|Carrie Lane Chapman.|
Cortland Evening Standard, Tuesday, January 30, 1894.
THE RIGHT TO VOTE.
HOW THE WOMEN OF COLORADO SECURED IT.
The Struggle Began Twenty-four Years Ago and Culminated In an Enthusiastic and Successful Campaign Last Fall—The Distinguished Services of Mrs. Chapman.
Twenty-four years ago General Edward McCook, then territorial governor of Colorado, wrote concerning the woman suffrage question in his first message to the legislature: "It rests with you to say whether Colorado will accept this reform in its first stage or in its last, whether she will be a leader or a follower, for the logic of a progressive civilization leads to the inevitable result of universal suffrage."
Governor McCook was a pioneer in the woman suffrage movement, and recent events have proved that he was something of a prophet so far as Colorado was concerned, for the state at its last election, by a large majority of the popular vote, decided to admit women to the right of suffrage on a perfect equality with men. But in those days Governor McCook met the proverbial fate of a prophet in his own country, and though he and a band of devoted followers made a hard fight for female suffrage in the territorial assembly of 1870 they were defeated by a two-thirds majority.
The history of the movement in the Centennial State subsequent to that date makes interesting reading. When Colorado was on the eve of statehood in 1876, Judge H. P. H. Bromwell succeeded in having incorporated in the new constitution a clause providing that at the first general election or at any election thereafter the question of suffrage might be submitted to a vote of the people upon the passage of a bill to that effect by the state legislature. The general assembly passed such a law at its first session in 1877, and the ensuing campaign was a notable one. The struggle was in vain, however, for the suffragists were overwhelmed by a vote of 20,000 against their measure to 10,000 in its favor.
Nothing disheartened, they made an effort in 1881 to secure municipal suffrage for women, but even that small favor was refused them, and the effort came to nought. In the spring of 1890 Mrs. Louise M. Tyler, who had done active work in the cause of woman suffrage in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, went to Denver and stirred the friends of the movement up once more. Through her efforts an organization was formed which in the winter of 1891 again petitioned the legislature to extend to women the right to vote. They made the mistake of not getting their bill introduced within the required time, however, and it had to be tacked on as a rider to a bill preventing foreigners from voting on their first naturalization papers. The bill was lost and the rider with it.
But that "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" received fresh verification at the next meeting of the legislature, for in the Ninth assembly, which met in January, 1893, not less than four suffrage bills were introduced, one of which got through the house by a small majority and narrowly escaped suffocation in the senate. It was one of the last bills passed by that body.
Then the Equal Suffrage association enlisted the services of Mrs. Carrie Lane Chapman and went to work as they had never worked before. Headquarters were opened in Denver, where Miss Helen M. Reynolds, corresponding secretary of the association, engineered a campaign that was worthy of a veteran politician. Nothing was neglected that might promote success, and everything was avoided that might stimulate opposition. Some of the leading newspapers were enlisted in support of the movement, and the campaign was conducted entirely on an educational and nonpartisan basis.
Mrs. Chapman made a tour of the state, traveling every day, speaking every night and organizing a league wherever she spoke. Men made up the greater portion of her audiences, and even in the mountain towns and mining camps she received the most courteous and chivalric treatment. Her tact was equal to her eloquence, and under her influence some of the best men in the state enrolled themselves in the local leagues, sometimes filling all the offices and doing all the routine work. There was no organized opposition, and the Populist party was united in support of the movement.
The most sanguine suffragists hardly expected to carry Denver. In fact, defeat there was looked for as practically certain, and when the returns from Arapahoe county showed a majority of 915 in favor of equal suffrage the friends of the movement were among those most surprised. The official count showed the total majority in the state to be 6,847, and in accordance with the will of the people thus expressed the governor on Dec. 2 issued a proclamation conferring the right of suffrage on the women citizens of the state.
The women accepted the decision quietly. There was no public jollification, but many of them hastened to show their appreciation of the franchise by registering as voters. It remains to be demonstrated whether the exercise of their new privilege will have the beneficial effects predicted for it.
|Wickwire Factory, Cortland, N. Y..|
More Depression in Store for Cortland.
It may possibly have dawned already on the comprehension of some of the more intelligent of those in this village who voted for the present [Cleveland] administration, and the depression, misery and financial ruin which it has caused, that even Cortland would have enjoyed greater prosperity under Republican rule. The village attained most of its growth and built up all its industries under a protective tariff. During the past eight months, the factories of Cortland, with possibly two or three exceptions, have been either closed or running with a handful of men, and signs of revival are not all that could be wished. It is an unquestionable fact that there are less people in the village to-day than a year ago, and the prospect of any increase is very remote.
During these dark months of panic and prostration the industry which has seemed least affected has been the wire drawing and wire goods factory of Wickwire Bros. Among the reasons for this have been that their wire goods are largely protected by patents on the goods and on the machines making them, and the wire drawn in their mills has at once gone into these goods, which are not excelled in quality anywhere in the world, and which by reason of improved and patented machinery can be manufactured at prices which will sell them wherever such goods are used.
It has not occurred to some tariff reformers and free traders that a valid patent is the most absolute protection possible. It is practically a tariff so high as to be prohibitive. It is therefore the worst kind of a robbery, according to Democratic principles, for it clearly taxes the many for the benefit of the few. "Witness typewriters sold for $100 when they don't cost $15—all because they are patented. Though they could be made in some other country for $10 they could not be sold here, if so made, at any price. Yet nothing has so stimulated American invention and built up new industries as the protection afforded by our patent laws. If they are constitutional, why is a tariff which simply levies a tax on foreign goods goods and foreign manufacturers for the benefit of American labor and the stimulation of American industries, and to meet the necessary expenses of our government, a whit more unconstitutional? "Why can it not be better defended on every moral and economical ground?
In fine wire drawing, however, Wickwire Bros. are protected by no patents. The method is the same in all countries, and a man can draw just as long a piece of wire in a day in England or Germany as he can in America. The big wages and steady work of the fine wire drawers in Wickwire Bros.' factory have been due solely to the protective tariff. Yet some of these very men have been voting to put the party in power which now proposes to reduce the pay for fine wiredrawing in this country to the level of wages paid in Germany. As evidence of this and as showing how the Wilson bill will affect the industry which has done so much for Cortland, we publish the following letter from Wickwire Bros., which was read in the house of representatives last Saturday, at the request of Representative Payne of this district, during the debate on amendments to the sections of the Wilson bill affecting wire drawing and wire weaving:
CORTLAND, N.Y., Jan. 9, 1894.
DEAR SIR: We wish to inform you how the Wilson bill will affect our business, and ask your assistance in getting it changed if it must become a law. We consider the bill un-American, and a direct blow at American industries.
We inclose a schedule showing present and proposed duty on our raw material, wire rods and our finished products, viz: Fine wire, (finer than No. 26), and wire cloth made from wire finer than No 26. You will notice that wire rods, new, pay six-tenths cent per pound. Fine wire 3 cents per pound. Wire cloth and nettings 5 cents per pound. The Wilson bill proposes to place all these at 30 per cent ad valorem, which you will see at once gives us, who take the wire rod for our raw material and work it down, no protection.
In order to show you the inconsistency of this, we will give you the values of the different products: Wire rods, American make, of a quality good enough to draw down to No. 33 wire, are worth to-day $28 per ton of 2,240 pounds, or about 1 2-10 cents per pound. The German wire rods cannot be imported, of a quality suitable for this work at present duty, for less than $30 per ton, we believe; and under the proposed tariff of 30 per cent we figure our rolling-mills are able to compete, and admit they can do so. But when we draw this rod to No. 33 wire it is worth in the largest contracts, of say 500 to 1,000 tons, 6 1/2 cents per pound, the difference all being represented in labor and mill expense with a small profit.
Our wire-drawers are high-priced men earning $1 to $4.50 per day, spending a number of years to learn the business. Wire-drawers in England and Germany earn less than half what we pay here. We have no advantage over them in machinery, the process of drawing fine wire being an old one. Now you will see the proposed duty is 30 per cent ad valorem on this finished product, worth over five times as much as our raw material. Going still farther, we take this No. 33 wire and weave it into fine wire cloth which is used for all of our fine sieves, and painted for window screens; it is then worth at the lowest jobbing price, from 13 to 18 cents per pound. Still we come under the same 30 per cent ad valorem.
We can not compete with the foreign product unless we cut our wages down to starvation prices, which we will never be able to do, as the men will not submit to it. Four-fifths of the cost of the above No. 33 wire or fine wire cloth is represented in labor. The proposed 30 per cent ad valorem duty is a reduction in our present duty of over 50 per cent on either of the above products, and is more than we can possibly stand and will result in closing every fine wire, wire cloth, and netting mill in this country unless we can cut our wages down, as we have said above, 50 per cent.
We also wish to explain the condition of this trade on the other side. England and Germany, which are the principal manufacturers, are not at present furnishing a pound of these goods m this country. When the present duty was put on we were importing wire nettings at a cost of $1.25 per 100 square feet, where now it is all made from same size of wire, same mesh, and a better quality and sold for 40 cents per 100 square feet.
Painted wire cloth was imported from Germany until the price was brought below 2 cents per square foot. We are now selling it as low as 1 1/3 cents per square foot, and it is used more extensively in this country than in any other. We do not like to open our market to foreigners to furnish an article that has been appropriated by Americans to a use the foreigners have not done. There is no foreign demand for our production.
Will now state our situation: About a year ago we commenced the erection of a large additional plant to draw our fine wire and have it about completed, with the prospect ahead that we can not operate it, and you must imagine we are seriously interested in the Wilson bill, which proposes to strike down our industry.
The production of fine wire, wire cloth, and nettings in this country is very large—much larger than in any other country. Our market is at home, and we have enjoyed years of prosperity and increased demand each year. Millions of dollars are invested in the business, the principal works being located in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.
With this explanation we think you will be quite familiar with the situation, and we want your assistance to have the duty increased on fine wire to at least 40 per cent and wire cloth and nettings to 50 per cent, if the bill must become a law.
Hoping to hear from you in answer to the above, we remain,
Yours, very respectfully,
HON. SERENO E. PAYNE,
Washington, D. C.
Commenting on the letter Mr. Payne said:
Why, this letter which I have just read relates to a business which is carried on in a number of states, in which, millions of capital are invested, in which, thousands of employees are interested, to get their daily bread; a business that pays American wages to all the men engaged in it; a business that has been largely developed within the last few years, a great want and a great necessity to all the people of the states, supplying our consumers with what has come to be an article of necessity. And now this committee propose, it would seem, without forethought or examination of this business, nay, it would seem, in utter ignorance of this business, the committee come in here without rhyme or reason and propose to cut down the measure of duty, which these men engaged in it say would either compel them to discontinue the business or to cut down the wages of their employees at least one-half.
I think even this House, tending as it is in the direction of free trade and ruin, would hesitate if its members could understand all the relations which these amendments have to the industries of the country; that they would hesitate to adopt one of the amendments which the committee have dumped in here by the bushel basketful at this last hour in the consideration of this bill.
Yet the house marched on unflinchingly in the free trade path marked out for it by Southern politicians who hail from places having only a few hundred inhabitants, and where the only sound of whistles ever heard comes from the mouths of the lazy and ignorant natives.
How much longer will intelligent Northern workingmen follow such leadership? How much longer will they vote away their bread through prejudice or partisanship? How much longer will the lies of demagogues and political self-seekers have influence with them? It is reasonably safe to say not much longer. If the Wilson bill passes and the fine wire mills in Cortland shut down, or offer their men foreign wages as the only alternative, we anticipate that the curses called down on the Democratic party will be loud and deep, and that the conversions to Republicanism will be many and lasting.
Home Talent Scores a Great Success on the Stage.
Few if any amateur melodramic [sic] performances have been given in Cortland for many years that have in any way equaled the presentation last evening of "Myrtle Ferns" by the Players' club, given for the purpose of swelling the treasury of the poor fund of the Tioughnioga relief committee. The audience down stairs was one of the most select that has ever assembled in the Opera House. There were many vacant seats in the gallery, but the piece was not cut out for a gallery audience and the large crowd down stairs were liberal enough in their applause to make up for the several hundred gallery boys, who were conspicuous by their absence.
"Myrtle Ferns" is a melodrama with a strong plot. In the first act occurs a murder, and it takes four more acts to unravel the mystery concerning it. Every act is full of startling climaxes which were all well brought out by the members of the club. All the Opera House scenery used was placed to the best advantage, and few were able to believe that it all belonged to the Opera House. The properties were also well worked throughout and the entire piece went through without a balk. This is saying much more than most amateur organizations can say. The entire company was working under a serious disadvantage, having been unable, owing to the company being here all last week, to secure the Opera House for rehearsals and the only opportunity that the club had to get their bearings on the stage was at one rehearsal of the piece yesterday afternoon. With the disadvantage of parlor rehearsals, at which the entrances and exits were imaginary, lack of properties and hundreds of smaller things, it was a very agreeable surprise to the audience that the drama went off in a manner that would have done credit to a strong professional company.
With the array of talented amateurs in the cast it is next to impossible to state who did the best. Each person carried his or her parts, nearly all of which were doubled, in a most excellent manner.
Chick, the mischief, "Little, but oh, gee " was a very difficult part, liable to be over acted and one which yet required considerable energy. Mrs. E. S. Burrows struck the happy medium and impersonated it in a manner which, as the part implied was literally "out of sight." Her acting showed a careful study of the part, even to the minutest details and she adapted herself to them in an exceedingly natural manner, which classed her among the few natural born actresses who have kept off the stage professionally.
Mrs. Hawley, as Mother Worth in the first act, clearly showed her ability in a character part, but she proved herself a most excellent actress in the juvenile line of Emma Myrtle. Her elaborate wardrobe added a great deal to the success she achieved in her impersonation of the part, which showed a clear conception, well carried out. Her enunciation is especially worthy of mention.
It would have been a difficult matter to have found a person better suited to the part of Edith Worth than Miss Ruth Carpenter. She was excellent indeed and had she been in her own parlor could not have acted with better grace and a more natural manner than when she was playing the romantic part of Robert's sweetheart.
Mr. Bert Hakes appeared in two widely different characters and it is difficult to tell in which he most excelled. During four acts he played the comedy part of Larry and his many amusing speeches and quick Irish wit and repartee brought down the house many times during the evening. The part of the good (?), kind (?), generous (?) jailer was much heavier, but he carried it in a manner which would have done credit to an old professional.
Mr. Joseph G. Jarvis also doubled, in first impersonating the rough, but honest old back woodsman, Stub Worth, and after the latter had been murdered took another old man character part, which was more polished, that of the master of Myrtle Ferns. He was excellent in both parts.
Few would believe that two such good natured men as Mr. E. S. Burrows and Mr. M. Day Murphey were capable of impersonating respectively the parts of the villain and his dupe. Both did admirably, but as usual the dupe "squeeled" on the villain just as his plans were maturing and spoiled them all.
Mr. E. B. Cummings appeared in a juvenile role that just suited him and he carried it in the same excellent manner, which has characterized all of his previous efforts in this direction. In fact he eclipsed himself in many features.
Dannie, the jailer's assistant, by Mr. Stevens, was as tough as one could wish but he did his duty as a sheriff in the last act in a manner which pleased all.
At the first appearance of each of the characters they received a round of applause. Each person had dressed his or her character in a manner which just suited it and many of the costumes excelled those of many traveling companies. The orchestra was at its best and the entire performance was most excellent.
"Myrtle Ferns" will be presented at the Opera House by the Players' club next Friday evening at the reduced prices of ten, twenty and thirty cents.
King's Daughters' Election.
At the annual meeting of the Loyal circle of King's Daughters held at the residence of Mrs. A. M. Johnson, 32 Groton-ave., the following officers were duly elected for the year 1894:
President—Mrs. F. J. Cheney.
1st Vice-Pres.— Mrs. E. D. Parker.
2nd Vice-Pres.—Mrs. E. F. Jennings.
Secretary—Miss Mary Oday.
Treasurer—Mrs. A. M. Johnson.
Supt. of Local Charity—Mrs. Quinn, 16 Charles-st.
Directors Local Charity work:
First Ward—Mrs. M. C. Ellas, 7 Duane-st, Mrs. E. Robbins, 8 Duane st.
Second Ward—Mrs. E. D. Parker, 95 Lincoln-ave., Mrs. E. F. Jennings, 12 Homer-ave.
Third Ward—Mrs. H. Smith, 22 Hubbard-st., Miss Mary Oday, 76 Railroad-st.
Fourth Ward—Mrs. H. L. Bronson, 66 Port Watson-st., Mrs. Henry Relyea, 11 Blodgett-st.
Card and Flower Mission—Mrs. Homer Smith.
Supt. Employment Agency—Mrs. S. Rindge.
Social Committee—Mrs. Marcus Brownell, Mrs. Fred Thompson, Mrs. E. F. Jennings.
—Do not forget the annual meeting of the Cortland County Veterans' association to-morrow at 10 A. M. at Grand Army hall.
—At a meeting of the board of engineers last evening Mr. F. A. Bickford was appointed janitor of Fireman's hall for the ensuing year.
—Those who enjoy a dish of Boston baked beans and a Henry Clay pipe afterwards will have an opportunity to satisfy it at the Wheel club smoker this evening.
—There will be a regular meeting of the F. and A. M. to-night. Work and instruction in the third degree will begin, and every member is expected to be present.
—Dispatches this afternoon show that this storm prevails at least from Cleveland on the west as far as Boston on the east. It everywhere is a blizzard and much snow has fallen. In New York last night there was a heavy rainfall but no snow and to-day it is clearing.
—The sale of F. W. Clark's grocery occurred yesterday afternoon, after the forms of The STANDARD had been locked. Lucinda M. Clark, his wife, purchased all of the stock, with the exception of the coffeemill, which was purchased by John E. Winslow of Virgil for $14.50 and the safe which D. L. Bliss bid in for $15. The entire stock sold for $1,121.
—Notwithstanding the severe storm last night and to-day all the trains on both the D., L. & W. and E., C. & N. railroads have been on time. It has not even been necessary to have the snow ploughs out. They have not had to be out at all so far this winter. The snow plough on the street railroad has been moving all day and the road is open.
—Winter has come at last. The first genuine snowstorm of the season and the first blizzard has struck the town, and however the majority of people may feel about the first, the second surely is not a welcome visitor. But then the winter has been mild so far, and really no one has much reason to complain if two months winter does get bunched in a single day.
—The Cortland Athletic association have secured Mrs. D. N. Miller of Homer to take charge of their house. She will be assisted by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas White. Mr. White was formerly proprietor of the Mansion House in Homer, and will bring to his new duties large experience in such matters. The family will move in the third week in February. The family will have the privilege of taking boarders who are not members of the association for meals only. Only members will be permitted to room in the house. Mrs. Miller will act as caterer and will be prepared to furnish lunches on a moderate or elaborate scale at any time to members.