Posts Tagged ‘Feminism’

The Most Beautiful Suffragette

August 27, 2012

Miss Inez Milholland, whose picture is here shown is the daughter of J.E. Milholland, the millionaire pneumatic tube system man. She is now in the Junior class in Vassar and announces her intention of becoming a truant officer so that she may pursue the work of reforming bad boys. Miss Milholland is an athlete of note in the college games, and has had great success in reclaiming bad boys.

Coshocton Daily Times (Coshocton, Ohio) Feb 25, 1908

AWAKENED BY YANKEE GIRL

Miss Inez Milholland, Who Wants to Vote, Roused Oxford and Cambridge.

After trying with vigor, but in vain, to  convince the authorities of Oxford and Cambridge universities in England that she should be permitted to study law at one of the two venerable institutions Miss Inez Milholland of New York sailed for America to try her persuasive powers at Harvard.

Miss Milholland has won fame as a young leader of the suffragists. She was recently graduated from Vassar, where she conducted a vigorous campaign in favor of women’s votes.

She is the daughter of John E. Milholland of New York and London, and a background of wealth has not lessened her charm. Her bronze hair, large blue eyes and well modeled features make her a classic type.

At Vassar Miss Milholland kept President Taylor on the rack, inciting miniature equal rights resolutions among the students. When the suffragists of the state journeyed to the capitol at Albany for their annual hearing on woman and the vote the president peremptorily forbade Miss Milholland to accompany them, fearing her presence would accentuate the rumor that the college was a center of the woman’s rights campaign.

Aside from her political tendencies, Miss Milholland made no mean record at Vassar. Her scholarship put her well in the fore, and her athletic prowess was the boast of her associates. As captain of the hockey team she led her players to a victory that captured the interclass championship. She was conspicuous on field day and champion in putting the eight pound shot.

Coshocton Daily Times (Coshocton, Ohio) Oct 9, 1909

There was as much excitement in suffragette headquarters Thursday as if the New York legislature were about to grant women the right to vote. It was not joyful excitement, however, because the rumor spread that Inez Milholland, vivacious, bronze-haired, and clever suffragette, was engaged to be married to Sydney Smith. In other words, the rumor had it that Miss Milholland and Mr. Smith, both warm friends of Mrs. O.H.P. Belmont, had formed a friendship under the guiding influence of Mrs. Belmont, and that perhaps the energy and enthusiasm of the most picturesque suffragette would be lost.

There was a jingle of telephone bells as suffragettes hunted for Miss Milholland. There was suppressed grief and an occasional sob over the thought the young woman might give up law, forsake the cause of woman suffrage, and become an ordinary housewife or a society matron. Miss Milholland was not in the Hotel Manhattan. She was in the New York University Law School, digging out cases and hunting for points that would prove the right of women to vote. At least her mother thought so.

Mrs. John E. Milholland was likewise frantic over the rumor of the reported engagement.

“No, it was not true. It could not be true,” she said.

But the fearful mother quickly put in a hurry telephone call for the university. Miss Milholland was found finally in the law library poring over a musty tome and racing to get our her lesson, as she was planning a suffragette meeting for the young men of the law school in the evening. When the young woman was reached she listened calmly as her mother recited the details of the alleged engagement.

“What does all this mean?” asked the excited mother.

“Nothing, mama,” answered the modern Portia. “Mother, don’t you know I am too busy to think of such things? I have my law, the cause, and, what’s more, I have a woman’s suffrage meeting right here in the university tonight and I haven’t time to discuss such things.”

Miss Milholland, who is a daughter of John E. Milholland, one time politician and now a millionaire promoter, with headquarters in London, is an alumna of Vassar. She stood near the head of her class, was a star debater in college, and always an advocate of woman suffrage. She kept things lively in college with her organizations and her fights for her rights. She passes much of her time in England, where she is regarded as the most beautiful suffragette. Her advocacy of woman suffrage, her skill and eloquence as a speaker, won her the admiration of Mrs. Belmont, and the two have become almost inseparable.

The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) Dec 10, 1910

Image from Everyday Dutch Oven

SUFFRAGETTES AND THE HENS

The suffragettes who have been marching on Washington already had their troubles. I understand that when they left one place the hens quit the coops and started to follow them. And a rooster flew in front of a speckled hen and asked her for heaven’s sake to go back, and she crowed in his face.

I recollect hearing about a suffragette who was making a speech. She said: “I pant for the right to vote. I pant for the right to exercise my political rights.” And some one in the audience spoke up and said: “Lady, you pant for a pair of pants.” — Representative Heflin, on the floor of the House.

The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) Mar 2, 1913

Miss Inez Milholland.

NEW YORK, March 21. — Miss Inez Milholland, known as the most beautiful suffragette in New York, who has just been admitted to the New York bar, is working on her first case as associate counsel to James W. Osborne, defending Gee Doy Young, a Chinatown gunman, who is charged with having started the last Tong war that resulted in five killings.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Mar 21, 1913

The Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis, Indiana) Mar 15, 1913

Miss Inez Milholland, the handsome New York suffragette, was married in the Kensington registry office, London, to Eugene Boissevain, a wealthy Dutchman of Amsterdam. The bridegroom, who is 33 years old, is engaged in the wireless business and was introduced to Miss Milholland in New York a few weeks ago by Signor Meroni. His father, Charles Boissevain, of Amsterdam, is the owner of rich plantations in Java. He is also the principal owner of the foremost newspaper in Amsterdam. The couple will spend their honeymoon in a cruise on the North sea and will sail for New York in August. Miss Milholland was graduated from Vassar in 1909, and while there she kept the faculty on pins and needles with her advanced views on feminism and socialism. It was she who started the suffrage movement in Vassar, enrolling two-thirds of the students in the cause and then proceeding to teach them the meaning of socialism. She held a record for throwing the basketball. The bride will continue her law practice when she returns to New York.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jul 21, 1913

Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 05, 1914

Inez Milholland Admits Proposing

NEW YORK, Nov. 27. — Inez Milholland Boissevain, lawyer and suffragist, advocated yesterday that women should have the right to propose. She said:

“Certainly women should have the right to propose — I did it myself.”

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Nov 27, 1915

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 27. — Mrs. Inez Milholland Boissevain, widely-known suffragist and welfare worker, died in a hospital here shortly before midnight Saturday night after an illness of 10 weeks. She was 30 years old.

Mrs. Boissevain was stricken suddenly while addressing the recent political campaign and fainted on the platform at the meeting. She was removed to a hospital and her husband and parents rushed from New York to join her here. Miss Vida Milholland, her sister, was with her when she was stricken and has been in constant attendance since that time.

Inez Milholland Boissevain had been for many years well known for her activity as a woman suffragist, a social welfare worker, an advocate of socialism and as a practising lawyer.

During the 1908 Presidential campaign she won new fame as “the girl who broke up the Taft parade.”

Following her graduation from Vassar College, she attempted to enter Harvard Law School, but this permission was denied her on the ground that it was not a co-educational institution. Miss Milholland finally received her degree in law at the New York University Law School in 1912, and during this time she was active as a suffrage worker and speaker and organizer of woman’s parades, being featured in them both in New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere as “the most beautiful suffragette.”

In July, 1913, she married by a civil ceremony in London, Eugene Boissevain, a wealthy Hollander. In 1916 she went as a delegate on the Ford Pence Ship, but left the party at Stockholm, because, as she said in a statement, “the undemocratic methods employed by the managers are repugnant to my principles.” Mrs. Boissevain was born in New York, August 6, 1886, receiving her early education in New York, London and Berlin.

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) Nov 27, 1916

Strain of Campaign … Caused Her Death.
[Excerpts]

Mrs. Boissevain’s illness was diagnosed as aplastic anemia and blood transfusion was resorted to in attempts to improve her condition. Miss Vida Milholland twice gave blood for this purpose and on four other occasions friends submitted to the ordeal in hope that benefit would result. After each transfusion temporary improvement was followed by relapse….

It was stated that Mrs. Boissevain’s trouble originated in her tonsils, which became inflamed as the result of too constant speaking during the campaign. She had been weakened by overexertion and when she became ill her system failed to resist the advance of the disease….

As a student at Vassar college, 1905-9, although known as the college beauty and possessed of wealth and position, she shunned society as such and shocked the more conservative college opinion by her radical social views….

Later the same year [1915] she went to Italy as a war correspondent and was forced to leave Italy by the authorities there because of her pacifist writings….

She was a member of the Political Equality League, Women’s Political Union, national child labor committee, Woman’s Social and Political Union of England and the Fabian Society, England.

The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Nov 27, 1916

BEAUTIFUL SUFFRAGIST LEADER TO BE BURIED IN ADIRONDACKS
[Excerpts]

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 27. — Preparations were being made today to take the body of Mrs. Inez Milholland Boissevain, who died here Saturday night, to New York City for funeral services and thence to Meadowmount, in the Adirondacks, the old family home of the Milhollands, where the burial will take place….

Aside from her college activities, she worked among the poor children in the city of Poughkeepsie, and had herself appointed probation officer. During her first college vacation she visited London and there joined the Pankhurst suffragettes, making several speeches and being once arrested….

Following her graduation from Vassar College, she attempted to enter Harvard Law School, but his permission was denied her on the ground that it was not a coeducational institution.  The incident gave rise to a heated newspaper controversy in which Inez Milholland and other prominent feminists took part. She also became active about this time in the working girls’ cause, taking part in the shirt waist makers’ strike. In the clash of the strikers with the police she was arrested and locked up, but after a controversy of several weeks the charge against her of leading an unlawful assembly was finally dropped….

She began the practice of law in 1912 as a clerk in the offices of James W. Osborne, her first case being the defense of “Red Phil” Davidson, charged with murder of “Big Jack” Zelig. Her next case was the defense of Gee Doy Yung, accused of murder in a Chinatown tong war, and she was successful in obtaining his acquittal….

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Nov 27, 1916

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Dec 30, 1916

Her mother was Jean (Torrey) Milholland: Talks About Women

Her father, John E. Milholland: Racist Issue Hits Feminist Party

Women’s Equality Day

August 26, 2012

Yuma Daily Sun (Yuma, Arizona) Aug 26, 1977

Women’s equality day proclaimed

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Nixon has proclaimed Aug 26 as Women’s Equality Day and urged speedy ratification of the Equal Rights amendment to the Constitution.

The proclamation, requested by Congress, said the nation has made giant strides in recent years toward ensuring equal economic opportunity for women.

“Much still remains to be done,” Nixon said.

Walla Walla Union Bulletin (Walla Walla, Washington) Aug 19, 1973

The Times Herald (Vallejo, California) Aug 23, 1974

Simpson’s Leader-Times (Kittanning, Pennsylvania) Aug 21, 1975

Yuma Daily Sun (Yuma, Arizona) Aug 26, 1976

Valley News (Van Nuys, California) Aug 25 ,1977

The Fate of a Girl in Male Attire

April 25, 2012

Image from the New York Correction History Society

The Fate of a Girl in Male Attire.

Several years ago, Jennie Westbrook of New York, who had been earning $7 a week as a saleswoman in a dry goods store in that city, concluded to do better. So she donned male apparel, and passing for a good looking young man, acted as waiter in a restaurant for $15 a week, and finally became book-keeper and confidential clerk for a firm who paid her $1,500 a year.

Somehow or other, her secret became known to those embodiments of Truth and Purity, the bummer police of New York, and she was arrested, tried, and sentenced to imprisonment for the awful crime of wearing male attire and honestly working for a man’s pay.

She went to Blackwell’s Island prison, therefore; but it is a pleasure to state that in a day or two, the outrageous foolishness of her punishment had created such a fussing in the great city that she was released.

The Standard (Albert Lea, Minnesota) Mar 23, 1882

Twentieth – Century Woman

March 1, 2010

The Twentieth-Century Woman.

The woman of old as content to live
In a state of extreme degradation;
And to man, the stern tyrant, her services give,
Never dreaming of emancipation.
From our slumber now aroused,
We the cause have espoused
Of Feminine Franchise and Freedom,
And will shortly arrange
A most radical change;
We will let the men know we don’t need ’em.

For man has oppressed us for years
With tyranny, almost inhuman;
He has now had his day,
And had better make way,
For the Twentieth Century Woman.

— J.H. WAGNER ON TRUTH.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jun 29, 1894

FORTY-SIX YEARS AGO!

From some verses entitled “The Extension of the Franchise to Women,” which appeared in Fun on March 2, 1867, the year of the Reform Bill and John Stuart Mill‘s Woman Suffrage amendment, and reproduced recently in The Burton Daily Mail, we take the following: —
We all of us no doubt believe
What we are taught in church and chapel,
That sin was born to Mother Eve,
By eating the forbidden apple;
That she made Adam eat some too —
An act to be forgiven never!
And therefore punishment is due
To her and to her sex for ever.

And if the ills she has to bear,
Compared with ours, are often rougher,
She does not in our Suffrage share,
Although for her we have to suffer!

But if afflicted for her sin,
And we for hers, as well as ours,
Why visit it upon her, in
Depriving her of equal powers?

Women are merchants, rulers, queens,
And govern men in every station;
Yet do we not accord them means
To help in governing the nation.

‘Tis now as ’twas with Eve of yore,
Man bows to her, the Legislator!
Then why should we this fact ignore,
And try to make ourselves the greater?

Give her free scope, and ample space
To exercise her rightful powers,
Nor fancy that it will disgrace
Our manhood if she equals ours.

Yes, give her public power to do
What now in private she is doing;
Give her a vote to give to you
Instead of for another’s suing.

I will not trespass further, sir,
Except to say the motion made is,
That we the franchise should confer
On mankind’s better half, the ladies!

“Forty-six years ago!” writes Terminus ad quem –” who sends the verse to the Burton paper, “and this elementary justice still denied, after half a century of work and waiting!”

The Vote – Jan 9, 1914

Bicycles and Bloomers

August 6, 2009

Bicycle Bloomers1894cp

MUST SHE WEAR THEM?

We do not speak in disparaging tones when we say that a woman who wears bloomers has loose habits.

— Syracuse Post.

*****
The queen of Spain now knows what pain
And woe and ruth are like.
No legs has she; and so, you see,
She cannot ride a bike.

— New York Recorder.

*****
“Woman is still far from her ideals.”

“Oh, I don’t know. We don’t wear them as loose as we did.”

— Detroit Tribune.

*****
There’s a bicycle girl in Weehawken
That has set all the neighbors to tawken;
This feminine biped
Wears bloomers bright striped,
And red is the shade of her stawken.

*****
“I hear,” said the cheerful idiot, “that they are talking of revising the costume of the Goddess of Liberty.”

“And what will it be pray?” asked the typewriter boarder, who has a wheel.

“Red, white and bloomers,” said the cheerful idiot. –Indianapolis Journal.

*****
Bobbie — Say, fellers, let us holler “Rats!” as that woman passes.

Freddie — What’s the use? Don’t you see she has bloomers on? — Judge.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jun 16, 1895

MORE ABOUT BLOOMERS.

There were more bloomers out on bicycles in this city yesterday than ever before and fewer accidents. The new woman is rapidly ceasing to be a public danger.

— New York Evening Sun.

*****
It is only a reversal of condition. The society girl wears bloomers on her bodice and the bicycle girl wears sleeves on her pantaloons.

— Nashville American.

*****
“I don’t for the life of me see how you can uphold bloomers,” said the conservative man.

“I supposed not,” said the fluffy girl. “The suspenders fad has been out of date more than two years.”

— Indianapolis Journal.

*****
Bicycle bloomers should be proud of the sensation they have created. They appear as topics of earnest discussion on the lecture platform, in the club, and even in the pulpit. And the agitation is still growing. Not the silver question itself has more hopelessly divided families, separated friends and made sworn enemies than the now end-of-the-century theme — the bicycle bloomers.

— Baltimore American.

*****
“Do you keep bloomers to rent?” she asked, as she sailed into the fashionable dressmaker’s on Fulton street, yesterday.

“No,” said the polite saleswoman, “but we keep materials for repairing rents in bloomers. Have you –”

But she was gone.

— Brooklyn Eagle.

*****

“Mother, may I go out to bike?”

“Yes, my darling daughter.
But when you reach the Schuylkill pike
Don’t tumble in the water;
For if you do you’ll get a fall,
With a melancholy thud.
And then yourself, your bike, and all,
Will be a was of mud.”

— Philadelphia Inquirer.

*****
The bloomers or the knickerbockers of the lady bicyclist of the period present a neat and tasteful appearance. To say that the wearers look like men is unadulterated nonsense. The men who say so themselves disprove the assertion by the very fact that they denounce them and stand on the street corners, as too many of them do, leering and sneering at them as they pass. If they looked like men, these cheap and nasty fellows would not waste a minute looking at them.

— New York Recorder.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jun 19, 1895

BIKE AND BLOOMERS.

Pity the blind. hey have never seen the bloomer-clad woman on a bicycle.

–Sonerville Journal.

*****

To a Bicycle Girl:

Whenne on two rims of stele this maid doth go,
Within my hedde I fele
A whele
Alsoe.

— Washington Star.

*****

When money for a modish gown
The modern maid desires,
She has a scheme that’s sure to down
The most unkind or sires.
Should he refuse, she does not pout,
Nor into weeping go,
But knocks him quite completely out
With: “I’ll wear bloomers. So!”

— Detroit News.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jun 30, 1895

Probable Reason 1897

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) May 30, 1897

*****

Previous posts about bloomers:

Amelia Bloomer, Dress Reform and Bloomers

No Fillings for the Whangdoodle in Bloomers

Helen Kinau Wilder: A “New Woman” in the Pacific Islands

August 2, 2009

Helen Wilder pic1 1897

A DISTINGUISHED MISS.

The Honolulu Heiress Who Wears a Humane Officer’s Badge.

Miss Helen Wilder, youngest daughter of Mrs. E.K. Wilder, the mistress of a large fortune and one of the most popular society girls in Honolulu, has been specially honored by the attorney general by receiving a commission as a humane officer. The badge of her office, a handsome silver plate, was pinned on her breast by Marshal Arthur M. Brown a few days ago, and Miss Wilder wears it with much pride.

Miss Wilder has the distinction of being the first woman in the Hawaiian Islands who has been appointed a humane officer. The honor was conferred upon her unsolicited by the attorney general in recognition of her frequent efforts to relieve dumb brutes and bring cruel masters to punishment. Miss Wilder is reputed to be the wealthiest heiress on the islands. She is a great favorite in society, and has a very wide circle of friends and acquaintances on the coast.
— San Francisco Chronicle.

Hornellsville Weekly Tribune (Hornellsville, New York) Apr 16, 1897

Helen Kinau Wilder pic horse gun 1899

SHE WEARS A STAR.

A NEW WOMAN IN PACIFIC ISLANDS.

She is One of Hawaii’s Finest — Helen Wilder Wears the Star of the Hawaiian Police Force and Wears it Very Creditably.

(Special Letter.)

Helen Wilder wears the star of the Hawaiian police on her breast. She is probably the only woman police officer in the world. She is wealthy, too, at that, the heiress of a vast Hawaiian estate, and prominent in Hawaiian society. She is simply a plain woman with plain ideas, no fuss or fizzle, believing herself on an equality with man, neither asking nor giving favors. Helen Wilder calls a spade a spade. She chooses to be called a policeman, disclaiming her right to the title of “special officer.” She does not even object to the sobriquet of “cop.” But then the things that Helen Wilder does object to are the very ones that are most dear to the heart feminine. She wouldn’t give a lei of sweet scented maili for all the gowns that Worth ever made. She doesn’t care a fig for dances teas or the dilly dallying of society. She snaps her fingers in the face of conventionality without so much as a “beg pardon.” She dons a short skirt, a shirt waist, a military hat and rides her horse with the daring of a vaquero, or she handles the reins with the dexterity of a pioneer stage driver; in a rowboat she can paddle as swiftly and as easily as a Kanaka fisherman. Wherever she is, whatever she may be doing, she carries a pair of handcuffs to snap on the wrists of the tormentor of children and animals. Above all, she is always Helen Wilder. Like no one else in dress, manner or speech, she can always be depended on to do the unexpected. Honolulu did elevate its eyebrows though when her engagement was announced to Frank Unger. ‘Twas strange, indeed, that she should choose this bon vivant, this light-hearted Bohemian, prince of good fellows. A beautiful cottage was built for them at the beach of the Waikiki.

But the house at the beach has never been occupied. Helen Wilder broke the engagement when the wedding day was almost at hand. Honolulu sighed in relief. “That was just like Helen Wilder.”

Then there came a dashing young officer who laid siege to her heart according to naval tactics. And when he sailed away on the seven seas from each port came a letter for Helen Wilder. But alas! the same mail would also bring a missive for one of the many Afong girls. And gossip said that the officer had plighted his troth a deux. And under its breath it whispered that he was addicted to French perfumes. So the second time Helen Wilder took the circlet of gold from her finger. Helen Wilder is not the girl to droop and pine and wear her heart on her sleeve. Instead she wears a five-pointed bit of silver on her hat and breast, and she is proud of this policeman’s star, for it gives her the power to stop abuses. The native policemen are very fond of this member of their force. On Christmas day she gave them a dinner in the police station. Only those on the “force” sat down to the feast, and many were the grateful thanks which the policemen heaped upon their sister member. The soldier lads who landed at Honolulu have likewise reason to be grateful to Helen Wilder, for right royally did she treat them. Her mother, “Aunt Lizzie,” as she is called, was not less hospitable. A funny story went the rounds, and none laughed heartier or told it more gleefully than Helen Wilder herself. Aunt Lizzie invited a number of the boys in blue to dine. Helen happened to be away. They are Aunt Lizzies _odies and listened to her stories, for which she is noted.

Then a youth asked, “Who is the funny looking girl who wears stars? She’s a freak!” The question made those who knew the truth see stars. Helen Wilder goes wherever her duty calls. If the checkrein of the swellest turnout in Honolulu is drawn too tight she commands the driver to stop and fasten it. Fear she has never felt. Collie, Jap, Kanaka or white man, she arrests them all, in spite of threats. Let the drivers overload the ‘buses, or the Waikiki tram cars pull out overloaded, and out will come her handcuffs. She will brook cruelty toward neither children nor animals. It was reported that the captain of a steamship that put into port at Honolulu had maltreated his children. Helen Wilder boarded the steamship and investigated the charges. She found that the captain for some slight offense had locked the children in a state room for several days, keeping them on bread and water. To the surprise and indignation of the protesting captain this young woman promptly marched him down the gangplank and straight to jail.

But arrived there, she was told that the captain, not being a resident, must be released. So the steamship put off for Victoria, the captain vowing vengeance. When he landed there he found a local society for the prevention of cruelty had been requested from Honolulu to take him in charge, and was met with a formal request to explain things. In this way Helen Wilder followed him up and endeavored to have him punished for breaking the law, as she claimed. Other women in other cities have been made special officers. But Honolulu claims that there never was a special officer like Helen Wilder. She wear her star constantly and she uses the power which it gives her constantly.

Helen Wilder is as much a part of Hawaii as is Mauna Loa. Visitors never fail to ask who she is. For with close-cropped hair and confidant stride, her soft hat and shining star, she never fails to attract attention. Hawaiian society, which is itself complex and odd, does not often frown upon her eccentricities.

They like her because she is bright and original, because her personality is as refreshing as it is peculiar. They recognize her clear-grained human worth. Men who are tired of the inane or the clinging vine act find in Helen Wilder a comrade who is interesting, amusing and altogether charming.

Daily Iowa State Press (Iowa City, Iowa) Apr 29, 1899

Helen  Wilder 1899 pic horse2

POLICEWOMAN WILDER

A Honolulu Heiress Who Has Her Own Way.

UPHOLDING THE HUMANE LAWS.

In Her Capacity as Police Officer She May Make Arrests Without Warrants, and Brutal Mule Drivers Must Curb Their Anger.

Helen Wilder the Hawaiian heiress, has just been given a judgement by a Honolulu Jury in a suit for damages brought again her by a man she had arrested for cruelty. The case was of unusual interest to Honolulu, because it determined the fact that Miss Wilder, in her capacity as a police officer, may make arrests without a warrant.

The suit was brought by Oloof Hollefson who drives a street car in Honolulu. One day Miss Wilder noticed that one of Hollefson’s mules was bleeding on the shoulder from a chafing collar. She compelled him to leave his car and passengers and drove him off in her carriage to the police station, where she had him booked for cruelty to animals.

There was a heated argument over the legality of the arrest, counsel for Hollefson claiming that as no warrant had been served the arrest was illegal, and therefore $5,000 was due for a damaged reputation and durance vile.

When the jury brought in a verdict in favor of Miss Wilder, she put on her soldier hat and sauntered out of the court room humming “My Honolulu Lady.”

Then Honolulu puckered its brow for a moment over a knotty little problem, ‘Who would have paid that $5,000 had the decision been otherwise? Would the government have been responsible or would Helen Wilder have been compelled to sign a check for that amount?’ However, in Hawaii ?et people do not worry long over useless conjectures.

Even if Miss Wilder had been forced to pay the money it would not have been such a dreadful calamity, for a girl who has $150,000 in her own right, besides “great expectations” can afford to pay for the privilege of arresting a man.

And if it had fallen on the government? Well it is worth $5,000 to have a policeman ?whose? an heiress.

…..[the rest of the article repeats text from other articles]

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Apr 15, 1899

squiggle

The Only Policewoman.

Honolulu has a policewoman. Her name is Helen Wilder, she is 23 years old, and is a regularly appointed officer of the Hawaiian police force. She wears a soft felt hat, on which glitters the silver star that shows that she is a policewoman. She carries a revolver and is not afraid to use it. She has made several arrests unaided. Miss Wilder loves children and animals, and wherever she is, or whatever she may be doing, carries a pair of handcuffs, which she is quick to snap upon the wrists of the enemies of her small and lowly friends.

Daily Iowa State Press (Iowa City, Iowa) May 3, 1899

wedding-bells

The Honolulu Heiress a Bride.

San Francisco, June 5. — It has leaked out that Miss Helen Kinau Wilder, the Honolulu heiress, who has gained fame through her humane work in the Hawaiian islands and her eccentricities abroad, was secretly married on May 16 to Horace Joseph Craft, manager of the Pacific Cycle company at the Hawaiian capital. The wedding took place at midnight in the Honolulu Theological seminary, the officiating clergyman being the Rev. Jolin Nua, a native theological student. The bride went immediately to her home after the ceremony. On the following day she took passage on the steamship Australia for this city.

Naugatuck Daily News (Naugatuck, Connecticut) Jun 5, 1899

squiggle

Eccentric Bride.

In a little country cottage near San Francisco an eccentric young heiress is spending the queerest honeymoon in the world. Helen K. Wilder of Honolulu always declared that when she should get married she would spend her honeymoon alone, says the New York World. A few weeks ago she married H.J. Craft in Honolulu and told him he had given her the opportunity to carry out her wish. The next day she sailed alone to San Francisco. She is now waiting for the month to elapse before going back to take up her wifely duties in Hawaii.

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Jul 17, 1899

squiggle

This refers to her husband, that she divorced:

ELKS FOLLOW THE FLAG.

The Baby Elk Lodge in the Newly Acquired Hawaiis.

Tom Reed, esteemed leading knight of the local lodge of Elks, has received from Honolulu a group photograph of the latest lodge of Elks that has been instituted. The Elks cannot go outside of the United States, but now that the Hawaiian islands have been annexed there is a baby Elk lodge there, instituted on April 15 last.

In the group are two well known Butte Elks, who have removed to Honolulu. They are Horace J. Craft and Francis Brooks. The number of the Honolulu baby is 616.

The Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana) Jun 23, 1901

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HELEN WILDER’S ROMANCE.

Writes my Hawaiian correspondent: “Like the scent of pressed roses recalling an old romance was the suit in court last week for the cancellation of a trust deed conveying to E.D. Tenney the property valued at something over $100,000. The deed was executed in 1897 by Miss Helen Wilder and was made in contemplation of marriage to Frank Unger of San Francisco, to whom she was then engaged.

The engagement was soon afterwards broken off, and Miss Wilder a couple of years later married Horace J. Craft, from whom she was afterwards divorced, though I understand they are still very good friends. Unger was quite a prominent figure in society on the coast in those days. He had traveled extensively, he had a pleasing musical skill, could tell good stories, and was altogether companionable.

Incidentally he had furnished two or three of the musical selections in the “Geisha Girl,” which was then in the height of its success. Helen Wilder was the daughter of the late S.G. Wilder and grand-daughter of Dr. Norman Judd, one of the early missionaries. Her father died, leaving a very comfortable fortune as fortunes were counted those days, the days before some of the sugar barons began paying taxes on incomes of a million yearly.

Helen was an athletic girl who rode and drove the best horses in Honolulu. It was her fondness for horses that led her to start a movement, the first in Honolulu, for the prevention of cruelty to animals. When she found that the native police showed neither enthusiasm or judgement in the matter of making arrests she secured a commission as a special policeman herself, and spent her time, or a good part of it for several years, in looking after animals that were being cruelly treated. The work she did in this line was of the most wholesome and effective sort, and its influence last to this day.”

THEY SUSPECTED UNGER.

“When she was on the witness stand the other day giving testimony in behalf of her petition for the revocation and cancellation of her deed of trust, she very frankly explained the reasons why it was made. She said that her family believed that Frank Unger’s affection for her was inspired largely by her wealth and yielding to their advice she had made the deed whereby only the income of the property was reserved for herself, the principal to go to any children she might have, or, if she died childless to be disposed of by will. The engagement was broken off soon after the deed was made, and she never married Unger, the consideration for the deed had failed and she therefore wanted it cancelled, so that she would again have the direct control of her property. After her divorce from Horace J. Craft she resumed her maiden name, went to California and bought a ranch near Watsonville. There she has lived ever since.”  — Town Talk.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Dec 8, 1906

gravecross

It appears her family’s suspicions were probably correct:

The Late Frank Unger

Bohemians gathered Monday on the sad mission of laying in the grave all that was mortal of Frank Unger. He was a strange and singular character — traveler, musician, wit, bon vivant, raconteur and good fellow. He was a man of the world in the fullest sense. Without considerable means and not following any occupation that brought in wealth, he lived like a prince. He was ever the companion of rich men and women, yet it never seemed in an unworthy sense. For more than thirty years he came and went, and no doubt he found congenial friends wherever he might chance to be — whether in his own land or at the ends of the earth. For many years he was the fidus Achates of Harry Gillig and wandered with him and Mrs. Gillig about the globe. He was as much at home in Paris as in San Francisco. He traveled around the world a number of times, the last time within a year as the guest of Raphael Weill, himself one of the most notable of Bohemians. And so Frank Unger went through life, getting more out of it than men generally do, counting his friends by legion, brightening existence for all with whom he came in contact, but coming at last at the age of 65 to that final scene which all must meet. He would have like it that way — with friends and companions with whom he was wont to gather when life was at its full, performing the last rites, saying the heartfelt thing, dropping a furtive tear into his grave.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Dec 26, 1915

Helen K. Wilder Passport Photo

Helen K. Wilder Passport Photo

Passport application: Click for larger image:

Passport Application 1918

Passport Application 1918

The letter that is attached to her application, explaining her reason for traveling to Russia is very interesting:

Helen K Wilder passHARRON letter1918

I am not sure if she ever made this trip because I cannot find her on the passenger lists and according to Britannica.com, Russia was in a state of unrest at the time:

During World War I Vladivostok was the chief Pacific entry port for military supplies and railway equipment sent to Russia from the United States.

After the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917, Vladivostok was occupied in 1918 by foreign, mostly Japanese, troops, the last of whom were not withdrawn until 1922. The anti-revolutionary forces in Vladivostok promptly collapsed, and Soviet power was established in the region.

Samuel Gardner Wilder

Samuel Gardner Wilder

The following biography text images refer to Helen Wilder’s father,  and come from the book: LEOMINSTER MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL AND PICTURESQUE By William A. Emerson
LITHOTYPE PUBLISHING CO. Gardner, Mass. 1888: (Click for larger images)

Samuel G. Wilder Biography

Samuel G. Wilder Biography

SG WILDER 186SG WILDER187

I think it is rather interesting that Helen is not mentioned at all, but then some of the information doesn’t seem to be exactly correct, as it does not mention his son, Samuel Gardner Wilder, Jr., unless they just got his name wrong.

Gavel

Guardianship Over Man, 23, Is Sought

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 4. — The guardianship petition was filed in the superior court today on behalf of Miss Helen K. Wilder, of Watsonville, over the person and property of her nephew, Samuel Gardner Wilder, 23 years old, son of S.G. Wilder, a banker of Honolulu. The young man is at Lane hospital and is about to be removed to the Livermore sanitorium. It is declared that he is mentally and physically incompetent following illness in Hawaii. He was brought here by an uncle, A.L.C. Atkinson, who filed the formal petition yesterday in behalf of Miss Wilder.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Oct 4, 1921

Helen Kinau Wilder died Feb 4, 1954 in Santa Cruz County, California. I was not able to locate an obituary for her.

Chickens Come Home to Roost

June 15, 2009

image from www.thecolumnists.com

Image from www.thecolumnists.com

I ran across this poem in the newspaper archives, while searching for something else:

CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST.

You may take the world as it comes and goes
And you will be sue to find
That fate will square the accounts she owes
Whoever comes out behind.
And all things bad that a man has done,
By whosoever induced,
Return at last to him one by one
As chickens come home to roost.

Sow as you will, there’s a time to reap
For the good and the bad as well;
And conscience, whether we wake or sleep
Is either a heaven or hell.
And every wrong will find its place
And every passion loosed;
Drifts back and meets you face to face
When the chickens come home to roost.

Whether your’re over or under the sod,
The result will be the same —
You cannot escape the hand of God,
You must bear your sin and shame.
No matter what’s carved on a marble slab
When the items are all produced,
You’ll find that God was “keeping tab,”
And that chickens come home to roost.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Nov 23, 1910

Thanks to our current President’s infamous preacher,  Rev. Wright, the old adage is enjoying a renewal in popularity, so I decided to do a search and see how it was used in the past. Here is just a small sample of what I found:

Chickens Come Home To Roost
Claim That Stolen Fowls Were Liberated When Auto Was Wrecked.

(Special to The News) MERCER, Pa., June 28.

“Chickens will come home to roost.” The truth of this old saw was proven here today in a criminal proceedings in which J.W. Cameron of Youngstown, O., was tried on a larceny charge. The testimony of the commonwealth witnesses proved that Cameron, who was transporting the chickens to Youngstown in an auto after committing an alleged theft at the home of P.S. Cozadd near Charleston on the Mercer-Sharon road, had an auto smashup at the McCullough bridge on this road and as a result of the wreck the chickens, which were in the tonneau of the car, were released. They went up the road to the Cozadd home which was only a short distance and went to roost at once. This point was argued by the commonwealth as being conclusive evidence that they were the property of Mr. Cozadd.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jun 28, 1919

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HUMOR:

What is the meaning of the old saying: “Chickens come home to roost?” Well, it means all the night clubs are closed.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Feb 3, 1928

chickenroost

AND THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS:

A stranger came to me to ask about a local citizen. The stranger wished to buy a piece of property and was afraid of being cheated. He had to depend on the local man’s word. And he wished to know whether the man’s word is good. What could I say? I hated to spoil a neighbor’s trade — knock him out of profit. But I had to be square with the stranger too. So I said to him:

“Well, this fellow once owed me some money. Many many times he promised to pay it. But he never did.”

That was all the stranger wished to know. And it goes to show that chickens come home to roost.

You make a dollar by cheating one man and lose two dollars because your reputation is damaged.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Jul 16, 1929

POLITICS:

Negro Exclusion in Party Primary Illegal

Texans are interested in a decision by the United States circuit court of appeals at Asheville, North Carolina. Ruling of the court was that the democratic party of Virginia had no right to bar “negroes and other races” from its primary. Texas has a statute which bars negroes from the democratic party primary. It was enacted by democratic lawmakers and singed by a democratic governor.

If it is illegal in Virginia then it is illegal in Texas. It is said political chickens come home to roost. They do. Just the other day the state democratic executive committee adopted a rule barring democratic negroes from the party primary. Well, these democratic leaders should read the ruling of the United States circuit court of appeals….

It goes without saying that what is good (law) for the Virginia gander should be excellent fodder for the Texas goose….

Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) Jun 18, 1930

ACTIVISM – PACIFISM – FEMINISM:

Rosikaa Schwimmer

Rosika Schwimmer

MRS. SCHWIMMER’S DILEMMA.

Mrs. Rosika Schwimmer, as newspaper readers readily recall, is a noted pacifist. She first gained fame in connection with the Ford Peace Ship and a few years ago again broke into the news when she was denied citizenship in the United States because she refused to subscribe to that part of the oath of allegiance which states that the person taking the oath will take up arms and fight for the country if the need for such cooperation arises.

The matter was treated somewhat as a joke because of the sex of the protestant. We do not expect to require women to take up arms, but this was not the reason for Mrs. Schwimmer’s refusal to take the oath we require. She refused because for years she has taught and argued pacifism and because she did not think any man or woman should pledge themselves to fight for their country. Mrs. Schwimmer, be it understood, is not a communist or anything like that. She is an intelligent and moral woman, interested for years in pacifism.

Now comes this esteemed lady into the news of the day again. She has addressed the following appeal to fellow residents of America:

“Hilterism is destroying all the achievements of the women’s movement in Germany. Women are driven out of employment and the professions and kicked back into the realm of Kirche, Kinder, and Keuche — with the emphasis on Kinder. They are to be bearers of future soldiers, nothing else.

“What are America’s feminist doing against this outrage?

“The German pacifists are among the most vehemently persecuted and tortured victims of Hitlerism. Their houses are raided, their papers destroyed; they are imprisoned, tortured, kept in concentration camps and some of them face execution as indubitable information reveals.

“What are the American pacifists doing to save their unfortunate German colleagues?”

Whether we are pacifists, feminists or mere Americans of normal human sympathies we can agree that much of what she says appears to be right.

Hitler’s methods do arouse some justified indignation, but what can we do about it? Mrs. Schwimmer stands in the front line of those who have worked to keep us from having a navy of the first rank, from having an army or an air defense impressive enough to make our written protests weightily considered. How can we use effective force to compel Germany to do what Mrs. Schwimmer wants Germany to do, and at the same time destroy every factor which may lend force to our words and Mrs. Schwimmer and her kind have sought to destroy these factors.

There are times when chickens come home to roost and this is one of them. Mrs. Schwimmer would have us 100 per cent unarmed and defenseless and then when our hands are tied she would have us try to show some authority. Even if we wanted to do something our protests could not be carried far in the face of pacifistic opposition at home and nazi tenacity in Germany. Actually there is little reason for us to get heated up over what Hitler has been doing, but those who have opposed ultra-pacifism must get some pleasure from the Schwimmer dilemma.

Billings Gazette (Billings, Montana) Jul 16, 1933

AN EYE FOR AN EYE:

soviet chickensImage from http://www.russianartandbooks.com

Stalin Must Come Here To Collect Royalties
By PAUL FRIGGENS
NEA Staff Correspondent

A check was ready today for Joe Stalin, representing royalties on his new book he hasn’t heard about. Joe probably won’t like it but he must come to the United States to get his money.

The book is “Stalin’s Kampf,” edited by M.R. Werner and just published by Howell, Soskin and Company, New York. It was a collection of just about everything important the Russian dictator has ever written or said publicly. wherefore the publishers are willing to pay Stalin — the Soviet way.

They’ve so written the dictator. “We will pay you those royalties,” said the publishers in a letter to the Kremlin, “on exactly the same basis as the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics pays royalties to American authors; in other words, your royalties will be held here, and you are at liberty to come to the United States at any time and collect those royalties in dollars and spend those royalties in this country.”

So the Soviet chickens come home to roost. For years the Russians have been translating and publishing foreign books, often without so much as permission or notification of the authors or publishers.

If any author wanted his money he would have to go to Russia, where he would be paid in rubles which could not be taken out of the country.

Authors, moreover, could spend their money only in a few shops — the commision shops, run on a non-gold basis.

American authors in Russia are usually published in editions of 25,000 copies. Most popular are Upton Sinclair, Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, Eugene O’Neill and Jack London.

Dreiser has collected “only a minute part of his royalties.” The same is true of Sinclair. O’Neill, has collected nothing. John DosPassos, Mary Heaton Vorse and E.E. Cummins went over to collect part of their royalties in rubles.

Joe Won’t Be Pleased

Now it’s a Russian’s turn to collect. Frankly, the publishers don’t expect Joe to like it. As a matter of fact they point out in their letter that payment is not legally required, as the content of the book is public property and therefore not protected by American copyright.

Joe won’t like some of the quotations either. For instance, this choice bit he is supposed to have dropped one summer night in 1923, opening his heart to Dzerzhinsky and Kameney:

“To choose one’s victim, to prepare one’s plans minutely, to slake an implacable vengeance, and then to go to bed . . . There is nothing sweeter in the world.”

Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) May 7, 1940

And finally, here is soviet “chicken” picture, just because. I have no idea what it says, but the chickens look like they are going home to roost.

No Fillings for the Whangdoodle in Bloomers

February 2, 2009
Woman in Bloomers

Woman in Bloomers

New Phase of the Bloomer Question.

A new phase of the bloomer question is disclosed by the dispatches from San Francisco.

According to these Mrs. Annie Kirk, of that city, has brought suit against Dr. W.A. Atwood, a dentist, for $250 damages because he refused even to examine her teeth after having agreed to put them in good condition. Dr. Atwood offers a decidedly novel defense. He says that when Mrs. Kirk visited his office to have her teeth overhauled she wore bicycle bloomers instead of skirts, and that he therefore declined to have any dealing with her in his professional capacity.

Has such a defense any force?

At first blush — if there are any blushes left in this bloomer age — one would say no. Most assuredly no business or professional man has any right to prescribe any code of dress for his customers — least of all his feminine customers. What concern is it to a man how a woman dresses — unless he pays the bills? What do men know about woman’s dress, anyhow? Whence the arrogance that prompts one dentist to regulate woman’s dress when all male creation could not regulate it if they abandoned everything else and combined in one great fusion for dominating the fashions?

At first blush, therefore, Dr. Atwood’s action in refusing to fill the teeth of Mrs. Kirk because she was not dressed to his liking was preposterous and utterly without justification. But some consideration must be given to the particular style of Mrs. Kirk’s costume. It was bloomers, a garb which defies both classification and justification. No dentist is obliged to fill the teeth of a whang-doodle*, or a jibjib**, or a dodo, and it is questionable if any jury would mulet him in damages for refusing to operate upon bloomers.

Dentistry requires skill and patience and steadiness of nerve, and it is safe to say that with most men a nightmare is hardly less contributive to these than a pair of bloomers.

Mrs. Kirk will doubtless have trouble in winning the suit she has instituted against Dr. Atwood. — Louisville Courier Journal.

Daily Telegram (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Sep 13, 1897

*From: A DICTIONARY  OF SLANG, JARGON & CANT
Compiled and Edited by Albert Barrere and Charles G. Leland, M.A., Hon. F.RS.L.
The Ballantyne Press 1890

Whang-doodle (American). This eccentric word first appeared in on of the many “Hard-Shell Baptist” sermons which were so common in 1856. “Where the whang-doodle mourneth for her first-born.” It refers to some mystical or mythical creature. It was subsequently applied to political subjects, such as the Free Trade, Lecompton Democracy, &c.

**A “jibjib” is someone who is chatty, loquacious or nonsensical. (I had found an online reference for it, but lost the link and can’t find it again.)

Read about Amelia Bloomer and the Bloomer sensation in my previous post, “Amelia Bloomer, Dress Reform and Bloomers.”

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Here is Annie Kirk’s obituary:

Annie S. Kirk

Final rites will be held in Memory Chapel at 2 p.m. tomorrow for Mrs. Annie Summers Kirk, who died Tuesday in a rest home in Fair Oaks, where she had lived for the past two years. Born in Germantown (Philadelphia), Pa., Jan. 21, 1869, she would have been 86 years old in two days from the date of her death.

Mrs. Kirk had lived in Placerville for about 45 years, and for a number of years had made her home on the Kirk ranch on Sacramento Hill. Although in years past she had taken part in social activities in the community, for the past several years she had been inactive due to failing health. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star for 55 years, having transferred from San Francisco to the Fallen Leaf Chapter in her early days of membership. She had received her 50-year pin some time ago.

Although unable to take active part in club work, she was always willing to help financially in the organizations with which she was affiliated. She was a member of the Placerville Shakespeare club for at least 10 years, belonged to the Daughters of the Nile, Sacramento Temple, and was a member of the Episcopal church in Placerville.

Mrs. Kirk was the widow of William S. Kirk who passed away 16 years ago. He has been remembered for having been an early publisher of the Placerville Republican, a daily newspaper, the El Dorado Republican, a weekly, and even earlier, the Nugget. He became the first Ford Motors dealer in El Dorado county and maintained that dealership for many years. When he also attained the Dodge dealership and it conflicted with the Ford policy, he sold that one and retained the Dodge Brothers’ dealership, thus becoming the first Dodge dealer in the county and the founder of the Placerville Auto Co.

In 1938, the year before his death, Mr. and Mrs. Kirk celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary by taking the Shrine Cruise to Honolulu.

Mrs. Kirk is survived by a daughter, Gertrude Cornelison of Clearlake Highlands and Placerville; a granddaughter, Gloria Kirk Smith and two great-grandchildren, Kirk and Belinda Smith of Placerville; her brother William J. Graft, who has lived with her for 16 years; and a number of nieces and nephews in New York and Philadelphia.

Funeral services will be conducted under the direction of Victor Leonardi of the Episcopal church, with the Order of Eastern Star officiating at the cemetery. Burial will be in Union cemetery.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Jan 20, 1955

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In researching Annie Kirk, (who seemed to me to be  rather progressive or inclined somewhat toward feminism, given the fact that she wore bloomers,) I also ran across some articles about her daughter, Gertrude Kirk. She seems to have taken a bit after her mother. She worked for her father in the newspaper business and also at his car dealership, where she taught customers to drive! AND, she was the first woman to register and vote in El Dorado County.  When World War I broke out, she enlisted with the YMCA as a canteen worker and went to Europe to help the war effort, as you can read below:

50 YEARS AGO
OCTOBER 26, 1918

Miss Gertrude Kirk, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Kirk of this city, who enlisted three months ago for overseas service, has received her appointment from the Women’s Division for work in the canteen and automobile service in France, and is awaiting her passport from Washington, expecting to leave in three weeks.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Oct 24, 1968

CANTEEN WORKER: The work primarily involved supporting the soldiers by serving hot coffee and chocolate to the men in the trenches, visiting and writing letters for the wounded, and organizing recreational activities.
From the Biography of Emma Young Dickson

Mobile Hut Staffers Preparing Coffee

Mobile Hut Staffers Preparing Coffee

Honor Returned War Workers

Mrs. W.W. Irish entertained several Placerville friends Friday afternoon of last week in honor of Miss Gertrude Kirk and Mrs. Geo. Pavey, lately returned from Europe.

Automobiles called for the ladies early in the afternoon and conveyed them to the beautiful country home of he hostess in Missouri Flat, where the time was spent in needlework, games, ‘Jumbled Cities,’ conversation and reviewing war pictures and relics sent to Mrs. Irish by her sons, Archie and Wilburn, while in the service. Both boys have lately returned from overseas with fine war records.

At 4 o’clock tea was served, after which Miss Kirk and Mrs. Pavey, who were dressed in their uniforms, gave interesting accounts of their canteen work in France and Germany.

Those present: Mesdames B.E. and N.H. Burger, L.M. Leisenring, F.W. Rohlfing, W.S. Kirk, L.J. Dormody, J.H. Snyder, W.W. Irish, Geo. Pavey and Miss Gertrude Kirk.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Aug 24, 1919

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Gertrude Cornelison
Funeral services for Gertrude Kirk Cornelison, 85 of Placerville were held Tuesday, July 9 at Chapel of the Pines. Father John A. Wright of the Epsicopal Church of Auburn conducted the services. Interment was at Placerville Union Cemetery.

Mrs. Cornelison, a widow, died July 7 at a local convalescent hospital. She was born in Pennsylvania and lived 75 years in California the past 65 years in El Dorado county.

She was a housewife and an active club member in later years. Mrs. Cornelison was a 60 year member of the Order of Eastern Star and a member of the American Legion auxiliary and the Shakespeare club.

Mrs. Cornelison was the first woman to register and vote in El Dorado county. Her parents, the William Kirks, owned the Daily Republican in Placerville where she worked with her father. She also taught new car owners to drive when her father owned the Ford agency. She went overseas during World War I as a member of the YMCA serving in American Expeditionary Forces.

She is survived by a daughter, Gloria K. Smith of Placerville; two grandchildren, Kirk Smith of Washington D.C. and Belinda Foster of Placerville, and one great-grandchild.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Jul 11, 1974

*Look for at leat one future post about canteen workers from WWI.

What is to Become of Her Suits and Breaches

January 4, 2009

womans-lawier1

Sexist Humor

A Miss Lovejoy, of Wisconsin, is now prosecuting her fourth breach of promise suit. Some man will marry that girl yet, in self-defense, and then will be determined what is to become of her suits and breaches.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) June 17, 1874

Amelia Bloomer, Dress Reform and Bloomers

December 21, 2008
A Story about Mrs. Bloomer

A Story about Mrs. Bloomer

I ran across this article about Mrs. Bloomer and immediately remembered this cute book I had read to some students, who just loved the story. One thing led to another, and now I have a whole host of news clips, spanning over 10 years of time, covering various opinions regarding BLOOMERS and the women involved in the Reform Dress movement.
Amelia Bloomer in her Bloomers

Amelia Bloomer in her Bloomers

Short Dresses. –Mrs. Bloomer, editor of the Lily, had adopted the “short dress and trowsers,” and say in her paper of this month, that many of the women in that place, (Seneca Falls,) oppose the change; others laugh; others still are in favor; “and many hade adopted the dress.” She closes the article upon the subject as follows:
“Those who think we look ‘queer,’ would do well to look back a few years, to the time when they wore ten or fifteen pounds of petticoat and bustle around the body, and balloons on their arms, and then imagine which cut the queerest figure, they or we. We care not for the frowns of over fastidious gentlemen; we have those of better taste and less questionable morals to sustain us. If men think they would be comfortable in long, heavy skirts, let them put them on–we have no objection. We are more comfortable without them, and so left them off. We do not say we shall wear this dress and no other, but we  shall wear it for a common dress; and we hope it may become so fashionable that we may wear it at all time, and in all places, without being thought singular. We have already become so attached to it that we dislike changing to a long one.”

The Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) 21 Apr 1851

Ladies’ Short Dresses.
The papers are full just now, discussing a new fashion of ladies’ dresses. Some correspondent from over the big water, wrote to the papers of this country that a dress of short skirts, reaching only to the knee, and trousers, large and full along the leg, but gathered close about the ankle, had been adopted by some of the unique fashionables. Mrs. Bloomer, editor of the Lily, thinking this style of dress would be convenient, induced a number of respectable ladies to join her in adopting it. They accordingly got their dresses made, and all came out at once. It created quite a sensation. A good deal was said about it, and a general notoriety given to the circumstance. This induced other ladies to try it. And now some are adopting it in almost every  city and town. The last notice we have says that the ladies of Kenosha are adopting it. The press everywhere speaks of it highly. The beauty, comfort, and economy of the new dress is much talked of. It certainly must be an improvement on the long, street mops now in vogue. There seems to be a general feeling that the present style of ladies’ dresses is any thing but what it should be. And from what we see, we should not be surprised if the new style quickly superceded the other entirely. Success be with the innovation say we.

Oshkosh Democrat (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) 16 May 1851

Mrs. Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Susan B. Anthony Statues

Mrs. Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Susan B. Anthony Statues

The following clips were ALL printed in the same paper on the same day!

ADVANTAGE OF LONG DRESSES. –Mr. Paxton, the designer of the Crystal palace, remarked the other day, at dinner, that he had thought the palace would be a difficult place to keep clean, and that he therefore designed a machine to obviate that inconvenience, of a hundred horse power, and had put the commissioner to some expense in having these machines made; but they had not been called into requisition, for they were not needed, as the building had been kept clean by the rich silk dresses of the ladies! Here is a fact for Mrs. Bloomer.

A BRIDAL BLOOMER. — The Boston Commonwealth states that on Wednesday evening, one of the editorial fraternity of that city, took the hand of a fair lady in marriage, whose costume was an elegant white satin Bloomer. It was neatly made, fitting snug around the waist and close up in the neck, the spencer opening in front like a naval officer’s vest, and interlaced a la Swiss mountaineer, sleeves flowing, white kids, white satin slippers, hair done plain with a wreath of orange flowers over the brow, and a long bridal veil flowing from the crown of the head over the shoulders.

A BLOOMER DRESS appeared on our streets on Saturday afternoon. We had long ago made up our mind to like it, yet had we ever been so much prejudiced against it, the first glance would have completely converted us. We have never seen anything of the dress kind that looked half so neat, or half so sensible. There is not even an approximation towards immodesty about it. The fair lady who had the moral courage to make the first inroad upon the disgusting pave-sweeping fashion, deserves great credit, and to show that our citizens appreciated her, we will state that not the slightest insult was offered to her while she was on the street. In the evening she was serenaded by our excellent brass band. We hail with intense satisfaction the beginning of the most sensible reform which is now before the people, and earnestly hope that our ladies will conquer their prejudices in favor of an unhealthy and disgusting style, and generally adopt the Bloomer costume. —Independent Democrat.

THE FOURTH OF JULY IN LOWELL. — The whole town seems to have participated in the festival, with an evident determination to make it as vivacious as it is ordinarily noisy and dull. Besides the military and civic displays, there was a parade of a company, the “Antique and Horrible Artillery,” whose fun consisted in wearing all the quaint and old-fashioned garments that could be raked and scraped together in the country. Hats of enormous size and dickeys of enormous height and stiffness, alternated with knee breeches and hooped peticoats. The captain wore a coat which, on the 17th of June, 1775, covered Bancroft, of Pepperell, a Bunker Hill soldier. One of the soldiers wore a richly embroidered vest, which was once the property of General Sullivan. Ancient vehicles were put in use, as well as ancient costumes, and dilapidated chaises and carryalls were filled with the most venerable couples.

But in contrast with the older dresses came some five hundred young ladies from the factories, dressed in the new style which has taken the name of its projector, Mrs. Bloomer. Their appearance was generally admired, and in the course of the day they presented a beautiful banner to one of the fire companies.

Tioga Eagle (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) 17 Jul 1851

Bloomer Society

Bloomer Society

The New Costume.
MR. DENSMORE: — In looking over “Arthur’s Home Gazette” of a recent date, I noticed a few remarks devoted to the New Costume, which I though worthy of notice.

The article commences, “Notwithstanding the noise that has been made about the new costume, it does not seem to take, to any extent, amoung respectable women.” and adds — “In our larger cities the majority of those wearing it have been women of bad repute.”

Without discussing the merits of the Dress Reform, I wish to correct the wrong impressions made by his untruthful statements.

That the dress reform does not “take” (using his own elegant expression,) with respectable women, is not so. It is with the respectable women in general that it does find favor, not only respectable, but the intelligent, and I may say with all intelligent women. Strange that the many able and talented articles that have appeared from the women of our larger cities, should have escaped his notice, as also the statements of some of our most highly respected women not only of their wearing the style, but of its being worn by other of the same class. But we need not wonder when we read another clause in his article, “That for our own part we
have yet to meet the woman who approves the short skirts and pants, or who does not speak of them and their wearers, in a manner that strongly savors of disgust.” Passing over his evident desire to make it manifest that he meets with only “respectable women” or more fashionably  “LADIES,” I would say that none can read his flat and insipid paper, or his stereotyped stories., and doubt that he associates only with “ladies” who look with disgust on any new or important reform. It may easily be seen how he happens to labor under the wrong impression that it does not “take” with respectable women. He probably was engaged twaddling with one of those “ladies” who would be shocked, and her modesty outraged, and who would look with “disgust” upon any one who should hint to her that her body was made of different material or was differently constituted from her milliner’s showblock, and while she was lisping her horror and “disgust” at the dress reform, she probably startles him with the new and original idea that it must be women of bad repute only that would wear the new costume, whereupon he tries to palm off such twaddling as facts upon his readers. That it will be read, we know, and fear by some believed, as it is a lamentable fact that such a milk and water paper as the Home Gazette finds a large circulation, for there are many who like to read his stories, as the world is filled with such sick sentimentalists as one I once heard say she “liked to read T.S. Arthur’s stories because the heroines always got married, or died of a broken heart, which was just as good.” The evil that is done by the circulation of his weak stories, which chiefly consist in going into raptures over the fortitude and noble conduct of some imaginative child of fortune in bearing its reverses, and applauding the moral heroism that caused them to refrain from cutting their own throats, in their despair, or in a sickly attempt to excite our sympathy for the suffering child of poverty which he always pictures in so beautiful and interesting situation, that the reader can hardly refrain from envying. But enough of such trash. The evil influence exerted by that sheet[?] is enough without his making false statements, to oppose that which is beyond his caliber to approve.

We find in the larger number of our city papers favorable accounty of the progress of the dress reform, and through them we learn that our most able and intelligent men and women are in favor of it. But when I speak of the “women of our land” I do not mean T.S. Arthur “ladies.” They belong to another species altogether.

Besides Mrs. Bloomer, editor of the “Lilly,” who first started this reform, we find Mrs. E.O. Stanton, wife of Senator Stanton of N.Y., Mrs. M.S. Gove Nichols, the celebrated Water Cure Obstetrician of New York, and Mrs. Gage, a popular and familiar writer, among the many known to fame, who have publicly spoken in favor of, and worn the new style. Peterson’s Magazine, a deservedly popular one, appears with November fashion plates of the Bloomer style, which it certainly would not do was it merely to delineate fashions for “women of bad repute!”

Oshkosh Democrat (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) 14 Nov  1851

Amelia Bloomer

Amelia Bloomer

MRS. BLOOMER RECANTING — Mrs. Bloomer, the author of the new style of dress, has an article in the last number of her paper, “The Lily,” in which she says that, could she have foreseen the notoriety and ridicule which she has incurred, she would never have commenced the movement.

Tioga Eagle (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) 18 Dec 1851

Children Playing

Children Playing

Mrs. Bloomer imagines that the reason women differ from men, is because they are schooled and educated differently. Nothing, however, could be more unfounded. Girls differ from boys, not incidently, but radically. The first thing a boy does after he is weaned, is to straddle the banister and ride down stairs. The first thing  a girl sets her heart on is a doll and a set of half fledged cups and saucers. Girls are given to neatness and hate soiled garments of all kinds; boys, on the contrary, set a high value on dirt, and are never so happy as when sailing a shingle ship, with a brown paper sail, in a mud puddle. Mrs. Bloomer may reason as she may, but she will find in the end that Nature is stronger than either philosophy or suspenders.

Daily Commercial Register (Sandusky, Ohio) 19 Mar 1853

Bloomers

Bloomers

Mrs. Bloomer has gone to Council Bluffs to reside; she permitted her husband to accompany her.

Wisconsin Free Democrat (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) 18 Apr 1855

Mrs. Bloomer is Mayor (or Mayoress) of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

New York Herald (New York, New York) 03 May 1869

Socializing in Bloomers

Socializing in Bloomers

LETTER FROM SAN FRANCISCO.
San Francisco, June 2d, 1869. PUBLIC OPINION
“I don’t care what the world thinks or says,” is sometimes the bravado of a desperate knave — sometimes the weak boast of a fool. No one can, with impunity, set at naught the usages of society, much less its laws. The experiment has been frequently tried in this city, and has always resulted in the humiliation of the experimenters. Within the last ten years we have been preached and printed at by many social philosophers of both sexes, who desire to establish a new order of things, inconsistent with our preconceived ideas of religion, decency and propriety. They ????? against public opinion, and were unhorsed and brought to grief. They didn’t care for the world’s censure, not they; on the contrary, they pitied the ignorance and stupidity that failed to discern the superiority of their doctrines to those of the de??logue and the gospel, and determined to convince society against its will. But society is of “the same opinion still,” and its scorn has put the would-be innovators down. They have discovered that they have no levers long enough and strong enough to upset Christianized civilization; that they cannot change either its customs, its fashions, or its standards of equity. We hear but little now of the misguided ladies who aspired to be Amazons. Many of the spinsters among them have gone into the state of double blessedness, and (probably) changed their views. The followers of the eccentric Mrs. Bloomer, have, as a general thing, retired from the gaze of the critical public, and betaken themselves to crinoline; and the right of woman to do man’s work and wear his ungraceful apparel, seems to have been abandoned by our strong-minded sisters. And so time passes on, and bubbles which at first seem bright and pleasant, soar into the air of public opinion, are condemned by society, and gradually they disappear from the social horrizon and are lost forever with the things that were.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) 05 Jun 1869

DEAD FRUIT. — Mrs. Bloomer has abandoned her semi-masculine style of wardrobe. The bloom is off that rye, the blossom has ripened and the fruit found to be bitter and unwholesome.

New York Herald (New York, New York) 05 Jul 1869

Amelia Bloomer

Newspaper picture: Amelia Bloomer

Read more about Amelia Bloomer here.