head and noble thoughts, I really almost suspected, toward the last, that she was quite as capable of voting as I was. He’s got the wrong notion if he thinks I don’t know anything about women.
WOMEN MAY VOTE.
“I know that since the women started out on their crusade they have scored in every project they undertook against unjust laws. I would like to see them help make the laws and those who are to enforce them. I would like to see the whiplash in women’s hands. The suffrage in the hands of the men degenerates into a couple of petrified parties. The man votes for his party and gets the city in the condition this one is in now—a disgrace to civilization. If I live seventy-five years more—well, I won’t—fifty years, then, or twenty-five, I think I’ll see women use the ballot. It’s the possession of the ballot that counts. If women had it you could tell how they would use it.
“Bring before them such a state of affairs as existed in New York City today and they would rise in their strength at the next election, elect a mayor, and sweep away corruption.
“True, they might sit ten years and never use it, but on such occasions they would cast it. Or in the case of an unjust war. Why, war might even pass away and arbitration take its place. It never will so long as men have the votes.”
Mr. Clemens said that the contention that only vicious women would vote was absurd. “How many of our 600,000 women are vicious?” he asked. “Not enough to amount to anything. If women could vote, each party would feel compelled to put up the best candidate it could or take the risk of being voted down by the women. States are built on morals—not intellects. And men would never get any morals at all if the women didn’t put it into them when they were boys. If women could vote the good women would all vote one way. Men won’t do that. It’s a choice of evils with them.”
Mr. Clemens then said that he had noticed that the President had said that previous to a year ago the Institution had a lady Board of Managers, but now it had men.
“And now,” he added, amid laughter, “he says they have twenty-one typewriters, whereas before they had only four. Oh, I like that modesty. We men are all like that. Well, at any rate I hope a lot of us will die and leave something in our wills.”
Edward P. Clarke wrote from N.Y.C. to Sam asking his terms for working up CY into a comic opera. He also complimented Sam on his remarks on equal rights given at the Hebrew Industrial School for Girls
[MTP]. Note: Clarke misdated this Jan. 19, but Sam gave his talk at Hebrew School on Jan 20.
January 21 Monday – Sam’s notebook: “ ‘Name the greatest of all the inventors. Accident’” [NB 44 TS 4].
Livy and Clara Clemens left New York bound for Washington, where Clara would debut as a singer on
Jan. 22 [Jan. 21 to A. Langdon]. Note: They returned back to New York on Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. probably right after Clara’s performance [Jan. 22 to E. Rogers].
At 1410 W. 10th in N.Y.C., Sam wrote to George A. Gates (1851-1912) in Colorado Springs, Colo.
That speech seems to have stirred up the boys a good deal, and thawed some of the frost out of the pulpit. I am glad you regard the round of cursing I have got from one end of the country to the other on that speech’s account, as a valuable compliment to me; I certainly regard it in that light itself.
I note you are waiting yet for an answer to the mentioned paragraph in your recent speech, and it is my belief that you will wait long before it arrives. There was no one in that conference able to answer it, and no one will be found in the country either able to answer it, or possessing the necessary courage, I think.
Your closing paragraph is an accurate photograph of the present condition of things in the United States… [MTP].
Note: Sam was referring to his City Club speech of Jan. 4. Gates had been in the forefront of the “Kingdom Movement” of the early 1890s, which disbanded by the end of that decade. He had been president of Iowa College, in Grinnel, Iowa; then pastor of a church in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1901, then president of Pomona College, Claremont, Calif; and lastly of Fisk University in 1909.
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.