As our good friends Mrs. McLaren and Mrs. Lucas had determined to see us safely on board the Servia, they escorted us to Liverpool, where we met Mrs. Margaret Parker and Mrs. Scatcherd. Another reception was given us at the residence of Dr. Ewing Whittle. Several short speeches were made, and all present cheered the parting guests with words of hope and encouragement for the good cause. Here the wisdom of forming an international association was first considered. The proposition met with such favor from those present that a committee was appointed to correspond with the friends in different nations. Miss Anthony and I were placed on the committee, and while this project has not yet been fully carried out, the idea of the intellectual co-operation of women to secure equal rights and opportunities for their sex was the basis of the International Council of Women, which was held under the auspices of the National Woman Suffrage Association in Washington, D. C, in March, 1888.
On the Atlantic for ten days we had many opportunities to review all we had seen and heard. Sitting on deck, hour after hour, how often I queried with myself as to the significance of the boon for which we were so earnestly struggling. In asking for a voice in the government under which we live, have we been pursuing a shadow for fifty years? In seeking political power, are we abdicating that social throne where they tell us our influence is unbounded? No, no! the right of suffrage is no shadow, but a substantial entity that the citizen can seize and hold for his own protection and his country’s welfare. A direct power over one’s own person and property, an individual opinion to be counted, on all questions of public interest, are better than indirect influence, be that ever so far reaching.
Though influence, like the pure white light, is all-pervading, yet it is ofttimes obscured with passing clouds and nights of darkness. Like the sun’s rays, it may be healthy, genial, inspiring, though sometimes too direct for comfort, too oblique for warmth, too scattered for any purpose. But as the prism divides the rays, revealing the brilliant colors of the light, so does individual sovereignty reveal the beauty of representative government, and as the burning-glass shows the power of concentrating the rays, so does the combined power of the multitude reveal the beauty of united effort to carry a grand measure.
WOMAN AND THEOLOGY.
Returning from Europe in the autumn of 1883, after visiting a large circle of relatives and friends, I spent six weeks with my cousin, Elizabeth Smith Miller, at her home at Geneva, on Seneca Lake.