The History of Woman Suffrage Volume V Part 12

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The _Oregonian_ said: "Each program given by the convention seems to outs.h.i.+ne the preceding one but last night's was the best thus far."

The speakers were Mrs. Ella S. Stewart, former president of the Illinois Suffrage a.s.sociation; the Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell (N.

J.); Mrs. Mary J. Coggeshall (Ia.); Miss Gail Laughlin (N. Y.); Judge Stephen A. Lowell, one of Oregon's leading jurists. Judge Lowell reviewed the political situation, the evils that had crept into the Government and the remedies that had been tried and failed and he summed up his conclusion by saying: "The reforms of the last century have come from women. Man has few to his credit because he could not measure them by the only standard he had mastered, that of the dollar.

Witness the movement for female education led by Mary Lyon, the birth of the Red Cross in the work of Florence Nightingale, the inst.i.tution of modern prison methods under the inspiration of Elizabeth Fry and the campaigns for temperance and social purity under the leaders.h.i.+p of Frances Willard. The electorate needs the inspiring influence of women at the ballot box and the full mission of this republic to the world will never be met until she is admitted there. Not color or creed or s.e.x but patriotic honesty must be the test of citizens.h.i.+p if the republic lives."

Mrs. Stewart took up the objections made by many of the clergy to woman suffrage and applied these to the ministers themselves. "They should not vote," she said with fine sarcasm, "because like women they are exempt from jury duty. They seldom go to war--some of them are too old, others too delicate, some too near-sighted, some too far-sighted.

Ministers as a rule are not heavy tax-payers. Many of them do not want to vote and do not use the vote they have. A preacher has not time to vote. It might lead him to neglect his pastoral duties. Political feeling often runs high and if he voted it might make quarrels in the church. The minister has a potent indirect influence. He would be contaminated by the corruption of politics. He is represented by his male relations; they are not as good and pure as he is and are probably immune from contamination by politics."

Mrs. Catt, who presided, in presenting the Rev. Mrs. Blackwell, one of the first to make the fight for the right of women to speak in public, said: "The combination of her sweet personality and her invincible soul has won friends for woman suffrage wherever she has gone." Her address on Suffrage and Education showed the evolution in woman's work. "My grandmother taught me to spin," she said, "but the men have relieved womankind from that task and as they have taken so many industrial burdens off of our hands it is our duty to relieve them of some of their burdens of State." Introducing Mrs. Coggeshall of Iowa Mrs. Catt said: "When I get discouraged I think of her and for many a year she has been one of my strongest inspirations." A Portland paper commented: "Her snow-white hair and demure face give no indication of the brilliant repartee and sharp argument of which she is capable." In her Word from the Middle West she said: "Its women are determined to have the ballot if they have to bear and raise the sons to give it to them. This scheme is in active operation. I myself have raised three--eighteen feet for woman suffrage--and others have done better.

No bugle can ever sound retreat for the women of the Middle West." The _Oregonian_ said of Miss Laughlin's address:

Her arguments are the straight, convincing kind that leave nothing for the other fellow to say. She comes to Oregon a lawyer of New York who is proudly boasted of, and justly, by her fellow workers as the woman who carried off the oratorical honors of Cornell and won for that inst.i.tution the champions.h.i.+p in intercollegiate debating contests.... In asking for a "Square Deal" Miss Laughlin said:

"'A square deal for every man.' These words of President Roosevelt were more discussed during our last presidential campaign than was any party platform plank. The growing prominence of the doctrine of a square deal is of vital significance to us who stand for equal suffrage, as we ask only for this. It has been invoked chiefly against 'trusts.' We invoke the doctrine of a square deal against the greatest 'trust' in the world--the political trust--which is the most absolute monopoly because entrenched in law itself and because it is a monopoly of the greatest thing in the world, of liberty itself. The exclusion of women from partic.i.p.ation in governmental affairs means the going to waste of a vast force, which, if utilized, would be a great power in the advance of civilization.... But there depends on the success of the equal suffrage movement something more valuable even than national prosperity and that is the preservation of human liberty. Now, as in 1860, 'the nation cannot remain half slave and half free,' and either women must be made free or men will lose the liberty which they enjoy."

Sunday services were conducted at 4:30 in the First Congregational church by the Rev. Eleanor Gordon, pastor of the First Unitarian church of Des Moines, Ia., a.s.sisted by Dr. Shaw and the Rev. Eliza Tupper Wilkes of Los Angeles, with a special musical program. Miss Gordon had filled the Unitarian pulpit in the morning, giving an eloquent sermon on Revelations of G.o.d. Mrs. Charlotte Perkins Gilman had preached in the Congregational church in the morning and the Rev.

Mrs. Blackwell in the evening. Miss Laura Clay gave a Bible reading and exposition in the Taylor Street Methodist Episcopal church in the evening. The Rev. J. Whitcomb Brougher, pastor of the White Temple, the large Baptist church, invited Miss Anthony to occupy its pulpit and expound "any doctrine she had at heart." The _Oregonian_ said: "She took him at his word and got in some of the best words for suffrage that have been put before the Portland public. There was such enthusiasm over the venerable founder and leader of the suffrage movement that when she appeared on the rostrum the applause was as vigorous as though it had not been Sunday and the place a church.

There was not room in the big Temple for another person to squeeze past the doors." The papers quoted liberally from the sermons of all and the Portland _Journal_ said: "Each preached to a congregation that taxed the capacity of the church.... The welcome accorded the women by the Portland pastors was sharply in contrast with the hostility shown by the clergy when equal suffrage conventions began in the middle of the last century.[40]

The Monday evening session was opened by Willis Duniway, who gave a glowing appreciation of the work of the National American Suffrage a.s.sociation and said in the course of a strong speech that he wanted to see woman suffrage because it was right and because he wanted the brave pioneer women who had worked for it so long to get it before they pa.s.sed away. "I want my mother to vote," he declared amid applause.[41] "The basis of safe and sane government is justice, which has its roots in const.i.tutional liberty and means equal rights and opportunities.... I claim no right or privilege for myself that I would not give to my mother, wife and sister and to every law-abiding citizen." When he had finished his mother rose and said dryly: "That, dear women from the north, east, south and west, is one of Mrs.

Duniway's poor, neglected children!"

Miss Mary N. Chase, president of the New Hamps.h.i.+re a.s.sociation, spoke convincingly on The Vital Question, taking as the keynote: "A republic based on equal rights for all is not the dream of a fanatic but the only sane form of government." I. N. Fleischner, who had just been elected to the school board largely by the votes of women, a.s.sured the convention of his approval and support of the measures it advocated and said he hoped to see the women enjoying the full right of suffrage in Oregon in the very near future.

Mrs. Florence Kelley, executive secretary of the National Consumers'

League, spoke with deeper understanding than would be possible for any other woman of The Young Bread-winner's Need. "We have in this country," she said, "2,000,000 children under the age of sixteen who are earning their bread. They vary in age from six and seven in the cotton mills of Georgia, eight, nine and ten in the coal-breakers of Pennsylvania and fourteen, fifteen and sixteen in more enlightened States.... In some of the States children from six to thirteen may legally be compelled to work the whole night of twelve hours," and she described the heart-breaking conditions under which they toil. She urged the need of woman's votes to destroy the great evil of child labor and said: "We can enlist the workingmen on behalf of our enfranchis.e.m.e.nt just in proportion as we strive with them to free the children."

In introducing Mr. Blackwell, Dr. Cora Smith Eaton, who was presiding, said: "As we came across the continent what impressed me most was the mountains. First came the foothills, then the high mountains and then the grand, snow clad peaks. Some of us are like the foothills, just raised a little above the women who have all the rights they want; then come those on a higher level of public spirit and service, who are like the mountains; and then the pioneers rising above all like the snow covered peaks." Taking the ground that "the perpetuity of republican inst.i.tutions depends on the speedy extension of the suffrage to women," Mr. Blackwell said in his sound, logical address: "How can we reach the common sense of the plain people, without whose approval success is impossible?... A purely masculine government does not fully represent the people, the feminine qualities are lacking. It is a maxim among political thinkers that 'every cla.s.s that votes makes itself felt in the government.' Women as a cla.s.s differ more widely from men than any one cla.s.s of men differs from another. To give the ballot to merchants and lawyers and deny it to farmers would be cla.s.s legislation, which is always unwise and unjust, but there is no cla.s.s legislation so complete as an aristocracy of s.e.x. Men have qualities in which they are superior to women; women have qualities in which they are superior to men, both are needed. Women are less belligerent than men, more peaceable, temperate, chaste, economical and law-abiding, with a higher standard of morals and a deeper sense of religious obligation, and these are the very qualities we need to add to the aggressive and impulsive qualities of men."

The _Journal_ in commenting on this address said: "A venerable and historical figure is that of Henry B. Blackwell, who in company with his daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell, is in attendance upon the national suffrage convention. This snowy-haired, white-bearded patriarch embodies in his voice, his presence, his interest in every pa.s.sing event, in his appreciation of every beauty of earth and sky, in the s.h.i.+fting panorama of nature, the loyal spirit of freedom, the true spirit of manhood that has dominated his pa.s.sing years."[42]

A valuable report on Industrial Problems Relating to Women and Children was made by Mrs. Kelley, chairman of the committee, which she began by saying that during 1905 eleven States had improved their Child Labor Laws or adopted new ones and in every State suffragists had helped secure these laws. She said that wherever woman suffrage was voted on its weakness proved to be among the wage-earners of the cities and she urged that the a.s.sociation submit to the labor organizations its bill in behalf of wage-earning women and children with a view to close cooperation. To the workingmen woman suffrage meant chiefly "prohibition" and an effort should be made to convince them that it includes a.s.sistance in their own legislative measures.

Mrs. Kate S. Hilliard (Utah) answered the question, Will the Ballot Solve the Industrial Problem? Wallace Nash spoke on the work of the Christian Cooperative Federation. The leading address of the afternoon was made by Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch of Chicago on The Educational Problem. "It is a strange anomaly in American public life," he said, "that we have given our schools largely into the hands of women who must teach history and patriotism but are not considered competent to vote. I plead for the same education for boys and girls and I urge you to take a deep interest in the public schools." He gave testimony to the excellent legislative work women had done along many lines and declared that "women pay taxes and do public service and hold up before men the standard of righteousness and they ought to have a vote," and closed by saying: "We need appeals to the heart and conscience in our schools and a revival of conscience. We need a standard of character and conscience and women can bring it into the schools much better than men can. The woman, because she is a woman, is less easily corrupted than the man who has forgotten that he had a mother. If we must disfranchise somebody, it would better be many of the men than the women."

At one meeting Judge Roger S. Greene, who was Chief Justice of the Territory of Was.h.i.+ngton when the majority of the Supreme Court gave a decision which took away the suffrage from women and who loyally tried to preserve it for them, was invited to the platform and received an ovation. At another time Judge William Galloway, a veteran suffragist, was called before the convention, and after referring to his journey to Oregon by ox-team in 1852 told of his conversion by Mrs. Duniway when he was a member of the Legislature at the age of 21. National conventions were of daily occurrence during the Exposition and a number of them called for addresses by Mrs. Catt, Dr. Shaw and other suffrage speakers. At the evening session preceding the last Miss Mary S. Anthony, 78 years old, read in a clear, strong voice the Declaration of Sentiments adopted at the famous first Woman's Rights Convention in 1848, which she had signed. The rest of the evening of July 4 was given to what the _Woman's Journal_ spoke of as "Mrs.

Catt's n.o.ble address," The New Time, beginning:

This is a glorious Fourth of July. In a hundred years the United States has grown into a mighty nation. This last has been a century of wonderful material development, but we celebrate not for this. July 4 commemorates the birth of a great idea. All over the world, wherever there is a band of revolutionists or of evolutionists, today they celebrate our Fourth. The idea existed in the world before but it was never expressed in clear, succinct, intelligible language until the American republic came into being.... Taxation without representation is tyranny, it always was tyranny, it always will be tyranny, and it makes no difference whether it be the taxation of black or white, rich or poor, high or low, man or woman.... The United States has lost its place as the leading exponent of democracy. Australia and New Zealand have out-Americanized America. Let us not forget that progress does not cease with the 20th century. We say our inst.i.tutions are liberal and just. They may be liberal but they are not just for they are not derived from the consent of the governed. What is your own mental att.i.tude toward progress? If you should meet a new idea in the dark, would you shy?

Robespierre said that the only way to regenerate a nation was over a heap of dead bodies but in a republic the way to do it is over a heap of pure, white ballots.

"Mrs. Catt was awarded the Chautauqua salute when she appeared on the platform," said the _Oregonian_, "and it was some minutes before the former president of the a.s.sociation could proceed. She spoke eloquently and at considerable length and in this a.s.semblage of remarkably bright women it was plain to be seen that she was a star of the first magnitude." It was hard for the convention to accede to Mrs.

Catt's determination to retire from even the vice-presidency of the a.s.sociation because of her continued ill health but they yielded because this was so evident. Mrs. Florence Kelley was the choice for this office and in accepting she said: "I was born into this cause. My great-aunt, Sarah Pugh of Philadelphia, attended the meeting in London which led to the first suffrage convention in 1848. My father, William D. Kelley, spoke at the early Was.h.i.+ngton conventions for years." Dr.

Eaton was again obliged to give up the office of second auditor on account of her professional duties and Dr. Annice Jeffreys Myers, who had so successfully planned and managed the convention, was almost unanimously elected. No other change was made in the board.

Among the excellent resolutions presented by the chairman of the committee, Mr. Blackwell, were the following:

Whereas, the children of today are the republic of the future; and whereas two million children today are bread-winners; and whereas the suffrage movement is deeply interested in the welfare of these children and suffragists are actively engaged in securing protection for them; and whereas working-men voters are also vitally interested in protection for the young bread-winners; therefore,

Resolved, That it is desirable that our bills for civil rights and political rights, together with the bills for effective compulsory education and the proposal for prohibiting night work and establis.h.i.+ng the eight-hour day for minors under eighteen years of age, be submitted to the organizations of labor and their cooperation secured.

The frightful slaughter in the Far East shows the imperative need of enlisting in government the mother element now lacking; therefore we ask women to use their utmost efforts to secure the creation of courts of international arbitration which will make future warfare forever afterwards unnecessary.

We protest against all attempts to deal with the social evil by applying to women of bad life any such penalties, restrictions or compulsory medical measures as are not applied equally to men of bad life; and we protest especially against any munic.i.p.al action giving vice legal sanction and a practical license.... We recommend one moral standard for men and women.

The list of Memorial Resolutions was long and included many prominent advocates of woman suffrage. Among those of California were Mrs.

Leland Stanford, Judge E. V. Spencer and the veteran workers, Mrs. E.

O. Smith and Sarah Burger Stearns, the latter formerly of Minnesota; Jas. P. McKinney and Jas. B. Callanan of Iowa; Helen Coffin Beedy of Maine. Twenty-two names were recorded from Ma.s.sachusetts, among them the Hon. George S. Boutwell, President Elmer H. Capen, of Tufts College; the Hon. William Claflin, the Rev. George C. Lorimer, Mrs.

Ednah D. Cheney; Mrs. Martha E. Root, a Michigan pioneer; Grace Espey Patton Cowles, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Montana. The Rev.

Augusta Chapin, D. D., Dr. Phoebe J. B. Waite, Bishop Huntington, James W. Clarke, Dr. Cordelia A. Greene, were among the ten from New York; Mayor Samuel M. Jones, among seven from Ohio. Five pioneers of Pennsylvania had pa.s.sed away, John K. Wildman, Richard P. White, Mrs.

Mary E. Haggart, Miss Matilda Hindman, Miss Anna Hallowell. Cyrus W.

Wyman of Vermont and Orra Langhorne of Virginia were other deceased pioneers; also Mrs. Rebecca Moore and Mrs. Margaret Preston Tanner, who were among the earliest workers in Great Britain.

Special resolutions were adopted for Mrs. Mary A. Livermore and U. S.

Senator George F. h.o.a.r of Ma.s.sachusetts; Col. Daniel R. Anthony of Kansas; Mrs. Louisa Southworth of Ohio. The eloquent resolutions prepared by Mr. Blackwell ended: "Never before in a single year have we had to record the loss of so many faithful suffragists. Let the pioneers who still survive close up their ranks and rejoice in the accession of so many young and vigorous advocates, who will carry on the work to a glorious consummation." The California delegation presented the following resolution, which was enthusiastically adopted: "Resolved, That we remember with the deepest grat.i.tude the one man who has stood steadfast at the helm, notwithstanding constant ridicule and belittlement on the part of the press during the early years of the work, unselfishly and unceasingly devoting his life to the self-imposed task year after year, never faltering, never seeking office or honors but always a worker; one who has grown gray in the service--Henry B. Blackwell."

Invitations were received to hold the next convention in Was.h.i.+ngton, Chicago and Baltimore. The by-law requiring that every alternate convention must be held in Was.h.i.+ngton during the first session of Congress was amended to read "may be held." The _Woman's Journal_ said: "Miss Anthony favored the change and Mr. Blackwell opposed it--an amusing fact to those who remember how strongly he used to advocate a movable annual convention and Miss Anthony a stationary one in Was.h.i.+ngton. Evidently neither of them is so fossilized as to be unable to see new light." The invitation of the Maryland Woman Suffrage a.s.sociation was accepted.

The dominant interest of the convention had been in a prospective campaign for a woman suffrage amendment to the const.i.tution of Oregon.

The Legislature had refused to submit it but under the Initiative and Referendum law this could be done by pet.i.tion. Public sentiment throughout the State seemed to indicate that it was now ready to enfranchise women and officials from the Governor down believed an amendment could be carried. All the officers of the State Suffrage a.s.sociation had joined in the invitation to the National a.s.sociation to hold its convention of 1905 in Portland and inaugurate the campaign and to a.s.sist it in every possible way. After the report of the State vice-president, Dr. Annice Jeffreys Myers, had been read to the convention of 1904 a resolution had been moved by Mrs. Catt, seconded by Miss Anthony and unanimously adopted, that the a.s.sociation accept this invitation and a pledge of $3,000 had been made. Throughout the present convention the speeches of public officials and the pledges made on every hand encouraged the members to feel that the a.s.sociation should give all possible help in money and workers.[43]

The public was much impressed at the last session by the appearance on the platform of four prominent politicians of the State representing the different parties and this was generally regarded as the opening of the campaign for woman suffrage. They were introduced by State Senator Henry Waldo Coe, M. D., who spoke in highest praise of homes and housekeepers as he had seen them in his practice and said: "The woman who takes an interest in the affairs of her country has the highest interest in her home, and the suffrage will not lessen her fitness as wife and mother." He introduced Mayor Harry Lane as the Democrat who carried a Republican city and who was the best mayor Portland ever had. Mr. Lane declared that women were as much ent.i.tled to the suffrage as men and that the enfranchis.e.m.e.nt of women would tend to purify politics. Dr. Andrew C. Smith, a Republican, was introduced as "the man who presented the names of thirteen women physicians to the State Medical a.s.sociation and got them admitted."

The press report said: "The prospective women voters were informed that they saw before them the next Governor of Oregon." Dr. Smith declared that he had been for woman suffrage twenty-five years and that "the United States was guilty of a national sin in not giving women equal rights." Thomas Burns, State Secretary of the Socialist party, a.s.serted that it was the only one which had a plank for woman suffrage in its platform and the Socialists had fought for it all over the world. "Men have made a failure of government," he said, "now let the women try it." O. M. Jamison, of the Citizens' movement, said: "We have found women the strongest factor in our work for reform and I think 99 per cent. of us are for woman suffrage." B. Lee Paget, who spoke for the Prohibitionists, declared himself an old convert to woman suffrage and said: "I think intelligent women far better fitted to vote on public measures than the majority of men who take part in campaigns and are wholly ignorant of the issues."

L. F. Wilbur of Vermont told of its improved laws for women and advancing public sentiment for woman suffrage and paid a glowing tribute to the early work in that State of Lucy Stone, Mr. Blackwell and Julia Ward Howe. Mrs. Maud Wood Park, president of the Ma.s.sachusetts College Women's Suffrage League, gave a scholarly address on The Civic Responsibility of Women, which she began by saying that the first "new woman" was from Boston--Anne Hutchinson.

Dr. Marie D. Equi, candidate for inspector of markets, spoke briefly on the need of market inspection for which women were especially fitted. Mrs. Charlotte Perkins Gilman (N. Y.) in discussing Woman's World said in part: "Ex-President Cleveland, after warning women against the clubs which are leading them straight to the abyss of suffrage, told us that 'the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.' ... Is it true? The Indian woman rocks the cradle; does she rule the world? The Chinese woman--the woman of the harem--do they rule it? An amiable old gentleman in opening a suffrage debate said: 'My wife rules me and if a woman can rule a man, why should she care to rule the country?' He seemed to think he was equal to the whole United States! Women have been taught that the home was their sphere and men have claimed everything else for themselves. The fact that women in the home have shut themselves away from the thought and life of the world has done much to r.e.t.a.r.d progress. We fill the world with the children of 20th century A. D. fathers and 20th century B. C. mothers."

Miss Blackwell lightened the proceedings with some of her clever anecdotes with a suffrage moral, and Mrs. Gilman with several of her brilliant poems. Mrs. Catt gave a concise review of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, formed at Berlin in 1904, and told of the progress of woman suffrage in other countries. Greetings to all of them were sent by the convention. Dr. Shaw gave an impressive peroration to this interesting session by pointing out the responsibility resting on the men and women of Oregon to carry to success the campaign which they had now begun, and Miss Anthony closed the convention with a fervent appeal to all to work for victory.

The delegates and visitors greatly enjoyed the Exposition, which had such a setting as none ever had before, looking out on the dazzling beauty of the snowclad peaks of Mt. Hood and the Olympic Range, and now they had to select from the many opportunities for travel and sight-seeing. The Rev. Mrs. Blackwell, Emily Howland, Mrs. Cartwright of Portland and others from seventy to eighty years of age, took a steamer for Alaska. Mr. and Miss Blackwell and others went to Seattle, Vancouver and home through the magnificent scenery of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Mrs. Catt and another party returned east by way of the Yellowstone Park. Dr. Cora Smith Eaton with a few daring spirits went for a climb of Mt. Hood. Miss Anthony with a group of friends started southward, stopping at Chico, California, for her to dedicate a park of 2,000 acres, which Mrs. Annie K. Bidwell had presented to the village. They went on to San Francisco where they were joined by Dr. Shaw, who had remained in Portland for the Medical Convention and spoken at several places en route. Here they were beautifully entertained in the homes of the suffrage leaders, Mrs.

Mary Wood Swift, Mrs. Ellen Clark Sargent, Mrs. Mary S. Sperry, Mrs.

Emma Shafter Howard and others, and ma.s.s meetings crowded to the doors were held in San Francisco and Oakland. From here they went to Los Angeles for other meetings, except Dr. Shaw, who started eastward for her round of Chautauqua engagements.

FOOTNOTES:

[36] Part of Call: A government of men and women--not by women alone, not by men alone, but a government of men and women by men and women for men and women--this is the aim and ideal of our a.s.sociation.

One hundred years ago Oregon was an untrodden wilderness. The transformation of that primeval territory into prosperous communities enjoying the highest degree of civilization could not have been accomplished without the work of women. No restriction should be placed upon energies and abilities so potent for good. The extension of the right of suffrage would remove a handicap from the efforts of women and give them an opportunity to work for the welfare of the State. We do not claim that woman's voice in the government would at once sound the death knell to all social and political evils but we do believe that a government representing the interests and beliefs of women and men would prove itself, and is proving itself where it now exists, to be a better government than one which represents the interests and beliefs of men alone.

The movement for the enfranchis.e.m.e.nt of women is based upon the unchanging and unchangeable principles of human liberty, in accordance with which successive cla.s.ses of men have won the right of self-government. On such a foundation ultimate victory is a.s.sured and in truth is conceded even by those who oppose. The day is ever drawing nearer when the nation will apply to women the principles which are the very foundation of its existence; when on every election day there will be re-affirmed the immortal truths of our Declaration of American Independence. Then will this indeed be a just government, "deriving its powers from the consent of the governed."

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Honorary President.

ANNA HOWARD SHAW, President.

CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT, Vice-president.

KATE M. GORDON, Corresponding Secretary.

ALICE STONE BLACKWELL, Recording Secretary.

HARRIET TAYLOR UPTON, Treasurer.

LAURA CLAY, } CORA SMITH EATON, } Auditors.

[37] If this request was so "reasonable" why was the word "s.e.x"

The History of Woman Suffrage Volume V Part 12

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