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Feb 26 1912 To the Editor of the Times-Dispatch: Sir: I regret that I should feel forced to have to ask again for space in your columns for an Equal Suffrage article, but in this morning's issue of the Times-Dispatch there appeared a letter signed "X" whose insinuations [*] I cannot as a man, a churchman and a suffragist, permit to go unnoticed. The advocates of equal suffrage in Virginia have avoided mudslinging, and I am very sorry to see that our opponents have been so early forced to this acknowledged "Last effort" of political warfare. Our opponents have failed to convince by reasons deduced from experience of life, from the Bible, and history, so now they attempt to blacken the characters of the women and men who are leading and advocating this movement, by calling dirty names. I am sorry that I believe the people at large are inclined to accept as truths the hysterical outpouring of the phials of ignorance; otherwise I would let the "X" article sink to the oblivion which it deserves. This virtually unsigned article, however, too freely charges the suffrage advocates as a whole with dishonesty, immorality and indecency. I am fully aware that there are individuals who are advocates of equal suffrage in the United States who are objectionable characters; but it is not suffragism that has made them so, nor is it their objectionable characteristics which has led them to espouse our cause. We cannot blame the churche's interpretation of Christian principles with either making or attracting hypocrites, whom we know are present in large numbers within her membership. The suffragists have not yet reached - nor will they ever reach - the point of traducing the anti-suffragists; we may [illegible] that a lack of knowledge of conditions and a spirit dominated by medievalism: the "thus saith my father" (a no doubt very honorable gentleman, but one who lived in conditions very different from those of the present) prevents them from realizing the demands of today, and thereby supporting, though unconsciously, a double and life-destroying standard; but, for this we do not charge them with "wilful corruption of morals", "political trickery" and the like. These terms applied to either side are unjust, untrue, in that in their very meaning they are inapplicable. The people who do not shut themselves up from life, and those whose duties call them to the "common walks" know that conditions are not what they should be; and, moreover, these people believe after careful observation and thought that better conditions can only be brought about by training within the home and participation by all the people in the election of the law makers and executive officers of the government. Will someone who is opposed to this movement kindly point out the members of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia who are going about trying to destroy homes or corrupt morals? Will someone opposed to this movement kindly state why legislation does not effect the moral welfare of the community and closely concern the home? Both of these statements have been made, evidently in all soberness, and honesty; but before they can be accepted some one must specify the parties in the first instance, and in the second explain why the state has no laws to make for the moral welfare of her citizens. As the state has to make these laws: marriage and divorce laws, labor laws, liquor traffic laws, laws restricting the sale of certain drugs, the law declaring the age of consent, laws dealing with gambling, resorts of vice, and many other laws

  • and open charges [written on right side of page 1]