The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 5
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The Beginnings of the State Historical Association
astonishment and, looking across at him with the most ingratiating
smile of which I was capable, I added: "As for myself, I feel
sure that I shall find no difficulty in becoming a member of the
proposed association under the section as it stands. For does not
the word 'member' include both sexes ?" But my effort to placate
the colonel had the opposite effect. "Madam," he burst out at me
furiously, "your brass may get you into the association, but you
will never have the right to get in under that section as it stands."
Now, please take note that I am not offering this episode merely
to enliven the occasion. This episode is in reality a very important
illustration of the temper of the time. I could not hope for a more
illuminating one. I am convinced that it does for our history
something which no future delver into the sources of the history
of that time will be able to offer. No one here who is not over
fifty at least can realize the attitude of that day toward the position
of woman outside the home. Her appointed place was a very
important one, one deeply revered by men, but that place was not
speaking before a man's meeting. For her to do so was something
startling, but to speak in contradiction-well, that was nothing
less than revolutionary. Looking back tonight from this meeting,
where so many are women, as a matter of course, and where the
speaker of the evening is a woman, also as a matter of course,
I might say that we three women there that evening in 1897 were
ourselves documents of history-flesh and blood documents. Colo-
nel Ford's blunt condemnation of my action was no more than the
natural notice to me that I had stepped down from woman's special
and honored position. I do not remember that I specially resented
his flinging the word "brass" at me. I felt myself that I was
The amendment was put after this exchange of contending ideas,
and lost unanimously.
The reading of the constitution proceeded.
"Section b, Fellows," read the secretary. "Members who show
by published work special aptitude for historical investigation may
become fellows." I-Iere Colonel Ford interrupted again. "Doctor,
I don't like that word 'fellows.'" "What is your objection, Colo-
nel ?" asked the secretary. "Well, we are going to have lady mem-
bers, it seems. Now, suppose one of these lady members should
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930, periodical, 1930; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/m1/13/: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.