Burr, Frances Ellen (1831-1923), woman suffragist
Autograph Letter Signed, Hartford, Connecticut, November 2, 1874 to Horace Cornwall

12mo, four pages, in very good, clean and legible condition.

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Frances Ellen Burr was Connecticut’s senior advocate of Women’s Suffrage. She was a co-founder of the Hartford Equal Rights Club. Burr was also a journalist and a contributor to The Woman’s Bible. Along with Isabella Beecher Hooker she formed the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association (CWSA) in 1869. Hooker was the sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher.

         Burr writes:

         “My Dear Sir,

              I have received a letter from Mrs. Gunning, wife of Prof. W. D. Gunning, the geologist, of Waltham, Mass. She wishes to know what the outlook is for forming in this city a free religious society, similar to the Radical Club of Boston, in which some of the leading minds of the day meet for discussion of some of the most interesting topics of the day – principally religious I believe.

             Prof. Gunning gave a series of geological lectures here several years ago, which were much liked at the time; & he was also here, with his wife, at the Scientific Convention last summer. They, & some others, who have talked the matter up a little, think Hartford a good point to establish such a Society, as there are many liberal minds here, & as nothing of the kind has ever been attempted here – Of course such a society would require a leader – some one who could always be depended upon to open meetings & discussions, & keep the society in running order. Prof. Gunning has signified his willingness to take such a position, if such a society could be formed here. I could think of no one so well circumstanced for undertaking this as the Unitarian Society, which I believe has a permanent fund, without any church. Of course, I know nothing as to what the views of the members of the society would be likely to be on such a subject, but thought it would do no harm to lay the subject before them. It certainly seems as if Hartford ought to afford a field wide enough for one such society as that proposed. We have suffered from a dearth of lectures & discussions on liberal topics – such a society once formed, it would doubtless become the gathering point for the best minds in this vicinity, as well as occasional lights from other states. There is a good deal of intellectual material & independent thought now lying useless & unknown which could thus be utilized to the benefit of us all. …”