Josephine Butler to the Miss Priestmans

Scope and Content

Written from La Gordonne, Perroy, Vaud, Switzerland (her sister Hatty's house)

'I have written suggestions to Westminster for their Committee to-day'

This Committee was to prepare for the Conference at Birmingham on 13 Nov to protest against a revival of the Contagious Diseases Acts. It was called by the British Committee of the Federation.

'I have advised them not to have Lady H Somerset and Miss Willard for the public meeting proposed'. There were two reasons: 1) 'that they are so much more identified with half a dozen other movements than with ours' and 2) 'that they are neither of them clear on our question'. A letter from Josephine Butler to Miss Priestman dated 2 Jun [1896] made the same point about the Annual Meeting of the Ladies' National Association: 'She has no connection with the Ladies' National Association and her ideas are vague'. She would like Mrs Fawcett to speak: 'She lacks warmth rather but she is clear and deeply convinced of the vital character of the Abolitionist Movement'. Josephine longs to attend herself but dare not return in Nov. 'I follow with intense interest this movement and also that for the Armenians'.

Administrative / Biographical History

For other letters about the Birmingham Conference see:

Oct 1896 - Josephine Butler to Stanley

27 Oct - Josephine Butler to Miss Forsaith

15 Nov - Miss Mary Priestman to Josephine Butler

18 Nov - Josephine Butler to the Miss Priestmans and Mrs Tanner

A full report was given in the 'Sentinel' Dec p 157.

'The Armenian Question arose in 1878 when promised reforms never materialised; unrest broke out and there were massacres by Turkish troops in 1895'. The Armenia Question remained unresolved until the First World War when those who could fled to Russia and set up a Republic which finally became a Republic incorporated in the USSR (1936). (Hutchinson's 20th century Encylopaedia). For earlier Note on the 'Armenian Question' see letter of 26 Sep 1896 Josephine Butler to Stanley.

Biog: Lady Henry Somerset, Miss Willard, Mrs Fawcett