I had three quite intimate young friends in the village who spent much of their spare time with me, and who added much to my happiness: Frances Hoskins, who was principal of the girls’ department in the academy, with whom I discussed politics and religion; Mary Bascom, a good talker on the topics of the day, and Mary Crowninshield, who played well on the piano. As I was very fond of music, Mary’s coming was always hailed with delight. Her mother, too, was a dear friend of mine, a woman of rare intelligence, refinement, and conversational talent. She was a Schuyler, and belonged to the Dutch aristocracy in Albany. She died suddenly, after a short illness. I was with her in the last hours and held her hand until the gradually fading spark of life went out. Her son is Captain A.S. Crowninshield of our Navy.
My nearest neighbors were a very agreeable, intelligent family of sons and daughters. But I always felt that the men of that household were given to domineering. As the mother was very amiable and self-sacrificing, the daughters found it difficult to rebel. One summer, after general house-cleaning, when fresh paint and paper had made even the kitchen look too dainty for the summer invasion of flies, the queens of the household decided to move the sombre cook-stove into a spacious woodhouse, where it maintained its dignity one week, in the absence of the head of the home. The mother and daughters were delighted with the change, and wondered why they had not made it before during the summer months. But their pleasure was shortlived. Father and sons rose early the first morning after his return and moved the stove back to its old place. When the wife and daughters came down to get their breakfast (for they did all their own work) they were filled with grief and disappointment. The breakfast was eaten in silence, the women humbled with a sense of their helplessness, and the men gratified with a sense of their power. These men would probably all have said “home is woman’s sphere,” though they took the liberty of regulating everything in her sphere.
[Illustration: MRS. STANTON AND SON, 1854.]
[Illustration: Susan B. Anthony 1820-Feb. 15, 1858—]
SUSAN B. ANTHONY.
The reports of the conventions held in Seneca Falls and Rochester, N.Y., in 1848, attracted the attention of one destined to take a most important part in the new movement—Susan B. Anthony, who, for her courage and executive ability, was facetiously called by William Henry Channing, the Napoleon of our struggle. At this time she was teaching in the academy at Canajoharie, a little village in the beautiful valley of the Mohawk.