She Refused to be Silenced

Lucy Parsons (1853-1942) is a woman of history in my ongoing examination of “Strong Women.” Parsons, the “Queen of Anarchy,” was a woman of contradictions. The Chicago police department considered her “more dangerous than 1000 rioters.”  surveilled her, arrested her, and fined her over and over. Yet, she refused to be silenced. Early Life Lucy Parsons, nee Lucia Carter, was born a slave in Virginia around 1853. Lucia had “fairer” skin and was “comely.” Most likely she was the daughter of her master. As the Civil War came to a close, she, her mother, and younger brother were among the slaves Dr. Taliaferro brought with him when he moved. The trip to rural McLennan county Texas was long and probably traumatic to Lucy as a twelve-year-old slave girl.  In 1866, Taliaferro moved to Tennessee to marry. Freed people in the Texas countryside suffered “a general reign of terror.” Lucia’s mother moved her family to Waco. The small town was safer for freed people. By 1870, Lucia, a seamstress, lived with a freedman named Oliver Benton, formerly known as Oliver Gathings. Biographers presume he was the father of her stillborn child. In the early 1870s, she met Albert Richard Parsons (1845-1887) […]

Mama Josie and the Angels of Bataan

World War II both brought many and shone a light on many horrors. (See my post on Hiroshima and Nagasaki) But among the awfulness there were shining stars. This is the story of Mama Josie and the Angels of Bataan. Early Life Josephine Nesbit was born on the family farm in  Butler, Mo on December 23, 1894. Nesbit was the seventh of ten children. Farm life was hard. Even the children rose at dawn and did chores.  Both her parents died before she turned twelve. Orphaned first her grandmother and later a cousin in Kansas took her in. She left high school at 16. Nursing as a Career Her sister was a nurse. After Nesbit spoke to her sister’s supervisor, she chose to become a nurse. Nesbit became a registered nurse in 1914.  An army recruiter came to Kansas City in 1918. He wanted nurses to join the Army Nurse Corps to help with the Spanish Influenza epidemic. Nesbit joined the Reserve Army Nurse Corps. By 1941 Nesbit had been an Army Nurse for twenty-two years. She’d enjoyed the travels of a peace-time nurse. On her second tour, Nesbit was a lieutenant and second-in-command at Stenberg General Hospital in Manila, the […]

14 Quotes About Peace

The survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have made peace their number one priority. Did you know that school children in Japan take mandatory peace studies? Perhaps everyone ought to take such classes. This isn’t a class, but perhaps these quotes about peace will inspire some reflections and perhaps actions that will bring about a lasting peace. What Is Peace Peace is not the absence of war, but a virtue based on strength of character. Baruch Spinoza Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his creatures; peace is our gift to each other. Elie Wiesel Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. Ralph Waldo Emerson Who Wants Peace? While there are those who speak of war as some necessary thing, there are those who have been victims of war, soldiers of war—and all they want is peace. Read their quotes about peace. Peace is our number one priority. Sachiko Matsuo 83, Nagasaki The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. Douglas MacArthur I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only […]