Hear Me Patiently: The Reform Speeches of Amelia Jenks Bloomer

Hear Me Patiently: The Reform Speeches of Amelia Jenks Bloomer

Hear Me Patiently: The Reform Speeches of Amelia Jenks Bloomer

Hear Me Patiently: The Reform Speeches of Amelia Jenks Bloomer


The only published collection of the speeches of an important nineteenth-century feminist reformer, this work sheds light on women's issues and struggles in the United States in the middle of the nineteenth century.


This speech fragment is of particular interest because it provides a brief history of the Independent Order of Good Templars, an international organization formed in Utica, New York, in 1851, whose members abstained from buying selling or using alcohol. Bloomer reviews the major tenets of the Good Templars, including the involvement of women, young people, and individuals from all classes of society. The speech is incomplete and thus difficult to date, but it may have been part of Bloomer's address to the first state convention of Good Templars held in Utica, in June 1853.

Among the various organizations which have been formed for promoting the cause of temperance is that of the Independent Order of Good Templars, and whose members appear here today wearing this regalia. It is fitting that before I close I should say a few words of this organization.

Having discovered, as was believed, the instrumentality through which the great evil against which we are contending was to be overthrown, it was found desirable to combine in one solid phalanx, all classes of community in the work in which we are engaged. The strong arm and firm purpose of man, the earnest labors and willing heart of woman, and the innocent heart and touching pleadings of childhood all needed to be enlisted in a common warfare against the great destroyer. The labors of these different classes had hitherto been frittered away by separate and independent movements, which though well meant and earnest, have not the moral power which the union of all in a single well-directed attack is capable of exerting. Hence the need of societies and associations which shall include persons of all classes, the young and the old, the rich and the poor, male and female, as members working together in the same halls--united by the same pledges--devoted to the same cause and laboring with a single purpose for the achievement of a common object. This was a want which had been long felt, but which had never been supplied until the Independent Order of Good Templars was organized. This union of all classes in a single organization is therefore the great distinguishing feature of this order. The father and his son, the mother and her daughter, the husband and his wife, the brother and the sister here all meet together--all surround the same altar--all take the same obligations--all join in singing the same odes--all band together to rid the world of the greatest foe to the happiness of the race that the wickedness and cupidity of man has ever produced.

What more pleasant spectacle can be presented to the eye of the true philanthropist than such a society ardently engaged in its benevolent work? And such a spectacle we see presented at every meeting of a lodge of Good Templars. Look around their neatly furnished halls and whom do we see . . .

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