Author: Potts, Eugenia Dunlap.
Title: “Equal Rights Champions,”
Publication: The Lexington Record (1 February 1891): 4. Available online via Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, Library of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069074/1891-02-01/ed-1/seq-4/>
In 1890 Eugenia Dunlap Potts started up a newspaper called The Lexington Record to chronicle the good works undertaken by charitable organizations and individuals in Kentucky. Potts was a widow -- her husband, a Confederate officer and surgeon, died soon after the Civil War -- and she was living in Lexington with her sister Mary and brother-in-law Judge George Denny. In this article, Potts praised the suffragist and women's rights work of Laura Clay on behalf of working women. The article is transcribed below:
Among the faithful in our great band of Lexington philanthropists is a woman whose every pulse throbs with anguished sympathy for womankind, whose heart and mind devote their mighty strength to breaking the chains from her sisters, whose nervous force is tried to the utmost tension lest she fail. It is to her that we bread winners owe the wondrous revolution in the social code which permits the Southern woman to go out from her home and earn her living. She and her co workers have made it possible for women to be clerks, type-writers, merchants, - aye, something besides the household drudge and the needle’s slave. Read the literature she scatters broadcast; give her a respectful hearing; study the property laws she would correct so as to enable you to hold the pitiful sums you work for, and the day may come within our generation when in the evening, if not in the meridian of life, Laura B. Clay may sit with hands folded and look triumphantly upon the blessings she has wrought.
With woman’s innate reserve, she faces the multitudes with the courage of conviction. With all of a Southern woman’s shrinking delicacy, she presses on, conscious that innovations are opposed, that Ephraim will cling to his idol of ignorant submission. A Kentucky woman, with the boasted blue blood of the Bluegrass heraldry in her veins, she turns from the social triumphs to which her native gifts entitle her, to the disputed arena of woman’s true place under the laws of the Commonwealth. Do we, her sisters, realize her motives and her aims?
Potts became well known in her advocacy for white women's rights and economic independence. In 1893 (Chicago's Columbian Exposition) and then in 1895 (Atlanta's Cotton States and International Exposition), she was invited to speak on "Women's Work in Kentucky" in the Women's Building programming.