She talks fast, uses no notes what ever, never hesitates for a word,
always gets the right word in the right place, and has the most perfect
confidence in herself. Indeed, her sentences are remarkably smoothly-woven
and felicitous. Her vim, her energy, her determined look, her tremendous
earnestness, would compel the respect and the attention of an audience,
even if she spoke in Chinese -- would convince a third of them, too, even
though she used arguments that would not stand analysis. ... She will
make a right venomous old maid some day, I am afraid. She said that she
was arguing upon her favorite subject with a self-sufficient youth one
day, and she silenced his guns one after another till at last he staked
his all upon one powerful proposition: "Would you have all women
strong-minded?" "No!" she thundered, "God forbid that
the millions of men of your calibre that cumber the earth should be doomed
to travel its weary ways unmated!"
Anna Dickinson portrait from Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs Division
I like Anna Dickinson, & admire her grand character, & have often &
over again made her detractors feel ashamed of themselves ...
- Letter to his future wife Olivia Langdon, 22 June 1869
My what houses she used to draw! Some of you remember those determined lips
and those indignant eyes, and how they used to snap and flash when she marched
the platform pouring out the lava of her blistering eloquence upon the enemy.
- "Frank Fuller and My First New York Lecture," published in 2009 in Who Is Mark Twain?
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