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SPINSTERS WANT HOMESTEADS
A petition is in circulation which is addressed to he Hon. Frank Oliver, minister of interior, and is on behalf of the unmarried women of Canada who seek the right to enter for homestead. The petition reads:--
To the Honorable Minister of the Interior, Frank Oliver, Ottawa.
We, the undersigned, unmarried women of Canada, do most respectfully ask you to consider our request to be allowed to take up homestead lands in any of the provinces.
And we petition you to bring the matter to the notice of the government in such a manner that it may be induced to insert a clause in the present existing law granting the privilege of homesteading free lands to any unmarried woman over thirty years of age.
For, as a matter of fact, while only a widow with minor children to support is eligible to homestead land, strange to say, on mineral lands an unmarried woman can file a claim and operate a mine on equal footing with men.
And we most certainly feel that in favouring the widow only, who often has a considerable inheritance left by her husband, an injustice is done to a noble class of women who are quite as deserving of governmental courtesy; we refer to the unmarried women, who find themselves at middle age thrown out upon their own resources, the majority of them having had to sacrifice opportunities of marriage and competence for the sake of remaining at home with one or more aged parents to provide and care for them in their old age, surely as worthy an object as rearing young children who in a few years are a financial asset to the mother, whereas, in the former instance there is no one to provide.
Unmarried women we contend, make as desirable settlers as widows, and many of them are quite as capable as men in the conduct of affairs.
We, therefore, pray you to take the matter up at your earliest opportunity and, trusting for a favorable outcome, we beg to subscribe ourselves.
Miss Helen N. Weir, 526 Third St., Edmonton, is the leader of the Edmonton end of the agitation.
From Edmonton Bulletin, May 21st, 1893
Courtesy of the City of Edmonton Archives