Tribute to Henry B. Blackwell
February 15, 1907 — National American Woman Suffrage Association Convention, Music Hall, Fine Arts Building, Chicago IL
I have ever regarded Mr. Blackwell as a many-sided reformer, one whose most distinguished claim to remembrance consists in the fact that no other man has devoted so much of his life to the task of securing the enfranchisement of women. Only those who have read the Woman’s Journal regularly and depended on it for an accurate record of the slow but steady march of progress of this great movement can fully realize the enormous amount of editorial work contributed to it by him during the past forty years. The combination of superior intellectual powers with tenderest sympathies formed a rare equipment for success in his chosen field of usefulness. In truth his advocacy of the woman’s cause was marked by such zeal and enthusiasm that one not knowing the initials “H. B. B.” stood for a man might quite naturally have believed that only a woman could own them. Fortunately he was possessed of the sunniest possible temperament and blessed with an unusual sense of humor which enabled him to see things in their true proportions and make light of obstacles in his path. The many and varied tributes that have been paid to his memory all dwell upon his intense love of justice which led him to wage war against oppression wherever he found it. . .
It was my good fortune to be present at the celebration of Mr. Blackwell’s eightieth birthday in Faneuil Hall in Boston. With great clarity of vision he defined the duty of the hour and said: “But we can not afford to be a mutual admiration society, there is still work to do.” . . .
With what patience, fortitude and true courage he and Lucy Stone, his wife, played their part in the face of ridicule and opprobrium is now a matter of history. Women who today live a freer life because of their labors and those of their coadjutors must offer to their memory the highest meed of praise.
Source: The Complete History of the Suffragette Movement: The Battle for the Equal Rights: 1848-1922, Stanton, Elizabeth Cady; Anthony, Susan B.; Gage, Matilda; Blatch, Harriot Stanton; Harper, Ida H.. (Musaicum Books) 2017.