(1914] EQUAL SUFFRAGE LEAGUE OF VIRGINIA STATE HEADQUARTERS RICHMOND, VA COMMERCIAL BUILDING, SECOND STREET, BETWEEN BROAD AND GRACE
Miss Blackwell;s Open Letter to Clergymen Th clergy are educators of public opinion. they should give their moral support to the equal suffrage movement for three reasons: First because it is just; second, because in practice it makes for righteousness; third, because of the unrighteousness of the methods and interest arrayed against it.
Its abstract justice is generally conceded. Its practical good results are established by the consensus of testimony from hundreds of clergymen in the enfranchised States. Mrs. Julia Ward Howe in 1910 sent a circular letter to all the Episcopal clergymen and to the Baptist, Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian ministers in the States where women vote, asking if the results were good or bad. she received 624 replies. Of these, 62 were unfavorable, 46 in doubt, and 516 in favor. The answers from the Episcopal clergy were in favor, more than two to one,; from the Baptist ministers, seven to one; from the Congregational ministers, about eight to one; from the Methodist ministers, more than ten to one; and from the Presbyterian ministers, more than eleven to one. These figures speak for themselves.
The ministers were practically unanimous in saying that the ballot had done women good by broadening their minds and leading them to take a more intelligent interests in public questions; that it had made them more intelligent companions for their husbands, and better able to instruct their children. A large number said that it had promoted temperance, had helped to secure liberal appropriations for educational and humanitarian purposes, and had made it harder for notoriously bad candidates to be nominated or elected. This last result is conceded even by Mr. A Lawrence Lewis, one of the very few respectable men in Colorado, who have ever written anything against woman suffrage. In his article in The Outlook which the anti-suffragists have reprinted as a tract, he say:
"Since the extension of the franchise to women, political parties have learned the advisability of nominating drunkards, notorious libertines, gamblers, retail liquor dealers, and men who engage in similar discredited occupations, because the women almost always vote them down"
Mrs. Amos R Well, editor of the Christian Endeavor World, wrote to twenty-five ministers-most of them Doctors of Divinity..-choosing their names at random from among his subscribers in the enfranchised States. He asked them whether equal suffrage was working well, fairly well or badly. One answered that it was working badly, and three that it was working fairly well. All the rest were positive and a number of them enthusiastic, in declaring that it was working well. The specified the same good results as the ministers who replied to Mrs Howe-the enlargement of women's minds, the defeat of bad candidates, and the strengthening of the temperance cause by the women's voice.