The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony


From the Diary of SBA [26-30 December 1854]

Chataque County Woman's Rights Convention held Tuesday Dec. 26th 1854 at Mayville in the Court House.[1]
Marrietta Richmond of Columbia County[2] in company with self— stopped at the house of Cyrus Underwood— [3]  The weather warm & rainy—  Sleighing gone, & wagoning dangerous on account of the heavy snowdrifts—
Notwithstanding, the Towns of Chataque, Clymer, Ellicott Harmony Stockton, Sherman & Hartfield were represented— whole number of Towns in the County 24—
Though the meeting was small, there seemed an earnest seeking after the new Truth—  By invitation I went to Sherman a distance of 9 miles & spoke to a large audience Wednesday evening—  Never saw more enthusiasm on the subject, even the Orthodox Churches vied with each other, who should open their doors— 
[No entry for 28 December.]

Cattaragus W.R. Convention held at Ellicottville Friday Dec. 29/54
Some 5 towns represented, being Ellicottville, Otto, Great Valley, Little Valley, & Gowanda—
Some 60 persons present in the p.m.— 300 in the evening— Mrs. Matilda E. Howe wife of Judge Howe served as President[4]
The day very cold, snowy & blowy—sleighing very poor—  Mrs. S. Ann F. Allen of Otto, Waverly Post-Office was present— an intelligent woman— served as Clerk— [5]
Saturday went to Olean, could not get a Church, School House or Academy to speak in, The Landlord Mr. Comstock gave the use of his Dining Hall for Sunday evening— had the room filled— rather drew upon the Methodist Watch meeting— [6] John [Collins?] formerly of Rochester an Insurance man interested himself considerably— [7]  Miss Richmond spoke at Great Valley—  Stopped with James Phelps— had a good time— [8]
    [1.] Mayville was the seat of Chautauqua County.
    [2.] Mary Etta or Marietta Richmond (1817-1890) grew up in Hillsdale, Columbia County, and lived there until her death. Little is known about her beyond references to her abolitionist activity and the fact that she joined SBA on this tour in 1854 and 1855. At woman's rights conventions at Saratoga Springs in August 1855 and again at New York City in May 1860 she served with SBA on the finance committees. (Federal Census, 1850; Una, September 1855, and Proceedings of Woman's Rights Convention, 1860, 3, in Film, 8:277-78, 9:612ff; Richmond, Richmond Family, 1:81-82; and assistance from Helen M. McLallen, Columbia County Historical Society.)
    [3.] Cyrus Underwood (c. 1801-?), a farmer, lived in the town of Chautauqua. He and his wife Emaline, the same age, were both from Massachusetts. Their eight children living at home in 1850 were all born in New York. (Federal Census, 1850.)
    [4.] Matilda E. Torrance Howe, who lived in Ellicottville, grew up in Persia, New York, and married Chester Howe in 1840, after the death of his first wife. Chester Howe (1812-1858), a lawyer and, in the first year of their marriage, a state assemblyman, was elected county judge in 1851 and served until 1856. In 1847 he was appointed attorney of the Seneca Nation on the Cattaraugus and Allegany reservations, and he was named receiver of state appropriations to establish schools on the reservations. (Adams, Cattaraugus County, N.Y., 317-18.)
    [5.] S. Ann F. Allen (c. 1825-?) was listed in the state census of 1855 as the wife of Constant B. Allen, a notable businessman in the village of Waverly, town of Otto. The federal census in 1850 omits her and in 1860 identifies her as a domestic servant in another household. (History of Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., 285, 289, 293; Federal Census, 1850, 1860; New York State Census, 1855.)
    [6.] John Kellogg Comstock (?-1867) kept a hotel and tavern in Olean for thirty years. (Comstock, Genealogy of the Comstock Family, 99; Federal Census, 1860; New York State Census, 1855.)
    [7.] John Collins or Colliers is unidentified.
    [8.] Probably James W. Phelps (c. 1816-?), a merchant in Ellicottville, whose large household consisted, in 1850, of his wife and their three young children, a mother named Butler and her three children, as well as one clerk, one laborer, and one servant. (Federal Census, 1850.)
Bound volume, SBA Papers, MCR-S.