In the "Prospectus" to the "Voice," it was asserted that there would be a Female department. As there has been no part of our paper assigned to female writers, although there have been some few communications which have been written by them; it has been deemed advisable, by the publishers, to have in future a portion of our paper devoted to the females of our country and through which they shall be heard. We would say to those who may chance to see this scroll as an introductory, or as an invitation, that it is intended as an urgent appeal to you, to contribute something for the benefit of our readers.
We are not exclusive in our views nor would we be willing to reject an honest opinion, offered by another, although it might not correspond with our own. Truth loses nothing by investigation, and whoever shrinks from investigation suspects his own cause, and should be suspected of others.
Our department devoted to woman's thoughts will also defend woman's rights, and while it contends for physical improvement, it will not forget that she is a social, moral, and religious being. It will not be neutral, because it is female, but it will claim to be heard on all subjects that effect her intellectual, social or religious condition.
It will make an effort to soften down the prejudices that exist against her as a reformer, and show those who read candidly, that she has a great duty to perform to herself and her race. It will have communication from the operatives of our city, and other places.— Manchester will give us occasional contributions; and we hope to hear very soon from our Pittsburgh and Allegheny friends. We will not promise our readers too much, but will try to do what we can to make our department useful and interesting.
Voice of Industry, January 9, 1846
The Female Labor Reform Association, will meet every Tuesday Evening, at 8 o'clock, at their Reading Room, 76 Central Street, to transact all business pertaining to the Association, and to devise means by which to promote the common interests of all the Laboring Classes. Also to discuss all subjects which shall come before the meeting. Every Female who realizes the great necessity of a Reform and improvement in the condition of the worthy, toiling classes, and who would wish to place woman in that elevated station intellectually and morally which a bountiful Creator designed her to occupy in the scale of being, is most cordially invited to attend and give her influence on the side of virtue and suffering humanity.
—Huldah J. Stone, Sec’y
Voice of Industry,
“Do unto others, as ye would that they should do to you," is a great precept, given to us by our great Teacher, as a rule and guide of action, towards all mankind. The Savior gave this for practice; he well knew what course of conduct would insure the greatest amount of happiness, to his creatures. And why has the world so long neglected to accept of this great lesson fraught with so many blessings if practiced. Where do we find a nation acting from this principle, toward other nations? where do we find any political body, sect, or community that have for their aim the accomplishment of this maxim? They not only neglect to make it the “chief comer stone," the foundation of all their proceedings; but it is left out of sight altogether; and hence arise all the evils in society; yes! misery, in all her forms. What but the neglect of this great principle, has brought into the world all this confusion, this disorder, this isolated state of interest, between man and man; all this monopoly and competition in business? And think you if all had “done unto others, as they would that they should do to them," if every man had “loved his neighbor as himself," that slavery would ever have existed, or oppression in any form? It could not have been. And when will the world learn that humanity and christianity, are twin sisters? yes! more than this—that they are inseparable.
Lowell, Jan. 27.
DEAR LOVERS:—Our visit among you, this long famed eve is an errand of love. We have long desired to have an interview with you upon this all important subject. Nature teaches us to love—on the morrow, (according to ancient mythology) her feathered minstrelsy consummates this highest aspiration of their instinctive powers. Love is divine—it causes the snow to whiten the face of the earth, and the frosts to congeal them into a happy union. Love causes the clouds to weep tears of joy, and melt away the snow into the bosom of the earth, from which the flowers spring up as tokens of their more perfect affection. Love sends down the dews of heaven to cold sweet communion with the verdure of earth, and love in return, throws back a sweeter fragrance to seal the floral bond. Love causes the stars to dwell in concord above and gaily smile upon the sons of toil. Love overshadows the vale with darkness, brings peaceful repose to the slumberers, and bathes the hills in morning light. Love uplifts the down trodden, bears consolation to the afflicted, and smooths the pillow of the sick. Love “breaks the yoke of the bondman, and lets the oppressed go free"—gives bread to the hungry and fresh water to the thirsty. Love does good to an enemy and does violence to none. Love chimes on the breezes, and invites the faint and weary to the fountains of health and rest. Love gives “every good and perfect gift," reigning supreme throughout the works of creation, and centering in the great fountain of all love— “God IS LOVE."
But, dearly beloved, Love does not fill the land with wars and tumults causing bloodshed, devastation, and ruin Love does not enslave men physically, morally, or mentally. Love does not adorn this beautiful earth for a favored few to monopolize and enjoy its blessings, while the many stay in want and misery. Love does not give stones when bread is asked for, or serpents when fish is wanted. Love does not turn the blessings of Heaven into curses for men— the bubbling waters are full of love, but with the engines of oppression which degrade humanity, love has no fellowship. Love never builds factories where beauty and health are sacrificed upon the altar of mammon—where her own fair household is plundered of many of its fairest jewels by the ruthless hand of avarice. The luxuriant harvests are never converted into liquid death by love. When the stately oak which adorns the forest, is hewn down and reared into the hideous, heathen monster Gallows—love is not there. Love knows no evil and knows no ill. And now, dear lovers, we present you this little “Offering" on this joyous eve, in manifestation of our love for you. We frankly and hopefully ask your “hands and hearts"—on your decision rests all that is lovely, great, and good. Do not disappoint us, but may we soon be united in the holy Heavenly bonds of Love—love to God and love to man.
Miss A. Well Harriet, I am glad you have finally resolved to attend the Social Gathering with me.
H. Indeed you are. I assure you it is much against my own will that I do so. Had not my dear father requested me to go, I would much rather stay at home. I do not like to be jostled in such a crowd; and then only think of the company!—the factory girls, house girls, and working men, are all that compose it! It is astonishing that father will persist on my attending!
A. Why, my dear? I am more astonished to hear you talk thus. One would suppose that you thought yourself better than they, merely because a kind Providence had placed you in more prosperous circumstances, whereas the reverse of that is true, for all real goodness consists in active usefulness. And in our republican land it should be merit, not station that makes any distinction. Surely, my friend, you could not be in earnest in what you said.
H. Ada, you mistake my character much if you suppose I intend to disgrace myself by associating with the lower classes who labor in our kitchens and factories for a livelihood. Nothing can be farther from my ideas of respectability than this. Let them be a class by themselves, and not presume to mingle in the higher circles of the wealthy, and refined. Only think of our condescending to visit and associate with the common people—the illiterate and uncultivated who throng our city at the present day! Why we should lose our caste in society at once.
A. Well, I for one, am willing to become unpopular for such reasons. Thank heaven, there is enough of the patriotic blood of my brave ancestors coursing through my veins, to enable me to spurn this mean, this contemptible, aristocratic spirit and custom which has been the Upas in the social communities of the Old World, and which threatens to destroy all harmony and good feeling in the New. What can be more ridiculously absurd than the feeling of prejudice which exists against the laboring classes—those classes, too, which supply us with all the comforts and luxuries of life. It does seem to me
H., that they are the only people under heaven that deserve the esteem and respect of the entire community.—And if, as you say, they are illiterate and uncultivated, the more need have we to mingle with, and seek to improve and enlighten with our superior wisdom and refinement.
Voice of Industry
An Appeal to the Worthy, Toiling Females of New England
Sisters in toil and deprivation, you who have heads to think and hearts to feel, give heed one moment, I pray! Are you desirous of improving the condition and elevating the thousands around you to that station in the world which the God of Heaven designed them to occupy and honor. Do you wish to see the virtuous poor protected and their rights maintained, against purse-proud aristocrats and the growing evils of the present systems of labor which are filling the coffers of the rich and making the real producers poorer—compelling them to wear out existence in merely obtaining the necessaries of their physical being leaving the mind, that noble gift of God, to perish for lack of cultivation. Would you aid the great cause of humanity and true reform in our midst—lend your name, your influence, your all in support of that "Voice," which shall speak ever in behalf of human rights and human equality. Its columns will be open for each and every individual to make known their wrongs, their deprivations and their grievances. Through the "Voice," they may speak to the hearts of the generous —the brave, and the true of our country.
“A word to the wise is sufficient."
Voice of Industry
BEAUTY is a captivating, but fading flower, which often leads its youthful possessor into many dangers, many distresses. Happy is it for those who are distinguished for their outward charms that they are sheltered under the parental roof. Happy for them that the watchful eye regards them with rigid circumspection. Few in the early periods of life are insensible to flattery, or deaf to the voice of adoration. Beware of the flatterer; be not deceived by fair speeches. Be assured the man who wishes to render you vain of your outward charms has a mean opinion of your sense and mental qualifications. Remember, too, that a young girl, whose chief study and employment is in the decoration of her person, is a most contemptible character, and that the more you are distinguished for the charms of your face and the traces of your form, the more you are exposed to danger.—The rose is torn from its parent stem in the pride of beauty; the jasmine is scarcely permitted to blossom before it is plucked; and no sooner are the beauties faded, than the merciless hand which was eager to obtain them, throws them away with contempt; whilst the primrose, the violet, the lily of the valley, and the snow-drop, less exposed to observation, escape unhurt and uninjured by the spoiler's hand.
Learn fair daughters of beauty, from the primrose, that your best security can be found in retirement. If you wish to be admired, be seldom seen; and if you are desirous of having a sincere lover in your train, let virtue, modesty, sweetness, be the only lures you make use of to ensnare.
You may then, perhaps, by your good qualities, retain the heart, which was at first captive to your beauties, and when time has robbed you of the graces and the innocent cheerfulness of youth, secure a sincere and tender friend, to console you in the hours of affliction, and watch over you when deprived of those charms that first made him solicitous to obtain your love.
Repine not, my young readers, though your virtues be concealed in a homely form. If you have secured the virtues of the mind, you need not envy others the beauties of the face. And ye, who are decorated with outward grace, be not vain of such fading externals, but tremble lest they should tempt the designing to lead you into error.
Neglect not, then, in the giddy hours of youth to make your mind a fit companion for the most lovely. Personal charms may please for a moment; but the more lasting beauties of an improved understanding can never tire. We are soon weary at looking at a picture, though executed in a masterly style; and she who has only beauty to recommend her, has but little chance of meeting a lover who will not grow indifferent to a mere portrait, particularly when its colors are faded by the subduing hand of time. Then it is that modesty and sweetness of temper are particularly observed; and the loss of beauty will not be regretted by him it first made captive.
Voice of Industry
By reference in another column, it will be seen that the spirited ladies of the Female Labor Reform Association, of this city, have purchased the Press and Type belonging to the "Voice of Industry" office, and for which they have made the first payment. Their labors for the cause of the oppressed, demand the sympathy and encouragement of all true friends to the elevation of mankind; and any person able to render pecuniary assistance to the cause of substantial reform, cannot find a more worthy object.
Voice of Industry
Fort Hill, Lowell, Oct. 5th, 1846
Dear Mr. Voice: I am but a child; yet I always read the Voice when I can get it; it makes me feel sad sometimes, too, when you tell about the factory girls and boys how long they work and how little money they get for doing so, yet I know it is true, for some of them come over to where I live, and then I hear them speak of just such things as I read in your paper, and they tell about their homes a great way off, their fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, and how happy they were when they were with them, and some of them sit down upon the grass and weep, and then I stop my play and cry too. I think it is very wicked Mr. Voice, to make them so unhappy; and I read and hear that the people are rich that make them work so long and hard; and that they send men all over the country who tell wrong stories, and get the girls to come here; and when they get here they find out how much they have been cheated; but a great many of them are too poor to get back to their homes and so they have to stay and work in the mills, and then they get sick and die, some of them. I should think their parents would grieve very much when they hear of it, for poor people love their children as well as the rich, although the way the rich treat them, would lead one to think they did not.
Do the rich people, Mr. Voice, ever put their children into the factories? I should think they would if they are such nice healthy places as they tell off; and how proud and grand they would feel to know that they were doing something useful; but I don't think they do, for I never heard of it, and I have been here a great long time. I hope it will be but a little while before these rich folks that have so much money, will put a stop to their working such a long time; but are you sure, Mr. Voice, that ten hours a day is not too long? It must be very dull to work all the time. I should not be such a merry thing if I were to be shut up all the time and kept from running in the green fields chasing the butterfly and gathering hare- bells and buttercups; and then you know you can listen to the pretty singing birds, and the music of the winds and waters, for they sing me to sleep very often when I get tired and lie down to rest among the bright, sweet flowers; oh! every thing is very beautiful up here and I am so happy.
I am afraid you will get tired of my prattle, Mr. Voice, but I thought I must write you a few words to let you know that children were made glad by the kind words you speak in the poor man's cause, and that they pray God to bless you. Perhaps I may write again if you would like to have me, (for I have some stories to tell which I have heard on the hillside, as told by some factory girl when she has strolled from her work to view my home—Some of them are sad, Mr. Voice, but others are real funny and would make you laugh.) and about some things which happened a great while ago, long before they built factories or houses here, or before the white man came to this country. So good bye—I am afraid you will think this too long a letter from
—The Child of the Hills
Voice of Industry
Fort-Hill, Lowell, Nov. 8th, 1846
DEAR Mr. Voice: see you have printed the letter I wrote to you, a short time ago; and now I am going to write another. It seemed queer at first to think you should take so much notice of me as to print my childish sayings; when there are so many, who know so much, and can write so well about things all over the country, and who do so much good by telling of the wicked things done by people who enrich themselves, by making the poor work so many hours in the day, and then not pay them half they earn. But I have a story to tell you Mr. Voice—it is a sad one—it is about a young girl who came to work in the mills; her mother was dead, and her father used to drink strong drinks which made him cross; and then he treated her ill, and folks thought she had better go and work in the factory, and she did. When she went in, her cheeks were red as roses, and her eyes bright and beautiful, and she would laugh and romp like a little mad thing. I used to follow her sometimes on the "hill side;" for it used to make me feel glad, to see her so very happy.
She had not worked there but a short time when she left the Mill looking very pale; and she coughed dreadfully. I used to see her every little while, and she kept growing poorer and weaker, and at last I missed her altogether. Then I used to linger near the house where she lived, and listen to hear some sound that would tell me she was there; for I loved the little girl that was so good and kind, and knew she would soon be an Angel, in Heaven. One day, they lifted her up to the window, where I could see her, it made me weep to look at her, for though she smiled as sweetly as ever, I knew she was dying. I thought she was praying, to, for she clasped her little thin hands, and turned her eyes toward Heaven—her lips moved—then there came a strange look across her face—she didn't move again. They took her away and I knew I should never see her more. In two days after, they buried her in the cemetery, near "my home," and after they had all gone, I went and gathered some of the flowers I knew she loved best, and laid them on her grave, and as fast as they wilt I get fresh ones for I love to do it, Mr. Voice, altho' it makes me feel sorrowful; and I think she would thank me, if she could. There are a great many who die just as she died; and I wish the folks would not make the girls work so long in the factories; for I think that is the reason why so many die! Perhaps Mr. Voice, you can convince the rich folks, that it is not right to oppress the poor; if you can I think it will make you feel happy. But I must say good-bye for the present.
Your little friend,
—The Child of the Hills
Voice of Industry