In response to the telegrams and letters sent me concerning the attitude of suffrage associations to the Progressive Party, I am glad to avail myself of the invitation of THE WOMAN'S JOURNAL to state what I have already replied to such associations, that in my judgment women wishing to join the Progressive Party should do so as individuals and should, in no case, urge their suffrage associations to such action.
I quite agree with the wisdom of the non-partisan position held by the National American Woman Suffrage Association, a position it has consistently maintained during many years. While I hold to this position with the other members of the Board, in becoming a delegate to the Chicago Convention of the Progressive Party I merely claimed my right to act as an individual, as the members of the National Board have always done in respect to other political parties.
It is possibly an advantage that in a great association composed of the many woman of the nation who desire enfranchisement, that different points of view should be represented, quite as the association makes an effort to have representation on its Board of various geographical sections of the country.
The non-partisan woman suffrage associations may be helped because women participated in a great national convention and voted the adoption of a platform, which represented their sincerest convictions.
I cannot state my position more succinctly than to quote from the speech in which I seconded the nominee of the Convention:
"Measures of Industrial amelioration, demands for social justice, long discussed by small groups in charity conferences and economic associations, have here been considered in a great national convention and are at last thrust into the stern arena of political action.
"A great party has pledged itself to the protection of children, to the care of the aged, to the relief of overworked girls, to the safeguarding of burdened men. Committed to these humane undertakings, it is inevitable that such a party should appeal to women, should seek to draw upon the great reservoir of their moral energy, so long undesired and unutilized in practical politics -- one is the corollary of the other, a [program] of human welfare, the necessity for woman's participation in political life.
"We ratify this platform not only because it represents our earnest convictions and formulates our high hopes, but because it pulls upon our faculties and calls us to definite action. We find it a prophecy that democracy shall be actually realized until no group of our people shall fail to bear the responsibility of self-government.
"The new party has become the American exponent of a world-wide movement toward juster social conditions, a movement which America, lagging behind other great nations, has been unaccountably slow to embody in political action."