Josephine Butler to Miss Forsaith

Scope and Content

Typed copy of letter. Written from Ragaz, Canton St Gall.

Finds age 'getting upon me rapidly now. Not yet feeling at all rested after the Geneva Conference [see note], though ten days away'. It was a wonderful Conference and she thinks that the Dreyfus case has helped the Society [see note]. 'The upholders of Justice in the Dreyfus flocked to us from all sides'. They now understand our abolitionist cause as never before'. It has also led to an entente between the freethinkers of France and the Protestant pastors. She comments on the Brussels (Med.) Conference which was such a success and of which Dr Fiaux gave them such an interesting account at Geneva [see note]

Refers to what she fears is the coming war against the Transvaal which she feels 'may cost England very dear in lives, in money and in honour' [See note]

Will probably stay in Switzerland the greater part of the winter. Asks her friend to post on this letter to the American ladies in India (Dr Bushnell and Mrs Andrew) [See note]

Administrative / Biographical History

'Geneva Conference and Brussels (Med) Conference' See letter card of 2 Oct 1899 JB to Henry J Wilson

'Drefus case' This began in 1894 when Dreyfus was accused of selling military secrets to the Germans, found guilty, and sent to Devil's Island. From then till 1899 when he was brought back to France for retrial. JB's letters have constant reference to what she regarded as a gross miscarriage of justice

'Storm Bell' A monthly newspaper published by JB. Ran from Jan 1898 to Jul 1900

'This dreadful war against the Transvaal'

The Boers delivered their ultimatum to the British Government on 9 Oct 1899 and war started on 10 Oct.

Our two dear friends in India' Dr Bushnell and Mrs Andrew made their 3rd visit to India in 1899 and spent 1 year and 2 months in the country (their 1st visit occupied the winter of 1891/2). An account of the year spent there was given to the Cttee of the LNA and published in the annual report of that society. The principal portion of the Report may be found in the 'Shield' Jan 1901 p 1

Biog: Yves Guyot, Dr Fiaux, Dr K Bushnell and Mrs Andrew, Mrs de Selincourt, M Minod