Volume 3, Number 5



The Woman’s Era.

Vol. III. No. 5.



The failure of Mr. Joseph Lee, the proprietor of Woodland Park Hotel, Auburndale, Mass., has carried consternation all over the country. This failure is one to be particularly deplored, and it is in the nature of a public calamity. For twenty-one years Mr. Lee and his wife have put money, brains and industry into their work, and this hotel had become one of the famous ones of this neighborhood. In every respect it was first class and entertained many distinguished people. In its way it was unique, for it is seldom that a suburban hotel, with all the accompaniments of parks, tennis grounds, stables, etc., can find a large winter patronage, but so attractive was the table and inner appointments that rooms were in demand here throughout the entire year.

The Woodland Park Hotel was a source of pride to the whole race, and the large number who have been entertained there cannot but feel a personal loss in this failure.

However, Mr. Lee has a couple of lucrative patents upon the market, and these together with his name and fame as a caterer must offer opportunities for the future.

In the restaurants conducted by Mr. Lee in several large fairs recently, it was decided novelty to see the help mixed, colored and white waitresses, clerks, cooks, etc. The work that was being done by him was so valuable that we feel, to repeat, that his failure is a great public calamity.


Three fairs have engaged the attention of the Woman’s Era Club throughout the past autumn. To the “Noah’s Ark,” for the benefit of the Charity Club Hospital, as a club they contributed only the president as one of the reception committee, although many members showed their individual interest by frequent visits to that gorgeous show.

At the fair for the New England Hospital for Women and Children, a Woman’s Era Table helped in a modest way to make up that grand total of $13,000, which has gone into the treasury of the hospital as the financial result of many weeks of preparation by enthusiastic charity workers all over New England, and one delightful week of barter, sale and social intercourse in Tremont Temple, where the fair was held. The Rhode Island was the banner table, turning in to the treasurer of the fair about $1,700 net.

Following immediately upon the heels of the Hospital fair came the Woman’s Era’s special effort for St. Monica’s Home, for sick and destitute colored women and children, tht was held in the lecture room of St. Augustine Church for three days only. Nevertheless and despite adverse happenings (for the fair), in the shape of big weddings and other parties coming upon each evening the fair was running, the receipts were more than sufficient to supply the Home with all of its fuel for the year. An Ednah D. Cheney Table was a feature of this fair. This table was named in recognition of the large interest taken in and contributions given to it by Mrs. Cheney. The articles from this table still unsold are to e used as a nucleus for still another effort for St. Monica’s benefit. Some time during the winter a supplementary sale will be held in the parlors of the Home, when it is expected that a good sum will be added to that already standing to the credit of the W.E. sewing circle.

Boston, Dec. 24, 1896.

Martha W. Nash

At a meeting of the executive committee and heads of tables of the fair in aid of the New England Hospital for Women and Children, a vote of sincere thanks was passed in appreciation of the valuable service rendered the fair by the president of the Woman’s Era Table and those associated with her. Will you please convey to these ladies the sentiment expressed in this vote?

Very truly yours,

MARTHA W. NASH, Secretary





  • Pres., Mary Church Terrell, Washington, D. C.
  • 1st Vice Pres., Josephine St. P. Ruffin, Boston, Mass.
  • 2d ” Frances Jackson Coppin, Phila., Pa.
  • 3d ” Frances E. W. Harper, Phila, Pa.
  • 4th ” Josephine Silone Yates, Kan. City, Mo.
  • 5th ” Sylvanie Williams, New Orleans, La.
  • 6th ” Jennie Chase Williams, So. Carolina.
  • 7th ” Lucy Thurman, Jackson City, Mich.
  • Rec. Sec., Alice Ruth Moore, W. Medford, Mass.
  • Cor. Sec., A. Victoria Thompkins, Washington, D.C.
  • Treas., Helen A. Cook, Washington, D. C.
  • Nat. Organizer, Victoria E. Matthews, New York.
  • Chairman Ex. Com., Mrs. B. T. Washington, Tuskegee, Ala.


Victoria Earle Matthews

9 Murray St., New York, Dec., 1896.


With the hope of establishing a truly National Association, representing all conditions of, our women, a department of organization was created, when the National Federation of Afro-American Women and the National Colored Women’s League united, last July, in Washington, D. C. The object of the National Association of Colored Women is the development and protection of our womanhood, our homes and our history, as an integral part of the great American nation. The department begins its work burdened with many obstacles. In the first place the expense of carrying on necessary correspondence, printing and numberless incidentals pertaining to active and conscientious work must be borne personally by the national organizer during this first year, and those who shall, for love of the work, and what in the providence of our Heavenly Father we hope it may mean to us as race, volunteer to help her. It is too early in the history of the association to expect it to be otherwise. It will take at least a year to get in regular order to begin taxations for departmental work. This must be apparent to all. Women have been taxed only for the maintenance of local clubs, and the expenses attached to the holding of annual conventions, consequently there is no money in the treasury for this work. Therefore, I beg our loyal, race-loving women to rally to this call, and assist in putting our association on as firm a basis as any among American women.

The honor and dignity of our cause will permit no hesitation or lack of interest without entailing upon us the sneers and contempt of those who have preceded us in movements of this kind. As .I partially organized body, we can have no hope of permanency. Without state organizations we are not representative. As we stand today, we represent about five thousand members — the nucleus of a splendid force. We are too far apart — we must be concentrated, as to purpose and method of procedure. The work of the Department of Organization is ten-fold. It must not only strive to add new clubs to the National Association, but must labor wherever practicable and consistent for the deepening of the interests and activities of the women already within the fold. As a means to this end, every club in the National Association will receive a copy of this open letter, which is addressed to them as a personal appeal urging upon their officers the great necessity of engaging in some form of practical work that the same may be done in an orderly and business-like way, and the details of any successful undertaking to be sent to the WOMAN’S ERA, our official organ, so that others anxious to work may be benefited in the matter of method and starting. Every locality needs a woman’s club — there can be no question about that. The vital question is, will the women do the work that they see is needed close to their very doors in every locality where our people live?

Owing to the absence of regular appropriation to cover traveling expenses, the work must be carried on by correspondence, except in instances where women will call meetings and raise traveling expenses for organizer, either state or national. In no case will charges be made for personal service. As fast as women can be found who are willing to undertake state or section organization, such will be appointed. Advice and suggestions on this head will be gladly received. Where no state organizer has been appointed, the officers of any club in good standing may be of great assistance to this department. Any energetic woman desirous of aiding the work can call a number of women together for the purpose of organizing them. After the officers are chosen and the object decided upon, a correct list of members’

names, officers’ names and addresses, with object, should be mailed to national organizer, who will supply application blanks for club membership in the National Association.


It is a matter of very grave concern, not to say humiliation and discouragement, that a great number of our women, favored in many ways beyond the masses, thus far seem inclined to regard indifferently the advantages accruing from thorough and harmonious organization. There can be no doubt that in organization woman has come into closer contact with woman, which unquestionably leads to the more perfect development of the useful woman, and through the intermingling of the universally united sympathies, a nobler, broader-minded woman. The latent activities of our women must be aroused, the almost universal indifference of our young people to things uplifting and ennobling must be checked, and the true missionary spirit must be developed and encouraged for the good of future generations. Organization dominated by judgment and necessity must be our watchword. We know the evils threatening the welfare of our people. Systematic organization will not only afford relief but will prevent retrogression, by the establishment of new and wholesome interests among our young people. It is the hope of your national organizer to report, at the convention of 1897, a vigorous club in every state in the Union, and in a majority of the cities and towns, and to that end I call upon my sister women throughout the country to help by a mighty exhibition of’ womanly determination and race pride. Sisters! in all earnestness let me ask, will you actively take hold with heart and brain and place our association on a foundation second to none in America? We can do it if we will to do it! Any communication addressed to me at 9 Murray street, New York City, will receive prompt attention. I beg aII before whom this letter falls will consider it in the light of a personal communication.

Fraternally yours,

VICTORIA EARLE MATTHEWS, National Organizer, N. A. C. W.


The Christmas holidays have, on the whole, been quietly observed in Boston, there being little of any general interest, save the party at Arcade hall, under the management of Mrs. J. H. Lewis, and a children’s party at the same hall under the same manager, assisted by Mrs. Geo. Glover.



S.E. Bell

Louisville, Ky.

To the Editor:

From the October and November ERA I gleaned the fact that clubs are still being formed in different sections of the country. I am more than proud to add to the list another organization of women in our city, trying to work along the lines you are working.

After hearing a lecture by Mrs. Ida B. Wells Barnett of Chicago, in our city, last September 25, we resolved to form among us a woman’s club. So, calling a number of ladies together, we organized what is known as “The Woman’s Improvement Club,” electing Mrs. Frank L. Williams, pres.; Mrs. Jno. Birney, vice-pres.; Mrs. J. J. C. McKinley, sec.; Mrs. William Kelly, assist. sec.; Miss A. M. Bowman, treas.: Miss S. E. Bell, cor. sec. Miss G. A. Nugent has been elected secretary on the reception of Mrs. McKinley’s resignation. We number between thirty and forty, and are thriving.

Very respectfully,

S.E. BELL, Cor. Sec.


Elizabeth E. Lane

The questions on the literary program for discussion for the past. quarter have been: “Mrs. Harriet B. Stowe. Sketch of Her Life,” Miss Caroline Williams. “Influence of Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” Mrs. J. D. McCall. “Child Study,” by Misses Hunt, Porter and Mrs. Estelle Penney. “Strength and Weakness of Public Schools of Alabama,” by Mrs. Louise Jenkins and Adele Hunt-Logan.

Music has been exceptionally good. Misses Hadley, Morse and Rochan are artist in this particular, and members of the club have enjoyed musical treats given by them and other members of the club who assisted them.

The last club meeting of the quarter, held November 20th, was presided over by the president, Mrs. B.T. Washington, for the first time this year. The exercise was unique in its way, for it was wholly devoted to the presentation of “motions,” “rules,” “amendments,” bills nonsensical and otherwise. They were “ruled out,”

and “tabled,” “passed,” etc., by strictly parliamentary usages that gave credence to the proceedings as being “a Parliamentary Drill,” as had been planned by the executive committee. Much benefit and pleasure were derived from the exercise.


The questions for discussion the present quarter are: “Is Woman Suffrage Desirable?” “The Separate Car Law,” “Social Life Among Afro-Americans,” “Paul Dunbar and Poems,” “Training for Domestic Service,” and “Frederick Douglas.”

The first program for this quarter was given on December 4th. Miss Mary Melvin and Louise Cooper discussed the suffrage question. The discussion brought out many reasons why our women should be encouraged to agitate the question among the clubs.

The reports of club departments show an increase of the number over last year, and advance in the line of work done. Some have not been reorganized for this year. Two Social Purity Clubs and the Club of Ministers’ Wives are in this list. The Vesta Club of thirty-five town girls is being trained in domestic economy by Mrs. N.B. Young. This club has a charity fund from which members drew to give a Thanksgiving dinner to twelve old ex-slaves whose cabins are being made comfortable by these young women and their teachers.

The Ednah Cheney Club, under Mrs. F.B. Thornton, numbers forty young women who are working in the same direction as the Vesta, and whose results bespeak conscientious work.

The Department of Band of Mercy, Humane Society, under direction of’ Miss L. L. Chapman, numbers fifty young people who are as readv to protect their friends “in feathers and fur” as themselves.

The W.C.T.U. gained fresh impetus from the visit of Miss Frances Willard; and the president, Miss S. H. Porter, has been exceedingly successful in enrolling seventy-five members to wear the white ribbon badge. The semi-monthly meetings do not lag, nor has the outside work among the “hard drinkers” been without effect.

The Woman’s Conference held weekly in the town of Tuskegee by Mrs. B.T. Washington has its weekly sewing classes among the members this year. Facilities have been arranged for baths in rooms rented for the work. Night school is being carried on for the boys, old men and young. Cooking classes are being taught, a regular course being given in the kitchen that has been fitted for the purpose. Members of the Dorcas Club, an offshoot of conference, attend these classes. Three graded classes are taught here in sewing once per week. A Penny Savings Bank has been established. Depositors are not allowed to draw but once a year. The bank has a number of depositors who seem bent upon having a good “stock.”

The Margaret Murray Washington Club, under Miss E. E. Lane, is composed of thirty young women to meet the obligations that they have willingly undertaken for the year. The Current History Club, under the direction of Mrs. Adele Hunt-Logan, was not reported because of’ her absence.


Mrs. N. Johnson


Roanoke, Va., Dec., 1896.


Will you kindly advise us as to how we can put ourselves in communication with the Woman’s National Association. We should like to obtain its literature and keep ourselves in touch with it.

We have formed ourselves into what is known as the Women’s League of Roanoke, and we anticipate accomplishing much work this winter. We have opened “mothers’ meetings,” something we feel to be so much needed here.

Hoping to hear from you at your earliest convenience, and also with a sincere wish that you may supply any useful knowledge unasked for, I have the pleasure of remaining,

Yours respectfully,

MRS. N. JOHNSON, Corresponding Secretary of the League.



In a staid and respectable old burg like Newport there is little or no reformatory or charitable work demanding the attention of that much overworked party in other and more frisky communities — the woman with a mission – consequently the Woman’s Newport League, after doing all its hands find to do for the public weal, has still time to devote to cultivating and encouraging more social life among all classes in that community. To that winter “sleepy hollow,” the League is a most beneficent institution in more ways than one. The next effort of the League is to be a social one

of roseate color, “a leap year pink tea.” Mrs. Dickerson, the organizer of the League, is also general promoter of all the good efforts made by it.



Wheeling, W. VA.

The club is anticipating a very pleasant and interesting evening at its next meeting, discussing the poems of our poet, Paul Lawrence Dunbar.

The club continues to grow in interest; each member does her duty with all earnestness. We very recently prepared a box of clothing and sent it to the indigent students of Gammon Theological and Clark Universities. An interesting and encouraging letter was received from Mr. J. W. E. Bowen, wishing us great success with our work.


The first mystery which the young men had to solve was to find where the entertainment was to be given, as the invitations read, “Guess where and come there.” Two prizes were given, one for the best or neatly hemmed apron, the other for the worst looking one. These were both given to gentlemen.

Some of our girls have been smiling sweetly since December 27th, when the gentleman from Altoona, Pa., paid us a short visit.

There were several visitors in the city during the holidays, all of whom, we trust, had a Merry Xmas, and we wish all a happy New Year.


Haydee Campbell and Alice Brown Thompson

St. Louis, Mo., December 18, 1896.

The Woman’s Club of St. Louis held its regular meeting Wednesday evening, December 2, at St. Paul’s Chapel, Mrs. Haydee Campbell presiding. The meeting was well attended and enthusiasm ran high. Very glowing reports were read from the five sections into which the club bas been divided, viz: the industrial, charity, study of child nature, literary and social.

We wish that each reader might see and feel how far reaching has been the work of this new organization. It has made glad the hearts of many, who have just come to realize how easy it is to broaden out into united usefulness. The industrial section has gone to work with might and main to secure a home. The charity section has given quite a substantial donation to the Colored Orphan Horne from the proceeds of their entertainments to that end. The study of child nature calls for ready interest and co-operation from the hearts of scores of mothers. From our literary work we are hoping to gain much intellectual development. The social section is ever alert to the pleasure of our home friends and the entertainment of all strangers who are lending a hand in the elevation of our womanhood all over this broad land. This section deserves special mention for the efforts they put forth in the reception tendered Mrs. Lucy Thurman, our beloved and honored guest. Mrs. Thurman addressed the club on this occasion, and in her speech made some very graceful remarks on Frances E. W. Harper, whom the club, as a mark of appreciation, made an honorary member at its organization. The next meeting of the club will be on Feb. 14, 1897, to commemorate the birthday of Frederick Douglas.

We hope from time to time to drop a word to your excellent paper, in order that we keep in touch with the important work women everywhere are doing.



S. Lillian Coleman

Nebraska, December 25.

The festivities of the Xmas season “flung their shadows” long before. On the highways and byways, on the city’s crowded pavements, and in the country poultry yard, were seen and heard the avant couriers of this great holiday. Everywhere hearts were stirred and pulses quickened by the pleasant anticipation. At this time everybody keeps holiday but the cook, and all sounds known to the human ear seem mingled in a merry paean – save the gobble of the turkey.

In the earlier half of the century the pageantry of feasting at Christmastide was carried to its greatest degree of splendor. At the time Christmas was celebrated from All Halloween, October 31, until Candlemas Day, February 2, and the houses of gentry were, during this time, open to all the countryside. The expenses of such entertaining and festivity were enormous.

In the diary of the Reverend John Ward, Vicar of Stratford-on-Avon, from 1648 to 1679, it is stated that the Duke of Norfolk expended twenty thousand pounds in keeping Christmas.

Later the good old customs languished, and in Ben Johnson’s “Mask of Xmas” is found:


“An hue and cry after Xmas. — Any man or woman that can give any knowledge or tell any tidings of an old, old, very old gray-bearded gentleman, called Christmas, who wanted to be a very familiar guest and visit the rich and the poor — whosoever can tell what has become of him, or where he may be found, let them bring him back again to England.”

He must have been found, although the Puritan fathers did not bring him over in the Mayflower, and it was not until many years later that, emigrating, he found warm welcome in America. But his home is now here, and when the earth silently wraps herself in her white mantle, symbol of immortality, the fires of’ hospitality are lighted on the hearths of countless homes, and the spicy odor of the burning Yule log creeps upon the frosty air, mingled with the savory odors of the


  • Blue Points on the Half Shell.
  • Clear Soup.
  • Creamed Fish Served in Paper Cases.
  • Turkey Stuffed with Chestnuts, Cranberry Sauce.
  • Browned Sweet Potatoes. Peas.
  • Macaroni au Gratin.
  • Mayonnaise of Celery.
  • Wafers. Cheese.
  • Plum Pudding.
  • Fruit.
  • Coffee.


Christine S. Smith

Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 11, 1896.

My Dear Mrs. Ruffin:

We have organized a Woman’s Club in this city with the following officers: President, Mrs. C. S. Smith; vice president, Mrs. Eugene Harris; secretary, Mrs. Preston Burrus; treasurer, Mrs. Preston Taylor; executive committee, Mrs. Georgia Sheeton, Mrs. W. H. Hodgkins, Miss Ellen A. Allen, Mrs. Lewis Winter, Mrs. T. B. Caldwell.

We hope soon to send a list of subscribers to the ERA.

Our first work will be to send in a petition to the legislature to repeal the “Jim Crow Car Law,” or to make first and second class fares. If we do not succeed in having the law repealed, we shall at least show them we are not satisfied with conditions as they exist. Pray for our success.

Sincerely yours,



Mrs. A.W.Thomas and I.A. Terry

COLUMBUS, GA., December 29, 1896.


Dear Madam: — We have among us here what was originally known as the Douglass Circle. We organized with the object of cultivating an interest in intellectual work among our women. So far we have progressed verywell; with the money collected from time to time we have entertained our friends who were interested in the work. But we have thought to do other work instead of benefitting those with whom we are immediately connected. With this idea in view it was thought best that we connect ourselves with others, that we may no longer be strangers to other workers in the good cause.

We have read with much interest of the National Association of Colored Women, and seeing that it was made up of local clubs, desired to connect ourselves with it. We at once wrote Mrs. B. T. Washington requesting that she would instruct us as to what steps we must take by which to make application for membership. Mrs. Washington wrote us to send for a copy of the WOMAN’S ERA, the organ of the Association.

We therefore write for a copy of’ the same, with terms of subscription, and if there be need for any further information, that it may be given.

We shall appreciate it very highly.

Assuring you of our interest in the work and our desire to unite with the effort, we are,

Very truly yours,

MRS. A.W. THOMAS, Pres. I.A. TERRY, Sec.


St. Louis, Mo., December 30, 1896.

To the Editor of the Woman’s Era:

A few women of St. Louis, engaged in club work, would like to report occasionally through

the columns of your paper. And by helping us, we will also help you by subscribing for the ERA.


The Suffrage Club No. 2 held a meeting on Thursday night, December 17, at 2606 Mill street. We had a very interesting meeting, having Rev. S. W. Bachlor to give us a short talk on ‘Woman Suffrage. Meeting every first Thursday in the month. Mrs. Maggie Still, 2606 Mill street, president; Mrs. L. V. Carter, 2843 Montgomery street, secretary.

The Phyllis Wheatley Club has organized a Sewing School for the children. We have fifty children enrolled on the book; and we have amongst the children a Band of Mercy, not only learning them how to sew, but to love and serve one another. We are not going in our own strength. We remember that the Scripture says, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord.”

A consecrated meeting is held at the residence of Mrs. Carter, 2843 Montgomery street, every Thursday afternoon. The Lord has wonderfully used us as his missionaries. The work is carried on by Maggie Still, Sister Shavous, Sister Comb, Sister Robinson, for visiting the jail, workhouse, hospital, and anywhere duty calls us.


Chicago Conservator

In good time for the holiday season has come the issue of Paul Dunbar’s new volume of’ poems entitled “Lyrics of Lowly Life.” The work is issued by Dodd, Mead & Co., of New York, and contains an introduction by W. D. Howells. It is to be regretted that notice was not made in our race journals of its expected appearance, for a host of colored people who love their race and who believe in encouraging aspiring manhood would have been most glad to include this book in their holiday purchase.

We do not forget that we owe much to one another. If a colored man writes a good book he should find a large reading constituency among his own people. We should make our patronage so certain and remunerative, that publishers will be glad to put our books upon the market.

In that way we can open a way for our aspiring young men and women, which to them thus far has been practically closed. The volume under consideration contains the latest and best of Mr. Dunbar’s poems. With only a few years spent in tempting the muse, he spreads before us a feast of poetry and song, inspiring, comforting and satisfying. He has a range which wins commendation from the most severe critic, and gives to the searcher after genus a bounty to draw upon. While his dialect poems constitute a distinctive feature of his work, they by no means overshadow in point of merit the other contributions to his book. His English is chaste, his sentiment exalted, and his verse finished in point of literary excellence. “Lyrics of the Lowly ” is destined to hold a high place among the best poetical contributions of the year.

Speaking of the new book, the Inter-Ocean’s literary critic says” “Scarcely has a book of poems come to our table during the year more profoundly entertaining than is “Lyrics of Lowly Life.”

Mr. W. D. Howells writes the introduction to the volume, and says he makes no prophecy for the future, “but if Mr. Dunbar should do nothing more than he has done, I should feel that he had made the strongest claim for the Negro in English literature that the Negro has yet made.” Mr. Howells adds: “Had these poems been written by a white man I should not have found them less admirable. I accepted them as an evidence of the essential unity of’ the human race, which does not think or feel black in one and white in another, but humanly in all.” The poems are elegant in construction, and ringing and musical in every line. The dialect poems are more remarkable and flow so easily and naturally from his pen as to be masterpieces of their kind.


Chicago Conservator

Brookline is honored by the presence of royalty in the person of the ex-queen of the Sandwich Islands. Queen Lil is stopping on Sewall avenue, to be near her husband’s relatives, Mr. and Mrs. Lee. Considerable social attention has been paid to the queen in the way of dinners, sleighrides, etc.

The queen is reported to be a woman of education and talent. She brings a number of followers with her, and will undoubtedly be able to hold her own in this, the most aristocratic of Massachusetts town.


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.


  • Per Annum, – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -$1.00
  • Single Copies, – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – .10
  • Club Rates, one hundred copies, – – – – – – 7.00
  • Subscription Payable in Advance.


In the passing away of Mrs. Rachel Smith, who for twenty-five years was the matron of the Home for Aged Colored Women, the Woman’s Era Club has lost a loved co-worker, the Home an intelligent, devoted Christian head, and the community a useful and ornamental member. At the regular meeting of the club immediately following the death of Mrs. Smith, the tributes of respect were paid her memory by the president and other members of the club, followed by five minutes of silent prayer and contemplation of’ the virtues of the deceased. The club’s floral offering was a large bunch of white chrisanthemums and English violets, tied with violet satin ribbon, which was laid upon the bier by a committee from the club in attendance upon the funeral ceremonies.


Councilor-elect Isaac B. Allen continues to vindicate the judgment of those who regret that he was ever put forward as a representative of his race for a high station.

— Boston Sunday Herald.

It is a well known fact that if Isaac B. Allen was put forward “as a representative of his race,” it was never intended that he should represent them in the governor’s council; he was set up as a man of straw to encompass certain ends and then be knocked down. His election is due to a miscarriage of a game of bluff – an old game played against the colored people so often successfully that the political wire pullers had become reckless and this time got caught in a web of their own weaving. It is the legitimate outcome of a pernicious practice of using unfit candidates simply for effect, before election, with only the shortlived notoriety gained of having been a candidate for their reward, after election. The result justifies an “I told you so,” to the “Napoleon of politics in Massachusetts.”

Nevertheless and in spite of the alleged moral shortcomings of Mr. Allen and the altogether discreditable exhibitions he has made of himself since his election to a “high station,” he is undoubtedly elected, and therefore entitled to the honors and emoluments of the office to which he was chosen; and as the recount and the appeal to the supreme court have failed to prevent his receiving his credentials, it would seem that the latest move of the other contestant and present occupant of the place — that of carrying his case to the incoming legislature — will not avail to keep Mr. Allen from taking his place among Governor Wolcott’s councilors, not as a “representative of his race,” however, but as an unexpectedly successful tool of political tricksters of both parties. That the situation is in embarrassing one all round cannot be denied. There is but one right way out of it, and we predict that Massachusetts will not stultify herself by refusing to adopt that way. She cannot afford to set a dangerous precedent that will some day redound to her confusion, and at once bring down upon her the sneering comments of a waiting, watchful south, to whose methods ill matters political the throwing out of Allen would give encouragement, and countenance by the greatest endorsement possible — that of imitation.

Let it be emphasized that this is no “race issue,” and demagogues black and white, north and south, should be thwarted in their attempts to make one of it. It is simply a painful political episode.

“Work before Our Women” is the title of a circular issued by the national organizer of’ the N. A. C. W., Mrs. Victoria E. Mathews. In it an eloquent appeal is made for activity among all the clubs in the union along all the lines of work projected and recommended by the two national conferences, the one held in Boston in July, 1895, and in Washington in July, 1896. Clubs in the union, and those desiring to become part of it, not having received the circulars, should send at once to Mrs. Mathews, 9 Murray St., New York, for copies.


By letters recently received and printed elsewhere, it will be seen that at last, direct and correct information of the whereabouts and condition of the only daughter of old John Brown has been obtained. An article in the last issue of the ERA brought out letters supplying the desired information in time for the Woman’s Era Club of Boston to do its share in the pleasant duty of assisting the daughter of the one modern martyr, but not in time to carry out the plan devised by them upon first hearing of Mrs. Adams’ needs. Of the letters and their writers, Mrs. Adams tells the whole, pathetic story. Mr. Allen’s but emphasizes the well-known, long-continued interest taken by him and all his family in all anti-slavery, anti-justice, humane measures. Mrs. Lyles is the energetic president and founder of the John Brown Memorial Association, and it is suggested that each club in the National Association of Colored Women send to her five dollars, to be forwarded by her to Mrs. Adams. The Woman’s Era Club of Boston will immediately forward their contributions to the fund.

Miss Lyles will return receipts to club secretaries for the monies received from them.


T.H. Lyles

ST. PAUL, MINN., Dec. 16, 1896.

Please permit me a little space to answer an inquiry of the ERA, of November, about the whereabouts and conditions of Anna Brown Adams, the daughter of old John Brown, who kept house for him, and with Martha, the girl-wife of Oliver Brown, went down and helped in the preparation for the raid on Harper’s Ferry. Martha died shortly after.

Anna is now living in Petrolia, Humboldt County, California. She wrote to me and told me about losing her home by fire a short time ago, and is now in want.

She is now an old woman, who gave the best of her young life for the colored people, and I feel that we have a right to help her for the sake of her father, brothers, and the other friends who gave their lives for the liberation of the slaves.

I am proud to say that my club, the “John Brown Woman’s Loyal Union,” gave an entertainment and sent her fifteen dollars, and a large box of clothing, bedding, etc. I earnestly hope that other clubs will do likewise.

Yours very truly,

Mrs. T. H. Lyles.


Annie Brown Adams


I have just received yours of November 9th, with the inclosed [sic] enclosed fifteen dollars, also the package and pictures so kindly sent. Please accept my most sincere thanks for yourself, and also express my gratitude to the others who so kindly helped.

I should be pleased to comply with your request for a picture of myself, but I cannot indulge in such luxuries as having pictures taken.

You asked me to tell you how many children I have, and their ages. My two oldest are girls, aged twenty-six and twenty-four years, then two boys, aged twenty-three and nineteen years, then two girls, aged sixteen and fourteen, and two boys aged ten and twelve years, making eight living and two little girls who died, makes ten in all. My oldest daughter works in an overall factory in San Francisco. The next one is working at a hotel in Petrolia. The youngest one is with me. The boys all work all the time, and earn all they can to help along. They have split out timber and built a small sort of a house, but it is not near large enough to accommodate us, and is so full of cracks that the “wind bloweth as it listeth,” through it. I have 300 acres of land, but I owe a debt that will soon yawn and swallow it. I have offered all my letters, pictures, and little keepsakes for sale, to raise the money to pay this off, but as times are hard, people can do without old relics.

Our crops were almost a perfect failure last year, so we neither had anything to sell, nor have we seed for planting next year’s crops. Please accept my thanks for the offer to send a box of clothing, but as the winter rains have set in early, we are shut out of the world for months to come. It would not reach here until late next spring. We live five miles from town and one mile from the nearest neighbor, in a wild, moutainous country, nine miles back from the sea shore. It has rained nearly all this month, so the roads are now impassable to the nearest seaport town, which is about sixty miles from here. We are so shut in from all the rest of the world that any reading matter is welcomed and duly appreciated by us. I will enclose a slip from a paper sent me by my old friend, H.K. Rust. He was an acquaintance of my father’s, and has been a good friend of our family for a great many years.

The weather has been so cold and stormy that I have been unable to finish this letter and send

it to the post office. Please pardon the delay. Nothing can now reach me, except through the post office, for several months to come. It is weeks and sometimes months at a time that I never see a woman during the rainy season, and seldom at any time in the year, so I have no social life whatever.


I would be pleased to see some of the Afro-American papers once in a while, that I might know something of the progress the people are making. My children have all had to go to work as soon as they were old enough to earn anything, so they have to be satisfied with small wages, and any kind of work they can get.

The money you so kindly sent has bought me a much needed pair of stout shoes to keep my feet dry, and will help me to get some more things that I need. God bless you all.

Sincerely yours, ANNIE BROWN ADAMS.


Nathaniel T. Allen


In reading the WOMAN’S ERA, just received this evening, I noticed on pages 14 and 15 the inquiry concerning the location of Mrs. Anna (Brown) Adams, daughter of John Brown of heroic memory and world wide known.

When in Pasadena, Cal., in 1893, visiting my friend, Prof. T.S. C. Lowe, projector and chief owner of the electric railway from the foot to the summit of Mt. Lowe, by which one can pass, in thirty to forty-five minutes, from orange laden groves to a sleigh ride upon the summit. Professor Lowe introduced me to Hiram Brown – I think his name was Hiram — a younger brother of the famous John Brown, who (Hiram) was an employe [sic] employee of the professor. I had quite a conversation with Hiram, both Professor L. and myself having been Garrisonian abolitionists, sympathizers with John Brown, fully as cordial as with Lafayette in his heroic efforts in our country’s behalf during our revolution, notwithstanding my peace principles.

If I remember correctly, I learned that John Brown’s widow, or other members of his family, were living in California, near Pasadena. By communicating direct with Prof. T.S.C. Lowe, at Pasadena, Cal., the whereabouts of the person you sought can no doubt be ascertained at once, if Hiram still lives, and if dead, through Professor Lowe.

Always your friend,



One of the most delightful receptions of New Year’s day was that held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Lee, Beacon street, Brookline, where ex-Queen Lilioukulani was the guest of honor. The old colonial mansion house was bright with flowers and full of guests during the reception hours from 3 to 5. The receiving party formed a pretty picture, as, grouped in the bay window, they greeted with charming cordiality the many friends who expressed so much pleasure at the opportunity offered to meet a charming woman, who was most womanly and cordial in her greetings in this lovely home.

In the receiving party were ex-Queen Lilioukulani, with Mrs. Lee on her right, Mrs. Kia Nahsolelin on the left, with Mr. Lee, Miss Lee, J. Haleluke and Capt. Julius Palmer in the line. The ushers were Misses Flora and Donalena MacDonald and F.M. Goss. Most delightful music was rendered during the afternoon by Miss Sarah MacDonald, harpist.

The ex-queen wore a gown of black velvet, with thread lace garniture, caught with rare jewels, and prominent was the badge of the Mystic Shrine, of which she was made a member in 1887. Mrs. Lee was radiantly beautiful in a costume of French gray and lace, with a circle of gold on her arm, which the guest presented as a token of friendship, a golden band with the letter “L” in plain gold, a dainty trifle which Lilioukulani wore during the days of her recent imprisonment, and Mr. Lee also wore a New Year’s gift from the same source, a heart-shaped pin of pearl, with centre of amethyst.

The tea room was very dainty where Mrs. Walter M. Farwell poured tea. Mrs. F. M. Goss of Melrose presided at the chocolate table, while Miss Annie Morse served frappe.

Another and larger New Year’s reception was that of Catabrigia Club, held in Odd Fellows Hall, North Cambridge, when six hundred gayly dressed women and a few men turned out to listen to a charming lecture on Michael Angelo, by Prof. Wm. G. Ward, of Harvard College, and incidentally to shake hands with Mrs. May Alden Ward, vice-president of the club, Professor Ward, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, Mrs. Estelle M. Merritt, and the handsome and genial ex-Mayor Bancroft, of Cambridge, all of whom made up the receiving party, and then to partake of dainties served by the lovely girls of the club. The University City

Club is distinguished for the recognition given it by the husbands, sons and brothers of its members. At every social function of this club a considerable number of’ Harvard professors and other cultivated gentlemen are always in evidence.


South Carolina has an Afro-American novelist. His name is Kennett Young. Mr. Young is 36 years old and is a barber by trade. “Silene ” is the title of his book, and thrilling is an adjective that can be applied to every chapter from the first to the last.

Mrs. Anna E. Walker, a graduate of the New York Art School, who went to Paris, France, to further perfect herself in the art of painting, has returned to her home in Washington, after a most successful course in one of the highest art schools in Europe. After Mrs. Walker had studied in Paris only four months she painted a picture from life, which was accepted by the French Salon, where it was put on exhibition, and it must be remembered that an art student is considered fortunate to get a pastel into the Salon, after having studied for years.

Messrs. Jolm F. Cook and M. M.Holland, of Washington, have been given places on the executive committee for the inauguration ceremonies, while the following have been appointed to the committee on public comfort: R. H Terrell, chairman; E.E. Cooper, Wyatt Archer, L.C. Bailey, R.S. Smith, L.H. Douglass, Major C. A. Fleetwood, Captain James Perry, Wm. H.A. Wormley, W.C. Martin, Major F. Revells, Dr. T. Lee.

Miss Azale Thomas of New Orleans, a recent graduate of Hampton, Va., will be in Boston two years for the purpose of taking a course at the Posee gymnasium. Miss Thomas is a fine gymnast, and is junior centre rush in the basket ball team. After finishing her studies here Miss Thomas will return south and have charge of a gymnasium for women. She is boarding at the Y.M.C.A. on Berkeley Street.

Mrs. Luther Dandridge has returned from her extended trip through the south, made for recuperation from a long siege of physical prostration. Miss Dandridge, among other places, visited Hampton and Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C., and is loud in her praise of the systematic way in which work is carried on in both institutions. Mrs. Dandridge, being an active Era Club woman, gave a little talk and a solo to the Phyllis Wheatley Club.


All of the central figures in most of the month’s excitements in and around Boston have been a little off color, and the interests involved varied enough to embrace all classes of her citizens.

The patriotic sympathizers with the Cuban cause have been shocked by the dethroned queen of the Sandwich Islands, with a retinue of attendants of mixed colors.

Religious circles, aroused by the preaching of the child Clarissa Avery. Educational and philanthropic circles have been responding to the annual pleas of Miss Jennie Dean for her school at Mannassa, Va., and of B.T. Washington and ex-Senator B.A. Bruce, in behalf of the Tuskegee Institute.

The legal fraternity and general public have been kept excited and anxious by the trial and conviction of Mate Bram, the accused perpetrator of the Herbert Fuller horrors, while candidate Allen has kept political circles at fever heat.


Alice Ruth Moore

Tom stuck his toes into the warm mud and laughed for very joy. The sun beat down upon the brown earth and baked it hard in wagon furrows that could cut small toes and cause woful [sic] woeful stumbles. But Tom didn’t care for that; he blinked up at the yellow orb in the cloudless skies and hummed a ditty carelessly, the while he swung his small body to and fro on the fence.

Tom was a small, black boy, one of the brood which was like that of the unfortunate old shoe woman of undisputed fame. His small life of ten years had been passed about Harvey’s Canal in Jefferson’s parish, just across from and within sight of the big city. The small, fussy, inconsequential ferryboat laboriously puffed and tooted its way from Louisiana avenue over to the landing every hour, and occasionally landed someone besides the blackberry merchants who lived in and about Amesville. The canal lay peacefully green and placid, reflecting huge oaks and lazy boats on its surface, and rippling with a knowing wink over the occasional flip of a fish’s fin. There

were never such fish in the world as those that glided lazily through the green waters of Harvey’s Canal.


“Hey diddle de diddle, de fiddle am broke
Oh, what am I gwine to do?”

crooned Tom, blinking in the hot December sun and wondering when he was going to ride on the crab-like ferry to see the wonderful Christmas windows in New Orleans. Then he slid from his perch on the rail fence and danced away, his heterogeneous garments flapping in the soft, damp breeze.

Tom’s cabin, or rather the cabin this latest old shoe woman, marked the southern boundary of the great sugar plantation which had formed the town of Amesville. Beyond, the blue smoke of the sugar house curled into the bluer skies, and the odor of the kettles reached in succulent deliciousness far and wide. Like waving billows of promised sweetness the fields of cane extended far, green topped, red stalked, rustling vaguely as they whispered together of molasses and la cuit. The dusty road that wound in dazzling, furrowed whiteness along the levee, was bordered by rustling weeds, with wonderful feathery heads, and an occasional giant oak with tender acorns. Tom’s bare feet carried him swiftly by the snake fence toward the overseer’s house. An idea had struck him.

A half hour later Aunt Mina, looking from the window of her cabin, saw a sight that made her heart stand still. On the narrow plank bridge which spanned the canal at the foot of the levee sat Tom and Nellie, the flaxen-haired little daughter of the overseer. Black feet and white ones, bare alike swing gaily over the placid waters, and black hands and white ones alike gaily trolled long strings of baited cord, with pin-hook attachments; tousled gold and crinkly black heads alike eagerly peering into the water after the recreant fish.

Tom and Nellie had been chums from the time that the big turkey had chased the little girl down the field and Tom had valiantly stood before him, alone, unaided, and heroically driven him into the sugar house yard, there to meditate grimly on an ignominious defeat. From that day, Nellie had been Tom’s especial charge and confidential advisor, and though her years were fewer, she was none the less a most matronly and self-possessed little person. There was no secret about it; your plantation child knows no white or black, even in these days.

The pin-hooks trailed in the waters; the crab ferry tooted its arrival; and the big French steamer anchored just outside the levee in the yellow waters of the Mississippi heaved lazily, while the sailors bristled about getting the ship trim for the Christmas day’s festivities.

Aunt Mina stood holding her breath; one turn of the foot, one gesture too violent, and the unconscious children might fall into the canal, placid, green, beautiful, but fatally deep. Singing down the road, now lightened by the first pink premonitions of sunset came Nellie’s father and two hunters, cheerful under empty game bags. Around the bend which curved about Aunt Mina’s cabin they trudged, then paused in horror.

With one bare white foot upon the rude bridge and the other swinging free, Nellie was pulling with all her small might at the pin-hooked line and

“Nellie !” cried the overseer. His voice beat against the skies and rang around into every bush and tree in anguish indescribable.

The child turned her head in fright, the string loosened suddenly, and she fell, a white curled-up heap into the water.

There was an awful moment of shrieks and curses, of running and boat getting, of moans, low, and of sobs, and wails. Then Tom was seen with the sobbing white form in his arms, manfully swimming to the post of the bridge. The overseer caught them both in his arms and rushed into the shoe woman’s cabin, his face white, haggard.

It was Nellie who spoke first; “You see,” she volunteered between sobs and shivers, “me’n Tom wuz goin’ to ketch fish and sell ’em, so’s we could buy things in town. Tom wuz goin’ to buy Aunt Mina an’ me a present, an’ I wuz goin’ to buy papa and Tom somethin’, an’ – an’ I fell in.”

But Tom’s little form lay gray and still save where a patch of red clotted in his curly hair showed the cut of the bridge post as he jumped in the water. Outside, the crab-like ferry tooted goodbye to the hazy ocean steamer, while the setting sun crimsoned alike with caressing fingers the yellow water of the river and the green canal. A mocking bird called one long note of wailing sweetness from the reeds by the bridge. The gathering shadows in the cabin shrouded the curious forms of the shoe woman’s family, and

veiled the uncovered heads of the overseer and the hunters.


“Poor Tom,” sobbed Nellie.

And who knows but what it was best?


The publishers of the W0MAN’S ERA offer that paper and the American Kitchen Magazine, both for one year at the price of each, one (1) dollar.

This is an opportunity for our readers. The American Kitchen Magazine is well known as the best magazine in the country, dealing with household and domestic economy; its managers and staff of writers include those who are authority on these subjects: Mrs . Ellen Richardson, Mrs. Sarah Rorer, Mrs. Lincoln.

Send in subscriptions at once.



. . . . ART . . . .


Mrs. T. PATRIE, 15 Elm St., Nashua, N.H.

Is prepared to show specimens and give instructions in the following works of art: all branches of French flower making, funeral wreaths and decorations, modeling in clay and leather, photograph painting.

Terms Moderate. Orders Solicited.


Will be glad to serve afternoon teas, spreads, wedding breakfasts and dinners, salads, croquettes ice creams, ices and confections. Polite waiters. All orders promptly attended to. Will call to arrange for parties on receipt of Postal.

15 Bow Street, Cambridge
27 Jerome Street, W. Medford.


Nos. 13 and 15 Broadway Extension,
Manufacturers of Clothes Wringers.
All kinds of Wringers and Swoopors Repaired. Orders by mail promptly attended to.


Point Rennaizance and Honiton Lace.
Residence, 193 Elm Street,
New Bedford, MASS.


Howard University,
Washington, D. C.

Howard Universitv furnishes superior facilities for higher education. Nine different departments, with sixty professors and instructors. . . . . . . . . . .

Theological. Medical, Dental, Pharmaceutical, Law, College, Preparatory, Normal, Industrial, the latter including Printing, Carpentry. Bookbinding, Tinning and Sewing.

Academic Departments opens September 23; Professional, September 28 to October 1.

For particulars address the President or Secretary.



Shore Dinner a Specialty, 50 Cents.
Dinner and Lunch Served on European Plan.
Fish of all Kinds and Salads. Oysters in Every Style
Home Made Pies, Cream and Cake.

Also The Newport Restaurant,
Telephone Connection. 20 BROADWAY.


GRAY . . .
Artist and . . .

Studio, 1030 Tremont Street,
The only Studio in Boston having Reception and Operating Rooms on the Ground Floor.
Telephone. 198-4, Roxbury.


J. W. WASHINGTON, Artist Penman,

Twelve (12) Lessons by mail, only $3.00 in advance. Sample Lesson, 25 cents. Satisfaction guaranteed. Send for circular.

Visiting Cards elegantly written, 12 for 20 cents. Agents wanted. Big commission. Sample book, 20 cents. Rapid Addition Method, 12 cents.


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


Practical Painter and Glazier,
All work Promptly and Neatly Done at Reasonable Prices.
27 3-4 Pond Avenue, Newport R.I.


Contralto Soloist and Vocal Teacher,
12 Grove Street, Boston, Mass.


227 Spring St., Newport, R. I.


—- LAWYER —-
Suite 411, 59 Dearborn Street, . . . Chicago.
Telephone, Main 1690.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, 61 City Hall,
Telephone Main 280.


Over their Tea these Ladies

ARE discussing how easy it is to own a home by adopting the latest methods of enterprising agents. By making a small payment down, and the balance to he paid as rent.

In any of the suburbs desirable homes may be obtained, and far-sighted people are taking advantage of the opportunities thus offered, and investing in homes for themselves. Join the number who are fast accumulating property and who have none but words of praise for the firm with whom they dealt.

Real Estate, In all its branches.
545 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridgeport, Mass.


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



Has a thorough and systematic course of study, including a complete system of Physical Training and Voice Culture, Natural Rendering, and the principles of the Philosophy of Expression. Scientific and practical work in every department. Chartered by the State.

Address for illustrated catalogue,
Corner Tremont and Berkeley Sts.,
Boston, Mass.
Summer session at Martha’s Vineyard.



The Bonita Cold and Silver Mining Company,
No Assessments. No Stock Holders’ Liabilities.

The Great Mineral Basin it Pitkin covers an area as large as that of Leadville, Aspen and Red Cliff combined. Professor Sadtler, of the Chair of Metallurgy and Mineralogy of the State School of Mines, speaking of this district, says: “This camp, with proper and systematic development, will be made a second Aspen, if not better.”

The output of the Leadville district has been, up to the present time, in value over $200,000,000; that of Red Cliff more than $35,000,000, and that of Aspen, $100,000,000, or more, and the mines of these places show no signs of exhaustion.

What, then, shall we expect of Pitkin and the Quartz Creek District, which has a mineral bearing area as large as these three districts combined, when so far the developments there have proved the mineral deposits to be fully as rich and extensive?

We can come to but one conclusion: Its wealth is limitless, and no more safe or profitable field for investment can be found.

The property of the Bonita Gold and Silver Mining Company consists of three groups, in all nine claims, or a little over ninety acres, located in the most favored portion of this great mineral basin. Special care has been taken in the selecting to cover apexes, timber and water, all of which are of such vital importance in any mining property, and the greater portion of it lies only from one-fourth to three miles away from the railroad and the town of Pitkin, with good, down-hill roads leading from every portion of it, accessible every day in the year.

The ore is high grade, netting from fifty to one thousand dollars per ton, average two hundred and fifty. The Company has undisputed title to the entire property, which is free from any incumbrance [sic] encumbrance, and will be kept so. Any further information will be cheerfully furnished by the

President, MARY E. PHELPS, or MRS. L. K. DANIELS, Secretary.