Josephine Butler to Mrs Wilson

Scope and Content

Written from Liverpool. Complains of being quite ill and having to send for Dr Carter [this was the beginning of her bad illness which took her out of active work for 2-3 months].Still very worried about the Paris appeal for an English worker. Various names considered. Suggests several foreign (but not Continental) names for Council such as William Lloyd Garrison (USA) and Saul Solomons, MP Cape Town. Discusses what is the best thing to do with Jenny Percy who has little education and is childish in nature will not be easy to suit with a place.

Administrative / Biographical History

Monday [19 Apr 1875 No date but in letter of Thursday 15 Apr refers to the Percy daughter being with them so either 19 or 26 Apr 1875]

'I have been quite ill ... I have to stop often in the middle of my work with faintness'

This marked the beginning of a serious breakdown; she was forced to call in her doctor (Dr Carter) who said she must at once give up all the work she was doing. From Apr to the end of Jun she was obliged to leave everything to other people, and after that came a long period of convalescence when she gradually returned to her normal life

'In London they don't care one bit about this Paris appeal'

[an Englishman to help them stand up to argue with Mettetal etc.]

See letter of 9 Apr 1875 JB to HJ Wilson

'They think their conference far more important'

This presumably refers to the 1st International Conference, which met in Liverpool 19 Mar 1875 and formally constituted the British and Continental Federation for the Abolition of Govt Regulation of Prostitution. JB with Mr Wilson became joint secs of the IF

'It is a lie about the Commune ... and we don't ask for 'free licentiousness'

This presumably refers to what she wrote in a letter Apr 1871 to Mme Troubnikoff: 'j'ai lu dans le 'Daily News' ... que la Commune de Paris desireuse de service la cause de femmes, avait aboli les bureaux qui s'occupaient des Moeurs ...' She goes on to express a hope that there may be some supporters of this in the administration which will be set up by the national government, and so prevent the removal of all such horrors [i.e. control of all prostitutes by the police]

'What do you think of S J Capper? he is fluent in French and spoke well in London at the Westminster Palace Conference. He is too fussy for my taste but he may do'

This was presumably the Englishman suggested for helping the French stand up to argue with the Police des Moeurs [see note above]. Capper was present at Conference at St Georges Hall, Liverpool, 25 Jan 1875 and had moved a Resolution. He had also spoken well at the Conference at the Westminster Palace Hotel 4 Mar 1874 where JB read a paper on her Continental work. (Rough Record 289, 25 Jan 1875) (See Rough Record 293, 4 Mar 1875)

'Raper would know it' [address of Chunder Sen]. Raper was Agent for UK Alliance (founded in 1853 for the suppression of the liquor traffic)

'I have paid to Banks for Percy fund £5 from Swiss Assoc, £2 form Paris Committee and £5 from Geneva Committee all out of my own pocket to satisfy Mr Stansfeld'

See letter of 15 Apr 1875 JB to Mrs Wilson which mentions Stansfeld's plan of getting all the foreign Cttees to subscribe to the Percy Fund

Biog: Dr Carter; Ed de Pressense; J Stansfeld; Appia; MA Humbert; Mr Samuel James Capper; R Spence Watson; Gibson; Guiseppe Nathan; Montgomery Stewart; T Borel (Pastor); Hornung; Pere Hyacinthe; Saul Somon; Banks; Mr Backhouse; Arthur Albright; William Lloyd Garrison; Dadoba Panderung; Chunder Sen; Raper; Lucretia Mott; Jenny Percy