The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

ECS to Gerrit Smith, with Enclosure

Dear cousin Gerrit,

I read your letter on Kossuth & like it very much.[2] I think you have placed him in his true position & given him his due meed of praise. Before reading your letter I was sort of mystified on the Kossuth question. I greatly admired him & yet I had sundry misgivings about his sincerity & truth. The difference you draw between the patriot & the philanthropist, gives to Kossuth his particular circuscribed sphere, where we may sincerely admire him. I never realized before how far below the philanthropist is the mere patriot. Can you give me two more copies of that letter. I am glad you are to be at the state temperance meeting. I think you will find them prepared to pass such a resolution as you offered a year ago.[3] Mrs Bloomer & Miss Anthony will be there. Miss Anthony is our agent we give her twenty five dollars a month, she raising her own salary. Will the state society recognize us as an auxiliary & recommend our agents to the people?
I send you four resolutions. I wish you would embody the ideas in your expressive language & present them to the convention for our society. Do speak on divorce, people have such false low views on what constitutes true marriage. If women knew their duty on this point, it would tell in the temperance cause. Man has never begun to appreciate the wrongs of woman [sideways in margin] Your cousin

E. C. S.

Much love to all.


Resolved,— That inasmuch as man claims to represent woman, in all our national councils, we have a right to demand of him a wise legislation on the liquor traffic,— laws that shall protect us & our children in our homes, persons & property,— laws that shall remove temptation from the paths of our sires & sons, & laws that shall banish every rum hole from the capital of our state, where so many of our Husbands, called there by the voice of the people, exposed to such surroundings, have been led to take their first steps towards the Drunkard's grave.
Resolved,— That drunkeness is a just ground of divorce, yea more, that it is a sin for any woman to consent to entail on innocent beings the curse & degradation that are the certain heritage of the Drunkard's offspring.
Resolved,— That it is the duty of our temperance host to dissolve all connexion with churches that wink at the hedious crimes of the Distiller, rumseller & Drunkard. Let that Priest who for his personal interest fails to rebuke any such in his congregation or tolerates these monsters in christian communion, be denounced as unworthy his office unfit to teach spiritual truths, because ignorant himself of the first great principles of christianity.
Lastly resolved,— That it is your duty if you decide yourselves wanting in that high moral courage, & holy self sacrifice necessary faithfully to represent woman in this cause, that you so change your discipline & laws, that she may speak for herself in church, & in state, — if you cannot protect her, then stand aside & let her protect herself & deliver us from a government that has neither the justice or the power to protect the weak against the strong.
ALS and AMs, ECS Papers, NjR. Variant of letter and enclosure, dated 25 May 1852, in Stanton, 2:43.
    [1.] The letter anticipates a meeting on 17 June 1852 and follows a letter by Gerrit Smith dated 25 May.
    [2.] Smith characterized Louis Kossuth as "a patriot . . . who, instead of being absorbed with his individual interests, carries in his patriotic and sympathising bosom the interests of a whole nation." But the patriot, he wrote, is not "the summit of human excellence"; that position is held by "the philanthropist," whose "country is the world" and "countrymen mankind." (Kossuth. Gerrit Smith to Frederick Douglass, 25 May 1852, broadside, Smith Papers, NSyU.)
    [3.] The Women's New York State Temperance Society named Smith a delegate to the State Temperance Society's annual meeting at Syracuse on 17 June 1852, but he did not attend.