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Finance seemed to be the theme on all
sides, and we have our fears that the negroes, as well as the
women, will be lost sight of, in these discussions about the
currency. But this finance is a grave question, and the more we
read and think on it, the more we are convinced that the need of
money is the root of all evil. We were introduced to Professor
Helyard and Gen. Eaton, members of a scientific society of
gentlemen which meets once a week to discuss all that is in
heaven above, on the earth beneath, and in the waters under the
earth, without permitting a single one of Eve's daughters to
listen to the wisdom. They have lately discussed the subject of
earthquakes, and it was stated, we understand, that after the
women began to hold conventions in this country, earthquakes
became more frequent, occurring from 1850 in California,
simultaneously with these conventions in several States, showing
that old mother earth sympathizes with the sorrows of women. The
fear of similar occurrences in the District fully accounts for
the exclusiveness of these scientific gentlemen. Professor
Helgard discoursed most eloquently on co-operative housekeeping.
As we listened to the many good reasons he gave for cooking,
washing, and ironing on a large scale, we felt the women of the
nation might be benefited ultimately by these weekly cogitations,
if not permitted to enjoy the society of the cogitators.

E. C. S.


The National Woman's Suffrage Convention held in Washington, January
18th and 19th, presented the following appeal to the District
Committee:

TO THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

HONORABLE GENTLEMEN: As the Franchise bill is now under
consideration, we would urge your committee to so amend it as to
secure the right of suffrage to all the women of the District,
and thus establish in the capital of the nation the first genuine
republic the world has ever known. It would be a work of
supererogation to warn you against the puerile proposition to
disfranchise all the people of the District, by placing their
municipal affairs under the direct control of Congress, for such
retrogressive legislation is beneath the consideration of your
honorable committee, and would never be tolerated by the
American people. The tide of public opinion is setting to-day in
the opposite direction; in all governments we see a steadily
increasing tendency toward individual responsibilities--to the
election of rulers by a direct voice of the people. In this
general awakening, woman too has been roused to a sense not only
of her own rights as a human being, but to her duties as a
citizen under government.

It is especially fitting that the grand experiment of equality
should be first tried in the District of Columbia, where such
able debates on freedom have been heard during the last century;
where slavery was first abolished by an act of Congress; and
where the black man was first recognized as a citizen of the
United States. But in removing all political disabilities from
the male citizens of the District, you have established, for the
first time in the history of nations, a government based on the
aristocracy of sex; an aristocracy of all kinds the most odious
and unnatural. While every type and shade of manhood is rejoicing
to-day in all the rights, privileges, and immunities of citizens
in the District, its noblest matrons are still living under the
statute laws of a dark and barbarous age, running back to the old
common law of England centuries ago, having no parallel in our
day, but in the slave codes of the Southern States. Here a
married woman has no right to the property she inherits, to the
wages she earns, or to the children of her love, and from laws
like these she has no appeal; no advocate in the courts of
justice; no representative in the councils of the nation. Such is
the result of class legislation, clearly proving that man has
ever made laws for his own mother with as little justice and
generosity as he has from time to time for different orders of
his own sex. Suffering, as woman does, under the wrongs of Saxon
men, you have added insult to injury by exalting another race
above her head: slaves, ignorant, degraded, depraved, but
yesterday crouching at your feet, outside the pale of political
consideration, are to-day, by your edicts, made her lawgivers!
Thus here in the District you have consummated this invidious
policy of the nation, placing outside barbarians above your
Pilgrim mothers, who have stood by your side from the beginning,
sharing alike your dangers and triumphs in the great struggle on
this continent for free institutions.

We urge you, therefore, to report favorably on Senator Wilson's
amendment, because woman not only needs the ballot for her
protection, but the nation needs her voice in legislation for the
safety and stability of our institutions. We simply ask you to
apply your theory of government, your declaration of rights, the
principles enunciated by the great Republican party, the
far-seeing wisdom with which step by step you have secured all
men in their inalienable rights, to our case, and you will see
that logic, justice, common sense, and constitutional law are all
alike on our side of the question. We need not detain you to
rehearse the fundamental principles of our government, your own
interpretation of the constitution, or the right of Congress to
regulate suffrage in the District, for all this has been argued
before the nation and sealed by your own acts. With the argument
all on our side, the only question that remains is, does woman
herself demand the right of suffrage at this hour? If, honorable
gentlemen, you will look abroad, and note the general uprising of
women everywhere, in foreign nations as well as our own, you will
realize that our demand is the great onward step of the century
and not, as some claim, the idiosyncrasy of a few unbalanced
minds. Man knows as little of the real feeling of the women of
their household as did the proud Southerner of the slaves on his
plantation. Woman fears man's ridicule more than the slave did
the master's lash. Yes! woman waits to-day but for man's
approval, to manifest the intense enthusiasm she feels in the no
distant future, when she, too, shall be crowned sovereign of this
great republic, where all are of the blood royal--all heirs
apparent to the throne.

We are often asked the question, "On what do you base your
assertion that the ballot can achieve so much for woman? It has
not done much for man; in this country all white men vote, yet
the masses are wretchedly fed, housed, clothed, and poorly paid
for their labor. Ignorant alike of social and political economy,
their voting is a mere form; practically they have no more to do
with the government than the masses in the old world who have no
representation whatever." These wholesale philosophers, and we
meet them every day, are incapable of any patient process of
analytical reasoning. If the moment a man is endowed with the
suffrage he does not spring up into knowledge, virtue, wealth,
and position, then the right amounts to nothing. If a generation
of ignorant, degraded men, does not vote at once with the wisdom
of statesmen, then Universal Suffrage is a failure, and the
despot and the dagger the true government. The careful reader of
history will see that with every new extension of rights a new
step in civilization has been taken, and that uniformly those
nations have been most prosperous where the greatest number of
the people have been recognized in the government. Contrast China
with Russia, England with the United States. Where the few
govern, the legislation is for the advantage of the few. Where
the many govern, the legislation will gradually become more and
more for the advantage of the many, as fast as the many know
enough to demand laws for their own benefit. This knowledge comes
from an education in politics; and a ballot in a man's hand and
the responsibility of using it, is the first step in this
education. Even if a man sells his ballot, there is power in
possessing something that a politician must have or perish. The
Southern slaves must have acquired a new dignity in the scale of
being when Judge Kelley and Senator Wilson traveled all through
the South to preach to them on political questions.

The thinking men of England, as they philosophize on the abuses
of their government, see plainly that the only way to abolish an
order of nobility, a law of primogeniture and an established
church, is to give the masses a right by their votes to pitch
this triple power into the channel; for all the bulwarks of
aristocracy will, one by one, be swept away with the education
and enfranchisement of the people. Gladstone, John Bright, and
John Stuart Mill see clearly that the privileges of the few can
be extended to the many only by the legislation of the many. All
the beneficial results of the broad principles they are
advocating to-day, may not be fully realized in a generation,
but, to the philosophical mind, they are as true now as if
already achieved. The greatest minds in this country, too, have
made most exhaustive arguments to prove the power of the ballot,
and recognized the equality of all citizens, in our Declaration
of Rights, in extending suffrage to all white men, and in the
proposition to farther extend it to all black men.



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