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We have accepted the use of the
Committee-room on Agriculture, leaving you, sir, with reluctance,
simply because it is larger and more accessible than your room,
and one so beautifully adorned by art, that our womanly tastes
are daily gratified in its use.

To you, Mr. Loughridge, as the author of the minority report of
the Judiciary Committee on the Woodhull Memorial, and to General
Butler, your faithful colleague, we owe that most luminous
statement of the historic position of woman, her natural, civil,
and constitutional rights, and the best method of enforcing these
in the interest of the women citizens of the United States. For
that report, sir, we thank you from the depth of our hearts. We
claim it as our bill of rights. On that line we also fight, not
with weapons of steel, but with pen and voice and silent prayer;
and when at last the solemn responsibilities of citizenship shall
have been laid upon us by the men of this great nation, and
together we shall strive to bring justice and equality into
legislation and administration, we shall not forget to whom we
owe this first judicial protest in these halls against
traditional misrepresentations of the constitutional rights of
women citizens of the Republic.

And, gentlemen, permit us to congratulate you all, that having
secured equal rights to all men in these United States by your
vote, and having welcomed the proscribed black man to a seat by
your side in halls of legislation, you are now turning your
attention to the women of the United States, with a firm
resolution that they shall no longer be denied the rights nor
excused from the responsibilities of a full citizenship.

Permit us to express the hope that in coming years you may be
returned to this Capitol by the votes of grateful women citizens,
enfranchised through your instrumentality; and should you be
called to take upper seats here in remembrance of faithful
service during this session, we shall congratulate not only
ourselves but our common and well-beloved country; and if,
gentlemen, you should find here as colleagues some of the matrons
of this Republic whose names are now being daily signed to this
new declaration of fealty to human rights, we have confident
assurance that you will cheerfully work hand in hand with them,
according to the tenor of their pledge to work with you for the
maintenance of those equal rights on which our Republic was
originally founded, to the end that it may have what is declared
to be the first condition of just government--the consent of the
governed.

Mr. JULIAN responded:--I thank you, Mrs. Hooker, and the
committee you represent, for your words of cordial approbation.
Such a testimony will go far to redeem the ordinary drudgery and
dreariness of public life, and I shall ever cherish it with real
satisfaction and pride. I ought to say, however, that in
performing the acts so handsomely commended by you I did nothing
but my simple duty. Indeed, constituted as I am, and believing as
I do, it was morally impossible for me to do otherwise. Having
espoused the cause of woman's enfranchisement more than twenty
years ago, when it was first launched in the United States, and
having labored so long and so earnestly for the enfranchisement
of the male citizens of our country, irrespective of color or
race, it would have been grossly inconsistent in me, not to say
recreant and mean, to shrink from the duties for which you
compliment me when invited to their performance.

You are pleased to express the hope that some of the retiring
members of the XLI. Congress may hereafter be returned to the
places they have filled. For myself, I am weary of the service
in which I have toiled for so many years, and I welcome a season
of rest, or at least a change of labor. But when your hope goes
farther, and points to our return here by the votes of
enfranchised women, and our welcome from a sisterhood of
co-representatives in the halls of Congress, I confess the
prophecy is so pleasing and the picture seems so tempting that
its realization would completely reconcile me to my restored
place in the House of Representatives, or even to a seat in that
smaller body at the other end of the Capitol. And I am not
lacking in the spirit of good courage and hope which animates
you. These are revolutionary times. Whole years of progress are
now crowded into days. Who will venture to judge the future by
any political almanac of by-gone times? I can say with old Thomas
Carlyle, "One strong thing I find here below, the just thing, the
true thing." And no man or party is strong enough, no earthly
power is strong enough to stay the grand march of events through
which the hand of God is visibly guiding the Republic to
universal liberty, and through that to enduring prosperity and
peace.

Mr. ARNELL, of Tennessee, said--_Mrs. Hooker and Ladies_: You
have been kind enough to refer to me by name. I think you have
been over-generous in your estimation of my poor services. If I
have accomplished anything, no matter how inconsiderable, for
your cause, I greatly rejoice. Yet, in reality, it is my cause as
much as yours--a man's cause as much as a woman's; for the
inquiry you have raised is a great fundamental question, broad as
humanity itself. I thank you for your wide interpretation of the
invitation I gave you to occupy the Committee-room of Education
and Labor. You have rightly touched its true meaning. The doors
were opened hopefully, invitingly to you as the advance-guard of
American women, who are soon, I trust, to take equal part with
their brothers, husbands and fathers in the government of this
great and free Republic.

There is a bit of history connected with this room of Education
and Labor. A hard-working woman was once driven from it by vote
of the House of Representatives. She carried her work across the
ocean, rested it under the Italian skies, until it blossomed into
everlasting stone. Then she brought it back. A great admiring
city and the self-same men who had voted her out, marveled and
said, "Well done, woman." Her success is a triumph for woman.
Meantime you, representing, arguing a higher cause than Art, had
found a footing in this very apartment from which she had been
turned out. This was a higher triumph. The amiable New York
_Tribune_, chuckling over a false rumor that you were denied its
further use, has misstated the facts. The _Tribune_ only
advertised its own narrow, pretentious wishes.

In bringing the proposition before Congress to pay women the same
price as men for the same work performed, I desired not only to
help those spirited, deserving women in the Departments, but also
to aid two and a half millions of my working sisters in this
country. It seemed to me that just here was room for practical
legislation. Here was an angle to be carried in this great
contest for justice and freedom, and I drew my best inspiration
from a bright, sunny-faced wife, who to-day is far away among the
hills of Tennessee. I greatly admire and respect either a working
man or woman, for I devoutly believe in this latest evangel,
that "to work is to pray." Allow me to say, as a parting word,
"Courage." The world may sneer at you, for it does not believe
that a man is moved save by some selfish ambition. Trojan's noble
fraction of a line, "_indocillis privata loqui_," is not
generally considered as adapted to, or to be applied to, the
domain of every-day life. Yet, ladies, far above all ridicule,
misjudgment, slander, and abuse even, is the holy consciousness
you have of the nobility of your work, which is, as I have said,
the emancipation and elevation of both man and woman. The great
Republic, of which you are citizens, by express provision of its
fundamental law, can exist only as it is free, as it is just; two
ideas that lie, as I understand it, at the bottom of your
movement. The country must continue one-sided, ill-balanced,
imperfect in its civilization, until woman, with her peculiar
nature, is admitted to that individuality which of right belongs
to every human being. Therefore I bid you God-speed in your work.

Judge LOUGHRIDGE, of Iowa, spoke as follows--_Ladies_: I take
pleasure in appearing here in response to your kind invitation. I
understand fully your desire to express in this way your
appreciation of the aid given by a portion of the Representatives
to the XLI. Congress to the cause you have so much at heart--the
cause of universal suffrage and political liberty.

In reference to the report of the minority of the Judiciary
Committee, to which Mrs. Hooker has referred in such
complimentary terms and in which I had the honor to join with the
distinguished gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. Butler, I am glad
to know that you are satisfied with it, and that you think it
does justice to your cause. What is written there is the honest
conviction of my judgment, and in my opinion the principles
contended for therein will, before many years, be accepted as the
law of the land.

I desire to say one word, suggested by the remark which I have
heard made frequently of late, that the only resort now for the
advocates of woman suffrage is to the courts of the country. I
think it is a mistake. In this country, on questions involving
political rights, the courts are generally in the rear rank; the
people are mostly in advance of the courts.



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