d Whittier at all. This is clearly set forth in a letter to the latter's friend, Elizabeth Neall.
The letter shows also that his sympathies as a consistent member of the Society of Friends went forth to the women speakers, whom he was criticised as not fully sustaining.
After all, it is always a thing which depends on the individual temperament of reformers, how far they are to make use of a multiplex lens, and how far to concentrate all observation on a single point.
To Elizabeth Neal. 1839.
For myself, abolition has been to me its own exceeding great reward.
It has repaid every sacrifice of time, of money, of reputation, of health, of ease, with the answer of a good conscience, and the happiness which grows out of benevolent exertions for the welfare of others.
It has led me to examine myself.
It has given me the acquaintance of some of the noblest and best of men and women.
It owes me nothing. So, then, two of the youngest members of the Women's Society are to hold fort
etter than any book.
I wish thee could know how proudly and tenderly thee is loved and honoured by the best and wisest of the land.
Pickard's Whittier, II. 603-04.
Whittier was the only one of his immediate literary circle, except Fields the publisher, who unequivocally supported woman suffrage from the beginning of the agitation.
It was of course easier for members of the Society of Friends to do this than for others, yet many Friends opposed it, even vehemently.
He wrote as early as 1839, I go the whole length as regards the rights of women ; and he wrote again to the Woman's Suffrage Convention at Worcester, in 1850:--
Come what may, Nature is inexorable; she will reverse none of her laws at the bidding of male or female conventions; and men and women, with or without the right of suffrage, will continue to be men and women still.
In the event of the repeal of certain ungenerous, not to say unmanly, enactments, limiting and abridging the rights and privileges of women,