Anna Elizabeth Dickinson
Anna Elizabeth Dickinson (October 28, 1842 – October 22, 1932) was an American orator and lecturer. An advocate for the abolition of slavery and for women's rights, Dickinson was the first woman to give a political address before the United States Congress. A gifted speaker at a very young age, she aided the Republican Party in the hard-fought 1863 elections and significantly influenced the distribution of political power in the Union just prior to the Civil War. Dickinson was the first white woman on record to summit Colorado's Longs Peak, Lincoln Peak, and Elbert Peak (on a mule), and she was the second to summit Pike's Peak.
"Let Us Storm the Slave System" (May 28, 1862)=
The New England Anti-Slavery Convention, Melodeon, Boston MA
- It is said we can conquer without emancipation. The rebellion is almost crushed — our armies are pressing southward — the end approaches, when all things will be restored as of old. The South, having been deceived in regard to Mr. Lincoln and the aims of the Republican party, went to war to protect slavery. Now, perhaps, they are beginning to see that Mr. Lincoln is not so far from a slave-catcher, after all. The loyalty of the South is a myth. It will of course grow, as our armies advance, because between hanging and loyalty the advocates of a sinking cause can have but one choice
- We may beat their armies everywhere, take every city and seaport: what then? Subjugated, are they subdued? They would rise in sixty days again, should the military arm be withdrawn. Success cannot gild our banners while the shadow of the blacks obscures it.
- Kentucky, which fished the halter for liberty in the person of John Brown (abolitionist), has strangled her again, through her representative in the Presidential chair!
- In the field, Gen. Mitchell rejects the bondmen who flee to him for protection. everywhere those who bring us the most important intelligence are liable to be thrust back into slavery, there to be whipped, tortured, burned to death.
- What are our sufferings to those of the slave girl, or the slave mother, lashed from the embrace of her children? Has your purity no feeling for purity outraged? — your parental affections no sympathy for the lacerated love of the slaves? Can you hesitate to speak the word — Be free? God has put slavery into our hands to choke it. He alone should be able to take it out again alive. Let us storm the slave system, as Smith took Fort Donelson. If the President will not give us the order, let us go ourselves.
"Universal Liberty (May 7, 1867)
- The march of events has at length brought us face to face with the question which cannot be said to be one of public expediency and of military necessity. To-day the question presented to us is one of abstract right and wrong. The republican party must proclaim as its watchword universal liberty if it ever hopes to win, and if it ever repudiates that watchword it must die.
- Slavery is a poor school teacher. No one denies that these men must, to a great extent, are in the condition of the prisoners of St. Mark, who, after being long imprisoned in the dark and filthy dungeons for months and years, ten, twenty and thirty years, when brought into the great square of St. Mark, and standing in the sunshine so long shut out from their eyes, they stood stricken blind for ever. It is not strange that these slaves, freed from the dungeons and caverns of slavery, brought into the full blaze of light, into the bright sunlight of liberty should be dazzled and lose their eyesight at least for a little time, and confound friends with foes. T
- Our history, the history of our fathers, who to a man loved liberty yet sustained slavery, who prayed that justice might be established in the time to come yet secured the oppression of the present, and who said the men who come after us will secure it.
- All we want to-day is to have the temple erected to liberty perfect and entire. There is but one way for the right to go, that is straight ahead, whatever may stand in our way.
Quotes about Anna Elizabeth Dickinson
- Anna Dickinson, in the Philadelphia Mint, working for a pittance and making impassioned speeches on various occasions for the enslaved black man, was regarded as a nuisance. But Anna Dickinson on the platform, with impassioned speech and fervid moral earnestness, pleading the cause of the slave and receiving $100 and $200 a night for the service; Anna Dickinson in the Connecticut and New Hampshire Republican campaigns, thrilling both States with her eloquent utterances, the acknowledged power that won the victory in both for the Republican party, became the heroine of the hour, and was hailed as the Joan d’Are of the nineteenth century.