“‘A Pen-Picture’” American Sentinel 3, 1, pp. 6, 7.

IN the Interior of October 20 there is a racy report of the State Convention of the Ohio W. C. T. U. It is entitled “A Pen-Picture of the Ohio W. C. T. U. Convention.” We have no, doubt that that is what it is, and a well-drawn picture too, for some of the scenes are decidedly realistic—much more so in fact than we should have thought becoming in a woman’s temperance convention, to say nothing of a woman’s Christian temperance convention. In one of the scenes Miss Willard very properly paid a glowing tribute to the influence of Mrs. Hayes, Miss Rose Elizabeth Cleveland, and the present Mrs. Cleveland, in the White House. She closed with the words, “God bless Frances Folsom Cleveland,” to which sentiment the applause was very properly immense. But to this sentiment one of the members of the Convention promptly took decided exception, at which the reporter, herself a member of the Union, expresses herself after this gentle, womanly, Christian style: “Out upon such littleness! Such a spirit shows a venom unworthy a civilized woman. Perhaps she was in the gall of bitterness because her husband had been turned out of office; if so we must try to excuse her.”

Another, called in the report a “lively scene,” ensued when the Committee on Finance reported in favor of paying salaries to the leading officers, and in favor of the President’s visiting all the county and district meetings “at the expense of the Convention.” Against this there was strong opposition, and [7] the report says: “Mrs. Foote led the opposition forces, and showed herself a fearless soldier, full of fire and spirit. In fact, she got mad, … and for a few minutes it seemed quite like a masculine assemblage.” Yes, we have no doubt that it did. Women, fearless and soldierly, full of fire and spirit, and mad, at that, are not apt to appear very feminine-like.

But says the excellent reporter: “Now some people might think this little fray not a very proper thing, but I don’t see why. It shows they are not afraid to do their own thinking, and although they are excellent women, they are very much like the excellent men—somewhat human.” Yes, that is just the trouble. It shows they are rather too much like the not very, excellent men. And the observation which we would here make upon it is this: One of the principal reasons upon which these excellent women base their claim of the franchise and political equality with the men is that politics will be purified and all its methods elevated. But if this is the way in which the Christian women of the country act in a convention exclusively their own, and wholly separated from political strife, what would be the result in mixed assemblages, where not only these, but un-Christian and anti-Christian women as well, should have free scope for their activities equally with the men, and all together stirred with all the elements of political strife?

Hitherto we have been somewhat unsettled in our opinion in regard to woman suffrage, but now—well, we don’t know.

This report was written by Virginia Sharpe Patterson.

A. T. J.

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