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Autograph Letter Signed
Rochester, New York, 1892. Fine. Octavo. Five page autograph letter signed on three leaves of National American Woman Suffrage Association stationary. Rochester, N.Y., November 22, 1892. Light horizontal folds as mailed, easily fine. A significant long letter written to Elizabeth Wardall, who was an important ally in Anthony's 1890 "South Dakota Campaig.n" In this previously unknown and unpublished letter, Anthony describes meeting with Emma Cranmer, president of the South Dakota Equal Suffrage Association: "I was delighted to meet your president -- Mrs. Cranmer at the Mississippi Valley Conference ... She is a very excellent speaker and I was very proud of her and told her I hoped she could be at our Washington convention this winter. We need just such bright, eloquent young speakers from each of the states at the Capital of the nation."Anthony then sets forth her strategy for grass roots organizing work: "... to have clubs in every township -- auxiliary to their county society, and every county society auxiliary to the state association -- each & all linked together -- is the first great need in every state of the Union. We must be able to present a solid front to the enemy before we can hope to carry our Legislatures or Congress! In this great upheaval of political parties we should nationally look for something good to come to the hitherto forgotten half of the people, but we will wait & watch -- and work on - meanwhile! hoping and hoping that woman's turn will come next!"Anthony also refers to the recent 24th New York State annual meeting as an example of her grass roots strategy: "It was splendid every way -- audiences large & enthusiastic, speaking good, reports from the county societies excellent. One county reported 600 members in its 23 local clubs. If every one of our 60 counties were organized like Chautauqua, we would have 2,600 members in the state ... We must somehow make every man & woman claiming to be our friends feel that they should join their local society and pay their $1 into its treasury. If we could, all the dollars divided among the local, county, state, & national societies, would enable each society to have all the money it needed ... ."Elizabeth A. Murray Wardall was active in the South Dakota Farmers' Alliance with her husband, Alonzo Wardall. She wrote a column for the Alliance's paper, Dakota Ruralist, and was an executi ve committee member of the state's Equal Suffrage Association, serving as superintendent of press relations. She also was active with the People's Party and continued to work with Susan B. Anthony at Populists' conventions in Omaha (1892) and Topeka (1894).An historically important letter in fine condition, rich in suffrage content, and a significant insight to Anthony's strategy. A full transcription follows:My Dear Mrs. Wardall,How it seems to see your pen-tracks once more, and how I do wish I could be with you in your annual convention. I was delighted to meet your president -- Mrs. Cranmer at the Mississippi Valley Conference -- and very much pleased with address -- both in matter & manner of delivery. She is a very excellent speaker and I was very proud of her and told her I hoped she could be at our Washington convention this winter. We need just such bright, eloquent young speakers from each of the states at the Capital of the nation. I wish she could come, but if she & none of you can come, you'll have dear Mrs. Pickler as your representative [i.e., Alice Pickler, the wife of South Dakota's Congressman John Picker] -- and she is always a host in herself and always most welcome at our national gatherings.I hope you will plan for good & thorough organizing work the coming year in your state -- to have clubs in every township -- auxiliary to their county society, and every county society auxiliary to the state association -- each & all linked together -- is the first great need in every state of the Union. We must be able to present a solid front to the enemy before we can hope to carry our Legislatures or Congress!In this great upheaval of political parties -- we should nationally look for something good to come to the hitherto forgotten half of the people, but we will wait & watch -- and work on - meanwhile! hoping and hoping that woman's turn will come next!We have just held our 24th New York state annual meeting at Syracuse. It was splendid every way -- audiences large & enthusiastic, speaking good, reports from the county societies excellent. One county reported 600 members in its 23 local clubs. If every one of our 60 counties were organized like Chautauqua, we would have 2,600 members in the state. That would mean $2,600, one quarter of that going to the state treasury, thus giving all the local clubs plenty of cash, & the state also, to carry forward the work. We must somehow make every man & woman claiming to be our friends feel that they should join their local society and pay their $1 into its treasury. If we could, all the dollars divided among the local, county, state, & national societies, would enable each society to have all the money it needed. Why can't we thus bring this duty home to every friend of our cause.Hoping you will have a most successful meeting and sending love to each & all of the dear friends I met in that wonderful campaign of 1890 -- I am -- very sincerely yours,Susan B. Anthony.
      [Bookseller: Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABA]
Last Found On: 2017-11-05           Check availability:      Biblio    

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