Walk On

The Champions Who Walked Among Us

The Champions Who Walked Among Us – Article 9 – The Conqueror


The year 1868, the month, September, and the newborn infant had chosen the twenty-second day of the month to make her entry into the world. Coming from a strict Methodist background, she was the second girl among ten children to be born in her family.  No one was no shouting, or clapping the father on the back upon her arrival. Although autumn showed itself at its finest, her birth herald out nothing special, nothing significant. She was female.

As she lay in her mother’s arms, her father foresaw, neither perceived what the future held for her.  After all, females were an unclassified species with very little to offer–– except childbearing.

So, the infant grew into a young woman. She attended school. Smart, inquisitive, and bright, some thought her too bright, and they shook their heads behind her back, as they showed pity for her species. She was female.

No rack can torture me,

My soul at liberty;

Behind this mortal bone

There knits a bolder one.[1]

1884, the young woman graduated from high school. She dreamed to become a doctor.  However, this was 1884. How could a woman master medicine, if she were female and not one hundred percent human?  Besides, medical schools did not accept women.[2] Everyone knew the female skull housed a brain with extremely small capacity.

  • What do you do when you are caught in a trap of ignorance?
  • How do you respond to people who have already limited your capacity to evolve into your own life purpose?
  • Where do you get the mental strength to stand up as your spirit is being beaten raggedly by external factors you cannot control?

Oh, the young woman. What must it have cost her to turn her back on her dream, and accept the only opportunity opened to her?  An ocean lay between the doctor title she wanted and desired, and the opportunity offered.

  • The purpose of a woman’s life is just the same as the purpose of a man’s life; that she makes the best possible contribution to her generation[3].

You cannot prick with saw

Nor pierce with scimitar.

Two bodies therefore be.

Bind one, the other fly.[4]

Idealistic thinking from a woman gone mad or from a woman whose wisdom and discernment had opened her eyes to see the light.  On earth, in this day and time, we can only guess at the answer to the question.  Intriguing thought the woman, the same species charged to take care of the female had been bewitched by alcohol, and this woman’s heart ached at the devastation she saw in the families surrounding her. She saw women suffering in her area.  She heard the beaten down cries of a species, which was trodden down by the ignorance of men. Women helplessly delivered in the hands of a demon so powerful they could only cry out and mourn, while being beaten by men whom it had under its spell.

There were no women’s houses in those days––women had no wealth, no property, no rights. They were female.

1886, the two years training at the Ottawa Normal School was completed, and she turned to public teaching––the job, which would lead her to the purpose designed just for her, and the Conqueror was born.

  • Here, she would become involved with the WCTU, Women’s Christian Temperance Union,
  • Here, she would discover her charisma to persuade people to listen and support her cause,
  • Here, she would find the man that was not threaten by her intelligence and was willing to support her in her endeavours.

Her involvement in teaching would lead her down,

  • A path,
  • The path,
  • Her path,

As sheprepared to make a mighty entrance into the world.

After her marriage, the Conqueror and her husband desired to go back to their roots.  Six years of knowledge and acquired expertise had been gained in the North Dakota region, and she and her husband joined million of settlers, who headed from the western states Northward to homestead on excellent farming land in the Southern Alberta region, which was still a part of the Northwest Passage.  It was time now to put what she had learned into practice––time to turn theory into reality, time to test the strength of what she believed, time to rise up and walk.

1917, World War 1 was at its height, and the United States of America had just entered the war. The western world was hoping for an end to the brutality that had begun with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.  It was also election time in the Province of Alberta and the Conqueror stood up for the challenge.  But she was female.

Who would have thought a new unknown agrarian party would win the seat?

Who would have thought,

  • The woman who ran against the favored candidate,
  • The woman who challenged the alcohol and cigarette producers,
  • The woman who wanted to see a ban on cigarettes asserting they caused damage to people’s health,
  • The woman who fought for women to own property,
  • The woman who would later become a part of  “The Famous Five,”
  • The woman who struggled to help women who had been deserted and were penniless,

Who would have thought she would have won? She was female.

The eagle of his nest

No easier divest

And gain the sky

Thank mayest thou,[5]

See the woman as she challenged the morals, the principles, the ethics, and the laws of her society.  See her as she joined with four other women and stood up against an injustice, which had broken many women’s spirits or destituted them to poverty.  See the woman as she declared,

I am a woman, and I am a person!

The Conqueror received her seat in the congress, but it was not easy. Among her fellow constituents who were the same mind as she, she was accepted immediately. For the others, it would take time, even years, before her accomplishments were acknowledged, and she would be elected posthumously into the Senate of her country.

It was 1927, and the wheels of progress concerning women in her country were turning slowly.  Women were pressed on every side.

  • What do you do when the oven get hotter?
  • Do you sit back and glory on what you have done?
  • Or do you stand up and fight until every right and privilege has been achieved, until every door has been opened?

The Conqueror refused to rest. Instead, she threw herself wholeheartedly into a pact, which would change her country forever––The Famous Five was born.  Five women struggled and united together for two years to win their cause, and in 1929, women were finally acknowledged as human beings,  as persons, who could also take a seat in a political office, who could also inherit one third of their husband’s property upon their husband’s death.

Except thyself may be

Thine enemy;

Captivity is consciousness,

So’s liberty.[6]

July 10, 1931, a summer’s day in that great country. As the Conqueror got up, she looked back and rejoiced over sixty-three years of life. She checked off her checklist in her mind,

  1. Reached out to others – yes,  taught school and educated women,
  2. Changed Society – yes, was the first woman to take a seat in a Canadian Parliament under British rule,
  3. Set a Standard – yes, joined together with four other women and settle the humanity of women in my country,
  4. Maintained Principles and Beliefs – yes, still think alcohol and cigarettes are hazardous to the health of all human beings.

Breathing a large sigh of relief, she said to herself, it is finished. It’s time to go home.

Can’t you see her, people? The Conqueror had fought and won. The Conqueror was preparing to take her flight. She had heard the whistle blow, and The Conqueror Walked On!

Louise Crummy Mckinney, The Conqueror,  Walked On! She spread her wings like an eagle, and she took her flight.

She Walked On, People, She Walked On!

The woman who helped insure the humanity of women in the history of Canada laid down her mantel and Walked On!

Walk On all you weary women who are weighed down by a burden, Walk On!

Walk On, I say, Walk On!

01 Walk On

Ciao,

Pat Garcia


[1] No Rack Can Torture Me, Emily Dickinson, THE MENTOR BOOK OF MAJOR AMERICAN POETS, Edited by Oscar Williams and Edwin Honig. 1962

[2] Louise Mckinney, Elections Canada’s Electoral Insight Magazine, Co Editor, Wayne Brown. http://www.gettingtothegate.com/vp.php?pid=17&lid=1

[3] Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case, The “Famous Five” and the Persons Case, http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/dates/gg/case-affaire-eng.html

[4] No Rack Can Torture Me, Emily Dickinson, THE MENTOR BOOK OF MAJOR AMERICAN POETS, Edited by Oscar Williams and Edwin Honig. 1962

[5] No Rack Can Torture Me, Emily Dickinson, THE MENTOR BOOK OF MAJOR AMERICAN POETS, Edited by Oscar Williams and Edwin Honig. 1962

[6] No Rack Can Torture Me, Emily Dickinson, THE MENTOR BOOK OF MAJOR AMERICAN POETS, Edited by Oscar Williams and Edwin Honig. 1962

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16 Comments

  1. Very well written and interesting. You have.

    Like

    • enlightened me about history. You do make it come alive. Thank you.

      Like

      • My Dear Larry,
        Thank you. This series is changing me, strengthening my faith muscles and giving me a can do attitude that I didn’t suspect I had, to the extent that I have it. It is wonderful researching these ladies and it is even more wonderful learning from them.
        Ciao,
        Patricia

        Like

    • Hi,
      I put your two sentences together. This happens to me also.
      Thank you for responding. It means a lot to me.
      Ciao,
      Patricia

      Like

  2. Raani York

    Another interesting, teaching and very emotional blog post Patricia. One of those which are touching my heart, kicking my butt and make my tears flow…
    Well done!!

    Like

    • My Dear Raani,
      Many thanks. I am learning so many things from the series. To be able to write about such women is building up my own courage, my inspiration, and my self confident. We women of today owe them a lot. If they had not done what they did, we would not be as far as we are today. Sure, we have opened doors in our generation but it was the women who walked before us that laid the foundation. It is therefore extremely encouraging for me to research and write about such women. I feel like I am finding new friends.
      Ciao,
      Patricia

      Like

    • My Dear Raani,
      Thank you. These stories go direct to my heart. While doing my research, it never fails, I start crying. Not out of sadness, or bitterness, but out of a deep gratitude to each woman and what they went through. If it were not for them, none of us would be enjoying the privilegs that we have now. Instead, we would be fighting trying to achieve what they did back then. This woman was particularly special because she introduced me to five new friends. Louise Crummy McKinney, a Canadian, was the second member of The Famous Five. What a joy it was to learn of her and her life before she joined The Famous Five. All that she went through prepaed her for that great moment, when they would challenged the Canadian government and the British Imperial Empire. So, I now have five new friends around my imaginary roundtable of encouragers. They too have become imaginary mentors who spur me to keep going and achieve my goal
      Once again thank you. You are dear to me.
      Ciao,
      Patricia

      Like

  3. You always make me cry at the end, Patricia! Always! To be so strong, energetic, confident, and committed! This is a great series. Just love it. 🙂

    Like

    • My Dear Linnea,
      Thank you. The for I research these women, the humbled I am. Many women who have gone on before us paid a heavy price for women to be where they are today and I am thankful they stood up and took the challenged.
      Ciao,
      Patricia

      Like

    • My Dear Linnea,
      Thank you. I believe you can guess how much I cry during this each article. I start out saying this time I am not going to get so emotionally involved, and then I began my research. Before the research is over, my tears are flowing. It is an experience that I have very seldom had. As I research these women’s lives, I am receiving courage and strength myself. These women have become my friends, my invisible mentors, the people who sit around a imaginary roundtable and spur me on. This was the first Canadian on the list, and I must say I again found five new friends, I had never heard of. That she and four other women would challenge Canada and open doors wide for women was knowledge that I didn’t know and am so very happy now to know it. This woman was trying to convince people that cigarettes were unhealthy and damaging and everyone was laughing at her. How many years did it take the medical community to admit to what she had proclaimed years ago.
      So you see this series is helping me to move forward. It gives me encouragement to hold on.
      Once again, thank you. You are dear to me.
      Ciao,
      Patricia

      Like

  4. Very good, Patricia, you kept my interest. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • My Dear Lisa,
      Thank you very much. I am very happy to hear that I held your interest. Louise Crummy McKinney was the first Canadian woman that I have written about. As I discovered her and the other four women, who were known as The Famous Five, I could only say Wow! What a joy it was to research her life. I received so much encouragement, and the encouragement turns to joy when I start writing the actual story. I love this series.
      So, once again, thank you. You are dear to me.
      Ciao,
      Patricia

      Like

  5. Thanks, Patricia, for introducing me to another “hero” who blazed a trail for we (women) who have followed! Never heard of this woman. I’m glad to know her. 🙂

    Like

    • My Dear Peggi,
      Thank you. I am so happy writing this series. I go through a bath of emotions. Sometimes crying, sometimes rejoicing as I research and gather material for each woman. Each history has similarities because they display the courage, the trauma, the inner strength that each woman had to call up from within to stand and keep going. I am quite sure at the time they were facing difficulities, they were scared. But what I like about them is they did it anyway. They went their way while being scared. They did not let fear stop them. So this series is an enough help to me. It keeps me looking forward and moving forward towards my goal.
      Once again, thank you. You are dear to me.
      Ciao,
      Patricia

      Like

  6. Patricia, I am held spellbound by these stories you post. You really should make a book of them all. Wonderful job–somehow this woman slipped past me and I didn’t hear about her and her wonderful achievements against all odds. Between you and me, I’d still rather be a woman in spite of how hard we have to work to prove what should be obvious–we can and do achieve!! Psst–and I think we’re stronger, smarter and more compassionate that our often insignificant others 🙂 Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

    • My Dear Micki,
      It is such a pleasure for me to research these women. I receive so much encouragement. Often, I had seen my living in Germany as a disadvantage for my writing and my music. I am not in the mainstream and therefore unable to make contacts like I thought I needed to. But through these women, I am learning that it does not matter where you are, it is how you look at your circumstances and deal with it that count. So, every woman I discover is like discovering a precious diamond long hidden underground in mud and debris. As i clean her off by writing her story, she helps me discover what is in me also and encourages me to go on.
      And i agree with you one hundred percent, I am happy that I am a woman. Again, that is what I have found so interesting about these women. They were happy to be women. The had to work hard for what they achieve, but I don’t believe neither one of them would have changed their destiny.
      My desire is to sell my articles to a major magazine, but I must admit that I have also been considering putting a book together. I don’t know which direction I will take at the moment. All I do know is that at the appointed time, I will undertake one or both of the options.
      Thank you once again and may you have a great week. You are dear to me.
      Ciao,
      Patricia

      Like

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