The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

SBA to Sarah Pellet

Dear Sarah

I had long been asking my self where is Sarah Pellet & what is she busy about, for busy she must be
I attended the Teachers Convention, & if you visit Lucy she will show you what I did there—  The old Fogies were not a little troubled at my presence but the progressives out numbered them—  Your letter was read, but did not hear it— [1]
I can tell you exactly what my business is the rest of this year— it is making arrangements for meetings in the large Cities of our State & securing such speakers as Nette & Lucy, Mrs Rose, & Mrs Stanton to Address them—  I may speak some as time may dictate in smaller places, where an audience can be had by a speaker without a name—  Now Sarah I can point out a work for you to do, but I fear it will be too common place—it is that you come into this State & Canvas one or more Counties as time shall permit on Woman's Rights,— Lecture, raise funds for Add purchasing Mrs. Stantons Address for Distribution, get signatures to Petitions & c, and of the monies you raise, you shall receive a percentage that shall satisfy you as remuneration—  What say you Sarah— here is a chance for you, (under the auspices of our State Committee) to make yourself thoroughly at home in the Lecture room—  If you ever intend to make Lecturing your business, you surely need just such a discipline—one cannot have a reputation as speaker, until they have won it, & simply giving a few Lectures to small audiences in large places will not win a name to one's self—  You may think me mistaken, but nevertheless I am sure I am right—   Lucy lectured faithfully for years & was scarcely heard of— she got her power by familiarizing herself with her subjects in small places— so must we all—
What say you, are you ready to come into this State— [2] We would like 40 women to work in the Counties—  Mr. May says if Sarah Pellet was only in Syracuse, he should know who to name to raise Funds there, distribute Address & circulate Petitions or who would be the leader in the work—  Mr. Channing I have not heard from this summer, but heard of his being at Brattleboro Vt.
I hope Mrs. Jenkins & Love[3] & many others will take to the work of Canvassing the State— Yours in Love

Susan B Anthony

ALS, Bella Clara Landauer Collection, MCR-S.
    [1.] SBA spoke at the ninth annual meeting of the New York State Teachers' Association held in Oswego on 1-2 August. She introduced resolutions calling for women to be nominated as officers of the association and as editors of the New York Teacher. (New York Teacher 2 [September 1854]: 257-72; and Oswego Times and Journal, 3 August 1854, in Film, 7:1063ff.)
    [2.] Sarah Pellet joined SBA and Matilda Gage at Saratoga Springs for a woman's rights meeting on 18 August, when the resort hosted several large meetings. Whigs opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska Act rallied on 16 August, and proponents of the Maine law gathered on 17 August. None of the well-known speakers accepted SBA's last-minute invitations to participate, and the three novice speakers were forever proud of their successful meeting. (Unidentified clipping from M. J. Gage Scrapbooks, Film, 8:64; History, 1:620-23; Anthony, 1:120-21; Isely, Horace Greeley and the Republican Party, 90-98; Booraem, Formation of the Republican Party, 50-54.)
    [3.] Mary Fenn Robinson Love (1824-1886), later Davis, grew up in a temperance household in western New York, attended college there, and married a schoolteacher named Samuel G. Love in 1846. When SBA met her in 1852, she lived at Randolph in Cattaraugus County. SBA carried a letter of introduction from Giles Stebbins, who wrote, "I know you will take Susan by the hand & do all possible." From the temperance work of 1852 and 1853, Mary Love moved into the woman's rights work of 1854 with a clear message about a woman's need for control of her own person in marriage. Instead of touring with SBA in the winter of 1854 and 1855, she journeyed to Indiana to divorce her husband and a year later, married Andrew Jackson Davis. Mary Davis returned to the woman's rights platform later in the decade, and she promoted ideas of woman's equality among spiritualists, where she was a recognized leader. After the Civil War Davis was active in New Jersey's woman suffrage movement and supported the National Woman Suffrage Association. (Notable American Women; Braude, Radical Spirits, 41-42, 58, 117-18; SBA diary and copybook, 1854 and later, p. 74, Film, 7:879ff.)