Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1800-1925: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook

By Karlyn Kohrs Campbell | Go to book overview

ernment for any privilege she might have in the exercise of her right as a citizen?" Kelley retorted:

Yes, I think we have always done it. We pay taxes, we teach the children to obey the laws, we fill their hearts with patriotism, but the principal thing is that we furnish the army at the risk of our own lives. Every time an army has been called for in the United States it has been the sons of American women on the whole who have carried the weapons and every son has been born at the risk of his mother's life. Her service is a very much greater contribution than the two or three years of the son's carrying a gun or perhaps dying of typhoid fever while in the service. ( HWS 5:307-308)


CONCLUSION

No recordings of Kelley's speeches exist; only the memories of those who heard her remain. In a memorial tribute to the NAACP, her longtime friend Lillian D. Wald summed up her appeal: "[She] often appeared before legislatures to present her case, a ready crusader for just causes, and she knew her facts, which were strengthened by her driving power and her rich and lovely voice ( Congressional Record 72 [ 1932]:13177). Josephine Goldmark, another longtime NCL colleague, testified that she

had preeminently the speaker's gift. At her best she was unrivaled. No other man or woman whom I have ever heard so blended knowledge of facts, wit, satire, burning indignation, prophetic denunciation--all poured out at white heat in a voice varying from flute-like tones to deep organ tones. (72)

However varied, hers was always a voice for those least able to speak for themselves.


SOURCES

A major source is the National Consumers' League Records (NCLR), Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Other useful collections are the Nicholas Kelley Papers, New York Public Library; Jane Addams Collection, University of Illinois, Chicago, Library; Jack London Collection, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Blumberg Dorothy Rose. "'Dear Mr. Engels': Unpublished Letters, 1884-1894, of Florence Kelley (-Wischnewetzky) to Friedrich Engels." Labor History 5 ( 1964):103-133.

Engels Friedrich. The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844. Trans. Florence Kelley Wischnewetzky. New York: J. W. Lovell, 1887; London: George Allen & Unwin, 1892.

Some Ethical Gains Through Legislation. New York: Macmillan, 1905. Ch.2, "The Child, the State and the Nation"; OW:98-101.

Modern Industry in Relation to the Family, Health, Education, Morality. New York: Longmans, Green, 1914.

-306-

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