Volume 2, Number 3


The Woman’s Era.

Vol. II. No. 3.



“The Business Woman” is now a recognized factor in the world of woman’s endeavor. Nevertheless the really successful and businesslike women are exceptions and command attention. This is only natural, as women are new in the field and are not yet too familiar with the paths. In this field, as in all others, examples may be found of women of all races and colors. Among those who are making names and reputations for business capacity there is probably no woman in the country who is a more striking exampie of pluck and intelligent perseverance than Mrs. Georgianna Whetsel, whose portrait appears with this article. Doubtless many of our readers have heard of Mrs. Whetsel as the only known woman ice merchant. She conducts the largest ice business in Nova Scotia. She is a young woman and a widow. Her husband carried on the business during his life with the aid of three partners, three wagons and four horses. A year after his death she took matters in her own hands and has managed so well that she now owns the entire business and has increased her working force by doubling the number of horses and wagons. Every year has seen an increase in the number of men in her employ, the number of ice houses, carts, machines and ponds owned and controlled by her. Illustrated accounts of the harvesting of ice from her ponds have appeared from time to time in leading papers, which we hope, at some time to reproduce in the ERA, for in Mrs. Whetsel the race has one of its most brilliant examples of business capacity.


The Wendell Phillips Club held its quarterly meeting at the Bellevue Cafe Wednesday evening, May 22. The life and service of Frederick Douglass was discussed in conjunction with an appetizing menu spread by caterer Dixon. Mr. Charles Alexander seems to have made the most impressive of the after dinner speeches.

West Stockbridge, Lenox and Pittsfield will be the objective point of many of the vivacious school marms from the South and West this summer. In the beautiful hill country of western Massachusetts was discovered, last summer, two or three boarding places, made so attractive by grand scenery, mountain air, and delicious cooking that the word has been passed along, and the result promises to be a large and jolly party of congenial friends gathered together among the Berkshire Hills. Of course everybody will be in Boston during the Christian Endeavor Convention, thence to scatter all over New England. Newport will probably see the usual coterie of old friends gathered together at the Smith and Dickerson homesteads. And even North Raynham, the antipodes of Newport, is threatened with an invasion of the fashionables.

The active and festive Domestic Science Committee of the Woman’s Era Club are working hard for the success of the picnic to be given by them for the benefit of St. Monica’s Home. Let us all go, and so help raise the amount necessary to keep this, the only home for sick of a particular class, open through the dull summer season.

The board of management for the Home for Aged Women on Myrtle St. have at last decided to build, or buy, a more commodious and convenient house to accommodate the ever increasing demands of needy applicants. A committee of the W. E. C. will aid in this good work also. The little fund now held by the president of the club, with that raised last winter by Miss Stewart and ladies of her committee, will be used as a nucleus of the building, or buying, fund. Mrs.Smith, the aged and beloved matron of the home, is slowly recovering from her recent illness.


Victoria Earle.

At the annual Exposition of the Brooklyn Literary Union, Mrs. C.A. Attwell, a most successful trained nurse, conducted a hospital department. Beside the natural interest attached to such a movement, there are a few points deserving of more than a passing mention. As a part of the program, a number of our physicians and nurses were invited to be present and otherwise assist in demonstrating to the public the great progress made by this class of our professional men and women. Lectures were arranged for each evening, to be demonstrated by practical work on the part of the nurses, etc. Among the physicians and nurses taking part were Doctors Miller, Lively and W. H. Johnson, and Dr. Hill in company with two nurses from the Freedman’s Hospital of Washington, D.C., Mrs. Fleetwood and Hawley, the ladies wearing the uniform of the Freedman’s Hospital, blue seersucker dresses, large white aprons, with the regulation shoulder straps and white mob caps. Mrs. Anna Rich was to have assisted, but was unavoidably detained at her post of duty at the Brooklyn Home for Aged Colored Persons. The point to be emphasized is the skillful and progressive manner in which Mrs. Attwell called the attention of the public to the work being done by our own medical fraternity. Mrs. Attwell might have secured some of the most famous white physicians in either of those two cities, her position and reputation among successful specialists being such as to sustain this supposition; consequently the endorsement which her act implies should be appreciated from a purely professional basis. The same applies to the nurses. It is beyond question that white nurses, graduates from famous schools in this city, would gladly have assisted her, just for the asking, if for no other reason than to attest appreciation for Mrs. Atwell’s professional ability. Notwithstanding this, the ladies in Washington were invited to assist, and to their credit be it said, they not only came, saw, but –conquered. The little incident teaches that when our people will prepare themselves to compete with any other progressive people, they leave no loophole for adverse comparison. There is no question but that those of our own who have, by dint of hard work and innumerable sacrifices, succeeded in making places for themselves, will gladly welcome intelligent candidates in the front ranks. When merit –cold-blooded merit–is the requisite, and not clique sentimentality, there will be less talk of colored people not supporting the enterprises of colored people.

The fact that we have paid little attention to the matter of encouraging our girls to enter the profession was painfully evident. Mrs. Attwell is the authority for the statement that, notwithstanding charges to the contrary, a colored girl, capable of filling the requirements (age, education, etc.) will not be refused as a candidate in the training schools of New York; yet there seems to be no disposition on the part of our young women to avail themselves of the privileges thus offered. If they were wise, they would apply before a school has been established “for colored.” Separate institutions should never be countenanced unless it can be authoritatively proven that they are a necessity. Mrs. Attwell’s department forcibly opened these questions before our people in a manner which will certainly make those who desire to progress think and, we hope, act.

A most unique exhibition was held during the early part of May, in one of the beautiful salons of the palatial Waldorf. It will be remembered that the Duke de Veirgua was entertained at this hotel during his stay while in this city. The affair in question was an exhibition of the industrial progress made by the various schools having industrial departments. The exhibits ranged over a wide class of work, from plain sewIng, patching, darning, button-hole making, to the most artistic accomplishments of modern dressmaking, millinery, tailoring and the most beautiful embroidery, lace making, knitting and crocheting.

There was a most creditable exhibit from Washington, D. C., in charge of Miss Siphax, the only one from a distinctively colored school, and in every essential it was on a par with any shown, excepting, of course, the French work, and nothing exhibited was comparable to this in artistic finish. In showing us the beauties of the latter, Miss Siphax volunteered the information that in France children are given lessons in needlework as soon as they can handle safely a needle, and by the time they are nine or twelve

years old they are accomplished in some of the most difficult grades. This accounted for the beautiful symmetry and delicate finish of the French exhibit, which contained many samples executed by children seven, nine, ten and eleven years of age. Miss Siphax further explained that this was largely true of Egypt, where fine linen was combined in a most wonderful manner with what they term metal embroidery. A sample of this work was pointed out to us that would otherwise have escaped our attention. In appearance it was like a drawn lace pattern outlined by gold threads; on close examination it was found to be very beautiful. When explaining her own methods in instructing the beginners under her charge, Miss Siphax was surrounded by many interested ladies at all times. The work brought on by her received many favorable comments, and deservedly; for in general arrangement, neatness, scope and artistic effect it was second to none in kind at the exhibition. It is to be regretted that a larger percentage of our women did not attend, as the affair in every particular was managed by true women, in what means all that could possibly be inferred by the term “real ladies.” Among the visitors was Mrs. Octavio Furguson of Richmond, Va.



Sylvia Mann Maples.

It is surprising to note the number of intelligent persons of both races who persist in writing the word Negro with a little n, while at, the same time they honor every other race, Jew, Greek, Gentile and what-not, with a capital. Quite a number of race journals are assuming, with an avidity, the newly-coined appellation, Afro-American, which has nothing but its euphony to commend it to the use of its followers. Of the two words Negro and Afro-American, the one, etymologically speaking, expresses as much toward designating us as a race as the other; but it is a late hour in the day to discard the former, in which there is nothing dishonorable, and submit to the ludicrous christening of the latter, which is at best a cowardly and ineffective dodge of a time-honored name. It bears repetition, so far as we are cognizant, no dishonor attaches itself to the word, and until a better one can be found for us to answer to, the only manly and womanly thing to do is to “acknowledge the corn,” and by our deeds make it “worthy its hire.”

At its last meeting the Woman’s Mutual Improvement Club heartily indorsed the action of the Woman’s Era Club in its condemnation of the too prevalent custom of ticket selling by girls and young women, and its members seeing the evil done in their own midst by the same greed of gain, have without permission of their worthy exemplars in the far away Hub, adopted the same resolution. Mrs. A. S. Jones is chairman of a committee of three to enlist the co-operation of the different ministers in the city of Knoxville in trying to abolish the pernicious practice.

On May 10 Booker T. Washington lectured to a small though appreciative audience at Knoxville College. His subject, “Mind and Matter,” is said to have been ably handled.

Rev. G.V. Clark of Memphis, Chief Commissioner of Tennessee for the Cotton States and International Exposition, was in the city on April 30, on official business.

Mr. William H. Mason, a Knoxville boy, graduated on the 27th ult. from the Department of Music of Fisk University. Mr. John C. Dodson, also of Knoxville, assisted in his public piano forte recital.

Mrs. Hester Ford, an energetic little woman of Ashville, N.C., is said to have sold in our city five hundred or more of the handsome steel engravings of the late Frederick Douglass. When shown a copy of the ERA, she did not wait for your correspondent to solicit her subscription, but forthwith ordered it, with “spot cash,” to be sent her one year.

The proverbial unexpected, a cold wave, came last week and changed very materially the aspect of the season. Without, though cold enough for winter wraps, vegetation was exuberant in growth, and the flower-laden fields were loudly odorous; within, the busy housewife wore a forlorn look because grates had to be replaced and fires made to thaw out baby’s benumbed toes, thus necessitating a sad disarrangement of her house.


Our Georgia department is left out this month owing to the unexpected departure from Savannah of Dr. McKane and Dr. Alice W., his wife, for New York, from which port they sail June 5, for Liberia, West Africa. The doctors go to Liberia to start a hospital and to do general medical missionary work. They carry with them the regards of those who will miss their efficient services, and the best wishes of all who know their worth. Readers of the ERA may look forward to reliable accounts of affairs in the far-away country in letters from Dr. McKane, which will be published from time to time.


Fannie Barrier Williams.

The summer ending of school days is upon us and there are few households that are not more or less effected by preparations for the eager young graduate. The people’s interest in their institutions of learning has never been so strong as now. The press and magazines have done so much to cultivate public interest in the educational work of our institutions of learning that commencement day is fast becoming the most popular event in the year’s calendar of great occurrences.

Aside from being a day of inspiration to student, relief to teacher, and of growing interest to the thousands who put themselves in touch with the festive spirit of graduating times, commencement day has come to mean a day of annual recounting of our gains in the forces of intelligence and culture.

The men and women who now deliver commencement addresses are selected with the view of being able to utter something of interest to people outside the college walls. We now eagerly look forward to the commencement oration as having a meaning to all men and women who are eager to know and to do their full duty as citizens. On no other occasion in the year does the American orator have so large and appreciative an audience as on the day of university commencement. The people are in a receptive mood for reading and thinking, and the man who can say something interesting, instructive and inspiring on this occasion enjoys a rare opportunity for doing good.

We women have a special and growing interest in these commencement occasions, because they mean such a helpful reinforcement to the intelligence of our working forces. With a due appreciation of the thousands of educated and capable women who have done so much to advance our peculiar interests, we are yet lacking in women whose mental training has given them a sanity and balance of judgment and steadiness of conviction in affairs of large importance.

Women who have daughters capable of culture can do nothing better for womankind, as well as for the daughters, than to give them the advantage of a college training, or an education that will have an equivalent value in the quality of their intelligence. The mental discipline and culture that are the most important furnishings of a university education will save us from many humiliating mistakes in our public efforts, and will tend to lesson the small jealousies, petty envies and the general unkindness of woman for womankind. Oh, for some kind of culture or talisman that will save us women from being consumed by each other in our ambitions to be useful in this world of ours!

While talking about women’s peculiar interest in commencement week, it is perhaps offensively irrelevant to suggest a subject so dreary and irritating as that of moving and house-cleaning. But oh my, it is such a season of misery for all of us that the thought of it intrudes itself in spite of ourselves. This is the season of the year when all of our weaknesses seem to be on trial. By the general consent of all womankind and the amiable tolerance of our “lords and masters,” we lay aside our sweetness, our lovableness and charms and put in evidence all our hatefulness and biting impatience against every body and every thing. Womankind seems to take a savage delight in this season of cleaning, renovating and reordering of her household.

If it be true that in the spring the young man’s fancy turns to wooing and home making, it is equally true that the married man’s realities tempt him to stray as far as possible froin the disturbances of his own roof tree. I think we would all be frightened if it could be made clear to us how much of domestic unhappiness and family disintegration are traceable to these spring time outbreaks of woman’s peevishness.

What poor creatures we are, and how slowly we emancipate ourselves from many of our self-imposed afflictions! Fretfulness over housecleaning, like tight lacing and balloon sleeves, seem to be some of our cherished miseries. Perhaps the college bred woman will, by and by, show us how to meet and treat philosophically these many disagreeable necessities. Then again, we have some hope in those useful inventions that year by year are diminishing the drudgery of home keeping. It really looks as if steam and gas and electricity, in various ways, are soon to make all kinds of housekeeping so delightfully easy that woman’s only cause for ill-temper will

be too much leisure. In the meantime, it is to be fervently hoped that we will become strong enough in the command of our better selves to endure more gracefully the trials of our little responsibilities. Woman will make a very sorry figure in the contentions of politics and business, and in the larger questions of public concern if she fail to cultivate the patience, the good judgment and good sense that she nw so often lacks in the domestic sphere.



Alice Ruth Moore.

Owing to a temporary blindness, entailing great suffering and much inconvenience, the writer of this column was unable to get any matter ready for the May issue.

One of the most interesting things just about now is the decision of the Phyllis Wheatley Woman’s Club to not only countenance the negro building at the Atlanta exposition, which opens in September, but to send an exhibit. This decision was arrived at, though not without some discussion on the part of the members and a little bitterness. It was argued that the line drawn in the South was drawn enough by the “other side,” without our attempting to do anything of that sort ourselves. But, as one of the members expressed it, the exposition would certainly go on, and whether we countenanced it or not the Negro Department would be a success, Phyllis Wheatley Club to the contrary. The only way to convince our friends on the other side that we could do anything was to show them, and here was an excellent chance to show as individuals and members of a race popularly supposed to he unable to do anything but subsist upon the charity of others. There is no doubt but that this exposition, like the one in Chicago, if not representing the negroes would be censured for it by them, and when a disposition is shown by the commissioners to grant space, the usual kick is made. The upshot of it all was that the club gave its decision not only to countenance the negro building but to make an exhibit there.

Another series of violent discussions which have been lasting some months were recently closed by the dedication of the new St. Catherine’s church in Tulane Ave. St. Catherine’s occupies the site of the old St. Joseph, now one of the largest churches in America.

When Mother Catherine Drexel some while ago sent Archbishop Janssens a handsome sum of money to be used in a manner that would do most good to the colored people of New Orleans, a clamor for a new church, a Catholic church exelusively for the colored people, where they might be ensured from discrimination of any sort, where there could be colored altar boys, a colored choir, and, if necessary, a colored priest. So preparations were made to embellish and repair the old church and it was announced that all would be ready in a short while. A storm of opposition was raised at once, newspapers and editors waxed furious; the archbishop was deluged in petitions, some lengthy, some pithy, some with many signatures, some with a few signatures that meant something. The archbishop was also kept busy receiving delegations of objectors who besieged him with reasons why this thing could not be. But the preparations for the new church went right on.

As a matter of fact, it is unfortunate that the colored people of New Orleans should be instrumental in separating themselves from the rest of the Catholics in the city. The Catholic religion is the one broad common plane where all might meet and for the nonce forget the petty prejudices of birth or race. Within the average Catholic church prince or peasant, maid and mistress, man and master may kneel side by side and receive alike impartially the bread of the communion table. The separation of the colored people by themselves from the rest of the city is destroying the most beautiful portion of the Catholic creed. True the archbishop has made it most plain that this church does not, of a necessity, compel all colored people of the Catholic persuasion to attend it. That it is for one parish alone and only for those who desire to attend, and that the doors and pews and confessionals of the other Catholic churches are open as widely as ever to the colored people. But it is plain to see that it won’t be long before such gentle means as a quiet discrimination all along the parishes will force the colored worshippers into the “Jim Crow” church. It is indeed quite an unfortunate move.

The Teachers’ League has been busy for the

past month. Our kindergartens and kindergarteners are, or rather were, non est. So the league secured the services of Miss Elizabeth K. Mathews from Des Moines, Ia., to come here for a month and hold classes of the members of the league. The classes were held every afternoon from three to five, special permission having been obtained from the superintendent, Mr. Easton, to dismiss those teachers who were interested a half hour earlier than usual. The work done was very interesting and a great deal was accomplished in a month’s time. The result of Miss Mathew’s labor was visible in an increased interest in the school work and in the introduction of more manual training in the schools.


While here she visited and worked with pupils and teachers in the different schools, attended and addressed a meeting of not only the Teachers’ League but the Phyllis Wheatley Club also. Miss Mathews also gave a lecture, “A Trip to Yellowstone Park,” for the benefit of the Phyllis Wheatley Club.

The air is full of Commencement. Out of the four large universities here, three, Leland, Straight and New Orleans, have closed, leaving only Southern and the public schools to drag through the long hot month of June. Straight University fairly outdid itself in the matter of Commencement Week. It always has an entire week given over to festivities of a general nature, but this year the festivities were unusually interesting. The class of ’95 is the largest one since the year of 1888.

Two new things crowned the year’s work. First, the alunini did away with their annual reception, and second, the school granted its first musical certificate.

Heretofore the immense reception given by Straight University Alumni has always been looked forward to with no little interest by the friends and patrons of the school. The evening before Commencement was spent by the alumnae in a banquet tendered by the school from five to seven, of which members only were allowed to partake. This was followed by a reception from seven to ten, to which each member had issued invitations, and as the body numbers some two hundred or more it was necessarily large. There was always a musical and literary programme, refreshments and a jollification. But this year all was changed; there was only the banquet, the annual address, which was delivered by Dr. A.J. Lopez, some music, and that was all. The sum usually expended for the reception was placed to the account of the school.

The other event of peculiar importance was the completion of the musical course by Miss Beatrice F. Rochin. It is the first time in the history of the university that any pupil has stuck to the eight years’ study requisite for a completion of piano course. Miss Rochin of ’95 celebrated her victory the Thursday before Commencement by a recital, assisted by her sister, Miss Anita, ’95, and Mr. Wendell McNeal, ’96, on the violin, Mr. Lockhard, ’95, with a vocal solo, and a number of young ladies of the Normal department in Delsarte tableaux. Miss Rochin had a very trying ordeal to pass through in playing solo after solo before an intensely critical and rather incredulous audience, but she acquitted herself magnificently and won applause and flowers by the load.


Dora J. Cole.

In the April number of the ERA perhaps it will be remembered that in this column were pressed the claims of women to greater recognition in the government of the churches. The Vestry of St. Thomas’ P. E. Church early in April passed a resolution allowing women in good financial standing to vote at the Easter election for officers for the ensuing year. It was very fitting that the initiative should be taken by the vestry of one of the oldest churches in the United States, which keeps up the high standard and courageous resolution of their forefathers, who founded this chuch in the infancy of the republic.

This extension of the franchise was accepted by the women in a very serene and matter-of-fact way. There was no unseemly haste; less than one-third of the eligible women voted. Those who expected strife and a complete reorganization of the church officers, found to their surprise the old vestry re-elected, with one exception, a faithful and efficient vestryman who desired to be excused from serving this year. Let the good work go on. We hope that soon in every church the women will be shown common justice.

In the Diocesan Convention held early in May in our city, the question of admitting women as delegates was warmly discussed. Many clergymen supported the proposition, but one prominent and venerable layman delivered a passionate speech in which he fervently hoped that he should never live to see the day when one of these “new women” were seated in the convention. He spoke at length on the subject and declared that she is “a horrid creature.” The motion was not disposed of finally, but was left an open question for the time.

One is tempted to sympathize with this view of the new woman. That term and the phrase fin de sieclehave surely earned a long rest. It is a question with me whether there really is any “Mrs. Harris,” in the words of Betsey Prigg. It is the same old woman, the eternal feminine, only the outward visible sign has changed somewhat. The higher education, the attention to athletic sports, the greater knowledge of hygiene and proper food, the thick-sole shoes, the warm winter flannels, have all made her what Emerson says it is everybody’s first duty to be, “a good animal.”

With this grateful sense of physical well-being has come that joyous expansion, that exuberance that all happy, healthy people feel. It has become a necessity for her to find an outlet for all this energy, hence her interest in church and state, in all that is on the earth or in the waters under the earth. Look in the home, is she not a more intelligent companion, a wiser, more judicious mother, a more stimulating and sympathetic friend? Surely the vast majority of the women of today are like the picture I have drawn, and may it be a continually decreasing number who may be described in the words of the Rabbi Voorsanger of Los Angeles, who says, “The new woman is a rampant and rebellious woman, who gathers in conventions and talks much; a reformer who seeks to lay bare the rotten foundations of society; an evolved species of Roman matron with a tongue like a lash and a rod of chastisement in her fair fist.”

Not many years ago some of us can remember that southern alarmists created a wave of interest that rolled all over the country, by reporting the alarming rate of increase in the negro population. It was predicted that the black man and brother would cover the face of the earth, as did the locusts in Pharaoh’s time, and devour every green thing in the shape of a white man. Tables were compiled, and truly alarming progressions were [ – 10 lines] and diseases resultant from immorality.

Dr. Furman J. Shadd’s contribution to the New York Age of May 16, in refutation of the idea that we will shortly be eliminated front the problem, is timely and reassuring. Having the wide experience that he has among the 87,000 negroes of the District of Columbia, he is able to speak with authority, and shows that even if the state of South Carolina is losing her black population, there has been in the District since 1876 a steady decrease in mortality and a regular increase in population, showing that the negro is one fourth more productive than the white race.

Dr. Shadd is hopeful of a greater improvement every year in the sanitary condition of the poor and the consequent lessened death rate. What would become of the country if there was no negro problem? All of us who are teachers know too well of the causes that lead to this alarming death rate. The insufficient clothing, the lowered vitality from improper and irregularly taken food, and the frightful ravages of that scourge consumption, brought on by night after night, during weeks in the depths of winter, attending revivals. With nerves stretched tense and bodies reeking with perspiration they come out in the icy air.

Some modern Paul must write an Epistle to the Ministers of these people. That is the surest way to reach the majority. The minister is their literature, their book, their paper, their only way of coming into touch with anything that helps them to grow towards the light.


You are interested in the advancement of the race and want to do something to help on the work? Then pass the paper along and urge your friends to subscribe. You can not do better work than this. Any one sending a two-cent stamp will receive a sample copy of the ERA.


THE WOMAN’S ERA, the organ of the National Federation of Afro-American Women, and devoted to the Interests of the Women’s Clubs, Leagues and Societies throughout the country.

Published monthly, in Boston, by JOSEPHINE ST. P. RUFFIN, FLORIDA R. RIDLEY, 103 Charles Street.


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There are two sides to almost every question. There is nothing very new or original in this remark, but it is suggested anew by the proposed Atlanta Exposition. There are good reasons why the colored people should be represented there and take advantage or this new and large opportunity of vindicating themselves, their enterprise and intelligrence. Now that our people have entered upon the project, it is hoped that it will be a great success. Nevertheless we cannot wholly endorse the movement; such exhibitions never do and never can do justice to the colored people. It is as impossible to separate the work of the whites and the blacks as it is to separate the work of those who have Irish or German blood. The result is inevitably meager, inadequate and mortifying.

Besides this, the Atlanta Exposition will carry with it the most humiliating conditions for all colored visitors. The commissioner general declares that we shall have all the rights we desire! But in the light of the past estimate put upon us and our desires, this is not reassuring. Doubtless the commissioners will add largely to their finances by including an exhibit from our colored people, but it is doubtful if one jot or tittle of the merciless discrimination carried on in the south will be abated on the fair grounds at this time.

We are open to conviction, but it seems to us that the only gain made will come to the managers, and that the “colored department” will be left entirely to the colored people, with the result that we shall not have grown over rich in dignity or worth in the eyes of the other race, and at the same time we shall be probably financial losers.

However we shall watch and wait and hope for the best.


The coming together of our women from all over the country for consultation, for conference, for the personal exchange of greeting, which means so much in the way of encouragement and inspiration, has been a burning desire in the breasts of the colored women in every section of the United States.

The matter has been discussed and re-discussed. Of some things all are convinced–the need of such a conference is great, the benefit to be derived inevitable and inestimable. In view of this, we, the women of the Woman’s Era Club of Boston, send forth a call to our sisters all over the country, members of all clubs, societies, associations, or circles to meet with us in conference in this city of Boston.

And we urge upon all clubs, societies, associations and circles to take immediate action, looking towards the sending of delegates to this convention.

Boston has been selected as a meeting place because it has seemed to be the general opinion that here, and here only can be found the atmosphere which would best interpret and represent us, our position, our needs and our aims. One of the pressing needs of our cause is the education of the public to a just appreciation of us, and only here can we gain the attention upon which so much depends.

It is designed to hold the convention three days, the first of which will be given up to business, the second and third to the consideration of vital questions concerning our moral, mental, physical and financial growth and well-being, these to be presented through addresses by representative women.

Although this matter of a convention has been talked over for some time, the subject has been precipitated by a letter to England, written by a southern editor, and reflecting upon the moral character of all colored women; this letter is too indecent for publication, but a copy of it is sent with this call to all the women’s bodies throughout the country. Read this document carefully and use discriminatingly and decide if it be not time for us to stand before the world and declare ourselves and our principles.

The time is short, but everything is ripe; and remember, earnest women can do anything.

A circular letter will be sent you in the meantime. Let us hear at once from you.


In the May issue of this paper, the ERA’s comments on Mrs. Terrell were unfortunately placed in the department edited by that lady. Probably every reader understood the situation; nevertheless it is a matter of annoyance to the editors that there should be the chance or the likelihood of any readers believing that

Mrs. Terrell was indulging in self-praise. By the same mischance, the fine article contributed by Mrs. Fannie B. Williams on “The Need of Co-operation of Men and Women in Correctional Work ” was divided and the continuity of thought broken by placing the last portion on the editorial page.


We know that many of our readers are unacquainted with Colonel Dargan of Sumter, South Carolina; we therefore take pleasure in introducing him and his paper, the “Free Speech,” to our readers. Colonel Dargan is indeed a rara avis –a secessionist, a confederate officer, with every interest in the south, he is now a fearless champion of justice and free speech. Considering the sentiment upon which he has been reared, his comments upon the approaching constitutional convention and the iniquity of the attempt to disenfranchise the black race are remarkable for their fearlessness. The south is very boastful of the bravery of its sons. Here is an example of genuine bravery. That it is so conspicuous shows the rarity of the true article in that portion of the country.

Let the good work go on in the meantime. We can all take hope and read the Sumter “Free Speech.” One good man can work wonders.


The editors of the WOMAN’S ERA are in receipt of a letter from Miss Florence Belgarnie, Honorable Secretary of the Anti-Lynching Society of England, in which she encloses a letter from Mr. James W. Jack, president of the Missouri Press Association. The letter of Mr. Jack to Miss Belgarnie is a denouncement of the morality of the colored women of America, and also a criticism of the peculiar ideas of virtue and morality held by everybody but the people of the south and west. Miss Belgarnie forwards the letter for publication in the ERA, with an expression of sympathy and indignation for the slurs we, as colored women, are subjected to. As the charges in this letter are so sweeping and so base, we have decided not to act hastily upon it, but to be very careful in our method of bringing it before the public. Our line of action has already begun; the letter will be printed and forwarded to leading men and women and heads of educational institutions, particularly in the south, people of reputation and standing, whose words carry weight; and in the next issue it is hoped to print the charge, with these signed replies.

The matter is a solemn one, and one upon which we shall call all our women all over the country to act. In the meantime we wish to move with discretion, and so not defeat the ultimate aim, which is the confusion of Jack and that host of traducers who are so free in bringing the charge of immorality upon all colored women.


Rosa D. Bowser.

Since I am requested to furnish news notes I hope you will allow me space for a few thoughts along the line of the most engrossing, topic at this time in Virginia as well as elsewhere, viz., Commencement. Not a more applicable title could be suggested for the time of completion of the college curriculum than Commencement, for those leaving its walls have been trained to gather discreetly the grains of knowledge, and they are therefore sent out to engage in the great army in defnce of truth and right. They go with the problem yet to be solved–education the unknown quantity, works of great educators, perseverance and diligence represent the known quantities.

The solution of this problem is not accomplished in a lifetime. Those who give a proper estimate to the value of an education will rather rejoice that the end of learning to them is very much the same as the end of the rainbow to a little child, the longer he tries to find it the farther it seems to be from him.

The effect of the research may be disappointment and discouragement for the child, while the true student is enthused by the knowledge that the more the obstacles he conquers in his onward march the higher he places himself on the ladder which reaches perfection. Hence his determination should be not to stand still, but to go on and on.

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight.”

Each life carries with it an influence of elevation or degradation. What a weight of responsibility rests upon each individual. The greater the advantages the greater the responsibility.

From many schools and colleges hundreds of students have been licensed to toil unaided in the great field of labor, to gather in and store the mind with great truths that will serve as food for the mental powers and as seed falling in good ground, yielding, some thirty, some sixty and some an hundred fold. Great truths that men of wonderful mental faculties have pondered over

and developed, must be searched and weighed, reserving such as cause the mind to expand and reach out for other facts, in order to strengthen and build strong intellects. Students should endeavor to grow strong intellectually, so as not to be cast about by every attempt on the part of opposers to revolutionize well-founded theories, but by careful study so fortify themselves on the subjects as to become stronger advocates of the right. Diligence is the price of success, so no student needs be lacking in the material by which to acquire knowledge. One important point should be borne in mind, viz., the acquirement of an education, in the limited sense of the term, does not depend upon the number of books read nor the variety of literature, but upon the thorough study and digestion of the most important subjects by authors of worth and literary standing.


The discontinuance of attendance in a school, after having completed the prescribed course of study in that institution, does not signify that the mental powers have become thoroughly developed and the education completed.

Oh, no! it means the commencement.

The Virginia Baptist State Convention met in Suffolk, Va., May 9, 1895, and continued during that week. The ministerial shepherds are with their flocks again. The presidency of the Virginia Seminary seemed to have been the main topic for discussion. From all accounts we hear of the convention this matter consumed by far the greater portion of the session. Pres. G. W. Hayes was re-elected.

“The following Board of Trustees were elected for the Seminary:

“May 31, 1898 – – Rev. W.F. Graham, Mr. John Mitchell, Jr., Rev. R.H. Bolling. May 31, 1896 – – Revs. A. Binga, Jr., A. Gordon, John W. Kirby. May 31, 1897 – – Revs. J. M. Armistead, P.F. Morris, D.W. Vassar.” —Planet.

The Grand Lodge Knights of Pythias convened on Newport News, Va., May 15, 1895. The gathering was very enthusiastic and much business for the order was transacted. The address of Grand Chancellor John Mitchell, Jr., was received with much applause and a vote of thanks tendered him for the noble sentiments which it contained.

Miss Annestine Snyder of Charleston, West Va., passed through Richmond May 17, from Shaw University, N. C., en route to her home. While in R. she was the guest of Mrs. Bowser.


Josephine Silone Yates.

No utterances of the year have come nearer to striking the keynote of race progress in America than those of Prof. Booker T. Washington in his address before the students of Fisk University; and even at the risk of being considered an echo, we must repeat that industrial training through its resultant skilled labor has been for every race, and will be for the Negro race, the most potent force in its development.

It has required years for the “industrial idea” in education to stamp itself upon the educational system of America, and we question whether the impress is yet sufficiently deep; but financial crises, the continuous influx of foreign skilled labor, and the losses sustained by the American laborer, if he is not equally skillful, are creating forceful demonstrations of the necessity for practical training in this direction. Afro-American labor is not foreign labor in the sense usually implied by this term; and in past decades it was a mainspring in developing the resources of a new country. In those years, the artisans of the South, the skilled laborers, as matters then stood, were colored men, and the inventive genius then exemplified by individual members of the race, even under those exceedingly unfavorable environments, furnish proof of our inherent creative capacity; and when at last the doors of school and college were opened to the descendants of these mechanics, had the industrial idea been as firmly engrafted upon the American system of education as at present, the future prospect of these comparatively young people would be brighter than it now is, for the trained hand must keep pace with the trained mind in order to be able to express the conceptions of the mind in material form.

Says Dr. Coffin, in an editorial appearing in the April A.M.E. Church Review, “We are not fully aware ourselves, nor are the people among whom we live aware of what we have really accomplished since the war. The advancement in material wealth, and in education, including the professions, has indeed been marvellous.

Our advancement in mechanical skill has not yet been equal to the progress made in literary pursuits. . . . But attention is now being turned and we think wisely, too, toward the workshop.”

We are indebted to inventive genius for all the means of rapid transit, expeditious communication, the product of remote sections, the comforts in home, hotel and shop, the means of social and intellectual gratification which render life in the nineteenth century so far above all preceding centuries. In this march of progress, a few important inventions have originated in the brain of a Negro, but we must work more strenuously to stimulate the creative faculty, if we would maintain a permanent hold upon civilization in America or elsewhere. We must seize with avidity upon the industrial factors of education. Especially do our little ones need the industrial features of the kindergarten; and when parents and teachers fully realize this fact, then, from its earliest years, the child will be taught to contrast and to invent articles according to scientific principles. We do not, indeed, need a smaller number of scholarly men and women, but a much larger quota of those who to their literary attainments add the power to produce something which is a necessity to the masses. We need not less intellectual training in the field of higher education, but more practical education.

The young colored man who graduated from Lawrence University, Kansas, and then went, to his farm and settled down to solid work with the remark, “If the white race need scientific farmers, surely my race does,” has solved the “race problem” for himself, and has furnished an example which many individuals can afflord to emulate. With pride from year to year we read that the “Potato King” of the Missouri Valley is a colored man; a man who by reducing the production of the tuber to a scientific process is bringing forth from his acres both fame and fortune–capital, that commodity which added to a better knowledge of investing it, is so great a necessity in the present stage of our development. The Afro-American of the United States is for various reasons behind his brother in the more advanced of the South American states in the acquisition of wealth, and therefore in the development of those enterprises which require the outlay of large amounts of capital. We are not particularly interested in trust companies, mining plants and grinding monopolies, although, from the force of habit, we read of and discuss them; but we have little capital invested in those lines. In the South, as an agricultural laborer, the Negro is a great industrial factor; but not until he owns the cotton and rice fields, the turpentine orchards and cane plantations in which he now labors, can he be considered in any sense a controling factor of the South; nor can we hope to take front rank in any department of civilized life until we are part and parcel of large industries.

Thus far in our career we may justly be accused of a quality which George Eliot styles “other worldliness.” We need more of an eye to the main chance; or as Carnegie is said to have put it when, looking at a young man’s collection of coins, “A very good thing to have in its way, a very good thing; but I tell you, young man, the coin to look out for is the American dollar.”

Every Negro inventor of high rank, every scientific farmer, artisan, or tradesman, takes a long step ahead for his race, since the world is clamoring for proofs of our capacity, originality, and culture; hence the industrial schools should be intensely practical and filled to overflowing with our young people; for it matters not whether the Negro deciides to remain here, or migrate elsewhere, always and everywhere will he find this problem of scientific and industrial training confronting him, and, unless he learns to solve it under all of its conditions, possible and probable, will find himself a negative quality. The South needs skilled laborers to develop her valuable resources, Mexico, South America and Africa the same; and the brainy men of each section, or country, will diligently seek until the find the laborer best qualified for the work; obviously then, the colored man need not run from the conditions which he finds in the United States, and unless he possesses superior industrial training may as well take his chances here as elsewhere. A recent writer from Africa to the New York Age states that those Afro-Americans who come to colonize in Africa should be civil engineers, mechanics, practical farmers, etc., and should bring capital with them. In other words, they should be of the order of colonists that brought about the most safisfactory results in the colonization of America, Australia, India, and the Islands of the Sea.

The simple act of departing for “Africa, the home of our fathers,” is not sufficient to secure even a foothold in a country already largely under the control of the English, French, Belgians, Germans, Italians, Portuguese and Turks, each

pressing to the utmost the development of the immense riches to which they have laid claim; each desirous of building up colonies toward which they desire to attract the surplus of their population; and looking the facts squarely in the face, it seems highly probable, that the African in Africa, like the Indian in America, will soon be dispossessed of his own soil. Is there not a possible remedy for the ills which confront us here, there and everywhere, in practical industrial training?



Good words for theERA.–I received the copies of the ERA and like it more and more. Please find one dollar enclosed for my subscription. I will do all I can to increase its circulation.

Mrs. Libbie C. Anthony, Superintendent of Department of Colored Work of W.C.T.U., Jefferson City, Mo.



Elizabeth Piper Ensley.

Everytbing in the outer world is suggestive of growth. White blossoms and hopeful green greet us on all sides. The whole landscape is rich in floral splendor. Nature also speaks to us joyously, tenderly, in the songs of birds.

When we consider that only a few months since, the plant was in embryo, we are filled with amazement at the mysterious and wonderful change. The necessary outward influences–warmth, air, light and moisture–have caused it to grow harmoniously.

The question arises as to whether the growth and expansion of the “Woman Suffrage Plant” is commensurate with that in the natural world.

That three women were sent to act as legislators is in advance of the old regime. These women representatives have shown a progressive spirit in the measures they have advocated. Mrs. Holly introduced eleven bills, Mrs. Klock, three, and Mrs. Cressingham, four.

Two of Mrs. Cressingham’s bills are designed to promote the sugar beet industry. “She believes in the possibilities of the sugar beet. Can cite facts and figures to show that she has studied the subject and is sure that in the cultivation of this saccharine vegetable there is a remedy for the wretched condition of the people where there is but a small rainfall and no large streams from which to irrigate.”

Mrs. Cressingham’s third bill amends a section of the school law. In some of the southern counties of the state, Spanish was the language used in the schools. Her bill provides that English shall be the language in all public schools. Her last bill was for the creation of a “state board for the arbitration of controversies arising between employer and employee.”

The Hon. Frances Klock, also of Arapahoe, presented “House joint memorial No. 6,” asking Congress “to grant the military reservation known as Fort Lyon to the state of Colorado for the purpose of establishing a soldiers’ home at that place,” the present home at Monte Vista being very undesirable.

Her second bill provides for the support of the state home and industrial school for girls. Her last bill deals with the same matter, but states in detail how the home is to be managed. All the officers and assistants shall be women excepting one member of the board.

Representative Holly of Pueblo, has the honor of being the first woman to introduce a bill in the house — “the age of consent bill.” One bill is a constitutional amendinent, and amends a certain section of an article which now permits a foreigner to vote upon declaring his intention to become a citizen. The proposed amendment enfranchises every person (instead of every male person) over the age of twenty-one years, provided, first, that “he or she shall be a citizen of the United States.” And second, that “he or she shall be able to read the constitution in the English language.”

A third bill also deals with the election laws. A fourth, refers to school matters. A fifth, affects the property of unmarried men who die without wills. Their possessions did revert to the father; this bill asks that such property be evenly divided between the parents of the deceased. A sixth asked cases concerning the validity of wills and testaments be placed at the head of the docket. Two other bills provide for the punishment of persons guilty of enticing boys or girls under twenty-one years into places of ill repute. A ninth bill provides for a truant officer. The tenth, concerns divorce and alimony.

“You will laugh at my last bill, for it is kind

of queer; it is a bill to give women all the rights that men have,” said Mrs. Holly.


Passing over the city election which was not satisfactory to the majority of thinking women, we come to the school election, the result of which was to put another broad-minded, progressive woman on the school board.

Woman’s work in politics must be like that of the chambered nautilus, the spiral animal, which after completing one house or shell proceeds to make another and so is constantly advancing.

There are several civic leagues in process of formation which organize to work for better municipal government.

On the 9th of May, the women of Denver had the inestimable privilege of greeting and listening to those grand, rare women, Miss Susan B. Anthony and Rev. Anna Shaw. Their visit here was brief, as they hastened on to congratulate Utah on adding the suffrage plank to the constitution.


Mrs. N. F. Mossell.

It gives us great pleasure to state the fact that, with this month’s issue of the WOMAN’s ERA the Open Court has passed the limit of its fiftieth subscription. We feel especially grateful to Mrs. J.H. Armstrong, wife of the Financial Secretary of the A.M.E. Church, Miss Emma K. White, a teacher in the public schools, of Chester, Miss Lillian Spencer of Wilmington public schools, and Miss Lillian Thompson of Bridgeton, daughter of Rev. Joseph Thompson, D.D., pastor at that point. These ladies have shown their interest in the work in various substantial forms. Mrs. Armstrong sends us for May five subscriptions and such an encouraging, helpful letter. Through the kindness and perseverance of Miss Emma K. White the sum of fifteen dollars has been secured in aid of a worthy student. Miss Spencer and Miss Thompson are each assisting in the enlargement our subscription list.

As contributors to the literary work of the Open Court, we have secured the services of Miss Lillian V. Thompson, whose able paper on “Frederick Douglass compared with England’s great Commoner,” appeared in the memorial issue of the Christian Recorder and of Miss Sarah E. Tanner, Principal of the Bordentown Industrial School, N.J., and Miss Emma K. White of Chester High School. The two last mentioned ladies will entertain and instruct the readers of the Open Court, Miss Tanner in this month’s issue of the ERA, and Miss White in the July Number.

June, with its beautiful gift of roses and sunshine, its “perfect days,” is with us once more. Let us cast behind its the clouds and storms of the past and enjoy the heritage of joyfulness that comes with this purest and sweetest of all the summer months. Let us strive to give to the world a message of love from hearts overflowing with the blessedness of having received good gifts.


Sarah E. Tanner

“They are never alone,” said Sir Philip Sidney, “that are accompanied by noble thoughts,” and we say it is quite possible for the humblest to gain these “noble thoughts” if they will but be discreet in the selection of books they read. The moment we enter the world of books that moment a great personalresponsibility rests upon us. It is as necessary that we choose as wisely the companionship of books as we do the companionship of friends. There is an old proverb, “A man may usually be known by the company he keeps,” but he can just as truly be known by the books he reads.

No kinder or wiser friend can one have than a good book, for a book which is worthy for us to take as a companion is the embodiment of the noblest thoughts of which that life was capable.

“You get into society in the widest sense,” said Dr. Geikie, “in a great library, with the huge advantage of needing no introductions and not dreading repulses. From that great crowd you can choose what companions you please, for in these silent levees of the immortals there is no pride, but the highest is at the service of the lowest with a great humility. You may speak freely with any without a thought of your inferiority, for books are perfectly well-bred and hurt no one’s feelings by any discriminations.”

Great care should be taken in cultivating the habit of reading, for without reading it is impossible to ever be the “full man” of whom Lord Bacon tells us. It is no more reasonable to suppose we will have bright ideas and noble thoughts without reading “than to suppose that the Mississippi might roll on its flood of waters to the ocean, though all its tributary streams were cut off and it were replenished only by occasional drops from the clouds.” We are told that the elder Pliny seldom sat down to eat a meal without insisting upon some one reading to him, and that so close and constant was Petrarch’s application to his books that, his friends became anxious about his health, and through love to him refused to allow him to enter his study for ten days, and by the morning he was ill with fever; his keys were at once restored to him, and with them came his usual health and bright spirits.

Not only is it necessary to acquire the habit of reading, but also the habit of selecting carefully what we read, and this in itself will greatly develop our intellectual tendency, and then we will learn to appreciate the good and beautiful. Read with a purpose. No better advice can be given a young person than to “read much, not many books.”

Milton says,

“Who reads
Incessantly, and to his reading brings not
A spirit or genius equal or superior,
Uncertain and unsetttled still remains,
Deep versed in books and shallow in himself.”

Now just a word as to what we should read.

To gather inforination read histories, biographies and travels.

Read the best novels and romances, authors like Sir Walter Scott, George Eliot, Thackeray , Dickens and Hawthorne.

Do not read about authors and imagine you have read the authors themselves, but with great care study the masters of the art of literature, authors like Milton, Dante, Shakespeare, Bacon, Goethe, Cervantes, Schiller, and others.

We could not be expected to exhaust a subject so interminable as this. The thoughtful reader will have at once perceived that we have scarcely done more than given intimations. Our pleasure is that intimations only are necessary to a class to whom this article comes, and we therefore briefly hand it over to them with the hope that they will find it profitable to the extent we have gone.



Nothing more elaborate has been given in Boston society for a long time than the reception tendered the members of the popular Vaudeville Club by the equally popular Cracker-Jacks. Mr. Edward S. Glover’s well appointed residence was the scene of the festivities. The young ladies, attired in handsome evening costumes, from the depths of luxurious chairs and under mellow lights, witnessed the one-act play and the burlesque dancing that followed, a noteworthy feature of which was the pas seul of Mr.. Edward Glover, who, by the way, is especially good in theatrical imitations. Mr. Sam Marsh, fresh from the stage, having appeared in the performance of Leah at the Hollis Street Theater a day or two before, also made some clever hits in his acting. Appo Johnson appeared as Trilby, and some topical songs, in costume, ended the program. An elaborate banquet followed. The table decorations were in green, and the effect was enhanced by the reflection from the pale green shades that dimmed the light of the numerous small candles. Toasts were drank and souvenir stick pins were presented to the ladies. The presentation speech was responded to by Miss Lillian Lewis, in behalf of the Vaudeville Club.

The tea given to the members of the Vaudeville Club, at which Misses Libbie Watson and Carrie Patterson were the hostesses, wound up the brilliant series of entertainments that have given so much pleasure to society folk, young and old, the past season. Miss Watson’s pretty home in Dorchester was thrown open for the occasion, and the evening was spent in a delightfully informal manner, the tea being the special feature. The cosy dining room was tastefully decorated and the repast included a long menu of tempting and dainty viands.

Hon. George T. Downing of Newport and his daughter, Mrs. Washington, have been making a visit to Mr. and Mrs. Mark de Mortie.

A large contingent of Washington people are expected to pass the summer in Boston, among them Miss Wormley, Miss Nita Turner, Miss Clare Smythe, who will take a summer course at Harvard, and the Misses Gertrude and Cora Smith, who will be guests of relatives in Jamaica Plain.

Mr. Frank Rudolph Stuart of Harvard was one of the contestants for the Boylston prize this year. The exercises were held in Sanders’ Theater, and among the well-wishers of Mr. Stuart, who were present, were Misses Louisa Lewis, Mabel Grant and Dosia Marsh.

Miss Geraldine Pindell, whose protracted illness of four months has deprived the young people of her presence at so many of the social functions the past season, is out and about again, and in spite of her impaired strength, is cheerful and gay as ever.

Miss Marion Ridley is at home again after a three week’s sojourn at Faneuil, where she lingered for a much needed rest.


New York.

So Boston has settled the identity of Anno Domini, eh? The “he, she or it” in last issue is good–Pickwickian. Seriously, though, the astronomical guesses ought to read, as a penance, dying Brutus’ words, “Et tu Brute.” It’s hard, but–the Hub is not famous in the line of guessing. And I suspect the gallant Philadelphian has kyar’d de news to somebody. But the guess is an iceberg, all the same.

The Young Men’s Guild, connected with St. Philip’s Church, is accomplishing wonders in these dancing days. They will soon take possession of the newly erected Guild House, a handsome structure costing over $13,000. The Guild’s membership is now beyond the 100 line, and it represents the truly ambitious business class of young men generally in this city.

Bethel, like a great beehive, is but a few doors distant from St. Philip’s. Rumors are flying as to great things to be done there in the coming fall. It is said that Rev. Henderson (who, by the way, is from the enterprising west) is desirous of becoming an epoch-maker. Should his conference, which meets in Albany, return here, he will visit Boston and there begin a well-defined campaign of intellectual agitation under the cry of “Not prejudice, but brains to the front!”

St. Mark’s will in a short time move into a spacious edifice, in close proximity to Mount Olivet, Rev. Wisher’s, and it is confidently predicted that the M.E.’s will push the progressiveness of the great Baptist citadel with as much vigor as will characterize the M. E. ambitious restlessness as neighbors of St. Philip’s splendid Guild.. By next fall the members or the Guild will be barons indeed, dwelling ‘neath their own vine and fig tree. That’s the lead!

For classic beauty, Carnegie Music Hall is second to none in this great town. As Frank Chambers was to graduate from the School of Pharmacy on the evening of May 9, that wretch, A. D., in “best bib and tucker” was seated directly opposite box No. 5. So the whimful beauty or beauties–for vieing with Miss Kate Smith’s captivating mirthfulness was Miss Bessie Decline’s foreign vivacity. They are both pretty girls. There’s an unconscious tenderness in Miss Kate’s voice and tout ensemble that reduces to a minimum the resistance of adamant; much less the tender susceptibilities of our own Miles Standish, who also graced No. 5.

Fanny Rice, while performing some time ago in “Nadgy,” I think, made her best hit in a denouement in which she cried aloud, “I was flamagasted, I was!” Well, that was Beau Brummel’s plight. (He was in No. 5, too.) Under the fires of Miss Bessie’s beautiful Italian eyes–ah! Our Rob stood calmly by, not de trop, though later the young graduate, Dr. Chambers, joined the party, and they repaired to one of the finest hotels in town where the affair was brought to a most memorable end. The ladies were gowned in a most fetching style, while the gentlemen were in faultless evening attire. That’s the way, boys! Bravo! Now–who’s Anno Domini?

Dr. Chambers has gone to North Carolina to rest awhile, in company with a popular dentist, Dr. Reid.

Mrs. Ferguson, a gentle lady from Richmond, has been the recipient of considerable social attention among F. H. Carmand’s coterie of friends. Several dinners, luncheons, and infor-

mal evenings were given in her honor. She was Mrs. Carmand’s guest.


A merry party drove through Prospect Park recently. Charley Day and Miss Stella King would not tell who the others were. ‘Twas a handsome couple.

A certain Brooklyn gallant will have to borrow Romeo’s ladder, I fear, judging by the attention paid Miss Edie B—- by a handsome South American, now in town. In some things Americans are slow. The cause which evolved the new woman, possibly.

By the way, there are three “new women ” in town. Lord Harry’s daughter, a tiny maid in the home of Dr. J. Frank Smith, and a daughter of the house of Stewart. The always popular counselor, in detailing the wondrous charms of Mistress Anna to an admiring company lately, brought the house down by telling a story of the late Philips Brooks, who, in his public capacity, was continually called upon to admire early editions of future great men and women. “This, you will observe,” quoth Mr. Stewart, “impoverished his store of suitable descriptive terms, so in a moment of inspiration, a way out of his difficulties flashed upon him. After that, on every occasion, armed with the easily acquired but necessary smile and manner, he would simply remark, ‘My dear madam, this isa baby!’ See the point? Good, isn’t it?”

A notable feature of the exposition held by the Brooklyn Literary Union was “County Fair,” with our Rob, the Prince of Wales and the natty little district attorney, minus white vest, in charge. Ah, boys, you know a thing or two about–a race track! And the dear girls showed a knowledge of how to buy chances–ah, just so! All in life, and that is a hurried dream at best.

Among the prize winners was Miss Mena Downing, who won a beautiful desk. I know a score of fellows today who are hoping for notes written on that desk. Rob Willis got the wheel. Constant practice on such things has been known to lessen straight lengths into curves. Cummings won the cane, J. E. Garner the umbrella, and W. E. Gross the gavel.

The supper, under Mrs. Gross’ supervision, was remarkable. Absolutely no highway exchange policy. Good food for common sense prices. I am serious in this, for, as a rule, at such entertainments, the refreshment committee tries to get square with the fellows who refuse to buy; everything dangled before them, you know. But in this instance Mrs. Gross positively inaugurated a real reform. Hereafter, the boys will pay careful attention to the refreshment committee before attending an entertainment.

Just a word to A.D.’s friends–those to whom the column is dear; those who look forward to its monthly appearance; those who read without thinking of how a subscription now and then would make it impossible to be curtailed as to space, etc. For such reasons the lovely costumes worn at the famous Bachelor’s ball by Mesdames Fisher, Braxton, Gale, Thomas, Garner and many others, were cut. I’ve a secret to tell you all; and that is, for this cause a good-bye is soon to be said–a fact–and silently said by that aggravating, uninteresting ANNO DOMINI


S. Willie Layton.

The Lenten days are indeed past, and for one week this fair city of the South has become the realm of La Reina de La Fiesta. The city government is overthrown, and the reign of the Sovereign of Flowers and Fun is ushered in with blares of tin trumpets, jangling bells and shrill whistles. Decorations are gorgeous–the city color mad–from electric light poles and wires lazily flap the tricolored flags of gold, scarlet and olive, (emblematic of the orange, wine and olive productions of our state). Children scamper along the streets, like tropical birds, in their frocks of blended gold, scarlet and olive; carriages and tallyhos, tandem and cart are bright and gay with garlands and ribbons. From windows and steeples flutter the La Fiesta colors; street cars breaking into gay bunting become fanciful things of locomotion; horses prance proudly in their gay trimmings; and forlorn indeed is the dog that sports neither tri-colored collar or bow. The streets are thronged with merrymakers; every woman out in her new and fetching Easter bonnet and gown, so

absorbed in the spirit of La Fiesta, that she is not aware of the “mash” her big sleeve is making with the dirty car greaser who selfishly crowds her to get a peep at the queen’s retainers; the pale face, without the least fear of the scalping knife, stands beside the Indian brave gaudily arrayed in feathers and paint; in the crowd sociably hurries the fat grey-gowned friar, beside the very red and horned devil; sweet Margarite’s sensitive nostrils do not consider obtrusive the musty-scented Chinamen just crawled from the opium den; the “new woman,” as usual, carricatured by her jealous brother, is present in gorgeous tri-colored blouse and bloomers; the fraternity of street fakirs, yelling “La Fiesta badges,” is patronized by the sailors and country cousins who have “come to take in Fiesta”; dominoes of all colors and designs mingle with the fashionable and ordinarily dressed Angelenos. The pageants of the first two days represetned the history and religion of the Pacific coast, then followed floats depicting early California history, typical Spanish life made quite real by the presence of genuine senoritas and a company of typical and gallant caballeros on prancing steeds; next followed grand displays of commercial and mercantile interests, which could but feebly portray the enterprise, recourses and productions of southern California. The third day the school children paid to La Reina (and proud was Los Angeles as column after column of bright faced boys and girls swept through the streets;) such a spectacle of comeliness and intelligent prophecy no city can outrival. We sighed, again in vain, “Oh for the fount of youth.” Other cities can display their soldiers, their expert horsemen, their fire apparatus, even their Chinamen, but the locality that can produce so complete an array of excellence in all these lines as displayed on Military day, would be hard to find. The Chinese portion was brilliant and picturesque, and will go down into history as the most striking success of La Fiesta, ’95. Their barbaric splendor was imposing because it was genuine–a great moving living picture of historical events from the land of Confucius, dating back 2000 years, with real accessories from the Asiatic birth place, depicted by the people therefrom. There were glittering banners and helmets wrought in fantastic shapes, baggy silk trousers of sky blue, terminating in stockings of sea green, pink and white; heralding this were the diabolic strains of the Chinese orchestra, tom toms, and clanking of forty tin kettles and the shrieking rasp of the Chinese fiddles. Not a thread of cheap gaudy tinsel marred their glittering display. The exquisite embroidery and bullion fringe would have stood examination severe, it was every thread solid gold and silver metal; the gay, silken garments and banners were of the richest texture and material. Their high officials deigned not to handle a bridle, but rode horses led by white men, so richly attired were they it made the eye ache to look upon them; their garments were a mass of golden embroidery. This page of Oriental splendor had dropped bodily down into the busy bustling western world. The coolie exclaims, “Hip fine allee same melican show no good.” The concluding function of La Fiesta was the floral display, a fragrant and beautiful success. The show a fairy dream. The triumphal progress of the perfumed pageant left in its wake a coating of crushed roses and carnations on the street pavements. Pretty! Ah yes, it was something more than pretty, our plain language is too poor to express it–simply an outward and visible token of the inward and spiritual grace.


Among the most interesting events of the past month was the meeting of the Southern Calilornia branch of the Woman’s Press Association in Los Angeles. Papers on different subjects were read and discussed. Rose Hartwick Thorn, author of “Curfew Shall Not Ring To-night,” was present much to the delight of the admirers of her crowning effort.


Cora L. Smith.

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays.


From the many colleges all over our broad land the sweet girl graduate will soon return home, laden with honors and armed with that convincing proof of her intelligence and culture, the diploma.

Truly, commencement is upon us, but, my dear girls, have you ever thought out what is to be your commencement? All cannot be teachers, and, indeed, many do not wish to assume the arduous task of training the young. Then, what shall you do?

With so many avenues of labor closed against

us, it is by no means an easy task to decide which of the employments still available it is best to choose.


It is much to be regretted that all can not learn some trade while at school; but since that is, at present, impracticable, the best thing to do is to go to work at once to supply the deficiency. A girl who is skilled in the dressmaker’s trade, and is an adept in the art of designing a costume, can afford to be independent and demand her own terms. But there are dressmakers and dressmakers, just as there are teachers and teachers, and those who have not mastered all the intricacies of their trade will be forced to the wall. Learn a trade, but by all means learn it well; be an expert in your chosen profession, and patronage will be thrust upon you from all quarters.

I see that some of the cities have already appointed their committees and gone to work to get up an exhibit for the Cotton States Exposition, which will be a credit to the Lone Star State. This is a move in the right direction.

Those who do not wish to take part should not try to hinder or disparage the efforts of the committees. Of course things are not exactly as we would like–there are some objectionable features; but, we shall accomplish no good by standing aloof complaining, when there has been offered to us such at glorious opportunity to show to the world that we can do something.

People pay no attention to a man who says, “I can invent a machine;” but let him step forward bearing his invention in his hands, and say, “I invented this,” he at once attracts their attention, and if it is really worth anything, their respect also.

Ours is the age in which work and not talk accomplishes the most good. The Caucasian sees so little of us, and very often that little our worst side, that he is amazed at the idea of one of us accomplishing anything worthy of his notice.

We have some brains in Texas; now let us utilize them in getting together such an exhibit as shall make the Texas Department of the Negro Building at Atlanta the cynosure for all visitors.

If we can demonstrate the fact that we call invent anything, mould a piece of statuary or write a book as well as anyone, then we shall do more to solve the negro problem than all preaching and complaining can do? Can we not do this?

Mr. Carlisle, our state superintendent, has consented to establish a summer normal of high grade for colored teachers this year. It is something of which all true teachers have felt the need, and we should show our appreciation by attending in large numbers.

Mr. Kealing’s name has been proposed as a conductor, and if he is appointed, we are all quite convinced that, with his ability and experience, he cannot fail to make it a success.

As the Teachers’ Association meets in Austin just at that time, the superintendent would do well to locate the normal there, as it would save teachers who wished to attend the expense of another railroad fare. Let us urge that city for the normal.

The citizens of Austin are making strenuous efforts to give the teachers who attend a Teachers’ Convention a hearty welcome. It is to be hoped that all who can possibly attend will do so. We are very anxious to have the meeting a success, but when more than half of the great army of teachers never attend, it certainly gives others a bad impression of us. We should be more interested in our own association. Make a few sacrifices if need be.

Three of our educational institutes closed their doors last month–Hearne Academy, Wiley and Paul Quinn. All have very interesting programs.

Prairie View Normal will close on the 7th of June. Bishop Lee will deliver the address to graduates and Rev. L. L. Campbell will preach the baccalaureate sermon.


Medora W. Gould.

There has been little published lately that is interesting and entertaining, or, in other words, popular; which is a good thing. For if we are continually deluged with so much current literature, that it is really worth one’s while to read, when are we to find time for our old favorite authors? For those books that, however old, never cease to be new ? That can be read and read again, and in each reading we can discover new beauties and learn new lessons of life?

By the way, did anyone ever consider what a dangerous thing it was to recommend a book, a thing we do so often and so carelessly? “Tell me something good to read,” and you name the first interesting book that comes in your mind, not considering to what sort of a person you are speaking. Every book we read leaves an impression on the mind of some sort, but does not often impress two people in the same way. Often the book that may strengthen the weak places in the character of one, may have an opposite effect in that of another. Any book that is fascinating, or, indeed, at all interesting must appeal directly to some trait, taste, sympathy, or experience of the reader. Therefore it is well to consider the apparent characteristics of the friend to whom we commend a book; and we should be careful, also, lest we leave an erroneous impression of our own character by our tastes.

This has been called the reign of the paperbound book. Time was when it was considered the spurious article, but nowadays everything comes in paper from Ruskin, Huxley, and Drummond to “The Dark and Daring Deeds of Dick Deadeye,” et cetera. So “you pays your money and you takes your choice.” Now if you send to John B. Allen, publisher, 10 and 12 Underwater Street, New York, for his catalogue you will get a list of books quoted at prices ranging from two cents upwards. These are remarkably well printed on good firm paper. The list consists of the world’s best books and embraces biography, history, science and poetry, as well as the standard novels.

Here in Boston we have had Trilby indeed. Not only have we had the play, the original drawings for that most famous book, aud every article of of wearing apparel designated as “Trilby,” but an enterprising baker advertises Trilby pies.


Commencement occurred Thursday, May 30.

During commencement week a number of exercises were held here, representative of the work done at the institution.

The commencement sermon will be preached by Rev. E. Winchester Donald, D. D., of Trinity Church, Boston.

Our fruit and vegetable crop this year promises to be very large. Most of the vegetables used by the school are raised on its farms.

The Seniors’ Model Home, now in process of erection, is to be used exclusively for the young women of the senior class. One of the ends sought in the erection of this building is to give the seniors an idea of a model home.

The class of ’95 contains teachers, farmers, scientists, carpenters, printers, one preacher, laundresses, dressmakers, cooks, nurses, and in fact almost every kind of craftsmen.

Every girl graduate this year wore a dress made by her own hands.

“Make a way” is the motto of the class of ’95.

Mr. S. Laing Williams, Chicago’s most noted colored lawyer, delivered the annual address.

A fish pond is being made here. Fish will be sent to it by the Fish Commission at Washington.


The best known preventive to consumption is climate, and it is generally conceded that Colorado has the best anti-consumption climate in America.

Hundreds come every year to Denver, hoping to prolong life or regain health; many of them do so who would otherwise meet early death.

The climate of Denver, dry, pure and sunny, with its elevation of one mile above sea level, effectually cures all incipient lung diseases.

Therefore parents having children predisposed to lung trouble are advised to send them to Denver to pursue their studies.

The fine public schools and the Denver University afford unsurpassed educational facilities.

Mrs. Ensley will take into her home a limited number of girls and young ladies desiring to get the benefit of the climate while attending school.

She will give special attention to home training and physical culture, particularly to chest expansion, diet and healthful dressing, while superintending their course at the public schools.

When private instruction is preferred the best teachers will be secured.

For further information address
1755 Ogden St.,
Denver, Col.

Refers by permission to Mr. Nathaniel T. Allen of West Newton English and Classical School.



To supply any of these Wants apply at office of WOMEN’s ERA.

Private family will receive music student to board and lodge. Reasonable terms. Pleasant home. Kranich & Bach piano to practice on. Easy access to the musical life and institutions of Boston. References given and required.

Miss M.W. Gould will give lessons by mail in English composition, grammar, use of capitals, punctuation, formation of sentences, etc.

A woman of business experience and ability will act as confidential agent in taking care of or settling up the estates of women and children. Advice free.

A safe and pleasant home for a young girl desirous of preparing herself to become a trained nurse, in return for services in house-work.



Collegiate and Normal Courses. Enlarged corps of teachers. Industrial training in domestic and mechanic arts, including printing. Instruction in both instrumental and vocal music and in elocution. High grade in every respect. A few deserving and needy students can be aided. Term begins Wednesday, October 2. For catalog, address President HORACE BUMSTEAD.


156 Charles St., Boston.
Three doors from eye infirmary.
Artificial Eyes a Specialty.
Telephone, 1198 Haymarket.


128 Alder St., Pittsfield, Mass.

Will accommodate a few private boarders during the summer months. Five minutes walk from maple woods. Terms reasonable.


Wholesale and Retail Dealer in
51 Court Street,
Near Scollay Square. BOSTON.


MRS. H.L. KEMP, Artistic Dressmaking and Millinery,
Near Myrtle, BROOKLIN, N.Y.
Imported styles always on hand. Competent dressmakers always in attendance.


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 Sq., 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 Lindall Place, Boston.


Branch Store.
Nos. 13 and 15 Broadway Extension,
Boston, Mass.
Manufacturers of Clothes Wringers.
All kinds of Wringers and Swoopers Repaired. Orders by Mail promptly attended to.


What is this A.P.A.?

What its Plans?
Who its Candidates?
What its Principles?
Where can we join?

For full information, send 2-ct. stamp for — or ask your newsdealer for – or send 50 cts. for 3 mos. trial subscription of – the paper which advocates straight A.P.A. principles – THE AMERICAN CITIZEN, 7 Bromfield St., Boston.


– TRY –

Will not spoil or foment in heat or cold, covered or exposed to the air.

PERFECT ICING never dries out or crumbles, all other Icings draw the moisture from the cake and dry it up. A PERFECT ICING will keep your cake from drying out.

PERFECT ICING should be put on in a very thin coating, like a varnish; it will give your cakes a beautiful gloss as well as flavor. Can be cut soon as put on by dipping your knive in cold water.

A 25c. Jar of PERFECT ICING will go further than 25 cents in Egg and Sugar Icing as you use it, is more healthful, and gives a superior flavor.

PERFECT ICINGS are put up in Screw Top Jars, also in Mason quarts, and in wooden pails of 25 lbs. each.


Remove the top, set the Jar in a moderate oven or warm place, until the contents are thin enough to spread. Take your knife, stir it up and spread on a cold cake, just as thin as possible. Set your jar away to use again.

Ask your Grocer for PERFECT ICING.
Almond, Coffee, Wild Grape, Orange, Strawberry, Vanilla, Chocolate, Pistash.

Prepared only by A.H. Peloubet & Co., New York.
See our Trade Mark A.H.P. is on every Label.

PERFECT ICINGS used in making Sherbets or Water Ices, Ice Creams, Sauces, Home Confections, etc. Will give their rich flavors and save work.

B.P. Ray, Agent. 2 Chatham Row, Boston, Mass.



MRS. ELIZABETH E. COOLEY will accommodate a few select boarders. Transient or permanent, At 62 PHILLIPS STREET, BOSTON.


Four Rooms, convenient for housekeeping, to a married couple, without children, who will give meals to other occupants of house, three in number. A good chance for right party.

Apply at 103 CHARLES ST., before 11 o’clock A.M.



Will be opened June 1 to accommodate a few select boarders.
For terms address
P. 0. Box 45.


Our Dress and Garment making is perfect; Prices reasnable; Fit, Style, and Finish Unsurpassed.
Hats and Bonnets made and Trimmed, 50c. to $1.00
Our Millinery and Dress Cutting Schools are the best in the world. Young ladies should come at once and learn.
HARVEY, 29 Temple Place, Boston.


New goods received by steamer every week. We never have an opening.
Always ready to show goods.
The old reliable house retains the same stand,
19 Temple Place, Boston.


Price, $15.00.
A useful and elegant present for ladies and gentlemen.
Over 100,000 in use.
Perfectly simple, practical, and durable.
No $100 machine can do better work.
Writes 77 characters. Capitals and small letters.
Never gets out of order. Perfect alignment always.
No instruction required.
Send for illustrated catalogue.
4 K Post Office quare, — Boston, Mass.


Attorney and Counsellor-at-Law
34 School Street, Boston. Room 22


Does not contain corrosive sublimate, lead, arsenic, mercury, or any poison. As a toilet article for tan, sunburn, moth, freckIes, etc., its excellent, cannot be too well recommended.
Put up in 60c. and $1.00 Sizes, sent postpaid on receipt of Price.
For Sale by Druggists and Dealers In Toilet Supplies.
All correspondence should be addressed to the New England Agents,






The First Edition has been nearly exhausted. An edition of 5000 is to be issued March 1st.

“Above all, let the negro know that the elevation of his race can come only and will come surely through the elevation of its women.” – Senator Geo. F. Hoar.

Miss Emma K. White, one of Chester’s most successful teachers, says: “The volume entitled The Work of the Afro-American Women [sic] Woman is a great success at this point.”

Miss Julia Songow, Germantown, Pennsylvania: “I have sold seventy-five copies of the Work of the Afro-American Woman within two weeks.”

Mrs. Jennie Euola Johnson of Trenton, N.J.: “I have been very successful in my canvass of The Work of the Afro-American Woman.”

Agents Wanted: General [ – 1 word] Offered.

Let [ – 4 words] desire to canvass during the summer, apply at [ – 7 words] of effort have already done well.

[ – 3 words] Red or Brown Cloth, 75 cents, White and Gold, $1.

Apply to Mrs. N.F. Mossell

1432 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, Pa.


A Soft, Pliable, Odorless Matting,
Warm in Winter, Cool in Summer.
An Ideal Sanitary Chamber Carpet
For All the Year Round.
Sews together and turns under.
Does not break or require binding.
No odors or germs or disease.
Insects do not trouble it.
Heavy furniture does not break it.
Double faced — double wear.
Artistic colors — stylish designs.
We cordially invite inspection.
Manufacturers and Patentees,
50 Essex St. (cor. Chauncy) Boston, Mass.


Why Not Advertise in the Weekly Journal of the Lodge? With a circulation of 4,000 Write for terms and space.




Lamperti Method
103 Charles Street, – – Boston, Mass.


Butler R. Wilson,

Notary Public,
34 School Street, (Room 33) Boston.


Robert L. Carter, M.D.

No. 722 Kempton Street,
Diseases of Women a Specialty.
Telephone 329-4.


Homes for the People!

In Southern California, The Italy of America.

Lands Within Reach of Poor Men’s Means.

Of Los Angeles, California, Have placed upon the market
20,000 ACRES 20,000

Of the finest land on earth, which they intend to colonize with colored people, and at prices within reach of men of small means. In order to induce investments in these lands we offer 2,000 acres to the first settlers at $20 per acre and guarantee to deliver water to each 20 acres sold, sufficient for irrigation. These lands lie 60 miles north from Los Angeles, and 7 miles from the Southern Pacific R.R., and consist of a rich friable loam, being of sedimentary formation mingled with decomposed granite. The soil is from 4 to 50 feet deep, and is capable of producing everything on earth that grows in this land of wonderful production.

It lies at an altitude of 2,500 feet above sea level and is peculiarly on the land of the olive and almond.


are the rule in Southern California and more profit can be realized from 20 acres here than on 160 acres in the East.


the price will be $35.00 per acre.

It is not an unusual thing for trees in bearing to yield

From $100 to $1000 per Acre.

These lands have perfect title and will be sold for one-third cash, balance one, two and three years, with interest at 6 per cent per annum.

Full information will be given by applying to
H.A. PIERCE, President, or T.M. GIBSON, Secretary,
Room 37, Bryson Block, Los Angeles, California.