws bearing upon the 
legal rights of women. They sometimes 
denied her positions, and at other times doubted 
the wisdom of the changes which she advo- 
cated. Between her and the editor of another 
paper published in the city, quite an extended 
controversy arose which ran through several 
numbers of their respective papers, Mrs. 
Bloomer sustained her side of the debate with 
numerous quotations from legal writers, and 
she had the satisfaction of seeing her position 
substantially admitted by her opponents. 

PROSPERITY OF THE LILY. 

But Mrs. Bloomer's attention and time were 
given chiefly to the Lily, the publication of 
which in her new home was commenced on 
the first of January, Printed in new type on 
a steam press, it presented a very neat and 



156 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

handsome appearance. The people of the 
state were greatly pleased with its removal to 
their limits and new subscriptions came in 
with surprising rapidity ; Its semi-monthly Issue 
soon reached over six thousand copies. Mrs. 
Bloomer was greatly encouraged by these 
signs of approval and renewed her exertions 
and labors to make the Lily in all respects ac- 
ceptable to its many friends. She wrote from 
one to three pages each week of original matter 
for its pages, and was aided at the same time 
by numerous correspondents. She continued 
to write continuously in advocacy of temper- 
ance, making that the leading object of her 
work, but she also wrote for woman's advance- 
ment in all the fields of honest endeavor. She 
asked for her plenty of work and good pay ; 
she insisted that to her should be opened every 
educational institution ; and she demanded for 
her also the right of suffrage as her inalienable 
right. Some extracts from her editorials will 
follow. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 157 

ENFRANCHISEMENT OF WOMAN. 

Replying to and commenting upon an article 
on an alleged corruption in the state legislat- 
ure, Mrs. Bloomer wrote as follows : 

" Where then shall the remedy for purifying 
and healing the nation be found ? We answer, 
in the education and enfranchisement of woman ! 
Loose the chains that bind her to the condition 
of a dependent, a slave to passion and the 
caprices of men. Open for her the doors of 
our colleges and universities and bid her enter. 
Hold up before her a pattern for womanly great- 
ness and excellence, and bid her to occupy the 
same high positions held by her brothers. 
Teach her to aspire to that true knowledge 
that should fit her to become the future mother 
and teacher of statesmen and rulers. Resign to 
her control the children committed to her care, 
and bid her guard them from all temptation 
and danger that threaten to assail them both 
at home and abroad. Restore to her her 
heaven-born right of self-government, and 
give her a voice in making the laws which are 
to govern for good or evil the actions and 
sentiments of society at large. Let her say 



158 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

whether the grogshop, the gaming house and 
the brothel shall be suffered to open wide their 
doors to entice her sons to ruin. Let her say 
whether man shall have power to override 
virtue and sobriety and send the minions of 
evil into our halls of legislation to make laws 
for the people. Let her say whether we shall 
have a Maine Law, and whether such a law 

shall be observed and enforced Do this, 

and we shall soon see a great change wrought 
in society and in the character of our rulers ! 
Our only hope for the future of our country 
lies in the elevation of woman physically, 
mentally, socially and politically, and in the 
triumph of the principles which lie at the 
foundation of the so-called * Woman's Rights' ' 
reform/* 

WOMAN'S RIGHT. 

*' Woman has a right to vote for civil officers, 
to hold offices, and so rule over men. If any 
law against it exists in the Bible, it has been 
overruled by divine sanction. Deborah ruled 
Israel forty years and, instead of being told 
she was out of her sphere, that she had usurped 
authority over men, we are assured that she 
was highly approved and that she ruled wisely 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 159 

and well. No one calls in question the right 
of Queen Victoria to rule over her kingdom 
notwithstanding there are some men in it ; nor 
do we believe, if she is a wise and faithful 
sovereign, that she will be condemned at the 
last great day for thus ruling over men. 
What was right for Deborah was right for Queen 
Victoria. If it is right for Victoria to sit on 
the throne of England it is right for any 
American Woman to occupy the Presidential 
Chair at Washington. All that is needed is 
votes enough to elevate her to that post of 
honor and of trust and sufficient ability to dis- 
charge its duties. Of the latter requisite, judg- 
ing from some of those who have already oc- 
cupied that seat, no great amount is demanded/* 

WOMAN'S CLAIM. 

U A correspondent asks what it is that we 
and other advocates of woman f s rights want ? 

" We answer, we claim all the rights guaran- 
teed by the Constitution of the United States 
to the citizens of the republic. We claim to 
be one-half of the people of the United States, 
and we deny the right of the other half to 
disfranchise us/' 



160 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

DESTROYING LIQUOR. 

" We hold In all honor the names of those 
noble women of Mount Vemon who, a few 
years ago, boldly entered the rum shop and 
gambling house and poured out the liquors and 
destroyed the implements wherewith their 
husbands and brothers had been at once 
robbed of their reason and their money, and 
converted into dupes and madmen* And we 
believe, if the same "spirit now dwelt In the 
hearts of all the women of this beautiful city, 
that every rumshop would soon be closed, no 
matter whether legislators or councilman passed 
ordinances or not. Woman has neither made 
nor consented to laws which leave her, and her 
children, at the mercy of heartless rumsellers 
and she should never submit to them. She has 
a right nay, it is her duty to arise in 
her own defense and in the defense of the souls 
entrusted to her keeping and insist that, either 
with or without law, the destroyer shall be driven 
from the land. And if men have not the cour- 
age to boldly attack the foe, then let woman 
meet him face to face and never retire from the 
contest till she can do so as a victor. Horace 
Mann tells that woman may with propriety go 
into the dark lanes and alleys of our great 



A AMELIA BLOOMER. 161 

cities and endeavor to conquer men to virtue. 
If it be proper for her to visit such haunts of 
iniquity on such an errand, it would be far more 
praiseworthy for her to apply her efforts to 
remove the cause which produces vice and 
crime." 

GOLDEN RULES FOR WIVES. 

" Faugh, on such twaddle ! ( Golden rules 
for wives ' * duty of wives ' how sick we are 
at the sight of such paragraphs I Why don't 
our wise editors give us now and then some 
* golden rules' for husbands, by way of variety ? 
Why not tell us of the promises men make at 
the altar, and of the injunction * Husbands, love 
your wives as your own selves ' ? * Implicit 
submission of a man to his wife is disgraceful 
to both, but implicit obedience of the wife to 
the will of the husband is what she promised 
at the altar.' So you say ! What nonsense ! 
what absurdity ! what downright injustice ! A 
disgrace for a man to yield to the wishes of his 
wife, but an honor for a wife to yield implicit 
obedience to the commands of her husband, 
be he good or bad, just or unjust, a kind hus- 
band or a tyrannical master ! Oh ! how much 
pf sorrow, of shame and unhappiness have such 



LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

teachingsoccasionecL Master and slave ! Such 
they make the relationship existing between 
husband and wife ; and oh, how fearfully has 
woman been made to feel that he who promised 
at the altar to love, cherish and protect her is 
but a legalized master and tyrant ! We deny 
that it is any more her duty to make her hus- 
band's happiness her study than it is his busi- 
ness to study her happiness. We deny that it 
is woman's duty to love and obey her husband, 
unless he prove himself worthy of her love and 
unless his requirements are just and reasonable* 
Marriage is a union of two intelligent, immor- 
tal beings in a life partnership, "in which each 
should study the pleasure and the happiness of 
the other and they should mutually share the 
joys and bear the burdens of life.*' 

THE CLERGY. 

" It is too true that the majority of this class 
of men stand aloof from the humanitarian 
questions of the day, and exert their influence to 
prejudice their people against them and to 
prevent their hearing the truth ; yet it is not 
less true that there are among them many 
warm-hearted, earnest and true men ; and for 
this reason the charges brought by reformers 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 163 

should be limited. We find that it is with 
clergymen as with other people ; there are some 
very open and liberal, and others very conserv- 
ative and bigoted. Some would think it a 
desecration to allow a woman to lecture In their 
church, while others not only freely offer their 
church for temperance, but also for woman's- 
rights lectures. Some think it an abomination 
for women to speak in public on any subject, 
while others wish that there were a hundred to 
take the platform in behalf of temperance where 
there is but one now. We have discussed 
temperance and woman's rights in numerous 
churches and have had clergymen for our list- 
eners. While we would by no means excuse 
those who so coldly and scornfully turn away 
from the woman question and its discussion, 
yet we feel unwilling to see the more liberal 
classed with them and subjected to censure. 
We know of no other course for reformers to 
pursue, but to be sure they are right and then 
* go ahead * without regard to the opposition of 
the clergy or any other class of men." 

MALE BLOOMERS. 

" Under this head, many of our brother 
editors are aiming their wit and ridicule at 



1 64 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

those gentlemen who have donned the shawl 
as a comfortable article of wearing apparel in 
cold weather. There is a class of men who 
seem to think it their especial business to super- 
intend the wardrobes of both men and women, 
and if any dare to depart from their ideas of 
propriety they forthwith launch out all sorts 
of witticisms and hard names, and proclaim 
their opinions, their likes and dislikes, with all 
the importance of authorized dictators. As to 
the shawl, it would be well if it could be ban- 
ished from use entirely, as it is an inconvenient 
and injurious article of apparel, owing to its 
requiring both hands to keep it on and thereby 
tending to contract the chest and cause stoop- 
ing shoulders. But, if worn at all, men have 
the same right to it that women have. If they 
find it convenient that is enough, and no one 
has a right to object to their wearing it because 
women wear shawls. Indeed, we think the 
shawl of right belongs to men as it answers so 
well to the description of the garment pre- 
scribed for them in Deut,, xxiL 12 ; * Thou shalt 
make thee fringes upon the four quarters of 
thy vesture wherewith thou coverest thyself.' 
True, men have departed from this injunction 
in former years, and resigned to women the 
dress prescribed for themselves and worn by 



AMELIA BLOOMER. !& 5 

their fathers in olden times. But that Is no 
reason why they should not resume it." 

WOMEN MECHANICS. 

It having been stated that a woman in New 
Jersey had made a carriage, Mrs. Bloomer com- 
ments as follows : 

14 This is told as though it were something 
wonderful for women to have mechanical 
genius when, in fact, there are thousands all 
over the country who could make as good me- 
chanics and handle tools with as much skill and 
dexterity as men, if they were only allowed to 
manifest their skill and ingenuity. A girl's 
hands and head are formed very much like 
those of a boy ; and, if put to a trade at the 
age when boys are usually apprenticed, our 
word for it she will master her business quite 
as soon . as the boy at the same trade, be the 
trade what it may* Women have taste and 
ingenuity for something besides washing dishes 
and sewing on buttons, and so people will 
find out some day, hard as it is now to be- 
iieve it" 



166 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

WOMAN'S DRESS. 

" Our counsel to every woman Is, wear what 
pleases you best. Pursue a quiet and inde- 
pendent course in the matter, turning neither 
to the right nor the left to enquire who is pleased 
or displeased ; and, if others do not see fit to 
keep you company by patterning their dress 
after yours, you will at least be left in the 
peaceable enjoyment of your own comfortable 
attire* and real friends will value you according 
to your worth, and not according to the length 
of your train." 

WOMEN DRUNKARDS. 

11 Pity the law couldn't be brought to bear 
upon a few more respectable lady drunkards 
and respectable gentlemen drunkards, too 
and shut them in a dungeon till they could 
learn in what real respectability consists ! The 
so-called * respectable ladies/ the upper-ten 
drunkards* are in our view decidedly vulgar, 
and should be classed in public estimation with 
the drunken occupant of the shanty or the fre- 
quenter of the low drunkery* They are even 
worse than these, for their influence is much 
greater/* 



AMELIA BLOOMER. ^7 

PROGRESS. 

a The signs of the times cheer on the honest 
true-hearted laborers in this cause to greater 
devotion in the work in which they are engaged. 
They point to a triumph in the future, to the 
coming of that brighter day when the mists of 
Ignorance and barbarism that have so long 
rested upon the life and hopes of women will 
be dispelled, and when justice and right will 
bear sway. For be It remembered that these 
things point, as unerringly as does the needle 
to the pole, to the wider and fuller emancipa- 
tion yet in store for our sex, to the acknowl- 
edgment of her civil as well as her social and 
legal rights. And that this end will be achieved 
we believe to be as certain as that time will 
continue to roll on in its course and humanity 
continue to struggle against selfishness, bigotry 
and wrong in whatever form they may present 
themselves/* 

SEWING MACHINES, 

The question having been asked Mrs. 
Bloomer, What will women do now sewing 
machines are coming into use ? she replied as 
follows : 



168 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

u It will be no strange thing to see, within 
a few years, women merchants, women book- 
keepers, women shoemakers, women cabinet- 
makers, women jewelers, women booksellers, 
typesetters, editors, publishers, farmers, physi- 
cians, preachers, lawyers. Already there are 
some engaged in nearly or quite all these occu- 
pations and professions ; and, as men crowd 
them out of their old places, the numbers will 
increase. It is well that it is so. Woman has 
long enough stitched her health and life away, 
and it is merciful to her that sewing machines 
have been invented to relieve her of her toil- 
some, ill-paid labor, and to send her forth into 
more active and more lucrative pursuits where 
both body and mind may have the exercise 
necessary to health and happiness. Men are 
aiding to forward the woman's-rights move- 
ment by crowding women out of their old 
places. Women will be the gainers by the 
change, and we are glad to see them forced to 
do what their false education and false delicacy 
have prevented their doing in the past." 



GOVERNOR SEYMOUR'S VETO. 
A Maine Law, having passed the New- 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 169 

York legislature, was vetoed by the governor; 
on which Mrs. Bloomer commented as fol- 
lows : 

" The news of this treacherous act on the 
part of the governor was celebrated by the 
liquor party with firing of cannon, bonfires and 
illuminations, with shouts of rejoicing and 
drunken revelry. The devils in hell must have 
rejoiced, while the angels in heaven must have 
wept, over the scene. And how was it in the 
home of the drunkard ? Ah, who can picture 
the agony and despair, the wailing and agoniz- 
ing prayers that went forth from the hearts of 
the poor stricken women who saw all their 
hopes of deliverance thus dashed to the earth 
and themselves and famishing babes consigned 
to hopeless degradation and misery ! While 
those who are called their protectors, and those 
who are heaping upon them every injury and 
killing them inch by inch, are enjoying their 
fiendish orgies, those poor sorrowing ones sit 
desolate and heart-broken in their dreary 
cellar and garret homes bowed with shame and 
anguish. Would that the man who has 
wrought all this sorrow and wretchedness 
could be made to behold the work ! " 



jyo LIFE AND WRITIMGS 

FIGHTING HER WAY. 

Referring to a strike in a Philadelphia print- 
ing office because two women had been em- 
ployed as typesetters, Mrs. Bloomer wrote : 

** Thus we see that woman has to fight her 
way as ft were at every step. Her right to 
employment is denied, no matter how great 
her wants, unless she find it in the limited 
sphere prescribed to our sex by custom and 
prejudice. Yet we rejoice that there are men 
who are sufficiently liberal to open to her, here 
and there, a wider field for her industry, and 
who will see justice done her even though 
themselves are for a time inconvenienced 
thereby. Let not women be discouraged by 
such hostile manifestations on the part of men, 
but rather let them press forward until they 
break down every barrier which is raised to 
obstruct their advancement ; and if they are 
but true to themselves, they will come off 
victorious and thenceforth find their way to 
every lucrative employment clear before 
them/* 

ON THE LECTURE PLATFORM. 
During Mrs. Bloomer's year of residence 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 17 ! 

in Ohio, she received a great many invita- 
tions to deliver her lectures. Some of these 
she accepted. The first one was at Zanesville ; 
and, although she stated in giving a report of 
it that she had been told she would meet with 
only a cold reception, yet she declared she had 
never found warmer friends or was treated 
with greater respect than at that place. u My 
lecture was listened to by a very large and at- 
tentive audience ; indeed, all who came were 
not able to get within the doors. Judging 
from the expressions after the meeting, people 
were well satisfied with the lecture on woman's 
rights. I was earnestly requested to lecture 
again in the evening; but as I had made 
an appointment in Columbus to-night, I was 
under the necessity of declining/* And sub- 
stantially the same report might have been 
made as to all lectures delivered in different 
parts of the state. But she did not confine her 
work on the platform to Ohio only. During 
the summer she visited Indiana, also, and was 
listened to by large meetings held in Richmond 
and other towns. 



172 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

Of some of her experiences in her lecture 
tours, Mrs. Bloomer gave the following 

report : 

" At M. I lectured by Invitation before a 
young men's literary society. No price was 
fixed upon in advance, and I expected but lit- 
tle; but having been told that no lecturer, 
unless it was Horace Mann who preceded me, 
had drawn so large a house and put so much 
money in the treasury, when they asked me how 
much they should pay me I said, * You say I 
have done as well for you, and even better 
than did Horace Mann, pay me what you paid 
him and it will be right/ I think they were 
little surprised that a woman should ask as 
Mich as a man ; but seeing the justice of my 
demand, they paid It without a word. At that 
day lecturers were more poorly paid than since, 
and for a woman to have the same pay for 
the same work as a man was no doubt a new 
idea to them. At Z. a gentleman invited me 
and made all other arrangements. On my 
arrival there he called on me and said that 
some society, thinking that money would be 
made by my lecture, were talking of seeing me 
on my arrival and arranging with me for a cer- 
tain sum and they would take the balance. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. f 73 

He advised me to have nothing to do with 
them if they should propose it, as I could just 
as well have the whole. Men were so accus- 
tomed to getting the services of women for 
little or nothing, that they seemed jealous 
when one got anything like the money that 
would cheerfully be paid to men for the same 
service/' 

AT THE OHIO STATE CONVENTION. 

Mrs. Bloomer attended the meeting of the 
Ohio Woman's State-Temperance Society, held 
at Columbus early ip January, and took an 
active part in its proceedings. She was elected 
its corresponding secretary, and was a member 
of the committee which proceeded to the State 
Capitol and presented a petition to each branch 
of the legislature then in session asking for the 
enactment of stringent prohibitory laws. Not 
being entirely satisfied with the regular report 
of the committee on resolutions, she offered 
a series on her own responsibility. These de- 
clared in substance, that the redemption of our 
race from the manifold evils of intemperance 
is of greater importance than the triumph of 



174 LIFE At$D WRITINGS OF 

any political party ; that the question must go 
to the ballot-box for final settlement ; that, as 
men regard women as weak and dependent 
beings, women ask protection at their hands ; 
and that it should be their duty to make them- 
selves acquainted with woman's sentiments on 
this great question, and honestly carry them 
out. In support of the resolutions, she said she 
considered many of the temperance men really 
responsible for the protracted rum interest. 
They were so wedded to party that they heeded 
not their duty to the welfare and morals of 
society. In spite of all that had been done, 
the cause lingers and the rumsellers and manu- 
facturers triumph. The temperance men are 
to blame for not acting consistently or independ- 
ently for the cause* They will not act to- 
gether as for a paramount interest ; they do not 
strike the nail on the head* It is useless to 
dally thus from year to year and not strike a 
blow to tell upon the evil and the curse. The 
resolutions, after discussion, were unanimously 
adopted. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 175 

A WOMAN TYPESETTER. 

Fully believing that she should carry out in 
practice what she advocated In theory, Mrs* 
Bloomer secured early In the spring the services 
of Mrs. C W. Lundy, of New York, as type- 
setter ; previously to coming to Mount Vernon, 
she had had three months* experience in the 
work. The fact of her employment and com- 
ing into the office was freely talked of in the 
presence of the employees, all of whom were 
men, and no word of dissent or disapproval, to 
Mrs. Bloomer's knowledge, was expressed. It 
was agreed that her employee should receive 
all necessary instructions from Mr. Higgins 
himself, he being a practical printer, or from 
the men engaged In the office. It was soon 
seen that the men employed In typesetting, 
and especially the foreman, looked with dis- 
favor on the movement and by various un- 
coutteous acts and remarks endeavored to 
make the situation an unpleasant one. 



176 LIF AND WRITINGS OF 

A STRIKE FOLLOWED. 

Mrs. Bloomer herself gave the following re- 
port of this strike of the male typesetters. 
After alluding to the employment of Mrs. 
Lundy and her introduction into the printing 

office of the Home Visitor , she proceeds : 

** Nothing, however, occurred of sufficient 
magnitude for us to notice till the fourteenth 
of last month. On that day, in the absence of 
both Mr. Bloomer and Mr. Higgins, Mrs.* Lundy 
asked our opinion in relation to the proper 
indention of a piece of poetry which she was 
at work upon. As we are not a printer, we 
could only give a guess at its correctness ; so 
we advised her to step into the other room and 
ask one of the men about it. She did so, and 
directly returned saying they refused to give 
the desired information. We went directly in 
and asked an explanation of their conduct ; 
when all hands, with the foreman of the ojfice 
as leader, avowed their determination not to 
work in an office with or give instruction to 
a woman. And, further, they said they had 
drawn up a paper to that effect which had been 
signed by all the printers in town. The fore- 



AMELIA BLOOMED. 



177 



man also defied us to find a printer in Ohio 
who would give instructions to a woman. 

" This was placing us in a * fix/ truly. We 
must do one of two things : either break our 
word with Mrs. L. and sacrifice our preferences 
and principles, or else the place of these men 
must be supplied by others who were more 
gentlemanly and who did not despise the ef- 
forts of woman to place herself in a position 
where by her own talents and industry she 
could earn for herself an honorable independ- 
ence. The question was at once decided in 
our mind, and we knew well that in their de- 
cision we should be sustained by the proprie- 
tors of the Visitor. We took the first oppor- 
tunity to acquaint Mr. Higgins with the state 
of affairs; and, on Mr. Bloomer's return the 
next day, we also informed him how things 
stood. They then repaired to the Visitor office 
and held a long conference with their workmen, 
telling them it was not their intention to em- 
ploy women to set the type of the Visitor, but 
that Mrs. L. would remain and work on the 
Lily, and that they should expect of them that 
they should give her all the instructions she 
might need in her work. If they would do 
this willingly and cheerfully, well ; if not, they 
might consider themselves discharged. They 
Mt 



I 7 8 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

would not yield to such an arbitrary rule on 
the part, of those In their employ. To this, the 
printers replied that they were firm in their 
resolutions and would not depart from them ; 
whereupon all hands took up their march out 
of the office. 

" This action on the part of the printers has 
resulted in the employment of women to set 
the type for the Visitor. Three women were 
at once engaged for that purpose. A journey- 
man was immediately procured from Columbus, 
and other help has since been engaged ; so that 
the proprietors have been enabled to get out 
their paper regularly, without acceding to the 
unreasonable demands of the printers of Mount 
Vernon, 

" We have removed our Lily cases into the 
Visitor office, and now the work on both papers 
is done In the same room, four women and 
three men working together peaceably and 
harmoniously. It does our heart good to see 
the happy change which has been wrought in 
the office by the attempt to crush woman's 
efforts in her own behalf. The moral atmos- 
phere has been purified, and superciliousness 
has given place to friendly and cheerful inter- 
course/* 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 179 

LUCY STONE APPEARS. 

While Mrs. Bloomer's troubles with her print- 
ers were under way, Miss Lucy Stone visited 
the city and gave an address on " Woman and 
Her Employment." Mrs. Bloomer says : 

" This happened most fortunately In the 
midst of the excitement about our difficulties 
in our office, and her words were like soothing 
oil on the troubled waters. It seemed as 
though an overruling Providence had directed 
her steps hitherward to allay the excitement 
and to subdue the angry feelings, to plead the 
cause of womanhood, to proclaim the eternal 
principles of justice and right; and she was in 
a great degree successful. We have heard no 
word of dissatisfaction or disapproval, but on 
the contrary all were highly pleased with her 
remarks, and we trust those who heard her are 
wiser and better for having listened to her/* 

A VISIT TO NEW YORK STATE. 

During the summer, Mrs. Bloomer visited 
her former home at Seneca Falls, N. Y., where 
she received a very warm welcome from her 



1 80 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

many co-workers and friends of former days. 
Writing home to the Visitor, she says: 

" Seneca Falls ! There is a charm in that 

word, D , that will ever arrest our attention 

and awaken an interest whenever and wherever 
we may see or hear it. So many years of our 
lives have been spent here, and so intimate and 
dear are many associations connected with the 
place and the people, that they can never be 
forgotten however attractive or absorbing may 
be the future events and associations of life's 
journey. You will feel a thrill of pleasure, not 
unmixed with sadness, when you know that I 
am again on the spot thus endeared to memory, 
and again surrounded by those with whom we 
have long held social and business intercourse. 
Would that you were with me here for a little 
time, would that you could walk with me again 
the streets so often trod by us, and note with 
me the changes that a few months have 
wrought ! Would that you could see face to 
face the friends of old, and receive the hearty 
grasp of the hand which would meet you at 
almost every step, and above all that you could 
gaze with me upon our dear cottage home 
which we took so much pleasure in improving 
and beautifyingand in which we found so much 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 181 

real enjoyment ! I can hardly realize that it Is 
not my home still, that I should not If I passed 
within find everything as of old, and you to 
welcome my return. A. B." 

AT THE NEW-YORK STATE CONVENTION. 

While In New York, Mrs. Bloomer went to the 
second annual meeting of the Woman's State- 
Temperance Society held at Utica on the 7th day 
of June. It was largely attended,-and was pre- 
sided over by Mrs. Mary C. Vaughan who made 
an able and eloquent opening address. Great in- 
terest prevailed among the temperance workers 
In the state at that time, owing to the veto by 
Gov_* Seymour of a prohibitory liquor law which 
had passed the legislature. Various resolu- 
tions bearing upon this subject, and upon the 
reasons assigned by the governor for his action, 
were offered and discussed. One resolution, 
aimed at the use of tobacco as a fruitful cause 
of drunkenness and of injury to the boys and 
young men of the country, was also offered ; 
on this, Mrs. Bloomer took the floor and 
spoke as follows : 



i8z LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

*' She said the resolution under consideration 
seemed to her one of great importance. The 
tendency to this vice in the young boys of the 
day cannot escape the attention of any observ- 
ing mind ; if one may believe the statements of 
some of the best physicians of the country in 
relation to the use of tobacco, it is a fruitful 
source of disease and crime. That it creates a 
thirst, is admitted by those who use It ; and 
that thousands are led to quench that thirst in 
the intoxicating bowl, is a truth that cannot be 
denied. One of these poisons seems to imply 
and call for the other. Tobacco comes first in 
order, alcohol follows. 

"In view of these facts, what must we an- 
ticipate from the boys of our country who 
have so early become addicted to the use of 
the weed ? Is there not fear that their future 
career will be an inglorious one, and that they 
will be led to slake the unnatural thirst which 
tobacco has occasioned In the cup ? Does not 
this thought call loudly to the parents to look 
well to the habits of their sons, to fathers to 
set them an example of virtue and sobriety by 
themselves abstaining from the use of the filthy 
weed, and to both fathers and mothers by 
their wise commands and counsels to lead 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 183 

them to hate and shun the vice as they would 
that of its twin brother, drunkenness? 

" It is a mournful truth that too many par- 
ents regard the tendency to evil on the part of 
their sons with indifference, as an innocent 
harmless habit. They 'seem to think it a mat- 
ter of course that they should grow up filthy 
tobacco chewefs and smokers ; and hence we 
see little fellows who have hardly escaped from 
their frocks smoking the cigar or long pipe in 
perfect imitation of their elders, and this, too, 
without reproach or warning from those who 
should teach them better. The practice if fol- 
lowed will prove ruinous to health, if no more 
terrible results follow. Parents should take 
this into consideration and act accordingly, as 
they value the future happiness of their chil- 
dren." 

Of this New-York Convention, Mrs. Bloomer 
on returning home wrote for the Lily as follows : 

<( The meeting passed off most happily and 
we trust it will be productive of great good to 
the cause. The officers and agents of the 
society, with one or two exceptions, were pres- 
ent. The report of the executive committee 
and the treasurer show the society to be in as 



184 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

prosperous a condition. If not even more pros- 
perous than at Its annual meeting one year ago. 
A determination was manifested on the part of 
all to go forward In the work so long as their 
efforts were needed. Five or six agents have 
been In the field during- the year, and their col- 
lections have amounted to nearly two thousand 
dollars- This money has been expended for 
the good of the cause. One of the agents told 
us that she had lectured one hundred and four- 
teen times since last October, This shows an 
amount of labor expended in the cause equal to, 
if not exceeding, that given by any man In the 
state. Altogether, the convention was highly 
interesting and pleasant and it afforded us 
much pleasure to be present at its meetings/* 

GOOD TEMPIARS IN OHIO. 

During the year the temperance order of 
Good Templars was Introduced into the state 
and Its lodges established in several of its cities 
and villages, so that towards the close of the 
year a state grand-lodge was organized at 
Alliance. The first lodge was instituted at 
Conneat, and the second at Mount Vemon. 

This latter lodge was railed Star of Hope 



AMELIA BLOOMER, 

lodge, and soon numbered among Its members 
many of the leading Temperance men and 
women of the city. Mrs. Bloomer, for reasons 
already given, took great interest in the spread 
of this order. For that purpose she visited dif- 
ferent parts of the state, and also several towns 
in Indiana, in some of which she instituted 
lodges, special authority having been given her 
for that purpose. She also occupied a promi- 
nent position in her home lodge, and had the 
pleasure as presiding officer of assisting to in- 
itiate into its mysteries Hon. William Windom, 
afterwards Secretary of the Treasury, and Hon. 
William F, Sapp, both of whom were residents 
of Mount Vernon, together with other prom- 
inent citizens. It cannot be doubted that the 
institution of this lodge, together with Mrs. 
Bloomer's labors in the cause, had a controlling 
influence in the temperance work in Mount 
Vernon during the year 1854. 

On leaving Mount Vernon, in December, 
Mrs* Bloomer published the following card : 

" Star of Hope lodge in this city continues 



LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

to prosper. Its members now exceed 150 and 
are constantly increasing. Its weekly meetings, 
which are very fully attended, are deeply Inter- 
esting and we hope are productive of great 
good to the cause. Our association with the 
members of this lodge has been pleasant and 
agreeable, and we shall part with them with 
real regret. Our wish and prayer is that Star 
of Hope lodge may long continue to hold its 
weekly meetings, and that its members may 
never falter in unwavering fidelity to their 
pledges. When far away we shall often refer 
to hours spent in their lodge-room during the 
last year as among the pleasantest passed in 

Mount Vernon." 
\ 

THE LILY SOLD. 

But another change now came to Mrs. 
Bloomer. Her husband in July had sold out 
his interest in the Western Home Visitor to his 
partner, Mr. E. A. Higgins, and both his con- 
nection and that of Mrs, Bloomer with the 
Visitor then ceased, except that the former 
continued to aid Mr. Higgins for a few months 
in its editorial management. " This, of course, 
made no change in the publication of the Lily. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

In September, Mr. Bloomer made an extensive 
tour In the West proceeding as far as western 
Iowa and Nebraska. After looking the ground 
carefully over, he determined to locate at 
Council Bluffs, on the Missouri River, in Iowa, 
and made purchases of property at that place. 
In relation to this change of residence and the 
disposition of theZ.//y,Mrs. Bloomer in reply to 
a statement that her paper had died of " fun 
poked at it " wrote in 1890 as follows : 

" My husband after leaving the Visitor de- 
termined on locating in this far-away city 
(Council Bluffs), then three hundred miles be- 
yond a railroad. There were no facilities for 
printing and mailing a paper with so large a 
circulation as mine, except a hand press and a 
stagecoach, and so it seemed best for me to 
part with the Lily. Finding a purchaser in 
Mrs. Mary A. Birdsall, of Richmond, Indiana, 
I disposed of the paper to her and it was re- 
moved to that city. Mrs. Birdsall published It 
for two or three years and then suffered it to 
go down, from what cause I never knew. But 
this much is true, it did not die of * fun poked 
at it/ It had long outlived fun and ridicule 



188 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

and was highly respected and appreciated by 
its thousands of readers. It had done its work, 
it had scattered seed that had sprung up and 
borne fruit a thousandfold. Its work can never 
die. You say rightly that the Lily was the 
pioneer journal in the Northwest for woman's 
enfranchisement. Other journals have taken 
its place, and the movement has gone steadily 
forward and nears its final triumph." 

The above was written about 1890. 
SHE IS SORRY, 

In announcing the change in her residence 
and the transfer of the Lily to Mrs. Birdsall, at 
Richmond, Ind., Mrs. Bloomer wrote among 
other matters connected with the change as 
follows : 

" We have deeply cherished The Lily, and 
we have been greatly cheered by the daily 
evidence we have had of the good it was doing. 
This has encouraged us to go forward even 
when we were nearly fainting under our self- 
imposed task, and did circumstances favor it 
we should probably labor on, weary as we have 
sometimes felt and great as has often been the 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 189 

effort necessary to the discharge of duty. But 
the Lily, being as we conceive of secondary 
Importance, must not stand In the way of what 
we believe our interest. Home and husband 
being dearer to us than all beside, we cannot 
hesitate to sacrifice all for them ; and so we 
cheerfully resign our pet to the care of Its 
foster-mother, feeling well assured that our 
readers will lose nothing by the change, 
If they will only put forth their hands to 
strengthen her in her undertaking. 

" As will be seen by the prospectus, we do 
not entirely sunder our connection with the 
Lily,) but only throw off its greater burdens. 
As Corresponding Editor, we shall hold fre- 
quent chats with our old friends and readers 
provided they will listen to us and welcome It 
to their homes as of old* We have no Idea of 
retiring into obscurity, but shall keep the public 
posted as to our whereabouts, and tell them of 
the events occurring in our far-distant home 
amid the Bluffs of the Missouri/" 



Ll&JS, AM& WRITINGS OF 



CHAPTER EIGHTH. 

MRS. BLOOMER gave up her residence in 

Mount Vernon with sincere regret, but with 
the earnest hope that it would bring a much- 
needed rest and improved health. She had 
mingled freely among the people, and many 
social courtesies had been extended to her. 
She had worked faithfully in the temperance 
cause, through the medium of the Good Tem- 
plars and in other ways, and enjoyed greatly 
the fact that the sale of intoxicating drinks had 
been almost entirely suppressed in the town. 

ON HER TRAVELS. 

On leaving Mount Vernon she proceeded to 
Richmond, Indiana, where she transferred the 
Lily and all belonging to it, type, cases, sub- 
scription books and lists, to Mrs. Mary Birdsall, 
the new editor and proprietor. She spent 
several days there very pleasantly visiting, 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

among others, the family of Mr. James S. Starr, 
a resident of Richmond. On its becoming 
known that Mrs. Bloomer was in the town, an 
invitation was soon extended to her to deliver 
her lecture on woman's wrongs and rights. 
This she accepted, and was greeted with a large 
audience. She gave to Mrs. Birdsall all in- 
formation in her power relative to the new 
work she had taken upon herself in assuming the 
publication of the Lily, and promised to write 
frequently for its columns, a promise which she 
faithfully discharged so long as the paper con- 
tinued to be published ; but of these produc- 
tions it is now impossible to obtain a copy 
at least the writer hereof has found it so. 

The two or three months following were 
spent in travel and in visiting relatives and 
friends. She first journeyed to Indianapolis, 
reaching there on the first day of January, 1855, 
The city was resonant with the sounds of re- 
joicing on the advent of the New Year and 
firecrackers and toy pistols were ablaze on all 
the streets. On the following evening, she 
delivered her lecture on woman's rights in one 



192 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

of the principal public halls of the city to a 
large audience. Leaving the next day, she 
passed on to Cincinnati, viewing on the way 
the point on the Ohio River known as North 
Bend from which General Harrison had been 
taken to assume the responsible duties of the 
presidential office, which he was able to meet 
only for a single month. In Cincinnati she 
delivered but one lecture, having been taken 
dangerously ill and being in consequence con- 
fined to the hotel for several days. With the 
first signs of returning strength, she left for the 
home of a relative in central Ohio where she 
remained until her health was partially restored. 
She was then able to accept invitations to lec- 
ture in surrounding towns; among those she 
visited, was West Jefferson where she met Mrs. 
Mary Swan and her son, Mr. A. B. Walker, 
who subsequently became respected and useful 
residents of Council Bluffs and renewed their 
acquaintance with Mrs. Bloomer. Leaving 
Ohio towards the end of the month, she spent 
the remainder of the winter with relatives In 
lier old home in New York, 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

Brothers and sisters both of herself and of her 
husband were then living, and all were in the 
prime of life. The journey was made by rail 
from Cleveland to near the head of Seneca 
Lake, where some days were passed. Then 
down the lake to Geneva, at- which place and 
at Buffalo, Canandaigtia, Waterloo, and Seneca 
Falls their relatives mostly resided. Mrs. 
Bloomer delivered one or more of her lectures 
during the winter ; but this was a season of rest 
for her, and one she greatly needed. Her long 
years of work on the Lily had ended, although 
she still continued to write monthly communi- 
cations for its columns. The little village of 
Aurora, the place of her husband's nativity, 
was also one of her stopping places. Near it 
was a Friends' or Quaker neighborhood, and 
her sojourn was with some of these kind-hearted 
people. One of them was Humphrey Rowland, 
a venerable man and an old resident. With 
these kind hosts Mrs. Bloomer attended a fifth- 
day morning meeting in their plain frame meet; 
ing house, and had an opportunity of witness- 
ing their peculiar customs and their mode of 



194 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

religious service. The building was of the 
plainest kind and wholly devoid of paint. The 
people sat on wooden benches, in profound 
silence, the women on one side, the men on the 
other with their hats on. After the stillness 
had lasted nearly half-an-hour a comparatively 
young woman arose, and after laying aside her 
bonnet proceeded to deliver a most earnest 
exhortation to all present to live holy lives. 
And so Mrs. Bloomer on that day listened to a 
woman preacher. Then ensued a season of 
quiet thinking ; after which all arose to their 
feet, handshaking followed all round, and the 
good people departed to their homes. By spe- 
cial invitation, Mrs. Bloomer delivered one of 
her lectures in the village. And so the winter 
passed among relatives and friends rapidly and 
pleasantly away, and the time drew near when 
she must leave for her new home in the far 
distant west. 

This had been purchased by her husband 
while on a visit to Council Bluffs, in the state 
of Iowa, the previous autumn. It was in those 
days a long journey to undertake, especially as 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

a large portion of It must be made either In 
stagecoach or by steamboat, and was therefore 
looked forward to with a great deal of interest. 

STARTS FOR IOWA. 

Finally making her adieu to her parents, to 
brother, sisters and relatives, she started west- 
ward about the 2Oth of March. A few days 
were spent with Mr. C. A. Bloomer, a brother 
of her husband, at Little Rock near Buffalo, 
and several more in the family of Mr. F. V* 
Chamberlain, in Chicago, That city was just 
then beginning to put on metropolitan ains f 
and had a population of 40,000 or 50,000. 
Here Mrs. Bloomer bade good-bye to a niece 
who had accompanied her thus far, and who 
took the cars to meet a brother in the central 
part of the state. Leaving Chicago, the trav- 
elers proceeded by railroad to Alton. The 
country on either side of the raad exhibited the 
vast prairies of the state in an almost unbroken 
condition for a great part of the way, and it Is 
recollected that from the car windows deer 
and other game were frequently seen running 



196 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

at large. Springfield, the state capital, was 
then only a small village. The railroad ter- 
minated at Alton, and from thence the passage 
was by steamboat to St. Louis. At that city, 
then just beginning to loom up in importance 
among the great western towns, the halt was 
first at a hotel ; but a call having been made at 
the hospitable home of Mrs. Frances D. Gage, 
her house thereafter became the home of the 
travelers until they embarked on a steamer on 
the Missouri River for their destination. 

We now give Mrs. Bloomer's reminiscences, 
written some years later by herself : 

" EARLY DAYS IN THE WEST. 

" In compliance with the wishes of my old- 
settler friends, I have called to remembrance 
and jotted down some of the events connected 
with the early years of iny residence in this 
western land. I fear they will not prove as in- 
teresting to my" readers as they were to me at 
the time of their occurrence and are now as I 
recall them after a lapse of thirty-eight years, 

" One beautiful spring day in the middle of 
April, i&5, I first set foot on Iowa soil in our 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 197 

neighboring city of Glenwood. We came from 
our New- York home to settle In Council Bluffs. 
The only public conveyance at that time to 
this section of the country was the stage- 
coach across the state from Davenport and the 
Missouri-river steamer hailing from St. Louis. 
Preferring the steamer we went to St. Louis to 
embark for our destination, but learned on 
reaching there that owing to low water no boat 
had yet been able to come as far as this city, 
St. Joseph having been the farthest point 
reached. 

" DELAYED IN ST. LOUIS. 

" Encouraged with the hope that by tarry- 
ing In St. Louis a week we could come all the 
way through by steamer we restrained our im- 
patience and spent a week very pleasantly with 
our old-time friend, Frances D. Gage. She was 
a noted writer and lecturer of that day, but has 
since laid down the burden of life and gone to 
her reward. 

"During our stay In St. Louis Mrs. Gage 
and I together held a woman's-suffrage meeting 
In the library hall of that city, which was 
largely attended and well received by press and 
people. At the end of a week as there was yet 



igg LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

no prospect of a rise in the river we took a 
packet and came on to St. Joseph. Here we 
had to wait two days for the stage, which only 
made tri-weekly trips to Council Bluffs and 
had left the very morning of our coming to the 
Missouri town, some hours before we arrived. 
The hotel at which we were obliged to stop 
was a very ordinary affair, as was common to 
western towns at that early day. The waiting 
was long and tedious. We could not even 
walk about and view the city because of a high 
wind that prevailed and sent the dust in clouds 
into our faces. 

44 THE MISSOURI RIVER'S RAVAGES. 

" Here we first saw the devastations the Mis- 
souri River was making in eating its way up 
into the city and undermining great brick build- 
ings and swallowing them up in its waters. 
The second day of our arrival it got out that we 
were at the hotel, and all unknown to us some 
progressive or curious ones went about and 
obtained numerous signatures to a paper re- 
questing me to give them a lecture. The first 
intimation I had of this was after supper, when 
I was summoned to the parlor to meet two 
gentlemen who, after introducing themselves, 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 199 

made known the object of their call and pre- 
sented me with the paper largely signed by the 
citizens begging me to give them a woman's- 
rights lecture before leaving the place. Thank- 
ing the gentlemen for their kindness, I informed 
them of my intended departure in a few hours 
and that it would be impossible to comply with 
the request. They replied they were aware of 
my going and for that reason they wanted the 
lecture that very evening. There would be 
time before the stage left at ten o'clock in the 
evening. ' This evening, gentlemen ! * said I ; 
* how can that be when there has been no 
notice given?* One of them looked at his 
watch and said : * It is a little after seven 
o'clock. We will give you a good house in an 
hour if you will cdnsent to speak, the lecture 
to commence at eight o'clock/ 

"CONSENTS TO DELIVER A LECTURE. 

" Being so urged I reluctantly consented, 
though with many misgivings, for I could not 
understand how an audience could be collected 
in an hour. I had never yet refused to pro- 
claim the new doctrine of woman's rights when 
I found people anxious to hear and oppor- 
tunity offered and I could not go back upon It 
now. 



200 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

" My consent obtained the gentlemen left, 
while I hastened to my room to make known 
to my husband the extra effort I was to make 
in the few hours Intervening before we started on 
our homeward journey. And it was an extra 
effort, for my trunk was packed and strapped 
and must be opened, for I was not willing to go 
upon the platform in my traveling dress. I, 
who had * turned the world upside down * by 
preaching a new gospel and was being sorely 
criticised therefor, must make as good an im- 
pression as possible with my clothes at least. 
Immediately after I reached my room we were 
startled by hearing a great outcry and ringing 
of bells on the street. Rushing to the window 
we soon learned the cause. Passing along the 
sidewalk under our window was a large black 
man ringing a dinner bell. 

" ODD METHOD OF ADVERTISING. 

" Every other minute the bell would stop and 
then come forth the stentorian cry: * Mrs. 
Bloomer will lecture at the courthouse at eight 
o'clock/ Then the bell again, and again the 
the cry f and the same cry and ringing of bells 
off on the other streets, till the town was alive 
with noise. We were greatly amused over this 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 201 

novel western way of giving a notice and call- 
ing a crowd together, and we realized then 
how fully a notice could be given in the time 
fixed. 

ffiy preparations were delayed somewhat 
over this new use to which slaves could be put, 
for it was in slavery days and the bell-ringers 
were slaves. However, we were at the court- 
house on time, and sure enough the place was 
filled with an eager and curious crowd that had 
come to see and listen to that strange woman 
whose name and doings had startled the world 
from its old-time peace and sobriety. It was 
the first time one of the * women agitators * had 
come so far as St. Joseph, and it was not 
strange that an anxious audience awaited me, 

" OFF IN A STAGECOACH. 

" Returning to the hotel after the lecture, I 
hardly had time to remove my hat when I was 
again summoned to the parlor, there to meet 
the gentlemen who had called on me a few 
hours before. They had come to ask for an- 
other lecture, and on my declining urged that 
If necessary Mr. Bloomer could go oil to Council 
Bluffs by himself and I follow a day or two 
later. They had heard enough to whet their 



202 LIFE AND WRITINGS OP 

appetite for more and were very anxious to 
hear me again. But I was firm in denying their 
request. I had given them one lecture with 
considerable inconvenience to myself. I was 
far from well, was anxious to reach the end of 
my journey, and could not think of traveling 
by myself onastagecoachthroughastrangeland 
and would not be persuaded to tarry with them 
longer. At two o'clock on a rainy morning, 
feeling tired and sick and suffering from a severe 
cold and want of sleep and rest, we bade adieu 
to St. Joseph and took the stage for Council 
Bluffs. 

" The coach was filled with passengers, but 
no women were aboard but myself. There 
were several young men bound for the newly 
organized territory of Nebraska, and the fa- 
mous Kit Carson returning to his home in Ne- 
braska. Having heard much of him we eyed 
him with a good deal of interest and curiosity, 
but saw nothing remarkable about him except 
his clothes, which were of buckskin, fringed 
around the bottom, wrists and collar, a style 
entirely new to me. One of the young men had 
come from the far east, Massachusetts, I think, 
going to Nebraska to seek his fortune. He had 
run out of money and found himself without 
means in a land of strangers. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 203 



" BEFRIENDS A STRANGER. 

" At one of the stations where they changed 
horses, he approached Mr. Bloomer and asked 
for a loan, offering his watch as security. 
Though an entire stranger Mr. Bloomer con- 
cluded to befriend him, so gave him the money 
he asked and took his watch. But when the 
time came for him to leave us and cross into 
Nebraska, Mr. Bloomer gave him back his 
watch. He felt that he could trust him and 
that he would need his watch. It was not a 
misplaced confidence, for in due time the money 
was returned. All of the passengers left us 
before we reached Glenwood at some point below 
to cross a ferry into Nebraska, and from there 
on to Council Bluffs we were the only passengers, 
It was a real relief to have the coach to our- 
selves, after ridingtwo days and a night crowded 
in with six or eight men, and we saw them 
leave without regret. 

" ARRIVES AT GLENWOOIX 

" On the afternoon of April 15, 1855, we 
reached Glenwood ; and here, while our driver 
tarried to change horses, we left the coach and 
took a survey of our surroundings. The place 



204 LIFE AND WRITINGS OJF 

was small, the hotel uninviting, but the country 
beautiful. Being tired with our long cooped- 
up ride, we strolled on in advance of the stage 
and soon reached a lovely grove. Here we sat 
down upon a log to enjoy the scenery and eat 
a light lunch from our basket. The stage soon 
came along, and we took our seats inside feeL 
Ing refreshed by our walk and rejoicing that we 
were nearlng the end of our i,5oo-mlle journey, 

" EARLY HARDSHIPS. 

" At about five o'clock the second day out 
from St. Joseph we drew up In front of the 
Pacific Hotel in this city, which was then the 
hotel of Council Bluffs and comprised about 
half of what has since been known as the In- 
man House, Here we remained two weeks 
hoping In vain that a rise in the river would 
float a boat bringing our household goods up 
from St. Louis; but finally went to housekeep- 
ing with a few things kindly lent us by a friend 
in a home purchased some months before and 
in which, with some additions, we have con- 
tinued to reside for thirty-eight years. We 
had brought with us from our eastern home a 
trunk full of choice shrubbery and fruit grafts. 
It was necessary that these should be planted 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 205 

and cared for; so we went Into our home un- 
der these discouraging conditions, and only 
planted out our shrubbery to see it sicken 
and die under the burning sun for want of 
water. 

" SUFFER FROM DROUTH. 

" For weeks there was no rain and no water 
in the well to give the thirsty plants, which 
had beautifully sprouted in the trunk, and so 
we lost them all. One morning a great mys- 
tery came to us. We had set out a patch 
about twelve feet square with apple grafts. 
These were budded and growing about two 
feet high, when all at once we discovered that 
every one had been cut off near the ground 
with a sloping, smooth cut as with a sharp 
knife. We could come to but one conclusion, 
and that was that some one envying us the 
trees had taken off half of them, thinking to 
root the tops. But why did they not pull them 
up and take the whole ? was our query. It 
was to us * a nine days* wonder/ but was finally 
solved by our learning that rabbits had been 
the thieves and had cut them off so smoothly 
with their teeth. 



206 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

u FURNITURE WAS SCARCE. 

u Our first housekeeping In Council Bluffs 
was in two rooms with bare floors and bare 
walls, The furniture consisted of two old 
wooden chairs, an old table, a bed made on 
the floor, and three trunks. The bedstead lent 
us with the bed went together with screws, but 
as the screws could not be found the bedstead 
was useless and the bed had to lie on the floor. 
To these borrowed things, we added an old- 
fashioned cook stove that we were so fortunate 
as to find here and a few common dishes. 
Here, with these surroundings, I received my 
first calls and made my first acquaintances. If 
more than two happened to call at the same 
time the two chairs were utilized as far as they 
would go and I and the others sat on the trunks. 
It was sometimes unpleasant and a little morti- 
fying, but I made the best of it, knowing it 
would not always last. 

"DAYS OF HOSPITALITY. 

" And really I don't know as my furniture 
and surroundings made one bit of difference in 
my welcome to Council-Bluffs society, I after- 
wards learned that many others were little 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 207 

better off, and that there were no furniture and 
carpet stores in the city. Nevertheless, I was 
more than glad when word was brought us, on 
the morning of July 4th, that a steamer had 
arrived with our household goods. I was glad 
to get carpets down and my rooms made more 
comfortable, for our own sakes. On that 
Fourth of July the citizens were so patriotic as 
to have a celebration. The oration was deliv- 
ered in * Hang Hollow/ so called because an 
emigrant murderer had been hung there, but 
by later citizens named Glen dale. We attended 
this celebration and had pointed out to us the 
tree from a limb of which the man was hung, 
The reader and orator for the day I do not 
remember. 

"EARLY OMAHA. 

" Having joined the people of Council Bluffs 
in celebrating in the forenoon of this Fourth 
of July, 1855, we took a carriage and drove 
over to Omaha about noon, crossing the Mis- 
souri on a ferry-boat. This being the first Inde- 
pendence Day in Nebraska since it had be- 
come a territory, the people of Omaha showed 
their patriotism in common with the rest of 
the country by celebrating. It was the first 
time, too, that I had stepped foot on Nebraska 



208 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

soli, so the day possessed more than usual 
Interest, We found that an oration had been 
delivered by Secretary Cuming, then acting 
governor. This had been followed by the 
usual reading of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence. The exercises were over when we reached 
the Douglass House, then the only hotel in 
Omaha. Across the road from this place a 
speaker's stand had been erected. A dinner 
table was placed on the east side of the house 
and covered with boughs cut from trees for 
shade. Liquor flowed freely* 

** Council Bluffs was then a city of 2,000 or 
3,000 inhabitants. The buildings were mostly 
of logs. There were no sidewalks. The streets 
were not opened, beaten paths through fields 
of sunflowers answering for thoroughfares in 
many places. The place was well supplied 
with hotels. Besides the Pacific House there 
was the City Hotel, a little low log building on 
the comer of Broadway and Glen Avenue, kept 
by Mrs. Dunn ; and farther up on Broadway, 
where the blue barn now stands, the Robinson 
House kept by G. A. Robinson. This was also 
an old log building covered with cottonwood 
boards on the outside and lined with muslin 
tacked to the logs on the inside. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 209 

" PLASTERED HOUSES WERE SCARCE. 

" I think there were but two or three plas- 
tered houses In the city at that time, and no 
greater number built of lumber. Nearly all 
were of logs covered outside on the front with 
cottonwood boards and on the inside, both 
walls and ceiling, with unbleached muslin sewed 
together and nailed on. 

" Bancroft Street, now Fourth, where we 
had made our home, was open but a little way 
from Willow Avenue, the bright bluffs extend- 
ing across to Mam Street. Besides our house, 
which was newly built, the frame house adjoin- 
ing and a log house just below were all the 
street contained, and from Bancroft to the 
river there was not a house to obstruct our 
view. Bluff Street was not opened, and no 
house of any description was built upon it. It 
was only a high bluff, which extended down 
across Bancroft Street to Main Street. Turley's 
Glen was the only opening, being a resort for 
the Indians, who frequently pitched their tents 
and camped there for days together. The little 
valley between the bluffs contained Broadway, 
the only street. No good buildings were on It 
except a few log structures. 
14 



210 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

" WORSHIPPED IX LOG CHURCHES. 

" Of churches I think there were but two. 
The Methodists had a small frame building on 
the side of the hill in rear of where the Ogden 
House now "stands. The Rev. Mr. Shinn was 
the pastor. The Congregationalists worshipped 
in a log building on Broadway, west of Atkins' 
drugstore. The Rev. George Rice owned this 
property at that time. He lived with his family 
in one log house, and held services in the one 
adjoining. This latter was fitted up for a 
church with a row of seats around the wall made 
of slabs with the flat side turned up and sticks 
put up through the holes bored in the floor for 
legs. The pulpit was a dry-goods box turned up 
on end with the open side next the preacher. 
The congregation was not large and was made 
up of people from several denominations, many 
of whom were new arrivals in the city. 

" EARLY CHURCH WORK. 

** One morning soon after we were settled in 
our new home, I had a call from the Rev. Mr. 
Rice, of the Congregational church, Inviting me 
to attend a meeting of the sewing society at his 
house in the afternoon. I went and found there 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 211 

about half-a-dozen ladles. This was the annual 
meeting, and officers were to be elected for the 
ensuing year. This church had commenced the 
erection of a new edifice on a lot donated by 
S. S. Bayliss, on Main and Pearl Streets, oppo- 
site the park. It was of brick and the walls 
already up, but they had no money to go fur- 
ther. The object of the ladies was to raise 
money for flooring and seating the new church* 
and they evidently wanted to infuse new spirit 
and aid into their society. I was consequently 
chosen their president, and Mrs. Sophia Doug- 
lass who was also a newcomer was elected first 
director thus putting their affairs into the 
hands of two Episcopalians. Inasmuch as 
there was no church of our own here and we 
were attendants upon the Rev. Mr. Rice*s 
instructions, we took hold of the work with a 
will and the following winter carried through a 
very successful fair by which we raised money 
enough to put the new church in shape. 

" DEFENDS WOMAN'S RIGHTS. 

" Thanksgiving evening, 1855, by invitation 
of the Rev. Mr. Rice, I gave a temperance lect- 
ure from the pulpit of the new church and a 
little later, about the last of November, one on 



212 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

'Woman's Enfranchisement ' at the Methodist 
church, by invitation of the Men's Literary and 
Debating Society ; and again, by invitation of 
the same society and the Rev. Mr. Rice, Jan. 
1 8, 1856, I spoke on * Female Education' at 
the Congregational church. During the follow- 
ing years I gave several lectures on some phase 
of the woman question, 

u At the close of my lecture on "Woman 
Suffrage * In the Methodist church, in Novem- 
ber, 1855, I was approached by Gen. William 
Larimer, then of Omaha, but recently of Pitts- 
burg, Pa, 3 and a member of the first Nebraska 
legislature, with a request that I go to Omaha 
and repeat my lecture before the legislature. 
A few days later I received a formal invitation 
from the legislature, signed by twenty-five of 
Its members, to give them a lecture on woman 
suffrage or such phase of the woman question 
as I might select 

"Jan. 8, 1856, I made my appearance In the 
House of Representatives of Nebraska, having 
accepted the Invitation to appear before that 
body, I was escorted to the platform by Gen. 
Larimer, who made way for me through a great 
crowd who had congregated to hear me. In- 
deed, It was a packed house, men standing up 
between those who were sitting on benches 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 213 

around the room, and leaning against the wall, 
and the platform was so packed up to the 
very desk that I hardly had elbow-room. Gen. 
Larimer introduced me amidst silence so pro- 
found that one could almost hear a pin drop* 
and I was listened to with the most absorbed 
interest to the end. Then came great applause 
and a request that I give the lecture for pub- 
lication. This latter I declined doing. Omaha 
was hardly large enough and was without daily 
papers and, besides, I felt that I might wish to 
make further use of the lecture and publishing 
it would prevent its again being brought out. 

" THE NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE INTERESTED. 

" The papers gave very flattering notices of 
the lecture, and it caused a great deal of ex- 
citement among the members of the legislature ; 
those opposed to the principles It discussed 
showing opposition, while its friends, who were 
in the majority, were loud in extolling It. The 
result of the lecture was the bringing In of a 
bill in favor of woman suffrage some days later, 
which passed the lower house, and was read 
twice by the senate, and only failed of a passage 
because the session came to an end before It 
could be reached for a third reading the last 



2i 4 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

hours being consumed by the wrangling' of the 
members over the fixing of county boundaries 
and the location of city sites. Men talked to 
kill time till the last hour expired and the ses- 
sion adjourned sine die* A number of impor- 
tant bills were not reached, the woman-suffrage 
bill among them. I was assured by Gov, Rich- 
ardson and others that the bill would undoubt- 
edly have passed had a little more time been 
allowed them. The session w r as one of only 
forty days and it was near its close when the 
bill was Introduced. Other matters engrossed 
the attention and the speaker's gavel stopped 
all further discussion of matters in dispute. 

u DANGERS MET IN CROSSING THE MISSOURI. 

"In the year following I gave a lecture on 
"Woman's Education/ on invitation of the 
Library Association of Omaha, and for its bene- 
fit. I so well remember that trip to Omaha! 
It was in the winter. The river was breaking up 
and when I reached it I found the ice floating 
and no way to get across except on a flatboat, 
which was poled across. I feared to place my- 
self upon It and came near turning back. But 
I remembered my engagement and saw a car- 
riage waiting for me on the other shore; so, 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 215 

with many misgivings and assurances from the 
boatmen, I ventured on board and was landed 
safely on the other side. The lecture that 
evening was given in the Presbyterian church 
to a full house, Dr. Miller presiding and intro- 
ducing me. But if I ran a risk in crossing to 
Omaha my heart fairly stood still coming back. 
A high wind was blowing and when I reached 
the river I found it filled with great blocks of 
floating ice that endangered any boat it en- 
countered. The ice was running badly, and 
there was no conveyance over, except a skiff 
rowed by two boatmen. The flatboat could 
not be managed in such a gale* The skiff was 
in great danger of being swallowed up by the 
high tossing waves or struck by the great cakes 
of floating Ice and capsized. 

" BUFFETS THE ICE IN A SKIFF. 

" The boatmen at first positively refused to 
take me Into the skiff. The man waiting could 
go, they said, but the woman must be left be- 
hind. I thought of my danger in embarking 
and being swallowed up by waves ; and I thought 
of husband and child awaiting me at homeland 
no one to care for them ; then I asked why I 
could not cross as well as the man. The boat- 



2l6 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

men said, because women would get frightened 
and jump and rock the boat and upset It, and 
there was really great danger. Then I said If 
I will promise to sit very still and not stir, can 
I go ? The gentleman interceded, and on my 
promise I was allowed to get into the boat. I 
sat in the middle of my seat and held on to 
each side of the boat, and I am sure I never 
stirred a muscle or winked an eye or hardly 
breathed while those brave men guided their 
skiff over the tossing waves, which seemed 
to engulf us at times and anon bore us on their 
tossing crests. Soon we were safely over and 
landed, ready to take stage for home, feeling 
that we had been mercifully preserved on our 
two very dangerous trips, and on my part re- 
solved never to incur a like danger again, 

" WOMAN'S EQUALITY IN LAW. 

** On my previous trip to Omaha, I had gone 

In an old-fashioned stagecoach and crossed the 
river on a ferry-boat. But the ferry-boat was 
laid up at this time on account of the ice, so 
there was no way of crossing but the skiff and 
theflatboat while the ice was running. Thanks 
to enterprise and skill, we at this day know 
nothing of such inconvenience and danger. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 217 

And thanks to progress and enlightenment, 
woman's cause has so far advanced that there 
is little need of her making extra effort to bring 
her claims and the knowledge of her rights to 
equality in law with -man before the people/* 

DESCRIBES COUNCIL BLUFFS. 

Writing in 1855, soon after her arrival in her 
new home, Mrs. Bloomer describes it as fol- 
lows : 

" Council Bluffs is located on the east side of 
the Missouri River, in Iowa, instead of on the 
west or Nebraska side, where it is placed on 
most of the maps. It lies about three miles 
from the river, the level lands or bottoms being 
about that distance in width ; and then com- 
jmences a chain of high hills, or bluffs, which 
line the Missouri for thousands of miles and 
which, at this point, extend eastward in the 
state some five or six miles. These bluffs are 
composed of immense piles of yellow marl 
varying in height from fifty to two hundred 
and fifty feet and thrown into every conceiv- 
able shape and form rounded, oblong, coni- 
cal, and peaked. Sometimes we see them cov- 
ered with trees and bushes, but most commoply 
with only grass and flowers. They present at 



2x8 LIFE AiVD WRITINGS OF 

this season of the year, robed in their rich car- 
pet of green, a delightful appearance. Among 
these bluffs are numerous beautiful valleys, 
some of them sufficiently extensive for large 
farms, and through which clear and pellucid 
streams of water flow gurgling, down to join 
the mighty Missouri, forming as they find their 
way across the bottoms streams which glisten 
as pure as silver in the sun. It was along one 
of these valleys, a fourth of a mile in width 
and extending for upwards of half-a-mile into the 
bluffs, that the old town of Kanesville was 
built. Here a log city was constructed, and 
here for several years dwelt from two to eight 
thousand of those singular people who have 
now found a home in the vicinity of Great 
Salt Lake* These peopie, or most of them, re- 
mained here until 1852 when they took their 
departure, selling out or surrendering up their 
claims to the gentiles. Hundreds of the log 
cabins in which they lived have disappeared, 
but 'many are still standing. The gentiles who 
succeeded the Mormons soon began to build 
better houses. Several good frame and brick 
buildings have already been constructed, in- 
cluding a three-story brick hotel and the land 
office, besides a number of stores and private 
residences. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 219 

" Others are in process of creation and will 
be carried forward as fast as materials and 
labor can be obtained. On all sides we see the 
work of beautifying the town going forward. 
Gardens are being fenced, trees planted, streets 
opened and graded, and every preparation made 
for accommodating the population. The city 
is extending out on the bottoms towards the 
river, the bottom lands being here high and 
dry and in no danger of being overflowed, and 
the probability is that at no distant day they 
will be covered with dwellings. These lands 
are considered very valuable and are held at 
high prices by their owners. The soil is ex- 
tremely rich and productive and finely adapted 
to either farming or gardening. 

" Situated as we are three hundred miles west 
of the railroads connecting the Mississippi with 
the cities of the East, we of course neither hear 
the shrill whistle of the locomotive nor see the 
trains of cars dashing through our streets with 
a velocity that outstrips the speed of the light- 
footed deer ; but we are living in full expecta- 
tion of the day when these things will be as 
familiar to us as they now are to my eastern 
readers. This city will be the western terminus 
of the first railroad built across the statej and 
It is fondly hopeci and expected that three 



220 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

years hence we shall be startled by the shrill 
whistle of the iron horse as he comes to bathe 
his head in the waters of the Missouri, and 
from here, or from Omaha, directly opposite, 
will he set out on his long journey to the most 
western limit of the continent. Then Council 
Bluffs will no longer be * out of the world/ but 
directly in the centre of it, and many who now 
hesitate about making their home here will 
regret that their doubts and fears debarred 
them from uniting their labors with their more 
enterprising countrymen in building up a great 
and prosperous community in the very centre 
of the Union/' 

It will be noted that the above was written 
in 1855 ; and with what remarkable correctness 
Mrs. Bloomer prophesied as to the future of 
the country in which she had just taken up her 
residence must strike every one, except that it 
was nearly ten years instead of three before 
the railroad reached Council Bluffs, 

She then goes on to advise people to come 
West and acquire land (then to be had at 
government price) and thus secure homes for 
themselves, and then continues ; 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 221 

" My residence is on a gentle elevation at 
the foot of one of the highest bluffs intheclty s 
with a western front commanding a fine view 
of the grass-carpeted bottoms upon which hun- 
dreds of cattle are grazing, of Omaha across 
the river, and of the plains of Nebraska beyond 
which stretch away In the distance as far as 
the eye can reach. I love to ascend the bluffs 
in the rear of our house, and watch the setting 
sun as it descends below the horizon far off 
towards the blue and peaceful waters of the 
Pacific ; and as I do so, I contemplate the day 
when the wild valley before me will be filled 
with the hum and stir and thronging multitude 
of a great city, and these bluffs covered with 
elegant residences and tasteful retreats from 
the turmoil and activity that will reign below, 
for no one here doubts that such Is to be the 
future of Council Bluffs." 

DESCRIBES HER NEW HOME. 

Here is also another letter written by Mrs. 
Bloomer in May, 1855, giving a further descrip- 
tion of her home in the west and of Its sur- 
roundings : 

" COUNCIL BLUFFS, May, 1855* 
4i MY DEAR MRS. VAUGHAN : 

** From my far-distant home among the 



222 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

bluffs of the Missouri I send you greeting. 
We have now been here four weeks, and for 
two weeks I have been installed as housekeeper 
in my own house. The business of housekeep- 
ing, as you well know, Is not new to me ; but 
it is a long time since I have confined myself 
to that business alone, and it seems a little 
strange after the many and various duties de- 
volving upon me for the last six or seven years 
to be relieved of the greater part of them and 
to settle down in this strange place with noth- 
ing to care for save my house and garden. 

" Far from the place of my nativity, far from 
the spot where since childhood all the years 
of my life have been spent, save one, far from 
dearly loved kindred and highly cherished 
friends, far from all the noble spirits with whom 
I have long labored in the cause of humanity, 
far from all I have ever best known and loved 
save him who is my companion in life's journey, 
I have commenced life as it were anew. Here, 
surrounded by lovely flower-decked prairies and 
nestled down among the hills that overlook 
the Missouri and the vast plains of Nebraska 
beyond, we have chosen our future home and 
shall do what we may by our aid and influence 
for the upbuilding and prosperity of this infant 
city. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 223 

" Do not Imagine us in a wild and unculti- 
vated country, deprived of the comforts of life, 
and of the enjoyments and advantages of re- 
fined society, for It Is not so. Neither are we 
surrounded by hordes of savage Indians and In 
danger of falling victims to the tomahawk and 
scalping-knife, as some people in the east Im- 
agine. * * * We do not consider ourselves as 
far out of the world as we are set down by those 
who realize nothing of the immense emigration 
Into the mighty West, or of the energy and *go- 
aheadativeness'of the people who come hither. 
We see some Indians occasionally, it Is true, 
but they are only visitors from Nebraska,, they 
do not belong to this state. A party of Paw- 
nees some two weeks ago pitched their tent on 
the summit of a high bluff near our house where 
they remained until last Sunday, when they 
struck their tent, packed It and all other mov- 
ables on the back of a mule and then took up their 
line of march to the westward, the men riding on 
horseback while the * squaws * went on foot. 
The mule was led by a squaw. Two squaws had 
papooses on their backs, and another carried 
a dog In the same manner. I had frequent 
visits from some of them while they remained 
here, and on leaving they called to bid us good- 
bye, in tolerably fair English. There Is some- 



224 W& ANU WRITINGS OF 

thing interesting to me in these children of nature 
and I almost regretted their departure. 

" The Indians who come here are perfectly 
harmless and no one pays any attention to 
them. They come and go at their pleasure. 
We shall see little of them hereafter, as the 
government has just paid off its indebtedness to 
the Omahas and they were then removed to the 
new quarters assigned them about a hundred 
miles to the northward, in Nebraska. They 
were all collected at Omaha City, and from 
thence started on their journey accompanied 
by the Indian agent who is to pay them twenty 
thousand dollars in cash when they reach their 
destination. The tribe now numbers but eight 
hundred and five, counting men, women and chil- 
dren, and has but two hundred men capable of 
bearing arms. Ten years ago they numbered 
sixteen hundred. Their parting from their old 
home and the graves of their fathers is said by 
those who witnessed it to have been exceedingly 
interesting and pathetic. The women and the 
aged men wept, and the stout-hearted warriors 
could ill conceal their emotion of tenderness and 
affection. 

" People are now flocking in here in consider- 
able numbers, either to settle or to make in- 
vestments in real estate, in the hope and ex- 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 225 

pectation of realizing a fortune by the rise in 
the value of property. We have dally stages 
from the east and south, and they generally 
come loaded inside and out to the extent of 
their capacity. The land-office is crowded both 
by settlers and speculators eager to enter the 
choicest lands remaining unsold. The land di- 
rectly adjoining the town, and for some five or 
six miles back, is all taken, and one cannot buy 
a farm at Uncle Sam's prices within that dis- 
tance of the city. Good land can be obtained 
at second hand for from five dollars to ten dol- 
lars per acre, 

" By the laws of the state, women can own 
and hold property, both real and personal, and 
I am happy to know that many women are 
availing themselves of these provisions by secur- 
ing to themselves a share of its broad acres, I 
do wish that more women would become 
owners of the soil, and I am especially anxious 
that you, Mrs. Vaughan, and those women who 
labored so untiringly with you in the cause of 
humanity, should come in for a share. I know 
that such women do not usually carry long 
purses, and are not very well rewarded for their 
wearing toil, yet with land at $1.25 per acre 
it does seem as though they ought to be able 
to secure at least eighty acres. One woman who 



226 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

Is supporting herself by typesetting in your 
state has secured an interest in this vicinity, 
and she is now hoarding her wages that she 
may add a few acres more to those she has 
already. A few years hence, these lands will 
be valuable and the owners will realize some- 
thing from their sale, if they do not wish to 
retain them. 

44 This city is the western terminus of railroads 
to be located across this state, and it is ardently 
hoped and expected that ere many years the 
shrill whistle of the iron horse will be heard 
among the bluffs of the Missouri* There are 
two newspapers published here and both are 
well sustained, I am told* There are two church 
edifices nearly completed, Methodist and Con- 
gregational Each has a settled pastor and ser- 
vices are held regularly on Sundays. The peo- 
ple who settle here are mostly from the east, 
and are nearly all Americans ; consequently we 
have an Intelligent, well-ordered community. 
Omaha, the capital of Nebraska, is situated 
directly opposite, on the western bank of the 
Missouri, and in full view of this city. It now 
contains about four hundred inhabitants. 

A. B." 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 227 

The personal reminiscences of Mrs. Bloomer 
given above show very fully that, in removing 
to Council Bluffs, she did not give up any of 
her wonted zeal in behalf of those reforms to 
which so much of her life had been devoted. 
She continued to write for the Lily so long as 
its publication was kept up, and the produc- 
tions of her pen frequently appeared in the 
columns of the city papers, and of other papers 
in the state and throughout the Union. 

LIFE IN COUNCIL BLUFFS. 

But the first months of her life In Council 
Bluffs were quiet ones. They gave her oppor- 
tunity to gain the much needed rest which 
years of labor and activity had rendered nec- 
essary. She spent many hours in roaming 
over the bluffs and valleys. Life seemed to 
have opened a new page for her, and in its 
daily duties she found sufficient employment. 
The population of the city was small and 
social intercourse amongst its members, as in 
all new western communities, was pleasant and 
unconventional. Everybody knew everybody 



228 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

else, and all whose characters %vere clean and 
untarnished met each other on a footing of 
perfect equality. All attended the same 
church and all joined in the same festivities. 
It was in many respects an ideal state of so- 
ciety ; being far away from railroads and the 
great centres of population, there was great 
exemption from the cares and anxieties of 
older communities. Housekeeping was the 
first duty that fell upon Mrs. Bloomer, and she 
strove to make her new home pleasant and in- 
viting. It soon became the resort of many 
new as well as old friends. People coming to 
the city very often desired to meet her and 
she always received them kindly, extending to 
all a generous welcome- WitK her husband 
she early joined with others in the organiza- 
tion of a literary club, taking an active part in 
its proceedings. 

AGAINST STRONG DRINK. 

Mrs. Bloomer had begun her public life in 
New York state as an advocate of Temperance. 
She had opposed at all times the use as a bev- 



AMELfA BLOOMER. 229 

erage of intoxicating drinks in all their vari- 
ous forms, and in her adopted state she con- 
tinued the earnest advocate of these ideas 
and- principles. She wrote and spoke when 
called for in their advocacy and defense. 
When a lodge of Good Templars was organized 
in 1856, she became an active member and 
continued her membership in it so long as it 
was kept up. 

Though the custom of using strong drinks 
at social gatherings was common in her new 
home, yet she firmly set her face against it and 
nothing of the kind was ever found In her 
dwelling. When societies were organized, 
plans adopted, money expended in promoting 
temperance principles she was always found 
among the most zealous in promoting sobriety 
in all Its forms. 

In subsequent years, Mrs. Bloomer became 
an active worker In the Women's Christian 
Temperance Union; and In an address de- 
livered before it in Council Bluffs, some ten 
years before her death, she referred to her 
own and others* labors In the city as follows : 



230 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

HER EXPERIENCES. 

" I have thus given you, as briefly as 
possible, a sketch of the introduction and 
early efforts of woman in this cause of temper- 
ance. It may not be so interesting to you 
as to those of us who encountered the opposi- 
tion, bore the suffering, endured the struggle, 
who were subject to ridicule, censure and frowns 
for the cause's sake and for woman's sake. It 
is well that you of this later generation should 
know something of what has gone before ; that 
you should know that, long before the 
W. C. T. U. arose, organizations of women did 
as great and greater work than that large body 
of women are doing. We had a cause anH a 
purpose, and there was no lack of zeal and 
enthusiasm. There was no cold-hearted, half- 
way work with the Washingtonians and those 
who enlisted under them. I must mention 
Rev. George G. Rice, of this city, as among the 
liberal-minded men of early days. On my com- 
ing to Council Bluffs, he very soon called upon 
me and invited me to give a temperance lecture 
in his church ; and later, at his request, I spoke 
on the education of girls from his pulpit, and 
also the church was freely given me for woman's- 
rights lectures. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 



231 



" Council Bluffs has always been a hard field 
for temperance work. Originally a frontier 
town, it was for many years almost completely 
In the hands of the gambling and liquor-drink- 
ing classes of the community. On. my first 
coming here, In 1855, Sunday was hardly rec- 
ognized at all as a day of rest or religious 
observance. It was the carnival day of the 
pleasure-seeking of every kind. Business was 
carried on as usual. The saloons were open 
and games of chance openly carried on along 
the streets. But even then there were a faith- 
ful few. A division of the Sons of Temperance 
had been organized, and very soon after we 
came we assisted in the organization of a lodge 
of Good Templars. These two societies hand- 
somely fitted up and carpeted a large hall In 
Empire Block, opposite the Pacific House* and 
held regular meetings on different evenings of 
each week for several years. But financial 
troubles coming on, they were unable to meet 
their expenses, and before 1860 both had ceased 
to exist, I do not know whether the Sons of 
Temperance ever renewed their organization, 
but think they did not. But the Good Templars 
have at different times started up anew and I 
am glad to hear are quite prosperous at the pres- 
ent time. I have a strong feeling of sympathy 



LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

with this organization because I was connected 
with it in New York, Ohio, and here, In my 
earlier days, and because it admits women to 
its membership on a footing of equality with 
men, and it was through its membership women 
passed through struggles for recognition. I 
have frequently assisted in the formation of 
lodges, and one of my last acts before coming 
to Council Bluffs was going by myself as dep- 
uty grand-chief templar to Indiana to organize 
two new lodges. Other organizations for pro- 
moting temperance work have existed here at 
different times. The late D. W, Price was pres- 
ident of one of the most effective of these, and 
really did a good work. Moved by his elo- 
quent and effective pleadings, many votaries 
of strong drink were reformed and restored to 
their right minds and still remain sober citizens. 
" The women of the city have not been 
wholly remiss in their duties to this cause, 
though they have not done all they could and 
should- In 1 874 a society was organized, a con- 
stitution adopted, and a committee appointed 
to canvass the city to obtain memberships, and 
signatures to a petition to the city council ask- 
ing that the laws enacted for their protection 
against liquor selling be enforced, and the li- 
cense law amended. But their petitions passed 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 233 

unheeded, as those of tens of thousands of 
women in other sections had done before them. 
They were laid on the table as unworthy of 
notice, and when taken up received but one 
vote in their favor. What cared our city fathers 
for the petitions of disfranchised women? 
They had no votes to give to affect them at the 
next election, while the veriest drunkard had ; 
and so should they not consult their constit- 
uents? Temperance workers, either men or 
women, have never received much help from 
the constituted authorities either of our city or 
county. Generally they have looked upon vio- 
lations of the law with indifference. That Is 
the case at the present time. Although we 
have a rigid prohibitory law now in force in 
this state, its provisions are openly violated 
and whatever effort is made to enforce It 
comes not from the men sworn to enforce the 
law but from individuals in private life, who are 
thus compelled to give their time and money 
to do that which should be done by officers 
elected for that purpose, ** 

Mrs. Bloomer fully believed in the virtue of 
prohibitory legislation. She rejoiced when this 
principle was adopted Into the laws of Iowa and 
strove in all suitable ways to secure the advance- 



234 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

merit of those laws. She wrote frequently and 
largely in their defense and the columns of the 
city press bear witness to the zeal with which 
she advocated her views. She was greatly dis- 
tressed when her rector came out in his pulpit 
and preached sermons against the virtues of 
prohibition, and censured and criticised his 
position with great force and spirit. 

FOH WOMAN'S ENFRANCHISEMENT, 

But beyond all other questions, Mrs. 
Bloomer's thoughts, hopes and labors were 
given to Woman's Enfranchisement. In that 
cause she was a pioneer. She studied, con- 
sidered and dwelt upon it in all its various 
bearings. She believed most sincerely that 
the Temperance principle of which she was an 
ardent advocate could never fully triumph un- 
til Woman's voice could be fully and decisively 
heard ia its settlement. This was her position 
in all her writings and addresses on that sub- 
ject, and these were continued and frequent so 
long as her strength lasted. Moreover, she 
fully believed that the unjust legal enactments 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 23- 

coming down from a semi-barbarous age, to- 
gether with the harsh teachings of legal writers, 
would have to be completely changed in letter 
and spirit before woman could occupy the high 
place for which she was designed by her Creator 
and become in very deed and truth a helpmeet for 
man. And finally she insisted that the precious 
right of suffrage, the high privilege of casting a 
ballot along with man, should be accorded to 
woman as her inalienable birthright, and that 
she should exercise that right as a solemn duty 
devolving upon her as a responsible human 
being and as a citizen of a free republic. These 
were unpopular doctrines when she first com- 
menced to espouse and" uphold them in her 
paper, more than fifty years before her decease ; 
but she never failed to maintain them, in all 
suitable ways and at all proper times, through- 
out her subsequent career. 

Her house in Council Bluffs was always the 
welcome resort of those who were engaged in 
proclaiming these doctrines and urging them 
upon the favorable consideration of the people 
of the great West. From time to time, espe* 



236 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

dally in the earlier days, nearly all these promi- 
nent advocates were her guests. Among them 
may be named Miss Susan B. Anthony, 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary A. Livermore, 
Anna Dickinson, Mrs. M. H. Cutler, Frederick 
Douglass, Phoebe Cozzens, and many others. 
And frequently when these advocates of her 
favorite reform visited her she arranged for 
public meetings for them in church or hall, so 
that through Mrs. Bloomer's instrumentality 
her neighbors and friends were afforded oppor- 
tunity of listening to some of the most noted 
lecturers of the day ; and it is here no more 
than strict justice to record that she was, in all 
her work of promoting temperance and woman's 
enfranchisement, aided and sustained by the 
cordial assistance and support of her husband. 
No note or word of discord ever arose between 
them on these subjects (and, indeed, very few 
on any other); they passed their long lives 
happily trying to alleviate the sufferings and 
right the wrongs of their fellow-travelers 
through the journey of life. 

Mrs. Bloomer's pen was also very busy and she 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 237 

frequently wrote for the newspapers In her own 
city and In other parts of the country. When- 
ever an attack was made, either upon her 
personally or upon her favorite ideas, It was 
sure to call forth from her a vigorous reply. 
She did not confine herself to temperance and 
woman's rights ; but wrote freely and often upon 
other kindred subjects, also. It would extend 
this work far beyond Its prescribed limits, to re- 
publish even a small part of the productions of 
her pen ; but some articles will be given further 
on. Just here we cannot omit to give one of 
her replies to the objection that woman should 
not vote because she could not fight: 

VOTING AND FIGHTWG. 

" My reply to the argument of our opponents 
that * if women vote they must also fight," Is 
this: All men have not earned tbeir right to 
the ballot by the bullet ; and, if only those who 
fight should vote, there are many sickly men, 
many weak little men, many deformed men, 
and many strong and able-bodied but cowardly 
men, who should at once be disfranchised 
These all irate but they do not figitt* and fight-* 



238 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

Ing is not made a condition precedent to the 
right to the ballot. The law only requires that 
those of sufficient physical strength and endur- 
ance shall take up arms in their country's 
defense, and I think not many women can be 
found to fill the law's requirement: so they 
would have to be excused with the weak little 
men, the big cowardly men, and the men who 
are physically disqualified. We know there 
are thousands of voters who never did any fight- 
ing and who never will. Why then must woman 
be denied the right of franchise because she 
cannot fight? If there are any great strong 
women who want to fight for their country In 
Its hour of peril, they should be allowed to do 
so, and men have no right to disarm them and 
send them home against their will. But as 
there are other duties to be discharged, other 
interests to be cared for, In time of war besides 
fighting, women will find enough to do to look 
after these In the absence of their fighting men. 
They may enter the hospitals on the battle- 
fields as nurses, or they may care for the crops 
or the young soldiers at home. They may 
also do the voting and look after the affairs of 
government, the same as do all the weak men, 
who vote and hold office and do not fight. 
And, further, as men do not think it right for 



AMELIA MLOQMMR* 

women t fight, and fear it will be forced upon 
them with the ballot, they can easily make a 
law to excuse them, and doubtless with the 
help of the women will do so. There is great 
injustice, so long as the ballot is given to all 
men the weak as well as the strong f without 
condition, In denying to woman a voice in 
matters deeply affecting her interest and 
happiness, and through her the happiness and 
welfare of mankind because, perchance, there 
may come a time in the history of our country 
when we shall be plunged into war and she not 
be qualified to hold a musket 1 

11 This objection, like many others we hear, Is 
too absurd to emanate from the brains of in* 
telligent men and 1 cannot think they honestly 
entertain such views. If they will but give us a 
voice in the matter, we will not only save our- 
selves from being sent to the battlefield, but 
will, if possible, keep them at home with us by 
averting the threatened danger and difficulties 
and so compromising matters with other powers 
that peace shall be maintained and bloodshed 
avoided. "A, B." 

PROGRESS. 

Mrs, Bloomer was mainly instrumental in 
organizing a woman's-sitffrage society in 



240 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

cil Bluffs, In 1870, and was its first president. 
Through her influence woman's position was 
greatly enlarged in that community. In 1880, 
she was enabled to write as follows : " The 
trustees of the public library of this city are 
women, the teachers in the public schools, with 
one or two exceptions, are women, the princi- 
pal of the high school is a woman, and a large 
number of the clerks in the dry-goods stores 
are women/' 

The revised Code of Iowa, promulgated in 
1873, almost entirely abolished the legal dis- 
tinction between men and married women as 
to property rights. As to single women there 
was, of course, no distinction. That code is 
still in force, and its liberal provisions in regard 
to the rights of married women have been still 
further enlarged. The wife may hold separate 
property, and may make contracts and incur 
liabilities as to the same, which may be en- 
forced by or against her as though she were a 
single woman. So also a married woman may 
sue or be sued without joining her husband in 
matters relating to her separate property, and 



AMELIA BLOOMER, 241 

she may maintain an action against her hus- 
band in matters relating to her separate prop- 
erty rights. Their rights and interests in 
each other's property are identical* They may 
be witnesses for, but they cannot be against, 
each other In criminal actions. 

It is not claimed that, for bringing about 
these beneficent changes in the laws of Iowa, 
Mrs. Bloomer is entitled to the sole credit. 
There were other efficient workers in the 
same field ; but it is certain that her long resi- 
dence in the state, and her continued and per- 
sistent advocacy of the principles of justice on 
which they are founded, contributed largely to 
their adoption by the lawmaking powers. 

STATE SUFFRAGE SOCIETY. 

The first Iowa Woman's State Suffrage So- 
ciety was organized at Mount Pleasant, in 1870* 
Mrs. Bloomer was present at this gathering of 
the earnest workers of the state and took an 
active part In their proceedings. Hon. Henry 
O*Conner, then attorney-general of the state, 

was made its first president, and Mrs. Bloomer 
16 



242 LIFE AMD WRITINGS OF 

its first vice-president. On her way home, she 
stopped over at Des Moines, with Mrs. Anna 
Savary and with Mrs. H. B. Cutler ; addressed 
in the afternoon a large Temperance gathering 
on the capitoi grounds, and in the evening both 
ladies spoke on woman's enfranchisement in 
the Baptist church. The first annual meeting 
of the society was held in Des Moines in 
October, 1871. Mrs. Bloomer presided and 
was chosen president ; she attended its annual 
meetings in subsequent years so long as she 
had the strength to do so. She was for years 
in constant correspondence with its members, 
and whenever the question of woman suffrage 
was before the general assembly she did not 
fail, by petition and otherwise, to do all in her 
power to promote its success. In 1875 she was 
an inmate of the Cleveland Sanitorium, and 
while there delivered to the inmates an ad- 
dress on the subject in which she was so deeply 
interested. In 1867 she made a long and weari- 
some journey, while in very poor health, to the 
city of New York to attend the meeting of the 
Woman-Suffrage Association, and was elected 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 243 

one of Its vice-presidents, a position she con- 
tinued to hold so long as she lived. She was 
an Interested listener to the proceedings of the 
Woman's Council held In Des Moines In 1883, 
but took no part in them further than a very 
short address. 

HISTORY OF IOWA SUFFRAGE WORK. 

Mrs. Bloomer furnished the main portion of 
the chapter on Iowa In the third volume of the 
History of Woman Suffrage, published by Mrs* 
Stanton and Miss Anthony in 1887. In short, 
the advocacy of woman's enfranchisement was 
her life-work from 1851 down to the end of her 
days. She was In constant written communi- 
cation with many of its leading advocates not 
only in Iowa but all over the country. They 
visited her often In her home, and she was sub- 
jected to frequent interviews from newspaper 
reporters. A volume could be filled with their 
writings called out by conversations with her. 
She always treated them with kindness and 
courtesy, and received maay Mud notices from 



244 M&E A ^D WRITINGS OF 

the press. She always had a cheerful and 
pleasant greeting for her many visitors. 

Mrs. Bloomer was spared to witness the 
triumph of many of the reforms she had earn- 
estly advocated. The temperance principle In 
which her heart was so much absorbed made 
great progress during her lifetime, and the pro- 
hibitive features she so earnestly advocated 
were engrafted on the laws of her adopted state. 
She was not spared to see woman accorded a 
right to the ballot in all the states, but she was 
cheered by the wonderful progress in that direc- 
tion that took place all over the world. In 
Wyoming and Utah women had voted for sev- 
eral years, and only a few weeks before her de- 
parture she learned with infinite satisfaction 
from Mrs. Jennie A. Irvine, a favorite niece 
residing in Colorado, that the right of suffrage 
had been granted to women in that state. 
While therefore she was never herself per- 
mitted to exercise that inestimable right, yet 
she died in the full conviction that only a few 
years would elapse before it would be accorded 
to women in all the free countries in the world. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 245 

ESSAYS BY MRS, BLOOMER, 

* 

In the following pages are given the pro- 
ductions of Mrs. Bloomer *s pen on a variety of 
subjects. Most of these essays have been 
printed in newspapers located in different parts 
of the country, but are here made public again 
in more durable form. It is believed they will 
not be devoid of interest to the reader : 

" WIFELY DUTIES. 

" c Unto tkee shall be kis desire* and tkon $k&lt rule ower Mm? 
GEN., iv. 7. 

" These words were addressed to Cain by the 
Creator. They are the same as those used to 
Eve, except that in the one* case they were ad- 
dressed to the one to be ruled, and in the other 
to the one who was to rule. The latter is more 
clearly a command than the former. And if 
a command, then Cain only obeyed it in ruling 
over his brother ; and, as there was no limit 
fixed to the rule, was he very much to blame 
for taking the life of his brother? Did not 
God command him to rule and was not God 
responsible for the result ? 

"And if God foretelling to Eve that her 
husband should rule over her was a command 



246 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

to which all women were to be subject for all 
time, does not this command to Cain to rule 
over his brother follow the seed of Cain for all 
time, and are not all elder brothers commanded 
to rule over the younger, and is It not the duty 
of the younger to submit to such rule? 

** Clearly the Scripture quoted was not a*com- 
mand in either case. We cannot throw upon 
God all the fearful consequences that have 
grown out of and resulted from the construc- 
tion so often put upon these words. Read 
them as prophecy, substitute i wilt * for ' shalt * 
as I am told the original fully warrants and 
they become clear enough. In both cases 
it was a prophetic declaration of what was to 
follow, and the prophecy as we all know has 
been fulfilled to the- letter. 

" But read this Scripture as we may, I do not 
believe it has any binding force at this day. 
However much the first Adam may have ruled 
his wife, other Adams can derive no warrant 
from his case for ruling their wives, except in 
the evil nature they have inherited from him. 
The Adams still abound in the land, and will 
abound until woman fully asserts her individu- 
ality and compels men to acknowledge her equal 
right with themselves to life, liberty and the 
pursuit of happiness. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 247 

" The passages from the New Testament so 
frequently quoted have lost their terrors. We 
all know that In the early days when they were 
written woman's position was one of ignorance 
and subjection. Peter and Paul were imbued 
with the prevalent sentiment of the times, and 
wrote of things as they found them. In writ- 
ing of woman they followed the law and cus- 
tom of the day in which they lived. They 
thought woman's name was * submission f just 
as many men think now, and wrote of her just 
as they write now. 

" Barnard, in his * History and Progress of 
Education/ tells us that: i In India It was a ter- 
rible disgrace for a woman to learn to read, and 
the avowal of that knowledge was sufficient to 
class her with the most abandoned of her sex. 
Her duties and attainments were only such as 
would conduce to the mere physical comfort of 
her lord and master/ Again, In writing of the 
ancient Persians, he says : * Female education 
was utterly neglected* The wife was the slave 
of the husband, and every morning must kneel 
at his feet and nine times ask the question, 
What do you wish that I should do ? and, hav- 
ing received his reply, bowing humbly, she 
must withdraw and obey his commands/ 

" Of Greece he says ; * The female children 



248 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

were not allowed any Instruction except such 
as they might receive at home. The condition 
of the female sex, except the abandoned por- 
tion of It, at Athens was pitiable. Secluded 
from society and all Intellectual improvement, 
their lives must have been gloomy, dull and 
hopeless/ 

" When we consider the condition of woman 
in the early ages we cannot be surprised at the 
injunction laid upon her by the apostles. But 
would John have her remain in that position? 
Clearly he would; but not so her Creator. He 
"has called her out of former bondage and 
pointed out to her a higher mission. 

" It is worthy of note that the writers of the 
New Testament did not give us a i Thus saith 
the Lord * with any of the Injunctions to wo- 
men, nor did our Saviour enjoin any such rules 
upon her. So while we admit that the words 
of the apostles may have been proper at the day 
and under the circumstances of their utterance, 
we claim that the condition of woman has been 
so changed and her mind so educated since 
that time that they are not applicable to her 
now. We are told by some that her condition 
thousands of years ago was her natural condi- 
tion, that In which God placed her and intended 
her to remain. If this be so, a great wrong has 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 249 

been done her by taking her out of the condi- 
tion of ignorance and depravity In which she 
then existed. An educated mind cannot be 
kept In slavery. Our system of education is 
all wrong if God intended her to remain the 
ignorant slave of man she then was. How 
comes It that, If that was her natural God-or- 
dained position, we find her condition so differ- 
ent at the present day? Whether right or 
wrong, that condition has greatly changed ever 
since the Introduction of Christianity. And 
this work, this change, is not of herself, not of 
man. We must recognize in her course the 
direction and guidance of a Higher Power* If 
this change, this progress, tend to evil (as its 
opponents predict), then He who rules and 
overrules Is for some wise purpose of His own 
bringing the evil on the world. But If, as we 
believe, it is for the good not only of woman 
but of humanity then, too, we should recog- 
nize the Higher Power that so orders it and do 
what we may to help forward His work. In 
any case we cannot by opposition, Bible argu- 
ment, or indifference stay His work and will. 

" Woman had a part to play In life that St. 
Paul never dreamed of, and he who lives in the 
next generation will see greater changes than 
the past has produced. As well say that men 



250 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

should be and do as they were and did in the 
days of Abraham, as to say that women should 
be kept in the state of bondage in which she 
existed thousands of years ago. The world 
moves and woman must move with it. She 
inherits the same blood, the same spirit of lib r 
erty, that descends to her brother and for 
which her fathers bled and died. To fight 
against this progression is like fighting against 
the emancipation of the slaves. As the chains 
of the latter were broken and the oppressed 
set free, in spite of opposition and Bible argu- 
ment, so will the All- Father, in His own good 
time and way, bring about the emancipation 
of woman and make her the equal with man in 
power and dominion that He proclaimed her 
to be at the creation, that we may have 

*** every where 
Two heads in council, two beside the hearth, 

Two in the tangled business of the world, 
Two in the liberal offices of life.* 

"A.B." 

Mrs. Bloomer, in commenting on an article 
in the Chicago Tribune stating that women 
should not be called by their husbands' titles, 
wrote for the Western Woman's Journal as 
follows : 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 251 

NAMES OF MARRIED WOMEN* 

" I am glad the Tribune has spoken out on 
this question, and had it gone further and in- 
cluded names as well as titles In its criticisms 
it would have done better. It has become so 
much the fashion for women to call themseles 
and to be known by their husbands* names and 
titles that a woman's Christian name is seldom 
heard or known. Why a woman as soon as 
she is married is willing to drop the good name 
of Mary or Elizabeth and take that of John, 
Thomas or Harry I never could understand* 
And as to titles, why a woman should be called 
Mrs. General, Mrs. Colonel, Mrs. Captain or 
Mrs. Judge I don't know except it be on the 
principle that husband and wife are one and 
that one the husband, and the wife is his ap- 
pendage and must be known by his title instead 
of having an individuality of her own. 

" So far is this matter of appropriating names 
and titles carried, that women retain them after 
the death of the husbands and call themselves 
Mrs. Colonel or Mrs. Doctor when there is no 
such doctor or colonel in existence. It would 
seem as though, the man being dead, his title 
would die with him and henceforth his wife 
assume her Christian name* . 



252 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

"Quite recently an Inquiry came to me from 
New York for the Christian name of a woman 
who had been quite prominent. On looking 
over letters and papers bearing her name I 
found that in every Instance she had used her 
husband's Initials, and it was only after sending a 
postal with the Inquiry one hundred and fifty 
miles that I learned her name and transmitted 
it to New York. This is but one instance of 
the many where women use the name of the 
husband with * Mrs/ prefixed whenever they 
have occasion to write their names. 

" But women are not alone to blame in the 
matter. The press does Its part to keep up 
what the Tribune calls a vulgar custom. We 
have an instance at hand. Only a short time 
ago the daily press announced that * Mrs. 
Colonel C. S. Chase, of Omaha, is very ill. * 
And" again a short time after it announced * the 
death of Mrs. Colonel Chase/ thus following 
the woman to the grave with her husband's 
name and title. She was not a colonel, had 
never been a colonel, and It surely would have 
been more proper to say Mary, the wife of CoL 
Chase. Doubtless all have fallen into the cus- 
tom thoughtlessly. - 

"Where a woman has earned a title of her 
own, It is right that she should be called by it, 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 253 

and I see no reason why the prefix of Mrs, 
should always be attached. It would be quite 
Improper to say Mr, Doctor Green ; then why 
should we say Mrs. Doctor Hilton ? 

u There are cases where it may be allowable 
and necessary to use the husband's initials 
when naming or addressing his wife, but 
usually it is best for her to retain and be known 
by the name her parents gave her. The name 
or title of -her husband gives no additional dig- 
nity or character to her, and it sinks her own 
Individuality in him ; which no woman should 
allow. 

" Ever since the world began all women of 
note have been known by their own Christian 
names. Adam named his wife Eve and we 
have no account of her ever being called Mrs, 
Adam. Victoria of England has nerer called 
herself Mrs. Albert Saxe-Coburg, nor has 
Eugenie been known as Mrs. Emperor Louis 
Napoleon. Go back through all history and 
all married queens, all members of royal houses, 
all married women of any distinction such as 
artists, authors, scholars, teachers, actresses, 
singers, etc., have ever been known and called 
by their Christian names. - In our own day and 
country this Is the universal custom* Lydia 
H. Sigourney, Emma Willard, Margaret Fuller 



254 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

Ossoli, Lucretia Mott, Frances D. Gage, Mary 
A. Livermore, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Paulina 
W. Davis, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Lucy 
Stone Blackwell, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 
Celia Burleigh, and a host of others of equal or 
less note never called themselves Mrs. John, 
Mrs. Tom and Mrs. Henry. Anna Mary 
Howitt, Dinah Maria Muloch, and Elizabeth 
Barrett Browning may be given as instances of 
English writers who have seen fit to drop their 
own names and adopt the Christian name and 
title of their husbands. The wife of our first 
president is known and revered in memory as 
Martha Washington, instead of Mrs. George 
or Mrs. General Washington; and Susannah 
Wesley is far better known than Mrs. Rev. 
John Wesley. 

" In law, women must use their own names 
and no document is legal unless it bears the 
Christian name of the woman who signed it. 
Her appointment to any office is always made 
in her own name and not that of her husband. 
And yet many women have gotten the idea 
that their husbands' names and titles in some 
way add to their dignity and importance and 
so appropriate them to their own use, 

" May the day soon come when all this will 
be done away and women bear honored titles 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 255 

of their own, earned and conferred, but not 

borrowed ! " A. B." 

* 

IS IT RIGHT FOR WOMEN TO LECTURE ? 

Mrs. Bloomer answered this question through 
the press as follows : 

" The press has been very severe, in some 
instances, in its strictures upon a certain 
woman of this state for leaving home and hus- 
band to go before our public as a lecturer, 
thereby as they claim causing her husband to 
commit a fearful crime. 

" Now supposing, instead of being out lectur- 
ing, and home frequently, this woman had 
away on a three months* visit to friends as 
many ladies are in the habit of doing would 
the press be as ready to blame her as it now 
is? Would she be, and are other women, 
guilty of all the crime and wrongdoing which 
she or their husbands may commit in their 
absence ? And would it be right, would it be 
manly, to publicly accuse these women and 
hold them up to censure? Is not their suffer- 
ing already sufficient without this added sting ? 
Why, pray, is it a more heinous offense to 
leave home to lecture than to visit, to travel 



256 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

abroad, or to sojourn for months- at fashionable 
watering places ? 

" I know nothing of the domestic affairs of 
the person referred to. She has been to some 
extent a lecturer on temperance. Whether led 
Into It by pecuniary necessity, or solely from in- 
clination or a desire to do good, I never knew. 
But be the case as it may she is the first woman 
lecturer, so far as my knowledge extends, whose 
husband has ever disgraced both himself and 
her by such or any similar crime or any crime 
at all ; while the cases are frequent of wives 
who are keepers at home and faithful guardians 
of family relations being humbled and disgraced 
by husbands guilty of all manner of crimes and 
wickedness. Men claim to be the stronger 
both mentally and physically, Then why are 
they ready to shoulder upon women the re- 
sponsibility of their own wrongdoing? Why 
make the so-called * weaker vessel ' the scape- 
goat to bear their sins ? 

" But it was ever thus. The first Adam, the 
lord of creation/ tried to shield himself by ac- 
cusing Eve and putting upon her the punish- 
ment of his transgression. And all Adams 
from that time to this have imitated his weak- 
ness and meanness by doing the same thing. 
Let the strong bear the burdens of the weak, is 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 257 

I believe a Scripture injunction, but men have 
reversed this and put upon the weak an<i 
powerless the burdens they are too cowardly 
to bear themselves. In these days the Adams 
abound and, no matter of what Crime they may 
be guilty, some daughter of Eve must be made 
to sorrow, not only over the fall of a loved one 
but by seeing herself publicly accused of beltlg 
in some way accessory to the crime. 

" If a man commits suicide, it is forthwith 
charged to "unpleasant domestic irelatkms. If 
another, in a fit of insanity, takes himself otit 
of the world his wife's extr&vagante is the 
cause. So, too, * the extravagance of the wife * 
is offered as an excuse for the reckless spend- 
thrift and defaulter. If a man deserts his 
wife and family and goes after strange women, 
the wife is in some way to blame for it ; and if 
he gratifies his lust by the ruin of innocent gMs, 
there are enough of his fellows to come to tiis 
defense by implicating his wife as the guilty 
cause of his ruin. And so on to the end of the 
chapter, the same old story : c The woman whom 
Thou gavest me did it/ What a pitiful sneak- 
ing plea to come from the self-styled c lords of 
creation/ the boasted superiors of woman ! 

" I object to this frequent blaming of 
women for the misdeeds of itien and in the 

10 



258 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

name of all womanhood protest against its 

Injustice. 

"A. B." 

WOMAN'S RIGHT TO PREACH. 

On this subject Mrs. Bloomer wrote as fol- 
lows: 

" The question of woman's right to preach 
has been agitated more since the action of the 
Brooklyn presbytery in arraigning Dn Cuyler 
for allowing Miss Smiley to occupy his pulpit 
than ever before. Instead of this action having 
the effect of preventing a repetition of the 
offense, or of convincing the people of its wrong 
or sinfulnessj and silencing women preachers, 
the discussion has resulted favorably to the 
women and encouraged them in their good 
work. 

*' Two weeks ago Miss Smiley preached on 
Sunday both in a Methodist and Presbyterian 
church in Buffalo, N, Y,, by invitation of the 
pastors of the churches, and she has preached 
in other orthodox churches since the Brooklyn 
trial, and no one has been called to account for 
a transgression of the rules, 

"Jm. Sk* Louis, the women of the Union 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

Methodist church lately held a meeting to ex- 
press their sense of the propriety and need of 
an ordained ministry for women in the church. 
The meeting is said to have been spirited and 
earnest, and embraced many of the leading 
women of the Methodist church and of other 
denominations. They offered their own 
prayers, made their own speeches, and called 
no man to their aid. The proceedings and 
speeches are reported at length in the Democrat, 
and reflect much credit upon the able women 
engaged in them. The following memorial re- 
ported by the committee was unanimously 
adopted : 

" i To the General Conference of the Metho- 
dist Church. Fathers and Brethren : We the 
undersigned members of the Methodist church 
respectfully but earnestly petition your vener- 
able body to take such action, at your coming 
session in Brooklyn; New York, as may be 
necessary to allow women to be ordained as 
preachers, subject only to such requirements as 
are defined in our discipline.*- 

" In this, as in all other reforms, persecution 
and opposition strengthen the cause they would 
crush. The result of the anti-slavery move- 
ment should convince all that any God-ordained 
progressive movement, though it may be stayed 



260 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

for a time, cannot be killed and buried because 
men will it so/* 

PETTICOAT PRESENTATION. 

Some ladies of Quincy having presented a 
petticoat to some obnoxious individual, Mrs. 
Bloomer wrote as follows : 

" It has long been customary for men, when 
they wish to express great contempt for the ac- 
tion of an individual, or to hold him up to the 
scorn and ridicule of the world, to present him 
with a petticoat. No matter whether the action 
be one of meanness and cowardice, or one of 
heroism in defense of a good cause, the man 
so acting must be degraded in the eyes of the 
world by the offer of a woman's garment 
no other being found sufficiently expressive 
of the disgust of its contemners. It has always 
seemed strange to me that men were willing to 
dishonor the mothers who bore them and the 
wives they have chosen for life-companions by 
thus selecting one of their garments as the most 
fitting badge of cowardice, of meanness, of 
treachery, of weakness, of littleness of soul; 
and I have never heard of an instance of the 
kind but my cheek has tingled with shame and 
indignation shame that men could thus un- 



AMELIA BLOOMER, 261 

blushlngly offer insult to woman, indignation 
that woman must receive and submit tamely 
to the insult. 

" But if such action on the part of men has 
been painful to me, much more so is the action 
of the women of Quincy as given in last week's 
Chronotype. It is bad enough for men thus to 
dishonor and insult us ; but when woman imi- 
tates them in wrongdoing and desecrates her 
own garment to so bad a use, it is doubly to be 
deplored, for it is an admission that we are 
guilty of all the weakness and meanness they 
attribute to us and that our garment is chosen 
to represent. It should rather be woman's part 
to frown cjown all such acts with axiy part of her 
costume, and ever stand ready to defend it from 
dishonor* 

" I l>y no* means wish to condemn the ladles 
of Quincy for showing their contempt of tfee 
* gallant soldier of Kansas.* Far from it^ I 
admit their spirit and glory in their womanly 
courage ; for I hold k to be the rigkt and duty 
of woman to ijiarfc the slanderer, to speak out 
against wrong, to defend the injured and inao* 
cent, and to drive out and put down immorality 
and crfme, by the power of her own might If 
need be. I only differ with tkem ia the- manner 
of punishing the coward and would have 



262 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

seled a more womanly course. Had they 
waited upon the ' slanderer ' and * coward/ ex- 
pressed In strong terms their scorn and con- 
tempt for his actions, and warned him to leave 
the town, it would have been more creditable 
to them and to the sex than was the presenta- 
tion of the * red flannel garment ' a woman's 
garment as a badge of all that is most despi- 
cable in man. I am too jealous of the good 
name of woman, and hold in too much respect 
a woman's petticoat to see it disgraced by any 
* slanderer/ * coward ' or ' whipped puppy/ and 
I would to the last defend it from such dis- 
grace. 

" If that garment is in reality the badge of cow- 
ardice and inferiority that men would make it to 
be, then the sooner it is abandoned by woman 
and one more appropriate to her true character 
substituted the better. But it is not so. On 
the contrary it Is honored by having been worn 
by the good, the great, the noble, the heroic, the 
virtuous, the honorable, the gifted, the most 
highly praised and exalted among women ; and 
so long as it continues to be so worn it is en- 
titled to respect from both men and women, and 
he who dares treat it with disrespect should 
receive the censures of men and the scorn of 
women. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 263 

" The error of the Quincy women was one 
of the head and not of the heart. Women are 
sometimes led into error by unthinkingly imi- 
tating the follies and vices of men, or by acting 
under their direction. In the "good time com- 
ing/ when women learn to do their own think- 
ing and to rely more on their own judgments, 
they will rarely be led into wrong or unwise 
action. May the day hasten speedily on when 
woman's dormant powers shall be so developed 
by education that she will stand forth before 
the world in all the nobleness and excellence of 
her being ! Then no longer will men revile her 
garments or taunt her as they now too often 
do, directly or indirectly, with cowardice, infe- 
riority and weakness of intellect. 

"A. B." 

OBJECTIONS TO WOMAN SUFFRAGE ANSWERED. 

While the woman-suffrage amendment was 
before the general assembly of Iowa, Senator 
Gaylord, a member of that body, published a 
list of twenty-one reasons why It should not 
be adopted. These Mrs. Bloomer, in a letter 
to the Des Molnes Register *, answered as fol- 
lows : 



264 LIFE ANI> WRITINGS OF 

" I. He says * it Is not in the interest or in 
the disposition of man to legislate against 
woman,' etc. And yet for ages men have legis- 
lated against woman and deprived her of all 
right to her own person, her earnings, her prop- 
erty, and her children. The common law 
places woman in a position little better than 
that of slavery. And this law was made by 
men ; and it was not until the agitation of the 
woman's-rlghts question by women, and their 
exposure of the injustice of the laws and their 
demands for redress of grievances, that changes 
were made in their favor. If the senator does 
not know of this, let him read up the common 
law on these points and the history of the 
woman-suffrage question for the last thirty 
years, and he will find that up to that time it 
was the c disposition of men to legislate against ' 
eveiy interest of woman. 

u 2. He says * she ought not to be compelled 
by law to work out a poll-tax in the public 
highway > nor to learn the art of butchery on 
the t>at.tlefieldl.* Most certainly she ought not, 
tmt she could hire a substitute to do these 
things, just as Senator Gaylord does. I vent- 
ure the assertion, without knowing, that he did 
not earn his right to the ballot by the bullet 
or by shoveling dirt on the highways. If only 



AMELIA &LOOMER. 26,5 

those who do these things were ajlow$4 to vote 
the number of voters would be small indeed. 

" 3. * Because there is no evidence that the 
most intelligent women ask for the miserable 
privilege of becoming politicians/ Does th$ 
senator think that it is a miserable privilege to 
have the right to the ballot, the right to vote 
for good men and measures, the right ta self- 
protection, the right to sit in the halls of legis- 
lation making wise and just laws for the govern- 
ment of his country, which shall tend, to the 
interest and happiness of the whol$ people? 
One who prizes these privileges so lightly 
should be deprived oi them and the wonder- is 
that, holding such opinions as he does;, we fiad 
a ' miserable politician * havi&g bis seat m tfcfc 
legislative hall of this great state, where be 
surely ought not to be. The fact that the 
women and the men who a*e asking 0* the 
enfranchisement of women are among the 
intelligent, refined, affectionate and 
citizens is too patent to need proof from me. 

44 4. * Because woman is superior to man, and 
she owes her superiority to the fact that she, 
has never waded in the dirty pool of politics,' 
Dear me ! how worried this man is about the 
* dirty,* c miserable * politics I And again fcow 
strange, knowing the pool to be so muddy, that 



266 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

he has waded In so deep ! and to think of his 
going home to his family with all this filth upon 
him ! Really, if the place is so muddy it is 
high time that woman come in, with all the 
purity and goodness he gives her credit for, 
and sweep out the dirt that is befouling her 
husband and sons and make it a more fit place 
for them. An atmosphere that is too impure 
for her to breathe cannot but be dangerous to 
them, and it is her duty to rescue them from 
the * muddy * pool or so to cleanse it that it 
will be safe for both. 

" 5. Senator Gay lord may call himself a wiz- 
ard if he likes, and we shall not object ; but 
women prefer not to be angels while sojourn- 
ing here below, but rather good, sensible, prac- 
tical wives and mothers, prepared to discharge 
life's duties in whatever situation they may be 
placed in the home, at the ballot-box or in 
legislative halls, wherever duty, interest and 
inclination may lead them* 

* ( 6. * Because a deference is now shown to 
women, which would be denied,* etc. Defer- 
ence shown to women does not make up for 
deprivation of rights, Mr. Gaylord, Besides, it 
is not a fact, but on the contrary, that equality 
of rights, politically or otherwise, leads men to 
disrespect woman. Give us rights and then, if 



AMELIA BLOOMER* 



267 



you must, withhold courtesy : I trust we should 
have strength to bear it. 

u 7. * Because, if married women should vote 
against their husbands, there would be war/ 
And who would make the war, Mr. Gaylord ? 
No man, except one who wishes to play the 
tyrant in his family and enslave his wife's 
thought and actions, could ever utter so silly 
a reason for depriving her of rights to which 
she is as justly entitled as himself. Does he 
question the right of a man to do his own 
thinking and vote as he pleases ? Why then a 
woman? The very fact that he thus claims 
the right to make her action subservient to his 
wishes, or to make war upon her if she does not 
submit to his own dictation, is reason sufficient 
why her individuality and right to self-govern- 
ment should be recognized and secured to her 
by making her an enfranchised citizen. 

" 8. ' Because there are bad women/ etc. 
Well, why may not bad women vote as well as 
bad men ? If they had had a vote long *ago 
perhaps they would not be bad now, and per- 
haps there would not be so many bad men 
either. I would sooner trust those women to 
vote right than many men who now disgrace 
the ballot ; and as to any contamination at the 
polls, we no more fear it than on the streets, at 



2 68 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

public gatherings, in the stores* and in various 
places where we meet and brush by them un- 
harmed. We have more to fear from the men 
who make women bad. But, inasmuch as 
many women are compelled to associate in the 
closest relations with these men, and we all 
have to tolerate them in society, and come in 
contact with them in business matters, we 
think no great harm can come to us by drop- 
ping a bit of paper in the same box. But if 
there is really danger from such contact, we 
can avoid it by having voting places for our 
own sex away from theirs. 

" 9. * Because, if a woman trains up her chil- 
dren right, they will vote right/ etc. No, not 
always. The training of the mother is often 
counteracted by the influence, authority and ex- 
ample of the father, and the two might differ 
as to what was right. The mother might teach 
her son that the ballot is a high and sacred 
thing, a mighty power to be wielded for the 
best interests and happiness of humanity, a 
power for the putting down of evil and for 
the forming and sustaining just governments ; 
while the father might teach him that the right 
of the elective franchise is a c miserable privi- 
lege/ that it leads to a * muddy pool ' into 
which all must wade, that it is all c moonshine 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 

and monsoons ' and that the * privilege of vot- 
ing is not to be so much desired as the privilege 
of being voted for/ Which training is he to 
follow ? Where lies the danger ? 

" 10. The senator here claims that men are 
4 vain, ambitious and aspiring, caring more to 
be voted for than to vote/ and he fears that 
women will show the same weakness if per- 
mitted to vote. It is to be hoped, for the 
credit of womanhood, that if a woman ever 
takes his seat she will not disgrace herself by 
the utterance of such senseless twaddle in op- 
position to any measure as characterized his 
effort on the proposed amendment ! 

"13. * Because there must be a dividing line, 
somewhere, between those who may vote and 
who may not/ etc. Then why not let the 
educated, intelligent, sober and moral of both 
sexes vote, and shut out the ignorant, drunken 
and immoral ? Why let men vote and make 
laws, no matter how low and vile they may be, 
simply because they are men while those who 
are subject to the man-made laws are denied 
the right to vote, simply because they are 
women ? The line so drawn is unnatural, 
unjust, and productive of great wrong to all 
parties. The line as now drawn shuts out only 
Indians, idiots, and women* 



270 



LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 



14 14. Here our senator throws all the respon- 
sibility upon the * All-wise Author of our 
natures/ and claims that He has made laws to 
prevent woman entering the "moonshine and 
monsoon of politics,' forgetting that God called 
Deborah to the political field and made her a 
judge in Israel, and that for all time there have 
been queens and rulers among women, evidently 
with God's approval. The All-Father gave 
woman an intelligent mind and capacity for 
governing, and then left her free to exercise 
her gifts as she saw fit ; and if there be times 
when by sickness or other circumstance she 
may be prevented from the discharge of politi- 
cal duties, so also there are times and circum- 
stances when men are kept from the polls and 
from office, and if this be reason why the former 
should not be enfranchised then it is also reason 
why the latter should be disfranchised. 

" 15. * Because the wife has a voice and a 
vote already, and her husband is her agent to 
carry that vote to the ballot-box.* How is it 
about the thousands of women who have no 
husbands to do such errands for them? How 
does this proxy-voting work when the wife 
differs with the husband on the question to be 
voted on ? Does he waive his own preference 
and deposit the vote in accordance with her 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 371 

wishes ? If he does not, then does he represent 
her ? The only just course is to let her deposit 
her own vote ; then both will be represented. 
Now, they are not. Man deposits his vote 
regardless of his wife's interests and wishes. 

" 17. ' Because there cannot be two equal 
heads in the same family.' 4 Where the wife is 
anybody, the husband must be a nobody/ * If 
the wife has sense enough to vote, the husband 
is dwarfed/ So, according to our senator, the 
wife should be a weak-minded, senseless thing 
deprived of all right of opinion, so that the 
husband may rise to the dignity of a voter. 
Is not this sound logic ? Did the superior 
brain of man ever before conceive of so strong 
an argument why woman should not vote ? 
Two heads are better than one, Mr. Senator, 
and there may be two equal heads in the same 
family, at the same time, and neither of them 
be * dwarfed ' or belittled by the superiority of 
the other. If such is not the condition of your 
family, your wife is a subject for sympathy. 

" 1 8. * Because politics would pervert and 
destroy woman's nature, the religious element/ 
etc. God implanted in woman's nature a love 
of home and a love of her offspring, and also 
an instinctive knowledge of what is proper and 
what improper for her to do ; and it needs no 



272 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

laws of man's making to Incite the one or com- 
pel the other. Give her her rights and her own 
good sense will teach her how to use them. 
Does the ballot change man's nature for the 
worse ? Why then woman's ? 

"Pp. n, 12, 19, 20 and 21. These conclud- 
ing reasons show a dreadful Imaginative picture 
of the condition of things that would exist In 
the family should won^en be permitted to go 
to the polls and exercise the rights secured to 
them by tire laws of their country. ' Strife, 
contention, jealousy, hatred, slander, rivalry, 
intemperance, licentiousness, temper, retal- 
iation, suicide, suspicion, discord, divorce/ all 
these are to come to our good senator's family 
when his wife has a right to vote. He antici- 
pates it all and is doing all he can to avert the 
dire calamity. But while he is to be com- 
miserated, he must remember that all families 
are not alike, and where he sees only dire dis- 
aster other men see the dawning of a better 
day and are ready to * turn the crank * that shall 
hasten it on. Other men do not fear and 
tremble ; but calmly await the time when they 
can take their wives on their arms and, side by 
side, go to the polls and drop in the little 
paper that declares them equal in rights and 
privileges. In these families there will be no 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 273 

war, for such men are proud to own their wives 
their equals and do not feel that they themselves 
are dwarfed thereby. As the ballot elevates and 
ennobles man, so they believe it will be with 
woman, and they cannot understand how render- 
ing justice to her is going to convert her into 
the coarse, vile, quarrelsome thing our senator 
predicts, or how acknowledging her the equal 
of her husband is going to ' dwarf* men and con- 
vert them into ruffians and nobodies. 

A. B.' f 

ON HOUSEKEEPING WOMAN'S BURDENS. 

The following essay on this subject was read 
by Mrs. Bloomer before a local society or club in 
Council Bluffs : 

" It has always seemed to me that there was 
something wrong in the present system of 
housekeeping. Men have particular branches 
of business to which they give their exclusive 
attention, and never attempt to carry on three 
or four trades at the same time. Housekeep- 
ing comprises at least three trades, that of cook, 
laundress and seamstress, to which might be 
added that of house cleaning; and yet it is ex- 
pected of woman that she will single-handed 
18 



274 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

successfully carry on these various trades, and 
at the same time bear and rear children and 
teach them to become great and good. How 
long would men undergo a like amount of labor 
without devising some means of lightening and 
separating its burdens ? 

" I wish to call your attention to the fact 
that in the mythical second chapter of Genesis, 
upon which men lay so much stress as their 
authority for subjugating and belittling the 
position of woman, no toil was imposed on our 
Mother Eve. The ground was cursed for man's 
sake, and he was to labor and eat his bread in 
the sweat of his face. But to woman no com- 
mand to labor was given, no toil laid upon her, 
no ground or stove cursed for her sake^ She 
was to bear children ; but motherhood was 
never cursed by the Almighty* Woman is the 
mother of mankind, the living Providence 
(under God) who gives to every human being 
its mental, moral and physical organization, 
who stamps upon every human heart her seal 
for good or for eviL How important then that 
her surroundings be pleasant, her thoughts 
elevated, her mind imbued with the best and 
noblest traits, her individuality acknowledged, 
her freedom assured, that she may impart wise 
and noble characters to her children, surround 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 275 

them with good influences and train them in 
all goodness and virtue ! This is the part of 
woman. But how can she be fitted for such 
life work when subjected to the whims and com- 
mands of another, to the constant round of 
housekeeping labor, to toil and drudgery, to 
cares, annoyances and perplexities which she 
has not health and strength and nerve to bear? 
How can one woman cook and wash dishes 
three times a day, sweep and dust the house, 
wash and iron, scrub and clean, make and mend 
and darn for a family, and yet have time or 
spirit for the improvement of her own mind so 
that she may stamp strong characters upon her 
children? How can a mother whose every 
hour from early morn to late at night is - filled 
with cares and worries and toil to supply the 
physical needs of her family find time or be 
prepared to instruct properly the tender minds 
committed to her care ? 

" It is to woman's weary hours and broken 
health, and to her subject, unhappy and un- 
satisfactory position, that we may impute much 
of the evil, vice and crime that are abroad. 
And to the same cause are due so many 
domestic quarrels, separations and divorces. 
Children are born into the world with the stamp 
of the mother's mind upon them. I believe It 



276 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

Is conceded that children are more indebted 
to their mothers than to their fathers for their 
natural gifts. How important then that every 
facility be afforded the mother for making good 
impressions on her child ! How strange that 
men so entirely overlook this law of inheritance ! 
What can they expect of children when the 
mother is degraded and enslaved ? 

" Is there not some way of relief from this 
drudging, weary work over the cook stove, 
washtub and sewing machine ; from this load of 
labor and care? Why should one hundred 
women in each of one hundred separate houses 
be compelled to do the work that could equally 
as well or better be done by less than one-fifth 
of that number by some reasonable and just 
system of cooperation? Why cannot the cook- 
ing and washing and sewing be all attended to 
in a cooperative establishment, and thus relieve 
women, and mothers particularly, of the heavy 
burdens their fourfold labors now impose upon 
them, and give them time for self-improve- 
ment and the care and culture of their children ? 
It is said that in the city of New York there 
are but 30,000 household servants to more than 
270,000 families. By this we see that nine out 
of every ten wives and mothers in that city arc 
subjected to the daily round of household labor. 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 277 

Can we not trace a large percentage of the vice 
and degradation of that city to that cause? 
And this state of things will hold good to a 
large extent over the whole country. 

" Time is not allowed me to go into the 
details of cooperative housekeeping, even 
had I the matter well matured in 'my own 
mind, which I have not. But I have given 
reasons why some plan should be devised to 
relieve woman of hard labor and crushing care, 
and I leave it for her who is to follow on my 
side of the question to present a plan that shall 
recommend itself to our approval. 

"A. B." 

THE CIVIL WAR. 

The War of the Rebellion aroused the feel- 
ings, as also the patriotism, of the women of 
the Northern states to a high state of activity. 
Perhaps at first they did not enter into the con- 
test so earnestly as did the women of the 
South, that is, their feelings were not so deeply 
aroused ; but ere long, as the war went on, they 
came up nobly to the duties before them and 
were henceforward unwearied and unremitting 
in their discharge. Their fathers, brothers, sons 



278 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

and husbands were in the armies of the Union 
periling their lives for its complete restoration. 
They could but hope that success might crown 
their efforts, and in various ways they sought 
to help on the contest until the end should be 
reached, the republic saved ; and many also 
hoped and prayed that, when victory came, it 
would bring also the complete destruction of 
slavery. Mrs. Bloomer entered into this feeling, 
and the work done by the women of the North, 
with all the energies of her ardent spirit. Two 
regiments were raised in Council Bluffs and the 
vicinity, and many of the young men of the 
city were in their ranks. The women did a 
great deal towards providing them with camp 
conveniences and furnishing them with needed 
clothing and other comforts necessary for the 
arduous and dangerous life on which they were 
about to enter. Each day, dress parade found 
very many on the regimental grounds encourag- 
ing "the boys" in the discharge of their 
duties. Among other things, a beautiful flag 
was prepared and Mrs. Bloomer was delegated 
by the ladies to present it to company A, 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 279 

which had been mainly recruited in the city. 
This she did in the presence of the whole regi- 
ment, in the following short speech : 

MRS. BLOOMER'S ADDRESS. 

" Captain Craig, Sir : In behalf of the loyal 
ladies of Council Bluffs I present to you, and 
through you to the company you command, 
this flag. Its materials are not of so rich a 
texture as we could have wished, but they are 
the best our city afforded ; and we hope that 
you will accept it as an expression of our respect 
for yourself and your company, and our warm 
sympathy for the cause you go forth to uphold. 
This flag has emblazoned upon it the stars and 
stripes of our country. It was under these 
that our Fathers fought the battle of the Revo- 
lution and secured for us that priceless gift, 
the Constitution of the United States, 

"You are now going forth to sustain and 
defend that Constitution against an unjust and 
monstrous rebellion, fomented and carried 
on by wicked and ambitious men, who have 
for their object the overthrow of the best 
government the world has ever seen* To this 
noble cause we dedicate this flag. We know 
you will carry it proudly, gallantly and bravely 
on the field of battle and wherever you go, and 



280 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

we trust It may ever be to you the emblem of 
victory. 

" Soldiers : We cannot part with you with- 
out a few words of counsel and warning. In 
the new and dangerous path you are entering 
upon, let us entreat you to guard well your 
steps and keep yourselves aloof from every 
vice. Avoid, above all things, profanity and 
the intoxicating cup. The latter slays annually 
more than fall on the battlefield. The hearts 
of mothers, wives and sisters go forth after you. 
Many tears will be shed and many prayers 
will be offered in your behalf. See to it,, then, 
that you so conduct yourselves that whatever 
may befall you, whether you fall in the service 
of your country or return to gladden the hearts 
of the loved ones you leave behind and to 
enjoy the peace you will have conquered 
that no sting shall pierce their hearts, no stain 
rest on your fair fame. Go forth in your sense 
of right, relying on the justice of your cause. 
Seek peace with God your Saviour, that you 
may be prepared to meet His summons should 
it come suddenly, or to enjoy life should it 
please Him to spare you for many days. 

* c Our good wishes go with you, and we shall 
ever hold you in honorable remembrance ; and 
when this important war is ended which calls 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 2 i 

you from us, and you are discharged from duty, 
\ve shall heartily welcome you back to your 
home and friends/* 

This address was delivered at dress parade 
just as the sun was going down and only a day 
or two before the regiment left for the front. 
The volunteer soldiers listened with deep 
emotion, and when allusion was made to the 
homes and friends left behind many a stout 
heart heaved and tears trickled down many a 
manly face. 

Lieutenant Kinsman, in behalf of Captain 
Craig, accepted the flag from Mrs. Bloomer in 
a neat and appropriate address. 

Lieutenant Kinsman had been a partner of 
her husband and a dear friend of Mrs. Bloomer's ; 
over his subsequent career she watched with 
the greatest interest. He soon rose to be the 
captain of his company, then a lieutenant- 
colonel, and then colonel of an Iowa regiment 
at whose head he fell bravely fighting at the 
Battle of Black River Bridge, in Mississippi, In 
1863. As showing the earnest patriotism of 
Mrs. Bloomer and her intelligent appreciation 



282 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

of the great questions involved in it. the fol- 
lowing letter written by her to the convention 
of loyal women in New York City in 1864 is 
here inserted : 

LETTER TO CONVENTION OF LOYAL WOMEN. 

" Miss ANTHONY: 

" Your letter inviting me to meet in coun- 
cil with the loyal women of the nation 
on the I4th inst. in the city of New York 
is received. Most gladly does my heart 
respond to the call for such a meeting, and 
most earnestly do I hope that the deliberations 
on that occasion will result in much good to 
woman and to the cause you meet to promote. 

" The women of the North are charged by 
the press with a lack of zeal and enthusiasm in 
the war. The charge may be true to some ex- 
tent. Though for the most part the women of 
the loyal states are loyal to the government, 
and in favor of sustaining its every measure 
for putting down the rebellion, yet they do not 
I fear enter fully into the spirit of the revolu- 
tion, or share greatly in the enthusiasm and 
devotion which sustain the women of the South 
in their struggle for what they believe their 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 283 

independence and freedom from oppression. 
This is owing, doubtless, to the war being 
waged on soil remote from us, to women 
having no part in the active contest, and to the 
deprivation and heart-sorrows it has occasioned 
them. There are too many who think only of 
themselves and too little of the sufferings of 
the soldiers who have volunteered to save their 
country. While they are willing to give of 
their time and means to relieve the sick and 
wounded, they at the same time decry the 
war, lament the sacrifices and expenditure it 
occasions, think it should have been prevented 
by a compromise and long for peace on 
almost any terms. These think not of the great 
cause at stake, they care not for the poor slave, 
think not of the future of our country, and 
fail to see the hand of God in the movement 
punishing the nation for sin and leading it 
up through much suffering and tribulation to 
a brighter and more glorious destiny, 

" But there Is a class of women who have 
looked beyond the mere clash of arms and the 
battlefield of the dead and dying, and recog- 
nize the necessity and importance of this dark 
hour of trial to our country. The first cannon 
fired at Sumter sounded in their ears the 
death knell of slavery and proclaimed the will 



284 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

of the Almighty to this nation. These have 
never believed we should have peace or great 
success until the doom of slaveiy was irrev- 
ocably sealed. That seal has been set. Our 
noble President has bowed to the will of the 
Supreme Power and by the guidance and sus- 
taining spirit of that Power will, I trust, lead 
our country successfully through the great and 
fearful struggle and place it upon a firm and 
more enduring basis. 

" The contest has outlasted the expectation 
of all, and has cost the nation a vast amount 
of blood and treasure. It has called into the 
field a million or more of soldiers, and the 
number of fathers, brothers and sons slain upon 
the battlefield and wasted away in camps and 
hospitals is counted by hundreds of thousands, 
while its expenses run up to billions* And 
still the war for the Union, for Freedom, and the 
integrity of our national boundaries goes for- 
ward ; and in the hearts of true Union men 
everywhere the firm resolve has been made 
that it shall go on until the rebellion is crushed, 
cost what it may, and continue though it should 
last as long as did the war which brought our 
nation into existence. 

" Now the question for us to consider is : 
Are we prepared for the further and continued 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 285 

sacrifice ? Have we yet more sons and brothers 
to yield up on the altar of our country ? To 
this question let every loyal woman address 
herself ; and I fondly hope that the proceed- 
ings of your convention will be such as to 
nerve woman for whatever sacrifice and trial 
await her. 

" I know there are many women in whose 
hearts the love of country and of justice is 
strong, and who are willing to incur any loss 
and make almost any sacrifice rather than that 
the rebellion should succeed and the chains of 
the bondmen be more firmly riveted- If they 
manifest less enthusiasm than their patriotic 
brothers it is because they have not so great 
an opportunity for its exercise. The customs 
of society do not permit any stormy or noisy 
manifestation of feeling on the part of woman. 
But the blood of Revolutionary sires flows as 
purely in her veins as in those of her more 
favored brothers, and she can feel as deeply, 
suffer as intensely, and endure as bravely as 
do they. 

" But I would have her do more than suffer 
and endure. I would that she should not only 
resolve to stand by the government of the 
Union in its work of defeating the schemes of 
its jenemies, but that she should let her voice 



286 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

go forth to the government in clear and un- 
mistakable tones against any peace with 
rebels, except upon the basis of entire sub- 
mission to the authority of the government. 
Against the schemes and plans of the ' peace 
party * in the North the loyal women every- 
where protest. That party seeks to obtain 
peace through compromise, and it advocates an 
armistice with rebels who ask for none. Such 
a peace we do not want, for it would be either 
brought about by the recognition of the rebel 
government, or by base and dishonorable sub- 
mission to its demands. To either of these 
results we are alike opposed. When peace 
comes, let it come through the complete 
triumph of the Union army ; and with the 
destruction of the great cause of the rebel- 
lion, which we all know to be African Slavery. 
" What part woman is to take in the work, 
and in what way she can best hold up the hands 
and cheer the heart of the great man who is at 
the head of our government, will be for the 
loyal women in council to determine. 

" A. B." 

The ladies of Council Bluffs were zealous in 
sending clothing and necessary hospital stores 
to the soldiers fighting at the front. Mrs- 



AMELIA BLOOMER, 287 

Bloomer was one of the most active in this 
work. She was placed on many committees, 
often at the head of them, and her house was 
a centre around which their efforts were 
directed. She was a thorough patriot, and did 
all in her power to promote the welfare of 
those who were fighting the battle of the Union. 
She attended for three weeks the great Sanitary 
Fair held in Chicago in the early part of 1865, 
and previous to going to it had been largely 
instrumental in collecting the noble contribu- 
tion sent thither by Iowa, Here, for the first 
time, she met General Grant, the illustrious 
commander of the Union armies. Mrs. 
Bloomer had never been classed among the 
" abolitionists," but she was nevertheless an 
intense hater of slavery and the slave power, 
and no one rejoiced more sincerely that the 
war finally ended with the overthrow of that 
blight upon the fair name of our country. 

VISITS WASHINGTON. 

Mrs. Bloomer, after her removal to the West, 
made occasional visits to her old home in New 



288 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

York, there spending several weeks with rela- 
tives and friends. In the autumn of 1880, with 
her husband, she passed nearly a week in the 
national capital viewing the noble buildings 
and the wonderful collections of nature and 
art with which they are so abundantly filled. 
One day was spent at the Smithsonian Insti- 
tulbion, where the ethnological department 
attracted great attention. The Patent Office 
was looked through, and the Corcoran gal- 
lery of paintings and statuary admired and 
carefully inspected. One day was given to 
Mount Vernon and the former residence of the 
Father of his Country visited. It was a beau- 
tiful day and the passage down and up the 
Potomac delightful. The scenes at Mount 
Vernon were most impressive, and made a place 
in her memory never to be effaced. 

IN NEW YORK CITY. 

Proceeding from Washington northward, 
they spent one day in Philadelphia very pleas- 
antly ; and, on arriving in New York, Mrs. 
Bloomer and her husband arranged for a stop 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 289 

in the great metropolis of several weeks. They 
spent two days with relatives in Westchester 
County, and after her return Mrs. Bloomer met 
her old and dear friends, Mrs. Douglass and 
Mrs. Chamberlain, and had very pleasant visits 
with them. A day was taken up in visiting some 
of the noted places in the city, and then Mrs. 
Bloomer accepted an invitation to visit Mrs. 
Stanton at her residence in Tenyfly, in New 
Jersey ; but before she had time to do this, 
word came to her of the dangerous illness of 
her sister. Giving up all her plans, she at once 
repaired to the residence of Mr. John Lowden, 
at Waterloo, N. Y., and remained by the bed- 
side of her sister until her spirit passed away. 
Of a large family of brothers and sisters, Mrs* 
Bloomer was then the only one left. After 
attending the funeral, she spent a few days with 
her husband in the excellent family of her 
niece, Mrs. N, J. Milliken, at Canandaigua, 
N. Y., being present at the marriage of one of 
her daughters ; and then, after another stop in 
Buffalo of a few days more, returned to Coun- 
cil Bluffs. 



290 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

One more visit was made to New York, in 
1889, to attend the golden anniversary of her 
husband's brother, Mr. C. A. Bloomer, of Buf- 
falo. The occasion was a very happy one; 
and after some days spent in that city, she 
once more passed on to her old home in Seneca 
Falls, visiting also at Canandaigua and other 
places in the vicinity. 

VISITS COLORADO. 



In 1879 ^ rs - Bloomer made her first journey 
to Colorado, its mountains and magnificent 
scenery. This was repeated In subsequent 
years, the last trip having been made in 1894, 
only a few months before her death. During 
these tours she spent many days in Denver, 
Leadville, Idaho Springs, Pueblo, Colorado 
Springs, and Manitou. All the points round 
the latter famous watering place were visited. 
She rode through the Garden of the Gods, 
Monument Park, and Cheyenne Cafton, and 
traversed the great caves opened up in the 
mountains. Climbing Cheyenne Mountain, 
she stood on the spot where the famous poet 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 291 

and writer Helen H. Jackson was laid at rest. 
The scenery from this point over the surround- 
ing mountains and valleys is truly wonderful 
and makes a great impression on all behold- 
ers- 

A LETTER. 

The following descriptive letter written to a 
local paper by Mrs. Bloomer from Manitou, 
Colorado, August 12, 1879, gives her impres- 
sion of that place and vicinity at that time : 

" Our stay at Denver was a short one, as we 
found the weather at that piace about as hot 
as in Council Bluffs. After looking over that 
city for one day, we hastened on to this famed 
resort for invalids and summer tourists seek- 
ing pleasure and recreation. As usual at this 
season, the hotels are crowded, and scores of 
camp tents dot the hills in every direction. 

" We took up our temporary abode at the 
Cliff House, principally because of its nearness 
to the springs, three of which are in the im- 
mediate vicinity. This is a popular house and is 
crowded with guests. The Manitou and Beebe, 
though farther from the springs, are full and 
are first-class houses* Scores of cottages are 



292 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

leased for a few weeks or months by visitors, 
and many private houses take temporary 
lodgers or boarders. Among owners of the latter 
is Mrs. Dr. Leonard, formerly of Council Bluffs. 
She is proprietor of the bath-houses here, and 
is doing a good paying business, sometimes as 
many as a hundred a day taking baths. She 
has built a house of her own, but leases the 
bath-house, which belongs to the town com- 
pany. She has also considerable practice as a 
physician. 

" Cheyenne Cafion, Ute Pass, Williams Pass, 
Pike's Peak, the Garden of the Gods, Glen 
Eyrie, Queen's Cafion, and Monument Park are 
the principal points of Interest visited daily by 
people here. A few mornings since, a party of 
seventeen gentlemen and ladies left one hotel on 
horseback for the ascent of Pike's Peak. They 
made the journey safely and returned at dark, 
some of them feeling little worse for the trip, 
while others were pretty well used up. Yester- 
day a gentleman and lady made the same jour- 
ney on foot. As the distance Is twelve miles, 
all the way up the steep mountain side, this 
was considered quite a feat. To-day the same 
parties have gone on foot to Cheyenne Cafion, a 
distance of twelve miles. I have not heard 
that the lady is one of the celebrated * walkers/ 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 293 

but she certainly deserves that her name be 
added to the list. 

" Yesterday we made up a party of six and 
started soon after breakfast for the Garden 
of the Gods, Glen Eyrie, and Monument Park. 
The day was one of the finest imaginable, the 
air cool and invigorating, and our driver a man 
experienced in the business of showing to 
tourists the wonders of this section of this 
wonderful state. We found him a very in- 
telligent and much-traveled man, and learned 
that he was one of the magistrates of the town. 
Our road to the Garden of the Gods was as- 
cending all the way. In reply to a query as 
to why the place was so named, the guide told 
us a story of how a southern gentleman came 
to the spot some years ago bringing with him 
two colored slaves, a man and a woman. He 
built here a cabin, and soon after took his 
gun and started out for a further journey, leav- 
ing the slaves behind and promising an early 
return. But days and weeks passed on and 
he returned not, and never was heard of more. 
The negroes remained in their new home, made 
improvements and planted a garden, which in 
this new land was a sight to gladden the eye. 
This, in connection with the grand works of 
nature surrounding it, grew to be the Garden 



294 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

of the Gods, the name which has made it 
famous throughout the world. So much for 
the story. The negroes, Jupiter and Juno, are 
no more ; but the great works of nature remain 
in all their grandeur, and a visit to them well 
repays the traveler for the journey he takes to 
see them. 

" The rocks In this so-called garden have been 
shaped into every conceivable form by the 
action of wind, water and frost. Many of them, 
by a little stretch of the imagination, are made 
to bear a strong resemblance to men and 
animals. The prevailing formation is red sand- 
stone, but there are also conglomerate, gypsum 
and other varieties. At the south entrance, is 
a huge rock standing upon the narrowest found- 
ation, and seemingly ready at any moment 
to topple over on the people who are constantly 
passing. As the incline is a little away from 
the road, it is to be hoped no such catastrophe 
will ever happen, even should the rock in ages 
to come be so top-heavy as to break loose from 
its foundations. The Grand Gateway is a nar- 
row passageway between immense piles of 
rocks over three hundred feet high, of irregular 
outline and surface, which rise sharply and 
perpendicularly like a mighty wall. These 
rocks are full of holes, rifts and crevices and 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 295 

chasms in which thousands of swallows have 
built their nests, and we could plainly hear the 
twittering of the young ones from the ledge of 
rocks a few feet distant, on which we climbed. 
Our guide led us to a cave under one of these 
walls* The opening was near the base, and so 
low that one had to bend the knees and crawl 
in. The guide assured us that once inside the 
cave was high and roomy. Half of our party 
ventured in, but they found it too dark to see 
far beyond. Those of us who remained out- 
side could hear the echoes of their voices high 
up in the rocks, showing that there is a high 
open space within the seemingly solid stone. 
Other rocks but a few feet distant are of gray 
color, and a little further on are large white 
rocks composed of gypsum, very soft and pli- 
able. This is now being taken out in large 
quantities to be converted into plaster of Paris. 
" At the time we were passing through this 
huge gateway, an Iowa boy was standing on 
the top of one of these towering red walls wav- 
ing a white flag, and upon the other stood a 
young woman waving her handkerchief. They 
looked like pygmies at that great elevation, 
and but for their moving about we should have 
supposed them a slight projection of rock. 
These we are told are the same persons who 



296 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

made the journey to Pike's Peak mentioned 
above. Their ascent up the rocks was a diffi- 
cult and dangerous one, and though our guide 
proposed to lead us also up to their summit, 
we declined the temptation to view the sur- 
rounding mountains from so dizzy a height. It 
is very singular that these different varieties of 
rock formation should be found in so close 
proximity, and they furnish abundant food for 
the study of the geologist. The prevailing 
shape of the rocks is high and narrow, and some 
of the forms into which they have been brought 
by the forces of nature are remarkably beautiful 
and unique. 

" Passing on from this famed locality over a 
smooth and level road, we visited Glen Eyrie. 
This spot derives its name from an eagle's nest 
high up In a crevice or shelf of the rocks, so our 
guide informed us, and also that within a year 
the eagles had occupied the nest, which was 
plainly visible to us, looking the size of a bushel- 
basket. They have now abandoned the place. 
The name Glen Eyrie is given to a large tract 
of land belonging to General Palmer, president 
of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. He 
has fenced in this wild tract, opened a road 
across it, and in a nook close under the tower- 
ing rocks by which it is surrounded and far 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 297 

from any other habitation he has built a costly 
and elegant residence. The dwelling stands at 
the foot or entrance to Queen's Cafton, a narrow 
gorge up which we traveled on foot the distance 
of half a mile till we reached a pool or basin 
of water, eight or ten feet in diameter, which 
blocked our further progress. This pool is 
known as the Devil's Punchbowl, but General 
Palmer has named it the Mermaid's Bathtub. 
Whether either devils or mermaids come here 
to either drink or bathe, history does not record. 
Our path was over big stones and rocks, and 
along the bed of a mountain torrent, which we 
crossed several times, stepping from rock to 
rock as our path led first to one side and then 
to the other. High above us on either side the 
mountains rose to a great height, their sides 
covered at times with the evergreen pine and 
scrub-oak, and again consisting simply of bare 
and naked rocks ready at any moment appar- 
ently to tumble down upon our heads. Our 
guide informed us that General Palmer has 
already spent forty or fifty thousand dollars 
upon the house and grounds of Glen Eyrie. I 
would not give him one thousand for the whole 
thing. 

" After the exploration of Queen's Cafion 
our party voted unanimously to proceed to 



298 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

Monument Park, a distance of five miles, which 
we reached just in time to enjoy a most excel- 
lent dinner prepared for us by Mrs. Lewis, 
whose husband is an extensive cattle-raiser and 
lives in a comfortable dwelling at the entrance 
of the park. We are told that he came a con- 
firmed consumptive, but has now become a 
strong and healthy man. This we could well 
believe, for in this locality the air was wonder- 
fully pure, dry and bracing, and our party 
greatly enjoyed its exhilarating effects. Dinner 
over, we proceeded to explore the Park and 
gaze upon its unique formations. I do not feel 
competent to adequately describe them. The 
rocks are unlike any others in Colorado. They 
are nearly white with a yellowish tinge and 
often pyramidal in form. Standing out from 
the general mass are numerous statue-like 
columns, which seem to have been carved by 
the hand of man. They bear various desig- 
nations, such as Adam and Eve, Lot's Wife, the 
Democratic Caucus, Henry Ward Beecher's 
Pulpit, the Dutch Wedding, the Anvil, etc., etc. 
They range from eight to fifteen feet in height 
and, what is singular, all of them are crowned 
with a flat rocky cap considerably larger than 
the top of the column on which It rests. This 
covering is composed of materials different from 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 299 

the statue itself, being of a harder or darker 
substance, considerable iron being mixed with 
Its other constituents. I noticed one exact 
form of a bottle or decanter, large and round, 
with a small neck. This was smaller than the 
forms that surrounded it, but it had the same 
flat cap-stone that surmounted all the others. 
How came these statues here ? Who can tell ? 
Some of our party said the rocks had been 
washed away in the progress of ages from 
around them and left them standing out boldly 
by themselves, a puzzle and a wonder to all be- 
holders. But some of them rise from a level 
plain, standing alone, with no rocks near them, 
and no evidence of any having been washed 
away. They rise from the ground, a solid col- 
umn, and look as though placed there by the 
hand of man to mark the spot of some great 
event or the tomb of some departed one. Men 
have their theories, but the mystery is buried 
in the darkness of ages and none solve it satis- 
factorily. We leave them to their solitude and 
silence and, awe-stricken and subdued, turn our 
faces whence we came, " A. B." 

ADOPTED CHILDREN. 

No children of her own came to the home 
of Mrs. Bloomer, but she cared carefully and 



3 oo LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

almost continually for the children of others. 
Her residence, whether in the east or the west, 
was hardly ever without their presence. Nieces 
and nephews were nearly always under her 
roof, and some of them remained with her 
until they had homes of their own. Soon after 
her removal to Council Bluffs, a little boy was 
adopted into her family and his sister came to 
it a few years later. These were carefully cared 
for, instructed and educated, and remained with 
her until they took their welfare into their own 
hands. Both have now families of their own, 
one residing in Oregon and the other in Arizona. 
The boy, Edward, took her name, and his 
children bear it also. For him as a boy and a 
man, and for his children, she ever manifested 
the warmest interest, preparing and sending to 
them each year boxes of clothing and other 
articles designed to add to their comfort and 
happiness in their distant home. In the early 
days of Council Bluffs, not a few of the teachers 
in the public schools resided in her family. 
They were mostly young women and she 
always strove to afford to them a pleasant and 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 301 

comfortable home. She ever insisted that the 
wages of young women employed as teachers 
by the school board should be the same as those 
paid to men. Her position was that, so long as 
they did an equal amount of work and did it 
equally well, they should receive equal pay, and 
this is an argument which never has been and 
never can be successfully answered, although 
school boards continue to set it aside as un- 
worthy of their consideration. 

CHRISTIAN LIFE AND WORK. 

Mrs. Bloomer was a zealous worker in the 
church of which she was a member, as well as 
in all efforts to promote the spread of true 
Christianity. While a resident of Seneca Falls, 
she contributed her full share to the various 
agencies employed to advance the interests of 
the parish. She was zealous and faithful in 
attending church services and all gatherings 
whether social or festive to advance church 
interests. Modest and retiring in demeanor, 
she took her place calmly and pleasantly 
wherever called upon to labor, and found her 



302 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

chief reward In the approval of a good con- 
science. 

After her removal to her new home in the 
West, much additional labor came to her in the 
untrodden field in which her lot was cast. 
When she took up her residence in Council 
Bluffs, society was unorganized, without places 
of worship, and without any of the religious or 
moral agencies of older communities. We 
have seen in her personal memoirs how she was 
very soon called into the work before her. For 
two years none of the religious services to 
which she had been accustomed were held in 
the town, except that occasionally a bishop or 
minister made his way thither ; when they 
came along, these always found a genuine wel- 
come in her home. It is remembered that 
Bishops Kemper and Lee, and the Rev* Edward 
W. Peet, were among her guests during the 
first year of her residence. They all held 
religious services in the little Congregational 
church building which then stood on Main 
Street. At last a yoting missionary arrived 
and took up his residence, making his first 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 303 

home with Mrs. Bloomer in her modest dwell- 
ing under the bluff. And so it was in future 
years ; whenever new clergymen of her denomi- 
nation came to begin their work in town, they 
all uniformly found a home and resting place 
in her house until permanent quarters were 
secured. Clergymen, temperance lecturers, re- 
formers of almost all kinds, among them 
advocates of woman's enfranchisement, always 
found a welcome place at her table. On one 
occasion, being alone in the house during her 
husband's absence, she was thrown into great 
trepidation at finding that her guest for the 
night (who had just come up from the bloody 
fields of Kansas) was armed both with bowie- 
knife and revolver; but the night passed in 
safety, for the owner of these appalling 
weapons was one of the noble men who periled 
their lives to win that state for freedom. 

The building up of a new community was 
in those days attended with great labor and 
called for unflinching courage and steady per- 
severance. Churches had to be erected, school- 
houses built, libraries established and good 



3 04 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

works of all kinds encouraged. In all this Mrs. 
Bloomer did her full part. The support of the 
minister and the building of churches, especially, 
fell largely upon the women. They held festi- 
vals and collected money for these objects. 
They organized and maintained sewing societies 
and gave entertainments of various kinds for 
these objects. Mrs. Bloomer was among the 
active workers in this field. She was for many 
years secretary and treasurer of the Woman's 
Aid Society in her parish, a society which -con- 
tributed many thousands of dollars towards the 
erection of three successive churches and wholly 
built the rectory, as well as contributed largely 
in other ways towards the support of the parish. 
In 1880 she was president of the Art Loan- 
Exhibition given for the joint benefit of the 
city library and the church, one of the most 
successful efforts of the kind ever held in the 
city. On the parish register of her church 
under the date of 1856 her name stands as 
that of the first woman admitted to member- 
ship, and until within a few months of her 
decease, when she was prevented by bodily 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 305 

Infirmities, she was a regular attendant upon 
the services. She was, however, no mere copy- 
ist, taking the words or teachings of others 
without thought or examination ; but looked 
into all questions, theological, social or re- 
formatory, for herself, and her clergymen will 
bear testimony to the many discussions they 
held with her on these and kindred subjects. 
One occasion her husband recalls: He came 
to his dinner at the usual hour, but found his 
wife and a visiting clergyman engaged in warm 
argument. They had been at it all the fore- 
noon, the breakfast table standing as left in 
the morning and all preparations for dinner 
being forgotten. Of course, he enjoyed a good 
laugh at their expense. 

HER CHARACTER ANALYZED. 

Mrs. Bloomer was a great critic, and for that 
reason may not have been so popular with her 
associates as she otherwise might have been. 
Her criticisms, possibly, were sometimes too 
unsparing and too forcibly expressed. She had 
strong perceptive faculties and noticed what 

20 



306 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

she believed to be the mistakes and failings of 
others, perhaps, too freely. No one ever at- 
tacked her, in print or otherwise, without re- 
ceiving a sharp reply either from tongue or en 
if it was in her power to answer. But no person 
ever had a kinder heart, or more earnestly de- 
sired the happiness of others, or more readily 
forgot or forgave their failings. Perhaps, she 
was deficient in the quality of humor and took 
life too seriously ; this over-earnestness, how- 
ever, if it existed at all, it is believed was brought 
out more fully by dwelling so much upon what 
she regarded as the wrongs of her sex and the 
degradation to which they were subjected 
through unjust laws and the curse of strong 
drink. The same charge, that of taking things 
too seriously, has recently been made by a noted 
writer against the women of the present day 
who are battling for what they conceive to be 
the sacred rights of women. 

ABOUT THE FIRST SINNER. 

Although Mrs. Bloomer was a member of 
one of the more conservative branches of the 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 307 

Christian community, she was an earnest ad- 
vocate of woman's admission to all departments 
of Christian work. She repudiated the notion 
that woman was so great a sinner in the Gar- 
den of Eden that she should be forever ex- 
cluded from ministerial work and responsibili- 
ties. As to the first sin in the garden, here is 
her view of it as stated by herself : 

" How any unprejudiced and unbiased mind 
can read the original account of the Creation 
and Fall and gather therefrom that the woman 
committed the greater sin, I cannot under- 
stand. When Eve was first asked to eat of the 
forbidden fruit she refused, and it was only 
after her scruples were overcome by promises 
of great knowledge that she gave way to sin. 
But how was it with Adam who was with her ? 
He took and ate what she offered him without 
any scruples of conscience, or promises on 
her part of great things to follow certainly 
showing no superiority of goodness, or intel- 
lect, or strength of character fitting him for the 
headship. The command not to eat of the 
Tree of Life was given to him before her crea- 
tion, and he was doubly bound to keep it ; yet 
he not only permitted her to partake of the tree 



308 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

without remonstrating with her against it and 
warning her of the wrong, but ate it himself 
without objection or hesitation. And then, 
when inquired of by God concerning what he 
had done, instead of standing up like an 
honorable man and confessing the wrong, he 
weakly tried to shield himself by throwing the 
blame on the woman. As the account stands, 
he showed the greater * feebleness of resistance 
and evinced a pliancy of character and a readi- 
ness to yield to temptation ' that cannot be 
justly charged to the woman. As the account 
stands, man has much more to blush for than 
to boast of. 

" While we are willing to accept this original 
account of the Creation and Fall, we are not 
witling that man should add tenfold to woman's 
share of sin and put a construction on the 
whole matter that we believe was never in- 
tended by the Creator. Eve had no more to 
do with bringing sin into the world than had 
Adam, nor did the Creator charge any more 
upon her. The punishment inflicted upon 
them for their transgression, was as heavy 
upon him as upon her. Her sorrows were to 
be multiplied ; and so, too, was he to eat his 
bread in sorrow and earn it with the sweat of 
his face amid thorns and thistles. To her, no 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 309 

injunction to labor was given ; upon her no toil 
was imposed, no ground cursed for her sake. 
* * * * The Bible is brought forward to prove 
the subordination of woman and to show that, 
because St. Paul told the ignorant women of 
his time to keep silent in the churches, the 
educated, intelligent women of these times 
must not only occupy the same position in the 
church and the family but must not aspire to 
the rights of citizenship. But the same Power 
that brought the slave out of bondage will, in 
His own good time and way, bring about 
the emancipation of woman and make her 
the equal in dominion that she was in the be- 
ginning." 

GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY. 

On the 1 5th of April, 1890, Mr. and Mrs. 
Bloomer commemorated the Fiftieth Anniver- 
sary of their marriage at their home in Council 
Bluffs. Many invitations were issued, nearly 
all of which were generously responded to, and 
their house was filled with guests from three 
o'clock in the afternoon when the reception 
began until late in the evening. Over one 
hundred persons were in attendance. A local 
paper describes the affair as follows : 



3 io LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

" The reception of the guests began at three 
o'clock. At the front-parlor entrance stood 
Mr. Bloomer attired in a black broadcloth suit. 
Next to him sat Mrs. Bloomer. She wore a 
black-satin costume en tram with gray dama- 
scene front, crepe lace in the neck, diamond 
ornaments. There were present Chas. A. 
Bloomer and wife, of Buffalo, N. Y., N. J. Mil- 
liken and wife, of Ontario County, N. Y., and 
Miss Hannah Kennedy, of Omaha. Chas. A, 
Bloomer is a brother of D. C. Bloomer, and is 
president of the Buffalo Elevator Company. 
N. J. Milliken is a nephew by marriage and 
publisher of the Ontario County Times, of New 
York. These constituted the reception com- 
pany. The evening reception commenced at 
eight o'clock, and lasted until a late hour. 
Among the callers were the vestry of St. Paul's 
Church, who paid their respects in a body to the 
worthy couple." 

Mrs. Harris read a beautiful poem, and an 
original poem was also read by Mrs. C. K. 
White, of Omaha, and Prof. McNaughton, super- 
intendent of city schools, read the following 
address : 

" To Mr. and Mrs. Bloomer : It seems meet 



AMELIA BLOOMER. ^n 

and proper on this joyous occasion that the 
public schools, their officers and teachers and 
pupils, should send kindly greetings to one 
who for the past thirty-five years has extended 
to them a generous sympathy and, in the 
earlier days of their existence, rendered them 
distinguished service by aiding in the erection of 
a well-planned and commodious edifice, the 
adoption of a wise curriculum, and the laying of 
a broad and deep foundation upon which has 
been reared the fair structure of to-day ; one 
who has aided the teachers and pupils by 
words of wise counsel and kindly sympathy 
and is, By common consent, , regarded as the 
father of the public-school system of the city, 

" To you, Mr. Bloomer, and your estimable 
and noted wife, in behalf of the public schools 
of the city, I wish to offer sincere and hearty 
congratulations ; congratulations that, under a 
rare dispensation of Providence, you have been 
permitted to enjoy together a half-century of 
companionship in the sacred bonds of family 
ties fifty years of mutual helpfulness and 
love ! fifty years of sowing and reaping together 
in the fields whose fruitage is intelligent prog- 
ress and eternal joy! And now, amid the 
abundance of the harvest, in the golden glories 
of life's autumn, may you be long permitted to 



3 12 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

remain among your devoted and admiring 
friends ! " 

The following letter from Miss Susan B. 
Anthony was received and read : 

Washington, April gth % i8go. 

" My Dear Friends, Mr. and Mrs. Bloomer : 

" And is your Golden Wedding to be here 
April 15, 1890? That seems quite as impossi- 
ble as that I should have rounded out my three 
score ajid ten years on February 15, 1890, just 
two months before. 

" Well, your lives have been side by side for 
a whole half-century, and this, too, when the 
wife has been one of the public advocates of 
the equality of rights, civil and political, for 
women- I hardly believe another twain made 
one, where the wife belonged to the school 
of equal rights for women, have lived more 
happily, more truly one. 

"Your celebration of your fiftieth wedding 
day is one of the strongest proofs of the false- 
ness of the charge brought against our move- 
ment for the enfranchisement of women, viz., 
that the condition of equality of political rights 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 313 

for the wife will cause inharmony and disrup- 
tion of the marriage bond. To the contrary, 
such conditions of perfect equality are the best 
helps to make for peace and harmony and ele- 
vation in all true and noble directions. Hence I 
rejoice with you on having reached the golden 
day of your marriage union, not only for your 
own sakes, but for our cause's sake as well. 

" I wish I could be present in your happy 
home on that day, but the marriage of my 
younger sister's son, on April i/th, takes me to 
Cleveland to witness the starting out of two 
dear young people on the way you have trav- 
eled so long and so welL 

" So, with gratitude for the good work done 
in the first fifty years of your married life, and 
wishing for you many more equally happy, and 
hoping that both you and I and Mrs. Stanton 
and others of the pioneers of our great move- 
ment may live to see not only Wyoming fully 
in the Union but many others redeemed from 
the curse of sex aristocracy, hoping and believing 
I am 

" Very sincerely yours, 

" Susan B. Anthony.** 

The following telegram was received from 
Bishop Perry, of Iowa: 



314 ZJ&S AND WRITINGS OF 

" Davenport, April i^th, rSgo. 
" Hon. D. C and Mrs. Bloomer: 
" Congratulations and benedictions. Fifty 
golden years exhaust neither love nor hope. 
" William Stevens Perry, 

44 Bishop of Iowa/' 

Rev. G. W. Crofts also furnished a timely 
and very beautiful poem. Because of his 
inability to attend the reception, he called up- 
on the couple Monday afternoon and in a few 
well chosen words presented it to them. It 
was the production of the minister's own pen, 
and handsomely written on embossed card- 
board fastened with orange-tinted ribbons. 
The poem was beautifully illustrated by Miss 
S, D. Phere, the cuts being the representations 
of a well-spent life. Upon its receipt Mrs. 
Bloomer and her husband were greatly moved. 
The poem is as follows : 

" 1840. April 15. 1890. 
** To MR. ANB MRS. BLOOMER. 

" The Psalmist says that he who goes forth with tears, 
Conveying precious seed, shall doubtless come 
again 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 



3*5 



Rejoicing, bringing with him sheaves. Tis fifty 

years 
Since you as one were made, and out upon the 

plain 
Of Life's great field together moved, 'mid hopes and 

fears, 
And in your faithful bosoms bearing golden grain. 



"To-day you come with sheaves, oh rich and golden 

sheaves ! 
Immortal sheaves, sheaves glowing in the light of 

heaven 

So softly sifting down thro' life's autumn leaves ; 
And, while the clouds that deck the sky above are 

riven, 

I see the angels smile. And who is there that grieves 
When noble souls in life's great harvest-field have 
striven ? 



" This is a day of joy and praise, a crowning day 1 

Together you have walked for fifty years, and He 
Who made your hearts to beat as one thro* all the 

way 
Has been your guide, His voice has stilled the 

stormy sea ; 
In darkest hours, you've heavenward looked and seen 

the ray 

Of cloudless hope shine down with sweet tran- 
quillity. 



3l6 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

" When worn with toil, His loving arms have given 

you rest ; 
Sustaining grace He gave when you were weak and 

faint ; 
When sorrows came, 'twas then the haven of His 

breast 

That opened wide and took you in. To each com- 
plaint 

He lent His ear. In all things, you were truly blest 
And ever upward drawn by love's divine con- 
straint. 

** And now upon a lofty Mount you stand and look 
Back o'er your pilgrim way ; back o'er the fields 

youVe sown 
You see the stubborn soil, the burning" sun, the 

nook 

Where you did rest ; and all the way Is overstrown 
With flowers ; flower-wreathed you see the plow and 

pruning-hook. 

And on that Mount there comes to you a fadeless 
crown. 

" To Faithfulness there comes a crown, a Crown of 

Life; 
*TIs one the Lord doth give to those who serve 

Him well, 

To heroes true and strong amid the daily strife 
'Tween right and wrong. For such, the sweetest 
anthems swell 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 



3*7 



By holy angels sung, and joy on earth is rife, 

While thro 1 the vanished years you hear a golden 
bell 

" Foremost in every noble work, in every cause 

Where God leads on, where Light Is seen, where 

Truth is heard, 
There have you stood from first to last, the eternal 

laws 
Of Right obeyed. Where'er your lips could frame a 

word 
To voice the thought, a hand could strike the great 

applause 

Of onward march, your helpful force has been 
conferred. 

" To you, this day, a grateful people tribute bring 

For all you've been to them, for all your steadfast- 
ness, 

For all your words and deeds ; for every noble thing, 
They would this day your true and honest worth 

confess ; 
They would a golden cup, filled from Affection's 

spring, 
Hold out to you, and thus their gratitude express. 

Take, then, the Crown. Both heaven and earth pro- 
claim it yours, 
The Sower's crown, the Reaper's crown, that glows 

with light, 

That glows with light and love, and one that aye 
endures. 



318 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

The Evening Star, that hangs upon the fringe of 

night 
And, like a lamp, the weary wanderer allures 

And tells him of his home afar, is not more bright. 

"Look round you, then, crowned as you are, and up* 

ward, too : 
Here shine the golden sheaves ; there gleam the 

jasper walls ; 

Around you gather here the noble, good and true, 
With hearts aglow, and chant their tender mad- 
rigals. 
Around, above, all things are wreathed in smiles for 

you, 

While on you, like a burst of sun, God's blessings 
fall ! " 

Many valuable presents were received. One 
was an elegant silver tea-set from the lawyers 
of the city ; another a beautiful ice-cream set 
of solid silver in a handsomely ornamented 
plush case of old-gold velvet, from the rector 
and vestrymen of St. Paul's Church. Other 
elegant souvenirs were sent in by friends from 
abroad. Indeed, the gifts were so numerous 
and of so great variety that they almost proved 
a burden to the recipients who, however, 
realized that they came to them from generous 



AMELIA LOOMED. 319 

friends with hearts full of love and kindness, 
and most thankfully received them. 

CLOSING YEARS. 

Following this happy anniversary, Mrs. 
Bloomer's life moved gradually along to its 
close. In 1891, after returning home from a 
visit to the Chautauqua Grounds near her resi- 
dence, she suffered a partial paralysis of her 
vocal organs and for a short time lost the power 
of speech ; but this trouble soon gradually 
passed away so that she was once more able 
to converse with her friends, although not so 
freely and readily as formerly. Her mind was 
still clear and her memory remarkably good, 
and it was during this period that she wrote 
the reminiscences given in the earlier part of this 
work. She gradually lost to a considerable 
extent the activity of movement for which in 
earlier days she had been noted, and her hus- 
band was easily able now to keep up with her 
in their walks on the streets. Mrs. Bloomer 
retained ker youthful traits to a remarkable 



320 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

degree, even in advanced years, and her friends 
frequently noted this and complimented her on 
her vigor and cheerfulness. On meeting them, 
she was ever bright and cheerful and had a 
pleasant smile and word of encouragement 
for all. 

Her early religious convictions remained 
unimpaired to the end of her life. So long as 
health permitted, she was a constant and regu- 
lar attendant upon the services of her church 
and at the monthly celebration of the Holy 
Communion. She was active in every good 
work in the parish, and a steady friend of all 
benevolent enterprises in the city. During the 
last few years of her life, she gave much thought 
to the teachings of Christian Science and read 
and studied the writings of Mrs. Eddy and 
others on that subject. While she never gave 
her adhesion to its peculiar doctrines, yet she 
found in them very much that she deemed 
worthy of careful consideration. She bore 
witness to some of the remarkable results 
following their application to disease in its 
various forms ; and, on the whole, their study 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 321 

enlarged her views on religious subjects and 
perhaps enabled her to look with greater calm- 
ness upon the vicissitudes of the present life 
and the untried realities of the life beyond. 

To Mrs. Mary J. Coggshell, of Des Moines, 
Iowa, who had then recently lost her husband, 
she wrote in 1889 as follows : " My heart goes 
out to you in love and sympathy in this sad 
bereavement, and I pray that the Almighty 
Father may sustain and comfort you and give 
you strength to bear up under the great affliction. 
Mourn not for your beloved one as dead, but 
think of him as only transferred to another 
sphere of existence where he still lives and will 
await your coming. We believe that the life 
that God gave can never die, that the grave 
has no power over the spirit, but that it will 
live on forever doing the Father's will/* 

Her last journey was made to Colorado, in 
the latter part of the summer of 1894. She 
spent about two weeks at Colorado Springs and 
Manitou, mainly in taking electric treatment 
at the sanatorium of Mrs. Doctor Leonard who 
had long been an intimate friend ; but was pre- 

31 



3 22 LIFE AiVD WRITINGS OF 

vented by Impaired strength from again visiting 
with her husband many of the interesting places 
of the vicinity. Another week was spent in a 
visit to a dear niece and her family in southern 
Colorado ; she returned home about the middle 
of August, somewhat improved in health and 
strength. She continued to occasionally accept 
the kind invitations of her friends to social gather- 
ings, and spent her last Christmas at the home 
and table of N. P. Dodge, one of the most promi- 
nent citizens of Council Bluffs, where she met 
also her old and long-known neighbor and 
friend, Mrs. M. F. Davenport. This was, how- 
ever, the last time she was able to leave her 
residence. Friends and neighbors continued to 
visit her to the end and on Friday, December 
28th, several were with her during nearly the 
entire day ; they remembered that she appeared 
remarkably bright and cheerful. The final 
attack came on the evening of that day, and 
her brave and noble spirit passed away at twelve 
o'clock noon on the following Sunday, De- 
cember 3Oth, 1894. 

Of her last sickness and death, the Council- 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 3 2 3 

Bluffs Daily Nonpareil of January 1st, 1895, 
gave the following report : 

"END OF AN EARNEST LIFE. 

" Mrs. Amelia Jenks Bloomer died at her 
home, No. 123 Fourth Street, Sunday at noon 
of heart failure at the advanced age of 76. For 
years she had been afflicted with stomach 
trouble, which gradually affected her heart and 
brought on a serious attack last Friday, from 
which she never rallied. 

u About six o'clock in the evening she was 
sitting in her accustomed place reading, when 
suddenly she fell back in her chair and ex- 
claimed : ' I am sick ; I am sicker than I ever 
was before in my life.* Her husband was sit- 
ting opposite to her at the time and quickly 
came to her assistance. She was in intense 
pain, and a physician was at once summoned. 
He was unable to give her much relief and she 
continued in a very critical condition during 
the night and all day Saturday. 

" PASSES AWAY PEACEFULLY. 

" It soon became evident that she could not 
rally from the attack and the physicians told 
Bloomer and the anxious friends about her 



324 



LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 



bedside that she could not recover. She was 
conscious during the entire time and bore her 
suffering bravely. Sunday morning she began 
to sink rapidly. Towards the end her pain 
seemed to leave her, and she fell into a quiet 
sleep from which she never awoke. Her hus- 
band was at her bedside holding her hand and 
noted the gradual slowing of the pulse which 
ceased to be perceptible about noon, when he 
knew she had passed away. 

"GREAT LOSS TO COUNCIL BLUFFS. 

" In the death of Mrs. Amelia Bloomer 
Council Bluffs loses one of its oldest and most 
prominent residents. She was one of the early 
pioneers of the west and for many years has 
been a striking, picturesque character of west- 
ern Iowa. Her prominence in the woman-suf- 
frage movement made her one of the eminent 
American women of the century. Her name 
has become firmly linked with every reform 
movement for the uplifting and betterment of 
woman's condition during the last fifty years. 

"HER LIFE A BUSY ONE. 

" Her life was an intensely busy one, filled 
with many deeds of kindness and charity aside 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 



325 



from the active part she always took In the 
temperance cause and the advancement of her 
sex. During her last years, however, she was 
unable to actively engage in the work, but was 
always ready and willing to discuss these cher- 
ished subjects in her characteristic, fluent man- 
ner. Up to within a few years of her death 
she had been a contributor to prominent jour- 
nals, and her advice and counsel was always 
highly esteemed by the more active workers of 
the equal-rights cause. Her death will be felt 
throughout the entire nation as an irreparable 
loss to the cause she so warmly espoused. 

"HER CHRISTIAN CHARACTER. 

"Although her death will bring sorrow to 
many a friend, the remembrance of her kindly 
life and true, Christian character will remain 
as an inspiration to them for all time to come. 
Earnest and steadfast as were her life and char- 
acter, so she died trusting in the faith that has 
always shone through her kind words and deeds. 
She will never be forgotten, for her influence, 
with that of other good women, has done more 
to make the civilization of the west a possibility 
than the many inventions of modern science. 
Her great strength of character, manifested by 



326 LIFE AMD WRITINGS OF 

her earnest and energetic life, was a part of the 
truly essential civilizing influence that sustained 
the early settlers in the rough experiences of 
the frontier. It was her intention before she 
died to publish reminiscences of these stirring 
times, and her sudden death left several manu- 
scripts unfinished. What has been missed by 
her sudden taking off, leaving this work incom- 
plete, can only be judged by those who knew 
her best. 

"LARGE CIRCLE OF FRIENDS. 

" Mrs. Bloomer's circle of friends in Council 
Bluffs was large, and she was highly esteemed 
and loved by all who knew her. She was an 
excellent entertainer, and was a great favorite 
among the young people of the Episcopal 
Church of which she was a faithful member. 
She was very fond of society and took an act- 
ive part in church and charitable work. Her 
death, although she has been an invalid for 
several years, was very sudden. On Christmas 
day, she was able to be about and with her hus- 
band took dinner at the home of Mr. and Mrs. 
N. P. Dodge. She was in excellent spirits at 
the time and enjoyed the holiday festivities 
with much interest. On the day of her last at- 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 327 

tack, a number of friends called upon her and 
she spent the afternoon pleasantly chatting 
with them. The sudden announcement of her 
death came as a shock, for the fact of her 
serious illness had not yet become generally 
known." 

MEMORIAL DISCOURSE. 

On the thirteenth of January, 1895, her 
rector, Rev. Eugene J- Babcock, delivered a 
memorial discourse on the life and character 
of Mrs. Bloomer in St. Paul's Church, Council 
Bluffs. In this he reviewed the main incidents 
in Mrs. Bloomer's life, and concluded as follows : 

" Mrs. Bloomer also held the relation of 
pioneer to this parish. On the two registers in 
my possession the first woman's name is hers. 

" On my journey hither to assume the rector- 
ship, I visited by the way at my former home 
in Michigan. There I first learned of Mrs. 
Bloomer from a gentleman whom I had met 
in a college connection while I was an under- 
graduate. He was a former resident of Seneca 
Falls, and informed me that in my new home 
I should meet a unique and striking person in 
Mrs. Bloomer, whose early days were associated 
with a remarkable career; that she was now 



328 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

living quietly, ill health having compelled her 
to forego active duties ; and that she was now 
advanced in years. 

" Our arrival here was signalized by becom- 
ing guests in the Senior Warden's home. In 
this we did as all the clergy had done before, 
for no other home in this city has been the 
hospitable asylum for so many of the cloth. 
Among ourselves, the happy descriptive of 
1 Saints* Rest ' has come in vogue. From Mrs. 
Bloomer that pleasant smile, which often had 
to triumph over bodily ailment, was my greet- 
ing. This showing of hospitality was in keep- 
ing with her ambition, which she frequently 
sacrificed to her personal discomfort. 

" Going back to a view of her early days, we 
are prepared now to forecast her activity in 
church affairs. Such a nature could not sit by 
with hands folded. Following her acceptance 
of gospel privileges through which she came 
into this church, she immediately entered into 
parish activities at Seneca Falls. Being a 
woman of action, she did her part in the then 
somewhat limited sphere of woman's church 
work. Little as it may have been compara- 
tively, it was another demand upon her already 
enlarging engagements. 

" Her removal to this city deprived her of 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 329 

the worship of her own church. The then line 
of demarcation of the religious public into 
* Mormons* and ' Gentiles' very likely infused 
into the latter a fellow sympathy. Soon after 
her settlement here, the Rev. Mr. Rice invited 
her to attend a meeting of a sewing society 
which was held at his house. This happened to 
be the annual meeting ; she was elected presi- 
dent of the society, and Mrs. Douglas first direc- 
tor. In her * Early Recollections ' her felicitous 
comment is this : * Thus putting their affairs 
in the hands of two Episcopalians.* But evi- 
dently affairs did not suffer at their hands, for 
they * carried through a successful fair * which 
secured money to put the first church of the 
Congregationalists into shape for use. 

"Her usual interest in what concerned her 
came out in the organization of this parish. 
She entered with the same characteristic zeal 
and expenditure of means into its upbuilding, 
both as to what was preliminary and also per- 
manent. She has been a good example of 
what woman can do, and faithful in her service. 
The women of this parish have worked so as- 
siduously in raising money that among men It 
has become a lost art. 

" In spite of advanced years and impairment 
of strength, she responded with her kindly 



330 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF 

support to my call for organization of a Wo- 
man's Parochial Aid Society. Her kindness to 
me was ever constant and uniform, and her 
ingenuous frankness such as I always enjoyed. 
Plain and albeit of rugged candor in her speech, 
such is better for this world than the honey 
covering of deceit. A former Rector, the Rev. 
Mr. Webb, writes respecting her : ' My impres- 
sion of her kindness of heart is that it never 
failed ; and I believe more firmly than ever that 
it was God's own cause which she so charac- 
teristically espoused, and labored so long and 
faithfully to promote.* 

" She had the habit of clipping from news- 
papers whatever took her fancy. Her recent 
quiet and somewhat afflicted living, owing to 
her illness, was given to reading, needle work 
and entertaining of guests when circumstances 
^admitted. As the golden clouds brightened 
in the west of her life's decline, there came a 
strong inward faith. A late clipping seems to 
speak her thought : ' As the weeks and months 
fly past, do you not think that the spirit of our 
daily prayer ought to be 

" ' Break, my soul, from every fetter, 

Him to know is all my cry ; 
Saviour, I am thine forever, 



AMELIA BLOOMER. 333; 

Thine to live and thine to die, 

Only asking 
More and more of life's supply * ? ' 

" She passed into Paradise on Sunday, 
December 30, 1894, and left a name worthy to 
be entered among the illustrious galaxy of 
notables whom the past year has numbered 
with the dead. On a beautiful winter's day, 
all that remained of mortality was brought to 
this church, so large an object of her affection, 
and here, with impressive funeral rites which 
speak comfortably our blessed hope, we com- 
mitted her body to the ground. And as the 
sweet notes of the committal anthem broke 
in upon the constrained stillness of the scene, 
how appropriate were the words mutely 
echoed by the hushed assembly: 'Blessed 
are the dead who die in the Lord * * * for 
they rest from their labors ' I " 

In a grassy plat in beautiful Fairview Cem- 
etery, overlooking the cities of Council Bluffs 
and Omaha, lies the grave of the true woman, 
the earnest reformer, the faithful Christian, 
whose history is delineated in these pages ; and 
near its foot stands a modest monument bear- 
ing this inscription : 



332 AMELIA BLOOMER. 

" IN MEMORIAM 
AMELIA JENKS, WIFE OF D. C. BLOOMER 

DIED DEC. 30TH, 1894 

AGED 76 YEARS, / MONTHS, AND 3 DAYS 
A PIONEER IN WOMAN'S ENFRANCHISEMENT " 

And here the author and compiler, com- 
mending these pages to the kindly considera- 
tion of his readers, brings his labor of love to 
a close. 



APPENDIX. 



APPENDIX. 



WOMAN'S RIGHT TO THE BALLOT. 

BY AMELIA BLOOMER. 

It is a principle of all free governments that the 
people rule. Each member of the community, in 
theory at least, is supposed to give assent to Constitu- 
tion and laws to which he is subject ; or, at least, it is 
assumed that these were made by a majority of the 
people. And this assent is given according to forms 
previously prescribed. The people vote directly upon 
the adoption of the Constitution, and by their represent- 
ative in making the laws. And since all the people 
must be subject to the Constitution and laws, so all the 
people should be consulted in their formation ; that is, 
all who are of sufficient age and discretion to express 
an intelligent opinion. No one who claims to be a re- 
publican or lover of freedom at heart can dispute these 
positions. They are in substance the principles pro- 
imjlgated in the Declaration of Independence, and they 
form the common basis upon which our national and 
state governments rest When they shall cease to be 
recognized and respected by the people and by our 
lawmakers, then free institutions will cease to exist. 

$35 



336 APPENDIX. 

But I presume their correctness, when applied to 
man, will be doubted by none ; for man is willing- 
enough to claim for himself the full recognition of all 
the high prerogatives I have shown him to be entitled 
to. But I hold more than this to be true. I hold that 
these rights belong, not to man alone, but to the race, 
and to each individual member of it, without regard to 
sex. I hold that woman has as good and rightful a 
claim to them as her brother, and that the man who 
denies this claim is not only no good democrat, and 
much less a good republican, but that in being guilty 
of this denial he commits an act of the grossest injus- 
tice and oppression. And I insist, not only that woman 
is entitled to the enjoyment of all these rights which 
God and nature have bestowed upon the race, but that 
she is entitled to the same means of enforcing those 
rights as man ; and that therefore she should be heard 
in the formation of Constitutions, in the making of the 
laws, and in the selection of those by whom the laws 
are administered. 

In this country there is one great tribunal by which 
all theories must be tried, all principles tested, all 
measures settled : and that tribunal is the ballot-box. 
It is the medium through which public opinion finally 
makes itself heard. Deny to any class in the com- 
munity the right to be heard at the ballot-box and that 
class sinks at once into a state of slavish dependence, 
of civil insignificance, which nothing can save from 
becoming subjugation, oppression and wrong. 

From what I have said you will of course under- 
stand that I hold, not only that the exclusion of woman 



from the ballotbox Is grossly unjust, but that It Is her 
dutyso soon as she Is permitted to do so to go 
t it and east her vote along with her husband and 
brother \ and that, until she shall do so, we can never 
expect to have a perfectly just and upright government 
under which the rights of the people of aU the people 
are respected and secured. 

It Is objected that it does not belong to woman's 
sphere to take part in the selection of her rulers, or 
the enactment of laws to which she is subject. 

This ii mere matter of opinion, Woman's sphere, 
like man's sphere, varies according to the aspect under 
which we view it, or the circumstances in which she 
may be placed. A vast majority of the British nation 
would deny the assumption that Queen Victoria Is out 
of her sphere in reigning over an empire of an hundred 
and fifty millions of souls 1 And if she is not out of her 
sphere in presiding over the destinies of a vast empire, 
why should any woman in this republic be denied her 
place among a nation of sovereigns ? There Is no 
positive rule by which to fix woman's sphere, except 
that of capacity. It is to be found, I should say, wher- 
ever duty or interest may call her, whether to the 
kitchen, the parlor, the nursery, the workshop or the 
public assembly. And, most certainly, no narrow con- 
tracted view of her sphere can suffice to deprive her of 
any of those rights which she has Inherited with her 
being, 

Again, it is objected that it would be immodest 
and ' unbecoming a lady ' for women to go to th ballot- 
box to vote/ or to the halls of the capitol to legislate, 

22 



338 APPENDIX. 

This, too, is mere matter of opinion, and depends 
for its correctness upon the particular fashions or cus- 
toms of the people. In deciding upon what is appro- 
priate or inappropriate for individuals or classes the 
community is exceedingly capricious. In one country, 
or in one age, of the world, a particular act may be 
considered as entirely proper which in another age or 
country may be wholly condemned. But a few years 
ago it was thought very unladylike and improper for 
women to study medicine, and when Elizabeth Black- 
well forced her way into the Geneva, N. Y. medical 
college people were amazed at the presumption. But 
she graduated with high honors, went to Europe to 
perfect her studies, and now stands high in her chosen 
profession. She let down the bars to a hitherto pro- 
scribed sphere. Others followed her lead, and now 
there are several colleges for the medical education of 
women, and women physicians without number ; and 
the world applauds rather than condemns. 

It is not a great many years since women sculptors 
were unknown, because woman's talent was not en- 
couraged. Some years ago a match-girl of Boston 
fashioned a bust of Rufus Choate in plaster and placed 
it in a show window, hoping some benevolent lover of 
art might be so attracted by it as to aid her to educate 
herself in the profession of sculpture. A gentleman 
who saw great merit in it inquired who was the artist, 
and when told that it was a young girl, exclaimed, 
' What a pity sheJLs not a boy 1 ' He saw that such 
talent in a boy would be likely to make him famous 
and enrich the world. But a girl had no right to such 



APPENDIX, 339 

gifts. It would be an unladylike profession for her, 
and so she must bury her God-given talent and keep to 
match selling and dish washing. A few years later 
Harriet Hosmer overleaped the obstacles that stood 
in her way and went to Rome to undertake the work 
of a sculptor. The world now rings with her praises 
and is enriched by her genius. She, too, removed 
barriers to a hitherto proscribed sphere and proved 
that the Ail-Father in committing a talent to woman's 
trust gave along with it a right to use it. Vinnie Ream 
and others have followed in the way thus opened, and 
no one now questions the propriety of women working 
in plaster or marble. 

And so of many other departments of trade, pro- 
fession and labor that within my recollection were not 
thought proper for woman, simply because she had not 
entered them. Women are debarred from voting and 
legislating, and therefore it is unfashionable for them 
to do either ; but let their right to do so be once es- 
tablished, and all objections of that kind will vanish 
away. 

And I must say I can conceive of nothing so terrible 
within the precincts of the ballot-box as to exclude 
woman therefrom. Who go there now ? Our fathers, 
brothers, husbands, and sons. And do they act so badly 
while there that they dare not suffer us to go with them ? 
If it is really so bad a place surely they should stay 
away from it themselves, for I hold that any place that 
is too corrupt for woman to go to is also too corrupt 
for man to go to. ' An atmosphere that is too impure 
for woman to breathe cannot but be dangerous to her 



34 o APPENDIX. 

sires and sons. ' We mingle with our gentlemen friends 
elsewhere with safety and pleasure, and I cannot think 
it possible that the exercise of the right of franchise 
turns them at once into ruffians. 

Yet we are gravely told that woman would be 
treated with rudeness and insult should she go to the 
polls in the exercise of a right guaranteed to her by the 
laws of her country. 

And would you, sir objector, be the one to do this ? 
Would you insult the wife or mother or sister of your 
neighbor ? I think not. Then judge other men by 
yourself and believe that, as each man, the low as well 
as the high, would have some female relative or friend 
with him there, each would be equally careful for the 
safety of those belonging to him and careful also of his 
own language and deportment. And should one dare 
to offer insult would there not, think you, be a score of 
stout arms to fell the insulter to the earth ? 

Men will behave as well I verily believe at the polls as 
at other public assemblies, if they will permit woman 
to go with them there ; and if they have behaved badly 
heretofore, which from their continual asseverations 
we must believe to be the case, it is because woman 
has not always been there with them. 

The idea advanced that woman would become de- 
based by participating in so important and sacred a duty 
as the selection of those who are to be placed in power, 
and to whom are to be committed the interests and hap- 
piness of the whole people, comes with a bad grace from 
men, who are ever claiming for her superior natural 
virtues. They should remember that God made her 



APPENDIX. 34I 

woman, that He gave her equal dominion with man over 
the world and all that is therein, and endowed her with 
high moral faculties, keen perceptions of right, and a 
love of virtue and justice, and it is not easy to change 
her nature. Her delicacy and sensitiveness will take 
care of themselves, in any exposure, and she will be as 
safe at the polls as at political and other conventions, 
at state and county and church fairs, at railroad and 
Fourth of July celebrations, and the various other 
crowds in which she mingles freely with men. That 
virtue is little worth which cannot bear itself unharmed 
through a crowd, or awe and frown down impudence 
whenever it meets with it. The true woman will be 
woman still in whatever situation you place her ; and 
man will become elevated just so far as he mingles in 
her society in the various relations of life. 

In fact this argument that it would be unsafe for 
woman to go to the polls is one that man, at least, 
should be ashamed to bring forward, inasmuch as it 
impeaches his own gallantry and instinctive regard for 
woman. But, if it be true that it would really be unsafe 
for us to go to the polls with our husbands and fathers, 
all danger could be avoided by our having separate 
places for voting apart from theirs. 

But here I am answered that it is not men whom 
we have to fear so much as the bad of our own sex, who 
will rush to the polls while the good women will stay 
away. To this I have to say that I have never yet met 
a woman that I was afraid of, or from whom I feared 
contamination. In the theatre and conceit and festival 
halls, the Fourth of July gatherings, in the cars, on the 



342 APPENDIX. 

fair grounds, and any day upon the street or in the 
stores we meet and pass by the coarse, the frail, the 
fallen of our sex. They have the same right to God's 
pure air and sunshine as we, and we could not deprive 
them of it if we would and would not if we could, I see 
not how these are going to harm us any more at the polls 
than at all these other places. 

The good women will vote as soon as the exercise 
of the right is granted them, and they will outnumber 
the bad more than a hundred to dne. Instead then of 
the pure woman being contaminated, the vile woman 
will be awed and silenced in her presence, and led by 
her example into the right paths. Even those called 
low and vile have hearts that can be touched, and they 
will gladly seize the aid which the ballot and good wo- 
men will bestow to raise themselves from the degraded 
condition into which bad men, bad laws and bad cus- 
toms have plunged them. 

This objection, then, which assumes such propor- 
tions in the minds of many, looks very small when 
viewed in the light of truth and Christian charity. I 
think no man would consider it good reason for depriv- 
ing him of rights because a bad man also enjoyed the 
same rights. 

This arguing that all women would go to the bad 
if allowed to vote because some women are bad now 
when none of them vote is the most absurd logic ever 
conceived in the brain of man, and if those who use it 
could see their silly reasoning in the light that sensible 
men and women see it there would be less of it. If the 
ballot makes people bad,if it is corrupting in its tenden- 



APPENDIX. 343 

cies and destructive of virtue and goodness, then the 
sooner men are deprived of it the better. 

All men, good and bad, black and white, corrupt, 
debased, treacherous, criminal, may vote and make our 
laws, and we hear no word against it ; but if one woman 
does or says aught that does not square with men's ideas 
of what she should do and say, then she should not have 
the right of self-government, and all women everywhere 
must on that account be disfranchised and kept in sub- 
jection t 

Such reasoning might have answered once, but the 
intelligence of the present day rejects it, and women will 
not long be compelled to submit to its insults. 

But, again, one says votes would be unnecessarily 
multiplied, that women would vote just as the men do, 
therefore the man's vote will answer for, both. Sound 
logic, truly 1 But let us apply this rule to men. Votes 
are unnecessarily multiplied now by so many men vot- 
ing ; a few could do it all, as well as to take the mass 
of men from their business and their families to vote. 
My husband votes the republican ticket, and many other 
men vote just as he does ; then why not let my hus- 
band's vote suffice for all who think as he does, and 
send the rest about their business ? What need of so 
many men voting when all vote just alike ? 

Again, another says : ' It has always been as now ; 
women never have had equal rights, and that is proof 
that they should not have. 1 Sound logic again 1 Wor- 
thy emanation from man's superior brain ! But whence 
did man derive his right of franchise, and how long has 
hs enjoyed it ? 



344 



APPENDIX. 



It is true that women never have had equal rights, 
because men have ever acted on the principle of op- 
pressors that might makes right and have kept them 
in subjection, just as weaker nations are kept in 
subjection to the stronger. 

But must we ever continue to act on such prin- 
ciples ? Must we continue to cling to old laws and cus- 
toms because they are old ? Why then did not our 
people remain subject to kings ? How did they dare to 
do what was not thought of in the days of Moses and 
Abraham ? How dared they set aside the commands 
of the Bible and the customs of all past ages and set 
up a government of their own ? 

It is the boast of Americans that they know and 
do many things which their fathers neither knew nor 
did. Progress is the law of our nation and progress 
is written upon all its works. And while all else is 
progressing to perfection, while the lowest may at- 
tain to the position of the highest and noblest in the 
land, shall woman alone remain stationary ? Shall she 
be kept in a state of vassalage because such was the 
condition of her sex six thousand years ago ? Clearly, 
my friends, when the prejudice of custom is on the side 
of wrong and injustice in any matter we are not to be 
governed by It 

But again it is objected that if women should be 
^enfranchised it would lead to discord and strife in 
families. Iti other words, to come down to the simple 
meaning of this objection, if women would not vote 
just as their husbands wanted them to the husbands 
would quarrel with them about it ! And who are the 



APPENDIX. 34S 

men who would do this ? Surely, not those who con- 
sider and treat their wives as equals. Not those who 
recognize the individuality of the wife and accord 
to her the right to her own opinions, the right to think 
for herself, and to act as her own sense and judgment 
may dictate. With such there would be no cause for 
quarrels, nothing to contend about. In such families 
all is harmony. 

It would be only those who desire to rule in their 
families, only those who regard and treat their wives 
as inferiors and subjects who would get up contentions 
and discord ; and it is only these who bring forward 
this objection. No man who honors woman as he 
should do would ever offer so flimsy a pretext for de- 
priving her of rights and enslaving her thoughts. I be- 
lieve the enfranchisement of woman will bring with it 
more happiness in the marriage relation, and greater 
respect from the husband for his wife, because men 
are always more respectful to their equals than to those 
they deem their inferiors and subjects. 

Another objection of which we hear much in these 
days, and to which men invariably resort when aa- 
swered on every other point, is that women do not 
want to vote. They say when all the women ask for 
the right it will be granted them. Did these object- 
ors take the same ground in regard to the negro ? 
Did the colored men very generally petition for the 
right of franchise ? No such petition was ever heard 
of and yet men forced the ballot unasked into their 
hands. Why then must woman sue and petition for 
her God-given right of self-government ? If one human 



346 APPENDIX. 

being only claims that rights are unjustly withheld, 
such claim should receive the careful attention and 
consideration of this government and people. Yet tens 
of thousands of women, subjects of their government, 
have made such claims and set forth their grievances 
from time to time during the last thirty years. They 
have come as suppliants before the people asking for 
rights withheld, and they have been met with sneers and 
ridicule, and told that they must wait till all the women 
of the nation humbly sue for the same thing ! Would 
such excuse ever be offered for withholding rights from 
men? 

Again, it is said that no considerable number ot 
women would exercise the right if granted. This, if 
true, and men do not know it to be so, has nothing to 
do with the question. Give them the right and let 
them exercise it or not as they choose. If they do not 
want to vote, and will not vote, then surely there is no 
need of restrictions to prevent their voting, and no 
harm can come from removing the obstacles that now 
obstruct their way. 

Men are not required to give pledges that they will 
vote. There is no compulsion in their case. They 
are left free to do as they please, or as circumstances 
permit. The right is accorded and there the matter 
rests. 

There is no justice in requiring more from women. 
That thousands of women wou)d vote is pretty certain. 
If all do not avail themselves of such privileges, it will 
be of their own choice and right, and not because of 
its denial. The ballot is the symbol of freedom, of 



347 

equality ; and because the right to use it would lift 
woman from a state of inferiority, subjection and power- 
lessness to one of equality and freedom and power we 
demand it for her. If properly educated, she will use 
it for the best interests of herself and of humanity. 

Another objection that carries great weight in the 
minds of many is that if women vote they must fight. 
Even some of our friends are puzzled how to settle this 
question. But a few days ago a lady friend asked me 
how we could get around it. I reply that all men have 
not earned their right to the ballot by firing the bullet 
in their country's defense, and if only those who fight 
should vote there are many sick men, many weak little 
men, many deformed men, and many strong and able- 
bodied but cowardly men who should be disfranchised. 

These all vote but they do not fight, and fighting 
is not made a condition precedent to their right to the 
ballot. The law requires that only those of physical 
strength and endurance shall bear arms for their coun- 
try, and I think not many women could be found to 
fill the law's requirements. So they would have to be 
excused with the weak little men who are physically 
disqualified. If there are any great, strong women 
able to endure the marching and the fighting who want 
to go to the front in time of battle, I think they have 
a right to do so, and men should not dismiss them and 
send them home. But as there are other duties to be 
discharged, other interests to be cared for in time of 
war besides fighting, women will find it enough to look 
after these in the absence of their fighting men. They 
may enter the hospitals or the battlefields as nurses, or 



34 8 APPENDIX. 

they may care for the crops and the young soldiers at 
home. They may also do the voting, and look after 
the affairs of government, the same as do all the weak 
men who vote but do not fight. 

And further, as men do not think it right for woman 
to bear arms and fear it will be forced upon her with 
the ballot, they can easily make a law to excuse her ; 
and doubtless, with her help, they will do so. There 
is great injustice, so long as the ballot is given to all 
men without conditions, the weak as well as the strong, 
in denying to woman a voice in matters deeply affect- 
ing her happiness and welfare, and through her the 
happiness and welfare of mankind, because perchance 
there may come a time again in the history of our 
country when we shall be plunged into war and she 
not be qualified to shoulder a musket. 

This objection, like many others we hear, is too 
absurd to emanate from the brains of intelligent men, 
and I cannot think they seriously entertain the views 
they express. But give us a voice in the matter, gentle- 
men, and we will not only save ourselves from being 
sent to the battlefield, but will if possible keep you at 
home with us by averting the difficulties and dangers, 
and so compromising matters with foreign powers that 
peace shall be maintained and bloodshed avoided. 

In justification of the exclusion of woman from a 
voice in the government we are told that she is already 
represented by her fathers, husbands and sons. To 
this I might answer, so were our fathers represented in 
the parliament of King George. But were they satis- 
fied with such representation ? And why not ? Be- 



APPENDIX. 

cause their interests were not well cared for ; because 
justice was not done them. They found they could not 
safely entrust their interests to the keeping of those 
who could not or would not understand them, and who 
legislated principally to promote their own selfish pur- 
poses. I wholly deny the position of these objectors. 
It is not possible for one human being to fully represent 
the wants and wishes- of another, and much less can one 
class fully understand the desires and meet the require- 
ments of a different class in society. And, especially, 
is this true as between man and woman. In the former, 
certain mental faculties as a general thing are said to 
predominate ; while in the latter, the moral attain to a 
greater degree of perfection. Taken together, they 
make up what we understand by the generic term man. 
If we allow to the former, only, a full degree of devel- 
opment of their common nature one-half only enjoys 
the freedom of action designed for both. We then 
have the man, or male element, fully brought out; 
while the woman, or female element, is excluded and 
crushed. 

It should be remembered too that all rights have 
their origin in the moral nature of mankind, and that 
when woman is denied any guarantee which secures 
these rights to her, violence is done to a great moral 
law of our being. In assuming to vote and legislate 
for her, man commits a positive violation of the moral 
law and does that which he would not that others 
should do unto him. And, besides all these consider- 
ations, it is bard to understand the workings of this 
system of proxy-voting and proxy-representation. How 



35 o APPENDIX. 

is it to work when our self-constituted representative 
happens to hold different opinions from us ? There 
are various questions, such as intemperance, licentious- 
ness, slavery, and war, the allowing men to control our 
property, our person, our earnings, our children, on 
which at times we might differ ; and yet this represent- 
ative of ours can cast but one vote for us both, how- 
ever different our opinions may be. Whether that vote 
would be cast for his own interests, or for ours, all past 
legislation will show. Under this system, diversities 
of interest must of necessity arise ; and the only way 
to remove all difficulty and secure full and exact justice 
to woman is to permit her to represent herself. 

One more point and I have done. Men say 
women cannot vote without neglecting their families 
and their duties as housekeepers. This, to our oppo- 
nents, is a very serious objection. Who would urge 
a similar one to man's voting and legislating, or hold- 
ing office that he would neglect his family or his 
business ? And yet the objection would be about as 
reasonable in one case as in the other. In settling a 
question of natural and inherent right, we must not 
stop to consider conveniencies or inconveniencies. 
The right must be accorded, the field left clear, and 
the consequences will take care of themselves. Men 
argue as though if women were granted an equal voice 
in the government all our nurseries would be aban- 
doned, the little ones left to take care of themselves, and 
the country become depopulated. They have fright- 
ened themselves with the belief that kitchens would be 
deserted and dinners left uncooked, and that men would 



APPENDIX. 



35* 



have to turn housekeepers and nurses. When the 
truth is, mothers have as much regard for the home and 
the welfare of the children as have the fathers ; and 
they understand what their duties are as well as men 
do ; and they are generally as careful for the interests 
of the one, and as faithful in the discharge of the other, 
as are these watchful guardians of theirs who tremble 
lest they should get out of their sphere. God and 
nature have implanted in woman's heart a love of her 
offspring, and an instinctive knowledge of what is 
proper and what improper for her to do, and it needs 
no laws of man's making to compel the one or teach the 
other. Give her freedom and her own good sense will 
direct her how to use it. 

Were the prohibition removed to-morrow, not more 
than one mother in a thousand would be required 
to leave her family to serve the state, and not one with- 
out her own consent. Even though all the offices in 
the country should be filled by women, which would 
never be likely to happen, it would take but a very 
small proportion of the whole away from their families ; 
not more than now leave home each year for a stay of 
months at watering places, in ; the mountains, visiting 
friends, or crowding the galleries of legislative halls 
dispensing smiles on the members below. There would, 
then, be little danger of the terrible consequences so 
feelingly depicted by those who fear that the babies and 
their own stomachs would suffer. 

But I have no desire, nor does any advocate of the 
enfranchisement of woman desire, that mothers should 
neglect their duties to their families. Indeed, no greater 



352 APPENDIX. 

sticklers for the faithful discharge of such duties can be 
found than among the prominent advocates of this 
cause ; and no more exemplary mothers can be found 
than those who have taken the lead as earnest pleaders 
for woman's emancipation. Undoubtedly, the highest 
and holiest duty of both father and mother is to their 
children ; and neither the one nor the other, from any 
false ideas of patriotism, any love of display or ambi- 
tion, any desire for fame or distinction, should leave a 
young family to engage in governmental affairs. A 
mother who has young children has her work at home, 
and she should stay at home with it, and care well for 
their education and physical wants, But having dis- 
charged this duty, having reared a well-developed and 
wisely-governed family, then let the state profit by her 
experience, and let the father and the mother sit down 
together in the councils of the nation. 

But all women are not mothers ; all women have 
not home duties ; so we shall never lack for enough to 
look after our interests at the ballot-box and in legis- 
lative halls. There are thousands of unmarried women, 
childless wives and widows, and it would always be 
easy to find enough to represent us without taking one 
mother with a baby in her arms. All women may vote 
without neglecting any duty, for the mere act of vot- 
ing would take but little time ; not more than shopping 
or making calls. Instead of woman being excluded 
from the elective franchise because she is a mother, 
that is the strongest reason that can be urged in favor 
of granting her that right. If she is responsible to 
society and to God for the moral and physical welfare 



APPENDIX, 

of her son ; if she is to bring him up as the future wise 
legislator, lawyer and jurist ; if she is to keep him pure 
and prepare him to appear before the bar of the Most 
High, then she should have unlimited control over his 
actions and the circumstances that surround him. She 
should have every facility for guarding his interests and 
for suppressing and removing all temptations and 
dangers that beset his path. If God has committed to 
her so sacred a charge He has, along with it, given the 
power and the right of protecting it from evil and for 
accomplishing the work He has given her to do ; and 
no false modesty, no dread of ridicule, no fear of con. 
tamination will excuse her for shrinking from its dis- 
charge. 

Woman needs the elective franchise to destroy the 
prevalent idea of female inferiority. She needs it to 
make her the equal of her own sons, that they may not 
in a few years assume the power to rule over her, and 
make laws for her observance without her consent. 
The fact that she is the mother of mankind * the 
living providence under God who gives to every human 
being its mental, moral and physical organization, who 
stamps upon every human heart her seal for good or 
for evil* is reason why she should occupy no in- 
ferior position in the world. In the words of , Mrs. 
Stanton, That woman who has no higher object of 
thought than the cooking a good dinner, compounding 
a good pudding, mending old clothes, or hemming dish, 
towels or, to be a little more refined, whose thoughts 
centre on nothing more important than an elegant 
23 



354 APPENDIX. 

dress, beautiful embroidery, parties, dances, and gen- 
teel gossip concerning the domestic affairs of the 
Smiths and Browns can never give to the world 
a Bacon or a Newton, a Milton or a Howard, a Buona- 
parte or a Washington/ If we would have great men, 
we must first have great women. If we would have 
great statesmen and great philanthropists, we must 
have mothers whose thoughts soar above the trifling 
objects which now engage the attention of the mass of 
women, and who are capable of impressing those 
thoughts upon the minds of their offspring. 

In conclusion the enfranchisement of woman will be 
attended with the happiest results, not for her only, 
but the whole race. It will place society upon a higher 
moral and social elevation than it has ever yet attained. 
Hitherto, the variously devised agencies for the amel- 
ioration of the race have been designed mainly for 
the benefit of man. For him colleges have been es- 
tablished and universities endowed. For his advance- 
ment in science and the arts professorships have been 
founded and lecture rooms opened. And, above all, for 
securing to him the widest field for the fullest display of 
his abilities republican institutions have been proclaimed 
and sustained at a great sacrifice of toil, of bloodshed 
and of civil commotions. Although the doctrine of the 
innate equality of the race has been proclaimed yet, so 
far as relates to women, it has been a standing false- 
hood, We now ask that this principle may be applied 
practically in her case, also; we ask that the colleges and 
universities, the professorships and lecture rooms shall 
be opened to her, also ; and, finally, we ask for the 



APPENDIX. 

admission to the ballot-box as the crowning right to 
which she is justly entitled. 

And when woman shall be thus recognized as an 

equal partner with man in the universe of God 

equal in rights and duties then will she for the first 
time, in truth, become what her Creator designed her 
to be, a helpmeet for man. \ With her mind and body 
fully developed, imbued with a full sense of her re- 
sponsibilities, and living in the conscientious discharge 
of each and all of them, she will be fitted to share with 
her brother in all the duties of life ; to aid and counsel 
him in his hours of trial ; and to rejoice with him in 
the triumph of every good word and work. 



A REPLY. 

A lecture entitled, " Woman's Sphere, Wo- 
man's Work and Woman Suffrage Discussed," 
was delivered at the Central Presbyterian 
church, Des Moines, on the evening of De- 
cember 25th, 1870," by the Rev. T, (X Rice. 
The address was published in the Des Moines 
Register of January ist, 1871, and Mrs. Bloomer 
replied to it through the coluftins of the same 
paper January 2ist, 1871, as follows: 

EDITOR OF THE REGISTER : A friend has placed in 
my hand a copy of The Register of January i, contain- 
ing a sermon by the Rev. T. O. Rice on * Woman's 
sphere, woman's work, woman suffrage/ etc, 

After carefully reading this sermon, I find nothing 



356 APPENDIX. 

new or original in it. It is but a rehash of what has be- 
fore been served up to us by the Reverends Todd, Bush- 
nell, Fulton and others, who are alarmed lest woman 
should get the start of the Creator and overleap the 
bounds He has set to her sphere. It throws no new 
light on the vexed question of woman suffrage, brings 
to view no passages of Scripture hitherto hidden from 
our sight, and gives no arguments which have not al- 
ready been met and refuted again and again. In much 
that he says the advocates of woman suffrage fully agree 
with him. A mother's first duty is at home with her 
children, and nothing can excuse her for neglect of 
those entrusted to her care. Home is the happiest spot 
on earth when it is a true home a home where love 
and harmony abide, where each regards the rights, 
the feelings, the interest, the happiness of the other, 
where ruling and obeying are unknown, where two 
heads are acknowledged better than one, and true con- 
fidence and esteem bind together the wedded pair. 
And I know of no happier homes, no better trained and 
better cared for children, than among the prominent ad- 
vocates of woman suffrage. Whatever may be thought 
to the contrary, Elizabeth Cady Stanton is a model 
housekeeper, wife and mother ; and nowhere can 
greater sticklers be found for the full discharge of all 
wifely duties than those who are pleading for woman's 
enfranchisement. So far, then, as relates to home and 
children your divine has given us nothing but what we 
can subscribe to, and what we have preached for a 
score of years, at least, before he awakened to the neces- 
sity of giving the women of his congregation a sermon 



APPENDIX. 

on their domestic duties. If they were ignorant on 
those matters, his words have not come to them an 
hour too soon. 

After quoting familiar passages from both the Old 
and New Testament referring to woman, your divine 
opens by saying : < The general drift of these passages 
is obvious. Woman was designed to be a helpmeet 
for man/ To this we have nothing to object. We, 
too, say that God made woman a helpmeet for man, 
finding it not good for him to be alone. But God said 
nothing of her being inferior, or subordinate, when he 
brought her to Adam nothing of her being intended 
to fill an inferior position or discharge particular or in- 
ferior duties. She was made a helpmeet for man, not his 
subject and servant, but his assistant, companion and 
counselor. Not a helper in any particular sphere or 
duty, but in all the varied relations of life. Not to be 
always the frail, clinging, dependent vine, which falls 
helpless with the oak when it is riven by the thunder- 
bolt, but to take the place, if need be^ of the sturdy oak 
at her side when so riven, and bear upon her shoulders 
all the burdens which as true helpmeet and companion 
fall to her lot. Not to be an idle drone in the hive, 
but a sharer with him in all his head and his hands 
find to do. Not a helpmeet in the domestic relation 
merely, but also in the government of the earth and in 
the councils of the nation* It was not to him but to 
them that God gave power ami dominion over the 
whole earth. 

He next goes on to show why woman was to occupy 
a subordinate position, and of all the arguments 



358 APPENDIX. 

brought forward by our opponents I never read a more 
weak and flimsy one than this. Because Adam was 
first formed and then Eve, she was therefore to be sub- 
ordinate. But where Is the proof of this ? Do we find 
in all nature that the things last formed were inferior 
and subordinate to those first created ? Again, that 
Adam was not deceived, but the woman being 
deceived was in the transgression/ Now, will the 
reverend gentleman tell us which he deems the greater 
sin, to commit a wrong after being misled and deceived 
by promises of great good to follow, or to commit the 
same wrong without such promises or deception, and 
with the eyes wide open to the wrong ? In any court 
of the present day, the extenuating circumstances 
would be considered and the former held the less guilty 
of the two. 

How any unprejudiced and unbiased mind can 
read the original account of the creation and fall, and 
gather therefrom that the -woman committed the greater 
sin, I cannot understand. When Eve was first asked 
to eat of the forbidden fruit she refused, and it was 
only after her scruples were overcome by promises of 
great knowledge that she gave way to sin. But how 
was it with Adam, who was with her ? He took and 
ate what she had offered him without any scruples of 
conscience, or promises on her part of great things to 
follow certainly showing no superiority of goodness, 
or intellect, or strength of character fitting him for the 
headship. The command not to eat of the Tree of Life 
was given to him before her creation, and he was 
doubly bound to keep it ; yet he not only permitted 



APPENDIX. 



359 



her to partake of the fruit without remonstrating 
against it, and warning her of the wrong, but ate of it 
himself without objection or hesitation. And then, 
when inquired of by God concerning what he had done, 
instead of standing up like au honorable man and 
confessing the wrong he weakly tried to shield him- 
self by throwing the blame on the woman. As the 
account stands, he showed the greater < feebleness 
of resistance, and evinced a pliancy of character, and 
a readiness to yield to temptation,' that cannot justly 
be charged to the woman. As the account stands, 
man has more to blush for than to boast of. 

While we are willing to accept this original ac- 
count of the creation and fall, we are not willing that 
men should add tenfold to woman's share of sin, and 
put a construction upon the whole matter that we 
believe was never intended by the Creator. Eve had 
no more to do with bringing sin into the world than 
had Adam, nor does the Creator charge any more 
upon her, The punishment inflicted upon them for 
their transgression was as heavy upon him as upon her. 
Her sorrows were to be multiplied, but so too was he to 
eat his bread in sorrow, and to earn it in the sweat of 
his face amid thorns and thistles. To her no injunction 
to labor was given, upon her no toil imposed, no 
ground cursed for her sake. 

But now we come to the consideration of a passage 
which seems to bear more heavily upon woman, and 
which men have used as a warrant to humble and 
crush her through all the ages that have passed since 
our first parents were driven from the Garden of Eden : 



360 APPENDIX. 

* Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall 
rule over thee? 

This Mr. Rice regards as a command binding 
upon every woman for all time. Because Eve sinned, 
every woman must be ruled over by some man as long 
as the world stands. It is a little strange that the 
Creator did not tell us this. When talking to the 
serpent, He put enmity between his seed and the 
seed of the woman ; but to the woman He said not a 
word of this law of subordination following her seed ; 
and to Adam he gave no command, or even license, 
to rule over his wife. 

Will the Rev. Rice please explain to us the mean- 
ing of a like passage in the chapter following ? ' The 
Lord said unto Cain, the desire of thy brother shall 
be unto thee, and thou shalt rule over him* Was 
this, too, a command for all time? Did God command 
Cain to rule over Abel ? And if so, to whom does it now 
apply ? The language is the same in both instances, 
except that in the latter case it was addressed directly 
to the party who was to rule, and in the former to the 
one who was to be ruled. 

Clearly, the passage quoted should be regarded in 
the light of prophecy or prediction, and not of com- 
mand. Substitute wilt for shalt, which I am told the 
original fully permits, and then all is clear. The 
prophecy has been fulfilled to the very letter. There 
are other passages that I think clearly show that the 
word shall has been wrongly translated. For instance, 
Cain says, * Whosoever findeth me shall slay me/ 
taking the form of command rather than prediction. 



APPENDIX. 3 6 X 

Having done with the Old Testament, our reverend 
lecturer proceeds to give us what, in his opinion, was 
the idea and full meaning of the Apostle Paul in his 
rules and injunctions to the women of the churches he 
was addressing, and he wonders how there can be any 
opinion but his own on the subject. He makes the 
apostle go a long way beyond the Creator or the 
Saviour in his condemnation and subordination of 
women, and then thinks it strange that all do not take 
his version of the whole matter. Yet there are vast 
numbers of good, Christian men and women who can- 
not read with his eyes and who have presumed to differ 
from him. He quotes from some of the early Fathers 
on the subject, and proves that they entertained the 
same opinions and had the same fear of women getting 
into authority the Todds, Rices and Fultons of the pres- 
ent day suffer from. And the opinion of one party goes 
for as much as that of the other. The women of those 
early days, as all know, were ignorant and degraded 
and regarded as absolutely inferior to men. Custom 
had assigned them an inferior place and, instead of 
being treated as companions and equals, they were 
little better than servants and slaves. None but dis- 
solute women, or women of loose character, sought 
for knowledge, and education was wholly denied to 
those who were virtuous. They were expected to re- 
main at home in ignorant subjection to their masters. 
What wonder then if any, moved by the spirit, dared 
raise their voice in the presence of men they were in- 
stantly silenced, and told that it was not permitted them 
to speak ? The early Fathers, like St. Paul, but con- 



362 APPENDIX. 

formed to the customs and shared the prejudices of the 
day in which they lived, and under the circumstances 
no doubt their injunctions were entirely proper and 
right. 

We have no account on record of these ancient 
clergy disgracing themselves over a woman speaking 
as did the Rev. John Chambers, and other reverends 
of his stamp and as we suppose the Rev. Rice would 
have done had he been there a few years ago at the 
World's Temperance Convention, in New York, when 
by their violent stamping, shouting, scolding and other 
uproarious conduct they succeeded in drowning the 
voice and driving from the stand a lovely, refined and 
highly educated Christian woman whom the president 
had invited to the platform. They carried their ends at 
that time ; but that did not awe all women back into 
silence, or do themselves or the church any good. So 
all the warnings, and quotations from St. Paul, by all 
the reverends since his day, have not succeeded in 
keeping women in that state of ignorance and subjec- 
tion they occupied two thousand years ago. The world 
moves, and it is God's will that women move with it. 
He is no respecter of persons, but regards His people 
as all one in Christ Jesus. 

But what have we next ? After putting women 
down as low as possible our divine throws them a sop 
by telling them, if they will not usurp authority over 
men in the pulpit they may speak, and pray, and teach 
in Sunday schools, and in conference and covenant 
meeting. And where, pray, does he get his authority 
for this ? Not in the Bible, surely. 'Paul says, ' I suf* 



APPENDIX. 

fernota woman to teach.' Teach what ? The scriptures 
the gospel, to be sure. This is direct and explicit. 
How can she teach the gospel in the Sunday school and 
elsewhere, without violation of St. Paul's law ? * Let 
women keep silence in the church/ says the apostle. 
Then how can they talk, and pray, and teach in the 
conference meeting, the covenant meeting and other 
kindred places ? St. Paul gives them no such liberty. 
Plainly your divine is willing the women of his church 
should do almost anything, so they do not interfere 
with his place, or usurp authority over him. 

Poor me next comes in for a severe castigation from 
your reverend lawgiver because I dared say that, while 
I supposed St. Paul's injunctions to women were right 
and proper at the time and under the circumstances of 
their utterance, I did not believe they were the rule for 
the educated Christian women of this enlightened day 
and age, the circumstances surrounding them having 
greatly changed since the introduction of Christianity. 
That I believed women were no more bound by the laws 
and customs of that time than men were bound to ob- 
serve all the laws and customs oi the same period ; and 
further, that the church, by its practice^ teaches the 
same thing, to a great extent And, still further, that 
the words of St. Paul had nothing to do with woman's 
political rights. The reverend gentleman puts words 
in my mouth I never uttered, thoughts in my head that 
I never conceived, places me in a position I never oc- 
cupied and then, having attributed all manner of bad 
things to me, wipes me out with a sweep of his pen, 
Well, I do not feel a bit bad over all this. I have the 



364 APPENDIX. 

consolation of knowing that I am in good company, and 
cannot be so easily annihilated as he supposed. There 
are scores of divines as able, as learned, as eloquent and 
as orthodox as T. O. Rice, of Des Moines, who take 
the same view of the matter as I do, and any number 
of good Christian people who subscribe to the same 
doctrine. I ' have no painful solicitude as to which side 
will ultimately triumph.* I am no more squarely and 
openly at variance with God's Word ' than is our rev- 
erend lecturer, who has set himself up as God's oracle, 
and hopes to intimidate all women, and strengthen the 
rule of all men to whom the sound of his voice may 
come. 

I do not question his right to think as he pleases, 
and lecture women on proprieties and improprieties ; 
but I must say, I consider women quite as capable of 
judging for themselves what is proper and what is im- 
proper for them to do as any man can be ; and I think 
if our reverends would turn their attention to their own 
sex, search out passages and rules of conduct applicable 
to them, and lecture them oh their duty to their families 
and society, they would be much better employed than 
in trying to subordinate women. 

God has implanted in woman's nature an instinctive 
knowledge of what is proper and what improper for her 
to do, and it needs no laws of man to teach the one or 
compel the other. 

Our lecturer assumes that ' God did not design that 
woman's sphere and woman's work should be identical 
with that of man, but distinct and subordinate.* That 
woman is happiest in subordination, as well as more 



APPENDIX. 

attractive/ etc. This is, of course, only a picture of his 
imagination only an expression of his own feelings and 
wishes. He can find no warrant for it in the Bible ; for, 
as we have shown, God did not assign her to any partic- 
ular sphere or work, but made her an helpmeet to stand 
side by side and walk hand in hand with man through 
the journey of life. 

< When aspiring, insubordinate, overtopping and tur- 
bulent woman loses all the attraction and fascination of 
her sex.' Very true 1 and so do men of the same char- 
acter lose all that commands our love and respect, and 
there are many more of the latter than of the former 
class ! I know no such woman, but if there are any, 
every advocate of woman's enfranchisement will do all 
they can to prevent her ever becoming so * restless, 
troubled, muddy, and bereft of beauty/ So far as she 
has been admitted to the society of men they have not 
yet made her that terrible being they fear and dread. 
She has not proved herself coarse, vulgar, turbulent 
and corrupting in any society to which she has been 
admitted ; and we would bid the reverend calm his ex- 
cited mind, and remember that God made her woman, 
and under no change that has come to her has she proved 
untrue to the nature He implanted within her. So let 
him trust that the good God who is leading her forward 
into broader fields of usefulness will take care that she 
goes not beyond, in any respect, the limit He has fixed 
to her sphere. 

Having settled the question that the sexes are to 
move in spheres distinct from each other to his own satis- 
faction, and having dismissed the apostle from the wit- 



366 APPENDIX. 

ness stand, we are told what, in the judgment of the 
speaker, is the proper and appropriate sphere of woman. 
In much of what follows we agree with him ; but not 
altogether. By analyzing any persons/ men or women, 
* physically, mentally and morally, we can ascertain 
what station they are fitted to fill what work they are 
fitted to do.' And whatever either man or woman has 
capacity for doing, that is right and proper in and of it- 
self ; that thing it is right and proper for both, or either 
of them, to do. If God has given them a talent, He has 
along with it given them a right to its use, whether it be 
in the direction of the home, the workshop, the public 
assembly, or the Legislative Hail. 

And if woman has hitherto neglected to improve all 
her God-given talents, it is because men have only per- 
mitted her to get glimpses of the world from the little 
elevation in her own garden/ where they have fenced 
her in. But let them invite her to the ' loftier eminence* 
where tl^ey stand, with the world for her sphere, as it 
was at the beginning, and then they can better judge of 
the qualities of her mind, and her capacity to fill any 
station. 

In talking of man's strength of body and mind fit- 
ting him for certain places, and woman's weakness con- 
signing her to other places, he forgets that intellect- 
ually, at least, a great many women are stronger than a 
great many men, and therefore better fitted for places 
where brains, instead of muscle, are needed. It is no 
more true that every woman was made to be a cook and 
a washer of dishes and clothes, than that every man was 
made to be a wood sawyer and a ditch digger. While 



APPENDIX. 367 

some are content, in either case, to fill those stations, 
others are not content, and never will be, and will as- 
pire to something better and higher. To what place the 
weak little men are to be consigned our speaker fails to 
tell us. 

The home picture in the sermon is all very beauti- 
ful. Would that alt homes were a realization of the 
picture 1 Woman is told great things of her duties, 
her influence, her glories and her responsibilities, but 
not a word have we of man's duty to the home, the wife, 
the children. Woman is told that it is hers to make 
her children great and good, as though they were like 
a blank sheet of white paper and would take any im- 
press she chose to give ; when, in fact, they are stamped 
before they see the light of the world with the gross 
and vicious natures of their tobacco-chewing and wine- 
bibbing fathers, as well as with the weaknesses of the 
mothers, and it is often impossible for the best of 
mothers to so train their children that they may safely 
pass the pitfalls that men have everywhere placed to 
lead them into temptation and destruction. We pro- 
test against the mothers being held alone responsible 
for the children, so long as fathers wholly neglect their 
duties and set such examples and such temptations be- 
fore their children as to corrupt their young lives and 
destroy the good influence the mother might otherwise 
exert. Not till mothers have a voice in saying what 
influences and temptations shall surround their children 
when they go beyond the nursery walls, can they justly 
be held accountable to society or to God for their con- 
duct. The woman who only takes a narrow view of 



368 APPENDIX. 

life from the little eminence in her garden can never 
give to the world very good or very great children. 
She must be permitted to take in a wider range from a 
loftier eminence, before she can form those great char- 
acters and inscribe upon the immortal mind the great 
things that are expected and demanded of her. If we 
would have great men, we must first have great women. 
If we would have noble men, we must first have noble 
mothers. A woman whose whole thought is occupied 
in cooking a good dinner and mending old clothes 
or (a little more refined) whose thoughts center on a 
beautiful dress, elegant embroidery, the fashionable 
party, the latest novel or the latest fashion can never 
give to the world a Bacon or a Newton, a Howard or a 
Wesley, a Buonaparte or a Washington. Our preacher 
lays a heavy responsibility on woman, but all his talk 
about her influence, her duty and her subordination is 
not going to give her that wisdom, strength and moral 
material out of which to properly construct the fabric 
of the Church and the Commonwealth. 

We would by no means undervalue the home, or 
the mother's duty and influence ; but we would ennoble 
and purify the one, and enlarge the duties and extend 
the influence and power of the other. Our divine 
thinks that, because woman is mother, daughter', sister 
and wife, it is enough for her and she should desire 
nothing more. Man is father, husband, son and 
brother, and why is he not therefore content ? What 
can he desire or ask for more ? Let men realize that 
they, too, have duties to the home beyond merely sup- 
plying the money to satisfy the physical wants of the 



APPENDIX. 

family ; let them throw down the wall they have built 
up around the woman *s garden and invite her to survey 
with them the wider range from the loftier eminence, 
and many homes would be made glad that are now 
anything but Gardens of Eden, and many women would 
be strengthened for the full and faithful discharge of 
all their duties. 

< Woman is not a mechanic.' Yes, she is. All men 
are not mechanics. I know women who have more 
mechanical genius than their husbands ; and I believe 
there are few of the mechanical arts that women could 
not master and perform successfully, if custom per- 
mitted and necessity required. They are naturally in- 
genious, and fashion many things as difficult to learn 
as to saw a board or drive a nail, to make a watch or 
a shoe, a saddle or a harness. My next-door neighbor 
is a natural mechanic, and has manufactured various 
articles in wood, from a foot to two feet in size, such 
as tables, chairs, bedsteads, wardrobes, frames, brackets, 
etc., with only a penknife and a bit of sandpaper for 
tools, which are perfect specimens of workmanship, 
and are so acknowledged by first-class cabinetmakers* 
She has taken premiums on these articles for the best 
woodcutting and carving at our agricultural fairs. 
This work has only been done for pastime, and the lady 
is equally ingenious with the needle, as well as a good 
housekeeper, wife and mother. There are many women 
engaged in various kinds of mechanism. 

There are many inventions by women ; but how 
many have been patented, can only be known by in- 
quiry at the Patent Office, And even then it would be 
24 



370 APPENDIX. 

difficult to ascertain facts, since the patent is generally 
obtained in the name of the husband. I have a lady 
friend who invented patterns for parlor stoves. Her 
husband had them patented in his own name, and 
entered upon the manufacture and sale of them. 

The ' natural difference in the turn of mind in the 
sexes ' is not so great as is supposed. The seeming- 
difference is more owing to education and custom, than 
to nature. It is a very common thing to hear a young 
girl wish she was a boy, or a man, that she might be 
free to do what she lists in this world of work to 
make use of the powers which she feels burning with- 
in her. The girl envies the boy his freedom and his 
privileges. In * earliest childhood/ if let alone, there is 
little difference between the boy and the girl. The 
girl likes to ride the horse and blow the trumpet, as 
well as the boy ; and the boy loves a doll and a needle 
and thread, as well as the girl. It is not the child that 
selects, but the parent that selects for him. From 
the very first (the whip, the horse, the trumpet) the boy 
is taught that it is not right or manly for him to play 
with dolls, or girls ; and the girl, that little girls must 
not play with boys, or with boys' playthings, because 
it is not ladylike, and will make a torn-boy of her. And 
so education does what nature has not done, and was 
never intended to do. 

' Those who would curse our race have ever at- 
tempted, in imitation of the great progenitor, to poison 
all our fountains and wither and blast all our budding 
hopes by directing their artful attacks and deadly 
shafts against the breast of woman/ 



APPENDIX. 

Alas ! this is but too true. Ever since Satan, who 
was a man, struck the first blow at her happiness, men 
have directed their deadly shafts against her, by first 
subjugating her to their will, and then using their power 
to poison the fountain of her happiness and wither 
and blast her budding hopes.' She has been made their 
sport and their victim, with no power to avert the evil, 
or protect herself, or those entrusted to her care, from 
their artful and brutal attacks. 

But what have we here ? After telling women that 
home is their sphere, and that God placed them in it, 
and they should not go beyond it, the reverend lecturer 
turns right about and supposes a case where a woman 
is called upon to devote her time, or her energies, to 
home duties and family cares, or of one who voluntarily 
chooses to do something else ; and, strange as it may 
seem after all that has gone before, he says * she may 
follow a trade, teach, lecture, practise law and medicine, 
and fill a clerkship. 1 This is good woman's-rights doc- 
trine ! The bars are let down that separated the 
spheres, and woman is permitted to leave the 'distinct 
and subordinate ' one allotted to her, and enter upon a 
sphere and work * identical with that of man/ Here 
we can join hands with our divine, and be thankful 
that light has so far dawned upon him. And he far- 
ther 'demands that all the sources of learning, all the 
avenues of business which they are competent to fill 
shall be thrown open to the whole sex, and that they 
shall be fairly and fully rewarded for ail they do ' 1 
These good words go far to atone for all he has said 
before, and we will not ask why this change, or 



372 APPENDIX. 

concession. Enough that he comes thus far upon our 
platform. But can he stop here ? After giving her so 
wide a sphere, and educating her mind to the fullest 
extent, can he again put up the bar and say thus far and 
no farther shalt thou go ' ? Indeed, no ! God himself 
has in these latter days broken down the bounds that 
men had set to woman's sphere, and they cannot, by 
opposition or Bible argument, remand her back into 
the state ^ silent subjection whence she came. The 
ministers of the church for years set themselves up 
against the anti-slavery cause, and proved conclusively, 
to themselves, from the Bible, that slavery was right and 
God-ordained ; that the Africans were, and were to be, 
a subjugated race, and that to teach differently was in 
plain violation of the teachings *of the Bible. They 
held themselves aloof from that cause, in the days of 
its weakness, at least, and cried out against those who 
were pleading for the emancipation of the slave. But 
God proved their mistake by setting that people free, 
and endowing them with all the rights of citizenship. 
So, too, the Bible is brought forward to prove the 
subordination of woman, and to show that because St. 
Paul told the ignorant women of his time that they 
must keep silent in the church the educated, intelligent 
women of these times must not only occupy the same 
position in the church and the family but must not 
aspire to the rights of citizenship. But the same 
Power that brought the slave out of bondage will, in 
His own good time and way, bring about the eman- 
cipation of woman, and make her the equal in power 
and dominion that she was at the beginning. 



APPENDIX. 373 

The divine uses the column and a half that re- 
mains of the space allotted to him to show why, in his 
opinion, women should not vote after telling us there 
is nothing against their voting in the Bible, and omit- 
ting to tell us what the passages quoted at the head of 
his discourse have to do with politics or political rights. 
One of these reasons is that women will want to hold 
office ; and in proof of this he tells us that the office of 
deaconess, which existed in the church till tKfe middle of 
the fifth century, was abolished because the women be- 
came troublesome aspirants after the prerogatives of 
office/ It is ever thus. Men are willing women should be 
subordinate do the drudgery in the church and else- 
where ; but let them aspire to something higher and 
then, if there is no other way to silence them, abolish 
the office. * Men want all the offices, and it is a crying 
shame for a woman to think of taking one from them, 
thus setting them all aquake with fear I 

Men argue as though, if women had the right to 
vote, they would all abandon their homes and their 
babies, and stand at the polls from year's end to year's 
end and do nothing but vote. When the fact is men 
do not vote but twice a year ; are detained from their 
business but a few minutes to deposit their ballots ; and 
then .go their way, none the worse for the vote. I regret 
that Rev. Rice thinks so badly of the advocates of 
woman's cause. So far as I know them, his charges 
are unfair and sometimes untrue. A better personal 
acquaintance would disarm him of much of Ms prej- 
udice. The women are all good sisters, wives and 
mothers, living in love and harmony with their hus- 



374 APPENDIX. 

bands, to whom they are true helpmeets, and whom 
they have no thought of deserting. Not half of them 
ever expect to hold office certainly not, unless the 
offices are greatly multiplied nor to have any part in 
turning the world upside down. On the contrary they 
will continue to care for the babies, cook the dinners, 
and sew on the buttons the same as ever. 

Another reason why woman should not vote is that 
he thinks < God has not fitted her for government, that 
He never made her to manage the affairs of state, that 
very few women would make good stateswomen/ etc. 
And yet God did at the Creation give her an equal 
share in the government of the earth, and our divine 
imposes upon her all the government of the family ! 
God called Deborah to manage the affairs of state, 
and approved of her management, never on.ce telling 
her she was out of her sphere, or neglecting her domes- 
tic duties. And the queens of the Bible are nowhere 
reproved for being in authority and ruling over men. 
Many women have shown a fitness for government in 
all ages of the world. There are few able statesmen 
among men, and the world is suffering sadly for want 
of woman *s help and woman's counsel in the affairs of 
state. 

But I cannot ask you to allow me space to follow 
the reverend gentleman through all that follows on the 
question of woman suffrage. His arguments are very 
stale, and many of them absurd. I doubt not he is 
honest in his convictions ; but all do not see with his 
eyes, or judge with his judgment. As able minds as 
his own among men take a different view of the matter, 



APPENDIX. 

and believe that at the polls, as elsewhere, woman will 
have a refining moral influence upon men, and that 
she will herself be benefited and ennobled by the en- 
larged sphere of action* 

I cannot better close than with the words of Bronson 
Alcott, at a recent conversation ' in Chicago : There 
is no friend of woman who does not believe that, if the 
ballot were extended to her, not one would ever vote 
for an impure man. To give woman the ballot would 
purify legislation, plant liberty and purity in our fam- 
ilies, our churches, our institutions, our State/ 

AMELIA BLOOMER. 
Council Bluffs, Iowa. 



MRS. STANTON ON MRS. BLOOMER, 

"In the fall of 1850 I met Mrs. Bloomer for the first 
time, in Seneca Falls, N. Y. I was happy to find her 
awake to the wrongs of women, Mrs. Bloomer was 
publishing a paper at that time called the Lily ; a 
rather inappropriate name for so aggressive a paper, 
advocating as it did all phases of the woman Vrigbts 
question. In 1849 ^ er husband was appointed post- 
master, and she became his deputy, was duly sworn in* 
and during the administration of Taylor and Fillmore 
served in that capacity. When she assumed hfcr duties, 
the improvement in the appearance and conduct of the 
office was generally acknowledged, A neat little room 
adjoining became a kind of ladies* exchange, where 
those coming from different parts of the town would 
meet to talk over the contents of the last Lily and the 
progress of the woman's-suffrage movement in general. 



376 APPEN&TX. 

Those who enjoyed the brief interregnum of a woman 
in the post office can readily testify to the loss to the 
ladies of the village, and to the void felt by all, when 
Mrs. Bloomer and the Lily left for the West, and men 

again reigned supreme. 

*' E. C. S." 



MEMORIAL SERMON. 

Preached by the Rev. Eugene J. Babcock, in 
St. Paul's Church, Council Bluffs, January 13, 

1895: 

ECCL., vii. I. "A good name is better than precious oint- 
ment, and the day of death than the day of one's birth." 

Wisdom is surveying life, and giving its best re- 
trospect The thought which has entered this judg- 
ment is the righteous, just, temperate, and loving care 
of God. 

A life spent in satisfying the pleasures of sense 
alone leaves nothing of value to the * pilgrims of night/ 
for it passes away like a shadow and is gone. The 
greatest heritage that can come to the children of men 
an inheritance that they should administer jealously 
is a good name. As to other things we can carry 
nothing out of this world, but good character, like the 
ancient embalming, forever preserves a good name. 

The ' name ' which wisdom here mentions is that 
which has acquirement of reputation. This is sug- 
gested by the second member of the text. The old 
application would have limited it to one who had won 
fame. Evidently, reputation is to be the outcome of 



APPENDIX. 377 

character just as the perfume is associated with the 
narcL The things in comparison are the good name 
which all delight to honor, and the fragrant odor of the 
good, i. e. precious, ointment which all enjoy. 

But more than this. Names of the great and good 
have a diffusive power, subtly and incisively invading 
our spirits as their golden deeds are told off and be- 
come signs to the world that earth has souls of heroic 
mould. Then we are athrill with emotion as our 
souls thus catch better insight of humanity. The 
correspondence is in opening the box of delicate, pure 
and costly ointment, the odor thereof filling the house. 

How comes it that the day of death is better than 
the day of birth ? Solomon tnay have meant that life's 
vexations, toils, temptations and trials were thus at an 
end. This is the justifying consolation that we give 
when our fellows depart hence and are no more seen. 
The passing hence is undoubtedly merciful relief in 
many instances. But life's issues are varied and 
diverse, and to most of us life, in its purely temporal 
aspect, is the sweetest and closest companion of 
thought. There are but few to receive Solomon's 
words. Possibly, they are designed for the few. At 
an earlier stage of his life he would not have written 
them. They came out of his experience. He may 
have been touched by a gloom of apprehension which 
sprung from ignorance, an ignorance that was done 
away in Christ our Lord. That life does not cease ab- 
solutely is knowledge which Christ's religion has fixed 
in human minds. It is true that there is as yet no test 
of experience, save that I point you to Jesus Christ the 



378 APPENDIX. 

Great Exemplar and those recorded cases who were 
subjects of his power. In the spirit's return to God, 
the ancients did not know that to die is gain. 

In view of acquirements attained from a well 
ordered and well spent life, may there not be a sense 
In which the day of death is better ? As the three 
score and ten years come on, our minds contrast origin 
and decline, infancy and age. What prodigious issues 
are involved ! The advances of time disclose two 
pathways, well worn and leading up to these issues. 
In moral aspect they bear the names of good and evil. 
Yet they are not so absolutely distinct as to be two 
separate paths. Rather, to the eye of discernment, the 
individual walks in two planes, the subject of two 
kingdoms. God, in His goodness and mercy, furnished 
a guideboard for the journey of life, and prophetic of 
the parting of the ways : Reject the evil ; choose the 
good. Behold the key to the good name that is better 
than precious ointment 1 

Such was the high animating principle that guided 
Amelia Jenks Bloomer through her womanhood. Born 
in Homer, New York, May 27,^1818, she removed from 
her native place at an early age, and after a residence 
in two other villages in the same state, during which 
her life passed through girlhood to young womanhood, 
she finally came to Seneca County. She was little 
aware of the destiny that awaited her, and of the prob- 
ability that the precincts of her new dwelling place 
were to become the theatre of events in which she 
would play the part of leading^ character. 

On her mother's side she inherited a trend toward 



APPENDIX. 

an earnest and positive religious bent. This was sup- 
plemented by the mother-love instilling into the child 
those principles of belief in things supreme which 
become a part of moral fibre and the basis for action. 
The one avenue of woman's employment from time im- 
memorial, the public school, she seems to have es- 
chewed. This may have been owing to possession of 
talents for larger and higher educational function ; 
talents which found successful trial in a happy and 
peculiar relation of governess in a family with three 
children. 

This relation was terminated for another and more 
sacred bond, she being joined in marriage the twenty- 
second year of her age. Her married life began at 
Seneca Falls, New York, where was Mr. Bloomer's 
home. 

In the beginning of the decade of years which are 
known as the * forties/ there were gathering forces of a 
distinctively moral movement which had for its object 
the regeneration of society. Re-proclamation of an 
old truth in new form took aggressive phase of agita- 
tion against the evils of intemperance with a view to 
lessen them. The instrument employed was the ever 
truthful and laudable agency of moral suasion. In due 
time there came into the purview of such as were 
enlisted heart and soul in this noble effort, the ad- 
ditional agency of suppression by means of legal 
enactment. This 'first and new demonstration gath- 
ered momentum until 1856, when it seems to have 
spent its force in electing Myron A. Clark, of Canan- 
daigua, to the governorship of New York. 



380 APPENDIX. 

A glance at the early endeavors which led to the up- 
heaval of society and had a widespread effect for good, 
enables us to see the sway of the agitation in that part 
of the state where dwelt the honorable subject of this 
memorial. The movement had taken form in the con- 
crete by virtue of an organization named the Washing- 
tonian Society. To the influences of this society we 
are indebted, indirectly at least, for the new firmament 
which spread above this land in woman's emancipation, 
and for its bright peculiar star, Amelia Bloomer. 

This came about in a simple and matter-of-fact way. 
Local societies, of which there was one in Seneca Falls, 
were doing their specific work. Mr. Bloomer was 
already in the newspaper field as editor of the village 
press. To his editorial duties he joined the duties of 
maintaining a paper called the Water Bucket, as the 
organ of the local society. Another element came in the 
shape of a religious awakening, following the Washing- 
tonian movement, and growing out of it. While the air 
was ringing with eloquent words of precept, there was 
forced upon the mind that which was equally eloquent, 
viz,, personal example. Mr. and Mrs. Bloomer were 
baptized and confirmed by Bishop Delancey In the parish 
church of Seneca Falls in the year 1842. Henceforth, 
to the rationale of the movement was added the religi- 
ous motive. 

In response to her husband's earnest and persuasive 
appeals to ' lend a hand/ she modestly and even reluct- 
antly contributed articles to the paper. With repeated 
protestations, she complied with other demands. She 
did not desire to reveal her identity as her contribu- 



APPENDIX. 3 8l 

tions became subject to favorable comment and wide 
quotation. She hid herself under a round of names, 
now masculine, now feminine, in order to avoid publi- 
city. But behind them there was a personality that 
could not be hidden long. A keen and powerful mind, 
and brimming sentiments of a woman's heart, intense 
and moving, came to the surface. The flashing of a 
bright pen, tempered and pointed as a Damascus blade, 
was probing its way to the forefront of discussion, and 
into the vitals of opposing argument, and lo ! a woman 
stepped forth into the arena, a champion of woman's 
side in the conflicting controversy ! 

With her lifeboat thus pushed out into the current 
of this mental activity, and thrown upon her own re- 
sources, latent powers came to her support. These 
were reabsorbed, again developed, and carried on to 
renewed struggles. It is surprising to note how reso- 
lutely and with what eminent capability she met the 
varied demands of true sentiment, sound judgment and 
business tact. 

She had great regard for the principles she advo- 
cated ; fox her self-respect as an advocate ; and for her 
pledged or promised word. Thinking that woman was 
capable of originating an enterprise, that she had capa- 
city for conducting it, her ruling passion was to show to 
the world that woman could do as woman, be account- 
able to self, and had the right potential to do what she 
could. That she esteemed woman a responsible crea- 
ture is indicated in the manner in which her paper The 
Lily was launched upon society. A woman's temper- 
ance club had planned the paper, the president of the 



382 APPENDIX. 

society had named it ; another was appointed editress, 
Mrs. Bloomer to be associate ; the first issue to appear 
January i, 1849. & woman's convention which had as- 
sembled in 1848 in the village, and the first on record, 
may have stimulated the project But as the time ap- 
proached to undertake the issue faintheartedness dashed 
the scheme. Not even prospectuses and money received 
could stay the retreat. Mrs. Bloomer was left alone. 
Her own words are : * My position was a most embar- 
rassing one. * * * * I could not so lightly throw 
off responsibility. There was no alternative but to fol- 
low the example of the others and let the enterprise prove 
a miserable failure as had been predicted it would, or to 
throw myself into the work, bare my head to the storm 
of censure and criticism that would follow, and there- 
by make good our promises to the public and save the 
reputation of the society. It was a sad, a trying hour, 
for one all inexperienced in such work, and at a time 
when public action in woman was almost unknown. 
So unprepared was I for the position I found myself in, 
so lacking in confidence and fearful of censure, that I 
withdrew my name from the paper and left standing 
the headline : ** Published by a Committee ot Ladies. 1 ' ' 
With such splendid courage, integrity and determina- 
tion, we can almost predicate in advance the eminent 
success which attended this effort during a period of six 
years. 

The study of woman's condition incident to aggres- 
sive measures against intemperance and the direct ap- 
peal to woman's sympathies, without doubt, widened the 
scope of vision. That woman often stood in need of in- 



APPENDIX. 383 

dependence was enforced cogently. Having succeeded 
in. a limited temperance work and become useful agents 
in lifting the burdens of sisters, the idea of relief mother 
directions followed hard apace. Some of these burdens 
were of woman's own placing, some were forced upon 
her by the inequalities of law, and others were in defer- 
ence to a wrong public opinion. 

The power of the Press did not suffice for the com- 
plete extension of the aims which the woman's associa- 
tion had in view. The human voice, than which there 
is nothing more potential in moving us, was now raised 
to make the battlecry of reform more effective. The 
last wonder of the world had come for woman ap- 
peared as her own advocate. Amelia Bloomer had 
gathered strength and reliance for anew phase of her 
work. She more deeply realized that she had to cope" 
with other evils than the horrors of intemperance. The 
rising questions were still more difficult, from their in- 
herent nature and there being no public sentiment to 
support them. As the issue confronted her the same dis- 
trust of Self, yet the same unfaltering courage and devo- 
tion to a cause, prepared her for the rostrum as armed 
her for the editress 1 chair. She had faith in the justice 
of men* and believed that God was on her side. She 
overstepped mere conventionality, not that she spurned 
good, but to show that conventionalism is sometimes a 
tyrant, and harmful. She could brave the strictures of 
public opinion, knowing that it is not always right. 
But that she could do this does not indicate that there 
was no cost to herself,or that the cruel arrows of ridicule 
when proceeding from unkindaess did not reach tender 



384 APPENDIX. 

sensibilities. Had she but her own glory to seek, or 
were it but a vain notoriety in order to puff up the 
mind, she could not have * bared her head to the storm ' 
which a canvass of woman's rights and woman's wrongs 
brought upon her. 

It is for us to learn the lesson of her life : that, 
conspicuously, she was unselfish. A conviction had 
come to her may it not have been true inspiration ? 
that what was wrong in practice might be righted by 
promulgation of true principles. She had the courage 
of her convictions, if ever any one had. Like a true 
reformer, she had to furnish the principles and disclose 
the facts upon which they were based, in order that 
correction might obtain. That which sent her to the 
principal cities of her native and adopted states and to 
cities far beyond, to legislative halls, to the use of her 
trenchant and vigorous pen, was love for her own sex. 
To win for one was gain for all. It was a doing for 
others all along. What though abstract justice, statue- 
like, could point the index at inequalities ? There was 
no voice to awaken and plead ! 

In this part of her career she was as eminent a suc- 
cess as in the other. She was mistress of argumenta- 
tive persuasion, and could turn the shafts of opponents 
with consummate skill. The extravagance of rhetoric 
into which excited feelings are prone to lead a contro- 
versialist, she met with good-natured repartee. It may 
be said that she was advance-courier of * temperance 
literature,* her sprightly contributions being original 
matter, and in turn becoming texts for other writers and 



APPENDIX. 385 

publishers. She had other helpers in creating a litera- 
ture of woman's rights, notably Mrs. Stanton, who was 
one of others who accompanied her on a tour of lect- 
ures. Her contention as to woman *s place was that 
she is created man's intellectual, moral and spiritual 
equal. 

It certainly would have been derogatory to the 
Almighty Creator to have bestowed on man an inferior 
partner for life. Genesis discloses to us that the word 
for man and woman is the same, save that a feminine 
termination is added to the latter. The true rise of 
woman is centred in the Incarnation of our Blessed 
Lord. From that time the dawn of woman's elevation 
has been breaking into a cloudless sky. Mrs. Bloomer 
rightly caught the gleaming light in attributing to that 
august event a possibility for the broader and higher 
sphere 6T woman's action. With this she was wont to 
silence Old-Testament quotations of opponents, and for 
that matter the handlers of New-Testament writings 
which referred to a condition closely approximating the 
old order of ignorance ; the enlightenment of Christi- 
anity not then having bathed the nations. She never 
countenanced levity respecting the married state, or 
suffered the intrusion of degrading theories respecting 
the domicile of home. Her interpretation of a help * 
meet for man ranged along the high lines of being a 
help in all that man does for the good of the world, self, 
and actions that bear fruit of moral freedom. 

Whenever. she was asked to teach about woman's 
sphere she complied, as being a call to duty. Not 
long ago she related to a me thrilling adventure which 

25 



386 APPENDIX. 

I am now able to see in a more characteristic light. A 
certain and constant solidarity of character becomes 
apparent at every turn. Duteous devotion, regard for 
promise, and personal bravery enter into the exploit. 
She was to lecture on * Woman's Education ' before, 
and for the benefit of, the Library Association of Omaha. 
I find the story transcribed in her * Early Recollec- 
tions.* * 



The reference to home yearnings is a side light 
which illumines the whole background of her public 
career. Ardently devoted to her mission and responsive 
to its imperious calls, yet she was not a Mrs. Jellyby of 
Bleak House. She cared for others, near to her as well 
as remote. Adopted children have taken the Bloomer 
name, and other young have found a home beneath the 
hospitable roof. 

A woman engaged in the active enterprises of life 
was a new thing under the sun. Beneath the royal 
occupation of queen-regent, or that of gifted author- 
ship, or being a * Sister of Charity,' the lines of woman's 
v/ork were few and greatly limited in the world outside 
of home. Amelia Bloomer was a pioneer in woman's 
emancipation and, as falls to the lot of the pioneer, she 
had work to do which succeeding generations reckon 
not, and of which successors in the field have never felt 
the sting of the deep intensity of the striving. The first 
faint, far-off echo has swelled to thunder tone as to-day 

* Here, with slight omissions, is quoted in Mrs. Bloomer's 
own words the narration of the incident of the " Dangers met 
in crossing the Missouri," previously given on pp. 214-216. 



APPENDIX. 387 

there goes over the land a call for the Second Triennial 
Meeting of the National Council of Women, which was 
founded on the fortieth anniversary of * the first or- 
ganized demand for equal education, industrial, profes- 
sional, and political rights for women, made at a meet- 
ing in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848.' 

It is given to but few to realize the effectiveness of 
consecration to a work like that Mrs. Bloomer under- 
took. Rarely does one see the rich results of a con- 
tention so manifoldly difficult. As iron sharpeneth 
iron, so has been the clash of minds. Imaginary bar- 
riers have gone, and a rigid conservatism, strong prin- 
cipally by reason of inherited tendency, is supplanted 
by a rationale of woman's sphere which has made oc- 
cupation for thousands. She who was both prominent 
and eminent in bringing this result ought to be an ob- 
ject of their everlasting gratitude ! " * 

* The remainder of the sermon has already been given. It 
will be found on pp. 327-331. 



THE END. 



Date Due 




Dcmco 38-297 



92 



-Bloomer, Pexter C. - 
- Life and writings of 
^Amelia Bloymor. 

~~~ 92 



138 383