Readings for Rural Life

From Moore’s Rural New-Yorker in Rochester, NY

June 4th, 1864

Woolen Under Clothing Best for our Variable Climate.

I was much pleased to see those articles in the Rural on wearing woolen under clothes, copied form Dr. Ball’s excellent periodical, the Journal of Health. Cotton goods had been so cheap among us for many years previous to the two last, that they had gradually displaced much woolen.

If the latter were more universally adopted by both sexes, colds, fevers, rheumatism and consumption, and all diseases superinduced by them, would be greatly lessened throughout our country. I have not a doubt that the average of life thereby would be extended fully five years, and the average of deathe lessened in early life at least one-fifth.

Our climate is an extreamly variable one, and requires to be closely watched and guarded against, a particularly by females and children. Nothing will do this more effectually than wearing woolen under clothers summer as well as winter. Moreover, by so doing, we greatly benefit our flock masters and manufacturers, and adopt a truly patriotic course.

If Cottton be King, let Wool be President. The latter si the more appropriate style of ruler for our Republican Government and variable climate. A.B. Allen. New York, May, 1864


Woman’s Wages

Why is it that women are so poorly recommended for their labor? If a man hires for a week with a farmer, at the very lowest rates, he will receive six dollars and board for that length of time. But if a frial woman hirse to work in his kitchen, she must be content with one dollar or consider herself well paid if she receives one dollar and a quarter! She is not expected to complain if the fatigueing task of milking, churning, baking, washing, ironing, scrubbig, and “cooking for hands” is almost too much for her strength less than the man? Or, has she a greater amount of strength than he, so that less effort is necessary on her part? If not, why this difference? Why is it that she must rise earlier, and work later, than he? As a general thing the man is not required to be at work before six o’clock in the morngin and is allowed to quit at six in the evening, with an interval of an hour for dinner.

Now we repeat, why is this? You may say “she does not do as hard work as a man.” It is just as hard for her. The man does not work as long as she does; he has the hours from six in the evening, ‘till time for him to retire to rest; also a time for repose in the mornign, which she is denied. Her work begins with the day, and lasts until it is high time she should be resting her tired limbs on a comfortable bed.

If the man is so minded, he can spend these hours in mental improvement, with a view to bettering his condition in life; or, he may spend them with aged and infirm parents, comforting them with his presence; and, they in turn encouraging him with kind words of hope-cheer; or, if he has a family he can spend them with it. He can be free from other people’s work, long enough for his mind and body, both, to rest; she is expected to take the care as well as the labor. He can support a parent, a delicat sister, or both if required, and still have enough to supply her with nexassary clothing. “Hardly,” did we say? it is positively not enough; besides, if she is taken sick, what is to become of her? Few, if any, of her employers would nurse her and pay a doctor’s bill for her; but, as is too ofthen the case, she might find a home among some poor, but kind friends; and when health returned she might deny herself some necessary articls of clothing, in order to pay her doctor’s bill. And thus she must toil week after week, with no hope of ever bettering her condition by her own exertions!

How often, too, does she support a feeble parent, brother, or sister, by her labor and kind self-denial, and toil on ‘till the end of the week, hoping to go to them and spend the Sabbath – the poor man’s gift from God – with them; but in this too she is too often disappointed; for, “she can’t be spared – going to have company home from church and go right into work.” And thus the poor girl is cheated our of what God has given to every one alike; for does he not say, “Thou, nor thy man servant, nor thy maid servant,” &c? Who ever heard of a white man having to work on a Sabbath as hard, and sometimes harder, than any other day? and yet white girls do it, often, very often. You may talk of slavery, but what is this? May Godd speed the day when woman shall be rewarded as she deserves for her labor, and no one dare to point thr finger of scorn at her because she dares to work for her living, and to “earn her bread by the sweat of her brow.” May the ablest pens of our land agitate this subject and show forth the world the wrong that is perpetuated on woman. Libbie Linwood. Cadiz Branch, 1864.


Published in: on June 4, 2014 at 5:59 am  Leave a Comment  

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