The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony


SBA to Harrison Howard[1]

Harrison Howard Sir

You will see by Sept. Lily that the Women's N.Y. State Temperance Society is to hold a Convention at Seneca Falls the Second Thursday in October, which is the day following the meeting of the People's College Association.
Many of the friends, were desirous to attend the Peoples College meeting, as well as the Temperance Convention, we therefore arranged our meeting so as to enable them to kill two birds with one stone— The friends will only have to stop at the Falls two days instead of one.— I hope there will be no change of time or place with the College meeting. I have taken pains to call the attention of the people to your Association wherever I have been, & told them that your next meeting was to be at Seneca Falls the 13th of October next. All seem to fall in with the plan & very many express a determination to attend its next session. I brought the matter before the Women's Convention at Syracuse, or rather, Elizabeth C. Stanton's letter did, & I made an explanation, (so far as I was able) of the proposed plan.[3] I also announced there, that the next meeting was to be at Seneca Falls, but the thought has just occurred to me that you possibly may make a change of time & place.
I hope the notice of the next College meeting will be published in the Country papers. I feel confident that an extensive circulation of the notice will secure a large attendance of the friends of equal education. Please send Mrs. Bloomer a notice in time for October Lily.— I am sanguine in the belief that the time is now arrived to carry into effect such a glorious plan, as is that of the Peoples College.— I would love to act as agent in obtaining memberships to the association. I hope Greely [4] will attend the next College meeting & also our Temperance Convention. We shall be happy to have you stop over another day & take part in the deliberations of our Tem. Convention.
Please write me, if there is a change in the time & place of the next College meeting. I shall be sorry, if I have been giving a wrong notice. I shall be in Syracuse, & its vicinity, direct to Syracuse.

Yours for progress

Susan B. Anthony

ALS, People's College Records #1138, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, NIC.
    [1.] Harrison Howard was the moving spirit and corresponding secretary of the People's College Association, a group of New Yorkers who wanted to establish an inexpensive, coeducational college that offered training suitable to manual labor. Horace Greeley and Henry B. Stanton joined the association in 1851; Daniel R. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, and Amy Post were outspoken supporters by 1852; and SBA paid her dues at Elmira in 1852. Slow to get underway, the college put up buildings at Havana on Seneca Lake in 1859 but was soon incorporated into Cornell University. (People's College Records, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, NIC; Kurtz, Ithaca and Its Resources, 116-17; Wright, Cornell's Three Precursors.)
    [2.] In Onondaga County. After a break in July, SBA resumed her tour for the temperance society and continued until April 1853.
    [3.] SBA attended her first woman's rights convention, the third national meeting, at Syracuse on 8 September 1852. It fell to her to read the letter and resolutions prepared by ECS. One part of that letter recommended coeducation and expressed the hope, "that in the proposed People's College, some place would be provided, where women could be educated side by side with men." Her resolutions included a protest that women not be taxed to support the college, "unless woman be fully admitted to share equally with man in all its rights and privileges." In discussion SBA explained that "both sexes were to have equal advantages." (Proceedings of Woman's Rights Convention, 1852, 32, 77, 96, and New York Daily Tribune, 14 September 1852, in Film, 7:322ff.)
    [4.] Horace Greeley (1811-1872), editor of the New York Tribune, was the most influential newspaperman in the country. In New York his daily edition faced strong competition, but his semi-weekly and weekly editions dominated news in the state and the North. In state politics, he was allied with the most powerful Whigs— with Albany's editor-lobbyist Thurlow Weed and Auburn's William Henry Seward. Greeley's personal interests shaped the Tribune into an important medium for reformers to announce events and publicize their ideas, and he lectured for causes, especially for temperance and improved public education. Never at the radical extreme in any cause, Greeley also infuriated reformers who found him not abolitionist enough, not suffragist enough, or simply conservative about marriage and the family. He endorsed the mobilization of women in temperance work and wrote to the woman's rights convention at Syracuse. (Dictionary of American Biography; Isely, Horace Greeley and the Republican Party; Film, 7:212, 322ff.)