Voteless Women Refuse to Pay Taxes

a women’s suffrage meeting was held, shortly after Susan B. Anthony was convicted by an all-male jury of the crime of voting while female. Lillie Devereaux Blake addressed the assembly about the case, and added:

In Worchester the property of two women who refused to pay their taxes was distrained [illegible] the officer was about to sell their property. They said: “The Fourth of July is at hand. It is a good time to turn a woman out of her home for refusing to pay tax without representation.” [Great applause.]

, American women’s suffrage activists were talking about the tax resistance of Abby Kelley, Sarah Wall, and Marietta Flag, as well as the earlier action of the Smith sisters. Here are some examples:

From the Daily Phoenix of Colombia, South Carolina:

 Stephen and Abbie Kelley Foster, with Miss Sarah Wall and Miss Marietta Flag, refused to pay taxes because ladies cannot vote. Their property is advertised for sale . A covention to protest against the law is in session here . The Smith sisters, of Glastonbury, were present this morning, and made addresses.

A New York Herald article from added some more details:

Mrs. Eliza K. Churchill occupied the chair temporarily this morning, and Major William Harlow, of Worcester, acted as Secretary. Rev. C.A. Chase, of Providence; Major Harlow, Stephen Foster, Miss Julia Smith, of Glastonbury, and others spoke in favor of woman suffrage. Both the Smith sisters were present. The attendance promises to be large this afternoon and evening.

, the New York Daily Graphic published a “telegraphic flash” to bring us up-to-date:

The estates of S[tephen] S[ymonds] and Abby Kelly Foster, Sarah Wall, and Marietta Flagg, who refuse to pay taxes until women can vote, were offered for sale by the Tax Collector of Warcester [sic], Mass., to pay the taxes of . The last named was bought in by a friend, but no one bid for either of the other estates. The sale has been adjourned until .

The same paper editorialized :

How swiftly doth one woe follow upon the heels of another! Scarcely has the woman’s temperance movement got well under way before a female anti-taxation movement comes treading upon its heels. Abbie Kelly Foster, Sarah Wall, and Marietta Flagg, of Worcester, have refused to pay their taxes because women are not allowed to vote. Their property has been sold.

, The Daily Freeman of Kingston, New York, chimed in:

Miss Marietta Flag — we suppose she is a miss — is awfully mad over the sale of her property in payment of taxes which she refused to meet. She calls the Sheriff “an insignificant duplication of Benedict Arnold.” This is hard on Arnold, who was a notorious friend of women. Miss Flag, so to speak, nails herself to the mast on this tax business, and floats defiantly in the faces of “those horrid men.” She declares herself “one of the minute-women of the new Revolution.” We stand in sympathetic union with Miss Flag, and assure her many a successful battle has opened less hopefully.

The Lyons Weekly Mirror of brought us this news:

The Smith sisters, who refused to pay their taxes in Connecticut, and had their cows seized and sold, have received a donation of $500 from their female sympathizers.

I had not heard of Marietta Flagg before, and wondered why. Her story ends sadly :

Mrs Marietta Flagg, who has been prominent in Worcester, Mass., as a remonstrant against the taxation of woman’s property without conceding the right of suffrage, died recently in the State Lunatic Asylum.