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The Beecher Sisters$
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Barbara A. White

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300099270

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300099270.001.0001

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Suffrage Arguments, 1868–1870

Suffrage Arguments, 1868–1870

(p.127) 6 Suffrage Arguments, 1868–1870
The Beecher Sisters

Barbara A. White

Yale University Press

This chapter presents the views of the Beecher sisters on female suffrage. In the spring of 1868, Isabella wrote an article, which she titled, A Mother's Letters to a Daughter on Woman Suffrage. The main point was that mothers have a special capacity for the art of government because of their experience in the family. They are uniquely fit to debate such questions as whether state prison discipline should be penal or reformatory, whether divorces should be restricted or freely granted, and whether children with disabilities should be educated at home or in institutions. Mothers would bring to politics a habit of calculating possibilities in the management of human beings. The reason a mother has this capacity, Isabella maintained, is not because she grows life in her womb but because she enacts the social role of bringing up her children.

Keywords:   Beecher sisters, female suffrage, Isabella Beecher, art of government, human beings

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