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About The illustrated west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1891-1891 | View Entire Issue (April 11, 1891)
THE ILLUSTRATED WEST SHORE.
ADDRESS OF MRS. BERTHA HOXORE PALMER.
, President Hoard Lad) Managers, delivered More the Woman's National Council.
I came to listen and learn in this assembly of women of broad views and
high ideals, and I feel assured that the purposes of our board will be greatly
(unhered by our having been put in sympathetic touch with the leaders of
thought in the various departments of woman's work. A magnificent site
has been assigned us, and $200,000 appropriated for the construction of the
woman's building at the world's lair. Such will be, undoubtedly, kept as a
permanent memorial of woman's work after the fair is over, and in it all wo
men's organizations and convocations will find a borne. This building is to
be designed by a woman, competitive sketches having already been adver
tised for from the women architects of the country, three prizes of J 1,000,
$500 and $250 respectively, being offered for the three best designs. We
hope by thus calling attention to the work of women in architecture to aid
them to occupy a field which naturally belongs to them, that of domestic
architecture, for every man is gradually being educated by the women for
whom he builds to know what is required in a home.
We shall try to provide in this building lor all possible wants of women,
hating in view a bureau of information wkh interpreters and guides for Strang-
representing missionary societies to realize that they may aid both themselves
and us by showing the life and work of women in heathen countries. If a
child widow, for instance, from a Zenanna, could be brought, with her native
dress and surroundings, and the suffering and inhumanity to which she is sub
jected shown, it would arouse such an interest on the subject as years of talk
would not produce. The native weaving, pottery, ornaments, costumes, house
hold utensils, etc., from these countries would also be of the greatest interest
and value. Our building and its facilities will be offered free to all
the women of the country.
' For the first time in our history the mothers, wives and daughters of
America have been permitted to assist in the management of an important
national enterprise, and have been allowed the the high, but demoralizing priv
ilege of slipping their fingers into the national purse laughter in order that
they might prepare an object lesson showing the progress of women during
the century in which educational and other privileges have been accorded her.
We wish to show that with the enlargement of her opportunities, her sphere
has extended and broadened until she works successfully in almost every field
heretofore given up exclusively to her, except that she can do many things
and do them all well, and that there are no intellectual heights she can not
scale. Hers are essentially the arts of peace and progress, and her best work
is shown in the reforms she has had the courage and the ideality to inaugurate
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en, parlors and balconies where ladies may rest and chat, an exhibitors' club
room, a model kitchra where demonstrative lessons may be given, we nope,
without charge; a loan exhibit ol colonial, old Dutch, Scandinavian and other
relict recalling the early history of our country and the various natioralities
from which w are sprung, and also of objects developed in the home by the
taste of wxxnen. One wing of the building writ possibly be devoted to show
ing the reform and charitable organiiatioris originated and earned on by wo
men, and the other to the eihibk which will be sent by our auxiliary associa
tions formed through the instrumentality of our foreign ministers in the coun
tries to which the)" are accredited, and by means of wruch w shiH be enabled
to indicate the condition and attainments of women in every part of the world.
We shall also have an administration room, committee rooms and an as
sembly room for all lectures, congresses and assemblies which may be de
sired by women. In the main gallery there wiH be probably shown some of
the most brilliant ashievrmenls of woman's hand and brain. There will
doubtless be in many cases duplicates of objects entered for competition in
the general exhibM under the regular classification, the duplicates being placed
in our building to mphasire the fact that they are the work of women.
In reading a list of the organizations represented here it occurred to me
that wr might obtain alto a most unusual exhibit from the missionary stations
in the inccrui))e and unftrurntrd parts of the earth, and I beg the ladies
against time-honored wrongs, both legislative and social, and in the gradual
elevation of the standard of morality.
We feel the necessity of showing this beautiful influence and the ad
vance which it has caused, but are handicapped by the fact that the most val
uable part is spiritual and that it is difficult to show progress in abstract things,
except by a mass of statistics which become significant only when intelligently
and systematically read. Will you not aid us with your experience and
thought to show woman's work as a beautiful whole, with its animating spirit,
and not as a mere mass of material things ? We wish the world's fair of 180J
to be memorable as a great exhibition, greater than any which ever preceded
it. but we also wish its history to be a golden page in the annals of woman's
We urgently rrquest, therefore, that each organization represented here
appoint a committee of rive of its most able women to consider the work we
are trying to do for our sex at the fair, and to present to us at an early day
their suggestions and advice as to how we may best accomplish the great end
w-e have in view, and to inform us in what manner their associations will be
able to cooperate with our board in its work, and we ask that they send their
suggestions, applications for space, etc., to our headquarters in Chicago, where
they win be gladly received and most carefully considered and acted upon.
The board most cordially and pressing)- invites this council to hold its niter-