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 will be the Friends' major fund-raising activity of the year.

      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                                                      

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                                                                              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  

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    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.

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