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The Story of a Pioneer
The widening suffrage stream


In my chapters on Miss Anthony I bridged the twenty years between 1886 and 1906, omitting many of the stirring suffrage events of that long period, in my desire to concentrate on those which most vitally concerned her.  I must now retrace my steps along the widening suffrage stream and describe, consecutively at least, and as fully as these incomplete reminiscences will permit, other incidents that occurred on its banks. Of these the most important was the union in 1889 of the two great suffrage societies--the American Association, of which Lucy Stone was the president, and the National Association, headed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  At a convention held in Washington these societies were merged as The National American Woman Suffrage Association--the name our association still bears-- and Mrs. Stanton was elected president.  She was then nearly eighty and past active work, but she made a wonderful presiding officer at our subsequent meetings, and she was as picturesque as she was efficient.

Miss Anthony, who had an immense admiration for her and a great personal pride in her, always escorted her to the capital, and, having worked her utmost to make the meeting a success, invariably gave Mrs. Stanton credit for all that was accomplished.  She often said that Mrs. Stanton was the brains of the new association, while she herself was merely its hands and feet; but in truth the two women worked marvelously together, for Mrs. Stanton was a master of words and could write and speak to perfection of the things Susan B. Anthony saw and felt but could not herself express.  Usually Miss Anthony went to Mrs. Stanton's house and took charge of it while she stimulated the venerable president to the writing of her annual address. Then, at the subsequent convention, she would listen to the report with as much delight and pleasure as if each word of it had been new to her.  Even after Mrs. Stanton's resignation from the presidency--at the end, I think, of three years--and Miss Anthony's election as her successor, "Aunt Susan'' still went to her old friend whenever an important resolution was to be written, and Mrs. Stanton loyally drafted it for her.

Mrs. Stanton was the most brilliant conversationalist I have ever known; and the best talk I have heard anywhere was that to which I used to listen in the home of Mrs. Eliza Wright Osborne, in Auburn, New York, when Mrs. Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Emily Howland, Elizabeth Smith Miller, Ida Husted Harper, Miss Mills, and I were gathered there for our occasional week-end visits. Mrs. Osborne inherited her suffrage sympathies, for she was the daughter of Martha Wright, who, with Mrs. Stanton and Lucretia Mott, called the first suffrage convention in Seneca Falls, New York.  I must add in passing that her son, Thomas Mott Osborne, who is doing such admirable work in prison reform at Sing Sing, has shown himself worthy of the gifted and high-minded mother who gave him to the world.

Most of the conversation in Mrs. Osborne's home was contributed by Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony, while the rest of us sat, as it were, at their feet. Many human and feminine touches brightened the lofty discussions that were constantly going on, and the varied characteristics of our leaders cropped up in amusing fashion.  Mrs. Stanton, for example, was rarely accurate in giving figures or dates, while Miss Anthony was always very exact in such matters. She frequently corrected Mrs. Stanton's statements, and Mrs. Stanton usually took the interruption in the best possible spirit, promptly admitting that "Aunt Susan'' knew best.  On one occasion I recall, however, she held fast to her opinion that she was right as to the month in which a certain incident had occurred.

"No, Susan,'' she insisted, "you're wrong for once.  I remember perfectly when that happened, for it was at the time I was beginning to wean Harriet.''

Aunt Susan, though somewhat staggered by the force of this testimony, still maintained that Mrs. Stanton must be mistaken, whereupon the latter repeated, in exasperation, "I tell you it happened when I was weaning Harriet.''  And she added, scornfully, "What event have you got to reckon from?''

Miss Anthony meekly subsided.

Mrs. Stanton had wonderful blue eyes, which held to the end of her life an expression of eternal youth.  During our conventions she usually took a little nap in the afternoon, and when she awoke her blue eyes always had an expression of pleased and innocent surprise, as if she were gazing on the world for the first time--the round, unwinking, interested look a baby's eyes have when something attractive is held up before them.

Let me give in a paragraph, before I swing off into the bypaths that always allure me, the consecutive suffrage events of the past quarter of a century. Having done this, I can dwell on each as casually as I choose, for it is possible to describe only a few incidents here and there; and I shall not be departing from the story of my life, for my life had become merged in the suffrage cause.

Of the preliminary suffrage campaigns in Kansas, made in company with "Aunt Susan,'' I have already written, and it remains only to say that during the second Kansas campaign yellow was adopted as the suffrage color.  In 1890, '92, and '93 we again worked in Kansas and in South Dakota, with such indefatigable and brilliant speakers as Mrs. Catt (to whose efforts also were largely due the winning of Colorado in '93), Mrs. Laura Johns of Kansas, Mrs. Julia Nelson, Henry B. Blackwell, Dr. Helen V. Putnam of Dakota, Mrs. Emma Smith DeVoe, Rev. Olympia Browne of Wisconsin, and Dr. Mary Seymour Howell of New York.  In '94, '95, and '96 special efforts were devoted to Idaho, Utah, California, and Washington, and from then on our campaigns were waged steadily in the Western states.

The Colorado victory gave us two full suffrage states, for in 1869 the Territory of Wyoming had enfranchised women under very interesting conditions, not now generally remembered.  The achievement was due to the influence of one woman, Esther Morris, a pioneer who was as good a neighbor as she was a suffragist.  In those early days, in homes far from physicians and surgeons, the women cared for one another in sickness, and Esther Morris, as it happened, once took full and skilful charge of a neighbor during the difficult birth of the latter's child.  She had done the same thing for many other women, but this woman's husband was especially grateful.  He was also a member of the Legislature, and he told Mrs. Morris that if there was any measure she wished put through for the women of the territory he would be glad to introduce it. She immediately took him at his word by asking him to introduce a bill enfranchising women, and he promptly did so.

The Legislature was Democratic, and it pounced upon the measure as a huge joke.  With the amiable purpose of embarrassing the Governor of the territory, who was a Republican and had been appointed by the President, the members passed the bill and put it up to him to veto.  To their combined horror and amazement, the young Governor did nothing of the kind.  He had come, as it happened, from Salem, Ohio, one of the first towns in the United States in which a suffrage convention was held. There, as a boy, he had heard Susan B. Anthony make a speech, and he had carried into the years the impression it made upon him.  He signed that bill; and, as the Legislature could not get a two-thirds vote to kill it, the disgusted members had to make the best of the matter.  The following year a Democrat introduced a bill to repeal the measure, but already public sentiment had changed and he was laughed down.  After that no further effort was ever made to take the ballot away from the women of Wyoming.

When the territory applied for statehood, it was feared that the woman-suffrage clause in the constitution might injure its chance of admission, and the women sent this telegram to Joseph M. Carey: "Drop us if you must.  We can trust the men of Wyoming to enfranchise us after our territory becomes a state.''

Mr. Carey discussed this telegram with the other men who were urging upon Congress the admission of their territory, and the following reply went back: "We may stay out of the Union a hundred years, but we will come in with our women.''

There is great inspiration in those two messages--and a great lesson, as well. In 1894 we conducted a campaign in New York, when an effort was made to secure a clause to enfranchise women in the new state constitution; and for the first time in the history of the woman-suffrage movement many of the influential women in the state and city of New York took an active part in the work.  Miss Anthony was, as always, our leader and greatest inspiration.  Mrs. John Brooks Greenleaf was state president, and Miss Mary Anthony was the most active worker in the Rochester headquarters.  Mrs. Lily Devereaux Blake had charge of the campaign in New York City, and Mrs. Marianna Chapman looked after the Brooklyn section, while a most stimulating sign of the times was the organization of a committee of New York women of wealth and social influence, who established their headquarters at Sherry's.  Among these were Mrs. Josephine Shaw Lowell, Mrs. Joseph H. Choate, Dr. Mary Putnam Jacobi, Mrs. J. Warren Goddard, and Mrs. Robert Abbe.  Miss Anthony, then in her seventy-fifth year, spoke in every county of the state sixty in all.  I spoke in forty, and Mrs. Catt, as always, made a superb record.  Miss Harriet May Mills, a graduate of Cornell, and Miss Mary G. Hay, did admirable organization work in the dif- ferent counties.  Our disappointment over the result was greatly soothed by the fact that only two years later both Idaho and Utah swung into line as full suffrage states, though California, in which we had labored with equal zeal, waited fifteen years longer.

Among these campaigns, and overlapping them, were our annual conventions--each of which I attended from 1888 on--and the national and international councils, to a number of which, also, I have given preliminary mention.  When Susan B. Anthony died in 1906, four American states had granted suffrage to woman.  At the time I write--1914—the result of the American women's work for suffrage may be briefly tabulated thus:

SUFFRAGE STATUS
FULL SUFFRAGE FOR WOMEN

                                          Number of
State           Year Won    Electoral Votes

Wyoming       1869             3
Colorado        1893             6
Idaho              1896             4
Utah               1896             4
Washington    1910             7
California       1911            13
Arizona          1912             3
Kansas           1912            10
Oregon          1912             5
Alaska           1913            --
Nevada          1914             3
Montana        1914             4

PRESIDENTIAL AND MUNICIPAL SUFFRAGE FOR WOMEN

                                          Number of
State           Year Won    Electoral Votes

Illinois           1913             29

To tabulate the wonderful work done by the conventions and councils is not possible, but a consecutive list of the meetings would run like this:

First National Convention, Washington, D.C., 1887.
First International Council of Women, Washington, D.C., 1888.
National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C., 1889.
National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C., 1890.
National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C., 1891.
National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C., 1892.
National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C., 1893.
International Council, Chicago, 1893.
National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C., 1894.
National Suffrage Convention, Atlanta, Ga., 1895.
National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C., 1896.
National Suffrage Convention, Des Moines, Iowa, 1897.
National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C., 1898.
National Suffrage Convention, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1899.
International Council, London, England, 1899.
National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C., 1900.
National Suffrage Convention, Minneapolis, Minn., 1901.
National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C., 1902.
National Suffrage Convention, New Orleans, La., 1903.
National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C., 1904.
International Council of Women, Berlin, Germany, 1904.
Formation of Intern'l Suffrage Alliance, Berlin, Germany, 1904.
National Suffrage Convention, Portland, Oregon, 1905.
National Suffrage Convention, Baltimore, Md., 1906.
International Suffrage Alliance, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1906.
National Suffrage Convention, Chicago, III., 1907.
International Suffrage Alliance, Amsterdam, Holland, 1908.
National Suffrage Convention, Buffalo, N.  Y., 1908.
New York Headquarters established, 1909.
National Suffrage Convention, Seattle, Wash., 1909.
International Suffrage Alliance, London, England, 1909.
National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C., 1910.
International Council, Genoa, Italy, 1911.
National Suffrage Convention, Louisville, Ky., 1911.
International Suffrage Alliance, Stockholm, Sweden, 1911.
National Suffrage Convention, Philadelphia, Pa., 1912.
International Council, The Hague, Holland, 1913
National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D.C.; 1913.
International Suffrage Alliance, Budapest, Hungary, 1913.
National Suffrage Convention, Nashville, Tenn., 1914.
International Council, Rome, Italy, 1914.
 

The winning of the suffrage states, the work in the states not yet won, the conventions, gatherings, and international councils in which women of every nation have come together, have all combined to make this quarter of a century the most brilliant period for women in the history of the world.  I have set forth the record baldly and without comment, because the bare facts are far more eloquent than words.  It must not be forgotten, too, that these great achievements of the progressive women of to-day have been accomplished against the opposition of a large number of their own sex--who, while they are out in the world's arena fighting against progress for their sisters, still shatter the ear-drum with their incongruous war-cry, "Woman's place is in the home!''

Of our South Dakota campaign in 1890 there remains only one incident which should have a place here:  We were attending the Republican state nominating convention at Mitchell--Miss Anthony, Mrs. Catt, other leaders, and myself--having been told that it would be at once the largest and the most interesting gathering ever held in the state as it proved to be.  All the leading politicians of the state were there, and in the wake of the white men had come tribes of Indians with their camp outfits, their wives and their children--the groups forming a picturesque circle of tents and tepees around the town.  It was a great occasion for them, an Indian powwow, for by the law all Indians who had lands in severalty were to be permitted to vote the following year.  They were present, therefore, to study the ways of the white man, and an edifying exhibition of these was promptly offered them. The crowd was so great that it was only through the courtesy of Major Pickler, a member of Congress and a devoted believer in suffrage, that Miss Anthony, Mrs. Catt, and the rest of us were able to secure passes to the convention, and when we reached the hall we were escorted to the last row of seats on the crowded platform.  As the space between us and the speakers was filled by rows upon rows of men, as well as by the band and their instruments, we could see very little that took place. Some of our friends pointed out this condition to the local committee and asked that we be given seats on the floor, but received the reply that there was "absolutely no room on the floor except for delegates and distinguished visitors.''

Our persistent friends then suggested that at least a front seat should be given to Miss Anthony, who certainly came under the head of a "distinguished visitor''; but this was not done--probably because a large number of the best seats were filled by Russian laborers wearing badges inscribed "Against Woman Suffrage and Susan B. Anthony.''  We remained, perforce, in our rear seats, finding such interest as we could in the back view of hundreds of heads. Just before the convention was called to order it was announced that a delegation of influential Indians was waiting outside, and a motion to invite the red men into the hall was made and carried with great enthusiasm.  A committee of leading citizens was appointed to act as escort, and these gentlemen filed out, returning a few moments later with a party of Indian warriors in full war regalia, even to their gay blankets, their feathered head-dresses, and their paint.  When they appeared the band struck up a stirring march of welcome, and the entire audience cheered while the Indians, flanked by the admiring committee, stalked solemnly down the aisle and were given seats of honor directly in front of the platform.

All we could see of them were the brilliant feathers of their war-bonnets, but we got the full effect of their reception in the music and the cheers.  I dared not look at Miss Anthony during this remarkable scene, and she, craning her venerable neck to get a glimpse of the incident from her obscure corner, made no comment to me; but I knew what she was thinking.  The following year these Indians would have votes.  Courtesy, therefore, must be shown them.  But the women did not matter, the politicians reasoned, for even if they were enfranchised they would never support the element represented at that convention.  It was not surprising that, notwithstanding our hard work, we did not win the state, though all the conditions had seemed most favorable; for the state was new, the men and women were working side by side in the fields, and there was discontent in the ranks of the political parties.

After the election, when we analyzed the vote county by county, we discovered that in every county whose residents were principally Americans the amendment was carried, whereas in all counties populated largely by foreigners it was lost.  In certain counties--those inhabited by Russian Jews-- the vote was almost solidly against us, and this notwithstanding the fact that the wives of these Russian voters were doing a man's work on their farms in addition to the usual women's work in their homes.  The fact that our Cause could be defeated by ignorant laborers newly come to our country was a humiliating one to accept; and we realized more forcibly than ever before the difficulty of the task we had assumed--a task far beyond any ever undertaken by a body of men in the history of democratic government throughout the world.  We not only had to bring American men back to a belief in the fundamental principles of republican government, but we had also to educate ignorant immigrants, as well as our own Indians, whose degree of civilization was indicated by their war-paint and the flaunting feathers of their head-dresses.

The Kansas campaign, which Miss Anthony, Mrs. Catt, Mrs. Johns, and I conducted in 1894, held a special interest, due to the Populist movement. There were so many problems before the people-- prohibition, free silver, and the Populist propaganda --that we found ourselves involved in the bitterest campaign ever fought out in the state.  Our desire, of course, was to get the indorsement of the different political parties and religious bodies, We succeeded in obtaining that of three out of four of the Methodist Episcopal conferences--the Congregational, the Epworth League, and the Christian Endeavor League--as well as that of the State Teachers' Association, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and various other religious and philanthropic societies.  To obtain the indorsement of the political parties was much more difficult, and we were facing conditions in which partial success was worse than complete failure.  It had long been an unwritten law before it became a written law in our National Association that we must not take partisan action or line up with any one political party.  It was highly important, therefore, that either all parties should support us or that none should. The Populist convention was held in Topeka before either the Democratic or Republican convention, and after two days of vigorous fighting, led by Mrs. Anna Diggs and other prominent Populist women, a suffrage plank was added to the platform.  The Populist party invited me, as a minister, to open the convention with prayer.  This was an innovation, and served as a wedge for the admission of women representatives of the Suffrage Association to address the convention.  We all did so, Miss Anthony speaking first, Mrs. Catt second, and I last; after which, for the first time in history, the Doxology was sung at a political convention. At the Democratic convention we made the same appeal, and were refused.  Instead of indorsing us, the Democrats put an anti-suffrage plank in their platform--but this, as the party had little standing in Kansas, probably did us more good than harm. Trouble came thick and fast, however, when the Republicans, the dominant party in the state, held their convention; and a mighty struggle began over the admission of a suffrage plank.  There was a Woman's Republican Club in Kansas, which held its convention in Topeka at the same time the Republicans were holding theirs.  There was also a Mrs. Judith Ellen Foster, who, by stirring up opposition in this Republican Club against the insertion of a suffrage plank, caused a serious split in the convention.  Miss Anthony, Mrs. Catt, and I, of course, urged the Republican women to stand by their sex, and to give their support to the Republicans only on condition that the latter added suffrage to their platform.  At no time, and in no field of work, have I ever seen a more bitter conflict in progress than that which raged for two days during this Republican women's convention.  Liquor-dealers, joint-keepers, "boot-leggers,'' and all the lawless element of Kansas swung into line at a special convention held under the auspices of the Liquor League of Kansas City, and cast their united weight against suffrage by threatening to deny their votes to any candidate or political party favoring our Cause.  The Republican women's convention finally adjourned with nothing accomplished except the passing of a resolution mildly requesting the Republican party to indorse woman suffrage.  The result was, of course, that it was not indorsed by the Republican convention, and that it was defeated at the following election.

It was at the time of these campaigns that I was elected Vice-President of the National Association and Lecturer at Large, and the latter office brought in its train a glittering variety of experiences.  On one occasion an episode occurred which "Aunt Susan'' never afterward wearied of describing. There was a wreck somewhere on the road on which I was to travel to meet a lecture engagement, and the trains going my way were not running.  Looking up the track, however, I saw a train coming from the opposite direction.  I at once grasped my hand-luggage and started for it.

"Wait!  Wait!'' cried Miss Anthony.  "That train's going the wrong way!''

"At least it's going SOMEWHERE!'' I replied, tersely, as the train stopped, and I climbed the steps. Looking back when the train had started again, I saw "Aunt Susan'' standing in the same spot on the platform and staring after it with incredulous eyes; but I was right, for I discovered that by going up into another state I could get a train which would take me to my destination in time for the lecture that night.  It was a fine illustration of my pet theory that if one intends to get somewhere it is better to start, even in the wrong direction, than to stand still.

Again and again in our work we had occasion to marvel over men's lack of understanding of the views of women, even of those nearest and dearest to them; and we had an especially striking illustration of this at one of our hearings in Washington. A certain distinguished gentleman (we will call him Mr. H----) was chairman of the Judiciary, and after we had said what we wished to say, he remarked: "Your arguments are logical.  Your cause is just. The trouble is that women don't want suffrage. My wife doesn't want it.  I don't know a single woman who does want it.''

As it happened for this unfortunate gentleman, his wife was present at the hearing and sitting beside Miss Anthony.  She listened to his words with surprise, and then whispered to "Aunt Susan'': "How CAN he say that?  _I_ want suffrage, and I've told him so a hundred times in the last twenty years.''

"Tell him again NOW,'' urged Miss Anthony. "Here's your chance to impress it on his memory.''

"Here!'' gasped the wife.  "Oh, I wouldn't dare.''

"Then may I tell him?''

"Why--yes!  He can think what he pleases, but he has no right to publicly misrepresent me.'' The assent, hesitatingly begun, finished on a sudden note of firmness.  Miss Anthony stood up. "It may interest Mr. H----,'' she said, "to know that his wife DOES wish to vote, and that for twenty years she has wished to vote, and has often told him so, though he has evidently forgotten it.  She is here beside me, and has just made this explanation.''

Mr. H---- stammered and hesitated, and finally decided to laugh.  But there was no mirth in the sound he made, and I am afraid his wife had a bad quarter of an hour when they met a little later in the privacy of their home.

Among other duties that fell to my lot at this period were numerous suffrage debates with prominent opponents of the Cause.  I have already referred to the debate in Kansas with Senator Ingalls. Equaling this in importance was a bout with Dr. Buckley, the distinguished Methodist debater, which had been arranged for us at Chautauqua by Bishop Vincent of the Methodist Church.  The bishop was not a believer in suffrage, nor was he one of my admirers.  I had once aroused his ire by replying to a sermon he had delivered on "God's Women,'' and by proving, to my own satisfaction at least, that the women he thought were God's women had done very little, whereas the work of the world had been done by those he believed were not "God's Women.''  There was considerable interest, therefore, in the Buckley-Shaw debate he had arranged; we all knew he expected Dr. Buckley to wipe out that old score, and I was determined to make it as difficult as possible for the distinguished gentleman to do so.  We held the debate on two succeeding days, I speaking one afternoon and Dr. Buckley replying the following day.  On the evening before I spoke, however, Dr. Buckley made an indiscreet remark, which, blown about Chautauqua on the light breeze of gossip, was generally regarded as both unchivalrous and unfair.

As the hall in which we were to speak was enormous, he declared that one of two things would certainly happen.  Either I would scream in order to be heard by my great audience, or I would be unable to make myself heard at all.  If I screamed it would be a powerful argument against women as public speakers; if I could not be heard, it would be an even better argument.  In either case, he summed up, I was doomed to failure.  Following out this theory, he posted men in the extreme rear of the great hall on the day of my lecture, to report to him whether my words reached them, while he himself graciously occupied a front seat.  Bishop Vincent's antagonistic feeling was so strong, however, that though, as the presiding officer of the occasion, he introduced me to the audience, he did not wait to hear my speech, but immediately left the hall-- and this little slight added to the public's interest in the debate.  It was felt that the two gentlemen were not quite "playing fair,'' and the champions of the Cause were especially enthusiastic in their efforts to make up for these failures in courtesy. My friends turned out in force to hear the lecture, and on the breast of every one of them flamed the yellow bow that stood for suffrage, giving to the vast hall something of the effect of a field of yellow tulips in full bloom.

When Dr. Buckley rose to reply the next day these friends were again awaiting him with an equally jocund display of the suffrage color, and this did not add to his serenity.  During his remarks he made the serious mistake of losing his temper; and, unfortunately for him, he directed his wrath toward a very old man who had thoughtlessly applauded by pounding on the floor with his cane when Dr. Buckley quoted a point I had made.  The doctor leaned forward and shook his fist at him. "Think she's right, do you?'' he asked.

"Yes,'' admitted the venerable citizen, briskly, though a little startled by the manner of the question.

"Old man,'' shouted Dr. Buckley, "I'll make you take that back if you've got a grain of sense in your head!''

The insult cost him his audience.  When he realized this he lost all his self-possession, and, as the Buffalo Courier put it the next day, "went up and down the platform raving like a Billingsgate fishwife.''  He lost the debate, and the supply of yellow ribbon left in the surrounding counties was purchased that night to be used in the suffrage celebration that followed.  My friends still refer to the occasion as "the day we wiped up the earth with Dr. Buckley''; but I do not deserve the implied tribute, for Dr. Buckley would have lost his case without a word from me.  What really gave me some satisfaction, however, was the respective degree of freshness with which he and I emerged from our combat.  After my speech Miss Anthony and I were given a reception, and stood for hours shaking hands with hundreds of men and women. Later in the evening we had a dinner and another reception, which, lasting, as they did, until midnight, kept us from our repose.  Dr. Buckley, poor gentle- man, had to be taken to his hotel immediately after his speech, given a hot bath, rubbed down, and put tenderly to bed; and not even the sympathetic heart of Susan B. Anthony yearned over him when she heard of his exhaustion.

It was also at Chautauqua, by the way, though a number of years earlier, that I had my much misquoted encounter with the minister who deplored the fashion I followed in those days of wearing my hair short.  This young man, who was rather a pompous person, saw fit to take me to task at a table where a number of us were dining together. "Miss Shaw,'' he said, abruptly, "I have been asked very often why you wear your hair short, and I have not been able to explain.  Of course''-- this kindly--'' I know there is some good reason.  I ventured to advance the theory that you have been ill and that your hair has fallen out.  Is that it?''

"No,'' I told him.  "There is a reason, as you suggest.  But it is not that one.''

"Then why--'' he insisted.

"I am rather sensitive about it,'' I explained.

"I don't know that I care to discuss the subject.'

The young minister looked pained.  "But among friends--'' he protested.

"True,'' I conceded.  "Well, then, among friends, I will admit frankly that it is a birthmark.  I was born with short hair.''

That was the last time my short hair was criticized in my presence, but the young minister was right in his disapproval and I was wrong, as I subsequently realized.  A few years later I let my hair grow long, for I had learned that no woman in public life can afford to make herself conspicuous by any eccentricity of dress or appearance.  If she does so she suffers for it herself, which may not disturb her, and to a greater or less degree she injures the cause she represents, which should disturb her very much.


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