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Stout-hearted Men

The little handful of women of the past” were joined by a handful of men, who were denounced and ridiculed for their support of women’s rights. Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s first cousin, Gerrit Smith, was one of those stalwart men. Several years ago I spoke at the Gerrit Smith National Historic Landmark in Peterboro, NY, and photographed this marker honoring him. His daughter Elizabeth Smith Miller introduced the bloomer outfit to her cousin ECS. ESM and ECS were life-long close friends. During her extended visits to Peterboro, ECS later recalled that she experienced “an atmosphere of love and peace, of freedom and good cheer.” It was where she met “scholars, philosophers, philanthropists, judges, bishops, clergymen, statesmen, and members of the nearby Oneida Indian tribe.” She listened, learned, participated, and observed how people conducted themselves. Gerrit, she noted, was “cool and calm in debate.”

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