Josephine Butler to Miss Forsaith

Scope and Content

Photocopy of letter. Written from Hotel Gibbon, Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland.

The missing letters have all turned up: 'Poor Mr Stuart, I sometimes suspected he was the culprit.' (See letters of 2 and 4 Jan 1894 in which she gives directions about copying the letters and comments on the delay)

The letters are to be sent to the Bristol ladies, but wishes for Numbers 4 and 5 to be sent to Lady Henry Somerset and Miss Willard. The reason for this was that while staying recently with the Meuricoffres at Naples an announcement appeared in all the Italian papers that 'Lady Henry Somerset and Miss Frances Willard would visit Italy next Autumn, in the course of a cruise round the world...that they would visit the King of Italy and the Pope of Rome, and then proceed to Greece, Turkey, Egypt, India etc in order to present to all the Governments of the Earth a gigantic petition against legalised vice and intemperance.'

Her sister's comment was '...they will have all the credit and triumph when it is you who have sown the seed, and nearly died of it'. Josephine Butler thought, however, that it would not come amiss if they were given some idea of the present state of our questions in Italy and also what she herself had done to promote the campaign until she became ill. Also they should know that a Temperance Crusade will not at present take root there. She therefore asks her friend to send the designated copies to Lady Henry.

She has come to Lausanne for a special Committee and Conference (convened by Henry Minod) to talk over all their International work. She is hoping to meet her son Charles after the Committee meeting on Tuesday. 'he [Charles] is up among the snows'. He is trying to get rid of the African fever in the cold air of the Alps. (See letter of 19 Jan 1894 Josephine Butler to Stanley where she says she is waiting for 'news of the East African German ship coming in' [to Naples])

'Could you indicate to me what I could say about India [in 'Dawn'].

'I have felt very anxious about this great medical congress in Rome, of which 'Syphilographia' forms a part, but our Roman friends are on the watch.'

'His name [ie Dr Pelizzani, a kind of 'Italian Dr Nevins'] has appeared lately in Rome as a member of the huge Medical Congress. His presence there, and that of other zealous and watchful friends, gave me confidence that no immoral and unjust proposition would be entertained, if brought forward in the section dealing with special maladies. Mrs Burfoot [who often acted as secretary to Josephine Butler and reported on Federation Congresses] reported on 14 Apr 1894: 'Concerning the proceedings in section 17, as far as I can learn, the doctors seem to have confined themselves to the purely medical question, without touching on its political aspect, or asking for further State aid or protection.' ('Dawn' May 1894 p 1-7)

Administrative / Biographical History

For note on India following the Report of the two American ladies, see letter dated 4 Jan 1894.

Biog: Lady Henry Somerset, Miss Willard, Chevalier Meuricoffre, Mrs Thomas, Miss de Selmcourt, M Minod, Charles (son), Dr Bushnell and Mrs Andrew