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Mrs. THOMPSON. Is it authorized by the person who gave it to me?
Dr. McGEE. Yes, it is.
Mrs. THOMPSON. I therefore move that any further circulars distributed in this house be signed by the person responsible for them. In the East we consider it the last resort of an unscrupulous politician to distribute any circulars unsigned.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. The motion is made and seconded, but it is not debatable until presented from the platform.
Mrs. STAKELY. We notice with a great deal of pleasure that General Joseph Wheeler is a guest this morning, occupying a seat in the gallery; and I would like very much, indeed, to have him invited to a reserved seat in the President's box. [Applause.]
Numerously seconded. PRESIDENT GENERAL. The President General, I think, .
, would voice this whole audience when she would request General Wheeler to come on to the stage. [Applause.) Is it the pleasure of the house that a committee of two from the National Board shall ask General Wheeler to be present with us?
(Cries of "Yes, by all means.")
PRESIDENT GENERAL. I will name Mrs. Stakely and Mrs. Fairbanks.
READER. Mrs. Thompson's motion, “I move that any circular distributed on the floor of this house be signed by the author.".
VIrs. FOWLER. I would amend that any circular distributed on the floor of this house be approved by the President General and the National Board.
Mrs. ADAMS. Our By-Laws forbid the distribution of c'rculars without the approval of the National Board, and this circular has been handed abroad over the land, and thrown into my hand here. I find it is an anonymous communication. PRESIDENT GENERAL. We are waiting for the amendment.
Mrs. McLEAN. Pending the arrival of Mrs. Fowler's amendment, I would like to say that it is hardly a proper thing, so it appears to me, to circulate printed matter referring, whether directly or indirectly, to the members of this Congress, whether officer or delegate, during the sessions of the house. It has been done before, and I trust it will not be done again.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. Debate on the main question is not in order; we are waiting for the amendment.
Mrs. WALKER. It seems to me that an unsigned motion is something like an anonymous letter---take no notice of it.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. It is in the nature of a substitute that has been sent up. Do you wish to make it a substitute?
Mrs. THOMPSON. I do not know whether it is in order for me to change that, but I might fix my motion differently.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. You cannot be heard just yet while the amendment is pending; do you care to make it a substitute, Mrs. Fowler?
Mrs. FOWLER. I offer it as an amendment; I said I would amend by saying that.
A MEMBER. I rise to a question of privilege. I wish the order of the day resumed.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. The order of the day is called.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. Order of the day has the precedence; it is a privileged motion. Shall the order of the day now be taken up? All in favor say "aye;" opposed, “no;" we will proceed with the order of the day; consideration of amendments to the Constitution.
Miss DESHA. There is one amendment that has been offered three years in succession; for various reasons it has not been presented. The last one on the list of amendments when it was first offered, has been offered three years. I gave my word to Mrs. Fowler that I would move in this Congress that the questions of fees and dues be taken up, fairly presented, thoroughly considered, honestly voted for, and finally settled; and I would like to make that motion now.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. Will you send up your motion, M'si Desha? While this motion is being written I would like to make one request. We want to get through the business as promptly and well as it is possible. When a lady on this floor is ready with a motion, she knows what she is about to say, and I earnestly ask that that motion may be ready when she is ready to present it, in writing, and sent to the platform. Of course, I mean it should be signed.
Mrs. FAIRBANKS. Your committee wishes to report, Madam President, that General Wheeler will accept our invitation for this evening; and I wish to announce, as Chairman of the Peace Jubilee Committee, this evening, that General Joseph Wheeler will make a few remarks to us.
Mrs. RAOUL. I have a resolution all prepared, that I have been waiting for a favorable apportunity to offer; and this occasion of having General Wheeler withi us seems to me the most favorable. It is something that concerns both North and South, and after all the talk yesterday about the good feeling between the sections, this resolution will come in beautifully; and I ask that our Southern Daughters who are here will wait a little while before seconding it. I am sure of a second from the Southern Daughters, and I beg that the Northern Daughters, if they can feel it in their hearts to do it, will second this resolution. I want to offer it right now.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. This is not in order. The regular order of the day has been called. Miss Desha's motion is here now.
READER. “I move that the question of fees and dues be first considered, which is Mrs. Fowler's proposed amendment to the Constitution.”—Mary Desha.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. Are you ready for the question? All in favor will say “aye;" opposed, “no;" the motion is carried.
Mrs. FOWLER. Madam President, and Daughters of the American Revolution, please give me the credit of your attention to the few words I have to say in speaking to my amendment. This is Massachusetts' amendment, although it was also presented at the Seventh Congress by Ohio and New York-not insignificant States. I have written what I have to say, in order that I may speak more rapidly.
Is Massachusetts a factor of the Daughters of the American Revolution worthy of recognition ? Are not its more than three thousand members patriotic women and loyal to the organization? Are the historic buildings already rescued from the hands of the spoiler, repaired and marked by tablets, worth the saving? Does not almost every dwelling contain a veritable Daughter of the American Revolution, and has not every town and nearly every street a spot or building linked emphatically and inseparably with the War of the Revolution ? Is it to be wondered at that, with the present revival of patriotism there is a growing thirst and longing in the hearts of the Daughters of the American Revolution to save the landmarks, which are almost weekly being razed to the ground?
Loyal to the National Society, New England Daughters have sent to it the prescribed dues, which on the part of many, as I can easily prove, represent unmeasurable self-denial, until the National Society has waxed strong, and from its full coffers, invested beyond its expenses in bonds and various funds nearly $50,000. For some years it has been thrown also into the Continental Hall fund, to which Massachusetts Chapters and the State have willingly and generously contributed, from its surplus fund, many thousands of dollars. For four years Massachusetts has asked for a reduction of the annual dues, that is, to retain more of its funds for the limitless work seen on every hand, and which the Daughters of the American Revolution are called upon by the general public in the name of their avowed patriotism to perform. Four years ago I came to the Congress instructed to learn the fate of a resolution offered by the State Regent the previous year. I ventured to do so only to be called to order. The next year another State Regent offered an amendment for reduction. At the last Congress, although the President General ruled it was debatable, it was interrupted by a motion to adjourn. At the following session it was ruled out of order, not having been approved by the Board of Management. Again it was offered at the Seventh Congress, the power having been taken from the Board to reject. Are these repeated refusals to allow its consideration justice to Massachusetts, the seat of the American Revolution, in the name of which we exist as an organization ?
Massachusetts has taken measures to ascertain the sentiment of the States in regard to it. Twenty-four of the thirtytwo States heard from emphatically endorse the amendment. Far western States with nothing to preserve, take their pride in the National Society alone. (Cries of “Time !"and Mrs. Draper asks that she be allowed to proceed.) States approximate to the District of Columbia, which absorb the revenue, and which are benefited almost equally with it with business like action, do not favor it. The only objections made have been that the AMERICAN MONTHLY would need to be abolished, and that the glorious war record of the past year might not be shadowed by any change of base. These coming from the District of Columbia, whose opinion needed no emphasis, are both fallacious. If more individual work were done by Chapters and recorded in the Magazine the subscriptions would be doubled.
With its war record of the past year, in purchasing and fitting out an Hospital ship, and with the unremitting work of the Daughters of the American Revolution in collecting and contributing funds for its constant supply, Massachusetts would be the last State to cast a shadow upon the glorious work of which it is so proud. Our President General announced yesterday that there are 27,500 members—2,500 more than a year ago, which means a revenue of $30,000 this year, not including that from life membership fees, Lineage Books and Directory. Yet an official and unsigned type-written document issued in secret violation of the Constitution, has been circulated this week, from which one is led to believe that this and more is necessary to the life of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. When one's income is reduced it is the part of prudence to reduce expenses and there are many ways in which in this instance that can be done. It is injustice and not according to the methods of business men to cripple the work of the present generation in a city or corporation and in this instance the aspirants of individual Chapters should be fostered rather than discouraged and the Continental Hall built by bond, future generations bearing the taxes,