Bagley, Sarah
 
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Courtesy: Ohio Historical Society, Lilly Martin Spencer Collection
Transcribed: University of Massachusetts Lowell, Center for Lowell History
See: Sarah George Bagley Essay

                                     Springfield, Mass March 13

Mrs. Martin
            Dear Madam – You will pardon 
my long, delay when I tell you that your 
arrived in Lowell during my absence from 
the City to attend the sick bed of our aged father, who 
I am happy to inform you has, recovered.  I would 
offer an apology for my long silence but be 
assured that you have given no offence in writing 
but I have always felt a great interest in your 
communications.  I feel that I am deeply indebted 
for your generosity and hope you will let me 
hear often from you.  My duties have been 
very pressing of late, and the business of my 
office has almost made me ungrateful to 
my correspondents.  I left Lowell about three months 
since and am in charge of the magnetic 
telegraph in this place during the present year. 
I have an aged father and mother to support, 
to whom my duty is first and greatest. 
I regret to say to you, that the “Voice of Industry” 
is quite conservative and must be with its 
present conductor.  The present editor thinks 
that a middle ground or half and half in our 
opinions is good policy.  He thinks that 
truth ought to be spoken in such honeyed 
words that if it hits any one, it shall 
not affect him unfavorably. 
He found fault with my communications 
and I would not remain on the committee 
of publication with him for editor. 
He does not want a female department 
it would conflict with the opinions of 
the mushroom aristocracy that he seeks 
to favor, and beside it would not be 
                                  dignified.

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I am sick at heart when I look into the 
social world and see woman so willingly 
made a dupe to the beastly selfishness of 
man.  A mere donkey for his use and no 
right, even to her own person. 

I most fervently thank Heaven that 
I have never introduced into existence 
a being to suffer the privations that I 
have endured.  For instance – 
the man who tended this office before 
me had four hundred dollars per year 
I three and still the business has been 
on the increased all the time. 
But I am a woman and it is not worth 
so much to a company for me to write 
a letter as it would be for a man. 

Well, the world is quite satisfied with 
the present arrangement, and we can only 
protest against such a state of things, 
and strive to arouse the minds of others 
to their state of servitude and dependence 
on the caprice and whims and selfishness 
of man.  I feel as though my labors 
for the public good are nearly ended. 
It takes time and that is my only means. 
It takes money that I can ill afford. 
My father has had two severe fevers the 
last year.  I am their only dependence 
and it has called for every shilling I 
could earn more than my absolute 
wants.  Still I shall toil on with 
the little in my power until my 
task on earth is ended which will 
soon be. 

Pardon me dear Mrs. Martin for writing 
so sadly.  I feel so, and am only 
giving expression to my depressed soul.
 
 

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To labor year after year and have 
only an ungrateful return from those 
you are striving to bless, is truly discouragy. 
But it is the way of the world, and 
to think a thought that has not been 
in stereotype for forty years is so ultra 
that it can be hardly countenanced 
in refined society. 

Let us trust on and try to leave a 
little seed on earth that shall bear 
fruit when we shall pass away.
I hope to see Father Owen this spring 
I am anxious to have some kind word 
of encouragement from him. 
Do write some kind word to me 
on the reception of this, it will be 
gratefully received. 
I will not neglect to answer you 
so long again.  I had no time 
today but sit up an hour later 
to say to you, that you are kindly 
remembered. 

           Accept my best wishes 
and let me hear from you often. 

           yours Sarah G. Bagley

Dir      Springfield, Mass

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