Hopedale History
January 15, 2008
No. 100
Women's Rights 

   The fourth Crystal Ball, sponsored by the Friends of Historic Hopedale, will be held at the Myriad Ballroom on February 2. This is the Friends' major fund-raising activity of the year.
Click here for more information.  

   If you're using Comcast for your isp, please send this back to me. I'd like to know if this get through to you.

Hopedale in January               Snow day - January 14                                                      


Women's Rights

During the Hopedale Community era of the 1840s and 1850s, Community members were among the leading advocates of women's rights in New England. In 1850, a women's rights convention was held in Worcester, and as the first such meeting following the famous gathering at Seneca Falls in 1848, it attracted national attention and delegates from many states. The only city or town that was represented by a larger delegation than Hopedale was Worcester. The most eloquent person on the subject in Hopedale was Abby Hills Price. She made a major speech at the Worcester Convention and she wrote frequently for the Hopedale newspaper, the Practical Christian. Here's one of her pieces, written in 1852. 


The undersigned begs leave to offer his legal services to Married Ladies, who wish to avail themselves of the benefit of an Act approved April 12th, 1852, styled, "An Act to Authorize Married Women to Transact Business in their own name, as Sole Traders." The undersigned had the honor to project the above Law, and therefore believes himself perfectly competent to carry out its salutary provisions, which give to women the rights they ought to have had long ago. WM RABE, Office, Clay Street, Rabe's building. 

   The above item cut from a California paper and sent me in a letter, speaks one good word at least for that go-ahead country. Some one or two of the good seed that have been scattered to the four winds has blown through the golden gate and taken root in that moral waste. When are the missionaries to cultivate and water it? Where is the eloquent reformer, ready to take his life in his hand, and go there to mould its new institutions for freedom and for right. 

   The sects have been busy in building steepled houses and spreading their organizations. But who has heard of an Antislavery lecture there? Or a Peace or reform lecturer of any kind? It is lamentable that amid the thousands who have rushed thither for gold, so few have gone for the purpose of carrying the leaven of the true gospel into that mass of fermentation. There, is a better chance for influencing the public mind, than here, in conservative, gospel-hardened New England. Let the voice of the earnest Reformer present the Divine power of Love - the equality of the human race, to the softened hearts of those homesick miners; would not their impressed natures induce them to pour their yellow dust upon the altar of humanity, instead of the gambling table? Would not the influence of truth go from them into the Council Halls of the State, to make its new laws in accordance with right? 
Abby Hills Price, The Practical Christian, July 31, 1852 (While this was originally published in The Practical Christian, I obtained it from Susan Lamar's compilation of Hills' writing.)

More about Abby Price  
Abby's speech to the Worcester Convention
Article about the 1853 Constitutional Convention     
Worcester Women's History Project  


Recent deaths:

Richard DiGirolamo, 59, Northbridge, December 30, 2007, HHS 1966, class president. 

Shirley E. Richards, 85, January 1, 2008. 

Maryann (Dattilo) Goodson, January 4, 2008. 

Mario "Jack" Pedroli, 79, January 6, 2008. 

Harold S. "Stu" Dunlap, 60, January 9, 2008.