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December 11, 2017


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Bill Turnier

When in grad school in the mid 60s I wrote a biography of George W. Julian as my MA thesis. He was an early abolitionist, a Free Soil VP candidate and a militant Radical Republican. I am struck by the similarity with him and Ashley. Julian, for example introduced the first piece of eight hour legislation in Congress (for workers in US Navy yards) and also a Amendment to the US Constitution granting women the right to vote. There must have been many more like him and Ashley on the political scene then who acted in a common cause. It may have already been explored or maybe it is work for the future.

Rebecca Zietlow

Bill, yes, exactly. Julian and Ashley were friends and allies. I agree, they shared a radical free labor vision. I write about Julian in my book, and plan to discuss the eight hour act, and Julian's role introducing it, in an upcoming post. In addition, Ashley shared Julian's commitment to women's suffrage. Ashley also introduced a constitutional amendment which would have established universal suffrage, including suffrage for women. More to come on that as well.

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