Women’s Peace Festival, Institute Hall, Philadelphia, June 2, 1875
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Women’s Peace Festival, 1875 209 1. Meeting attendees had heard remarks by Thomas Wentworth Higginson and an essay entitled “The Present Constructive Tendencies in Religion” by Unitarian clergyman William Channing Gannett (1840–1923). Higginson opened the meeting, describing the Free Religious Association as offering “the hospitality of the world of thought,—it is the religious sympathy of the world.” Gannett characterized the tendencies of the current religious era as both “destructive” and “constructive,” but highlighted the constructive “expansion of Church dogmas into nobler truths, and the grander aspect of the universe which Science opens to us, with its effect upon religious feeling” (Proceedings, 17, 26, 36). 2. Before her first visit to the British Museum on June 26, 1840, LM had tea at the home of Quaker minister William Ball (1801–78). She commented, “many more beside all our company—everything in style—servants in livery—shewn upstairs by a plain Quaker servant —tea handed—much conversation—reading scripture” (Frederick B. Tolles, ed., Slavery and the “Woman Question”: Lucretia Mott’s Diary of Her Visit to Great Britain to Attend the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention of 1840 [Haverford, Pa.: Friends’ Historical Association, 1952], 48). Women’s Peace Festival, Institute Hall, Philadelphia, June 2, 1875 It is true, as our friend has well remarked, that the spirit of Peace must be cultivated in our own hearts, and the spirit of war eradicated before we can expect to make much progress.1 I have often resisted the impression that woman differs so widely from man, and I think we have not the facts to substantiate it. I cannot believe that if woman had her just rights, which I desire she should have, that all these evils will cease. The efforts which have been made in the cause of Peace have been mostly from the pens and labors of men. Very few women have actively embarked on this question until very recently. We know that women have very generally encouraged war, and in the late strife in our country the women on both sides took an active part and encouraged the men. Some of us are old enough to remember when the rod was used in the school and in the family to keep children in order. Horace Mann thought it would not do to abolish it in the schools of Massachusetts, but after a visit to England, where he saw how cruelly this was used in the factories to compel little children to perform their hard tasks, he returned home and urged the banishment of this barbarous custom.2 There is a great deal to encourage us at the present time. Those of us who have been engaged in these labors for many years can look back to the time when but a few earnest men endeavored to awaken an interest in this subject—John Woolman, Jonathan Dymond, Elihu Burritt, and others.3 The Society of Friends have always required their members to settle their difficulties by arbitration; they do not allow them to sue one another. We are too much in the habit of erecting partition walls between ourselves and others; have not associated with others as much as the early Friends did, but wherever there has been a mingling with them, there has been an advance of our testimonies. Within thirty or forty years there has been more remarkable success than ever before in all reforms. The people are learning that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty because they are not carnal, to the pulling down of the strongholds. I was much interested in reading the account of the celebration of William Cullen Bryant’s 80th birthday, in which he reviewed some of the events that had transpired during his life, and 210 Women’s Peace Festival, 1875 at the close of his remarks he referred to the subject of Peace. He hoped that the time was not far distant when standing armies would be disbanded, and the men would be returned to their farms and their workshops, from whence they should never have been taken, and that through international arbitration wars would cease.4 I remember as long ago as 1817 assisting my husband’s brother5 in stitching small peace pamphlets to the almanacs of that year. Everybody loves Peace better than war; everybody knows that war is wrong,—indeed it has to be decked out in all its paraphernalia to make it at all acceptable. It is a very encouraging fact that...