The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony


SBA to Lucy Stone

Dear Lucy

Your note from Indianapolis, dated Nov. 28, was duly received, & should have been answered long ere this.[1]
We are all greatly rejoiced at your success in Ky., & also that you are laboring in Indiana. Much as we wished your presence at our recent convention in this city, we could but feel that it was better for you to be in the South & West.[2] I send you by same mail with this our Democrat's report of the convention, & enclose a copy of the Call for the meeting, & the Appeal to the friends of Woman's Rights, relative to circulating the Petitions.[3] The Call, Resolutions, Petitions & Appeal are all of Channing's writing.
I think our convention passed off most gloriously for the cause. How could it be otherwise, with such spirits present as S. J. May, W. H. Channing, E. L. Rose, & A. L. Brown? Mrs. Coe[4] & Mrs. Jenkins did not arrive until the p.m. of the last day.
Mrs. Stanton was just weaning her baby, & it was hardly recovered from fever & ague. She longs to be free from household cares, that she may go into the reform work.
Nettie has been in Mass. the last two weeks, was to speak in Worcester & Providence. She had a severe attack of rush of blood to the head after her return from Cleveland, & has not yet fully recovered from it.
Mrs. Jenkins & myself are going to do what we can to canvass the State & circulate petitions. I have written Mrs. Nichols to come into the eastern part of the State & help us on with our work. Mr. Channing has gone to Washington to preach the coming five Sundays in the Unitarian church of that city by invitation from its members. Is not that ominous of the times? His course here has been one of unexampled nobility. I think him the most Christ like man I ever knew. Mrs. Rose did herself & the cause great honor here. She was the favorite of the audiences. Several asked the privilege of entertaining Lucy Stone, & expressed great surprise that she was not to be here. I very much wish you could come into the State & hold meetings in the larger cities, & stir up the people to roll up a long list of signatures to Petitions.
We shall hold a convention in Albany in Feb., when the petitions will be presented. I wish we had 40 of the right sort of women, who would volunteer in the work before us. We sent our box of goods to the Boston Bazar last night. It inventoried $50., & then a beautiful herbarium of 710 varieties of flowers.[5]
Douglas is uncovering what has long been lurking beneath a smooth exterior. I hope you see the Liberator & the Douglas paper now & then.[6]
Can't you come into this State & lecture? It seems to me the object of our State convention is defeated unless we can carry up to Albany a host of petitions. We don't want our legislators to say only 2000 women desire their rights, & they shall be denied because the majority do not ask them.
The Cleveland Reports are tardy in their appearance, & Mrs. Severance says the reports are very imperfect.[7] I have paid Wells[8] for the N.Y. Reports, & have some $2 of that convention money yet in my possession. Mr. Higginson[9] ordered the whole W. Tem. Con. money to be sent to LeBaron[10] to be expended for reports to be sent, as I understood, to the members of the Con.— have heard nothing from LeBaron since. Do let me hear from you often, don't fail to stop in R.

S. B. A.

Transcript in hand of A. S. Blackwell, Blackwell Papers, DLC.
    [1.] One paragraph of this letter is in Film, 7:842.
    [2.] After the National Woman's Rights Convention held in Cleveland on 5-7 October, Lucy Stone made a profitable lecture tour through Kentucky, Missouri, and Indiana. (Kerr, Lucy Stone, 73-74.)
    [3.] The Rochester convention named committees to research and draft an address specifying "the remaining legal disabilities of women," and to report on women's industrial disabilities. Petitions to the legislature sought woman suffrage and just and equal rights. (Film, 7:844-54.)
    [4.] Emma Robinson Coe was a prominent lecturer in the woman's rights movement from 1850 to 1855, identified at different times as of Ohio, Michigan, and Buffalo. The Anti-Slavery Bugle tracked her lectures in Ohio and Michigan in 1851, and she spoke in Rochester and around Boston when she traveled east for the Second National Woman's Rights Convention. She also stopped to visit ECS at Seneca Falls on that trip. Late in 1854 she became a law student in the office of William T. Peirce of Philadelphia. By then Coe was a widow, with a small legacy from her husband and a young daughter named Alice. In 1858, Martha Wright, in an elaborate pun on the names of women who remarried, called her "Mrs. Emma R. Coe Still." Wright had also learned that she was ready to launch another lecture tour. (Garrison, Letters, 4:324n; Lasser and Merrill, Friends and Sisters, 109, 115, 121; History, 1:111, 123, 146-48, 232, 383, 824-25; Anti-Slavery Bugle, 1 February, 15 March, 5, 11, 26 April, 17 May 1851, 26 March 1853; Martha Wright to SBA, 9 July 1858, Film, 9:25-27.)
    [5.] A reference to the contribution sent by the Western New York Anti-Slavery Society to the annual antislavery fair in Boston.
    [6.] SBA refers to a venomous episode in antislavery history. Tensions between Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, president of the American Anti-Slavery Society and editor of the Liberator, had been building since Douglass moved to Rochester in 1847, and open conflict erupted late in 1853. Douglass (1818-1895), a former Maryland slave, had escaped from slavery in the fall of 1838, settling in Massachusetts, where he became Garrison's protégé. Early in the 1840s he began to lecture for the American Anti-Slavery Society and swiftly became one of the most persuasive and appealing witnesses against slavery. His relationship with Garrison and his Boston supporters soured, however, after he decided to publish his own paper, the North Star (which later became Frederick Douglass' Paper), from Rochester. Douglass was a consistent supporter of woman's right to vote, although he disagreed with elements of the antebellum woman's rights platform, and he maintained a friendship with ECS and SBA until his death. (McFeely, Frederick Douglass; Quarles, Frederick Douglass; Douglass, Papers, 2:451; Pease and Pease, "Boston Garrisonians.")
    [7.] Carolina Maria Seymour Severance (1820-1914) grew up in northern New York and married Theodoric Cordenio Severance, a banker, in 1840. The couple moved to Cleveland, and there she entered antislavery circles and rose to leadership in the state woman's rights movement. In 1855 she moved to Boston and gained national attention, becoming a good lecturer and building such well-known institutions as the New England Hospital for Women and Children and the New England Woman's Club. In the fall of 1853 Severance took charge of publishing the report of the national convention because she had complained loudly that the reports of previous conventions were of poor quality. (Notable American Women.)
    [8.] Samuel Robert Wells (1820-1875) joined the firm of Fowlers and Wells in 1844, when he married Charlotte Fowler, a phrenologist and sister of the firm's founders. At this time, he edited the Water-Cure Journal, in addition to running the publishing business. He published the report of the woman's rights convention held inNew York in September. (Dictionary of American Biography.)
    [9.] Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911) was an abolitionist minister in Worcester, Massachusetts, and a conspicuous figure in the woman's rights movement. Prominent in the conflict over women's participation at the planning meeting for the World's Temperance Convention, he assumed leadership in the Whole World's Convention of September 1853. Higginson liked direct action. In 1856 he went twice to Kansas to help the antislavery settlers; he raised money in support of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry; and during the Civil War he commanded the first black regiment, the First South Carolina Volunteers. (Edelstein, Strange Enthusiasm.)
    [10.] C. B. LeBaron, a broker in New York and a temperance activist, seceded from the planning meeting for the World's Temperance Convention and helped to plan the Whole World's Convention. (City directory, 1858.)