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March 23, 1872



Tenafly, N.J., March 10, 1872

Victoria Woodhull—Dear Madam: In answer to an article in your paper of last week, "A word to the wise," let me say, that, as far as I am concerned, I ask no higher praise than to have it said that you—maligned, denounced, cruelly and wickedly persecuted by priests, politicians, press and people—ever find a warm and welcome place in my heart, and by my side. You are doing a grand work, not only for your sex, but humanity. I have read all your speeches and bound volumes on political and social equality, and I consider your arguments on the many national questions now moving popular though, able and unanswerable.

Do not let the coldness and ingratitude of some of your sex wound you, while such noble women as Lucretia Mott, Martha C. Wright, Paulina W. Davis, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Mary J. Davis, Susan B. Anthony, and Isabella Beecher Hooker, are one and all your sincere friends.

The latter spent a few days with me not long since, and one night, as we sat alone hour after hour, by the bright moonlight, talking over the past, the present, and the future, of woman’s sad history and happier destiny, and of your sudden and marvelous coming, she abruptly exclaimed, "that little woman has bridged, with her prostrate body an awful gulf over which womanhood will walk to freedom." Many of us fully appreciate the deep ploughing, sub-soiling, under-draining you have done for public and private morals in the last year, and while the world sneers at your blunders, we shall garner up your noble utterances with grateful hearts. The WEEKLY is all that the most fastidious could ask this week. I specially liked the editorial, "Positive and Negative Reform." I am amused in reading the Republican and Democratic journals to see how firmly fixed these old parties are to the faith that they are to live on indefinitely, when the democracy per se has been in the grave at least four years, and the Republican party is in its dotage, so weak in the knees it cannot bear its own weight, and so blind it cannot tell its own friends. The Labor party, in refusing to do justice to woman, has sealed its doom also. Now is the time for the advance guard in all reforms to organize their forces into a "Peoples’ Party." Those who understand the true principles of government, if they would save what we have left of freedom, and secure equal rights for all., must now come to the front and be leaders of numbers, as well as leaders of thought. If we desire a peaceful solution of the many questions now looming on our political horizon, the best men and women of the republic must assemble at an early day, and take counsel together. When we get the united thought of man and woman on national questions we shall have the complete humanitarian idea, that harmony in political action hitherto unknown.

It is strange men do not see this; and yet, not so strange after all; for when we talk to them of the "feminine element" they think of the frail specimens of womanhood who preside in their households, and say what possible benefit could these bring to us? Forgetting that the poor, cribbed slave would be transformed in freedom, and in her native dignity, develop powers that he never dreamt she possess. Today, in dependence, she reflects the man by her side, not her own true nature, or her God.

We shall never know what a true grand womanhood is, until woman has the full liberty to bound her own sphere, and you, dear friend, are doing much to usher in that glad day. ELIZABETH CADY STANTON



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Webmaster's Note: Except for some headings, these are actual extracts from the Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly. Some spelling and punctuation has been changed. If an article was too long, some sentences were removed. Sentences or paragraphs that have been removed are indicated with the ellipsis (....)