Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Letter 145: She is not militant

The Mansions
466 Guy Street
May 2, 1913

Dear Mother,

You have had Flora's letter by now so know that we arrived safely with our trunk and are now settled in our little flat. Marion W came up this morning - had a splendid trip and looking fine.

Henry (her brother Henry Watters) gave her a new suit and hat.

Ethel was in this afternoon so she can tell you all about our place of abode.

I only saw her for about two hours and then we were shopping. She is looking so well and had a pretty new grey suit and a becoming hat.

My throat is better, but I did suffer from it for a few days. Marion and Marion W went up to the Shaw's last night.

They were quite nice and took over the telephone so we have that off our hands.

Tell Mr. And Mrs. McMillan to call and see us. We are in most days after four.

Some of us anyway. Tell him I was sorry to miss those Methodist jokes. And if he hears any others to keep them stored for me.

What a house we left behind us. I suppose you are working all the time trying to get things staightened out. We are going to try and hear Mrs. Snowden, but she is not a militant for which I am sorry.


Saturday morning Marion and I went down to the St. Antoine market and I had my first real marketing experience. We got along nicely. Got strawberries, potatoes, roast of beef, grapefruit. Pineapples. Fruit is selling quite reasonable.

Mrs. Snowden was Mrs. Philip Snowden, suffragist and wife of a prominent UK politican. Reports reveal she was a stunning-looking woman and a superb speaker famous for her dazzling wit. Few speakers brought in from the UK admitted to being militant, for some people believed militant suffragettes were as good as criminals. One exception was a Miss Barbara Wylie, who came to Canada in 1912. Not a famous British suffragette, she had a brother who was a politician in the Canadian West. Edith likely heard Wylie speak as well, as she clipped out a newspaper report of her arrival at the Montreal where she had been invited to speak by the Montreal Council of Women. Apparently, reporters were surprised (and delighted) to see a handsome and well-dressed woman -and not some battle-axe- detrain. "Miss Wylie (it turns out) is a tall really beautiful looking woman with every appearance of refinement and intelligence above the ordinary."

Mrs. Snowden had given a speech in Montreal in 1909 and on this occasion in 1913 she was there as a guest of the Canadian Council of Women that was holding its annual general meeting in the city. Carrie Derrick, President of the Montreal Council of Women claimed at the same meeting that not all of the members of the Canadian Council had decided to support the the cause of woman suffrage. The very next year she would help found the Montreal Suffrage Association, which was not militant in its views.

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