Mother’s Day, As It Began — Julia Ward Howe

The modern commercialized celebration of gifts, flowers and candy, bears little resemblance to Julia Ward Howe‘s original idea. Here is the Proclamation that explains, in her own powerful words, the goals of the original Mother’s Day in the United States

English: Portrait drawing of poet, anti-slavel...

Portrait drawing of poet, antislavery activist and suffragette Julia Ward Howe.

– – –

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means

Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

– – –

To all mothers and children of mothers, wishes of strength, peace and hope for this Mother’s Day.



Categories: American history, Family, Holidays, Life, Literature, Love, Marriage, Poetry

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. I have never seen this before. So very, very interesting!! It’s worthy of a PBS “American Experience” or “American Masters” updated piece on Julia Ward Howe.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Mama Bear Musings and commented:
    Interesting Post!

    Like

  3. How interesting! I had never heard this before. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Reblogged at MamaBearMusings.

    Like

  4. Reblogged this on annetteharris42 and commented:
    This was interesting to me

    Like

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