While California's mining regions were overwhelmingly populated by men in 

1850, Los Angeles was much more evenly balanced, reflecting the region's long 

history of Hispanic family settlement.  The pueblo's 714 females comprised 44 

percent of its residents in that first federal census, which was taken at a 

time characterized by conditions usually associated with a frontier that 

included few women.  Yet the percentage of females remained fairly constant 

through the violence of the 'fifties, the drought and Civil War of the 

'sixties, and the economic uncertainty of the 'seventies.  Even the boom of the 

1880s had little effect on the gender make-up of Los Angeles.  The 24,171 

females counted in 1890 were 48 percent of the city's population.   

    Among this steadily growing number of women were the wives of the town's 

leading businessmen.  They were in a position to do something about the 

numerous inconveniences that went with life in their remote corner of the 

nation.  The first woman's club in the city was just such an effort.  The 

members of the Ladies' Hebrew Benevolent Society, organized in early 1870 under 

the leadership of Rosa Newmark, served as nurses during a time when there was a 

short supply of workers in that profession.  

    Los Angeles was fortunate to have an experienced club woman as a resident 

at a fairly early date.  Caroline Severance, who in 1868 had established in 

Boston the nation's first woman's club, moved to Los Angeles in 1875.  Three 

years later she organized a similar club in Los Angeles but had only limited 

success.  That the club was directed at more than social activities is 

evidenced in the effort, though fruitless, to have a woman appointed city 

librarian.  By 1880 the organization was dormant.

                       A) LO, THE BELEAGUERED SHOP-GIRL

    Early in 1885 Severance rejuvenated the club.  Concerned about the growing 

number of self-supporting women in the city, the members undertook a survey to 

determine how many women were employed, their occupations and compensation.  

While unable to provide precise figures, the Committee on Women's Work 

estimated that at least 2000 women supported themselves, while a large number 

of others worked part time or in family businesses to supplement their 

husbands' incomes.  The results of the study, printed in the Times on Mar. 11, 

1885, included "without comment" a lengthy justification by store managers for 

the fact that women received wages that were less than half the amount paid to 

males.  That led to a debate in the letters column regarding the competency of 

women employees.  The ensuing exchange of letters developed a sub-theme 

concerning the appropriate term with which to refer to workers of that gender.  

"M. D. L." would no doubt be equally aroused and amused by a similar debate 

that resurfaced a century later.

                         {Times, Mar. 15, 1885, p. 4}

                      A Working Woman on "Woman's Work."

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  A report of "the 

         Committee on Woman's Work," which appeared in your paper this 

         morning, contained so many fallacies and absurdities that it 

         seems due to the "working woman" that a reply ought to be 

         made.  There is no doubt that the dear, good old ladies of 

         "the Club" are very sincere and earnest in their desire to do 

         something for the welfare of the working woman, and that 

         their object is a worthy one cannot be questioned.  But what 

         possible weight the fallacies and absurdities, published in 

         regard to the competency of woman to fill the place of a 

         sales-person can have toward the attainment of such an 

         object, is beyond the comprehension of the writer.  It is 

         said she never enters the store "until grown and often with 

         so little knowledge of numbers as to be inaccurate in filling 

         sales."  Can there be anything more absurd than that?  What 

         business man is there that is going to employ a saleslady who 

         is without a common school education?  And sometimes "she 

         even makes mistakes in measuring goods."  Poor things!  How 

         sad their condition.  Their fellow-salesman never makes any 

         mistakes in that line; no, indeed! they are perfect, because 

         they began when they were "boys."  (Where did they get their 

         "knowledge of numbers?"  I suppose, though, that part of them, 

         like Topsy, "just growed.")  What a sad state of affairs 

         things have come to, that they cannot lift the "heavy bolts 

         of cloth," and mount "ladders" in quest of "reserve stock."  

         Then, too, it is such a deplorable fact, she cannot "unpack 

         goods, wash windows, sweep floors, nor dress windows."  Pray 

         tell me, must a woman become "jack of all trades" in order to 

         become a competent sales-person?  The notice of dress is too 

         absurd to comment on.  The greatest fallacy of all is that 

         women have "lack of system" and are "poor stockkeepers."  Now 

         if a woman be a woman indeed, system, order and neatness are 

         a part of her "make-up."

              Now I insist that women are as capable of becoming 

         competent sales-persons, or anything else, as to that matter, 

         as men are.  She is not supposed to be "man of all work," in 

         order to be competent.  It must not be supposed that the 

         carpenter does not understand his trade because he cannot 

         make the chimney on your house.  Why publish such absurd 

         things, in order to further what is presumed to be a worthy 

         object.  Now comes the question, what do you propose to do 

         with us?  We are a poor, ignorant set of creatures--scarcely 

         know whether "two and two make four" or not.  Does "the 

         committee" propose to build a great, big "home" to put us in, 

         and, some way or other, get the dear, good ladies of "the 

         Club" to keep an eye on us, take pity on us, and somehow or 

         other get us taken care of, so that "store managers" won't be 


              Perhaps the object of the "Woman's Club" may become 

         apparent in the future; but instead of being a kind of a 

         charitable object--at least it has that kind of a ring 

         now--why not establish something on the "cooperative labor" 

         plan?  Very respectfully,

                                     ONE OF THE UNFORTUNATES.

              Los Angeles, March 11, 1885.

                         {Times, Mar. 18, 1885, p. 4}

             "Sales Ladies," "Sales Gentlemen" and Women's Work."

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  In the Sunday Times 

         the "Committee on Woman's Work" received a very unkind and 

         uncalled for blow from one of the number they were striving 

         to aid.

              The remarks in the committee's report concerning women's 

         incapabilities as saleswomen were not, as I understand, from 

         the ladies, but from the employers, and were given as they 

         (the ladies) received them.  The ladies plainly showed their 

         sympathies to be with the saleswomen.

              It seems an impracticable scheme to attempt a work as 

         the ladies have considered.  The attempt which was made a few 

         years ago, in New York, to establish such a home through the 

         munificence of A. T. Stewart met with disaster, on account of 

         the women refusing to submit to the restraint necessary to 

         make such a home respectable {garbled - Ed.} and helpful.

              While there are, no doubt, some good, honest, faithful 

         ones who would appreciate the ladies' efforts, there are many 

         who, like this "unfortunate" one, would show a constant 

         spirit of conten{tion? - Ed.} and rebellion.

              It is a deplorable fact that women are often not 

         thorough in their pursuits; and I have often turned and left 

         a store without completing my purchase because of the 

         indifference with which I was treated by a "sales lady."  If 

         a "sales gentleman" would treat customers in such manner, 

         they would be reported and perhaps lose their positions; but 

         people are charitable toward women who are striving to earn 

         their living, and often submit to much discourtesy from them.

              In many instances the utmost confidence exists between 

         the "sales lady" and "sales gentleman," and one can readily 

         see the necessity of more dignity and reserve on the part of 

         the young woman. 

              When the "sales lady" feels a pride in being a 

         "saleswoman," her position will be clothed with a dignity 

         which will defy any criticism and bring her, not only the 

         esteem of all, but establish her value to her employer, far 

         above the average "sales gentleman."

              If the ladies attempt to "keep an eye" on such an one as 

         the writer in the Sunday Times, their task is indeed 

         stupendous; but it is to be hoped that the "old ladies" have 

         not outlived their usefulness, and that there may yet be some 

         way to offer shelter and protection to the many worthy young 

         women of our city, without "walling in" any such as the 

         unfortunate "saleslady" who indulged in so much slang and 


              I am neither a member of the "Club" nor of the 

         committee, and write this as a   

                                           LADY CUSTOMER.

                          {Times, Mar. 25, 1885, p.2}

           "Sales Ladies," "Sales Persons," the Club and Competency.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  We again ask the 

         privilege of a few words through your columns.  The article 

         in Sunday's Times was not written with any unkindly feelings, 

         neither do we think it was uncalled for.  The writer is in 

         fullest sympathy with the work contemplated, but what 

         possible weight can such absurd things as published in the 

         report have to further such an object?  That is the question.  

         The ladies evidently do not desire that there shall be no 

         ladies employed in the stores.  Then why argue her 

         incompetency?  The report given to the committee was 

         evidently given by one who is not in favor of employing sales 

         ladies.  The committee was unwise to publish anything of the 

         kind from only one person's standpoint.  We are quite sure 

         had they interviewed different merchants the report given 

         would have been more in our favor.  The report given would 

         lead people to think that woman was really incompetent to 

         become a salesperson; that it was only those persons of a 

         very meagre education who ever sought a position of that 

         kind; when the facts in the case are, that the ladies 

         employed in stores are above the average in point of 

         intellect.  When reports are published casting reflections 

         upon us in that regard, do you blame us for taking upon us 

         the task of defending ourselves?  You will find that nine out 

         of every ten have not only a good common-school education, 

         but have passed through the higher grades, and in very many 

         instances farther than that.  We believe the position of a 

         sales-lady to be an honorable one.  We also believe in the 

         dignity and reserve it requires.  We think it one of the many 

         positions that woman occupies that she can and does fill with 

         the greatest ease and grace, and with great acceptability to 

         her employer.  We are not inviting "a war of words" about the 

         matter, but we do not propose to retract anything we have 


                                   "ONE OF THE UNFORTUNATES."

                         {Times, Mar. 25, 1885, p. 2}


              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Years ago, before 

         women discovered that they were "first individuals, then 

         women," as Frances Power Cobbe so well puts it, there were 

         but simple and brief terms in which to speak of them.  The 

         old English word "female"--now almost a term of reproach--was 

         then commonly used, the early novelists, as Fielding and 

         Smollett, by no means disdaining the term as applied to their 

         model heroines.  A "lady" then meant one whose social 

         position was high, and who was possessed of the then rarer 

         qualities of education and manner, being able to read and 

         write; while the term "woman" included both.  Later, and 

         possibly wisely enough, the word "female" has become 

         obsolete, retiring in favor of the word woman, the female sex 

         naturally enough preferring to be distinguished from the 

         whole animal world of their kind by a more special and 

         gracious term.  Why there should exist, in numerous feminine 

         islands, so deep-seated a prejudice against the use of the 

         word is one of the queerest of their many queernesses.  As a 

         comical instance of this, I recall that during my college 

         days, one of our learned and cultured professors chose to 

         draw a parallel between some pathological states in the 

         female animal and the female human.  To my surprise and 

         disgust, I found that there were only three out of a class of 

         twenty women that did not feel honestly affronted at the 

         phrase and the comparison.  I should hesitate to relate so 

         damaging a story, but that I believe this false idea to be 

         one that a little thought would dissipate.  Some of the 

         over-sentimentality wasted on the term mother might be added 

         here, as in the female is included the very idea of 

         maternity.  With the modern broadening fields of active labor 

         for women, came a need for new terms to show the new and 

         delicate distinctions between the lady who scrubbed floors or 

         took in washing, and the girl who clerked in a small store, 

         and between whom there was "an awful gulf fixed," not 

         infrequently barring the way to otherwise friendly help and 

         esteem.  Democracy here might be defined as "the individual 

         right to be as good as the next fellow," with great freedom 

         in announcing such a state of things, both above and below 

         stairs.  And as such a theoretical state can no more become a 

         reality than a communism in property, castes innumerable 

         result.  The line is drawn with a distinctness that is 

         sufficiently discouraging to the would-be helper of 

         womankind, especially.  Terms that once were proper enough, 

         become in time--generally through the unworthiness of their 

         representatives--an insult or reproach, and new ones are 

         adopted, with more or less aptness--generally less.  Thus the 

         term "shop-girl," in itself surely harmless enough, is now 

         resented by the worthy of that class, chiefly through the 

         marked failings of the class itself in refinement, breeding 

         and morals; and as a substitute I saw, in a recent Times, 

         offered the pompous and ridiculous term, "sales-person."  One 

         knows there are modesty, goodness and refinement enough among 

         "shop-girls," but among "sales-persons" one is at least sure 

         of a foolish affectation.  Along with this disinclination to 

         be called by anything that really indicates one's actual work 

         or position, is the determination by all classes to be called 

         "lady," whether one is that rara avis or not, and an idea 

         that the really sound and sweet word woman is not good enough 

         for them.  To such an extent has this foolish fad gone that 

         the story is not impossible where the laundress sends word:  

         "Tell that woman upstairs that I'm the lady as wants to do 

         her washing"--smile as one may over it.  Sensible men and 

         "real ladies" have deplored this folly, the press and the 

         funny man have satirized and ridiculed it, and yet it will 

         not down.  Only the other day, in a meeting of women in the 

         interests of women, one present spoke of the abandoned women 

         of the town as "fallen ladies," and while one was amused at 

         such artless naivete, one could but remember that the fallen 

         women would perhaps be the first to claim the title "lady" as 

         rightfully theirs.  Away with these false ideas and 

         esmasculated phrases!  Drop the "female" if you will, use the 

         term "lady" sparingly--used properly its use will never wear 

         it out--and conclude that as a general thing the world has no 

         use for anything better than--

              "A noble woman, nobly planned,

              To warn, to comfort, to command."

                                                  M. D. L.

    The role of "shop girls" in Los Angeles society emerged again during Elias 

J. "Lucky" Baldwin's breach of promise trial in early 1886.  Sued by nineteen-

year-old Louise Perkins, who counted Stephen White among her lawyers, Baldwin 

utilized the services of two of the city's foremost attorneys: G. Wiley Wells 

{whose name appears frequently in this volume} and Col. James Howard.  Years 

earlier Howard had been so successful as a defense attorney that, according to 

historian W. W. Robinson, a vigilance committee passed a resolution demanding 

that he be hanged!  

    Howard's defense of Baldwin lay in an aggressive attack on the sexual 

promiscuity of Perkins.  In his closing argument on Feb. 18, as reported in the 

Times, Howard recounted various allegations regarding her conduct.  He then 


              She went to the ranch already ruined.  If she was 

         innocent and pure we could disbelieve Baldwin; but she was 

         developed into a harlot.  That's a peculiarity of the country 

         girls here; they lose their virginity and never think 

         anything of it....  That's the way the shop girls in San 

         Francisco and here do.

    The jury awarded Perkins $75,000 but she settled for considerably less 

rather than face the retrial ordered by Judge William Cheney, who thought the 

judgment excessive.  Meanwhile, readers of the Times denounced attorney Howard.

                         {Times, Feb. 21, 1886, p. 5}

                      Indignant Letter from a Shop Girl.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Can you inform us as a 

         class what we are to do here in open daylight, in a Christian 

         city, in a free country, in an enlightened age, to be obliged 

         to stand still and be most grossly insulted before the world, 

         and be called a gang of prostitutes by a creature calling 

         himself a man, right in what is supposed to be a court of 

         justice?  Are we obliged to remain passive and bear such 

         cruel insults, or have we any friends ready and willing to 

         take our part?  Are our ministers satisfied that we deserve 

         to be damned among harlots simply because we are poor, tired 

         slaves, trying to earn our daily bread by toiling long, weary 

         hours for our employers for the wages they see fit to pay us, 

         or does the community condemn us for so doing?  Many of us 

         depend entirely on what we earn.  We know that the city shop 

         girl has a very hard time, and our expenses are quite heavy, 

         for we must make a decent appearance.  And another thing, 

         every girl cannot obtain a situation in city stores.  Then 

         why is that man who is called Col. Howard, representing 

         himself to be a gentleman, allowed to talk of us as he did on 

         Thursday?  Does he know that we are bad as a class?  God help 

         the poor work-girl anyway, for her lot is hard, if she must 

         both work hard for her daily bread and her ignominy as well.  

         Oh, where is our boasted Christianity?  Where are our 

         Christian ladies and our honorable gentlemen, heads of 

         families, fathers and honorable brothers?  Will they not come 

         to our rescue--will not somebody defend our reputation?  

         There are now living in this city good wives and mothers who 

         were once shop-girls, and who are now respectable members of 

         society.  We know that the millionaire's gold cannot buy the 

         virtue of all shop-girls any more than it can buy the honor 

         of men.

              Now, Mr. Editor, we appeal to you, as a gentleman and a 

         father, to defend our good name if it be only for the sake of 

         the name of our fair city.  It is hard to have strange ladies 

         come into our stores and think that they are being waited on 

         by a lot of bad characters in the shape of shop girls.  

         Hoping you will not let this drop where it is, I respectfully 

         leave it in your hands,

                                  ONE OF THE BELIED SHOP-GIRLS.

              Los Angeles, Feb. 19, 1886.

                         {Times, Feb. 21, 1886, p. 5}

                               "Country Girls."

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  In the name of the 

         young women of California, I protest against the uncalled-for 

         arraignment of "country girls" and "shop girls" by Col. J. G. 

         Howard, counsel for E. J. Baldwin in the notorious case 

         recently before the courts of this city.  A man who can 

         unblushingly utter in public such sweeping statements 

         derogatory to the fair fame of those numerous young women who 

         find it necessary to work for a livelihood, or who are 

         brought up outside the limits of the angelic (?) cities of 

         this State, has little sense of honor and little respect for 

         the sex he libels.

              I do not believe there is such a laxity of morals among 

         California girls as he indicates, or that the standard of 

         womanhood is any higher on the part of the city belles than 

         that entertained by the classes he derides.  He obliges one 

         to infer that he is intimately acquainted with "girls in 

         brothels," as he knows that they "do the same way;" and he 

         has not the justice to give respectable, if poor, young women 

         a fair chance in the world.

                                           AN INDIGNANT WOMAN.

              Los Angeles, Feb. 19, 1886.

                         {Times, Feb. 26, 1886, p. 2}

                         A Warm Defense of Shop Girls.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  There are many who 

         appreciate your kindness in offering the people a people's 

         column, where right can have a chance against might.  And 

         there are many good words spoken for you which you never 

         hear, because you have the pluck to stand for right, no 

         matter who it hits.

              The shop girl has a right to speak, and for one, I am 

         glad she is given a chance to speak.  Yes, "Shop-Girl," you 

         have sympathizers, and it is a shame to our nation that a 

         being calling himself a man and a citizen should stoop so low 

         as to use such dirty language in regard to our honest young 

         women, who have the independence about them to strike out in 

         the world for themselves.  Col. Howard has shown his true 

         nature. *  *  *  Give us your hand, "Shop Girl."

                                  A HUSBAND OF A COUNTRY GIRL.                          

                             B) "WICKED WOOLSTEEN"


    Another trial also raised the question of women's rights.  In late 1887 the 

body of Charles N. Harlan, a Los Angeles dentist, was found shot, knifed, 

battered and partially incinerated in a burning barn at Compton.  He had been 

seen in the company of Hattie Woolsteen, an attractive young woman who, like 

many of the residents during that boom year, had been in the city only a few 

months.  With evidence pointing to her guilt growing daily, Woolsteen was taken 

into custody by Police Chief Patrick Darcy, charged with murder.  "Wicked 

Woolsteen," "fiendish murderess," and "that most repellent she-devil," the 

Times called her.  

    Woolsteen claimed that Harlan had seduced her, promising to marry her 

without revealing that he was not single.  A dentist who worked with Harlan 

testified that Harlan had sex with other patients while they were under 

sedation.  Hattie also charged that Chief Darcy had strip-searched her sister, 

Minnie, and that he filed the murder charge after Hattie refused to sexually 

submit to him.  

    Very quickly her case became a woman's rights cause.  Forty prominent 

women, primarily suffragists, appeared one night at the jail in an unsuccessful 

attempt to see Woolsteen.  They regarded her as a victim of gender inequality, 

and their letters to the editor focused more on women's rights than on her 

guilt or innocence.  The Times reported that "a number of ladies of wealth and 

standing" paid for her attorneys, G. Wiley Wells and Stephen White.  When White 

withdrew from the defense team, amid speculation that defending Woolsteen might 

affect his political ambitions, "Fermina" offered this comment.

                          {Times, Feb. 5, 1888, p. 3}

                               Stephen M. White.

              Alhambra, Feb. 4.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I see 

         by your issue of today that Hon. Stephen M. White has 

         withdrawn from the Woolsteen case.  Having entertained a most 

         pronounced esteem for the gentleman, both as man and 

         attorney, ever since his manly, able and eloquent defense of 

         the child-victim in the Perkins-Baldwin case, I confess the 

         first announcement that he was to defend the mature, 

         murderous drab of a married man, gave me a very unpleasant 

         shock.  Being a sort of hero-worshiper, I like my idols to 

         remain at least gods with a small g.  Hence, I cannot refrain 

         from giving expression to my sincere approval of his not 

         prostituting his able talents to the defense of such 

         unmitigated depravity.


    When the trial finally opened in early April, 1888, the Times reporter 

became obsessed with the presence of women in court.  Indications of his bias 

had appeared during the preliminary hearing when reports of each day's 

proceedings often referred sarcastically to the large number of women in 

attendance.  His Nov. 2, 1887, story began:

              The remarkable feature of the opening of Justice 

         Austin's court yesterday morning was the presence of so many 

         ladies to hear the further testimony taken in the Harlan 

         murder case.  The fair sex came early, and from their 

         appearance it was easy to see they intended to remain there 

         all day ... or longer.  They occupied the front seats to the 

         exclusion of the row of male spectators who had filled those 

         seats in the previous sessions of the court.

    That tone continued when the trial opened in April.  The reporter's 

objections to women in court remained unabated:

              With a morbid craving after the sensational that is 

         anything but creditable to them, a large number of ladies 

         again occupied seats outside the bar.  During the morning, 

         when testimony of a highly indecent character was being given 

         regarding the cold-blooded seduction of Hattie Woolsteen by 

         Harlan, several ladies left the room, but, unabashed, the 

         remainder with unmitigated gall, drank in the lewd details 

         that were rendered all the more disgusting by the snickering 

         way in which the so-called "Dr." Schim {Harlan's dental 

         associate, who verified the dentist's sexual misconduct} 

         related the fact.

    The reporter's sarcasm continued as the trial neared its end:

              The front row of chairs had their full complement of 

         lady spectators, who graced, or disgraced, as individual 

         opinion may determine, the scene, where one of their own sex 

         was, for aught they knew to the contrary, experiencing more 

         bitter anguish than their puny minds could realize.

    That same attitude found its way into the editorial column of the Times, as 

quoted below in Mary Todd's critical response, which in turn elicited a further 

comment from the editor.  A letter defending the attendance of women at trials, 

which appeared in the Herald, was condemned in the Times by a writer who signed 

his letter * *.   This drew replies from "Calhoun" and "M. E. H."

                         {Times, April 15, 1888, p. 3}

                                Feminine Logic.

              Los Angeles, April 14.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         It was doubtless a painful duty for those women in attendance 

         at the trial of one of their own sex charged with 

         murder--atrocious murder!  For women feel each other's woes 

         as if they were their own.  But they performed that duty 

         bravely, unshrinkingly, without going into hysterics; and it 

         was all the part allowed them--that of bestowing such aid to 

         one of their own unfortunate sex as lies in mere presence.

              And now comes forward an editor of one of our leading 

         papers with these comments:

              "The spectacle of a number of women, many of them mere 

         girls, unblushingly listening to all the prurient details of 

         the Woolsteen case, is not calculated to raise one's 

         preconceived ideas of the high-minded purity of American 

         womanhood.  The privilege of listening to such testimony in a 

         court of law is one of those rights, the enforcement of which 

         women might with propriety waive."

              How we wish the writer of these comments could have been 

         present when Florence Nightingale and her corps of nurses 

         were called upon to attend a lot of brave boys that had just 

         been brought in, all hacked to pieces; had seen the panic 

         about to seize hold of the delicate women; then heard 

         Florence Nightingale's terrible rebuke to her almost fainting 

         women:  "You are here to do your duty--not to give way to 

         sentimental feeling."

              Now, how about these other women at a scene a thousand 

         times more painful?  Were they there to give way to 

         sentimental feeling, or were they there to yield a stern 


                                      MARY IVES TODD.

              [The attempt to compare the self-denying labors of a 

         noble woman, bent on an errand of mercy, with the morbid 

         curiosity of women who go to gloat over prurient details, 

         wrung from an unfortunate of their own sex, is too patently 

         absurd to need any comment.--Ed. Times.]

                         {Times, April 15, 1888, p. 3}

                          "Ladies at Public Trials."

              Los Angeles, April 14.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         "L. A. P." has a screed in this morning's Herald about 

         "Ladies at Public Trials."  I assume the writer to be a 

         woman, consequently entitled to all respect.  I have sisters.  

         No man loves mother or sister more than I.  Neither can I be 

         outdone in chivalry to woman.  Neither will I wantonly trench 

         upon a woman's rights.  But a right persistently followed can 

         lead a woman into positive paths of immorality.  The 

         "spectacle" of boys crowding into the courtroom during the 

         trial of Laura Moore is not an apology for ladies crowding 

         into the courtroom in the case of Hattie Woolsteen.  "L. A. 

         P." begs the question when she makes the remark.  It 

         certainly was improper for boys to be present at that trial.  

         If boys do vulgar acts, is this an excuse for grown women to 

         commit like acts of impropriety?  The court and jury are 

         sworn to do evenhanded justice by Hattie Woolsteen. The 

         presence of ladies cannot in any plausible measure do her any 

         good.  "L. A. P." may think I am {illegible} but honest.  I 

         would remove from woman the "very appearance of evils."  Not 

         a harsh, vulgar or profane word should drop into her ear.  

         Not an indecent shadow should pass across the pure mirror of 

         her life.  She should be jealously surrounded with everything 

         pure and sacred.  She must not be coequal with man in the 

         knowledge of evil.

              All men do not worship a God, but all honorable men bow 

         with holy reverence at the feet of a pure, innocent, 

         stainless woman.  This is man's sheet-anchor.  His belief in 

         woman's purity is the adhesive and cohesive power which holds 

         society together.  Without this woman is lost, and man 

         reverts to chaos.  Please do not become an iconoclast and 

         pull down our ideal.  Help us to place woman upon a pedestal 

         of womanly strength and purity, so strong that the lightnings 

         of persecution may flash about her; the waves of obloquy dash 

         at her feet--that she may stand undaunted and serene in the 

         splendid glory of her royal womanhood.

                                                     * *

                         {Times, April 17, 1888, p. 3}
                            Chivalry and Reality.

              Los Angeles, April 16.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

              It must be confessed it is refreshing to get a whiff of 

         old-time chivalry in such communications as * * in Sunday's 

         Times.  But, all the same, in his earnestness * * is 

         apparently forgetful that he and all men and all women are a 

         part of today, not a part of 50 years ago.  Then, it is 

         possible, in very high life, that some women were guarded 

         most chivalrously "from the very appearance of evils;" and 

         that in simple, average life almost all women were worked for 

         by some man or men in the outside world.  But the two 

         statements, being interpreted, only mean that some women were 

         made weakly dependent and heartless, and others were borne 

         into the very earth by over-maternity and by household 

         drudgery.  Said the blind preacher, Mr. Milburn, once in a 

         public speech:  "It was only expected of women, 50 years ago, 

         that they should bake and brew."

              But, somehow, great national upheavals, great mechanical 

         contrivances for going up and down upon the face of the 

         earth, have rocked to tumbling the corner-stone of the home, 

         and alas and alas! cheapened and lessened the greatest moral 


              For result, we have almost as many women forced to work 

         outside the home to keep their poor hearts beating as men, 

         and as a consequence the romantic chivalry--the metaphorical 

         support of the oak for the vine--is, no matter how much we 

         may regret it, a thing of the buried past.

              But even the most radical old-timers like * *, will not 

         deny that women are men's mothers, their lovers and 

         caretakers through good and evil physical report, till they 

         are 16 or 17 years of age.  But can * *, or any other, 

         explain why, after that time, the woman must fall back, and 

         the man, suddenly announcing himself superior and protector, 

         says:  "I am your physician now; it is not proper that you 

         should longer be mine; and I must keep from you certain 

         physical secrets, which it is not seeming for a woman to 

         know?"  In all justice and earnestness, when a poor young 

         woman, like Hattie Woolsteen, must give in public the unhappy 

         and indelicate details of her situation, is it not a thousand 

         times more fitting that women should be there, by their mere 

         presence, to bear her up than that men, many of them beastly 

         and cruel, should, by mere right of masculine superiority and 

         protection, add to her misery by their presence?

              We had better begin, in these serious days of struggle 

         for bread, to look all social matters straight in the face, 

         just as they are.  And we had better begin to question if it 

         will not be best for us all, men and women, that women should 

         count for one-half, and cease to live longer under the 

         strangely popular delusion that man, the only thing on earth 

         she is really afraid of, is her protector.


                         {Times, April 17, 1888, p. 3}

                    Men as Well as Women at Public Trials.

              Los Angeles, April 16.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Letters have appeared pro and con in the columns of your 

         paper with reference to the attendance of women at the 

         Woolsteen trial.  I believe in the same standard of purity 

         and the same code of morals for men as for women, and I 

         believe, further, that an immoral atmosphere that defiles a 

         woman, cannot but corrupt a man also.  So, while I would 

         condemn women who, out of morbid curiosity, sit day after day 

         in a courtroom to listen to the vile details of such trials 

         as the Woolsteen, I would condemn equally the attendance of 


              I have no patience with a one-sided ideal of "purity and 

         sacredness," and no man has any business "to bow with holy 

         reverence at the feet of a pure, innocent, stainless woman," 

         who is not himself equally pure, innocent and stainless.  If 

         woman "must not be coequal with man in the knowledge of 

         evil," she has a right to demand that he be coequal with her 

         in all that is good and pure.

              I think it is high time that the courtroom doors were 

         closed to men and women alike as mere lookers-on and 

         drinkers-in of that which defileth the heart; and, 

         furthermore, it is high time that our daily press expurgate 

         from their columns the heart-sickening and revolting details 

         of every form of vileness.                      

                                       M. E. H.

    By the end of the trial the Times' position had changed dramatically 

regarding Woolsteen and the victim.  When she took the stand in her own defense 

the Times lead paragraph read:

              A crowd of spectators ... listened with bated breath 

         while the tale of a young girl's sorrow and a man's lustful 

         brutality was told.

    Led by attorney Wells' masterful questioning, Woolsteen tearfully recounted 

for jury and spectators Harlan's deception, the seduction, her attempted 

suicide and the fateful buggy ride that took them to a farm in Compton where, 

she said, Harlan tried to assault her.  Preferring to die rather than submit, 

she drew a pistol and pointed it at her heart.  Harlan grabbed for the gun.  In 

the struggle it went off, several times, and Harlan fell dead.  

    While Woolsteen's account failed to explain numerous details, including the 

apparent knife wounds on the victim and the fire, the jury was satisfied.  In 

twelve minutes they had a verdict, and when the foreman's response to Judge 

Cheney's question was "Not guilty!" the courtroom erupted with shouts of 

approval.  When the defendant appeared on the street shortly thereafter "cheer 

after cheer rent the air."

    Not all Times readers considered her innocent.  Referring to various bits 

of evidence brought forth during the trial, "Sympathizer" offered this 

analysis.  It was at the gum grove on Eighth street that some of the evidence 

pointing to Woolsteen, including the gun, had been found.  The farm in Compton 

where Harlan died had been owned by Mrs. Barbey, whose own death a few months 

earlier had occurred somewhat mysteriously while she was being cared for by 


                         {Times, April 19, 1888, p. 3}

                         She Should Take Short Drives.

              Los Angeles, April 18.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         read in yesterday's Telegram as follows:

              "Since the trial Hattie Woolsteen has been in a physical 

         and mental condition such as has necessitated the closest and 

         most watchful care on the part of father and sister.  She is 

         suffering from nervous prostration consequent of the relaxing 

         of the tense strain to which she has been subjected ever 

         since her arrest.  Perfect rest, varied with short drives 

         among the pleasing surroundings of this beautiful city, are 

         relied upon to restore tone to her mind and health and vigor 

         to her body."

              I am of the opinion that the short drives would hardly 

         fail to restore health and vigor to her body, especially if 

         she should drive in the right direction.  I would recommend, 

         first, that her drives be not too long--not farther than the 

         terminus of Eighth street west of Pearl, or the gum grove.  

         Then, after she has regained strength from her visits to 

         these pleasing resorts, I would recommend that the drives be 

         extended as far as the Barbey place, where the surroundings 

         and the pleasing recollections of an old lady friend, who 

         died rather suddenly, will have a tendency to give the 

         necessary tone to her mind.  Should these remedies fail, I 

         would suggest frequent visits to places of amusements, 

         circuses, etc.; also, strict attention to the fire-alarm 

         bell, and a prompt attendance at all fires, as I am informed 

         that the contemplation of a building in flames has a soothing 

         effect on the nerves of some people when everything else 


                                         A SYMPATHIZER.

                               C) WOMAN SUFFRAGE

    The Woolsteen case coincided with a growing belief that justice for women 

would only come with access to the ballot box.  1888 marked a high point for 

woman suffrage in the 'eighties, evidenced by numerous letters on that subject 

in the Times.  Somewhat surprisingly the first of a series of letters on the 

topic came from a man, "Tara."  

    No exchange of letters in the 1880s so excites the imagination as the 

debate over suffrage between "Tara," a frequent contributor to the column, and 

Emily F. Bennet, who apparently wrote only these two letters.  Nothing is known 

about "Tara" other than what he said about himself in his correspondence.  

Approximately 40 years old in 1888, he was a Catholic, Irish-American 

workingman.  Although affiliated with the Republican party, Tara was willing to 

support a third party dedicated to prohibition and woman suffrage.  In his 

first letter on women's right to vote, not printed here, he equated the fight 

for suffrage with the noble battle to end slavery.  His criticism below of the 

"joke" about Susan B. Anthony's age and marital status could very well have 

been directed at the Times, for on Oct. 21, 1887, Otis reprinted as humor this 

item from the Nebraska State Journal:

              It is said that Miss Susan B. Anthony has never forgiven 

         her brother Mark for his infatuation with Cleopatra.

    We know less about Emily Bennet, but her comments lead the reader to 

suspect that she was young and single.  The 1888 city directory lists a Miss 

Emma Bennett at 418 W. Tenth.  In what appears to be a 19th century counterpart 

to love on the internet, she and "Tara" engaged in a bit of verbal flirting 

through the letters column, couched in references to chivalry and knighthood.  

The reader has a vision of the noble "Tara" ready to defend the fair damsel 

Emily, whom he obviously admires despite her reluctance to accept his position 

on the issue of women's rights.  And Bennet, her argument to the contrary 

notwithstanding, seems to reciprocate.  Were this fiction, the two would have 

eventually met in debate at the Opera House and at the conclusion, with each 

still holding different views, romance would have blossomed. 

    The unusually long letters by "Tara" and Bennet, several nearly an entire 

column in length, indicate the editor's recognition of the importance of the 

subject and the quality of the writing.

    While women could not vote, they were eligible for election to school 

boards.  As noted in the chapter on education, the first woman to hold elective 

office in the city won a seat on the board in 1886 as a result of lobbying by 

the Woman's Club.  The right-to-vote agitation eventually led to a statewide 

referendum on suffrage in 1896.  The women lost, and it would be 1911 before 

they would gain voting rights in California.

    Lazzaroni, a term used by "Tara," referred to the street people of Naples.

                         {Times, Jan. 17, 1888, p. 6}

                                Woman Suffrage. 

                                [Second Paper.]

              Los Angeles, Jan. 14.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         "Who would be free, herself must strike the blow."  This, to 

         misquote from Byron, is the text of the second paper on the 

         subject of Woman Suffrage.  To gain the end sought to be 

         attained by the advocates of the cause, it is imperatively 

         necessary for the women to take up the fight with vigor and 

         persistence.  Will man, be he Republican or Democrat, 

         "redress ye?  No."  Occupied with their own affairs, thinking 

         that, like Atlas, they bear the world on their shoulders, 

         they will pass, with an indulgent smile at best, or else with 

         a contemptuous sneer, the feeble efforts of the few male, and 

         fewer female, advocates of that question who have courage 

         enough to speak their minds, and ask for the admission to the 

         rights and duties of citizenship of the larger half of 

         humanity, so long excluded, though their claim rests on as 

         firm a basis as that of those who monopolize the governmental 


              Women do not want to become men; nor men to take the 

         characteristics of women.   You are not constituted alike, 

         but you are the halves of the great whole, the human race; 

         equal in your right, though diverse in the duties you are 

         each called upon to perform in the theater of life.

              There have been many objections raised against women 

         taking on themselves the work and the duties of men.  That 

         they will neglect their homes.  That they are unfit 

         physically to perform the tasks and meet the civil 

         obligations of the sterner sex, as serving on juries, while 

         the "old man" minds the babies, etc.  All that women should 

         or do claim is the right to compete with men, in any position 

         to which their inclination or capacity may call them, on 

         equal terms, without fear or favor.  And if men are 

         indisposed to grant them this, it argues that they are either 

         tyrannical or else that they fear the outcome of the contest.

              All men have not the capacity to perform the duties of 

         the various careers open to them.  Every man cannot be a 

         doctor or a lawyer, a soldier or a sailor; and how many of 

         the male citizens are exempt from jury duty.  Then where is 

         the force of the usual objection made against the female 

         element?  Maternity, for instance, ought to be cause for 

         exemption equally with the professions, which are in the male 

         sex counted as sufficient excuse for the non-performance of 

         these and other duties of citizenship.

              Men blindly argue that the home is woman's sphere.  But 

         they seem to forget the vast army of unmarried women whom 

         they refuse to make wives and mothers, and at the same time 

         debar from the many avenues of employment, and from the 

         rights and privileges which they hold as the divine right of 

         the masculine sex.

              It is not likely that women, of their own free will, 

         would to any appreciable extent assume the coarser vocations 

         of men.  The home instinct, if men will only give them the 

         chance, is naturally implanted in the female breast; and most 

         women would rather be a mother than a queen.  Not that they 

         are incapable of taking the place of men even on the 

         battlefield, as witness the women of Carthage, of Limerick, 

         of Saragossa, and the gallant defenders of the bailiff-

         assailed cabins of the Irish peasantry.  But what they 

         demand; what is theirs by right; what will be theirs de facto 

         ere long if they will only ask it with firmness, is that they 

         should be debarred from no place which is open to their 

         fellow beings.

              To this end they must agitate! agitate! agitate!  

         Nothing was ever given to those who, like the fool in the 

         fable, sit down to wait for the stream to run by ere they 

         cross it.  Ask the men you meet, and two-thirds of them will 

         say that women do not want the right of suffrage.  Begin at 

         home; talk the matter over with your own family; with your 

         neighbors; with your acquaintances.  Discuss it with your 

         husbands, your brothers, your sons.  Let them see that you 

         want to have a place in the great scheme of creation other 

         than that to which your sex has for ages been condemned.

              But while you are dinning into the unwilling masculine 

         ear that you have awakened to the fact that you have a 

         mission in this world that is not circumscribed by the narrow 

         limits of the nursery and the kitchen, do not forget to show 

         him that you are capable of taking the responsibilities you 


              This can be done only by self-education.  Read, and 

         discuss what you read.  Make your self familiar with the 

         topics of the day.  Quietly draw the male autocrat of your 

         household--be he husband, brother or father--into 

         conversation on his special hobbies, political, social or 

         other, and by judicious questions, seeking information (it is 

         scarcely necessary to tell women how to get round a man, by 

         making him imagine that he is having his own way), he will 

         begin by thinking that he is quite an oracle; then he will 

         see that you are a woman of discrimination (in appreciating 

         him), and, at last, he will wake to the fact that the woman 

         whom he used to look upon as a pretty girl to make love to 

         before marriage, a housekeeper, a nurse and seamstress 

         (unpaid), after, is a being of intelligence, capable of 

         thought, actually able to tell the difference between free 

         trade and protection while she sews his shirt-buttons on, to 

         argue on the theories of Henry George while she wrestles with 

         a limp and sleepy child, whom she is inducting into the 

         intricacies of the nightgown.

              And were nothing to be gained but the enlightening of 

         the man who seeks away from home the society of his 

         intellectual equals, who intrenches himself behind his 

         newspaper or book when he spends his evenings at home, blind 

         to the fact that a warm sympathizing heart is beating, that a 

         bright and appreciative soul and a clear and discriminating 

         brain dwells in the familiar form that sits silently bending 

         over her work or rocking her babe to sleep, what a glorious 

         result would have been attained.  When man will find that in 

         his own household he has in the female members a friend, a 

         counsellor, not the less reliable because tender and loving, 

         he will have solved the secret of so many unhappy, 

         unsatisfactory marriages, and laid the foundation of the only 

         permanent pleasure to be gained in this life--domestic 

         happiness, in the mutual love and friendship of husband and 


              The writer would like to hear through the columns of The 

         Times from the friends and foes of the cause of both Woman 

         Suffrage and Prohibition.  The former he will welcome as 

         allies, with the latter he will be glad to break a lance in 

         the cause of the fair sex in general, and perhaps if he 

         acquits himself as a true knight, he may find some particular 

         female who will give him a gage to wear in his helmet as he 

         goes into battle.                    


                          {Times, Jan. 23, 1888, p.3}

                   Female Suffrage--One Woman's View of It.

              Los Angeles, Jan. 17.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Let a woman speak her little piece on female suffrage.  A 

         question of such vital importance and vast proportions 

         invites discussion.

              Imprimis I have never known any women who want to vote, 

         except a few of the Susan B. Anthony stamp.  I believe if a 

         vote were taken on this subject, and if women alone were the 

         voters, the cause would be lost "by a large majority."  

         Naturally, a woman has her own special pursuits.  If not a 

         wife, or a mother, she is probably exempt from household 

         cares.  Literature or art may claim her attention, but 

         politics is not commonly her forte.  There are, of course, a 

         few exceptions.

              What if the ballot were put in her hand!  Would it 

         change the result of an election, or only swell the count?  

         Do the advocates of woman suffrage want them to have full 

         political rights, or only to vote on temperance and other 

         moral questions?  Would woman become a tool in the hands of 

         either party, or would she vote to please her husband?  If 

         she ventured to defy him, would there not then be "war in the 

         camp?"  But if a member of the single sisterhood, wouldn't 

         the tender attentions pour down upon her during a campaign!  

         Theater invitations, opera tickets, ice cream, buggy rides, 

         love-making, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum, till hitherto 

         neglected spinsters and widows would find their heads well 

         nigh turned; their hearts utterly and hopelessly shattered 

         into fragments.  (I began this article against female 

         suffrage; this last phase that fancy has presented almost 

         tempts me to the other side.)  I will confess right here that 

         I enjoy immensely a good political speech, and I take a 

         lively interest during a Presidential campaign, though many 

         of the profounder issues I do not comprehend.  Like a simple 

         peasant woman who expresses great admiration for a sermon, 

         when asked what it was about, replied:  "Bless you, do you 

         think I would make so bold as to understand our parson?"  It 

         is said that the ballot would be to the woman a powerful 

         incentive to greater intelligence, but intelligence in the 

         voter, or office-holder, does not seem to be required or 

         demanded, judging from the little I have seen and read, so 

         that argument goes for naught.

              A writer to The Times seems to take this view.  Think of 

         a woman rocking her baby to sleep, and at the same time 

         discussing Henry George with her husband!  Bless you, my dear 

         sir, don't you know that a tired, sleepy baby wants something 

         more soothing than political economy for a lullaby?  Very 

         likely that youngster, even though he may be a philosopher in 

         embryo, will demand a rhyme from Mother Goose, and father and 

         mother, too, will be taxed to their utmost with song and 

         story, till at last the weary eyelids droop, and the young 

         lord of the household is reluctantly carried off into 


              They tell us again that women would purify politics.  As 

         well pour a few buckets of fresh water into the ocean and 

         expect to take away its saline properties.  The opposers of 

         female suffrage declare that woman would be less divinely and 

         femininely sweet if she were to stand by her brother at the 

         polls.  Political mud would soil her dainty skirts, etc., 

         etc.  I have heard some mothers say it takes their whole time 

         to keep their children clean.  Half a dozen times a day they 

         are washed and sent forth, yet if there is a particle of mud 

         on the streets they are sure to find it.  Others say--but 

         these are very few--that dirt never seems to stick to their 

         little ones; they come home almost as sweet and clean as they 

         went.  This may show us that some have a natural propensity 

         for gathering smut, while others shed it.  From the same 

         flower where the bee finds the sweetest honey the spider 

         gathers poison.  A woman then who is inclined to 

         unwomanliness will develop in this direction by mingling with 

         the political world.  One who is distinctively feminine will 

         not be made less so if the ballot is put in her delicate 

         hands; but in 99 times out of 100, or make it a larger ratio 

         if you like, I will venture to say that if you put the 

         question to women "Do you want to vote?" the answer will come 

         promptly and emphatically, No.  The fact is we haven't time.  

         We like to make pretty things.  We love music and art.  

         Possibly we peep into a cyclopedia now and then.  We like new 

         books and good authors.  We have church work and charities, 

         social duties, our wardrobes to keep in order, and a 

         multiplicity of things that demand time and attention.  There 

         is a labor problem on our hands every day that Henry George 

         could not solve.  As a rule, woman is content to be the 

         "lesser man," and the world needs her moral influence 

         infinitely more than it needs her vote.  Lowell says:

              "He sings to the wide world,

                She sings to her nest;

              In the nice ear of Nature

                Which song is the best?"

                                    EMILY F. BENNET.

                         {Times, Jan. 30, 1888, p. 6}

                                Woman Suffrage.

                                 THIRD PAPER.

              Los Angeles, Jan. 23.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         When I read the letter of your fair correspondent I received 

         a terrible shock.  I seemed to have experienced the same 

         sensation which the knight in the ballad must have done when 

         his recreant hand, striking the casque of his opponent with 

         the enchanted sword, revealed the features of his deserted 

         love, and cowering before the vision and the cross upon her 

         breast, he fell an easy victim to his foes.  But when the 

         first horror of the discovery that my challenge had been 

         accepted, and that my defiance had been answered by one of 

         the fair sex, had in a measure subsided, I found that the 

         anology ceased at that point, for instead of a traitor 

         fighting in the ranks of the Paymin horde my lance was 

         leveled in the cause of right, of freedom and of justice; and 

         much as I regret that my competitor in the lists should be 

         one of those for whose benefit I, in a poor way, go to 

         battle, still I will not fly ignominiously from the field, 

         but will hold my ground as best I may.  However, I propose 

         that in this instance I shall act on the defensive, and not 

         on the offensive in any sense of the term; and while I parry 

         the thrusts so vigorously dealt, shall continue to cry, 

         "Hold!  You have mistaken your side, fair lady; you should be 

         with us."

              That woman is not a "lesser man," needs no other 

         contradiction than to read the letter in which Emily F. 

         Bennet thus libels her sex.  If her husband in esse or in 

         posse is so much her superior in intelligence as she would 

         lead us to believe she thinks the average man to be, then he 

         is a rara Avis--in fact there are a pair of them, which it 

         would be hard to match.

              Not having taken a ballot among my female acquaintances, 

         I cannot say positively that the majority of women would or 

         would not prefer to have a vote.  But I do most firmly 

         believe that the world would benefit greatly if they had that 

         privilege.  I am not aware of anything derogatory to Susan B. 

         Anthony, except the fact that she is not young and that she 

         is not married.  Both of which dreadful facts in conjunction 

         with the venerable chestnut that "the flirtation of her 

         brother Mark with Cleopatra was very distasteful to her," 

         loom up in the funny(?) columns of the press at regular 


              I personally know of several tender and gentle mothers, 

         true and helpful wives, who think as I do.  Not that they 

         desire to become professional politicians, or to take the 

         stump; but that they believe that their quiet influence and 

         votes would help to throw the balance in favor of the right.

              It is the cry of tyranny all the world over, first that 

         the slaves do not want their freedom.  "It is only a few 

         demagogues that raise the cry, the people are content if you 

         will let them alone."  Thus say the martyrs {masters? - Ed.} 

         until the proof grows too strong.  Then they change the cry 

         and say: "They are not fit to govern themselves."

              "The Neapolitans are a race of lazzaroni unfit to be 

         trusted with power."  "The French need a paternal despotism."  

         "The negroes would starve if left to their own resources."  

         "The Irish cannot be trusted to govern themselves."  So spake 

         Bourbon and Bonapartist, slaveholder and English Tory.  While 

         time has contradicted the false assertions of the former, the 

         latter contradicts himself by putting an Irishman to rule in 

         Canada, India, Australia and the Cape.  And all these have 

         found men of their own people, honest, and otherwise 

         intelligent, so fully persuaded of the truth of this parrot 

         cry that they have proved themselves the greatest stumbling-

         blocks to the march of progress.  Therefore I regret the more 

         find a woman of such natural ability and such evident honesty 

         as your correspondent enlisted on the side of the enemy.

              I am a man, and I am not a fanatic (if I were the latter 

         I would be more fitted to do good work, for to be a leader in 

         a new cause one must be fanatical, and, failing that, I must 

         only fight humbly in the rank and file), so I believe that 

         the good and evil, the strength and weakness of the sexes 

         about evenly balanced.  Man is superior in some points, women 

         in others.  But what I say is, that which I demand as a right 

         myself I am willing to concede to others.

              I do not speak as one with authority.  I represent no 

         one but myself; but I can answer for myself, that I, and I 

         doubt not that all other advocates of woman suffrage, wish 

         the women to have every right that a male citizen can claim 

         as his due.  I no {do? - Ed.} not see why a difference in 

         politics need necessarily lead to "war in camp."  Sons and 

         brothers disagree and argue warmly, yet bear no ill will--and 

         why not husband and wife?  How many times have I not visited 

         a friend of opposite political principles merely for the 

         purpose of having a good rousing discussion.  What does many 

         a husband leave his home at night for, but for that very 

         purpose.  Weary, perhaps, of the killing, deadly silence of 

         some married homes, he seeks entertainment elsewhere.  Some 

         times the wife does not know anything to speak of; sometimes 

         she fears, from experience, to express an opinion that will 

         be met with a sneer.  "Yes, she is a good woman in her place, 

         but then she does not understand things."  Her place is 

         everywhere except where it ought most to be--the place of his 

         nearest friend.

              I think the ballot in woman's hands would change the 

         result materially in favor of all that is right and pure.  

         They might be influenced through their affections, through 

         their impulses, but they are not so susceptible to sordid 

         considerations as are men.  Boss rule, caucus rule, is 

         becoming a grinding tyranny, and I think home rule, the 

         politics generated at the firesides, would be a vast 


              Although the best results to be derived from woman 

         suffrage would naturally be moral ones, yet in all questions, 

         whether of war or peace, of internal improvement or of pure 

         business, the quick intuition of the sex, which instinctively 

         leaps to the side of justice and nobility (in most 

         instances), would mingle to advantage with the slower 

         conclusions of the male, ruled more generally by logic and 


              One result would follow to the advantage of those women 

         who, in spite of prejudice, of obstacles, of sneers, of 

         obstructions, have pushed through the jostling crowd of 

         hostile, or at least unfriendly, male competitors and forced 

         themselves into every profession, trade or occupation that is 

         open to them, and are daily increasing in numbers, proving 

         that they are fit to hold them; and that result is that equal 

         work would entitle the worker to equal pay, whether that 

         worker curled a bang on her forehead or a mustache on his 


              This introduction of women into the busy marts of 

         commerce and into the offices of the professional classes has 

         been brought about by the co- (and equal) education given 

         them in our glorious public schools.  Has it resulted as the 

         croakers in our fathers' days predicted in the unsexing of 

         our women?  No.  They are as fair, as sweet, and as good as 

         our grandmothers were; and they are far better company than 

         the girls of even 20 years ago, who used to torture us with 

         the "Maiden's Prayer," as our grandmothers used our granddads 

         with the "Battle of Prague."

              I do not believe that millenium will come with woman 

         suffrage.  I do not expect to see vice banished from the 

         world.  That will not be wrought by any human effort.  But I 

         do expect a vast improvement in our morals and in our social 

         life.  When women attain their due influence they ought to 

         demand from the husband they are about to take exactly the 

         same purity which he insists upon in the wife of his choice.  

         As a man said in discussing a proposed platform, "We need 

         laws against gambling, against intemperance, against bigamy, 

         trigamy and then polygamy, but we don't want them."  Well, 

         for my part I do.  Though the walls of my house may be more 

         or less composed of vitreous material, I throw this 

         stone--fiat justicia, and let the glass rattle about my ears 

         if it will.

              I promise your correspondent that when we set about 

         electing scavengers she will find Raleighs enough who will be 

         ready to throw their cloaks in the political mud and ensure 

         her a clear path to the poles--by the way, if that mud is as 

         thick as Los Angeles-street gruel, they will need to put 

         their coats and vests down, too; and as for insult, there 

         need be no fear of that while my sex have a spark of manhood.  

         Woman suffragists or their opponents alike would shed their 

         blood first.

              I have, Mr. Editor, taxed your space too far already, 

         else I should say something about the very excellent 

         suggestions of the English gentleman who signs himself 

         "Chester."  All I will say is I thank him.   Yours,


                          {Times, Feb. 4, 1888, p. 6}



              Los Angeles, Feb. 2.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         am most gallantly answered, convinced against my will, with 

         the usual result of that condition.  My opponent understands 

         to a dot the natural feminine fondness for saccharine diet.  

         While every one owns up to a sweet tooth, I confess to nearly 

         a full set of them.  It is a weakness that is entirely 

         organic, owing to an abnormal phrenological development, 

         where a depression might be an improvement.  He displays a 

         practiced hand, well gloved with material of softest, finest 

         texture, only he mistakes interrogations for assertions.  I 

         think I made no positive assertion, except that the majority 

         of women do not want the ballot, and that I reiterate; but I 

         hold myself open to conviction, and if convinced and 

         converted, I will yield as gracefully as possible.  I will 

         accept my manumission, and endeavor to perform its great and 

         responsible duties faithfully, conscientiously.  (For the 

         sake of my reputation I trust no one will construe this last 

         sentence into an intentional pun.)  I promise to inform 

         myself of all subjects relating to the body politic, and if 

         the millennium ever dawns when a second Lincoln shall appear 

         as liberator to the downtrodden sex, I will march to the 

         polls and deposit my ballot--just like a little man.

              Furthermore I will not be won over to the enemy by any 

         sugar coated nonsense.  I will not sell my vote for a dish of 

         ice cream, or a new bonnet.  Nothing short of a good sized 

         postoffice shall be any inducement.

              Once upon a time I went to a meeting where this subject 

         of female suffrage was discussed and advocated.  The speeches 

         consisted mostly of laudatory remarks on the superiority of 

         woman.  Like Hope, they all "told a flattering tale," which 

         the calico angels present rolled like a sweet morsel under 

         the tongue and the broadcloth bipeds applauded most 

         gallantly.  I was convinced beyond further cavil that the 

         "coming man" was to be a woman.  But I much question the 

         necessity for this fulsome praise--a kind of brass-band 

         booming, as if woman were a new discovery, a modern 

         invention, a recent subdivision of Father Adam.  I believe 

         this wonderful surgical operation, performed in the late 

         Garden of Eden, was the first and best ever known to the 

         profession.  I was impressed with this fact, that when the 

         constitutional clause that rates women with idiots shall be 

         amended; when the sons of men behold that the daughters of 

         earth represent a vote, whisky and cigars will no longer 

         figure as a prime factor, but the principal electioneering 

         commodity will be--taffy.

              Let me confess right here, strange as it may seem, that 

         I have never for one moment in my life wished myself a man.  

         Probably I need enlightenment.  The pagan is satisfied with 

         his benighted condition until the faithful missionary 

         convinces him of a better way.  Canary birds born in a cage 

         do not pine for freedom, and the Prisoner of Chillon tells us 

         he "gained his freedom with a sigh."

              I know I am on the unpopular side.  That doughty knight 

         of the quill, a literary Don Quixote, who is ready to fight 

         windmills and other imaginary {foes? - Ed.} for countless 

         Dulcineas, tells me I am wrong, but I cannot help it.  I fell 

         in love with a beautiful woman the other day.  She was 

         bending over a box of dainty garments that had only been worn 

         a few times, and the diamond dew gathered in her lovely eyes  

         as memory went back to a little grave in her womanly heart.  

         It touched a responsive chord in my own, and somehow I felt 

         drawn to her far more than if she had discoursed learnedly 

         and eloquently on some abstruse subject.

              Intellectual culture is not incompatible with domestic 

         virtues, but it must be, in a measure, interrupted and 

         suspended when a mother is surrounded by a family.  Her music 

         must be confined to lullabies, and artistic ambition to the 

         moulding of character and intelligence, that opens before her 

         day by day, as the leaves of a rose unfold.  I like to see a 

         woman accept cheerfully and thankfully the sweet thralldom 

         that motherhood imposes.  If she falls behind for a time in 

         the current literature or leading topics of the day, one can 

         readily pardon the offense.  Often is she compelled to be 

         father and mother both, bread winner as well as nurse, and 

         that she does this grandly and nobly, history, ancient and 

         modern, sacred and profane, will abundantly attest.  I do not 

         know that there is any difference in the average male and 

         female brain, except that the former outweighs the latter 

         about five ounces, but it is not always the largest vessel 

         that holds the choicest matter.  I am not sure whether those 

         extra five ounces give man so much the advantage or not.  

         Perhaps that is where he keeps the stuff that women generally 

         don't care to know.  Perhaps that is why we are told that if 

         a woman lack wisdom, she must ask her husband.  This she 

         cannot always do, for sometimes he lacks {illegible} more 

         than she.  Those five ounces may be only so much empty space, 

         and he may proclaim by word of mouth every time he opens it, 

         "Unfurnished rooms to rent."

              One thing I have often noticed, and with shame do I 

         confess it, since I am trying to be on the other side of the 

         question, that when a woman wants reliable information she 

         generally asks a man.  What a woman tells her is taken cum 

         grano salis, but the opinion or verdict of a man is her 

         gospel.  In time of trouble, if a man announces that all 

         danger is passed, the panic ceases and fear subsides.  It is 

         claimed that if a woman is amenable to the law, she should 

         have a voice in the making of that law; but does not the law 

         redress her wrongs as {illegible} as though she were a man?  

         I really cannot see that there is very just cause for 


              Twenty years ago the schoolroom, the needle and the 

         kitchen were about the only avocation in which a woman could 

         engage.  The past few years have witnessed a great change in 

         this regard.  College doors are now thrown open; the 

         professions invite her, and she may engage in any business 

         that she is physically able to perform.  Go into our banks, 

         our mercantile houses, and telegraph offices and women are 

         filling offices of trust and receiving good pay for their 

         services.  There are, of course, many wrongs that need to be 

         righted,  Many have been written up and talked of so much 

         that they need no rehearsing.  At the present rate of 

         progress I believe the next decade will witness a {illegible} 

         of improvement that ought to satisfy all discontented ones.  

         It is well to think occasionally of benefits, instead of 

         dwelling only on real or fancied wrongs.

                                             EMILY F. BENNET.

              [The previous question is now in order.--Ed.}

    The suffrage letters did not end with the Tara-Bennet correspondence.  

Throughout 1888 women continued to argue in letters to the editor for the right 

to vote, reasoning that the other evils they faced could be alleviated by the 

ballot.  "Disfranchised Taxpayer" found the approach of Independence Day an 

appropriate opportunity to compare the subjugation of women to that of the 

colonies.  Later in the summer, after the U. S. Supreme Court had ruled in 

McComb v. Spangler that the property rights of wives were subject to the 

consent of their husbands, both "E. A. K." and "R. H." saw suffrage as a

protection for the other rights of women.  While "R. H." remains unidentified,

suffrage historian Rebecca Mead believes "E. A. K." was Elizabeth A. Kingsbury,

who helped establish the city's Woman Suffrage Society in 1885.

                          {Times, June 2, 1888, p. 3}

                              I Demand My Rights.


              Los Angeles, May 29.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         hope you will allow me a little space in your columns, not 

         that I claim any talent as a writer, but that I may have the 

         satisfaction of reminding the public of my grievances.  I 

         think you will agree with me, that it is but a poor 

         compensation for this most unjust oppression.

              If a century ago taxation without representation was 

         declared "unjust and intolerable," I would like to know what, 

         in the present condition of things, renders it less so.  Yet 

         the Government of the United States, claiming to be founded 

         on that principle, levies taxes on one-half of her citizens 

         to whom she stoutly denies the ballot.

              In defense of tyranny, for such it is, it is argued that 

         women receive the protection of government, and, therefore, 

         should help to support it.  But I cannot quite understand why 

         I should pay as much for this protection as my neighbor, who 

         is a "male citizen," pays for equal security and has a voice 

         also in determining in what that security shall consist.  It 

         must be an exception to the solution of problems.  And if 

         protection is all that subjects are entitled to, the 

         Revolutionary War was a most useless shedding of blood.  Did 

         not the mother country espouse the cause of her American 

         colonies and protect them against the encroachments of the 

         French and Indians?  Right nobly were they defended, and when 

         called upon to defray the expenses of war, a general cry of 

         oppression was raised.  Now, if I were allowed a choice in 

         the matter (strange language for free America), I would 

         rather be taxed without representation for a cause like that, 

         than to bear any part in supporting a government a great part 

         of whose expenses is the result of the liquor business, 

         especially when I feel sure that if my sex were allowed the 

         ballot saloons would be swept from the land.  Some one has 

         said that election by universal suffrage, as modified by the 

         Constitution, is the one crowning franchise of the American 

         people.  This modification classes woman with idiots, etc., 

         and deprives her of suffrage simply an account of sex.  I am 

         sure no sane person considers this just, but it is done 

         merely because it can be done.  I hope the time is not far 

         distant when sex shall not exclude from the privilege of 

         voting.  As a citizen of the United States, and taxed for the 

         support of her government, I demand my rights.  Give me the 

         ballot or exempt me from taxation.

                                      DISFRANCHISED TAXPAYER.

                          {Times, Aug. 8, 1888, p. 5}

                               A Woman's Words.

              Los Angeles, Aug. 6.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  The 

         article in  Monday's paper, with regard to the real estate of 

         married women, needs no comment.  When one class of people is 

         ruled by another class, injustice and cruelty will surely 

         follow.  When one-half the people of these United States are 

         subject to the other half, they ought to expect injustice and 

         cruelty as a matter of course.  They ought to consider that 

         women have no rights that men are legally bound to respect.  

         The same power that enables them to enact one code of laws 

         today, permits them to reverse that code tomorrow.

              By the ardent and untiring efforts of pioneers in the 

         woman-suffrage cause for the last 40 years, Legislatures have 

         been induced to modify the laws respecting women, but they 

         can rescind those laws at any time, relegating woman back to 

         her status under the old common law.

              When will women lay aside their superficiality and 

         frivolity, look at the matter in its true light, and, rising 

         en masse, demand an equal right with men in making the laws 

         of the Nation?  When they do this they would soon obtain the 

         right.  Men are naturally just and humane.  It is these 

         unjust laws that are injuring them, as well as women.

                                              E. A. K.

                         {Times, Aug. 26, 1888, p. 6.}

                              The Woman Question.

              Los Angeles, Aug. 7.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  No 

         doubt that the late decision of the Supreme Court in regard 

         to the rights of property, and the comments of The Times upon 

         the same in Monday morning's issue, caused a thankful thrill 

         in many a manly (?) breast, and, no doubt, found a glow of 

         indignation in many a woman's cheek, as she listened to her 

         liege lord's approval of the same.  For men like woman to be 

         tender and clinging, and it would never do for them to have 

         entire disposal of their property; they would become too 

         independent.  They may have had the tact, the industry, the 

         brains to acquire.  They may have toiled early and late--that 

         was all fitting and proper.  But to dispose of the same as 

         her judgment dictates--why, that requires talent of an order 

         only developed in that class of men whose wives have the 

         ambition and energy to gain a position which their husbands 

         are incapable of reaching.  The august assemblage who framed 

         that law seemed only intent on protecting the strong and 

         plunging the weak into still lower depths.  It only protects 

         the wife who is already protected.  But it offers no 

         protection to that class of women who did not draw prizes to 

         the matrimonial venture; who have to accept poverty and 

         privation as their lot; to see their children deprived of all 

         that makes life beautiful, a barren, dreary future stretching 

         out before them unless they gird on the armor themselves and 

         strive for success in one of the few fields open to them, 

         where they will not be considered as trespassers on man's 

         domain.  These fields are indeed few, as was demonstrated 

         recently by a pompous county official refusing a lady a 

         position as clerk, "Because an office was no place for a 

         woman."  O tempora! O mores!  This most tyrannical law is 

         destined to work disastrous effects.  It is only a ripple now 

         on a quiet dream, but from it will be evolved many a social 

         whirlpool.  Some women, discouraged and disheartened, will 

         strive no more.  Some will seek the relief of becoming a 

         "sole trader" with its attendant publicity.  In many cases 

         where the loveknot is easy to unloose, she will seek a 

         divorce--and obtain it--generally on very good grounds.  But 

         before any of these measures should be resorted to--each one 

         a bitter potion--an appeal to the legislators should be made 

         that such a law be blotted out.  But, over and above all 

         this, there is something higher for women to seek.  Why 

         should she plead for protection?  Why should she plead with 

         the ignorant and debased man to vote for the one most worthy 

         of office, when he would sell his vote for a pot of beer?  

         Why should she plead with the naturalized foreigner, when 

         beyond the sea his sisters are bending under heavy burdens or 

         are harnessed to the cart like beasts of the field?  Why 

         should one plead with the negro, coming out of a long night 

         of degradation to cast his vote that shall determine how the 

         women of America shall be governed?  Let her pleadings assume 

         the shape of votes.  There will then be an end of such unjust 

         laws, and for that consummation should every conscientious, 

         intelligent woman work. 

                                                   R. H. 

                             C) WOMEN AS REFORMERS

    The letters column revealed sharp differences among Los Angeles women 

regarding their role, both in the narrow sense of fighting for suffrage and in 

the larger context of their place in society.  The role of women in reform 

movements elicited contrasting letters from Elizabeth A. Kingsbury and Miss 

Grundy.  No "Miss Grundy" is listed in the city directories throughout the 1880s, 

but a Clotilda, or Lottie, Grunsky taught at Woodbury Business College in the 

mid-'eighties and later in the decade served as assistant principal at Sand 

Street school before becoming an aide to the city school superintendent.

                         {Times, Nov. 20, 1883, p. 3}

                         For a Womans' Suffrage Union.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Thanks, Mr. Editor, 

         for that expression of your opinion about the Womans' 

         Christian Suffrage Union in yesterday's paper.  As you truly 

         say, it savors of demogogism or sycophancy.  There are many 

         honest well-wishers and able workers for the cause, who are 

         thus left out in the cold. Because they cannot utter the 

         "Shibboleth" of a certain party, because they cannot 

         consistently subscribe to an orthodox creed, they must be 

         forbidden to do good to humanity.

              Twenty, thirty, forty years ago the pioneers in the 

         causes of Abolition, Temperance and Woman Suffrage endured 

         much opposition from the church, but when they had succeeded, 

         through much tribulation, in imbuing the minds of men with a 

         better spirit,--when the church found that the current of 

         public opinion was likely to turn against it, forthwith it 

         turned around and stepped in, saying:  "Here, we will carry 

         on this business in future.  It shall no longer be in the 

         hands of infidels.  It is now bound to succeed and we will 

         have the credit of it and under our banners it shall march to 

         victory."  And by their ecclesiastical machinery and power 

         they so monopolize the field, that every "infidel" is kept 

         out, however upright and capable he may be, however much he 

         may have heretofore labored and sacrificed for the cause.  Is 

         this an illustration of the spirit of Jesus?  I trow not.

                                               E. A. K. 

                         {Times, Nov. 16, 1884, p. 2}

                         Some Advice From Miss Grundy.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Is there any law to 

         prevent a woman's speaking in meeting provided no one else is 

         talking?  I shall act upon the supposition that there is not, 

         and have my little say, with your permission, about a matter 

         that I deem of vital importance.  I think I have learned a 

         lesson from the late political campaign, and one which should 

         be generally understood by women.  Of course the women are 

         curious to know what the lesson is.  It is a painful one, but 

         it should be carefully heeded and not forgotten.  It is this:  

         The impulsive, enthusiastic and illogical reformer, led on by 

         one single idea and blinded by that to all other issues, may 

         find that "by treading where she does not comprehend she will 

         make her own ruin."  The women of the prohibition ranks 

         espoused the cause of St. John, as if by following in his 

         lead a universal abolishment of whiskey and the saloon would 

         be the result.  The party that has always been the party of 

         law and order, the grand old party to which we owe to-day our 

         existence as a nation, was antagonized by the extremists, not 

         only in the male but in the female ranks of the 

         Prohibitionists,--the unreasoning ones who vainly hope to 

         precipitate a reform before they have even prepared the way 

         for it.  Although a woman, I ask, when will women learn to 

         reason?  When will they come to understand that the 

         establishment of a national temperance law will be the result 

         of patient, steady endeavor--that it can be secured only by 

         the education of the nation up to a full understanding of its 

         moral needs and necessities?  I am sure that it was not the 

         wives and the mothers of the land who aimed through their 

         blow at the Republican party a deadly thrust at temperance 

         and morality.  It was the radical and unreasoning ones, who, 

         fastening their political faith to the skirts of a demagogue, 

         and blind to resuls, used themselves and those who they could 

         influence, as heavy clogs to the wheels of reform, and 

         through the advocacy of abrupt measures have hindered, by 

         many years, the attainment of the end for which they labored.  

         Only one word more, my sisters:  If you are not able to trace 

         out logical sequences don't attempt the role of reformers.

                                                  MISS GRUNDY.

    Evangelist Leander W. Munhall was in Los Angeles in late 1885 and early 

1886 as the principal minister at a massive revival.  Two thousand people 

crowded the Tabernacle for one of his sermons, all of which were well 

publicized in the Times.  On Sunday, Jan. 3, he held a meeting "for misses and 

women over 13 years of age."  What Munhall said there drew this response from 

"An Old Maid."

                          {Times, Jan. 5, 1886, p. 2}

                            Dr. Munhall Criticised.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  In Dr. Munhall's 

         Sunday talk to women he said many excellent things, but 

         others that needed modification.

              The style of woman who carries a dog and ignores her 

         baby was given too much prominence, especially when seldom, 

         if ever, seen on the streets of this city.

              That American women--some of them--do not take enough 

         out-of-door exercise is true, but that this is the solo or 

         even chief cause of ill-health is not true.

              Rowing, walking, riding, and out-of-door games are every 

         day making the girls of this nation physically better than 

         ever before, and this fact should not be ignored.

              English women are stronger and less nervous than 

         American women, but it is equally true that English men are 

         stronger and less nervous than American men.

              Some women do not teach their daughters to cook, but it 

         must also be remembered that this is the age of the cooking 

         school, where rich women of means--and there are as many 

         sensible women among the rich as among the poor--take their 

         daughters to the cooking school, attend themselves, and often 

         pay their servants' tuition at the same place.

              Some women read novels, and Scott, Thackeray, Dickens, 

         Eliot, and others of a like class, are as necessary to a 

         well-trained mind as history or philosophy.

              That American girls are, in any great majority, a silly, 

         senseless, helpless set of novel-readers cannot be proven.  

         But the reverse is really shown to be true.

              We have hundreds of colleges now open to women, and from 

         them graduate every year many hundreds of well-trained, 

         well-balanced, sensible young women.   Only last fall, in the 

         city of Chicago, I saw a young lady--her mother a well-known 

         physician--who had taken the honors in Greek in a large class 

         of young men.  And she is not a lone exception.

              The average is as sensible as her brother, and does 

         not--I venture the assertion--read silly novels as often as 

         he does those of the Red-handed Jack variety.  I refer now to 

         young people of the schools.

              Women should work at whatever they please, never to the 

         neglect of the family, of course, unless compelled by 

         poverty, as many are, to get bread for that family.  But no 

         woman should work simply to help her husband, that is, with a 

         view to a sacrifice of herself that he may be exalted.

              But that may not have been intended.

              No respectable work is a disgrace to woman more than to 

         man, but it is not necessary that a woman do her coarse work 

         any more than that a merchant sweep his own store.

              The rich woman who did her own washing had much better 

         have hired some poor woman whose daily bread depended on her 

         labor, and if she had no other work she would have been 

         better employed making clothes for the same poor woman's 


              It was said that woman was queen of the house, and yet 

         they had but just been told, as they doubtless had no money 

         of their own (at housekeeper's wages they would have a fine 

         little sum), to take from their husband's money (all his?) to 

         give to the Young Men's Christian Association, if they could 

         not get it otherwise.

              Think of a woman who could not buy a postage stamp, or 

         pay a street-car fare!

              It is no day to talk of woman as an idle class.

              As housekeepers their burdens are legion, and in my by 

         no means unlimited acquaintance I number women who are 

         ministers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, editors, bank clerks, 

         printers, painters, notaries public, bookbinders, 

         confectioners, milliners, cashiers, census takers, lecturers, 

         clerks, teachers, and last, but by no means least, 

         housekeepers or home makers.  I have also seen a woman as 

         docket clerk in the House of Representatives of a certain 

         State, a women in charge of the State historical rooms, as 

         county clerk's deputy, and assistant city treasurer.

              Others can testify to still more in the same line.

              It is no day, either, to covertly sneer at old maids, 

         even if certain classes are exempt.  Florence Nightingale, 

         Frederika Bremer, Rosa Bonheur, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, 

         Louisa Alcott, and a host of others equally famous, are old 


              I know one of the humbler class who refused to marry 

         because her aged father objected, devoting herself to her 

         parents and a dead sister's children.  The father soon died, 

         the sister's husband recalled the children, and she is an old 

         maid, supporting, single-handed, herself and infirm mother.  

         Does she deserve even a laugh at her expense?

              And is bad cooking the cause of divorce when the reasons 

         oftenest given are adultery and habitual drunkenness on the 

         part of the men?

                                             AN OLD MAID.


    Margaret E. Parker, the first president of the British Women's Temperance 

Association, was visiting in Southern California in 1887 when the British 

community planned a local celebration for Queen Victoria's Jubilee.  She 

criticized both the composition of the committee arranging the program and 

their decision that the main event would be a ball.  Expressing her outrage in 

a letter to the Times, Parker suggested a worthier form of celebration.

                         {Times, April 7, 1887, p. 3}

           The Queen's Jubilee--A Decision Arrived at by Englishmen.

              "Glen Rosa," Pasadena, April 6.--{To the Editor of The 

         Times.]  I learn with grief and indignation that a proposal 

         to add the names of well-known Los Angeles ladies, engaged in 

         philanthropic work, has been vetoed by that self-appointed 

         committee of Englishmen who propose to celebrate a woman's 

         jubilee.  By a vote of six to four this strange resolution 

         was arrived at.  Some of the reasons given I had rather 

         ignore for the credit of my own countrymen.  I am very sure 

         that if it had been a committee of American men such a 

         resolution would have been impossible.  I would suggest that 

         another committee be appointed composed of men and women, 

         with some definite philanthropic object in view, that will be 

         of lasting benefit to the sex represented by the Queen, and 

         not for the selfish gratification which a few hours' 

         amusement at a ball would afford.  One beautiful work might 

         be to endeavor to relieve the overworked and underpaid women 

         in the Queen's own country, and at the same time relieve the 

         pressure for household help in California, and especially in 

         Los Angeles county.  There are thousands of educated women in 

         Britain, skilled in household work, who work for a bare 

         maintenance, that would be glad to come to this country but 

         for the cost of transit.  They would be an unspeakable 

         blessing here, where Chinese labor has to be resorted to, 

         with all its disadvantages of language and habits.  I would 

         suggest that a fund be established to pay their passage, and 

         a committee appointed in both countries to carry out so 

         desirable an object.

              I am, sir, faithfully yours,

                                       MARGARET E. PARKER.

              P. S.  I think it only just to one of the minority to 

         state that on the decision being arrived at he said to the 

         chair:  "It is an insult to the Queen and her sex."

    When Parker returned to England later that year she organized an 

association for the purpose of transporting women workers to Southern 

California.  The Times was not enthused about Parker's plan and editorially 

noted that the surplus female population of the northeastern states could 

easily supply any need for domestic help that California might have.  

Furthermore, the editor wrote, "we are better acquainted with the native 

article, and we always did like home products."   

    Readers were divided.  Otis ran a supportive letter from "Housekeeper" in 

the editorial column, to which George Turner responded with a condemnation of 

native female labor.  "Mizpah" endorsed the Times' position.  By early 1888 

three separate detachments of girls and young women dispatched by Parker had 

arrived in Southern California.

                         {Times, Oct. 22, 1887, p. 4}
                       Give the American Girl a Chance.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 21.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         was glad to see the grounds you took in regard to the 

         importation of English girls into our town.  The average 

         English girl is neither as apt, well-bred not competent as 

         the average American girl, and though our native born may be 

         independent and unruly at times I for one prefer to cope with 

         those objections rather than with that thick-headed stupidity 

         of the English girl.  I know whereof I speak, having lived in 

         both countries.  Let us be loyal to our own country-women, 

         and by our aid and example let us make it as respectable for 

         our American girls to work in a household as in a shop. Then 

         our trouble will cease, and not till then.

                                            A HOUSEKEEPER.

                         {Times, Oct. 26, 1887, p. 3}

                 Conundrums on the Subject of Servant Girlism.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 22.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Noticing a letter in your paper of the 21st on "Give the 

         American Girls a Chance," I beg leave to ask the following 


              First--What has Housekeeper to grumble about?

              Second--Has not the American girl had chance enough?

              Third--And why has she not taken advantage of it?

              If Los Angeles is flooded with foreign importation who 

         is to blame?  "When the thick-headed, stupid English girl," 

         as "Housekeeper" calls them, gets more move on them than the 


                                               GEORGE TURNER.

                         {Times, Oct. 30, 1887, p. 3}

                             American Girls First.

              San Jacinto, Oct. 28.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         note in your last issue of The Times an article relative to 

         the importation of Scotch domestic labor to this country, a 

         plan conceived by Mrs. Parker.  You voice the sentiment of 

         the public when you enter protest against foreign female 

         domestic labor.  I'm one of the 60,000 old maids of 

         Massachusetts; have traveled in nearly every State in the 

         Union, and nowhere in the country are there greater 

         opportunities for women and girls than right here in the 

         State of California.  The avenues of industry and distinction 

         are both open to every woman; better wages and larger 

         salaries are paid for domestics and professional services 

         than in any part of our country, and if any are to have the 

         benefit of these advantages, let it be the women and girls of 

         our own country; and we echo the sentiments of The Times when 

         it says "We prefer the home product," for we have among the 

         home product good cooks, laundresses, dressmakers as well as 

         teachers, book-keepers, artists and professionals of every 

         industry, and to the many laboring women of the East, who 

         wish to better their condition, we give the advice of the 

         lamented Horace, "Go West and grow up with the country;"  and 

         I might add get a good husband.