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1883 1900 





* * * * Make me respect my material so 
much that I dare not slight my work. Help 
me to deal very honestly with words and with 
people, because they are both alive. Show me 
that, as in a river, so in writing, clearness is the 
best quality, and a little that is pure is worth 
more than much that is mixed. Teach me to 
see the local color without being blind to the 
inner light. Give me an ideal that will stand 
the strain of weaving into human stuff on the 
loom of the real. Keep me from caring more 
for books than for folks, for art than for life. 
Steady me to do my full stint of work as well 
as I can, and when that is done, stop me, pay 
me what wages thou wilt, and help me to say 
from a quiet heart a grateful Amen. 




After the movement for woman suffrage, which commenced 
about the middle of the nineteenth century, had continued for 
twenty-five years, the feeling became strongly impressed upon 
its active promoters, Miss Susan B. Anthony and Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Cady Stanton, that the records connected with it should be 
secured to posterity. With Miss Anthony, indeed, the idea had 
been ever present, and from the beginning she had carefully pre- 
served as far as possible the letters, speeches and newspaper clip- 
pings, accounts of conventions and legislative and congressional 
reports. By 1876 they were convinced through various circum- 
stances that the time had come for writing the history. So little 
did they foresee the magnitude which this labor would assume 
that they made a mutual agreement to accept no engagements for 
four months, expecting to finish it within that time, as they con- 
templated nothing more than a small volume, probably a pam- 
phlet of a few hundred pages. Miss Anthony packed in trunks and 
boxes the accumulations of the years and shipped them to Mrs. 
Stanton's home in Tenafly, N. J., where the two women went 
cheerfully to work. 

Mrs. Stanton was the matchless writer, Miss Anthony the 
collector of material, the searcher of statistics, the business man- 
ager, the keen critic, the detector of omissions, chronological 
flaws and discrepancies in statement such as are unavoidable even 
with the most careful historian. On many occasions they called 
to their aid for historical facts Mrs. Matilda Joslyn Gage, one 
of the most logical, scientific and fearless writers of her day. 
To Mrs. Gage Vol. I of the History of Woman Suffrage is 
wholly indebted for the first two chapters Preceding Causes 
and Woman in Newspapers, and for the last chapter Woman, 
Church and State, which she later amplified in a book ; and Vol. II 
for the first chapter Woman's Patriotism in the Civil War. 

When the allotted time had expired the work had far exceeded 


its original limits and yet seemed hardly begun. Its authors 
were amazed at the amount of history which already had been 
made and still more deeply impressed with the desirability of pre- 
serving the story of the early struggle, but both were in the 
regular employ of lecture bureaus and henceforth could give only 
vacations to the task. They were entirely without the assistance 
of stenographers and typewriters, who at the present day relieve 
brain workers of so large a part of the physical strain. A labor 
which was to consume four months eventually extended through 
ten years and was not completed until the closing days of 1885. 
The pamphlet of a few hundred pages had expanded into three 
great volumes of 1,000 pages each, and enough material re- 
mained unused to fill another.* 

It was almost wholly due to Miss Anthony's clear foresight 
and painstaking habits that the materials were gathered and pre- 
served during all the years, and it was entirely owing to her un- 
equaled determination and persistence that the History was writ- 
ten. The demand for Mrs. Stanton on the platform and the 
cares of a large family made this vast amount of writing a most 
heroic effort, and one which doubtless she would have been tempt- 
ed to evade had it not been for the relentless mentor at her side, 
helping to bear her burdens and overcome the obstacles, and con- 
tinually pointing out the necessity that the history of this move- 
ment for the emancipation of women should be recorded, in justice 
to those who carried it forward and as an inspiration to the 
workers of the future. And so together, for a long decade, 
these two great souls toiled in the solitude of home just as to- 
gether they fought in the open field, not for personal gain or 
glory, but for the sake of a cause to which they had consecrated 
their lives. Had it not been for their patient and unselfish labor 
the story of the hard conditions under which the pioneers strug- 
gled to lift woman out of her subjection, the bitterness of the 
prejudice, the cruelty of the persecution, never would have been 
fold. In all the years that have passed no one else has attempted 

* The reader can not fail to be interested in the personal story of the writing of these 
books as related in the Reminiscences of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Life and Work 
of Susan H. Anthony the many journeys made by the big boxes of documents from the 
home of one to that of the other; the complications with those who were gathering data in 
their respective localities; the trials with publishers; the delays, disappointments and 
vexations, all interspersed and brightened with many humorous features. 


to tell it, and should any one desire to do so it is doubtful if, 
even at this early date, enough of the records could be found for 
the most superficial account. In not a library can the student 
who wishes to trace this movement to its beginning obtain the 
necessary data except in these three volumes, which will become 
still more valuable as the years go by and it nears success. 

Miss Anthony began this work in 1876 without a dollar in hand 
for its publication. She never had the money in advance for any 
of her undertakings, but she went forward and accomplished 
them, and when the people saw that they were good they usually 
repaid the amount she had advanced from her own small store. 
In this case she resolved to use the whole of it and all she could 
earn in the future rather than not publish the History. Mrs. 
Elizabeth Thompson, of New York, a generous patron of good 
works, gave her the first $1,000 in 1880, but this did not cover 
the expenses that had been actually incurred thus far in its 
preparation. She was in nowise discouraged, however, but kept 
steadily on during every moment which could be spared by Mrs. 
Stanton and herself, absolutely confident that in some way the 
necessary funds would be obtained. Her strong faith was justi- 
fied, for the first week of 1882 came a notice from Wendell 
Phillips that Mrs. Eliza Jackson Eddy, of Boston, had left her a 
large legacy to be used according to her own judgment "for the 
advancement of woman's cause." Litigation by an indirect heir 
deprived her of this money for over three years, but in April, 
1885, she received $24,125. 

The first volume of the History had been issued in May, 1881, 
and the second in April, 1882. In June, 1885, Mrs. Stanton and 
Miss Anthony set" resolutely to work and labored without ceasing 
until the next November, when the third volume was sent to the 
publishers. With the bequest Miss Anthony paid the debts that 
had been incurred, replaced her own fund, of which every dollar 
had been used, and brought Out this last volume. All were pub- 
lished at a time when paper and other materials were at a high 
price. The fine steel engravings alone cost $5,000. On account 
of the engagements of the editors it was necessary to employ 
proofreaders and indexers, and because of the many years over 
which the work had stretched an immense number of changes 


had to be made in composition, so that a large part of the legacy 
was consumed. 

The money which Miss Anthony now had enabled her to carry 
out her long-cherished project to put this History free of charge 
in the public libraries. It was thus placed in twelve hundred in 
the United States and Europe. Mrs. Stanton and Mrs. Gage, 
who had contributed their services without price, naturally felt 
that it should be sold instead of given away, and in order to have 
a perfectly free hand she purchased their rights. In addition to 
the libraries, she has given it to hundreds of schools and to count- 
less individuals, writers, speakers, etc., whom she thought it 
would enable to do better work for the franchise. For seven- 
teen years she has paid storage on the volumes and the stereotype 
plates. During this time there has been some demand for the 
books from those who were able and willing to pay, but much 
the largest part of the labor and money expended were a direct 
donation to the cause of woman suffrage. 

From the time the last volume was finished it was Miss An- 
thony's intention, if she should live twenty years longer, to issue 
a fourth containing the history which would be made during 
that period, and for this purpose she still preserved the records. 
As the century drew near a close, bringing \vith it the end of 
her four-score years, the desire grew still stronger to put into 
permanent shape the continued story of a contest which already 
had extended far beyond the extreme limits imagined when she 
dedicated to it the full power of her young womanhood with its 
wealth of dauntless courage and unfailing hope. She resigned 
the presidency of the National Association in February, 1900, 
which marked her eightieth birthday, in order that she might 
carry out this project and one or two others of especial import- 
ance. Among her birthday gifts she received $1,000 from 
friends in all parts of the country, and this sum she resolved to 
apply to the contemplated volume. One of the other objects 
which she had in view was the collecting of a large fund to be 
invested and the income used in work for the enfranchisement 
of women. Already about $3,000 had been subscribed. 

By the time the first half year had passed, nature exacted 
tribute for six decades of unceasing and unparalleled toil, and 


it became evident that the idea of gathering a reserve fund 
would have to be abandoned. The donors of the $3,000 were 
consulted and all gave cordial assent to have their portion applied 
to the publication of the fourth volume of the History. The 
largest amount, $1,000, had been contributed by Mrs. Pauline 
Agassiz Shaw, of Boston. Dr. Cordelia A. Greene, of Castile, 
N. Y., had given $500 and Mrs. Emma J. Bartol, of Philadelphia, 
$200. The other contributions ranged all the way down to a few 
dollars, which in many cases represented genuine sacrifice on the 
part of the givers. It is not practicable to publish the list of the 
women in full. They will be sufficiently rewarded in the con- 
sciousness of having helped to realize Miss Anthony's dream of 
finishing the story, to the end of her own part in it, of a great 
progressive movement in which they were her fellow-workers 
and loyal friends. 

Mrs. Gage passed away in 1898. Although Mrs. Stanton is 
still living as this volume goes to the publishers in 1902, and 
evinces her mental vigor at the age of eighty-seven in frequent 
magazine and newspaper articles, she could not be called upon 
for this heavy and exacting task. It seemed to Miss Anthony 
that the one who had recently completed her Biography, in its 
preparation arranging and classifying her papers of the past 
sixty years, and who necessarily had made a thorough study of 
the suffrage movement from its beginning, should share with her 
this arduous undertaking. The invitation was accepted with 
much reluctance because of a full knowledge of the great labor 
and responsibility involved. It must be confessed that even a 
strong sense of obligation to further the cause of woman's en- 
franchisement would not have been a sufficient incentive, but 
personal devotion to a beloved and honored leader outweighed all 
selfish considerations. It is to Miss Anthony, however, that the 
world is indebted for this as well as the other volumes. It was 
she who conceived the idea ; through her came the money for its 
publication; for several years her own home has been given up 
to the mass of material, the typewriters, the coming and going of 
countless packages, the indescribable annoyances and burdens 
connected with a matter of this kind. In addition she has borne 
from her private means a considerable portion of the expenses, 


and has endured the physical weariness and mental anxiety at a 
time when she has earned the right to complete rest and freedom 
from care. There is not a chapter which has not had the in- 
estimable benefit of her acute criticism and matured judgment. 

The peculiar difficulties of historical work can be understood 
only by those who have experienced them. General information 
is the easiest of all things to obtain exact information the 
hardest, and a history that is not accurate has no practical utility. 
If a reader discover one mistake it vitiates the whole book. Every 
historian knows how common it is to find several totally dif- 
ferent statements of the same occurrence, each apparently as 
authentic as the others. He also knows the eel-like elusiveness 
of dates and the flat contradictions of statistics which seem to dis- 
prove absolutely the adage that "figures do not lie." He has 
suffered the nightmare of wrestling with proper names; and if 
he is conscientious he has agonized over the attempt to do exact 
justice to the actors in the drama which he is depicting and yet 
not detract from its value by loading it with trivial details, of 
vital moment to those who were concerned in them but of no 
importance to future readers. All of these embarrassments are 
intensified in a history of a movement for many years unnoticed 
or greatly misrepresented in the public press, and its records 
usually not considered of sufficient value to be officially preserved. 
None, however, has required such supreme courage and faithful- 
ness from its adherents and this fact makes all the more obligatory 
the preserving of their names and deeds. 

To collect the needful information from fifty States and Ter- 
ritories and arrange it for publication has required the careful 
and constant work of over two years. It has been necessary 
many times to appeal to public officials, who have been most 
obliging, but the main dependence has been on the women of 
various localities who are connected with the suffrage associa- 
tions. These women have spent weeks of time and labor, writing 
letters, visiting libraries, examining records, and often leaving 
their homes and going to the State capital to search the archives. 
All this has been done without financial compensation, and it is 
largely through their assistance that the editors have been able to 
prepare this volume. To give an idea of the exacting work 


required it may be stated that to obtain authentic data on one 
particular point the writer of the Kansas chapter sent 198 letters 
to 178 city clerks. The meager record of Florida necessitated 
about thirty letters of inquiry. Several thousand were sent out 
by the editors of the History, while the number exchanged within 
the various States is beyond computation. 

The demand is widespread that the information which this 
book contains should be put into accessible shape. Miss Anthony 
herself and the suffrage headquarters in New York are flooded 
with inquiries for statistics as to the gains which have been made, 
the laws for women, the present status of the question and 
arguments that can be used in the debates which are now of 
frequent occurrence in Legislatures, universities, schools and 
clubs in all parts of the country. Practically everything that can 
be desired on these points will be found herein. The first twenty- 
two chapters contain the whole argument in favor of granting 
the franchise to women, as every phase of the question is touched 
and every objection considered by the ablest of speakers. It has 
been a special object to present here in compact form the reasons 
on which is based the claim for woman suffrage. In Chapter 
XXIV and those following are included the laws pertaining to 
women, their educational and industrial opportunities, the amount 
of suffrage they possess, the offices they may fill, legislative action 
on matters concerning them, and the part which the suffrage 
associations have had in bringing about present conditions. 
There are also chapters on the progress made in foreign countries 
and on the organized work of women in other lines besides that 
of the franchise. All the care possible has been taken to make 
each chapter accurate and complete. 

Beginning with 1884, where Vol. Ill closes, the present volume 
ends with the century. This is not a book which must necessarily 
wait upon posterity for its readers, but it is filled with live, up-to- 
date information. Its editors take the greatest pleasure in pre- 
senting it to the young, active, progressive men and women of 
the present day, who, without doubt, will bring to a successful 
end the long and difficult contest to secure that equality of rights 
which belongs alike to all the citizens of this largest of republics 
and greatest of nations. I. H. H. 


It has been frequently said that the first three volumes of the 
History of Woman Suffrage, which bring the record to twenty 
years ago, represent the seed-sowing time of the movement. 
They do far more than this, for seeds sown in the early days 
which they describe would have fallen upon ground so stony that 
if they had sprung up they would soon have withered away. The 
pioneers in the work for the redemption of women found an un- 
broken field, not fallow from lying idle, but arid and barren, filled 
with the unyielding rocks of prejudice and choked with the 
thorns of conservatism. It required many years of labor as hard 
as that endured by the forefathers in wresting their lands from 
undisturbed nature, before the ground was even broken to receive 
the seed. Then followed the long period of persistent tilling and 
sowing which brought no reaping until the last quarter of the 
century, when the scanty harvest began to be gathered. The 
yield has seemed small indeed at the end of each twelvemonth 
and it is only when viewed in the aggregate that its size can be 
appreciated. The condition of woman to-day compared with 
that of last year seems unchanged, but contrasted with that of 
fifty years ago it presents as great a revolution as the world has 
ever witnessed in this length of time. 

If the first organized demand for the rights of woman made 
at the memorable convention of Seneca Falls, N. Y., in 1848 
had omitted the one for the franchise, those who made it would 
have lived to see all granted. It asked for woman the right to 
have personal freedom, to acquire an education, to earn a living, 
to claim her wages, to own property, to make contracts, to bring 
suit, to testify in court, to obtain a divorce for just cause, to pos- 
sess her children, to claim a fair share of the accumulations dur- 
ing marriage. An examination of Chap. XXIV and the follow- 
ing chapters in this volume will show that in many of the States 



all these privileges are now accorded, and in not one are all re- 
fused, but when this declaration was framed all were denied by 
every State. For the past half century there has been a steady ad- 
vance in the direction of equal rights for women. In many 
instances these have been granted in response to the direct efforts 
of women themselves; in others without exertion on their part 
but through the example Of neighboring States and as a result of 
the general trend toward a long-delayed justice. Enough has been 
accomplished in all of the above lines to make it absolutely certain 
that within a few years women everywhere in the United States 
will enjoy entire equality of legal, civil and social rights. 

Behind all of these has been the persistent demand for political 
rights, and the question naturally arises, "Why do these continue 
to be denied ? Educated, property-owning, self-reliant and pub- 
lic-spirited, why are women still refused a voice in the Govern- 
ment? Citizens in the fullest sense of the word, why are they 
deprived of the suffrage in a country whose institutions rest upon 
individual representation ?" 

There are many reasons, but the first and by far the most im- 
portant is the fact that this right, and this alone of all that have 
had to be gained for woman, can be secured only through Con- 
stitutional Law. All others have rested upon statute law, or 
upon the will of a board of trustees, or of a few individuals, or 
have needed no official or formal sanction. The suffrage alone 
must be had through a change of the constitution of the State and 
this can be obtained only by consent of the majority of the voters. 
Therefore this most valuable of all rights the one which if 
possessed by women at the beginning would have brought all 
the others without a struggle is placed absolutely in the hands 
of men to be granted or withheld at will from women. It is 
an unjust condition which does not exist even in a monarchy 
of the Old World, and it makes of the United States instead of 
a true republic an oligarchy in which one-half of the citizens have 
entire control of the other half. There is not another country 
having an elected representative body, where this body itself may 
not extend the suffrage. While the writing of this volume has 
been in progress the Parliament of Australia by a single Act has 
fully enfranchised the 800.000 women of that commonwealth. 
The Parliament of Great Britain has conferred on women every 


form of suffrage except that for its own members, and there is 
a favorable prospect of this being granted long before the women 
of the United States have a similar privilege. 

Not another nation is hampered by a written Federal Constitu- 
tion which it is almost impossible to change, and by forty-five 
written State constitutions none of which can be altered in the 
smallest particular except by consent of the majority of the voters. 
Every one of these constitutions was framed by a convention 
which no woman had a voice in selecting and of which no woman 
was a member. With the sole exception of Wyoming, not one 
woman in the forty-five States was permitted a vote on the con- 
stitution, and every one except Wyoming and Utah confined its 
elective franchise strictly to "male" citizens. 

Thus, wherever woman turns in this boasted republic, from 
ocean to ocean, from lakes to gulf, seeking the citizen's right of 
self- representation, she is met by a dead wall of constitutional 
prohibition. It has been held in some of the States that this ap- 
plies only to State and county suffrage and that the Legislature 
has power to grant the Municipal Franchise to women. Kansas 
is the only one, however, which has given such a vote. A bill 
for this purpose passed the Legislature of Michigan, after years 
of effort on the part of women, and was at once declared un- 
constitutional by its Supreme Court. Similar bills have been 
defeated in many Legislatures on the ground of unconstitutional- 
ity. It is claimed generally that they may bestow School Suf- 
frage and this has been granted in over half the States, but fre- 
quently it is vetoed by the Governor as unconstitutional, as has 
been done several times in California. In New York, after four 
Acts of the Legislature attempting to give School Suffrage to all 
women, three decisions of the highest courts confined it simply to 
those of villages and country districts where questions are decided 
at "school meetings." Eminent lawyers hold that even this is 
"unconstitutional." (See chapter on New York.) The Legis- 
lature and courts of Wisconsin have been trying since 1885 to 
give complete School Suffrage to women and yet they are en- 
abled to exercise it this year (1902) for the first time. (See 
chapter on Wisconsin. ) Some State constitutions provide, as in 
Rhode Island, that no form even of School Suffrage can be con- 


ferred on women until it has been submitted as an amendment 
and sanctioned by a majority of the voters. 

The constitutions of a number of States declare that it shall 
not be sufficient to carry an amendment for it to receive a ma- 
jority of the votes cast upon it, but it must have a majority of 
the largest vote cast at the election. Not one State where this 
in the case ever has been able to secure an amendment for any 
purpose whatever. Minnesota submitted this question itself to 
the electors in 1898 in the form of an amendment and it was car- 
ried, receiving a total of 102,641, yet the largest number of votes 
cast at that election was 251,250, so if its own provisions had been 
required it would have been lost. Nebraska is about to make an 
effort to get rid of such a provision, but, as this can be done only 
by another amendment to the constitution, the dilemma is pre- 
sented of the improbability of securing a vote for it which shall be 
equal to the majority of the highest number cast at the general 
election. Since it is impossible to get such a vote even on ques- 
tions to which there is no special objection, it is clearly evident 
that an amendment enfranchising women, to which there is a 
large and strong opposition, would have no chance whatever in 
States making the above requirement. 

It then remains to consider the situation in those States where 
only a majority of the votes cast upon the amendment itself is re- 
quired. One or two instances will show the stubborn objection 
which exists among the masses of men to the very idea of woman 
suffrage. In 1887 the Legislature of New Jersey passed a law 
granting School Suffrage to women in villages and country dis- 
tricts. After they had exercised it until 1894 the Supreme Court 
declared it to be unconstitutional, as "the Legislature can not 
enlarge or diminish the class of voters." The women decided 
it was worth while to preserve even this scrap of suffrage, so they 
made a vigorous effort to secure from the Legislature the sub- 
mission of an amendment which should give it to them consti- 
tutionally. The resolution for this had to pass two successive 
Legislatures, and it happened in this case that by a technicality 
three were necessary, but with hard work and a petition signed 
by 7,000 the amendment was finally submitted in 1897. The 
unvarying testimony of the school authorities was that the 
women had used their vote wisely and to the great advantage of 


the schools during the seven years; there was no organized op- 
position from the class who mieht object to the Full Suffrage for 
women lest their business should be injured, or that other class 
who might fear their personal liberty would be curtailed; yet the 
proposition to restore to women in the villages and country dis- 
tricts the right simply to vote for school trustees was defeated 
by 75,170 noes, 65,029 ayes over 10,000 majority. 

South Dakota as a Territory permitted women to vote for 
all school officers. It entered the Union in 1889 with a clause 
in its constitution authorizing them to vote "at any election held 
solely for school purposes." They soon found that this did not 
include State and county superintendents, who are voted for at 
general elections, and that in order to get back their Territorial 
rights an amendment would have to be submitted to the electors. 
This was done by the Legislature of 1893. There had not been 
the slightest criticism of the way in which they had used their 
school suffrage during the past fourteen years, no class was an- 
tagonized, and yet this amendment was voted down by 22,682 
noes, 17,010 ayes, an opposing majority of 5,672. 

With these examples in two widely-separated parts of the 
country, the old and the new, representing not only crystallized 
prejudice in the one but inborn opposition in both to any step 
toward enfranchising women, and with this depending absolutely 
on the will of the voters, is it a matter of wonder that its progress 
has been so slow ? If the question were submitted in any State 
to-day whether, for instance, all who did not pay taxes should be 
disfranchised, and only taxpayers were allowed to vote upon it, it 
would be carried by a large majority. If it were submitted 
whether all owning property above a certain amount should be 
disfranchised, and only those who owned less than this, or noth- 
ing, were allowed to vote, it would be carried unanimously. No 
class of men could get any electoral right whatever if it depended 
wholly on the consent of another class whose interests supposedly 
lay in withholding it. Political, not moral influence removed 
the property restrictions from the suffrage in order to build up 
a great party the Democratic which because of its enfran- 
chisement of wage-earning men has received their support for 
eighty years. After the Civil War, although the Republican 

party w;as in absolute control, amendments to the State consti- 


tutions for striking out the word "white," in order to enfranchise 
colored men, were defeated in one after another of the Northern 
States, even in Kansas, the most radical of them, all in its anti- 
slavery sentiment. It finally became so evident that this conces- 
sion would not be granted by the voters that Congress was 
obliged to submit first one and then a second amendment to the 
Federal Constitution to secure it. But even then the ratification 
of the necessary three-fourths of the Legislatures could be ob- 
tained only because it was positively certain that through this 
action an immense addition \vould be made to the Republican 
electorate. Now after a lapse of thirty years this same party 
looks on unmoved at the violation of these amendments in every 
Southern State because it is believed that thus there can be, 
through white suffrage, the building up of the party in that sec- 
tion which the colored vote has not been able to accomplish. 

The most superficial examination of the conditions which 
govern the franchise answers the question why, after fifty years 
of effort, so little progress has been made in obtaining it for 
women. Of late years every new or "third" party which is or- 
ganized declares for woman suffrage. This is partly because 
such parties come into existence to carry out reforms in which 
they believe women can help, and partly because in their weak 
state they are ready to grasp at straws. While giving them full 
credit for such recognition, whatever may be its inspiring motive, 
it is clearly evident that the franchise must come to women 
through the dominant parties. If either of these could have had 
assurance of receiving the majority of the woman's vote it 
would have been obtained for her long ago without effort on her 
part, just as the workingman's and the colored man's were se- 
cured for them, but this has been impossible. Even in the four 
States where women now have the full suffrage neither party 
has been able to claim a distinct advantage from it. At the last 
Presidential election two of the four went Democratic and two 
Republican. In Colorado, where women owed their enfranchise- 
ment very largely to the Populists, that party was deposed from 
power at the first election where they voted and never has been 
reinstated. Although there was no justification for holding 
women responsible, they were so held, and the party consequently 
did not extend the franchise to women in other States where it 


might have done so. Many consider that the principles of the 
Republican party in general would be more apt to commend 
themselves to women than those of the Democratic, but others 
believe that, so great is their antipathy to war and all the evils 
connected with it and the consequences following it, they would 
have opposed the party responsible for these during the past four 
years. It may be accepted, however, as the most probable view 
that women will divide on the main issues in much the same pro- 
portion as men. From this standpoint neither party will see 
any especial advantage in their enfranchisement, and both will 
look with disfavor upon adding to the immense number of voters 
who must now be reckoned with in every campaign an equally 
great number who are likely to require an entirely different man- 
agement. There is a certain element in the leadership of all par- 
ties which is not especially objectionable to men, but would not 
be tolerated by women. Candidates who would be perfectly ac- 
ceptable to men if they were sound on the political issues might 
be wholly repudiated by the women of their own party. If tem- 
perance and morality were made requisites many leaders and 
officials who now hold high position would be permanently re- 
tired. These are all reasons which appeal to politicians for de- 
ferring the day of woman suffrage as long as possible. 

Each of the two dominant parties is largely controlled by what 
are known as the liquor interests. Their influence begins with 
the National Government, which receives from them billions of 
revenue ; it extends to the States, to which they pay millions ; to 
the cities, whose income they increase by hundreds of thousands ; 
to the farmers, who find in breweries and distilleries the best mar- 
ket for their grain. There is no hamlet so small as not to be 
touched by their ramifications. No "trust" eve'r formed can 
compare with them in the power which they exercise. That their 
business shall not be interfered with they must possess a certain 
authority over Congress and Legislatures. They and the various 
institutions connected with them control millions of votes. They 
are among the largest contributors to political campaigns. There 
are few legislators who do not owe their election in a greater or 
less degree to the influence wielded by these liquor interests, 
which are positively, unanimously and unalterably opposed to 
woman suffrage. This can be gained only by the submission of 


an amendment to the National or State constitutions, and for that 
women must go to the Congress or the Legislatures. What can 
they offer to offset the influences behind these bodies? They 
have no money to contribute for party purposes. They repre- 
sent no constituency and can not pledge a single vote, a situation 
in which no other class is placed. They ask men to divide a 
power of which they now have a monopoly; to give up a sure 
thing for an uncertainty ; to sacrifice every selfish interest and 
all in the name of abstract justice, a word which has no place in 
politics. Was there ever apparently a more hopeless quest ? 

With the exception of the three amendments made necessary 
by the Civil War, the Federal Constitution has not been amended 
for ninety-eight years, and there is strong opposition to any 
changes in that instrument. If Congress would submit an ar- 
ticle to the State Legislatures for the enfranchisement of women 
the situation would be vastly simplified and eventually the requi- 
site three-fourths for ratification could be secured, but undoubt- 
edly a number of States will have to follow the example of those 
in the far West in granting the suffrage before this is done. The 
question at present, therefore, may be considered as resting with 
the various Legislatures. With all the powerful influences above 
mentioned strongly intrenched and pitted against the women who 
come empty-handed, it is naturally a most difficult matter to 
secure the submission of an amendment where there is the slight- 
est chance of its carrying. With the two exceptions of Colorado 
and Idaho, it may be safely asserted that in every case where one 
has been submitted it has been done simply to please the women 
and to get rid of them, and with the full assurance that it would 
not be carried. Two conspicuous examples of the impossibility 
of obtaining an amendment where it would be likely to receive a 
majority vote are to be found in California and Iowa. In the 
former State one went before the electors in 1896, and, although 
the conditions were most unfavorable and the strongest possible 
fight was made against it, so large an affirmative sentiment was 
developed that it was clearly evident it would be carried on a 
second trial. Up to that time the women of this State had very 
little difficulty in securing suffrage bills, but since then the Leg- 
islature has persistently refused to submit another amendment. 
(See chapter on California.) 



In probably no State is the general sentiment so strongly in 
favor of woman suffrage as in Iowa, and yet for the past thirty 
years the women have tried in vain to secure from the Legisla- 
ture the submission of an amendment simply an opportunity to 
carry their case to the electors. (See chapter on Iowa.) The 
politics of that State is practically controlled by the great brew- 
ing interests and the balance of power rests in the German vote. 
It is believed that woman suffrage would be detrimental to their 
interests and they will not allow it. Here, as in many States, a 
resolution for an amendment must be acted upon by two succes- 
sive Legislatures. If a majority of either party should pass this 
resolution, the enemy would be able to defeat its nominees for 
the next Legislature before the women could get the chance to 
vote for them. In other words, all the forces hostile to woman 
suffrage are already enfranchised and are experienced, active and 
influential in politics, while the women themselves can give no 
assistance, and the men in every community who favor it are 
very largely those who have not an aggressive political influence. 
This very refusal of certain Legislatures to let the voters pass 
upon the question is the strongest possible indication that they 
fear the result. If women could be enfranchised simply by an 
Act of Congress they would have an opportunity to vote for their 
benefactors at the same time as the enemies would vote against 
them, and thus the former would not, as at present, run the risk of 
personal defeat and the overthrow of their party by espousing 
the cause of woman suffrage. 

If, however, Legislatures were willing to submit the question 
it is doubtful whether, under present conditions, it could be car- 
ried in any large number of States, as the same elements which 
influence legislators act also upon the voters through the party 
"machines." Amendments to strike the word "male" from the 
suffrage clause of the Constitution have been submitted by ten 
States, and by five of these twice Kansas, 1867-94; Michigan, 
1874; Colorado, 1877-93; Nebraska, 1882; Oregon, 1884-1900; 
Rhode Island, 1886; Washington, 1889-98; South Dakota, 1890- 
98; California, 1896; Idaho, 1896. Out of the fifteen trials the 
amendment has been adopted but twice in Colorado and Idaho. 
In these two cases it was indorsed by all the political parties and 
carried with their permission. Wyoming and Utah placed equal 


suffrage in the constitution under which they entered Statehood. 
In both, as Territories, women had had the full franchise in 
Wyoming twenty-one and in Utah seventeen years and public 
sentiment was strongly in favor. In the States where the ques- 
tion was defeated it had practically no party support. 

Aside from all political hostility, however, woman suffrage 
has to face a tremendous opposition from other sources. The 
attitude of a remonstrant is the natural one of the vast majority 
of people. Their first cry on coming into the world, if trans- 
lated, would be, "I object." They are opposed on principle to 
every innovation, and the greatest of these is the enfranchise- 
ment of women. To grant woman an equality with man in the 
affairs of life is contrary to every tradition, every precedent, 
ever)' inheritance, every instinct and every teaching. The ac- 
ceptance of this idea is possible only to those of especially pro- 
gressive tendencies and a strong sense of justice, and it is yet too 
soon to expect these from the majority. If it had been necessary 
to have the consent of the majority of the men in every State 
for women to enter the universities, to control their own prop- 
erty, to engage in the various professions and occupations, to 
speak from the public platform and to form great organizations, 
in not one would they be enjoying these privileges to-day. It 
is very probable that this would be equally true if they had de- 
pended upon the permission of a majority of women themselves. 
They are more conservative even than men, because of the nar- 
rowness and isolation of their lives, the subjection in which they 
always have been held, the severe punishment inflicted by society 
on those who dare step outside the prescribed sphere, and, strong- 
er than all, perhaps, their religious tendencies through which it 
has been impressed upon them that their subordinate position 
was assigned by the Divine will and that to rebel against it is to 
defy the Creator. In all the generations, Church, State and 
society have combined to retard the development of women, with 
the inevitable result that those of every class are narrower, more 
bigoted and less progressive than the men of that class. 

While the girls are crowding the colleges now until they 
threaten to exceed the number of boys, the demand for the higher 
education was made by the merest handful of women and granted 
by an equally small number of men, who, on the boards of trus- 


tees, were able to do so, but it would have been deferred for dec- 
ades if it had depended on a popular vote of either men or 
women. The pioneers in the professions found their most trying 
opposition from other women, instigated by the men who did 
their thinking for them to believe that the whole sex was being 
disgraced. Married women almost universally were opposed to 
laws which would give them control of their property, being as- 
sured by their masculine advisers that this would deprive them of 
the love and protection of their husbands. Public sentiment was 
wholly opposed to these laws and no such objections ever have 
been made in Legislatures even to woman suffrage as were urged 
against allowing a w r ife to own property. The contest was won 
by the smallest fraction of women and a few strong, far-seeing 
men, the latter actuated not alone by a sentiment of justice but 
also by the desire of preventing husbands from squandering the 
property which fathers had accumulated and wished to secure to 
their daughters, and fortunate indeed was it that this action did 
not have to be ratified by the voters. 

There are in the United States between three and four million 
women engaged in wage-earning occupations outside of domestic 
service. Would this be possible had they been obliged to have 
the duly recorded permission of a majority of all the men over 
twenty-one years old? If the question were submitted to the 
votes of these men to-day whether women should be allowed to 
continue in these emplovments and enter any and all others, 
would it be carried in the affirmative in a single State? 

And yet this prejudiced, conservative and in a degree ig- 
norant and vicious electorate possesses absolutely the power to 
withhold the suffrage from women. A large part of it is com- 
posed of foreign-born men, bringing from the Old World the 
most primitive ideas of the degraded position which properly 
belongs to woman. Another part is addicted to habits with 
which it never would give women the chance to interfere. Boys 
of twenty-one form another portion, fully imbued with a belief 
in woman's inferiority which only experience can eradicate. 
Men of the so-called working classes vote against it because they 
fear to add to the power of the so-called aristocracy. The latter 
oppose it because they think the suffrage already has been too 
widely extended and ought to be curtailed instead of expanded. 


The old fogies cast a negative ballot because they believe woman 
ought to be kept in her "sphere," and the strictly orthodox be- 
cause it is not authorized by the Scriptures. A large body who 
are "almost persuaded," but have some lingering doubts as to the 
"expediency," satisfy their consciences for voting "no" by saying 
that the women of their family and acquaintance do not want it. 
Thus is the most valuable of human rights the right of in- 
dividual representation made the football of Legislatures, the 
shuttlecock of voters, kicked and tossed like the veriest play- 
thing in utter disregard of the vital fact that it is the one prin- 
ciple above all others on which the Government is founded. 

Nevertheless there is abundant reason for belief that, in the 
face of all the forces which are arrayed against it, this measure 
could be carried in almost any State where the women them- 
selves were a unit or even very largely in the majority in favor 
of it. In the indifference, the inertia, the apathy of women lies 
the greatest obstacle to their enfranchisement. Investigation 
in States where a suffrage amendment has been voted on has 
shown that practfcally every election precinct where a thorough 
canvass was made and every voter personally interviewed by the 
women who resided in it, was carried in favor. Some men of 
course can not be moved, but many who never have given the 
subject any thought can be set to thinking; while there is in the 
average man a latent sense of justice which responds to the per- 
suasion of a woman who conies in person and says, "I ask you to 
grant me the same rights which you yourself enjoy; I am your 
neighbor ; I pay taxes just as you do ; our interests are identical ; 
give me the same power to protect mine which you possess to 
protect yours." A man would have to be thoroughly hardened 
to vote "no" after such an appeal, but if he were let alone he 
could do so without any qualms. The same situation obtains in 
the family and in social life. The average man would not vote 
against granting women the franchise if all those of his own 
family and the circle of his intimate friends brought a strong 
pressure to bear upon him in its favor. The measure could be 
carried against all opposition if every clergyman in every com- 
munity would urge the women of his congregation to work for 
it, assuring them of the sanction of the church and the blessing 


of God, and showing them how vastly it would increase their 
power for good. 

Every privilege which has been granted women has tended to 
develop them, until their influence is incomparably stronger at 
the present time than ever before. Their great organizations 
are a power in every town and city. If these throughout a State 
would unite in a determined effort to secure the franchise, bring- 
ing to bear upon legislators the demands of thousands of women, 
high and low, rich and poor, of all classes and conditions, they 
would be compelled to yield; and the same amount of influence 
would carry the amendment with the voters. But the petitioners 
for the suffrage are in the minority. There are many obvious 
reasons for this, and one of them, paradoxical as it ftiay seem, is 
because so much already has been gained. Woman in general now 
finds her needs very well supplied. If she wants to work she has 
all occupations to choose from. If she desires an education the 
schools and colleges are freely opened to her. If she wishes to 
address the public by pen or voice the people hear her gladly. 
The laws have been largely modified in her favor, and where 
they might press they are seldom enforced. She may accumu- 
late and control property ; she may set up her own domestic estab- 
lishment and go and come at will. If the workingwoman finds 
herself at a disadvantage she has not time and often not ability 
to seek the cause until she traces it to disfranchisement, and if 
she should do so she is too helpless to make a contest against it. 
Those women who "have dwelt, since they were born, in well- 
feathered nests and have never needed do anything but open their 
soft beaks for the choicest little grubs to be dropped into them," 
can not be expected to feel or see any necessity for the ballot. 
Nor will the woman half way between, absorbed in her church, 
her clubs, her charities and her household, make the philosophical 
study necessary to show that she could do larger and more effect- 
ive work for all of these if she possessed the great power which 
lies in the suffrage. Even women of much wealth who are not 
idle, self-centered and indifferent to the needs of humanity, but 
are giving munificently for religious, educational and philanthro- 
pic purposes, have not been aroused in any large number to the 
necessity of the suffrage, for reasons which are evident. 

Reforms of every kitjd are inaugurated and carried forward 


by a minority, and there is no reason why this one should prove 
an exception. In not an instance has a majority of any class of 
men demanded the franchise, and there is no precedent for ex- 
pecting the majority of women to do so. It will have to be 
gained for them by the foresight, the courage and the toil of the 
few. just as all other privileges have been, and they will enter 
into posession with the same eagerness and unanimity as has 
marked their acceptance of the others. 

\Yith this mass of prejudice, selfishness and inertia to overcome 
is there any hope of future success ? Yes, there is a hope which 
amounts to a certainty. Nothing could be more logical than a 
belief that where one hundred privileges have been opposed and 
then ninety-nine of them granted, the remaining one will ulti- 
mately follow. While women still suffer countless minor disad- 
vantages, the fundamental rights have largely been secured except 
the suffrage. This, as has been pointed out, is most difficult to 
obtain because it is intrenchediin constitutional law and because 
it represents a more radical revolution than all the others com- 
bined. The softening of the bitter opposition of the early days 
through the general spirit of progress has been somewhat coun- 
teracted by a modern skepticism as to the supreme merit of a 
democratic government and a general disgust with the prevalent 
political corruption. This will continue to react strongly against 
any further extension of the suffrage until men can be made to 
see that a real democracy has not as yet existed, but that the 
dangerous experiment has been made of enfranchising the vast 
proportion of crime, intemperance, immorality and dishonesty, 
and barring absolutely from the suffrage the great proportion 
of temperance, morality, religion and conscientiousness ; that, in 
other words, the worst elements have been put into the ballot- 
box and the best elements kept out. This fatal mistake is even 
now beginning to dawn upon the minds of those who have cher- 
ished an ideal of the grandeur of a republic, and they dimly see 
that in woman lies the highest promise of its fulfilment. Those 
who fear the foreign vote will learn eventually that there are 
more American-born women in the United States than foreign- 
born men and women; and those who dread the ignorant vote 
will study the statistics and see that the percentage of illiteracy 
is much smaller among women than among men. 


The consistent tendency since the right to individual repre- 
sentation was established by the Revolutionary War has been to 
extend this right, until now every man in the United States is 
enfranchised. While a few, usually those who are too exclusive 
to vote themselves, insist that this is detrimental to the electorate, 
the vast majority hold that in numbers there is the safety of its 
being more difficult to purchase or mislead ; that even the ignorant 
may vote more honestly than the educated ; that more knowledge 
and judgment can be added through ten million electors than 
through five; and also that by this universal male suffrage it is 
made impossible for one class of men to legislate against an- 
other class, and thus all excuse for anarchy or a resort to force 
is removed. Added to these advantages is the developing in- 
fluence of the ballot upon the individual himself, which renders 
him more intelligent and gives him a broader conception of jus- 
tice and liberty. All of these conditions must lead eventually to 
the enfranchising of the only remaining part of the citizenship 
without this means of protection and development. 

The gradual movement in this direction in the United States 
is seen in the partial extension of the franchise which has taken 
place during the past thirty-three years, or within one genera- 
tion. During this time over one-half of them have conferred 
School Suffrage on women ; one has granted Municipal Suffrage ; 
four a vote on questions of taxation ; three have recognized them 
in local matters, and a number of cities have given such privileges 
as were possible by charter. Since 1890 four States, by a ma- 
jority vote of the electors, have enfranchised 200,000 women by 
incorporating the complete suffrage in their constitutions, from 
which it never can be removed except by a vote of women them- 
selves. During all these years there have been but two retro- 
gressive steps the disfranchising of the women of Washington 
Territory in 1888 by an unconstitutional decision of the Supreme 
Court, dictated by the disreputable elements then in control ; and 
the taking away of the School Suffrage from all women of the 
second-class cities in Kentucky by its Legislature of 1902 for the 
purpose of eliminating the vote of colored women. In every 
other Legislature a bill to repeal any limited franchise which has 
be'en extended has been overwhelmingly voted down. 

Another favorable sign i? the action taken by Legislatures on 


bills for the full enfranchisement of women. Formerly they 
were treated with contempt and ridicule and either thrown out 
summarily or discussed in language which the descendants of the 
honorable gentlemen who used it will regret to read. Now such 
bills are treated with comparative courtesy ; a discussion is avoid- 
ed wherever possible, members not wishing to go on record, but 
if forced it is conducted in a respectful manner; and, while usual- 
ly rejected, the opposing majority is small, in many instances only 
just large enough to secure defeat, and frequently members have 
to change their votes to the negative as they find the measure is 
about to be carried. Several instances have occurred in the last 
year or two where the bill passed but during the night the party 
whip was applied with such force that the affirmative was com- 
pelled to reconsider its action the next day. There is little doubt 
that even now if members were free to vote their convictions a 
bill could be carried in many Legislatures. 

A most encouraging sign is the attitude of the Press. Al- 
though the country papers occasionally refer to the suffrage ad- 
vocates as hyenas, cats, crowing hens, bold wantons, unsexed 
females and dangerous home-wreckers expressions which were 
common a generation ago these are no longer found in metro- 
politan and influential newspapers. Scores of both city and 
country papers openly advocate the measure and scores of others 
would do so if they were not under the same control as the Leg- 
islatures. Ten years ago it was almost impossible to secure 
space in any paper for woman suffrage arguments. To-day 
several of the largest in the country maintain regular depart- 
ments for this purpose, while the report of the press chairman 
of the National Association for 1901 stated that during the past 
eight months 175,000 articles on the subject had been sent to the 
press and a careful investigation showed that three-fourths of 
them had been published. In addition different papers had used 
150 special articles, while the page of plate matter furnished 
every six weeks was extensively taken. New York reported 400 
papers accepting suffrage matter regularly; Pennsylvania, 368; 
Iowa, 253; Illinois, 161 ; Massachusetts, 107, and other States in 
varying numbers. Since this question is very largely one of 
educating the people, the opening of the Press to its argument's 
is probably the most important advantage which has been gained. 


The progress of public sentiment is strikingly illustrated in a 
comparison of the votes in those States which have twice sub- 
mitted an amendment to their constitution that would give the 
suffrage to women. In Kansas such an amendment in 1867 re- 
ceived 9,070 ayes, 19,857 noes; in 1894, 95,302 ayes, 130,139 
noes. The second time it was indorsed by the Populists and 
not by the Republicans, therefore the latter, who in that State are 
really favorable to the measure, largely voted against it in order 
that the Populists might not strengthen their party by appearing 
to carry it, and yet the percentage of opposition was considerably 
decreased. In Colorado in 1877 the vote stood 6,612 ayes, 
14,055 noes; in 1893 tne amendment was carried by 35,698 ayes, 
29,461 noes a majority of 6,237. Oregon in 1884 gave 11,223 
ayes, 28,176 noes; in 1900, 26,265 ayes, 28,402 noes an increase 
of 226 opponents and 15,042 advocates. The vote in Washing- 
ton in 1889 was 16,527 ayes, 35,917 noes; in 1898, 20,171 ayes, 
30,497 noes the opposing majority reduced from 19,396 to 
10,326, or almost one-half. 

One is logically entitled to believe from these figures that the 
question will be carried in each of those States the next time it is 
voted on. It must be remembered that women go into all these 
campaigns with no political influence and practically no money, 
not enough to employ workers and speakers to make an approach 
to a thorough organization and canvass of the State ; totally with- 
out the aid of party machinery; with no platform on which to 
present their cause except such as is granted by courtesy; and 
with no advocacy of it by the speakers on the platforms of the 
various parties. The increased majorities indicate solely that 
men are emerging from the bondage of tradition, prejudice and 
creed, and that when they can escape from the bondage of politics 
they will grant justice to women. 

The very fact that women themselves are arousing from their 
inertia to the extent of organizing in opposition to what they 
term "the danger of having the ballot thrust upon them" shows 
life. While their enrollment is infinitesimal it has set women to 
thinking, and a number who have signed the declaration that 
they do not want the franchise, have for the first time been com- 
pelled to give the matter consideration and have decided that 
they "do want it. The facts also that within a few years the 


membership of the National Suffrage Association has doubled; 
that auxiliaries have been formed in every State and Territory ; 
that permanent headquarters have been established in New York ; 
and that the revenues (almost wholly the contributions of 
women) have risen from the $2,000 or $3,000 per annum, which 
it was barely possible to secure half-a-dozen years ago, to $10,345 
in 1899, $22,522 in 1900 (including receipts from Bazar), $18,- 
290 in 1901 these facts are indisputable evidence of the growth 
of the sentiment among women. In this line of progress must be 
placed also the thousands of other organizations containing 
millions of women, which, although not including the suffrage 
among their objects, are engaged in efforts for better laws, civic 
improvements and a general advance in conditions that inevitably 
will bring them to realize the immense disadvantage of belonging 
to a class without political influence. 

Nothing could be more illogical than the belief that a republic 
would confer every gift upon woman except the choicest and then 
forever withhold this ; or that women would be content to possess 
all others and not eventually demand the one most valuable. The 
increasing number who are attending political conventions and 
crowding mass meetings until they threaten to leave no room for 
voters, are unmistakable proof that eventually women themselves 
and men also will see the utter absurdity of their disfranchised 
condition. The ancient objections which were urged so forcibly 
a generation or two ago have lost their force and must soon be 
retired from service. The charge of mental incapacity is totally 
refuted by the statistics of 1900 showing the percentage of girls 
in the High Schools to be 58.36 and of boys, 41.64 ; the number of 
girl graduates, 39,162; boys, 22,575; 70 per cent, of the public 
school teachers women; 40,000 women college graduates scat- 
tered throughout the country and 30,000 now in the universities, 
with the percentage of their increase in women students three 
times as great as that of men, and 431,153 women practicing in 
the various professions. 

The charge of business incompetency is disproved by the 503,- 
574 women who are engaged in trade and transportation, the 
980,025 in agriculture and the 1,315,890 in manufacturing and 
mechanical pursuits. Every community also furnishes its special 
examples of the aptitude of women for business, now that they 


are allowed a chance to manifest it. Statistics show further that 
one-tenth of the millionaires are women and that they are large 
property holders in every locality. Whether they earned or in- 
herited their holdings, the fact remains that they are compelled to 
pay taxes on billions of dollars without any representation. 

The military argument that women must not vote because 
they can not fight is seldom used nowadays, as it is so clearly 
evident that it would also disfranchise vast numbers of men ; that 
the value of women in the perpetuation of the Government is at 
least equal to that of the men who defend it ; and that there is no 
recognition in the laws by which the franchise is exercised of the 
slightest connection between a ballot and a bullet. 

The most persistent objection that if women are allowed to 
enter politics they will neglect their homes and families is con- 
clusively answered in the four States where they have had 
political rights for a number of years and domestic life still 
moves on just as in other places. In two of the four while Ter- 
ritories women had exercised the franchise from seventeen to 
twenty-one years, and yet a large majority of the men voted to 
grant it perpetually. Women do not love their families because 
compelled to do so by statute, or cling to their homes because 
there is no place for them outside. This same direful prediction 
was made at every advanced step, but, although the entire status 
of women has been changed, and they are largely engaged in the 
public work of every community, they are better and happier 
wives, mothers and housekeepers because they are more intelli- 
gent and live a broader life. But they are learning, and the 
world is learning, that their housekeeping qualities should extend 
to the municipality and their power of motherhood to the children 
of the whole nation, and that these should be expressed through 
this very politics from which they are so rigorously excluded. 

The objections of the opponents have been so largely confuted 
that they have for the most part been compelled to make a last 
defense by declaring: "When the majority of women ask for 
the suffrage they may have it." By this very concession they 
admit that there is no valid reason for withholding it, and in thus 
arbitrarily doing so they are denying all representation to the 
minority, which is wholly at variance with republican principles. 
This is excused on the ground that the franchise is not a "right" 


but a privilege to be granted or not as seems best to those in 
power. This was the Tory argument before the American Revo- 
lution, and, carried back to its origin, it upholds "the divine au- 
thority of kings." The law to put in force the one and only 
amendment ever added to our National Constitution to extend 
the franchise was entitled, "An act to enforce the right of citi- 
zens of the United States to vote;" and the amendment itself 
reads, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall 
not be denied or abridged." (See Chap. I.) 

The readers of the present volume will not find such a story of 
cruel and relentless punishment inflicted upon advocates of woman 
suffrage as is related in the earlier volumes of this History, but 
the passing of rack and thumbscrew, of stake and fagot, does not 
mean the end of persecution in the world. Those who stand for 
this reform to-day do not tread a flower-strewn path. It is yet 
an unpopular subject, under the ban of society and receiving scant 
measure of public sympathy, but it must continue to be urged. 
If the assertion had been accepted as conclusive, that a measure 
which after years of advocacy is still opposed by the majority 
should be dropped, the greatest reforms of history would have 
been abandoned. The personal character of those who represent 
a cause, however, sometimes carries more weight than the num- 
bers, and judged by this standard none has had stronger support 
than the enfranchisement of women.* 

The struggle of the Nineteenth Century was the transference 
of power from one man or one class of men to all men, it has been 
said, and while but one country in 1800 had a constitutional gov- 
ernment, in 1900 fifty had some form of constitution and some 
degree of male sovereignty. Must the Twentieth Century be 
consumed in securing for woman that which man spent a hundred 
years in obtaining for himself? The determination of those en- 
gaged in this righteous contest was thus expressed by the presi- 
dent of the National Suffrage Association in her address at the 
annual convention of 1902: 

Refore the attainment of equal rights for men and women there 
will 1>e years of struggle and disappointment. We of a younger 
generation have taken up the work where our noble and consecrated 
pioneers left it. We, in turn, are enlisted for life, and generations 

For partial list, see Appendix Eminent Advocates of Woman Suffrage. 


yet unborn will take up the work where we lay it down. So, through 
centuries if need be, the education will continue, until a regenerated 
race of men and women who are equal before man and God shall 
control the destinies of the earth. 

But have we not reason to hope, in this era of rapid fulfilment 
when in all material things electricity is accomplishing in a day 
what required months under the old regime that moral progress 
will keep pace ? And that as much stronger as the electric power 
has shown itself than the coarse and heavy forces of the stone and 
iron periods, so much superior will prove the noblesse oblige of 
the men and women of the present, achieving in a generation 
what was not possible to the narrow selfishness and ignorant 
prejudice of all the past ages ? 

A part of the magnificent plan to beautify Washington, the 
capital of the nation, is a colossal statue to American Woman- 
hood. The design embodies a great arch of marble standing on 
a base in the form of an oval and broken by sweeps of steps. On 
either side are large bronze panels, bearing groups of figures. 
One of these will be a symbolic design showing the spirit of 
the people descending to lay offerings on woman's altar. Lofty 
pillars crowned by figures representing Victory, are to be placed 
at the approaches. Surmounting the arch will be the chief group 
of the composition, symbolizing Woman Glorified. She is rising 
from her throne to greet War and Peace, Literature and Art, 
Science and Industry, who approach to lay homage at her feet. 
Inside the arch is a memorial hall for recording the achievements 
of women. 

How soon this symbol shall become reality and woman stand 
forth in all the glory of freedom to reach her highest stature, de- 
pends upon the use she makes of the opportunities already hers 
and the fraternal assistance she receives from man. Fearless of 
criticism, courageous in faith, let each take for a guide these in- 
spiring words which it has been said the Puritan of old would 
utter if he could speak : "I was a radical in my day ; be 
thou the same in thine! I turned my back upon the old tyran- 
nies and heresies and struck for the new liberties and beliefs ; my 
liberty and my belief are doubtless already tyranny and heresy to 
thine age ; strike thou for the new !" 
VOL. IV WOM. SUF. iii 


ANTHONY. SUSAN B. . *. Frontispiece 







































Pioneers break the ground All their demands now practically con- 
ceded except the Franchise Why is this still refused? All other 
rights depend on Statute Law, suffrage on change of Constitution No 
other nation thus fettered Further almost insurmountable ob- 
stacles Experience in many States Either dominant party would 
enfranchise women if it were sure of their votes Liquor interests 
and political "machines" allied in opposition They control the situa- 
tion Figures of votes on Amendments Majority of people born 
opponents of all innovations Character of electorate on which women 
must depend Indifference of women themselves Reaction against a 
democratic government Facts showing steady progress of Woman 
Suffrage All signs favorable Women in education and business 
Old objections dying out Personal character of advocates Perse- 
cution not obsolete but the enfranchisement of women inevitable. 



Early State constitutions provided against Woman Suffrage First 
demand for it Women after the Civil War "Male'' first used in 
National Constitution Fourteenth Amendment Endeavor to make 
it include women They attempt to vote Susan B. Anthony's trial 
Case of Virginia L. Minor Supreme Court decisions Suffrage as 
a right Arguments for the Federal Franchise National Association 
decides to try only for new Amendment Hearings before Congres- 
sional Committees Reports of these committees Debate in Congress. 



Forming of National Association in 1869 Washington selected for 
annual conventions Call for that of '84 Extracts from speeches on 
Kentucky Laws for Women Woman before the Law Outrage of 
Disfranchisement Ethics of Woman Suffrage England vs. the 
United States Bishop Matthew Simpson in Favor of Woman's En- 
franchisement Resolutions and Plan of Work Memorial to Wendell 
Phillips Miss Anthony on Disfranchisement a Disgrace Matilda 
Joslyn Gage on The Feminine in the Sciences. 





Debate in the House on a Special Woman Suffrage Committee Ex- 
tracts from speeches of John H. Reagan on Awful Effects of Woman 
Suffrage James B. Belford on Woman's Right to a Special Commit- 
tee J. Warren Keifer on Justice of the Enfranchisement of Women 
John D. White on Woman's Right to be Heard Hearing before 
Senate Committee Interdependence of Men and Women Woman 
Suffrage a Paramount Question A Right does not Depend on a Ma- 
jority's Asking for It Woman's Ballot for the Good of the Race- 
Preponderance of Foreign Vote Miss Anthony on Action by Con- 
gress vs. Action by Legislatures Elizabeth Cady Stanton on Self- 
Government the Best Means of Self-Development; moral need of 
woman's ballot, men as natural protectors, inherent right of self- 
representation Favorable Senate Report Adverse House Report by 
William C. Maybury Editorial comment Luke P. Poland on Men 
Should Represent Women Strong Report in Favor by Thomas B. 
Reed, Ezra B. Taylor, Moses A. McCoid, Thomas M. Browne. 



Startling descriptions of delegates' attirfr Mrs. Stanton on Separate 
Spheres an Impossibility Discussion on resolution denouncing Reli- 
gious Dogmas Criticism by ministers Great speech in favor of 
Woman Suffrage in the U. S. Senate by Thomas W. Palmer; action 
by Congress a necessity, Scriptures not opposed to the equality of 
woman, figures of women's vote, State needs woman's ballot. 



Relation of the Woman Suffrage Movement to the Labor Question 
Take Down the Barriers German and American Independence Con- 
trasted Resolution condemning Creeds and Dogmas again discussed 
Woman's Right to Vote under Fourteenth Amendment Disfran- 
chisement Cuts Women's Wages One-half No Right to a Vote on 
Liberties of Other Half Woman Suffrage Necessary for Life of 
Republic America lags behind in granting political rights to women 
Minority House Report in favor of a Sixteenth Amendment by 
Ezra B. Taylor, W. P. Hepburn, Lucian B. Caswell, A. A. Ranney; 
men hold franchise by force, women require it for development, his- 
tory of woman one of wrong and outrage, Government needs woman's 
vote, no excuse for waiting till majority demand it. 



Joint Resolution for Sixteenth Amendment extending Right of Suf- 
frage to Women Able speech of Henry W. Blair; Government 


founded on equality of rights, no connection between the vote and 
ability to fight, property qualification an invasion of natural right, 
man's deification of woman a shallow pretense, no such thing as house- 
hold suffrage here, maternity qualifies woman to vote, fear of family 
dissension not a valid excuse Joseph E. Brown replies; Creator in- 
tended spheres of men and women to be different, man qualified by 
physical strength to vote, caucuses and jury duty too laborious for 
women, they are queens, princesses and angels, they would neglect 
their families to go into politics, the delicate and refined would feel 
compelled to vote, only the vulgar and ignorant would go to the polls, 
ballot would not help workingwomen, husbands would compel wives 
to vote as they dictated Editorial comment Joseph N. Dolph sup- 
ports the Resolution ; if but one woman wants the suffrage it is tyranny 
to refuse it, neither in nature nor revealed will of God is there anything 
to forbid, contest for woman suffrage a struggle for human liberty, 
its benefits where exercised James B. Eustis objects Georg G. Vest 
depicts the terrible dangers, negro women all would vote Republican 
ticket, husband does not wish to go home to embrace of female ward 
politician, women too emotional to vote, suffrage not a right, we must 
not unsex our mothers and wives Editorial comment George F. 
Hoar defends woman suffrage ; arguments against it are against popu- 
lar government, Senators Brown and Vest have furnished only gush 
and emotion Senator Blair closes debate with an appeal that women 
may carry their case to the various Legislatures Vote on submitting 
an Amendment, 16 yeas, 34 nays. 



Bishop John P. Newman favors Woman Suffrage Mrs. Stanton's 
sarcastic comments on the speeches of Senators Brown and Vest 
Lillie Devereux Blake's satire on the Rights of Men Isabella Beecher 
Hooker on the Constitutional Rights of Women Woman of the Pres- 
ent and Past Delegate Joseph M. Carey on Woman Suffrage in 
Wyoming Authority of Congress to Enfranchise Women Zerelda 
G. Wallace on Woman's Ballot a Necessity for the Permanence of 
Free Institutions ; the lack of morality in Government has caused the 
downfall of nations Resolutions U. S. Treasurer Spinner first to 
employ women in a Government department. 



Origin of the Council Call issued by National Suffrage Association 
Official statistics of this great meeting Eloquent sermon of the 
Rev. Anna Howard Shaw on the Heavenly Vision ; release of woman 
from bondage of centuries, crucifixion of reformers, the visions of all 
ages Miss Anthony opens the Council Mrs. Stanton's address; 
psalms of women's lives in a minor key, sympathy as a civil agent 
powerless until coined into law, women have been mere echoee of 


men Council demands all employments shall be open to women, equal 
pay for equal work, a single standard of morality Forming of perma- 
nent National and International Councils Convention of Suffrage 
Association Mrs. Stanton expounds National Constitution to Senate 
Committee and shows the violation of its provisions in their applica- 
tion to women Mrs. Ormiston Chant makes address Also Julia 
Ward Howe Frances E. Willard pleads for enfranchisement. 



Official Call shows non-partisan character of the demand for Woman 
Suffrage Senator Blair makes clear presentation of woman's right 
to vote for Representatives in Congress under the Federal Constitu- 
tion Mrs. Stanton ridicules women for passing votes of thanks to 
men for restoring various minor privileges which they had usurped 
Hebrew Scriptures not alone the root of woman's subjection 
Representative William D. Kelley speaks Foreign and Catholic vote 
contrasted with American and Protestant The Position of Woman in 
Marriage Miss Anthony on Woman's Attempt to Vote under the 
Fourteenth Amendment The Coming Sex Woman's Bill of Rights 
Favorable report from Committee, Senators Blair, Charles B. Far- 
well, Jonathan Chace, Edward O. Wolcott. 



Mrs. Stanton addresses Senate Committee; the South has not treated 
negro men more unjustly than the North has treated all women, 
women never can fully respect themselves or be respected while de- 
graded legally and politically. Queen Victoria contrasted with Ameri- 
can women who do not wish to vote Zebulon B. Vance questions 
Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony Committee reports in favor Cele- 
bration of Miss Anthony's Seventieth Birthday First convention of 
the two united associations Striking resolutions Address of Wm. 
Dudley Foulke; fundamental right of self-government, equal rights 
never conceded to women, a just man accords to every other human 
being the rights he claims for himself, if one woman insists upon the 
franchise the justice of America can not afford to deny it Miss 
Anthony demands free platform Chivalry of Reform Mrs. Wallace 
on A Whole Humanity; woman is teacher, character-builder, soul- 
life of the race, not a question of woman's rights but of human rights 
Washington Star's tribute to Miss Anthony. 



Triennial meeting of National Council Hail to Wyoming! Mrs. 
Stanton on the Degradation of Disfranchisement ; women suffer from 
the disgrace just as men would, State, Church and Society uphold 


their subordination, all must be brought into harmony with the idea 
of equality Lucy Stone speaks The Rev. Frederick A. Hinckley 
on Husband and Wife are One; together they must establish justice, 
temperance and purity U. S. Senator Carey tells of the admission 
of Wyoming, first State with full suffrage for women ; tribute to their 
influence in government The Rev. Miss Shaw describes recent cam- 
paign in South Dakota, Indians given preference over women. 



Discussion on Sunday opening of Columbian Exposition Last ap- 
pearance of Mrs. Stanton at a national convention after an attendance 
of forty years Miss Anthony elected President Value of Organiza- 
tions for Women First hearing before a Democratic House Com- 
mittee Mrs. Stanton on the Solitude of Self ; the right of- individual 
conscience, individual citizenship, individual development, man and 
woman need the same preparation for time and eternity Lucy Stone 
pleads for the rights of women, for justice and fair play, for the 
feminine as well as the masculine influence in Government Mrs. 
Hooker speaks Senate Committee addressed by Carrie Chapman 
Catt, and other noted women Miss Shaw on an Appeal to Deaf 
Ears ; time will come when ears will be unstopped, voice of the people 
is voice of God, but voice of the whole people never has been heard 
Miss Anthony compliments Senator Hoar Committee report in favor 
by Senators Hoar, John B. Allen, Francis E. Warren; Vance and 
George dissent. 



Washington Evening Nezvs pays a compliment to the Association 
Memorial service for George William Curtis, John G. Whittier and 
others Frederick Douglass speaks of other days Miss Shaw on Mrs. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Rev. Anna Oliver Miss Anthony 
tells what has been gained in fourscore years Woman Independent 
only when She Can Support and Protect Herself The Girl of the 
Future Opinions of Governors of States on Woman Suffrage Last 
Message from Lucy Stone U. S. Commissioner of Labor, Carroll 
D. Wright, on the Industrial Emancipation of Women Miss An- 
thony on publishing a paper Discussion on Sunday Observance 
Resolutions Miss Anthony opposes national conventions outside of 
Washington Majority votes for alternate meetings elsewhere 
Bishop John F. Hurst in favor of Woman Suffrage. 



Interesting picture of convention in Woman's Journal Miss Anthony 
describes forty years' wandering in the wilderness Colorado women 
present her with flag She declares the suffrage association knows no 
section, no party, no creed Memorial service for Lucy Stone and 


other distinguished members, with addresses by Mrs. Howe, Mr. 
Foulke, Mr. Blackwell and others Many interesting speeches Miss 
Shaw's anecdotes Her Sunday sermon, "Let no man take thy 
crown ;" this was written to the church and includes woman, respon- 
sibility should be placed on women to steady them in the use of 
power Letter commending Woman Suffrage from Gov. Davis H. 
Waite of Colorado Rachel Foster Avery tells of Miss Anthony's part 
in securing the World's Fair Board of Lady Managers Discussion 
on Federal Suffrage Kate Field states her position. 



The Atlanta convention first one held outside of Washington Cor- 
dial reception by press and people Miss Anthony's charm as presid- 
ing officer Examples of bright informal business meetings Addresses 
of welcome by Mayor and others Woman as a Subject Out of Her 
Sphere The New Woman of the New South Woman Suffrage a 
Solution of the Negro Problem Good suggestions for Organization 
and Legislative Work Three Classes of Opponents. 



The Rev. Miss Shaw's account of Miss Anthony's and her trip to the 
Pacific Coast Philosophy of Woman Suffrage Universal not Lim- 
ited Suffrage Memorial service for Frederick Douglass, Theodore 
Lovett Sewall, Ellen Battelle Dietrick and others Welcome to Utah, 
a new State with Full Suffrage for Women Response by Senator 
Frank J. Cannon and Representative C. E. Allen Contest over the 
resolution against Mrs. Stanton's Woman's Bible Miss Anthony's 
eloquent protest Resolution adopted Women as Legislators 
Charlotte Perkins Stetson on The Ballot as an Improver of Mother- 
hood Congressional Hearings Representative John F. Shafroth on 
the good effects of Woman Suffrage in Colorado Paper of Mrs. 
Stanton picturing dark page which present political position of woman 
will offer to historian of the future. 



Annual meeting in Des Moines welcomed by the Governor, the Mayor, 
the Rev. H. O. Breeden and others Miss Anthony in her president's 
address describes campaigns the previous year in Idaho, where 
Woman Suffrage was carried, and in California where it was de- 
feated Eulogized by the Leader Mrs. Chapman Catt receives an 
ovation Mrs. Colby presents memorial resolutions for nearly forty 
faithful friends President George A. Gates of Iowa College advo- 
cates woman suffrage Maternal Love High but Narrow Domestic 
Life" of Suffragists Should the Advocates of Woman Suffrage Be 


Strictly Non- Partisan? Celebration in honor of the Free States, 
Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Idaho All God's Works Recognize 
Co-equality of Male and Female Letter from daughter of Speaker 
Reed Press Work Presidential Suffrage. 



Fiftieth Anniversary of First Woman's Rights Convention Chief 
obstacle to organization is women themselves Gains of half-a- 
century Miss Anthony's birthday luncheon Mrs. Stanton's paper on 
Our Defeats and Our Triumphs The Distinguished Dead Mrs. 
Hooker and Miss Anthony in pretty scene Roll-call of Pioneers 
Letter from Abigail Bush, president of first convention Greetings 
from Lucinda H. Stone, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell and many individ- 
uals and associations Addresses by Mrs. Cannon, a woman State 
Senator from Utah, Mrs. Conine, a woman State Representative from 
Colorado, Miss Reel, State Superintendent of Instruction from Wy- 
oming, U. S. Senators Teller and Cannon, and others Senate Hear- 
ing Wm. Lloyd Garrison on The Nature of a Republican Form of 
Government May Wright Sewall on Fitness of Women to Become 
Citizens from the Standpoint of Education and Mental Develop- 
ment The Rev. Anna Garlin Spencer on Moral Development Laura 
Clay on Physical Development Harriot Stanton Blatch on Woman 
as an Economic Factor Florence Kelley, State Factory Inspector of 
Illinois, on the Workingwoman's Need of the Ballot Mariana W. 
Chapman on Women as Capitalists and Taxpayers Elizabeth Burrill 
Curtis, Are Women Represented in Our Government? Henry B. 
Blackwell, Woman Suffrage and the Home Mrs. Stanton, The Sig- 
nificance and History of the Ballot House Hearing Practical 
Working of Woman Suffrage Alice Stone Blackwell on The Indiffer- 
ence of Women Miss Anthony Closes Hearing. 



Excellent arrangements at Grand Rapids Welcome from women's 
organizations Miss Anthony's response; counting negro men and 
refusing them representation no worse than counting all women 
and refusing them representation, not discouraged, help of the press 
The Rev. Anna Garlin Spencer on Our Duty to Our New Posses- 
sions; strong protest against giving their men political power and 
refusing it to their women Discussion; commissions sent to in- 
vestigate commerce, finance, everything but social conditions, demand 
for commission of women, in all savage tribes women superior to 
men, they should have ballot in Hawaii and the Philippines Letter 
from Samuel Gompers Care' to secure soldiers' votes Effects of 
Suffrage Teaching Mrs. Sewall on True Civilization Miss Shaw 
speaks Mrs. Stanton on Women Alone Left to Fight their own Bat- 
tles Women and War Epigrams from Southern women Miss An- 


thony on Every Woman Can Help Resolutions of encouragement 
Memorial services for Parker Pillsbury, Robert Purvis, Matilda 
Joslyn Gage and many others, with Mrs. Stanton's tribute Efforts 
of the National Association to secure equal rights for Hawaiian 
women Shameful action of Congressional Committee Unimpeach- 
able testimony from the Philippines., 



Woman suffrage editorial in Washington Post Large number of 
young college women present Miss Anthony's last opening address 
as President Miss Shaw tells joke on her and then describes Inter- 
national Council of Women in London Miss Anthony reports as 
delegate to the Council, which was in effect a big suffrage meeting 
The Winning of Educational Freedom for Women Woman Suf- 
frage in Colorado New Professions for Women Centering in the 
Home Justice of Woman Suffrage Federation of Labor for wom- 
an's enfranchisement Conditions of Wage-earning Women Miss 
Shaw's sermon on the Rights of Women Woman Suffrage in the 
South Work done in Congress and Miss Anthony's part in it 
Congressional Hearings Woman's Franchise in England Mrs. 
Chapman Catt on Why We Ask for the Submission of an Amend- 
ment Miss Anthony closes Senate hearing with touching appeal 
Constitutional Argument before House Committee by Mrs. Blake 
Mrs. Stanton's annual State paper The Economic Basis of Woman 
Suffrage The Protective Power of the Ballot Miss Shaw's plea for 
justice and liberty First appearance of Anti-Suffragists Their amus- 
ing inconsistencies Charges made by them officially refuted Miss 
Anthony's reception by President and Mrs. McKinley. 



Miss Anthony's determination to resign the presidency Her address 
to the convention Affecting scene at the election of Carrie Chap- 
man Catt Her acceptance Press notices of the new President 
Birthday gifts to Miss Anthony Interesting occurrences of the last 
session The retiring president introduces her successor, who makes a 
strong address Miss Anthony's Farewell Birthday Celebration in 
Lafayette Opera House Program and Woman's Tribune report 
Women in all professions bring tributes of gratitude Organizations 
of women send greetings Colored women express devotion Pres- 
ents from the "four free States" and from the District of Columbia 
Mrs. Coonley-Ward's poem Mrs. Stanton's daughter brings her 
mother's love Miss Shaw's inspiring words Miss Anthony's beau- 
tiful response Evening reception at Corcoran Art Gallery attended 
by thousands Great changes wrought in one life-time. 




Annual meeting of 1884 in Chicago Lucy Stone's account in Woman's 
Journal Work in the South Resolutions and plan of work Memo- 
rial service for Wendell Phillips, Frances Dana Gage and others 
List of officers Annual meeting of 1885 Welcomed by Mayor of 
Minneapolis Julia Ward Howe responds Letters from Louisa M. 
Alcott, Mary A. Livermore, Chancellor Wm. G. Eliot, Dr. Mary F. 
Thomas Major J. A. Pickler tells of Woman Suffrage in South Da- 
kota Need of converting women Lucy Stone on Fair Play Annual 
meeting of 1886 Cordial greeting of Topeka Addresses of wel- 
come review history of Woman Suffrage in Kansas President Wm. 
Dudley Foulke and Mrs. Howe respond with tributes to men of 
Kansas Speech of Prof. W. H. Carruth Mr. Foulke on the Value 
of Dreamers Many letters and telegrams Annual meeting of 1887 
. State Senator A. D. Harlan gives welcome of Philadelphia Col. 
T. W. Higginson's address Report of Lucy Stone, chairman of 
executive committee Resolutions congratulating Kansas women on 
the granting of Municipal Suffrage Great suffrage bazar in Boston 
-^-Annual meeting of 1888 Favorable comment of Cincinnati papers 
Letter from Clara Barton Address of Henry B. Blackwell Lucy 
Stone's description Large amount of work done Committee to ar- 
range for union with National Suffrage Association In 1889 delegates 
from both organizations perfect arrangements Appeal of Mrs. Stone, 
Mrs. Howe and Mrs. Livermore to constitutional conventions of 
Dakota, Washington, Montana and Idaho Visit of Mr. Blackwell to 
first three to secure Woman Suffrage Amendments In 1890 the two 
associations hold joint convention in national capital. 



Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony make first appeal to political conven- 
tions in 1868 Faint recognition of National Republican Convention 
in 1872, 1876, 1888, 1892, 1896 No Democratic national platform ever 
noticed women Record of Populists on Woman Suffrage Course 
pursued by Prohibition and other parties Women as delegates 
Miss Anthony's work in various conventions Unusual efforts made 
in 1900 Letters and Memorial to all parties Amazing result .in Re- 
publican platform Ignored by Democrats and Populists Sentiment 
developed among delegates Petitions to non-political conventions 
Approval of Labor organizations Effect in Brewers' Convention 
Strong testimony from Wyoming Thousands of letters written 
Petitions for Woman Suffrage representing millions of individuals 
sent to Congress. 



Status of woman at close of the century as shown in Organization, 
Legislative Action, Laws, Suffrage, Office-holding, Occupations and 


Education Part of different associations in securing present condi- 
tionsEvery State shows progress Legal and civil rights of women 
now approximate those of men Property laws for wives Guardian- 
ship of children Causes for divorce in various States "Age of 
protection" for girls The amount of suffrage women now possess 
Women in office in various States Occupations open to women- 
Educational advantages. 


ALABAMA 465-469 

Organization for suffrage Legislative action and laws Office-hold- 
ing Occupations Education Clubs. 


ARIZONA 47~474 

Same as above (School Suffrage). 


ARKANSAS 475~477 

Same as above. 



Early efforts for the suffrage Woman's Congress Amendment sub- 
mitted to voters Great campaign of 1896 National officers go to its 
assistance Experience with State political conventions Favorable 
attitude of the Press Liquor dealers fight Woman Suffrage Treach- 
ery of party managers Defeat and its causes. 


First suffrage society Woman's Parliament Organization and work 
for the great campaign Methods worthy of imitation Friendly spirit 
of the press and many associations Southern California declares 
for Woman Suffrage Laws for women Ellen Clark Sargent's test 
case in San Francisco for the franchise Large donations of women 
for education. 


COLORADO 509-534 

Organization for Woman Suffrage Question submitted to voters 
Endorsed by all political parties Work of women in the cam- 
paign Eastern anti-suffragists and Western liquor dealers join 
hands Amendment carries by over 6,000 Reasons for success After 
the battle Political work of women Only three per cent, failed to 
vote in 1900 Laws Legislature of 1809 urges all States to enfran- 
chise women General effects of woman suffrage. 



Organization for suffrage Legislative action and laws School Suf- 
frage Office-holding of women Occupations Education Clubs. 



DAKOTA 543~544 

Suffrage work in the Territory. 


Efforts of women for the franchise in first constitutional conven- 
tion Organization of suffrage clubs to secure amendment of constitu- 
tion Legislative action and laws School Suffrage Office-holding 
of women Occupations Education Clubs. 


Same as above Campaign of 1890 to secure Woman Suffrage Amend- 
ment Assistance of National Association Hardships of the canvass 
Treachery of politicians Amendment defeated by nearly 24,000 
Second attempt in 1898 Defeated by 3,285. 


DELAWARE \ 563-566 

Organization for suffrage Legislative action and laws School Suf- 
frage Office-holding of women Occupations Education Clubs. 



Peculiar position of women Work of Suffrage Association with 
Congressional Committees Property rights secured Women on 
School Board Women in Government Departments Woman's Col- 
lege of Law Other things accomplished by women of the District. 


FLORIDA 577~s8o 

Organization for suffrage Effort to raise "age of protection" for 
girls and its failure Laws Occupations Education. 


GEORGIA 581-588 

Same as above Annual convention of National Association in 1895. 


IDAHO 589-597 

First work for woman suffrage Submission of Amendment Cam- 
paign of i8o6-^Favored by all political parties Carried by large ma- 
jority Favorable decision of Supreme Court Women elected to 
office Percentage of women voting Effects of woman's vote 
Endorsement of prominent men Laws, etc. 


ILLINOIS 598-613 

Organization Obtaining School Suffrage Supreme Court gives wide 
latitude to Legislature Women trustees for State' University Equal 


guardianship of children for mothers Many women in office 
Women's part in Columbian Exposition Remarkable achievement of 
two teachers in compelling corporations to pay taxes Education. 


INDIANA 614-627 

Early suffrage organization Efforts in political conventions Work in 
Legislature Laws Amazing decisions of Supreme Court on the right 
of women to practice law, keep a saloon and vote Struggle for 
police matrons Women organized in fifty departments of work. 


IOWA 628-637 

Long years of organized work Continued refusal of Legislature to 
submit a Woman Suffrage Amendment to voters Convention of the 
National Association in 1897 Liberal laws for women Many holding 
office Bond Suffrage. 


KANSAS 638-664 

Organization work and large number of conventions Granting of 
Municipal Suffrage Alliance with parties Efforts for Full Suffrage 
Amendment submitted Republicans fail to endorse Campaign of 
1894 National Association and officers assist Amendment defeated 
by defection of all parties Attempt to secure suffrage by statute 
A pioneer in liberal laws for women They hold offices not held by 
those of any other State Official statistics of woman's vote 
Many restrictions placed on Municipal Suffrage Class of women 
who use the franchise. 


KENTUCKY 665-677 

Organization Efforts to secure Full Suffrage from Constitutional 
Convention State Association succeeds in revolutionizing the prop- 
erty laws for women School Suffrage Educational facilities, etc. 


LOUISIANA 678-688 

Women's work at Cotton Centennial and in Anti-lottery Campaign 
Organization for suffrage Efforts in Constitutional Convention of 
1898 Taxpayer's Suffrage granted to women Campaign in New Or- 
leans for Sewerage and Drainage Measure carried by the women- 
Napoleonic code of laws. 


MAINE 689-694 

Organization for suffrage Legislative action and laws Office-holding 
of women Occupations Education Clubs. 



MARYLAND 695-700 

Same as above Pioneers in Woman's Rights Women vote in An- 
napolis Contest of Miss Maddox to practice law Work of women 
for Medical Department of Johns Hopkins University. 



Pioneer work for suffrage New England and State Associations and 
May Festivals List of Officers Death of Lucy Stone Anti- Suf- 
frage Association formed Fifty years of Legislative Work Repub- 
licans declare for Woman Suffrage Submission of Mock Refer- 
endum Campaign in its behalf Activity of the' "antis" Measure 
defeated, but woman's vote more than ten to one in favor in every 
district Laws Equal guardianship of children School Suffrage 
Women in office Education Pay of women teachers. 


Organization Efforts to secure large school vote Legislative 
work Assistance in Referendum Campaign Press work Many 
meetings held. 


MICHIGAN 755~77i 

Organization Efforts in political conventions Municipal Suffrage 
granted to women Declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court 
Coarse methods of opponents Convention of National Association 
in 1899 Laws School Suffrage Woman can not be prosecuting at- 
torney Education, etc. 


MINNESOTA 772-782 

Organization Legislative action and laws School and Library Suf- 
frage Women in office Occupations Education Clubs. 



Organization Legislative action Good property laws Efforts to 
secure suffrage for women from Constitutional Convention Frag- 
mentary franchise Education. 


MISSOURI 790-795 

Organization Legislative action and laws Office-holding Education. 


MONTANA 796-801 

Organization Attempt to obtain Woman Suffrage from first Constitu- 
tional Convention School and Taxpayers' Suffrage granted ; Legisla- 
tive action and laws Office-holding Women's work for location of 
capital and at World's Fair. 



NEBRASKA 802-809 

Same as above (School Suffrage). 


NEVADA 810-814 

Same as above. 



Same as above School Suffrage. 


NEW JERSEY 820-834 

Organization Attempt for amendment for School Suffrage 1 Defeated 
by 10,000 majority Legislative action and laws First State in which 
women voted How they were deprived of the ballot Franchise now 
possessed Office-holding Women in professions. 


NEW MEXICO 835-838 

Organization Legislative action and laws Office-holding Educa- 
tion Equal rights for women among Spanish-Americans. 


NEW YORK 839-873 

Battle-ground for Woman Suffrage Conventions for fifty years 
Great campaign in 1894 to secure amendment from Constitutional 
Convention Governors Hill and Flower recommend women dele- 
gates Parties refuse to nominate them Miss Anthony speaks in all 
the sixty counties Vast amount of work by other women In New 
York and Albany women organize in opposition 600,000 petition for 
suffrage, 15,000 against Convention refuses to submit Amendment 
to voters Long-continued efforts in Legislature Liberal laws for 
women School and Taxpayers' Suffrage Many women in office 
Superior educational advantages Political and other clubs. 



Agitation of suffrage question Legislative action and laws Education. 


OHIO 877-885 

Organization Mrs. Southworth's excellent scheme of enrollment 
Legislative action and laws Successful contest in Legislature and 
Supreme Court for School Suffrage Women on School Boards 
Education Clubs Rookwood pottery. 



OKLAHOMA 886-890 

Organization Legislative action and laws Attempt to secure Full 
Suffrage from Legislature of 1899 Eastern "antis" and Oklahoma 
liquor dealers co-operate Treachery of a pretended friend Office- 
holding School Suffrage. 


OREGON 891-897 

Organization Congress of Women Legislature submits Suffrage 
Amendment Defeated in 1900 by only 2,000 votes, nearly all in Port- 
land Excellent laws for women School Suffrage Occupations. 



Organization Press work Philadelphia society Women taxpay- 
ers Legislative action and laws Office-holding Hannah Penn a 
Governor Women in professions Oldest Medical College for Wom- 
en Educational advantages Clubs. 


Early organization State officers Legislative action and laws 
Campaign for Woman Suffrage Amendment in 1887 Ably advocated 
but defeated Efforts to secure Amendment from Constitutional 
Convention in 1897 Women in office Admitted to Brown Univer- 
sity Clubs and Local Council of Women. 



Organization Legislative action and laws Office-holding Education. 


TENNESSEE' 926-930 

Organization Protest of women against disfranchisement Legis- 
lative action Cruel laws for women Occupations Education. 


TEXAS 931-935 

Organization Laws Office-holding Occupations Education. 


UTAH 936-956 

Women enfranchised by Territorial Legislature in 1870 Woman's 
Exponent Congress disfranchises women in 1887 They organize to 
secure their rights Canvass the State and hold mass meetings 
Appear before Constitutional Convention and ask for Suffrage 

VOL. IV WOM. SUF. iii 


Amendment, which is granted Miss Anthony and the Rev. Anna 
Howard Shaw visit Salt Lake City Amendment carried by large 
majority in 1895 Official statistics of woman's vote Laws Office- 
holding Women legislators Women delegates Education Clubs. 


Organization Legislative action and laws School Suffrage Women 
office-holders Education Progressive steps. 


VIRGINIA 964-966 

Agitation of suffrage question Laws for women Education 
Woman head of family. 



Women enfranchised by Territorial Legislature in 1883 Figures of 
vote Unconstitutionally disfranchised by Supreme Court Suffrage 
Amendment refused in Constitutional Convention for Statehood 
Submitted separately and defeated in 1889 Action of political con- 
ventions in 1896 Experience in Legislature Amendment again sub- 
mitted Campaign of 1898 Defeated by majority less than one- half 
that of nine years before Organization Legislative action and laws 
School suffrage Office-holding Occupations. 



Organization Legislative action and laws Office-holding Education. 


WISCONSIN 985-993 

Organization Canvass of State Long but successful struggle to se- 
cure School Suffrage Decisions of Supreme Court Laws Women 
in office Education. 


WYOMING 994-101 1 

First place in the United States to enfranchise women Territorial 
Legislature gave Full Suffrage in 1869 People satisfied with it 
Constitutional Convention for Statehood unanimously includes Woman 
Suffrage Strong speeches in favor Fight against it in Congress 
Debate for amusement of present and wonder of future generations 
Men of Wyoming stand firm Finally admitted to the Union Cele- 
bration in new State Honors paid to women Miss Anthony and the 
Rev. Anna Howard Shaw visit Cheyenne Interesting scene Highest 
testimony in favor of Woman Suffrage Legislature of 1901 urges 
every State to enfranchise its women Women on juries Effects of 
woman's vote Laws Office-holding. 





Household suffrage for men proves a disadvantage to women 
Primrose League and Liberal Federation Women in politics Vote 
on Suffrage Bill in 1886 Nineteenth Century and Fortnightly Re- 
view open their columns to a discussion Parliamentary tactics in 1891 
to defeat the Bill Vote in 1892 shows opposing majority of only 
17 out of 367 Great efforts of women in 1895-6 Petition of 257,796 
presented In 1897 the Bill passes second reading by majority of 
71 Kept from a vote since then by shrewd management Its friends 
and its enemies Franchise given to women in Ireland Efforts of 
wage-earning women Death of Queen Victoria. 


Guardianship of children, property rights of wives, etc. 


Municipal Franchise for women of England, Scotland and Ireland 
Women on school boards, county councils, poor-law boards, etc. 
Deprived of seats in borough councils. 


On Royal Commissions, as factory, school and sanitary inspectors. 


Admission to Universities and opening of Woman's Colleges. 


Full Suffrage granted to women. 


Steps for the Parliamentary Franchise Granted in 1893 Statistics 
of woman's vote. 


As above Granted in 1894. 


As above Granted in 1899. 


As above Granted in 1902. 


Efforts for Parliamentary Franchise. 


As above. 


As above. 




Efforts for Parliamentary Franchise Present political conditions- 
Municipal and School Suffrage in the various Provinces Right of 
women to hold office. 



A limited vote granted in most places Situation in Germany 
Woman's franchise in Russia Advanced action in Finland Situa- 
tion in Belgium Many rights in Sweden and Norway. 



First societies on record Progress by decades Women's club 
houses Changed status of women's conventions List of National 
Associations Evolution of their objects Women gradually learning 
the disadvantages of disfranchisement 4,000,000 enrolled in organ- 
ized work for the good of humanity Must necessarily become great 
factor in public life Government will be obliged to have their assist- 



Presidents, Vice-presidents, Supreme Court Judges, U. S. Senators 
and Representatives, Governors of States, Presidents of Universities, 
Clergymen and other noted individuals who advocate the enfranchise- 
ment of women. 


Signed statements from the highest authorities in Colorado, Idaho, 
Utah and Wyoming as to the value of woman's vote in public affairs 
and the absence of predicted evils. 

NEW YORK 1094-1096 

Legal opinion on Suffrage and Office-holding for Women. 

WASHINGTON 1096-1098 

Detailed statement of women's voting and their unconstitutional dis- 
franchisement by the Territorial Supreme Court. 



Resume" of its principal points Officers Standing and Special Com- 
mittees Life Members List of delegates to national conventions. 




In the early days of the movement to enfranchise women, no 
other method was considered than that of altering the constitu- 
tion of each individual State, as it was generally accepted that 
the right to prescribe the qualifications for the suffrage rested 
entirely with the States and that the National Constitution could 
not be invoked for this purpose. While the word "male" was not 
used in this document, yet with the one exception of New Jersey, 
where women exercised the full suffrage from the adoption of 
its first constitution in 1776 until 1807, there is no record of any 
woman's being permitted to vote. At the inception of the re- 
public women were almost wholly uneducated; they were un- 
known in the industrial world; there were very few property 
owners among them; the manifold exactions of domestic duties 
absorbed all their time, strength and interest; and for these and 
many other causes they were not public factors in even the small- 
est sense of the word. One could readily believe that the found- 
ers of the Government never imagined a time when women 
would ask for a voice were it not for the significant fact that 
every State constitution, except the one mentioned above, was 
careful to put up an absolute barrier against such a contingency 
by confining the elective franchise strictly to "male" citizens 
and there it has stood impassable down to the present day. 

It was almost the exact middle of the nineteenth century be- 
fore the first demand was made by women for the right to rep- 
resent themselves the right for which their forefathers had 
fought a seven-years' war, and the one which had been made the 
corner-stone of the new Government. The complete story of the 
startling results which followed this demand never has been told 
but once, and that was when Vol. I of this History of Woman 
Suffrage was written. It was related then by the two who were 



the principal personages in a period which tried women's souls 
as they were never tried before Elizabeth Cady Stanton and 
Susan B. Anthony.* 

This movement for the freedom of women was scarcely 
launched when the long-threatened Civil War broke forth and 
precipitated the struggle for the liberty of another class whose 
slavery seemed far more terrible than the servitude of white 
women. The five years' ordeal which followed developed women 
as all the previous centuries had not been able to do, and when 
peace reigned once more, when an entire race had been born 
into freedom and the republic had been consecrated anew, the 
whole status of the American woman had been changed and the 
lines which circumscribed her old sphere had been forever ob- 
literated. Women were studying laws, constitutions and public 
questions as never before in all history, and, as they saw millions 
of colored men endowed with the full prerogatives of citizenship, 
they began to ask, "Am I not also a citizen of this great republic 
and entitled to all its rights and privileges ?" 

Up to this time the word "male" never had appeared in the 
Federal Constitution. In 1865, when the leaders among women 
were beginning to gather up their scattered forces, and the Four- 
teenth Amendment was under discussion, they saw to their amaze- 
ment and indignation that it was proposed to incorporate in that 
instrument this discriminating word. Miss Anthony was the first 
to sound the alarm, and Mrs. Stanton quickly came to her aid in 
the attempt to prevent this desecration of the people's Bill of 
Rights. The thrilling account of their efforts to thwart this high- 
handed act, their abandonment in consequence by nearly all of 
their co-workers before and during the war, their anger and 
humiliation at seeing the former slaves, whom they had helped to 
free, made their political superiors and endowed with a personal 
representation in Government which women had been pilloried for 
asking all this is graphically told in Vol. II of the History of 
Woman Suffrage, Chaps. XVII and XXI. The story with 
many personal touches is also related in the Life and Work of 
Susan B. Anthony, Chaps. XV and XVI. 

The part of this record with which Miss Anthony herself was directly connected, 
and which comprises by far the Rreater portion of the whole, is given with many per- 
onal incidents in her Life and Work. [Husted-Harper.] 


The Fourteenth Amendment was declared adopted July 28, 
1868,* and the women felt that the ground had been swept from 
'beneath their feet, as now the barriers opposed to their enfran- 
chisement by all the State constitutions had been doubly and 
trebly strengthened by sanction of the National Constitution. 
The first ray of encouragement came in October, 1869, when, at 
a State woman suffrage convention held in St. Louis, Mo., 
Francis Minor, a leading attorney of that city, declared that this 
very Fourteenth Amendment in enfranchising colored men had 
performed a like service for all women. His argument was em- 
bodied concisely in the following resolutions, which were 
adopted by that convention with great enthusiasm, . and by the 
National Association at its annual convention in Washington, 
D. C., the next January: 

WHEREAS, 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 ; therefore be it 

Resolved, L. That the immunities and privileges of American 
citizenship, however defined, are national in character and para- 
mount to all State authority. 

2. That while the Constitution oi the United States leaves the 
qualification of electors to the several States, it nowhere gives them 
the right to deprive any citizen of the elective franchise which is 
possessed by any other citizen to regulate not including the right 
to prohibit. 

3. That, as the Constitution of the United States expressly de- 
clares that no State shall make or enforce any laws that shall abridge 
the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, those 
provisions of the several State constitutions which exclude women 


Section I. 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; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or 
property, without due process of law, or deny to any person within its jurisdiction 
the equal protection of the laws. 

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according 
to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, ex- 
cluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice 
of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in 
Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legis- 
lature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one 
years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for 
participation in rebellion or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be 
reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the 
\vhole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State. 


from the franchise on account of sex are violative alike of the spirit 
and letter of the Federal Constitution. 

4. That, as the subject of naturalization is expressly withheld 
from the States, and as the States clearly have no right to deprive 
of the franchise naturalized citizens, among whom women are ex- 
pressly included, still more clearly have they no right to deprive 
native-born women citizens of the franchise. 

In support of these resolutions various portions of the National 
Constitution were quoted, including Article IV, Section 2 : "The 
citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and im- 
munities of citizens in the several States;" and Section 4: "The 
United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a re- 
publican form of government." Many other authorities were 
cited, including numerous court decisions, as to the right of 
women to the suffrage now that their citizenship had been clearly 
established and the protection of its privileges and immunities 

This position was sustained by many of the best lawyers in 
the United States, including members of Congress. f The previous 
May the National Woman Suffrage Association had been formed 
in New York City, and henceforth this right to vote under the 
Fourteenth Amendment was made the keynote of all its speeches, 
resolutions, etc., as will be seen in the History of Woman Suf- 
frage, Vol. II, Chap. XXIII. 

For the first time the Federal Constitution had defined the 
term "citizen," leaving no doubt that a woman was a citizen in 
the fullest meaning of the word. Until now there had been but 
one Supreme Court decision on this point that of Chief Justice 
Taney in 1857, in the Dred Scott Case, which declared that citi- 
zens were "the political body who, according to our republican 
institutions, form the sovereignty and hold the power, and con- 
duct the Government through their representatives." This 
plainly had barred negroes and white women from citizenship. 

At the next general election, in 1872, women attempted to vote 
in many parts of the country, in some cases their votes being re- 
ceived, in others rejected.* The vote of Miss Anthony was 
accepted in Rochester, N. Y., and she was then arrested for a 

Women also had attempted to vote in local and State elections in 1870 and 1871. 
An account of the trials and decisions which followed will be found in the History of 
Woman Suffrage, Vol. II, Chap. XXV. 


criminal offense, tried and fined in the U. S. Circuit Court at 
Canandaigua, by Associate Justice Ward Hunt of the U. S. 
Supreme Court. There is no more flagrant judicial outrage on 
record. The full account of this case, in which she was refused 
the right of trial by jury as guaranteed by the Constitution, will 
be found in Vol. II, History of Woman Suffrage, p. 627 and 
following; also much more in detail in the Life and Work of 
Susan B. Anthony, p. 423, with her great Constitutional Argu- 
ment delivered in fifty of the postoffice districts of the two 
counties before the trial, p. 977 and following. 

The vote of Mrs. Virginia L. Minor was refused in St. Louis 
and she brought suit against the inspectors of election. The case 
was decided against her in the Circuit Court of the county 
and the Supreme Court of Missouri. She then carried it to the 
Supreme Court of the United States Minor vs. Happersett et al. 
No. 182, October term, 1874. The case was argued by her hus- 
band, Francis Minor, and after the lapse of a quarter of a cen- 
tury it is still believed that his argument could not have been 
excelled. The decision was delivered by Chief Justice Waite, 
March 29, 1875, an d was in brief: "The National Constitution 
does not define the privileges and immunities of citizens. The 
United States has no voters of its own creation. The Constitu- 
tion does not confer the right of suffrage upon any one, but the 
franchise must be regulated by the States. The Fourteenth 
Amendment does not add to the privileges and immunities of a 
citizen; it simply furnishes an additional guarantee to protect 
those he already has. Before the passage of the Fourteenth and 
Fifteenth Amendments the States had the power to disfranchise 
on account of race or color. These Amendments, ratified by the 
States, simply forbade that discrimination but did not forbid 
that against sex." 

The full text of argument and decision will be found in the 
History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. II, p. 715 and following. In 
making this decision the Court was compelled to reverse abso- 
lutely its own finding of three years previous in what was known 
as the Slaughter House Cases (16 Wallace) which said: "The 
negro having by the Fourteenth Amendment been declared to be 


a citizen of the United States, is thus made a voter in every 
State in the Union." 

The Fifteenth Amendment says: "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 race, color or 
previous condition of servitude." No right is conferred by this 
amendment. It simply guarantees protection for a right already 
existing in the citizen, and the negro having been declared a 
citizen by the Fourteenth Amendment is thus protected in his 
right to vote. But whence did he obtain this right unless 
from the National Constitution, which the Supreme Court in the 
Minor decision declares "does not confer the right of suffrage 
upon any one" ? Volume II of this History of Woman Suffrage, 
containing nearly 1,000 pages, is devoted mainly to a recital of 
the efforts on the part of women to obtain and exercise the fran- 
chise through the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. This 
decision of the Supreme Court destroyed the last hope, although 
it did not shake the belief of the leaders of this movement in the 
justice and legality of their claim. 

A number of the women contended that, if the National Con- 
stitution did not confer Full Suffrage, it did at least guarantee 
Federal Suffrage the right to vote for Congressional Repre- 
sentatives and in this opinion they were sustained by eminent 
lawyers. The National Association, however, never made an 
issue of this question, considering that it would be useless, but 
it has a Standing Committee on Federal Suffrage empowered to 
make such efforts in this direction as it deems advisable.* 

The assertion is made that if Congress had no authority over 
the election of its own members, it would be wholly unable to 
perpetuate itself should the States at any time decide that they 
no longer care to be under the authority of a central governing 
body, and refuse to elect Representatives. Many able reports 
have been made by this Standing Committee, and the question 
"was clearly stated in an article in The Arena, December, 1891, 
by Francis Minor, who gave the question of woman suffrage a 

The most earnest advocates of the constitutional right of women to Federal Suffrage 
are Mrs. Sallie Clay Bennett, Ky.; Mrs. Clara B. Colby, D. C.; Mrs. Martha E. Root. 
Mich.; Miss Sara Winthrop Smith, Conn. They have done a large amount of persistent 
but ineffectual work in the endeavor to obtain a recognition of this right. 


more thorough legal examination, perhaps, than any other man. 
He prepared the following bill which was presented in the House 
of Representatives, April 25, 1892, by the Hon. Clarence D. 
Clark, member from Wyoming: 


WHEREAS, The right to choose Members of the House of Repre- 
sentatives is vested by the Constitution in the people of the several 
States, without distinction of sex, but for want of proper legislation 
has hitherto been restricted to one-half of the people ; for the pur- 
pose, therefore, of correcting this error and of giving effect to the 
Constitution : 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled: That at all 
elections hereafter held in the several States of this Union for mem- 
bers of the House of Representatives, the right of citizens of the 
United States, of either sex, above the age of twenty-one years, to 
register and to vote for such Representatives shall not be denied 
or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account of sex. 

The argument for the authority of Congress to pass this law 
is based partly on Article I of the Federal Constitution: 

SECTION 2. 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 Leg- 

SECTION 4. The time, place and manner of holding elections for 
Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each State by 
the Legislature thereof, but the Congress may at any time by law 
make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing 

Congress is here endowed unquestionably with the right to 
regulate the election of Representatives. James Madison, one of 
the framers of the Constitution, when asked the intention of this 
clause, in the Virginia convention of 1788, called to ratify this 
instrument, answered that the power was reserved to Congress 
because "should the people of any State by any means be de- 
prived of the right of suffrage, it was judged proper that 'it 
should be remedied by the General Government." [Elliott's 
Debates, Vol. II, p. 266.] 

* Senator John Sherman did at one time introduce a bill for this purpose. 


Again Madison said in The Federalist (No. 54), in speaking 
of the enumeration for Representatives : 

The Federal Constitution, therefore, decides with great propriety 
in the case of our slaves when it views them in the mixed character 
of persons and property. This is in fact their true character. It 
is the character bestowed on them by the laws under which they 
live : and it will not be denied that these are the proper criteria ; be- 
cause it is only under the pretext that the laws have transformed 
the negroes into subjects of property, that a place is disputed them 
in the computation of numbers; and it is admitted that, if the laws 
were to restore the rights which have been taken away, the negroes 
could no longer be refused an equal share of representation. 

Therefore, as women are counted in the enumeration on which 
the Congressional apportionment is based, they are legally en- 
titled to an equal share in direct representation. 

In 1884 the case of Jasper Yarbrough and others who had 
been sentenced to hard labor in the penitentiary in Georgia for 
preventing a colored man from voting for a member of Congress, 
was brought to the U. S. Supreme Court by a petition for a writ 
of habeas corpus. The decision rendered March 2, virtually nul- 
lified that given by this court in the case of Mrs. Minor in 1875, 
as quoted above, which held that "the National Constitution has 
no voters," for this one declared: 

But it is not correct to say that the right to vote for a member of 
Congress does not depend on the Constitution of the United States. 
The office, if it be properly called an office, is created by the Consti- 
tution and by that alone. It also declares how it shall be filled, 
namely, by election. Its language is : "The House of Representa- 
tives 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 Legislature." 

The States in prescribing the qualifications of voters for the most 
numerous branch of their own Legislature, do not do this with 
reference to the election for members of Congress. Nor can they 
prescribe the qualifications for those eo nomine [by that name]. 

They define who are to vote for the popular branch of their own 
Legislature, and the Constitution of the United States says the same 
persons shall vote for members of Congress in that State. 

It adopts the qualification thus furnished as the qualification of 
its own electors for members of Congress. It is not true, therefore, 
that the electors for members of Congress owe their right to vote 
to the State lau 1 in any sense which makes the exercise of the right 
to depend exclusively on the law of the State. 


Counsel for petitioners seizing upon the expression found in the 
opinion of the Court in the case of Minor vs. Happersett, "that the 
Constitution of the United States does not confer the right of 
suffrage upon any one," without reference to the connection in which 
it is used, insists that the voters in this case do not owe their right to 
vote in any sense to that instrument. But the Court was combating 
the argument that this right was conferred on all citizens, and there- 
fore upon women as well as men.( !) 

In opposition to that idea it was said the Constitution adopts, as 
the qualification for voters for members of Congress, that which 
prevails in the State where the voting is to be done ; therefore, said 
the opinion, the right is not definitely conferred on any person or 
class of persons by the Constitution alone, because you have to look 
to the law of the State for the description of the class. But the 
Court did not intend to say that, when the class or the person is 
thus ascertained, his right to vote for a member of Congress was 
not fundamentally based upon the Constitution which created the 
office of member of Congress, and declared it should be elective, and 
pointed to the means of ascertaining who should be electors. 

The Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution, by its limitation 
of the power of the States in the exercise of their right to prescribe 
the qualifications of voters in their own elections, and by its limita- 
tion of the power of the United States over that subject, clearly 
shows that the right of suffrage was considered to be of supreme 
importance to the National Government and was not intended to be 
left within the exclusive control of the States. 

In such cases this Fifteenth Article of amendment does proprio 
vigore [by its own force] substantially confer on the negro the right 
to vote, and 'Congress has the power to protect and enforce that 
right. In the case of United States vs. Happersett, so much relied 
on by counsel, this Court said, in regard to the Fifteenth Amend- 
ment, that it has invested the citizens of the United States with a 
new constitutional right which is within the protecting power of 
Congress. That right is an exemption from discrimination in the 
exercise of the elective franchise on account of race, color or pre- 
vious condition of servitude. 

This new constitutional right was mainly designed for [male] 
citizens of African descent. The principle, however, that the pro- 
tection of the exercise of this right is within the power of Congress, 
is as necessary to the right of other citizens to vote in general as to 
the right to be protected against discrimination. 

This legal hair-splitting is beyond the comprehension of the 
average lay mind and will be viewed by future generations with 
as much contempt as is felt by the present in regard to the infa- 
mous decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case in 
1857. If it decides anything it is that the right to vote for Con- 
gressional Representatives is a Federal right, vested in all the 


people by the National Constitution, and one which it is beyond 
the power of the States to regulate. Therefore, no State has the 
power to deprive women of the right to vote for Representatives 
in Congress. 

Those who hold that women are already entitled to Federal 
Suffrage under the National Constitution, further support their 
claim by a series of decisions as to the citizenship of women and 
the inherent rights which it carries. They quote especially the 
case of the United States vs. Kellar. The defendant was indicted 
by a Federal grand jury in Illinois for illegal voting in a Con- 
gressional election, as he never had been naturalized. He and 
his mother were born in Prussia, but came to the United States 
when he was a minor, and she married a naturalized citizen. 
The case was tried in June, 1882, in the Circuit Court of the 
United States for the Southern District of Illinois, by Associate 
Justice Harlan of the U. S. Supreme Court, who discharged the 
defendant. He held that the mother, having become a citizen 
by marriage while the son was a minor, transferred citizenship 
to him. In other words she transmitted a Federal Citizenship 
including the right to vote which she did not herself possess, 
thus enfranchising a child born while she was an alien. The 
whole matter was settled not by State but by Federal authority.* 
If a mother can confer this right on a son, why not on a daugh- 
ter? But why does she not possess it herself ? The clause of the 
National Constitution which established suffrage at the time that 
instrument was framed, does not mention the sex of the elector. 

The argument for Federal Suffrage was presented in a mas- 
terly manner before the National Convention of 1889 by U. S. 
Senator Henry W. Blair (N. H.) ; and it was discussed by Miss 
Anthony and Mrs. Minor. See present volume, Chap. IX. 

From this bare outline of the claim that women already pos- 
sess Federal Suffrage, or that Congress has authority to confer 
it without the sanction of the States, readers can continue the 
investigation. Notwithstanding its apparent equity, the leaders 
of the National Association, including Miss Anthony herself, 
felt convinced after the decision against Mrs. Minor that it 
would be useless to expect from the Supreme Court any inter- 

* This U precisely what was done in the case of Susan B. Anthony above referred to. 


pretation of the Constitution which would permit women to 
exercise the right of suffrage. They had learned, however, 
through the passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amend- 
ments, that it had been possible to amend this document in such a 
way as to enfranchise an entire new class of voters or in other 
words to protect them in the exercise of a right which it seemed 
that in some mysterious way they already possessed. As the 
Fourteenth Amendment declared the negroes to be citizens, 
and the Fifteenth forbade the United States or any State to deny 
or abridge "the right of citizens of the United States to vote, on 
account of race, color or previous condition of servitude," it was 
clearly evident that this right inhered in citizenship. This being 
the case women must already have it, but as there was no national 
authority prohibiting the States from denying or abridging it, 
each of them did so by putting the word "male" in its constitu- 
tion as a qualification for suffrage; just as many of them had 
used the word "white" until the adoption of the Fifteenth 
Amendment by a three-fourths majority made this unconstitu- 
tional. Therefore, since the Minor vs. Happersett decision, the 
National Association has directed its principal efforts to secure 
from Congress the submission to the several State Legislatures 
of a Sixteenth Amendment which should prohibit disfranchise- 
ment on account of "sex," as the Fifteenth had done on account 
of "color." 

The association does not discourage attempts in various 
States to secure from their respective Legislatures the submission 
of an amendment to the voters which shall strike out this word 
"male" from their own constitutions. On the contrary, it as- 
sists every such attempt with money, speakers and influence, but 
having seen such amendments voted on sixteen times and adopt- 
ed only twice (in Colorado and Idaho), it is confirmed in 
the opinion that the quickest and surest way to secure woman 
suffrage will be by an amendment to the Federal Constitution. 
In other words it holds that women should be permitted to carry 
their case to the selected men of the Legislatures rather than to 
the masses of the voters. 

From 1869 until the decision in the Minor case in 1875, the 
National Association went before committees of every Congress 


with appeals for a Declaratory Act which would permit women to 
vote under the Fourteenth Amendment. Since that decision it 
has asked for a Sixteenth Amendment. In both cases it has 
been supported by petitions of hundreds of thousands of names. 

The ablest women this nation has produced have presented 
the arguments and pleadings. Many of the older advocates 
have passed away, but new ones have taken their place. It is the 
unvarying testimony of the Senate and House Committees who 
have granted these hearings, that no body of men has appeared 
before them for any purpose whose dignity, logic and acumen 
have exceeded, if indeed they have equaled, those of the mem- 
bers of this association. They have been heard always with re- 
spect, often with cordiality, but their appeals have fallen, if not 
upon deaf, at least upon indifferent ears. They have asked these 
committees to report to their respective Houses a resolution to 
submit this Sixteenth Amendment. Sometimes the majority of 
the committee has been hostile to woman suffrage and presented 
an adverse report: sometimes it has been friendly and presented 
one favorable; sometimes there have been an opposing majority 
and a friendly minority report, or vice versa ; but more often no 
action whatever has been taken. During these thirty years eleven 
favorable reports have been made five from Senate, six from 
House Committees.* 

In the History of Woman Suffrage, Vols. II and III, will be 
found a full record of various debates which occurred in Senate 
and House on different phases of the movement to secure suf- 
frage for women previous to 1884, when the present volume 
begins. In 1885 Thomas W. Palmer gave his great speech in 

* The first report, in 1871, was signed by Representatives Benjamin F. Butler (Mass.) 
and William A. Loughridge (la.): History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. II, p. 464- 

The second, in 1879, was signed by Senators George F. Hoar (Mass.), John H. 
Mitchell (Ore.), Angus Cameron (Wis.): Id., Vol. Ill, p. 131. 

The third, in 1882, was signed by Senators Elbridge G. Lapham (N. Y.), Thomas 
W. Ferry (Mich.), Henry W. Blair (N. H.), Henry B. Anthony (R. I.): Id., p. 231- 

The fourth, in 1883, was signed by Representative John D. White (Ky.): Id., p. 263. 

For the fifth and sixth, in 1884, see Chap. Ill of present volume; for the seventh 
and eighth, in 1886, Id., Chap. V. (See also, Chap. VI.); for the ninth and tenth, in 
1890, Id., Chap. X; for the eleventh, in 1892, Id., Chap. XII. 

It is worthy of notice that from 1879 to 1891, inclusive, Miss Susan B. Anthony was 
enabled to spend the congressional season in Washington [see pp. 188, 366], and during 
this time nine of these eleven favorable reports were made. 

For adverse reports see History of Woman Suffrage: 1871, Vol. II, p. 461; 1878, Vol. 
Ill, p. 112; 1882, Id., p. 237; 1884, present volume, Chap. Ill (see also, Chap. VI); 1892, 
Id.. Chap. XII; 1894, Id., Chap. XIV; 1896, Id., Chap. XVI. 


the United States Senate in advocacy of their enfranchise- 
ment; and in 1887 occurred the first and only discussion and 
vote in that body on a Sixteenth Amendment for this purpose, 
both of which are described herein under their respective dates. 

In the following chapters will be found an account of the 
annual conventions of the National Suffrage Association since 
1883, and of the American until the two societies united in 1890, 
with many of the resolutions and speeches for which these meet- 
ings have been distinguished. They contain also portions of the 
addresses, covering every phase of this subject, made at the 
hearings before Congressional Committees, and the arguments 
advanced for and against woman suffrage in the favorable and 
adverse reports of these committees, thus presenting both sides of 
the question. Readers who follow the story will be obliged to ac- 
knowledge that the very considerable progress which has been 
made toward obtaining the franchise is due to the unceasing 
and long-continued efforts of this association far more than to 
all other agencies combined; and that the women who compose 
this body have demonstrated their capacity and their right to a 
voice in the Government infinitely beyond any class to whom it 
has been granted since the republic was founded. 



The first Woman's Rights Convention on record was held in 
Seneca Falls, N. Y., in July, 1848; the second in Salem, O., in 
April, 1850; the third in Worcester, Mass., in October, 1850. 
By this time the movement for the civil, educational and political 
rights of women was fully initiated, and every year thenceforth 
to the beginning of the Civil War national conventions were held 
in various States for the purpose of agitating the question and 
creating a favorable public sentiment. These were addressed 
by the ablest men and women of the time, and the discussions 
included the whole scope of women's wrongs, which in those 
days were many and grievous. 

Immediately after the war the political disabilities of the negro 
man were so closely akin to those of all women that the advo- 
cates of universal suffrage organized under the name of the 
Equal Rights Association. The "reconstruction period," how- 
ever, engendered so many differences of opinion, and a platform 
so broad permitted such latitude of debate, the women soon 
became convinced that their own cause was being sacrificed. 
Therefore in May, 1869, under the leadership of Mrs. Elizabeth 
Cady Stanton and Miss Susan B. Anthony, the National Woman 
Suffrage Association was formed in New York City, having for 
its sole object the enfranchisement of women. From this time 
it held a convention in Washington, D. C, every winter. 

The above mentioned associations and conventions, as well as 
the American Woman Suffrage Association, formed at Cleve- 
land, O., in November, 1869, under the leadership of Mrs. Lucy 
Stone, are described in detail in the preceding volumes of this 
History. The present volume begins with the usual convention 
of the National Association in Washington in 1884. This place 



was selected for a twofold purpose : because here a more cosmo- 
politan audience could be secured than in any other city, includ- 
ing representatives from every State in the Union and from all 
the nations of the world ; and because here the association could 
carry directly to the only tribunal which had power to act, its de- 
mand for a submission to the State Legislatures of an amend- 
ment to the Federal Constitution which should forbid disfran- 
chisement on account of sex. During each of these conventions 
it was the custom for committees of the Senate and House to 
grant hearings to the leading advocates of this proposition. 

The Sixteenth of these annual conventions met in Lincoln 
Hall, in response to the usual Call,* March 4, 1884, continuing 
in session four days.f 

On the evening before the convention a handsome reception 
was given at the Riggs House by Charles W. and Mrs. Jane 
H. Spofford to Miss Susan B. Anthony, which was attended by 
several hundred prominent men and women. Delegates were 
present from twenty-six States and Territories. \ Miss Anthony 
was in the chair at the opening session and read a letter from 
Mrs. Stanton, who was detained at home, in which she paid a 
glowing tribute to Wendell Phillips, the staunch defender of the 
rights of women, who had died the preceding month. 

Mrs. Mary B. Clay, in speaking of the work in her State, said : 

In talking to a Kentuckian on the subject of woman's right to 
qualify under the law, you have to batter down his self-conceit that 

* The Call ended as follows: "The satisfactory results of Unrestricted Suffrage for 
Women in Wyoming Territory, of School Suffrage in twelve States, of Municipal and 
School Suffrage in England and Scotland, of Municipal and Parliamentary Suffrage 
in the Isle of Man, with the recent triumph in Washington Territory; also the con- 
stant agitation of the suffrage question in this country and in England, and the de- 
mands that women are everywhere making for larger liberties, are most encouraging 
signs of the times. This is the supreme hour for 'all who are interested in the enfran- 
chisement of women to dedicate their time and money to the success of this movement, 
and by their generous contributions to strengthen those upon whom rests the responsi- 
bility of carrying forward this beneficent reform. 


"SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Vice-Pres't at Large. 

"MAY WRIGHT SEWALL, Ch. Ex. Committee. 

"JANE H. SPOFFORD, Treasurer." 

t The report of this convention, edited by Miss Anthony and Mrs. Stanton, is the 
most complete of any ever issued by the association and has been placed in most of 
the public libraries of the United States. 

% A list of delegates and those making State reports from year to year will be found 
in the last chapter of the Appendix. 


he is just and generous and chivalric toward woman, and that she 
can not possibly need other protection than he gives her with his 
own right arm while he forgets that it is from man alone woman 
needs protection, and often does she need the right to protect herself 
from the avarice, brutality or neglect of the one nearest to her. 
The only remedy for her, as for man himself, in this republic, is the 
ballot in her hand. He thinks he is generous to woman when he 
supplies her wants, forgetting that he has first robbed her by law 
of all her property in marriage, and then may or may not give her 
that which is her own by right of inheritance. . . . 

A mother, legally so, has no right to her child, the husband hav- 
ing the right to will it to whom he pleases, and even to will away 
from the mother the unborn child at his death. The wife does not 
own her own property, personal or real, unless given for her sole use 
and benefit. If a husband may rent the wife's land, or use it during 
his life and hers, and take the increase or rental of it, and after her 
death still hold it and deprive her children of its use, which he does 
by curtesy, and if she can not make a will and bequeath it at her 
death, then I say she is robbed, and insulted in the bargain, by such 
so-called ownership of land. "A woman fleeing from her husband 
and seeking refuge or protection in a neighbor's house, the man 
protecting her makes himself liable to the husband, who can recover 
damages by law." "If a husband refuse to sue for a wife who has 
been slandered or beaten, she can not sue for herself." These are 
Kentucky laws. 

Mrs. Harriette R. Shattuck closed her record for Massa- 
chusetts by saying: "The dead wall of indifference is at last 
broken down and the women 'remonstrants,' by their active re- 
sistance to our advancing progress, are not only turning the 
attention of the public in our direction and making the whole 
community interested, but also are paving the way for future 
political action themselves. By remonstrating they have ex- 
pressed their opinion and entered into politics." 

Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway gave a full report of the situa- 
tion in Oregon, and a hopeful outlook for the success of the 
pending suffrage amendment.* This was followed later by a 
strong address. A letter was read from Mrs. Sallie Clay Ben- 
nett (Ky.). Dr. Clemence S. Lozier (N. Y.) spoke briefly, say- 
ing that for eleven years her parlor had been opened each month 
for suffrage meetings, and that "this question is the foundation 
of Christianity; for Christians can look up and truly say 'Our 
Father' only when they can treat each other as brothers and sis- 

The history of the work in the various States, as detailed more or less fully in these 
reports from year to year, will be found recorded in the State chapters. 


ters." Mrs. Mary Seymour Howell (N. Y.) gave an eloquent ad- 
dress on The Outlook, answering the four stock questions : Why 
do not more women ask for the ballot ? Will not voting destroy 
the womanly instincts? Will not women be contaminated by 
going to the polls? Will they not take away employment from 

At the opening of the evening session Miss Anthony read a 
letter from Mrs. Millicent Garrett Fawcett of England, and an ex- 
tract from a recent speech by her husband, Henry Fawcett, mem- 
ber of Parliament and Postmaster General, strongly advocating 
the removal of all political disabilities of women. Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Boynton Harbert (Ills.) spoke on The Statesmanship of 
Women, citing illustrious examples in all parts of the world. 
Mrs. Lillie Devereux Blake (N. Y.) gave a trenchant and 
humorous speech on The Unknown Quantity in Politics, show- 
ing the indirect influence of women which unfortunately is not 
accompanied with responsibility. She took up leading candidates 
and their records, criticising or commending; illustrated how in 
every department women are neglected and forgotten, and closed 
as follows: 

It is better to have the power of self-protection than to depend 
on any man, whether he be the Governor in his chair of State, or 
the hunted outlaw wandering through the night, hungry and cold 
and with murder in his heart. We are tired of the pretense that we 
have special privileges and the reality that we have none ; of the 
fiction that we are queens, and the fact that we are subjects; of the 
symbolism which exalts our sex but is only a meaningless mockery. 
We demand that these shadows shall take substance. The coat of 
arms of the State of New York represents Liberty and Justice sup- 
porting a shield on which is seen the sun rising over the hills that 
guard the Hudson. How are justice and liberty depicted? As a 
police judge and an independent voter? Oh, no; as two noble and 
lovely women ! What an absurdity in a State where there is neither 
liberty nor justice for any woman! We ask that this symbolism 
shall assume reality, for a redeemed and enfranchised womanhood 
will be the best safeguard of justice. 

Mrs. Blake was followed by Mrs. Martha McClellan Brown, 

of Cincinnati Wesleyan College, who spoke on Disabilities of 

Woman. Miss Anthony read the report from Missouri by Mrs. 

Virginia L. Minor, who strongly supported her belief in the con- 



stitutional right of women to the franchise. A letter of greeting 
was read from Miss Fannie M. Bagby, managing editor St. Louis 
Chronicle; Miss Phoebe W. Couzins (Mo.) gave a brilliant ad- 
dress entitled What Answer ? 

At the evening session the hall was crowded. The speech of 
Mrs. Belva A. Lockwood (D. C), the first woman admitted to 
practice before the Supreme Court, was a severe criticism on the 
disfranchising of the women in Utah as proposed by bills now 
before Congress. It was a clear and strong legal argument 
which would be marred by an attempt at quotation. 

In an address on Women Before the Law, the report says : 

Mrs. Helen M. Cougar of Indiana traced the development of 
human liberty as shown in the history of the ballot, which was at 
first given to a certain class of believers in orthodox religions, then 
to property holders, then to all white men. She showed how 
class legislation had been gradually done away with by allowing 
believer and unbeliever, rich and poor, white and black, to vote un- 
questioned and unhindered, and as a result of this onward march 
of justice, the last remaining form of class legislation, now shown 
by the sex ballot, must pass away. She declared the sex-line to be 
the lowest standard upon which to base a privilege and unworthy 
the civilization of the present time. She answered many of the 
popular objections to woman suffrage by showing that if education 
were to be made the test of the ballot, women would not be the dis- 
franchised class in America, as three-fifths of all graduates from 
the public schools in the last ten years have been women. If moral- 
ity were to be made a test, women would do more voting than men. 
The ratio of law-abiding women to men is as one to every 103 ; of 
drunken women to drunken men, one to every 1,000. Reasoning 
from these facts, if sobriety, virtue and intelligence were necessary 
qualifications, women enfranchised would largely reflect these ele- 
ments in the Government. 

At noon on March 6 the delegates were courteously received 
at the White House by President Chester A. Arthur. 

During the afternoon session the Pennsylvania report was pre- 
sented by Edward M. Davis, son-in-law of Lucretia Mott, and 
an exhaustive account of Woman's Work in Philadelphia by 
Mrs. Lucretia L. Blankenburg. A letter from Mrs. Anna C. 
Wait (Kas.) was read by Mrs. Bertha H. Ellsworth, who closed 
with a tribute to Mrs. Wait and a poem dedicated to Kansas. 

The guest of the convention, Mrs. Jessie M. Wellstood of 
Edinburgh, presented a report made by Miss Eliza Wigham, 


secretary of the Scotland Suffrage Association, prefaced with 
some earnest remarks in which she said : 

To those who are sitting at ease, folding their hands and sweetly 
saying: "I have all the rights I want, why should I trouble about 
these matters?" let me quote the burning words of the grand old 
prophet Isaiah, which entered into my soul and stirred it to action : 
"Rise up, ye women that are at ease ; hear my voice, ye careless 
daughters, give ear unto my speech ; many days shall ye be troubled, 
ye careless women, etc." It is just because we fold our hands and 
sit at ease that so many of our less fortunate fellow creatures are 
leading lives of misery, want, sin and shame. 

In the evening Mrs. May Wright Sewall (Ind.) delivered a 
beautiful address on Forgotten Women, which she .closed with 
these words : "It was not a grander thing to lead the forlorn 
hope in 1 776, not a grander thing to strike the shackles from the 
black slaves in 1863, than it would be in 1884 to carry a presi- 
dential campaign on the basis of Political Equality to Women. 
The career, the fame, to match that of Washington, to match that 
of Lincoln, awaits the man who will espouse the cause of for- 
gotten womanhood and introduce that womanhood to political 
influence and political freedom." 

Interesting addresses were made by Mrs. Mary E. Haggart 
(Ind.), Why Do Not Women Vote? and by the Rev. Phebe A. 
Hanaford, pastor of the Second Universalist Church, Jersey 
City, on New Jersey as a Leader the first to grant suffrage to 
women. They voted from 1776 until the Legislature took away 
the right in 1807. 

At the afternoon session of the last day Mrs. Lizzie D. Fyler, 
a lawyer of Arkansas, gave an extended resume of the legal and 
educational position of women in that State, which was shown to 
be in advance of many of the eastern and western States. 
George W. Clark, one of the old Abolition singers contempo- 
raneous with the Hutchinsons, expressed a strong belief in wo- 
man suffrage and offered a tribute of song to Wendell Phillips. 
Brief addresses were made by Mrs. J. Ellen Foster (la.) and 
Mrs. Morrison ( Mass. ) . A letter of greeting was read from the 
corresponding secretary, Rachel G. Foster, Julia and Mrs. Julia 
Foster ( Penn. ) , written in Florence, Italy. Mrs. Caroline Gilkey 
Rogers described School Suffrage in Lansingburgh, N. Y. 


An eloquent address was made by Mrs. Caroline Hallowell 
Miller (Md.), in which she said: 

There are a great many excellent people in the world who are 
strongly prejudiced against what they designate "isms," but who are 
always glad of any opportunity of serving God, as they express it. 
I ask what can finite beings do to serve Omnipotence unless it be to 
exert all their powers for the good of humanity, for the uplifting 
of man, which, if aught of ours could do, must rejoice our Creator. 
When we see more than one-half of the adult human family rea- 
sonably industrious and intelligent, if we make for them no larger 
claim, and certainly the raison d'etre of the other half called to ac- 
count by the laws of the land and held in strict obedience to them 
without the slightest voice in their making, with neither form nor 
shadow of representation before State or country, do we not see that 
there rests upon the entire race a stigma that materialist and idealist, 
agnostic and churchman, should each and all hasten to remove ? 

"Behold, the fields are white unto harvest, but the laborers are 
few !" How can it be longer tolerated that the wives and mothers, 
the sisters and daughters, of a land claiming the highest degree of 
civilization and boasting of freedom as its watchword, should still 
rank before the law with criminals, idiots and slaves? I feel as 
confident as I do of my existence, that the apathy which we are now 
fighting against, especially among our own sex, springs mainly 
from want of thought ; the women of culture throughout the country 
placidly accept the comfortable conditions in which they find them- 
selves. They receive without question the formulated theories of 
woman's sphere as they accept the formulated theories of the ortho- 
dox religions into which they may chance to have been born ; occa- 
sionally an original thinker steps out of the ranks and finds herself 
after a while with a few followers. They remain but few, however, 
for it is too much trouble to think. 

At the evening session the Rev. Florence Kollock ( Ills. ) spoke 
on The Ethics of Woman Suffrage, saying in part : 

By what moral right stands a law upon the statute books that 
infringes upon the rights and duties of womanhood, that prohibits 
a mother from the full discharge of the duties of her sacred office, 
as all are prohibited through the law that forbids them the oppor- 
tunity of throwing their whole moral strength, influence and convic- 
tions against the existence and growth of social and political iniqui- 
ties and in defense of truth and purity ? The great evils of our day 
are of such a nature that all. regardless of moral principles or sex, 
suffer from their effects, proving clearly that all have a moral obliga- 
tion in these matters, and the fact that one human being suffers from 
an evil carries with it the highest authority to remove that evil. 

The silent influence of woman has failed to accomplish the desired 
good of humanity, has failed to bring about the needed moral re- 
forms, and all observing persons are ready to concede that posing 


is a weak way of combating giant evils that attitudism can not take 
the place of activity. To suppress the full utterance of the moral 
convictions of those who so largely mold the character of the race is 
a crime against humanity, against progress, against God. 

Mrs. Shattuck, in discussing the question, said: 

It is absolutely necessary for the improvement of the race that the 
manly and womanly elements shall be side by side in all walks of 
life, and the fact that our social status, our literature and our educa- 
tional systems have been greatly improved by woman's co-operation 
with man, points to the eternal truth that man and woman must work 
hand in hand in the State also, in order that it shall be uplifted and 
saved. Woman herself will not be harmed by the ballot, for the 
acquisition of greater responsibilities improves and not degrades 
the recipient thereof. If the ballot has made man worse it will make 
woman worse, and not otherwise. Whoever studies the history of 
the race from age to age and nation to nation finds the world has 
advanced and not retrograded by giving responsibility to the indi- 
vidual. The opposition to woman suffrage strikes a blow at the 
foundation-stone of this republic, which is self-representation by 
means of the ballot. At the bottom of this opposition is a subtle dis- 
trust of American institutions, an idea of "restricted suffrage" which 
is creeping into our republic through so-called aristocratic channels. 

A distinguishing feature of this convention was the large num- 
ber of tetters and reports sent from abroad, undoubtedly due to 
the fact that Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony had spent the pre- 
ceding year in Europe, making the acquaintance and arousing 
the interest of foreign men and women in the status of the suf- 
frage question in the United States. Among these letters was 
one from Miss Frances Power Cobbe in which she said: "The 
final and complete emancipation of our sex ere long, I think, is 
absolutely certain. All is going well here and I hope with you 
in America; and with all my heart, dear Miss Anthony, I wish 
you and the woman's convention triumphant success." 

Miss Jane Cobden, daughter of Richard Cobden, said in the 
course of her letter: "I feel all the more certain of the right- 
eousness of the work in which I am so much engaged, because I 
know from words spoken and written by my father as far back 
as 1845, that na d he been living at the present day I should have 
had his sympathy. He was nothing if not consistent, and so he 
said in a speech delivered in London that year on Free Trade: 
There are many ladies present, I am happy to say. Now it is a 


very anomalous and singular fact that they can not vote them- 
selves and yet they have the power of conferring votes upon 
other people. I wish they had the franchise, for they would often 
make a much better use of it than their husbands.' ' 

Miss Caroline Ashurst Biggs, for many years editor of the 
Englishwoman's Review, sent a full report of the situation in 
England. There was a letter of greeting also from Miss Lydia 
Becker, editor of the Women's Suffrage Journal and member 
of the Manchester School Board. John P. Thomasson and Peter 
A. Taylor, members of Parliament, favored woman suffrage in 
the strongest terms, the latter saying: "Justice never can be 
done to the rising generations till the influence of the mother is 
freed from the ignominy of exclusion from the great political 
and social work of the day." Mrs. Thomasson, daughter of 
Margaret Bright Lucas, and Mrs. Taylor, known as the or- 
ganizer of the women's suffrage movement in England, also 
sent cordial good wishes.* 

The wife of Jacob Bright, who was largely responsible for the 
Married Women's Property Bill, presented a review of present 
suffrage laws ; his sister, Mrs. Priscilla Bright McLaren, wife of 
Duncan McLaren, M. P., and the great Abolitionist, Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Pease Nichol of Edinburgh, sent long and valuable letters. 
Mrs. McLaren wrote : 

I was in Exeter Hall, London, on the day our Parliament assem- 
bled ; a prayer-meeting was held there the whole of that day. Earn- 
est were the intercessions that the hearts of our rulers might be 
influenced to repeal every vestige of the Contagious Diseases Acts ; 
and the women especially prayed that our men might be led to send 
representatives to Parliament of much higher morality than such 
Acts testified to, and that the eyes of the women of their country 
might be opened to see the iniquity of such legislation. I venture 
to express that the burden of my prayer had been, whilst sitting in 
that meeting, that the eyes of the women there assembled, and of the 
women throughout our country, might be opened to see that we could 
not expect men who did not consider morality to be a necessary 
part of their own character, to regard it as needful for the men 
who were to represent them in Parliament ; that we needed a new 

"Letters were received from S. Alfred Steinthal, treasurer of the Manchester society; 
F. Henrietta Muller. member of the London School Board; Frances Lord, poor-law 
guardian in London; Eliza Ormc, England's first woman lawyer; Dr. Agnes McLaren, 
Hannah Ford, Mary A. Estlin, Anna M. and Mary Priestman, Margaret Priestman 
Tanner, Rebecca Moore, Margaret E. Parker, all distinguished English women. 


moral power to be brought into exercise at our elections, and as 
Parliament was meeting that day and one of its first acts would be 
to bring in a new reform bill, that we might unite in prayer that 
the petitions so long put forth by many of the women of this land, 
that their claim to the suffrage should be included in this new Act 
for the extended representation of the people, might be righteously 
answered ; and the power given to women not only to pray for what 
was just and right, but to have by the Parlimentary vote a direct 
power to promote that higher legislation which they all so much de- 
sired. I know nothing which calls for more faith and patience than 
to hear women pleading for justice, and refusing to help get it in the 

only legitimate way 

Whilst we have our anomalies here, you have a glaring inconsist- 
ency in your country. It is not a property qualification which gives 
a vote in America. Is not every human being, who is of age, accord- 
ing to your Constitution, entitled to equal justice and freedom? 
Are you women not human beings? The lowest and most ignorant 
man who leaves any shore and lands on yours, ere he has earned a 
home or made family ties, becomes a citizen of your great country ; 
whilst your own women, who during a life-time may have done much 
service and given much to the State, are denied the right accorded 
to that man, however low his condition may be. You are fighting 
to overcome this great monopoly of citizenship. We watch your 
proceedings with deep interest. We rejoice in your successes and 
sympathize with you in your endeavors to gain fresh victories. 

Congratulatory letters were received from Ewing Whittle, 
M. D., of the Royal Academy, Liverpool, and Miss Isabella M. S. 
Tod, the well-known reformer of Belfast. M. Leon Richer, the 
eminent writer of Paris, and Mile. Hubertine Auclert, editor of 
La Citoyenne, sent cordial words of co-operation. There were 
also greetings from Mrs. Ernestine L. Rose, a Polish exile, one 
.of the first women lecturers in America; from the wife and 
daughter of A. A. Sargent, U. S. Minister to Berlin ; from Theo- 
dore Stanton; Miss Florence Kelley, daughter of the Hon. 
William D. Kelley ; the wife of Moncure D. Conway ; Rosamond, 
daughter of Robert Dale Owen ; Mrs. Charlotte B. Wilbour and 
Dr. Frances E. Dickinson, all Americans residing abroad. 

Among the noted men and women of the United States who 
sent letters endorsing equal suffrage, were George William Curtis, 
William Lloyd Garrison, U. S. Senators Henry B. Anthony and 
Henry W. Blair, the Hon. George W. Julian, the Hon. William 
I. Bowditch, Robert Purvis, the Rev. Anna Oliver, Mrs. Zerelda 


G. Wallace, the "mother" of Ben Hur, and Mrs. Abby Hutchin- 
son Patton.* 

To this assembly Bishop Matthew Simpson, of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, sent almost his last public utterance : 

For more than thirty years I have been in favor of woman suf- 
frage. I was led to this position not by the consideration of the 
question of natural rights or of alleged injustice or of inequality 
before the law, but by what I believed would be the influence of 
woman on the great moral questions of the day. Were the ballot 
in the hands of women, I am satisfied that the evils of intemperance 
would be greatly lessened, and I fear that without that ballot we 
shall not succeed against the saloons and kindred evils in large 
cities. You will doubtless have many obstacles placed in your way ; 
there will be many conflicts to sustain ; but I have no doubt that the 
coming years will see the triumph of your cause ; and that our higher 
civilization and morality will rejoice in the work which enlightened 
woman will accomplish. 

The resolutions presented by Mrs. Elizabeth Boynton Harbert 
(Ills.), chairman of the committee, were adopted. 

WHEREAS, The fundamental idea of a republic is the right of self- 
government, the right of every citizen to choose her own representa- 
tives to enact the laws by which she is governed ; and 

WHEREAS, This right can be secured only by the exercise of the 
suffrage ; therefore 

Resolved, That the ballot in the hand of every qualified citizen 
constitutes the true political status of the people, and to deprive one- 
half of the people of the use of the ballot is to deny the first principle 
of a republican government. 

Resolved, That it is the duty of Congress to submit a Sixteenth 

* California Clarina I. H. Nichols, Mrs. S. J. Manning, Sarah Knox Goodrich; Colo- 
rado Dr. Alida C. Avery, Henry C. Dillon; Connecticut Frances Ellen Burr; District 
of Columbia Cornelia A. Sheldon; Illinois Dr. Alice B. Stockham, Ada H. Kepley, 
Pearl Adams, Lucinda B. Chandler, Annette Porter, M. D.; Iowa Caroline A. Ingham, 
Jonathan and Mary V. S. Cowgill, M. A. Root; Kansas Ex-Governor and Mrs. J. P. 
St John, Mary A. Humphrey, Lorenzo Westover, Susan E. Wattles, Mrs. Van Coleman; 
Kentucky Ellen B. Dietrick; Massachusetts Lilian Whiting; Michigan Catharine A. 
F. Stebbins, Mrs. R. M. Young, Cordelia F. Briggs; Maine Ellen French Foster, 
Lavina M. Snow; Minnesota Eliza B. Gamble, Laura Howe Carpenter, Mrs. T. B. 
Walker; Missouri Elizabeth Avery Meriwether, Annie R. Irvine; Nebraska Judge 
and Mrs. A. D. Yocum, Madame Charlton Edholm, Harriet S. Brooks; New Jersey 
Theresa Walling Seabrook, Augusta Cooper; New Hampshire Armenia S. White, 
Eliza Nforrill; New York Madame Clara Neymann, Mary F. Seymour, Jean Brooks 
Greenleaf, Mary F. Gilbert, Mathilde F. Wendt, Helen M. Loder, Augusta Lilienthal, 
Amy Post, Sarah II. Hallock, Elizabeth Oakes Smith; Ohio Frances Dana Gage; Penn- 
sylvania Adeline Thomson, Deborah A. Pennock, Matilda Hindman, Hattie M. Du 
Bois, Mrs. Lovisa C. McCullough; Rhode Island Catherine C. Knowles; Texas 
Jennie Bland Beauchamp; Virginia N. O. Town; Washington Ty. Barbara J. Thomp- 
son; Wisconsin Almeda B. Gray, Evaleen L. Mason, Mathilde Anneke; Canada 
Dr. Emily H. Stowe. 


Amendment to the National Constitution, securing to women the 
right of suffrage ; first, because the disfranchisement of one-half of 
the people deprives that half of the means of self -protection and 
support, limits their resources for self-development and weakens 
their influence on popular thought; second, because giving all 
men the absolute authority to decide the social, civil and political 
status of women, creates a spirit of caste, unrepublican in ten- 
dency; third, because in depriving the State of the united wisdom 
of man and woman, that important "consensus of the competent," 
our form of government becomes in fact an oligarchy of males in- 
stead of a republic of the people. 

Resolved, That since the women citizens of the United States have 
thus far failed to receive proper recognition from any of the existing 
political parties, we recommend the appointment by this convention 
of a committee on future political action. 

Resolved, That as there is a general awakening to 'the rights of 
women in all European countries, the time has arrived to take the 
initiative steps for a grand International Woman Suffrage Conven- 
tion, to be held in either England or America, and that for this pur- 
pose a committee of three be appointed at this convention to corres- 
pond with leading persons in different countries interested in the 
elevation of women. 

Miss Couzins submitted the following, which was unanimously 
accepted : 

Resolved, That in the death of Wendell Phillips the nation has 
lost one of its greatest moral heroes, its most eloquent orator and 
honest advocate of justice and equality for all classes ; and woman 
in her struggle for enfranchisement has lost in him a steadfast 
friend and wise counselor. His consistency in the application of re- 
publican principles of government brought him to the woman suf- 
frage platform at the inauguration of the movement, where he re- 
mained faithful to the end. The National Woman Suffrage Associa- 
tion in convention assembled, would express their gratitude for his 
brave words for woman before the Legislatures of so many States 
and on so many platforms, both in England and America, and would 
extend their sincere sympathy to her who was his constant inspira- 
tion to the utterance of the highest truth, his noble wife, Ann Green 

Resolved, That the services of Anna Ella Carroll of Maryland, 
who directed the armies of the republic up the Tennessee river and 
then southward to the center of the Confederate power to its base 
in northern Alabama, cutting the Memphis and Charleston railroad 
and thus breaking the backbone of the rebellion, entitle her justly 
to the name of the military genius of the war ; that her long strug- 
gle for recognition at the hands of our Government commends her 
to the sympathy of all who believe in truth and justice; and the 
continued refusal of the Government to acknowledge this woman's 
service, which saved to us the Union, defeated national bankruptcy 


and prevented the intervention of foreign powers, merits the con- 
demnation of all lovers of right, and we hereby not only send to her 
our loving recognition and sympathy, but pledge ourselves to arouse 
this nation to the fact of her services.* 

The plan of work submitted by Mrs. Cougar, chairman of the 
committee, was adopted.! This was supplemented by sugges- 
tions of the national board as to methods of organization. \ 

* For a full account of Miss Carroll's services and such congressional action as was 
taken, see History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. II, pp. 3 and 863. It is the story of a 
national disgrace. 

t Resolved, 'That we hold a convention in every unorganized State and Territory during 
the present year, as far as possible, at the capital. 

Resolved, That we consider the enfranchisement of the women citizens of the United 
States the paramount issue of the hour; therefore 

Resolved, That we will, by all honorable methods, oppose the election of any presi- 
dential candidate who is a known opponent to woman suffrage, and we recommend 
similar action on the part of our State associations in regard to State and congressional 
candidates; and further 

Resolved, That the officers of this convention shall communicate with presidential 
nominees of the several political parties and ascertain their position upon this question. 

Resolved, That all Legislatures shall be requested to memorialize Congress upon the 
submission of a Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution; this to be the duty of the 
vice-presidents of the States and Territories. 

WHEREAS, The National Government, through Congress and the Supreme Court, has 
persistently refused to protect the women of the several States and Territories in "the 
right of the citizen to vote;" therefore 

Resolved, That this association most earnestly protests against national interference 
to abolish the right where it has been secured by the Legislature as, for example, 
the Edmunds-Tucker Bill, which proposes to disfranchise all the women of Utah, thus 
inflicting the most degrading penalty upon the innocent equally with the guilty, by 
robbing them of their most sacred right of citizenship. 

t The method of organization must be governed by circumstances. In some localities 
it is best to call a public meeting, in others to invite the friends of the movement to a 
private conference. Both women and men should be members and co-operate, and the 
society should be organized on as broad and liberal a basis as possible. 

Hold conventions, picnics, teas, and occasionally have a lecture from some, one who 
will draw a large crowd. Utilize your own talent; encourage your young women and 
men to speak, read essays and debate on the question. Hold public celebrations of the 
birthdays of eminent women, and in that way interest many who would not attend a 
pronounced suffrage meeting. 

Persons who can not be induced to attend a public meeting will often accept an invita- 
tion to a parlor conference or entertainment where woman suffrage can be made the 
subject of conversation. Cultured women and men, who "have given the matter no 
thought," can be interested through a paper presenting the life and work of such women 
as Margaret Fuller, Abigail Adams, Lucrctia Mott, etc., or showing the rise and 
progress of the woman suffrage movement, giving short biographies of the leaders. 

Advocate suffrage through your local papers. Send them short, pithy communica- 
tions, and, when possible, secure a column in each, to be edited by the society. 

Invite pastors of churches to select from the numerous appropriate texts in the Bible, 
and preach occasionally upon this subject. 

A strong effort should be made to circulate literature. Every society should own a 
copy of the Woman Question in Europe, by Theodore Stanton; of the History of Woman 
Suffrage, by Mrs. Stanton, Miss Anthony and Mrs. Gage; of Mrs. Robinson's Massa- 
chusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement; of T. W. Higginson's Common Sense for 
Women; of John Stuart Mill's Subjection of Women, and of Frances Power Cobbe's 
Duties of Women. These will furnish ammunition for arguments and debates. 

Suffrage leaflets should be circulated in parlors and places of business; and "pockets" 


The following officers were elected : president, Elizabeth 
Cady Stanton, N. Y. ; vice-presidents-at-large, Susan B. An- 
thony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, N. Y., the Rev. Olympia Brown, 
Wis., Phoebe W. Couzins, Mo., Abigail Scott Duniway, Ore. ; 
recording secretaries, Ellen H. Sheldon, D. C, Julia T. Foster, 
Penn. ; Pearl Adams, Ills. ; corresponding secretary, Rachel G. 
Foster (Avery), Penn.; foreign corresponding secretaries, Caro- 
line Ashurst Biggs, Lydia E. Becker, England ; Marguerite Berry 
Stanton, Hubertine Auclert, France; treasurer, Jane H. Spof- 
ford, D. C. ; auditors, Ruth C. Dennison, Julia A. Wilbur. D. C. ; 
chairman of executive committee, May Wright Sewall, Ind., and 
vice-presidents in every State. 

The financial report showed the receipts for 1884 to be in 
round numbers $2,000, and a balance of $300 still remaining in 
the treasury. 

In her address closing the convention Miss Anthony said : 

The reason men are so slow in conceding political equality to 
women is because they can not believe that women suffer the humili- 
ation of disfranchisement as they would. A dear and noble friend, 
one who aided our work most efficiently in the early days, said to me, 
"Why do you say the 'emancipation of women ?' " I replied, "Be- 
cause women are political slaves !" Is it not strange that men think 
that what to them would be degradation, slavery, is to women eleva- 
tion, liberty? Men put the right of suffrage for themselves above 
all price, and count the denial of it the most severe punishment. If 
a man serving a term in State's prison has one friend outside who 
cares for him, that friend will get up a petition begging the Governor 
to commute his sentence, if for not more than forty-eight hours 
prior to its expiration, so that, when he comes out of prison he may 
not be compelled to suffer the disgrace of disfranchisement and may 
not be doomed to walk among his fellows with the mark of Cain 
upon his forehead. The only penalty inflicted upon the men, who 
a few years ago laid the knife at the throat of the Nation, was that 
of disfranchisement, which all men, loyal and .disloyal, felt was too 
grievous to be borne, and our Government made haste to permit 
every one, even the leader of them all, to escape from this humilia- 
tion, this degradation, and again to be honored with the crowning 

should be filled and hung in railroad stations, post-offices and hotels, that "he who runs 
may read." Over these should be printed "Woman Suffrage Take and Read." 

All the above methods aim rather at the education of the popular mind than the 
judiciary and legislative branches of the Government. The next step is to educate the 
representatives in Congress and on the bench of the Supreme Court in the principles 
of constitutional law and republican government, that they may understand the justice 
of the demands for a Sixteenth Amendment which shall forbid the several States to deny. 
or abridge the rights of women citizens of the United States. 


right of United States citizenship. How can men thus delude them- 
selves with the idea that what to them is ignominy unbearable is to 
women honor and glory unspeakable.* 

An able address from Mrs. Matilda Joslyn Gage (N. Y.) ar- 
rived too late for the convention. It was a denial of the superi- 
ority of man from a scientific standpoint, and was so original in 
thought that it deserves to be reproduced almost in full : 

. . . . We must bear in mind the old theologic belief that the 
earth was flat, the center of the universe, around which all else re- 
volved that all created things, animate and inanimate, were made 
for man alone that woman was not part of the original plan of 
creation but was an after-thought for man's special use and benefit. 
So that a science which proves the falsity of any of these theological 
conceptions aids in the overthrow of all. 

The first great battle fought by science for woman was a Geo- 
graphical one lasting for twelve centuries. But finally, Columbus, 
sustained and sent on his way by Isabella in 1492, followed by 
Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe twenty years later, settled 
the question of the earth's rotundity and was the first step toward 
woman's enfranchisement. 

Another great battle was in progress at the same time and the 
second victory was an Astronomical one. Copernicus was born, the 
telescope discovered, the earth sank to its subordinate place in the 
solar system and another battle for woman was won. 

Chemistry, long opposed under the name of Alchemy, at last 
gained a victory, and by its union of diverse atoms began to teach 
men that nature is a system of nuptials, and that the feminine is 
everywhere present as an absolute necessity of life. 

Geology continued this lesson. It not only taught the immense 
age of creation, but the motherhood of even the rocks. 

Botany was destined for a fierce battle, as when Linnaeus declared 
the sexual nature of plants, he was shunned as having degraded the 
works of God by a recognition of the feminine in plant life. 

Philology owes its rank to Catherine II of Russia, who, in as- 
sembling her great congress of deputies from the numerous prov- 
inces of her empire, gave the first impetus to this science. Max 
Miiller declares the evidence of language to be irrefragable, and it is 
the only history we possess prior to historic periods. Through 
Philology we ascend to the dawn of nations and learn of the domes- 
tic, religious and governmental habits of people who left neither 
monuments nor writing to speak for them. From it we learn the 
original meaning of our terms, father and mother. Father, says' 
Miiller, who is a recognized philological authority, is derived from 
the root "Pa," which means to protect, to support, to nourish. 
Among the earliest Aryans, the word mater (mother), from the 

Muw Anthony never wrote her addresses and no stenographic reports were made. 
Brief and inadequate newspaper accounts are all that remain. 


root "Ma," signified maker ; creation being thus distinctively associ- 
ated with the feminine. Taylor, in his Primitive Culture says the 
husband acknowledged the offspring of his wife as his own as thus 
only had he a right to claim the title of father. 

While Philology has opened a new fount of historic knowledge, 
Biology, the seventh and most important witness, the latest science 
in opposition to divine authority, is the first to deny the theory of 
man's original perfection. Science gained many triumphs, con- 
quered many superstitions, before the world caught a glimpse of the 
result toward which each step was tending the enfranchisement of 

Through Biology we learn -that the first manifestation of life is 
feminine. The albuminous protoplasm lying in silent darkness on 
the bottom of the sea, possessing within itself all the phenomena ex- 
hibited by the highest forms of life, as sensation, motion, nutrition 
and reproduction, produces its like, arid in all forms of life the 
capacity for reproduction undeniably stamps the feminine. Not 
only does science establish the fact that primordial life is feminine, 
but it also proves that a greater expenditure of vital force is requi- 
site for the production of the feminine than for the masculine: 

The experiments of Meehan, Gentry, Treat, Herrick, Wallace, 
Combe, Wood and many others, show sex to depend upon environ- 
ment and nutrition. A meager, contracted environment, together 
with innutritious or 'scanty food, results in a weakened vitality and 
the birth of males ; a broad, generous environment together with 
abundant nutrition, in the birth of females. The most perfect plant 
produces feminine flowers ; the best nurtured insect or animal dem- 
onstrates the same law. From every summary of vital statistics we 
gather further proof that more abundant vitality, fewer infantile 
deaths and greater comparative longevity belong to woman. It is a 
recognized fact that quick reaction to a stimulus is proof of superior 
vitality. In England, where very complete vital statistics have been 
recorded for many years, it is shown that while the mean duration 
of man's life within the last thirty years has increased five per cent, 
that of woman has increased more than eight per cent. Our own 
last census (tenth) shows New Hampshire to be the State most 
favorable for longevity. While one in seventy-four of its inhabit- 
ants is eighty years old, among native white men the proportion is 
but one to eighty, while among native white women, the very great 
preponderance of one to fifty-eight is shown. 

That the vitality of the world is at a depressed standard is proven 
by the fact that more boys are born than girls, the per cent, varying 
in different countries. Male infants are more often deformed, suffer 
from abnormal characteristics, and more speedily succumb to in- 
fantile diseases than female infants, so that within a few years, not- 
withstanding the large proportion of male births, the balance of life 
is upon the feminine side. Many children are born to a rising peo- 
ple, but this biological truth is curiously supplemented by the fact 
that the proportion of girls born among such people, is always in 


excess of boys ; while in races dying out, the very large proportion 
of boys' births over those of girls is equally noticeable. 

From these hastily presented scientific facts it is manifest that 
woman possesses in a higher degree than man that adaptation to the 
conditions surrounding her which is everywhere accepted as evidence 
of superior vitality and higher physical rank in life ; and when biol- 
ogy becomes more fully understood it will also be universally ac- 
knowledged that the primal creative power, like the first manifesta- 
tion of life, is feminine. 



Both Senate and House of the preceding Congress had ap- 
pointed Select Committees on Woman Suffrage to whom all pe- 
titions, etc., were referred.* The Senate of the Forty-eighth 
Congress renewed this committee, but the House declined to do 
so. Early in the session, Dec. 19, 1883, the Committee on Rules 
refused to report such a committee but authorized Speaker War- 
ren Keifer of Ohio to present the question to the House. A 
spirited debate followed which displayed the sentiment of mem- 
bers against the question of woman suffrage itself. John H. 
Reagan of Texas was the principal opponent, saying in the 
course of his remarks : 

I hope that it will not be considered ungracious in me that I 
oppose the wish of any lady. But when she so far misunderstands 
her duty as to want to go to working on the roads and making rails 
and serving in the militia and going into the army, I want to protect 
her against it. I do not think that sort of employment suits her sex 
or her physical strength. I think also, when we attempt to over- 
turn the social status of the world as it has existed for six thousand 
years, we ought to begin somewhere where we have a constitutional 
basis to stand upon 

But I suppose whoever clamors for action here finds a warrant 
for it in the clamor outside, and it is not necessary to look to the 
Constitution for it ; it is not necessary to regard the interests of civ- 
ilization and the experience of ages in determining our social as well 
as our political policy ; but we will arrange it so that there shall be 
no one to nurse the babies, no one to superintend the household, but 
all shall go into the political scramble, and we shall go back as rap- 
idly as we can march into barbarism. That is the effect of such 
doings as this, disregarding the social interests of society for a 
clamor that never ought to have been made. 

Mr. Reagan then rambled into a long discussion of the rights 

* For an interesting account of the Struggle to secure these committees see History 
of Woman Suffrage, Vol. Ill, p. 198. 



allowed under the Constitution, although no action had been pro- 
posed except the mere appointment of a Select Committee, to 
whom all questions relating to woman suffrage might be referred, 
such as already existed in the Senate. 

James B. Belford of Colorado in an able reply said : 

I have no doubt that this House will be gratified with the profound 
respect which the gentleman from Texas has expressed for the Con- 
stitution of the country. The last distinguished act with which he 
was connected was its attempted overthrow ; and a man who was 
engaged in an enterprise of that kind can fight a class to whom his 
mother belonged. I desire to know whether a woman is a citizen of 
the United States or an outcast without any political rights what- 

What is the proposition presented by the gentleman from Ohio? 
That we will constitute a committee to whom shall be referred all 
petitions presented by women. Is not the right of petition a consti- 
tutional right ? Has not woman, in this country at least, risen above 
the horizon of servitude, discredit and disgrace, and has she not a 
right, representing as she does in many instances great questions of 
property, to present her appeals to this National Council and have 
them judiciously considered? I think it is due to our wives, daugh- 
ters, mothers and sisters to afford them an avenue through which 
they can legitimately and judicially reach the ear of this great nation. 

Moved by Mr. Reagan's attacks, Mr. Keifer made a strong 
plea for the rights of women, which deserves a place in history, 
saying in part : 

We must remember that we stand here committed in a large sense 
to the matter of woman suffrage. In the Territories of Wyoming 
and Utah for fifteen years past women have had the right to vote 
on all questions which men can vote upon ; and the Congress of the 
United States has stood by without disapproving the legislative acts 
of those Territories. And we now have before us a law passed at the 
last session of the Legislature of Washington, giving to its women 
the right to vote. We have not passed upon the question one way or 
the other, but we have the right to pass upon it. This, I think, 
seems to dispose sufficiently of the question of constitutional legis- 
lative power without trampling upon the toes of any State-rights 

The right of petition belongs to all persons within the limits of 
our republic, and with the right of petition goes the right on the part 
of the Congress through constitutional means to grant relief. Do 
gentlemen claim it is unconstitutional to amend the Constitution? 
I know that claim was made at one time on the floor of this House 
and on the floor of the Senate. When it was proposed to abolish 
slavery in the United States, distinguished gentlemen argued that it 


was unconstitutional to amend the Constitution so as to abolish 
slavery. . But all that has passed away and we now find ourselves, 
in the light of the present, seeing- clearly that we may amend the 
Constitution in any way we please, pursuing always the proper con- 
stitutional methods of doing so. 

There are considerations due to the women of this country which 
ought not to be lightly thrust aside. For thirty-five years they have 
been petitioning and holding conventions and demanding that certain 
relief should be granted them, to the extent of allowing them to 
exercise the right of suffrage. In that thirty-five years we have 
seen great things acomplished. We have seen some of the subtleties 
of the Common Law, which were spread over this country, swept 
away. There is hardly anybody anywhere who now adheres to the 
doctrine that a married woman can not make a contract, and that 
she has no rights or liabilities except those which are centered in her 
husband. Even the old Common-Law maxim that "husband and 
wife are one, and that one the husband," has been largely modified 
under the influence of these patriotic, earnest ladies who have taken 
hold of this question and enlightened the world upon it. There are 
now in the vaults of this Capitol hundreds of thousands of petitions 
for relief, sent in here by women and by those who believed that 
women ought to have certain rights and privileges of citizenship 
granted to them. For sixteen years there has been held in this city, 
annually, a convention composed of representative women from all 
parts of the country. These conventions, as well as various State 
and local conventions, have been appealing for relief ; and they 
ought not to be met by the statement that we will not even give them 
the poor privilege of a committee to whom their petitions and me- 
morials may be referred. 

We have made some progress. In 1871 there was a very strong 
minority report made in this House in favor of woman suffrage. 
Notwithstanding the notion that we must stand by all our old 
ideas, the Supreme Court of the United States, after deliberately 
considering the question, admitted a woman to practice at the bar of 
that Court.* A hundred years ago, in the darkness of which some 
gentlemen desire still to live, I suppose they would not have done 
this. Favorable reports on this subject were made by the Com- 
mittee on Privileges and Elections in the Senate of the Forty-fifth 
Congress, and in the last Congress by a Select Committee of the 
Senate and of the House. The Legislatures of many of the States 
have expressed their judgment on the matter. There has been a 
great deal of progress in that direction. The Senate and the House 
of Representatives of the last Congress provided Select Committees 
to whom all matters relating to woman suffrage could be referred. 
Will this House take a step backward on this question ? 

* But it was after five years of persistent appeal to Congress by Mrs. Belva A. Lock- 
wood, and the enactment of a law, by overwhelming majorities in both Houses, prohibit- 
ing the Supreme Court from denying admission to lawyers on account of sex, that this 
act of justice was accomplished. 



I want especially to notify the gentleman from Texas that we are 
not standing still on this matter. Eleven States New Hampshire, 
Vermont. Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, Kentucky, Minne- 
sota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and Oregon have authorized 
women to vote for school trustees and members of school boards. 
Kentucky extends this right to widows who have children and pay 
taxes. Women are nominated and voted for not only in the eleven 
States and three Territories, but in nearly all the Northern and 
Western States. Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa and other States have 
large numbers of women county superintendents of public schools. 
And let me say, for the benefit of the Democratic party, that in the 
great, progressive western State of Kansas the Democracy rose so 
high as to nominate and vote for a woman for State Superintendent 
of Public Instruction at the last election. So there has been a little 
growing away from those old ideas and notions, even among the 
Democracy. We are permitting women to fill public offices. Why 
should they not participate in the election of officers who are to 
govern them ? We require them to pay taxes and there are a great 
many burdens imposed upon them. Kansas, Michigan, Colorado 
and Nebraska have in recent years submitted the question of woman 
suffrage to a vote of the people and more than one-third of the 
electors of each voted in favor. Oregon has now a similar proposi- 
tion pending. 

By the laws of all the States women are required to pay taxes; 
but we are practically working on the theory that these women shall 
be taxed without the right of representation. Taxation without 
representation led to the separation of the colonies from the mother 
country. They were not so much opposed to being taxed as they 
were to being taxed without representation. Trie patriots of that 
day conceived the idea that there was a principle somewhere in- 
volved in the right of representation. So they evolved and form- 
ulated that Revolutionary maxim, "Millions for defense, but not one 
cent for tribute." The basis of that maxim was that they would not 
give to the payment of taxes without the right of representation. 
Revolution and war made representation and taxation correlative. 
But the States tax all women on their property. For illustration, 
8,000 women of Boston and 34.000 in Massachusetts pay $2,000,000 
of taxes, one-eleventh of the entire tax of that great and wealthy 
State. The same ratio will be found to prevail in all the other 

Progress has gone on elsewhere than in the United States. Eng- 
land has been moving forward in this matter, and we should not 
stand behind her in anything 

I am one of those who do not believe that to give to women com- 
mon rights and privileges will degrade them, but on the contrary I 
believe it will ennoble them ; and I believe further that to put them on 
an equality in the matter of rights and privileges with men will en- 
hance their charms and not lessen their beauty. 

The vote resulted yeas, 85; nays, 124; not voting, 112. Of 


the affirmative votes 72 were Republican, 13 Democratic; of the 
negative, 4 were Republican, 120 Democratic. 

In January, 1884, after the return of the members from their 
holiday recess, Miss Anthony addressed letters to the 112 ab- 
sentees, asking each how he would have voted had he been pres- 
ent. Fifty-two replies were received, 26 from Republicans, all 
of whom would have voted yes; 26 from Democrats, 10 of whom 
would have voted yes, 10, no, and 6 could not tell which way they 
would have voted. 

In the hope that this respectable minority could be increased 
to a majority, the Hon. John D. White (Ky.) made a further 
attempt, Feb. 7, 1884, to secure the desired committee, say- 
ing in his speech upon this question: 

It seems to me to be an anomalous state of affairs that in a great 
Nation like this one-half of the people should have no committee to 
which they could address their appeals. 

Women consider they have the same political rights as men. I 
might read from such distinguished authority as Miss Susan B. 
Anthony, whose name has been jeered in her native State, and 
who has been prosecuted there for voting, but who stands before the 
American people to-day the peer of any woman in the nation, and 
the superior of half the men occupying a representative capacity. 
It does seem to me hard that when a woman like this comes to 
Congress, instructed by thousands and tens of thousands of her sex, 
in order to be heard she should be compelled to hang around the 
doors of the Judiciary Committee, or of some other committee, pre- 
eminently occupied with other matters. But we are told there is no 
room. Yet we have a room where lobbyists of every sort are pro- 
vided for. And are we to be told that no room in this wing of the 
Capitol can be had where respectable women of the nation can pre- 
sent arguments for the calm consideration of their friends in this 
body? I ask simply for the opportunity to be afforded the repre- 
sentatives of the political rights of women to be heard in making 
respectful argument to the law-making power of the nation. 

Byron M. Cutcheon (Mich.) also spoke in favor of the com- 
mittee, saying: 

Ever since the organization of this House I have received petitions 
from my constituents in regard to this matter of the political rights 
of women, but there seems to be no committee to which they could 
properly be referred. A few years since, when this question of 
woman suffrage was submitted to the people in my State, more than 
40,000 electors were in favor of it. It seems to me, without com- 
mitting ourselves on the question of the political rights of women, 


it is but respectful to a very large number of people in all our States 
that there should be a committee to receive and consider and report 
upon these petitions which come to us from time to time. 

The House refused to allow a vote. 

The Senate Committee on Woman Suffrage granted a hearing 
March 7, 1884, at 10:30 a. m., in the Senate reception room, to 
the speakers and delegates in attendance at the convention, the en- 
tire committee being present.* In introducing the speakers 
Miss Anthony said: "This is the sixteenth year that we have 
come before Congress in person, and the nineteenth by petitions, 
asking national protection for the citizen's right to vote, when 
the citizen happens to be a woman." 

MRS. HARRIET R. SHATTUCK (Mass.) : We canvassed four local- 
ities in the city of Boston, two in smaller cities, two in country dis- 
tricts and made one record also of school teachers in nine schools 
of one town. The teachers were unanimously in favor of woman 
suffrage, and in the nine localities we found that the proportion of 
women in favor was very much larger than of those opposed. The 
total of women canvassed was 814. Those in favor were 405, those 
opposed, 44; indifferent, 166; refused to sign, 160; not seen, 39. 
These canvasses were made by respectable, responsible women, and 
they swore before a Justice of the Peace as to the truth of their 
statements. Thus we have in Massachusetts this reliable canvass 
of women showing those in favor are to those opposed as nine to 

MRS. MAY WRIGHT SEWALL (Ind.) : . . . . My friend has 
said that men have always kept us just a little below them where 
they could shower upon us favors and they have done that gener- 
ously. So they have, but, gentlemen, has your sex been more gener- 
ous to women than they have been generous toward you in their 
favors ? Neither can dispense with the service of the other, neither 
can dispense with the reverence of the other or with the aid of the 
other in social life. The men of this nation are rapidly finding 
that they can not dispense with the service of woman in business life. 
I know that they are also feeling the need of the moral support of 
woman in their political life. 

You, gentlemen, by lifting the women of the nation into political 
equality would simply place us where we could lift you where you 
never yet have stood upon a moral equality with us. I do not 
speak to you as individuals but as the representatives of your sex, 
as I stand here the representative of mine, and never until we are 
your equals politically will the moral standard for men be what 

'This committee was composed of Senators Cockrell (Mo.), Fair (Nev.), Brown 
(Ga.), Anthony (R. I.), Blair (N. H.). Palmer (Mich.). Lapham (N. Y.). 


it now is for women, and it is none too high. Let woman's standard 
be still more elevated, and let yours come up to match it. 

We do not appeal to you as Republicans or as Democrats. , We 
were reared with our brothers under the political belief and faith of 
our fathers, and probably as much influenced by that rearing as they 
were. W T e shall go to strengthen both the parties, neither the one 
nor the other the more, probably. So this is not a partisan measure ; 
it is a just measure, which is our due, because of what we are, men 
and women both, by virtue of our heritage and our one Father, our 
one Mother eternal. 

MRS. HELEN M. COUGAR (Ind.) : I maintain there is no political 
question paramount to that of woman suffrage before the people of 
America to-day. Political parties would have us believe that tariff 
is the great question of the hour. It is an insult to the intelligence 
of the present to say that when one-half of the citizens of this repub- 
lic are denied a direct voice in making the laws under which they 
shall live, that the tariff, the civil rights of the negro, or any other 
question which can be brought up, is equal to the one of giving 
political freedom to women. 

I ask you to let me have a voice in the laws under which I shall 
live because the older empires of the earth are sending to the United 
States a population drawn very largely from their asylums, peni- 
tentiaries, jails and poor-houses. They are emptying those men 
upon our shores, and within a few months they are intrusted with 
the ballot, the law-making power in this republic, and they and their 
representatives are seated in official and legislative positions. I, as 
an American-born woman, enter my protest at being compelled to 
live under laws made by this class of men while I am denied the 
protection that can only come from the ballot. While I would not 
have you take this right from those men whom we invite to our 
shores, I do ask you, in the face of this immense foreign immigra- 
tion, to enfranchise the tax-paying, intelligent, moral, native-born 
women of America. 

. . . . We have in our State the signatures of over 5,000 of 
the school teachers asking for woman's ballot. I ask you if the 
Government does not need the voice of those 5,000 educated teachers 
as much as it needs the voice of the 240 criminals who are, on an 
average, sent out of the penitentiary of Indiana each year, to go to 
the ballot-box upon every question, and make laws under which 
those teachers must live, and under which the mothers of our State 
must keep their homes and rear their children ? 

On behalf of the mothers of this country I demand that their 
hands shall be loosened before the ballot-box, and that they shall 
have the privilege of throwing the mother heart into the laws which 
shall follow their sons not only to the age of majority, but even after 
their hair has turned gray and they have seats in the United States 
Congress ; yes, to the very confines of eternity. This can be done 
in no indirect way ; it can not be done by silent influence ; it can not 
be done by prayer. While I do not underestimate the power of 
prayer, I say give me my ballot with which to send statesmen in- 


stead of modern politicians into our legislative halls. I would rather 
have that ballot on election day than the prayers of all the disfran- 
chised women in the universe ! 

. . . . Our forefathers did not object to taxation, but they 
did object to taxation without representation, and we object to it. 
We are willing to contribute our share to the support of this Gov- 
ernment, as we always have done; but we demand our little yes 
and no in the form of the ballot so that we shall have a direct in- 
fluence in distributing the taxes. 

I am amenable to the gallows and the penitentiary, and it is no 
more than right that I shall have a voice in framing the laws under 
which I shall be rewarded or punished. It is written in the law of 
every State in this Union that a person tried in the courts shall have 
a jury of his peers ; yet so long as the word "male" stands as it does 
in the Constitution of the United States and the States, no woman 
can have a jury of her peers. I protest in the name of justice against 
going into the court-room and being compelled to run the gauntlet 
of the gutter and saloon yes, even of the police court and of the 
jail as is done in selecting a male jury to try the interests of 
woman, whether relating to life, property or reputation 

The political party that presumes to fight the moral battles of the 
future must have the women in its ranks. We are non-partisan. 
We come as Democrats, Republicans, Prohibitionists and Green- 
backers, and if there were half a dozen other political parties some 
of us would affiliate with them. We ask this beneficent action upon 
your part, because we believe the intelligence and justice of the hour 
demand it. We ask you in the name of equity and humanity alone, 
and not in that of any party 

You ask us if we are impatient. Yes ; we are impatient. Some 
of us may die, and I want our grand old standard-bearer, Susan B. 
Anthony, whose name will go down to history beside those of 
George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Wendell Phillips I 
want that woman to go to Heaven a free angel from this republic. 
The power lies in your hands to make all women free. 

MRS. CAROLINE GILKEY ROGERS (N. Y.) : It is often said to us 
that when all the women ask for the ballot it will be granted. Did 
all the married women petition the Legislatures of their States to 
secure to them the right to hold in their own name the property 
which belonged to them? To secure to the poor forsaken wife the 
right to her earnings? All the women did not ask for these rights, 
but all accepted them with joy and gladness when they were ob- 
tained, and so it will be with the franchise. Woman's right to self- 
government does not depend upon the numbers that demand it, but 
upon precisely the same principles on which man claims it for him- 
self. Where did man get the authority which he now exercises to 
govern one-half of humanity ; from what power the right to place 
woman, his helpmeet in life, in an inferior position? Came it from 
nature? Nature made woman his superior when it made her his 
mother his equal when it fitted her to hold the sacred position of 
wife. Did women meet in council and voluntarily give up all their 


right to be their own law-makers ? The power of the strong over the 
weak makes man the master. Thus, and thus only, does he gain 
the authority. > 

It is all very well to say, "Convert the women." While we most 
heartily wish they could all feel as we do, yet when it comes to the 
decision of this great question they are mere ciphers, for if it is 
settled by the States it will be left to the men, not to the women, to 
decide. Or if suffrage comes to women through a Sixteenth 
Amendment to the National Constitution, it will be decided by Leg- 
islatures elected by men only. In neither case will women have an 
opportunity of passing upon the question. So reason tells us we 
must devote our best efforts to converting those to whom we must 
look for the removal of the barriers which now prevent 'our exer- 
cising the right of suffrage 

MRS. MARY SEYMOUR HOWELL (N. Y.) : We ask for the ballot 
for the good of the race. Huxley says : "Admitting/ for the sake 
of argume/it, that woman is the weaker, mentally and physically, 
for that very reason she should have the ballot and every help which 
the world can give her." When you debar from your councils and 
legislative halls the purity, the spirituality and the love of woman, 
then those councils are apt to become coarse and brutal. God gave 
us to you to help you in this little journey to a better land, and by 
our love and our intellect to help make our country pure and noble, 
and if you would have statesmen you must have stateswomen to 
bear them 

MRS. LILLIE DEVEREUX BLAKE (N. Y.) : It is often said that we 
have too many voters ; that the aggregate of vice and ignorance 
among us should not be increased by giving women the right of 
suffrage. In the enormous immigration which pours upon our 
shores every year, numbering nearly half a million, there come twice 
as many men as women. What does this mean? It means a con- 
stant preponderance of the masculine over the feminine ; and it 
means also, of course, a preponderance of the voting power of the 
foreign men as compared to the native born men. To those who 
fear that our American institutions are threatened by this gigantic 
inroad of foreigners, I commend the reflection that the best safe- 
guard against any such preponderance of foreign influence is to put 
the ballot in the hands of the American born woman, and of all other 
women also, so that if the foreign born man overbalances us in num- 
bers we shall be always in a majority on the side of the liberty which 
is secured by our institutions 

MRS. ELIZABETH BOYNTON HARBERT: From the great State of 
Illinois I come, representing 200,000 men and women of that State 
who have recorded their written petitions for woman's ballot, 90,000 
of these being citizens under the law, male voters ; those 90,000 have 
signed petitions for the right of woman to vote on the temperance 
question ; 90,000 women also signed those petitions ; 50,000 men and 
women signed the petitions for the school vote, and 60,000 more 
have signed petitions that the full right of suffrage might be accord- 
ed to woman. 


This growth of public sentiment has been occasioned by the needs 
of the children and the working women of that great State. I come 
here to ask you to make a niche in the statesmanship and legislation 
of the nation for the domestic interests of the people. You recog- 
nize that the masculine thought is more often turned to material 
and political interests. I claim that the mother-thought, the woman- 
element needed, is to supplement the statesmanship of American 
men on political and industrial affairs with domestic legislation. 

In her closing address Miss Anthony took up the question of 
obtaining suffrage for women through the States instead of Con- 
gress and said : 

My answer is that I do not wish to see the women of the thirty- 
eight States of this Union compelled to leave their homes to can- 
vass each one of these, school district by school district. It is ask- 
ing too much of a moneyless class. The joint earnings o$ the mar- 
riage co-partnership in all the States belong legally to the husband. 
It is only that wife who goes outside the home to work whom the law 
permits to own and control the money she earns. Therefore, to ask 
of women, the vast majority of whom are without an independent 
dollar of their own, to make a thorough canvass of their several 
States, is asking an impossibility. 

We have already made the experiment of canvassing four States 
Kansas in 1867, Michigan in 1874, Colorado in 1877, Nebraska in 
1882 and in each, with the best campaign possible for us to make, 
we obtained a vote of only one-third. One man out of every three 
voted for the enfranchisement of the women of his household, while 
two out of every three voted against it 

We beg, therefore, that instead of insisting that a majority of the 
individual voters must be converted before women shall have the 
franchise, you will give us the more hopeful task of appealing to the 
representative men in the Legislatures of the several States. You 
need not fear that we shall get suffrage too quickly if Congress sub- 
mits the proposition, for even then we shall have a long siege in go- 
ing from Legislature to Legislature to secure the vote of three- 
fourths of the States necessary to ratify the amendment. It may re- 
quire twenty years after Congress has taken the initiative step, to 
obtain action by the requisite number, but once submitted by Con- 
gress it always will stand until ratified by the States. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton's paper on Self -Government the 
Best Means of Self -Development was read to the committee. A 
few extracts will serve to show its broad scope : 

The basic idea of a republic is the right of self-government, the 
right of every citizen to choose his own representatives and to have 
a voice in the laws under which he lives. As this right can be se- 
cured only by the exercise of the suffrage, the ballot in the hand of 


every qualified citizen constitutes the true political status of the peo- 
ple in a republic. 

The right of suffrage is simply the right to govern one's self. 
Every human being is born into the world with this right, and the 
desire to exercise it comes naturally with the feeling of life's re- 
sponsibilities. Those only who are capable of appreciating this dig- 
nity, can measure the extent to which women are defrauded, and 
they only can measure the loss to the councils of the nation of the 
wisdom of representative women. They who say that women do not 
desire the right of suffrage, that they prefer masculine domination 
to self-government, falsify every page of history, every fact in hu- 
man experience. 

It has taken the whole power of the civil and canon law to hold 
woman in the subordinate position which it is said she willingly ac- 
cepts. If woman naturally has no will, no self-assertion, no opin- 
ions of her own, what means the terrible persecution of the sex un- 
der all forms of religious fanaticism, culminating in witchcraft in 
which scarce one wizard to a thousand witches was sacrificed? So 
powerful and merciless has been the struggle to dominate the fem- 
inine element in humanity, that we may well wonder at the steady, 
determined resistance maintained by woman through the centuries. 
To every step of progress which she has made from slavery to the 
partial freedom she now enjoys, the Church and the State alike have 
made the most cruel opposition, and yet, under all circumstances she 
has shown her love of individual freedom, her desire for self-gov- 
ernment, while her achievements in practical affairs and her courage 
in the great emergencies of life have vindicated her capacity to ex- 
ercise this right 

The right of suffrage in a republic means self-government, and 
self-government means education, development, self-reliance, inde- 
pendence, courage in the hour of danger. That women may attain 
these virtues we demand the exercise of this right. Not that we 
suppose we should at once be transformed into a higher order of be- 
ings with all the elements of sovereignty, wisdom, goodness and 
power full-fledged, but because the exercise of the suffrage is the 
primary school in which the citizen learns how to use the ballot as a 
weapon of defense ; it is the open sesame to the land of freedom and 
equality. The ballot is the scepter of power in the hand of every cit- 
izen. Woman can never have an equal chance with man in the 
struggle of life until she too wields this power. So long as women 
have no voice in the Government under which they live they will be 
an ostracised class, and invidious distinctions will be made against 
them in the world of work. Thrown on their own resources they 
have all the hardships that men have to encounter in earning their 
daily bread, with the added disabilities which grow out of disfran- 
chisement. Men of the republic, why make life harder for your 
daughters by these artificial distinctions? Surely, if governments 
were made to protect the weak against the strong, they are in greater 
need than your stalwart sons of every political right which can give 
them protection, dignity and power 


The disfranchisement of one-half the people places a dangerous 
power in the hands of the other half. All history shows that one 
class never did legislate with justice for another, and all philosophy 
shows they never can, as the relations of class grow out of either 
natural or artificial advantages which one has over the other and 
which it will maintain if possible. It is folly to say that women are 
not a class, so long as there is any difference in the code of laws for 
men and \vomen, any discrimination in the customs of society, giv- 
ing advantages to men over women ; so long as in all our State con- 
stitutions women are ranked with lunatics, idiots, paupers and crim- 
inals. When you say that one-half the people shall be governed by 
the other half, surely the class distinction is about as broad as it 
can be 

The disfranchisement of one-half the people deprives the State of 
the united wisdom of man and woman that "consensus of the com- 
petent" so necessary in national affairs making our Government an 
oligarchy of males, instead of a republic of the people, thus per- 
petuating with all its evils a dominant masculine civilization. But 
in answer to this it is said that although women do not vote, yet 
they have an indirect influence in Government through their hus- 
bands and brothers. Yes, an "irresponsible power," of all kinds of 
influence the most dangerous 

The dogged, unreasonable persecutions of sex in all ages, the evi- 
dent determination to eliminate, as far as possible, the feminine ele- 
ment in humanity, has been the most fruitful cause of the moral 
chaos the race has suffered, under every form of government and 

religion The loss to women themselves of the highest 

development of which they are capable is sad, but when this in- 
volves a lower type of manhood and danger to our free institutions, 
it is still more sad. The primal work in every country, for its own 
safety, should be the education and freedom of woman. 

The arguments before the Judiciary Committee of the House 
were given the next morning, March 8, twelve of the fifteen 
members being present.* Miss Anthony opened the hearing with 
an earnest address in which she referred to the hundreds of thou- 
sands of petitions which had been sent to Congress for woman 
suffrage far more than for any other measure and continued : 

Negro suffrage was again and again overwhelmingly voted down 
in various States New York, Connecticut, Ohio, etc. and you 
know, gentlemen, that if the negro had never had the right to vote 
until the majority of the rank and file of white men, particularly 
foreign-born men, had voted "Yes," he would have gone without it 

*J. Randolph Tucker, Va.; Nathaniel J. Hammond, Ga.; David B. Culberson, Tex.; 
Samuel W. Moulton, Ills.; James O. Broadhead, Mo.; William Dorsheimer, N. Y. ; 
Patrick A. Collins, Mass.; George E. Seney, O. ; William C. Maybury, Mich.; Thomas 
B. Reed, Me.; Ezra B. Taylor, O.; Moses A. McCoid, la.; Thomas M. Browne, Ind.; 
Luke P. Poland, Vt; Horatio Bisbee, jr., Fla. 


till the crack of doom. It was because of the prejudice of the un- 
thinking majority that Congress submitted the question of the ne- 
gro's enfranchisement to the Legislatures of the several States, to be 
adjudicated by the educated, broadened representatives of the peo- 
ple. We now appeal to you to lift the decision of woman suffrage 
from the vote of the populace to that of the Legislatures, that you 
may thereby be as considerate, as just, to the women of this nation 
as you were to the male ex-slaves. 

Every new privilege granted to women has been by the Legisla- 
tures. The liberal laws for married women, the right of the wife 
to own and control her inherited property and separate earnings, the 
right of women to vote at school elections in a dozen States, the right 
to vote on all questions in three Territories, have all been gained 
through the Legislatures. Had any one of these beneficent propo- 
sitions been submitted to the masses, do you believe a majority would 
have placed their sanction upon them? I do not. 

It takes all too many of us women, and too much of our hard 
earnings, from our homes and from the works of charity and educa- 
tion of our respective localities, even to come to Washington, session 
after session, until Congress shall have submitted the proposition, 
and then to go from Legislature to Legislature, urging its adoption ; 
but when you insist that we shall beg at the feet of each and every 
individual voter of each and every one of the thirty-eight States, 
native and foreign, white and black, educated and ignorant, you 
doom us to incalculable hardships and sacrifices and to most exas- 
perating insults and humiliations. I pray you, therefore, save us 
from the fate of working and waiting for our freedom until we shall 
have educated the masses of men to consent to give their wives and 
sisters equality of rights with themselves. You surely will not com- 
pel us to wait the enlightenment of all the freedmen of this nation 
and all the newly-made voters from the monarchial governments of 
the Old World ! 

Liberty for one's self is a natural instinct possessed alike by all, 
but to be willing to accord liberty to another is the result of educa- 
tion, of self-discipline, of the practice of the golden rule "Do unto 
others as you would that others should do unto you." Therefore 
we ask that the question of equality of rights to women shall be ar- 
bitrated upon by the picked men of the nation in Congress, and the 
picked men of the several States in their respective Legislatures. 

THE REV. FLORENCE KOLLOCK (Ills.) : . . . . Called as I 
am into the homes of the people through the requirements of my of- 
fice, I know whereof I speak when I say that I am as faithfully ful- 
filling its sacred duties when I come before you urging this claim, 
as when, on my bended knees, I plead at the throne of God for the 
salvation of souls. 

I know too well the suffering that might be alleviated, the terrible 
wrongs that might be righted, the sins that might be punished, 
could the moral power of the women of our land be utilfeed could 
it be brought to bear on those great questions which affect so vitally 
the welfare of society. The gigantic evil of intemperance is pros- 


trating the finest powers of our country and threatening the life of 
social purity : it is in truth the fell destroyer of peace, virtue and do- 
mestic and national safety, and upon the unoffending the blow falls 
with the greatest weight. Why should not they who suffer the most 
deeply through this evil, be authorized before the law of the land to 
protect themselves and their loved ones from its fearful ravages? 
Is it other than simple justice which I ask for them? I have listened 
to too many sad stories from heart-broken wives and mothers not to 
know that the demand which the women of the land make in this 
matter comes not from love of power, is not prompted by false ambi- 
tion, springs not from unwomanly aspirations, but does come from a 
direful need of self -protect ion and an earnest desire to protect those 
dearer than life itself. 

Gentlemen of the Judiciary Committee, in the same spirit in which 
I seek the aid of Heaven in my endeavor to promote the spiritual 
welfare of mankind, I now and here seek your aid in promoting the 
highest moral welfare of every man, woman and child. This you 
will do in giving your vote and influence for the equality of women 
before the law, and as you thus confer this new power upon the wo- 
men of our land, like the bread cast upon the waters, it shall come 
to you in a higher, nobler type of womanhood, in sweeter homes, in 
purer social life, in all that contributes to the welfare of the individ- 
ual and the state. 

MRS. MARY B. CLAY (Ky.) : We do not come here to plead as in- 
dividual women with individual men, but as a subject class with a 
ruling class ; nor do we come as suffering individuals though God 
knows some of us might do that with propriety but as the suffering 
millions whom we represent 

We are born of the same parents as men and raised in the same 
family. We are possessed of the same loves and animosities as our 
brothers, and we inherit equally with them the substance of our fath- 
ers. So long as we are minors the Government treats us as equals, 
but when we come of age, when we are capable of feeling and know- 
ing the difference, the boy becomes a free human being, while the 
girl remains a slave, a subject, and no moral heroism, no self-sacri- 
ficing patriotism, ever entitles her to her freedom. Is this just? Is 
it not, indeed, barbarous ? 

If American men intend always to keep women slaves, political 
and civil, they make a great mistake when they let the girl, with the 
boy, learn the alphabet, for no educated class will long remain in 
subjection. We are told that men protect us ; that they are gener- 
ous, even chivalric in their protection. Gentlemen, if your protectors 
were women, and they took all your property and your children, and 
paid you half as much for your work, though as well or better done 
than your own, would you think much of the chivalry which per- 
mitted you to sit in street-cars and picked up your pocket-handker- 

Each one of you is responsible for these laws continuing as they 
are, and you can not avoid responsibility by saying that you did not 
help to make them. Great injustice is done us in the fact that we 


are not tried by a jury of our peers. Great injustice is done us 
everywhere by our not having a vote. Human nature is naturally 
selfish, and, as woman is deprived of the ballot, and powerless either 
to punish or reward, man, loving his bread and butter more than 
justice, will ever thrust her aside for the benefit of those who can 
help him, those with ballots in their hands. 

. . . . All that is good in the home, and largely the highest 
principles taught in your youth, were given by your mothers. How 
then it is possible for you to return this love and interest, as soon as 
you are capable of acting, by riveting the chains which hold them 
still slaves; politically and civilly ? 

You need woman's presence and counsel in legislation as much 
as she needs yours in the home ; you need the association and influ- 
ence of woman ; her intuitive knowledge of men's character and the 
effect of measures upon the household ; you need her for the eco- 
nomical details of public work; you need her sense of justice and 
moral courage to execute the laws; you need her for all that is just, 
merciful and good in government. But above all, women them- 
selves need the ballot for self-protection, and as we are by common 
right and the laws of God free human beings, we demand that you 
no longer hold us your subjects your political slaves. 

MRS. MARY E. HAGGART (Ind.) : When Abraham Lincoln pen- 
ned the immortal emancipation proclamation he did not stop to in- 
quire whether every man and every woman in Southern slavery did 
or did not want to be free. Whether women do or do not wish to 
vote does not affect the question of their right to do so. The right 
of man to the ballot is a logical deduction from the principles enun- 
ciated in the Declaration of Independence. And singular to say, 
while this inheres in all people alike, the privilege of exercising it is 
withheld from women by a class who have no right to say whether 
they are willing or not that women should vote. Their right to the 
ballot was long ago settled beyond a quibble, by laws and principles 
of justice which are superior to the codes of men, who have usurped 
the power to regulate the voting privileges of citizens. If this right 
be inherent and existing in the great body of society before govern- 
ments are formed, it follows that all citizens of a republic, be they 
male or female, are alike entitled to its exercise. 

. . . . Is there a man among you willing to resign his own 
right to the ballot and to place his own business interests and general 
welfare at the mercy of the votes of others ? Would you not resent 
an attempt on the part of any man, or set of men, to fix your mental 
status, assign your work in life and lay out with mathematical pre- 
cision your exact sphere in the world? And yet men undertake to 
adjust the limitations of the Elizabeth Cady Stantons, the Susan B. 
Anthonys, the Harriet Beecher Stowes, the Frances E. Willards, 
the Harriet Hosmers of the world, and continue to talk with pa- 
tronizing condescension of female retirement, female duties and 
female spheres. 

The question is not whether women want or do not want to vote, 
but how can republican inconsistencies be wiped out, justice univer- 


sally recognized and impartially administered, and the civil and po- 
litical errors of the past effectually repaired. Whoever admits that 
men have a right to the franchise must include in the admission 
women also, for there are no reasons capable of demonstrating an 
abstract right in behalf of one sex which are not equally applicable 
to the other. .... 

The assertion that women do not want to vote is absolutely with- 
out authority, so long as each individual woman does not speak out 
for herself. In Ohio 225,000, and in Illinois 185,000, have signified 
a desire to use the ballot for home protection, and yet it is still as- 
serted in those States that women do not want it. Over 
women have already notified this Congress that they desire equality 
of political rights, and still it is declared all around us that women 
do not want to vote. Gentlemen, this is most emphatically an as- 
sertion which no individual can be justified in making for another. 

Since the elective franchise is the parent stem from which 
branch out legal, industrial, social and educational enterprises neces- 
sary to the welfare of the citizens, it will be readily seen how women 
engaged in reforms, public charities, social enterprises, are hampered 
and trammeled in their progress without the ballot. Women have 
beheld their plans frustrated, their Herculean labor undone, their 
lives wasted, for want of legislative power through the citizen's em- 
blem of sovereignty 

All ranks and occupations are beginning to realize that monstrous 
evils must ever crowd upon both classes while one side of humanity 
only is represented, and while one sex has the irresponsible keeping 
of the rights and privileges of the other. To-day, throughout the 
length and breadth of our land, woman finds the greatest need of the 
ballot through an almost overpowering desire to have her wishes and 
opinions crystallized into law. 

I have no hesitancy in saying that if the conditions which sur- 
round the women of this nation to-day were the conditions of the 
male citizens of the country, they would rise up and pronounce them 
the exact definition of civil and 1 political slavery, instead of the true 
interpretation of natural justice and civil equity. 

Many persons claim that men are born with the right to vote, as 
they are to the right of life, liberty and happiness ; that suffrage is 
the gift of the State, and that the State has a right to regulate it in 
any way that it may deem best for the common good. If men are 
born with the right to life, liberty and happiness, they are also born 
with the right to give expression as to how these are to be main- 
tained ; and in this nation, which professes to rest upon the consent 
of the governed, this .expression is given through the ballot. Con- 
sequently the expression of a freeman's will is as God-given as his 
right to be free. Since the year of Magna Charta we have repudi- 
ated the idea of representation by proxy. 

We all know that there are thousands of women in this na- 
tion who are owners of property, mothers of children, devoted to 
their homes and families and to all the duties and responsibilities 
which grow out of social life, and hence are most deeply interested 


in the public welfare. They have just as much at stake in this Gov- 
ernment, which affords them no opportunity of giving or withhold- 
ing their consent, as men who are consulted. John Quincy Adams 
said in that grand speech in defense of the petitions of the women 
of Plymouth : "The women are not only justified, but exhibit the 
most exalted virtue, when they do depart from the domestic sphere 
and enter upon the concerns of their country, of humanity and of 

Miss Phoebe W. Couzins (Mo.) in closing her address said: 
"At the gateway of this nation, the harbor of New York, there 
soon shall stand a statue of the Goddess of Liberty, presented by 
the republic of France a magnificent figure of a woman, typify- 
ing all that is grand and glorious and free in self-government. 
She will hold aloft an electric torch of great power which is to 
beam an effulgent light far out to sea, that ships sailing towards 
this goodly land may ride safely into harbor. So should you 
thus uplift the women of this nation, and teach these men, at the 
very threshold, when first their feet shall touch the shore of this 
republic, that here woman is exalted, ennobled and honored ; that 
here she bears aloft the torch of intelligence and purity which 
guides our Ship of State into the safe harbor of wise laws, pure 
morals and secure institutions." 

It had been the custom of these committees, when they reported 
at all, to delay doing so until the following year. In 1884, how- 
ever, those of both Senate and House submitted reports soon after 
the hearings. The favorable recommendation was presented 
March 28, 1884, signed by Thomas W. Palmer, Henry W. Blair, 
Elbridge G. Lapham and Henry B. Anthony. Senators Francis 
Marion Cockrell and Joseph E. Brown dissented.* The name 
of Senator James G. Fair does not appear on either document, 
but he had signed an adverse report in 1882. 

An adverse majority report from the House Judiciary Com- 
mittee was presented by William C. Maybury (Mich.) and began 

The right of suffrage is not and never has, under our system of 
government, been one of the essential rights of citizenship 

* Their report, dated April 23, 1884, was used entire by Senator Brown in the debate 
on woman suffrage which took place in the Senate of the United States January 25, 
1887, and will be found in Chapter VI, which contains also a portion of the majority 
report included in the speech of Senator Blair. 


What class or portion of the whole people of any State should be 
admitted to suffrage, and should, by virtue of such admission, ex- 
ert the active and potential control in the direction of its affairs, was 
a question reserved exclusively for the determination of the State. 

[The report loses sight entirely of the point that this question 
was not and never has been left to "the people" of a State, but 
that men alone usurped the right to decide who should be ad- 
mitted to the suffrage, arbitrarily excluded women and have kept 
them excluded.] 

Under the influence of a just fear that without suffrage as a pro- 
tective power to the newly-acquired rights and privileges guaranteed 
to the former slave he might surfer detriment, and with this domi- 
nant motive in view, originated the Fifteenth Amendment. It will 
be noted that by this later amendment the privilege of suffrage is not 
sought to be conferred on any class ; but an inhibition is placed upon 
the States from excluding from the privilege of suffrage any class 
on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude. 

[The Fifteenth Amendment does not mention the "privilege" 
of suffrage. It says expressly, "The right of citizens of the 
United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged." But 
whether it be a "right" or a "privilege," where did the negro get 
that which the States are forbidden to deny or abridge, if it does 
not inhere in citizenship? The report is incorrect in saying that 
the State is prohibited from excluding any "class ;" it is only the 
"males" of any class who are protected from exclusion. The 
same right or privilege belongs to women, but they are not 
protected in the exercise of it. Women never have asked Con- 
gress to grant them any new right or privilege, but only to pro- 
hibit the States from denying or abridging what is already theirs, 
as it did in the case of negro men.] 

Woman's true sphere is not restricted, but is boundless in re- 
sources and consequences. In it she may employ every energy of 
the mind and every affection of the heart, while within its limitless 
compass, under Providence, she exercises a power and influence 
beyond all other agencies for good. She trains and guides the life 
that is, and forms it for the eternity and immortality that are to be. 
From the rude contact of life, man is her shield. He is her guar- 
dian from its conflicts. He is the defender of her rights in his home, 
and the avenger of her wrongs everywhere. 

[That is, what man considers her true sphere is not restricted, 
but she is not allowed to decide for herself what shall be its 


dimensions. "Her power for good is beyond all other agencies," 
but it is not wanted in affairs of State, where surely it is needed 
quite as badly as in any place in the world. "Man is her shield, 
guardian, defender and avenger." Witness the Common Law 
of England, made by men, under which women lived for centu- 
ries and which is still in force in a number of the States ; witness 
the records of the courts with the wife-beaters and slayers, the 
rapists, the seducers, the husbands who have deserted their fam- 
ilies, the schemers who have defrauded widows and orphans 
witness all these and then say if all men are the natural pro- 
tectors of women. But even if they were, witness the millions 
of women who are not legally entitled to the protection and as- 
sistance of any man. However, the report does not forget these 

The exceptional cases of unmarried females are too rare to change 
the general policy, while expectancy and hope, constantly being real- 
ized in marriage, are happily extinguishing the exceptions and bring- 
ing all within the rule which governs wife and matron. 

To permit the entrance of political contention into the home would 
be either useless or pernicious useless if man and wife agree, and 
pernicious if they differ. In the former event the volume of ballots 
alone would be increased without changing results. In the latter, 
the peace and contentment of home would be exchanged for the bed- 
lam of political debate and become the scene of base and demoraliz- 
ing intrigue. 

[What a breadth of statesmanship, what a grasp of the prin- 
ciples of a republican form of government, to see in the voting 
of husband and wife only an "increase of ballots ;" what a reflec- 
tion upon men to assume that if there were an honest difference 
of opinion "the home would become a scene of base and demoral- 
izing intrigue;" what a recognition of justice to decree that, 
since possibly there might be a disagreement, the man should 
do the voting and the woman should be forbidden a voice !] 

In respect to married women, it may well be doubted whether 
the influences which result from the laws of property between hus- 
band and wife, would not make it improbable that the woman should 
exercise her suffrage with freedom and independence. This, too, in 
despite of the fact that the dependence of woman under the Common 
Law has been almost entirely obliterated by statutory enactments. 



[Almost, but not quite, and it would still prevail everywhere 
had its obliteration depended upon the committee making this 
report. Think of saying in cold blood that, as the husband holds 
the purse-strings, the wife would not dare vote with freedom and 
independence !] 

Your committee are of the opinion that while a few intelligent 
women, such as appeared before the committee in advocacy of the 
pending measure, would defy all obstacles in the way of their cast- 
ing the ballot, yet the great mass of the intelligent, refined and ju- 
dicious, with the becoming modesty of their sex, would shrink from 
the rude contact of the crowd and, with the exceptions mentioned, 
leave the ignorant and vile the exclusive right to speak for the gen- 
tler sex in public affairs. 

[This opinion has been wholly disproved by the experience of 
States where women do vote. The "intelligent and judicious" 
have learned that there is more "rude contact" in going to the 
market, the theater, the train and the ferry-boat, than in a quiet 
booth where no man is permitted to come within a hundred feet. 
But women are not so "modest and refined" as to shrink from 
"rude contact" even, if it would give them the opportunity to 
control the conditions which surround and influence their hus- 
bands, their children, their homes and their community.] 

Your committee are of the opinion that the general policy of 
female suffrage should remain in abeyance, in so far as the general 
Government is concerned, until the States and communities directly 
chargeable under our system of government with the exercise and 
regulation of this privilege, shall put the seal of affirmation upon it ; 
and there certainly can be no reason for an amendment of the Con- 
stitution to settle a question within the jurisdiction of the States, 
and which they should first settle for themselves. 

[Of course, according to this logic, after the States settle the 
question and put the seal of affirmation on it, then the general 
Government will take a hand !] 

This House Report (No. 1330) was not drastic enough to 
suit the Hon. Luke P. Poland (Vt.), so he made his own, in 
which he said : 

No government founded upon the principle that sovereignty re- 
sides in the people has ever allowed all the people to vote, or to di- 
rectly participate in making or administering the laws. Suffrage 
has never been regarded as the natural right of all the people or of 


any particular class or portion of the people. Suffrage is represen- 
tation, and it has been given in free governments to such class of 
persons as in their judgment [whose judgment?] would fairly and 
safely represent the rights and interests of the whole. The right 
has generally, if not universally, been conferred on men above twen- 
ty-one years of age, and often this has been restricted by requiring 
the ownership of property or the payment of taxes. [Which?] 

The great majority of women are either under the age of twenty- 
one, or are married and therefore under such influence and control 
as that relation implies and confers. Is there any necessity for the 
protection and preservation of the rights of women, that they must 
be allowed to vote and, of course, to hold office and directly to par- 
ticipate in the administration of the laws ? 

Nearly every man who votes has a wife or mother or sisters or 
daughters; some sustain all these relations or more than one. I 
think it certain that the great majority of men when voting or when 
engaged as legislators or in administering the laws in some official 
character, are fully mindful of the interests of all that class with 
whom they are so closely connected, and whose interests are so 
bound up with their own, and that, therefore, they fairly represent 
all the rights and interests of women as well as their own. Per- 
sons who have been accustomed to see legal proceedings in the 
courts, and occasionally to see a female litigant in court, know very 
well whether they are apt to suffer wrong because their rights are 
determined wholly by men.* There is just as little reason for sus- 
picion that their rights are not carefully guarded in legislation, and 
in every way where legislation can operate. 

There is another reason 'why I think this proposal to enlist the 
women of the country as a part of its active political force, and to 
cast upon them an equal duty in the political meetings, campaigns 
and elections to make them legislators, jurors, judges and execu- 
tive officers is all wrong. I believe it to be utterly inconsistent 
with the very nature and constitution of woman, and wholly subvers- 
ive of the sphere and function she was designed to fill in the home 
and in society. The office and duty which nature has devolved upon 
woman during all the active and vigorous portion of her life would 
often render \\ impossible, and still more often indelicate, for her to 
appear and act in caucuses, conventions or elections, or to act as a 
member of the Legislature or as a juror or judge. 

I can not bring myself to believe that any large portion of the in- 
telligent women of this country desire any such thing granted them, 
or would perform any such duties if the chance were offered them. 

[To comment upon this would be "to gild refined gold, to paint 
the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet." It would be positively 

William Dorsheimer (N. Y.) agreed with the committee to 

* Would the m'en whose crimes very often have sent these "female litigants" into 
the courts, be willing to have their cases tried before a jury of women? 


table the resolution, but did not endorse their arguments. He 
signed the following statement: "I think it probable that the 
interests of society will some time require that women should 
have the right of suffrage, and I am not willing to say more 
than that the present is not an opportune time for submission to 
the States of the proposed amendment." 

In this, it will be observed, there is no recognition of woman's 
right to represent herself, no disposition to grant her petition for 
her own sake, but simply the opinion that should there ever be 
a crisis when her suffrage was needed it should be allowed as a 
matter of expediency. 

In the eyes of posterity the Judiciary Committee of this Forty- 
eighth Congress will be redeemed from the disgrace of these 
reports by that of the minority, signed by Thomas B. Reed, after- 
wards for many years Speaker of the House; Ezra B. Taylor 
(O.); Moses A. McCoid (la.); Thomas M. Browne (Ind.). 
The question of woman suffrage never has been and never can 
be more concisely and logically stated. 

No one who listens to the reasons given by the superior class for 
the continuance of any system of subjection can fail to be impressed 
with the noble disinterestedness of mankind. When the subjection of 
persons of African descent was to be maintained, the good of those 
persons was always the main object. When it was the fashion to 
beat children, to regard them as little animals who had no rights, it 
was always for their good that they were treated with severity, and 
never on account of the bad temper of their parents. Hence, when 
it is proposed to give to the women of this country an opportunity 
to present their case to the various State Legislatures to demand 
equality of political rights, it is not surprising to find that the rea- 
sons on which the continuance of the inferiority of women is urged 
are drawn almost entirely from a tender consideration of their own 
good. The anxiety felt lest they should thereby deteriorate would 
be an honor to human nature were it not an historical fact that the 
same sweet solicitude has been put up as a barrier against all the 
progress which women have made since civilization began. 

There is no doubt that if to-day in Turkey or Algiers, countries 
where woman's sphere is most thoroughly confined to the home cir- 
cle, it was proposed to admit them to social life, to remove the veil 
from their faces and permit them to converse in open day with the 
friends of their husbands and brothers, the conservative and judi- 
cious Turk or Algerine of the period, if he could be brought even to 
consider such a horrible proposition, would point out that the sphere 
of woman was to make home happy by those gentle insipidities 
which education would destroy ; that by participating in conversation 


with men they would debase their natures, and men would thereby 
lose that ameliorating influence which still leaves them unfit to asso- 
ciate with women. He would point out that "nature" had deter- 
mined that women should be secluded ; that their sphere was to raise 
and educate the man-child, and that any change would be a violation 
of the divine law which, in the opinion of all conservative men, or- 
dains the present but never the future. 

So in civilized countries when it was proposed that women should 
own their own property, that they should have the earnings of their 
own labor, there were not wanting those who were sure that such a 
proposition could work only evil to women, and that continually. 
It would destroy the family, discordant interests would provoke dis- 
pute, and the only real safety for woman was in the headship of 
man ; not that man wanted superiority for any selfish reason, but to 
preserve intact the family relation for woman's good. To-day a 
woman's property belongs to herself ; her earnings are her own ; she 
has been emancipated beyond the wildest hopes of any reformer of 
twenty-five years ago. Almost every vocation is open to her. She 
is proving her usefulness in spheres which the "nature" worshiped 
by the conservative of the last generation absolutely forbade her to 
enter. Notwithstanding all these changes the family circle remains 
unbroken, the man-child gets as well educated as before, and the 
ameliorating influence of woman has become only the more marked. 
Thirty years ago hardly any political assemblage of the people was 
graced by the presence of women. Had it needed a law to enable 
them to be present, what an argument could have been made against 
it! How easily it could have been shown that the coarseness, the 
dubious expressions, the general vulgarity of the scene, could have 
had no other effect than to break down that purity of thought and 
word which women have, and which conservative and radical are 
alike sedulous to preserve. And yet the actual presence of women 
at political meetings has not debased them but has raised the other 
sex. Coarseness has not become diffused through both sexes but 
has fled from both. To put the whole matter in a short phrase: 
The association of the sexes in the family circle, in society, and in 
business, having improved both, there is neither history, reason nor 
sense to justify the assertion that association in politics will lower 
the one or demoralize the other. 

Hence, we would do well to approach the question without trepi- 
dation. We can better leave the "sphere" of woman to the future 
than confine it in the chains of the past. Words change nothing. 
Prejudices are none the less prejudices because we vaguely call them 
"nature," and prate about what nature has forbidden, when we only 
mean that the thing we are opposing has not been hitherto done. 
"Nature" forbade a steamship to cross the Atlantic the very moment 
it was crossing, and yet it arrived just the same. What the majority 
call "nature" has stood in the way of all progress of the past and 
present, and will stand in the way of all future progress. It is only 
another name for conservatism. With conservatism the minority 
have no quarrel. It is essential to the stability of mankind, of gov- 


ernment and of social life. To every new proposal it rightfully 
calls a halt, demanding countersign, whether it be friend or foe. 
The enfranchisement of women must pass this ordeal like everything 
else. It must give good reason for its demand to be, or take its 
place among the half-forgotten fantasies which have challenged the 
support of mankind and have not stood the test of argument and 

The majority of the committee claim that suffrage is not a 
right but a privilege to be guarded by those who have it, and to 
be by them doled out to those who shall become worthy. That 
every extension of suffrage has been granted in some form or other 
by those already holding it is probably true. In some countries, 
however, it has been extended upon the simple basis of expediency, 
and in others in obedience to a claim of right. If suffrage be a 
right, if it be true that no man has a claim to govern any other man 
except to the extent that the other man has a right to govern him, 
then there can be no discussion of the question of Woman Suffrage. 
No reason on earth can be given by those who claim suffrage as a 
right of manhood which does not make it a right of womanhood also. 
If the suffrage is to be given man to protect him in his life, liberty 
and property, the same reasons urge that it be given to woman, for 
she has the same life, liberty and property to protect. If it be urged 
that her interests are so bound up in those of man that they are sure 
to be protected, the answer is that the same argument was urged as 
to the merging in the husband of the wife's right of property, and 
was pronounced by the judgment of mankind fallacious in practice 
and in principle. If the natures of men and women are so alike that 
for that reason no harm is done by suppressing women, what harm 
can be done by elevating them to equality? If the natures be dif- 
ferent, what right can there be in refusing representation to those 
who might take juster views about many social and political ques- 
tions ? 

Our Government is founded, not on the rule of the wisest and best, 
but upon the rule of all. The learned and the ignorant, the wise and 
the unwise, the judicious and the injudicious are all invited to assist 
in governing, and upon the broad principle that the best government 
for mankind is not the government which the wisest and best would 
select, but that which the average of mankind would select. Laws 
are daily enacted, not because they seem the wisest even to those 
legislators who pass them, but because they represent what the whole 
people wish. And, in the long run, it may be just as bad to enact 
laws in advance of public sentiment as to hold on to laws behind it. 
Upon what principle in a Government like ours can one-half the 
minds be denied expression at the polls ? Is it because they are un- 
trained in public affairs? Are they more so than the slaves were 
when the right of suffrage was conferred on them? It is objected 
that to admit women would be temporarily to lower the suffrage on 
account of their lack of training in public duties. What is now 
asked of us is not immediate admission to the right, but the privilege 
of presenting to the Legislatures of the different States the amend- 


ment, which can not become effective until adopted by three-fourths 
of them. It may be said that the agitation and discussion of this 
question will, long before its adoption, have made women as familiar 
with public affairs as the average of men. for the agitation is hardly 
likely to be successful until after a majority, at least, of women are 
in favor of it. 

We believe in the educating and improving effect of participation 
in government. We believe that every citizen in the United States 
is made more intelligent, more learned and better educated by his 
participation in politics and political campaigns. It must be remem- 
bered that education, like all things else, is relative. While the 
average American voter may not be all that impatient people desire, 
and is far behind his own future, yet he is incomparably superior to 
the average citizen of any other land where the subject does not fully 
participate in the government. Discussions on the stump, and above 
all the discussions he himself has with his fellows, breed a desire for 
knowledge which will take no refusal and which leads to great gen- 
eral intelligence. In political discussion, acrimony and hate are not 
essential, and have of late years quite perceptibly diminished and will 
more and more diminish when discussions by women, and in the 
presence of women, become more common. If, then, discussion of 
public affairs among men has elevated them in knowledge and intel- 
ligence, why will it not lead to the same results among women ? It 
is not merely education that makes civilization, but diffusion of edu- 
cation. The standing of a nation and its future depend not upon 
the education of the few, but of the whole. Every improvement in 
the status of woman in the matter of education has been an im- 
provement to the whole race. Women have by education thus far 
become more womanly, not less. The same prophecies of ruin to 
womanliness were made against her education on general subjects 
that are now made against her participation in politics. 

It is sometimes asserted that women now have a great influence 
in politics through their husbands and brothers. This is undoubted- 
ly true. But that is just the kind of influence which is not whole- 
some for the community, for it is influence unaccompanied by re- 
sponsibility. People are always ready to recommend to others what 
they would not do themselves. If it be true that women can not be 
prevented from exercising political influence, is not that only another 
reason why they should be steadied in their political action by that 
proper sense of responsibility which comes from acting themselves? 

We conclude then, that every reason which in this country bestows 
the ballot upon man is equally applicable to the proposition to bestow 
the ballot upon woman, and that in our judgment there is no founda- 
tion for the fear that woman will thereby become unfitted for all the 
duties she has hitherto performed. 



The Seventeenth of the national conventions was held in Lin- 
coln Hall, Washington, D. C, Jan. 20-22, 1885, preceded by 
the usual brilliant reception, which was extended by Mr. and 
Mrs. Spofford each season for the twelve years during which the 
association had its headquarters at the Riggs House. 

It is rather amusing to note the custom of the newspaper re- 
porters to give a detailed description of the dress of each one of 
the speakers, usually to the exclusion of the subject-matter of her 
speech. On this occasion the public was informed that one lady 
"spoke in dark bangs and Bismarck brown;" one "in black and 
gold with angel sleeves, boutonniere and ear-drops ;" another "in 
a basque polonaise and snake bracelets;" another "in black silk 
dress and bonnet, gold eye-glasses and black kid gloves." One 
lady wore "a small bonnet made of gaudy-colored birds' wings ;" 
one "spoke with a pretty lisp, was attired in a box-pleated satin 
skirt, velvet newmarket basque polonaise, hollyhock corsage bou- 
quet;" another "addressed the meeting in low tones and a poke 
bonnet;" still another "discussed the question in a velvet bonnet 
and plain linen collar." "A large lady wore a green cashmere 
dress with pink ribbons in her hair ;" then there was "a slim lady 
with tulle ruffles, velvet sacque and silk skirt." Of one it was 
said : "Her face, though real feminine in shape, was painted 
all over with business till it looked like a man's, and her hair was 
shingled and brushed in little banglets." "Miss Anthony," so 
the report said, "wore a blue barbe trimmed in lace," while Mrs. 
Stanton "was attired in a black silk dress with a white handker- 
chief around her throat." One record declares that "there was 
not a pair of earrings on the platform, but most of the ladies 
wore gold watch-chains." 

These extracts are taken verbatim from the best newspapers 

* This chapter closes with the speech in favor of woman suffrage by Thomas W. 
Palmer in the U. S. Senate. 



of the day. The conventions had passed the stage where, accord- 
ing to the reporters, all of the participants had short hair and 
wore bloomers, but, according to the same authority, they had 
reached the wonderful attire described above. This was fifteen 
years ago. The proceedings of the national convention of 1900 
occupied from four to seven columns daily in each of the Wash- 
ington papers, and one or more columns were telegraphed each 
day to the large newspapers of the United States, and yet it 
may be safely said that there was not one line of reference to the 
costumes of the ladies in attendance. The business meetings, 
speeches, etc., were reported with the same respect and dignity 
as are accorded to national conventions of men. The petty per- 
sonalities of the past were wholly eliminated and women were 
presented from an intellectual standpoint, to be judged upon 
their merits and not by their clothes. This result alone is worth 
the fifty years of endeavor. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton presided over all of the sessions. 
Mrs. Lillie Devereux Blake gave a full report of the legislative 
work done in New York during the past year. In the address 
of Mrs. Harriette R. Shattuck (Mass.) she laid especial stress 
on the need for women to be invested with responsibility. Mrs. 
Matilda Joslyn Gage (N. Y.) discussed the woman question 
from a scientific standpoint. She was followed by Mrs. Laura 
de Force Gordon, the second woman admitted to practice before 
the U. S. Supreme Court, who answered the question, Is our 
Civilization Civilized? and described the legal status of women 
in California. Mrs. Caroline Gilkey Rogers (N. Y.) gave a 
spirited talk on the Aristocracy of Sex. The principal address 
of the "evening was by Mrs. Stanton, a long and thoughtful 
paper in which she said : 

Those people who declaim- on the inequalities of sex, the disabili- 
ties and limitations of one as against the other, show themselves as 
ignorant of the first principles of life as would that philosopher who 
should undertake to show the comparative power of the positive as 
against the negative electricity, of the centrifugal as against the 
centripetal force, the attraction of the north as against the south 
end of the magnet. These great natural forces must be perfectly 
balanced or the whole material world would relapse into chaos. Just 
so the masculine and feminine elements in humanity must be exactly 
balanced to redeem the moral and social world from the chaos 


which surrounds it. One might as well talk of separate spheres 
for the two ends of the magnet as for man and woman ; they may 
have separate duties in the same sphere, but their true place is to- 
gether everywhere. Having different duties in the same sphere, 
neither can succeed without the presence and influence of the other. 
To restore the equilibrium of sex is the first step in social, religious 
and political progress. It is by the constant repression of the best 
elements in humanity, by our false customs, creeds and codes, that 
we have thus far retarded civilization. . . . 

There would be more sense in insisting on man's limitations be- 
cause he can not be a mother, than on woman's because she can be. 
Surely maternity is an added power and development of some of the 
most tender sentiments of the human heart and not a "limitation." 
"Yes," says another pertinacious reasoner, "but it unfits woman 
for much of the world's work." Yes, and it fits her for much of the 
world's work ; a large share of human legislation would be better 
done by her because of this deep experience. . . . 

If one-half the effort had been expended to exalt the feminine 
element that has been made to degrade it, we should have reached the 
natural equilibrium long ago. Either sex, in isolation, is robbed of 
one-half its power for the accomplishment of any given work. This 
was the most fatal dogma of the Christian religion that in propor- 
tion as men withdrew from all companionship with women, they 
could get nearer to God, grow more like the Divine Ideal. 

Telegrams of greetings were received from many associations 
and individuals. Miss Frances Ellen Burr, who made a fine 
stenographic report of the entire convention, spoke for Connecti- 
cut, closing with an ideal picture of civilization as it might be 
with the wisdom of both sexes brought to bear on the problems 
of society. The following resolutions were written by Mrs. Clara 
Bewick Colby : 

WHEREAS, The dogmas incorporated in the religious creeds de- 
rived from Judaism, teaching that woman was an afterthought in 
creation, her sex a misfortune, marriage a condition of subordina- 
tion, and maternity a curse, are contrary to the law of God as re- 
vealed in nature and the precepts of Christ ; and, 

WHEREAS, These dogmas are an insidious poison, sapping the 
vitality of our civilization, blighting woman and palsying humanity ; 

Resolved, That we denounce these dogmas wherever they are 
enunciated, and we will withdraw our personal support from any 
organization so holding and teaching ; and, 

Resolved, That we call upon the Christian ministry, as leaders of 
thought, to teach and enforce the fundamental idea of creation that 
man was made in the image of God, male and female, and given 
equal dominion over the earth, but none over each other. And fur- 
ther we invite their co-operation in securing the recognition of the 


cardinal point of our creed, that in true religion there is neither 
male nor female, neither bond nor free, but all are one. 

The resolutions were introduced and advocated by Mrs. Stan- 
ton, who said: "Woman has been licensed to preach in the 
Methodist church; the Unitarian and Universalist and some 
branches of the Baptist denomination have ordained women, 
but the majority do not recognize them officially, although for 
the first three centuries after the proclamation of Christianity 
women had a place in the church. They were deaconesses and 
elders, and were ordained and administered the sacrament. Yet 
through the Catholic hierarchy these privileges were taken away 
in Christendom and they have never been restored. Now we 
intend to demand equal rights in the church." 

This precipitated a vigorous discussion which extended into 
the next day. Miss Anthony was opposed to a consideration of 
the resolutions and in giving her reasons said : 

I was on the old Garrisonian platform and found long ago that 
this matter of settling any question of human rights by people's in- 
terpretation of the Bible is never satisfactory. I hope we shall not 
go back to that war. No two can ever interpret alike, and discus- 
sion upon it is time wasted. We all know what we want, and that 
is the recognition of woman's perfect equality in the Home, the 
Church and the State. We all know that such recognition has never 
been granted her in the centuries of the past. But for us to begin 
a discussion here as to who established these dogmas would be any- 
thing but profitable. Let those who wish go back into the history 
of the past, but I beg it shall not be done on our platform. 

Mrs. Mary E. McPherson (la.) insisted that the Bible did not 
ignore women, although custom might do so. The Rev. Dr. 
McMurdy ( D. C. ) declared that women were teachers under the 
old Jewish dispensation; that the Catholic church set apart its 
women, ordained them and gave them the title "reverend ;" that 
the Episcopal church ordained deaconesses. He hoped the con- 
vention would not take action on this question. John B. Wolf 
upheld the resolution. Mrs. Shattuck thought the church was 
coming around to a belief in woman suffrage and it would be a 
mistake to antagonize it. 

Mrs. Colby insisted the resolutions did not attack the Bible, 
but the dogmas which grew out of man's interpretation of it, 


This dogma of woman's divinely appointed inferiority has sapped 
the vitality of our civilization, blighted woman and palsied humanity. 
As a Christian woman and a member of an orthodox church, I stand 
on this resolution ; on the divine plan of creation as set forth in the 
first chapter of Genesis, where we are told that man was created 
male and female and set over the world to have equal dominion ; 
and on the gospel of the new dispensation, in which there is neither 
male nor female, bond nor free, but all are one. This resolution 
avows our loyalty to what we believe to be the true teachings of the 
Bible, and the co-operation of the Christian ministry is invited in 
striving to secure the application of the golden rule to women. 

Edward M. Davis (Penn.) declared that, while individual 
members might favor woman suffrage, not one religious body 
ever had declared for it, and the convention ought to express 
itself on this subject. Mrs. Gordon pointed out the difference 
between religion and theology. Mrs. Stanton, being called on 
for further remarks, spoke in the most earnest manner : 

You may go over the world and you will find that every form of 
religion which has breathed upon this earth has degraded woman. 
There is not one which has not made her subject to man. Men may 
rejoice in them because they make man the head of the woman. I 
have been traveling over the old world during the last few years 
and have found new food for thought. What power is it that makes 
the Hindoo woman burn herself on the funeral pyre of her husband ? 
Her religion. What holds the Turkish woman in the harem? Her 
religion. By what power do the Mormons perpetuate their system 
of polygamy? By their religion. Man, of himself, could not do 
this ; but when he declares, "Thus saith the Lord," of course he can 
do it. So long as ministers stand up and tell us that as Christ is the 
head of the church, so is man the head of the woman, how are we 
to break the chains which have held women down through the ages ? 
You Christian women can look at the Hindoo, the Turkish, the Mor- 
mon women, and wonder how they can be held in such bondage. 
Observe to-day the work women are doing for the churches. The 
church rests on the shoulders of women. Have we ever yet heard 
a man preach a sermon from Genesis i :27~28, which declares the 
full equality of the feminine and masculine element in the Godhead ? 
They invariably shy at that first chapter. They always get up in 
their pulpits and read the second chapter. 

Now I ask you if our religion teaches the dignity of woman? It 
teaches us that abominable idea of the sixth century Augustine's 
idea that motherhood is a curse ; that woman is the author of sin, 
and is most corrupt. Can we ever cultivate any proper sense of 
self-respect as long as women take such sentiments from the mouths 
of the priesthood? . . . The canon laws are infamous so 
infamous that a council of the Christian church was swamped by 
them. In republican America, and in the light of the nineteenth 


century, we must demand that our religion shall teach a higher idea 
in regard to woman. People seem to think we have reached 
the very end of theology ; but let me say that the future is to be as 
much purer than the past as our immediate past has been better than 
the dark ages. We want to help roll off from the soul of woman 
the terrible superstitions that have so long repressed and crushed her. 

Through the determined efforts of Miss Anthony and some 
others the resolution was permitted to lie on the table. 

Miss Matilda Hindman (Penn.) gave an address on As tfre 
Rulers, So the People, well fortified with statistics. The Rev. 
Olympia Brown (Wis.) made a stirring appeal under the title 
All Are Created Equal. Among the many excellent addresses 
were those of Mrs. Colby, Mrs. Annie L. Diggs (Kas.) and Dr. 
Alice B. Stockham ( Ills. ) . The usual resolutions were adopted, 
and the memorial called forth a number of eulogies : 

Resolved, That in the death of the Hon. Henry Fawcett, of Eng- 
land, Senator Henry B. Anthony, the Rev. William Henry Chan- 
ning, ex-Secretary of the Treasury Charles J. Folger, Bishop Mat- 
thew Simpson, Madame Mathilde Anneke, Kate Newell Doggett, 
Frances Dana Gage, Laura Giddings Julian, Sarah Pugh and Eliza- 
beth T. Schenck, the year 1884 has been one of irreparable losses to 
our movement. 

Among the many interesting letters written to the convention 
was one from Wm. Lloyd Garrison, inclosing letters received in 
times past expressing sympathy with the efforts of the suffrage 
advocates, from his father, from Ralph Waldo Emerson and from 
the Rev. William Henry Channing, whose body at this very time 
was being borne across the ocean to its resting place in this 
country. A touching message was read from that faithful and 
efficient pioneer, Clarina I. H. Nichols, of California, which 
ended : "My last words in the good work for humanity are, 'God 
is with us.' There can be no failure and no defeat outside our- 
selves." The writer passed away before it reached the convention. 
Other encouraging letters were received from the Reverends 
Anna Garlin Spencer (R. I.), Ada C. Bowles and Phebe A. Hana- 
ford (Mass.) ; from Mrs. Julia Foster and her daughters, Rachel 
and Julia, in Berlin; from Mrs. Caroline E. Merrick (La.), Mrs. 
Emma C. Bascom, of Wisconsin University, and friends and 
workers in all parts of the country. 

The convention adopted a comprehensive plan of work sub- 


mitted by Mrs. Blake, Miss Hindman and Mrs. Colby.* At the 
last session Miss Anthony made a strong, practical speech on the 
Present Status of the Woman Suffrage Question, and Mrs. Stan- 
ton closed the convention. 

A number of ministers on the following Sunday took as a text 
the resolution which had been discussed so vigorously, and used 
it as an argument against the enfranchisement of women, some 
of them going so far as to denounce the suffrage advocates as 
infidels and the movement itself as atheistic and immoral. They 
wholly ignored the facts first, that the resolution was merely 
against the dogmas which had been incorporated into the creeds, 
and was simply a demand that Christian ministers should teach 
and enforce only the fundamental declarations of the Scriptures ; 
second, that there was an emphatic division of opinion among the 
members on the resolution ; third, that by consent it was laid on 
the table; and fourth, that even had it been adopted, it was 
neither atheistic nor immoral. 

On February 6, 1885, Thomas W. Palmer (Mich.) brought 
up in the Senate the joint resolution for a Sixteenth Amendment 
which had been favorably reported by the Select Committee on 
Woman Suffrage the previous winter, and in its support made 
a masterly argument which has not been surpassed in the fifteen 
years that have since elapsed, saying in part : 

The primal object of the National Woman Suffrage Association has* been from its 
foundation to secure the submission by the Congress of a Sixteenth Amendment which 
shall prohibit the several States frdm disfranchising United States citizens on account 
of sex. To this end all State societies should see that senators and members of Con- 
gress are constantly .appealed to by their constituents to labor for the passage of this 
amendment by the next Congress. 

Woman suffrage associations in the several States are advised to push the question to 
a vote in their respective Legislatures. The time for agitation alone has passed, and 
the time for aggressive action has come. It will be found by a' close examination of 
many State constitutions that by the liberal provisions of their Bill of Rights often 
embodied in Article i the women of the State can be enfranchised without waiting for 
the tedious and hopeless proviso of a constitutional amendment 

In States where there has been little or no agitation we recommend the passage of 
laws granting School Suffrage to women. This first step in politics is an incentive to 
larger usefulness and aids greatly in familiarizing women with the use of the ballot. 

We do not specially recommend Municipal Suffrage, as we think that the agitation 
expended for the fractional measure had better be directed towards obtaining the passage 
of a Full Suffrage Bill, but we leave this to the discretion of the States. 

The acting Vice-President in every State must hold a yearly convention in the capital 
or some large town. No efficient organization can exist without some such annual re- 
union of the friends. 

In each county there should be a county woman suffrage society auxiliary to the 
State; in each town or village a local society auxiliary to the county. Friends desirous 
of forming a society should meet, even though few in number, and organize. 


This resolution involves the consideration of the broadest step in 
the progress of the struggle for human liberty that has ever been 
submitted to any ruler or to any legislative body. Its taking is 
pregnant with wide changes in the pathway of future civilization. 
Its obstruction will delay and cripple our advancement. The trinity 
of principles which Lord Chatham called the "Bible of the English 
Constitution," the Magna Charta, the Petition of Rights, and the 
Bill of Rights, are towering landmarks in the history of our race, 
but they immediately concerned but few at the time of their erection. 

The Declaration of Independence by the colonists and its success- 
ful assertion, the establishment of the right of petition, the abolition 
of imprisonment for debt, the property qualification for suffrage in 
nearly all the States, the recognition of the right of women to earn, 
hold, enjoy and devise property, are proud and notable gains. 

The emancipation of 4,000,000 slaves and the subsequent exten- 
sion of suffrage to the male adults among them were measures en- 
larging the possibilities of freedom, the full benefits of which have 
yet to be realized ; but the political emancipation of 26,000,000 
of our citizens, equal to us in most essential respects and superior 
to us in many, it seems to me would translate our nation, almost at 
a bound, to the broad plateau of universal equality and co-operation 
to which all these blood-stained and prayer-worn steps have surely 

Like life insurance and the man who carried the first umbrella, 
the inception of this movement was greeted with derision. Born of 
an apparently hopeless revolt against unjust discrimination, unequal 
statutes, and cruel constructions of courts, it has pressed on and 
over ridicule, malice, indifference and conservatism, until it stands 
in the gray dawn before the most powerful legislative body on earth 
and challenges final consideration. 

The laws which degraded our wives have been everywhere re- 
pealed or modified, and our children may now be born of free 
women. Our sisters have been recognized as having brains as well 
as hearts, and as being capable of transacting their own business 
affairs. New avenues of self-support have been found and profit- 
ably entered upon, and the doors of our colleges have ceased to 
creak their dismay at the approach of women. Twelve States have 
extended limited suffrage through their Legislatures, and three Ter- 
ritories admit all citizens of suitable age to the ballot-box, while 
from no single locality in which it has been tried comes any word 
but that of satisfaction concerning the experiment. 

The spirit of inquiry attendant upon the agitation and discussion 
of this question has permeated every neighborhood in the land, and 
none can be so blind as to miss the universal development in self- 
respect, self-reliance, general intelligence and increased capacity 
among our women. They have lost none of the womanly graces, 
but by fitting themselves for counselors and mental companions have 
benefited man, more perhaps than themselves. 

In considering the objections to this extension of the suffrage we 
are fortunate in finding them grouped in the adverse report of the 


minority of your committee, and also in confidently assuming, from 
the acknowledged ability and evident earnestness of the distin- 
guished Senators who prepared it, that all is contained therein in 
the way of argument or protest which is left to the opponents of 
this reform after thirty-seven years of discussion. I wish that 
every Senator would examine this report and note how many of its 
reasonings are self-refuting and how few even seem to warrant 
further antagonism. 

They cite the physical superiority of man, but offer no amendment 
to increase the voting power of a Sullivan or to disfranchise the 
halt, the lame, the blind or the sick. They regard the manly head 
of the family as its only proper representative, but would not ex- 
clude the adult bachelor sons. They urge disability to perform 
military service as fatal to full citizenship, but would hardly con- 
sent to resign their own rights because they have passed the age of 
conscription ; or to question those of Quakers, who will not fight, 
or of professional men and civic officials, who, like mothers, are re- 
garded as of more use to the State at home. 

They are dismayed by a vision of women in attendance at cau- 
cuses at late hours of the night, but doubtless enjoy their presence 
at balls and entertainments until the early dawn. They deprecate 
the appearance of women at political meetings, but in my State 
women have attended such meetings for years upon the earnest 
solicitation of those in charge, and the influence of their presence has 
been good. Eloquent women are employed by State committees 
of all parties to canvass in their interests and are highly valued and 
respected. . . . 

They object that many women do not desire the suffrage and that 
some would not exercise it. It is probably true, as often claimed, 
that many slaves did not desire emancipation in 1863 and there are 
men in most communities who do not vote, but we hear of no f reed- 
man to-day who asks re-enslavement, and no proposition is offered 
to disfranchise all men because some neglect their duty. 

The minority profess a willingness to have this measure consid- 
ered as a local issue rather than a national one, but those who recall 
the failures to extend the ballot to black men, in the most liberal 
Northern States, by a popular vote, may be excused if they question 
their frankness in suggesting this transfer of responsibility. The 
education of the people of a whole State on this particular question 
is a much more laborious and expensive work than an appeal to the 
several Legislatures. The subject would be much more likely to 
receive intelligent treatment at the hands of the picked men of a 
State, where calm discussion may be had, than at the polls where 
prejudice and tradition oftentimes exert a more potent influence 
than logic and justice. To refuse this method to those to whom 
we are bound by the dearest ties betrays an indifference to their re- 
quests or an inexplicable adhesion to prejudice, which is only sought 
to be defended by an asserted regard for women, that to me seems 
most illogical. 

I share no fears of the degradation of women by the ballot. I 


believe rather that it will elevate men. I believe the tone of our 
politics will be higher, that our caucuses will be more jealously 
guarded and our conventions more orderly and decorous. I be- 
lieve the polls will be freed from the vulgarity and coarseness which 
now too often surround them, and that the polling booths, instead 
of being in the least attractive parts of a ward or town, will be in 
the most attractive ; instead of being in stables, will be in par- 
lors. I believe the character of candidates will be more closely 
scrutinized and that better officers will be chosen to make and ad- 
minister the laws. I believe that the casting of the ballot will be 
invested with a seriousness I had almost said a sanctity second 
only to a religious observance. 

The objections enumerated above appear to be the only profferings 
against this measure excepting certain fragmentary quotations and 
deductions from the sacred Scriptures; and here, Mr. President, I 
desire to enter my most solemn protest. The opinions of Paul and 
Peter as to what was the best policy for the struggling churches 
under their supervision, in deferring to the prejudices of the com- 
munities which they desired to attract and benefit, were not in- 
spirations for the guidance of our civilization in matters of political 
co-operation ; and every apparent inhibition of the levelment of the 
caste of sex may be neutralized by selections of other paragraphs 
and by the general spirit and trend of the Holy Book. . . . Sir, 
my reverence for this grandest of all compilations, human or divine, 
compels a protest against its being cast into the street as a barricade 
against every moral, political and social reform ; lest, when the 
march of progress shall have swept on and over to its consumma- 
tion, it may appear to the superficial observer that it is the Bible 
which has been overthrown and not its erroneous interpretation. 

If with our present experience of the needs and dangers of co- 
operative government and our present observation of woman's social 
and economic status, we could divest ourselves of our traditions and 
prejudices, and the question of suffrage should come up for incor- 
poration into a new organic law, a distinction based upon sex would 
not be entertained for a moment. It seems to me that we should 
divest ourselves to the utmost extent possible of these entangle- 
ments of tradition, and judicially examine three questions relative 
to the proposed extension of suffrage : First, Is it right ? Second, 
Is it desirable? Third, Is it expedient? If these be determined 
affirmatively our duty is plain. 

If the right of the governed and the taxed to a voice in determin- 
ing by whom they shall be governed and to what extent and for 
what purposes they may be taxed is not a natural right, it is never- 
theless a right to the declaration and establishment of which by the 
fathers we owe all that we possess of liberty. They declared taxa- 
tion without representation to be tyranny, and grappled with the 
most powerful nation of their day in a seven-years' struggle for 
the overthrow of such tyranny. It appears incredible to me that 
any one can indorse the principles proclaimed by the patriots of 
1776 and deny their application to women. 


Samuel Adams said : "Representation and legislation, as well as 
taxation, are inseparable, according to the spirit of our Constitution 
and of all others that are free." Again, he said : "No man can be 
justly taxed by, or bound in conscience to obey, any law to which 
he has not given his consent in person or by his representative." 
And again : "No man can take another's property from him with- 
out his consent. This is the law of nature ; and a violation of it is 
the same thing whether it is done by one man, who is called a king, 
or by five hundred of another denomination." 

James Otis, in speaking of the rights of the colonists as descend- 
ants of Englishmen, said they "were not to be cheated out of them 
by any phantom of virtual representation or any other fiction of law 
or politics." Again : "No such phrase as virtual representation is 
known in law or constitution. It is altogether a subtlety and illu- 
sion, wholly unfounded and absurd." 

The Declaration of Independence asserts that, to secure the in- 
alienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, gov- 
ernments are instituted among men, "deriving their just powers 
from the consent of the governed." 

Benjamin Franklin wrote that "liberty or freedom consists in 
having an actual share in the appointment of those who frame the 
laws and who are the guardians of every man's life, property and 
peace;" that "they who have no voice nor vote in the electing of 
representatives do not enjoy liberty, but are absolutely enslaved to 
those who have votes and to their representatives." 

James Madison said : "Under every view of the subject, it seems 
indispensable that the mass of the citizens should not be without 
a voice in making the laws which they are to obey, and in choosing 
the magistrates who are to administer them." .... 

The right of women to personal representation through the ballot 
seems to me unassailable, wherever the right of man is conceded 
and exercised. I can conceive of no possible abstract justification 
for the exclusion of the one and the inclusion of the other. 

Is the recognition of this right desirable? The earliest mention 
of the Saxon people is found in the Germany of Tacitus, and in his 
terse description of them he states that "in all grave matters they 
consult their women." Can we afford to dispute the benefit of this 
counseling in the advancement of our race ? 

The measure of the civilization of any nation may be no more 
surely ascertained by its consumption of salt than by the social, 
economic and political status of its women. It is not enough for 
contentment that we assert the superiority of our women in intelli- 
gence, virtue, and self-sustaining qualities, but we must consider 
the profit to them and to the State in their further advancement. 

Our statistics are lamentably meager in information as to the 
status of our women outside their mere enumeration, but we learn 
that in a single State 42,000 are assessed and pay one-eleventh of the 
total burden of taxation, with no voice in its disbursements. From 
the imperfect gleaning of the Tenth Census we learn that of the 
total enumerated bread-winners of the United States more than one- 


seventh are women That these 2,647,157 citizens of 

whom we have official information labor from necessity and are 
everywhere underpaid is within the knowledge and observation of 
every Senator upon this floor. Only the Government makes any 
pretense of paying women in accordance with the labor performed 
without submitting them to the competition of their starving sis- 
ters, whose natural dignity and self-respect have suffered from 
being driven by the fierce pressure of want into the few and crowded 
avenues for the exchange of their labor for bread. Is it not the 
highest exhibit of the moral superiority of our women that so very 
few consent to exchange pinching penury for gilded vice ? 

Will the possession of the ballot multiply and widen these avenues 
to self-support and independence? The most thoughtful women 
who have given the subject thorough examination believe it, and I 
can not but infer that many men, looking only to their own selfish 
interests, fear it. 

History teaches that every class which has assumed political re- 
sponsibility has been materially elevated and improved thereby, and 
I can not believe that the rule would have an exception in the women 
of to-day. I do not say that to the idealized women so generally 
described by obstructionists the dainty darlings whose prototypes 
are to be found in the heroines of Walter Scott and Fenimore 
Cooper immediate awakening would come ; but to the toilers, the 
wage-workers and the women of affairs, the consequent enlargement 
of possibilities would give new courage and stimulate to new en- 
deavor, and the State would be the gainer thereby. 

The often-urged fear that the ignorant and vicious would swarm 
to the polls while the intelligent and virtuous would stand aloof, is 
fully met by the fact that the former class has never asked for the 
suffrage or shown interest in its seeking, while the hundreds of 
thousands of petitioners are from our best and noblest women, in- 
cluding those whose efforts for the amelioration of the wrongs and 
sufferings of others have won for them imperishable tablets in the 
temple of humanity. Would fear be entertained that the State 
would suffer mortal harm if, by some strange revolution, its exclu- 
sive control should be turned over to an oligarchy composed of 
such women as have been and are identified with the. agitation for 
the political emancipation of their sex ? Saloons, brothels and gam- 
ing-houses might vanish before such an administration ; wars avoid- 
able with safety and honor might not be undertaken, and taxes 
might be diverted to purposes of general sanitation and higher 
education, but neither in these respects nor in the efforts to lift the 
bowed and strengthen the weak would the right to life, liberty and 
the pursuit of happiness be placed in peril. Women have exercised 
the highest civil powers in all ages of the world from Zenobia to 
Victoria and have exhibited statecraft and military capacity of 
high degree without detracting from their graces as women or their 
virtues as mothers 

The preponderance of women in our churches, our charitable or- 
ganizations, our educational councils, has been of such use as to sug- 


gest the benefit of their incorporation into our voting force to the 
least observant. A woman who owns railroad or manufacturing 
or mining stock may vote unquestioned by the side of the brightest 
business men of our continent, but if she transfers her property into 
real estate she loses all voice in its control. 

Their abilities, intellectual, physical and political, are as various 
as ours, and they err who set up any single standard, however 
lovely, by which to determine the rights, needs and possibilities of 
the sex. To me the recognition of their capacity for full citizenship 
is right and desirable, and it only remains to consider whether it is 
safe, whether it is expedient. To this let experience answer to the 
extent that the experiment has been made. 

During the first thirty years of the independence of New Jersey, 
universal suffrage was limited only by a property qualification ; but 
we do not learn that divorces were common, that families were more 
divided on political than on religious differences, that children were 
neglected or that patriotism languished, although the first seven 
years of that experiment were years of decimating war, and the 
remaining twenty-three of poverty and recuperation conditions 
most conducive to discontent and erratic legislation. 

The reports from Wyoming, which I have examined, are uniform 
in satisfaction with the system, and I do not learn therefrom that 
women require greater physical strength, fighting qualities or mas- 
culinity to deposit a ballot than a letter or visiting card ; while in 
their service as jurors they have exhibited greater courage than their 
brothers in finding verdicts against desperadoes in accordance with 
the facts. Governors, judges, 'officers and citizens unite in praises 
of the influence of women upon the making and execution of whole- 
some laws. 

In Washington Territory, last fall, out of a total vote of 40,000 
there were 12,000 ballots cast by women, and everywhere friends 
were rejoiced and opponents silenced as apprehended dangers van- 
ished upon approach. Some of the comments of converted newspa- 
per editors which have reached us are worthy of preservation and 
future reference. The elections were quiet and peaceable for the 
first time ; the brawls of brutal men gave place to the courtesies of 
social intercourse ; saloons were closed, and nowhere were the ladies 
insulted or in any way annoyed. Women vote intelligently and 
safely, and it does not appear that their place is solely at home any 
more than that the farmer should never leave his farm, the mechanic 
his shop, the teacher his desk, the clergyman his study, or the pro- 
fessional man his office, for the purpose of expressing his wishes 
and opinions at the tribunal of the ballot-box. 

To-day and to a greater extent in the near future we are con- 
fronted with political conditions dangerous to the integrity of our 
nation. In the unforeseen but constant absorption of immigrants 
and former bondmen into a vast army of untrained voters, without 
restrictions as to the intelligence, character or patriotism, many 
political economists see the material for anarchy and public demoral- 
ization. It is claimed that the necessities of parties compel sub- 
serviency to the lawless and vicious classes in our cities, and that, 


without the addition of a counterbalancing element, the enactment 
and enforcement of wholesome statutes will soon be impossible. 
Fortunately that needed element is not far to seek. It stands at the 
door of the Congress urging annexation. In its strivings for jus- 
tice it has cried aloud in petitions from the best of our land, and 
more than one-third of the present voters of five States have in- 
dorsed its cause. Its advocates are no longer the ridiculed few, but 
the respected many. A list of the leaders of progressive thought of 
this generation who espouse and urge this reform would be too long 
and comprehensive for recital. 

Mr. President, I do not ask the submission of this amendment, 
nor shall I urge its adoption, because it is desired by a portion of 
the American women, although in intelligence, property and num- 
bers that portion would seem to have every requisite for the enforce- 
ment of their demands ; neither are we bound to give undue regard 
to the timidity and hesitation of that possibly larger portion who 
shrink from additional responsibilities ; but I ask and shall urge it 
because the nation has need of the co-operation of women in all 

The war power of every government compels, upon occasion, all 
citizens of suitable age and physique to leave their homes, families 
and avocations to be merged in armies, whether they be willing or 
unwilling, craven or bold, patriotic or indifferent, and no one gain- 
says the right, because the necessities of State require their services. 
We have passed the harsh stages incident to our permanent institu- 
tion. We have conquered our independence, conquered the respect 
of European powers, conquered our neighbors on the western bor- 
ders, and at vast cost of life and waste have conquered our internal 
differences and emerged a nation unchallenged from without or 
within. The great questions of the future conduct of our people 
are to be economic and social ones. No one doubts the superiority 
of womanly instincts, and consequent thought in the latter, and the 
repeated failures and absurdities exhibited by male legislators in the 
treatment of the former, should give pause to any assertion of su- 
periority there. 

The day has come when the counsel and service of women are 
required by the highest interests of the State, and who shall gainsay 
their conscription? We place the ballot in the keeping of immi- 
grants who have grown middle-aged or old in the environment of 
governments dissimilar to the spirit and purpose of ours, and we do 
well, because the responsibility accompanying the trust tends to 
examination, comparison and consequent political education ; but we 
decline to avail ourselves of the aid of our daughters, wives and 
mothers, who were born and are already educated under our system, 
reading the same newspapers, books .and periodicals as ourselves, 
proud of our common history, tenacious of our theories of human 
rights and solicitous for our future progress. Whatever may have 
been wisest as to the extension of suffrage to this tender and humane 
class when wars of assertion or conquest were likely to be consid- 
ered, to-day and to-morrow and thereafter no valid reason seems 
assignable for longer neglect to avail ourselves of their association. 



The Eighteenth national convention met in the Church of Our 
Father, Washington, D. C, Feb. 17-19, 1886, presided over 
by Miss Susan B. Anthony, vice-president-at-large, with twenty- 
three States represented. In her opening address Miss Anthony 
paid an eloquent tribute to her old friend and co-laborer, their 
absent president, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton ; sketched the his- 
tory of the movement for the past thirty-six years, and described 
the first suffrage meeting ever held in Washington. This had- 
been conducted by Ernestine L. Rose and herself in 1854, and 
the audience consisted of twenty or thirty persons gathered in 
an upper room of a private house. To-night she faced a thou- 
sand interested listeners. 

The first address was given by Mrs. Sarah M. Perkins (O.), 
Are Women Citizens? "While suffrage will not revolutionize 
the world," she said, "the door of the millennium will have a little 
child's hand on the latch when the mothers of the nation have 
equal power with its fathers." 

In the evening Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby addressed the au- 
dience on The Relation of the Woman Suffrage Movement to 
the Labor Question. She began by saying, "All revolutions of 
thought must be allied to practical ends." After sketching those 
already attained by women, she continued : 

The danger threatens that, having accomplished all these so thor- 
oughly and successfully that they no longer need our help and 
already scarcely own their origin, we will be left without the con- 
necting line between the abstract right on which we stand and the 
common heart and sympathy- which must be enlisted for our cause 
ere it can succeed. Why is it that, having accomplished so much, 
the woman suffrage movement does not force itself as a vital issue 
into the thoughts of the masses? Is it not because the ends which 
it most prominently seeks do not enlist the self-interest of mankind, 



and those palpable wrongs which it had in early days to combat 
have now almost entirely disappeared? . . .. 

We need "to vitalize our movement by allying it with great non- 
partisan questions, and many of these are involved in the interests 
of the wage-earning classes. . . . We need to labor to secure a 
change of the conditions under which workingwomen live. We 
need to help them to educative and protective measures, to better 
pay, to better knowledge how to make the most of their resources, 
to better training, to protection against frauds, to shelter when 
health and heart fail. We must help them to see the connection be- 
tween the ballot and better hours, exclusion of children from fac- 
tories, compulsory education, free kindergartens ; between the ballot 
and laws relating to liability of employers, savings banks, adultera- 
tion of food and a thousand things which it may secure when in the 
hands of enlightened and virtuous people. 

Miss Ada C. Sweet, who for a number of years occupied the 
unique position of pension agent in Chicago, supplemented Mrs. 
Colby's remarks by urging all women to work for the ballot 
in order to come to the rescue of their fellow-women in the 
hospitals, asylums and other institutions. She emphasized her 
remarks by recounting instances of personal knowledge. 

The Rev. Rush R. Shippen, pastor of All Souls Unitarian 
Church of Washington, a consistent advocate of equal suffrage, 
spoke on woman's advance in every department of the world's 
work, on the -evolution of that work itself and the necessity for 
a continued progress in conditions. 

Mrs. May Wright Sewall presented a comprehensive report 
of the year's work of the executive committee. The Edmunds 
Bill had been a special point of attack because of its arbitrary 
disfranchisement of Utah women, and Mrs. Zerelda G. Wallace 
(Ind.) had written a personal plea against it to every member 
of the House. At the close of this report a vote on woman suf- 
frage was called for. The audience voted unanimously in favor, 
except one man whose "no" called forth much laughter. Miss 
Anthony said she sympathized with him, as she had been laughed 
at all her life. 

Mrs. Sallie Clay Bennett (Ky.), whose specialty was the Bible 
argument for woman's equality, said in the course of her re- 
marks : "I am rilled with shame and sorrow that from listening 
to men, instead of studying the Bible for myself, I did once think 
that the God who said He came into the world to preach glad 


tidings to the poor, to break every yoke and to set the prisoners 
free, had really come to rivet the chains with which sin had 
bound the women, and to forge a gag for them more cruel and 
silencing than that put into their mouths by heathen men; for 
in many heathen nations women were once selected to preside at 
their most sacred altars." 

Miss Mary F. Eastman (Mass), in an impressive address, 
said : 

I asked a friend what phase of the subject I should talk about to- 
night. She answered, "The despair of it." . . . Can you con- 
ceive what it is to native-born American women citizens, accus- 
tomed to the advantages of our schools, our churches and the min- 
gling of our social life, to ask over and over again for so simple a 
thing as that "we, the people," should mean women as well as men ; 
that our Constitution should mean exactly what it says? . . . 

Men tell us that they speak for us. There is no companionship of 
women as equals permitted in the State. A man can not represent a 
woman's opinion. It was in inspiration that magnificent Declara- 
tion of Independence was framed. Men builded better than they 
knew ; they were at the highest perception of principles ; but after 
declaring this magnificent principle they went back on it. ... 

Although I hold the attitude of a petitioner, I come not with the 
sense that men have any right to give. Our forefathers erected 
barriers which exclude women. I want to press it into the con- 
sciousness of the legislator and of the individual citizen that he is 
personally responsible for the continuance of this injustice. We 
ask that men take down the barriers. We do not come to pledge 
that we will be a unit on temperance or virtue or high living, but we 
want the right to speak for ourselves, as men speak for themselves. 

Mrs. Caroline Hallowell Miller (Md.) spoke strongly on A 
Case in Point. Mrs. Elizabeth Avery Meriwether, of St. Louis, 
devoted her remarks chiefly to a caustic criticism of Senator 
George G. Vest, who had recently declared himself uncompro- 
misingly opposed to woman suffrage. He was made the target 
of a number of spicy remarks, and some of the newspaper corre- 
spondents insisted that the presence of the suffrage convention in 
the city was responsible for the Senator's severe illness, which 
followed immediately afterwards. Mrs. Meriwether's son, Lee, 
paid a handsome tribute to "strong-minded mothers." 

Mrs. Harriette R. Shattuck (Mass.) addressed the convention 
on The Basis of Our Claim, the right of every individual to 
make his personality felt in the Government. Madame Clara 


Neymann ( N. Y. ) gave a scholarly paper on German and Amer- 
ican Independence Contrasted, in which she said : 

The difference between the German and the American is simply 
this : Germans believe in monarchism, in the rule of the Emperor 
and Prince Bismarck, while Americans believe in the government by 
all the people, high or low, rich or poor. You have conferred the 
blessings of free citizenship upon the negro; you invite the hum- 
blest, the lowest men to cast their vote ; you make them feel that they 
are sovereign human beings; you place those men above the most 
virtuous, intelligent women; you set them above your own daugh- 
ters. Yes, your own child, if born a girl on this free soil, is not 
free, for she stands without the pale of the Constitution. She, and 
only she, is deprived of her rightful heritage. 

Oh, shame upon the short-sightedness, the delinquency of Amer- 
ican statesmen, who will quietly look on and suffer such an injustice 
to exist ! Nowhere in the world is woman so highly respected as in 
free America, and nowhere does she feel so keenly and deeply her 
degradation. The vote you know it full well is the insignia of 
power, of influence, of position. And from this position the Amer- 
ican woman is debarred. 

Do you wonder at the low estimate of American politics? The 
exclusion of women means the exclusion of your best men. Not 
before the husband can take his wife, the brother his sister, the 
father his daughter to the primary meeting, to the political assembly 
and to the polls, will he himself become interested and fulfil his 
duty as a voter and a citizen. . . . 

"Look at the homes of the wealthy, or even of the large middle- 
class," it is often said ; "what shallowness and pretense among the 
women ; how they shrink from the responsibility of motherhood ; 
how they spend their days in idle gossip, in hollow amusements ; 
how they waste their hours in frivolities ; see what extravagant, un- 
hallowed lives they lead." Sad and true enough ! For there is no 
aristocracy so pernicious as a moneyed aristocracy no woman so 
dangerous as she who has privileges and no corresponding duties. 
There is nothing so wasteful as wasted energies, nothing so harm- 
ful as powers wrongfully directed ; and the gifts and powers of our 
wealthy, well-to-do women are wrongfully directed. They are em- 
ployed in the interest of vanity, of worldly ambition, of public dis- 
play, of sense gratification. 

From whence arises this misdirected ambition? The harm is 
caused by the false standard man holds up to woman. If men 
would no longer admire the shallowness of such women they would 
undoubtedly aim higher. On the one side man subordinates him- 
self to woman's whims and caprices, and on the other side she is 
made conscious all the time of her dependence and subordination in 
all that pertains to the higher interests of life ; and while he makes a 
slave of her, she revenges herself and makes a slave of him. See 
how these women hold men down to their own low level ; for women 
who have no higher aspirations than their own immediate pleasure 


will induce men to do the same. There is an even-handed justice 
that rules this world. For every wrong society permits to exist, 
society must suffer. Look what fools men are made by foolish 
women women who are brought up with the idea that they must 
be ornamental, a beautiful toy for man to play with. See how they 
turn around and make a toy of him, an instrument to play upon at 
their leisure. 

\Yhat we ask in place of all this indulgence is simple justice, a 
recognition of woman's higher endowment. In giving her larger 
duties to perform, nobler aims to accomplish in making her a re- 
sponsible human being you not only will benefit her, but will re- 
generate the manhood of America. . . . 

To make the advocates of suffrage responsible for the sins of 
American women is simply atrocious, since it is from these very 
advocates that every reform for and among women has started ; it is 
they who preach simplicity, purity, devotion, and who would gird all 
womanhood with the armor of self-respect and true womanliness. 
That such women are compelled to come before the public, before 
the Congress and the Legislatures, and pray for such rights as are 
freely given to every unenlightened foreigner is a burning shame 
and reflects badly upon the intelligence, the righteousness of Legis- 
latures and people. 

Much indignation was expressed during the convention over 
the recent action of Gov. Gilbert A. Pierce, of the Territory 
of Dakota. The Legislature, composed of residents, the previous 
year passed a bill conferring Full Suffrage on women, which was 
vetoed by the Governor, an outsider appointed a short time before 
by President Chester A. Arthur. With a stroke of the pen he 
prevented the enfranchisement of 50,000 women. 

Hundreds were turned away at the last evening session and 
there was scarcely standing room within the church. A witty 
and vivacious speech by Mrs. Helen M. Gougar (Ind.) was the 
first number on the program. Mrs. Julia B. Nelson (Minn.) 
followed in an original dialect poem, Hans Dunderkopf's Views 
of Equality. Mrs. Sewall showed the Absurdity of the Ameri- 
can Woman's Disfranchisement :t : 

The inconsistency of the present position of the American woman 
is forcibly shown in that she is now making such an advance in 
education, studying political science under the best teachers of con- 
stitutional law, and enjoying such advantages at the expense of the 
Government, yet is not allowed to make use of this knowledge in 
the Government. . . . 

Much has been said about the need of the ballot to protect the in- 
dustrial interests of men, but is it not as ungallant as it is illogical 


that they should have the ballot for their protection while women, 
pressed by the same necessities, should be denied it ? . . . 

I may perhaps put it that man is composed of brain and heart and 
woman of heart and brain. We must have the brain of man and the 
heart of woman employed in the higher developments to come. 
There can be no great scheme that does not require to be conceived 
by our brains, quickened by our hearts and carried into execution by 
our skilled hands. The activities which, are considered the especial 
sphere of woman need more brain ; the realm of State developed by 
the brain of man needs more heart. Home and State have been too 
long divided. Man must not neglect the interests of home, woman 
must care for the State. Our public interests and private hopes need 
all the subtle forces of brain and heart. 

An interesting feature of these national conventions was the 
State reports, which contained not only valuable specific informa- 
tion, but often felicitous little arguments quite equal to those of 
the more formal addresses. Such reports were received in 1886 
from thirty different States. A large number of interesting let- 
ters also were read, among them one from George W. Childs, 
inclosing check; John W. Hutchinson, Belva A. Lockwood, the 
Hon. J. A. Pickler, Madame Demorest, Dr. Mary F. Thomas, 
Lucinda B. Chandler, the Rev. Olympia Brown, Mary E. Hag- 
gart, Armenia S. White, Emma C. Bascom, Almeda B. Gray 
and many others. 

A letter from Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton urged that the 
question of woman suffrage should now be carried into the 
churches and church conventions for their approval, and that 
more enlightened teaching from the pulpit in regard to women 
should be insisted upon. The letter was accompanied by a resolu- 
tion to this effect, both expressed in very strong language. They 
were read first in executive session. The following extracts are 
taken from the stenographic report of the meeting : 

Mrs. Helen M. Gougar (Ind.) moved that the resolution be laid 
upon the table, saying : "A resolution something like this came into 
the last convention, and it has done more to cripple my work and 
that of other suffragists than anything which has happened in the 
whole history of the woman suffrage movement. When you look 
this country over you find the slums are opposed to us, while some 
of the best leaders and advocates of woman suffrage are among the 
Christian people. A bishop of the Roman Catholic Church stood 
through my meeting in Peoria not long since. We can not afford to 
antagonize the churches. Some of us are orthodox, and some of us 


are* unorthodox, but this association is for suffrage and not for the 
discussion of religious dogmas. I can not stay within these borders 
if that resolution is adopted, from the fact that my hands would be 
tied. I hope it will not go into open convention for debate. 

MRS. PERKINS (O.) : I think we ought to pay due consideration 
and respect to our beloved president. I have no objection to send- 
ing missionaries to the churches asking them to pay attention to 
woman suffrage; but I do not think the churches are our greatest 
enemies. They might have been so in Mrs. Stanton's early days, 
but to-day they are our best helpers. If it were not for their co- 
operation I could not get a hearing before the public. And now 
that they are coming to meet us half way, do not throw stones at 
them. I hope that resolution, as worded, will not go into the con- 

MRS. MERI WETHER (Mo.) : I think the resolution could be 
amended so as to offend no one. The ministers falsely construe the 
Scriptures. We can overwhelm them with arguments for woman 
suffrage with Biblical arguments. We can hurl them like shot 
and shell. Herbert Spencer once wrote an article on the different 
biases which distort the human mind, and among the first he reck- 
oned the theological bias. In Christ's time and in the early Chris- 
tian days there was no liberty, every one was under the despotism 
of the Roman Caesars, but women were on an equality with men, 
and the religion that Christ taught included women equally with 
men. He made none of the invidious distinctions which the 
churches make to-day. 

MRS. SHATTUCK (Mass.) : We did not pass the resolution of last 
year, so it could not have harmed anybody. But I protest against 
this fling at masculine interpretation of the Scriptures. 

MRS. MINOR (Mo.) : I object to the whole thing resolution 
and letter both. I believe in confining ourselves to woman suffrage. 

MRS. COLBY (Neb.) : I was on that committee of resolutions last 
year and wrote the modified one which was presented, and I am 
willing to stand by it. I have not found that it hurts the work, save 
with a few who do not know what the resolution was, or what was 
said about it. The discussion was reported word for word in the 
Woman's Tribune and I think no one who read it would say that it 
was irreligious or lacked respect for the teachings of Christ. I 
believe we must say something in the line of Mrs. Stanton's idea. 
She makes no fling at the church. She wants us to treat the Church 
as we have the State viz., negotiate for more favorable action. 
We'have this fact to deal with that in no high orthodox body have 
women been accorded any privileges. 

EDWARD M. DAVIS (Penn.) : I think we have never had a 
resolution offered here so important as this. We have never had a 
measure brought forward which would produce better results. I 
agree entirely with Mrs. Stanton on this thing, that the church is 
the greatest barrier to woman's progress. We do not want to pro- 
claim ourselves an irreligious or a religious people. This question 
of religion does not touch us either way. We are neutral. 


MADAME NEYMANN (N. Y.) : Because the clergy has been one- 
sided, we do not want to be one-sided. I know of no one for whom 
I have a greater admiration than for Mrs. Stanton. Her resolution 
antagonizes no one. 

MRS. BROOKS (Neb.) : Let us do this work in such a way that it 
will not arouse the opposition of the most bigoted clergyman. All 
this discussion only shows that the old superstitions have got to be 

MRS. SNOW (Me.) : Mrs. Stanton wishes to convert the clergy. 

MRS. DUNBAR (Md.) : I don't want the resolution referred back 
to the committee, out of respect to Mrs. Stanton and the manner in 
which she has been treated by the clergy. I do not want to lose the 
wording of the original resolution, and therefore move that it be 
taken up here. 

MRS. GOUGAR : I think it is quite enough to undertake to change 
the National Constitution without undertaking to change' the Bible. 
I heartily agree with Mrs. Stanton in her idea of sending delegates 
to church councils and convocations, but I do not sanction this resolu- 
tion which starts out "The greatest barrier to woman's emancipa- 
tion is found in the superstitions of the church." That is enough 
in itself to turn the entire church, Catholic and Protestant, 
against us. 

MRS. NELSON (Minn.) : The resolution is directed against the 
superstitions of the church and not against the church, but I think 
it would be taken as against the church. 

Miss ANTHONY (N. Y.) : As the resolution contains the essence 
of the letter, I move that the whole subject go to the Plan of Work 

The meeting adjourned without action, and on Friday morning 
the same subject was resumed. A motion to table Mrs. Stanton's 
resolution was lost. Miss Anthony then moved that both letter and 
resolution be placed in her hands, as the representative of the presi- 
dent of the association, to be read in open convention without in- 
dorsement. "I do not want any one to say that we young folks 
strangle Mrs. Stanton's thought." 

THE REV. DR. McMuRDY (D. C.) : I do not intend to oppose or 
favor the motion, but as a clergyman and a High Church Episco- 
palian, I can not see any particular objections to Mrs. Stanton's 
letter. The Scriptures must be interpreted naturally. Whenever 
Paul's remarks are brought up I explain them in the light of this 
nineteenth century as contrasted with the first. 

It was finally voted that the letter be read without the resolution. 

The resolution was brought up later in open convention and 
the final vote resulted in 32 ayes and 24 noes. This was not at 
that time a delegate body, but usually only those voted who were 
especially connected with the work of the association. Before 
the present convention adjourned a basis of delegate representa- 


tion was adopted, and provision made that hereafter only regu- 
larly accredited delegates should be entitled to vote. 

The resolution calling upon Congress to take the necessary 
measures to secure the ballot for women through an amendment 
to the Federal Constitution, was vigorously opposed by the South- 
ern delegates as contrary to States' Rights, but was finally adopt- 
ed. There was some discussion also on the resolution which 
condemned the disfranchising of Gentile as well as Mormon 
women, but which approved the action of Congress in making 
disfranchisement a punishment for the crime of polygamy. A 
difference of opinion was shown in regard to the latter clause. 
This closed the convention. 

As a favorable Senate report was pending, no hearing was held 
before that committee. 

The House Judiciary Committee* granted a hearing on the 
morning of February 20. The speakers, as usual, were intro- 
duced to the chairman of the committee by Miss Anthony. The 
first of these, Mrs. Virginia L. Minor, had attempted to vote in 
St. Louis, been refused permission, carried her case to the Su- 
preme Court and received an adverse decision.! Miss Anthony 
said in reference to this decision : "Chief Justice Waite declared 
the United States had no voters. The Dred Scott Decision was 
that the negro, not being a voter, was not a citizen. The Su- 
preme Court decided that women, although citizens, were not 
protected in the rights of citizenship by the Fourteenth Amend- 
ment." Mrs. Minor said in part : 

I do not stand here to represent rich women but poor women. 
Should you give me the right to vote and deny it to my sister I 
should spurn the gift. Without the ballot no class is so helpless as 
the working women. If the ballot is necessary for man, it is neces- 
sary for woman. We must have one law for all American citizens. 

The Supreme Court has half done the work. When my case 
came up, and I asked them that the same law should protect me as 
protected the negro, the court said, "When the State gives you the 
right to vote, we will perpetuate it ; the United States has no voters." 
I want to ask you one question. If there are no United States voters, 

* John Randolph Tucker, Va. ; Nathaniel J. Hammond, Ga. ; David B. Culberson, Tex. ; 
Patrick A. Collins. Mass.; George E. Seney, O.; William C. Gates, Ala.; John H. 
Rogers, Ark.; John R. Eden, 111.; Risden T. Bennett, N. C; Ezra B. Taylor, O.; 
Abraham X. Parker, N. Y.; Ambrose A. Ranney, Mass.; William P. Hepburn, la.; 
John W. Stewart, Vt.; Lucien B. Caswell, Wis. 

t See History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. II, p. 715. 


what right has the U. S. Court to go into the State of New York, 
arrest Susan B. Anthony and condemn her under Federal Law?* 

Another decision of the Supreme Court said in relation to the 
Fourteenth Amendment, that the negro, because of citizenship, was 
made a voter in every State of the Union. The court went on to 
say that it had a broader significance, that it included the Chinese or 
any nationality that should become citizens. That court has said we 
are citizens. If the Chinese would have the right to vote if they 
were citizens, have not we the right to vote because of citizenship ? 

A third decision was in the case of the United States vs. Kellar 
in the State of Illinois. A man arrested for illegal voting was 
brought before the court ; he was born abroad and was the son of an 
American woman. Justice Harlan held that because his mother was 
a citizen, she had transmitted citizenship to her son, therefore he had 
a right to vote. This right must have been inherent in the mother, 
else she could not have transmitted it to her son. 

Mrs. Julia B. Nelson (Minn.), who had been for many years 
teaching the freed negroes of the South, said : 

What are the obligations of the Government to me, a widow, 
because my husband gave his life for it? I have been forced to 
think. As a law-abiding citizen and taxpayer and one who has 
given all she could give to the support of this Government, I have a 
right to be heard. I am teaching for it, teaching citizens. I began 
teaching freedmen when it was so unpopular that men could not 
have done it. The voting question met me in the office of the mis- 
sion, which sends out more women than men because better work is 
done by them. A woman gets for this work $15 per month; if 
capable of being a principal she has $20. A man in this position 
receives $75 a month. There must be something wrong, but I do 
not need to explain to you that an unrepresented class must work at 
a disadvantage. 

If it were granted to women to fill all positions for which they are 
qualified, they would not be so largely compelled to rush into those 
occupations where they are unfairly remunerated. As so many 
people have faith that whatever is is right, the law as it stands has 
great influence. If it puts woman down as an inferior, she will 
surely be regarded as such by the people. If I am capable of pre- 
paring citizens, I am capable of possessing the rights of a citizen 
myself. I ask you to remove the barriers which restrain women 
from equal opportunities and privileges with men. 

Mrs. Meriwether pointed out the helplessness of mothers to 
obtain legal protection for themselves and their children, or to 
influence the action of municipal bodies, without the suffrage. 
Miss Eastman said in the course of her address : 

The first business of government is foreshadowed in the Consti- 

* This had been done when Miss Anthony voted in Rochester, N. Y., in 1872. 


tution, that it is to secure justice between man and man by allowing 
no intrusion of any on the rights of others. This principle is large 
in application although simple in statement. The first words, "We, 
the people," contain the foundation of our claim. If we limit the 
application of the word "people," all the rest falls to the ground. 
Whatever work of government is referred to, it all rests on its being 
managed by "We, the people." If we strike that out, we have lost 
the fundamental principle. Who are the people? I feel that it is 
not my business to ask men to vote on my right to be admitted to the 
franchise. I have been debarred from my right. You hold the po- 
sition to do me justice. Why should I go to one-half of the people 
and ask whether so clear and explicit a declaration as this includes 
me ? The suffrage is not theirs to give, and I would not get it from 
them easily if it were. Neither would you get even education if you 
had to ask them for it. This question is not for the people at large 
to settle. Justice demands that we should be referred to the most 
intelligent tribunals in the land, and not remanded to the popular 

Mrs. Clay Bennett based her argument largely on the authority 
of the Scriptures. Mrs. Gougar said : 

We do not come as Democrats or Republicans, not as Northern 
or as Southern, but as women representing a great principle. This 
is in line with the Magna Charta, with the Petition of Rights, with 
the Articles of Confederation, with the National Constitution. This 
is in direct line of the growth of human liberty. The Declaration 
of Independence says, "Governments derive their just powers from 
the consent of the governed." Are you making a single law which 
does not touch me as much as it does you ? 

Questions are upon you which you can not solve without the 
moral sentiment of womanhood. You need us more than we need 
suffrage. In our large cities the vicious element rules. The re- 
serve force is in the womanhood of the nation. Woman suffrage is 
necessary for the preservation of the life of the republic. To give 
women the ballot is to increase the intelligent and law-abiding vote. 
The tramp vote is entirely masculine. By enfranchising the women 
of this country, you enfranchise humanity. 

Mrs. Colby thus described to the committee the recent vote in 
Nebraska on a woman suffrage amendment : 

The subject was well discussed ; the leading men and the majority 
of the press and pulpit favored it. Everything indicated that here 
at last the measure might be safely submitted to popular vote. On 
election day the women went to the polling places in nearly every 
precinct in the State, with their flowers, their banners, their refresh- 
ments and their earnest pleadings. But every saloon keeper worked 
against the amendment, backed by the money and the power of the 


liquor league.^ The large foreign vote went almost solidly against 
woman suffrage. Nebraska defies the laws of the United States by 
allowing foreigners to vote when they have been only six months on 
the soil of America. Many of these, as yet wholly unfamiliar with 
the institutions of our country, voted the ballot which was placed in 
their hands. The woman suffrage amendment received but a little 
over one-third of the votes cast. 

Men were still so afraid women did not want to vote that only 
one thing remained to convince them we were in earnest, and that 
was for us to vote that way. So the next session we had another 
amendment introduced, to be voted on by the men as before, but not 
to take effect until ratified by a majority of the women. We were 
willing to be counted if the Legislature would make it legal to count 
us. It refused because the question, it said, had already been settled 
by the people. Although we had worked and pleaded and done all 
that women could do to obtain our rights of citizenship, yet the 
Legislature looking at "the people" did not see us, and refused to 
submit the question again. Having failed to obtain our rights by 
popular vote, we now appeal to you. 

Miss Anthony related the unsuccessful efforts of Mrs. Caro- 
line E. Merrick and other ladies of Louisiana to have women 
placed on the school boards of that State, due wholly to their 
disfranchisement. In a forcible speech Mrs. Sewall declared: 

In coming here my sense of justice is satisfied, for we belong to 
this nation as well as you. This room, this building, this committee, 
the whole machinery of government is supported in part by the 
money of women and is for their protection as well as for that of 
men. . . . 

Our question should never be partisan. We do not wish to go 
before our State Legislatures crippled with the fact that an amend- 
ment has been submitted by one party rather than the other. The 
Republican party gave the ballot to the negro and claimed its vote in 
return. We do not wish any party to feel it has a right to our vote. 
The Senate now has a majority of Republicans and the House of 
Democrats, consequently any measure which is passed by this Con- 
gress will be unpartisan. This question should receive support of 
both parties by the higher laws of the universe. Another name for 
life is helpfulness. Separation of parts belonging to one whole is 
death. Separation of parties on questions not of partisan interest is 
death to many issues. It is in your power to bring the parties to- 
gether by that higher law of the universe on this proposition to sub- 
mit a Sixteenth Amendment to our Legislatures, that without en- 
tanglement of partisan interests this question can be decided. 

The committee were so interested in the address of Madame 
Neymann that the time of the hearing was extended in order that 
she might finish it. She said in part : 


Why Americans, so keen in their sense of what is right and just, 
should be so dull on this question of giving woman her due share of 
independence, I can not comprehend. Is not this the land where 
foreigners flock because they have heard the bugle call of freedom ? 
Why then is it that your own children, the patriotic daughters of 
America, who have been reared and nurtured in free homes, brought 
up under the guidance and amidst the blessings of freedom why is 
it that you hold them unworthy of the honor of being enrolled as 
citizens and voters ? England, Canada and even Ireland have gone 
ahead of us, and was not America destined by its tradition to be 
first and foremost in this important movement of making women the 
equal, the true partner of man ? 

In a free country the national life stands in direct relation to the 
home life, the public life reacts upon the family, and the family fur- 
nishes the material for the State. The lives and the characters of 
our children are influenced by the manners and methods of our 
Government, and to say that mothers have no right to be concerned 
in the politics of the country is simply saying that the life and char- 
acter of our children are of no concern to us. 

The citizen's liberty instead of being sacrificed by society has to 
be defended by society. Who defends woman's individuality in our 
modern State? Universal suffrage is the only guarantee against 
despotism. Every man who believes in the subjection of woman 
will play the despot whenever you give him an opportunity. 

We have no right to ask if it is expedient to grant suffrage to 
women. We recognize that the principle is just and justice must be 
done though the heavens fall. It is small minds that bring forth 
small objections. The man who believes in a just principle trusts 
and confides in it, and thus we ask you to confide in suffrage for 

On May 6, 1886, the committee report, made by the Hon. John 
W. Stewart (Vt), stated that the resolution was laid on the 
table. The following minority report was submitted : 

In a Government by the people the ballot is at once a badge of 
sovereignty and the means of exercising power. We need not for 
our present purpose define the right to vote, nor inquire whence it 
comes. Whether it is a natural or a political right, one arising from 
social relations and duties, or a necessity incidental to individual 
protection and communal welfare, is immaterial to the discussion. 
Let the advocates of man's right to participate in governmental 
affairs choose their own ground and we will be content. The vot- 
ing franchise exists, and it exists because it has been seized by force 
or because of some right antedating its sanction by law. Nativity 
does not confer it, because aliens exercise it ; it does not arise from 
taxation, for many are taxed who can not vote and many vote who 
-are not taxed. Ability to bear arms is not the test of the voting 
franchise, as many legally vote who were never able to bear arms, 
and others who have become unable to do so by reason of sickness, 


accident or age ; nor does education mark the line, for the learned 
and the illiterate meet at the ballot box. 

With us a portion of the adult population have assumed to exer- 
cise the right, admitted to exist somewhere, of governing, and have 
forced another portion into the position of the governed. That this 
assumption is just and wise is averred by some and denied by others. 
If we call upon these rulers for a copy of their commission they 
present one written by themselves. 

Children, idiots and convicted felons properly belong to the gov- 
erned and not to the governing class, as they are intellectually or 
morally unfit to govern. Necessity only places them there; neces- 
sity is an absolute monarch and will be everywhere obeyed. To this 
governed class has been added woman, and we beg the House and 
the country to inquire why. They are also "people" and we sub- 
mit that they are neither moral nor intellectual, and no 
necessity for their disfranchisement can be suggested ; on the con- 
trary, we believe that they are now entitled to immediate and abso- 
lute enfranchisement. 

First : Because their own good demands it. Give woman the 
ballot and she will have additional means and inducements to a 
broader and better education, including a knowledge of affairs, of 
which she will not fail to avail herself to the uttermost ; give her the 
ballot and you add to her means of protection of her person and 
estate. The ballot is a powerful weapon of defense sorely needed 
by those too weak to wield any other, and to take it from such and 
give to those already clothed in strength and fully armed, would 
appear to be unjust, unfair and unwise to one unaccustomed to the 
sight. Long usage "sanctions and sanctifies" wrongs and abuses, 
and causes cruelty to be mistaken for kindness. 

The history of woman is for the most part a history of wrong and 
outrage. Created the equal companion of man, she early became 
his slave, and still is so in most parts of the world. In many so- 
called Christian nations of Europe she is to-day yoked with beasts 
and is doing the labor of beasts, while her son and husband are 
serving in the army, protecting the divine right of kings and men to 
slay and destroy. In the farther East she is still more degraded, 
being substantially excluded from the world. Man has not been 
consciously unjust to woman in the past, nor is he now, but he be- 
lieves that she is in her true sphere, not realizing that he has fixed 
her sphere, and not God. This is as true of the barbarian as of the 
Christian, and no more so. If the "unspeakable Turk" should be 
solicited to open the doors of his harem and let the inmates become 
free, he would be indignant, doubtless, and would swear by the 
beard of the Prophet that he never would so degrade lovely woman, 
who, in her sphere, was intended to be the solace of glorious, su- 
perior man. 

Yet, as man advances, woman is elevated, and her elevation in 
turn advances him. No liberty ever given her has been lost or 
abused or regretted. Where most has been given she has become 


best. Liberty never degrades her; slavery always does. For her 
good, therefore, she needs the ballot. 

Second: Woman's vote is needed for the good of others. Our 
horizon is misty with apparent dangers. Woman may aid in dis- 
pelling them. She is an enemy of foreign war and domestic tur- 
moil; she is a friend of peace and home. Her influence for good 
in many directions would be multiplied if she possessed the ballot. 
She desires the homes of the land to be pure and sober; with her 
help they may become so. Without her what is the prospect in this 
regard ? 

We do not invite woman into the "dirty pool of politics," nor does 
she intend to enter that pool. Politics is not necessarily unclean ; if 
it is unclean she is not chargeable with the great crime, for crime it 
is. Politics must be purified or we are lost. To govern this great 
nation wisely and well is not degrading service; to do it, all the 
wisdom, ability and patriotism of all the people is required. No 
great moral force should be unemployed. 

But it is sometimes said that women do not desire the ballot. 
Some may not ; very many do not, perhaps a majority. Such in- 
difference can not affect the right of those who are not indifferent. 
Some men, for one or other insufficient reason, decline to vote ; but 
no statesman has yet urged general disfranchisement on that ac- 
count. It may be true, and in our judgment it is, that those in- 
dividuals who so fail to appreciate the rights and obligations of 
freemen as to deliberately refuse to vote should be disfranchised 
and made aliens, but their offense should not be visited on vigilant 
and patriotic citizens. Neither male nor female suffragists can be 
forced to use the ballot, and while the individuals of each class may 
fail to appreciate the privilege or recognize the duty the franchise 
confers, in the main it will result otherwise. 

The conservative woman who feels that her present duties are 
as burdensome as she can bear, when she realizes what she can ac- 
complish for her country and for mankind by the ballot, will as 
reverently thank God for the opportunity and will as zealously dis- 
charge her new obligations, as will her more radical sister who has 
long and wearily labored and fervently prayed for the coming of 
the day of equality of rights, duties and hopes. 


I concur in the opinion of the minority that the resolution ought 
to be adopted. 




Although the Senate Select Committee on Woman Suffrage 
had reported several times in favor of a Sixteenth Amendment 
to the Federal Constitution which should prohibit disfranchise- 
ment on account of sex, and although Thomas W. Palmer, in 
1885,. had delivered a speech on the question in the Senate, it 
never had been brought to a discussion and vote.* Urged by 
the members of the National Association, and by his own strong 
convictions as to the justice of the cause, Senator Henry W. 
Blair (N. H.), on Dec. 8, 1886, called up the following, which 
he had reported for the majority of the committee on February 
2 of that year: 


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 pro- 
posed 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 said 
Constitution, namely: 

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. 

SECTION 2. The Congress shall have power, by appropriate leg- 
islation, to enforce the provisions of this article. 

Senator Blair supported this resolution in a long and com- 

* The only time the direct question of woman suffrage ever had been discussed and voted 
on in the U. S. Senate was in December, 1866, on the Bill to Regulate the Franchise 
for the District of Columbia History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. II, p. 102; and in May, 
1874, on the Bill to Establish the Territory of Pembina the same, p. 545; but these 
were entirely distinct from the submission of a constitutional amendment. 



prehensive speech, that will be recorded in history as one of the 
ablest ever made on this subject, in the course of which he said :* 

Upon solemn occasions concerning grave public affairs, and when 
large numbers of the citizens of the country desire to test the senti- 
ments of the people upon an amendment of the organic law in the 
manner provided by the provisions of that law, it may well become 
the duty of Congress to submit the proposition to the amending 
power, which is the same as that which created the original instru- 
ment itself the electors of the several States. It can hardly be 
claimed that two-thirds of each branch of Congress must necessarily 
be convinced that the Constitution should be amended, before it 
submits the same to the judgment of the States. 

If there be any principle upon which our form of government is 
founded, and wherein it is different from aristocracies, monarchies 
and despotisms, that principle is this: Every human being of ma- 
ture powers, not disqualified by ignorance, vice or crime, is the 
equal of and is entitled to all the rights and privileges which belong 
to any other human being under the law. 

The independence, equality and dignity of all human souls is the 
fundamental. assertion of those who believe in what we call human 
freedom. But we are informed that women are represented by 
men. This can not reasonably be claimed unless it first be shown 
that their consent has been given to such representation, or that 
they lack the capacity to consent. But the exclusion of this class 
from the suffrage deprives them of the power of assent to repre- 
sentation even when they possess the requisite ability. . . . 
The Czar represents his whole people, just as much as voting men 
represent women who do not vote at all. 

True it is that the voting men, in excluding women and other 
classes from the suffrage, by that act charge themselves with the 
trust of administering justice to all, even as the monarch whose 
power is based upon force is bound to rule uprightly. But if it be 
true that "all just government is founded upon the consent of the 
governed," then the government of woman by man, without her 
consent given in a sovereign capacity, even if that government be 
wise and just in itself, is a violation of natural right and an enforce- 
ment of servitude against her on the part of man. If woman, like 
the infant or the defective classes, be incapable of self-government, 
then republican society may exclude her from all participation in the 
enactment and enforcement of the laws under which she lives. But 
in that case, like the infant and the idiot and the unconsenting sub- 
ject of tyrannical forms of government, she is ruled and not repre- 
sented by man. This much I desire to say in the beginning in reply 
to the broad assumption of those who deny women the suffrage by 

Extended space is accorded this discussion, as it might reasonably be expected that 
on the floor of the United States Senate would be made the most exhaustive arguments 
possible on both sides of this important question. 


saying that they are already represented by their fathers, their hus- 
bands, their brothers and their sons. 

The common ground upon which all agree may be stated thus: 
All males having certain qualifications are in reason and in law 
entitled to vote. These qualifications affect either the body or the 
mind or both. The first is the attainment of a certain age. The 
age in itself is not material, but maturity of mental development is 
material, although soundness of body in itself is not essential, and 
want of it never works forfeiture of the right. Age as a qualifica- 
tion for suffrage is by no means to be confounded with age as a 
qualification for service in war. Society has well established the 
distinction, and also that one has no relation whatever to the other 
the one having reference to physical prowess, while the other re- 
lates only to the mental state. This is shown by the ages fixed by 
law, that of eighteen years as the commencement of the term of pre- 
sumed fitness for military service and forty-five as the period of its 
termination; while the age of presumed fitness for the suffrage, 
which requires no physical superiority certainly, is set at twenty-one 
years when still greater strength of body has been attained than at 
the period when liability to the dangers and hardships of war be- 
gins. There are at least three million more male voters in our coun- 
try than of the population liable by law to the performance of mili- 
tary duty. It is still further to be observed that the right of suffrage 
continues as long as the mind lasts, while ordinary liability to mili- 
tary service ceases at a period when the physical powers, though 
still strong, are beginning to wane. The truth is that there is no 
legal or natural connection between the liability to fight and the 
right to vote. 

The right to fight may be exercised voluntarily, or the liability 
to fight may be enforced by the community, whenever there is need 
for it, and the extent to which the physical forces of society may be 
called upon in self-defense or in justifiable revolution is measured 
not by age or sex, but by necessity, which may go so far as to call 
into the field old men and women and the last vestige of physical 
force. It can not be claimed that woman has no right to vote be- 
cause she is not liable to fight, for she is so liable, and the freest 
government on the face of the earth has the reserved power under 
the call of necessity to place her in the forefront of the battle itself ; 
and more than this, woman has the right, and often has exercised it, 
to go there. If any one could question the existence of this reserved 
power to call woman to the common defense, either in the hospital 
or the field, it would be woman herself, who has been deprived of 
participation in the Government and in shaping public policies which 
have resulted in dire emergency to the State. But in all times, and 
under all forms of government and of social existence, woman has 
given her body and her soul to the common defense. 

The qualification of age, then, is imposed for the purpose of secur- 
ing mental and moral fitness for the suffrage on the part of those 
who exercise it. It has no relation to the possession of physical 
powers at all. 


The property qualification for suffrage is, to my mind, an invasion 
of natural right, which elevates mere property to an equality with 
life and personal liberty, and it ought never to be imposed. But, 
however that may be, its application has no relation to sex, and its 
only object is to secure the exercise of the suffrage under a stronger 
sense of obligation and responsibility. The same is true of the 
qualifications of sanity, education and obedience to the laws, which 
exclude dementia, ignorance and crime from participation in the 
sovereignty. Every condition or qualification imposed upon the 
exercise of the suffrage, save sex alone, has for its only object or 
possible justification the possession of mental and moral fitness, and 
has no relation to physical power. 

The question then arises why is the qualification of masculinity 
required ? The distinction between human beings by reason of sex 
is a physical distinction. The soul is of no sex. If there be a dis- 
tinction of soul by reason of the physical difference, woman is the 
superior of man. In proof of this see the minority report of this 
committee with all the eulogiums of woman pronounced by those 
who, like the serpent of old, would flatter her vanity that they may 
continue to wield her power. I repeat that the soul is of no sex, 
and that so far as the possession and exercise of human rights and 
powers are concerned, sex is but a physical property, whose posses- 
sion renders the female just as important as the male, and in just as 
great need of power in the government of society. If there be a 
difference, however, her average physical inferiority is really com- 
pensated for by a superior mental and moral fitness to give direc- 
tion to the course of society and to the policy of the State. If, then, 
there be a distinction between the souls of human beings resulting 
from sex, woman is better fitted for the exercise of the suffrage 
than man. 

It is asserted by some that the suffrage is an inherent natural 
right, and by others that it is merely a privilege extended to the in- 
dividual by society at its discretion. However this may be, its ex- 
tension to any class must come through the exercise of the suffrage 
by those who already possess it. Therefore, the appeal by those 
who have it not must be made to those who are asked to part with a 
portion of their own power. It is only human nature that the male 
sex should hesitate to yield one-half of its power to those whose 
cause, however strong in reason and justice, lacks that physical 
force by which so largely the masses of men themselves have wrung 
their own rights from rulers and kings. 

It is not strange that when overwhelmed with argument and half 
won by appeals to his better nature, and ashamed to refuse blankly 
that which he finds no reason for longer withholding, man avoids 
the dilemma by a pretended elevation of woman to a higher sphere, 
where, as an angel, she has certain gauzy, ethereal resources and 
superior attributes and functions which render the possession of 
mere earthly, every-day powers and privileges non-essential to her, 
however mere mortal men may find them indispensable to their own 
freedom and happiness. But to the denial of her right to vote, 


whether that denial be the blunt refusal of the ignorant or the pol- 
ished evasion of the refined courtier and politician, woman can op- 
pose only her most solemn and perpetual appeal to the reason of 
man and to the justice of Almighty God. She must continually 
point out the nature and object of the suffrage and the necessity that 
she possess it for her own and the public good. 

\Yhat, then, is the suffrage, and why is it necessary that woman 
should possess and exercise this function of freemen? I quote 
briefly from the majority report of the Senate Committee:* 

"The rights for the maintenance of which human governments 
are constituted are life, liberty and property. These rights are 
common to men and women alike and both are entitled to the sov- 
ereign power to protect these rights. This right to the protection 
of rights appertains to the individual, not to the family, or to any 
form of association, whether social or corporate. Probably not 
more than five-eighths of the men of legal age, qualified to vote, are 
heads of families, and not more than that proportion of adult women 
are united with men in the legal merger of married life. It is, 
therefore, quite incorrect to speak of the State as an aggregate of 
families duly represented at the ballot-box by their male head. The 
relation between the government and the individual is direct; all 
rights are individual rights, all duties are individual duties. 

"Government in its two highest functions is legislative and ju- 
dicial. By these powers the sovereignty prescribes the law and di- 
rects its application to the vindication of rights and the redress of 
wrongs. Conscience and intelligence are the only forces which 
enter into the exercise of these primary and highest functions of 
government. The remaining department is the executive or ad- 
ministrative, and in all forms of government the primary element 
of administration is force, but even in this department conscience 
and intelligence are indispensable to its direction. 

"If, now, we are to decide who of our sixty millions of human 
beings are, by virtue of their qualifications, to be the law-making 
power, by what tests shall the selection be determined? The suf- 
frage is this great primary law-making power. It is not the ex- 
ecutive power. It is not founded upon force. Never in the history 
of this or any other genuine republic has the law-making power, 
whether in general elections or in the framing of laws in legislative 
assemblies, been vested in individuals by reason of their physical 
powers. . . . 

"The executive power of itself is a mere physical instrumentality 
an animal quality and it is confided from necessity to those who 
possess that quality, but always with danger, except so far as wis- 
dom and virtue control its exercise. Therefore it is obvious that 
the greater the spiritual forces, whether found in those who execute 
the law, or in the large body by whom the suffrage is exercised, and 
who direct its execution, the greater will be the safety and the surer 
will be the happiness of the State. 

* This report had been presented Mar. 28, 1884, by Senators T. W. Palmer, H. W. 
Blair, E. G. Lapham and H. B. Anthony. 


"It is too late to question the intellectual and moral capacity of 
woman to understand political issues and intelligently decide them 
at the polls. Indeed the pretense is no longer advanced that woman 
should not vote because of her mental or moral unfitness to perform 
this legislative function ; but the suffrage is denied to her because 
she can neither hang criminals, suppress mobs nor handle the en- 
ginery of war. We have already seen the untenable nature of this 
assumption, because those who make it bestow the suffrage upon 
very large classes of men who, however well qualified they may be 
to vote, are physically unable to perform any of the duties which 
appertain to the execution of the law and the defense of the State. 
Scarcely a Senator on this floor is liable by law to perform military 
or other administrative duty, yet this rule set up against the right 
of women to vote would disfranchise nearly this whole body. 

"But it is unnecessary to grant that woman can not fight. His- 
tory is full of examples of her heroism in danger, of her endurance 
and fortitude in trial, of her indispensable and supreme service in 
hospital and field. . . . It is hardly worth while to consider 
this trivial objection that she is incompetent for purposes of na- 
tional murder or of bloody self-defense as the basis for denying a 
fundamental right, when we consider that if this right were given 
to her she would by its very exercise almost certainly abolish this 
great crime of the nations, which has always inflicted upon woman 
the chief burden of woe." 

Mr. Blair then demonstrated the intellectual ability of the 
woman of the present day, proving in this respect her capacity 
and fitness to vote. He quoted from the minority report of the 
Senate Committee, which had been submitted by Senators Brown 
and Cockrell, saying : 

It proceeds to show that both man and woman are designed for 
a higher final estate to-wit, that of matrimony. It -seems to be 
conceded that man is just as well fitted for matrimony as woman 
herself, and the whole subject is illuminated with certain botanical 
lore about stamens and pistils, which, however relevant to matri- 
mony, does not prove that woman should not vote unless at the 
same time it proves that man should not vote. And certainly it 
can not apply to those women, any more than to those men, whose 
highest and final estate never is merged in the family relation at 
all. . . . 

The right to vote is the great primitive right in which all freedom 
originates and culminates. It is the right from which all others 
spring, in which they merge, and without which they fall whenever 
assailed. This right makes all the difference between government 
by and with the consent of the governed, and government without 
and against the consent of the governed ; and that is the difference 
between freedom and slavery. If the right to vote be not that dif- 
ference, what is? If either sex as a class can dispense with the 


right to vote, then take it from the strong and do not longer rob the 
weak of their defense for the benefit of the strong. But it is impos- 
sible to conceive of the suffrage as a right dependent at all upon 
such an irrelevant condition as sex. It is an individual, a personal 
right, and if withheld by reason of sex it is a moral robbery. 

It is said that the duties of maternity disqualify for the perform- 
ance of the act of voting. It can not be, and I think is not claimed 
by any one, that the mother who otherwise would be fit to vote is 
rendered mentally or morally less fit to exercise this high function 
in the State because of motherhood. On the contrary, if any 
woman has a motive more than another person, man or woman, to 
secure the enactment and enforcement of good laws, it is the mother, 
who, besides her own life, person and property to the protection of 
which the ballot is as essential as to those of man has her little 
contingent of immortal beings to conduct safely to the portals of 
active life through all the snares and pitfalls woven 'around them 
by bad men and bad laws, and to prepare rightly for the discharge 
of all the duties of their day and generation, including, if boys, the 
exercise of the very right denied to their mother. 

Certainly if but for motherhood woman should vote, then ten 
thousand times more necessary is it that the mother should be 
armed with this great social and political power for the sake of all 
men and women who are yet to be. It is said that she has not the 
time. Let us see. By the best deductions I can make from the 
census and from other sources, of the women of voting age in this 
country not more than one-half are married and still liable to the 
duties of maternity; for it will be remembered that a considerable 
proportion of the mothers at any given time are below the voting 
age, while another large proportion have passed beyond the point 
of this objection. Then why disfranchise the half to whom your 
objection, even if valid as to any, does not apply at all ; and most of 
these, too, the most mature and therefore the best qualified to vote 
of any of their sex ? 

But how much is there of this objection of want of time or 
physical strength to vote in its application to those women who are 
bearing and training the coming millions? . . . The average 
mother will attend church at least forty times yearly from her cra- 
dle to her grave ; and there is, besides, an infinity of other social, 
religious and industrial obligations which she performs because she 
is a married woman and a mother rather than for any other reason 
whatever. Yet it is proposed to deprive all women alike of an in- 
estimable privilege for the reason that on any given day of election 
perhaps one woman in twenty of voting age may not be able to 
reach the polls. . . . 

When one thinks of the innumerable and trifling causes which 
keep many of the best of men and the strongest opponents of woman 
suffrage from the polls upon important occasions, it is difficult to be 
tolerant of the objection that woman by reason of motherhood has 
no time to vote. . . . 

It is urged that woman does not desire the privilege. If the right 


exist at all it is an individual right, and not one which belongs to 
a class or to the sex as such. Yet men tell us that they will vote to 
give the suffrage to women whenever the majority of women desire 
it. What would we say if it were seriously proposed to recall the 
suffrage from all colored or from all white men because a majority 
of either class should decline or for any cause fail to vote ? If one 
or many choose not to claim their right it is no argument for de- 
priving me of mine or one woman of hers. There are many reasons 
why some women declare themselves opposed to the extension of 
suffrage to their sex. Some well-fed and pampered, without seri- 
ous experiences in life, are incapable of comprehending the subject 
at all. Vast numbers, who secretly and earnestly desire it, from the 
long habit of deference to the wishes of the other sex upon whom 
they are so entirely dependent, and knowing the hostility of their 
"protectors" to it, conceal their real sentiments. The "lord" of the 
family referring this question to his wife, who has heard him sneer 
or worse than sneer at suffragists for half a lifetime, ought not ex- 
pect an answer which she knows will subject her to his censure and 
ridicule. It is like the old appeal of the master to his slave to know 
if he would like to be free. Full well did the wise and wary slave 
know that happiness depended upon declaring contentment with his 
lot. . . . 

We are told that husband and wife will disagree and thus the 
suffrage will destroy the family and ruin society. If a married 
couple will quarrel at all, they will find the occasion, and it would be 
fortunate indeed if their contention might concern important af- 
fairs. There is no peace in the family save where love is, and the 
same spirit which enables husband and wife to enforce the toleration 
act between themselves in religious matters will keep the peace be- 
tween them in political discussions. At all events this argument 
is unworthy of notice unless we are to push it to its logical conclu- 
sion, and, for the sake of peace in the family, to prohibit woman 
absolutely the exercise of free speech and action. Men live with 
their countrymen and yet disagree with them in politics, religion and 
ten thousand of the affairs of life, as often the trifling as the im- 
portant. What harm, then, if woman be allowed her thought and 
vote upon the tariff, education, temperance, peace, war, and what- 
soever else the suffrage decides. 

We are told that no government of which we have authentic his- 
tory ever gave to women a share in the sovereignty. This is not 
true, for the annals of monarchies and despotisms have been ren- 
dered illustrious by queens of surpassing brilliance and power. But 
even if it be true that no nation ever enfranchised woman even so 
until within one hundred years universal or even general suffrage 
was unknown among men. 

Has the millennium yet dawned ? Is all progress at an end? If 
that which is should therefore remain, why abolish the slavery of 

We are informed that woman does not vote when she has the 
opportunity. Wherever she has the unrestricted right she exer- 


cises it. The records of Wyoming and Washington demonstrate 
this fact. 

Mr. Blair then quoted the statistics embodied in the report of 
the committee, showing the slow but sure progress of the enfran- 
chisement of women, and concluded : 

It is sometimes urged against this movement for the submission 
of a resolution for a National Constitutional Amendment that wom- 
en should go to the States and fight it out there. But we did not 
send the colored man to the States. No other amendment touching 
the general national interest has been left to be fought out by in- 
dividual action in the separate States. . . . 

We only ask for woman an opportunity to bring her suit in the 
great court for the amendment of fundamental law. It is impos- 
sible for any right mind to escape the impression of solemn re- 
sponsibility which attaches to our decision. Ridicule and wit of 
whatever quality are here as much out of place as in the debates 
upon the Declaration of Independence. We are affirming or deny- 
ing the right of petition which by all law belongs as much to women 
as to men. . . . 

Let us by our action to-day indorse, if we do not initiate, a move- 
ment which, in the development of our race, shall guarantee liberty 
to all without distinction of sex, even as our glorious Constitution 
already grants the suffrage to every male citizen without distinction 
of color or race. 

As Senator Brown was absent, Senator Cockrell objected to 
a consideration of the resolution and it was postponed. The 
minority report of the Select Committee on Woman Suffrage 
signed by these two Senators consisted wholly of extracts from 
a series of anonymous articles which had appeared in the Chicago 
Tribune, entitled "Letters from a Chimney-Corner." 

On January 25, 1887, Senator Blair again called up his resolu- 
tion and a spirited debate followed. Senators Joseph E. Brown 
(Ga.) and George G. Vest (Mo.) represented the negative; 
Henry W. Blair (N. H.) and Joseph N. Dolph (Ore.) the affirm- 
ative. Senator Brown opened the discussion by presenting, word 
for word, the report signed by Senator Francis M. Cockrell 
(Mo.) and himself in 1884. It embodied the stock objections to 
woman suffrage, practically all in fact which are ever made, and 
was in part as follows :* 

Mr. President, the joint resolution introduced by my friend, the 

* The italics are made by the editors of the History. 


Senator from New Hampshire, proposing an amendment to the 
Constitution of the United States, conferring the right to vote upon 
the women of the United States, is one of paramount importance, as 
it involves great questions far-reaching in their tendency, which 
seriously affect the very pillars of our social fabric, which involve 
the peace and harmony of society, the unity of the family, and 
much of the future success of our Government. . . . 

I believe that the Creator intended that the sphere of the males 
and females of our race should be different, and that their duties 
and obligations, while they differ materially, are equally important 
and equally honorable, and that each sex is 'equally well qualified by 
natural endowments for the discharge of the important duties which 
pertain to each, and that each sex is equally competent to discharge 
those duties. 

We find an abundance of evidence, both in the works of nature 
and in the Divine revelation, to establish the fact that the family 
properly regulated is the foundation and pillar of society, and is 
the most important of any other human institution. In the Divine 
economy it is provided that the man shall be the head of the family, 
and shall take upon himself the solemn obligation of providing for 
and protecting the family. 

Man, by reason of his physical strength, and his other endow- 
ments and faculties, is qualified for the discharge of those duties 
that require strength and ability to combat with the sterner realities 
and difficulties of life. It is not only his duty to provide for and 
protect the family, but as a member of the community it is also his 
duty to discharge the laborious and responsible obligations which 
the family owe to the State, and which obligations must be dis- 
charged by the head of the family, until the male members have 
grown up to manhood and are able to aid in the discharge of those 
obligations, when it becomes their duty each in turn to take charge 
of and rear a family, for which he is responsible. 

Among other duties which the head of the family owes to the 
State is military duty in time of war, which he, when able-bodied, 
is able to discharge and which the female members of the family 
are unable to discharge.* 

He is also under obligation to discharge jury duty,f and by him- 
self or his representatives to perform his part of the labor neces- 
sary to construct and keep in order roads, bridges, streets and all 
grades of public high way s.J And in this progressive age upon 
the male sex is devolved the duty of constructing and operating our 
railroads, and the engines and other rolling stock with which they 
are operated ; of building, equipping and launching shipping and 
other water craft of every character necessary for the transportation 
of passengers and freight upon our rivers, our lakes, and upon the 
high seas. 

Senator Brown did not enter the army during the Civil War. 

t As a lawyer Senator Brown was always exempt from jury service. 

J Senator Brown had this done by his representatives, as any woman could da 


The labor in our fields, sowing, cultivating and reaping crops 
must be discharged mainly by the male sex, as the female sex, 
for want of physical strength, are generally unable to discharge 
these duties. As it is the duty of the male sex to perform the ob- 
ligations to the State, to society and to the family, already men- 
tioned, with numerous others that might be enumerated, it is also 
their duty to aid in the government of the State, which is simply a 
great aggregation of families.* Society can not be preserved nor 
can the people be prosperous without good government. The gov- 
ernment of our country is a government of the people, and it be- 
comes necessary that the class of people upon whom the respon- 
sibility rests should assemble together and consider and discuss the 
great questions of governmental policy which from time to time 
are presented for their decision. 

This often requires the assembling of caucuses in the night time, 
as well as public assemblages in the daytime. It is a laborious task, 
for which the male sex is infinitely better fitted than the female sex ; 
and after proper consideration and discussion of the measures that 
may divide the country from time to time, the duty devolves upon 
those who are responsible for the government, at times and places to 
be fixed by law, to meet and by ballot to decide the great questions 
of government upon which the prosperity of the country depends. 

These are some of the active and sterner duties of life to which 
the male sex is by nature better fitted than the female sex. If in 
carrying out the policy of the State on great measures adjudged 
vital such policy should lead to war, either foreign or domestic, it 
would seem to follow very naturally that those who have been re- 
sponsible for the management of the State should be the parties to 
take the hazards and hardships of the struggle, f Here again man 
is better fitted by nature for the discharge of the duty woman is 
unfit for it. 

On the other hand, the Creator has assigned to woman very 
laborious and responsible duties, by no means less important than 
those imposed upon the male sex, though entirely different in their 
character. J In the family she is a queen. She alone is fitted for 
the discharge of the sacred trust of wife and the endearing relation 
of mother. While the man is contending with the sterner duties of 
life, the whole time of the noble, affectionate and true woman is re- 
quired in the discharge of the delicate and difficult duties assigned 
her in the family circle, in her church relations and in the society 
where her lot is cast. When the husband returns home weary and 
worn in the discharge of the difficult and laborious tasks assigned 
him, he finds in the good wife solace and consolation which is no- 
where else afforded. 

But a still more important duty devolves upon the mother. After 

* As every private family urgently needs the man and the woman, why are both not 
needed in this "great aggregation?" 

t Do women have no hardships or hazards in time of war? 

$ If her duties are just as laborious, responsible and important as man's, do they not 
entitle her to a voice in the Government? 


having brought into existence the offspring of the nuptial union, 
the children are dependent upon the mother as they are not upon 
any other human being. The trust is a most sacred, most respon- 
sible and most important one. She molds the character. She edu- 
cates the heart as well as the intellect, and she prepares the future 
man, now the boy, for honor or dishonor. Upon the manner in 
which she discharges her duty depends the fact whether he shall in 
future be a useful citizen or a burden to society. She inculcates 
lessons of patriotism, manliness, religion and virtue, fitting the man 
by reason of his training to be an ornament to society, or dooming 
him by her neglect to a life of dishonor and shame. Society acts 
unwisely, when it imposes upon her the duties that by common con- 
sent have always been assigned to the stronger and sterner sex, and 
the discharge of which causes her to neglect those sacred and all- 
important duties to her children and to the society of which they 
are members.* 

In the church, by her piety, her charity and her Christian purity, 
she not only aids society by a proper training of her own children, 
but the children of others, whom she encourages to come to the 
sacred altar. In the Sunday-school room the good woman is a 
princess and she exerts an influence which purifies and ennobles so- 
ciety. In the sick room and among the humble, the poor and the 
suffering the good woman is an angel of light. . . . 

If the wife and the mother is required to leave the sacred pre- 
cincts of home and to attempt to do military duty when the State 
is in peril ; or if she is to be required to leave her home from day 
to day in attendance upon the court as a juror, and to be shut up in 
the jury room from night to night with men who are strangers, 
while a question of life or property is being discussed ; if she is to 
attend political meetings, take part in political discussions and min- 
gle with the male sex at political gatherings ; if she is to become an 
active politician ; if she is to attend political caucuses at late hours 
of the night ; if she is to take part in all the unsavory work that 
may be deemed necessary for the triumph of her party; and if on 
election day she is to leave her home and go upon the streets elec- 
tioneering for votes for the candidates who receive her support, and 
mingling among the crowds of men who gather round the polls, 
she is to press her way through them to the precinct and deposit 
her ballot; if she is to take part in the corporate struggles of the 
city or town in which she resides, attend to the duties of his honor, 
the mayor, the councilman, or of policeman, to say nothing of the 
many other like obligations which are disagreeable ( !) even to the 
male sex, how is she, with all these heavy duties of citizen, poli- 
tician and officeholder resting upon her shoulders, to attend to the 
more sacred, delicate, refining trust to which we have already re- 
ferred, and for which she is peculiarly fitted by nature ? Who is to 

* Since this tremendous responsibility is placed upon woman, why should she not have 
a voice in the conditions which surround these children outside the home? Why should 
man alone determine these conditions which often counteract all the mother's training? 


care for and train the children while she is absent in the discharge 
of these masculine duties?* 

But it has been said that the present law is unjust to woman; 
that she is often required to pay tax on the property she holds with- 
out being permitted to take part in framing or administering the 
laws by which her property is governed, and that she is taxed with- 
out representation. That is a great mistake. It may be very doubt- 
ful whether the male or female sex in the present state of things 
has more influence in the administration of the affairs of the gov- 
ernment and the enactment of the laws by which we are governed.! 

While the woman does not discharge military duty, nor does she 
attend courts and serve on juries, nor does she labor on the public 
streets, bridges or highways, nor does she engage actively and pub- 
licly in the discussion of political affairs, nor does she enter the 
crowded precincts of the ballot-box to deposit her suffrage, still 
the intelligent, cultivated, noble woman is a power behind the +hrone. 
All her influence is in favor of morality, justice and fair dealing, 
all her efforts and her counsel are in favor of good government, 
wise and wholesome regulations and a faithful administration of the 
laws. I . . . 

It would be a gratification, and we are always glad to see the 
ladies gratified, to many who have espoused the cause of woman 
suffrage if they could take active part in political affairs and go to 
the polls and cast their votes alongside the male sex ; but while this 
would be a gratification to a large number of very worthy and ex- 
cellent ladies who take a different view of the question from that 
which we entertain, we feel that it would be a great cruelty to a 
much larger number of the cultivated, refined, delicate and lovely 
women of this country who seek no such distinction, who would 
enjoy no such privilege, who would with womanlike delicacy shrink 
from the discharge of any such obligation, and who would sincerely 
regret that what they consider the folly of the State had imposed 
upon them any such unpleasant duties. But should female suffrage 
be once established it would become an imperative necessity that 
the very large class, indeed much the largest class, of the women of 
this country of the character last described should yield, contrary 
to their inclinations and wishes, to the necessity which would com- 
pel them to engage in political strife. 

We apprehend no one who has properly considered this question 
will doubt, if female suffrage should be established, that the more 
ignorant and less refined portions of the female population, to say 
nothing of the baser class of females, laying aside feminine delicacy 
and disregarding the sacred duties devolving upon them, to which 

* Senator Brown assumes that all women are wives and the mothers of young chil- 
dren, and that the mother's sense of duty would not hold her to the care of her children 
if she had a chance to go into politics. 

t Would any man be willing to exchange his influence for that of a woman in the 
affairs of government? 

t This would seem to be the very influence which ought to be enforced by a vote. 



we have already referred, would rush to the polls and take pleasure 
in the crowded association which the situation would compel, of 
the two sexes in political meetings and at the ballot-box. . . . 

It is now a problem which perplexes the brain of the ablest states- 
men to determine how we will best preserve our republican system 
as against the demoralizing influence of the large class of our' pres- 
ent citizens and voters who by reason of their illiteracy are unable 
to read or write the ballot they cast. If our colored population, 
who were so recently slaves that even the males who are voters 
have had but little opportunity to educate themselves or to be edu- 
cated, whose ignorance is now exciting the liveliest interest of our 
statesmen, are causes of serious apprehension, what is to be said 
in favor of adding to the voting population all the females of that 
race, who, on account of the situation in which they have been 
placed, have had much less opportunity to be educated than even 
the males of their own race?* 

It may be said that their votes could be offset by the ballots of the 
educated and refined ladies of the white race in the same section; 
but who does not know that the ignorant female voters would be 
at the polls en masse, while the refined and educated, shrinking 
from public contact on such occasions, would remain at home and 
attend to their domestic and other important duties ?f Are we 
ready to expose the country to the demoralization, and our institu- 
tions to the strain, which would be placed upon them, for the grati- 
fication of a minority of the virtuous and good of our female popu- 
lation at the expense of the mortification of a very large majority 
of the same sex? 

It has been frequently urged that the ballot is necessary to women 
to enable them to protect themselves in securing occupations, and to 
enable them to realize the same compensation for the like labor 
which is received by men. This argument is plausible, but upon a 
closer examination it will be found to possess but little real force. 
The price of labor is and must continue to be governed by the law of 
supply and demand, and the person who has the most physical 
strength to labor, and the most pursuits requiring such strength 
open for employment, will always command the higher prices. 

Ladies make excellent teachers in public schools ; many of them 
are every way the equals of their male competitors, and still they 
secure less wages than males. The reason is obvious. The num- 
ber of ladies who offer themselves as teachers is much larger than 
the number of males who are willing to teach. The larger number 
of females offer to teach because other occupations are not open to 
them. The smaller number of males offer to teach because other 
more profitable occupations are open to most males who are com- 
petent to teach. . . . 

The ballot can not impart to the female physical strength which 

* In readjusting the qualifications for the suffrage the Southern States have been very 
careful to secure the right to all the illiterate white men. 

t Senator Brown says in the preceding paragraph that the "delicate and lovely women" 
would not remain at home but would consider it an imperative duty to go to the polls. 


she does not possess, nor can it open to her pursuits which she does 
not have physical ability to engage in ; and as long as she lacks the 
physical strength to compete with men in the different departments 
of labor, there will be more competition in her department, and she 
must necessarily receive less wages.* 

But it is claimed again that females should have the ballot as a 
protection against the tyranny of bad husbands. This is also de- 
lusive. If the husband is brutal, arbitrary or tyrannical, and tyran- 
nizes over her at home, the ballot in her hands would be no protec- 
tion against such injustice, but the husband who compelled her to 
conform to his wishes in other respects would also compel her to 
use the ballot, if she possessed it, as he might please to dictate. The 
ballot would, therefore, be of no assistance to the wife in such case, 
nor could it heal family strifes or dissensions. On the contrary, 
one of the gravest objections to placing the ballot in the hands of 
the female sex is that it would promote unhappiness ' and dissen- 
sions in the family circle. There should be unity and harmony in 
the family, f . . . 

When woman becomes a voter she will be more or less of a poli- 
tician, and will form political alliances or unite with political par- 
ties which will frequently be antagonistic to those to which her hus- 
band belongs. This will introduce into the family circle new ele- 
ments of disagreement and discord which will frequently end in 
unhappy divisions, if not in separation and divorce. This must 
frequently occur when she becomes an active politician, identified 
with a party which is distasteful to her husband. On the other 
hand, if she unites with her husband in party associations and 
votes with him on all occasions so as not to disturb the harmony 
and happiness of the family, then the ballot is of no service, as it 
simply duplicates the vote of the male on each side of the questien 
and leaves the result the same.J 

It may be said, however, that there is a class of young ladies who 
do not choose to marry, and who select professions or avocations 
and follow them for a livelihood. This is true, but this class, com- 
pared with the number who unite in matrimony with the husbands 
of their choice, is comparatively very small, and it is the duty of 
society to encourage the increase of marriages rather than of 
celibacy. If the larger number of females select pursuits or pro- 
fessions which require them to decline marriage, society to that ex- 
tent is deprived of the advantage resulting from the increase of 
population by marriage. 

* Is it because women lack physical strength that they are not allowed to practice law 
in Georgia or to act as notaries public or to fill any office, even that of school trustee, 
and that no woman is permitted to enter the State University? The men should at 
least give their "queens" and "princesses" and "angels" an education. 

t Yes, if the husband has to enforce it with a club. This paragraph does not tally 
with the one in the early part of the Senator's speech where all women were placed on 
a throne, and all men were declared to be their natural protectors. 

J The picture of family life in Georgia is not alluring, but the Senator takes small 
account of the woman who does not happen to possess a "male," or rather to be pos- 
sessed by one. 


It is said by those who have examined the question closely that 
the largest number of divorces is now found in the communities 
where the advocates of female suffrage are most numerous, and 
where the individuality of woman as related to her husband, which 
such a doctrine inculcates, is increased to the greatest extent.* . . . 

Senator Brown then introduced a long quotation from the 
"Chimney-Corner," covering so exactly the ground of his speech 
and in so nearly the same language as to suggest, if not collusion, 
at least "two souls with but a single thought," which he thus 
emphasized in closing : 

The woman with the infant at the breast is in no condition to 
plow on the farm, labor hard in the workshop, discharge the duties 
of a juryman, conduct cases as an advocate in court, preside in im- 
portant cases as a judge, command armies as a general, or bear arms 
as a private. These duties, and others of like character, belong to 
the male sex ; while the more important duties of home, to which I 
have already referred, devolve upon the female sex. We can 
neither reverse the physical nor the moral laws of our nature, and 
as this movement is an attempt to reverse these laws, and to devolve 
upon the female sex important and laborious duties for which they 
are not by nature physically competent, I am not prepared to sup- 
port this bill. 

He was followed by Senator Dolph, who said : 

Mr. President, I shall not detain the Senate long. I do not feel 
satisfied, when a measure so important to the people of this country 
and to humanity is about to be submitted to a vote o'f the Senate, to 
remain wholly silent. 

Fortunately for the perpetuity of our institutions and the prosper- 
ity of the people, the Federal Constitution contains a provision for 
its own amendment. The framers of that instrument foresaw that 
time and experience, the growth of the country and the consequent 
expansion of the Government, would develop the necessity for 
changes in it. Under this provision, at the first session of the First 
Congress, ten amendments were submitted to the Legislatures of 
the several States, in due time ratified by the constitutional number, 
and thus became a part of the Constitution. Since then there have 
been added to the Constitution by the same process five different 
articles. To secure an amendment requires the concurrent action of 
two-thirds of both branches of Consjess and the affirmative action of 
three-fourths of the States. The question as to whether this reso- 
lution shall be submitted to the Legislatures for ratification does not 
involve the right or policy of the proposed amendment. . ' . . 

Therefore the wife should not be allowed any individuality. Statistics, however, 
from the States where women do vote prove exactly the opposite of this assertion in 
regard to divorce. 


No question in this country has been more ably discussed than 
this has been by the women themselves. I do not think a single ob- 
jection which is made to woman suffrage is tenable. No one will 
contend but that women have sufficient capacity to vote intelligently. 
Sacred and profane history is full of the records of great deeds by 
women. They have ruled kingdoms, and, my friend from Georgia 
to the contrary notwithstanding, they have commanded armies. 
They have excelled in statecraft, they have shone in literature, and, 
rising superior to their environments and breaking the shackles with 
which custom and tyranny have bound them, they have stood side 
by side with men in the fields of the arts and the sciences. 

If it were a fact that woman is intellectually inferior to man, 
which I do not admit, still that would be no reason why she should 
not be permitted to participate in the formation and control of the 
government to which she owes allegiance. If we are to have as a 
test for the exercise of the right of suffrage a qualification based 
upon intelligence, let it be applied to women and to men alike. If 
it be admitted that suffrage is a right, that is the end of contro- 
versy ; there can no longer be any argument made against woman 
suffrage ; because, if it is her right, then, if there were but one poor 
woman in all the United States demanding the right it would be 
tyranny to refuse the demand. 

But our opponents say that suffrage is not a right; that it is a 
matter of grace only ; that it is a privilege which is conferred upon 
or withheld from individual members of society by society at pleas- 
ure. Society as here used means man's government, and the propo- 
sition assumes that men have a right to institute and control gov- 
ernments for themselves and for women. I admit that in the gov- 
ernments of the world, past and present, men as a rule have assumed 
to be the ruling class ; that they have instituted governments from 
participation in which they have excluded women; that they have 
made laws for themselves and for women, and have themselves ad- 
ministered them. But, that the provisions conferring or regulating 
suffrage, in the constitutions and laws of governments so consti- 
tuted, have determined the question of the right of suffrage, can not 
be maintained. 

Let us suppose, if we can, a community separated from all others 
having no organized government, owing no allegiance to any ex- 
isting governments, without any knowledge of the character of those 
present or past, so that when they come to form one for themselves 
they can do so free from the bias or prejudice of custom or educa- 
tion a community composed of an equal number of men and 
women, having equal property rights to be defined and to be pro- 
tected by law. When such community came to institute a govern- 
ment and it would have an undoubted right to institute one for 
itself, and the instinct of self-preservation would soon lead it to do 
so will my friend from Georgia tell me by what right, human or 
divine, the male portion could exclude the female portion, equal in 
number and having equal property rights, from participation in the 
formation of such government and in the enactment of its laws? 


I understand that the Senator, if he would answer, would say that 
he believes the author of our existence, the ruler of the universe, 
has given different spheres to man and woman. Admit that; and 
still neither in nature nor in the revealed will of God do I find any- 
thing to lead me to believe that the Creator did not intend that a 
woman should exercise the right of self-government. 

During the consideration by this body, at the last session, of the 
bill to admit Washington Territory into the Union, referring to the 
fact that in that Territory woman already had been enfranchised, I 
briefly submitted my views on this subject, which I now ask the 
Secretary to read. 

The Secretary read as follows : "... I do not believe the 
proposition so often asserted that suffrage is a political privilege 
only, and not a natural right. It is regulated by the constitution 
and laws of a State, I grant, but it needs no argument to show that 
a constitution and laws adopted and enacted by a fragment only of 
the whole body of the people, but binding alike on all, are a usurpa- 
tion of the powers of government. 

"Government is but organized society. Whatever its form, it has 
its origin in the necessities of mankind and is indispensable for the 
maintenance of civilized society. It is essential to every govern- 
ment that it should represent the supreme power of the State, and 
be capable of subjecting the will of its individual citizens to its 
authority. Such a government can derive its just powers only 
from the consent of the governed, and can be established only under 
a fundamental law which is self-imposed. Every person of suitable 
age and discretion who is to be subject to such a government has, 
in my judgment, a natural right to participate in its formation. It 
is a significant fact that, should Congress pass this bill and au- 
thorize the people of Washington Territory to frame a State con- 
stitution and organize a State government, the fundamental law of 
the State would be made by all the citizens who were to be subject 
to it, and not by one-half of them. And we shall witness the spec- 
tacle of a State government founded in accordance with the prin- 
ciples of equality, and have a State at last with a truly republican 
form of government.* 

"The fathers of the republic enunciated the doctrine 'that all men 
are created equal ; that they are endowed by their Creator with cer- 
tain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the 
pursuit of happiness.' It is strange that any one in this enlightened 
age should be found to contend that this declaration is true only of 
men, and that a man is endowed by his Creator with inalienable 
rights not possessed by a woman. The lamented Lincoln immor- 
talized the expression that ours is a government 'of the people, by 
the people and for the people/ and yet it is far from that. There 
can be no government by the people where one-half of them are al- 
lowed no voice in its organization and control. I regard the strug- 
gle going on in this country and elsewhere for the enfranchisement 

* For account of the unconstitutional disfranchisetnent of the women of Washington 
Territory by its Supreme Court, see chapter on that State. 


of women as but a continuation of the great struggle for human 
liberty which, from the earliest dawn of authentic history, has con- 
vulsed nations, rent kingdoms and drenched battlefields with human 
blood. I look upon the victories which have been achieved in the 
cause of woman's enfranchisement in Washington Territory and 
elsewhere, as the crowning victories of all which have been won in 
the long-continued, still-continuing contest between liberty and op- 
pression, and as destined to exert a greater influence upon the hu- 
man race than any achieved upon the battlefield in ancient or mod- 
ern times." 

Mr. President, the movement for woman suffrage has passed the 
stage of ridicule. The pending joint resolution may not pass dur- 
ing this Congress, but the time is not far distant when in every 
State of the Union and in every Territory women will be admitted 
to an equal voice in the government, and that will be done whether 
the Federal Constitution is amended or not. . . . 

No measure involving such radical changes in our institutions 
and fraught with so great consequences to this country and to hu- 
manity has made such progress as the movement 'for woman suf- 
frage. Denunciation will not much longer answer for arguments 
by the opponents of this measure. The portrayal of the evils to 
flow from woman suffrage such as we have heard pictured to-day 
by the Senator from Georgia, the loss of harmony between husband 
and wife and the consequent instability of the marriage relation, 
the neglect of husbands and children by wives and mothers for the 
performance of their political duties, in short the incapacitating of 
women for wives and mothers and companions, will not much 
longer serve to frighten the timid. Proof is better than theory. 
The experiment has been made and the predicted evils to flow from 
it have not followed. On the contrary, if we can believe the almost 
universal testimony, wherever it has been tried it has been followed 
by the most beneficial results. 

In Washington Territory, since woman was enfranchised, there 
have been two elections. At the first there were 8,368 votes cast 
by women out of a total vote of about 34,000. At the second elec- 
tion, which was held in November last, out of 48,000 votes, 12,000 
were cast by women. 

I desire also to inform my friend from Georgia that since women 
were enfranchised in Washington Territory nature has continued in 
her wonted course. The sun rises and sets ; there are seed-time and 
harvest ; seasons come and go. The population has increased with 
the usual regularity and rapidity. Marriages have been quite as 
frequent and divorces have been no more so. Women have not lost 
their influence for good upon society, but men have been elevated 
and refined. If we are to believe the testimony which comes from 
lawyers, physicians, ministers of the gospel, merchants, mechanics, 
farmers and laboring men the united testimony of the entire people 
of the Territory the results of woman suffrage there have been all 
that could be desired by its friends. Some of the results have been 
seen in its making the polls quiet and orderly, awakening a new in- 


terest in educational questions and those of moral reform, securing 
the passage of beneficial laws and the proper enforcement of them, 
elevating men, and doing so without injury to women. 

Senator James B. Eustis (La.) inquired whether, if the right 
of suffrage were conferred, women ought to be required to serve 
on juries. To this Senator Dolph replied : "I can answer that 
very readily. It does not necessarily follow that because a 
woman is permitted to vote and thus have a voice in making the 
laws by which she is to be governed and by which her property 
rights are to be determined, she must perform such duty as 
service upon a jury. But I will inform the Senator that in 
Washington Territory she does serve upon juries, and with great 
satisfaction to the judges of the courts and to all parties who 
desire to see an honest and efficient administration of law." The 
following colloquy then ensued : 

MR. EUSTIS: I was aware of the fact that women are required 
to serve on juries in Washington Territory because they are allowed 
to vote. I understand that under all State laws those duties are 
considered correlative. Now, I ask the Senator whether he thinks 
it is a decent spectacle to take a mother away from her nursing in- 
fant and lock her up all night to sit on a jury? 

MR. DOLPH : I intended to say before I reached this point of 
being interrogated that I not only do not believe that there is a sin- 
gle argument against woman suffrage which is tenable, but also that 
there is not a single one which is really worthy of any serious con- 
sideration. The Senator from Louisiana is a lawyer, and he knows 
very well that a mother with a nursing infant, that fact being made 
known to the court, would be excused. He knows himself, and he 
has seen it done a hundred times, that for trivial excuses compared 
to that, men have been excused from service on a jury. 

MR. EUSTIS : I will ask the Senator whether he knows that under 
the laws of Washington Territory this is a legal excuse from serv- 
ing on a jury? 

MR. DOLPH : I am not prepared to state that it is ; but there is 
no question in the world but that any Judge, this fact being made 
known, would excuse a woman from attendance upon a jury. No 
special authority would be required. I will state further that I 
have not learned that there has been any serious objection on the 
part of any woman summoned for jury service in that Territory to 
performing that duty. I have not learned that it has worked to the 
disadvantage of any family, but I do know that the judges of the 
courts have taken especial pains to commend the women who have 
been called to serve upon juries for the manner in which they have 
discharged their duty. 

I wish to say further that there is no connection whatever between 


jury service and the right of suffrage. The question as to who shall 
perform jury service, who shall perform military service, who shall 
perform civil official duty, is certainly a matter to be regulated by 
the community itself ; but the question of the right to participate in 
the formation of a government which controls the life, the property 
and the destinies of its citizens, I contend is one which goes back of 
these mere regulations for the protection of property and the pun- 
ishment of offenses under the laws. It is a matter of right which 
it is a tyranny to refuse to any citizen demanding it. 

Now, Mr. President, I shall close by saying, God speed the day 
when not only in all the States of the Union and in all the Terri- 
tories, but everywhere, woman shall stand before the law freed from 
the last shackle which has been riveted upon her by tyranny and the 
last disability which has been imposed upon her by ignorance not 
only in respect to the right of suffrage but in every other respect the 
peer and equal of her brother, man. 

Senator Vest then entered into a long and elaborate discussion 
of the resolution, in which he said : 

Mr. President, any measure of legislation which affects popular 
government based on the will of the people as expressed through 
their suffrage is not only important but vitally so. If this govern- 
ment which is based on the intelligence of the people, shall ever be 
destroyed it will be by injudicious, immature or corrupt suffrage. 
If the Ship of State launched by our fathers shall ever be destroyed, 
it will be by striking the rock of universal, unprepared suffrage. 
Suffrage once given can never be taken away. Legislatures and 
conventions may do everything else ; they never can do that. When 
any particular class or portion of the community is once invested 
with this privilege it is fixed, accomplished and eternal* 

The Senator who spoke last on this question refers to the suc- 
cessful experiment in regard to woman suffrage in the Territories 
of Wyoming and Washington. It is not upon the plains of the 
sparsely-settled Territories of the West that woman suffrage can 
be tested. Suffrage in the rural districts and sparsely-settled re- 
gions of this country must from the very nature of things remain 
pure when corrupt everywhere else. The danger of corrupt suf- 
frage is in the cities, and those masses of population to which civ- 
ilization tends everywhere in all history. Wyoming Territory! 
Washington Territory! Where are their large cities? Where are 
the localities in which the strain upon popular government must 

The Senator from New Hampshire, who is so conspicuous in this 
movement, appalled the country some months since by his ghastly 
array of illiteracy in the Southern States. . . . He proposes to 
give the negro women of the South this right of suffrage, utterly 
unprepared as they are for it. In a convention some two-years- 

* This does not seem to apply to negro suffrage in the Southern States. 


and-a-half ago in the city of Louisville an intelligent negro from 
the South said the negro men could not vote the Democratic ticket 
because the women would not live with them if they did. The 
negro men go out in the hotels and upon the railroad cars ; they go 
to the cities and by attrition they wear away the prejudice of race; 
but the women remain at home, and their emotional natures aggre- 
gate and compound the race-prejudice, and when suffrage is given 
them what must be the result ? 

Mr. President, it is not my purpose to speak of the inconveniences, 
for they are nothing more, of woman suffrage.* I trust that as a 
gentleman I respect the feelings of the ladies and their advocates. I 
am not here to ridicule. My purpose only is to use legitimate argu- 
ment as to a movement which commands respectful consideration if 
for no other reason than because it comes from women. But it is 
impossible to divest ourselves of a certain degree of sentiment when 
considering this question. I pity the man who can consider any 
question affecting the influence of woman with the cold, dry logic of 
business. What man can, without aversion, turn from the blessed 
memory of that dear old grandmother, or the gentle words and ca- 
ressing hand of that blessed mother gone to the unknown world, to 
face in its stead the idea of a female justice of the peace or township 
constable? For my part I want when I go to my home when I 
turn from the arena where man contends with man for what we 
call the prizes of this paltry world I want to go back, not to be re- 
ceived in the masculine embrace of some female ward politician, but 
to the earnest, loving look and touch of a true woman. I want to 
go back to the jurisdiction of the. wife, the mother; and instead of a 
lecture upon finance or the tariff or the construction of the Consti- 
tution, I want those blessed, loving details of domestic life and do- 
mestic love. 

I have said I would not speak of the inconveniences to arise from 
woman suffrage when the mother is called upon to decide as a 
juryman or jury woman rights of property or rights of life, whilst 
her baby is "mewling and puking" in solitary confinement at home. 
There are other considerations more important, and one of them to 
my mind is insuperable. I speak now respecting women as a sex. 
I believe that they are better than men, but I do not believe they are 
adapted to the political work of this world. I do not believe that 
the Great Intelligence ever intended them to invade the sphere of 
work given to men, tearing down and destroying all the best influ- 
ences for which God has intended them. 

The great evil in this country to-day is in emotional suffrage. 
The great danger to-day is in excitable suffrage. If the voters of 
this country could think always coolly, and if they could deliberate, 
if they could go by judgment and not by passion, our institutions 
would survive forever, eternal as the foundations of the continent 
itself; but massed together, subject to the excitement of mobs and 

* One hearing Senator Brown's blood-curdling descriptions would think they were more 
than "inconveniences." 


of these terrible political contests that come upon us from year to 
year under the autonomy of our government, what would be the re- 
sult if suffrage were given to the women of the United States ? 

Women are essentially emotional. It is no disparagement to them 
they are so. It is no more insulting to say that women are emo- 
tional than to say that they are delicately constructed physically and 
unfitted to become soldiers or workmen under the sterner, harder 
pursuits of life. What we want in this country is to avoid emo- 
tional suffrage, and what we need is to put more logic into public 
affairs and less feeling.* 

There are spheres in which feeling should be paramount. There 
are kingdoms in which the heart should reign supreme. That king- 
dom belongs to woman, the realm of sentiment, the realm of love, 
the realm of the gentler and holier and kindlier attributes that make 
the name of wife,, mother and sister next to that of God himself. 

I would not, and I say it deliberately, degrade woman by giving 
her the right of suffrage. I mean the word in its full signification, 
because I believe that woman as she is today, the queen of home and 
of hearts, is above the political collisions of this world, and should 
always be kept above them 

Sir, if it be said to us that this is a natural right belonging to wo- 
men, I deny it. The right of suffrage is one to be determined by 
expediency and by policy, and given by the State to whom it pleases. 
It is not a natural right ; it is a right that comes from the State, f 

It is claimed that if the suffrage be given to women it is to protect 
them. Protect them from whom? The brute that would invade 
their rights would coerce the suffrage of his wife or sister or mother 
as he would wring from her the hard earnings of her toil to gratify 
his own beastly appetites and passions. \ 

It is said that the suffrage is to be given to enlarge the sphere of 
woman's influence. Mr. President, it would destroy her influence. 
It would take her down from that pedestal where she is today, in- 
fluencing as a mother the minds of her offspring, influencing by her 
gentle and kindly caress the action of her husband toward the good 
and pure.** 

Senator Vest then presented a list of two hundred men from 
Massachusetts, among them forty-five clergymen, remonstrating 
against any further extension of suffrage to women. He next 
presented the old-time letter of Mrs. Clara T. Leonard of that 

* Observe that Senator Vest's entire argument against woman suffrage is based wholly 
on sentiment and emotion and is entirely devoid of logic. 

t The Senator meant that it is a right which comes from the men of the State, from 
one-half of its people. 

J Because of a few such brutes millions of women must be deprived of the suffrage. 
If women had some control over the conditions which tend to make men brutes, might 
the number not be lessened? The Senator ignores entirely the secret ballot which would 
prevent the aforesaid brutes from knowing how the women voted. 

** In the preceding paragraph she did not seem to be on a pedestal. 


State protesting against the enfranchisement of women. Sena- 
tor Hoar called attention to the fact that the writer herself was 
an office-holder, a member of the State Board of Lunacy and 
Charity, to which Senator Vest answered : 

Ah ! but what sort of an office-holder ? She held the office dele- 
gated to her by God himself, a ministering angel to the sick, the af- 
flicted and the insane. What man in his senses would take from 
woman this sphere? What man would close to her the charitable 
institutions and eleemosynary establishments of the country ? That 
is part of her kingdom ; that is part of her undisputed sway and 
realm. Is that the office to which woman suffragists of this country 
ask us now to admit them? Is it to be the director of a hospital? 
Is it to the presidency of a board of visitors of an eleemosynary in- 
stitution? Oh, no; they want to be President, to be Senators and 
Members of the House of Representatives and, God save the mark, 
ministerial and executive officers, sheriffs, constables and marshals. 
Of course, this lady is found on this board of directors. Where 
else should a true woman be found? W r here else has she always 
been found but by the fevered brow, the palsied hand, the erring in- 
tellect, aye, God bless them, from the cradle to the grave the guide 
and support of the faltering steps of childhood and the weakening 
steps of old age.* 

Oh, no, Mr. President, this will not do. If we are to tear down 
all the blessed traditions, if we are to desolate our homes and fire- 
sides, if we are to unsex our mothers and wives and sisters and 
turn our blessed temples of domestic peace into ward political-as- 
sembly rooms, pass this joint resolution. But for one I thank God 
that I am so old-fashioned that I would not give one memory of my 
grandmother or of my mother for all the arguments that could be 
piled, Pelion upon Ossa, in favor of this political monstrosity. 

I now present a pamphlet sent to me by a lady. I do not know 
whether she be wife or mother. She signs this pamphlet as Adeline 
D. T. Whitney. I have read it twice, and read it to pure and gen- 
tle and intellectual women. I shall not read it today for my 
strength does not suffice. f . . . There is not one impure, un- 
intellectual aspiration or thought throughout the whole of it. 
Would to God that I knew her, that I could thank her on behalf of 
the society and politics of the United States for fnis production. 
She says to her own sex : "After all, men work for women ; or, 
if they think they do not, it would leave them but sorry satisfaction 
to abandon them to such existence as they could arrange without us." 

Oh, how true that is, how true! 

* The advocates of woman suffrage have repeatedly had bills in the various Legis- 
latures asking that women might be appointed on the boards of all State institutions, 
and as physicians in all where women and children are placed, but up to the present 
day not one woman is allowed this privilege in Senator Vest's own State of Missouri. 

t This does not accord with the argument of Senator Brown that man must do the 
voting for the family on account of his superior physical strength. 


This pamphlet of over five thousand words which began, "What 
is the law of woman-life? What was she made woman for, 
and not man?" might be described as the apotheosis of the sen- 
timental effusions of Senators Brown and Vest. 

During the discussion Senator George F. Hoar (Mass.) said: 

Mr. President, I do not propose to make a speech at this late hour 
of the day, it would be cruel to the Senate, and I had not expected 
that this measure would be here this afternoon. I was absent on a 
public duty and came in just at the close of the speech of my honor- 
able friend from Missouri. I wish, however, to say one word in 
regard to what seemed to be the burden of his speech. 

He says that the women- who ask this change in our political or- 
ganization are not simply seeking to be put upon school boards and 
upon boards of health and charity and to fulfil all the large number 
of duties of a political nature for which he must confess they are fit, 
but he says they will want to be President of the United States, and 
Senators and marshals and sheriffs, and that seems to him supreme- 
ly ridiculous. Now I do not understand that this is the proposition. 
What they want is simply to be eligible to such public duty as a 
majority of their fellow-citizens may think they are fitted for. The 
most of the public duties in this country do not require robust, phy- 
sical health, or exposure to what is base or unhealthy; and when 
those duties are imposed upon anybody it will be only upon such 
persons as are fit for them. 

My honorable friend spoke of the French revolution and thf hor- 
rors in which the women of Paris took part, and from that he would 
argue that American wives and mothers and sisters are not fit for 
the calm and temperate management of our American republican 
life. His argument would require him by the same logic to agree 
that republicanism itself is not fit for human society. The argu- 
ment is against popular government, whether by men or women, 
and the Senator only applies to this new phase of the claim of equal 
rights what his predecessors would have argued against the rights 
which men now enjoy. 

But the Senator thought it was unspeakably absurd that woman 
with her sentiment and emotional nature and liability to be moved 
by passion and feeling should hold the office of Senator. Why, Mr. 
President, the Senator's own speech is a refutation of its own argu- 
ment. Everybody knows that my honorable friend from Missouri 
is one of the most brilliant men in this country. He is a logician, 
he is an orator, he is a man of wide experience, he is a lawyer en- 
trusted with large interests ; yet when he was called upon to put 
forth this great effort of his, this afternoon, and to argue this ques- 
tion which he thinks so clear, what did he do? He furnished the 
gush and the emotion and the eloquence, but when he wanted an 
argument he had to call upon two women to supply it. If Mrs. 
Leonard and Mrs. Whitney have to make the argument in the Sen- 


ate of the United States for the distinguished Senator from Mis- 
souri, it does not seem to me so absolutely ridiculous that they 
should have, or that women like them should have, seats in this body 
to make arguments of their own. 

Senator Blair closed the debate by saying in part : 

I appeal to Senators not to decide this question upon the argu- 
ments which have been offered here today for or against the merits 
of the proposition. I appeal to them to decide it upon that other 
principle to which I have adverted, whether one-half of the Ameri- 
can people shall be permitted to go into the arena of public discus- 
sion in the various States, and before their Legislatures be heard 
upon the issue, "Shall the Federal Constitution be so amended as to 
extend this right of suffrage?" If, with this opportunity, those 
who believe in woman suffrage shall fail, then they must be con- 
tent; for I agree with the Senators upon the opposite side of the 
chamber and with all who hold that if the suffrage is to be extended 
at all, it must be by the operation of existing law. I believe it to 
be an innate right ; yet even an innate right must be exercised only 
by the consent of the controlling forces of the State. That is all 
woman asks that an amendment be submitted. 

The opposition had presented three documents, each represent- 
ing the views of one woman, and one of these anonymous. Sen- 
ator Blair presented a petition for the suffrage from the Woman's 
Christian Temperance Union of 200,000 members, signed by 
Miss Frances E. Willard, president, and the entire official board. 
This was accompanied by a strong personal appeal from a number 
of distinguished women, and hundreds of thousands of petitions 
had been previously sent. The Senator also received permission 
to have printed in the Congressional Record the arguments made 
by the representatives of the suffrage movement before the Senate 
committee in 1880 and 1884.* 

A vote was then taken on the resolution to submit to the State 
Legislatures an amendment to the Federal Constitution forbid- 
ding the disfranchisement of United States citizens on account 
of sex, which resulted in 16 yeas, 34 nays, 26 absent.! Of the 

* These were Susan B. Anthony, Nancy R. Allen, Lillie Devereux Blake, Lucinda B. 
Chandler, Abigail Scott Duniway, Helen M. Cougar, Mary Seymour Howell, Elizabeth 
Boynton Harbert, Dr. Clemence S. Lorier, Julia Smith Parker, Caroline Gilkey Rogers, 
Elizabeth Lyle Saxon, May Wright Sewall, Mary A. Stuart, Sara Andrews Spencer, 
Harriette R. Shattuck, Zerelda G. Wallace, Sarah E. Wall nearly all of national 

t YEAS: Blair, N. H.; Bowen, Col.; Cheney, N. H.; Conger, Mich.; Cullom, Ills.; 
Dolph, Ore.; Farwell, III.; Hoar, Mass.; Manderson, Neb.; Mitchell, Ore.; Mitchell, 
Penn. ; Palmer, Mich.; Platt, Conn.; Sherman, O. ; Teller, Col.; Wilson, Iowa 16. 


absentees Senators Chace, Davves, Plumb and Stanford announced 
that they would have voted "yea;" Jones of Arkansas and Butler 
that they would have voted "nay." 

Thus on January 25, 1887, occurred the first and only discus- 
sion and vote in the United States Senate on the submission of an 
amendment to the Federal Constitution which should forbid dis- 
franchisement on account of sex, that took place up to the end of 
the nineteenth century. 

NAYS: Beck, Ky.; Berry, Ark.; Blackburn, Ky.; Brown, Ga.; Call, Fla.; Cockrell, 
Mo.; Coke, Tex.; Colquitt, Ga.; Eustis, La.; Evarts, N. Y.; George, Miss.; Gray, Del.; 
Hampton, S. C. ; Harris, Tenn. ; Hawley, Conn.; Ingalls, Kan.; Jones, Nev. ; McMillan, 
Mich.; McPherson, N. J.; Mahone, Va. ; Morgan, Ala.; Morrill, Vt; Payne, O. ; Pugh, 
Ala.; Saulsbury, Del.; Sawyer, Wis. ; Sewell, N. J. ; Spooner, Wis. ; Vance, N. C. ; Vest, 
Mo.; Walthall, Miss.; Whitthorne, Tenn.; Williams, Cal.; Wilson, Md. 34. 

ABSENT: Aldrich, R. I.; Allison, la.; Butler, S. C.; Camden, W. Va. ; Cameron, Penn. ; 
Chace, R. I. ; Dawes, Mass. ; Edmunds, Vt. ; Fair, Nev. ; Frye, Me. ; Gibson, La. ; Gor- 
man, Md. ; Hale, Me.; Harrison, Ind. ; Jones, Ark.; Jones, Fla.; Kenna, W. Va.; Maxey, 
Tex.; Miller, N. Y.; Plumb, Kan.; Ransom, N. C. ; Riddleberger, Va.; Sabin, Minn.; 
Stanford, Cal.; Van Wyck, Neb.; Voorhees, Ind. 26. 



The Nineteenth national convention assembled in the M. E. 
Metropolitan Church of Washington, Jan. 25, 1887, continu- 
ing in session three days. On no evening was the building large 
enough to accommodate the audience. The Rev. John P. New- 
man, pastor of the church, prayed earnestly for the blessing of 
God "on these women, who, through good and evil report, have 
been striving for the right."* Miss Susan B. Anthony came 
directly from the Capitol and opened the convention by reading 
a letter from Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was in England. 
She then referred to the fact that while this convention was in 
session the United States Senate was discussing the question of 
woman suffrage. There would be taken the first direct vote in 
that body on a Sixteenth Amendment to enfranchise women. 
The attention of the advocates of woman suffrage was directed 
to Congress for the first time when the Fourteenth Amendment 
was under discussion in 1865. That article in the beginning 
was broad enough to include women but political expediency 
inserted the word "male," so that if any State should disfranchise 
any of its male citizens they should be counted out of the basis 
of representation. She continued : 

This taught us that we might look to Congress. We presented 
our first petition in 1865. In December, 1866, came the discussion 
in the Senate on the proposition to strike the word "male" from the 
District of Columbia Suffrage Bill and nine voted in favor. From 

* Dr. Newman was an advocate of suffrage for women. After he became Bishop he 
wrote for publication, July 12, 1894: "The exalted mission of Christianity is to reverse 
the verdict of the world on the rights of woman. Until Christ came she had been re- 
garded by State and Church, in the most highly civilized lands, as the servant of man, 
created for his pleasure and subordinated to his authority. Her rights of life, property 
and vocation were in his hands for control and final disposition. 

"Against this tyranny we wage a war of extermination. Henceforth in State and 
Church, in business and pleasure, whether married or single, woman is to be esteemed 
an individual, one of the two equal units of humanity, to count one the whole world 
over, and to possess and exercise the rights of 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' " 



that day we have gone forward pressing our claims on Congress. 
Denied in the construction of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amend- 
ments we have been trying for a Sixteenth Amendment. We have 
gained so much as a special committee, who hear our arguments 
and have four times reported in our favor ; Senator Hoar, chairman 
in 1879, Senator Lapham in 1882, Senator Palmer in 1884, and 
Senator Blair in 1886. This is the bill which is pending now. We 
are not asking Congress to enfranchise us, because it does not pos- 
sess that power. We are asking it to submit a proposition to be 
voted on by the Legislatures. 

Mrs. Stanton's letter said in part : 

For half a century we have tried appeals, petitions, arguments, 
with thrilling quotations from our greatest jurists and statesmen, 
and lo ! in the year of our Lord, 1887, the best answer we can wring 
from Senators Brown and Cockrell, in the shape of a minority re- 
port, is a "chimney corner letter" written by a woman ignorant of 
the first principles of republican government, which, they say, gives 
a better statement of the whole question than they are capable of 
producing. Verily this is a new departure in congressional pro- 
ceedings ! Though a woman has not sufficient capacity to vote, yet 
she has superior capacity to her representatives in drawing up a 
minority report. . . . 

But if Senators Cockrell and Brown hope to dispose of the ques- 
tion by remanding us to "the chimney corner" we trust their constit- 
uents will send them to keep us company, that they may enliven our 
retirement and make us satisfied 'in the sphere where the Creator 
intended we should be' by daily intoning for us their inspired minor- 
ity report. 

The one pleasant feature in this original document is the harmony 
between the views of these gentlemen and their Creator. The only 
drawback to our faith in their knowledge of what exists in the 
Divine mind, is in the fact that they can not tell us when, where and 
how they interviewed Jehovah. I have always found that when men 
have exhausted their own resources, they fall back on "the inten- 
tions of the Creator." But their platitudes have ceased to have any 
influence with those women who believe they have the same facili- 
ties for communication with the Divine mind as men have. 

The right and liability to be called on to fight, if we vote, as con- 
tinually emphasized by our opponents, is one of the greatest barriers 
in our way. If all the heroic deeds of women recorded in history 
and our daily journals, and the active virtues so forcibly illustrated 
in domestic life, have not yet convinced our opponents that women 
are possessed of superior fighting qualities, the sex may feel called 
upon in the near future to give some further illustrations of their 
prowess. Of one thing they may be assured, that the next genera- 
tion will not argue the question of woman's rights with the infinite 
patience we have had for half a century, and to so little purpose. 


To emancipate woman from the fourfold bondage she has so long- 
suffered in the State, the church, the home and the world of work, 
harder battles than we have yet fought are still before us. 

Mrs. Caroline Hallowell Miller (Md.) paid a beautiful tribute 
to Miss Anthony, "the Sir Galahad in search of the Holy Grail," 
and closed with an eloquent prophecy of future success. Mrs. 
Lillie Devereux Blake (N. Y.) gave a clever satire on The Rights 
of Men, which was very imperfectly reported. 

. . . Surely it is time that some one on this platform should 
say something for this half of humanity, which we really must con- 
fess after all is an important half. Ought we not admit that men 
have wrongs to complain of? Are they not constantly declaring 
themselves our slaves ? Is it not a well known fact, conceded even 
here, that women shine in all the tints of the rainbow while men 
must wear only costumes of dull brown and somber black? Nor is 
this because men do not like bright colors, for never a belle in all 
the sheen of satin and glimmer of pearls looks half so happily proud 
as does a man when he has on a uniform, or struts in a political pro- 
cession with a white hat on his head, a red ribbon in his buttonhole 
and a little cane in his hand. 

Then, too, have not men, poor fellows, had to do all the talking 
since the world began? Have we not heretofore been the silent 
sex ? Even to-day a thousand men speak from pulpit and platform 
where one woman uplifts her voice. 

But let us pass to other and more important rights which have 
been denied to man in the past. The first right that any man ought 
to be allowed a right paramount to all others is the right to a 
wife. But look how even in this matter he has been hardly dealt 
with. Has he had just standards set before him as to what a wife 
should be? No, but he has been led to believe that the weak 
woman, the dependent woman, is the one to be desired. . . . 

Look again at the unhappy mess into which man all by himself 
has brought politics and public affairs. Is it not too bad to leave 
him longer alone in his misery? Like the naughty boy who has 
broken and destroyed his toys, who needs mamma to help him mend 
them, and perhaps also to administer to him such wholesome disci- 
pline as Solomon himself has advised so does man need woman to 
come to his rescue. Look what politics is now. Who to-day can 
tell the difference between a Democrat and a Republican? Even a 
Mugwump is becoming a doubtful being 

Do not these wrongs which men suffer appeal to our tenderest 
sympathies? Is it not evident that the poor fellows can't go on 
alone much longer, that it is high time we should take the boys in 
hand and show them what a correct government really is ? 

There is another question which deserves our gravest considera- 
tion. Man sinks or rises with woman; if she is degraded he is 
tempted to vice; if she is oppressed he is brutalized. What is the 
industrial condition of women to-day ? . . . . 


In behalf of the sons, the brothers and the husbands of these 
wage-earning women we ask for that political power which alone 
will insure equality of pay without regard to sex. For the sake of 
man's redemption and morality we demand that this injustice 
shall cease, for it is not possible for woman to be half-starved and 
man not dwarfed; for many women to be degraded and all men's 
lives pure ; for women to be fallen and no man lost. 

We all know that man himself has been most willing to grant to 
women every right, every opportunity. If he has hesitated it has 
been rather from love and admiration of woman than from any 
tyrannical desire of oppression. He has said that women must not 
vote because they can not perform military duty. Can they not 
serve the nation as well as those men, who during the last war 
sent substitutes and to-day hold the highest places in the Gov- 
ernment ? But we ask one question : Which every year does most 
for the State, the soldier or the mother who risks her life not 
to destroy other life but to create it ? Of the two it would be bet- 
ter to disfranchise the soldiers and enfranchise the mothers. For 
much as the nation owes to the soldiers, she owes far more to the 
mothers who in endless martyrdom make the nation a possibil- 
ity. . . . 

Man deserves that we should consider his present unhappy con- 
dition. In all ages he has proved his reverence for woman by em- 
bodying every virtue in female form, and has left none for himself. 
Truth and chastity, mercy and peace, charity and justice, all are rep- 
resented as feminine, and lately, as a proof of his devotion, he has 
erected at the entrance to the harbor of our greatest metropolis a 
statue of liberty and this too is represented as a woman. . . . 
And so we hail the men, liberty enlightening a world where woman 
and man shall alike be free. 

One interesting address followed another throughout the con- 
vention, presenting the question of suffrage for women with 
appeal, humor, logic, statistics and every variety of argument. 

Mrs. Harriette Robinson Shattuck (Mass.) presented in strik- 
ing contrast The Women Who Ask and the Women Who Ob- 
ject. Mrs. Elizabeth Boynton Harbert in a fine address told of 
Our Motherless Government. Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker 
{ Conn. ) gave for the first time her masterly speech, The Constitu- 
tional Rights of the Women of the United States, which has been 
so widely circulated in pamphlet form, and which closed with this 
peroration : 

There are those who say we have too many voters already. No, 
we have not too many. On the contrary, to take away the ballot 
even from the ignorant and perverse is to invite discontent, social 
disturbance, and crime. The restraints and benedictions of this lit- 


tie white symbol are so silent and so gentle, so atmospheric, so like 
the snow-flakes that come down to guard the slumbering forces of 
the earth and prepare them for springing into bud, blossom, and 
fruit in due season, that few recognize the divine alchemy, and 
many impatient souls are saying we are on the wrong path the Old 
World was right the government of the few is safe ; the wise, the 
rich, should rule; the ignorant, the poor, should serve. But God, 
sitting between the eternities, has said otherwise, and we of this 
land are foreordained to prove His word just and true. And we 
will prove it by inviting every newcomer to our shore to share our 
liberties so dearly bought and our responsibilities now grown so 
heavy that the shoulders which bear them are staggering under their 
weight ; that by the joys of freedom and the burdens of responsibil- 
ity they, with us, may grow into the stature of perfect men, and our 
country realize at last the dreams of the great souls who, "appealing 
to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of their inten- 
tions," did "ordain and establish the Constitution for the United 
States of America" the grandest charter of human rights that the 
world has yet conceived. 

In an impassioned address Mrs. Mary Seymour Howell 
(N. Y.) contrasted The Present and the Past, saying : 

The destiny of the world to-day lies in the hearts and brains of her 
women. The world can not travel upward faster than the feet of 
her women are climbing the paths of progress. Put us back if you 
can ; veil us in harems ; make us beasts of burden ; take from us all 
knowledge ; teach us we are only material ; and humanity will go 
back to the dark ages. The nineteenth century is closing over a 
world arising from bondage. It is the grandest, sublimest specta- 
cle ever beheld. The world has seen and is still looking at the lumi- 
nous writing in the heavens "The truth shall make you free" and 
for the first time is gathering to itself the true significance of liberty. 
All the progress of these years has not come easily or from con- 
servatism, but from the persistent efforts of enthusiastic radicals, 
men and women with ideas in their heads and courage in their 
hearts to make them practical. 

Ever since woman took her life in her own hands, ever since she 
began to think for herself, the dawning of a great light has flooded 
the world. We are the mothers of men. Show me the mothers of 
a country and I will tell you of the sons. If men would ever rise 
above their sensuality and materialism, they must have mothers 
whose pure souls, brave hearts and clear intellects have touched 
them deeply before their birth and equipped them for the journey of 

It is the evening of the nineteenth century, but the starlight is 
clearer than the morning of its existence. I look back and see in 
each year improvement and advancement. I see woman gathering 
up her soul and personality and claiming them as her own against 
all odds and the world. I see her asking that this personality may 


be impressed upon her nation. I see her speaking her soul from 
platforms, preaching in pulpits of a life of which this is the shadow. 
I see her pleading before courts, using her brains to solve the knotty 
questions of the law. Woman's sphere is the wide world, her scep- 
tre the mind that God has given her, her kingdom the largest place 
that she has the brains to fill and the will to hold. So is woman in- 
fluencing the world, and as her sphere widens the world grows bet- 
ter. With the freedom she now has, see how she is arousing the 
public conscience on all questions of right. . . . 

What is conservatism ? It is the dying faith of a closing century. 
What is fanaticism? It is the dawning light of a new era. Yes, 
a new era will dawn with the twentieth century. I look to that 
time and see woman the redeeming power of the world. 

Mrs. Pearson of Nottingham gave a glowing account of the 
progress of suffrage in England and the work of the Primrose 
League ; Madame Clara Neymann ( N. Y. ) made a scholarly ad- 
dress entitled Skeptics and Skepticism ; Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby 
(Neb.), the Rev. Rush R. Shippen of Washington City and Miss 
Phoebe W. Couzins ( Mo. ) were among the speakers. Delegate 
Joseph M. Carey (Wy.) said in the course of his address: 

Eighteen years ago the right of suffrage was given to the women 
of Wyoming. Women have voted as universally and as conscien- 
tiously as men. I have had the honor of voting for women and of 
being voted for by them. There are not three per cent, of women old 
enough who do not vote in every part of the Territory. In intelli- 
gence, beauty, grace, in perfection of home and social duties, the 
women of Wyoming will compare favorably with those of any other 
State. I have been asked if they neglect home affairs on account of 
politics. I have never known an instance of this. I have never 
known a controversy to arise from the wives voting differently from 
their husbands, which they often do. If women could vote in the 
States to-day they would vote as wisely as men. . . . 

I will say to woman's credit she has not sought office, she is not 
a natural office-seeker, but she desires to vote, has preferences and 
exercises her rights. The superintendents in nearly all the coun- 
ties are women. They have taken a deep interest in school matters 
and as a rule they control school meetings. Three-fourths of the 
voters present at these are women. In Cheyenne they alone seem 
to have the time to attend. Give woman this right to vote and she 
will make out of the boys men more capable of exercising it. I 
have seen the results and am satisfied that every woman should have 
the suffrage. 

Mrs. Carey sat on the platform with Miss Anthony, Mrs. 
Hooker and other prominent members of the convention. The 
eloquent address of Mrs. May Wright Sewall ( Ind. ) on The Con- 


ditions of Liberty attracted special attention. Mrs. Caroline 
Gilkey Rogers (N. Y.) proved in an original manner that There 
is Nothing New under the Sun. In a statesmanlike paper Airs. 
Matilda Joslyn Gage ( N. Y. ) set forth the authority of Congress 
to secure to woman her right to the ballot : 

To protect all citizens in the use of the ballot by national author- 
ity is not to deprive the States of the right of local self-government. 
When Andrew Jackson, who had been elected as a State's Rights 
man, asserted the supremacy of the National Government, that as- 
sertion, carried out as it was, did not deprive States of their power 
of self-government. Neither did the Reconstruction Acts nor the 
adoption of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Yet in 
many ways it is proved that States are not sovereign. Besides 
their inability to coin money, to declare peace and war, they are 
proved by their own acts not even to be self-protective. If women 
as individuals, as one-half of the people, call upon the nation for 
protection, they are doing no more nor less than so-called sovereign 
States themselves do. National aid has been frequently asked to 
preserve peace, or to insure that protection found impossible under 
mere local or State authority. . . . 

In ratifying an amendment States become factors in the nation, 
the same as by the acts of their representatives and senators in Con- 
gress. A law created by themselves in this way can be no interfer- 
ence with their local rights of self-government ; because in helping 
enact these laws, either through congressional action, or by legisla- 
tive ratification of amendments, each State has arisen above and be- 
yond itself into a higher national realm. 

The one right above all others which is not local is the right of 
self-government. That right being the corner stone on which the 
nation was founded, is a strictly national right. It is not local, it is 
not State. . . . 

It does not matter by what instrumentality whether by State 
constitution or by statute law woman has been deprived of her na- 
tional right of self-government, it is none the less the duty of 
Congress to protect her in regaining it. Surely her right to govern 
herself is of as much value as the protection of property, the quell- 
ing of riots, the destruction or establishment of banks, the guarding 
of the polls, the securing of a free ballot for the colored race or 
the taking of it from a Mormon voter. 

In her address on The Work of Women, Miss Mary F. East- 
man (Mass.) said: "Men say the work of the State is theirs. 
The State is the people. The origin of government is simply 
that two men call in a third for umpire. The ideal of the State 
is gradually rising. No State can be finer in its type of govern- 
ment than the individuals who make it. We enunciate a grand 


principle, then we are timid and begin restricting its application. 
We are a nation of infidels to principle." 

The leading feature of the last evening was the address of Mrs. 
Zerelda G. Wallace (Ind.) on Woman's Ballot a Necessity for 
the Permanence of Free Institutions. A Washington paper 
said : "As she stood upon the platform, holding her hearers as 
in her hand, she looked a veritable queen in Israel and the per- 
sonification of womanly dignity and lofty bearing. The line 
of her argument was irresistible, and her eloquence and pathos 
perfectly bewildering. Round after round of applause greeted 
her as she poured out her words with telling effect upon the great 
congregation before her, who were evidently in perfect accord 
with her earnest and womanly utterances." 

An imperfect extract from a newspaper report will suggest the 
trend of her argument : 

In this Nineteenth annual convention, reviewing what these nine- 
teen years have brought, we find that we have won every position in 
the field of argument for our cause. By its dignity and justice we 
have overcome ridicule, although our progress has been impeded by 
the tyranny of custom and prejudice. 

I will ask the American question "will it pay" to enfranchise the 
women of this nation I will not say republic? The world has 
never been blessed with a republic. Those who think this is a nar- 
row struggle for woman's rights have never conceived the height, 
length and breadth of this momentous question. 

The purpose of divinity is enunciated in that it is said He would 
create humanity in His image. The purpose of the Creator is that 
the two are to have dominion ; woman is included in the original 
grant. Free she must be before you yourselves will be free. The 
highest form of development is to govern one's self. No man gov- 
erns himself who practices injustice to another. . . . 

We have passed through one Gethsemane because of our refusal 
to co-operate with the Deity in His purpose to establish justice and 
liberty on this continent. It took a hundred years and a Civil War 
to evolve the principle in our nation that all men were created free 
and equal. Will it require another century and another Civil War 
before there is secured to humanity the God-given inalienable right 
to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?" The most superfi- 
cial observer can see elements at work, a confusion of forces, that 
can only be wiped out in blood, unless some new, unifying power 
is brought into Government. No class was ever known to extend 
a right or share the application of a just principle as long as it 
could safely retain these exclusively for itself. 

We have no quarrel with men. They are grand and just and 
noble in exact proportion as their spiritual nature is exalted. As 


sure as you live down low to the animal that is in you, will the ani- 
mal dominate your nature. Woman is the first to recognize the 
Divine. When God was incarnated in humanity, when the Word 
was made flesh and born of a woman, the arsenal of Heaven was 
exhausted to redeem the race. . . . 

Woman is your last resource, and she will not fail you. I have 
faith that humanity is to be perfected. Examine the record for 
yourselves. I do not agree with the view of some of our divines. 
We find the Creator taking a survey, and man is the only creation 
he finds imperfect. Therefore a helpmeet is created for him. Ac- 
cording to accepted theology the first thing that helpmeet does is to 
precipitate him into sin. I have unbounded faith in the plans of 
God and in His ability to carry them out, and when He said He 
would make a helpmeet I believe He did it, and that Eve helped 
Adam, gave him an impetus toward perfection, instead of causing 
him to fall. Man was a noble animal and endowed with intellectual 
ability, but Eve found him a moral infant and tried to teach him to 
discriminate between good and evil. That is the first and greatest 
good which comes to anybody, and Adam, instead of falling down 
when he ate the apple, rose up. There is no moral or spiritual 
growth possible without being able to discern good from evil. 
Adam was an animal superior to all others that preceded him, but it 
needed a woman to quicken his spiritual perceptions. 

Eve having taken it upon herself to teach man to know the differ- 
ence beUveen good and evil, the responsibility rests upon woman to 
teach man to choose the good and refuse the evil. She will do this 
if she has freedom of opportunity. 

Man has been given schools to develop brain power, and I do not 
underrate their value. He has nearly entered into his domain as 
far as the material forces are concerned, but there is a moral and 
spiritual element in humanity which eludes his grasp in practically 
everything he undertakes. This lack of the moral element is to-day 
our greatest danger. We do not ask for the ballot because men are 
tyrants, but because God has made us the conservators of the race. 
To-day we are queens without a scepter ; the penalty to the nation is 
that men are largely indifferent to its best interests and many do not 
vote. Men are under the influence of women during the formative 
period of their lives, first of their mothers, then of women teachers ; 
how can they do otherwise than underestimate the value of citizen- 
ship? How can the young men of this nation be inspired with a 
love of justice? It is a dangerous thing that the education of citi- 
zens is given over to women, unless these teachers have themselves 
the rights of citizens. How can you expect such women as have 
addressed you here in this convention to teach the youth to honor a 
Government which thus dishonors women? 

The world has never known but one Susan B. Anthony. God and 
the world needed her and God gave her to the world and to hu- 
manity. The next Statue of Liberty will have her features. Of 
all the newspaper criticisms and remarks which have been made 
about her I read one the other day which exactly suited me ; it called 
her "that grand old champion of progress." 


The women are coming and the men will be better for their com- 
ing. Men say women are not fit to govern because they can not 
fight. When men live upon a very low plane so there is only one 
way to manage them and that is to knock them on the head, that is 
true. It probably was true of government in the beginning, but we 
are to grow up out of this low state. 

When we reach the highest development, moral and spiritual 
forces will govern. That women can and do govern even in our 
present undeveloped condition is shown by the fact that three- 
fourths of our educators are women. I remember when it used to 
be said, "You can not put the boys and girls into the hands of 
women, because they can not thrash them." To-day brute force is 
almost entirely eliminated from our schools. That women should 
not take part in government because they can not fight was probably 
true in ages gone by when governments were maintained by brute 
force, but it does not obtain in a government ruled by public opinion 
expressed on a little piece of paper. Women as a class do not fight, 
and that is the reason they are needed to introduce into government 
a power of another kind, the power with which women govern their 
children and their husbands, that beautiful law of love which is to be 
the only thing that remains forever. . . . 

Our statesmen are doubting the success of self-government. They 
say universal suffrage is a failure, forgetting that we have never 
had universal suffrage. The majority of the race has never ex- 
pressed its sense in government. We are a living falsehood when 
we compare the basic principles of our Government with things as 
they are now. It is becoming a common expression, "The voice of 
the people is not the voice of God." If you do not find God in the 
voice of the people you can not find him anywhere. It is said, 
"Power inheres in the people," and the nation is shorn of half its 
power for progress as long as the ballot is not in the hands of 

What has caused heretofore the downfall of nations? The lack 
of morality in government. It will eat out the life of a nation as it 
does the heart of an individual. This question of woman's equal 
rights, equal duties, equal responsibilities, is the greatest which has 
come before us. The destiny of the whole race is comprised in four 
things : Religion, education, morals, politics. Woman is a re- 
ligious being ; she is becoming educated ; she has a high code of 
morals ; she will yet purify politics. 

I want to impress upon the audience this thought, that every man 
is a direct factor in the legislation of this land. Every woman is 
not a direct factor, but yet is more or less responsible for every evil 
existing in the community. I have nothing but pity for that woman 
who can fold her hands and say she has all the rights she wants. 
How can she think of the great problem God has given us to solve 
to redeem the race from superstition and crime and not want to 
put her hand to the wheel of progress and help move the world ? 

Mrs. Hannah Whitall Smith ( Penn. ) pronounced the benedic- 
tion at the closing session. 


Sixteen States were represented at this Nineteenth convention, 
and reports were sent from many more. Mrs. Sewall, chairman 
of the executive committee, presented a comprehensive report of 
the past year's work, which included appeals to many gatherings 
of religions bodies. Conventions had been held in each congres- 
sional district of Kansas and Wisconsin. She referred particu- 
larly to the completion of the last of the three volumes of the 
History of Woman Suffrage by Miss Anthony, Mrs. Stanton 
and Mrs. Gage. An elaborate plan of work was adopted for the 
coming year, which included the placing of this History in pub- 
lic libraries, a continuation of the appeals to religious assemblies, 
the appointment of delegates to all of the approaching national 
political conventions, and the holding by each vice-president of a 
series of conventions in the congressional districts of her State. 
It was especially tlesired that arrangements should be made for 
the enrollment in every State of the women who want to vote, 
and Mrs. Colby was appointed to mature a suitable plan. 

Among the extended resolutions adopted were the following : 

WHEREAS, For the first time a vote has been taken in the Senate 
of the United States on an amendment to the National Constitution 
enfranchising women; and 

WHEREAS, Nearly one-third of the Senators voted for the amend- 
ment ; therefore, 

Resolved, That we rejoice in this evidence that our demand is 
forcing itself upon the attention and action of Congress, and that 
when a new Congress shall have assembled, with new men and new 
ideas, we may hope to change this minority into a majority. 

WHEREAS, The Anti- Poly gamy bill passed by both Houses of 
Congress provides for the disfranchisement of the non-polygamous 
women of Utah ; and 

WHEREAS, The women thus sought to be disfranchised have been 
for years in the peaceable exercise of the ballot, and no charge is 
made against them of any crime by reason of which they should 
lose their vested rights ; therefore, 

Resolved, That this association recognizes in these measures a 
disregard of individual rights which is dangerous to the liberties of 
all; since to establish the precedent that the ballot may be taken 
away is to threaten the permanency of our republican form of gov- 

Resolved, That we call the attention of the working women of 
the country to the fact that a disfranchised class is always an op- 
pressed class and that only through the protection of the ballot can 
they secure equal pay for equal work. 

Resolved, That we recognize as hopeful signs of the times the 


indorsement of woman suffrage by the Knights of Labor in national 
assembly, and by the National Woman's Christian Temperance 
Union, and that we congratulate these organizations upon their 
recognition of the fact that the ballot in the hands of woman is nec- 
essary for their success. 

Resolved, That we extend our sympathy to our beloved president, 
in the recent death of her husband, Henry B. Stanton ; and we recall 
with gratitude the fact that he was one of the earliest and most con- 
sistent advocates of human liberty. 

Thanks were extended to the United States Senators who voted 
for a Sixteenth Amendment. A committee was appointed, Mrs. 
Blake, chairman, to wait upon President Grover Cleveland and 
protest against the threatened disfranchising of the women of 
Washington Territory ; also to secure a hearing before the proper 
congressional committee in reference to the Edmunds-Tucker Bill, 
which proposed to disfranchise both the Gentile and Mormon 
women of Utah. The usual large number of letters were re- 

The following letter was read from ex-United States Treas- 
urer F. E. Spinner, the first official to employ women : 

I am eighty-five years old, and I can no longer look forward for 
future earthly happiness. All my joys are now retrospective, and 
in the long vista of years that I constantly look back upon, there is 
no time that affords me more pleasure than that when I was in the 
Treasury of the United States. The fact that I was instrumental in 
introducing women to employment in the offices of the Government, 
gives me more real satisfaction than all the other deeds of my life. 

A committee consisting of the national board and chairman of 
the executive committee was appointed to arrange for a great 
international meeting the next year. 

On the opening day of this convention a vote on woman suf- 
frage was taken in the United States Senate as described in the 
preceding chapter; at its close a telegram was received that a 
Municipal Suffrage Bill had been passed by the Kansas Legisla- 
ture ; and its members separated with the consciousness that two 
distinctly progressive steps had been taken. 

Among the writers were Harriot Stanton Blatch of England, the Rev. Frederick A. 
Hinckley, Philadelphia; Prudence Crandall Philleo (Kan.); Mary V. Cowgill, Mary J. 
Coggeshall, editor Woman's Standard, (la.); Belva A. Lockwood (D. C.); General and 
Mrs. Rufus Saxton, Sallie Clay Bennett (Ky.); Alice M. Pickler (Dak.); Sarah R. 
Langdon Williams, Sarah M. Perkins (O.); Mr. and Mrs. McClung (Tenn.)j telegram 
signed by Emmeline B. Wells and a long list of names from Utah. 



The year 1888 is distinguished for the largest and most repre- 
sentative woman's convention held up to that time the Interna- 
tional Council of Women, which met in Washington, D. C, 
March 25, continuing until April i. The origin of this great 
body is briefly stated in the official report as follows : "Visiting 
England and France in 1882, Mrs. Stanton conceived the idea 
of an International Council of Women interested in the movement 
for suffrage, and pressed its consideration on the leading re- 
formers in those countries. A few accepted the idea, and when 
Miss Anthony arrived in England early the following year, they 
discussed the question fully with each other, and seeing that such 
a convention was both advisable and practicable, they resolved 
to call it in the near future. On the eve of their departure, at a 
reception given them in Liverpool, the subject was presented and 
favorably received. Among the guests were Priscilla Bright 
McLaren, Margaret Bright Lucas, Alice Scatcherd and Margaret 
E. Parker. The initiative steps for an International Council were 
then taken and a committee of correspondence appointed.* 

"When Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony returned to America 
it was decided, in consultation with friends, to celebrate the 
fourth decade of the woman suffrage movement by calling an 

*The following report was prepared by Mrs. Parker: At a large and influential gather- 
ing of the friends of woman suffrage, at Parliament Terrace, Liverpool, November 16, 
1883, convened by E. Whittle, M. D., to meet Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony prior to 
their return to America, a resolution was proposed by Mrs. Parker of Penketh, seconded 
by Mrs. McLaren of Edinburgh, and unanimously passed: "Recognizing that union is 
strength and that the time has come when women all over the world should unite in the 
just demand for their political enfranchisement; therefore 

"Resolved, That we do here appoint a committee f correspondence, preparatory to 
forming an International Woman Suffrage Association. 

"Resolved, That the committee consist of the following friends, with power to add to 
their number. 

"For the American Center Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Miss Susan B. Anthony, 
Miss Rachel G. Foster. For Foreign Centers (An extended committee was named of 
prominent persons in Great Britain, Ireland and France)." 



International Council. At its nineteenth annual convention, Jan- 
uary, 1887, the National Suffrage Association had resolved to 
assume the entire responsibility and to extend the invitation to 
all associations of women in the trades, professions and reforms, 
as well as those advocating political rights. The herculean task 
of making all the necessary arrangements fell chiefly on Miss 
Anthony, Miss Rachel G. Foster (Avery) and Mrs. May Wright 
Sewall, as Mrs. Stanton and Mrs. Spofford were in Europe. To 
say nothing of the thought, anxiety, time and force expended, 
we can appreciate in some measure the magnitude of the under- 
taking by its financial cost of nearly $12,000. 

"This was the first attempt to convene an international body of 
women and its conception would have been possible only with 
those to whom the whole cause of woman is indebted for its most 
daring and important innovations. The call for this meeting 
was issued in June, 1887 : 

The first public demand for equal educational, industrial, profes- 
sional and political rights for women was made in a convention held 
at Seneca Falls, New York, in the year 1848. 

To celebrate the Fortieth Anniversary of this event, an Interna- 
tional Council of Women will be convened under the auspices of 
the .National Woman Suffrage Association, in Albaugh's opera 
house, Washington, D. C, on March 25, 1888. 

It is impossible to overestimate the far-reaching influence of such 
a Council. An interchange of opinions on the great questions now 
agitating the world will rouse women to new thought, will intensify 
their love of liberty and will give them a realizing sense of the 
power of combination. 

However the governments, religions, laws and customs of nations 
may differ, all are agreed on one point, namely : man's sovereignty 
in the State, in the Church and in the Home. In an International 
Council women may hope to devise new and more effective methods 
for securing in these three institutions the equality and justice which 
they have so long and so earnestly sought. Such a Council will 
impress the important lesson that the position of women anywhere , 
affects their position everywhere. Much is said of universal broth- , 
erhood, but for weal or woe, more subtle and more 'binding is uni- \ 
versal sisterhood. 

Women recognizing the disparity between their achievements and 
their labors, will no doubt agree that they have been trammeled by 
their political subordination. Those active in great philanthropic 
enterprises sooner or later realize that, so long as women are not 
acknowledged to be the political equals of men, their judgment on 
political questions will have but little weight. 


It is, however, neither intended nor desired that discussions in the 
International Council shall be limited to questions touching the po- 
litical rights of women. Formal invitations requesting the appoint- 
ment of delegates will be issued to representative organizations in 
every department of woman's work. Literary Clubs, Art Unions, 
Temperance Unions, Labor Leagues, Missionary, Peace and Moral 
Purity Societies, Charitable, Professional, Educational and Indus- 
trial Associations will thus be offered equal opportunity with Suf- 
frage Societies to be represented in what should be the ablest and 
most imposing body of women ever assembled. 

The Council will continue eight days, and its sixteen public ses- 
sions will afford ample opportunity for reporting the various phases 
of woman's work and progress in all parts of the world, during the 
past forty years. It is hoped that all friends of the advancement of 
women will lend their support to this undertaking. 
On behalf of the National Woman Suffrage Association : 


SUSAN B. ANTHONY, First Vice-Pres. 


RACHEL G. FOSTER, Corresponding Sec'y. 

ELLEN H. SHELDON, Recording Sec'y. 

JANE H. SPOFFORD, Treasurer. 

MAY WRIGHT SEW ALL, Chairman Ex. Com. 

"All of the intervening months from June until the next March 
were spent in the extensive preparations necessary to the success 
of a convention which proposed to assemble delegates and speak- 
ers from many parts of the world. As the funds had to be raised 
wholly by private subscription, no bureau with an expensive 
pay-roll was established but the entire burden was carried by a 
few individuals, who contributed their services."* 

* There were printed and distributed by mail 10,000 Calls (four pages each) ; 10,000 
Appeals (two pages each); sketches were prepared of the lives and work of a number 
of the delegates and circulated by means of a Press Committee of over ninety persons 
in various cities of many States. On March 10, the first edition (5,000) of the sixteen- 
page program was issued; this was followed by five other editions of 5,000 each and a 
final seventh edition of 7,000 copies. Each edition required revision and the introduc- 
tion of alterations made necessary by changing conditions. There were written in 
connection with the preparations about 4,000 letters. Including those concerning rail- 
road rates, there were not less than 10,000 more circulars of various kinds printed and 
distributed. A low estimate of the number of pages thus issued (circulars, calls, pro- 
grams, etc.) gives 672,000. During the week of the Council and the following con- 
vention of the N. W. S. A., the Woman's Tribune was published by Mrs. Clara Bewick 
Colby eight times (four days sixteen pages, four days twelve pages), the daily edition 
averaging 12,500 copies. 

The receipts from contributions and memberships were in round numbers $5,000; 
from sale of seats and boxes at opera-house $5,000, and from sale of daily Woman's 
Tribune, photographs and badges, collections, advertisements, etc., $1,500, making a 
total of nearly $12,000. The largest sums were from Julia T. Foster, $400; Elizabeth 
Thompson, $250; Mrs. Leland Stanford, $200; Rachel G. Foster, $200; and $100 each 
from Adeline Thomson, Ellen Clark Sargent, Emma J. Bartol, Margaret Caine, Sarah 


Fifty-three organizations of women, national in character, of 
a religious, patriotic, charitable, reform, literary and political 
nature, were represented on the platform by eighty speakers and 
forty-nine delegates, from England, Ireland, France, Nor- 
way, Denmark, Finland, India, Canada and the United States. 
Among the subjects discussed were Education, Philanthropies, 
Temperance, Industries, Professions, Organizations, Social 
Purity, Legal, Political and Religious Conditions. While no re- 
striction was placed upon the fullest expression of the most widely 
divergent views upon these vital questions of the age, the sessions, 
both executive and public, were absolutely without friction. 

A complete stenographic report of these fifty-three meetings 
was transcribed and furnished to the press by a thoroughly or- 
ganized corps of women under the direction of Miss Mary F. 
Seymour of New York City, an unexcelled if not an unparalleled 
feat.* The management of the Council by the different commit- 
tees' was perfect in every detail, and the eight days' proceedings 
passed without a break, a jar or an unpleasant circumstance. 

Saturday evening, March 23, Mr. and Mrs. Spofford, of the 
Riggs House, gave a reception to enable the people of Washing- 
ton to meet the distinguished speakers and delegates. The large 
parlors were thrown open and finally the big dining-room, but the 
throng was so dense that it was almost impossible to move from 
one room to another. 

President and Mrs. Grover Cleveland received the Council Fri- 
day afternoon. Monday evening a reception was given by Sen- 
ator and Mrs. Thomas W. Palmer of Michigan, for which eight 
hundred invitations were sent to foreign legations, prominent 
officials and the members of the Council. Senator and Mrs. 
Leland Stanford opened their elegant home on Tuesday after- 

Knox Goodrich, Mary Hamilton Williams, Lucy Winslow Curtis, Mary Gray Dow, Jane 
S. Richards, George W. Childs and Henry C. Parsons. The cost of the Tribune (printing, 
stenographic report, mailing, etc.) was over $3,600; hall rent, $1,800. When one con- 
siders the entertainment of so many officers, speakers and delegates, printing, postage, the 
salary of one clerk for a year (whose board was a contribution from Miss Adeline 
Thomson and Miss Julia Foster of Philadelphia), and the thousand et ceteras of such a 
meeting, the total cost of about $12,000 is not surprising. An international convention of 
men, held in Washington within the year, cost in round numbers $50,000. 

* After the Council Mrs. Stanton, Miss Anthony and Miss Foster remained in Wash- 
ington for six weeks preparing a complete report of the addresses and proceedings which 
filled nearly 500 pages. Five thousand copies of these were printed, a large number of 
which were placed in the public libraries of the United States and foreign countries. 


noon in honor of the pioneers in the woman suffrage movement. 
In addition to these many special entertainments were given for 
the women lawyers, physicians, ministers, collegiate alumnae, 
etc., and those of a semi-private nature were far too numerous 
for mention. 

Albaugh's Opera House was crowded to its capacity at all of 
the sixteen sessions. Religious services were held on both Sun- 
days, conducted entirely by women representing many different 
creeds. Some of the old-time hymns were sung, but many were 
from modern writers Whittier, Samuel Longfellow, John W. 
Chadwick, Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, Julia Mills Dunn, etc. 
The assisting ministers for the first Sunday were the Reverends 
Phebe A. Hanaford, Ada C. Bowles, Antoinette Brown Black- 
well, Amanda Deyo. The Rev. Anna Howard Shaw gave the 
sermon, a matchless discourse on The Heavenly Vision. 

"Whereupon, O, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the 
heavenly vision." Acts, xxvi:i9. 

In the beauty of his Oriental home the Psalmist caught the 
vision of the events in the midst of which you and I are living 
to-day. And though he wrought the vision into the wonderful 
prophecy of the 68th Psalm, yet so new and strange were the 
thoughts to men, that for thousands of years they failed to catch its 
spirit and understand its power. 

The vision which appeared to David was a world lost in sin. He 
heard its cry for deliverance, he saw its uplifted hands. Every- 
where the eyes of good men were turned toward the skies for help. 
For ages had they striven against the forces of evil ; they had sought 
by every device to turn back the flood-tide of base passion and 
avarice, but to no purpose. It seemed as if all men were engulfed 
in one common ruin. Patient, sphinx-like, sat woman, limited by 
sin, limited by social custom, limited by false theories, limited by 
bigotry and by creeds, listening to the tramp of the weary millions 
as they passed on through the centuries, patiently toiling and wait- 
ing, humbly bearing the pain and weariness which fell to her lot. 

Century after century came forth from the divine life only to pass 
into the great eternity and still she toiled and still she waited. At 
last, in the mute agony of despair, she lifted her eyes above the earth 
to heaven and away from the jarring strifes which surrounded her, 
and that which dawned upon her gaze was so full of wonder that 
her soul burst its prison-house of bondage as she beheld the vision 
of true womanhood. She knew then it was not the purpose of the 
Divine that she should crouch beneath the bonds of custom and 
ignorance. She learned that she was created not from the side of 
man, but rather by the side of man. The world had suffered be- 

Vice-President-at-Large of National-American Woman Suffrage Association. 


cause she had not kept her divinely-appointed place. Then she re- 
membered the words of prophecy, that salvation was to come to the 
race not through the man, but through the descendant of the woman. 
Recognizing her mission at last, she cried out : "Speak now, Lord, 
for thy servant heareth thee." And the answer came : "The Lord 
giveth the Word, and the women that publish the tidings are a great 

To-day the vision is a reality. From every land the voice of 
woman is heard proclaiming the word which is given her, and the 
wondering world, which for a moment stopped its busy wheel of life 
that it might smite and jeer her, has learned at last that wherever 
the intuitions of the human mind are called into special exercise, 
wherever the art of persuasive eloquence is demanded, wherever 
heroic conduct is based upon duty rather than impulse, wherever 
her efforts in opening the sacred doors for the benefit of truth can 
avail in one and all these respects woman greatly excels man. 
Now the wisest and best people everywhere feel that if woman 
enters upon her tasks wielding her own effective armor, if her in- 
spirations are pure and holy, the Spirit Omnipotent, whose influence 
has held sway in all movements and reforms, whose voice has called 
into its service the great workmen of every age, shall, in these last 
days, fall especially upon woman. If she venture to obey, what is 
man that he should attempt to abrogate her sacred and divine mis- 
sion? In the presence of what woman has already accomplished, 
who shall say that a true woman noble in her humility, strong in 
her gentleness, rising above all selfishness, gathering up her varied 
gifts and accomplishments to consecrate them to God and humanity 
who shall say that such an one is not in a position to do that for 
which the world will no longer rank her other than among the first 
in the work of human redemption? Then, influenced by lofty mo- 
tives, stimulated by the wail of humanity and the glory of God, 
woman may go forth and enter into any field of usefulness which 
opens up before her. . . . 

In the Scripture from which the text is taken we recognize a 
universal law which has been the experience of every one of us. 
Paul is. telling the story of a vision he saw, which became the in- 
spiration of his life, the turning point where his whole existence was 
changed, when, in obedience to that vision, he put himself in relation 
with the power to which he belonged, and recognizing in that One 
which appeared to him on his way from Jerusalem to Damascus his 
Divine Master, he also recognized that the purpose of his life could 
be fulfilled only when, in obedience to that Master, he caught and 
assimilated to himself the nature of Him, whose servant he 
was. . . . 

Every reformer the world has ever seen has had a similar experi- 
ence. Every truth which has been taught to humanity has passed 
through a like channel. No one of God's children has ever gone 
forth to the world who has not first had revealed to him his mission, 
in a vision. 



ifestations of power, but it will shrink from you as soon as power 
and greatness are no longer on your side. This is the penalty paid 
by good people who sacrifice themselves for others. They must 
live without sympathy ; their feelings will be misunderstood ; their 
efforts will be uncomprehended. Like Paul, they will be betrayed 
by friends ; like Christ in the agony of Gethsemane, they must bear 
their struggle alone. 

Our reverence for the reformers of the past is posterity's judg- 
ment of them. But to them, what is that now ? They have passed 
into the shadows where neither our voice of praise or of blame dis- 
turbs their repose. 

This is the hardest lesson the reformer has to learn. When, with 
soul aglow with the light of a great truth, she, in obedience to the 
vision, turns to take it to the needy one, instead of finding a world 
ready to rise up and receive her, she finds it wrapped in the swad- 
dling clothes of error, eagerly seeking to win others to its conditions 
of slavery. She longs to make humanity free ; she listens to their 
conflicting creeds, and yearns to save them from the misery they en- 
dure. She knows that there is no form of slavery more bitter or 
arrogant than error, that truth alone can make man free, and she 
longs to bring the heart of the world and the heart of truth to- 
gether, that the truth may exercise its transforming power over the 
life of the world. The greatest test of the reformer's courage comes 
when, with a warm, earnest longing for humanity, she breaks for it 
the bread of truth and the world turns from this life-giving power 
and asks instead of bread a stone. 

It is just here that so many of God's workmen fail, and them- 
selves need to turn back to the vision as it appeared to them, and to 
gather fresh courage and new inspiration for the future. This, my 
sisters, we all must do if we would succeed. The reformer may be 
inconsistent, she may be stern or even impatient, but if the world 
feels that she is in earnest she can not fail. Let the truth which she 
desires to teach first take possession of herself. Every woman who 
to-day goes out into the world with a truth, who has not herself 
become possessed of that truth, had far better stay at home. 

Who would have dreanied, when at that great anti-slavery meet- 
ing in London, some years ago, the arrogance and pride of men ex- 
cluded the women whom God had moved to lift up their voices in 
behalf of the baby that was sold by the pound who would have 
dreamed that that very exclusion would be the keynote of woman's 
freedom? That out of the prejudice of that hour God should be 
able to flash upon the crushed hearts of those excluded the grand 
vision which we see manifested here to-day? That out of a longing 
for the liberty of a portion of the race, God should be able to show to 
women the still larger vision of the freedom of all human kind ? 

Grand as is this vision which meets us here, it is but the dawning 
of a new day ; and as the first beams of morning light give promise 
of the radiance which shall envelop the earth when the sun shall 
have arisen in all its splendor, so there comes to us a prophecy of 
that glorious day when the vision which we are now beholding, 


which is beaming in the soul of one, shall enter the hearts and trans- 
figure the lives of all. 

The formal opening of the Council, Monday morning, March 
25, was thus described: "The vast auditorium, perfect in its 
proportions and arrangements, was richly decorated with the 
flags of all nations and of every State in the Union. The plat- 
form was fragrant with evergreens and flowers, brilliant with 
rich furniture, crowded with distinguished women, while soft 
music with its universal language attuned all hearts to harmony. 
The beautiful portrait of the sainted Lucretia Mott, surrounded 
with smilax and lilies of the valley, seemed to sanctify the whole 
scene and to give a touch of pathos to all the proceedings." 

This great meeting, like so many before and since that time, 
was -opened by Miss Anthony. After the invocation and the 
hymn, she said in part : 

Forty years ago women had no place anywhere except in their 
homes ; no pecuniary independence, no purpose in life save that 
which came through marriage. From a condition, as many of you 
can remember, in which no woman thought of earning her bread by 
any other means than sewing, teaching, cooking or factory work, in 
these later years the way has been opened to every avenue of indus- 
try, to every profession, whereby woman to-day stands almost the 
peer of man in her opportunities for financial independence. What 
is true in the world of work is true in education, is true everywhere. 

Men have granted us, in the civil rights which we have been de- 
manding, everything almost but the pivotal right, the one that under- 
lies all other rights, the one with which citizens of this republic may 
protect themselves the right to vote. 

I have the pleasure of introducing to you this morning the woman 
who not only joined with Lucretia Mott in calling the first conven- 
tion, but who for the greater part of twenty years has been president 
of the National Suffrage Association Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 

The entire audience arose with clapping of hands and waving 
of handkerchiefs to greet this leader, who had come from Eng- 
land to attend the Council. In the course of a long and dignified 
address of welcome, she said : 

Whether our feet are compressed in iron shoes, our faces hidden 
with veils and masks ; whether yoked with cows to draw the plow 
through its furrows, or classed with idiots, lunatics and criminals in 
the laws and constitutions of the State, the principle is the same ; for 
the humiliations of spirit are as real as the visible badges of servi- 
tude. A difference in government, religion, laws and social customs 


makes but little change in the relative status of woman to the self- 
constituted governing classes, so long as subordination in all coun- 
tries is the rule of her being. Through suffering we have learned 
the open sesame to the hearts of each other. With the spirit for- 
ever in bondage, it is the same whether housed in golden cages with 
every want supplied, or wandering in the dreary deserts of life, 
friendless and forsaken. Long ago we of America heard the deep 
yearnings of the souls of women in foreign lands for freedom re- 
sponsive to our own. Mary Wollstonecraft, Madame de Stael, 
Madam Roland, George Sand, Frederica Bremer, Elizabeth Barrett 
Browning, Frances Wright and George Eliot alike have pictured 
the wrongs of woman in poetry and prose. Though divided by vast 
mountain ranges, oceans and plains, yet the psalms of our lives have 
been in the same strain too long, alas, in the minor key for hopes 
deferred have made the bravest hearts sometimes despairing. But 
the same great over-soul has been our faith and inspiration. The 
steps of progress already achieved in many countries should encour- 
age us to tune our harps anew to songs of victory _ 

I think most of us have come to feel that a voice in the laws is 
indispensable to achieve success; that these great moral struggles 
for higher education, temperance, peace, the rights of labor, interna- 
tional arbitration, religious freedom, are all questions to be finally 
adjusted by the action of government and thus, without a direct 
voice in legislation, woman's influence will be entirely lost. 

Experience has fully proved that sympathy as a civil agent is 
vague and powerless until caught and chained in logical propositions 
and coined into law. When every prayer and tear represents a 
ballot, the mothers of the race will no longer weep in vain over the 
miseries of their children. The active interest women are taking in 
all the great questions of the day is in strong contrast with the 
apathy and indifference in which we found them half a century ago, 
and the contrast in their condition between now and then is equally 
marked. Those who inaugurated the movement for woman's en- 
franchisement, who for long years endured the merciless storm of 
ridicule and persecution, mourned over by friends, ostracized in 
social life, scandalized by enemies, denounced by the pulpit, scarified 
and caricatured by the press, may well congratulate themselves on 
the marked change in public sentiment which this magnificent gath- 
ering of educated women from both hemispheres so triumphantly 

We, who like the children of Israel, have been wandering in the 
wilderness of prejudice and ridicule for forty years feel a peculiar 
tenderness for the young women on whose shoulders we are about 
to leave our burdens. Although we have opened a pathway to the 
promised land and cleared up much of the underbrush of false senti- 
ment, logic and rhetoric intertwisted with law and custom, which 
blocked all avenues in starting, yet there are still many obstacles to 
be encountered before the rough journey is ended. The younger 
women are starting with great advantages over us. They have the 
results of our experience ; they have superior opportunities for edu- 


cation ; they will find a more enlightened public sentiment for dis- 
cussion ; they will have more courage to take the rights which belong 
to them. Hence we may look to them for speedy conquests. When 
we think of the vantage-ground woman holds to-day, in spite of all 
the artificial obstacles placed in her way, we are filled with wonder 
as to what the future mothers of the race will be when free to have 
complete development. 

Thus far women have been the mere echoes of men. Our laws 
and constitutions, our creeds and codes, and the customs of social 
life are all of masculine origin. The true woman is as yet a dream 
of the future. A just government, a humane religion, a pure social 
life await her coming 

At the close of this address Miss Anthony presented greetings 
from the Woman's Liberal Association of Bristol, England, 
signed by many distinguished names ; from the Woman Suffrage 
Association of Norway, and from a number of prominent women 
in Dublin.* There were also individual letters from Mrs. Pris- 
cilla Bright McLaren and many other foreigners, f 

Dr. Elizabeth C. 'Sargent and eight other women physicians 
of San Francisco sent cordial good wishes. Congratulations 
were received from many Americans,! and a cablegram from 
Mrs. Harriot Stanton Blatch, of England. 

Miss Anthony then presented the foreign delegates : England, 
Mrs. Laura Ormiston Chant, Mrs. Alice Scatcherd, Mrs. Ashton 
Dilke, Madame Zadel B. Gustafson; Ireland, Mrs. Margaret 
Moore; France, Madame Isabella Bogelot; Finland, Baroness 

* Anna Maria Haslam, Honorable Secretary Woman's Suffrage Association ; Mary 
Edmundson, Honorable Secretary Dublin Prison Gate Mission; Hannah Maria Wigham, 
President Women's Temperance Association, Dublin, and Member of Peace Committee; 
Wilhelmina Webb, Member of Ladies' Sanitary Committee, Women's Suffrage, etc.; 
Rose McDowell, Honorable Secretary Women's Suffrage Committee; Isabella Mulvany, 
Head Mistress Alexandra School, Dublin; Harriet W. Russell, Member of Women's 
Temperance Association; Deborah Webb, late Honorable Secretary Ladies' Dublin Con- 
tagious Diseases Act Repeal Association; Lucy Smithson, Member of the Sanitary Com- 
mittee and Women's Suffrage Association; Emily Webb, Member of Women's Suffrage 
Association; Agnes Mason, Medical Student and Member of the Women's Suffrage 
Committee; Ellen Allen, Member of Women's Temperance and Peace Associations. 

t Among these were Elizabeth Pease Nichol, Eliza Wigham, Edinburgh; Mrs. Jacob 
Bright, Catherine Lucas Thomasson, Margaret E. Parker, Jane Cobden, Margaret Bright 
Lucas, Caroline Ashurst Biggs, Frances Lord, F. Henrietta Muller, England; Isabella M. 
S. Tod, Belfast; Caroline de Barrau, Theodore Stanton, Hubertine Auclert, editor of 
La Citoyenne, Maria Deraismes, Eugenie Potonie, M. Dupuis Vincent, France; Johanna 
Frederika Wecket, Germany; Prince Kropotkin, Russia. 

t John G. Whittier, T. W. Higginson, Oliver Johnson, George W. Julian, Samuel E. 
Sewall, Amelia Bloomer, Dr. James C. Jackson, Theodore D. Weld, Elizabeth Buffam 
Chace, Rev. T. De Witt Talmage, Abigail Scott Duniway, Mrs. Frank Leslie, Dr. Laura 
Ross Wolcott, Charlotte B. Wilbour, Dr. Agnes Kemp, Augusta Cooper Bristol, Dr. Seth 
and Mrs. Hannah Rogers, Dr. Alida C. Avery, Harriet S. Brooks, Sarah Burger Stearns, 
Helen M. Cougar, Caroline B. Buell, Lucy N. Colman. 


Alexandra Gripenberg ; Denmark, Madame Ada M. Frederiksen ; 
Norway, Madame Sophie Magelsson Groth; Italy, Madame 
Fanny Zampini Salazar; India, Pundita Ramabai Sarasvati; 
Canada, Mrs. Bessie Starr Keefer. 

After all had acknowledged the introduction with brief re- 
marks, Miss Anthony presented, amid much applause. Lucy 
Stone, Frances E. Willard, Julia Ward Howe, Isabella Beecher 
Hooker, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Clara Barton the most eminent 
galaxy of women ever assembled upon one platform. Frederick 
Douglass and Robert Purvis were introduced as pioneers in the 
movement for woman suffrage. 

It would be impossible within the limits of one chapter to give 
even the briefest synopsis of the addresses which swept through 
the- week like a grand procession. The program only could con- 
vey an idea of the value of this intellectual entertainment which 
called together, day after day and night after night, audiences 
that taxed the capacity of the largest opera house in Washing- 

On the second Sunday afternoon, Easter Day, the services con- 
sisted of a symposium conducted by sixteen women, of all re- 
ligious faiths and of none. In the evening, when as in the 
morning a vast and interested audience was present, brief fare- 
wells were spoken by a number of the foreign delegates. The 
leading address was by Mrs. Zerelda G. Wallace on the Moral 
Power of the Ballot. Mrs. Stanton closed the meeting with a 
great speech, and the following resolution was adopted : 

It is the unanimous voice of this International Council that all 

* Among those not mentioned above who gave addresses were E. Florence Barker, 
Susan H. Barney, Leonora M. Barry, Isabel C. Barrows, Cora A. Benneson, Ada M. 
Bittenbender, Henry B. Blackwell, Lillie Devereux Blake, Martha McClellan Brown, Dr. 
Mary Weeks Burnett, Helen Campbell, Matilda B. Carse, Ednah D. Cheney, Sarah B. 
Cooper, "Jennie June" Croly, Caroline H. Ball, Abby Morton Diaz, Mary F. Eastman, 
Martha A. Everett, Martha R. Field, Alice Fletcher, J. Ellen Foster, Caroline M. S. 
Frazer, Helen H. Gardiner, Anna Gordon, Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, Frances E. W. 
Harper, Marilla M. Hills, Clara C. Hoffman, Laura C. Holloway, John W. Hutchinson, 
Mary H. Hunt, Laura M. Johns, Mary A. Livermore, Huldah B. Loud, Ella M. S. Marble, 
Marion McBride, Laura McNeir, Prof. Rena A. Michaels, Harriet N. Morris, Amelia Had- 
ley Mohl, Mrs. John P. Newman, Clara Neymann, ex-U. S. Senator S. C. Pomeroy, Anna 
Rice Powell, Amelia S. Quinton, Emily S. Richards, Victoria Richardson, Harriet H. Rob- 
inson, Elizabeth Lisle Saxon, Lita Barney Sayles, Harriette R. Shattuck, Hannah Whitall 
Smith, Elizabeth G. Stuart, Prof. Louisa Reed Stowell, Dr. Sarah Hackett Stevenson, M. 
Louise Thomas, Esther M. Warner, Dr. Caroline B. Winslow, Jennie Fowler Willing, Dr. 
Ruth M. Wood, Anna M. Worden. 

On Pioneers' Evening about forty of the most prominent of the old workers were on 
the platform. 


institutions of learning and of professional instruction, including 
schools of theology, law and medicine, should, in the interests of 
humanity, be as freely opened to women as to men, and that oppor- 
tunities for industrial training should be as generally and as liber- 
ally provided for one sex as for the other. The representatives of 
organized womanhood in this Council will steadily demand that in 
all avocations in which both men and women engage, equal wages 
shall be paid for equal work; and they declare that an enlightened 
society should demand, as the only adequate expression of the high 
civilization, which it is its office to establish and maintain, an iden- 
tical standard of personal purity and morality for men and women. 

During the month of preparation for this International Coun- 
cil, the idea came many times to Mrs. Sewall that it should result 
in a permanent organization. The other members gave a cordial 
assent to this proposition, and the necessary committees were ap- 
pointed. Before the delegates left Washington both a National 
and International Council of Women were formed.* 

Immediately following the Council the National Woman Suf- 
frage Association held its Twentieth annual convention in the 
Church of Our Father, April 3, 4, 1888. As there had been 
eight days of continuous speech-making this meeting was devoted 
principally to the presenting of State reports and transacting of 
necessary business. There were, however, a number of addresses 
from the distinguished women who remained after the Council 
to attend this convention. 

The Committee on National Enrollment, Mrs. Louisa South- 
worth of Ohio, chairman, reported 40,000 names of adult citizens 
who favored equal suffrage ; 9,000 of these were from Ohio and 
9,000 from Nebraska. Women were urged to send petitions to 
members of Congress from their respective States. Mrs. Stan- 
ton was requested to prepare a memorial to be presented to each 
of the national political conventions to be held during the year, 
and committees were appointed to visit each for the purpose, of 
securing in their platforms a recognition of woman suffrage. 

The most interesting feature was the hearing before the Senate 
Committee on Woman Suffrage, which took place April 2.f Mrs. 

* The officers of the National Council were: President, Frances E. Willard, 111.; 
vice-president-at-large, Susan B. Anthony, N. Y.; cor. sec., May Wright Sewall, Ind. ; 
rec. sec., Mary F. Eastman, Mass.; treas., M. Louise Thomas, N. Y. Officers of the 
International Council: President, Millicent Garrett Fawcett, England; vice-president-at- 
large, Clara Barton, United States; cor. sec. Rachel G. Foster, United States; rec. sec., 
Kirstine Frederiksen, Denmark. 

t This committee consisted of Senator Francis M. Cockrell, Mo.; Joseph E. Brown, 


Stanton made the opening address, in which she took up the pro- 
visions of the Federal Constitution, one by one, and showed how 
they had been violated in their application to women, saying : 

Even the preamble of the Constitution is an argument for self- 
government "We, the people." You recognize women as people, 
for you count them in the basis of representation. Half our Con- 
gressmen hold their seats to-day as representatives of women. We 
help to swell the figures by which you are here, and too many of you, 
alas, are only figurative representatives, paying little heed to our 
rights as citizens. 

"No bill of attainder shall be passed." "No title of nobility 
granted." So says the Constitution ; and yet you have passed bills 
of attainder in every State of the Union making sex a disqualifica- 
tion for the franchise. You have granted titles of nobility to every 
male voter, making all men rulers, governors, sovereigns over all 

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a 
republican form of government." And yet you have not a repub- 
lican form of government in a single State. One-half the people 
have never consented to one law under which they live. They have 
rulers placed over them in whom they have no choice. They are 
taxed without representation, tried in our courts by men for the 
violation of laws made by men, with no appeal except to men, and 
for some crimes over which men should have no jurisdiction. . . . 

Landing in New York one week ago, I saw 400 steerage passen- 
gers leave the vessel. Dull-eyed, heavy-visaged, stooping with huge 
burdens and the oppressions endured in the Old World, they stood 
in painful contrast with the group of brilliant women on their way 
to the International Council here in Washington. I thought, as this 
long line passed by, of the speedy transformation the genial influ- 
ences of equality would effect in the appearance of these men, of the 
new dignity they would acquire with a voice in the laws under which 
they live, and I rejoiced for them ; but bitter reflections filled my 
mind when I thought that these men are the future rulers of our 
daughters ; these will interpret the civil and criminal codes by which 
they will be governed ; these will be our future judges and jurors to 
try young girls in our courts, for trial by a jury of her peers has 
never yet been vouchsafed to woman. Here is a right so ancient 
that it is difficult to trace its origin in history, a right so sacred that 
the humblest criminal may choose his juror. But alas for the 
daughters of the people, their judges, advocates, jurors, must be 
men, and for them there is no appeal. But this is only one wrong 
among many inevitable for a disfranchised class. It is impossible 

Ga.; Samuel Pasco, Fla.; Henry W. Blair, N. H.; Thomas W. Palmer, Mich.; Jonathan 
Chace, R. I.; Thomas M. Bowen, Colo. No hearing was held before the Judiciary Com- 
mittee of the House, but on April 24 Mrs. Sallie Clay Bennett of Kentucky obtained 
an audience and made an extended and unanswerable argument from two points of view, 
the Scriptural and the Constitutional. Her address is printed in full in the Woman's 
Tribune of April 28, 1888. 


for you, gentlemen, to appreciate the humiliations women suffer at 
every turn. . . . 

You have now the power to settle this question by wise legislation. 
But if you can not be aroused to its serious consideration, like every 
other step in progress, it will eventually be settled by violence. The 
wild enthusiasm of woman can be used for evil as well as good. 
To-day you have the power to guide and direct it into channels of 
true patriotism, but in the future, with all the elements of discon- 
tent now gathering from foreign countries, you will have the scenes 
of the French Commune repeated in our land. What women, ex- 
asperated with a sense of injustice, have done in dire extremities 
in the nations of the Old World, they will do here 

I will leave it to your imagination to picture to yourselves how 
you would feel if you had had a case in court, a bill before some 
legislative body or a political aspiration for nearly half a century, 
with a continual succession of adverse decisions, while law and 
common justice were wholly on your side. Such, honorable gentle- 
men, is our case 

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 philanthropy 
of the few may have entered into those reforms, but political ex- 
pediency carried both measures. Women, on the contrary, have 
fought their own battles and in their rebellion against existing con- 
ditions have inaugurated 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 in- 

Society is based on this fourfold bondage of woman Church, 
State, Capital and Society 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 ?" 

Miss Anthony then introduced a number of the foreign dele- 
gates who had been in attendance at the National Council. Mrs. 
Laura Ormiston Chant of England, in an eloquent address, said : 

I stand here as the grandniece of one of the greatest orators and 
clearest and wisest statesmen that Europe has known, Edmund 
Burke. It seems to me an almost overwhelming humility that I 
should be compelled to echo the magnificent impeachment that he 
made against Warren Hastings, in our House of Commons, on be- 
half of the oppressed women of Hindostan, in this my passionate 
appeal on behalf of oppressed women all over the world. . . 


By all you have held most sacred and beautiful in the women who 
have loved you and made life possible for you for their sake and 
in their name I do intreat that you will not allow your grandest 
women to plead for another half century. Say rather "the past has 
been a long night of wrong, but the day has come and the hour in 
which justice shall conquer." 

Mrs. Alice Scatcherd, delegate from the Liberal and the Suf- 
frage Associations of Leeds and neighboring cities, gave an in- 
teresting account of the manner in which Englishwomen exercise 
the franchise and the influence they wield in politics. 

Miss Anthony then said, "I have the pleasure of introducing 
to you the woman who, twenty-five years ago, wrote the Battle 
Hymn of the Republic, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe." Mrs. Howe 
spoke briefly, saying: "My heart has been full with the words 
of others which have been here uttered; but a single word will 
enable me to cast in my voice with theirs with all the emphasis 
that my life and such power as I have will enable me to add. 
Gentlemen, what a voice you have here to-day for universal 
suffrage. Think that not only we American women, your own 
kindred, appear here and you. know what we represent but 
these foremost women from other countries, representing not 
alone the native intelligence and character of those countries, but 
deep and careful study and precious experience, and think that 
between them and us who ask for suffrage, there is entire una- 
nimity. We all say the same words; we are all for the same 
thing. ..." 

Mrs. Caroline E. Merrick, wife of the former Chief Justice of 
Louisiana, addressed the committee with that deep and touching 
earnestness so characteristic of Southern women. 

After saying that women were present from every State and 
Territory who would add their pleadings if there were time, Miss 
Anthony introduced Mrs. Bessie Starr Keefer of Canada, who 
told of the good effects of woman suffrage in that country. 
Miss Anthony then said: "Gentlemen of the committee, here 
stands before you one who is commander-in-chief of an army of 
250,000 women. It is said women do not want to vote, but this 
woman has led this vast army to the ballot-box, or to a wish to 
get there. I present to you Miss Frances E. Willard." 

This was the only time Miss Willard ever appeared before a 


Suffrage Committee in the Capitol, and she was heard with much 
interest. Beginning with the playful manner which rendered her 
speeches so attractive, she closed with great seriousness : 

I suppose these honorable gentlemen think that we women want 
the earth, when we only want half of it. We call their attention to 
the fact that our brethren have encroached upon the sphere of 
woman. They have definitely marked out that sphere, and then 
they have proceeded with their incursion by the power of inven- 
tion. They have taken away the loom and the spinning- jenny, and 
they have obliged Jenny to seek her occupation somewhere else. 
They have set even the tune of the old knitting-needle to humming 
by steam. So that we women, full of vigor and desire to be active 
and useful and to react upon the world around us, finding our in- 
dustrial occupations largely gone, have been obliged to seek out a 
new territory and to pre-empt from the sphere of our brothers some 
of that which they have hitherto considered their own. 

I know it is a sentiment of chivalry in some good men which 
hinders them from giving us the ballot. They think we might 
not be what they admire so much ; they think we should be lack- 
ing in womanliness of character. I ask you to notice if the wom- 
en who have been in this International Council, if the women 
who are school teachers all over this nation, if these hundreds of 
thousands are not a womanly set of women, and yet they have gone 
outside of the old sphere. We believe that in the time of peace 
women can come forward and with peaceful plans can use weapons 
which are grand and womanly, and that their thoughts, winged 
with hope and the force of the heart given to them, will have an 
effect far mightier than physical power. For that reason we ask 
you that they shall be allowed to stand at the ballot-box, because 
we believe that there every person expresses his individuality. The 
majesty or the meanness of a person comes out at the ballot-box 
more than anywhere else. The ballot is the compendium of all 
there is in civilization, and of all that civilization has done for us. 
We believe that the mothers who had the good sense to train noble 
men, like you who have achieved high positions, had the good sense 
to train your sisters in the same way, and that it is a pity the State 
has lost that other half of the conservative power which comes from 
a Christian rearing and a Christian character. 

I have spoken thus on the principles which have made me, a con- 
servative woman, devoted to the idea of the ballot, and one in heart 
with all these good and true suffrage women, though not one in or- 
ganic community. I represent before you the Woman's Christian 
Temperance Union and not a suffrage society, but I bring these 
principles to your sight, and I ask you, my brothers, to be grand 
and chivalrous towards us in this new departure which we now 
wish to make. 

I ask you to remember that it is women who have given the cost- 
liest hostages to fortune, and out into the battle of life they have sent 


their best beloved into snares that have been legalized on every 
hand. From the arms which held him long, the boy has gone for- 
ever, for he will not come back again to the home. Then let the 
world in the person of its womanhood go forth and make a home in 
the State and in society. By all the pains and dangers the mother 
has shared, by the hours of patient watching over beds where little 
children tossed in fever and pain, by the incense of ten thousand 
prayers wafted to God from earnest lips, I charge you, gentlemen, 
give woman power to go forth, so that when her son undertakes 
life's treacherous battle, his mother will still walk beside him clad 
in the garments of power. 

Miss Anthony, who knew better than anyone else when not 
another word, was needed, said at the close of Miss Willard's 
touching address : "Now, gentlemen, we are greatly obliged to 
you. I feel very proud of all my 'girls' who have come before 
you this morning, and you may consider the meeting adjourned." 



The Twenty-first annual convention of the National Associa- 
tion met in the Congregational Church at Washington, Jan. 
21-23, 1889, in answer to the official Call: 

Neither among politicians, nor among women themselves, is this 
in any sense a party movement. While the Prohibition party in 
Kansas incorporated woman suffrage in its platform, the Repub- 
licans made it a fact by extending municipal suffrage to the women 
of that State. The Democrats of Connecticut on several occasions 
voted for woman suffrage while Republicans voted against it. In 
the New York Legislature Republicans and Democrats alike have 
advocated and voted for the measure. In Congress the last vote 
in the House stood eighty Republicans for woman suffrage and 
nearly every Democrat against it, while not a single Democrat voted 
in favor of it on the floor of the Senate. Both the Labor and Green- 
back parties have uniformly recognized woman suffrage in their 

platforms Our strength for future action lies in the 

fact that woman suffrage has some advocates in all parties and 
that we, as an association, are pledged to none. 

The denial of the ballot to woman is the great political crime of 
the century, before which tariff, finance, land monopolv, temper- 
ance, labor and all economic questions sink into insignificance ; for 
the right of suffrage involves all questions of person and of property. 

While each party in power has refused to enfranchise woman, 
being skeptical as to her moral influence in government, yet with 
strange inconsistency they alike seek the aid of her voice and pen 
in all important political struggles. While not morally bound to 
obey the laws made without their consent, yet we find women the 
most law-abiding class of citizens in the community. While not 
recognized as a component part of the Government, they are most 
active in all great movements for education, religion, philanthropy 
and reform. 

The magnificent convocation of women from the world over 
held in Washington last March a Council more important than 
any since the Diet of Worms was proof of woman's marvelous 
power of organization and her clear comprehension of the under- 
lying principles of all questions of government. With such evi- 
dence of her keen insight and executive ability, we invite all inter- 



ested in good government to give us the inspiration of their pres- 
ence in the coming convention. 

In the absence of Mrs. Stanton Miss Anthony presided, open- 
ing her address with the sentence, "Here we have stood for the 
last twenty-one years, demanding of Congress to take the neces- 
sary step to secure to the women of this nation protection in the 
exercise of their constitutional right to a voice in the govern- 
ment." She introduced the Hon. Albert G. Riddle (D. C), who 
in 1871 had made an argument before the Joint Judiciary Com- 
mittee in favor of woman's right to vote under the Fourteenth 
Amendment; and later had argued before the Supreme Court 
her right to vote in the District. In the course of his remarks 
he said : "All the changes in favor of woman everything in- 
deed that has been achieved has been in consequence of this 
contest for woman suffrage. Its advocates began it; they trav- 
eled along with it ; and all that has been gained in the statutes of 
the various States and of the United States has been by their 
efforts; whatever has taken a crystallized form of irrepealable 
law is because of this discussion, because of this agitation." 

Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker (Conn.) read the resolution 
demanding a representation of women in the Centennial Celebra- 
tion of the Adoption of the United States Constitution soon to 
be held in New York City. Miss Anthony then introduced 
Senator Henry W. Blair (N. H.), who was received with much 
applause, as the unswerving champion of woman suffrage. In 
an address considering the constitutional phase of the question, 
he said : 

There has been such progress in the formulation of the State and 
the national law that it has become necessary for the Supreme 
Court of the United States to decide that we are not a sovereign 
people, that we have no nation at all, in order to prevent woman 
from exercising the right of suffrage throughout this country. In 
that decision which deprived Mrs. Virginia L. Minor of her right, 
the Supreme Court was driven to the necessity of deciding in ex- 
press terms, "The United States has no voters of its own crea- 
tion." If the United States has no voters, then the old doctrine 
of State sovereignty is the true one and there is no nation. We 
are subservient and subordinate to the power of the States to-day 
by virtue of this decision just exactly as it was claimed we were 
prior to the recent war. We thought the war established the fact 
that we were a nation ; that the controversy which led up to the war 


had been decided in favor of the sovereignty of the nation. Under 
our republican form of government the sovereignty is lodged in 
the masses of the people. If, therefore, it is not in the man who 
votes by virtue of his membership in the association of the peo- 
ple known as the United States, then there is no sovereignty 

As the law now is, in the Federal Constitution there must always 
have been such a voter of the United States, for in the second 
clause of the first article it is provided that there shall be a House 
of Representatives "elected by the people in the States." Where 
that provision is made it says that the electors shall have the quali- 
fications of the electors in the States. But it does not say that they 
shall be the same individuals ; it does not say that they are to act 
in the same capacity. They might vary in different portions of the 
country, in different States ; but nevertheless, in giving to the peo- 
ple of the States the right to specify the qualifications which should 
belong to the electors of the United States, the Constitution did not 
give up the power to create electors itself 

Take the Fifteenth Amendment. There is the first instance in 
the entire Constitution where we find the franchise declared to be a 
"right," and in specific terms alluded to as such. And there it is 
provided that a right already recognized as existing shall not be 
abridged by the United States or by the States a right already 
existing, not established. And by virtue of that amendment and 
the provision that this existing right shall not be denied or abridged 
on account of "race, color or previous condition of servitude," either 
by the United States or by the States, the national existence of the 
voter is established 

I think our great difficulty about this is that women perhaps do 
not, to the extent that they should, place their cause upon the plat- 
form that it is a right; that to uphold that it is not a right is a 
wrong greater than any which has been perpetrated in the past ; 
that freedom to half the human race is a glorious achievement which 
it still remains for mankind to accomplish 

There is no way in which you can do so much for this world as by 
giving liberty to those who are the mothers of the generations past 
and to come ; so that freedom to think, freedom to formulate opin- 
ions, freedom to decide by the majority of the whole of mature 
human nature, shall be the universal boon as far as the human race 

Miss Anthony then read a letter from Mrs. Stanton which 
embodied that spirit of independence possessed by her almost 
beyond all other women : 

I notice that in some of our conventions resolutions of thanks are 

passed to senators, congressmen and legislators for advocating 

some minor privileges which have been conceded to women, such 

as admission to colleges and professions, limited forms of suffrage, 



etc. Now I do not see any occasion for gratitude to these honorable 
gentlemen who, after robbing us of all our fundamental rights as 
citizens, propose to restore a few minor privileges. There is not 
one impulse of gratitude in my soul for any of the fragmentary 
privileges which by slow degrees we have wrung out of our op- 
pressors during the last half century, nor will there be so long as 
woman is robbed of all the essential rights of citizenship. 

If strong appeals could induce the highway robber to return a 
modicum of what he had stolen, it might mitigate the miseries of 
his victim, but surely there would be no reason for gratitude, and 
an expression of thanks to him would be quite as much out of place 
as are complimentary resolutions passed in our conventions to leg- 
islators for their concessions to women. They deserve nothing at 
our hands until they make full restitution of all we possessed in the 
original compact under the colonial constitutions rights over which 
in the nature of things men could have no lawful jurisdiction what- 
ever Woman has the same right to a voice in this 

government that man has, and it is based on the same natural de- 
sire and capacity for self-government and self-protection 

Until woman is recognized as an equal factor in civilization, and 
is possessed of her personal property, civil and political rights, all 
minor privileges and concessions are but so many added aggrava- 
tions, and are insulting mockeries of that justice, liberty and equal- 
ity which are the birthright of every citizen of a republic. "Uni- 
versal suffrage," said Charles Sumner, "is the first proof and only 
basis of a genuine republic." 

Mrs. Stanton referred to the bravery of recent women 
writers in attacking social problems, citing Mrs. Humphrey 
Ward, Margaret Deland, Olive Schreiner, Mona Caird and Helen 
Gardiner. She closed with a tribute to the co-laborers who had 
died during the past year, among them the Rev. James Free- 
man Clarke, Judge Samuel E. Sewall, Dr. Clemence S. Lozier, 
Dr. Mary F. Thomas, Miss Abby W. May and numerous others. 

During the second day's proceedings the Rev. Alexander 
Kent, of the Church of Our Father (Universalist), addressed 

the convention, saying in part : 

^. * . 

It is not uncommon among writers on woman suffrage to find 
the root of the trouble in those notions of the creation and fall set 
forth in the ancient Jewish Scriptures notions which have very 
generally prevailed throughout Christendom until recently, and 
which even yet have a large hold upon many people professing to 
be Christians. In the account of the origin of evil gjven by the 
ancient Hebrew writer, woman is the chief offender, and upon her 
falls the burden of the penalty. In sorrow she is to bring forth her 
children ; her desire is to be to her husband and he is to rule over 


her. Unquestionably this has tended to prolong the reign of brute 
force in Christendom by perpetuating a belief in the rightful head- 
ship of man in the family and State. But it is a great mistake to 
see in this Scripture the root of the evil. It is only the record of a 
theory offered to explain a fact which antedated both the theory 
and the record. We find the fact to-day even where we do not find 
the record the woman ruled by the man in places where there is 
no knowledge whatever of the Hebrew Scriptures. I doubt not 
that among the founders of our Government meaning the people 
generally this doctrine of the rightful headship of man and the 
subordination of woman was sacredly held as a part of the revealed 
word of God, and that as such it operated to keep the women as 
well as the men of that day from perceiving the full significance, 
the comprehensive scope of the principles affirmed by their leaders, 
in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence 

If the ballot in the hands of woman is to do a great work for so- 
ciety, it will be first and foremost because of its wholesome influ- 
ence on herself because it rouses in her more of hope, more of 
laudable ambition, more of earnest purpose, more of self-reliance, 
more independence of the fashions, frivolities and conventionalities 
of society and the dictates of the church 

Praying for the speedy coming of this day, and hoping it may 
work gradually toward a purer and happier social life, and a further 
companionship in thought and feeling, in purpose and effort, be- 
tween men and women, and especially between husbands and wives 
in the life of the home, I express my sympathy with the purpose of 
this convention. 

Mrs. Caroline Hallowell Miller (Md.) took the ground that, 
after fifty years of argument, women now should unite in a con- 
tinuous demand for the rights of citizenship. 

In introducing the Hon. William D. Kelley (Penn.) Miss 
Anthony said that not only in Congress, where he was known 
as the Father of the House, but years ago in his own State Legis- 
lature, he advocated the political equality of women. After 
paying a tribute to his mother, to Mary Wollstonecraft and to 
Frances Wright, he said : "I am here, because I feel that I 
should again declare publicly the justice of the enfranchisement 
of women, which, having cherished through youth and early 
manhood, I asserted in a public address in Independence Hall, 
at high noon on the Fourth of July, 1841, before there was any 
organization for promoting woman's rights politically." He then 
sketched results already achieved and urged women to keep the 
flame burning for the benefits which would come to posterity. 

The Rev. Olympia Brown '(Wis.) spoke on Foreign Rule, 


and after pointing out the glory of a country which offered a 
home to all, and expressing a belief in universal suffrage, she 
continued : 

In Wisconsin we have by the census of 1880 a population of 910,- 
072 native-born, 405,425 foreign-born. Our last vote cast was 
149,463 American, 189,469 foreign; thus you see nearly 1,000,000 
native-born people are out-voted and out-governed by less than 
half their number of foreigners. Is that fair to Americans? Is it 
just to American men? Will they not, under this influence, in a 
little while be driven to the wall and obliged to step down and out ? 
When the members of our Legislatures are the greater part foreign- 
ers, when they sit in the office of mayor and in all the offices of our 
city, and rule us with a rod of iron, it is time that American men 
should inquire if we have any rights that foreigners are bound to 

The last census shows, I think, that there are in the United States 
three, times as many American-born women as the whole foreign 
population, men and women together, so that the votes of women 
will eventually be the only means of overcoming this foreign in- 
fluence and maintaining our free institutions. There is no possible 
safety for our free school, our free church or our republican gov- 
ernment, unless women are given the suffrage and that right speed- 
ily The question in every political caucus, in every 

political convention, is not what great principles shall we announce, 
but what kind of a document can we draw up that will please the 
foreigners? .... 

When we remember that the first foot to touch Plymouth Rock 
was a woman's that in the first settlement of this country women 
endured trials and privations and stood bravely at the post of duty, 
even fighting in the ranks that we might have a republic and that 
in our great Western world women came at an early day to make 
the wilderness blossom as the rose, and rocked their babies' cradles 
in the log cabins when the Indians' war-whoop was heard on the 
prairies and the wolves howled around their doors when we re- 
member that in the last war thousands of women in the Northwest 
bravely took upon themselves the -work of the households and the 
fields that their husbands and sons might fight the battles of lib- 
erty when we recollect all this, and then are told that loyal women, 
pioneer women, the descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers, are not 
even to ask for the right of suffrage lest the Scandinavians should 
be offended, it is time to rise in indignation and ask, Whose country 
is this ? Who made it ? Who have periled their lives for it ? 

Our American women are property holders and pay large taxes ; 
but the foreigner who has lived only one year in the State, and ten 
days in the precinct, who does not own a foot of land, may vote 
away their property in the form of taxes in the most reckless man- 
ner, regardless of their interests and their rights. Women are 
well-educated; they are graduating from our colleges; they are 


reading and thinking" and writing" ; and yet they are the political in- 
feriors of all the riff-raff of Europe that is poured upon our shores. 
It is unbearable. There is no language that can express the enor- 
mous injustice done to women 

We can not separate subjects and say we will vote on temper- 
ance or on school matters, for all these questions are part of gov- 
ernment When women as well as men are voters, the 

church will get some recognition. I marvel that all ministers are 
not in favor of woman suffrage, when I consider that their audi- 
ences are almost entirely composed of women and that the church 
to-day is brought into disrepute because it is made up of disfran- 
chised members. The minister would stand a hundred-fold higher 
than he does now if women had the suffrage. Everybody would 
want to know what the minister was saying to those women voters, 

We are in danger in this country of Catholic domination, not be- 
cause the Catholics are more numerous than we are, -but because 
the Catholic church is represented at the polls and the Protestant 
church is not. The foreigners are Catholic the greater portion of 
them ; the foreigners are men the greater part of them, and mem- 
bers of the Catholic church, and they work for it and vote for it. 
The Protestant church is composed of women. Men for the most 
part do not belong to it ; they do not care much for it except as 
something to interest the women of their household. The conse- 
quence is the Protestant church is comparatively unrepresented at 
the ballot-box 

I urge upon you, women, that you put suffrage first and foremost, 
before every other consideration upon earth. Make it a religious 
duty and work for the enfranchisement of your sex, which means 
the growth and development of noble characters in your children ; 
for you can not educate your children well surrounded by men and 
women who hold false doctrines of society, of politics, of morals. 
Leave minor issues, leave your differences of opinion about the 
Trinity, or the Holy Ghost, or endless misery ; about high license 
and low license; or Dorcas Societies and Chautauqua Circles. Let 
them all go ; they are of no consequence compared with the enfran- 
chisement of women. 

Mrs. Mary Seymour Howell gave a humorous series of Suf- 
frage Pictures in New York, which was greatly relished by the 
audience. Mrs. Laura M. Johns described Municipal Suffrage 
in Kansas in an enthusiastic and interesting manner. The Rev. 
Anna Howard Shaw then delivered her lecture, which has since 
become so famous, The Fate of Republics, tracing the rise 
and fall of the republics of history, which grew because of ma- 
terial prosperity and failed because of moral weakness. All were 
in the hands of men, and women were excluded from any share.* 

* It is a loss to posterity that Miss Shaw never writes her addresses. She is beyond 
question the leading woman orator of this generation, and is not surpassed in power by 
any of the men. 


Mrs. Harriette R. Shattuck gave an account of the recent 
school election in Boston where 19,490 women voted, a much 
higher percentage of those registered than of the men, and thus 
defeated the dangerous attempt which had been made by the 
Church to interfere with the State. Richard W. Blue, State 
Senator of Kansas, was called to the platform by Mrs. Gougar 
as one who had greatly aided its Municipal Suffrage Bill. 

Mrs. May Wright Sewall (Ind.) spoke on Women in the 
Recent Campaign. In the National Prohibition Convention they 
sat as delegates and served on committees. In all parts of the 
country Republican and Democratic women organized clubs and 
marched in processions; but she called attention to the fact that 
these methods are not advocated by the suffrage societies so long 
as women remain disfranchised. Over two hundred clubs 
were formed for political study. All of the parties placed women 
on their platforms to speak in behalf of the candidates. A Cen- 
tral Republican Headquarters was opened in New York and 
put in charge of a national committee of women who sent out 
hundreds of thousands of campaign documents. When election 
day came not one of all these women could put her opinion in 
the ballot-box. 

At the evening session Mrs. Lillie Devereux Blake (N. Y.) 
in her trenchant way discussed Political Methods and pointed 
out the inconsistent and illogical declarations of platforms and 
speakers when applied to women, also the delight afforded to 
men by the tin horns and fireworks. She suggested for Presi- 
dent Harrison's Cabinet, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Secretary of 
State ; Susan B. Anthony, Secretary of War ; May Wright Sew- 
all, Secretary of the Treasury; Zerelda G. Wallace, Secretary 
of the Navy ; Clara Barton, Secretary of the Interior ; Laura de 
Force Gordon, Attorney-General. 

Mrs. Sarah M. Perkins (O.) spoke on The Concentration of 
Forces, showing how prone women are to organize for every 
object except suffrage, and yet the majority of these workers 
would rejoice to have the power which lies in the ballot and 
would be infinitely better equipped for their work. 

Mrs. Mary B. Clay (Ky.) opened the last day's session with 


a forcible address entitled, Are American Women Civil and 
Political Slaves? She proved the affirmative of her question by 
quoting the spoken and written declarations of the greatest states- 
men on the right of individual representation and the exceptions 
made against women, citing Walker, the legal writer: "This 
language applied to males would be the exact definition of polit- 
ical slavery; applied to females, custom does not so regard it." 

Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway (Ore.) described the recent arbi- 
trary and unwarranted disfranchisement of the women of Wash- 
ington Territory. Frederick Douglass was loudly called for and 
in responding expressed his gratitude to women, "who were 
chiefly instrumental in liberating my people from actual chains 
of bondage," and declared his full belief in their right to the 

Mrs. Helen M. Gougar (Ind.) made a strong speech upon 
Partisan or Patriot? In her address on Woman in Marriage 
Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby, editor of the Woman's Tribune, said : 

It is customary to regard marriage as of even more importance 
to woman than to man, since the maternal, social and household 
duties involved in it consume the greater portion of the time and 
thought of a large majority. Love, it is commonly said, is an in- 
cident in a man's life, but makes or mars a woman's whole ex- 
istence. This, however, is one of the many popular delusions 
crystallized into opinion by apt phraseology. To one who believes 
in the divinely intended equality of the sexes it is impossible to con- 
sider that any mutual relation is an incident for the one and the 
total of existence for the other. We may lay it down as a premise 
upon which to base our whole reasoning that all mutual relations of 
the sexes are not only divinely intended to, but actually do bring 
equal joys, pains, pleasures and sacrifices to both. Whatever mis- 
take one has made has acted upon the other, and reacted equally 
upon the first. 

The one great mistake of the ages since woman lost her primal 
independence and supremacy to which is due all the sins and sor- 
rows growing out of the association of the sexes, has been in mak- 
ing woman a passive agent instead of an equal factor in arranging 
the laws, customs and conditions of this mutual state. Whether 
marriage be a purely business partnership for the care and main- 
tenance of children, or whether it be a sacrament to which the 
benediction of the church gives peculiar sanctity and perpetuity and 
makes the parties "no more twain but one flesh," in either case it 
is an absurdity, which we only tolerate because of custom, for men 
alone to make all the regulations and stipulations concerning it. 

This unnatural and strained assumption by one sex of the control 


of everything relating to marriage, and the equally unnatural and 
mischievous passivity on the part of the other, have given birth to 
the meek maiden waiting for her fate, to the typical disconsolate 
and forlorn "superfluous woman," to the two standards of morality 
for the sexes, to the mercenary marriage with all its attendant 
miseries, to the selfish, exacting, querulous wife, to the disappointed 
or tyrannical husband; and of late, with the wider possibilities of 
individual pleasure and satisfaction, to the growing aversion of 
young people to matrimony, and the rush of women to the divorce 
courts for freedom from the galling bonds ; all these and a thou- 
sand variations of each, until the nature of both sexes is so per- 
verted that it is impossible to decide what is nature. 

A letter was read from Mrs. Matilda Joslyn Gage (N. Y.) 
urging women individually to petition Senators and Representa- 
tives for the removal of their political disabilities, because by this 
means these men were compelled to think on the question. 

Mrs. Virginia L. Minor (Mo.) addressed the convention on 
The Law of Federal Suffrage, a legal argument on the right to 
vote conferred by the Constitution. Miss Anthony supplemented 
Mrs. Minor's argument with a history of the Fourteenth Amend- 
ment, in which she said : 

When that Fourteenth Amendment was under discussion when 
it was proposed to put the word "male" into the second section it 
read : "If any State shall disfranchise any of its citizens on ac- 
count of color, all of that class shall be counted out of the basis of 
representation." But there were timid souls on the floor of Con- 
gress at the close of the war, as well as at other periods of our 
history, and to prevent the enfranchisement of women by this 
amendment they moved to make it read : "If any State shall dis- 
franchise any of its male citizens, all of that class shall be counted 
out of the basis of representation." Male citizens! For the first 
time in the history of our Government that discriminating adjective 
was placed in the Constitution, and yet the men on the floor of Con- 
gress, from Charles Sumner down, all declared that this amendment 
would not in any wise change the status of women ! 

We at once asserted our right to vote under this amendment: 
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and sub- 
ject 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." Our first trial was on civil rights, 
when Mrs. Myra Bradwell of Chicago, who had been for some time 
publishing a law journal which every lawyer in the State said he 
could not afford to do without, applied for admission to the bar, 
and these same lawyers denied it. She appealed to the Illinois 
Supreme Court and it confirmed the denial, because she was nojt only 


a woman but a married woman. Then she appealed her case to the 
Supreme Court of the United States, and a majority of this court 
decided that the right to be a lawyer was not especially a citizen's 
right and that therefore the State of Illinois could legally abridge 
the privileges and immunities of its women by denying them admis- 
sion to the bar. 

I shall never forget how our hearts sank when in 1871 that de- 
cision came, declaring the powerlessness of the Federal Constitu- 
tion to protect women in their civil right of being eligible to 
the legal profession. When we said if these rights which it is 
meant to. protect are not civil they must be political rights, we 
thought we had the Supreme Court in a corner. But when my 
trial for voting came on, Justice Hunt said that the right to vote was 
a special right belonging to men alone. We didn't believe that this 
decision could be confirmed, but it was, when Mrs. Minor, who at- 
tempted to vote at the same election in her State of .Missouri, ap- 
pealed her case to the Supreme Court of the United States. It was 
argued by her husband, the ablest of lawyers, and when the 
Judges brought in their decision it was to the effect that the Con- 
stitution of the United States has no voters. Thus it is that we 
have two Supreme Court decisions relative to the powers of the 
Fourteenth Amendment to protect women, and in both cases they 
have been excluded absolutely from its provisions. 

I remember, Mrs. Minor (turning to that lady), how we dis- 
cussed these questions in those early years. We weren't sleepy 
in our talk as we were being cut off inch by inch from the protec- 
tion of the Constitution. I remember how Mrs. Stanton said in a 
public address : "If you continue to deny to women the protection 
of this amendment, you will finally come to the point when it will 
cease to protect even black men," and we have lived to see that day. 

The address on The Coming Sex by Mrs. Eliza Archard Con- 
nor, a well-known journalist of New York, was declared by the 
press to be in its delivery "the gem of the convention." She 
said in part : 

It is my conviction that women are the natural orators of the 
race. They have keener sympathies and quicker intuitions than 
men. They have a gift of language that not even their worst ene- 
mies will deny, and these are just the qualities which go to make 

the orator The time is coming when we shall need all 

our eloquence, all our intellectual power and all our love. The day 
is approaching when men will come with ballots in their hands, beg- 
ging women to use them 

Wherever you go, wake women up, tell them to learn every- 
thing. Tell them to study with all their might history, civil gov- 
ernment, political economy, social and industrial science for the 
time is coming when they will need them all 

This is the work before us. This is the meaning of the desperate 


unrest and unhappiness of women. It is this that has drawn us 
here to enter our protest against the wicked, old, one-legged order 
of things. Our honored Miss Anthony has gone through fire and 
hail while she worked for her convictions. All of us have wrought 
as best we might for the higher education of women, for their pe- 
cuniary independence, for their civil and political rights, fighting 
the world, the flesh and the devil. 

My own work has been in the field of journalism. For nearly 
twenty years I have faced here every form of disability because I 
am a woman, have met defeat after defeat, till the iron has entered 
my soul. Yet every day I have thanked God that I have been per- 
mitted to bear my share in the tremendous struggle for the develop- 
ment of women in the nineteenth century. Struggle means develop- 
ment ; it can come in no other way, and this will be the grandest 
since creation began the crowned, perfected woman. For this 
the cry of womanhood has risen out of the depths through the cen- 
turies. Up through agony and despair it has come, through sin 
and shame, through poverty and martyrdom, through torture which 
has wrung drops of blood from woman's lips, still up, up, till it has 
reached the great white throne itself. 

The enrollment committee reported a list of about one hundred 
thousand names of persons asking for woman suffrage. The 
treasurer announced the receipts for 1888 to be $12,510. All of 
the expenses of the great International Council had been paid and 
a balance of nearly $300 remained. 

The resolutions might be described as an epitomized recital 
of wrongs and a Bill of Rights. 

WHEREAS, Women possessed and exercised the right of suffrage 
in the inauguration of this Government ; and, 

WHEREAS, They were deprived of this right by the arbitrary 
Acts of successive State Legislatures in violation of the original 
compact as seen in the early constitutions ; therefore, 

Resolved, That it is the duty of the several States to make prompt 
restitution of these ancient rights, recognized by innumerable pre- 
cedents in English history, and to-day by the gradual extension of 
the suffrage over vast territories. 

WHEREAS, Woman's title deed to an equal share in the inher- 
itance left her by the fathers of the Republic has been examined and 
proved by able lawyers ; and, 

WHEREAS, This right is already exercised in some form in one 
hundred localities in different parts of the world ; therefore, 

Resolved. That sex is no longer considered a bar to the exercise 
of suffrage by civilized nations. 

Resolved, That it is the duty of Congress to pass a declaratory 
act, compelling the several States to establish a "republican form 
of government" within their borders by securing to women their 


right to vote, thus nullifying the fraudulent Acts of Legislatures 
and making our Government homogeneous from Maine to Oregon. 

Resolved, That the question of enfranchising one-half the people 
is superior to that of Indian treaties, admission of new States, 
tariff, international copyright or any other subject before the coun- 
try, and that it is the foremost duty of the Fiftieth Congress at this, 
its last session, to submit an amendment to the Constitution forbid- 
ding States to disfranchise citizens on account of sex. 

Resolved, That as a question of ethics the difference between put- 
ting a fraudulent ballot in the box and keeping a rightful ballot 
out is nothing, and that we condemn the action which prevents 
women from casting a ballot at any election as a shameful evidence 
of the corruption of dominant political parties in this country. 

WHEREAS, The Legislature of Washington Territory has twice 
voted for woman suffrage women for the most part having gladly 
accepted and exercised the right, Governor Squire in his report to 
the Secretary of the Interior in 1884 having declared that it met 
the approval of a large majority of the people; and, 

WHEREAS, In 1887, after the women had voted for three and a 
half years, the Territorial Supreme Court pronounced the law in- 
valid on the ground that the nature of the bill must be described in 
the title of the act ; and, 

WHEREAS, In January, 1888, another bill passed by the Legisla- 
ture gave to this law an explicit title ; and the bill, again granting 
suffrage to women, was signed by Governor Semple, thus triumph- 
antly showing the approval of the people, the Legislature and the 
Governor; and, 

WHEREAS, The Territorial Supreme Court, in August, 1888, 
again rendered a decision against the right of the women of the 
Territory to vote, basing their decision upon the false assumption 
that Congress had never delegated to the Territories the right to 
define the status of their own'voters ; and, 

WHEREAS, This decision strikes a blow at the fundamental powers 
of the United States Congress, confounding laws delegated to the 
Territories by the Organic Act of 1852, which vests in their Legis- 
latures the power to prescribe their qualifications for voting and 
holding office with State governments which limit legislative en- 
actments by constitutions of their own making thus setting at 
naught the will of the people ; therefore, 

Resolved, That we earnestly and respectfully petition Congress 
that in passing an enabling act or acts for the admission of the other 
Territories there be incorporated a clause allowing women to vote 
for delegates to their constitutional conventions, and at the election 
for the adoption of the constitution, in every one where the Legisla- 
ture has granted woman suffrage and such law has not been re- 
pealed by a subsequent Legislature. 

WHEREAS, In the year 1873 our leader, Susan B. Anthony, was 
deprived of the right of trial by jury, by a Judge of the Supreme 
Court of the United States, simply because she was a woman, it is 
the duty of all women to resent the insult thus offered to woman- 


hood and demand of the men of this closing century of constitu- 
tional government such condemnation of this infamous decision of 
Judge Ward Hunt* as shall teach the coming generation of voters 
that the welfare of the republic demands that women be protected 
equally with men in the exercise of citizenship ; and, 

WHEREAS, In the great Centennial Celebration of 1876 women 
were denied all participation in the public proceedings commemo- 
rating the birth of the Declaration of Independence, though they 
sought earnestly and respectfully to declare their sentiments of 
loyalty to the great principles of liberty and responsibility there 
enunciated, they should now demand official recognition by Con- 
gress and the State Legislature on all the Boards of Commission- 
ers which, at the public expense, are to initiate and carry out the 
august ceremonials of the coming Constitutional Celebration in New 
York in April, 1889, to the end that taxation without representation 
shall no longer be acknowledged a just and constitutional policy in 
this government nominally of the people, therefore, 

Resolved, That a committee be appointed by the National W. S. 
A. to memorialize Congress on this subject, and to take such other 
action as shall bring before the enlightened manhood of our country 
their duty of chivalry no less than justice in this important matter. f 

WHEREAS, The question of woman's enfranchisement is funda- 
mental and of paramount importance ; therefore, 

Resolved, That, while the National Woman Suffrage Association 
welcomes and claims the support of persons of all parties and be- 
liefs, it desires to strongly reassert the position which it has held of 
being nonpartisan. 

A hearing was granted by the Senate Committee on Woman 
Suffrage the morning of January 24. Mrs. Hooker, Mrs. Minor, 
Mrs. Duniway, Mrs. Johns, the Rev. Olympia Brown, the Rev. 
Miss Shaw and Miss Alice Stone Blackwell were introduced to 
the committee by Miss Anthony, and each from a different stand- 
point presented the arguments for the submission of a Sixteenth 
Amendment enfranchising women. 

On February 7, Senator Blair reported for the committee 
Senators Charles B. Farwell (111.), Jonathan Chace (R. I.), 
Edward O. Wolcott (Col.), in favor of the amendment. After 
an able and exhaustive argument the report closed as follows : 

Unless this Government shall be made and preserved truly re- 
publican in form by the enfranchisement of woman, the great re- 
forms which her ballot would accomplish may never be; the de- 
moralization and disintegration now proceeding in the body politic 
are not likely soon to be arrested. Corruption of the male suffrage 

* Sec History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. II, p. 647. 

t This was done, but no representation was allowed women in the celebration. 


^ \J / 

is already a well-nigh fatal disease ; intemperance has no sufficient 
foe in the law-making power; a republican form of government 
can not survive half-slave and half-free. 

The ballot is withheld from women because men are not willing 
to part with one-half the sovereign power. There is no other real 
cause for the continued perpetration of this unnatural tyranny. 

Enfranchise women or this republic will steadily advance to the 
same destruction, the same ignoble and tragic catastrophe, which 
has engulfed the male republics of history. Let us establish a gov- 
ernment in which both men and women shall be free indeed. Then 
shall the republic be perpetual. 

The women of the nation are deeply indebted to Senator Blair 
for his able and persistent efforts in their behalf. Year after 
year, in the midst of the great pressure of duties connected with 
his office, he carefully prepared these constitutional ' and legal 
reports knowing that they could have only the indirect results of 
educating public sentiment and contributing to the history of 
this great movement for the political rights of half the race. 

The other members of the committee, Senators Zebulon B. 
Vance (N. C), Joseph E. Brown (Ga.), J. B. Beck (Ky.), an- 
nounced that they should present a minority report in opposition, 
but as "Letters from a Chimney Corner," by Mrs. Caroline F. 
Corbin, and "The Law of Woman Life," by Mrs. A. D. T. 
Whitney, apparently had been exhausted, and as no other woman 
had provided them with the necessary ideas, the report never 
materialized. Senator Vance, however, as chairman of this Se- 
lect Suffrage Committee asked for a clerk at this time, to be paid 
out of the contingent fund. 

The House Judiciary Committee granted a hearing January 
28, which was addressed by Miss Anthony, Mrs. Hooker, Mrs. 
Duniway, Mrs. Minor, the Rev. Olympia Brown, Mrs. Colby, 
Miss Lavina A. Hatch (Mass.) and Mrs. Ella M. Marble 
(Minn.). The committee took no action. 



The winter of 1890 brought the usual crowd of eminent 
women to Washington to attend the Twenty-second national 
convention of the suffrage association, February 18-21. As the 
president, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was to start for Europe 
on the i Qth, the congressional hearings took place previous to 
the convention and consisted only of her address. The Senate 
hearing on February 8 was held for the first time in the new 
room set apart for the Select Committee on Woman Suffrage, 
but much objection was made because on account of its size only 
a small audience could be admitted. Senators Vance, Fanvell, 
Blair and John B. Allen of the new State of Washington were 
present. Mrs. Stanton said in part : 

For almost a quarter of a century a body of intelligent and law- 
abiding women have held annual conventions in Washington and 
made their appeals before committees of the House and the Senate, 
asking to be recognized as citizens of this Republic. A whole gen- 
eration of distinguished members, who have each in turn given us 
aid and encouragement, have passed away Seward, Sumner, Wil- 
son, Giddings, Wade, Garfield, Morton and Sargent with Hamlin, 
Butler and Julian still living, have all declared our demands just, 
our arguments unanswerable. 

In consulting at an early day as to the form in which our claims 
should be presented, some said by an amendment to the Constitu- 
tion, others said the Constitution as it is, in spirit and letter, is broad 
enough to protect the rights of every citizen under our flag. But 
when the war came and we saw that it took three amendments to 
make the slaves of the South full-fledged citizens, we thought it 
would take at least one to make woman's calling and election sure. 
So we asked for a Sixteenth Amendment. But learned lawyers, 
Judges and Congressmen took the ground that women were already 
enfranchised by the Fourteenth Amendment. The House minority 
report in 1871, signed by Benjamin F. Butler and William Lough- 
ridge, held that view. It is an able, unanswerable argument on the 
whole question, based on the oft-repeated principles of the Repub- 



lican party at that time. It stands to-day a living monument of the 
grossest inconsistencies of which the Republican party ever was 
guilty.* .... 

We can not play fast and loose with the eternal principle of jus- 
tice without being caught sooner or later in the net of our own 
weaving. The legitimate results of the war have been all frittered 
away by political maneuvering. While Northern statesmen have 
made a football of the rights of 12,000,000 women as voters, and by 
Supreme Court decisions driven them from the polls, why arraign 
the men in the South for treating 1,000,000 freedmen in the same 
way? Are the rights of that class of citizens more sacred than 
ours ? Are the violations of the fundamental principles of our Gov- 
ernment in their case more dangerous than in ours ? . . . . 

In addressing those who already enjoy the right of suffrage, one 
naturally would suppose that it would not be necessary to enlarge 
on the advantages of having a voice in deciding the laws and the 
rulers under which one lives. And neither would it if each mem- 
ber of this committee understood that woman's wants and needs 
are similar to his own ; that the cardinal virtues belong to her as 
well as to him ; that personal dignity, the power of self-protection, 
are as important for her as for him ; that woman loves justice, equal- 
ity, liberty, and wishes the right to give her consent to the Govern- 
ment under which she lives, as much as man does. Matthew Ar- 
nold says : "The first desire of every cultured mind is to take part 
in the great work of government." .... 

If we would rouse new respect for womanhood in the hearts 
of the masses, we must place woman in a position to respect her- 
self, which she can never do as long as her political status is be- 
neath that of the most degraded, ignorant classes of men. To make 
women the political equals of their sons, or even of their gardeners 
and coachmen, would add new dignity to their position; and to 
change our laws and constitutions in harmony with the new status 
would have its influence on the large class of young men now devot- 
ing themselves to the study of the law. Lord Brougham said long 
ago that the Common Law of England for women, and all the stat- 
utes based on such .principles, were a disgrace to the Christianity 
and civilization of the nineteenth century. Do you think our sons 
can rise from such studies with a high ideal of womanhood? And 
with what feelings do you suppose women themselves read these 
laws, and the. articles in the State constitutions, rating them with 
the disreputable and feeble-minded classes? Can you not under- 
stand the dignity, the pride, the new-born self-respect which would 
thrill the hearts of the women of this nation in their enfranchise- 
ment? It would elevate their sphere of action and every depart- 
ment of labor in which they are occupied ; it would give new force to 
their words as teachers, reformers and missionaries, new strength 
to their work as guardians of the young, the wayward and the un- 
fortunate. It would transform them from slaves to sovereigns, 

* See History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. II, p. 464. 


crowned with the rights of citizenship, with the ballot, that scepter 
of power, in their own right hands 

If there are any who do not wish to vote, that is the strongest 
reason for their enfranchisement. If all love of liberty has been 
quenched in their souls by their degraded condition, the duties of 
citizenship and the responsibility of self-government should be laid 
upon them at once, for their pitiful indifference is merely the result 
of their disfranchisement. Would that I could awake in the minds 
of my countrywomen the full significance of this demand for the 
right of suffrage; what it is to be queens in their own right, in- 
trusted with the power of self-government, possessed of all the 
privileges and immunities of American citizens 

Whoever heard of an heir apparent to a throne in the Old World 
abdicating her rights because some conservative politician or austere 
bishop doubted woman's capacity to govern? History affords no 
such example. Those who have had the right to a throne have in- 
variably taken possession of it and, against intriguing cardinals, am- 
bitious nobles and jealous kinsmen, fought even to the death to 
maintain the royal prerogatives which by inheritance were theirs. 
When I hear American women, descendants of Jefferson, Hancock 
and Adams, say they do not want to vote, I feel that the blood of 
the revolutionary heroes must long since have ceased to flow in 
their veins. 

Suppose when the day dawned for Victoria to be crowned Queen 
of England she had gone before the House of Commons and begged 
that such terrible responsibilities might not be laid upon her, de- 
claring that she had not the moral stamina nor intellectual ability 
for the position ; that her natural delicacy and refinement shrank 
from the encounter; that she was looking forward to the all-ab- 
sorbing duties of domestic life, to a husband, children, home, to her 
influence in the social circle where the Christian graces are best 
employed. Suppose with a tremulous voice and a few stray tears 
in her blue eyes, her head drooping on one side, she had said she 
knew nothing of the science of government ; that a crown did not 
befit a woman's brow ; that she had not the physical strength even 
to wave her nation's flag, much less to hold the scepter of power 
over so vast an empire ; that in case of war she could not fight and 
hence could not reign, as there must be force behind the throne, 
and this force must be centered in the hand which governed. What 
would her Parliament have thought? What would other nations 
have thought? .... 

None of you would admit, honorable gentlemen, that all the great 
principles of government which center round our theories of justice, 
liberty and equality in favor of individual sovereignty have not as 
yet produced as high a type of womanhood as has a monarchy in 
the Old World. We have a large number of women as well fitted 
as Victoria for the most responsible positions in the Government, 
who could fill the highest places with equal dignity and wisdom. 

There is no subject more intensely interesting to men than the 
science of government, and when their wives are intelligent on all 


the questions it comprises they will be far more valuable companions 
than they are to-day. Marriage means companionship, a similarity 
of tastes and opinions, and where one of the parties has no interest 
in or knowledge of those subjects most absorbing to the other, the 
bonds of union necessarily are weakened. So long as woman's 
thought is centered in personal and family aggrandizement, her 
strongest influence will be used to keep man's interest there also. 
The virtue of patriotism would be far greater among men, their 
devotion to the public good far more earnest, if the influences of 
home life were not continually drawing them into a narrow selfish- 

Women naturally take no interest in questions where their opin- 
ions have no weight, in a sphere of action from which they are ex- 
cluded. They are not supposed to know what is necessary for the 
public good, hence how could they influence their husbands to make 
that their first duty when in public life ? But when women are en- 
franchised their interest in the State will deepen. They will see 
that the welfare of their own children depends as much on the con- 
ditions of the outside world as on the environments of their own 
homes. This settled discontent of women is exerting an insidious in- 
fluence which is undermining the very foundations of the home as 
well as the State. We must rouse them to new hopes, new ambitions, 
new aspirations, through the enjoyment of the blessings of freedom 
and self-government. 

Moreover, an active participation in the practical duties of gov- 
ernment by educated women would bring a new and needed ele- 
ment to the State. We can not overestimate the influence women 
exert, whether for good or ill, hence the immense importance of 
their having right views on all questions of public interest and 
some knowledge of the requirements of practical politics. But 
their power to-day is wholly irresponsible and hence dangerous. 
Lay on them the responsibility of legislating, with all the criti- 
cism and odium of a constituency and a party, in case they make 
some blunder, and you render them wiser in judgment and more 
deliberate in action. To secure this large disfranchised class as 
allies to one of the leading parties would be a wise measure for that 
party and bring a new element of morality and intelligence into the 
body politic. Women are now taking a more active part in public 
affairs than ever before and, with political freedom, always will be 
the reserved moral power to sustain great men in their best en- 

An interesting conversation followed. Chairman Zebulon B. 
Vance (N. C.) asked Mrs. Stanton if women would be willing 
to go to war if they had the ballot. She answered that they 
would decide whether there should be war. He inquired whether 
women would not lose their refining influence and moral quali- 
ties if they engaged in men's work. She replied that there would 


have to be a definition of "men's work" and that she found the 
latter in many avocations, such as washing, cooking, and selling 
needles and tape, which might be considered the work of women. 
"The moral qualities," she said, "are more apt to grow when a 
human being is useful, and they increase in the woman who helps 
to support the family rather than in the one who gives herself 
to idleness and fashionable frivolities. The consideration of 
questions of legislation, finance, free trade, etc., certainly would 
not degrade woman, nor is her refinement so evanescent a virtue 
that it could be swept away by some work which she might do 
with her hands. Queen Victoria looked as dignified and refined 
in opening Parliament as any lady one ever had seen." 

Miss Susan B. Anthony, who was never so happy as when her 
beloved friend was scoring a victory, said there would always 
be a division of labor, in time of war as in time of peace. 
Women would do their share in the hospitals and elsewhere, 
and if they were enfranchised, the only difference would be that 
they would be paid for their services and pensioned at the close 
of the war. Mrs. Colby reminded the committee that the report 
.of the U. S. Commissioner of Labor showed that the largest 
proportion of immoral women came from home life and the more 
feminine occupations. 

Mrs. Stanton drew from the chairman the admission that his 
wife wanted the franchise, and he laughingly admitted that he 
had had the worst of the discussion. Senator Allen expressed 
himself in favor of woman suffrage, and Senator Charles B. 
Farwell said, "The suffragists have logic, argument, everything 
on their side." 

Another heawng was granted by the Senate Committee, Feb- 
ruary 24, when they were addressed by the Rev. Anna Howard 
Shaw, Mrs. Sallie Clay Bennett, Mrs. Virginia L. Minor and 
Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby. 

Later in the session Senator Henry W. Blair (N. H.) pre- 
sented the majority report of the Committee (No. 1576), the 
usual strong, dignified statement. It closed as follows: "To 
deny the submission of this joint resolution to the action of the 
Legislatures of the States is analogous to the denial of the right 
of justice in the courts. It is to say that no plaintiff shall bring 


his suit; no claimant of justice shall be heard; and whatever 
may be the result to the friends of woman suffrage when they 
reach the Legislatures of the States, it is, in our belief, the duty 
of Congress to submit the joint resolution and give them the 
opportunity to try their case." 

Mrs. Stanton presented the same address before the House 
Judiciary Committee, February n, with the result that for the 
first time in history a majority House report in favor of a Six- 
teenth Amendment was submitted. It was presented by Lucien 
B. Caswell (Wis.) and said in conclusion: "The disfranchise- 
ment of twelve millions of people, who are citizens of the United 
States, should command from us an immediate action. Since 
the women of this country are unjustly deprived of a right so 
essential to complete citizenship in a republic as the elective fran- 
chise, common justice requires that we should submit the prop- 
osition for a change in the fundamental law to the State Legisla- 
tures, where the correction can be made."* 

The fiftieth birthday of Susan B. Anthony had been celebrated 
in New York City in 1870 by a large number of prominent men 
and women, the first instance of the kind on record. It had been 
decided by her friends that her seventieth birthday should re- 
ceive a similar recognition, but that it should be more national 
in character. The arrangements were made by Mrs. May Wright 
Sewall and Mrs. Rachel Foster Avery, and on the evening of 
February 15 a distinguished company of two hundred sat around 
the banquet tables in the great dining-room of the Riggs House. 
Miss Anthony occupied the place of honor, on her right Senator 
Blair and Mrs. Stanton, on her left Robert Purvis, Mrs. Isabella 
Beecher Hooker and Mrs. Sewall, who presided. In addition 
to the after-dinner speeches of these distinguished guests there 
were clever and sparkling responses to toasts by the Rev. Anna 
Howard Shaw, Mrs. Matilda Joslyn Gage, Miss Phoebe W. Cou- 
zins. the Rev. Frederick A. Hinckley, Representative J. A. Pickler 
(S. D.), Mrs. Colby, Mrs. Stanton's two daughters Mrs. Har- 
riot Blatch and Mrs. Margaret Lawrence Mrs. Laura Ormiston 

The other members in favor of this report were Ezra B. Taylor, O., Chairman; 

George E. Adams, 111.; James Buchanan, N. J.; Albert C. Thompson, O.; H. C. Mc- 

Cormick, Perm., and Joseph R. Reed, la. The six members from the Southern States 
were opposed. 


Chant of England, and others. Mrs. Stanton began her address 
by saying : "If there is one part of my life which gives me more 
intense satisfaction than another, it is my friendship of more than 
forty years' standing with Susan B. Anthony." The key-note 
to Miss Anthony's touching response was struck in the opening 
sentence : "The thing I most hope for is that, should I stay on 
this planet twenty years longer, I still may be worthy of the won- 
derful respect you have manifested for me to-night." 

Among the more than two hundred letters, poems and tele- 
grams received were those of George William Curtis, William 
Lloyd Garrison, John G. Whittier, George F. Hoar, Lucy Stone, 
Frances E. Willard, Speaker Thomas B. Reed, Mrs. John A. 
Logan, Thomas W. Palmer, the Rev. Olympia Brown, Harriet 
Hosmer, Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, Alice Williams Brotherton, 
Charles Nordhoff, Frank G. Carpenter, U. S. Senator Henry L. 
Dawes, Neal Dow, Laura M. Johns, T. V. Powderly and Leonora 
M. Barry. Most of the prominent newspapers in the country 
contained editorial congratulations, and the Woman's Tribune 
issued a special birthday edition. 

The convention opened in Metzerott's Music Hall, February 
1 8, 1890, continuing four days. The feature of this occasion 
which will distinguish it in history was the formal union of the 
National and the American Associations under the joint name. 
For the past twenty-one years two distinctive societies had been 
in existence, both national as to scope but differing as to meth- 
ods. Negotiations had been in progress for several years toward 
a uniting of the forces and, the preliminaries having been satis- 
factorily arranged by committees from the two bodies,* the 
officers and members of both participated in this national con- 
vention of 1890. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the newly-elected president of 
the united societies, faced a brilliant assemblage of men and 
women as she arose to make the opening address. Having de- 

* National: May Wright Sewall, Chairman; Isabella Beecher Hooker, Harrietts R. 
Shattuck, Olympia Brown, Helen M. Cougar, Laura M. Johns, Clara Bewick Colby, Vir- 
ginia L. Minor, Abigail Scott Duniway, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Mary B. Clay, Mary F. 
Eastman, Clara Neymann, Sarah M. Perkins, Jane H. Spofford, Lillie Devereux Blake, 
Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, Rachel Foster Avery, Secretary. American: Julia Ward 
Howe, Chairman; Wm. Dudley Foulke, Margaret W. Campbell, Anna Howard Shaw, 
Mary F. Thomas, Hannah M. Tracy Cutler, Henry B. Blackwell, Secretary. 


clared that in going to England as president of the National- 
American Association she felt more honored than if sent as min- 
ister plenipotentiary of the United States, she spoke to a set of 
resolutions which she presented to the convention.* After re- 
viewing the history of the movement for the rights of woman 
and naming some of its brilliant leaders she said : 

For fifty years we have been plaintiffs in the courts of justice, 
but as the bench, the bar and the jury are all men, we are non- 
suited every time. Some men tell us we must be patient and per- 
suasive ; that v/e must be womanly. My friends, what is man's 
idea of womanliness? It is to have a manner which pleases him 
quiet, deferential, submissive, approaching him as a subject does a 
master. He wants no self-assertion on our part, no defiance, no 
vehement arraignment of him as a robber and a criminal. While 
the grand motto, "Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God," has 
echoed and re-echoed around the globe, electrifying the lovers of 
liberty in every latitude and making crowned heads tremble on 
their thrones ; while every right achieved by the oppressed has been 
wrung from tyrants by force ; while the darkest page on human 
history is the outrages on women shall men still tell us to be pa- 
tient, persuasive, womanly? 

What do we know as yet of the womanly ? The women we have 
seen thus far have been, with rare exceptions, the mere echoes of 
men. Man has spoken in the State, the Church and the Home, and 
made the codes, creeds and customs which govern every relation in 

* The resolutions declared the constitutional right of women to vote, and continued: 

Resolved, That as the fathers violated the principles of justice in consenting to a three- 
fifths representation, and in recognizing slavery in the Constitution, thereby making a 
civil war inevitable; so our statesmen and Supreme Court Judges by their misinterpreta- 
tion of the Fourteenth Amendment, declaring that the United States has no voters and 
that citizenship does not carry with it the right of suffrage, not only have prolonged 
woman's disfranchisement but have undermined the status of the freedman and opened 
the way for another war of races. 

WHEREAS, It is proposed to have a national law, restricting the right of divorce to a 
narrower basis, and 

WHEREAS, Congress has already made an appropriation for a report on the question, 
which shows that there are 10,000 divorces annually in the United States and the majority 
demanded by women; and 

WHEREAS, Liberal divorce laws for wives are what Canada was for the slaves a door 
of escape from bondage; therefore, 

Resolved, That there should be no farther legislation on this question until woman has 
a voice in the State and National Governments. 

Resolved, That the time has come for woman to demand of the Church the same equal 
recognition she demands of the State; to assume her right and duty to take part in the 
revision of Bibles, prayer-books and creeds; to vote on all questions of business; to fill 
the offices of elder, deacon, Sunday-school superintendent, pastor and bishop; to sit in 
ecclesiastical synods, assemblies and conventions as delegates; that thus our religion may 
no longer reflect only the masculine element of humanity, and tnat woman, the mother 
of the race, may be honored as she must be before we can have a happy home, a rational 
religion and an enduring government. 

They concluded with a demand that the platform of the suffrage association should 
recognize the equal rights of all parties, sects and races. 


life, and women have simply echoed all his thoughts and walked in 
the paths he prescribed. And this they call womanly! When 
Joan of Arc led the French army to victory I dare say the carpet 
knights of England thought her unwomanly. When Florence 
Nightingale, in search of blankets for the soldiers in the Crimean 
War, cut her way through all orders and red tape, commanded with 
vehemence and determination those who guarded the supplies to 
"unlock the doors and not talk to her of proper authorities when 
brave men were shivering in their beds," no doubt she was called 
unwomanly. To me, "unlock the doors" sounds better than any 
words of circumlocution, however sweet and persuasive, and I con- 
sider that she took the most womanly way of accomplishing her 
object. Patience and persuasiveness are beautiful virtues in dealing 
with children and feeble-minded adults, but those who have the gift 
of reason and understand the principles of justice, it is our duty to 
compel to act up to the highest light that is in them, and as prompt- 
ly as possible. 

Mrs. Stanton urged that women should have more power in 
church management, saying: 

As women are taking an active part in pressing on the considera- 
tion of Congress many narrow sectarian measures, such as more 
rigid Sunday laws, the stopping of travel, the distribution of the 
mail on that day, and the introduction of the name of God into the 
Constitution ; and as this action on the part of some women is used 
as an argument for the disfranchisement of all, I hope this conven- 
tion will declare that the Woman Suffrage Association is opposed to 
all union of Church and State, and pledges itself as far as possible 
to maintain the secular nature of our Government. As Sunday is 
the only day that the laboring man can escape from the cities, to 
stop the street-cars, omnibuses and railroad trains would indeed 
be a lamentable exercise of arbitrary authority. No, no, the duty 
of the State is to protect those who do the work of the world, in 
the largest liberty, and instead of shutting them up in their gloomy 
tenement houses on Sunday, to open wide the parks, horticultural 
gardens, museums, libraries, galleries of art and the music halls 
where they can listen to the divine melodies of the great masters. 

She demanded that women declare boldly and decisively on 
all the vital issues of the day, and said : 

In this way we make ourselves mediums through which the great 
souls of the past may speak again. The moment we begin to fear 
the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, 
and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the 
divine floods of light and life flow no longer into our souls. Every 
truth we see is ours to give the world, not to keep for ourselves 
alone, for in so doing we cheat humanity out of their rights and 
check our own development. 


As Mrs. Stanton finished she introduced her daughter, Mrs. 
Blatch, a resident of England, who in a few impressive remarks 
showed that on the great socialistic questions of the day capital 
and labor, woman suffrage, race prejudice England was liberal 
and the United States conservative; that the latter had beautiful 
ideas but did not apply them, and tended too much to the worship 
of legislation. 

The Hon. Wm. Dudley Foulke, retiring president of the 
American Association, an uncompromising advocate of woman's 
enfranchisement, then made a strong and scholarly address in 
the course of which he said : 

The fundamental rights of self-government, the right of each man 
to cast his single vote and have it counted as it is cast, is of greater 
and more lasting importance than any of the temporary conse- 
quences which flow from the result of any election. Beyond all 
matters of expediency and good administration lies the great ques- 
tion of human liberty and equality, which can only be maintained 
by the uncorrupted equal suffrage of every citizen ; and so sacred is 
this in the eyes of the law that years of penitentiary service are pre- 
scribed for the interference with the right of a single human being 
of the male sex to cast the vote which the law allows him. 

But there may be a moral guilt outside the law, of a character 
quite similar to that which is so punished when it comes within the 
terms of the statute, and it may be the crime, not of a single law- 
breaker, but of the entire community that establishes the constitu- 
tions and enacts the statutes, which denies these equal rights to 
citizens who are subject to equal burdens. Wherever the rule of 
power is substituted for the just and equitable principle that all who 
are subject to government should have a voice in controlling it, we 
are guilty under the form of law of the same violation of the just 
rights of others for which the corruptor of elections and the forger 
of tally-sheets is tried, convicted and incarcerated. Yet from the 
remotest times the world has done this thing, for equal rights have 
never been conceded to women, and so warped are our convictions 
by custom and prejudice that a denial of their political equality 
seems as natural as the breath we draw 

Paternalism in government, which seeks to do good to the people 
against their will, is wrong in the Czar of Russia and in old King 
George, but is quite right and just when it affects only our wives, 
sisters and daughters! They have everything they need, why ask 
the ballot? Ah, my friends, so long as they have not the right to 
determine the thing they need, so long as the ultimate sovereignty 
remains with men to say what is good and what is bad for them, they 
are deprived of that which we, as men, esteem the most precious of 
all rights. I suppose there never was a time when men did not be- 
lieve that women had everything they ought to want ; that they had 


as much as was good for them. The woman must obey in consider- 
ation of the kind protection which her lord vouchsafes to her. The 
wife's property ought to belong to the husband, because upon him 
the law casts the burden of sustaining the family. There must be a 
ruler, and the husband ought to be that one. But this is the same 
principle which, during thousands of years, maintained the divine 
right of kings. When we apply it to our system of suffrage the 
number of sovereigns is increased, that is all. It is a recognition of 
the divine right of man to legislate for himself and woman too. It 
is only a difference in the number of autocrats and the manner in 
which their decrees are promulgated 

By what argument can a man defend his own suffrage as a right 
and not concede an equal right to woman? A just man ought to ac- 
cord to ever} r other human being, even his own wife, the rights 
which he demands himself. 

"But she has her sphere and she ought not go beyond it." My 
friend, who gave you the right to determine what that sphere should 
be? If nature prescribes it, nature will carry out her own ordi- 
nances without your prohibitory legislation. I have the greatest 
contempt for the sort of legislation which seeks to enable nature to 
carry out her own immutable laws. I would have very little respect 
for any decree, enacted with whatever solemnity, which should pre- 
scribe that an object shall fall towards the earth and not from it; 
and I have just as little respect for any statute of man which enacts 
that women shall continue to love and care for their children by 
shutting them out from political action and preferment lest they 
should neglect the duties of the household. .... 

"But," say you, "woman is already adequately represented. She 
does not form a separate class. She has no interests different from 
those of her husband, brother or father." These arguments have 
been used even by so eminent an authority as John Bright. Is it 
indeed a fact? Wherever woman owns property which she would 
relieve from unjust taxation; wherever she has a son whom she 
would preserve from the temptations of intemperance, or a daugh- 
ter from the enticements of a libertine, or a husband from the con- 
scriptions of war, she has a separate interest which she is entitled to 

"But she can control legislation by her influence." If it were pro- 
posed to take away our right to vote, we would think it a satisfac- 
tory answer that our influence would still remain? If she has in- 
fluence she is entitled to that and her vote too. You have no right 
to burn down a man's house because you leave him his lot. 

"But woman does not want the suffrage." How do you know? 
have you given her an opportunity of saying so? Wherever the 
right has been accorded it has been generally exercised, and the best 
proof of her wishes is the actual use which she makes of the ballot 
when she has it. But it makes no difference whether all women 
want to vote or whether most women want to vote, so long as there 
is one woman who insists upon this simple right, the justice of 
America can not afford to deny it 


At the close of Mr. Foulke's address Mrs. Stanton was obliged 
to leave in order to reach New York City in time for her steamer. 
The entire audience arose, the women waving handkerchiefs and 
the men joining in three farewell cheers. 

One splendid address followed another, morning and evening, 
while the afternoons were occupied with business meetings, and 
even here there were many little speeches which were worthy of 
preservation. Among them was one of Miss Anthony's, in which 
she said: "If it is necessary, I will fight forty years more 
to make our platform free for the Christian to stand upon, 
whether she be a Catholic and counts her beads, or a Protestant 
of the straightest orthodox sect, just as I have fought for the 
rights of the 'infidels' the last forty years. These are the prin- 
ciples I want to maintain that our platform may be kept as 
broad as the universe, that upon it may stand the representatives 
of all creeds and of no creeds Jew and Christian, Protestant 
and Catholic, Gentile and Mormon, believer and atheist." 

Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker (Conn.) discussed The Centen- 
nial of 1892, demanding the recognition of women. Mrs. Mary 
Seymour Howell (N. Y.) spoke on the Present, the Destiny of 
To-day. Mrs. Ormiston Chant ( Eng. ) depicted the glory of The 
Coming Woman. Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt made her first 
appearance on the national platform with an address on The 
Symbol of Liberty, describing political conditions with a keen 
knowledge of the facts and showing their need of the intelligence, 
morality and independence of women. The subject selected by 
Miss Phoebe W. Couzins, herself an office-holder, was Woman's 
Influence in Official Government. 

Henry B. Blackwell made a strong speech on Woman Suffrage 
a Growth of Civilization. He read a letter from Lucy Stone, his 
wife, who was to have spoken on The Progress of Women but 
was prevented by illness, in which she said: "The time is full 
of encouragement for us. We look back to our small beginnings 
and over the many years of constant endeavor to secure for 
women the application of the principles which are the foundation 
of a representative government. Now we are a host. Both 
Houses of Congress and the legislative bodies in nearly all the 
States, have our questions before them. So has the civilized 


world. Surely at no distant day the sense of justice which ex- 
ists in everybody will secure our claim, and we shall have at last 
a truly representative government, of the people, by the people 
and for the people, We may, therefore, rejoicing in what is al- 
ready gained, look forward with hope to the future." 

A large audience listened to the address of Mrs. Julia Ward 
Howe on The Chivalry of Reform, during which she said : 

The political enfranchisement of woman has long been sought up- 
on the ground of abstract right and justice. This ground is surely 
the soundest and safest basis for any claim to rest upon. But man- 
kind, after yielding a general obedience to the moral law, will re- 
serve for themselves a certain freedom in its application to particu- 
lar things. Even in so imperative a matter as the salvation of their 
own souls they will not be content with weights and measures. The 
touch of sentiment must come in, uplifting what law knocks down, 
freeing what it trammels, satisfying man's love for freedom by min- 
istering to his sense of beauty. When this subtle power joins itself 
to the demonstrations of reason, the victory is sure and lasting. 

It is in the grand order of these ideas that I stand here to advocate 
the enfranchisement of my sex. Morally, socially, intellectually 
equal with men, it is right that we should be politically equal with 
them in a society which claims to recognize and uphold one equal 
humanity. I do not say it is our right. I say it is right God's 
right and the world's. 

In the name of high sentiment then, in the name of all that good 
men profess, I ask that the gracious act may be consummated which 
will admit us to the place that henceforth befits us, that of equal par- 
ticipants with you in the sovereignty of the people. Do this in the 
spirit of that mercy whose quality is not strained. Remember that 
the neglect of justice brings with it the direst retribution. Make 
your debt to us a debt of honor, and pay it in that spirit ; if you do 
not pay it, dread the proportions which its arrears will assume. Re- 
member that he who has the power to do justice and refrains from 
doing it, will presently find it doing itself, to his no small discom- 

Women, trained for the moral warfare of the time, armed with 
the fine instincts which are their birthright, are not doomed to sit 
forever as mere spectators in these great encounters of society. 
They are to deserve the crown as well as to bestow it ; to meet the 
powers of darkness with the powers of light ; to bring their potent 
aid to the eternal conquest of right. And let me say here to those 
women who not only hang back from this encounter but who throw 
obstacles in the way of true reform and progress, that the shallow 
ground upon which they stand is within the belt of the moral earth- 
quake, and that what they build upon it will be overthrown. . . . 

The Rev. Miss Shaw, in an address filled with humor as well 


as logic, treated of Our- Unconscious Allies, among whom she 
included clergymen who oppose equal suffrage, the women 
remonstrants with their weak documents, the colleges which try 
to keep out girls, and the many cases of outrage and wrong com- 
mitted by "our motherless Government." The Rev. Olympia 
Brown replied to the question, Where is the Mistake? With 
great power and earnestness she pointed out the mistakes made 
by our Government during the century of its existence and de- 
manded the correction of the greatest one of all the exclusion 
of women. 

The address of Mrs. Zerelda G. Wallace (Ind.), A Whole 
Humanity, aroused the universal sympathy and appreciation of 
the audience, permeated as it was with the spirit of love, charity 
and justice : 

. . . . The animus of this movement for woman's freedom 
has been mistaken in the idea that it meant competition between 
women and men ; to my thought it simply means co-operation in the 
work of the world. The man is to bring the physical forces, and 
he has done that work magnificently. I never go over this continent 
and see what men have done, that I do not feel like bowing my head 
in reverence to their wisdom, their strength, their power, and I 
think the nearest thing we see to divinity is the incarnation of the 
God-head in a grand good man. 

But there are other forces which must be brought into subjection 
to humanity before we reach the highest development, and those are 
the moral and spiritual forces. That is woman's share largely, not 
that I exempt man, but pre-eminently woman is the teacher of the 
race; in virtue of her motherhood she is the character builder; she 
forms the soul life ; she rears the generations. It is not part of 
woman's work to contend with man for supremacy over the material 
forces. It was never told to woman that she should earn her bread 
by the sweat of her brow. That was man's curse. He was to earn 
his bread and woman's too, if he faithfully performed his duty, and 
we are not "dependents" even if he does that. I never allow a man 
to say in my presence that he "supports" his wife, and I want every 
woman to take the same position. I would correct any man and tell 
him he was mistaken in his phraseology if he should say anything of 
that kind. You have something different to do, my sisters. You 
shall hate evil, was said to woman, and evil shall hate you. There 
shall go forth from you an influence which shall ultimately extermi- 
nate evil The men of this nation would never have 

made the success they have in the material world, if some stronger 
force had limited them on all sides. 

I said a moment ago that I do not like the idea of dependence of 
women on men, or the dependence of men on women. I do not like 


the word independence, but I do like the -word interdependence. It 
is said of this beautiful country, "United we stand, divided we fall." 
It is the same with men and women.' Men without women would 
go back to barbarism, and women without men would be most friv- 
olous and vain. If we work not in competition but in co-operation 
and harmony we shall bring the race to its ultimate inheritance, 
which is rulership over the universe. 

Now to deprive woman of the right to express her thought with 
authority at the ballot-box in regard to the laws under which she is 
governed, puts a mark of imbecility upon her at once. So far as the 
Government is concerned we are held in perpetual tutelage, we are 
minors always, and while good men w r ill act justly towards women, 
it is an excuse for every bad and foolish man to oppress them, and 
every unfledged boy to make them the subject of ridicule 

I believe the great majority of American men love our free insti- 
tutions ; I believe they have hope and pride in the future of this na- 
tion ; but as sure as you live, every argument you use against the en- 
franchisement of women deals a death-blow against the fundamental 
principle which lies at the base of our government, and it is treason 
to bring an argument against it. 

Another thing which you permit is reacting now to the detriment 
of our free institutions ; if from prejudice or expediency you think 
you have a right to withhold the ballot from the women of this na- 
tion, you have but to go one step further and deprive any other class 
of a right they already have, should you think it expedient to do so. 
It is beginning to bear its fruit now in your elections. You are be- 
coming demoralized; ballots are bought and sold; you have your 
blocks of five ; and in some entire communities the men are deprived 
of the right of suffrage. It is simply a question of time how long 
you will be able to maintain the freedom you cherish for yourselves. 

If we women are citizens, if we are governed, if we are a part of 
the people, according to the plain declarations of the fundamental 
principles which underlie this nation, we are as much entitled to vote 
as you, and you can not make an argument against us that would not 
disfranchise yourselves. 

I feel this phase of the question more acutely than any other be- 
cause I think from a fundamental standpoint the progress of the 
race is bound up in republican institutions. It is not a question of 
woman's rights, it is a question of human rights, of the success or 
failure of these institutions, and the more highly cultured a woman 
is the more deeply she feels this humiliation 

I do not think it weakness to say that women love, and that love 
predominates in their nature, because, my friends, love is the only 
immortal principle in the universe. Love is to endure forever. 
Faith will be swallowed up in knowledge after a while, and hope in 
fruition, but love abides forever. It is peculiarly an attribute of our 
feminine nature to love our offspring over everything else ; for them 
we would peril our lives ; and for the men of this nation, under our 
form of government, to say to us that we shall not have the power 
which will enable us through laws and legislation to decide the con- 


ditions which shall surround them, and throw the mother love 
around these children from the cradle to the grave, is an inhuman 
use of their authority 

The Washington Star said : "If the first day of the conven- 
tion was Mrs. Stanton's, the rest have belonged to Miss Anthony, 
'Saint Susan/ as her followers love to call her. As vice-presi- 
dent-at-large she presided over every session, and never was m 
better voice or more enthusiastic spirits. As she sat by the table 
clad in a handsome dress of black satin, she was the life and soul 

of the meetings She does not make much noise with 

her gavel,* nor does she have to use it often, but she manages 
to keep the organization over which she presides in a state of 
order that puts to shame many a convention of the other sex. 
Business is transacted in proper shape, and every important 
measure receives its due share of attention. There is no filibus- 
tering. The speakers who have been invited to address the con- 
vention are listened to with attention and interest. When 
speeches are on the program they are made. When resolutions 
are desired they are presented, discussed, rejected or adopted as 
the case may be. ... There are no attempts to pus'h 
through unsuitable measures in haste and without the necessary 
attention. If any of those who have not attended the meetings 
of the association are of the opinion that serious breaches of 
parliamentary usage are committed through ignorance or with 
intent, they are laboring under a decided delusion." 

The business meeting devoted to a discussion of Our Attitude 
toward Political Parties proved to be the most exciting of the 
series. Among the speakers were Mr. Foulke, Mrs. Sewall, 
Mrs. Howe, Miss Blackwell, Mrs. Blake, the Rev. Mr. Hinckley, 
Mrs. Alice M. A. Pickler, Mrs. Ellen Sully Fray, Mr. Black- 
well, Miss Shaw, Mrs. Martha McClellan Brown, the Rev. Mrs. 
Brown, Mrs. Martha E. Root and Miss Mary Desna. Without 
exception the sentiment was in favor of keeping strictly aloof 
from all political alliances. It was pointed out that repeatedly 
the promises made by politicians were violated and the planks 
in the platforms ignored; it was shown that the suffrage can be 
gained only through the assistance of men in all parties ; and it 

There is no woman in the world who has wielded the gavel at as many conventions as 
has Miss Anthony. 


was proved beyond doubt that in the past, where members had 
allied themselves with a political party it had injured the cause 
of woman suffrage. 

In addition to the speakers already mentioned Wm. Lloyd 
Garrison, Col. D. R. Anthony, Ellen Battelle Dietrick, Laura 
Clay, the Hon. J. A. Pickler, Sallie Clay Bennett, Margaret W. 
Campbell, Laura M. Johns, Frances Ellen Burr, Frances Stuart 
Parker, Dr. Frances Dickinson and others participated in the 
various discussions of the convention. 

A deep interest was felt in the pending woman suffrage amend- 
ment in South Dakota. The subject was presented by Represent- 
ative and Mrs. Pickler, national speakers were appointed to can- 
vass the State and a fund of over $5,000 was eventually raised. 

Tributes of respect were paid to Caroline Ashurst Biggs and 
Margaret Bright Lucas of England, U. S. Senator Elbridge G. 
Lapham, Maria Mitchell, the great astronomer, Prudence Cran- 
dall Philleo, Harriet Winslow Sewall, Amy Post, Wm. D. Kelley, 
M. C, Dinah Mendenhall, Emerine J. Hamilton, Amanda Mc- 
Connell and other friends and supporters of woman suffrage who 
had passed away during the year. 

The vote for officers of the united association, which was 
limited strictly to delegates, stood as follows : For president, Eliz- 
abeth Cady Stanton, 131; Susan B. Anthony, 90; scattering, 2: 
for vice-president-at-large, Susan B. Anthony, 213; scatter- 
ing, 9.* Rachel Foster Avery was elected recording secretary; 
Alice Stone Blackwell, corresponding secretary; Jane H. Spof- 
ford, treasurer; Lucy Stone, chairman of the executive commit- 
tee by unanimous vote ; Eliza T. Ward and the Rev. Frederick A. 
Hinckley, auditors. The Rev. Anna Howard Shaw was ap- 
pointed national lecturer. 

* For account of Miss Anthony's determination not to accept the presidency see her 
Life and Work, p. 631. 



Immediately preceeding the Twenty-third annual suffrage con- 
vention in 1891, the first triennial meeting took place of the Na- 
tional Council of Women, which had been formed in 1888. It 
was held in Albaugh's Opera House, Washington, beginning 
Sunday, February 22, and continuing four days, an -assemblage 
of the most distinguished women of the nation in many lines of 
work. Miss Frances E. Willard presided and the other officers 
contributed to the success of the Council Miss Susan B. An- 
thony, vice-president; Mrs. May Wright Sewall, corresponding 
secretary ; Miss Mary F. Eastman, recording secretary ; Mrs. M. 
Louise Thomas, treasurer. Ten national organizations were 
represented by official delegates and forty sent fraternal dele- 

The Sunday services were conducted entirely by women, the 
Rev. Ida C. Hultin giving the sermon from the text, "For the 
earth bringeth forth fruit of herself ; first the blade, then the ear, 
after that the full corn in the ear." "And I saw a new heaven 
and a new earth." The program of the week included Charities, 
Education, Temperance, Religion, Organized Work, Political 
Status of Women, etc.* On Saturday evening Mrs. Jane H. 
Spofford gave a large reception at the Riggs House to the 
Council and the Suffrage Association. The latter held its ses- 
sions February 26-March i, occupying the same beautifully 
decorated opera house which had been filled for four days by aud- 
iences in attendance at the Council, who kept on coming, scarcely 
knowing the difference. 

The Call for this convention expressed the great joy over the 

* A complete report of the able addresses made by specialists in these subjects was 
prepared by the new corresponding secretary, Mrs. Rachel Foster Avery, and placed by 
Miss Anthony in the large libraries of the country. 



action of Congress during the past year in admitting Wyoming 
as a State with woman suffrage in its constitution : 

The admission of Wyoming into the Union as a State with equal 
rights for women guaranteed in its organic law, not only sets a seal 
of approval upon woman suffrage after a practical experience of 
twenty-one years, but it makes woman a recognized factor in na- 
tional politics. Hereafter the Chief Executive and both Houses of 
Congress will owe their election partly to the votes of women. The 
injustice and absurdity of allowing women in one State to be sov- 
ereign rulers, and across the line in every direction obliging them to 
occupy the position of a subject class, taxed without representation 
and governed without consent and this in a nation which by its 
Constitution guarantees equal rights to all the States and equal pro- 
tection to all their citizens must soon be manifest even to the most 
conservative and prejudiced. We therefore congratulate the friends 
of woman suffrage everywhere that at last there is one spot under 
the American flag where equal justice is done to women. Wyo- 
ming, all hail ; the first true republic the world has ever seen ! 

The program attracted considerable attention from a design 
on the cover showing a woman yoked with an ox to the plow, 
and, looking down upon them a girl in a college cap and gown 
with the inscription, "Above the Senior Wrangler," referring to 
the recent victory at Cambridge University, England, by Philippa 
Fawcett, in outranking the male student who stood highest in 
mathematics. The first session was opened by the singing of 
Mrs. Elizabeth Boynton Harbert's inspiring hymn, The New 
America. After a welcome by Mrs. Ella M. S. Marble, president 
of the District W. S. A., Miss Anthony read the address of Mrs. 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was in England, entitled, The Deg- 
radation of Disfranchisement, which said in part : 

Disfranchisement is the last lingering shadow of the old spirit of 
caste which always has divided humanity into classes of greater or 
less inferiority, some even below certain animals that were consid- 
ered special favorites with Heaven. One can not contemplate these 
revolting distinctions among mankind without amazement and dis- 
gust. This spirit of caste which has darkened the lives of millions 
through the centuries still lives. The discriminations against color 
and sex in the United States are but other forms of this same hate- 
ful spirit, still sustained by our religion as in the past. It is the out- 
growth of the false ideas of favoritism ascribed to Deity in regard to 
races and individuals, but which have their origin in the mind of 
man. Banish the idea of divine authority for these machinations of 
the human mind, and the power of the throne and the church, of a 
royal family and an apostolic order of succession, of kings and 


queens, of popes and bishops, and man's headship in the State, the 
Church, and the Home will be heard of no more forever 

All men of intelligence appreciate the power of holding the ballot 
in their own hands ; of having a voice in the laws under which they 
live ; of enjoying the liberty of self-government. Those who have 
known the satisfaction of wielding political influence would not will- 
ingly accept the degradation of disfranchisement. Yet men can not 
understand why women should feel aggrieved at being deprived of 
this same protection, dignity and power. This is the Gibraltar of 
our difficulties to-day. We can not make men see that women feel 
the humiliation of their petty distinctions of sex precisely as the 
black man feels those of color. It is no palliation of our wrongs to 
say that we are not socially ostracized as he is, so long as we are po- 
litically ostracized as he is not. That all orders of foreigners also 
rank politically above the most intelligent, highly-educated women 
native-born Americans is indeed the most bitter drop in the cup of 
our grief which we are compelled to swallow 

Again, the degradation of woman in the world of work is another 
result of her disfranchisement. Some deny that, and say the labor- 
ing classes of men have the ballot yet they are still helpless victims 
of capitalists. They have the power and hold the weapon of 
defense but have not yet learned how to use it. The bayonet, the 
sword, the gun, are of no value to the soldier until he knows how to 
wield them. Yet without the weapons of defense what could indi- 
viduals and nations do in time of war for their own protection? 
The first step in learning to use a gun or a ballot is to possess 

Man has the prestige of centuries in his favor, with the force to 
maintain it, and he has possession of the throne, which is nine-tenths 
of the law. He has statutes and Scriptures and the universal usages 
of society all on his side. What have women ? The settled dissat- 
isfaction of half the race, the unorganized protests of the few, and 
the open resistance of still fewer. But we have truth and justice 
on our side and the natural love of freedom and, step by step, we 
shall undermine the present, form of civilization and inaugurate the 
mightiest revolution the world has ever witnessed. But its far- 
reaching consequences themselves increase the obstacles in the way 
of success, for the selfish interests of all classes are against us. The 
rulers in the State are not willing to share their power with a class 
over whom as equals they could never obtain absolute control, whose 
votes they could not manipulate to maintain the present conditions 
of injustice and oppression. .... 

Again, the rulers in the church are hostile to liberty for a sex sup- 
posed for wise purposes to have been subordinated to man by divine 
decree. The equality of woman as a factor in religious organiza- 
tions would compel an entire change in church canons, discipline, au- 
thority, and many doctrines of the Christian faith. As a matter of 
self-preservation, the church has no interest in the emancipation of 

woman, as its very existence depends on her blind faith 



Society at large, based on the principle that might makes right, 
has in a measure excluded women from the profitable industries of 
the world, and where she has gained a foothold her labor is at a dis- 
count. Man occupies the ground and holds the key to the situation. 
As employer, he plays the cheap labor of a disfranchised class 
against the employe, thus in a measure undermining his independ- 
ence, making wife and daughter in the world of work the rivals of 
husband and father. 

The family, too, is based on the idea of woman's subordination, 
and man has no interest, as far as he sees, in emancipating her from 
that despotism by which his narrow, selfish interests are maintained 
under the law and religion of the country. 

Here, then, is a fourfold bondage, so many cords tightly twisted 
together, strong for one purpose. To attempt to undo one is to 
loosen all To my mind, if we had at first bravely un- 
twisted all the strands of this fourfold cord which bound us, and de- 
manded equality in the whole round of the circle, while perhaps. \ve 
should have had a harder battle to fight, it would have been more ef- 
fective and far shorter. Let us henceforth meet conservatives on 
their own ground and admit that suffrage for woman does mean 
political, religious, industrial and social freedom a new and a high- 
er civilization 

Woman's happiness and development are of more importance than 
all man's institutions. If constitutions and statute laws stand in 
the way of woman's emancipation, they must be amended to meet 
her wants and needs, of which she is a better judge than man pos- 
sibly can be. If church canons and scriptures do not admit of 
woman's equal recognition in all the sacred offices, then they must 
be revised in harmony with that idea. If the present family life is 
necessarily based on man's headship, then we must build a new do- 
mestic altar, at which the mother shall have equal dignity, honor 
and power ; and we do not propose to wait another century to secure 
all this ; the time has come 

Miss Anthony, with an allusion to pioneer days, then intro- 
duced Lucy Stone, who, amid much applause, said that, while this 
was the first time she had stood beside Susan B. Anthony in a 
Washington suffrage convention, she had stood beside her on 
more than one hard-fought battle-field before many of those pres- 
ent were born. After sketching briefly the progress of the last 
forty years and giving some trying personal experiences, she said 
in conclusion : "The vote will not make a man of a woman, but 
it will enable her to demand and receive many things which are 
hers by right ; to do the things which ought to be done, to prevent 
what ought not to be done. Women and men can help each 
other in making the world better. This is not an anti-man move- 
ment, but an effort toward the highest good of the race. We can 


congratulate ourselves upon what we have gained, but the root 
of the evil still remains the root of disfranchisement. All or- 
ganizations of women should join with us in pulling steadily at 
this deeply-planted and obstinate root." 

Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker (Conn.) read an able paper on 
Woman in Politics and Jurisprudence, in which she showed the 
necessity in politics and in law of a combination of the man's 
and the woman's nature, point of view and distinguishing char- 

The second evening Mrs. Julia Ward Howe gave an address 
on The Possibilities of the American Salon, and the Rev. Anna 
Garlin Spencer considered The Democratic Principle. Mrs. 
Spencer pointed out that the reason why the advance' in the spe- 
cific line of woman suffrage had not been so great as in some other 
directions was because its advocates had to contend with a reaction 
of disbelief in the democratic principle. In expressing her own 
faith in this principle she said : "There are wisdom enough and 
virtue enough in this country to take care of all its ignorance 
and wickedness. The difficulty is that the average American cit- 
izen does not know that he wears a crown. And oh, the pity of 
it, and the shame of it, when some of us women, who do feel the 
importance of the duty of suffrage and who need no man to teach 
us patriotism, wish to help in this work that any man should say 
us nay !" 

Miss Florence Balgarnie, who brought the greetings of a num- 
ber of great English associations,* gave a comprehensive sketch 
of The Status of Women in England. The Rev. Ida C. Hultin 
(Ills.) followed in an eloquent appeal that there should be no 
headship of either man or woman alone, but that both should rep- 
resent humanity ; government is a development of humanity and 
if woman is human she has an equal right in that development. 
Mrs. Ellen Battelle Dietrick (Mass.) showed that the present 
supremacy of men was a reaction from the former undue su- 
premacy of women, and brought out many historical points of 
deep interest. Mrs. Josephine K. Henry spoke on The Ken- 
tucky Constitutional Convention, illustrating the terrible injus- 

* The Central National Society for Women's Suffrage; the Women's Franchise Leagues 
of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bedford, Bridgeport, Leicester, Nottingham and York; the Bristol 
Woman's Temperance Association; the International Arbitration and Peace Society; the 
Woman Councillors' Society; the Women's Federal Association of Great Britain. 


tice of the laws of that State in regard to women and the vain 
efforts of the latter to have them changed. The Rev. Frederick 
A. Hinckley ( R. I. ) lifted the audience to the delectable heights, 
taking as a text, "Husband and Wife are One." After illustrat- 
ing the tendency of all nature and all science toward unity and 
harmony, he said : 

Humanity is the whole. Men alone are half a sphere; women 
alone half a sphere; men and women together the whole of truth, 
the whole of love, the whole of aspiration. We have come to recog- 
nize this thought in nearly all the walks of life. We want to ac- 
knowledge it in the unity of mankind. The central thought we need 
in our creeds and in our lives is that of the solidarity and brother- 
hood of the race. This movement derives its greatest significance 
not because it opens a place here and there for women ; not because 
it enables women to help men ; but because in all the concerns of life 
it places man and woman side by side, hand in hand, shoulder to 
shoulder, putting their best thought, their finest feeling, their high- 
est aspiration, into the work of the world. This reflection gives us 
a lasting and sublime satisfaction amid defeat and derision. What- 
ever of fortune or misfortune befalls the Suffrage Association in the 
carrying on of its work, this belief is the root which is calculated to 
sustain and inspire us that this movement is the next step in the 
progress of the race towards the unification of humanity 

I look forward to the time when men and women, labor and cap- 
ital, all classes and all sections, shall work side by side with one 
great co-operative spirit, the denizens of the world and the keepers 
of human progress. When that time comes we may not have 
reached the millennium but we shall be nearer to it. We shall then 
together establish justice, temperance, purity of life, as never has 
been done before. Earth's aspirations then shall grow to events. 
The indescribable that shall then be done. 

U. S. Senator Joseph M. Carey was introduced by Miss An- 
thony as "the man who on the floor of Congress fought Wyom- 
ing's battle for Statehood." His address on Wyoming, the True 
Republic, was a leading feature of the convention. He said in 

On the tenth day of July last, the State of Wyoming was born 
and the forty-fourth star took its place on the old flag. Never was 
first-born more warmly welcomed, for not only had a commonwealth 
been created, but the principle of equality of citizenship without 
regard to sex had been fully recognized and incorporated as a part 
of the constitution of the new State. 

The adoption of a woman suffrage bill by the first Territorial 
Legislature was graphically described, and after relating the sub- 


sequent efforts for its repeal, and its incorporation finally into 
the State constitution, he told of the struggle in Congress and 

While I would not make invidious distinctions by giving the 
names of those in both branches of Congress who favored Wyom- 
ing's admission, I wish to say that I was agreeably surprised to have 
many of the ablest members, both in public and private, disclose the 
fact that they firmly believed the time would come when women 
would be permitted to exercise full political rights throughout the 
United States. They rejoiced that an opportunity had presented it- 
self by which they could show they had no prejudice or opposition in 
their hearts to women's exercising the rights of citizenship. 

He closed with the following strong argument for the enfran- 
chisement of women : 

Suffrage should be granted to women for two reasons : first, be- 
cause it will help women ; and second, because it will promote the 
interests of the State. Whatever doubt I may have entertained in 
the past concerning either the first or second proposition, has entire- 
ly disappeared. From the experiment made under my own eyes I 
can state in all candor that suffrage has been a real benefit to 
women. It gives them a character and standing which they would 
not otherwise possess. It does not lower a woman to be consulted 
about public affairs, but is calculated to make her more intelligent 
and thoughtful in matters that concern her own household, especial- 
ly in bringing up her sons and daughters. It increases her interest 
in those things which concern the great body of the people. Men in 
office and out of office, particularly those who expect to serve the 
public, are compelled to be more considerate of her wishes, and more 
desirous of doing those things which will secure her approval. The 
greater the number of persons living under a government who are 
interested in the administration of its affairs, its well-being and the 
perpetuity of its institutions, the stronger the government and the 
more difficult it will be to compass its overthrow 

We frequently hear it said that women will not vote if they have 
the opportunity ; or, if permitted to vote, such an inconsiderable 
number will exercise the privilege that it will not be worth while ta 
encumber the electoral system by granting it. In all matters in 
which women have an interest, as large a percentage vote as of the 
other sex. They have the same interest in all which pertains to 
good government. They have exercised the privilege of voting not 
in a careless and indifferent manner but in a way reflecting credit on 
their good sense and judgment. 

I know women who have exercised the fullest political rights for 
a period of more than twenty years. They have taken the deepest 
interest in the political affairs of the Territory and young State. 
Neither in their homes nor in public places have they lost one wo- 


manly quality ; but their minds have broadened and they have be- 
come more influential in the community in which they live. During 
these years I have never heard of any unhappiness brought into the 
home on account of women's exercising their political rights. A 
fair and unbiased test of this question has been made by the people 
of Wyoming, and no unprejudiced man or woman who has seen its 
workings, can now raise a single honest objection. Where women 
have voted, the family relation has not been destroyed, men have 
loved them none the less, the mountains have not been shaken from 
their foundations, nor have social earthquakes or political convul- 
sions taken place 

In order that women shall be more influential citizens of the State 
and better qualified to raise noble men and women to fight the bat- 
tles of life, and to carry out the true purpose of this republic, they 
must possess the full rights of citizenship. 

At the close of his speech the Senator was presented with a 
large basket of roses from the delegates. 

Mrs. Lillie Devereux Blake (N.Y.) spoke on The Right of a 
Citizen to a Trial by a Jury of His Peers, showing that women 
never have possessed this right ; that in many criminal cases, such 
as seduction and infanticide, women could better understand the 
temptations than could men ; that the feminine heart, the maternal 
influence, are needed in the court-room as well as in the home. 
Mrs. Lida A. Meriwether (Tenn.) spoke in a keen, sarcastic 
but humorous manner of The Silent Seven, "the legally mute" 
minors, aliens, paupers, criminals, lunatics, idiots and women. 

The Rev. Anna Howard Shaw took for her subject Women vs. 
Indians, and reviewed the suffrage amendment campaign in 
South Dakota the previous year. In an address brimming and 
bubbling over with wit, satire and pathos, she showed how much 
greater consideration the Indians received from the men of that 
State than did women. She told how 45 per cent, of the votes 
cast the preceding year were for male Indian suffrage and only 
37 per cent, for woman suffrage; how Indians in blankets and 
moccasins were received in the State convention with the greatest 
courtesy, and Susan B. Anthony and other eminent women were 
barely tolerated ; how, while these Indians were engaged in their 
ghost dances, the white women were going up and down the 
State pleading for the rights of citizens ; how the law in that State 
gives not only the property but the children to the husband, in 
the face of all the hardships endured by those pioneer wives and 


mothers. She suggested that the solution of the Indian question 
should be left to a commission of women with Alice Fletcher at 
its head, and said in closing: "Let all of us who love liberty 
solve these problems in justice ; and let us mete out to the Indian, 
to the negro, to the foreigner, and to the woman, the justice 
which we demand for ourselves, the liberty which we love for our- 
selves. Let us recognize in each of them that One above, the 
Father of us all, and that all are brothers, all are one." 

The Moral and Political Emergency was presented by Mrs. 
Emma Smith DeVoe (S. D.). Henry B. Blackwell and Mrs. 
Alice M. A. Pickler described the South Dakota Campaign. Rep- 
resentative J. A. Pickler was introduced by Miss Anthony as the 
candidate who, when told that if he expressed his views on 
woman suffrage he would lose votes, expressed them more freely 
than ever and ran ahead of his ticket ; and his wife as the woman 
who bade her husband to speak even if it lost him the office, and 
who was herself the only Congressman's wife that ever took the 
platform for the enfranchisement of women. 

Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby took for her subject Ibsen's 
drama, A Doll's House, and discussed its ethical problems, clos- 
ing with the sentence: "As long as the fighting qualities of 
woman remain, there is a chance for the nation to make a robust, 
steady progress; but if these die out and woman willingly sur- 
renders herself for the sake of selfish ease to the dominance of 
man, civilization is arrested and true manhood becomes impossi- 
ble." The convention ended with a scholarly address by Wm. 
Lloyd Garrison (Mass.) on The Social Aspect of the Woman 

The present officers were re-elected. Mrs. Lucia E. Blount 
(D. C.), chairman of the committee appointed to push the claim 
of Anna Ella Carroll, reported that a great deal of work had been 
done by Mr. and Mrs. Melvin A. Root of Michigan, Mrs. Colby 
and herself. Every possible effort had been made but the pros- 
pect was that Congress would do nothing for Miss Carroll. Miss 
Frances E. Willard brought an invitation from Mrs. Harrison 
to the National Council of Women and the members of all its 
auxiliary societies to attend a reception at the White House, which 
was accepted by the convention. Mrs. Ellen M. Henrotin pre- 


sented in the name of Mrs. Bertha Honore Palmer an official 
invitation to the association to meet in Chicago during the Colum- 
bian Exposition, promising a hall which would seat five thousand. 

Miss Anthony announced that she had engaged permanent 
headquarters for the association in the Wimodaughsis club build- 
ing, which action was ratified. It was decided to give especial 
attention to suffrage work in the Southern States during the 
year. The wives of the two senators from Wyoming, Mrs. 
Warren and Mrs. Carey, occupied seats on the platform. 

Mrs. Blake reported the work done by the Platform Committee 
in having suffrage resolutions endorsed by a large number of 
Labor Unions. Miss Sara Winthrop Smith had been equally 
successful in Granges and branches of the Knights of Labor. 
Dr. Frances Dickinson, Dr. Lucy Waite, Mrs. Corinne S. Brown 
and Mrs. Colby had visited the National Convention of Locomo- 
tive Engineers and secured the endorsement of a suffrage pe- 
tition. They obtained also the cordial approval of T. V. Pow- 
derly and the Knights of Labor, and of Samuel Gompers and 
the Federation of Labor. The Illinois Trade and Labor Assem- 
bly endorsed their petition. All of these bodies circulated suf- 
frage petitions among their members, as also did the Illinois 
Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association and the Grand Army 
Posts, a number of which were reported as heartily recommend- 
ing the enfranchisement of women. Signatures representing 
millions of voters were thus obtained.* 

In addition to the resolutions adopted by the convention bear- 
ing directly on suffrage, there was a demand for women on 
school boards and as physicians, matrons and managers in all 
public institutions containing women and children; and for a 
revision of the laws on marriage and property. 

On Sunday afternoon a great audience assembled for the clos- 
ing exercises. The sermon was given by the Rev. Caroline J. 
Bartlett from the text, "The night is far spent, the day is at 
hand." It had been said on the preceding Sunday that the ser- 
mon of Miss Hultin could not be equalled. The verdict now was 
that the honors must be evenly divided. 

The funds necessary for this work were furnished by J. W. Hedenberg of Chicago, 
who also made a personal appeal to many of these bodies; but he claimed possession of the 
petitions, and for some reason never permitted them to be presented to Congress. 



The Twenty-fourth annual woman suffrage convention, held 
in the Church of Our Father, Washington, D. C, Jan. 17-21, 
1892, was preceded by the usual services at three o'clock on Sun- 
day afternoon. The text of the sermon, by the Rev. Mila Tup- 
per, was "Think on these things" and it was devoted to a lofty 
consideration of "success through the moral power of ideals." 
Unexpectedly the congressional hearings were set for Monday 
morning, which called to the Capitol both Mrs. Elizabeth Cady 
Stanton and Miss Susan B. Anthony, president and vice-presi- 
dent of the association. The convention was called to order by 
the Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, and Mrs. Caroline McCullough 
Everhard ( O. ) was made chairman pro tern. Twenty-six States 
were represented by seventy-six delegates, the reports showed a 
year of unprecedented activity and there were requests from every 
State for speakers and organizers. The treasurer reported re- 
ceipts for the past year, $3,830. 

The executive sessions throughout the convention were spir- 
ited and interesting. After some discussion it was decided to 
carry the work into the Southern States, and also to appropriate 
money and workers for Kansas, where it was likely that an 
amendment for full suffrage soon would be submitted. It was 
voted to accept the space offered at the Columbian Exposition, 
to furnish and decorate a booth, circulate literature, etc. The 
motion to have the next meeting in Chicago during the Fair re- 
newed the question of holding alternate conventions in some 
other city besides Washington, but the measure was defeated. 

Mrs. Stanton introduced a resolution in favor of keeping the 
World's Fair open on Sunday, which was advocated and opposed 
with great earnestness. The majority of opinion evidently was 
in favor of opening the gates on Sunday but many felt that the 



subject was not germane to the purposes of the association, 
while others were conscientiously opposed to Sunday opening. 
Finally, in the midst of the controversy Mrs. Stanton withdrew 
her resolution, saying that she had offered it largely for the sake 
of discussion. Miss Shaw presented a resolution opposing the 
sale of intoxicating liquor on the Fair Grounds, saying that she 
did so as a matter of conscience and in order that it might go on 
record. It was voted to call an international suffrage meeting 
at Chicago during the Columbian Exposition. Miss Anthony 
urged more systematic organization, special efforts with the 
Legislatures, the securing of a Woman's Day at all Chautauqua 
Assemblies, county fairs, camp meetings, etc. 

At the earnest request of Mrs. Stanton, who had now reached 
the age of seventy-six, she was permitted to retire from the 
presidency, and Miss Anthony, aged seventy-two, was elected in 
her place. The Rev. Anna Howard Shaw was made vice-presi- 
dent-at-large. Lucy Stone, who was now seventy-four, begged to 
be released as chairman of the executive committee, which was 
then abolished, the duties being transferred to the business com- 
mittee consisting of all the officers of the association. Mrs. 
Stanton and Mrs. Stone were made honorary presidents. 

This was Mrs. Stanton's last appearance at a national con- 
vention after an attendance of forty years, but she never failed to 
take an active interest in the proceedings and to send her speech 
to be read by Miss Anthony. This also was the last time Lucy 
Stone appeared upon the national platform, as she died the next 
year, and Miss Anthony alone, of this remarkable trio of women, 
was left to carry forward the great work. 

The addresses of this convention were up to the high standard 
of those which had preceded them during the past years, and no 
organization in existence, of either men or women, can show a 
more brilliant record of oratory. As Mrs. Stanton, Lucy Stone 
and Miss Anthony came on the platform the first evening they 
were enthusiastically applauded. The mental and physical vigor 
of Mrs. Stanton was much commented upon as in a rich and 
resonant voice she read the speech which she had that morning 
delivered before the Judiciary Committee of the House. It was 
entitled The Solitude of Self, and is considered by many to be 
her masterpiece. 


Lucy Stone discussed The Outlook with clear vision. She con- 
trasted the woman of the past, her narrow life, her limited educa- 
tion, her inferior position, with the educated, ambitious, indepen- 
dent woman of to-day, and urged that the latter should be equal 
to her opportunities, lay aside all frivolous things and labor un- 
ceasingly to secure for her sex an absolute equality of civil and 
political rights. 

In the half-humorous address of Mrs. Caroline Hallowell 
Miller ( Md. ) on The Golden Rule, she said : 

I am firmly convinced that our present powerless I may almost 
say ignominious position arises not so much, as many aver, from 
the lukewarmness of our own sex as from the supreme and absolute 
indifference of men. With a few honorable exceptions', men do not 
care one iota whether we vote or not 

Xow if only men would take to betting on this question of woman 
suffrage, if we could open it up as a field of speculation, if we could 
manipulate it by some sort of patent process into stocks or bonds 
and have it introduced into Wall Street, we should very soon find 
ourselves emancipated. I keep on hoping that, by some fortuitous 
chance, fate may eventually execute for us as brilliant a coup d'etat 
as did General Butler for the colored slaves when he made them 
contraband of war, so that we shall just tumble into freedom as they 
did very soon thereafter. Until then let us trust in God, keep our 
powder very dry and our armies well drilled and disciplined. 

In an inspiring address on The True Daughters of the Repub- 
lic, Mme. Clara Neymann (N. Y.) pointed out the splendid 
material progress of our country under the guidance of men, 
and urged that women should be the power to lift it up to an 
equally exalted spiritual plane. The paper of Mrs. Clara Bewick 
Colby (D. C.) on Wyoming, in which as a Territory women 
had voted for twenty years and as a State for two years, pre- 
sented a most convincing array of statistics proving the benefits 
of equal suffrage. Ex-Governor John W. Hoyt of Wyoming 
came to the platform and corroborated these statements, paying 
a fine tribute to the political influence of women. He was fol- 
lowed by Mrs. Lida A. Meriwether (Tenn.), whose reputation 
as a humorist was fully sustained in her clever portrayal of 
Dreams that Go by Contraries. Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt 
(N. Y.) gave a brilliant address on The Mission of a Republic. 

In discussing The Value of Organizations for Women, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Lyle Saxon (La.) said: 


Among the various organizations of women the suffrage society 
must rank first, for its demands have reached out and embraced 
even' reform which comes under the head of right, justice or char- 
ity ; and I am firmly persuaded that if the demand for the ballot, the 
full right of citizenship, had not been made the foundation of all 
other advantages, our organization would have fallen apart and 
drifted into the more conservative and popular lines along which less 
courageous women have successfully worked 

Financial independence has been gained by many women, who, 
proud of their own success, never try to benefit others, and fail to 
comprehend the debt they owe to the brave, unselfish ones who 
first made demands for them and who never ceased their efforts until 
one after another the barriers were removed and opportunities se- 
cured for thousands which they never could have found themselves. 
It was this stanch band of pioneers, defying criticism, scorn and 
hate, who forced open college doors, invaded the law courts and 
stubbornly contested every inch of ground so persistently held by 
fraud or force from the daughters of the great republic 

Organized as women now are, they could pour such an over- 
whelming moral influence into the political life of the country as to 
become its saving grace ; for when women vote they will show good 
men, who have weakly shrunk from political duty, that they have a 
moral and clean constituency to stand with them. 

The platform proceedings of the convention closed with Miss 
Shaw's splendid delineation of The Injustice of Chivalry. 

Every suffrage convention for the last twelve years had been 
preceded by a handsome reception at the Riggs House. This 
well-known and commodious hotel had been the convention head- 
quarters, and it also had been the winter home of Miss Anthony, 
where she remained as a guest of the proprietor, C. W. Spofford, 
and his wife, being thus enabled to do a vast amount of congres- 
sional and political work, such as never has been done since. The 
hotel now had passed into other hands and the Washington Post, 
in speaking of this matter, said: "The delegates feel like lost 
sheep without Mrs. Spofford's hospitality at the Riggs House, 
which has always been headquarters for suffragist and all wom- 
en's conventions. Probably no one but those in the inner circle 
will ever know just how much Mrs. Spofford has done for the ad- 
vancement of women in every direction. Whatever was hers 
was at the disposal of the leaders, and in the absence of so much 
assistance it is appreciated more nearly at its real worth." 

The new club house of Wimodaughsis was opened for a recep- 
tion to the delegates by the District W. S. A., with Miss An- 

Honorary President of National-American Woman Suffrage Association. 


thony, Lucy Stone, Mrs. Stanton, Henry B. Blackwell, and Miss 
Shaw, president of Wimodaughsis, as guests of honor. All made 
clever little speeches toward the close of the evening, which were 
supplemented with remarks by Senator Joseph M. Carey ( Wy. ) , 
Representatives J. A. Pickler (S. D.), Martin N. Johnson (N. 
D. ) and the Rev. Dr. Corey of the Metropolitan church. 

The hearing on January 17 was held for the first time before 
a Judiciary Committee of the House, the majority of which 
was Democratic.* The Washington Star said: "The new- 
members of the committee were apparently surprised at receiv- 
ing such a talk from a woman and there was the most marked 
attention on the part of every one present. Their surprise was 
still greater when they found that Mrs. Stanton was not a phe- 
nomenal exception, but that every woman there could make an 
argument which would do credit to the best of public men." 

The hearing before the Senate Committee on Woman Suffrage 
was held the morning of February 20. Four of the greatest 
women this nation ever produced addressed this committee, ask- 
ing for themselves and their sex a privilege which is freely 
granted without the asking to every man, no matter how hum- 
ble, how ignorant, how unworthy, who is not included within 
the category of the insane, the idiotic, the convicted criminal 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Isabella 
Beecher Hooker. Mrs. Stanton ( N. Y. ) gave her address, The 
Solitude of Self, in place of the old arguments so many times 
repeated, saying in part : 

The point I wish plainly to bring before you on this occasion is 
the individuality of each human soul our Protestant idea, the right 
of individual conscience and judgment our republican idea, indi- 
vidual citizenship. In discussing the rights of woman, we are to 
consider, first, what belongs to her as an individual, in a world of 
her own, the arbiter of her own destiny, an imaginary Robinson 
Crusoe with her woman Friday on a solitary island. Her rights 
under such circumstances are to use all her faculties for her own 
safety and happiness. 

Secondly, if we consider her as a citizen, as a member of a great 

David B. Culberson, Tex.; William C. Gates, Ala.; Thomas R. Stockdale, Miss.; 
Charles J. Boatner, La.; Isaac H. Goodnight, Ky. ; John A. Buchanan, Va. ; William D. 
Bynum, Ind. ; Alfred C. Chapin, N. Y.; Fernando C. Layton, O. ; Simon P. Wolverton, 
Penn. ; Case Broderick, Kan.; James Buchanan, N. J.; George W. Ray, N. Y. ; H. Henry 
Powers, Vt 


nation, she must have the same rights as all other members, accord- 
ing to the fundamental principles of our Government. 

Thirdly, viewed as a woman, an equal factor in civilization, her 
rights and duties are still the same individual happiness and devel- 

Fourthly, it is only the incidental relations of life, such as mother, 
wife, sister, daughter, which may involve some special duties and 
training. In the usual discussion in regard to woman's sphere, such 
men as Herbert Spencer, Frederick Harrison and Grant Allen uni- 
formly subordinate her rights and duties as an individual, as a citi- 
zen, as a woman, to the necessities of these incidental relations, some 
of which a large class of women never assume. In discussing the 
sphere of man we do not decide his rights as an individual, as a citi- 
zen, as a man, by his duties as a father, a husband, a brother or a 
son, some of which he may never undertake. Moreover he would 
be better fitted for these very relations, and whatever special work 
he might choose to do to earn his bread, by the complete develop- 
ment of all his faculties as an individual. Just so with woman. 
The education which will fit her to discharge the duties in the larg- 
est sphere of human usefulness, will best fit her for whatever special 
work she may be compelled to do. 

The isolation of every human soul and the necessity of self-de- 
pendence must give each individual the right to choose his own sur- 
roundings. The strongest reason for giving woman all the oppor- 
tunities for higher education, for the full development of her facul- 
ties, her forces of mind and body ; for giving her the most enlarged 
freedom of thought and action; a complete emancipation from all 
forms of bondage, of custom, dependence, superstition ; from all the 
crippling influences of fear is the solitude and personal responsi- 
bility of her own individual life. The strongest reason why we ask 
for woman a voice in the government under which she lives ; in the 
religion she is asked to believe ; equality in social life, where she is 
the chief factor; a place in the trades and professions, where she 
may earn her bread, is because of her birthright to self-sovereignty ; 
because, as an individual, she must rely on herself 

To throw obstacles in the way of a complete education is like put- 
ting out the eyes ; to deny the rights of property is like cutting off 
the hands. To refuse political equality is to rob the ostracized of all 
self-respect, of credit in the market place, of recompense in the 
world of work, of a voice in choosing those who make and adminis- 
ter the law, a choice in the jury before whom they are tried, and in 
the judge who decides their punishment. Shakespeare's play of 
Titus and Andronicus contains a terrible satire on woman's position 
in the nineteenth century "Rude men seized the king's daughter, 
cut out her tongue, cut off her hands, and then bade her go call for 
water and wash her hands." What a picture of woman's position ! 
Robbed of her natural rights, handicapped by law and custom at 
every turn, yet compelled to fight her own battles, and in the emer- 
gencies of life to fall back on herself for protection 

How the little courtesies of life on the surface of society, deemed 


so important from man towards woman, fade into utter insignifi- 
cance in view of the deeper tragedies in which she must play her part 
alone, where no human aid is possible ! 

Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience 
like individual responsibility. Nothing adds such dignity to char- 
acter as the recognition of one's self-sovereignty ; the right to an 
equal place, everywhere conceded a place earned by personal merit, 
not an artificial attainment by inheritance, wealth, family and posi- 
tion. Conceding then that the responsibilities of life rest equally 
on man and woman, that their destiny is the same, they need the 
same preparation for time and eternity. The talk of sheltering 
woman from the fierce storms of life is the sheerest mockery, for 
they beat on her from every point of the compass, just as they do on 
man, and with more fatal results, for he has been trained to protect 
himself, to resist, to conquer 

In music women speak again the language of Mendelssohn, Bee- 
thoven, Chopin, Schumann, and are worthy interpreters of their 
great thoughts. The poetry and novels of the century are theirs, 
and they have touched the keynote of reform in religion, politics and 
social life. They fill the editor's and professor's chair, plead at the 
bar of justice, walk the wards of the hospital, speak from the pulpit 
and the platform. Such is the type of womanhood that an enlight- 
ened public sentiment welcomes to-day, and such the triumph of the 
fac ts of life over the false theories of the past. 

Is it, then, consistent to hold the developed woman of this day 
within the same narrow political limits as the dame with the spin- 
ning wheel and knitting needle occupied in the past ? No, no ! Ma- 
chinery has taken the labors of woman as well as man on its tireless 
shoulders ; the loom and the spinning wheel are but dreams of the 
past ; the pen, the brush, the easel, the chisel, have taken their places, 
while the hopes and ambitions of women are essentially changed. 

We see reason sufficient in the outer conditions of human beings 
for individual liberty and development, but when we consider the 
self-dependence of every human soul, we see the need of courage, 
judgment and the exercise of every faculty of mind and body, 
strengthened and developed by use, in woman as well as man 

With the earnest persuasiveness for which she had been noted 
nearly half a century, Lucy Stone (Mass.) said: 

I come before this committee with the sense which I always feel, 
that we are handicapped as women in what we try to do for our- 
selves by the single fact that we have no vote. This cheapens us. 
You do not care so much for us as if we had votes, so that we come 
always with that infinite disadvantage. 

But the thing I want to say particularly is that we have our im- 
mortal Declaration of Independence and the various bills of rights 
of the different States (George Washington advised us to recur 
often to first principles), and in these nothing is clearer than the 
basis of the claim that women should have equal rights with men. 
A complete government is a perfectly just government 


What I desire particularly to impress upon this committee is the 
gross and grave injustice of holding thirty millions of women abso- 
lutely helpless under the Government. The laws touch us at every 
point. From the time the girl baby is born until the time the aged 
woman makes her last will and testament, there is not one of her af- 
fairs which the law does not control. It says who shall own the 
property, and what rights the woman shall have; it settles all her 
affairs, whether she shall buy or sell or will or deed 

Persons are elected by men to represent them in Congress and 
the State Legislatures, and here are these millions of women, with 
just the same stake in the Government that men have, with a class 
interest of their own, and with not one solitary word to say or power 
to help settle any of the things which concern them. 

Men know the value of votes and the possession of power, and I 
look at them and wonder how it is possible for them to be willing 
that their own mothers, sisters, wives and daughters should be de- 
barred from the possession of like power. We have been going to 
the Legislature in Massachusetts longer than Mrs. Stanton has been 
coming here. We asked that when a husband and wife make a con- 
tract with each other, as for instance, if the wife loan the husband 
her money, the contract should be considered valid just as it would 
be between any other parties for now in case the husband fails in 
business, she can not get her money and the Legislature very kind- 
ly gave us leave to withdraw. Then we asked that when a man dies 
and the wife is left alone, with the whole burden of life on her 
shoulders, the law might give her more than forty days in which to 
stay in her home without paying rent. But we could not defeat one 
of our legislators, and they cared not a cent for our petition and 
less than a cent for our opinion ; and so when we asked for this 
important measure they gave us leave to withdraw. 

They respect the wants of the voter, but they care nothing about 
the wants of those who do not have votes. So, when we asked for 
protection for wives beaten by their husbands, and that the husband 
should be made to give a portion of his earnings to support the 
minor children, again we had leave to withdraw 

I can think of nothing so helpless and humiliating as the position 
of a disfranchised person. I do not know whether I am treading 
on dangerous toes when I say that, after the late war the Govern- 
ment in power wished to punish Jefferson Davis, and it considered 
that the worst punishment it could inflict upon him was to take away 
his right to vote. Now, the odium which attached to him from his 
disfranchisement is just the same as attaches to women from their 
disfranchisement. The only persons who are not allowed to vote 
in Massachusetts are the lunatics, idiots, felons and people who can 
not read and write. In what a category is this to place women, 
after one hundred years and at the close of this nineteenth century? 
And yet that is history. In Massachusetts we are trying to get a 
small concession the right to vote in the cities and towns in which 
we live in regard to the taxes we have to pay. In 1792, in Newbury- 
port, Mass., it was not thought necessary to give women education. 


At that time there were no schools for girls ; the public money was 
not so used, and when one man said he had five daughters, and paid 
his taxes like other men, and his girls were not allowed to attend 
school, and that they ought to give the girls a chance, another man 
said, "Take the public money and educate shes ? Never !" 

Remember this was one hundred years ago. Some of the fathers 
urged that the girls should be educated in the public schools, and 
so the men God forgive them ! said, "We will let the girls go 
in the morning between 6 and 8 o'clock, before the boys want 
the schoolhouse." Just think of the time those girls would have to 
rise in order, to have a little instruction before the boys got there ! 
This plan did not work well, and the teacher was directed not to 
teach females any longer. Every descendant of those men now feels 
ashamed of them ; and I think that in one hundred years the children 
of the men who are now letting us come here, year after year, plead- 
ing for suffrage, will feel ashamed. Men would rather- lose any- 
thing than their votes ; they would fight for their right of suffrage, 
and if anybody attempted to deprive them of it there would be war 
to the knife and the knife to the hilt. We come here to carry on our 
bloodless warfare, praying that the privilege granted in the founda- 
tion of the Government should be applied to women 

What we look forward to is part of the eternal order. It is not 
possible that thirty millions of women should be held forever as luna- 
tics, fools and criminals. It is not possible, as the years go on, that 
each person should not at least have the right to look after his or 
her own interests. As the home is at its best when the father and 
mother consult together in regard to the family interests, so it is 
with the Government. I do not think a man can see from a man's 
point of view all the things that a woman needs, or a woman from 
her single point of view all the things that a man needs. Now men 
have brought their best, and also brought their worst, into the Gov- 
ernment, and it is all here, but the thing you have not at all is the 
qualities which women possess, the feminine qualities. It has been 
said that women are more economical, peaceful and law-abiding 
than men, and all these qualities are lacking in the Government to- 
day But whether this be so or not, it is right that every 

class should be heard in behalf of its own interest 

Now, gentlemen, I hope you will try to make this case your own. 
It is simple justice and fair play, and it is also a fundamental prin- 
ciple of the Government. Here we are trying to have a complete 
republic, and yet there are twelve millions of disfranchised adults. 
I believe that among the great people and by the people I do not 
mean men, but men and women, the whole people nothing creates 
such disrespect for a fundamental principle as not to apply it. 
The Government was founded upon the principle that those who 
obey the laws should make them, and yet it shuts out a full half. 
As long as this continues to be done, it certainly tends to create 
disrespect for the principle itself. Do you not see it? Why not 
reach out a hand to woman and say, "Come and help us make the 
laws and secure fair play" ? 


At the close of this argument Miss Anthony said : "We have 
with us one not so old in our cause as Mrs. Stone I never call 
myself old because I shall be young until the crack of doom 
and that is Mrs. Hooker, a sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe and 
Henry Ward Beecher. The world has always made special place 
for the family of Beechers." 

Mrs. Hooker (Conn.) spoke very briefly, saying: "You all 
know those old Jewish words in the Decalogue, 'Honor thy father 
and thy mother that thy days may be long in the land that the 
Lord thy God giveth thee.' If we want to help the republic, if 
we want to perpetuate the institutions our fathers brought across 
the water, we must honor the mothers equally with the fathers 
in the Government. To-day the laws compel our sons the mo- 
ment they are twenty-one to come to us and say: 'My mother, 
I owe you much ; sometimes I think all that is good in me has 
come from you, but to-day you will retire and I will rule. I will 
no longer listen to your counsel ; but I will make the laws for you 
and my sisters, and you must obey them. Henceforth I am your 
ruler.' Now, friends, a Government can not last long which 
teaches its sons disrespect to its mothers. It is in line with our 
principles that we recognize the mother element in the Govern- 
ment as well as in the family." 

Miss Anthony closed the hearing with a strong appeal for a 
report from the committee which should recommend Congress 
to submit a Sixteenth Amendment and allow the women of the 
country to carry their case to the State Legislatures. The com- 
mittee seemed much impressed by the arguments, but evidently 
there was no change of opinion.* 

A hearing was granted February 17 by the House Judiciary 
Committee, with delegates present from twenty-six States. Ad- 
dresses were made in part as follows : 

MRS. CHAPMAN CATT: .... You know that in these mod- 
ern years there has been a great deal of talk about natural rights, 
and we have had an innumerable host of philosophers writing books 
to tell us what natural rights are. I believe that to-day both scien- 
tists and philosophers are agreed that they are the right to life, the 
right to liberty, the right to free speech, the right to go where you 
will and when you please, the right to earn your own living and the 

* Zebulon B. Vance, N. C. ; John G. Carlisle, Ky. ; J. Z. George, Miss. ; George F. Hoar, 
Mass.; John B. Allen, Wash.; Matthew S. Quay, Penn. ; Francis E. Warren, Wyo. 


right to do the best you can for yourself. One of the greatest of 
those philosophers and writers, Herbert Spencer, has accorded to 
woman the same natural rights as to man. I believe every thought- 
ful man in the United States to-day concedes that point. 

The ballot has been for man a means of defending these natural 
rights. Even now in some localities of the world those rights are 
still defended by the revolver, as in former days, but in peaceable 
communities the ballot is the weapon by means of which they are 
protected. We find, as women citizens, that when we are wronged, 
when our rights are infringed upon, inasmuch as we have not this 
weapon with which to defend them, they are not considered, and we 
are very many times imposed upon. We find that the true liberty 
of the American people demands that all citizens to whom these 

rights have been accorded should have that weapon 

MRS. LIDA A. MERI WETHER (Tenn.) : "Oh, Caesar, we who are 
about to die salute you !" was the gladiators' cry in the arena, stand- 
ing face to face with death and with the Roman populace. All over 
this fair city, youth and beauty, freshness and joy, stand with wel- 
coming hands, calling you to all pleasures of ear and eye, of soul 
and sense. But here, into the inner sanctuary of your deepest, 
gravest thought, come, year after year, a little band of women over 
whose heads the snows of many winters and of many sorrows have 
sifted. Here "we who are about to die salute you." We do not 
come asking for gifts of profit or preferment for ourselves ; for us 
the day for ban or benison has almost passed. But we ask for 
greater freedom, for better conditions for the children of our love, 
whom we shall so soon leave behind. In the short space allowed 
each petitioner we have not time to ask for much. But in my State 
the grandmothers of seventy are growing" weary of being classed 
with the grandsons of seven. They fail to find a valid reason why 
they should be relegated to perpetual legal and political childhood. 

Years ago, when the bugle call rang out over this unhappy land, 
as the men rallied to the standard of their State, we, the wives and 
mothers, who had no voice in bringing about those cruel conditions, 
were called to give up our brightest and best for cannons' food. 
We furnished the provisions, ministered on the battlefield, nursed in 
the hospital ; we, equally with our brothers, regarded "our lives, our 
fortunes and our sacred honor" only as gifts held in trust to spend 
and be spent for home and State. And to-day when we see the 
wayfaring man, who probably hails from a penal institution of the 
Old World, who honors no home, no country and no political faith, 
freely enjoying the right to say who shall make and who shall en- 
force the laws by which we women are governed, we grow weary of 
being classed as perpetual aliens upon our nation's soil. 

The honest, industrious, bread-winning women of Tennessee do 
not enjoy the knowledge that the pauper of their State is their po- 
litical superior. Four years ago we saw it practically demonstrated 
that when a great moral issue was at stake the male pauper could 
cast his ballot without hindrance from the penal code, but if the 
widow or the single woman, who earned and owned property and 


paid her quota of the tax for his support, should attempt to cast a 
counteracting ballot, her penalty would be fine or imprisonment. 

Year after year we have journeyed to the Mecca of the petitioner 
the legislative halls. There we have asked protection for our 
boys from the temptation of the open saloon ; we have asked that 
around our. baby girls the wall of protection might be raised at least 
a little higher than ten years ; we have asked for reform schools for 
boys, where they should not be thrown in daily contact with old and 
hardened criminals. Year after year we have pleaded for better 
conditions for the children to whom we have given the might of our 
love, the strength and labor of our lives ; but in not one instance has 
that prayer been granted. And at last we have found the reason 
why. A senator in a sister State said to a body of petitioners: 
"Ladies, you won't get your bill, but your defeat will be a paying 
investment if it only teaches you that the politician, little or big, is 
now, always was, and always will be, the drawn image, pocket edition, 
safety valve and speaking-trumpet of the fellow that voted him in." 

Gentlemen, we ask your help to the end that not we, perhaps, but 
the daughters and granddaughters whom we leave behind, may be 
counted with "those that voted him in." 

MRS. JEAN BROOKS GREENLEAF (N. Y.) : Soon after I came to 
Washington to make it my home for two years, one clear, bright 
morning I drove up to this Capitol with a friend. As we ascended 
the hill on the left we warmly expressed our admiration for the 
beautiful structure within whose walls we are now standing, and 
were enthusiastic in our admiration for those who so nobly planned 
that, with the growth of the nation, there could be a commensurate 
outstretching of its legislative halls without loss to the dignity of the 
whole. We drove slowly around the front and commenced the 
descent on the opposite side, when I called to the driver to stop in 
order that we might feast our eyes on the inspiring view which lay 
before us. There rose Washington Monument so simple yet so 
grand, and I recalled the fact that in its composition it fitly repre- 
sented the Union of the States. My heart swelled and my eyes 
overflowed as I thought of the grand idea embodied in this Govern- 
ment, the possibilities of this country's future. The lines of "My 
country, 'tis of thee," rose to my lips, but they died there. 

Whence came my right to speak those words ? True I was born 
here ; true I was taught from my earliest youth to repeat the glorious 
words of Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and other patriots ; but 
when I grew to womanhood I had to learn the bitter lesson that 
these words applied only to men ; that I simply counted as one in the 
population ; that I must submit to be governed by the laws in the 
selection of whose makers I had no choice; that my consent to be 
governed would never be asked ; that for my taxation there would be 
no representation ; that, so far as my right to "life, liberty, and the 
pursuit of happiness" was concerned, others must judge for me; 
that I had no voice for myself ; that I was a woman without a coun- 
try, and only on the plane of political equality with the insane, the 


idiot, the pauper, Indians not taxed, the criminal, and the unnat- 
uralized foreigner. 

Honorable gentlemen, women come here annually to ask that 
these wrongs be righted. To-day we have come again to entreat 
that, as you have extended this building to meet the needs of the 
people, you will extend your thought of the people and make it pos- 
sible that the principle underlying the Government of this country 
may be embodied in a law which will make the daughters of the land 
joint heirs with the sons to all the rights and privileges of an en- 
franchised people. In the name of the women of the State of New 
York, I ask it. 

Miss ALICE STONE BLACKWELL (Mass.) : Except where there 
is some very strong reason to the contrary, it is generally admitted 
that every man has a right to be consulted in regard to his own con- 
cerns. The laws which he has to obey and the taxes he has to pay 
are things that do most intimately concern him, and the only way of 
being directly consulted in regard to them, under our form of gov- 
ernment, is through the ballot. Is there any very good reason why 
women should not be free to be consulted in this direct manner? 
Let us consider a few of the reasons which are generally given 
against this freedom of women, and see whether they are good. 

It is said that women do not need to vote, because they are virtually 
represented by their husbands, fathers and brothers. The first trou- 
ble with this doctrine of virtual representation is that it is not ac- 
cording to numbers. I know a man who had a wife, a widowed 
mother, four unmarried daughters and five unmarried sisters. Ac- 
cording to this theory his vote represented himself and all those 
eleven women. Yet it counted but one, just the same as the vote of 
his next-door bachelor neighbor without a female relative in the 

Then, again, suppose that all the women in one family do not 
think alike. A member of our Massachusetts Legislature had two 
daughters. One was a suffragist, the other was so much opposed 
that she used to burn the Woman's Journal as soon as it came in the 
house. How was that man to represent both his daughters by his 
single vote on the suffrage question? Instead of two daughters 
he might have had three, one a Republican, one a Democrat and the 
other a Prohibitionist. How could he have represented all of them 
by his one vote unless he had voted "early and often ?" 

Again, in order to represent the women of his family a man may 
have to go without representation himself. There was a case of an 
old gentleman in Chicago, a Greenbacker, who had three daughters, 
all of whom were Republicans. When election day approached his 
three daughters said to him that he was the natural representative of 
their family he had always told them so, and they fully agreed 
with him and they pointed out to him how very wrong it would be, 
when that family consisted of three Republicans and only one Green- 
backer, with but one ballot to represent the family, that it should be 
cast for the Greenback candidate. The old gentleman was consci- 
entious and consistent and, although he was a man of strong Green- 


back convictions, he actually voted the Republican ticket in order to 
represent his daughters. It was the nearest he could come to rep- 
resenting them under this theory. But did it give that family any 
accurate or adequate representation? Evidently not. The Green- 
back candidate was entitled to one vote from that family, and he did 
not get it ; and the Republican candidate was entitled to three bal- 
lots, and he got only one. And then, in order to represent his 
daughters, that chivalrous father had to go without any representa- 
tion himself. It is evident that the only fair way to get at public 
sentiment in such a case is for each member of the family to have 
one vote, and thus represent himself or herself. 

Another proof that women are not virtually represented is to be 
found in the laws as they actually exist. These one-sided laws were 
not made because men meant to be unjust or unkind to women, but 
simply because they naturally looked at things mainly from their 
own point of view. It does not indicate any special depravity on the 
part of men. I have no doubt that if women alone had made the 
laws, those laws would be just as one-sided as they are to-day, only 
in the opposite direction. 

It is said that if women are enfranchised, husbands and wives 
will vote just alike, and you will simply double the vote and 
have no change in the result. Then, in the next breath, it is said 
that husbands and wives would vote for opposing candidates, and 
then there would be matrimonial quarrels. If they vote just alike 
there will be no harm done, and this good may be done the women 
will be broadened by a knowledge of public affairs, and husband 
and wife will have a subject of mutual interest in which they can 
sympathize with each other. In cases where husband and wife do- 
not think alike as to who will make the best selectmen, for instance, 
you will admit that is hardly sufficient to cause them to quarrel ; but 
if they should think differently on very many other points, they 
would quarrel anyway, so that politics would not make much differ- 
ence with them. 

Then it is said that women do not want to vote, and in proof it is 
said they do not vote generally for school committeemen where 
allowed to do so. We all know that the size of the vote cast at any 
election is just in proportion to the amount of interest that elec- 
tion calls forth. At a Presidential election nearly all the voters turn 
out ; in an ordinary State election only about half ; at a municipal 
election only a small fraction of the men take the trouble to vote. 
The Troy Press states that at a recent election in Syracuse for a 
board of education, out of about 3,000 qualified voters only 40 voted. 

Then, it is said that this movement is making no progress ; that 
while the movements along other lines are largely succeeding, there 
has been no advance along this line. Twenty-five years ago, with 
insignificant exceptions, women could not vote anywhere. To-day 
they have school suffrage in twenty-three States, full suffrage in 
Wyoming, municipal suffrage in Kansas, and municipal suffrage for 
single women and widows in England, Scotland and most of the 
British provinces. The common sense of the world is slowly but 
surely working toward the enfranchisement of women. 


MRS. ANNIE L. DIGGS (Kan.): You remember the time when 
the theoretical objection was often urged that if the suffrage was 
given to women, men would cease to show them the proper respect. 
For instance, the weighty argument was made that they would not 
raise their hats when they met women on the street, and that they 
would not give up their seats in the cars. But, gentlemen, you 
should just see how they take off their hats to us in Kansas, and 
how every man of them gets up and offers us his seat when we come 
into a street car ! 

It was also urged that if the ballot were put into the hands of 
women it would be detrimental to the interests of the home. There 
is not a man in the State to-day who would venture to go before a 
Kansas audience and urge that objection. There is not a man there 
who would be willing to jeopardize his political, social or business 
interests by casting any kind of obloquy upon the women who have 
exercised the right of the elective franchise for the last -five years. 
This is the result of success. We have Municipal Suffrage. One 
little ounce of fact outweighs whole tons of theory 

THE REV. ANNA HOWARD SHAW (Penn.) : Yesterday I noticed 
in a report of our hearing before the Judiciary Committee of the 
House the headline, "Appeals to Deaf Ears." And I said, "Has it 
come to this, that when earnest and sincere women of this great 
country make an appeal to the heads of the Government it is dubbed 
an 'Appeal to Deaf Ears'?" Time was when the British Govern- 
ment thought our ancestors had not sufficient merit in their cause 
to be heard, and when they made an "appeal to deaf ears." 
But the time came when those ears were unstopped and they heard, 
and what they heard was the cry of victory by a free people. We 
may be appealing to deaf ears to-day, but the time is coming when it 
will not be so. Men will hear and, hearing, they will answer, be- 
cause ultimately men desire the right. If I were asked what I 
conscientiously believe the real condition of the hearts of most men 
to be, I should say they are positively ignorant in regard to the 
justice of this matter, and if it could be brought properly before them, 
they would stand on the side of justice and right for women. 

Therefore I desire only to say that I know from my travels all 
over the country, conferring with the intelligent women to bring 
before them this great principle, that the good work is going on. It 
may be deafness yesterday and partial hearing to-day, but it will be 
full hearing to-morrow. To-day we may be blind to the truth ; to- 
morrow we shall see the whole truth. We may not have another 
centennial before we shall see justice for all human kind. 

You know, gentlemen, that this Government exists for only three 
things, and in those every woman is as much interested as every 
man. It exists for the administration of justice, for the pro- 
tection of person and property, and for the development of society. 
Just as you and all men have persons and property to protect, so we 
women have. We are because of our nature and because it seems 
as if the Almighty had intended it should be so, more inter- 
ested than men in the development of society. Wherever there is 


any movement for the Uplifting of society you will find women in 
the forefront. There never has been any great movement in this 
nation when women have not stood side by side with the noblest 
and truest men. 

We do to-day nine-tenths of the philanthropic work, nine-tenths 
of the church work, and form three-fourths of the church member- 
ship. We are the teachers of the young ; we are the mothers of the 
race. If you want the noblest men you must have the noblest 
mothers. "Eye hath not seen, nor hath ear heard, nor hath it en- 
tered into the heart of man to conceive" the kind of men and women 
God had in view when He created man in His own likeness and 
gave to male and female dominion over the world, to subdue it and 
to bring out of it the best things. 

You who talk of a great Government in which the voice of God is 
heard must remember that, if "the voice of the people is the voice of 
God," you never will know what that is until you get the voice of 
the people, and you will find it has a soprano as well as a bass. 
You must join the soprano voice of God to the bass voice in order 
to get the harmony of the Divine voice. Then you will have a law 
which will enable you to say, "We are a people justly ruled, because 
in this nation the voice of the people is the voice of God, and the 
voice of the people has been heard." 

Mrs. Ellen M. Bolles (R. I.) said in the course of her re- 
marks: "The conditions surrounding women to-day are quite 
different from what they were in the days of our grandmothers. 
Women are becoming property earners and owners, as they were 
not in those former times before they began asking for the ballot. 
Twenty-five per cent, or more of the women of this country are 
property owners. Nearly nine-tenths of the laws are made for the 
protection of property and of those who own it and who earn 
wages. Now it seems to me that this twenty-five per cent, of the 
women should have a voice in the making of laws for the protec- 
tion of their property and of their right to earn a living. ... 

Mrs. Colby thus closed her address on Wyoming: "Having 
thus shown that the twenty-two years' experience of woman 
suffrage has been satisfactory to the citizens of Wyoming; that 
it has conduced to good order in the elections and to the purity 
of politics; that the educational system is improved and that 
teachers are paid without regard to sex; that Wyoming stands 
alone in a decreased proportion of crime and divorce ; and that it 
has elevated the personal character of both sexes what possible 
good is there left to speak of as coming to that State from woman 
suffrage save its position as the vanguard of progress and human 


freedom. Not the Bartholdi statue in New York harbor, but 
Wyoming on the crest of the continent, the first true republic, 
represents Liberty enlightening the world." 

Short addresses were made also by Mrs. Caroline McCullough 
Everhard, Mrs. Mary Jewett Telford, the Rev. Mila F. Tupper, 
Mrs. Marble, Dr. Frances Dickinson, Miss H. Augusta Howard, 
Mrs. Saxon, Mrs. Hannah J. Bailey, Mrs. Evaleen L. Mason 
and Mrs. Olive Pond Amies.* 

The Post, in an account of the Senate hearing, said : 
"Miss Anthony called attention to Senator Hoar as the gentle- 
man who had presented the first favorable suffrage report to the 
Senate in 1879. Everybody shouted "Stand up," and as he 
retired deeper into his leather chair they continued 'to cry, "Up, 
up !" It was a tableau when the Senator found his feet, and at the 
same time was confronted with a round of applause and a volley 
of white handkerchiefs waved at him in Chautauqua style. He 
capped the climax by moving at once a favorable report. Laurel 
wreaths and bouquets would have been Senator Hoar's portion 
if they had been available, but the women all assured him after- 
ward of their sincere appreciation. The hearing was held in the 
ladies' reception room, which was completely filled." 

These matchless arguments had no effect upon the Demo- 
cratic members of the committee, but Senator Warren of Wy- 
oming made a favorable report for himself, Senators Hoar of 
Massachusetts, Quay of Pennsylvania and Allen of Washington, 
which concluded by saying : "The majority of the members of 
this committee, believing that equal suffrage, regardless of sex, 
should be the legitimate outgrowth of the principles of a repub- 
lican form of government, and that the right of suffrage should 
be conferred upon the women of the United States, earnestly 
recommend the passage of the amendment submitted herewith." 

Senators Vance of North Carolina and George of Mississippi 
filed the same minority report which already had done duty sev- 
eral times, although the former was said to have declared that 
the speeches of the women surpassed anything he ever had heard, 
and that their logic, if used in favor of any other measure, could 
not fail to carry it. 

* After the convention had adjourned Miss Sara Winthrop Smith (Conn.) made an 
argument on Federal Suffrage before the Judiciary Committee of the House. See Chap. I 
for general statement of position taken by its advocates. 



At the close of the Twenty-fifth annual meeting the Washing- 
ton Evening News said : "There will be an exodus from Wash- 
ington during the next three days an exodus of some of the 
intellectually powerful and brilliant women who participated in 
what was agreed to be the brightest and most successful conven- 
tion ever held by the National Suffrage Association. Whatever 
may be the opinion of the world at large upon the feasibility or 
desirability of granting the franchise to women, none who at- 
tended their annual reunion of delegates or listened to the ad- 
dresses of their orators and leaders, can deny that the convention 
was composed of clever, sensible and attractive women, splendidly 
representative of their sex and of the present time." 

After complimentary notices of the leading members, it con- 
tinued : " 'One very pleasant thing connected with our business 
committee is the beautiful relations existing among its mem- 
bers,' said one of the officers the other evening. 'We all have 
our opinions and they often differ, but we are absolutely true to 
each other and to the cause. We are most of us married, and 
all of us have the co-operation of our husbands and fathers. 
Of the business committee of nine, six are married. For the 
past two years we have had one man on our board, the Hon. 
Wm. Dudley Foulke, but as a rule men have not the time and 
thought to give this subject, as they are engaged in more re- 
munerative employment.' The self-control and good-nature pre- 
vailing even in the heated debate on the religious liberty inter- 
ference resolution have already been alluded to in our columns." 

Miss Susan B. Anthony presided over the convention, Jan. 16- 
J 9 J 893, ne ld in Metzerott's Music Hall and preceded by the 
usual religious services Sunday afternoon. The sermon was given 
by the Rev. Annis F. Eastman (N. Y.), an ordained Congrega- 
tional minister, from the text in Isaiah, "Take away the yoke." 



The memorial service, which was of unusual impressiveness, 
opened with the reading by Miss Anthony of Mrs. Elizabeth 
Cady Stanton's tribute to the distinguished dead of the past year 
who advocated equality of rights for women George William 
Curtis, John Greenleaf Whittier, Ernestine L. Rose, Abby Hutch- 
inson Patton and others.* Of Mr. Curtis she said: 

If the success of our cause could be assured by the high character 
of the men who from the beginning have identified themselves with 
it, woman would have been emancipated long ago. A reform advo- 
cated by Garrison, Phillips, Emerson, Alcott, Theodore Parker, 
Gerrit Smith, Samuel J. May and George William Curtis must be 
worthy the consideration of statesmen and bishops. 

For more than one generation Mr. Curtis maintained a brave 
attitude on this question. As editor of Harper's Magazine, and as a 
popular lecturer on the lyceum platform, he was ever true to his 
convictions. Before the war his lecture on Fair Play for Women 
aroused much thought among the literary and fashionable classes. 
In the New York Constitutional Convention in 1867, a most con- 
servative body, Mr. Curtis, though a young man and aware that he 
had but little sympathy among his compeers, bravely demanded that 
the word "male" should be stricken from the suffrage article of the 
proposed constitution. His speech on that occasion, in fact, philos- 
ophy, rhetoric and argument never has been surpassed in the 
English language. From the beginning of his public life to its 
close Mr. Curtis was steadfast on this question. Harper's Magazine 
for June, 1892, contains his last plea for woman and for a higher 
standard for political parties 

Mrs. Ernestine L. Rose, exiled from Poland on account of her 
religious faith, married an Englishman and came to America, 
where she was one of the first and most eloquent of the women 
who spoke on the public platform. In 1836 she circulated peti- 
tions for the property rights of married women, in company 
with Mrs. Paulina Wright (Davis), and presented them to the 
New York Legislature. For forty years she was among the ablest 
advocates of the rights of women, lecturing also on religion, 
government and other subjects. Mrs. Abby Hutchinson Patton 
was lovingly referred to, the last but one of that family who had 
sung so many years for freedom, not only for the negro but for 
woman. Whittier, the uncompromising advocate of liberty for 
woman as well as for man, was eulogized in fitting terms. 

* Bishop Phillips Brooks, who declared himself unequivocally for woman suffrage, died 
the week following the convention. 


The Hon. A. G. Riddle (D. C.) offered a fine testimonial to 
Francis Minor and Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, saying: "Mr. 
Minor was the first to urge the true and sublime construction of 
that noble amendment born of the war. It declares that all per- 
sons not simply males born or naturalized in the United 
States are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein 
they reside. Those who are denied or are refused the right to 
exercise the privileges and franchises of citizenship are less than 
citizens. Those who still declare that women may not vote, sim- 
ply write 'falsehood' across that glorious declaration." General 
Butler, as a leading member of the House Judiciary Committee, 
in a matchless argument had asserted the right of women to vote 
under the Fourteenth Amendment,* and used all his influence to 
secure suffrage for women. Miss Anthony said in part : 

The good of this hour is that it brings to the knowledge of the 
young the work of the pioneers who have passed away. It seems 
remarkable to those standing, as I do, one of a generation almost 
ended, that so many of these young people know nothing of the 
past; they are apt to think they have sprung up like somebody's 
gourd, and that nothing ever was done until they came. So I am 
always gratified to hear these reminiscences, that they may know 
how others have sown what they are reaping to-day. 

One of the earliest advocates of this cause was Sally Holly, the 
daughter of Myron Holly, founder of the Liberty Party in the State 
of New York, and also founder of Unitarianism in the city of Roch- 
ester. Frederick Douglass will say a few words in regard to Sally 
Holly, and of such of the others as he may feel moved to speak ; 
and I want to say that when, at the very first convention called and 
managed by women, Elizabeth Cady Stanton read her resolution 
that the elective franchise is the underlying right, there was but one 
man to stand with her, and that man was Frederick Douglass. 

Mr. Douglass (D. C) told of attempting to speak in Buffalo 
against slavery in 1843, when every hall was closed to him and 
he went into an abandoned storeroom : 

I continued from day to day speaking in that old store to laborers 
from the wharves, cartmen, draymen and longshoremen, until after 
awhile the room was crowded. No woman made her appearance at 
the meetings, but day after day for six days in succession I spoke 
morning, afternoon and evening. On the third day there came into 
the room a lady leading a little girl. No greater contrast could 
possibly have been presented than this elegantly dressed, refined and 

See History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. II, p. 482. 


lovely woman attempting to wend her way through that throng. I 
don't know that she showed the least shrinking from the crowd, but 
I noticed that they rather shrank from her, as if fearful that the dust 
of their garments would soil hers. Her presence to me at that 
moment was as if an angel had been sent from Heaven to encourage 
me in my anti-slavery endeavors. She came day after day there- 
after, and at last I had the temerity to ask her name. She gave it 
Sally Holly. "A daughter of Myron Holly?" said I. "Yes," she 
answered. I understood it all then, for he was amongst the fore- 
most of the men in western New York in the anti-slavery movement. 
His home was in Rochester and his dust now lies in Mt. Hope, the 
beautiful cemetery of that city. Over him is a monument, placed 
there, by that other true friend of women, Gerrit Smith of Peter- 

I have seen the Hutchinson family in a mob in New York. When 
neither Mr. Garrison. Mr. Phillips nor Mr. Burleigh, nor any one 
could speak, when there was a perfect tempest and whirlwind of 
rowdyism in the old Tabernacle on Broadway, then this family 
would sing, and almost upon the instant that they would raise their 
voices, so perfect was the music, so sweet the concord, so enchanting 
the melody, that it came down upon the audience like a summer 
shower on a dusty road, subduing, settling everything. 

I can not add to the paper which Mrs. Stanton has sent. After 
her silence. Your cause has raised up no voice so potent as that 
of Elizabeth Cady Stanton no living voice except yours, Madame 

How delighted I am to see that you have the image of Lucretia 
Mott here [referring to her marble bust on the stage]. I am glad 
to be here, glad to be counted on your side, and glad to be able to 
remember that those who have gone before were my friends. I 
was more indebted to Whittier perhaps than to any other of the 
anti-slavery people. He did more to fire my soul and enable me to 
fire the souls of others than any other man. It was Whittier and 
Pierpont who feathered our arrows, shot in the direction of the 
slave power, and they did it well. No better reading can now be 
had in favor of the rights of woman or the liberties of man than is 
to be found in their utterances 

Miss Clara Barton ( D. C. ) spoke in a touching manner of the 
great service rendered to humanity by Dr. Harriet N. Austin, 
who assisted Dr. James C. Jackson to establish the "Home on 
the Hillside," the Dansville (N. Y.) Sanitorium. Henry B. 
Blackwell told of John L. Whiting, "a power and a strength to the 
Massachusetts Suffrage Association for many years, one of those 
rare men not made smaller by wealth, and always willing to 
give himself, his mind, his heart, his money, to help the cause 
of woman." The Rev. Anna Howard Shaw said in part : 


I have been asked to speak a word of Mrs. Ralph Waldo Emerson. 
It has been said by some people that we have wrongfully quoted 
Mr. Emerson as being on our side. His biographers appear to have 
put in his early statements and forgotten to include his later declara- 
tions, which were all in favor of the enfranchisement of women. 

I was once sent to Concord by the Massachusetts society to hold a 
meeting. The churches were closed against suffrage speakers and 
there was not money enough to pay for a hall. Mrs. Ralph Waldo 
Emerson heard the meeting was to be given up, and she sent a mes- 
sage to the lady having the work in charge, saying: "Shall it be 
said that here in Concord, where the Revolutionary war began, 
there is no place to speak for the freedom of women ? Get the best 
hall in town and I will pay for it." So on that occasion and on an- 
other Mrs. Emerson paid for the hall and sent a kind word to the 
meeting, declaring herself in favor of the suffrage for women, and 
stating that her husband's views and her own were identical on this 
question. She had the New England trait of being a good wife, a 
good mother and a good housekeeper, and Mr. Emerson's home was 
a restful and blessed place. We sometimes forget the wives of 
great men in thinking of the greatness of their husbands, but Mrs. 
Emerson was as great in her way as Mr. Emerson in his, and no 
more faithful friend to woman and to woman's advancement ever 
has lived among us.* 

A word as to the Rev. Anna Oliver, the first woman to enter the 
theological department of Boston University. She was much be- 
loved by her class. She was a devoted Christian, eminently ortho- 
dox, and a very good worker in all lines of religious effort. After 
Miss Oliver graduated she was ambitious to become ordained, as all 
women ought to be who desire to preach the gospel ; and so after I 
had graduated from the theological school, the year following, we 
both applied to the conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
for admission. Miss Oliver's name beginning with O and mine 
with S, her case was presented first. She was denied ordination by 
Bishop Andrews. Our claims were carried to the general confer- 
ence in Cincinnati, and the Methodist Episcopal Church denied 
ordination to the women whom it had graduated in its schools and 
upon whom it had conferred the degree of bachelor of divinity. It 
not only did this, but it made a step backwards ; it took from us the 
licenses to preach which had been granted to Miss Oliver for four 
years and to myself for eight years. 

But Miss Oliver was earnest in her efforts, and so she began to 
preach in the city of Brooklyn, and with great courage bought a 
church in which a man had failed as a minister, leaving a debt of 
$14,000. She was like a great many other women and here is a 
warning for all women. God made a woman equal to a man, but 
He did not make a woman equal to a woman and a man. We 
usually try to do the work of a man and of a woman too ; then we 
break down, and they say that women ought not to be ministers 

* For other instances see Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, pp. 132, 251. 


because they are not strong enough. They do not get churches that 
can afford to send them to Europe on a three months' vacation once 
a year. Miss Oliver was not only the minister and the minister's 
wife, but she started at least a dozen reforms and undertook to 
carry them all out. She was attacked by that influential Method- 
ist paper, the Christian Advocate, edited by the Rev. Dr. James M. 
Buckley, who declared that he would destroy her influence in the 
church, and so with that great organ behind him he attacked her. 
She had that to fight, the world to fight and the devil to fight, and 
she broke down in health. She went abroad to recover, but came 
home only to die.* 

The death of those less widely known was touchingly referred 
to by women of the different States. Miss Anthony closed the 
services by saying: "I am just informed that we must add to 
this list the revered name of Abby Hopper Gibbons, of four-score- 
and-ten, who with her father, Isaac T. Hopper, formed the 
Women's Prison Association, and who has stood for more than 
the allotted years of man the sentinel on the watch-tower to guard 
unfortunate women and help them back into womanly living." 

At the first evening session Miss Anthony, in her president's 
address, answered the question, "What has been gained by the 
forty years' work?" She called attention to the woman who 
had preached the day before, ordained by an orthodox denomina- 
tion; to the women alternate delegates to the late National Re- 
publican Convention; to the recommendation of Gov. Roswell 
P. Flower that women should be delegates to the approaching 
New York Constitutional Convention. She pointed out rapidly 
many other straws showing the direction of the wind, saying: 
"Wendell Phillips said what he wanted to do on the abolition 
question was to turn Congress into an anti-slavery debating so- 
ciety. That is what we have done with every educational, indus- 
trial, religious and political body we have turned them all into 
debating societies on the woman question." 

U. S. Senator Joseph M. Carey (Wy.) sent a letter reaffirm- 
ing his conviction that the granting of full political rights to 
women would be for the best interests of the country. Mr. 
Blackwell sketched the successive extensions of suffrage to 
women, and set forth the special importance of their trying to 
secure the Municipal and the Presidential franchises, both of 

* The Rev. Anna Oliver left $1,000 to the National Suffrage Association. 


which could be granted by the Legislature. Mrs. Ellen Battelle 
Dietrick (Mass.) read an able paper on The Best Methods of 
Interesting Women in Suffrage, in which she said : 

The truth is, the American woman has been so pleasantly soothed 
by the sweet opiate of that high-sounding theory of her "sover- 
eignty," that until very recently she could not be aroused to examine 
the facts. Forty years ago the voices of a few crying in the 
wilderness began to prepare the way for the present awaken- 
ing. .... 

The deliverance of woman must have as its corner-stone self- 
support. The first step in this direction must be to explode the 
fallacy that marriage is a state of being supported. As men are 
most largely the gatherers of money, it is mistakenly assumed that 
they are most largely the creators of wealth. The man goes abroad 
and gives his daily labor toward earning his board and clothes ; but 
what he actually receives for his work can neither be eaten nor 
worn. It does nothing whatever until he puts it into his wife's 
hands, and upon her intelligence, energy and ability depend how 
much can be done through the using of it. Not until her labor in 
transforming raw material, in cooking, sewing, and rendering a 
house habitable, is joined to his, can a man be said to have really 
received anything worth having. He begins, she completes, the mak- 
ing of their joint wealth. Their dependence is mutual ; the position 
of the one who turns the money into usable material by her labor 
being equally important, equally valuable, with that of him who 
turned his labor into money ; and this must be fully recognized if 
woman is ever to come into her true relation to man. She supports 
him exactly as he supports her, and this is equally the case with the 
wife who herself produces directly, or the one who gives her time 
and intelligence to direct the production of others 

Closely allied to the fallacy that man supports woman is the fal- 
lacy that man protects woman, and has a right to control her by vir- 
tue of this protection. There was a period in the world's transition 
from savagery to civilization when mankind had so little concep- 
tion of the mutuality of human interests that war was a perpetual 
condition of society. Originally women also were fighters ; just as 
the lioness or tigress is as capable as her mate of self-defense and 
protection of her young, so the savage woman, when necessity re- 
quired, was equally capable of conducting warfare in the same cause. 
But long before men had given up killing each other for the better 
business of trading with and helping each other woman had ceased 
to be a fighter. She was the first to see the advantages of peace, 
both because she was the earliest manufacturer and trader and be- 
cause it cost her more in the production of every soldier than it cost 
man. Instinct directed her toward peace long before reason made 
it possible for her to explain why she hated war, and she hated it 
as an occupation for herself long before it occurred to her to 
despise it as an occupation for man. To-day the love of peace and 


hatred for war which she is rapidly spreading through the world is 
the real protector of woman ; she is a self-protector by virtue of this 
proclivity, and, as war is equally the enemy of man, here again 
woman gives to man as much as she receives. Whatever force the 
argument based on the right of soldiers to rule may once have had is 
rapidly passing away. The era of the destroyer is dying, the epoch 
of the Creator is coming in 

The subjugation of woman doubtless arose from an honest de- 
sire of man to protect her. His mistake lay in assuming that his 
mind and will could do private and public duty for both. Woman's 
mistake lay in assuming that she might with safety permit man's 
mind and will to discharge the duties nature meant to be fulfilled 
by her own. Unhappily nature has a way of allowing the human 
race to learn by its own experience, even though the lesson consume 
ages of time ; and she has also a rule that unused faculties and func- 
tions fall into a state of atrophy. It was by such a substitution of 
masculine for feminine will that woman fell so far behind him whom 
she originally led in the race, industrial and intellectual. If they 
are ever to march side by side as true comrades and free partners, 
it must be by a voluntary resumption of independence in feminine 
mind and will. In this man can assist by stimulating her spirit of 
independence, or he can discourage it by a contrary course, but the 
final result lies with woman herself. She alone can free herself 
from the habits of thought and action engendered by thousands of 
years of slavery. 

The steps toward the emancipation of women are first intellectual, 
then industrial, lastly legal and political. Great strides in the first 
two of these stages already have been made by millions of women 
who do not yet perceive that it is surely carrying them towards the 

In the address of Mrs. Ruth C. D. Havens (D. C.) on The 
Girl of the Future, which was greatly enjoyed, she said : 

The training and education of the girl of the present have seldom 
been discussed except from one standpoint her suitable prepara- 
tion for becoming an economical housekeeper, an inexpensive wife, 
a willing and self-forgetful mother, a cheap, unexacting, patient, 
unquestioning, unexpectant, ministering machine. The girl's use- 
fulness to herself, to her sex and race, her preferences, tastes, hap- 
piness, social, intellectual or financial prosperity, hardly have en- 
tered into the thought upon this question 

If woman would be a student, a scientist, a lecturer, a physician ; 
if she would be a pioneer in a wilderness of scoffers to make fair 
roads up which her sex might easily travel to equal educational and 
legal rights, equal privileges and pay in fields of labor, equal suf- 
frage she must divide her eager energies and give the larger half 
to superior homekeeping, wifehood and motherhood, in order that 
her new gospel shall be received with any respect or acceptance. 
VOL. IV WOM. SUF. 14 i 


And probably no class of women have been such sticklers for the 
cultivation of all woman's modest, unassuming home duties as have 
been the great, ambitious teachers on this suffrage platform. . . . 

But this will not be the training of the girl of the future. It is 
not the sort of preparation to which the boy of the present is urged. 
"Jack of all trades, good at none" is the old epithet bestowed upon a 
man who thus diffuses his energies. You do not expect a dis- 
tinguished lawyer to clean his own clothes, a doctor to groom his 
horse, a teacher to take care of the schoolhouse furnace, a preacher 
to half-sole his shoes. This would be illogical, and men are noth- 
ing if not logical. Yet a woman who enters upon any line of 
achievement is invariably hampered, for at least the early years, 
with the inbred desire to add to the labor of her profession all the 
so-called feminine duties, which, fulfilled to-day, are yet to be done 
to-morrow, which bring to her neither comfort, gain nor reputa- 
tion, and which by their perpetual demand diminish her powers for 
a higher quality of work 

Everywhere there is too much housekeeping. It is not economy 
of time or money for every little family of moderate means to un- 
dertake alone the expensive and wearing routine. The married 
woman of the future will be set free by co-operative methods, half 
the families on a square, perhaps, enjoying one luxurious, well- 
appointed dining-room with expenses divided pro rata. In many 
other ways housekeeping will be simplified. Homes have no longer 
room for people they are consecrated to things. Parlors and bed- 
rooms are full of the cheap and incongruous or expensive and har- 
monious belongings of a junk shop. Plush gods hold the fort. 
All the average house needs to make it a museum is the sign, 
"Hands off." .... 

The girl of the future will select her own avocation and take her 
own training for it. If she be a house worker, and many will pre- 
fer to be, she will be so valuable in that line as to command much 
respect and good wages. If she be an architect, a jeweler, an 
electrical engineer, she will not rob a cook by mutilating a dinner, 
or a dressmaker by amateur cutting and sewing, or a milliner by 
creating her own bonnet. The house helper will not be incompe- 
tent, because the development and training of woman for her best 
and truest work will have extended to her also, and she will do 
housework because she loves it and is better adapted to it than to 
any other employment. She will preside in the kitchen with skill 
and science. 

The service girl of the future will be paid perhaps double or 
treble her present wages, with wholesome food, a cheerful room, 
an opportunity to see an occasional cousin and some leisure for 
recreation. At present this would be ruinous, and why? Because 
too frequently the family has but one producer. The wife, herself 
a consumer, produces more consumers. Daughters grow up around 
a man like lilies of the field, which toil not, neither do they spin. 
Every member of every family in the future will be a producer of 
some kind and in some degree. The only one who will have the 


right of exemption will be the mother, for a child can hardly be 
born with cheerful views of living whose mother's life has been, 
for its sake, a double burden. From this root spring melancholy, 
insanity, suicide. The production of human souls is the highest 
production of all, the one which requires most preparation, truest 
worth, gravest care and holiest consecration. If the girl of the 
future recognizes this truth, she will have made an advance indeed. 
But apart from the mother every member of the family should be a 
material producer; and then there will be means sufficient for the 
producer in the kitchen to get such remuneration for her skill as 
will eliminate the incompetent, shirking, migratory creature of to- 

I hardly need say to this audience that the girl of the future will 
vote. She will not plead for the privilege she will be urged to 
exercise the right, and no one will admit that he ever opposed it, or 
remember that there was a time when woman's ballot w,as despised 
and rejected of men. She will not be told that she needs the suf- 
frage for her own protection, but she will be urged to exercise it for 
the good of her country and of humanity. It will not be known 
that the Declaration of Independence was once a dead letter. No 
one will believe that it ever was declared that the Constitution did 
not protect this right. It will be incredible that women were once 
neither people nor citizens, and yet were the mothers, and in so much 
the creators, of the men who governed them.- 

Mrs. Mary S. Lockwood (D. C), member-at-large of the 
World's Fair Board of Lady Managers, read a carefully pre- 
pared statement of the methods and aims of that body, which 
began : "The Board of Lady Managers owe their existence to 
Susan B. Anthony and her co-workers. It was these women who 
went before Congress and not only asked but demanded that 
women should have a place in the management of this Columbian 
Exposition and they got it" !* She closed as follows : 

I have been greatly impressed as I have come into this hall from 
day to day, and have looked upon the sweet representative face in 
marble of Lucretia Mott and the benign, glorified face of Mrs. Stan- 
ton, with Susan B. Anthony as the central figure of the trio, and 
have thought of the years they have lifted up their voices praying 
they might see the glory of the coming of the Lord ; and I have 
felt if only I could bring before them the sheaves which we are 
gathering from the women of the earth for this great exposition ; 
if only I could show them how their work has put the women of this 
nation in touch with the women of every other country, awakening 
them to new aspirations, new hopes, new efforts, to whom the dawn 
of a brighter day is visible these pioneers would say, "Our eyes 

* For the part of Miss Anthony and others in securing this board, see Chap. XIV. 


are indeed opened ; a handful of corn planted on the top of the 
mountain has been made to shake all Lebanon." 

Miss Mary H. Williams ( Neb. ) reported that, as chairman of 
a committee for this purpose, she had sent letters to forty-nine 
Governors of States and Territories ; twenty-one replies had been 
received nine in favor of full suffrage for women, two of 
school suffrage only, three were totally opposed and the others 
made evasive replies. The nine in favor were Governors Barber 
of Wyoming, Routt of Colorado, Mellette of South Dakota, 
Winans of Michigan, Thomas of Utah, Burke of North Dakota, 
Humphrey of Kansas, Colcord of Nevada, Knapp of Alaska. All 
of these were Western men and all Republicans but Winans. 
Tillman of South Carolina and Willey of Idaho favored school 
suffrage alone. Stone of Mississippi and Fleming of West Vir- 
ginia answered "no." Gov. James E. Boyd of Nebraska was op- 
posed, although he would allow women to vote on school ques- 
tions. Governor Boyd's election had been contested on the ground 
that his father had not been properly naturalized. 

Gov. Thomas M. Holt of North Carolina replied : "I am ut- 
terly opposed to woman suffrage in any shape or form. I have 
a wife and three daughters, all married, who are as much opposed 
to women going into politics as I am, and they reflex the senti- 
ment of our Southern women generally." 

Gov. Francis P. Fleming of Florida gave nine reasons why he 
was opposed, but concluded: "The above objections would not 
as a rule apply to church or school elections, and as women are 
usually much more pious than men and take more interest in 
church matters, I am inclined to think it would be well for them 
to vote at church elections, and am not aware of any particular 
objection to their voting at school elections." 

The address of Mrs. Orra Langhorne (Va.) was read by her 
niece, Miss Henderson Dangerfield. It gave a charming picture 
of the oldtime Southern woman, her responsible social position, 
her care for her great household in her own small world; de- 
scribed how she was handicapped by tradition and lack of intel- 
lectual training; depicted the changed conditions since the war 
and her gradual awakening to the demands of modern life and 
the need of larger rights. 


Lucy Stone was not able to be present and a letter from her 
was read by her husband, Mr. Blackwell : 

DEAR FRIENDS: Wherever woman suffragists are gathered to- 
gether in the name of equal rights, there am I always in spirit with 
them. Although unable to be present in person, my glad greeting 
goes to you, every one, to those who have borne the heat and burden 
of the day, and to the strong, brave, younger workers who have 
come to lighten the load and help bring the victory. The work 
still calls for patient perseverance and ceaseless endeavor; but we 
have every reason to rejoice when there are so many gains and 
when favorable conditions abound on every hand. The end is not 
yet in sight, but it can not be far away. The road before us is 
shorter than the road behind. 

This was her last message to the association. She passed 
away in October of this year, having labored nearly half a cen- 
tury for the enfranchisement of women. 

Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, in an address entitled Compari- 
sons Are Odious, showed the contrast between the Govern- 
ment's treatment of the Sioux Indians, exempted from taxation 
and allowed to vote, and of law-abiding, intelligent women in 
the same section of the country, compelled to pay taxes and not 
allowed to vote.* Miss Elizabeth Upham Yates closed the even- 
ing with a brilliant address. 

Before adjourning Miss Anthony read Gov. Roswell P. 
Flower's certificate appointing her a member of the Board of 
Managers of the State Industrial School at Rochester, N. Y. 
She took considerable satisfaction in pointing out that it referred 
to her as "him," because she had always contended that, if the 
masculine pronoun in an official document is sufficient to send 
a woman to the jail or the gallows, it is sufficient to enable her to 
vote and hold office. 

On the last evening, the Hon. Carroll D. Wright, U. S. Commis- 
sioner of Labor, delivered a valuable address on The Industrial 
Emancipation of Women, in which he said : 

Until within a comparatively recent period, woman's subjection 
to man has been well-nigh complete in all respects, whether such 
subjection is considered from a social, political, intellectual or even 
a physical point of view. At first the property of man, she emerged 
under civilization from the sphere of a drudge to that of a social 

* As Mrs. Chapman Catt spoke always without MS., it is impossible to give extracts 
from her speeches, which were among the ablest made at the national conventions. 


factor and, consequently, into the liberty of cultivating her mental 

Industrial emancipation, using the term broadly, means the high- 
est type of woman as the result, the word "industrial" comprehend- 
ing in this sense all remunerative employment. The entrance of 
woman into the industrial field was assured when the factory sys- 
tem of labor displaced the domestic or hand labor system. The 
age of invention, with the wonderful ramifications which invention 
always has produced, must be held accountable for bringing woman 
into a field entirely unknown to her prior to that age. As an eco- 
nomic factor, either in art, literature or industry, she was before that 
time hardly recognizable. With the establishment of the factory 
system, the desire of woman to have something more than she could 
earn as a domestic or in agricultural labor, or to earn something 
where before she had earned nothing, resulted in her becoming an 
economic factor, and she was obliged to submit to all the conditions 
of this new position. It hardly can be said that in the lower forms 
of industrial pursuits she superseded man, but it is true that she 
supplemented his labors 

Each step in industrial progress has raised her in the scale of 
civilization rather than degraded her. As a result she has con- 
stantly gone up higher and gained intellectual advantages, such as 
the opening to her of the higher institutions of learning, which 
have in turn equipped her for the best professional employment. 
The moral plane of the so-called workingwoman certainly is higher 
than that of the woman engaged in domestic service, and is equal 
to that of any class of women in the community 

As women have occupied the positions of bookkeepers, telegraph- 
ers and many of what might be called semi-professional callings, 
men have entered engineering, electrical, mechanical and other 
spheres of work which were not known when women first stepped 
into the industrial field. As the latter have progressed from entire 
want of employment to that which pays a few dollars per week, men, 
too, have progressed in their employments, and occupied larger 
fields not existing before 

Woman is now stepping out of industrial subjection and coming 
into the industrial system of the present as an entirely new economic 
factor. If there were no other reasons, this alone would be suffi- 
cient to make her wages low and prevent their very rapid increase. 
. . . . The growing importance of woman's labor, her general 
equipment through technical education, her more positive dedica- 
tion to the life-work she chooses, the growing sentiment that an 
educated and skilful woman is a better and truer companion in mar- 
riage than an ignorant and unskilful one, her appreciation of the 
value of organization, the general uplifting of the principle of in- 
tegrity in business circles, woman's gradual approach to man's 
powers in mental achievement also, her possible and probable po- 
litical influence all these combined, working along general avenues 
of progress and- evolution, will bring her industrial emancipation, 
by which she will stand on an equality with man in those callings 


in life for which she may be fitted. As she approaches this equality 
her remuneration will be increased and her economic importance 

If woman's industrial emancipation leads to what many are 
pleased to call "political rights," we must not quarrel with it. It 
is not just that all other advantages which may come through this 
emancipation shall be withheld simply because one great privilege 
on which there is a division of sentiment may also come. 

One of the greatest boons which will result from the industrial 
emancipation of woman will be the frank admission on the part of 
the true and chivalric man that she is the sole and rightful owner 
of her own being in every respect, and that whatever companion- 
ship may exist between her and man shall be as thoroughly honor- 
able to her as to him. 

Miss Harriet May Mills (N. Y.) gave a paper on The Present 
Political Status of Woman, which showed the trained mind and 
logical method of thought one would expect from a graduate of 
Cornell University. The last address of the convention was 
given by the Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, entitled The America 
Undiscovered by Columbus. This, like so many of Miss Shaw's 
unsurpassed lectures, will be lost to posterity because unwritten 
and not stenographically reported. 

In her report as vice-president-at-large Miss Shaw announced 
that she had given during the year 215 lectures for which she 
had received pay, twenty-five of these for suffrage associations 
and the rest for temperance and literary organizations, but on 
every occasion it had been a suffrage lecture. In addition she 
had given gratuitously to the service of this cause lectures which 
at her regular price would have amounted to $1,265. She also 
related the following incident: "I was present at the National 
Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Denver, and Miss 
Willard introduced me as a fraternal delegate from the National 
Suffrage Association. I made my little speech and the whole con- 
vention arose and waved their handkerchiefs at the message sent 
by this body. One woman jumped to her feet and moved that a 
telegram be returned from that convention, giving its sisterly 
sympathy. Miss Willard got up and said, 'Shoo, ladies; this is 
different from what it was in Washington in 1881, when you 
refused to let me have Miss Anthony on my platform. Things 
are coming around, girls.' ' 

The corresponding secretary, Mrs. Rachel Foster Avery, an- 


nounced that thirty-three State associations were auxiliary to the 
national. Miss Adelaide Johnson was introduced as the sculptor 
who had modeled the fine busts of Lucretia Mott, Mrs. Stanton 
and Miss Anthony, which were on the platform. Miss Laura Clay 
reported on the work that had just been commenced in the 
Southern States, which she considered a most hopeful field. In 
the discussion on Press Work, when it was proposed that the 
association start an official paper, Miss Anthony said with much 
feeling: "I had an experience in publishing a paper about 
twenty-five years ago and I came to grief. I never hear of a 
woman starting a suffrage paper that my blood does not tingle 
with agony for what that poor soul will have to endure the 
same agony I went through. I feel, however, that we shall never 
become an immense power in the world until we concentrate all 
our money and editorial forces upon one great national daily 
newspaper, so we can sauce back our opponents every day in the 
year ; once a month or once a week is not enough. 

The resolutions presented by the chairman, Mrs. Dietrick, were 
adopted without dissent,* except the last : 

WHEREAS, The Constitution of the United States promises non- 
interference with the religious liberty of the people ; and 

* Resolved, That without expressing any opinion on the proper qualifications for voting, 
we call attention to the significant facts that in every State there are more women who can 
read and write than the whole number of illiterate male voters; more white women who 
can read and write than all negro voters; more American women who can read and write 
than all foreign voters; so that the enfranchisement of such women would settle the vexed 
question of rule by illiteracy, whether of home-grown or foreign-born production. 

Resolved, That as all experience proves that the rights of the laboring man are best pre- 
served in governments where he has possession of the ballot, we therefore demand on 
behalf of the laboring woman the same powerful instrument, that she may herself protect 
her own interests; and we urge all organized bodies of working women, whether in the 
field of philanthropy, education, trade, manufacture or general industry, to join our asso- 
ciation in the endeavor to make woman legally and politically a free agent, as the best 
means for furthering any and every line of woman's work. 

Resolved, That in all States possessing School Suffrage for women, suffragists are ad- 
vised to organize in each representative district thereof, for the purpose of training and 
stimulating women voters to exercise regularly this right, using it as a preparatory school 
for the coming work of full-grown citizenship with an unlimited ballot We also advise 
that women everywhere work for the election of an equal number of women and men 
upon school boards, that the State in taking upon itself the education of children may 
provide them with as many official mothers as fathers. 

WHEREAS, Many forms of woman suffrage may be granted by State Legislatures with- 
out change in existing constitutions; therefore, 

Resolved, That the suffragists in every State should petition for Municipal, School and 
Presidential Suffrage by statute, and take every practicable step toward securing such 

Resolved, That we urge all women to enter protest, at the time of paying taxes, at 
. being compelled to submit to taxation without representation. 


WHEREAS, Congress is now threatening to abridge the liberties 
of all in response to ecclesiastical dictation from a portion of the 
people; therefore, 

Resolved, That this association enters a protest against any na- 
tional attempt to control the innocent inclinations of the people 
either on the Jewish Sabbath or the Christian Sunday, and this we 
do quite irrespective of our individual opinions as to the sanctity 
of Sunday. 

Resolved, That we especially protest against this present attempt 
to force all the people to follow the religious dictates of a part of 
the people, as establishing a precedent for the entrance of a most 
dangerous complicity between Church and State, thereby subtly un- 
dermining the foundation of liberty, so carefully laid by the wisdom 
of our fathers. 

This precipitated the discussion as to the opening of the 
World's Fair on Sunday which had been vigorously waged dur- 
ing two preceding conventions without resulting in definite ac- 
tion. It was now continued during three sessions and then, by 
majority vote, indefinitely postponed. Mrs. Avery, chairman 
of the Columbian Exposition Committee,* closed her report as 
follows : "As we are to be represented in so many ways during 
the World's Fair i. e., at the World's Congress of Representa- 
tive Women, in the Suffrage Congresses, in the meetings to be 
held in the auditorium of the Woman's Building, in the program 
to be presented by us for the approval of the Committee on 
General Meetings of the Board of Lady Managers I would 
strongly urge against attempting to hold a separate Suffrage 
Congress, either national or international, during the Exposi- 
tion." This was agreed to. 

The Congressional Committee, through Mrs. Harriet Taylor 
Upton, reported that 375 letters had been sent to members of 
Congress asking for an expression on the question of woman 
suffrage. Of those who responded fifty-nine were in favor of 
full suffrage; twenty-five of qualified suffrage; sixty-five wholly 
opposed. The remainder did not reply, although stamps were 
enclosed. This committee also arranged for the printing, pur- 
chasing and distributing of 23,000 copies of the Senate and 
House hearings. The report concluded: "The time has come 

* Rachel Foster Avery, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Stone Blackwell, Ellen Battelle Diet- 
rick, Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, the Rev. Florence Kollock, Lida A. Meriwether, the 
Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, May Wright Sewall, Mrs. Leland Stanford, Elizabeth Cady 
Stanton, Lucy Stone, Jane H. Spofford, Harriet Taylor Upton. 


when women wanting legislation must proceed exactly as men 
do who want it. No man procures an office for himself or a 
friend, nor does any man or association get an Act passed, unless 
the claim is persistently pressed, not only upon the members of 
the committee in charge of it but upon his friends and acquaint- 
ances in Congress. There is no use in supposing the justice or 
right of a question, without persistent work, is going to bring 
about a reform."* 

Mrs. Colby, chairman of the Committee on Federal Suffrage, 
appointed to urge the legal right of women to vote for Repre- 
sentatives under the U. S. Constitution, reported that she had sent 
a copy of Francis Minor's argument to every member of the Ju- 
diciary Committee of the House of Representatives, with a per- 
sonal letter asking for an opinion, and that not one replied. 
Petitions were sent from twenty States, including suffrage 
associations, temperance societies, granges, etc. Letters asking 
an opinion were written to nineteen Senators who were considered 
friendly to the enfranchisement of women, and only one answered, 
Joseph N. Dolph of Oregon. Miss Sara Winthrop Smith 
(Conn.) opened the discussion. f 

The motion of Miss Alice Stone Blackwell to amend the con- 
stitution so that it would not be obligatory to hold every annual 
convention in Washington, was amended by Mrs. Avery to the 
effect that "the annual delegate convention shall be held in Wash- 
ington during the first session of each Congress, in order to in- 
fluence national, legislation ; the meeting of the alternate conven- 
tions to be left an open question." Miss Anthony was greatly 
opposed to holding any of the national meetings outside of 
Washington, and in a forcible speech she said : 

The sole object, it seems to me, of this organization is to bring 
the combined influence of all the States upon Congress to secure na- 
tional legislation. The very moment you change the purpose of 
this great body from National to State work you have defeated its 
object. It is the business of the States to do the district work; to 
create public sentiment ; to make a national organization possible ; 

During the years when Mrs. Upton's father, the Hon. Ezra B. Taylor of Ohio, was 
in Congress, she made it her especial business to press this matter upon the members. At 
least two favorable reports were due to her efforts, and the association greatly missed her 
congressional work when she left Washington. 

t The arguments for Federal Suffrage are contained in Chapter I. 


and then to bring their united power to the capital and focus it on 
Congress. Our younger women naturally can not appreciate the 
vast amount of work done here in Washington by the National As- 
sociation in the last twenty-five years. The delegates do not come 
here as individuals but as representatives of their entire States. 

We have had these conventions here for a quarter of a century, 
and every Congress has given hearings to the ablest women we 
could bring from every section. In the olden times the States were 
not fully organized they had not money enough to pay their dele- 
gates' expenses. We begged and worked and saved the money 
and the National Association paid the expenses of delegates from 
Oregon and California in order that they might come and bring the 
influence of their States to bear upon Congress. 

Last winter we had twenty-three States represented by delegates. 
Think of those twenty-three women going before the Senate com- 
mittee, each making her speech, and showing these Senators the in- 
terest in all these States. We have educated at least a part of three 
or four hundred men and their wives and daughters every two 
years to return as missionaries to their respective localities. I shall 
feel it a grave mistake if you vote in favor of a movable convention. 
It will lessen our influence and our power; but come what may, I 
shall abide by the decision of the majority. 

Miss Anthony was strongly supported by Miss Shaw, Mrs. 
Colby, Mrs. Louisa Southworth, Mrs. Rosa L. Segur, Mrs. 
Olivia B. Hall, Mrs. Jean Brooks Greenleaf and others. 

Mrs. Claudia Quigley Murphy ( O. ) expressed the sentiment of 
the other side in saying : 

It seems better to sow the seed of suffrage throughout the coun- 
try by means of our national conventions. We may give the people 
mass meetings and district and State conventions and various other 
things, but we can never give them anything as good as the national 
convention. We must get down to the unit of our civilization, 
which is the individual voter or person. We have worked for 
twenty-five years here among the legislators at Washington; we 
have gone to the halls of Congress and to the Legislatures, and we 
have found the average legislator to be but a reflex of the sentiment 
of his constituents. If we wish representation at Washington we 
can send our delegation to the halls of Congress this year and next 
year, the same as we have done in the past. This great convention 

does not go to Congress ; it sends a committee Let us 

get down to the people and sow the seed among them. It is the 
people we want to reach if we expect good results. 

The amendment was warmly advocated by Mr. and Miss 
Blackwell, Miss Clay, Mrs: Dietrick, Mrs. Esther F. Boland and 
others. It was finally adopted by a vote of 37 yeas, 28 nays. 


Among the many excellent State reports that of Kansas, pre- 
pared by Mrs. Laura M. Johns and read by Miss Jennie, daughter 
of Representative Case Broderick, was of special interest, as a 
suffrage campaign was imminent in that State and the National 
Association had resolved to contribute speakers and money. It 
spoke of the great canvass of thirty conventions the previous 
year, with Mrs. Johns as chairman and a large corps of speak- 
ers from outside and inside the State; of their cordial reception 
by the Republican State Convention ; of the benefits of Municipal 
Suffrage; and ended with an earnest appeal for the friends to 
rally to the support of Kansas. 

Brief remarks were made by the wives of Representatives 
John G. Otis of Kansas and Halbert S. Greenleaf of New York. 
Letters of greeting were received from Mrs. Annie Besant of 
England, and many others. Bishop John F. Hurst, of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, in regretting that it was impossible to ac- 
cept the invitation to address the convention, said: "I have the 
fullest sympathy with your work and have had for many years. 
I believe that every year brings nearer the great achievement when 
women will have the right of the ballot if they please to use it." 



The Call for the Twenty-sixth annual convention contained this 
paragraph of hope and joy : "The Government's recognition of 
women on the Board of Managers for the World's Columbian 
Exposition; the World's Congress of Representative Women 
the greatest convocation of women ever assembled ; their partici- 
pation in the entire series of Congresses; the gaining of Full 
Suffrage in Colorado all give to our demand for equality for 
women unprecedented prestige in the world of thought." 

The meetings were held in Metzerott's Music Hall, Washing- 
ton, D. C., Feb. 15-20, 1894. An excellent summary of the week 
was given by the secretary, Miss Alice Stone Blackwell, in the 
Woman's Journal, of which she was editor : 

Over the platform was draped a large suffrage flag, bearing two 
full stars for Wyoming and Colorado, and two more merely out- 
lined in gold for Kansas and New York, which have equal suf- 
frage amendments now pending and hope to add their stars to the 
galaxy next November. Instead of "Old Glory," the equal rights 
banner might be called "New Glory." Beside it hung the Amer- 
ican flag, the great golden flag of Spain with its two red bars, the 
crimson flag of Turkey with its crescent and star, and the British 
flag these last three in honor respectively of Senorita Catalina de 
Alcala of Spain, Madame Hanna Korany of Syria and Miss Cath- 
erine Spence of Australia, who were on the program. At one side 
the serene face of Lucy Stone looked down upon the audience. On 
the afternoon of the memorial service the frame of the portrait 
was draped with smilax, entwining bunches of violets from South 
Carolina, and beneath stood a jar of great white lilies 

Kansas and New York divided the interest of the convention, 
and the importance of the two campaigns was ably presented by the 
respective State presidents, stately Mrs. Greenleaf and graceful 
Mrs. Johns. The appeals of the former were warmly supported by 
Mrs. Lillie Devereux Blake, and of the latter by Mrs. Annie L. 
Diggs. Mrs. Johns is a strong Republican, and Mrs. Diggs an 
equally ardent Populist, but they were perfectly agreed in their 
devotion to the woman suffrage amendment and in their desire that 



help should be given to the Kansas campaign. Both are small 
women of gentle and feminine aspect, though known as mighty 
workers; and when Mrs. Diggs, a soft-voiced, bright-eyed mor- 
sel of humanity, said in presenting the needs of the Kansas 
Equal Suffrage Association, "Mrs. Johns is our president, and I 
am vice-president ; she is the gentle officer, I am the savage one ; 
my business is to frighten people" the audience roared with 
laughter. The New York women generously declared that they 
would carry the financial burden of their own campaign and would 
ask no outside help except in speakers and sympathy. This left 
the field clear for Kansas and more than $2,200 were raised at one 
session towards the expenses of the campaign 

The two delegates from Colorado, Mrs. Ellis Meredith and 
Mrs. Hattie E. Fox, were the objects of much interest and of 
hearty congratulations. They seemed very happy over their re- 
cent enfranchisement, as they well might be. Mrs. Meredith, who 
is very small, looked up brightly at a tall Maryland lady, who was 
congratulating her, and said, "I feel as tall as you." These two 
ladies looked just like other women and had developed no horns 
or hoofs or other unamiable and unfeminine characteristics in con- 
sequence of their having obtained the right to vote 

The Southern women have distinguished themselves in the na- 
tional suffrage conventions during the last few years. This year, 
on "presidents' evening," among a number of brilliant addresses 
that of Mrs. Virginia D. Young of South Carolina fairly brought 
down the house 

A beautiful silk flag, bearing the two suffrage stars, was pre- 
sented to Miss Anthony in honor of her seventy-fourth birthday, 
on the first evening of the convention, a gift from the enfranchised 
women of Wyoming and Colorado. One of these women had been 
called upon to act as a judge of elections and had received three 
dollars for her services. She spent two dollars on shoes for her 
little boy and sent the third dollar as her contribution toward the 
suffrage flag. 

It was a pleasure to see the gathering of the clans so many good 
and able and interesting women assembled together to report their 
work for equal rights and to plan more for the future. One with 
a pleasant, honest face and wistful brown eyes, had been lecturing 
in the interest of the amendment in the country districts of New 
York, riding from village to village in an open sleigh, with the 
thermometer many degrees below zero, and speaking sometimes in 
unwarmed halls. She did not expect to take a day's rest until the 
6th of next November, and then if the amendment carried, she said 
quietly, she should be willing to lie down and die 

It is pleasant also to note the increasing number of bright, 
sensible, earnest young women coming from all parts of the country 
to aid the older workers and to close up their thinning ranks. The 
sight would be a revelation to ttiat Massachusetts legislator who 
was lately reported as saying that the petitioners who had been ask- 
ing for suffrage for so many years were fast dying off, and soon 


there would be none left. He would have seen how greatly he 
was reckoning without his host or his hostesses. A sound and 
righteous reform does not die with any leader, however beloved. 

The Rev. Anna Howard Shaw pronounced the invocation at 
the opening session. In the course of her president's address 
Miss Susan B. Anthony said: 

For the twenty-sixth time we have come together under the 
shadow of the Capitol, asking that Congress shall take the neces- 
sary steps to secure to the women of the nation their right to a 
voice in the national government as well as that of their respective 
States. For twelve successive Congresses we have appeared before 
committees of the two Houses making this plea, that the underlying 
principle of our Government, the right of consent, shall have prac- 
tical application to the other half of the people. Such a little sim- 
ple thing we have been asking for a quarter of a century. For over 
forty years, longer than the children of Israel wandered through 
the wilderness, we have been begging and praying and pleading for 
this act of justice. We shall some day be heeded, and when we 
shall have our amendment to the Constitution of the United States, 
everybody will think it was always so, just exactly as many young 
people believe that all the privileges, all the freedom, all the enjoy- 
ments which woman now possesses always were hers. They have 
no idea of how every single inch of ground that she stands upon 
to-day has been gained by the hard work of some little handful of 
women of the past. 

This was Miss Anthony's birthday and Mrs. Chapman Catt 
concluded her little speech in presenting a silk flag by saying: 
"And now, our beloved leader, the enfranchised women of Wy- 
oming and Colorado, upon this the seventy-fourth anniversary 
of your life a life every year of which has been devoted to the 
advancement of womankind have sent this emblem and with 
it the message that they hope you will bear it at the head of 
our armies until there shall be on this blue field not two stars 
but forty-four. They have sent it with the especial wish that its 
silent lesson shall teach such justice to the men of the State of 
New York that in November they will rise as one man to crown 
you, as well as their own wives and daughters, with the sover- 
eignty of American citizenship." 

For a few moments Miss Anthony was unable to reply and 
then she said: "I have heard of standard bearers in the army 
who carried the banner to the topmost ramparts of the enemy, 
and there I am going to try to carry this one. You know without 


my telling how proud I am of this flag and how my heart is 
touched by this manifestation." Large boxes of flowers were 
sent her from Georgia and South Carolina, a telegram of greet- 
ing was received from ex-Governor and Mrs. Routt of Colorado, 
and there were many other pleasant remembrances. 

The convention was welcomed by the Hon. John Ross, com- 
missioner of the District of Columbia. Miss Catherine H. 
Spence of South Australia said in speaking of the suffrage there : 
"This country was not only the birthplace of the Australian bal- 
lot, by which you now vote in the United States, but it was the 
birthplace of woman suffrage, because six years before the Mu- 
nicipal Franchise was granted to women in England it was in 
effect in the towns and cities in South Australia." At a later 
session Miss Spence gave a practical illustration of what is 
known as proportional representation. Miss Windeyer also rep- 
resented the women electors of Australia. 

In response to Mrs. Young, bearing the greetings of South 
Carolina, Miss Anthony said with much feeling : 

I think the most beautiful part of our coming together in Wash- 
ington for the last twenty-five years has been that more friendships, 
more knowledge of each other, have come through the hand-shakes 
here than would have been possible through any other instrumental- 
ity. I shall never cease to be grateful for all the splendid women 
who have come up to this great center for these twenty-six con- 
ventions, and have learned that the North was not such a cold place 
as they had believed ; I have been equally glad when we came down 
here and met the women from the sunny South and found they 
were just like ourselves, if not a little better. In this great asso- 
ciation we know no North, no South, no East, no West. This has 
been our pride for all these years. We have no political party. 
We never have inquired what anybody's religion is. All we ever 
have asked is simply, "Do you believe in perfect equality for 
women?" This is the one article in our creed. 

Senator Joseph M. Carey of Wyoming and Representative La- 
fayette Pence of Colorado referred with great pride to the en- 
franchisement of the women of their respective States. Mrs. 
Johns was introduced by Miss Anthony as "the general of the 
Kansas army;" Mrs. Greenleaf as the Democratic nominee for 
member of the N. Y. Constitutional Convention ; Mrs. Henry as 
the woman who received 4,500 votes for Clerk of the Supreme 


Court of Kentucky. Miss Anthony's spicy introductions of the 
various speakers were always greatly relished by the audiences. 
No more impressive or beautiful memorial service ever was 
held than that in remembrance of Lucy Stone. The principal 
address was made by Mrs. Julia Ward Howe (Mass.), in the 
course of which she said : 

In all action taken under her supervision, Mrs. Stone was most 
careful that the main issue should be constantly presented and kept 
in view. While welcoming every reform which gave evidence of 
the ethical progress of the community, she yet held to woman suf- 
frage, pure and simple, as the first condition upon which the new 
womanhood should base itself. Efforts were often made to en- 
tangle suffrage with the promise of endless reforms in various di- 
rections, but firm as Cato, who always repeated his words that 
Carthage should be destroyed, Lucy Stone always asked for suf- 
frage because it is right and just that women should have it, and 
not on the ground of a swiftly-coming millennium which should 
follow it 

When Lucy Stone first resolved to devote her life to the re- 
habilitation of her sex, to what a task did she pledge herself ! The 
high road to reform which she held so dear was not even measured 
before her. The ground was covered with a growth of centuries. 
Could this small hand that held a sickle hope to cut down those for- 
ests of time-honored prejudice and superstition? What had she to 
work with? A silver voice, a winning smile, the great gift of a 
persuasive utterance. What had she to work from? A deep and 
abiding faith in divine justice and in man's ability to follow its laws 
and to execute its decrees. 

The prophetic sense of good to come, vouchsafed to her in the 
morning of life, did not forsake her at its close. Her mind was of 
a very practical cast and in her many days of labor her eyes were 
always fixed upon her work. But when her work was taken from 
her, she saw at once the heavens open before her and the eternal 
life and light beckoning to her to go up higher. With a smile she 
passed from the struggle of earthly existence to the peace of the 
saints made perfect. Here she was still debarred the right to cast 
her ballot at the polls, but lo, in the blue urn of heaven her life was 
received, one glowing and perfect vote for the rights of women, 
for the good of humanity, for the Kingdom of God on earth. 

A few sentences may be given as the key-note of the eulogy 
of the Hon. Wm. Dudley Foulke (Ind.) : "Her career, while 
different from that of most women, was characterized through- 
out by entire and consistent womanliness. Among the many 
admirable qualities that she possessed, it is difficult to single out 


the one for which she will hereafter be best remembered, but as 
dauntless moral courage is a rarer quality perhaps than any 
other, it seems to me that this will remain her brightest jewel." 
In the address of Mrs. Josephine K. Henry ( Ky. ) she referred 
to the marriage of Lucy Stone and Henry B. Blackwell as fol- 

Their matrimonial contract is the grandest chart of the absolute 
equality of man and woman that has ever been made, and it throws 
a new halo of consecration and sanctity around the institution of 
marriage. It has not yet been written in our ecclesiastical and 
civil codes that every woman shall retain and dignify her own 
name through life, but civilization is preparing now to issue this 
edict. The coming woman will not resign her name at the mar- 
riage altar, and it will be told in future years of these two great 
souls who were the first to recognize the dignity of human in- 
dividuality. The domestic life of this couple who set up the 
standard of absolute equality of husband and wife was an exquisite 
idyl, fragrant with love and tenderness, a poem whose rhythm 
was not marred, a divine melody that rose above the discords and 
dissensions of domestic life upon the lowlands where man is the 
ruler and woman the subject. 

In the touching tribute of Miss Laura Clay ( Ky. ) she said : 
"Lucy Stone is one of those who paid what must be paid for lib- 
erty or for any high good of humanity. She made sacrifices and 
did things that none of us to-day would be called upon to do, did 
them bravely, did them without shrinking, did them almost with- 
out knowing that she was doing anything which would call forth 
the blessing, the gratitude of the human race." 

Mrs. Lillie Devereux Blake (N. Y.) referred more especially 
to the domestic qualities, saying: 

When the gift of a little child came it was more to her than all 
else beside. For a while the world centered in that tiny cradle, and 
the hand which rocked that cradle had rather perform this gentle 
office than rule the world. It will ever be thus. With the true 
woman, dearer than wealth or fame is the touch of baby hands, 
sweeter than the applause of multitudes is the ripple of a baby's 
laughter. As the years passed by, the mother gave more of her 
life to the public, but always with the thought of the young girl 
who was growing up beside her and making of her home the dear- 
est and most sacred spot. 

This part of the memorial services appropriately closed with 


the tender reminiscences of forty-five years of married life, by 
the husband, Mr. Blackwell. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton ( N. Y. ) sent an eloquent tribute 
to the memory of Lucy Stone, Leland Stanford, George W. 
Childs, Elizabeth Oakes Smith and Elizabeth Peabody. After 
reciting the contributions of each in the cause of woman, she 
closed with these words from The Prince of India in reference 
to the last great record : "There is thy history and mine, and all 
of little and great and good and bad that shall befall us in this 
life. Death does not blot out the records. Everlastingly writ, 
they shall be everlastingly read; for the shame of some, for the 
glory of others." 

Mrs. Lucretia L. Blankenburg of Philadelphia told of the loy- 
alty to women of Mr. Child's paper, the Public Ledger, and of 
his many benefactions. Frederick Douglass gave the offering 
of his eloquence and ended as follows : 

It is not alone because of the goodness of any cause that men can 
safely predicate success. Much depends on the character and qual- 
ity of the men and. women who are its advocates. The Redeemer 
must ever come from above. Only the best of mankind can afford 
to support unpopular opinions. The common sort will drift with 
the tide. No good cause can fail when supported by such women 
as were Lucretia Mott, Abby Kelly, Angelina Grimke, Lydia Maria 
Child, Maria W. Chapman, Thankful Southwick, Sally Holly, Er- 
nestine L. Rose, E. Oakes Smith, Elizabeth Peabody and the noble 
and gifted Lucy Stone. Not only have we a glorious constellation 
of women on the' silent continent to assure us that our cause is good 
and that it must finally prevail, but we have such men as William 
Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, William Henry Channing, Fran- 
cis Jackson, Gerrit Smith, Samuel J. May, Samuel E. Sewall 
now no longer with us in body, but in spirit and memory to cheer 
us on in the good work of lifting women in the fullest sense to the 
dignity of American liberty and American citizenship. 

Miss Anthony closed the services with heartfelt testimonials 
to Mrs. Myra Bradwell, one of the first woman lawyers and 
founder and editor of The Legal News; Miss Mary F. Sey- 
mour, founder of The Business Woman's Journal; and Col. John 
Thompson, a founder of the Patrons of Husbandry, the first na- 
tional organization of men to indorse woman suffrage. 

At one of the evening sessions Miss Anthony presented Dr. 
John Trimble, secretary of the National Grange, and Leonard 


Rhone, chairman of its executive committee. The latter said in 
course of a few brief remarks : "When the farmers of this coun- 
try organized they took with them their wives and daughters, 
and for twenty-seven years we have tried woman suffrage in the 
Grange and it has worked well. What we have demonstrated 
by experience in our organization we are ready to indorse, and 
by almost a unanimous vote at our last national convention we 
passed a resolution in favor of woman suffrage." 

Mrs. Orra Langhorne read a clever paper on House Cleaning 
in Old Virginia, describing present social and political conditions 
and showing the need of woman's participation. Mrs. Mary 
Lowe Dickinson (N. Y.), secretary of the King's Daughters, 
gave a talk which sparkled with anecdotes and illustrations, every 
one scoring a point for woman suffrage. Madame Hanna Kor- 
any, from Syria, told in her soft, broken English how the women 
of the old world looked to those of America to free them from the 
slavery of customs and laws. 

Mrs. Miriam Howard DuBose took for her subject Some 
Georgia Curiosities, which she showed to be "men who love wo- 
men too dearly to accord them justice ; women who are deceived 
by such affection; the self-supporting woman, who crowds all 
places where there is any money to be made without encounter- 
ing the masculine frown and declares she has all the rights she 
wants. Georgia's motto should read: Unwisdom, Injustice, 

Miss Harriet A. Shinn (Ills.), president of the National As- 
sociation of Women Stenographers, gave unanswerable testi- 
mony from employers in many different kinds of business ex- 
pressing a preference for women stenographers. Miss Eliza- 
beth Upham Yates (Me.) illustrated how class distinctions, pub- 
lic schools, religious liberty and social life have been affected by 
the thought of the times, by fashionable thought. The official 
report said: "So bristling with humor was this address that 
there were several times when the speaker had to stop and wait 
for the laughter to subside. At the conclusion, her effort was 
acknowledged by long applause." 

Miss Shaw closed an evening which had been full of mirth, 
saying in the course of her vivacious remarks : 


I spoke at a woman's club in Philadelphia yesterday and a young 
lady said to me afterwards : "Well, that sounds very nice, but don't 
you think it is better to be the power behind the throne?" I an- 
swered that I had not had much experience with thrones, but a 
woman who has been on a throne, and who is now behind it, seems to 
prefer to be on the throne.* Mr. Edward Bok, editor of the Ladies' 
Home Journal, says that by careful watching for many years, he 
has come to the conclusion that no woman has had any business 
relations with men who has not been contaminated by them; and 
this same individual who does not want us to have business relations 
with men, lest we be contaminated by the association, wants us to 
marry these same men and live with them three hundred and sixty*- 
five and one-fourth days a year! 

On Sunday Mrs. Chapman Catt gave a sermon in the People's 
Church, Mrs. Ellen Battelle Dietrick in All Soul's Church (Uni- 
tarian), and the Rev. Anna Howard Shaw in Metzerott's Music 
Hall. At the last named meeting Mrs. Howe offered the prayer 
and, at the close, recited her Battle Hymn of the Republic. Miss 
Shaw preached from the text, "Let no man take thy crown." 

. . . . Since the beginning of the Christian era those who 
have expounded the Scriptures have been principally men, and the 
Gospel has been presented to us from the standpoint of men. In 
all these interpretations Heaven has been peopled with men, God 
has been pictured as a man, and even the earth has been represented 
as masculine. 

In the beginning this was wise, because people have always been 
more impressed by law, order, system and government than by the 
spirit of faith. But we have passed the stage of force in nature, 
of force in physical life, and have arrived at the age of spiritual 
thought and earthly needs when the mother comes to the front. In 
the Old World I have seen venerable men, strong men, and women 
kneeling together at the shrine of Mary pouring out their suffer- 
ings into the mother heart of the Virgin and rising refreshed and 
solaced. What Catholicism has done for its church, Protestantism 
must do for Christianity everywhere, by revealing the mother-life 
and the mother-spirit of divine nature. In the lesson of life there 
is not only a father but a mother-love. 

Jesus Christ, we are told, was a man and so were His disciples, 
and this is given as the reason why men only should preach the 
Gospel, yet the Scriptures tell us that the first divinely-ordained 
preacher was a woman. All the way down in the history of Chris- 
tianity are found women side by side with men, always ready and 
willing to bear the burdens and sorrows of life in order to better 
their fellows. In this country every reformation has been urged by 

* The Hawaiian ex-queen, then in the United States endeavoring to have her throne 
restored to her. 


women as well as men. The names of William Lloyd Garrison 
and Wendell Phillips will go down to posterity linked with those 
of Lucretia Mott, Harriet Beecher Stovve and Susan B. Anthony. 
In the great temperance movement the name of Gough will at once 
bring to mind Frances E. Willard. There is no name more promi- 
nently identified in the effort to uplift the Indian than that of Helen 
Hunt Jackson. Wherever there has been a wrong committed there 
have always been women to defend the wronged. Julia Ward 
Howe gave us the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," while Lucy 
Stone's last words should be the motto of every young girl's life, 
"^fake the world better." 

With respect to my text, "Let no man take thy crown," these 
words were written to the church, and not to the men alone, and 
the command should be obeyed by every woman. If the churches 
then were anything like the churches of to-day, they were com- 
posed of three-fourths women. Hence this injunction was intended 
especially for women. This crown, I take it, means the crown of 
righteousness, of regeneration, of redemption, of purity, and ap- 
plies to the whole body of the church. I believe the crown of 
womanhood in its highest sense means womanly character and na- 
ture. We never can wear a higher or nobler crown than pure and 
womanly womanhood 

The world has always been more particular how we did things 

than what things we did All human beings are under 

obligations first to themselves. If self-sacrifice seems best, then we 
should practice that ; while if self-assertion seems best, then we 
should assert ourselves. The abominable doctrine taught in the 
pulpit, the press, in books and elsewhere, is that the whole duty of 
women is self-abasement and self-sacrifice. I do not believe sub- 
jection is woman's duty any more than it is the duty of a man to be 
under subjection to another man or to many men. Women have 
the right of independence, of conscience, of will and of respon- 

Women are robbed of themselves by the laws of the country and 
by fashion. The time has not passed when women are bought and 
sold. Social custom makes the world a market-place in which 
women are bought and sold, and sometimes they are given away. 
In the marriage ceremony woman .loses her name, and under the 
old Common Law a married woman had no legal rights. She oc- 
cupied the same position to her husband as the slave to his master. 
These things degraded marriage, but the home would be the holiest 
of spots if the wife asserted her individuality and worked hand-in- 
hand with her husband, each uplifting the other. Women are 
robbed of the right of conscience. Their silence and subjection in 
the church have been the curse not only of womanhood but of man- 
hood. No other human being should decide for us in questions per- 
taining to our own moral and spiritual welfare. Women are be- 
ginning to believe that God will listen to a woman as quickly as to a 
man. The time has come when councils of women will gather and 
do their work in their quiet way without regard to men. 


No person is human who may not "will" to be anything he can be. 
When the woman says "I will," there is not anything this side of the 
throne of God to stop her, and the girls of the present day should 
learn this lesson. Now there is placed upon women the obligation 
of service without the responsibility of their actions. The man who 
leads feels the responsibility of his acts, and this urges him to make 
them noble. Women should have this same responsibility and be 
made to feel it. The most dangerous thing in the world is power 
without responsibility 

Monday night's session was designated "president's evening" 
and many short, clever talks were given.* James L. Hughes, 
Superintendent of Schools in Toronto and president of the 
Equal Suffrage Association of that city, told how the women of 
Canada voted, sat on the public and High School boards and 
even served as president of the Toronto board. 

At the Tuesday evening meeting Miss Anthony introduced 
Senator W. A. Peffer and Representatives Jerry Simpson, John 
C. Davis, Case Broderick and Charles Curtis of Kansas, and 
Henry A. Coffeen of Wyoming. Ex-Senator Blanche K. Bruce 
of Mississippi was invited to the platform and responded by 
saying he hoped to see the day when every qualified woman 
could exercise the suffrage. The Hon. Simon Wolf, commis- 
sioner of the District, urged equality of rights for women. 

Grace Greenwood was presented as one of the pioneer woman 
suffragists. Mrs. Mary Seymour Howell (N. Y.), the heroine 
of many campaigns, in a stirring speech related her varied experi- 
ences and said: "Ours is one of the greatest wars of the cen- 
turies. Indeed, it is a continuation of the same battle which has 
been waged almost since the world began but carried on with 
different tactics. It stands unique. No cannon is heard. No 
smoke tells of defeat or victory. No bloody battlefields lift their 
blushing faces to the heavens. It is a battle of ideas, a battle of 
prejudices, the right and the wrong, the new and the old, meet- 
ing in close contact. It is the 'war of the roses,' if you so please 
to call it. It is the motherhood of the republic asking for full 
political recognition." 

* Among the speakers were Mrs. Mary L. Bennett, Mrs. Lucretia L. Blankenburg, 
Miss Laura Clay, Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby, Mrs. Etta Grymes Farrah, Mrs. Jean Brooks 
Greenleaf, Mrs. Florence Howe Hall, Mrs. Rebecca Henry Hayes, Mrs. Laura M. Johns, 
Mrs. Emily B. Ketcham, Mrs. Claudia Howard Maxwell, Mrs. Ellis Meredith, Mrs. Mary 
Bentley Thomas, Mrs. Emmeline B. Wells, Mrs. Virginia D. Young. 


The last address of the convention was made by the Rev. Ida 
C. Hultin, on the Crowning Race, whose men and women should 
be equally free. Gov. Davis H. Waite of Colorado sent a letter 
in relation to the enfranchising of women the previous year, in 
which he said : 

The Populists more than any other political party in Colorado 
favored equal suffrage, but many Republicans and Democrats also 
voted for it, and in my opinion the result may be considered as due 
to the enlightened public sentiment of the common people of the 
State. The more I consider the matter the more it grows upon me 
in importance, and the more I realize the fact that all the patriotism, 
all the intelligence and all the virtue of the commonwealth are neces- 
sary to preserve it from the corrupt and mercenary attacks made 
upon it from all points by corporate trusts and monopolies. Equal 
suffrage can not fail to encourage purity in both private and public 
life, and to elevate the official standard of fatness. 

A letter from Mrs. May Wright Sewall, regretting her en- 
forced absence, closed by saying: 

Many of you know that the last few months I have spent in edit- 
ing the papers presented at the World's Congress of Representative 
Women, held in Chicago last May. It is a remarkable and to 
me quite an unexpected fact that the papers upon the subject of 
Civil and Political Reform are hardly more earnest appeals for 
political equality than are the addresses to be found in every other 
chapter. Hereafter if one asserts that the interest in the woman 
suffrage movement is not growing, let him be cited to this galaxy 
of witnesses, whose testimony is all the more valuable because in 
the large majority of instances it proceeds from women who never 
have identified themselves with it, and are not at all known as 
advocates of political equality. The meaning of the entire report 
is equality, co-operation, organization ; that is, the demand made by 
the National Suffrage Association is the demand borne to us by the 
echoes of that great congress. 

Among the committee reports that of Mrs. Rachel Foster Avery, 
Chairman of Columbian Exposition Work, attracted especial at- 
tention and was in part as follows : 

There is a most valuable and interesting bit of unpublished his- 
tory which seems to me to form an integral part of your commit- 
tee's report. It concerns the origin of the Board of Lady Man- 
agers, and this association should be proud to be able to feel that 
to our president is largely due the recognition of women in official 
capacity at the World's Fair. The fact that women were not offi- 
cially recognized during the Centennial Exposition in 1876 was a 
great disappointment to all interested in the advancement of woman- 


kind, and while it was suggested on every side that women must 
have a voice in the management of the World's Fair in 1893, it re- 
mained for Susan B. Anthony to take the initiatory step which led 
to the creation of the Board of Lady Managers. She had invita- 
tions sent to women of official and social position to meet in the 
Riggs House parlors to consider this matter, in December, 1889. 
At this meeting Mrs. Conger, wife of Senator Omar D. Conger 
of Michigan, was made chairman, and Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton, 
secretary. Miss Anthony was not present, fearing lest her well- 
known radical views might hinder the progress of affairs in the 
direction she wished them to take, but she restlessly walked about 
her room in the hotel anxiously awaiting the result. 

Several meetings followed this and a committee was appointed to 
wait upon Congress, asking that the commission should consist of 
both men and women. Meanwhile the World's Fair Bill had 
been brought before the House and Miss Anthony soon saw that 
there would not be time for this committee to act. She therefore 
prepared petitions, sent them to women in official life and asked 
them to obtain signatures of official people.* On the strength of 
these petitions there was added to the bill, in March, 1890, an 
amendment providing for the appointment of women on the Board. 

Miss Anthony's self-effacement was perhaps the wisest thing 
under the circumstances, for the Board, as appointed, being uncon- 
nected with woman suffrage, proved an immense source of educa- 
tion to the conservative women of the whole world an education 
not needed by the radical women of our own ranks. I think the 
time has surely come when the truth of this history should be 
known to all. 

The election of officers resulted in Miss Anthony's receiving 
for president 139 out of 140 possible votes; Miss Shaw for vice- 
president-at-large, 130; Rachel Foster Avery for corresponding 
secretary, unanimous; Alice Stone Blackwell for recording sec- 
retary, 136; Harriet Taylor Upton for treasurer, unanimous. 

During the convention the death of Miss Anna Ella Carroll 
was announced. A resolution of sympathy with her sister was 
adopted and a collection was taken up, as had been done for Miss 

* Miss Anthony herself also went among prominent persons of her owm acquaintance 
obtaining signatures. In a few days in names were secured of the wives and daughters 
of Judges of the Supreme Court, the Cabinet, Senators, Representatives, Army and Navy 
officers as influential a list as the national capital could offer. These names may be 
found in the published minutes of this convention of 1894, p. 135. 

At the lime Miss Anthony secured this petition no organization of women had con- 
sidered the question and, if she had not been on the ground and taken immediate 
action, there is every reason to believe that the bill would have passed Congress without 
any provision for a board of women. For a further account <jf this matter, and for a 
description of this great Congress of Women, see Life and Work of Susan B. An- 
thony, Chap. XLI; also chapter on Illinois in this volume of the History. 


Carroll a number of times during the past twenty-five years, 
which resulted in over forty dollars. 

Mrs. Sallie Clay Bennett ( Ky. ) , the faithful champion of Fed- 
eral Suffrage, insisted that, instead of asking for an amendment 
to confer suffrage, we should demand protection in the right 
already guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution : "Even when ask- 
ing for Municipal Suffrage, we never should fail to assert that it 
is already ours under the Constitution, and that there is strength 
enough in our national government to protect every woman in 
the Union provided the men had interpreted the laws right." 
Miss Sara Winthrop Smith (Conn.) supported Mrs. Bennett, 
saying: "It is useless labor to petition for a Sixteenth Amend- 
ment we do not need it. Our fundamental institutions most 
adequately protect the rights of all citizens of the United States, 
irrespective of sex. In the twenty-four years since the passage 
of the Fifteenth Amendment, 300 amendments to the Constitution 
have been introduced into* Congress which never met with any 
approval from either House. I think it is wasted time for us to 
continue in this work, and therefore I feel that it concerns our 
dignity as a part of the people of this great United States that we 
declare and ask only for that which recognizes the dignity of 
such citizens." Mrs. Diggs, Mrs. Dietrick, Mrs. Colby and oth- 
ers supported this view. 

In expressing his dissent Mr. Blackwell said: "I do not be- 
lieve in Federal Suffrage. I agree with the State's Rights party 
in their views." Miss Blackwell and others took the same posi- 
tion, and Miss Anthony closed the debate by saying: "There is 
no doubt that the spirit of the Constitution guarantees full equal- 
ity of rights and the protection of citizens of the United States 
in the exercise of these rights, but the powers that be have de- 
cided against us, and until we can get a broader Supreme Court 
which will not be until after the women of every State in the 
Union are enfranchised we never will get the needed liberal 
interpretation of that document." The majority concurred in 
this view. 

The most spirited discussion of the convention was in regard 
to the place of holding the next annual meeting. Urgent invita- 
tions were received from Detroit and Cincinnati, but the persua- 


sive Southern advocates, Claudia Howard Maxwell, Miriam 
Howard DuBose and H. Augusta Howard, three Georgia dele- 
gates, carried off the prize for Atlanta. 

This was the first and last appearance on the suffrage platform 
of Miss Kate Field, who was introduced by Miss Anthony with 
her characteristic abruptness : "Now, friends, here is Kate Field, 
who has been talking all these years against woman suffrage. 
She wants to tell you of the faith that is in her." Miss Field 
responded quickly: 

I take exception to what Miss Anthony has said, because I think 
she has misconstrued my position entirely. I never have been 
against woman suffrage. I have been against universal suffrage 
of any kind, regardless of sex. I think that morally woman has 
exactly as much right to the suffrage as man. It is a disgrace that 
such women as you and I have not the suffrage, but I do think that 
all suffrage should be regarded as a privilege and should not be de- 
manded as a right. It should be the privilege of education and, if 
you please I will not quarrel about that of a certain property 
qualification. I have not changed my opinion, but I did say that I 
was tired of waiting for men to have common sense, that there 
evidently never would be any restriction in suffrage and that I 
should come in for the whole thing, woman included. Now, that 

is my position I withdraw my former attitude and 

take my stand on this platform. 

The usual able "hearings" were held. Before the Senate com- 
mittee Senators Hoar, Teller, Wolcott, Blackburn and Hill 
the speakers were the Rev. Ida C. Hultin, Miss Blackwell, Mrs. 
Lucretia Mitchell, Mrs. Diggs, Mrs. Phoebe C. Wright, Miss 
Alice Smith, Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Colby, Representative John C. 
Davis of Kansas. Although the majority of the committee were 
in favor of woman suffrage no report was made. 

The Hon. Isaac H. Goodnight (Ky.) was in the chair of the 
House Judiciary Committee, which was addressed by the Rever- 
ends Miss Shaw and Miss Hultin, Mrs. Young, Mrs. Emily G. 
Ketcham, Miss Lavina A. Hatch, Prof. Jennie Gifford, Mrs. 
Alice Waugh, Mrs. Pickler, Miss Howard, Mrs. Meredith, Mrs. 
Greenleaf, Mr. Blackwell. Miss Anthony presented the speak- 
ers and closed the discussion. Later Mr. Goodnight submitted 
an adverse report for a majority of the committee. 



The Twenty-seventh annual convention Jan. 3i-Feb. 5, 1895 
possessed an unusual interest because of its being held outside of 
Washington. The American society had been accustomed to 
migratory conventions, but the National had gone to the capital 
for twenty-six winters. The Woman's Journal, whose editors 
were strongly in favor of the former plan, said of the Atlanta 
meeting : 

There had been some fears that holding the convention so far 
south might result in a smaller attendance of delegates than usual ; 
but there were ninety-three delegates, representing twenty-eight 
States, and also a large number of visitors. Some, like Mrs. Abi- 
gail Scott Duniway of Oregon, had come nearly 4,000 miles to be 
present. De Give's Opera House was crowded. Even at the morn- 
ing meetings the seats were full and men stood for hours, several 
rows deep all around the sides and back of the house a novel and 
gratifying sight at a business meeting. The proportion of men 
among the delegates and in the audiences, both day and evening, 
was larger than usual 

Over the platform hung two large flags, that of the association, 
with the two stars of Wyoming and Colorado, and another flag, the 
work of Georgia ladies, on which was ingeniously depicted the rela- 
tive standing of the different States on this question. The States 
where women have no form of suffrage were represented by black 
stars. Those where they can vote for school committee or on cer- 
tain local questions had a golden rim. Kansas and Iowa had a 
wider golden rim, to indicate municipal and bond suffrage. Wyo- 
ming and Colorado shone with full and undimmed luster. Portraits 
of Lucy Stone and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, draped in yellow, 
adorned opposite sides of the platform. 

Many of the delegates were from the Southern States, and some 
of them strikingly illustrated Miss Anthony's assertion, "These 
Southern women are born orators." In sweetness of voice, grace 
of manner and personal charm they have all the qualities to make 
most effective speakers, while in the fervor of their equal rights 
sentiments they go even beyond their sisters from the North and 
West. One handsome young lady, who sat on the platform a good 



deal of the time, was supposed to be from New England, because 
she wore her hair short. It turned out, however, that she was from 
New Orleans and was a cousin of Jefferson Davis. The announce- 
ment of this fact caused her to be received by the audience with 
roars of enthusiasm. 

The Atlanta papers devoted columns every day to friendly re- 
ports and innumerable portraits. Ministers of different denomina- 
tions opened the convention with prayer and their pulpits afterwards 
for addresses by the ladies. Some of the best people of the city 
took visitors into their homes, entertaining them hospitably and de- 
lightfully, and showing them what a Southern home is like. The 
national officers and speakers were entertained by the Georgia W. 
S. A. at the Aragon, and the State officers generously insisted upon 
taking almost the entire expenses of the great convention upon 
their own young shoulders. These "Georgia girls" devoted un- 
limited time, thought and work to getting up the convention, and 
then effaced themselves as far as possible * 

Perhaps no one person did more, unintentionally, to promote the 
enthusiasm of the convention than the Rev. Dr. Hawthorne, a Bap- 
tist preacher. He had felt called upon to denounce all woman 
suffragists from his pulpit, not only with severity but with dis- 
courtesy, and had been so misguided as to declare that the husbands 
of suffragists were all feeble-minded men. As the average equal- 
rights woman is firmly convinced that her husband is the very best 
man in the world, this remark stirred the women up to a degree of 
wrath which no amount of abuse leveled against themselves would 
have aroused. On the other hand, the Atlanta people, even those 
who were not in favor of suffrage, felt mortified by this unprovoked 
insult to their guests, and many of them took occasion in private 
to express their regret. Several speakers at the convention criti- 
cised Dr. Hawthorne's utterances, and every such allusion was re- 
ceived with warm applause by the audience 

At the beginning of the convention four announcements were 
made which added much to the general good cheer that South 
Australia had followed the example of New Zealand in extending 
Full Suffrage to women; that the Supreme Court of Ohio had 
pronounced the School Suffrage Law constitutional; that the 
Governor of Illinois had filled a vacancy on the Board of Trustees 
of the State University by appointing a woman; that the Idaho 
Legislature had submitted a woman suffrage amendment. 

The most perfect arrangements had been made for the meet- 
ings, and the novelty of the occasion attracted large crowds, but 

* The three sisters, Claudia Howard Maxwell, Miriam Howard Du Bose and H. Augusta 
Howard, who as delegates at Washington the previous winter had invited the association 
to Atlanta, bore the principal part of these expenses and were largely responsible for 
the success of the convention. 


there was also much genuine interest. The success was partly 
due to the excellent work of the press of Atlanta. There was, 
however, no editorial endorsement except by The Sunny South, 
Col. Henry Clay Fairman, editor. 

The national president, Miss Susan B. Anthony, said in open- 
ing the convention: "With this gavel was called to order in 
1869 that Legislature of Wyoming which established the first 
true republic under the Stars and Stripes and gave the franchise 
to what men call the better-half of the people. We women do 
not say that, but we do claim to be half." 

Miss Anthony seldom made a stated address either in opening 
or closing, but throughout the entire convention kept up a running 
fire of quaint, piquant, original and characteristic observations 
which delighted the audience and gave a distinctive attraction to 
the meetings. It was impossible to keep a record of these and they 
would lose their zest and appropriateness if separated from the 
circumstances which called them forth. They can not be trans- 
mitted to future generations, but the thousands who heard them 
during the fifty years of her itineracy will preserve them among 
their delightful memories. Perfectly at home on the platform, 
she would indulge in the same informality of remarks which 
others use in private conversation, but always with a quick wit, 
a fine satire and a keen discrimination. Words of praise or criti- 
cism were given with equal impartiality, and accepted with a 
grace which would have been impossible had the giver been any 
other than the recognized Mentor of them all. Her wonderful 
power of reminiscence never failed, and she had always some per- 
sonal recollection of every speaker or of her parents or other rela- 
tives. She kept the audience in continuous good-humor and fur- 
nished a variety to the program of which the newspaper reporters 
joyfully availed themselves. At the morning business meetings 
which were always informal there would often be a running dia- 
logue something like the following, when Mrs. Alberta C. Taylor 
was called to the platform : 

Miss ANTHONY: This is an Alabama girl, transplanted to the 
Rockies a daughter of Governor Chapman of Alabama. She is 
as good a Southerner as any one, and also as good a Northerner 
and Westerner. 

MRS. TAYLOR : A Southern paper lately said no Southern woman 


could read the report of the late election in Colorado without blush- 
ing. I went through the election itself without blushing, except 
with gratification. 

Miss ANTHONY: Instead of degrading a woman it makes her 
feel nobler not to be counted with idiots, lunatics and criminals. 
It even changes the expression of her face. 

VOICE IN THE AUDIENCE: How many women are there in the 
Colorado Legislature? 

MRS. TAYLOR : Three. 

Miss ANTHONY : It has always been thought perfectly womanly 
to be a scrub-woman in the Legislature and to take care of the spit- 
toons ; that is entirely within the charmed circle of woman's sphere ; 
but for women to occupy any of those official seats would be de- 

Miss LUCY E. ANTHONY: What salaries do the women legisla- 
tors receive? 

MRS. TAYLOR : The same as the men, $4 a day. The pay of our 
legislators is small. A prosperous business man has to make a 
great sacrifice to go to the Legislature, and we can not always get 
the best men to serve. This is an additional reason for making 
women eligible. There are more first-class women than first-class 
men who have the leisure. 

Miss SHAW : We are accused of wishing to belittle men, but in 
Colorado they think a man's time is worth only as much as a 

MRS. CLARA B. COLBY: The Hon. Mrs. Holley has just intro- 
duced in the Colorado House, and carried through it against strong 
opposition, a bill raising the age of protection for girls to eighteen 

MRS. DUNIWAY : I was in the Colorado House and saw it done. 
The women members are highly respected. I have never seen 
women so honored since those of Washington were disfranchised. 
The leading men are as proud of the enfranchisement of their 
women as Georgia men will be when the time comes. The Colo- 
rado women have organized a Good Government League to promote 
education, sanitation and general prosperity. 

MRS. TAYLOR : A bookseller in Denver told me that since wom- 
en were given the suffrage he had sold more books on political 
economy than he had sold since Colorado was admitted into the 

Miss ANTHONY : The bill raising the age of protection for girls 
shows that suffrage does not make a woman forget her children, 
and the bookseller's remark shows that she will study the science 
of government. 

MRS. MARY BENTLEY THOMAS: One of our most conservative 
Maryland women, who married in Colorado ten years ago, writes to 
me: "I enjoyed every moment of the campaign, especially the 
primary meetings." A Virginia woman who also married a Colo- 
rado man writes back: "Come West, where women are appre- 
ciated, and where they are proud and happy citizens." She adds : 


"If you will come I will show you the sweetest girl baby you ever 

MRS. HENRY: Let it be recorded that the first bill introduced 
by a woman member in any State Legislature was a bill for the pro- 
tection of girls. 

On motion of Mrs. Colby, it was voted to send a telegram of 
congratulation to the Hon. Mrs. Holley. 

Again : 

Before introducing the president of the Florida W. S. A. Miss 
Anthony said : "For several years a big box of oranges has come 
to me from Florida. Not long ago, I got home on one of the cold- 
est nights of the year, and found a box standing in my woodshed, 
full of magnificent oranges. Next morning the papers reported 
that all the oranges in Florida were frozen ; but the president of 
the suffrage association saved that boxful for me." 

MRS. ELLA C. CHAMBERLAIN : Those were all we saved 

A man in Florida who hires himself and his wife out to hoe corn, 
charges $1.25 for his own services and 75 cents for hers, although 
she does just as much work as he, so the men who employ them 
tell me. It costs his wife 50 cents a day to be a woman. 

VOICE IN THE AUDIENCE: And the 75 cents paid for her work 
belongs to her husband. 

Miss ANTHONY: I suppose those are colored men. 

MRS. CHAMBERLAIN : No, they are white. 

Miss ANTHONY : White men have always controlled their wives' 
wages. Colored men were not able to do so until they themselves 
became free. Then they owned both their wives and their wages. 

The delegate from the District of Columbia answered in a very 
faint tone of voice, and Miss Anthony remarked that "this was 
through mortification because even the men there had no more 
rights than women." When another delegate could not be heard 
she said: "Women have always been taught that it is im- 
modest to speak in a loud voice, and it is hard for them to get out 
of the old rut." At another time : 

Miss LA VINA A. HATCH : In Massachusetts there are between 
103,000 and 105,000 families which have no male head. Some of 
these pay large taxes and none of them has any representation. 

MRS. MARIANA W. CHAPMAN : In about two-thirds of the State 
of New York, and not including New York City, women are as- 
sessed on $348,177,107. 

MRS. LOUISA SOUTHWORTH : This year, with the new income 
tax, I shall pay in taxes, national, State and municipal, $5,300. 

Miss ANTHONY : Yet why should she have a right to vote ? In- 
consistency is the jewel of the American people. 

MRS. MERIWETHER : Tennessee caps the climax in taxation with- 


out representation. In Shelby County there are two young women, 
sisters, who own farms. Both are married, and both were sensible 
enough to have their farms secured to themselves and their chil- 
dren. In one case, at least, it proved a wise precaution. One of 
these young women asked the other, when she went to town, to 
pay a few bills for her and settle her taxes. Accordingly she went 
to the tax office, and as she handed in the papers she noticed writ- 
ten at the foot of her sister's tax bill, "Poll tax, $1.00." She ex- 
claimed, "Oh, when did Mrs. A. become a voter? I am so glad 
Tennessee has granted suffrage to women !" "Oh, she hasn't ; it 
doesn't," said the young clerk with a smile. "That is her husband's 
poll tax." "And why is she required to pay her husband's poll 
tax?" "It is the custom," he said. She replied, "Then Tennessee 
will change its custom this time. I will see the tax collector dead 
and very cold before I will pay Mr. A.'s poll tax out of my sister's 
property in order that he may vote, while she is not allowed to do 

Miss ANTHONY: It seems to me that these Southern women 
are in a state of chronic rebellion. 


In closing this meeting Miss Anthony said : "Now, don't all 
of you come to me to tell me how glad you are that I have worked 
for fifty years, but say rather that you are going to begin work 

The delegates were eloquently welcomed in behalf of the South 
by Bennett J. Conyers of Atlanta, who declared that "suffrage 
for women is demanded by the divine law of human develop- 
ment." He said in part : 

The work of Miss Anthony needs no apology. She has blazed a 
way for advanced thought in her lonely course over the red-hot 
plowshares of resistance. Now almost at the summit she looks 
back to see following her an army with banners. May she long 
worship where she stands at Truth's mountain altar, as, with the 
royal sunset flush upon her brow, she catches the beckoning of the 

lights twinkling on the heavenly shore The South is a 

maiden well worthy of the allegiance of this cause, and when her 
aid is given it will be as devoted as it has been reserved. The 
South is the land where has lingered latest on earth the chivalry 
which idealized its objects of worship. What though it may have 
meant repression? Is it any wonder that the tender grace of a 
day that is dead even now lingers and makes men loath to welcome 
change? Perhaps it can not be told how much it has cost men to 
surrender the ideal, even though it be to change it for the per- 
fected womanhood 



The address of welcome for the State was made by Mrs. Mary 
L. McLendon, who spoke earnestly in favor of equal suffrage, 
saying : 

If Georgia women could vote, this National Convention could 
hold its session in our million dollar capitol, which rears its grand 
proportions on yonder hill. Crowning its loftiest pinnacle is the 
statue of a woman representing Liberty, and on its front the motto, 
"Justice, Wisdom and Moderation." It was built with money paid 
into our State's treasury by women as well as men, both white and 
black ; but men alone, white and black, have the privilege of meeting 
in legislative session to make laws to govern women. Men are also 
allowed to hold their Democratic, Republican, Prohibition and Pop- 
ulist Conventions in its halls. It is with difficulty that women can 
secure a hearing before a legislative committee to petition for laws 
to ameliorate their own condition, or to secure compulsory training 
in the public schools, that their children may be brought up in the 
way they should go, and become sober, virtuous citizens. 

Major Charles W. Hubner extended the welcome of the city, 
saying in conclusion : "Reason and right are with you, and these, 
in the name of God, will at last prevail." Afterwards he contrib- 
uted the poem, "Thank God that Thought is Free." Miss An- 
thony was presented by Miss H. Augusta Howard and, after a 
speech complimentary to Southern women, introduced Mrs. Lillie 
Devereux Blake (N. Y.), who eulogized Southern Chivalry, and 
Mrs. Lida A. Meriwether (Tenn.), who spoke in behalf of 
Motherhood. Miss Elizabeth Upham Yates (Me.) made the 
closing address, in which she said : "As surely as I want to vote 
and nothing is more certain the man for whom I have most 
wished to vote was your own beloved Henry W. Grady. There 
is something else for women to do than to sit at home and fan 
themselves, 'cherishing their femininity.' Womanliness will 
never be sacrificed in following the path of duty and service." 

One of the principal addresses of the convention was that of 
Gen. Robert R. Hemphill of South Carolina, who began by say- 
ing that in 1892 he introduced a woman suffrage resolution in 
his State Senate, which received fourteen out of thirty-five votes. 
He closed as follows : "The cause is making headway, though 
slowly it is true, for it has the prejudices of hundreds of years to 
contend against. The peaceful revolution is upon us. It will 
not turn backward but will go on conquering until its final tri- 
umph. Woman will be exalted, she will enjoy equal rights ; pure 


politics and good government will be insured, the cause of moral- 
ity advanced, and the happiness of the people established." 

Miss Alice Stone Blackwell (Mass.) discussed The Strong- 
holds of Opposition, showing what they are and how they must 
be attacked. Woman as a Subject was presented by Mrs. Caro- 
line E. Merrick (La.), who said in part: 

Women are, and ever will be, loyal, tender, true and devoted to 
their well beloved men ; for they naturally love them better than 
they do themselves. It is the brave soldier submissive to authority 
who deserves promotion to rank and honor; so woman, having 
proved herself a good subject, is now ready for her promotion and 
advancement. She is urgently asking, not to rule over men, but to 
take command of herself and all her rightful belongings 

As a self-respecting, reasonable being, she has grave 'responsi- 
bilities, and from her is required an accountability strict and severe. 
If she owns stock in one of your banks, she has an influence in the 
management of the institution which takes care of her money. The 
possession of children makes her a large stockholder in public mor- 
ality, but her self-constituted agents act as her proxy without her 
authorization, as though she were of unsound mind, or not in ex- 

The great truths of liberty and equality are dear to her heart. She 
would die before she would imperil the well-being of her home. 
She has no design to subvert church government, nor is she organ- 
ized to tear up the social fabric of polite society. But she has now 
come squarely up to a crisis, a new epoch in her history here in the 
South, and asks fqr a womanly right to participate by vote in this 
representative government. 

Gentlemen, you value the power and privilege which the right of 
suffrage has conferred upon you, and in your honest, manly souls 
you can not but disdain the meanness and injustice which might 
prompt you to deny it to women. Language utterly fails me when 
I try to describe the painful humiliation and mortification which at- 
tend this abject condition of total disfranchisement, and how anx- 
iously and earnestly women desire to be taken out of the list of 
idiots, criminals and imbeciles, where they do not belong, and placed 
in the respectable company of men who choose their lawmakers, and 
give an intelligent consent to the legal power which controls them. 

Do women deserve nothing? Are they not worthy? They have 
a noble cause, and they beg you to treat it magnanimously. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Lyle Saxon (La.) described in an interesting 
manner Club Life among the Women of the South. Mrs. Blake 
gave a powerful address on Wife, Mother and Citizen. Miss 
Shaw closed the meeting with an impromptu speech in which, 
according to the reporter, she said : "It is declared that women 


are too emotional to vote; but the morning paper described a 
pugilistic encounter between two members of Congress which 
looked as if excitability were not limited to women. It is said 
that 'the legal male mind' is the only mind fit for suffrage." Miss 
Shaw then made her wit play around the legal male mind like 
chain lightning. "It is said that women are illogical, and jump 
to their conclusions, flea-like. I shall not try to prove that women 
are logical, for I know they are not, but it is beyond me how men 
ever got it into their heads that they are. When we read the 
arguments against woman suffrage, we see that flea-like jumping 
is by no means confined to women." 

On one evening the Hon. Henry C. Hammond of Georgia made 
the opening address, which was thus reported : 

After declaring that the atmosphere of the nineteenth century is 
surcharged with the sentiment of woman's emancipation, he traced 
the gradual evolution of this sentiment, showing that one by one 
the shackles had been stricken from the limbs of woman until now 
she was making her final protest against tyranny and her last ap- 
peal for liberty. "What is meant," said he, "by this mysterious 
dictum, 'Out of her sphere ?' It is merely a sentimental phrase with- 
out either sense or reason." He then proceeded to say that if woman 
had a sphere the privilege of voting was clearly within its lim- 
itations. There was no doubt in his mind as to woman's moral su- 
periority, and the politics of the country was in need of her purify- 
ing touch. In its present distracted and unhappy condition, the 
adoption of the woman suffrage platform and the incorporation of 
equal rights into the supreme law of the land was the only hope of 
its ultimate salvation. . . . . 

J. Colton Lynes of Georgia, taking for his subject Women to 
the Front, gave a valuable historical review of their progress 
during the last half century. Mrs. Josephine K. Henry was in- 
troduced as "the daughter of Kentucky," and the Constitution 
said the next day: "If the spirit of old Patrick Henry could 
have heard the eloquent plea of his namesake, he would have had 
no reason to blush for a decadence of the oratory which gave the 
name to the world." In considering Woman Suffrage in the 
South, Mrs. Henry said : 

It is asserted on all sides that the women of the South do not want 
the ballot. The real truth is the women of the South never have 
been asked what they want. When Pundita Ramabai was in this 
country she saw a hen carried to market with its head downward. 


This Christian method of treating a poor, dumb creature caused the 
heathen woman to cry out, "Oh, how cruel to carry a hen with its 
head down !" and she quickly received the reply, "Why, the hen does 
not mind it" ; and in her heathen innocence she inquired, "Did you 
ask the hen ?" Past civilization has not troubled either dumb crea- 
tures or women by consulting them in regard to their own affairs. 
For woman everything in sociology, law or politics has been ar- 
ranged without consulting her in any way, and when her rights are 
trampled on and money extorted from her by the votes of the vicious 
and ignorant, the glib tongue of tyranny says, "Tax her again, she 
has no wish or right to tell what she wants." ' . . . . 

Where the laws rob her in marriage of her property, she does 
want possession and control of her inheritance and earnings. 
Where she is a mother, she wants co-guardianship of her own chil- 
dren. Where she is a breadwinner she wants equal pay for equal 
work. She wants to wipe out the law that in its savagery protects 
brutality when it preys upon innocent, defenseless girlhood. She 
wants the streets and highways of the land made safe for the child 
whose life cost her a hand to hand conflict with death. She wants 
a single standard of morals established, where a woman may have 
an equal chance with a man in this hard, old world, and it may not 
be possible to crowd a fallen woman out of society and close against 
her every avenue whereby she can make an honest living, while the 
fallen man runs for Congress and is heaped with honors. More 
than all, she needs and wants the ballot, the only weapon for the 
protection of individual rights recognized in this government. 

In short, this New Woman of the New South wants to be a citi- 
zen queen as well as a queen of hearts and a queen of home, whose 
throne under the present regime rests on the sandy foundation of 
human generosity and human caprice. It should be remembered 
that the women of the South are the daughters of their fathers, 
and have as invincible a spirit in their convictions in the cause of lib- 
erty and justice as had those fathers. 

We come asking the men of our section for the right of suffrage, 
not that it be bestowed on us as a gift on a suppliant, but that our 
birthright, bequeathed to us by the immortal Jefferson, be restored 
to us. . . . 

The most pathetic picture in all history is this great conflict which 
women are waging for their liberty. Men armed with all the death- 
dealing weapons devised by human ingenuity, and with the wealth 
of nations at their backs, have waged wars of extermination to gain 
freedom ; but women with no weapon save argument, and no wealth 
save the justice of their cause, are carrying on a war of education 
for their liberty, and no earthly power can keep them from winning 
the victory. 

The Next Phase of the Woman Question was considered by 
Miss Mary C. Francis (O.) from the standpoint of a practical 
newspaper woman. Mrs. Chapman Catt, chairman of the na- 


tional organization committee, made the last address, taking for 
a subject Eternal Justice. The Constitution said : "As a rapid, 
logical and fluent speaker it is doubtful if America ever has pro- 
duced one more gifted, and the suffrage movement is fortunate 
in having so brilliant a woman for its champion." 

Henry B. Blackwell urged the South to adopt woman suffrage 
as one solution of the negro problem: 

Apply it to your own State of Georgia, where there are 149,895 
white women who can read and write, and 143,471 negro voters, of 
whom 116,516 are illiterates. 

The time has come when this question should be considered. An 
educational qualification for suffrage may or may not be wise, but it 
is not necessarily unjust. If each voter governed only himself, his 
intelligence would concern himself alone, but his vote helps to govern 
everybody else. Society in conceding his right has itself a right to 
require from him a suitable preparation. Ability to read and write 
is absolutely necessary as a means of obtaining accurate political in- 
formation. Without it the voter is almost sure to become the tool 
of political demagogues. With free schools provided by the States, 
every citizen can qualify himself without money and without price. 
Under such circumstances there is no infringement of rights in re- 
quiring an educational qualification as a pre-requisite of voting. In- 
deed, without this, suffrage is often little more than a name. "Suf- 
frage is the authoritative exercise of rational choice in regard to 
principles, measures and men." The comparison of an unintelligent 
voter to a "trained monkey," who goes through the motion of drop- 
ping a paper ballot into a box, has in it an element of truth. So- 
ciety, therefore, has a right to prescribe, in the admission of any 
new class of voters, such a qualification as every one can attain and 
as will enable the voter to cast an intelligent and responsible vote. 

In the development of our complex political society we have to- 
day two great bodies of illiterate citizens : In the North, people of 
foreign birth ; in the South, people of the African race and a consid- 
erable portion of the native white population. Against foreigners 
and negroes, as such, we would not discriminate. But in every 
State, save one, there are more educated women than all the illiterate 
voters, white and black, native and foreign. 

The convention proper closed on Saturday night, but the ex- 
ercises Sunday afternoon may be said to have been a continuation 
of it. The official report said : 

The services began at 3 o'clock and more than half an hour be- 
fore this time the theatre was filled almost to its fullest capacity. 
When the opening hour arrived there was not an empty chair in the 
house, every aisle was crowded, and people anxious to hear the ser- 
mon of the Rev. Anna Howard Shaw had invaded the stage. So 


dense became the crowd that the doors were ordered closed and peo- 
ple were refused admission even before the services began. After 
the doors were closed the disappointed ones stood on the stairs 
and many of them remained in the streets. The vast congregation 
was made up of all classes of citizens. Every chair that could be 
found in the theatre had been either placed in the aisles or on the 
stage, and then boxes and benches were pressed into service. Many 
of the most prominent professional and business men were stand- 
ing on the stage and in different parts of the house. 

Miss Shaw gave her great sermon The Heavenly Vision. She 
told of the visions of the man which it depended upon himself 
to make reality ; of the visions of the woman which were forever 
placed beyond her reach by the church, by society and by the 
laws, and closed with these words : "We ask for nothing which 
God can not give us. God created nature, and if our demands 
are contrary to nature, trust nature to take care of itself without 
the aid of man. It is better to be true to what you believe, though 
that be wrong, than to be false to what you believe, even if that 
belief is correct." 

Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby (D. C. ) preached to more than a 
thousand people at the Bethel (colored) Church; Mrs. Meri- 
wether at the Unitarian Church; Miss Yates and Miss Emily 
Howland (N. Y.) also occupied pulpits. 

The evening programs with their formal addresses naturally at- 
tracted the largest audiences and occupied the most space in the 
newspapers, but the morning and afternoon sessions, devoted to 
State and committee reports and the business of the association, 
were really the life and soul of this as of all the conventions. 
Among the most interesting of the excellent State reports pre- 
sented to the Atlanta meeting were those of New York and Kan- 
sas, because during the previous year suffrage campaigns had 
been carried on in those States. The former, presented by Mrs. 
Jean Brooks Greenleaf, State president, said in part : 

The New York Constitutional Convention before whom we hope- 
fully carried our cause "so old, so new, so ever true" is a thing 
of the past. We presented our petition, asking that the word "male" 
be eliminated from the organic law, with the endorsement of over 
half a million citizens of the State. We laid before the convention 
statistics showing that outside the city of New York the property 
on which women pay taxes is assessed at $348,177,107; the number 
of women taxed, 146,806 in 571 cities and towns ; not reported, 389. 


We had the satisfaction of knowing that the delegates assembled 
were kept upon a strong equal suffrage diet for days and nights to- 
gether. At the public hearings, graciously granted us, we saw the 
great jury listen not only with patience but with evident pleasure 
and enthusiasm, while women representing twenty-six districts gave 
reasons for wanting to be enfranchised ; and we also saw the crea- 
tive body itself turned into a woman suffrage meeting for three 
evenings. At the close of the last we learned that there were in 
this convention ninety-eight men who dared to say that the freemen 
of the State should not be allowed to decide whether their wives, 
mothers and daughters should be enfranchised or not. We learned 
also, that there were fifty-eight men, constituting a noble minority, 
who loved justice better than party power, and were willing to risk 
the latter to sustain the former.* 

The report of the Press Committee Chairman, Mrs. Ellen Bat- 
telle Dietrick (Mass.), called especial attention to the flood of 
matter relating to the woman question which was now appearing 
in the newspapers and magazines of the country, to the activity 
of the enemy and to the necessity for suffragists to "publish an 
antidote wherever the poison appears." The Legislative Com- 
mittee, Mrs. Blake, Mrs. Henry and Mrs. Diggs, closed their 
report as follows: 

In a State where there is hope of support from the political par- 
ties, where there has been long agitation and everything points to a 
favorable result, it is wise to urge a constitutional amendment strik- 
ing out the word "male" as a qualification for voters. This must 
pass both Houses in the form of concurrent resolution ; in some 
States it must pass two successive Legislatures ; and it must be rati- 
fied at the polls by a majority of the voters. 

When the conditions are not yet ripe for a constitutional amend- 
ment, there are many measures which are valuable in arousing pub- 
lic interest and preparing the way for final triumph, as well as im- 
portant in ameliorating the condition of women. Among these are 
laws to secure school suffrage for women ; women on boards of edu- 
cation and as school trustees; equality of property rights for hus- 
bands and wives ; equal guardianship of children for mother and 
father; women factory inspectors; women physicians in hospitals 
and insane asylums ; women trustees in all State institutions ; police 
matrons ; seats for saleswomen ; the raising of "the age of consent." 

The report of the Plan of Work Committee, Mrs. Chapman 
Catt, chairman, began by saying : 

The great need of the hour is organization. There can be no 

The facts and figures presented in the report from Kansas oy the president, Mrs. 
Laura M. Johns, will be found in the chapter on that State. 


doubt that the advocates of woman suffrage in the United States 
are to be numbered by millions, but it is a lamentable fact that our 
organization can count its numbers only by thousands. There are 
illustrious men and women in every State, and there are men and 
women innumerable, who are not known to the public, who are 
openly and avowedly woman suffragists, yet we do not possess the 
benefit of their names on our membership lists or the financial help 
of their dues. In other words, the size of our membership is not 
at all commensurate with the sentiment for woman suffrage. The 
reason for this condition is plain ; the chief work of suffragists for 
the past forty years has been education and agitation, and not or- 
ganization. The time has come when the educational work has 
borne its fruit, and there are States in which there is sentiment 
enough to carry a woman suffrage amendment, but it is individual 
and not organized sentiment, and is, therefore, ineffective. 

The audience was greatly amused when Miss Anthony com- 
mented on this : "There never yet was a young woman who did 
not feel that if she had had the management of the work from the 
beginning the cause would have been carried long ago. I felt 
just so when I was young." There was much laughter also over 
one of Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway's short speeches in which 
she said : 

There are in Oregon three classes of women opposed to suffrage. 
i. Women who are so overworked that they have no time to think 
of it. They are joined to their wash-tubs ; let them alone. But the 
children of these overworked women are coming on. 2. Women 
who have usurped all the rights in the matrimonial category, their 
husbands' as well as their own. The husbands of such women are 
always loudly opposed to suffrage. The "sassiest" man in any com- 
munity is the hen-pecked husband away from home. 3. Young 
girls matrimonially inclined, who fear the avowal of a belief in suf- 
frage would injure their chances. I can assure such girls that a 
woman who wishes to vote gets more offers than one who does not. 
Their motto should be "Liberty first, and union afterwards." The 
man whose wife is a clinging vine is apt to be like the oaks in the 
forest that are found wrapped in vines dead at the top. 

When Miss Anthony said, "One reason why politicians hesi- 
tate to grant suffrage to woman is because she is an unknown 
quantity," Mrs. Henry responded quickly, "There are two great 
unknown forces to-day, electricity and woman, but men can 
reckon much better on electricity than they can on woman." A 
resolution was adopted for a public celebration in New York City 


of Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton's eightieth birthday, November 
12, by the association.* 

The treasurer, Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton, reported the re- 
ceipts of the past year to be $5,820, of which $2,571 went to the 
Kansas campaign. The contributions and pledges of this con- 
vention for the coming year were about $2,000. In addition, 
Mrs. Louisa Southworth of Cleveland gave $1.000 to Miss 
Anthony to use as she thought best, and she announced 
that it would be applied to opening national headquarters. A 
National Organization Committee was for the first time formally 
organized and Mrs. Chapman Catt was made its chairman by 
unanimous vote. 

Mrs. Colby presented the memorial resolutions, saying in part : 

During the past year our association has lost by death a number of 
members whose devotion to the cause of woman's liberty has con- 
tributed largely to the position she holds to-day, and whose labors 
are a part of the history of this great struggle for the amelioration 
of her condition. Among these beloved friends and co-workers 
three stood, each as the foremost representative in a distinct line of 
action: Myra Bradwell of .Chicago, Virginia L. Minor cf St. Louis, 
Amelia Bloomer of Council Bluffs, la. 

Mrs. Bradwell was the first to make a test case with regard to the 
civil rights of women, and to prove that the disfranchised citizen is 
unprotected. [Her struggle to secure from the U. S. Supreme 
Court a decision enabling women to practice law was related.] 
The special importance of Mrs. Minor's connection with the suf- 
frage work lies in the fact that she first formulated and enunciated 
the idea that women have the right to vote under the United States 
Constitution. [The story was then told of Mrs. Minor's case in the 
U. S. Supreme Court to test the right of women to vote under the 
Fourteenth Amendment.] f Mrs. Amelia Bloomer was the first 
woman to own and edit a paper devoted to woman suffrage and 
temperance, the Lily, published in Seneca Falls, N. Y. She was 
also an eloquent lecturer for both these reforms and one of the first 
women to hold an office under the Government, as deputy post- 
master. The costume which bears her name she did not originate, 
but wore and advocated for a number of years. 

Of the noble band that started in 1848, few now remain, but a 
host of young women are already on the stage of action, even bet- 

For an account of this beautiful celebration in the Metropolitan Opera House with 
an audience of 3,000, see Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, p. 848; also Reminiscences 
of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 

t For account of Mrs. Bradwell's case sec History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. II, p. 
601; of Mrs. Minor's, same, p. 715. 


ter equipped than were our pioneers to plead their own cases in the 
courts, the halls of legislation, the pulpit and the press. 

Two large receptions were given to the delegates and visitors, 
one at the Hotel Aragon, and one by Mrs. W. A. Hemphill, 
chairman of the Committee on the Professional Work of Women 
at the approaching Cotton States Exposition soon to be held in 
Atlanta. She was assisted by Mrs. W. Y. Atkinson, wife of the 
newly-elected Governor of Georgia. 

During several weeks before the convention Miss Anthony 
and Mrs. Chapman Catt had made a tour of the Southern States, 
speaking in the principal cities to arouse suffrage sentiment, as 
this section was practically an unvisited field. Immediately after 
the convention closed a mass meeting was held in the court-house 
of Atlanta. Afterwards Mrs. Blake was requested to address 
the Legislature of North Carolina, Miss Anthony lectured in a 
number of cities on the way northward, and others were invited 
to hold meetings in the neighboring States. Most of the speakers 
and delegates met in Washington on February 15 to celebrate 
Miss Anthony's seventy-fifth birthday and participate in the tri- 
ennial convention of the National Council of Women. 



The suffrage association held its Twenty-eighth annual con- 
vention in the Church of Our Father, Washington, D. C, Jan. 
23-28, 1896. In her opening remarks the president, Miss Susan 
B. Anthony, said : 

The thought that brought us here twenty-eight years ago was 
that, if the Federal Constitution could be invoked to protect black 
men in the right to vote, the same great authority could be invoked 
to protect women. The question has been urged upon ever} 7 Con- 
gress since 1869. We asked at first for a Sixteenth Amendment 
enfranchising women; then for suffrage under the Fourteenth 
Amendment; then, when the Supreme Court had decided that 
against us, we returned to the Sixteenth Amendment and have 
pressed it ever since. The same thing has been done in this Fifty- 
fourth Congress which has been done in every Congress for a dec- 
ade, namely, the introducing of a bill providing for the new amend- 

You will notice that the seats of the delegation from Utah are 
marked by a large United States flag bearing three stars, a big one 
and two smaller ones. The big star is for Wyoming, because it 
stood alone for a quarter of a century as the only place where women 
had full suffrage. Colorado comes next, because it is the first 
State where a majority of the men voted to grant women equal 
rights. Then comes Utah, because its men in convention assem- 
bled in spite of the bad example of Congress, which took the 
right away from its women nine years ago those men, having seen 
the good effects of woman suffrage for years, voted by an over- 
whelming majority to leave out the little word "male" from the suf- 
frage clause of their new State Constitution, and their action was 
ratified by the electors. Next year, if I am here, I hope to rejoice 
with you over woman suffrage in California and Idaho. 

Some one whispered to Miss Anthony that the convention had 
not been opened with prayer, and she answered without the 
slightest confusion : "Now, friends, you all know I am a Quaker. 
We give thanks in silence. I do not think the heart of any one 
here has been fuller of silent thankfulness than mine, but I should 
not have remembered to have the meeting formally opened with 



prayer if somebody had not reminded me. The Rev. Anna How- 
ard Shaw will offer prayer." 

Miss Shaw's report as vice-president-at-large was full of the 
little touches of humor for which she was noted : 

The report of my specific work would not take long ; but the work 
that really did count for our association began last May, when your 
president and I were invited to California. On the way we stopped 
first at St. Louis, where Miss Anthony spoke before the Women's 
Federation, the Woman's Council, and the State W. S. A. From 
there we went to Denver, where we had a remarkable meeting, and a 
warm greeting was given to Miss Anthony by the newly enfran- 
chised women of Colorado. It was pleasant to find them so grate- 
ful to the pioneers. The large opera house was packed, and a re- 
ception, in which the newspapers estimated that 1,500 persons took 
part, was afterwards given at the Palace Hotel. 

From Denver we went to Cheyenne, where we addressed the citi- 
zens, men and women. For once there were present at our meeting 
quite as many men as women, and not only ordinary but extraor- 
dinary men. After introducing us to the audience, Mrs. Theresa 
A. Jenkins introduced the audience to us. It included the Governor, 
Senators, Representatives, Judges of the Supreme Court, city offi- 
cials, and never so many majors and colonels, and it showed that 
where women have a vote, men think their meetings are worth go- 
ing to. We were the guests of the Governor during our stay in 
Colorado, and guests of a U. S. Senator in Wyoming. At Salt 
Lake all the city turned out, and I spoke in the Tabernacle to the 
largest audience I ever had. It was sympathetic too, for Utah peo- 
ple are accustomed to go to church and listen. At Ogden they had 
to take two buildings for the meeting. At Reno, Nevada, there was 
a large audience. 

The Woman's Congress at San Francisco was the most marvel- 
ous gathering I ever saw. The newspapers said the men were all 
hypnotized, or they would not stand on the sidewalk two hours to 
get into a church. Every subject considered during Jhe whole 
week, whether it was the care of children or the decoration of the 
home, turned on the ballot for women, and Susan B. Anthony was 
the belle of the ball. The superintendent of San Francisco closed 
the schools that Miss Anthony might address the 900 teachers. 
The Ministers' Association passed resolutions favoring the amend- 
ment. We went the whole length of the State and the meetings 
were just as enthusiastic. 

The Citizens' Committee asked women to take part in the Fourth 
of July celebration. The women accepted more than the men meant 
they should, for they insisted that a woman should be on the pro- 
gram. The Program Committee refused, and the Executive Com- 
mittee said if they did not put a woman on they should be dis- 
charged. Instead of this they proposed that Mrs. Sarah B. Cooper 
should provide sandwiches for over 5,000 kindergarten children. 
That was the kind of work they invited such women to do. 


The Program Committee discussed the matter, and their discus- 
sion could be heard four blocks away, but they finally yielded and in- 
vited me to speak. So Miss Anthony and I rode for three miles in 
a highly-decorated carriage, just behind the mayor and followed by 
a brass band and the fire brigade, and I wore a big badge that al- 
most covered me, just like the badge worn by the masculine orator. 
The dispute between the Executive and the Program Committees 
had excited so much interest that there were more cheers for your 
president and vice-president as we passed along than there were for 
the mayor 

They wanted us both to come back in the fall. I went and spoke 
thirty-four times in thirty-seven evenings. 

As the vice-president finished, Miss Anthony observed in her 
characteristic manner : "Miss Shaw said she only went to Cali- 
fornia to hold Miss Anthony's bonnet, but, when we left, every- 
body thought that I had come to hold her bonnet. It is my delight 
to see these girls develop and outdo their elders. There is another 
little woman that I want to come up here to the platform, Mrs. 
Chapman Catt. While she is blushing and getting ready, there 
is a delegation here from the Woman's National Press Associa- 
tion." Mesdames Lockwood, Gates, Cromwell and Emerson 
were introduced, and Miss Anthony remarked : "Our movement 
depends greatly on the press. The worst mistake any woman 
can make is to get crosswise with the newspapers."* 

By this time Mrs. Chapman Catt had reached the platform, 
and Miss Anthony continued : "Mrs. Catt went down South 
with me last year to hold my bonnet ; and wherever we were, at 
Memphis or New Orleans or elsewhere, when she had spoken, 
Miss Anthony was nowhere. It is she who has done the splendid 
organization work which has brought into the association nearly 
every State in the Union, and every Territory except the Indian 
and Alaska and we shall have them next year." 

An able address was given by Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby (D. 
C.) on The Philosophy of Woman Suffrage, in which she said: 

Woman suffrage is in harmony with the evolution of the race. 
The progress of civilization has developed the finer forces of man- 
kind and made ready for the entrance of woman into government. 
As long as man was merely a slayer of men and animals he did not 

* Letters and telegrams of greeting were received from the Hon. Mrs. C. C. Holly, 
member Colorado Legislature, Mrs. Henry M. Teller, Mrs. Francis E. Warren, Mrs. 
Foster, from the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, State and local associa- 
tions of various kinds. 


feel the need of the co-partnership of woman, but as his fatherhood 
was developed he felt his inadequacy and the necessity of the ma- 
ternal element by his side. Woman suffrage is in harmony with the 
growth of the idea of the worth of the individual, which has its best 
expression in our republic. Our nation is heir of all the struggles 
for freedom which have been made 

The Magna Charta belongs to us as much as does the Declaration 
of Independence. In all these achievements for liberty women have 
borne their share. Not only have they inspired men but the record 
of the past is illumined with the story of their own brave deeds. 
Women love .liberty as well as men do. The love of liberty is the 
corollary of the right of consent to government. All the progress 
of our nation has been along the line of extending the application of 
this basic idea 

Woman suffrage is in harmony with the evolution in the status of 
women. They always have done their share in the development 
of the race. There always has been a "new woman," some one 
stepping out in advance of the rest and gaining a place for others to 
stand upon We have no cause to blush for our ances- 
tors. We may save our blushes for the women of to-day who do 
not live up to their privileges. 

Now that woman has made such advance in personal and property 
rights, educational and industrial opportunities, to deny her the bal- 
lot is to force her to occupy a much more degrading position than 
did the women of the past. We think the savage woman degraded 
because she walks behind her husband bearing the burden to leave 
his hands free for the weapon which is his sign of sovereignty ; 
what shall we say of the woman of to-day who may not follow her 
husband and brother as he goes forth to wield the weapon of civili- 
zation, the ballot? If the evolution in the status of woman does not 
point to the franchise it is meaningless. 

Mrs. Colby was followed by Miss Julie R. Jenney, a member 
of the bar in Syracuse, N. Y., with a thoughtful address on Law 
and the Ballot. She showed that woman's present legal rights 
are in the nature of a license, and therefore revocable at the will 
of the bodies granting them, and that until women elect the law- 
makers they can not be entirely sure of any rights whatever. 
Between Daybreak and Sunrise was the title of the address of 
Mrs. May Stocking Knaggs (Mich.), who pleaded for the op- 
portunity of complete co-operation between men and women, 
declaring that "each human being is a whole, single and responsi- 
ble ; each human unit is concerned in the social compact which is 
formed to protect individual and mutual rights." 

This was the first appearance of Mrs. Stetson on this national 
platform. She came as representative of the Pacific Coast 


Woman's Congress and California Suffrage Association. The 
Woman's Journal said : "Those of us who have for years admired 
Mrs. Stetson's remarkably bright poems were delighted to meet 
her, and to find her even more interesting than her writings. She 
is still a young woman, tall, lithe and graceful, with fine dark 
eyes, and spirit and originality flashing from her at every turn like 
light from a diamond. She read several poems to the convention, 
made an address one evening and preached twice on Sunday ; and 
the delegates followed her around, as iron filings follow a magnet." 

Mrs. Catharine E. Hirst, president of the Ladies of the G. A. 
R. ; Mrs. Lillian M. Hollister, representing the Supreme Hive 
Ladies of the Maccabees; Miss Harriette A. Keyser, from the 
Political Study Club of New York ; Mrs. Rose E. Lumpkin, pres- 
ident Virginia King's Daughters, were presented as fraternal 
delegates. Grace Greenwood and Mrs. Caroline B. Buell were 
introduced to the convention. 

Mrs. Chapman Catt spoke for the Course of Study in Political 
Science, which had been in operation only five months, had sold 
five hundred full sets of books and reported over one hundred 
clubs formed. The committee on credentials reported 138 dele- 
gates present, and all the States and Territories represented ex- 
cept thirteen. A very satisfactory report of the first year's work 
of the organization committee was presented by its chairman, 
Mrs. Chapman Catt, which closed as follows : 

Our committee are more than ever convinced that it is possible to 
build a great organization based upon the one platform of the en- 
franchisement of women. With harmony, co-operation and deter- 
mination we shall yet build this organization, of such numbers and 
political strength that through the power of constituency it can dic- 
tate at least one plank in the platform of every political party, and 
secure an amendment from any Legislature it petitions. We be- 
lieve it will yet have its auxiliaries in every village and hamlet, 
township and school district, to influence majorities when the 
amendment is submitted. More we believe ere many years its 
powers will be so subtle and widespread that it can besiege the con- 
servatism of Congress itself, and come away with the laurel wreath 
of victory. 

Nearly $3,300 were at once pledged for the committee, Miss 
Anthony herself agreeing to raise $600 of this amount. 

Mrs. Chapman Catt presented also a detailed Plan of Work, 
which included Organization, Club Work, Letter Writing, Rais- 


ing of Money and Political Work. Of the last she said : "The 
time has fully come when we should carry the rub-a-dub of our 
agitation into 'the political Africa/ that is into every town meet- 
ing of every township of every county, and every caucus or pri- 
mary meeting of every ward of every city of every State. . . . 
For a whole half century we have held special suffrage meetings, 
with audiences largely of women ; that is, women have talked to 
women. We must now carry our discussion of the question into 
all of the different political party gatherings, for it is only there 
that the rank and file of the voters ever go. They won't come 
to our meetings, so we must carry our gospel into theirs. It will 
be of no more avail in the future than it has been in the past to 
send appeals to State and national conventions, so long as they 
are not backed by petitions from a vast majority of the voting 
constituents of their members." 

With the thousand dollars which had been put into Miss An- 
thony's hands by Mrs. Louisa South worth of Cleveland the pre- 
ceding year, national headquarters had been opened in Phila- 
delphia with Mrs. Rachel Foster Avery, corresponding secretary, 
in charge. Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton, treasurer, reported total 
receipts for 1895 to be $9,835, with a balance of several hundred 
dollars in the treasury. 

The principal feature of the Saturday evening meeting was the 
address of Miss Elizabeth Burrill Curtis, daughter of George 
William Curtis, on Universal Suffrage. She said in part : 

I find many people in my native State of New York who are lean- 
ing toward a limited suffrage, and therefore I am beginning to ask, 
"What does it mean? Is democratic government impossible after 
all ?" For a government in order to be democratic must be founded 
on the suffrages of all the people, not a part. A republic may exist 
by virtue of a limited suffrage, but a democracy can not, and a dem- 
ocratic government has been our theoretical ideal from the first. 
Are we prepared, after a hundred and twenty years, to own our- 
selves defeated ?....* Universal suffrage, to me, means the 
right of every man and woman who is mentally able to do so, and 
who has not forfeited the right by an ill use of it, to say who shall 
rule them, and what action shall be taken by those rulers upon ques- 
tions of moment 

This brings me to what I wish to say about those who desire a 
limited suffrage. Who are they, and to what class do they belong? 
For the most part, as I know them, they are men of property, who 


belong to the educated classes, who are refined and cultivated, and 
who see the government about them falling into the hands of the 
unintelligent and often illiterate classes who are voted at the polls 
like sheep. Therefore these gentlemen weep aloud and wail and 
say : "If we had a limited suffrage, if we and our friends had the 
management of affairs, how much better things would be !" 

Do not misunderstand me here. I am far from decrying the 
benefits of education. Nobody believes in its necessity more sin- 
cerely than I do. In fact I hold that, other things being equal, the 
educated man is immeasurably in advance of the uneducated one; 
but the trouble is that other things are often very far from being 
equal and it is utterly impossible for the average man, educated or 
not, to be trusted to decide with entire justice between himself and 
another person when their interests are equally involved 

The intelligent voter in a democratic community can not abdicate 
his responsibility without being punished. He is the natural leader, 
and if he refuses to fulfil his duties the leadership will inevitably 
fall into the hands of those who are unfitted for the high and holy 
task and who is to blame? It is the educated men, the profes- 
sional men, the men of wealth and culture, who are themselves re- 
sponsible when things go wrong; and the refusal to acknowledge 
their responsibility will not release them from it 

The principle of universal suffrage, like every other high ideal, 
will not stand alone. It carries duties with it, duties which are im- 
perative and which to shirk is filching benefits without rendering an 
equivalent. How dare a man plead his private ease or comfort as 
an excuse for neglecting his public duties? How dare the remon- 
strating women of Massachusetts declare that they fear the loss of 
privileges, one of which is the immunity from punishment for a 
misdemeanor committed in the husband's presence ? "When I was a 
child, I spake as a child, I thought as a child, I understood as a 
child ; but when I became a man, I put away childish things." 

Throughout history all women and many men have been forced, 
so far as government has been concerned, to speak, think and under- 
stand as children. Now, for the first time, we are asking that the 
people, as a whole body, shall rise to their full stature and put away 
childish things. 

The sermon on Sunday afternoon was given by Mrs. Stetson 
from the topic which was to have been considered by the Rev. 
Anna Garlin Spencer, The Spiritual Significance of Democracy 
and Woman's Relation to It. She spoke without notes and illus- 
trated the central thought that love grows where people are 
brought together, and that they are brought together more in a 
democracy than in any other mode of living. "Women have ad- 
vanced less rapidly than men because they have always been more 
isolated. They have been brought into relation with their own 
families only. It is men who have held the inter-human relation. 


. . . . Everything came out of the home; but because you 
began in a cradle is no reason why you should always stay there. 
Because charity begins at home is no reason why it should stop 
there, and because woman's first place is at home is no reason why 
her last and only place should be there. Civilization has been 
held back because so many men have inherited the limitations of 
the female sex. You can not raise public-spirited men from pri- 
vate-spirited mothers, but only from mothers who have been citi- 
zens in spite of their disfranchisement. In holding back the 
mothers of the race, you are keeping back the race." 

At the memorial services loving tributes were paid to the 
friends of woman suffrage who had passed away during the year. 
Among these were ex-Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCul- 
loch, ex-Governor Oliver Ames (Mass.), Dr. James C. Jackson 
of Dansville (N.Y.), Dr. Abram W. Lozier of New York City, 
Thomas Davis, Sarah Wilbur of Rhode Island, Marian Skidmore 
of Lily Dale, N. Y., and Amelia E. H. Doyon of Madison, Wis., 
who left $1,000 to the National Association. , 

Henry B. Blackwell spoke of Theodore D. Weld, the great 
abolitionist, leader of the movement to found Oberlin, the first 
co-educational college, and one of the earliest advocates of equal 
rights for women. He told also of Frederick Douglass, whose 
last act was to bear his testimony in favor of suffrage for women 
at the Woman's Council in Washington on the very day of his 
death. Mrs. Avery gave a tender eulogy of Theodore Lovett 
Sewall of Indianapolis, his brilliancy as a conversationalist, his 
charm as a host, his loyalty as a friend, his beautiful devotion to 
his wife, Mrs. May Wright Sewall, and his lifelong adherence to 
the cause of woman. 

The loss of Mrs. Ellen Battelle Dietrick came with crushing 
force, as her services to the association were invaluable. To her 
most intimate friend, the Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, was assigned 
the duty of speaking a word in her memory, and in broken sen- 
tences she said : "I never knew such earnest purpose and conse- 
cration or such a fund of knowledge in any one as Mrs. Dietrick 
possessed. She never stopped thinking because she had reached 
the furthest point to which some one else had thought. She was 
the best antagonist I ever saw ; I never knew any one who could 
differ so intensely, and yet be so perfectly calm and good-tern- 


pered. What she was as a friend no one can tell. Her death is 
a great loss to our press work.. Perhaps no one ever wrote so 
many articles in the same length of time. This was especially 
the case last summer. It seemed as if she had a premonition that 
her life would soon end, for she sat at her desk writing hour after 
hour. I believe it shortened her life. She had just finished a 
book Women in the Early Christian Ministry and she left 
many other manuscripts. It would be a pity if the rich, ripe 
thought of this woman should not be preserved. Her funeral 
was like her life, without show or display. No one outside the 
family was present except myself. No eulogy was uttered there ; 
she would not have wanted it. Tennyson's last poem, Crossing 
the Bar. was recited by her brother-in-law, the Rev. J. W. Hamil- 
ton.*" Miss Shaw ended her remarks by reciting this poem. 

Miss Anthony, who was to close the exercises, was too much 
affected to speak and motioned that the audience was dismissed, 
but no one stirred. At length she said : "There are very few 
human beings who have the courage to utter to the fullest their 
honest convictions Mrs. Dietrick was one of these few. She 
would follow truth wherever it led, and she would follow no other 
leader. Like Lucretia Mott, she took 'truth for authority, not 
authority for truth.' Miss Anthony spoke also of the "less- 
known women" : "Adeline Thomson, a most remarkable char- 
acter, was a sister to J. Edgar Thomson, first president of the 
Pennsylvania railroad. She lived to be eighty, and for years 
she stood there in Philadelphia, a monument of the past. Her 
house was my home when in that city for thirty years. We have 
also lost in Julia Wilbur of the District a most useful woman, 
and one who was faithful to the end. This is the first convention 
for twenty-eight years at which she has not been present with us. 
We should all try to live so as to make people feel that there is 
a vacancy when we go; but, dear friends, do not let there be a 
vacancy long. Our battle has just reached the place where it can 
win, and if we do our work in the spirit of those who have gone 
before, it will soon be over." 

There was special rejoicing at this convention over the admis- 
sion of Utah as a State with full suffrage for women. Senator 
and Mrs. Frank J. Cannon and Representative and Mrs. C. E. 

Now Bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church. 


Allen of Utah were on the platform. In her address of welcome 
Miss Shaw said: 

Every star added to that blue field makes for the advantage of 
every human being. We are just beginning to learn that we are all 
children of one Father and members of one family ; and when one 
member suffers or is benefited, all the members suffer or rejoice. 
So when Utah comes into the Union with every one free, it is not 
only that State which is benefited, but we and all the world. As the 
stars at night come out one by one, so will they come out one by one 
on our flag, till the whole blue field is a blaze of glory. 

We expected it of the men of Utah. No man there could have 
stood by the side of his mother and heard her tell of all that the 
pioneers endured, and then have refused to grant her the same right 
of liberty he wanted for himself, without being unworthy of such a 
mother. They are the crown of our Union, those three' States on 
the crest of the Rockies, above all the others. In the name of the 
National American Woman Suffrage Association, we extend our 
welcome, our thanks and our congratulations to Utah, as one of the 
three so dear to the heart of every woman who loves liberty in these 
United States. 

Senator Cannon said in response: " . . . . Only one 
serious question came before our constitutional convention, and 
that was whether the adoption of woman suffrage would hinder 

the admission of our Territory as a State But our 

women had furnished courage, patience and heroism to our men, 
and so we said : 'Utah shall take another forty-nine years of 
wandering in the wilderness as a Territory before coming in as 
a State without her women.' My mother wandered there for 
twelve years. Women trailed bleeding feet and lived on roots 
that those of to-day might reap bounteous harvests. Utah gave 
women the suffrage while still a Territory. Congress, in its not 
quite infinite wisdom, took it away after they had exercised it 
intelligently for seventeen years ; but the first chance that the men 
of Utah had they gave it back." 

Representative Allen was called on by Miss Anthony to "tell 
us how nice it seems to feel that your wife is as good as you are," 
and said in part: "Perhaps you have read what the real estate 
agents say about Utah how they praise her sun and soil, her 
mountains and streams, and her precious metals. They tell 
you that she is filled with the basis of all material prosperity, 
with gold, silver, lead and iron ; but greatness can not come from 
material resources alone it must come from the people who till 


and delve. Utah is great because her people are great. When 
she has centuries behind her she will make a splendid showing 
because she has started right. She has given to that part of the 
people who instinctively know what is right, the power to influ- 
ence the body politic This movement is destined 

to go on until it reaches every State in the Union." 

Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Sarah A. Boyer told of the heroic efforts 
the women had made for themselves; and Mrs. Emily S. Rich- 
ards, vice-president of the Territorial suffrage association, de- 
scribed in a graphic manner the systematic and persistent work 
of this organization. The tribute to its president, Mrs. Emmeline 
B. Wells, whose influence had been paramount in securing the 
franchise for the women of Utah, was heartily applauded and a 
telegram of congratulation was sent to her.* 

The address of Mrs. Ella Knowles Haskell, Assistant Attor- 
ney-General of Montana, on The Environments of Woman as 
Related to her Progress, attracted much attention. She had been 
the Populist candidate for Attorney-General and made a strong 
canvass but went down to defeat with the rest of her party. 
Soon afterward she married her competitor, who appointed her 
his assistant. She reviewed the laws of past ages, showing how 
impossible it was then for women to rise above the conditions 
imposed upon them, and pointed out the wonderful progress they 
had made as soon as even partial freedom had been granted. 

Mrs.. Virginia D. Young (S. C), taking as a subject The Sun- 
flower Bloom of Woman's Equality, gave an address which in 
its quaint speech, dialect stories and attractive provincialisms 
captivated the audience. 

The convention received an invitation from Mrs* John R. Mc- 
Lean for Monday afternoon to meet Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant on 
her seventieth birthday. The ladies were welcomed by their hos- 
tess and Mrs. Nellie Grant Sartoris, while Miss Anthony, who 
had attended the luncheon which preceded the reception, presented 
the ladies to Mrs. Grant. 

Mrs. Rachel Foster Avery, corresponding secretary, devoted a 

* George W. Catt presented a significant paper showing that the victory of Utah was 
almost wholly due to the excellent organization of the suffrage forces, as with a popula- 
tion of 206,000 it had over 1,000 active workers for the franchise. If the same proportion 
existed in other States nothing could prevent the success of the movement to enfranchise 
women. This report was printed by the association as a leaflet. 


portion of her report to an account of the visit made by the dele- 
gates of the association in response to an invitation from the 
Woman's Board of Congresses of the Atlanta Exposition, Oct. 17, 
1895. The principal address on that occasion was made by Mrs. 
Helen Gardiner. 

This convention was long remembered on account of the vig- 
orous contest over what was known as the Bible Resolution. Mrs. 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton recently had issued a commentary on the 
passages of Scripture referring to women, which she called "The 
Woman's Bible." Although this was done in her individual ca- 
pacity, yet some of the members claimed that, as she was honor- 
ary president of the National Association, this body was held by 
the public as partly responsible for it and it injured th'eir work 
for suffrage. A resolution was brought in by the committee 
declaring: "This association is non-sectarian, being composed 
of persons of all shades of religious opinion, and has no official 
connection with the so-called 'Woman's Bible' or any theolog- 
ical publication." 

The debate was long and animated, but although there was 
intense feeling it was conducted in perfectly temperate and re- 
spectful language. Those participating w T ere Rachel Foster 
Avery, Katie R. Addison, Henry B. Blackwell, Alice Stone 
Blackwell, Carrie Chapman Catt, Annie L. Diggs, Laura M. 
Johns, Helen Morris Lewis, Anna Howard Shaw, Frances A. 
Williamson and Elizabeth U. Yates speaking for the resolution ; 
Lillie Devereux Blake, Clara B. Colby, Cornelia H. Cary, Lavina 
A. Hatch, Harriette A. Keyser, J. B. Merwin, Caroline Hallo- 
well Miller, Althea B. Stryker, Charlotte Perkins Stetson, Mary 
Bentley Thomas and Victoria C. Whitney speaking against it. 

Miss Anthony was thoroughly aroused and, leaving the chair, 
spoke against the resolution as follows: 

The one distinct feature of our association has been the right of 
individual opinion for every member. We have been beset at each 
step with the cry that somebody was injuring the cause by the ex- 
pression of sentiments which differed from those held by the ma- 
jority. The religious persecution of the ages has been carried on 
under what was claimed to be the command of God. I distrust 
those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because 
I notice it always coincides with their own desires. All the way 
along, the history of our movement there has been this same contest 
on account of religious theories. Forty years ago one of our noblest 


men said to me: "You would better never hold another convention 
than allow Ernestine L. Rose on your platform ;" because that elo- 
quent woman, who ever stood for justice and freedom, did not be- 
lieve in the plenary inspiration of the Bible. Did we banish Mrs. 
Rose? No, indeed! 

Every new generation of converts threshes over the same old 
straw. The point is whether you will sit in judgment on one who 
questions the divine inspiration of certain passages in the Bible 
derogatory to women. If Mrs. Stanton had written approvingly of 
these passages you would not have brought in this resolution for 
fear the cause might be injured among the liberals in religion. In 
other words, if she had written your views, you would not have con- 
sidered a resolution necessary. To pass this one is to set back the 
hands on the dial of reform. 

What you should say to outsiders is that a Christian has neither 
more nor less rights in our association than an atheist. When our 
platform becomes too narrow for people of all creeds and of no 
creeds, I myself can not stand upon it. Many things have been said 
and done by our orthodox' friends which I have felt to be extremely 
harmful to our cause ; but I should no more consent to a resolution 
denouncing them than I shall consent to this. Who is to draw the 
line ? Who can tell now whether these commentaries may not prove 
a great help to woman's emancipation from old superstitions which 
have barred its way ? 

Lucretia Mott at first thought Mrs. Stanton had injured the cause 
of all woman's other rights by insisting upon the demand for suf- 
frage, but she had sense enough not to bring in a resolution against 
it. In 1860 when Mrs. Stanton made a speech before the New York 
Legislature in favor of a bill making drunkenness a ground for 
divorce, there was a general cry among the friends that she had 
killed the woman's cause. I shall be pained beyond expression if 
the delegates here are so narrow and illiberal as to adopt this reso- 
lution. You would better not begin resolving against individual 
action or you will find no limit. This year it is Mrs. Stanton ; next 
year it may be I or one of yourselves who will be the victim. 

If we do not inspire in women a broad and catholic spirit, they 
will fail, when enfranchised, to constitute that power for better 
government which we have always claimed for them. Ten women 
educated into the practice of liberal principles would be a stronger 
force than 10,000 organized on a platform of intolerance and big- 
otry. I pray you vote for religious liberty, without censorship or 
inquisition. This resolution adopted will be a vote of censure upon 
a woman who is without a peer in intellectual and statesmanlike 
ability ; one who has stood for half a century the acknowledged 
leader of progressive thoy^ht and demand in regard to all matters 
pertaining to the absolute freedom of women. 

Notwithstanding this eloquent appeal the original resolution 
was adopted by 53 yeas, 41 nays.* 

* Yeas: Rachel Foster Avery, Katie R. Addison, Lucy E. Anthony, Mary O. Arnold, 


At the request of about thirty of the delegates, mostly from the 
far Western States, Miss Anthony sent a message to Mrs. Cleve- 
land asking that they might be permitted to call upon her, and she 
received them with much courtesy. 

The association decided to help California and Idaho in what- 
ever manner was desired in their approaching campaigns for a 
woman suffrage amendment. Invitations for holding the na- 
tional convention were received from Springfield, 111. ; Denver, 
Col. ; Cincinnati, O. ; St. Louis, Mo. ; Portland, Ore. ; Charleston, 
S. C. It was voted to leave the matter to the business committee, 
who later accepted an invitation from Des Moines, la., as the suf- 
frage societies of that State were organizing to secure an amend- 
ment from the Legislature. 

At the last meeting, on Tuesday evening, every inch of space 
was occupied and people were clinging to the window sills. Miss 
Anthony stated that since Frederick Douglass was no longer 
among them as he had been for so many years, his grandson, 
Joseph Douglass, who was an accomplished violinist, would give 
two selections in his memory. 

Mrs. Lillie Devereux Blake (N. Y.), spoke on Presidential Can- 
didates and the Interests of Women, outlining the attitude of the 
various nominees and parties. Miss Harriet May Mills (N. Y.) 
discussed Our Unconscious Allies, the Remonstrants, illustrating 
from her experience as organizer how their efforts really help 
the cause they try to hinder. Mrs. Emma Smith DeVoe (Ills.), 

Lucretia L. Blankenburg, Caroline Brown Buell, Sallie Clay Bennett, Henry B. Blackwell, 
Alice Stone Blackwell, Emma E. Bower, Jennie Broderick, Jessie J. Cassidy, Carrie Chap- 
man Catt, Mariana W. Chapman, Mary N. Chase, Laura Clay, Elizabeth B. Dodge, Annie 
L. Diggs, Matilda E. Gerrigus, Caroline Gibbons, John T. Hughes, Mary Louise Haworth, 
Mrs. Frank L. Hubbard, Mary N. Hubbard, Mary G. Hay, Mary D. Hussey, Hetty Y. 
Hallowell, Laura M. Johns, May Stocking Knaggs, Helen Morris Lewis, Mary Elizabeth 
Milligan, Rebecca T. Miller, Jessie G. Manley, Alice M. A. Pickler, Florence M. Post, 
Florence Post, the Rev. G. Simmons, Anna R. Simmons, Alice Clinton Smith, Sarah H. 
Sawyer, Amanthus Shipp, Mrs. M. R. Stockwell, Mary Clarke Smith, D. Viola Smith, 
Anna H. Shaw, Sarah Vail Thompson, Harriet Taylor Upton, Laura H. Van Cise, Frances 
A. Williamson, Mary J. Williamson, Eliza R. Whiting, Elizabeth A. Willard, Elizabeth 
Upham Yates. 53. 

Nays: Susan B. Anthony, Mary S. Anthony, S. Augusta Armstrong, Elizabeth D. 
Bacon, Lillie Devereux Blake, Elisan Brown, Annie Caldwell Boyd, Cornelia H. Cary, 
Clara Bewick Colby, Dr. Cora Smith Eaton, Caroline McCullough Everhard, Dr. M. Vir- 
ginia Glauner, Mary E. Gilmer, Mrs. L. C. Hughes, Lavina A. Hatch, Emily Rowland, 
Isabel Rowland, Julie R. Jenney, Harriette A. Keyser, Jean Lockwood, Orra Langhorne, 
Mary E. Moore, J. B. Merwin, Harriet May Mills, Mrs. M. J. McMillan, Julia B. Nelson, 
Adda G. Quigley, Charlotte Perkins Stetson, Althea B. Stryker, Mary B. Sackett, Harriet 
Brown Stanton, Mrs. R. W. Southard, Ellen Powell Thompson, Helen Rand Tindall, 
Mary Bentley Thomas, Martha S. Townsend, Mary Wood, Victoria Conkling Whitney, 
Mary B. Wickersham, Mrs. George K. Wheat, Virginia D. Young. 41. 


in demonstrating that The Liberty of the Mother means the 
Liberty of the Race, showed the need of truer companionship 
between man and woman and that the political disabilities of wo- 
men affect all humanity. This was further illustrated by Mrs. 
Annie L. Diggs (Kas.) under the topic Women as Legislators. 
She said in part : 

You have before you a great problem as to whether republican 
government itself is to be successful at this time, and statesmen to 
save their souls can not tell what will be the outcome. We believe 
that women have in their possession what is needed to make it a 
success those things upon which are built the home life and the 
ethical life of the nation. We can supply what is lacking, not be- 
cause women are better than men, but because they are other than 
men ; because they have a supplementary part, and it is their mis- 
sion to guard most sacredly and closely those things which protect 
the home life. Because of their womanhood, because of their 
divine function of motherhood, women must always be most closely 
concerned with the matters that pertain to the home. It belongs to 
man, with his strong right arm, to pioneer the way, and then woman 
comes along to help him build the enduring foundation upon which 
everything rests. 

Miss Shaw, in a short, good-naturedly sarcastic speech on The 
Bulwarks of the Constitution, showed the illogical position of 
President Eliot of Harvard in declaiming grand sentiments in 
favor of universal suffrage and then protesting against having 
them applied to women. The last number on the program was 
The Ballot as an Improver' of Motherhood, by Mrs. Stetson. It 
was an address of wonderful power which thrilled the audience. 
Among other original statements were these : 

We have heard much of the superior moral sense of woman. It 
is superior in spots but not as a whole Here is an im- 
aginary case which will show how undeveloped in some respects 
woman's moral sense still is : Suppose a train was coming with a 
children's picnic on board three hundred merry, laughing children. 
Suppose you saw this train was about to go through an open switch 
and over an embankment, and your own child was playing on the 
track in front of it. You could turn the switch and save the train, 
or save your own child by pulling it off the track, but there was not 
time to do both. Which would you do ? I have put that question 
to hundreds of women. I never have found one but said she would 
save her own child, and not one in a hundred but claimed this would 
be absolutely right. The maternal instinct is stronger in the hearts 
of most women than any moral sense 

What is the suffrage going to do for motherhood ? Women enter 


upon this greatest function of life without any preparation, and 
their mothers permit them to do it because they do not recognize 
motherhood as a business. We do not let a man practice as a doctor 
or a druggist, or do anything else which involves issues of life and 
death, without training and certificates ; but the life and death of the 
whole human race are placed in the hands of utterly untrained 
young girls. The suffrage draws the woman out of her purely 
personal relations and puts her in relations with her kind, and it 
broadens her intelligence. I am not disparaging the noble devotion 
of our present mothers I know how they struggle and toil but 
when that tremendous force of mother love is made intelligent, fifty 
per cent, of our children will not die before they are five years old, 
and those that grow up will be better men and women. A woman 
will no longer be attached solely to one little group, but will be also 
a member of the community. She will not neglect her own on that 
account, but will be better to them and of more worth as a mother. 

Mrs. Stetson closed with her own fine poem, Mother to Child. 

The usual congressional hearings were held on Tuesday morn- 
ing, January 28.* The speakers were presented by Miss Shaw, 
who made a very strong closing argument. At its conclusion 
Senator Peffer announced his thorough belief in woman suffrage, 
and Senator Hoar planted himself still more firmly in the favor- 
able position he always had maintained.! 

Miss Anthony led the host before the Judiciary Committee of 
the House, and opened with the statement that the women had 
been coming here asking for justice for nearly thirty years. She 
gave a brief account of the status of the question before Congress 
and then presented her speakers, each occupying the exa'ct limit 
of time allotted and each taking up a different phase of the ques- 
tion. \ Miss Anthony called on Representative John F. Shaf- 

* The Senate Committee on Woman Suffrage Senators Wilkinson Call, James Z. 
George, George F. Hoar, Matthew S. Quay and William A. Peffer were addressed by 
Elizabeth D. Bacon (Conn.), Sallie Clay Bennett (Ky.), Lillie Devereux Blake (N. Y.), 
Lucretia L. Blankenburg (Penn.), Mariana W. Chapman (N. Y.), Mary N. Chase (Vt.), 
Dr. Mary D. Hussey (N. J.), Mrs. Frank Hubbard (Ills.), Lavina A % Hatch (Mass.), May 
Stocking Knaggs (Mich.), Helen Morris Lewis (N. C.), Orra Langhorne (Va.), Mary 
Elizabeth Milligan (Del.), Caroline Hallowell Miller (Md.), Julia B. Nelson (Minn.), 
Mrs. R. W. Southard (Ok.), Ellen Powell Thompson (D. C.), Victoria Conkling Whitney 
(Mo.), Virginia D. Young (S. C.). 

t On April 23 Senator Call submitted the Bill for a Sixteenth Amendment without rec- 
ommendation; and for himself and Senator George the same old adverse report which had 
begun to do duty in 1882, and which, he said, expressed their views. It will be found in 
the History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. Ill, p. 237. Senator Quay evidently allowed him- 
self to be counted in the opposition. 

\ The members of the committee present were Representatives David B. Henderson 
(chairman), Broderick, Updegraff, Gillett (Mass.), Baker (N. H.), Burton (Mo.), Brown, 
Culberson, Boatner, Washington, Terry and De Armond. Absent: Ray, Connolly, 
Bailey, Strong and Lewis. The speakers were: Mrs. L. C. Hughes (Ariz.), Charlotte 


roth of Colorado, who was among the listeners, to say something 
in regard to the experiment in his State. He spoke in unquali- 
fied approval, saying: "In the election of 1894 a greater per 
cent, of women voted than men, and instead of their being con- 
taminated by any influence of a bad nature at the polls, the effect 
has been that there are no loafers, there are no drunkards, there 
are no persons of questionable character standing around the 
polls. One of the practical effects of woman suffrage will be to 
inject into politics an element that is independent and does not 
have to keep a consistent record with the party. We find that 
the ladies of Colorado do not care whether they vote for one 
ticket or the other, but they vote for the men they think the most 
deserving. Consequently if a man is nominated who has a ques- 
tionable record invariably they will strike the party that does it. 
That tendency, I care not where it may exist, must be for good." 
Miss Anthony closed with an earnest appeal that the commit- 
tee would report in favor of a Sixteenth Amendment to the Con- 
stitution, thus enabling the women to carry their case to the Leg- 
islatures of the different States instead of to the masses of voters. 
She then submitted for publication and distribution the address 
of Mrs. Stanton, which said in part : 

There is not a principle of our Government, not an article or sec- 
tion of our Constitution, from the preamble to the last amendment, 
which we have not elucidated and applied to woman suffrage before 
the various committees in able arguments that have never been an- 
swered. Our failure to secure justice thus far has not been due to 
any lack of character or ability in our advocates or of strength in 
their propositions, but to the popular prejudices against woman's 
emancipation. Eloquent, logical arguments on any question, though 
based on justice, science, morals and religion, are all as light as air in 
the balance with old theories, creeds, codes and customs. 

Could we resurrect from the archives of this Capitol all the peti- 
tions and speeches presented here by women for human freedom 
during this century, they would reach above this dome and make a 
more fitting pedestal for the Goddess of Liberty than the crowning 
point of an edifice beneath which the mother of the race has so long 
pleaded in vain for her natural right of self-government a right 
her sons should have secured to her long ago of their own free will 
by statutes carved indelibly on the corner-stones of the Republic. 

Perkins Stetson (Cal.), Annie L. Diggs, Katie R. Addison (Kan.), Elizabeth Up- 
ham Yates (Me.), Henry B. Rlackwell (Mass.), Harriet P. Sanders (Mont.), Clara B. 
Colby (Neb.), Frances A. Williamson (Nev.), Dr. Cora Smith Eaton (N. D.), Caroline 
McCullough Everhard (O.), Anna R. Simmons (S. D.), Emily S. Richards (Utah), Jessie 
G. Manley (W. Va.). 


As arguments have thus far proved unavailing, may not appeals 
to your feelings, to your moral sense, find the response so long with- 
held by your reason ? Allow me, honorable gentlemen, to paint you 
a picture and bring within the compass of your vision at once the 
comparative position of two classes of citizens: The central object 
is a ballot box guarded by three inspectors of foreign birth. On the 
right is a multitude of coarse, ignorant beings, designated in our 
constitutions as male citizens many of them fresh from the steer- 
age of incoming steamers. There, too, are natives of the same type 
from the slums of our cities. Policemen are respectfully guiding 
them all to the ballot box. Those who can not stand, because of 
their frequent potations, are carefully supported on either side, each 
in turn depositing his vote, for what purpose he neither knows nor 
cares, except to get the promised bribe. 

On the left stand a group of intelligent, moral, highly-cultivated 
women, whose ancestors for generations have fought the battles of 
liberty and have made this country all it is to-day. These come 
from the schools and colleges as teachers and professors ; from the 
press and pulpit as writers and preachers ; from the courts and hos- 
pitals as lawyers and physicians; and from happy and respectable 
homes as honored mothers, wives and sisters. Knowing the needs 
of humanity subjectively in all the higher w r alks of life, and objec- 
tively in the world of work, in the charities, in the asylums and 
prisons, in the sanitary condition of our streets and public buildings, 
they are peculiarly fitted to write, speak and vote intelligently on all 
these questions of such vital, far-reaching consequence to the wel- 
fare of society. But the inspectors refuse their votes because they' 
are not designated in the Constitution as "male" citizens, and the 
policemen drive them away. 

Sad and humiliated they retire to their respective abodes, followed 
by the jeers of those in authority. Imagine the feelings of these 
dignified women, returning to their daily round of duties, compelled 
to leave their interests, public and private, in the State and the 
home, to these ignorant masses. The most grievous result of war 
to the conquered is wearing a foreign yoke, yet this is the position 
of the daughters of the Puritans. . . . 

What a dark page the present political position of women will be 
for the future historian ! In reading of the republics of Greece and 
Rome and the grand utterances of their philosophers in paeans to 
liberty, we wonder that under such governments there should have 
been a class of citizens held in slavery. Our descendants will be 
still more surprised to know that our disfranchised citizens, our 
pariahs, our slaves, belonged to the most highly educated, moral, 
virtuous class in the nation, women of wealth and position who paid 
millions of taxes every year into the State and national treasuries ; 
women who had given thousands to build colleges and churches and 
to encourage the sciences and arts. From the dawn of creation to, 
this hour history affords no other instance of so large a class of such 
a character subordinated politically to the ignorant masses. 



This year the suffrage association took its convention west of 
the Mississippi River, the Twenty-ninth annual meeting being 
held in Des Moines, la., Jan. 26-29, 1897. Circumstances were 
unfavorable, the thermometer registering twenty-four degrees 
below zero and a heavy blizzard prevailing throughout the West. 
Nevertheless sixty-three delegates, representing twenty States, 
were present. All the visitors were entertained in the hospitable 
homes of this city, and the entire executive board were the guests 
of James and Martha C. Callanan at their handsome home in the 
suburbs. Receptions were given by the Des Moines Woman's 
Club, by the Young Women's Christian Association and by Mr. 
and Mrs. F. M. Hubbell at their palatial residence, Terrace Hill. 
The convention was welcomed in behalf of the State by Gov. 
Francis M. Drake, who paid the highest possible tribute to the 
social and intellectual qualities of women, pointed out the liber- 
ality of Iowa in respect to manhood suffrage and congratulated 
the association generally, but was extremely careful not to com- 
mit himself on the question of woman suffrage. Mayor John Mc- 
Vicar extended the welcome of the city in eloquent language. 
He also skirted all around the suffrage question, came much 
nearer an expression of approval than did the Governor, but clev- 
erly avoided a direct assertion in favor. He was followed by the 
Rev. H. O. Breeden, pastor of the Christian Church in which the 
convention was assembled. Not being in politics he dared express 
an honest opinion and said in the course of his remarks : 

It is my privilege to address you in behalf of the churches, and I 
do so with great pleasure, because I have a robust faith that you are 
right, and also that the churches are with you in sympathy and 
heart. I belong to one which welcomes women to its pulpit 
and to all its offices. I should distrust the Christianity of any 
that would deny to my mother and wife the rights it accords to 




Second Auditor. Recording Secretary. 

Corresponding Secretary 2 1 Years. 


First Auditor. Treasurer. 


my father and myself. We welcome you to this city of churches 
and to the churches of the city, and to its homes. 

Woman shows her capacity for the highest functions in propor- 
tion as she is admitted to them. I hold it true, with Dr. Storrs, that 
as Dante measured his progress in Paradise not by outer objects 
but by the increased beauty upon the face of Beatrice, so the prog- 
ress of the race is measured by the increasing beauty of character 
shown in its women. The fanaticism of yesterday is the reform of 
to-day, and the victory of to-morrow. Truth always goes onward 
and never back. The day of equal rights for women is surely 
coming. You are fighting a good warfare, with God, with con- 
science and with right to inspire you, and the triumph is near at 

Mrs. Mattie Locke Macomber extended the greetings of the 
Women's Clubs of the State ; Mrs. Adelaide Ballard, president of 
the Iowa Suffrage Association, presented its welcome, and greet- 
ings were read from various Women's Christian Temperance 
Unions. Miss Anthony responded briefly, contrasting the wel- 
come by Governor, mayor and different societies with the olden 
times when perhaps not one person would extend a friendly hand 
to those who attempted to hold a suffrage meeting. "I hardly 
know what to say now," she continued. "It is so much easier 
to speak when brickbats are flying. But I do rejoice with you 
over the immense revolution and evolution of the past twenty- 
five years, and I thank you for this cordial greeting." 

The meetings were held in the large and well-arranged Chris- 
tian Church, with an auditorium seating 1,500. The four daily 
papers gave full and fair reports and, although there was no ed- 
itorial endorsement, there was no adverse comment. The Leader 
thus described the opening session, Tuesday afternoon : 

It is doubtful if the church ever before held so many people. 
They poured in at all the doors, and the great audience room, with 
the balconies and the windows, the choir and the aisles, the platform 
and every foot of available space, was early occupied. There were 
many gentlemen in the audience, but probably four of every five 
were women. The men had come, apparently, to see and hear Miss 
Anthony ; and when she was done many of them left. It was such 
an audience as is not often seen. The ladies were generally elderly, 
the great majority beyond middle-age; they had braved the cold and 
wind to hear the leader whom they had known and loved for many 
years, but whom most of them had never seen. Their bright faces 
framed in silvery hair, with brighter eyes upturned to the speakers, 
must have been an inspiration to those on the platform ; in the case 


of Miss Anthony it was plain that she was indeed inspired by her 

There was much rejoicing over the enfranchisement of the wo- 
men of Idaho by an amendment to the State constitution during 
the past year; and much sorrow over the defeat of a similar 
amendment in California. In her president's address Miss An- 
thony said in part : 

The year 1896 witnessed greater successes than any since the first 
pronunciamento was made at Seneca Falls, N. Y., July 19, 1848. 
On January 6 President Cleveland proclaimed Utah to be a State, 
with a constitution which does not discriminate against women. 
With Utah and Wyoming we have two States coming into the 
Union with the principle of equal rights to women guaranteed by 
their constitutions. 

On November 3 the men of Idaho declared in favor of woman 
suffrage, and for the first time in the history of judicial decisions 
upon the enlargement of women's rights, civil and political, a Su- 
preme Court gave a broad interpretation of the constitution. The 
Supreme Court of Idaho Isaac N. Sullivan, Joseph W. Huston, 
John T. Morgan -unanimously decided that the amendment was 
carried constitutionally. This decision is the more remarkable be- 
cause the Court might as easily have declared that the constitution 
requires amendments to receive a majority of the total vote cast at 
the election, instead of a majority of the votes cast on the amend- 
ment itself. By the former construction it would have been lost, 
notwithstanding two to one of all who expressed an opinion were in 

If anyone will study the history of our woman suffrage move- 
ment since the days of reconstruction and the adoption of the Four- 
teenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Federal Constitution 
taking the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States in 
the cases of Mrs. Myra Bradwell for the protection of her civil 
rights ; of Mrs. Virginia L. Minor for the protection of her political 
rights ; of the law granting Municipal Suffrage to women in Mich- 
igan ; on giving women the right -to vote for County School Com- 
missioners in New York, and various other decisions he will find 
that in every case the courts have put the narrowest possible con- 
struction upon the spirit and the letter of the constitution. The 
Judges of Idaho did themselves the honor to make a decision in 
direct opposition to judicial precedent and prejudice. The Idaho 
victory is a great credit not only to the majority of men who voted 
for the amendment, but to the three Judges who made this broad and 
just decision. 

After sketching the situation in California, and relating the 


part taken by the National Association in these two campaigns, 
she concluded : 

In every county which was properly organized, with a committee 
in every precinct, who visited every voter and distributed leaflets in 
every family, the amendment received a majority vote. This ought 
to be sufficient to teach the women of all the States that what we 
need is house-to-house educational work throughout every voting 
precinct. We may possibly carry amendments with education short 
of this, but we are not likely to. I believe if the slums of San 
Francisco and Oakland had been thus organized, even the men there 
could have been made to see that it was for their interest and that 
of their wives and daughters to vote for the amendment. But, 
while the suffragists had no committees whatever in those districts, 
the "liquor men" had an active committee in every saloon, "dive" 
and gambling house. I am, therefore, more and more convinced 
that it is educational work which needs to be done. It is of little 
use for us to make our appeals to political party conventions, State 
Legislatures or Congress for resolutions in favor of woman's en- 
franchisement, while no appeal comes up to them from the rank and 
file of the voters. 

Until we do this kind of house-to-house work we can never expect 
to carry any of the States in which there are large cities. If Idaho 
had had San Francisco, with all its liquor interests and foreigners 
banded together, she would probably have been defeated as was 

So, friends, I am not in any sense disheartened, and while I re- 
joice exceedingly over Idaho, I also rejoice exceedingly over the 
grand work done in California, and over the 110,000 votes given for 
woman suffrage in that State. It was vastly more than was ever 
done in any other amendment campaign. Study then the methods 
of California and Idaho and improve on them as much as you pos- 
sibly can. 

The Des Moines Leader thus finished its report : 

It was not difficult for one who saw Miss Anthony for the first 
time to understand why she is so well beloved by her associates. 
Seventy-seven years old, she is the most earnest worker of them all ; 
she is not only their leader but their counsellor and friend. While 
she occupied the platform the utmost solicitude was manifested for 
her on the part of everybody. Once a glass of water was sent for 
but did not come as soon as it should, and everyone on the stage was 
visibly concerned except Miss Anthony herself, who calmly ob- 
served, by way of apology for a trifling difficulty with her voice, 
that she was not accustomed to speak in public, at which a laugh 

went round Her silvery hair was parted in the middle 

and brushed down over her ears. Her eyes have the deep-set ap- 
pearance which is characteristic of elderly people who have been 


hard mental laborers, but on the whole she did not look all her years, 
though older than most of her hearers had expected to see her. 
But those beaming, earnest eyes, taking in her whole audience as she 
talked, told of a nature tenacious of purpose and not to be daunted 
by any obstacle the qualities which in her many years' work in the 
cause Miss Anthony has so many times manifested. 

The Rev. Anna Howard Shaw devoted the most of her report 
as vice-president-at-large to the California campaign, as she had 
spent the greater part of the past year in that State. She closed 
by saying: "Our reception by the Californians was such as to 
make them forever dear to us. I wish you could have seen Miss 
Anthony for once walking ankle-deep in roses. It showed that 
the sentiment for suffrage had reached the point where its ad- 
vocates not only were tolerated but honored. I used to like to 
see her sitting in a chair all adorned with flowers and with a laurel 
crown suspended over her head, and to feel that it was woman 
suffrage that was crowned. The work was hard, but we all came 
back from California better in health and stronger in hope." 

On Wednesday evening the crowd was so great it became 
necessary to hold an overflow meeting, which was attended by 
five hundred persons. Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, who was in- 
troduced as "one of Iowa's own daughters," was received with 
great applause. She said in part : 

I have a deep and tender love for Iowa. When I cross her 
boundary, I always feel that I am coming home. In my travels 
through the West I meet many men and women who give me a 
warmer hand-shake because they too are from Iowa. But this 
State no longer occupies the first place in my heart. There are four 
that I love better, and every woman here feels the same. The first 
is Wyoming. Many pass through that State and see only a barren 
plain covered with sage brush, but when I cross her border, I feel a 
thrill as sacred as ever the crusaders felt in visiting the Holy Land. 
The second State is Colorado, the third Utah, and the fourth Idaho. 
All of us Iowa women will love these States better than our own 
until it shall arouse and place its laws and institutions on an equality 
for women and men 

We ask suffrage in order to make womanhood broader and 
motherhood nobler. Men and women are inextricably bound to- 
gether. If we are to have a great race, we must have a great moth- 
erhood. Do you ask why people can not see this? In all history 
no class has been enfranchised without some selfish motive under- 
lying. If to-day we could prove to Republicans or Democrats that 
every woman would vote for their party, we should be enfranchised. 


Do you say that whenever all women wish the ballot they will 
have it ? That time will never come. Not all of any class of men 
ever wanted to vote till the ballot was put into their hands. When 
the first woman desired to study medicine, not one school would 
admit her. Since that time, only half a century ago, 25,000 women 
have been admitted to the practice of medicine. If a popular vote 
had been necessary, not one of them would yet have her diploma. 
We have gained these advantages because we did not have to ask 
society for them. If woman suffrage were granted in Iowa, women 
would soon wish to vote, and every home would become a forum of 
education. .... 

There never had been so many deaths in the ranks as during 
the past year. The following were among the names presented 
by Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby as those whom the association would 
ever hold in reverent memory : 

Hannah Tracy Cutler of Illinois, former president of the Ameri- 
can Association and one of the earliest and most self-sacrificing 
of woman suffrage lecturers ; Sarah B. Cooper of California, audi- 
tor of this association, whose labors for the enfranchisement of 
the women of the Pacific coast will be remembered and honored 
equally with her beneficent work in founding and sustaining free 
kindergartens, and in whatever promoted justice, truth and mercy, 
so that on the day of her funeral all the flags in San Francisco were 
placed at half-mast ; Mary Grew, who began her work for free- 
dom as corresponding secretary of the Philadelphia Female Anti- 
Slavery Society in 1834, one of the founders of the New (Jentury 
Club of Philadelphia, and of the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage 
Association, of which she was president for twenty-three years ; 
Elizabeth Phillips, who in 1848 signed the call for 
the first convention which demanded the ballot for women ; J. Eliza- 
beth Jones of New York, a pioneer in anti-slavery and woman suf- 
frage ; Judge E. T. Merrick of New Orleans, whose home was ever 
open to the woman suffrage lecturers in that section, and who by 
his eminent position as Chief Justice of Louisiana for many years, 
.sustained his wife in work which in earlier days but for him would 
have been impossible ; Eliza Murphy of New Jersey, who bequeathed 
five hundred dollars to this association ; Harriet Beecher Stowe 
of Connecticut, who, although the apostle of freedom in another 
field, yet held as firmly and expressed as steadfastly her allegiance 
to the cause of woman suffrage; Dr. Caroline B. Winslow, the 
earliest woman physician in the District of Columbia, intrepid as 
a journalist, successful in practice, a leader in many lines of reform ; 
Maria G. Porter of Rochester, N. Y. ; Sarah Hussey Southwick 
of Massachusetts, a worker in the cause of liberty for more than 
sixty years ; Kate Field of Washington, D. C. ; Gov. Frederick T. 
Greenhalge of Massachusetts; Dr. Hiram Corson of Pennsylvania, 
who stood for the full opportunities of women in medicine, and se- 


cured the opening to them of the conservative medical societies of 

The names of over thirty other tried and true friends who had 
passed away during the months since the last meeting were given. 
Mrs. Colby closed the memorial service by saying : 

The best that comes to this world comes through the love of 
liberty. These were souls of noble aspiration and undaunted cour- 
age. We enter into their labors ; we will enshrine them in the 
history of the suffrage movement and bear them gratefully in our 
hearts forever. May our lives be as fruitful as theirs, and when we 
too pass away may we 

"Join the choir invisible 
Of these immortal dead who live again, 
In minds made better by their presence." 

Among letters received was one from Parker Pillsbury (N. H.), 
now 88 years old, who. had spoken so eloquently in early days 
for the emancipation of the slaves and the freedom of women. 
One of the many excellent addresses was on the general topic 
Equal Rights, by Miss Alice Stone Blackwell ( Mass. ) , illustrated 
by a number of the piquant and appropriate stories for which she 
is noted and which perhaps leave a more lasting impression than 
a labored argument. Mrs. Catharine Waugh McCulloch, a prac- 
ticing lawyer of Chicago, considered the hackneyed phrase All 
the Rights We Want, showing up in a humorous way the legal 
disabilities of women in her own State. The wife's earnings may 
be seized to pay for her husband's clothes; she can not testify 
against her husband ; she can not enter into a business partnership 
without his consent; a married mother has no right to her chil- 
dren ; the age of protection for girls is only fourteen, etc. 

President George A. Gates of Iowa College said in part: "I 
never heard or read a single sound argument against the suffrage 
of women in a democracy. There are a hundred arguments for 
it. The question now is one of organization, of agitation, of per- 
severance. In my judgment he who sneers at suffrage not only 
proclaims himself a boor and casts discredit on at least four 
women his mother, his wife, his sister and his daughter but 
he reveals a depth of ignorance that is pitiable. Let the appeal 
be to experience. Not one of the direful consequences predicted 
has come to pass where suffrage is enjoyed. Homes have not 


been deserted, bad women have not flocked to the polls, conjugal 
strife has not been aroused, bad effects have not come but good 
effects have. Bad men seek office in vain where women have the 
ballot. New States are coming into line and the triumph of the 
cause can not much longer be delayed." 

Mrs. Charlotte Perkins Stetson spoke with her usual ability on 
Duty and Honor : 

Underlying the objections to woman suffrage is a reason of which, 
as an American, I am deeply ashamed. I do not think either men 
or women have the same honest pride in our democracy that they 
had fifty years ago. We are becoming a little afraid of what 
Europe has always told us was an experiment, but one reason it has 
not yet been all we could wish is that it is not a democracy 'at all, 
but a semi-democracy, one-half of the race ruling over the other half. 

Another deep-seated feeling is that, while development is the 
general rule, yet the production of the best men and women requires 
"the maternal sacrifice," i. e. that the mother shall be sacrificed to 
her children, and incidentally to her husband. If the sacrifice is 
necessary, well and good ; but how if it is not ? .... It has 
been regarded as dangerous to improve the condition of women for 
fear they would not be as good mothers. If gain to the mother 
means robbery to the child, let the mother remain as she is. But 
the standard is the amount of good done to the children, not the 
amount of evil done to herself 

Grant that it is a woman's business to take care of her children 
not merely of her own children. If children anywhere are not un- 
der right conditions, women ought to see to it. The trouble is we 
are too wrapped up in my children to think of our children. We 
can not keep out disease by shutting our own front door. We have 
to know and care about the world outside our gates. In order to do 
our duty to our children we must make this world a better place to 
live in. 

Our children are not born with that degree of brain power that we 
could wish. They will not be, until our minds are widened by study 

of the whole duty of a human being What is needed 

for women is an enlargement of their moral sense so as to include 
social as well as private virtues. We have been taught that there is 
only one virtue for us. Our morality is high but narrow. It is not 
wholesome to limit oneself to one virtue, or to six or to ten. Sons 
resemble their mothers. While mothers limit their interests to 
their own narrow domestic affairs, regardless of the world outside, 
their sons will betray the interests of the country for their own 
private business interests Women and men are so con- 
nected that we can not improve one without improving the other. 
Under equal rights we shall raise the moral sense of the community 
by the natural laws of transmission through the mothers. We shall 


learn to blame a man as much if he betrays a public trust as we do if 
he deserts his wife. 

Have we done our full duty when we have loved and served and 
taken care of those that every beast on earth loves and serves and 
takes care of our own young? That is the beginning of human 
duty but not the whole of it. The duty of woman is not confined to 
the reproduction of the species ; it extends to the working of the 
will of God on earth. The family is a leaf on the tree of the State. 
It can grow in strength and purity while the State is healthy, but 
when the State is degraded the family becomes degraded with it. 
We have not done our full duty to the family till we have done our 
best to serve the State. 

Miss Shaw took up this subject, saying: 

The millennium will not come as soon as women vote, but it will 
not come until they do vote. If a woman has only a little brain, she 

has a right to the fullest development of all she has If 

we are to keep our children healthy, as Mrs. Stetson says is our 
duty, pure water is essential. I know a city (Philadelphia) where 
you can fast for forty days, drinking only water, and grow fat 
because you have chowder every time. Is there any reason why 
women should not have a vote in regard to water- works ? A woman 
knows as much about water as a man. Generally, she drinks more 
of it. See how the street cleaners sweep the dirt into heaps on 
Monday and leave it to blow about until Saturday, before it is taken 
up. Any housekeeper would know better. Sewers and man-traps 
spread disease literally and also metaphorically. You may teach 
your boy every precept in the Bible from beginning to end, and he 
will go out into the street and be taught to violate every one of them, 
under the protection of law, and you can't help yourself or him. 

At one of the morning meetings Miss Anthony said in response 
to a message from the W. C. T. U. accompanied by a great bunch 
of daisies : "We always are glad to receive greetings from this 
society, because one of its forty departments is for the franchise. 
The suffrage association has only one, but that one aims to make 
every State a true republic." She continued : "A newspaper of 
this city has criticized the suffrage banner with its four stars and 
has accused us of desecrating our country's flag. But no one 
ever heard anything about desecration of the flag during the po- 
litical campaign, when the names and portraits of all the candi- 
dates were tacked to it. Our critics compare us to Texas and its 
lone star. We have not gone out of the Union, but four States 
have come in. Keep your flag flying, and do not let any one per- 
suade you that you are desecrating it by putting on stars for the 


States where government is based on the consent of the governed, 
and leaving them off for those which are not." 

State Senators Rowen, Kilburn and Byers brought an official 

essage inviting the convention to visit the Senate and select cer- 
tain of their members to address that body. Each of these gen- 
tlemen spoke briefly but unequivocally in favor of the enfran- 
chisement of women. 

The ladies found the Senate Chamber crowded from top to bot- 
tom on the occasion of their visit Friday morning, and they were 
welcomed by Lieutenant-Governor Parrott. In her response 
Miss Anthony called attention to the fact that the women of Iowa 
had been pleading their cause in vain before the Legislature for 
nearly thirty years. Mrs. Mary C. C. Bradford, Mrs. Emmeline 
B. Wells and Mrs. Mell C. Woods spoke for the States of Colo- 
rado, Utah and Idaho, which had enfranchised women; Mrs. 
Colby represented Wyoming. Clever two-minute speeches were 
made by Mrs. Ballard, Miss Shaw and Mrs. Chapman Catt, which 
were highly appreciated by the legislators and the rest of the aud- 

During the convention an informal speech of Mrs. Harriet 
Taylor Upton (O.), As the World Sees Us, was much enjoyed. 
In the course of her remarks she said : 

The world thinks our husbands are inferior men, and I do not like 
it. For fifty years they have said all sorts of things about the over- 
bearing suffragists that they were crazy, tyrannical, etc., but they 
never have said we were fools. Why should they think that we 
would pick out fools for our husbands? .... 

The world also thinks the suffrage advocates are poor house- 
keepers. I know, for I was in the world a long time and I thought 
so. When I was brought into the movement and visited the lead- 
ers, I was surprised to find the order and executive ability with 
which their homes were conducted. 

The world thinks we are office-seekers. Most of us have not the 
slightest wish for office, but we do want to see women serving on 
all boards that deal with matters where woman's help is needed. 

The world thinks we are irreligious ; but our individual churches 
do not think so for most of us are members of churches in good 
and regular standing, and we are not denied communion. We can 
not be vestrymen, but if the church wants a steam heater it is voted 
to have one, without a cent in the treasury, because the women are 
relied upon to raise the money. We are religious enough to have 
oyster suppers in aid of the church and to make choir-boys' vest- 


ments and to raise the minister's salary and to make up the congre- 
gation. Religion is love to God and man. If it is not religion to 
.promote a cause that will make men better and women wiser and 
happier, what is it ? The world thinks we are irreligious because in 
the early days some of our leaders were held to be unorthodox. 
But most of those who years ago were looked upon as such are re- 
garded as orthodox to-day. The eye-sight of the world is much 
better than it used to be 

The discussion Resolved, That the propaganda of the woman 
suffrage idea demands a non-partisan attitude on the part of indi- 
vidual workers was led by Miss Laura Clay in the affirmative 
and Henry B. Blackwell in the negative. Miss Clay said in part : 

It is a well established rule that the greater should never be 
subordinated to the less. Therefore, suffrage should never be made 
a tail to the kite of any political party. There are momentous 
issues now before the people, but none so momentous as woman 
suffrage. This principle appeals to the conscience of the people, and 
will ultimately convince all those who cherish the political principles 
of our fathers. Already we believe we have convinced a sufficient 
number to make this a practical question. We have now to deal 
with the politicians. They may be divided into two classes, men of 
high ideals and those who cling to party, right or wrong. It is 
necessary to gain both classes. 

Partisan methods are not suited to the discussion of this question. 
We must show that when enfranchised we shall hold a self-preserv- 
ative attitude ; that we know our rights, and, knowing them, dare 
maintain. Wisdom is less tangible than force but more powerful 
in the end. Women are different from men and their political 
methods will differ from those of men. Women will never win so 
long as they consent to barter their services for vague promises of 
what will be done for them in the future, or to subordinate woman 
suffrage to the interests of any party. 

MR. BLACKWELL: We are all agreed that Woman Suffrage 
Associations, local, State and national, are and must be non-parti- 
san. But a clear distinction should be made between the attitude of 
a society and that of the individual women and men who compose 
its membership. Suffrage societies, being composed of men and 
women of all shades of political belief, can not take sides on any 
other question without violating each member's right and duty to 
have and express personal political opinions. But, as individuals, 
it is our duty to be partisans. Woman suffrage is not the only 
issue. In almost every political contest one party is right and the 
other wrong. Everybody is bound to do what he or she can to pro- 
mote the success of the right side. If no moral questions were in- 
volved, political contests would be ignoble and insignificant. We 
value suffrage mainly because questions of right and wrong are 
settled by votes 


Every woman, equally with every man, should be affiliated with 

3me political party Every manifestation by women of 

itelligent interest in political questions helps woman suffrage. Po- 
litical questions necessarily become party questions, for we live 

ider a government of parties. 

A non-partisan attitude is a phrase which needs definition. If 
'partisan" means "our party, right or wrong," then no woman and 
10 man should be a partisan. An attitude of moderation and con- 
:iliation befits every candid person. I am for holding equal suf- 
frage paramount to ordinary political questions, but I am not for 
spudiating party ties altogether. Woman suffrage, though the 
lost important question, is not always the one to be first settled. 
It is not the only question. Voting, though the most direct form of 
political power, is not the only political power. Women's interests 
and those of their children are involved, equally with those of men, 
in every question of finance, currency, tariff, domestic an.d foreign 
relations. They have no right to be neutral or apathetic. So long 
as they remain silent and inert they command no attention or respect. 
I maintain, therefore, that affirmative political activity, working by 
and through party machinery, is the duty of every individual citi- 
zen whether man or woman. 

In States where a suffrage amendment is pending, in meetings 
where suffrage is advocated, party politics should be laid aside for 
the time being. In religious meetings no distinction should be 
made between Republicans, Democrats or Populists. In political 
meetings no distinction should be made between Methodists, Bap- 
tists or Presbyterians. In suffrage meetings there should be no 
distinction of sect or party. But we hold our individual opinions 
all the same. 

Miss ANTHONY : I want to say that you can not possibly divide 
yourself up as Mr. Blackwell suggests. You can not be a Repub- 
lican in one convention to-day and non-partisan in another to-mor- 
row. The men who believe in suffrage are voters, and must have 
their parties, of course. But any woman who champions either 
political party makes more votes against than for suffrage. I could 
give numerous examples. Do not be deluded with this idea that 
one party is right and the other wrong. Which is it? One party 
seems right to one-half of the people, and the other party to the 
other half. As long as women have no votes, any one of them who 
will make a speech either for gold or silver or for any party issue is 
lacking in self-respect. 

Miss BLACKWELL: Miss Clay seems to have understood the 
question presented for discussion in a different sense from what I 
did. I do not believe in making suffrage a tail to any party kite, of 
course ; but women as well as men are bound to do what they can to 
promote good government, and hence to promote by all legitimate 
means the party which they believe to be in the right. They will 
inevitably do this more and more as they become more interested in 
public questions. See how many women took part in the late cam- 
paign, making speeches for gold or silver, not with any eye to 


woman suffrage for neither party was committed to it but purely 
for the sake of the welfare of the country, as they understood it. I 

can not agree that they were lacking in self-respect 

Miss SHAW : I have made only one party speech in my life. 
That was ten years ago, for the Prohibition Party ; and if the Lord 
will forgive me, I will never do it again till women vote. 

In spite of the lively difference of opinion, the meeting ad- 
journed in great good humor and amid considerable laughter. 

The last session of the convention was a celebration of the suf- 
frage victory in Idaho, conducted by representatives of what the 
association liked to call "the free States." Mrs. Colby said in 
behalf of Wyoming : 

. . . . No matter if we fill the field of blue with stars, one 
will always shine with peculiar lustre, the star of Wyoming, who 
opened the door of hope for women. 

There is a beautiful custom in Switzerland among the Alpine 
shepherds. He who, tending his flock among the heights, first sees 
the rays of the rising sun gild the top of the loftiest peak, lifts his 
horn and sounds forth the morning greeting, "Praise the Lord." 
Soon another shepherd catches the radiant gleam, and then another 
and another takes up the reverent refrain, until mountain, hill and 
valley are vocal with praise and bathed in the glory of a new day. 

So the dawn of the day that shall mean freedom for woman and 
the ennobling of the race was first seen by Wyoming, on the crest 
of our continent, and the clarion note was sounded forth, "Equality 
before the law." For a quarter of a century she was the lone 
watcher on the heights to sound the tocsin of freedom. At last 
Colorado, from her splendid snow-covered peaks, answered back in 
grand accord, "Equality before the law." Then on Utah's brow 
shone the sun, and she, too, exultantly joined in the trio, "Equality 
before the law." And now Idaho completes the quartette of moun- 
tain States which sing the anthem of woman's freedom. Its echoes 
rouse the sleepers everywhere, until from the rock-bound coast of 
the Atlantic to the golden sands of the Pacific resounds one resolute 
and jubilant demand, "Equality before the law," and lo, the whole 
world wakes to the sunlight of liberty ! 

Mrs. Mary C. C. Bradford, in speaking for Colorado, said : 

Civilization means self-realization. The level is being slowly but 
surely raised and the atmosphere improved. Freedom for the indi- 
vidual, properly guarded, is the ideal to-day. When woman is free, 
the eternal feminine shows itself to be also the truly human. Wit- 
ness Wyoming, with its magnificent school system, its equal pay for 
equal work. Witness Colorado, where women cast 52 per cent, of 
the total vote though the State contains a large majority of men. 
What does this show if not that women wish to vote ? We women 


believe that election day administers to each of us the sacrament of 
citizenship, and we go, most of us, prayerfully and thankfully to 
partake in this outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual 

The first time I went to vote I was out of the house just nine 
minutes. The second time I took my little girl along to school, 
stopped in to vote, and then went down town and did my market- 
ing ; and I was gone twenty minutes. While I was casting my vote 
the men gave my little one a flower. They always decorate the 
polling-places with flowers now, for they know women love beauty. 

The tone of political conventions has improved since suffrage was 
granted to women. So has the character of the candidates. . . . 
There is no character-builder like responsibility. Every woman's 
club in the State has been turned into a study club, and the women 
are examining public questions for themselves. This is one of the 
best results of equal suffrage. 

When women obtained the ballot they wanted to know about 
public affairs, and so they asked their husbands at home (every 
woman wants to believe that her husband knows everything), and 
the husbands had to inform themselves in order to answer their 
wives' questions. Equal suffrage has not only educated women 
and elevated the primaries, but it has given back to the State the 
services of her best men, large numbers of whom had got into the 
habit of neglecting their political duties 

Mrs. Emmeline B. Wells said in describing the conditions in 

After the ballot was given to women the men soon came to us and 
asked us to help them. We divided on party lines but not rigidly 
so. We helped not only the good men and women of our own 
party, but those of the other. If they put up a Republican or a 
Democrat who is not fit for the position, the women vote against 
him. In all the work I do for the Republicans, I never denounce 
the Democrats 

This year the men were more willing to have us go to the pri- 
maries than we were to go. Even the women who had not wished 
for suffrage voted. I do not mind going to the primaries. I am 
not afraid of men not the least in the world. I have often been on 
committees with men. I don't think it has hurt me at all, and I 
have learned a great deal. They have always been very good to me. 
We must stand up for the men. We could not do without them. 
Certainly we could not have settled Utah without them. They 
built the bridges and killed the bears ; but I think the women worked 
just as hard, in their way 

When Mrs. Mell C. Woods came forward to speak for Idaho 
the audience arose and received her with cheers and the waving 
of handkerchiefs. She brought letters of greeting from most of 


the women's clubs of that State, and in a long and beautiful ad- 
dress she said : 

With her head pillowed in the lap of the North, her feet resting 
in the orchards of the South, her snowy bosom rising to the clouds, 
Idaho lies serene in her beauty of glacier, lake and primeval forest, 
guarding in her verdure-clad mountains vast treasures of precious 
minerals, with the hem of her robe embroidered in sapphires and 

opals As representing Idaho, first I wish to express 

the heartfelt gratitude of even' equal suffragist in our proud and 
happy State to the National Association for the most generous help 
afforded us in our two years' campaign. Without the aid of the 
devoted women, Mrs. DeVoe, Mrs. Chapman Catt, Mrs. Bradford 
and Mrs. Johns, who made the arduous journey to organize our 
clubs, plead our cause and teach us how to work and win, we should 
not be celebrating Idaho's victory to-night 

After describing the great output of the mines and the fruit- 
producing value of the State, she continued : 

I fancy few of you know much of the conditions existing in 
the mining country, dotted with camps in every gulch ; the prepon- 
derance of the adult males over the women of maturity ; the power 
of the saloon element, and the cosmopolitan character of the people 
men from all parts of the world, ignorant and cultured, depraved 
and respectable, seeking fame and fortune in the far West no 
reading-rooms, no lectures, no lyceums, no spelling-bees or corn- 
huskings, the relaxation of the farm hand ; single men away from 
home and its influences, forced from the draughty lobby of the hotel 
or tavern to the warmth and comfort of the well-appointed saloon. 

The missionary suffrage work in such places was obliged to be 
quietly done, without any apparent advocacy on the part of men who 
were in reality ardent supporters of our cause, lest the saloon ele- 
ment should organize and, by concerted action, crush the movement 
as they did in the State of Washington in 1889; and California, too, 
owes her defeat of the amendment at least partially to this cause. 
Yet you may go far to find nobler men than we have in Idaho, and 
we did not lack able champions. Our amendment was carried by 
more than a two-thirds majority of the votes cast upon it. 

The last address, by the Rev. Ida C. Hultin (Ills.), The Point 
of View, was a masterly effort. She said in part : 

Before any woman is a wife, a sister or a mother she is a human 
being. We ask nothing as women but everything as human beings. 
The sphere of woman is any path that she can tread, any work that 
she can do. Let no one imagine that we wish to be men. In the 
beginning God created them male and female. The principle of co- 
equality is recognized in all of God's kingdom. We are beginning 


to find in the human race, as in the vegetable and the animal, that 
the male and the female are designed to be the equals of each other. 
It is because woman loves her home that she wants her country to 
be pure and holy, so that she may not lose her children when they go 
out from her protection. We want to be women, womanly women, 
stamping the womanliness of our nature upon the country, even as 
the men have stamped the manliness of their nature upon it. The 
home is the sphere of woman and of man also. The home does not 
mean simply bread-making and dish-washing, but also the place 
into which shall enter that which makes pure manhood possible. 
Give woman a chance to do her whole duty. What is education 
for, what is religion for, but as a means to the end of the development 
of humanity? If national life is what it ought to be also, a means 
to the same end, it needs then everything that humanity has to make 
it sweet and hopeful. Women have moral sentiments and they 
want to record them. That is the only difference between voting 
and not voting. The national life is the reflected life of the people. 
It is strong with their strength and weak with their weakness. 

A letter was read to the convention by Miss Anthony from 
Miss Kitty Reed, daughter of Speaker Thomas B. Reed, who 
had been with her father in California during the recent suffrage 
campaign. In referring to this she said : 

There and elsewhere the thinking women who opposed it used 
this argument : There are too many people voting already ; the 
practical effect of woman suffrage would be an increase in the illit- 
erate vote, without a proportionate increase in the intelligent vote. 
They were not in favor of it unless there could be an educational 
qualification. In other words, they were opposed to woman suf- 
frage because they were opposed to universal suffrage. I have 
always regarded universal suffrage as the foundation principle of 
our government. If "governments deriving their just powers from 
the consent of the governed" does not mean that, what can it mean ? 
So I tried to persuade these women of the truth of that which I 
supposed had been settled about one hundred and twenty-one years 
ago. It is necessary to make women believe that suffrage is a nat- 
ural right rather than a privilege ; that, while abstractly it seems 
well for an intelligent citizen to govern an ignorant one, human 
nature is such that the intelligent will govern selfishly and leave the 
ignorant no opportunity to improve. 

It seems to me that the worst obstacle we have to encounter now 
is not the prejudice of men against women's voting, but a misunder- 
standing on the part of women of the real meaning of government 
by the people. This may be ancient history to you, but it impressed 
me deeply while I was in California and that is why I write it. Of 
course there are many women who do not think. When they hear 
woman suffrage spoken of, they go to their husbands and ask them 
what they think about it, and their husbands tell them that they are 


too good to vote, and those women are content. It does not occur 
to them to ask why, if they are too pure and good to vote, they are 
not excused from obeying the laws and paying taxes. 

The report of the first year's work done at national headquar- 
ters was very satisfactory. In regard to the Press it contained 
the following : 

The year 1896 has seen the beginning of an effort by our National 
Association to use systematically the mighty lever of the public press 
in behalf of our work. We have sent out in regular weekly issues 
since March hundreds of copies of good equal suffrage articles. 
These go into the hands of Press Committees in forty-one States, 
and now between six and seven hundred papers publish them each 
week. Of forty-one different articles by about thirty different 
writers, nearly 25,000 copies have been distributed to newspapers. 
These articles reach, in local papers, not less than one million read- 
ers weekly. 

We have taken charge of the National Suffrage Bulletin which is 
edited by the chairman of the organization committee, have had it 
printed in Philadelphia and mailed from the headquarters. In the 
past twelve months there have been wrapped and sent out separately 
17,700 copies of the Bulletin. A portion of the expenses has been 
defrayed by special contributions of $900 of the $1,000 given to 
Miss Anthony by Mrs. Southworth, and $400 through the New 
York State Association, from the bequest of Mrs. Eliza J. Clapp of 
Rochester to Miss Anthony. 

Mr. Blackwell, as usual, reported for the Committee on Presi- 
dential Suffrage, suggesting a form of petition as follows : 

WHEREAS, The Constitution of the United States, the supreme 
law of the land, expressly confers upon the Legislature of every 
State the sole and exclusive right to appoint or to delegate the ap- 
pointment of presidential electors, in article II, section i, paragraph 
2, as follows : "Each State shall appoint in such manner as the 
Legislature thereof may direct a number of electors equal to the 
whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State 
may be entitled in the Congress ;" and 

WHEREAS, In some of the States said appointment has been re- 
peatedly made by the Legislature ; and 

WHEREAS, Women equally with men are citizens of this State 
and of the United States ; therefore, 

The undersigned, citizens of the State of , 21 years of age 

and upwards, respectfully petition your honorable bodies so to 
amend the election laws as to enable women to vote in the appoint- 
ment of presidential electors. , 

The report of the treasurer, Mrs. Upton, showed that the re- 


ceipts had risen to $11,825 during the year just passed. It 
ended thus : "In closing this report the treasurer would like to 
say that no one person has ever been to the treasury what Miss 
Anthony has been and is. Every dollar given to her for any pur- 
pose whatever, she feels belongs to the work and is most happy 
when she turns it in. On the other hand the association does 
very little for her. She pays her own traveling expenses and 
her own clerk hire. It is to be hoped that this is the last year we 
ay be so neglectful in this direction." 

The Congressional Committee, Mrs. Ellen Powell Thompson, 
cting chairman, reported as a part of the work done : "To still 
urther advance the matter we determined to address a letter to 
ch member of the House and Senate, asking his opinion on the 
proposed amendment to enfranchise women. At least three- 
fourths of these letters were promptly answered in most gracious 
terms, and in many of them hearty sympathy with the purpose of 
the amendment was expressed. Not a small number declared 
they were ready to vote for the amendment when opportunity 
should be given." 

Among the State reports those of California, by Mrs. Ellen 
Clark Sargent, and of Idaho, by Mrs. Eunice Pond Athey, were 
of special interest, as they contained an epitomized history of the 
recent campaigns in these States. It was decided that there 
should be a special effort to make the next annual meeting a note- 
worthy affair, as it would celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of 
the First Woman's Rights Convention. 



The Thirtieth annual convention of the suffrage association 
took place in the Columbia Theatre, Washington, D. C, Feb. 
13-19, 1898, and celebrated the Fiftieth Anniversary of the 
First Woman's Rights Convention.* In the center of the stage 
was an old-fashioned, round mahogany table, draped with the 
Stars and Stripes and the famous silk suffrage flag with its four 
golden, stars. In her opening address the president, Miss Susan 
B. Anthony, said: "On this table the original Declaration of 
Rights for Women was written at the home of the well-known 
McClintock family in Waterloo, N. Y., just half a century ago. 
Around it gathered those immortal four, Elizabeth Cady Stan- 
ton, Lucretia Mott, Martha C. Wright and Mary Ann McClin- 
tock, to formulate the grievances of women. They did not dare 
to sign their names but published the Call for their convention 
anonymously, f We have had that remarkable document printed 
for distribution here, and you will notice that those demands 
which were ridiculed and denounced from one end of the coun- 
try to the other, all have now been conceded but the suffrage, and 
that in four States." 

This convention was the largest in number of delegates and 
States represented of any in the history of the association, 154 
being in attendance and all but four of the States and Territories 

The Rev. Anna Howard Shaw devoted the most of her vice- 
president's report to an account of the work to secure a suffrage 
amendment from the Legislature which was being done in Iowa, 
where she had been spending considerable time. The report on 
Press Work by the chairman, Miss Jessie J. Cassidy, stated that 

* The Sunday afternoon preceding the convention religious services were held in the 
theatre, which was crowded. The sermon was given by the Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, 
from the text, "One shall chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight" 

t A most interesting account of that historic occasion may be found in the History of 
Woman Suffrage, Vol. I, p. 67. 



30,000 suffrage articles had been sent from headquarters to the 
various newspapers of the country and the number willing to ac- 
cept these was constantly increasing. The headquarters had been 
removed from Philadelphia to New York City during the year 
and united with the organization office. The Committee on 
Course of Study, Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, chairman, reported 
that during the past three years they had published 25,000 books 
and pamphlets, purchased from publishers 3,100 and had 9,000 
contributed. The treasurer, Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton, an- 
nounced the receipts of the past year to be $14,055. Bequests 
had been received of $500 by the will of Mrs. Eliza Murphy of 
New Jersey, and $500 from Mrs. A. Viola Neblett of South Car- 

The report of the Organization Committee, Mrs. Chapman 
Catt, chairman, showed a large amount of work done in Iowa, 
Illinois, South Dakota and the Southern States, the writing of 
10,000 letters, the holding of 1,000 public meetings under the 
auspices of this committee. It closed by saying : 

The chief obstacle to organization is not found in societies op- 
posed to the extension of suffrage to woman, nor in ignorance, nor 
in conservatism ; it is to be found in that large body of suffragists 
who believe that the franchise will come, but that it will come in 
some unaccountable way without effort or concern on their parf. 
It is to be found in the hopeless, faithless, lifeless members of our 
own organization. They are at times the officers of local clubs, and 
the clubs die on their hands ; in State executive committees, and 
there, appalled by the magnitude of the undertaking, they decide 
that organization is impossible because there is no money, and they 
make no effort to secure funds. They are in our national body, 
ready to find fault with plans and results and to criticise the con- 
scientious efforts of those who are struggling to accomplish good 
yet they are never ready to propose more helpful methods. In 
short, we find them everywhere, doing practically nothing them- 
selves, but "throwing cold water" upon every effort inaugurated 
by others. "It can not be done" is their motto, and by it they con- 
stantly discourage the hopeful and extract all enthusiasm from new 
workers. Judging from the intimate knowledge of the condition 
of our association gained in the last three years, I am free to say 
that these are our most effective opponents to-day, and, without 
question, the best result of the three years' work is the gradual 
strengthening of belief in the possibility of organization. 

Mrs. Sallie Clay Bennett, chairman, presented the report on 


Federal Suffrage;* Mrs. Lillie Devereux Blake, chairman, on 
Legislation; and Miss Laura Clay on the Suffrage Convocation 
at the Tennessee Exposition the preceding year. The Plan of 
Work, offered by the chairman, Mrs. Mariana W. Chapman, and 
adopted, represented the best result of many years' experience 
and exemplified the aims and methods of the association. The 
old board of officers was almost unanimously re-elected. 

The afternoon Work Conferences, to exchange ideas as to 
methods for organizing, raising funds, etc., which met in a small 
hall, aroused so much interest and attracted so many people that 
it was necessary to transfer them to the large auditorium. The 
Resolutions Committee presented by its chairman, Mrs. Ida 
Husted Harper, a brief summary of the results already accom- 
plished and the rights yet to be secured, in part as follows : 

The National-American Woman Suffrage Association, at this its 
thirtieth annual meeting, celebrates the semi-centennial anniver- 
sary of the first Woman's Rights Convention, held in 1848 in Seneca 
Falls, N. Y., and reaffirms every principle then and there enunciated. 
We count the gains of fifty years : Woman's position revolutionized 
in the home, in society, in the church and in the State ; public sen- 
timent changed, customs modified, industries opened, co-education 
established, laws amended, economic independence partially secured, 
and equal suffrage a recognized subject of legislation. Fifty years 
ago women voted nowhere in the world ; to-day Wyoming, Colo- 
rado, Utah and Idaho have established equal suffrage for women, 
and have already in the Congress of the United States eight Sena- 
tors and seven Representatives with women constituents. Kansas 
has granted women Municipal Suffrage, and twenty-three other 
States have made women voters in school elections. This move- 
ment is not confined to the United States ; in Great Britain and her 
colonies women now have Municipal and County Suffrage, while 
New Zealand and South Australia have abolished all political dis- 
tinctions of sex. Therefore, 

Resolved, That we hereby express our profound appreciation of 
the prophetic vision, advanced thought and moral courage of the 
pioneers in this movement for equality of rights, and our sincere 
gratitude for their half century of toil and endurance to secure for 
women the privileges they now enjoy, and to make the way easier 
for those who are to complete the work. We, their successors, a 
thousandfold multiplied, stand pledged to unceasing effort until 
women have all the rights and privileges which belong equally to 
every citizen of a republic. 

That in every State we demand for women citizens equality with 
male citizens in the exercise of the elective franchise, upon such 
terms and conditions as the men impose upon themselves. 

* Federal Suffrage is considered in Chapter I. 


That we appeal to Congress to submit a Sixteenth Amendment 
to the United States Constitution, thereby enabling the citizens of 
each State to carry this question of woman suffrage before its Leg- 
islature for settlement. 

That we; will aid, so far as practicable, every State campaign for 
woman suffrage; but we urgently recommend our auxiliary State 
societies to effect thorough county organizations before petitioning 
their Legislatures for a State, constitutional amendment. 

WHEREAS, The good results of woman suffrage in Wyoming 
since 1869 have caused its adoption successively by the three ad- 
joining States ; therefore, 

Resolved, That we earnestly request the citizens of these four 
free States to make a special effort to secure the franchise for women 
in the States contiguous to their own. 

That we demand for mothers equal custody and control of their 
minor children, and for wives and widows an equal use and in- 
heritance of property. 

That we ask for an equal representation of women on all boards 
of education and health, of public schools and colleges, and in the 
management of all public institutions ; and for their employment 
as physicians for women and children in all hospitals and asylums, 
and as police matrons and guards in all prisons and reformatories. 

That this Association limits its efforts exclusively to securing 
equal rights for women, and it appeals for co-operation to the whole 
American people. 

Miss Alice Stone Blackwell, Mrs. Ida Porter Boyer and Mrs. 
Harper were appointed fraternal delegates to the Woman's Press 
Association, in session at this time in Washington. 

A beautiful feature of this occasion was the luncheon given by 
Mrs. John R. McLean to Miss Anthony on her seventy-eighth 
birthday, February 15, attended by thirty-six of the most dis- 
tinguished ladies in the national capital, and followed by a re- 
ception to the members of the convention. Mrs. McLean was as- 
sisted in receiving by Miss Anthony and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant. 
Seventy-eight wax tapers burned upon the birthday cake, which 
was three feet in diameter and decorated with flowers. It was 
presented to Miss Anthony, who carried it in triumph to the con- 
vention in Columbia Theatre, where it was cut into slices that 
were sold as souvenirs and realized about $120, which she donated 
to the cause. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, at the age of eighty-two, sent 
two papers for this fiftieth anniversary, one for the congressional 
hearing, on The Significance of the Ballot; the other, Our De- 
feats and our Triumphs, was read to the convention by Mrs. 


Colby. Both displayed all the old-time vigor of thought and 
beauty of expression. The latter, filled with interesting reminis- 
cence, closed with these words : 

Another generation, has now enlisted for a long or short cam- 
paign. What, say they, shall we do to hasten the work? I an- 
swer, the pioneers have brought you through the wilderness in 
sight of the promised land; now, with active, aggressive warfare, 
take possession. Instead of rehearsing the old arguments which 
have done duty fifty years, make a brave attack on every obstacle 

which stands in your way Lord Brougham said : "The 

laws for women [in- England and America] are a disgrace to the 
civilization of the nineteenth century." The women in every State 
should watch their law-makers, and any bill invidious to their in- 
terests should be promptly denounced, and with such vehemence 
and indignation as to agitate the whole community 

There is no merit in simply occupying the ground which others 
have conquered. There are new fields for conquest and more 
enemies to meet. Whatever affects woman's freedom, growth 
and development affords legitimate subject for discussion here. 
. . . . Some of our opponents think woman would be a danger- 
ous element in politics and destroy the secular nature of our Govern- 
ment. I would have a resolution on that point discussed freely, and 
show liberal thinkers that we have a large number in our associa- 
tion as desirous to preserve the secular nature of our Government 

as they themselves can possibly be When educated 

women, teachers in all our schools, professors in our colleges, are 
governed by rulers, foreign and native, who can neither read nor 
write, I would have this association discuss and pass a resolution 
in favor of "educated suffrage." . . . 

The object of our organization is to secure equality and freedom 
for woman : First, in the State, which is denied when she is not 
permitted to exercise the right of suffrage; second, in the Church, 
which is denied when she has no voice in its councils, creeds and 
discipline, or in the choice of its ministers, elders and deacons ; 
third, in the Home, where the State makes the husband's authority 
absolute, the wife a subject, where the mother is robbed of the 
guardianship of her own child, and where the joint earnings belong 
solely to the husband. 

. . . . Let this generation pay its debt to the past by con- 
tinuing this great work until the last vestige of woman's subjection 
shall be erased from our creeds and codes and constitutions. Then 
the united thought of man and woman will inaugurate a pure re- 
ligion, a just government, a happy home and a civilization in which 
ignorance, poverty and crime will exist no more. They who watch 
behold already the dawn of a new day. 

The Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell (N. Y.), the first 
woman to graduate in theology and be ordained, delineated The 
Changing Phases of Opposition, pointing out that when the first 


Woman's Rights Convention was held the general tone of the 
press was shown in that newspaper which said : "This bolt is 
the most shocking and unnatural incident ever recorded in the 
history of humanity ; if these demands were effected, it would set 
the world by the ears, make confusion worse confounded, demor- 
alize and degrade from their high sphere and noble destiny 
women of all respectable and useful classes, and prove a mon- 
strous injury to all mankind." Yet this present convention was 
celebrating the granting of all those demands except the suf- 
frage and not one of the predicted evils had come to pass. The 
direful prophecies of the early days were taken up, one by one, 
and their utter absurdity pointed out in the light of experience. 
Now all of those ancient, stereotyped objections were concen- 
trated against granting the suffrage. 

Mrs. Virginia D. Young (S. C.) delighted the audience with 
one of her characteristic addresses. Prof. Frances Stewart 
Mosher, of Hillsdale College ( Mich. ) , gave an exhaustive review 
of the great increase and value of Woman's Work in Church Phi- 
lanthropies. Mrs. May Wright Sewall (Ind.) demonstrated the 
wonderful Progress of Women in Education. The New Edu- 
cation possessed the charm of novelty in being presented by Miss 
Grace Espy Patton, State Superintendent of Public Instruction 
in Colorado, a lady so delicate and dainty that, when Miss An- 
thony led her forward and said, "It has always been charged that 
voting and officeholding will make women coarse and unwoman- 
ly ; now look at her !" the audience responded with an ovation. 

Miss Belle Kearney (Miss.) discussed Social Changes in the 
South, depicting in a rapid, magnetic manner, interspersed with 
flashes of wit, the evolution of the Southern woman and the rev- 
olution in customs and privileges which must inevitably lead up 
to political rights. Mrs. Mary Seymour Howell (N. Y.) gave 
an eloquent review of the splendid services of Women in Philan- 

At the memorial services Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby (D. C.) of- 
fered the following resolutions : 

It is fitting in this commemorative celebration to pause a moment 
to place a laurel in memory's chaplet for those to whom it was 
given to be the earliest to voice the demand that woman should be 
allowed to enter into the sacred heritage of liberty, as one made 


equally with man in the image of the Creator and divinely appoint- 
ed to co-sovereignty over the earth. To name them here is to rec- 
ognize their presence with us in spirit and to invoke their benedic- 
tion upon this generation which, entering into the results of their 
labors, must carry them forward to full fruition. 

Lucretia Mott always will be revered as one of those who con- 
ceived the idea of a convention to make an organized demand for 
justice to women. She became a Quaker preacher in 1818 at the 
ag^e of twenty-five, and the last suffrage convention she attended was 
in her eighty-sixth year. Her motto, "Truth for authority and not 
authority for truth," is still the tocsin of reform. Sarah Pugh, the 
lovely Quaker, was ever her close friend and helper. 

Frances Wright, a noble Scotchwoman, a friend of General La- 
fayette, early imbibed a love for freedom and a knowledge of the 
principles on which it is based. In this the land of her adoption 
she was the first woman to lecture on political subjects, in 1826. 

Ernestine L. Rose, the beautiful Polish patriot, sent the first 
petition to the New York Legislature to give a married woman the 
right to hold real estate in her own name. This was in 1836, and 
she continued the work of securing signatures until 1848, when the 
bill was passed. She was a matchless orator and lectured on woman 
suffrage for nearly fifty years. 

Lucy Stone's voice pleaded the wide continent over for justice 
for her sex. Her life-long devotion to the woman suffrage cause 
was idealized by the companionship and assistance of her husband, 
Henry B. Blackwell, the one man in this nation who under any and 
all circumstances has made woman's cause his chief consideration. 
Her first lecture on woman's rights was given in 1847, tne year of 
her graduation at Oberlin College, and her life work was epitomized 
in her dying words, "Make the world better." 

Martha C. Wright, Jane Hunt and Mary Ann McClintock were 
three of those noble women who issued the call for the Seneca Falls 
Convention, and were ever ready for service. 

Paulina Wright Davis, who called the first National Convention 
in 1850 and presided over its twentieth celebration in 1870, was one 
of the moving spirits of the work for more than twenty-five years. 
Assisted by Caroline H. Dall, she edited the Una, founded in 1853, 
the first distinctively woman suffrage paper. 

Frances Dana Gage, better known by her pen-name, "Aunt 
Fanny," was farmer, editor, lecturer and worker in the Sanitary 
Commission. Of her eight children six were stalwart sons, and 
she used to boast that she was the mother of thirty-six feet of 
boys. She was a pillar of strength to the movement in early days. 

Clarina Howard Nichols is associated with the seed-sowing in 
Vermont, in Wisconsin and especially in Kansas, where her labors 
with the first constitutional convention, in 1859, engrafted in organic 
law many rights for women which were obtained elsewhere, if at 
all, only by slow and difficult legislative changes. Susan E. Wattles 
led the Kansas campaign of 1859 with Mrs. Nichols. 

Emily Robinson of Salem, Ohio, was one of the chief movers in 


the second Woman's Rights Convention, and this was held in her 
own town in 1850. From that time until the present year she has 
been unfaltering in her devotion. 

Dr. Susan A. Edson, who was graduated in medicine in 1854, 
was a fellow-pioneer in the District of Columbia with Dr. Caroline 
B. Winslow, whose death preceded hers by about one year. She 
was one of the most distinguished army nurses and the friend and 
faithful attendant of President Garfield. For many years she was 
the president of the District Woman Suffrage Association. Among 
the earlier woman physicians who espoused the cause were Dr. 
Harriot K. Hunt, Dr. Mary B. Jackson, Dr. Ann Preston, one of the 
founders and physicians of the Woman's Hospital of Philadelphia, 
and Dr. Clemence S. Lozier, a founder and physician of the New 
York Medical College for Women. 

Sarah Helen W T hitman was the first literary woman of reputation 
who gave her name to the movement, which later counted among 
its warmest friends Lydia Maria Child, Alice and Phoebe Cary and 
Mary Clemmer. 

Amalia B. Post of Cheyenne, to whom the enfranchisement of 
the women of Wyoming was largely due, was ready, as she often 
said, at the first tap of the drum at Seneca Falls. She occupied the 
place of honor by the side of the Governor on that proud day when 
the admission of Wyoming as a State was celebrated. 

Josephine S. Griffing, organizer of the Freedman's Bureau ; 
Amelia Bloomer, editor of the Lily, the first temperance and wom- 
an's rights paper ; Mary Grew, for twenty-three years president of 
the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association ; Myra Bradwell, 
the first woman to enter the ranks of legal journalism ; Virginia L. 
Minor, the dove with the eagle's heart, who took to the U. S. Su- 
preme Court her suit against the Missouri officials for refusing her 
vote all these, and many more who might be added, form the 
noble galaxy who brought to the cause of woman's liberty rare 
personal beauty, social gifts, intellectual culture, and the all-com- 
pelling .eloquence of earnestness and sincerity. 

Albert O. Willcox of New York, whose eighty-seven years were 
filled with valuable work for reforms, was drawn to the conviction 
that women should have a share in the Government by a sermon 
preached by Lucretia Mott in 1831, and from that time declared 
himself publicly for the movement and was its life-long supporter. 

James G. Clark, the sweet-souled troubadour of reform, sang for 
woman's freedom in suffrage conventions all over the land. 

Joseph N. Dolph was always to be counted on to further the 
political emancipation of women, both in his own State of Oregon 
and in the U. S. Senate, of which he was long an honored member. 

To name the men who have been counselors and friends of the 
woman suffrage movement is to name the greatest poets, preachers 
and statesmen of the last half century. Wherever there has been 
a woman strong enough to demand her rights there has been a 
man generous and just enough to second her. Surely we may say 


that "the spirits of just men made perfect" are our strength and 
our inspiration. 

No less entitled to remembrance and gratitude are the unnamed 
multitude who have helped the onward march of freedom by stand- 
ing for the truth that was revealed to them. Whether they pass 
away in the beauty of youth, the strength of maturity or the glory 
of old age, they who have given to the world one impulse on the 
upward path to freedom and to light are not dead. They live here 
in the life 6f all good things, and, because of strength gained in 
earthly activity, have strength to perfect in other spheres what here 
they but dreamed of. 

The Woman's Tribune thus described one scene of the conven- 

The opening address of Wednesday evening was by Mrs. Isa- 
bella Beecher Hooker (Conn.) on United States Citizenship. She 
was not heard distinctly and the audience was very fidgety. Miss 
Anthony came forward and told them they ought to be perfectly 
satisfied just to sit still and look at Mrs. Hooker. She is always a 
commanding presence on the stage, and on this evening, impressed 
with the deep significance of the event, and clad in silver gray, 
which harmonized beautifully with her whitening curls, she was a 
picture which would delight an artist. But notwithstanding Miss 
Anthony's admonition, the audience really wanted to hear as well 
as to see. Mrs. Hooker realizing this at last said impatiently, "I 
never could give a written speech, but Susan insisted that I must 
this time," and, discarding her manuscript, she spoke clearly and 
forcibly with her old-time power. A portion of her address was a 
graphic recital of Miss Anthony's trial for illegal voting in 1872. 

When Mrs. Hooker's time had expired Miss Anthony rose and put 
her arm around her, and thus these striking figures, representing the 
opposite poles of the woman suffrage force, made a tableau which 
will never pass from the mental vision of those who witnessed it. 
At the close of her remarks Mrs. Hooker threw her arms around 
Miss Anthony and kissed her. The latter, more moved than was 
her wont, gave vent to that strong feeling of the injustice of wom- 
an's disfranchisement which is ever present with her, and exclaimed : 
"To think that such a woman, belonging by birth and marriage to 
the most distinguished families in our country's history, should be 
held as a subject and have set over her all classes of men, with the 
prospect of there being added to her rulers the Cubans and the 
Sandwich Island Kanakas. Shame on a government that permits 
such an outrage !" 

Mrs. Caroline Hallowell Miller (Md.), one of the first suffrage 
advocates south of Mason and Dixon's line, gave A Glimpse of 
the Past and Present. Dr. Clara Marshall, Dean of the Woman's 
Medical College of Pennsylvania, presented the history of Fifty 
Years in Medicine. She related in a graphic manner the strug- 


gle of women to gain admission to the colleges, the embarrass- 
ments they suffered, the obstacles they were obliged to overcome, 
reading from published reports the hostile demonstrations of the 
male students. In closing she bore testimony to the encourage- 
ment and assistance rendered by those men who were broad- 
minded and generous enough to recognize the rights of women in 
this profession and help secure them. The Ministry of Religion 
as a Calling for Women was the subject of an able and interesting 
address by the Rev. Florence Buck of Unity Church, Cleveland, 
Ohio. Mrs. Ella Knowles Haskell, assistant attorney-general 
of Montana, spoke on Women in the Legal Profession, giving 
many incidents of the practice of law in the far West. 

Samuel J. Barrows, member of Congress from Massachusetts, 
was called from the audience by Miss Anthony, and closed his 
brief remarks by saying: "I believe in woman suffrage; it has 
in it the elements of justice which entitle it to every man's sup- 
port, and we all ought to help secure it." A leading feature of 
the program was the speech of August W. Machen, head of the 
free delivery division of the national post office, on Women 
in the Departmental Service of the United States. He gave the 
history of their employment by the government, declared they had 
raised the standard of work and testified to their efficiency and 

The Civil Rights of Women were ably discussed by the Rev. 
Frederick A. Hinckley of the Second Unitarian Church, Philadel- 
phia, who reviewed the existing laws and pointed out the changes 
in favor of women. In regard to the prevalence of divorce he 
said : "There is a large class of our fellow-citizens who greatly 
misinterpret, in my opinion, the significance of the increase in the 
number of divorces. No one would counsel more earnestly than 
I, patience and consideration and every reasonable effort on the 
part of people once married to live together. But I can not dis- 
pute the proposition, nor do I believe any one can dispute it, that 
in the great process of evolution divorce is an indication of grow- 
ing independence and self-respect in women, a proclamation that 
marriage must be the union of self-respecting and mutually re- 
spected equals, and that in the ideal home of the future that hide- 
ous thing, the subjugation of woman, is to be unknown." 

Mrs. Catharine Waugh McCulloch (Ills.) discussed The Eco- 


nomic Status of Women. Madame Clara Neymann (N. Y.) 
read a philosophical paper on Marriage in the Light of Woman's 
Freedom. The Progress of Colored Women was pictured in an 
impassioned address by Mrs. Mary Church Terrell, president of 
the National Association of Colored Women. She received num- 
erous floral tributes at its close. Mrs. Emmy C. Evald of Chi- 
cago, with an attractive foreign enthusiasm, told of the work of 
Swedish women in their own country and in the United States. 
Mrs. Lillie Devereux Blake (N. Y.) with clever satire and amidst 
laughter and applause, considered Women in Municipalities. 

The Pioneers' Evening was one of great interest, when Miss 
Anthony marshalled her hosts and made "the roll-call of the 
years." As each decade was called, beginning with 1848, those 
who began the suffrage work at that time rose on the stage and 
in all parts of the house and remained standing. Not one was 
there who was present at the original Seneca Falls Convention, 
but it had held an adjourned meeting at Rochester, three weeks 
later, and Miss Anthony's sister, Mary S., responded as having 
attended then and signed the Declaration of Rights. The daugh- 
ters of Mrs. Martha C. Wright, who called this convention Mrs. 
Eliza Wright Osborne and Mrs. Wm. Lloyd Garrison and also 
Mrs. Millie Burtis Logan, whose mother, Miss Anthony's cousin, 
served as its secretary, were introduced to the audience. The 
children of Frederick Douglass, who had spoken at both meet- 
ings, were present and should have come forward with this group. 
The Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell stated that she had spoken 
in favor of woman's rights in 1846. Among the earliest of the 
pioneers present were John W. Hutchinson, the last of that fa- 
mous family of singers ; Henry B. Blackwell, Mrs. Helen Philleo 
Jenkins (Mich.), Miss Sarah Wall (Mass.) and Mrs. Hooker. 
Many of those who arose made brief remarks and the occasion 
was one which will not be forgotten by those who witnessed it. 

Among the letters received from the many pioneers still living 
was one from Mrs. Abigail Bush, now eighty-eight years old and 
residing in California, who presided over the Rochester meeting, 
Aug. 2, 1848. It is especially interesting as showing that even 
so advanced women as Lucretia Mott and Mrs. Stanton, al- 
though they dared call such a meeting, were yet so conservative 
as to object to a woman's presiding over it : 


To SUSAN B. ANTHONY, GREETING: You will bear me witness 
that the state of society is very different from what it was fifty 
years ago, when I presided at the first Woman's Rights Convention. 
I had not been able to meet in council at all with the friends until I 
met them in the hall as the congregation was gathering, and then 
fell into the hands of those who urged me to take part with the 
opposers of a woman serving, as the party had with them a fine- 
looking man to preside at all of their meetings, James Mott, who 
had presided at Seneca Falls. Afterward I fell in with the old 
friends, Amy .Post, Rhoda de Garmo and Sarah Fish, who at once 
commenced labors with me to prove that the hour had come when 
a woman should preside, and led me into the church. Amy pro- 
posed my name as president ; I was accepted at once, and from that 
hour I seemed endowed as from on high to serve. 

It was a two days' meeting with three sessions per day. On my 
taking .the chair, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton left 
the platform and took their seats in the audience, but it did not 
move me from performing all my duties, and at the close of the 
meeting Lucretia Mott came forward, folded me tenderly in her 
arms and thanked me for presiding. That settled the question of 
men's presiding at a woman's convention. From that day to this, 
in all the walks of life, I have been faithful in asserting that there 
should be "no taxation without representation." It has seemed 
long in coming, but I think the time draws near when woman will 
be acknowledged as equal with man. Heaven grant the day to 
dawn soon ! 

Mrs. Catharine A. F. Stebbins (Mich.), who had attended the 
Seneca Falls Convention and signed the Declaration of Rights, 
sent an interesting descriptive letter. Mrs. Lucinda H. Stone 
(Mich.), the mother of women's clubs and a pioneer on educa- 
tional lines, wrote : 

You wanted I should write you any anecdotes of early interest 
in woman suffrage. The remembrance of Dr. Stone's waking up 
to that subject has come to me, and I have thought I would tell 
you about it. 

It was some time in the forties that he was requested to deliver 
a Fourth of July oration in Kalamazoo. I can not tell the exact 
year, but it was before I had ever heard of the Rochester Conven- 
tion, or of you or Mrs. Stanton, and he was looking up all that he 
could find in the early history of our Declaration of Independence, 
and the principles of Jefferson and the early revolutionists. I re- 
member his coming in one day (it must have been before 1848), 
seeming very much absorbed in something that he was thinking 
about. He threw down the book he had been reading, and said 
to me: "The time will come when women will vote. Mark my 
words ! We may not live to see it, we probably shall not, but it will 
come. It is not a woman's right or a man's right ; it is a human 
right, and their voting is but a natural process of evolution." . . . 


Mrs. Esther Wattles, who helped secure School Suffrage and 
equal property laws for women in the State constitution of Kan- 
sas in 1859, sent this message : "My attention was first called to 
the injustice done to women by a lecture given near Wilmington, 
Ohio, by John O. Wattles in 1841. He devoted most of his time 
to lecturing on Woman's Rights, The Sin of Slavery, The Tem- 
perance Reform and Peace. I heard him on all these subjects, off 
and on, till 1844, when we were married Seventy- 
nine summers with their clouds and sunshine, make it fitting I 
should greet you by letter rather than personal presence. May 
the cause never falter till the victory is won." 

Most of the letters were sent to Miss Anthony personally. 
Among these were the following : 

We, the members of the National Association of Woman Stenog- 
raphers, take great pleasure in extending congratulations to you 
on the occasion of your seventy-eighth birthday, and hope that the 
days of your years may still be many and happy. We also desire 
to express our appreciation of and gratitude for the work you have 
done in securing freedom and justice for women. As business 
women we are better able to comprehend what you have accom- 
plished, especially for those who are bread-winners, and we trust 
the time may soon come when we shall not be limited to under- 
standing what freedom is, but be able to act in accordance with 
its principles. 

young in the ranks and few in number compared with the older 
States, yet we are none the less loyal to the principles advocated and 
established by the National Association. We are brave because 
we draw inspiration from the thoughts and acts of that Spartan 
band of suffragists of fifty years ago, who devoted the sunshine of 
their lives and the energies of their philosophic minds to the effort 
to obtain for womankind their inherent right to have a voice in the 
Government which derives its just powers from the consent of the 

ALFRED H. LOVE, president of the Universal Peace Union : From 
our rooms in the east wing of Independence Hall, I send greetings 
to you and your cause. Your cause is ours, and has been one of our 
essential principles since our organization. Your success is a 
triumph for peace. 

MARY LOWE DICKINSON, secretary of the International Order of 
the King's Daughters and Sons: I hope you will live to see the 
full day for the cause whose dawn owed so much to your labors, 
and I can ask nothing better for you than that you have "the desire 
of your heart," which I am sure will be the ballot for us all. 

DR. ELIZABETH BLACKWELL, the first woman physician: Al- 


though I can not respond in person to your very friendly invitation 
to be a representative of "the pioneers," yet I gladly send my hearty 
greeting to you and to the other brave workers for the progress of 
the race a progress slow but inevitable. Amongst all its steps I 
consider the admission of women to the medical profession as the 
most important. Whilst thankfully recognizing the wonderful ac- 
cumulations of knowledge which generations of our brethren have 
gathered together, our future women physicians will rejoice to help 
in the construction of that noble temple of medicine, whose founda- 
tion stone must be sympathetic justice. Pray allow me to send my 
warm greeting to the Congress through you. 

There were messages and grateful recognition from so many 
societies and individuals in the United States that it would be 
impossible even to call them by name ; also from the Dominion of 
Canada Suffrage Club, through Dr. Augusta Stowe Gullen; the 
National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies in Great Britain, 
with individual letters from Lady Aberdeen, Mrs.Millicent Gar- 
rett Fawcett, Mrs. Priscilla Bright McLaren and others; on be- 
half of the Swedish Frederika Bremer Forbundet, by Carl Lind- 
hagen ; on behalf of Finnish women by Baroness Alexandra Grip- 
enberg; on behalf of German women by Frau Hanna Bieber- 
Bohm, president of the National Council of Women; on behalf 
of the Woman Suffrage Society of Holland by its secretary, Mar- 
garethe Galle ; from the Norwegian Woman Suffrage Club ; from 
the Verein Jugendschutz of Berlin, and from the Union to Pro- 
mote Woman's Rights in Finland. 

The remarkable scenes of the closing evening made a deep im- 
pression upon the large audience. After fifty years of effort to 
overcome the most stubborn and deeply-rooted prejudices of the 
ages, the results were beginning to appear. Among the speakers 
were a woman State senator from Utah, Mrs. Martha Hughes 
Cannon; a woman member of the Colorado Legislature, Mrs. 
Martha A. B. Conine; a woman State Superintendent of Public 
Instruction, Miss Estelle Reel of Wyoming; U. S. Senators 
Henry M. Teller of Colorado, and Frank J. Cannon of Utah, 
States where women have full suffrage ; Representative John F. 
Shafroth of Colorado and in the center of this distinguished 
group, Susan B. Anthony, receiving the fruits of her half cen- 
tury of toil and hardship. 

Miss REEL : I want to tell you a little about our work in Wyo- 


ming, where women have been voting and holding office for nearly 
thirty years, and where our people are convinced that it has been 
of great benefit. Our home life there is as sacred and sweet as any- 
where else on the globe. Equal suffrage has been tried and not 
found wanting. You may ask, What reforms has Wyoming to 
show ? We were the first State to adopt the Australian ballot, and to 
accept a majority verdict of juries in civil cases. We are noted for 
our humane treatment of criminals, our care of the deserving poor 
and the education of our young. Child labor is prohibited. The Su- 
preme Court has just decided that every voter must be able to read 
the Constitution in English. We have night schools all over the 
State for those who can not attend school by day. Equal suffrage 
was given to help protect the home element, and the home vote is a 
great conservative force. Woman suffrage means stable govern- 
ment, anchored in the steadfast rock of American homes. 

Mrs. Conine was commissioned as a delegate to the convention 
t>y Gov. Alva Adams of Colorado. She read the statement recent- 
ly put forth, testifying to the good results of equal suffrage and 
signed by the Governor, three ex-Governors, all the State Sena- 
tors and the Representatives in Congress, the Chief Justice and 
the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, the Judges of the 
Court of Appeals, the Judges of the District Court, the Secretary 
of State, the State treasurer, auditor, attorney-general, the mayor 
of Denver, the presidents of the State University and of Colo- 
rado College, the president of the General Federation of Women's 
Clubs and the presidents of thirteen women's clubs, and said : 

During the session of the Legislature last winter, there were 
three women in the House. We met the other members upon terms 
of absolute equality. No thought of incongruity or unfitness seems 
to have arisen, and at the same time those little courtesies which 
gentlemen instinctively pay to ladies were never omitted. Each of 
the ladies was given a chairmanship, one of them that of the Print- 
ing Committee, and the printing bill was lower by thousands of dol- 
lars than for any previous session. The women were as frequently 
called to the chair in Committee of the Whole as were the men. 
One of them was placed upon the Judiciary Committee at the re- 
quest of its chairman. Every honorary committee appointed dur- 
ing the session included one or more of the ladies. 

Our State .Federation of Women's Clubs now numbers about 
100, representing a united membership of 4,000. They are largely 
occupied in studying social and economic questions, earnestly seek- 
ing for the best methods of educating their children, reforming 
criminals, alleviating poverty and purifying the ballot; in short, 
striving to make their city and their State a cleaner, better, home 
for their families. Their work receives added encouragement from 


the knowledge that by their ballots they may determine who shall 
make and administer the laws under which their children must be 
reared. The home has always been conceded to be the woman's 
kingdom. In the free States she has but expanded the walls of that 
home, that she may afford to the inmates, and also to those who un- 
fortunately have no other home, the same protection and loving 
care which was formerly limited to the few short years of child- 
hood passed beneath the parental roof. 

SENATOR TELLER : I want to indorse what has been said by the 
two members from Colorado and Wyoming. The former is rather 
young as a suffrage State, but we are living side by side with the 
latter, where they have had equal suffrage for nearly thirty years. 
The results of woman suffrage have proved entirely satisfactory 
not to every individual, but to the great mass of the people? I 
hear it said in this city every day that if women are allowed to vote 
the best women will not take part. I want to say to you that this 
is a mistake. To my certain knowledge, the best women do take 
part. When I went back to Colorado, after the granting of equal 
suffrage, a prominent society woman, whom I had known for years, 
telephoned me to come up and speak to the ladies at her house. I 
found her big parlors full of representative women the wives of 
bankers, lawyers, preachers society women. If you put any duty 
upon women they are not going to shirk it. Those who feared the 
responsibility are now as enthusiastic as those who had been "clam- 
oring" for it. In the past, women have had no object in studying 
political questions ; now they have, and they are taking them up in 
their clubs. We find that women are less partisan than men. Why ? 
Because they generally have more conscience than men. They will 
not vote for a dissolute and disreputable man who may happen to 
force himself on a party ticket 

We are an intelligent community ; we have long had a challenge 
to our fellow-citizens to show any other city that has as large a 
proportion of college graduates as Denver. Colorado people are 
proud of equal suffrage. The area where it prevails spread last 
year and took in Utah and Idaho. It will take in more neighboring 
States. I predict that in ten years, instead of four suffrage States, 
we shall have twice as many perhaps three or four times that 

REPRESENTATIVE SHAFROTH : I want to say this, as coming 
from Colorado : The experience we have had ought to demonstrate 
to every one that woman suffrage is not only right but practical. 
It tends to elevate. There is not a caucus now but is better attend- 
ed and by better people, and held in a better place. I have seen the 
time when a political convention without a disturbance and the 
drawing of weapons was rare. That time is past in Colorado, and 
it is due to the presence of women. Every man now shows that 
civility which makes him take off his hat and not swear, and deport 
himself decently when ladies are present. Instead of women's 
going to the polls corrupting them it has purified the polls. Hus- 
band and wife go there together. No one insults them. There are 


no drunken men there, nothing but what is pleasant and decorous. 

Woman is an independent element in politics. She has no alle- 
giance to any party. When a ticket is presented to her, she asks, 
"Are these good men ?" A man is apt to say, "Well, this is a bad 
ticket, but I must stand by my party." He wants to keep his party 
record straight. She votes for the best man on the ticket. That 
element is bound to result in good in any State. 

People say they don't know how it will work; they are afraid 
of it. Can it be that we distrust our mothers and sisters? We 
shall never have the best possible government till women partici- 
pate in it. 

SENATOR CANNON : No nation can exist half slave and half free. 
Ten years before I was old enough to vote, my mother was a voter. 
I learned at her knee to vote according to my conscience, and not 
according to the dictation of the bosses. The strongest argument 
for the suffrage of any class exists in behalf of womankind, because 
women will not be bound by mere partisanship. If the world is to 
be redeemed, it must be by the conscience of the individual voter. 
The woman goes to the truth by instinct. Men have to confer 
together and go down street and look through glasses darkly. The 
woman stays at home and rocks the cradle, and God tells her what to 
do. The suffrage never was abused by women in Utah. During the 
seventeen years that they voted in the Territory there was not a 
defalcation in any public office. 

I believe in the republic. I believe that its destiny is to shed 
light not only here, but all over the world. If we can trust woman 
in the house to keep all pure and holy there, so that the little ones 
may grow up right, surely we can trust her at the ballot-box. When 
children learn political wisdom and truth from their mother's lips, 
they will remember it and live up to it ; for those lessons are the 
longest remembered. When Senator Teller withdrew from a po- 
litical convention for conscience's sake, a man said, commenting on 
his action: "It is generally safe to stay with your party." His 
wife said : "And it is always safe to stay with your principles." 

In the midst of the convention came the sad news on February 
17 of the death of Miss Frances E. Willard, president of the Na- 
tional Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Affectionate 
tributes were offered by Miss Anthony, Miss Shaw and other 
members ; a telegram of sympathy was sent to her secretary and 
close companion, Miss Anna Gordon, by a rising vote, and the 
audience remained standing for a few moments in silent prayer. 
A. large wreath of violets and Southern ivy, adorned with min- 
iatures of Mrs. Stanton, Miss Anthony and other pioneer suf- 
frage workers was sent by the delegates to be laid on her coffin. 

The congressional hearings on the morning of February 15, 
Miss Anthony's birthday, attracted crowds of people to the Cap- 


itol. The hearing before the Senate Committee was conducted 
by the Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, and considered The Philoso- 
phy of the Movement for Woman Suffrage. Only two mem- 
bers of the committee were present James H. Berry of Arkan- 
sas, and George P. Wetmore of Rhode Island but a number of 
other senators were interested listeners, and the large Marble 
Room was crowded with delegates and spectators. The first 
paper, by Wm. Lloyd Garrison (Mass.) considered The Nature 
of a Republican Form of Government : 

The advocates of complete enfranchisement of women base their 
demand upon the principles underlying all suffrage, rather than 
upon the question of sex. If manhood suffrage is a mistake ; if 
voting is a privilege and not a right ; if government does not derive 
its just powers from the consent of the governed; if Lincoln's 
aphorism that ours is a "government of the people, for the people 
and by the people" is only a rhetorical generality, then women have 
no case. If not, they see no reason why, as they are governed, they 
should not have a voice in choosing their rulers ; why, as people, 
they are not covered by Lincoln's definition. They feel naturally 
that their exclusion is unjust. 

Woman suffragists are not unconscious of the glaring contrast 
between declared principles and actual practice, and they venture 
to believe that a professed self-government which deliberately ig- 
nores its own axioms is tending to decadence. They are not un- 
mindful of the slow evolution of human government from earliest 
history, beginning in force and greed, reaching through struggles 
of blood, in the course of time, to the legislative stage where dif- 
ferences are adjudicated by reason, and the sword reserved as the 
last resort. This vantage ground has been gained only by a recogni- 
tion of the primal right of the people to be consulted in regard to 
public affairs; and in proportion as this right has been respected 
and the franchise extended has government grown more stable and 
society more safe. It has come through a succession of steps, in- 
variably opposed by the dominant classes, and only permitted after 
long contest and a changed public opinion. 

In England, where the progress of constitutional government 
can be most accurately traced, there was a time when the land- 
owning aristocracy controlled the franchise and elected the mem- 
bers of Parliament. The dawn of a sense of injustice in the minds 
of the mercantile classes brought with it a demand for the exten- 
sion of the suffrage, which was of course vigorously combated. It 
was an illogical resistance, which ended in the admission of the 
tradesmen. Later the workingmen awakened to their political dis- 
ability and asserted their rights, only to be promptly antagonized 
by both classes in power. Eventually logic and justice won in this 
issue. In the light of history none of the objections urged against 


the extension of the right of voting have been sustained by subse- 
quent facts. On the contrary, the broadening of the suffrage base 
has been found to add stability to the superstructure of British gov- 
ernment and to have been in the interest of true conservatism. 

In the course of time the woman's hour has struck. Her cause 
is now going through the same ordeal suffered by the classes re- 
ferred to. Her triumph is as sure as theirs. The social and indus- 
trial changes of constitutional government in all countries have 
revolutionized her condition. Fifty years ago the avenues of em- 
ployment open to women were few and restricted. To-day, in 
every branch of manufacture and trade, and in the professions for- 
merly monopolized by men, they are actively and successfully en- 
gaged. Every law put upon the statute books affects their inter- 
ests directly and indirectly undreamed of in a social order where 
household drudgery and motherhood limited a woman's horizon. 

It is inevitable, therefore, that, feeling the pressure of legisla- 
tion under which they suffer, a new intelligence should stir the 
minds of women such as stirred the once disfranchised classes of 
men in Great Britain. It leads to an examination of the principles 
of self-government and to their application on lines of equality 
and not of sex. In them is found no justification for the present 
enforced political disability. Therefore all legislative bodies vested 
with the power to change the laws are petitioned to consider the 
justice and expediency of allowing women to register their opin- 
ions, on the same terms with men, at the ballot-box. 

The principles at stake are rarely alluded to by the opponents of 
woman suffrage. The battle rages chiefly upon the ground of ex- 
pediency. Every argument formerly used by the English Tories 
is to-day heard in the mouths of men who profess a belief in a 
democratic form of government 

In the discussion of the rights of labor, the inadequacy of wages, 
the abuses of the factory system, the management of schools, of 
reformatory and penal institutions, the sanitary arrangements of a 
city, the betterment of public highways, the encroachment of privi- 
leged corporations, the supervision of the poor, the improvement 
of hospitals, and the many branches of collective housekeeping in- 
cluded in a municipality women are by nature and educatic 
adapted to participate. In many States, certainly in Massachusetts, 
it is a common practice to appoint women to responsible positions 
demanding large organizing and directing power. If thus fitted 
to rule, are women unfitted to have a voice in choosing rulers ? 

The true advancement of common interest waits for the active 
and responsible participation of women in political matters. In- 
direct and irresponsible influence they have now, but indirection 
and irresponsibility are dangerous elements in governments which 
assume to be representative, and are a constant menace. If this 
whole question of equal political rights of women is considered in 
the light of common sense and common justice, the sooner will the 
present intolerable wrong be wiped out and self-government be put 
upon a broader and safer basis. 


Mrs. May Wright Sewall (Ind.) discussed the Fitness of 
Women to Become Citizens from the Standpoint of Education 
and Mental Development. 

From the close of the Revolution, we find all the distinguished 
American patriots expressing the conviction that a self-governing 
people must be an educated people. Hancock, Jay, Franklin, Morris, 
Paine, Quincy Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, Washington, all urge 
the same argument in support of education. It is no longer to pro- 
duce an educated ministry, but to insure educated citizens, that 
schools are maintained and colleges multiplied 

In this year of 1897-98 not less than 20,000,000 pupils and 
students of all ages, from the toddlers in the kindergartens to the 
full-grown candidates for post-graduate honors, are registered in 
the schools, academies, colleges and universities of the United 
States. The average length of time which girls spend in school 
exceeds by nearly three years the average length of time which 
boys stay there ; while the number of girls graduating from high- 
school courses, those which include United States history and civil 
government, is almost double the number of boys. Thus, at the 
present time, largely more than one-half of the moneys spent by 
the governments, local and national, in support of free schools, is 
used in the education of girls. By what authority does the Gov- 
ernment tax its citizens to support schools for the education of mil- 
lions of women to whom, after they have received the education de- 
clared necessary to citizenship, this is denied? 

Is it urged that the Government gets its return upon its invest- 
ment in the education of women through the increased intelligence 
with which women rear their children, manage their homes and 
conduct the larger social affairs outside the boundary of their home 
life? I have no disposition to diminish the Government's recogni- 
tion of such return, but I wish to remind you that no one has ever 
justified the maintenance of public schools, and an enforced at- 
tendance upon them, on the theory that the Government has a right 
to compel men to be agreeable husbands and wise fathers, or that 
it is responsible for teaching men how to conduct their own business 
with discretion and judgment. Quite in another tone is it urged 
that the schools are the fountains of the nation's liberties and that 
a government whose policy is decided by a majority of the votes 
cast by its men is not safe in the hands of uneducated voters. 
. . . . It is the political life of our nation which stands in the 
sorest need ; yet this is the only department of our national life 
which rejects the aid of women. 

If intelligence is vital to good citizenship in a republic, it would 
seem that, to justify the exclusion of the present generation of 
American women, whose, intelligence is bought at so high a price 
and at the expense of the whole people, there must be some proof 
that they have qualities which so vitiate it as to render it unservice- 
able. Such proof has never yet been presented. 

At the present moment the education and the intellectual culture 


of American women has reached a plane where its further develop- 
ment is a menace, unless it is to be accompanied by the direct re- 
sponsibility of its possessors a responsibility which in a republic 
can be felt only by those who participate directly in the election of 
public officers and in the shaping of public policies. 

The Rev. Anna Garlin Spencer (R. I.) considered the Fitness 
of Women to Become Citizens from the Standpoint of Moral 

Government is not now merely the coarse and clumsy instrument 
by which military and police forces are directed ; it is the flexible, 
changing and delicately adjusted instrument of many and varied 
educative, charitable and supervisory functions, and the tendency 
to increase the functions of government is a growing one. Prof. 
Lester F. Ward says : "Government is becoming more and more the 
organ of the social consciousness and more and more the servant of 
the social will." The truth of this is shown in the modern public 
school system ; in the humane and educative care of dependent, de- 
fective and wayward children; in the increasingly discriminating 
and wise treatment of the insane, the pauper, the tramp and the 
poverty-bound ; in the provisions for public parks, baths and amuse- 
ment places ; in the bureaus of investigation and control and the ap- 
pointment of officers of inspection to secure better sanitary and 
moral conditions ; in the board of arbitration for the settlement 
of political and labor difficulties ; and in the almost innumerable 
committees and bills, national, State and local, to secure higher 
social welfare for all classes, especially for the weaker and more 
ignorant. Government can never again shrink and harden into a 
mere mechanism of military and penal control. 

It is, moreover, increasingly apparent that for these wider and 
more delicate functions a higher order of electorate, ethically as 
well as intellectually advanced, is necessary. Democracy can suc- 
ceed only by securing for its public service, through the rule of the 
majority, the best leadership and administration the State affords. 
Only a wise electorate will know how to select such leadership, and 
only a highly moral one will authoritatively choose such. . . . 

When the State took the place of family bonds and tribal relation- 
ships, and the social consciousness was born and began its long 
travel toward the doctrine of "equality of human rights" in govern- 
ment and the principle of human brotherhood in social organization, 
man, as the family and tribal organizer and ruler, of course took 
command of the march. It was inevitable, natural and beneficent 
so long as the State concerned itself with only the most external 
and mechanical of social interests. The instant, however, the State 
took upon itself any form of educative, charitable or personally 
helpful work, it entered the area of distinctive feminine training 
and power, and therefore became in need of the service of woman. 
Wherever the State touches the personal life of the infant, the child, 
the youth, or the aged, helpless, defective in mind, body or moral 


nature, there the State enters "woman's peculiar sphere," her sphere 
of motherly succor and training-, her sphere of sympathetic and self- 
sacrificing ministration to individual lives. If the service of women 
is not won to such governmental action (not only through "influ- 
ence or the shaping of public opinion," but through definite and 
authoritative exercise), the mother-office of the State, now so widely 
adopted, will be too often planned and administered as though it 
were an external, mechanical and abstract function, instead of the 
personal, organic and practical service which all right helping of 
individuals must be. 

In so far as motherhood has given to women a distinctive ethical 
development, it is that of sympathetic personal insight respecting 
the needs of the weak and helpless, and of quick-witted, flexible 
adjustment of means to ends in the physical, mental and moral 
training of the undeveloped. And thus far has motherhood fitted 
women to give a service to the modern State which men tan not 
altogether duplicate 

Whatever problems might have been involved in the question of 
woman's place in the State when government was purely military, 
legal and punitive have long since been antedated. Whatever prob- 
lems might have inhered in that question when women were per- 
sonally subject to their families or their husbands are well-nigh 
outgrown in all civilized countries, and entirely so in* the most ad- 
vanced. Woman's nonentity in the political department of the 
State is now an anachronism and inconsistent with the prevailing 
tendencies of social growth 

The earth is ready, the time is ripe, for the authoritative expres- 
sion of the feminine as well as the masculine interpretation of that 
common social consciousness which is slowly writing justice in the 
State and fraternity in the social order. 

Miss Laura Clay (Ky.) illustrated the Fitness of Women to 
Become Citizens from the Standpoint of Physical Development. 

Among the objections brought against the extension of suffrage 
to women, that of their physical unfitness to perform military du- 
ties is the most plausible, because in the popular mind there is an 
idea that the right of casting a ballot is in its final analysis depend- 
ent upon the ability to defend it with a bullet 

It is by no means self-evident that women are naturally unfitted 
for fighting or are unwarlike in disposition. The traditions of 
Amazons and the conduct of savage women give room to believe 
that the instinct for war was primitively very much the same in both 
sexes. Though the earliest division of labor among savages known 
to us is that of assigning war and the chase to men, yet we have 
no reason to believe that this was done by way of privilege to wom- 
en; but in the struggle for tribal supremacy that tribe must have 
ultimately survived and succeeded best which exposed its women 
the least. Polygamy, universal among primitive races, could in a 
degree sustain population against the ravages among men of con- 


tinual warfare, but any large destruction of women must extinguish 
a tribe that suffered it. So those tribes which earliest engrafted 
among their customs the exclusion of women from war were the 
ones that finally survived 

Military genius among women has appeared in all ages and peo- 
ple, as in Deborah, Zenobia, Joan of Arc and our own Anna Ella 
Carroll. The prowess of women has often been conspicuous in 
besieged cities. Our early history of Indian warfare recounts 
many of their valiant deeds. It is well known that in the late war 
many women on both sides eluded the vigilance of recruiting officers, 
enlisted and fought bravely. Who knows how many of such wom- 
en there might have been if their enlistment had been desired and 
stimulated by beat of drum and blare of trumpet and "all the pomp 
and circumstance of glorious war?" But no State can afford to 
accept military service from its women, for while a nation may 
live for ages without soldiers, it could exist but for a span with- 
out mothers. Since woman's exemption from war is not an un- 
bought privilege, it is evident that in justice men have no superior 
rights as citizens on that account. 

It is an equally fallacious idea that sound expediency demands 
that every ballot shall be defended by a bullet. The theory of rej 
resentative government does not admit of any connection betwee 
military service and the right and duty of suffrage, even amonj 
men. It is trite to point out that the age required for military 
service begins at eighteen years, when a man is too young to vote, 
and ends at forty-five years, when he is usually in the prime of his 
usefulness as a citizen. Some very slight physical defects will in- 
capacitate a man under the usual recruiting rules. Many lawyers, 
judges, physicians, ministers, merchants, editors, authors, legisla- 
tors and Congressmen are exempt on the ground of physical in- 
capacity. A citizen's ability to help govern by voting is in no 
manner proportioned to ability to bear arms 

In the finest conception of government not only is there room for 
women to take part, but it can not be realized without help fror 
them. Men alone possess only a half of human wisdom ; wome 
possess the other half of it, and a half that must always be some- 
what different from men's, because women must always see from 
a somewhat different point of view. The wisdom of men must be 
supplemented by that of women to discover the whole of govern- 
mental truth. Women's help is equally indispensable in persuading 
society to love and obey law. This help is very largely given now, 
or civilization as we know it would be impossible. But the best 
interests of society demand that women's present indirect and half- 
conscious influence shall be strengthened by the right of suffrage, 
so that their sense of duty to government may be stimulated by a 
clear perception of the connection which exists between power and 

Mrs. Harriot Stanton Blatch (Eng.) treated of Woman as an 
Economic Factor. 


It is often urged that women stand greatly in need of training in 
citizenship before being finally received into the body politic. . . . 
As a matter of fact women are the first class who have asked the 
right of citizenship after their ability for political life has been 
proved. I have seen in my time two enormous extensions of the suf- 
frage to men one in America and one in England. But neither the 
negroes in the South nor the agricultural laborers in Great Britain 
had shown before they got the ballot any capacity for government ; 
for they had never had the opportunity to take the first steps in 
political action. Very different has been the history of the march 
of women toward a recognized position in the State. We have had 
to prove our ability at each stage of progress, and have gained 
nothing without having satisfied a test of capacity 

The public demand for "proved worth" suggests what appears to 
me the chief and most convincing argument upon which our future 
claims must rest the growing recognition of the economic value of 

the work of women There has been a marked change 

in the estimate of our position as wealth producers. We have never 
been "supported" by men ; for if all men labored hard every hour 
of the twenty-four, they could not do all the work of the world. A 
few worthless women there are, but even they are not so much 
supported .by the men of their family as by the overwork of the 
'"sweated" women a,t the other end of the social ladder. From 
creation's dawn our sex has done its full share of the world's work ; 
sometimes we have been paid for it, but oftener not. 

Unpaid work never commands respect ; it is the paid worker who 
has brought to the public mind conviction of woman's worth. The 
spinning and weaving done by our great-grandmothers in their 
own homes was not reckoned as national wealth until the work was 
carried to the factory and organized there ; and the women who 
followed their work were paid according to its commercial value. 
It is the women of the industrial class, the wage-earners, reckoned 
by the hundreds of thousands, and not by units, the women whose 
work has been submitted to a money test, who have been the means 
of bringing about the altered attitude of public opinion toward wom- 
an's work in every sphere of life. 

If we would recognize the democratic side of our cause, and 
make an organized appeal to industrial women on the ground of 
their need of citizenship, and to the nation on the ground of its 
need that all wealth producers should form part of its body politic, 
the close of the century might witness the building up of a true re- 
public in the United States. 

Mrs. Florence Kelley, State Factory Inspector of Illinois, 
showed the Working Woman's Need of the Ballot. 

No one needs all the powers of the fullest citizenship more urgent- 
ly than the wage-earning \voman, and from two different points of 
view that of actual money \vages and that of her wider needs as a 
human being and a member of the community. 


The wages paid any body of working people are determined by 
many influences, chief among which is the position of the particular 
body of workers in question. Thus the printers, by their intelli- 
gence, their powerful organization, their solidarity and united action, 
keep up their wages in spite of the invasion of their domain by new 
and improved machinery. On the other hand, the garment-work- 
ers, the sweaters' victims, poor, unorganized, unintelligent, despised, 
remain forever on the verge of pauperism, irrespective of their end- 
less toil. If, now, by some untoward fate the printers should sud- 
denly find themselves disfranchised, placed in a position in which 
their members were politically inferior to the members of other 
trades, no effort of their pwn short of complete enfranchisement 
could restore to them that prestige, that good standing in the es- 
teem of their fellow-craftsmen and the public at large which they 
now enjoy, and which contributes materially in support of their 
demand for high wages. 

In the garment trades, on the other hand, the presence of a body 
of the disfranchised, of the weak and young, undoubtedly con- 
tributes to the economic weakness of these trades. Custom, habit, 
tradition, the regard of the public, both employing and employed, 
for the people who do certain kinds of labor, contribute to determine 
the price of that labor, and no disfranchised class of workers can 
permanently hold its own in competition with enfranchised rivals. 
But this works both ways. It is fatal for any body of workers to 
have forever hanging from the fringes of its skirts other bodies on a 
level just below its own; for that means continual pressure down- 
ward, additional difficulty to be overcome in the struggle to maintain 
reasonable rates of wages. Hence, within the space of two genera- 
tions there has been a complete revolution in the attitude of the 
trades-unions toward the women working in their trades. Where- 
as forty years ago women might have knocked in vain at the doors 
of the most enlightened trade-union, to-day the Federation of 
Labor keeps in the field paid organizers whose duty it is to enlist in 
the unions as many women as possible. The workingmen have per- 
ceived that women are in the field of industry to stay ; and they see, 
too, that there can not be two standards of work and wages for any 
trade without constant menace to the higher standard. Hence their 
effort to place the women upon the same industrial level with them- 
selves in order that all may pull together in the effort to maintain 
reasonable conditions of life. 

But this same menace holds with regard to the vote. The lack 
of the ballot places the wage-earning woman upon a level of ir- 
responsibility compared with her enfranchised fellow workingman. 
By impairing her standing in the community the general rating of 
her value as a human being, and consequently as a worker, is low- 
ered. In order to be rated as good as a good man in the field of 
her earnings, she must show herself better than he. She must be 
more steady, or more trustworthy, or more skilled, or more cheap 
in order to have the same chance of employment. Thus, while 
women are accused of lowering wages, might they not justly reply 


that it is only by conceding something- from the pay which they 
would gladly claim, that they can hold their own in the market, 
so long as they labor under the disadvantage of disfranchise- 
ment? .... 

Finally, the very fact that women now form about one-fifth of 
the employes in manufacture and commerce in this country has 
opened a vast field of industrial legislation directly affecting women 
as wage-earners. The courts in some of the States, notably in Illi- 
nois, are taking the position that women can not be treated as a 
class apart and legislated for by themselves, as has been done in 
the factory laws of England and on the continent of Europe, but 
must abide by that universal freedom of contract which character- 
izes labor in the United States. This renders the situation of the 
working woman absolutely anomalous. On the one hand, she is 
cut off from the protection awarded to her sisters abroad ; on the 
other, she has no such power to defend her interests at the polls, 
as is the heritage of her brothers at home. This position is un- 
tenable, and there can be no pause in the agitation for full political 
power and responsibility until these are granted to all the women of 
the nation. 

Mrs. Mariana W. Chapman ( N. Y. ) spoke from the standpoint 
of Women as Capitalists and Taxpayers. 

The first impulse toward the organization of women to protect 
their own rights came from the injustice of laws toward married 
women, and in 1848 it manifested itself in the first Woman's Rights 
Convention in Seneca Falls. Slowly the leaven spread. There was 
agitation in one State after the other about the property rights of 

women Now in many States married as well as single 

women are proprietors of business enterprises upon the same basis 
as men, and are interested as capitalists and tax-payers in every law 
which affects the country industrially or financially. 

In 1894 a careful copy was made of the women taxpayers of 
Brooklyn. Names with initials were not placed on the list, so that 
the total was probably under rather than over estimated. This 
showed 22.03, or nearly one-fourth of all the assessable realty in 
the names of women, amounting to $110,000,000, besides many 
large estates in which they were interested. In 1896 the assessed 
value of real estate in the State of New York was $4,506,985,694, 
which, if estimated in the same ratio, would give taxable property 
owned by women to the extent of $1,124,221,423. 

They are agriculturally interested, inasmuch as they are fre- 
quently owners of large tracts of land in the West as well as of 
smaller farms in our Eastern States. What shall we say to a Gov- 
ernment that gives land in severalty to the Indian, supplies him with 
tools and rations, puts a ballot in his hand, and then says to the 
American woman who purchases the same right to land, "You 
shall not have the political privileges of American citizenship?" 
Under the laws of our country every stock company is obliged to 


give men and women shareholders a vote upon the same basis, and 
one fails to see why a government, which professedly exists to main- 
tain the rights of the people, should practice in its own dealing such 

flaunting injustice 

Women help to support every public institution in the State and 
should have representation upon every board, and in the laws which 
control them. They help to pay the army pensions and should be 
allowed to help in deciding how much shall be paid. They help 
to pay for standing armies and for navies and they have the larger 
part in the nurture and training of every man who is in army or 
navy, and this is not the smaller part of the tax, since it is at times 
the matter of a life for a life. Women pay their part of the taxes 
to support our public schools and have intense interests in their well- 
doing. Twenty-six States have recognized this fact and have 
given to women some kind of School Suffrage, one has granted 
Municipal Suffrage and four Full Political Equality ; but this is only 
a fraction of the justice which belongs to a government founded by 
statesmen whose watchword was, "No taxation without representa- 

Miss Elizabeth Burrill Curtis (N. Y.) -answered the question, 
Are Women Represented in our Government ? 

"Taxation without representation is tyranny" was one of the 
slogans of liberty in this country one hundred and twenty years ago. 
Have we outlived this principle? If not, why is it supposed to have 
no application to women? 

That a century ago the latter were not thought of as having any 
rights under this motto is not surprising. So few women then held 
property in their own name that the injustice done them was not 
so apparent. But the situation is changed now, and the right of 
women to be considered as individuals is everywhere acknowledged 
save in this one particular. Even those who feel that the granting 
of universal male suffrage was a mistake, and that the right to self- 
government should be proved by some test, educational or other- 
wise even those do not assert that it would be anything but gross 
injustice to tax men without allowing them a voice in the disposal 
of their money 

But there is still another side to the question. It is not only that 
the disfranchised women are unfairly treated, but the public good 
inevitably suffers from the political nonexistence of half the citizens 
of the republic. Either women are interested in politics or they are 
not. If the former, the country is distinctly injured, for nothing is 
more fatal to good government than the intermeddling of a large 
body of people who have never studied the questions at issue and 
whose only interest is a personal one. If, on the other hand, women 
are not interested in politics, what is the condition of that country, 
half of whose citizens do not care whether it be well or ill governed ? 
That women influence men is never denied, even by the most strenu- 
ous opponents of woman suffrage. It is, on the contrary, most 


violently asserted by those very people ; but of what value is that in- 
terest if woman is utterly ignorant of one of the most important 
duties of a man's life? .... 

On one hand the public good demands that no class of citizens be 
arbitrarily prevented from serving the commonweal ; and on the 
other hand thinking and patriotic women are crying against the in- 
justice which forbids them to prove their fitness for self-govern- 
ment. What shall be the result of this double demand ? 

Woman Suffrage and the Home was the topic of Henry B. 
Blackwell (Mass.). 

One of the objections to extending suffrage to women is a fear 
that its exercise will divert their attention from domestic pursuits, 
and diminish their devotion to husband, children and home. We 
believe, on the contrary, that it will increase domestic happiness by 
giving women greater self-respect and greater respect and consid- 
eration from men. 

People who make this objection seem to regard the conjugal and 
maternal instincts as artificial, as the result of education and cir- 
cumstances, losing sight of the fact that these qualities are innate 
in the feminine soul. Mental cultivation and larger views of life 
do not tend to make women less womanly any more than they tend 
to make men less manly. No one imagines that business or politics 
diminishes or destroys the conjugal and paternal instinct in men. 
We do not look for dull or idle or indolent men as husbands for 
our daughters. Ignorant, narrow-minded men do not make the 
best husbands and fathers. Ignorant, narrow-minded women do 
not make the best wives and mothers. Mental discipline and in- 
telligent responsibility add strength to the conjugal and parental 
sentiment alike in men and women 

But fortunately this is no longer a question of theory. We ap- 
peal to the experience of the four States which have extended equal 
suffrage to women. Wyoming has had complete woman suffrage 
since 1869. For twenty-nine years, as a Territory and a State, 
women have voted there in larger ratio than men. Supreme Judge 
J. W. Kingman many years ago testified that the actual proportion 
of men voting had increased to 80 per cent., but that 90 per cent, of 
the women went to the polls. And now, after a generation of con- 
tinuous voting, the percentage of divorces in Wyoming is smaller 
than in the surrounding States where women do not vote, and while 
the percentage in the latter is rapidly increasing, in Wyoming it is 
steadily diminishing. \Vhere women have once voted the right 
has never been taken away by the people. In Utah women voted 
for seventeen years while it was a Territory, until Congress abol- 
ished it for political reasons. But when Utah was about to be ad- 
mitted to statehood the men in framing their constitution restored 
the suffrage to women. Would they have done so if it had proved 
injurious to their homes? Impossible! You have eight Senators 
and seven Representatives in Congress from the four States where 


women have the full franchise. Ask them if it has demoralized 
their homes or the homes of their fellow-citizens, and your fears, 

if you have any, will be forever set at rest 

Believe me, gentlemen, it is not patriotism, it is not a passion 
for justice, it is not loyalty to sister women, it is not a desire to 
better her country, which will make a woman neglect her husband. 
Society women, superficial, selfish, silly women, the butterflies of 
the ballroom, the seekers for every new sensation, the worldly- 
minded aspirants for social position, these are the women who 
neglect their homes ; and not the brave, earnest, serious-minded, 
generous, unselfish women who ask for the ballot in order by its 
use to make the world better. In the twentieth century, already 
dawning, we shall have a republican family in a republican nation, 
a true democracy, a government of the people, by the people and 
for the people, men and women co-operating harmoniously on terms 
of absolute equality in the home and in the State. 

The Senate Hearing closed with the paper of Mrs. Elizabeth 
Cady Stanton on the Significance and History of the Ballot, which 
was in part as follows : 

The recent bills on Immigration, by Senators Lodge of Massa- 
chusetts and Kyle of South Dakota, indirectly affect the interests of 
woman. Their proposition to demand a reading and writing quali- 
fication on landing strikes me as arbitrary and equally detrimental 
to our mutual interests. The danger is not in their landing and 
living in this country, but in their speedy appearance at the ballot- 
box and there becoming an impoverished and ignorant balance of 
power in the hands of wily politicians. While we should not allow 
our country to be a dumping ground for the refuse population of 
the Old World, still we should welcome all hardy, common-sense 
laborers here, as we have plenty of room and work for them. Here 
they can improve their own condition and our surroundings, de- 
veloping our immense ' resources and the commerce of the country. 
The one demand I would make in regard to this class is that they 
should not become a part of our ruling power until they can read 
and write the English language intellieently and understand the 
principles of republican government. This is the only restrictive 
legislation we need to protect ourselves against foreign domination. 
To this end the Congress should enact a law for "educated suffrage" 
for our native-born as well as foreign rulers. 

With free schools and compulsory education, no one has an ex- 
cuse for not understanding the language of the country. As women 
are governed by a "male aristocracy," they are doubly interested 
in having their rulers able at least to read and write. See with 
what care in the Old World the prospective heirs to the throne are 
educated. There was a time when the members of the British Par- 
liament could neither read nor write, but these accomplishments 
are now required of the Lords and Commons, and even of the King 
and Queen, while we have rulers, native and foreign, who do not 


understand the letters of the alphabet ; and this in a republic sup- 
posed to be based on intelligence of the people ! 

Much as we need this measure for the stability of our Govern- 
ment, we need it still more for the best interests of women. This 
ignorant vote is solid against woman's emancipation. In States 
where amendments to their constitutions are proposed for the en- 
franchisement of women, this vote has been in every case against 
them. We should ask for national protection against this hostile 
force playing football with the most sacred rights of one-half of the 

people In all national conflicts it is ever deemed the 

most grievous accident of war for the conquered people to find them- 
selves under a foreign yoke, yet this is the position of the women of 
this republic to-day. Foreigners are our judges and jurors, our legis- 
lators and municipal officials, and decide all questions of interest to 
us, even to the discipline in our schools, charitable institutions and 
prisons. Woman has no voice as to the education of her children or 
the environments of the unhappy wards of the State. The love and 
sympathy of the mother-soul have but an evanescent influence in 
all departments of human interest until coined into law by the hand 
that holds the ballot. Then only do they become a direct and 
effective power in the Government 

The popular objection to woman suffrage is that it would "double 
the ignorant vote." The patent answer to this is, "Abolish the 
ignorant vote." Our legislators have this power in their own hands. 
There have been serious restrictions in the past for men. We are 
willing to abide by the same for women, provided the insurmount- 
able qualification of sex be forever removed. Some of the op- 
ponents talk as if educated suffrage would be invidious to the 
best interests of the laboring masses, whereas it would be most 

beneficial in its ultimate influence Surely when we 

compel all classes to learn to read and write and thus open to them- 
selves the door to knowledge, not by force, but by the promise of 
a privilege which all intelligent citizens enjoy, we are benefactors 
and not tyrants. To stimulate them to climb the first rounds of the 
ladder that they may reach the divine heights where they shall be as 
gods, knowing good and evil, by withholding the citizen's right to 
vote for a few years is a blessing to them as well as to the State. 

We must inspire our people with a new sense of their sacred 
duties as citizens of a republic, and place new guards around our 
ballot-box. Walking in Paris one day I was greatly impressed with 
an emblematic statue in the square Chateau d'Eau, placed there in 
1883 in honor of the republic. On one side is a magnificent bronze 
lion with his fore paw on the electoral urn, which answers to our 

ballot-box, as if to guard it from all unholy uses As I 

turned away I thought of the American republic and our ballot-box 
with no guardian or sacred reverence for its contents. Ignorance, 
poverty and vice have full access ; thousands from every incoming 
steamer go practically from the steerage to the polls, while educated 
women, representing the virtue and intelligence of the nation, are 
driven away. I would like to see a monument to "educated suf- 


frage" in front of our national Capitol, guarded by the goddess 
Minerva, her right hand resting on the ballot-box, her left hand on 
the spelling book, the Declaration of Rights and the Federal Con- 
stitution. It would be well for us to ponder the Frenchman's idea, 
but instead of the royal lion, representing force to guard the sacred 
urn, let us substitute wisdom and virtue in the form of Woman. 

The Washington Star said of the hearing before the House 
Judiciary Committee : 

The members paid a tribute to the devotion of the woman suffrag- 
ists, and at the same time showed appreciation of it by nearly all 
being in attendance at the hearing this morning. It is seldom that 
more than a quorum of any committee can be induced to attend a 
hearing of any sort. To-day fifteen out of seventeen members were 
present and manifested a deep interest in the remarks submitted by 
the women. The cha