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[372] shall not be able to carry that plan into effect. I am hesitating, therefore, whether to be with you on the 1st. My presence, with the amount of talent you will not fail to have present on the occasion, can certainly be of no special value; and as the distance and the expense are both considerable (the latter being the most weighty consideration), my conclusion is, that I had better send a letter to be read to the meeting, and abandon the idea of being on the ground bodily. . . .

My spirit is exulting in view of the successful proceedings of the Woman's Rights Convention in your city. This is the fifth1 or sixth conventional experiment on the part of the women of this country to plead their own cause, and vindicate their inalienable rights. In every instance, the result has far surpassed the most sanguine expectations. They have conducted their meetings with a dignity, a propriety, and an amount of talent seldom equalled by the other sex. The effect upon the public mind has been very striking. The press generally has behaved remarkably well, and treated the effort respectfully, in many instances cordially. What a change, my dear friend, has been wrought since 1840, when the American Anti-Slavery Society was rent asunder, on the sole ground (at least ostensibly), that it2 was an intolerable outrage, and shockingly unscriptural, to place a woman on one of its committees! Where is the orthodox General Association of Massachusetts, which was once so prompt3 to issue its bull against the Grimkes, for publicly pleading ‘the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction’? Even the New York Observer and Puritan Recorder are dumb! And all this in view of the fact that the women are claiming entire equality of rights with men—the right to be ministers, lawyers, doctors, and even legislators! Really, the age is ‘progressive’ —and, beyond all cavil, ‘the world moves.’

Speaking of the Grimkes, Angelina (with her children) and4 Sarah are now spending a few weeks at the pleasant residence of Samuel Philbrick in Brookline. The latter I have seen, but Angelina was too unwell, the day I called, to leave her room. She is suffering from the fever and ague. They both wear the Bloomer costume.5 Theodore is at home on his farm.


6

1 Sept. 8-10, 1852; Lib. 22.127.

2 Ante, 2.348, 349.

3 Ante, 2.133.

4 Mrs. Weld.

5 A short skirt, with trousers (Lib. 21: 76). ‘Mrs. [Amelia] Bloomer was among the first to wear the dress, and stoutly advocated its adoption in her paper, the Lily, published at Seneca Falls, N. Y. But it was introduced by Elizabeth Smith Miller, the daughter of the great philanthropist, Gerrit Smith, in 1850’ ( “Hist. Of Woman Suffrage,” 1: 127; and see also pp. 469, 844).

6 T. D. Weld.

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