Volume 1, Number 1



The Woman’s Era.

VOL. 1. NO. 1.



and running four days and nights at ODD FELLOWS’ HALL,
North Russell Street, Boston.

The Carnival will open Tuesday afternoon at 8 o’clock with a reception to the Clergy. There will be a
ROSEBUD TEA RECEPTION on Wednesday afternoon and evening. Thursday will be
CHILDREN’S DAY, this afternoon and evening the floor will be reserved for dancing for children under fifteen only. On the last evening there will be a Reception by the Club and

Fancy Goods for Sale during the Carnival. A fine Cafe in the hall below where lunches will be served reasonably, and homemade pies, cakes, etc., will be on sale.

Single Admission – – – 10c.
Childrens’ Day [Children] – 25c.


No movement begun in the interest of human progress can start unmindful of the pioneer work projected and carried on by “the saints and martyrs who are on the eternal side of right.” Foremost among these consecrated spirits, and serenest singer of them all stands, and will ever stand, the name of Lucy Stone, and although many months have passed since she whispered this her last message to her followers, “Make the world better,” and then rested from her labors, yet to the many tributes already paid must ours be added lest the circle be incomplete. The public life of Lucy Stone begun early as all ardent, consistent and persistent abolitionist, and only after the emancipation of a race was secured did she consecrate herself to the work of freeing her sex from the many legal disabilities under which they rested, serenely indifferent to their humiliating position until some conspicuous case of the miscarriage of justice awoke them to a realizing sense of the helplessness of an unrepresented class, and to a suspicion, that law and equity was not always interpreted to mean the same thing for that class. For her untiring efforts to smooth the rough paths for all women, and for the strength and dignity she lent to their own feeble efforts to make life easier, we would have all women everywhere remember the debt they owe her. To the dismay of her loving, trusting followers she was mustered out of this, into higher service before the full realization of her dream of the complete disenthrallment of woman was realized; yet she lived long enough to see the world moving steadily, if slowly, on to the perfection she demanded of it. Let her fragrant memory be kept alive as a quicking force for all women who feel the responsibility of the part they must play in the coming regeneration of the world.


New York Letter.

Mrs. W.E. Matthews, president, Mrs. G. S. Garnet, 1st vice-president; Miss M. R. Lyons, 2nd vice president; Mrs. J. E. Garner, treasurer; Miss G. E. Johnson, financial secretary; Miss S. E. Frazier, recording secretary – Mrs. S. E. Ward, corresponding secretary with the following executive board:–Mrs. A. C. Dixon, Mrs. E. P. Dalton, Mrs. A. D. Lee, Mrs. A. R. Politte, De S. S. McKenney, Miss J. Imogene Howard, Mrs. C. Maxwell, Mrs. C. Joseph. Newly elected, Mrs. C. H. Attwell, Mrs. E. E Greene, Mrs. W. E Gross, Miss Anna Brooks, Clerk.

Present membership upwards of 150. One article taken from their constitution will suffice as to information concerning organization object etc.

Preamble, “We the Undersigned, desirous of doing our duty in this ouronr [sic] day and generation, believing that if one life shines the next one to it will catch the light.

Object,–The object of The Woman’s Loyal Union, shall be the diffusion of accurate and extensive information relative to the civil and social status of the Afro-American (i.e.)that they may be led to an intelligent assertion of their rights, and to a determination to unite in the employment of every lawful and judicious means to secure and to retain the unmolested exercise of the same.

2nd. That the attention of conscientious, conservative, thinking people at large may be directed to the injustice of a practical denial to any class of citizens of that personal liberty and opportunity for happiness which is the unalienable perogative [sic] prerogative of every human being.”

Washington Letter.

Helen A. Cook

The Washington Colored Woman’s League was organized in ’92. Its officers are Mrs. H.A. Cook, president, Mrs. J.B. Bruce, and S.I. Fleetwood, vice-presidents, Mrs. C.L. Gruinke, recording secretary, Mrs. A.J. Cooper, corresponding secretary, Mrs. F.D. Shaw, treasurer, and the Board of Managers, Mrs. J.P. Bailey and Mrs. C. Terrell, Misses M.J. Patterson, M. L. Jordan, and C.L. Franklin.

This League has just issued its first annual report which cannot but prove interesting reading to ALL women. The club has reason to feel proud of its record and it is with pleasure that we make selections from the report by its President.

The object of the Woman’s League as outlined in the Articles of Incorporation, is “the education and improvement of colored women and the promotion of their interests.” It was conceived that this improvement must proceed on two general lines; the training of the mind and of the hand; the formation of classes for educational and for industrial work; and the first essential was a place in which this work might be carried on. It was therefore proposed that a stock company be formed with not less than a thousand shares at five dollars per share. Also, that each member of the League should be requested to take five shares of stock (amounting to twenty-five dollars) only one of which would be paid for each year.

This plan has been followed, with the result that 380 shares, equal in value to $1900 have been subscribed for. As only one-fifth of the whole amount is to be paid each year, only one fifth of the $1,900 will be immediately available. To this sum, however, must be added, $35, the price of 7 single shares of stock at $5 each, making $415.

But this house, the property of the League especially adapted to its purposes, is still a thing of the future. Until it becomes an actual and substantial possession, the educational and industrial work before referred to must be carried on by some other means. To this end classes, which meet in the parlors of the Y. M. C. A., have been formed in German grammar and reading, in German conversation, in English Literature, and in Hygiene. Though they have assembled only a few times, they have been well attended, the largest class numbering twenty-one. In each one there has been such evidence of interest, even enthusiasm, as to make the meetings a real pleasure to the committee which has the work in hand.

A series of three lectures, for the benefit of the girls of the High and Normal Schools and of the Eighth grade schools were offered by the Woman’s League to the Trustees of the Public Schools and accepted. The first of the course, on Hygiene, by Dr. Julia R. Hall, and the second on Physical Culture, by Miss Mary P. Evans were delivered on the 12th and 26th of the present month. The third and last paper, on Dress, was read by Miss Elizabeth A. Cook on Friday, February 9th.

Another endeavor in the line of mental training is the promised payment of half the salary ($10 per month) of a lady who is to be employed as a Kindergartner by the University Park Association.

In the direction of Industrial Work I must first state that the League has two representatives in the Nurses’ Training school, recently established in connection with the Medical Department of Howard University, that is to say, the League has paid the tuition fee of five dollars each. When the idea was first presented of including in our industrial efforts so admirable a feature as the instruction of trained nurses, the lectures at the Medical School had been in progress for some weeks and it was necessary for us to take our representatives from the classes already formed.

The Industrial Association formed in 1884, nearly all of whose members were also members of the League, decided in June, to continue their work as a committee of the Woman’s League. They accordingly gave up their separate organization, turning into the treasury of the League, $50 in money, and furniture valued at $35, with the stipulation that they might at any time give public entertainments or make any special effort to raise money for carrying on their special work.

They are now engaged in a sewing school consisting of 88 pupils and 10 teachers. The directress is it lady whose knowledge and experience enable her to pursue the best methods of instruction. The Industrial Committee have also established in connection with the Sewing School a Mending Bureau by which they hope to accomplish several objects–to train the older girls in all kinds of repairing and mending, to keep up their interest by paying them a small sum for their work and to so manage the enterprise that after all expenses are paid, there will still be something left to provide material for the use of the school.

To conclude, the Woman’s League now has in progress:

The purchase of a house and lot toward which $1,935 have been subscribed;

A course of lectures delivered at the High School and at Howard University;

Classes in German, English Literature and Hygiene;

The instruction of two students in the Nurses Training School;

A Sewing School and Mending Bureau;

The payment of half the salary of a Kindergartner.

May January 1895 find at far higher degree of advancement on all these lines and new avenues of usefulness opening in other directions.

HELEN A. COOK, President.

Kansas CityCiy [sic] .

J. Silone Yates and A.H. Jones


The Kansas City League was organized in February, ’93. The constitution adopted was that drawn up by the Washington Association, although a few by-laws were added to meet the special needs of our case, as from the first we intended to make our work largely industrial in character, since in a young and rapidly growing city like our own constantly receiving an influx of various nationalities it is exceedingly necessary that the industrial avenues shall be open to our young people.

The next step, in order to inspire confidence, gain permanence and be ready for the transaction of business was to become incorporated under the laws of Missouri. This was accomplished through the legal efforts of our friend, Lawyer Sublette. Committees were appointed for various departments of the work. About the first of April one room was rented and classes in fine needle work and in the English

branches were formed, the latter class consisted of old ladies over fifty years of age, yet in spite of their years and other difficulties they learned to write their names to read etc., by spending a portion of each Saturday afternoon with their teachers.


By the first of May the league was financially able to move into larger quarters, four rooms were rented in a very pleasant, respectable quarter and tastily furnished through the co-operation of the league and the Attucks Club, the latter composed of gentlemen who represent the moral and intellectual bone and sinew of our city.

During the month of May a dress-making department was added to the regular work of the league and it has been in operation ever since. We hope to add millinery, hairdressing and other industries as soon as practical. For the dressmaking department we purchased two sewing machines; aside from regular dressmaking we buy from the wholesale stores bails of gingham, white goods etc., to be made up into aprons, dresses, skirts waists, etc., by members, and these articles are sold at regular prices. By buying a little better grade of material than is usually given in the stores we create a demand for goods. During the summer months the ladies made the rent money, payments upon the machines, and other expenses in this manner and by selling ice cream and cake at the rooms.

At stated times during the winter months coffee, sandwiches and oysters will be sold and at intervals entertainments will be given. We desire as soon as possible to buy a piece of property and conduct a regular industrial school, ladies exchange, and other matters we have in mind. It will require at least five hundred dollars cash to make even a beginning of purchasing and when we found that it would require some time to raise this amount among ourselves and that meanwhile we would in practise be as far from saving our girls as ever, we determined to make a beginning in rented property and if possible by results impress the public with the idea that such an association as ours was a necessity to the city.

We are especially anxious to better the condition of women and girls, yet the first charitable work done by the league, and at its second meeting, was to collect money from the members to assist in sending an invalid boy to his home in the South.

A colored woman was sentenced to be hung in Kansas City in June ’93; having made a very thorough investigation of the entire case we were fully persuaded that Justice to the woman and above all to the womanhood of our race demanded that the sentence should at least be commuted to life imprisonment. We drew up and circulated a petition to this effect which was signed by a large number of the most prominent men and women of both races; from these parties nearly one hundred dollars was collected to defray the expense attending such an effort. The petition was taken to the Governor of the state by a worthy representative from the U. T. C. N. and the president of our league with the result that the sentenct [sic] sentence was commuted to a term of fifty years, although the death had already been set over the unfortunate woman.

Several girls who have found themselves friendless and alone in our city have been provided for in our rooms until they could obtain employment. An orphan thought the agency of our society sent to a good home out of the city.

Notice was brought to us of a blind woman whose little girls were in need of clothing. They were fitted out with gingham dresses and we intend to see that they are properly clothed for school during the winter and as much longer as is necessary.

These are a few of the things accomplished thus far. We are very far from the results we wish so earnestly to bring ,about but we hope that to some extent we occupy a niche in the community. In addition to the regular meetings we have a Junior Society composed of young girls from fourteen years on through the average school age. This forms an auxiliary to the regular league and meets monthly. A mother’s meeting also forms a part of the work, at which time, practical talks upon the rearing of children, housekeeping, homemaking etc., form the basis.

J. SILONE YATES, President,

A. H. JONES, Cor. Secretary.

New Bedford,

Ida V. Lee


After the organization of the Women’s Loyal Union, the idea of forming clubs among women began to grow in the minds of the women in other sections. Not least among them were the Women of New Bedford. Mrs. J. T. Fairfax and Mrs. Martha Webb were among those most zealous that Miss Wells should be heard in our city. They secured one hundred women to agree to labor earnestly and give Miss Wells an opportunity to lay her wrongs and those of our race before the people here. Miss Wells lectured in this city on the sixth of February and for that night’s work those one hundred women pledged themselves to make what was then the Wells Circle a permanent organization. About April the Wells Circle became an established club with a membership of about twenty. Matters pertaining to our race in any way were discussed at each monthly meeting. Finally it was thought best to engage in more active work, and in July the name was changed to the Woman’s Loyal Union. It was at the July meeting that each member agreed to bring as many names as she could secure toward forming a committee of one hundred or more who would pledge themselves to trade with the dry goods dealer employing a colored girl. Three or four important stores were visited. The result seemed then rather encouraging. One proprietor refused to do anything whatsoever for a colored girl, the second would give no direct answer either way but said if he had a place for an inexperienced girl, he would employ a colored girl. The third promised, after three days consideration, to employ a colored girl as soon as a place was found. That was three months ago, and yet new faces appear behind the counters of these stores. Since that time (last November), the monthly meetings have been poorly-attended, and all interest seems to have become dormant, except in the minds of eight or ten women. It is sincerely hoped that something can be done soon to arouse our women to the need of their measuring arms with the women of other sister cities.

IDA V. LEE, Secretary.


It should strengthen and inspire the anxious to remember that in all advance movements, until the cause becomes a popular one, the burden is borne by the faithful few.



This is a flourishing organization of women which has been in existence three years.

President, Mrs. E. Lewis; Vice President, Mrs. M. Walker; Treasurer, Mrs. H. Creighton; Secretary, Mrs. H. M. Greene.

Lodge of Good Templars.

Annie G. Brown

There is a Lodge of Good Templars formed and governed entirely by women which has been in existence for many years, and has done great good in the community where it exists, and the cause of temperance has no firmer or more powerful friends to-day than these women.

“Sisters! can you idly slumber
While this curse of drink goes on,
Can you calmly sit and number
Fellow beings, one by one,
On the field of battle falling,
Sinking to a drunkard’s grave?
Up! the God of Peace is calling,
Calling you to help and save.”



Club Motto-“Help to make the world better.”

To give the general public an idea of the aim and design of this club an account of its public meeting held last Spring has been inserted. This excellent report was published by the Boston Reflector and we feel sure that it will prove interesting reading to sister clubs already formed and in embryo; remarks from so many notable club women will be read with interest, we have no doubt.

Since this meeting, the club has grown to a membership of one hundred and four and has greatly enlarged its field of work. The chief feature of the club is its division into committees. These committees are formed to include every member of the club and are as follows–Ways and Means–matters pertaining to race, Domestic Science, Civics Literature, Philanthropy, Temperance, Current Events, Moral Reform, Press and Corative.

Every other meeting of the club is in the hands of some one of these committees, which provide suitable subjects for discussion.

As will he seen, the work of the club generally is chiefly educational, though each committee carries on practical work along its own line, with or without the active co-operation of the club. The Ways and Means Committee with the assistance of the whole club has just raised a scholarship for Atlanta University and the Domestic Science Committee has under consideration the agitation of more industrial training in certain of the public schools. The Committee on Civics is also preparing for a large meeting for the discussion of the civilization of Africa.

Mrs. Josephine Ruffin presided, and in a few well chosen words introduced Mrs. LAURA ORMISTON CHANT of England. She assured the audience that if there is not a soul at the back of service one becomes a mere machine to one’s children. Clubs make women read and think in order that they may not sit like idiots when some bright paper is being read.

A great deal of the advice given to women about their staying at home, she said, is wrong altogether, for if a woman stays at home too much she will forget how to manage that home. At the club she will get new ideas from other women of how to live and manage her home, and great help in training her children, and to gain experience in various domestic trials. Women’s clubs are educators of mothers and women who have not homes.

Not all women are intended for mothers. Some of us have not the temperament for family life. ‘Tis a parody on love to try to love those near you.

Clubs will make women think seriously of their future lives, and not make girls think their only alternative is to marry. Clubs are great playgrounds for losing worry. A club teaches women to forget little cares and learn to discuss great things. Mutual admiration societies are better than scandal.

MRS. FLORIDA RIDLEY, secretary of the club, read the following report:
The idea of a Woman’s Club, not necessarily a colored woman’s club, but a club started and led by colored women had been dormant in the minds of a few women of Boston for some time. Of women’s clubs there seem to be no end, and the field for women’s work in this direction so completely covered as to leave little room for a new struggler. And yet with so many organizations, many of which were willing and anxious to receive colored women as members, there seem to be reason and indeed an earnest call for an organization of colored women. There are so many questions which in their application to the race, demand special treatment, so many questions which, as colored women, we are called upon to answer, more than this, there was so much danger that numbers of women would be over-looked unless some special appeal was made to them, that in February last, at the time Miss Wells was creating so much interest in her crusade against lynch-law, it was it a good time to carry out the club’s idea, call the women together and organize, not for race-work alone, but for work along all the lines that make for women’s progress. The result was that a club was formed with a membership of twenty, which has been more than doubled since that-time.

The actual work done by the club since its formation is small but most promising. Much of the time has been spent in getting into working order and in arousing interest. One practical effort, put forth by the club, however, has met with unexpected success. At the time of the Denmark lynching, it was thought and decided that we as colored women could not afford to overlook an event of such significance, we concluded to record a protest which should demand a little more attention than the usual form of resolutions, the result was that the leaflets were printed and sent in every direction. The responses that they have brought forth have been unexpectedly numerous and encouraging. More than one person has acknowledged that these leaflets have aroused them to a consideration of the subject, and more than one person of influence has announced their intention of doing something towards awakening public sentiment. Large demands for the leaflets have, been made, two hundred being called for at one time and a postal note being received from St. Louis calling for as many as could be spared.

This reception of the leaflets has revealed to the club a line of work which has been little used and which the club can incorporate with its other work with advantage. This is the publication and circulation of matter that refers especially to the race, not alone, but also such matter as shall be for the advancement and encouragement of the race, and to quote from our constitution “to collect all facts obtainable, showing the moral, intellectual, industrial and social growth, and attainment of our-people.”

To this end the club has under c [tape repair – 7] tion the publication of the answer, [tape repair – ] Ingalls on the Negro question by M [tape repair – 7] Deitrict and the stand taken by [tape repair – 7] College and Massachusetts legislature [tape repair – 7] Lewis affair. The receipt of leaflets [tape repair – 7] subjects such as the above among the [tape repair – 7] people generally South and West cou [tape repair – 7] but be a welcome and hope-ispiring [sic] inspiring feature. “Another line of work of the club is the discussion of current topics. It is not our desire to narrow ourselves to race work, however necessary it is that such work should be done and particularly by colored women. It cannot but be admitted that we, as a race, have too frequently limited ourselves to this field with the result of contracting our vision, enfeebling our impluses [sic] impulses and weakening our powers. We the women of the WOMEN’S ERA CLUB enter the field to work hand in hand with women, generally for humanity and humanity’s interests, not the Negro alone but the Chinese, the Hawaiian. the Russian Jew, the oppressed everywhere as subjects for our consideration, not the needs of the colored women, but woman everywhere are our interest.

The club now numbers forty-five, it is hoped to make it three times as large and to that end we invite all eligible women, black or white who are in sympathy with our cause to unite with us.

MRS. LUCY STONE BLACKWELL spoke of the afternoon devoted to colored people, by one of the congresses at the Chicago Fair. At the congress she saw Mrs. Harper of Philadelphia, and another colored lady. It was grand to hear Mrs. Harper address that body of representatives from all parts of the world. Hon. Fred Douglass was there, and was asked to address the meeting.

Mrs. Blackwell pathetically described how the venerable gentleman was chocked [sic] choked with emotion to

see that he lived to witness the day when one of his sisters could address such an august body. Mrs. Blackwell cursorily viewed the life of Hon. Fred Douglass, and said that he was a pattern.


MRS. EDNA D CHENEY, next spoke. She said she would speak especially to the ladies of the Women’s Era Club.

The New England Club asked her to bring their congratulations to the members of the Women’s Era Club. Mrs. Cheney thought before coming, that it would be well to bring a few ideas as to the lines which the club should follow, but having heard the report from the secretary of the Women’s Era Club she thought that they could teach her in the art of managing clubs.

Mrs. Cheney also complimented the new club on the broad stand which it takes, stating, that it was the way to secure union. She referred to the elm tree, how it grew until its branches finally formed an arch, a great touch of the Cathedral. Mrs. Cheney was especially pleased to find that the club set no barrier. We are to have a great composite civilization in America.

At the formation of many new clubs which Mrs. Cheney attended she was asked whether it would be right to leave politics and religion out. She replied emphatically no. It is there they are to learn and discuss such questions broadly, and they ought to find no better subjects to help them. It is such thought that is absolutely necessary, and puts one in nigh estimation, and enables one to cope with the questions of the day. Charles Sumner was able to do what he did by long training.

MRS. ABBY MORTON DIAZ ex-president of the Woman’s Industrial and Educational Union, was the next lady who addressed the meeting. Mrs. Diaz spoke on the philosophy of life. She said there is no subject of more importance to the human being than the subject of humanity. The highest question of human beings is the object of humanity. It is customary with calculators to determine life by the amount of work done for the sustainance [sic] sustenance of the body. But this was only animal. To enjoy thought in its highest anges [sic] ranges?, music, art or any such hing [sic] thing is the highest of life. Mrs. Diaz holds that men’s clubs should be on such basis; thought is the ideal.

Go to these gatherings, and one will be able to get practical knowledge. She showed that in everything the feminine and masculine made the whole sphere. One without the other was incomplete. So to make the whole element was to join the two. Then people coming together is religion. The more we do this, the more religious we are. This is why Mrs. Diaz is in favor of this new club. Thought is the great leveller. When we get on the plain of intelligence, we are better together.

MRS. A. H. SPAULDING, who was the next speaker was thoroughly in sympathy with the WOMEN’S ERA CLUB. Many years ago it was with great difficulty that she could join a club. The influence that was exercised over men in their clubs was anything but what it should be; and drawing conclusions of clubs from these, she objected to them. But Mrs. Spaulding found out that women’s clubs took a different line. The WOMAN’S ERA CLUB is a happy arrangement, and what they need is the consideration of great questions together. Women must learn to think independently.

Mrs. Spaulding said that she was glad to welcome the club into Boston club-life; glad to hear from the secretary’s report such a broad and generous platform of principles. She said that she was thoroughly indignant at the injustice done a people whose only revenge was efforts to a higher education and a better equipment for the duties and responsibilities of a higher American citizenship.

The Primrose Club.

The Primrose Club consists of young women associated together under the auspices of St. Augustine’s Church, Phillips street, Boston, for mutual improvement. There are at present twenty members, and classes are held for physical culture, embroidery, drawing and sketching in water colors. The teachers in each department are ladies of the greatest skill, and the club has been found to be of great service to the members. Occasional social entertaiments are given by the members in the Hall of St. Augustine’s Trade Schools, where the meetings will be held in future.

United Daughters of Zion.

On November the 5tb, 1845, a number of women formed an association for the benefit of each other. It was officered and controlled entirely by women, and emblazoned on its banner were these words: “No Gentlemen Need Apply.

The organization is carried on to-day by some of descendents of those independent women, who have long since joined the silent majority. The society is known as The United Daughters of Zion.


Adelaide Grandison


Having with great pleasure read your prospectus, the Golden Rule Club of Cambridge heartily endorse the ideas set forth and wish you every success in your laudable undertaking, and hope your publication will live to be a powerful factor in the elevation of both the women and men of the race.

The Golden Rule Club is an organization composed entirely of colored women, and was organized for social and benevolent purposes in the year 1883. As an organization we believe in a modest way we have been the means of accomplishing some good. We held. monthly meetings at the residence of one of the members to transact our business.

Mrs. Henry Lewis was the first president, and under her able administration the club gained in membership and finances. During the eleven years that have passed there have been some changes in the club, but the majority of the original members are still working faithfully.

The club has a strong, firm footing in Cambridge and the members intend to keep it and to live up to their motto, “The “Golden Rule.”

Once more wishing your paper every success and progress, we remain,
Yours in behalf of the Golden Rule Club,


17 Hovey Ave., Cambridge.

Providence, R. I.


This club was organized in January, 1888. It is unique in design, and in its six years of life has grown in numbers and accumulated money. Besides being a [sic] beneficiarybenificiary society, it loans money on security, and has been able to invest in real estate. It now owns two lots of land that it intends in future to build upon. The officers are–

President, Hannah N. Greene; Vice President, Martha R. Taylor; Secretary, Sarah D. Haines; Banking Officers, Sophia Walker, Georgia T. Brown, Maria R. Blunt; Treasurer, Saphronia, A. Jenkins.

Domestic Science.


As the homes are so will the nation be, for the nation is nothing more than a collection of what is produced in the homes. The as it is oftener called, domestic science, is thus the very key-stone of the political arch. A civilized home may be fitly compared to a greenhouse in which are to be grown the choicest products of the people and over whose management the mother [tape repair – 24] chief g [tape repair – 24] ducts [tape repair – 24] be ignorant, indifferent, or incompetent in the performance of her duties. So broad is the knowledge, so varied the skill, so incessant the performances demanded of her by her office that any woman might well tremble before her responsibilities. She must not only know how to keep her own health but how to foster and preserve the health of others, and this means that she must understand what is most wholesome to eat and drink and how food and beverage may be made most appetizing. Health for the whole household also demands that the housekeeper shall know the evil effects of dust-catching carpets, draperies, and stuffed furniture in small, crowded city apartments, as the comfort of the whole household likewise depends on her not filling the dwelling with more than can be easily cared for and kept in exquisite cleanliness. She must understand what constitutes the best bedding from the standpoint of durability, comfort and healthfulness, for as a third of every human life is spent in sleep, the sleeping-place is a matter deserving profound consideration. She must understand something of plumbing, of drainage, of heating, lighting and ventilation, for the germs of fevers and diphtheria lurk in bad plumbing and bad drainage, catarrhs and consumption are born of over-heated ill-lighted, and unventilated houses and all bodily and mental weaknesses may be traced to ignorance of the science of sound living. But not yet have we come to the end of the list of the good housewife’s requirements. She must comprehend not only what food should be eaten in order to have the best nourishment at the least expense, but how to buy it, and how to cook it, for she may impoverish her family by ignorant purchasing, and even should she not have to cook it herself, she can never be sure of having food well-cooked unless she herself understands what good cooking is according to scientific principles. And she must also know everything possible to know about kitchen fuel, unless [tape repair – 14] the family earning [tape repair – 104] in buying every article that comes into the household, that by her wise investments she shall save time that would otherwise be wasted in constant shopping, save time in making garments of durable, instead of flimsy, perishable material, and save money in buying what is really good and lasting of its kind instead of what only makes a good show for a brief season. But though the housewife starts out on her career equipped with all knowledge as to fuel, food, drink, furnishings, clothing, drainage, plumbing, heating, lighting, and ventilation, not even yet has she learned the full course requisite for wise home-making. All this is but a preparation of the soil for the plants that are to be grown in one of the nation’s private gardens. The wisdom needed to tend the plants themselves–the little children, who arc to be reared not only in health, knowledge, and industry, but in happiness (for happiness in a home is as essential as any other good feature), what preparation can too well fit a mother for this branch of domestic science? The mother thoroughly trained in domestic science will have learned all that the experience of other parents has collected and recorded in those cyclopaedias of childhood known as Babyhood, the Mothers’ Nursery Guide, and so on, edited by wise teachers and physicians, she will have carefully studied the principles of kindergarten culture. She will steer safely between the dangers of over-indulgence on the one hand and over-severity on the other, and until each little human plant has gained a firm start in life, a wise domestic scientist will make its welfare her highest consideration.

Now it must be apparent to a reflecting person that she is a rare woman, and rarely situated in life, who can even faithfully superintend, much less herself perform, as they should be performed, all that I have here sketched as the duties of a wife, mother and housekeeper in our modern civilization.

In our modern [tape repair – 100] Does the [tape repair – 8] with an independent inc [tape repair – 8] few or no children, and [tape repair – 9] or many servants, live, d [tape repair – 9] and have her being thus [tape repair – 7] without considering all the cost of imitation at once the woman with no fixed income, with many children and with no servants, strives to rival the other’s expenditure. O! the folly of the things bought, not because they are at all needed, or really for themselves wanted, but bought simply because Mrs. so-and-so has them. O! the misery of debts contracted, of money wasted simply and solely for the sake of doing what other people do.

The first result of a true training in domestic science is the gaining of courage to be one’s own self, to live one’s own life, to model one’s own home in blissful independence of the rule of that social tyrant, Mrs. Grundy, the courage to have one’s floors bare and serviceably painted, if one cannot afford a carpet in the first place, or the still greater expense of having a carpet properly and frequently renovated thereafter. The courage to have sleeping-rooms and kitchen well and comfortably furnished and equipped, even if the parlor has to wait long for any furniture whatever. Here the domestic scientist is strong. Honest comfort and health she will have first, luxury, if it come at all must wait her perfect convenience. The domestic scientist will begin her career by determining to sometime own her own home: for this she will plan, manage, and save, here a little, and there a little until her dream becomes a reality. National solmity demands ownership of indivi- [sic] individ-

ual homes. Life under another man’s roof is unstable, whether it be in a West End tenement or in a gaudy apartment on the Back Bay. There is no greater joy in material possession than the joy of the home built as a result of one’s own saving and planning.


But while so large a part of the population have to live close together in apartments, high and low, a great field lies before the domestic [tape repair – ] avor [tape repair – 30] this [tape repair – 30] good I believe to be some form of cooperation, by which a dozen housewives living under the same roof may be spared the necessity of carrying on, separately, the same branch of labor. It may not be practicable to have one stove do the work which it could do just as well as the dozen separate stoves, to have one cook with one or two; assistants, do the work which she could do just as well as twelve separate cooks; for there would be great difficulty in suiting the tastes of twelve families and in serving the food hot in twelve separate dining-rooms, and without a separate dining-room for each family the best feature of home-life is gone. But I do not see why it is not perfectly practicable among any group of friends in a neighborhood to have the laundry-work in co-operation. There are many ways in which this might be done, but when it is remembered that one fire will heat as many irons as three separate fires, that two women working together can do nearly three times the work of one woman working separately, everyone must see the actual saving in expense, to say nothing of comfort, in even the simplest method of consolidation. Men long ago learned that better work was done by division of labor. This lesson housewives will be forced to learn if they do not want to sink beneath a mountain of toil and trouble and become mere stolid, patient drudges. It is a law of nature that there is a corresponding loss for every gain, and the gain in mental culture to the inhabitants of cities has been attended by a loss in physical strength. The complexity of city life, with its incessant drain upon the mental faculties and the sympathies, render it more and more impossible each year, for the average housewife to keep in touch even with her acquaintances, to say nothing of charities, clubs and church-work, and at the same time comfortably bear the burden of domestic life as her ancestors bore it under more primitive conditions. Wisdom dictates that women, as well as men, should make machinery do such hard drudgery as that of the laundry. The woman’s club that would seize this idea and put it into practical operation would, indeed, open a new Woman’s Era. As we look around us at the waste, discomfort, even misery, arising from the ignorance which prevails over the great mass of so-called homes, it is hard to think of waiting patiently, as we must wait, while the slow, leven [sic] leaven of growing knowledge raises this mass to better living.

Editorial Notes.

Ellen Battelle Deitrick

The account of the first public meeting of the Woman’s Era Club is lengthy, but will repay reading.

It is pleasant to record a number of subscriptions on the strength of the prospectus alone. May the subscribers never have reason to regret their actions. The WOMAN’S ERA hopes to succeed on its merits.

The last public speech made by Lucy Stone in Boston was given to the Woman’s Era Club. The night of the meeting was an intensely hot one and Mrs. Stone’s strength was then on the wane but she cheerfully left her home on the breezy heights of Pope’s Hill, and came down into the hot, dusty city, to give almost her last, as were her first public services given, in the interests of the colored people.

The article on Domestic Science which appears in this number of the WOMAN’S ERA was read before the Woman’s Era Club in January and led to an interesting discussion. Mrs. Dietrick is a prolific writer and an authority on the subject of household economics. It is not too much to say that the great interest in household matters which is shown by the women of to-day, was aroused by the Women’s clubs which were the first to consider the subject scientifically.

The next number of the WOMAN’S ERA will contain an article on the N. E. Women’s Hospital by Mrs. Eduah D. Cheney. Colored women have always been in evidence at this hospital, either as nurses or internes, and it is to the keen foresight and generous cosmopolitanism of Mrs. Cheney, who as one of the founders of the hospital insisted upon no race lines, that we owe the opening up of this trained industry to the coloaed [sic] colored young women.

Mrs. W. E. Matthews (Victoria Earle) the talented president of the Woman’s Loyal Union of New York and Brooklyn, writes as follows: “I should be glad to have our Union represented in your forthcoming issue. I think with you that it (the paper,) is a positive necessity–for as the trend is toward organization among our women as among others, it will truly serve not only as a centralization of ideas, but will stimulate and encourage and revive the hopes of those now earnestly engrossed in the work of organization of women generally. I sincerely rejoice in any effort put forward for the advancement of our women. Such endorsement from such a source means much to us.

THE REFERENDUM.–much misunderstanding exists concerning the recent Supreme Court decision on the matter of the “referendum.” Evidently it is thought by many that the decision deals a death blow to woman suffrage in this State. This is not so. The court was asked to rule on the constitutionality of three points, raised by the opponents of Woman suffrage in the Massachusetts legislature, and decided that all three forms of referendum were unconstitutional, and could not therefore be submitted to a popular vote. The matter stands now just where it did before, in the hands of the legislature, which has ample power to immediately pass a law giving full municipal suffrage to women.

It would take a paper twice the size of the WOMEN’S ERA to accommodate the matter that has come in for this issue. The publishers have been more than gratified by the hearty and ready response of our women, it is indeed gratifying to come into communion with so many fair-minded women. Should the paper receive proportionate financial encouragement the publishers will be only too ready and willing to enlarge it.


A Congress of the colored women’s leagues and clubs of the Country was suggested long ago should we not be moving in the matter now? Such a convention could not but prove a delightful as well as profitable occasion; the Washington Women’s League by virtue of its superior age, size and power should be the first to move in the matter.


THE WOMAN’S ERA, the organ of the Woman’s Era Club, and devoted to the Interests of the women’s Clubs, Leagues and Societies throughout the country; published monthly in Boston.


Also a large number of Special Contributors.


  • Per Annum, – – – – – – – -$1.00
  • Single Copies, – – – – – – – -.10
  • Rates to Clubs, One Hundred Copies, – 7.00

Checks, drafts aud [sic] and post-office orders should be made payable to the Woman’s Era. All communications should be addressed to

St. Augustine’s Trade School, Boston, Mass.



Of the makers of papers there be not a few, and an additional one may seem a superfluity unless a vacant spot is found in an apparently already overgrown field.

Such a void, we think, exists, and it is to help fill it that we presume to make our first bow as editors of THE WOMAN’S ERA, to a long suffering but indulgent public. The need of such a journal has long been felt as a medium of intercourse and sympathy between the women of all races and conditions; especially true is this, of the educated and refined, among the colored women, members of which class may be found in every state from Maine to Florida, but in nearly all of these places an important factor, and one that receives little or no recognition, and the one more than all others which prevents her from making the most of herself and taking her legitamate [sic] legitimate place among the advanced women, is the limitation of – her surroundings and the circumscribed sphere in which she must move. The impossibility of mingling freely with people of culture and learning, and so carrying on the mental growth begun in schools and colleges, shuts her in with her books but shuts her out of physical touch with the great world of art, science and letters which is open to all other ambitious women. In fact the stumbling block in the way of even the most cultured colored woman is the narrowness of her environment. But let the fact be emph [tape repair – 5] that in the [tape repair – 100] a large and growing factor in the intellectual as well as industrial life of the country; and the strength of the chain of woman’s advancement will be determined by the strength of this weak link. it [sic] It is to help strengthen this link by hastening on the day when a keener appreciation of the hindrances of this class and a better understanding between all classes shall exist that this little venture is sent out on its mission.


The presence in our cities of armies of unemployed, has opened the eyes of people to a serious problem and a possible danger. During the winter months many industries are always quiet and there are always many out of employment at such times, but the season that has passed has seen more than the usual number out of work for a longer time than usual; although appeals for aid have been generously met by the charitable, yet it takes more than money for such a crisis and just how such a crisis should be met or averted .)r prevented is and will be a subject for serious consideration.

Although the problem of the unemployed is occupying the minds of earnest thinkers, yet it like the “Negro problem” seems to many laymen no problem at all. They both seem to be cases when a “judicious letting alone” would prove the solution, and which, if left to natural laws, would adjust themselves. Only give the negro an equal chance and then leave him alone to improve it, and he will come out all right. Stop coddling and make work for the unemployed and they would soon [tape repair – 4] places for themselves. It is [tape repair – 29] his that men should [tape repair – 19] otherhood [tape repair – 7] their [tape repair – 19] does mean t [tape repair – 14] much false sentiment and [tape repair – 5] charity chiefly called out by a love of notoriety.

Although there have been thousands of men and women dependent upon charity this winter, yet it is a fact that it has been just as difficult as ever to obtain farm and domestic help. Good farms everywhere are still being deserted because the men who should be tilling the soil are crowding into trades and factories that are already overflowing, and young housekeepers are still losing health and spirit because girls who would find good homes and wages in domestic service prefer to crowd shops and factories.

But, some say, since this is the case what can be done about it, we can’t make people do what they don’t want to and we can’t see them starve? No we can’t, but we need not encourage people to do the things it would be best for them not to do, oftentimes many of the women who are urged to work in the interests of working-girls’ homes and rests and clubs, etc., are women who themselves would gladly offer in their own homes a refuge for good girls and who are worn to death trying to do the work they are willing to pay to have done, and working in the interests of those who should not need to be worked for.

Labor problems, in a large measure must be left to adjust themselves “creating work” for

the unemployed can do no permanent good. Let the people understand the law of supply and demand be made to realize the hopelessness of any chance of prosperity in those trades which are already too full. Such education would be of much more value to them both morally and financially than any possible system of “aids.”


There are cases of more than one factory girl out of work who when asked to go to service have replied that they “would starve before they became servants.” There must be something wrong when such a situation is possible and if from the present distress men who should be working the earth and women who should be working in the house are led back to their proper field and are made to realize that the dignity of labor lies with the laborer entirely, the winter’s suffering will not be in vain.


None but fools seriously believe that the colored people of the United States can be colonized without their consent. Their deportation would bankrupt the government. It would require one steamer carrying a thousand souls to sail every day to deport the thousand negro babies born daily. It would simply be impossible to convert the property of the colored people, amounting in round numbers to three hundred million dollars earned by them and one seventh of all the property of the government amounting to many millions more into cash, for of course any scheme of colonization which could hope to get the consent of the civilized world would have to secure to the people removed from the country their property. What kind of a commission, composed of what kind of men can be appointed by the ingenuity of human beings wise enough to determine where Ham leaves off and Japhet begins? Who is to say what men are colored and what men are white? The colored people decline to be driven from their homes and their country. Will some sage point out the part of the constitution wherein is found the law authorizing a government to deport one seventh of the people, the citizens, the makers and owners of the government? There is some authority for apprehending and exporting or punishing the blatant demagogues political or clerical, native or alien who go about the country preaching such stuff which tends to stir up the people and lead to internal dissension and sooner or later to strife and bloodshed. It is a physical and legal impossibility to deport the colored people. It is not impossible to keep out of the country the rifraff of other countries who owe no allegiance to man or God, who are opposed to any government that compels them to work for a living and to observe and not encroach upon the rights of other men. The audacity of foreigners who flee their native land and seek refuge here, many of them criminals and traitors, who are here but a day before they join in the hue and cry against the native born citizens of this land is becoming intolerable. No government upon earth would permit it but the United States, and all the signs of the times point to a time not far off where self defence and self protection will force this government to protect its own people and to teach foreigners that this land is for Americans black or white and that other men are welcome and can come here only by behaving themselves and steering clear of plots and schemes against the people and the citizens who are here by right.



Look at our Club rates.


Splendid Premium Offers.

By special arrangement with the Boston Training School of Music, the Woman’s Era is enabled to offer the following splendid premiums which offer we venture to say is unprecedented.

READ. To the one who obtains the largest number of subfcribes [sic] subscribes, over one hundred, within the next six months we will give one year’s tuition either in voice, violin, piano or harmony and counter point at the above-named school.

For the second highest number of subscribers in the next six months we will offer a term at the Martha’s Vineyard Summer Institute for the summer of ’94, with instruction either in music, art, literature, elocution, oratory or shorthand and type-writing.

For the three children over nine years of age, first obtaining fifty subscribers for us, a year’s instruction on piano. This is for beginners.

To all contestants failing to gain the premiums we will give a commission of twenty-five per cent.

The Boston Training School of Music makes a specialty of the training of teachers of muiic [sic] music, it is a school of the highest grade and for these reasons and because this school has made no distinction on account of race, the management of this paper has selected it for its premium offers. The number of young people who come to Boston for a musical education increases yearly; through these premiums it is hoped to give a helping hand to worthy aspirants.

A course in piano, voice, violin, theory, or harmony and counter point at the finest school of its kind in the country.

For futher [sic] further particulars address the WOMEN’S ERA, St. Augustine’s Trade Schools, North Grove street, Boston, Mass.

Boston Condensed Milk Co’s

Plain condensed (unsweetened) Milk is the best known food for infants. Best article in the world for a cup of coffee. – Sold in jars at the office, 2 1-2 Park Square, Boston. Delivered three times per week.


I have used the plain condensed milk and found it worked like a miracle in transforming my weak puny baby into a strong, plump one after all other foods had failed.

10 Lindell Pl., Boston


Medora Gould

A fact greatly to be deplored is the ignorance among women of contemporary history and government. Ignorance of the past may be overlooked; but ignorance of the present is inexcusable, a]though contemporary history cannot be fully understood unless there is a knowledge of the past. This lack of knowledge among women i [tape repair – 24] read the [tape repair – 24] ,/gap> do not read [tape repair – 19] The average woman is content to read the sensational news, the fashion and the society columns, and pass over the more solid matter as uninteresting. The daily papers give a synopsis of the history of the world for the past twenty-four hours, and, if read understandingly, presents situations as startling and dramatic as are enacted on the stage at any time. It is not only necessary to know what to read, but it is also necessary to know what not to read. It is indicatative [sic] indicative of a certain want of refinement in the mind that selects the murders, scandals divorces and such matter, to the exclusion of the larger things of life. The great attraction of French women lies in the fact that they take interest in the things in which men are interested, and keep themselves thoroughly in touch with the affairs of goveinment [sic] government.

There is one room in the Boston Public Library of which very few women seem to be aware, or perhaps, wrongly suppose that it is reserved for the exclusive use of men, since it is resorted to almost en- [sic] since it is resorted to almost entirely by the sterner sex. This is the Magazine Room at the right of the Lower Hall. Women share equally in the privileges of this room, and a table is reserved for the use of women only, by way of encouragement. It is hoped that more of our women will find how restfull it is to spend a half-hour in the Magazine Room after a shopping trip down town.

An event worthy of special attention is the publication, in one volume of the entire poetical works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This is the Cambridge Edition. The workmanship of the volume is beyond criticism; the type is large and clear, and the cover i [tape repair – 8] ful in color and design. [tape repair – 24] the [tape repair – 30] n- [tape repair – 30] g- fellow’s work, and co [tape repair – 6] a biographical sketch by the editor, Mr. Horace E. Scudder. A thorough knowledge of Longfellow’s verse is part of the education of every American, and the publication of his complete poetical works in one volume is a most practical effort in the popularization of the best literature.

Harper’s Magazine for March contains an interesting contribution entitled “The New England Negro,” by Miss Jane DeForest Shelton. It treats of the time when slaves were owned extensively thoughout [sic] throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, and the period immediately following their emancipation.

Harper’s also contains an article by Dr. T. Mitchell Prudden on “Tuberculosis and its Prevention.” He makes some startling assertions in regard to the hereditary and contagious characteristics of consumption. His article will be found interesting to all who have reason to dread this disease.

Many households in which there are no children, and in which, consequently, no child’s publication is taken, deprive themselves of much valuable and interesting reading matter. It is surprising how much useful information is contained in these presumably children’s perodicalsa [sic] periodicals. For instance, even if one has outgrown the stories of the Youth’s Companion, one can never be too old to enjoy the historical sketches, or the articles on the aspects and customs of other countries. The articles on the politics of the day are written in such a clear and concise style, that they are preferable to the reading of many newspapers. And the health article is worth [tape repair – 15] ice of the paper. [tape repair – 60] Mr. Howells, now current in the Cosmopolitan, the same disgust at some of our institutions and customs, is experienced that is felt after reading Bellamy’s Looking Backward.” It is a good thing to see ourselves as others see us” once in a while, even if it is in imagination only.

MacMillan & Co. have recently published a new book by Mrs. Humphrey Ward, entitled “Marcella.” If it contains the same strong delineation of character as does “Robert Elsmere,” and “The History of David Grieve,” we predict for it great popularity. Of Mrs. Ward’s books, “David Grieve” has had the largest sale.

Dictionaries small enough to be attached to the watch-chain are now being sold. They are enclosed in little silver cases, and are said to contain all the words in common use. This is multum in parvo indeed!

“Negro Stars in All Ages;” is the title of a new book by W. H. Quick of North Carolina. The introduction is by Hon. W.P. Mabson of Texas.

A recent issue of “The Texas Illuminator,” a race paper published in San Antonio, Texas, contains a well written article urging Negoes [sic] Negroes to become share-holders in a new railroad now in process of construction in that state.

Club women will find an interesting article in “Today,” for March, by Miss Sherwood, entitled, “Women and Some Other Clubs in Washington.”


Elizabeth Johnson


With the beginning of spring comes, the feeling that many other things must be begun, and this season of looking forward possesses an anxiety fully deserving of the peacefulness of retrospection. The average housewife sees before her visions of innnmerable [sic] innumerable things to be done before summer, and usually, even before [tape repair – 6] ing the first contempl [tape repair – 18] palling di [tape repair – 120] best suited to [tape repair – 10] pression, must, before results can be achieved, be dispelled, and some sympathizing friend recommends a bottle of somebody’s “Sarsaparilla” as the most efficient means of eradicating the ills that “flesh is heir to.”

Now, while the spring bitters of our grandmothers was undoubtedly productive of wonderful results in the way of physical renovation, the average patent medicine of to-day is from nature so far removed that only in extreme cases is benefit derived. Nature is, however, kind to us, and in taking her as she is we can test her powers. Few things are so beneficial to tired and nervous dispositions as a daily draught, one hour long, of pure air and sunshine; in other words, outdoor exercise is the spring necessity. Bright, balmy mornings are in themselves an invitation to enjoy them, and opening buds, birds and scenery furnish the needed diversion-the by-path where rests is found.

Spring is a rather more favorable thus for the formation of walking clubs than fall, and an hour in the early morning say from six to seven, the most favorable time. Of course when breakfast must be prepared and household duties performed some later hour must be chosen–but the remedy has been prescribed–and the only other directions are, “Take regularly each day.”

Apropos of the early walk, a cheerful disposition is worth the cultivation. You have all heard of Dr. Joy’s Golden Specific for “the blues”–the little couplet thoroughly digested– Whenever you are feeling blue,
Something for some one else go do.

“The blues,” however, is now an obsolescent phrase, and, its cure hardly needs further comment.

In a recent journal I noticed after a somewhat lengthy exegesis on “Nervousness in Girls,” a good doctor’s suggestion for its banishment. He said the only necessity was for the child to feel that it was loved. There are few ailments productive of so great suffering and so little sympathy as unstrung nerves. Naturally a girl looks for sympathy from her mother, and it is astonishing to think how few mothers understand how to give real sympathy that can be felt. They give their time, health and means oftentimes, and while the child is blessed with external luxuries all her cares and petty grievances are kept t [sic] to herself. There is but one thing necessary. Let the mothers remember that they once passed through the same experience, and that it means only a little self abnegation to put them [tape repair – 17] thizing plane with their [tape repair – 160] of repeated [tape repair – 30] housemaker are still looking in this direction for the evolution of the problem of domestic service.

A scheme for cooperative laundry work has been talked about here and even if not carried out, the idea might serve for others. A lady who has a large and convenient laundry in her own home proposed to four or five friends that they send their laundry to her to be done by one laundress. This is a simple and practical scheme, one that can be carried out by any lady with a saving of time, fuel, money and annoyance.

The number of women (and women who dress well and beautifully, too) who want the matter of dress simplified, grows every year. Women live too largely and broadly in this time, to be bound down to every change of sleeve or skirt, besides this, sensible women will not long consent to give up at the command of unknown rulers, fashions which are sensible and comfortable. Dressing well, is becoming a terrible burden to women of small means. Amateur dressmaking will not do nowadays, fashions are changing continuously and dressmakers charges are growing slowly but certainly upward. Does the worry and strain which all but the very rich are forced to endure to “keep up” pay in the results? It is to be hoped however, that whatever the future brings us, it will let us keep blouse waists, loose outside garments and short skirts. These all have the true beauty, the beauty of appropriativeness.


Leslie Wilmot


I am to have the privielege [sic] privilege of talking to you from time to time, and a blessed privilege, I esteem it; for in this woman’s era, as Victor Hugo prophesied, woman has broken down nearly all barriers even in remote centres of the Old World’s conservatism. She is attracting attention and winning respect for her abilities everywhere so that anything that tends to widen the horizon of our girls is of inestimable benefit. I may not be able to accomplish much in this great work but if one of suggestions should prove a fruitful scource [sic] source of help to even one girl I shall feel that I have not labored in vain.

This time I want to say something to you about the reading habit. Every girl likes to read more or less but not many girls have a recognized plan of reading. Now, I do not mean by that that there should be any cast iron rule which every one, irrespective of her taste and temperament should follow. If you prefer Augusta Evans’ “St Elmo,” to Thackeray’s Pendennis (I confess to a weak ness for that much abused book) have individuality enough to say so and pray for better taste–but much of the current literature in fiction aims only to amuse and some postively [sic] positively weakens and [tape repair – 33] r future [tape repair – 33] mpanion- [tape repair – 33] nowledge [tape repair – 33] rature, a [tape repair – 33] is always [tape repair – 33] ennobling thoughts.

It is not necessary for me to warn you against reading bad books for “Immodest words admit of no defence,
A want of decency is want of sense.”

The importance of reading the best books is self evident and perhaps Emerson’s three rules may aid us in selecting the best. Frist. [sic] First. “Never read any but famed books. Second. Never read a book which is not a year old. Third. Never read anything you don’t like.”

Three good rules but rather hard to reconcile unless the last pre-supposes each and every one to have perfect taste.

A young girl came to me a few months ago with the remark, ” I want to know all about the French Revolution and the first Napoleon and I find the books I am reading on the subject so dry that I can’t get interested in them.”

“What you reading?” I inquired.

She had looked up some main facts in text books, had tried to read a life of Napoleon by some unknown author and had begun Carlyle’s French Revolution.

“Now, my dear, ” said I, “it is absolutely necessary to read Carlyle on the subject but if you find it tedious just put it aside for awhile and read something which will lead up to it.” I introduced her to Clara Mundt’s, historical novels of that period. They are not correct but they give many main facts, fine pictures of the manners of that time in an interesting way.

I recommended Abbott’s Life of Napoleon, a very narrative of the life of that great soldier; “The Tale of Two Cities ” by Charles Dickens; ” “The Life of Charlotte Corday ” and others. A few weeks ago she told me that she had not only read Carlyle’s French Revolution with absorbing interest, but various other works that I had never attempted, and her knowledge of those times was so far superior to mine that I have been adopting some of the suggestions in my own couse [sic] course of reading.

She only needed to have her mind awakened to the beauties of great works to appreciate them.

Next month, I hope to tell you of a reading class of which I am a member and what we are doing in that line.



Irene DeMortie and Marion Ridley

The WOMAN’S ERA extends Easter greeting to all its friends and subscribers.

The coming Easter Reception at Berkeley Hall has awakened considerable interest. We hear that some very smart costumes are to be worn. The committee composed of Messrs. Geo. S. Glover, Joseph Lee, Edward E. Brown, J. H. Lewis, U. A. Ridley, W. H. Washington, and Chas. L. Smith, guarantee that all anticipations of a good time will be fully realized.

Mrs. Belle Mitchell and her daughter Miss Bessie, who came up especially for the Grand Opera, were suddenly called home in the midst of the musical season, by the sad death of Mrs. Douglass of Now Bedford.

Mrs. Edward B. Jourdain has moved to New Bedford.

Invitations are out for an Easter party to be given under the auspices of the Cambridge Dancing Class. We need no further assurance that it will be an enjoyable affair, than the fact that it is given under the management of Mrs. G. W. Lewis and Miss F. M. Clary.

Miss Annie Hemmings is expected home from Vassar, Friday to spend her Easter vacation.

Miss Alice Smith of Newport, R. I., and Miss Bessie Mitchell of New Bedford are coming up for the Easter party.

Dr. J. Francis Smith of New York intends spending one or two days in Boston at Easter.

Mrs. Robert Terrell of Washington gave a very charming reception last week for Mrs. Joseph Lee of Auburndale, who is paying Washington a short visit.

Miss Nina Pinchback, the daughter of ex-Gov. P. B. S. Pinchback, now residing in Washington, is to be married to Col. Toomey of Baltimore on Thursday March 29th. The wedding, is to be private, but a reception is to be given to the bride and groom.

It is whispered in and around Washington, that one of its sweetest and most popular young ladies, who by the way is a school teacher, has recently become engaged to a prosperous young druggist.

Engagements and weddings seem to be quite the order of the day; and June seems to be the favored month for the consummation of plighted troths.

It is rumored that another Washington lady is to wed a promient [sic] prominent Boston lawyer in June.

Mr. Joseph Douglass, violiniut, is in town for a short time.

New York is not behind Washington or Boston in this respect. The engagement is announced of Miss Emily Ray, cousin of Mrs. O. M. Waller to Mr. Frank P. Downing.

We also hear of two engagements from Philadelphia: that of Miss Bessie Abele to Mr. Frank Cook of Washington, and her sister Miss Dottie Abele to Mr. Charles Cook.

By the way, a number of very recherche teas have been given during the winter by a club of Boston’s society girls, composed of Misses Georgine Glover, Annie Hare, Maud Cuney, Libbie Watson, Louisa Lewis and Lillian A. Lewis. Thus far, they have been entertained by Misses Maud Cuney, Libbie Watson and Georgine Glover.

Miss Lillian A. Lewis, of the Boston Herald, has moved from Westminister to Myrtle Street.

Mr. J. Percy Bond, after having enjoyed town life for five or six years, is now living with his father at Readville.

Mr. W. Appo Johnson and Mr. Charles Richardson have moved from the Back Bay to the West End and are now at 11 Myrtle street.

One of Boston’s popular young men whom the girls have dubbed “Lord Chumley” met with a little experience not long ago, which would have resulted rather disastrously to the perpetrators of the joke, had not the gentleman in question been of an even and tranquil temperament. “Lord Chumley” who prides -himself on his exumberant [sic] exuberant growth of hair, which by the way was quite becoming, was waylaid by several of his fun-loving friends the other night, and one side of head shorn of its glossy ringlets. This tragedy was enacted in a well known gentleman’s furnishing store on Dartmouth street, and the victim was firmly held in a chair by several of his friends while another deprived him of his curls despite his entreaties, struggles and threats of revenge. He is now consoling himself with the thought that it will see grow out, again, as everything comes to him who waits.

Mme. Sisseretta Jones, who sang for Mme Melda at the latter’s rooms in the Hotel Savoy, New York, is going to Paris to complete her musical education. This was brought about by the advice of Mme Melba who offered to sing at a benefit to defray the expenses of a course of study in Paris.

Miss Ednorah Nahar is spending a few weeks in Boston. She contemplates going abroad in the Fall.

Mr. J. C. Benjamin of Norwich, is confined to his house by illness.

A Japanese Tea, for the benefit of St. Monica’s Home for Sick Colored Women, is is to be given Easter Tuesday night in the Guild Room of the Advent. The cause is a most worthy one, and should be well attended.

Rev. O. M. Waller, rector of St. Thomas’, Philadelphia, and former assistant rector of St. Phillips P. E. Chuch [sic] Church, New York, assisted in services at the latter church, Bishop Potter officiated.

Mr. Oscar L. Mithell is to be ordained shortly at St. Augustine’s. He is at [sic] attending the Thelogical [sic] Theological School at Cambridge.

At the last confirmation at Trinity Church a new and beautiful feature introduced was the giving of flowers with the confirmation certificate to each candidate. The beautiful font was filled with long-stemmed Catherine Mermet roses which, after the services were over Dr. Donald distributed to each of his new members. Mrs. J. H. Lewis, her young daughter, Mary, and her sister, Miss Melvin were members of the large class confirmed.

The amateur theatricals which were to be given during the Easter holidays are postponed to allow “center-rush” Lewis of the Harvard foot-ball team, one of the actors, time to have his nose mended. Mr. Lewis came from Amherst to Harvard covered with honors won on both athletic and intellectual fields there, and will always carry some of the distinguishing marks of a successful college career–in the athletic department. Fortunately his intelectual [sic] intellectual gifts and splendid voice have made him as fine an orator as athlete.

The next annual convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association will be held in Atlanta, Ga. This is a departure and proceedings will be watched with interest. Miss Ida B. Wells speaks of it and of an incident connected with the recent convention at Washington as follows:

Of course the colored woman suffragist won’t be in it at all in that prejudiced town, it’s bad enough in Washington, but tthee [sic] there they can speak out in meeting and rsitn [sic] sit in the body of the hall with other deleigaes [sic] delegates. But colored Washington is agog over treatment accorded Mrs. A. J. Cooper last week. She was sent as a committee of one to invite Rev. Anna Shaw to address the Colored Woman’s League. This lady was at the Riggs House and Mrs. Cooper went to the elevator to go up to the ladies’ room; the elevator boy refused to allow her to enter, stating that orders had been given to permit no colored person to go up in the elevators. Mrs. Cooper sent Rev. Shaw a note explaining the situation and that lady came flying down to see her, expressing her righteous indignation, but that did not change the rules of the house. To a Chicagoan (?) the whole thing is such a ridiculous farce. Mrs. Cooper had, less than a year ago been thrown out of a waiting room in North Carolina, but one doesn’t always expect such things under the dome of the Capitol.


Dr. Dvorak, one of the greatest of living composers, and the head of the National Conservatory of America in New York, is so enthusiastic about the future of the Negro in music that in addition to having composed a symphony entitled The “New World,” founded on negro melodies, he has organized a class of colored students in vocal music.

This class has been a pleasant surprise to him, as it has developed some excellent voices, and Dr. Dovarak [sic] Dvorak has declared that colored people will produce great singers in the future.

A free scholarship is offered to young colored musicians of exceptional talent by the National Conservatory of America, and wherever abides budding talent of more than ordinary promise there is an eligible candidate and an application for free tuition should be made.

The Grand Opera has come and gone, leaving in its train delightful memories of enchanting music rendered by such artists as Melba, Calve, Nordica, Eames, [tape repair – 1] chalchi, the Des Reakes, Plancon, La- [tape repair – 2] lle and De Lucia.

Madam Melba steadily grew in favor with the Bostonians who although enthusiastic over her from the first were wildly demonstrative over her before the season ended.

Madam Melba received over twenty recalls in her final appearance in “Faust,” and her admirers were only satisfied when she rendered “Home, Sweet Home” with all the simplicity of greatness.

Miss Laura Robeason, of St. Paul, Minn., Miss Hattie Dabney, of Richmond, Va., and Miss Florence Johnson, of Brooklyn, N. Y., are among the students now persuing [sic] pursuing courses in music in Boston. Miss Boberson is at the Boston Training School of Music, and will graduate this year. Misses Cuney and Johnson are at the N. E. Conservatory, and Miss Dabney is a pupil of Mr. Samuel Jamieson.

The next concert of the Wage Earners series by the St. Cecilia will take place the first part of May in Music Hall.

The program will he made up of miscellaneous numbers which are always popular. The price of tickets are 15 and 25 cents. Tickets may be obtained by applying or sending mail order with cash to the Musical Department of this paper not later than ten days previous to the concert.


At a recent meeting of the Woman’s Era Club, Miss Eliza Gardener was unanimously elected to the position of chaplain.


Our Boston women are well represented in many of the numerous avenues now open to women; we have a fairly good number of public school teachers, several professional singers and teachers of music, a small army of type-writers, a few newspaper women, besides book keepers, sales girls, compositors, dress makers manicurists and hairdresses.

The number of young people who choose music for a specialty is quite marked. When are we to reckon among us artists, architects and designers ? The two latter fields seem to be entirely untried with the necessary number of girls who have leisure and means to make a choice of professions, it is strange that none have been led in this way.

It is a recognized fact now that women should indulge and pursue special bent or cultivate a peculiar power as do the men. We now have conspicuous examples of rich women who finding themselves possessed of certain abilities have felt justified in exercising those traits for money returns. Mrs. Montgomery Sears accepts orders for portrait painting. Mrs. Apthrop superintends the decorating and furnishing of interiors.

Such women have been severly [sic] severely criticised for entering the field against poor women but why should not everyone have the privilege of working? and why should we condemn a rich woman the industry that we commend in rich men?




Special Object:



Voice Culture, Piano, Organ, Violin, Guitar, Mandolin, Etc.
Orchestral Instruments, Theory and Composition.







Summer School of Music





Four hundred to seven hundred students, each season. Lessons in Piano, (practice Clavier Method), Singing, Harmony, Counterpoint and Musical Composition.

Regular course in Literature, Science and Art.

A strong Faculty of Eminent Teachers.

Director, Boston Training School of Music,


Eva Lewis


The smallest event can sometimes jar the domestic peace and produce discords so that weeks and even months fail to restore the usual harmony in many households.

In this case the wind was to blame, not Mr. Brougham not Miss Myrtle but the wind. What business had it to blow so violently? It was but natural that Mr. Brougham having a cold should draw out that handkerchief, and how could Miss Myrtle’s plants get air if she did not open the dining room window.

So at ten minutes past eight, Mr. Brougham, passing Miss Myrtle’s cottage, drew out his hankerchief, as we have said before; of cousre [sic] course he should have been more careful for that very morning, Mrs. Brougham had given him the handkerchief with his initials worked with her own hair, it being the anniversary of their wedding day. Though Mr. Brougham, who was never romantic and whom six years of married life had rendered less so would have preferred something more substantial, still he had thanked Mrs. Brougham and was now about to use, well, he was just taking the handkerchief from his left breast pocket, (to please Mrs. B, he had put it in his left breast pocket, although he had much rather put his cigar there because it would be handy, but as the pocket in question was right over his heart and as it was the anniversary of his wedding day, it became him to discommode himself a little, at least until he was out of sight). But we must go back to the wind. This mischievous, naughty wind seeing the handkerchief in Mr. Brougham’s hand and Miss Myrtle’s window open thought what fun it would be to snatch the article from its owner’s hand and waft it into the window. Oh, what a mischievous wind it was! No sooner thought than done and a second later, Mr. Brougham stood looking thoughtfully in every direction while the handkerchief lay thoughtlessly on the dining room floor.

“Great Powers! what a wind,” said Mr. Brougham I must confess that he used a much stronger term, but I am not versed in the orthography of it. Mr. Brongham [sic] Brougham buttoned up his coat and continued his walk, and his nephew, who lived opposite and was observing him, nearly died of laughter as he afterwards said. Not contented with the mischief it had already wrought, the wind broke off a beaut ul [sic] beautiful calla lily. Now when Miss Myrtle entered the room the first thing she saw was the lily. “O, my beautiful calla!” she exclaimed, “Could the cat have done it?” “Puss, puss,” she called but no cat appeared. Then she spied the handkerchief. “It is not mine. I wonder where it came from,” she murmured. And then she said, “Oh, the wind most likely.” Tossing the handkerchief on the table, she closed the window.

At half past ten, precisely, Mrs. Grant stepped in to see Miss Myrtle. Now, Mrs. Grant had two faults–she loved to talk and she always saw the worst side of human nature. After telling Miss Myrtle that she could not take off her bonnet; that she had only dropped in to borrow some knitting needles; that her plum preserves were probably boiling over on the stove at home; that Tom Crane had cut his hand; that Lena Smith was flirting dreadfully with the Baptist minister; that Samuel Cole’s son had been robbing the Skimps’ orchard and would surely be hung some day, and that if he were her boy she would manage him better, she rose to depart and as she neared the door saw the handkerchief. Now; Mrs. Grant had been at Mrs. Brougham’s the eveing [sic] evening before, admiring the same handkerchief and then Mrs. Brougham’s hair had a peculiar color. When she was young, her admirers called it auburn, golden and other names, but her brothers (who tell the truth like relatives?) said that Maria had the queerest kind of red hair that they had ever seen.

At any rate, Mrs. Grant saw the hankerchief and recognized it at once. Hurrying home, she rescued her plum preserves from instant destruction and putting her dinner on, started for Mrs. Brougham’s. She ran into the house all out of breath. “Why, what is the matter?” inquired Mrs. Brougham.

“Now, Maria Brougham, you and I have been friends so long that I think it would come better from me than a stranger,” cried Mrs. Grant, which considering that they had always quarrelled when schoolgirls, and had been rivals in most things ever since, this friendship seemed remarkable.

That this speech foreshadowed some bad news to herself Mrs. Brougham, well knew.

“What is it?” she asked impatiently.

“I would say nothing about it but I think you really ought to know,

“Know what?” demanded Mrs. Brougham in a sharp tone.

“Well my dear, don’t get angry. Every one has trials though I did think this would be spared you. Men will be men and even poor Grant in his lifetime–“

“Is it anything about Mr. Brougham ? ” inquired his wife.

About him! Well, you see as I was saying that we can’t expect men–“

“Sarah Grant, tell me what you have to say or hold your peace,” screamed Mrs. Brougham.

You need not be so high and mighty about it,” answered her tormentor. I saw that handkerchief you showed me last night in Miss Myrtle’s house this morning, and they do say that he prefers Miss Myrtle to his own wife.”

“Who says so?” demended [sic] demanded Mrs. Brougham.

“Everybody, but I never believed it until now. “

“I don’t believe it!” said Mrs. Brougham.

“Not believe it! You might as well tell me I am lying,” screamed Mrs. Brougham.

“I mean, perhaps, you are mistaken,” cried poor Mrs. Brougham, who felt no desire to quarrel at that moment.

“Mistaken! I would know Your hair anywhere, ” repled [sic] replied Mrs. Grant, preparing to take her departure.

(To be continued.)


In our next, we will begin a series of papers on Physical Culture and its relation to Beauty by Miss Mary P. Evans, director of Physical Training in the public schools of Washington, D. C.

All the club women you know will want the WOMEN’S ERA. Get their subscription and obtain one of our premiums.


The preparation for the Spring Carnival to be held by the WOMAN’S ERA Club the week beginning April 9th, are going forward with enthusiasm and there is every promise for success. The proceeds will go towards the Building Fund of the club.

There will be many novel and interesting features. A reception to the ministers will occupy the first afternoon and evening. A rosebud tea, a spelling-match, a children’s carnival with music and dancing will be subsequent features.

The Domestic Science Committee, Mrs. Hattie Ruffin chairman, will have charge of the cafe. This promises well and many dainties will be served at reasonable rates.

In connection with the cafe there will be a table for the sale of [tape repair – 3] icles, cakes, preserves, pies, crackers, etc. Cooking utensils and groceries will also be on sale here.

The Ways and Means Committee, Mrs. Benjamin chairman, will have the Art Gallery and Fishing Pond. The Race Committee, Mrs. Mary Howard chairman, will present Mrs. Jarley’s waxwork. The committee on Philanthropy, Mrs. Foster chairman, will conduct the candy table. The Temperence [sic] Temperance Committee, Mrs. A. G. Brown, chairman, will have charge of the apron table. Mrs. Ransom will be in charge of the tissue paper table. The Literary Committee will sell newspapers under the charge of Miss Medora Gould, chairman, and the Current Topics Committee, Miss Elizabeth Johnson, chairman, will conduct a Shakesperian tea. Mrs. Thomas Taylor will make and sell cold beverages and Miss Lizzie Stewart hot beverages.

On Children’s Day, the floor will be reserved for children under fifteen. There will be good music and many novel features especially interesting to children.





This Institute trains and sends out a superior class of teachers and leaders for work among the Freedmen of the South. It solicits the attendance of intelligent and earnest young men and women, and contributions form [sic] from those who are willing to help toward their education. Write to the President.


The eloquent extempore speech made by Mr. Geo. T. Downing at the meeting held by the colonization society in Boston recently, has not received the notice it deserved. All the weight which Bishop Potter’s utterances carry was quickly overcome by Mr. Downing who created the only enthusiasm if the meeting. Bishop Potter is not alone in thinking that colored people owe it to their self respect to “go back to Africa” and leave a country where they are not wanted. A colored lady of refinement and education who has not only a family here (small to be sure) but an ancestral home in America had these words addressed to her recently by an ignorant woman who twenty years ago came over on an emigrant ship, “you colored folks ought to go back to Africa where you belong, we don’t want you here anyway”! Mr. Downing is not the only colored man who thinks there is a call for him to stay in he [sic] his native land and help civilize it. is [sic]

Momolu Massaqui, the Prince of the Vie country, West Africa, who represented his native land at the World’s Fair at Chicago last summer, is now giving his lectures and showing the products and the manufactures of his country in and around Boston.

This young man is a most satisfactory specimen of his race, refined in manner, cultivated in speech, with natural gifts, that contribute towards making him all instructive and interesting lecturer.

Mrs. Mary Jones, a well-to-do colored lady residing in Lexington, Ky., recently died, and among the items of her will is one bequeathing $1,000 to Lieutenant Governor M. C. Alford, of Kentucky in recognition of kindness shown to her.

Club Gossip.

In January the Woman’s Era Club passed the following resolution endorsing President Cleveland’s position on the Hawaiian question:–

We, members of the Woman’s Era Club, feeling that all expression of opinion upon the Hawaiian question is especially fitting from us as colored women and Americans, do hereby Resolve:–

1st, That we heartily commend the moral courage and independence exhibited in the attitude of the President of the United States upon this question.

2nd, That irrespective of party affiliation we condemn those journals which blinded by prejudice and political feeling have sought to brand as unpatriotic the position of those who place truth and justice above national gain and power.

3rd, We also condemn those American citizens, who, having found in Hawaii wealth, health and homes, and who having grown greedy with all these have sought to obtain the country itself, now seek to excuse their rapacity by traducing the queen and the people who made possible this prosperity.

The meeting of the Mass. State Federation of Woman’s Clubs held in Boston March 8, was rich in the discussion of subjects of interest to all club women–among the subjects which might serve also as topics for discussion in other organization were these “Which is now helpful to the individual club woman, a course of study or the discussion of general topics? and “What is the desirable limit of clubs and under what circumstances should membership be indefinitely extended?”


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