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Howland was there, and excited to her highest eloquence
in speech; with flushed cheeks she said to me, "If only that
scene could have been photographed--it was the grandest one
of history--the first time that _woman_ has ever appeared in
halls of legislation--women often, but woman never before."
I have sent her home to write a letter for the _Courant_,
and I hope she will make it out; she has promised to try.
Senator Pomeroy counts thirteen Senators ready to vote for
us now, but I can not attempt to do justice to the
situation.

_The Revolution_ of March 24, 1870, gives the following call for the
May Anniversary of the National Woman's Suffrage Association, which
held its regular annual meeting in Irving Hall, New York, May 10th and
11th:

The various woman suffrage associations throughout this country
and the Old World are invited to send delegates to the
Convention, prepared to report the progress of our movement in
their respective localities. And, in order that this annual
meeting may be the expression of the whole people, we ask all
friends of woman suffrage to consider themselves personally
invited to attend and take part in its discussions. With the
political rights of woman secured in the Territories of Utah and
Wyoming--with the agitation of the question in the various State
Legislatures, with the proposition to strike the word "male" from
the State Constitution of Vermont--with New York, New England,
and the great West well organized, we are confident that our
leading political parties will soon see that their own interest
and the highest interests of the country require them to
recognize our claim.

The Executive Committee recommend the friends of woman suffrage,
everywhere, to concentrate their efforts upon the work of
securing a XVI. Amendment to the Federal Constitution that shall
prohibit the States from disfranchising any of their citizens on
account of sex.

Many of the ablest advocates[131] of the cause--both men and
women--will address the meetings. Communications and
contributions should be addressed to the Corresponding Secretary.

ELIZABETH CADY STANTON, _President_.
ERNESTINE L. ROSE, _Chairman Executive Committee_.
CHARLOTTE B. WILBOUR, _Corresponding Secretary_,
151 East 51st Street, New York.

The Convention was eventually held in Apollo Hall, the owners of
Irving Hall annulling their contract when they learned that colored
people were not only to be admitted to the audience, but welcomed to
the platform as speakers. The Rev. Phebe Hanaford opened the meeting
with prayer, Mrs. Charlotte Wilbour read the call, and announced the
various committees, Miss Anthony reported the work done during the
past year; excellent addresses were made by the many able speakers
present, and strong resolutions were discussed and adopted.

It was during this convention that a proposition was made, that as the
American Association had chosen Henry Ward Beecher for President, Mrs.
Stanton and Miss Anthony should resign their offices for a season, and
place some popular man at the head of the National Society. They
readily assented, hoping thereby to heal the division so distracting
to friends in every State, and unite all the forces in a grand Union
Association. Theodore Tilton, editor of the _Independent_, was chosen
for the position. He and Mr. Beecher exchanged amicable letters, and a
meeting of pacification[132] was held at the Fifth Avenue hotel where
both sides were fairly represented. Complimentary greetings were
exchanged, but nothing was gained.

The one wise step in this episode was the meeting of the National
Woman Suffrage Association: in Washington, January, 1871, as usual
under its long-tried leaders, as if no mistaken policy had been
suggested or considered. Emerson says the power of the human mind is
shown in its ability to recover after a blunder. The Association
showed its real strength in taking up again and carrying forward its
grand National work.


THE SECOND DECADE CELEBRATION.

At half past ten o'clock Friday morning October 19, 1870, the
twentieth anniversary convention assembled in Apollo Hall, New York.
A large number of the life-long friends were on the platform and a
fine audience in attendance. Mrs. Stanton called the meeting to order
and read the call.[133] She said, after due consultation the committee
had decided that as Mrs. Davis had called the first National
Convention twenty years ago, and presided over its deliberations, it
was peculiarly fitting that she should preside over this also. A
motion was made and seconded to that effect, and unanimously adopted.
On taking the chair Mrs. Davis gave the following resumé of the
Woman's Rights movement:

In assembling to review the past twenty years, it is a fitting
question to ask if there has been progress; or has this universal
radical reform, which was then declared, been like reformations
in religion, but a substitution of a new error for an old one;
or, like physical revolutions, but a rebellion? Has this work,
intended from its inception to change the structure of the
central organization of society, failed and become a monument of
buried hopes? Have we come together after twenty years, bowed
with a profound grief over the wreck and debris of the battle
unwon, or to rejoice over what has been attained, and mark out
work for the next decade?

We answer, in many things we have failed, for we believed and
hoped beyond the possible; but reviewing the past we have only
cause for rejoicing--for thanksgiving to God--and for courage in
the future. We affirmed a principle, an adjustment of measures to
the exigencies of the times, a profound expediency true to the
highest principles of rights, and to-day we reiterate the axiom
with which we started, that "They who would be free, themselves
must strike the blow," believing it as imperative as when the
first woman took it up, and applied it to her needs; and it must
be kept as steadily before the eye, for not yet can we rest on
our privileges gained.

Women are still frivolous; the slaves of prejudice, passion,
folly, fashion, and petty ambitions, and so they will remain till
the shackles, both social and political, are broken, and they are
held responsible beings--accountable to God alone. Not till then
can it be known what untold wealth lies buried in womanhood--"how
many mute, inglorious Miltons." Men are still conceited,
arrogant, and usurping, dwarfing their own manhood by a false
position toward one half the human race.

In commencing this work we knew that we were attacking the
strongholds of prejudice, but truth could no longer be
suppressed, nor principles hidden. It must be ours to strike the
bottom line. We believed it would take a generation to clear away
the rubbish, to uproot the theories of ages, to overthrow
customs, which at some period of the world's history had their
significance.

We proclaimed that our work was to reform, reconstruct, and
harmonize society; not to lay waste her homes and her
sanctuaries. A few only have been found brave enough to do more
than touch the fringe work that circles round the vortex which is
heaving and surging with social pollutions, which might well make
angels stand appalled; but should the occasion come in this
country, the pure women of our nation will rise, as the women of
England are now doing, resisting a legislation which degrades
womanhood to the lowest depths. We proclaimed a peaceful
revolution; for we abhorred then as now the atrocities of war,
hence our demand for a participation in government, that we might
bring a new element into it to restrain and purify it. Says a
French lady in a private letter received a few days since, "Oh,
is it not time that women come? Is it not because we have no
voice in public affairs that Europe is on fire now? Men are true
brutes. Pride, injustice, and cruelty are their most remarkable
qualities. What can free us from their laws so unjust?" This is
the sad, passionate utterance of a French woman now in the hour
of her country's peril. What better proof that women love peace
more than glory, than in the Empress Eugenie's course,--She would
have no force used to uphold her power. "She would rather be
pitied than hated."

Frances Wright, a noble Scotchwoman, early sought to make herself
thoroughly acquainted with the nature of our institutions, and
the genius of our government. She determined to try the
experiment of organized labor with negroes. Purchasing two
thousand acres of land on the Bluffs, now known as Memphis,
Tenn., she took a number of families, with fifteen able-bodied
men, and, giving them their freedom, organized her work.
Prostrated by illness, she was compelled to yield her personal
supervision, and thus her attempt to civilize those people
failed, and they were finally sent to Hayti.

She then commenced lecturing on the nature and object of the
"American Political Institutions." She gave also a course of
Historical and Political Lectures; and another course on the
Nature of Knowledge, Free Inquiry, Divisions of Knowledge,
Religion, Morals, Opinions, Existing Evils and a Reply to the
Traducers of the French Reformers. No other person was at that
time prepared so well to defend them as she was, from her having
been in part educated in General Lafayette's family. In all
those lectures she showed the low estimate of woman, and her
inferior education.

To this heroic woman, who left ease, elegance, a high social
circle of rich culture, and with true self-abnegation gave her
life, in the country of her adoption, to the teaching of her
highest idea of truth, it is fitting that we pay a tribute of
just, though late, respect.



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