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Lucy Stone Promotes Bazaar to Suffragist Who Later Led Effort for Women’s Suffrage in Hawaii
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We hope you will be able to be ‘one with us’ in the bazar.

LUCY STONE. Autograph Letter Signed, to [Almira Hollander] Pitman, June 27, 1887, Boston, Massachusetts. On Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association letterhead. 1 p., 5½ x 8½ in.

Inventory #26792       Price: $1,400

Complete Transcript

Office of

Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association,

5 Park Street,

                                                                        Boston, June 27 1887.

Dear Mrs. Pitman

            Miss Pond has been appointed to confer with you in regard to the suffrage bazar interests which she will explain to you. We hope you will be able to be “one with us” in the bazar.

                                                                        ys very truly

                                                                        Lucy Stone


Historical Background
The Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA) hosted a week-long Christmas shopping bazaar at Boston’s Music Hall during the week of December 12-17, 1887, to raise money for women’s suffrage.

In the December 3, 1887, issue of The Woman’s Journal, Stone promoted the upcoming event. “Will you help, and enlist the friends of woman suffrage in your locality in aid of the Bazaar? One thousand articles, useful and fancy, or even more, can easily be obtained in your State, among your friends and acquaintances, from merchants, manufacturers, and farmers.” Mary A. Livermore would preside over the bazaar, and Cora Scott Pond would “give her personal supervision.”[1]

Julia Ward Howe gave an address on the first day of the Bazaar. Some two hundred delegates from 44 auxiliary leagues in Massachusetts and seven other U.S. states sold “handsome articles, which are marked at very reasonable prices” at tables and booths.[2] The bazaar generated approximately $7,000 for the MSWA. Henry B. Blackwell, Lucy Stone’s husband and with her one of the editors of The Woman’s Journal, acknowledged “the untiring efforts of Miss Cora Scott Pond, General Agent of the Mass. W. S. A., extending over months of preparation” in the success of the event.[3]

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 Browne Blackwell (1825-1909) and is the first American woman known to keep her 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 before 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.

Almira Hollander Pitman (1854-1939) was born in Massachusetts to Jacob Louis Hollander and Maria Theresa Baldwin Hollander (1820-1885). In 1875, she married wealthy merchant Benjamin Franklin Keolaokalani Pitman (1852-1918), with whom she had two sons in 1891 and 1892. She was active in the local suffrage movement and joined the New England Women’s Suffrage Association in 1884. From 1904, she was recording secretary for the Brookline Equal Suffrage Association and from 1913 to 1919 served as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA). She coordinated the 1913, 1915, and 1919 Bay State Suffrage Festivals in Boston. Her husband was the son of a high chiefess in the Kingdom of Hawaii and was well respected there. In 1917, she became involved in the Hawaiian suffrage movement and held suffrage meetings there. She is largely credited with the passage by Congress of a 1918 law granting women the right to vote in Hawaii. She considered Honolulu a second home and visited several times. In 1931, she published After Fifty Years: An Appreciation, and a Record of a Unique Incident, about her family’s experiences in Hawaii.

Cora Scott Pond Pope (1856-aft. 1932) was born in Wisconsin and studied at the University of Wisconsin but did not graduate. She moved to Boston in 1880 and graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1883. For the following year, she taught with her professor at the Conservatory and became involved in the women’s suffrage and temperance movements. She worked for the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association for six years as a fundraiser, organizer, and lecturer. She organized 87 auxiliary leagues of the MWSA and raised thousands of dollars for suffrage efforts. She organized her first bazaar in 1887, which raised $6,000 for the cause. Her “National Pageant Tableaux of American History,” touring performances by amateur actors who recreated famous scenes from American history, also proved very successful in raising money for women’s suffrage beginning in 1889 and continuing for fifteen years. In 1891, she married businessman John T. Pope of Chicago, with whom she had three children. In 1905, she moved to Los Angeles, where she had invested in real estate. In 1924, she divorced Pope on the grounds that she had provided for him and his three children from a former marriage until 1917.

[1] The Woman’s Journal (Boston, MA), December 3, 1887, p388, c1-2.

[2] The Woman’s Journal, December 17, 1887, p405, c2-3.

[3] The Woman’s Journal, December 24, 1887, p418, c1.

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