Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, the Quaker abolitionist and suffragist, spoke at Vassar on "Idiots and Women." Commenting on the lecture in a letter written on April 28, Matthew Vassar wrote Elizabeth Powell, instructor in physical training, "The subject of 'Woman's Suffrage' or 'Idiot and Women' was correctly quoted from the Law granting the right of them to the ballot Box, and when I first read the Law some years ago I was equaly supprised to find our Fair Sex placed in so shamefull a category as ‘criminals, paupers, Idiots &c,' which if the Law was right by this classification I think it is full time my 300 daughters at 'Vassar' knew it, and applied the remidy."     Elizabeth Hazelton Haight, ed., Autobiography and Letters of Matthew Vassar