Willis, John. Letter to Amy Kirby Post.


Handwritten letter from John Willis to Amy Kirby Post, October 15, 1848.


October 15, 1848

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(Page 1)

                                                                                Jericho the 15 of 10th 1848
Esteemed Sister
                                I thought when I received that Rochester
paper giving an account of the woman’s [sic] convention and of their
rights and what they wanted, and what they intended to petition
for, untill [sic] they had obtained it, that I would write up
to Isaac and request him to peruade [sic] his wife to try to have
a little more stability, and to act more like a sensable [sic]
woman.   in your declaration you say that the history of
mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on
the part of man towards woman having in direct object
the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.  If thee
means Isaac when thee says all that thee might as well
leave him and come to L. Iland [sic] an [sic] live.  and a gain [sic] you
say he (meaning man) has created a fals [sic] sentiment by giving
to the world a different code of morrals [sic] for men an [sic] women
by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society
are not only tollerated [sic] but deemed of little account in man
If I understand what is ment [sic] by morral [sic] delinquencies it is
woman that has made the difference and not man, and
what thee seams [sic] to complain the most of is not having
the privilage [sic] of going to the poles [sic] and giving thy vote, and
not being drawn to serve on juror,  and to be appointed
sheriffs and all in fact every office that man fills thee
wants the privelage [sic] of having.___ I have lately heard
of a society in Boston that I think would suit thee
and Sarah and some of the rochester [sic] women exceedingly well

(Page 2)

theire [sic] whole business as I understand it is, to take charge
of other people [sic] concerns, and to see that every thing is
done as it should be and in the right time, this would
keep you in plenty of business, --- without runing  [sic] all over
with your petitions to get signers in order to send to
the legislator [sic] for them to pass a law giving you the
privilage[sic] of voting which I presume they never will do.
there is a resolution I wish thee to explain it is, [illegible]
that the assumption of law to settle estates when men
die without wills leaving widows is an insult to woman
and &,& --- some folks think that property accum
ulated by parents ought not to go to their children
but to the state in which they live; is that thy notion
or where would thee have it to go.  I would like for
thee to give me the particulars in regard to property
when the husband dies leaving a widow and all
children all of age, weather [sic] thee would have the husband
or the wife to make a will or neither of them, or bouth[sic].
the resolution respecting marriage you think for a woman
to Promis [sic] to be a faithull [sic] and loving wife, is a barbour
ous [sic] and an unrighteous practice and you mean to persua
de all the unmarried women to make no more promises
in the marriage  contract, you seam [sic] to want a great
many things granted by the men that you do not enjoy
at present and I think I can put you in a way to have
every thing granted you, that can be desired and that is to
get up an instrument of writing in verry [sic] strong language
and let every unmarried woman pledg [sic] her self [sic] that she
will not marry any man until [sic] the laws are so

(Page 3)

altered as to place woman on an equality with man
in every respect even to whering[sic] of pants if she wishes to
do so,  and if the unmarried women will all sign it and
stick to it for a few years^ say about 20^ I am persuaded you will
bring them to any terms you may wish and I believe
that is the only way that your Prayer can ^be^ obtained
I would like to hear all about the new Yearly Meeting do
write and let us no[sic] the particulars also about your free
meeting at rochester [sic] weathe [sic] it is like friends meeting
or an abolition meeting or wa t[sic] kind of a meeting and
how many attend and where they are.---    their [sic] is
a free meeting lately setup [sic] at Jerusalem I believe
it is held on first day afternoon and attended by
Henry Titus Edward Seaman Adam Eighmie and
two or three that are not friends,  all Preachers or
speakers I do not know what what  the [sic]call it but
I believe preaching, Edward Seaman I believe is a
practiceing [sic] and trying to learn the art of Preaching
the Gospel, I wish they were all up at rochester [sic]
so that they might attend your meeting and Preach
for you I think [their?] preaching would suit you better
than it does us--- we have heard verry[sic] little about Sarah
for some time would like to know how she is getting along
weather[sic] she is ingaged [sic] about abolition or womans  [sic] rights
or temperance or free soil or weather [sic] she is attending to
her own concerns.  If she is attending to the latter I think she
may stand a perty [sic] good chance to get a husband unless
she concludes to take the pledg [sic] to marry no man untill [sic]
untill the laws are so altered as put woman on equality
with man on every [aspect?]

(Page 4)

I wish thee would say to Isaac tha [sic] I am much obliged to him
for sending me the North Star, but as the year is nearly out
he may stop the paper  I believe the paper is doing quite
as much harm as it is good and I do not wish to encourage
it, I am a Wig [sic] and I dislike some of his letters and some
of his remarks in regard to some of the wigs [sic] very much
especialy [sic] Henry Clay and Tailor. ------
I wish thee to remember me affectionately to William
and tell him that I freely acknowledg [sic] the debt that I owe
him, which will prevent it from being out lawed and
when I feel of a bility [sic] to write I intend to answer his

[Text  in center of page, written upward]

Amy Post

[text upside down bottom margin]

thy note to mother about fatheres [sic] will smelt [sic] rather to [sic]
much of womens rights for father I heardly [sic] think he
will make much change,  but I offered to write it over
and make any change he wished on mothers [accoun] [sic] but he
said he felt perty [sic] well satisfyed  [sic] as it was I think if mother
is verry [sic] prudent and nothing should happen to her she
might [probably?]  have enough to last her as long as she wants
but if she should not her children must help her
                                                                                                                Jn Willis

About the Original Item

Willis, John
Internal Identifier
, ,
Post Collection
Item Type:
Willis, John, “Willis, John. Letter to Amy Kirby Post.,” Post Family Papers Project, accessed December 10, 2018, https://rbsc.library.rochester.edu/items/show/4768.