Throughout her long career as a poet, Ella Wheeler
Wilcox (1850-1919) enjoyed great popularity. Ella Wheeler was born in Johnstown
Center (near Madison), Wisconsin, and showed a remarkable aptitude for
writing at a young age. With her family's encouragement, Ella began to
publish her poems in national magazines before she was 16 years old; by
20, she brought a tidy supplement to the family income.
In 1884 Ella married Robert Marius Wilcox, a producer of art in silver, and the couple moved to Connecticut. Although they travelled widely, Ella continued to write both prose and poetry for national publication. She ultimately published more than 30 volumes and, at one point in the early 1890s, she produced a daily poem for national newspaper syndication.
Although some critics found Wilcox's work platitudinous and sentimental, she argued that it brought comfort and hope to millions of Americans in dire circumstances. Her message remained one of unwavering optimism, mixed with theosophy and teh occult.
In 1993 the government will have grown more simple, as
true greatness tends always toward simplicity. Railroads and telegraphs
will belong to the state, thus lessening the dangerous power of large monopolies
and vast corporations. Otherwise, in less than a century, our boasted American
freedom would cease to exist, since it is already menaced.
In temperance the world ere then will have realized the folly of trying to legislate upon appetites. It will realize the necessity of educating drunkards--and that to educate them we must begin with parents. People who refuse to be taught on this and kindred subjects must be prevented from becoming parents. In this way only can drunkenness be lessened.
The same humane law will, by that time, extend to criminals--they will be prevented from propagating their kind. This will take the place of capital punishment and, after a few generations, will do away with crime, because no criminals will be born.
The whole vast West will be irrigated and fertilized, furnishing food for all our population. Architecture will have reached a much higher state, but it will not in 500 years attain the perfection found in countries thousands of years old. Airships will facilitate travel, and the pneumatic tube will be the means of transporting goods.
America will produce the greatest authors who shall be living in 1993. In musical achievement it will still be behind older countries.
The occult sixth sense will be the predominant element in medicine and theology. Mesmerism will take the place of anesthetics in surgery. Theosophy--the religion of high thinking and selfless living--will take the place of creeds and dogmas. Clairvoyancy or spiritual insight will be almost universal.
Woman will be financially independent of man, and this will materially lessen crime. No longer obliged to rifle her husband's pockets for money, she will not give birth to kleptomaniacs or thieves. Men will learn the importance of proper prenatal conditions, and children will be reared with the same care now given to colts, calves, and dogs.
The government will establish colleges for the training of servants. And architects will consider the comfort and health of domestics in constructing homes, instead of ignoring them, as at present. Better instructed, better paid, better cared for, and more plentiful, the servant of the next century will be more useful, better content, and more respectful and respected.
If our men keep pace with our women in athletic development and in clean morals, the race will be larger and handsomer. Otherwise we shall produce splendid amazons and pygmy men.
Chicago will be our greatest city because she knows she is not, and desires to be, and has the energy and zeal to become so. Each of our other large cities thinks she is already the greatest and will make no pronounced effort to be greater. All permanent greatness means eternal endeavor.
If any man now living solves the great question of the true relation of capital and labor, to him will 1993 accord the honor of the greatest man. Next to him stands [Thomas] Edison.