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Southern Ladies and SuffragistsJulia Ward Howe and Women's Rights at the 1884 New Orleans World's Fair$
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Miki Pfeffer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628461343

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628461343.001.0001

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Thimbles and a Teapot

Thimbles and a Teapot

(p.75) Seven Thimbles and a Teapot
Southern Ladies and Suffragists

Miki Pfeffer

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter describes the challenges faced by the women involved in running the Women's Department at the Cotton Centennial Exposition. On December 18, 1884, two days after the grand opening ceremony, a core of disconsolate Lady Commissioners and workers met in Julia Ward Howe's private parlor at the Hotel Royal to discuss hiring policies, the placement of exhibits, and the finances of the department. Management had promised fifty thousand dollars to cover women's expenses, but there were no funds. All monies had been spent on buildings and transportation and landscaping—and expenses off the books. Because of these early discouragements, Howe would have to immediately summon her strengths. She refused to be daunted and even local women found in adversity an opportunity to shine. To the women gathered in her parlor, Howe gave the rallying remark that ladies had already built churches “with no better instruments than thimbles and a teapot”!

Keywords:   Julia Ward Howe, Woman's Department, World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, New Orleans

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