[Boston—Thursday, 24 February 1870]

February 24. Mr. Beecher called here early this morning. He had much to say about the blissful gift of temperament and how more and more heaven meant rest to us: life in thought, but above all rest.

He came to Boston to lecture on Woman’s Suffrage last night. He told me, especially in the hospitals, he thought the influence of women needed side by side with that of men. His attention had been called to this lately through his sister Isabella Hooker. There is a small band of women both in New York and Philadelphia who insist upon attending the medical lectures and these Mrs Hooker joined one day escorted by a young physician who believed that women ought to enjoy these advantages. She had not been long in the hall when a young girl somewhere about 18 years of age was brought in and laid upon the table; her eyes were closed and her face wore the aspect of death. It was a most singular case said the lecturer for the day; one of inflammatory rheumatism by which the patient had been brought to the door of death and suddenly restored by certain remedies, in which event said the physician throwing off the clothes which covered the girl’s body and putting his head down to observe closely “the whole surface of the skin in the neighborhood of the abdomen is covered with a fine eruption, as I observe is the case here”—flinging back the garments as he closed the sentence. Mrs Hooker said the girl who had remained of a deathly pallor up to the point when her body was uncovered, suddenly was observed by her to turn burning red as the blood flowed from her neck to the cheek and temples while she tried to put up her poor weak hand to wipe the damp from her forehead. Mrs Hooker was filled with a just indignation at the sight. If the poor child had been attended by a matron it would have been better or surrounded by some of own sex but to be treated in this barbarous way was indeed terrible. She confessed her feeling to the young physician who replied, Well, Mrs Hooker as you know I am already considered extreme in my opinions but until this moment I never saw what a wrong and injustice we commit in allowing this thing. Here is certainly another reason why women should be admitted on an equal footing with men. Mr. Beecher stayed an hour, talking delightfully. Last evening too Mr. Francis Parkman the historian made us quite a visit. He on the other hand is “conservative” and not out of the woods on the subject of Suffrage. He is a great sufferer with eyes and in every way physically, cannot sleep. Mr. Beecher sleeps perfectly, lives regularly, simply, never dines out at a private house and tries to live as a Christian should. But none of these men have my darlings anxious temperament nor his responsibilities. Tomorrow Mr. Fechter comes here to lunch.

I have made so few records here lately that the short evening visits from Mr. James & his daughter, the Putnams, Oakeys, Bartols, Darrahs, Louisa, Mr. B. & children last week have past like a tale that is told.

Jamie is better I hope. Sundays to the School. Wed. & Friday to North St. and so the days fly.


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