San Francisco: [N.P.], January 30, 1892. First edition. A supplement to Hope and Home from the same date, featuring the subtitle: "The ballot as it is misrepresents the people. The ballot as it ought to be would represent them. Amendments proposed to the Constitution." Original printed self-wraps stapled at spine. Faint soiling to outer margins and light scattered foxing to rear advertisements, but in all a clean copy. An exceptionally rare work by San Francisco suffragist and California reformer Abba Lord Holton. OCLC reports only 2 institutionally held copies, one of those in the US (LOC). It does not appear in the modern auction record and is currently the only copy on the market.
Abba Lord Holton, alongside business partner Alfred Cridge, ran the magazine Hope and Home from San Francisco largely at their own expense. A periodical that "waged war on the enemies of equal representation," its agenda was shaped by Holton's role as editor and suffragist (Proportional Representation Review, 1893). The present pamphlet was a supplement to their January 1892 issue; in it, Holton draws on her past role as a teacher and present role as an activist to compose a clear, concise, and eloquent case for amending the Constitution to account for current failures in the system. These failures do not affect women alone. Indeed, she argues, they reflect a failure of representative government across the board.
"History will bear us out in claiming that our revolutionary fathers fought to be represented in legislatures that made the laws that governed them because it was slavery to be forced to obey laws which they had no voice in making," Holton asserts at one point. Connecting this to the plight of women, she also posits, however, that freedmen and white male citizens also operate under a form of slavery; that gerrymandering and the electoral college prevent a true representative government. To this end she proposes key changes to the Constitution: the dissolution of district lines and the privileging of the popular vote in the election of President, Vice President, Senators, and Federal Judges, with no lifetime terms for any judge guilty of misbehavior. A timely argument then and now. Near Fine (Item #3339)