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Charles Mann, Printer, 

Rochester, > 



THE labors of those who have edited these volumes are 
not only finished as far as this work extends, but if three- 
score years and ten be the usual limit of human life, all 
our earthly endeavors must end in the near future. After 
faithfully collecting material for several years, and making the 
best selections our judgment has dictated, we are painfully 
conscious of many imperfections the critical reader will 
perceive. But since stereotype plates will not reflect our 
growing sense of perfection, the lavish praise of friends as 
to the merits of these pages will have its antidote in the 
defects we ourselves discover. We may however without 
egotism express the belief that this volume will prove 
specially interesting in having a large number of contributors 
from England, France, Canada and the United States, giving 
personal experiences and the progress of legislation in their 
respective localities. 

Into younger hands we must soon resign our work; but 
as long as health and vigor remain, we hope to publish a 
pamphlet report at the close of each congressional term, 
containing whatever may be accomplished by State and 
National legislation, which can be readily bound in volumes 
similar to these, thus keeping a full record of the prolonged 
battle until the final victory shall be achieved. To what 
extent these publications may be multiplied depends on 
when the day of woman's emancipation shall dawn. 

For the completion of this work we are indebted to 
Eliza Jackson Eddy, the worthy daughter of that noble 

iv Preface. 

philanthropist, Francis Jackson. He and Charles F. Hovey 
are the only men who have ever left a generous bequest 
to the woman suffrage movement. To Mrs. Eddy, who 
bequeathed to our cause two-thirds of her large fortune, 
belong all honor and praise as the first woman who has 
given alike her sympathy and her wealth to this momentous 
and far-reaching reform. This heralds a turn in the tide of 
benevolence, when, instead of building churches and monu- 
ments to great men, and endowing colleges for boys, women 
will make the education and enfranchisement of their own 
sex the chief object of their lives. 

The three volumes now completed we leave as a precious 
heritage to coming generations ; precious, because they so 
clearly illustrate in her ability to reason, her deeds of 
heroism and her sublime self-sacrifice that woman pre- 
eminently possesses the three essential elements of sovereignty 
as defined by Blackstone : ''wisdom, goodness and power." 
This has been to us a work of love, written without 
recompense and given without price to a large circle of 
friends. A thousand copies have thus far been distributed 
among our coadjutors in the old world and the new. An- 
other thousand have found an honored place in the leading 
libraries, colleges and universities of Europe and America, 
from which we have received numerous testimonies of their 
Value as a standard work of reference for those who are 
investigating this question. Extracts from these pages are 
being translated into every living language, and, like so 
many missionaries, are bearing the glad gospel of woman's 
emancipation to all civilized nations. 

Since the inauguration of this reform, propositions to ex- 
tend the right of suffrage to women have been submitted 
to the popular vote in Kansas, Michigan, Colorado, Ne- 
braska and Oregon, and lost by large majorities in all ; 
while, by a simple act of legislature, Wyoming, Utah 
and Washington territories have enfranchised their women 
without going through the slow process of a constitutional 

Preface. v 

amendment. In New York, the State that has led this 
movement, and in which there has been a more continued 
agitation than in any other, we are now pressing on the 
legislature the consideration that it has the same power to 
extend the right of suffrage to women that it has so often 
exercised in enfranchising different classes of men. 

Eminent publicists have long conceded this power to State 
legislatures as well as to congress, declaring that women as 
citizens of the United States have the right to vote, and 
that a simple enabling act is all that is needed. The con- 
stitutionality of such an act was never questioned until the 
legislative power was invoked for the enfranchisement of 
women. We who have studied our republican institutions 
and understand the limits of the executive, judicial and 
legislative branches of the government, are aware that the 
legislature, directly representing the people, is the primary 
source of power, above all courts and constitutions. Re- 
search into the early history of this country shows that in 
line with English precedent, women did vote in the old 
colonial days and in the original thirteen States of the 
Union. Hence we are fully awake to the fact that our 
struggle is not for the attainment of a new right, but for 
the restitution of one our fore-mothers possessed and ex- 

All thoughtful readers must close these volumes with a 
deeper sense of the superior dignity, self-reliance and inde- 
pendence that belong by nature to woman, enabling her to 
rise above such multifarious persecutions as she has en- 
countered, and with persistent self-assertion to maintain her 
rights. In the history of the race there has been no 
struggle for liberty like this. Whenever the interest of the 
ruling classes has induced them to confer new rights on 
a subject class, it has been done with no effort on the 
part of the latter. Neither the American slave nor the 
English laborer demanded the right of suffrage. It was 
given in both cases to strengthen the liberal party. The 

vi Preface. 

philanthropy of the few may have entered into those re- 
forms, but political expediency carried both measures. 
Women, on the contrary, have fought their own battles ; 
and in their rebellion against existing conditions have in- 
augurated the most fundamental revolution the world has 
ever witnessed. The magnitude and multiplicity of the 
changes involved make the obstacles in the way of success 
seem almost insurmountable. 

The narrow self-interest of all classes is opposed to the 
sovereignty of woman. The rulers in the State are not 
willing to share their power with a class equal if not 
superior to themselves, over which they could never hope 
for absolute control, and whose methods of government 
might in many respects differ from their own. The an- 
nointed leaders in the Church are equally hostile to free- 
dom for a sex supposed for wise purposes to have been 
subordinated by divine decree. The capitalist in the world 
of work holds the key to the trades and professions, and 
undermines the power of labor unions in their struggles 
for shorter hours and fairer wages, by substituting the cheap 
labor of a disfranchised class, that cannot organize its forces, 
thus making wife and sister rivals of husband and brother 
in the industries, to the detriment of both classes. Of the 
autocrat in the home, John Stuart Mill has well said : 
"No ordinary man is willing to find at his own fireside an 
equal in the person he calls wife." Thus society is based 
on this fourfold bondage of woman, making liberty and 
equality for her antagonistic to every organized institution- 
Where, then, can we rest the lever with which to lift one- 
half of humanity from these depths of degradation but on 
"that columbiad of our political life the ballot which 
makes every citizen who holds it a full-armed monitor"? 



PHCEBE W. COUZINS Frontispiece. 


























The Dawn of the New Century Washington Convention Congressional Hear- 
ing Woman's Protest May Anniversary Centennial Parlors in Philadelphia 
Letters and Delegates to Presidential Conventions 50,000 Documents sent 
out The Centennial Autograph Book The Fourth of July Independence 
Square Susan B. Anthony reads the Declaration of Rights Convention in 
Dr. Furness' Church, Lucretia Mott, Presiding The Hutchinson Family, 
John and Asa The Twenty-eighth Anniversary, July 19, Edward M. Davis, 
Presiding Letters, Ernestine L. Rose, Clarina I. H. Nichols The Ballot- 
Box Retrospect The Woman's Pavilion I 



Renewed Appeal for a Sixteenth Amendment Mrs. Gage Petitions for a Re- 
moval of Political Disabilities Ninth Washington Convention, 1877 Jane 
Grey Swisshelm Letters, Robert Purvis, Wendell Phillips, Francis E. Abbott 
10,000 Petitions Referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections by 
Special Request of the Chairman, Hon. O P. Morton, of Indiana May An- 
niversary in New York Tenth Washington Convention, 1878 Frances E.\ 
Willard and 30,000 Temperance Women Petition Congress 40,000 Petition) 
for a Sixteenth Amendment Hearing before the Committee on Privileges and 
Elections Madam Dahlgren's Protest Mrs. Hooker's Hearing on Washing- 
ton's Birthday Mary Clemmer's Letter to Senator Wadleigh His Adverse 
Report Thirtieth Anniversary, Unitarian Church, Rochester, N. Y., July 19, 
1878 The Last Convention Attended by Lucretia Mott Letters, William 
Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips Church Resolution Criticised by Rev. Dr. 
Strong International Women's Congress in Paris Washington Convention, 
1879 Favorable Minority Report by Senator Hoar U. S. Supreme Court 
Opened to Women May Anniversary at St. Louis Address of Welcome by 
Phoebe Couzins Women in Council Alone Letter from Josephine Butler, of 
England Mrs. Stanton's Letter to The National Citizen and Ballot-Box . 57 



Why we Hold Conventions in Washington Lincoln Hall Demonstration Sixty- 
six Thousand Appeals Petitions Presented in Congress Hon. T. W. Ferry of 

x. Contents. 

Michigan in the Senate Hon. Geo. B. Loiing of Massachusetts in the House 
Hon. J. J. Davis of North Carolina Objected Twelfth Washington Con- 
vention Hearings before the Judiciary Committee of both Houses, 1880 
May Anniversary at Indianapolis Series of Western Conventions Presidential 
Nominating Conventions Delegates and Addresses to each Mass-Meeting 
at Chicago Washington Convention, 1881 Memorial Service to Lucretia 
Mott Mrs. Stanton's Eulogy Discussion in the Senate on a Standing Com- 
mittee Senator McDonald of Indiana Champions the Measure May Anni- 
versary in Boston Conventions in the chief cities of New England . . . 150 



Prolonged Discussions in the Senate on a Special Committee to Look After the 
Rights of Women, Messrs. Bayard, Morgan and Vest in Opposition Mr. 
Hoar Champions the Measure in the Senate, Mr. Reed in the House Wash- 
ington Convention Representative Orth and Senator Saunders on the Woman 
Suffrage Platform Hearings Before Select Committees of Senate and House 
Reception Given by Mrs. Spofford at the Riggs House Philadelphia Con- 
vention Mrs. Hannah Whitehall Smith's Dinner Congratulations from the 
Central Committee of Great Britain Majority and Minority Reports in the 
Senate E. G. Lapham, J. Z. George Nebraska Campaign Conventions 
in Omaha Joint Resolution Introduced by Hon. John D. White of Ken- 
tucky, Referred to the Select Committee Washington Convention, January 
24, 25, 26, 1883 Majority Report in the House. .... . 198 



The Woman's Hour Lydia Maria Child Petitions Congress First New England 
Convention The New England, American and Massachusetts Associations 
Woman's Journal Bishop Gilbert Haven The Centennial Tea-Party 
County Societies Concord Convention Thirtieth Anniversary of the Wor- 
cester Convention School Suffrage Association Legislative Hearing First 
Petitions The Remonstrants Appear Women in Politics Campaign of 1872 
Great Meeting in Tremont Temple Women at the Polls Provisions of 
Former State Constitutions Petitions, 1853 School-Committee Suffrage, 
1879 Women Threatened with Arrest Changes in the Laws Woman Now 
Owns her own Clothing Harvard Annex Woman in the Professions Sam- 
uel E. Sewall and William I. Bowditch Supreme-Court Decisions Sarah E. 
Wall Francis Jackson Julia Ward Howe Mary E. Stevens Lucia M. 
Peabody Lelia Josephine Robinson Eliza (Jackson) Eddy's Will . . . 265 



Prudence Crandall Eloquent Reformers Petitions for Suffrage The Com- 
mittee's Report Frances Ellen Burr Isabella Beecher Hooker's Reminis- 
cences Anna Dickinson in the Republican Campaign State Society Formed 
October 28, 29, 1869 Enthusiastic Convention in Hartford Governor Mar- 
shall Jewell He recommends More Liberal Laws for Women Society 
Formed in New Haven, 1871 Governor Hubbard's Inaugural, 1877 Samuel 

Contents. xL 

Bowles of the Springfield Republican Rev. Phebe A. Hanaford, Chaplain, 
1870 John Hooker, Esq., Champions the Suffrage Movement The Smith 
Sisters Mary Hall Chief-Justice Park Frances Ellen Burr Hartford Equal 
Rights Club 316 



Senator Anthony in North American Review Convention in Providence State 
Association organized, Paulina Wright Davis, President Report of Elizabeth 
B. Chase Women on School Boards Women's Board of Visitors to the Penal 
and Correctional Institutions Dr. Win. F. Channing Miss Ida Lewis 
Letter of Frederick A. Hinckley Last Words of Senator Anthony . . . 339 



Women on School Committees Elvira C. Thorndyke First Suffrage Society 
organized, 1868, Rockland Portland Meeting, 1870 John Neal Judge 
Goddard Colby University Open to Girls, August 12, 1871 Mrs. Clara 
Hapgood Nash Admitted to the Bar, October 26, 1872 Tax- Payers Protest 
Ann F. Greeley, 1872 March, 1872, Bill for Woman Suffrage Lost in the 
House, Passed in the Senate by Seven Votes Miss Frank Charles, Register 
of Deeds Judge Reddington Mr. Randall's Motion Moral Eminence of 
Maine Convention in Granite Hall, Augusta, January, 1873, Hon. Joshua 
Nye, President Delia A. Curtis Opinions of the Supreme Court in Regard 
to Women Holding Offices Governor Dingley's Message, 1875 Convention, 
Representatives Hall, Portland, Judge Kingsbury, President, Feb. 12, '76 
The two Snow Families Hon. T. B. Reed 351 



Nathaniel P. Rogers Parker Pillsbury Galen Foster The Ilutchinson Family 
First Organized Action, 1868 Concord Convention William Lloyd Gar- 
rison's Letter Rev. S. L. Blake Opposed Rev. Mr. Sanborn in Favor 
Concord Monitor Armenia S. White A Bill to Protect the Rights of Mar- 
ried Men Minority and Majority Reports Women too Ignorant to Vote 
Republican State Convention Women on School Committees, 1870 Vot- 
ing at School District Meetings, 1878 Mrs. White's Address Mrs. Ricker on 
Prison Reform Judicial Decision in Regard to Married Women, 1882 Let- 
ter from Senator Blair 367 



Clarina Howard Nichols Council of Censors Amending the Constitution St. 
Andrew's Letter Mr. Reed's Report Convention Called H. B. Blackwell 
on the Vermont Watchman Mary A. Livermore in the IVoman s Journal 
Sarah A. Gibbs' Reply to Rev. Mr. Holmes School Suffrage, 1880 . . . 383 

xii. Contents. 


NEW YORK 1860-1885. 

Saratoga Convention, July 13, 14, 1869 State Society Formed, Martha C. 
Wright, President The devolution Established, 1068 Educational Move- 
ment New York City Society, 1870, Charlotte B. \Vilbour, President Presi- 
dential Campaign, 1872 Hearings at Albany, 1873 Constitutional Commis- 
sion An Effort to Open Columbia College, President Barnard in Favor 
Centennial Celebration, 1876 School Officers Senator Emerson of Monroe, 
1877 Governor Robinson's Veto School Suffrage, 1880 Governor Cornell 
Recommended it in his Message Stewart's Home for Working Women 
Women as Police An Act to Prohibit Disfranchisement Attorney- 
General Russell's Adverse Opinion The Power of the Legislature to Extend 
Suffrage Great Demonstration in Chickering Hall, March 7, 1884 Hearing 
at Albany, 1885 Mrs. Blake, Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Howell, Gov. 
Hoyt of Wyoming 395 



Carrie Burnham The Canon and Civil Law the Source of Woman's Degradation 
Women Sold with Cattle in 1768 Women Arrested in Pittsburg Mrs. Mc- 
Manus Opposition to Women in Colleges and Hospitals; John W. Forney 
Vindicates their Rights Ann Preston Women in Dentistry James Truman's 
Letter Swarthmore College Suffrage Association Formed in 1866, in Phila- 
delphia John K. Wildman's Letter Judge William S. Pierce The Citizens' 
Suffrage Association, 333 Walnut Street, Edward M. Davis, President Pe- 
titions to the Legislature Constitutional Convention, 1873 Bishop Simpson, 
Mary Grew, Sarah C. Hallowell, Matilda Hindman, Mrs. Stanton, Address 
the Convention Messrs. Broomall and Campbell Debate with the Opposition 
Amendment Making Women Eligible to School Offices Two Women Elected 
to Philadelphia School Board, 1874 The Wages of Married Women Protected 
J. Edgar Thomson's Will Literary Women as Editors The Rev. Knox 
Little Anne E. McDowell Women as Physicians in Insane Asylums The 
Fourteenth Amendment Resolution, iSSi Ex-Gov. Hoyt's Lecture on Wy- 



Women Voted in the Early Days Deprived of the Right by Legislative Enact- 
ment in 1807 Women Demand the Restoration of Their Rights in 1868 At 
the Polls in Vineland and Roseville Park Lucy Stone Agitates the Question 
State Suffrage Society Organized in 1867 Conventions A Memorial to the 
Legislature Mary F. Davis Rev. Phebe A. Hanaford Political Science 
Club Mrs. Cornelia C. Hussey Orange Club, 1870 Mrs. Devereux Blake 
gives the Oration, July 4, 1884 Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell's Letter The 
Laws of New Jersey in Regard to Property and Divorce Constitutional Com- 
mission, 1873 Trial of Rev. Isaac M. See Women Preaching in his Pulpit 
The Case Appealed Mis. Jones, Jailoress Legislative Hearings . . 476 

Contents. xiii. 



The First Soldiers' Aid Society Mrs. Mendenhall Cincinnati Equal Rights As- 
sociation, 1868 Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital Hon. J. M. 
Ashley State Society, 1869 Murat Halstead's Letter Dayton Convention, 
1870 Women Protest Against Enfranchisement Sarah Knowles Bolton 
Statistics on Coeducation by Thomas Wentworth Higginson Woman's Crusade, 
1874 Miriam M. Cole Ladies' Health Association Professor Curtis Hos- 
pital for Women and Children, 1879 Letter from J. D. Buck, M. D. 
March, 1881, Degrees Conferred on W r omen Toledo Association, 1869 
Sarah Langdon Williams The Sunday Journal The Ballot-Box Constitu- 
tional Convention Judge Waite Amendment Making Women Eligible to 
Office Mr. Voris, Chairman Special Committee on Woman Suffrage State 
Convention, 1873 Rev. Robert McCune Centennial Celebration Women 
Decline to Take Part Correspondence Newbury Association Women 
Voting, 1871 Sophia Ober Allen Annual Meeting, Painesville, 1885 State 
Society, Mrs. Frances M. Casement, President Adelbert College . . . 491 



Women's Literary Clubs and Libraries Mrs. Lucinda H. Stone Classes of Girls 
in Europe Ernestine L. Rose Legislative Action, 1849-1885 State Woman 
Suffrage Society, 1870 Annual Conventions Northwestern Association 
Wendell Phillips' Letter Nannette Gardner votes Catharine A. F. Stebbins 
Refused Legislative Action Amendments Submitted An Active Canvas of 
the State by Women Election Day The Amendment Lost, 40,000 Men 
Voted in Favor University at Ann Arbor Opened to Girls, 1869 Kalamazoo 
Institute J. A. B. Stone Miss Madeline Stockwell and Miss Sarah Burger 
Applied for Admission to the University in 1857 Episcopal Church Bill 
Local Societies Quincy Lansing St. Johns Manistee Grand Rapids 
Sojourner Truth Laura C. Haviland Sybil Lawrence 513 



The First W T oman Suffrage Convention After the War, 1869 Amanda M. Way 
Annual Meetings, 1870-85, in the Larger Cities Indianapolis Equal Suf- 
frage Society, 1878 A Course of Lectures In May, iSSo, National Conven- 
tion in Indianapolis Zerelda G. Wallace Social Entertainment Governor 
Albert G. Porter Susan B. Anthony's Birthday Schuyler Colfax Legislative 
Hearings Temperance W r omen of Indiana Helen M. Cougar General As- 
sembly Delegates to Political Conventions Women Address Political Meet- 
ings Important Changes in the Laws for Women, from iSooto 1884 Col- 
leges Open to \Vomen Demia Butler Professors Lawyers Doctors Min- 
isters Miss Catharine Merrill Miss Elizabeth Eaglestield Rev. Prudence 
Le Clerc Dr. Mary F. Thomas Prominent Men and Women George W. 
Julian The Journals Gertrude Garrison 533 

xiv. Contents. 



Chicago a Great Commercial Centre First Woman Suffrage Agitation, 1855 A. 
J. Grover Society at Earlville Prudence Crandall Sanitary Movement 
Woman in Journalism MyraBradwell Excitement in Elmwood Church, 1868 
Mrs. Huldah Joy Pulpit Utterances Convention, 1869, Library Hall, 
Chicago Anna Dickinson, Robert Laird Collier Debate Manhood Suffrage 
Denounced by Mrs. Stan ton and Miss Anthony Judge Charles B. Waite on 
the Constitutional Convention Hearing before the Legislature Western Suf- 
frage Convention, Mrs. Livermore, President Annual Meeting at Blooming- 
ton Women Eligible to School Offices Evanston College Miss Alta Hulett 
Medical Association Dr. Sarah H ackett Stevenson " Woman's Kingdom" 
in the Inter-Ocean Mrs. Harbert Centennial Celebration at Evanston 
Temperance Petition, 180,000 Frances E. Willard Social Science Associa- 
tion Art Union Jane Graham Jones at International Congress in Paris 
Moline Association 559 



Missouri the first State to Open Colleges of Law and Medicine to Woman Lib- 
eral Legislation Harriet Hosmer Wayman Crow Dr. Joseph N. McDowell 
Works of Art Women in the War Adeline Couzins Virginia L. Minor 
Petitions Woman Suffrage Association, May 8, 1867 First Woman Suffrage 
Convention, Oct. 6, 1869 Able Resolutions by Francis Minor Action Asked 
for in the Methodist Church Constitutional Convention Mrs. Hazard's Re- 
port National Suffrage Association, 1879 Virginia L. Minor Before the 
Committee on Constitutional Amendments Mrs. Minor Tries to Vote Her 
Case in the Supreme Court Mrs. Annie R. Irvine "Oregon Woman's 
Union " Miss Phoebe Couzins Graduates From the Law School, 1871 
Reception by Members of the Bar Speeches Dr. Walker Judge Krum 
Hon. Albert Todd Ex-Governor E O. Stanard Ex-Senator Henderson 
Judge Reber George M. Stewart Mrs. Minor Miss Couzins . . . 594 



Beautiful Scenery Liberal in Politics and Reforms Legislation for Women 
No Right yet to Joint Earnings Early Agitation Frances Dana Gage, 1854 
Mrs. Amelia Bloomer Lectures in Council Bluffs, 1856 Mrs. Martha H. 
Brinkerhoff Mrs. Annie Savery, 1868 County Associations Formed in 1869 
State Society Organized at Mt. Pleasant, 1870, Henry O'Connor, President 
Mrs. Cutler Answers Judge Palmer First Annual Meeting, Des Moines 
Letter from Bishop Simpson The State Register Complimentary Mass- 
Meeting at the Capitol Mrs. Savery and Mrs. Harbert Legislative Action 
Methodist and Universalist Churches Indorse Woman Suffrage Republican 
Plank, 1874 Governor Carpenter's Message, 1876 Annual Meeting, 1882, 
Many Clergymen Present Five Hundred Editors Interviewed Miss Hind- 
man and Mrs. Campbell Mrs. Callanan Interviews Governor Sherman, 1884 
Lawyers Governor Kirkwood Appoints Women to Office County Super- 
intendents Elizabeths. Cook Journalism Literature Medicine Ministry 
Inventions President of a National Bank The Heroic Kate Shelly Tem- 
perance Improvement in the Laws 6 12 

Contents. xv. 



Progressive Legislation The Rights of Married Women The Constitution 
Shows Four Classes Having the Right to Vote Woman Suffrage Agitation 
C. L. Sholes' Minority Report, 1856 Judge David Noggle and J. T. Mills' 
Minority Report, 1859 State Association Formed, 1869 Milwaukee Conven- 
tion Dr. Laura Ross Hearing Before the Legislature Convention in Janes- 
ville, 1870 State University Elizabeth R. Wentworth Suffrage Amend- 
ment, iSSo, '81, '82 Rer. Olympia Brown, Racine, 1877 Madam Anneke 
Judge Ryan Three Days' Convention at Racine, 1883 Eveleen L. Ma- 
son Dr. Sarah Munro Rev. Dr. Corwin Lavinia Godell, Lawyer Angie 
King Kate Kane . 638 



Girls in State University Sarah Burger Stearns Harriet E. Bishop, the First 
Teacher in St. Paul Mary J. Colburn Won the Prize Mrs. Jane Grey Swiss- 
helm, St. Cloud Fourth of July Oration, 1866 First Legislative Hearing, 
1867 Governor Austin's Veto First Society at Rochester Kasson Almira 
W. Anthony Mary P. Wheeler Harriet M. White The W. C. T. U. 
Harriet A. Hobart Literary and Art Clubs School Suffrage, 1876 Char- 
lotte O. Van Cleve and Mrs. C. S. Winchell Elected to School Board Mrs. 
Governor Pillsbury Temperance Vote, 1877 Property Rights of Married 
Women Women as Officers, Teachers, Editors, Ministers, Doctors, Lawyers. 649 



Influences of Climate and Scenery Legislative Action, 1872 Mrs. Marietta 
Bones In February, 1879, School Suffrage Granted Women Constitutional 
Convention, 1883 Matilda Joslyn Gage Addressed a Letter to the Conven- 
tion and an Appeal to the Women of the State Mrs. Bones Addressed the 
Convention in Person The Effort to get the Word " Male " out of the Con- 
stitution Failed Legislature of 1885 Major Pickler Presents the Bill Car- 
ried Through Both Houses Governor Pierce's Veto Major Pickler's Letter. 662 



Clara Bewick Colby Nebraska Came into the Possession of the United States, 
1803 The Home of the Dakotas Organized as a Territory, 1854 Territorial 
Legislature Mrs. Amelia Bloomer Addresses the House Gen. Wm. Lari- 
mer, 1856 A Bill to Confer Suffrage on Women Passed the House Lost 
in the Senate Constitution Harmonized with the Fourteenth Amendment 
Admitted as a State March I, 1867 Mrs. Stanton, Miss Anthony Lecture in 
the State, 1867 Mrs. Tracy Cutler, 1870 Mrs. Esther L. Warner's Letter 
Constitutional Convention, 1871 Woman Suffrage Amendment Submitted 
Lost by 12,676 against, 3.502 for Prolonged Discussion Constitutional Con- 
vention, 1875 Grasshoppers Devastate the Country Inter-Ocean, Mrs. Har- 
bert Omaha Republican, 1876 Woman's Column Edited by Mrs. Harriet S. 

xvi. Contents. 

Brooks "Woman's Kingdom" State Society Formed, January 19, 1881, 
Mrs. Brooks President Mrs. Dinsmoor, Mrs. Colby, Mrs. Brooks, before the 
Legislature Amendment again Submitted Active Canvass of the State, 1882 
First Convention of the State Association Charles F. Manderson Unreli- 
able Politicians An Unfair Count of Votes for Woman Suffrage Amendment 
Defeated Conventions in Omaha Notable Women in the State Conven- 
tions Woman's Tribune Established in 1883 670 



Effect of the Popular Vote on Woman Suffrage Anna C. Wait Hannah Wilson 
Miss Kate Stephens, Professor of Greek in State University Lincoln 
Centre Society, 1879 The Press The Lincoln Beacon Election, 1880 
Sarah A. Brown, Democratic Candidate Fourth of July Celebration Women 
Voting on the School Question State Society, 1884 Helen M. Cougar 
Clara Bewick Colby Bertha H. Ellsworth Radical Reform Association 
Mrs. A. G. Lord Prudence Crandall Clarina Howard Nichols Laws 
Women in the Professions Schools Political Parties Petitions to the Legis- 
lature Col. F. G. Adams' Letter 696 



Great American Desert Organized as a Territory, February 28, 1 860 Gov. 
McCook's Message Recommending Woman Suffrage, 1870 Adverse Legisla- 
tion Hon. Amos Steck Admitted to the Union, 1876 Constitutional Con- 
vention Efforts to Strike Out the \Vord '"Male" Convention to Discuss 
Woman Suffrage School Suffrage Accorded State Association Formed, 
Alida C. Avery, President Proposition for Full Suffrage Submitted to the 
Popular Vote A Vigorous Campaign Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Patterson of 
Denver Opposition by the Clergy Their Arguments Ably Answered D. M. 
Richards The Amendment Lost The Rocky Mountain News . . . .712 



The Dawn of the New Day, December, 1869 The Goal Reached in England 
and America Territory Organized, May, 1869 Legislative Action Bill for 
Woman Suffrage William H. Bright Gov. Campbell Signs the Bill Ap- 
points Esther Morris, Justice of the Peace, March, 1870 Women on the Jury, 
Chief-Justice Howe, Presiding J. W r . Kingman, Associate-Justice, Addresses 
the Jury Women Promptly Take Their Places Sunday Laws Enforced 
Comments of the Press Judge Howe's Letter Laramie Sentinel J. H. 
Hayford Women Voting, 1870 Grandma Swain the First to Cast her Ballot 
Effort to Repeal the Law, 1871 Gov. Campbell's Veto Mr. Corlett 
Rapid Growth of Public Opinion in Favor of Woman Suffrage .... 726 



Liberal Provisions in the Constitution Elizabeth T. Schenck Eliza W. Farnham 
Mrs. Mills' Seminary, now a State Institution Jeannie Carr, State Super- 

Contents. xvii. 

intendent of Schools First Awakening The Revolution Anna Dickinson 
Mrs. Gordon Addresses the Legislature, 1 868 Mrs. Pitts Stevens Edits The 
Pioneer First Suffrage Society on the Pacific Coast, 1869 State Convention, 
January 26, 1870, Mrs. Wallis, President State Association Formed, Mrs. 
Haskell of Pctaluma, President Mrs. Gordon Nominated for Senator In 
1871, Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony Visit California Hon. A. A. Sargent 
Speaks in Favor of Suffrage for Women Ellen Clark Sargent Active in the 
Movement Legislation Making Women Eligible to Hold School Offices, 1873 
July 10, 1873, State Society Incorporated, Sarah Wallis, President Mrs. 
Clara Foltz A Bill Giving Women the Right to Practice Law The Bill 
Passed and Signed by the Governor Contest Over Admitting Women into 
the Law Department of the University Supreme Court Decision Favorable 
Hon. A. A. Sargent on the Constitution and Laws Journalists and Printers 
Silk Culture Legislative Appropriation Mrs. Knox Goodrich Celebrates 
July 4, 1876 Imposing Demonstration Ladies in the Procession . . . 749 



The Long Marches Westward Abigail Scott Duniway Mary Olney Brown 
The First Steps in Oregon Col. C. A. Reed Judge G. W. Lawson 1870 
The New Northwest, 1871 Campaign, Mrs. Duniway and Miss Anthony 
They Address the Legislature in Washington Territory Hon. Elwood Evans 
Suffrage Societies Organized at Olympia and Portland Before the Oregon 
Legislature Donation Land Act Hon. Samuel Corwin's Suffrage Bill Mar- 
ried Woman's Sole Traders' Bill Temperance Alliance Women Rejected 
Major Williams Fights Their Battles and Triumphs Mrs. H. A. Loughary 
Progressive Legislation, 1874 Mob-Law in Jacksonville, 1879 Dr. Mary A. 
Thompson Constitutional Convention, 1878 Woman Suffrage Bill, 1880 
Hon. W. C. Fulton Women Enfranchised in Washington Territory, Nov. 
15, 1883 Great Rejoicing, Bonfires, Ratification Meetings Constitutional 
Amendment Submitted in Oregon and Lost, June, 1884 Suffrage by Legis- 
lative Enactment Lost Fourth of July Celebrated at Vancouvers Benjamin 
and Mary Olney Brown Washington Territory Legislation in 1867-68 Fav- 
orable to Women Mrs. Brown Attempts to Vote and is Refused Charlotte 
Olney French Women Vote at Grand Mound and Black River Precincts, 
1870 Retrogressive Legislation, 1871 Abby II. Stuart in Land-Office 
Hon. William II. White Idaho and Montana 767 



St. Anna's Asylum, Managed by Women Constitutional Convention, 1879 
Women Petition Clara Merrick Guthrie Petition Referred to Committee on 
Suffrage A Hearing Granted Mrs. Keating Mrs. Saxon Mrs. Merrick 
Col. John M. Sandige Efforts of the Women all in Vain Action in 1885 
Gov. McEnery The Daily Picayune Women as Members of the School 
Board Physiology in the Schools Miss Eliza Rudolph Mrs. E. J. Nicholson 
Judge Merrick's Digest of Laws Texas Arkansas Mississippi Sarah A. 

xviii. Contents. 





Secretary Chase Women in tlie ('overnmcnt Departments Myrtilla Miner 
Mrs. O'Connor's Tribute District of Columbia Suffrage Bill The Universal 
Franchise Association, 1867 15111 for a Prohibitory Law Presented by Hon. 
S. C. Pomeroy, 1869 A Bill for Equal Wages for the Women in the Depart- 
ments, Introduced by Hon. S. M. Arnejl, 1870 In 1871 Congress Passed the 
Organic Act for the District Confining the Right of Suffrage to Males In 
1875 it Withdrew all Legislative Power from the People Women in Law, 
Medicine, Journalism and the Charities Dental College Opened to Women 
Mary A. Stewart The Clay Sisters The School of Pharmacy Elizabeth 
Aveiy Meriwether Judge Underwood Mary Bayard Clarke Dr. Susan 
Dimock Governor Chamberlain Coffee-Growing Priscilla Holmes Drake 
Alexander II. Stephens 808 



Miss Phelps of St. Catharines The Revolt of the Thirteen Colonies First Par- 
liament Property Rights of Married Women School Suffrage Thirty Years 
Municipal Suffrage, 1882, 1884 Women Voting in Toronto, 1886 Mrs. 
Curzon Dr. Emily II. Stone Woman's Literary Club of Toronto Nova 
Scotia New Brunswick Miss Harriet Stewart 831 



Women Send Members to Parliament Sidney Smith, Sir Robert Peel, Richard 
Cobden The Ladies of Oldham Jeremy Bentham Anne Knight Northern 
Reform Society, 1858 Mrs. Matilda Biggs Unmarried Women and Widows 
Petition Parliament Associations Formed in London, Manchester, Edin- 
burgh, 1867 John Stuart Mill in Parliament Seventy-three Votes for his Bill 
John Bright's Vote Women Register and Vote Lord-Chief-Justice of 
England Declares their Constitutional Right The Courts Give Adverse De- 
cisions Jacob Bright Secures the Municipal Franchise First Public Meeting 
Division on Jacob Bright's Bill to Remove Political Disabilities Mr. Glad- 
stone's Speech Work of 1871-72 Fourth Vote on the Suffrage Bill Jacob 
Bright Fails of Reelection Efforts of Mr. Forsyth Memorial of the National 
Society Some Account of the Workers Vote of the New Parliament, 1875 
Organized Opposition Diminished Adverse Vote of 1878 Mr. Courtney's 
Resolution Letters Great Demonstrations at Manchester London Bristol 
Nottingham Birmingham Sheffield Glasgow Victory in the Isle of Man 
Passage of the Municipal Franchise Bill for Scotland Mr. Mason's Resolu- 
tion Reduction of Adverse Majority to iG Liberal Conference at Leeds 
Mr. Woodall's Amendment to Reform Bill of 1884 Meeting at Edinburgh 
Other Meetings Estimated Number of Women Householders Circulars to 
Members of Parliament Debate on the Amendment Resolutions of the 
Society Further Debate Defeat of the Amendment Meeting at St. James 
Hall Conclusion 833 

Contents. xix. 



The Woman Question in the Back-ground In France the Agitation Dates from 
the Upheaval of 1789 International Women's Rights Convention in Paris, 
1878 Mile. Ilubertine Auclert Leads the Demand for Suffrage Agitation 
Began in Italy with the Kingdom Concepcion Arenal in Spain Coeducation 
in Portugal Germany: Leipsic and Berlin Austria in Advance of Germany 
Caroline Svetla of Bohemia Austria Unsurpassed in Contradictions Marriage 
Emancipates from Tutelage in Hungary Dr. Henrietta Jacobs of Holland 
Dr. Isala Van Dicst of Belgium In Switzerland the Catholic Cantons Lag 
Behind Marie Gcegg, the Leader Sweden Stands First Universities Open 
to Women in Norway Associations in Denmark Liberality of Russia toward 
Women Poland The Orient Turkey Jewish Wives The Greek Woman 
in Turkey The Greek Woman in Greece An Unique Episode Woman's 
Rights in the American Sense not Known 895 



BY E. C. S 922 

Appendix 955 


The Dawn of the New Century Washington Convention Congressional Hearing 
Woman's Protest May Anniversary Centennial Parlors in Philadelphia Letters 
and Delegates to Presidential Conventions 50,000 Documents sent out The Cen- 
tennial Autograph Book The Fourth of July Independence Square Susan B. 
Anthony reads the Declaration of Rights Convention in Dr. Furness' Church, 
Lucretia Mott, Presiding The Hutchinson Family, John and Asa The Twenty- 
eighth Anniversary, July 19, Edward M. Davis, Presiding Letters, Ernestine 
L. Rose, Clarina I. H. Nichols The Ballot-Box Retrospect The Woman's 

DURING the sessions of 1871-72 congress enacted laws pro- 
viding for the celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of 
American independence, to be held July 4, 1876, in Philadelphia, 
the historic city from whence was issued the famous declaration 
of 1776. 

The first act provided for the appointment by the president of a 
"Centennial Commission," consisting of two members from each 
State and territory in the Union ; the second incorporated the 
Centennial Board of Finance and provided for the issue of stock 
to the amount of $10,000,000, in 1,000,000 shares of $10 each. It 
was at first proposed to distribute the stock among the peopft of 
the different States and territories according to the ratio of their 
population, but subscriptions were afterward received without re- 
gard to States. The stockholders organized a board of directors, 
April i, 1873. The design of the exhibition was to make it a 
comprehensive display of the industrial, intellectual and moral 
progress of the nation during the first century of its existence ; 
but by the earnest invitation of our government foreign nations 
so generally participated that it was truly, as its name implied, 
an " International and World's Exposition." 

The centennial year opened amid the wildest rejoicing. In 
honor of the nation's birthday extensive preparations were made 
for the great event. Crowds of people eager to participate in 
the celebration, everywhere flocked from the adjacent country to 

2 ///>Avr of Wonitui Suffrage. 

the nearest village or city, filling the streets and adding to the 
general gala look, all through the day and evening of December 
31, 1875. From early gas-light upon every side the blow- 
ing of horns, throwing of torpedos, explosion of fire-crackers, 
gave premonition of more enthusiastic exultation. As the clock 
struck twelve every house suddenly blossomed with red, white 
and blue; public*and private buildings burst into a blaze of light 
that rivaled the noon-day sun, while screaming whistles, booming 
cannon, pealing bells, joyous music and brilliant fire-works made 
the midnight which ushered in the centennial 1876, a never-to- 
be-forgotten hour. 

Portraits of the presidents from Washington and Lincoln 
laurel-crowned, to Grant, sword in hand, met the eye on every 
side. Stars in flames of fire lighted the foreign flags of welcome 
to other nations. Every window, door and roof-top was filled 
with gay and joyous people. Carriages laden with men, women 
and children in holiday attire enthusiastically waving the na- 
tional flag and singing its songs of freedom. Battalions of 
soldiers marched through the streets; Roman candles, whizzing 
rockets, and gaily-colored balloons shot upward, filling the sky 
with trails of fire and adding to the brilliancy of the scene, while all 
minor sounds were drowned in the martial music. Thus did the 
old world and the new commemorate the birth of a nation 
founded on the principle of self-government. 

The prolonged preparations for the centennial celebration 
naturally roused the women of the nation to new thought as to 
their status as citizens of a republic, as well as to their rightful 
sharAin the progress of the centuiy. The oft-repeated declara- 
tions of the fathers had a deeper significance for those who 
realized the degradation of disfranchisement, and they queried 
with each other as to what part, with becoming self-respect, they 
could take in the coming festivities.* Woman's achievements 
in art, science and industry would necessarily be recognized in 

Some suggested that the women in their various towns and cities, draped in black, should march 
in solemn procession, bells slowly tolling, bearing banners with the inscriptions : " Taxation without 
representation is tyranny.'.' " Xo just government can be formed without the consent of the governed," 
" They who have no voice in the laws and rulers are in a condition of slavery." 

Others sug^oted that instead of women wearing crape during the centennial glorification, the men 
should sit down in sackcloth and ashes, in humiliation of spirit, as those who repented in olden times 
were wont to do. The best centennial celebration, said they, for the men of the United States, the 
one to cover them with glory, would be to extend to the women of the nation all the rights, privileges 
and immunities that they themselves enjoy. 

Others proposed that women should monopolize the day, have their own celebrations, read their 
own declarations and protests demanding justice, liberty and equality. The latter suggestion was 
extensively adopted, and the Fourth of July, 1876, was remarkable for the Urge number of women 
ho were " the orators of the day " in their respective localities. 

Washington Convention, 1876. 3 

the Exposition ; but with the dawn of a new era, after a hundred 
years of education in a republic, she asked more than a simple 
recognition of the products of her hand and brain ; with her 
growing intelligence, virtue and patriotism, she demanded the 
higher ideal of womanhood that should welcome her as an equal 
factor in government, with all the rights and honors of citizenship 
fully accorded. During the entire century, women who under- 
stood the genius of free institutions had ever and anon made 
their indignant protests in both public and private before 
State legislatures, congressional committees and statesmen at 
their own firesides ; and now, after discussing the right of self- 
government so exhaustively in the late anti-slavery conflict, it 
seemed to them that the time had come to make some applica- 
tion of these principles to the women of the nation. Hence it 
was with a deeper sense of injustice than ever before that the 
National Suffrage Association issued the call for the annual 
Washington Convention of 1876: 

National Woman Suffrage Association will hold its Eighth Annual 
Convention in Tallmadge Hall, Washington, D. C., January 27, 28, 1876. 
In this one-hundredth year of the Republic, the women of the United States 
will once more assemble under the shadow of the national capitol to press 
their claims to self-government. 

That property has its rights, was acknowledged in England long before 
the revolutionary war, and this recognized right made " no taxation 
without representation " the most effective battle-cry of that period. But 
the question of property representation fades from view beside the greater 
question of the right of each individual, millionaire or pauper, to personal 
representation. In the progress of the war our fathers grew in wisdom, 
and the Declaration of Independence was the first national assertion of 
the right of individual representation. That "governments derive their 
just powers from the consent of the governed," thenceforward became 
the tvatchword of the world. Our flag, which beckons the emigrant 
from every foreign shore, means to him self-government. 

But while in theory our government recognizes the rights of all people, 
in practice it is far behind the Declaration of Independence and the na- 
tional constitution. On what just ground is discrimination made between 
men and women ? Why should women, more than men, be governed 
without their own consent? Why should women, more than men, be de- 
nied trial by a jury of their peers? On what authority are women taxed 
while unrepresented ? By what right do men declare themselves invested 
with power to legislate for women? For the discussion of these vital 
questions friends are invited to take part in the convention. 

MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, President, Fayetteville, N. Y. 

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Ch'n Ex. Com., Rochester, N. Y. 

4 History of \\'owau Suffrage. 

At the opening session of this convention the president, Matilda 
Joslyn Gage, said : 

I would remind you, fellow-citizens, that this is our first convention in 
the dawn of the new century. In 1776 we inaugurated our experiment of 
self-government. Unbelief in man's capacity to govern himself was freely 
expressed by every European monarchy except France. When John 
Adams was Minister to England, the newspapers of that country were filled 
with prophecies that the new-born republic would soon gladly return to 
British allegiance. But these hundred years have taught them the worth 
of liberty ; the Declaration of Independence has become the alphabet of 
nations; Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the isles of the sea, will 
unite this year to do our nation honor. Our flag is everywhere on sea 
and land. It has searched the North Pole, explored every desert, upheld 
religious liberty of every faith and protected political refugees from every 
nation, but it has not yet secured equal rights to women. 

This year is to be one of general discussion upon the science of govern- 
ment ; its origin, its powers, its history. If our present declaration can- 
not be so interpreted as to cover the rights of women, we must issue one 
that will. I have received letters from many of the Western States and 
from this District, urging us to prepare a woman's declaration, and to 
celebrate the coming Fourth of July with our own chosen orators and in 
our own way. I notice a general awakening among women at this time. 
But a day or two since the women of this District demanded suffrage for 
themselves in a petition of 25,000 names. The men are quiet under their 
enfranchisement, making no attempt for their rights fit slaves of a 
powerful ring. 

The following protest was presented by Mrs. Gage, adopted by 
the convention, printed and extensively circulated : 

To the Political Sovereigns of the United States in Independence Hall 
assembled : 

We, the undersigned women of the United States, asserting our faith in 
the principles of the Declaration of Independence and in the constitution 
of the United States, proclaiming it as the best form of government in fte 
world, declare ourselves a part of the people of the nation unjustly 
deprived of the guaranteed and reserved rights belonging to citizens of 
the United States ; because we have never given our consent to this gov- 
ernment ; because we have never delegated our rights to others ; because 
this government is false to its underlying principles ; because it has refused 
to one-half its citizens the only means of self-government the ballot; 
because it has been deaf to our appeals, our petitions and our prayers; 

Therefore, in presence of the assembled nations of all the world, we pro- 
test against this government of the United States as an oligarchy of sex, 
and not a true republic ; and we protest against calling this a centennial 
celebration of the independence of the people of the United States. 

Annual Report of 1876. 5 

Letters* were read and a series of resolutions were discussed 
and adopted : 

Resolved, That the demand for woman suffrage is but the next step in the great 
movement which began with Magna Charta, and which has ever since tended toward 
vesting government in the whole body of the people. 

Resolved, That we demand of the forty-fourth congress, in order that it may ade- 
quately celebrate the centennial year, the admission to the polls of the women of all 
the territories, and a submission to the legislatures of the several States of an amend- 
ment securing to women the elective franchise. 

Resolved, That the enfranchisement of women means wiser and truer wedlock, 
purer and happier homes, healthier and better children, and strikes, as nothing else 
does, at the very roots of pauperism and crime. 

Resolved, That if Colorado would come into the Union in a befitting manner for 
the celebration of the centennial of the Declaration of Independence, she should give 
the ballot to brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, and thus present to the nation 
a truly free State. 

Resolved, That the right of suffrage being vested in the women of Utah by their 
constitutional and lawful enfranchisement, and by six years of use, we denounce the 
proposition about to be again presented to congress for the disfranchisement of the 
women in that territory, as an outrage on the freedom of thousands of legal voters 
and a gross innovation of vested rights ; we demand the abolition of the system 
of numbering the ballots, in order that the women may be thoroughly free to vote 
as they choose, without supervision or dictation*, and that the chair appoint a com- 
mittee of three persons, with power to add to their number, to memorialize congress, 
and otherwise to watch over the rights of the women of Utah in this regard during the 
next twelve months. 

BELVA A. LOCKWOOD presented the annual report : The question 
of woman suffrage is to be submitted to the people of Iowa 
during the present centennial year, if this legislature ratines the 
action of the previous one. Colorado has not embodied the word " male " 
in her constitution, and a vigorous effort is being made to introduce 
woman suffrage there. In Minnesota women are allowed to vote on 
school questions and to hold office by a recent constitutional amendment. 
In Michigan, in 1874, the vote for woman suffrage was 40,000, about 
1,000 more votes than were polled for the new constitution. The Con- 
necticut legislature, during the past year appointed a committee to 
consider and report the expediency of making women eligible to the 
position of electors for president and vice-president. The committee 
made a unanimous report in its favor, and secured for its passage 82 votes, 
while 101 votes were cast against it. In Massachusetts, Governor Rice, 
in his inaugural address, recommended to the legislature to secure to 
women the right to vote for presidential electors. An address to the legis- 
lature of New York by Mesdames Gage, Blake and Lozier upon this ques- 
tion, was favorably received and extensively quoted by the press. At an 
agricultural fair in Illinois the Hon. James R. Doolittle advocated house- 
hold suffrage. In the Senate of the thirteenth legislature of the State of 
Texas, Senator Dohoney, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, made a 
report strongly advocating woman suffrage; and in 1875, when a mem- 

Letters were read from the Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia ; William J. Fowler, of 
Rochester, N. Y.; Isabella Beecher Hooker, of Connecticut, and Susan B. Anthony. 

6 History of Woman Suffrage. 

her of the Constitutional Convention, he advocated the same doctrine, 
and was ably assisted by Hon. W. Ci. I.. Weaver. The governor of that 
State, in his message, recommended that women school teachers should 
receive equal pay for equal work. The word " malt- " dors not occur in the 
new constitution. In the territories of Wyoming and Utah, woman 
suffrage still continues after five years' experiment, and we have not 
learned that households have been broken up or that babies have ceased 
to be rocked. 

Women physicians, women journalists and women editors have come 
to be a feature of our institutions. Laura De Force Gordon, a member of 
our association, is editing a popular daily the Leader in Sacramento, 
( ";il. Women are now admitted to the bar in Kansas, Illinois. Wisconsin, 
Iowa, Missouri, Utah, Wyoming and the District of Columbia. They are 
eligible and are serving as school superintendents in Kansas, Nebraska, 
Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. Illinois allows them to be notaries public. 
As postmasters they have proved competent, and one woman, Miss Ada 
Sweet, is pension agent at Chicago. Julia K. Sutherland has been ap- 
pointed commissioner of deeds for the State of California. In England 
women vote on the same terms as men on municipal, parochial and educa- 
tional matters. In Holland, Austria and Sweden, women vote on a 
property qualification. The Peruvian Minister of Justice has declared 
that Peru places women on the same footing as men. Thus all over the 
world is the idea of human rights taking root and cropping out in a 
healthful rather than a spasmodic outgrowth. 

The grand-daughter of Paley, true to her ancestral blood, has excelled 
all the young men in Cambridge in moral science. Julia J. Thomas, 
of Cornell University, daughter of Dr. Mary F. Thomas, of Indiana, in the 
recent inter-collegiate contest, took the first prize of $300, over eight male 
competitors, in Greek. The recent decision in the United States Supreme 
Court, of Minor vs. Happersett, will have as much force in suppressing 
the individuality and self-assertion of women as had the opinion of Judge 
Taney, in the Dred-Scott case, in suppressing the emancipation of 
slavery. The day has come when precedents are made rather than blindly 
followed. The refusal of the Superior Court of Philadelphia to allow 
Carrie S. Burnham to practice law, because there was no precedent, was a 
weak evasion of common law and common sense. One hundred years ago 
there was no precedent for a man practicing law in the State of Pennsyl- 
vania, and yet we have not learned that there was any difficulty in estab- 
lishing a precedent. I do not now remember any precedent for the 
Declaration of Independence of the United Colonies, and yet during a 
century it has not been overturned. The rebellion of the South had no 
precedent, and yet, if I remember, there was an issue joined, and the 
United States found that she had jurisdiction of the case. 

The admission of women to Cornell University ; their reception on equal 
footing in Syracuse University, receiving in both equal honorary degrees ; 
the establishment of Wellesley College, with full professorships and 
capable women to fill them ; the agitation of the question in Washington 
of the establishment of a university for women, all show a mental awaken- 

Washington, Convention, 1876. 7 

ing in the popular mind not hitherto known. A new era is opening in the 
history of the world. The seed sown twenty-five years ago by Mrs. Stan- 
ton and other brave women is bearing fruit. 

SARA ANDREWS SPENCER said it was interesting to pair off the objec- 
tions and let them answer each other like paradoxes. Women will be 
influenced by their husbands and will vote for bad men to please them. 
Women have too much influence now, and if we give them any more 
latitude they will make men all vote their way. ( hving to the composition 
and structure of the female brain, women are incapable of understanding 
political affairs. If women are allowed to vote they will crowd all the men 
out of office, and men will be obliged to stay at home and take care of the 
children. That is, owing to the composition and structure of the female 
brain, women are so exactly adapted to political affairs that men wouldn't 
stand any chance if women were allowed to enter into competition with 
them. Women don't want it. Women shouldn't have it, for they don't 
know how to use it. Grace Greenwood (who was one of the seventy-two 
women who tried to vote) said men were like the stingy boy at school with 
a cake. "Now," said he, "all you that don't ask for it don't want it, and 
all you that do ask for it sha'n't have it." 

Rev. OLVMPIA BROWN, pastor of the Universalist church in Bridgeport, 
Conn., gave her views on the rights of women under the constitution, 
and believed that they were entitled to the ballot as an inalienable right. 
In this country, under existing rulings of the courts as to the meaning of 
the constitution, no one appeared likely to enjoy the ballot for all time 
except the colored men, unless the clause, "previous condition of servi- 
tude," as a congressman expressed it, referred to widows. That being 
true, the constitution paid a premium only on colored men, and widows. 
If the constitution did not guarantee suffrage, and congress did not be- 
stow it, then the republic was of no account and its boast devoid of 
significance and meaning. Its life had been in vain dead to the interests 
for which it was created. She wanted congress to pass a sixteenth amend- 
ment, declaring all its citizens enfranchised, or a declaratory act setting 
forth that the constitution already guaranteed to them that right. 

Hon. FREDERICK DOUGLASS said he was not quite in accord with all the 
sentiments that had been uttered during the. afternoon, yet he was willing 
that the largest latitude should be taken by the advocates of the cause. 
He was not afraid that at some distant period the blacks of the South 
would rise and disfranchise the whites. While he was not willing to be 
addressed as the ignorant, besotted creature that the negro is sometimes 
called, he was willing to. be a part of the bridge over which women should 
march to the full enjoyment of their rights. 

Miss PHCEBE COUZINS of St. Louis reviewed in an able manner the 
decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Virginia L. Minor. 

Mrs. DEVEREUX BLAKE spoke on the rights and duties of citizen- 
ship. She cited a number of authorities, including a recent decision 
of the Supreme Court, to prove that women are citizens, although de- 
prived of the privileges of citizenship. Taking up the three duties of 
citizenship paying taxes, serving on jury, and military service she said 

8 History of Woman Suffrage. 

woman had done her share of the first for a hundred years; that the 
women of the country now contributed, directly and indirectly, one-third 
of its revenues, and that the House of Representatives had just robbed 
them of $500,000 to pay for a centennial celebration in which they had no 
part. As for serving on jury, they did not claim that as a privilege, as it 
was usually regarded as a most disagreeable duty; but they did claim the 
right of women, when arraigned in court, to be tried by a jury of their 
peers, which was not accorded when the jury was composed wholly of 
men. Lastly, as to serving their country in time of war, it was a fact that 
women had actually enlisted and fought in our late war, until their sex 
was discovered, when they were summarily dismissed without being paid 
for their services. 

Hon. Aaron A. Sargent, of California, in the United States 
Senate, and Hon. Samuel S. Cox, of New York, in the House of 
Representatives, presented the memorial asking the enfranchise- 
ment of the women of the District of Columbia, as follows: 

IN THE SENATE, Tuesday, January 25, 1876. 

Mr. SARGENT: 1 present a memorial asking for the establishment of a 
government in the District of Columbia which shall secure to its women 
the right to vote. This petition is signed by many eminent ladies of the 
country: Mrs. Matilda Joslyn Gage, President of the National Woman 
Suffrage Association, and the following officers of that society : Lucretia 
Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Henrietta Payne West- 
brook, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Mathilde F. Wendt, Ellen Clark Sargent; 
also by Mary F. Foster, President of the District of Columbia Woman's 
Franchise Association ; Susan A. Edson, M. D.; Mrs. E. D. E. N. South- 
worth, the distinguished authoress; Mrs. Dr. Caroline B. Winslow; Belva 
A. Lockwood, a practicing lawyer in this District ; Sara Andrews Spencer, 
and Mrs. A. E. Wood. 

These intelligent ladies set forth their petition in language and with 
facts and arguments which I think should meet the ear of the Senate, 
and I ask that it be read by the secretary in order that their desires may 
be known. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : Is there objection ? The chair hears none, 
and the secretary will report the petition. The secretary read : 
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress 
assembled : 

Whereas the Supreme Court of the United SMtes has affirmed the decision of the 
Supreme Court of the District of Columbia in the cases of Spencer vs. The Board of 
Registration, and Webster vs. The Judges of Election, and has decided that "by the 
operation of the first section of the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the 
United States, women have been advanced to full citizenship and clothed with the 
capacity to become voters ; and further, that this first section of the fourteenth amend- 
ment does not execute itself, but requires the supervision of legislative power in the 
exercise of legislative discretion to give it effect"; and whereas the congress of the 
United States is the legislative body having exclusive jurisdiction over the District of 
Columbia, and in enfranchising the colored men and refusing to enfranchise women, 
white or colored, made an unjust discrimination against sex, and did not give the in- 

Centennial Memorial to Congress, 9 

telligence and moral power of the citizens of said District a fair opportunity for 
expression at the polls ; and whereas woman suffrage is not an experiment, but has 
had a fair trial in Wyoming, where women hold office, where they vote, where they 
have the most orderly society of any of the territories, where the experiment is ap- 
proved by the executive officers of the United States, by their courts, by their press 
and by the people generally, and where it has " rescued that territory from a state of 
comparative lawlessness " and rendered it "one of the most orderly in the Union"; 
and whereas upon the woman suffrage amendment to Senate bill number 44 of the 
second session of the forty-third congress, votes were recorded in favor of woman 
suffrage by the two senators from Indiana, the two from Florida, the two from 
Michigan, the two from Rhode Island, one from Kansas, one from Louisiana, one 
from Massachusetts, one from Minnesota, one from Nebraska, one from Nevada, one 
from Oregon, one from South Carolina, one from Texas, and one from Wis- 
consin ; and whereas a fair trial of equal suffrage for men and women in the Dis- 
trict of Columbia, under the immediate supervision of congress, would demonstrate 
to the people of the whole country that justice to women is policy for men ; and 
whereas the women of the United States are governed without their own consent, are 
denied trial by a jury of their peers, are taxed without representation, and are subject 
to manifold wrongs resulting from unjust and arbitrary exercise of power over an un- 
represented class ; and whereas in this centennial year of the republic the spirit of 
1776 is breathing its influence upon the people, melting away prejudices and animosi- 
ties and infusing into our national councils a finer sense of justice and a clearer 
perception of individual rights ; therefore, 

We pray your honorable body to establish a government for the District of Columbia 
which shall secure to its women the right to vote. 

Mr. SARGENT : Even if this document were not accompanied by the 
signatures of eminent ladies known throughout the land for their virtues, 
intelligence and high character, the considerations which it presents would 
he worthy of the attention of the senate. I have no doubt that the great 
movement of which this is a part will prevail. It is working its progress 
day by day throughout the country. It is making itself felt both in social 
and political life. The petitioners here well say that there has been a 
successful experiment of the exercise of female suffrage in one of our ter- 
ritories ; that a territory has been redeemed from lawlessness ; that the 
judges, the press, the people generally of Wyoming approve the results 
of this great experiment. I know of no better place than the capital of a 
nation where a more decisive trial can be made, if such is needed, to 
establish the expediency of woman suffrage. As to its justice, who shall 
deny it? I ask, for the purpose of due consideration, that this petition 
be referred to the Committee on the District of Columbia, so that in pre- 
paring any scheme for the government of the District which is likely to 
come before this congress, due weight may be given to the considerations 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The petition will be referred to the Com- 
mittee on the District of Columbia. 

Mr. Cox : Mr. Speaker, I am requested to present a memorial, asking 
for a form of government in the District of Columbia which shall secure 
to its women the right to vote ; and I ask the grace and favor to have this 
memorial printed in the Record. 

io History of Woman Suffrage. 

Mr. BANKS: Mr. Speaker, 1 beg the privilege of saying a few words in 
f;ivnr of the request made by the gentleman from New York who presents 
this memorial. It is a hundred years this day since Mrs. Abigail Adams, 
of Massachusetts, wrote to her husband, John Adams, then a member of 
the continental convention, entreating him to give to women the power 
to protect their own rights and predicting a general revolution if justice 
was denied them. Mrs. Adams was one of the noblest women of that 
period, distinguished by heroism and patriotism never surpassed in any 
age. She was wife of the second and mother of the sixth president of the 
United States, and her beneficent influence was felt in political as well as 
in social circles. It was perhaps the first demand for the recognition of 
the rights of her sex made in this country, and is one of the centennial 
incidents that should be remembered. It came from a good quarter. This 
memorial represents half a million of American women. They ask for the 
organization of a government in the District of Columbia that will recog- 
nize their political rights. I voted some years ago to give women the 
right to vote in this District, and recalling the course of its government I 
think it would have done no harm if they had enjoyed political rights. 

Mr. KASSON : I suggest that the memorial be printed without the 

Mr. Cox : There are no names appended except those of the officers of 
the National Woman Suffrage Association ; and I hope they will be 
printed with the memorial. 

Mr. HENDEE: I trust the gentleman will allow this petition to be re- 
ferred to the committee of which I am a member : the Committee for the 
District of Columbia. There being no objection, the memorial was read 
and referred to the Committee for the District of Columbia, and ordered 
to be printed in the Record. 

At the close of the convention a hearing was granted to the 
ladies before the committees of the Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives on the District of Columbia. 

MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, of New York, said: Mr. Chairman and 
Gentlemen of the Committee : On behalf of the National Association, which 
has its officers in every State and territory of the Union, and which 
numbers many thousands of members, and on behalf of the Woman's 
Franchise Association of the District of Columbia, we appear before you, 
asking that the right of suffrage be secured' equally to the men and 
women of this District. Art. I, sec. 8, clauses 17, 18 of the Constitution of 
the United States reads: 

Congress shall have power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever 
nvcr Mich district as may become the seat of government of the United States, * * 
* * * to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into 
execution the foregoing powers. 

Congress is therefore constitutionally the special guardian of the rights 
of the people of the District of Columbia. It possesses peculiar rights, 
peculiar duties, peculiar powers in regard to this District. At the present 
time the men and women are alike disfranchised. Our memorial asks 
that in forming a new government they may be alike enfranchised. It is 

Mrs. Gage before the Committee. 1 1 

often sarid as an argument against granting suffrage to women that they 
do not wish to vote ; do not ask for the ballot. This association, number- 
ing thousands in the United States, through its representatives, now asks 
you, in this memorial, for suffrage in this District. Petitions from every 
State in the Union have been sent to your honorable body. One of these, 
signed by thirty-five thousand women, was sent to congress in one large 
roll ; but what is the value of a petition signed by even a million of an 
unrepresented class? 

The city papers of the national capital, once bitterly opposed to all 
effort in this direction, now fully recognize the dignity of the demand, 
and have ceased to oppose it. One of these said, editorially, to-day, that 
the vast audiences assembling at our conventions, the large majority 
being women, and evidently in sympathy with the movement, were proof 
of the great interest women take in this subject, though many are too 
timid to openly make the demand. The woman's temperance movement 
began two years ago as a crusade of prayer and song, and the women en- 
gaged therein have now resolved themselves into a national organization, 
whose second convention, held in October last, numbering delegates from 
twenty-two States, almost unanimously passed a resolution demanding the 
ballot to aid them in their temperance work. We who make our constant 
demand for suffrage, knew that these women were in process of education, 
and would soon be forced to ask for the key to all reform. 

The ballot says yes or no to all questions. Without it women are pro- 
hibited from practically expressing their opinions. The very fact that the 
women of this District make this demand of you more urgently than men 
proves that they desire it more and see its uses better. The men of this 
District who quietly remain disfranchised have the spirit of slaves, and if 
asking for the ballot is any proof of fitness for its use, then the women 
who do ask for it here prove themselves in this respect superior to men, 
more alive to the interests of this District, and better fitted to administer 
the government. Women who are not interested in questions of reform 
would soon become so if they possessed the ballot. They are now in the 
condition we were when we heard of the famine in Persia two years ago. 
Our sympathies were aroused for a brief while, but Persia was far away, we 
could render it no certain aid, and the sufferings of the people soon passed 
from our minds. 

Our approaching centennial celebration is to commemorate the Decla- 
ration of Independence, which was based on individual rights. For ages 
it was a question where the governing power rightfully belonged; 
patriarch, priest, and monarch each claimed it by divine right. Our 
country declared it vested in the individual. Not only was this clearly 
stated in the Declaration of Independence, but the same ground was 
maintained in the secret proceedings upon framing the constitution. The 
old confederation was abandoned because it did not secure the indepen- 
dence and safety of the people. It has recently been asked in congres- 
sional debates, " What is the grand idea of the centennial ? " The answer 
was, "It is the illustration in spirit and truth of the principles of the 
Declaration of Independence and of the constitution." 

12 History of Woman Suffrage. 

These principles are : 

First The natural rights of each individual. 

Second The exact equality of these rights. 

Third That rights not delegated are retained by the individual. 

Fourth That no person shall exercise the rights of others without 
rirlr^tted authority. 

Fifth That non-use of rights does not destroy them. 

Rights did not come new-born into the world with the revolution. Our 
fathers were men of middle age before they understood their own rights, 
hut when they did they compelled the recognition of the world, and now 
the nations of the earth are this year invited to join you in the celebra- 
tion of these principles of free government. 

We have special reasons for asking you to secure suffrage to the women 
of the District of Columbia. Woman Suffrage has been tried in Wyo- 
ming, and ample testimony of its beneficial results has been furnished, but 
it is a far distant territory, and those not especially interested will not 
examine the evidence. It has been tried in Utah, but with great opposi- 
tion on account of the peculiar religious belief and customs of the people. 
But the District of Columbia is directly under the eye of congress. It is 
the capital of the nation, and three-fifths of the property of the District 
belongs to the United States. The people of the whole country would 
therefore be interested in observing the practical workings of this system 
on national soil. With 7,316 more women than men in this District, we 
call your special attention to the inconsistency and injustice of granting 
suffrage to a minority and withholding it from a majority, as you have 
done in the past. If the District is your special ward, then women, being 
in the majority here, have peculiar claims upon you for a consideration 
of their rights. The freedom of this country is only half won. The wo- 
men of to-day have less freedom than our fathers of the revolution, for 
they were permitted local self-government, while women have no share 
in local, State, or general government. 

Our memorial calls your attention to the Pembina debate in 1874. when 
senators from eighteen States recognized the right of self-government as 
inhering in women. One senator said : " I believe women never will 
enjoy equality with men in taking care of themselves until they have the 
right to vote." Another. " that the question was being considered by a 
large portion of the people of the United States." When the discussion 
was concluded and the vote taken, twentj'-two senators recorded their 
votes for woman suffrage in that distant territory. During the debate 
several senators publicly declared their intention of voting for woman 
suffrage in the District of Columbia whenever the opportunity was pre- 
sented. These senators recognize the fact that the ballot is not only a 
right, but that it is opportunity for woman ; that it is the one means of 
helping her to help herself. In asking you to secure the ballot to the 
women of the District we do not ask you to create a right. That is be- 
yond your power. We ask you to protect them in the exercise of a right. 

Mrs. SARA ANDREWS SPENCER, Secretary of the District of Columbia 
Woman's Franchise Association, said : For no legal or political right I 

Mrs. Spencer before tke Committee. 13 

have ever claimed in the District of Columbia do I ask a stronger, clearer 
charter than the Declaration of Independence, and the constitution of the 
United States as it stood 1 before the fourteenth amendment had entered the 
minds of men. A judicial decision, rendered by nine men, upon the rights 
of ten millions of women of this republic, need not, does not, change the 
convictions of one woman in regard to her own heaven-endowed rights, 
duties, and responsibilities. 

We have resorted to all the measures dictated by those who rule over 
us for securing the freedom to exercise rights which are sacredly our own, 
rights which are ours by Divine inheritance, and which men can neither 
confer nor take away. We are not only daughters of our Father in heaven, 
and joint heirs with you there ; but we are daughters of this republic, and 
joint heirs with you here. Every act of legislation which has been placed 
as a bar in our way as citizens has been an act of injustice, and every ex- 
pedient to which we have resorted for securing recognition of citizenship 
has been with protest against the existence of these acts of unauthorized 

When any man expresses doubt to me as to- the use that I or any other 
woman might make of the ballot if we had it, my answer is, What is that 
to you ? If you have for years defrauded me of my rightful inheritance, 
and then, as a stroke of policy, or from late conviction, concluded to re- 
store to me my own domain, must I ask you whether I may make of it a 
garden of flowers, or a field of wheat, or a pasture for kine? If I choose 
I may counsel with you. If experience has given you wisdom, even of this 
world, in managing your property and mine, I should be wise to learn from 
you. But injustice is not wont to yield wisdom ; grapes do not grow of 
thorns, nor figs of thistles. 

Born of the unjust and cruel subjection of woman to man, we have in 
these United States a harvest of 116,000 paupers, 36,000 criminals, and such 
a mighty host of blind, deaf and dumb, idiotic, insane, feeble-minded, and 
children with tendencies to crime, as almost to lead one to hope for the 
extinction of the human race rather than for its perpetuation after its own 
kind. The wisdom of man licenses the dram-shop, and then rears station- 
houses, jails, and gibbets to provide for the victims. In this District we 
have 135 teachers of public schools and 238 police officers, and the last 
report shows that public safety demands a police force of 900. We have 
31,671 children of school age; 31,671 reasons why I want to vote. We 
have here 7,000 more children of school age than there are seats in all the 
public schools, and from the swarm of poor, ignorant, and vagrant child- 
ren, the lists of criminals and paupers are constantly supplied. To pro- 
vide for these evils there is an annual expenditure of $350,000, not includ- 
ing expenses of courts, while for education the annual expenditure is 

Will you say that the wives and the mothers, the house and homekeepers 
of this small territory, have no interest in all these things ? If dram-shops 
are licensed and brothels protected, are not our sons, our brothers, tempted 
and ruined, our daughters lured from their homes, and lost to earth and 
heaven ? Long and patiently women have borne wrongs too deep to be 

14 History of Woman Suffrage. 

put into words ; wrongs for which men have provided no redress and have 
found no remedy. When five years ago, with our social atmosphere 
poisoned with vices which as women we had no power to remove, men in 
authority began a series of attempts to fasten upon us by law the huge 
typical vice of all the ages the social evil in a form so degrading to all 
womanhood that no man, though he were the prince of profligates, would 
submit to its regulations for a day ; then we cried out so that the world 
heard us. We know the plague is only stayed for a brief while. The hy- 
dra-headed monster every now and then lifts a new front, and must be 
smitten again. Four times in four successive years a little company of 
women of the District have appeared before committees and compelled 
the discussion and defeat of bills designed to fasten these measures upon 
the community under the guise of security for public health and morality. 
The last annual report of the board of health speaks tenderly of the need 
of protecting vicious men by these regulations, and says : 

The legalization of houses of ill-fame for so humane a purpose, startling as it may 
be to the moral sense, has many powerful advocates among the thoughtful, wise, and 
philanthropic of communities. 

The report quotes approvingly Dr. Gross, of Philadelphia, who says in 
behalf of laws to license the social evil : 

The prejudices which surround the subject must be swept away, and men must 
march to the front and discharge their duty, however much they may be reproached 
and abused by the ignorant and foolish. 

Aside from the higher ground of our inherent right to self-government, 
we declare here and now that the women of this District are not safe with- 
out the ballot. Our firesides, our liberties are in constant peril, while men 
who have no concern for our welfare may legislate against our dearest 
interests. If we would inaugurate any measure of protection for our own 
sex, we are bound hand and foot by man. The law is his, the treasury is 
his, the power is his, and he need not even hear our cry, except at his 
good will and pleasure. 

If man had legislated justly and wisely for the interests of this District, 
if its financial condition was sound, its social and moral atmosphere pure, 
and all was well, there would be some show of reason in your refusing to 
hazard a new experiment, even though we could demonstrate it to be 
founded upon eternal justice. But the history of the successive forms of 
government in the District of Columbia is a history of failures. So will 
it continue to be until you adopt a plan founded upon truly republican 
principles. When, a few years ago, you put the ballot into the hands of 
the swarming masses of freedmen who had gathered here with the igno- 
rance and vices of slaves, and refused to enfranchise women, white or 
colored, you gave this District no fair trial of a republican form of govern- 
ment. You did not even protect the interests of the colored race. You 
admitted that the colored man was not really free until he held the ballot 
in his hand, and therefore you enfranchised him and left the woman twice 
his slave. I know colored women in Washington far the superiors, intel- 
lectually and morally, of the masses of men, who declare that they now en- 
dure wrongs and abuses unknown in slavery. 

Senators Frclinghuysen and Howe. 15 

There is not an interest in this District that is not as vital to me as to 
any man in Washington that is not more vital to me than it can be to 
any member of this honorable body. As a citizen, seeking the welfare of 
this community, as a wife and mother desiring the safety of my children, 
which of you can claim a deeper interest than I in questions of markets, 
taxes, finance, banks, railroads, highways, the public debt and interest 
thereon, boards of health, sanitary and police regulations, station-houses 
(wherein I find many a wreck of womanhood, ruined in her youth and 
beauty), schools, asylums, and charities ? Why deny me a voice in any or 
all of these ? Do you doubt that I would use the ballot in the interests of 
order, retrenchment, and reform ? Do you deny a right of mine, which 
you will admit I know how to prize, because there are women who do not 
appreciate its value, do not demand it, possibly might not (any better than 
men) know how to use it ? What a mockery of justice ! What a flagrant 
violation of individual rights ! I would cry out against it if no other 
woman in the land felt the wrong. But among the 10,000,000 of mothers 
of 14,000,000 of children in this country, vast numbers of thoughtful, phil- 
anthropic, and pure women have come to see this truth, and desire to ex- 
press their mother love and home love at the ballot-box ! 

Frederick Douglass once said : " Whole nations have been bathed in 
blood to establish the simplest possible propositions. For instance, that 
a man's head is his head ; his body is his body ; his feet are his feet, and if he 
chooses to run away with them it is nobody's business " ; and all honor to 
him, he added, " Now, these propositions have been established for the 
colored man. Why does not man establish them for woman, his wife, his 

Determined to surround the colored man with every possible guarantee 
of protection in the possesion of his freedom, congress stopped the wheels 
of legislation, and made the whole country wait, while day after day and 
night after night his friends fought inch by inch the ground for the civil 
rights bill. During that debate Senator Frelinghuysen said : 

When I took the oath as senator, I took the oath to support the Constitution of the 
United States, which declares equality for all : and in advocating this bill I am doing 
my sworn duty in endeavoring to secure equal rights for every citixen of the United 

But where slept his "sworn duty" when he recorded his vote in the 
Senate against woman suffrage ? With marvelous inconsistency, as a 
reason for opposing woman suffrage, during the Pembina debate, May 27, 
1874, Senator Merrimon said of the relation of women to the Constitution 
of the United States: 

They have sustained it under all circumstances with their love, their hands, and 
their hearts ; with their smiles and their tears they have educated their children to live 
fur it, and to die for it. 

Therefore the honorable gentleman denies them the right to vote. 

Upon the civil rights bill, Senator Howe said : 

I do not know but what the passage of this bill will break up the common school-,. 
I admit that I have some fear on that point. Kvery step of this terrible march has 
been met with a threat ; but let justice be done although the commoo schools and the 
heavens do full. 

1 6 History of Woman Suffrage. 

In reply to the point made by Mr. Stockton that the people of the United 
States would not accept this bill, Mr. Howe said : 

I would not turn back if I knew that of the forty million people of the United States 
not one million would sustain it. If this generation does not accept it there is a gen- 
eration to come that will accept it. What does this provide ? Not that the black 
man should be helped on his way ; not at all ; but only that, as he staggers along, he 
shall not be retarded, shall not be tripped up and made to fall. 

Brave and tender words these for our black brother ; but see how prone 
men are to invert truth, justice, and mercy in dealing with women. During 
the Pembina debate, Senator Merrimon said : 

I know there are a few women in the country who complain ; but those who com- 
plain, compared with those who do not complain, are as one to a million. 

As a literal fact, the women who have complained, have petitioned, sued, 
reasoned, plead, have knocked at the doors of your legislatures and courts, 
are as one to fifty in this country, as we who watch the record know; and 
even that is a small proportion of those who would, but dare not ; who are 
bound hand and foot, and will be bound until you make them free. But 
if no others feel the wrong but those who have dared to complain ; if the 
poor, the ignorant, the betrayed, the ruined do not understand the ques- 
tion, and the well-fed and comfortable " have all the rights they want," do 
you give that for answer to our just demand ? What do we ask ? Not 
that poor woman " shall be helped on her way " not at all ; but only that, 
" as she staggers along, she shall not be retarded, shall not be tripped up, 
shall not be made to fall." 

And here on this national soil, lor the women of this District of Colum- 
bia your peculiar wards I ask you to try the experiment of exact, even- 
handed justice ; to give us a voice in the laws under which we must live, 
by which we are tried, judged and condemned. I ask it for myself, that I 
may the better help other women. I ask it for other women, that they 
may the better help themselves. As you hope for justice and mercy in 
your hour of need, may you hear and answer. 

Rev. Olympia Brown, of Connecticut ; Belva A. Lockwood, of 
Washington ; and Phoebe Couzins, of St. Louis, also addressed the 
committees : enforcing their arguments with wit, humor, pathos 
and eloquence. 

On her way home from Washington, Mrs. Gage stopped in Phil- 
adelphia to secure rooms for the National Association during the 
centennial summer, and decided upon Carpenter Hall, in case it 
could be obtained. This hall belongs to the Carpenter Company 
of Philadelphia, perhaps the oldest existing association of that 
city, it having maintained an uninterrupted organization from the 
year 1724, about forty years after the establishment of the colo- 
nial government by William Penn, and was much in use during the 
early days of the revolution. The doors of the State House, 

Application for Carpenter HalL 1 7 

where the continental congress intended to meet, were found 
closed against it ; but the Carpenter Company, numbering many 
eminent patriots, offered its hall for their use; and here met the 
first continental congress, Septembers, 1774. John Adams, de- 
scribing its opening ceremonies, said : 

Here was a scene worthy of the painter's art. Washington was kneeling 
there, and Randolph, Rutledge, Lee and Jay ; and by their side there stood, 
bowed in reverence, the Puritan patriots of New England, who at that 
moment had reason to believe that an armed soldiery was wasting their 
humble households. It was believed that Boston had been bombarded 
and destroyed.* They prayed fervently for America, for the congress, for 
the province of Massachusetts Bay, and especially for the town of Boston. 
Who can realize the emotions with which in that hour of danger they 
turned imploringly to heaven for Divine interposition. It was enough to 
melt a heart of stone. I saw the tears gush into the eyes of old, gray, pa- 
cific Quakers of Philadelphia. 

The action of this congress, which sat but seven weeks, was 
momentous in the history of the world. " From the moment of 
their first debate," said De Tocqueville, " Europe was moved." 
The convention which in 1781 framed the constitution of the 
United States, also met in Carpenter Hall in secret session for 
four months before agreeing upon its provisions. This hall 
seemed the most appropriate place for establishing the centen-. 
nial rooms of the National Woman Suffrage Association, but the 
effort to obtain it proved unavailing f as will be seen by the follow- 
ing- correspondence : 

To the President and Officers of the Carpenter Company of Philadelphia : 

The National Woman Suffrage Association will hold its headquarters in Philadel- 
phia the centennial season of 1876, and desires to secure your historic hall for that 
purpose. We know your habit aud custom of denying its use to all societies, yet we 
make our request because our objects are in accord with the principles which ema- 
nated from within its walls a hundred years ago, and we shall use it in carrying out 
those principles of liberty and equality upon which our government is based. 

We design to advertise our headquarters to the world, and old Carpenter Hall, if 
used by us, would become more widely celebrated as the birth-place of liberty. Our 
work in it would cause it to be more than ever held in reverence by future ages, and 
pilgrimages by men and women would be made to it as to another Mecca shrine. 

We propose to place a person in charge, with pamphlets, speeches, tracts, etc., and 
to hold public meetings for the enunciation of our principles and the furtherance of 
. our demands. Hoping you will grant this request, 

I am respectfully yours, MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, 

President of the National Woman Suffrage Association. 

* News of the cannonade of Boston had been received the day previous. 

t Though thus discourteously refused to an association to secure equality of rights for women, it 
was subsequently rented to " The liueriuitiunul Peace Association." 


1 8 History of W'onictn Suffrage. 

Two months afterward, the following reply was received : 

HAM., CARPENTER COURT, 322 Chestnut St., ) 
PHILADELPHIA, April 24, 1876. ) 

MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, President of the }\\<man Suffrage Association : 

Your communication asking permission to occupy Carpenter Hall for your conven- 
tion was duly received, and presented to the company at a stated meeting held the 
i6th instant, when on motion it was unanimously resolved to postpone the subject in- 

[Extract of minutes]. GEORGE WATSON, Secretary. 

It was a matter of no moment to those men that women were 
soon to assemble in Philadelphia, whose love of liberty was as 
deep, whose patriotism was as pure as that of the fathers who 
met within its walls in 1774, and whose deliberations had given 
that hall its historic interest. 

In the midst of these preparations the usual May anniversary 
was held : 

CALL FOR THE MAY ANNIVERSARY, 1876. The National Woman Suffrage Asso- 
ciation will hold its Ninth Annual Convention in Masonic Hall, New York, corner of 
Sixth avenue and Twenty-third street, May 10, n, 1876. 

This convention occuring in the centennial year of the republic, will be a most im- 
portant one. The underlying principles of government will this year be discussed as 
never before ; both foreigners and citizens will query as to how closely this country 
has lived up to its own principles. The long-debated question as to the source of the 
governing power was answered a century ago by the famous Declaration of Indepen- 
dence which shook to the foundation all recognized power and proclaimed the right of 
the individual as above all forms of government ; but while thus declaring itself, it 
has held the women of the nation accountable to laws they have had no share in 
making, and taught as theirone duty, that doctrine of tyrants, unquestioning obedi- 
ence. Liberty to-day is, therefore, but the heritage of one-half the people, and the 
centennial will be but the celebration of the independence of one-half the nation. The 
men alone of this country live in a republic, the women enter the second hundred 
years of national life as political slaves. 

That no structure is stronger than its weakest point is a law of mechanics that will 
apply equally to government. In so far as this government has denied justice to 
woman, it is weak, and preparing for its own downfall. All the insurrections, rebel- 
lions, and martyrdoms of history have grown out of the desire for liberty, and in 
woman's heart this desire is as strong as in man's. At every vital time in the nation's 
life, men and women have worked together ; everywhere has woman stood by the side 
of father, brother, husband, son, in defense of liberty ; without her aid the republic 
could never have been established ; and yet woinen are still suffering under all the 
oppressions complained of in 1776 ; which can only be remedied by securing impartial 
suffrage to all citirens without distinction of sex. 

All persons who believe republican principles should be carried out in spirit and in 
truth, are invited to be present at the May convention. 


SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Chairman Executive Committee. 

This May anniversary, commencing on the same day with the 
opening of the centennial exhibition, was marked with more than 
usual earnestness. As popular thought naturally turned with 
increasing interest at such an hour to the underlying principles 

May Anniversary in New York, 1876. [9 

of government, woman's demand for political equality received a 
new impulse. The famous Smith sisters, of Glastonbury, Con- 
necticut, attended this convention, and were most cordially 
welcomed. The officers* for the centennial year were chosen 
and a campaignf and congressional;}: committee appointed to take 
charge of affairs at Philadelphia and Washington. The resolu- 
tions show the general drift of the discussions : 

WHEREAS, The right of self-government inheres in the individual before govern- 
ments are founded, constitutions framed, or courts created ; and 

WHEREAS, Governments exist to protect the people in the enjoyment of their 
natural rights, and when any government becomes destructive of this end, it is the 
right of the people to resist and abolish it ; and 

WHEREAS, The women of the United States, for one hundred years, have been 
denied the exercise of their natural right of self-government and self-protection; 

Resolved, That it is the natural right and most sacred duty of the women of these 
United States to rebel against the injustice, usurpation and tyranny of our present 

WHEREAS, The men of 1776 rebelled against a government which did not claim to 
be of the people, but, on the contrary, upheld the "divine right of kings"; and 

WHEREAS, The women of this nation to-day, under a government which claims to 
be based upon individual rights, to be " of the people, by the people, and for the 
people," in an infinitely greater degree are suffering all the wrongs which led to the 
war of the revolution ; and 

*President Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Tenafly, New Jersey. 

I' ice-Presidents Lucretia Mott, Pa.; Ernestine L. Rose, England ; Paulina Wright Davis, R. I.; 
Clarina I. H. Nichols, Cal.; Amelia Bloomer, Iowa; Mathilde Franceska Anneke, Wis.; Virginia L. 
Minor, Mo.; Catharine A. F. Stebbins, Mich.; Julia and Abby Smith, Conn.; Abby P. Ela, N. H.; 
Mrs. W. H. H. Murray, Mass.; Ann T. Greely, Me.; Eliza D. Stewart, Ohio ; Mary Hamilton Wil- 
liams, Ind.; Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, 111.; Sarah Burger Stearns, Minn.; Ada W. Lucas, Neb.- 
Helen E. Starrett, Kan.; Ann L. Quinby, Ky ; Elizabeth Avery Meriwether, Tenn.; Mrs. L. C. Locke, 
Texas; Emily P. Collins, La.; Mary J. Spaulding, Ga.; Mrs. P. Holmes Drake, Ala.; Flora M, 
Wright, Fla.; Frances Annie Pillsbury, S. C.; Cynthia Anthony, N. C.; Carrie F, Putnam, Va.; Anna 
Ella Carroll, Md.; Abigail Scott Duniway, Oregon ; Hannah H. Clapp, Nevada ; Dr. Alida C. Avery, 
Col.; Mary Olney Brown, Wash. Ter.; Esther A. Morris, Wyoming Ter.; Annie Godbe, Utah. 

Advisory Committee Sarah Pugh, Pa.; Isabella Beecher Hooker, Conn.; Charlotte B. Wilbour, 
N. V.; Mary J. Channing, R. I.; Elizabeth B. Schenck, Cal.; Judith Ellen Foster, Jowa; Lavinia 
Goodell, Wis.; Annie R. Irvine, Mo.; Marian Bliss, Mich.; Mary B. Moses, N. H.; Sarah A. Vibbart, 
Mass.; Lucy A. Snowe, Me.; Marilla M. Ricker, N. H.; Mary Madden, Ohio; Emma Molloy, Ind.; 
Cynthia A. Leonard, III.; Mrs. Dr. Stewart, Minn.; Julia Brown Bemis, Neb.; Mrs. N. H. Cramer, 
Tenn.; Mrs. W. V. Tunstall. Tex.; Mrs. A. Millspaugh, La.; Hannah M. Rogers, Fla.; Sally Holly, 
Va. ; Sallie W. Hardcastle, Md.; Mary P. Sautelle, Oregon ; Mary F. Shields, Col.; Amelia (lidding-,. 
Wash. Ter.; Amalia B. Post, Wyoming Ter. 

Corresponding Secretaries Susan B. Anthony, Rochester, N. Y. ; Laura Curtis Bullard, New 
York ; Jane Graham Jones, Chicago, 111. 

Recording Secretary Lillie Devereux Blake, New York. 

Treasure* Ellen Clark Sargent, Washington, D. C. 

Executii't Comiiiitt,-f Matilda Joslyu Gage, Fayetteville, N. Y.; Clemence S. Lozier, M. D., 
Eli/abeth B. Phelps, Mathilde F. Wendt, Phebe H. Jones, New York; Rev. Olympia Brown, Con- 
necticut ; Sarah R. L. Williams, Ohio ; M.Adeline Thomson, Pennsylvania; Henrietta Payne West- 
brook, Pennsylvania; Nancy R. Allen, Iowa. 

-t/^6 Campaign Com mittee Susan B. Anthony, N. Y.; Matilda Joslyn Gage, N. Y.; Phoebe W. 
Couzins, Mo.; Rev. Olympia Brown, Conn.; Jane Graham Jones, 111.; Abigail Scott J'uniway, 
Oregon ; Laura De Force Gordon, Cal.; Annie C. Savery, Iowa. 

^Resident Congressional Committee Sara Andrews Spencer, Ellen Clark Sargent, Ruth Carr 
Denison, Belva A. Lockwood, Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southw->rlh. 

$Among those who took part in the discussions were Dr Clemence Lozier, Susan B. Anthony, 
Helen M. Sim-urn, Sarah Goodyear, Helen M. Cook, Abby and Julia Smith, Sara Andrews Spencer, 
Miss Charlotte Ray, Lillie Devereux Blake and Matilda Joslyn Gage. 

2O History of Woman Suffrage. 

WHEREAS, The oppression is all the more keenly felt because our masters, instead 
of dwelling in a foreign land, are our husbands, our fathers, our brothers and our 
sons ; therefore, 

Resolved, That the women of this nation, in 1876, have greater cause for discontent, 
rebellion and revolution, than the men of 1776. 

Resolved, That with Abigail Adams, in 1776, we believe that "the passion for 
liberty cannot be strong in the breasts of those who are accustomed to deprive their 
fellow-creatures of liberty"; that, as Abigail Adams predicted, " We are determined 
to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by laws in which we have no 
voice or representation." 

WHEREAS, We believe in the principles of the Declaration of Independence and of 
the Constitution of the United States, and believe a true republic is the best form of 
government in the world ; and 

WHEREAS, This government is false to its underlying principles in denying to 
women the only means of self-government, the ballot ; and 

WHEREAS, One-half of the citizens of this nation, after a century of boasted liberty, 
are still political slaves ; therefore, 

Resolved, That we protest against calling the present centennial celebration a cele- 
bration of the independence of the people of the United States. 

Resolved, That we meet in our respective towns and districts on the Fourth of July, 
1876, and declare ourselves no longer bound to obey laws in whose making we have 
had no voice, and, in presence of the assembled nations of the world gathered on this 
soil to celebrate our nation's centennial, demand justice for the women of this land. 

WHEREAS, The men of this nation have established for men of all nations, races 
and color, on this soil, at the cost of countless lives, the proposition (in the language 
of Frederick Douglass) " that a man's head is his head, his body is his body, his feet 
are his feet "; therefore, 

Resolved, That justice, equity and chivalry demand that man at once establish for 
his wife and mother the corresponding proposition, that a woman's head is her head, 
her body is her body, her feet are her feet, and that all ownership and mastery over 
her person, property, conscience, and liberty of speech and action, are in violation of 
the supreme law of the land. 

Resolved, That we rejoice in the resistance of Julia and Abby Smith, Abby Kelly 
Foster, Sarah E. Wall and many more resolute women in various parts of the country, 
to taxation without representation. 

Resolved, That the thanks of the National Woman Suffrage Association are hereby 
tendered to Hon. A. A. Sargent, of California, for his earnest words in behalf of 
woman suffrage on the floor of the United States Senate, Jan. 25, 1876 ; and to Hon. 
N. P. Banks, of Massachusetts, for his appeal in behalf of the centennial woman 
suffrage memorial in the United States House of Representatives, March 31, 1876. 

Resolved, That the repeated attempts to license the social evil are a practical con- 
fession of the weakness, profligacy and general unfitness of men to legislate for women, 
and should be regarded with alarm as a proof that their firesides and liberties are in 
constant peril while men alone make and execute the laws of this country. 

WHEREAS, There are 7,000 more women than men in the District of Columbia, and 
no form of government for said District has allowed women any voice in making the 
laws under which they live ; therefore, 

Resolved, That in this centennial year the congress of the United States having ex- 
clusive jurisdiction over that territory should establish a truly republican form of 
government by granting equal suffrage to the men and women of the District of 

Immediately at the close of the May convention Mrs. Gage 
again went to Philadelphia to complete the arrangements in 
regard to the centennial headquarters. Large and convenient 

Centennial Headquarters. 21 

rooms were soon found upon Arch street, terms agreed upon and 
a lease drawn, when it transpired that a husband's consent and 
signature must be obtained, although the property was owned 
by a woman, as by the laws of Pennsylvania a married woman's 
property is under her husband's control. Although arrangements 
for this room had been made with the real owner, the terms being 
perfectly satisfactory to her, the husband refused his ratification, 
tearing up the lease, with abuse of the women who claimed con- 
trol of their own property, and a general defiance of all women 
who dared work for the enfranchisement of their sex. Thus 
again were women refused rooms in Philadelphia in which to 
enter their protest against the tyranny of this republic, and for 
the same reason they were slaves. Had the patriots of the 
revolutionary period asked rooms of King George, in which to 
foster their treason to his government, the refusal could have 
been no more positive than in these cases. 

The quarters finally obtained were very desirable ; fine large 
parlors on the first floor, on Chestnut street, at the fashionable 
west end, directly opposite the Young Men's Christian Associa- 
tion. The other members of the committee being married ladies, 
Miss Anthony, as a feme sole, was alone held capable of making 
a contract, and was therefore obliged to assume the pecuniary 
responsibility of the rooms. Thus it is ever the married women 
who are more especially classed with lunatics, idiots and crimi- 
nals, and held incapable of managing their own business. It has 
always been part of the code of slavery, that the slave had no 
right to property ; all his earnings and gifts belonging by law, 
to the master. Married women come under this same civil code. 
The following letter was extensively circulated and published in 
all the leading journals : 


1,431 Chestnut Street, PHILADELPHIA, PA. ( 

The National Woman Suffrage Association has established its cen- 
tennial headquarters in Philadelphia, at 1,431 Chestnut street. The par- 
lors, in charge of the officers of the association, are devoted to the special 
work of the year, pertaining to the centennial celebration and the political 
party conventions; also to calls, receptions, conversazioni, etc. On the 
table a centennial autograph book receives the names of visitors. Friends 
at a distance, both men and women, who cannot call, are invited to send 
their names, with date and residence, accompanied by a short expressive 
sentiment and a contribution toward expenses. In the rooms are books, 
papers, reports and decisions, speeches, tracts, and photographs of dis- 
tinguished women; also mottoes and pictures expressive of woman's 

22 History of Woman Suffrage. 

condition. In addition to the parlor gatherings, meetings and conventions 
will be held during the season in various halls and churches throughout 
the city. 

On July Fourth, while the men of this nation and the world are rejoic- 
ing that "All men are free and equal " in the United States, a declaration 
of rights for women will be issued from these headquarters, and a protest 
against calling this centennial a celebration of the independence of the 
people, while one-half are still political slaves. 

Let the women of the whole land, on that day, in meetings, in, parlors, 
in kitchens, wherever they may be, unite with us in this declaration and 
protest. And, immediately thereafter, send full reports, in manuscript or 
print, of their resolutions, speeches and action, for record in our centen- 
nial book, that the world may see that the women of 1876 know and feel 
their political degradation no less than did the men of 1776. 

The first woman's rights convention the world ever knew, called by 
Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, met at Seneca Falls, N. Y., 
July 19, 20, 1848. In commemoration of the twenty-eighth anniversary of 
that event, the National Woman Suffrage Association will hold in 
hall, Philadelphia, July 19, 20, of the present year, a grand mass conven- 
tion, in which eminent reformers from the new and old world will take 
part. Friends are especially invited to be present on this historic occa- 

MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, Chairman Executive Committee. 

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Corresponding Secretary. 

From these headquarters numberless documents were issued 
during the month of June. As the presidential nominating con- 
ventions were soon to meet, letters were addressed to both the 
Republican and Democratic parties, urging them to recognize 
the political rights of women in their platforms. Thousands of 
copies of these letters were scattered throughout the nation : 

71? the President and Members of the National Republican Convention, Cin- 
cinnati, O., June 14, 1876. 

GENTLEMEN : The National Woman Suffrage Association asks you to 
place in your platform the following plank : 

Resolved, That the right to the use of the ballot inheres in every citizen of the 
United States ; and we pledge ourselves to secure the exercise of this right to all citi- 
zens, irrespective of sex. 

In asking the insertion of this plank, we propose no change of funda- 
mental principles. Our question is as old as the nation. Our government 
was framed on the political basis of the consent of the governed. And 
from July 4, 1776, until the present year, 1876, the nation has constantly 
advanced toward a fuller practice of our fundamental theory, that the gov- 
erned are the source of all power. Your nominating convention, occur- 
ring in this centennial year of the republic, presents a good opportunity 
for the complete recognition of these first principles. Our government 
has not yet answered the end for which it was framed, while one-half the 
people of the United States are deprived of the right of self-government. 

National Republican Convention, 1876. 23 

Before the Revolution, Great Britain claimed the right to legislate for the 
colonies in all cases whatsoever; the men of this nation now as unjustly 
claim the right to legislate for women in all cases whatsoever. 

The call for your nominating convention invites the cooperation of 
" all voters who desire to inaugurate and enforce the rights of every citi- 
zen, including the full and free exercise of the right of suffrage." Women 
are citizens; declared to be by the highest legislative and judicial author- 
ities ; but they are citizens deprived of " the full and free exercise of the 
right of suffrage." Your platform of 1872 declared "the Republican party 
mindful of its obligations to the loyal women of the nation for their noble 
devotion to the cause of freedom." Devotion to freedom is no new thing 
for the women of this nation. From the earliest history of our country, 
woman has shown herself as patriotic as man in every great emergency in 
the nation's life. From the Revolution to the present hour, woman has 
stood by the side of father, husband, son and brother in defense of liberty. 
The heroic and self-sacrificing deeds of the women of this republic, both 
in peace and war, must not be forgotten. Together men and women have 
made this country what it is. And to-day, in this one-hundredth year of 
our existence, the women as members of the nation as citizens of the 
United States ask national recognition of their right of suffrage. 

The Declaration of Independence struck a blow at every existent form 
of government, by declaring the individual the source of all power. Upon 
this one newly proclaimed truth our nation arose. But if States may 
deny suffrage to any class of citizens, or confer it at will upon any class 
as according to the Minor-Happersett decision of the Supreme Court 
a decision rendered under the auspices of the Republican party against 
suffrage as a constituent element of United States citizenship we then 
possess no true national life. If States can deny suffrage to citizens 
of the United States, then States possess more power than the United 
States, and are more truly national in the character of their governments. 
National supremacy does not chiefly mean power "to levy war, conclude 
peace; contract alliances, establish commerce"; it means national protec- 
tion and security in the exercise of the right of self-government, which 
comes alone, by and through the use of the ballot. 

Even granting the premise of the Supreme-Court decision that " the 
Constitution of the United States does not confer suffrage on any one "; 
our national life does not date from that instrument. The constitution is 
not the original declaration of rights. It was not framed until eleven years 
after our existence as a nation, nor fully ratified until nearly fourteen years 
after the commencement of our national life. This centennial celebration 
of our nation's birth does not date from the constitution, but from the 
Declaration of Independence. The declared purpose of the civil war was 
the settlement of the question of supremacy between the States and the 
United States. The documents sent out by the Republican party in this 
present campaign, warn the people that the Democrats intend another 
battle for State sovereignty, to be fought this year at the ballot-box. 

The National Woman Suffrage Association calls your attention to the 
fact that the Republican party has itself reopened this battle, and now 

24 History of M'onian Suffrage. 

holds the anomalous position of having settled the question of State 
sovereignty in the case of black men. and again opened it, through the 
Minor-Happi-rsett decision, not only in the case of women citizens, hut 
also in the case of men citizens, for all other causes save those specified 
in the fifteenth amendment. Your party has yet one opportunity to re- 
trieve its position. The political power of this country has always shown 
itself superior to the judicial power the latter ever shaping and hasing 
its decisions on the policy of the dominant party. A pledge, therefore, 
by your convention to secure national protection in the enjoyment of per- 
[tiality of rights, civil and political, to all citizens, will so define the 
policy of the Republican party as to open the way to a full and final ad- 
justment of this question on the basis of United States supremacy. 

Aside from the higher motive of justice, we suggest your adoption of 
this principle of equal rights to women, as a means of securing your own 
future existence. The party of reform in this country is the party that 
lives. The party that ceases to represent the vital principles of truth and 
justice dies. It you would save the life of the Republican party you should 
now take broad national ground on this question of suffrage. 

By this act you will do most to promote the general welfare, secure the 
blessings of liberty to yourselves and your posterity, and establish on this 
continent a genuine republic that shall know no class, caste, race, or sex 
where all the people are citizens, and all citizens are equal before the 

MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, Chairman Executive Committee. 
SUSAN R ANTHONY, Corresponding Secretary. 

Centennial Headquarters, 1,431 Chestnut street, Philadelphia, June 10, 1876. 

To the President and Members of the National Democratic Convention as- 
sembled at St. Louis, June 27, 1876 : 

GF.N TI.K.MKN : In reading the call for your convention, the National 
Woman Suffrage Association was gratified to find that your invitation 
was not limited to voters, but cordially extended to all citizens of the 
United States. We accordingly send delegates from our association, ask- 
ing for them a voice in your proceedings, and also a plank in your plat- 
form declaring the political rights of women. 

Women are the only class of citizens still wholly unrepresented in the 
government, and yet we possess every qualification requisite for voters 
in the several States. Women possess property and education ; we take 
out naturalization papers and passports; we preempt lands, pay taxes, 
and suffer for our own violation of the laws. W r e are neither idiots, luna- 
tics, nor criminals ; and, according to your State constitutions, lack but 
one qualification for voters, namely, sex, which is an insurmountable 
qualification, and therefore equivalent to a bill of attainder against one- 
half the people; a power no State nor congress can legally exercise, 
being forbidden in article i, sections 9, 10, of our constitution. Our 
rulers may have the right to regulate the suffrage, but they can not 
abolish it altogether for any class of citizens, as has been done in the 
case of the women of this republic, without a direct violation of the 
fundamental law of the land. 

National Democratic Convention, 1876. 25 

As you hold the constitution of the fathers to be a sacred legacy to us 
and our children forever, we ask you to so interpret that Magna. Clnirta 
of human rights as to secure justice and equality to all United States 
citizens irrespective of sex. We desire to call your attention to the viola- 
tion of the essential principle of self-government in the disfranchisement 
of the women of the several States, and we appeal to you, not only be- 
cause as a minority you are in a position to consider principles, but be- 
cause you were the party first to extend suffrage by removing the prop- 
erty qualification from all white men, and thus making the political status 
of the richest and poorest citizen the same. That act of justice to the 
laboring masses insured your power, with but few interruptions, until the 

When the District of Columbia suffrage bill was under discussion in 
1866, it was a Democratic senator (Mr. Cowan, of Pennsylvania) who pro- 
posed an amendment to strike out the word " male," and thus extend the 
right of suffrage to the women, as well as the black men of the District. 
That amendment gave us a splendid discussion on woman suffrage that 
lasted three days in the.Senate of the United States. It was a Demo- 
cratic legislature that secured the right of suffrage to the women of 
Wyoming, and we now ask you in national convention to pledge the 
Democratic party to extend this act of justice to the women throughout 
the nation, and thus call to your side a new political force that will restore 
and perpetuate your power for years to come. 

The Republican party gave us a plank in their platform in 1872, pledg- 
ing themselves to a "respectful consideration " of our demands. But by 
their constitutional interpretations, legislative enactments, and judicial 
decisions, so far from redeeming their pledge, they have buried our peti- 
tions and appeals under laws in direct opposition to their high-sounding 
promises and professions. And now (1876) they give us another plank in 
their platform, approving the "substantial advance made toward the 
establishment of equal rights for women "; cunningly reminding us that 
the privileges and immunities we now enjoy are all due to Republican 
legislation although, under a Republican dynasty, inspectors of election 
have been arrested and imprisoned for taking the votes of women ; 
temperance women arrested and imprisoned for praying in the streets; 
houses, lands, bonds, and stock of women seized and sold for their refusal 
to pay unjust taxation and, more than all, we have this singular spectacle : 
a Republican woman, who had spoken for the Republican party through- 
out the last presidential campaign, arrested by Republican officers for 
voting the Republican ticket, denied the right of trial by jury by a Re- 
publican judge, convicted and sentenced to a fine of one hundred dollars 
and costs of prosecution ; and all this for asserting at the polls the most 
sacred of all the rights of American citizenship the right of suffrage 
specifically secured by recent Republican amendments to the federal con- 

Again, the Supreme Court of the United States, by its recent decision 
in the Minor-Happersett case, has stultified its own interpretation of 
constitutional law. A negro, by virtue of his United States citizenship, is 

26 History of Woman Suffrage. 

declared under recent amendments a voter in every State in the Union ; 
hut when a woman, hy virtue of her United States citizenship, applies to 
the Supreme Court for protection in the exercise of this same right, she 
is remanded to the State by the unanimous decision of the nine judges 
on the bench, that " the Constitution of the United States does not confer 
the right of suffrage upon any one." 

All concessions of privileges or redress of grievances are but mockery for 
any class that has no voice in the laws and lawmakers. Hence we de- 
mand the ballot that scepter of power in our own hands, as the only 
sure protection for our rights of person and property under all conditions. 
If the few may grant or withhold rights at their own pleasure, the many 
cannot be said to enjoy the blessings of self-government. Jefferson said, 
"The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time. The hand 
of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them." While the first and 
highest motive we would urge on you is the recognition in all your action 
of the great principles of justice and equality that underlie our form of 
government, it is not unworthy to remind you that the party that takes 
this onward step will reap its just reward. 

Had you heeded our appeals made to you in Tammany Hall, New York, 
in 1868, and again in Baltimore, in 1872, your party might now have been 
in power, as you would have had, what neither party can boast to-day, a 
live issue on which to rouse the enthusiasm of the people. Reform is 
the watchword of the hour; but how can we hope for honor and honesty 
in either party in minor matters, so long as both consent to rob one-half 
the people their own mothers, sisters, wives and daughters of their most 
sacred rights? As a party you defended the right of self-government in 
Louisiana ably and eloquently during the last session of congress. Are 
the rights of women in all the Southern States, whose slaves are now 
their rulers, less sacred than those of the men of Louisiana? "The whole 
art of government," says Jefferson, "consists in being honest." 

It needs but little observation to see that the tide of progress, in all 
countries, is setting toward the emancipation and enfranchisement of 
women ; and this step in civilization is to be taken in our day and genera- 
tion. Whether the Democratic party will take the initiative in this re- 
form, and reap the glory of crowning fifteen million women with the 
rights of American citizenship, and thereby vindicate our theory of self- 
government, is the momentous question we ask you to decide in this 
eventful hour, as we round out the first century of our national life. 

MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, Chairman Executive Committee. 
SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Corresponding Secretary. 

Centennial Headquarters, 1,431 Chestnut street, Philadelphia, June 20, 1876. 

In addition to these letters delegates were sent to both the 
Republican and Democratic conventions. Sara Andrews Spencer 
and Elizabeth Boynton Harbert were present at the Republican 
convention at Cincinnati ; both addressed the committee on 
platform and resolutions, and Mrs. Spencer, on motion of Hon. 

A New Declaration of Independence. 27 

George F. Hoar, was permitted to address the convention. Mrs. 
Virginia L. Minor and Miss Phoebe W. Couzins were the dele- 
gates to the Democratic convention at St. Louis, and the latter 
addressed that vast assembly.* 

For a long time there had been a growing demand for a 
woman's declaration to be issued on July Fourth, 1876. " Let 
us then protest against the falsehood of the nation "; "If the old 
Declaration does not include women, let us have one that will "; 
" Let our rulers be arraigned "; *' A declaration of independence 
for women must be issued on the Fourth of July, 1876," were 
demands that came from all parts of the country. The officers 
of the association had long had such action in view, having, at 
the Washington convention, early in 1875, announced their in- 
tention of working in Philadelphia during the centennial season, 
and were strengthened in their determination by the hearty in- 
dorsement they received. At the May convention in New York, 
Matilda Joslyn Gage, in her opening speech, announced that a 
declaration of independence for women would be issued on the 
Fourth of July, 1876. In response to this general feeling, the 
officers of the National Association prepared a declaration of 
rights of the women of the United States, and articles of im- 
peachment against the government. 

Application was made by the secretary, Miss Anthony, to 
General Hawley, president of the centennial commission, for 
seats for fifty officers of the association. General Hawley replied 
that " only officials were invited " that even his own wife had 
no place that merely representatives and officers of the govern- 
ment had seats assigned them. " Then " said she, " as women 
have no share in the government, they are to have no seats on 
the platform," to which General Hawley assented ; adding, how- 
ever, that Mrs. Gillespie, of the woman's centennial commission, 
had fifty seats placed at her disposal, thus showing it to be in his 
power to grant places to women whenever he so chose to do. 
Miss Anthony said : " I ask seats for the officers of the National 
Woman Suffrage Association ; we represent one-half the people, 
and why should we be denied all part in this centennial celebra- 
tion?" Miss Anthony, however, secured a reporter's ticket by 
virtue of representing her brother's paper, The Leavemvorth 

* Letters were written to these conventions from different States. Mrs. Elizabeth L. Saxon, New 
Orleans, \..\.\ Klizabeth A. Meriwether, Memphis, Tcnn.; Mrs. Margaret V. Longley, Cincinnati, 
i )., all making eloquent appeals for some consideration of the political rights of women. 

28 7/y.vAvr of U'n>ii(7!i Suffrage. 

Times, and, ultimately, cards of invitation were sent to four 
others,* representing the 20,000,000 disfranchised citizens of the 

Mrs. Stanton, as president of the association, wrote General 
Hauler, asking the opportunity to present the woman's protest 
and bill of rights at the close of the reading of the Declaration of 
Independence. Just its simple presentation and nothing more. 
She wrote : 

We do not ask to read our declaration, only to present it to the presi- 
dent of the United States, that it may become an historical part of the 

Mrs. Spencer, bearer of this letter, in presenting it to General 
I lawley, said : 

The women of the United States make a slight request on the occasion 
of the centennial celebration of the birth of the nation ; we only ask that 
we may silently present our declaration of rights. 

General HAWI.KY replied: It seems a very slight request, but our pro- 
gramme is published, our speakers engaged, our arrangements for the day 
decided upon, and we can not make even so slight a change as that you 

Mrs. SPK.XCKR replied : We are aware that your programme is published, 
your speakers engaged, your entire arrangements decided upon, without 
consulting with the women of the United States; for that very reason we 
desire to enter our protest. We are aware that this government has been 
conducted for one hundred years without consulting the women of the 
United States ; for this reason \ve desire to enter our protest. 

General HAWI.KY replied : Undoubtedly we have not lived up to our own 
original Declaration of Independence in many respects. I express no 
opinion upon your question. It is a proper subject of discussion at the 
Cincinnati convention, at the St. Louis convention, in the Senate of the 
United States, in the State legislatures, in the courts, wherever you can 
obtain a hearing. But to-morrow we propose to celebrate what we have 
done the last hundred years; not what we have failed to do. We have 
much to do in the future. I understand the full significance of your very 
slight request. If granted, it would be the event of the day the topic of 
discussion to the exclusion of all others. I am sorry to refuse so slight a 
demand; we cannot grant it. 

General Haw ley also addressed a letter to Mrs. Stanton: 

DKAK M \n\\i: I regret to say it is impossible for us to make any 
change in our programme, or make any addition to it at this late hour. 

Yours very respectfully, 

Jos. R. HAWI.KY, President I'. N. C. C. 

As General Grant was not to attend the celebration, the acting 
vice-president, Thomas \Y. Ferry, representing the government, 

* Mrs. Mott, Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Gage, and Mrs. Spencer. 

Gen. Haw ley says " No " to Mrs. Stan ton. 29 

was to officiate in his place, and he, too, was addressed by note, 
and courteously requested to make time for the reception of 
this declaration. As Mr. Ferry was a well-known sympathizer 
with the demands of woman for political rights, it was pre- 
sumable that he would render his aid. Yet he was forgetful that 
in his position that day he represented, not the exposition, but 
the government of a hundred years, and he too refused ; thus this 
simple request of woman for a half moment's recognition on the 
nation's centennial birthday was denied by all in authority.* 

While the women of the nation were thus absolutely forbidden 
the right of public protest, lavish preparations were made for the 
reception and entertainment of foreign potentates and the myr- 
midons of monarchial institutions. Dom Pedro, emperor of 
Brazil, a representative of that form of government against which 
the United States is a perpetual defiance and protest, was wel- 
comed with fulsome adulation, and given a seat of honor near 
the officers of the day; Prince Oscar of Sweden, a stripling of 
sixteen, on whose shoulder rests the promise of a future king- 
ship, was seated near. Count Rochambeau of France, the 
Japanese commissioners, high officials from Russia and Prussia, 
from Austria, Spain, England, Turkey, representing the bar- 
barism and semi-civilization of the day, found no difficulty in 
securing recognition and places of honor upon that platform, 
where representative womanhood was denied. 

Though refused by their own countrymen a place and part in 
the centennial celebration, the women who had taken this 
presentation in hand were not to be conquered. They had re- 
spectfully asked for recognition ; now that it had been denied, 
they determined to seize upon the moment when the reading of 
the Declaration of Independence closed, to proclaim to the world 
the tyranny and injustice of the nation toward one-half its 
people. Five officers of the National Woman Suffrage Associa- 
tion, with that heroic spirit which has ever animated lovers of 
liberty in resistance to tyranny, determiried, whatever the result, 
to present the woman's declaration of rights at the chosen hour. 
They would not, they dared not sacrifice the golden opportunity 

* On the receipt of these letters a prolonged council was held by the officers of the association at their 
headquarters, as to what action they should take on the Fourth of July. Mrs. Mott and Mrs. Stanton 
decided for themselves that after these rebuffs they would not even sit on the platform, but at the 
appointed time go to the church they had engaged for a meeting, and open their convention. Others 
more brave and determined insisted that women had an equal right to the glory of the day and the 
freedom of the platform, and decided to take the risk of a public insult in order to present the 
woman's declaration and thus make it an historic document. [E. C. S. 

3<D History of 11 'ouian Suffrage. 

to which they had so long looked forward ; their work was not 
for themselves alone, nor for the present generation, but for all 
women of all time. The hopes of posterity were in their hands 
and they determined to place on record for the daughters of 
1976, the fact that their mothers of 1876 had asserted their 
equality of rights, and impeached the government of that day 
for its injustice toward woman. Thus, in taking a grander step 
toward freedom than ever before, they would leave one bright 
remembrance for the women of the next centennial. 

That historic Fourth of July dawned at last, one of the most 
oppressive days of that terribly heated season. Susan K. 
Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Sara Andrews Spencer, Lillie 
Devereux Blake and Phoebe W. Couzins made their way through 
the crowds under the broiling sun to Independence Square, 
carrying the Woman's Declaration of Rights. This declaration 
had been handsomely engrossed by one of their number, and 
signed by the oldest and most prominent advocates of woman's 
enfranchisement. Their tickets of admission proved open 
sesame through the military and all other barriers, and a few 
moments before the opening of the ceremonies, these women 
found themselves within the precincts from which most of their 
sex were excluded. 

The declaration of 1776 was read by Richard Henry Lee, of 
Virginia, about whose family clusters so much of historic fame. 
The close of his reading was deemed the appropriate moment for 
the presentation of the woman's declaration. Not quite sure 
how their approach might be met not quite certain if at this 
final moment they would be permitted to reach the presiding 
officer those ladies arose and made their way down the aisle. 
The bustle of preparation for the Brazilian hymn covered their 
advance. The foreign guests, the military and civil officers who 
filled the space directly in front of the speaker's stand, cour- 
teously made way, while Miss Anthony in fitting words presented 
the declaration. Mr. Ferry's face paled, as bowing low, with no 
word, he received the declaration, which thus became part of the 
day's proceedings ; the ladies turned, scattering printed copies, as 
they deliberately walked down the platform. On every side eager 
hands were stretched ; men stood on seats and asked for them, 
while General Hawley, thus defied and beaten in his audacious 
denial to women the right to present their declaration, shouted, 
" Order, order!" 

Declaration of Rights for Woman. 31 

Passing out, these ladies made their way to a platform erected 
for the musicians in front of Independence Hall. Here on this 
old historic ground, under the shadow of Washington's statue, 
back of them the old bell that proclaimed " liberty to all the land, 
and all the inhabitants thereof," they took their places, and to a 
listening, applauding crowd, Miss Anthony read* the Declaration 
of Rights for Women by the National Woman Suffrage Associa- 
tion, July 4, 1876: 

While the nation is buoyant with patriotism, and all hearts are attuned 
to praise, it is with sorrow we come to strike the one discordant note, on 
this one-hundredth anniversary of our country's birth. When subjects of 
kings, emperors, and czars, from the old world join in our national jubilee, 
shall the women of the republic refuse to lay their hands with benedic- 
tions on the nation's head ? Surveying America's exposition, surpassing 
in magnificence those of London, Paris, and Vienna, shall we not rejoice 
at the success of the youngest rival among the nations of the earth ? May 
not our hearts, in unison with all, swell with pride at our great achieve- 
ments as a people ; our free speech, free press, free schools, free church, 
and the rapid progress we have made in material wealth, trade, commerce 
and the inventive arts ? And we do rejoice in the success, thus far, of our 
experiment of self-government. Our faith is firm and unwavering in the 
broad principles of human rights proclaimed in 1776, not only as abstract 
truths, but as the corner stones of a republic. Yet we cannot forget, even 
in this glad hour, that while all men of every race, and clime, and condi- 
tion, have been invested with the full rights of citizenship under our hos- 
pitable flag, all women still suffer the degradation of disfranchisement. 

The history of our country the past hundred years has been a series of, 
assumptions and usurpations of power over woman, in direct opposition 
to the principles of just government, acknowledged by the United States 
us its foundation, which are : 

First The natural rights of each individual. 

Second The equality of these rights. 

Third That rights not delegated are retained by the individual. 

Fourth That no person can exercise the rights of others without dele- 
gated authority. 

Fifth That the non-use of rights does not destroy them. 

And for the violation of these fundamental principles of our govern- 
ment, we arraign our rulers on this Fourth day of July, 1876, and these 
are our articles of impeachment : 

Bills of attainder have been passed by the introduction of the word " male" into 
all the State constitutions, denying to women the right of suffrage, and thereby mak- 

* During the reading of the declaration to an immense concourse of people, Mrs. Gage stood be- 
side Miss Anthony, and held an umbrella over her head, to shelter her friend from the intense heat of 
the noonday sun ; and thus in the same hour, on opposite sides of old Independence Hall, did the 
men and women express their opinions on the great principles proclaimed on the natal day of the re- 
public. The declaration was handsomely framed and now hangs in the vice-president's room in the 
capitol at Washington. 

32 History of Woman Suffrage. 

ing sex a crime an exercise of power clearly forbidden in article I, sections 9, 10, 
of the United States constitution. 

The -writ of habeas coipus, the only protection against lettres de cachet and all forms 
of unjust imprisonment, which the constitution declares " shall not be suspended, ex- 
cept when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety demands it," is held in- 
operative in every State of the Union, in case of a married woman against her hus- 
band the marital rights of the husband being in all primary, and the rights of 
the wife secondary. 

The rijiit of trial by a jury of ones peers was so jealously guarded that States 
refused to ratify the original constitution until it was guaranteed by the sixth 
amendment. Ami yet the women of this nation have never been allowed a jury of 
their peers being tried in all cases by men, native and foreign, educated and igno- 
rant, virtuous and vicious. Young girls have been arraigned in our courts for the 
crime of infanticide ; tried, convicted, hanged victims, perchance, of judge, jurors, 
advocates while no woman's voice could be heard in their defense. And not only 
are women denied a jury of their peers, but in some cases, jury trial altogether. Dur- 
ing the war, a woman was tried and hanged by military law, in defiance of the fifth 
amendment, which specifically declares : '* No person shall be held to answer for a 
capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand 
jury, except in cases .... of persons in actual service in time of war." During 
the Li. -a presidential campaign, a woman, arrested for voting, was denied the protec- 
tion of a jury, tried, convicted, and sentenced to a fine and costs of prosecution, by 
the absolute power of a judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Taxation without representation, the immediate cause of the rebellion of the colo- 
nies against Great Hritain, is one of the grievous wrongs the women of this country 
have .suffered during the century. Deploring war, with all the demoralization that 
follows in its train, we have been taxed to support standing armies, with their waste 
of life and wealth. Believing in temperance, we have been taxed to support the vice, 
crime and pauperism of the liquor traffic. While we suffer its wrongs and abuses in- 
finitely more than man, we have no power to protect our sons against this giant evil. 
During the temperance crusade, mothers were arrested, fined, imprisoned, for even 
praying and singing in the streets, while men blockade the sidewalks with impunity, 
even on Sunday, with their military parades and political processions. Believing in 
honesty, we are taxed to support a dangerous army of civilians, buying and selling the 
offices of government and sacrificing the best interests of the people. And, moreover, 
we are taxed to support the very legislators and judges who make laws, and render decis- 
ions adverse to woman. And for refusing to pay such unjust taxation, the houses, 
lands, bonds, and stock of women have been seized and sold within the present year, 
thus proving Lord Coke's assertion, that " The very act of taxing a man's property 
without his consent is, in effect, disfranchising him of every civil right." 

Unequal codes for men and women. Held by law a perpetual minor, deemed in- 
capable of self-protection, even in the industries of the world, woman is denied equal- 
ity of rights. The fact of sex, not the quantity or quality of work, in most cases, de- 
cides the pay and position ; and because of this injustice thousands of fatherless girls 
are compelled to choose between a life of shame and starvation. Laws catering to 
man's vices have created two codes of morals in which penalties are graded according 
to the political status of the offender. Under such laws, women are fined and im- 
prisoned if found alone in the streets, or in public places of resort, at certain hours. 
Under the pretense of regulating public morals, police officers seizing the occupants 
of disreputable houses, march the women in platoons to prison, while the men, part- 
ners in their guilt, go free. While making a show of virtue in forbidding the impor- 
tation of Chinese women on the Pacific coast for immoral purposes, our rulers, in many 
States, and even under the shadow of the national capitol, are now proposing to legal- 
ize the sale of American womanhood for the same vile purposes. 

Special legislation for woman ha* placed us in a most anomalous position. Women 
invested with the rights of citi/ens in one section voters, jurors, office-holders cross- 

Our Articles of Impeachment. 33 

ing an imaginary line, are subjects in the next. In some States, a married woman 
may hold property and transact business in her own name ; in others, her earnings be- 
long to her husband. In some States, a woman may testify against her husband, sue 
and be sued in the courts ; in others, she has no redress in case of damage to person, 
property, or character. In case of divorce on account of adultery in the husband, the 
innocent wife is held to possess no right to children or property, unless by special de- 
cree of the court. But in no State of the Union has the wife the right to her own 
person, or to any part of the joint earnings of the co-partnership during the life of her 
husband. In some States women may enter the law schools and practice in the courts ; 
in others they are forbidden. In some universities girls enjoy equal educational ad- 
vantages with boys, while many of the proudest institutions in the land deny them 
admittance, though the sons of China, Japan and Africa are welcomed there. But the 
privileges already granted in the several States are by no means secure. The right of 
suffrage once exercised by women in certain States and territories has been denied by 
subsequent legislation. A bill is now pending in congress to disfranchise the women 
of Utah, thus interfering to deprive United States citizens of the same rights which 
the Supreme Court has declared the national government powerless to protect any- 
where. Laws passed after years of untiring effort, guaranteeing married women cer- 
tain rights of property, and mothers the custody of their children, have been repealed 
in States where we supposed all was safe. Thus have our most sacred rights been 
made the football of legislative caprice, proving that a power which grants as a privi- 
lege what by nature is a right, may withhold the same as a penalty when deeming it 
necessary for its own perpetuation. 

Representation of "woman has had no place in the nation's thought. Since the in- 
corporation of the thirteen original States, twenty-four have been admitted to the 
Union, not one of which has recognized woman's right of self-government. On this 
birthday of our national liberties, July Fourth, 1876, Colorado, like all her elder sisters, 
comes into the Union with the invidious word " male " in her constitution. 

Universal manhood suffrage, by establishing an aristocracy of sex, imposes upon 
the women of this nation a more absolute and cruel depotism than monarchy ; in that, 
woman finds a political master in her father, husband, brother, son. The aristocracies 
of the old world are based upon birth, wealth, refinement, education, nobility, brave 
deeds of chivalry ; in this nation, on sex alone ; exalting brute force above moral 
power, vice above virtue, ignorance above education, and the son above the mother 
who bore him. 

The judiciary above the nation has proved itself out the echo of the party in power, 
by upholding and enforcing laws that are opposed to the spirit and letter of the con- 
stitution. When the slave power was dominant, the Supreme Court decided that a 
black man was not a citizen, because he had not the right to vote ; and when the 
constitution was so amended as to make all persons citizens, the same high tribunal 
decided that a woman, though a citizen, had not the right to vote. Such vacillating 
interpretations of constitutional law unsettle our faith ih judicial authority, and under- 
mine the liberties of the whole people. 

These articles of impeachment against our rulers we now submit to the 
impartial judgment of the people. To all these wrongs and oppressions 
woman has not submitted in silence and resignation. From the beginning 
of the century, when Abigail Adams, the wife of one president and mother 
of another, said, " We will not hold ourselves bound to obey laws in which 
we have no voice or representation," until mnv, woman's discontent has 
been steadily increasing, culminating nearly thirty years ago in a simul- 
taneous movement among the women of the nation, demanding the right 
of suffrage. In making our just demands, a higher motive than the pride 
of sex inspires us ; we feel that national safety and stability depend on 

34 History of Woman Suffrage. 

the complete recognition of the broad principles of our government. 
Woman's degraded, helpless position is the weak point in our institutions 
to-day; a disturbing force everywhere, severing family ties, filling our 
asylums with the deaf, the dumb, the blind ; our prisons with criminals, 
our cities with drunkenness and prostitution ; our homes with disease and 
death. It was the boast of the founders of the republic, that the rights 
for which they contended were the rights of human nature. If these 
rights are ignored in the case of one-half the people, the nation is surely 
preparing for its downfall. Governments try themselves. The recogni- 
tion of a governing and a governed class is incompatible with the first 
principles of freedom. Woman has not been a heedless spectator of the 
events of this century, nor a dull listener to the grand arguments for the 
equal rights of humanity. From the earliest history of our country 
woman has shown equal devotion with man to the cause of freedom, and 
has stood firmly by his side in its defense. Together, they have made this 
country what it is. Woman's wealth, thought and labor have cemented 
the stones of every monument man has reared to liberty. 

And now, at the close of a hundred years, as the hour-hand of the great 
clock that marks the centuries points to 1876, we declare our faith in the 
principles of self-government; our full equality with man in natural 
rights; that woman was made first for her own happiness, with the 
absolute right to herself to all the opportunities and advantages life 
affords for her complete development ; and we deny that dogma of the 
centuries, incorporated in the codes of all nations that woman was made 
for man her best interests, in all cases, to be sacrificed lo his will. We 
ask of our rulers, at this hour, no special favors, no special privileges, no 
special legislation. We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the 
civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States, be 
guaranteed to us and our daughters forever.* 

The declaration was warmly applauded at many points, and 
after scattering another large number of printed copies, the 
delegation hastened to the convention of the National Associa- 
tion. A meeting had been appointed for twelve, in the old 
historic First Unitarian church, where Rev. Wm. H. Furness 
preached for fifty years, but whose pulpit was then filled by 
Joseph May, a son of Rev. Samuel J. May. To this place the 
ladies made their way to find the church crowded with an 
expectant audience, which greeted them with thanks for what 
they had just done ; the first act of this historic day taking place 
on the old centennial platform in Independence Square, the last 

* This document was signed by Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Paulina Wright Davis. 
Ernestine L. Rose, Clarina I. H. Nichols, Mary Ann McClintock, Mathilde Franceske Anneke. 
Sarah Pugh, Amy Post, Catharine A. F. Stebbins, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, 
Clemence S. Lozier, Olympia Brown, Mathilde F. Wendt, Adleline Thomson, Ellen Clark Sargent, 
Virginia L. Minor, Catherine V. Waite, Elizabeth B. Schenck, Phoebe \V. Couzins, Elizabeth Boynton 
Harbert, Laura De Force Gordon, Sara Andrews Spencer. Lillie Devereux Blake, Jane Graham 
Jones, Abigail Scott Duniway, Belva A. Lockwood, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Sarah L. Williams, 
Abby P. Ela. 

Meeting in Dr. Fumes s* Church. 35 

in a church so long devoted to equality and justice. The 
venerable Lucretia Mott, then in her eighty-fourth year, pre^ 
sided. Elizabeth Cady Stanton read the Declaration of Rights. 
Its reception by the listening audience proclaimed its need and 
its justice. The reading was followed by speeches upon the 
various points of the declaration. 

Belva A. Lockwood took up the judiciary, showing the way 
that body lends itself to party politics. Matilda Joslyn Gage spoke 
upon the writ of habeas corpus, showing what a mockery to married 
women was that constitutional guarantee. Lucretia Mott re- 
viewed the progress of the reform from the first convention. 
Sara Andrews Spencer illustrated the evils arising from two 
codes of morality. Mrs. Devereux Blake spoke upon trial by 
jury; Susan B. Anthony upon taxation without representation, 
illustrating her remarks by incidents of unjust taxation of women 
during the present year. Elizabeth Cady Stanton spoke upon 
the aristocracy of sex, and the evils arising from manhood suf- 
frage. Judge Esther Morris, of Wyoming, said a few words 
in regard to suffrage in that territory. Mrs. Margaret Parker, 
president of the woman suffrage club of Dundee, Scotland, 
and of the newly-formed Christian Woman's International Tem- 
perance Union, said she had seen nothing like this in Great Britain 
it was worth the journey across the Atlantic. Mr. J. H. 
Raper, of Manchester, England, characterized it as the historic 
meeting of the day, and said the patriot of a hundred years hence 
would seek for every incident connected with it, and the next 
centennial would be adorned by the portraits of the women who 
sat upon that platform. 

The Hutchinsons, themselves of historic fame, were present. 
They were in their happiest vein, interspersing the speeches with 
appropriate and felicitous songs. Lucretia Mott did not confine 
herself to a single speech, but, in Quaker style, whenever the 
spirit moved made many happy points. When she first arose to 
speak, a call came from the audience for her to ascend the pulpit 
in order that she might be seen. As she complied with this re- 
quest, ascending the long winding staircase into the old-fashioned 
octagon pulpit, she said, " I am somewhat like Zaccheus of old 
who climbed the sycamore tree his Lord to see ; I climb this 
pulpit, not because I am of lofty mind, but because I am short 
of stature that you may see me." As her sweet and placid 
countenance appeared above the pulpit, the Hutchinsons, by 

36 History of Woman Suffrage. 

happy inspiration, burst into " Nearer, my God, to Thee." The 
effect was marvelous ; the audience at once arose, and spontane- 
ously joined in the hymn. 

Phoebe W. Couzins, with great pathos, referred to woman's 
work in the war, and the parade of the Grand Army of the Re- 
public the preceding evening ; she said : 

In such an hour as this, with my soul stirred to its deepest depths, I 
feel unequal to the task of uttering words befitting the occasion, and to 
follow the dear saint who has just spoken ; how can I ? I am but a beginner, 
and to-day I feel that to sit at the feet of these dear women who have 
borne the heat and burden of this contest, and to learn of them is the 
attitude I should assume. It is not the time for argument or rhetoric. It 
is the time for introspection and prayer. We have come from Inde- 
pendence Square, where the nation is celebrating its centennial birthday of 
a masculine freedom. You have just heard from Mrs. Stanton the read- 
ing of Woman's Declaration of Rights ; that document has already 
been presented in engrossed form, tied with the symbolic red, white and 
blue, to the presiding officer of the day, Senator Thomas W. Ferry, on 
their platform in yonder square; and the John Hampden of our cause, 
the immortal Susan B. Anthony, rendered it historic, by reading it 
from the steps of Independence Hall, to an immense audience there 
gathered, that could not gain access to the square or platform. [Great 
applause.] I cannot express to you in fitting language the thoughts and 
feelings which stirred me as I sat on the platform, awaiting the presenta- 
tion of that document. 

We were about to commit an overt act. Gen. Hawley, president of the 
centennial commission and manager of the programme, had peremptorily 
forbidden its presentation. Yet in the face of this in the face of the as- 
sembled nation and representatives from the crowned heads of Europe, a 
handful of women actuated by the same high principles as our fathers, stir- 
red by the same desire for freedom, moved by the same impulse for liberty, 
were to again proclaim the right of self-government; were again to im- 
peach the spirit of King George manifested in our rulers, and declare that 
taxation without representation is tyranny, that the divine right of one- 
half of the people to rule the other half is also despotism. As I followed 
the reading of Richard Henry Lee, and marked the wild enthusiasm of its 
reception, and remembered that at its close, a document, as noble, as di- 
vine, as grand, as historic as that, was to be presented in silence ; an act. 
as heroic, as worthy, as sublime, was to be performed in the face of the 
contemptuous amazement of the assembled world, I trembled with sup- 
pressed emotion. When Susan Anthony arose, with a look of intense 
pain, yet heroic determination in her face, I silently committed her to the 
Great Father who see'th not in part, to strengthen and comfort her heroic 
heart, and then she was lost to view in the sudden uprising caused by the 
burst of applause instituted by General Hawley in behalf of the Brazilian 
emperor. And thus at the close of the reading of a document which re- 
pudiated kings and declared the right of even- person to life, to liberty 

Miss Cousins' Eloquent Appeal. 37 

and the pursuit of individual happiness, the American people, applauding 
a crowned monarch, received in silence the immortal document and pro- 
test of its discrowned queens ! 

Shall I recount the emotion that swayed me, as I thought of all that 
woman had done to build up this country ; to sustain its unity, to perpet- 
uate its principles ; of its self-denying and heroic Pilgrim and revolution- 
ary mothers ; of the work of woman in the anti-slavery cause ; the agony 
and death of her travail in its second birth for freedom; sustaining the 
nation by prayers, by self-sacrificing contributions, by patriotic endeavors, 
by encouraging words ; and, reviewing the programme, and all the atten- 
dant pageants, remembered that in these grand centennial celebrations, 
when the nation rounded out its first century, not a tribute, not a recogni- 
tion in any shape, form or manner was paid to woman ; that upon the 
platform, as honored guests, sat those who had been false in the hour of 
our country's peril ; that upon this historic soil, stood the now freeman, 
once a slave, whose liberty and life were given him at the hands of woman ; 
that the inhabitants of the far off isles of the sea, India, Asia, Africa, Eu- 
rope, were gladly welcomed as free citizens, while woman, a suppliant beg- 
gar, pleaded of one man, invested with autocratic power, for the simple 
boon of presenting a protest in silence, against her degradation, and was 
dented ! 

I stood yesterday on the corner of Broad and Chestnut streets, watch- 
ing the march of the Grand Army of the Republic. As the torn and tat- 
tered battle flags came by, all the terrors of that war tragedy suddenly 
rushed over me, and I sat down and wept. Looking again, I saw the car of 
wounded soldiers ; as in thought I was suddenly transported to the banks 
of the Mississippi I felt the air full of the horrors of the battle of Shiloh, 
and saw two young girls waiting the landing of a steamer that had 
been dispatched to succor the wounded on that terrible field. They 
were watching for "mother" who for the first time had left her home 
charge, and hushing her own heart's pleadings, heard only her coun- 
try's call, and gone down to that field of carnage to tenderly care for the 
soldier. As they boarded the steamer, what a sight met their eyes ! Maimed, 
bleeding, dying soldiers by the hundreds, were on cots on deck, on 
boxes filled with amputated limbs, and the dead were awaiting the last 
sad rites. Like ministering angels walked two women, their mother and 
the now sainted Margaret Breckenridge of Kentucky, amid these rows of 
sufferers, with strong nerve and steady arm, comforting the soldier boy, 
so far from friends and home ; binding up the ghastly wound, bathing the 
feverish brow, smoothing the dying pillow, and with tender mother's 
prayer and tear, closing the eyes of the dead. The first revelation of war; 
how it burned our youthful brain ! How it moved us to divine compas- 
sion, how it stirred us to even give up our mother to the work for years, 
as we heard the piteous pleading, " Don't leave us, mother " " Oh, mother, 
we can never forget." But alas they did forget ! This scene repeated again, 
and again, during that long conflict, with hundreds of women offering a 
like service in camp and floating hospital, leaving sweet homes, without 
money, price or thought of emolument, going to these battle-fields and 

38 History of Woman Suffrage. 

tenderly nursing the army of the republic to life again ; while back of 
them were tens of thousands .other women of the great sanitary army, 
who, in self-sacrifice at home, were sending lint, bandages, clothing, 
delicacies of food and raiment of all kinds, by car-load and ship-load, 
to comfort and ameliorate the sufferings of the grand army of the repub- 
lic, and yet as I watched its march in this centennial year, its gala day 
not a tribute marked its gratitude to her who had proved its savior and 
friend, in the hour of peril. 

Again, came the colored man in rank and file and in thought I saw the 
fifteenth-amendment jubilee, which proclaimed his emancipation. As ban- 
ner after banner passed me, with the name of Garrison, of Phillips, of 
Douglass, I looked in vain for the name of Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose 
one book, " Uncle Tom's Cabin " did more to arouse the whole world to 
the horrors of slavery, than did the words or works of any ten men. I 
searched for a tribute to Lucretia Mott and other women of that conflict, 
but none appeared. And so to-day, standing here with heart and brain 
convulsed with all these memories and scenes, can you wonder that we 
are stirred to profoundest depths, as we review the base ingratitude of this 
nation to its women ? It has taxed its women, and asked the women, in 
whose veins flows the blood of their Pilgrim and Revolutionary mothers, to 
assist by money, individual effort and presence, to make it a year of jubi- 
lee for the proclamation of a ransomed male nationality. Zenobia, in 
gilded chains it may be, but chains nevertheless, marches through the 
streets of Philadelphia to-day, an appendage of the chariot wheels which 
proclaim the coming of her king, her lord, her master, whether he be white 
or black, native or foreign-born, virtuous or vile, lettered or unlettered. 
As the state-house bell, with its inscription, " Proclaim liberty through- 
out the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof," pealed forth its jubilant re- 
iteration, the daughters of Jefferson, of Hancock, of Adams, and Patrick 
Henry, who have been politically outlawed and ostracized by their own 
countrymen, here had no liberty proclaimed for them ; they are not inhab- 
itants, only sojourners in the land of their fathers, and as the slaves in 
meek subjection to the will of the master placed the crown of sovereignty 
on the alien from Europe, Asia, Africa, she is asked to sing in dulcet strains : 
"The king is dead long live the king !" 

And thus to-day we round out the first century of a professed repub- 
lic, with woman figuratively representing freedom and yet all free, 
save woman. 

For five long hours of that hot mid-summer's day, that crowded 
audience listened earnestly to woman's demand for equality of 
rights before the law. When the convention at last adjourned, 
the Hutchinsons singing, "A Hundred Years Hence,"* it was 

* One hundred years hence, what a change will be made, 
In politics, morals, religion and trade, 
In statesmen who wrangle or ride on the fence, 
These things will be altered a hundred years hence. 

Our laws then will be uncompulsory rules, 
Our prisons converted to national schools. 

A Hundred Years Hence. 39 

slowly and reluctantly that the great audience left the house. 
Judged by its immediate influence, it was a wonderful meeting. 
No elaborate preparations had been made, for not until late on 
Friday evening had it been decided upon, hoping still, as we did, 
for a recognition in the general celebration on Independence 
Square. Speakers were not prepared, hardly a moment of thought 
had been given as to what should be said, but words fitting for 
the hour came to lips rendered eloquent by the pressure of in- 
tense emotion. 

Day after day visitors to the woman suffrage parlors referred 
to this meeting in glowing terms. Ladies from distant States, 
in Philadelphia to visit the exposition, said that meeting was 
worth the whole expense of the journey. Young women with 
all the attractions of the day and the exposition enticing them, 
yet said, " The best of all I have seen in Philadelphia was that 
meeting." Women to whom a dollar was of great value, said, 
" As much as I need money, I would not have missed that meeting 
for a hundred dollars "; while in the midst of conversation visitors 
would burst forth, " Was there ever such a meeting as that in 
Dr. Furness' church?" and thus was Woman's Declaration of 
Rights joyously received. 

The day was also celebrated by women in convocations of their 
own all. over the country.* 

The pleasure of sinning 'tis all a pretense, 

And the people will find it so, a hundred years kence. 

Lying, cheating and fraud will be laid on the shelf, 

Men will neither get drunk, nor be bound up in self, 

But all live together, good neighbors and friends. 

Just as Christian folks ought to, a hundred years /tenet, 

Then woman, man's partner, man's equal shall stand. 

While beauty and harmony govern the land, 

To think for oneself will be no offense, 

The world will be thinking a hundred years hence. 

Oppression and war will be heard of no more, 

Nor the blood of a slave leave his print on our shore, 

Conventions will then be a useless expense, 

For we'll all go free-sujfrage a hundred years kence. 

Instead of speech-making to satisfy wrong, 

All will join the glad chorus to sing Freedom's song ; 

And if the Millenium is not a pretense. 

We'll all be good brothers a hundred years hence. 

This song was written in 1852, at Cleveland. Ohio, by Frances-Dana Gage, expressly for John W. 
Hutchinson. Several of the friends were staying with Mrs. Caroline M. Severance, on their way to 
the Akron convention, where it was first sung. 

*Protests and declarations were read by Mrs. Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, in F.van*ton, 111.; Sarah 
1,. knox, California ; Mrs. Rosa L. Segur, Toledo, Ohio ; Mrs. Mary Olney Brown, Olympia. Wash- 
ington territory ; Mrs. Henrietta Paine Westbrook, New York city. In Maquokcta. Iowa, Mrs. Nancy 
K. Allen read the declaration at the regular county celebration. Madam Anneke, Wis,; Elizabeth 
Avery Meriwether, Tenn.; Lucinda B. Chandler, N. J.; Jane K. Telker, Iowa; S. P. Abeel, D. C.; 
Mrs. J, A. Johns. Oregon; Elizabeth Lisle Saxon, La.; Mr>. EUio Stewart,; and many other* 
impossible lo name, sent in protests and declarations. 

40 History of Woman Suffrage. 

An interesting feature of the centennial parlors was an im- 
mense autograph book, in which the names of friends to the 
movement were registered by the thousands, some penned on 
that historic day and sent from the old world and the new, and 
others written on the spot during these eventful months. From 
the tidings of all these enthusiastic assemblies and immense 
number of letters* received in Philadelphia, unitedly demanding 
an extension of their rights, it was evident that the thinking 
women of the nation were hopefully waiting in the dawn of the 
new century for greater liberties to themselves. 

From " Aunt Lottie's Centennial Letters to her Nieces and 
Nephews," we give the one describing this occasion : 

MY DEARS : I suppose I had best tell you in this letter about the Fourth 
of July celebration at the centennial city at least that portion of it that 
I know about, and which I would not have missed for the exhibition itself, 
and which I would not have you miss for all the rest of my letters. I can- 
not expect you to be as much interested in it as was I, but it is time you 
were becoming interested in the subject ; and, if you live a half century 
from this time (in less than that, I hope,) you will see that what lam 
about to relate was, as General Hawley admitted it would be, "the event 
of the occasion." 

At the commencement of the exhibition, Miss Susan B. Anthony and 
Mrs. Matilda Joslyn Gage came to Philadelphia and procured the parlors 
of 1,431 Chestnut street for the accommodation of the National Woman 
Suffrage Association. These rooms were open to the friends of the asso- 
ciation, and public receptions were held and well attended every Tuesday 
and Friday evening. During these months these two ladies assisted the 
latter part of the time by Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton were engaged in 
preparing a history of the suffrage movement and a declaration of rights 
to be presented at the great centennial celebration of the Fourth of July, 
1876. This document is in form like the first declaration of a hundred 
years ago, handsomely engrossed by Mrs. Sara Andrews Spencer, of Wash- 
ington a lady delegate to the Cincinnati Republican convention, June 12. 

The celebration was held in Independence Square, just back of the old 
state-house where the first declaration was signed. There was a great 
crowd of people collected ; a poem was read by Bayard Taylor and a speech 
delivered by William M. Evarts. But I knew it was useless to go there 
expecting to hear any portion of either; so I waited until twelve o'clock 
and then rode down in the cars to Dr. Furness' church, corner of Broad 
and Locust streets, where these ladies were to hold their meeting. The 
church was full, and the exercises were opened by Mrs. Mott the vener- 
able and venerated president a Quaker lady of slight form, attired in a 
plain, light-silk gown, white muslin neckerchief and cap, after that ex- 
quisitely neat and quaint fashion. Then the Hutchinsons sang a hymn, 

* See Appendix. 

Aunt Lottie s Letter to her. Nieces. 41 

in which all were requested to join. Afterward Mrs. Stanton came to the 
front of the pulpit, the house was hushed to a reverential stillness, and I 
never yet heard anything so solemn and impressive as her reading of the 
Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States. 

A printed copy had been given me the day before, when between the 
sessions of the New England American Association in the Academy of 
Music, where were Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, Rev. Antoinette Brown 
Blackwell, Elizabeth K. Churchill and other pleasant-faced, sweet-voiced 
ladies, I had called at the rooms on Chestnut street and folded declarations 
for half an hour with Mrs. Stanton, which they were distributing by post 
and in every way all over the land. When I read it at home that night 
1 realized its importance, but as the next day (the Fourth) was excessively 
warm, I very nearly gave up going, and then 1 should have missed the 
impressiveness of her reading. When she first commenced, her voice 
seemed choked with emotion. She must have realized what she was 
doing, as we all knew it was the grandest thing that had been done in a 
hundred years. Thrill after thrill went through my veins, and the whole 
scene formed a picture that will yet be the subject of artists' pencils and 
poets' pens. I should have been contented to have had the meeting 
closed then with that best song of the Hutchinsons upon the progress 
of reform, where the young gentleman was so much applauded 
for his solo, "W T hen Women Shall be Free." Still we were all in- 
terested in Mrs. Spencer's account of her interview with General Hawley, 
and his refusal to permit the silent handing-in of the declaration, which, 
after her persistence, assuring him " it would not take three minutes," he 
was obliged to confess was because he was "very well aware it would be 
the event of the occasion." " Immediately," said Mrs. Spencer, "you can- 
not imagine what an inspiration we all had to do it ; for," added the slight, 
fair-haired, fluent lady, in a humorous manner that called forth laughter 
and applause, " I never yet was forbidden by a man to do a thing, but that 
I resolved to do it." 

We were also pleased to hear from that earnest woman, Susan R. 
Anthony, inspired by the immutable abstract truths of justice and equity. 
Reports say that she has the air of a Catholic devotee. She said that in 
defiance of " the powers that be " she took a place on that platform 
in Independence square, and at the proper time delivered the en- 
grossed copy of the declaration to the lion. T. W. Ferry, who received 
it with a courteous bow; and. afterward on the steps of Independ- 
ence Hall she read it to an assembled multitude. She had done her 
centennial day's work for all time; and small wonder that mind and 
body craved rest after such tension. She is yet under a hundred dollars 
fine for voting at Rochester, and although from her lectures the last six 
years she has paid $10,000 indebtedness on 77te Revolution, she said she 
never would have paid that fine had she been imprisoned till now. 

Mrs. Lucretia Mott, whom the younger Hutchinson * assisted into the 
pulpit a beautiful sight to see cultured youth supporting refined old 
age stated that she went up there, " not because she was higher-minded 

* Henry Hutchin.son, the son of John. 

42 ffisfory of Woman Suffrage. 

than the rest, but so that her enfeebled voice might be better heard." The 
dear old soul is so much stronger than her body, that it would seem that 
she must have greatly overtasked herself; though an inspired soul has 
wonderful recuperative forces at command for the temple it inhabits. A 
goodly number of gentlemen were present at this meeting and that of the 
day before three or four of them making short speeches. A Mr. Raper 
of England, strongly interested in the temperance and woman suffrage 
cause, told us that in his country "all women tax-payers voted for guar- 
dians of the poor, upon all educational matters, and also upon all municipal 
affairs. In that respect she was in advance of this professed republic. In 
England there is an hereditary aristocracy, here, an aristocracy of sex "; or, 
as the spirited Lillie Devereux Blake who was present once amusingly 
termed it, of "the bifurcated garment." And now perhaps some ma- 
terially-minded person will ask, "What are you going to do about it? 
You can't fight ! " forgetting that we are now fighting the greatest of all 
battles, and that the weapons of woman's warfare, like her nature at its 
best development, are moral and spiritual. LEWISE OLIVER. 

Philadelphia, July 13, 1876. 

The press of the country commented extensively upon the 
action of the women : 

At noon to-day, in the First Unitarian church, corner Tenth and South, the 
National Woman Suffrage Association will present the Woman's Declaration of Rights. 
The association will hold a convention at the same time and place, at which Lucretia 
Mott is announced to preside, and several ladies to make speeches. Most of the 
ladies are known as women of ability and earnest apostles of the creed they have 
espoused for the political enfranchisement of women. Their declaration of right>, 
we do not doubt, will be strongly enforced. These ladies, or some of them, have 
been assigned places upon the platform at the grand celebration ceremonies to take 
place in Independence Square to-day ; and they have requested leave to present their 
declaration of rights in form on that occasion. They do not ask to have it read, 
we believe, but simply that the statement of their case shall go on file with the general 
archives of the day, so that the women of 1976 may see that their predecessors of 1876 
did not let the centennial year of independence pass without protest. [Philadelphia 
Ledger, July 4. 

There was yet another incident of the Fourth, in Independence Square. Im- 
mediately after the Declaration of Independence had been read by Richard Henry 
Lee, and while the strains of the "Greeting from Brazil " were rising upon the air, 
two ladies pushed their way vigorously through the crowd and appeared upon the 
speaker's platform. They were Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage. 
Hustling generals aside, elbowing governors, and almost upsetting Dom Pedro in 
their charge, they reached Vice-President Ferry, and handed him a scroll about three 
feet long, tied with ribbons of various colors. He was seen to bow and look be- 
wildered ; but they had retreated in the same vigorous manner before the explanation 
was whispered about. It appears that they demanded a change of programme for the 
sake of reading their address ; but "if so, this was probably a mere form intended for 
future effect. More than six months ago some of the advocates of female suffrage 
began in this city their crusade against celebrating the centennial anniversary of a na- 
tion wherein women are not permitted to vote. The demand of Miss Anthony and 
Mrs. Gage to be allowed to take part in a commemoration which many of their asso- 
ciates discouraged and denounced, would have been a cool proceeding had it been 
made in advance. Made, as it was, through a very discourteous interruption, it pre- 

Comments of the Press, 1876. 43 

figures new forms of violence and disregard of order which may accompany the par- 
ticipation of women in active partisan politics. [New York Tribune. 

The letter of a correspondent, printed in another column, describing the presenta- 
tion of a woman's bill of rights, in Independence Square on the Fourth of July, 
will interest all readers, whether or not they think with the coriespondent, that 
this little affair was the most important of the day's proceedings. We have not a 
doubt that the persons who were concerned in the affair enjoyed it heartily. Those 
of them who made speeches naturally regarded their eloquence as a thing to stir the 
nation. All persons who make speeches do. The day was a warm one, and imagina- 
tion, like the fire-cracker, was on ffire. In the heat of the occasion, of course, the 
women who want to vote and who desire the protection of the writ of habeas corpus 
against the tyranny of actual or possible husbands, felt that they were making great 
folios of history ; but the sagacity of the press agents and reporters was not at fault. 
The gatherers of news know very well what they are about ; and when they decided 
to omit this part of the proceedings from their reports, they simply obeyed that in- 
stinct upon which their livelihood depends the instinct, namely, to write only of 
matters in which the public is interested. 

The good women who wrote and published this declaration, fancying that they 
were throwing a boombshell into the gathered crowds of American (male) citizens, 
are very much in earnest, doubtless, and are entitled we have platform authority fur 
saying it to " respectful consideration "; but their movement scarcely rises, as yet 
at least, to the dignity of a great historical event. There is a prevailing indifference 
to their cause which is against it. The public is not aroused to a fever heat of in- 
dignation over the wrongs which women are everywhere suffering at the hands of 
the tyrants called husbands. The popular mind is not yet awake to the fact that men 
usually imprison their wives in back parlors and maltreat them shamefully. The 
witnesses, wives to wit, refuse to bear testimony to this effect, and the public placidly 
accepts appearance for reality and believes that the gentlewomen who ride about in 
their carriages or haunt the shops of our cities in gay apparel are reasonably well con- 
tented with their lot in life. In a word, it is not hostility so much as calm indifference 
with which the advocates of woman suffrage have to contend, and unluckily for them 
the indifference is very largely feminine. [New York Evening Post. 

There is something awful in the thought that should the woman suffragists be con- 
tinually refused a voice in the affairs of the nation they might at last in a fit of despe- 
ration, do what our fathers did, and frame a declaration of independence, No, 2. Just 
think of an army of crinolines willing to take arms against the tyrant man, and sacri- 
fice their lives, if need be, to carry out their principles ! It is easier to ridicule the 
woman suffrage movement than to answer the arguments advanced by some of the leading 
advocates of that question. It is only the innate mildness of the position of women in 
general that has prevented a revolution on this same subject long ago. One hundred 
thousand such fire-eaters as Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the land, 
could raise a rumpus which would cause the late unpleasantness to pale into insignifi- 
cance. Armed and equipped, what a sight would be presented by an army of strong- 
minded women ! There would be no considering the question of whether the cavalry 
should ride side-saddle, or a la clothes-pin. Such detail would be of too small importance 
to receive the slightest attention ; the more vital questions would be, " How can we 
slaughter the most men ?" " How can we soonest convince the demons that we have 
rights which must be respected?" The fact is, that if these down-trodden women 
would take a firm stand in any thing like respectable numbers, and assert their claims 
to suffrage at the point of the bayonet, they would be allowed everything they asked 
for. There is not a man in the land who would dare to take up arms against a woman. 
Such a dernier resort on the part of the women would be truly laughable, but the mat- 
ter would cease to be a joke, if General Susan B. Anthony, in command of a bloomer 
regiment, should march into the halls of congress, armed cap-a-pie, and demand the 
passage of a law in behalf of woman suffrage, or the alternative of the general clean- 

44 History of Woman Suffrage. 

ing out of (he whole body. There is no immediate prospect of such an event, but 
"hell hath no furies like a woman scorned." Long and loud have been the appeals of 
the fair sex for recognition at the ballot-box. With that faithful zeal so truly charac- 
teristic of her sex, she has each time, for many years in the history of this country, 
presented herself before the curious gaze of our national conventions, asking, with no 
little stress of argument, for a woman's plank in the platforms. If she has been heard 
at all in the framed resolutions of the parties, the feeling prevailing in the conventions 
has been rather to pacify and put her off, than to grant her request through motives of 
political policy. If perseverance is to be awarded, the agitators of the woman ques- 
tion will yet carry off the prize they seek. Death alone can silence such women as 
Susan B. Anthony and Cady Stanton, and their teachings will live after them and 
unite others of their sex into strong bands of sisterhood in a common cause. It is safe 
to say, if events march on in the same direction they have since the calling of the first 
National Woman's Convention, another centennial will see woman in the halls of 
legislation throughout the land, and so far as we are concerned we have no objection, 
so long as she behaves herself. [St. Louis Dispatch, July 13. 

It is a curious anomaly that the movement for national woman suffrage in our coun- 
try is most obstructed by women, and that even where Jhemen have doubts, their natu- 
ral admiration for the gentler sex almost converts them into champions. Certain it is 
that the Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United .States that the National 
Woman Suffrage Association presented to the vice-president, Mr. Ferry, while he was 
surrounded by foreign princes and potentates and by the governors of most of the 
States of the union, faced at the same time by a countless mass of American and for- 
eign visitors certain it is, we repeat, that when this altogether unique paper was pre- 
sented by Miss Susan B. Anthony and her sisters, it became a record in the minds and 
memory of all who witnessed the strange proceeding. And it is a very well written 
statement, and no doubt one hundred years hence it will be read with an interest not 
less ecstatic than the enthusiasm of its present pioneers ; for, in the interval, these ad- 
vanced women may have won for their withholding sisters the entire list of male pre- 
rogatives. What adds to the force of the present woman suffrage party is the dignity, 
intelligence and purity of its participants. The venerable Lucretia Mott ; the honest, 
straightforward Susan B. Anthony ; the cultivated Ellen Clark Sargent (wife of the Cali- 
fornia senator); the beloved Elizabeth Cady Stanton. and indeed all the names at- 
tached to the declaration command our respect. Whatever we may think of the points 
of the declaration itself, with all our sincere admiration of these gentlewomen, in- 
creased by the knowledge even-where that they are ardent republicans, we fear that 
their weakness, to employ a paradox, consists in their strength, or, in other words, 
that it is difficult to induce even the most benevolent and sympathetic observer to be- 
lieve that they are really as much persecuted and oppressed as they claim to be. When 
the colored man demanded his rights they were given to him because these rights in 
republican constitutions were regarded as inherent, and also because he had reciprocal 
duties to discharge, and heavy burdens to carry, and when the Southern confederate 
demanded restitution of his rights, he rested his claim upon the double ba>is that he 
had earned forgiveness by his bravery, and that political disfranchisement did not be- 
long to a republican example. Fortunately or unfortunately, it is very different with 
the ladies ; and so when they come forward insisting upon rights heretofore accorded 
to men alone, they must encounter all the differences created by the delicacy of their 
own sisters and the reverence and love of the men, and the hard fact that these two 
influences have made it heretofore impossible for women to descend to the arena of 
politics. Having said this much, we present a few of the cardinal points of the 
woman's declaration of rights laid before the august memorial centennial celebration 
last Tuesday, July 4, 1876. [Philadelphia Press, July 15. 

On July 19, the Citizens' Suffrage Association, of Philadelphia, 
joined with the National Association in commemorating the first 

Twenty-eighth Anniversary Celebration. 45 

woman's rights convention called by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth 
Cady Seneca Falls, N. Y., July 19, 1848 thus celebra- 
ting the twenty-eighth anniversary of that historic event. The 
meeting was presided over by Edward M. Davis, president of the 
association, son-in-law of Lucretia Mott, and one of the most 
untiring workers in the cause. The venerable Lucretia Mott 
addressed the meeting, and Miss Anthony read letters from sev- 
eral of the earliest and most valued pioneers of the movement : 

TENAFLY, New Jersey, July 19, 1876. 

LUCRETIA MOTT Esteemed Friend : It is twenty-eight years ago to-day 
since the first woman's rights convention ever held assembled in the Wes- 
leyan chapel at Seneca Falls, N. Y. Could we have foreseen, when we 
called that convention, the ridicule, persecution, and misrepresentation 
that the demand for woman's political, religious and social equality would 
involve ; the long, weary years of waiting and hoping without success ; I 
fear we should not have had the courage and conscience to begin such a 
protracted struggle, nor the faith and hope to continue the work. Fortu- 
nately for all reforms, the leaders, not seeing the obstacles which block 
the way, start with the hope of a speedy success. Our demands at the first 
seemed so rational that I thought the mere statement of woman's wrongs 
would bring immediate redress. I thought an appeal to the reason and 
conscience of men against the unjust and unequal laws for women that 
disgraced our statute books, must settle the question. But I soon found, 
while no attempt was made to answer our arguments, that an opposition, 
bitter, malignant, and persevering, rooted in custom and prejudice, grew 
stronger with every new demand made, with every new privilege granted. 

How well I remember that July day when the leading ladies and gentle- 
men of the busy town crowded into the little church ; lawyers loaded with 
books, to expound to us the laws; ladies with their essays, and we who 
had called the convention, with our declaration of rights, speeches, and 
resolutions. With what dignity James Mott, your sainted husband, tall 
and stately, in Quaker costume, presided over our novel proceedings. 
And your noble sister, Martha C. Wright, was there. Her wit and wisdom 
contributed much to the interest of our proceedings, and her counsel in a 
large measure to what success we claimed for our first convention. While 
so many of those early friends fell off through indifference, fear of ridicule 
and growing conservatism, she remained through these long years of trial 
steadfast to the close of a brave, true life. She has been present at nearly 
every convention, with her encouraging words and generous contributions, 
and being well versed in Cushing's Manual, has been one of our chief pre- 
siding officers. And my heart is filled with gratitude, even at this late day, 
as I recall the earnestness and eloquence with which Frederick Douglass 
advocated our cause, though at that time he had no rights himself that any 
white man was bound to respect. I marvel now, that in our inexperience 
the interest was so well sustained through two entire days, and that when 
the meeting adjourned everybody signed the declaration and went home 
feeling that a new era had dawned for woman. What had been done and 

46 History of Woman Suffrage. 

said seemed so preeminently wise and proper that none of us thought of 
being ridiculed, ostracised, or suspected of evil. But what was our sur- 
prise and chagrin to find ourselves, in a few days, the target for the press 
of the nation ; the New York Tribune being our only strong arm of de- 

Looking over these twenty-eight years, I feel that what we have 
achieved, as yet, bears no proportion to what we have suffered in the 
daily humiliation of spirit from the cruel distinctions based on sex. 
Though our State laws have been essentially changed, and positions in 
the schools, professions, and world of work secured to woman, unthought 
of thirty years ago, yet the undercurrent of popular thought, as seen in 
our social habits, theological dogmas, and political theories, still reflects 
the same customs, creeds, and codes that degrade women in the effete 
civilizations of the old world. Educated in the best schools to logical 
reasoning, trained to liberal thought in politics, religion and social ethics 
under republican institutions, American women cannot brook the dis- 
criminations in regard to sex that were patiently accepted by the ignorant 
in barbarous ages as divine law. And yet subjects of emperors in the old 
world, with their narrow ideas of individual rights, their contempt of all 
womankind, come here to teach the mothers of this republic their true 
work and sphere. Such men as Carl Schurz, breathing for the first time 
the free air of our free land, object to what we consider the higher educa- 
tion of women, fitting them for the trades and professions, for the sciences 
and arts, and self-complacently point Lucretia Mott, Maria Mitchell, 
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Susan B. Anthony, to their appropriate sphere, 
as housekeepers with a string of keys, like Madam Bismark, dangling 
around their waists. 

The Rev. J. G. Holland, the Tupper of our American literature, thanks 
his Creator that woman has no specialty. She was called into being for 
man's happiness and interest his helpmeet to wait and watch his 
movements, to second his endeavors, to fight the hard battle of life 
behind him whose brain may be dizzy with excess, whose limbs may 
be paralyzed, or if sound in body, may be without aim or ambition, 
without plans or projects, destitute of executive ability or good judg- 
ment in the business affairs of life. And such sentimentalists, after 
demoralizing women with their twaddle, discourage our demand for 
the right of suffrage by pointing us to the fact that the majority of 
women are indifferent to this movement in their behalf. SuppoSfe they 
are; have not the masses of all oppressed classes been apathetic and in- 
different until partial success crowned the enthusiasm of the few? Carl 
Schurz would not have been exiled from his native land could he have 
roused the majority of his countrymen to the same love of liberty which 
burned in his own soul. Were his dreams of freedom less real because 
the stolid masses were not awake to their significance? Shall a soul 
that accepts martyrdom for a principle be told he is sacrificing himself to 
a shadow because the multitude can neither see nor appreciate the idea? 

I do not feel like rejoicing over any privileges already granted to my 
sex, until all our rights are conceded and secured and the principle of 

Letter of Catharine A. F. Stebbins. 47 

equality recognized and proclaimed, for every step that brings us to a 
more equal plane with man but makes us more keenly feel the loss of 
those rights we are still denied more susceptible to the insults of his 
assumptions and usurpations of power. As I sum up the indignities 
toward women, as illustrated by recent judicial decisions denied the 
right to vote, denied the right to practice in the Supreme Court, denied 
jury trial I feel the degradation of sex more bitterly than I did on that 
July 19, 1848, and never more than in listening to your speech in 
Philadelphia on the Fourth of July, our nation's centennial birthday, re- 
membering that neither years nor wisdom, brave words nor noble deeds, 
could secure political honor or call forth national homage for women. 
Let it be remembered by our daughters in future generations that 
Lucretia Mott, in the eighty-fourth year of her age, asked permission, as 
the representative woman of this great movement for the enfranchise- 
ment of her sex, to present at the centennial celebration of our national 
liberties, Woman's Declaration of Rights, and was refused ! This was the 
" respectful consideration " vouchsafed American women at the close of 
the first century of our national life. 

May we now safely prophesy justice, liberty, equality for our daughters 
ere another centennial birthday shall dawn upon us ! 


DETROIT, July 17, 1876. 

To Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Ann McClintock and 
daughters, Amy Post, and all associated with them and myself in the 
first Woman's Rights Convention, held in Seneca Falls, N. V., July 
19, 1848, as well as to our later and present associates, Greeting : 

Not able to be with you in your celebration of the nineteenth, I will yet 
give evidence that I prize your remembrance of our first assemblage and 
of our earliest work. That is, and will ever be. as the present is a 
memorable year; and may this be memorable too for the same reason, a 
brave step in advance for human freedom. I would that it could be a 
conclusive step in legislation for the political freedom of the women of 
the nation. For it is only in harmony with reason and experience to pre- 
dict that the men as well as the women of the near future will rejoice if 
this centennial year is thus marked and glorified by so grand a deed. 

We may well congratulate each other and have satisfaction in knowing 
that we have changed the public sentiment and the laws of many States 
by our advocacy and labors. We also know that while helping the 
growth of our own souls, we have set many women thinking and reading 
on this vital question, who in turn have discussed it in private and public, 
and thus inspired others. So that at this present time few who 
have examined can deny our claim. But we are grateful to remember 
many women who needed no arguments, whose clear insight and reason 
pronounced in the outset that a woman's soul was as well worth saving 
as a man's; that her independence and free choice are as necessary and 
as valuable to the public virtue and welfare; who saw and still see in 
both, equal children of a Father who loves and protects all. 

48 History of Woman Suffrage. 

Men do not need to be convinced of the righteousness of entire free- 
dom for us; they have long been convinced of its justice; they confess 
that it is only expediency which makes them withhold that which they 
profess is precious to them. We await only an awakened conscience and 
an enlarged statesmanship. 

I bid you and the women of the republic God-speed, and close in the 
language of one who went before us, Mary Wollstonecraft, who did so 
much in a thoughtless age to bring both men and women back to virtue 
and religion. She says: "Contending for the rights of woman, my main 
argument is built on this simple principle, that if she be not prepared by 
education to become the companion of man, she will stop the progress of 
knowledge and virtue; for truth must be common to all or it will be in- 
efficacious with respect to its influence in general practice. And how can 
unman be expected to cooperate unless she know why she ought to be 
virtuous ; unless freedom strengthen her reason till she comprehends 
her duty and sees in what manner it is connected with her real good? If 
children are to be educated to understand the true principle of patriotism, 
their mother must be a patriot; and the love of mankind from which an 
orderly train of virtues spring, can only be produced by considering the 
moral and civil interests of mankind ; but the education and situation of 
woman at present shuts her out from such investigations." 

With the greatest possible interest in your celebration and delibera- 
tions, and assuring you that I shall be with you in thought and spirit, I 
am most earnestly and cordially yours, 


ROCHESTER, N. Y., June 27, 1876. 

MY DEAR SUSAN ANTHONY : I thank thee most deeply for the assurance 
of a welcome to your deliberative councils in our country's centennial year, 
to reannounce our oft-repeated protest against bondage to tyrant law. 
Most holy cause ! Woman's equality, why so long denied ? . . . . I was 
ready at the first tap of the drum that sounded from that hub of our 
country, Seneca Falls, in 1848, calling for an assembly of men and women 
to set forth and remonstrate against the legal usurpation of our rights. . . . 
1 cannot think of anything that would give me as much pleasure as to be 
able to meet with you at this time. I am exceedingly glad that you 
appreciate the blessings of frequent visits and wise counsel from our be- 
loved and venerated pioneer, Lucretia Mott. I hope her health and 
strength will enable her to see and enjoy the triumphant victory of this 
work, and I wish you all the blessings of happiness that belong to all 
good workers, and my love to them all as if named. AMY POST. 

POMO, Mendocino Co., California, June 26, 1876. 

July 4, 1776, our revolutionary fathers in convention assembled de- 
clared their independence of the mother country; solemnly asserted 
the divine right of self-government and its relation to constituted au- 
thority. With liberty their shibboleth, the colonies triumphed in their 
long and fierce struggle with the mother country, and established an in- 
dependent government. They adopted a " bill of rights " embodying their 
ideal of a free government. 

Mrs. C. I. H. Nichols Centennial Protest. 49 

With singular inconsistency almost their first act, while it secured to 
one-half the people of the body politic the right to tax and govern them- 
selves, subjected the other half to the very oppression which had cul- 
minated in the rebellion of the colonies, "taxation without representa- 
tion," and the inflictions of an authority to which they had not given their 
consent. The constitutional provision which enfranchised the male popu- 
lation of the new State and secured to it self-governing rights, disfran- 
chised its women, and eventuated in a tyrannical use of power, which, 
exercised by husbands, fathers, and brothers, is infinitely more intolerable 
than the despotic acts of a foreign ruler. 

As if left ignobly to illustrate the truths of their noble declarations, no 
sooner did the enfranchised class enter upon the exercise of their usurped 
powers than they proceeded to alienate from the mothers of humanity 
rights declared to be inseparable from humanity itself! Had they thrust 
the British yoke from the necks of their wives and daughters as in- 
dignantly as they thrust it from their own, the legal subjection of the 
women of to-day would not stand out as it now does the reproach 
of our republican government. As if sons did not follow the condition of 
the mothers as if daughters had no claim to the birthright of the 
fathers they established for disfranchised woman a " dead line," by re- 
taining the English common law of marriage, which, unlike that of less 
liberal European governments, converts the marriage altar into an execu- 
tioner's block and recognizes woman as a wife only when so denuded of 
personal rights that in legal phrase she is said to be "dead in law " ! 

More considerate in the matter of forms than the highwayman who 
kills that he may rob the unresisting dead, our gallant fathers executed 
women who must need cross the line of human happiness legally ; and 
administered their estate ; and decreed the disposition of their defunct 
personalities in legislative halls; only omitting to provide for the matri- 
monial crypt the fitting epitaph : " Here lies the relict of American free- 
dom taxed to pauperism, loved to death ! " 

With all the modification of the last quarter of a century, our English 
law of marriage still invests the husband with a sovereignty almost de- 
spotic over his wife. It secures to him her personal service and savings, 
and the control and custody of her person as against herself. Having thus 
reduced the wife to a dead pauper owing service to her husband, our 
shrewd forefathers, to secure the bond, confiscated her natural obliga- 
tions as a child and a mother. Whether married or single, only inability 
excuses a son from the legal support of indigent and. infirm parents. 
The married daughter, in the discharge of her wifely duties, may tenderly 
care and toil for her husband's infirm parents, or his children and grand- 
children by a prior marriage, while her own parents, or children by a 
prior marriage legally divested of any claim on her or the husband who 
absorbs her personal services and earnings are sent to the poor-house, 
or pine in bitter privation ; except with consent of her husband, she can 
give neither her personal care nor the avails of her industry, for their 
benefit. So, to be a wife, woman ceases, in law, to be anything else 
yields up the ghost of a legal existence ! That she escapes the extreme 

50 History of Woman Suffrage. 

penalty of her legal bonds in any case is due to the fact that the majority 
of men, married or single, are notably better than their laws. 

Our fathers taught the quality and initiated the form of free govern- 
ment. But it was left to their posterity to learn from the discipline of 
experience, that truths, old as the eternities, are forever revealing new 
phases to render possible more perfect interpretations ; and to accumulate 
unanswerable reasons for their extended application. That the sorest 
trials and most appreciable failures of the government our fathers be- 
queathed to us, have been the direct and inevitable results of their 
departures from the principles they enunciated, is so patent to all 
Christendom, that free government itself has won from our mistakes 
material to revolutionize the world lessons that compel depotisms to 
change their base and constitutional monarchies to make broader the 
phylacteries of popular rights. 

Is it not meet then, that on this one-hundredth anniversary of American 
independence the daughters of revolutionary sires should appeal to the 
sons to fulfill what the fathers promised but failed to perform should 
appeal to them as the constituted executors of the father's will, to give 
full practical effect to the self-evident truths, that "taxation without 
representation is tyranny " that "governments derive their just powers 
from the consent of the governed "? With an evident common interest 
in all the affairs of which government properly or improperly takes 
cognizance, we claim enfranchisement on the broad ground of human 
right, having proved the justice of our claim by the injustice which has 
resulted to us and ours through our disfranchisement. 

We ask enfranchisement in the abiding faith that with our cooperative 
efforts free government would attain to higher averages of intelligence 
and virtue; with an innate conviction, that the sequestration of rights in 
the homes of the republic makes them baneful nurseries of the monopo- 
lies, rings, and fraudulent practices that are threatening the national 
integrity ; and that so long as the fathers sequester the rights of the 
mothers and train their sons to exercise, and the daughters to submit 
to the exactions of usurped powers, our government offices will be dens 
of thieves and the national honor trail in the dust ; and honest men come 
out from the fiery ordeals of faithful service, denuded of the confidence 
and respect justly their due. Give us liberty. We are mothers, wives, 
and daughters of freemen. C. I. H. NICHOLS. 

LONDON, Eng., July 4, 1876. 

MY DEAR SUSAN : I sincerely thank you for your kind letter. Many 
times I have thought of writing to you, but I knew your time was too 
much taken up with the good cause to have any to spare for private 
correspondence. Occasionally I am pleased to see a good account of you 
and your doings in the Boston Investigator. Oh, how I wish I could be 
with you on this more than ordinarily interesting and important occasion; 
or that I could at least send my sentiments and views on human rights, 
which I have advocated for over forty years, to the convention. 

This being the centenary day of the proclamation of American in- 
dependence, I must write a few lines, if but to let the friends know that 

Letter of Ernestine L. Rose, 1876. 5 1 

though absent in body I am with you in the cause for which, in common 
with you, I have labored so long, and I hope not labored in vain. 

The glorious day upon which human equality was first proclaimed 
ought to be commemorated, not only every hundred years, or every year, 
but it ought to be constantly held before the public mind until its grand 
principles are carried into practice. The declaration that "All men 
[which means all human beings irrespective of sex] have an equal right to 
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," is enough for woman as for 
man. We need no other; but we must reassert in 1876 what 1776 so 
gloriously proclaimed, and call upon the law-makers and the law-breakers 
to carry that declaration to its logical consistency by giving woman the 
right of representation in the government which she helps to maintain ; 
a voice in the laws by which she is governed, and all the rights and 
privileges society can bestow, the same as to man, or disprove its 
validity. We need no other declaration. All we ask is to have the laws 
based on the same foundation upon which that declaration rests, viz.: 
upon equal justice, and not upon sex. Whenever the rights of man are 
claimed, moral consistency points to the equal rights of woman. 

I hope these few lines will fill a little space in the convention at Phila- 
delphia, where my voice has so often been raised in behalf of the principles 
of humanity. I am glad to see my name among the vice-presidents of 
the National Association. Keep a warm place for me with the American 
people. I hope some day to be there yet. Give my love to Mrs. Mott 
and Sarah Pugh. With kind regards from Mr. Rose, 

Yours affectionately, ERNESTINE L. ROSE. 

A new paper, The Ballot-Box, was started in the centennial 
year at Toledo, Ohio, owned and published by Mrs. Sarah 
Langdon Williams. The following editorial on the natal day of 
the republic is from her pen : 

THE RETROSPECT. Since our last issue the great centennial anniversary 
of American independence has come and gone ; it has been greeted with re- 
joicing throughout the land ; its events have passed into history. The day in 
which the great principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence 
were announced by the revolutionary fathers to the world has been cele- 
brated through all this vast heritage, with pomp and popular glorification, 
and the nation's finest orators have signalized the event in " thoughts that 
breathe and words that burn." Everywhere has the country been arrayed 
in its holiday attire the gay insignia which, old as the century, puts on 
fresh youth and brilliancy each time its colors are unfurled. The successes 
which the country has achieved have been portrayed with glowing elo- 
quence, the people's sovereignty has been the theme of congratulation 
and the glorious principles of freedom and equal rights have been enthu- 
siastically proclaimed. In the magnificent oration of Mr. Evarts de- 
livered in Independence Square, the spot made sacred by the signing of 
the Declaration of Independence which announced that "Governments 
derive their just powers from the consent of the governed," these words 
occur : 

52 History of Woman Suffrage. 

The chief concern in this regard, to us and the rest of the world is, whether the 
proud trust, the profound radicalism, the wide benevolence which spoke in the 
declaration and were infused into the constitution at the first, have been in good-faith 
adhered to by the people, and whether now the living principles supply the living 
forces which sustain and direct government and society. He who doubts needs but 
to look around to find all things full of the original spirit and testifying to its wisdom 
and strength. 

Yet that very day in that very city was a large assemblage of women 
convened to protest against the gross wrongs of their sex the repre- 
sentatives of twenty millions of citizens of the United States, composing 
one-half of the population being governed without their consent by the 
other half, who, by virtue of their superior strength, held the reins of 
power and tyrannically denied them all representation. At that very 
meeting at which that polished falsehood was uttered had the women, 
but shortly before, been denied the privilege of silently presenting their 
declaration of rights. More forcibly is this mortifying disregard of the claims 
of women thrust in their faces from the fact that, amid all this magnificent 
triumph with which the growth of the century was commemorated, amid 
the protestations of platforms all over the country of the grand success 
of the principle of equal rights for all, the possibility of the future accord- 
ing equal rights to women as well as to men was, with the exception of 
one or two praiseworthy instances, as far as reports have reached us, 
utterly ignored. The women have no country their rights are disre- 
garded, their appeals ignored, their protests scorned, they are treated as 
children who do not comprehend their own wants, and as slaves whose 
crowning duty is obedience. 

Whether, on this great day of national triumph and national aspiration, 
the possibilities of a better future for women were forgotten ; whether, 
from carelessness, willfulness, or wickedness, their grand services and 
weary struggles in the past and hopes and aspirations for the future 
were left entirely out of the account, certain it is that our orators were 
too much absorbed in the good done by men and for men, to once recur to 
the valuable aid, self-denying patriotism and lofty virtues of the nation's 
unrepresented women. There were a few exceptions : Col. Wm. M. 
Ferry, of Ottawa county, Michigan, in his historical address delivered in 
that county, July Fourth, took pains to make favorable mention of the 
daughter of one of the pioneers, as follows : 

Louisa Constant, or " Lisette," as she was called, became her father's clerk when 
twelve years old, and was as well known for wonderful faculties for business as she 
was for her personal attractions. In 1828, when Lisette was seventeen years old, her 
father died. She closed up his business with the British Company, engaged with the 
American Fur Company, at Mackinaw, receiving from them a large supply of 
merchandise, and for six years conducted the most successful trading establishment 
in the northwest. 

Think of it, ye who disparage the ability of woman ! This little tribute 
we record with gratification. Colonel Ferry remembered woman. Henry 
Ward Beecher, in his oration, delivered at Peekskill, is reported to have 

And now there is but one step more there is but one step more. We permit the 
lame, the halt and the blind to go to the ballot-box ; we permit the foreigner and the 

Retrospect of " The Ballot-Box" 53 

black man, the slave and the freeman, to partake of the suffrage ; there is but one 
thing left out, and that is the mother that taught us, and the wife that is thought 
worthy to walk side by side with us. It is woman that is put lower than the slave, 
lower than the ignorant foreigner. She is put among the paupers whom the law 
won't allow to vote ; among the insane whom the law won't allow to vote. But the 
days are numbered in which this can take place, and she too will vote. 

But these words are followed by others somewhat problematical, at 
least in the respect rendered to women : 

As in a hundred years suffrage has extended its bounds till it now includes the 
whole population, in another hundred years everything will vote, unless it be the 
power of the loom, and the locomotive, and the watch, and I sometimes think, look- 
ing at these machines and their performances, that they too ought to vote. 

But Mr. Evarts approached the close of his oration with these words 
and may they not be prophetic may not the orator have spoken with a 
deeper meaning than he knew? 

With these proud possessions of the past, with powers matured, with principles set- 
tled, with habits formed, the nation passes as it were from preparatory growth to re- 
sponsible development of character and the steady performance of duty. What 
labors await it, what trials shall attend it, what triumphs for human nature, what 
glory for itself, are prepared for this people in the coming century, we may not 
assume to foretell. 

Whether the wise (?) legislators see it or not whether the under- 
current that is beating to the shore speaks with an utterance that is com- 
prehensible to their heavy apprehensions or not, the coming century has 
in preparation for the country a truer humanity, a better justice of which 
the protest and declaration of the fathers pouring its vital current down 
through the departed century, and surging on into the future, is, to the 
seeing eye, the sure forerunner, the seed-time, of which the approaching 
harvest will bring a better fruition for women and they who scoff now 
will be compelled to rejoice hereafter. But as Mr. Evarts remarked in his 
allusions to future centennials : 

By the mere circumstance of this periodicity our generation will be in the minds, in 
the hearts, on the lips of our countrymen at the next centennial commemoration in 
comparison with their own character and condition and with the great founders of the 
nation. What shall they say of us ? How shall they estimate the part we bear in 
the unbroken line of the nation's progress? And so on, in the long reach of time, 
forever and forever, our place in the secular roll of the ages must always bring us into 
observation and criticism. 

Shall it then be recorded of us that the demand and the protest of the 
women were not made in vain ? Shall it be told to future generations that 
the cry for justice, the effort to sunder the shackles with which woman 
has been oppressed from the dim ages ot the past, was heeded? Or, shall 
it be told of us, in the beginning of this second centennial, that justice 
has been ignored, that only liberty to men entered at this stage of 
progress, into the American idea of self-government? Freedom to men 
and women alike is but a question of time is America now equal to the 
great occasion ? Has her development expanded to that degree where 
her legislators can say in very truth, as of the colored man, "Let the 
oppressed go free " ? 

54 History of Woman Suffrage. 

The woman's pavilion upon the centennial grounds was an af- 
ter-thought, as theologians claim woman herself to have been.* 
The women of the country after having contributed nearly $100,- 
ooo to the centennial stock, found there had been no provision 
made for the separate exhibition of their work. The centennial 
board, Mrs. Gillespie, president, then decided to raise funds for the 
erection of a separate building to be known as the Woman's Pa- 
vilion. It covered an acre of ground and was erected at an ex- 
pense of $30,000, a small sum in comparison with the money 
which had been raised by women and expended on the other 
buildings, not to speak of State and national appropriations 
which the taxes levied on them had largely helped to swell. 

The pavilion was no true exhibit of woman's work. First, few 
women are as yet owners of business which their industry largely 
makes remunerative. Cotton factories in which thousands of 
women work, are owned by men. The shoe business, in some 
branches of which women are doing more than half, is under the 
ownership of men. Rich embroideries from India, rugs of down}' 
softness from Turkey, the muslin of Dacca, anciently known as 
" The Woven Wind," the pottery and majolica ware of P. 
Pipsen's widow, the cartridges and envelopes of Uncle Sam. 
Waltham watches whose finest mechanical work is done by 
women, and ten thousand other industries found no place in 
the pavilion. Said United States Commissioner Meeker, t of 
Colorado, " Woman's work comprises three-fourths of the exposi- 
tion ; it is scattered through every building; take it away and 
there would be no exposition." 

But this pavilion rendered one good service to woman in show- 
ing her capabilities as an engineer. The boiler which furnished the 
force for running its work was under the management of a young 
Canadian girl, Miss Alison, who from a child loved machinery, 
spending much time in the large saw and grist mills of her father, 
run by engines of two- and three-hundred horse-power, which she 
sometimes managed for amusement. When her name was pro- 
posed for running the pavilion machinery it brought much oppo- 
sition. It was said the committee would some day find the pa- 
vilion blown to atoms ; that the woman engineer would spend 
her time reading novels, instead of watching the steam gauge ; 

* A German legend says, God first made a mouse, but seeing he had made a mistake he made the 
cat as an afterthought, therefore if woman is God's afterthought, man must be a mistake. 

t Afterwards killed by the Indians in Colorado. 

The Woman s Pavilion. 55 

that the idea was impracticable and should not be thought of. But 
Miss Alison soon proved her own capabilities and the falseness of 
these prophecies by taking her place in the engine-room and 
managing its workings with the ease that a child spins a top. Six 
power looms on which women wove carpets, webbing, silks, 
etc., were run by this engine. At a later period the printing of 
The New Century for Women, a paper published by the centen- 
nial commission in the woman's building, was also done by its 
means. Miss Alison declared the work to be more cleanly, more 
pleasant, and infinitely less fatiguing than cooking over a kitchen 
stove. " Since I have been compelled to earn my own liveli- 
hood," she said, " I have never been engaged in work I liked so 
well. Teaching school is much harder, and one is not paid as 
well." She expressed confidence in her ability to manage the 
engine of an ocean steamer, and said there were thousands of 
small engines in use in various parts of the country, and no rea- 
son existed why women should not be employed to manage them 
following the profession of engineer as a regular business an 
engine requiring far less attention than is given by a nurse-maid 
or mother to a child. 

But to have made the woman's pavilion grandly historic, upon 
its walls should have been hung the yearly protest of Harriet K. 
Hunt against taxation without representation ; the legal papers 
served upon the Smith sisters when their Alderny cows were seized 
and sold for their refusal to pay taxes while unrepresented ; the 
papers held by the city of Worcester for the forced sale of the 
house and lands of Abby Kelly Foster, the veteran abolitionist, 
because she refused to pay taxes, giving the same reason our an- 
cestors gave when they resisted taxation ; a model of Bunker 
Hill monument, its foundation laid by Lafayette in 1825, but 
which remained unfinished nearly twenty years until the fa- 
mous French danseuse Fanny Ellsler, gave the proceeds of an ex- 
hibition for that purpose. With these should have been exhi- 
bited framed copies of all the laws bearing unjustly upon woman 
those which rob her of her name, her earnings, her property, her 
children, her person ; also, the legal papers in the case of Susan 
B. Anthony, who was tried and fined for seeking to give consent 
to the laws which governed her ; and the decision of Mr. Justice 
Miller (Chief-Justice Chase dissenting) in the case of Myra Brad- 
well, denying national protection for woman's civil rights ; and 
the later decision of Chief-Justice Waite of the Supreme Court 

56 Historv of ]] r owciii Suffrage. 

against Virginia L. Minor, denying to women national protection 
for their political rights, decisions in favor of state-rights which 
imperil the liberties not only of all women, but of every white 
man in the nation. 

Woman's most fitting contributions to the centennial exposi- 
tion would have been these protests, laws and decisions which show 
her political slavery. But all this was left for fooms outside of 
the centennial grounds, upon Chestnut street, where the National 
Woman Suffrage Association hoisted its flag, made its protests, 
and wrote the Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United 

To many thoughtful people it seemed captious and unreasonable 
for women to complain of injustice in this free land, amidst such 
universal rejoicings. When the majority of women are seemingly 
happy, it is natural to suppose that the discontent of the minority 
is the result of their unfortunate individual idiosyncrasies, and 
not of adverse influences in their established conditions. 

But the history of the world shows that the vast majority in 
every generation passively accept the conditions into which they 
are born, while those who demand larger liberties are ever a small, 
ostracised minority whose claims are ridiculed and ignored. From 
our stand-point w r e honor the Chinese women who claim the right 
to their feet and powers of locomotion, the Hindoo widows who 
refuse to ascend the funeral pyre of their husbands, the Turkish 
women who throw off their masks and veils and leave the harem, 
the Mormon women who abjure their faith and demand mono- 
gamic relations; why not equally honor the intelligent minority 
of American women who protest against the artificial dis- 
abilities by which their freedom is limited and their develop- 
ment arrested ? That only a few under any circumstances pro- 
test against the injustice of long established laws and customs 
does not disprove the fact of the oppressions, while the satisfac- 
tion of the many, if real, only proves their apathy and deeper 
degradation. That a majority of the women of the United States 
accept without protest the disabilities that grow out of their 
disfranchisement, is simply an evidence of their ignorance and 
cowardice, while the minority who demand a higher political 
status clearly prove their superior intelligence and wisdom. 




Renewed Appeal for a Sixteenth Amendment Mrs. Gage Petitions for Removal of 
Political Disabilities Ninth Washington Convention, 1877 Jane Grey Swisshelm 
Letters, Robert Purvis, Wendell Phillips, Francis E. Abbott 10,000 Petitions 
Referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections by Special Request of the 
Chairman, Hon. O. P. Morton, of Indiana May Anniversary in New York Tenth 
Washington Convention, 1878 Frances E. Willard and 30,000 Temperance 
Women Petition Congress 40,000 Petition for a Sixteenth Amendment Hearing 
before the Committee on Privileges and Elections Madam Dahlgren's Protest 
Mrs. Hooker's Hearing on Washington's Birthday Mary Clemmer's Letter to 
Senator Wadleigh His Adverse Report Favorable Minority Report by Senator 
Hoar Thirtieth Anniversary, Unitarian Church, Rochester, N. Y., July 19, 
1878 The Last Convention Attended by Lucretia Mott Letters, William Lloyd 
Garrison, Wendell Phillips Church Resolution Criticised by Rev. Dr. Strong 
International Women's Congress in Paris Washington Convention, 1879 U. S. 
Supreme Court Opened to Women May Anniversary at St. Louis Address of Wel- 
come by Phoebe Couzins Women in Council Alone Letter from Josephine But- 
ler, of England Mrs. Stanton's Letter to The National Citizen and Ballot-Box. 

WITH the close of the centennial year the new departure under 
the fourteenth amendment ended. Though defeated at the polls, 
in the courts, in the national celebration, in securing a plank in 
the platforms of the Republican and Democratic parties, and in 
our own conventions so far as the few were able to rouse the 
many to simultaneous action nevertheless a wide-spread agita- 
tion had been secured by the presentation of this phase of the 

Although the unanswerable arguments of statesmen and law- 
yers in the halls of congress and the Supreme Court of the United 
States, had alike proved unavailing in establishing the civil and 
political rights of women on a national basis, their efforts had not 
been in vain. The trials had brought the question before a new 
order of minds, and secured able constitutional arguments which 
were reviewed in many law journals. The equally able congres- 
sional debates, reported verbatim, read by a large constituency 
in every State of the Union, did an educational work on the 

^8 History of Woman Suffrage. 

question of woman's enfranchisement that cannot be overesti- 

But when the final decision of the Supreme Court in the case 
of Virginia L. Minor made all agitation in that direction hopeless, 
the National Association returned to its former policy, demand- 
ing a sixteenth amendment. The women generally came to the 
conclusion that if in truth there was no protection for them in 
the original constitution nor the late amendments, the time had 
come for some clearly-defined recognition of their citizenship by 
a sixteenth amendment. 

The following appeal and petition were extensively circulated : 

To the Women of the United States: 

Having celebrated our centennial birthday with a national jubilee, let us 
now dedicate the dawn of the second century to securing justice to women. 
For this purpose we ask you to circulate a petition to congress, just issued 
by the National Association, asking an amendment to the United States 
Constitution, that shall prohibit the several States from disfranchising 
citizens on account of sex. We have already sent this petition through- 
out the country for the signatures of those men and women who believe 
in the citizen's right to vote. 

To see how large a petition each State rolls up, and to do the work as 
expeditiously as possible, it is necessary that some person in each county 
should take the matter in charge, urging upon all, thoroughness and haste. 
* * * The petitions should be returned before January 16, 17, 1877, 
when we shall hold our Eighth Annual Convention at the capital, and 
ask a hearing before congress. 

Having petitioned our law-makers, State and national, for years, many 
from weariness have vowed to appeal no more ; for our petitions, say they, 
by the tens of thousands, are piled up in the national archives, unheeded 
and ignored. Yet it is possible to roll up such a mammoth petition, borne 
into congress on the shoulders of stalwart men, that we can no longer be 
neglected or forgotten. Statesmen and politicians alike are conquered 
by majorities. We urge the women of this country to make now the same 
united effort for their own rights that they did for the slaves at the South 
when the thirteenth amendment was pending. Then a petition of over 
300,000 was rolled up by the leaders of the suffrage movement, and pre- 
sented in the Senate by the Hon. Charles Sumner. But the statesmen 
who welcomed woman's untiring efforts to secure the black man's freedom, 
frowned down the same demands when made for herself. Is not liberty as 
sweet to her as to him ? Are not the political disabilities of sex as grievous 
as those of color? Is not a civil-rights bill that shall open to woman the 
college doors, the trades and professions that shall secure her personal 
and property rights, as necessary for her protection as for that of the 
colored man ? And yet the highest judicial authorities have decided that 
the spirit and letter of our national constitution are not broad enough to 
protect woman in her political rights ; and for the redress of her wrongs 

Sixteenth Amendment Again. 59 

they remand her to the State. If our Magna Charta of human rights can 
be thus narrowed by judicial interpretations in favor of class legislation, 
then must we demand an amendment that, in clear, unmistakable language, 
shall declare the equality of all citizens before the law. 

Women are citizens, first of the United States, and second of the State 
wherein they reside; hence, if robbed by State authorities of any right 
founded in nature or secured by law, they have the same right to national 
protection against the State, as against the infringements of any foreign 
power. If the United States government can punish a woman for voting 
in one State, why has it not the same power to protect her in the exercise 
of that right in every State? The constitution declares it the duty of 
congress to guarantee to every State a republican form of government, to 
every citizen, equality of rights. This is not done in States where women, 
thoroughly qualified, are denied admission into colleges which their prop- 
erty is taxed to build and endow ; where they are denied the right to 
practice law and are thus debarred from one of the most lucrative profes- 
sions ; where they are denied a voice in the government, and thus, while 
suffering all the ills that grow out of the giant evils of intemperance, pros- 
titution, war, heavy taxation and political corruption, stand powerless to 
effect any reform. Prayers, tears, psalm-singing and expostulation are 
light in the balance compared with that power at the ballot-box that coins 
opinions into law. If women who are laboring for peace, temperance, 
social purity and the rights of labor, would take the speediest way to 
accomplish what they propose, let them demand the ballot in their own 
hands, that they may have a direct power in the government. Thus only 
can they improve the conditions of the outside world and purify the home. 
As political equality is the door to civil, religious and social liberty, here 
must our work begin. 

Constituting, as we do, one-halt the people, bearing the burdens of one- 
half the national debt, equally responsible with man for the education, 
religion and morals of the rising generation, let us with united voice send 
forth a protest against the present political status of woman, that shall 
echo and reecho through'the land. In view of the numbers and character 
of those making the demand, this should be the largest petition ever yet 
rolled up in the old world or the new; a petition that shall settle forever 
the popular objection that "women do not want to vote." 

MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, Chairman Executive Committee. 
SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Corresponding Secretary. 

'[\-najly, N. J., November 10, 1876. 
To the Senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled : 

The undersigned citizens of the United States, residents of the State of , 

earnestly pray your honorable bodies to adopt measures for so amending the constitu- 
tion as to prohibit the several States from disfranchising United States citizens on ac- 
count of sex. 

In addition to the general petition asking for a sixteenth 
amendment, Matilda Joslyn Gage, this year (1877) sent an individ- 
ual petition, similar in form to those offered by disfranchised 

60 History of Woman Suffrage. 

male citizens, asking to be relieved from her political disabilities. 
This petition was presented by Hon. Elias W. Leavenworth, of 
the House of Representatives, member from the thirty-third New 
York congressional district. It read as follows : 

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress 

assembled : 

Matilda Joslyn Gage, a native born citizen of the United States, and of the State of 
New York, wherein she resides, most earnestly petitions your honorable body for the 
removal of her political disabilities and that she may be declared invested with full 
power to exercise her right of self government at the ballot-box, all State constitutions 
or statute laws to the contrary notwithstanding. 

The above petition was presented January 24; and the follow- 
ing bill introduced February 5 : 

AN ACT to relieve the political disabilities of Matilda Joslyn Gage: 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of 
America in congress assembled, that all political disabilities heretofore existing in re- 
ference to Matilda Joslyn Gage, of Fayetteville, Onondaga county, State of New York, 
be removed and she be declared a citizen of the United States, clothed with all the 
political rights and powers of citizenship, namely : the right to vote and to hold office 
to the same extent and in the same degree that male citizens enjoy these rights. This 
act to take effect immediately. 

The following year a large number of similar petitions were sent 
from different parts of the country, the National Association dis- 
tributing printed forms to its members in the various States. The 
power of congress to thus enfranchise women upon their individ- 
ual petitions is as undoubted as the power to grant individual 
amnesty, to remove the political disabilities of men disfran- 
chised for crime against United States laws, or to clothe foreign- 
ers, honorably discharged from the army, with the ballot. 

The first convention * after the all-engrossing events of the cen- 
tennial celebration assembled in Lincoln Hall, Washington, Jan- 
uary 1 6, with a good array of speakers, Mrs. Stanton presiding. 
After an inspiring song by the Hutchinsons and reports from the 

* The annual convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association will be held in Lincoln Hall, 
Washington, D. C., January 16, 17, 1877. 

As by repeated judicial decisions, woman's right to vote under the fourteenth amendment has been 
denied, we must now unitedly demand a sixteenth amendment to the United States Constitution, that 
shall secure this right to the women of the nation. In certain States and territories where women had 
already voted, they have been denied the right by legislative action. Hence it must be clear to every 
thinking mind that this fundamental right of citizenship must not be left to the ignorant majorities in 
the several States; for unless it is secured everywhere, it is safe nowhere. 

We urge all suffrage associations and friends of woman's enfranchisement throughout the country to 
send delegates to this convention, freighted with mammoth petitions for a sixteenth amendment. Let 
all other proposed amendments be held in abeyance to the sacred rights of the women of this nation. 
The most reverent recognition of God in the constitution would be justice and equality for woman. 
On behalf of the National Woman Suffrage Association, 

MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, Chairman Ex. Committee. 
SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Corresponding Secretary. 
Tenajly^ N. /., November 10, 1876. 

Jane Grey Swiss helm, 1877. 61 

various States, Sara Andrews Spencer, chairman of the congress- 
ional committee, gave some encouraging facts in regard to the 
large number of petitions being presented to congress daily, and 
read many interesting letters from those who had been active 
in their circulation. Over 10,000 were presented during this last 
session of the forty-fourth congress. At the special request of 
the chairman, Senator Morton of Indiana, they were referred to 
the Committee on Privileges and Elections ; heretofore they had 
always been placed in the hands of the Judiciary Committee in 
both Senate and House. A list of committees* was reported by 
Mrs. Gage which was adopted. Mrs. Swisshelm of Pennsylvania, 
was introduced. She said : 

In 1846 she inherited an estate from her parents, and then she 
learned the injustice of the husband holding the wife's property. In 1848, 
however, she got a law passed giving equal rights to both men and women, 
and everybody decried her for the injury she had done to all homes by 
thus throwing the apple of discord into families. So in Pennsylvania 
women now hold property absolutely, and can sell without the consent of 
the husband. But actually no woman is free. As in the days of slavery the 
master owned the services, not the body of his slaves, so it is with the 
wife. The husband owns the services and all that can be earned by his 
wife. It is quite possible, as things now stand, to legislate a woman out 
of her home, and yet she cooks, and bakes, and works, and saves, but it 
all belongs to the man, and if she dies the second wife gets it all, for she 
always manages him. The extravagance of dress is due alone to-day to 
the fact that from what woman saves in her own expenses and those of her 
house she gets no benefit at all, nor do her children, for it goes to the 
second wife, who, perhaps, turns the children out of doors. 

The resolutions called out a prolonged discussion, especially 
the one on compulsory education, and that finally passed with a 
few dissenting voices : 

WHEREAS one-half of the citizens of the republic being disfranchised are everywhere 
subjects of legislative caprice, and may be anywhere robbed of their most sacred 
rights ; therefore, 

Resolved, That it is the duty of the Congress of the United States to submit a prop- 
osition for a sixteenth amendment to the national constitution prohibiting the several 
States from disfranchising citizens on account of sex. 

WHEREAS a monarchial government lives only through the ignorance of the masses, 
and a republican government can live only through the intelligence of the people; 

Resolved, That it is the duty of Congress to submit to the State legislatures proposi- 
tions to so amend the Constitution of the United States as to make education compul- 
sory, and to make intelligence a qualification for citizenship and suffrage in the United 

* Committees : Finance Sara A. Spencer, Ellen Clark Sargent, Lillie Devereux Blake. Resolu- 
tions Matilda Joslyn Gage, Susan B. Anthony. Belva A. Lockwood, Edward M. Davis, C. B. Purvis, 
M. D., Jane G. Swisshelm. Business John Hutchinson. Mary F. Foster, Rosina M. Parnell, Mary 
A. S. Carey, Ellen H. Sheldon, S. J. Messer, Susan A. Edson, M. D. 

62 History of Woman Suffrage. 

States ; said amendments to take effect January i, 1880, when all citizens of legal age, 
without distinction of sex, who can read and write the English language, may be ad- 
mitted to citizenship. 

WHEREAS a century of experience has proven that the safety and stability of free 
institutions and the protection of all United States citizens in the exercise of their in- 
alienable rights and the proper expression of the will of the whole people, are not 
guaranteed by the present form of the Constitution of the United States ; therefore, 

Resolved, That it is the duty of the several States to call a national convention to 
revise the Constitution of the United States, which, notwithstanding its fifteen 
amendments, does not establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the gen- 
eral welfare, nor secure the blessings of liberty to us and to our posterity. 

Resolved, That the thanks of the women of this nation are due to the Rev. 
Isaac M. See, of the Presbytery of Newark, for his noble stand in behalf of woman's 
right to preach. 

Resolved, That the action of the Presbytery of Newark in condemning the Rev. I. 
M. See for his liberal course is an indication of the tyranny of the clergy over the con- 
sciences of women, and a determination to fetter the spirit of freedom. 

Among the many letters to the convention we give the follow- 

BOSTON, i6th January, 1877. 

DEAR FRIEND : These lines will not reach you in time to be of use. I am sorry. 
But absence and cares must apologize for me. I think you are on the right track the 
best method to agitate the question ; and I am with you. I mean always to help 
everywhere and every one. WENDELL PHILLIPS. 


MANCHESTER, Eng., Januarys, 1877. 

MY DEAR Miss ANTHONY : It is with great pleasure that I write a word of sym- 
pathy and encouragement, on the occasion of your Ninth Annual Convention of the 
National Woman Suffrage Association. 

Beyond wishing you a successful gathering, I will say nothing about the movement 
in the United States. Women of either country can do nothing directly in promoting 
the movement in the other ; and if they attempt to do so, there is danger that they 
may hinder and embarrass those who are bearing the burden and heat of the day. The 
only way in which mutual help can be given is through the women of each nation work- 
ing to gain ground in their own country. Then, every step so gained, every actual ad- 
vance of the boundaries of civil and political rights for women is a gain, not only to the 
country which has secured it, but to the cause of human freedom all over the world. 

This year marks the decennial of the movement in the United Kingdom. In the 
current number of our journal, there is a sketch of the political history of the move- 
ment here, which I commend to the attention of your convention, and which I need 
not repeat. The record will be seen to be one of great and rapid advance in the polit- 
ical rights of women, but there has been an equally marked change in other directions ; 
women's interests in education, and women's questions generally, are treated now with 
much more respectful consideration than they were ten years ago. We are gratified 
in believing that much of this consideration is due to the attention roused by our ener- 
getic and persistent demand for the suffrage, and in believing that infinitely greater 
benefits of the same kind will accrue when women shall be in possession of the fran- 
chise. Beyond the material gains in legislation, we find a general improvement in 
the tone of feeling and thought toward women an approach, indeed, to the senti- 
ment recently expressed by Victor Hugo, that as man was the problem of the 
eighteenth century, woman is the problem of the nineteenth century. May our efforts 
to solve this problem lead to a happy issue. Yours truly, 


Letters to Washington Convention, 1877. 63 

BOSTON, Mass., January 10, 1877. 

DEAR MRS. STANTON : It is with some little pain, I confess, that I accept your 
veiy courteous invitation to write a letter for your Washington convention on the igth 
instant ; for what I must say, if I say anything at all, is what I know will be very unac- 
ceptable I fear very displeasing to the majority of those to whom you will read it. 
If you conclude that my letter will obstruct, and not facilitate the advancement of the 
cause you have so faithfully labored for these many years, you have my most cheerful 
consent to deliver it over to that general asylum of profitless productions the waste- 

Running this risk, however, I have this brief message to send to those who now meet 
on behalf of woman's full recognition as politically the equal of man, namely : that 
every woman suffragist who upholds Christianity, tears down with one hand what she 
seeks to build up with the other that the Bible sanctions the slavery principle itself, 
and applies it to woman as the divinely ordained subordinate of man and that by 
making herself the great support and mainstay of instituted Christianity, woman rivets 
the chain of superstition on her own soul and on man's soul alike, and justifies him in 
obeying this religion by keeping her in subjection to himself. If Christianity and the 
Bible are true, woman is man's servant, and ought to be. The Bible gave to negro- 
slavery its most terrible power that of summoning the consciences of the Christians 
to its defense ; and the Bible gives to woman-slavery the same terrible power. So 
plain is this to me that I take it as a mere matter of course, when all the eloquence of 
the woman-suffrage platform fails to arouse the Christian women of this country to a 
proper assertion of their rights. What else could one expect? Women will remain 
contented subjects and subordinates just so long as they remain devoted believers in 
Christianity ; and no amount of argument, or appeal, or agitation can change this fact. 
If you cannot educate women as a whole out of Christianity, you cannot educate them 
as a whole into the demand for equal rights. 

The reason of this is short : Christianity teaches the rights of God, not the rights of 
man or woman. You may search the Bible from Genesis to Revelations, and not 
find one clear, strong, bold affirmation of human rights as such ; yet it is on hu- 
man rights as such on the equality of all individuals, man or woman, with respect to 
natural rights that the demand for woman suffrage must ultimately rest. I know I 
stand nearly alone in this, but I believe from my soul that the woman movement is 
fundamentally anti-Christian, and can find no deep justification but in the ideas, the 
spirit, and the faith of free religion. Until women come to see this too, and to give 
their united influence to this latter faith, political power in their hands would destroy 
even that measure of liberty which free-thinkers of both sexes have painfully estab- 
lished by the sacrifices of many generations. Yet I should vote for woman suffrage 
all the same, because it is woman's right. Yours very cordially, 


WASHINGTON, D. C., January 16, 1877. 

MY DEAR FRIENDS : I thank you for your generous recognition of me as an humble 
co-worker in the cause of equal rights, and regret deeply my inability to be present at 
this anniversary of your association. I tender to you, however, my hearty congratula- 
tions on the marked progress of our cause. Wherever I have been, and with whomso- 
ever I have talked, making equal rights invariably the subject, I find no opposing feel- 
ing to the simple and just demands we make for our cause. The chief difficulty in the 
way is the indifference of the people ; they need an awakening. Some Stephen S. 
Foster or Anna Dickinson should come forward, and with their thunder and lightning, 
arouse the people from their deadly apathy. I am glad to know that you are to have 
with you our valued friend, E. M. Davis, of Philadelphia. We are indebted to him 
more than all besides for whatever of life is found in the movement in Pennsylvania. 
He has spared neither time, money, nor personal efforts. Hoping you will have 
abundant success, I am, dear friends, with you and the cause for which you have so 
nobly labored, a humble and sincere worker. ROBERT PURVIS. 

64 History of W'oDinn Suffrage. 

OAKLAND, Cal., January 9, 1877-. 
To the National Suffrage Convention, Washington, D. C. : 

Our incorporated State society has deputed Mrs. Ellen Clark Sargent, the wife 
of Hon. A. A. Sargent, our fearless champion in the United States Senate, to repre- 
sent the women of California in your National Convention, and with one so faithful 
and earnest, we know our cause will be well represented ; but there are many among 
us who would gladly have journeyed to Washington to participate in your councils. 
Many and radical changes have taken place in the past year favorable to our sex, not 
the least of which was the nomination and election of several women to the office of 
county superintendent of common schools, by both the Democratic and Republican 
parties, in which, however, the Democrats led. Important changes in the civil code 
favorable to the control of property by married women, have been made by the legis- 
latures during the last four years, through the untiring efforts of Mrs. Sarah Wallis, Mrs. 
Knox and Mrs. Watson, of Santa Clara county. In our schools and colleges, in every 
avenue of industry, and in the general liberalization of public opinion there has been 
marked improvement. Yours very truly, 


Pres. California W. S. S. (Incorporated). 

Mrs. Stanton's letter to The Ballot-Box briefly sums up the pro- 
ceedings of the convention : 

TEXAFLY, N. J., January 24, 1877. 

DEAR EDITOR: If the little Ballot-Box is not already stuffed to repletion 
with reports from Washington, I crave a little space to tell your readers 
that the convention was in all points successful. Lincoln Hall, which 
seats about fifteen hundred people, was crowded every session. The 
speaking was good, order reigned, no heart-burnings behind the scenes, 
and the press vouchsafed " respectful consideration." 

The resolutions you will find more interesting and suggestive than that 
kind of literature usually is, and I ask especial attention to the one for a 
national convention to revise the constitution, which, with all its amend- 
ments, is like a kite with a tail of infinite length still to be lengthened. 
It is evident a century of experience has so liberalized the minds of the 
American people, that they have outgrown the constitution adapted to 
the men of 1776. It is a monarchial document with republican ideas 
engrafted in it, full of compromises between antagonistic principles. An 
American statesman remarked that "The civil war was fought to expound 
the constitution on the question" of slavery." Expensive expounding! 
Instead of further amending and expounding, the real work at the dawn 
of our second century is to make a new one. Again, I ask the attention 
of our women to the educational resolution. After much thought it seems 
to me we should have education compulsory in every State of the Union, 
and make it the basis of suffrage, a national law, requiring that those who 
vote after 1880 must be able to read and write the English language. This 
would prevent ignorant foreigners voting in six months after landing on 
our shores, and stimulate our native population to higher intelligence. It 
would dignify and purify the ballot-box and add safety and stability to our 
free institutions. Mrs. Jane Grey Swisshelm, who had just returned from 
Europe, attended the convention, and spoke on this subject. 

Belva. A. Lockwood, who had recently been denied admission to the 
Supreme Court of the L T nited States, although a lawyer in good practice 

Mrs. Stantoris Letter to "The Ballot-Box" 65 

for three years in the Supreme Court of the District, made a very scathing 
speech, reviewing the decision of the Court. It may seem to your dis- 
franchised readers quite presumptuous for one of their number to make 
those nine wise men on the bench, constituting the highest judicial au- 
thority in the United States, subjects for ridicule before an audience of 
the sovereign people ; but, when they learn the decision in Mrs. Lock- 
wood's case, they will be reassured as to woman's capacity to cope with 
their wisdom. '"To arrive at the same conclusion with these judges, it is 
not necessary," said Mrs. Lockwood, "to understand constitutional law, 
nor the history of English jurisprudence, nor the inductive or deductive 
modes of reasoning, as no such profound learning or processes of thought 
were involved in that decision, which was simply this : 'There is no prece- 
dent for admitting a woman to practice in the Supreme Court of the 
United States, hence Mrs. Lockwood's application cannot be considered.'" 

On this point Mrs. Lockwood showed that it was the glory of each 
generation to make its own precedents. As there was none for Eve in the 
garden of Eden, she argued there need be none for her daughters on en- 
tering the college, the church, or the courts. Blackstone of whose 
. works she inferred the judges were ignorant gives several precedents 
for women in the English courts. As Mrs. Lockwood tall, well- 
proportioned, with dark hair and eyes, regular features, in velvet dress 
and train, with becoming indignation at such injustice marched up 
and down the platform and rounded out her glowing periods, she might 
have fairly represented the Italian Portia at the bar of Venice. No more 
effective speech was ever made on our platform. 

Matilda Joslyn Gage, whose speeches are always replete with historical 
research, reviewed the action of the Republican party toward woman from 
the introduction of the word " male " into the fourteenth amendment of the 
constitution down to the celebration of our national birthday in Philadel- 
phia, when the declaration of the mothers was received in contemptuous 
silence, while Dom Pedro and other foreign dignitaries looked calmly on. 
Mrs. Gage makes as dark a chapter for the Republicans as Mrs. Lockwood 
for the judiciary, or Mrs. Blake for the church. Mrs. B. had been an atten- 
tive listener during the trial of the Rev. Isaac See before the presbytery of 
Newark, N. J., hence she felt moved to give the convention a chapter of 
ecclesiastical history, showing the struggles through which the church 
was passing with the irrepressible woman in the pulpit. Mrs. Blake's 
biblical interpretations and expositions proved conclusively that Scott's 
and Clark's commentaries would at no distant day be superceded by stan- 
dard works from woman's standpoint. It is not to be supposed that 
women ever can have fair play as long as men only write and interpret 
the Scriptures and make and expound the laws. Why would it not be a 
good idea for women to leave these conservative gentlemen alone in the 
churches? How sombre they would look with the flowers, feathers, 
bright ribbons and shawls all gone black coats only kneeling and stand- 
ing and with the deep-toned organ swelling up, the solemn bass voice 
heard only in awful solitude; not one soprano note to rise above the low, 
dull wail to fill the arched roof with triumphant melody ! One such ex- 

66 History of Woman Suffrage. 

perimcnt from Maine to California would bring these bigoted presbyteries 
to their senses. 

Miss Phoebe Couzins, too, was at the convention, and gave her new 
lecture, "A Woman without a Country," in which she shows all that 
woman has done from fitting out ships for Columbus, to sharing the toils 
of the great exposition without a place of honor in the republic for the 
living, or a statue to the memory of the dead. Hon. A. G. Riddle and 
Francis Miller spoke ably and eloquently as usual ; the former on the six- 
teenth amendment and the presidential aspect, modestly suggesting that 
if twenty million women had voted, they might have been able to find out 
for whom the majority had cast their ballots. Mr. Miller recommended 
State action, advising us to concentrate our forces in Colorado as a shorter 
way to success than constitutional amendments. 

His speech aroused Susan B. Anthony to the boiling point ; for, if there 
is anything that exasperates her, it is to be remanded, as she says, to John 
Morrissey's constituency for her rights. She contends that if the United 
States authority could punish her for voting in the State of New York, 
it has the same power to protect her there in the exercise of that 
right. Moreover, she said, we have two wings to our movement. The 
American Association is trying the popular-vote method. The National 
Association is trying the constitutional method, which has emancipated 
and enfranchised the African and secured to that race all their civil rights. 
To-day by this method they are in the courts, the colleges, and the halls 
of legislation in every State in the Union, while we have puttered with 
State rights for thirty years without a foothold anywhere, except in the 
territories, and it is now proposed to rob the women of their rights in 
those localities. As the two methods do not conflict, and what is done in 
the several States tells on the nation, and what is done by congress reacts 
again on the States, it must be a good thing to keep up both kinds of 

In the middle of November the National Association sent out thousands 
of petitions and appeals for the sixteenth amendment, which were pub- 
lished and commented on extensively by the press in every State in the 
Union. Early in January they began to pour into Washington at the rate 
of a thousand a day, coming from twenty-six different States. It does not 
require much wisdom to see that when these petitions were placed in the 
hands of the respresentatives of their States, a great educational work 
was accomplished at Washington, and public sentiment there has its 
legitimate effect throughout the country, as well as that already ac- 
complished in the rural districts by the slower process of circulating and 
signing the petitions. The present uncertain position of men and parties, 
has made politicians more ready to listen to the demands of their constit- 
uents, and never has woman suffrage been treated with more courtesy in 

To Sara Andrews Spencer we are indebted, for the great labor of re- 
ceiving, assorting, counting, rolling-up and planning the presentation of 
the petitions. It was by a well considered coup d'etat that, with her brave 
coadjutors, she appeared on the floor of the House at the moment of ad- 

Comments of the Press, /c?//. 67 

journment, and there, without circumlocution, gave each member a peti- 
tion from his own State. Even Miss Anthony, always calm in the hour of 
danger, on finding herself suddenly whisked into those sacred enclosures, 
amid a crowd of stalwart men, spittoons, and scrap-baskets, when brought 
vis-a-vis with our champion, Mr. Hoar, hastily apologized for the intru- 
sion, to which the honorable gentleman promptly replied, " I hope, Madam, 
yet to see you on this floor, in your own right, and in business hours 
loo." Then and there the work of the next day was agreed on, the mem- 
bers gladly accepting the petitions. As you have already seen, Mr. Hoar 
made the motion for the special order, which was carried and the petitions 
presented. Your readers will be glad to know, that Mr. Hoar has just 
been chosen, by Massachusetts, as her next senator that gives us another 
champion in the Senate. As there are many petitions still in circulation, 
urge your readers to keep sending them until the close of the session, as 
Ave want to know how many women are in earnest on this question. It 
is constantly said, " Women do not want to vote." Ten thousand told 
our representatives at Washington in a single day that they did ! What 
answer ? Yours sincerely, ELIZABETH CADY STANTON. 

The press commented as follows : 

SIXTEENTH AMENDMENT. The woman suffragists, who had a benefit in the House 
of Representatives, on Friday, when their petitions were presented, transferred their 
affections to the Senate on Saturday to witness the presentation of a large number of 
petitions in that body. It is impossible to tell whether the results desired by the 
women will follow this concerted action, but it is certain that they have their forces 
better organized this year than they ever had before, and they have gone to work on 
a more systematic plan. [National Republican, 

TIOYALLY TREATED. That women will, by voting, lose nothing of man's courteous, 
chivalric attention and respect is admirably proven by the manner in which both 
houses of congress, in the midst of the most anxious and perplexing presidential con- 
flict in our history, received their appeals from twenty-three States for a sixteenth 
amendment protecting the rights of women. 

In both houses, by unanimous consent, the petitions were presented and read in 
open session. The speaker of the House gallantly prepared the way yesterday, and 
the most prominent senators to-day improved the occasion by impressing upon the 
Senate the importance of the question. Mr. Sargent reminded the senators that there 
Avere forty thousand more votes for woman suffrage in Michigan than for the new 
State constitution, and Mr. Davves said, upon presenting the petition from Massachu- 
setts, that the question was attracting the attention of both political parties in that 
State, and he commended it to the early and earnest consideration of the Senate. Mr. 
Cockrell of Missouri, merrily declared that his petitioners were the most beautiful 
and accomplished daughters of the State, which of course he felt compelled to do when 
Miss Couzins' bright eyes were watching the proceedings from the gallery. Mr. Cam- 
eron of Pennsylvania, suggested that it would have been better to put them all to- 
gether and not consume the time of the Senate with so many presentations. 

The officers of the National Woman Suffrage Association held a caucus after the 
adjouannent of the Senate, and decided to thank Mr. Cameron for his suggestion, and 
while they had no anxiety lest senators should consume too much time attending to 
the interests of women whom they claim to represent, and might reasonably anticipate 
that ten millions of disfranchised citizens would trouble them considerably with peti- 
tions while this injustice continued, yet they would promptly adopt the senator's coun- 
sel and roll up such a mammoth petition as the Senate had not yet seen from the thou- 

68 History of Woman Suffrage. 

sands of women who had no opportunity to sign these. Accordingly they immediately 
prepared the announcement for the friends of woman suffrage to send on their names 
to the chairman of the congressional committee. They naturally feel greatly encour- 
aged by the evident interest of both parties in the proposed sixteenth amendment, and 
will work with renewed strength to secure the cobperation of the women of the coun- 
try. [ Washington Star. 

The time has evidently arrived when demands for a recognition of the personal, 
civil and political rights of one-half unquestionably the better half of the people 
cannot be laughed down or sneered down, and recent indications are that they cannot 
much longer be voted down. It was quite clear on Friday and Saturday, when peti- 
tions from the best citizens of twenty-three States were presented in House and Sen- 
ate, that the leaders of the two political parties vied with each other in doing honor 
to the grave subject proposed for their consideration. The speaker of the House set 
a commendable example of courtesy to women by proposing that the petitions be de- 
livered in open House, to which there was no objection. The early advocates of equal 
rights for women Hoar, Kelley, Banks, Kasson, Lawrence, and Lapham were, if 
possible, surpassed in courtesy by those who are not committed, but are beginning to 
see that a finer element in the body politic would clear the vision, purify the atmos- 
phere and help to settle many vexed questions on the basis of exact and equal justice. 

In the Senate the unprecedented courtesy was extended to women of half an hour's 
time on the floor for the presentation of petitions, exactly alike in form, from twenty- 
one States, and while this kind of business this session has usually been transacted with 
an attendance of from seven to ten senators, it was observed that only two out of twenty- 
three senators who had sixteenth amendment petitions to present were out of their 
seats. Senator Sargent said the presence of women at the polls would purify elec- 
tions and give us a better class of public officials, and the State would thus be greatly 
benefited. The subject was receiving serious consideration in this country and in 
England. Senator Dawes, in presenting the petition from Massachusetts, said the sub- 
ject was commanding the attention of both political parties in his own State. 

The officers of the National Association, who had been able to give only a few days' 
time to securing the cooperation of the women of the several States in their present 
effort, held a caucus after the adjournment of the Senate, and decided to immediately 
issue a new appeal for a mammoth petition, which would even more decidedly impress 
the two houses with the importance of protecting the rights of women by a constitu- 
tional amendment. Considering the many long days and weeks consumed in both 
houses in discussing the political rights of the colored male citizens, there is an ob- 
vious propriety in giving full and fair consideration to the protection of the rights of 
wives, mothers and daughters. [T/if National Rfpublican, January 22, 1877. 

The National Association held its anniversary in Masonic Tem- 
ple, New York, May 24, 1877. Isabella Beecher Hooker, vice- 
president for Connecticut, called the meeting to order and invited 
Rev. Olympia Brown to lead in prayer. Mrs. Gage made the an- 
nual report of the executive committee. Dr. Clemence S. Lozier 
of New York was elected president for the coming year. Pledges 
were made to roll up petitions with renewed energy ; and resolu- 
tions were duly discussed * and adopted : 

WHEREAS, Such minor matters as declaring peace and war, the coining of money, 
the imposition of tariff, and the control of the postal service, are forbidde^ the re- 
spective States ; and whereas, upon the framing of the constitution, it was wisely held 

* The speaker* at this May anniversary were Mrs. Devereux Blake, Rev. Olympia Brown, Clara 
Neyman, Helen Cooke, Helen M. Slocum, Mrs. Hooker, Mrs. Gage and Acting-Governor Lee of 
Wyoming territory. 

Resolutions of Jlfay, 1877. 69 

that these property rights would be unsafe under the control of thirteen varying delib- 
erative bodies ; and whereas, by a curious anomaly, power over suffrage, the basis and 
corner-stone of the nation, is held to be under control of the respective States ; and 

WHEREAS, the experience of a century has shown that the personal right of self- 
government inhering in each individual, is wholly insecure under the control of thirty- 
eight varying deliberative bodies ; and 

WHEREAS, the right of self-government by the use of the ballot inheres in the citi- 
zen of the United States ; therefore, 

Resolved, That it is the immediate and most important duty of the government to se- 
cure this right on a national basis to all citizens, independent of sex. 

Resolved, That the right of suffrage underlies all other rights, and that in working 
to secure it women are doing the best temperance, moral reform, educational, and re- 
ligious work of the age. 

Resolved, That we solemnly protest against the recent memorial to congress, from 
Utah, asking the disfranchisement of the women of that territory, and that we ask of 
congress that this request, made in violation of the spirit of our institutions, be not 

Resolved, That the thanks of the National Woman Suffrage Association are hereby 
tendered to the late speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Samuel J. Ran- 
dall, Pa.; and to Representatives Banks, Mass.; Blair, N. H.; Bland, Mo.; Brown, 
Kan.; Cox, N. Y. ; Eames, R. I.; Fenn, Col.; Hale, Me.; Hamilton, N. J.; Hen- 
dee, Vt.; Hoar, Mass.; Holman, Ind. ; Jones, N. H.; Kasson, Iowa; Kelley, Pa. 
Knott, Ky. ; Lane, Oregon; Lapham, N. Y. ; Lawrence, O.; Luttrel, Cal.; Lynde, 
Wis. ; McCrary, Iowa; Morgan, Mo. ; O'Neill, Pa.; Springer, 111.; Strait, Minn.; 
Waldron, Mich.; Warren, Conn.; Wm. B. Williams, Mich.; and Senators Allison, 
Iowa; Bogy, Mo.; Burnside, R. I. (for Conn, and R. I.); Cameron, Pa.; Came- 
ron, Wis.; Chaffee, Col.; Christiancy, Mich.; Cockrell, Mo.; Conkling, N. Y. ; 
Cragin, N. H.; Dawes, Mass.; Dorsey, Ark. (a petition from Me.); Edmunds, Vt. ; 
Frelinghuysen, N. J.; Hamlin, Me.; Kernan, N. Y. ; McCreery, Ky. ; Mitchell, 
Oregon; Morrill, Vt.; Morton, Ind.; Oglesby, 111. ; Sargent, Cal.; Sherman, Ohio; 
Spencer, Ala. (a petition from the District); Thurman, Ohio (a petition from Kansas); 
\Vadleigh, N. H.; Wallace, Pa.; Windom, Minn.; Wright, Iowa, for represent- 
ing the women of the United States in the presentation of the sixteenth amendment 
petitions from ten thousand citizens, in open House and Senate, at the last session of 

Resolved, That while we recognize with gratitude the opening of many new avenues 
of labor and usefulness to women, and the amelioration of their condition before the 
law in many States, we still declare there can be no fair play for women in the world of 
business until they stand on the same plane of citizenship with their masculine com- 

Resolved, That in entering the professions and other departments of business here- 
tofore occupied largely by men, the women of to-day should desire to accept the same 
conditions and tests of excellence with their brothers, and should demand the same 
standard for men and women in business, art, education, and morals. 

Resolved, That the thanks of this association are hereby tendered to the lion. Geo. 
F. Hoar of Massachusetts, for rising in his place in the Cincinnati presidential con- 
vention, and asking in behalf of the disfranchised women of the United States that 
the convention grant a hearing to Mrs. Spencer, of Washington, the accredited dele- 
gate of the National Woman Suffrage Association. 

Great unanimity was reached in these sentiments and the 
enthusiasm manifested gave promise of earnest labor and more 
hopeful results. It was felt that there was reason to thank God 
and take courage. 

70 History of Woman Suffrage. 

The day before the opening of the Tenth Washington Conven- 
tion a caucus was held in the ladies' reception-room * in the Senate 
wing of the capitol. A roll-call of the delegates developed the 
fact that every State in the Union would be represented by 
women now here and en route, or by letter. Mrs. Spencer said she 
had made a request in the proper quarter, that the delegates 
should be allowed to go on the floor when the Senate was 
actually in session, and present their case to the senators. She 
had been met with the statement that such a proceeding was 
without precedent. Mrs. Hooker suggested that inasmuch as 
there was a precedent for such a course in the House, the dele- 
gates should meet the following Thursday to canvass for votes in 
the House of Representatives. Another delegate recalled the 
fact that Mrs. General Sherman and Mrs. Admiral Dahlgren had 
been admitted upon the floor of the Senate while it was in ses- 
sion, to canvass for votes against woman suffrage. 

This agitation resulted in a resolution introduced by Hon. A. 
A. Sargent, January 10: 

WHEREAS, Thousands of women of the United States have petitioned congress for 
an amendment to the constitution allowing women the right of suffrage ; and whereas, 
many of the representative women of the country favoring such amendment are present 
in the city and have requested to be heard before the Senate in advocacy of said 

Resolved, That at a session of the. Senate, to be held on , said representative 

women, or such of them as may be designated for that purpose, may be heard before 
the Senate; but for one hour only. 

Mr. EDMUNDS demanded the regular order. 

Mr. SARGENT advocated the resolution, and urged immediate action, as 
delay would detain the women in the city at considerable expense to them. 
He thought the question not so intricate that senators require time for 
consideration whether or not the women should be heard. 

Mr. EDMUNDS said there was a rule of long standing that forbids any 
person appearing before the Senate. There was much to be said in favor 
of the petitions, but it was against the logic of the resolution that the 
petitioners required more than was accorded any others. He, therefore, 
insisted on his demand for the regular order. 

Mr. SARGENT gave notice that he would call up his resolution to- 
morrow, and reminded the senators that no rule was so sacred that it 
could not be set aside by unanimous consent. 

On the next day there was a lively discussion, Senators Ed- 
munds, Thurman and Conkling insisting there was no precedent ; 
Mr. Sargent, assisted by Senators Burnside, Anthony and Dawes, 

* This reception-room, a great convenience to the ladies visiting the capitol, has since been re- 
moved ; and a small, dark, inaccessible room on the basement floor set aside for their use. 

Denied in both Senate and Hoiise. 71 

reminding them of several occasions when the Senate had ex- 
tended similar courtesies. The resolution was voted down 31 
to 13.* 

Hon. Wm. D. Kelly, of Pennsylvania, performed like service in 
the House : 

Mr. KELLY asked leave to offer a resolution, reciting that petitions 
were about to be presented to the House of Representatives from citizens 
of thirty-five States of the Union, asking for the adoption of an amend- 
ment to the constitution to prohibit the disfranchisement of any citizen 
of any State ; and that there be a session of the House on Saturday, 
January 12, at which time the advocates of the constitutional amendment 
may be heard at the bar. These petitions ask the House to originate 
a movement which it cannot consumate, but which it can only sub- 
mit to the States for their action. The resolution only asks that the 
House will hear a limited number of the advocates of this amendment, 
who are now in the city, and on a day when there is not likely to be a 
session for business. They only ask the privilege of stating the grounds 
of their belief why the constitution should be amended in the direction 
they indicate. Many of these ladies who petition are tax-payers, and they 
believe their rights have been infringed upon. 

Mr. CRITTENDEN of Missouri, objected, and the resolution was not 

This refusal to women pleading for their own freedom was 
the more noticeable, as not only had Mesdames Sherman and 
Dahlgren been heard upon the floor of the Senate in opposition, 
but the floor of the House was shortly after granted to Charles 
Stewart Parnell, M. P., that he might plead the cause of oppressed 
Ireland. The Washington Union of January 11, 1878, largely 
sustained by federal patronage, commented as follows : 

To allow the advocates of woman suffrage to plead their cause on the 
floor of the Senate, as proposed yesterday by Mr. Sargent, would be a de- 
cided innovation upon the established usages of parliamentary bodies. 
If the privilege were granted in this case it would next be claimed by the 
friends and the enemies of the silver bill, by the supporters and opponents 
of resumption, by hard money men and soft money men, by protectionists 
and free-traders, by labor-reformers, prohibitionists and the Lord knows 
whom besides. In fact, the admission of the ladies to speak on the floor 
of the Senate would be the beginning of lively times in that body. 

The convention was held in Lincoln Hall, January, 8, 9, 1878. 
The house was filled to overflowing at the first session. A large 

* Yeas Anthony, Bruce, Burnside, Cameron of Wis., Dawes, Ferry, Hoar, Matthews, Mitchell, 
Rollins, Sargent, Saunders, Teller 13. 

,V<M'.r Bailey, Bayard, Beck, Booth, Butler, Christiancy, Cockrell, Coke, Conkling, Davis of 
W. Va., Eaton, Edmunds, Eustis, Grover, Hamlin, Harris, Hereford, Hill. Howe, Kernan, Kirkwood, 
Lamar, McDonald, McMillan, McPherson, Morgan, Plumb, Randolph, Saulsbury, Thurman, Wad* 
leigh 31. 

>j2 History of Woman Suffrage. 

number of representative women occupied the platform.* In 
opening the meeting the president, Dr. Clemence Lozier, gave a 
resume of the progress of the cause. Mrs. Stanton made an 
argument on " National Protection for National Citizens."f Mrs. 
Lockwood presented the following resolutions, which called out 
an amusing debate on the "man idea" that he can best repre- 
sent the home, the church, the State, the industries, etc., etc.: 

Resolved, That the president of this convention appoint a committee to select three 
intelligent women who shall be paid commissioners to the Paris exposition ; and also 
six other women who shall be volunteer commissioners to said exposition to represent 
the industries of American women. 

Resolved, That to further this object the committee be instructed to confer with the 
President, the Secretary of State, and Commissioner McCormick. 

A committee was appointed:}: and at once repaired to the 
white-house, where they were pleasantly received by President 
Hayes. After learning the object of their visit, the president 
named the different classes of industries for which no commis- 
sioners had been appointed, asked the ladies to nominate their 
candidates, and assured them he would favor a representation 
by women. 

Miss JULIA SMITH of Glastonbury, Conn., the veteran defender of the 
maxim of our fathers, "no taxation without representation," narrated the 
experience of herself and her sister Abby with the tax-gatherers. They 
attended the town-meeting and protested against unjust taxation, but 
finally their cows went into the treasury to satisfy the tax-collector. 

ELIZABETH BOYNTON HARBERT of the Chicago Inter-Ocean, spoke on 
the temperance work being done in Chicago, in connection with the ad- 
vocacy of the sixteenth amendment. 

LILLIE DEVEREUX BLAKE reviewed the work in New York in getting 
the bill through the legislature to appoint women on school boards, 
which was finally vetoed by Governor Robinson. 

Dr. MARY THOMPSON of Oregon, and Mrs. CROMWELL of Arkansas, 
gave interesting reports from their States, relating many laughable en- 
counters with the opposition. 

ROBERT PURVIS of Philadelphia, read a letter from the suffragists of 
Pennsylvania, in which congratulations were extended to the convention. 

MARY A. S. CAREY, a worthy representative of the District of Colum- 
bia, the first colored woman that ever edited a newspaper in the United 
States, and who had been a worker in the cause for twenty years, ex- 

* Grace Greenwood, Clara Barton, Abby Hutchinson Patton, Mrs. Juan Lewis, Mrs. Morgan of 
Mississippi, Dr. Mary A. Thompson of Oregon, Manila M. Ricker, Julia E. Smith, Rev. Olympia 
Brown, Mrs. Blake, Mrs. Lockwood, Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. Gage, Mrs. Stanton, Dr. Lozier and others. 

t This argument was subsequently given before the Committee on Privileges and Elections and will 
be found on page 80. 

$ The members of the committee were Belva A. Lockwood, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Mary A. Thomp- 
son, M. D., Marilla M. Ricker, Elizabeth Boynton Harbert. 

Tenth Washington Convention, 1878, 73 

pressed her views on the question, and said the colored women would 
support whatever party would allow them their rights, be it Republican 
or Democratic. 

Rev. OLYMPIA BROWN believed that a proper interpretation of the 
fourteenth and fifteenth amendments did confer suffrage on women. But 
men don't so understand it, and as a consequence when Mahomet would 
not come to the mountain the mountain must go to Mahomet. She said 
the day was coming, and rapidly, too, when women would be given suf- 
frage. There were very few now who did not acknowledge the justice 
of it. 

ISABELLA BEECHER HOOKER gave her idea on "A Reconstructed 
Police," showing how she would rule a police force if in her control. 
Commencing with the location of the office, she proceeded with her list of 
feminine and masculine officers, the chief being herself. She would have 
a superintendent as aid, with coordinate powers, and, besides the police 
force proper, which she would form of men and women in equal propor- 
tions; she would have matrons in charge of all station-houses. Her 
treatment of vagrants would be to wash, feed, and clothe them, make 
them stitch, wash and iron, take their history down for future refer- 
ence, and finally turn them out as skilled laborers. The care of vagrant 
children would form an item in her system. 

Mrs. LAWRENCE of Massachusetts, said the country is in danger, 
and like other republics, unless taken care of, will perish by its own vices. 
She said twelve hundred thousand men and women of this country 
now stand with nothing to do, because their legislators of wealth were 
working not for the many, but the few, drunkenness and vice being 
superinduced by such a state of things. She insisted that women were 
to blame for much of the evil of the world for bringing into life children 
who grow up in vice from their inborn tendencies. 

Dr. CAROLINE B. WINSLOW of Washington, referred to the speech of 
Mrs. Lawrence, saying she hoped God would bless her for having the 
courage to speak as she did. There is no greater reform than for man and 
woman to be true to the marital relations. 

BELVA A. LOCKWOOD said the only way for women to get their rights 
is to take them. If necessary let there be a domestic insurrection. 
Let young women refuse to marry, and married women refuse to sew on 
buttons, cook, and rock the cradle until their liege-lords acknowledge the 
rights they are entitled to. There were more ways than one to conquer 
a man ; and women, like the strikers in the railroad riots, should carry 
their demands all along the line. She dwelt at length upon the refusal of 
the courts in allowing Lavinia Dundore to become a constable, and asked 
why she should not be appointed. 

The Rev. OLYMPIA BROWN said that if they wanted wisdom and pros- 
perity in the nation, health and happiness in the home, they must give 
woman the power to purify hei surroundings ; the right to make the out- 
side world fit for her children to live in. Who are more interested than 
mothers in the sanitary condition of our schools and streets, and in the 
moral atmosphere of our towns and cities? 

74 History of Woman Suffrage. 

Marshal FREDERICK DOUGLASS said his reluctance to come forward 
was not due to any lack of interest in the subject under discussion. For 
thirty years he had believed in human rights to all men and women. 
Nothing that has ever been proposed involved such vital interests as the 
subject which now invites attention. When the negro was freed the 
question was asked if he was capable of voting intelligently. It was an- 
swered in this way : that if a sober negro knows as much as a drunken 
white man he is capable of exercising the elective franchise. 

LAVINIA C. DUNDORE, introdued as the lady who had made application 
for an appointment as a constable and been refused, made a pithy address, 
in which she alluded to her recent disappointment. 

MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE spoke of the influence of the church on 
woman's liberties, and then referred to a large number of law books 
ancient and modern, ecclesiastical and lay in which the liberties of 
woman were more or less abridged ; the equality of sexes which obtained 
in Rome before the Christian era, and the gradual discriminatian in favor 
of men which crept in with the growth of the church. 

Mrs. DEVEREUX BLAKE said there is no aspect of this question that 
strikes us so forcibly as the total ignoring of women by public men. 
However polite they may be in private life, when they come to public 
affairs they seem to forget that women exist. The men who framed the 
last amendment to the constitution seemed to have wholly forgotten 
that women existed or had rights Huxley said in reply to an in- 
quiry is to woman suffrage, " Of course I'm in favor of it. Does it be- 
come us to lay additional burdens on those who are already over- 
weighted ? " It is always the little men who oppose us ; the big-hearted 
men help us along. All in this audience are of the broad-shouldered 
type, and I hope all will go out prepared to advocate our principles. In 
reply to the objection that women do not need the right to vote because 
men represent them so well, she asked if any man in the audience ever 
asked his wife how he should vote, and told him to stand up if there was 
such a one. [Here a young man in the back part of the hall stood up 
amidst loud applause.] 

The various resolutions were discussed at great length and 
adopted, though much difference of opinion was expressed on 
the last, which demands that intelligence shall be made the basis 
of suffrage : 

Resolved^ That the National Constitution should be so amended as to secure to 
United States citizens at home the same protection for their individual rights against 
State tyranny, as is now guaranteed everywhere against foreign aggressions. 

Resolved, That the civil and political rights of the educated tax-paying women of 
this nation should take precedence of all propositions and debates in the present 
congress as to the future status of the Chinese and Indians under the flag of the United 

\VHEREAS, The essential elements of justice are already recognized in the constitu- 
tion ; and, whereas, our fathers proposed to establish a purely secular government in 
which all forms of religion should be equally protected, therefore, 

Resolved, That it is preeminently unjust to tax the property of widows and spinsters 
to its full value, while the clergy are made a privileged class by exempting from taxa- 

Senator Sargent's Joint Resolution. 75 

tion $1,500 of their property in some States, while in all States parsonages and other 
church property, amounting to millions of dollars, are exempted, which, if fairly 
taxed, would greatly lighten the national debt, and thereby the burdens of the labor- 
ing masses. 

Resolved, That thus to exempt one class of citizens, one kind of property, from 
taxation, at the expense of all others, is a great national evil, in a moral as well as a 
financial point of view. It is an assumption that the church is a more important in- 
stitution than the family ; that the influence of the clergy is of more vital consequence 
in the progress of civilization than that of the women of this republic ; from which we 
emphatically dissent. 

Resolved, That universal education is the true basis of universal suffrage ; hence the 
several States should so amend their constitutions as to make education compulsory, 
and, as a stimulus to the rising generation, declare that after 1885 all who exercise the 
right of suffrage must be able to read and write the English language. For, while the 
national government should secure the equal right of suffrage to all citizens, the State 
should regulate its exercise by proper attainable qualifications. 

On January 10, 1878, our champion in the Senate, Hon. A. A. 
Sargent, of California, by unanimous consent, presented the fol- 
lowing joint resolution, which was read twice and referred to the 
Committee on Privileges and Elections: 

JOINT RESOLUTION proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of the United Slates. 
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America 
in congress assembled, two-thirds of each House concurring therein, That the fol- 
lowing article be proposed to the legislatures of the several States as an amendment 
to the Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of the 
said legislatures, shall be valid as part of the said constitution, namely : 

ARTICLE 16, SEC. I. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be 
denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. 

SEC. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legis- 

The Committee on Privileges and Elections granted hearings 
to the National Association on January n, 12, when the dele- 
gates,* representing the several States, made their respective 
arguments and appeals. Clemence S. Lozier, M. D., president of 
the association, first addressed the committee and read the fol- 
lowing extract from a recent letter from Victor Hugo : 

Our ill-balanced society seems as if it would take from woman all that nature had 
endowed her with. In our codes there is something to recast. It is what I call the 
woman-law. Man has had his law ; he has made it for himself. Woman has only 
the law of man. She by this law is civilly a minor and morally a slave. Her educa- 
tion is embued with this twofold character of inferiority. Hence many sufferings to 
her which man must justly share. There must be reform here, and it will be to the 
benefit of civilization, truth, and light. 

* At this hearing the speakers were Clemence S. Lo/ier, M. D., New York ; Julia E. Smith, Con- 
necticut : Elizabeth Cady Stanton, New Jersey ; Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, Illinois ; Matilda Joslyn 
Gage, New York ; Priscilla Rand Lawrence, Massachusetts ; Rev, Olympia Brown, Connecticut ; Mary 
A. Thompson, M. D., Oregon ; Mary Powers Filley, New Hampshire; Lillie Devereux Blake, New 
York ; Sara Andrews Spencer, District of Columbia ; Isabella Beecher Hooker, Connecticut ; Mary A, 
Stewart. Delaware. 

76 History of Woman Suffrage. 

In concluding, Dr. Lozier said : I have now the honor to introduce Miss 
Julia E. Smith, of Glastonbury, Conn., who will speak to you concerning 
the resistance of her sister and herself to the payment of taxes in her na- 
tive town, on the ground that they are unrepresented in all town meetings, 
and therefore have no voice in the expenditure of the taxes which they 
are compelled to pay. 

Miss SMITH said : Gentlemen of the Committee This is the first time in my 1 
life that I have trod these halls, and what has brought me here ? I say, 
oppression oppression of women by men. Under the law they have 
taken from us $2,000 worth of meadow-land, and sold it for taxes of less 
than $50, and we were obliged to redeem it, for we could not lose the most 
valuable part of our farm. They have come into our house and said, 
" You must pay so much ; we must execute the laws "; and we are not al- 
lowed to have a voice in the matter, or to modify laws that are odious. 

I have come to Washington, as men cannot address you for us. We 
have no power at all ; we are totally defenseless. [Miss Smith then read 
two short letters written by her sister Abby to the Springfield Republican^ 
These tell our brief story, and may I not ask, gentlemen, that they shall 
so plead with you that you will report to the Senate unanimously in favor 
of the sixteenth amendment, which we ask in order that the women of 
these United States who shall come after us may be saved the desecration 
of their homes which we have suffered, and our country may be relieved 
from the disgrace of refusing representation to that half of its people 
that men call the better half, because it includes their wives and daugh- 
ters and mothers? 

ELIZABETH BOYNTON HARBERT, vice-president for Illinois : Gentlemen of 
the Committee We recognize your duty as men intrusted with the control 
and guidance of the government to carefully weigh every phase of this 
momentous question. Has the time arrived when it will be safe and ex- 
pedient to make a practical application of tnese great principles of our 
government to one-half of the governed, one-half of the citizens of the 
United States ? The favorite argument of the opposition has been that 
women are represented by men, hence have no cause for complaint. Any 
careful student of the progress of liberty must admit that the only possi- 
ble method for securing justice to the represented is for their representa- 
tives to be made entirely responsible to their constituents, and promptly 
removable by them. We are only secure in delegating power when we 
can dictate its use, limit the same, or revoke it. How many of your hon- 
orable committee would vote to make the presidency an office for life, 
said office to descend to the heirs in a male line forever, with no reserved 
power of impeachment? Yet you would be more fairly represented than 
are American women, since they have never elected their representatives. 
So far as women are concerned you are self-constituted rulers. We can- 
not hope for complete representation while we are powerless to recall, 
impeach, or punish our representatives. We meet with a case in point in 
the history of Virginia. Bancroft gives us the following quotation from 
the official records : 

Committee on Privileges and Elections. 77 

The freedom of elections was further impaired by " frequent false returns," made 
by the sheriffs. Against these the people had no sufficient redress, for the sheriffs 
were responsible neither to them nor to officers of their appointment. And how 
could a more pregnant cause of discontent exist in a country where the elective fran- 
chise was cherished as the dearest civil privilege? If land is to be taxed, none but 
landholders should elect the legislature. The other freemen, who are the more in 
number, may refuse to be bound by those laws in which they have no representation, 
and we are so well acquainted with the temper of the people that we have reason to 
believe they had rather pay their taxes than lose that privilege. 

Would those statesmen have dared to tax those landholders and yet 
deny them the privilege of choosing their representatives? And if, for- 
sooth, they had, would not each one of you have declared such act uncon- 
stitutional and unjust ? We are the daughters of those liberty-loving 
patriots. Their blood flows in our veins, and in view of the recognized 
physiological fact that special characteristics are transmitted from fathers 
to daughters, do you wonder that we tax-paying, American-born citizens 
of these United States are here to protest in the name of liberty and jus- 
tice ? We recognize, however, that you are not responsible for the present 
political condition of women, and that the question confronting you, as 
statesmen called to administer justice under existing conditions, is, " What 
are the capacities of this great class for self-government?" You have 
cautiously summoned us to adduce proof that the ballot in the hands of 
women would prove a help, not a hindrance; would bring wings, not 

First, then, we ask you in the significant name of history to read the 
record of woman as a ruler from the time when Deborah judged Israel, 
and the land had rest and peace forty years, even down to this present 
when Victoria Regina, the Empress Queen, rules her vast kingdom so 
ably that we sometimes hear American men talk about a return " to the 
good old ways of limited monarchy," with woman for a ruler. John Stuart 
Mill, after studious research, testifies as follows : 

When to queens and emperors we add regents and viceroys of provinces, the list of 
women who have been eminent rulers of mankind swells to a great length. The fact 
is so undeniable that some one long ago tried to retort the argument by saying that 
queens are better than kings, because under kings women govern, but under queens, 
men. Especially is her wonderful talent for governing evinced in Asia. If a Hindoo 
principality is strongly, vigilantly, and economically governed ; if order is preserved 
without oppression ; if cultivation is extending, and the people prosperous, in three 
cases out of four that principality is under a woman's rule. This fact, to me an en- 
tirely unexpected one, I have collected from a long official knowledge of Hindoo gov- 
ernments. There are many such instances ; for though by Hindoo institutions a 
woman cannot reign, she is the legal regent of a kingdom during the minority of the 
heir and minorities are frequent, the lives of the male rulers being so often prema- 
turely terminated through thc'ir inactivity and excesses. When we consider that these 
princesses have never been seen in public, have never conversed with any man not of 
their own family, except from behind a curtain ; that they do not read, and if they did, 
there is no book in their languages which can give them the smallest instruction on 
political affairs, the example they afford of the natural capacity of women for govern- 
ment is very striking. 

In view of these facts, does it not appear that if there is any one distinct- 
ively feminine characteristic, it is the mother-instinct for government? 

78 History of Woman Suffrage. 

But now with clearer vision we reread the record of the past. True, we 
find no Raphael or Beethoven, no Phidias or Michael Angelo among 
women. No woman has painted the greatest picture, carved the finest 
statue, composed the noblest oratorio or opera. Not many women's names 
appear after Joan of Arc's in the long list of warriors; but, as a ruler, 
woman stands to-day the peer of man. 

While man has rendered such royal service in the realm of art, woman 
has not been idle. Infinite wisdom has intrusted to her the living, breath- 
ing marble or canvas, and with smiles and tears, prayers and songs has 
she patiently wrought developing the latent possibilities of the divine 
Christ-child, the infant Washington, the baby Lincoln. Ah ! since God 
and men have intrusted to woman the weightiest responsibility known to 
earth, the development and education of the human soul, need you fear to 
intrust her with citizenship? Is the ballot more precious than the soul of 
your child ? If it is safe in the home, in the school-room, the Sunday- 
school, to place in woman's hands the education of your children, is it not 
safe to allow that mother to express her choice in regard to which one of 
these sons, her boys whom she has taught and nursed, shall make laws for 
her guidance ? 

Just here, in imagination, is heard the question, " How much help could 
we expect from women on financial questions ? We accept the masculine 
idea of woman's mathematical deficiencies. We have had slight oppor- 
tunity for discovering the best proportions of a silver dollar, owing to the 
fact that the family specimens have been zealously guarded by the male 
members ; and yet, we may have some latent possibilities in that direc- 
tion, since already the "brethren" in our debt-burdened churches wail 
out from the depths of masculine indebtedness and interest-tables, " Out 
sisters, we pray you come over and help us ! " And, in view of the fact of 
the present condition of finances, in view of the fact of the enormous taxes 
you impose upon us, can you look us calmly in the face and assert that mat- 
ters might, would, should, or could have been worse, even though Julia 
Ward Howe, Mary A. Livermore, or Elizabeth Cady Stanton, had voted on 
the silver bill ? 

A moment since I referred to the great responsibilities of motherhood, 
and doubtless your mental comment was, " Yes, that is woman's peculiar 
sphere ; there she should be content to remain." It is our sphere beauti- 
ful, glorious, almost infinite in its possibilities. We accept the work ; we 
only ask for opportunity to perform it. The sphere has enlarged, that is 
all. There has been a new revelation. That historic "first gun" pro- 
claimed a wonderful message to the daughters of America ; for, when the 
smoke of the cannonading had lifted, the entire horizon of woman was 
broadened, illuminated, glorified. On that April morn, when a nation of 
citizens suddenly sprang into an army of warriors, with a patriotism as in- 
tense, a consecration as true, American women quietly assumed their va- 
cated places and became citizens. New boundaries were defined. A Mary 
Somerville or Maria Mitchell seized the telescope and alone with God and 
the stars, cast a new horoscope for woman. And the new truth, electrify- 
ing, glorifying American womanhood to-day, is the discovery that the 


Mrs. Harbert at Hearing, 1878. 79 

State is but the larger family, the nation the old homestead, and that in 
this national home there is a room and a corner and a duty for " mother." 
A duty recognized by such a statesman as John Adams, who wrote to his 
wife in regard to her mother : 

Your mother had a clear and penetrating understanding and a profound judgment, 
as well as an honest, a friendly and charitable heart. There is one thing, however, 
which you will forgive me if I hint to you. Let me ask you rather if you are not of 
my opinion. Were not her talents and virtues too much confined to private, social 
and domestic life? My opinion of the duties of religion and morality comprehends a 
very extensive connection with society at large and the great interests of the public. 
Does not natural morality and, much more, Christian benevolence make it our indis- 
pensable duty to endeavor to serve our fellow-creatures to the utmost of our power in 
promoting and supporting those great political systems and general regulations upon 
which the happiness of multitudes depends? The benevolence, charity, capacity and 
industry which exerted in private life would make a family, a parish or a town happy, 
employed upon a larger scale and in support of the great principles of virtue and free- 
dom of political regulations, might secure whole nations and generations from misery, 
want and contempt. 

Intense domestic life is selfish. The home evidently needs fathers as 
much as mothers. Tender, wise fatherhood is beautiful as motherhood, 
but there are orphaned children to be cared for. These duties to the 
State and nation as mothers, true to the highest needs of our children, we 
dare not ignore ; and the nation cannot much longer afford to have us 
ignore them. 

As statesmen, walking on the shore piled high with the " drift-wood of 
kings," the wrecks of nations and governments, you have discovered the 
one word emblazoned as an epitaph on each and every one, " Luxury, 
luxury, luxury!" You have hitherto placed a premium upon woman's 
idleness, helplessness, dependence. The children of most of our fashion- 
able women are being educated by foreign nurses. How can you expect 
them to develop into patriotic American statesmen? For the sake of 
country I plead for the sake of a responsible, exalted womanhood ; for 
the sake of a purer womanhood ; for home and truth, and native land. As 
a daughter, with holiest, tenderest, most grateful memories clinging to the 
almost sacred name of father; as a wife, receiving constant encourage- 
ment, support, and cooperation from one who has revealed to her the gen- 
uine nobility of true manhood; as a mother, whose heart still thrills at 
the first greeting from her little son ; and as a sister, watching with 
intense interest the entrance of a brother into the great world of work, I 
could not be half so loyal to woman's cause were it not a synonym for 
the equal rights of humanity a diviner justice for all ! 

With one practical question I rest my case. The world objected to 
woman's entrance into literature, the pulpit, the lyceum, the college, 
the school. What has she wrought? Our wisest thinkers and his- 
torians assert that literature has been purified. Poets and judges at 
international collegiate contests award to woman's thought the highest 
prize. Miss Lucia Peabody received upon the occasion of her second 
election to the Boston school board the highest vote ever polled for 
any candidate. Since woman has proved faithfui over a few things, need 
you fear to summon her to your side to assist you : n executing the will of 

8o History of Woman Suffrage. 

the nation ? And now, yielding to none in intense love of womanhood ; 
standing here beneath the very dome of the national capitol overshad- 
owed by the old flag ; with the blood of the revolutionary patriots cours- 
ing through my veins ; as a native-born, tax-paying American citizen, I 
ask equality before the law. 

ELIZABETH CADY STANTON said: Gentlemen of the Committee: In ap- 
pearing before you to ask for a sixteenth amendment to the United States 
Constitution, permit me to say that with the Hon. Charles Sumner, we 
believe that our constitution, fairly interpreted, already secures to the 
humblest individual all the rights, privileges and immunities of American 
citizens. But as statesmen differ in their interpretations of constitutional 
law as widely as they differ in their organizations, the rights of every class 
of citizens must be clearly denned in concise, unmistakable language. All 
the great principles of liberty declared by the fathers gave no protection 
to the black man of the republic for a century, and when, with higher 
light and knowledge his emancipation and enfranchisement were pro- 
claimed, it was said that the great truths set forth in the prolonged de- 
bates of thirty years on the individual rights of the black man, culminat- 
ing in the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the constitution, had 
no significance for woman. Hence we ask that this anomalous class of 
beings, not recognized by the supreme powers as either " persons " or 
"citizens " may be defined and their rights declared in the constitution. 

In the adjustment of the question of suffrage now before the people of 
this country for settlement, it is of the highest importance that the 
organic law of the land should be so framed and construed as to work 
injustice to none, but secure as far as possible perfect political equality 
among all classes of citizens. In determining your right and power to 
legislate on this question, consider what has been done already. 

As the national constitution declares that "all persons born or natur- 
alized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are 
citizens of the United States, and of the State wherein they reside," it is 
evident : First That the immunities and privileges of American citizen- 
ship, however defined, are national in character, and paramount to all 
State authority. Second That while the constitution leaves the qualifica- 
tion of electors to the several States, it nowhere gives them the right to 
deprive any citizen of the elective franchise ; the State may regulate but 
not abolish the right of suffrage for any class. Third As the Constitu- 
tion of the United States expressly declares that no State shall make or 
enforce any law that shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens 
of the United States, those provisions of the several State constitutions 
that exclude citizens from the franchise on account of sex, alike violate the 
spirit and letter of the Federal constitution. Fourth As the question of 
naturalization is expressly withheld from the States, and as the States 
would clearly have no right to deprive of the franchise naturalized citi- 
zens, among whom women are expressly included, still more clearly have 
they no right to deprive native-born women-citizens of the right. 

Let me give you a few extracts from the national constitution upon 
which these propositions are based : 

A Bill of Attainder. 81 

Preamble : We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect 
union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense 
promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our 
posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution. 

This is declared to be a government " of the people." All power, it is 
said, centers in the people. Our State constitutions also open with the 
words, " We, the people." Does any one pretend to say that men alone 
constitute races and peoples? When we say parents, do we not mean 
mothers as well as fathers? When we say children, do we not mean girls 
as well as boys ? When we say people, do we not mean women as well as 
men? When the race shall spring, Minerva-like, from the brains of their 
fathers, it will .be time enough thus to ignore the fact that one-half the 
human family are women. Individual rights, individual conscience and 
judgment are our great American ideas, the fundamental principles of 
our political and religious faith. Men may as well attempt to do our repent- 
ing, confessing, and believing, as our voting as well represent us at the 
throne of grace as at the ballot-box. 

ARTICLE i, SEC. 9. No bill of attainder, or ex post facto law shall be passed ; no 
title of nobility shall be granted by the Uuited States. 

SEC. 10. No State shall pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law im- 
pairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility. 

Notwithstanding these provisions of the constitution, bills of attainder 
have been passed by the introduction of the word " male " into all the 
State constitutions denying to woman the right of suffrage, and thereby 
making sex a crime. A citizen disfranchised in a republic is a citizen at- 
tainted. When we place in the hands of one class of citizens the right to 
make, interpret and execute the law for another class wholly unrepre- 
sented in the government, we have made an order of nobility. 

ARTICLE 4, SEC. 2. The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges 
and immunities of citizens in the several States. 

The elective franchise is one of the privileges secured by this section 
approved in Dunham vs, Lamphere (3 Gray Mass. Rep., 276), and Bennett 
vs. Boggs (Baldwin's Rep., p. 72, Circuit Court U. S.). 

ARTICLE 4, SEC. 4. The United States shall gurantee to every State in the Union 
a republican form of government. 

How can that form of government be called republican in which one- 
half the people are forever deprived of all participation in its affairs? 

ARTICLE 6. This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be 
made in pursuance thereof, .... shall be the supreme law of the land ; and the judges 
in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any 
State to the contrary notwithstanding. 

ARTICLE 14, SEC. I. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and sub- 
ject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States No State shall 

make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens 
of the United States. 

In the discussion of the enfranchisement of woman, suffrage is now 
claimed by one class of thinkers as a privilege based upon citizenship and 
secured by the Constitution of the United States, as by lexicographers as 


82 History of Woman Suffrage. 

well as by the constitution itself, the definition of citizen includes 
women as well as men. No State can rightfully deprive a woman-citizen 
of the United States of any fundamental right which is hers in common 
with all other citizens. The States have the right to regulate, but not to 
prohibit the elective franchise to citizens of the United States. Thus 
the States may determine the qualifications of electors. They may re- 
quire the elector to be of a certain age to have had a fixed residence to 
be of sane mind and unconvicted of crime, because these are qualifica- 
tions or conditions that all citizens, sooner or later, may attain. But to go 
beyond this, and say to one-half the citizens of the State, notwithstanding 
you possess all of these qualifications, you shall never vote, is of the very 
essence of despotism. It is a bill of attainder of the most odious character. 

A further investigation of the subject will show that the constitutions of 
all the States, with the exception of Virginia and Massachusetts, read sub- 
stantially alike. " White male citizens " shall be entitled to vote, and this 
is supposed to exclude all other citizens. There is no direct exclusion 
except in the two States above named. Now the error lies in supposing 
that an enabling clause is necessary at all. The right of the people of a 
State to participate in a government of their own creation requires no 
enabling clause, neither can it be taken from them by implication. To 
hold otherwise would be to interpolate in the constitution a prohibition 
that does not exist. 

In framing a constitution, the people are assembled in their sovereign 
capacity, and being possessed of all rights and powers, what is not sur- 
rendered is retained. Nothing short of a direct prohibition can work a 
deprivation of rights that are fundamental. In the language of John Jay 
to the people of New York, urging the adoption of the constitution of the 
United States : " Silence and blank paper neither give nor take away any- 
thing." And Alexander Hamilton says (Federalist, No. 83) : 

Every man of discernment must at once perceive the wide difference between 
silence and abolition. The mode and manner in which the people shall take part in 
the government of their creation may be prescribed by the constitution, but the right 
itself is antecedent to all constitutions. It is inalienable, and can neither be bought 
nor sold nor given away. 

But even if it should be held that this view is untenable, and that 
women are disfranchised by the several State constitutions, directly or by 
implication, then I say that such prohibitions are clearly in conflict with 
the Constitution of the United States and yield thereto. 

Another class of thinkers, equally interested in woman's enfranchise- 
ment, maintain that there is, as yet, no power in the United States Con- 
stitution to protect the rights of all United States citizens, in all latitudes 
and longitudes, and in all conditions whatever. When the constitution 
was adopted, the fathers thought they had secured national unity. This 
was the opinion of Southern as well as Northern statesmen. It was sup- 
posed that the question of State rights was then forever settled. Hon. 
Charles Sumner, speaking on this point in the United States Senate, 
March 7, 1866, said the object of the constitution was to ordain, under the 
authority of the people, a national government possessing unity and 

We, the People. 83 

power. The confederation had been merely an agreement " between the 
States," styled, '-a league of firm friendship." Found to be feeble and 
inoperative through the pretension of State rights, it gave way to the 
constitution which, instead of a "league," created a "union," in the name 
of the people of the United States. Beginning with these inspiring and 
enacting words, " We, the people," it was popular and national. Here was 
no concession to State rights, but a recognitio/i of the power of the peo- 
ple, from whom the constitution proceeded. The States are acknowl- 
edged ; but they are all treated as component parts of the Union in which 
they are absorbed under the constitution, which is the supreme law. 
There is but one sovereignty, and that is the sovereignty of the United 
States. On this very account the adoption of the constitution was op- 
posed by Patrick Henry and George Mason. The first exclaimed, "That 
this is a consolidated government is demonstrably clear; the question 
turns on that poor little thing, 'We, the people,' instead of the States." 
The second exclaimed, "Whether the constitution is good or bad, it is a 
national government, and no longer a confederation." But against this 
powerful opposition the constitution was adopted in the name of the peo- 
ple of the United States. Throughout the discussions, State rights was 
treated with little favor. Madison said: "The States are only political 
societies, and never possessed the right of sovereignty." Gerry said : 
"The States have only corporate rights." Wilson, the philanthropic 
member from Pennsylvania, afterward a learned Judge of the Supreme 
Court of the United States and author of the " Lectures on Law," said : 
" Will a regard to State rights justify the sacrifice of the rights of men ? 
If we proceed on any other foundation than the last, our building will 
neither be solid nor lasting." 

Those of us who understand the dignity, power and protection of the 
ballot, have steadily petioned congress for the last ten years to secure to 
the women of the republic the exercise of their right to the elective 
franchise. We began by asking a sixteenth amendment to the national 
constitution. March 15, 1869, the Hon. George W. Julian submitted a 
joint resolution to congress, to enfranchise the women of the republic, by 
proposing a sixteenth amendment : 

ARTICLE 16. The right of suffrage in the United States shall be based on citizen- 
ship, and shall be regulated by Congress, and all citizens of the United States, whether 
native or naturalized, shall enjoy this right equally, without any distinction or dis- 
crimination whatever founded on sex. 

While the discussion was pending for the emancipation and enfran- 
chisement of the slaves of the South, and popular thought led back to 
the consideration of the fundamental principles of our government, it 
was clearly seen that all the arguments for the civil and political rights 
of the African race applied to women also. Seeing this, some Republicans 
stood ready to carry these principles to their logical results. Democrats, 
too, saw the drift of the argument, and though not in favor of extending 
suffrage to either black mer*, or women, yet, to embarrass Republican 
legislation, it was said, they proposed amendments for woman suffrage to 
all bills brought forward for enfranchising the negroes. 

84 History of Woman Suffrage. 

And thus, during the passage of the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth 
amendments, and the District suffrage bill, the question of woman suf- 
frage was often and ably discussed in the Senate and House, and received 
both Republican and Democratic votes in its favor. Many able lawyers and 
judges gave it as their opinion that women as well as Africans were en- 
franchised by the fourteenth and fifteenth Amendments. Accordingly, we 
abandoned, for the time being, our demand for a sixteenth amendment, 
and pleaded our right of suffrage, as already secured by the fourteenth 
amendment the argument lying in a nut-shell, For if, as therein as- 
serted, all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of 
the United States; and if a citizen, according to the best authorities, is 
one possessed of all the rights and privileges of citizenship, namely, the 
right to make laws and choose lawmakers, women, being persons, must 
be citizens, and therefore entitled to the rights of citizenship, the chief of 
which is the right to vote. 

Accordingly, women tested their right, registered and voted the in- 
spectors of election accepting the argument, for which inspectors and 
women alike were arrested, tried and punished ; the courts deciding that 
although by the fourteenth amendment they were citizens, still, citizen- 
ship did not carry with it the right to vote. But granting the premise of 
the Supreme Court decision, "that the constitution does not confer suf- 
frage on any one," then it inhered with the citizen before the constitution 
was framed. Our national life does not date from that instrument. The 
constitution is not the original declaration of rights. It was not framed 
until eleven years after our existence as a nation, nor fully ratified until 
nearly fourteen years after the inauguration of our national independence. 

But however the letter and spirit of the constitution may be interpreted 
by the people, the judiciary of the nation has uniformly proved itself the 
echo of the party in power. When the slave power was dominant the 
Supreme Court decided that a black man was not a citizen, because he had 
not the right to vote ; and when the constitution was so amended as to 
make all persons citizens, the same high tribunal decided that a woman, 
though a citizen, had not the right to vote. An African, by virtue of his 
United States citizenship, is declared, under recent amendments, a voter 
in every State of the Union ; but when a woman, by virtue of her United 
States citizenship, applies to the Supreme Court for protection in the ex- 
ercise of this same right, she is remanded to' the State, by the unanimous 
decision of the nine judges on the bench, that "the Constitution of the 
United States does not confer the right of suffrage upon any one." Such 
vacillating interpretations of constitutional law must unsettle our faith in 
judicial authority, and undermine the liberties of the whole people. See- 
ing by these decisions of the courts that the theory of our government, 
the Declaration of Independence, and recent constitutional amendments, 
have no significance for woman, that all the grand principles of equality 
are glittering generalities for her, we must fall back once more to our 
former demand of a sixteenth amendment to the federal constitution, that, 
in clear, unmistakable language, shall declare the status of woman in this 

National Protection. 85 

The Declaration ot Independence struck a blow at every existent form 
of government by making the individual the source of all power. This is 
the sun, and the one central truth around which all genuine republics 
must keep their course or perish. National supremacy means something 
more than power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish 
commerce. It means national protection and security in the exercise of 
the right of self-government, which comes alone by and through the use 
of the ballot. Women are the only class of citizens still wholly unrepre- 
sented in the government, and yet we possess every requisite qualifica- 
tion for voters in the United States. Women possess property and edu- 
cation ; we take out naturalization-papers and passports and register 
ships. We preempt lands, pay taxes (women sometimes work out the 
road-tax with their own hands) and suffer for our own violation of laws. 
We are neither idiots, lunatics, nor criminals, and according to our State 
constitution lack but one qualification for voters, namely, sex, which is an 
insurmountable qualification, and therefore equivalent to a bill of attain- 
der against one-half the people, a power neither the States nor the United 
States can legally exercise, being forbidden in article i, sections 9, 10, of the 
constitution. Our rulers have the right to regulate the suffrage, but they 
cannot abolish it for any class of citizens, as has been done in the case of 
the women of this republic, without a direct violation of the fundamental 
law of the land. All concessions of privileges or redress of grievances are 
mockery for any class that have no voice in the laws, and law-makers ; 
hence we demand the ballot, that scepter of power in our own hands, as 
the only sure protection for our rights of person and property under all 
conditions. If the few may grant and withhold rights at their pleasure, 
the many cannot be said to enjoy the blessings of self-government. 

William H. Seward said in his great speech on " Freedom and Union," 
in the United States Senate, February 29, 1860: 

Mankind have a natural right, a natural instinct, and a natural capacity for self- 
government ; and when, as here, they are sufficiently ripened by culture, they will and 
must have self-government, and no other. 

Jefferson said : 

The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time ; the hand of freedom 
may destroy, but cannot disjoin them. 

Few people comprehend the length and breadth of the principle we are 
advocating to-day, and how closely it is allied to everything vital in our 
system of government. Our personal grievances, such as being robbed 
of property and children by unjust husbands ; denied admission into the 
colleges, the trades and professions ; compelled to wcxrk at starving 
prices, by no means round out this whole question. In asking for a 
sixteenth amendment to the United States Constitution, and the pmtci - 
tion of congress against the injustice of State law, we are fighting the 
same battle as Jefferson and Hamilton fought in 1776, as Calhoun and 
Clay in 1828, as Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis in 1860, namely, 
the limit of State rights and federal power. The enfranchisement of 
woman involves the same vital principle of our government that is divid- 
ing and distracting the two great political parties at this hour. 

86 ffistory of ]Vo)iiau Suffrage. 

There is nothing a foreigner coming hen: finds it so difficult to under- 
stand as the wheel within a wheel in our national and State governments, 
and the possibility of carrying them on without friction ; and this is the 
difficulty and danger we are fast finding out. The recent amendments are 
steps in the right direction toward national unity, securing equal rights to 
all citizens, in every latitude and longitude. But our congressional de- 
bates, judicial decisions, and the utterances of campaign orators, continu- 
ally tailing back to the old ground, are bundles of contradictions on this 
vital question. Inasmuch as we are, first, citizens of the United States, 
and second, of the State wherein we reside, the primal rights of all citizens 
should be regulated by the national government, and complete equality in 
civil and political rights everywhere secured. When women are denied 
the right to enter institutions of learning, and practice in the professions, 
unjust discriminations made against sex even more degrading and humil- 
iating than were ever made against color, surely woman, too, should be 
protected by a civil-rights bill and a sixteenth amendment that should 
make her political status equal with all other citizens of the republic. 

The right of suffrage, like the currency of the post-office department, 
demands national regulation. We can all remember the losses sustained 
by citizens in traveling from one State to another under the old system of 
State banks. We can imagine the confusion if each State regulated its 
post-offices, and the transit of the mails across its borders. The benefits we 
find in uniformity and unity in these great interests would pervade all 
others where equal conditions were secured. Some citizens are asking 
for a national bankrupt law, that a person released from his debts in one 
State may be free in every other. Some are for a religious freedom amend- 
ment that shall forever separate church and State ; forbidding a religious 
test as a condition of suffrage or a qualification for office ; forbidding the 
reading of the Bible in the schools and the exempting of church property 
and sectarian institutions of learning or charity from taxation. Some are 
demanding a national marriage law, that a man legally married in one State 
may not be a bigamist in another. Some are asking a national prohibi- 
tory law, that a reformed drunkard who is shielded from temptation in 
one State may not be environed with dangers in another. And thus many 
individual interests point to a growing feeling among the people in favor 
of homogeneous legislation. As several of the States are beginning to 
legislate on the woman suffrage question, it is of vital moment that there 
should be some national action. 

As the laws now are, a woman who can vote, hold office, be tried by a 
jury of her own peers yea, and sit on the bench as justice of the peace 
in the territory of Wyoming, may be reduced to a political pariah in the 
State of New York. A woman who can vote and hold office on the school 
board, and act as county superintendent in Kansas and Minnesota, is de- 
nied these rights in passing into Pennsylvania. A woman who can be a 
member of the school board in Maine, Wisconsin, Iowa, and California, 
loses all these privileges in New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. 
When representatives from the territories are sent to congress by the 

A Fourfold Compromise. 87 

votes of women, it is time to have some national recognition of this 
class of citizens. 

This demand of national protection for national citizens is fated to grow 
stronger every day. The government of the United States, as the consti- 
tution is now interpreted, is powerless to give a just equivalent for the su- 
preme allegiance it claims. One sound democratic principle fully recog- 
nized and carried to its logical results in our government, declaring all 
citizens equal before the law, would soon chase away the metaphysical 
mists and fogs that cloud our political views in so many directions. When 
congress is asked to put the name of God in the constitution, and thereby 
pledge the nation to some theological faith in which some United States 
citizens may not believe and thus subject a certain class to political ostra- 
cism and social persecution, it is asked not to protect but to oppress the 
citizens of the several States in their most sacred rights to think, reason, 
and decide all questions of religion and conscience for themselves, without 
fear or favor from the government. Popular sentiment and church per- 
secution is all that an advanced thinker in science and religion should be 
called on to combat. The State should rather throw its shield of protec- 
tion around those uttering liberal, progressive ideas ; for the nation has 
the same interest in every new thought as it has in the invention of new 
machinery to lighten labor, in the discovery of wells of oil, or mines of 
coal, copper, iron, silver or gold. As in the laboratory of nature new 
forms of beauty are forever revealing themselves, so in the world of 
thought a higher outlook gives a clearer vision of the heights man in 
freedom shall yet attain. The day is past for persecuting the philosophers 
of the physical sciences. But what a holocaust of martyrs bigotry is still 
making of those bearing the richest treasures of thought, in religion and 
social ethics, in their efforts to roll off the mountains of superstition that 
have so long darkened the human mind ! 

The numerous demands by the people for national protection in many 
rights not specified in the constitution, prove that the people have out- 
grown the compact that satisfied the fathers, and the more it is expounded 
and understood the more clearly its monarchical features can be traced to 
its English origin. And it is not at all surprising that, with no chart or 
compass for a republic, our fathers, with all their educational prejudices in 
favor of the mother country, with her literature and systems of jurispru- 
dence, should have also adopted her ideas of government, and in drawing 
up their national compact engrafted the new republic on the old constitu- 
tional monarchy, a union whose incompatibility has involved their sons 
in continued discussion as to the true meaning of the instrument. A re- 
cent writer says : 

The Constitution of the United States is the result of a fourfold compromise: First 
Of unity with individual interests ; of national sovereignty with the so-called sov- 
ereignty of Stales; Second Of the republic with monarchy; Third Of freedom with 
slavery; J-'ourtli Of democracy with aristocracy. 

It is founded, therefore, on the fourfold combination of principles per- 
fectly incompatible and eternally excluding each other; founded for the 
purpose of equally preserving these principles in spite of their incompati- 

88 History of Woman Suffrage. 

bility, and of carrying out their practical results in other words, for the 
purpose of making an impossible thing possible. And a century of dis- 
cussion has not yet made the constitution understood. It has no settled 
interpretation. Being a series of compromises, it can be expounded in 
favor of many directly opposite principles, 

A distinguished American statesman remarked that the war of the rebel- 
lion was waged " to expound the constitution." It is a pertinent question 
now, shall all other contradictory principles be retained in the constitu- 
tion until they, too, are expounded by civil war? On what theory is it 
less dangerous to defraud twenty million women of their inalienable rights 
than four million negroes ? Is not the same principle involved in both 
cases? We ask congress to pass a sixteenth amendment, not only for 
woman's protection, but for the safety of the nation. Our people are filled 
with unrest to-day because there is no fair understanding of the basis of 
individual rights, nor the legitimate power of the national government. 
The Republican party took the ground during the war that congress had 
the right to establish a national currency in every State ; that it had the 
right to emancipate and enfranchise the slaves ; to change their political 
status in one-half the States of the union ; to pass a civil rights bill, secur- 
ing to the freedman a place in the schools, colleges, trades, professions, 
hotels, and all public conveyances for travel. And they maintained 
their right to do all these as the best measures for peace, though compel- 
led by war. 

And now, when congress is asked to extend the same protection to the 
women of the nation, we are told they have not the power, and we are 
remanded to the States. They say the emancipation of the slave was a 
war measure, a military necessity ; that his enfranchisement was a politi- 
cal necessity. We might with propriety ask if the present condition of 
the nation, with its political outlook, its election frauds daily reported, the 
corrupt action of men in official position, governors, judges, and boards of 
canvassers, has not brought us to a moral necessity where some new ele- 
ment is needed in government. But, alas ! when women appeal to con- 
gress for the protection of their natural rights of person and property, 
they send us for redress to the courts, and the courts remand us to the 
States. You did not trust the Southern freedman to the arbitrary will of 
courts and States ! Why send your mothers, wives and daughters to the 
unwashed, unlettered, unthinking masses that carry popular elections? 

We are told by one class of philosophers that the growing tendency to 
increase national power and authority is leading to a dangerous centrali- 
xation ; that the safety of the republic rests in local self-government. 
Says the editor of the Boston Index : 

What i-. local self-government ? Briefly, that without any interference from without, 
every citizen should manage his own personal affairs in his own way, according to his 
o\vn pleasure; lliat every town should manage its own town affairs in the same manner 
and under the same restriction; every county its own county affairs, every State its own 
State affairs. But the independent exercise of this autonomy, by personal and corpo- 
r:iic individuals, has one fundamental condition, viz.: the maintenance of all these in- 
dividualites intact, each in its own sphere of action, with its rights uninfringed and its 
freedom uncurtailed in that sphere, yet each also preserving its just relation to all the 

What is Centralization 9 89 

rest in an all comprehensive social organization. Every citizen would thus stand, as 
it were, in the center of several concentric and enlarging circles of relationship to his 
kind; he would have duties and rights in each relation, not only as an individual but 
also as a member of town, county, State and national organization. His local self- 
government will be at his highest possible point of realization, when in each of these 
relations his individual duties are discharged and his rights maintained. 

On the other hand, what is centralization ? 

It is such a disorganization of this well-balanced, harmonious and natural system as 
shall result in the absorption of all substantial power by a central authority, to the de- 
struction of the autonomy of the various individualities above mentioned; such as was 
produced, for instance, when the municipia of the Roman empire lost their corporate 
independence and melted into the vast imperial despotism which prepared the way for 
the collapse of society under the blows of Northern barbarism. Such a centralization 
must inevitably be produced by decay of that stubborn stickling for rights, out of 
which local self-government has always grown. That is, if individual rights in the 
citizen, the town, the county, the State, shall not be vindicated as beyond all price, 
and defended with the utmost jealousy, at whatever cost, the spirit of liberty must 
have already died out, and the dreary process of centralization be already far ad- 
vanced. It will thus be evident that the preservation of individual rights 
is the only possible preventative of centralization, and that free society has 
no interest to be compared for an instant in importance with that of preserving 
these individual rights. No nation is free in which this is not the paramount concern. 
Woe to America when her sons and her daughters begin to sneer at rights ! Just so 
long as the citizens are protected individually in their rights, the towns and counties 
and States cannot be stripped; but if the former lose all love for their own liberties as 
equal units of society, the latter will become the empty shells of creatures long per- 
ished. The nation as such, therefore, if it would be itself free and non-centralized, 
must find its own supreme interest in the protection of its individual citizens in the 
fullest possible enjoyment of their equal rights and liberties. 

As this question of woman's enfranchisement is one of national safety, 
we ask you to remember that we are citizens of the United States, and, as 
such, claim the protection of the national flag in the exercise of our 
national rights, in every latitude and longitude, on sea, land, at home as 
well as abroad; against the tyranny of States, as well as against foreign 
aggressions. Local authorities may regulate the exercise of these rights ; 
they may settle all minor questions of property, but the inalienable per- 
sonal rights of citizenship should be declared by the constitution, inter- 
preted by the Supreme Court, protected by congress and enforced by the 
arm of the executive. It is nonsense to talk of State rights until the 
graver question of personal liberties is first understood and adjusted. 
President Hayes, in reply to an address of welcome at Charlottesville, Va., 
September 25, 1877, said : 

Equality under the laws for all citizens is the corner-stone of the structure of the 
restored harmony from which the ancient friendship is to rise. In this pathway I am 
going, tbe pathway where your illustrious men led your Jefferson, your Madison, 
your Monroe, your Washington. 

If, in this statement, President Hayes is thoroughly sincere, then he will 
not hesitate to approve emphatically the principle of national protection 
lor national citizens. He will see that the protection of all the national 
citizens in all their rights, civil, political, and religious not by the mus- 
kets of United States troops, but by the peaceable authority of United 

90 History of Woman Suffrage. 

States courts is not a principle that applies to a single section of the 
country, but to all sections alike ; he will see that the incorporation of 
such a principle in the constitution cannot be regarded as a measure of 
force imposed upon the vanquished, since it would be law alike to the 
vanquished and the victor. In short, he will see that there is no other 
sufficient guarantee of that equality of all citizens, which he well declares 
to be the "corner-stone of the structure of restored harmony." The Bos- 
ton Journal of July 19, said : 

There are cases where it seems as if the constitution should empower the federal 
government to step in and protect the citizen in the State, when the local authorities 
are in league with the assassins; but, as it now reads, no such provision exists. 

That the constitution does not make such provision is not the fault of 
the president ; it must be attributed to the leading Republicans who had it 
in their power once to change the constitution so as to give the most am- 
ple powers to the general government. When Attorney-General Devens 
was charged last May with negligence in not prosecuting the parties ac- 
cused of the Mountain Meadow massacre, his defense was, that this hor- 
rible crime was not against the United States, but against the territory of 
Utah. Yet, it was a great company of industrious, honest, unoffending 
United States citizens who were foully and brutally murdered in cold 
blood. When Chief-Justice Waite gave his charge to the jury in the El- 
lentown conspiracy cases, at Charleston, S. C., June i, 1877, he said : 

That a number of citizens of the United States have been killed, there can be no 
question; but that is not enough to enable the government of the United States to in- 
terfere for their protection. Under the constitution that duty belongs to the State 
alone. But when an unlawful combination is made to interfere with any of the rights 
of natural citizenship secured to citizens of the United States by the national constitu- 
tion, then an offense is committed against the laws of the United States, and it is not 
only the right but the absolute duty of the national government to interfere and afford 
the citizens that protection which ever)' good government is bound to give. 

General Hawley, in an address before a college last spring, said : 

Why, it is asked, does our government permit outrages in a State which it would 
exert all its authority to redress, even at the risk of war, if they were perpetrated un- 
der a foreign government ? Are the rights of American citizens more sacred on the 
soil of Great Britain or France than on the soil of one of our own States ? Not at all. 
But the government of the Uuited States is clothed with power to act with imperial 
sovereignty in the one case, while in the other its authority is limited to the degree of 
utter impotency, in certain circumstances. The State sovereignty excludes the Fede- 
ral over most matters of dealing between man and man, and if the State laws are 
properly enforced there is not likely to be any ground of complaint, but if they are 
not, the federal government, if not specially called on according to the terms of the 
constitution, is helpless. Citizen A. B., grievously wronged, beaten, robbed, lynched 
within a hair's breadth of death, may apply in vain to any and all prosecuting officers 
of the State. The forms of law that might give him redress are all there ; the prose- 
cuting officers, judges, and sheriffs, that might act, are there ; but, under an oppress- 
ive and tyranical public sentiment, they refuse to move. In such an exigency the 
government of the United States can do no more than the government of any neigh- 
boring State ; that is, unless the State concerned calls for aid, or unless the offense 
rises to the dignity of insurrection or rebellion. The reason is, that the framers of 
our govennental system left to the several States the sole guardianship of the per- 
sonal and relative private rights of the people. 

/ Greatly Fear this Policy. 91 

Such is the imperfect development of our own nationality in this re- 
spect that we have really no right as yet to call ourselves a nation in the 
true sense of the word, nor shall we have while this state of things con- 
tinues. Thousands have begun to feel this keenly, of which a few illus- 
trations may suffice. A communication to the New York Tribune, June 
9, signed " Merchant," said : 

Before getting into a quarrel and perhaps war with Mexico about the treatment of 
our flag and citizens, would it not be as well, think you, for the government to try 
and make the flag a protection to the citizens on our own soil ? 

That is what it has never been since the foundation of our government 
in a large portion of our common country. The kind of government the 
people of this country expect and intend to have State rights or no 
State rights, no matter how much blood and treasure it may cost is a 
government to protect the humblest citizen in the exercise of all his 

When the rebellion of the South against the government began, one 
of the most noted secessionists of Baltimore asked one of the -regular 
army officers what the government expected to gain by making war on 
the South. " Well," the officer replied, laying his hand on the cannon by 
which he was standing, "we intend to use these until it is as safe for a 
Northern man to express his political opinions in the South, as it is for a 
Southern man to express his in the North." Senator Blaine, at a banquet 
in Trenton, N. J., July 2, declared that a "government which did not offer 
protection to every citizen in every State had no right to demand allegi- 
ance." Ex-Senator Wade, of Ohio, in a letter to the Washington National 
Republican of July 16, said of the president's policy : 

I greatly fear this policy, under cover of what is called local self-government, is but 
an ignominious surrender of the principles of nationality for which our armies 
fought and for which thousands upon thousands of our brave men died, and without 
which the war was a failure and our boasted government a myth. 

Behind the slavery of the colored race was the principle of State rights. 
Their emancipation and enfranchisement were important, not only as a 
vindication of our great republican idea of individual rights, but as tin- 
first blow in favor of national unity of a consistent, homogeneous gov- 
ernment. As all our difficulties, State and national, are finally referred to 
the constitution, it is of vital importance that that instrument should not 
be susceptible of a different interpretation from every possible standpoint. 
It is folly to spend another century in expounding the equivocal language 
of the constitution. If under that instrument, supposed to be the Magna 
Charta of American liberties, all United States citizens do not stand equal 
before the law, it should without further delay be so amended as in plain. 
unmistakable language to declare what are the rights, privileges, and im- 
munities that belong to citizens of a republic. 

There is no reason why the people of to-day should be governed by the 
laws and constitutions of men long since dead and buried. Surely those 
who understand the vital issues of this hour are better able to legislate for 
the living present than those who governed a hundred years ago. If the 
nineteenth century is to be governed by the opinions of the eighteenth, 

92 History of Woman Suffrage. 

and the twentieth by the nineteenth, the world will always be governed 
by dead men 

The cry of centralization could have little significance if the constitu- 
tion were so amended as to protect all United States citizens in their in- 
alienable rights. That national supremacy that holds individual freedom 
and equality more sacred than State rights and secures representation to 
all classes of people, is a very different form of centralization from that in 
which all the forces of society are centered in a single arm. But the recog- 
nition of the principle of national supremacy, as declared in the fourteenth 
and fifteenth amendments, has been practically nullified and the results of 
the war surrendered, by remanding woman to the States for the protec- 
tion of her civil and political rights. The Supreme Court decisions and 
the congressional reports on this point are in direct conflict with the idea 
of national unity, and the principle of States rights involved in this dis- 
cussion must in time remand all United States citizens alike to State au- 
thority for the protection of those rights declared to inhere in the people 
at the foundation of the government. 

You may listen to our demands, gentlemen, with dull ears, and smile in- 
credulously at the idea of danger to our institutions from continued viola- 
tion of the civil and political rights of women, but the question of what 
citizens shall enjoy the rights of suffrage involves our national existence; 
for, if the constitutional rights of the humblest citizen may be invaded 
with impunity, laws interpreted on the side of injustice, judicial decisions 
based not on reason, sound argument, nor the spirit and letter of our 
declarations and theories of government, but on the customs of society 
and what dead men are supposed to have thought, not what they said 
what will the rights of the ruling powers even be in the future with a peo- 
ple educated into such modes of thought and action ? The treatment of 
every individual in a community in our courts, prisons, asylums, of every 
class of petitioners before congress strengthens or undermines the foun- 
dations of that temple of liberty whose corner-stones were laid one 
century ago with bleeding hands and anxious hearts, with the hardships, 
privations, and sacrifices of a seven years' war. He who is able from the 
conflicts of the present to forecast the future events, cannot but con- 
template with anxiety the fate of this republic, unless our constitution be 
at once subjected to a thorough emendation, making it more compre- 
hensively democratic. 

A review of the history of our nation during the century will show the 
American people that all the obstacles that have impeded their political, 
moral and material progress from the dominion of slavery down to the 
present epidemic of political corruptions, are directly and indirectly trace- 
able to the federal constitution as their source and support. Hence the 
necessity of prompt and appropriate amendments. Nothing that is in- 
correct in principle can ever be productive of beneficial results, and no 
custom or authority is able to alter or overrule this inviolate law of de- 
velopment. The catch-phrases of politicians, such as "organic develop- 
ment," "the logic of events," and "things will regulate themselves," have 
deceived the thoughtless long enough. There is just one road to safety, 

No Title so Proud as American Citizen. 93 

and that is to understand the law governing the situation and to bring the 
nation in line with it. Grave political problems are solved in two ways 
by a wise forethought, and reformation ; or by general dissatisfaction, re- 
sistance, and revolution. 

In closing, let me remind you, gentlemen, that woman has not been a 
heedless spectator of all the great events of the century, nor a dull 
listener to the grand debates on human freedom and equality. She has 
learned the lesson of self-sacrifice, self-discipline, and self-government in 
the same school with the heroes of American liberty.* 

MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, of New York, corresponding secretary of the 
association, said : Mr, Chairman and Gentlemen of the Committee You 
have heard the general argument for woman from Mrs. Stanton, but there 
are women here from all parts of the Union, and each one feels that she 
must say a word to show how united we stand. It is because we have re- 
spect for law that we come before you to-day. We recognize the fact 
that in good law lies the security of all our rights, but as woman has been 
denied the constructive rights of the declaration and constitution, she is 
obliged to ask for a direct recognition in the adoption of a sixteenth 

The first principle of liberty is division of power. In the country of the 
czar or the sultan there is no liberty of thought or action. In limited 
monarchies power is somewhat divided, and we find larger liberty and a 
broader civilization. Coming to the United States we find a still greater 
division of power, a still more extended liberty civil, religious, political. 
No nation in the world is as respected as our own ; no title so proud as 
that of American citizen ; it carries with it abroad a protection as large 
as did that of Rome two thousand years ago. But as proud as is this 
name of American citizen, it brings with it only shame and humiliation 
to one-half of the nation. Woman has no part nor lot in the matter. The 
pride of citizenship is not for her, for woman is still a political slave. 
While the form of our government seems to include the whole people, 
one-half of them are denied a right to participate in its benefits, are de- 
nied the right of self-government. Woman equally with man has natural 
rights ; woman equally with man is a responsible being. 

It is said women are not fit for freedom. Well, then, secure us freedom 
and make us fit for it. Macaulay said many politicians of his time were in 
the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition that no people 
were fit to be free till thc^ were in a condition to use their freedom ; 

* In the whole course of our struggle for equal rights I never felt more exasperated than on this 
occasion, standing before a committee of men many years my juniors, all comfortably seated in arm- 
chairs, I pleading for rights they all enjoyed though in no respect my superiors, denied me on the shal- 
low grounds of sex. But this humiliation I had often felt before. The peculiarly aggravating feature 
of the present occasion was the studied inattention and contempt of the chairman, Senator Wadleigh of 
New Hampshire. Having prepared my argument with care, I naturally desired the attention of every 
member of the committee, all of which, with the exception of Senator Wadleigh, I seemingly had. He 
however took special pains to show that he did not intend to listen. He alternately looked over some 
manuscripts and newspapers before him, then jumped up to open or close a door or window. He 
stretched, yawned, gazed at the ceiling, cut his nails, sharpened his pencil, changing his occupation and 
position every two minutes, effectually preventing the establishment of the faintest magnetic current be- 
tween the speakers and the committee. It was with difficulty I restrained the impulse more than once 
to hurl my manuscript at his head. [. C. S. 

94 History of Woman Suffrage. 

"but," said Macaulay, "this maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story, 
who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim. If 
men [or women] are to wait for liberty till they become good and wise in 
slavery, they may indeed wait forever." 

There has been much talk about precedent. Many women in this 
country vote upon school questions, and in England at all municipal elec- 
tions. I wish to call your attention a little further back, to the time that 
the Saxons first established free government in England. Women, as 
well as men, took part in the Witenagemote, the great national council of 
our Saxon ancestors in England. When Whightred, king of Kent, in the 
seventh century, assembled the national legislature at Baghamstead to 
enact a new code of laws, the queen, abbesses, and many ladies of quality 
signed the decrees. Also, at Beaconsfield, the abbesses took part in the 
council. In the reign of Henry IIL four women took seats in parlia- 
ment, and in the reign of Edward I. ten ladies were called to parliament 
and helped to govern Great Britain. Also, in 1252, Henry left his Queen 
Elinor as keeper of the great seal, or lord chancellor, while he went 
abroad. She sat in the Aula Regia, the highest court of the kingdom, 
holding the highest judicial power in great Britain. Not only among our 
forefathers in Britain do we find that women took part in government, 
but, going back to the Roman Empire, we find the Emperor Heliogabalus 
introducing his mother into the senate, and giving her a seat near the 
consuls. He also established a senate of women, which met on the Collis 
Quirinalis. When Aurelian was emperor he favored the representation 
of women, and determined to revive this senate, which in lapse of time 
had fallen to decay. Plutarch mentions that women sat and deliberated 
in councils, and on questions of peace and war. Hence we have prece- 
dents extending very far back into history. 

It is sometimes said that women do not desire freedom. But I tell you 
the desire for freedom lives in every heart. It may be hidden as the water 
of the never-freezing, rapid-flowing river Neva is hidden. In the winter 
the ice from Lake Lagoda floats down till it is met by the ice setting up 
from the sea, when they unite and .form a compact mass over it. Men 
stand upon it, sledges run over it, splendid palaces are built upon it ; but 
beneath all the Neva still rapidly flows, itself unfrozen. The presence of 
these women before you shows their desire for freedom. They have come 
from the North, from the South, from the East, from the W T est, and from 
the far Pacific slope, demanding freedom for themselves and for all women. 

Our demands are often met by the most intolerable tyranny. The 
Albany Law Journal, one of the most influential legal journals of the 
great State of New York, had the assurance a few years ago to tell Miss 
Anthony and myself if we were not suited with " our laws " we could 
leave the country. What laws did they mean ? Men's laws. If we were 
not suited with these men's laws, made by them to protect themselves, 
we could leave the country. We were advised to expatriate ourselves, to 
banish ourselves. But. we shall not do it, It is our country, and we 
shall stay here and change the laws. We shall secure their amendment, 
so that under them there shall be exact and permanent political equality 

"/<?" Deposited his Vote. 95 

between men and women. Change is not only a law of life ; it is an 
essential proof of the existence of life. This country has attained its 
greatness by ever enlarging the bounds of freedom. 

1^ our hearts we feel that there is a word sweeter than mother, home, 
or heaven. That word is LIBERTY. We ask it of you now. We say to 
you, secure to us this liberty the same liberty you have yourselves. In 
doing this you will not render yourselves poor, but will make us rich in- 

Mrs. STEWART of Delaware, in illustrating the folly of adverse argu- 
ments based on woman's ignorance of political affairs, gave an amusing 
account of her colored man servant the first time he vot^d. He had been 
full of bright anticipations of the coming election day, aad when it dawned 
at last, he asked if he could be spared from his work an hour or so, to 
vote. "Certainly, Jo," said she, "by all means; go to the polls and do 
your duty as a citizen." Elated with his new-found dignity, Jo ran down 
the road, and with a light heart and shining face deposited his vote. On 
his return Mrs. Stewart questioned him as to his success at the polls. 
"Well," said he, " first one man nabbed me and gave me the tickets he 
said I ought to vote, and then another man did the same.' I said yes to 
both and put the tickets in my pocket. I had no use for those Republican 
or Democratic bits of paper." " Well, Jo," said Mrs. Stewart, what did 
you do ? " " Why I took that piece of paper that I paid $2.50 for and put 
it in the box. I knew that was worth something." "Alas! Jo," said his 
mistress, "you voted your tax receipt, so your first vote has counted 
nothing." Do you think, gentlemen, said Mrs. Stewart, that such women 
as attend our conventions, and speak from' our platform, could make so 
ludicrous a blunder? I think not. 

The Rev. OLVMPIA BROWN, a delegate from Connecticut, addressed the 
committee as follows : Gentlemen of the Committee I would not intrude 
upon your time and exhaust your patience by any further hearing upon 
this subject if it were not that men are continually saying to us that we 
do not want the ballot ; that it is only a handful of women that have ever 
asked for it ; and I think by our coming up from these different States, 
from Delaware, from Oregon, from Missouri, from Connecticut, from 
New Hampshire, and giving our testimony, we shall convince you that it 
is not a few merely, but that it is a general demand from the women in 
all the different States of the Union ; and if we come here with stammer- 
ing tongues, causing you to laugh by the very absurdity of the manner in 
which we advocate our opinions, it will only convince you that it is not a 
few "gifted " women, but the rank and file of the women of our country 
unaccustomed to such proceedings as these, who come here to tell you 
that we all desire the right of suffrage. Nor shall our mistakes and in- 
ability to advocate our cause in an effective manner be an argument 
against us, because it is not the province of voters to conduct meetings in 
Washington. It is rather their province to stay at home and quietly read 
the proceeding of members of congress, and if they find these proceed- 
ings correct, to vote to return them another year. So that our very mis- 
takes shall argue for us and not against us. 

96 History of Woman Suffrage. 

In the ages past the right of citizenship meant the right to enjoy or 
possess or attain all those civil and political rights that are enjoyed by any 
other citizen. But here we have a class who can bear the burdens and 
punishments of citizens, but cannot enjoy their privileges and rigtits. 
But even the meanest may petition, and so we come with our thousands 
of petitions, asking you to protect us against the unjust discriminations 
imposed by State laws. Nor do we find that there is any conflict between 
the duties of the national government and the functions of the State. 
The United States government has to do with general interests, but every- 
thing that is special, has to do with sectional interests, belongs to the 
State. Said Charles Sumner : 

The State exercisef its proper functions when it makes local laws, promotes local 
charities, and by its local knowledge brings the guardianship of government to the 
homes of its citizens ; but the State transcends its proper functions when in any man- 
ner it interferes with those equal rights recorded in the Declaration of Independence. 

The State is local, the United States is universal. And, says Charles 
Sumner, " What can be more universal than the rights of man ? " I 
would add, " What can be more universal than the rights of woman ? " ex- 
tending further than the rights of man, because woman is the heaven-ap- 
pointed guardian of the home ; because woman by her influence and in 
her office as an educator makes the character of man ; because women are 
to be found wherever men are to be found, as their mothers bringing 
them into the world, watching them, teaching them, guiding them into 
manhood. Wherever there is a home, wherever there is a human inter- 
est, there is to be felt the interest of women, and so this cause is the most 
universal of any cause uader the sun ; and, therefore, it has a claim upon 
the general government. Therefore we come petitioning that you will 
protect us in our rights, by aiding us in the passage of the sixteenth 
amendment, which will make the constitution plain in our favor, or by 
such actions as will enable us to cast our ballots at the polls without be- 
ing interfered with by State authorities. And we hope you will do this at 
no distant day. 1 hope you will not send my sister, the honorable lady 
froTi Delaware, to the boy, Jo, to ask him to define her position in the re- 
public. I hope you will not bid any of these women at home to ask 
ignorant men whether they may be allowed to discharge their obligations 
as citizens in the matter of suffrage. I hope you will not put your wives 
and mothers in the power of men who have never given a half hour's con- 
sideration to the subject of government, and who are wholly unfit to 
exercise their judgment as to whether women should have the right of 

I will not insult. your common sense by bringing up the old arguments 
as to whether we have the right to vote. I believe every man of you 
knows we have that right that our right to vote is based upon the same 
authority as yours. I believe every man understands that, according to 
the declaration and the constitution, women should be allowed to exercise 
the right of suffrage, and therefore it is not necessary for me to do more 
than bear my testimony from the State of Connecticut, and tell you that 
the women from the rank and file, the law-abiding women, desire the 

Senator Hoar s Resolution. 07 

ballot ; not only that they desire it, but they mean to have it. And to 
accomplish this result I need not remind you that they will work year in 
and year out, that they will besiege members of congress everywhere, and 
that they will come here year after year asking you to protect them in 
their rights and to see that justice is done in the republic. Therefore, for 
your own peace, we hope you will not keep us waiting a long time. The 
fact that some States have made, temporarily, some good laws, does not 
weaken our demand upon you for the protection which the ballot 
gives to every citizen. Our interests are still uncared for, and we do not 
wish to be thus sent from pillar to post to get our rights. We wish to 
take our stand as citizens of the United States, as we have been declared 
to be by the Supreme Court, and we wish to be protected in the rights of 
citizenship. We hope the day is at hand when our prayers will be heard 
by you. Let us have at an early day in the Congressional Record, a report 
of the proceedings of this committee, and the action of the Senate in 
favor of woman's right to vote. 

Brief remarks were also made by Mrs. Lawrence of Massa- 
chusetts, Mary A. Thompson, M. D., of Oregon, Mary Powers 
Filley of New Hampshire, Mrs. Blake of New York, Mrs. 
Hooker of Connecticut, and Sara Andrews Spencer of Wash- 

At the close of these two day's hearings before the Committee 
on Privileges and Elections,* Senator Hoar of Massachusetts, 
offered, and the committee adopted the following complimentary 
resolution : 

Resolved, That the arguments upon the very important questions dis- 
cussed before the committee have been presented with propriety, dig- 
nity and ability, and that the committee will consider the same on 
Tuesday next, at 10 A. M. 

The Washington Evening Star of January 11, 1876, said : 

The woman suffrage question will be a great political issue some day. 
A movement in the direction of alleged rights by a body of American citi- 
zens cannot be forever checked, even though its progress may for many 
years be very gradual. Now that the advocates of suffrage for woman 
have become convinced that the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth 
amendments are not sufficiently explicit to make woman's right to vote 
unquestioned, and that a sixteenth amendment is necessary to effect 
the practical exercise of the right, the millennial period that they look for 
is to all intents and purposes indefinitely postponed, for constitutional 
amendments are not passed in a day. But there are so many sound argu- 
ments to be advanced in favor of woman suffrage that it cannot fail in 
time to be weighed as a matter of policy, after it shall have been over- 

* The first hearing was held in the committee room, but that not being large enough to accommo- 
date the crowds that wished to hear the arguments, the use of the Senate reception room was granted for 
the second, which although very much larger, was packed, with the corridors leading to it, long be- 
fore the committee took their places. 

98 History of Woman Suffrage. 

whelmingly conceded as a matter of right. And it is noticeable that the 
arguments of the opponents are coming more and more to be based on 
expediency, and hardly attempt to answer the claim that as American 
citizens women are entitled to the right. If the whole body of American 
women desired the practical exercise of this right, it is hard to see what 
valid opposition to their claims could be made. All this however does 
not amend the constitution. Woman suffrage must become a matter of 
policy for a political party before it can be realized. Congress does not 
pass revolutionary measures on abstract considerations of right. This 
question is of a nature to become a living political issue after it has been 
sufficiently ridiculed. 

On Saturday evening, January 12, a reception was given to the 
delegates to the convention by Hon. Alexander H. Stephens of 
Georgia, at the National Hotel. The suite of rooms so long oc- 
cupied by this liberal representative of the South, was thus 
opened to unwonted guests women asking for the same rights 
gained at the point of the sword by his former slaves ! Seated 
in his wheel-chair, from which he had so often been carried by a 
faithful attendant to his place in the House of Representatives, 
he cordially welcomed the ladies as they gathered about him, 
assuring them of his interest in this question and promising his aid. 

For the first time Miss Julia Smith of anti-tax fame, of Glas- 
tonbury, Connecticut, was present at a Washington convention. 
She was the recipient of much social attention. A reception 
was tendered her by Mrs. Spofford of the Riggs House, giving 
people an opportunity to meet this heroic woman of eighty-three, 
who, with her younger sister Abby, had year after year suffered 
the sale of their fine Jersey cows and beautiful meadow lands, 
rather than pay taxes while unrepresented. Many women, notable 
in art, science and literature, and men high in political station 
were present on this occasion. All crowded about Miss Smith, 
as, supported by Mrs. Hooker, in response to a call for a speech, 
particularly in regard to the Gladstonbury cows, as famous as 
herself, she said : 

There are but two of our cows left at present, Taxey and Votey. It 
is something a little peculiar that Taxey is very obtrusive ; why, I can 
scarcely step out of doors without being confronted by her, while 
Votey is quiet and shy, but she is growing more docile and domesticated 
every day, and it is my opinion that in a very short time, wherever you 
find Taxey there Votey will be also. 

At the close of Miss Smith's remarks, Abby Hutchinson Patton 
sang " Auld Lang Syne " in a very effective manner ; one or two 
readings followed, a few modern ballads were sung, and thus 

Anti-Woman Suffrage. 99 

closed the first of the many delightful receptions given by Mr. 
and Mrs. Spofford to the officers and members of the National 

Mrs. Hooker spent several weeks at the Riggs House, holding 
frequent woman suffrage conversazioni in 'its elegant parlors; 
also speaking upon the question at receptions given in her honor 
by the wives of members of congress, or residents of Washington.* 

During the week of the convention, public attention was called 
to a scarcely known Anti-Woman Suffrage Society, formed in 
1871, of which Mrs. General Sherman, Mrs. Admiral Dahlgren 
and Mrs. Almira Lincoln Phelpswere officers, by the publication 
of an undelivered letter from Mrs. Phelps to Mrs. Hooker: 

To the Editor of the Post : 

The following was written nearly seven years since, but was never sent 
to Mrs. Hooker. The letter chanced to appear among old papers, and as 
there is a meeting of women suffragists, with Mrs. Hooker present, and, 
moreover, as they have mentioned the names of Mrs. Dahlgren and Mrs. 
General Sherman, opposers, 1 am willing to bear my share of the opposi- 
tion, as I acted as corresponding secretary to the Anti-Suffrage Society, 
which was formed under the auspices of these ladies. 


* Mr. and Mrs. Holt, of 1,339 L street, entertained their friends and a numerous company of dis- 
tinguished guests on Friday evening, in honor of Mrs. Beecher Hooker. She delivered one of her 
ablest speeches on the woman suffrage question. She was listened to with breathless silence by 
eminent men and women, who confessed, at the termination of her speech, that they were 
''almost persuaded" to join her ranks the highest tribute to her eloquent defense of her position- 
Mrs. Hooker's intellect is not her only charm. Her beautiful face and attractive manners all help to 
make converts. Mrs. Julia N. Holmes, the poet, one of the most admired ladies present, and Mrs. 
Southworth, the novelist, wore black velvet and diamonds. Mrs. Hodson Burnett, that '' Lass o' 
Lowrie," in colored and rose silk with princess scarf, looked charmingly. Mrs. Senator Sargent, 
Mrs. Charles Nordhoff and her friends, the elegant Miss Thurman, of Cincinnati, and Miss Joseph, a 
brilliant brunette with scarlet roses and jet ornaments, of Washington, were much observed. Mrs. Dr. 
Wallace, of the New York Herald, wore cuir colored gros-grain with guipure lace trimmings, flowers 
and diamonds. Miss Coyle was richly attired. Mrs. Ingersoll, wife of the exceptional orator, was the 
center of observation with Mrs. Hooker; she wore black velvet, roses, and diamonds has a noble 
presence and Grecian face. General Forney, of Alabama, Hon. John F. Wait, M. C., Captain Dutton 
and Colonel Mallory, of U. S. Army, Judge Tabor (Fourth Auditor), Dr. Cowes, Col. Ingersol, Mrs- 
Hoffman, of New York, a prominent lady of the Woman's Congress, lately assembled in this city, wore 
a distinguished toilette. Mrs. Spofford, of the Riggs House, was among the most noticeable ladies 
present, elegant and delightful in style and manner. Dr. Josephs and Col. G. W. Rice, of Boston, 
were of the most conspicious gentlemen present, who retired much edified with the entertainment of 
the evening. H. LOUISE GATES. 

Society was divided Saturday evening between the literary club which met at Willard's under the 
auspices of Mrs. Morrell, and the reception given at the residence of Senator Rollins, on Capitol Hill, to 
Mri. 1'eecher Hooker, who spoke on the question of woman suffrage. It was said of Theodore Parker, 
if all his hearers stood on the same lofty plane that he did, his theology would be all right for them, 
and so in this matter of woman's rights. If all the advocates were as cultivated, refined, and convinc- 
ing as Mrs. Hooker, one might almost be tempted to surrender. She certainly possesses that rare 
magnetic influence which seems to say, " Lend me your ears and 1 shall take your heart." Among her 
listeners we noticed Mrs. Joseph Ames, Grace Greenwood, Senator and Mrs. Rollins, Senator and Mrs. 
Wadleigh, Miss Rollins, Mrs. Solomon Bundy, Mrs. J. M. Holmes, Mrs. Brainerd, Mr. and Mrs. I), in- 
little. Dr. Patton and son, Prof. Thomas Taylor, Miss Robena Taylor, Mrs. Spofford, of the Riggs 
House, Prof. G. B. Stebbins, Mrs. Captain Platt,, and Mr. and Mrs. Holt. [Washington fast. 

IOO History of Woman Suffrage. 

EUTAW PLACE, BALTIMORE, January, 30, 1871. 
To Mrs. Beecher Hooker: 

DEAR MADAM Hoping you will receive kindly what I am about to write, I will 
proceed without apologies. I have confidence in your nobleness of soul, and that you 
know enough of me to believe in my devotion to the best interests of woman. I can 
scarcely realize that you are giving your name and influence to a cause, which, with 
some good but, as I think, misguided women, numbers among its advocates others with 
loose morals. * * * We are, my dear madam, as I suppose, related through our 
common ancester Thomas Hooker. * * * Your husband, I believe, stands in the 
same relation to that good and noble man. Perhaps he may think with you on this 
woman suffrage question, but it does seem to me that a wife honoring her husband 
would not wish to join in such a crusade as is now going on to put woman on an equality 
with the rabble at the "hustings." If we could with propriety petition the Almighty to 
change the condition of the sexes and let men take a turn in bearing childien and in 
suffering the physical ailments peculiar to women, which render them unfit for certain 
positions and business, why, in this case, if we really wish to be men, and thought God 
would change the established order, we might make our petition ; but why ask con- 
gress to make us men ? Circumstances drew me from the quiet of domestic life while 
I was yet ycung ; but success in labors which involved publicity, and which may 
have been of advantage to society, was never considered as an equivalent to my own 
heart for the loss of such retirement. In the name of my sainted sister, Emma 
Willard, and of my friend Lydia Sigourney, and I think I might say in the name 
of the women of the past generation, who have been prominent as writers and ed- 
ucators (the exception may be made of Mary Wollstonecraft, Frances Wright, and 
a few licentious French writers) in our own country and in Europe, let me urge the 
high-souled and honorable of our sex to turn their energies into that channel which 
will enable them to act for the true interests of their sex. Yours respectfully, 


To which Mrs. Hooker, through The Post, replied : 

WASHINGTON, January 15, 1878. 

Mrs. DAHLGREN Dear Madam : Permit me to thank you for the op- 
portunity to exonerate myself and the women of the suffrage move- 
ment all over the United States from the charge of favoring immorality 
in any form. I did not know before that Mrs. Phelps, whom I have al- 
ways held in highest esteem as an educator and as one of the most ad- 
vanced thinkers of her day, had so misconceived the drift of our move- 
ment ; and you will pardon me, dear madam, for saying that it is hardly 
possible that Mrs. Sherman and yourself, in your opposition to it, can 
have been influenced by any apprehension that the women suffragists of 
the United States would, if entrusted with legislative power, proceed to 
use it for the desecration of their own sex, and the pollution of the souls 
of their husbands, brothers and sons. But having been publicly accused 
through your instrumentality of sympathy with the licentious practices 
of men, I shall take the liberty to send you a dozen copies of a little book 
entitled, " Womanhood ; its Sanctities and Fidelities," which I published 
in 1874 for the specific purpose of bringing to the notice of American 
women the wonderful work being done across the water in the suppres- 
sion of " State Patronage of Vice." * * * It is with a deep sense 
of gratitude to God that I am able to say that, according to my knowledge 
and belief, every woman in our movement, whether officer or private, is 
in sympathy with the spirit of this little book. I know of no inharmony 

Opposition of Mrs. Dahlgren. 101 

here, however we may differ upon minor points of expediency as to the 
best methods of working for the political advancement of woman. And 
further, it is the deep conviction of us all that the chief stumbling-block 
in the way of our obtaining the use of the ballot, is the apprehension 
among men of low degree that they will surely be limited in their base 
and brutal and sensual indulgencies when women are armed with equal 
political power. 

As to my husband, to whose ancestry Mrs. Phelps so kindly alludes, 
permit me to say that he is not only descended from Thomas Hooker, the 
beloved first pastor of the old Centre Church in Hartford, and founder of 
the State of Connecticut, but further back his lineage takes root in one of 
England's most honored names, Richard Hooker, surnamed "The Judi- 
cious "; and I have been accustomed to say that, however it may be as to 
learning and position, the characteristic of judiciousness has not departed 
from the American stock. I will only add that Mr. Hooker is treasurer- 
of our State suffrage association, and has spoken on the platform with me 
as president, whenever his professional duties would permit, and that he 
is th author of a tract on " The Bible and Woman Suffrage." Our society 
has printed several thousand copies of this tract, and the London National 
Women's Suffrage Society has reprinted it with words of high commenda- 
tion for distribution in Great Britain. f * * * And now, dear madam, 
thanking you once more for this most unexpected and most grateful 
opportunity for correcting misapprehensions that others may have enter- 
tained as well as Mrs. Phelps in regard to the design and tendencies of 
our movement, may I not ask that you will kindly read and consider the 
papers I shall take the liberty to send you, and hand them to your co- 
workers at your convenience ? 

That we all, as women who love our country and our kind, may be led 
to honor each other in our personal relations, while we work each in her 
respective way for that higher order of manhood and womanhood that 
alone can exalt our nation to the ideal of the fathers and mothers of the 
early republic, and preserve us an honored place among the peoples of 
the earth, is the prayer of Yours sincerely, 


Evidently left without even the name of Mrs. Sherman or the 
Anti-Suffrage Society to sustain her, Mrs. Dahlgren memorialized 
the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections against the 
submission of the sixteenth amendment: 
To the Honorable Committee on Privileges and Elections : 

GENTLEMEN Allow me, in courtesy, as a petitioner, to present one or 
two considerations regarding a sixteenth amendment, by which it is pro- 
posed to confer the right of suffrage upon the women of the United 
States. I ask this favor also in the interests of the masses of silent 
women, whose silence does not give consent, but who, in most modest 
earnestness, deprecate having the political life forced upon them. 

This grave question is not one of simple expediency or the reverse; it 
might properly be held, were this the case, as a legitimate subject for agi- 

IO2 History of Woman Suffrage. 

tation. Our reasons of dissent to this dangerous inroad upon all prece- 
dent, lie deeper and strike higher. They are based upon that which in all 
Christian nations must be recognized as the higher law, the funda- 
mental law upon which Christian society in its very construction must 
rest; and that law, as defined by the Almighty, is immutable. Through it 
the women of this Christian land, as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, 
have distinct duties to perform of the most complex order, yet of the very 
highest and most sacred nature. 

If in addition to all these responsibilities, others, appertaining to the 
domain assigned to men, are allotted to us, we shall be made the victims 
of an oppression not intended by a kind and wise Providence, and from 
which the refining influences of Christian civilization have emancipated 
us. We have but to look at the condition of our Indian sister, upon 
whose bended back the heavy pack is laid by her lord and master ; who 
treads in subjection the beaten pathway of equal rights, and compare her 
situation with our own, to thank the God of Christian nations who has 
placed us above that plane, where right is might, and might is tyranny. 
We cannot without prayer and protest see our cherished privileges en- 
dangered, and have granted us only in exchange the so-called equal rights. 
We need more, and we claim, through our physical weakness and your 
coiirtesy as Christian gentlemen, that protection which we need for the 
proper discharge of those sacred and inalienable functions and rights con- 
ferred upon us by God. To these the vote, which is not a natural right 
(otherwise why not confer it upon idiots, lunatics, and adult boys) would 
be adverse. 

When women ask for a distinct political life, a separate vote, they for- 
get or they willfully ignore the higher law, whose logic may be thus con- 
densed : Marriage is a sacred unity. The family, through it, is the foun- 
dation of the State. Each family is represented by its head, just as the 
State ultimately finds' the same unity, through a series of representations. 
Out of this come peace, concord, proper representation, and adjustment 

The new doctrine, which is illusive, may be thus defined : Marriage is a 
mere compact, and means diversity. Each family, therefore, must have a 
separate individual representation, out of which arises diversity or division, 
and discord is the corner-stone of the State. 

Gentlemen, we cannot displace the corner-stone without destruction to 
the edifice itself ! The subject is so vast, has so many side issues, that a 
volume might as readily be laid before your honorable committee as 
these few words hastily written with an aching woman's heart. Personally, 
if any woman in this vast land has a grievance by not having a vote, I 
may claim that grievance to be mine. With father, brother, husband, son, 
taken away by death, I stand utterly alone, with minor children to edu- 
cate and considerable property, interests to guard. But I would deem it 
unpatriotic to ask for a general law which must prove disastrous to my 
country, in order to meet that exceptional position in which, by the ador- 
able will of God, I am placed. I prefer, indeed, to trust to that moral in- 
fluence over men which intelligence never fails to exercise, and which is 

Before the Judiciary Committee. 103 

really more potent in the management of business affairs than the direct 
vote. In this I am doubtless as old-fashioned as were our grandmothers, 
who assisted to mold this vast republic. They knew that the greatest 
good for the greatest number was the only safe legislative law, and that 
to it all exceptional cases must submit. 

Gentlemen, in conclusion, a sophism in legislation is not a mere ab- 
straction ; it must speedily bear fruit in material results of the most dis- 
astrous nature, and I implore your honorable committee, in behalf of our 
common country, not to open a Pandora's box byway of experiment from 
whence so much evil must issue, and which once opened may never again 
be closed. Very respectfully, 


Mrs. Dahlgren was ably reviewed by Virginia L. Minor of 
St. Louis, and the Toledo Woman Suffrage Association. Mrs. 
Minor said : 

In assuming to speak for the "silent masses" of women, Mrs. Dahlgren 
declares that silence does not give consent ; very inconsequently forget- 
ting, that if it does not on one side of the question, it may not on the 
other, and that she may no more represent them than do we. 

The Toledo society, through its president Mrs. Rose L. Segur, 
said : 

We agree with you that this grave question is not one of expediency. 
It is simply one of right and justice, and therefore a most legitimate sub- 
ject for agitation. As a moral force woman must have a voice in the 
government, or partial and unjust legislation is the result from which 
arise the evils consequent upon a government based upon the enslave- 
ment of half its citizens. 

To this Mrs. Dahlgren replied briefly, charging the ladies with 
incapacity to comprehend her. 

The week following the convention a hearing was granted by 
the House Judiciary Committee to Dr. Mary Walker of Wash- 
ington, Mary A. Tillotson of New Jersey and Mrs. N. Cromwell 
of Arkansas, urging a report in favor of woman's enfranchisement. 
On January 28, the House sub-committee on territories granted 
a hearing to Dr. Mary Walker and Sara Andrews Spencer, in op- 
position to the bill proposing the disfranchisement of the women 
of Utah as a means of suppressing polygamy. 

On January 30 the House Judiciary Committee granted Mrs. 
Hooker a hearing. Of the eleven members of the committee 
nearly all were present.* The room and all the corridors leading 
to it were crowded with men and women eager to hear Mrs. 

* The members of the committee present were Hon. Proctor Knott (the chairman), General Benjamin 
F. Butler, Messrs. Lyncle, Fryc, Conger, Lapham, Culberson, McMahon. Among the ladies were Me* 
d.iincs Knott, Conger, Lyndc, Frye. 

IO4 History of Woman Suffrage. 

Hooker's speech. At the close of the two hours occupied in its 
delivery, Chairman Knott thanked her in the name of the com- 
mittee for her able argument. 

Immediately after this hearing Mr. Frye of Maine, in present- 
ing in the House of Representatives the petitions of 30,000 
persons asking the right of women to vote upon the question of 
temperance, referred in a very complimentary manner to Mrs. 
Hooker's argument, to which he had just listened. Upon this 
prayer a hearing was granted to the president and ex-president 
of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Frances E. Willard 
and Annie E. Wittenmyer. 

Hon. George F. Hoar of Massachusetts, February 4, presented 
in the Senate the 120 petitions with their 6,261 signatures, which, 
by special request of its officers, had been returned to the head- 
quarters of the American Association, in Boston. In her appeal 
to the friends to circulate the petitions, both State and national, 
Lucy Stone, chairman of its executive committee, said : 

The American Suffrage Association has always recommended petitions 
to congress for a sixteenth amendment. But it recognizes the far greater 
importance of petitioning the State legislatures. First Because suffrage 
is a subject referred by the constitution to the voters of each State. 
Secottd Because we cannot expect a congress composed solely of repre- 
sentatives of States which deny suffrage to women, to submit an amend- 
ment which their own States have not yet approved. Just so it would 
have been impossible to secure the submission of negro suffrage by a 
congress composed solely of representatives from States which restricted 
suffrage to white men. While therefore we advise our friends to circulate 
both petitions together for signature, we urge them to give special promi- 
nence to those which apply to their own State legislatures, and to see that 
these are presented and urged by competent speakers next winter. 

By request of a large number of the senators,* the Committee 
on Privileges and Elections granted a special hearing to Mrs. 
Hooker on Washington's birthday February 22, 1878. It being 
understood that the wives of the senators were bringing all the 
forces of fashionable society to bear in aid of Mrs. Dahlgren's 
protest against the pending sixteenth amendment, the officers of 
the National Association issued cards of invitation asking their 
presence at this hearing. We copy from the Washington Post : 

* Mrs. Hooker has won, just as we predicted she would. Senators Howe, Ferry, Coke, Randolph, 
Jones, Elaine, Beck, Booth, Allison, Wallace, Eaton. Johnston, Burnside, Saulsbury, Mcrrimon, and 
Presiding-officer Wheeler, together with nineteen other senators, have formally invited her to address 
the Committee on Privileges and Elections on February 22, an invitation which she has enthusiasti- 
cally accepted. Nobody but congressmen will be admitted to hear the distinguished advocate of 
woman suffrage. [Washington Post, 

Mrs. Hooker Before the Senate Committee. 105 

The conflicting rumors as to who would be admitted to hear Mrs. 
Hooker's argument before the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elec- 
tions, led to the assembling of large numbers of women in various places 
about the capitol yesterday morning. At 1 1 o'clock the doors were 
opened and the committee-room at once filled.* Mrs. Hooker, with the 
fervor and eloquence of her family, reviewed all the popular arguments 
against woman suffrage. She said she once believed that twenty years 
was little time enough for a foreigner to live in this country before he 
could cast a ballot. She understands the spirit of our institutions better 
now. If disf ranchisement meant annihilation, there might be safety in dis- 
franchising the poor, the ignorant, the vicious. But it does not. It means 
danger to everything we hold dear. 

The corner-stone of this republic is God's own doctrine of liberty and 
responsibility. Liberty is the steam, responsibility the brakes, and elec- 
tion-day, the safety-valve. The foreigner comes to this country expect- 
ing to find it a paradise. He finds, indeed, a ladder reaching to the skies, 
but resting upon the earth, and he is at the bottom round. But on one 
day in the year he is as good as the richest man in the land. He can 
make the banker stand in the line behind him until he votes, and if he 
has wrongs he learns how to right them. If he has mistaken ideas of 
liberty, he is instructed what freedom means. 

Wire-pulling politicians may well fear to have women enfranchised. 
There are too many of them, and they have had too much experience in 
looking after the details of their households to be easily duped by the 
tricks of politicians. You can't keep women away from primary meet- 
ings as you do intelligent men. Women know that every corner 
in the house must be inspected if the house is to be clean, Fathers 
and brothers want women to vote so that they can have a decent place 
for a primary meeting, a decent place to vote in and a decent man to 
vote for. 

The Indian question would have been peacefully and righteously settled 
long ago without any standing army, if Lucretia Mott could have led in 
the councils of the nation, and the millions spent in fighting the Indians 
might have been used in kindergartens for the poor, to some last- 
ing benefit. Down with the army, down with appropriation bills to 
repair the consequences of wrong-doing, when women vote. Millions 
more of women would ask for this if it were not for the cruelty and abuse 
men have heaped upon the advocates of woman suffrage. Men have 
made it a terrible martyrdom for women even to ask for their rights, and 
then say to us, " convert the women." No, no, men have put up the bars. 
They must take them down. Mrs. Hooker reviewed the Chinese ques- 

* Among those present were Mrs. Senator Beck, Mrs. Stanley Matthews, Mrs. Sargent, Mrs. Spofford, 
Mrs. Holmes, Mrs. Snead, Mrs. Baldwin, Miss Blodgett of New York ; Mrs. Baldwin, Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. 
Juan Lewis of Philadelphia; Mrs. Morgan of Mississippi, Mrs. Brooks, Mrs Olcott, Mrs. Bartlett, Miss 
Sweet, Mrs. Myers, Mrs. Gibson, Miss Jenners, Mrs. Levison, Mrs. Hereford, Mrs. Folsom, Mrs. 
Mitchell, Mrs. l.yndc, Mrs. Kldridge, Miss Snowe, Mrs. Curtis, Mrs. Hutchinson Patton,Mrs. Boucher 
and many others. Of the committee and Senate' there were Senators Wadleigh, Cameron of Wis- 
consin ; Merrimon. Mitchell, Hoar, Vice-president Wheeler, Senators Jones, Bruce, Beck and others. 
Several representatives and their wives also were there, and seemed deeply interested. [Washington 

IO6 History of Woman Suffrage. 

tion, the labor question, the subjects of compulsory education, reformation, 
police regulations, the social evil, and many other topics upon which men 
vainly attempt to legislate without the loving wisdom of mothers, sisters 
and daughters. The senators most interested in the argument were ob- 
served to be those previously most unfriendly to woman suffrage. 

It was during this winter that Marilla M. Ricker of New 
Hampshire, then studying criminal law in Washington and al- 
ready having quite an extensive practice, applied to the commis- 
sioners of the District of Columbia for an appointment as notary 
public. The question of the eligibility of woman to the office 
was referred to the district-attorney, Hon. Albert G. Riddle, 
formerly a member of congress from Ohio, and at that time one 
of the most prominent criminal and civil lawyers before the bar. 
Mr. Riddle's reply was an able and exhaustive argument, clearly 
showing there was no law to prevent women from holding the 
office. But notwithstanding this opinion from their own attor- 
ney, the commissioners rejected Mrs. Ricker's application.* 

Bills to prohibit the Supreme Court from denying the admis- 
sion of lawyers on the ground of sex had been introduced at each 
session of congress during the past four years. The House bill 
No. i, 077, entitled "A bill to relieve certain disabilities of women," 
was this year championed by Hon. John M. Glover of Missouri, 
and passed by a vote of 169 ayes to 87 nays. In the Senate, 
Hon. George F. Edmunds of Vermont, chairman of the Judiciary 
Committee reported adversely. While the question was pend- 
ing, Mrs. Lockwood addressed a brief to the Senate, ably refut- 
ing the assertion of the Court that it was contrary to English 
precedent : 

To the Honorable, the Senate of the United States : 

The provisions of this bill are so stringent, that to the ordinary mind it 
would seem that the conditions are hard enough for the applicant to 
have well earned the honor of the preferment, without making sex a dis- 
ability. The fourteenth amendment to the constitution declares that : 

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction 
thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No 
State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities 
of citizens of the United States. Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, 
liberty or property without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its juris- 
diction the equal protection of the laws. 

* Mrs. Riclcer makes a specialty of looking after the occupants of the jail so freely is her purse 
opened to the poor and unfortunate that she is known as the prisoners' friend. Many an alleged 
criminal owes the dawning of a new life, and the determination to make it a worthy one, to the efforts 
of this noble woman. And Mrs. Ricker's special object in seeking this office was that prisoners 
might make depositions before her and thus be saved the expense of employing notaries from the city. 

Mrs. Lockwood's Brief. 107 

To deny the right asked in this bill would be to deny to women citizens 
the rights guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence to be self-evi- 
dent and inalienable, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"; a denial 
of one of the fundamental rights of a portion of the citizens of the com- 
monwealth to acquire property in the most honorable profession of the 
law, thereby perpetuating an invidious distinction between male and 
female citizens equally amenable to the law, and having an equal interest 
in all of the institutions created and perpetuated by this government. 
The articles of confederation declare that : 

The free inhabitants of each of these States paupers and fugitives from justice 
excepted shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the 
several States. 

Article 4 of the constitution says : 

Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts, records, and 
judicial proceedings of every other State. 

Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Wyoming, Utah, 
and the District of Columbia admit women to the bar. What then? 
Shall the second coordinate branch of the government, the judiciary, re- 
fuse to grant what it will not permit the States to deny, the privileges and 
immunities of citizens, and say to women-attorneys when they have fol- 
lowed their cases through the State courts to that tribunal beyond which 
there is no appeal, "You cannot come in here we are too holy," or in the 
words of the learned chancellor declare that : 

By the uniform practice of the court from its organization to the present time, and 
by a fair construction of its rules, none but men are admitted to practice before it as at- 
torneys and counselors. This is in accordance with immemorial usage in England, and 
the law and practice in all the States until within a recent period, and the court does 
not feel called upon to make a change until such a change is required by statute, or a 
more extended practice in the highest courts of the States. 

With all due respect for this opinion, we beg leave to quote the rule for 
admission to the bar of that court as laid down in the rule book : 

RULE No. 2. Attorneys : It shall be requisite to the admission of attorneys or 
counselors to practice in this court, that they shall have been such for three years past 
in the Supreme Courts of the States to which they respectively belong, and that their 
private and professional character shall appear to be fair. 

There is nothing in this rule or in the oath which follows it, either ex- 
press or implied, which confines the membership of the bar of the United 
States Supreme Court to the male sex. Had any such term been in- 
cluded therein it would virtually be nullified by the first paragraph of the 
United States Revised Statutes, ratified by the forty-third congress. June 
20, 1875, in which occur the following words : 

In determining the meaning of the Revised Statutes, or of any act or resolution of 
congress passed subsequent to February 25, 1871, words importing the singular num- 
l>i-r may extend and be applied to several persons or things; words importing the 
masculine gender may be applied to females, etc., etc. 

Now, as to " immemorial usage in England." The executive branch of 
that government has been vested in an honored and honorable woman for 
the past forty years. Is it to be supposed if this distinguished lady 


History of Woman Suffrage. 

or any one of her accomplished daughters should ask to be heard at 
the bar of the Court of the Queen's Bench, the practice of which the 
United States Supreme Court has set up as its model, that she would be 
refused ? 

Blackstone recounts that Ann, Countess of Pembroke, held the office 
of sheriff of Westmoreland and exercised its duties in person. At the assi- 
zes at Appleby she sat with the judges on the bench. (See Coke on Lit., 
p. 326.) The Scotch sheriff is properly a judge, and by the statute 20, 
Geo., 1 1, c. 43, he must be a lawyer of three years standing. 

Eleanor, Queen of Henry III. of England, in the year 1253, was appointed 
lady-keeper of the great seal, or the supreme chancellor of England, and 
sat in the Aula Rcgia, or King's Court. She in turn appointed Kilkenny, 
arch-deacon of Coventry, as the sealer of writs and common-law instru- 
ments, but the more important matters she executed in person. 

Queen Elizabeth held the great seal at three several times during her re- 
markable reign. After the death of Lord-keeper Bacon she presided for 
two months in the Aula Regia. 

It is claimed that " admission to the bar constitutes an office." Even' 
woman postmaster, pension agent and notary public throughout the land 
is a bonded officer of the government. The Western States have elected 
women as school superintendents and appointed them as enrolling and 
engrossing clerks in their several legislatures, and as State librarians. Of 
what use are our seminaries and colleges for women if after they have 
passed through the curriculum of the schools there is for them no prefer- 
ment, and no emolument ; no application of the knowledge of the arts and 
sciences acquired, and no recognition of the excellence attained? 

But this country, now in the second year of the second century of her 
history, is no longer in her leading strings, that she should look to Mother 
England for a precedent to do justice to the daughters of the land. She 
had to make a precedent when the first male lawyer was admitted to the 
bar of the United States Supreme Court. Ah! this country is one that 
has not hesitated when the necessity has arisen to make precedents and 
write them in blood. There was no precedent for this free republican 
government and the war of the rebellion ; no precedent for the emancipa- 
tion of the slave ; no precedent for the labor strikes of last summer. The 
more extended practice, and the more extended public opinion referred to 
by the learned chancellor have already been accomplished. Ah! that very 
opinion, telegraphed throughout the land by the associated press, brought 
back the response of the people as on the wings of the wind asking you 
for that special act now so nearly consummated, which shall open this 
professional door to women. 

BI.I.VA A. LOCK WOOD, Attorney and Solicitor. 

Washington, D. C., March 7, 1878. 

Mrs. Lockwood's bill, with Senator Edmond's adverse report, 
was reached on the Senate calendar April 22, 1878, and provoked 
a spirited discussion. Hon. A. A. Sargent, made a gallant fight 
in favor of the bill, introducing the following amendment : 

Mrs. Lockwood's Bill in the Senate. 109 

No person shall be excluded from practicing as an attorney and counselor at law in 
any court of the United States on account of sex. 

Mr. SARGENT : Mr. President, the best evidence that members of the 
legal profession have no jealousy against the admission of women to the 
bar who have the proper learning, is shown by this document which I 
hold in my hand, signed by one hundred and fifty-five lawyers of the Dis- 
trict of Columbia, embracing the most eminent men in the ranks of that 
profession. That there is no jealousy or consideration of impropriety on 
the part of the various States is shown by the fact that the legislatures of 
many of the States have recently admitted women to the bar ; and my 
own State, California, has passed such a law within the last week or two ; 
Illinois has done the same thing; so have Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri 
and North Carolina ; and Wyoming, Utah and the District of Columbia 
among the territories have also done it. There is no reason in principle 
why women should not be admitted to this profession or the profession 
of medicine, provided they have the learning to enable them to be useful 
in those professions, and useful to themselves. Where is the propriety in 
opening our colleges, our higher institutions of learning, or any institu- 
tions of learning, to women, and then when they have acquired in the race 
with men the cultivation for higher employment, to shut them out ? 
There certainly is none. We should either restrict the laws allowing the 
liberal education of women, or, we should allow them to exercise the talents 
which are cultivated at the public expense in such departments of enter- 
prise and knowledge as will be useful to society and will enable them to 
gain a living. The tendency is in this direction. I believe the time has 
passed to consider it a ridiculous thing for women to appear upon the 
lecture platform or in the pulpit, for women to attend to the treatment of 
diseases as physicians and nurses, to engage in any literary employment, 
or appear at the bar. Some excellent women in the United -States are 
now practicing at the bar, acceptably received before courts and juries; 
and when they have conducted their cases to a successful issue or an un- 
successful one in any court below, why should the United States courts to 
which an appeal may be taken and where their adversaries of the male sex 
may follow the case up, why should these courts be closed to these 
women ? * * * 

Mr. GARLAND: I should like to ask the senator from California if the 
courts of the United States cannot admit them upon their own motion 
anyhow ? 

Mr. SARGENT : I think there is nothing in the law prohibiting it, but the 
Supreme Court of the United States recently in passing upon the ques- 
tion of the admission of a certain lady, said that until some legislation 
took place they did not like to depart from the precedent set in England, 
or until there was more general practice among the States. The learned 
chief-justice, perhaps, did not sufficiently reflect when he stated that there 
were no English precedents. The fact is that Elizabeth herself sat in the 
Aula Regia and administered the law, and in both Scotland and England 
women have fulfilled the function of judges. The instances are not 
numerous but they are well established in history. I myself have had my 

i 10 History of Woman Suffrage. 

attention called to the fact that in the various States the women are now 
admitted by special legislation to the bar. I do not think there is any- 
thing in the law, properly considered, that would debar a woman from 
coming into this profession. I think the Supreme Court should not have 
required further legislation, but it seems to have done so, and that makes 
the necessity for the amendment which I have now offered. 

The chairman of the committee in reporting this -bill back from the 
Judiciary Committee said that the bill as it passed the House of Repre- 
sentatives gave privileges to women which men did not enjoy; 
that is to say, the Supreme Court can by a change of rule require 
further qualification of men, whereas in regard to women, if this pro- 
vision were put into the statute, the Supreme Court could not rule 
them out even though it may be* necessary in its judgment to get a 
higher standard of qualifications than its present rules prescribe. Al- 
though I observe that my time is up, I ask indulgence for a moment or 
two longer. As this is a question of some interest and women cannot ap- 
pear here to speak for themselves, I hope I may be allowed to speak for 
them a moment. Now, there is something in the objection stated by the 
chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary that is to say, the bill would 
take the rule of the Supreme Court and put it in the statute and apply it 
to women, thereby conferring exceptional privileges ; but that is not my 
intention at all, and therefore I have proposed that women shall not be 
excluded from practicing law, if they are otherwise qualified, on account 
of sex, and that is the provision which I want to send back to the Judiciary 

Mr. GARLAND : I wish to ask one question of the senator from Cali- 
fornia. Suppose the court should exclude women, but not on account of 
sex, then what is their remedy? 

Mr. SARGENT : I do not see any pretense that the court could exclude 
them on except on account of sex. 

Mr. GARLAND : If I recollect the rule of the Supreme Court in regard 
to the admission of practitioners (and I had to appear there twice to pre- 
sent my claim before I could curry on my profession in that court), 1 do 
not think any legislation is necessary to aid them by giving them any 
more access to that court than they have at present under the rules of the 
Supreme Court. 

Mr. SARGENT: I believe if the laws now existing were properly con- 
strued (of course I speak with all deference to the Supreme Court, but I 
express the opinion) they would be admitted, but unfortunately the 
court does not take that view of it, and it will wait for legislation. 
I purpose that the legislation shall follow. If there is anything in prin- 
ciple why this privilege should not be granted to women who are 
otherwise qualified, then let the bill be defeated on that ground ; but I 
say there is no difference in principle whatever, not the slightest. There 
is no reason because a citizen of the United States is a woman that she 
should be deprived of her rights as a citizen, and these are rights of a citi- 
zen. She has the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness 
and employment, commensurate with her capacities, as a man has ; and, 

Mary Clemmers Letter. \ \ \ 

as to the question of capacity, the history of the world shows from Queen 
Elizabeth and Queen Isabella down to Madame Dudevant and Mrs. Stowe, 
that capacity is not a question of sex. 

Mr. McDONALD : I have simply to say, Mr. President, that a number of 
States and territories have authorized the admission of women to the 
legal profession, and they have become members of the bar of the highest 
courts of judicature. It may very frequently occur, and has in some in- 
stances I believe really occurred, that cases in which they have been thus 
employed have been brought to the Supreme Court of the United States. 
To have the door closed against them when the cause is brought here, not 
by them, or when in the prosecution of the suits of their clients they find 
it necessary to come here, seems to me entirely unjust. I therefore favor 
the bill with the amendment. The proposed amendment is perhaps better 
because it does away with any tendency to discrimination in regard to the 
admissibility of women to practice in the Supreme Court. 

The PRESIDING OFFICER: The senator from California moves that the 
bill be recommitted to the Committee on Judiciary. 

Mr. SARGENT : I have the promise of the chairman of the committee 
that the bill will soon be reported back, and therefore I am willing that it 
go to the committee, and I make the motion that it be recommitted. [The 
motion was agreed to.] 

Mr. SARGENT : I ask that the amendment which I propose be printed. 

The PRESIDING OFFICER: The order to print will be made. 

Mary Clemmer, the gifted correspondent of the New York 
Independent, learning that Senator Wadleigh was about to re- 
port adversely upon the sixteenth amendment, wrote the follow- 
ing private letter, which, as a record of her own sentiments on 
the question, she gave to Miss Anthony for publication in this 
history : 

Hon. BAINBRIDGE WADLEIGH Dear Sir : The more I think of it the 
more I regret that, as chairman of the Committee on Privileges and Elec- 
tions, you regard with less favor the enfranchisement of women than did 
your distinguished predecessor, Senator Morton. At this moment, when 
your committee is discussing that subject, I sigh for the large outlook, 
the just mind, the unselfish decision of that great legislator. You were 
his friend, you respected his intellect, you believed in his integrity, you 
sit in his seat. You are to prepare the report that he would prepare were 
he still upon the earth. May I ask you to bring to that labor as fair 
a spirit, as unprejudiced an outlook, as just a decision as he would have 
done? ,- 

I ask this not as a partisan of woman's rights, but as a lover of the 
human race. In this faint dawn of woman's day, I discern not woman's 
development of freedom merely, but the promise of that higher, finer, 
purer civilization which is to redeem the world, the lack of which makes 
men tyrants and women slaves. You cannot be unconscious of the fact 
that a new race of women is born into the world, who, while they lack no 
womanly attribute, are the peers of any man in intellect and aspiration. 

1 1 2 History of Woman Suffrage. 

It will be impossible long to deny to such women that equality before the 
law granted to the lowest creature that crawls, if he happens to be a 
man ; denied to the highest creature that asks it, if she happens to be a 

On what authority, save that of the gross regality of physical strength, 
do you deny to a thoughtful, educated, tax-paying person the common 
rights of citizenship because she is a woman ? I am a property-owner, 
the head of a household. By what right do you assume to define and 
curtail for me my prerogatives as a citizen, while as a tax-payer you make 
not the slightest distinction between me and a man ? Leave to my own 
perception what is proper for me as a lady, to my own discretion what is 
wise for me as a wo-nan, to my own conscience what is my duty to my 
race and to my God. Leave to unerring nature to protect the subtle 
boundaries which define the distinctive life and action of the sexes, while 
you as a legislator do everything in your power to secure to every creature 
of God an equal chance to make the best and most of himself. 

If American men could say as Huxley says, " I scorn to lay a single 
obstacle in the way of those whom nature from the beginning has so 
heavily burdened," the sexes would cease to war, men and women would 
reign together, the equal companions, friends, helpers, and lovers that 
nature intended they should be. But what is love, tenderness, protec- 
tion, even, unless rooted in justice? Tyranny and servitude, that is all. 
Brute supremacy, spiritual slavery. By what authority do you say that 
the country is not prepared for a more enlightened franchise, for political 
equality, if six women citizens, earnest, eloquent, long-suffering, come to 
you and demand both ? No words can express my regret if to the minority 
report I see appended only the honored name of George F. Hoar of Mas- 
sachusetts. Your friend, MARY CLEMMER. 

In response to all these arguments, appeals and petitions, 
Senator Wadleigh, from the Committee on Privileges and Elec- 
tions, presented the following adverse report, June 14, 1878: 
The Committee on Privileges and Elections, to whom -was referred the Resolu- 
tion (S. Res. 12) proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of the United 
States, and certain Petitions for and Remonstrances against the same, 
make the following Report : 

This proposed amendment forbids the United States, or any State to 
deny or abridge the right to vote on account of sex. If adopted, it will 
make several millions of female voters, totally inexperienced in political 
affairs, quite generally dependent upon the other sex, all incapable of 
performing military duty and without the power to enforce the laws which 
their numerical strength may enable them to make, and comparatively 
very few of whom wish to assume the irksome and responsible political 
duties which this measure thrusts upon them. An experiment so novel, 
a change so great, should only be made slowly and in response to a gen- 
eral public demand, of the existence of which there is no evidence before 
your committee. 

114 History of Woman Suffrage. 

bill in 1874, Senator Morton made an earnest speech in favor of 
woman's enfranchisement. In his premature death our cause 
lost one of its bravest champions. 

Senator Wadleigh's report called forth severe criticism ; notably 
from the New Northwest of Oregon, the Woman's Journal of 
Boston, the Inter-Ocean of Chicago, the Evening Telegram and 
the National Citizen of New York. We quote from the latter : 

The report is not a statesman-like answer based upon fundamental 
principles, but a mere politician's dodge a species of dust-throwing quite 
in vogue in Washington. " Several millions of voters totally inexperienced 
in political affairs "! They would have about as much experience as the 
fathers in 1776, as the negroes in 1870, as the Irish, English, Italians, Nor- 
wegians, Danes, French, Germans, Portuguese, Scotch, Russians, Turks, 
Mexicans, Hungarians, Swedes and Indians, who form a good part of the 
voting population of this country. Did Mr. Wadleigh never hear of 
Agnes C. Jencks the woman who has stirred up politics to its deepest 
depth ; who has shaken the seat of President Hayes; who has set in mo- 
tion the whole machinery of government, and who, when brought to the 
witness stand has for hours successfully baffled such wily politicians as 
Ben Butler and McMahon ; a woman who thwarts alike Republican and 
Democrat, and at her own will puts the brakes on all this turmoil of her 
own raising? Does Senator Wadleigh know nothing of that woman's 
"experience in politics ' ? 

" Quite dependent upon the other sex." It used to be said the negroes 
were " quite dependent " upon their masters, that it would really be 
an abuse of the poor things to set them free, but when free and control- 
ing the results of their own labor, it was found the masters had been the 
ones "quite dependent," and thousands of them who before the war 
rolled in luxury, have since been in the depths of poverty some of them 
even dependent upon the bounty of their former slaves. When men 
cease to rob women of their earnings they will find them generally, as 
thousands now are, capable of self-care.* 

" Military duty." When women hold the ballot there will not be quite 
as much military duty to be done. They will then have a voice and a 
vote in the matter, and the men will no longer be able to throw the 
country into a war to gratify spite or ambition, tearing from woman's 
arms her nearest and dearest. All men do not like "military duty." 
"The key to that horrible enigma, German socialism, is antagonism to 

* THE SELFISH RATS A FABLE BY LILLIE DEVEREUX BLAKE. Once some gray old rats built a ship 
of Stale to save themselves from drowning. It carried them safely for awhile until they grew eager 
for more passengers, and so took on board all manner of rats that had run away from all sorts of 
places Irish rats and German rats, and French rats, and even black rats and dirty sewer rats. 

Now there were many lady mice who had followed the rats, and the rats therefore thought them 
very nice, but in spite of that would not let them have any place on the ship, so that they were forced 
to cling to a few planks and were every now and then overwhelmed by the waves. But when the mice 
begged to be taken on board saying. ' Save us also, we beg you ' " The rats only replied, " We are too 
crowded already ; we love you very much, and we know you are very uncomfortable, but it is not ex- 
pedient to make room for you." So the rats sailed on safely and saw the poor little mice buffeted 
about without doing the least thing to save them. 

floral ': Woe to the weaker. 

Comments of the "National Citizen" 115 

the military system," and nations are shaken with fear because of it. But 
when there is necessity for military duty, women will be found in line. 
The person who planned the Tennessee campaign, in which the Northern 
armies secured their first victories, was a woman, Anna Ella Carroll. 
Gen. Grant acted upon her plan, and was successful. She was en- 
dorsed by President Lincoln, Seward, Stanton, Wade, Scott, and all the 
nation's leaders in its hour of peril, and yet congress has not granted her 
the pension which for ten years her friends have demanded. Mr. Wad- 
leigh holds his seat in the United States Senate to-day, because of the 
" military duty " done by this woman. 

"About 30,000 names," to petitions. There have been 70,000 sent 
in during the present session of congress, for a sixteenth amendment, 
besides hundreds of individual petitions from women asking for the re- 
moval of their own political disabilities. Men in this country are occa- 
sionally disfranchised for crime, and sometimes pray for the removal of 
their political disabilities. Nine such disfranchised men had the right of 
voting restored to them during the last session of congress. But not a 
single one of the five hundred women who individually asked to have 
their political disabilities removed, was even so much as noticed by an ad- 
verse report, Mr. Wadleigh knows it would make no difference if 300,000 
women petitioned. But whether women ask for the ballot or not has 
nothing to do with the question. Self-government is the natural right 
of every individual, and because woman possesses this natural right, she 
should be secured in its exercise. 

Mr. Wadleigh says, " nor can woman justly complain of any partiality in 
the administration of justice." Let us examine : A few years ago a mar- 
ried man in Washington, in official position, forced a confession from his 
wife at the mouth of a pistol, and shot his rival dead. Upon trial he was 
triumphantly acquitted and afterwards sent abroad as foreign minister. 
A few months ago a married woman in Georgia, who had been taunted 
by her rival with boasts of having gained her husband's love, found 
this rival dancing with him. She drew a knife and killed the woman on 
the spot. She was tried, convicted, and, although nursing one infant, 
and again about to become a mother, was sentenced to be hanged by the 
neck till she was 'dead, dead, dead.' There is Mr. Wadleigh's equal ad- 
ministration of justice between man and woman ! There is " the sympathy 
of judges and juries." There is the "extent which would warrant loud com- 
plaint on the part of their adversaries of the sterner sex." And this woman 
escaped the gallows not because of " the sympathy of the judge " or "jury," 
but because her own sex took the matter up, and from every part of the 
country sent petitions by the hundreds to Governor Colquitt of Georgia, 
asking her pardon. That pardon came in the shape of ten years' imprison- 
ment ; ten years in a cell for a woman, the mother of a nursing and an 
unborn infant, while for General Sickles the mission to Madrid with 
high honors and a fat salary. 

Messrs. Wadleigh of New Hampshire, McMillan of Minnesota, Ingalls 
of Kansas, Saulsbury of Delaware, Merrimon of North Carolina and Hill 
of Georgia, all senators of the United States, are the committee that re- 

116 History of Woman Suffrage. 

port it " inexpedient" to secure equal rights to the women of the United 
States. But we are not discouraged ; we are not disheartened ; all 
the Wadleighs in the Senate, all the committees of both Houses, 
the whole congress of the United States against us, would not 
lessen our faith, nor our efforts. We know we are right ; we know 
we shall be successful; we know the day is not far distant, when this 
government and the world will acknowledge the exact and permanent 
political equality of man and woman, and we know that until that hour 
comes woman will be oppressed, degraded ; a slave, without a single right 
that man feels himself bound to respect. Work then, women, for your 
own freedom. Let the early morning see you busy, and dusky evening 
find you planning how you may become FREE. 

But the most severe judgment upon Mr Wadleigh's action 
came from his own constituents, who, at the close of the forty- 
fifth congress excused his further presence in the United States 
Senate, sending in his stead the Hon Henry W. Blair, a valiant 
champion of national protection for national citizens.* 

In April, 1878, Mrs. Williams transferred the Ballot-Box to 
Mrs. Gage, who removed it to Syracuse, New York, and changed 
its name to the National Citizen. In her prospectus Mrs. Gage 
said : 

The National Citizen will advocate the principle that suffrage is the citi- 
zen's right, and should be protected by national law, and that, while States 
may regulate the suffrage, they should have no power to abolish it. Its 
especial object will be to secure national protection to women in the ex- 
ercise of their right to vote ; it will oppose class legislation of whatever 
form. It will support no political party until one arises which is based 
upon the exact equality of man and woman. 

As the first step towards becoming well is to know you are ill, one 
of the principal aims of the National Citizen will be to make those women 
discontented who are now content ; to waken them to self-respect and a 
desire to use the talents they possess ; to educate their consciences 
aright ; to quicken their sense of duty ; to destroy morbid beliefs, and 
fit them for their high responsibilities as citizens of a republic. The 
National Citizen has no faith in that old theory that " a woman once lost 
is lost forever," neither does it believe in the assertion that "a woman 
who sins, sinks to depths of wickedness lo\ver than man can reach." 
On the contrary it believes there is a future for the most abandoned, if 
only the kindly hand of love and sympathy be extended to rescue them 
from the degradation into which they have fallen. The National Citizen 
will endeavor to keep its readers informed of the progress of women in 
foreign countries, and will, as far as possible, revolutionize this country, 
striving to make it live up to its own fundamental principles and become 
in reality what it is but in name a genuine republic. 

* Senator Blair has just been elected (June, 1885) to a second term, thus insuring his services to our 
cause in the Senate for another six years. 

Thirtieth Anniversary. 117 

Instead of holding its usual May anniversary in New York 
city, the National Association decided to meet in Rochester to 
celebrate the close of the third decade of organized agitation in 
the United States, and issued the following call : 

The National Association will hold a convention in Rochester, N. Y., 
July 19, 1878. This will be the thirtieth anniversary of the first woman's 
rights convention, held July 19, 1848, in the Wesleyan church at Seneca 
Falls, N. Y., and adjourned to meet, August 2, in Rochester. Some who 
took part in that convention have passed away, but many others, including 
both Mrs. Mott and Mrs. Stanton, are still living. This convention will 
take the place of the usual May anniversary, and will be largely devoted 
to reminiscences. Friends are cordially invited to be present. 

CLEMENCE S. LOZIER, M. D., President. 

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Chairman Executive Committee. 

The meeting was held in the Unitarian church on Fitzhugh 
street, occupied by the same society that had opened its doors 
in 1848 ; and Amy Post, one of the leading spirits of the first con- 
vention, still living in Rochester and in her seventy-seventh year, 
assisted in the arrangements. Rochester, known as " The Flower 
City," contributed of its beauty to the adornment of the church. 
It was crowded at the first session. Representatives from a large 
number of States were present,* and there was a pleasant inter- 
change of greetings between those whose homes were far apart, 
but who were friends and co-workers in this great reform. The 
reunion was more like the meeting of near and dear relatives 
than of strangers whose only bond was work in a common cause. 
Such are the compensations which help to sustain reformers while 
they battle ignorance and prejudice in order to secure justice. In 
the absence of the president, Dr. Clemence S. Lozier, Mrs. Stan- 
ton took the chair and said : 

We are here to celebrate the third decade of woman's struggle in this 
country for liberty. Thirty years have passed since many of us now 

* DELEGATES TO THE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY. Alabama, Priscilla Holmes Drake ; California, 
Ellen Clark Sargent; District of Columbia, Frederick Douglass, Belva A. Lockwood, Sara Andrews 
Spencer, Caroline K. Winslow, M. D.; Indiana, Margaret C. Conklin, Mary B. Naylor, May Wright 
Thompson ; Massachusetts, Harriet H. Robinson, Harriette R. Shattuck ; Maryland, Lavinia C. Dun- 
dore ; Michigan, Catherine A. F. Stcbbins, Frances Titus, Sojourner Truth; Missouri, Phoebe W. 
Couzins ; New Hampshire, Parker Pillsbmy ; North Carolina, Elizabeth Oakes Smith ; New Jersey. 
Kluabeth Cady Stanton, Sarah M. Hum ; New York, Albany county , Arethusa L. Forbes ; Dutches** 
Helen M. Loder; Lewis, Mrs. E. M. Wilcox ; Madison, Helen Raymond Jarvis ; Monroe, Susan B. 
Anthony, Amy Post, Sarah H. Willis, Mary H. Hallowell, Mary S. Anthony, C. Smith and 
many others ; Orleans, Mrs. Plumb, Mrs. Clark ; Onondaga, Lucy N. Coleman, Dr. Amelia F. Ray- 
mond, Matilda Joslyn Gage; Ontario^ Elizabeth C. Atwcll, Catherine H. Sands, Elizabeth Smith 
Miller, Helen M. Pitts ; Queens, Mary A. Pell ; Wayne, Sarah K. Rathbone, Rebecca B. Thomas; 
ll'yomittf, Charlotte A. Cleveland ; Gencstt, the Misses Morton ; A'ew York, Clemence S. Lozier, M. 
D., Helen M. Slocum, Sara A. Barret, M. D., Hamilton Wilcox ; Ohio, Mrs. Ellen Sully Fray ; Penn- 
sylvania, Lucretia Mott, Sarah Pugh, Adeline Thomson, Maria C. Arter, M. D., Mrs. Watson ; South 
Carolina, Martha Schofield ; Wisconsin, Mrs. C. L. Morgan. 

ii8 History of Woma,n Suffrage. 

present met in this place to discuss the true position of woman as 
a citizen of a republic. The reports of our first conventions show that 
those who inaugurated this movement understood the significance of the 
term "citizens." At the very start we claimed full equality with man. 
Our meetings were hastily called and somewhat crudely conducted; 
but we intuitively recognized the fact that we were defrauded of our 
natural rights, conceded in the national constitution. And thus the 
greatest movement of the century was inaugurated. I say greatest, be- 
cause through the elevation of woman all humanity is lifted to a higher 
plane. To contrast our position thirty years ago, under the old com- 
mon law of England, with that we occupy under the advanced legisla- 
tion of to-day, is enough to assure us that we have passed the boundary 
line from slavery to freedom. We already see the mile-stones of a new 
civilization on every highway. 

Look at the department of education, the doors of many colleges and 
universities thrown wide open to women ; girls contending for, yea, and 
winning prizes over their brothers. In the working world they are 
rapidly filling places and climbing heights unknown to them before, 
realizing, in fact, the dreams, the hopes, the prophesies of the inspired 
women of by-gone centuries. In many departments of learning woman 
stands the peer of man, and when by higher education and profitable labor 
she becomes self-reliant and independent, then she must and wiJl be free. 
The moment an individual or a class is strong enough to stand alone, 
bondage is impossible. Jefferson Davis, in a recent speech, says : " A 
Caesar could not subject a people fit to be free, nor could a Brutus save 
them if they were fit for subjugation." 

Looking back over the past thirty years, how long ago seems that July 
morning when we gathered round the altar in the old Wesleyan church 
in Seneca Falls ! It taxes and wearies the memory to think of all the con- 
ventions we have held, the legislatures we have besieged, the petitions 
and tracts we have circulated, the speeches, the calls, the resolutions we 
have penned, the never-ending debates we have kept up in public and 
private, and yet to each and all our theme is as fresh and absorbing as it 
was the day we started. Calm, benignant, subdued as we look on this 
platform, if any man should dare to rise in our presence and controvert a 
single position we have taken, there is not a woman here that would not 
in an instant, with flushed face and flashing eye, bristle all over with sharp, 
pointed arguments that would soon annihilate the most skilled logician, 
the most profound philosopher. 

To those of you on this platform who for these thirty years have been 
the steadfast representatives of woman's cause, my friends and co-laborers, 
let me say our work has not been in vain. True, we have not yet secured 
the suffrage, but we have aroused public thought to the many disabilities 
of our sex, and our countrywomen to higher self-respect and worthier 
ambition, and in this struggle for justice we have deepened and broadened 
our own lives and extended the horizon of our vision. Ridiculed, perse- 
cuted, ostracised, we have learned to place a just estimate on popular 
opinion, and to feel a just confidence in ourselves. As the representatives 

Mrs. Stantoris Address. 119 

of principles which it was necessary to explain and defend, we have been 
compelled to study constitutions and laws, and in thus seeking to redress 
the wrongs and vindicate the rights of the many, we have secured a higher 
development for ourselves. Nor is this all. The full fruition of these 
years of seed-sowing shall yet be realized, though it may not be by those 
who have led in the reform, for many of our number have already fallen 
asleep. Another decade and not one of us may be here, but we have 
smoothed the rough paths for those who come after us. The lives of 
multitudes will be gladdened by the sacrifices we have made, and the 
truths we have uttered can never die. 

Standing near the gateway of the unknown land and looking back 
through the vista of the past, memory recalls many duties in life's varied 
relations we would had been better done. The past to all of us is filled 
with regrets. We can recall, perchance, social ambitions disappointed, 
fond hopes wrecked, ideals in wealth, power, position, unattained much 
that would be considered success in life unrealized. But Lthink we should 
all agree that the time, the thought, the energy we have devoted to the 
freedom of our countrywomen, that the past, in so far as our lives have 
represented this great movement, brings us only unalloyed satisfaction. 
The rights already obtained, the full promise of the rising generation of 
women more than repay us for the hopes so long deferred, the rights yet 
denied, the humiliation of spirit we still suffer. 

And for those of you who have been mere spectators of the long, hard 
battle we have fought, and are still fighting, I have a word. Whatever 
your attitude has been, whether as cold, indifferent observers whether 
you have hurled at us the shafts of ridicule or of denunciation, we ask 
you now to lay aside your old educational prejudices and give this ques- 
tion your earnest consideration, substituting reason for ridicule, sympathy 
for sneers. I urge the young women especially to prepare themselves to 
take up the work so soon to fall from our hands. You have had oppor- 
tunities for education such as we had not. You hold to-day the vantage- 
ground we have won by argument. Show now your gratitude to us by 
making the uttermost of yourselves, and by your earnest, exalted lives 
secure to those who come after you a higher outlook, a broader culture, 
a larger freedom than have yet been vouchsafed to woman in our own 
happy land. 

Congratulatory letters* and telegrams were received from all 
portions of the United States and from the old world. Space 

* Kroin Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, Lucy Stone, Caroline H. Dall, Bo-ton ; Hon. A. 
A. Sargent, Washington ; Clara Barton, Mathilde F. Wendt, Abby Hutchinson Patton, Aaron M. 
Powell, Father Benson, Margaret Holley, Mary L. Booth, Sarah Hallock, Priscilla R. Lawrence, Lillie 
Devcreux Blnke, New York ; Samuel May, Klixabeth Powell Bond, John W. Hutchinson, Lucinda B. 
Chandler, Sarah K. Wall, Massachusetts; Caroline M. Spear, Robert Purvis, Edward M. Davis Phil- 
adelphia; Isabella Beucher Hooker, Julia E. Smith, Lavinia Goodell, Connecticut ; Lucy A Snowe, 
AnnT. Greeley, Maine ; Caroline F. Barr, Bessie liisbee Hunt, Mary A. Powers Filley,New Hampsnire ; 
Catherine Cornell Knowles, Rhode Island ; Antoinette Brown Blackwell, New Jersey ; Annie Laura 
Quinby, Joseph B. Quinby, Sarah R. L. Williams, Rosa L. Segur, Ohio; Sarah C. Owen, Michigan; 
Laura Ross Wolcott, M. D., Mary King, Angie King, Wisconsin ; Frances E. Williard, Clara Lyons 
Peters, Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, Illinois; Rachel Lockwood Child, Janet Strong, Nancy R. Allen, 
Amelia Bloomer, Iowa ; Sarah Burger Stearns, Hattte M. White, Minnesota ; Mary F. Thomas. M. D., 
Emma Molloy, Indiana; Matilda Hindman, Sarah L. Miller, Pennsylvania; Anna K. Irvine, Virginia 

1 20 History of ll'onnw Suffrage. 

admits the publication of but a few, yet all breathed the same 
hopeful spirit and confidence in future success. Abigail Bush, 
who presided over the first Rochester convention, said : 

No one knows what I passed through upon that occasion. I was 
born and baptized in the old Scotch Presbyterian church. At that 
time its sacred teachings were, " if a woman would know anything let her 
ask her husband at home." I well remember the inci- 

dents of that meeting and the thoughts awakened by it. * 

Say to your convention my full heart is with them in all their delibera- 
tions and counsels, and I trust great good to women will come of their 

Ernestine L. Rose, a native of Poland, and, next to Frances 
Wright, the earliest advocate of woman's enfranchisement in 
America, wrote from England : 

How I should like to be with you at the anniversary it reminds me of 
the delightful convention we had at Rochester, long, long ago and speak 
of the wonderful change that has taken place in regard to woman. Com- 
pare her present position in society with the one she occupied forty years 
ago, when I undertook to emancipate her from not only barbarous laws, 
but from what was even worse, a barbarous public opinion. No one 
can appreciate the wonderful change in the social and moral condition of 
woman, except by looking back and comparing the past with the present. 

* * * Say to the friends, Go on, go on, halt not and rest not. Re- 
member that " eternal vigilance is the price of liberty " and of right. 
Much has been achieved ; but the main, the vital thing, has yet to come. 
The suffrage is the magic key to the statute the insignia of citizenship 
in a republic. 

Caroline Ashurst Biggs, editor of the Englishwoman's Review, 
London, wrote : 

I have read with great interest in the National Citizen and the Woman's 
Journal 'the announcement of the forthcoming convention in Rochester. 
* * * I cannot refrain from sending you a cordial English congratula- 
tion upon the great advance in the social and legal position of women in 
America, which has been the result of your labor. The next few 
years will see still greater progress. As soon as the suffrage is 
granted to women, a concession which will not be many years in com- 
ing either in England or America, every one of our questions will ad- 
vance with double force, and meanwhile our efforts in that direction 
are simultaneously helping forward other social, legal, educational and 

L. Minor, Missouri : Elizabeth H. Duvall, Kentucky; Mrs. G. W. Church. Tennessee; Mrs. Augusta 
Williams, Elsie Stuart, Kansas; Ada W. Lucas, Nebraska ; Emeline B. Wells. Annie Godbe, Utah ; 
Mary F. Shields, Alida C. Avery, M. D., Colorado ; Harriet Loushary, Mrs. L. F. Proebstel, Mrs. Co- 
burn, Abigail Scott Duniway, Oregon ; Clarina I. H. Nichols, Elizabeth B. Schenck, Sarah J. WallU, 
Abigail Bush, Laura de Force Gordon, California ; Mrs. A. H. H. Stuart, Washington Territory ; Helen 
M. Martin, Arkansas ; Helen R. Holmes, District of Columbia ; Caroline V. Putnam, Virginia ; Eliza- 
beth Avcry Meriwether, Tennessee; Elizabeth L. Saxon, Louisiana; Martha Goodwin Tunstall, 
Texas ; Priscilla Holmes Drake, Buell D. M'Clung, Alabama, Ellen Sully Fray, Ontario; Theodore 
Stanton, France ; Ernestine L. Rose, Caroline Ashurst Biggs, Lydia E. Becker, England. 

Letters of Congratulation. 1 2 I 

moral reforms. Our organization in England does not date back so far 
as yours. There were only a few isolated thinkers when Mrs. John 
Stuart Mill wrote her essay on the enfranchisement of women in 1851. 
For twenty years, however, it has progressed with few drawbacks. In 
some particulars the English laws in respect of women are in advance of 
yours, but the connection between England and America is so close that 
a gain to one is a gain to the other. 

Lydia E. Becker, editor of the Women s Suffrage Journal, Man- 
chester, England, wrote : 

* * * I beg to offer to the venerable pioneers of the movement, 
more especially to Lucretia Mott, a tribute of respectful admiration and 
gratitude for the services they have rendered in the cause of enfranchise- 
ment. * * * As regards the United kingdom, the movement in a prac- 
tical form is but twelve years old, and in that period, although we 
have not obtained the parliamentary franchise, we have seen it sup- 
ported by at least one-third of the House of Commons, and our claim 
admitted as one which must be dealt with in future measures of parlia- 
mentary reform. We have obtained the municipal franchise and the school- 
board franchise. Women have secured the right to enter the medical 
profession and to take degrees in the University of London, besides con- 
siderable amendment of the law regarding married women, though much 
remains to be done. 

Senator Sargent, since minister to Berlin, wrote : 

I regret that the necessity to proceed at once to California will deprive 
me of the pleasure of attending your convention of July 19, the anni- 
versary of the spirited declaration of rights put forth thirty years ago by 
some of the noblest and most enlightened women of America. Women's 
rights have made vast strides since that day, in juster legislation, in 
widened spheres of employment, and in the gradual but certain recognition 
by large numbers of citizens of the justice and policy of extending the elec- 
tive franchise to women. It is now very generally conceded that the time 
is rapidly approaching when women will vote. The friends of the move- 
ment have faith in the result; its enemies grudgingly admit it. Courage 
and work will hasten the day. The worst difficulties have already been 
overcome. The movement has passed the stage of ridicule, and even 
that of abuse, and has entered that of intelligent discussion, its worst ad- 
versaries treating it with respect. You are so familiar with all the argu- 
ments in favor of this great reform that I will not attempt to state them ; 
but I wish to say that as an observer of public events, it is my deliberate 
judgment that your triumph is near at hand. There are vastly more men 
and women in the United States now who believe that women should 
li.ivt: the right to vote than there were in 1848 who believed the slave 
should be freed. This is a government of opinions and the growing 
opinion will be irresistible. Respectfully yours, A. A. SARGF.N i . 

The following letters from the great leaders of the anti-slavery 
movement were gratefully received. As Mr. Garrison soon after 

J 22 

/ f is lory of Woman Suffrage. 

finished his eventful life, this proved to be his last message to 
our association : 

BOSTON, June 30, 1878. 

MY DEAR Miss ANTHONY Your urgent and welcome letter, inviting 
me to the thirtieth anniversary of the woman's rights movement at 
Rochester, came yesterday. Most earnestly do I wish I could be present 
to help mark this epoch in our movement, and join in congratulating the 
friends on the marvelous results of their labors. No reform has gathered 
more devoted and self-sacrificing friends. No one has had lives more 
generously given to its service ; and you who have borne such heavy 
burdens may well rejoice in the large harvest ; for no reform has, I think, 
had such rapid success. You who remember the indifference which 
almost discouraged us in 1848, and who have so bravely faced ungenerous 
opposition and insult since, must look back on the result with unmixed 
astonishment and delight. Temperance, and finance which is but another 
name for the labor movement and woman's rights, are three radical 
questions which overtop all others in value and importance. Woman's 
claim tor the ballot-box has had a much wider influence than merely to 
protect woman. Universal suffrage is itself in danger. Scholars dread it: 
social science and journalists attack it. The discussion of woman's claim 
has done much to reveal this danger, and rally patriotic and thoughtful 
men in defense. In many ways the agitation has educated the people. 
Its success shows that the masses are sound and healthy; and if we gain, 
in the coming fifteen years, half as much as we have in the last thirty, 
woman will hold spear and shield in her own hands. If I might presume 
to advise, 1 should say close up the ranks and write on our flag only 
one claim the ballot. Everything helps us, and if we are united, suc- 
cess cannot long be delayed. Very cordially yours, 


BOSTON, July 1 6, 1878. 

MY DEAR FRIEND The thirtieth anniversary of the first woman's 
rights convention ever held with special reference to demanding the elec- 
tive franchise irrespective of sex. well deserves to be commemorated in 
the manner set forth in the call for the same, at Rochester, on the igth 
instant. As a substitute for my personal attendance, I can only send a 
brief but warm congratulatory epistle on the cheering progress which the 
movement has made within the period named. For how widely different 
are the circumstances under which that convention was held, and those 
which attend the celebration of its third decade! Then, the assertion 
of civil and political equality, alike for men and women, excited wide- 
spread disgust and astonishment, as though it were a proposition to re- 
peal the laws of nature, and literally to " turn the world upside down "; 
and it was ridiculed and caricatured as little short of lunacy. Now, it is a 
subject of increasing interest and grave consideration, from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific, and what at first appeared to be so foolish in pretension 
is admitted by all reflecting and candid minds to be deserving of the most 
respectful treatment. Then, its avowed friends, were indeed " few and far 

Mr. Garrisons Letter. 121 


between," even among those disfranchised as the penalty of their woman- 
hood. Now, they can be counted by tens of thousands, and their num- 
ber is augmenting foremost in intelligence, in weight of character, 
in strength of understanding, in manly and womanly development, and in 
all that goes to make up enlightened citizenship. Then, with rare excep- 
tions, women were everywhere remanded to poverty and servile depen- 
dence, being precluded from following those avocations and engaging in 
those pursuits which make competency and independence not a difficult 
achievement. Now, there is scarcely any situation or profession, in the 
arrangements of society, to which they may not and do not aspire, and in 
which many of them are not usefully engaged ; whether in new and varied 
industrial employment, in the arts and sciences, in the highest range of 
literature, in philosophic and mathematical investigations, in the profes- 
sions of law, medicine, and divinity, in high scholarship, in educational 
training and supervision, in rhetoric and oratory, in the lyceum, or in 
discharging the official duties connected with the various departments of 
the State and national governments. 

Almost all barriers are down except that which prevents women 
from going to the polls to help decide who shall be the law-makers and 
what shall be the laws, so that the general welfare may be impartially con- 
sulted, and the blessings of freedom and equal rights be enjoyed by all. 
That barrier, too, must give way wherever erected, as sure as time outlasts 
and baffles every device of wrong-doing, and truth is stronger than false- 
hood, and the law of eternal justice is as reliable as the law of gravitation. 
Yes ! the grand fundamental truths of the Declaration of independence 
shall yet be reduced to practice in our land that the human race are 
created free and equal ; that government derives its just powers from the 
consent of the governed, and that taxation without representation is 
tyranny. And I confidently predict that this will be witnessed before the 
expiration of another decade. 

Yours, to abate nothing of heart or hope, 


Mrs. Mott never seemed more hopeful for the triumph of our 
principles than on this occasion. She expressed great satisfac- 
tion in the number of young women who for the first time that 
day graced our platform.* Though in her eighty-sixth year, her 
enthusiasm in the cause for which she had so long labored seemed 
still unabated, and her eye sparkled with humor as of yore while 
giving some amusing reminiscences of encounters with opponents 
in the early days. Always apt in biblical quotations she had 
proved herself a worthy antagonist of the clergy on our platform. 
She had slain many Abimelechs with short texts of Scripture, 

* While May Wright Thompson was speaking she turned to Mrs. Stanton and said. "How 
thankful I am for these bright young women now ready to fill our soon-to-be vacant places. I want to 
shake hands with them all before I go, and give them a few words of encouragement. I do hope they 
will not be spoiled with too much praise." 

i 24 History of Woman Suffrage. 

whose defeat was the more humiliating because received at the 
hand of a woman. As she recounted in her happiest vein the 
triumphs of her coadjutors she was received with the heartiest 
manifestations of delight by her auditors. She took a lively in- 
terest in the discussion of the resolutions that had been presented 
by the chairman of the committee, Matilda Joslyn Gage : 

Resolved, That a government of the people, by the people and for the people is yet 
to be realized; for that which is formed, administered and controlled only by men, is 
practically nothing more than an enlarged oligarchy, whose assumptions of natural su- 
periority and of the right to rule are as baseless as those enforced by the aristocratic 
powers of the old world. 

Resolved, That in celebrating our third decade we have reason to congratulate our- 
selves on the marked change in woman's position in her enlarged opportunities for 
education and labor, her greater freedom under improved social customs and civil 
laws, and the promise of her speedy enfranchisement in the minor political rights she 
has already secured. 

Resolved, That the International Congress * called in Paris, July 20, to discuss the 
rights of woman the eminent Victor Hugo, its presiding officer is one of the most 
encouraging events of the century, in that statesmen and scholars from all parts of 
the world, amid the excitement of the French Exposition, propose to give five days to 
deliberations upon this question. 

Resolved, That the majority report of the chairman of the Committee on Privileges 
and Elections, Senator Wadleigh ot New Hampshire, against a sixteenth amendment 
to secure the political rights of woman in its weakness, shows the strength of our re- 

Resolved, That the national effort to force citizenship on the Indians, the decision 
of Judge Sawyer in the United States Circuit Court of California against the naturali- 
zation of the Chinese, and the refusal of congress to secure the right of suffrage to 
women, are class legislation, dangerous to the stability of our institutions. 

WHEREAS. Woman's rights and duties in all matters of legislation are the same as 
those of man, 

Resolved, That the problems of labor, finance, suffrage, international rights, in- 
ternal improvements, and other great questions, can never be satisfactorily adjusted 
without the enlightened thought of woman r and her voice in the councils of the nation. 

Resolved, That the question of capital and labor is one of special interest to us. 
Man, standing to woman in the position of capitalist, has robbed her through the ages 
of the results of her toil. No just settlement of this question can be attained until 
the right of woman to the proceeds of her labor in the family and elsewhere is recog- 
nized, and she is welcomed into every industry on the basis of equal pay for equal 

Resolved, That as the first duty of every individual is self-development, the lessons of 
self-sacrifice and obedience taught woman by the Christian church have been fatal, not 
only to her own vital interests, but through her, to those of the race. 

Resolved, That the great principle of the Protestant Reformation, the right of in- 
div'dual conscience and judgment heretofore exercised by man alone, should now be 
claimed by woman; that, in the interpretation of Scripture, she should be guided by 
her own reason, and not by the authority of the church. 

Resolved, That it is through the perversion of the religious element in woman 
playing upon her hopes and fears of the future, holding this life with all its high duties 
in abeyance to that which is to come that she and the children she has trained have 
been so completely subjugated by priestcraft and superstition. 

* For account of this International Congress, see chapter on Continental Europe in this volume. 

Farewell to Lucretia Mott. 125 

This was the last convention ever attended by Lucretia Mott. 
Her family had specially requested that she should not be 
urged to go ; but on seeing the call, she quietly announced 
her intention to be at the meeting, and, with the ever faithful 
Sarah Pugh as her companion, she made the journey from Phila- 
delphia in the intense heat of those July days. Mrs. Mott was 
the guest of her husband's nephew, Dr. E. M. Moore, who, fear- 
ing that his aunt would be utterly exhausted, called for her while 
she was in the midst of her closing remarks. As she descended 
the platform, she continued speaking while she slowly moved 
down the aisle, shaking hands upon either side. The audience 
simultaneously rose, and on behalf of all, Frederick Douglass 
ejaculated, " Good-by, dear Lucretia!" 

The last three resolutions called out a prolonged discussion * 
not only in the convention but from the pulpit and press of the 

One amusing encounter in the course of the debate is worthy 
of note. Perhaps it'was due to the intense heat that Mr. Douglass, 
usually clear on questions of principle, was misled into opposing 
the resolutions. He spoke with great feeling and religious senti- 
ment of the beautiful Christian doctrine of self-sacrifice. When 
he finished, Mrs. Lucy Coleman, always keen in pricking bubbles, 
arose and said : " Well, Mr. Douglass, all you say may be true; 
but allow me to ask you why you did not remain a slave in Mary- 
land, and sacrifice yourself, like a Christian, to your master, instead 
of running off to Canada to secure your liberty, like a man ? We 
shall judge your faith, Frederick, by your deeds." 

An immense audience assembled at Corinthian Hall in the 
evening to listen to the closing speeches f of the convention. 
Mrs. Robinson of Boston gave an exhaustive review of the 
work in Massachusetts, and her daughter, Mrs. Shattuck, gave 
many amusing experiences as her father's \ clerk in the legislature 
of that State. 

The resolutions provoked many attacks from the clergy through- 
out the State, led by Rev. A. H. Strong, D. D., president of the 
Baptist Theological Seminary in Rochester, Of his sermon the 
National Citizen said : 

* Mrs. Mott, Mrs. Gage, Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Coleman, Mr. Wilcox, Mrs. Slocum, Mrs. Dundore, 
Mrs. Stcbbins, Mrs. Sands, Mrs. Amy Post, and Mrs. Klizabeth Oakes-Smith, who having resided in 
North Carolina had not been on our platform for many years, were among the speakers. 

t By Miss Couzins, Mr. Douglass, Mrs. Spencer. 

$ Mr. Robinson, as " Warrington," was will known as one of the best writers on the Springfield 

126 History of Woman Suffrage. 

None too soon have we issued our resolutions, proclaiming woman's 
right to self-development to interpret Scripture for herself, to use her 
own faculties. In speaking of what Christianity has done for woman, 
Dr. Strong stultifies his own assertions by referring to Switzerland and 
Germany " where you may see any day hundreds of women wheeling earth 
for railroad embankments." Does he not remember that Switzerland and 
Germany are Christian countries and that it is part of their civilization 
that while women do this work, some man takes the pay and puts it in his 
own pocket quite in heathen fashion ? The reverend doctor in the usual 
style of opposition to woman which is to quote something or other hav- 
ing no bearing upon the question refers to Cornelia's " jewels," forgetting 
to say that Cornelia delivered public lectures upon philosophy in Rome, 
and that Cicero paid the very highest tribute to her learning and genius. 

Dr. Strong advocates the old theory that woman and man are not two 
classes standing upon the same level, but that the two are one that one 
on the time-worn theory of common law, the husband ; and talks of 
the "dignity and delicacy of woman" being due to the fact of her not 
having been in public life, and that this "dignity and delicacy" would all 
evaporate if once she were allowed to vote, which reminds one of the 
story of Baron Munchausen's horn, into which a certain coach-driver 
blew all manner of wicked tunes. The weather being very cold, these 
tunes remained frozen in the horn. When hung by the fire, the horn be- 
gan to thaw out, and these wicked tunes came pealing forth to the great 
amazement of the by-standers. The reverend gentlemen seems to think 
women are full of frozen wickedness, which if they enter public life will 
be thawed out to the utter demolition of their " dignity and delicacy " and 
the disgust of society. He deems it "too hazardous" to allow women to 
vote. " Bad women would vote." Well, what of it ? Have they not 
equal right with bad men, to self-government ? Bad is a relative term. It 
strikes us that the very reverend Dr. Strong is a " bad " man a man who 
does not understand true Christianity who is not just who would 
strike those who are down who would keep woman in slavery who 
quotes the Bible as his authority : thus fettering woman's conscience, 
binding her will, and playing upon her hopes and fears to keep her in sub- 

From Augustine, down, theologians have tried to compel people to ac- 
cept their special interpretation of the Scripture, and the tortures of 
the inquisition, the rack, the thumb-screw, the stake, the persecutions of 
witchcraft, the whipping of naked women through the streets of Boston, 
banishment, trials for heresy, the halter about Garrison's neck, Lovejoy's 
death, the branding of Captain Walker, shouts of infidel and atheist, have 
all been for this purpose. 

We know the ignorance that exists upon these points. Few have yet 
begun to comprehend the influence that ecclesiasticism has had upon law. 
Wharton, a recognized authority upon criminal law, issued his seventh 
edition before he ascertained the vast bearing canon law had had upon 
the civil code, and we advise readers to consult the array of authorities, 
English, Latin, German, to which he, in his preface, refers. We hope to 

Editorial of "The Index." 127 

arouse attention and compel investigation of this subject by lawyers and 
theologians as well as by women themselves. 

Francis . Abbot, editor of TJie Index, the organ of the Free 
Religious Association, spoke grandly in favor of the resolutions. 
He said : 

These resolutions we have read with astonishment, admiration and de- 
light. We should not have believed it possible that the convention could 
have been induced to adopt them. They will make forever memorable in 
the history of the organized woman movement, this thirtieth anniversary 
of its birth. They put the National Woman Suffrage Association in an 
inconceivably higher and nobler position than that occupied by any 
similar society. They go to the very root of the matter. They are a bold, 
dignified, and magnificent utterance. We congratulate the convention on 
a record so splendid in the eyes of all true liberals. From this day forth 
the whole woman movement must obey the inspiration of a higher courage 
and a grander spirit than have been known to its past. Opposition must 
be encountered, tenfold more bitter than was ever yet experienced. But 
truth is on the side of these brave women ; the ringing words they have 
spoken at Rochester will thrill many a doubting heart and be echoed far 
down the long avenue of the years. 

During the same week of the Rochester convention, the Paris 
International Congress opened it sessions, sending us a telegram 
of greeting to which we responded with two hundred and fifty 
francs as a tangible evidence of our best wishes. The two re- 
markable features of that congress were the promise of so dis- 
tinguished a man as Victor Hugo to preside over its delibera- 
tions, though at last prevented by illness ; and the fact that the 
Italian government sent Mile. Mozzoni as an official delegate to 
the congress to study the civil position of woman in various 
countries, in order that an ameliorating change of its code, in 
respect to woman, could be wisely made. 

The newspapers of the French capital in general treated the 
congress with respect. The Rappel, Victor Hugo's organ, spoke 
of it in a most complimentary manner. Theodore Stanton, in a 
letter to the National Citizen, said : 

In one important respect this congress differed entirely from an Ameri- 
can convention of like character it made no demand for suffrage. 
The word was never mentioned except by the American delegates. In 
contmental Europe the idea of demanding for woman a share in the gov- 
ernment, is never considered. This is the more remarkable in France, as 
this claim was made at the time of the revolution. But every imaginable 
side of the question was discussed, except the side that comprehends all 
the others. To an American, therefore, European woman's rights is 
rather tame; it is like the play of Hamlet with Hamlet left out. But 

128 History of }] 7 oman Suffrage. 

Europe is moving, and the next international congress will, undoubtedly, 
give more attention to suffrage and less to hygiene. 

The Eleventh Washington Convention was held January 9, 10, 
1879. The resolutions give an idea of the status of the ques- 
tion, and the -wide range of discussion covered by the speakers:* 

Resolved, That the forty-fifth congress, in ignoring the individual petitions of more 
than three hundred women of high social standing and culture, asking for the removal 
of their political disabilities, while promptly enacting special legislation for the re- 
moval of the political disabilities of every man who petitioned, furnishes an illustration 
of the indifference of this congress to the rights of citizens deprived of political power. 

WHEREAS, Senator Elaine says, it is the very essence of tyranny to count any citi- 
zens in the basis of representation who are denied a voice in their laws and a choice in 
their rulers; therefore, 

Resolved, That counting women in the basis of representation, while denying them 
the right of suffrage, is compelling them to swell the number of their tyrants and is 
an unwarrantable usurpation of power over one-half the citizens of this republic. 

WHEREAS, In President Hayes' last message, he makes a truly paternal review of 
the interests of this republic, both great and small, from the army, the navy, and our 
foreign relations, to the ten little Indians in Hampton, Va. , our timber on the western 
mountains, and the switches of the Washington railroads; from the Paris Exposition, 
the postal service, the abundant harvests, and the possible bull-dozing of some colored 
men in various southern districts, to cruelty to live animals, and the crowded condition 
of the mummies, dead ducks and fishes in the Smithsonian Institute yet forgets to 
mention twenty million women robbed of their social, civil and political rights; there- 

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed from this convention to wait upon 
the president and remind him of the existence of one-half of the American people 
whom he has accidentally overlooked, and of whom it would be wise for him to make 
some mention in his future messages. 

WHEREAS, All of the vital principles involved in the thirteenth, fourteenth and fif- 
teenth constitutional amendments have been denied in their application to women by 
courts, legislatures and political parties; therefore, 

Resolved, That it is logical that these amendments should fail to protect even the 
male African for whom said courts, legislatures and parties declare they were expressly 
designed and enacted. 

Resolved, That the judges of the Supreme Court of the United States in denying 
Belva A. Lockwood admission to its bar, while she was entitled under the law and 
under its rules to that right, violated their oath of office. 

Resolved, That the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Edmonds chairman, in its report 
on the bill to allow women to practice law in the courts of the United States in which 
it declares that "further legislation is not necessary," evaded the plain question at 
issue before it in a manner unworthy of judges learned in the honorable profession of 
the law, and thereby sanctioned an injustice to the women of the whole country. 

WHEREAS, The general government has refused to exercise federal power to protect 
women in their right to vote in the various Slates and territories; therefore, 

Resolved, That it should forbear to exercise federal power to disfranchise the women 
of Utah, who have had a more just and liberal spirit shown them by Mormon men than 
Gentile women in the States have yet perceived in their rulers. 

* Ellen Clark Sargent, California ; Elizabeth Oakes Smith, North Carolina ; Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 
New Jersey ; Mrs. Devereux Blake, Mrs. Joslyn Gage, Helen M. Slocum, Helen Cooke, Susan H. An- 
thony, New York; Julia Brown Dunham, Iowa; Marilla M. Ricker, New Hampshire; Lavinia C. 
Dundore, Maryland ; Robert Purvis, Julia and Rachel Foster, Pennsylvania ; Emeline B. Wells, Zina 
Young Williams, Utah; Ellen H. Sheldon, Dr. Caroline Winslow, Sara Andrews Spencer, Belva A. 
Lockwood, Frederick Douglass, Julia A. Wilbur, Dr. Cora M. Bland, Washington. 

Address to the President. 129 

WHEREAS, The proposed legislation for the Chinese women on the Pacific slope 
and for outcast women in our cities, and the opinion of the press that no respectable 
woman should be seen in the streets after dark, are all based upon the presumption 
that woman's freedom must be forever sacrificed to man's licence; therefore, 

Resolved, That the ballot in woman's hand is the only power by which she can re- 
strain the liberty of those men who make our streets and highways dangerous to her, 
and secure the freedom that belongs to her by day and by night. 

At the close of the convention it was decided at a meeting of 
the executive committee to present an address to the president 
and both houses of congress, and that a printed copy of the reso- 
lutions should be laid on the desk of every member. The presi- 
dent having granted a hearing,* the following address was pre- 
sented : 
To his Excellency, the President of the United States : 

WHEREAS, Representatives of associations of women waited upon your 
excellency before the delivery of your first and second annual messages, 
asking that in those documents you would remember the disfranchised 
millions of citizens of the United States ; and, 

WHEREAS, Upon careful examination of those messages, we find therein 
specifically enumerated, the interests, great and small, of all classes of 
men, and recommendations of needful legislation to protect their civil and 
political rights, but find no mention made of any need of legislation to 
protect the political, civil, or social rights of one-half of the people of this 
republic, and, 

WHEREAS, There is pending in the Senate a constitutional amendment 
to prohibit the several States from disfranchising United States citizens 
on account of sex, and a similar amendment is pending upon a tie vote in 
the House Judiciary Committee; and as petitions to so amend the con- 
stitution have been presented to both houses of congress from more than 
40,000 well-known citizens of thirty-five States and five territories, 

THEREFORE, we respectfully ask your excellency, in your next annual 
message, to make mention of the disfranchised millions of wives, mothers 
and daughters of this republic, and to recommend to congress that women 
equally with men be protected in the exercise of their civil and political 

On behalf of the National Woman Suffrage Association. 


MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, Corresponding Secretary. 

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Chairman Executive Committee. 

The delegates from the territory of Utah were also received by 
the president. They called his attention to the effect of the en- 
forcement of the law of 1862 upon 50,000 Mormon women, 
to render them outcasts and their children nameless, asking the 
chief executive of the nation to give some time to the considera- 

* The president invited the ladies into the library, that they might be secure from interruption, and 
Rave them throughout a most respectful and courteous hearing, asking questions and showing evident 
interest in the subject, and at the close promising sincere consideration of the question. 

130 History of Woman Suffrage. 

tion of the bill pending under different headings in both houses. 
The president asked them to set forth the facts in writing, that 
he might carefully weigh so important a matter. A memorial 
was also presented to congress by these ladies, closing thus: 

We further pray that in any future legislation concerning the marriage 
relation in any territory under your jurisdiction you will consider the 
rights and the consciences of the women to be affected by such legisla- 
tion, and that you will consider the permanent care and welfare of children 
as the sure foundation of the State. 

And your petitioners will ever pray. . EMMELINE B. WELLS. 


Mr. Cannon of Utah moved that the memorial be referred to 
the Committee on the Judiciary with leave to report at any time. 
It was so referred. The Judiciary Committee of the Senate 
brought in a bill legitimatizing the offspring of plural marriages 
to a certain date ; also authorizing the president to grant amnesty 
for past offenses against the law of 1862. 

The Congressional Record of January 24, under the head of 
petitions and memorials, said : 

The vice-president, Mr. Wheeler of New York, presented the petition of 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage and Susan B. Anthony, offi- 
cers of the National Association, praying for the passage of Senate joint 
resolution No. 12, providing for an amendment to the Constitution of the 
United States, protecting the rights of women, and also that the House 
Judiciary Committee be relieved from the further consideration of a simi- 
lar resolution. 

Mr. FERRY If there be no objection I ask that the petition be read at 

The VICE-PRESIDENT The Chair hears no objection, and it will be re- 
ported by the secretary. 

The petition was read and referred to the Committee on Privileges and 
Elections, as follows : 

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, in Congress 

\\ HEREAS, More than 40,000 men and women, citizens of thirty-five States and 
five territories, have petitioned the forty-fifth congress asking for an amendment 
to the federal constitution prohibiting the several States from disfranchising United 
States citizens on account of sex; and 

WHEREAS, A resolution providing for such constitutional amendment is upon the 
calendar (Senate resolution No. 12, second session forty-fifth congress), and a similar 
resolution is pending upon a tie vote in the Judiciary Committee of the House of 
Representatives; and 

WHEREAS, The women of the United States constitute one-half of the people of 
this republic and have an inalienable right to an equal voice with men in the nation's 
councils; and 

WHEREAS, Women being denied the right to have their opinions counted at the 
ballot-box, are compelled to hold all other rights subject to the favors and caprices 
of men; and 

Minority Report. 131 

WHEREAS, In answer to the appeals of so large a number of honorable petitioners, 
it is courteous that the forty-fifth congress should express its opinion upon this grave 
question of human rights; therefore, 

We pray your honorable body to take from the calendar and pass Senate reso- 
lution No. 12, providing for an amendment to the constitution protecting the rights 
of women; and 

We further pray you to relieve the House Judiciary Committee from the further 
consideration of the woman suffrage resolution brought to a tie vote in that committee, 
February 5, 1878, that it may be submitted to the House of Representatives for im- 
mediate action. 

And your petitioners will ever pray. 


MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, Corresponding Secretary. 

SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Chairman Executive Committee. 

At the opening of the last session of the forty-fifth congress 
most earnest appeals (copies of which were sent to every mem- 
ber of congress) came from all directions for the presentation 
of a minority report from the Committee on Privileges and Elec- 
tions The response from our representatives was prompt and 
most encouraging. The first favorable report our question had 
ever received in the Senate of the United States was presented 
by the Hon. George F. Hoar, February I, 1879: 

The undersigned, a minority of the Committee on Privileges and Elections, to 
whom were referred the resolution proposing an amendment to the consti- 
tution prohibiting discrimination in the right of suffrage on account of 
sex, and certain petitions in aid of the same, submit the following mi- 
nority report : 

The undersigned dissent from the report of the majority of the com- 
mittee. The demand for the extension of the right of suffrage to women 
is not new. It has been supported by many persons in this country, in 
England and on the continent, famous in public life, in literature and in 
philosophy. But no single argument of its advocates seems to us to 
carry so great a persuasive force as the difficulty which its ablest oppo- 
nents encounter in making a plausible statement of their objections. We 
trust we do not fail in deference to our esteemed associates on the com- 
mittee when we avow our opinion that their report is no exception to this 

The people of the United States and of the several States have founded 
their political institutions upon the principle that all men have an equal 
right to a share in the government. The doctrine is expressed in various 
forms. The Declaration of Independence asserts that " all men are 
created equal " and that "governments derive their just powers from the 
consent of the governed." The Virginia bill of rights, the work of Jeffer- 
son and George Mason, affirms that " no man or set of men are entitled 
to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the rest of the 
community but in consideration of public services." The Massachusetts 
bill of rights, the work of John Adams, besides reaffirming these axioms, 
declares that "all the inhabitants of this commonwealth, having such 

132 History of Woman Suffrage. 

qualifications as they shall establish by their frame of government, have 
an equal right to elect officers, and to be elected for public employment." 
These principles, after full and profound discussion by a generation of 
statesmen whose authority upon these subjects is greater than that of any 
other that ever lived, have been accepted by substantially the whole 
American people as the dictates alike of practical wisdom and of natural 
justice. The experience of a hundred years has strengthened their hold 
upon the popular conviction. Our fathers failed in three particulars to carry 
these principles to their logical result. They required a property quali- 
fication for the right to vote and to hold office. They kept the negro in 
slavery. They excluded women from a share in the government. The 
first two of these inconsistencies have been remedied. The property 
test no longer exists. The fifteenth amendment provides that race, color, 
or previous servitude shall no longer be a disqualification. There are 
certain qualifications of age, of residence, and, in some instances of educa- 
tion, demanded ; but these are such as all sane men may easily attain. 

This report is not the place to discuss or vindicate the correctness of 
this theory. In so far as the opponents of woman suffrage are driven to 
deny it, for the purpose of an argument addressed to the American 
people, they are driven to confess that they are in the wrong. This peo- 
ple are committed to the doctrine of universal suffrage by their constitu- 
tions, their history and their opinions. They must stand by it or fall by 
it. The poorest, humblest, feeblest of sane men has the ballot in his 
hand, and no other man can show a better title to it. Those things 
wherein men are unequal intelligence, ability, integrity, experience, title 
to public confidence by reason of previous public service have their 
natural and legitimate influence under a government wherein each man's 
vote is counted, to quite as great a degree as under any other form of 
government that ever existed. 

We believe that the principle of universal suffrage stands to-day 
stronger than ever in the judgment of mankind. Some eminent and ac- 
complished scholars, alarmed by the corruption and recklessness mani- 
fested in our great cities, deceived by exaggerated representations 
of the misgovernment of the Southern States by a race just emerging 
from slavery, disgusted by the extent to which great numbers of our fel- 
low-citizens have gone astray in the metaphysical subtleties of financial 
discussion, have uttered their eloquent warnings of the danger of the fail- 
ure of universal suffrage. Such utterances from such sources have been 
frequent. They were never more abundant than in the early part ot the 
present century. They are, when made in a serious and patriotic spirit, to 
be received with the gratitude due to that greatest of public benefactors 
he who points out to the people their dangers and their faults. 

But popular suffrage is to be tried not by comparison with ideal stan- 
dards of excellence, but by comparison with other forms of government. 
We are willing to submit our century of it to this test. The crimes that 
have stained our history have come chiefly from its denial, not from its 
establishment. The misgovernment and corruption of our great cities 
have been largely due to men whose birth and training have been under 

Minority Report. 133 

other systems. The abuses attributed by political hostility to negro 
governments at the South governments from which the intelligence and 
education of the State held themselves sulkily aloof do not equal those 
which existed under the English or French aristocracy within the memory 
of living men. There have been crimes, blunders, corruptions, follies in 
the history of our republic. Aristides has been banished from public em- 
ployment, while Cleon has been followed by admiring throngs. But few 
of these things have been due to the extension of the suffrage. Strike out 
of our history the crimes of slavery, strike out the crimes, unparalleled 
for ferocity and brutality, committed by an oligarchy in its attempt to 
overthrow universal suffrage, and we may safely challenge for our na- 
tional and State governments comparison with monarchy or aristocracy 
in their best and^purest periods. 

Either the doctrines of the Declaration of Independence and the bills of 
rights are true, or government must rest on no principle of right whatever, 
but its powers may be lawfully taken by force and held by force by any 
person or class who have strength to do it, and who persuade themselves 
that their rule is for the public interest. Either these doctrines are true, 
or you can give no reason for your own possession of the suffrage except 
that you have got it. If this doctrine be sound, it follows that no class of 
persons can rightfully be excluded from their equal share in the govern- 
ment, unless they can be proved to lack some quality essential to the 
proper exercise of political power. 

A person who votes helps, first, to determine the measures of govern- 
ment ; second, to elect persons to be intrusted with public administration. 
He should therefore possess, first, an honest desire for the public welfare ; 
second, sufficient intelligence to determine what measure or policy is 
best ; third, the capacity to judge of the character of persons proposed 
for office ; and, fourth, freedom from undue influence, so that the vote he 
casts is his own, and not another's. That person or class casting his or 
their own vote, with an honest desire for the public welfare, and with suf- 
ficient intelligence to judge what measure is advisable and what person 
may be trusted, fulfill every condition that the State can rightfully impose. 

We are not now dealing with the considerations which should affect the 
admission of citizens of other countries to acquire- the right to take part 
in our government. All nations claim the right to impose restrictions on 
the admission of foreigners trained in attachment to other countries or 
forms of rule, and to indifference to their own, whatever they deem the 
safety of the State requires. We take it for granted that no person will 
deny that the women of America are inspired with a love of country equal 
to that which animates their brothers and sons. A capacity to judge of 
character, so sure and rapid as to be termed intuitive, is an especial attri- 
bute of woman. One of the greatest orators of modern times has de- 
clared : 

I concede away nothing which I ought to assert for our sex when I say that the col- 
lective womanhood of a people like our own seizes with matchless facility and cer- 
tainty on the moral and personal peculiarities and character of marked and conspicu- 
ous men, and that we may very wisely address ourselves to such a body to learn if a 

134 History of Woman Suffrage. 

competitor for the highest honors has revealed that truly noble nature that entitled him 
to a place in the hearts of a nation. 

We believe that in that determining of public policies by the collective 
judgment of the State which constitutes self-government, the contribu- 
tion of woman will be of great importance and value. To all questions 
into the determination of which considerations of justice or injustice en- 
ter, she will bring a more refined moral sense than that of man. The 
most important public function of the State is the provision for the edu- 
cation of youths. In those States in which the public school system has 
reached its highest excellence, more than ninety per cent, of the teachers 
are women. Certainly the vote of the women of the State should be 
counted in determining the policy that shall regulate the school system 
which they are called to administer. 

It is seldom that particular measures of government are decided by di- 
rect popular vote. They are more often discussed before the people after 
they have taken effect, when the party responsible for them is called to 
account. The great measures which go to make up the history of nations 
are determined not by the voters, but by their rulers, whether those 
rulers be hereditary or elected. The plans of great campaigns are con- 
ceived by men of great military genius and executed by great generals. 
Great systems of finance come from the brain of statesmen who have 
made finance a special study. The mass of the voters decide to which 
party they will intrust power. They do not determine particulars. But 
they give to parties their general tone and direction, and hold them to 
their accountability. We believe that woman will give to the political 
parties of the country a moral temperament which will have a most bene- 
ficent and ennobling effect on politics. 

Woman, also, is specially fitted for the performance of that function of 
legislative and executive government which, with the growth of civiliza- 
tion, becomes yearly more and more important the wise and practical 
economic adjustment of the details of public expenditures. It may be 
considered that it would not be for the public interest to clothe with the 
suffrage any class of persons who are so dependent that they will, as a 
general rule, be governed by others in its exercise. But we do not ad- 
mit that this is true of women. We see no reason to believe that women 
will not be as likely to retain their independence of political judgment, as 
they now retain their independence of opinion in regard to the questions 
which divide religious sects from one another. These questions deeply 
excite the feelings of mankind, yet experience shows that the influence 
of the wife is at least as great as that of the husband in determining the 
religious opinion of the household. The natural influence exerted by 
members of the same familv upon each other would doubtless operate to 
bring about similarity of opinion on political questions as on others. So 
far as this tends to increase the influence of the family in the State, as 
compared with that of unmarried men, we deem it an advantage. Upon 
all questions which touch public morals, public education, all which con- 
cern the interest of the household, such a united exertion of political in- 
fluence cannot be otherwise than beneficial. 

Minority Report. 135 

Our conclusion, then, is that the American people must extend the 
right of suffrage to woman or abandon the idea that suffrage is a birth- 
right. The claim that universal suffrage will work mischief in practice is 
simply a claim that justice will work mischief in practice. Many honest 
and excellent persons, while admitting the force of the arguments above 
stated, fear that taking part in politics will destroy those feminine traits 
which are the charm of woman, and are the chief comfort and delight of 
the household. If we thought so we should agree with the majority of 
the committee in withholding assent to the prayer of the petitioners. This 
fear is the result of treating the abuses of the political function as essential 
to its exercise. The study of political questions, the forming an estimate of 
the character of public men or public measures, the casting a vote, which is 
the result of that study and estimate, certainly have in themselves nothing 
to degrade the most delicate and refined nature. The violence, the fraud, 
the crime, the chicanery, which, so far as they have attended masculine 
struggles for political power, tend to prove, if they prove anything, the 
unfitness of men for the suffrage, are not the result of the act of voting, 
but are the expressions of course, criminal and evil natures, excited by 
the desire for victory. The admission to the polls of delicate and tender 
women would, without injury to them, tend to refine and elevate the 
politics in which they took a part. When, in former times, women were 
excluded from social banquets, such assemblies were scenes of ribaldry 
and excess. The presence of women has substituted for them the festival 
of the Christian home. 

The majority of the committee state the following as their reasons for 
the conclusion to which they come : 

First If the petitioners' prayer be granted it will make several millions of female 

Second These voters will be inexperienced in public affairs. 

Third They are quite generally dependent on the other sex. 

Fotirth They are incapable of military duty. 

Fifth They are without the power to enforce the laws which their numerical 
strength may enable them to make. 

Sixth Very few of them wish to assume the irksome and responsible duties which 
this measure thrusts upon them. 

Seventh Such a change should only be made slowly and in obedience to a general 
public demand. 

Eighth There are but thirty thousand petitioners. 

Ninth It would be unjust to impose "the heavy burden of governing, which so 
many men seek to evade, on the great mass of women who do not wish for it, to 
gratify the few who do." 

Tenth Women now have the sympathy of judges and juries " to an extent which 
would warrant loud complaint on the part of their adversaries of the sterner sex." 

Eleventh Such a change should be made, if at all, by the States. Three-fourths 
of the States should not force it on the others. In any State in which "any con- 
siderable part of the women wish for the right to vote, it will be granted without the in- 
tervention of congress." 

The first objection of the committee is to the large increase of the 
number of the voting population. We believe on the other hand, that to 
double the numbers of the constituent body, and to compose onc-lrilf 

136 History of Woman Suffrage. 

that body of women, would tend to elevate the standard of the represen- 
tative both for ability and manly character. Macaulay in one of his 
speeches on the Reform bill refers to the quality of the men who had for 
half a century been members for the five most numerous constituencies 
in England Westminster, Southwark, Liverpool, Bristol and Norwich. 
Among them were Burke, Fox, Sheridan, Romilly, Windham, Tierney, 
Canning, Huskisson. Eight of the nine greatest men who had sat in 
parliament for forty years sat for the five largest represented towns. To 
increase trie numbers of constituencies diminishes the opportunity for cor- 
ruption. Size is itself a conservative force in a republic. As a permanent 
general rule the people will desire their own best interest. Disturbing 
forces, evil and selfish passions, personal ambitions, are neccessarily re- 
stricted in their operation. The larger the field of operation, the more 
likely are such influences to neutralize each other. 

The objection of inexperience in public affairs applies, of course, alike 
to every voter when he first votes. If it be valid, it would have prevented 
any extension of the suffrage, and would exclude from the franchise a 
very large number of masculine voters of all ages. 

That women are quite generally dependent on the other sex is true. 
So it is true that men are quite generally dependent on the other sex. It 
is impossible so to measure this dependence as to declare that man is 
more dependent on woman or woman upon man. It is by no means true 
that the dependence of either on the other affects the right to the suffrage. 

Capacity for military duty has no connection with capacity for suffrage. 
The former is wholly physical. It will scarcely be proposed to disfran- 
chise men who are unfit to be soldiers by reason of age or bodily infirmity. 
The suggestion that the country may be plunged into wars by a majority 
of women who are secure from military dangers is not founded in experi- 
ence. Men of the military profession, and men of the military age are 
commonly quite as eager for war as non-combatants, and will hereafter be 
quite as indifferent to its risks and hardships as their mothers and wives. 

The argument that women are without the power to enforce the laws 
which their numerical strength may enable them to make, proceeds from 
the supposition that it is probable that all the women will range them- 
selves upon one side in politics and all the men on the other. Such sup- 
position flatly contradicts the other arguments drawn from the depend- 
ence of women and from their alleged unwillingness to assume political 
burdens. So men over fifty years of age are without the power to enforce 
obedience to laws against which the remainder of the voters forcibly 
rebel. It is not physical power alone, but power aided by the respect for 
law of the people, on which laws depend for their enforcement. 

The sixth, eighth and ninth reasons of the committee are the same 
proposition differently stated. It is that a share in the government of 
Ihe country is a burden, and one which, in the judgment of a majority of 
Ihe women of the country, they ought not to be required to assume. If 
any citizen deem the exercise of this franchise a burden and not a privi- 
lege, such person is under no constraint to exercise it. But if it be a 
birthright, then it is obvious that no other power than that of the indi- 

Minority Report. 


vidual concerned can rightfully restrain its exercise. The committee con- 
cede that women ought to be clothed with the ballot in any State where 
any considerable part of the women desire it. This is a pretty serious 
confession. On the vital, fundamental question whether the institutions 
of this country shall be so far changed that the number of persons in it 
who take a part in the government shall be doubled, the judgment of 
women is to be and ought to be decisive. If woman may fitly determine 
this question, for what question of public policy is she unfit ? What ques- 
tion of equal importance will ever be submitted to her decision ? What 
has become of the argument that women are unfit to vote because they 
are dependent on men, or because they are unfit for military duty, or be- 
cause they are inexperienced, or because they are without power to en- 
force obedience to their laws ? 

The next argument is that by the present arrangement the administra- 
tion of justice is so far perverted that one-half the citizens of the country 
have an advantage from the sympathies of juries and judges which " would 
warrant loud complaint" on the part of the other half. If this be true, it 
is doubtless due to an instinctive feeling on the part of juries and judges 
that existing laws and institutions are unjust to women, or to the fact that 
juries composed wholly of men are led to do injustice by their suscepti- 
bility to the attractions of women. But certainly it is a grave defect in 
any system of government that it does not administer justice impartially, 
and the existence of such a defect is a strong reason for preferring an 
arrangement which would remove the feeling that women do not have 
fair play, or for so composing juries that, drar/n from both sexes, they 
would be impartial between the two. 

The final objection of the committee is that " such a change should be 
made, if at all, by the States. Three-fourths of the States should not 
force it upon the others. Whenever any considerable part of the women 
in any State wish for the right to vote, it will be granted without the in- 
tervention of congress." Who can doubt that when two-thirds of con- 
gress and three-fourths of the States have voted for the change, a con- 
siderable number of women in the other States will be found to desire it, 
so that, according to the committee's own belief, it can never be forced 
by a majority on unwilling communities? The prevention of unjust dis- 
crimination by States against large classes of people in respect to suffrage 
is even admitted to be a matter of national concern and an important 
function of the national constitution and laws. It is the duty of congress 
to propose amendments to the constitution whenever two-thirds of both 
houses deem them necessary. Certainly an amendment will be deemed 
necessary, if it can be shown to be required by the principles on which 
the constitution is based, and to remove an unjust disfranchisement from 
one-half the citizens of the country. The constitutional evidence of gen- 
eral public demand is to be found not in petitions, but in the assent of 
three-fourths of the States through their legislatures or conventions. 

The lessons of experience favor the conclusion that woman is fit for a 
share in government. It may be true that in certain departments of in- 
tellectual effort the greatest achievements of women have as yet never 


History of Woman Suffrage. 

equaled the greatest achievements of men. But it is equally tiue that in 
those same departments women have exhibited an intellectual ability very 
far beyond that of the average of men and very far beyond that of most 
men who have shown very great political capacity. But let the comparison 
be made in regard to the very thing with which we have to deal. Of men 
who have swayed chief executive power, a very considerable proportion 
have attained it by usurpation or by election, processes which imply ex- 
traordinary capacity on their part as compared with other men. The 
women who have held such power have come to it as sovereigns by in- 
heritance, or as regents by the accident of bearing a particular relation to 
the lawful sovereign when he was under some incapacity. Yet it is an 
undisputed fact that the number of able and successful female sovereigns 
bears a vastly greater proportion to the whole number of such sovereigns, 
than does the number of able and successful male sovereigns to the whole 
number of men who have reigned. An able, energetic, virtuous king or 
emperor is the exception and not the rule in the history of modern 
Europe. With hardly an exception the female sovereigns or regents have 
been wise and popular. Mr. Mill, who makes this point, says : 

We know how small a number of reigning queens history presents in comparison 
with that of kings. Of this small number a far larger proportion have shown talents 
for rule, though many of them have occupied the throne in difficult periods. '\Yhen 
to queens and empresses we add regents and viceroys of provinces, the list of women 

who have been eminent rulers of mankind swells to a great length 

Especially is this true if we take into consideration Asia as well as Europe. If a 
Hindoo principality is strongly, vigilantly and economically governed; if order is 
preserved without oppressicn; if cultivation is extending and the people prosperous, 
in three cases out of four that principality is under a woman's rule. This fact, to me 
an entirely unexpected one, I have collected from a long official knowledge of Hindoo 

Certainly history gives no warning that should deter the American 
people from carrying out the principles upon which their government 
rests to this most just and legitimate conclusion. Those persons who 
think that free government has anywhere failed, can only claim that 
this tends to prove, not the failure of universal suffrage, but the failure of 
masculine suffrage. Like failure has attended the operation of ever}' 
other great human institution, the family, the school, the church, when- 
ever woman has not been permitted to contribute to it her full share. 
As to the best example of the perfect family, the perfect school, the per- 
fect church, the love, the purity, the truth of woman are essential, so they 
are equally essential to the perfect example of the self-governing State. 


Thousands of copies of this report were published and franked 
to every part of the country. On February 7, just one week after 
the presentation of the able minority report, the bill allowing 
women to practice before the Supreme Court passed the Senate * 

* At its final action, the bill was called up by Hon. J. E. McDonald of Indiana. After some discus- 
sion it was passed without amendment 40 to 20. Yeas Allison, Anthony, Barnum, Beck, Elaine, 

Mr. Hoars Speech. 139 

and received the signature of President Hayes. Senators Mc- 
Donald, Hoar and Sargent made the principal speeches. We 
give Mr. Hoar's speech in full because of its terse and vigorous 
presentation of the fact that congress is a body superior to the 
Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Hoar said : 

Mr. President I understand the brief statement which was made, I 
think, during this last session by the majority of the Judiciary Committee 
in support of their opposition to this bill, did n$>t disclose that the majority 
of that committee were opposed to permitting women to engage in the 
practice of law or to be admitted to practice it in the Supreme Court of 
the United States, but the point they made, was that the legislation of the 
United States left to the Supreme Court the power of determining by rule 
who should be admitted to practice before that tribunal, and that we 
ought not by legislation to undertake to interfere with its rules. Now, 
with the greatest respect for that tribunal, I conceive that the law-making 
and not the law-expounding power in this government ought to determine 
the question what class of citizens shall be clothed with the office of the 
advocate. I believe that leaving to the Supreme Court by rule to deter- 
mine the qualifications or disqualifications of attorneys and counselors in 
that court is an exception to the nearly uniform policy of the States of 
the Union. Would it be tolerated if the Supreme Court undertook by 
rule to establish any other disqualification, any of those disqualifications 
which have existed in regard to holding any other office in the country? 
Suppose the court were of the opinion we had been too fast in relieving 
persons who took part in the late rebellion from their disabilities, and 
that it would not admit persons who had so taken part to practice be- 
fore the Supreme Court; is there any doubt that congress would at once 
interfere ? Suppose the Supreme Court were of opinion that the people 
of the United States had erred in the amendment which had removed the 
disqualification from colored persons and declined to admit such persons 
to practice in that court ; is there any doubt that congress would interfere 
and would deem ita fit occasion for the exercise of the law-making power? 

Now, Mr. President, this bill is not a bill merely to admit women to the 
privilege of engaging in a particular profession ; it is a bill to secure to 
the citizen of the United States the right to select his counsel, and that is 
all. At present a case is tried and decided in the State courts of any 
State of this Union which may be removed to the Supreme Court of the 
United States. In the courts of the State, women are permitted to prac- 
tice as advocates, and a woman has been the advocate under whose direc- 
tion and care and advocacy the case has been won in the court below. 
Is it tolerable that the counsel who has attended the case from its com- 
mencement to its successful termination in the highest court of the State 

Booth, Burnside, Cameron (Pennsylvania), Cameron (Wisconsin), Dawes, Dorsey, Ferry, Garland, 
Gordon, Hamlin, Hoar, Howe, Ingalls, Jones (Florida), Jones (Nevada), Kellogg, Kirkwood, Mc- 
Creery, McDonald, McMillan, McPherson, Matthews, Mitchell, Oglesby, Ransom, Rollins, Sargent, 
Teller, Voorhees, Waclleigh, Windom, Withers. A'ays Baily, Chaffee, Coke, Davis (Illlnoi:.), 1 >.^ i- 
(West Virginia), Eaton, Edmunds, Eustis, Grover, Harris, Hereford, Hill, Kern. in, Maxcy, Merrimon, 
in, Randolph, Saulsbury, Wallace, White. 

History of Woman Suffrage. 

should not be permitted to attend upon and defend the rights of that 
client when the case is transferred to the Supreme Court of the United 
States ? Everybody knows, at least every lawyer of experience knows, the 
impossibility of transferring with justice to the interests of a client, a 
cause from one counsel to another. A suit is instituted under the advice 
of a counsel on a certain theory, a certain remedy is selected, a certain 
theory of the cause is the one on which it is staked. Now that must be 
attended to and defended by the counsel under whose advice the suit has 
taken its shape ; the pleadings have been shaped in the courts below. 

Under the present system, a citizen of any State in the Union having 
selected a counsel of good moral character who has practiced three years, 
who possesses all-sufficient professional and personal qualifications, and 
having had a cause brought to a successful result in the State court, is 
denied by the present existing and unjust rule having counsel of his 
choice argue the cause in the Supreme Court of the United States. 

The greatest master of human manners, who read the human heart and 
who understood better than any man who ever lived the varieties of 
human character, when he desired to solve just what had puzzled the 
lawyers and doctors, placed a woman upon the judgment seat ; and yet, 
under the present existing law, if Portia herself were alive, she could not 
defend the opinion she had given, before the Supreme Court of the 
United States. 

The press commented favorably upon this new point gained 
for women. We give a few extracts : 

The senators who voted to-day against the bill " to relieve certain legal disabilities 
of women " are marked men and have reason to fear the result of their action. [Tele- 
graph to the New York Tribune, February 7. 

The women get into the Supreme Court in spite of the determination of the justices. 
They gained a decided advantage to-day in the passage by the Senate of a bill provid- 
ing that any woman who shall have been a member of the highest court in any State 
or territory, or of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, for three years, may 
be admitted to the Supreme Court. The bill was called up by Senator McDonald, in 
antagonism to Mr. Edmunds' amendment to the constitution which was the pending 
order. Mr. Edmunds objected to the consideration of the bill and voted against it. 
There was not much discussion, the main speeches being by Mr. Sargent and Mr. 
Hoar. [Special dispatch to the New York World, February 7. 

A WOMAN'S RIGHTS VICTORY IN THE SENATE. The Lockwood bill, giving 
women authority to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, passed 
the Senate yesterday by a vote of two to one, and now it only requires the approval of 
Mr. Hayes to become a law. The powerful effect of persistent and industrious lobby- 
ing is manifested in the success of this bill. When it was first introduced, it is doubt- 
ful if one-fourth the members of congress would have voted for it. Some of the strong- 
minded women, who were interested in the bill, stuck to it, held the fort from day to 
day, and talked members and senators into believing it a just measure. Senator Mc- 
Donald gave Mr. Edmunds a rebuff yesterday that he will not soon forget. The latter 
attempted to administer a rebuke to the Indiana senator for calling up a bill during 
the absence of the senator who had reported it. Mr. McDonald retorted that he knew 
the objection of the senator from Vermont was made for the purpose of defeating the 
bill and not, as pretended, to give an absent senator opportunity to speak upon it. 
[Washington Post, February 8. 

Press Comments. 


The credit for this victory belongs to Mrs. Belva Lockwood, of this city, who, hav- 
ing been refused admission to the bar of the United States Supreme Court, appealed 
to congress, and by dint of hard work has finally succeeded in having her bill passed 
by both houses. She called on Mrs. Hayes last evening, who complimented her upon 
her achievement, and informed her that she had sent a bouquet to Senator Hoar, in 
token of his efforts in behalf of the bill. [Washington Star, February 8. 

The bill was carried through merely by the energetic advocacy of Senators Mc- 
Donald, Sargent and Hoar, whose oratorical efforts were reenforced by the presence of 
Mrs. Lockwood. After the struggle was over, all the senators who advocated the bill 
were made the recipients of bouquets, while the three senators whose names we have 
given received large baskets of flowers. This is a pleasing omen of that purification 
of legal business which it is hoped will flow from the introduction of women to the 
courts. It was not flowers that used to be distributed at Washington and Albany in 
the old corrupt times, among legislators, in testimony of gratitude for their votes. Let 
us hope that venal legislation at Washington will be extirpated by the rise of this 
beautiful custom. [New York Nation. 

It was noticeable that all the presidential candidates dodged the issue except Senator 
Blaine, who voted for the bill. [Chicago Inter-Ocean. 

How humiliated poor old Judge Magruder must feel, since the congress of the 
United States paid the woman whom he forbade to open her mouth in his august pres- 
ence, in his little court, so much consideration as to pass an act opening to her the 
doors of the Supreme Court of the United States. All honor to the brave woman, 
who by her own unaided efforts thus achieved honor, fortune and fame the just 
rewards of her own true worth. [Havre Republican, Havre de Grace, Maryland. 

ENTER PORTIA. An act of congress was not necessary to authorize women to be 
lawyers, if their legal acquirements fitted them for that vocation; nor was it neces- 
sary to state, as an expression of opinion by the national legislature, that some women 
are so fully qualified for the legal profession that no barriers should be permitted to 
stand in their way. It was needed simply as a key whereby the hitherto locked door 
of the Supreme Court of the United States may he opened if a woman lawyer, with 
the usual credentials, should knock thereon. That is all; and there is no new question 
opened for profitless debate. The ability of some women to be lawyers is like the 
ability of others to make bread it rests upon the facts. There is no room for elaborate 
argument to prove either their fitness or unfitness for legal studies, so long as in Mis- 
souri, Wisconsin, Michigan, the District of Columbia, Iowa and North Carolina there 
are women in more or less successful practice and repute. * * * No- 
where are these great attributes of civilization and regulated liberty law, con- 
servatism, justice, equity and mercy in the administration of human affairs put in 
broader light or truer, than they are by the words that Shakespeare puts in the mouth 
of this woman jurist. \JPublic Ledger, Philadelphia, February 12. 

When congress recently passed a law allowing women to practice in the Supreme 
Court, it was not a subject of any special or eager comment. A woman who is a law- 
yer sent flowers to the desks of the members who voted for the bill, and before they 
had faded, comment was at an end. The home was still safe and the country was not 
in peril. It was one of the questions which had settled itself and was a foregone con- 
clusion. * * * United States Senator Edmunds of Vermont, has 'fallen into dis- 
favor with the ladies for voting against the above bill. [From John W. Forney's 
Progress, February 22. 

On March 3, by motion of Hon. A. G. Riddle, Mrs. Lockwood 
was admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court,* 

* Conspicuous in the large and distinguished audience present were Senator M'Donald, Attorney- 
general Williams, Hon. Jeremiah .Wilson, Judge Shellabargcr, Hon. George W. Julian, who with 
many others extended hearty congratulations to Mrs. Lockwood. 

142 History of Woman Suffrage. 

taking the official oath and receiving the classic sheep-skin ; and 
the following week she was admitted to practice before the Court 
of Claims. The forty-sixth congress contained an unusually 
large proportion of new representatives, fresh from the people, 
ready for the discussion of new issues, and manifesting a chival- 
ric spirit toward the consideration of woman's claims as a citizen. 
On Tuesday, April 29, the following resolution was submitted 
to the Committee on Rules in the House of Representatives : 

Resolved, That a select committee of nine members be appointed by the speaker, to 
be called a Committee on the Rights of Women, whose duty it shall be to consider 
and report upon all petitions, memorials, resolutions and bills that may be presented 
in the House relating to the rights of women. 

Admitting the justice of a fair consideration of a question in- 
volving every human right of one-half of the population of this 
country, Alex. H. Stephens of Georgia, James A. Garfield of 
Ohio, Wm. P. Frye of Maine, immediately declared themselves 
in favor of the appointment of said committee, and Speaker 
Randall, the chairman, ordered it reported to the House. A 
similar resolution was introduced in the Senate, before the ad- 
journment of the special session. This showed a clearer percep- 
tion of the magnitude of the question, and the need of its early 
and earnest consideration, than at any time during the previous 
thirty years of argument, heroic struggle and sacrifice on the 
altar of woman's freedom. 

The anniversary of 1879 was ne ^ m St. Louis, Missouri, May 
7, 8, 9. Mrs. Virginia L. Minor and Miss Phoebe W. Couzins 
made all possible arrangements for the success of the meeting 
and the comfort of the delegates.* Mrs. Minor briefly stated the 
object of the convention and announced that, as the president of 
the association had not arrived, Mrs. Joslyn Gage would take the 
chair. Miss Couzins gave the address of welcome : 
Mrs. President and Members of the National Woman Suffrage Association : 

It becomes my pleasant duty to welcome you to the hospitalities of my 
native city. To extend to you who for the first time meet beyond the Mis- 
sissippi, a greeting not only in behalf of the friends of woman suffrage, but 

* // 'as/iington, D. C. Sara A. Spencer. Illinois Clara Lyon Peters, Watseka ; Mrs. G. P. Graham 
Martha L. Mathews, Amanda E. and Matilda S. Frazer, Aledo ; Hannah J. Coffee, Abby B. Trego 
Orion ; Mrs. Senator Hanna, Fairfield ; Sarah F. Nourse, Moline; Mrs. E. P. Reynolds, Rock Island 
Cynthia Leonard, Chicago. Missouri Virginia L. Minor, Mrs. M. A. Peoquine, Mrs. P. W. Thomas 
Eliza J. Patrick, Mrs. E. M. Dan, Eliza A. Robbins Phoebe W. Couzins, Alex. Robbins, St. Louis 
James L. Allen, Oregon ; Mi-; A. J. Sparks, Warrensbtirg. Wisconsin Rev. Olympia Brown 
Racine. Nc~u York Susan B. Anthony Matilda Joslyn Gage, Mary R. Pell, Florence Pell. Indiana 
Helen Austin, Richmond ; May Wright Thompson, Amy E. Dunn, Gertrude Garrison, Mary E 
Haggart, Indianapolis. Tennessee Elizabeth A very Meriwether, Minor Lee Meriwether, Memphis 
Kentucky Mary B. Clay, Richmond. Louisiana i.mily P. Collins, Ponchatoula. Ohio Eva L 
Pinney, South Newbury. Pennsylvania Mrs. L. P. Danforth, Julia and Rachel Foster. Philadelphia 

Miss Couzins 1 Address of Welcome. 143 

for those of our citizens who, while not in full sympathy with your views, 
have a desire to hear you in deliberative council and to cordially tender 
you tne same courtesies offered other conventions which have chosen St. 
Louis as their place of annual gathering. 

And I am the more happy to do this because of the opportunity it af- 
fords me to disabuse your minds of certain impressions which have gone 
abroad concerning our slowness of action in the line of advanced ideas. 
Certainly in some phases of that reformation to which you and your co- 
laborers have pledged your lives, your fortunes the cause of woman 
St. Louis is the leader. 

When, eighteen or twenty years since, Harriet Hosmer desired to study 
anatomy, to perfect herself in her art, not a college in New England would 
open its doors to her; she traveled West, and through the generous 
patronage of Wayman Crow of this city, she became a pupil of the dean 
of the St. Louis Medical college. 

When other cities had refused equality of wages and position, St. Louis 
placed Miss Brackett at the head of our normal school, giving her a 
heretofore exclusively male prerogative the highest wages, added to the 
highest educational rank. 

And here in St. Louis began the advance march which has finally 
broken down the walls of the highest judicial fortress, the Supreme Court 
of the United States. Washington University, in response to my request, 
unhesitatingly opened its doors, and for the first time in the history of 
America, woman was accorded the right to a legal course of training with 
man, and, at its close, after successful examination, I was freely accorded 
the degree of Bachelor of Laws ! A city or a State that could perpetrate 
the anomaly of a female bachelor, is certainly not far behind the radicalism 
of the age. 

Again, as I turn to its record on suffrage, I find as early as 1866 the 
Hon. B. Gratz Brown of Missouri made a glowing speech for woman's 
enfranchisement, in the United States Senate, on Mr. Cowan's motion to 
strike out "male" from the District of Columbia suffrage bill, which re- 
sulted in an organization in 1867, through the efforts of Mrs. Virginia L. 
Minor, its first president. And again, I remember when that hydra-headed 
evil arose in our midst, degrading all women and violating all the sweet 
and sacred sanctities of life a blow at our homes and a lasting stigma on 
our civilization the people of this community, led by the chancellor of 
Washington Universiy, at the ballot-box but recently laid that monster 
away in a tomb, never, I trust, to be resurrected. 

And now, Mrs. President, let me add, in words which but faintly express 
the emotion of my heart, the gratitude we feel towards the noble women 
who have borne the burden and heat of the day. They who have been 
ridiculed, villified, maligned, but through it all maintained an unswerving 
allegiance to truth. In the name of all true womanhood I welcome this 
association in our midst as worthy of the highest honor. 

We have lived to see the enlargement of woman's thought in all direc- 
tions. From our laboratories, libraries, observatories, schools of medicine 
and law, universities of science, art and literature, she is advancing to the 

History of Woman Suffrage. 

examination of the problems of life, with an eye single only to *he glory of 
truth. Like the Spartan of old she has thrown her spear into the thickest 
of the fray, and will fight gloriously in the midst thereof till she regains 
her own. No specious sophistry or vain delusion no time-honored tra- 
dition or untenable doctrine can evade her searching investigation. 

Mrs. Gage responded to this address in a few earnest, appro- 
priate words. 

Of the many letters* read in the convention none was received 
with greater joy than the few lines, written with trembling hand, 
from Lucretia Mott, then in the eighty-seventh year of her age : 

ROADSIDE, Fourth Month, 26, 1879. 

MY DEAR SUSAN ANTHONY It would need no urgent appeal to draw 
me to St. Louis had I the strength for the journey. You will have no 
need of my worn-out powers. Our cause itself has become sufficiently 
attractive. Edward M. Davis has a joint letter on hand for my signature, 
so this is enough, with my mite toward expenses. And to all assembled 
in St. Louis best wishes for yes, full faith in your success. I have signed 
Edward's letter, so it is hardly necessary for me to say, 


The distinguishing feature of this convention was an afternoon 
session of ladies alone, prompted by an attempt to reenact a law 
for the license of prostitution, which had been enforced in St. 
Louis a few years before and repealed through the united efforts 
of the best men and women of the city. Mrs. Joslyn Gage opened 
the meeting by reading extracts from the Woman's Declaration of 
Rights presented at the centennial celebration, and drew especial 
attention to the clause referring to two separate codes of morals 
for men and women, arising from woman's inferior political posi- 
tion : 

There are two points which may be considered open for discussion dur- 
ing the afternoon one, the fact that there are existing in all forms of 
society, barbaric, semi-civilized, civilized or enlightened, two separate 

111.; oeo. m. jacKson, jonn rinn, A rracucai woman, ai. i^ouis ; maria narKner, mrs. j. i>iarun, 
Kate B. Ross, 111.; Emma Molloy, Ind.; Maria J. Johnston, Mo.; Zenas Brockett, N. Y.; Kate N. 
Doggett, president of the Association for the Advancement of Women ; Rebecca N. Hazard, president 

Josephine E. Butlers Letter. 145 

codes of morals; the strict code to which women are held accountable, 
and the lax code which governs the conduct of men. 

The other question which can very properly be discussed at the present 
time is, "Why in this country, and in all civilized nations, do one-half of 
the population die under five years of age, and in some countries a very 
large proportion under one year? " 

A letter was read from Mrs. Josephine E. Butler. As the ex- 
periment of licensing prostitution had been extensively tried in 
England, and she had watched the effects of the system not only 
in her own country but on the continent, her opinions on this 
question are worthy of consideration : 
To the Annual Meeting of the National Suffrage Association in St. Louis : 

DEAR FRIENDS As I am unable to be present at your convention on 
May 7, 8, 9, and as you ask for a communication from me, I gladly write 
you on some of the later phases of our struggle against legalized prostitu- 
tion. A brave battle has been fought in St. Louis against that iniquity, 
and we have regarded it with sympathy and admiration ; but you are not 
yet safe against the devices of those who uphold this white slavery, nor 
are we safe, although we know that in the end we shall be conquerors. 
You tell me that "England is held up as an example of the beneficial 
working of the legalizing of vice." England holds a peculiar position in re- 
gard to the question. She was the last to adopt this system of slavery and 
she adopted it in that thorough manner which characterizes the Anglo- 
Saxon race. In no other country has prostitution been regulated by law. 
It has been understood by the Latin races, even when morally enervated, 
that the law could not without risk of losing its majesty violate justice. 
In England alone the regulations are law. Their promoters, by their 
hardihood in asking parliament to decree injustice, have brought on un- 
consciously to themselves, the beginning of the end of the whole system. 
The Englishman is a powerful agent for evil as for good. In the best 
times of our history my countrymen possessed preeminently vigorous 
minds in vigorous bodies. But when the animal nature has outgrown the 
moral, the appetites burst their proper restraints, and man has no other 
notion of enjoyment save bodily pleasure ; he passes by a quick and easy 
transition into a powerful brute. And this is what the upper-class English- 
man has to a deplorable extent become. There is no creature in the world 
so ready as he to domineer, to enslave, to destroy. But together with 
this development towards evil, there has been in our country a counter 
development. Moral faith is still strong among us. There are powerful 
women, as well as strong, pure, and self-governed men, of the real old 
Anglo-Saxon type. It was in England then, which adopted last the 
hideous slavery, that there arose first a strong national protest in oppo- 
sition. English people rose up against the wicked law before it had been 
in operation three months. English men and women determined to carry 
abolition not at home only, but abroad, and they promptly carried their 
standard to every country on the continent of Europe. In all these coun- 
tries men and women came forward at the first appeal, and said, "We are 

146 History of Woman Suffrage. 

ready, we only waited for you, Anglo-Saxons, to take the lead ; we have 
groaned under the oppression, but there was not force enough among us 
to take the initiative step." 

We have recently had a visit from Monsieur Aimi Humbert of Switzer- 
land, our able general secretary for the continent. Much encouragement 
w;is derived from the reports which reached us from France, Holland, 
Denmark, Sweden and even Spain, where a noble lady, Donna Concepcion 
Arenal of Madrid, and several gentlemen have warmly espoused our cause. 
The progress is truly encouraging; yet, on the other hand, it is obvious 
that the partisans of this legislation have recently been smitten with a 
kind of rage for extending the system everywhere, and are on the watch 
to introduce it wherever we are off our guard. In almost all British 
colonies they are very busy. At the Cape of Good Hope, where the Cape 
parliament had repealed the law, the governor, Sir Bartle Frere, has been 
induced by certain specialists and immoral men, to reintroduce it. But 
since he could not count on the parliament at Cape Town for doing this, 
he has relntroduced the miserable system by means of a proclamation or 
edict, without the sanction and probably, to a great extent, without the 
knowledge of parliament. The same game is being played in other colo- 
nies. These facts seem to point to a more decided and bitter struggle on 
the question than we have yet seen. An engergetic member of our ex- 
ecutive committee, M. Pierson of Zetten, in Holland, says : 

I look upon legalized prostitution as the system in which the immorality of our age 
is crystalized, and that in attacking it we attack in reality the great enemies which are 
hiding themselves behind its ramparts. But if we do not soon overthrow these ramparts 
we must not think our work is fruitless. A great work is already achieved ; sin is once 
more called sin instead of necessary evil, and the true standard of morality equal for 
men and women, for rich and poor is once more raised in the face of all the nations. 

This legalization of vice which recognized the " necessity " of impurity 
for man and the institution of slavery for woman, is the most open denial 
which modern times have seen of the principle of the sacredness of the 
individual human being. It is the embodiment of socialism in its worst 
form. An English high-class journal confessed this, when it dared to de- 
mand that women who are unchaste shall henceforth be dealt with " not 
as human beings, but as foul sewers," or some such " material nuisance " 
without souls, without rights and without responsibilities. When the lead- 
ers of public opinion in a country have arrived at such a point of com- 
bined depotism as to recommend such a manner of dealing with human 
beings, there is no crime which that countn^ may not legalize. Were it 
possible to secure the absolute physical health of a whole province, or an 
entire continent by the destruction of one, only one poor and sinful 
woman, woe to that nation which should dare, by that single act of de- 
struction, to purchase this advantage to the many! It will do it at its 

We entreat our friends in America to renew their alliance with us 
in the sacred conflict. Union will be strength. The women of England 
are beginning to understand their responsibilities. Like yourselves, we 
are laboring to obtain the suffrage. The wrong which has fallen upon us 
in this legalizing of vice has taught us the need of power in legislation. 

Tribute to Miss Anthony. 147 

Meanwhile, the crusade against immorality is educating women for the 
right use of suffrage when they obtain it. The two movements must go 
hand in hand. 

Altogether this was an impressive occasion in which women 
met heart to heart in discussing the deepest humiliations of their 
sex. After eloquent speeches by Mrs. Meriwether, Mrs. Spencer, 
Mrs. Leonard, Mrs. Thompson and Rev. Olympia Brown, the 
audience slowly dispersed. 

The closing scenes of the evening were artistic and interesting. 
The platform was tastefully decked with flags and flowers, and 
the immense audience that had assembled at an early hour 
hundreds unable to gain admission made this the crowning ses- 
sion of the convention. Miss Couzins announced the receipt of 
an invitation from Mr. John Wahl, inviting the convention to 
visit the Merchants' Exchange, " with assurances of high regard." 
The announcement was heard with considerable merriment by 
those who remembered her criticisms on Mr. Wahl for his 
failure to deliver the address of welcome at the opening of the 
convention. She also announced the receipt of an invitation from 
Secretary Kalb to visit the fair-grounds, and moved that the 
convention first visit the Exchange and then proceed to the fair- 
grounds in carriages, the members of the Merchants' Exchange, 
of course paying the bill. The motion was carried amidst applause. 
An invitation was also received from Dr. Eliot, chancellor of 
"Washington University, to attend the art lecture of Miss Schoon- 
maker at the Mary Institute, Monday evening. In a letter to 
the editor of the National Citizen, Mrs. Stanton thus describes 
the incident of the evening: 

The delegates from the different States, through May Wright Thomp- 
son of Indianapolis, presented Miss Anthony with two baskets of ex- 
quisite flowers. She referred in the most happy way to Miss Anthony's 
untiring devotion to all the unpopular reforms through years of pitiless 
persecution, and thanked her in behalf of the young womanhood of the 
nation, that their path had been made smoother by her brave life. Miss 
Anthony was so overcome with the delicate compliments and the fragrant 
flowers at her feet, that for a few moments she could find no words to ex- 
press her appreciation of the unexpected acknowledgement of what all 
American women owe her. As she stood before that hushed audience, 
her silence was more eloquent than words, for her emotion was shared 
by all. With an effort she at last said : 

Friends, I have no words to express my gratitude for this marked attention. I have 
so long been the target for criticism and ridicule, I am so unused to praise, that I 
stand before you surprised and disarmed. If any one had come to this platform and 

148 History of Woman Suffrage. 

abused all womankind, called me hard names, ridiculed our arguments or denied the 
justice of our demands, I could with readiness and confidence have rushed to the de- 
fence, hut I cannot make any apropriate reply for this offering of eloquent words and 
flowers, and I shall not attempt it. 

Being advertised as the speaker of the evening, she at once began her 
address, and as she stood there and made an argument worthy a senator 
of the United States, I recalled the infinite patience with which, for up- 
wards of thirty years, she had labored for temperance, anti-slavery and 
woman suffrage, with a faithfulness worthy the martyrs in the early days 
of the Christian church, and said to myself, verily the world now as ever 
crucifies its saviors. 

Thanks to the untiring industry of Mrs. Minor and Miss Couzins, the 
convention was in every way a success, morally, financially, in crowded 
audiences, and in the fair, respectful and complimentary tone of the press. 
Looking over the proceedings and resolutions, the thought struck me 
that the National Association is the only organization that has steadily 
maintained the doctrine of federal power against State rights. The great 
truths set forth in the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments of United 
States supremacy, so clearly seen by us, seem to be vague and dim to our 
leading statesmen and lawyers if we may judge by their speeches and de- 
cisions. Your superb speech on State rights should be published in tract 
form and scattered over this entire nation. How can we ever have a 
homogeneous government so long as universal principles are bounded 
by State lines. 

The delegates remaining in the city went on 'Change in a body 
at 12 o'clock Saturday, on invitation of the president, John Wahl. 
They were -courteously received and speeches were made by 
Mesdames Couzins, Stanton, Anthony, Meriwether and Thomp- 
son. Mrs. Meriwether's speech was immediately telegraphed in 
full to Memphis. All wore badges of silk on which in gold letters 
appeared " N. W. S. A., May 10, 1879, Merchants' Exchange." 
From the Exchange the ladies proceeded in carriages to the fair- 
grounds, and Zoological Gardens where they took refreshments. 

On Saturday evening Miss Couzins gave a delightful reception. 
Her parlors were crowded until a late hour, where the friends of 
woman suffrage had an opportunity to use their influence socially 
in converting many distinguished guests. On Sunday night 
Mrs. Stanton was invited by the Rev. Ross C. Houghton to 
occupy his pulpit in the Union Methodist church, the largest 
in the city of that denomination. She preached from the text 
in Genesis i., 27, 28. The sermon was published in the St. 
Louis Globe the next morning.* Mrs. Thompson was also in- 

* Though an extra edition was struck off not a paper was to be had by 10 o'clock in the morning 
Gov. Stannard and other prominent members of the suffrage association bought and mailed ever/ 
copy they could obtain. 

Results. 149 

vited to occupy a Presbyterian pulpit, but imperative duties 
compelled her to leave the city. 

The enthusiasm aroused by the convention in woman's en- 
franchisement was encouraging to those who had so long and 
earnestly labored in this cause.* This was indeed a week of 
profitable work. With arguments and appeals to man's reason 
and sense of justice on the platform, to his religious emotions 
and conscience in the pulpit, to his honor and courtesy in the par- 
lor, all the varied influences of public and private life were- 
exerted with marked effect ; while the press on the wings of the 
wind carried the glad tidings of a new gospel for woman to every 
town and hamlet in the State. 

* On the Tuesday following the convention a large number of St. Louis people met and formed a 
woman suffrage society, auxiliary to the National. Miss Anthony who had remained over, called the 
meeting to order ; Mrs. E. C. Johnson made an effective speech ; Mrs. Minor was chosen president. 
Over fifty persons enrolled as members. The second meeting held a fortnight after, was also crowded 
twenty-fi /e new members were obtained. 




Why we Hold Conventions in Washington Lincoln Hall Demonstration Sixty-six 
Thousand Appeals Petitions Presented in Congress Hon. T. W. Ferry of 
Michigan in the Senate Hon. George B. Loring of Massachusetts in the House 
Hon. J. J. Davis of North Carolina Objected Twelfth Washington Convention 
Hearings before the Judiciary Committees of both Houses 1880 May Anni- 
versary at Indianapolis Series of Western Conventions Presidential Nominating 
Conventions Delegates and Addresses to each Mass-meeting at Chicago Wash- 
ington Convention, iSSi Memorial Service to Lucretia Mott Mrs. Stanton's 
Eulogy Discussion in the Senate on a Standing Committee Senator McDonald 
of Indiana Championed the Measure May Anniversary in Boston Conventions 
in the Chief Cities of New England. 

THE custom of holding conventions at the seat of government 
in mid-winter has many advantages. Congress is then in session, 
the Supreme Court sitting, and society, that mystic, headless, 
power, at the height of its glory. Being the season for official 
receptions, where one meets foreign diplomats from every civilized 
nation, it is the time chosen by strangers to visit our beautiful 
capital. Washington is the modern Rome to which all roads 
lead, the bright cynosure of all eyes, and is alike the hope and 
fear of worn-out politicians and aspiring pilgrims. From this 
great center varied influences radiate to the vast circumference 
of our land. Supreme-court decisions, congressional debates, 
presidential messages and popular opinions on all questions of 
fashion, etiquette and reform are heralded far and near, awaken- 
ing new thought in every State in our nation and, through their 
representatives, in the aristocracies of the old world. Hence to 
hold a suffrage convention in Washington is to speak to the 
women of every civilized nation. 

The Twelfth Annual Convention of the National Association 
assembled in Lincoln Hall, January 21, 1880. Many distin- 
guished ladies and gentlemen occupied the platform, which was 
tastefully decorated with flags and flowers, and around the walls 

Twelfth Washington Convention. 151 

hung familiar mottoes,* significant of the demands of the hour. 
On taking the chair Susan B. Anthony made some appropriate 
remarks as to the importance of the work of the association dur- 
ing the presidential campaign. Mrs. Spencer called the roll, and 
delegates f from sixteen States responded. 

Mrs. Gage read the call : 

The National Association will hold its twelfth annual convention in 
Lincoln Hall, Washington, D. C., January 21, 22, 1880. 

The question as to whether we are a nation, or simply a confederacy of 
States, that has agitated the country from the inauguration of the govern- 
ment, was supposed to have been settled by the war and confirmed by 
the amendments, making United States citizenship and suffrage practi- 
cally synonymous. Not, however, having been pressed to its logical re- 
sults, the question as to the limits of State rights and national power is 
still under discussion, and is the fundamental principle that now divides 
the great national parties. As the final settlement of this principle in- 
volves the enfranchisement of woman, our question is one of national 
politics, and the real issue of the hour. If it is the duty of the general 
government to protect the freedmen of South Carolina and Louisiana in 
the exercise of their rights as United States citizens, the government 
owes the same protection to the women in Massachusetts and New York. 
This year will again witness an exciting presidental election, and this 
question of momentous importance to woman will be the issue then 
presented. Upon its final decision depends not only woman's speedy en- 
franchisement, but the existence of the republic. 

A sixteenth amendment to the national constitution, prohibiting the 
States from disfranchising United States citizens on the ground of sex, 
will be urged upon the forty-sixth congress by petitions, arguments and 
appeals. The earnest, intelligent and far-seeing women of every State 
should assemble at the coming convention, and show by their wise coun- 
sels that they are worthy to be citizens of a free republic. All asso- 

* " True labor reform ; the ballot for woman, the unpaid laborer of the whole earth." 
" Man's work is from sun to sun, 
But woman's work is never done." 

"Taxation without representation is tyranny. Woman is taxed to support pauperism and crime, 
and is compelled to feed and clothe the law-makers who oppress her." 

"Women are voting on education, the bulwark of the republic, in Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, 
Colorado, Oregon, New Hampshire and Massachusetts." 

" Women are voting on all questions in Wyoming and Utah. The vote of women transformed 
Wyoming from barbarism to civilization." 

'' The financial problem for woman : equal pay for equal work, and one hundred cents on the dollar." 

" When a woman Will, she WILL, and you may depend on it, she WILL vote." 

t California, Jane B.Archibald; Connecticut, Julia E. Smith (Parker), E. C. Champion; Dela- 
ware, Mary A. Stuart; District of Columbia, Sara Andrews Spencer, Jane H. Spofford, Ellen H. 
Sheldon, Sara J. Messer, Amanda M. Best, Belva A. Lockwood. Mary A. S. Carey, Rosina M. Par- 
nell, Mary L. Woostcr, Helen Rand Tindall, Lura McNall Orme ; Illinois, Miss Jessie Waite, 
daughter of Caroline V. and Judge Waite; Indiana, Zerelda G. Wallace, Emma Mont McRae ; 
Flora M. Hardin ; Iowa, Nancy R. Allen; Kansas, Delia Ross; Louisiana, Elizabeth L. Saxon, 
Maine, Sophronia C. Snow; Maryland, Lavinia Dundore ; Michigan, Catherine A. F. Stebbins: 
Missouri, Phcebe W. Couzins ; Neiu Hampshire, Marilla M. Ricker ; Neiv Jersey, Lucinda B. 
Chandler; New York, Susan B. Anthony. Matilda Joslyn Gage, Lillie Devereux Blake, Dr. A. W. 
Lozier, Jennie de M. Lozier, M. D., Helen M. Slocum ; Pennsylvania, Rachel G. Foster, Julia T.. 
Foster ; South Carolina, Mary R. Pell. 

History of Woman Suffrage. 

ciations in the United States which believe it is the duty of congress to 
submit an amendment protecting woman in the exercise of the right of 
suffrage, are cordially invited to send delegates. Those who cannot at- 
tend the convention, are urged to address letters to their representa- 
tives in congress, asking them to give as careful attention to the pro- 
posed amendment and to the petitions and arguments urged in its behalf, 
as though the rights of men, only, were involved. A delegate from each 
section of the country will be heard before the committees of the House 
and Senate, to whom our petitions will be referred.* 

Mrs. Spencer presented a series of resolutions which were ably 
discussed by the speakers and adopted : 

Resolved, That we are a nation and not a mere confederacy, and that the right of 
citizens of the United States to self-government through the ballot should be guaran- 
teed by the national constitution and protected everywhere under the national flag. 

Resolved, That while States may have the right to regulate the time, place and man- 
ner of elections, and the qualifications of voters upon terms equally applicable to all 
citizens, they should be forbidden under heavy penalties to deprive any citizen of the 
right to self-government on account of sex. 

Resolved, That it is the duty of the forty-sixth congress to immediately submit to the 
several States the amendment to the national constitution recently proposed by Senator 
Ferry and Representative Loring, and approved by the National Suffrage Association. 

Resolved, That it is the duty of the House of Representatives to pass immediately 
the resolution recommended by the Committee on Rules directing the speaker to ap- 
point a committee on the rights of women. 

Resolved, That the giant labor reform of this age lies in securing to woman, the 
great unpaid and unrecognized laborer and producer of the whole earth, the fruits of 
her toil. 

Resolved, That the theory of a masculine head to rule the family, the church, or the 
State, is contrary to republican principles, and the fruitful source of rebellion and cor- 

Resolved, That the assumption of the clergy, that woman has no right to participate 
in the ministry and offices of the church is unauthorized theocratic tyranny, placing a 
masculine mediator between woman and her God, which finds no authority in reason, 
and should be resisted by all women as an odious form of religious persecution. 

Resolved, That it is the duty of the congress of the United States to provide a re- 
form school for girls and a home for the children whom no man owns or protects, and 
who are left to die upon the streets of the nation's capital, or to grow up in ignorance, 
vice and crime. 

Hesolved, That since man has everywhere committed to woman the custody and 
/ownership of the child born out of wedlock, and has required it to bear its mother's 
name, he should recognize woman's right as a mother to the custody of the child born 
in marriage, and permit it to bear her name! 

Resolved, That the National Association will send a delegate and an alternate to 
each presidential nominating convention to demand the rights of woman, and to sub- 
mit to each party the following plank for presidential platform : Resolved, That the 
-right to use the ballot inheres in the citizen of the United States, and we pledge our- 
selves to secure protection in the exercise of this right to all citizens irrespective of sex. 

Resolved, That one-half of the number of the supervisors of the tenth census, and 
one-half of the collectors of said census, should be educated, intelligent women, who 
can be safely entrusted to enumerate women and children, their occupations, ages, 

* Signed by Matilda Joslyn Gage, Chairman Executive Committee: Susan B. Anthony, I'ice-fres- 
ident-at-iarge; Sara Andrews Spencer, Corresponding Secretary ; Jane H. Spofford, Treasurer. 

Anna Ella Carroll, of Maryland. 153 

diseases and deaths, and who would not be likely to overlook ten millions of house- 

Resolved, That Ulysses S. Grant won his first victories through the military plans 
and rare genius of a woman, Anna Ella Carroll, of Maryland, and while he has been 
rewarded with the presidential office through two terms, and a royal voyage around the 
world, crowned with glory and honor, Miss Carroll has for fifteen years been suffer- 
ing in poverty unrecognized and unrewarded. 

Resolved, That the thanks of this association are hereby tendered to Governor Chas. 
B. Andrews, of Connecticut, for remembering in each annual message to ask for justice 
to women. 

The comments of the press* were very complimentary, and 
their daily reports of the convention full and fair. Among the 
many letters f to the convention, the following from a Southern 
lady is both novel and amusing: 

MEMPHIS, Term., December 11, 1889. 

DEAR MRS. SPENCER: You want petitions. Well I have two which I 
got up some time ago, but did not send on because I thought the names 
too few to count much. The one is of white women 130 in number. The 
other contains no names of black women. This last is a curiosity, and 
was gotten up under the following circumstances : 

Some ladies were dining with me and we each promised to get what 
names we could to petitions for woman suffrage. My servant who waited 

* This week has been devoted almost exclusively to the women, who as temperance leaders, female 
suffragists and general reformers, have become a power in the land which can no longer be ridiculed or 
ignored. Yesterday Lincoln Hall was packed to its utmost capacity with such an audience as no other 
entertainment or amusement has ever before gathered in this city. Women of refinement and cultiva- 
tion, of thought and purpose, women of standing and position in society, mothers of families, wives of 
clergymen, were there by the hundreds, to listen to the words of wisdom and eloquence that fell 
from the lips of that assembly, the most carefully organized, thoroughly governed, harmoniously acting 
association in this great country. Members of congress, professors of colleges, judges and gentlemen of 
leisure, sat or stood in admiration of the progress of the women, who are so earnestly striving to regen- 
erate our beloved republic, over which the shadow of anarchy and dissolution is hovering with outspread 
wings. These women are no longer trembling suppliants, feeling their way cautiously and feebly amid 
an overpowering mass of obstructions ; they are now strong in their might, in their unity, and in the 
righteousness of their cause. Men will do wisely if they attract this power instead of repelling it; if 
they permit women to work in concert with them, instead of compelling them to be arrayed against 
them. The fate of Governor Robinson and Senator Ecelstine of New York, indicates what they can 
do, and what they will do, if obliged to assume the attitude of aggressors. Congress has heard no such 
eloquence upon its floors this week as we have listened to from the lips of these noble women. [Wash- 
ington correspondent of the Portland (Me.) Transcript, Jan. 23, 1880. 

These conventions occur yearly and although the ladies have fought long and hard, and seem to have 
not yet reached a positive assurance of success, still they continue to force the fight with greater earn- 
estness and redoubled energy, and their meetings are conducted with much wisdom and decided spirit* 
Thcra is one thing to the credit of these ladies which cannot be said of the opposite sex, and that is, 
their conventions are models of good order and parliamentary eloquence, and they put their work 
through in a graceful, business-like manner. [Washington Critic, Jan. 21. 1880. 

The announcement that the public session of the National Woman Suffrage Convention would begin 
at one o'clock yesterday afternoon at Lincoln Hall sufficed to attract a most brilliant audience, composed 
principally of ladies, occupying every seat and thronging the aisles. The inconvenience of re- 
maining standing was patiently endured by hundreds who seemed loth to leave while the convention 
was in progress. [Washington National Republican, Jan. 22, 1880. 

The session of the Woman Suffrage Convention in Washington this week has developed the fact 
that these strong-minded women are making progress. The convention itself was composed of women 
of marked ability, and its proceedings were marked by dignity and decorum. The very best citizens of 
the city attended the meetings. [Washington correspondent Syracuse Daily Standard. 

t Letters were read from Mary Powers Filley, N. H.; Martha G. Tunstall, Texas ; M. A. Darling, 
Mich.; May Wright Thompson, Ind.; Sarah Burger "Stearns, Minn.; Miss Martin, 111.; W. G. 
Myers, O.; Annie L. Quinby, Ky.; Zina Young Williams, Utah; Barbara J. Thompson. Neb.; Mir* 
L. Sturgis, Me.; Orra Langhorne, Va.; Emily P. Collins, La,; Charles P. Wellman, esq., Ga. 

154 History of Woman Suffrage. 

on table was a coal-black woman. She became interested and after the 
ladies went away asked me to explain the matter to her, which I did. She 
then said if I would give her a paper she could get a thousand names 
among the black women, that many of them felt that they were as much 
slaves to their husbands as ever they had been to their white masters. I 
gave her a petition, and said to her, "Tell the women this is to have a law 
passed that will not allow the men to whip their -wives, and will put 
down drinking saloons." " Every black woman will go for that law!" 
She took the paper and procured these no signatures against the 
strong opposition of black men who in some cases threatened to whip' 
their wives if they signed. At length the opposition was so great my 
servant had not courage to face it. She feared some bodily harm would be 
done her by the black men. You can see this is a genuine negro petition 
from the odd way the names are written, sometimes the capital letter in 
the middle of the name, sometimes at the end. 


In response to 66,000 documents containing appeals to women, 
issued by the National Association, 250 petitions, signed by over 
12,000, arrived in Washington in time for presentation to congress 
before the assembling of the convention, and were read on the 
floor of the Senate, with the leading names, January 14, 16, 20, 21, 
by forty-seven senators. 

In the House of Representatives this courtesy (reading peti- 
tions and names), requires unanimous consent, and one man, Hon. 
J. J. Davis of North Carolina, who had no petition from the wo- 
men of his State, objected. Sixty-five representatives presented 
the petitions at the clerk's desk, under the rule, January 14, 15, 
16. In answer to these appeals to both Houses, on Monday, 
January 19, Hon. T. W. Ferry, of Michigan, introduced in the 
Senate a joint resolution for a sixteenth amendment, which with 
all the petitions was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. 
Tuesday, January 20, Hon. George B. Loring, of Massachusetts, 
introduced the same resolution in the House of Representatives, 
and it was referred, with all the petitions, to the Committee on 
the Judiciary. There were also during this congress presented 
over 300 petitions from law-abiding, tax-paying women, praying 
for the removal of their political disabilities. 

On Friday and Saturday, January 23, 24, these committees 
granted hearings of two hours each to delegates from ten States 
who had been in attendance at the convention. Thoughtful at- 
tention was given to arguments upon every phase of the question, 
and senators and representatives expressed a strong determina- 
tion to bring the subject fairly before the people. 

Argument Before the Senate Committee. 155 

The committees especially requested that only the delegates 
should be present, wishing, as they said, to give their sole atten- 
tion to the arguments undisturbed by the crowds who usually 
seek admittance. Even the press was shut out. These private 
sessions with most of the members present, and the close atten- 
tion they gave to each speaker, were strong proof of the growth 
of our reform, as but a few years before representatives sought 
excuses for absence on all such occasions. 

Friday, Jan. 23, 1880. \ 

The committee assembled at half-past 10 o'clock A. M. Present, Mr. 
Thurman, chairman, Mr. McDonald, Mr. Bayard, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Mr. 

The CHAIRMAN : Several members of the committee are unable to be 
here. Mr. Lamar is detained at his home in Mississippi by sickness ; Mr. 
Carpenter is confined to his room by sickness ; Mr. Conkling has been un- 
well ; I do not know how he is this morning ; and Mr. Garland is chair- 
man of the Committee on Territories, which has a meeting this morning 
that he could not fail to attend. I do not think we are likely to have any 
more members of the committee than are here now, and we will hear you, 

Mrs. ZERELDA G. WALLACE of Indiana said: Mr. Chairman, and.Gen- 
tlemen of the Committee : It is scarcely necessary to say that there is not 
an effect without a cause. Therefore it would be well for the statesmen 
of this nation to ask themselves the question, What has brought the 
women from all parts of this nation to the capital at this time ? W T hat has 
been the strong motive that has taken us away from the quiet and com- 
fort of our own homes and brought us before you to-day ? As an answer 
to that question I will read an extract from a speech made by one of In- 
diana's statesmen. He found out by experience and gave us the benefit 
of it: 

You can go to meetings ; you can vote resolutions ; you can attend great demonstra- 
tions in the street ; but, after all, the only occasion where the American citizen 
expresses his acts, his opinions, and his power is at the ballot-box ; and that little ballot 
that he drops in there is the written sentiment of the times, and it is the power that he 
has as a citizen of this great republic. 

That is the reason why we are here ; the reason why we want to vote. 
We are not seditious women, clamoring for any peculiar rights; it is 
not the woman question that brings us before you to-day ; it is the 
human question underlying this movement. We love and appreciate our 
country; we value its institutions. We realize that we owe great obliga- 
tions to the men of this nation for what they have done. To their 
strength we owe the subjugation of all the material forces of the uni- 
verse which give us comfort and luxury in our homes. To their brains 
\veo\vethemachinerythat gives us leisure for intellectual culture and 
achievement. To their education we owe the opening of our colleges 
and the establishment of our public schools, which give us these great 

History of Woman Suffrage. 

and glorious privileges. This movement is the legitimate result of this 
development, and of the suffering that woman has undergone in the 
ages past. 

A short time ago I went before the legislature of Indiana with a petition 
signed by 25,000 of the best women in the State. I appeal to the 
memory of Judge McDonald to substantiate the truth of what I say. 
Judge McDonald knows that I am a home-loving, law-abiding, tax-paying 
woman of Indiana, and have been for fifty years. When I went before 
our legislature and found that one hundred of the vilest men in our State, 
merely by the possession of the ballot, had more influence with our law- 
makers than the wives and mothers it was a startling revelation. 

You must admit that in popular government the ballot is the most 
potent means for all moral and social reforms. As members of society, 
we are deeply interested in all the social problems with which you have 
grappled so long unsuccessfully. We do not intend to depreciate your 
efforts, but you have attempted to do an impossible thing; to represent 
the whole by one-half, and because we are the other half we ask you to 
recognize our rights as citizens of this republic. 

JULIA SMITH PARKER of Glastonbury, Conn., said: Gentlemen: You 
may be surprised to see a woman of over four-score years appear before 
you at this time. She came into the world and reached years of discre- 
tion before any person in this room was born. She now comes before 
you to plead that she can vote and have all the privileges that men have. 
She has suffered so much individually that she thought when she was 
young she had no right to speak before the men ; but still she had courage 
to get an education equal to that of any man at the college, and she had 
to suffer a great deal on that account. She went to New Haven to school, 
and it was noised around that she had studied the languages. It was 
such an astonishing thing for girls at that time to have the advantages of 
education, that I had actually to go to cotillon parties to let people see 
that I had common sense. [Laughter.] 

She has had to pay $200 a year in taxes without knowing what becomes 
of it. She does not know but that it goes to support grog-shops. She 
knows nothing about it. She has had to suffer her cows to be sold at 
the sign-post six times. She suffered her meadow land, worth $2,000, to 
be sold for a tax less than $50. If she could vote as the men do she would 
not have suffered this insult ; and so much would not have been said 
against her as has been said if men did not have the whole power. I was 
told that they had the power to take anything that I owned if I would not 
exert myself to pay the money. I felt that I ought to have some little 
voice in determining what should be done with what I paid. I felt that 
I ought to own my own property ; that it ought not to be in these 
men's hands ; and I now come to plead that I may have the same privi- 
leges before the law that men have. I have seen what a difference 
there is, when I have had my cows sold, by having a voter to take my 

I have come from an obscure town on the banks of the Connecticut, 
where I was born. I was brought up on a farm. I never had an idea that 

Elizabeth L. Saxons Speech. 157 

I should come all the way to Washington to speak before those who 
had not come into existence when I was born. Now, I plead that there 
may be a sixteenth amendment, and that women may be allowed the pri- 
vilege of owning their own property. I have suffered so much myself that 
I felt it might have some effect to plead before this honorable committee. 
I thank you, gentlemen, for hearing me so kindly. 

ELIZABETH L. SAXON of Louisiana, said : Gentlemen : I feel that after 
Mrs. Wallace's plea there is no necessity for me to say anything. I come 
from the extreme South, she from the West. People have asked me why 
I came. I care nothing for suffrage merely to stand beside men, or rush 
to the polls, or to take any privilege outside of my home, only, as Mrs. 
Wallace says, for humanity. I never realized the importance of this 
cause, until we were beaten back on every side in the work of reform. 
If we attempted to put women in charge of prisons, believing that wher- 
ever woman sins and suffers women should be there to teach, help and 
guide, every place was in the hands of men. If we made an effort to get, 
women on the school-boards we were combated and could do nothing. 

In the State of Texas, I had a niece living whose father was an inmate 
of a lunatic asylum. She exerted as wide an influence as any woman in 
that State ; I allude to Miss Mollie Moore, who was the ward of Mr. Gush- 
ing. I give this illustration as a reason why Southern women are taking 
part in this movement. Mr. Wallace had charge of that lunatic asylum 
for years. He was a good, honorable, able man. Every one was endeared 
to him ; the State appreciated him as superintendent of this asylum. 
When a political change was made and Gov. Robinson came in, Dr. 
Wallace was ousted for political purposes. It almost broke the hearts 
of some of the women who had sons, daughters or husbands there. 
They determined at once to try and have him reinstated. It was im- 
possible, he was out, and what could they do ? 

A gentleman said to me a few days ago, "These women ought to marry." 
I am married ; I am a mother ; and in our home the sons and brothers are 
all standing like a wall of steel at my back. I have cast aside the preju- 
dices of the past. They lie like rotted hulks behind me. 

After the fever of 1878, when our constitutional convention was about 
to convene, I suppressed the agony and grief of my own heart (for one of 
my children had died) and took part in the suffrage movement in Louisiana 
with the wife of Chief-Justice Merrick* Mrs. Sarah A. Dorsey, and Mrs. 
Harriet Keating of New York, the niece of Dr. Lozier. These three 
ladies aided me faithfully and ably. I went to Lieutenant-Governor Wiltz, 
and asked him if he would present or consider a petition which I wished 
to bring before the convention. He read the petition. One clause of our 
State law is that no woman can sign a will. Some ladies donated property 
to an asylum. They wrote the will and signed it themselves, and it was 
null and void, because they were women. That clause, perhaps, will be 
wiped out. Many gentlemen signed the petition on that account. Gov- 
ernor Wiltz, then lieutenant-governor, told me he would present the peti- 
tion. He was elected president of the convention. I presented my 
first petition, signed by the best names in the city of New Orleans and 

158 History of Woman Suffrage. 

in the State. I had the names of seven of the most prominent physi- 
cians. Three prominent ministers signed it for moral purposes alone. 
When Mrs. Dorsey was on her dying bed the last time she ever signed 
her name was to a letter to go before that convention. Mrs. Merrick and 
myself addressed the convention. We made the petition then that we 
make here ; that we, the mothers of the land, should not be barred on 
every side in the cause of reform. I pledged my father on his dying 
bed that I would never cease work until woman stood with man equal 
before the law. 

I beg of you, gentlemen, to consider this question seriously. We stand 
precisely in the position of the colonies when they plead, and, in the words 
of Patrick Henry, were " spurned with contempt from the foot of the 
throne." We have been jeered and laughed at ; but the question has 
passed out of the region of ridicule. This clamor for woman suffrage, for 
woman's rights, for equal representation, is extending all over the land. 

I plead because my work has been combated in the cause of reform 
everywhere that I have tried to accomplish anything. The children that 
fill the houses of prostitution are not of foreign blood and race. They 
come from sweet American homes, and for every woman that went down 
some mother's heart broke. I plead by the power of the ballot to be 
allowed to help reform women and benefit mankind. 

MARY A. STEWART of Delaware said : The negroes are a race inferior, 
you must admit, to your daughters, and yet that race has the ballot, and 
why? It is said they earned it and paid for it with their blood. Whose 
blood paid for yours ? The blood of your forefathers and our fore- 
fathers. Does a man earn a hundred thousand dollars and lie down 
and die, saying, " It is all my boys'"? Not a bit of it. He dies 
saying, " Let my children, be they cripples, be they idiots, be they 
boys, or be they girls, inherit all my property alike." Then let us 
inherit the sweet boon of the ballot alike. When our fathers were 
driving the great ship of State we were willing to sail as deck or cabin 
passengers, just as we felt disposed ; we had nothing to say ; but to-day 
the boys are about to run the ship aground, and it is high time that the 
mothers should be asking, " What do you mean to do ?" In our own little 
State the laws have been very much modified in regard to women. My 
father was the first man to blot out the old English law allowing the eldest 
son the right of inheritance to the real-estate. He took the first step, and 
like all those who take first steps in reform he received a mountain of 
curses from the oldest male heirs. 

Since 1868 I have, by my own individual efforts, by the use of hard- 
earned money, gone to our legislature time after time and have had this 
law and that law passed for the benefit of women ; and the same little 
ship of State has sailed on. To-day our men are just as well satisfied with 
the laws in force in our State for the benefit of women as they were years 
ago. A woman now has a right to make a will. She can hold bonds and 
mortgages of her own. She has a right to her own property. She cannot 
sell it though, if it is real-estate, simply because the moment she marries, 
her husband has his right of courtesy. The woman does not grumble at 

Arguments Before the Senate Committee. 159 

that ; but still when he dies owning real-estate, she gets only the rental 
value of one-third, which is- called the widow's dower. Now I think the 
man ought to have the rental value of one-third of the woman's maiden 
property or real-estate, and it ought to be called the widower's dower. 
It would be just as fair for one as for the other. All that I want is 

The women of our State, as I said before, are taxed without representa- 
tion. The tax-gatherer comes every year and demands taxes. For 
twenty years I have paid tax under protest, and if I live twenty ydars 
longer I shall pay it under protet every time. The tax-gatherer came to 
my place not long since. "Well," said I, "good morning, sir." Said he, 
" Good morning." He smiled and said, " I have come bothering you." 
Said I, " I know your face well. You have come to get a right nice little 
woman's tongue-lashing." Said he, " I suppose so, but if you will just pay 
your tax I will leave." I paid the tax, " But," said I, " remember I pay it 
under protest, and if I ever pay another tax I intend to have the protest 
written and make the tax-gatherer sign it before I pay the tax, and if he 
will not sign that protest then I shall not pay, and there will be a fight at 
once," Said he, " Why do you keep all the time protesting against paying 
this small tax ?" Said I, " Why do you pay your tax ?" " Well," said he, 
" I would not pay it if I did not vote." Said I, " That is the very reason 
why I do not want to pay it. I cannot vote." Who stay at home from 
the election ? The women, and the black and white men who have been 
to the whipping-post. Nice company to put your wives and daugh- 
ters in. 

It is said that the women do not want to vote. Every woman sitting 
here wants to vote, and must we be debarred the privilege of voting be- 
cause some luxurious woman, rolling around in her carriage in her little 
downy nest that some good, benevolent man has provided for her, does 
not want to vote ? There was a society that existed up m the State of 
New York called the Covenanters that never voted. Were all you men 
disfranchised because that class or sect up in New York would not vote ? 
Did you all pay your taxes and stay at home and refrain from voting be- 
cause the Covenanters did not vote? Not a bit of it. You went to the 
election and told them to stay at home if they wanted to, but that you, as 
citizens, were going to take care of yourselves. That was right. We, as 
citizens, want to take care of ourselves. 

One more thought, and I will be through. The fourteenth and fifteenth 
amendments, in my opinion, and in the opinion of a great many smart 
men in the country, and smart women, too, give the right to women to 
vote without any " if s " or " and's " about it, and the United States protects 
us in it ; but there are a few who construe the law to suit themselves, and 
say that those amendments do not mean that, because the congress which 
passed the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments had no such intention. 
Well, if that congress overlooked us, let the wiser congress of to-day take 
the eighth chapter and the fourth verse of the Psalms, which says, 
"What is man that Thou art mindful of him?" and amend it by adding, 
"What is woman, that they never thought of her?" 

160 History of Woman Suffrage. 

NANCY R. ALLEN of Iowa said : Mr. Chairman, and Gentlemen of the 
Judiciary Committee: I am a representative of a large class of women of 
Iowa, who are heavy taxpayers. There is now a petition being cir- 
culated throughout our State, to be presented to the legislature, praying 
that women be exempted from taxation until they have some voice in the 
management of the affairs of the State. You may ask, " Do not your 
husbands protect you? Are not all the men protecting you?" We 
answer that our husbands are grand, noble men, who are willing to do all 
they can for us, but there are many who have no husbands and who own 
a great deal of property in the State of Iowa. Particularly in great moral 
reforms the women there feel the need of the ballot. By presenting long 
petitions to the legislature they have succeeded in having better temper- 
ance laws enacted, but the men have failed to elect the officials who will 
enforce those laws. Consequently they have become as dead letters upon 
the statute books. 

To refer again to taxes. I have a .list showing that in my city three 
women pay more taxes than all the city officials together. They are good 
temperance women. Our city council is composed almost entirely of 
saloon-keepers, brewers and men who patronize them. There are some 
good men, but they are in the minority, and the voices of these women 
are but little regarded. All these officials are paid, and we have to help 
support them. As Sumner said, " Equality of rights is the first of rights." 
If we can only be equal with man under the law, it is all that we ask. We 
do not propose to relinquish our domestic life, but we do ask that we 
may be represented. 

Remarks were also made by Mrs. Chandler, Mrs. Archibald and 
Mrs. Spencer. The time having expired, the committee voted 
to give another hour to Miss Anthony to state the reasons why 
we ask congress to submit a proposition to the several legisla- 
tures for a sixteenth amendment, instead of asking the States to 
submit the question to the popular vote of their electors.* When 
Miss Anthony had finished, the chairman, Senator Thurman of 
Ohio, said: 

I have to say, ladies, that you will admit that we have listened to you 
with great attention, and I can certainly say, with great interest; your 
appeals will be duly and earnestly considered by the committee. 

Mrs. WALLACE: I wish to make just one remark in reference to what 
Senator Thurman said as to the popular vote being against woman suf- 
frage. The popular vote is against it, but not the popular voice. Owing 
to the temperance agitation in the last six years, the growth of the suf- 
frage sentiment among the wives and mothers of this nation has largely 

* Judge Edmunds meeting Miss Anthony afterwards, complimented her on having made an argu- 
ment instead of what is usually given before committees, platform oratory. He said her logic was 
sound, her points unanswerable. Nor were the delegates familiar with that line of argument less im- 
pressed by it, given as it was without notes and amid many interruptions. It was one of those occasions 
rarely reached, in which the speaker showed the full height to which she was capable of rising. We 
have not space for the whole argument, and the train of reasoning is too close to be broken. [M. J. G. 

Arguments Before the House Committee. 161 


The CHAIRMAN pro tern. (Mr. HARRIS of Virginia) : The order of busi- 
ness for the present session of the committee is the delivery of arguments 
by delegates of the Woman Suffrage Convention now holding its sessions 
in Washington. I am informed that the delegates are in attendance 
upon the committee. We will be pleased to hear them. A list of the 
names of the ladies proposing to speak, with a memorandum of the limit 
of time allotted to each, has been handed to me for my guidance ; and, in 
the absence of the chairman [Mr. Knott] it will be my duty to confine 
the speakers to the riurnber of minutes apportioned to them respectively 
upon the paper before me. As an additional consideration for adhering 
to the regulation, I will mention that members of the committee have in- 
formed me that, having made engagements to be at the departments and 
elsewhere on business appointments, they will be compelled to leave the 
committee-room upon the expiration of the time assigned. The first name 
upon the list is that of Mrs. Emma Mont. McRae of Indiana, to whom 
five minutes are allowed. 

Mrs. McRAE said: Mr. Chairman, and Gentlemen of the Judiciary Com- 
mittee: In Indiana the cause of woman has made marked advancement. 
At the same time we realize that we need the right to vote in order that 
we may have protection. We need the ballot because through the 
medium of its power alone we can hope to wield that influence in the 
making of laws affecting our own and our children's interests. 

Some recent occurences in Indiana, one in particular in the section of 
the State from which I come, have impressed us more sensibly than ever 
before with the necessity of this right. The particular incident to which I 
refer was this: In the town of Muncie, where I reside, a young girl, 
who for the past five years had been employed as a clerk in the post- 
office, and upon whom a widowed mother was dependent for support, 
was told on the first of January that she was no longer needed in the 
office. She had filled her place well ; no complaint had been made 
against her. She very modestly asked the postmaster the cause of her 
discharge, and he replied : " We have a man who has done work for 
the party and we must give that man a place ; I haven't room for both of 
you." Now, there you have at once the reason why we want the ballot; 
we want to be able to do something for the party in a substantial way, so 
that men may not tell us they have no room for us because we do noth- 
ing for the party. When they have the ballot women will work for "the 
party" as a means of enabling them to hold places in which they may 
get bread for their mothers and for their children if necessity requires. 

Miss JESSIE T. WAITE of Illinois said : Mr. Chairman, and Gentlemen of 
the Jitdiciary Committee : In the State of Illinois we have attained to al- 
most every right except that of the ballot. We have been admitted to 
all the schools and colleges ; we have become accustomed to parliament- 
ary usages ; to voting in literary societies and in all matters connected with 
the interests of the colleges and schools ; we are considered members in 
good standing of the associations, and, in some cases, the young ladies in 
the institutes have been told they hold the balance of power. The same 

1 62 History of Woman Suffrage. 

reason for woman suffrage that has been given by the delegate from Indi- 
ana [Mrs. McRae] holds good with reference to the State of Illinois. 
Women must have the ballot that they may have protection in getting 
bread for themselves and their families, by giving to the party that looks 
for their support some substantial evidence of their strength. Experi- 
ence has demonstrated, especially in the temperance movement, how 
fruitless are all their efforts while the ballot is withheld from their hands. 
They have prayed ; they have petitioned; they have talked; they have 
lectured; they have done all they could do, except to vote ; and yet all 
avails them nothing. Miss Frances Williard presented to the legisla- 
ture of Illinois a petition of such length that it would have reached 
around this room. It contained over 180,000 signatures. The purpose of 
the petition was to have the legislature give the women of the State the 
right to vote upon the question of license or no license in their respec- 
tive districts. 

In some of the counties of our State we have ladies as superinten- 
dents of schools and professors in colleges. One of the professors in the 
Industrial University at Champaign is a lady. Throughout the State you 
may find ladies who excel in every branch of study and in every trade. 
It was a lady who took the prize at " the Exposition " for the most beauti- 
ful piece of cabinet-work. This is said to have been a marvel of beauty 
and extraordinary as a specimen of fine art. She was a foreigner ; a Scan- 
dinavian, I believe. Another lady is a teacher of wood-carving We have 
physicians, and there are two attorneys, Perry and Martin, now practicing 
in the city of Chicago. Representatives of our sex are also to be found 
among real-estate agents and journalists, while, in one or two instances 
as preachers they have been recognized in the churches. 

CATHERINE A. STEBBINS of Michigan said : " Better fifty years of 
Europe than a cycle of Cathay ! " So said the poet ; and I say, Better a 
week with these inspired women in conference than years of an indif- 
ferent, conventional society ! Their presence has been a blessing to the 
people of this District, and will prove in the future a blessing to our gov- 
ernment. These women from all sections of our country, with a moral 
.and spiritual enthusiasm which seeks to lift the burdens of our government, 
come to you, telling of the obstacles that have beset their path. They 
have tried to heal the stricken in vice and ignorance; to save our land 
from disintegration. One has sought to reform the drunkard, to save 
the moderate drinker, to convert the liquor-seller; another, to shelter the 
homeless; another, to lift and save the abandoned woman. "Aban- 
doned ? " once asked a prophet-like man of our time, who added, " There 
never was an abandoned woman without an abandoned man ! " Aban- 
doned of whom? let us ask. Surely not by the merciful Father. No; 
neither man nor woman is ever abandoned by him, and he sends his in- 
struments in the persons of some of these great-hearted women, to appeal 
to you to restore their God-given freedom of action, that "the least of 
these " may be remembered. 

But in our councils no one has dwelt upon one of the great evils of our 
civilization, the scourge of war; though it has been said that women will 

Argument of Mrs. Devereux Blake. 163 

fight. It is true there are instances in which they have considered it a 
duty ; there were such in the rebellion. But the majority of women would 
not declare war, would not enlist soldiers and would not vote supplies 
and equipments, because many of the most thoughtful believe there is a 
better way, and that women can bring a moral power to bear that shall 
make war needless. 

Let us take one picture representative of the general features of the 
war we say nothing of our convictions in regard to the conflict. Ulys- 
ses S. Grant or Anna Ella Carroll makes plans and maps for the campaign ; 
McClellan and Meade are commanded to collect the columbiads, muskets 
and ammunition, and move their men to the attack. At the same time 
the saintly Clara Barton collects her cordials, medicines and delicacies, her 
lint and bandages, and, putting them in the ambulance assigned, joins the 
same moving train. McClellan's men meet the enemy, and men 
brothers on both sides fall by the death-dealing missiles. Miss Barton 
and her aids bear off the sufferers, staunch their bleeding wounds, soothe 
the reeling brain, bandage the crippled limbs, pour in the oil and wine, 
and make as easy as may be the soldier's bed. What a solemn and heart- 
rending farce is here enacted ! And yet in our present development 
men and women seek to reconcile it with the requirements of religion 
and the necessities of our conflicting lives. So few recognize the abso- 
lute truth ! 

Mrs. DEVEREUX BLAKE said : Mr. Chairman, and Gentlemen of the Com- 
mittee : I come here with your own laws in my hands and the volume is 
quite a heavy one, too to ask you whether women are citizens of this 
nation ? I find in this book, under the heading of the chapter on "Citi- 
zenship," the following : 

Sec. 1,992. All persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign 
power, excluding Indians not taxed, are declared to be citizens of the United States. 

I suppose you will admit that women are, in the language of the sec- 
tion, "persons," and that we cannot reasonably be included in the class 
spoken of as " Indians not taxed." Therefore I claim that we are "citi- 
zens." The same chapter also contains the following : 

Sec. 1,994. Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married to a citizen of the 
United States, and who might herself be lawfully naturalized, shall be deemed a 

Under this section also we are citizens. I am myself, as indeed are 
most of the ladies present, married to a citizen of the United States; so 
that we are citizens under this count if we were not citizens before. 
Then, further, in the legislation known as "The Civil Rights Bill," I find 
this language : 

All persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right, 
in every State and territory, to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give 
evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security 
of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like 
punishments, pains, penalties, etc. 

One would think the logical conclusion from that which I have last 
read would be that all citizens are entitled to equal protection everywhere. 

164 History of Woman Suffrage. 

It appears to mean that. Then I turn to another piece of legislation 
that which is known as " The Enforcement Act "one which some of you, 
gentlemen, did not like very much when it was enacted and there I find 
another declaration on the same question. The act is entitled "An Act 
to Enforce the Right of Citizens of the United States to Vote In the 
Several States of this Union, and for other purposes." The right of " citi- 
zens " to vote appears to be conceded by this act. In the second section 
it says : 

It shall be the duty of every such person and officer to give to all citizens of the 
United States the same and equal opportunity to perform such prerequisite, and to be- 
come qualified to vote, without distinction of race, color or previous condition of 

I ask you, gentlemen of the committee, as lawyers, whether you do not 
think that, after we have been declared to be citizens, we have the right 
to claim the protection of this enforcement act? When you gentlemen 
from the North rise in your places in the halls of congress and make 
these walls ring with your eloquence, you are prone to talk a great deal 
about the right of every United States citizen to the ballot, and the neces- 
sity of protecting every such citizen in its exercise. What do you mean 
by it ? 

It occurs to me here to call your attention to a matter of recent occur- 
rence, As you know, there has been a little unpleasantness in Maine a 
State which is not without a representative among the members of the 
Judiciary Committee and certain gentlemen there, especially Mr. Elaine, 
have been greatly exercised in their minds because, as they allege, the 
people of Maine have not been permitted to express their will at the polls. 
Why, gentlemen, I assert that a majority of the people of Maine have 
never been permitted to express their will at the polls. A majority of the 
people of Maine are women, and from the foundation of this government 
have never exercised any of the inalienable rights of citizens. Mr. Elaine 
made a speech a day or two ago in Augusta. He began by reciting the 
condition of affairs, owing to the effort, as he states, "to substitute a false 
count for an honest ballot," and congratulated his audience upon the in- 
strumentalities by which they had triumphed 

Without firing a gun, without shedding a drop of blood, without striking a single 
blow, without one disorderly assemblage. The people have regained their own right 
through the might and majesty of their own laws. 

He goes on in this vein to speak of those whom he calls "the people of 
Maine." W T ell, gentlemen, I do not think you will deny that women are 
people. It appears to me that what Mr. Elaine said in that connection was 
nonsense, unless indeed he forgot that there were any others than men 
among the people of the State of Maine. I don't suppose that you, gen- 
tlemen, are often so forgetful. Mr. Elaine said fuither: 

The Republicans of Maine and throughout the land felt that they were not merely 
fighting the battle of a single year, but for all the future of the State; not merely 
fighting the battle of our own State alone, but for all the States that are attempting 
the great problem of State government throughout the world. The corruption or 
destruction of the ballot is a crime against free government, and when successful is a 
subversion of free government. 

Argument of Mrs. Blake. 


Does that mean the ballot for men only or the ballot for the people, men 
and women too ? If it is to be received as meaning anything, it ought to 
mean not for one sex alone, but for both. Mr. Lincoln declared, in one.of 
his noblest utterances, that no man was good enough to govern another 
man without that man's consent. Of course he meant it in its broadest 
terms ; he meant that no man or woman was good enough to govern an- 
other man or woman without that other man's or woman's consent. 

Mr. Elaine, on another occasion, in connection with the same subject- 
matter, had much^to say of the enormity of the oppression practiced by 
his political opponents in depriving the town of Portland of the right of 
representation in view of its paying such heavy taxes as it does pay. He 
expressed the greatq|t indignation at the attempt, forgetting utterly that 
great body of women who pay taxes but are deprived of the right of rep- 
resentation. In this connection it may be pertinent for me to express the 
hope, by way of a suggestion, that hereafter, when making your speeches, 
you will not use the term "citizens" in a broad sense, unless you mean 
to include women as well as men, and that when you do not mean to 
include women you will speak of male citizens as a separate class, 
because the term, in its general application, is illogical and its meaning 
obscure if not self-contradictory. 

President Hayes was so pleased with one of the sentences in his mes- 
sage of a year ago that in his message of this year he has reiterated it. 
It reads thus : 

That no temporary or administrative interests of government will ever displace the 
zeal of our people in defense of the primary rights of citizenship, and that the power 
of public opinion will override all political prejudices and all sectional and State 
attachments in demanding that all over our wide territory the name and character of 
citizen of the United States shall mean one and the same thing and carry with them 
unchallenged security and respect. 

Let me suggest what he ought to have said unless he intended to in- 
clude women, although I am afraid that Mr. Hayes, when he wrote this, 
forgot that there were women in the United States, notwithstanding that 
his excellent wife, perhaps, stood by his side. He ought to have said : 

An act having been passed to enforce the rights of male citizens to vote, the true 
vigor of half the population is thus expressed, and no interests of government will 
ever displace the zeal of half of our people in defense of the primary rights of our 
male citizens. The prosperity of the States depends upon the protection afforded to our 
male citizens; and the name and character of male citizens of the United States shall 
mean one and the same thing and carry with them unchallenged security and respect. 

If Mr. Hayes had thus expressed himself, he would have made a per- 
fectly logical and clear statement. Gentlemen, I hope that hereafter, 
when speaking or voting in behalf of the citizens of the United States, 
you will bear this in mind and will remember that women are citizens as 
well as men, and that they claim the same rights. 

This question of woman suffrage cannot much longer be ignored. In 
the State from which I come, although we have not a right to vote, we are 
confident that the influence which women brought to bear in determining 
the result of the election last fall had something to do with sending into 
retirement a Democratic governor who was opposed to our reform, and 

1 66 History of Woman Suffrage. 

electing a Republican who was in favor of it. Recollect, gentlemen, that 
the expenditure of time and money which has been made in this cause 
will not be without its effect. The time is coming when the demand of 
an* immense number of the women of this country cannot be ignored. 
When you see these representatives coming from all the States of the 
Union to ask for this right, can you doubt that, some day, they will suc- 
ceed in their mission ? We do not stand before you to plead as beggars ; 
we ask for that which is our right. We ask it as due to the memory of 
our ancestors, who fought for the freedom of this country just as bravely 
as did yours. We ask it on many considerations. W r hy, gentlemen, the 
very furniture here, the carpet on this floor, was paid for with our money. 
We are taxed equally with the men to defray the expenses of this con- 
gress, and we have a right equally with them to parraipate in the govern- 

In closing, I have only to ask, is there no man here present who ap- 
preciates the emergencies of this hour? Is there no one among you who 
will rise on the floor of congress as the champion of this unrepresented 
half of the people of the United States ? The time is not far distant when 
we shall have our liberties, and the politician who can now understand 
the importance of our cause, the statesman who can now see, and will 
now appreciate the justice of it, that man, if true to himself, will write his 
name high on the scroll of fame beside those of the men who have been 
the saviors of the country. Gentlemen I entreat you not to let this hear- 
ing go by without giving due weight to all that we have said. You can 
no more stay the onward current of this reform than you can fight against 
the stars in their courses. 

Mr. WILLITS of Michigan : Mr. Chairman : I would like to make a sug- 
gestion here. The regulation amendment, as it has heretofore been sub- 
mitted, provided that the right of citizens of the United States to vote 
should not be abridged on account of sex. I notice that the amendment 
which the ladies here now propose has prefixed to it this phrase : "The 
right of suffrage in the United States shall be based on citizenship." I call 
attention to this because I would like to have them explain as fully as 
they may why they incorporate the phrase, "shall be based on citizen- 
ship." Is the meaning this, that all citizens shall have the right to vote, 
or simply that citizenship shall be the basis of suffrage ? The words, " or 
for any reason not applicable to all citizens of the United States," also 
seem to require explanation. The proposition in the form in which it is 
now submitted, I understand, covers a little more than has been covered 
by the amendment submitted in previous years. 

SARA A. SPENCER of Washington, D. C.: If the committee will permit 
me, I will say that the amendment in its present form is the concentrated 
wish of the women of the United States. The women of the country sent 
to congress petitions asking for three different forms of constitutional 
amendment, and when preparing the one now before the committee these 
three were concentrated in the one now before you (identical with that 
of the resolution offered in the House by Hon. George B. Loring and by 
Hon. T. W. Ferry in the Senate), omitting, at the request of each of the 

Matilda Joslyn Gages Argument. 167 

three classes of petitioners, all phrases which, were regarded by any of 
them as objectionable. The amendment as now presented is therefore 
the combined wish of the women of the country, viz., that citizenship in 
the United States shall mean suffrage, and that no one shall be deprived 
of the right to vote for reasons not equally applicable to all citizens. 

MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE said : It is necessary to refer to a remarkable 
decision of the Supreme Court. The case of Virginia L. Minor, claiming 
the right to vote under the fourteenth amendment, was argued before the 
Supreme Court of the United States, October term, 1874; decision ren- 
dered adversely by Chief-Justice Wr.ite, March, 1875, upon the ground that 
"the United States had no voters in the States of its own creation." 
This was a most amazing decision to emanate from the highest judicial 
authority of the nation, and is but another proof how fully that body is 
under the influence of the dominant political party. 

Contrary to this decision, I unhesitatingly affirm that the United States 
has possessed voters in States of its own creation from the very date of 
the constitution. In Article I, Sec. 2, the constitution provides that 

The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second 
year by the people of the several States, and the electors in each State shall have the 
qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legisla- 

The persons so designated are voters under State laws ; but by this 
section of the national constitution they are made United States voters. 
It is directed under what conditions of State qualification they may cast 
votes in their respective States for members of the lower house of con- 
gress. The constitution here created a class of United States voters by 
adoption of an already voting class. Did but this single instance exist, it 
would be sufficient to nullify Chief-Justice Waite's decision, as Article VI, 
Sec. 2, declares 

The constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursu- 
ance thereof * * * shall be the supreme law of the land. 

This supreme law at its very inception created a class of United States 
voters. If in the Minor case alone, the premises of the Supreme Court 
and Chief-Justice Waite were wrong, the decision possesses no legal 
value; but in addition to this class, the United States, by special laws and 
amendments has from time to time created other classes of United States 

Under the naturalization laws citizenship is recognized as the basis of 
suffrage. No State can admit a foreigner to the right of the ballot, even 
under United States laws, unless he is already a citizen, or has formally 
declared his intention of becoming a citizen of the United States. The 
creation of the right here is national ; its regulation, local. 

Men who commit crimes against the civil laws of the United States for- 
feit their rights of citizenship. State law cannot re-habilitate them, but 
within the last five years 2,500 such men have been pardoned by congres- 
sional enactment, and thus again been made voters in States by United 
States law. Is it not strange that with a knowledge of these facts before 
him Chief-Justice Waite could base his decision against the right of a. 

1 68 History of Woman Suffrage. 

woman to the ballot, on the ground that the United States had no voters 
in the States of its own creation ? 

Criminals against the military law of the United States, who receive 
pardon, are still anolher class of voters thus created. A very large body 
of men, several hundred thousand, forfeited their rights of citizenship, 
their ballot, by participation in the rebellion ; they were political crim- 
inals. When general amnesty was proclaimed they again secured the 
ballot. They had been deprived of the suffrage by United States law 
and it was restored to them by the same law. 

It may be replied that the rebellious States had been reduced to the 
condition of territories, over whose suffrage the general government had 
control. But let me ask why, then, a large class of men remained dis- 
franchised after these States again took up local government ? A large 
class of men were especially exempted from general amnesty and for the 
restoration of their political rights were obliged to individually petition 
congress for the removal of their political disabilities, and these men 
then became "voters in States," by action of the United States. Here, 
again, the United States recognized citizenship and suffrage as synony- 
mous. If the United States has no voters of its own creation in the 
States, what are these men ? A few, the leaders in the rebellion, are yet 
disfranchised, and no State has power to change this condition. Only the 
United States can again make them voters in States. 

Under the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments the colored men of the 
South, who never had possessed the ballot, and those colored men of the 
North over whom some special disqualification hung, were alike made 
voters by United States law. It required no action of Delaware, Indiana, 
New York, or any of those States in which the colored man was not upon 
voting equality with the white men, to change their constitutions or 
statutes in order to do away with such disqualifications. The fourteenth 
amendment created another class of United States voters in States, to the 
number of a million or more. The fourteenth amendment, and the act of 
congress to enforce it, were at once recognized to be superior to State 
law abrogating and repealing State constitutions and State laws contra- 
dictory to its provisions. 

By an act of congress March 3, and a presidential proclamation of March 
11, 1865, all deserters who failed to report themselves to a provost mar- 
shall within sixty days, forfeited-their rights of citizenship as an additional 
penalty for the crime of desertion, thus losing their ballot without possi- 
bility of its restoration except by an act of congress. Whenever this may 
be done collectively or individually, these men will become State voters 
by and through the United States law. 

As proving the sophistry used by legal minds in order to hide from 
themselves and the world the fact that the United States has power over 
the ballot in States, mention may be made of a case which, in 1866, came 
before Justice Strong, then a member of the Supreme Court of Pennsyl- 
vania, but since a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. For 
sophistical reasoning it is a curiosity in legal decisions. One point made 
by Judge Strong was, that congress may deprive a citizen of the oppor- 

Matilda Joslyn Gages Argument. 169 

tunity to enjoy a right belonging to him as a citizen of a State even the 
right of voting, but cannot deprive him of the right itself. This is on a 
par with saying that congress may deprive a citizen of the opportunity to 
enjoy a right belonging to him as an individual, even the right of life, but 
cannot deprive him of life itself. 

A still more remarkable class of United States voters than any yet men- 
tioned, exists. Soon after the close of the war congress enacted a law 
that foreigners having served in the civil war and been honorably dis- 
charged from the army, should be allowed to vote. And this, too, without 
the announcement of their intention of becoming citizens of the repub- 
lic. A class of United States voters were thus created out of a class of 

I have mentioned eight classes of United States voters, and yet 
not one of the States has been deprived of the powers necessary to 
local self-government. To States belong all matters of strictly local in- 
terest, such as the incorporation of towns and cities, the settlement of 
county and other boundaries ; laws of marriage, divorce, protection of 
life and property, etc. It has been said, the ordaining and establish- 
ment of a constitution for the government of a State is always the act of 
a State in its highest sovereign capacity, but if any question as to nation- 
ality ever existed, it was settled by the war. Even State constitutions 
were found unable to stand when in conflict with a law of the United 
States or an amendment to its constitution. All are bound by the author- 
ity of the nation. 

This theory of State sovereignty must have a word. When the Union 
was formed several of the States did not even frame a constitution. It 
was in 1818 that Connecticut adopted her first State constitution. Rhode 
Island had no constitution until 1842. Prior to these years the govern- 
ment of these States was administered under the authority of royal char- 
ters brought out from England. 

Where was their State sovereignty? The rights even of suffrage enjoyed 
by citizens of these States during these respective periods of forty-two and 
sixty-six years, were either secured them by monarchial England or republi- 
can United States. If by the latter all voters in these two States during these 
years were United States voters. It is a historical fact that no State save 
Texas was ever for an hour sovereign or independent. The experience 
of the country proves there is but one real sovereignty. It has been said, 
with truth, 

There is but one sovereign State on the American continent known to interna- 
tional or constitutional law, and that is the republic itself. This forms the United 
States and should be so called. 

I ask for a sixteenth amendment because this republic is a nation and 
not a confederacy of States. I ask it because the United States not only 
possesses inherent power to protect its citizens but also because of its 
national duty to secure to all its citizens the exercise of their rights of 
self-government. I ask it because having created classes of voters in 
numberless instances, it is most flagrant injustice to deny this protection 
to woman. I ask it because the Nation and not the State is supreme. 

170 History of IVoman Suffrage. 

PHCEBE W. COUZINS of Missouri, to whom had been assigned the next 
thirty minutes, said : Jlfr. Chairman, and Gentlemen of the Judiciary Com- 
mittee : I am invited to speak of the dangers which beset us at this hour 
in the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Mrs. Minor's 
case, which not only stultifies its previous interpretation of the recent 
constitutional amendments and makes them a dead letter, but will rank, 
in the coming ages, in the history of the judiciary, with the Dred Scott 
decision. The law, as explained in the Dred Scott case, was an infamous 
one, which trampled upon the most solemn rights of the loyal citizens of 
the government, and declared the constitution to mean anything or noth- 
ing, as the case might be. Yet the decision in that case had a saving 
clause, for it was not the unanimous voice of a Democratic judiciary. 
Dissenting opinions were robly uttered from the bench. In the more 
recent case, under the rule of a Republican judiciary created by a party 
professing to be one of justice, the rights of one-half of the people were 
deliberately abrogated without a dissenting voice. This violation of the 
fundamental principles of our government called forth no protest. In all 
of the decisions against woman in the Republican court, there has not 
been found one Lord Mansfield, who, rising to the supreme height of an 
unbiased judgment, would give the immortal decree that shall crown with 
regal dignity the mother of the race : " I care not for the dictates of judges, 
however eminent, if they be contrary to principle. If the parties will have 
judgment, let justice be done, though the heavens fall." 

The Dred Scott decision declared as the law of citizenship, "to be a citi- 
zen is to have actual possession and enjoyment, or the perfect right to 
the acquisition and enjoyment of an entire equality of privileges, civil and 
political." But the slave-power was then dominant and the court decided 
that a black man was not a citizen because he had not the right to vote. 
But when the constitution was so amended as to make "all persons born 
or naturalized in the United States citizens thereof," a negro, by virtue of 
his United States citizenship, was declared, under the amendments, a 
voter in every State in the Union. And the Supreme Court reaffirmed 
this right in the celebrated slaughter-house cases (16 Wallace, 71). It 
said, " The negro, having by the fourteenth amendment, been declared to 
be a citizen of the United States, is thus made a voter in ever State in the 

But when the loyal women of Missouri, apprehending that "all persons 
beneath the flag were rHade citizens and voters by the fourteenth amend- 
ment," through Mrs. Minor, applied to the Supreme Court for protection 
in the exercise of that same right, this high tribunal, reversing all its for- 
mer decisions, proclaims State sovereignty superior to national authority. 
This it does in this strange language : " Being born in the United States, 
a woman is a person and therefore a citizen " we are much obliged to 
them for that definition of our identity as persons " but the constitution 
of the United States does not confer the right of suffrage upon any one." 
And then, in the face of its previous decisions, the court declared : "The 
United States has no voters in the States of its own creation ". that ths 
elective officers of the United States are all elected, directly or indirectly, 

Phoebe IV. Cousins' Argiiment. 171 

by State voters. It remands woman to the States for her protection, thus 
giving to the State the supreme authority and overthrowing the entire re- 
sults of the war, which was fought to maintain national supremacy over 
any and all subjects in which the rights and privileges of the citizens 
of the United States are involved. 

No supreme allegiance, gentlemen of the committee, can be claimed for 
or by a government, if it has no citizens of its own creation, and consti- 
tutional amendments cannot confer authority over matters which have 
no existence in the constitution. Thus, our supreme law-givers hold 
themselves up for obloquy and ridicule in their interpretation of the most 
solemn rights of loyal citizens, and make our constitutional law to mean 
anything or nothing as the case may be. You will see, gentlemen, that 
the very point which the South contended for as the true one is here ac- 
knowledged to be the true one by the Supreme Court that of State 
rights superior to national authority. The whole of the recent contest 
hinged upon this. The appeal to arms and the constitutional amendments 
were to establish the subordination of the State to national supremacy, to 
maintain the national authority over any and all subjects in which the 
rights and privileges of the citizens of the United States were involved ; 
but this decision in Mrs. Minor's case completely nullifies the supreme 
authority of the government, and gives the States more than has hitherto 
been claimed for them by the advocates of State rights. The subject of 
the franchise is thus wholly withdrawn from federal supervision and con- 
trol. If " the United States has no citizens of its own creation," of course 
no supreme allegiance can be claimed over the various citizens of the 

The constitutional amendments cannot confer authority over a matter 
which has no existence in the constitution. If it has no voters, it can 
have nothing whatever to do with the elections and voting in the States ; 
yet the United States invaded the State of New York, sent its officers 
there to try, convict, and sentence Miss Anthony for exercising a right in 
her own State which they declared the United States had no jurisdiction 
over. They send United States troops into the South to protect the 
negro in his right to vote, and then declare they have no jurisdiction over 
his voting. Then, mark the grave results which may and can follow this 
derision and legislation. I do not imagine that the Supreme Court, in its 
cowardly dodging of woman's right to all the rights and privileges which 
citizenship involves, designed to completely abrogate the principles es- 
tablished by the recent contest, or to nullify the ensuing legislation on 
the subject. But it certainly has done all this; for it must logically fol- 
low that if the United States has no citizens, it cannot legislate upon the 
rights of citizens, andthe recent amendments are devoid of authority. It 
has well been suggested by Mr. Minor, in his criticism of the decision, 
that if members of the House of Representatives are elected by State 
voters, as the Supreme Court has declared, there is no reason why 
States may not refuse to elect them as in 1860, and thus deprive congress 
of its power. And if a sufficient number could be united to recall at their 
pleasure these representatives, what authority has the federal govern- 

172 History of Woman Suffrage. 

ment, under this decision, for coercing them into subjection or refusing 
them a separation, if all these voters in the States desired an independent 
existence? None whatever. Mr. Garfield, in the House, in his speech 
last March, calls attention to this subject, but does not allude to the fact 
that the Supreme Court has already opened the door. He says : 

There are several ways in which our government maybe annihilated without the fir- 
ing of a gun. For example, suppose the people of the United States should say, we 
will elect no representatives to congress. Of course this is a violent supposition ; but 
suppose that they do not. Is there any remedy? Does our constitution provide any 
remedy whatever ? In two years there would be no House of Representatives ; of 
course, no support of the government and no government. Suppose, again, the States 
should say, through their legislatures, we will elect no senators. Such abstention 
alone would absolutely destroy this government ; and our system provides no process 
of compulsion to prevent it. Again, suppose the two houses were to assemble in their 
usual order, and a majority of one in this body or in the Senate should firmly band 
themselves together and say, we will vote to adjourn the moment the hour of meeting 
arrives, and continue so to vote at every session during our two years of existence the 
government would perish, and there is no provision of the constitution to prevent it. 

The States may inform their representatives that they can do this ; and, 
under this position, they have the power and the right so to do. 

Gentlemen, we are now on the verge of one of the most important 
presidential campaigns. The party in power holds its reins by a very 
uncertain tenure. If the decision shall favor the one which has been 
on the anxious bench for lo ! these twenty years, and in probation until 
hope has well-nigh departed, what may be its action if invested again 
with the control of the destinies of this nation ? The next party in 
power may inquire, and answer, by what right and how far the Southern 
States are bound by the legislation in which they had no part or consent. 
And if the Supreme Court of a Republican judiciary now declares, after 
the war, after the constitutional amendments, that federal suffrage does 
not exist and never had an existence in the constitution, it follows that 
the South has the right to regulate and control all of the questions aris- 
ing upon suffrage in the several States without any interference on the 
part of an authority which declares it has no jurisdiction. An able 
writer has said : 

All injustice at last works out a loss. The great ledger of nations does not report a 
good balance for injustice. It has always met fearful losses. The irrepealable law of 
justice will, sooner or later, grind a nation to powder if it fail to establish that 
equilibrium of allegiance and protection which is the essential end of all government. 
Woe to that nation which thinks lightly of the duties it owes to its citizens and imagines 
that governments are not bound by moral laws. 

It was the tax on tea woman's drink prerogative which precipitated 
the rebellion of 1776. Tq allay the irritation of ^the colonies, all taxes 
were rescinded save that on tea, which was left to indicate King George's 
dominion. But our revolutionary fathers and mothers said, "No; the 
tax is paltry, but the principle is great "; and Eve, as usual, pointed the 
moral for Adam's benefit. A most suggestive picture, one which aroused 
the intensest patriotism of the colonies, was that of a woman pinioned by 
her arms to the ground by a British peer, with a British red-coat holding 
her with one hand and with the other forcibly thrusting down her 

P/icebe W. Couzins Argument. 173 

throat the contents of a tea-pot, which she heroically spewed back in his 
face ; while the figure of Justice, in the distance, wept over this pros- 
trate Liberty. Now, gentlemen, we might well adopt a similar repre- 
sentation. Here is Miss Smith of Glastonbury, Conn., whose cows have 
been sold every year by the government, contending for the same princi- 
ple as our forefathers that of resistance to taxation without represen- 
tation. We might have a picture of a cow, with an American tax-col- 
lector at the horns, a foreign-born assessor at the heels, forcibly selling 
the birthright of an American citizen, while Julia and Abby Smith, in 
the background, with veiled faces, weep over the degeneracy of Repub- 
lican leadership. 

But there are those in authority in the government who do not believe 
in this decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. The attorney- 
general, in his instructions to the United States marshals and their depu- 
ties or assistants in the Southern States, when speaking of the counte- 
nance and support of all good citizens of the United States in the 
respective districts of the marshals, remarks: 

It is not necessary to say that it is upon such countenance and support that the 
United States mainly rely in their endeavor to enforce the right to vote which they 
have given or have secured. 

You notice the phraseology. Again, he says : 

The laws of the United States are supreme, and so, consequently, is the action of 
officials of the United States in enforcing them. 

Secretary Sherman said in his speech at Steubenville, July 6: 

The negroes are free and are citizens and voters. That, at least, is a part of the 
constitution and cannot be changed. 

And President Hayes in his two last messages, as Mrs. Blake recited to 
you, has declared that 

United States citizenship shall mean one and the same thing and carry with it all 
over our wide territory unchallenged security and respect. 

And that is what we ask for women. 

In conclusion, gentlemen, I say to you that a sense of justice is the 
sovereign power of the human mind, the most unyielding of any; it re- 
wards with a higher sanction, it punishes with a deeper agony than any 
earthly tribunal. It never slumbers, never dies. It constantly utters 
and demands justice by the eternal rule of right, truth and equity. And 
on these eternal foundation-stones we stand. 

Crowning the dome of this great building there stands the majestic 
figure of a woman representing Liberty. It was no idealistic thought or 
accident of vision which gave us Liberty prefigured by a woman. It is 
the great soul of the universe pointing the final revelation yet to come 
to humanity, the prophecy of the ages the last to be first.* 

When the proposition to print these speeches came before the 
House a prolonged debate against it showed the readiness of the 
opposition to avail themselves of every legal technicality to de- 

* Speeches were also made by Mrs. Saxon, Mrs. Spencer and Miss Anthony. 

174 History of Woman Suffrage. 

prive women of equal rights and privileges. But the measure 
finally passed and the documents were printed. To the Hon. 
Elbridge G. Lapham of New York we were largely indebted for 
the success of this measure. 

The Washington Republican of February 6, 1880, describes a 
novel event that took place at that time : 

In the Supreme Court of the United States, on Monday, on motion of 
Mrs. Belva Lockwood, Samuel R. Lowry of Alabama was admitted to 
practice. Mr. Lowry is president of the Huntsville, Ala., industrial school, 
and a gentleman of high attainments. It was quite fitting that the first 
woman admitted to practice before this court should move the admission 
of the first Southern colored man. Both will doubtless make good records 
as representatives of their respective classes. This scene was character- 
ized by George W. Julian as one of the most impressive he ever wit- 
nessed a fitting subject for an historical painting. 

In 1880, women were for the first time appointed census 
enumerators. Gen. Francis Walker, head of that department, 
said there was no legal obstacle to the appointment of women 
as enumerators, and he would gladly confirm the nomination 
of suitable candidates. Very different was the action of the 
head of the post-office department, who refused, on the ground of 
sex, the application of 500 women for appointment as letter- 

In view of the important work to be done in a presidential 
campaign, the National Association decided to issue an appeal to 
the women of the country to appoint delegates from each State 
and territory, and prepare an address to each of the presidential 
nominating conventions. In Washington a move was made 
for an act of incorporation in order that the Association might 
legally receive bequests. Tracts containing a general statement 
of the status of the movement were mailed to all members of 
congress and officers of the government. 

At a meeting of the Committee on Rules, Mr. Randall, a Demo- 
cratic member of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Garfield, a Republican 
mdmber of Ohio, reminded Mr. Frye of Maine that he had been 
instructed by that committee, nearly a year before, to present to 
the House a resolution on the rights of women. The Congressional 
Record'oi March 27 contains the following: 

Mr. FKVF. : I am instructed by the Committee on Rules to report a 
resolution providing for the appointment of a special committee on the 
political rights of women, and to move that it be placed on the House 

Mr. COXGKR: Let it be read. 

Mass Meetings. 175 

The clerk read the resolution as follows : 

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the speaker appoint a special commit- 
tee of nine members, to whom shall be referred all memorials, petitions, bills and 
resolutions relating to the rights of the women of the United States, with power to 
hear the same and report thereon by bill or otherwise. The resolution was referred to 
the House calendar. 

This was a proof of the advancing status of our question that 
both Republican and Democratic leaders regarded the "rights of 
women " worthy the consideration of a special committee. 

In the spring of 1880, the National Association held a series of 
mass meetings in the States of Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and 
Michigan, commencing with the May anniversary in Indianapolis, 
at which sixteen States were represented.* The convention was 
held in Park Theatre, Miss Anthony presiding. The arrange- 
ments devolved chiefly on Mrs. May Wright Thompson, who dis- 
charged her responsibilities in a most praiseworthy manner, 
providing entertainment for the speakers, and paying all the 
expenses from the treasury of the local association. A series of 
resolutions was presented, discussed by a large number of 
the delegates, and adopted. 

In accordance with the plan decided upon in Washington of 
attending all the nominating conventions, the next meeting was 
held in Chicago, beginning on the same day with the Republican 
convention. Farwell Hall was filled at an early hour ; Miss 
Anthony in the chair. A large number of delegates f were present 

' * Alabama, Mrs. P. Holmes Drake, Huntsville. Connecticut, Elizabeth C. Champion, Bridgeport. 
District of Columbia, Belva A. Lockwood, Eveleen L. Mason, Jerusha G. Joy, Ellen H. Sheldon, 
Sara Andrews Spencer, Jane H. Spofford. Illinois, Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, vice-president of 
the National Association and editor of the "Woman's Kingdom" in the Chicago Inter-Ocean, Evan- 
stoD ; Dr. Ann M. Porter, Danville. Indiana, Mary E. Haggart, vice-president ; Martha Grimes, 
.Zerelda G. Wallace, May Wright Thompson, A. P. Stanton, Indianapolis; Salome McCain, Frances 
Joslin, Crawfordsville ; Mrs. Helen M. Gougar, editor of the " Bric-a-brac department " of the Lafay- 
ette Courier, Lafayette; Thomas Atkinson, Oxford; Mrs. Dr. Rogers, Greencaslle ; Florence M. 
Hardin, Pendelton. Joti'a, Mrs. J. C. M'Kinney, Mrs. Weiser, Decorah. Kentucky, Mary B. 
Clay, Richmond ; Mrs. Carr. Mrs. E. T. Housh, Louisville. Louisiana, Elizabeth L. Saxon, New 
Orleans. Maryland, Mary A. Butler, Baltimore. Michigan, Catherine A. F. Stebbins, Detroit. 
Missouri, Mrs. Virginia L. Minor, Mrs. Eliza J. Patrick, Mrs. Annie T. Anderson, Mrs. Caroline 
Johnson Todd, Mrs. Endie J. Polk, Miss Phoebe Couzins, Miss M. A. Baumgarten, Miss Emma Neave, 
Miss F.liza B. Bucklev, St. Louis; Mrs. Frances Montgomery, Oregon. JWro Hamfshire, Parker 
Pillsbury, Concord. New Jersey, Lucinda B. Chandler. New York, Mrs. Blake, Mrs. Gage, Miss 
Anthony. Ohio, Mrs. Amanda B. Merrian, Mrs. Cordelia A. Plimpton, Cincinnati; Sophia L. O. 
Allen, Eva L. Pinney, South Newbury ; Mrs. N. L. Braffet, New Paris. Pennsylvania, Rachel Fos- 
ter, Julia T. Foster, Philadelphia. South Carolina, Mary R. Pell, Cowden P. O. 

+ Colorado, Florence M. Haynes, Greeley. Connecticut, Elizabeth C. Champion, Bridgeport. Dfi- 
trict ef Columbia, IJelva A. Lockwood, Sara Andrews Spencer, Jane H. Spofford, Ellen H. Sheldon, 
n L. Mason, Jerusha G. Joy, Helen Rand Tindall, Amanda M. Best, Washington. Illinois, 
Kit. alirth Boynton Harbert, Sarah Hackett Slephenson, Kate Newell Doggett, Catherine V. Waite, 
Kli/aljcth J. Loomis, Alma Van Winkle, Chicago; Dr. Ann Porter, Danville ; Mrs. F. Lillebridge, 
Rockford ; Ann L. Barnett, Lock port ; Mrs. F. A. Ross, Mrs. I. R. Lewison, Mansfield ; Amanda 
Smith, Prophctstown. Indiana, Helen M. Cougar, Lafayette; Dr. Rachel B. Swain, Gertrude Garri- 
son, Indianapolis. 7<>7crt, Nancy R. Allen, Maquoketa ; Jane C. M'Kinney, Mrs. Weiser. Decorah ; 
Virginia Cornish, Hamburg; Ellen J. Foster, Clinton; Clara F. Harkness, Humboldt. Kansas, 


History of Woman Suffrage. 

from every part of the Union, among whom were many of the 
most distinguished advocates of woman suffrage. Mrs. Harbert 
gave an eloquent address of welcome. 

Committees were appointed to visit the delegates from the 
different States to the Republican convention, to secure seats for 
the members of the National Association, and to ask that a plank 
recommending a sixteenth amendment be incorporated in the 
platform adopted by the Republican party. The proprietor of 
the Palmer House gave the usff of a large parlor to the Asso- 
ciation for business meetings and the reception of Republican 
delegates, many of whom were in favor of a woman's plank in 
their platform, and of giving the ladies seats in the convention. 
Strenuous efforts had been made to this end. One hundred and 
eighteen senators and representatives addressed a letter to the 
chairman of the National Republican committee Don Cameron 
asking that seventy-six seats should be given in the convention 
to the representatives of the National Woman Suffrage Associa- 
tion. It would naturally be deemed that a request, proceeding 
from such a source, would be heeded. The men who made it were 
holding the highest positions in the body politic ; but the party 
managers presumed to disregard this request, and also the vote 
of the committee. The question of furnishing seats for our dele- 
gates was brought up before the close of their deliberations by 
Mr. Finnell, of Kentucky, who said : 

A committee of women have been here and they ask for seventy-six 
seats in this convention. I move that they be furnished. 

Mr. Cary of Wyoming, made some remarks showing that 
woman suffrage in his territory had been to the advantage of 
the Republican party, and seconded the motion of Mr. Finnell, 
which was adopted. The following resolution of the Arkansas 
delegation to the National Republican convention was read and 
received with enthusiasm : 

Amanda B. Way, Elizabeth M'Kinney, Kenneth. Kentucky* Mary B. Clay, Sallie Clay Bennett, 
Richmond. Louisiana* Elizabeth L. Saxon, New Orleans. Maryland* Mary A. Butler, Baltimore. 
Massachusetts* Addie N. Ayres, Boston. Minnesota, A. H. Street, Albert Lee. Michigan* Cath- 
erine A. F. Stebbins, Detroit; Eliza Burt Gamble, Miss Mattie Smedly, East Saginaw ; P. Engle 
Travis, Hartford ; Dr. Elizabeth Miller, South Frankford. Missouri, Virginia L. Minor, Phoebe W. 
Couzins, Annie T. Anderson, Caroline J. Todd, St. Louis ; Dr. Augusta Smith, Springfield. A>7f 
Hampshire* Parker Pillsbury, Concord. Nebraska* Harriet S. Brooks, Omaha ; Dr. Amy R. Post. 
Hastings, ffeiv Jersey* Margaret H. Ravenhill. Nevt I'ork* Susan B. Anthony, Rochester; Ma- 
tilda Joslyn Gage, Fayetteville ; Lillie Devereux Blake, New York city. Ohio* Eva L. Pinney, South 
Newbury ; Julia B. Cole. Oregon* Mrs. A. J. Duniway (as substitute), Portland. Pennsylvania, 
Rachel Foster, Julia T. Foster, Lucinda B. Chandler, Philadelphia; Cornelia H. Scarborough, New 
Hope. South Carolina, Mary R. Pell, Cowden P. O. Tennessee* Elizabeth Avery Meriwether, 
Memphis. Wisconsin, Rev. Olympia Brown, Racine; Almedia B. Gray, Schofield Mills. Wyoming 
Territory, Amelia B. Post. 

Memorial to the Republican Party. 177 

Resolved, That we pledge ourselves to secure to women the exercise of their 
right to vote. 

It is here to be noted that not only were the Arkansas delega- 
tion of Republicans favorable to the recognition of woman suffrage 
in the platform of that party, but that the Southern delegates 
were largely united in that demand. Mr. New told the ladies 
that the Grant men had voted as a unit in favor of the women, 
while the Elaine and Sherman men unanimously voted against 

But the ladies, well knowing the uncertainty of politicians, 
were soon upon the way to the committee-room, to secure posi- 
tive assurance from the lips of the chairman himself Don Cam- 
eron of Pennsylvania that such tickets should be forthcoming, 
when they were stopped by a messenger hurrying after them to 
announce the presence of the secretary of the committee, Hon. 
John New, at their headquarters, in the grand parlor of the Pal- 
mer House, with a communication in regard to the tickets. He 
said the seventy-six seats voted by the committee had been 
reduced to ten by its chairman, and these ten were not offered to 
the Association in its official capacity, but as complimentary or 
" guest tickets," for a seat on the platform back of the presiding 

The Committee on Resolutions, popularly known as the plat- 
form committee, held a meeting in the Palmer House, June 2, to 
which Belva A. Lockwood obtained admission. On motion of 
Mr. Fredley of Indiana, Mrs. Lockwood was given permission to 
present the memorial of the National Woman Suffrage Associa- 
tion to the Republican party. 
To Uie Republican Party in Convention assembled, Chicago, June 2, 1880 : 

Seventy-six delegates from local, State and National suffrage associa- 
tions, representing every section of the United States, are here to-day to 
ask you to place the following plank in your platform : 

Resolved, That we pledge ourselves to secure to women the exercise of their right 
to vote. 

We ask you to pledge yourselves to protect the rights of one-half of the 
American people, and to thus carry your own principles to their logical 
results. The thirteenth amendment of 1865, abolishing slavery, the four- 
teenth of 1867, defining citizenship, and the fifteenth of 1870, securing 
United States citizens in their right to vote, and your prolonged and pow- 
erful debates on all the great issues involved in our civil conflict, stand as 
enduring monuments to the honor of the Republican party. Impelled by 
the ever growing demand among women for a voice in the laws they are 
required to obey, for their rightful share in the government of this re- 

i 78 History of Woman Suffrage. 

public, various State legislatures have conceded partial suffrage. But the 
great duty remains of securing to woman her right to have her opinions 
on all questions counted at the ballot-box. 

You cannot live on the noble words and deeds of those who inaugurated 
the Republican party. You should vie with those men in great achieve- 
ments. Progress is the law of national life. You must have a new, vital 
issue to rouse once more the enthusiasm of the people. Our question of 
human rights answers this demand. The two great political parties are 
alike divided upon finance, free-trade, labor reform and general questions 
of political economy. The essential point in which you differ from the 
Democratic party is national supremacy, and it is on this very issue we 
make our demand, and ask that our rights as United States citizens be 
secured by an amendment to the national constitution. To carry this 
measure is not only your privilege but your duty. Your pledge to enfran- 
chise ten millions of women will rouse an enthusiasm which must count 
in the coming closely contested election. But above expediency is right, 
and to do justice is ever the highest political wisdom. 

The committee then adjourned to meet at the Sherman-house 
club room, where they reassembled at 8 o'clock. Soon after 
the calling to order of our own convention in Farwell Hall, word 
came that a hearing had been accorded before the platform com- 
mittee. This proved to be a sub-committee. Ten minutes were 
given Miss Anthony to plead the cause of 10,000,000 yes, 20,- 
000,000 citizens of this republic (?), while, watch in hand, Mr. 
Pierrepont sat to strike the gavel when this time expired. Ten 
minutes ! ! Twice has* the great Republican party, in the plenti- 
tude of its power, allowed woman ten minutes to plead her cause 
before it. Ten minutes twice in the past eight years, while all 
the remainder of the time it has been fighting for power and 
place and continued life, heedless of the wrongs and injustice it 
was constantly perpetrating towards one-half the people. Ten 
minutes! What a period in the history of time. Small hope 
remained of a committee, with such a chairman, introducing a 
plank for woman suffrage. 

The whole Arkansas delegation had expressed itself in favor ; 
most of the Kentucky delegation were known to be so, while 
New York not only had friends to woman suffrage among its 
number, but even an officer of the State association was a dele- 
gate to the Republican convention. These men were called upon, 
a form of plank placed in their hands and they were asked to offer 
it as an amendment when the committee reported, but that plan 
was blocked by a motion that ail resolutions should be referred 
to the committee for action. 

Chicago Historical Society. 179 

Senator Farr of Michigan, a colored man, was the only member 
of the platform committee who suggested the insertion of a 
-woman suffrage plank, the Michigan delegation to a man, favor- 
ing such action. The delegates were ready in case opportunity 
offered, to present the address to the convention. But no such 
moment arrived. 

The mass convention had been called for June 2, but the crowds 
in the city gave promise of such extended interest that Farwell 
Hall was engaged for June I, and before the second day's pro- 
ceedings closed, funds were voluntarily raised by the audience to 
continue the meeting the third day. So vast was the number of 
letters and postals addressed to the convention from all parts of 
the country from women who desired to vote, that the whole 
time of each session could* have been spent in reading them 
one day's mail alone bringing letters and postals from twenty- 
three States and three territories. Some of these letters con- 
tained hundreds of names, others represented town, county, and 
State societies. Many were addressed to the different nominat- 
ing conventions, Republican, Greenback, Democratic, while the 
reasons given for desiring to vote, ranged from the simple de- 
mand, through all the scale of reasons connected with good gov- 
ernment and morality. So highly important a contribution to 
history did the Chicago Historical Society* deem these expres- 
sions of woman's desire to vote, that it made a formal request to 
be put in possession of all letters and postals, with a promise 
that they should be carefully guarded in a fire-proof safe. 

Mrs. E. C. Stanton, President National Woman Suffrage Association, fjb West Lake street : 

Dear Madam : I write you in behalf of the Chicago Historical Society, and with the hope that you 
will obligingly secure for and present to this society a full manuscript record of the mass-meeting to 
be held in Farwell Hall in this city, June 2, 1880, duly signed by its officers. We hope too you will do 
the society the great favor to deposit in its archives all the letters and postals which you igay 
receive in response to your invitations to attend that meeting. 

This meeting may be an important one and long to be remembered. It is hard to measure the possi- 
bilities of 1880. I hope this meeting will mark an epoch in American history equal to the convention 
held in Independence Hall in 1776. How valuable would be the attested manuscript record of that con- 
vention and the correspondence connected therewith ! The records of the Farwell-hall meeting may be 
<qually valuable one hundred years hence. Please let the records be kept in the city in which the con- 
vention or mass-meeting is held. 

I am a Republican. I hope the party to which I belong will be consistent. On the highest stripe of 
its banner is inscribed " Freedom and Equal Rights." I hope the party will not be so inconsistent 
as to refuse to the " better half" of the people of the United States the rights enjoyed by the liberated 
slaves at the South. 

The leaders should not be content to suffer it to be so, but should work with a will to make it so. I 
have but little confidence in the sincerity of the man who will shout himself hoarse about "shot guns" 
and " intimidation " at the South, when ridicule and sneers come from his " shot gun "pointed at those 
who advocate the doctrine that our mothers, wives and sisters are as well qualified to vote and hold 
official position as the average Senegambian of Mississippi. 

We should be glad to have you and your friends call at these rooms, which are open and free for all. 
Very Respectfully, A. D. HACER, Librarian. 

180 History of Woman Suffrage. 

After the eloquent speeches* of the closing session, Miss Alice 
S. Mitchell sang Julia Ward Howe's " Battle Hymn of the Repub- 
lic," Mrs. Harbert playing the accompaniment, and the immense 
audience of 3,000 people joining in the chorus. This convention 
held three sessions each day, and at all except the last an admis- 
sion fee was charged, and yet the hall was densely crowded 
throughout. For enthusiasm, nothing ever surpassed these meet- 
ings in the history of the suffrage movement. A platform and 
resolution were adopted as the voice of the convention. 

The special object of the National Woman Suffrage Association is to secure national 
protection for women in the exercise of their right of suffrage. It recognizes the fact 
that our government was formed on the political basis of the consent of the governed, 
and that the Declaration of Independence struck a blow at every existing form by de- 
claring the individual to be the source of all power. The members of this association, 
outside of our great question, have diverse political affiliations, but for the purpose of 
gaining this great right to the ballot, its members hold their party predilections in 
abeyance; therefore, 

Resolved, That in this year of presidential nominations and political campaigns, we 
announce our determination to support no party by whatever name called, unless such 
party shall, in its platform, first emphatically endorse our demand for a recognition of 
the exact and permanent political equality of all citizens. 

A delegation f went to the Greenback convention and pre- 
sented the following memorial : 

When a new political party is formed it should be based upon the prin- 
ciples of justice to all classes hitherto unrecognized. The finance ques- 
tion, as broad as it is, does not reach down to the deepest wrong in the 
nation. Beneath this question lies that of the denial of the right of self- 
government to one-half the people. It is impossible to secure the 
property rights of the people without first recognizing their personal 
rights. More than any class of men, woman represents the great unpaid 
laborer of the world a slave, who, as wife and daughter, absolutely works 
for her board and clothes. The question of finance deeply interests 

* By Mrs. Saxon of New Orleans, La.; Mrs. Meriwether of Memphis, Mrs. Sallie Clay Bennett, 
daughter of Cassius M. Clay of Richmond Ky.; and others. Mrs. Bennett related a little home inci- 
dent. She said : A few days ago she was in her front yard planting with her own hands some roses, 
wRen " our ex-governor," passing by, exclaimed : " Mrs. Bennett, I admire that in you ; whatever one 
wants well done he must do himself." She immediately answered : " That is true Governor, and that 
is why we women suffragists have determined to do our own voting hereafter." She then informed him 
that she wanted to speak to him on that great question. He was rather anxious to avoid the argument, 
and expressed his surprise and " was sorry to see a woman like her, surrounded by so many blessings, 
with a kind husband, numerous friends and loving children, advocating woman suffrage ! She ought 
to be contented with these. She was not like Miss Anthony " " Stop, Governor," I exclaimed, 
" Don't think of comparing me to that lady, for I feel that I am not worthy to touch the hem of her 
garments." She was, she said, indeed the mother of five dear children, but she [Miss Anthony] is the 
mother of a nation of women. She thought the women feared God rather than man, and it was only 
this which encouraged them to speak on this subject, so dear to their hearts, in public. One lady gave 
as a reason why she wanted to vote, that it was because " the men did not want them to," which evoked 
considerable merriment. This induced the chair to remind the audience of Napoleon's rule : "Go, 
see what your enemy does not want you to do and do it." Of the audience the Inter-Ocean said; 
" The speakers of all the sessions were listened to with rapt attention by the audience, and the 
points made were heartily applauded. It would be difficult to gather so large an audience of our sex 
whose appearance would be more suggestive of refinement and intelligence." 

t Miss Anthony, Mrs. Gage, Mrs. Chandler, Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Haggart. 

At the Democratic Convention. 181 

woman, but her opinions upon it are valueless while deprived of the 
right of enforcing- them at the ballot box. You are here in conven- 
tion assembled, not alone to nominate a candidate for president, but 
also to promulgate your platform of principles to the world. Now is your 
golden opportunity. The Republican party presents no vital issue to the 
country; its platform is a repetition of the platitudes of the past twenty 
years. It has ceased to be a party of principles. It lives on the past. 
The deeds of dead men hold it together. Its disregard of principles has 
thrown opportunity into your hands. Will you make yourselves the 
party of the future ? Will you recognize woman's right of self-govern- 
ment ? Will you make woman suffrage an underlying principle in your 
platform ? If you will make these pledges, the National Association will 
work for the triumph of your party in the approaching closely con- 
tested campaign. 

The ladies were accorded hearings by several delegations pre- 
vious to the assembling of the convention. A resolution com- 
mittee of one from each State was appointed, and each mem- 
ber allowed two minutes to present either by speech or writ- 
ing such principles as it requested incorporated in the platform. 
Lucinda B. Chandler, being a Greenbacker on principle, was a 
regularly elected delegate and by courtesy was added to a sub- 
committee on resolutions. The one prepared by the National 
Association was placed in her hands, but, as she was forbidden to 
speak upon it, her support could only be given by vote, and a 
meaningless substitute took its place. The courtesy of placing 
Mrs. Chandler upon the committee was like much of man's 
boasted chivalry to woman, a seeming favor at the expense of 

After trying in vain for recognition as a political factor from 
the Republican and Greenback nominating conventions the dele- 
gates went to Cincinnati.* 

Committees were at once appointed to visit the different dele- 
gations. Women were better treated by the Democrats at Cin- 
cinnati than by the Republicans at Chicago. A committee- 
room in Music Hall was at once placed at their disposal, placards 
pointing to their headquarters were printed by the local commit- 
tee at its own expense, and sixteen seats given to the ladies upon 
the floor of the house, just back of the regular delegates. A 
hearingf before the platform committee was granted with no limit 
as to time. At the close a delegate approached the table, saying, 

* Twenty delegates from eleven different States, who had been in attendance at Chicago, went to 

t Before which Mrs. Gage, Mrs. Meriwether, Miss Anthony, Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Blake spoke. 

1 82 History of Woman Suffrage. 

" I favor giving woman a plank," " So do I," replied Mr. Watter- 
son, chairman of the committee. Many delegates in conversa- 
tion, favored the recognition of woman's political rights, and a 
large number of the platform committee favored the introduc- 
tion of the following plank : 

That the Democratic part} 1 , recognizing the rapid growth of the woman 
suffrage question, suggests a consideration of this important subject by the 
people in anticipation of the time, near at hand, when it must become a 
political issue. 

But although the platform committee sat until 2 A. M., no such 
result was reached, in consequence, it was said, of the objection 
of the extreme Southern element which feared the political 
recognition of negro women of the South. 

The delegations from Maine, Kansas and New York were favor- 
able, and offered the Association the use of their committee-rooms 
at the Burnett House and the Grand Hotel whenever desired. 
Mayor Prince of Boston not only offered a committee-room but 
secured seats for the delegates on the floor of the house. Mr. 
Henry Watterson, of the Louisville Courier-Journal, as chairman 
of the Platform Committee, extended every courtesy within his 
power. Mayor Harrison of Chicago did his best to secure to the 
delegates a hearing before the convention. He offered to escort 
Miss Anthony to the platform that she might at least present the 
address. " You may be prevented," suggested one. " I'd like to 
see them do it," he replied. " Have I not just brought about a 
reconciliation between Tammany and the rest of New York?" 
Taking Miss Anthony upon his arm and telling her not to flinch, 
he made his way to the platform, when the chairman, Hon. 
Wade Hampton of South Carolina, politely offered her a seat, 
and ordered the clerk to read the address: 

To the Democratic Party in Nominating Convention Assembled, Cincinnati, 
June 22, 1880: 

On behalf of the women of the country we appear before you, asking 
the recognition of woman's political rights as one-half the people. We 
ask no special privileges, no special legislation. We simply ask that 
you live up to the principles enunciated by the Democratic party 
from the time of Jefferson. By what principle of democracy do men as- 
sume to legislate for women? Women are part of the people ; your very 
name signifies government by the people. When you deny political 
rights to women you are false to your own principles. 

The Declaration of Independence recognized human rights as its 
basis. Constitutions should also be general in character. But in oppo- 
sition to this principle the party in power for the last twenty years has 

At the Prohibition Convention. 183 

perverted the Constitution of the United States by the introduction of the 
word "male " three times, thereby limiting the application of its guaran- 
tees to a special class. It should be your pride and your duty to restore 
the constitution to its original basis by the adoption of a sixteenth amend- 
ment, securing to women the right of suffrage ; and thus establish the 
equality of all United States citizens before the law. 

Not for the first time do we make of you these demands. At your nom- 
inating convention in New York, in 1868, Susan B. Anthony appeared 
before you, asking recognition of woman's inherent natural rights. At 
your convention of 1872, in Baltimore, Isabella Beecher Hooker and Susan 
B. Anthony made a similar appeal. In 1876, at St. Louis, Phoebe W. 
Couzins and Virginia L. Minor presented our claims. Now, in 1880, 
our delegates are present here from the Middle States, from the West 
and from the South. The women of the South are rapidly uniting 
in their demand for political recognition, as they have been the most 
deeply humiliated by a recognition of the political rights of their former 

To secure to 20,000,000 of women the rights of citizenship is to base your 
party on the eternal principles of justice; it is to make yourselves the 
party of the future; it is to do away with a more extended slavery than 
that of 4,000,000 of blacks ; it is to secure political freedom to half the na- 
tion ; it is to establish on this continent the democratic theory of the 
equal rights of the people. 

In furtherance of this demand we ask you to adopt the following 
resolution : , 

WHEREAS, Believing in the self-evident truth that all persons are created with cer- 
tain inalienable rights, and that for the protection of these rights governments are in- 
stituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; therefore, 

Resolved, That the Democratic party pledges itself to use all its powers to secure to 
the women of the nation protection in the exercise of their right of suffrage. 

On behalf of the National Woman Suffrage Association. 

MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE, Chairman Executive Committee. 

That the women however, in the campaign of 1880, received 
the best treatment at the hands of the National Prohibition party 
is shown by the following invitation received at the Bloomington 
convention : 
To the National Woman Suffrage Association of the United States : 

The woman suffragists are respectfully invited to meet with and parti- 
cipate in the proceedings of the National Prohibition Convention to be 
held at Cleveland, Ohio, June, 1880. 

JAMES BLACK, Chairman of National Committee. 


A letter was received from Mr. Black urging the acceptance of 
the invitation. Accordingly Miss Phoebe Couzins was sent as 
a delegate from the association. The Prohibition party in its 
eleventh plank said : 

1 84 History of Woman Suffrage. 

We also demand that women having privileges as citizens in other respects, 
shall be clothed with the ballot for their own protection, and as a rightful means 
for a proper settlement of the liquor question. 

After attending all these nominating conventions, some of the 
delegates * went to Wisconsin where the State and National Asso- 
ciations held a joint convention, in the Opera House at Milwaukee, 
June 4, 5. Madam Anneke gave the address of welcome.f 
Fresh from the exciting scenes of the presidential conventions, 
the speakers were unusually earnest and aggressive. The resolu- 
tions discussed at the Indianapolis convention were considered 
and adopted. Carl Doerflinger read a greeting in behalf of the 
German Radicals of the city. Letters were read from prominent 
persons, expressing their interest in the movement. \ Dr. Laura 
Ross Wolcott made all the arrangements and contributed largely 
to the expenses of the convention. The roll of delegates shows 
that the State, at least, was well represented. 

Thus through the terrible heat of June this band of earnest 
women held successive conventions in Bloomington, 111., Grand 
Rapids, Mich., Lafayette and Terre Haute, Ind. They were most 
hospitably entertained, and immense audiences greeted them at 
every point. Mrs. Cordelia Briggs took the entire responsibility 
of the social and financial interests of the, convention at Grand 
Rapids, which continued for three days with increasing enthusi- 
asm to the close. Mrs. Helen M. Gougar made the arrangements 
for Lafayette which were in every way successful. 

After the holding of these conventions, delegations from the 
National Association called on the nominees of the two great 
parties to ascertain their opinions and proposed action, if any, on 
the question of woman suffrage. Mrs. Blake, and other ladies 
representing the New York city society, called on General Han- 
cock at his residence and were most courteously received. In 

* Miss Anthony, Mrs. Gage, Mrs. Blake, Mrs. Meriwether, Mrs. Saxon, Miss. Couzins, Rev. Olympia 
.Brown, Misses Rachel and Julia Foster. 

t This was the last time this noble German woman honored our platform, as her eventful life closed 
31 few years after. 

\ Among others, from Assemblyman Lord, State-Superintendent-of-Public-Instruction Whitford, J. 
M. Ij'mgham and Superintendent MacAlister. 

jj The delegates were Olympia Brown, Racine: L. C. Gait, M. M. Frazier, .Ifukiv onngo ; E. A. 
Brown, Berlin; E. M. Cooley, Eureka ; E. L. Woolcott, Ripon ; O. M. Patton, M. D., Appleton; 
H. Suhm, E. Hohgrave, Sauk City; M. W. Mabbs, C. M. Stowers, Manitowoc ; S. C. Guernsey, 
Janesville ; H. T. Patchin, A'ew London ; Jennie Pomeroy, Grand Rapids ; Mrs. H. W. Rice, Oco- 
nomou'oc ; Amy Winship, Racine; Almedia B. Gray, Matilda Graves, Jessie Gray, Scholfield . Milts ; 
Mrs. Mary Collins, Muhwonago : Mrs. Jere Witter, Grand Rapids ; Mrs. Lucina E. De Wolff, White- 
water. The Milwaukee delegates were: Dr. Laura R. Wolcott, Mme. Mathilde Franceske Anneke, 
Mrs. A. M. Bolds. Mrs. A. Flagge, Agnes B. Campbell, Mary A. Rhienart, Matilda Pietsch, N. J. 
Comstock. Sarah R. Munro, M. D., Juliet H. Severance, M. D., Mrs. Emily Firega, Carl Doerflinger. 
Maximillian Grossman and Carl Herman Boppe. 

Correspondence with. Presidential Candidates. 185 

the course of a long conversation in which it was evident that he 
had given some thought to the question, he said he would not 
veto a District of Columbia Woman Suffrage bill, provided such 
a bill should pass congress, thereby putting himself upon better 
record than Horace Greely the year of his candidacy, who not 
only expressed himself as opposed to woman suffrage, but also 
declared that, if elected, he would veto such a bill provided it 
passed congress. 

Miss Anthony visited James A. Garfield at his home in Mentor, 
Ohio. He was very cordial, and listened with respect to her pre- 
sentation of the question. Although from time to time in con- 
gress he had uniformly voted with our friends, yet he expressed 
/ serious doubts as to the wisdom of pressing this measure during 
the pending presidential campaign. 

As it was deemed desirable to get some expression on paper 
from the candidates, the following letter, written on official paper, 
was addressed to the Republican and Democratic nominees : 

ROCHESTER, N. Y., August 17, 1880. 

Hon. JAMES A. GARFIELD: Dear Sir: As vice-president-at-large of 
the National Woman Suffrage Association, I am instructed to ask you, if, 
in the event of your election, you, as President of the United States, would 
recommend to congress, in your message to that body, the submission to 
the several legislatures of a sixteenth amendment to the national consti- 
tution, prohibiting the disfranchisement of United States citizens on 
account of sex. What we wish to ascertain is whether you, as president, 
would use your official influence to secure to the women of the several 
States a national guarantee of their right to a voice in the government on 
the same terms with men. Neither platform makes any pledge to secure 
political equality to women hence we are waiting and hoping that one 
candidate or the other, or both, will declare favorably, and thereby make 
it possible for women, with self-respect, to work for the success of one or 
the other or both nominees. Hoping for a prompt and explicit statement, 
1 am, sir, very respectfully yours, SUSAN B. ANTHONY. 

To this General Hancock vouchsafed no reply, while General 
Garfield responded as follows : 

MENTOR, O., August 25, 1880. 

Dear Miss ANTHONY : Your letter of the i7th inst. came duly to hand. 
I take the liberty of asking your personal advice before I answer your 
official letter. I assume that all the traditions and impulses of your life 
lead you to believe that the Republican party has been and is more nearly 
in the line of liberty than its antagonist the Democratic party ; and I know 
you desire to advance the cause of woman. Now, in view of the fact that 
the Republican convention has not discussed your question, do you not 
think it would be a violation of the trust they have reposed in me, to 

1 86 History of Woman Suffrage. 

speak, " as their nominee " and add to the present contest an issue that 
they have not authorized ? Again, if I answer your question on the 
ground of my own private opinion, I shall be compelled to say, that while 
I am open to the freest discussion and fairest consideration of your ques- 
tion, I have not yet reached the conclusion that it would be best for 
woman and for the country that she should have the suffrage. I may 
reach it ; but whatever time may do to me, that fruit is not yet ripe on my 
tree. I ask you, therefore, for the sake of your own question, do you 
think it wise to pick my apples now? Please answer me in the frankness 
of personal friendship. With kind regards, I am very truly yours, 

Miss SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Rochester, N. Y. 

ROCHESTER, N. Y., September 9, 1880. 

Hon. JAMES A. GARFIELD: Dear Sir: Yours of the 25th ult. has 
waited all these days that I might consider and carefully reply. 

First. The Republican party did run well for a season in the " line of 
liberty"; but since 1870, its congressional enactments, majority reports, 
Supreme Court decisions, and now its presidential platform, show a retro- 
grade movement not only for women, but for colored men limiting the 
power of the national government in the protection of United States citi- 
zens against the injustice of the States, until what we gained by the 
sword is lost by political surrenders. And we need nothing but a Demo- 
cratic administration to demonstrate to all Israel and the sun the fact, the 
sad fact, that all ts lost by the Republican party, and not to be lost by the 
Democratic party. I mean, of course, the one vital point of national 
supremacy in the protection of United States citizens in the enjoyment of 
their right to vote, and the punishment of States or individuals thereof, 
for depriving citizens of the exercise of that right. The first and fatal 
mistake was in ceding to the States the right to "abridge or deny " the 
suffrage to foreign-born men in Rhode Island, and all women throughout 
the nation, in direct violation of the principle of national supremacy. 
And from that time, inch by inch, point by point has been surrendered, 
until it is only in name that the Republican party is the party of national 
supremacy. Grant did not protect the negro's ballot in 1876 Hayes can- 
not in 1880 nor could Garfield in 1884 for the "sceptre has departed 
from Judah." 

Second. For the candidate of a party to add to the discussions of the 
contest an issue unauthorized or unnoted in its platform, when that issue 
was one vital to its very life, would, it seems to me, be the grandest act 
imaginable. And, for doing that very thing, with regard to the protection 
of the negroes of the South, you are to-day receiving more praise from 
the best men of the party, than for any and all of your utterances inside 
the line of the platform. And I know, if you had in your letter of accept- 
ance, or in your New York speech, declared yourself in favor of " perfect 
equality of rights for women, civil and political, "you would have touched 
an electric spark that would have fired the heart of the women of the 
entire nation, and made the triumph of the Republican party more grand 
and glorious than any it has ever seen. 

Memorial of Lucretia Mott. 187 

Third. As to picking fruit before it is ripe ! Allow me to remind you 
that very much fruit is never picked ; some gets nipped in the blossom ; 
some gets worm-eaten and falls to the ground ; some rots on the trees 
before it ripens ; some, too slow in ripening, gets bitten by the early frosts 
of autumn ; while some rich, rare, ripe apples hang unpicked, frozen and 
worthless on the leafless trees of winter! Really. Mr. Garfield, if, after 
passing through the war of the rebellion and sixteen years in congress ; 
if, after seeing, and hearing, and repeating, that no class ever got justice 
and equality of chances from any government except it had the power 
the ballot to clutch them for itself; if, after all your opportunities for 
growth and development, you cannot yet see the truth of the great prin- 
ciple of individual self-government; if you have only reached the idea 
of class-government, and that, too, of the most hateful and cruel form 
bounded by sex there must ,be some radical defect in the ethics of the 
party of which you are the chosen leader. 

No matter which party administers the government, women will con- 
tinue to get only subordinate positions and half-pay, not because of the 
party's or the president's lack of chivalric regard for woman, but because, 
in the nature of things, it is impossible for any government to protect 
a disfranchised class in equality of chances. Women, to get justice, must 
have political freedom. But pardon this long trespass upon your time 
and patience, and please bear in mind that it is not for the many good 
things the Republican party and its nominee have done in extending the 
area of liberty, that I criticise them, but because they have failed to place 
the women of the nation on the plane of political equality with men. I do 
not ask you to go beyond your convictions, but I do most earnestly beg 
you to look at this question from the stand-point of woman alone, 
without father, brother, husband, son battling for bread ! It is to help 
the millions of these unfortunate ones that I plead for the ballot in the 
hands of all women. With great respect for your frank and candid talk 
with one of the disfranchised, I am very sincerely yours, 


As Mr. Garfield was the only presidential nominee of either of 
the great parties who deigned a reply to the National Associa- 
tion, we have given his letter an honored place in our history, 
and desire to pay this tribute to his memory, that while not fully 
endorsing our claims for political equality he earnestly advocated 
for woman all possible advantages of education, equal rights in 
the trades and professions, and equal laws for the protection of 
her civil rights. 

The Thirteenth Annual Washington Convention assembled in 
Lincoln Hall, January 18, 1881. The first session was devoted to 
memorial services in honor of Lucretia Mott. A programme* 

* i. Silent Invocation. 2. Music. 3. Eulogy, Elizabeth Cady Stanlon. 4. Tributes, Frederick 
Douglass, Susan H. Anthony. 5. Music. 6. Tributes, Robert Purvis, May Wright Sew. ill, Phcebe 
W. Couzins. 7. Closing Hymn " Nearer , my GW, to T/tee." 

1 88 History of Woman Suffrage. 

for the occasion was extensively circulated, and the response in 
character and numbers was such an audience as had seldom be- 
fore crowded that hall. The spacious auditorium was brilliant 
with sunlight and the gay dresses, red shawls and flowers of 
the ladies of the fashionable classes. Mrs. Hayes with several 
of her guests from the White House occupied front seats. 
The stage was crowded with members of the association, Mrs. 
Mott's personal friends and wives of members of congress. The 
decorations which had seldom been surpassed in point of beauty 
and tastefulness. of arrangement, formed a fitting setting for this 
notable assemblage of women. The background was a mass of 
colors, formed by the graceful draping of national flags, here and 
there a streamer of old gold with heavy fringe to give variety, 
while in the center was a national shield surmounted by two flags. 
On each side flags draped and festooned, falling at the front of 
the stage with the folds of the rich maroon curtains. Graceful 
ferns and foliage plants had been arranged, while on a table stood 
a large harp formed of beautiful red and white flowers.* At the 
other end was a stand of hot-house flowers, while in the center, 
resting on a background of maroon drapery, was a large crayon 
picture of Lucretia Mott. Above the picture a snow-white dove 
held in its beak sprays of smilax, trailing down on either side, and 
below was a sheaf of ripened wheat, typical of the life that had 
ended. The occasion which had brought the ladies together, the 
placid features of that kind and well-remembered face, had a 
solemnizing effect upon all, and quietly the vast audience passed 
into the hall. The late-comers finding all the seats occupied 
stood in the rear and sat in the aisles. 

Presently Miss Couzins, stepping to the front of the stage said 
gently, " In accordance with the custom of Mrs. Mott and the 
time-honored practice of the Quakers, I ask you to unite in an 
invocation to the Spirit." She bowed her head. The audience 
followed her example. For several minutes the solemn stillness 
of devotion pervaded the hall. When Miss Couzins had taken 
her seat the quartette choir of St. Augustine's church (colored) 
which was seated on the platform, sang sweetly an appropriate 
selection, after which Mrs. Stanton delivered the eulogy,f holding 


t The eulogy will be found in Volume I., page 407. 

Memorial of Lucretia Mott. 189 

the rapt attention of her audience over an hour. At the close 
Frederick Douglass said : 

He had listened with interest to the fine analysis of the life and services 
of Lucretia Mott. He was almost unwilling to have his voice heard after 
what had been said. He was there to show by his presence his profound 
respect and earnest love for Lucretia Mott. He recognized none whose 
services in behalf of his race were equal to hers. Her silence even in 
that cause was more than the speech of others. He had no words for this 

Robert Purvis at the request of a number of colored citizens of 
Washington, presented a beautiful floral harp to Mr. Davis, the 
son-in-law of Lucretia Mott, the only representative of her family 
present. He paid a tender tribute to the noble woman whose 
life-long friendship he had enjoyed. Mr. Davis having a seat on 
the platform, received the gift with evident emotion, and return- 
ing thanks, he said : 

He would follow the example of Mrs. Mott who seldom kept a gift long, 
and present these rare flowers to Mrs. Spofford, the treasurer of the Asso- 

Miss ANTHONY said : The highest tribute she could pay, was, that dur- 
ing the past thirty years she had always felt sure she was right when she 
had the approval of Lucretia Mott. Next to that of her own conscience 
she most valued the approval of her sainted friend. And it was now a 
great satisfaction that in all the differences of opinion as to principles 
and methods in our movement, Mrs. Mott had stood firmly with the Na- 
tional Association, of which she was to the day of her death the honored 
and revered vice-president. 

Mrs. Sewall, after speaking of the many admirable qualities of 
Mrs. Mott, said: 

In looking around this magnificent audience I cannot help asking 
myself the question, Where are the young girls? They should be here.. 
It is the birthright of every girl to know the life and deeds of every noble 
woman. I think Lucretia Mott was as much above the average woman 
as Abraham Lincoln above the average man. 

Miss Couzins closed with a few graceful words. She expressed 
her pleasure in meeting so magnificent an audience, and thought 
the whole occasion was a beautiful tribute to one of America's 
best and noblest women. She hoped the mothers present would 
carry away the impressions they had received and teach their 
daughters to hold the name of Lucretia Mott ever in grateful 
remembrance. The choir sang " Nearer, My God, to Thee." 
The entire audience arose and joined in the singing, after which 
they slowly dispersed, feeling that it had indeed been a penta- 
costal occasibn. 

190 History of Woman Suffrage. 

An able paper from Alexander Dumas, on "Woman Suffrage 
as a means of Moral Improvement and Prevention of Crime,"* 
was translated for this meeting by Thomas Mott, the only son of 
James and Lucretia Mott. This convention continued two days, 
with the usual number of able speakers.f It was announced at 
the last session that an effort would be made by Senator Mc- 
Donald, next day, to call up a resolution providing for the ap- 
pointment of a standing committee for women ; accordingly the 
ladies' gallery in the Senate was well filled with delegates. 

From the Congressional Record, January 20, 1881 : 

Mr. McDoNALD : On February 16, 1880, I submitted a resolution pro- 
viding for the appointment of a committee of nine senators, whose duty 
it shall be to receive, consider and report upon all petitions, memorials, 
resolutions and bills relating to the rights of women of the United States, 
said committee to be called "Committee on the Rights of Women." It 
is on the calendar, and I ask for its present consideration. 

The VICE-PRESIDENT (Mr. Wheeler of New York) : The senator from 
Indiana calls up for consideration a resolution on the calendar, which will 
be reported. 

The chief clerk read the resolution, as follows: 

Resolved, That a committee of nine senators be appointed by the Senate, whose 
duty it shall be to receive, consider and report upon all petitions, memorials, resolu- 
tions and bills relating to the rights of women of the United States, said committee to 
be called the Committee on the Rights of Women. 

The VICE-PRESIDENT : The question is, Will the Senate agree to the 
resolution ? 

Mr. MCDONALD : Mr. President, it seems to me that the time has arrived 
when the rights of the class of citizens named in the resolution should 
have some hearing in the national legislature. We have standing com- 
mittees upon almost every other subject, but none to which this class of 
citizens can resort. When their memorials come in they are sometimes 
sent to the Committee on the Judiciary, sometimes to the Committee on 
Privileges and Elections, and sometimes to other committees. The con- 
sequence is that they pass around from committee to committee and never 
receive any consideration. In the organization and growth of the Senate 
a number of standing committees have been from time to time created 
and continued from congress to congress, until many of them have but 
very little duty now to perform. It seems to me to be very appropriate 
to consider this question now, and provide some place in the capitol, 
some room of the Senate, some branch of the government, where this 
class of applicants can have a full and fair hearing, and have such meas- 
ures as may be desired to secure to them such rights brought fairly and 

* See National Citizen of February, 1881. 

t Edward M. Davis. Susan B. Anthony, Marilla M. R:cker, Rachel and Julia Foster, Frederick 
Douglass, Belva A. Lockwood, Robert Purvis, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. This was the first time that 
Mrs. Martha M'Clellan Brown, Miss Jessie Waite, Mrs. May Wright Sewall and Mrs. Thornton 
Charles were on our Washington platform. The latter read a poem on woman's sphere. 

Committee on the Rights of Women. 191 

properly before the country. I hope there will be no opposition to the 
resolution but that it will be adopted by unanimous consent. 

Mr. CONKLING : Does the senator from Indiana wish to raise a perma- 
nent committee on this subject to take its place and remain on the list of 
permanent committees? 

Mr. McDONALD : That is precisely what I propose to do. 

Mr. CONKLING Mr. President, I was in hopes that the honorable sen- 
ator from Indiana, knowing how sincere and earnest he is in this regard, 
intended that an end should be made soon of this subject ; that the prayer 
of these petitioners should be granted and the whole right established ; 
but now it seems that he wishes to create a perpetual committee, so that 
it is to go on interminably, from which I infer that he intends that never 
shall these prayers be granted. I suggest to the senator from Indiana 
that, if he be in earnest, if he wishes to crown with success this great and 
beneficent movement, he should raise a special committee, which com- 
mittee would understand that it was to achieve and conclude its purpose, 
and this presently, and not postpone indefinitely in the vast forever the 
realization of this hope. I trust, therefore, that the senator from Indi- 
ana will make this a special committee, and will let that special committee 
understand that before the sun goes down on the last day of this session 
it is to take final, serious, intelligent action, for which it is to be respons- 
ible, whether that action be one way or the other.* 

Mr. McDONALD : The senator from New York misapprehends one pur- 
pose of this committee. I certainly have no desire that the rights of this 
class of our citizens should be deferred to that far-distant future to which 
he has made reference, nor would this committee so place them. If it be 
authorized by the Senate, it will be the duty of the committee to receive 
all petitions, memorials, resolutions and bills relating to the rights of 
women, not merely presented now but those presented at any future 
time. It is simply to provide a place where one-half the people of the 
United States may have a tribunal in this body before which they can 
have their cases considered. I apprehend that these rights are never to 
be ended. I do not suppose that the time will ever come in the history 
of the human race when there will not be rights of women to be con- 
sidered and passed upon. Therefore, to make this merely a special com- 
mittee would not accomplish the purpose I had in view. While it would 
of course give a committee that would receive and hear such petitions as 
are now presented and consider such bills as should now be brought for- 
ward, it would be better to have a committee from term to term, where 
these same plaints could be heard, the same petitions presented, the same 
bills considered, and where new rights, whatever they might be, can be dis- 

* A standing committee is a permanent one about which no question can be raised in any congress. 
A special committee is a transient one to be decided upon at the opening of each congress ; hence may 
be at any time voted out of existence. No one understood this better than New York's Stala-art sena- 
tor, and his plausible manner of killing the measure deceived the very elect. Enough senators were 
pledged to have carried Mr. McDonald's motion had it been properly understood, but they, as well 
as some of the ladies in the gallery, were entirely misled by Mr. Conkling's seeming earnest in- 
tention to hasten the demands of the women by a short-lived committee, and while those in the gallery 
applauded, those on the floor defeated the measure they intended to carry. 

192 History of Woman Suffrage. 

cussed and acted upon. Therefore I cannot accept the suggestion of the 
senator from New York to make this a special committee. 

Mr. DAVIS of West Virginia: I think it a bad idea to raise an extra 
committee. I move that the resolution be referred to the Committee on 
Rules, I think it ought to go there. That is where the rules generally 
require all such resolutions to be referred. 

The VICE-PRESIDENT : The question is on the motion of the senator 
from Virginia, that the resolution be referred to the Committee on Rules. 

Which was agreed to by a vote of 26 yeas to 23 nays.* 

Amid all the pleasure of political excitement the social ameni- 
ties were not forgotten. A brilliant reception f and supper 
were given to the delegates by Mrs. Spofford at the Riggs House. 
During the evening Mrs. Stanton presented the beautiful life-size 
photograph of Lucretia Mott which had adorned the platform at 
the convention, to Howard University, and read the following 
letter from Edward M. Davis: 

Mrs. ELIZABETH CADY STANTON Dear Madam : As afi expression ot 
my gratitude to the colored people of the District for their beautiful floral 
tribute to the memory of my dear mother, I desire in the name of her 
children to present to Howard University the photograph of Lucretia 
Mott which adorned the platform during the convention. It is a fitting 
gift to an institution that so well illustrates her principles in opening its 
doors to all youth without regard to sex or color. With sincere regret 
that I cannot be present this evening at the reception, I am gratefully 
yours, EDWARD M. DAVIS. 

In receiving the beautiful gift, Dr. Patton, president of the 
institution, made a graceful response. 

In the spring of 1881, the National Association held a series of 
conventions through New England, beginning with the May 
anniversary in Boston, of which we give the following description 
f^om the Hartford Courant : 

Among the many anniversaries in Boston the last week in May, one of 
the most enthusiastic was that of the National Woman Suffrage Associa- 
tion, held in Tremont Temple. The weather was cool and fair and the 
audience fine throughout, and never was there a better array of speakers 
at one time on any platform. The number of thoughtful, cultured young 
women appearing in these conventions, is one of the hopeful features for 

* }'eas Messrs. Beck, Booth, Brown, Coke. Davis (W. Va.), Eaton, Edmunds, Farley, Garland, 
Groome, Hill (Ga.), Harris, Ingalls, Reman. Lamar, Morgan, Morrill, Pendlcton, Platt, Pugh, Ransom, 
Saul>bury, Slater, Vance, Vest and Withers 26. 

Nays Messrs. Anthony, Blair, Burnside, Butler, Call, Cameron (Pa.), Cameron (Wis.), Conkling, 
Dawes, Ferry, Hoar, Johnston, Jonas, Kellogg, Logan, McDonald, McMillan, McPherson, Rollins, 
Saunders, Teller, Williams and Windom 23. 

t Of this reception the National Republican said : The attractions presented by the fair seekers of 
the ballot were so much superior to thoe of the dancing reception going on in the parlors above, that 
it was almost impossible to form a set of the lanciers until after the gathering in the lower parlors had 
entirely dispersed. 

Boston May Anniversary. 193 

the success of this movement. The selection of speakers for this occasion 
had been made at the Washington convention in January, and different 
topics assigned to each that the same phases of the question might not be 
treated over and over again. 

Mrs. Harriet Hansom Robinson (wife of " Warrington," so long the 
able correspondent of the Springfield Republican), who with her daughter 
made the arrangements for our reception, gave the address of welcome, to 
which the president, Mrs. Stanton, replied. Rev. Frederic Hinckley of 
Providence, spoke on " Unity of Principle in Variety of Method," and 
showed that while differing on minor points the various woman suffrage 
associations were all working to one grand end. Anna Garlin Spencer 
made a few remarks on "The Character of Reformers." Rev. Olympia 
Brown gave an exceptionally brilliant speech a full hour in length on 
" Universal Suffrage "; Harriette Robinson Shattuck's theme was " Believ- 
ing and Doing "; Lillie Devereux Blake's, " Demand for Liberty " ; Matilda 
Joslyn Gage's, "Centralization"; Belva A. Lockwood's, "Woman and 
the Law". Mary F. Eastman followed showing that woman's path 
was blocked at every turn, in the professions as well as the trades and the 
whole world of work ; Isabella Beecher Hooker gave an able argument 
on the "Constitutional Right of Women to Vote"; Martha McLellan 
Brown spoke equally well on the " Ethics of Sex " ; Mrs. Elizabeth Avery 
Meriwether of Tennessee, gave a most amusing commentary on the 
spirit of the old common law, cuffing Blackstone and Coke with merciless 
sarcasm. Mrs. Elizabeth L. Saxon of Louisiana spoke with great effect on 
"Woman's Intellectual Powers as Developed by the Ballot." These two 
Southern ladies are alike able, witty and pathetic in their appeals for justice 
to woman. Mrs. May Wright Sewall's essay on "Domestic Legislation," 
showing how large a share of the bills passed every year directly effect 
home life, was very suggestive to those who in answer to our demand for 
political power, say " Woman's sphere is home," as if the home were 
beyond the control and influence of the State. Beside all these thoroughly 
prepared addresses, Susan B Anthony, Dr. Clemence Lozier, Dr. Caroline 
Winslow, ex-Secretary Lee of Wyoming, spoke briefly on various points 
suggested by the several speakers. 

The white-haired and venerable philosopher, A. Bronson Alcott, was 
very cordially received, after being presented in complimentary terms by 
the president. Mr. Alcott paid a glowing tribute to the intellectual worth 
of woman, spoke of the divinity of her character, and termed her the 
inspiration font from which his own philosophical ideas had been drawn. 
Not until the women of our nation have been granted every privilege 
would the liberty of our republic be assured.* The well-known Francis 

* Miss Anthony was presented with a beautiful basket of flowers from Mrs. Mary Hamilton Wil- 
liams of Fort Wayne, Ind., and returned her thanks. Another interesting incident during the pro- 
ceedings of the convention was the presentation of an exquisite gold cross from the "Philadelphia 
Citizens' Suffrage Association," to Miss Anthony. Mrs. Sewall of Indianapolis, in a speech so tender 
and loving as to bring tears to many eyes, conveyed to her the message and the gift. Miss Anthony'* 
acceptance was equally happy and impressive. As during the last thirty years the press of the country 
has made Susan B. Anthony a target for more ridicule and abuse than any other woman on the suffrage 
platform, it is worth noting that all who know her now vie with each other in demonstrations of love 
and honor. [E. C. S. 


*94 History of Woman Suffrage. 

W. Bird of Walpole, who has long wielded in the politics of the Bay State, 
the same power Thurlow Weed did for forty years in New York, being 
invited to the platform, expressed his entire sympathy with the demand 
for suffrage, notwithstanding the common opinion held by the leading 
men of Massachusetts, that the women themselves did not ask it. He 
recommended State rather than national action. 

Rev. Ada C. Bowles of Cambridge, and Rev. Olympia Brown, of Racine, 
opened the^arious sessions with prayer striking evidence of the 
growing self-assertion of the sex, and the rapid progress of events towards 
the full recognition of the fact that woman's hour has come. 
Touching deeper and tenderer chords in the human soul than words 
could reach, the inspiring strains of the celebrated organist, Mr. 
Ryder, rose ever and anon, now soft and plaintive, now full and command- 
ing, mingled in stirring harmony with prayer and speech. And as loving 
friends had covered the platform with rare and fragrant flowers, the 
aesthetic taste of the most fastidious artist might have found abundant 
gratification in the grouping and whole effect of the assemblage in that 
grand temple. Thus through six prolonged sessions the interest was not 
only kept up but intensified from day to day. 

The National Association was received right royally in Boston. On 
arriving they found invitations waiting to visit Governor Long at the 
.'State House, Mayor Prince at the City Hall, the great establishment of 
Jordan, Marsh & Co., and the Reformatory Prison for Women at Sher- 
born. Invitations to take part were extended to woman suffrage speakers 
in many of the conventions of that anniversary week. Among those 
who spoke from other platforms, were Matilda Joslyn Gage, Ellen H. 
-Sheldon, Caroline B. Winslow, M. D., editor of The Alpha, and Rev. 
Olympia Brown. The president of the association, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady 
Stanton, received many invitations to speak at various points, but had 
time only for the " Moral Education," " Heredity," and " Free Religious " 
associations. Her engagement at Parker Memorial Hall, prevented her 
from accepting the governor's invitation, but Isabella Beecher Hooker 
and Susan B Anthony led the way to the State house and introduced the 
delegates from the East, the West, the North and the South, to the hon- 
ored executive head of the State, who had declared himself, publicly, in 
favor of woman suffrage. The ceremony of hand-shaking over, and some 
hundred women being ranged in a double circle about the desk, Mrs. 
Hooker stepped forward, saying : 

Speak a word to us, Governor Long, we need help. Stand here, please, face to 
face with these earnest women and tell us where help is to come from. 

The Governor responded, and then introduced his secretary, who con- 
ducted the ladies through the building. 

Mrs. HOOKER said: Permit me, sir, to thank you for this unlooked-for and 
unusual courtesy in the name of our president who should be here to speak for herself 
and for us, and in the name of these loyal women who ask only that the right of the 
people to govern themselves shall be maintained. In this great courtesy extended us 
by good old Massachusetts as citizens of this republic unitedly protesting against being 
taxed without representation, and governed without our consent, we see the beginning 
of the end the end of our wearisome warfare a warfare which though bloodless, has 

Reception at the State-house, 195 

cost more than blood, by as much as soul-suffering exceeds that of mere flesh. I see as 
did Stephen of old, a celestial form close to that of the Son of Man, and her name is 
Liberty always a woman and she bids us go on go on even unto the end. 

Miss Anthony standing close to the governor, said in low, pathetic 
iones : 

Yes, we are tired. Sir, we are weary with our work. For forty years some of us 
have carried this burden, and now, if we might lay it down at the feet of honorable 
unen, such as you, how happy we should be. 

The next day Mayor Prince, though suffering from a late severe attack 
of rheumatism, cordially welcomed the delegates in his room at the City 
Hall, and chatting familiarly with those who had been at the Cincinnati 
-convention and witnessed his great courtesy, some one remarked that 
from that time Miss Anthony had proclaimed him the prince among 
men, and Mrs. Stanton immediately suggested that if the party with which 
he was identified were wise in their day and generation they would accept 
his leadership, even to the acknowledgement of the full citizenship of this 
republic, and thus secure not only their gratitude but their enthusiastic 
support in the next presidential election. Having compassion upon his 
Honor because of his manifest physical disability, the ladies soon with- 
drew and went directly to the house of Jordan, Marsh & Co., where were 
assembled in a large hall at the top of the building such a crowd of hand- 
some, happy, young girls as one seldom sees in this work-a-day world; 
that well-known Boston firm within the last six months having fitted 
up a large recreation room for the use of their employes at the noon 
hour. Half a hundred girls were merrily dancing to the music of a piano, 
but ceased in order to listen to words of cheer from Mrs. Lockwood, Mrs. 
Hooker and Mrs. Sewall. At the close of their remarks Mr. Jordan 
brought forward a reluctant young girl who could give us, if she would, a 
-charming recitation from "That Lass o' Lowrie's," in return for our kind- 
ness in coming to them. And after saying in a whisper to one who kindly 
urged compliance to this unexpected call, that this had been such a busy 
-day she feared her dress was not all right, her face became unconscious 
of self in a moment, and with true dramatic instinct, she gave page after 
page of that wonderful story of the descent into the mine and the recog- 
nition there of one whom she loved, precisely as you would desire to hear 
it were the scene put upon the stage with all the accessories of scenery 
and companion actors. 

From Jordan, Marsh Co.'s a large delegation proceeded to visit the 
Reformatory Prison at Sherborn which was established three or four 
years ago. The board of directors, consisting of three women and two 
men, has charge of all the prisons of the State. Mrs. Johnson, one of the 
directors, a noble, benevolent woman, interested in the great charities of 
Boston, was designated by Governor Long through whose desire the 
-Association visited the prison to do the honors and accompany the 
jparty from Boston. The officers, matron and physician of the Sher- 
born prison, are all women. Dr. Mosher, the superintendent, formerly 
the physician, is a fair, noble-looking woman about thirty-five years of 
age. She has her own separate house connected with the building. 

196 History of Woman Suffrage. 

The present physician, a delicate, cultured woman, with sympathy for 
her suffering charges, is a recent graduate of Ann Arbor. 

The entire work is done by the women sent there for restraint, and the 
prison is nearly self-supporting ; it is expected that within another 
year it will be entirely so. Laundry work is done for the city of Boston, 
shirts are manufactured, mittens knit, etc. The manufacturing ma- 
chinery will be increased the coming year. The graded system of reward 
has been found successful in the development of better traits. It has 
four divisions, and through it the inmates are enabled to work up by 
good behavior toward more pleasant surroundings, better clothes and 
food and greater liberty. From the last grade they reach the freedom 
of being bound out; of seventy-eight thus bound during the past year 
but seven were returned. The whole prison, chapel, school-room, din- 
ing-room, etc., possesses a sweet, clean, pure atmosphere. The rooms 
are light, well-ventilated, vines trailir.g in the windows from which 
glimpses of green trees and blue sky can be seen. 

Added to all the other courtesies, there came the invitation to a few of 
the representatives of the movement i;o dine with the Bird Club at the 
Parker House, in the same cozy room where these astute politicians have 
held their councils for so many years, and whose walls have echoed 
to the brave words of many of New England's greatest sons. The only 
woman who had ever been thus honored before was Mrs. Stanton, who, 
"escorted by Warrington," dined with these honorable gentlemen in 1871. 
On this occasion Susan B. Anthony and Harriet H. Robinson accompanied 
her. Around the table sat several well-known reformers and distin- 
guished members of the press and bar. There was Elizur Wright whose 
name is a household word in many homes as translator of La Fon- 
taine's fables for the children. Beside him sat the well-known Parker 
Pillsbury and his nephew, a promising young lawyer in Boston. At one 
end of the table sat Mr. Bird with Mrs. Stanton on his right and Miss 
Anthony on his left. At the other end sat Frank Sanborn with Mrs. 
Robinson (wife of " Warrington ") on his right. On either side sat Judge 
Adam Thayer of Worcester, Charles Field, Williard Phillips of Salem, 
Colonel Henry Walker of Boston, Mr. Ernst of the Boston Advertiser, 
and Judge Henry Fox of Taunton. The condition of Russia and the 
Conkling imbroglio in New York ; the new version of the Testament and 
the reason why German Liberals, transplanted to this soil, immediately 
become conservative and exclusive, were all considered. Carl Schurz, 
with his narrow ideas of woman's sphere and education, was mentioned 
by way of example. In reply to the question how the Suffrage Associa- 
tion felt in regard to Conkling's reelection. Mrs. Robinson said : 

That the leaders, who are students of politics were unitedly against him. Their 
only hope is in the destruction of the Republican party, which is too old and corrupt 
to take up any new reform. 

Frank Sanborn, fresh from the perusal of the New Testament, asked 
if women could find any special consolation in the Revised Version 
regarding everlasting punishment. Mrs. Stanton replied: 

Reception at Mrs, Tudor s. 


Certainly, as we are supposed to have brought "original sin" into the world with 
its fearful forebodings of eternal punishment, any modification of Hades in fact or 
name, for the men of the race, the innocent victims of our disobedience, fills us with 

From the club the ladies hastened to the beautiful residence of Mrs. 
Fenno Tudor, fronting Boston Common, where hundreds of friends had 
already gathered to do honor to the noble woman so ready to identify 
herself with the unpopular reforms of her day. Among the many beau- 
tiful works of art, a chief attraction was the picture of the grand-mother 
of Parnell, the Irish agitator, by Gilbert Stuart. The house was fragrant 
with flowers, and the unassuming manners of Mrs, Tudor, as she moved 
about among her guests, reflected the glory of our American institutions 
in giving the world a generation of common-sense women who do not 
plume themselves on any adventitous circumstances of wealth or position, 
but bow in respect to morality and intelligence wherever they find it. 
At the close of the evening Mrs. Stanton presented Mrs. Tudor with the 
" History of Woman Suffrage " which she received with evident pleasure 
and returned her sincere thanks. 

At the close of the anniversary week in Boston, successful 
meetings were held in various cities,* beginning at Providence, 
where Dr. Wm. F. Channing made the arrangements. These 
conventions were the first that the National Association ever 
held in the New England States, presenting the national pian 
of woman's enfranchisement through a sixteenth amendment 
to the United States Constitution. 

* PROVIDENCE, R. I. First Light Infantry Hall, May 30, 31. Rev. Frederick A. Hinckley gave 
the address of welcome. 

PORTLAND, Me. City Hall, June 2, 3. Rev. Dr. McKeown of the M. E. Church made the address 
of welcome. Letter read from Dr. Henry C. Garrish. Among the speakers were Charlotte Thomas, 
A. J. Grover. 

DOVER, N. H. Belknap Street Church, June 3, 4. Marilla M. Ricker took the responsibility of 
this meeting. 

CONCORD, N. H. White's Opera House, June 4, 5. Speakers entertained by Mrs. Armenia Smith 
White. Olympia Brown and Miss Anthony spoke before the legislature in Representatives Hall 
nearly all the members present the latter returned on Sunday and spoke on temperance and woman 
suffrage at the Opera House in the afternoon, Universalist church in the evening. 

KEENE, N. H. Liberty, Hall, June 9, 10. Prayer offered by Rev. Mr. Eakins. Mayor Russell 
presided and gave the address of welcome. 

HARTFOKD, Ct. Unity Hall. June 13, 14. Mrs. Hooker presiding ; Frances Ellen Burr, Emily P. 
Collins, Rev. Phebe A. Hanaford, Caroline Gilkey Rogers, Mary A. Pell taking part in the meetings. 

NEW HAVEN, Ct. Athaeneum, June 15, 16. Joseph and Abby Sheldon, Catherine Comstock and 
others entertained the visitors and speakers. 

The speakers who made the entire New England tour were Rev. Olympia Brown, Mrs. Gage, Mrs. 
Saxon, Mrs. Merlwether, the Misses Foster and Miss Anthony. The arrangements for all these con- 
ventions were made by Rachel Foster of Philadelphia. 



Prolonged Discussions in the Senate on a Special Committee to Look After the Rights 
of Women, Messrs. Bayard, Morgan and Vest in Opposition Mr. Hoar Cham- 
pions the Measure in the Senate, Mr. Reed in the House Washington Conven- 
tion Representative Orth and Senator Saunders on the Woman Suffrage Platform. 
Hearings Before Select Committees of Senate and House Reception Given by- 
Mrs. Spofford at the Riggs House Philadelphia Convention Mrs. Hannah 
Whitehall Smith's Dinner Congratulations from the Central Committee of Great 
Britain Majority and Minority Reports in the Senate Nebraska Campaign Con- 
ventions in Omaha Joint Resolution Introduced by Hon. John D. White of 
Kentucky, Referred to the Select Committee Washington Convention, January 
24, 25, 26, 1883 Majority Report in the House. 

ALTHOUGH the effort to secure a standing committee on the 
political rights of women was defeated in the forty-sixth congress, 
by New York's Stalwart Senator, Roscoe Conkling, motions were 
made early in the first session of the forty-seventh congress, by 
Hon. George F. Hoar in the Senate, and Hon. John D. White in 
the House, for a special committee to look after the interests of 
women.* It passed by a vote of 115 to 84 in the House, and by 
35 to 23 in the Senate. On December 13, 1881, the Senate Com- 
mittee on Rules reported the following resolution for the ap- 
pointment of a special committee on woman suffrage: 

Resolved, That a select committee of seven senators be appointed by the Chair, to 
whom shall be referred all petitions, bills and resolves providing for the extension of 
suffrage to women or the removal of their legal disabilities. 


Mr. HOAR: I move to take up the resolution reported by the Com- 
mittee on Rules yesterday, for the appointment of a select committee on 
the subject of woman suffrage. 

Mr. VEST: Mr. President, I am constrained to object to the passage of 
this resolution, and I do it with considerable reluctance. At present we 

* During the autumn Miss Anthony, Mrs. Jones, Miss Snow and Miss Couzins, spending some weeks 
in Washington, asked for an audience with President Chester A. Arthur, and urged him to recom- 
mend in his first message to congress the appointment of a standing committee and the submission of a 
sixteenth amendment. 

Debate on a Select Committee. 199 

have thirty standing committees of the Senate ; four joint and seven 
special committees, in addition to the one now proposed. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore: The Chair will inform the senator from 
Missouri that a majority of the Senate has to decide whether the resolu- 
tion shall be considered. 

Mr. VEST : I understood the Chair to state that it was before the Senate. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : It is before the Senate if there be no ob- 
jection. The Chair thought the senator made objection to its considera- 

Mr. HOAR : It went over under the rule yesterday and comes up now. 

Mr. EDMUNDS : It is the regular order now. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : Certainly. The Chair thought the sen- 
ator from Missouri objected to its consideration. 

Mr. VEST : No, sir. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore: The resolution is before the Senate and 
open to debate. 

Mr. VEST : I have had the honor for a few years to be a member of the 
Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, and my colleagues on that 
committee will bear witness with me to the trouble and annoyance which 
at every session have arisen in regard to giving accommodations to the 
special committees. Two sessions ago there was a conflict between the 
Senate and House in regard to furnishing committee-rooms for three 
special committees, and it is only upon the doctrine of pedis possessto that 
the Senate to-day holds three committee-rooms in the capitol, the House 
still laying claim as a matter of law, through their Committee on Public 
Buildings and Grounds, for the possession of these rooms. At the special 
session, on account of the exigencies in regard to rooms, we were com- 
pelled to take the retiring-room assigned near the gallery to the ladies, 
and cut it into two rooms, to accommodate select committees. 

At this session we have created two special committees more, and I 
should like to make the inquiry when and where this manufacture ol 
special committees is to cease ? As soon as any subject becomes one of 
comment in the newspapers, or, respectfully I say it, a hobby with certain 
zealous partisans throughout the country, application is made to the 
Senate of the United States and a special committee is to be appointed. 
For this reason, and for the simple reason that a stop must be had some- 
where to the raising of special committees, I oppose the proposition now 
before the Senate. 

But, Mr. President, I will be entirely ingenuous and give another rea- 
son. This is simply a step toward the recognition of woman suffrage, and 
I am opposed to it upon principle in its inception. In my judgment it 
has nothing but mischief in it to the institutions and to the society of 
this whole country. I do not propose to enter into a discussion of that 
subject to-day, but it will be proper for me to make this statement, and I 
make it intending no reflection upon the zealous ladies who have en- 
gaged for the past ten years in manufacturing a public sentiment upon 
this question. I received to-day a letter from a distinguished lady in my 



History of Woman Suffrage. 

own State, for whom I have personally the greatest admiration and re- 
spect, calling my attention to the fact that I propose to deny justice to 
the women of the country. Mr. President, I deny it. It is because I be- 
lieve that the conservative influence of society in the United States rests 
with the women of the country that I propose not to degrade the wife 
and mother to the ward politician, the justice of the peace, or the notary 
public. It is because I believe honestly that all the best influences for 
the conservation of society rest upon the women of the country in their 
proper sphere that I shall oppose this and every other step now and 
henceforth as violating, as I believe, one of the great essential fundamental 
laws of nature and of society. 

Mr. President, the revenges of nature are sure and unerring, and these 
revenges are just as certain in political matters and in social matters as 
in the physical world. Now and here I desire to record once for all my 
conviction that in this movement to take the women of the country out 
of their proper sphere of social influence, that great and glorious sphere 
in which nature and nature's God have placed them, and rush them into 
the political arena, the attempt is made to put them where they were 
never intended to be ; and I now and here record my opposition to it. 
This may seem to be but a small matter, but as this letter shows, and I 
reveal no private confidence, it recognizes the first great step in this 
reform, as its advocates are pleased to term it. My practice and convic- 
tion as a public man is to fight every wrong wherever I believe it to 
exist. I am opposed to this movement. I am opposed to it upon prin- 
ciple, upon conviction, and I shall call for the yeas and nays in order to 
record my vote against it. 


The Senate resumed the consideration of the resolution reported from 
the Committee on Rules by Mr. Hoar on the I3th inst. 

Mr. VEST : Mr. President, I disclaim any intention again to incite or excite 
any general discussion in regard to woman suffrage. The senator from 
Massachusetts [Mr. Hoar], for whom I have very great regard, was yester- 
day pleased to observe that the State governments furnished by the sen- 
ator from Missouri and other senators in the past had been no argument 
in favor of manhood suffrage. Mr. President, I have been under the im- 
pression that the American people to-day are the best governed, the best 
clothed, the best fed, the best housed, the happiest people upon the face 
of the globe, and that, too, notwithstanding the fact that they have been 
under the domination of the Republican party for twenty long )-ears. I 
have also been under the impression that the institutions of the States 
and of the United States are an improvement upon all governmental theo- 
ries and schemes hitherto known to mortal man ; but we are to learn to- 
day from the senator from Massachusetts that this government and the 
State governments have been failures, and that woman suffrage must be 
introduced in order to purify the political atmosphere and elevate the 

Mr. HOAR : Will the senator allow me to interrupt him for a moment? 

Mr. VEST: Of course. 

Mr. Vest's Remarks. 


Mr. HOAR: I desire to disclaim the meaning which the honorable sen- 
ator seems to have put upon my words. I agree with him that the Ameri- 
can governments have been the best on the face of the earth, but it is 
because of their adoption of that principle of equality more than any other 
government, the logical effect of which will compel them to yield the 
right prayed for to women, that they are the best. But still best as they 
are, I said, and mean to say, that the business of governing mankind has 
been the one business on the face of the earth which has been done most 
clumsily, which has been, even where most excellent, full of mistakes, ex- 
pense, injustice, and wrong-doing. What I said was that I did not think 
the persons to whom that privileged function had been committed so far 
were entitled to claim any special superiority for the masculine intellect 
in the results which it had achieved. 

Mr. VEST : To say that the governments, State and national, now in 
existence upon this continent are imperfect is but to announce the truism 
that everything made by man is necessarily imperfect. But I stand here 
to declare to-day that the governments of the States, and the national 
government, in theory, although failing sometimes in practice, are a 
standing monument to the genius and intellect of the men who created 
them. But the senator from Massachusetts was pleased to say further, 
that woman suffrage should obtain in this country in the interest of edu- 
cation. I permit not that senator to go further than myself in the line of 
universal public education. I have declared, over and over again, in 
every county in my State for the past ten years, that universal education 
should accompany universal suffrage, that the school-house should crown 
every mound in prairie and forest, that it was the temple of liberty and 
the altar of law and order. 

I well remember that I was thrilled with the eloquence of the distin- 
guished senator from Massachusetts at the last session of the last con- 
gress, when, upon a bill to provide for general education by a donation of 
the public lands, he so pathetically and justly described the mass 
of dark ignorance and illiteracy projected upon the people of the 
South under the policy of the Republican party, and the senator then 
stood here and said that the people of Massachusetts extended the public 
lands to relieve the people of the South from this monstrous burden. 
What does the senator propose to do to-day? He proposes with one 
stroke of the pen to double, and more than double, the illiterate suffrage 
of the United States. The senator says that one-half the people of the 
United States are represented in this measure of woman suffrage. I deny 
it, sir. If the senator means that the women of America, comprising one- 
half of the population, are interested in this measure, I deny it most em- 
phatically and most peremptorily. Not one-tenth of them want it. Not 
one-tenth of the mothers and sisters and Christian women of this land 
want to be turned into polititians or to meddle in a sphere to which God 
and nature have not assigned them. 

Sir, there are some ladies and I do not intend to term them anything 
but ladies who are zealously engaged in this cause, and they have flooded 
this hall with petitions, and have called their women's rights conventions 


History of Woman Suffrage. 

all over the land. I assail not their motives, but I deny that they repre- 
sent the women of the United States. I say that if woman suffrage ob- 
tains, the worst class of the women of the country will rush to the polls and 
the best class will remain away by a large majority. That is my deliberate 
judgment and firm conviction. But, Mr. President, a word in regard to 
the committees. I desire no general discussion upon woman suffrage, 
and simply alluded in passing to what had been said by the senator from 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The hour of one o'clock has arrived, and 
the morning hour is closed. 


Mr. JONES of Florida : I desire to call up a resolution now lying on the 
table, which I introduced on the I4th instant, calling for information 
from the Secretary of War touching a ship-canal across the peninsula 
of Florida. 

Mr. HOAR: Mr. President 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The senator from Florida asks leave to 
call up a resolution submitted by him. 

Mr. HOAR : My resolution was before the Senate yesterday, and comes 
up in order. I hope we shall vote on it. 

Mr. JONES of Florida : I will only say that my resolution was laid over 
temporarily on the objection of the senator from Vermont [Mr. Edmunds], 
which he will not insist upon. 

Mr. HOAR : Allow me to call the attention of the Chair to the fact ; it is 
not the question of a resolution which has not been taken up. The reso- 
lution reported by me from the Committee on Rules was taken up, and 
was under discussion when the senator from Missouri [Mr. Vest] was 
taken from the floor by the expiration of the morning hour, in the midst 
of his remarks. Certainly his right to conclude his remarks takes prec- 
edence of other business under the usual practice of the Senate. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The Chair thought the senator from Mis- 
souri had ended his remarks, or he would not have interposed when 
he did. 

Mr. HOAR: No, sir. 

Mr. JONES of Florida: My resolution involves no debate. It is merely 
a resolution of inquiry. 

Mr. HOAR : The other will be disposed of, I hope, in a few moments. 

Mr. JONES of Florida : The resolution to which I refer went over infor- 
mally on the objection of the senator from Vermont, and I think he has 
no objection now. 

Mr. HOAR : The other will be disposed of in a moment, and I hope we 
shall vote on it. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The Chair lays before the Senate the reso- 
lution of the senator from Massachusetts [Mr. Hoar]. 

The Senate resumed the consideration of the resolution reported from 
the Committee on Rules by Mr. Hoar on the I3th instant. 

The PRESIDENT /r0 tempore : The Chair would state to the senator from 
Missouri [Mr. Vest] that the Chair supposed yesterday that he had fin- 

Facetious Proposal of Mr. Vest. 203 

ished his remarks, or the Chair would not have stopped him at that mo- 
ment. The question is on agreeing to the resolution, on which the senator 
from Missouri [Mr. Vest] is entitled to the floor. 

Mr. VEST: Mr. President, 1 was on the eve of finishing my remarks 
yesterday when the morning hour expired, and I do not now wish to 
detain the Senate. 1 was about to say at that time that the Senate now 
has forty-one committees, with a small army of messengers and clerks, 
one-half of whom, without exaggeration, are literally without employment. 
I shall not pretend to specify the committees of this body which have not 
one single bill, resolution, or proposition of any soft pending before them, 
and have not had for months. I am very well aware that if I should name 
one of them, Liberty would lie bleeding in the streets at once, and that 
committee would become the most important on the list of committees of 
the Senate. I shall not venture to do that. I am informed by the Ser- 
geant-at-arms that if this resolution is adopted he must have six addi- 
tional messengers to be added to that body of ornamental employes who 
now stand or sit at the doors of the respective committee-rooms. I have 
heard that this committee is for the purpose of giving a committee to a 
senator in this body. I have heard the statement made, but I cannot be- 
lieve if, and I am very certain that no senator will undertake to champion 
the resolution upon any such ground. 

The senator from Massachusetts was pleased to say that the Committee 
on the Judiciary had so many important questions pending before it, that 
the subject of woman suffrage should not be added to them. The Com- 
mittee on Territories is open to any complaint or suggestion by the ladies 
who advocate woman suffrage, in regard to this subject in the territories; 
and the Committee on Privileges and Elections to which this subject should 
go most appropriately, as affecting the suffrage, has not now before it, as 
I am informed, one single bill, resolution, or proposition of any sort what- 
ever. That committee is also open to inquiry upon this subject. 

But, Mr. President, out of all committees without business, and habitu- 
ally without business, in this body, there is one that beyond any question 
could take jurisdiction of this matter and do it ample justice. I refer to 
that most respectable and antique institution, the Committee on Revolu- 
tionary Claims. For thirty years it has been without business. For thirty 
long years the placid surface of that parliamentary sea has been without 
one single ripple. If the senator from Massachusetts desires a tribunal 
for calm judicial equilibrium and examination, a tribunal far from the 
" madding crowd's ignoble strife," a tribunal eminently respectable, 
dignified and unique, why not send this question to the Committee on 
Revolutionary Claims ? When I name the personnel oi that committee it 
will be evident that any consideration on any subject touching the female 
sex would receive not only deliberate but immediate attention, for the 
second member upon that committee is my distinguished friend from 
Florida [Mr. Jones], and who can doubt that he would give his undivided 
attention to the subject? [Laughter.] It is eminently proper that this 
subject should go to that committee because if there is any revolutionary 
claim in this country it is that of woman suffrage. [Laughter.] It revo- 


T istory of Woman Suffrage. 

lutionizes society; it revolutionizes religion; it revolutionizes the con- 
stitution and laws; and it revolutionizes the opinions of those so 
old-fashioned among us as to believe that the legitimate and proper 
sphere of woman is the family circle as wife and mother and not as poli- 
tician and voter those of us who are proud to believe that 

A woman's noblest station is retreat ; 
Her fairest virtues fly from public sight ; 
Domestic worth that shuns too strong a light. 

Before that Committee on Revolutionary Claims why could not this 
most revolutionary of*all claims receive immediate and ample attention? 
More than that, as I said before, if there is any tribunal that could give 
undivided time and dignified attention, is it not this committee ? If there 
is one peaceful haven of rest, never disturbed by any profane bill or reso- 
lution of any sort, it is the Committee on Revolutionary Claims. It is, in 
parliamentary life, described by that ecstatic verse in Watts' hymn : 

There shall I bathe my wearied soul 

In seas of endless rest, 
And not one wave of trouble roll 

Across my peaceful breast. 

For thirty years there has been no excitement in that committee, and 
it needs to-day, in Western phrase, some " stirring-up." By all natural 
laws stagnation breeds disease and death ; and what could stir up this 
most venerable and respectable institution more than an application of 
the strong-minded, with short hair and shorter skirts, invading its dignified 
realm and elucidating all the excellences of female suffrage? Moreover, 
if these ladies could ever succeed, in the providence of God, in obtaining 
a report from that committee, it would end this question forever; for the 
public at large and myself included, in view of that miracle of female 
blandishment and female influence, would surrender at once, and female 
suffrage would become constitutional and lawful. Sir, I insist upon it 
that in deference to this committee, in deference to the fact that it needs 
this sort of regimen and medicine, this whole subject should be so re- 
ferred. [Laughter.] 

Mr. MORRILL: Mr. President, I do not desire to say anything as to the 
merits of the resolution, but I understand the sole purpose of raising this 
committee is to have a committee-room. So far as I know, there are 
some five or six committees now which are destitute of rooms, and it would 
be impossible for the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds to 
assign any room to this committee the object which I understand is 
at the foundation of the introduction of the proposition ; that is to say. to 
give these ladies an opportunity to be heard in some appropriate com- 
mittee-room on the questions which they wish to agitate and submit. 

Mr. HOAR: They would find room in some other committee-room. 
They could have the room of the Committee on Privileges and Elections, 
if there were no other place. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The question is on the adoption of the 
resolution reported by the senator from Massachusetts. 

Discussion of Amendments. 205 

Mr. HARRIS : Did not the senator from Missouri [Mr. Vest] offer an 

Mr. GARLAND : As I understand, he moved to refer the subject to the 
Committee on Revolutionar)' Claims. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : Does the Chair understand that the sen- 
ator from Missouri has offered an amendment? 

Mr. VEST: Yes, sir; I move to refer the matter to the Committee on 
Revolutionary Claims. 

Mr. CONGER: Let the resolution be reported. 

The acting secretary read the resolution. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore: The senator from Missouri offers an 
amendment, that the subject be referred to the standing Committee on 
Revolutionary Claims. The question is on the amendment of the senator 
from Missouri. [Putting the question.] The noes appear to have it. 

Mr. FARLEY called for the yeas and nays, and they were ordered and 

Mr. BLAIR [after having voted in the negative] : I have voted inadver- 
tently. I am paired with the senator from Alabama [Mr. Pugh]. Were 
he present he would have voted "yea," as I have voted " nay." I with- 
draw my vote. 

Mr. WINDOM : I am paired with the senator from West Virginia [Mr. 
Davis], but as I understand he would vote "nay" on this question, I vote 

Mr. INGALLS : I am paired with the senator from Mississippi [Mr. Lamar]. 

The result was announced yeas 22, nays 31. So the motion was not 
agreed to. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore: The question recurs on the adoption of 
the resolution. 

Mr. BAYARD : Is it in order for me to move the reference of the subject 
to the Committee on the Judiciary? 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : It is in order to move to refer the resolu- 
tion to the Committee on the Judiciary, the Chair understands. 

Mr. BAYARD: Then I make a motion that the resolution be sent to the 
Committee on the Judiciary. I would state that I voted with some regret 
and hesitancy upon the motion of the senator from Missouri [Mr. Vest] 
to refer this matter to the Committee on Revolutionary Claims. My 
regret was owing to the fact that I do not wish even to seem to treat a 
subject of this character in a spirit of levity, or to indicate the slightest 
disrespect by such a reference, to those whose opinions upon this subject 
differ essentially from my own. I cast the vote because I considered it 
would be taking the subject virtually away from the consideration of con- 
gress at its present session. I do, however, hold that there is no necessity 
for the creation of a special committee to attend to this subject. The 
Committee on the Judiciary has within the last few years, upon many 
occasions, attempted to deal with it. Since you, sir, and I have been 
members of that committee 

Mr. HOAR: Mr. President 

206 History of Woman Suffrage. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : Will the senator from Delaware yield to 
the senator from Massachusetts? 

Mr. BAYARD : I will, if he thinks it necessary to interrupt me. 

Mr. HOAR: I desire to ask the senator, if he is willing, having been 
lately a member of the committee to which he refers, whether it is not 
the rule of that committee to allow no hearings to individual petitioners, 
a rule which is departed from only in very rare and peculiar cases? 

Mr. BAYARD : I will reply to the honorable senator that the occasion 
which arose to my mind and caused me to remember the action of that 
committee was the audience given by it to a very large delegation of 
woman suffragists, to wit, the representatives of a convention t held in this 
city, who to the number, I think, of twenty-five, came into the committee- 
room of the Committee on the Judiciary, and were heard, as I remember, 
for more than one day, or certainly had more than one hearing, before 
that committee, of which you, sir, and I were members. 

Mr. HOAR : If the senator will pardon me, however, he has not answered 
my question. I asked the senator not whether on one particular occasion 
they gave a hearing on this subject, but whether it is not the rule of that 
committee, occasioned by the necessity of its business, from which it de- 
parts only in very rare cases, not to give hearings ? 

Mr. BAYARD: I cannot answer whether a rule so defined as that sug- 
gested by the honorable senator from Massachusetts exists in that 
committee. It is my impression, however, that cases are frequently, by 
order of that committee, argued before it. We have had very elaborate 
and able arguments upon subjects connected with the Pacific railroads, I 
remember ; and we have had arguments upon various subjects. It is con- 
stantly our pleasure to hear members of the Senate upon a variety of 
questions before that committee. It may be only a proof that women's 
rights are not unrecognized nor their influence unfelt when I state the fact 
that if there be such a rule as is suggested by the honorable senator from 
Massachusetts of excluding persons from the audience of that committee, 
on the occasion of the application of the ladies a hearing was granted, and 
they came in force, not only force in numbers, but force in the character 
and intelligence of those who appeared before the committee. They were 
listened to with great respect, but their views were not concurred in by 
the committee as it was then composed. We were all entertained by the 
bright wit, the clever and, in my judgment, in many respects, the just sar- 
casm of our honorable friend from Missouri [Mr. Vest], but my habit is 
not to consider public measures in a jocular light ; it is not to consider a 
question of this kind in a jocular light. Whatever may be the merits or 
demerits of this proposition, whatever may be the reasons for or against it, 
no man can doubt that it will strike at the very roots of the present organi- 
zation of society, and that its consequences will be most profound and far- 
reaching should the advocates of the measure proposed prevail. 

Therefore it is that I think this subject should not be considered sepa- 
rately ; it should not have a special committee either of advocates or op- 
ponents arranged for its consideration ; but it should go where proposed 
amendments to the fundamental law of the land have always been sent for 

Discussion of Amendments. 207 

consideration, to that committee to which judicial questions, questions 
of a constitutional nature, have always in the history of this government 
been committed. There is no need, there is no justice, there is no wisdom 
in attempting to separate the fate of this question, which affects society so 
profoundly and generally, from the other questions that affect society. It 
cannot be made a specialty ; it ought not to be. You cannot tear this 
question from the great contest of human passions, affections, and interests 
which surround it, and treat it as a th ing by itself. It has many sides from 
which it may be viewed, some that are not proper or fitting for this forum, 
and a discussion now in public. There are the claims of religion itself to 
be considered in connection with this case. Civil rights, social rights, 
political rights, religious rights, all are bound up in the consideration of a 
measure like this. In its consideration you cannot safely attempt to seg- 
regate this question and leave it untouched and uninfluenced by all those 
other questions by which it is surrounded and in the consideration of which 
it is bound to be connected and concerned. Therefore, without going 
further, prematurely, into a discussion of the merits of the proposition itself 
or its desirability, I say that it should take the usual course which the 
practice and laws of this body have given to grave public questions. Let 
it go to the Committee on the Judiciary, and let them, under their sense of 
duty, deal with it according to its gravity and importance, and if it be here 
returned let it be passed upon by the grave deliberations of the Senate 
itself. I hope the special committee proposed will not be raised, and I trust 
the Senate will concur with me in thinking that the subject should be sent 
to the Committee on the Judiciary. 

Mr. LOGAN rose. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The morning hour has expired. 

Mr. LOGAN : I want to say just one word. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : It requires unanimous consent. 

Mr. LOGAN : I do not wish to make a speech ; I merely desire to say a 
word in response to what the senator from Delaware [Mr. Bayard] has said 
in relation to the reference to the Judiciary Committee. 

Mr. HARRIS : I ask unanimous consent that the senator from Illinois 
may proceed. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : There being no objection unanimous con- 
sent will be presumed to have been given for the senator from Illinois to 
make his explanation. 

Mr. LOGAN : This question having been once before the Judiciary Com- 
mittee, and it being a request by many ladies, who are citizens of the United 
States just as we are, that they should have a special committee of the 
Senate before which they can be heard, I deem it proper and right, without 
any committal whatever in reference to my own views, that they should 
have that committee. It is nothing but fair, just, and right that they 
should have a committee organized as nearly as can be in the Senate in 
favor of the views they desire to present, It is treating them only as other 
citi/ens would desire to be treated before a body of this character. I am, 
therefore, opposed to the reference of the proposition to the Judiciary 
Committee, and I hope the Senate will give these ladies a special committee 

208 History of Woman Suffrage. 

where they can be heard, and that that committee may be so organized as 
that it will be as favorable to their views as possible, so that they may have 
a fair hearing. That is all I desire to say. 

Mr. MORRILL: I hope this subject will be concluded this morning, 
otherwise it is to come up constantly and monopolize all the time of the 
morning hour. I do not think it will require many minutes more to dis- 
pose of it now. 

The PRESIDENT^ lempore : The Chair will entertain a motion on that 

Mr. MORRILL: I move to set aside other business until this resolution 
shall be disposed of. If it should continue any length of time of course I 
would withdraw the suggestion. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The senator from Vermont 

Mr. VOORHEES: Mr. President, I feel constrained to call for the regular 

DECEMBER 19. 1881. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore: Are there further " concurrent or other 
resolutions " ? 

Mr. HOAR: I call up the resolution in regard to woman suffrage, re- 
ported by me from the Committee on Rules. 

Mr. JONES of Florida : I ask for information how long the morning hour 
is to extend ? 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The regular business of the morning hour 
is closed. The morning hour, however, will not expire until twenty min- 
utes past one. The senator from Massachusetts asks to have taken up 
the resolution reported by him from the Committee on Rules. 

Mr. HOAR : I hope we may have a vote on the resolution this morning. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore: The question is on the amendment pro- 
posed by the senator from Delaware [Mr. Bayard], that the subject be 
referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. 

Mr. HOAR: It is not intended by the resolution to commit the Senate 
or any senator in the slightest degree to any opinion upon the question 
of woman suffrage, but it is merely the question of a convenient mode of 
hearing. I hope we shall be allowed to have a vote on the resolution. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore: Is the Senate ready for the question on 
the motion of the senator from Delaware ? 

Mr. BAYARD and Mr. FARLEY called for the yeas and nays, and they 
were ordered. , 

Mr. BECK : Mr. President, I have received a number of communications 
from very respectable ladies in my own State upon this important ques- 
tion ; but I am unable to comply with their request and support the 
female suffrage which they advocate. I shall vote for the reference to 
the Committee on the Judiciary in order that there may be a thorough 
investigation of the question. I wholly disagree with the suggestion of 
the senator from Illinois [Mr. Logan], that a committee ought to be ap- 
pointed as favorable to the views of these ladies as possible. I desire a 
committee that will have no views, for or against them, except what is 
best for the public good. Such a committee I understand the Committee 
on the Judiciary to be. 

Discussion of Amendments. 209 

I desire to say only in a word that the difficulty I have and the question 
I desire the Committee on the Judiciary to report upon is, the effect of this 
question upon suffrage. By the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution 
of the United States there can be no discrimination made in regard to 
voting on account of race, color or previous condition. Intelligence is 
properly regarded as one of the fundamental principles of fair suffrage. 
We have been compelled in the last ten years to allow all the colored 
men of the South to become voters. There is a mass of ignorance there 
to be absorbed that will take years and years of care in order to bring 
that class up to the standard of intelligent voters. The several States are 
addressing themselves to that task as earnestly as possible. Now it is 
proposed that all the women of the country shall vote ; that all the 
colored women of the South, who are as much more ignorant than the 
colored men as it is possible to imagine, shall vote. Not one perhaps in 
a hundred of them can read or write. The colored men have had the 
advantages of communication with other men in a variety of forms. 
Many of them have considerable intelligence; but the colored women 
have not had equal chances. Take them from their wash-tubs and their 
household work and they are absolutely ignorant of the new duties of 
voting citizens. The intelligent ladies of the North and the West and 
the South cannot vote without extending that privilege to that class of 
ignorant colored people. I doubt whether any man will say that it is safe 
for the republic now, when we are going through the problem we are 
obliged to solve, to fling in this additional mass of ignorance upon the 
suffrage of the country. Why, sir, a rich corporation or a body of men 
of wealth could buy them up for fifty cents apiece, and they would vote 
without knowing what they were doing for the side that paid most. Yet 
we are asked to confer suffrage upon them, and to have a committee 
appointed as favorable to that view as possible, so as to get a favorable 
report upon it ! 

1 want the Committee on the Judiciary to tell the congress and the 
country whether they think it is good policy now to confer suffrage on 
all the colored women of the South, ignorant as they are known to be, 
and thus add to the ignorance that we are now struggling with, and 
whether the republic can be sustained upon such a basis as that. For 
that reason, and because I want that information from an unbiased com- 
mittee, because I know that suffrage has been degraded sufficiently 
already, and because it would be degraded infinitely more if a report favor- 
able to this extension of suffrage should be adopted and passed through 
congress, I am opposed to this movement. No matter if there are a num- 
ber of respectable ladies who are competent to vote and desire it to be 
done, because of the very fact that they cannot be allowed this privilege 
without giving all the mass of ignorant colored women in the country 
the right to vote, thus bringing in a mass of ignorance that would crush 
and degrade the suffrage of this country almost beyond conception, I 
shall vote to refer the subject to the Judiciary Committee, and I shall 
await their report with a good deal of anxiety. 

Mr. MORGAN: Mr. President 

2io History of Woman Suffrage. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore: The morning hour has expired, and the 
unfinished business is before the Senate. 

DECEMBER 20, 1881. 

Mr. HOAR : I now call up the resolution for appointing a special com- 
mittee on woman suffrage. 

The PRESIDENT fro tempore: The morning hour having expired, the 
Senator from Massachusetts calls up the resolution which was under con- 
sideration yesterday. 

Mr. INGALLS : What is the regular order ? 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore: There is no regular unfinished business. 
The senator from Florida [Mr. Call] gave notice yesterday that he would 
ask the indulgence of the Senate to-day to consider the subject of home- 
stead rights. 

Mr. HOAR : I hope this matter may be disposed of. It is very unpleas- 
ant to me to stand before the Senate in this way, taking up its time with 
this matter in a five minutes' debate every day in succession for an un- 
limited period of time. It is a matter which every senator understands. 
.It has nothing to do with the merits of the woman suffrage question 
at all. It is a mere desire on the part of these people to have a particular 
form of hearing, which seems to me the most convenient for the Senate, 
rand I hope the Senate will be willing to vote on the resolution and let it 

Mr. MORGAN : I have no objection to proceeding to the consideration 
of the resolution, but 1 desire to address the Senate upon it. 

Mr. HOAR : I think I must ask now as a favor of the senator from Ala- 
bama that he let the resolution be disposed of promptly. 

The PRESIDENT^*? tempore : The senator from Alabama states that he 
has no objection to the present consideration of the resolution, but he asks 
leave to make some remarks upon it. The Chair hearing no objection to 
the consideration of the resolution, it is before the Senate. 

Mr. FARLEY : I object to the consideration of the resolution. 

Mr. HOAR : I move to take it up. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore: The senator from Massachusetts calls it 
up as a matter of right. If a majority of the Senate agree to take up the 
resolution it is before the Senate, and the Chair will put the question. The 
question is on agreeing to the motion of the senator from Massachusetts 
to proceed to the consideration of the resolution. [The motion was agreed 
to; and the Senate resumed the consideration of the resolution reported 
from the Committee on Rules by Mr. Hoar on the i3th instant, which was 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The pending question is on the motion of 
the senator from Delaware [Mr. Bayard] to refer the subject to the Com- 
mittee on the Judiciary, on which the yeas and nays have been ordered. 

Mr. MORGAN : Mr. President, I stand in a different relation to this ques- 
tion from that of the senator from Kentucky [Mr. Beck], who said yester- 
day that he had received a number of communications from very respect- 
able ladies in his own State upon this very important subject, and yet felt 
constrained by a sense of duty to deny the action which they solicited at 

A Voice from Alabama. 211 

the hands of congress. I am not informed that any woman from Alabama 
has ever sent a petition to the Senate, or to either house, upon this matter. 
Indeed, it is my impression that no petitions or letters have ever been 
addressed by any lady in the State of Alabama to either house of congress 
upon this question. It may be that that peculiar type of civilization which 
drives women from their homes to the ballot-box to seek redress and pro- 
tection against their husbands has never yet reached the State of Alabama, 
and I shall not be disagreeably disappointed if it should never come upon 
our people, for they have lived in harmony and in prosperity now for 
many years. Besides the relief which the State has seen proper to give 
to married women in respect of their separate estates, we have not thought 
it wise or politic in any sense to go further and undertake to make a line 
of demarkation between the husband and wife as politicians. On the con- 
trary, according to our estimate of a proper civilization, we look to the 
family relation as being the true foundation of our republican institutions. 
Strike out the family relation, disband the family, destroy the proper au- 
thority of the person at the head of the family, either the wife or the hus- 
band, and you take from popular government all legitimate foundation. 

The measure which is now brought before the Senate of the United States 
Is but the initial measure of a series which has been urged upon the atten- 
tion of States and territories, and upon the attention of the Congress of 
the United States in various forms to draw a line of political demarkation 
through a man's household, through his fireside, and to open to the intru- 
sion of politics and politicians that sacred circle of the family where no 
man should be permitted to intrude without the consent of both the heads 
of the family. What picture could be more disagreeable or more disgust- 
ing than to have a pot-house politician introduce himself into a gentle- 
man's family, with his wife seated at one side of the fireplace and himself 
at the other, and this man coming between to urge arguments why the 
wife should oppose the policy that the husband advocates, or that the hus- 
band should oppose the policy that the wife advocates? 

If this measure means anything it is a proposition that the Senate of the 
United States shall first vote to carry into effect this unjust and improper 
intrusion into the home circle. Suppose this resolution to raise a select 
committee should be passed: that committee will have its hands full and 
its ears full of petitions and applications and speeches from strong-minded 
women, and of course it must make some report to the Senate ; and we 
shall have this subject introduced in here as one that requires a peculiar 
application of the powers of the Senate for its digestion and for the com- 
pletion of the bills and measures founded upon it. At the next session 
of congress this select committee will become a standing committee of 
the Senate, and then we shall have that which appears to be the most po- 
tential and at the same time the most dangerous element in politics to-day, 
agitation, agitation, agitation. It seems that the legislators of the United 
States Government are not to be allowed to pass in quiet judgment upon 
measures of this character, but like many other things which are address- 
ing themselves to the attention of the people on this side of the water and 
the other, they must all be moved against the Senate and against the House 

212 History of Woman Suffrage. 

by agitation. You raise your committee and allow the agitators to come 
before them, yea, more than that, you invite them to come ; and what is 
the result? The Congress of the United States will for the next ten or 
perhaps twenty years be continually assailed for special and peculiar legis- 
lation in favor of the women of the land. 

I do not understand that a woman in this country has any more right to 
a select committee than a man has. It would be just as rational and as 
proper in every legislative and parliamentary sense to have a select com- 
mittee for the consideration of the rights of men as to have a committee 
for the consideration of the rights of women. I object, sir, to this dissev- 
erance between the sexes, and I object to the Senate of the United States 
giving its sanction in advance or in any way to this character of legislation. 
It is a false principle, and it will work evil, and only evil, in this country. 

What jurisdiction do you expect to exercise in the Senate of the United 
States for the benefit of the women in respect of suffrage or in respect of 
separate estates ? Where are the boundaries of your jurisdiction ? You 
find them in the territories and in the District of Columbia. If you expect 
to proceed into the States you must have the Constitution of the United 
States amended so as to put our wives and our daughters upon the footing 
of those who are provided for in the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments. 
Your jurisdiction is limited to the territories and to the District of Co- 

Inasmuch as this measure, I understand, has been made a party measure 
by the decree of a caucus, I propose to make some little inquiry into the 
past legislation of the Congress of the United States under Republican 
rule in respect of the extension of the right of suffrage to certain classes 
of people in this country. I will take up first the territories. 

Let us look for a moment at the result of woman suffrage in some of the 
territories. The territorial legislature of Utah has gone forward and con- 
ferred the right of suffrage upon women. The population in the last 
decade has reached from 64,000, 1 believe, to about 150,000. The territorial 
legislature of Utah conferred upon the females of that territory the right 
of suffrage, and how have they exercised that right ? Sir, I am ashamed 
to say it, but it is known to the world that the power of Mormonism and 
polygamy in Utah territory is sustained by female suffrage. You can- 
not get rid of those laws. Ninety per cent, of the legislative power 
of Utah territory is Mormon and polygamous. If female suffrage is 
to be incorporated into the laws of our country with a view to the ameli- 
oration of our morals or our political sentiments, we stand aghast at the 
spectacle of what has been wrought by its exercise in the territory of 
Utah. There stands a power supporting the crime of polygamy through 
what they call a divine inspiration, or teaching from God, and all the 
power of the judges of the United States and of the Congress of the 
United States has been unavailing to break it down. Who have upheld 
it ? Those who in the family circle represent one husband to fifteen women. 
A continual accumulation of the power of the church and of polygamy 
is going on, and when the Gentiles, as they are called, enter that territory 
with the view of breaking it up they are confronted by the women, who 

Mr. Morgan Proceeds. 213 

are allowed to vote, and from whom we should naturally expect a better and 
a higher morality in reference to subjects of the kind. But this only 
shows the power of man over woman. It only shows how through her 
tender affections, her delicate sensibilities, and her confiding spirit she can 
be made the very slave and bond-servant of man, and can scarcely ever 
be made an independent participant in the stronger exercise of the 
powers which God seems to have intrusted to him. Never was there a 
picture more disgusting or more condemnatory of the extension of the 
franchise to women as contradistinguished from men than is presented in 
the territory of Utah to-day. 

Where is the necessity of raising the number of voters in the United 
States from 10,000,000 to 20,000,000? That would be the direct effect of 
conferring suffrage upon the women, for they are at least one-half, if not 
a little more than one-half, of the entire population of the country above 
the age of twenty-one. We have now masses of voters so enormous in 
numbers as that it seems to be almost beyond the power of the law to 
execute the purposes of the elective franchise with justice, with propriety, 
and without crime. How much would these difficulties and these intrinsic 
troubles be increased if we should raise the number of voters from 10,- 
000,000 to 20,000,000 in the United States? That would be the direct and 
immediate effect of conferring the franchise upon the women. What 
would be the next effect of such an extension of the suffrage ? It was 
described by my friend from Missouri [Mr. Vest] and by other senators 
who have spoken upon this subject. The effect would be to drive the 
ladies of the land, as they are termed, the well-bred and well-educated 
women, the women of nice sensibilities, within their home circle, there to 
remain, while the ruder of that sex would thrust themselves out on the 
hustings and at the ballot-box, and fight their way to the polls through 
negroes and others who are not the best of company even at the polls, to 
say nothing of the disgrace of association with them. You would paralyze 
one-third at least of the women of this land by the very vulgarity of the 
overture made to them that they should go struggling to the polls in 
order to vote in common with the herd of men. They would not under- 
take it. The most intelligent and trustworthy part of the suffrage thus 
placed upon the land would never be available, while that which was not 
worthy of respect either for its character or for its information would take 
the matter in hand and move along in the circle of politicians to cast their 
suffrages at the ballot-box. 

As the States to be formed out of the territories are admitted into the 
Union, they will come stamped with the characteristics which the legis- 
latures of the territories have imprinted upon them ; and if after due con- 
sideration in those territories the men who have the regulation of public 
affairs should come to the conclusion that it was best to have woman 
suffrage, then we can allow them, under existing laws, to go on and per- 
fect their systems and apply for admission into the Union with them as 
they may choose to adopt them and to shape them. The law upon that 
subject as it exists is liberal enough, for it gives to the legislatures the 
right to regulate the qualifications of suffrage. It leaves it to each local 

2I 4 

History of Woman Suffrage. 

community, wherever it may be throughout the territories of the United 
States, to determine for itself what it may prefer to have. 

Is it the object in the raising of this committeee only that it shall have 
so many speeches made, so much talk about it, or is it to be the object of 
the committee to have legislation brought here ? If you bring legislation 
here, what will you bring? An amendment to the constitution like the 
fourteenth amendment, or else some provision obligatory upon the ter- 
ritories by which female suffrage shall be allowed there, whether the 
people want it or whether they do not? For my part, before this session 
of congress ends I intend to introduce a bill to repeal woman suffrage in 
the territory of Utah, knowing and believing that that will be the 'most 
effectual remedy for the extirpation of polygamy in that unfortunate ter- 
ritory. If you choose to repeal the laws of any territory conferring the 
right of suffrage upon women you have the power in congress to do it ; but 
there are no measures introduced here and none advocated in that direc- 
tion. The whole drift of this movement is in the other direction. This 
committee is sought to be raised either for the accommodation of some 
senator who wants a chairmanship and a clerk, or it is sought to be raised 
for the purpose of encouraging a raid on the laws and traditions of this 
country, which I think would end in our total demoralization, I therefore 
oppose this measure in the beginning, and I expect to oppose it as far as 
it may go. 

Now let us notice for a moment the case of the District of Columbia. 
There are some senators here who have given themselves a great deal of 
trouble in the advocacy of the right of suffrage of the people of the United 
States, and especially of the colored people. They put themselves to great 
trouble, and doubtless at some expense of feeling, to worry and beset and 
harry gentlemen who come from certain States of this Union, in reference 
to the votes of the negroes : and yet these very gentlemen have been 
either in this House or in the other when the Republican party has had a 
two-thirds majority of both branches and has deliberately taken from the 
people of the District of Columbia the right to elect any officer from a 
constable to a mayor, all because when the experiment was tried here it 
was found that the negroes were a little too strong. There was too much 
African suffrage in the ballot-box, and they must get rid of it, and to get 
rid of it on terms of equality they have disfranchised every man in the 
District of Columbia. 

I shall have more faith in the sincerity of the declarations of .gentlemen 
of their desire to have the women vote when I see that they have made 
some step toward the restoration of the right of suffrage to the people of 
the District of Columbia. While they let this blot remain upon our law, 
while they allow this damning conviction to stand, they may stare us in 
the face and accuse us continually of a want of candor and sincerity on 
this subject, but they will address their arguments to me in vain, even as 
coming from men who have an infatuation upon the subject. I do not be- 
lieve a word of it, Mr. President. 

I cannot be convinced against these facts that this new movement in 
favor of female suffrage means anything more than to add another patch 

Vote on Mr. Bayard's Motion. 215 

to the worn-out garment of Republicanism, which they patched with Ma- 
honeism in Virginia, with repudiation elsewhere, and which they now seek 
to patch further by putting on the delicate little silk covering of woman 
suffrage. I do not believe that this movement has its root and branch in 
any sincere desire to give to the women of this land the right of suffrage. 
I think it is a mere party movement with a view of attempting to draw into 
the reach of the Republican party some little support from the sympathy 
and interest they suppose the ladies will take in their cause if they should 
advocate it here. No bill, perhaps, is expected to be reported. The com- 
mittee will sit and listen and profess to be charmed and enlightened and 
instructed by what may be said, and then the subject will be passed by 
without any actual effort to secure the passage of a bill. 

Introduce your bills and let them go to the Judiciary Committee, where 
the rights of men are to be considered as well as the rights of women. If 
this subject is of that pressing national importance which senators seem 
to think it is, it is not to be supposed that the Committee on the Judiciary 
will fail to give it profound and early attention. When you bring a select 
committee forward under the circumstances under which this is to be 
raised, you must not expect us to give credit generally to the idea that 
the real purpose is to advance the cause of woman suffrage, but rather 
that the real purpose is to advance the cause of political domination in this 
country. I can see no reason for the raising of this select committee, un- 
less it be to furnish some senator, as I have remarked, with a clerk and 
messenger. If that were the avowed reason or could even be intimated, I 
think I should be disposed to yield that courtesy to the senator, whoever 
he might be ; but I cannot do it under the false pretext that the real ob- 
ject is to bring forward measures here for the introduction of woman 
suffrage into the District of Columbia, where we have no suffrage, or 
into the territories, where they have all the suffrage that the territorial 
legislatures see proper to give them. I therefore shall oppose the reso- 

Mr. BAYARD : I move the that Senate proceed to the consideration of 
executive business. [The motion was agreed to.] 

JANUARY 9, 1882. 

Mr. HOAR : I now ask for the consideration of the resolution relating 
to a select committee on woman suffrage. 

The PRESIDENT pro tcmpore : There being ten minutes left of the morn- 
ing hour, the senator Irom Massachusetts [Mr. Hoar] asks for the consid- 
eration of the resolution relating to woman suffrage. The pending ques- 
tion is on the motion of the senator from Delaware [Mr. Bayard] to refer 
the subject-matter to the Committee on the Judiciary, on which the yeas; 
and nays have been ordered. 

The principal legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. 

Mr. BUTLER (when Mr. Pugh's name was called) : I was requested' 
by the senator from Alabama [Mr. Pugh] to announce his pair with the; 
senator from New York [Mr. Miller]. 

The roll-call was concluded. 

History of Woman Suffrage. 

Mr. TELLER : On this question I am paired with the senator from Ala- 
bama [Mr. Morgan]. If the senator from Alabama were present, I should 
vote " nay." 

Mr. McPHERSON (after having voted in the affirmative) : I rise to ask 
the privilege of withdrawing my vote. I am paired with my colleague 
[Mr. Sewell] on all political questions, and this seems to have taken a po- 
litical shape. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The senator from New Jersey withdraws 
his vote. 

The result was announced yeas 27, nays 31. So the motion was not 
agreed to. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore: The question recurs on the adoption of 
the resolution. 

Mr. EDMUNDS : Let it be read for information. The secretary read the 

Mr. EDMUNDS: "Shall" ought to be stricken out and "may" inserted, 
because the Senate ought always to have the power to refer any particular 
measure as it pleases. 

Mr. HOAR : I have no objection to that modification. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The senator from Massachusetts accepts 
the suggestion of the senator from Vermont, and the word " may" will be 
substituted for "shall." 

Mr. HILL of Georgia: I wish to say that I have opposed all resolu- 
tions, whether originating on the other side of the chamber or on this 
side, appointing special committees. They are all wrong. They are not 
founded, in my judgment, on a correct principle. There is no necessity 
to raise a select committee for this business. The standing committees of 
the Senate are ample to do everything that it is proposed the select com- 
mittee asked for shall do. The only result of appointing more special 
committees is to have just that many more clerks, just that much more 
expense, just that many more committee-rooms. This is not the first time 
I have opposed the raising of a select committee. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The morning hour has expired, and it re- 
quires unanimous consent for the senator from Georgia to proceed with 
his remarks. 

JANUARY 21, 1882. 

Mr. HOAR: I move that the Senate proceed with the consideration of 
the resolution. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : If there is no objection, unanimous con- 
sent will be assumed, 
jjjjr. FARLEY and others: I object. 

Mr,. HOAR : I move that the Senate proceed with the consideration of 
the resolution. 

Mr. SHERMAN : Let it be proceeded with informally, subject to the call 
for other business. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The question is on the motion of the sen- 
ator from Massachusetts. [Putting the question.] The Chair is uncertain 
from the sound and will ask for a division. 

Mr. Hill's Speech. . 217 

The motion was agreed to ; there being on a division ayes 32, noes 20. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The resolution is before the Senate and 
the senator from Georgia [Mr. Hill] has the floor. 

Mr. HILL of Georgia : Mr. President, I do not intend to say one word 
on the subject of woman suffrage. I shall not get into that discussion 
which was alluded to by the senator from Massachusetts. The senator 
will remember, if he refreshes his recollection, that when my late col- 
league, now no longer a senator, made a motion for the appointment of a 
select committe in relation to the inter-oceanic canal, I opposed it dis- 
tinctly, though it came from my colleague, upon the ground that the 
appointment of select committees ought to stop, that it was wrong; and 
I oppose this resolution for the same reason. I voted against a resolution 
to raise a select committee offered by a senator on this side of the cham- 
ber at the present session, and I have voted against all resolutions of that 

No senator, in my judgment, will rise in his place in the Senate and say 
that it is necessary to appoint a special committee to consider the matters 
referred to in the resolution. It is true I am a member of the committee, 
and perhaps ought not to refer to it, but we have a standing committee, 
of which the distinguished senator from Massachusetts [Mr. Hoar] is 
chairman, the Committee on Privileges and Elections, that, I take occa- 
sion to say, is a very proper committee for this matter to go to ; and that 
committee has almost nothing on earth to do. There is but one single 
subject-matter now before it, and I believe there will be scarcely another 
question before that committee at this session. There is not a contested 
election ; there is not a dispute about anybody's seat ; and yet it is a Com- 
mittee on Privileges and Elections. What is the reason for going on 
continually and appointing these select committees, when there are stand- 
ing committees here, properly organized to consider the very question 
specified by the resolution, with nothing to do ? 

Now, I am going to say one other thing. I do not pretend that the 
purpose I am now about to state is the purpose of the senator from Mas- 
sachusetts. I have no reflections to make as to what this resolution is 
intended for, but we do know that there is an idea abroad that select com- 
mittees are generally appointed for the purpose of giving somebody a 
chairmanship, that somebody may have a clerk. That is not the case here, 
I dare say. I do not mean to intimate that it is the case here, but it ought 
to be put a stop to ; it is all wrong. I think, though, that there ought to 
be a resolution passed by this body giving every senator who has not a 
committee a clerk. Everybody knows that every chairman of a committee 
has a clerk in the clerk of that committee. The other senators, at least 
in my opinion, ought each to have a clerk. I would vote for such a reso- 
lution. I believe it would be right, and I believe the country would ap- 
prove it. Every senator knows that he has more business to attend to 
here than he can possibly perform. Why, sir, if I were to attend to all 
the business in the departments and otherwise that my constituents ask 
me to perform, I could not discharge half my duties in this chamber; and 
every senator, I dare say, has the same experience. It is to the public 

218 History of Woman Suffrage. 

interest, therefore, in my judgment, that every senator should have a 
clerk. I am unable to employ a clerk from my own funds ; many other 
senators are more fortunately situated ; but still I must do that or move 
the appointment of a special committee for the purpose in an indirect way 
of getting a clerk. It is not right. 

It has been said that if senators each have a clerk, for instance, a clerk 
at $100 a month salary during the session, which would be a very small 
matter, the members of the other House would each want a clerk. It does 
not follow. There is a vast difference. A member of the other House 
represents a narrow district, a single district ; a senator represents a whole 
State. Take the State of New York. There are thirty-three representa- 
tives in the House from the State of New York ; there are but two sena- 
tors here from that State. Those two senators in all likelihood have as 
much business to perform here for their constituents as the thirty-three 
members of the House. There is, therefere, an eminent reason why a 
senator should have a clerk and why a member of the House should not. 

I cannot vote for the appointment of select committees unless you raise 
a select committee for every senator in the body so as to give him a clerk. 
You have appointed select committees for this business and for that. It 
gives a few men an advantage when the business of the country does not 
require it, whereas if you appointed a clerk for each senator, with a nominal 
salary of $100 per month during the session, it would enable every senator 
to do his work more efficiently both here and for his constituents ; it 
would put all the senators on a just equality; it would be in furtherance 
of the public interest ; and it would avoid what I consider (with all due 
deference and not meaning to be offensive) the unseemly habit of con- 
stantly moving the appointment of select committees in this body. This 
is all I have to say. I vote against the resolution simply because I am 
opposed to the appointment of a select committee for this or any other 
purpose that I can now think of. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : The question is on the adoption of the 

Mr. VEST called for the yeas and nays, and they were ordered, and the 
principal legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. 

Mr. JONES of Florida (when his name was called) : I propose to vote 
for this resolution, but at the same time I do not regard my vote as in 
any way committing myself on the subject of female suffrage. If they 
think an investigation of this subject should be had in this way, I for one 
am willing to have it. I vote "yea." 

Mr. TELLER, (when his name was called) : On this question I am paired 
with the senator from Alabama [Mr. Morgan]; otherwise I should vote 

The roll-call having been concluded, the result was announced yeas 
35, nays 23 ; so .the resolution was agreed to.* 

* Yeas Aldrich, Allison, Anthony, Blair, Cameron of Pa., Cameron of Wis., Conger, Davis of 111., 
Dawes, Edmunds, Ferry, Frye, Harrison, Hawley, Hill of Col., Hoar, Jones of Fla., Jones of Nev., 
Kellogg, Lapham, Logan, McDill, McMillan, Miller of Cal., Mitchell, Merrill, Platt, Plumb, Ransom, 
Rollins, Saunders, Sawyer, Sewell, Sherman, Windom 35. 

House Resolution on Select Committee. 219 

Mr. WHITE of Kentucky ; I ask consent to offer for consideration at 
this time the resolution which I send to the clerk's desk. 
The clerk read as follows : 

Resolved, That a select committee of seven members of the House of Representa- 
tives be appointed by the Speaker, to whom shall be referred all petitions, bills and 
resolves providing for the extension of suffrage to women, or for the removal of legal 

Mr. MILLS of Texas : I object. 

Mr. KELLEY of Pennsylvania: A similar resolution has already been re- 
ferred to the Committee on Rules. 

The SPEAKER (Mr. Keifer of Ohio): Objection being made to its con- 
sideration at this time, the resolution will be referred to the Committee 
on Rules. 

The resolution was referred accordingly. 


Mr. REED of Maine : I rise to make a privileged report. The Committee 
on Rules, to whom were referred sundry resolutions relating to the sub- 
ject, have instructed me to report the resolution which I send to the desk. 

The clerk read as follows : 

Resolved, That a select committee of nine members be appointed, to whom shall be 
referred all petitions, bills and resolves asking for the extension of suffrage to women 
or the removal of their legal disabilities. 

The SPEAKER: The question is on the adoption of the report of the 
Committee on Rules. 

Mr. HOLMAN of Indiana : I ask that the latter portion of the resolution 
be again read. It was not heard in this part of the house. 

The resolution was again read. 

Mr. TOWNSHEND of Illinois : I rise to make a parliamentary inquiry. 

The SPEAKER: The gentleman will state it. 

Mr. TOWNSHEND : My inquiry is whether that resolution should not go 
to the House calendar. 

The SPEAKER : It is a privileged report under the rules of the House 
from the Committee on Rules. The question is on the adoption of the 

Mr. McMiLLiN of Tennessee : I make the point of order that it must lie 
over for one day. 

The SPEAKER: It is the report of a committee privileged under the 

Mr. McMiLLiN : The committtee are privileged to report, but under the 
rule the report has to lie over a day. 

Nays Bayard, Beck, Brown, Butler, Camden, Cockrell, Coke, Davis of W. Va., Fair, Farley, Gaiv 
land, Hampton, Hill of Ga., Jackson, Jonas, McPherson, Maxey, Saulsbury, Slater, Vance, Vest, 
Walker, \Villiams 23. 

Absent Call. George, Gorman, Groome, Grover, Hale, Harris, Ingalls. Johnston. 1, Mahone, 
Miller of N. Y., Morgan, Pendleton, Pugh, Teller. Van Wyck, Voorhees 18. 

The members of the committee were Senators Lapham of New York, Anthony of Rhode Island, 
Blair of New Hampshire, Jackson of Tennessee, George of Mississippi, Ferry of Michigan and Fair 
of Nevada. 

220 History of Woman Suffrage. 

The SPEAKER: The gentleman from Tennessee will oblige the Chair by 
directing his attention to any rule which requires such a report to lie over 
one day. It changes no standing rule or order of the House. 

Mr. McMlLLiN : It does, by making a change in the number and nature 
of the committees. All measures of a particular class, the resolution 
states, must be referred to the proposed committee, whereas heretofore 
they have been referred to a different committee. Therefore the resolu- 
tion changes the rules of the House. 

The SPEAKER: The Chair is of opinion the resolution does not rescind 
or change any standing rule of the House. The question is on the adop- 
tion of the resolution. 

Mr. SPRINGER: Mr. Speaker, I desire to call the attention of the Chair 
to the fact that this does distinctly change one of the standing rules of 
the House. One of the standing rules is 

The SPEAKER: The Chair has passed on that question, and no appeal 
has been taken from his decision. 

Mr. SPRINGER: I desire to call the attention of the Chair to Rule 10, 
which specifically provides for the appointment of the full number of 
committees this House is to have, and this is not one of them. 

The SPEAKER: Not one of the standing committees, but a select com- 

Mr. SPRINGER : That rule provides there shall be a certain number of 
committees, the names of which are therein given. 

Mr. REED : I sincerely hope this will not be made a matter of technical 
discussion or debate. It is a matter upon which members of this House 
must have opinions which they can express by voting, in a very short 
time, without taking up the attention of the House beyond what is really 
necessary for a bare discussion of the merits of the question. 

Mr. McMlLLiN : Will the gentleman permit me to ask him a question ? 

Mr. REED : Certainly. 

Mr. McMlLLiN : Would you not, as a parliamentarian, concede that this 
does change the existing rules of the House? 

Mr. REED : By no manner of means, especially when the accomplished 
Speaker has decided the other way, and no gentleman has taken an ap- 
peal from his decision. [Laughter.] 

Mr. McMlLLiN : Then you have no opinion beyond his decision ? 

The SPEAKER: The Chair will state to the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. 
Springer] that this resolution does not change any of the standing com- 
mittees of the House which are provided for in Rule 10. 

Mr. SPRINGER: It provides for a new committee. 

The SPEAKER : It provides for a select committee. The subject was 
referred to the Committee on Rules by order of the House, and this is a 
report on the resolution so referred. 

Mr. SPRINGER : The rule provides that no standing rule or order of the 
House shall be rescinded or changed without one day's notice. 

The SPEAKER : The Chair would decide that this does not propose any 
change or rescinding of any standing rule of the House. 

Vote on tke Resolution. 221 

Mr. SPRINGER : Does the Chair hold that the making of a new rule is 
not a change of the existing rules ? 

The SPEAKER : The Chair does not decide anything of the kind. 

Mr. SPRINGER : What does the Chair decide ? 

The SPEAKER: The Chair does not undertake to decide any such ques- 
tion, for it is not now presented. 

Mr. SPRINGER: Is this not a new rule? 

The SPEAKER : It is not. 

Mr. SPRINGER: It is not? 

The SPEAKER: It is a provision for a select committee. 

Mr. SPRINGER: Can you have a committee without a rule of the House 
providing for it? 

The SPEAKER : The question is on the adoption of the resolution re- 
ported from the Committee on Rules. 

Mr. ATKINS : On that question I call for the yeas and nays. 

The yeas and nays were ordered. 

The question was taken and there were yeas 115, nays 84, not voting 
93 ; so the resolution was carried.* 

Mr. REED moved to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was 
adopted ; and also moved that the motion to reconsider be laid on the 
table. The latter motion was agreed to. 

On Monday, March 13, 1882, the Chair announced the appointment of 
the following gentlemen as the Select Committee on Woman Suffrage 
authorized by the House : Mr. Camp of New York, Mr. White of Ken- 
tucky, Mr. Sherwin of Illinois, Mr. Stone of Massachusetts. Mr. Hepburn 
of Iowa, Mr. Springer of Illinois, Mr. Vance of North Carolina, Mr. Mul- 
drow of Mississippi and Mr. Stockslager of Indiana. 

The Annual Washington Convention was held in Lincoln Hall 
as usual, January 18, 19, 20, 1882. The afternoon before the 
convention, at an executive session held at the Riggs House, 

* Yeas Aldrich, Anderson, Bayne. Beach, Belford, Bingham, Black, Bliss, Brewer. Briggs, Browne, 
Brumm, Buck, Burrows, Julius C., Butterworth, Calkins, Camp, Campbell, Candler, Cannon, Carpen- 
ter, Caswell, Converse, Crapo, Davis, George R., Dawes, Deering, De Motte, Dezendorf, Dinglcy, 
Dwight, Farwell, Sewall S., Finley, Flower, Geddes, Grout, Hardenburgh, Harris, Henry, S., Husel- 
tine, Haskell, Hawk, Hazelton, Hcilman, Henderson, Hepburn, Hill, Hiscock, Horr, Houk, Hubbell, 
Humphrey, Hutchinson, Jacobs, Jadwin, Jones, Phineas. Kasson, Kelley, Ladd, Lord, Marsh, Mason, 
McClure, McCoid, McCook, McKinley, Miles, Miller, Moulton, Murch, Nolan, Norcross, O'Neill, Orth, 
Page, Parker, Paul, Payson, Poole. Pierce, Pettibone, Pound, Prescott, Ranncy, Ray, Reed, Rice. 
Theron M., Richardson, D. P., Ritchie, Robeson, Robinson, Geo. D., Robinson, James S., Ryan, 
Scranton, Shallenberger, Sherwin, Skinner, Smith, A. Herr, Smith, Dietrich C., Spaulding, Spooner, 
Steele, Stephens, Stone, Strait, Taylor, Updegraff, J. T., Updegraff, Thomas, Valentine, Van Arm. mi, 
Walker, Watson, West, White, Williams, Chas. G., Willits 115. 

Nays Aiken, Atkins, Berry, Blackburn, Bland, Blount, Bragg, Buchanan, Buckner, Cabell, Cald- 
well, Cassiday, Chapman, Clark, Clements, Cobb, Colerick, Cox, William R., Covington, Cravens, 
Culbcrson, Curtin, Deuster, Dibrcll, Dowd, Evins, Forney, Frost, Fulkerson, Garrison, Guenther, 
Gunter, Hammond, N. J., Hatch, Herbert, Hewitt, G. W. Hope, Holman, House, Jones, George W., 
Jones, James K., Joyce, Kenna, Klotz, Knott, Latham, Leedom. Manning, Martin, Matson, McMillin, 
Mills, Money, Morrison, Mutchler, Gates, Phister, Reagan, Rosecrans, Ross, Schackleford, Shelley, 
Simonton, Singleton, Jas. W., Singleton, Otho R., Sparks, Speer, Springer, Stockslager, Thompson, 
P. B.. Thompson, Wm. G., Tillman, Tucker, Turner, Henry G., Turner, Oscar, Upson, Vance, War 
ner, Whittihore, Williams, Thomas, Willis, Wilson, Wise, George D., Young 84. 

222 History of Woman Suffrage. 

forty delegates were present from fourteen different States.* 
Among these were five from Massachusetts, and for the first 
time that State was represented on the platform of the National 
Association. Mrs. Stanton gave the opening address, and made 
some amusing criticisms on a recent debate on Senator H'oar's 
proposition for a special committee on the rights and disabilities 
of women. Such a committee had been under debate for several 
years and it was during this convention that the bill passed the 

Invitations to attend the convention were sent to all the 
members of congress, and many were present during the various 
sessions. Miss Ellen H. Sheldon, secretary, read the minutes of 
the last convention, and, instead of the usual dry skeleton of facts, 
she gave a glowing description of that eventful occasion. Clara 

B. Colby gave an interesting narration of the progress of woman 
suffrage in Nebraska, and of the efforts being made to carry the 
proposition pending before the people, to strike the word " male " 
from the constitution in the coming November election. 

Rev. Frederick A. Hinckley of Providence, R. I., spoke upon 
" Our Demand in the Light of Evolution." He said : 

It is about a century since our forefathers declared that "governments 
derive their just powers from the consent of the governed," and 
about a half century since woman began to see that she ought to be 
included in this declaration. At present the expressions of the Declara- 
tion of Independence are a "glittering generality," for only one-half of the 
people "consent." Modern science has demonstrated the truth of evolu- 
tion like causes produce like results and this is seen in the progress of 
government and of woman. From the time when physical force ruled, 
up to the present, when ostensibly in the United States every person is his 
own ruler, there have been many steps. The importance of the masses 
has steadily taken the place of the importance of individuals. At first the 
idea was "You shall obey because I say so"; then, "You shall obey be- 
cause I am your superior, and will protect you"; now it is ' Everyone 
shall be his own protector." But we do not live up to this idea while only 
one-half instead of the whole of " everyone " is his own protector. The 
phases of woman's advancement are fitly described by the four words 
slave, subject, inferior, dependent ; and no step in this advance has been 

* Connecticut, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Frances Ellen Burr. Colorado, Mrs. Elizabeth G. Campbell, 
District of Columbia, Ellen H. Sheldon, Jane H. Spofford, Dr. Caroline B. Winslow, Ellen M. 
O'Conner, Eliza Titus Ward, Belva A. Lockwood, Mrs. H. L. Shephard, Martha Johnson. Indiana, 
Helen M. Gongar, May Wright Sewall, Laura Kregelo, Alexiana S. Maxwell. Maine, Sophronia 

C. Snow. Massachusetts, Mrs. Harriet H. Robinson, Harriette R. Shattuck, Laura E. Brooks, Mary 
R. Brown, Emma F. Clary. Nebraska, Clara B. Colby. New Jersey, Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Chandler. 
A'/w York, Mrs. Caroline Gilkey Rogers, Mrs. Blake, Mrs. Gage, Miss Anthony, Mrs. Helen M. 
Loder. Pennsylvania, Mrs. McClellan Brown, Rachel G. Foster, Emma C. Rhodes. Rhode Island^ 
Rev. Frederick A Hinckley, Mrs. Burgess. Wisconsin, Miss Eliza Wilson and Mrs. Painter. 

Speech of Phoebe W. Couzins. 223 

accomplished without a hard struggle. The logic of evolution in govern- 
ment points to universal suffrage. The same logic points to unqualified 
individual freedom for woman. 

Mrs. Blake in reporting from her State said : 

Governor Cornell was the first New York Governor to mention woman 
in an inaugural address, and the bill allowing women to vote in school 
elections was passed the same winter. There was a great deal of opposi- 
tion in different parts of the State to the voting of women. In some 
country districts where the polls are in the school-houses, certain men 
went early and locked the doors, filled the room with smoke and even put 
tobacco on the stoves to make it as disagreeable for the women as possi- 
ble. More respectable men had to ventilate and clean the rooms to make 
them decent for either man or woman. From this lowest class of oppo- 
nents up to those who say : " My dear, you'd better not make yourself con- 
spicuous ! " the spirit is the same. Believing that under our constitution 
women are already entitled to the ballot, we do not ask for a constitu- 
tional amendment, but for a bill extending the suffrage at once. 

Mrs. COLBY in contrast to this stated that in Nebraska the greatest 
courtesy had always been shown to women who voted at school elections 
There is only one organized effort against woman suffrage, and that is 
made by the " Sons of Liberty ! " " O, Consistency, thou art a jewel ! " 

The following resolution introduced into the Senate, January 
II, by Mr. Morgan of Alabama, was finally referred to the Com- 
mittee on Woman Suffrage. This was the first subject brought 
before them for action. 

Resolved, That the committee on " The extension of suffrage to women, or the re- 
moval of their disabilities," be directed to examine into the state of the law regulating 
the ri<;ht of suffrage in the territory of Utah, and report a bill to set aside and annul 
any law or laws enacted by the legislature of said territory conferring upon women 
the right of suffrage. 

Miss Couzins made an admirable speech on the following reso- 
lution : 

Resolved, That Senator Morgan's bill to deprive the women of Utah of the right of 
suffrage because of the social institutions and religious faith originated and maintained 
by the men of the territory,^ a travesty on common justice. While the wife has not 
absolute possession of even one husband, and the husband has many wives, surely the 
men and not the women, if either, should be deprived of the suffrage. 

Miss COUZINS said : The task of dealing fairly and justly with this ter- 
ritorial complication should never be committed to the blundering legis- 
lation of man alone. His success as a legislator and executive for woman 
in the past does not inspire a confidence that in this most serious problem 
he will be any the less an unbiased judge and law-giver. This government 
of men permitted the establishment of a religious colony, so called, whose 
basis of faith was the complete humiliation of women ; recognized the 
system by appointing its chief, Brigham Young, governor of the territory, 
under whose fostering care polygamy grew to its present proportions. 

224 History of Woman Suffrage. 

That woman has not thrown off the yoke of religious despotism can be 
readily appreciated when we recognize the fact that man, from time imme- 
morial, has played upon her religious faith to exalt his own attributes and 
degrade hers ; that through this teaching her abiding belief in his superior 
capacity to interpret scriptural truths for her has been the means of sacri- 
ficing her power of mind, her tender affections, her delicate sensibilities, 
on the altar of his base selfishness throughout the ages. Orthodoxy 
recognizes no " inspiration " for woman to-day. She is not " called " save 
to serve man. Under its teaching her thought has been padlocked in the 
name of Divinity, and her lips sealed in sacrilegious pretense of au- 
thority from heaven ; and nothing so clearly bespeaks the degenerating 
influence of the ages of this masculine teaching as the absolute faith 
manifested by the women of Utah in this ipse dixit of man's religious doc- 
trine. Their emancipation must necessarily be slow. 

The paternal government allowed polygamy to be planted, take root, 
and grow in a wilderness where the attraction of nobler minds and freer 
thoughts was not known. The victims came from the political despotisms 
of the old world to be shackled in a land of freedom with a still 
darker despotism, and under the aegis of the American flag they have 
borne children as a religious duty they owed to God and man ; and surely 
it can not be expected, even with that grand emancipator from king and 
priestcraft rule, the ballot, that at once they will vote themselves outcast 
and their children illegitimate. 

It took the white men of this nation one hundred years to put away 
that relic of barbarism, slavery ; the removal of the twin relic will come 
through liberty for woman, higher education for children, and the incom- 
ing tide of Gentile immigration. The fitting act of justice is not disfran- 
chisement of woman, as Senator Morgan proposes, and the reenactment 
of that old Adamic cry: "The woman whom thou gavcst," but the dis- 
franchisement of man, who is the only polygamist, and the stepping down 
and out of the sex as a legislator under whose fostering care this evil has 
grown. Retire to your sylvan groves and academic shades, gentlemen, as 
Mrs. Stanton suggests, and let the Deborahs, the Huldahs, and the Vashtis 
come to the front, and let us see what we can do toward the remedy of 
your wretched legislation. But suffrage for women in Utah has accom- 
plished great good. I spent one week there in close observation. 
Outside of their religious convictions, the wo^ien are emphatic in con- 
demnation of wrong. Their votes banished the liquor saloon. I saw no 
drunkenness anywhere; the poison of tobacco smoke is not allowed to 
vitiate the air of heaven, either on the streets or in public assemblies. 
Their court-room was a model of neatness and good order. Plants were 
in the windows and handsome carpets graced the floor. During my stay, 
the daughter of a Mormon, the then advocate-general of the territory, was 
admitted to the bar by Chief-Justice McKean of the United States Court, 
who, in fitting and beautiful language, welcomed her to the profession as 
a woman whose knowledge of the law fitted her to be the peer of any 
man in his court. She told me that she detested polygamy, but felt that 
she could render greater service to the emancipation of her sex inside of 

A Large Senator and a Live Representative, 225 

Utah than out. At midnight I wandered, with one of my own sex, about 
the streets to test the assertion that it was as safe for women then as at 
mid-day. No bacchanalian shout rent the air; no man was seen reeling 
in maudlin imbecility to his home. No guardians put in an appearance, 
save the stars above our heads ; no sound awoke the stillness but the purl- 
ing of the mountain brooks which washed the streets in cleanliness and 
beauty. What other city on this continent can present such a showing ? 
With murder for man and rapine for woman where man alone is maker 
and guardian of the laws, it behooves him to pause ere he launches in- 
vectives at the one result of woman's votes. 

Mrs. Gougar, on our Washington platform for the first time, 
delighted the audience with her readiness and wit. She has a 
good voice, fine presence, and speaks fluently, without notes. 

She spoke of the reformatory prison for women in her State, and said 
that the statistics showed that eighty-two per cent, of the women con- 
fined there were sent out reformed. Speaking of the gallantry of men, 
she cited a case of a man who came to an Indiana lawyer and desired him 
to make a will. The following conversation ensued : " I want you to 
make this will so that my wife will have $400 a year; that's enough 
for any woman." "Is she the only wife you ever had?" "Yes." 
" How long have you been married ? " " Forty-two years." " How 
many children have you had?" "Eleven." "Did you have all your 
property before marriage?" "No; didn't have a cent; I've earned 
it all." " Has your wife helped you in any way to earn it? " "Why, yes, 
I suppose she has ; but then I want to fix my will so she can only have 
$400 a year; it's enough." "Well, sir, you will have to move out of the 
State of Indiana then, for the law provides for the wife better than that, 
and you will have to get another lawyer." It is needless to say that this 
lawyer is a staunch champion of woman suffrage, and it is pleasant to know 
that there are more such men being educated by this agitation. 

Mrs. Maxwell gave a fine recitation of " The Dying Soldier," at 
one of the evening sessions. It was evident by the sparkling eyes 
of the Indiana delegation that the ladies had in reserve some pleas- 
ant surprise for the convention, which at last revealed itself in 
the person of Judge Orth, a live member of congress from In- 
diana, who stood up like a man and avowed his belief in woman 
suffrage. His words were few but to the point, and his hearers 
all knew exactly where he stood on the question. 

The next evening the Nebraska delegation, determining not to 
be outdone, captured one of their United States senators and tri- 
umphantly brought him on the platform. It was a point gained 
to have a congressman publicly give in his adhesion to the ques- 
tion, but how much greater the achievement to appear in the 
convention with a United States senator. It was a proud 

226 History of Woman Suffrage. 

moment for Mrs. Colby when Senator Saunders, a large man of 
fine proportions, stepped to the front. But alas ! her triumph 
over the Indiana ladies was short indeed, for while the senator 
surpassed the representative in size and official honors, he fell far 
below him in the logic of his statements and the earnestness of 
his principles. In fact the audience and the platform were in 
doubt at the close of his remarks as to his true position on the 
question. Mrs. May Wright Sewall, who followed him, sparkled 
with the satisfaction she expressed in paying most glowing 
tributes to the men of Indiana and their State institutions. She 

The principal objection to woman suffrage has always been that it will 
take women from their homes and destroy all home life. She showed 
that there is not an interest of home which is not represented in the 
State, and that the subordination of the State to the family has kept pace 
with the subordination of physical to spiritual force. Woman has an in- 
terest in everything which affects the State, and only lacks the legitimate 
instrument of these interests the ballot with which to enforce them. 
Life regulates legislation. Domestic life is woman's sphere, but a sphere 
of much larger dimensions than has ever yet been accorded it, these 
dimensions reaching out and controlling the functions of the State. The 
ballot is not a political or a military, but a domestic necessity. 

Mrs. Harriette R. Shattuck spoke on the golden rule, asking 
men to put themselves in the place of disfranchised women, and 
then legislate for them as they would be legislated for. Mrs. 
Robinson gave a resume of the legal, political and educational 
position of women in Massachusetts. Mrs. Hooker showed that 
political equality would dignify woman in home life, give added 
weight to her opinions on all questions, and command new 
respect for her from all classes of men. Mrs. Colby gave an in- 
teresting address on " The Social Evolution of Woman " : 

She traced the history of woman from the time when she was bought 
and sold, up to the present. She said that the first believer in woman's 
rights was the one who first proposed that women should be allowed to 
eat with their husbands. This once granted, everything else has followed 
of necessity, and the ballot will be the crowning right. Once women 
were not allowed to sing soprano because it was the "governing part." 
From these and many like indignities woman has gradually evolved until 
she now stands on an equality with man in many social rights. 

Martha McClellan Brown read an able essay on " The Power of 
the Veto." She is a woman of fine presence, pleasing manners 
and a well trained voice that can fill any hall. Her address was 
one of the best in the convention and all felt that in her we had 

Hearing Before the Senate Committee. 227 

a valuable acquisition to our Association. Mrs. Gage gave an able 
address on " The Moral Force of Woman Suffrage." 

During the first day of the convention a request, signed by the 
officers of the association, was sent to the Special Committee on 
Woman Suffrage in the Senate, asking for a hearing on the six- 
teenth amendment to the constitution. The hearing was granted 
on Friday morning, January 20, 1882. A distinguished speaker in 
England having advised the friends of suffrage there to employ 
young and attractive women to advocate the measure, as the 
speediest means of success, Miss Anthony took the hint in making 
the selection for the first hearing before the committee of those 
who had never been heard before,* of whom some were young, 
and all attractive as speakers. Miss Anthony said that she would 
introduce some new speakers to the committee, in order to dis- 
prove the allegation that " it was always the same old set." The 
committee listened to them with undivided attention throughout, 
and at the conclusion of the hearing the following resolution, 
offered by Senator George of Mississippi, was adopted unani- 

Resolved, That the committee are under obligations to the representatives of the 
women of the United States for their attendance this morning, and for the able and 
instructive addresses which have been made, and that the committee assure them that 
they will give to the subject of woman suffrage the careful and impartial consideration 
which its grave importance demands. 

In describing the occasion for the Boston Transcript, Mrs. 
Shattuck said : 

As we stood in the committee-room and presented our plea for freedom, 
we felt that at last we had obtained a fair hearing, whatever its result 
might be. And the most encouraging sign of the impression made by 
our words was the change in the faces of some of the members of the 
committee as the speaking went on. At first there was a look of indiffer- 
ence and scorn merely toleration ; this gradually changed to interest 
mingled with surprise; finally, as Miss Anthony closed with one of her 
most eloquent appeals, all the faces showed a decided and almost eager 
interest in what we had to say. Senator George, who certainly looked 
more unpropitious than any other one, assured the ladies that he would 
give to the subject of woman suffrage that careful and impartial considera- 
tion which its grave importance demands. This, from one who heralded 
his entrance by inquiring of Miss Anthony, in stentorian tones, if she 
"wanted to go to war," was, to say the least, a concession. The speakers 
were closely questioned by some members of the committee, who after- 
wards told us " that they had never heard a speech on the subject before 

* Short speeches were made by Mrs. Robinson and Mrs. Shattuck of Massachusetts. Mrs. Sewall 
and Mrs. Cougar of Indiana, Mrs. Saxon of Louisiana, Mrs. Colby of Nebraska. 

228 History of Woman Suffrage. 

and were surprised to find so much in the demand, and to see such ability 
as was manifested by the women before them." 

The committee having expressed a wish to hear others on the 
subject, appointed the next morning at 10 o'clock.* Mrs. Stan- 
ton, being introduced by the chairman, said : 

Gentlemen, when the news of the appointment of this committee 
was flashed over the wires, you cannot imagine the satisfaction that 
thrilled the hearts of your countrywomen. After fourteen years of 
constant petitioning, we are grateful for even this slight recognition 
at last. I never before felt such an interest in any congressional commit- 
tee, and I have no doubt that all who are interested in this reform, share 
in my feelings. Fortunately your names make a great couplet in rhyme, 

Lapham, Anthony and Blair, 
Jackson, George, Ferry and Fair. 

which will enable us to remember them always. This I discovered in writ- 
ing your names in this volume, which allow me to present you. 

The gentlemen rising in turn received with a gracious bow 
"The History of Woman Suffrage" which, Mrs. Stanton told 
them, would furnish all the arguments they needed to defend their 
clients against the ignorance and prejudice of the world. Mr. 
George of Mississippi asked why this agitation was confined to 
Northern women ; ke had never heard the ladies of the South ex- 
press the wish to vote. Mrs. Stanton referred him to those 
to whom the volume before him was dedicated. " There," said 
she, " you will find the names of two ladies from one of the 
most distinguished families in South Carolina, who came North 
over forty years ago, and set this ball for woman's freedom in 
motion. But for those noble women, Sarah and Angelina Grimke, 
we might not stand here to-day pleading for justice and equality." 
As the speakers had requested the committee to ask questions, 
they were frequently interrupted. All urged the importance of a 
national protection, preferring congressional action, to submit- 
ting the proposition to the popular vote of the several States. On 
this point Mr. Jackson of Tennessee asked many pertinent ques- 
tions. Mrs. Shattuck, writing of this occasion to the Boston 
Transcript, said : 

One of the speakers eloquently testified to the interest of many Southern 
women in this subject, and urged the Southern members of the com- 
mittee not to declare that the women of the South do not want the ballot 
until they have investigated the matter. After the hearing three Southern 

* When Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Gage and Mrs. Blake of New York, Mrs. Hooker of Connecticut and 
Mrs. Saxon of Louisiana, and Mrs. Sewall, by special request of the chairman, again addressed the 

Convention at Philadelphia. 229 

ladies, wives of congressmen, thanked her for what she had said. The 
member from Mississippi showed a great deal of interest and really became 
quite waked up before the session ended. But, when we look at it in one 
light, there is something exceedingly humiliating in the thought that 
women representing the best intellect and the highest morality of our 
country, should come here in their grand old age and ask men for that 
which is theirs by right. Is it not time that this aristocracy of sex should 
be overthrown ? Several of the senators were so moved by the speeches 
that they personally expressed their thanks, and one who has long been 
friendly, said the speeches were far above the average committee-hear- 
ings on any subject. We might well have replied that the reason is be- 
cause all the speakers feel what they say and know that the question is 
one of vital importance. 

In securing these hearings before this special committee of the Senate 
the friends feel they have reached a milestone in the progress of their 
reform. To secure the attention for four hours of seven representative 
men of the United States, must have more effect than would a hundred 
times that amount of time and labor expended upon their constituents. 
If one of these senators, for instance, shou.ld become convinced of the 
justice of woman's claim to the ballot, his constituency would begin to 
look upon that question with respect, whereas it would take years to bring 
that same constituency up to the position where they could elect such a 
representative. To convince the representatives is to sound the keynote, 
and it is for this reason that these hearings before the Senate committee 
are of such paramount importance to the suffrage cause. 

At the close of the hearing Mrs. Robinson presented each member of 
the committee with her little volume, " Massachusetts in the Woman Suf- 
frage Movement." 

January 23 the House Committee on Rules* gave a hear- 
ing to Mrs. Jane Graham Jones of Chicago, Mrs. May Wright 
Sewall and Miss Anthony. During this congress the question of 
admitting the territory of Dakota as a State was discussed in 
the Senate. Our committee stood ready to oppose it unless 
the word " male " were stricken from the proposed constitution. 

Immediately after this most of the speakers wentf to Philadel- 
phia where Rachel Foster had made arrangements for a two- 
days convention. Rev. Charles G. Ames gave the address of 

He told of his conversion to woman suffrage from the time when he be- 
lieved women and men were ordained to be unequal, just as in nature the 
mountain is different from the valley he looking down at her, she gazing 
up at him until the time when he began to see that women are not of 
necessity the valleys, nor men of necessity the mountains ; and so on, until 

* Mr. 1'lackburn, Mr. Robeson, and Mr. Reed were present. 

t Mrs. Saxon, Mrs. Gage, Mrs. Sewall, Mrs. McClellan Brown, Mrs. Colby, Miss Couiins, Miss An- 
thony, Edward M. Davis, Robert Purvis, Mrs. Shattuck, Rev. Frederick A. Hinckley, Mrs. Robinson. 

230 History of Woman Suffrage. 

now he believes women entitled to stand on an equal plane with men, 
socially and politically. 

The President, Mrs. Stanton, responded. Hannah Whitehall 
Smith of Germantown, prominent in the temperance movement, 
spoke of the hardship of farmers' wives, and asked : 

If that condition was not one of slavery which obliged a woman to rise 
early and cook the family breakfast while her husband lay in bed ; to 
work all day long, and then in the evening, while he smoked his pipe or 
enjoyed himself at the corner grocery, to mend and patch his old clothes. 
But she thought the position of woman was changing for the better. Even 
among the Indians a better feeling is beginning to prevail. It is Indian 
etiquette for the man to kill the deer or bear, and leave it on the spot 
where it is struck down for the woman to carry home. She must drag 
it over the ground or carry it on her back as best she may, while he 
quietly awaits her coming in the family wigwam. A certain Indian, after 
observing that white folks did differently by their women, once resolved 
to follow their example. But such was the force of public opinion that, 
when it was discovered that he brought home his own game, both he and 
his wife were murdered. This shows what fearful results prejudice may 
bring about ; and the only difference between the prejudice which ruled 
his tribe in regard to woman and that which rules white American men 
to-day, is a difference in degree, dependent upon the difference in enlight- 
enment. The principle is the same. The result would be the same were 
each equally ignorant. 

The familiar faces of Edward M. Davis, Mary Grew, Adeline 
Thompson, Sarah Pugh, Anna McDowell and two of Lucretia 
Mott's noble daughters, gladdened many a heart during the vari- 
ous sessions of the convention. Beautiful tributes were paid to 
Mrs. Mott by several of the speakers. The Philadelphia conven- 
tion was supplemented by a most delightful social gathering, 
without mention of which a report of the occasion would be in- 
complete : 

Like many historical events, this was entirely unpremeditated, no one 
who participated in its pleasures had any forewarning, aside from an in- 
formal invitation to lunch with Mrs. Hannah Whitehall Smith and her gen- 
erous husband, both earnest friends of temperance and important allies of 
the woman suffrage movement. Mrs. Smith met the guests at the 
station in Philadelphia, tickets in hand, marshaling them to their respective 
seats in the cars as if born to command, and on arriving at Germantown, 
transferred them to carriages in waiting, with the promptness of a railroad 
official. Without noise or confusion one and all crossed the threshold of 
her well-ordered mansion, and with other invited guests were soon seated 
in the spacious parlor, talking in groups here and there. "Ah ! " said Mrs. 
Smith on entering, " this will never do, think of all the good things that will 
be lost in these side talks. My plan is to have a general conversation, a 
kind of love-feast, each telling her experience. It would be pleasant to 

First Favorable Majority Report. 231 

know how each has reached the same platform, through the tangled 
labyrinths of human life." Soon all was silence and one after another 
related the special incidents in childhood, girlhood and mature years that 
had turned her thoughts to the consideration of woman's position. The 
stories were as varied as they were pathetic and amusing, and were listened 
to amidst smiles and tears with the deepest interest. And when all * had 
finished the tender revelations of the hopes and fears, the struggles and tri- 
umphs through which each soul had passed, these sacred memories seemed 
to bind us anew together in a friendship that we hope may never end. A 
sumptuous lunch followed, and amid much gaiety and laughter the guests 
dispersed, giving the hospitable host and hostess a warm farewell a day 
to be remembered by all of us. 

Our Senate committee, through its chairman, Hon. Elbridge 
G. Lapham, very soon reported in favor of the submission of a 
sixteenth amendment. We had had a favorable minority report 
in the House in 1871 and in the Senate in 1879 Dut t^ 8 was t^ e 
first favorable majority report we had ever had in either house : 

IN THE SENATE, MONDAY, June 5, 1882. 

Mr. LAPHAM: I am instructed by the Select Committee on Woman 
Suffrage, to whom was referred the joint resolution (S. R. No. 60) propos- 
ing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, to report it 
with a favorable recommendation, without amendment, for the considera- 
tion of the Senate. This is a majority report, and the minority desire the 
opportunity to present their report also, and have printed the reasons 
which they give for dissenting. As this is a question of more than ordi- 
nary importance, I should like to have 1,000 extra copies of the report 
printed for the use of the committee. 

Mr. GEORGE: I present the views of the minority of the committee, 
consisting of the senator from Tennessee [Mr. Jackson], the senator from 
Nevada [Mr. Fair], and myself. 

The PRESIDENT pro tempore : It is moved that 1,000 extra copies of the 
report be printed for the use of the Senate. 

Mr. ANTHONY : The motion should go by the statute to the Committee 
on Printing. 

Mr. LAPHAM : I will present it in the form of a resolution for reference 
to the Committee on Printing. 

The resolution was referred to the Committee on Printing, as follows-. 

Resolved, That 1,000 additional copies of the report and views of the minority on 
Senate Joint Resolution No. 60 be printed for the use of the Select Committee on 
Woman Suffrage. 

In the Senate of the United States, June 5, 1882, Mr. Lapham, 
from the Committee on Woman Suffrage, submitted the follow- 
ing report : 

* Those present were Mesdames Spofford, Stanton, Robinson, Shattuck, Sewall and Saxon; IVffsses 
Thompson, Anthony, Couzins and Foster. Many pleasant ladies from the Society of Friends were 
there also and contributed to the dignity and interest of the occasion. 

232 History of Woman Suffrage. 

The Select Committee on Woman Suffrage, to whom was referred Senate 
Resolution No. 60, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United 
States to secure the right of suffrage to all citizens without regard to sex, 
having considered the same, respectfully report : 

The gravity and importance of the proposed amendment must be ob- 
vious to all who have given the subject the consideration it demands. 

A very brief history of the origin of this movement in the United States 
and of the progress made in the cause of female suffrage will not be out 
of place at this time. A World's Anti-slavery Convention was held in 
London on June 12, 1840, to which delegates from all the organized socie- 
ties were invited. Several of the American societies sent women as 
delegates. Their credentials were presented, and an able and exhaustive 
discussion was had by many of the leading men of America and Great 
Britain upon the question of their being admitted to seats in the conven- 
tion. They were allowed no part in the discussion. They were denied 
seats as delegates, and, by reason of that denial, it was determined to hold 
conventions after their return to the United States, for the purpose of 
asserting and advocating their rights as citizens, and especially the right 
of suffrage. Prior to this, and as early as the year 1836, a proposal had 
been made in the legislature of the State of New York to confer upon 
married women their separate rights of property. The subject was under 
consideration and agitation during the eventful period which preceded 
the constitutional convention of New York in the year 1846, and the 
radical changes made in the fundamental law in that year. In 1848 the 
first act " For the More Effectual Protection of the Property of Married 
Women " was passed by the legislature of New York and became a law. 
It passed by a vote of 93 to 9 in the Assembly and 23 to i in the Senate. 
It was subsequently amended so as to authorize women to engage in busi- 
ness on their own account and to receive their own earnings. This 
legislation was the outgrowth of a bill prepared several years before 
under the direction of the Hon. John Savage, chief-justice of the Supreme 
Court, and of the Hon. John C. Spencer, one of the ablest lawyers in the 
State, one of the revisers of the statutes of New York, and afterward a 
cabinet officer. Laws granting separate rights of property and the right 
to transact business, similar to those adopted in New York, have been 
enacted in many, if not in most of the States, and may now be regarded 
as the settled policy of American legislation on the subject. 

After the enactment of the first law in New York, as before stated, and 
in the month of July, 1848, the first convention demanding suffrage 'for 
women was held at Seneca Falls in said State. The same persons who 
had been excluded from the World's Convention in London were promi- 
nent and instrumental in calling the meeting and in framing the declara- 
tion of sentiments adopted by it, which, after reciting the unjust limita- 
tions and wrongs to which women are subjected, closed in these words : 

Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement of one-half of the people of this coun- 
try and their social and religious degradation; in view of the unjust laws above men- 
tioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed and fraudulently 
^deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to 

Some Celebrated Sympathizers. 233 

all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States. In 
entering upon the great work before us we anticipate no small amount of misconcep- 
tion, misrepresentation and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our 
power to effect our object. We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State 
and national legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf. 
We hope this convention will be followed by a series of conventions embracing every 
part of the country. 

The meeting also adopted a series of resolutions, one of which was in 
the following words : 

Resolved, That it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves 
their sacred right to the elective franchise. 

This declaration was signed by seventy of the women of Western New 
York, among whom was one or more of those who addressed your com- 
mittee on the subject of the pending amendment, and there were present, 
participating in and approving of the movement, a large number of prom- 
inent men, among whom were Elisha Foote, a lawyer of distinction, and 
since that time Commissioner of Patents, and the Hon. Jacob Chamber- 
lain, who afterwards represented his district in the other House. From 
the movement thus inaugurated, conventions have been held from that 
time to the present in the principal villages, cities and capitals of the 
various States, as well as the capital of the nation. 

The First National Convention upon the subject was held at Worcester, 
Mass., in October, 1850, and had the support and encouragement of many 
leading men of the republic, among whom we name the following : Gcrrit 
Smith, Joshua R. Giddings, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John G. Whittier, A. 
Bronson Alcott, Samuel J. May, Theodore Parker, William Lloyd Garri- 
son, Wendell Phillips, Elizur Wright, William J. Elder, Stephen S. Foster, 
Horace Greeley, Oliver Johnson, Henry Ward Beecher, Horace Mann. 
The Fourth National Convention was held at the city of Cleveland, 
Ohio, October, 1853. The Rev. Asa Mahan, president of Obcrlin 
College, and Hon. Joshua R. Giddings were there. Horace Greeley and 
William Henry Channing addressed letters to the convention. The letter 
of Mr. Channing stated the proposition to be that 

The right of suffrage be granted to the people, universally, without distinction of 
sex; and that the age for attaining legal and political majority be made the same for 
women as for men. 

In 1857, Hon. Salmon P. Chase, chief-justice of the Supreme Court of 
the United States, then governor of Ohio, recommended to the legislature 
a constitutional amendment on the subject, and a select committee of the 
Senate made an elaborate report, concluding with a resolution in the fol- 
lowing words: 

Resolved, That the Judiciary Committee be instructed to report to the Senate a bill 
to submit to the qualified electors, at the next general election for senators and repre- 
sentatives, an amendment to the constitution, whereby the elective franchise shall be 
extended to the citizens of Ohio without distinction of sex. 

During the same year a similar report was made in the legislature of 
Wisconsin. From the report on the subject we quote the following : 

We believe that political equalit) , by leading the thoughts and purposes of men 
and women into the same channel, will more completely carry out the designs of 

234 " History of Woman Suffrage. 

nature. Woman will be possessed of a positive power, and hollow compliments will 
be exchanged for well-grounded respect when we see her nobly discharging her part 
in the great intellectual and moral struggles of the age that wait their solution by a 
direct appeal to the ballot-box. Woman's power is at present poetical and unsub- 
stantial ; let it be practical and real. There is no reality in any power that cannot be 
coined in votes. 

The effect of these discussions and efforts has been the gradual advance- 
ment of public sentiment towards conceding the right of suffrage without 
distinction of sex. In the territories of Wyoming and Utah, full suf- 
frage has already been given. In regard to the exercise of the right in the 
territory of Wyoming, the present governor of that territory, Hon. John 
W. Hoyt, in an address delivered in Philadelphia, April 3, 1882, in answer 
to a question as to the operation of the law, said : 

First of all, the experience of Wyoming has shown that the only actual trial of 
woman suffrage hitherto made a trial made in a new country where the conditions 
were not exceptionably favorable has produced none but the most desirable 
results. And surely none will deny that in such a matter a single ounce of 
experience is worth a ton of conjecture. But since it may be claimed that the sole 
experiment of Wyoming does not afford a sufficient guaranty of general expediency, 
let us see whether reason will not furnish a like answer. The great majority of 
women in this country already possess sufficient intelligence to enable them to vote 
judiciously on nearly all questions of a local nature. I think this will be conceded. 
Secondly, with their superior quickness of perception, it is fair to assume that when 
stimulated by a demand for a knowledge of political principles such a demand as a 
sense of the responsibility of the voter would create they would not be slow in rising 
to at least the rather low level at present occupied by the average masculine voter. So 
that, viewing the subject from an intellectual stand-point merely, such fears as at first 
spring up, drop away, one by one, and disappear. But it must not be forgotten that a 
very large proportion of questions to be settled by the ballot, both those of principle 
and such as refer to candidates, have in them a moral element which is vital. And 
here we are safer with the ballot in the hands of woman ;.for her keener insight and 
truer moral sense will more certainly guide her aright and not her alone, but also, by 
reflex action, all whose minds are open to the influence of her example. The weight 
of this answer can hardly be overestimated. In my judgment, this moral consideration 
far more than offsets all the objections that can be based on any assumed lack of an 
intellectual appreciation of the few questions almost wholly commercial and econom- 
ical. Last of all, a majority of questions to be voted on touch the interests of woman 
as they do those of man. It is upon her finer sensibilities, her purer instincts, and her 
maternal nature that the results of immorality and vice in every form fall with more 
crushing weight. 

A criticism has been made upon the exercise of this right by the women 
of Utah that the plural wives in that territory are under the control of 
their polygamous husbands. Be that as it may, it is an undoubted fact 
that there is probably no city of equal size on this continent where there 
is less disturbance of the peace, or where the citizen is more secure in his 
person or property, either by day or night, than in the city of Salt Lake. 
A qualified right of suffrage has also been given to women in Oregon, 
Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Vermont, New Hampshire, Mas- 
sachusetts, Michigan, Kentucky, and New York. Of the operation of the 
law in the last-named State, Governor Cornell in a message to the 
legislature on May 12, said: 

Reasons for a Sixteenth Amendment. 235 

The recent law, 1882, making women eligible as school trustees, has produced admir- 
able results, not only in securing the election of many of them as trustees of schools, but 
especially in elevating the qualifications of men proposed as candidates for school- 
boards, and also in stimulating greater interest in the management of schools generally. 
The effect of these new experiences is to widen (.he influence and usefulness of women. 

So well satisfied are the representatives in the legislature of that State 
with these results that the assembly, by a large majority, recently passed 
to a third reading an act giving the full right of suffrage to women, the 
passage of which has been arrested in the Senate by an opinion of the 
attorney-general that a constitutional amendment is necessary to accom- 
plish the object. In England women are allowed to vote at all municipal 
elections, and hold the office of guardian of the poor. In four States, 
Nebraska, Indiana, Oregon, and Iowa, propositions have passed their 
legislatures and are now pending, conferring the right of suffrage upon 

Notwithstanding all these efforts, it is the opinion of the best informed 
men and women, who have devoted more than a third of a century to the 
consideration and discussion of the subject, that an amendment to the 
federal constitution, analogous to the fifteenth amendment of that instru- 
ment, is the most safe, direct, and expeditious mode of settling the ques- 
tion. It is the question of the enfranchisement of half the race now denied 
the right, and that, too, the most favored half in the estimation of those 
who deny the right. Petitions, from time to time, signed by many 
thousands, have been presented to congress, and there are now upon our 
files seventy-five petitions representing eighteen different States. Two 
years ago treble the number of petitions, representing over twenty-five 
States, were presented. 

If congress should adopt the pending resolution, the question would go 
before the intelligent bodies who are chosen to represent the people in 
the legislatures of the various States, and would receive a more enlightened 
and careful consideration than if submitted to the masses of the male 
population, with all their prejudices, in the form of an amendment to the 
constitutions of the several States. Besides, such an amendment, if 
adopted, would secure that uniformity in the exercise of the right which 
could not be expected by action from the several States. We think the 
time has arrived for the submission of such an amendment to the legis- 
latures of the States. We know the prejudices which the movement for 
suffrage to all without regard to sex, had to encounter from the very 
outset, prejudices which still exist in the minds of many. The period for 
employing the weapons of ridicule and enmity has not yet passed. Now, 
as in the beginning, we hear appeals to prejudice and the baser passions 
of men. The anathema, " woe betide the hand that plucks the wizard beard 
of hoary error," is yet employed to deter men from acting upon their con- 
victions as to what ought to be done with reference to this great ques- 
tion. To those who are inclined to cast ridicule upon the movement, we 
quote the answer made while one of the early conventions was in session 
in the State of New York : 

A collection of women arguing for political rights and for the privileges usually con- 
ceded only to the other sex is one of the easiest things in the world to make fun 

236 History of Woman Suffrage. 

of. There is no end to the smart speeches and the witty remarks that may be made 
on the subject. But when we seriously attempt to show that a woman who pays taxes 
ought not to have a voice in the manner in which the taxes are expended, that a woman 
whose property and liberty and person are controlled by the laws should have no 
voice in framing those laws, it is not so easy. If women are fit to rule in a mon- 
archy, it is difficult to say why they are not qualified to vote in a republic ; nor can 
there be greater indelicacy in a woman going to the ballot-box than there is in a 
woman opening a legislature or issuing orders to an army. 

To all who are more serious in their opposition to the movement, we 
would remind them of the words of a few distinguished men : 

I go for all sharing the privileges of the government who assist in bearing its bur- 
dens, by no means excluding women. [ABRAHAM LINCOLN. 

I believe that the vices in our large cities will never be conquered until the ballot 
is put into the hands of women. [Bishop SIMPSON. 

I do not think our politics will be what it ought to be till women are legislators 
and voters. [Rev. JAMES FREEMAN CLARKE. 

Women have quite as much interest in good government as men, and I have never 
heard or read of any satisfactory reason for excluding them from the ballot-box; I have 
no more doubt of their ameliorating influence upon politics than I have of the influ- 
ence they exert everywhere else. [GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS. 

In view of the terrible corruption of our politics, people ask, can we maintain uni- 
versal suffrage? I say no, not without women. The only bear-gardens in our com- 
munity are the town-meeting and the caucus. Why is this ? Because these are the only 
places at which women are not present. [Bishop GILBERT HAVEN. 

I repeat my conviction of the right of woman suffrage. Because suffrage is a right 
and not a grace, it should be extended to women who bear their share of the public 
cost, and who have the same interest that I have in the selection of officials and the 
making of laws which affect their lives, their property, and their happiness. [Gov- 
ernor LONG of Massachusetts. 

However much the giving of political power to woman may disagree with our notions 
of propriety, we conclude that, being required by that first prerequisite to greater hap- 
piness, the law of equal freedom, such a concession is unquestionably right and 

In the administration of a State neither a woman as a woman, nor a man as a man 
has any special functions, but the gifts are equally diffused in both sexes. The same 
opportunity for self-development which makes man a good guardian will make woman 
a good guardian, for their original nature is the same. [PLATO. 

It has become a custom, almost universal, to invite and to welcome the 
presence of women at political assemblages, to listen to discussions upon 
the topics involved in the canvass. Their presence has done much toward 
the elevation, refinement, and freedom from insincerity and hypocrisy, of 
such discussions. Why would not the same results be wrought out by 
their presence at the ballot-box ? Wherever the right has been exercised 
by law, both in England and this country, such has been its effect in the 
conduct of elections. 

The framers of our system of government embodied in the Declaration 
of Independence the statement that to secure the rights which are therein 
declared to be inalienable and in respect to which all men are created 
equal, " governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers 
from the consent of the governed." The system of representative govern- 
ment they inaugurated can only be maintained and perpetuated by allow- 

Recommendation of the Committee. 237 

ing all citizens to give that consent through the medium of the ballot-box 
the only mode in which the " consent of the governed " can be obtained. 
To deny to one-half of the citizens of the republic all participation in 
framing the laws by which they are to be governed, simply on account of 
their sex, is political despotism to those who are excluded, and "taxation 
without representation " to such of them as have property liable to taxa- 
tion. Their investiture with separate estates leads, logically and necessa- 
rily, to their right to the ballot as the only means afforded them for the 
protection of their property, as it is the only means of their full protec- 
tion in the enjoyment of the immeasurably greater right to life and liberty. 
To be governed without such consent is clear denial of a right declared 
to be inalienable. 

It is said that the majority of women do not desire and would not exer- 
cise the right, if acknowledged. The assertion rests in conjecture. In 
ordinary elections multitudes of men do not exercise the right. It is only 
in extraordinary cases, and when their interests and patriotism are ap- 
pealed to, that male voters are with unanimity found at the polls. It 
would doubtless be the same with women. In the exceptional instances 
in which the exercise of the right has been permitted, they have engaged 
with zeal in every important canvass. Even if the statement were founded 
in fact, it furnishes no argument in favor of excluding women from the 
exercise of the franchise. // is the denial of the right of which they com- 
plain. There are multitudes of men whose vote can be purchased at an 
election for the smallest and most trifling consideration. Yet all such 
would spurn with scorn and unutterable contempt a proposition to pur- 
chase their right to vote, and no consideration would be deemed an equiva- 
lent for such a surrender. Women are more sensitive upon this question 
than men, and so long as this right, deemed by them to be sacred, is de- 
nied, so long the agitation which has marked the progress of this contest 
thus far will be continued. 

Entertaining these views, your committee report back the proposed 
resolution without amendment for the consideration of the Senate, and 
recommend its passage. E. G. LAPHAM, 


The constitution is wisely conservative in the provision for its own 
amendment. It is eminently proper that whenever a large nunber of the 
people have indicated a desire for an amendment, the judgment of the 
amending power should be consulted. In view of the extensive agitation 
of the question of woman suffrage, and the numerous and respectable 
petitions that have been presented to congress in its support, I unite with 
the committee in recommending that the proposed amendment be sub- 
mitted to the States. H. B. ANTHONY. 

June 5, 1882, Mr. George, from the Committee on Woman Suf- 
frage, submitted the following views of the minority : 

The undersigned are unable to concur in the report of the majority 
recommending the adoption of the joint resolution proposing an amend- 

238 History of Woman Suffrage. 

ment to the Constitution of the United States, for reasons which they will 
now proceed to state. 

We do not base our dissent upon any ground having relation to the ex- 
pediency or inexpediency of vesting in women the right to vote. Hence 
we shall not discuss the very grave and important social and political 
questions which have arisen from the agitation to admit to equal political 
rights the women of our country, and to impose on them the burden of 
discharging, equally with men, political and public duties. Whether so 
radical a change in our political and social system would advance the hap- 
piness and welfare of the American people, considered as a whole, without 
distinction of sex, is a question on which there is a marked disagreement 
among the most enlightened and thoughtful of both sexes. Its solution 
involves considerations so intimately pertaining to all the relations of so- 
cial and private life the family circle the status of women as wives, 
mothers, daughters, and companions, to the functions in private and pub- 
lic life which they ought to perform, and their ability and willingness to 
perform them the harmony and stability of marriage, and the division of 
the labors and cares of that union that we are convinced that the proper 
and safe discussion and weighing of them would be best secured by delib- 
erations in the separate communities which have so deep an interest in 
the rightful solution of this grave question. Great organic changes in 
government, especially when they involve, as this proposed change does, 
a revolution in the modes of life, long-standing habits, and the most 
sacred domestic relations of the people, should result only upon the de- 
mand of the people, who are to be affected by them. Such changes should 
originate with, and be molded and guided in their operation and extent 
by, the people themselves. They should neither precede their demand 
for them, nor be delayed in opposition to their clearly expressed wishes. 
Their happiness, their welfare, their advancement, are the sole objects of 
the institution of government ; of these they are not only the best, but 
they are the exclusive judges. They have commissioned us to exercise 
for their good the great powers which they have intrusted to us by their 
letter of attorney, the constitution ; not to assume to ourselves a superior 
wisdom, or usurp a guardianship over them, dictating reforms not de- 
manded by them, and attempting to grasp power not granted. 

The organization of our political institutions is such that the great mass 
of the powers of government, the proper exercise of which so deeply 
concerns the welfare of the people, is left to the States. In that deposi- 
tory the will of the people is most certainly ascertained, and the exercise 
of power is more directly under their guidance. Our free institutions have 
had their great development and owe their stability more to causes con- 
nected with the direct exercise of the power of the people in local self- 
government than to all other causes combined. Recent events, though 
tending strongly to centralization, have not destroyed in the public mind 
the inestimable value of local self-government. Among the powers which 
have hitherto been esteemed as most essential to the public welfare is the 
power of the States to regulate their domestic institutions in their own 
way ; and among those institutions none has been preserved by the 

Views of the Minority. 239 

States with greater jealousy than their absolute control over 'marriage 
and the relation between the sexes. 

Another power of the States, deemed by the people when they assented 
to the Constitution of the United States most essential to the public wel- 
fare, was the right of each State to determine the qualifications of electors. 
Wherever the federal constitution speaks of elections for a federal office, 
it adopts the qualifications for electors prescribed by the State in which 
the election is to be held. 

Nor has this fundamental rule been departed from in the fifteenth 
amendment. That impairs it only to the extent that race, color, or pre- 
vious condition of servitude shall not be made a ground of exclusion from 
the right of suffrage. In all else that pertains to the qualifications of 
electors the absolute will of the State prevails. This amendment was in- 
serted from considerations which pertain to no other part of the question 
of suffrage. The negro race had been recently emancipated ; it was sup- 
posed that the antagonism between them and their old masters and the 
prejudice of race would be such as to obstruct the equal enjoyment of the 
rights of freedom conferred by the national forces, and would prevent the 
white race of the South from admitting the negro race, however deserving 
it might be, to equal political privileges. And, moreover, it was deemed 
by the North a point of honor that, having conferred freedom on the 
negro, he should be provided with the right of suffrage. 

None of these considerations applies in the present case. It is not pre- 
tended that any such antagonism or prejudice exists between the sexes. 
It is not pretended that women have been redeemed from an intolerable 
slavery by the power of the government. It is not pretended that the 
sex in whose hands is the political power of the States is unwilling, from 
any cause, to do full justice to the other ; for it is conceded that if the 
proposed amendment should be adopted, its incorporation into the con- 
stitution must result from the voluntary action of that sex in which is 
vested this political power. No good reason has been given why the 
congress of the United States should force or even hasten the States into 
such action, and no such reason can be given without a reversal of the 
theories on which our free institutions are based. 

The history given by the majority, of the legislation of the several 
States in relation to the rights of persons and property of married women 
showing as it does a steady advance in the abolition of their common-law 
disabilities, conclusively demonstrates that this question may be safely 
left for solution where it now is and has always hitherto belonged. The 
public mind is now being agitated in many of the States as to the rights 
of women, not only as to suffrage, but as to their engaging in the various 
employments from which they have hitherto been excluded. This ex- 
clusion from certain employments has not been the result of municipal 
but of social laws the strongest of all human regulations. As these 
social laws have been modified, so the sphere of woman's activities and 
usefulness has been enlarged. These social laws are in the main the 
groundwork of the exclusion of women from the right of suffrage. In 
the establishment of these laws, as in their modification, women then" 

240 History of Woman Suffrage. 

selves hive even a greater influence than men. Their disability to vote 
is, therefore, self-imposed ; when they shall will otherwise, it is not too 
much to say that the disability will no longer exist. If in the future it 
shall be found that these laws deny a right to women the enjoyment of 
which they desire, and for the exercise of which they are qualified, it can- 
not be doubted that they will give way. If, on the contrary, neither of 
these shall be discovered, it will happen that the exclusion of suffrage will 
not be considered as a denial of a right, but as an exemption granted to 
women from cares and burdens which a tender and affectionate regard for 
womanhood refuses to cast on them. 

We are convinced, therefore, that the best mode of disposing of the 
question is to leave its solution to that power most amenable to the in- 
fluences and usages of society in which women have so large and so 
potential a share, confident that at no distant day a right result will be 
reached in each State which will be satisfactory to both sexes and per- 
fectly consistent with the welfare and happiness of the people. Certainly 
this must be so if the people themselves, the source and foundation of all 
power, are capable of self-government. 

At two of its meetings the committee listened with great pleasure to 
several eminent ladies who appeared before it as advocates of the pro- 
posed amendment. At none of the meetings of the committee, including 
that at which the members voted on the proposed amendment, was there 
any discussion of this important subject ; none was asked for or desired 
by any member of the committee, and the vote was taken. The reports 
of the majority and of the minority of the committee are therefore to be 
construed only as the individual opinions of the members who respec- 
tively concur in them. They are in no sense to be treated as the judg- 
ment of a deliberative body charged with the examination of this important 

The foregoing leads us to but one recommendation : that the committee 
should be discharged from the further consideration of the subject, that 
the resolution raising it be rescinded, and that the proposed amendment 
be rejected. J. Z. GEORGE, 


In a letter from Miss Caroline Biggs to the president of the 
National Association the following congratulations came from 
the friends of suffrage in England : 

WOMAN SUFFRAGE, 64 Berners Street, LONDON, W. \ 
At a meeting of the Executive Committee, on May 18, 1882, the follow- 
ing resolution was proposed by Mrs. Lucas, seconded by Miss Jane Cobden, 
and passed unanimously : 

Resolved, That the Executive Committee of the National Society for Woman Suf- 
frage have heard with hearty satisfaction that a select committee of the United States 
Senate in Washington has passed by a majority of votes the recommendation to adopt 
a constitutional amendment in favor of women's suffrage. They feel that the cause 
of woman is one in all countries, and they offer their most cordial congratulations to 

National Association Meeting. 241 

the women of America on the important step which has just been gained, and their 
warmest good-wishes for a speedy success in obtaining a measure which will guaran- 
tee justice and equal rights to half the population of a sister country. 

Nebraska now became the center of interest, as a constitutional 
amendment to secure the right of suffrage to woman was sub- 
mitted to be voted upon in the November election. As the 
submission of such a proposition makes an important crisis in 
the history of a State, as well as in the suffrage movement, the 
notes of preparation were as varied as multitudinous throughout 
the nation, rousing all to renewed earnestness in the work. 
Both the American and National associations decided to hold 
their annual conventions in Omaha, the chief city of the 
State, and to support as many speakers* as possible through the 
campaign, that meetings might be held and tracts distributed in 
every county of the State, an Herculean undertaking, as Nebraska 
comprises 230,000 inhabitants scattered over an area of 76,000 
square miles, divided into sixty-six counties ; and yet this is what 
the friends of the measure proposed to do. The American 
Association f held its convention September 12, 13, 14. The 
National \ continued three days, September 27, 28, 29. 

The Opera House, in which the National Association held its 
meeting, was completely filled during all the sessions. The ad- 
dress of welcome was given by Hon. A. J. Poppleton, one of the 
most distinguished lawyers in that State. He said : 

I deem it no light compliment that, in the face of an explicit declaration 
that I am not in favor of woman suffrage, I have been asked to make, on 
behalf of the people of Omaha and the State, an address of welcome to 
the many distinguished men and women whom this occasion has brought 
together. Doubtless the consideration shown me is a recognition of the 
fact that I have been a life-long advocate of the advancement of women 
through the agencies of equality in education, equality in employment, 
equality in wages.^quality in property-rights and personal liberty, in 
short, a fair, open, W|ual field in the struggle for life. That I cannot go 
beyond this and embrace equal suffrage, is due rather to long adherence 

* The speakers in ihe American convention were Lucy Stone, Henry B. Blackwell, Margaret W. 
Campbell, Mary E. Haggart, Judge Kingman and Governor Hoyt of Wyoming, Hannah Tracy Cutler, 
Mary B. Clay, Dr. Mary F. Thomas, Rebecca N. Hazzard, Ada M. Bittenbender, Mrs. O. C. Dins- 
more, Matilda-Hindman, Rev. W. E. Copeland, Erasmus M. Correll. 

The speakers at the National convention were Virginia L. Minor, Phoebe Couzins, Mrs. Saxon, Mrs. 
Bloomer, Mrs. McKinney, Mrs. Shattuck, Mrs. Neyman, Mrs. Colby, Mrs. Sewall, Mrs. Mason, Mrs. 
Brooks, Mrs. Blake, Miss Anthony, Mrs. Dinsmore, Miss Hindman, Mrs. Cougar, Mr. Correll and 
Mrs. Harbert. Many of those from both associations took part in the canvass. Miss Rachel G. Foster 
went out in the spring and made all the arrangements for the work of the National. She studied the 
geography of the State, and the railroads, and mapped out all the meetings for its twelve speakers. 

t For full reports of the American convention see the Woman's Journal, edited by Lucy Stone and 
published in Boston. 

$ For reports of the National see Our Herald, edited by Helen M. Cougar and published in 
Lafayette, Ind. The daily papers of Omaha had full reports, the most fair by the Republican, edited 
by Mr. Brooks. 


242 History of Woman Suffrage. 

to the political philosophy of Edmund Burke than any lack of conviction 
of the absolute equality of men and women in natural rights. 

In the winter of 1852-3, when a student at Poughkeepsie, N. V., while 
the spot on which we now stand was Indian country as yet untouched by 
the formative power of national legislation, I listened to Miss Susan B. 
Anthony, Miss Antoinette Brown and others in the advocacy of the rights 
of women. It seems a strange fortune that brings now, nearly thirty years 
after, one of those speakers, crowned with a national reputation, into a 
State carved out of that Indian country and containing 60,000 people, in 
advocacy of equal suffrage for her sex. This single fact proclaims in 
thunder tones the bravery, the fidelity, the devotion of these pioneers of 
reform, and challenges for them the sympathy, respect, esteem and ad- 
miration of every good man and woman in America. 

The thirty years commencing about 1850 have been prolific of moment- 
ous changes. It is the era of the sewing machine, of the domestication of 
steam and electricity, the overthrow of the great rebellion, the destruction 
of slavery, the consolidation of the German empire, the fall of the second 
Napoleon, the birth of the French republic, the incorporation of India 
into the British empire, and the revolution of commerce by the Pacific 
railways and the Suez canal. Great changes have likewise taken place in 
the structure of our own State and national legislation, the most conspic- 
uous and pronounced result being the centralization of power in the fed- 
eral government. It has been preeminently a period of amelioration, a 
long stride in the direction of tolerance of opinion, belief, speech and 
creed. Hospitals, asylums, schools, colleges and the manifold agencies of 
an advanced Christian civilization for alleviating the average lot of hu- 
manity, have grown and multiplied beyond the experience of former times, 
and men like Matthew Vassar, George Peabody and John Hopkins have 
hastened to consecrate the abundant fruits of honorable lives to the ex- 
altation and advancement of the race. 

But in no direction have greater changes occurred in this country than 
in the condition of woman in respect to employment, wages, personal and 
property rights. In all heathen countries at this hour the mass of women 
are slaves or worse, wholly deprived of civil right In most Christian 
countries their legal status is one of absolute subordination in person and 
property to men. In this republic alone have we attained an altitude 
where some small measure of justice is meted out to women by the laws. 
In 1850 a fair measure of her rights was the grim edict of the common law 
holding her in guardianship prior to marriage, and upon marriage making 
her and all her possessions practically the property of her husband, while 
a cruel, unreasonable and vicious public opinion excluded her from all 
except menial and ill-paid service. One by one and year by year these 
barriers have given way, until in many States her property and personal 
rights enjoy the complete shelter of the law. Now more than half the 
occupations and employments of this age of industrial activity and prog- 
ress are thronged with the faithful, efficient and contented labor of women. 

The law has broken forever the thraldom of an odious and hopeless 
marriage by reasonable laws for divorce for just cause, given her the cus- 

Address of Hon. A. J. Popple ton. 243 

tody of her children, vested her with the absolute power of disposition 
and control over her property, inherited or acquired, freed it from the 
claims of her husband's creditors, and clothed her with ample legal reme- 
dies even against her husband. Perhaps Nebraska alone of all the States, 
by its court of last resort, has upheld the power of the wife to make con- 
tracts with her husband and enforce them against him in her own name 
by the appropriate legal remedies. This surely is progress. Beyond this 
there lies but one field to win or fortress to reduce. Then surely the worn 
soldier in the long campaign crowned with the garlands of victory may 
rest from the battle. 

Not many years ago, coming from Wisconsin, I think, a girl presented 
herself in the Illinois courts for admission to the bar, and after a rigid and 
unsparing examination she was admitted with public compliment. She 
took an office in the great city of Chicago and in the short remnant of an 
uncertain life so wrought in her profession as to attain an average profes- 
sional income, and win the undivided respect and esteem of her profes- 
sional associates. And when from a far country, whither she had gone in 
hope to escape a fell disease, her lifeless corpse was brought back for sep- 
ulture, many of the foremost lawyers of Chicago gathered about her bier 
and bore emphatic testimony to her virtues as a woman and her attain- 
ments as a lawyer. To me no greater work has been done by any Ameri- 
can woman. When Alta Hulett unobtrusively, silently but indomitably 
pressed her way to the front of the legal profession, and established her- 
self there, she vindicated the right of her sex to contend for the highest 
prizes of life, and left her countrywomen a legacy which will ultimately 
blazon her name imperishably in the history of the advancement of women ; 
and every American woman who, like her, goes to the front of any hon- 
orable occupation, employment or profession, and stays there, becomes 
her coadjutor in work and a sharer in her reward, 

Laden with the trophies of thirty years of conflict, of progress, of meas- 
urable success, the vice-president of the National Woman Suffrage Asso- 
ciation and her associates present themselves to Nebraska and ask a 
hearing upon the final issue, " Shall this work be crowned by granting to 
women in this State ttyp highest privilege of the citizen suffrage ? " On 
behalf of the people of a State whose legislature has granted everything 
else to women whose devotion to free speech, untrammeled discussion 
and an independent press has been conspicuous in its constitutional and 
legislative history I welcome them to this city an'd State, and bespeak 
for them a patient, candid, respectful, appreciative hearing. 

Miss Anthony replied briefly to Mr. Poppleton's eloquent ad- 
dress and returned the thanks of the convention for the courtesy 
with which its members had been received by the citizens of 
Omaha.* She then read a letter from the president of the con- 
vention : 

* Their many courtesies are welt summed up by Miss Foster in a letter to Our Herald : DEAR 
HERALD : As your readers will know from the report of the executive meetings, it was decided to 
have a headquarters for National Woman Suffrage Association speakers at Omaha. When your 
editor left, the arrangements had not been completed for office-room and furnishings. It is finally de- 

244 History of Woman Suffrage. 

TOULOUSE, France, September i, 1882. 
To the National Woman Suffrage Association in Convention assembled: 

DEAR FRIENDS : People never appreciate the magnitude and impor- 
tance on any step in progress, at the time it is taken, nor the full moral 
worth of the characters who inspire it, hence it will be in line with the whole 
history of reform from the beginning if woman's enfranchisement in 
Nebraska should in many minds seem puerile and premature, and its ad- 
vocates fanatical and unreasonable. Nevertheless the proposition speaks 
for itself. A constitutional amendment to crown one-half of the people 
of a great State with all their civil and political rights, is the most vital 
question the citizens of Nebraska have ever been called on to consider; 
and the fact cannot be gainsaid that some of the purest and ablest women 
America can boast, are now in the State advocating the measure. 

For the last two months I have been assisting my son in the compila- 
tion of a work soon to be published in America, under the title, "The 
Woman Question in Europe," to which distinguished women in different 
nations have each contributed a sketch of the progress made in their con- 
dition. One interesting and significant fact as shown in this work, is, that 
in the very years we began to agitate the question of equal rights, there 
was a simultaneous movement by women for various privileges, indus- 
trial, social, educational, civil and political, throughout the civilized world. 
And this without the slightest concert of action, or knowledge of each 
other's existence, showing that the time had come in the natural evolu- 
tion of the species, in the order of human development, for woman to 

cided that I, as secretary of the National Woman's Suffrage Association, remain in charge of this 
Omaha office, with Mrs. C. B. Colby as my associate, while Mrs. Bittenbender has charge of the head- 
quarters at Lincoln, and manages the American and State speakers, these two officers of the campaign 
committee being in constant consultation. 

I cannot too strongly express the gratitude which our committee, and especially our National 
Woman's Suffrage Association, owes to the kind firm of Kitchen Brothers, proprietors of the Paxton 
Hotel. During our late convention their attention has been unremitting, and they now crown it by 
giving us, rent free, a large, well-lighted office to be occupied until election as the Omaha headquarters 
of our campaign committee. I was somewhat puzzled about the suitable furnishings for the room, but 
Mr. Kitchen told me he would attend to that himself, and through his kindness it will be made very 
comfortable for us to occupy for the next five weeks. 

Messrs. Dewey and Stone of this city, large dealers in furniture, have given the use of a handsome 
and convenient desk which will enable us to bring order out of chaos. So you can imagine us, sur- 
rounded by all convenient appliances, hard at work in our new quarters a good part of every day for 
this last month before election. We can certainly not complain that we are not made welcome to the 
best the city affords by these kind citizens of Omaha. Why, we even had a special engine and car given 
us by the accommodating manager of the Burlington & Missouri railroad to run one of our speakers from 
Omaha to Lincoln to enable her to attend a meeting which would otherwise have lacked a speaker. 
Mr. Montmorency, on behalf of the Burlington & Missouri railroad, extended this courtesy (and in our 
need at that hour it was highly appreciated) to us because of the work in which we are engaged. As 
all know ere this, both this road and the Union Pacific have given to our speakers and delegates gen- 
erous reductions over all their lines in this State. 

Mayor Boyd, owner of the Opera House, has also done his share to aid us toward success, in his 
great reduction of ordinary rates to us while we occupy his handsome building with our suffrage mass 
meetings. We have the Opera House now secured for October 4, 13, 19, a6, Novembers and 6, on which 
dates larpe meetings will be addressed by some of our principal speakers. The first date is to be filled 
by Miss Phoebe Couzins, on " The Woman Without a Country.'' 

The full report of our proceedings at the Omaha and Lincoln conventions, with the newspaper com- 
ments upon the size and character of the audiences there assembled, as well as the courtesies which I 
have just mentioned, will convince our readers that we are seemingly welcome guests here in Nebraska, 
and I may say especially in Omaha. I will keep the Htrald posted from week to week upon campaign 
committee work. Yours for success, RACHEL G. FOSTER. 

Headquarters of Suffrage Campaign Committee, Paxton House, Omaha, October a, 1882. 

Mrs. Stantoris Letter. 245 

assert her rights, and to demand the recognition of the feminine element 
in all the vital interests of life. 

To battle against a palpable fact in philosophy and the accumulated 
facts in achievement that can be seen on all sides in woman's work for 
the last forty years, from slavery to equality, is as vain as to fight against 
the law of gravitation. We shall as surely reach the goal we purposed 
when we started, as that the rich prairies of Nebraska will ere long feed 
and educate millions of brave men and women, gathered from every na- 
tion on the globe. Every consideration for the improvement of your 
home life, for the morality of your towns and cities, for the elevation of 
your schools and colleges, and the loftiest motives of patriotism should 
move you, men of Nebraska, to vote for this amendment. Gallon in his 
great work on Heredity says: 

We are in crying want of a greater fund of ability in all stations of life, for neither 
the classes of statesmen, philosophers, artisans nor laborers, are up to the modern 
complexity of their several professions. An extended civilization like ours comprises 
more interests than the ordinary statesmen or philosophers of our race are capable of 
dealing with, and it exacts more intelligent work than our ordinary artisans and 
laborers, are capable of performing. Our race is overweighted, and appears likely to 
be dragged into degeneracy by demands that exceed its powers. If its average ability 
were raised a grade or two, a new class of statesmen would conduct our. complex 
affairs at home and abroad, as easily as our best business men now do their own pri- 
vate trades and professions. The needs of centralization, communication, and culture, 
call for more brains and mental stamina, than the average of our race possesses. 

Does it need a prophet to tell us where to begin this work ? Does not 
the physical and intellectual condition of the women of a nation decide 
the capacity and power of its men? If we would give our sons the help 
and inspiration of woman's thought and interest in the complex questions 
of our present civilization, we must first give her the power that political 
responsibility secures. With the ballot in her own right hand, she would 
feel a new sense of dignity, and command among men a respect they have 
never felt before. 

Nebraska has now the opportunity of making this grand experiment of 
securing justice, liberty, equality, for the first time in the world's history, 
to woman, through her education and enfranchisement, of lifting man to 
that higher plane of thought where he may be able wisely to meet all the 
emergencies of the period in which he is called on to act. Let every 
man in Nebraska now so do his duty, that, when the sun goes down on 
the eighth of November, the glad news may be sent round the world that 
at last one State in the American republic has fully accorded the sacred 
right of self-government to all her citizens, black and white, men and 
women. With sincere hope for this victory, 


Many interesting letters were received from friends at home 
and abroad, of which we give a few. The following is from our 
Minister Plenipotentiary at the German Court: 

BERLIN, September 9, 1882. 

Miss ANTHONY : Esteemed Friend: At this great distance I can only 
sympathize with the earnest effort to be made this fall to secure poli- 

246 History of Woman Suffrage. 

tical recognition for women in Nebraska. I am glad that the prospect 
is so good and that Nebraska, which gave a name, with Kansas, to the 
first successful resistance to the encroachments of slavery, is the arena 
where the battle is to be fought under such promise of a just result. By 
recognizing the right of its women to an equal share in all the duties 
and responsibilities of life, Nebraska will honor itself while securing for 
all time wholesome laws and administration. 

I believe society would more benefit itself than grant a favor to women 
by extending the suffrage to them. All the interests of women are pro- 
moted by a government that shall guard the family circle, re'strain excess, 
promote education, shield the young from temptation. While the true 
interests of men lie in the same direction, women more generally appreciate 
these facts and illustrate in their lives a desire for their attainment. Could 
we bring to the ballot-box the great fund of virtue, intelligence and good 
intention stored up in the minds and hearts of our wives and sisters, how 
great the reinforcement would be for all that is noble, patriotic and pure 
in public life ! Who should fear the result who desires the public welfare ? 
From the stand-point of better principles applied to the direction of public 
affairs and the best individuals in office, the argument seems impregnable. 

It is getting late to resist this measure on the ground that the character 
of women themselves would be lowered by contact with politics. That 
objection is identical with the motive which causes the Turk to shut up 
his women in a harem and closely veil them in public. He fears their 
delicacy will be tarnished if they speak to any man but their proprietor. 
So prejudice feared woman would be unsexed if she had equal educa- 
tion with man. The professions were closed to women for the same 
consideration. Women have vindicated their ability to endure the 
education and engage in the dreaded pursuits, yet society is not 
dissolved, and these fearful imaginings have proved idle dreams. As 
every advance made by woman since the days when it was a mooted 
law-point how large could be the stick with which her husband could 
punish her, down to the day when congress opened to her the bar of 
the United States Supreme Court, has been accompanied by Constantly 
refuted assertions that she and society were about to be ruined. I think 
we can safely trust to her good sense, virtue and delicacy to preserve for 
us the loved and venerated object we have always known, even if society 
shall yield the still further measure of complete enfranchisement, and thus 
add to her social dignity, duties and responsibilities. 

No class has ever been degraded by the ballot. All have rather been 
elevated by it. We cannot rationally anticipate less desirable personal 
consequences to those whose tendencies are naturally good, than to those 
on whom the ballot has been conferred belonging to a lower plane of 
being. But these considerations go only to show the policy of granting 
suffrage to women. From the stand-point of justice the argument is more 
pressing. If woman asks for the ballot shall man deny it? By what 
right ? Certainly not by the right of a majority ; for women are at least 
as numerous. Certainly not by any right derived from nature ; for our 
common mother has set no brand on woman. If one woman shall ask 

Appeal of Miss Harriot Stanton. 


for a voice in the regulation of society of which she is at least one-half, 
who shall say her nay? If any woman shall ask it, who shall deny it be- 
cause another woman does not ask it ? There are many men who do not 
value their citizenship ; shall other men therefore be deprived of the bal- 
lot ? Suppose many women would not avail themselves of such a func- 
tion, are those with higher, or other views, to be therefore kept in 
tutelage ? 

I trust you may succeed in this work in Nebraska. It is of supreme 
importance to the cause. The example of Nebraska would soon be fol- 
lowed by other States. The current of such a reform knows no retiring 
ebb. The suffrage once acquired will never be relinquished ; first, be- 
cause it will recommend itself, as it has in Wyoming, by its results; 
second, because the women will jealously guard their rights, and defend 
them with their ballots. Wishing I could do more than send you good 
wishes for the cause,* I am, respectfully yours, A. A. SARGENT. 

The following letter is from a daughter of Elizabeth Cady 
Stanton (a graduate of Vassar College, and classmate of Miss 
Elizabeth Poppleton), who two years before, on the eve of her 
departure for Europe, gave her eloquent address on Edmund 

Burke in that city : 

TOULOUSE, France, September 3, 1882. 
To the Voters of my Generation in Nebraska : 

It is not my desire to present to you any argument, but only to give 
you an episode in my own life. I desire to lay before you a fact, not a 
fiction ; a reality, not a supposition ; an experience not a theory. 

I was born in a free republic and in my veins runs very rebellious blood. 
An ancestor of my father was one of those intrepid men who left the 
shores of old England and sailed forth to establish on a distant continent 
the grandest republic that has ever yet been known. That, you see, is 
not good blood to submit to injustice. And on my mother's side we find 
a sturdy old Puritan from whom our stock is traced, fleeing from England 
because of the faith that was in him, and joining his rebellious life to one 
of that honest Holland nation which had defied so nobly the oppressions 
of the Catholic church and Spanish inquisition. As if this were not suf- 
ficiently independent blood to pass on to other generations, my own father 
became an abolitionist, and step by step fought his belief to victor}', and 
my mother early gave her efforts to the elevation of woman. It is all this, 
together with my living in the freest land on the globe and in a century 
rife with discussions of all principles of government, that has made me in 
every fiber a believer in republican institutions. 

Having been reared in a large family of boys where we enjoyed equal 
freedom, and having received the same collegiate education as my 
brothers, it is not until lately that I have felt the crime of my woman- 
hood. I have dwelt thus upon the antecedents and influences of my life 
in order to ask you one question : Do you not think I can appreciate the 
real meaning, the true sacredness of a republic ? Do you not believe I feel 

* A private letter was received from Mrs. Ellen Clark Sargent, enclosing a check for $50. 

248 History of Woman Suffrage. 

the duties it demands of its citizens ? But I want you to hold your reply 
in abeyance, till I give you one bit more of history. 

A ship at sea crossing on the Atlantic between Europe and America. 
Of two persons on this vessel I wish to speak to you. Of one I have al- 
ready told you much ; I need but add that my two years spent in Europe,* 
previous to my return to America for a few months last winter, had not 
made me less American, less a lover of republicanism. And now this ship, 
baffling the February storm, was sweeping nearer the land where the 
people reign. My heart beat high as I thought it was in my native country 
where women were free, more honored than in any nation in the world. 
As I stood on the deck, the strong sea-wind blowing wildly about me, and 
the ocean bearing on its heart-wave mountains, visions of the grandeur 
of the nation lying off beyond the western horizon, rose before me. And 
it was a proud heart that cried " My Country ! " 

And the other person I want to speak of? It is a man, a German, com- 
ing to the United States to escape military service in Prussia. He came 
in the steerage ; was poor and ignorant. He could speak no English, not 
one word of your language and mine. His fellows were all Irish, so I 
offered to be an interpreter for him. I visited the steerage quarters, and 
returned with a heavy heart. Such brutal faces as I saw ! Ignorance, 
cruelty, subserviency, were everywhere depicted. Herds of human beings 
that I feared, they looked so dull and brutal. The full meaning of a terri- 
ble truth rushed upon me. Soon these men would be my sovereigns I 
their subject! 

I had just spent a year in that German's native land, and I remembered 
that I had seen their women doing the work of men in the fields, husbands 
returning from their day's labor empty-handed, and their wives toiling on 
behind bent under heavy burdens, and as I thought on this, our ship bore 
him and me towards the land that glories in having given birth to Lucretia 
Mott. In the country where he had been reared, I had seen women har- 
nessed with beasts of burden, dragging laden wagons, and yet our vessel 
carried him and me at each moment towards a safe harbor, in a land that 
pays homage to the memory of Margaret Fuller. Our ship sailed on, 
taking him from a land where he had been taught to worship royalty, 
whatever its worth or crime ; where he had paid cringing submission to 
an arbitrary rule of police ; where he had been surrounded by the degrad- 
ing effects of the mightiest military system on the globe. The ship plowed 
on and on through the waves, bringing him to a republic, not one prin- 
ciple of which he comprehended. 

And now we sail up New York bay. The day is bright, and a softening 
haze hangs over all. Surely this is some vision-land. Yes, it is indeed a 
yision-land, for it has never known the presence of a royal line; against 
jits oppressors it fought in no mean rebellious spirit, but rose in revolution 
-with its motto, "Governments derive their just powers from the consent 
tof the governed," written on its 'brow to be known of all men. And I 

* Miss Stanton, having studied astronomy with Professor Maria Mitchell, went to Europe to talce a 
degree in Mathematics from the College of France ; but before completing her course, she shared the 
fate of too many of our American girls ; she expatriated herself by marrying a foreigner. 

Letters from England. 249 

think as we slowly sail up the bay on our vessel, Does that deadened 
soul respond to what lies before him ? Does there in his heart rise the 
prayer, Oh, God ! make me true to the duties about to be laid upon me ; 
make me worthy of being free? Yes, then, for the first time I felt the 
full depth of the indignity offered to my womanhood. I felt my enthusi- 
asm for America wavering love of country dead. My country ! I have 
no country. 

Young men of Nebraska, I ask you to free your minds from prejudice, 
to be just towards the demands of another human soul, to be frank, to be 
wholly truthful, and answer my demand : Why should I not be a citizen 
of this republic ? In replying, read between the lines of my tedious story 
and bear in mind the words of Voltaire : " Who would dare change a law 
that time has consecrated ? Is there anything more respectable than an 
ancient abuse ! Reason is more ancient, replied Zadig." 

Respectfully, HARRIOT STANTON. 

MANCHESTER, England, September 5, 1882. \ 

DEAR Miss ANTHONY : W T ill you accept a word of cheer and God-speed 
from your sisters in England in your crusade for the emancipation of 
woman in Nebraska? You carry with you the hopes and sympathetic 
wishes of all on this side of the water. If you win, as I trust you may, 
your victory will have a distinct influence on the future of our parlia- 
mentary campaign, which we hope to begin in early spring in England. 
In the name of English women I would appeal to the men of Nebraska to 
assent to the great act of justice to women which is proposed to them 
by their elected representatives, and by so doing to aid in the enfran- 
chisement of women all over the world. 

Yours faithfully, LYDIA E. BECKER. 

LONDON, September i, 1882. 

DEAR Miss ANTHONY : Having heard that the next convention of the 
National Woman Suffrage Association will meet at Omaha this month, I 
cannot refrain from sending a few lines to assure our friends who are 
working so steadfastly in America for the same sacred cause as our own, 
of our loving sympathy and good-wishes for success in the coming 
struggle. The eyes and hearts of hundreds of women are, like my own, 
turned to Nebraska, where so momentous an issue is to be decided two 
months hence. The news of their vote, if rightly given, will "echo round 
the world " like the first shot fired at Concord. It will be the expression 
of their determination to establish their freedom by giving freedom to 
others, and their example will be followed by Indiana and Oregon, and 
soon by the other States of the Union and by England. Everything 
points with us to a speedy triumph of the principle of equal justice for 
woman. Next November, about the time when Nebraska will be voting 
for equal suffrage, the women in Scotland will be voting for the first time 
in their municipal elections. The session of 1882 will be memorable in 
future for having passed the act which gives a married woman the right 
to hold her own property, make contracts, sue and be sued, in the same 
manner as if she were a single woman. It is nearly thirty years since we 

250 History of Woman Suffrage. 

first began our efforts in this matter, and each succeeding step has been 
won very slowly and with great difficulty through the efforts of those who 
are working to obtain the .suffrage. Mr. Gladstone still expresses the 
hope that next session will place the franchise on a "fair" basis, meaning 
thereby the same right of voting for counties as for boroughs. We 
maintain that the franchise can never be said to be on a fair basis while 
women are debarred from the right of voting. Our progress and your 
progress will keep even pace together, for if women are free in America 
no long time can elapse before they are free here. We can but offer you 
our sympathy and we beg this favor of you, that as soon as you have the 
returns of the vote ascertained, you will telegraph the news to us, that 
our English societies may keep the day of rejoicing heart in heart with 
the American National Association. 

With cordial sympathy in all your efforts, I am, faithfully yours, 


To the National Woman Suffrage Association, in Convention assembled, at 

Omaha, Nebraska, September 26, 27, 28 : 

DEAR FRIENDS : The most pressing work before the National Woman 
Suffrage Convention, is bringing all its forces to bear upon congress for 
the submission of a sixteenth amendment to the national constitution, 
which shall prohibit States from disfranchising citizens of the United 
States, on the ground of sex, or for any cause not equally applicable to 
all citizens. While we of the National are glad to see an amendment to 
a State constitution proposed, securing suffrage to woman, as is the 
case in Nebraska this fall, we must not be led by it to forget or neglect 
our legitimate work, an amendment to the national constitution, which 
will secure suffrage at one and the same moment to the women of each 
State. While all action of any kind and everywhere is good because it is 
educational, the only real, legitimate work of the National Woman Suf- 
frage Association, is upon congress. Never have our prospects been 
brighter than to-day. A select committee on woman suffrage having been 
appointed in both houses during the last session of congress, and a resolu- 
tion introduced in the Senate, proposing an amendment to the Constitu- 
tion of the United States, to secure the right of suffrage to all citizens 
irrespective of sex, having been referred to this select committee and 
receiving a favorable majority report thereon, we have every reason to 
expect the submission of such an amendment at the next session of 

The work then, most necessary, is with each representative and senator; 
and the legislatures of the several States should be induced to pass reso- 
lutions requesting the senators and representatives from each State to give 
voice and vote in favor of the submission of such an amendment. This 
work is vitally important for the coming winter, and none the less so, even 
should Nebraska vote aye November 7, upon the woman suffrage amend- 
ment to its own constitution. In view of the probability of the submis- 
sion of a sixteenth amendment at the coming session of congress, I offer 
the following resolution, which I consider one of the most important of 
the series I have been asked to prepare for adoption by the convention : 

Closing Scenes. 251 

Resolved, That it is the duty of every woman to work with the legislature of her 
own State, to secure from it the passage of a joint resolution requesting its senators 
and representatives in congress to use voice and vote in favor of the submission of an 
amendment to the national constitution which shall prohibit States from disfranchis- 
ing citizens on the ground of sex. 

I hope the above resolution will be unanimously adopted, and that each 
woman will strive to carry its provisions into effect as a religious duty. 
With my best wishes for a, grand and successful convention, and the 
hope that Nebraska will set itself right before the world by the adoption 
of the woman suffrage amendment this fall, I am, 

Very truly yours, MATILDA JOSLYN GAGE.* 

The Republican in describing the closing scenes of the conven- 
tion, said : 

Fully 2,500 people assembled last evening to listen to the closing pro- 
ceedings of the convention. The stage, which was beautifully furnished 
and upholstered, was completely occupied by the ladies of the Associa- 
tion ; and as they all were in full dress, in preparation for the reception 
at the Paxton Hotel, the sight was a brilliant one. As respects the audi- 
ence, not only the seats, but the lobbies were crowded, and hundreds upon 
hundreds were turned away. Manager Boyd remarked as we passed in, 
"You will see to-night the most magnificent gathering that has ever been 
in the Opera House," and such truly it was the intellect, fashion and 
refinement of the city. Addresses were given by M'me Neyman, whose 
earnest and eloquent words were breathlessly heard ; Mrs. Minor of St. 
Louis, whose utterances were serious and weighty; and Miss Phoebe 
Couzins, who touched the springs of sentiment, sympathy, pathos and 
humor by turns. After answering two or three objections that had not 
been fully touched upon, Miss Couzins fairly carried away the house, 
when she said in conclusion, "Miss Anthony and myself, and another who 
has addressed you are the only spinsters in the movement. We, indeed, 
expect to marry, but we don't want our husbands to marry slaves [great 
merriment]; we are waiting for our enfranchisement. And now, if you 
want Miss Anthony and myself to move into your State " this hit, with 
all it implied, set the audience into a convulsion of cheers and 
laughter which was quite prolonged ; and after the merriment had 
subsided, Miss Couzins completed her sentence by saying, " We are under 
sailing orders to receive proposals ! " whereupon the applause broke out 
afresh. " However," she added, seeing Miss Anthony shake her head, "it 
takes a very superior woman to be an old maid, and on this principle I 
think Miss Anthony will stick to her colors." Miss Couzins quoted Haw- 
thorne as speaking through " Zenobia " : 

" It is my belief, yea, my prophecy, that when my sex shall have attained its freedom 
there will be ten eloquent women where there is now one eloquent man," and in- 
stanced this convention as an illustration of what might be expected. 

* Letters were also received from Rebecca Moore, England; Mrs. 2. G. Wallace, Indianapolis; 
Frederick Dou^hiss, Washington, D. C.; Theodore Staiuon, Paris, France; Sarah Knox Goodrich, 
Clarina Howard Nichols, California, and many others. 

252 History of Woman Suffrage. 

Miss Couzins was followed by Mrs. Saxon, Mrs. Neyman and 
Miss Hindman. The resolutions,* which were presented by Mrs. 
Sewall, among their personal commendations expressed the ap- 
preciation of the Association for the services rendered by Mrs. 
Clara Bewick Colby, in making preparations for the convention. 
Mrs. Colby in making her acknowledgments said : 

There was another to whom the Association owed much for the work 
done which has made possible the brilliant success of the convention 
one to whom, while across the water their thoughts and hearts had often 
turned ; and she was sure that all present would gladly join in extending 
a welcome to the late president, and now chairman of the executive com- 
mittee of the State association, Mrs. Harriet S. Brooks. 

Mrs. Brooks came forward amid applause, and said : 

That at this late hour while a speech might be silvern, silence was 
golden ; and she would say no more than, on behalf of all the members 
and officers of the State association, and the friends of the cause in Omaha, 
to tender their most grateful thanks to the National Association for "the 
feast of reason and the flow of soul " with which they have been favored 
during the last three days. 

At the close of the convention the spacious parlors of the 
Paxton House were crowded. Over a thousand ladies and gen- 
tlemen passed through, shaking hands with the delegates and 
congratulating them on the great success of the convention. 

Another enthusiastic meeting was held at Lincoln, the capital 
of the State, and radiating from this point in all directions these 
missionaries of the new gospel of woman's equality traversed the 
entire State, scattering tracts and holding meetings in churches, 
school-houses and the open air, and thus the agitation was 

* WHEREAS, The National Woman Suffrage Association has labored unremittingly to secure the ap- 
pointment of a committee in the congress of the United States to receive and consider the petitions of 
women and whereas, this Association realizes the importance of such a committee, 

Resolved^ That the thanks of this Association are due and are hereby tendered to congress for the 
appointment at its last session of a Select Woman Suffrage Committee in each house. 

Resolved, That the thanks of this Association are hereby tendered to Senators Lapham, Ferry, Blair 
and Anthony, of the Select Committee, for their able majority report. 

Resolved^ That it is the paramount duty of congress at its next session to submit a sixteenth amend- 
ment to the constitution which shall secure the enfranchisement of the women of the republic. 

Resolved, That the recent action of King Christian of Denmark, in conferring the right of municipal 
suffrage upon the women in Iceland, and the similar enlargement of woman's political freedom in Scot- 
land, India and Russia, are all encouraging evidences of the progress of self-government even in mon- 
archical countries. And farther, that while the possession of these privileges by our foreign sisters is an 
occasion of rejoicing to us, it still but emphasizes the inconsistency of a republic which refuses political 
recognition to one-half of its citizens. 

Resolved, That the especial thanks of the officers and delegates of this convention are due and are 
hereby most cordially tendered to Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby, for the exceptionally efficient manner in 
which she has discharged the onerous duties which devolved upon her in making all preparations for 
this convention and for the grand success which her efforts have secured. 

Resolved, That the National Woman Suffrage Association on the occasion of this, its fourteenth 
annual convention, does, in the absence of its honored president, desire to send greeting to Elizabeth 
Cady Stanton, and to express to her the sympathetic admiration with which the members of this body 
have followed her in her reception in a foreign land. 

Nebraska Campaign. 


kept up until the day of election. As it was the season for 
agricultural fairs, the people were more easily drawn together, 
and the ladies readily availed themselves, as they had opportunity, 
of these great gatherings. Two notable debates were held in 
Omaha in answer to the many challenges sent by the opposition. 
Miss Couzins, the first to enter the arena, was obliged to help her 
antagonist in his scriptural quotations, while Miss Anthony was 
compelled to supply hers with well-known statistics. It was 
evident that neither of the gentlemen had sharpened his 
weapons for the encounter. 

To look over the list of counties visited and the immense dis- 
tances traveled in public and private conveyances, enables one in a 
measure ^to appreciate the physical fatigue these ladies endured. 
In reading of their earnest speeches, debates, conversations at 
every fireside and dinner-table, in every car and carriage as they 
journeyed by the way or waited at the station, their untiring per- 
severance must command the unqualified admiration of those 
who know what a political campaign involves. During those six 
weeks of intense excitement they were alike hopeful and anxious 
as to the result. At last the day dawned when the momentous 
question of the enfranchisement of 75,000 women was to be 
decided. Every train brought some of the speakers to their 
headquarters in Omaha, with cheering news from the different 
localities they had canvassed. And now one last effort must be 
made, they must see what can be done at the polls. Some of the 
ladies went in carriages to each of the polling booths and made 
earnest appeals to those who were to vote for or against the 
woman's amendment. Others stood dispensing refreshments and 
the tickets they wished to see voted, all day long. And while 
the men sipped their coffee and ate their viands with evident 
relish, the women appealed to their sense of justice, to their love 
of liberty and republican institutions. Vain would be the attempt 
to describe the patient waiting, the fond hopes, the bright visions 
of coming freedom, that had nerved these brave women to these 
untiring labors, or to shadow in colors dark enough the fears, the 
anxieties, the disappointments, all centered in that November 
election. A fitting subject for an historical picture was that group 
of intensely earnest women gathered there, as the last rays of the 
setting sun warned them that whether for weal or for woe the 
decisive hour had come ; no word of theirs could turn defeat to 

254 History of Woman Suffrage. 

The hours of anxious waiting were not long, the verdict soon 
came flashing on every wire, from the north, the south, 
the west : " No !" " No !" " No !" The mothers, wives 
and daughters of Nebraska must still wear the yoke of slavery ; 
they who endured with man the hardships of the early days and 
bravely met the dangers of a pioneer life, they who have reared 
two generations of boys and taught them the elements of all they 
know, who have stood foremost in all good works of charity and 
reform, who appreciate the genius of free institutions, native- 
born American citizens, are still to be governed by the ignorant, 
vicious classes from the old world. What a verdict was this for 
one of the youngest States in the American republic irt the nine- 
teenth century! 

But these heroic women did not sit down in sackcloth and 
ashes to weep over the cruel verdict. Anticipating victory, they 
had engaged the Opera House to hold their jubilee if the women 
of Nebraska were enfranchised ; or, if the returns brought them 
no cause for rejoicing, they would at least exalt the educational 
vpork that had been done in the State, and dedicate themselves 
anew to this struggle for liberty. They had survived three de- 
feats, in Kansas, Michigan, Colorado, and tasted the bitterness of 
repeated disappointments, and another could not crush them. 
When the hour arrived, an immense audience welcomed them in 
the Opera House, and from this new baptism of sorrow they spoke 
more eloquently than ever before. In their calm, determined 
manner they seemed to say with Milton's hero : 

"All is not lost : the unconquerable will is ours." 

A report of the Fifteenth Annual Washington Convention, 
Jan. 23, 24, 25, 1883, was written by Miss Jessie Waiteof Chicago, 
and published in the Washington Chronicle, from which we give 
the following extracts : 

The proceedings of the Association were inaugurated at Lincoln Hall 
Monday evening by a novel lecture, entitled "Zekle's Wife," by Mrs. 
Amy Talbot Dunn of Indianapolis. The personality of Mrs. Dunn is so 
entirely lost in that of Zekle's wife that it is hard to realize that the old 
lady of so many and so varied experiences is a happy young wife. As a 
character sketch Mrs. Dunn's "Zekle's Wife " stands on an equality with 
Denman Thompson's "Joshua W T hitcomb " and with Joe Jefferson's " Rip 
Van Winkle." To sustain a conception so foreign to the natural charac- 
teristics of the actor without once allowing the interest of the audience to 
flag, requires originality of thought, independence of idea, and genius for 
action. Mrs. Dunn, herself the author of her sketch, possesses to a re- 

Fifteenth Annual Washington Convention. 255 

markable degree the power to impress upon her audience the feeling that 
the old lady from "Kaintuck " is before them, not only to say things for 
their amusement, but also to impress upon them those great truths which 
have presented themselves to her mind during the fifty years of her mar- 
ried life. "Zekle's Wife" is a keen, shrewd, warm-hearted, lovable old 
woman, without education or culture, yet with an innate sense of refine- 
ment and a touching undercurrent of desire " not to be too hard on Zekle." 
As she tells her story, which she informs us is a true one from real life, 
she engages the attention and wins the sympathy of all her hearers, and 
frequent bursts of applause evidence the satisfaction of the audience. 

The convention proper opened on Tuesday morning with the appoint- 
ment of various committees,* and reports t from the different States filled 
up most of the time during the day. May Wright Sewall said : 

Women must learn that power gives power ; that intelligence alone can appreciate 
or be influenced by intelligence ; that justice alone is moved by appeals based oh jus- 
tice. More than anything in the course of suffrage labor does the Nebraska campaign 
justify the primary method of this National Association. We have a right to expect 
that each legislature will be composed of the picked men of the State. We have a 
right to believe that as the intelligence, wisdom and justice of the picked men of the 
nation are superior to the same qualities in the mass of men, so is the fitness of national 
and State legislators to consider the demands for the ballot. 

Mrs. Mills of Washington sang, as a solo, " Barbara Fritchie," in excel- 
lent style. Mrs. Caroline Hallowell Miller (wife of Francis Miller, esq., 
late assistant attorney for the District of Columbia) spoke with the 
greatest ease and most remarkable command of language. She is in 
every sense a strong woman. She said that, born and reared as she was 
in a Virginia town noted for its intense conservatism, where she had seen 
a woman stripped to the waist and brutally beaten by order of the law 
(her skin happened to be of a dark color) whose only crime was that of 
alleged impertinence, and that impertinence provoked by improper con- 
duct on the part of a young man ; that, reared in such a cradle as this, 
still, through the blessing of a good home, she had learned to deeply 
appreciate the noble efforts of women who dared to tread new paths, to 
break their own way through the dense forest of prejudice and ignorance. 
Man cannot represent woman. If woman breaks any law of man, of na- 
ture, or of God, she alone must suffer the penalty. "This fact seems to 
me," said Mrs. Miller, "to settle the whole question." 

Miss Anthony read the following letter from Hon. Benjamin F. Butler, 
who, she said, had the honor of being an advocate of this cause, in addi- 
tion to being governor of Massachusetts : 

WASHINGTON, D. C., Jan. 23, 1883. 

MY DEAR Miss ANTHONY : I received your kind note asking me to attend the 
National Convention of the friends of woman suffrage at Washington, for which 
courtesy I am obliged. My engagements, which have taken me out of the common- 
wealth, cover all, and more than all, of my time, and I find I am to hurry back, leav- 

* Committee on Resolutions, composed of Lillic Devereux Blake of New York city, Virginia L. Mi- 
nor of St. Louis, Harriet R. Shattuck of Boston, May Wright Sewall of Indianapolis, and Ellen H. 
Sheldon of the District of Columbia. 

t Mrs. Spofford, the treasurer, reported that $5,000 were spent in Nebraska in the endeavor to carry 
the amendment in that State. 

256 History of Woman Suffrage. 

ing some of them undisposed of. It will therefore be impossible for me to attend the 

As I have already declared my conviction that the fourteenth amendment fully 
covers the right of all persons to vote, and as I assume that the women of the country 
are persons, and very important persons to its happiness and prosperity, I never have 
been able to see any reason why women do not come within its provisions. I think 
such will be the decision of the court, perhaps quite as early as you may be able to get 
through congress and the legislatures of the several States another amendment. But 
both lines of action may well be followed, as they do not conflict with each other. 
This course was taken in the case of the fifteenth amendment, which was supposed to 
be necessary to cover the case of the negro, although many of the friends of the colored 
man looked coldly upon that amendment, because it seemed to be an admission that 
the fourteenth amendment was not sufficient. Therefore I can without inconsistency, 
I think, bid you ' ' God speed " in your agitation for the sixteenth amendment. It will 
have the effect to enlighten the public mind as to the scope of the fourteenth amend- 
ment. I am very truly, your friend and servant, BE.NJ. F. BUTLER. 

Mrs. Blake presented a series of resolutions, which were laid on the 
table for consideration : 

WHEREAS, In larger numbers than ever before the women of the United States are 
demanding the repeal of arbitrary restrictions which now debar them from the use of 
the ballot ; and 

WHEREAS, The recent defeat in Nebraska of a constitutional amendment, giving 
the women of the State the right to vote, proves that failure is the natural result of an 
appeal to the masses on a question which is best understood and approved by the more 
intelligent citizens; therefore, 

Resolved, That we call upon this congress to pass, without delay, the sixteenth 
amendment to the federal constitution now pending in the Senate. 

Resolved, That all competitive examinations for places in the civil service of the 
United States should be open on equal terms to citizens of both sexes, and that any so- 
called civil service reform that does not correct the existing unjust discrimination 
against women employe's, and grade all salaries on merit and not sex, is a dishonest 
pretense at reform. 

WHEREAS, The Constitution of the United States declares that no State shall be 
admitted to the Union unless it have a republican form of government; and whereas, 
no true republic can exist unless all the inhabitants are given equal civil and political 
rights; therefore, 

Resolved, That we earnestly protest against the admission of Dakota as a State, un- 
less the right of suffrage is secured on equal terms to all her citizens. 

Resolved, That the women of these United States have not deserved the infliction 
of this punishment of disfranchisement, and do most earnestly demand that they be 
relieved from the cruelties it imposes upon them. 

WHEREAS, During the war hundreds of women throughout our land entered the 
service of the nation as hospital nurses; and 

WHEREAS, Many of these women were disabled by wounds and by disease, while 
many were reduced to permanent invalidism by the hardships they endured; therefore, 

Resolved, That these women should be placed on the pension list and rewarded for 
their services. 

After the reading of the resolutions an animated discussion followed, 
Miss Anthony showing in scathing terms the injustice of the employment 
of women to do equal work with men at half the salaries, in the depart- 
ments at Washington and elsewhere. An additional resolution was 
adopted declaring that paying Dr. Susan A. Edson for her services as 
attendant physician to President Garfield, $1,000 less than was paid for 

Discussion of the Resolutions. 257 

an equivalent service rendered by Dr. Boynton, a more recent graduate of 
tjie same college from which she received her diploma, is an unjust dis- 
crimination on account of sex. 

Mrs. SEWALL said men in the departments were given extra leave of absence each 
year to go home to vote, and suggested that women be given (until the time comes for 
them to vote) extra leave to meditate upon the ballot. 

Miss ANTHONY said she had addressed a letter to each secretary asking that such 
women as desired be given permission to attend the meetings of this convention with- 
out loss of time to them. She had received but one answer, which was from Secretary 
Folger, who wrote: " The condition of the public business prevents us from acceding 
to your request. " 

Mrs. HARRIETTE R. SHATTUCK'of Boston said: Tired as some of the audience must 
be of hearing the same old argument in favor of the ballot for women repeated from 
year to year, they could not possibly be more tired than the friends of the cause were 
of hearing the same old objections repeated" from year to year. While the forty-year- 
old objections are raised the forty-year-old rejoinders must be given. We must con- 
tinue to agitate until we force people to listen. It is like the ringing of a bell. At 
first no one notices it; in a little while, a few will listen; finally, the perpetual ding- 
dong, ding-dong, will force itself to be heard by every one. The oldest of all the old 
arguments is that of right and justice, and the tune which my little bell shall ring is 
merely this : " It is right!" This cry of woman for liberty and equality increases 
every day, and it is a cry that must some day be heard and responded to. 

Mrs. Virginia L. Minor of St. Louis was then introduced as the woman 
who stands to this cause in the same relation that Dred Scott had stood 
to the Republican party. Miss Couzins said that in introducing Mrs. 
Minor she wanted to say one word about the work Mrs. Minor had done 
for the soldiers, during the sanitary fair and all through the war. She had 
canned fruit, refusing the money offered in payment, returning it all to be 
used for the sick and wounded soldiers [applause]. Mrs. Minor spoke in 
a calm, deliberate manner, with perfect conviction in the truth of her 
statements and with a winning sweetness of expression that indicated the 
highest sensibilities of a refined nature. She showed that women voted 
in the early days of the country, and that undoubtedly it was the inten- 
tion of the framers of the constitution that they should do so. This right 
had been taken away when the constitution was amended and the word 
" male " inserted. What is now desired is simply restoration of that which 
had been taken away. She believed that this restoration was made, un- 
wittingly, by the addition of the fourteenth amendment, which, without 
doubt, makes women citizens. It is men who have abused the republican 
institution of suffrage ; it is women who desire to restore it to its proper 
exercise. Miss Anthony read a letter from Mrs. Wallace, the wife of one 

of the former governors of Indiana : 

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. , January 21, 1883. 

DEAR Miss ANTHONY : When in the call I read that for fourteen consecutive years 
the National Woman Suffrage Association had held a convention in Washington, I 
was oppressed by two thoughts : First, how hard it is to overcome prejudice and 
ignorance when they have been fortified by the usages and customs of ages; and sec- 
ondly, the sublime faith, courage and perseverance of the advocates of woman's en- 
franchisement, and their confidence in the ultimate triumph of justice. After all, by 
what are governments organized and maintained? By brute force alone? Despot- 
isms may be, but republics never. What are the qualifications for the ballot ? The 
power to fight ? Are they not rather intelligence, virtue, truth and patriotism ? I scarce 


258 History of Woman Suffrage. 

think the most obstinate and egotistical of our opponents will assert- that men possess 
a monopoly of these virtues, or even a moiety of them. As to their fighting capacities, 
of which we hear so much, I think they would have cut a sorry figure in the wars 
which they have been compelled to wage in order to establish and maintain this gov- 
ernment, if they had not had the sympathy and cooperation of woman. I entirely 
agree with you that, while agitation in the States is necessary as a means of education, 
a sixteenth amendment to the national constitution is the quickest, surest and least 
laborious way to secure the success of this great work for human liberty. Any legis- 
lature of Indiana in the last six years would have ratified such an amendment. With 
highest regards for yourself and the best wishes for the success of the convention, I 
remain, Yours, etc., ZERELDA G. WALLACE. 

After several other speakers,* Madame Clara Neyman of New York 
city, delivered what was, without question, one of the best addresses of 
the convention. She spoke with a slightly German accent, which only 
served to enhance the interest and hold the attention of the audience. 
Her eloquence and argument could not fail to convince all of her earnest 
purpose. After showing the philosophy of reform movements, and every 
step of progress, she said : 

Woman's enfranchisement will be wrought out by peaceful means. We shall use 
no fire-arms, no torpedoes, no heavy guns to gain our freedom. No precious human 
lives will be sacrificed; no tears will be shed to establish our right. We shall capture 
the fortresses of prejudice and injustice by the force of our arguments; we shall send 
shell after shell into these strongholds until their defective reasoning gives way to vic- 
torious truth. "Inability to bear arms," says Herbert gpencer, "was the reason 
given in feudal times for excluding woman from succession," and to-day her position 
is lowest where the military spirit prevails. A sad illustration of this is my own coun- 
try. Being a born German, and in feeling, kindred, and patriotism attached to the 
country of my birth and childhood, it is hard for me to make such a confession. But 
the truth must be told, even if it hurts. It has been observed by those who travel in 
Europe, that Germany, which has the finest and best universities, which stands highest 
in scholarship, nevertheless tolerates, nay, enforces the subjection of woman. The 
freedom of a country stands in direct relation to the position of its women. America, 
which has proclaimed the freedom of man, has developed pari passu a finer woman- 
hood, and has done more for us than any other nation in existence. A new type of 
manhood has been reared on American soil a type which Tennyson describes in his 

Man shall be more of woman, she of man ; 

He gain in sweetness and in moral height, 

Nor lose the thews that wrestle with the world ; 

She, mental breadth, nor fail in childward care, 

Nor lose the childlike in the larger mind ; 

Till at the last they set them each to each. 

Like perfect music unto noble words. 

Then comes the statelier Eden back to man ; 

Then springs the crowning race of human kind. 

At the evening session the time was divided between Lillie Devereux 
Blake and Phcebe W. Couzins. Mrs. Blake spoke on the question, " Is it 
a Crime to be a Woman ? " 

She showed in a clear, logical manner that wherever a woman was apprehended for 
crime the discrimination against her was not because of the crime she had committed, 
but because the crime was committed by a woman. Every woman in this country is 
treated by the law as if she were to blame for being a woman. In New York an hon- 

* Short speeches were made by Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Lockwood, Mrs. McKinney, Mrs. Lodcr and 

Brief Addresses. 259 

orable married woman has no right to her children. A man may beat his wife all he 
pleases; but if he beats another man the law immediately interferes, showing that the 
woman is not protected simply because she is so indiscreet as to be a -woman. If it is 
not a crime to be a woman, why are women subjected to unequal payment with men 
for the same service ? Why are they forced at times to don men's clothes in order to 
obtain employment that will keep them from starvation ? 

Miss COUZINS said that the American-born woman was "a woman without a 
country"; but before she had closed she had proved that this country belonged ex- 
clusively to the women. It was a woman, Queen Isabella, that enabled a man to dis- 
cover this country, and in the old flag the initials were "I" and "F," representing 
Isabella and Ferdinand, showing that it was acknowledged that the woman's initial 
was the more important in this matter and to be first considered. It was a woman, 
Mary Chilton, that first landed on Plymouth rock. It was a woman, Betsy Ross, 
that designed our beautiful flag, the original eagle on our silver dollar, and the 
seal of the United States without which no money is legal. All the way down in our 
national history woman has been hand in hand with man, has assisted, supported and 
encouraged him, and now there are women ready to help reform the life of the body 
politic, and side by side with man work to purify, refine and ennoble the world. Miss 
Couzins seemed Inspired by her own thoughts and carried the audience along with her 
in her flights of eloquence. 

Being asked to make a few closing remarks, Mrs. May Wright Sewall 
said : 

Difficult, indeed, is the task of closing a three days' convention; vain is the hope to 
do it with fitting words which shall not be mere repetitions of what has been said on 
this platform. The truth which bases this claim lies in a nut-shell, and the shell seems 
hard to be cracked. It is unfair, when comparing the ability of men and women, to 
compare the average woman to the exceptional man, but this is what man always does. 
If, perchance, he admits not only the equality but the superiority of woman, he tells 
her she must not vote because she is so nearly an angel, so much better than he is, and 
this, in the face of the fact that every angel represented or revealed has been shown in 
the form of a handsome young man. If any class then must abstain from meddling in 
politics on account of relation to the angels, it is the men ! But she informed 
the gentlemen she had no fears for them on that ground, for their relationship was not 
near enough to cause any serious inconvenience. Speaking of the objections to women 
undertaking grave or deep studies, that woman lacks the logical faculty, that she has 
only intuition, nerve-force, etc., Mrs. Sewall said: It is true of every woman who has 
done the worthiest work in science, literature, or reform, from Diotima, the teacher of 
Socrates, to Margaret Fuller, the pupil of Channing and the peer of Emerson, that 
ignoring the methods of nerves and instincts, she has placed herself squarely on the 
basis of observation, investigation and reason. Men will admit that these women 
had strength and logic, but say they are exceptional women. So are Gladstone, 
Bismarck, Gambetta, Lincoln and Garfield exceptional men. She mentioned 
Miss Anthony's proposed trip to Europe, and said that she had not had a holiday for 
thirty years. 

Miss ANTHONY said she wished to call attention to the report of the Special Com- 
mittee of the Senate, which distinctly stated that the question had had " general agita- 
tion," and that the petitions at different times presented were both "numerous and 
respectable." This was sufficient answer, coming from such high authority, that 
of Senator Anthony, to all the insinuations and unjust remarks about the petitions pre- 
sented to congress, and with regard to the assertion that women themselves did not 
want the ballot. She expressed her obligations to the press, and mentioned that the 
Sunday Chronicle had announced its intention of giving much valuable space to the 
proceedings, and that when she had learned this, she had ordered 1,000 copies, which 
she would send to the address of any friend in the audience free of charge. 

260 History of Woman Suffrage. 

The " Star Spangled Banner" was then sung, Miss Couzins and Mrs. Shat- 
tuck singing the solos, Mr. Wilson of the Foundry M. E. Church, leading the 
audience in the chorus, the whole producing a fine effect. Miss Anthony said 
the audience could see how much better it was to have a man to help, even 
in singing. This brought down the house. 

In closing this report, a word may be said of the persons most 
conspicuous in it. This year several remarkable additions have been 
made to our number, and it is of these especially that we would speak. 
Mrs. Minor of St. Louis, in her manner has all the gentleness and sweet- 
ness of the high-born Southern lady ; her personal appearance is very 
pleasant, her hair a light chestnut, untouched with gray ; her face has lost 
the color of youth, but her eyes have still their fire, toned down by the 
sorrow they have seen. Madame Neyman is also new to the Washing- 
ton platform. She is a piquant little German lady, with vivacious manner, 
most agreeable accent, and looked in her closely-fitting black-velvet dress 
as if she might have just stepped out of a painting. In direct contrast is 
Mrs. Miller of Maryland a large, dark-haired matron, past middle age, but 
newly born in her enthusiasm for the cause. She is a worker as well as 
a talker, and is a decided acquisition to the ranks. The other novice in 
the work is Mrs. Amy Dunn, who has taken such a novel way to render 
assistance. Mrs. Dunn is tall and slender, with dark hair and eyes. She 
is a shrewd observer, does not talk much socially, but when she says any- 
thing it is to the point. Her character sketch, "Zekle's Wife," will be a 
stepping-stone to many a woman on her way to the suffrage platform. 

Two women who have done and are doing a great work in this city, and 
who are not among the public speakers, are Mrs. Spofford, the treasurer, 
wife of the proprietor of the Riggs House, and Miss Ellen H. Sheldon, 
secretary of the Association. To these ladies is due much of the success 
of the convention. Mrs. Sheldon is of diminutive stature, with gray hair, 
and Mrs. Spofford is of large and queenly figure, with white hair. Her 
magnificent presence is always remarked at the meetings. 

The following were among the letters read at this. convention : 


DEAR Miss ANTHONY : To you and our friends in convention assembled, I send 
greeting from the old world. It needs but little imagination to bring Lincoln Hall, 
the usual fine audiences, and the well-known faces on the platform, before my mind, 
so familiar have fifteen years of these conventions in \Vashington made such scenes 
to me. How many times, as I have sat in your midst and listened to the grand 
speeches of my noble coadjutors, I have wondered how much longer we should be 
called upon to rehearse the oft-repeated arguments in favor of equal rights to all. 
Surely the grand declarations of statesmen at every period in our history should make 
the principle of equality so self-evident as to end at once all class legislation. 

It is now over half a century since Frances Wright with eloquent words first asserted 
the political rights of women in our republic; and from that day to this, inspired 
apostles in an unbroken line of succession have proclaimed the new gospel of the 
motherhood of God and of humanity. We have plead our case in conventions of the 
people, in halls of legislation, before committees ot congress, and in the Supreme 
Court of the United States, and our arguments still remain unanswered. History 
shows no record of a fact like this, where so large a class of virtuous, educated, native- 
born citizens have been subjugated by the national government to foreign domination. 

Letters. 261 

While our American statesmen scorn the thought that even the most gifted son of a 
monarch, an emperor or a czar should ever occupy the proud position of a president 
of these United States, and by constitutional provision deny to all foreigners this high 
privilege, they yet allow the very riff-raff of the old world to make laws for the 
proudest women of the republic, to make the moral code for the daughters of our 
people, to sit in judgment on all our domestic relations. 

England has taken two grand steps within the last year in extending the municipal 
suffrage to the woman of Scotland and in passing the Married Woman's Property 
bill. They are holding meetings all over the country now in favor of parliamentary 
suffrage. Statistics show that women generally exercise the rights already accorded. 
They have recently passed through a very heated election for members of the school- 
board in various localities. Miss Lydia Becker was elected in Manchester, and Miss 
Eva Mttller in one of the districts of London, and several other women in different 

A little incident will show you how naturally the political equality of woman is com- 
ing about in Queen Victoria's dominions. I was invited to dine at Barn Elms, a beau- 
tiful estate on the banks of the Thames, a spot full of classic associations, the residence 
of Mr. Charles McLaren, a member of parliament. Opposite me at dinner sat a 
bright young girl tastefully attired ; on my right the gentleman to whom she was en- 
gaged; at the head of the table a sparkling matron of twenty-five, one of the most 
popular speakers here on the woman suffrage platform. The dinner-table talk was 
such as might be heard in any cultivated circle art, literature, amusements, passing 
events, etc., etc. and when the repast was finished, ladies and gentlemen, in full din- 
ner dress, went off to attend an important school-board meeting, our host to preside and 
the young lady opposite me to make the speech of the evening, and all done in as 
matter-of-fact a way as if the party were going to the opera. Members of parliament 
and lord-mayors preside and speak at all their public meetings and help in every way 
to carry on the movement, giving money most liberally; and yet how seldom any of 
our senators or congressmen will even speak at our meetings, to say nothing of send- 
ing iis a check of fifty or a hundred dollars. I trust that we shall accomplish enough 
this year to place the women of republican America at least on an even platform with 
monarchical England. With sincere wishes for the success of the convention, cordially 

LONDON, January 10, 1883. 

DEAR Miss ANTHONY : I was very glad indeed to receive notice of your mid-win- 
ter conference in time to send you a few words about the progress of our work in 
England. I believe our disappointment at the result of the vote in Nebraska must 
have been greater than yours, as, being on the spot, you saw-the difficulties to be sur- 
mounted. I had so hoped that the men of a free new State would prove themselves 
juster and wiser than the men of our older civilizations, whose prejudice and pre- 
cedents are such formidable barriers. But we cannot, judging from a distance, look 
upon the work of the campaign as thrown away. Twenty-five thousand votes in favor 
of woman suffrage in the face of such enormous odds is really a victory, and the legis- 
latures of these States are deeply pledged to ratify the constitutional amendment, if 
passed by congress. We look forward hopefully to the discussion in congress. The 
majority report of the Senate cannot fail to secure attention, and I hope your present 
convention will bring together national forces that will greatly influence the debate. 


51 RUE DE VARENNE, PARIS, January 15, 1883. 

MY DEAR Miss ANTHONY : Perhaps a brief account of what has been done with 
the two packages of " The History of Woman Suffrage " which you sent me for dis- 
tribution in Europe may prove interesting to the convention. In the first place, sets 
in sheep have been deposited already, or will have been before spring, in all the great 
continental libraries from Russia to France, and from Denmark to Turkey. In the 
second place, copies in cloth have been presented to reformers, publicists, editors, etc, 

262 History of Woman Suffrage. 

in every country of the old world. This generous distribution of a costly work has 
already begun to produce an effect. Besides a large number of private letters from 
all parts of Europe acknowledging the receipt of the volumes and bestowing on their 
contents the highest praise, the History has been reviewed in numerous reform, edu- 
cational and socialistic periodicals and newspapers in almost every modern European 
tongue. Nor is this all. Every week a new pamphlet or book is sent me, or comes 
under my notice, in which this History is cited, sometimes at great length, and is pro- 
nounced to be the authority on the American women's movement. I have carefully 
kept all these letters, newspaper notices, etc., and at the proper time I hope to prepare 
a little pamphlet for your publisher on European opinion concerning your great work. 

Very truly yours, THEODORE STANTON. 

51 RUE DE VARENNE, PARIS, January 15, 1883. 

DEAR Miss ANTHONY : My husband has just read me a letter he has written you 
concerning the enthusiastic reception your big History has had among liberal people 
on this side of the Atlantic, but he did not inform you that he should send the Ameri- 
can public next spring a similar though much smaller work, entitled "The Woman 
Question in Europe." The Putnamsof New York are now busy on the volume. You. 
in the new world have little idea how the leaders of the women's movement here watch 
everything you do in the United States. The great fact which my husband's volume 
will teach you in America is the important and direct influence your movement is 
having on the younger, less developed, but growing revolution in favor of our sex, now 
in progress in every country of the old world. While assisting in the preparation of 
the manuscript for this book this fact has been thrust upon my notice at every instant, 
and never before did I fully realize the grand role the United States is acting in this 
nineteenth century, for, rest assured, the moment European women are emancipated 
monarchy gives way to the republic everywhere. 

Most sincerely yours, MARGUERITTE BERRY STANTON. 

134 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, S. E., January 25, 1883. 

DEAR SUSAN ANTHONY : I believe that this is the only week of the whole winter 
when I could not come to you nor attend your convention, much as I wish to do so. 
It has been an exceptional week to me in the way of work and engagements, full of 
both as I always am. I could not call on you last Monday, as I was in my own 
crowded parlors from I till 10 o'clock at night. I tell you this that you may know 
that I did not of my own accord stay away from you. I have not had a moment to 
write you a coherent letter, such as I would be willing you should read. But I hare 
saved the best reports of the convention, and it shall have a good notice in the Inde- 
pendent of week after next. It shall have only praise. Of course I could write a 
brighter, more characteristic notice could I myself have attended. Should you stay 
over next Sunday I can see you yet; but if not, remember I think of you always with 
the warmest interest, and meet you always with unchanged affection. 

Ever your friend, MARY CLEMMER. 

May God bless and keep you, I ever pray.* 

Mr. WHITE, by unanimous consent, from the Special Committee on 
Woman Suffrage, reported back the joint resolution (H. Res., 255) pro- 
posing an amendment to the constitution , which was referred to the 
House calendar, and, with the accompanying report, ordered to be 

* This was the last word from this dear friend to one of our number. I met her afterward as Mrs. 
Hudson with her husband in London. We dined together one evening at the pleasant home of Mon- 
cure D. Conway. She was as full as ever of plans for future usefulness and enjoyment. From Eng- 
land she went for a short trip on the continent. In parting I little thought she would so soon finish 
her work on earth. E. C. S. 

Report of Select Committee. 263 

Mr. SPRINGER: As a member of that committee I have not seen the 
report, and do not know whether it meets with my concurrence.* 

Mr. WHITE: I ask by unanimous consent that the minority may have 
leave to submit their views, to be printed with the majority report. 

The SPEAKER : The Chair hears no objection. 

MR. WHITE, from the Select Committee on Woman Suffrage, submitted 
the following : 

The Select Committee on Woman Suffrage, to whom was referred House Resolution 
No. 2jJ, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to secure 
the right of suffrage to citizens of the United States withont regard to sex, having 
considered the same, respectfullv report : 

In attempting to comprehend the vast results that could and would be attained by 
the adoption, of the proposed article to the constitution, a few considerations are pre- 
sented that are claimed by the friends of woman suffrage to be worthy of the most 
serious attention, among which are the following : 

I. There are vast interests in property vested in women, which property is affected 
by taxation and legislation, without the owners having voice or representation in 
regard to it. The adoption of the proposed amendment would remove a manifest 

II. Consider the unjust discriminations made against women in industrial and edu- 
cational pursuits, and against those who are compelled to earn a livelihood by work of 
hand or brain. By conferring upon such the right of suffrage, their condition, it is 
claimed, would be greatly improved by the enlargement of their influence. 

III. The questions of social and family relations are of equal importance to and 
affect as many women as men. Giving to women a voice in the enactment of laws 
pertaining to divorce and the custody of children and division of property would be 
merely recognizing an undeniable right. 

IV. Municipal regulations in regard to houses of prostitution, of gambling, of retail 
liquor traffic, and of all other abominations of modern society, might be shaped very 
differently and more perfectly were women allowed the ballot. 

V. If women had a voice in legislation, the momentous question of peace and war, 
which may act with such fearful intensity upon women, might be settled with less 

VI. Finally, there is no condition, status in life, of rich or poor; no question, moral 
or political; no interest, present or future; no ties, foreign or domestic; no issues, local 
or national; no phase of human life, in which the mother is not equally interested with 
the father, the daughter with the son, the sister with the brother. Therefore the one 
should have equal voice with the other in molding the destiny of this nation. 

Believing these consider.-. '.ions to be so important as to challenge the attention of all 
patriotic citizens, and that the people have a right to be heard in the only authoritative 
manner recognized by the constitution, we report the accompanying resolution with a 
favorable recommendation in order that the people, through the legislatures of their 
respective States, may express their views: 

JOINT RESOLUTION proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States: 
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of 
America in congress assembled, (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That 
the following article be proposed to the legislatures of the several States as an amend- 
ment to the Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths 
of the said legislatures, shall be valid as part of said constitution, namely : 

* Mr. Springer had never been present at a single meeting of the committee, though always officially 
notified. Neither did Mr. Muldrow of Mississippi ever honor the committee with his presence. How- 
ever, Mr Stockslager of Indiana and Mr. Vance of North Carolina were always in their places, and the 
latter, we thought, almost persuaded to consider with favor the claims of women to political equality. 

264 History of Woman Suffrage. 

SECTION I. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or 
abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. 

SEC. 2. The congress shall have power, by appropriate legislation, to enforce the 
provisions of this article. 

Thus closed the forty-seventh congress, and although with so 
little promise of any substantial good for women, yet this slight 
recognition in legislation was encouraging to those who had so 
long appealed in vain for the attention of their representatives. 
A committee to even consider the wrongs of woman was more 
than had ever been secured before, and one to propose some 
measures of justice, sustained by the votes of a few statesmen 
awake to the degradation of disfranchisement, gave some faint 
hope of more generous action in the near future. The tone of 
the debates* in these later years even, on the nature and rights 
of women, is 'wholly unworthy the present type of developed 
womanhood and the age in which we live. 

* Reports of congressional action and the conventions of 1884-81; have been already published in 
pamphlet form, and we shall print the reports hereafter once in two years, corresponding with the terms 
of congress. Our plan is to bind these together once in six years, making volumes of the size of those 
already published. These pamphlets, as well as the complete History in three volumes, are for sale at 
the publishing house of Charles Mann, 8 Elm Park, Rochester, N. Y. 



The Woman's Hour Lydia Maria. Child Petitions Congress First New England 
Convention The New England, American and Massachusetts Associations 
Woman's Journal Bishop Gilbert Haven The Centennial Tea-party County 
Societies Concord Convention Thirtieth Anniversary of the Worcester Conven- 
tion School Suffrage Association Legislative Hearing First Petitions The Re- 
monstrants Appear Women in Politics Campaign of 1872 Great Meeting in 
Tremont Temple Women at the Polls Provisions of Former State Constitutions 
Petitions, 1853 School-Committee Suffrage, 1879 Women Threatened with 
Arrest Changes in the Laws Woman Now Owns her own Clothing Harvard 
Annex Woman in the Professions Samuel E. Sewall and William I. Bowditch 
Supreme-Court Decisions Sarah E. Wall Francis Jackson Julia Ward Howe 
Mary E. Stevens Lucia M. Peabody Lelia Josephine Robinson Eliza (Jackson) 
Eddy's Will. 

FROM 1860 to 1866 there is no record to be found of any 
public meeting on the subject of woman's rights, in Massa- 
chusetts.* During these years the war of the rebellion had been 
fought. Pending the great struggle the majority of the leaders, 
who were also anti-slavery, had thought it to be the wiser policy 
for the women to give way for a time, in order that all the work- 
ing energy might be given to the slave. " It is not the woman's 
but the negro's hour "; " After the slave then the woman," said 
Wendell Phillips in his stirring speeches, at this date. " Keep 
quiet, work for us," said other of the anti-slavery leaders to the 
women. " Wait ! help us to abolish slavery, and then we will 
work for you." And the women, who had the welfare of the 
country as much at heart as the men, kept quiet ; worked in 
hospital and field ; sacrificed sons and husbands ; did what is 
always woman's part in wars between man and man and waited. 
If anything can make the women of the State regret that they 
were silent as to their own claims for six eventful years that the 
freedom of the black man might be secured, it is the fact that 

* For details of early history see vol. I., chap. viii. See also " Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage 
Movement," Roberts Bros., Boston. 


History of Woman Suffrage. 

now in 1885 his vote is ever adverse to women's enfranchisement. 
When the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitu- 
tion was proposed, in which the negro's liberty and his right to 
the ballot were to be established, an effort was made to secure in 
it some recognition of the rights of woman. Massachusetts sent 
a petition, headed with the name of Lydia Maria Child, against 
the introduction of the word " male " in the proposed amend- 
ment. When this petition was offered to the greatest of America's 
emancipation leaders, for presentation to congress, he received 
and presented it under protest. He thought the woman question 
should not be forced at such a time, and the only answer from 
congress this "woman-intruding" petition received was found in 
the fourteenth amendment itself, in which the word " male," with 
unnecessary iteration, was repeated, so that there might be no 
mistake in future concerning woman's rights, under the Constitu- 
tion of the United States.* 

The war was over. The rights of the black man, for whom the 
women had worked and waited, were secured, but under the new 
amendment, by which his race had been made free, the white 
women of the United States were more securely held in political 
slavery. It was time, indeed, to hold conventions and agitate 
anew the question of woman's rights. The lesson of the war had 
been well learned. Women had been taught to understand poli- 
tics, the " science of government," and to take an interest in 
public events ; and some who before the war had not thought 
upon the matter, began to ask themselves why thousands of 
ignorant men should be made voters and they, or their sex, still 
kept in bondage under the law. 

In 1866, May 31, the first meeting of the American Equal 
Rights Association was held at the Meionaon in Boston. f In 
1868 the call for a New England convention was issued and the 
meeting was held November 18, 19, at Horticultural Hall, Boston. 
James Freeman Clarke presided. In this convention sat many 
of the distinguished men and women of the New England States,;}; 

* As an original question, no friend of woman suffrage can deny that it was a mean thing to put the 
word "male" into the fourteenth amendment. It was, doubtless, wise to adopt that amendment. It 
was an extension of the right of suffrage, and so far in the line of .'American progress, yet it was also an 
implied denial of the suffrage to women. [Warrington in the Springfield Republican. 

t See Vol. II., page 178. 

\ John Neal came from Maine; Nathaniel and Armenia White from New Hampshire; Isabella 
Hooker from Connecticut ; Thomas W. Higginson from Rhode Island ; and John G. Whittier, Samuel 
May, jr., Gilbert Haven, John T. Sargent, Frank W. Bird, Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, 
William S. Robinson, Stephen and Abby Kclley Foster, with a host of others, from Massachusetts. 
Lucy Stone and Henry B. Blackwell, who then lived in New Jersey, were also among the speakers. 

New England Convention. 267 

old-time advocates, together with newer converts to the doctrine, 
who then became identified with the cause of equal rights irre- 
spective of sex. This convention was called by the Rev. Olympia 
Brown.* The hall was crowded with eager listeners anxious to 
hear what would be said on a subject thought to be ridiculous by 
a large majority of people in the community. Some of the 
teachers of Boston sent a letter to the convention, signed with 
their names, expressing their interest as women. Henry Wilson 
avowed his belief in the equal rights of woman, but thought the 
time had not yet come for such a consummation, and said that, 
for this reason, he had voted against the question in the United 
States Senate ; " though," he continued, " I was afterwards 
ashamed of having so voted." Like another celebrated Mas- 
sachusetts politician, he believed in the principle of the thing, 
but was " agin its enforcement." At this date the popular in- 
terest heretofore given to the anti-slavery question was trans- 
fe'rred to the woman suffrage movement. 

The New England Woman Suffrage Association was formed at 
this convention. Julia Ward Howe was elected its president, and 
made her first address on the subject of woman's equality with 
man. On its executive board were many representative names 
from the six New England States, f By the formation of this 
society, a great impetus was given to the suffrage cause in New 
England. It held conventions and mass-meetings, printed tracts 

* In giving an account of her efforts in this direction she says : " After my return from Kansas in 
1867, I felt that we ought to do something for the cause in Massachusetts. There was at that time no 
organization in the State, and there had been no revival of the subject in the minds of the people since 
the war, which had swallowed up every other interest. In the spring of 1868, I wrote to Abby Kclley 
Foster, telling her my wish to have something done in our own State, and she advised me to call to- 
gether a few persons known to be in favor of suffrage, some day during anniversary week, in some 
parlor in Boston. I corresponded with Adin Ballou, E. D. Draper, and others, on the subject, and 
talked the matter over with Prof. T. T. Leonard, teacher of elocution, who oficrcd his hall for a place 
of meeting. I wrote a notice inviting all persons interested in woman suffrage to come to Mr. Leonard's 
hall, on a certain day and hour. At the time appointed the hall was full of pe.ple. I opened the 
meeting, and stated why I had called it ; others took up the theme, and we had a lively meeting. All 
agreed that something should be done, and a committee of seven was appointed to call a convention for 
the purpose of organizing a woman suffrage association. Caroline M. Severance, Stephen S. Foster, 
Sarah Southwick and myself, were of this committee. We held a number of meetings and finally de- 
cided to call a convention early in the autumn of 1868. This convention was held in Horticultural Hall, 
and the result was the organization of the New England Woman Suffrage Association." 

t President^ Julia Ward Howe ; Vice-presidents, William Lloyd Garrison, Boston ; Paulina W. 
D.isis, Providence, R. I.; James Freeman Clarke, Boston; Sarah Shaw Russell, Boston; Neil Dow, 
Me.; Lucy Goddard, Boston; Samuel E. Sewall, Melrose ; Lidian Emerson, Concord ; John Hooker, 
Isabella Beccher Hooker, Hartford, Ct.; Harriot K. Hunt, Boston; James Hutchinson, jr.. 
West Randolph, Vt.; Armenia S. White, Concord, N. H.; Louisa M. Alcott, Concord ; L. Maria Child, 
Way land; John Weiss, Watertown. Corresponding Secretary, Sara Clark, Boston. Recording Sec- 
retary, Charles K. Whipple, Boston. Treasurer, }'.. D. Draper, Boston. Executh-e Committee: 
Lucy Stone, Newark, N. J.; T. W. Higginson, Newport, R. I.; Caroline M. Severance, West Newton ; 
1 IMII. i, \V. liird, K;ist Walpole ; Mary E. Sargent, Boston ; Nathaniel White, Concord, N. H.; Richard 
P. Hallowell, Boston ; Stephen S. Foster, Worcester; Sarah H. Southwick, Grantville ; Rowland Con- 
nor, Boston ; B. F. Bowles, Cambridge ; George H. Vibbert, Rockport ; Olympia Brown, Wcymouth ; 
Samuel May, jr., Leicester; Nina Moore, Hyde Park. 

268 History of Woman Suffrage. 

and documents, and put lecturers in the field. It set in motion 
two woman suffrage bazars, and organized subscription festivals, 
and other enterprises to raise money to carry on the work. It 
projected the American, and Massachusetts suffrage associa- 
tions ; it urged the formation of local and county suffrage 
societies, and set up the Woman s Journal. The New England 
Association held its first anniversary in May, 1869, and the meet- 
ing was even more successful than the opening one of. the preced- 
ing year. On this occasion Mrs. Livermore spoke in Boston 
for the first time, and many new friends coming forward gave 
vigor and freshness to the movement.* Wendell Philips, Lucy 
Stone and Gilbert Haven, spoke at this convention. It was on 
this occasion that the " good Bishop," as he afterward came to 
be called, was met on leaving the meeting by one who did not 
know his opinion on the subject. This person expressed surprise 
on seeing him at a woman's rights meeting, and said ; " What ! 
you here? " " Yes," said he, " I am here! I believe in this reform. 
I am going to start in the beginning, and ride with the proces- 
sion." After this, not until his earthly journey was finished, was 
his place in " the procession " found vacant. Since 1869 the New 
England Association has held its annual meeting in Boston dur- 
ing anniversary week, in May, when reports from various States 
are offered, concerning suffrage work done during the year. The 
American Woman Suffrage Association was organized in 1869 
Since its formation it has held its annual conventions in some of 
the chief cities of the several States, f A meeting was held in 
Horticultural Hall, Boston, January 28, 1870, to organize the 
Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association.* 

* Ednah D. Cheney, Rev. C. A. Bartol, Rev. F. E. Abbot, Rev. Phoebe Hanafotd and Hon. George 

F. Hoar. 

t For report of American Association see Vol. II., p-ige 756. 

J Lucy Stone, Mary A. Livermore, Stephen S. and Abby Kelley Foster, H. B. Blackwell, Rev. W. H. 
Channing, Rev. J. F. Clarke, Rev. Gilbert Haven, Julia Ward Howe and Elizabeth K. Churchill made 
eloquent speeches. 

The first board of officers of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association was : President, Julia 
Ward Howe. Vice-pretidentt : William Lloyd Garrison, Roxbury ; Anne B. Earle, Worcester; John 

G. Whitticr, Amesbury ; Lidian Emerson. Concord ; Hon. Robert C. Pitman, New Bedford ; Mrs. 
Richmond Kingman, Cummington ; Rev. R. B. Scratton, Worcester ; Edna D. Cheney, Jamaica Plain ; 
Hon. Isaac Ames, Haverhill ; Sarah Shaw Ames, Boston ; J. Ingersoll Bowditch, West Roxbury; Lydia 
Maria Child, Wayland ; Mary Dewey, Sheffield ; Hon. George F. Hoar, Worcester; Sarah Grimke, 
Hyde Park; Sarah R. Hathaway, Boston ; William I. Bowditch, Boston; Harriot K. Hunt, M. D.. 
Boston ; Hon. Samuel E. Sewall, Melrose; A. Bronson Alcott, Concord ; Angelina G. Weld, Hyde 
Park ; Hon. Henry Wilson, Natick ; Rev. James Freeman Clarke, Boston ; Charlotte A. Joy, Mendon ; 
Jacob M. Manning, D. D., Lucy Sewall, M. D., Boston ; Rev. Joseph May, Newburyport ; Maria 
Zakrzewska, M. D., Roxbury ; Rev. William B. Wright, Boston ; Rev. Jesse H. Jones, Natick ; Phoebe 
A. Hanaford, Reading; Seth Hunt, Northampton : Maria S. Porter, Melrose. Executive Committee: 
Rev. Rowland Connor, Boston ; Caroline M. Severance, West Newton ; Rev. W. H. H. Murray. Boston ; 
Gordon M. Fiske, Palmer; Sarah A. Vibbert, Rock port; Rev. Gilbert Haven, Maiden; Caroline Remond 

The Massachusetts Association. 269 

The Massachusetts Association is the most active of the three 
societies named. Its work is generally local though it has sent 
help to Colorado, Michigan, and other Western States. It has 
kept petitions in circulation, and has presented petitions and 
memorials to the State legislatures. It has asked for hearings 
and secured able speakers for them. It has held conventions, 
mass-meetings, Fourth of July celebrations. It has helped or- 
ganize local Woman suffrage clubs and societies, and has printed 
for circulation numerous woman suffrage tracts. The amount of 
work done by its lecturing agents can be seen by the statement 
of Margaret W. Campbell, who alone, as agent of the American, 
the New England and the Massachusetts associations, traveled in 
twenty different States and two territories, organizing and speak- 
ing in conventions.* As part of the latest work of this society 
may be mentioned its efforts to present before the women of the 
State, in clear and comprehensive form, an explanation of the 
different sections of the new law " allowing women to vote for 
school committees." As soon as the law passed the legislature 
of 1879, a circular of instructions to women was carefully prepared 
by Samuel E. Sewall, an eminent lawyer and member of the board 
of the Massachusetts Association, in which all the points of law 
in relation to the new right were ably presented. Thousands of 
copies of this circular were sent to women all over the State. 

The Centennial Tea Party was held in Boston, December 15, 
1873, in response to the following call : 

The women of New England who believe that "taxation without repre- 
sentation is tyranny," and that our forefathers were justified in defying 
despotic power by throwing the tea into Boston harbor, invite the men 
and women of New England to unite with them in celebrating the one- 
hundredth anniversary of that event in Fanueil Hall.t 

Putman, Salem ; Frank B. Sanborn, Springfield ; Mercy B. Jackson, M. D., Boston ; Samuel May, jr., 
Leicester ; Margaret W. Campbell, Springfield ; Rev. C. M. Wines, Brookline ; Mary A. Livermorc, 
Melro.-.e ; William S. Robinson, Maiden ; Henry B. Blackwell, Boston ; Lucy Stone, Boston ; S. S. 
Foster, Worcester ; Mrs. Wilcox, Worcester ; Ada R. Bowles, Cambridge. Corresponding Secretary, 
Nina Moore, Hyde Park. Recording Secretary^ Charles C. Whipple, Boston. Treasurer^ E. D. 
Draper, Hopedale. 

* Mary V. Eastman, Ada C. Bowles, Lorenza Haynes, Elizabeth K. Churchill, Hulda B. I.oud, 
Matilda Hindman and other agents in the lecture field have also done a great deal of missionary 

t The committee of arrangements were Mrs. Isaac Ames, Harriet H. Robinson, Sarah B. Otis, 
Philip Wheeler, Jane Tenney, Mrs. A. A. Fellows, Mrs. Jackson, Miss Talbot and Miss Halsey. 

The speakers were : Wendell Phillips, Mary A. Livermore, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd 
Garrison, Elizabeth K. Churchill, Margaret W. Campbell, Mary F. Eastman, Henry B. Blackwell, 
Lucy Stone and others. Julia Ward Howe and Mr. C. P. Cranch, read original poems. Two old-time 
tea-party songs, curiosities in their line, were read. One, dated Boston, 1773, entitled " Lines on 
Bohea Tea," was written by Susannah Clarke, great-aunt of W. S. Robinson ; the other, copied from 
Thomas' Boston Journal, of December 2, 1773, was written by Mrs. Ames, a tailorcs*. 

270 History of Woman Suffrage. 

Three thousand people were in attendance, and it was alto- 
gether an enthusiastic occasion and one long to be remembered. 

The record of conventions and meetings held by the Massa- 
chusetts Association by no means includes all such gatherings 
held in different towns and cities of the State. The county and 
local societies have done a vast amount of work. The Hampden 
society was started in 1868, with Eliphalet Trask, Frank B. San- 
born and Margaret W. Campbell as leading officers. This was 
the first county society formed in the State. Julia Ward Howe, 
a fresh convert of the recent convention went to Salem to lecture 
on woman suffrage, and the Essex county society was formed 
with Mrs. Sarah G. Wilkins and Mrs. Delight R. P. Hewitt the 
only two Salem women who went to the 1850 convention at 
Worcester on its executive board. The Middlesex county 
society followed, planned by Ada C. Bowles and officered by 
names well known in that historic old county. The Hampshire 
and Worcester societies brought up the rear; the former planned 
by Seth Hunt of Northampton. Notable conventions were held 
by the Middlesex society in 1876 one in Maiden, one in Melrose 
and one in Concord, organized and conducted by its president, 
Harriet H. Robinson. This last celebrated town had never be- 
fore been so favored. These meetings were conducted something 
after the style of local church conferences. They were well adver- 
tised, and many people came. A collation was provided by the 
ladies of each town, and the feast of reason was so judiciously 
mingled with the triumphs of cookery, that converts to the cause 
were never so easily won. Many women present said to the 
president: "I never before heard a woman's rights speech. If 
these are the reasons why women should vote, I believe in 

The Concord convention was held about a month after the 
great centennial celebration of April 19, 1875 a celebration in 
which no woman belonging to that town took any official part. 
Nor was there any place of honor found for the more distin- 
guished women who had come long distances to share in the 
festivities. Some of the women were descendents of Governor 
John Hancock, Dr. Samuel Prescott, Major John Buttrick, Rev. 
William Emerson and Lieutenant Emerson Cogswell. Though 
no seat of honor in the big tent in which the speeches were made 
was given to the women of to-day, silent memorials of those who 
had taken part in the events of one hundred years ago, had found 

Lucy Stones Speech. 271 

a conspicuous place there the scissors that cut the immortal 
cartridges made by the women on that eventful day, and the an- 
cient flag that the fingers of some of the mothers of the Revolu- 
tion had made. Though the Concord women were not permitted 
to share the centennial honors, they were not deprived of the 
privilege of paying their part of the expenses incident to the oc- 
casion. To meet these, an increased tax-rate was assessed upon 
all the property owners in the town ; and, since one-fifth of the 
town tax of Concord is paid by women, it will be seen what was 
their share in the great centennial celebration of 1876. 

The knowledge of the proceedings at Concord added new zest 
to the spirit of the three conventions, and the events of the day 
were used by the speakers to point the moral of the woman's 
rights question. Lucy Stone made one of her most effective 
and eloquent speeches upon this subject. She said : 

FELLOW CITIZENS (I had almost said fellow subjects) : What we need is 
that women should feel their mean position ; when that happens, they will 
soon make an effort to get out of it. Everything is possible to him that 
wills. All that is needed for the success of the cause of woman suffrage 
is to have women know that they want to vote. Concord and Lexington 
got into a fight about the centennial, and Concord voted $10,000 for the 
celebration in order to eclipse Lexington. One-fifth of the tax of Con- 
cord is paid by the women, yet not one of these women dared to go to the 
town hall and cast her vote upon that subject. This is exactly the same 
thing which took place one hundred years ago taxation without repre- 
sentation, against which the men of Concord then rebelled. If I were an 
inhabitant of Concord, I would let my. house be sold over my head and 
my clothes off my back and be hanged by the neck before I would pay a 
cent of it ! Men of Melrose, Concord and Maiden, why persecute us ? 
Would you like to be a slave? Would you like to be disfranchised? 
Would you like to be bound to respect the laws which you cannot 
make? There are 15,000,000 of women whom the government denies 
legal rights. 

It might be supposed that a spot upon which the battle for 
freedom and independence was first begun would always be the 
vantage ground of questions relating to personal liberty. But 
such is not the fact. Concord was never an anti-slavery town, 
though some of its best citizens took active part in all the aboli- 
tion movements. When the time came that women were allowed 
to vote for school committees, the same intolerant spirit which 
ignored and shut them out of the centennial celebration was again 
manifested toward them not only by the leading magnates, but 
also by the petty officials of the town. Some of them have from 


T istory of Woman Suffrage. 

the first shown a great deal of ingenuity in inventing ways to in- 
timidate and mislead the women voters. 

At the annual convention of the Massachusetts Association, in 
May, 1880, the following resolution was passed: 

WHEREAS, We believe in keeping the land-marks and traditions of our movement ; 

WHEREAS, It will be thirty years next October since the first woman's rights meet- 
ing was held in the State, and it seems fitting that there should be some celebration of 
the event; therefore, 

Resolved, That we will hold a woman suffrage jubilee in Worcester, October 23 
and 24 next, to commemorate the anniversary of our first convention. 

A committee* of arrangements was chosen, and the meeting 
was held. There were present many whose silver hairs told of 
long and faithful service. The oldest ladies there were Mrs. 
Lydia Brown of Lynn, Mrs. Wilbour of Worcester, and Julia E. 
Smith Parker of Glastonbury, Conn. On the afternoon of the 
first day there was an informal gathering of friends in the ante- 
room of Horticultural Hall. Old-time memories were recalled 
by those who had not seen each other for many years, and the 
common salutation was : " How gray you've grown ! " Many of 
them had indeed grown gray in the service, and their faces were 
changed, but made beautiful by a life devoted to a noble purpose. 
There were many present who had attended the convention of 
thirty years ago Abby Kelley Foster, Lucy Stone, Antoinette 
Brown Blackwell, Paulina Gerry, Rev. Samuel May, Rev. W. H. 
Channing, Joseph A. Howland, Adeline H. Howland, Dr. Martha 
H. Mowry and many, many others. It was very pleasant indeed 
to hear these veterans whose clear voices have spoken out so long 
and so bravely for the cause. The speaking f at all the sessions 
was excellent, and the spirit of the convention was very reverent 
and hopeful. 

The tone of the press concerning woman's rights meetings had 
changed greatly since thirty years before. "Hen conventions" 
had gone by, and a woman's meeting was now called by its proper 

* Committee of Arrangements Lucy Stone, Abby Kelley Foster, Thomas J. Lothrop, Timo- 
thy K. Earle, Sarah E. Wall, Harriet H. Robinson and E. H. Church. At this public gathering, 
Athol, Boston, Haverhill, Leicester, Leominster, Lowell, Maiden, Melrose, Milford, North Brook- 
field, Taunton, and many other Massachusetts towns were well represented. 

tThe speakers were Lucy Stone, Rev. W. H. Channing, Mary A. Livermore, Mary F. Eastman, 
Kate N. Doggett, Rev. F. A. Hinckley, Ednah D. Cheney, T. Wentworth Higginson, Isabella 
Beecher Hooker, Anna Garlin Spencer and Julia E. Parker. Harriet H. Robinson read a condensed 
history of Massachusetts in the woman suffrage movement. Interesting letters were received from 
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, F. W. Bird, H. B. Blackwell, Margaret W. Campbell, Mrs. C. I. H. Nichols 
and Frances D. Gage. Two original woman suffrage songs, written by Anna Q. T. Parsons and Caro- 
line A. Mason, were sung on the occasion. 

- y 


Suffrage Associations. 273 

name. Representatives of leading newspapers from all parts of 
the State were present, and the reports* were written in a just 
and friendly spirit. 

The Massachusetts School Suffrage Association was formed in 
1880, Abby W. May, president.* Its efforts are mostly confined 
to Boston. An independent movement of women voters in Bos- 
ton, distinct from all organizations, was formed in 1884, and sub- 
divided into ward and city committees. These did much valu- 
able work and secured a larger number of voters than had 
qualified in previous years. In 1880 the number of registered 
women in the whole State was 4,566, and in Boston 826. In 
1884, chiefly owing to the ward and city committees, the number 
in Boston alone was 1,100. This year (1885) a movement among 
the Roman Catholic women has raised the number who are 
assessed to vote to 1,843 an< ^ it is estimated that when the tax- 
paying women are added, the whole number will be about 2,500. 

The National Woman Suffrage Association f of Massachusetts 
was formed in January, 1882, of members who had joined the 
National Association at its thirteenth annual meeting, held in 
Tremont Temple, Boston, May 26, 27, 1881. According to 
Article II. of its constitution, its object is to secure to women 
their right to the ballot, by working for national, State, muni- 
cipal, school, or any other form of suffrage which shall at the 
time seem most expedient. While it is auxiliary to the Na- 
tional Association, it reserves to itself the right of independent 
action. It has held conventions : in Boston and some of the 
chief cities of the State, sent delegates to the annual Washington 

* Board of officers for 1885 : President, Miss Abby W. May ; Vice-president ', Mrs. Edna 
Dean Cheney; Secretary, Miss Brigham ; Treasurer, Miss S. F. King; Assistant-secretary, Miss 
Von Arnim ; Directors, Miss H. Lemist, Mrs. J. W. Smith, Mrs. M. P. Lowe, Mrs. H. G. Jackson, 
Mrs. L. H. Merrick, Mrs. G. L. Ruffin, Mrs. Walton, Mrs. Whitman, Miss Rogers, Miss E. Foster, 
Miss Shaw, Miss Lougee, Miss L. M. Peabody, Dr. A. E. Fisher, Mrs. Buchanan, Mrs. O. A. Cheney, 
Mrs. E. Hilt, Mrs. M. W. Nash, Mrs. M. H. Bray, Mrs. Fifield, Mrs. J. F. Clarke, Miss L. P. Hale, 
Mr*. A. H. Spalding ; Lecture Committee, Miss Lucia M. Peabody, Mrs. Fifield and Mrs. L. H. King. 

t It is the only organization in the State whose business is managed by its members. Its officers are 
a president, one or more vice-presidents for each county, a secretary, treasurer, auditor, and a standing 
committee of seven with power to add to its number. These officers are elected annually. Executive 
meetings, in which all members participate, are held monthly. President, Harriette R. Shattuck: 
Vice-presidents, Dr. Salome Merrill, Joan D. Foster, Emma F. Clarry, Louisa E. Brooks, Esther P. 
Hutchinson, Sarah S. Eddy, Harriet M. Spaulding, Martha E. S. Curtis, Dr. Sarah E. Sherman, Sarah 
G. Todd, Abbie M. Meserve, Sophia A. Forbes, Esther B. Smith, Emma A. Todd. Treasurer, Sara 
A. Underwood: Auditor, Lavina A. Hatch: Secretaries, Hannah M. Todd, Elizabeth B. Atwell, 
Harriet H. Robinson ; Standing Committee, H. R. Shattuck, Dr. S. Merritt, H. H. Robinson, Lydia 
E. Hutchings, Mary R. Brown, E. B. Attwill, Lucrctia H. Jones. 

\ South Framingham, South Boston. Winchester, Rockland, Wakefield, Uxbridge, Millbury, Bed- 
ford, Westboro', Salem, Lynn, Lowell, Rowley, Concord, Woburn, Maiden, Cambridge, Beverly 


274 History of Woman Suffrage. 

Convention* and published valuable leaflets.f It has rolled up 
petitions to the State legislature and to congress. Its most valu- 
able work has been the canvass made in certain localities in 
the city and country in 1884, to ascertain the number of women 
in favor of suffrage, the number opposed and the number indif- 
ferent. The total result showed that there were 405 in favor, 44 
opposed, 166 indifferent, 160 refusing to sign, 39 not seen; that 
is, over nine who would sign themselves in favor to one who 
would sign herself opposed. This canvass was made by women 
who gave their time and labor to this arduous work, and the 
results were duly presented to the legislature. 

In 1883 this Association petitioned the legislature to pass a 
resolution recommending congress to submit a proposition for a 
sixteenth amendment to the national constitution. The Senate 
Committee on Woman Suffrage granted a hearing March 23, and 
soon after presented a favorable report ; but the resolution, when 
brought to a vote, was lost by 21 to 1 1. This was the first time 
that the National doctrine of congressional action was ever pre- 
sented or voted upon in the Massachusetts legislature. A second 
hearing:}: was granted on February 28, 1884, before the Com- 
mittee on Federal Relations. They reported leave to withdraw. 

The associations mentioned are not the only ones that are aid- 
ing the suffrage movement. Its friends are found in all the 
women's clubs, temperance associations, missionary movements, 
charitable enterprises, educational and industrial unions and 
church committees. These agencies form a network of motive 
power which is gradually carrying the reform into all branches of 
public work. 

The Woman s Journal was incorporated in 1870 and is owned 
by a joint stock company, shares being held by leading members 
of the suffrage associations of New England. Shortly after it 
was projected, the Agitator, then published in Chicago by Mary 
A. Livermore, was bought by the New England Association on 
condition that she should " come to Boston for one year, at a 

* Two of these, Harriet H. Robinson nnd Harriette R. Shattuck, spoke at the first hearing before 
the Senate committee. It chanced that Mrs. Robinson was the first woman to speak before this Special 
Committee. The other delegates were : Mary R. Brown, Emma F. Clarry, Louisa E. Brooks, Mrs. 
G. W. Simonds, Sarah S. Eddy, Mr. and Mrs D. W. Forbes, Mary H. Semple, Louisa A. Morrison and 
Cora B. Smart. 

t The authors and compilers of these leaflets are Harriette R. Shattuck, Sara A. Underwood, Han- 
nah M. Todd and Mary R. Brown. 

t The speaker? at these hearings were Harriette R. Shattuck, Mary R. Brown, Sidney D. Shattuck, 
Nancy W. Covell. Ur. Julia C. Smith, Mr. S. C. Fay, Louisa A. Morrison, Sara A. Underwood and 
Harriet H. Robinson. 

Dolly Chandler and Others. 275 

reasonable compensation, to assist the cause by her editorial labor 
and speaking at conventions." Lucy Stone and Henry B. Black- 
well, invited by the same society to " return to the work in 
Massachusetts," at once assumed the editorial charge. T. W. 
Higginson, Julia Ward Howe and W. L. Garrison were assistant 
editors. " Warrington," Kate N. Doggett, Samuel E. Sewall, F. 
B. Sanborn, and many other good writers, lent a helping hand to 
the new enterprise. The Woman s Journal has been of great 
value to the cause. It has helped individual women and brought 
their enterprises into public notice. It has opened its columns 
to inexperienced writers and advertised young speakers. To sus- 
tain the paper and furnish money for other work, two mammoth 
bazars or fairs were held in Music Hall in 1870, 1871. Nearly all 
the New England States and many of the towns in Massachusetts 
were represented by tables in these bazars. Donations were sent 
from all directions and the women worked, as they generally do 
in a cause in which they are interested, to raise money to furnish 
the sinews of war. The newspapers from day to day were full of 
descriptions of the splendors of the tables, and the reporters spoke 
well of the women who had taken this novel method to carry on 
their movement. People who had never heard of woman suf- 
frage before came to see what sort of women were those who 


thus made a public exhibition of their zeal in this cause. In re- 
mote places, as well as nearer the scene of action, many people 
who had never thought of the significance of the woman's rights 
movement, began to consider it through reading the reports of 
the woman suffrage bazar. 

Female opponents of the suffrage movement began to make 
a stir as early as 1868. A remonstrance was sent into the 
legislature, from two hundred women of Lancaster, giving the 
reasons why women should not enjoy the exercise of the elective 
franchise: "It would diminish the purity, the dignity and the 
moral influence of woman, and bring into the family circle a dan- 
gerous element of discord." In The Revolution of August 5, 1869, 
Parker Pillsbury said : 

Dolly Chandler and the hundred and ninety-four other women who 
asked the Massachusetts legislature not to allow the right of suffrage, 
were very impudent and tyrannical, too, in petitioning for any but them- 
selves. They should have said : ' We, Dolly Chandler and her associates, 
to the number of a hundred and ninety-five in all, do not want the right 
of suffrage ; and we pray your honorable bodies to so decree and enact 
that we shall never have it." So far they might go. But when they under- 

History of Woman Suffrage. 

take to prevent a hundred and ninety-four thousand other women who 
do want the ballot and who have an acknowledged right to it, and are 
laboring for it day and night, it is proper to ask, What business have Dolly 
Chandler and her little coterie to interpose ? Nobody wants them to vote 
unless they themselves want to. They can stay at home and see nobody 
but the assessor, the tax-gatherer and the revenue collector, from Christ- 
mas to Christmas, if they so prefer. Those gentlemen they will be pretty 
likely to see, annually or quarterly, and to feel their power, too, if they 
have pockets with anything in them, in spite of all petitions to the legis- 

It did not occur to these women that by thus remonstrating 
they were doing just what they were protesting against. What 
is a vote? An expression of opinion or a desire as to govern- 
mental affairs, in the shape of a ballot. The " aspiring blood of 
Lancaster" should have mounted higher than this, since, if it 
really was the opinion of these remonstrants that woman cannot 
vote without becoming defiled, they should have kept themselves 
out of the legislature, should have kept their hands from petition- 
ing and their thoughts from agitation on either side of the 
subject. Just such illogical reasoning on the woman suffrage 
question is often brought forward and passes for the profoundest 
wisdom and discreetest delicacy! The same arguments are used 
by the remonstrants of to-day, who are now fully organized and 
doing very efficient political work in opposing further political 
action by women. In their carriages, with footman and driver, 
they solicit names to their remonstrances. As a Boston news- 
paper says : 

The anti-woman suffrage women get deeper and deeper into politics 
year by year in their determination to keep out of politics. By the time 
they triumph they will be the most accomplished politicians of the sex, 
and unable to stop writing to the papers, holding meetings, circulating 
remonstrances, any more than the suffrage sisterhood. 

These persons, men and women, bring their whole force to 
bear before legislative committees at woman suffrage hearings, 
and use arguments that might have been excusable forty years 
ago. However this is merely a phase of the general movement 
and will work for good in the end. It can no more stop the prog- 
ress of the reform than it can stop the revolution of the globe. 

Political agitation on the woman suffrage question began in 
Massachusetts in 1870. A convention to discuss the feasibility of 
forming a woman suffrage political party was held in Boston, at 
which J ulia Ward HOWJ presided, and Rev. Augusta Chapin offered 

In the Republican State Convention. 277 

prayer. The question of a separate nomination for State officers 
was carefully considered.* Delegates were present from the Labor 
Reform and Prohibition parties, and strong efforts were made 
by them to induce the convention to nominate Wendell Phillips, 
who had already accepted the nomination of those two parties, as 
candidate for governor. The convention at one time seemed 
strongly in favor of this action, the women in particular thinking 
that in Mr. Phillips they would find a staunch and well tried leader. 
But more politic counsels prevailed, and it was finally concluded 
to postpone a separate nomination until after the Republican and 
Democratic conventions had been held. A State central com- 
mittee was formed, and at once began active political agitation. 
A memorial was prepared to present to each of the last-named 
conventions ; and the candidates on the State tickets of the four 
political parties were questioned by letter concerning their opin- 
ions on the right of the women to the ballot. At the Republican 
State convention held October 5, 1870, the question was fairly 
launched into politics, by the admission, for the first time, of two 
women, Lucy Stone and Mary A Livermore, as regularly accred- 
ited delegates. Both were invited to speak, and the following 
resolution drawn up by Henry B. Blackwell, was presented by 
Charles W. Slack : 

Resolved, That the Republican party of Massachusetts is mindful of its obligations 
to the loyal women of America for their patriotic devotion to the cause of liberty; that 
we rejoice in the action of the recent legislature in making women eligible as officers 
of the State; that we thank Governor Claflin for having appointed women to important 
political trusts; that we are heartily in favor of the enfranchisement of women, and 
will hail the day when the educated, intelligent and enlightened conscience of the 
women of Massachusetts has direct expression at the ballot box. 

This resolution was presented to the committee, who did not 
agree as to the propriety of reporting it to the convention, and 
they instructed their chairman, George F. Hoar, to state the fact 
and refer the resolution back to that body for its own action. A 
warm debate arose, in which several members of the convention 
made speeches on both sides of the question. The resolution 
was finally defeated, 1 37 voting in its favor, and 196 against it. 
Although lost, the large vote in the affirmative was thought to 
mean a great deal as a guaranty of the good faith of the Repub- 
lican party, and the women were willing to trust to its promises. 
It was thought then, as it has been thought since, that most of the 

* The speakers were Rev. J. T. Sargent, A. Bronson Alcott, H. B. Blackwell, Dr. Mercy B. Jack- 
son, S. S. Foster, Mary A. Livermore, Rev. B. F. Bowles, F. B. Sanborn, W. S. Robinson, Gilbert 
Haven and many others. 

278 History of Woman Suffrage. 

friends of woman suffrage were in the Republican party, and that 
the interests of the cause could best be furthered by depending 
on its action. The women were, however, mistaken, and have 
learned to look upon the famous resolution in its true light. It 
is now known as the coup d'ftat of the Worcester convention of 
1870, which really had more votes than it was fairly entitled to. 
After that, " forewarned, forearmed," said the enemies of the 
enterprise, and woman suffrage resolutions have received less 
votes in Republican conventions. 

When the memorial prepared by the State Central Committee 
was presented to the Democratic State convention, that body, in 
response, passed a resolution conceding the principle of women's 
right to suffrage, but at the same time declared itself against its 
being enforced, or put into practice. To finish the brief record 
of the dealings of the Democratic party, with the women of the 
State, it may be said that since 1870, it has never responded to 
their appeals, nor taken any action of importance on the ques- 

In 1871 a resolution endorsing woman suffrage was passed in 
the Republican convention. In June, 1872, the national conven- 
tion at Philadelphia, passed the following : 

Resolved, That the Republican party is mindful of its obligations to the loyal women 
of America for their noble devotion to the cause of freedom; their admission to wider 
fields of usefulness is viewed with satisfaction; and the honest demand of any class of 
citizens for additional rights, should be treated with respectful consideration. 

The Massachusetts Republican State Convention, following this 
lead, again passed a woman suffrage resolution : 

Resolved, That we heartily approve the recognition of the rights of woman contained 
in the fourteenth clause of the national Republican platform; that the Republican 
party of Massachusetts, as the representative of liberty and progress, is in favor of 
extending suffrage to all American citizens irrespective of sex, and will hail the day 
when the educated intellect and enlightened conscience of woman shall find direct ex- 
pression at the ballot-box. 

This was during the campaign of 1872, when General Grant's 
chance of reelection was thought to be somewhat uncertain, and 
the Republican women in all parts of the country were called on to 
rally to his support. The National Woman Suffrage Association 
had issued " an appeal to the women of America," asking them to 
cooperate with the Republican party and work for the election 
of its candidates. In response to this appeal a ratification meet- 
ing was held at Tremont Temple, in Boston, at which hundreds 
stayed to a late hour listening to speeches made by women on 
the political questions of the day. An address was issued from 

Investment in the Republican Party. 279 

the "Republican women of Massachusetts to the women of 
America." In this address they announced their faith in and 
willingness to " trust the Republican party and its candidates, as 
saying what they mean and meaning what they say, and in view 
of their honorable record we have no fear of betrayal on their 
part." Mrs. Livermore, Lucy Stone and Huldah B. Loud took 
part in the canvass, and agents employed by the Massachusetts 
Association were instructed to speak for the Republican party.* 
Women writers furnished articles for the newspapers and the 
Republican women did as much effective work during the cam- 
paign as if each one had been a " man and a voter." They did 
everything but vote. All this agitation was a benefit to the Re- 
publican party, but not to woman suffrage, because for a time it 
arrayed other political parties against the movement and caused 
it to be thought merely a party issue, while it is too broad a ques- 
tion for such limitation. 

General Grant was reflected and the campaign was over. 
When the legislature met and the suffrage question came 
up for discussion, that body, composed in large majority of Re- 
publicans, showed the women of Massachusetts the difference 
between " saying what you mean and meaning what you say," 
the Woman Suffrage bill being defeated by a large majority. 
The women learned by this experience that nothing is to be ex- 
pected of a political party while it is in power. To close the 
subject of suffrage resolutions in the platform of the Republican 
party, it may be said that they continued to be put in and seemed 
to mean something until after 1875, when they became only 
" glittering generalities," and were as devoid of real meaning or 
intention as any that were ever passed by the old Whig party on 
the subject of abolition. Yet from 1870 to 1874 the Republican 
party had the power to fulfill its promises on this question. Since 
then, it has been too busy trying to keep breath in its own body 
to lend a helping hand to any struggling reform. At the Re- 
publican convention, held in Worcester in 1880, an attempt was 
made by Mr. Blackwell to introduce a resolution endorsing the 

* In the records of the executive meetings of this Association I find the following votes. In October, 
1871, it was voted, That any invitation to speak at Republican meetings, extended to our agents by 
Republican committees in this State, be accepted by them until the coming election, their usual salaries 
being paid by this Association ; that Miss Loud be notified by Lucy Stone of our arrangement in regard 
to Republican meetings, and be requested, after the isth instant, to hold her meetings in that manner 
as us practicable ; that the balance of expenses of the woman's meeting held at Tremont Temple 
be paid by this Association. [This was a political meeting held by the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage.. 
Association to endorse General Grant as the presidential candidate of the Republican party.] 

280 History of Woman Suffrage. 

right conferred upon women in' the law allowing them to 
vote for school committees, passed by the legislature of 1879. 
This resolution was rejected by the committee, and when offered 
in convention as an amendment, it was voted down without a 
single voice, except that of the mover, being raised in its support. 
Yet this resolution only asked a Republican convention to endorse 
an existing right, conferred on the women of the State by a Re- 
publican legislature ! A political party as a party of freedom must 
be very far spent when it refuses at its annual convention to 
endorse an act passed by a legislature the majority of whose 
members are representatives elected from its own body. Since 
that time the Republican party has entirely ignored the claims 
of woman. In 1884, at its annual convention, an effort was 
made, as usual, by Mr. Blackwell, to introduce a resolution, but 
without success, and yet some of the best of our leaders advised 
the women to " stand by the Republican party." * 

The question of forming a woman suffrage political party had, 
since 1870, been often discussed. f In 1875 Thomas J. Lothrop 
proposed the formation of a separate organization. But it was not 
until 1876 that any real effort in this direction was made. The 
Prohibitory (or Temperance) party sometimes holds the balance of 
political power in Massachusetts, and many of the members of 
that party are also strong advocates of suffrage. The feeling had 
been growing for several years that if forces could be joined with 
the Prohibitionists some practical result in politics might be 
reached, and though there was a difference of opinion on this 
subject, many were willing to see the experiment tried. 

The Prohibitory party had at its convention in 1876 passed 
a resolution inviting the women to take part in its primary 
meetings, with an equal voice and vote in the nomination of can- 
didates and transaction of business. After long and anxious 
discussions, the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage State Central 
Committee, in whose hands all political action rested, determined 
to accept this invitation. A woman suffrage political convention 
was held, at which the Prohibitory candidates were endorsed and 

* The National Association of Massachusetts at its executive session, August 23, passed the following : 
Resolved, That while we respect the advice of our leaders, as their private political opinion, we deem 
: it worse than useless to "stand by the Republican " or any other party while we are deprived of the 
.only means of enforcing a political opinion ; and that we advise all associations to concentrate their 
efforts upon securing the ballot to women, withholding all attempt at political influence until they 
jxjssess the right which alone can make their influence effective. 

t At the executive meeting of the New England Association, May, 1874, '' was voted that a circular 
",be sent to the friends of woman suffrage, requesting them to meet in Boston, May 25, to consider the 
^expediency of calling a convention to form a political party for woman suffrage. 

Alliance with Prohibitionists. 


a joint State ticket was decided on, to be headed " Prohibition 
and Equal Rights." These tickets were sent to women all 
over the State, and they were strongly urged to go to the polls 
and distribute them on election day. Lucy Stone, Mary A. 
Livermore and other leading speakers took part in the campaign, 
and preparations were completed by which it was expected both 
parties would act harmoniously together. Clubs were formed 
at whose headquarters were seen men and women gathered 
together to organize for political work. From some of these 
headquarters hung transparencies with "Baker and Eddy "on 
one side, and " Prohibition and Equal Rights " on the other. 
Caucuses and conventions were held in Chelsea, Taunton, Mai- 
den, Lynn, Concord, and other places. A Middlesex county 
(first district) senatorial convention was called and organized by 
women, and its proceedings were fully reported by the Boston 

The nominations made at these caucuses were generally unani- 
mous, and it seemed at the time as if the two wings of the 
so-called "Baker party" would work harmoniously together. 
But, with a few honorable exceptions, the Prohibitionists, taking 
advantage of the fact that the voting power of the women was 
over, once outside the caucus, repudiated the nominations, or held 
other caucuses and shut the doors of entrance in the faces of the 
women who represented either the suffrage or the Prohibitory 
party. This was the case invariably, excepting in towns where 
the majority of the voting members of the Prohibitory party 
were also in favor of woman suffrage. This result is what might 
have been expected. Of what use was woman in the ranks of 
any political party, with no vote outside the caucus? 

After being thus ignored in one of their caucuses in Maiden, 
Middlesex county, the suffragists in that town determined to 
hold another caucus. This was accordingly done, and two 
" straight " candidates were nominated as town representa- 
tives to the legislature. A " Woman Suffrage ticket " f was 
thereupon printed to offer to the voters on election day. 
The next question was, who would distribute these ballots 

* The call for this convention was signed by Harriet H. Robinson, Rev. A. D. Sargent, Rev. G. H. 
Vibbert, William Johnson, Mrs. T. R. Woodman, Helen Gale and Mrs. M. Slocum. judge Robert C. 
Pitman was the candidate for governor. 

t This "Woman Suffrage ticket," the first ever offered to a Massachusetts voter, received 41 vote* 
out of the 1,340 cast in all by the voters of the town, a larger proportion than that first cast by the old 
Liberty party in Massachusetts, which began with only 307 votes in the whole State, and ended in the 
Free Soil and Republican parties. 

282 History of Woman Suffrage. 

most effectively at the polls. Some men thought that the 
women themselves should go and present in person the names 
of their candidates. At first the women who had carried on the 
campaign shrank from this last test of their faithfulness; but, 
after carefully considering the matter, they concluded that it was 
the right thing to do. The repugnance felt at that time, at the 
thought of " women going to the polls" can hardly be appreciated 
to-day. Since they have begun to vote in Massachusetts the 
terror expressed at the idea of such a proceeding has somewhat 
abated ; but in 1876 it was thought to be a rash act for a woman 
to appear at the polls in company with men. Some attempt 
was made to deter them from their purpose, and stories of pipes 
and tobacco and probable insults were told ; but they had no 
terrors for women who knew better than to believe that their 
neighbors would be turned into beasts (like the man in the fairy 
tale) for this one day in the year.* 

It was a sight to be remembered, to behold women "crowned 
with honor" standing at the polls to see the freed slave go by 
and vote, and the newly-naturalized fellow-citizen, and the blind, 
the paralytic, the boy of twenty-one with his newly-fledged vote, 
the drunken man who did not know Hayes from Tilden, and the 
man who read his ballot upside down. All these voted for the 
men they wanted to represent them, but the women, being neither 
colored, nor foreign, nor blind, nor paralytic, nor newly-fledged, 
nor drunk, nor ignorant, but only women, could not vote for the 
men they wanted to represent them.f 

The women learned several things during this campaign in 
Massachusetts. One was, that weak parties are no more to be 
trusted than strong ones; and another, that men grant but little 
until the ballot is placed in the hands of those who make the de- 
mand. They learned also how political caucuses and conventions 
are managed. The resolution passed by the Prohibitionists en- 
abled them to do this. So th great " open sesame " is reached. 
It is but fair to state that since 1876 the Prohibitory party has 

* Election day dawned and it rained hard, but the women braved the storm. There they stood from 
9 o'clock A. M. till a quarter of 5 p. M. and distributed votes, only leaving their positions long enough 
to get a cup of coffee and a luncheon, which was provided at the headquarters. They distributed 1,700 
woman suffrage ballots and 1,000 circulars containing arguments on the rights of women. They were 
treated with unexceptionable politeness and kindness by the voters. 

t The first time women went to the polls in Massachusetts was in 1870, when forty-two women of 
Hyde Park, led by Angelina Grimke Weld and Sarah Grimke, deposited their ballots, in solemn pro- 
test " against the political ostracism of women, against leaving every vital interest of a majority of 
the citizens to the monopoly of a male minority." It is hardly needful to record that these ballots 
were not counted. 

A ncient R ights. 283 

treated the woman suffrage question with consideration. In its 
annual convention it has passed resolutions endorsing woman's 
claims to political equality, and has set the example to other 
parties of admitting women as delegates. At the State conven- 
tion in 1885 the following resolution was adopted by a good 
majority : 

Resolved, That women having interests to be promoted and rights to be protected, 
and having ability for the discharge of political duties, should have the right to- 
vote and to be voted for, as is accorded to man. 

In the early history of Massachusetts, when the new colony 
was governed by laws set down in the Province charter (1691,. 
third year of William and Mary) women were not excluded from 
voting. The clause in the charter relating to this matter says : 

The great and general court shall consist of the governor and council (or assistants 
for the time being) and of such freeholders as shall be from time to time elected or 
deputed by the major part of the freeholders and other inhabitants of the respective 
towns or places, who shall be present at such elections. 

In the original constitution (1780) women were excluded from 
voting except for certain State officers.* In the constitutional 
convention of 1820, the word "male" was first put into the con- 
stitution of the State, in an amendment to define the qualifica- 
tions of voters. In this convention,,a motion was made at three 
different times, during the passage of the act, to strike out the 
intruding word, but the motion was voted down. Long be- 
fore the second attempt was made to revise the constitution of 
the State, large numbers of women began to demand suffrage. 
Woman's sphere of operations and enterprise had become so 
widened, that they felt they had not only the right, but also an 
increasing fitness for civil life and government, of which the bal- 
lot is but the sign and the symbol. 

In the constitutional convention of 1853, twelve petitions were 
presented, from over 2,000 adult persons, asking for the recogni- 
tion of woman's right to the ballot, in the proposed amendments 
to the constitution of the State. The committee reported leave 
to withdraw, giving as their reason that the "consent of the gov- 
erned " was shown by the small number of petitioners. Hearings 
before this committee were granted.f The chairman of this 
committee, in presenting the report, moved that all debate on 
the subject should cease in thirty minutes, and on motion of 

* 1'or summary of voting laws relating to women from 1691 to 1822, see "Massachusetts in the 
Woman Suffrage Movement," by Harriet H. Robinson : Roberts Brothers, Boston. 

t Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Lucy Stone, Theodore Parker, WenJell Phillips, and other 
speakers of ability, presented able arguments in favor of giving women the right to vote. 

284 History of Woman Suffrage. 

Benjamin F. Butler of Lowell, the whole report, excepting the 
last clause, was stricken out. There was then left of the whole 
document (including more than two closely-printed pages of rea- 
soning) only this: " It is inexpedient for this convention to take 
any action." 

Legislative action on the woman's rights question began in 
1849, when William Lloyd Garrison presented the first petition 
on the subject to the State legislature. Following him was one 
from Jonathan Drake and others, " for a peaceable secession of 
Massachusetts from the Union." Both these petitions were prob- 
ably considered by the legislature to which they were addressed 
as of equally incendiary character, since they both had " leave to 
withdraw." In 1851 an order was introduced asking "whether 
any legislation was necessary concerning the wills of married 
women?" In 1853 a bill was enacted "to exempt certain prop- 
erty of widows and unmarried women from taxation." In the 
legislature of 1856 the first great and important act relating to 
the property rights of women was passed. It was to t'he effect 
that women could hold all property earned or acquired inde- 
pendently of their husbands. This act was amended and improved 
the next session. 

In 1857 a hearing was held before the Committee on the 
Judiciary to listen to arguments in favor of the petition of Lucy 
Stone and others for equal property rights for women and for the 
"right of suffrage." Another hearing was held in the same place 
in February, 1858, before the Joint Special Committee on the 
Qualifications of Voters. A second hearing on the right of 
suffrage for women was held the following week before the same 
committee. Thomas W. Higginson made an address and Caro- 
line Healey Dall read an essay. 

In 1858, Stephen A. Chase of 'Salem, from the same Committee 
on the Qualifications of Voters, made a long report on the peti- 
tions. This report closed with an order that the State Board of 
Education make inquiry and report to the next legislature 
"whether it is not practicable and expedient to provide bylaw 
some method by which the women of this State may have a more 
active part in the control and management of the schools." 
There is nothing in legislative records to show that the State 
Board of Education reported favorably ; but from the above state- 
ment it appears that ten years before Samuel E. Sewall's petition 

Legislative Action, 285 

on the subject, a movement was made towards making women 
" eligible to serve as members of school-committees." 

The petitions for woman's rights were usually circulated by 
women going from house to house. They did the drudgery, 
endured the hardships and suffered the humiliations attend- 
ant upon the early history of our cause ; but their names are 
forgotten, and others reap the benefit of their labors. These 
women were so modest and so anxious for the success of their 
petitions, that they never put their own names at the head of 
the list, preferring the signature of some leading man, so that 
others seeing his name, might be induced to follow his example. 
Among the earliest of these silent workers was Mary Upton 
Ferrin. Her petitions were for a change in the laws concerning 
the property rights of married women, and for the political and 
legal rights of all women. In 1849 sne prepared a memorial to 
the Massachusetts legislature in which are embodied many of the 
demands for woman's equality before the law, which have so often 
been ms^e to that body since that time.* 

In 1861 the legislature debated a bill to allow a widow, "if she 
have woodland as a part of her dower, the privilege of cutting 
wood enough for one fire." This bill failed, and the widow, by 
law, was not allowed to keep herself warm with fuel from her own 
wood-lot. In 1863 a bill providing that '' a wife may be allowed 
to be a witness and proceed against her husband for desertion," 
was reported inexpedient, and a bill was passed to prevent women 
from forming copartnerships in business. In 1865, Gov. John A.' 
Andrew, seeing the magnitude of the approaching woman ques- 
tion, in his annual message to the legislature, made a -memorable 
suggestion : 

I know of no more useful object to which the commonwealth can lend 
its aid, than that of a movement, adopted in a practical way, to open the 
door of emigration to young women who are wanted for teachers and for 
every appropriate, as well as domestic, employment in the remote West, 
but who are leading anxious and aimless lives in New England. 

By the " anxious and aimless " it was supposed the governor 
meant the widowed, single or otherwise unrepresented portion of 

* This memorial was printed by order of the legislature (Leg. Doc. Ho. 57) and is called " Memorial 
of the Female Signers of the Several Petitions of Henry A. Hardy and Others," presented March i, 
1849. The document is not signed ;md Mrs. Ferrin's name is not found with it upon the records, neither 
does her name appear in the journal of the House in connection with any of the petitions and addresses 
she caused to be presented to the legislature of the State. But for the loyal friendship of the few who 
knew of her work and were willing to give her due credit, the name of Mary Upton Ferrin [see Vol. I.. 
page 208] and the memory of her labors as well as those of many another silent worker, would have 
gone into the " great darkness." 

286 History of Woman Suffrage. 

the citizens of the State. No action was taken by the legislature 
on this portion of the governor's message. But a member of 
the Senate actually made the following proposition before that 
body : 

That the " anxious and aimless women " of the State should assemble 
on the Common on a certain day of the year (to be hereafter named), and 
that Western men who wanted wives, should be invited to come here and 
select them. 

Legislators who make such propositions, do not foresee that the 
time may come, when perhaps those nearest and dearest to them, 
may be classed among the superfluous or "anxious and aimless" 
women ! 

In 1865 bills allowing married women to testify in suits at law 
where their husbands are parties, and permitting them to hold 
trust estates were rejected. It will be seen that though all this 
legislation was adverse to woman's interest, the question had 
forced itself upon the attention of the members of both House 
and Senate. In 1866 a joint committee of both hous^ was ap- 
pointed to consider: 

If any additional legislation can be adopted, whereby the means of ob- 
taining a livelihood by the women of this commonwealth may be in- 
creased and a more equal and just compensation be allowed for their labor. 

In 1867, Francis W. Bird presented the petition of Mehitable 
Haskell of Gloucester for "an amendment to the constitution 
extending suffrage to women." In 1868 Mr. King of Boston pre- 
sented the same petition, and it was at this time, and in answer 
thereto, that the subject first entered into the regular orders of 
the day, and became a part of the official business of the House 
of Representatives. Attempts to legislate on the property ques- 
tion were continued in 1868, in bills " to further protect the prop- 
erty of married women," "to allow married women to contract 
for necessaries," and if "divorced from bed and board, to allow 
them to dispose of their own property." These bills were all de- 
feated. Annual legislative hearings on woman suffrage began in 
1869. These were first secured through the efforts of the execu- 
tive committee of the New England Woman Suffrage Associa- 
tion. Eight thousand women had petitioned the legislature that 
suffrage might be allowed them on the same terms as men, and 
in answer, two hearings were held in the green room at the State 
House.* In 1870 a joint special committee on woman suffrage 

* The committee was addressed by Wendell Phillips, Julia Ward Howe, Lucy Stone, Rev. James 
Freeman Clarke and Hon. George F. Hoar. 

Action of our Governors. 287 

was formed, and since that time there have been one or more 
annual hearings on the question. To what extent legislative 
sentiment has been created will be shown later in the improve- 
ment of many laws with regard to the legal status of woman. 

William Claflin was the first governor of Massachusetts to pre- 
sent officially to the voters of the commonwealth the subject of 
woman's rights as a citizen. In his address to the legislature of 
1871, he strongly recommended a change in the laws regarding 
suffrage and the property rights of woman. His attitude toward 
this reform made an era in the history of the executive depart- 
ment of the State. Since that time nearly every governor of the 
State has, in his annual message, recommended the subject to re- 
spectful consideration. In 1879 Governor Thomas Talbot pro- 
posed a constitutional amendment which should secure the ballot 
to women on the same terms as to men. In response to this por- 
tion of the governor's message, and to the ninety-eight petitions 
presented on the subject, a general suffrage bill passed the Senate 
by a two-thirds majority, and an act to " give women the right to 
vote for members of school committees," passed both branches of 
the legislature and became a law of the State.* Governor John 
D. Long, in his inaugural address before the legislature of 1880, 
expressed his opinion in favor of woman suffrage perhaps more 
decidedly than any who had preceded him in that high official 
position. He said : 

I repeat my conviction of the right of woman suffrage. If the common- 
wealth is not ready to give it in full by a constitutional amendment, I ap- 
prove of testing it in municipal elections. 

The law allowing women to vote for school committees is one 
of the last results of the legislative agitations, though it is true 
that the petition, the answer to which was the passage of this 
act, did not emanate from any suffrage association. It was the 
outcome of a conference on the subject, held in the parlors of 
the New England Women's Club.f 

But the petitions of the suffragists had always been for general 
and unrestricted suffrage, and they opposed any scheme for secur- 
ing the ballot on a class or a restricted basis, holding that the 
true ground of principle is equality of rights with man. The 

* Two years before (1869), while sitting as visitor in the gallery of the House of Representatives, I 
heard the whole subject of woman's rights referred to the (bogus) committee on graveyards ! 

t Tt was perhaps intended to serve as a means of reinstating Abby W. May and olher women who had 
been defeated as candidates for reelection on the Boston school-board. The names of Isa E. Gray, 
Mrs. C. B. Richmond, Elizabeth P. Peabody and John M. Forbes led the lists of petitioners. 

288 History of Woman Suffrage. 

practical result, so far,of voting for school committees has justified 
this position ; for, as shown by the recent elections, the women 
of the State have not availed themselves to any extent of their 
new right to vote, and, therefore, the measure has not forwarded 
the cause of general suffrage. In fact, the school-committee 
question is not a vital one with either male or female voters, and 
it is impossible to get up any enthusiasm on the subject. As a 
test question upon which to try the desire of the women of the 
State to become voters, it is a palpable sham. Our Revolutionary 
fathers would not have fought, bled and died for such a figment 
of a right as this ; and their daughters, or grand-daughters, inherit 
the same spirit, and if they vote at all, want something worth 
voting for. The result is, that the voting has been largely done 
by those women who have long been in favor of suffrage, and 
who have gone to the polls on election day from pure principle 
and a sense of duty.* 

The law allowing women to vote for school committees was 
very elastic and capable of many interpretations. It reminded 
one of the old school exercise in transposing the famous line in 
Gray's Elegy, 

"The ploughman homeward plods his weary way," 

which has been found to be capable of over twenty different 
transpositions. The collectors and registrars in some towns and 
cities took advantage of this obscurity of expression, and inter- 
preted the law according to their individual opinion on the woman 
suffrage question. In places where these officials were in sympa- 
thy, a broad construction was put upon the provisions of the law, 
the poll-tax payers were allowed to vote upon the payment of 
one dollar (under the divided tax law of 1879), and the women 
voters generally were given all necessary information, and treated 
courteously both by the assessors and registrars and at the polls. 
In places where leading officials were opposed to women's 
voting, the case was far different. Without regarding the clause 
in the law which said that a woman may vote upon paying either 
State or county poll-tax, such officials have threatened the women 
with arrest when they refused to pay both. In some towns they 
have been treated with great indignity, as if they were doing an 
unlawful act. In one town the women were actually required to 
pay a poll-tax the second year, in spite of the clause in the law 

* At the first annual election for school committees in cities and towns in 1879-80, about 5,000 women 
became registered voters. 

Taxation Without Representation. 289 

that a female citizen who has paid a State or county tax within 
two years shall have the right to vote. The town assessor, whose 
duty it was to inform the women on this point; of the law when 
asked concerning the matter, willfully withheld the desired in- 
formation, saying he " did not know," though he afterwards said 
that he did know, but intended to let the women " find out for 
themselves." This assessor forgot that the women, as legal 
voters, had a right to ask for this information, and that by 
virtue of his official position he was legally obliged to answer. 
In another town two ladies who were property tax-payers were 
made to pay the two dollars poll-tax, and the record of this still 
stands on the town books. Some ladies were frightened and 
paid the tax under protest ; others ran the risk. Here is a letter 

addressed to a lady 83 years of age : 

MALDEN, Dec. 2, 1879. 

HARRIET HANSON : There is a balance of ninety cents due on your poll- 
tax of 1879, duly assessed upon you. Payment of the same is hereby de- 
manded, and if not paid within fourteen days from this date, with twenty 
cents for the summons, the collector is required to proceed forthwith to 
collect the same in manner provided by law. 

THEODORE N. FOGUE, Collector. 

Mrs. Hanson paid no attention to the summons, and that was 
the end of it. 

In iSSi, under the amended act the poll-tax was reduced to 
fifty cents, and the property tax-paying women (who are not re- 
quired to pay a poll-tax) are no longer obliged to make a return 
of property exempt from taxation, as was required under the 
original statute. Though some of the disabilities were removed, 
yet the privileges are no greater ; and it is for members of school- 
committees and for nothing else, that the women of this State can 
vote. This is hardly worthy to be called " school suffrage " ! 
It is to be regretted that a better test than that of school-com- 
mittee suffrage, could not have been given to the women of the 
State, so that the issue of what under the circumstances cannot 
be called a fair trial of their desire to vote, might be more nearly 
what the friends of reform had desired. 

The first petition to the Massachusetts legislature, asking that 
women might be allowed to serve on school-boards was presented 
in 1866 by Samuel E. Sewall of Boston. The same petition was 
again presented in 1867. About this time Ashfield and Mon- 
roe, two of the smallest towns in the State, elected women as 
members of the school committee. Worcester and Lynn soon 

290 History of Woman Suffrage. 

followed the good example, and in 1874, Boston, for the first time, 
chose six women to serve in this capacity.* There had hitherto 
been no open objection to this innovation, but the school com- 
mittee of Boston not liking the idea of women co-workers, de- 
clared them ineligible to hold such office. Miss Peabody applied 
to the Supreme Court for its opinion upon the matter, but the 
judges refused to answer, and dismissed the petition on the 
ground that the school committee itself had power to decide 
the question of the qualifications of members of the board. 
The subject was brought before the legislature of the same year, 
and that body, almost unanimously, passed "An Act to Declare 
Women Eligible to Serve as Members of School Committees." 
Thus the women members were reinstated.f" 

This refusal on the part of the Supreme Judicial Court of Mas- 
sachusetts to answer a question relating to woman's rights under 
the law, was received with a knowing smile by those who remem- 
bered the three adverse decisions relating to women which had 
been given by that august body. The first of these was on 
the case of Sarah E. Wall of Worcester. The second was con- 
cerning a clause in the will of Francis Jackson of Boston, who 
left $5,000 and other property to the woman's rights cause. 
Its third adverse decision was given in 1871. In that year, 
Julia Ward Howe and Mary E. Stevens were appointed by 
Governor Claflin as justices of the peace. Some member of 
the governor's council having doubted whether women could 
legally hold the office, the opinion of the Supreme Court was 
asked and it decided substantially that because women were 
women, or because women were not men, they could not be jus- 
tices of the peace ; and the appointment was not confirmed. 

Changes in the common law began in 1845 with reference to 
the wife's right to hold her own property. In 1846 she could 
legally sign a receipt for money earned or deposited by herself.^ 
Before 1855 a woman could not hold her own property, either 
earned or acquired by inheritance. If unmarried, she was ob- 

* Lucretia P. Hale, Abby W. May, Lucia M. Peabody, Mary J. S. Blake, Kate G. Wells, Lucretia 

t This act, so brief and so expressive, is worth)' to be remembered. 1 1 simply reads : " lie it enacted, 
etc., as Jollmvs : 

SEC. i. No person shall be deemed ineligible to serve upon a school committee by reason of sex. 

SEC. 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage. (Approved June 30, J&74.) 

By force of habit, the legislature said not a word in the law about -votnen. There are now (1885) 102 
women members of school-boards in Massachusetts. 

$ See "Women under the law of Massachusetts," Henry H. Sprague. Boston: W. B.Clarke & 

Laws Regarding Married Women. 291 

liged to place it in the hands of a trustee, to whose will she was 
subject. If she contemplated marriage, and desired to call her 
property her own, she was forced by law to make a contract with 
her intended husband, by which she gave up all title or claim to 
it. A woman, either married or unmarried, could hold no office 
of trust or power. She was not a person. She was not recog- 
nized as a citizen. She was not a factor in the human family. 
She was not a unit; but a zero, a nothing, in the sum of civiliza- 

To-day, a married woman can hold her own property, if it is 
held or bought in her own name, and can make a will disposing 
of it. A man is no longer the sole heir of his wife's property. 
A married woman can make contracts, enter into co-partner- 
ships, carry on business, invest her own earnings for her own use 
and behoof, and she is also responsible for her own debts. She 
can be executor, administrator, guardian or trustee. She can 
testify in the courts for or against her husband. She can release, 
transfer, or convey, any interest she may have in real estate, sub- 
ject only to the life interest which the husband may have at her 
death. Thirty years ago, when the woman's rights movement 
began, the status of a married woman was little better than that 
of a domestic servant. By the English common law, her husband 
was her lord and master. He had the sole custody of her person, 
and of her minor children. He could "punish her with a stick 
no bigger than his thumb," and she could not complain against 

The common law of this State held man and wife to be one per- 
son, but that person was the husband. He could by will deprive 
her of every part of his property, and also of what had been her 
own before marriage. He was the owner of all her real estate 
and of her earnings. The wife could make no contract and no 
will, nor, without her husband's consent, dispose of the legal inter- 
est of her real estate. He had the income of her real estate till 
she died, and if they ever had a living child his ownership of the 

* The authority for this old "thumb" tradition, that "a man had a right to whip his wife with a 
stick no bigger than his thumb," is found in an early edition of 1'hillips' Evidence. That book was 
authority in English common law and in it Phillips is quoted as saying, that according to the law of his 
<lay a husband "might lawfully chastise his wife with a reasonable weapon, as a broomstick^' adding, 
li" ', c wr, " but if he use an unreasonable weapon, such as an inm bar, and death cn-uc, it would be 
murder." [Chambcrlin, p. 818.] Dut the real " thumb" story seems to have originated with a certan 
Jud^e lUillcr of England, who lived about one hundred years ago. In hi* ruling on one of those cases 
of wife-beating, now so common in our police courts, he said that a man had a right to punish I. is wife, 
" with a stick no bigger than his thumb." That was his opinion. Shortly after this some ladies sent 
tin: judge :\ letter in which they prayed him to give them the size of his thumb ! We are not told 
whether he complied with their request. 

292 History of Woman Suffrage. 

real estate continued to his death. He could forbid her to buy a 
loaf of bread or a pound of sugar, or contract for a load of wood 
to keep the family warm. She did not own a rag of her own 
clothing. She had no personal rights, and could hardly call her 
soul her own. 

Her husband could steal her children, rob her of her clothing, 
and her earnings, neglect to support the family; and she had no 
legal redress. If a wife earned money by her labor, the husband 
could claim the pay as his share of the proceeds. There is a 
clause sometimes found in old wills, to the effect that if a widow 
marry again, she shall forfeit all right to her husband's property. 
The most conservative judge in the commonwealth would now 
rule that a widow cannot be kept from her fair share of 
the property, by any such unjust restriction. In a husband's 
eyes of a hundred and fifty years ago, a woman's mission was ac- 
complished after she had fyeen his wife and borne his children. 
What more could be desired of her, he argued, but a corner some- 
where in which, respectably dressed as his relict, she could sit 
down and mourn for him, for the rest of her life.* 

The law no longer sanctions such a will, but provides that 
the widow shall have a fair share of all personal property. If 
a widow permits herself to-day to be defrauded of her legal rights 
in the division of property, it is her own fault, and because she 
does not study and understand for herself the general statutes of 
Massachusetts, and the laws concerning the rights of married 
women. The result of thirty years of property legislation for 
women is well stated by Mr. Sewall in his admirable pamphlet, in 
which he says, " the last thirty years have done more to improve 
the law for married women than the four hundred preceding." 
The legislature has, during this time, enacted laws allowing 
women to vote in parishes and religious societies, declaring that 
women must become members of the board of trustees of the 
three State primary and reform schools, of the State workhouse, 
of the State almshouse at Tewksbury, and of the board of prison 
commissioners ; also, that certain officers and managers of the re- 
formatory prison for women at Sherborn " shall be women." 
Without legislation, women now are school supervisors, overseers 
of the poor, trustees of public libraries and members of the State 

* In an old will, made a hundred and fifty years ago, a husband of large means bequeathed to his 
" dearly beloved wife " 850 and n new suit of clothes, with the injunction that she should return to her 
original, or family home. And with this small sum, as her share of his property, he returned her to her 

Legislative Ameliorations, 293 

Board of Education and of the State Board of Health, Lunacy 
and Charity.* 

These great changes in legislation for the women of Massa- 
chusetts are the result of their own labors. By conventions and 
documents they have informed the people and enlightened 
public sentiment. By continued agitation the question has 
been kept prominently before their representatives in the legis- 
lature. And, though so much has been gained, they are still 
hard at work, nor will they rest until, woman's equality with 
man before the law is firmly established. 

Among the most important acts passed recently is one of 1879, 
by which a married woman is the owner of her own clothing 
to the value of $2,000, although the act granting this calls 
such apparel the "gifts of her husband," not recognizing the fact 
that most married women earn or help to earn their own clothes. 
A law was passed, in 1881, to "mitigate the evils of divorce." 
Two important acts were passed by the legislature of 1882, one 
allowing women to become practising attorneys, and the other 
providing, that in case of the death of a married woman intestate 
and leaving children, one-half only of her personal estate shall go to 
her husband, instead of the whole, as in previous years. In 1883, 
a wife was given the right of burial in any lot or tomb belonging 
to her husband. In 1884, the only measures were a bill providing 
for the appointment of women on the board of State lunatic hos- 
pitals, and another providing for the appointment of women as- 
sistant physicians in the same hospitals, and an act giving women 
the power to dispose of their separate estates by will or deed. 
In 1885, very little was done to improve the legal status of 

When any vote on the Suffrage bill is taken, it is enough 
to make the women who sit in the gallery weep to hear the 
"O's" and the " Mc's," almost to a man, thunder forth the 
emphatic " No ! "/ and to think that these men (some of whom a 
few years ago were walking over their native bogs, with hardly 
the right to live and breathe) should vote away so thoughtlessly 
the rights of the women of the country in which they have found 
a shelter and a home. When they came to this country, poor, 

* The little actual gain in votes since 1874, in favor of municipal or general suffrage for women, might 
cause the careless observer to draw the inference that no great progress had -been made in legisla- 
tive sentiment during all these years. In 1870 the vote in the House of Representatives on the Gen- 
eral Woman Suffrage Bill was 133 to 68. In 1885 the bill giving municipal suffrage was defeated in 
the House by a vote of 130 to 61. But this is not a true index of the progress of public opinion. 


History of Woman Suffrage. 

and with no inheritance but the "shillalah," the ballot was freely 
given to them, as the poor man's weapon for defence. Why can- 
not men, who have been political serfs in their own country, see 
the incongruity of voting against the enfranchisement of over 
one-half of the inhabitants of the