This is Lydia Sigourney’s message in her beautifully intelligent 1838 treatise on Motherhood, “Letters to Mothers”. Each page inspires one to recognize the noble and glorious work of Mother, while instructing in a gentle manner through story, anecdote, and practical wisdom. Her work brings energy to the soul, and will strengthen your resolve as a Mom. A few of her notions for a woman’s place will seem starkly Victorian, but her message to mothers remains a timeless model worth emulation.
“Let Mothers mingle their teachings with smiles, and the dialect of love. It is surprising how soon an infant learns to read the countenance, how it deciphers the charm of a cheerful spirit, how it longs to be loved.”
“….the strength of a nation, especially of a republican nation is in the intelligent and well-ordered homes of the people. And in proportion as the discipline of families is relaxed, will the happy organization of communities be affected, and national character becomes vagrant, turbulent, or ripe for revolution.”
“Do you ask, when shall we begin to teach our children religion ? As soon as you see them.As soon as they are laid upon your breast. As soon as you feel the pure breath issuing from thatwondrous tissue of air vessels which God has wreathed around the heart. The religion of a new-born babe, is…” (Infancy)
The above are quotes from Lydia, Christian wife, mother, and the American poetess of the Victorian era, known as the “Sweet Singer of Hartford” and the “Female Milton”. Her popular wisdom inspired many 19th century female Lyceum Societies to be named after her. It is a shame her work has quietly gone into the dust bin of History, but old can be new again. Give yourself, your family, and society a gift this Mother’s Day and share , “Letters to Mothers”. You can find her work free online at : https://archive.org/details/letterstomother00sigogoo