Ladies' Loyal Leagues.
The loyal ladies of St Louis, on Saturday last, inaugurated a movement which we hope to see followed up by similar action on the part of ladies friendly to the Government and opposed to treason and rebellion, in every city in the country. Over two thousand, including all ages and classes — all being heartily loyal to the Government, and anxious to aid, within their sphere, the cause of the Union — assembled at the Mercantile Library Hall, and by a unanimous vote adopted a Pledge and Constitution expressive of their position with reference to the present struggle, and organizing themselves into the "Ladies' Loyal League of St. Louis," for the purpose of giving force and vitality to these principles. Gen. Curtis presided, and the meeting was addressed in eloquent terms by Hon. S. M. Breckinridge, Major Dunn, (formerly a member of Congress from Indiana, and at present Judge Advocate for the Department of the Missouri,) Hon. Chas. D. Drake, Gen. Geo. D. Strong, Hon. F. W. Kellogg, (a member of Congress from Michigan,) and others. The meeting appears to have been one of the most perfect harmony, and was characterized by an earnest and enthusiastic spirit. The movement is in the hands of ladies of the very highest respectability, and of sound discretion, as well as pure patriotism.
It is undeniable that misguided women in the South have exerted a most baneful as well as powerful influence on the side of the rebellion during the progress of the present struggle. But for this influence the rebellion would never have reached its present proportions, or been characterized by such fiendish malignity. That woman is capable of exerting a no less powerful influence on the side of right and order is equally undeniable. It is only when arrayed on the side of truth and right that she seems in her appropriate place; and it may well be questioned whether she is not capable of exerting a more powerful influence for good than for evil. At all events it is fitting that loyal and patriotic women should organize to counteract the influence of the disloyal in the rebel States and elsewhere.
We do not mean to imply that the loyal women of the nation during the past two years have been idle so far as their influence on our national affairs is concerned. By no means. They have not only surrendered husbands, brothers, sons and lovers for the defense of their country, but in the "Soldiers' Aid Societies" scattered all through the loyal States, they have labored nobly for their country's defenders. But this is not all that they can do. They can not only minister to the comfort and necessities of the soldiers in the field, and the hospital, but they can also make their moral influence felt on the side of justice and order.
A woman who asserts that, in such a contest she sympathizes with the enemies of her country, or is even neutral, is either a monster in female form, or too weak and giddy to comprehend the issue at stake. She either approves or professed to be indifferent to the crimes of treason, murder and robbery perpetrated in a causeless and unprovoked war against the Government and its loyal defenders.
The example set by the loyal women of St. Louis in thus organizing themselves for the purpose of having their combined support to the Government, is worthy of the most decided approbation. We recommend it to the imitation of the local ladies of our own and other cities. In the belief that their Pledge and Constitution will be sought for as a model upon which to frame other similar organizations, we subjoin them:
We, the undersigned women of St. Louis, believing that in this hour of national peril to our country, every influence, moral as well as military, should be brought to bear in the great struggle for national existence against a rebellion as crafty as it is wicked, and that while our fathers, husbands, sons and brothers are giving their treasure and their blood, it is our duty to contribute the influence which God has given us in our social sphere to the same holy cause: and that in this solemn crisis loyalty to our country is bound to be outspoken, even in the case of women, as truly as loyalty to our God.
We, therefore, do constitute ourselves an Association, to be known as the as the Ladies' National League of St. Louis, and do pledge our unconditional adhesion to our National Government in its struggle against the present rebellion; engaging to assist it by whatever means may be in our power, in the maintenance of our National Union, and of the integrity of our National domain.
To this end we do further resolve and pledge ourselves to encourage and sustain our brave soldiers by acts of kindness and by words of patriotic cheer; to use every fitting opportunity of expressing our unflinching determination to stand by the dear old flag, and to honor those who fight in its defense, until the day of its sure and perfect triumph; and to prove in whatever way we can that loyalty to our country forms a part of our allegiance to God.
This Association shall be called the "Ladies' National League" of St. Louis.
Article 1. The object of this League shall be to bind together all loyal women with a determination in accordance with the pledges, to use every measure in our power to discountenance secession; to sustain the National Government in its present peril; and to administer, in every suitable manner, to the relief and comfort of our noble soldiers in the field and in the hospitals.
Art. 2. Ladies may become members of the League by signing the pledge.
Art. 3. Its officers shall be a President, two Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, and twelve managers.
Art. 4. It shall be the duty of the President, by and with the advice of the other officers, to call meetings through the city press a day previous and to preside at the same.
Art. 5. It shall be the duty of the Vice-President to fulfill the duties of the President in his absence.
Art. 6. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to attend to the correspondence of the League, and to keep a record of its meetings and of the names and residence of the members in a book prepared for that purpose.
Art. 7. The Treasurer shall receive, and by order of the Board of Managers, shall disburse funds belonging to the League.
Art. 8. It shall be the duty of the Managers to devise, and from time to time to bring before the League measures by which its appropriate objects may be promoted.
Art. 9. Officers shall be elected by ballot by a vote of two thirds of the members present, at a stated meeting called in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
Art. 10. Alterations may be made in the above Constitution by a vote of two-thirds of the members present, at a meeting called in accordance with the 4th article of the Constitution.