Thursday, 28 February 2013


In May of 1975, then-Los Angeles Police Chief Edward Davis was invited to participate in the LA Pride parade — an annual celebration of the LGBT community which first took place in 1970 — by the event's organisers, Christopher Street West. Davis responded with the following letter.

LA Pride continues to this day. 2013's three day event begins on June 7th.

Transcript follows.

(Source: Paul Forte, via Virginia C. McGuire; Image above: LA Pride 2012, via


May 23, 1975

Ms. Sharon D. Cornelison, President
Christopher Street West Association
P.O. Box 3949
Hollywood, California 90028

Dear Ms. Cornelison:

As you no doubt expected, I am declining your invitation to participate in the celebration of "GAY PRIDE WEEK." While I support your organization's constitutional right to express your feelings on the subject of homosexuality, I am obviously not in sympathy with your views on the subject. I would much rather celebrate "GAY CONVERSION WEEK" which I will gladly sponsor when the medical practitioners in this country find a way to convert gays to heterosexuals.

Very truly yours,


Chief of Police

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Sleep well my love

The following heart-rending love letter was written by American World War II veteran Brian Keith to Dave, a fellow soldier he met and fell in love with in 1943 while stationed in North Africa. It was penned on the occasion of their anniversary and reprinted in September of 1961 by ONE Magazine, a groundbreaking pro-gay magazine first published in 1953. The original letter is held, I am told, by the Library of Congress.

(Source: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, via Carrie Kendall.)

Dear Dave,

This is in memory of an anniversary — the anniversary of October 27th, 1943, when I first heard you singing in North Africa. That song brings memories of the happiest times I’ve ever known. Memories of a GI show troop — curtains made from barrage balloons — spotlights made from cocoa cans — rehearsals that ran late into the evenings — and a handsome boy with a wonderful tenor voice. Opening night at a theatre in Canastel — perhaps a bit too much muscatel, and someone who understood. Exciting days playing in the beautiful and stately Municipal Opera House in Oran — a misunderstanding — an understanding in the wings just before opening chorus.

Drinks at "Coq d'or" — dinner at the "Auberge" — a ring and promise given. The show 1st Armoured — muscatel, scotch, wine — someone who had to be carried from the truck and put to bed in his tent. A night of pouring rain and two very soaked GIs beneath a solitary tree on an African plain. A borrowed French convertible — a warm sulphur spring, the cool Mediterranean, and a picnic of "rations" and hot cokes. Two lieutenants who were smart enough to know the score, but not smart enough to realize that we wanted to be alone. A screwball piano player — competition — miserable days and lonely nights. The cold, windy night we crawled through the window of a GI theatre and fell asleep on a cot backstage, locked in each other’s arms — the shock when we awoke and realized that miraculously we hadn't been discovered. A fast drive to a cliff above the sea — pictures taken, and a stop amid the purple grapes and cool leaves of a vineyard.

The happiness when told we were going home — and the misery when we learned that we would not be going together. Fond goodbyes on a secluded beach beneath the star-studded velvet of an African night, and the tears that would not be stopped as I stood atop the sea-wall and watched your convoy disappear over the horizon.

We vowed we’d be together again "back home," but fate knew better — you never got there. And so, Dave, I hope that where ever you are these memories are as precious to you as they are to me.

Goodnight, sleep well my love.

Brian Keith

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Don't expect me to be sane anymore

In 1932, months after first meeting in Paris and despite both being married, Cuban diarist Anaïs Nin and hugely influential novelist Henry Miller began an incredibly intense love affair that would last for many years and, along the way, generate countless passionate love letters. Below, in my humble opinion, is one of the most powerful examples, written by Miller in August of 1932 shortly after a visit to Nin's home in Louveciennes.

(Submitted by Laura Dillon  originally from A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller, 1932-1953; Images: Anaïs Nin & Henry Miller via here & here.)

August 14, 1932


Don't expect me to be sane anymore. Don't let's be sensible. It was a marriage at Louveciennes—you can't dispute it. I came away with pieces of you sticking to me; I am walking about, swimming, in an ocean of blood, your Andalusian blood, distilled and poisonous. Everything I do and say and think relates back to the marriage. I saw you as the mistress of your home, a Moor with a heavy face, a negress with a white body, eyes all over your skin, woman, woman, woman. I can't see how I can go on living away from you—these intermissions are death. How did it seem to you when Hugo came back? Was I still there? I can't picture you moving about with him as you did with me. Legs closed. Frailty. Sweet, treacherous acquiescence. Bird docility. You became a woman with me. I was almost terrified by it. You are not just thirty years old—you are a thousand years old.

Here I am back and still smouldering with passion, like wine smoking. Not a passion any longer for flesh, but a complete hunger for you, a devouring hunger. I read the paper about suicides and murders and I understand it all thoroughly. I feel murderous, suicidal. I feel somehow that it is a disgrace to do nothing, to just bide one's time, to take it philosophically, to be sensible. Where has gone the time when men fought, killed, died for a glove, a glance, etc? (A victrola is playing that terrible aria from Madama Butterfly—"Some day he'll come!")

I still hear you singing in the kitchen—a sort of inharmonic, monotonous Cuban wail. I know you're happy in the kitchen and the meal you're cooking is the best meal we ever ate together. I know you would scald yourself and not complain. I feel the greatest peace and joy sitting in the dining room listening to you rustling about, your dress like the goddess Indra studded with a thousand eyes.

Anais, I only thought I loved you before; it was nothing like this certainty that's in me now. Was all this so wonderful only because it was brief and stolen? Were we acting for each other, to each other? Was I less I, or more I, and you less or more you? Is it madness to believe that this could go on? When and where would the drab moments begin? I study you so much to discover the possible flaws, the weak points, the danger zones. I don't find them—not any. That means I am in love, blind, blind. To be blind forever! (Now they're singing "Heaven and Ocean" from La Gioconda.)

I picture you playing the records over and over—Hugo's records. "Parlez moi d amour." The double life, double taste, double joy and misery. How you must be furrowed and ploughed by it. I know all that, but I can't do anything to prevent it. I wish indeed it were me who had to endure it. I know now your eyes are wide open. Certain things you will never believe anymore, certain gestures you will never repeat, certain sorrows, misgivings, you will never again experience. A kind of white criminal fervor in your tenderness and cruelty. Neither remorse nor vengeance, neither sorrow nor guilt. A living it out, with nothing to save you from the abysm but a high hope, a faith, a joy that you tasted, that you can repeat when you will.

All morning I was at my notes, ferreting through my life records, wondering where to begin, how to make a start, seeing not just another book before me but a life of books. But I don't begin. The walls are completely bare—I had taken everything down before going to meet you. It is as though I had made ready to leave for good. The spots on the walls stand out—where our heads rested. While it thunders and lightnings I lie on the bed and go through wild dreams. We're in Seville and then in Fez and then in Capri and then in Havana. We're journeying constantly, but there is always a machine and books, and your body is always close to me and the look in your eyes never changes. People are saying we will be miserable, we will regret, but we are happy, we are laughing always, we are singing. We are talking Spanish and French and Arabic and Turkish. We are admitted everywhere and they strew our path with flowers.

I say this is a wild dream—but it is this dream I want to realize. Life and literature combined, love the dynamo, you with your chameleon's soul giving me a thousand loves, being anchored always in no matter what storm, home wherever we are. In the mornings, continuing where we left off. Resurrection after resurrection. You asserting yourself, getting the rich varied life you desire; and the more you assert yourself the more you want me, need me. Your voice getting hoarser, deeper, your eyes blacker, your blood thicker, your body fuller. A voluptuous servility and tyrannical necessity. More cruel now than before—consciously, wilfully cruel. The insatiable delight of experience.


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

I don't know how to write this letter

In 1968, shortly after finishing 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick began work on what he would later predict to be "the best movie ever made" — a meticulously researched, large-scale biopic of Napoleon Bonaparte. A 1969 draft of his screenplay, which he later discarded, can be read here. A few years later, after adapting Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange for the big screen, Kubrick brought Burgess on-board to write a Beethoven-inspired Napoleon novel on which his epic could be based.

In June of 1972, Burgess supplied the filmmaker with the first half of his manuscript; Kubrick rejected it by way of the following letter, thus ending the collaboration. Burgess was undeterred, and Napoleon Symphony was published as a novel in 1974. Kubrick's movie, however, failed to materialise.

(Source: Jim Allen; Image: Anthony Burgess & Stanley Kubrick, via here & here.)


15 June, 1972

Dear Anthony,

I shall start off by saying I don't really know how to write this letter, and that it is a task which is as awful for me to perform for me as it may be for you to read.

You are far too brilliant and successful a writer, and I am far too much of an admirer of yours to patronize you with a listing of what is so obviously excellent about 'Napoleon Symphony'. At the same time, I earnestly hope that our all too brief friendship will survive me telling you that the MS is not a work that can help me make a film about the life of Napoleon. Despite its considerable accomplishments, it does not, in my view, help solve either of the two major problems: that of considerably editing the events (and possibly restructuring the time sequence) so as to make a good story, without trivializing history or character, nor does it provide much realistic dialogue, unburdened with easily noticeable exposition or historical fact.

I'm very sorry that the subject of the letter could not be of more pleasure and benefit to both of us, and after saying all this, I can only thank you for trying this and hope that you will continue to accept my admiration and respect for you as an artist, and my great feeling of warmth and friendship for you personally.



Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Good luck with the picture

Early-1999, shortly after the release of Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line, in which he starred, Sean Penn approached 20th Century Fox and asked for a private jet to take him to a screening of the movie in Houston. Much to his dismay, the studio refused on grounds of cost and company policy.

Infuriated by the rejection, Penn wrote the following letter to the studio in response. It was very quickly leaked to the press.

Note: "Red Carpet Room" refers to the VIP lounge at LAX.

(Source: Greg Sullivan; Image: Sean Penn, via.)

January 6, 1999

To whom it may or may not concern at 20th Century Fox, et al. (in hope that those copied will spread the word to those deserving):

The purpose of this scratchpad communique may well be as much to amuse you or inform you. Clearly, its less than humble writer has found grounds for amusement in its content.

In my continuing effort to support our shared entity, "The Thin Red Line," I have yet again run into another of the endless bureaucratic hurdles that your company relentlessly plants in my path. As a result of Terry Malick's invitation, I made plans to join Terry in supporting the film's screening, and ultimately its profile in Houston. As I have two movies, two children and (as each woman is at least two people) two wives presently in distribution, my schedule is rather hectic. I therefore requested that Mr. Murdoch's gigantic corporation might be so generous (with the money they've earned exploiting the pain and suffering of myself and my peers in their tabloids) as to supply me with a private jet to travel to Houston.

The response was a clear NO.

Two things were cited: 1) The $40,000 cost. 2) Policy. As to number 1, we at my tiny little San Francisco office went ahead and priced the cost of such a jet ourselves. In fact, it came to $16,000, which we had offered would be divided by two, as Fine Line Pictures had already committed to pay half (I would do an interview on behalf of "Hurlyburly" while I was there). Next we priced the commercial fare somewhere in the area of $2,000. The final cost differential to Mr. Murdoch's pool-heating expenses: A WHOPPING $6,000, which, against the price cut I offered in my deal to act in this movie, seemed equivalent to the fair market price of one hair on Mr. Rupert Murdoch's formidable ass. Next comes policy, the number 2 reason cited us in denial of our request. Evidently this is a word prized by Mr. Murdoch's company as I ran into it before when Mr. Malick requested that I be given an opportunity to view a videotape of the movie prior to his locking the print. I think we all know what a shameful little dance went on there, with wasted time, wasted money in the name of a policy. Has anyone at 20th Century Fox considered that it might not be my policy to do 7-figure favors for multi-national corporate interests as I did when I took the salary you paid me on "The Thin Red Line"?

Bottom line is...our policies collide. Good luck with the picture.

P.S. I know you guys don't remember what the inside of a commercial airline terminal looks like, but if you send me a picture of your jets, I'll send you a picture of the door at the Red Carpet Room. Wish I could've been in Houston. It's a beautiful movie and I'd like to have helped spread the word.

P.P.S. If my name is unfamiliar to you, you can check your computers under Movie Buff. I believe they consider me to be someone with a career.


Sean Penn

cc: Rupert Murdoch, Peter Chernin, Bill Mechanic, Laura Ziskin, Tom Sherak, Mike Medavoy, Terry Malick, Brian Gersh, God Almighty, Kit Caruthers

Friday, 8 February 2013

Kids know I am harmless

In 1979, famous advice columnist Ann Landers wrote a widely-read article in which she strongly criticised "Cold Ethyl" (lyrics), a song about necrophilia/alcohol by Alice Cooper which, she claimed, had the power to corrupt his younger fans. A few weeks after the piece was published, Alice Cooper responded with a letter; that letter was published, along with a reply from Landers, soon after. Both can be read below.

Transcript follows.

(Source: The Prescott Courier; Image: Alice Cooper, via the Guardian.)

Dear Ann Landers:

I'm really sorry you found that old song of mine crude and offensive. Actually, "Cold Ethyl" is just a harmless number about necrophilia.

The point I want to make is that the kids are not bothered by this — their parents are. The kids see the song and gruesome antics, like with the guillotine, for exactly what it is — satire, done with a sense of humor to a rock 'n roll beat.

Kids know I am harmless. It's their parents that make me out to be some kind of a monster. I would like to see you print this in your column, Ann.


Alice Cooper


Dear Alice Cooper:

Thank you for writing.

For those who don't know what necrophilia is, it's sexual intercourse with someone who is dead. You can call it funny if you want to, Alice. I call it sick.

I like satire as much as the next person, but chopping off heads and spurting blood all over the place is not my idea of entertainment. I caught your guillotine number in Chicago several years ago and almost lost my supper. (Guess I'm an uncool cat.)

You have in your group some exceptionally talented performers and you're no slouch yourself, Alice...I just wish you'd clean up your act.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

I am sorry for your loss

In December of 2012, shortly after his wife passed away at the NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital, a local gentleman was sent a touching, eloquent letter of condolence in the mail by the doctor who had treated her in the emergency room. Such a lovely gesture, and I imagine an incredibly comforting note to receive at such a difficult time. It can be read below.

Transcript follows.

(Source: The couple's child, mcharb13, via Joanne.)


Dear Mr. [redacted],

I am the Emergency Medicine physician who treated your wife Mrs. [redacted] last Sunday in the Emergency Department at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. I learned only yesterday about her passing away and wanted to write to you to express my sadness. In my twenty years as a doctor in the Emergency Room, I have never written to a patient or a family member, as our encounters are typically hurried and do not always allow for more personal interaction. However, in your case, I felt a special connection to your wife [redacted] who was so engaging and cheerful in spite of her illness and trouble breathing. I was also touched by the fact that you seemed to be a very loving couple. You were highly supportive of her, asking the right questions with calm, care and concern. From my experience as a physician, I find that the love and support of a spouse or a family member is the most soothing gift, bringing peace and serenity to those critically ill.

I am sorry for your loss and I hope you can find comfort in the memory of your wife's great spirit and of your loving bond. My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family.


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Have you enjoyed embracing men?

In 1961, four years after losing his job as a U. S. Army astronomer on account of his homosexuality, 36-year-old Frank Kameny saw his latest appeal against the dismissal rejected by the Supreme Court. However, the decision only strengthened his commitment to the wider cause: Kameny went on to become a major figure in the gay rights movement and spent the rest of his life as a full-time activist.

Below are just two letters from his papers, all of which were donated to the Library of Congress in 2009. The first was written to Nevin Feather — an employee of the Library of Congress itself — in 1962, after news that he enjoyed such things as "embracing" men reached his superiors. Feather subsequently turned to Kameny for help. The second letter was written by Kameny some months later, to Congressman Paul C. Jones, in an effort to spread the word about the Mattachine Society. Jones's depressingly negative reply can be found at the foot of the same page.

Transcripts follow.

(Source: Kameny Papers; Image: Frank Kameny with Barack Obama in 2009, via.)



DATE: June 28, 1962

TO: Nevin R. Feather, Office of the Secretary
From: Robert M. Holmes, Director of Personnel and Personnel Security Officer

SUBJECT: Interrogatory

The Library of Congress has received a report concerning you, and as a result oif some of the information contained therein, certain questions have arisen about which we are now giving you the opportunity to present your explanation. The Library is not charging you with anything but is merely requesting your cooperation in resolving this matter. Therefore, you are asked to prepare a written response, in triplicate, to the following questions, have your statement notarized, and return it to me by the close of business July 6, 1962.

It has been reported that during 1961 you disclosed to representatives of another government agency that, on a couple of occasions, you had permitted a man to perform a homosexual act (fellatio) on you. Also, that you related that you find members of the male sex attractive; that you have been in bed with men; and that you have enjoyed embracing them.
  1. Is this report true? If it is, please state whether or not your conduct in this respect has been confined to the foregoing, and if it has not, please explain.
  2. If the above report is true, then please explain your negative answer to that part of item 20 on the Standard Form 89, "Report of Medical History", which reads "Have you ever had or have you now homosexual tendencies."
  3. If the above report is not true then how do you account for its existence?
This seems to be of serious matter to me. I must admit I am quite shook-up over this matter. Please advise me or better yet may I make an appointment with you for an interview as soon as possible. Thank you.


The Mattachine Society of Washington

The Honorable Paul C. Jones
House of Representatives
Washington 25, D. C.

August 28, 1962

Dear Mr. Jones:

Enclosed, for your interest and information, is a formal statement of the purpose of the Mattachine Society of Washington, a newly-formed organization, devoted to the improvement of the status of our country's 15,000,000 homosexuals.

Included, also, is a copy of our news release, which was submitted to the Washington newspapers and others, and to the various press services.

The question of homosexuality, and the prejudice against it, both personal and official, is a serious one, involving, as it does, more than one out of every ten American citizens, including roughly a quarter-million in, each, the Federal Civil Service, the Armed Forces, and secutiry-sensitive positions in private industry, and at least 10% of your constituents.

We feel that the government's approach is archaic, unrealistic, and inconsistent with basic American principles. We feel, in addition, that it is inexcusably and unnecessarily wasteful of trained manpower and of the taxpayers' money.

We realize that this area presents you with many potential problems, some of them quite subtle and touchy ones of politics and public relations, and that they are not always subject to easy solution, but policies of repression, persecution, and exclusion will not prove to be workable ones in the case of this minority, any more than have, throughout history, in the case of other minorities. This is a problem which must be worked with, constructively, not worked against, destructively, as is now the case. A fresh approach by the Federal government is badly needed.

We welcome any comments you may have on this subject.

We will be pleased to meet with you personally, at your convenience, to discuss these and related matters.

Thank you for your consideration of our position.

Sincerely yours,



Franklin E. Kameny

[Paul Jones's handwritten response: "I am unalterably opposed to your proposal and cannot see how any person in his right mind can condone the practices which you would justify. Please do not contaminate my mail with such filthy trash."]

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Thine in the bonds of womanhood

In the 1820s, having grown up on her father's plantation amongst dozens of slaves — many of whom she had befriended and educated — Sarah Grimké began to tour the Northern United States giving anti-slavery lectures to all who would listen. She was joined by her sister some years later, by which time the talks also covered women's rights and were being attended by thousands.

In 1837, she wrote a pioneering series of 15 open letters on the subject of sexual equality, all addressed to Mary S. Parker, President of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society. They were subsequently published in the "New England Spectator" and later as a book.

Below is just one of the letters, titled, "On the Condition of Women in the United States."

(Source: Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Women; Image: Sarah Grimké, via Wikipedia.)

Brookline, 1837

My Dear Sister,—

I have now taken a brief survey of the condition of woman in various parts of the world. I regret that my time has been so much occupied by other things, that I have been unable to bestow that attention upon the subject which it merits, and that my constant change of place has prevented me from having access to books, which might probably have assisted me in this part of my work. I hope that the principles I have asserted will claim the attention of some of my sex, who may be able to bring into view, more thoroughly than I have done, the situation and degradation of woman. I shall now proceed to make a few remarks on the condition of women in my own country.

During the early part of my life, my lot was cast among the butterflies of the fashionable world; and of this class of women, I am constrained to say, both from experience and observation, that their education is miserably deficient; that they are taught to regard marriage as the one thing needful, the only avenue to distinction; hence to attract the notice and win the attentions of men, by their external charms, is the chief business of fashionable girls. They seldom think that men will be allured by intellectual acquirements, because they find, that where any mental superiority exists, a woman is generally shunned and regarded as stepping out of her "appropriate sphere," which, in their view, is to dress, to dance, to set out to the best possible advantage her person, to read the novels which inundate the press, and which do more to destroy her character as a rational creature, than any thing else. Fashionable women regard themselves, and are regarded by men, as pretty toys or as mere instruments of pleasure; and the vacuity of mind, the heartlessness, the frivolity, which is the necessary result of this false and debasing estimate of women, can only be fully understood by those who have mingled in the folly and wickedness of fashionable life; and who have been called from such pursuits by the voice of the lord Jesus, inviting their weary and heavy laden souls to come unto Him and learn of Him, that they may find something worthy of their immortal spirit, and their intellectual powers; that they may learn the high and holy purposes of their creation, and consecrate themselves unto the service of God; and not, as is now the case, to the pleasure of man.

There is another and much more numerous class in this country, who are withdrawn by education or circumstances from the circle of fashionable amusements, but who are brought up with the dangerous and absurd idea, that marriage is a kind of preferment; and that to be able to keep their husband's house, and render his situation comfortable, is the end of her being. Much that she does and says and thinks is done in reference to this situation; and to be married is too often held up to the view of girls as the sine qua non of human happiness and human existence. For this purpose more than for any other, I verily believe the majority of girls are trained. This is demonstrated by the imperfect education which is bestowed upon them, and the little pains taken to cultivate their minds, after they leave school, by the little time allowed them for reading, and by the idea being constantly inculcated, that although all household concerns should be attended to with scrupulous punctuality at particular seasons, the improvement of their intellectual capacities is only a secondary consideration, and may serve as an occupation to fill up the odds and ends of time. In most families, it is considered a matter of far more consequence to call a girl off from making a pie, or a pudding, than to interrupt her whilst engaged in her studies. This mode of training necessarily exalts, in their view, the animal above the intellectual and spiritual nature, and teaches women to regard themselves as a kind of machinery, necessary to keep the domestic engine in order, but of little value as the intelligent companions of men.

Let no one think, from these remarks, that I regard a knowledge of housewifery as beneath the acquisition of women. Far from it: I believe that a complete knowledge of household affairs is an indispensable requisite in a woman's education—that by the mistress of a family, whether married or single, doing her duty thoroughly and understandingly, the happiness of the family is increased to an incalculable degree, as well as a vast amount of time and money saved. All I complain of is, that our education consists so almost exclusively in culinary and other manual operations. I do long to see the time, when it will no longer be necessary for women to expend so many precious hours in furnishing "a well spread table," but that their husbands will forego some of their accustomed indulgences in this way, and encourage their wives to devote some portion of their time to mental cultivation, even at the expense of having to dine sometimes on baked potatoes, or bread and butter.

I believe the sentiment expressed by the author of "Live and let Live," is true:
"Other things being equal, a woman of the highest mental endowments will always be the best housekeeper, for domestic economy, is a science that brings into action the qualities of the mind, as well as the graces of the heart. A quick perception, judgment, discrimination, decision and order are high attributes of mind, and are all in daily exercise in the well ordering of a family. If a sensible woman, an intellectual woman, a woman of genius, is not a good housewife, it is not because she is either, or all of those, but because there is some deficiency in her character, or some omission of duty which should maker her very humble, instead of her indulging in any secret self-complacency on account of a certain superiority, which only aggravates her fault."
The influence of women over the minds and character of children of both sexes, is allowed to be far greater than that of men. This being the case by the very ordering of nature, women should be prepared by education for the performance of their sacred duties as mothers and as sisters. A late American writer, who speaking on this subject, says in reference to an article in the Westminster Review:
"I agree entirely with the writer in the high estimate which he places on female education, and have long since been satisfied, that the subject not only merits, but imperiously demands a through reconsideration. The great elements of usefulness and duty are too little attended to. Women ought, in my view of the subject, to approach to the best education now given to men, (I except mathematics and the classics,) far more I believe than has ever yet been attempted. Give me a host of educated, pious mothers and sisters, and I will do more to revolutionize a country, in moral and religious tastes, in manners and in social virtues and intellectual cultivation, than I can possibly do in double or treble the time, with a similar host of educated men. I cannot but think that the miserable condition of the great body of the people in all ancient communities, is to be ascribed in very great degree to the degradation of women."
There is another way in which the general opinion, that women are inferior to men, is manifested, that bears with tremendous effect on the laboring class, and indeed on almost all who are obligate to earn a subsistence, whether it be by mental or physical exertion—I allude to the disproportionate value set on the time and labor of men and of women. A man who is engaged in teaching, can always, I believe, command a higher price for tuition than a woman—even when he teaches the same branches, and is not in any respect superior to the woman. This I know is the case in boarding and other schools with which I have been acquainted, and it is so in every occupation in which the sexes engage indiscriminately. As for example, in tailoring, a man has twice, or three times as much for making a waistcoat or pantaloons as a woman, although the work done by each may be equally good. In those employments which are peculiar to women, their time is estimated at only half the value of that of men. A woman who goes out to wash, works as hard in proportion as a wood sawyer, or a coal heaver, but she is not generally able to make more than half as much by a day's work. The low remuneration which women receive for their work, has claimed the attention of a few philanthropists, and I hope it will continue to do so until some remedy is applied for this enormous evil. I have known a widow, left with four or five children, to provide for, unable to leave home because her helpless babes demand her attention, compelled to earn a scanty subsistence, by making coarse shirts at 12 1/2 cents a piece, or by taking in washing, for which she was paid by some wealthy persons 12 1/2 cents per dozen. All these things evince the low estimation in which woman is held. There is yet another and more disastrous consequence arising from this unscriptural notion—women being educated, from earliest childhood, to regard themselves as inferior creatures, have not that self-respect which conscious equality would engender, and hence when their virtue is assailed, they yield to temptation with facility, under the idea that it rather exalts than debases them, to be connected with a superior being.

There is another class of women in this country, to whom I cannot refer, without feelings of the deepest shame and sorrow. I allude to our female slaves. Our southern cities are wheeled beneath a tide of pollution; the virtue of female slaves is wholly at the mercy of irresponsible tyrants, and women are bought and sold in our slave markets, to gratify the brute lust of those who bear the name of Christian. In our slave States, if amid all her degradation and ignorance, a woman desires to preserve her virtue unsullied, she is either bribed or whipped into compliance, or if she dares resist her seducer, her life by the laws of some of the slave States may be, and has actually been sacrifice to the fury of the disappointed passion. Where such laws do not exist, the power which is necessarily vested in the master over his property, leaves the defenseless slave entirely at his mercy, and the suffering of some females on this account, both physical and mental, are intense. Mr. Gholson, in the House of Delegates of Virginia, in 1832, said, "He really had been under the impression that he owned his slaves. He had lately purchased four women and ten children, in whom he thought he had obtained a great bargain; for he supposed they were his own property, as were his brood mares." But even if any laws existed in the United States, as in Athens formerly, for the protection of female slaves, they would be null and void, because the evidence of a colored person is not admitted against a white, in any of our Courts of Justice in the slave States. "In Athens, if a female slave had cause to complain of any want of respect to the laws of modesty, she could seek the protection of the temple, and demand a change of owners; and such appeals were never discountenanced, or neglected by the magistrates." In Christian America, the slave has no refuge from unbridled cruelty and lust.

S. A. Forrall, speaking of the state of morals at the South, says, "Negresses when young and likely, are often employed by the planter, or his friends, to administer to their sensual desires. This frequently is a matter of speculation, for it the offspring, a mulatto, be a handsome female, 800 or 1000 dollars may be obtained for her in the New Orleans market. It is an occurrence of no uncommon nature to see a Christian father sell his own daughter, and the brother his own sister." The following is copied by the N. Y. Evening Star from the Picayune, a paper published in New Orleans. "A very beautiful girl, belonging to the estate of John French, a deceased gambler at new Orleans, was sold a few days since for the round sum of $7,000. An ugly-looking bachelor named Gouch, a member of the Council of one of the Principalities, was the purchaser. The girl is a brunette; remarkable for her beauty and intelligence, and there was considerable contention, who should be the purchaser. She was, however, persuaded to accept Gouch, he having made her princely promises." I will add but one more from the numerous testimonies respecting the degradation of female slaves, and the licentiousness of the South. It is from the Circular of the Kentucky Union, for the moral and religious improvement of the colored race. "To the female character among our black population, we cannot allude but with feeling of the bitterest shame. A similar condition of moral pollution and utter disregard of a pure and virtuous reputation, is to be found only without the pale of Christendom. That such a state of society should exist in a Christian nation, claiming to be the most enlightened upon the earth, without calling forth any particular attention to its existence, though ever before our eyes and in our families, is a moral phenomenon at once unaccountable and disgraceful." Nor does the colored woman suffer alone: the moral purity of the white woman is deeply contaminated. In the daily habit of seeing the virtue of her enslaved sister sacrificed without hesitancy or remorse, she looks upon the crimes of seduction and illicit intercourse without horror, and although not personally involved in the guilt, she loses that value for innocence in her own, as well as the other sex, which is one of the strongest safeguards to virtue. She lives in habitual intercourse with men, whom she knows to be polluted by licentiousness, and often is she compelled to witness in her own domestic circle, those disgusting and heart-sickening jealousies and strifes which disgraced and distracted the family of Abraham. In addition to all this, the female slaves suffer every species of degradation and cruelty, which the most wanton barbarity can inflict; they are indecently divested of their clothing, sometimes tied up and severely whipped, sometimes prostrated on the earth, while their naked bodies are torn by the scorpion lash.
"The whip on WOMAN's shrinking flesh!
Our soil yet reddening with the stains
Caught from her scourging warm and fresh."
Can any American woman look at these scenes of shocking licentiousness and cruelty, and fold her hands in apathy and say, "I have nothing to do with slavery"? She cannot and be guiltless.

I cannot close this letter, without saying a few words on the benefits to be derived by men, as well as women, from the opinions I advocate relative to the equality of the sexes. Many women are now supported, in idleness and extravagance, by the industry of their husbands, fathers, or brothers, who are compelled to toil out their existence, at the counting house, or in the printing office, or some other laborious occupation, while the wife and daughters and sisters take no part in the support of the family, and appear to think that their sole business is to spend the hard bought earnings of their male friends. I deeply regret such a state of things, because I believe that if women felt their responsibility, for the support of themselves, or their families it would add strength and dignity to their characters, and teach them more true sympathy for their husbands, than is now generally manifested—a sympathy which would be exhibited by actions as well as words. Our brethren may reject my doctrine, because it runs counter to common opinions, and because it wounds their pride; but I believe they would be "partakers of the benefit" resulting from the Equality of the Sexes, and would find that woman, as their equal, was unspeakably more valuable than woman as their inferior, both as a moral and an intellectual being.

Thine in the bonds of womanhood,

Sarah M. Grimké