A B C D E F
G H I J K L M 

Total read books on site:
more than 10 000

You can read its for free!


Text on one page: Few Medium Many
The richest man in the
country must walk behind him and wait for his turn. He drops his
ballot and he is cooled off. He soon begins to get hold a little
of this idea of responsibility that I am speaking of, and after a
while it will come into his head--very slowly, perhaps, for we
are all slow to learn these things--that he has got to work
himself up and get on a par with those intelligent and
influential people who are so powerful in making laws and
customs.

Now, gentlemen, it seems to me if you could disfranchise every
foreigner to-day who was not intelligent, or if you could make
intelligence the test of voting, you would have ten barns burned
where you have one now. I believe it firmly. Being naturally
conservative, as I think all women are, a few years ago I really
thought that ten, even twenty years' residence might be required
of foreigners before they should be allowed to vote. I said they
did not know enough, and so ought to be kept out as long as that.
To-day I am inclined not to limit the time a moment longer than
it is necessary for men to get their naturalization papers out,
and go through the required legal formalities. If
disfranchisement meant annihilation, selfishly, I might be glad
to get rid of this troublesome question in that way, the task of
ruling this country would then be a far easier one than it is;
but it does not mean annihilation. So when gentlemen talk with
me, and say we have too many voters already, I reply, do not
disfranchise these men, enlighten them, for God has sent them
here for a purpose of His own. And I say to you gentlemen the
ballot in the hands of every man is the only thing that saves us
from anarchy to-day, that keeps us alive as a republic--the
ballot in the hands of these ignorant men, and the more ignorant
they are the more they need it, and the more we need they should
have it. And let me say, in passing, that reconstruction at the
South is hindered to-day for the same reason, responsibility is
taken away from a large class of citizens. A disfranchised class
is always a restless class; a class that, if it be not as a whole
given up to deeds of violence, will at least wink at them, when
committed by men either in or out of its own ranks. What the
South needs to-day is ballots, not bullets.

I leave out of the question the ultimate educating power of the
ballot, though I would like to make you an argument upon that
alone. But I say give the poor men, ignorant men the ballot for
purposes of self-defense, and because we could not live in safety
in our homes otherwise. New York is poorly governed, we say,
to-day, and getting to be a pretty dangerous place to live in.
But what would it be if every foreigner and every ignorant man
could not go out on election day, and prove that he was as good
as anybody? That is human nature, and it is human nature, and
plenty of it too, that we have to deal with. And now, let me ask
you, what are these men sent here for and who sent them? We have
got all Europe, and all Asia is coming, and who sends them? When
God put into that good ship _Mayflower_ those two great ribs of
oak, personal liberty and personal responsibility, He knew the
precious freight she was to bear, and all the hopes bound up in
her, and He pledged Himself by both the great eternities, the
past and the future, that that ship should weather all storms and
come safe to port with all she had on board. And what God has
promised He will perform. So I beg of you not to think for a
moment of limiting manhood suffrage.

And if men can not live in this country in safe homes, except
their neighbor men are enfranchised, can they live without
enfranchised women any more? If you can not live in safety with
irresponsible men in your midst, how can you live with
irresponsible women? Much more, how can you grow into the stature
of perfect men in Christ Jesus our Lord; how can you become
perfect legislators, except your mothers are instructed on these
great subjects you are called to legislate upon, that they may
instruct you in their turn? You do not know anything so well as
what your mothers have taught you; but they have not taught you
political economy. It is not their fault that they have not, nor
yours, perhaps. No man nor woman studies a subject profoundly
except he or she is called upon to act upon it. What business man
studies a business foreign to his own? What woman studies a
business foreign to her own? In past ages this woman, in the
providence of God, we will say, has been shut out from political
action, for, so long as the sword ruled and man had to get his
liberty by the sword, so long woman had all she could do to guard
the home, for that was her part of the work; and she did it
bravely and well, you will say. But now men are not fighting for
their liberty with the gun by the door and the Indians outside.
You are fighting for it in halls of legislation, with the spirit
of truth--with spiritual weapons--and woman would be disloyal to
her womanhood if she did not ask to share these heavy
responsibilities with you. And she has really been training
herself all these years she has seemed so indifferent; she has
neglected her duty in part--I confess it freely--it is not your
fault alone, gentlemen, that we are not with you to-day. If we
had been as conscious of our duty and privilege years ago as we
are to-day, if we had known our birthright, we should have stood
by your side, welcome coadjutors, long since. So we will take the
blame of the past alike--we have all been walking very slowly
this path of Christian civilization. But in the greatest conflict
of modern times, you announced great principles and fought for
them on the field, and we stood by them in the home, and we stand
by them still there. And when we come to deliberate with you in
solemn council as to how these principles shall be carried into
legislation, your task will be easier, our opportunities will be
larger, and still our hearts will be where they have ever
been--in our homes.

Forty-first Congress, 3d Session, House of Representatives,
Report, No. 22, Jan. 30, 1871, recommitted to the Committee on
Judiciary and ordered to be printed. Mr. BINGHAM, from the
Committee on the Judiciary, made the following report.


_The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the
Memorial of Victoria C. Woodhull, having considered the same,
make the following report:_

The Memorialist asks the enactment of a law by Congress which
shall secure to citizens of the United States in the several
States the right to vote "without regard to sex." Since the
adoption of the XIV. Amendment of the Constitution, there is no
longer any reason to doubt that all persons, born or naturalized
in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,
are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they
reside, for that is the express declaration of the amendment.

The clause of the XIV. Amendment, "No State shall make or enforce
any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of
citizens of the United States," does not, in the opinion of the
Committee, refer to privileges and immunities of citizens of the
United States other than those privileges and immunities embraced
in the original text of the Constitution, article IV., section 2.
The XIV. Amendment, it is believed, did not add to the privileges
or immunities before mentioned, but was deemed necessary for
their enforcement, as an express limitation upon the powers of
the States. It has been judicially determined that the first
eight articles of amendment of the Constitution were not
limitations on the power of the States, and it was apprehended
that the same might be held of the provision of section 2,
article iv.

To remedy this defect of the Constitution, the express
limitations upon the States contained in the first section of the
XIV. Amendment, together with the grant of power in Congress to
enforce them by legislation, were incorporated in the
Constitution. The words "citizens of the United States," and
"citizens of the States," as employed in the XIV. Amendment, did
not change or modify the relations of citizens of the State and
Nation as they existed under the original Constitution.

Attorney-General Bates gave the opinion that the Constitution
uses the the word "citizen," only to express the political
quality of the individual in his relation to the Nation; to
declare that he is a member of the body politic, and bound to it
by the reciprocal obligation of allegiance on the one side and
protection on the other. The phrase "a citizen of the United
States," without addition or qualification, means neither more
nor less than a member of the Nation. (Opinion of
Attorney-General Bates on citizenship.)

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that, according
to the express words and clear meaning of the section 2, article
iv. of the Constitution, no privileges are secured by it except
those which belong to citizenship. (Connor _et al._ _vs._ Elliott
_et al._, 18 Howard, 593). In Corfield _vs._ Coryell, 4
Washington Circuit Court Reports, 380, the Court say:

The inquiry is, what are the privileges and immunities of
citizens in the several States? We feel no hesitation in
confining these expressions to those privileges and
immunities which are in their nature fundamental; which
belong of right to the citizens of all free governments; and
which have at all times been enjoyed by the citizens of the
several States which compose this Union, from the time of
their becoming free, independent, and sovereign.



Pages: | Prev | | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | 42 | | 43 | | 44 | | 45 | | 46 | | 47 | | 48 | | 49 | | 50 | | 51 | | 52 | | 53 | | 54 | | 55 | | 56 | | 57 | | 58 | | 59 | | 60 | | 61 | | 62 | | 63 | | 64 | | 65 | | 66 | | 67 | | 68 | | 69 | | 70 | | 71 | | 72 | | 73 | | 74 | | 75 | | 76 | | 77 | | 78 | | 79 | | 80 | | 81 | | 82 | | 83 | | 84 | | 85 | | 86 | | 87 | | 88 | | 89 | | 90 | | 91 | | 92 | | 93 | | 94 | | 95 | | 96 | | 97 | | 98 | | 99 | | 100 | | 101 | | 102 | | 103 | | 104 | | 105 | | 106 | | 107 | | 108 | | 109 | | 110 | | 111 | | 112 | | 113 | | 114 | | 115 | | 116 | | 117 | | 118 | | 119 | | 120 | | 121 | | 122 | | 123 | | 124 | | 125 | | 126 | | 127 | | 128 | | 129 | | 130 | | 131 | | 132 | | 133 | | 134 | | 135 | | 136 | | 137 | | 138 | | 139 | | 140 | | 141 | | 142 | | 143 | | 144 | | 145 | | 146 | | 147 | | 148 | | 149 | | 150 | | 151 | | 152 | | 153 | | 154 | | 155 | | 156 | | 157 | | 158 | | 159 | | 160 | | 161 | | 162 | | 163 | | 164 | | 165 | | 166 | | 167 | | 168 | | 169 | | 170 | | 171 | | 172 | | 173 | | 174 | | 175 | | 176 | | 177 | | 178 | | 179 | | 180 | | 181 | | 182 | | 183 | | 184 | | 185 | | 186 | | 187 | | 188 | | 189 | | 190 | | 191 | | 192 | | 193 | | 194 | | 195 | | 196 | | 197 | | 198 | | 199 | | 200 | | 201 | | 202 | | 203 | | 204 | | 205 | | 206 | | 207 | | 208 | | 209 | | 210 | | 211 | | 212 | | 213 | | 214 | | 215 | | 216 | | 217 | | 218 | | 219 | | 220 | | 221 | | 222 | | 223 | | 224 | | 225 | | 226 | | 227 | | 228 | | 229 | | 230 | | 231 | | 232 | | 233 | | 234 | | 235 | | 236 | | 237 | | 238 | | 239 | | 240 | | 241 | | 242 | | 243 | | 244 | | 245 | | 246 | | 247 | | 248 | | 249 | | 250 | | 251 | | 252 | | 253 | | 254 | | 255 | | 256 | | 257 | | 258 | | 259 | | 260 | | 261 | | 262 | | 263 | | 264 | | 265 | | 266 | | 267 | | 268 | | 269 | | 270 | | 271 | | 272 | | 273 | | 274 | | 275 | | 276 | | 277 | | 278 | | 279 | | 280 | | 281 | | 282 | | 283 | | 284 | | 285 | | 286 | | 287 | | 288 | | 289 | | 290 | | 291 | | 292 | | 293 | | 294 | | 295 | | 296 | | 297 | | 298 | | 299 | | 300 | | 301 | | 302 | | 303 | | 304 | | 305 | | 306 | | 307 | | 308 | | 309 | | 310 | | 311 | | 312 | | 313 | | 314 | | 315 | | 316 | | 317 | | 318 | | 319 | | 320 | | 321 | | 322 | | 323 | | 324 | | 325 | | 326 | | 327 | | 328 | | 329 | | 330 | | 331 | | 332 | | 333 | | 334 | | 335 | | 336 | | 337 | | 338 | | 339 | | 340 | | 341 | | 342 | | 343 | | 344 | | 345 | | 346 | | 347 | | 348 | | 349 | | 350 | | 351 | | 352 | | 353 | | 354 | | 355 | | 356 | | 357 | | 358 | | 359 | | 360 | | Next |

N O P Q R S T
U V W X Y Z 

Your last read book:

You dont read books at this site.