Victoria, Go On!

Mrs. M. B. Sanger, Letter, Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly, April 5, 1873

Mrs. Victoria C. Woodhull:

Dear Sister—My name has never found its way to the Weekly, and am I claiming too great a privilege in thrusting it upon you now?  I can remain silent no longer.  Your words so divinely uttered have thrilled my heart of hearts and my soul bows in reverence before you.  How grandly, how fearlessly you grasped the lever which must eventually reach into the great heart of all reform.  All honor to you, Victoria, who dared “to strike at the knot and let the splinters fly.”  It is said the worst form of ague in the world is the dumb ague, and I believe you have proven that the “dumb moral ague” is the most disastrous of all morals to society.  Your sentiments and principles are meeting with responses from the heart-wells of some of our noblest men and women.  Your best and truest friends I find to be among the chaste and cultured.  Your enemies seem born of two classes: the woefully ignorant and the lewd and licentious.  Your friends believe that when an honest man is suspected of theft he is willing to have his pockets searched; and in regard to your enemies, “A wounded bird always flutters.”

The man or woman who loves freedom in its grandest sense and prays for the emancipation of soul and body, from the wrongs that are becoming more apparent and radical every day, take you by the hand and exclaim “Victoria, go on!”  There are some natures so base and gross of themselves they can have no conception of what you mean by “free love,” and in their sensualism they appeal to the back brain alone, forgetting that in that locality, all the devils of humanity are born.  No, they do not comprehend your meaning any more than a person unacquainted with mathematics can comprehend the problems of Euclid.  I believe there is a pure, true love that may raise the soul almost into the atmosphere of the divine.  It must meet its level and when it finds its own the two become inseparably bound and begin to live their true lives.  Such a love is as far above passional attraction and sensualism as we had ever believed the heavens to be above the earth and can never work the loved or love ill.  Ever since the world began, truth and error have grappled with each other.  Perhaps their contest was never fiercer than at present, but why need we fear the result?

“Truth will conquer at the last,
As round and round we run;
Ever the right comes uppermost,
—And ever is justice done.”

How long had we endeavored to cure the filthy sores of vice and iniquity, eating out the healthfulness of humanity’s great heart, by applying gentle, external remedies and administering soothing cordials; what we had prescribed for the poison proved to be no antidote at all.  You located the disease and declare only a thorough purging can cure.  You are endeavoring to convince the world that the “Naked Truth,” unadorned, is adorned the most, and that it is better to die a martyred hero than live a moral coward.  My letter is growing to the length of an epistle; I must draw to a finale.  As disconnected as these hastily written thoughts may seem and as mangled as my ideas, believe they are extended with a silent accompaniment of love and sympathy.

Oh! yes, work on, the people yet must feel
You utter truths in this eventful hour.
What though a Comstock chained you in a bastile
And hushed your thunderings for one little hour
You gathered force within the felon’s cell,
Came to the world with grander, nobler power;
Your words more keenly than the sword shall tell,
Assert your freedom now and evermore.

Truly yours,
Mrs. M. B. Sanger
S. Boston, Mass., March 12, 1873


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