The Story of a Pioneer
Anna Howard Shaw

Part 6 out of 6

lights of the campaign was the splendid effort of
Mrs. Frances Munds, the state president, and Mrs.
Alice Park, of Palo Alto, California, who were carry-
ing on the work in their headquarters with tre-
mendous courage, and, as it seemed to me, almost
unaided. Mrs. Park's specialty was the distribu-
tion of suffrage literature, which she circulated with
remarkable judgment. The Governor of Arizona
was in favor of our Cause, but there were so few
active workers available that to me, at least, the
winning of the state was a happy surprise.

In Kansas we stole some of the prestige of Champ
Clark, who was making political speeches in the
same region. At one station a brass-band and a
great gathering were waiting for Mr. Clark's train
just as our train drew in; so the local suffragists per-
suaded the band to play for us, too, and I made a
speech to the inspiring accompaniment of ``Hail to
the Chief.'' The passengers on our train were great-
ly impressed, thinking it was all for us; the crowd
at the station were glad to be amused until the great
man came, and I was glad of the opportunity to
talk to so many representative men--so we were
all happy.

In the Soldiers' Home at Leavenworth I told the
old men of the days when my father and brothers
left us in the wilderness, and my mother and I cared
for the home while they fought at the front--and
I have always believed that much of the large vote
we received at Leavenworth was cast by those old

No one who knows the conditions doubts that we
really won Michigan that year as well as the three
other states, but strange things were done in the
count. For example, in one precinct in Detroit
forty more votes were counted against our amend-
ment than there were voters in the district. In
other districts there were seven or eight more votes
than voters. Under these conditions it is not sur-
prising that, after the vigorous recounting following
the first wide-spread reports of our success, Michi-
gan was declared lost to us.

The campaign of 1914, in which we won Montana
and Nevada, deserves special mention here. I must
express also my regret that as this book will be on
the presses before the campaign of 1915 is ended, I
cannot include in these reminiscences the results
of our work in New York and other states.

As a beginning of the 1914 campaign I spent a day
in Chicago, on the way to South Dakota, to take my
part in a moving-picture suffrage play. It was my
first experience as an actress, and I found it a taxing
one. As a modest beginning I was ordered to make
a speech in thirty-three seconds--something of a
task, as my usual time allowance for a speech is one
hour. The manager assured me, however, that a
speech of thirty-three seconds made twenty-seven
feet of film--enough, he thought, to convert even a

The Dakota campaigns, as usual, resolved them-
selves largely into feats of physical endurance, in
which I was inspired by the fine example of the state
presidents--Mrs. John Pyle of South Dakota and
Mrs. Clara V. Darrow of North Dakota. Every day
we made speeches from the rear platform of the
trains on which we were traveling--sometimes only
two or three, sometimes half a dozen. One day I
rode one hundred miles in an automobile and spoke
in five different towns. Another day I had to make
a journey in a freight-car. It was, with a few ex-
ceptions, the roughest traveling I had yet known,
and it took me six hours to reach my destination.
While I was gathering up hair-pins and pulling my-
self together to leave the car at the end of the ride
I asked the conductor how far we had traveled.

``Forty miles,'' said he, tersely.

``That means forty miles AHEAD,'' I murmured.
``How far up and down?''

``Oh, a hundred miles up and down,'' grinned the
conductor, and the exchange of persiflage cheered
us both.

Though we did not win, I have very pleasant
memories of North Dakota, for Mrs. Darrow ac-
companied me during the entire campaign, and took
every burden from my shoulders so efficiently that
I had nothing to do but make speeches.

In Montana our most interesting day was that
of the State Fair, which ended with a suffrage parade
that I was invited to lead. On this occasion the
suffragists wished me to wear my cap and gown and
my doctor's hood, but as I had not brought those
garments with me, we borrowed and I proudly wore
the cap and gown of the Unitarian minister. It was
a small but really beautiful parade, and all the cos-
tumes for it were designed by the state president,
Miss Jeannette Rankin, to whose fine work, by the
way, combined with the work of her friends, the
winning of Montana was largely due.

In Butte the big strike was on, and the town was
under martial law. A large banquet was given us
there, and when we drove up to the club-house
where this festivity was to be held we were stopped
by two armed guards who confronted us with stern
faces and fixed bayonets. The situation seemed so
absurd that I burst into happy laughter, and thus
deeply offended the earnest young guards who were
grasping the fixed bayonets. This sad memory was
wiped out, however, by the interest of the banquet--
a very delightful affair, attended by the mayor of
Butte and other local dignitaries.

In Nevada the most interesting feature of the
campaign was the splendid work of the women. In
each of the little towns there was the same spirit
of ceaseless activity and determination. The presi-
dent of the State Association, Miss Anne Martin,
who was at the head of the campaign work, accom-
panied me one Sunday when we drove seventy miles
in a motor and spoke four times, and she was also
my companion in a wonderful journey over the
mountains. Miss Martin was a tireless and worthy
leader of the fine workers in her state.

In Missouri, under the direction of Mrs. Walter
McNabb Miller, and in Nebraska, where Mrs. E.
Draper Smith was managing the campaign, we had
some inspiring meetings. At Lincoln Mrs. William
Jennings Bryan introduced me to the biggest audi-
ence of the year, and the programme took on a special
interest from the fact that it included Mrs. Bryan's
debut as a speaker for suffrage. She is a tall and
attractive woman with an extremely pleasant voice,
and she made an admirable speech--clear, terse, and
much to the point, putting herself on record as a
strong supporter of the woman-suffrage movement.
There was also an amusing aftermath of this occa-
sion, which Secretary Bryan himself confided to me
several months later when I met him in Atlantic
City. He assured me, with the deep sincerity he
assumes so well, that for five nights after my speech
in Lincoln his wife had kept him awake listening to
her report of it--and he added, solemnly, that he
now knew it ``by heart.''

A less pleasing memory of Nebraska is that I lost
my voice there and my activities were sadly inter-
rupted. But I was taken to the home of Mr. and
Mrs. Francis A. Brogan, of Omaha, and supplied
with a trained nurse, a throat specialist, and such
care and comfort that I really enjoyed the enforced
rest--knowing, too, that the campaign committee
was carrying on our work with great enthusiasm.

In Missouri one of our most significant meetings
was in Bowling Green, the home of Champ Clark,
Speaker of the House. Mrs. Clark gave a reception,
made a speech, and introduced me at the meeting,
as Mrs. Bryan had done in Lincoln. She is one of
the brightest memories of my Missouri experience,
for, with few exceptions, she is the most entertaining
woman I have ever met. Subsequently we had an
all-day motor journey together, during which Mrs.
Clark rarely stopped talking and I even more rarely
stopped laughing.



From 1887 to 1914 we had a suffrage convention
every year, and I attended each of them. In pre-
ceding chapters I have mentioned various convention
episodes of more or less importance. Now, looking
back over them all as I near the end of these remi-
niscences, I recall a few additional incidents which
had a bearing on later events.
There was, for example, the much-discussed at-
tack on suffrage during the Atlanta convention of
1895, by a prominent clergyman of that city whose
name I mercifully withhold. On the Sunday pre-
ceding our arrival this gentleman preached a sermon
warning every one to keep away from our meetings,
as our effort was not to secure the franchise for
women, but to encourage the intermarriage of the
black and white races. Incidentally he declared that
the suffragists were trying to break up the homes
of America and degrade the morals of women, and
that we were all infidels and blasphemers. He ended
with a personal attack on me, saying that on the
previous Sunday I had preached in the Epworth
Memorial Methodist Church of Cleveland, Ohio, a
sermon which was of so blasphemous a nature that
nothing could purify the church after it except to
burn it down.

As usual at our conventions, I had been announced
to preach the sermon at our Sunday conference, and
I need hardly point out that the reverend gentle-
man's charge created a deep public interest in this
effort. I had already selected a text, but I im-
mediately changed my plans and announced that
I would repeat the sermon I had delivered in Cleve-
land and which the Atlanta minister considered so
blasphemous. The announcement brought out an
audience which filled the Opera House and called
for a squad of police officers to keep in order the
street crowd that could not secure entrance. The
assemblage had naturally expected that I would
make some reply to the clergyman's attack, but I
made no reference whatever to him. I merely re-
peated, with emphasis, the sermon I had delivered
in Cleveland.

At the conclusion of the service one of the trustees
of my reverend critic's church came and apologized
for his pastor. He had a high regard for him, the
trustee said, but in this instance there could be no
doubt in the mind of any one who had heard both
sermons that of the two mine was the tolerant, the
reverent, and the Christian one. The attack made
many friends for us, first because of its injustice,
and next because of the good-humored tolerance
with which the suffragists accepted it.

The Atlanta convention, by the way, was ar-
ranged and largely financed by the Misses Howard--
three sisters living in Columbus, Georgia, and each
an officer of the Georgia Woman Suffrage Association.
It is a remarkable fact that in many of our Southern
states the suffrage movement has been led by three
sisters. In Kentucky the three Clay sisters were
for many years leaders in the work. In Texas the
three Finnegan sisters did splendid work; in Loui-
siana the Gordon sisters were our stanchest allies,
while in Virginia we had the invaluable aid of Mary
Johnston, the novelist, and her two sisters. We
used to say, laughingly, if there was a failure to
organize any state in the South, that it must be due
to the fact that no family there had three sisters
to start the movement.

From the Atlanta convention we went directly
to Washington to attend the convention of the
National Council of Women, and on the first day
of this council Frederick Douglass came to the meet-
ing. Mr. Douglass had a special place in the hearts
of suffragists, for the reason that at the first con-
vention ever held for woman suffrage in the United
States (at Seneca Falls, New York) he was the only
person present who stood by Elizabeth Cady Stan-
ton when she presented her resolution in favor of
votes for women. Even Lucretia Mott was startled
by this radical step, and privately breathed into the
ear of her friend, ``Elizabeth, thee is making us
ridiculous!'' Frederick Douglass, however, took the
floor in defense of Mrs. Stanton's motion, a service
we suffragists never forgot.

Therefore, when the presiding officer of the council,
Mrs. May Wright Sewall, saw Mr. Douglass enter the
convention hall in Washington on this particular morn-
ing, she appointed Susan B. Anthony and me a com-
mittee to escort him to a seat on the platform, which
we gladly did. Mr. Douglass made a short speech
and then left the building, going directly to his home.
There, on entering his hall, he had an attack of heart
failure and dropped dead as he was removing his
overcoat. His death cast a gloom over the con-
vention, and his funeral, which took place three
days later, was attended by many prominent men
and women who were among the delegates. Miss
Anthony and I were invited to take part in the
funeral services, and she made a short address,
while I offered a prayer.

The event had an aftermath in Atlanta, for it
led our clerical enemy to repeat his charges against
us, and to offer the funeral of Frederick Douglass as
proof that we were hand in glove with the negro

Under the gracious direction of Miss Kate Gordon
and the Louisiana Woman Suffrage Association, we
held an especially inspiring convention in New
Orleans in 1903. In no previous convention were
arrangements more perfect, and certainly nowhere
else did the men of a community co-operate more gen-
erously with the women in entertaining us. A club
of men paid the rent of our hall, chartered a steam-
boat and gave us a ride on the Mississippi, and in
many other ways helped to make the occasion a suc-
cess. Miss Gordon, who was chairman of the
programme committee, introduced the innovation of
putting me before the audience for twenty minutes
every evening, at the close of the regular session,
as a target for questions. Those present were
privileged to ask any questions they pleased, and I
answered them--if I could.

We were all conscious of the dangers attending
a discussion of the negro question, and it was under-
stood among the Northern women that we must
take every precaution to avoid being led into such
discussion. It had not been easy to persuade Miss
Anthony of the wisdom of this course; her way was
to face issues squarely and out in the open. But
she agreed that we must respect the convictions of
the Southern men and women who were entertain-
ing us so hospitably.

On the opening night, as I took my place to answer
questions, almost the first slip passed up bore these

What is your purpose in bringing your convention to the
South? Is it the desire of suffragists to force upon us the
social equality of black and white women? Political equality
lays the foundation for social equality. If you give the ballot
to women, won't you make the black and white woman equal
politically and therefore lay the foundation for a future claim
of social equality?

I laid the paper on one side and did not answer
the question. The second night it came to me
again, put in the same words, and again I ignored
it. The third night it came with this addition:

Evidently you do not dare to answer this question. There-
fore our conclusion is that this is your purpose.

When I had read this I went to the front of the

``Here,'' I said, ``is a question which has been
asked me on three successive nights. I have not
answered it because we Northern women had de-
cided not to enter into any discussion of the race
question. But now I am told by the writer of this
note that we dare not answer it. I wish to say that
we dare to answer it if you dare to have it answered
--and I leave it to you to decide whether I shall
answer it or not.''

I read the question aloud. Then the audience
called for the answer, and I gave it in these words,
quoted as accurately as I can remember them:

``If political equality is the basis of social equality,
and if by granting political equality you lay the
foundation for a claim of social equality, I can only
answer that you have already laid that claim. You
did not wait for woman suffrage, but disfranchised
both your black and your white women, thus making
them politically equal. But you have done more
than that. You have put the ballot into the hands
of your black men, thus making them the political
superiors of your white women. Never before in the
history of the world have men made former slaves
the political masters of their former mistresses!''

The point went home and it went deep. I drove
it in a little further.

``The women of the South are not alone,'' I said,
``in their humiliation. All the women of America
share it with them. There is no other nation in the
world in which women hold the position of political
degradation our American women hold to-day.
German women are governed by German men;
French women are governed by French men. But
in these United States American women are gov-
erned by every race of men under the light of the
sun. There is not a color from white to black, from
red to yellow, there is not a nation from pole to
pole, that does not send its contingent to govern
American women. If American men are willing to
leave their women in a position as degrading as this
they need not be surprised when American women
resolve to lift themselves out of it.''

For a full moment after I had finished there was
absolute silence in the audience. We did not know
what would happen. Then, suddenly, as the truth
of the statement struck them, the men began to
applaud--and the danger of that situation was over.

Another episode had its part in driving the suf-
frage lesson home to Southern women. The Legis-
lature had passed a bill permitting tax-paying women
to vote at any election where special taxes were to
be imposed for improvements, and the first election
following the passage of this bill was one in New
Orleans, in which the question of better drainage
for the city was before the public. Miss Gordon
and the suffrage association known as the Era
Club entered enthusiastically into the fight for good
drainage. According to the law women could vote
by proxy if they preferred, instead of in person, so
Miss Gordon drove to the homes of the old con-
servative Creole families and other families whose
women were unwilling to vote in public, and she
collected their proxies while incidentally she showed
them what position they held under the law.

With each proxy it was necessary to have the signa-
ture of a witness, but according to the Louisiana law
no woman could witness a legal document. Miss
Gordon was driven from place to place by her colored
coachman, and after she had secured the proxy of
her temporary hostess it was usually discovered that
there was no man around the place to act as a wit-
ness. This was Miss Gordon's opportunity. With
a smile of great sweetness she would say, ``I will
have Sam come in and help us out''; and the colored
coachman would get down from his box, and by
scrawling his signature on the proxy of the aristo-
cratic lady he would give it the legal value it lacked.
In this way Miss Gordon secured three hundred
proxies, and three hundred very conservative women
had an opportunity to compare their legal standing
with Sam's. The drainage bill was carried and in-
terest in woman suffrage developed steadily.

The special incident of the Buffalo convention of
1908 was the receipt of a note which was passed up
to me as I sat on the platform. When I opened it
a check dropped out--a check so large that I was
sure it had been sent by mistake. However, after
asking one or two friends on the platform if I had
read it correctly, I announced to the audience that
if a certain amount were subscribed immediately I
would reveal a secret--a very interesting secret.
Audiences are as curious as individuals. The amount
was at once subscribed. Then I held up a check
for $10,000, given for our campaign work by Mrs.
George Howard Lewis, in memory of Susan B. An-
thony, and I read to the audience the charming
letter that accompanied it. The money was used
during the campaigns of the following year--part of
it in Washington, where an amendment was already

In a previous chapter I have described the estab-
lishment of our New York headquarters as a result
of the generous offer of Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont at
the Seattle convention in 1909. During our first
year in these beautiful Fifth Avenue rooms Mrs.
Pankhurst made her first visit to America, and we
gave her a reception there. This, however, was
before the adoption of the destructive methods which
have since marked the activities of the band of
militant suffragists of which Mrs. Pankhurst is
president. There has never been any sympathy
among American suffragists for the militant suffrage
movement in England, and personally I am wholly
opposed to it. I do not believe in war in any form;
and if violence on the part of men is undesirable in
achieving their ends, it is much more so on the part
of women; for women never appear to less advan-
tage than in physical combats with men. As for
militancy in America, no generation that attempted
it could win. No victory could come to us in any
state where militant methods were tried. They are
undignified, unworthy--in other words, un-Ameri-

The Washington convention of 1910 was graced
by the presence of President Taft, who, at the in-
vitation of Mrs. Rachel Foster Avery, made an
address. It was understood, of course, that he was
to come out strongly for woman suffrage; but, to
our great disappointment, the President, a most
charming and likable gentleman, seemed unable
to grasp the significance of the occasion. He began
his address with fulsome praise of women, which was
accepted in respectful silence. Then he got round
to woman suffrage, floundered helplessly, became
confused, and ended with the most unfortunately
chosen words he could have uttered: ``I am op-
posed,'' he said, ``to the extension of suffrage to
women not fitted to vote. You would hardly expect
to put the ballot into the hands of barbarians or
savages in the jungle!''

The dropping of these remarkable words into a
suffrage convention was naturally followed by an
oppressive silence, which Mr. Taft, now wholly
bereft of his self-possession, broke by saying that
the best women would not vote and the worst women

In his audience were many women from suffrage
states--high-minded women, wives and mothers,
who had voted for Mr. Taft. The remarks to which
they had just listened must have seemed to them a
poor return. Some one hissed--some man, some
woman--no one knows which except the culprit--
and a demonstration started which I immediately
silenced. Then the President finished his address.
He was very gracious to us when he left, shaking
hands with many of us, and being especially cordial
to Senator Owens's aged mother, who had come to
the convention to hear him make his maiden speech
on woman suffrage. I have often wondered what
he thought of that speech as he drove back to the
White House. Probably he regretted as earnestly
as we did that he had made it.

In 1912, at an official board meeting at Bryn
Mawr, Mrs. Stanley McCormack was appointed
to fill a vacancy on the National Board. Sub-
sequently she contributed $6,000 toward the pay-
ment of debts incident to our temporary connec-
tion with the Woman's Journal of Boston, and did
much efficient work for us, To me, personally,
the entrance of Mrs. Stanley McCormack into
our work has been a source of the deepest grati-
fication and comfort. I can truly say of her what
Susan B. Anthony said of me, ``She is my right
bower.'' At Nashville, in 1914, she was elected first
vice-president, and to a remarkable degree she has
since relieved me of the burden of the technical
work of the presidency, including the oversight of
the work at headquarters. To this she gives all her
time, aided by an executive secretary who takes
charge of the routine work of the association. She
has thus made it possible for me to give the greater
part of my time to the field in which such inspiring
opportunities still confront us--campaign work in
the various states.

To Mrs. Medill McCormack also we are indebted
for most admirable work and enthusiastic support.
At the Washington (D.C.) convention in 1913 she
was made the chairman of the Congressional Com-
mittee, with Mrs. Antoinette Funk, Mrs. Helen
Gardner of Washington, and Mrs. Booth of Chicago
as her assistants. The results they achieved were
so brilliant that they were unanimously re-elected
to the same positions this year, with the addition
of Miss Jeannette Rankin, whose energy and service
had helped to win for us the state of Montana.

It was largely due to the work of this Congress-
ional Committee, supported by the large number of
states which had been won for suffrage, that we
secured such an excellent vote in the Lower House
of Congress on the bill to amend the national Con-
stitution granting suffrage to the women of the
United States. This measure, known as the Susan
B. Anthony bill, had been introduced into every
Congress for forty-three years by the National
Woman Suffrage Association. In 1914, for the
first time, it was brought out of committee, debated,
and voted upon in the Lower House. We received
174 votes in favor of it to 204 against it. The
previous spring, in the same Congress, the same bill
passed the Senate by 35 votes for it to 33 votes
against it.

The most interesting features of the Washington
convention of 1913 were the labor mass-meetings
led by Jane Addams and the hearing before the
Rules Committee of the Lower House of Con-
gress--the latter the first hearing ever held be-
fore this Committee for the purpose of securing a
Committee on Suffrage in the Lower House to
correspond with a similar committee in the Sen-
ate. For many years we had had hearings be-
fore the Judiciary Committee of the Lower House,
which was such a busy committee that it had neither
time nor interest to give to our measure. We there-
fore considered it necessary to have a special com-
mittee of our own. The hearing began on the
morning of Wednesday, the third of December, and
lasted for two hours. Then the anti-suffragists were
given time, and their hearing began the following
day, continued throughout that day and during
the morning of the next day, when our National
Association was given an opportunity for rebuttal
argument in the afternoon. It was the longest hear-
ing in the history of the suffrage movement, and one
of the most important.

During the session of Congress in 1914 another
strenuous effort was made to secure the appoint-
ment of a special suffrage committee in the Lower
House. But when success began to loom large be-
fore us the Democrats were called in caucus by the
minority leader, Mr. Underwood, of Alabama, and
they downed our measure by a vote of 127 against
it to 58 for it. This was evidently done by the
Democrats because of the fear that the united votes
of Republican and Progressive members, with those
of certain Democratic members, would carry the
measure; whereas if this caucus were called, and
an unfavorable vote taken, ``the gentlemen's agree-
ment'' which controls Democratic party action in
Congress would force Democrats in favor of suffrage
to vote against the appointment of the committee,
which of course would insure its defeat.

The caucus blocked the appointment of the com-
mittee, but it gave great encouragement to the suf-
fragists of the country, for they knew it to be a tacit
admission that the measure would receive a favor-
able vote if it came before Congress unhampered.

Another feature of the 1913 convention was the
new method of electing officers, by which a primary
vote was taken on nominations, and afterward a
regular ballot was cast; one officer was added to the
members of the official board, making nine instead
of eight, the former number. The new officers
elected were Mrs. Breckenridge of Kentucky, the
great-granddaughter of Henry Clay, and Mrs.
Catherine Ruutz-Rees of Greenwich, Connecticut.
The old officers were re-elected--Miss Jane Addams
as first vice-president, Mrs. Breckenridge and Mrs.
Ruutz-Rees as second and third vice-presidents,
Mrs. Mary Ware Dennett as corresponding secre-
tary, Mrs. Susan Fitzgerald as recording secretary,
Mrs. Stanley McCormack as treasurer, Mrs. Joseph
Bowen of Chicago and Mrs. James Lees Laidlaw of
New York City as auditors.

It would be difficult to secure a group of women
of more marked ability, or better-known workers in
various lines of philanthropic and educational work,
than the members composing this admirable board.
At the convention of 1914, held in Nashville, several
of them resigned, and at present (in 1914) the
``National's'' affairs are in the hands of this in-
spiring group, again headed by the much-criticized
and chastened writer of these reminiscences:

Mrs. Stanley McCormack, first vice-president.
Mrs. Desha Breckenridge, second vice-president.
Dr. Katharine B. Davis, third vice-president.
Mrs. Henry Wade Rogers, treasurer.
Mrs. John Clark, corresponding secretary.
Mrs. Susan Walker Fitzgerald, recording secretary.
Mrs. Medill McCormack, }
} Auditors
Mrs. Walter McNabb Miller, of Missouri }

In a book of this size, and covering the details
of my own life as well as the development of the
great Cause, it is, of course, impossible to mention
by name each woman who has worked for us--
though, indeed, I would like to make a roll of honor
and give them all their due. In looking back I am sur-
prised to see how little I have said about many women
with whom I have worked most closely--Rachel
Foster Avery, for example, with whom I lived happily
for several years; Ida Husted Harper, the historian
of the suffrage movement and the biographer of Miss
Anthony, with whom I made many delightful voy-
ages to Europe; Alice Stone Blackwell, Rev. Mary
Saffard, Jane Addams, Katharine Waugh McCul-
lough, Ella Stewart, Mrs. Mary Wood Swift, Mrs.
Mary S. Sperry, Mary Cogshall, Florence Kelly,
Mrs. Ogden Mills Reid and Mrs. Norman White-
house (to mention only two of the younger ``live
wires'' in our New York work), Sophonisba Breck-
enridge, Mrs. Clara B. Arthur, Rev. Caroline Bart-
lett Crane, Mrs. James Lees Laidlaw, Mrs. Raymond
Brown, the splendidly executive president of our
New York State Suffrage Association, and my bene-
factress, Mrs. George Howard Lewis of Buffalo. To
all of them, and to thousands of others, I make my
grateful acknowledgment of indebtedness for friend-
ship and for help.



I have said much of the interest attending the
international meetings held in Chicago, London,
Berlin, and Stockholm. That I have said less about
those in Copenhagen, Geneva, The Hague, Budapest,
and other cities does not mean that these were less
important, and certainly the wonderful women
leaders of Europe who made them so brilliant must
not be passed over in silence.

First, however, the difference between the Suf-
frage Alliance meetings and the International Coun-
cil meetings should be explained. The Council
meetings are made up of societies from the various
nations which are auxiliary to the International
Council--these societies representing all lines of
women's activities, whether educational, industrial,
or social, while the membership, including more
than eleven million women, represents probably the
largest organization of women in the world. The
International Suffrage Alliance represents the suf-
frage interest primarily, whereas the International
Council has only a suffrage department. So popu-
lar did this International Alliance become after its
formation in Berlin by Mrs. Catt, in 1904, that at
the Copenhagen meeting, only three years later,
more than sixteen different nations were represented
by regular delegates.

It was unfortunate, therefore, that I chose this
occasion to make a spectacular personal failure in
the pulpit. I had been invited to preach the con-
vention sermon, and for the first time in my life
I had an interpreter. Few experiences, I believe,
can be more unpleasant than to stand up in a pul-
pit, utter a remark, and then wait patiently while it
is repeated in a tongue one does not understand, by
a man who is putting its gist in his own words and
quite possibly giving it his own interpretative twist.
I was very unhappy, and I fear I showed it, for I
felt, as I looked at the faces of those friends who
understood Danish, that they were not getting what
I was giving them. Nor were they, for I afterward
learned that the interpreter, a good orthodox
brother, had given the sermon an ultra-orthodox
bias which those who knew my creed certainly did
not recognize. The whole experience greatly dis-
heartened me, but no doubt it was good for my

During the Copenhagen meeting we were given
a banquet by the City Council, and in the course of
his speech of welcome one of the city fathers airily
remarked that he hoped on our next visit to Copen-
hagen there would be women members in the Council
to receive us. At the time this seemed merely a
pleasant jest, but two years from that day a bill
was enacted by Parliament granting municipal suf-
frage to the women of Denmark, and seven women
were elected to the City Council of Copenhagen.
So rapidly does the woman suffrage movement grow
in these inspiring days!

Recalling the International Council of 1899 in
London, one of my most vivid pictures has Queen
Victoria for its central figure. The English court
was in mourning at the time and no public audiences
were being held; but we were invited to Windsor
with the understanding that, although the Queen
could not formally receive us, she would pass
through our lines, receiving Lady Aberdeen and
giving the rest of us an opportunity to courtesy
and obtain Her Majesty's recognition of the Cause.
The Queen arranged with her chamberlain that we
should be given tea and a collation; but before this
refreshment was served, indeed immediately after
our arrival, she entered her familiar little pony-cart
and was driven slowly along lines of bowing women
who must have looked like a wheat-field in a high

Among us was a group of Indian women, and
these, dressed in their native costumes, contributed
a picturesque bit of brilliant color to the scene as
they deeply salaamed. They arrested the eye of
the Queen, who stopped and spoke a few cordial
words to them. This gave the rest of us an excellent
opportunity to observe her closely, and I admit that
my English blood stirred in me suddenly and loyally
as I studied the plump little figure. She was dressed
entirely and very simply in black, with a quaint
flat black hat and a black cape. The only bit
of color about her was a black-and-white parasol
with a gold handle. It was, however, her face which
held me, for it gave me a wholly different impression
of the Queen from those I had received from her
photographs. Her pictured eyes were always rather
cold, and her pictured face rather haughty; but there
was a very sweet and winning softness in the eyes
she turned upon the Indian women, and her whole
expression was unexpectedly gentle and benignant.
Behind her, as a personal attendant, strode an
enormous East-Indian in full native costume, and
closely surrounding her were gentlemen of her house-
hold, each in uniform.

By this time my thoughts were on my courtesy,
which I desired to make conventional if not grace-
ful; but nature has not made it easy for me to
double to the earth as Lady Aberdeen and the In-
dian women were doing, and I fear I accomplished
little save an exhibition of good intentions. The
Queen, however, was getting into the spirit of the
occasion. She stopped to speak to a Canadian
representative, and she would, I think, have ended
by talking to many others; but, just at the psycho-
logical moment, a woman rushed out of the line,
seized Her Majesty's hand and kissed it--and Vic-
toria, startled and possibly fearing a general on-
slaught, hurriedly passed on.

Another picture I recall was made by the Duchess
of Sutherland, the Countess of Aberdeen, and the
Countess of Warwick standing together to receive
us at the foot of the marble stairway in Sutherland
House. All of them literally blazed with jewels, and
the Countess of Aberdeen wore the famous Aber-
deen emerald. At Lady Battersea's reception I had
my first memorial meeting with Mary Anderson
Navarro, and was able to thank her for the pleasure
she had given me in Boston so long ago. Then I
reproached her mildly for taking herself away from
us, pointing out that a great gift had been given
her which she should have continued to share with
the world.

``Come and see my baby,'' laughed Madame
Navarro. ``That's the best argument I can offer
to refute yours.''

At the same reception I had an interesting talk
with James Bryce. He had recently written his
American Commonwealth, and I had just read it.
It was, therefore, the first subject I introduced in
our conversation. Mr. Bryce's comment amused
me. He told me he had quite changed his opinion
toward the suffrage aspirations of women, because
so many women had read his book that he really
believed they were intelligent, and he had come to
feel much more kindly toward them. These were
not his exact words, but his meaning was unmistak-
able and his mental attitude artlessly sincere. And,
on reflection, I agree with him that the American
Commonwealth is something of an intellectual hurdle
for the average human mind.

In 1908 the International Council was held in
Geneva, and here, for the first time, we were shown,
as entertainment, the dances of a country--the
scene being an especially brilliant one, as all the
dancers wore their native costumes. Also, for the
first time in the history of Geneva, the buildings of
Parliament were opened to women and a woman's
organization was given the key to the city. At
that time the Swiss women were making their fight
for a vote in church matters, and we helped their
cause as much as we could. To-day many Swiss
women are permitted to exercise this right--the
first political privilege free Switzerland has given

The International Alliance meeting in Amster-
dam in 1909 was the largest held up to that time,
and much of its success was due to Dr. Aletta Jacobs,
the president of the National Suffrage Association
of Holland. Dr. Jacobs had some wonderful helpers
among the women of her country, and she herself
was an ideal leader--patient, enthusiastic, and tire-
less. That year the governments of Australia, Nor-
way, and Finland paid the expenses of the delegates
from those countries--a heartening innovation. One
of the interesting features of the meeting was a
cantata composed for the occasion and given by
the Queen's Royal Band, under the direction of a
woman--Catharine van Rennes, one of the most
distinguished composers and teachers in Holland.
She wrote both words and music of her cantata and
directed it admirably; and the musicians of the
Queen's Band entered fully into its spirit and played
like men inspired. That night we had more music,
as well as a never-to-be-forgotten exhibition of folk-

The same year, in June, we held the meeting of
the International Council in Toronto, and, as Canada
has never been eagerly interested in suffrage, an un-
successful effort was made to exclude this subject
from the programme. I was asked to preside at the
suffrage meetings on the artless and obvious theory
that I would thus be kept too busy to say much.
I had hoped that the Countess of Aberdeen, who was
the president of the International Council, would take
the chair; but she declined to do this, or even to
speak, as the Earl of Aberdeen had recently been
appointed Viceroy of Ireland, and she desired to
spare him any embarrassment which might be
caused by her public activities. We recognized the
wisdom of her decision, but, of course, regretted
it; and I was therefore especially pleased when, on
suffrage night, the countess, accompanied by her
aides in their brilliant uniforms, entered the hall.
We had not been sure that she would be with us,
but she entered in her usual charming and gra-
cious manner, took a seat beside me on the platform,
and showed a deep interest in the programme and
the great gathering before us.

As the meeting went on I saw that she was grow-
ing more and more enthusiastic, and toward the
end of the evening I quietly asked her if she did
not wish to say a few words. She said she would
say a very few. I had put myself at the end of the
programme, intending to talk about twenty minutes;
but before beginning my speech I introduced the
countess, and by this time she was so enthusiastic
that, to my great delight, she used up my twenty
minutes in a capital speech in which she came out
vigorously for woman suffrage. It gave us the best
and timeliest help we could have had, and was a
great impetus to the movement.

In London, at the Alliance Council of 1911, we
were entertained for the first time by a suffrage
organization of men, and by the organized actresses
of the nation, as well as by the authors.

In Stockholm, the following year, we listened to
several of the most interesting women speakers in
the world--Selma Lagerlof, who had just received
the Nobel prize, Rosica Schwimmer of Hungary,
Dr. Augsburg of Munich, and Mrs. Philip Snowden
of England. Miss Schwimmer and Mrs. Snowden
have since become familiar to American audiences,
but until that time I had not heard either of them,
and I was immensely impressed by their ability and
their different methods--Miss Schwimmer being all
force and fire, alive from her feet to her finger-tips,
Mrs. Snowden all quiet reserve and dignity. Dr.
Augsburg wore her hair short and dressed in a most
eccentric manner; but we forgot her appearance as
we listened to her, for she was an inspired speaker.

Selma Lagerlof's speech made the great audience
weep. Men as well as women openly wiped their
eyes as she described the sacrifice and suffering of
Swedish women whose men had gone to America
to make a home there, and who, when they were
left behind, struggled alone, waiting and hoping for
the message to join their husbands, which too often
never came. The speech made so great an impres-
sion that we had it translated and distributed among
the Swedes of the United States wherever we held
meetings in Swedish localities.

Miss Lagerlof interested me extremely, and I was
delighted by an invitation to breakfast with her one
morning. At our first meeting she had seemed
rather cold and shy--a little ``difficult,'' as we say;
but when we began to talk I found her frank, cor-
dial, and full of magnetism. She is self-conscious
about her English, but really speaks our language
very well. Her great interest at the time was in
improving the condition of the peasants near her
home. She talked of this work and of her books
and of the Council programme with such friendly in-
timacy that when we parted I felt that I had always
known her.

At the Hague Council in 1913 I was the guest of
Mrs. Richard Halter, to whom I am also indebted
for a beautiful and wonderful motor journey from
end to end of Holland, bringing up finally in Amster-
dam at the home of Dr. Aletta Jacobs. Here we
met two young Holland women, Miss Boissevain and
Rosa Manus, both wealthy, both anxious to help
their countrywomen, but still a little uncertain as
to the direction of their efforts. They came to Mrs.
Catt and me and asked our advice as to what they
should do, with the result that later they organized
and put through, largely unaided, a national ex-
position showing the development of women's work
from 1813 to 1913. The suffrage-room at this ex-
position showed the progress of suffrage in all parts
of the world; but when the Queen of Holland visited
the building she expressed a wish not to be detained
in this room, as she was not interested in suffrage.
The Prince Consort, however, spent much time in it,
and wanted the whole suffrage movement explained
to him, which was done cheerfully and thoroughly
by Miss Boissevain and Miss Manus. The fol-
lowing winter, when the Queen read her address
from the throne, she expressed an interest in so
changing the Constitution of Holland that suffrage
might possibly be extended to women. We felt that
this change of heart was due to the suffrage-room
arranged by our two young friends--aided, prob-
ably, by a few words from the Prince Consort!

Immediately after these days at Amsterdam we
started for Budapest to attend the International
Alliance Convention there, and incidentally we in-
dulged in a series of two-day conventions en route--
one at Berlin, one at Dresden, one at Prague, and
one at Vienna. At Prague I disgraced myself by
being in my hotel room in a sleep of utter exhaustion
at the hour when I was supposed to be responding
to an address of welcome by the mayor; and the
high-light of the evening session in that city falls on
the intellectual brow of a Bohemian lady who in-
sisted on making her address in the Czech language,
which she poured forth for exactly one hour and
fifteen minutes. I began my address at a quarter of
twelve and left the hall at midnight. Later I learned
that the last speaker began her remarks at a quarter
past one in the morning.

It may be in order to add here that Vienna did
for me what Berlin had done for Susan B. Anthony--
it gave me the ovation of my life. At the conclusion
of my speech the great audience rose and, still stand-
ing, cheered for many minutes. I was immensely
surprised and deeply touched by the unexpected
tribute; but any undue elation I might have ex-
perienced was checked by the memory of the skepti-
cal snort with which one of my auditors had received
me. He was very German, and very, very frank.
After one pained look at me he rose to leave the

``THAT old woman!'' he exclaimed. ``She cannot
make herself heard.''

He was half-way down the aisle when the opening
words of my address caught up with him and stopped
him. Whatever their meaning may have been, it
was at least carried to the far ends of that great hall,
for the old fellow had piqued me a bit and I had
given my voice its fullest volume. He crowded into
an already over-occupied pew and stared at me with
goggling eyes.

``Mein Gott!'' he gasped. ``Mein Gott, she could
be heard ANYWHERE.''

The meeting at Budapest was a great personal
triumph for Mrs. Catt. No one, I am sure, but the
almost adored president of the International Suf-
frage Alliance could have controlled a convention
made up of women of so many different nationalities,
with so many different viewpoints, while the con-
fusion of languages made a general understanding
seem almost hopeless. But it was a great success in
every way--and a delightful feature of it was the
hospitality of the city officials and, indeed, of the
whole Hungarian people. After the convention I
spent a week with the Contessa Iska Teleki in her
chateau in the Tatra Mountains, and a friendship
was there formed which ever since has been a joy
to me. Together we walked miles over the moun-
tains and along the banks of wonderful streams, while
the countess, who knows all the folk-lore of her
land, told me stories and answered my innumerable
questions. When I left for Vienna I took with me
a basket of tiny fir-trees from the tops of the Tatras;
and after carrying the basket to and around Vienna,
Florence, and Genoa, I finally got the trees home in
good condition and proudly added them to the
``Forest of Arden'' on my place at Moylan.



In looking back over the ten years of my adminis-
tration as president of the National American
Woman Suffrage Association, there can be no feeling
but gratitude and elation over the growth of the
work. Our membership has grown from 17,000
women to more than 200,000, and the number
of auxiliary societies has increased in propor-

Instead of the old-time experience of one campaign
in ten years, we now have from five to ten campaigns
each year. From an original yearly expenditure of
$14,000 or $15,000 in our campaign work, we now
expend from $40,000 to $50,000. In New York, in
1915, we have already received pledges of $150,000
for the New York State campaign alone, while
Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Jersey have
made pledges in proportion.

In 1906 full suffrage prevailed in four states;
we now have it in twelve. Our movement has
advanced from its academic stage until it has
become a vital political factor; no reform in the
country is more heralded by the press or receives
more attention from the public. It has become
an issue which engages the attention of the entire
nation--and toward this result every woman work-
ing for the Cause has contributed to an inspiring
degree. Splendid team-work, and that alone, has
made our present success possible and our eventual
triumph in every state inevitable. Every officer
in our organization, every leader in our campaigns,
every speaker, every worker in the ranks, however
humble, has done her share.

I do not claim anything so fantastic and Utopian
as universal harmony among us. We have had our
troubles and our differences. I have had mine.
At every annual convention since the one at Wash-
ington in 1910 there has been an effort to depose
me from the presidency. There have been some
splendid fighters among my opponents--fine and
high-minded women who sincerely believe that at
sixty-eight I am getting too old for my big job.
Possibly I am. Certainly I shall resign it with
alacrity when the majority of women in the organiza-
tion wish me to do so. At present a large majority
proves annually that it still has faith in my leader-
ship, and with this assurance I am content to
work on.

Looking back over the period covered by these
reminiscences, I realize that there is truth in the
grave charge that I am no longer young; and this
truth was once voiced by one of my little nieces in
a way that brought it strongly home to me. She
and her small sister of six had declared themselves
suffragettes, and as the first result of their conver-
sion to the Cause both had been laughed at by their
schoolmates. The younger child came home after
this tragic experience, weeping bitterly and declar-
ing that she did not wish to be a suffragette any
more--an exhibition of apostasy for which her wise
sister of eight took her roundly to task.

``Aren't you ashamed of yourself,'' she demanded,
``to stop just because you have been laughed at
once? Look at Aunt Anna! SHE has been laughed
at for hundreds of years!''

I sometimes feel that it has indeed been hundreds
of years since my work began; and then again it
seems so brief a time that, by listening for a
moment, I fancy I can hear the echo of my child-
ish-voice preaching to the trees in the Michigan

But long or short, the one sure thing is that, taking
it all in all, the struggles, the discouragements, the
failures, and the little victories, the fight has been,
as Susan B. Anthony said in her last hours, ``worth
while.'' Nothing bigger can come to a human being
than to love a great Cause more than life itself, and
to have the privilege throughout life of working for
that Cause.

As for life's other gifts, I have had some of them,
too. I have made many friendships; I have looked
upon the beauty of many lands; I have the assur-
ance of the respect and affection of thousands of
men and women I have never even met. Though I
have given all I had, I have received a thousand
times more than I have given. Neither the world
nor my Cause is indebted to me but from the depths
of a full and very grateful heart I acknowledge my
lasting indebtedness to them both.



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