MARY A. LIVERMORE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 11/04/1887 - HFSID 287124
MARY A. LIVERMORE She writes from Erie, Pennsylvania, finalizing arrangements for a guest speaker at a WCTU meeting: Annie Fields Autograph Letter signed: "Mary A. Livermore", 2 pages (front and verso), 5x7¾, with blank integral leaf. Erie, Pennsylvania, 1887 November 14. To "My dear Mrs.
Sale Price $238.00
MARY A. LIVERMORE
She writes from Erie, Pennsylvania, finalizing arrangements for a guest speaker at a WCTU meeting: Annie Fields
Autograph Letter signed: "Mary A. Livermore", 2 pages (front and verso), 5x7¾, with blank integral leaf. Erie, Pennsylvania, 1887 November 14. To "My dear Mrs. Burr". In full: "I have written Mrs. Jas. T. Fields, 148 Charles St., Boston concerning her lecture next Thursday afternoon, giving her all directions and telling her to leave Boston at 2:30 p.m. when someone with a carriage will meet her and take her to the hall. (I wish you might meet her.) I have asked her to write you, that you may be sure she understands the arrangements. If you do not hear from her, soon, perhaps you had better drop her a line. I hope to reach Boston at 11 a. m. that day - but may not till 9:35 p. m. Yours truly". Mary Ashton Rice Livermore (1820-1905), principally concerned with theological questions in her youth, became a staunch abolitionist after spending three years as a tutor on a slave plantation in Virginia (1839-1842). Raised with the Calvinist doctrine of pre-destination, she moved to the other end of the religious spectrum, embracing Universalism and marrying Universalist minister Daniel Livermore in 1845. During the Civil War she was an active organizer and fundraiser for the US Sanitary Commission. With slavery abolished, she turned her journalistic and lecture skills to temperance and women's suffrage. Immensely popular as a speaker, she became known as "the Queen of the American platform." She also took a keen interest in spiritualism, believing she had received messages from her dead husband. By the 1880s, while continuing to lecture, Livermore was devoting more effort to organizing locally in Boston and her home town of Melrose, Massachusetts. Active in the New England Women's Club and in local suffrage groups, she was also in the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), of which the recipient of this letter, Abby Burr, was President. In this period, the temperance and women's suffrage movements were closely allied, and Livermore later folded the local suffrage club she headed into the larger WCTU chapter. At the same time, believing that WCTU meetings should be more than "prayer meetings," she promoted civic education by inviting guest speakers. The guest speaker, Annie Fields (1834-1915), wife of Boston publisher James T. Fields, was well connected in literary circles, and encouragement her husband's company to publish more books by women. She balanced a traditional view of women's roles with a zeal for social reform. Two horizontal mailing folds. Pin-size stain at lower left edge. Otherwise, fine condition.
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