Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

brought to her association influence and new friends, and has, with the aid of a corps of eminent women, achieved large results, having in her society more branches than are to be found in any other State, her association having been also the largest and most enthusiastic supporter of the Missionary Department. In New York City an admirable board of officers, led by the accomplished Mrs. Theodore Irving and Mrs. Edward Elliott, are supporting a new station of the Ramona Missions, and are meeting with other new successes, as is the Brooklyn association, which, under the leadership of Mrs. Lyman Abbott, assisted by the former president of that society, Mrs. Jerome Plummer, inaugurated the Kiowa Mission and is preparing to open a station among the Piegans of Montana. Miss Sarah M. Taylor, of Philadelphia, a devoted and far-seeing worker and generous giver, is now chairman of the Missionary Department which, in six years, has planted directly or indirectly, missions in twenty different tribes, building four inissionary cottages and four chapels in these, transferring them, one after another, when well established, to the care of the permanent denominational societies. Miss Kate Foote, president of the auxiliary at the national capital, whose bright letters from that city and whose charming magazine articles are so widely enjoyed, is chairman of the Department of Indian Legislation, her racy reports of laws secured, and notices of the more numerous ones needed, having both a popular and legislative value, while her prescient watchfulness is constantly achieving other and important help for Indians. The supplemental work for Indian civilization at Crow Creek Agency, Dakota, for furnishing on the reservation, to returned Indian students, civilized employments and continued religious nurture, thus making them self-supporting and an aid to their entire tribes, led to the election of Miss Grace Howard, of New York, who originated, successfully inaugurated, and continues it, as chairman of the association's department of Indian Civilization Work. The Young People's Department has for chairman Miss Marie E. Ives, of New Haven, whose first effort so inspired a quartet of young girls in New York City that their first entertainment placed $327 in the treasury for the association's new Seminole Mission, and, naturally, awakened large hope for the success of this important division of work. The chairman of the committee on Indian Libraries, Miss Frances C. Sparhawk, of Massachusetts, originated and is vigorously serving her own department, while the latest committee, that on hospital work, is led by Miss Laura E. Tileston, of Virginia, though the first hospital, for which funds are already in hand, will soon be built by the National Missionary Committee for the Omahas. The devotion of our corresponding secretary, Miss Helen R. Foote; of our late recording secretary, Mrs. Rachel N. Taylor ; the generous service of our recent treasurer, Mrs. Harriet L. Wilbur, and of the present one, Miss Anna Bennett, and the labors of other workers in different sections of the country come up in remembrance, and it would be a pleasure to record the names of all these did space permit. Many women have wrought well during and since the inauguration of the new Indian policy, by the influence of which already more than one third of the forty-eight thousand Indian pupils are in the various government and other schools, and under which the people of more than twenty tribes are receiving lands in severalty. By the success of this policy, developed with the aid of all officials, individuals, and organizations friendly to them, the quarter of a million Indians of our country are, by taking individual farms or by adopting civil. ized avocations, at last really passing out of barbarism into civilization, and from the oppressions, disabilities, and helplessness of the reservation system into the freedom, protection, and development of United States citizenship. The work of the association for these ends has been pressed with all tho vigor which its numbers and means permitted, and it has given its whole thought to the accomplishment of its purposes. Not contemplating a permanent existence, it has given small though adequate attention to mere form. One of its members, a poet, Indian educator, an able writer on Indian topics, and now a government superintendent of Indian schools, Miss Elaine Goodale, says : “This association stretches out sympathetic hands and loses itself in all other good work for the Indians so that the measure of its influence may not be expressed in any rows of figures however significant, or set down in any report however complete. The striking and hopeful feature, after all, of this Women's National Indian Association is, as its president constantly reminds us, that it is not intended as a permanent organization. The women have undertaken to meet a particular crisis, to bridge a dangerous gap. As fast as the regular missionary societies are ready to accept its independent missions, these are placed entirely in their hands. As soon as our rich and powerful Government comprehends and faithfully discharges its duty to the Indians the women will cease to urge their needs and their rights, and the association will cease to exist. Its work will have been

done. Its demand is not for its own honor or extension but that the object for which alone it lives may speedily be accomplished.”

Until this object is gained, The Women's National Indian Association will not sound retreat nor its great company of consecrated workers disband. It is possible that its best and longest record may be made in the future and its work be finished by wholly new laborers. God grant that this may be so if the work, political, educational, industrial, and religious, still so imperatively demanded by justice for our native Indian Americans, cannot otherwise be done.

XVI.

WORK OF ANTI-SLAVERY WOMEN.

BY

LILLIE B. CHACE WYMAN.

PRUDENCE CRANDALL, a Quaker school teacher in Canterbury, Conn., was the woman whose name we encounter in the earliest records of anti-slavery labor in this country. She took counsel with Mr. Garrison in 1833, and opened a school for colored pupils, which she bravely maintained for over a year, although she was subjected therefore to a great amount of persecution. She was arrested, and even thrown temporarily into jail, and her house and its inmates were made the mark for every species of insult and outrage which her neighbors dared to perpetrate. She married the Rev. Calvin Philleo, and still survives him, living in Kansas. The Legislature of Connecticut, a few years ago, granted her a pension in atone. ment for the wrongs she formerly suffered in that State.

Hatred of slavery was the motive which first called women in this country into public life. Sarah and Angelina Grimké were two sisters belonging to a prominent slaveholding family in South Carolina. As a child, Sarah was shocked by the cruelties practised upon the slaves around her, but her first deep interest in early life was in religious questions. The family were Episcopalians, and she remained for many years of the same faith. She made a visit to the North, came under Quaker influences, and finally joined the Society of Friends, and this led to her going to live in Philadelphia, in 1821. Angelina, who was twelve years younger than Sarah, remained in Charleston. She manifested, like Sarah, a tendency to extreme asceticism in dress and manner, and she became a Presbyterian. She detested the evils of slavery, but she does not seem to have thought slave-holding sinful in it. self, till after she had visited Philadelphia in 1828, when she was twenty-three years old. After that, she grew to feel more

and more keenly that she was living amid a great wrong, and she suffered intensely at the participation in it of her family. She entreated and argued, begged her brother to be merciful to his slaves, besought her mother and sisters to feel as she did. In May, 1829, she wrote in her diary, “ May it not be laid down as an axiom, that that system must be radically wrong, which can only be supported by transgressing the laws of God.” A little later, she determined to leave her home, because of her inability to do any good there in regard to the slaves, and she writes, “ I cannot but be pained at the thought of leaving mother. ... I do not think, dear sister, I will ever see her again until she is willing to give up slavery." In the autumn of 1829 she left Charleston and her mother, whom she never saw again.

She went to Philadelphia and joined the Society of Friends. After some years of comparatively quiet life, Angelina wrote in 1835 a sympathetic letter to Wm. Lloyd Garrison, which he published in The Liberator. She wrote next “ An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South," a pamphlet which “ pro duced,” says Mrs. Birney, “the most profound sensation wherever it was read.” Not long afterward“ the city authorities of Charleston learned,” writes Mr. Theodore D. Weld, “that Miss Grimké was intending to visit her mother and sisters, and pass the winter with them. Thereupon the mayor called upon Mrs. Grimké and desired her to inform her daughter that the police had been instructed to prevent her landing while the steamer remained in port, and to see to it that she should not communicate, by letter or otherwise, with any persons in the city; and further, that if she should elude their vigilance and go on shore, she would be arrested and imprisoned until the return of the vessel.” Threats of personal violence were also made, should she come.

A year later Sarah published “ An Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States," and the sisters began to address meetings of women on the subject of slavery. They proposed at first to hold parlor meetings, but found it necessary at once to engage the session room of a Baptist Church in New York. The gathering there was “the first assembly of women, not Quakers, in a public place in America, addressed by American women." Two clergymen performed the opening ceremonies, offered prayer and made an address of welcome, and then left, so that none but women should hear women speak. Similar assemblies were held afterward, and in a letter dated “ second month, 4th, 1837,Angelina writes, that one man had got into

« AnteriorContinuar »