The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony


SBA to the Editor, Carson League

Mr. Thomas,

I have the privilege of forwarding to you, the enclosed names and subscription fees of persons who wish to be numbered among the patrons of the Carson League, a Temperance paper, which boldly steps out of the fetters of Whig and Democrat partyism, not only in matters pertaining to town, county and State government, but also in those which appertain to the government of the United States. A Temperance paper that will no sooner advocate the elevation of a brandy-drinking man to the Presidency, than it would a rum-selling, rum-drinking, anti-Maine Law man to the office of town Supervisor or Justice of the Peace, State Senator or Assemblyman. A Temperance paper that advocates the fundamental principle of all the reforms, that of perfect equality to all mankind without respect to sex or color, ever manifesting a desire that all may be possessed of their God-given "right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness." A Temperance paper too, that acknowledges woman a co-worker with man in the Temperance cause, that grants to her the right to help on the good cause in such manner as she may deem herself best adapted to; whether that shall be by teaching and practicing the great principles of Total Abstinence in her own family and social circles, by toiling from week to week and from year to year, in the arduous work of publishing Temperance newspapers, setting type, attending to the business department, and writing editorials; thus striving, both with hand and head, to be instrumental in rousing to action their thousands of readers, or, by going forth into the world, visiting various towns and villages, and by word of mouth endeavoring to inspire their inhabitants with renewed zeal, and incite them to redouble their efforts for this great and glorious cause.
During the month of November, we have held meetings in twenty one different villages in the counties of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne. They have all been largely attended, and I trust the people have been somewhat profitted. Had I time, I should dearly love to re-visit those places in imagination and trace with pen the words of encouragement, the many hearty God speeds, that were uttered by the friends of humanity. I must just speak of South Butler, where we held Thanksgiving.[2] Rev. Antoinette L. Brown[3] preached the Thanksgiving sermon, her text was "Watchman what of the night." She most faithfully reported the state of our nation and showed where the Watchman could not cry "All is well."
After the service, about one hundred of the friends of Temperance repaired to the Temperance Hotel, (South Butler does not sanction rumselling) and partook of a thanksgiving dinner spread by Messrs. Soule,[4] who manifested a due regard for time honored customs, by setting before their guests a bountiful supply of Roast Turkey, pumpkin pies and plumb puddings. After the sumptuous repast the friends again gathered at the Church, and listened most patiently to an address from myself and Mrs. Albro on the subject of Temperance. Thus you will see that the good people of South Butler were eminently thankful on that day of days. There was one incident connected with that thanksgiving occasion that was not a little amusing. Miss Brown preached there the Sunday previous, and one of the clergymen had felt called upon to warn his flock to beware of following the "Lo Here's and Lo There's" and being led captive by "Silly Women."[5] But notwithstanding his caution, large numbers of his members were present, both morning and afternoon of this Thanksgiving day. In the morning the minister himself came out to listen to the "Silly Women," and by expressing his hearty approval of the movement, and giving his name and 50 cts to constitute himself a member of the "Women's N.Y. State Temperance Society," gave what seemed to us, unmistakeable evidence, that even the good man was in great danger of being led captive by these same women. May not this conversion to the right of woman to speak publicly, serve to show to our conservative Clergy and Laity, that, their prejudice, is, in some measure at least, the result of their ignorance of the aims and objects of the Women who are publicly advocating the elevation of the standard of morals among men. Certain it is that those who are most long and loud in their denunciations of the women thus engaged, are persons who found their objections upon hearsay[6] and newspaper reports, all of which, at best, are but uncertain testimony.
I rejoice that we have the majority on our side, that we have among our friends, large numbers of the great and good, that Truth and Right and God is with us, that we are therefore permitted to see this prejudice against woman, fast vanishing, like dew before the morning sun.

Yours, for the whole Truth,

Susan B. Anthony.

Carson League, 9 December 1852.
    [1.] In Wayne County, on the shore of Lake Ontario.
    [2.] 25 November 1852.
    [3.] Antoinette Louisa Brown would become the minister of South Butler's Congregational Church; she preached as a visitor at this date, taking as her text Isaiah 21:11. (Cazden, Antoinette Brown Blackwell.)
    [4.] The census listed farmers named Soule in Savannah, the township bordering South Butler: Enos, Enos, Jr., and Lewis. No reference to a hotel has been found. (Federal Census, 1850.)
    [5.] 2 Tim. 3:6.
    [6.] The source reads "heresy."