KATE GANNETT WELLS (1838-1911) was a social activist who believed that women should concern themselves only with feminine issues, such as education, health, family and moral matters. Early in her service career, she was a member of the Massachusetts Moral Education Association, which sought to combat prostitution through better education and increased charity work by Boston women. Wells married a prominent Boston lawyer, which provided the affluent leisure that allowed her to pursue her career in public service. Wells was elected to the Boston School Committee for one term and was appointed to three eight-year terms on the Massachusetts State Board of Education. In the 1890s, she led the Massachusetts Emergency and Hygiene Association, promoting better health practices in working-class families. Wells adamantly opposed women’s suffrage, arguing that the addition of uneducated women to the voting rolls would foster confusion and unnecessary legislation, although she acknowledged that the future presence of educated women in the political process would be beneficial. She is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.
Wells writes to Edward Henry Clement, editor of the Boston Transcript, “Will you kindly send a reporter to be present at 7 Pemberton Sq. Friday May 2, 3 pm when the policemen receive their certificate of successful examination in the course of Emergency Lectures they have attended this spring.
“Kate Gannett Wells
“For the Mass Emergency &
“155 Boylston St.
“We hope he will report the matter favorably in the paper.”
Light toning. Small scrape to the front. Else very good.
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