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beauty, the song of the thrush, and the carol of the lark; to watch the sun in its course and learn the dim paths of the forest.
“It is the song of infinite harmonies.”
The man, woman or child of vision responds—perhaps, all unconsciously and inarticulately—but responds like a vibrating chord to the note of these melodies, that should be part of the charm of the home-life of the farm. There can be no disputing the fact that a goodly number of American women are wonderfully successful home-makers. But at the same time, it must be admitted, that a large number of our household mistresses must plead guilty to the charges of extravagance—technical ignorance of household economy—and a considerable degree of all-round inefficiency, both as housekeepers and as home-makers, for the terms are not synonymous. It is a commonplace among sociologists that in most well-to-do American homes enough is wasted in the kitchen alone to keep a French family in comfort. We are also wasteful of light and heat, and, above all, of our time and energy. Our country is in dire need of a woman who will do for the home what a distinguished inventor and public benefactor of Philadelphia has done for the factory—that is, introduce an “efficiency” system, which will do away with our present waste of both money and time, and increase the quantity and quality of the actual output—not only of creature comforts, but also of artistic attractiveness; and of that indefinable atmosphere of peace and restfulness, which, of all the by-products of home life, is certainly the pearl of greatest price. The time will surely come when both mistress and maid will prepare for their life's work—as home-makers—with the same care and enthusiasm that men now put into the work of perfecting themselves in their various trades and professions. Home-making, like piano-playing, is an art—to succeed in which requires something more than temperament. Until the technique has been properly mastered, temperament has little opportunity to manifest itself to advantage. A generation ago home-making and farming were occupations that anyone with a mediocre intelligence and a reasonable degree of industry was considered sufficiently equipped for. But today these two avocations occupy a secure and increasingly important place among the learned professions. - Agriculture, ‘‘dignified by the ages, as old well-nigh as the green earth itself,” has become a scientific profession alluring to men and women of brains and culture, who quickly become enthralled by its ever-expanding and fascinating possibilities. In every State in the Union we have magnificent agricultural colleges and schools of domestic science, in which are being prepared for their respective careers thousands of prospective farmers and thousands of prospective housewives. Moreover, several bills have been pending before Congress which provide for the widest possible dissemination of instruction in agriculture and domestic science (including the pure food problem) among the rural population of every county in this Nation. This is a glorious work. The proposed instruction in agriculture is something which, as a farmer, I am particularly enthusiastic about. Yet I feel that quite as important as this will be the educational facilities in the household arts and in the highest home-making ideals, which are to be placed within reach of every housekeeper and every prospective housekeeper in this land. Just as agriculture is the basis of all our material prosperity and power, so the home is the perennial and sacred source from which emanate those potent, ennobling and refining influences, which slowly and silently have lifted man out of past savagery, and will yet, we trust, lift us out of our present state of semi-civilization—with its class war, political and business corruption and industrial brutality— on to higher and even higher stages of moral, intellectual and social development. This is my idea of the relatedness of Conservation to the home. Is there any question that this is truly Conservation—its essence—in the minds of any member of this convention ? The second realm of opportunity which I want to point out to you is that which spreads out before us in a bewildering splendor of promise, in connection with the schooling of the young, as related to the home. We are all aware that the large majority of our common and high school teachers are women. In many of our States women vote for members of the School Board, and if a majority of them really wanted this right, there is no doubt that they would secure it everywhere. In this event it would be a comparatively easy matter for them to formulate and carry through policies of their own. Thus from the cradle to the university the education of the children is potentially in the hands of the women of this country. This is a power which the priests of various religions frequently have endeavored to obtain on the grounds that if they were allowed to control and dominate the child's mind during its formative period, their influence upon its after-life would be dominant and enduring. I wonder if we realize what almost unlimited power over future generations is thus entrusted to our hands. Are we, as women and mothers, exercising that power with an adequate sense of the responsibility which it places upon our shoulders? There are now thousands and hundreds of thousands of our sex who are pining for something to do, which they can feel is entirely and splendidly worth their while. How fortunate it is, that here, already at hand, is a task which Nature, and “Man, the tyrant,” are agreed is peculiarly adapted to our particular tastes and talents. But what are we doing about it? Little as a sex, I fear, that is either significant or creditable. When not merely in a few isolated cases, but as a class, the women of America decide what they want in the way of education for their children, if they want it badly enough, there is no earthly power which can stand between them and their splendid ideal goal. But this means work, persistent, intelligent work. First of all, in the matter of self-education, and, secondly, in that of carrying on an aggressive campaign for the education of our own sex, and, if possible, of the other sex as well. I am beginning to get deeply concerned, not about the lack of adequate opportunities for service on the part of women, but about our failure, so far, to measure up to the incomparable opportunities which are already ours. If there is any subject in which we, as women, ought to be intensely and intelligently interested, it is in this subject of education—not in the academic sense alone, but in the broader view of character-building—upon a proper understanding and handling of which depends the very future of civilization. This, I take it, is truly Conservation work and when thoroughly grasped, will as truly mark milestones of progress in our lifetime, as those we may leave behind in material form. The third of these brilliant avenues of possible social service, which open before us in beautiful vistas of alluring opportunity, is one which is involved in the purchasing power of women. As a general thing, men are the wage-earners and women are the wage-spenders for the home. Nearly all of the household expenditures of the family are made by the wives and mothers of the race. It is a sad commentary upon our business ability, and our rudimentary sense of social solidarity, that so few of us have any realizing sense of the potential power over the business and industrial world, which is inherent in this our position as buyer, or spender, for the family. I call your attention to the fact that if the women of America would pool their purchasing power, and, resisting all the blandishments of the “bargain counter’’ and the “sale”— based on sweat-shop labor—would demand pure goods, made and sold under sanitary and salutary conditions—more could be accomplished for the moral and material uplift of the factory-worker and the saleswoman than by the enactment of a Volume of restrictive statute, the breaking of which we thoughtlessly "nnive at, and practically become a party to, in our mad scramble for “heapness at any cost of human degradation and wreckage. - A superb organization, known as the “Consumers' League,” has come Into being, for the express purpose of enabling men, as well as women. to "tilize their purchasing power in the great work of raising the standarols of the business and industrial worlds, both as to the purity of the product offered to the public and the fairness of the treatment accorded to employes. Of all the splendid “movements” and “causes” which today invite our co-operation and support, this is one of many, which seem to me to fall naturally within our province, as wives, mothers and home-makers. It is the principle underlying this great crusade of the “Consumers' League” and like organizations which appeal to us. As a matter of fact, this is a work for the betterment of women in the business and industrial worlds, and as a consequence improvement in the home, which we women cannot avoid doing, without definitely and publicly shirking our heavy economic and moral responsibilities, as family purveyors and budget makers. Or, in other words, as domestic chancellors of the exchequer. Far be it from me to say that the members of our sex may not some day decide to undertake, in addition to their other duties, the heavy responsibilities of the voter and political worker. Perhaps it may transpire, that upon our planet the true super-man is woman, and that she is entirely capable of doing the man's work as well as her own. But, in the interim, until this fact has been satisfactorily demonstrated, let us devote ourselves whole-heartedly to what is more particularly woman's work; to those delicate and difficult tasks for which man's clumsy fingers and prosaic processes of reasoning are unfitted and wholly inadequate. And, above all, let us be quite sure that we do our especial work—at least as well as he does his—before we insist upon taking a hand in his activities and improving upon his methods of performing his highly useful, if somewhat less exalted, functions. It may seem in these lines of work—somewhat unique—and hitherto undefined as belonging to the realm of Conservation, that I am departing a long way from the usual addresses on that subject. But I ask your careful consideration of this subconscious knowledge of every woman's breast, that at least every issue and question I have referred to has its foundation, in the broadest and deepest sense, in the life and action which center in the home. In the ways which I have so hastily outlined and in other, and perhaps better ways, that may not yet have occurred to us, our great work of Conservation is destined to continue its triumphal march upward and on—in the name of the great principles upon which it is founded, and in the name of patriots, living and dead, who have labored and sacrificed to make of this, our fatherland, what, under God, it is, has been, and ever must remain—the greatest nation on earth. Because, beneath the ample folds of its unconquered flag, there live more free, happy and God-fearing people than upon any other part of the habitable globe. (Applause.)
The CHAIRMAN–I had been tempted to introduce the next speaker as a charter member of the organization of the Daughters of the American Revolution, but I was told by her that this would be considered antediluvian, so that I have not any right whatever to use the knowledge I possess. I have also been told by her friends, for I am sorry to say that until this meeting we had not known each other, that she is the personification of patriotism. It gives me great pleasure to present to this audience the Honorary Vice-President-General of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Mrs. John R. Walker, of Kansas City, Mo.
Mrs. WALKER—Madam Chairman, and Ladies and Gentlemen: The term Conversation has become so all embracing, from the viewpoint of a Daughter of the American Revolution, it is as much a work of patriotism as that of our own great organization—the one dealing with the present and the future, the other with the past, the present and the future. The motto of the Daughters of the American Revolution is “Home and Country,” and so lofty is its ideal, so practical its work, it will be felt throughout all time, as will this broad, wise work of Conservation. The spirit of commercialism, of money worship, about in the land, is fast sapping the resources of our great country and begetting a selfishness that makes a willing sacrifice of the rightful heritage of future generations. It would seem in the order of things in this work of Conservation, that the men of our land should give special concern to its material needs, its lands, its waters, its mineral resources, and that the conservation of life should appeal as nothing else to woman, the transmitter of life—Life, a priceless boon. We protest against child labor—implore with all the tenderness, developed through mother love, to spare the child in the greed of money getting. Refuse the work of little hands, and little feet, in factories, mills, and mines, and out of your abundance make it posible for them, during the few short years of childhood, to enjoy the freedom of the bird and the butterfly, give them a memory of Nature's blessed joys—God’s pure, sweet air; the wayside flower plucked at will, the willow-shaded stream, and all that the sweet breast of Nature offers so freely, without money and without price—to the child of poverty. The Daughters of the American Revolution are awakened to the realization that we, the home-makers, descendants of the woman of the spinning wheel, hold the destiny of a nation in our hands, that we must not only accept but consecrate ourselves to woman’s highest mission, the crowning glory of womanhood—guiding the young feet into right paths.
To give patriots to our country, we must rear patriots, train Americans for America. In our great work of patriotic education our aim is to train the youth of our land in good citizenship; teach them to battle for good laws and social conditions, and to be courageous in the fight, daring to do right in both the political and business world—thus honoring his birthright. The Daughters of the American Revolution have