Two Cheers for Social Purity

Thursday, February 16, 1871

Some forty women gather at an afternoon meeting of the Society for the Promotion of Social Purity. The Society’s goals are “to extend to the fallen a true sympathy; to ascertain, as far as possible, their present condition, and the causes which led to their fall, as well as the sources from which their support is derived; to give to the public information respecting the present condition of the evil; to disseminate scientific knowledge in regard to the relations of the sexes, and to urge the observance of physiological and moral law; to assist in creating and sustaining a pubic sentiment which shall demand of purity of life exactly equal to that which they require of their sisters and wives.”  The meeting is adjourned when, because of a misunderstanding, the scheduled speaker, Boston-based reformer Bronson Alcott, fails to appear.