The Do-Everything Policy
October 1893 – Second biennial convention of the World’s Woman’s Temperance Union, 20th annual convention of the National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.
Beloved Comrades of the White Ribbon Army:
WHEN we began the delicate, difficult, and dangerous operation of dissecting out the alcohol nerve from the body politic, we did not realize the intricacy of the undertaking nor the distances that must be traversed by the scalpel of investigation and research. In about seventy days from now, twenty years will have elapsed since the call of battle sounded its bugle note among the homes and hearts of Hillsboro, Ohio. We have all been refreshing our knowledge of those days by reading the “Crusade Sketches” of its heroic leader, Mrs. Eliza J. Thompson, “the mother of us all,” and we know that but one thought, sentiment and purpose animated those saintly “Praying Bands” whose name will never die out from human history. “Brothers, we beg you not to drink and not to sell!” This was the one wailing note of these moral Paganinis, playing on one string. It caught the universal ear and set the key of that mighty orchestra, organised with so much toil and hardship, in which the tender and exalted strain of the Crusade violin still soars aloft, but upborne now by the clanging cornets of science, the deep trombones of legislation, and the thunderous drums of politics and parties. The “Do Everything Policy” was not of our choosing, but is an evolution as inevitable as any traced by the naturalist or described by the historian. Woman’s genius for details, and her patient steadfastness in following the enemies of those she loves “through every lane of life,” have led her to antagonise the alcohol habit and the liquor traffic just where they are, wherever that may be. If she does this, since they are everywhere, her policy will be ” Do Everything .”
A one-sided movement makes one-sided advocates. Virtues, like hounds, hunt in packs. Total abstinence is not the crucial virtue in life that excuses financial crookedness, defamation of character, or habits of impurity. The fact that one’s father was, and one’s self is, a bright and shining light in the total abstinence galaxy, does not give one a vantage ground for high-handed behaviour toward those who have not been trained to the special virtue that forms the central idea of the Temperance Movement. We have known persons who, because they had “never touched a drop of liquor,” set themselves up as if they belonged to a royal line, but whose tongues were as biting as alcohol itself, and whose narrowness had no competitor save a straight line. An all-round movement can only be carried forward by all-round advocates; a scientific age requires the study of every subject in its correlations. It was once supposed that light, heat, and electricity were wholly separate entities; it is now believed and practically proved that they are but different modes of motion. Standing in the valley we look up and think we see an isolated mountain; climbing to its top we see that it is but one member of a range of mountains many of them of well-nigh equal altitude.
Some bright women who have opposed the “Do-Everything Policy” used as their favourite illustration a flowing river, and expatiated on the ruin that would follow if that river (which represents their do-one-thing policy) were diverted into many channels, but it should be remembered that the most useful of all rivers is the Nile, and that the agricultural economy of Egypt consists in the effort to spread its waters upon as many fields as possible. It is not for the river’s sake that it flows through the country but for the sake of the fertility it can bring upon adjoining fields, and this is pre-eminently true of the Temperance Reform.
Joseph Cook, that devoted friend of every good cause has wisely said:- “If England were at war with Russia, and the latter were to have several allies, it would obviously be necessary for England to attack the allies as well as the principal enemy. Not to do this would be foolishness, and might be suicide. In the conflict with the liquor traffic, the policy of the W.C.T.U. is to attack not only the chief foe, but also its notorious and open allies. This is the course dictated not only by common sense, but by absolute necessity. If the home is to be protected, not only must the dram-shop be made an outlaw, but its allies, the gambling hells, the houses of unreportable infamy, the ignorance of the general population as to alcoholics and other narcotics, the timidity of trade, the venality of portions of the press, and especially the subserviency of political parties to the liquor traffic, must be assailed as confederates of the chief enemy of the home. . . . It is certain that the broad and progressive policy of the W.C.T.U. in the United States makes the whiskey rings and time-serving politicians greatly dread its influence. They honour the Union by frequent and bitter attacks. It is a recognised power in international affairs. If its policy were made narrow and non-partisan, its influence would immensely wane in practical matters of great importance.
“The department of Scientific Temperance Instruction, conducted by the W.C.T.U., and led by Mrs. Mary H. Hunt, of Boston, has now made such instruction mandatory in thirty-six States of the Republic. This is a very large and substantial triumph of the broad and progressive policy. “Instead of the National W.C.T.U. having lost the confidence of the churches by its broad policy, I believe, after much travel and years of observation, that it never had more of that confidence than at the present hour. At a recent Congressional Hearing, in Washington, I heard a distinguished Presbyterian Professor of Theology, Rev. Dr. Herrick Johnson, of Chicago, call the W.C.T.U. the most powerful, the most beneficent, and the most successful organization ever formed by women. Similar testimony abounds in all the most enlightened circles of the land.”
Let us not be disconcerted, but stand bravely by that blessed trinity of movements, Prohibition, Woman’s Liberation and Labour’s uplift.
Everything is not in the Temperance Reform, but the Temperance Reform should be in everything.
There is no better motto for the “Do-Everything-Policy,” than this which we are saying by our deeds: “Make a chain, for the land is full of bloody crimes and the city of violence.”
If we can remember this simple rule, it will do much to unravel the mystery of the much controverted “Do-Everything-Policy,” viz: that every question of practical philanthropy or reform has its temperance aspect, and with that we are to deal.
Methods that were once the only ones available may become, with the passage of years, less useful because less available. In earlier times the manly art of hunting was most helpful to civilization, because before fields could be cleared and tilled, they had to be free from the danger of wild beasts, and no method of obtaining food was more important than the chase; but when the forests have been cleared away and the pastoral condition of life has supervened, nay, more, when the highest civilization peoples the hills and valleys, it certainly evinces a lack of imagination to present such a spectacle as do the hunters who in England to-day place a poor stag in a van, convey him on four wheels to a wood, let him out through a door, and set trained dogs upon him, while they follow with guns and halloos, and call it “sport”! The same absurdity has been illustrated by Baron Hirsch, who recently imported 6,000 caged partridges to his country place, let them loose in the groves, and set himself and friends peppering away at them. Surely such conduct is the reverse of manly, and must bring what was once a noble occupation into contempt. But, in a different way, we illustrate the same principle, when we forget that:
“New occasions teach new duties,
Time makes ancient good uncouth.”
We are too apt to think that what makes for us makes for the truth, and what makes for the truth must be true. Such a circle of reasoning leaves us, so far as logic goes, in the attitude said to have been assumed by the coffin of Mohammed-suspended between earth and heaven. A reformer is very apt to fall into this line of argumentation, a tendency which is perhaps most likely to be corrected by studying the correlated movements of other groups of men and women equally excellent, and by allying to the reform of which he is an advocate as many others germane to it as may be practicable, always asking this question as the touchstone of the natural selection he would make “What is the Temperance aspect of this cognate reform and what its aspect toward the liquor traffic?”
The Temperance cause started out well night alone, but mighty forces have joined us in the long march. We are now in the midst of the Waterloo battle, and in the providence of God the Temperance army will not have to fight that out all by itself. For Science has come up with its glittering contingent, political economy deploys its legions, the woman question brings an Amazonian army upon the field, and the stout ranks of labor stretch away far as the eye can reach. As in the old Waterloo against Napoleon, so now against the Napoleon of the liquor traffic, no force is adequate except the allied forces.
A GENERAL SURVEY.
There are two changeless sources of solid happiness; first, the belief in God, and second, the habit of hard work toward useful ends. The first affords a sunshiny mental atmosphere, the second keeps that ever-active engine, the brain, from working on itself. For it cannot be idle, and if its energies are not directed toward objective occupation, it will find employment in such dissection of its own powers as will weaken them, and tend toward morbid views and general bewilderment. The recoil of an engine upon itself, when that engine is the brain, means, in the last analysis, insanity. Looking out upon the world we perceive that it is continually improving as to the comforts of life, the tools of mind and hand, the inventions that help on the annihilation of time and space, and the incentives to noble character. We know that this great improvement has not happened but has been caused to come to pass; and we know that human beings are the necromancers who have wrought these wonders. If we are not wandering savages, it is because of some systematic power put forth to produce that totality of improvement which we call Civilization. This was done man by man, woman by woman, step by step, thought by thought, hand by hand. Into the vast and fruitful harvest of their sowing who have passed across the stage and out of sight, we have been welcomed for a while, and the least that we can do is to add our increment of power to the totality of achievement,-to leave the world, materially, mentally, sympathetically, conscientiously, spiritually, as much better than we found it, as the addition of our personality and rational effort during the years allotted to us, can cause it to become. This is a very practical view of life, I am aware; but it is one that commends itself to this practical age, and as I understand it, the women of the White Ribbon, banded together in the name of “God and Home and Every Land,” propose to do just what I have described in a systematized and consecutive fashion, so long as life and health remain to them. In view of such a purpose, our Association can but command the respect and goodwill of all rational minds, and we do not care what the irrational may say, because their blame is praise.
The great philosopher, Emanuel Kant, says that “every action carries with it its own punishment and its own reward,” and the putting in of our powers to help our race is its own exceeding great reward.
There are higher considerations expressed in more technical language to which I have often asked your attention; but it seemed to me that to put the whole movement on this matter-of-fact and common-sense basis might be a helpful and healthful thing in this year of the great Exposition, when the long result of time has been concentrated into a magnificent object lesson which “he who runs may read,” and when the public mind is asking with quickened interest of nations, societies, and individuals, “What have you wrought, and why?”
The three requisites for success are ability, availability, and responsibility. The first is native, the second acquired, the last conferred. In every White Ribboner, whose work is worth the name, these three must meet, and the greatest outcome of the crusade in its original and organic form was that it gave to women of ability the schooling in which they acquired availability, and helped them to the positions in which, through responsibility, they grew from what they were to what they had the power to be.
General Booth says that the qualities of generalship are latent, and only awaiting development in one out of every 35 men, and in one of every 30 women.
The Church that within the next generation opens widest doors of ecclesiastical freedom to women will be the church of Gospel triumph and heavenly benediction. And the reforms that women lead shall win men’s will and work, as certainly as a true mother can count upon her son. For tact is talent working by love, and winning by worthiness.
The history of the reformer, whether man or woman, on any line of action is but this: when he sees it all alone he is a fanatic; when a good many see it with him they are enthusiasts; when all see it he is a hero. The gradations are as clearly marked by which he ascends from zero to hero, as the lines of latitude from the North Pole to the Equator.
A wooden bowl is soon turned on the lathe, but the making of a golden bowl which must be beaten and burnished is quite another thing.
It is quite likely that in the long, slow, and often weary march of these 20 years since the Crusade impulse came to us from heaven, we have not seen as much accomplished on the specific lines where we have wrought as we had hoped; but we must all remember how little it is possible for us to realize the outcome of our work. I do not know how it may be with other speakers and writers in the cause of temperance, woman, and labor, but for myself I seldom hear that anything has come of what I have tried to do. Yet now and then in ways most unexpected I have learnt of changes in the lives of individuals and even of communities, that have astounded me as results of my poor labors, and I conclude from this that if we were but to know all the good that is developed or conserved by our united and systematic efforts, we should indeed take heart of hope. At first the Crusade light was like that in Rembrandt’s pictures, a pure, limpid, vivid ray across the gloom, but as the years went on it has widened into the Raphaelesque light that approaches noontide, but whose beams are so diffused that the intenseness of the early and concentrated ray is gone.
Concerning the Temperance Movement in our land and throughout the world to-day, the pessimist says-and says truly-“There was never so much liquor manufactured in any one year since time began as in the year 1893, and as a consequence never did so much liquor flow down the people’s throats as in this same year of grace.” “But,” says the optimist, “There is each year a larger acreage from which the brewer and distiller may gather the golden grain and luscious fruits, there are more people to imbibe the exhilarating poison; but, per contra, there was never so much intelligent thinking in any one year as to the drink delusion, there were never so many children studying in the schools the laws written in their members, there were never such gatherings together of temperance people to consult on the two great questions what to do and what not to do as in this year; there was never such a volume of experience and expert testimony and knowledge so varied, so complete, as we have had this year at the International Congress; there were never so many total abstainers in proportion to the population, never so many intelligent people who could render a reason scientific, ethical, aesthetic, for their total abstinence faith as now; there were never so many pulpits from which to bombard the liquor traffic and the drink habit; there were never so many journalists who had a friendly word to say for the Temperance Reform; there was never such a stirring up of temperance politics; for the foremost historic nation of the world, Great Britain, has this year, for the first time, adopted as a plank in the platform of the dominant party the principle that the people shall themselves decide whether or not they want the public house; and as a natural consequence of this political action there was never a public sentiment so respectful toward the Temperance Reform. The great world-brain is becoming saturated with the idea that it is reasonable and kind to let strong drink alone. The vastness of these changes can only be measured by the remembrance that a few generations ago these same drinks were the accredited emblems in cot and palace alike, of hospitality, kindness, and good-will.
So far as the White Ribbon movement is concerned, this has been its best and brightest year from the outlook of the World’s W.C.T.U., and that is the only point of view that is adequate. How little did they dream, those devoted women of the praying bands, who with their patient footsteps bridged the distance between home and saloon, and in their little despised groups poured out their souls to God, and their pitiful plea into the ears of men, that the “Movement” would be systematized twenty years later into an organization known and loved by the best men and women in every civilized nation on the earth; and that its heroic missionaries would be obliged to circumnavigate the globe in order to visit the outposts of the Society. How little did they dream that in the year of the World’s Columbian Exposition well nigh half a million of children would send their autographs on the triple pledge cards of our Loyal Temperance Legions, and Sunday School Department; that we should have a publishing house, owned and conducted by the Society itself, from which more than a hundred million pages of the literature of light and leading should go forth this year; how little could they have conceived of the significance that is wrapt up in the lengthening folds of the Polyglot Petition, signed and circulated in fifty languages, and containing the signatures and attestations of between three and four million of the best people that live, praying for the abolition of the alcohol traffic, the opium traffic, and the licensed traffic in degraded women. How little they dreamed of that great movement by which the study of physiology and hygiene were to bring the arrest of thought to millions of young minds concerning the true inwardness of all narcotic poisons in their effects on the body and the brain. How “far beyond their thought” the enfranchisement of women in New Zealand and Wyoming, Kansas and “Michigan, my Michigan!” How inconceivable to them the vision of our House Beautiful reared in the heart of the world’s most electric city, and sending forth its influence to the furthest corner of the globe. How little did they dream that the echo of their hymns should yet be heard and heeded by a woman whose lineage, and the prowess of whose historic name may be traced through centuries,-and that not alone from the cottage and the homestead, but from the emblazoned walls of splendid castles, should be driven the cup that seems to cheer, but at the last inebriates. But we must remember that, after all, these are but the days of small beginnings compared with what 20 more years shall show. Doubtless if we could see the power to which this movement of women’s hearts for the protection of their hearthstones shall attain in the next generation, the inspiration of that knowledge would exhilarate us beyond that which is good for such steady patient workers as we have been, are, and wish to be; but I dare prophesy that twenty years from now woman will be fully panoplied in the politics and government of all English-speaking nations; she will find her glad footsteps impeded by no artificial barriers, but whatever she can do well she will be free to do in the enlightened age of worship, helpfulness and brotherhood, toward which we move with steps accelerated far beyond our ken. The momentum of the centuries is in the widening, deepening current of 19th century reform; the 20th century’s dawn shall witness our compensations and reprisals, and as these increase humanity shall pay back into the mother-heart of woman its unmeasured penitence and unfathomed regret for all that she has missed (and through her, every son and daughter that she has brought into the world), by reason of the awful mistake by which, in the age of force, man substituted his “thus far and no farther,” in place of the “thus far and no farther” of God; one founded in a selfish and ignorant view of woman’s powers, the other giving her what every sentient being ought to have-a fair field and a free course to run and be glorified.
The Prohibition agitation in America has not been as great in the past year as formerly, and the reasons are not far to seek. A presidential campaign always lowers the moral atmosphere for a year before it begins and a year after it is over. Legislators become timid, politicians proceed to “hedge,” journalists, with an eye to the loaves and fishes, furl their sails concerning issues that have at best only a fighting chance; the world, the flesh, and the devil get their innings, and the time is not yet. In the past year the attention of the nation has been focused on the World’s Fair and the endless difficulties to which that has given birth. There has been an incalculable amount of ill-will set in motion as the result of personal financial interest and ignoble ambition. All this savours not the things of God or of humanity. The re-adjustment of political parties is still inchoate; men’s hearts are failing them for fear; leaders in the traditional party of moral ideas have thrown off all disguises and grounded any weapons of rebellion they may once have lifted against the liquor traffic. The financial panic has rivetted the attention of the public on their own dangers and disasters, and the spirit of money-making has lamentably invaded the ranks of the temperance army itself; but prohibition is as lively an issue to-day as emancipation was in 1856; an issue that stirs such deadly hatred is by no means dead. It is still quick with fighting blood, and its enemies know this even better than its friends.
Strange to tell, Iowa is once more the battle field; that brave young state so grievously wounded in the house of its friends by politicians who are not statesmen; but so gallantly defended by its Methodist Conferences; its Congregational rank and file; its Baptist contingent; its Quaker “remnant,” and its New England farmers. Iowa, the hawk-eye state, hallowed by Haddock’s blood and disgraced by the would-be murderers of Muscatine, birth place of republican “non-partisanship,” battle-ground of prohibition, and Moloch of persecution for principle’s sake, through which White Ribboners walked with the smell of fire on their garments and the crusade fire burning in their hearts;-it would be the top of life to take the torch of truth once more and wave it on those prairies! But 1882, when I worked “for the amendment” seems long ago, and campaigning is beyond me; among so many voices mine will not be missed. God grant that victory may turn on Zion’s side in Iowa’s partisan battle at the ballot box in October, 1893!
Kansas, true to its traditions, is still the torch bearer of progress. Prohibition and the people’s money, woman’s ballot and the banishment of bond holders are all issues tingling with life on yonder plains. We may yet live to see all this commotion condense into the war cry: “Down with John J. Ingalls; up with John P. St. John!”
The situation in South Carolina is difficult to judge. At this distance I do not know the exact status of the law at present; but have heard that it was controverted in the supreme Court. Whatever attitude is taken toward the movement in South Carolina by our Temperance leaders there, trusty and devoted as they have been, seems to me worthy to be accredited by those of us who have not the means of judging intelligently nor watching the changing phases of the struggle as they have who “Hold the Fort.”
The economic view of prohibition is one that appeals to the largest number of our people, and none will deny that more and more they are separating into two camps, the industrious and thrifty favouring prohibition, the idle and spendthrift class opposing it. This is no doubt the most helpful report that can be made upon the present situation. The general drift, or as a great statesman in England has said, “The flowing tide’s with us.” Those who let strong drink alone must always be the most forceful and in the long run successful and potential portion of the country. Our fathers were as good as we, but they took no stand against the drink habit or the liquor traffic. There is hardly a woman here upon the side-board of whose grandfather’s home would not have been found a decanter if not a demijohn. The same influences that have brought us out of the passive into the active voice may be trusted steadily to swell the number of recruits who shall join their intelligence, energy, talents, and sobriety with ours. The Temperance cause has everything to gain and nothing to lose from free discussion, from experimental study of its results, whether physical or financial, moral or mercantile, ethical or aesthetic. These are the hidings of our power; the strong foundations on which, as on a rock, we have begun to rear the edifice of a clear brain, an edifice that shall extend and rise until it becomes the Pharos of humanity.
A Bill has been for many years before Congress for the appointment of a commission on the investigation of the liquor traffic; and I have never failed to call attention in my Annual Address, to this great movement inaugurated by the National Temperance Society nor to urge the co-operation of the W.C.T.U., which I need not say has been always given. The vast importance of this measure is demonstrated by the ceaseless efforts of the whiskey power to defeat its passage, in which they have thus far been successful, and are likely to be for many years to come. The power of the saloon is nowhere more conspicuously manifested than in the annual defeat of this great measure. Congress has appointed commissions on well-nigh every conceivable subject,-the investigation of the slums of our cities, of sweating establishments, of agricultural interests, of farm mortgages, of immigration, quarantine, railroads, monetary problems, cattle diseases, fisheries, and I know not what besides; but to investigate the liquor monopoly is to touch the very ark of the covenant with hell, and agreement with damnation to which the American people has been sworn by their political leaders. In spite of all this, we have gained an intelligent idea of the business from the internal revenue reports and from state and police records; but what we want is the attestation of the national government to the truth of these figures of perdition. If Congress persists in its refusal, why shall not the W.C.T.U. make a sweeping, and thorough investigation of the liquor traffic? Undoubtedly the political machinery of state and nation would place all possible obstacles in our way; but we have a personnel in every community throughout the republic, than which none that exists is more intelligent and devoted. Such a commission would be absolutely reliable so far as information could be obtained, and unless Congress in creating such a commission would agree to place upon it two or three prohibitionists or White Ribbon women the returns would be unreliable; for no politicians of the two leading parties would dare to weaken their great stronghold-the saloon. One of our best superintendents of legislative work has written of her devotion to this idea, and I bring it forward hoping the Convention may take favourable action.
Mrs. Frances Belford of Denver, Colorado, has tabulated the following suggestive specifications, which will be of service to speakers and writers; hence they are subjoined:-
COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE THE LIQUOR TRAFFIC.
to Alms houses.
to Charitable Institutions and organized Charities.
to Society or the status of social drinking.
to Police expenses.
to Revenue-Municipal, State, Nation.
to Disease-Heredity. Acquired.
to Attitude of the Church by denomination.
to Number of Professors of Religion who are actual Prohibitionists.
to Number who are not.
to Statistics of homes ruined.
to Children at work who ought to be in school, where whiskey is the direct cause of absence.
to Number of women impoverished and self-supporting.
to Ownership of Property by professed Christians, who lease it for saloon and other immoral purposes.
to Hindrances to Prohibition.
to Home Missions.
to Sunday Schools.
THE YOUNG WOMEN’S WORK.This department holds its own among many contestants by reason of the genial spirit of its leader, Mrs. Frances J. Barnes, of New York, and the loyalty of her lieutenants. No department is conducted with more ingenuity or faithfulness. But we must put more money into it and more organizers in the field, for the attraction of other excellent societies for young women whose methods do not involve the pledge is a growing factor of which we must not fail to take account.
Our Loyal Temperance Legion represents the most progressive method of Juvenile Work with which I am conversant; we recognise no distinction as between “masses” and “classes,” and we put the organisation into the hands of the children themselves, so far as presiding and all the local arrangements go, but retain its guidance in the hands of a grown-up Superintendent, and we have a graded course of study. In several of the States we have held either County or State Conventions of the children, with results more inspiring than have been attained in any other department of our work within the last five years. With a system so “up to date,” it is to be deeply regretted that our numbers do not more rapidly increase. I suppose we have in round numbers half a million children under our care, taking the world over, but the Bands of Hope in Great Britain alone number 2,500,000 boys and girls. These are eloquent figures, and ought to stir in us emulation as well as zeal. But in one respect at least, we wish our fellow-workers would take a hint from us, for the caste-habit is so strong there that I am told that only children of “the lower middle” class belong to Bands of Hope.
The Bill which has recently passed the legislature in Ontario, Canada, is one that White Ribbon women would do well to study. It is a comprehensive enactment for the proper protection of children, and is based upon the principle that every child born into the country has rights which no parent shall be able to alienate. Hence the State is made responsible to the Government for the welfare of its waifs and strays, and for the children of dissolute parents.
The children may, upon proven charges, be removed from parental control; and among the provisions is one for the removal from the streets after 9 o’clock of children not in charge of proper guardians.
The home has everything to gain from such a piece of legislation, and the saloon, the gambling house, and the haunt of infamy have everything to lose.
THE CHILDREN’S FOUNTAIN.
The success of the efforts made by our L.T.L. Department, under the leadership of Miss Anna Gordon and Mrs. Helen Rice, to enlist the children in contributing $2,000 or more to the erection of a cold water fountain symbolic of their work, and to be presented by the children of the World’s W.C.T.U. to the City of Chicago, shows remarkable esprit decorps in our on-coming temperance host. Between four and five hundred thousand total abstainers pledges have either accompanied their gifts to the fountain or have been forwarded separately; and the collection of these in our exhibits at the Exposition has been of unique interest to the temperance people who have thronged that corner of the Women’s building. The entire number of these pledge cards, all of which to our great regret could not be included in the exhibition, will be preserved among the archives of the World’s W.C.T.U. in the Women’s Temple.
I hope this beautiful fountain, representing a little girl offering a cup of cold water to the multitude, and providing also for the refreshment of the lower animals, may be chosen as the device of the L.T.L. department, and used on our triple pledge cards. The concept is unique;-the child is just verging upon her teens, and for this reason represents, not only one who receives, but one who gives forth of devotion, intelligent thought, and earnest action to the temperance reform in which she is already a soldier drilled and disciplined. It is this phase of the L.T.L. work that recommends it most strongly to all thoughtful men and women, while, as has been said, its broad humanitarian platform, in which any social distinction is altogether ignored, makes it one of the many harbingers of the better time.
Miss Lucia Kimball, Superintendent, reports that there is now plain sailing for our work in Sunday Schools. At the recent International S.S. Convention in St. Louis, after a ringing speech by our faithful friend, Rev. Dr. W. F. Crafts, strongly endorsed by that foremost S.S. man, B. F. Jacobs, of Chicago, it was unanimously voted that while all other “special lessons” of the International Series are to be discontinued, the quarterly Temperance Lessons shall go on . Miss Kimball will furnish printed lessons to all applicants; her address is Woodford’s Maine.
I do not longer dwell on our Departments, because we can now say of each what Daniel Webster said of Massachusetts: “There she stands; look at her!”
THE WORLD’S W.C.T.U.
The World’s W.C.T.U. is but an outline map as yet. The shading is to come; the tones are to be wrought into its texture with the perspective that shall make a picture glorious and complete. How soon this vision shall begin to dawn on human eyes depends upon each one of us,-in the last analysis perhaps as much on one as on another.
Dr. Kate Bushnell has justly said that as it was only by confounding the languages of the earth that man was prevented from building a tower to heaven, so the isolation of women from each other has delayed the progress of Humanity. But women are now saying “we never understood each other so well as we do in these days.” There is a heart-language that they are learning in every nation, and nothing can stand before the sisterhood of woman that is now growing up around the world.
No testimony is more uniform or more cheering than that which comes from our round-the-world missionaries, showing the solidarity of sentiment among women everywhere, no matter what their complexion, language, or condition of servitude; they all believe in the White Ribbon Movement when it is explained to them, and none more heartily than the dusky-faced women of Africa, to whom our ambassadors spoke through interpreters, and who listened so long and with such acute interest that the pale-faced women from the West could not find it in their hearts to break up the meeting until an unusually late hour. The universal kindness and goodwill manifested toward our representatives, brings to our minds with pathetic significance, those sacred words, “He fashioneth their hearts alike.”
It should be remembered thankfully by us that Mother Stewart, whose name has gone the world over as “the great Crusader,” had the honour of giving the first impulse that led to the foundation of the British Women’s Temperance Association in 1876; and that this is universally conceded as a part of authentic history. Mrs. Margaret Parker, a philanthropic Scotch woman was the prime mover in England, but Mother Stewart had come to her all the way from Ohio with the crusade torch in her hand.
The B.W.T.A. affiliated with the World’s W.C.T.U. in 1885, through the influence of Mrs. Margaret Bright Lucas ; but the prevailing sentiment in the Executive of that society has always been hostile to Americans and American ideas until the revolution, which took place at the 17th annual meeting in May of 1893, when Lady Henry Somerset and a minority of her Executive Committee led the movement which resulted in the endorsement of the “Do-everything Policy,” by a good majority, and the re-election of Lady Henry Somerset and officers who were in agreement with her progressive plans. As a result of this action the W.C.T.U. throughout the world is now harmonious and homogeneous, all before us lies the way, and we have but to enter in and possess the land as the reward of consecrated common sense efforts to make good people know what are our principles, and by what method we seek their incarnation in habit, custom and law.
There were in the B.W.T.A., by the Secretary’s report, 610 local societies last May. Since then 25 have seceded with the members of the old Executive Committee, who resigned after the Annual Meeting, but more than 60 new branches have been formed. Lady Henry Somerset is a peerless leader, she is full of faith that works by love; she is tactful and ingenious, brimming over with wit and good cheer; equally ready with influence, pen, voice, and purse; she has a statesman’s head, a courtier’s manners, and a child’s heart; she is a leader of leaders, and her comrades cherish for her such love as none but unselfish and heroic natures ever win.
I have never seen in America such mighty “Demonstrations” as temperance people know how to organize in England. Doubtless the most salient single feature of the reform this year was the Hyde Park procession of June 10th, participated in by hundreds of thousands, and addressed by all the most prominent temperance speakers in Great Britain in the interest of the Direct Veto Bill, now pending in Parliament and championed by the party in power.
The welcome given me in Exeter Hall on January 9th, presided over by Lady Henry Somerset and participated in by about fifty different philanthropic organizations, far exceeded any meeting that I have ever attended in my own country; and the same might truthfully be said of the welcome meeting in Manchester under the auspices of the United Kingdom Alliance, of which Sir Wilfrid Lawson is President, and the one in Edinburgh at which Lady Henry Somerset and I were addressed not only by our own White Ribbon sisters but by ministers representing all the churches in the land of Burns and Scott
In Canada three provinces, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward’s Island, have gained the Scientific Education Law, Mrs. Mary H. Hunt leading the forces. Mrs. Ella E. F. Williams, of Montreal, is now President of Dominion W.C.T.U., and a successful convention was held last spring at Winnipeg, Manitoba. Results of the Commission to investigate the workings of the liquor traffic have not yet been announced, but a plebicit of the people on Prohibition promises to forestall the report of this half-hearted group. In July last Miss Anna Gordon visited her sister, Mrs. Alice Gordon Gulick, in San Sebastian, the chief watering-place in Spain. Mrs. Gulick is Vice-president in Spain for the W.C.T.U., and has, with her husband and family, a position of large and beneficent influence in that kingdom where they have wrought for 30 years. An International College Institute for girls has been established in the handsome city of San Sebastian, which is the high-water mark of women’s education and opportunity in the historic old kingdom of Spain. Mrs. Gulick has been quietly sowing good seed in the hearts of her bright Spanish girls for many years, and Miss Anna Gordon on her birthday, July 21st, established the first Young Women’s Christian Temperance Union and L.T.L. ever known within their borders. These are only starting points it is true, but we do not forget how very small have been the beginnings of our White Ribbon work in almost every locality, state and nation, where it is now taking on a permanent type, known and read of all men for its intelligence and zeal.
Two new points of light stand out for us on the map of Europe in places where we have never seen them before, as a result of the International Temperance Convention in the Hague, Holland, in August last. A meeting of Dutch Women was held addressed by Mrs. Selmer, our Vice-President for Denmark, and an International W.C.T.U. for Holland was projected and affiliated with the World’s W.C.T.U. We know that the women of Holland do not readily relinquish the grasp that they take on any subject of thought or action, and we feel assured that from this nucleus will spread the light and leading of our movement throughout the little kingdom over which the little Wilhemina will ere many years preside.
A lady from Finland was present at this Congress and reported that out of 200,000 inhabitants 50,000 are total abstainers, of whom the large majority are women. We expect that from the efforts of our Danish Vice-President co-operating with this earnest Finland lady, we shall secure within a few months the beginning of an organization in Finland.
In Norway the first National W.C.T.U. Convention has just been held (September 22-24) at Trondhjem, in “the land of the midnight sun,” and strangely blessed was it to receive a telegram of “sisterly greeting” from Countess Vedel-Jarlsburg, the earnest-hearted President.
The largest temperance society on the Continent is that of the Croix Bleue, of which the membership is 10,000. What a commentary is this on the present situation!
We have vainly tried thus far to gain a foothold in Italy, but a providential opening is now before us. Mrs. Josephine Butler, Superintendent of the World’s W.C.T.U. work for Social Purity, Miriam and Deborah in one of the host that has rallied to the watchword of “A White Life for Two,” has been earnestly urged to make a pilgrimage to the land of song and poesy, and she will do so under our auspices in a few months. The following circular has been sent out in the interest of her visit:- A SPECIAL APPEAL FOR MRS. JOSEPHINE BUTLER’S MISSION TO ITALY. The past year has witnessed increased activities along the line of Purity work throughout White Ribbon ranks. Our South African and Australian leaders are giving increased attention to this work, especially in Cape Colony and Queensland, where the C.D. Acts exist, while in England a deep interest for India has been created through evidence brought to light by our two “Round-the-World” Missionaries, Mrs. Elizabeth Andrew and Dr. Kate Bushnell, who have given evidence, through a Committee appointed to receive it, to the fact that, in the military cantonments of India, the regulation of vice continues, in defiance of distinct instructions to the contrary from the House of Commons. For two years past Mrs. Josephine E. Butler, most revered of all workers for the abolition of State-regulated Vice, has stood at the head of the department for the promotion of the social purity of the World’s W.C.T.U., and in connection with other organizations she has been doing valiant service for abolition on the Continent, especially in Switzerland; but lately to our intense satisfaction, she has signified her willingness to go, as Superintendent of the Social Purity Department of the W.C.T.U., and do all she can for our cause in Italy, in the course of the coming winter. Many to whom this appeal will come have read the record of her Continental work in various Reports, and will recall the interesting account of her labours in the past for Italy, and all will realise the immense gain it would be to the introduction of our W.C.T.U. work in Italy to be able to secure for it the services of Mrs. Butler, who has no peer in her special line. She is personally acquainted with Italy’s foremost workers in Reform, and is able to speak their native tongue. It would seem clear that God Himself has called Mrs. Butler to this Italian work. A few years ago there stood in the front ranks of the abolition cause in that country a young, God-inspired Roman gentleman, Guiseppe Nathan . After working a few brief years he died, worn out with grief and conflict. He had preached the crusade throughout Italy, and brought the humble populations to the side of right and justice. On his death-bed he asked to be lifted up that he might say some last words to his mother. In an agony of breathlessness he gasped out his dying message, at intervals, in broken sentences, and they were these: ” Mrs. Butler -tell her, tell her”-“Yes, my son,” his mother replied, “I will tell her your message, and it will be most sacred to her.” “Tell her that for Italy’s salvation-for that of the women of Italy-my last word-my dying wish is-that she come to the women of Italy-my country women-and meet them face to face.” It will be a joy indeed for our white ribbon women to see the fulfillment of the dying request of this noble young brother of women, who gave his life in the cause that is sacred to us all. In no portion of the world has the W.C.T.U. found it so difficult to gain a foothold as on the Continent of Europe, and yet the social condition of both England and America is profoundly influenced by the social customs prevalent there. For the most part it seems at present practically impossible to get the ear of the people for the total abstinence question, accustomed as they have been for generations to use wine as freely as we use water. Our only hope seems to lie in the establishment of a personal acquaintance and heart affection, created by a united effort in some cause kindred to the central thought of our white ribbon movement. The women of Italy are longing for freedom from the galling yoke of state-regulated vice. Let us encourage them to rise and throw off this hated bondage. When their work wrought along this line shall have taught them the strength of woman’s influence for good, and the force of woman’s protest against evil, then this strength and this force can readily be aroused and utilized along many other lines of Christian effort included in the plans of our world-wide Association.
The cause of the abolition of State-regulated Vice in Italy seems to be to-day at very much the same stage as in India. The Regulations were abolished by Signor Crispi, when Prime Minister, after debates in the Chambers; but owing to the retention of the same police, the same doctors, c., to look after hospitals and barracks, the whole system has been revived under another name. There have been many appeals to Mrs. Butler from the Italians, besides the touching one from young Guiseppe Nathan, hut hitherto she has been unable to meet these calls in an adequate manner. God has appointed this noble woman, and we believe that He Himself has struck the hour for her sacred mission to be fulfilled.
The sum of about 100 or $500 will be needed to bear the necessary expenses of this work for Italy, and to meet such additional secretarial help as Mrs. Butler might require in a foreign country. We are sure it will be subscribed quickly and gladly by our friends everywhere. There is reason for promptitude, so that we can give positive assurance to Mrs. Butler of hearty financial support of the work she proposes to forward.
Our Honorary President, Mrs. Leavitt, sailed to the Hawaiian Islands early in 1884, and her name will always stand at the head of our growing galaxy of “Round-the-World Missionaries.” Since our first Convention (Faneuil Hall, Boston, 1891) she has pioneered in South America and Mexico, investing much of the last year in the Hawaiian Islands, where she has lent a hand to help the work she founded there nearly ten years ago; she has also lectured along the Pacific coast, and is now in Southern California. Mrs. Leavitt ‘s health is so much impaired by her stupendous labors that she dares not come to our cold climate, so she will be missed from the Convention this year. I renew my previous recommendations in respect to a fund for this heroic woman, only urging that it be for her personally and permanently rather than that the interest during her life-time only shall be hers.
Miss Jessie Ackerman, President of the W.C.T.U. of Australia, which she has done so much to create, has a story to tell full of adventure and the romance of honest hard work.
Miss Ackerman went out on her world trip from the Convention held in New York City 1888, and returned in the spring of 92, having been absent something less than five years. She is the first woman who ever traversed Australia; she has organised it in every direction, and consolidated it in a National W.C.T.U., and as President of the organisation she has also visited and worked in India and China. She has traveled by camel, horse, mule and elephant, steamers, skiffs, sailing vessels and junks, stage, carriage, ekka, tonga, jeninch shaw, buffalo, bullock and camel carts, garah, sedan chair, palanquin and wheelbarrow
In reply to questions from me Miss Ackerman has sent the following interesting itinerary from her private note book:-
Miles traveled, over 100,000; cities visited, 502; meetings held, 1,417; lectures, 870; addresses, 447; spoken on war vessels and steamers, 41; traveled on steamers, 59; Sunday Schools visited, 114; Day Schools visited, 176; Bands of Hope visited, 69; pulpits filled, 182; saloons visited (prayed and spoke), 897; initiated Good Templars, 647; tied white ribbon on, 8,479; given the pledge (men), 7,460; Unions formed (locals), 230; nationals, 2; colonials, 4; Good Templars lodges, 2; men’s societies, 10; Jewish temple, 1; chairmen, 947; chair- women, 47; marched at head of processions in 52 different cities; received 3,486 letters; postage, stationary, and telegraph, $840.05; wrote 5,947 letters and 420 newspaper articles on different phases of the work, and 220 letters to home papers; had 60,000 leaflets printed; 2,000 manuals; raised $8,976.75, and spent it in the work as I went.
These figures are eloquent of usefulness, enthusiasm, good health, warm heart, and earnest Christian endeavour; but the years have been lonely and long, and if we wish to know whether they were easy, we have but to look at our young champion’s grey hairs.
When the World’s W.C.T.U. first convened in 1891, we had just commissioned Mrs. Andrew and Dr. Kate Bushnell to visit the outposts of our Society, and they will report the result of their remarkable investigations. Two more intrepid or better-furnished representatives could not have been chosen. No word has come to us concerning them save in their favour. Inspired as they are by the crusade spirit, and thoroughly grounded in the method of its organised form, they have lighted living tapers throughout the east, and re-illumined many that were well-nigh extinguished, while their study of the condition of degraded women in the military cantonments of the British army in India, was conducted with so much devotion, skill, and heroic self sacrifice, that leaders in the British Parliament who were on the Departmental Committee appointed by the present British Government to take evidence on this very difficult and trying subject, have declared that in their long experience they had never known witnesses who excelled, and very few who approached, in ability and trustworthiness, our White Ribbon representatives. Their united voices have been heard in nearly all the leading cities of Great Britain, their winged words have aroused the British public from its apathy, and there is every reason to believe that the abominable system of legalised vice will be crushed out henceforth from the English-speaking army in the East.
It was believed that the resolution of Parliament against legalised vice in the camps of British soldiers in India was disregarded by the military authorities, and the British Committee for the Suppression of legalised vice (of which Mrs. Josephine Butler, World’s W.C.T.U., Superintendent of the Social Purity work, is the leading spirit) asked our Round-the-World Missionaries to investigate the subject. After a careful and laborious investigation their statement of facts as to the administration of the East India Cantonments Acts and Regulations was to the following purport:-
1. That within each Cantonment systematic provision is made by or with the sanction of the Military authorities.For the residence therein of native women as prostitutes for the use exclusively of British soldiers.
For the compulsory examination of such women at prescribed periods by European or Native medical officers.
For the compulsory detention in hospital of any of such women under the orders of the examining officers.
With penal consequences in case of disobedience of such orders, of arrest, fines, or imprisonment, or of expulsion from the Cantonment.
2. That the hospitals established under the above-mentioned Acts and the Regulations made thereunder, are systematically used for the purpose of maintaining an established system of licensed prostitution, and the compulsory examination of registered prostitutes, within the limits of the Cantonments.
Witnesses were heard in rebuttal, but the testimony of our White Ribboners was in no wise weakened by any counter-statement that the Military Authorities of India were able to make.In all this tempestuous campaigning, they have never received a penny from the World’s W.C.T.U., nor from any source except as a free will offering of those for whom they laboured, until their return to England, when the British Committee of the Society for the Suppression of Legalized Vice handsomely testified to them in a practical way its appreciation of the magnificent service they had rendered. More than this, their testimony forms the basis of one of the famous Parliamentary “Blue Books.” Lord Roberts, General-in-Chief of the British Army in India (at the time of their visit), has publicly apologized to them for expressing a doubt as to the credibility of their statements, and the London papers declare that the outcome of their work will be destruction to the dark methods of woman-slavery in British camps.
Our sisters returned to America to attend the Conventions at the earnest request of Lady Henry Somerset and myself. It would have been more consonant with their plans to have gone back to India, and visited China and Japan before taking home their report; but we felt that their presence and consecrated zeal were of too much value to be missed from our great meetings this autumn. I cannot adequately express the sense I feel of what these honoured and great-hearted women have done to advance the cause of purity and temperance in their voyages of well-nigh one hundred thousand miles.
Nothing has moved me more than the accounts brought home by them of the way in which they were welcomed on their visits to Australia, South Africa, and India, by groups of women wearing the White Ribbon, observing the noontide hour of prayer, writing their letters on paper headed “For God and Home and Every Land,” quoting the Union Signal and the utterances of leaders in different countries, and imbued, heart and soul, with the crusade spirit, whose key-note is that by the coming of our Lord in habit, custom and law, this planet shall become a larger home for all who dwell here.
At the Huguent Seminary, South Africa, presided over by that gifted young woman, Miss Virginia C. Pride, our Round-the-World Missionaries were welcomed with the rallying cry given to the “Y’s.” by Mary T. Lathrap, “We are coming to the rescue, we are coming in our youth.” I do not think anyone can hear the recital of that heartsome and beautiful scene from Mrs. Andrew ‘s lips, without feeling that “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”
Miss Alice Palmer wends her way without rest, but I fear not always without haste, over the wide realm of South Africa, to which we appointed her in 1892 as our minister-at-large. She has caused things to come to pass that are true and lovely and of good report. The White Ribbon is acclimated in that new climate, and to the young and earnesthearted Indiana girl our motherly affections should, and I doubt not do, go out,-that brave young spirit who went so far to carry in her gospel trumpet the clear crusade echoes that shall attune the new life yonder to a nobler harmony.
The typical woman of the world is the Chinese, lame in body and halt in mind. She is typical because she is the most numerous, she and her Indian sister with her face covered and averted.
Eliminate woman from society, church, and state, and you get the Turk and his civilization and altitude of culture.
Mrs. Ganguli, the educated Hindu lady, who was recently in England, said to some of us, “Every woman’s name in India ends in bai, which means sister, and they think we are all sisters, and that you English and Americans will as a matter of course do everything you can for them.”
There are 33,712 women and girls in India under Christian instruction, and outside this favoured circle stands the appalling number of 111,332,927 not under instruction, and unable to read or write.
I earnestly hope that vigorous measures will be taken at the present World’s Convention to advance our work in India and Japan. We have secured the services of Mrs. Jennette Hauser, of Lucknow, for thirty years a missionary in India, and one who has the entire confidence of reputable people there. Mrs. Hauser relinquishes a business that is important to her in the way of self-support, and comes to us for 600 dollars a year, a sum that does not at all represent what she loses by making the change; but she hopes to eke it out by the help of people in India. Already several of our friends have agreed to give from 10 to 25 dollars a year for five years, the total amount subscribed being, I think, about one fifth of the $600 that we must raise. If the fees are duly paid in, and the W.W.C.T.U. thank-offering day observed (that is, Mrs. Leavitt’s birthday, September 22nd) we can secure the amount; and we have a good veteran soldier, Mrs. Reese, ready to go to Japan if we will pay her passage. I feel sure that in memory of our loved and lamented leader, Miss West, we shall be able to take a collection during this Convention that will go far toward meeting this expense.
The high caste Hindoos have received the impression that Christianity means intemperance, but they have learned that the Salvation Army is teetotal, and for this reason they think more highly of its members than of any other religious sect that comes to them from the West. Many a servant (for it is wholly from the lower class that Christian recruits are gained in the East), changes his religion if a Hindoo or Mohammedan in order that he may be permitted to drink. High caste women are total abstainers, and they oppose Christianity on no other ground so strongly as because it permits the use of alcoholics. Although women are in subjection, they still have much power in the home, and Hindoo men do not like to return to their wives with the smell of strong drink on their breath. When these women learn that total abstinence is the basis of the White Ribboners’ Society, they will gladly admit the W.C.T.U. women to their homes. One of our Round-the-world Missionaries was permitted to go to the family of a rajah, who had been for forty years a member of the Government, spoke English like an Oxford don, and was in fact a cosmopolitan. He sent a carriage with four outriders to convey her to his princely home to talk with his “curtain women,” for that is what married women of the “higher-class” are called.
On a train of cars in India she saw some of these women of high caste being conveyed on a car set apart for them, which was boarded in as are the cars which we use in this country for race-horses. A tent was put across the platform as these ladies crossed from their closed carriage to their closed car, where they sat-on the floor! On the same train she saw women of the lower class, without veils, sitting in comfortable cars, looking about them and enjoying life. She says that if we would reach these “curtain women” we must go to them with the explicit statement that we desire to help them by means of the higher education. They are eager to learn, and will listen to us when we visit them on such a mission. This is the hope of the future in India for the White Ribbon work, declares Miss Pash, who has recently returned from visiting some of the principal cities of India, and who brings the hopeful tidings that a rich native gentleman has promised ten thousand rupees to our Society if we will start a school in his own city. Another native gentleman, a judge, has promised 150 rupees a month to pay the salary of a White Ribbon teacher.
Our President in India, Mrs. Jennette Hauser, has devised a plan similar to that suggested by me last year under the head of the Somerset Union, although Mrs. Hauser had no knowledge of the suggestion. The plan is so good that I put it before you, hoping that Local Unions as well as State and National Unions may give it their careful consideration-
THE “INDIA UNION” OF THE WORLD’S WOMAN’S CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE UNION.
There are a great number of European women scattered through India, in small stations and isolated homes, who are cut off from all opportunity of union with others in good works. The following plan is drawn up that they may be encouraged to exert temperance influences in their own homes, and among the natives with whom they may come in contact, and also that they may be supplied with Temperance literature.
Each lady addressed will receive with the letter a printed pledge of the W.C.T.U. By signing and returning this to Mrs. Hauser, Lucknow, and paying one rupee annual membership fee, she becomes a member of the “India Union” of the World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. In return, there will be posted to her, on the first of each month, a letter or printed slip giving news of the W.C.T.U. work in India, or items of special interest in regard to Temperance, or of the work of the organization in England or America.
Pledged members will be entitled to a vote in case of election of officers or other business. Any lady not prepared to take the pledge may become an “Associate member” by paying a rupee a year membership fee, and she will receive the monthly letter.
Tidings have come to us of a remarkable work in Aintab, Turkey in Asia, of which a gifted young woman, Miss Krikorion, is the leader. She says, “I shall regard it as a great favor and help to me to feel that my work is a branch of your great W.W.C.T.U., it will encourage me to think that my small work is brought before the mercy seat along with the great work of God’s people in the Temperance Reform.”
I give her address so that any of our friends who may have Temperance literature, or may be willing to help this intrepid young woman as a Christian Temperance worker, may forward her any token of their interest that they have the heart to send.
Among the signs of promise in Japan is the preparation of a pamphlet entitled “Alcohol and Man,” by Mr. Taro Ando.
Our faithful friend Mr. Sho Nemoto of Tokyo, Japan, has issued a speech on citizenship delivered by Miss West before 2,000 people in a church in Tokyo on the 27th October, 1892. The pamphlet also contains a touching account of the death and funeral services of Miss West and letters from leading men and women in Japan; it is written both in English and Japanese.
A convention has been held in Japan this year and the work reorganized. Mrs. Joseph Cook and Mrs. Wilbur F. Crafts are going there this winter, and I know they will gladly lend a hand to help our faithful white ribbon men and women there.
The action of 700 missionaries in Bombay who declined to pass a resolution for the suppression of the drink trade in India, the Opium traffic and the State regulation of vice, has caused great searchings of heart throughout the English-speaking world. Much has been said by excellent men in defence of this action, and much more by men equally excellent has been said against it. On no account would I misjudge those who are the pioneers of civilization fighting on the frontier of progress, but upon one conclusion we may congratulate the missionaries and the cause, namely, that when they assemble in another decennial conference it is morally certain that their utterances on these and other questions of applied Christianity will give forth no uncertain sound.
In all the Babel of criticism that has followed the decennial conference nothing more subtly significant has appeared than the following remarkable sentences from the report of the President of the Army Health Association, Major-General C. E. Nairne, ( Mr. John Crawford is Secretary), and the report was published at Meerut, India. Comment is unnecessary, and reflection is the best method of thought which can be applied to the consideration of the following remarkable words:-
“At a Conference held in December at Bombay, the members of which had been drawn very much into the former Anti-C.D. agitation, an attempt was made to hamper the Government of India in carrying out the remedial measures at present practicable; but it was either withdrawn in deference to the feelings of those present, or defeated by a narrow majority, which would probably have been larger but for the intelligible shrinking of many who agree with us from the taunts and misrepresentations of those by whom British Missions in India are kept up, and who are told that Missionaries are abetting great social wrongs.”
It seems but fair to publish the reply sent by Bishop Thoburn to a letter expressive of the surprise and disappointment felt by Christian people generally in view of the quiescence, though we are glad to hope not the acquiescence, of the Decennial Missionary Conference in India. Probably no man in India is more warmly in favour of doing away with the liquor traffic, the opium trade, and licensed impurity than the good and great man whose letter is subjoined:-
64, Dharamtala Street, Calcutta,
March 18th, 1893
Miss Frances E. Willard, President, World’s W.C.T.U.
Dear Miss Willard,-I am in receipt of the letter which you have kindly sent to me as “President of the Decennial Conference,” and signed by yourself, Lady Henry Somerset, and other ladies, in behalf of the World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union: and have to thank you for giving me an opportunity of correcting some grievous mistakes into which our friends in England have fallen. I do this, however, solely as an individual missionary. I was not President of the Decennial Conference, although I had the misfortune to occupy the chair during the last session of the Conference. You will, I am sure, be glad to learn that you are wholly mistaken in supposing that the Conference refused to have a discussion on the liquor traffic. That subject was discussed, and not a word of objection was made to having the discussion. You are equally in error in saying that, “in spite of the strongest pressure to bring on a discussion of the opium traffic . . . . this subject, too, was ruled out as one on which there was to be no discussion.” As a matter of fact, the subject was discussed with the utmost freedom, and not a single missionary objected to the discussion. The missionaries were not “dumb.” In like manner, the discussion of regulated vice was freely admitted; ladies, however, being excluded. I heard a rumour that one missionary, out of six hundred or more, was suspected of favoring the C. D. Acts, but could not trace the rumour to any responsible source. It was everywhere assumed that there was no difference of opinion on the moral issue involved.
But I find my task a harder one when I proceed to answer the next paragraph of your letter. I admit at once that the Conference blundered unpardonably, put itself in a false position, and made misunderstanding and misrepresentation inevitable. But our friends in England ought not to aid the enemy by making the situation worse than it is; and I beg their attention to a brief statement of the case, with some of its hidden bearings.
At the first Decennial Conference representing all India, in 1872, a missionary presented a resolution in writing. A venerable English missionary at once rose and, in substance, said, “Mr. Chairman, my ear detected the word resolved in that motion. A resolution is more than a motion. It becomes permanent action. I object, and protest against the admission of any resolution.” From that day forward a strong feeling has existed on this subject, and the majority at each Conference have been opposed to the admission of all resolutions. Reform questions have had very little to do with this feeling, but rather the fear that controversial strife might mar the harmony of the occasion.
At the recent Decennial Conference, nine representative men were appointed as a “Business Committee,” with plenary powers to lay down rules and have general charge of the proceedings. This Committee-not the Conference-at first decided to have no resolutions presented, but after five days, yielded to what seemed a general demand, and announced that at the closing session a few resolutions would be admitted. But instead of a few snowflakes, an avalanche came down upon them. All manner of interests clamored for a hearing, and the Committee were compelled to decide that only such resolutions should be presented to the Conference as would probably be adopted without debate. Now please note the fact that these nine representative men selected the resolution condemning the C. D. Acts as one which they fully expected the conference to adopt without a word of discussion. The time, however, was most inopportune. A painfully stormy episode had just transpired, and some tempers had been ruffled. The resolution was read, and adopted with the utmost enthusiasm. A very few voted against it, not on its merits, but on the old ground that all resolutions were out of place. They would, I doubt not, have been quite as prompt to vote against a resolution approving the Lord’s Prayer.
Thus far all was well, but the cheering had hardly subsided before a leading missionary rose to protest, carefully saying, however, that he was not opposed to the principle involved, and closed by moving a reconsideration. The Chairman ruled him out of order, on the ground that he had not voted in favour of the resolution. A similar motion made by another gentleman was ruled out on the same ground. This gave rise to complaints of unfairness, when an American Methodist, a radical of the radicals, with more chivalry than foresight, rose and said that, having voted for the resolution, he was qualified to make the motion, and to prevent even the appearance of unfairness he would proceed to move that the motion to adopt the resolution be reconsidered. The Chairman had no option and admitted the motion, and at once the flood-gates were opened. The merits of the resolution were hardly touched, but all manner of incidental objections were raised, while the Business Committee were reminded of their pledge not to introduce any resolution which would cause discussion, and these gentlemen felt in honour bound to adhere to their pledge. Three of them were radical reformers, but all united in announcing that they had decided to withdraw the resolution. The Chairman decided that the Committee could not do this, as the resolution was then in the possession of the Conference; but a motion was at once made to permit the Committee to withdraw the paper, and the debate went on. But every moment both men and women were losing sight of the great moral issue involved, and looking only at the tangled condition of the question before them. The old, old objection, that the Conference, had exceeded its powers, and that all resolutions were out of place, was made the most of. Others said that a testimony on such a question could be of no value unless unanimous, while many more thought that the first vote, given with practical unanimity and great enthusiasm, would show the real feeling and opinion of the Conference. Very many more, half-bewildered and half disgusted, refused to vote at all, and thus it happened that the Committee were permitted to withdraw the resolution by a vote of only about one-fifth of the enrolled members of the Conference.
I left Bombay the same evening and spent the following thirty-six hours on the train, in company with Dr. T. J. Scott, of Bareilly. We spent, literally, hours in talking over what we both regarded as a disaster, and in devising measures to prevent the action of the Conference from being misrepresented by the friends of legalised vice in India and elsewhere; but not even once did the thought occur to us that our own allies in England would be the first to proclaim to the world that the missionaries of India were on the wrong side of the great moral issues of the day. In wronging us, our friends are wronging themselves, and wronging the cause of Him whom we are all trying to serve.
You will, I am sure, pardon one word more of a somewhat personal character. My own course as chairman has been criticised by both friends and opponents. The position was a trying one, but my duty was very plain. A chairman must be impartial, no matter what his personal views may be, and I could not have injured the cause which the ladies of your Union so faithfully advocate more seriously than by allowing my private feelings or opinions to influence my decisions while presiding on such an occasion.
Please convey to Lady Henry Somerset and the other ladies associated with you in sending me this letter an expression of my respect, personally, and of my profound sympathy in the great work in which you are all engaged.
Yours very truly,
J. M. Thoburn.
The British Parliament has appointed a Commission on the Opium trade, which is to visit India during the coming winter, and we may expect a thorough ventilation of the subject. Strange to say, in the debate in Parliament that preceded the appointment of this commission, leading members were not ashamed to come forward and take a position in favour of the use of Opium, saying, that “in a tropical climate it seemed necessary to the people,” and setting forth the threadbare collection of fallacies with which, as temperance workers, we are familiar. The points attempted to be made were practically so identical with the defence set forth by advocates of the alcohol trade, that the simple substitution of the word alcohol, would have made them subjects of admirable use in the Wine and Spirit Gazette
It seems to me that the human brain becomes beguiled whenever the attempt is made to use the powers of reason in favour of the poisons that result in the undermining of reason itself and its arguments are as ridiculous as that ingenious satire of Archbishop Whateley, wherein he proved that there never could have been such a man as Napoleon Bonaparte, because no man could possibly have acted as he did. Here are some specimens of “testimony” before the Parliamentary Commission:-
Unlike the alcoholic craving, the feeling engendered by opium smoking was that of intense agony, and his object was to show that we ought to do everything possible to keep the drug away from the people.
Sir Wm. Moore.
As to the effects of opium on the constitution, he had come to the conclusion that opium smoking was practically harmless. The moderate use of opium brightened the intellect and strengthened the system.
Mr. B. Broomhall.
He was profoundly convinced that opium smoking in its effects was physically, morally, and socially one of the most awful vices that ever inflicted the world; and that the rapid extension in China during recent years of the growth of the poppy and of the habit of opium smoking threatened the very existence of that empire.
Sir G. Birdwood.
He never once met with a single native suffering from what was called the excessive use of opium. . . On the contrary the healthiest populations of Western India were distinguished for the so-called excessive use of opium. As to opium smoking, it was as innocuous as smoking hay, straw, or stubble.
I am glad that the pledge of the World’s W.C.T.U. includes Opium as well as Alcohol, and I would also, if I had the power, make it include the same pledge that is involved in the White Cross and White Shield obligations. It would then have a world-wide basis and commend itself to the common sense and personal endorsement of all reasonable men and women.
Let me mention once more that the intention of the great Polyglot petition seems to have been generally misunderstood. It is not supposed that it will produce any strong impression upon any Government or ruler, although of course even this is possible. Neither is it proposed to leave the petition in the hands of any Government to be referred in the usual parliamentary way to a committee, and there remain entombed. The object is rather to focus public sentiment, and we all know that whatever does that is invaluable, and speeds the Temperance cause. People are taught by great public object lessons as well as by the slow and quiet process of home training; popular opinion is exceedingly sensitive to the impress of a demonstration, and the spectacle of a commission of honourable and distinguished Christian women, who have given their lives to the cause of Temperance and Social Purity, carrying a petition with millions of names gathered up from all quarters of the globe, both Christian and Pagan, and presenting that petition in the largest Public Hall of a great capital will be reported by the press of a whole nation, and will set a myriad brains at work to solve the problem, “Why did these women do this thing? What does it mean? How much in earnest they must be! What infinite pains they have bestowed, what hardships they have encountered, what public opinion they have braved! Ought not we men, who have so much more power, to take up a question like that? Is it not unmanly to leave this great reform to women?” What we want is an arrest of thought in the manly brain: and such an embassy and such a petition will greatly help to bring about this consummation.
The amount of printer’s ink that will be set in motion is in itself beyond computation in value for our cause. Our policy is “The Do-everything-policy, and do it all the time.” The Petition is but one method, but it is a grand one, we believe, and altogether “practical.”
The financial statement made by our efficient Treasurer, Mrs. Ella Williams, Montreal, not only from the columns of the Union Signal but in a circular sent to all our national Branches, has been the most encouraging one that we have had thus far. It is stated by Mrs. Williams, that, after paying the expenses of the World’s Convention at Boston, and its running expenses of 1891, I handed over the money raised by my personal appeal circular, and from that fund the current expenses have been largely paid for 1892-93. We have two salaried officers, Mrs. Woodbridge, our Recording, and Miss Briggs, our Office Secretary; aside from paying these, the money has been used to pay postage and stationery, print reports, issue literature, pay the travelling expenses of Miss Palmer to South Africa, and an installment of the amount of $600 promised to Mrs. Hauser, who is seeking to establish our Society among the native women of India.
The $500 for Mrs. Butler’s mission to Italy Lady Henry Somerset and I are raising by private subscription among our personal friends.
Robert Louis Stevenson in a recent address before the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church in New South Wales, strikes the key-note of modern missionary effort, and one which has already been caught by the W.C.T.U. He says:-“The true art of the missionary seems to me to be that he should profit by the vast amount of moral force reservoired in every race, and expand, change, and fit that power to new ideas and to new possibilities of advancement. The earlier missionaries chose the path of destruction not of utilisation, but I am glad to think that in these days no missionary will go among a primitive people with the idea of mere revolution, but that he will rather develop that which is good, or is capable of being made good, in the inherent ideas of the race, that when he finds an idea half bad and half good he will apply himself to the good half of it, develop that and seek to minimize and gradually obliterate the other, thus saving what I may be allowed to call the moral water power. We make a great blunder when we expect people in a moment to give up the whole beliefs of ages the whole morals of the family sanctified by the traditions of the heart.” His idea is first of all to study in the ethics and religion of the oriental people those ideas and practices that they hold in common with us who profess the Christian religion, and then, having laid this solid foundation by showing our respect and good-will for many things which they so profoundly love and respect, we shall have a firm basis on which to work in developing our statement of Christian faith.
This modern idea of missions is vastly more intelligent than any that we were capable of cherishing half a century ago. The study of oriental religions by occidental scholars, and the dissemination of their practical ideas of life by means of the press, has shown how much good there is in the teachings of all the great religious leaders of the past. The modern school of missions tends towards the more philosophic method of Christ as stated in that wonderful command, “If any man ask thee to go a mile go with him twain.” Seek the line of harmony, go as far as possible with the oriental nations in their ethical ideas, and they will be much more likely to go with us if we manifest an appreciation of all that is excellent in their theory of life and in their lives. We can be just as loyal to our Master and yet pursue this more considerate method, and one more consonant with the golden rule, for surely that applies to the manifestation of gentleness towards a man’s religious opinions as well as to the common actions of daily life; these opinions are dear to him and should be treated tenderly by us; they are an inheritance, an education, a worship. It is my belief that Christian families living in the Eastern nations and showing forth the kindly well-ordered method of life which alone can constitute a Christian home, must have had, perhaps, the greatest influence on the keen reflective minds of those great nations that we as Christians have been able to exert. Words are cheap but deeds carry their own conviction, and when they spring from the love of truth, and purity, and good will, have never failed to carry with them prevailing “evidences of Christianity.” Only as the outcome of our Christian profession tends toward the greatest uplift and truest happiness of man, woman, and child, does it deserve the credence of the world; we must not forget that under its gis to-day are sheltered the liquor traffic, the opium trade, and the protection of impurity by law. It is Christian nations that illustrate the wage-slavery carried to its extreme conclusion of sin and misery, the reign of capital, and the enforced serfdom of labour. Therefore the enlightened Christian will have as part of his working creed in these enlightened days, this prayer-
“Oh freedom, deepen thou a grave,
Where every king and every slave
Shall drop in crown and chain,
Till only Man remain.”
THE WORLD’S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION.
The World’s Fair in Chicago has been indeed the eighth wonder of the world, and no one has appreciated its splendour more than women have done, nor has any class probably reaped more of help and hope from the great show than we. Never before has such provision been made for women. First of all, the Congress of the United States voted to have a board of women directors, who were duly appointed; next, a women’s building was decreed; then women were placed on all Committees of award that had women’s work to examine; then a Congress of women such as the world has never seen was held, calling together crowds of from twenty to thirty thousand auditors, eager to learn what had been wrought, and to know what could be undertaken by the suppressed half of the human race. Then women were admitted to the deliberations of all the Congresses, chiefly by the wish of the men who were at the head of the different committees, most of which had also a co-ordinate committee composed of women. There has been no enthusiasm over all the great men who have come and gone to exceed that which has been manifested in the case of equally great women. Perhaps to us as reformers no single illustration of this has been more welcome than the public recognition given, after more than forty years of service, to our elder sister in the woman’s work and world, Miss Susan B. Anthony.
If there has been some friction in the earnest and efficient women’s Board of Management surely that is nothing more than has occurred from time immemorial in all boards composed of men; indeed men have been inclined to carve their boards into bludgeons and shilelahs, and to lay about them right fiercely many a time and oft: the United States Congress and British Parliament having furnished startling illustrations of this muscular facility!
Some facts concerning the City by the Lake ought to be placed upon our records. Chicago (in which we are now holding our National Convention for the third time) is the greatest centre of traffic in the world, and yet, as recently as 1828 (that is, 65 years ago), a single settler occupied the site where this vast city, comprising nearly one and a half millions of people, stands to-day.
Such a growth as this is without parallel. The position of Chicago as a centre of water-traffic is only inferior to her position as a railway centre; and the tonnage entering Detroit is double that passing through the Suez Canal. Chicago’s streets are of immense length, its parks cover hundreds of miles, its buildings are often 20 to 25 and 30 storeys in height. It has (including its largest suburb, Evanston,) two Universities unexcelled in the numbers of professors and students by any others in the nation. It is the world’s most typical and central city, the modern metropolis of humanity, and the epitome of history’s most signal century, for all that invention and progress can do to build a city has been done here. It is the most representative city on the globe, for no nation has been left out, and several nationalities have a larger number of representatives here than in any city at home except the largest. It is a centre of the whirlpool of labour and capital, the fiercest controversies that the world has witnessed having taken place within its borders, and culminated in the hanging of the anarchists. As Robert Browning is the modern poet whose books incarnate the spirit of the age, it is not strange that they are sold more largely in Chicago than in any other place on the face of the earth, and his spirit of hope and good cheer is the prevailing note in the surging young metropolis. Every catastrophe in Chicago, whether it be a great fire, a great failure in finance, the usual “Sunday murder,” or a discharge of dynamite, is heralded to the ends of the earth; but the mighty religious movements headed by our Chicago Moody, and the philanthropies that burst into bloom in this forest of brick walls, the splendid reforms that tower far higher in the real atmosphere than the loftiest sky-scrapers-of these no token flashes over continents or under seas; their time is not yet come.
The public libraries endowed with millions of dollars, the public school system unexcelled anywhere, the paradise of women that Chicago has become by reason of the breadth and brotherliness of men who are not afraid to let women do as they will-all these electric lights of truth and beauty are the real transformers that have made the desert blossom as the rose, and they out-top and overwhelm the ills so swiftly heralded, by as much as the sea’s waves are more powerful than its sword-fish and its sharks. All this I know so well, as a resident of 35 years standing, that in welcoming my comrades to the metropolis of the great lake, wide sky, and rolling prairies, I can truly say, “Chicago, with all thy faults I love thee still.”
The Sunday Closing question at the great fair has been so theorised and acted upon as to make the effect beneficently educational to all people. The value of the Seventh Day rest was never understood so well as now, and the day was never so safe and sacred in the reverence and love of the most reasonable and thoughtful people in the world. We did not look for just this outcome; we had no conception of the magnitude to which the controversy would attain; our imaginations were not equal to such a revelation of true inwardness as the management finally gave to the world. The re-action upon working men and their families of the practical admission that it was for the purpose of gain, and this alone, that it had been determined to open the gates on Sunday, caused an arrest of thought in the midst of that hearty and independent class of people that will for a generation make them suspicious of those who “in the interest of the working man” declare their purpose to open expositions, fairs, and other places on Sunday, when the facts are that by doing this they simply saddle him with an extra sweating process and undermine his hold upon the single day in which he has a right to be a man among men and to join the “leisure class.”
The devotion of Mrs. Josephine C. Bateham, our superintendent of work for Sabbath observance, and her army of helpers, cannot be too highly praised. If ever women were help-meets to good men in a great crisis, the W.C.T.U. has been so to our brothers of the Church in this emergency, among whom the chief defender has been the Rev. Dr. Crafts, who has the happy faculty of throwing heart and soul into every enterprise with which he is connected. I frankly admit that when the plan was presented of holding Sunday services on the grounds, of stopping the machinery, c., I was inclined to hope we had reached the possibility of an agreement with our friends of the opposition, but when I was informed that in the heat of controversy the cleavage had divided the people into but two great camps, one for out and out Sunday closing, the other for out and out opening the Fair, I could have no doubt as to the necessity that every W.C.T.U. woman should stand shoulder to shoulder in this world-wide debate the outcome of which is one of the best results of the great Exposition.
We have reason to believe, although I have not had the good fortune to see it for myself as I had hoped, that our two well-equipped comrades, Mrs. Josephine Nichols and Mrs. W. Jennings Demorest, with their helpers have been able, although they have come up through no end of tribulation, to arrange such a showing for us as can but commend our Society to all who pass that way. It is a marvel that in a space so restricted they were able to bring out an object lesson so adequate of the W.C.T.U. The Union Signal has had fully-illustrated articles describing our booth, as well as that of Mrs. Hunt’s Department in the Educational Exhibit. And the “Columbian Crumbs,” furnished in our columns by Dr. Bessie Cushman, constitutes such a review of the points specially interesting to women as no other woman’s paper has been able to give.
The great Petition is no more a dream, but an assured fact, and the central figure of the Temperance Exhibition at the World’s Fair. It is headed by a thousand signatures of representative men and women from different countries, and as has been so often stated, it will be presented to all the Governments of the civilised world within the next two years, after which time it will be placed in the Woman’s Temple as the most representative document “in praise of the right and blame of the wrong,” ever drawn up, circulated and celebrated by women since the world began. Indeed, if men have had a petition as largely affecting populations so various and interests so vital, we should like to know what it is and where it can be found.
The Congress called by the National Temperance Society and Publication House in New York City in connection with the two sections of the Committee on a Temperance Congress appointed by the World’s Temperance Congress Auxiliary, was successful in presenting to the public a series of essays and speeches of great value, which have been brought out by Mr. J. N. Stearns in two large volumes entitled “Temperance in all Nations.” The World’s and National W.C.T.U. were nobly represented by our most eloquent speakers. It was the greatest deprivation of my life as a reformer to be absent from such a grand re-union, but perhaps it is good discipline to one who for nearly 20 years had missed no important meeting of the Temperance forces in America, to find how little any individual is needed anywhere. As Col.Bain has keenly said “If one wishes to know how large a place he will leave vacant in the world when he departs, let him paddle his canoe into the midst of some large stream, rest for a moment from his oars, put his finger into the tranquil water, take it out again carefully and see how large a hole is left!” But the best of it is that the human spirit knows no boundaries of time or space, and leaps at once into the midst of all circles of power and influence to which it is related by a common perception, purpose and pulsation of sympathy; so that we really meet with our comrades wherever they or we may be, and this will be all the truer, let us hope, when we have cast aside the hindering garment of mortality.
It is the universal testimony that no single meeting ever held by women was so representative in the character of its attendance, so progressive in the tone of its utterances, or so phenomenal in the size of its audiences as the International Congress of Women held in May, 1893, in connection with the World’s Columbian Exposition. Its transactions, soon to be published, will form a valuable cyclopedia of women’s worth and work. The Countess of Aberdeen (now, happily for us, resident in Ottawa, Canada, and likely to be so for some years, as the Earl of Aberdeen has recently been appointed Governor-General of the Dominion,) was made President of the International Council; our own gifted and indefatigable countrywoman, Mrs. May Wright Sewall, of Indianapolis, Indiana, was made first vice-president, and Mrs. Eva McLaren, 3a, Poet’s Corner, Westminster, London, whose husband fights our battles in Parliament, is corresponding secretary. I give these addresses that White Ribbon women the world over may know with whom to communicate to obtain further particulars concerning this great and unifying movement. The transactions can be had by writing to Mrs. Rachel Foster Avery, Somerton, near Philadelphia, than whom no woman has done more to build up this great enterprise.
It may be that in some better day the world will see a human being gifted with the best powers of what we are wont to call the “lower orders of creation;” keen sighted and swift of motion as a bird, sharp scented as a greyhound, faithful as a dog and full of wisdom as an elephant. It may be, too, that we shall see a human being who has not only these powers, but is made up of the best physical graces, mental gifts and graciousness of all generations; one who shall gain knowledge, not by the present slow process of acquisition, but instantaneously, through magnetic currents, from the books and brains about him. One who will be such a thinker as Kepler or Kant; such a poet as Shakespeare or Tennyson; such an artist as Da Vinci; such a sculptor as Phidias; such a musician as Beethoven; such a statesman as Gladstone; such a philanthropist as Shaftesbury; such a saint as Guyon. Naturally the unintelligent and the unimaginative will declare this impossible, but everything helps forward the advent of just such a being as that. All arts, inventions, philanthropies, religions, are but tentacul put forth, searching for the means to make the man of the future, who shall be what all who have the vision and faculty divine have always prophesied he would yet be-a microcosm, the mirror of the universe. We in our little corner, doing our work well-nigh unnoted by the world at large, are helping by our small increments of power to create this complete human being-the goal of all desire and hope. The coral zoophyte builds not more surely on the unseen reef that yet shall rise in gleaming beauty above the deep sea’s level blue than we are building for universal and perfected human nature. Nothing less is in our thought, and nothing else; for by ideals we live, and this ideal has been upon our consciousness from the beginning. The brain is but a stained glass window now, we wish to change it to a crystal pure and brilliant. The total abstinence pledge is but one strand in the cable of our organised endeavour, for we have seen that to make man as God would have him be, the student of perfection must study his heredity, must hover like an unseen guardian about his cradle, his desk at school, his happy playground, his thoughtless and endangered youth, his tempted manhood, and must guard, not only against beginnings of ill in his own separate career, but their organised form in the habits, customs and laws of his nation and his world. For “it is easier to prevent than to undo.” Lord Shaftesbury said that the iniquities of the fathers are visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations of all who worship idols, and there is no greater idol and no falser god than the god Bacchus.
We are apt to forget that one may be correct in the personal habits of life, and yet vicious in his attitude toward the vital issues of his time; we are apt to ignore the ethical quality in the intellect. But we should do well to remember that integrity of mind is no less important than integrity of conscience.
We vaguely wonder what we can do to help the cause along, but in philanthropy as well as finance the old saying holds true-“The way to resume payment is just to resume.” There is nothing simpler, and because so simple, nothing over which people stumble more stolidly than how to “go about doing good.”
I once asked the greatest of inventors, Thomas A. Edison, if he were a total abstainer, and when he told me that he was, I said “May I enquire whether it was home influence that made you so?”-and he replied, “No, I think it was because I always felt that I had a better use for my head.” Who can measure the loss to the world if that wonderful instrument of thought that has given us so much of light and leading in the practical mechanism of life had become sodden with drink instead of electric with original ideas? But there is another argument on which we can perhaps insist with a larger constituency:
It will always be true that a certain number of the people must, for their own sake, let intoxicants entirely alone, and that there is a certain amount of danger to anyone who uses them. If, then, anyone elects to be an abstainer, in order that those who must follow that practice shall not be a class by themselves marked as weaklings and of singular ways in life, and also for the reason that it is more absolutely safe to let liquors alone than to use them, he is in a position wholly scientific, ethical, and in accordance with the Golden Rule. Whoever then laughs at a total abstainer shows himself lacking in a clear mind as well as a good heart, for to take such a precaution on one’s own account as a matter of prudence is surely conformable to reason, and to take it in order to make it easier for others to do the same is conformable to the Golden Rule and the highest dictates of brotherhood.
It has been well said by a London magistrate, “you punish men for a crime because they do what is injurious to society; habitual drunkenness is a great crime against society, and I think, ought to be treated as a crime;” and a leading physician gave it as his testimony that drunkenness, accompanied by any injury done to a man’s self, or to his family, or to the public, ought to subject the person to imprisonment. The Departmental Committee appointed by the Government to report on the treatment of inebriates favours industrial institutions to which magistrates should have the power to commit those who are brought before them for inebriety.
“What luck to be born good!” is one of Thackeray’s exclamations. A vicar in Shoreditch, London, offsets these words after this fashion, “Unhappily there are many who are not born but damned into the world,” and he goes on to say, “It may not be the best theology but it is the soundest sense, to admit that some by inherited defects and taints of blood, by mental, physical, and moral peculiarities, by surroundings, training, and circumstances, have no fair chance of being anything but bad.” He tells the story of a poor fellow who said to him one day, “I should like to turn honest,” whereupon the clergyman lifted the man’s hat off and said, “Let me look at your head?” “He burst out laughing thinking it was a joke, but to me it was no joke at all. I am not a phrenologist, but anyone could tell what that sad, sloping forehead, those shifty eyes, those heavy jaws mean, and I admitted to the man that I did not think he could.”
Was ever a minister of Christ in poorer business than the one who tells this story? His action was diametrically opposed to the whole spirit and method of the Gospel. “A bruised reed shall He not break, and a smoking flax shall He not quench.” “Whosoever will may take the water of life freely.” Why did not this vicar feel in his deepest heart the glad prophecy in the poor man’s words, “I should like to turn honest,” and why did he not say “that which we like or love we may become.” Our love of it, our liking for it, is the bright prophecy, the sure word of hope. He who never made a mistake never made anything. He who never sinned or sorrowed never really lived at all. As an antidote to the pessimistic view of this no doubt well-meaning but mis-guided minister of God, I recall my mother’s words, “We always may be what we might have been.”
The Salvation Army is thought better of by the Hindus than any other representative of Christianity, for one of its requisites of membership is that every soldier in the army is to be a total abstainer.
THE APATHY OF WRITERS AND INSTRUCTORS.
“Art for art’s sake” is now the shibboleth of novelists, even as science for its own sake was, in a less enlightened period, the shibboleth of those who devoted themselves to the study of nature’s laws; but scientific men have outgrown this selfish rallying cry, and are to-day the leaders of mankind out of the wilderness of savagery, and into those peaceful conquests by which mankind shall come to be the rulers of the world. If any inventor or student of the theory of nature should now declare that he was only trying to improve himself he would be hissed out of the circle of civilised men, and the day is not distant when the story-writer who avowedly makes of his work simply a pot boiler, a pastime or a perquisite of art for art’s sake, will be as much detested and as little tolerated, for no form of writing at all compares in the wide reach of its influence with novel writing; it is a principle that we are responsible to humanity in exact proportion to the power of which we are the custodians, and men and women of the pen who in this day of humanity’s unequal struggle for its own betterment do not turn the pictorial and dramatic art of the novelist to the higher uses of socialism, temperance, the woman question, the advocacy of peace and other living issues that most intimately touch the life of the race, have by no means measured up to the ideal standard.
We applaud the comparatively few pens that have been and are at work to put these new ideas before the masses of the people under the guise of romance, to incarnate them in attractive characters, and work them out to a success in the thoughts of the people by making them succeed in the realm of art. But we lament the pagan who, in these days of universal ferment which shall work off the unrest of the people by purifying their surroundings and elevating their opportunities, can go on saying, art for art’s sake; the motto might be worthy of the Greeks in the year one of our era, but not of the English or the Americans in 1893.
Bishop Simpson said that if you wish to convert any group of people to your way of thinking you must first of all try to capture the leaders, but it is a curious fact that Presidents and Professors in Institutions devoted to the higher education, seem to be apathetic on the Temperance question; I do not allow myself to think that this is for lack of interest and goodwill, but rather from intense pre-occupation and the lack of specific knowledge as to the systematic and well-considered plans and principles on which the modern Temperance Reform is based, and the methods by which it is conducted. I earnestly wish that this convention might ask our General Officers to bring out on its behalf (and I would apply this suggestion not only to the National but to the World’s W.C.T.U.) a letter specially addressed to these kindly, cultured men and women, telling them briefly of our plans of work, asking in earnest words for their co-operation, and suggesting methods by which this might be practically realized. Another letter to College girls, with special reasons why those professing Christianity should sign the Temperance Pledge, would be of untold value. These letters should, as a matter of course, be carefully composed, so as not to alienate instead of winning, and must be issued in attractive form.
Sir Andrew Clarke, physician to Gladstone and other great men of the British nation says:-
“Health is that state of body in which the functions all go on without notice or observation, and in which existence is felt to be a pleasure, in which it is a kind of joy simply to see, to hear, to touch, to live. That is health, and everybody knows it. Now that is a state which cannot be benefited by alcohol in any degree; indeed, I will go further and say that this state is also in some way or other injured by alcohol; it is a state in which a sort of discord is produced by the use of alcohol, a sense of being injured in the perfection of its loveliness, for I call perfect health the loveliest thing in this world, but alcohol, even in small doses, will take off both the mental and moral bloom. I will say more:-it is not only not a helper of work, it is a certain hinderer of work, and every man who comes to the front of a profession in London is marked by this one characteristic that the more busy he gets the less alcohol he takes, and his excuse is I am very sorry but I cannot take it and do my work. Now let me say that I am speaking solemnly and carefully when I tell you that I am considerably within the mark in saying that within the round of my hospital wards to-day 7 out of every 10 that lie there in their beds owed their ill-health to alcohol. I do not say that 70 in every 100 were drunkards, I do not know that one of them was, but they used alcohol. Day by day just as the grass grows and we cannot see it; day by day those little excesses, are doing their work, for alcohol upsets the stomach and the stomach upsets the other organs, and bit by bit, under this fair, jovial outside, the constitution is being sapped. I will say one thing farther-certainly more than three-fourths of the disorders in what we call fashionable life arise from the use of this very drug that we call alcohol. But there is another side to this question, and it is no abuse of language to say it is an awful side:-so soon as a man begins to take one drop then the desire begotten in him becomes a part of his nature, and that nature, formed by his acts, inflicts curses inexpressible when handed down to the generations that are to follow him, as part and parcel of their being. Can I use stronger words than these? When I think of this I am disposed to give up my profession-to give up everything, and to go forth upon a holy crusade to preach to all men, Beware of this enemy of the race .”
[N.B.-I wonder how many readers will cut out the foregoing (or indeed anything else from this address) and send it to some newspaper to help “make public sentiment”-that wondrous fabric woven in the clanging mills of time, and out of which are cut the stiff garments of custom and the velvet robes of power?]
THE QUENCHLESS WOMAN QUESTION.
Perhaps the novel is the barometer of women’s rise. Professor Swing, in his famous lecture on the novel, set forth his favourite theory that it is the apotheosis of woman, a creature far too bright and good to be cribbed, cabinned and confined within the conventional limits of the sphere that man’s selfishness had circumscribed for her, and hence she expanded into the wider circle of the novel, where she played the public part denied her in real life; for she was made and meant to be a thing of beauty and a joy for ever, not to her home alone, but to the great world; and this is so true that in the less-developed ages, when man’s self-restraint did not permit her to be a figure on the stage, young men and beautiful were attired in women’s garb to act her part. When she became the central figure of the novel, it grew to be the most fascinating of all books, hence the most widely-read, in all the wilderness of literature. But this was only a figure of things to come, and predicted her admission to all the world contains. It was a sort of dress rehearsal for her part on the stage of life, wide as the planet and high as human need and sympathy. It is to be regretted that the woman, who in these regnant days of scientific Christianity and Christian science is not only “the coming woman,” but has already come, should be a character so individual that the old-line novelists cannot adapt their concept or their style to her bright, new lineaments; but we, as women, should be devoutly thankful that the novelist of the future has some forerunners, in our own country, Mrs. Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward, and in England George Meredith, who, as one of our ablest woman journalists has said, “shows that it is possible for women to despise inconstancy and weakness, and not to cling to unworthiness in men with that blind doting love ascribed to them; that the rigid demand of a higher moral standard for women than for men frequently has its origin in the desire of brute force for absolute possession; that the faults and the virtues of women are the faults and virtues of the race; that a woman in her best estate is not an angel, nor in her worst worse than a bad man.”
I wish we did not so much use the expression “emancipated woman.” Its associations and history are not to our advantage. It would be far better to combine our efforts to make the term “awakened woman” current coin in the world’s great exchange of speech.
Of all the fallacies ever concocted, none is more idiotic than the one indicated in the saying, “A woman’s strength consists in her weakness.” One might as well say that a man’s purity consisted in his vileness, or that his sobriety consisted in his drunkenness! When was ever strength discounted, except by those who would have women kept in a condition of perpetual tutelage, or ignorance glorified except by those who desire her as a parasite? Nothing proves more conclusively the wretched nonsense of the conservative position on the “Woman Question” than that so noble an expression as “strong minded” should have become a synonym of reproach. It is the off-set of “weak minded,” and to be weak minded is the greatest calamity that can fall upon a human being. Let us have done with this nomenclature, and the shallow wit that gives it currency, and let us insist first, last, and always that gentleness is never so attractive as when joined with strength, purity never so invincible as when leagued with intelligence, beauty never so charming as when it is seen to be the embellishment of reason and the concomitant of character. What we need to sound in the ears of girlhood is to be brave, and in the ears of boyhood to be gentle . There are not two sets of virtues; and there is but one greatness of character; it is that of him (or her) who combines the noblest traits of man and woman in nature, words, and deeds.
One of our leading literary men in America, recently put forth the theory that the reason that the male bird sings is because he is a male, and the reason why no woman has been a great poet-which premise we will not for a moment grant him-is that she is a female. He does, however, except Sappho, explaining her by this remarkable sentence:-“There may have been at some time a chance female mocking bird which sang the dropping song, if one ever did this she performed a masculine act, a function of the male nature.” But perhaps the male bird would not let the female sing, any more than priests in the high church to-day will permit that women shall chant the services. At least nobody can prove the contrary, and our argument stands on the same foundations as that of our brother who thinks that all art is an irradiation of masculinity. It seems unreasonable that the female thrush, as our logician states, “has just as perfect a singing box as the male, not a valve, not a muscle, intrinsic or extrinsic, not a line of contour in the whole windpipe, from the glottis down to the lowest bronchial extremities, yet the female thrush never sings a real song.” But the fact that she has a throat made for singing proves that she is capable of song. The Creator has provided for it, and it is altogether probable that the male thrush, like the “male man,” has preferred that she should “be in quietness.”
But the time is past when any woman of sense rings the changes on the old phrase, “Our enemy, man.” Nothing is more apparent than that the movement for our equal participation in all phases of the great world-life is as warmly, and perhaps more strenuously advocated by an army of progressive men than by any other class.
A London grand jury has recently declared that it finds nearly 20% of the prisoners with whose cases it has to deal, have been committed for assaults on women and girls, and the suggestion is made that some severer punishment than fines and imprisonment should be inflicted. Flogging is suggested, but doubtless a time will come when an effectual and reasonable, even if severe remedy will be ordained, namely, one that will in the nature of the case render impossible a recurrence of the crime.
It is said that Norway has a law by which the man must stand side by side with the woman as equally responsible for making away with their child. When such a law becomes general, infanticide will practically cease.
Words go a long way, phrases make epochs, and it is no small indication of progress that in the course of the hearing of a petition for divorce before Sir Francis Jeune in London within a few months past, it was agreed between the husband and wife that they should live apart, the husband receiving an allowance of 30s. a week so long as “he remained chaste.” The judge said it was the first time he had seen such an expression in relation to the man in a contract of legal separation. We are glad to believe it will not be the last.
When a man would rob a woman of her virtue or a woman is about to sell herself in the most degraded bargain that the mind can contemplate, what does he give her, and what does she take? Strong Drink
Mrs. Josephine Butler says that in the early days of Queen Victoria the British Government wished to introduce a Contagious Diseases Act, but could not make up its mind to ask the virgin queen to sign such a bill. England has carried the Bible, alcoholic drink, and legalized harlotry to every country she has conquered. This has been the work of man: if woman were added to the Government she surely could do no worse, and in simple self-defence would be likely to do a great deal better. It is significant that the conception of legalized vice was, so far as we know, hatched in the brain of Napoleon Bonaparte that arch-despiser of women.
The cause of Social Purity has grown in the year past like “the stone cut out of the mountain.” The history of the reform has not a parallel to the heroic undertaking of those brave, true-hearted women, Mrs. Elizabeth Wheeler Andrew and Dr. Kate Bushnell, whom I am proud to have had as my fellow-townswomen for twenty years or more. Their three months in India, during which under the most difficult conditions they followed the subtle intricacies of officialism in its illegal and covert relation to legalized vice, even as the hound follows the hare, have written their names high on the white arch of our roll of honour. But the secular press in both countries has overlooked the fact that they were sent out by the general officers of the World’s W.C.T.U., and made their investigations in India by the special request of Mrs. Josephine Butler, World’s W.C.T.U. superintendent of Social Purity work.
There are three sets of slaves that we women are working to emancipate. They are, white slaves, that is degraded women; wage slaves, that is the working classes; and whiskey slaves, that is the product furnished by brewers and distillers.
Dr. Mary Wood Allen has vindicated the choice that I suggested and you confirmed in making her our National Superintendent of Social Purity Work last year: she has invested a year of work memorable in the annals of our Society, and unique in that she has traversed several of the Southern States to which the message of the department had not before been carried save by the printed page.
The generous gifts of Charles N. Crittenton, Esq., of California, have enabled us to found five * Florence Crittenton Homes (named for the little daughter he loved and lost), in as many leading cities this year. Our Chicago “Anchorage” is one of these, and Mr. Crittenton is coming to England, where, under the auspices of the B.W.T.A., he will soon found another in London.
* In Chicago, Denver, Portland, Oregon, and Fargo, N.D.
WOMAN’S BALLOT.He who knows what ought to be knows what will be, and we know that the home vote ought to be let loose on the saloon; as our English leader has said, “She who is life-giver ought to be law-giver.” The Michigan Liquor Dealers Association have decided to do their utmost to destroy the law that arms women in that State with the municipal ballot and declares that “when the Legislature granted this power to women (with an educational restriction) it struck a blow directly at the Liquor Dealers interests and rights.”
“The eye of the law” is a correct phrase, for up to date the law has but one eye, it needs two, and women must furnish the other.
Local control of the Liquor Traffic by all the people (as Abraham Lincoln said, “by no means excluding women”) is believed in England to be the best practicable measure that can be sought, and our forces there, much as they are divided on other lines, have united upon this. There is a tendency among temperance workers everywhere to the opinion that as a wise general first recruits and drills his troops, then marches them on to the enemy, it would be wiser in the Temperance forces to unite their efforts to secure the ballot for women before they further expend their energies in seeking the submission of constitutional amendments to be voted down by men. I have never made any secret of the opinion that if our forces could but have seen this as the wiser way, it would have been to our advantage, and I have heard Professor Dickie -that trusted leader of the Prohibition party-make the same declaration; but it has been our view that the loyal thing to do was to march with the army and abide the decision of the majority as to methods of work, trusting that time, with its logic of events and its argument of defeat, would lead us all, sooner or later, to the right path, the true method of attack, and unite us in its application to the pulverization of the rum power.
Dress reform has been one of the most prominent features of the Woman’s International Congress and of the Woman’s Building at the Columbian Exposition. There were never so many dress reform societies officered by men and women of taste and reputation; never so many papers and magazines in the interest of the movement; never so many women who spoke favourably concerning it, and who had at last begun to illustrate some of its more conservative phases in their own wardrobes as now. In the long run the scientific view of a subject, if borne out by observation and experience, is as sure to gain ground as the reasoning faculty in man is to make constant development, and every one who speaks a good word for, or in the faintest particular adopts the scientific idea of dress reform, will help forward its success.
It is not an appetising nor yet a poetic fact, but all the same it is a fact that to preserve any woman, even the most sylph-like, in the same weight and size for one year, nearly a ton of material must be eaten or imbibed. To constrict the very organs on which the successful carrying out of such an intricate enterprise depends, is blatant blasphemy in action, and the penalty, if not so swift, is as sure as that Sapphira suffered and as richly merited.
Dress reform has perhaps reached its high water-mark in England from the fact that Mr. G. F. Watts, R. A., and other gentlemen and ladies of the first rank in the world of culture have taken up the cause, and expressed themselves in a handsome magazine entitled Aglaia, of which the press speaks in the highest terms. Hygienic and Artistic are the two words that indicate the scope of this hopeful and helpful endeavour. All women who appreciate such an advance under such auspices should send to Miss Margaret Gwyn, 136, Regent Street, London, W., 25 cents in English stamps and secure a specimen copy of the new magazine.
I believe the core and centre of the dress question in our day to be purely commercial. In other ages there were other reasons, but in this money-loving age great manufacturers and merchants put their heads together to widen the market for fabrics of all kinds, and they change “the fashion” that clothes may sooner become out of date so that new ones must be bought. This is at the basis of the cry that crinoline is to be re-introduced. It is for this reason that bustles go out and come in and that bonnets change their periphery from the size of a coffee cup to that of a cart wheel. It would be greatly to the advantage of women if they were permitted to pay a tax to the Manufacturers, merchants and modistes, and then go on and dress themselves conformably to reason. Some sweet day by and bye when there are enough women who do reason, the merchants and manufacturers will in vain seek to hold them under the present bondage of false hygiene, false taste, and false morals in dress. Some day every child that is born will find not only that its coming has been prepared for by its mother, but by that greater mother now so severe but then to be so reasonable and kind-Society.
More than once I have suggested the formation of a department of amusements, and I believe we could do a great deal to enlist our young people by showing that much interest in them and appreciation of their outlook. It has been well said by one of our leading poets “If I were conducting affairs I would have a portfolio of amusements and a minister whose sole duty should be to provide innocent pleasures for the people,” and he declared that a Japanese gets more joy in a month than an American does in a year. It is no more reasonable for people who wish to help the world to let the devil have all the amusements, than it is to let the devil have all the good tunes, a proceeding against which John Wesley and the Salvation Army have protested with notable success. Knowing as thoroughly as we do that the saloons, the gambling houses, the theatres, and nameless haunts of diabolic pleasure, entrap our young people, it seems to me hardly sincere for us to decline making a thoughtful, practical, and systematised effort to offset these attractions by legitimate amusements for the Loyal Temperance Legions, the Senior L.T.L’s, the “Y” Societies, and most of all, for the young men who stand in groups at a distance from our work, and wonder sometimes scornfully but often wistfully “What are those women doing?”
In enumerating the gains of the reform, we have hardly dwelt enough on the immense expansion of athletic sports. A well-qualified observer said to me recently, “Nothing in this generation has added to the happiness of men, especially young men, so much as the perfection of the bicycle.” The best part of that happiness is that it has reintroduced man to nature, has given back the sedentary citizen the health and sanity of the “great out-doors;” but better still it has afforded young men a method of expending their vigorous energies in locomotion rather than teasing and tormenting those about them, or demoralizing themselves by lounging in saloons and gambling houses, or wasting their powers in haunts of even deeper shame. There is much in the lives of boys and young men that should awaken our sympathy rather than the contempt that women too often manifest. In a vast majority of cases, they are more to be pitied than blamed, for their environment has been too small for them, their amusements and occupations have not afforded a sufficient safety valve for the superabundant vitality of their growing years; but the bicycle lets them out into the world at large, and best of all its nicety of adjustment requires a level head in those who would enjoy its pleasures. All thoughtful temperance reformers must admit that our cause gains incalculably more by indirection than through any specific effort that we can possibly put forth. The whole realm of invention, each day enlarging and constantly requiring better trained physical faculties, the clear eye, the steady hand, is putting such a premium on sobriety of life in all respects, as will afford one of the surest and most far-reaching safeguards of a wholesome life that men can know. I am glad, since women are the daughters of men and share much more largely in their tastes and likings than the primness of past custom has permitted them to reveal, that they are fast adding to the realm of their great and beautiful sphere all that is worthy to survive in out-door sports. The pleasant land of France, the home of all that is tasteful, artistic, and refined, leads off in the admission of women to the happy country of the bicycle. I am told that there are already 10,000 women bicyclists in France, and recent enquiries that I had the good fortune to make in Paris have assured me that this conquest will be permanent. “It is accepted that women shall ride,” was the testimony of my informants, and they declared that “nothing could be more charming than the costumes to which this new outlet for ingenuity and taste has given rise.
THE PRESS.-A LETTER TO “THE NEW MEMBER.”
The reiteration of my belief, concerning the importance of influencing public sentiment through the press, must still be borne as patiently as possible by my associates. I find that in England this immeasurably important work is reduced to a system much more complete than with us. For example, I recently became a member of a reform association, paid in my membership fee, and received soon after a letter that set me thinking. I said to myself, “Where have my wits been all these years that I have never helped to devise a similar weapon of war which should send its sure shot home to the head and heart of that vitally important personage-the New Member?”
The letter written to me covered four pages and at its head were these words:-“Fabian Society, established in London, 1883,” followed by the names of the General Officers and the address of the Headquarters. Then in black letters came these words:-“This letter should be carefully preserved for reference.”
It is needless to say that “this letter” came from the Secretary and
(1.) Informed me of my election;
(2.) Reminded me that I had declared my acceptance of general principles held by the Society, and that by so doing I was pledged to take part according to my abilities and opportunities in the general work of the Society, especially in my own locality, that I was expected to contribute annually to the Society’s funds, and that my subscription should be sent to the office
(3.) It was stated that the work of the Society as a whole takes on at present “the following forms,” (under which 7 particulars were given.) I was told that it was my business to induce other organizations to invite the lecturers of this society to address them, and so far as I could to bring about the purchase and distribution of the Society’s literature; also that correspondence classes had been arranged and I was asked if I would join one, by means of which I should obtain information that I might need in the making of addresses, writing of articles, or that great and constant argumentation that goes on in the private conversation of every intelligent person. A form was enclosed which I was requested to fill up and return if able to lecture, whether in London or in the provinces, and a list of lectures by members of the Society was also enclosed, of which I was asked to obtain copies and circulate them among clubs, associations, debating societies, church or chapel societies, or any associations in my neighbourhood that were likely to be willing to arrange for lectures, and I was urged to give my personal influence so far as possible to increase the number of lectures that should be given on several subjects that were named. Then followed a succinct list of the most important publications of the Society with their prices and postage, and another list that would be supplied to me gratis in reasonable numbers to give away, with the statement that they would be sent post free. I was also informed that the annual report of the Society with other documents would be supplied to me gratis without application, and I was urged to keep on hand the literature of the Association and to circulate it as opportunity occurred. I was asked to send in suggestions as to new publications that it seemed to me would help to spread an intelligent idea of the propaganda, and was very specially questioned as to whether I had supplied myself with this literature.
(4.) I was next reminded, under the head of Letter-writing, that “many of our members who do not lecture or speak in public can write excellent letters,” and I was requested to send letters enclosing appropriate literature to the following, as “many could thus be reached who did not attend our public meetings”: To members of Parliament, town or county councils, labour boards, school boards, c., or their constituents; to ministers of religion or members of their congregation; to editors of newspapers; to personal friends of the writer.
(5.) I was then urged to bring to the notice of those in charge of public libraries of any kind, Tract No. 29, entitled “What to read,” and in conclusion, under this head, I was specifically asked if I was willing to write at least one letter a week in support of the aims of the Society.
(6.) The next sub-division in this very suggestive letter to a New Member was “Election Programmes,” and I learned that questions for candidates for Parliament, school boards, boards of guardians, town councils, the London County Council and the Rural County Councils, and vestries, had been carefully prepared and could be obtained gratuitously in reasonable numbers. I was told that whenever an election occurred in any of the bodies enumerated it was my duty to send copies of these questions to the candidates, with a personal letter requesting a reply, and it was explained to me that these questions were useful to educate both the candidates and their constituents, and the replies received should be published in the local newspapers.
Next came a list of all the local papers in my vicinity with a statement of the time at which each was published, whether morning or afternoon, names of the publishers, etc., so that if I sent a letter I should be able to have it current and not stale. I was told it was my duty to supply to these papers notices of forthcoming lectures, reports, letters on Fabian topics, etc., as well as to any other newspaper likely to insert these notices, and as frequently as possible. I was reminded also that it is as well to remember that newspapers are much influenced by communications which they do not care to insert, and that a well-written letter is never wasted, because newspapers study the trend of public interest, and if they receive many letters on a certain topic they know that it is one they would do well to treat.
I was especially requested to secure the fullest possible publicity for a synopsis of all the lectures that were given by members of the Society in my district, and to make these reports of lectures especially known to persons likely to be interested in them. I was asked to forward to the Secretary any newspapers in which I might observe mention of the Society or its work, or any correspondence on socialism. The Secretary expressed a desire to secure any statistics or telling facts which might be used in the Society’s publications, and to have cases of excessive hours of labour, particulars of municipal or other institutions, programmes of parliamentary or municipal candidates, sent to headquarters where they would be put to the best possible use. In concluding this topic, by way of personal application and exhortation, this question was brought home to me: “Why not write a letter to your local paper or papers of whatever party, calling attention to some of the facts referred to in some of the Society’s tracts? In this way a useful discussion might be opened that would do much to educate public opinion in your town?”
Then came the following suggestive statement: “It has been found that the objects of the Society can be powerfully promoted by the participation of members in the work of other organizations which can thus often be turned in a socialist direction.” And then came a list of clubs and associations in my own vicinity into which it would be well to endeavour to carry the influence of the Fabian Society. It was suggested to me that if practicable it would be well to join one or more of these societies in order to influence it from within on all the lines heretofore and hereinafter suggested. At the close of this branch of my instructions came another exhortation, as follows: “Have you asked the members of any club or society to apply for a lecture by a member of the Fabian Society or to take any of its literature?”
I was then asked for a list of the organizations to which I belonged, whether a School Board, a Town or County Council, with the suggestion that it might be well to become a candidate for such body, as it would open many opportunities for effective work; and a form was enclosed for me to fill out giving the details of one sort or another of societies to which I did belong. I was told that it was particularly important that I should make myself acquainted with the actual machinery of public administration in my community, and that I should exercise my full influence in local political affairs, and I was reminded that “it is quite possible to turn the whole power of England’s political action in the direction of distinctly socialistic reforms,” and that the utmost pressure should be applied by socialists to this end. It was stated that “powerful influence can at all times be exercised by writing or sending literature to candidates, or by asking their support for special reforms, and particularly by bringing forward resolutions in local, ward, or other meetings;” and I was told that I should get specimen resolutions and questions to candidates by applying at Headquarters; the whole subject being clinched by asking me at the close whether I had made any attempt to secure the support as yet of any of the selected parliamentary candidates for the measures advocated in the Society’s literature.
Finally I was informed that “it was particularly important that I should make myself acquainted with the actual machinery of public administration in the district in which I resided,” and the last page of the letter was taken up with the statement that I was in the Local Government district of —, the clerk of which was named ; that the County representatives were —, and the School Board members —.
The Secretaries of the local political associations were then given me with there addresses; the Member of Parliament for my district was named and his address given, followed by a statement as to the selected candidates that were believed to be those who would be put forward at the next election.
I was then told that in order to make myself intelligent concerning the goings on of the various local governing bodies with whom rested the weal or woe of the population in my town, I ought to secure their annual reports. I was requested if I belonged to a university, or was otherwise able to exercise any influence at a seat of learning, to communicate that fact to the Secretary who would give me many points useful in such a situation. I was urged to inform the Secretary of any new opportunities of forwarding the work of the Society, and to make any suggestions that occurred to me, especially with regard to the possible extension of the governmental functions of existing public bodies; and I was specially urged at the close to keep the Secretary informed of any change in my address.
It seemed to me that said Secretary was entitled to sign himself as he did in concluding this remarkable and comprehensive statement of duties,-“I am, yours faithfully”!
It is needless to say that I rose from the perusal of this letter a gladder and a wiser woman. My own knowledge would never have borne in upon my consciousness any such extended concept of my duties and privileges as a Fabian, nor would my imagination have carried me so far; but one thing is certain,-my membership can never again sit so lightly on my shoulders as it did before I read my letter of instructions. By the laws of mind I am obliged to think a little about what I might do to help forward the great propaganda of brotherhood to which the Fabians are devoted, their weapons being: aroused and educated public opinion, the candidate, the ballot box; and I am confident that if we should prepare a letter to be printed by the National W.C.T.U. and sent by each local union to every one of its new members, we should realize a solidity, intelligence, and efficiency in our great clientele that we have never yet approached.
Among the suggestions that I would make to our Press Department, while extolling its efficiency in adverse circumstances, is this: In every locality let a Directory be prepared for the circulation of literature according to a plan, for we must convict and enlist people if we would succeed. If I were the National Press Superintendent, or a state, or local superintendent, I would send out stamped envelopes with a request for a list of the most prominent ministers, journalists, politicians, physicians, teachers, business men and women in the community, and would make an alphabetical directory of names, to which should go the press bulletin and special paragraphs as news came in over the wires, in the letters, or by whatever method. The superintendent of literature for locality, state and nation, should have a duplicate of this list, and the local, state, and national superintendent of Union Signal work (which I hope we shall have one of these days), would make this list her basis in seeking subscribers. But it is useless to plan about the Press Department unless we determine to put five times as much money into it as we do now. I am confident that we ought to have many more women in the field canvassing for the Union Signal, the Oak and Ivy Leaf, the Young Crusader, and our other publications. If we gave the entire per cent, above cost to these canvassers it would pay us so to extend the sphere of our influence, and it would pay us later in hard cash.
Under the care of Charlton Edholm, of California, World’s W.C.T.U. Reporter, and Miss Lodie Reed, of Indianapolis, and Miss Irene Fockler, Evanston, Ill.
Last year I tried to emphasize the evils of financial speculation on the part of Temperance workers, and the events of this year have certainly furnished a commentary on this text. In England the failure of the great “Liberator Society,” to which thousands of hard-working people had entrusted their all, has involved men who for a generation or more have stood in the forefront of the Temperance movement, but they are being asked to resign their positions because the taint of their names is like “a fly in the ointment.” Parallel instances equally lamentable are now in evidence in our own country; the World’s Fair in Chicago has been an unequaled source of degeneracy in the perceptions of good people as to what they might rightfully engage in, by no means “hoping for nothing again,” but hoping and confidently expecting a large percentage of gain on their investments, which must of course come out of the pockets of those who were their customers. If Temperance Reforms have learned by the unsightly object lessons of failure and disgrace that “our kingdom is not from hence” so far as real estate and uncertain investments to be put upon the market are concerned, the sorrowful experience of the past year will at least raise a revenue of righteousness and make the wrath of man to praise the Lord. OUR AFFILIATED INTERESTS.
THE WOMAN’S TEMPERANCE PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION.
W.C.T.U. journalism is a growing feature in the development of the Temperance Reform. No fewer than fifty women’s papers dedicated to the White Ribbon Cause are in circulation; one of the most attractive of these has reached me from Australia, and bears the well chosen name White Ribbon Signal . It is most interesting to see that its sentiments and plans are the same as those familiar to us at Headquarters.
It would be most ungracious in me did I not emphasize the sense I feel of the devoted loyalty and faithfulness manifested by Miss Margaret Sudduth and Mrs. H. B. Kells, who have held the fort for our official organ with so much generalship throughout this trying year. Various circumstances, well known to you, have combined to make it impracticable for the editor and corresponding editor to furnish the co-operation that we gladly did when our duties began in January of 1892; but our associates by their capable conduct of the paper have proved once more that no one is necessary to any cause. The Union Signal is becoming each year more cosmopolitan and its hold on the confidence and affection of White Ribbon women is a strand in the cable of our solidarity than which no other is more strong except our faith in God and the good Cause.
The Oak and Ivy Leaf deserves well of our “Y” constituency. I always feel that it is better than its name. The paper occupies a high rank and has steadily improved under its two wide-awake editors, Miss Sudduth and Miss Stuart. The Young Crusader is a constantly growing power for good among the Loyal Temperance Legions. Miss Guernsey has been especially fortunate in making it illustrative this year of the great Exposition and the children’s part therein.
In this most difficult financial year that any of us can remember for our Society (and far more for the country and the world), the W.T.P.A. has indeed seemed more than ever to be a child of providence. Early in the year (after Mrs. F. H. Rastall, our business manager, had sent in her resignation), we were fortunate in securing as her successor, Mrs. Caroline A. Grow, who had acquired most valuable experience through her connection with the business of a Chicago paper, and hence had less to learn than has usually been the case with those to whom we have entrusted similar responsibilities.
By means of increasing the work of our job printing office, and instituting marked retrenchment in the business department, also for the reason that she had already established an excellent reputation among business men, Mrs. Grow has been able to tide us along with remarkable skill among the breakers of our most difficult year. The financial backing afforded us by Lady Henry Somerset, Mrs. Carse, Mrs. Hagans, Mrs. Plumb, and Mrs. Bailey, may be appropriately mentioned because of the proof it affords that we have business women enlisted in our enterprise who do not content themselves with advice, and who have not only the heart but the purse with which to stand by us in the stress of difficult emergencies. The publishing house is declared by financiers to be on a trustworthy basis, and some of us have said-and shall keep on saying-that its credit shall never be impaired while we have a postage stamp of our own or the power to beg as many as may be needed, from anybody else.
The trying experiences of the present year will surely help to make us way wise, and readers of the Union Signal may feel assured that there will be no more speculative advertisements or catch-penny invitations to invest, and the absence of these from our columns will be a sure indication that our members absent themselves from all proceedings of a visionary and hypothetical character so far as financial engagements are concerned. We have learned “to endure hardness as good soldiers,” we have borne the brunt of political campaigns, the scarifications administered by the press, and have more than once been “in peril among false brethren.” The contradictions and calamities of the past year have but taught us to stand more closely shoulder to shoulder in the ranks, and, as I firmly believe, to lift our faces to the heavens that the light of the Spirit may fall upon them. We must not think that “we are the people and wisdom will die with us,” and we must remember that others may differ from us with an equally sincere heart and mind; but while it is our duty to keep in kindly personal relations with each and every one of our companions in the Holy War, it is also equally our duty to maintain with courteous fairness the opinions that we honestly hold, and if need be to “withstand them to their faces because they are to be blamed.” What we need most is to be able to see that while blameworthy from our point of view, those who oppose us may not be really to blame or even in the wrong. We are all so limited in knowledge and love that the deepest voice in our souls may well cry out, “That mercy I to others show that mercy show to me.”
There is a word of wisdom in one of the denominational newspapers of England which I quote for its lesson to reformers. A correspondent says:- “The reports of our Conferences in the daily press were most meagre and inaccurate. It is a denominational weakness of ours to under-estimate the value of a correct statement of our standing, such as can be secured only through the columns of the secular journals. We are more negligent than any other denomination in the country so far as this means of disseminating our opinions is concerned. We leave the whole work to the recognised reporters, which other denominations do not; it should henceforth be delegated to one of our own secretaries, or, if they are too busy, a correspondent should be appointed in connection with the Conference who would send each day an authentic account of the proceedings. The importance of all that is done now-a-days in all such gatherings is judged by the length of the report in the daily papers. I have been surprised that so few of our preachers, and especially of our young men, write for the press.”
THE WOMAN’S TEMPLE.
So far as I can learn by examining our minutes, the first resolution adopted relative to this great enterprise is the following, offered by Mrs. Hoffman, at Nashville, in 1887:
Resolved : That we regard with admiration and amazement the colossal plans of our earnest and devoted sister, Mrs. Matilda B. Carse, of Chicago, for the building of a Temperance Temple in that city, as a home and source of financial revenue to the National W.C.T.U., and that while we assume no legal responsibility whatever, we do give Mrs. Carse our sympathy, our prayers, and pledge ourselves not to hinder or embarrass her in the prosecution of her plans, provided that she shall legally obligate herself not to begin the work until five hundred thousand dollars shall be secured.
In my Annual Address that year I made the following reference to the Temple:
“That the Temperance Reform is to have in Chicago its Westminster Abbey, its West Point and its gold mine all in one,-you are by this time aware. I will not have the temerity to speak of this huge enterprise at length in presence of the woman who with twenty-five hundred dollars founded our great Temperance Publishing house. Mrs. Matilda B. Carse will tell you of her plans and show you a picture of the wonderful Temple that she has seen in visions on the mount of faith and prayer. She promises not to build until she has five hundred thousand dollars in the bank, so we are safe from anything chimerical. She does not ask us to assume legal responsibility, so we cannot complain; but she does plead for our God speed, our sympathy and free-will offerings-and she surely ought to have them. . . . . . . Mrs. Mary A. Livermore has pledged herself to give a hundred dollars and I hereby do the same. May all our hearts join in the children’s hymn,-
Brick and stone and mortar fair,
Rise, Temple, rise!
Upward through the sunny air,
Rise, Temple, rise!
And may we be there to see-when its topmost stone is set in place-with shouts of grace, grace unto it.”
Five years later the Denver Convention passed the following (1892): “Whereas the financial standing of the Temple has never before been so secure nor the outlook so hopeful as now, the report given and accepted here showing that by united effort we can within one year hold a controlling amount of Temple stock, therefore resolved: (1) That we will not cast doubt upon this enterprise; that we will not create distrust; that if any cannot help they shall at least allow those who will do so peace of mind in the doing. (2) Further resolved, That it is the sense of this Convention that for the sake of the W.C.T.U. and the great work to which it is pledged, and for the sake of the cause of woman’s advancement in the world, there is but one just and reasonable course to pursue, viz., that we stand with solid front and united effort until we reach a successful and triumphant completion of this great enterprise. And to this end we urge special and persistent efforts for the building during this our Columbian year.”
The corner-stone of the Woman’s Temple was laid with impressive ceremonies on November 1st, 1890, and the Temperance Reform has never witnessed a gala day of more marked significance. The reflex influence of the enterprise has been even more emphatic than the direct. I have seldom visited a village so small that it had not head-quarters of some kind, and often these were the local Union’s property, the improved method being to incorporate and build for renting purposes so as to have an income as well as a home. If all the women’s societies of a locality would combine to do this, each one receiving in proportion to the amounts severally invested by them, a vast impetus would I think be given to the totality of women’s work, and an unmatched stability acquired. That which stands out before the public in solid form impresses them far more than any abstract proposition, and no single effort put forth by temperance people has attracted so much attention or inspired so much enthusiasm among the people at large. To me the attitude of the central figure in this enterprise is one of mingled heroism and pathos.
Mrs. Matilda B. Carse is a woman of remarkable financial ability, who, if she had chosen to use her powers in her own interest, might in the last 20 years have amassed a splendid fortune; but she did what no business man has ever done, so far as I have learned in the annals of the Temperance Reform, put her business ability wholly at the service of the cause. Most persons who have a certain amount of financial skill, use it to forward their own fortunes; but having a competency, she chose to devote herself to the interests of the movement of which from the beginning she has been one of the foremost leaders. Many of us remember that when Mrs. Carse projected the Women’s Temperance Publication House, and founded the Signal (now the Union Signal ), she was for years suspected of having some ulterior design. It was said many a time in my hearing, “the next you know she will carry off that paper and make it her own private property;” so little were we able to conceive that a woman in the prime of life, a favorite in society, and one who might have made her way to a commanding position along any path she would have chosen, was willing to walk the dusty road of the Temperance Reform in its very dustiest part-and that is where the whirlwinds of financial interest blind men and women to the fact that “what we keep we lose and what we give we have.”
No less strength of character, training and faith than that afforded by a thorough Presbyterian training in a Scotch-Irish home amid American environments, could have produced the character needed to carry the Crusade fire into the realm of figures and finance. Mrs. Carse has been accused of having a dominant will. Doubtless she pleads guilty to the fault-if such it be-but had she been less persistent, insistent, and resistant, the Temperance Temple would never have taken root on terra firma. She has the faults of her qualities like all the rest of us; but for a union of faith, fortitude, and fervour, with financial genius and motherly tenderness of heart, I do not know where we should look to find her match. I have known her twenty years, and upon her integrity and capacity for unselfish devotion I am willing to stake what little reputation I may have for trustworthiness of character or conduct. From the day when the Chicago W.C.T.U. was turned out of the Young Men’s Christian Association, because at our Gospel Temperance meeting we had too many of the “submerged class,” at which time Mrs. Carse said with the earnestness grown familiar to us all, “God will give us head-quarters of our own where we can receive anybody who will come”-from that day on until this hour, it has always been stated with absolute distinctness that the National W.C.T.U. was not even asked by the founder of the Temple to assume the slightest legal responsibility; but that she was at liberty to do on her own responsibility what she felt would best forward the great enterprise; and women with a full knowledge of this fact were not only at liberty, but they were encouraged, to collect and contribute money to such an extent as they felt inclined to do in the expectation that some time-we did not venture to say when, but twelve years from November 1st, 1890, has been mentioned as the date-there would be such a return in money as to justify the efforts that had been put forth; for no reasonable person ever expected that dividends would be made to State and local unions until the building itself was paid for. It has also always been stated that after the Temple became our own no rent would be charged for the accommodations furnished the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and that from the time that it was opened the hall would be at the service of the National W.C.T.U., without charge for holding meetings.
It is consoling to me whenever I recall the fact, and that is more often than the sunrise, that we have once more a centre of Christian prayer, song, and testimony, in the heart of the world’s most progressive city, and that the earnest White Ribboners who conduct that meeting are women whom we can trust to “keep a light in the window for thee” and to “throw out the life-line” for the tempted and distressed.
Let me repeat, the Woman’s Temperance Temple has never proposed to make a farthing for any individual, hence it cannot as a business enterprise be placed in the common category of selfish financial interests. It has always been stated that after the building was paid for, the proceeds were to go for the work of the Temperance Reform through the local, State, and National Unions in proportion to the amount contributed by them. This is in a nutshell the understanding that I have had concerning the great enterprise in the midst of which we are, and I have always understood that even if we never owned the Temple entire we should realise an income to be used in our work on the basis just named from the amounts we had contributed, all of which have been officially acknowledged in the Union Signal week by week from the beginning. It is known to most of us that there has been a difference of opinion among our leaders as to the practicability of the plan I have here outlined; but the great majority of the White Ribbon women have always heartily supported Mrs. Carse, and have co-operated in every practical way by resolutions passed in local, State and National conventions; by innumerable encouraging letters and articles; by the contribution of large sums of money (not involving a sacrifice of the necessities or even the comforts of life, but as a rule of its superfluities); and by that common public sentiment, which is the surest indication of the opinion of a great society.
A resolution sent out by the Board of Directors of the Temple, asking for an expression of opinion concerning the duty of loyalty to the Temple enterprise on the part of the W.C.T.U. leadership, was disapproved by several of our Presidents of States, not, so far as I can learn, because they did not think we ought to be loyal to the enterprise, but because they thought the Executive Committee of the National W.C.T.U., and not the Board of Directors of the Temple, was the rightful source from which such a suggestion should proceed. This view of the subject commended itself to the sober second thought of the Directors, and they did not press the resolution.
Concerning the controversy that grew out of this action I prefer not to express an opinion, for the reason that at the distance from which I send this address I have been unable adequately to hear both sides, and it is far from my intention to impute bad motives to good people. This much however may be said, and I think ought to be said by the President of the National W.C.T.U., namely, that while it is true that in so great an undertaking as the building of a temple like ours, there is room for two opinions, nay, for many-and the widest latitude should be allowed to personal conviction-the fact remains that if any of the officers elected by the National Society (who, in the intervals of the Annual Meetings stand as our representatives,) are, or have been unfriendly to the Temple enterprise or any other of our affiliated interests, they have owed it to themselves, and owe it now as well as to the Convention frankly to say so before allowing their names to be used as candidates for re-election. A house divided against itself cannot stand in philanthropy, any more than in politics. The leaders of a movement must agree about the interests concerning which the Convention has pronounced its judgment, and if they cannot accept that judgment, it is not for the interest of the Association to place them in positions where their very inertia-to say nothing of their momentum-will block the wheels and dissipate the power.
In the stress and strain that has this year resulted from pulling different ways, the waves ran high, but the good old ship White Ribbon righted itself with remarkable skill and weathered the wintry storm. So far as I can learn from varied testimony, the attacks upon the Temple strengthened its standing with the public, because these attacks gave Mrs. Carse the opportunity to publish such a rejoinder and vindication as was convincing to reasonable men and women everywhere; so that what seemed to be a driving wind from an ill quarter has but sped us onward toward the port we have in view.
The Woman’s Temperance Hospital at 16 and 19, Diversey Avenue, New York, is doing well; no other report comes to me. It is now in an advantageous location, is well equipped, and conducted on progressive principles by a devoted and capable Board of Trustees. For many years our beloved Mrs. Hobbs has been the moving spirit, and its development must be a source of unalloyed satisfaction to one who, in all this heavy score of years which we have well-nigh completed, has preserved among the thickening complications a gentle and womanly demeanour, and has won the confidence and affection of all her comrades. It is a proverb that “the happy have no history” and everything has gone so smoothly with the hospital in the last years that we who remember the stormy vicissitudes through which it passed in 1889 have reason to hope that, as it has now entered upon a period of tranquil administration, so it may be with the Temple, after this crucial year of financial demoralisation closes up, and Chicago settles back to the sober realities of its everyday business career.
THE WOMEN’S LECTURE BUREAU.
After varied and often adverse fortunes, our Women’s Bureau is now under the care of Miss Lucy Anthony (the capable niece of Miss Susan B. Anthony), and is, we have reason to believe, on firm foundations. I bespeak for it earnestly the patronage of temperance men and women everywhere.
We are learning that this is not a cold and heartless phrase, but one warm and vivified by the very breath of God, and we are beginning dimly to perceive that the law of cause and effect makes no exception in the case of those whose energies are devoted to the amelioration of human ills, for “it is written in the law” that the giving of a coin will never pay one’s debt to those who do not share one’s opportunities. We know, by many a pleasant experience in giving, that the coin dropped into the pitiful, upturned palm of poverty, has often covered a larger wound in our own sensibilities than it has on the shivering form of the mendicant. We have gone away with a sense of duty done, and in consequence have experienced an elation of spirit altogether out of proportion to the sacrifice we have made for our brother in bonds.
Until science turned its search light on the intricate problem of “helping the poor,” we flattered ourselves that we had really helped; but we are learning that only “he who bestows himself with his alms” feeds either his own soul or his neighbour’s body. For example, a keen eyed Parisian journalist has recently taken upon himself the profession of a beggar, in the effort to discover the actual destination of the two millions five hundred thousand dollars annually given in casual and private charity to the poor of Paris. This journalist began as a barrel organ player and street vocalist, and descended by regular gradations until he was a deaf and dumb man, a blind man, a cripple, a paralytic, and a man out of work. He learned the tricks of the trade so well through the friendships he formed in the most disreputable quarters of the city where mendicants have their dens, that by mere begging he proved that he would “easily earn from three to four dollars a day.” He bears witness as follows. “By begging I have obtained tickets for bread, meat, chocolate, and milk; I have procured clothes, medicine, money for my rent, and long distance railway tickets. You may mention any article whatever,-an easy chair, a fiddle, a pair of spectacles, a wooden leg,-and at once I will place it before you by means of some charitable agency. There are teachers who, for twenty cents for five lessons, will prepare a street musician with words, music, and a “tremulous voice,” this last being most indispensable of all. There are “managers” who will furnish every possible begging accessory, from a barrel organ to a certificate for ill health signed by the doctor of the Paris Faculty. There are others who steal children and deform them, that they may be used as an attractive accessory of some diseased beggar. There are two directories published, one for “small dealers,” the other for “wholesale.” Here are some of the specifications.
Mr. A., wealthy proprietor, easily gives one dollar, pays rents, if ejected.
Mrs. B. never gives money; ask for clothes.
Mrs. C. (widow), interests herself only in children: ask linen for mother and baby. Obtain also tickets for preserved milk for baby, saying it is ill.
Mr. F., a great Radical, though very wealthy. Pose as a victim of the monarchy and clergy.
A woman beggar confessed to this journalist (whose name is Mons. Paulian ) that in response to the solicitations of the Protestant and Catholic clergy she had had her child baptized twelve times in the Protestant and fourteen in the Catholic Church. “The winter was so severe,” she said, “and each baptism meant twenty-five cents and a new dress for the baby.” A successful mendicant said to this journalist, “When I was a working jeweler I worked twelve hours a day for one dollar; now I work only five hours a day for a little less than one dollar, and when the weather is bad I can stay at home and read my favourite authors.”
No wonder that the journalist who thus became student of beggary insisted upon the absolute suppression of street almsgiving, and no wonder that he insisted upon district workshops; for he found, like every other practical worker for humanity, that the infallible touchstone by which the incorrigible mendicant may be distinguished from the unfortunate and deserving poor, is the unwillingness to work. He speaks of a society that provided work at a dollar a day, and out of seven hundred and twenty-seven applications, five hundred and fifty-three declined to accept work, and only eighteen worked beyond two days. They could make more money by begging! He holds, as we are all learning to do, that the world owes to every person who is born into it work by which he can live, and that when this principle is established, and the only, shall we cease to hear the senseless declaration, “the world owes me a living.” The world owes no man a living, but it does own him the work by which he may live in a helpful and honourable fashion.
In every Christian there exists a socialist; and in every socialist a Christian, for, as someone has wisely said, you cannot organize a brotherhood without brothers, and it is only too apparent that there are two kinds of socialism; one gives and the other takes; one says all thine is mine; the other says all mine is thine; one says I, the other we; one says my, the other our; one says down with all that’s up, the other up with all that’s down. It will take several generations to change the set of brain and trend of thought, so that in place of an individual we shall have a corporate conscience; but the outcome of the Gospel and the golden rule will at last make it intuitive with us to say our duty rather than always my duty, that is, we shall conceive of society as a unity which has such relations to every fraction thereof, that there could be no rest while any lacked food, clothing or shelter, or while any were so shackled by the grim circumstances of life that they were unable to develop the best that was in them both in body and mind.
Matter is only thought that has cooled; the reign and realm of law are as absolutely regnant in the spiritual as in the natural world; the law of ethics is the law of cause and effect; we shall reap what we have sown, and we must sow the principles of brotherhood if we would reap the socialism of the Gospel.
The hay fork tosses grass up into the sunshine, gets out the heavy marshy clods and spreads wide the perfume; so it is with the stirring up of truth in the atmosphere of thought.
We are all by nature narrow; we are inclined to take one item of the social programme, and work for it to the exclusion of others quite as important. It has been the curse of all reformers that they could not broaden with the circle of the suns, that they would not move with the evolution of the times, but held to their stereotyped, narrow gauged track. This course of conduct tends towards mental atrophy as its ultimate conclusion. But the modern scientific method is to study the correlations of each subject taken up, and it is of equal importance in the scientific study of reforms as opposed to the helter-skelter method in which they have been too often pursued. No one can adequately lead any movement who has not imagination enough to see that movement in its relations to others equally important. We must always have a working hypothesis, else there will be no symmetry in what we do.
The statement seems almost incredible that one in five of London citizens dies in the workhouse or the insane asylum, but this is vouched for by labour leaders there, as is another fact hardly less deplorable and closely connected with the first, namely, that there are 250,000 women in London whose daily wages do not exceed fifteen pence. But we have men who can pay $5,000 to decorate a house boat for their mistresses, or can give $1,200 for a pianoforte recital by Paderewski, or $1,000 for flowers to decorate a table at a banquet. These things ought to be known, and the best of it is labour leaders are determined that they shall be known. If one could do nothing more than stand at the street corners ringing a bell and dinning them into the ears of the passers by, he would be organising a revolution-peaceful, let us hope-out of which the people would emerge into a scene as different as that when one quits the sulphurous fumes of the railway tunnel for the sweet air of the fields in spring.
“Poverty causes intemperance and intemperance causes poverty, and that is the whole of it.” So said a working woman, cutting the Gordian knot of this difficult question, in a single sentence by the short road of her own experience and observation.
To-day, as of old, it is true that women come to the cross, and to the sepulchres where holy causes are distressed or dying or entombed, and cry out once more in the abundance of their tender faith, “The Lord is risen indeed.”
The saying of Pope Leo XIII. that will live longest is probably the following, as reported by Archbishop Ireland: “My title in the eyes of posterity, let it be that I was the working man’s Pontiff.” The attitude of the Pope in sending his blessing to the Catholic Total Abstinence Society of America, in urging his clergy not to antagonise the French Republic, and in putting forth an encyclical in which he takes the part of the working man, is the most salient indication of the progress that reforms are making. How well it would be if he would declare in favor of the enfranchisement of women, but that, we suppose, is too much to expect of the world’s most potent and confirmed old celibate!
Perhaps the best definition of Socialism is that endorsed by the Trades Union Congress at its recent meeting in Belfast by a majority of 137 to 97 against. They pledged themselves “to support the principle of collective ownership and control of all the means of production and distribution.” As the word Socialism is greatly misunderstood, it may be well for us to carry in our minds this definition given by experts. Lasalle, the great socialistic reformer, declared that the ethical basis of the teachings of Hegel is “devotion to universality.” However this may be, the sense of universality is growing in the human race and is the inspiring force of what we call “the modern spirit.”
The inherent antagonism between labor and liquor was illustrated last year by the refusal of the International Labor Convention held in Glasgow to admit a delegation from the brewers, and its hearty welcome given the following day to a temperance delegation.
I charge upon the drink traffic that it keeps the people down, and capitalists and politicians know it. Nothing else could hold wage-workers where they are to-day except the blight that strong drink puts on all their faculties and powers. There are leaders here who could testify that capitalists have said to them, little dreaming how the utterance would in future years recoil upon their class and re-echo to the world’s end, “We would rather give our men drink tickets for dangerous time (in the mines) and over-time than to give them money; we could not handle such masses of men and keep them willing to undertake such odious work, and keep them down as we are able to do now except for drink.” There are those who could testify that having later on written to the owners of these mines, who lived at a distance, about the way in which the overseers were handling the men through drink, they at once withdrew their support of a mission that had been established for the miners.
But for drink the slums would rise to the level of organisation in Trades Unions, and through political machinery would dethrone those who reap the fruits but have not sown the seeds of industry. But for drink the standing armies of sodden soldiery would fraternise with the people out of whose loins they sprung, whose interests are their own, and whose peaceful triumph alone can save their blood from watering the furrows of continental Europe. But for drink the aristocracy, rising from its bewildered dream of self-indulgence, would note as it does not now the tottering of thrones and dynasties, and would perceive that its only salvation, not for title and fortune which must pass away, but for life itself, lies in making common cause with King Demos, the only ruler who once set on the throne shall never abdicate.
The upper classes can better abstain than the overworked and often ill-fed lower.
Who can call work for shop-girls irrelevant to the temperance movement? What is it leads them to drink? It is wretched fare, miserable quarters at home, insufficient food, and wearying hours of ill-requited toil. If we have any justice it behooves us to look into this cause, and not deal for ever and a day with the effects of the liquor traffic, and with these alone.
We should not have the women of our nation flocking to the public-house if the women of culture and fortune would but put the wine outside their doors. We ask more of working women, ill-housed, ill-fed, ill-clad, when we take the pledge to them, than we do of the daughters of wealth who lack for nothing, and to whom intoxicants are but a pleasant stimulant, whereas the working woman often thinks at least that she finds in her bottle of beer something like food and recuperative power.
Among the poor in London there is a sort of freemasonry of which the clinking of glasses is the sign. A poor woman who cannot pay her rent often goes to the publichouse, tells her distress, and after they have treated her and themselves all round, her neighbours will, at the rate of a few pence each, make up the amount. If she had been a teetotaler they would have said that she was a stingy Puritan, and would have left her to herself. This terrible perversion of the social instinct of mutual help practically condemns the people in the slums to make the public-house the centre of their good times which they do by “starting in” for a jovial hour by taking what they deem to be a jovial glass. Teetotalers are at a discount in the slums. The people say, “we must drink to forget,” and quote the Bible-“Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his misery no more.” So we cannot forget the Labour Question in the Temperance Question, and unless we show the people our interest to help ameliorate and improve their condition financially, and to raise them to a better level, they will not thank us for preaching either Christianity or teetotalism, but they will look upon us as hypocrites, and perhaps not unadvisedly.
The Imperial Institute, a building covering nearly nine acres, was opened in London last May as a sort of perpetual exposition of the products of England’s colonies, that these distant lands might be brought more forcibly before the British nation at home. The Queen and royal family were thoroughly in evidence, and the capital of humanity has rarely witnessed a more gorgeous gala day; yet the chief features of the pageant were after all effete. The brilliant uniforms of the soldiery, the regulation attire of the navy would have been as appropriate to the reign of Elizabeth as to that of Victoria, but the facts are that between those two epochs has come such a witchery of invention as has changed the face of nature and the civilization of man. It is not the army of soldiers but the army of workers that is the salient feature of this age, and one could not help thinking that this splendid display was after all barbaric, and wondering why it is that the great, with their potentiality of cosmopolitan outlook, have still such power to resist knowledge that they dwell almost wholly in the past. Had it occurred to them, it is quite probable they would at least have joined to the military procession another that should have illustrated the progress of the industrial arts, and proved to the great working class of London that labour had secured its rightful recognition at last, as the grandest feature in all that splendid pageantry. The patience of the people, their perennial good nature, was something pathetic to behold. Although they and their achievements were totally counted out, they rallied by tens of thousands to cheer the good Queen who has “lived up to her lights,” and the soldierly figures that ought in these days only to be beheld on canvas, or read about in the records of a less reasonable and kindly age. It was well said by a leader of the Peace Society in Italy, that the scarcity of bread would hardly exist were not four thousand million francs spent every year upon the armies of Europe, a sum sufficient to give work to eight millions of working men. For the famous old war-cry, “Delenda est Carthago,” of which Cato was the author, he would substitute “Delenda est Caserna”-the Caserna must be destroyed. The Utopia of to-day is the accomplished fact of to-morrow. We all know that this has been proved too often for pessimists even to declare against its truth.
“We have tried classes and failed: now let us try the nation .”
No wiser utterance ever fell from the inspired lips of John Bright -the people’s statesman. Into the witch’s broth of legislation has gone every element except the people themselves. The rich and great have flung their branches of harm or healing according to their humour. Surely the mixture can taste no worse if every man and woman comes with a spring of personality-the best that they can bring-and some of us believe that only in this way shall the poison ever be neutralized, and the wholesome nutrition of the laws that incarnate brotherhood introduced into the seething cauldron of national legislation.
French people have so fine a sense of the proprieties of life that the man who guards the ballot box divests himself of hat and cigar out of respect to the shrine of a people’s will; and it is the testimony of a distinguished American, who has often been present at French elections that he never saw a man, no matter how uncultivated or how roughly clad who, on approaching the “Urn of Destiny” to deposit that fraction of the people’s will that was entrusted to him in the form of a ballot, did not do so with uncovered head.
It is desirable that our women should be informed as to the initiative, the referendum, and proportional representation. Switzerland has for years furnished an object lesson as to the value of the first two methods. It was wisely said by Tacitus, when writing of the Germans,
“Small matters chiefs discuss, great things all men.”
The referendum is a provision whereby any act of the legislature may be referred to the people to vote upon; and the initiative is a modification of the referendum, which allows the people themselves to agitate a new measure and vote upon it, whereupon it is adopted by the legislature.
Proportional representation has long, in a modified form, prevailed in the State of Illinois. It is a method of election by which minorities receive representation. Under this plan the minority could concentrate its votes on a single candidate, and thus elect those who should present its arguments to the majority in halls of legislation.
The W.C.T.U. has repeatedly sought to act as a mediator between capital and labor, and in the terrible strike at the Homestead Mills our representatives pleaded for peace. We must always remember however that peace with honor and founded upon justice to both parties must be our aim by pen and voice; and by the passage of well-worded resolutions our unions can do much to create an enlightened public opinion, and at the same time to increase our own influence for good, now, and in the future, when the influence of woman shall be accentuated by her vote.
The dignity of labor has never been so strongly insisted upon as by speakers and writers in the last year. Blessed be drudgery has come to be an every day beatitude in the labor propaganda. It is openly declared that we must rehabilitate work; that it is a law of life and happiness, that if a man will not work neither shall he eat; and on the other hand if a man will work he shall eat; and in Switzerland a petition has been circulated that has attained so large a number of names that under the law of initiative and referendum a plebiscite is to be taken on the question-Shall it not be obligatory on the Government to furnish work to every citizen who is willing to do it? Under the rule of labor and solidarity it is rapidly coming to pass that there is no place for the idler on this planet, he is as bad as a thief, and as disgraceful as a beggar. The one only aristocracy is soon to be the aristocracy of honest toil; but, be it well certified, that toil shall not exceed eight hours per day.
Stanley’s description of the forests of Africa may well be likened to the present condition of things in the Forest of Humanity. A few immense over-reaching and over-mastering trees so monopolize the space that the small ones have no hope or opportunity. The growth is too thick, the shadow too great, the soil not rich enough, under the system of competition. In the forests of South Africa daylight must be let in upon the gloomy undergrowth. There must be space and freedom, we shall then have more trees and better ones, an improved climate and a habitable country.
The same laws apply to the human jungles and forests of great cities-there must be a thinning out. The wholesome influence of nature, sunbeam and sky, air, earth and water must be more intelligently and equally provided for each and all, then will come the tall, well-developed and harmonious growths, and not till then; but this means that sort of Socialism which is best defined as “Christianity applied.”
“The love of money is the root of all evil,” and the small meannesses bred by the law of competition corrode men’s characters as rust spoils steel. You can enter no hotel without perceiving that the attendants look at you with a keen, commercial eye, and determine how much attention they shall pay, or rather, expect to be paid for. They have even got the matter down to so fine a point that in Switzerland, I learn, they make special marks on the baggage of travelers which mean, in the jargon of their class, “This one give small fees: neglect him accordingly.” From the boot-black to the throne, money values are the final test of every human being’s status in the world in these days; and, whether we know it or not, we are all ranged in lines in the great amphitheater of life, plebeians and patricians, not by pedigree, talent or achievement, but by the weight of the money in our pockets, and our balance at the bank. The triumph of the Labour movement will change all that; the unit of value will be a day’s work with brain or hand, honestly done and fairly measured. As an offset to that day, the one who lived it shall have shelter, food, clothing, what we call, in a word, “the comforts of life.” In the effort to change from the present method, which has doubtless been necessary up to date, but which is now out-worn, the whole world is writhing like a snake that would cast its skin. Its contortions take away our security and peace, and there will be no more rest until it is torn and clothed anew.
“Ours, not mine shall be the watchword of the future.”
The world is waking up to the idea that because things have been so is no sufficient reason why they always shall be. Because on State occasions there are two million dollars worth of plate on Queen Victoria’s table, and a chandelier above it containing a thousand ounces of solid gold, is no reason why this should be so in the better days that we believe are at the door. Because there is at Windsor Castle fifteen million dollars worth of plate, is no reason why there will be always. Because the United States contains to-day over four thousand millionaires, is no reason why there should be so many of these monstrosities to-morrow.
In England 17 men, consisting of Mr. Gladstone and his Cabinet, are the political rulers of three hundred millions of people, or one-fifth of the inhabitants of the globe. England is now becoming so democratic that it is quite likely, so the leading English papers say, that within a few years John Burns, a working man, who never received more than five hundred a year, will be one of the 17.
General Booth took as the standard to which he stated he was determined to help lift the London poor, the status of the cab-horse. He thought that a man should be fed, clothed, and housed, as well as a cab-horse. The W.C.T.U. would rather take as its standard the street as we see it in the city, where each one has a fair chance to get along over the ground, and where each one is considerate of the others, carts, carriages, and even beer-wagons paying attention to the safety of the pedestrian, and giving him some show and chance for his life. All that humanity asks in these days is a fair show.
The municipal lodging house is a new institution and has been made successful by the London County Council. The utmost care has been given to sanitation, comfort, warmth and light; the day-room or recreation room is a large lofty, and well furnished apartment. There is a reading room and library, a large dining hall and abundant accommodation in the adjoining kitchen where each man may cook his own food if he so desires. A large disinfecting room has been fitted up, also a laundry with large drying closet, a room for ironing and another for storing linen. The dormitories are each 7 by 4 ft.; hot and cold water is supplied in the bath rooms; there is a good covered-in space set apart for a workshop. The charge per bed is 5d., and the London County Council, elected by the people, is the only landlord. A similar lodging house for women is contemplated. This is an experiment in the direction of socialism the reasonableness of which has thus far been abundantly justified by experience.
In the great controversy between Capital and Labour, invention stands half-way, stretching out a hand of help to both, and no greater mistake can be made by working men or those of us who so profoundly sympathise with them, than to speak with disparagement concerning the value of machinery. As Chauncey Depew called out so happily from New York City over the long distance telephone to David B. Carse, the son of our Temple builder, on Machinery Hall Day, when David was Master of the Ceremonies,
“Discovery found America, invention has made it habitable by the happy millions of the present and for the countless millions of the future. Abolish machinery and the world would be reduced to savagery, and most of these people would perish. Machinery is the factor of material progress and mental and moral development. All other forces are either subsidiary or are continually indebted for their liberty and opportunity to work and to do, to the condition created and areas opened by the inventor’s genius and the artisan’s skill and labour. The wonders of the work of the White City by the lake are the children of the civilization which has been made and vitalized by steam and electricity.”
But the eight hour law alone will place the wage-worker in a just relation with the new civilisation created my mechanical inventions.
A lace-making machine now performs the work formerly done by 8,000 lace-makers. We may object to the man who invented this machine, but what should we have said if he had come forward with one that required 16,000 lace-makers instead of 8,000?
Everyone who thinks, knows that the tendency is always to get more done with the least effort, and that this is, take it on the whole, a vast advantage to the world. The difficulty is that we have not readjusted our social system to the inventions of man; and by paying the same wage for fewer hours we can furnish work for all, while all can enjoy the higher happiness inventions bring.
Sitting in the directors meeting of The Union Signal one day, I looked from the window and saw, down on the next corner, the Woman’s Temple going up, already having attained its thirteenth story. A hodcarrier was walking slowly along its outer wall with his heavy burden, and perhaps no object on the street was less remarked or of less interest to the passers-by, but I could not help thinking, as he plodded on, That is the way with character; we build it in littles, and without observation. It is just the steady going forward doing the duty of the minute or the hour, putting in the time and effort just when and where they are needed, and doing this right on; that is all there is of character building, or temple building, or probably of planet building or of universe building, just to keep right on putting in our time and effort to the best advantage practicable at the moment. It was very encouraging to me to see him go, poor fellow, and to think that there was a certain holiness about him, because all honest work is holy. The reaction of our powers on our environment for good and helpful purposes is holiness. It is fulfilling the law of our being. It is doing what God does. Sometimes one thinks when he goes along the street and sees the grimy face of some man with a pickaxe in the ditch, who can do nothing except invest his muscular force to remove certain clods or pieces of stone out of their places, “It is a pity he has learned nothing better to do than that.” But after all it was thus that every city was builded, every railroad carried to completion, and I have learned to look with a certain reverence at these men who are literally doing that which Emerson spoke of in his famous words, “building better than they know,” better for humanity; better, let us hope, for themselves.
THE WORLD’S RELIGIOUS CONGRESS.
This Congress is the greatest thought that has lighted on the planet in our day, for man will never build the temple of truth, freedom and goodwill, until he has drawn its plans and specifications, and the doing of this is the setting forth of a religion. It is the theory of which life makes the practice possible. Ethnologists tell us that nowhere among men have any yet been found who have absolutely no form of religion or worship, and no conception of a deity; the average mind by its very construction and laws must seek a Cause of causes, and must believe that only through unity with this it can escape the effect of all effects. Working out these ideas according to their heredity and environment men have formulated hundreds of creeds, of which the faiths called heathen number 874,000,000 of adherents, Mohammedan 173, Roman Catholic 195, Protestant 135, Greek Church 85, and the Jews 8,-that is, one half the race comes under the head of what we are pleased to call heathen, one in 180 is a Jew, one in 18 a Greek, one in 9 a Mohammedan, one in 8 a Roman Catholic, one in 10 or 11 a Protestant. About one-third of the race is reckoned as nominally Christian, although less than one-tenth of these actually belong to what are called the evangelical churches; but it should be noted that Mohammedanism has much in common with Christianity, chiefly because it maintains the unity of the Godhead as against polytheism. In this enumeration made by a learned specialist, he wisely says that the faiths of Confucius, Brahma and Buddha are immeasurably above the fetish worship of Africa. We must form a habit of discriminating among the classes we call heathen, for we pre-judge Christianity to its hurt when we apply this epithet to the reverent and devoted students of religion who in Oriental countries went forth at history’s dawn to seek for God.
Gravely and kindly is the question asked in Holy writ, “Why do ye not of yourselves judge that which is right?” It is a query by no means outworn. We have the power of discrimination and judgment in a far higher degree than we have the good will to exercise it. If we would but cultivate the habit of putting ourselves in another’s place by an effort of Christian imagination, that angel of the mind, our judgment, would not so heavily condemn the professions made in our hymns and prayers. There is no real falling away of humanity from the essence of gospel teaching; but the world is tired of the hollow phrases wherein a verbal loyalty is claimed to which conduct does not set its seal. Profession mocks performance in us all, and whether we hear it or not we know in our hearts that we deserve to hear the voice that said so long ago to his earlier disciples, “Why call ye me Lord, Lord, yet do not the things that I say.”
The trouble is we judge Christ by religions instead of judging religions by Him. In former days the cry was, “The Bible, the Bible, the religion of Protestants,” but now it is, “Christ the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever.”
Huxley says that “self-assertion is the essence of the cosmic process.” If this be so then let us essentially assert ourselves for God.
The sure perquisite of happiness is doing. Nearly every difficulty vanishes when one begins to do. We puzzle ourselves about theories of religion, but when we begin to act religious this very acting puts the theory out of our minds. The fact is, we must have the theory, but we must never for a moment rest in it. As well might the physician substitute his prescription for medicine, the captain his chart for the voyage, or the architect his plan for the structure it describes. The very core of religious fanaticism, whether it be in the medicine lodge of the savage, among the fetish-makers of the East, or in the cathedrals of Europe and America, is the dwelling in doctrine instead of doing for those about us. The curse, canker, rust and blight of the religious life, have been that we theorized instead of practiced, and that we antagonized those who differed from us as to our theories. The modern teaching is to seek harmony rather than discord. When you find yourself alongside of another human being settle it in your mind that you will study the correspondence, the agreement, the amenities, rather than the antagonisms and differences between you two. The whole code of good manners, not to say Christian behavior, is found in this one precept.
No utterance that has come to my knowledge this year has been so full of suggestion and hope as that of Thomas A. Edison, the greatest of modern inventors, who has spoken as follows:-
“I tell you that no person can be brought into close contact with the mysteries of nature, or make a study of chemistry, without being convinced that behind it all there is a supreme intelligence; I am convinced of this, and think that I could-perhaps I may someday-demonstrate instances of such intelligence from illustrations of the operation of these mysterious laws with the certainty of a demonstration in mathematics.”
The British Association for the advancement of science has recently held its annual session, and the President admits that the mechanical theory of life, formerly held by leading exponents of science, has broken down, for it seems the further they investigate, the more clearly is it seen that each microscopic cell in the organism has what they call “specific energy,” a something that no device of man can even simulate.
An earnest woman has recently given it as her belief “that the basis for ethics rests on the fact that the universe is an illustration of the right way.”
Once we had a static but now a dynamic universe; once we believed that everything was in a condition of changeless certitude, now we know that the only changeless thing is change. Then we regarded the Deity as seated in serene quietness behind the works that He had wrought; now we know that He is the thought behind all things; the thinker behind all thoughts; the force that energizes every force of which we have become aware; in a word, the dynamic rather than the static power that has evolved the universe. We do not know this as we know that “two and two make four,” but we find that it is the only working hypothesis that fits in with what we have already learnt and leads on to the perpetually opening discoveries of the best minds-the most adventurous explorers in every realm of the creation. Science which in its crudest days was wholly materialistic now requires an explanation of phenomena that involves invisible powers great enough to have set in motion the visible powers by which we are environed. No other method of accounting for the world in which we live and the 250 million worlds by which we are surrounded is at all adequate to meet the case. The best scientific minds are now religious and the larger religious minds are scientific. With such a union of the two greatest forces of which we are aware in the realm of study and achievement we may be assured that Atheism will be rendered impossible to healthful minds; Agnosticism will be less popular, and the affirmation of the Theists will become practically universal in the realm of ideas.
We read those affluent words, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners”-but we do not yet place the emphasis where it belongs; we have forgotten that He has spoken to us not at once but at sundry times, not in one but in divers manners. Our little human limitation for ever sets itself to measure Him and His ways toward men, but He has in nature and in grace averred to us times without number that His is a continuous revelation, and in the nature of the case must be because we continually grow more capable of receiving it,-even as a father and mother can but make a slowly widening revelation of themselves to their child, not because they could not have impressed their knowledge and character upon him at one stroke, if he had been able to receive it, but his limitation passed over to them and in the nature of the case this could not be otherwise. When once this view of the subject, simple and reasonable as it is, has been understood and accepted, theological controversies will be practically nil, and what a rest and comfort that will be to all the world!
There comes a time when the child that had lain under its mother’s heart, and whose little head had been long and often pressed against her bosom, takes note of the fact that the heart beats. So it is with us. Our God-consciousness comes late. We are born of that great Being which has far more of the mother nature than man-made theology has ever set forth. In that Being we live and move and have our own, but the most intelligent and happy hour that comes to us is when we begin to hear, and feel, and know the beating of the Heart that is the home of every creature God has made.
A human being is like a ship on a long voyage from childhood to Immortal life, with the Bible for his chart and the Star of Bethlehem from which to take his bearings; if he has only set sail wisely there is no storm that can drive him off his track; each one will help to fill the great white sails of his hope and of his onward going; if he is praised, that is a zephyr from the tropics that speeds him over the billows; if he is blamed, that is a vitalizing breeze from the north that carries him perhaps more rapidly. He passes many other ships and for them all he should hoist signals of goodwill and helpfulness. It is for him to say out of a heart that means those pregnant words “Blest be the sorrow, kind the storm, that drives me nearer home.” He who meets life in this spirit is a victor, no other ever can be; and it is not in the plan of God that any other should.
Rev. R. F. Horton of the Congregational Church puts the present Theological situation more clearly than anyone whose statement I have happened to see. He says:-
We must look at the substance of the messages we are delivering, and the very form of the Gospel we preach. Does it not sometimes strike you when you have the New Testament in your hands that there is a strange difference between the Gospel in the nineteenth century and the Gospel in the first? This theological Gospel; this ritual Gospel; this controversial Gospel; how strangely different! Does it not strike you that the whole mode of reducing the Christian Gospel to a number of logical propositions, even though so excellent a formula as a creed is quite unchristian? Does it not strike you that you cannot present the Gospel to the heathen in the formula of Geneva, Westminster, or Canterbury? If that had been the way, these formulas would have been made at the beginning. The Gospel moved to its victory without them, and they hinder rather than help its victory now.
The faith of the gospel is like a beautiful and simple strain of music, which floated down from the heavens centuries ago, entered the world, and took captive the spirit of man. At first the strain was echoed in the hearts of those who heard, and all wanted to hear it for themselves. But little by little men began to think it necessary to write down the score of the music, and as they wrote it down there were certain variations in its notation, in its harmonising, in its orchestration, and when the differences were observed they began to dispute about them, and each man declared that his notation was the notation and, as the conflict grew louder, men ceased to play the music at all or to listen for it; they were entirely engaged with the scores. When it occurred to them that they must bear the message to the heathen, they took their score books, and each assured the heathen that his was the correct rendering of the music which came down from heaven, and then your Uganda is torn with the conflicts of the men who have two scores of the music, and who try to persuade the heathen that they are each right, and the heathen do not care, no do I, nor you, but they say: “Why do you not play the music?” Give them the symphony; let it ring out the same glad sound that came into the world centuries ago; and all men will hear and be glad; they will listen and be ravished by the music that fell from heaven; the “peace on earth and goodwill to men,” the coming of the Lord of light, and life, and peace; this music of the risen Christ as one who lives for evermore; this Gospel from His lips and from His heart; a Gospel unstereotyped, unfrozen, all-alive; this is the preparation for the highway of our God.
It will be well for us in these days of clanging creeds if we can say in all simplicity and earnestness what one true heart has said so well that I place it before you as a statement of Gospel truth that in my belief would unite Christendom:-
“I follow Christ because I have heard Him speak a natural language, and because I have heard beating in His heart, the heart of all. Therefore He is not for me a person who was, and is no more, but the eternal contemporary of us all, the symbol of a spirit which rests with us always. The visible truths of the human and divine Evangel rise every morning on my horizon like new luminaries. I salute and adore them with the same admiration as if I were seeing them for the first time. Miracles, dogmas, strangenesses of forms, which worried me at first, worry me no longer. Across them all I see only one thing:-Man in search of God, God in search of man.”-
This is indeed a heavenly vision, and the best report that any one of us could give if our characters were being passed upon to-day, as is the custom in some ministerial conferences, would be to answer in the sweet old words, “Behold I was not disobedient to the Heavenly vision.”
May it be light in our minds; love in our hearts; peace in our consciences.
“EVENING BRINGS ALL HOME.”
“O earlier shall the rosebuds blow
In those far years, those happier years,
And children weep when we lie low
Far fewer tears, far softer tears;
But then shall break eternal dawn,
And breathe afresh life-giving air,
And life be love, and death be dead-
May we be there, may we be there!”
These tender lines would have been sung at the last National Convention with fervent aspiration by many a White Ribbon woman, of whom it is written to-day:
“The blessing of the poorest went
With her beneath the low green tent
Whose curtain never outward swings.”
From the World’s and National W.C.T.U. we have lost our editor, Miss Mary Allen West; our Superintendent of the Flower Mission, Miss Jenny Casseday, of Louisville, Kentucky; and from the National W.C.T.U., Miss L. A. Northup, President of Wyoming W.C.T.U.
And Mrs. Shapleigh, Treasurer of Colorado W.C.T.U., one of the ablest women in our ranks.
Through the considerate kindness of Mr. Sho Nemoto, a Christian Japanese, also of the American Consul at Yokohama, and leading missionaries in Japan, we have had full and most sympathetic accounts of Miss West ‘s painful illness and pathetic death, which went the world around in a memorial number of The Union Signal, grieving all hearts for her loss and inspiring all by the magic of her heroic character.
Mary Allen West was a woman so thoroughly furnished to every good word and work that our leaders had long felt that she would systematize and instruct our far-off workers, as she had those of the North American continent, better than any other could. Her eight years of experience as a county superintendent of public schools, involving as it did the frequent holding of normal institutes for teachers, had given her a preparation for this work such as no other White Ribbon woman had enjoyed. Her Schools of Methods had extended throughout the National W.C.T.U., a clear understanding of those ways of work which must commend themselves to the common sense of the great public, and were calculated to enlist a rising army of disciplined young women to take the place of the veterans. I have never known a woman more versatile in talent than Miss West . After her many years of editorship she had grown worn and weary of office work, and it seemed as if a wider field, and one in which she might regain much of the stamina expended in her long career as an educator and journalist, would be opened before her by a trip around the world. She started for California in January of 1892, and after some weeks of rest in the home of an old friend, went to various points of influence along the Pacific coast, holding “Schools of Methods” by invitation of White Ribboners, and sailed for Japan, landing in that Empire of Flowers September 13th, 1892; but her generous spirit outran her physical powers, and the multifarious needs of our great work in Japan, led Miss West, who was one of the most generous of women, rapidly to expend her remaining stock of vitality, and she left the world all too painfully and suddenly, dying in the home of a dear missionary friend in Kanazawa, December 1st, 1892; but not until she had fanned to a flame the latent enthusiasm of those to whom she went, and who so warmly appreciated her active temperament and unbounded good will and self devotion. Her ever-living-monument will be the W.C.T.U. of Japan. During the 79 days of her memorable mission she traveled 3,600 miles; addressed 97 public meetings and about 40,000 people, sometimes giving two or three lectures a day. “She is the mother of the Temperance work in Japan” said our Japanese leader, Mr. Sho Nemoto of Tokyo. “Everything is all right” was her last coherent utterance, and it is a precious legacy to us if we have the faith, hope and charity to say it in all the smaller things of life as she did in the greatest.
It is the wish of our General Officers to send out a successor at the earliest possible moment, and much correspondence has been had on that subject. Our indefatigable veteran, Mrs. Mary Bynon Reese of Seattle, Washington, volunteered to go, and I wish she might have done so; but in philanthropy as well as in private life, it is disastrously true that “the destruction of the poor is their poverty,” and the World’s W.C.T.U. has not as yet attained the vantage ground of a financial ability at all commensurate with its intelligence and zeal. Our Japanese friends demonstrated their love for Miss West and the cause by themselves calling a convention soon after her death, and re-organizing the W.C.T.U. founded by Mrs. Mary Clement Leavitt in 1886.
I had hoped that the life of Miss West would be written by her near friend who was associated with her in her Chicago home, Miss Emily Kellogg, well known to the Illinois Press Association as a journalist and the Secretary of that Society. To her I sent from England all the letters and documents that I thought would be of use, and I know by a letter from her that she hoped to edit the volume, but her death following that of her friend and associate by but a few months, has deepened the pathetic impression made by the untimely departure of our beloved friend and comrade the veteran editor of the Union Signal.
It is fitting that a fountain named for Miss West is to be placed beside the Temple which her ready pen did so much to bring before the public, and to which she stood loyal and true from first to last. A window, dedicated to her memory, will be placed in Willard Hall, and I hope the Convention will request the Committee on Publications to assign to loving and capable hands the work of preparing a volume that shall give to our whole army an account of her great and helpful life.
The name of Jenny Casseday is never spoken by any of us without the tenderness that her character and sufferings could but inspire. She was God’s white lily in the great garden of our White Ribbon Women, growing in the shadows of this world, but richly ripened by the sunshine of the world to come. Thirty years on that little white couch by the window in her city home had made her a figure familiar and sacred to the beautiful southern city in which she founded institutions and inspired Christlike endeavours that will live as long as love endures. That smiling face so transparently spiritual, that little lame hand with its tireless pen, those cheery, trustful, practical letters, dated “sick bed,” have gone out into every quarter of the world and inspired with holy emulation hearts that else had failed and fainted, so tugged were they with fortune and weary with disaster. “Flower Mission Day”-the date of her nativity-June 9th-has become the most widely known and faithfully observed of all the W.C.T.U. “red letter days,” and I feel sure that such an account of her wonderful life as could be written by that journalistic sister of hers, Mrs. Fanny Casseday Duncan, would become a classic in our literature.
Of Miss Northup I personally knew very little, having seen her only in the stress and turmoil of two great conventions. She was loved and trusted by her comrades, who have written to me of her in terms of affectionate appreciation. Over the mountains and through the canyons of beautiful, but difficult Wyoming, she had journeyed for years in stage coach and car, forming local societies in our name, and loyal to our plans and purposes.
We have lost this year Mrs. Dr. Gause, of Aiken, South Carolina, one of those whose names were on the first call (1874) for a National W.C.T.U. which should organise and systematize the crusade movement. She was for years our superintendent of Sunday meetings at the National Convention, and her ingenuity, tact, and gift of working to a plan were of untold value to us, not only in the early days of the movement, but the later. To her husband and family, always devoted friends of our society, we shall certainly wish to send tokens of our affectionate remembrance and tender sympathy.
One Sunday afternoon many years since, it fell to my lot to speak in the beautiful church of the Rev. Dr. Alexander Mackenzie, the leading pastor in Cambridge, Mass: the seat of Harvard University. I did the duty of the hour as best I could, but felt that I had what speakers call “a trying audience.” At the close, an elderly lady of cultured bearing and benignant countenance came to me, saying she had never before realised her duty to the Temperance Reform, and that she should at once join the society and do all in her power to help forward its work. This was Mrs. A. C. Thorp, whose only son was a graduate of Harvard, a lawyer in Boston, and the husband of one of the poet Longfellow’s daughters, while her only daughter was the widow of Ole Bull, the famous violinist. Mrs. Thorp was then living at Elmwood, the ancestral home of the poet, James Russell Lowell; she was a woman of large wealth, generous heart, and undying devotion to any cause to which she had given her allegiance. Mrs. Thorp was as good as her word, she at once joined the local W.C.T.U., was soon after made its president, and led the movement for local option in Cambridge. It was a hard fight at first, but the prohibition of the saloon has now come to be acknowledged as a great advantage to the university: its students, professors, and at last its president, voting each year in its favour. Mrs. Thorp became my friend and with her friend Mrs. Shapleigh stood by me in many a difficult emergency. The building and fitting up of my “Den” at Rest Cottage was an enterprise headed by her. In the last year she slipped away from us for she had grown so spiritual that as the twig drops, at its articulation, from the bough, so our friend’s weary form dropped to the earth while her out-reaching spirit rose to heaven. Let me for you send tender greeting and sympathy to Mrs. Ole Bull and all the dear family in Cambridge.
Miss Lois Smith died in February last after a long, brave fight with asthma, a disease that had rendered it impossible for her to continue her work with us, in which she had been so useful and so much beloved. I received a cable from that nearest of all hearts to hers, Miss Cassie Smith, and my heart went out to them over the sea by reason of all that they have loved and lived, done and suffered for the cause of Christ and of Humanity. Their presence in the earlier conventions will be well remembered; their words were always not only deeply spiritual, but seasoned through and through with common sense and practicality-even as were their lives. Lois Smith was a remarkably clear and original thinker and writer; many a time have I taken a paragraph or page from her piquant, private letters to me, and served it up for the readers of the Union Signal . I know the tender sympathy of our White Ribboners will be freely given to our heroic Cassie Smith in her new loneliness, but the Comforter abides with her, and she looks for “another country-which is an Heavenly.”
Among those who have left us this year is the brave and generous spirit of Mary A. Ripley, of Nebraska, one of the most original, genial, and well-wishing women that I have met or loved. After teaching I think well-nigh 30 years in the High School in Buffalo, New York, she felt unable to continue longer in that vocation, and removed to Nebraska, where she took up the work of scientific instruction, and our sisters in that State will bear witness to her capacity and faithfulness. Remembering all her pleasant ways, I write these words of affectionate sisterly recognition in the hope and expectancy that we shall “meet again as heretofore, some summer morning.”
It would pain my heart as well as yours to omit referring with affectionate appreciation and gratitude to our brother, Mr. P. A. Burdick, of New York, who left us during the past summer.
I had known him almost from the beginning of his brilliant career as a public temperance worker, and of no man in our army have I heard less harm spoken or more good. He had a brain that would have won for him the first rank as a lawyer, the profession to which he was early inclined; but he has left a record nobler and more imperishable than that because under the influence of the spirit of God he determined to plead the cause of tempted man and devastated homes in the great court of Humanity, and to help to its conclusion the long chancery suit of The Homes of the Nation versus the Liquor Traffic.
For our comfort in all the loss and loneliness of these years that have ploughed the furrows of bereavement deeper and yet more deep, we must comfort one another with words like these:-
“Forever near us though unseen
The dear immortal spirits tread;
For all the boundless universe
Is life; there are no dead.”
“And they feared as they entered into the cloud,” but nevertheless it was the cloud of the transfiguration, even as death shall be to all of those who live “as seeing Him who is invisible.”
Every Gethsemane has beside it the serene, sweet heights of the Mount of Olives, and from its summit, the resurrection into the heaven of heavens.
We are told that off the coast of Wales a large bell has been placed in the sea, to warn vessels of too near an approach to the shores near which it swings. This bell is so arranged that at every motion of the waves, however slight, it sends forth its warning sound.
Amid the din of business, the people on the shore may not hear, or, if they do, may not heed its tuneful stroke.
Even so, above the changing sea of life, touched ever by its mystic waves, the bell of conscience rings; the Spirit of God speaks to us through His word. It rings in eternity, but we hear its tones in time sounding soft but clear through “our life’s deep dream.” May it prove to us when we do wrong, an alarm bell that will not let us rest; may it ring out in the ears of those devoted to the pleasures of sense, with the words, “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, for at the last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder.” May its clear notes call to the thoughtless, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth;” and to us all, ” He who sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul.”
When our chief pioneer, Mrs. M. C. Leavitt, declined to be either President or Secretary of the World’s W.C.T.U., it occurred to me to ask her if she would accept the position of Honorary President, the purpose being that she should hold this office for life, and she was so elected at Boston in 1891. A difference of opinion has arisen as to the method of maintaining this choice, and I, with others, have supposed that since no Convention can bind another as to officers, this election should be re-affirmed at each biennial meeting of the World’s W.C.T.U., Mrs. Leavitt, as a matter of course, being the desired incumbent. But this is a mere technicality, and one from which no misunderstanding need arise.
Next to the old home hearth are to me the White Ribbon women, their children and their homes. As the last of a household that held together for more than sixty years, I traveled 12,000 miles last autumn to meet the good and true, who came to meet me in the shadow of “the Rockies.”
Victor Hugo says that forty is the old age of youth and fifty the youth of old age. Tens of thousands of our White Ribbon women are hearing the significant middle milestone, and it is a happy thing to feel that old age has indeed a youth, and if we believe in and show it forth, there is no reason why it should not blossom out into the eternal youth of a better world, for no one is ever older than he feels himself to be, and a sense of other planets brightens our stay on this first one of the series.
In the last year I have met a great variety of our White Ribbon comrades, and am more impressed than ever by the cosmopolitan character of their inspiration and achievement. The organization of the World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union has had not a little to do with this development. Our women feel that they are working, not for a community, a state, a nation, but for Humanity. Their optimistic outlook is unmistakable.
Well has it been said by a great-hearted writer:-“The wide-minded should beware of sets. They are apt to cover the human wall with moss, to narrow the horizon of the soul, to limit the vision and bound the outlook. All men and all women are interesting; most are, in some degree, loveable. We humans are a large family. We ought to know as many of our brothers and sisters as we can. If a tiny set of them suffices for us we show a lack of fine family feeling, the feeling that causes big natures to hold out their hands to the universe, and shun only those who deliberately choose rather to shrink in the shadow than to walk in the light. The man or woman whose set is the world, whose clique is humanity, alone knows truly the art of life, alone understands that to catch its real music we must listen to the voice of the world, not to the compressed gossip that can find a passage to our ear through one familiar keyhole.”
As a rule, the moral characters of our White Ribbon workers are safe from attack even by the most virulent opponents of temperance reform. Knowing this, they resort to ridicule as the only weapon that can be safely used. We must remember for what reason they are driven to this and be glad and grateful that the paper wads of cheap and threadbare wit do not strike home like the rapier of accusations against integrity and purity. The very fact that temperance women are in certain quarters made subjects of ridicule is to our credit, and shows to what extremity our foes are driven. Let us be thankful that we have been so sheltered in the cleft of the rock to see the storm pass by.
Perhaps White Ribboners do not enough remember that “there is a duty which every man owes to himself which is quite as great as that which he owes to the community: indeed, it is in the widest sense a duty to the community, for the greatest thing which any man can do for the world is to make the utmost of the talents, the force, and the character which are his, and he can do this only by taking constant thought of the conditions which elicit what is deepest and greatest in his nature. The Christian worker must defend himself against the not unkindly but too often exhausting demands of the public. This is true of every person who by talents or position addresses the public or is engaged in any kind of public work. The world does not, and in the nature of the case can not, stop to think of a man’s future; it leaves that to him. If it is denied its requests, it may sometimes grumble, but ten years afterward instead of discarding the spent force, it is cherishing and following a growing leadership. It is the duty of such men and women to heed not only the imperative demand of the duty of to-day, but the equally imperative demand of the duty of the next ten years.”
It was my custom to write letters, personal and descriptive, to the Union Signal, until I was told of the criticisms made by some of our comrades who did not believe that “one person should have so much space,” and who objected to the off-hand way of putting things, and the individual character given to these contributions. From that time I have tried to conform in some degree to the standard thus set up. It is natural that where there are so many equally-deserving workers there should be unpleasant feeling when a few names are frequently brought forward. I do not think this sentiment exists among the rank and file, but it is almost impossible but that it should among the leaders. I have never read or heard of a group of associated workers where it was not found to some extent; it is a part of the humanness alike of saint and sinner, and seems to be as manifest in Christian as in worldly circles. Doubtless we all have a great deal more of it than we wish we had, but we can at least all pray and speak and strive against it in ourselves and others, and we can humbly admit that exceedingly common-sense statement of a great novelist through one of his most famous characters that “there is a great deal of human nature in folks;” the trouble is we are apt to think it is in other folks rather than in that particular member of the Folks Family to whom we are most partial.
To remove mis-apprehension, it is proper for me to say that I have never received any salary as editor-in-chief of the Union Signal, and beyond about three hundred dollars the first year, I have not been obliged to ask for the payment of bills to stenographers and typewriters, for the reason that Lady Henry Somerset has included my bills in her own.
A comparatively new annoyance has come upon me in finding my name attached to printed extracts from Ruskin, and other great and little lights of literature, in whose presence my literary rushlight has practically no existence whatever. How this came about I cannot say; probably excerpts from speeches of mine in which I have quoted them have been carelessly made by indiscriminating scissors, and in one or two cases manuscripts have been duplicated, or incorrectly sent through no wrong intention, but from lack of adequate reflection.
Ruskin has said that the wise man will prepare himself for the best society, and then keep out of it, by which he means I suppose that whoever reads the best books has really kept company with the best minds. It is true that more and more what is technically called society is conspicuous for the absence of those whose presence it well might desire and covet. As woman herself becomes great, she will be less given to society, and more to the congenial company of a few minds of like purpose and pursuit, taking her good company not as a business but incidentally, as perhaps the choicest perquisite of the work in which she is engaged; so that good comradeship will perhaps come ere long to take the place of good society, often falsely so called.
I take this all to myself and pass it along to my friends: It has been well said that just as the liar’s punishment is not so much that he is not believed as that he cannot believe anyone else, so a guilty society can more easily be persuaded that any apparently innocent act is guilty than that any apparently guilty act is innocent.
In like manner, the penalty of putting an uncharitable construction on the words and acts of other people is that this becomes a habit, and one loses the charm of life because he cannot trust his fellow mortals, and without the power to do this life becomes a burden.
The worst vice of conversation is that we proceed upon the hypothesis that if you differ from me! me!! me!!! you are always wrong. If anybody doubts this let him watch his own utterances for a single day, and see how often he uses the expression-“I should not have done that.”
I am by no means a defender of slang in the bad sense of that word, but I have always noticed that its chief opponents were those least likely to be guilty of an original remark. It is easy to speak with scorn of “upstart words and phrases of vulgar origin,” but there are no higher authorities than those who have declared that the best survivals of the slang of to-day will become the proverbs and epigrams of tomorrow. A professor in Yale College has recently said that “Slang is an effort on the part of the user of language to say something more strongly and concisely than the language as existing permits it to be said; it is, therefore, the source from which the outgoing energies of speech are constantly refreshed.”
For one year I have been a “constant reader” of cablegrams sent by Dalziel from America to the English press, and I do not remember having seen one, of the hundreds that have passed under my eye, which was not calculated either directly or by implication, to injure the greatest of the world’s republics in the opinion of everyone who read it. The principle on which these telegrams are constructed seems to be, “tell all the harm, and none of the good.” Fire and flood, pistol and rope, catastrophes in finance, accidents by rail and otherwise, assaults upon women and children, form the staple of these lurid flashes under the sea. No one feature of my year’s reading has been so painful, for our kinsmen are benighted by the impact on the national brain of such constant reiteration of evil tidings concerning us as a people, and I have resolved to put my patriotic protest on record, and to urge influential men in this and my own country to see if they cannot bring to bear some force that will cause the lightning to flash tidings of “peace on earth, good-will to men,” which was the first message that ever crossed the Atlantic by the electric wire.
It is but fair to recall the fact that although a personal appeal fund was raised in response to my plea, and of that fund I had by the very terms of the plea, entire control, I turned it over at once in November of 1892-it having been raised during the months between that date and the previous May-to Mrs. Williams, Treasurer of the World’s W.C.T.U., for the general work of the Society, and she has given an itemized account of the manner in which it was used which shows that beyond my postage as President of the Society, the entire sum, amounting to $3868.53 has been used for the work itself. Mrs. Williams states in her report that owing to this fund having been placed in her hands the year closed without a deficit and with a balance sufficient to materially aid the commencement of the current year (1893).
In those groups of reformers who have tried to help the world, there has been, as a rule, some distinct attempt made to help each other. For one, I have long advocated a greater degree of frankness in our communications one with another, for I believe that if we said in kind and tactful ways to one another the same things concerning faults, failings and foibles that we say about each other, it would do ten times as much good, and would contribute to a mental habit of truthfulness and straight-forwardness of utterance and deed that would incalculably enhance genuineness of character in all those who thus tried to help each other to improve.
As I have often said, perhaps so often that you have grown tired of hearing it, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” We owe it each to the other to say face to face those things that we say about each other to third parties. I think my strongest regret in connection with our Association as Christian workers is, that I have not been able to learn as thoroughly as I desired what were the criticisms made upon me and my mode of thought, word, and action. Speak out, sisters, even if you all speak at once! I prefer a candid to a sugar-candied friend any day.
A leader learns to take neither blame nor praise as personal to himself; he knows that it comes to him because he is in the popular mind a sort of embodiment of the reform with which his work is associated, and of which his name has become more or less symbolic.
But the contrast between the outer and inner life of him who has been chosen to lead a multitude of people is one of the most pathetic facts of history. Outside there is the procession with music and banner and the generous acclaim of associates and comrades; but out of sight there is the dissonance of conflicting views, the failure of trusted allies, the crimination and re-crimination of rivals, the imputation of motives and scrutiny of words and actions as with a microscope;-the world knows nothing of these details which are the most wearying experience of leaders, and worry, not work, is what kills them. From this calamity White Ribbon Women have been remarkably exempt, but as time crystallizes us and our work, the danger grows.
My hand-book for the W.W.C.T.U. is well under way, and will contain a general historical sketch of the origin, development, and present condition of the White Ribbon movement in each country where it has gained a foothold. This was prepared by Mrs. Elizabeth Wheeler Andrew, by my request, for the International Woman’s Congress, and has the advantage of embodying the observations of Mrs. Andrew and Dr. Bushnell, all made within the last three years. Our plans and methods will be set forth in the light of experience, and the questions answered, so far as possible, that must occur to workers at a distance.
The women who have been so sisterly-kind to me during all our years of mutual work have a right to know as much as I do concerning my present status as to health.
The situation is as follows:-
For well-nigh twenty years we have worked on together in this holy war, my first speech having been given in the February following the Crusade that began just before the holidays of 1873. It seemed to me then that vigor and enthusiasm would never fail me; I used to smile when the suggestion was made that perhaps it would be wiser not to write all day in the cars before speaking in the evening, for somehow I felt adequate to everything I had to do. This, with the steady support of my mother’s great character, the belief that my resources were fed from heavenly springs, and the love and trust of my comrades, made life rich and inspired. For a year or two before coming to England, our family physician, Dr. M. C. Bragdon, of Evanston, had been warning me that I showed signs of over-work. Of this I was not in the least aware, and was inclined to set it down to the brotherly solicitude of this gifted physician whom I have known since he was a little fellow, and whose mother was my mother’s most intimate friend for thirty years. Repeatedly your kindness voted me a year for recuperation and rest, but I never realized that it must be; nor do I think that if my mother had remained with me I should to this day have relaxed the efforts that had become second nature. Perhaps we cannot know what really occurs when destiny separates a mother and child who have been so closely united that neither ever had a thought she would not wish to tell the other, even though that separation is effected by those gentlest of all means that involve the failing vitality of one who has lived long and well, and her painless transition to a better world. Be this as it may, “when that loved voice which was both sound and sweetness failed so suddenly, and silence ached around me like a strong disease,” I felt, as Helen Hood said she did when our Yolande Ames passed from the earth, that “something in me also died.” I had not the slightest symptom of rebellion; what an ingrate I should have been to rebel against her happy embarkation after a companionship of 53 years, and with a heritage of memories unalloyed, concerning one whose whole life had the brightness of health, sweet reasonableness, and no tragic vicissitudes. But I sometimes think the severing of such a nexus may have consequences of which we are aware only by results rarely traced to their true source. It was a sense of lessened power, and has been with me from that day to this. I seem to have lost much of my grip since I had “grippe” in 1892. On coming to Lady Henry, she and all of my friends in England were struck by a change in my appearance of which I had no cognizance, and she consulted at different times, Dr. Batten of Gloucester, Sir Andrew Clarke, Sir W. H. Broadbent, Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, and Dr. Holman, also an eminent London practitioner. The statement of Dr. Broadbent that I had “pernicious anaemia” was alarming to us; I mean technically so, for really there is nothing to alarm a Christian philosopher who is told that his prospects of a better world are nearer than he thought, and I greatly wish our forms of utterance might be so changed as not to make such infidel expressions as “I am anxious, alarmed, horrified, agonised”-among the most frequent phrases of our current speech. But as there is no name in medicine so trusted in the temperance world as that of Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, I shall subjoin for your reading his diagnosis, followed by letters written by him to Lady Henry and me in response to one in which she brought before him the importance of my return this autumn to attend the World’s and National W.C.T.U. Convention.
June 29th, 1893.
We hereby certify that we have this day, in consultation, seen Miss Willard, and have paid the most careful attention to her case.
We consider that she is free of any actual organic disease, at this moment, and that she bids fair to make a complete recovery; but from excessive overwork she has brought her nervous powers to a condition of exhaustion that is critical, and we are of opinion that she must have one entire year of absolute rest from all public labours.
Benjamin Ward Richardson, M.D., F.R.S.
25, Manchester Square.
C. Holman, M.D.
26, Gloucester Place, Portman Square, W.
August 20th, 1893
Dear Lady Isabel,-Your note came whilst I was away and it has reached me here. I have studied the matter as you wished from both sides, (my patient’s and the cause) and I have, in order to be quite faithful, no choice as to the reply, which I enclose for Miss Willard . I would I could do differently but it is impossible. I shall return to London almost directly, and shall leave soon to take a longer holiday which I much want. Please address me, as usual to 25, Manchester Square: all letters will be sent on so soon as they arrive. I hope you continue well and are not giving yourself too much fatigue in your great work.
Most truly yours,
(Signed) ………. B. W. Richardson
25, Manchester Square, London.
August 19th, 1893
Dear Miss Willard,-I regret much to say that I cannot change my decision in regard to your case.
You must remain at rest. That is imperative on the grounds stated in the report which Dr. Holman and I have already given.
No one is more attached to the cause of Temperance than I am, and no one more thoroughly comprehends the importance of your labours. But the faithful physician must put life and health first as I do, peremptorily, in regard to yourself.
Your always faithful,
(Signed) ………. B. W. Richardson
Sir Benjamin said of his own free will, “I do not think it wise to interdict one whose whole life has been devoted to such work as yours from all participation in your usual lines of thought and effort. I am willing that, when you feel equal to it, you should dictate two hours a day or more to a good stenographer, if you will take plenty of time for out-door exercise.” Think of me then, my comrades, as living quietly, twenty miles from London, in Lady Henry’s cottage home, which she prefers to any of her residences, where with Anna Gordon and my loyal helpers I am able to do a large amount of correspondence and some composition; so that I need be by no means counted out from among the active forces of our movement. It is evident that one who may not be able to stand the noise of drum and trombones in a great convention, nor yet the shrill fifes of public platform work, may still twang his small horn or scrape his single violin even if it be but as an outlet to the pent-up desires and purposes of his own spirit.
I have every reason to believe from what Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson and those in council with him told me, that by next spring I shall be able to go back to my beloved native country ready to work. However, I desire to leave both the World’s and the National W.C.T.U. and the Board of Directors of the Union Signal as free in all their councils and decisions concerning the work of the oncoming year as if I had never been. Let them consider in everything what they believe to be the best for the good of the White Ribbon movement, for that cannot fail to be the best good of each one of us who hold it dear and sacred. I am confident that you will know better than I can what should be done in view of all the varying and complicated interests of a movement which by God’s grace and man’s good will has grown so great.
I have so many things to be thankful for that I hardly know where to begin the expression of my gratitude.
First of all to Lady Henry Somerset, whose guests Anna Gordon and I have now been for more than a year, and whose kindness and hospitality to White Ribbon women, both English and American, exceeds anything that I have ever known by as much as her ability to do what she has the heart to do, exceeds my own.
Miss Mary A. Lathbury, of New York City, the artist and poet (well known to us by the years of generous help she has given to the World’s W.C.T.U. without fee or reward), has led the movement to furnish me a summer home among the Hudson River Highlands, and it is now in full flower, and is named the “Eagle’s Nest,” in tender memory of the hiding place “up a tree” that I made for myself when in my teens on the old farm in Wisconsin. Though I have not yet seen this new nest with its beautiful “Isabel Outlook” and its dainty furnishings from friends in different parts of the world, I know “that it is there,” and hope to enjoy its quiet beauty next year; meanwhile it is a pleasure to learn that it has been turned to good account by relatives, friends, and a colonel and his wife from West Point who have enhanced my exchequer by their patronage. It is my hope and expectation that this pretty place (with another in Maine and one in connection with the old home in Wisconsin) may yet bring much rest and recuperation to White Ribboners, of whom I shall be one.
For all the resolutions passed by state, district, county and local W.C.T.U.s and by our young soldiers of the Loyal Temperance Legion, and for the numberless affectionate tokens of interest wafted to me across the wide sea by those with whom I have been so long and tenderly associated in every part of the United States and Canada, not forgetting the tender words of my sisters in all the nations where the White Ribbon has gone as a strong cord binding our hearts together, I wish to express the earnest appreciation that I cherish towards each and every one who has thus stretched out to me the right hand of fellowship in an emergency of grief and weariness.
In this year of greater quiet and retirement than my life has ever known before, some voices have spoken to me that have been helpful and inspiring. We live by our ideas, beliefs and hopes, and it has come to my thought that it would be more helpful than anything that I could write, if I were to collate for my comrades some of the best things that have passed from the printed page into my mind and heart.
“. . Good is the all, the real. Evil is the nothing, the unreal. This can be illustrated on the material plane by light and darkness. Of the two, light is the real; it proceeds forth from a source. There is no great centre from which streams forth darkness. In the night, you can set up a centre of light, and thus dispel darkness; but you cannot in the daytime set up a centre of darkness, and thus dispel light. In a dark room you can lift a curtain and let in light; but, in a light room, you can in no way let in darkness. It is mere negation, nothing. Light is the affirmation, the real thing. So good (God) is the real, the affirmation, the eternal Yes: evil is negation, nonentity. It has power and reality only as we permit.”
“The word lady indicates a deeply-rooted, untaught self-respect and an inborn self-restraint, the pith of true nobleness in character. It seems something usually shown by such traits as dignity, repose, ease, courtesy, affability, grace, tact, and delicacy of thought, whether in presence, manner, carriage, dress, touch, look, speech, tone of voice, enunciation or accent. United with these are implied the indefinable impress of an unobtrusive personality importing a unique mind, a frank, generous, sensitive, sympathising, amiable disposition, a noble unselfishness, a well-disciplined temper, and a tender regard for the peculiar, natural or fictitious individualities of other people.”
“Be to their virtues very kind,
Be to their faults a little blind.”
“Brood not on insults or injuries old,
For thou art injurious too.
Count not their sum till the total is told, For thou art unkind and untrue.
And if all thy harms are forgotten, forgiven, Then mercy with justice is met;
Oh, who would not gladly take lessons of Heaven, And learn to forgive and forget!”
We cannot have a nobler motto than the last words of Dante, in which he sums up his great teaching: ” It is Love which moves the sun and all the other stars .”
I wish we might take this for our rallying cry so far as membership is concerned,- let each woman give a penny, not a half-penny . Why should we mince matters in so great a cause? Surely any woman whose heart is with us enough to cause her to give a half-penny once a year to the World’s W.C.T.U., would be willing to give a penny. This stands to reason; it needs no argument. We must not narrow our thoughts to a consideration of how much this will take from each national treasury, but we must think of the individual woman who would give a half-penny and ask ourselves whether it is not our duty and pleasure to help enlarge her heart and our own until she would be willing to give a penny. No, that is not a fair way to put it-we do a woman an injustice when we think that it would require an argument, for if she-the individual White Ribboner of the world, I care not whether she has a dark or light complexion, whether she lives in Bombay or Boston, if she were here present she would be ashamed for herself and for us that we had ever thought she would not give a penny rather than a half-penny to the holy cause of a clear brain for this round globe.
The thistles of one country are sure to crop up in another and we must be careful to lay our foundations on the solid rock of Total Abstinence, Total Prohibition, Woman’s Enfranchisement, Social Purity, and Labour Reform, for it is given to us to determine to what proportions the White Ribbon work shall grow in distant lands, and if we make mistakes they will be repeated on a still larger scale.
I wish we might introduce for the World’s W.C.T.U. the method of electing officers that works so well in England. Our sisters there have ballot boxes placed in a room adjoining the hall in which the Convention is held, and between certain specified hours, tellers are present to give every woman the opportunity to vote for the officers according to her convictions. No teller, of course, would be allowed to say one word to intending voters, and women are chosen of such high character that they would not dream of doing such a thing. Our method of voting is not defined in the constitution of the World’s W.C.T.U., therefore we should be free to adopt this plan if we thought best. I hope that in every country and state, indeed throughout the world, in all our organisations from the Local Union to the World’s Union, we shall introduce this method of voting for our officers by ballots placed in a ballot box. Men have found no better method after centuries of trial and experience. One of the most important reasons why I urge this change upon your attention is, it would give in all State and National meetings at least half-a-day longer for the business in hand, and would remove the most wearisome of all performances from the Convention itself.
As a result of the observations of our World’s W.C.T.U. Missionaries, let me urge that both those who are peripatetic and those who are for a period stationary, make it a strong point to develop local talent and bring it to the front, so that the work may be deeply rooted and grounded in its own environment rather than dependent on outside guides. Later developments caused us to feel that our World’s W.C.T.U. Missionaries should be independent of all other organizations, while as a matter of course most friendly with them, and not paralysed by the influence of and participation in other movements. As a rule we believe that our missionaries should be migratory rather than stationary, in order that fresh enthusiasm may be constantly brought to the work, and that the danger of yielding to prejudice and habit by long association (as was illustrated by the non-action on reform questions of the recent Decennial Conference in Bombay), may be avoided; but a residence more or less prolonged, according to the exigencies of the case, will certainly be wise in those lands that most greatly need help, especially when a foreign language has to be acquired.
It is needless to say that Mrs. Mary Clement Leavitt, Miss Jessie Ackerman, Mrs. Elizabeth W. Andrew, Dr. Kate Bushnell, and Miss Alice Palmer, should be continued as Round-the-world Mission aries; that Mrs. M. B. Reese might well be added to their number for Japan, and that three other women good and true should be appointed, one for China, one for Egypt, Syria, and Asiatic Turkey, and another for West Africa; that Miss Jessie Ackerman should be made Superintendent of a new department in the World’s W.C.T.U., for the suppression of the opium habit and traffic; also that in accordance with the plan of work adopted by the last convention, a bureau be established in each country as a centre of information and a repository of literature. This has already been done in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia.
A union of workers is being slowly wrought out in England which will do for philanthropy and reform what the Women’s Council is intended to do for all movements among women. It has been happily characterised as a point d’appui for thoughtful Christian women, whether they work for righteousness in the quiet of Home, as “free lances,” in connection with their Parish or Church, or as Committee members. It is a “Society of Societies,” in which those of divers views and diverse gifts unite in the threefold work of Prevention, Preservation, and Rescue. It is a “clearing-house” to which the workers may refer, for the avoidance of overlapping in charitable effort, for an increase of knowledge, and for kindly sympathy.
The President of each local society in any community is ex-officio a Vice-President of the Central Conference Council of the National Union of Women Workers, and is thus the link between the local body and the great organization. Ladies in country places are invited to join as corresponding members, and the object as stated is to form a common centre for all ladies or associations engaged or interested in philanthropic work, and to encourage sympathy and co-operation. Miss Emily James is the Organising Secretary and may be addressed at 17, Bouverie Street, Fleet Street, London, E.C.
The failure of the “Liberator” enterprise in England, brings out in stronger relief than ever the misfortune and wrong of having as President of any Society the titled name of one who is a mere figure-head. In these days of responsible government people are learning the absurdity of this practice. As a noble lady has recently said, such a custom is “snobbery organised.” It is innately vulgar to conceive, much more to permit, much more to desire, a name at the head of a Society simply to float into notoriety those who would be otherwise unknown. More and more we are learning to conceive of the head of any responsible society as the general of an organised army, the one who leads, bearing the hardships, sharing the dangers, and directing the work. In the period of feudalism the habit of dependence on some “noble lord” was perhaps necessary to success in life, but in these days it is only a drag on the wheels. If those who have money, title and distinction, have also native talents, experience, and devotion, there can be no better leaders. England is fortunate in the possession of many such great centres of beneficent power, but to put the name of a person of distinction at the head of a list of officers when that person neither knows or cares anything about what the society is doing, is a most indefensible action on the part of the figure head himself or herself, but equally on the part of those “lesser lights,” or no lights at all, who thus seek technically to associate themselves with the rank and sphere that is socially above them.
Some controversy has arisen as to whether a woman who presides over a business meeting should be called “Madame Chairman,” and our English friends have been at a loss as to the correct manner of addressing their president when she is in the chair; but I learn that Lord Rosebery when he was at the head of the London County Council, was always addressed as “Mr. Chairman,” and I know that it is Lady Henry’s wish to be addressed as “Madame President” when in the annual meeting, and “Madame Chairman” when in the Executive Committee. Some persons have objected to the word “Madame” and said that “Mrs.” was preferable; but “Mrs.” is only a contraction of “Mistress” which is surely no more appropriate than the word “Madam,” the latter having become thoroughly anglicized and set forth in the dictionary, not as a foreign word, but one incorporated into our vernacular.
August 3rd is the birthday of Lady Henry Somerset, the accredited leader of the Women’s Temperance Movement in the British Empire. Her character and record are such that any amount of intelligent enthusiasm would greet the celebration of her birthday, especially in Great Britain and the colonies. In my opinion we might well devote this date to a fresh air mission for those unable otherwise to have one, and also to excursion, picnic, and garden parties by White Ribbon women, to be convened in the interest of the work, or of a holiday for themselves, as they might choose. It was said of Lady Henry by a working man that she was “a whole Fresh Air Mission in herself,” and no name or nature in our midst is better adapted to symbolize a summer holiday than that of our loved Somerset . I make this suggestion as President of the World’s W.C.T.U. It can be taken up by any local union, county, district, state or national, and would come with excellent grace from our comrades in the British Empire, though I should be more than proud if in America we might set the good example.
I am told by Dr. Bushnell and Mrs. Andrew that Miss Pride, who is at the head of the Huegent Seminary for young women at Wellington, South Africa, has to pay $3 a year for the Union Signal, I mean including postage, and that wherever these ladies have been in their great world trip they have found that the postage debarred our members from taking the paper to such an extent as they wished. I wonder if in our Subscription Department we could start a fund to help the missionaries, so that we could send the paper out more generously?
I suggest that there be a resolution in the World’s and National Conventions congratulating Mrs. Letitia Youmans, of 19, Metcalf Street, Toronto, Canada (Hon. President of the Dominion W.C.T.U.), on the completion of her autobiography, and advising White Ribbon women to send $1 each to her, that they may obtain a copy to read themselves and lend in their local society.
We should do well to forward a letter of congratulation from the World’s W.W.C.T.U. to Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, congratulating him on his new honours so richly merited.
Lady Hartsen, one of the ladies who is at the head of the new woman’s temperance movement in Holland, is attached to the service of the Queen, but gives a great deal of her time to promote religion and temperance among the working classes and their children, by teaching them with the magic lantern. Here is a hit for many a lady of wealth or leisure who thinks she “could not make a speech” but who could charmingly describe the slides on which are set forth innumerable lessons of a good life. This method of helping others is becoming general in England. William T. Stead, editor of the Review of Reviews announces lectures by leading men and women illustrated by slides, and he keeps on hand sets of these to be sent to localities ordering them and paying small amounts for their use,-each set being accompanied by a type-written lecture from a distinguished person descriptive of the slides, which lecture can be read or delivered by some man or woman in the locality who has good elocutionary powers, thus saving the expense of importing the lecturer. There are hundreds of women who require to be self-supporting, to whom the knowledge of such a method of helping the world and themselves at the same time may come with special interest and attractiveness. I greatly wish that at our headquarters there might be a department for the furnishing of lectures and slides on the plan presented by Mr. Stead, combined with an effort to enlist men and women, who thus fitted out could render excellent service, but who would hardly undertake to give a lecture of their own, and one not embellished with illustrations. This is a seed thought of immense vitality, and that it has been planted in the brain and heart that will bring it to perfection is what I hope later on to discover. Perhaps Miss Lucy Anthony, Secretary of our Lecture Bureau, is the one who will bring in this helpful method of opinion-making.
London is the capital of the human race, and undoubtedly our next World’s W.C.T.U. Convention will be held in that city in 1895, at which time we shall be welcomed by a whole-hearted constituency of the World’s W.C.T.U., with Lady Henry Somerset as its inspirer and chief.
I wish that every White Ribbon paper might have in each issue a Prayer Column with the most helpful selections that can be gathered from the Bible and true-hearted writers, and with contributions from our own workers. At the head of this column I would keep standing the picture of a clock with hands pointing to 12, and under it the words:-” Remember our trysting time before the mercy seat .” This prayer for our work and workers everywhere ought to become so general that as the earth swings on its axis there should not be an instant of time in which some heart, with a white ribbon above it, was not lifted up “For God and Home and Every Land.”
On the 20th anniversary of the origin of the Crusade, (Dec. 23rd, 1893) let us hold camp fires in all the local unions making this a speciality of our work; or if that date seems too near Christmas, the Convention might decide upon a day a week or two earlier on which we should return in memory and consecration to those hallowed hours when Gospel Temperance was born into the world.
I suggest a Jubilee Number of the Union Signal to celebrate our 20 years march since the Crusade, and that we ask our officers to prepare a synopsis of the totals of delegates each year, total amount of fees, total amount of W.C.T.U’s., added each year. There is nothing that would more thoroughly encourage the rank and file than such a number of our official organ as might readily be prepared, with the score of Crusade years as its text, and the commentary of facts and figures, work done in the years past, and work mapped out for years to come.
It may be that in view of the holiday season, many of our members will prefer a crusade sociable, supper, or banquet to a public meeting, and it might be well to give this turn to the celebration. The Convention will, perhaps, decide to suggest the two methods of observance, leaving our workers to choose that which best suits the circumstances in their locality. If a banquet is held, there should be a toast-master and short speeches at the close, and if a programme of this kind is carefully prepared, it may do as much or more good to the cause, as persons will be apt to participate who do not usually attend our Temperance meetings.
The Mary Allen West Fountain beside the Temple, and a window in Willard Hall, are being subscribed for by the comrades of the late veteran editor of the Union Signal, and I hope the Convention may request the publication of her great and helpful life.
I would reply as follows in response to many questions as to whether or not delegates must in every case represent the instructions given them at home: Personal conviction must ever be inviolable, and when a constituency selects a delegate it must do so knowing that delegate’s character, and must leave him (or her), therefore, to listen to the arguments pro and con that are brought up in the Convention where there will be a truer and better exposition of both sides than can be given in a small local Society. The delegate is then to decide according to his best knowledge and judgment, and is not bound to the same narrow view that he brought with him when he left his locality and entered the larger and wiser circle of his representative compatriots.
We need to have a Committee on the revision of the Constitution and Bye-laws, and to provide a method for the introduction of Bye-laws. I think we ought to say that they can come only from the Executive Committee, for the custom now is for anybody to jump up and offer a Bye-law at any time. This is an instance of “pernicious activity” and needs to be put down by the Convention.
I suggest the addition of a Bye-law to the following effect:-The names of those proposed as National Evangelists shall be sent to the National Evangelistic Department and presented by the Secretary to the Executive Committee at least three months before the Annual Convention, and then accepted or rejected by vote of the Convention.
Many of our leaders have long thought that our Committee on Resolutions does not sufficiently represent the ripest thinking and experience in our Convention, and that it would be better if our statement of principles (which is what the resolutions amount to) were prepared by the Executive Committee, printed, and placed in the hands of the Convention, so that the delegates could give careful heed to the same at least one day before the voting took place, rejecting, amending, and adding to the report, according to the judgment of the majority.
The method by which in the last year the Reports of the Superintendents and of the Organizers were all relegated to a pamphlet separate and apart from the Annual Convention, to which all these documents were submitted, seems to have buried them deeper even than the entombment they have usually suffered in the minutes themselves. It is for the dignity of the Association, and is indeed the only suitable way in which we can present in printed form the year’s showing of results, to embody in a single pamphlet all the materials connected with the annual “round up” of the Convention. I earnestly hope the experiment will not be repeated, for to my mind it has proved a failure.
I think our organizers should appoint their Chairman and Secretary each year, and these officers should be indicated in the minutes; and that our National Evangelists should do the same. I believe much good would result if the Board of Superintendents would issue a brief and pointed annual address to the constituency through the Union Signal, and if the Board of Organizers and Board of National Evangelists would do the same. We do not hear enough from these great wings of the army.
It would be an advantage if each superintendent and organiser had the same letter-head as the General Officers, with her name and address attached under the sub-head of “Organising Department” or “Board of Superintendents” as the case might be; and each should have her circular, to be sent on before her, giving a summary of her idea of how to make her meeting a success. An observation of twenty years in speaking and organising confirms me in the opinion that the amount of power that goes to waste for lack of thorough preparation for the meeting, the masterly handling of the same, and a thrifty and wise gathering up of results and setting them forth to the public, is simply incalculable.
The editor of leaflets and publications of the W.T.P.A. ought to be an ex-officio member of the National Convention, and I hope action to this effect will be taken at the annual meeting.
I believe the time has come for us to organize a Political Department of the W.C.T.U. Our British sisters have preceded us in this, and Miss Florence Balgarnie, one of the most promising young women in our ranks, has been placed at the head. She issues leaflets of information and suggestion, addresses audiences, rallies the workers when the campaign is on at any given point, and gives a clearness and vitality to our work along political lines that it could not otherwise attain.
I wish there might be a special department of work among the coloured people. If a woman of grace, grit, and gumption would take up this work, we should see results within a few years that would far exceed all that has been done up to this time. I know it has been thought best to incorporate that work in the general plan of organization; but so far as I can learn, the results have not justified the change. It ill-becomes a society like ours to do so little for so large a class, and one that needs our help and would appreciate it more than perhaps any other that we have tried to benefit. To my mind, there is not now so weak a link in the chain of our departments as this. It has always been a grief to me that greater enthusiasm for the coloured race has not characterized our efforts. We have had excellent speaking to them and on their behalf, but we have almost altogether lacked systematic organization.
The responsibility of home makers for the physical and mental condition of the inmates of the home is a subject hardly to be excelled in interest, especially to women. To my mind the crux of the reform questions almost without exception is found within the circle of the home; and until the wives and mothers are intelligent and active in bringing about reforms they will still go hopping along on one foot in the future as they have in the past. My metaphor may be a little broken, but I will amend it by making it refer not only to wives and mothers, but to the homes and the reforms.
I wish that in every “Y” we might organize a Girl’s Brigade of volunteers who would undertake to visit a certain number of homes into which their coming might bring the sunshine of friendly interest and good cheer. This would re-act upon the character of those who undertook a bit of work so practical in the very best way on the principle that “he is twice blessed who gives himself.”
In the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, now organised in all civilised countries, we have a department of instruction in scientific cookery, out of which we believe will come such an awakening of good women as we cannot otherwise produce. It will be slow work, full of painstaking, but in the highest and best sense it will pay. Mrs. Ole Bull of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is President of this department of work, and Mrs. Ellen Richards of the Boston Institute of Technology is associated with her. The New England kitchens in Boston and New York are truly economic since the prepared foods furnish the greatest amount of nutrition obtainable from the materials used. Studies in the chemistry of food are among the chief lines of work. The best cooking apparatus is described as the Aladdin Oven, and recipes and directions for the use of this new appliance are supplied. It is believed that this oven is well calculated to assist in the economy of time, strength, and materials. The effort to counteract unnatural appetites by means of natural and reasonable diet lies at the centre of the practical considerations of the temperance reform. In our local Societies we are introducing, by means of leaflets, such studies as I have hinted at under the supervision of experts.
The following question should it seems to me be added to the annual report, sent out by every secretary of a local state, and national society, namely:-
How many total abstinence pledges have you received this year?
The beginning made last year of work among Catholic women should be steadily followed up. I hope that Mrs. Barry-Lake of St. Louis, will be present as a delegate from the Catholic Total Abstinence Society, and that a forward movement may be more thoroughly set in motion by this Convention than by any of its predecessors.
There is a single expedient which, if faithfully carried out from the local to the World’s W.C.T.U., would incalculably augment the knowledge and interest of ministers and laity in the work of the White Ribboners, and it is this: when annual meetings, conventions, conferences, or important mass meetings under our auspices are to be held, let it be one of the most carefully observed “standing rules” to send a special invitation through the secretary to every minister and to leading men and women among the clergy, asking them to attend that they may be made better acquainted with the method and spirit of the W.C.T.U., and with a view to organising in each church a local W.C.T.U., to be affiliated with the general society in that community, and through the general society with the national movement.
In our cities our speakers and organizers would do well to hold afternoon conferences of ministers for the purpose of explaining the method of forming W.C.T.U.s in their respective churches, each of which should be represented by its President in the central W.C.T.U. of the town or city, and affiliated with it by payment of the regulation fee, by the practice of Total Abstinence, the wearing of the white ribbon, and observing the noon-tide hour of prayer.
As we often say the weakest link in the chain of our great movement is finance. We do not raise money as we ought. The missionary women have raised nearly one million dollars this year. I am not speaking of our affiliated interests (to which our members give generously) but to the securing of memberships, gifts, and bequests, and especially to the self-denial week fund, which, so far as I can learn, amounted to little more than $1,000 to $1,500 against $250,000 given in self-denial week by members of the Salvation Army and those whom they were enabled to influence. This showing puts us to shame, for our people are far “better placed” financially than those who make up the army. I wish some definite action might be taken in respect to the observance of self-denial week and the use to be made of the money thus obtained, and I recommend that the date be fixed in a by-law which shall state that the money will go to the World’s and National W.C.T.U. in equal parts. But for one year I wish we might devote all of that income to Temperance work among the colored people.
I believe we might effectively seek to forward this work in connection with their own churches-enlisting the ministers to advise the formation of a W.C.T. Union in each local church and sending organizers for this purpose. Oh that some wealthy man or woman with a wealthy heart would give us the money to set this work in motion as intelligently as we have been enabled to set so many other wheels within wheels going, in the departments of work to which we are devoted!
Our duty to the coloured people have never impressed me so solemnly as this year when the antagonisms between them and the white race have seemed to be more vivid than at any previous time, and lurid vengeance has devoured the devourers of women and children.
I suggest as the motto for Self-denial Week, to be placed on all envelopes, cards and announcements appertaining to that week, the following:- “I am but one, but I am one; I cannot do everything, but I can do something; what I can do I ought to do, and what I ought to do, by the grace of God, I will do.”
I wish it were possible to make more than we do of our Honorary Memberships, and I believe if we would form our honorary members into a world-wide union having certain privileges it would result in a sense of solidarity that would greatly add to the number of those who now see very little significance in giving in their names.
It seems to me that a parliamentary drill should be on the programme of every annual meeting of the local union, every county, district and State convention, and of the National and World’s.
The position of the W.C.T.U. concerning the Gold Cure is by no means equivocal. Having been conversant with the medicine for many years before it came under the notice of journalists, I was wont to recommend it and to send out pamphlets of Dr. Keeley’s when applications were made to me by drinking men or their friends for the help of a physician; but the percentage of cures was not, so far as I could learn, so great as to warrant belief in the remedy as a medical finality for the cure of inebriety, nor should this power be claimed for it, but that it is an agent so valuable that it should be rendered of easy access to those who wish to leave off drink is evident, and if Dr. Keeley would communicate his prescription to an accredited physician in every locality, our Society would gladly pay for as much of the medicine as might be needed to help all men not able themselves to pay the price of the remedy. This is an offer that we had reason to suppose would be acceptable, and it is now repeated in full confidence that the local unions will bear me out in it. The burden of proof that “the W.C.T.U. is not friendly to the Keeley Cure” remains on the shoulders of those who do not make the remedy public. It has suited political journals that are opposed to prohibition to represent White Ribboners as unfriendly to Dr. Keeley and his Cure, but nothing is farther from the truth; white ribbon women in localities innumerable have helped to send men to the various institutions opened under Dr. Keeley’s auspices throughout the country, involving an expense vastly larger than would be necessary if, instead of establishing these cures, in which board and treatment are $25 a week besides travelling expenses, the plan that we suggest had been carried out, namely, placing the remedy in the hands of trust-worthy physicians throughout the country. But it is claimed by the journalists who have taken up Dr. Keeley and the Cure, that he has a perfect right to make as much money out of it as he can. This is the crux of the whole situation:-White Ribboners do not believe that he has this right, or that the men who establish “Cures” throughout the country, and coin money out of them, have the moral right to do so. We believe that in this respect the view maintained in England on this subject is the true one, namely, that any physician who has made a discovery, or claims to have made one, which will alleviate the sufferings of humanity, wrongs his fellow-men and his profession, if he does not make that discovery public. I am perfectly aware that this statement will not find its way into the newspapers that have misrepresented us; but it is due to ourselves and to our co-workers in the Temperance cause throughout the world that we should put ourselves squarely on record, and if I have not correctly stated our position I should be glad to learn my error by means of such a resolution as you may be pleased to adopt at this Convention.
There are several forms of the Gold Cure, and institutions for the trial of each, under rival auspices. Many of these have accomplished much good as have the Keeley Institutes themselves, which we all freely and gladly admit, but speaking generally in favour of them all, we have not felt like singling out any, nor do we believe that the results of any justify an unlimited confidence.
I can but wish that the W.C.T.U. had a church upon wheels, like that used by Bishop Walker, of North Dakota. He first secured the permission of railway companies to take his car from place to place without cost; then came the question of the car itself. He went to see Mr. Pullman, the builder, who said, though he had built palace cars for horses and for peddlers, for photographers and theatrical companies, he had never before been asked to build a church car. Mr. Pullman built the car at a reduced price, and gave a cheque towards the payment. All this would hardly happen to us; but I am convinced that we could secure a car if some woman’s heart became a sanctuary of prayer and purpose in this regard. The car of Bishop Walker accommodates over 100, and in it he goes to distant places where few services are held, and farmers come from the prairies with their families. The Bishop says he has never witnessed the enthusiasm in religious services that he has seen in the meetings in this car; he is not only the preacher, but janitor and fireman, and makes the services so interesting that “those who came to laugh remain to pray.”
My thought in suggesting that we have a car-indeed, I wish we had a score of them-would not be to reach those alone who live in isolated communities, though this would be a most important feature, but to go from place to place holding out-door meetings with the car as a nucleus, and gathering great audiences to listen to the Gospel of Temperance Reform.
Mrs. Rounds, President of the W.C.T.U. in Illinois, makes a suggestion to her constituency which is so valuable that I believe it ought to “go the rounds,” and hence I place it before you-
“At the Annual Convention of a National, State, District, County or Local Union, a valuable feature of the programme might be the Birthday Thank-offering. The plan is for each White Ribboner to bring or send a sealed envelope, which shall be marked Thank-offering and shall contain as much money as will represent each year of the giver’s age together with a Scripture text or a brief and helpful quotation, poetical or otherwise-text or quotation to be read to the meeting, and the amount announced when the envelope shall be opened at a specified hour. Names of persons need not be given unless this is agreeable to themselves. The request is of course not binding upon any, but it would be a delight if as many as possible would join the Birthday band.”
Mrs. Rounds suggests that the money thus obtained be called the ” Mary Allen West Fund,” and I should be glad if the Conventions both World’s and National chose to endorse the plan and the name in memory of one of the most generous women who ever dedicated herself to the cause of the White Ribbon.
One of the best lines of work for a local union would be to duplicate the Children’s Fountain that Miss Gordon projected for the World’s Fair, and which now adorns the grounds in front of the Children’s Building. Such an enterprise is far-reaching in its influence and benefits. Its practical character is a strong recommendation to the public in general, and the reflex influence of the work done by the children will tell on their entire future as our trusty allies on the great temperance battle-field.
Let me urge our White Ribboners to join the new Reading Circle in economics, which has recently been added by the authorities in Chautauqua to their course of study, (address: Miss K. Kimball, Buffalo, New York, Secretary C.L.S.C). In order to show the practical bearing of thought and research in this new reading circle, I add some questions that indicate the general direction that the reading will take:
What is the great enigma of our time?
What limits industry?
Where do we find the deepest distress?
Where is the production of wealth the greatest? What is gained by division of labour.
In what does the power of monopoly consist! What is the law of wages?
What effect do improvements in invention and the arts have upon Rent?
What is the distinction between money and wealth? What is it that people really borrow when they obtain money on credit?
The following are some of the subjects that are given out for essay writing:
The relation of the people to the Land.
Money and its true basis.
The theory of evolution and its effect on Economic science.
I suggest that the local W.C.T.U. own a loan library, judiciously selected to meet the varied needs of each community. Our publishing house gives such a list of books, and the local librarian should be on the look-out for new publications that will stir the “dry bones,” such as John G. Woolley’s “Seed Thoughts,” (Funk Wagnall’s, 18, Astor Place, New York); “The Life of Mrs. General Booth.” (Revell Co., Chicago); Mrs. Hannah Whitall Smith’s two new books, “Every Day Religion,” and “The Science of Motherhood,” Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, London, E.C.; and “The Transactions of the Women’s International Council,” to be obtained of Mrs. Rachel Foster Avery, Somertown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The first Temperance book that I read when the Woman’s Crusade had aroused my attention and zeal, was the “Cantor Lectures” of Dr. Benjamin Ward Richardson, who has this year been made a baronet in recognition of his great services to Science and Temperance Reform. The first Temperance book I ever read was that pathetic story entitled “The Little Captain.” Doubtless hundreds, if not thousands, of Temperance men and women would mention that book as the “entering wedge” of sympathy and interest in the Temperance Reform.
I recommend our W.T.P.A. to keep both of these books on sale, and to introduce them into Sunday School and public libraries whenever this is practicable.
I wish the W.T.P.A. might issue a leaflet in the “highest style of the art,” containing carefully selected opinions of eminent teetotalers; also as a “companion piece” another leaflet with the best sayings concerning social purity.
I have wondered if it would not be an advantage to have a similar nomenclature for our W.C.T.U. papers the world round, for instance, the White Ribbon Signal . This could only come about by the willing co-operation of all our journalists. I simply submit the suggestion for their consideration.
I wish that some bright woman would write a little book or a big leaflet entitled “A model W.C.T.U.,” making it dramatic and putting before the audience the picture of what a W.C.T.U. ought to be, acting out the Annual Meeting at which all the different lines of work are described, not in a dry dull manner, but vividly, “with illustrations.” Such an entertainment given on a winter’s evening by a group of good and true women would disseminate a vast amount of not only knowledge but wisdom concerning us and bring in quite a revenue besides.
I am confident that if our White Ribboners would utilize the phonograph, getting cylinders with the voices of leaders like Sir Wilfred Lawson, Gen. Neal Dow, Col. Bain, Canon Wilberforce, Lady Henry Somerset, with passages from their speeches, and some of our best songs,-for example-“There are bands of Ribbon White,” “We all belong,” “There’s a shadow on the home,” and others, we could arrange entertainments in drawing rooms or lecture rooms, or (as the phonograph becomes perfected), in churches and halls, that would do much to interest the public in the movement, inform them as to the utterances of leaders, and enlist their sympathies in our behalf.
In my own town the W.C.T.U. has established a Night School for boys. Mrs. Zimmerman, sister to Edward Eggleston, has it in charge, and reports that the pupils are “doing their boy’s best” to behave and to improve their time. Out of this Night School it is believed a club and reading room will grow. If a W.C.T.U. or a “Y” is at a loss “what to do next,” why not try a method as practical as this?
I suggest a resolution of thanks to Rev. Dr. Crafts and B. F. Jacobs, Esq., for their championship of our cause in the recent International Sunday School Convention, resulting in a unanimous vote to retain the Quarterly Temperance Lessons.
We shall wish, I know, to send resolutions of sympathy to Mrs. Higgins, president of Colorado W.C.T.U., and congratulations on her improved health, also condolence to the Colorado State Union that has lost its treasurer, Mrs. Shapleigh
I wish we could pass some such resolution as the following, which was recently adopted by one of our County Conventions:- ” Resolved: That inasmuch as the wearing of trained dresses is compulsory at the courts of kings, it is a fashion that may well be set at naught by the women of a republic; and since a style of dress which keeps a woman continually clutching at her garments detracts from her dignity and moral influence as well as from her freedom and comfort, and whereas, by the wearing of trains our sisters are made weak, we will wear no trains while the world stands.”
One of the best ideas advanced for the paying off of our debt was in the Temple column, and came, I think, from the bright brain of Mrs. Washington . She said we ought to have “Temple Success Meetings,” and it occurred to me that we might print at our publishing house a placard, with a picture of the Temple, and after it the word “Success,” in odd letters, and end the combination with the word “Meeting,” followed by a large line to this effect: ” Come and see this rebus acted! ” The novelty of the advertisement would help to draw together many who are interested in good causes, and many who are not. The children of the Loyal Temperance Legion could be relied on to sell tickets for the local W.C.T.U. The Responsive Reading on the subject of the Temple building would fittingly open the evening programme, and after that there is abundant material in the files of the Union Signal, and the exercises, speeches, etc., sent out from the Temple headquarters to provide an attractive entertainment. If every local union would thus organize a ” Temple Success Meeting,” I feel confident that the total amount secured would be of great service in diminishing the debt, and the effort put forth, would, in itself, abundantly reward the local workers.
When we hold a W.C.T.U. Conference or Convention the programme of the afternoon with the songs to be sung at our public meeting should be in the hands of every person in the hall. This is the way they do in the mother country, and I have seen at the bottom of the programme a slip of paper perforated so as to be easily torn off, containing an appeal to those who are not pledged abstainers, with a request for the signatures of men and women to be placed on the paper and dropped into the collection boxes. We hold meetings as enthusiastic and in every way as excellent as these of our British friends, but we are not as intelligent and practical in our efforts to gather up the fruits of victory, both financial, and in the added pledges and memberships, we could easily obtain if we worked according to a plan. The same is true of circulating petitions and memorials; work that would take several women weeks to do could be done in ten minutes in a great assembly by the means I have indicated. On these methods we might learn much from the Salvation Army.
We have now a charming “Membership song” (that is its best and most appropriate name) written by Mrs. Katharine Lente Stevenson of Mass., and entitled “We belong.” When asking for membership in a congregation, large or small, we do so more effectually if, as an accompaniment, we sing this song, which should be printed and in the hands of every person present; and the familiar tune (“Long, Long ago,”) all can sing with heartiness. It would be well if the presiding officer appealed to all present who are willing to join with us to rise, or if already standing, to raise the hand in singing the first verse:-
“Drops in an ocean of infinite might;
We all belong, we all belong;
Rays in a prism of white, radiant light;
We all belong, we belong;
Strands in a cord reaching down from God’s throne, Links in a chain which now circles each zone, Notes in the deepest of harmonies known; We all belong, we belong.”
Every local union should be advised to use its influence to clear the streets from objectionable theatrical posters. We have reason to be proud of the results secured in Boston by a movement of this kind headed by that gentle heroine, Dr. Julia Plummer
We lose many of our members because we are not ingenious-minded. When one of them changes her place of residence we should write on ahead of her, and urge the officers of our society in her new home to hunt her up and get her to join them. What we need is a blank letter of instructions signed by President and Secretary, which should be filled up for the retiring member, and the duplicate of it sent with her new address to the Secretary of our local society in the town or village to which she has removed.
I do not know how the vote went at the great Exposition as to Columbia’s emblem, but having once declared for the arbutus as that flower, I feel bound, having suffered a change of mind-and, as I hope, gained added wisdom,-to quote as my verdict the charming poetic argument of Miss Edna Dean Proctor, published in a recent issue of the Century Magazine . As leading groups of Americans are taking sides on this subject, I should be glad, if it seemed good to the Convention, to have a vote as to what is our favourite flower, not for ourselves, for we have chosen the arbutus, but for the Republic.
“The rose may bloom for England,
The lily for France unfold;
Ireland may honour the shamrock,
Scotland her thistle bold:
But the shield of the great Republic,
The glory of the West,
Shall bear a stalk of the tasseled Corn,
Of all our wealth the best.
The arbutus and the goldenrod
The heart of the North may cheer,
And the mountain-laurel for Maryland,
Its royal clusters rear;
And jasmine and magnolia
The crest of the South adorn:
But the wide Republic’s emblem
Is the bounteous, golden Corn.”
I wish to urge upon our members the heroic enterprise of John G. Woolley in founding a Home for drinking men at Rest Island, Minn. Any who realise what a blessing it is to have a strong brotherly hand stretched out when one is shipwrecked morally should send their gifts in token of their faith. The new paper sent out by brother Woolley in the interest of this Home is one of the most nutritious of ideas that the long roll of temperance papers has produced. I have heard it said by several who had no special interest in our movement that it was a paper that you had to read whether you would or not, for when you tasted then you desired to eat.
I fear we have under-estimated the value of having a reception or sociable at the beginning or close of each Convention. This feature is more developed in England than with us, and much good influence and kindly feeling is awakened by the informal intercourse of workers, and the recognition of the sympathetic side of a movement that holds us to our work so closely that we are apt to ignore “the small sweet courtesies of life.”
The National Temperance Convention held at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, June 10th to 18th, and presided over by Archbishop Ireland, was probably the most representative ever convened in the interest of reform. Men and women, native and foreign, Catholic and Protestant, all met upon one platform, and spoke to each other only words of peace and good-will. When we remember that such a thing, although not impossible to be done had it been thought of, was impossible to be thought of a quarter of a century ago, we get a glimpse of the magnificent march of brotherhood that ought to make us feel that whatever ought to be will be.
The history of the Temperance Reform, brought out by J. N. Stearns, Secretary of the National Temperance Society, as a memorial of this advance, should be placed on the library shelves of temperance women in every nation, and will furnish invaluable material for sketches, articles, and arguments.
Once more I recommend and urge our Temperance people, men and women, to import from England the cheering “hear, hear,” with which audiences are wont to mark their approbation of a speaker’s best points, and thus to add their own enthusiasm to the strength of what he says, making it far more emphatic to all who hear, and quickening the powers of the speaker to larger achievements than he might otherwise attain. Having had experience in both methods I am prepared to testify that the heartiness of response in an English audience is far better than the dumb show we often have in America.
Why should we go on year after year with the same plan of programme? I wish this Convention would seriously consider the propriety of beginning the next one by devoting the first half-day to a Crusade Prayer Meeting, and the first afternoon and evening to a Free Parliament, with subjects for discussion indicated. All delegates invited to equal participation in the debate.
I wish to call attention to a card recently issued by the artistic firm of Nister and Company, and printed in Nuremberg, whence come the finest artistic works of the kind thus far known to the world. This card was designed by Lady Henry Somerset, while on her summer vacation, and represents a mother and child who are in want. It is called “A Nineteenth Century Nativity,” and the figures and accessories are most effective. The result is a card that not simply reminds a friend he has been remembered by us, but is an exquisite object-lesson of the brotherhood of humanity. Our own poet, James Russell Lowell, furnishes the motto:-
“Who gives himself with his alms feeds three, Himself, his hungry neighbour, and Me.”
The card can be ordered from Mrs. Caroline Grow, Business Manager of the W.T.P.A., The Woman’s Temple, Chicago, Ill., or of Miss Helen L. Hood, Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, London, E.C.
General Neal Dow, the “Grand Old Man” of the Temperance Reform, will be ninety years old on the twentieth of March, 1894, and it seems to me that both the World’s W.C.T.U. and the National W.C.T.U. might well adopt an address of affectionate appreciation of our beloved and revered friend on that occasion; and that it would be altogether reasonable for us to celebrate his ninetieth birthday in our local unions by a meeting which should give some account of the origin and history of the Prohibition movement, of which he is the father.
The Pundita Ramabai, our White Ribbon sister, and one of the National Officers of the W.C.T.U. in India, has had a year of remarkable success in her school for the high-caste Hindoo widows. A new building has been added to the outfit, and if religious persecution does not become an element in the intricate problem which that brave soul has dared, all will go well. Mrs. Judith W. Andrews, of Boston, from the first, perhaps, the most devoted and helpful friend that Pundita Ramabai has had, is to be with her in the school during the next few months, and Miss Soonderbai Powar is associated with Pundita Ramabai in conducting the school. I met Miss Powar repeatedly in London, and was much impressed by her intelligence and devotion.
I earnestly hope that a Pundita Ramabai circle of ten members who pledge themselves to pay $1 a year for ten years may be formed in every local union. If this could be done it would form a sure source of supply for an institution more needed-as I believe-than any other in the world. Whoever has read Dr. Emily Ryder’s book, “The little wives of India” (published by Varley Brothers, 180 and 182, William Street, Melbourne, Australia), must feel that of all the human race those most helpless, wretched, and intruded upon in the most heart-rending way, are the little child-wives. When Pundita was with us she stirred a great enthusiasm. Let us lift up our hearts to God, and ask Him to keep a tender place there always for her and her Christlike endeavour for the most down-trodden of womankind.
Mrs. Fessenden, President of the Massachusetts W.C.T.U., assisted by Mrs. Higgins, the State General Secretary of the “Y’s.,” has successfully started the Somerset Union. All members at large can belong to it, but the name is specially claimed by college girls, a large number of whom have joined. They have their own department in the State paper, headed by a picture of Lady Somerset
Someone has had the wit to suggest the White Ribbon doll as a candidate for childish favour; and I believe, if we would keep on hand these mimic specimens of primitive humanity, decked in artistic reform apparel, and bedecked with the White Ribbon, sending one as a premium to every home that sent us a subscriber to the Union Signal, and a dollars’ worth of our literature besides, we might domesticate progressive ideas in a myriad of small heads and hearts that shall belong in future years to mothers of the republic.
No Welcome Meeting that I have ever seen is by any means so effective as one in which “all sorts and conditions of men”-and women-who belong to other Guilds and Societies than our own are invited to participate. If any Local or State Union wishes to see an “arousement” of the people, let it invite a welcome from the Society of R. R. Employs, Policemen, News Boys, c.; to say nothing of Welcomes by Soldiers and Sailors, Ministers Meetings, Missionary Societies, and Women’s Literary Clubs. A welcome like that sounds the whole gamut of human nature and environment.
Nothing in the Welcome Meeting given me at Exeter Hall was more hopeful or enlivening that the fact that representatives of the Vegetarian Society and the “Organized Butchers” sat side by side in friendliest fraternity.
It is suggested that we have a little book, cheap but pretty, with a text for every day in the year, prefaced with a condensed account of the work, to be sold or given away to new members, something that will be a bond of union between members all over the world, and can be sold at the close of meetings for a few cents.
PROGRESS OF WOMEN IN 1892-’93.
If we think the cause of woman is not progressing as rapidly as it should for the interest of men and women, we must look back and see from what degradation she has escaped; for example, take this account from the London Times, July 18th, 1797, less than a hundred years ago. It reads as follows:-
” On Friday a butcher exposed his wife for sale in Smithfield Market with a strap about her waist which tied her to a railing. A drover was the purchaser at three guineas and a crown .” But Petruchio is still at large, that famous creation of Shakespeare, who said of his wife,
“She is my goods, my chattels,
She is my house, my household furniture,
My field, my barn,-my anything.”
At the inauguration of the World’s Columbian Exposition, in Machinery Hall, with an audience of one hundred and twenty-five thousand persons present, women shared in the speaking-a woman architect received the prize for designing the Woman’s Building, and women participated equally with men throughout the exercises which were presided over by the Vice-President of the United States.
Women were represented as officers and speakers in the World’s Columbian Congress of Religions, at which noted representatives of the ten great Religions were participants.
At the World’s Catholic Congress (Columbian Exposition), women were not only on the platform, but on the programme-for the first time in the history of that great hierarchy.
The province of Nova Scotia has this year made the greatest advance that has been noted along ecclesiastical lines. Miss M. Dauphinie was elected as a lay delegate to the Methodist Annual Conference. There was no controversy concerning her admission; it was a ruling of the chair. The Rev. Dr. Moore, President of the Conference, should receive the thanks of all awakened women for having taken a position so honourable to himself and to us. Best of all, the Wesleyan Methodist Journal of the maritime province of Canada, says: “The ruling of the chair was received with great enthusiasm, and the report of the committee adopted.”
The New Church (Swedenborgian) has authorised women to preach.
At our last National Convention, thirty-five women on a single Sunday occupied pulpits as preachers in Denver, Colorado. At the Autumn Conference of the National B.W.T.A. in Cardiff (Wales), nineteen pulpits were occupied by women.
An agitation is beginning among the Jews for the equal representation of women as voters and office holders in the congregation, and an influential Jewish journal declares this to be right, and claims that there is no valid obstacle in the way of its being carried into effect.
In two or more of the United States the Episcopal Church has voted to strike the word “male” from the constitutional provisions for the election of vestrymen and wardens.
The title of D.D. has been conferred upon a woman minister.
“The Foresters” is a benefit Society in England having a very large membership and great influence. At its recent annual meeting, a resolution was carried forbidding the women (who are now beginning to form auxiliary branches,) to hold their meetings in liquor shops, although the men have always done so, and do still. But it may be reasonably predicted that since the men so clearly perceive the demoralization likely to result from having their “women folks” meet in such an environment, they will in time cease to do so themselves, and we have every confidence that the women will help them to attain the higher standard by which they are now “unequally yoked.”
Women are employed at railway switches and crossings in Italy because they do not get intoxicated.
Finland has 50,000 women who are total abstainers, in a population of two million persons.
The Queen Regent of Holland was the patron and official president of the recent International Temperance Congress at The Hague. She however delegated her duties to a man!
The National Republican League at its Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, May 11th, recommended to the favourable consideration of the Republican Clubs of the United States, the question of granting the women of the State and nation the right to vote at all elections on the same terms and conditions as the male citizens.
Kansas and Colorado have submitted amendments to their constitutions giving women the full ballot.
One of the best phases of the Temperance question in England just now is, that when the Direct Veto is obtained-and it seems quite sure to be given to the people before the year 1894 is out-it will be backed up by the municipal ballot for women, and thus local option will have a far better chance to win than it has ever known in the Republic.
The Legislature of Michigan has given to all women the municipal ballot.
New Zealand stands at the head of the list this year, having given the ballot to women, married and single, on all questions that affect the Government.
In Connecticut, the women vote this fall on school matters.
The American Federation of Labour, representing 700,000 working men, has declared for Woman’s Suffrage.
The Farmers Alliance in most of the States adopts resolutions favourable to the ballot for women.
For the first time, a woman has been heard officially in Austria. A socialistic leader of Vienna, Fraulein Dworzak, was invited by the Minister of Commerce to speak as an expert before the Austrian Board of Trade, on the position of the working women of that country. She spoke for three hours, and described all the horrors of the working women’s status.
The participation of women from almost all the leading European countries in the International Socialist Congress at Zurich, and the fact that a woman presided over one of the public sessions is a significant item in our progress for this year.
When Bryn Mawr College opened for instruction in the fall of 1885 there were 44 students, now there are over 200, and many are refused admission for lack of room. This is typical of the growth in all the leading women’s colleges.
The first congress of lady-lawyers ever held, met at the Columbian Exposition, on August 3rd. There are 110 ladies in America who have been called to the Bar, and eight have earned the right to practise before the Supreme Court of the United States after having for three years pleaded at the Bar of the state or territory without any flaw in their public or private career.
Twenty-five years ago women writers were excluded from the Charles Dickens banquet in New York City by the Press Club. These women were individually indignant, and there the matter would have ended had they not had the wit to organize themselves into what has become the greatest, as it was the first notable literary society of women in the New World. Recently, this Society (the famous “Sorosis” has celebrated its “quarter-centennial,” and the record of its successful work for the development and enfranchisement of women is known to all thoughtful minds throughout the world.
Nearly all the northern States have lady pharmacists. Illinois has over one hundred.
There are 30,000 women cyclists in America. France has 10,000; 9,000 of them living in Paris. There was recently in that city a cycling wedding party who went to church and thence to breakfast on their safeties. A French lady has established a record for herself by riding 17 1/2 miles in one hour.
Perhaps the most remarkable programme for the future relations of women to public affairs is the manifesto issued by the Women’s Rights Party in Paris in connection with the recent elections. They declare that the existing state should be replaced by what they call the Mother State, which, by its foresight and solicitude would insure certainty of work to all able-bodied men, assistance to children and to the aged, the sick, and the deformed. They declare that
“The State, thoroughly informed with regard to the requirements of production in every industry, should, in accordance with this knowledge, enlist workers, and should provide for their being classed in society according to their talents, just as she classes them in the army according to their stature. The Mother State would suppress the liberty to die of hunger.
“There should be really universal suffrage-that is to say, exercised by both men and women.
“The revision of the Constitution by an assembly composed of both men and women.
“Free access, without distinction of sex, to all public employment and offices.
“The lightening of the burden on women, who have charge of and responsibility for human lives, the grant to every mother, married or not married, of an indemnity to be called the maternal indemnity.
“Obligatory military service for men, obligatory humanitarian service for women; the defence of the territory entrusted to men, the Philanthropies confided to women.”