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The issue that roused the most heated debate was
whether the colored man should be kept out of the right of
suffrage until woman could also be enfranchised. One young, but
not ineffectual speaker, declared he considered the women the
bitterest enemies of the negro; and asked, with intense emotion,
shall they be permitted to prevent the colored man from obtaining
his rights? But it was not shown that women, anywhere, were
making any effort toward that result. One or two women present
declared they were unwilling that any more men should possess
the right of suffrage until women had it also. But these are well
known as most earnest advocates of universal suffrage, as well as
the long-tried and approved friends of the colored race.

The discussion between colored men on the one side and women on
the other, as to whether it was the duty of the women of the
nation to hold their claims in abeyance, until all colored men
are enfranchised, was spicy, able and affecting. When that noble
man, Robert Purvis of Philadelphia, rose, and, with the loftiest
sense of justice, with a true Roman grandeur, ignored his race
and sex, rebuked his own son for his narrow position, and
demanded for his daughter all he asked for his son or himself, he
thrilled the noblest feelings in his audience. Is has been a
great grief to the leading women in our cause that there should
be antagonism with men whom we respect, whose wrongs we pity, and
whose hopes we would fain help them to realize. When we contrast
the condition of the most fortunate women at the North, with the
living death colored men endure everywhere, there seems to be a
selfishness in our present position. But remember we speak not
for ourselves alone, but for all womankind, in poverty, ignorance
and hopeless dependence, for the women of that oppressed race
too, who, in slavery, have known a depth of misery and
degradation that no man can ever appreciate.

That there were representatives of both political parties
present, was very apparent, and sometimes forms of expression
betrayed a little unnecessary partisan preference; but there was
not one who bore any part in the long and intensely exciting
discussions, who could be justly charged with any wish, however
remote, to hold personal prejudice or party preference above
principle and religious regard to justice and right. There was
one feature in the convention that we greatly deplore, and that
was an impatience, not only with the audience, but with some on
the platform whenever any man arose to speak. We must not forget
that men have sensibilities as well as women, and that our
strongest hold to-day on the public mind is the fact that men of
eloquence and power on both continents are pleading for our
rights. While we ask justice for ourselves, let us at least be
just to the noble men who advocate our cause. It is certainly
generous in them to come to our platforms, to help us maintain
our rights, and share the ridicule that attends every step of
progress, and it is clearly our duty to defend their rights, at
least when speaking in our behalf.

We had a brief interview with Senator Roscoe Conkling. We gave
him a petition signed by 400 ladies of Onondaga County, and urged
him to make some wise remarks on the subject of woman's suffrage
when he presented it. We find all the New York women are sending
their petitions to Senator Pomeroy. He seems to be immensely
popular just now. We think our own Senators need some education
in this direction. It would be well for the petitions of the
several States to be placed in the hands of their respective
Senators, that thus the attention of all of them might be called
to the important subject. It is plain to see that Mr. Conkling is
revolving this whole question in his mind. His greatest fear is
that coarse and ignorant women would crowd the polls and keep the
better class away.

Parker Pillsbury's speech on "The Mortality of Nations," was one
of the best efforts of his life, and as grand an argument on the
whole question of Republican government as was ever made on the
woman suffrage platform. Although he had been one of the earliest
and most enthusiastic Abolitionists, yet the enfranchisement of
woman had always in his mind seemed of equal importance to that
of the black man. In Mr. Pillsbury's philosophy on both
questions, the present was ever the time for immediate and
absolute justice.

One great charm in the convention was the presence of Lucretia
Mott, calm, dignified, clear and forcible as ever. Though she is
now seventy-six years old, she sat through all the sessions, and
noted everything that was said and done. It was a satisfaction to
us all that she was able to preside over the first National
Woman's Suffrage Convention ever held at the Capitol. Her voice
is stronger and her step lighter than many who are her juniors by
twenty years. She preached last Sunday in the Unitarian Church to
the profit and pleasure of a highly cultivated and large
audience. We were most pleased to meet ex-Governor Robinson, the
first Governor of Kansas, in the convention. He says there is a
fair prospect that an amendment to strike out the word "male"
from the Constitution will be submitted again in that State,
when, he thinks, it will pass without doubt. Mrs. Minor,
President of the Woman's Suffrage Association of Missouri, and
Mrs. Starrett of Lawrence, Kansas, gave us a pleasant surprise by
their appearance at the convention. They took an active part in
the deliberations, and spoke with great effect. Senator Wilson
was present, though he did not favor us with a speech. We urged
him to do so, but he laughingly said he had no idea of making
himself a target for our wit and sarcasm. We asked him, as he
would not speak, to tell us the "wise, systematic, and efficient
way" of pressing woman's suffrage. He replied, "You are on the
right track, go ahead." So we have decided to move "on this line"
until the inauguration of the new administration, when, under the
dynasty of the chivalrous soldier, "our ways will, no doubt, be
those of pleasantness, and all our paths be peace." New Jersey
was represented by Deborah Butler of Vineland, the only live spot
in that benighted State, and we thought her speech quite equal to
what we heard from Mr. Cattell in the Senate. During the evening
sessions, large numbers of women from the several departments
were attentive listeners. Lieutenant-Governor Root of Kansas read
the bill now before Congress demanding equal pay for women in the
several departments where they perform equal work with the men by
their side. He offered a resolution urging Congress to pass the
bill at once, that justice might be done the hundreds of women in
the District, for their faithful work under government.

Mrs. Stanton's speech the first evening of the convention gave a fair
statement of the hostile feelings of women toward the amendments; we
give the main part of it. Of all the other speeches, which were
extemporaneous, only meagre and unsatisfactory reports can be found.

Mrs. STANTON said:--A great idea of progress is near its
consummation, when statesmen in the councils of the nation
propose to frame it into statutes and constitutions; when
Reverend Fathers recognize it by a new interpretation of their
creeds and canons; when the Bar and Bench at its command set
aside the legislation of centuries, and girls of twenty put their
heels on the Cokes and Blackstones of the past.

Those who represent what is called "the Woman's Rights Movement,"
have argued their right to political equality from every
standpoint of justice, religion, and logic, for the last twenty
years. They have quoted the Constitution, the Declaration of
Independence, the Bible, the opinions of great men and women in
all ages; they have plead the theory of our government; suffrage
a natural, inalienable right; shown from the lessons of history,
that one class can not legislate for another; that disfranchised
classes must ever be neglected and degraded; and that all
privileges are but mockery to the citizen, until he has a voice
in the making and administering of law. Such arguments have been
made over and over in conventions and before the legislatures of
the several States. Judges, lawyers, priests, and politicians
have said again and again, that our logic was unanswerable, and
although much nonsense has emanated from the male tongue and pen
on this subject, no man has yet made a fair, argument on the
other side. Knowing that we hold the Gibraltar rock of reason on
this question, they resort to ridicule and petty objections.
Compelled to follow our assailants, wherever they go, and fight
them with their own weapons; when cornered with wit and sarcasm,
some cry out, you have no logic on your platform, forgetting that
we have no use for logic until they give us logicians at whom to
hurl it, and if, for the pure love of it, we now and then
rehearse the logic that is like a, b, c, to all of us, others cry
out--the same old speeches we have heard these twenty years. It
would be safe to say a hundred years, for they are the same our
fathers used when battling old King George and the British
Parliament for their right to representation, and a voice in the
laws by which they were governed. There are no new arguments to
be made on human rights, our work to-day is to apply to ourselves
those so familiar to all; to teach man that woman is not an
anomalous being, outside all laws and constitutions, but one
whose rights are to be established by the same process of reason
as that by which he demands his own.

When our Fathers made out their famous bill of impeachment
against England, they specified eighteen grievances.



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