Original Mothers Day Proclamation, Mothers’ Day Proclamation By Julia Ward Howe

Original Mothers Day Proclamation, Mothers’ Day Proclamation By Julia Ward Howe

Original Mothers Day Proclamation

In 1870, Julia Ward Howe of Boston, Massachusetts, the famous lyricist of ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic” was appalled at the brutalities of the then ongoing Franco-Prussian War. What she did as a humanitarian reaction was make an impassioned “appeal to womanhood” to rise against war.

Mothers’ Day Proclamation By Julia Ward Howe

She wrote a proclamation the same year, had it translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Swedish, and disseminated it internationally. This powerful plea that Julia Howe wrote in 1870 is generally considered to be the original Mothers’ Day proclamation. Go down and read this historic Mothers’ Day proclamation by Julia Ward Howe. If you like it, please refer this page to your friends. Wish you a happy Mother’s Day!

Julia Ward Howe Original Mothers Day Proclamation, Mothering Sunday, Mothers Day Origin

The question forced itself on me, ‘Why do not the mothers of mankind interfere in these matters to prevent the waste of human life, which they alone bear and know the cost? I had never thought of this before. The august dignity of motherhood and its terrible responsibility now appeared to me in a new aspect.

-Julia Ward Howe


Julia Ward Howe Struggle For Mother’s Day

The “Appeal to womanhood throughout the world” (later known as “Mother’s Day Proclamation”) by Julia Ward Howe was an appeal for women to unite for peace in the world. Written in 1870, Howe’s “Appeal to womanhood” was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War.

The appeal was tied to Howe’s feminist conviction that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.

In 1872 Howe asked for the celebration of a “Mother’s Day for Peace” on 2 June of every year, but she was unsuccessful. The modern Mother’s Day, was established by Anna Jarvis 36 years later. While the day she established was different in significance from what Howe had proposed, Anna Jarvis was reportedly inspired by her mother’s work with Howe.

Julia Ward Howe Original Mothers Day Proclamation

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 decided by irrelevant agencies.

‘We will not have questions decided by irrelevant agencies.

‘Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of 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 women of one country will be too tender to 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.

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‘Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.’

As men have forsaken the plow 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 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 be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at 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.

Mother’s Day Presidential Proclamations, Speech, Thoughts


The Original Mother’s Day Proclamation

While countries around the world celebrate their own Mother’s Day at different times throughout the year, several countries, including the United States, Italy, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, and Turkey celebrate it on the second Sunday of May.

Arise, all women who have hearts!

Origin Of Mother’s Day Official Holiday

In the United States, the origins of the official holiday go back to 1870, when Julia Ward Howe – an abolitionist best remembered as the poet who wrote “Battle Hymn of the Republic” – worked to establish a Mother’s Peace Day. Howe dedicated the celebration to the eradication of war, and organized festivities in Boston for years.

In 1907, Anna Jarvis, of Philadelphia, began the campaign to have Mother’s Day officially recognized, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson did this, proclaiming it a national holiday and a “public expression of our love and reverence for all mothers.”

Today’s commercialized celebration of candy, flowers, gift certificates, and lavish meals at restaurants bears little resemblance to Howe’s original idea. There is nothing wrong with that. But here, for the record’s sake, is the proclamation she wrote in 1870, which explains, in her own impassioned words, the goals of the original holiday.

Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, our husbands shall 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 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 the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Disarm, disarm! The sword is not the balance of justice.” Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plow 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 then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each learning after his own time, the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

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In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at 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.

Woodrow Wilson Proclaims The First Mother’s Day Holiday

On this day in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson issues a presidential proclamation that officially establishes the first national Mother’s Day holiday to celebrate America’s mothers.

Mother’s Day Founder Julia Ward Howe & Anna Jarvis

The idea for a “Mother’s Day” is credited by some to Julia Ward Howe (1872) and by others to Anna Jarvis (1907), who both suggested a holiday dedicated to a day of peace. Many individual states celebrated Mother’s Day by 1911, but it was not until Wilson lobbied Congress in 1914 that Mother’s Day was officially set on the second Sunday of every May. In his first Mother’s Day proclamation, Wilson stated that the holiday offered a chance to “[publicly express] our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

In 2002, President George W. Bush echoed Wilson’s sentiments by acknowledging mothers in his official statement on Mother’s Day in 2002. He commended foster mothers as well as his own “fabulous mother” for their “love and sacrifice.” He also mentioned past presidents’ expressions of appreciation for their mothers.

He quoted John Quincy Adams as having said “all that I am my mother made me” and Abraham Lincoln’s sentiment that “all that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother? [my mother’s prayers] have clung to me all my life.” Bush’s own mother, Barbara, was a popular first lady when the elder Bush served as president from 1989 to 1992. Julia Ward Howe Original Mothers Day Proclamation.

Julia Ward Howe Declaration

Julia Ward Howe’s accomplishments did not end with the writing of her famous poem, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” As Julia became more famous, she was asked to speak publicly more often. Her husband became less adamant that she remain a private person, and while he never actively supported her further efforts, his resistance eased.

She saw some of the worst effects of the war — not only the death and disease which killed and maimed the soldiers. She worked with the widows and orphans of soldiers on both sides of the war, and realized that the effects of the war go beyond the killing of soldiers in battle.

She also saw the economic devastation of the Civil War, the economic crises that followed the war, the restructuring of the economies of both North and South.

In 1870, Julia Ward Howe took on a new issue and a new cause. Distressed by her experience of the realities of war, determined that peace was one of the two most important causes of the world (the other being equality in its many forms) and seeing war arise again in the world in the Franco-Prussian War, she called in 1870 for women to rise up and oppose war in all its forms.

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She wanted women to come together across national lines, to recognize what we hold in common above what divides us, and commit to finding peaceful resolutions to conflicts. She issued a Declaration, hoping to gather together women in a congress of action. Julia Ward Howe Original Mothers Day Proclamation

Appeal To Womanhood Throughout The World

Again, in the sight of the Christian world, have the skill and power of two great nations exhausted themselves in mutual murder. Again have the sacred questions of international justice been committed to the fatal mediation of military weapons.

In this day of progress, in this century of light, the ambition of rulers has been allowed to barter the dear interests of domestic life for the bloody exchanges of the battle field. Thus men have done. Thus men will do. But women need no longer be made a party to proceedings which fill the globe with grief and horror.

Despite the assumptions of physical force, the mother has a sacred and commanding word to say to the sons who owe their life to her suffering. That word should now be heard, and answered to as never before.

Arise, then, Christian women of this day ! Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears ! Say firmly : We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall 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, 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 the 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 out dishonor, nor violence vindicate 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 council.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take council with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, man as the brother of man, each bearing after his own kind the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God. Julia Ward Howe Original Mothers Day Proclamation

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women, without limit of nationality, may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient, and at 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.

— Julia Ward Howe.

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