Why is Hungary important for the International Woman Suffrage Alliance?

International Woman Suffrage Alliance

September 7, 1905.

Frauelein Rosika Schwimmer,

VII. Arena Strasse 7, Budapest, Hungary

My dear little Hungarian Friend:

It is with great pleasure that I have complied with your request to send some suffrage literature. I have asked our headquarters to send you quite a package, and hope it will be in your hands upon your arrival in Budapest.

I must plead very guilty for not having sent you the article which I promised, but the real reason I have not sent it is that I did not know what to say. You asked me to write something to show that the women of America were not neglectful of their homes and their duties as wives and mothers. Now they are not so, but I thought it is a very difficult thing to prove that they were not neglectful and hardly knew how to get at it, so I have not done it. If you will tell me again a little more definitely just what you want, I will try my hand at the article if it is not now too late.

It quite stirs my blood to learn of the prospective bill in Hungary. If I only knew your language I should be tempted to come on the first steamer and join you, in the hope that I might be of some service to you in this new struggle. As it is, I can only hope that you are meeting with success, and that the women of Hungary will secure something from the new movement.

I thank you for having sent me the paper containing your article, which I have read with great interest.

This opportunity in Hungary interests me greatly; in fact, all Americans have an especial interest in the movement toward greater liberty for the people of Hungary. Although it was before my day that Louis Kossuth came to this country, yet his presence here made so profound an impression that his visit has passed into history and has especially familiarized Americans with the movement at that time. I believe he was the only man who ever been permitted to address an American Congress in session. Something of the spirit of the leaders of that time must still be at work in your country, and I hope that spirit will take possession of your Parliament and give not only to Hungary but all the world some good news of human liberty achieved. If there is anything in the world which I could do to help you, I would do so with greatest willingness.

I am glad you could have the little visit with Dr. Jacobs, who is a dear helpful friend. I am so grieved at the loss of her husband. He was such a brave, great, strong man, that I cannot feel resigned to his departure from this world where such men are so rare.

I shall write very soon to your President concerning matters of the International Alliance. In the meantime, if there is anything I can do, you have but to command me and I shall be at your service. With best of wishes to you, the new Suffrage Society, and to your beloved Hungary, I am

Yours truly,

Carrie Chapman Catt

New York Public Library Manuscripts and Archives Division. Rosika Schwimmer Papers, Box 7.

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