The Heroism of Women in the Boer War

When news came that the Boer women of South Africa were fighting alongside men in their war against the British, the Post applauded.

Side profile of a woman.
(© SEPS)

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When news came that the Boer women of South Africa were fighting alongside men in their war against the British, the Post applauded.

In war’s long, dreary hours of waiting, the quality of character that can endure quietly represents the very highest bravery that human nature is capable of, and in this greater heroism woman has almost a monopoly.

In their heroism, women are always better than men.

And it’s not only in great things that woman shows her nerve. The other day in Naples, two Boston ladies were leaving a shop. A man seized the purse of one of them, whereupon she took him by the throat, gave him a good shaking, slammed him upon the ground, recovered her property, and then in her cool New England way told him to move on. We can scarcely pick up any newspaper without finding a story of a woman capturing a burglar, stopping a runaway, or doing something of the instant sort that is the very essence of nerve; and we should not forget in this category the Connecticut widow who, although dreadfully afraid of mice, upon finding a lion from Mr. Barnum’s show in one of the stalls of her stable, deliberately whipped the beast away and sent him cowering down the road.

– “The Heroism of Women,” editorial by Lynn Roby Meekins, April 21, 1900.

First page of an article as it appeared in the Post.
“The Heroism of Women” by Lynn Roby Meekins is from the April 21, 1900, issue of the Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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  1. What a great editorial this is, from 1900! It really requires you to read the entire editorial to fully digest what it has to say about the strength of women, and the ways they excel over men.

    It may even take a 2nd reading due to the writing/speaking style at the turn of the (last) century. I’m still in the 1820’s in the archives, because it takes longer to understand. It’s worth it though. I’m looking forward to finding the wit and wisdom of Fanny Fern as I go further into the century’s archives!

    She would have been pleased with this editorial, I believe. In light of this wonderful feature, I’d love it if the Post re-ran the wonderful feature on her again from 2018. Her written words of long ago cast a long shadow into the 21st century in learning from what she has to say, and how she can help make your life better now. Read about her again if you missed it the first time. She’s one of America’s most remarkable women; no question about it!


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