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Lucy Stone Discusses Schedule and 1868 Election
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LUCY STONE. Autograph Letter Signed, to Cornelius B. Campbell, Newark, New Jersey, September 27, 1868. 2 pp., 5¼ x 8¼ in.

Inventory #24154.02       Price: $2,400

Complete Transcript

Newark Sept. 27 1868

C. B. Campbell Esq.

Dear sir

            I wish you would consult with the Vineland friends—The Gages, Mrs. Stevens, Mrs Butler, Mrs. [Reed?], Mr. Clute &c. and get their opinions as to when and where we shall hold an anniversary. There will be a Woman’s rights convention in Boston in the 18 & 19 of Nov. which I shall attend.

            Our anniversary should come later, both to accommodate <2> the Boston meeting, and to be out of the way of the election. Would Hammonton be a good place for the next meeting? We must not have them all in Vineland. I see you just had a meeting there. By the way, who called that meeting?

            Everywhere, our cause is doing well. Did you read Frank Blairs speech in yesterday’s “World”? Are we to suppose that a part of the Democrats are ready to take up Womens suffrage?

                                                                        Very respectfully

                                                                        Lucy Stone

Historical Background

Philadelphia attorney Charles K. Landis (1833-1900) established the colony of Hammonton in southern New Jersey in 1857, and by 1860, it was a stable community with more than 2,000 inhabitants. Landis purchased thousands more acres of land southwest of Hammonton in New Jersey in 1861, on which to create an alcohol-free utopian society based on agriculture and progressive thinking. He named it Vineland. New residents built the first houses in 1862, and the population reached 5,500 by 1865 and 11,000 by 1875. Campbell and his wife settled there in 1862. Suffragists Portia and John Gage, Olive F. Stevens, Deborah Butler, and Oscar Clute also settled there.

On September 5, 1868, suffragist leader Susan B. Anthony spoke at the Plum Street Hall in Vineland.

At the November 1868 election, Portia Gage and 171 other black and white women brought their own ballot box and voted in Vineland; 168 voted for Ulysses S. Grant, while 4 voted for Horatio Seymour, but male election judges refused to include the women’s votes in the official returns.

Frank Blair (1821-1875) was a member of the prominent Blair family of Maryland and Missouri. After spending much of his private fortune in support of the Union and serving as a major general in the Civil War, he was financially ruined. Opposed to Congressional Reconstruction, he joined the Democratic party and became its vice presidential candidate in 1868. He contributed to the party’s loss to Ulysses S. Grant through his speaking tour in which he took a racist stand against the Republicans. In September 1868, he gave a speech in Indianapolis, which was “devoted to proving that women ought to vote and that negroes ought not,” in the words of one critic. He raised the specter of black-on-white rape and race-mixing “with negroes, Chinese, Indians, Mormons, of all nations, in certain sections of the country making its laws.”[1] Few considered him an advocate of woman suffrage; he simply used it as a tool against African American suffrage, as Stone understood.

Lucy Stone (1818-1893) was a prominent American suffragette. She became the first woman college graduate from Massachusetts, when she graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1847. She was also the wife of Henry Brown Blackwell and is the first American woman known to keep her own last name after marrying. Stone worked with William Lloyd Garrison in the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts. During the Civil War, she helped found the Woman’s National Loyal League, fighting for full emancipation and voting rights for African Americans. In 1870, Stone split with Susan B. Anthony and other suffragettes by helping to organize the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), which advocated supporting the 15th Amendment (granting voting rights to African-American males). That same year, Stone and her husband, with the help of Julia Ward Howe, founded The Woman’s Journal in Boston as the official publication of AWSA. Three years prior to her death, Stone reconciled with Anthony, and the two rival organizations merged into the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Stone’s daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell, edited The Woman’s Journal from 1883 until 1917.

Cornelius B. Campbell (1818-1890) was born in New Hampshire and graduated from the Oneida Institute in New York. He became a Congregationalist minister in Iowa, where he helped fugitive slaves escape through the underground railroad. In 1856, he married Phebe Thomas Wilbur, and the Campbells moved to Vineland, New Jersey, in 1863. He was active in both the abolitionist and woman’s rights movements.

[1] New-York Times, September 28, 1868, 6:7; Fort Wayne Daily Gazette (IN), September 25, 1868, 1:2.

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