What Women are Doing in America [Handwritten title]
Many American women talk very much about
their "rights", others simply go and take them. These latter
are quite as business-like as French women in filling busi-
ness places, but with this difference, that they look higher
than Frenchwomen, are not satisfied with only the humbler
places of railway signal-women, railway ticketsellers, book-
keepers, type-writers and restaurant cashiers. Indeed the, as
yet but little recognized idealism of the American character
is showing itself very much in American women who need to
earn their own living. In these women, as in astronomers, the
imagination runs far before actual accomplishment, and it is
no drawback whatever to their aspirations that no women have
ever yet done what they aspire to do. It may be that the
German element in America has something to do with this.
We may imagine that the German idealism suggests the strange
new thing, and that the practical American straightway finds
a way to do it. For instance, there was Mrs Brauenlich, the
first American woman elected a fellow of the Imperial
Institute of London. She was born in 1854 of partly German
parentage, and married a German, to be early left a widow
she graduated and obtained employment in the office of the
Engineering and Mining Journal as an amanuensis. Here she
found her true field in life and was rapidly promoted through
various departments until finally she came to be business
manager of one of the ablest technical journals in the
United States. Several other publications including the
Mineral Industry, an annual compilation of statistics are
issued by the proprietors of the Engineering and Mining
Journal, and over all of these Sophia Brauenlich has had ha
Women ministers have a fully recognized
position in the States. Seventeen Protestant denominations,
among them Baptists, Congregationalists, Unitarians and United
Brethren, regularly ordain women as preachers. There are some
two hundred and fifty such women ministers, who have charges,
preach, and do regular parish work. The "Friends," orthodox and
Hicksites, are not included in the above estimate, as ministers
of the gentler sex are George Eliot's Dinah is not a novelty with them. [Dinah is a character in author George Eliot's novel, Adam Bede.] Counting
them however, the women ministers in this country would number
about five hundred.
As long ago as 1852 Rev. Lydia A. Saxton
licensed not ordained. The first woman to be regularly
ordained was Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell who became a
Congretional minister. Later she changed to the Unitarian
Church. She however has done but little parish work. She is
now living in New York. [Join with paragraph below]
Rev. Augusta J. Chapin D.D. is the only
woman who is a doctor of divinity one of the most prominent
women in the ministry. At the world's Fair "Parliament of
Religions" she was chairman of an important committee and
made two addresses.
Probably no other woman has been so long
an active minister and pastor as she has. She was ordained in
1853 and has had parishes almost continuously since then.join [with paragraph below]
Miss Chapin has travelled much abroad
and has preached at Dumfries and Glasgow. She is one of the
university extension faculty of the Chicago University in
literature and art.
Rev. Alice Kinney Wright A woman is co-pastor
with her husband of the prospect Heights Universalist Church,
Brooklyn. She is one of the most progressive among the
younger ministers. She studied theology at St. Lawrence
schools. "Mrs Wright was silent a moment" says her an interviewer
then with a smile she said "Mr Wright was a student there
too. We were in several classes together. There seemed to be
a natural affinity between us; we were drawn to one another
and immediately after we were graduated we were married."
Mr Wright is a rare man, for it takes a man of rare quality
to be happily married to a woman in a semi-public position.
One month Mr Wright preaches in the morning and Mrs Wright
conducts the evening service, and the next they reverse the
Asked about their parish work Mrs Wright
"If there's a particularly hard case to
handle among the women Mr Wright takes it; if among the men I
do. Somehow each sex seems to expect less criticism and more
sympathy from its opposite. Then there are lots of committees
and associations to look after. They all have capable members
and officers, but of course we are responsible in the end, and
so we give them constant supervision. I think I can say that
from October until late spring Mr Wright and I are never
home an evening and each is at a different meeting. "
We are all about equal in worldly goods. There is no one to
rush in and disturb the happy tenor of our way by contribu-
ting more money than anyone else. We all do our best, and our
best is about equal all round. We have lots of marriages to
perform. I suppose the young people see how happy Mr Wright
and myself are, and so think they will come to us and do
likewise. Mr Wright uses the regular marriage service but I
have a service of my own. I leave out the 'obey'."
Women architects are by no means rare in
America. They are practising in almost all the large cities,
their specialty appearing to he a sort of domestic science
as manifest in designing appartment houses. In Pittsburg
however two of them have made themselves busy with the
buildings of a new college for women; Miss Merour one of them making the
plans Mrs Mead the other receiving the contract for their construction.
Miss Merour The contractor is accounted very sharp with workmen and puts
up with no fraudulent sand or bogus bricks; examining them
One of the romantic employments grabbed
by women because never offerred them, is that of pilot.
Romantic to read of, perhaps only. Not more than half a dozen
in America are pilotesses. Mrs Harger is the best known of
When Mrs Harger applied for her license
the Inspector found a great many things to criticise.
She was too young (applicants must be over twenty—one years
of age) too small and ladylike, and too much lacking on the
whole of what one expects to see in the appearance of a
boat's pilot. When satisfied on the point of age he plied
her with questions to test her knowledge of pilot rules and
when he found her possessed of more than the usual knowledge
of nautical trigonometry, the reversing of engines, and every-
thing that appertains to the safe running of a boat, he could
not legally even were he inclined discriminate against her
because of her other possessions. join [with paragraph below]
When not engaged at the wheel her time
is spent in the cabin with books, chiefly scientific, as she is
desirous of advancing herself in the knowledge of civil
Chicago distinguished itself by appointing
a woman as Inspector of street cleaning. She owed her posi-
tion to no political favoritism. The appointment was made
strictly in accordance with civil service regulations.
Mrs Paul took the regular civil service examinations as an
by securing a mark of ninety-nine and a fraction. This placed
her at the head of the eligibles for the appointment.
No fuss was made when Mrs Paul for the
first time marshalled a troop of twenty-five men in military
order with brooms perched upon their shoulders. One of the
sweepers was asked how he liked to work under a woman.
He answered: "We like the woman. She does not curse and swear
at us. Men foremen drive us around like slaves and call us
bad names. We don't like that, so when he go way to get drunk
we loaf on the job. Foreman come back full of whiskey and
find work not done he swear lot more. Woman she comes in
happy in morning and stay so all day. She say 'How do' and
other nice things and then we do good work. She see it and
say so. That makes us feel good and we work more. Woman all right."
Chicago, by the way, encourages the New
Woman. For what are women-druggists but the newest of their
sex? The Chicago directory shows fifteen of these druggists.
One of them, Miss Gordon, was instrumental
in obtaining recognition for the women druggists of Illinois
interesting exhibit, near the Woman's Building of the World's Fair. join [with pargraph below]
Miss Gordon is a graduate of the Phila-
delphia College of Pharmacy which is the oldest in the states,
having been founded in 1821. She had the highest average ever
attained by a woman-graduate and was awarded by the alumni
association the prize for analytical chemistry and specimens.
Another bright young pharmacist who also
owns and conducts her store is Miss Laura Bush at Rogers Park.
She has a large trade and is a favorite with the physicians
who treat her as one of the fraternity and intrust her with
the most difficult prescriptions.
Another of these druggists succeeded her
father, and in time took in a pupil, who afterwards became her
husband. The firms name is now "Tirrel and Tirrel."
Women buyers for business firms are
numerous about 700 regularly registered.
A buyer for an exclusive house where she
handles only a fine line of goods is paid from $6000 to $8000
a year. Such a buyer purchases the misses' and ladies' suits
direct from the factory where they are made.
She must be able to judge in a moment
when a newly designed article is shown her at the factory
whether or not the price asked for it is reasonable join [with paragraph below]
She must know the wholesale price for
the velvet silk or satin that trims the garment, also the
price of the cloth it is made of, the cost of making and so
on, and be able to calculate to a fraction just what profit
she ought to allow the manufacturer. join [with paragraph below]
If she is a good worker she turns her
stock money over two or three times. Certainly she buys
during the year from $300,000 to $500,000 worth of goods.
Up to a few seasons ago women buyers
were employed principally in the women's underwear and infants'
goods departments or in the buying of corsets and such
articles exclusively feminine. join [with paragraph below]
Now women are buying shoes, umbrellas,
jewelry, notions, leather goods, and stationery; and a few those
of very excellent judgment are intrusted with the buying of
laces and furs. join [with paragraph below]
The fur department in one of the largest
houses in a Northwestern city is entirely controlled by a
Women lawyers have ceased to be a rarity
in America, just as women ministers no longer are a cheap
joke. Too many of the latter have begun their careers by
filling the pulpits of invalid husbands, just as so many
women pilots began by helping their husbands.
Not the most conservative of the Superior
Sex, the most devoted admirer of the Old Woman, of whom Diderot
said "In writing of woman the pen should be dipped in the
rainbow and over each line be thrown the powder of the
butterfly's wing instead of sand" at the same time that the
air of heaven was said to be "that element contact with
which is so destructive of female charms" would claim that
a woman's proper position is to sit down and cry when her
husband sickens on far seas, or cannot stand in his pulpit.
Not the loudest proclaimer that "woman's place is the home"
would cry "shame," on the wife who brought the ship home or
kept the church together. Yet there are many who find a vast
difference in doing these things from knowledge, from delibe-
rate education, and deny them* from sheer luck or intuition. To them
if fate forces a woman into strange conditions and unfeminine
dilemmas it is to cChance she must say her prayers!
A woman railroad president is surely a
novelty; surely "New." As far as known there is but one in
this country. Mrs Annie Kline Rickert once a famous confede-
rate spy is now president of the Stockton & Tuolumne County
railroad a 60—mile track in California.
Of all the picturesque employments taken
in hand by the American New Woman, that of Mrs Atwood perhaps
is the most picturesque. join [with paragraph below]
Mrs Atwood of Denver and Kansas City is
engaged in the work of which ordinary philanthropists may
learn some practical lessons. She is a "hobo" hirer and has
been in the employ of the Southern Pacifice road for a dozen
years, hiring "hoboes" to go to work on the road. Naturally the
railroad corporation is hiring men because it needs their
labors on the road which in one place stretches over the
famous thousand miles without a tree. And if Mrs Atwood
enjoys aiding in the transforming of loafers into honest
sons of toil, she also works for her living in travelling
about engaging them. It is no wonder that her services have
become indispensable to the road. She has an intuitive faculty
of perceiving whether or not a man has any power to work in
him, or whether he is born incurably lazy. When big brawny
ask if they wouldn't like a good steady job at so much a day
almost every mother's son of 'em is ashamed to tell her he
won't try it. Laborers are very scarce now from Kansas City
to Oregon, and Mrs Atwood has to travel a good deal to fulfil
the requests of her employers, but it is a mighty useful
work she is doing. If she could be appointed hobo-hustler-in-
general for the United States, and if all the tramps could be
got at work and kept at work, we should be even nearer that
millennial hour in our history which optimists think that
they see drawing nearer in these latter days.
Miss Rosealle Loew is the A woman is assistant attor-
ney of the Legal Aid Society of New York of which Carl L.
Schurz is the attorney, Miss Loew She is employed on salary and
her work is inceasing. Her practice is confined to the muni-
cipal courts. She has on the docket from eighteen to twenty-
three cases a day which are scattered among the eleven divisi
divisions of the borough of New York. Her fluency in the
languages, especially in the jargons of the German-Jewish
element, which largely makes up the clientele of the society,
renders her services valuable. A large proportion of this
clientele is women.
[Handwritten address ] 16 Gray Street Cambridge, Mass. U. S.
by open packet.