She says of her early work for suffrage:--
“One of the comforts which I found in the new association was the relief which it afforded me from a sense of isolation and eccentricity.
For years past I had felt strongly impelled to lend my voice to the convictions of my heart.
I had done this in a way, from time to time, always with the feeling that my course in doing so was held to call for apology and explanation by the men and women with whose opinions I had hitherto been familiar.
I now found a sphere of action in which this mode of expression no longer appeared singular or eccentric, but simple, natural, and, under the circumstances, inevitable.”
It was no small thing for her to take up this burden.
, although a believer in equal suffrage, was strongly opposed to her taking any active part in public life.
He felt as Grandfather Howe
had felt forty years before when his son Sam spoke in public for the sake of Greece
; it jarred on his traditions.
Others of the family also deplored the new departure, and her personal friends almost with one accord held up hands of horror or deprecation.
These things were inexpressibly painful to her; she loved approbation; the society and sympathy of “kent folk,” whose traditions corresponded with her own; but her hand was on the plough; there was no turning back.
Suffrage worked her hard.
The following year the New England Woman Suffrage Association issued a call for the formation of a national body; the names signed were Lucy Stone
, Caroline M. Severance
, Julia Ward Howe
, T. W. Higginson
, and G. H. Vibbert