people; the overwhelming defeat, the bitter humiliation suffered by them filled her with sorrow and indignation.
In a lecture on Paris
she says: “The great Exposition of 1867 had drawn together an immense crowd from all parts of the world.
Among its marvels, my recollection dwells most upon the gallery of French paintings, in which I stood more than once before a full-length portrait of the then Emperor
I looked into the face which seemed to say: ‘I have succeeded.
What has any one to say about it?’
And I pondered the slow movements of that heavenly Justice whose infallible decrees are not to be evaded.”
Her “Reminiscences” say: “As I was revolving these matters in my mind, while the war was still in progress, I was visited by a sudden feeling of the cruel and unnecessary character of the contest.
It seemed to me a return to barbarism, the issue having been one which might easily have been settled without bloodshed.
The question forced itself upon me, ‘Why do not the mothers of mankind interfere in these matters, to prevent the waste of that human life of which they alone bear and know the cost?’
I had never thought of this before.
The august dignity of motherhood and its terrible responsibilities now appeared to me in a new aspect, and I could think of no better way of expressing my sense of these than that of sending forth an appeal to womanhood throughout the world, which I then and there composed.”
This appeal is dated Boston
, September, 1870.