A Voice of Their Own: The Woman Suffrage Press, 1840-1910

By Martha M. Solomon | Go to book overview

3
The Lily, 1849-1856 From Temperance to Woman's Rights

Edward A. Hinck

"Emancipation of Woman from Intemperance, Injustice, Prejudice, and Bigotry"

It is woman that speaks through the Lily. It is upon an important subject, too, that she comes before the public to be heard. Intemperance is the great foe to her peace and happiness. It is that, above all, which has made her home desolate, and beggared her offspring. It is that above all which has filled to the brim her cup of sorrows, and sent her mourning to her grave. Surely she has the right to wield her pen for its suppression. Surely she may, without throwing aside the modest retirement, which so much becomes her sex, use her influence to lead her fellow mortals away from the destroyer's path. It is this which she proposes to do in the columns of the Lily. ( January 1849, 3)


The Origin of the Lily

In the early 1840s, six men took a vow in a Baltimore tavern and resolved themselves to spread the gospel of temperance.1 Known as the Washingtonians, they delivered temperance speeches all over the country, including Seneca Falls, New York, where Amelia Jenks Bloomer and other female temperance activists thereafter formed the first Ladies Temperance Society.2

Temperance organizations of the time, which were composed mainly of males, excluded women from the public sphere of their activities. Although temperance was recognized as a significant woman's issue, and women were allowed to form their own temperance societies, their activities were constrained by customs pre

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