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(Applause). Pray, what means "loyal"?
Loyal means to be true to one's highest conviction. Justice, like
charity, begins at home. It is because we are loyal to truth,
loyal to justice, loyal to right, loyal to humanity, that woman
is included in that resolution. Now, what does this discussion
mean? The lady acknowledges that it is not against Woman's Rights
itself; she is _for_ Woman's Rights. We are here to endeavor to
help the cause of human rights and human freedom. We ought not to
be afraid. You may depend upon it, if there are any of those who
are called copperheads--but I don't like to call names, for even
a copperhead is better than no head at all--(laughter)--if there
are any copperheads here, I am perfectly sure they will object to
this whole Convention; and if we want to consult them, let us
adjourn _sine die_. If we are loyal to our highest convictions,
we need not care how far it may lead. For truth, like water, will
find its own level. No, friends, in the name of consistency let
us not wrangle here simply because we associate the name of woman
with human justice and human rights. Although I always like to
see opposition on any subject, for it elicits truth much better
than any speech, still I think it will be exceedingly
inconsistent if, because some women out in the West are opposed
to the Woman's Rights movement--though at the same time they take
advantage of it--that therefore we shall throw it out of this
resolution.

MRS. SPENCE, of New York: I didn't come to this meeting to
participate--only to listen. I don't claim to be a Northerner or
a Southerner; but I claim to be a human being, and to belong to
the human family (Applause). I belong to no sect or creed of
politics or religion; I stand as an individual, defending the
rights of every one as far as I can see them. It seems to me we
have met here to come to some unity of action. If we attempt to
bring in religious, political, or moral questions, we all must of
necessity differ. We came here hoping to be inspired by each
other to lay some plan by which we can unite in practical action.
I have not heard such a proposition made; but I anticipate that
it will be. (Hear, hear). Then if we are to unite on some
proposition which is to be presented, it seems to me that our
resolutions should be practical and directed to the main
business. Let the object of the meeting be unity of action and
expression in behalf of what we feel to be the highest right, our
highest idea of liberty.

THE PRESIDENT (Lucy Stone): Every good cause can afford to be
just. The lady from Wisconsin, who differs from some of us here,
says she is an Anti-Slavery woman. We ought to believe her. She
accepts the principles of the Woman's Rights movement, but she
does not like the way in which it has been carried on. We ought
to believe her. It is not, then, that she objects to the idea of
the equality of women and negroes, but because she does not wish
to have anything "tacked on" to the Loyal League, that to the
mass of people does not seem to belong there. She seems to me to
stand precisely in the position of those good people just at the
close of the war of the Revolution. The people then, as now, had
their hearts aching with the memory of their buried dead. They
had had years of war from which they had garnered out sorrows as
well as hopes; and when they came to establish a Union, they
found that one black, unmitigated curse of slavery rooted in the
soil. Some men said, "We can have no true Union where there is
not justice to the negro. The black man is a human being, like
us, with the same equal rights." They had given to the world the
Declaration of Independence, grand and brave and beautiful. They
said, "How can we form a true Union?" Some people representing
the class that Mrs. Hoyt represents, answered, "Let us have a
Union. We are weak; we have been beset for seven long years; do
not let us meddle with the negro question. What we are for is a
Union; let us have a Union at all hazards." There were earnest
men, men of talent, who could speak well and earnestly, and they
persuaded the others to silence. So they said nothing about
slavery, and let the wretched monster live.

To-day, over all our land, the unburied bones of our fathers and
sons and brothers tell the sad mistake that those men made when
long ago The babes we bear in anguish and carry in our arms are
not ours. The few rights that we have, have been wrung from the
Legislature by t they left this one great wrong in the land. They
could not accomplish good by passing over a wrong. If the right
of one single human being is to be disregarded by us, we fail in
our loyalty to the country. All over this land women have no
political existence. Laws pass over our heads that we can not
unmake. Our property is taken from us without our consent. The
babes we bear in anguish and carry in our arms are not ours. The
few rights that we have, have been wrung from the Legislature by
the Woman's Rights movement. We come to-day to say to those who
are administering our Government and fighting our battles, "While
you are going through this valley of humiliation, do not forget
that you must be true alike to the women and the negroes." We can
never be truly "loyal" if we leave them out. Leave them out, and
we take the same backward step that our fathers took when they
left out slavery. If justice to the negro and to woman is right,
it can not hurt our loyalty to the country and the Union. If it
is not right, let it go out of the way; but if it is right, there
is no occasion that we should reject it, or ignore it. We make
the statement that the Government derives its just powers from
the consent of the governed, and that all human beings have equal
rights. This is not an _ism_--it is simply an assertion that we
shall be true to the highest truth.

A MAN IN THE AUDIENCE: The question was asked, as I entered this
house, "Is it right for women to meet here and intermeddle in our
public affairs?" It is the greatest possible absurdity for women
to stand on that platform and talk of loyalty to a Government in
which nine-tenths of the politicians of the land say they have no
right to interfere, and still oppose Woman's Rights. The very act
of standing there is an endorsement of Woman's Rights.

A VOICE: I believe this is a woman's meeting. Men have no right
to speak here.

THE GENTLEMAN CONTINUED: It is on woman more than on man that the
real evils of this war settle. It is not the soldier on the
battle-field that suffers most; it is the wife, the mother, the
daughter. (Applause. Cries of "Question, question").

A VOICE: You are not a woman, sit down.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY: Some of us who sit upon this platform have many
a time been clamored down, and told that we had no right to
speak, and that we were out of our place in public meetings; far
be it from us, when women assemble, and a man has a thought in
his soul, burning for utterance, to retaliate upon him. (Laughter
and applause).

The resolution was then put to vote.

A VOICE: Allow me to inquire if men have a right to vote on this
question?

THE PRESIDENT: I suppose men who are used to business know that
they should _not_ vote here. We give them the privilege of
speaking.

The resolution was carried by a large majority.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY: The resolution recommending the practical work,
has not yet been prepared. We have a grand platform on which to
stand, and I hope we shall be able to present a plan of work
equally grand. But, Mrs. President, if we should fail in doing
this, we shall not fail to enunciate the principles of democracy
and republicanism which underlie the structure of a free
government. When the heads and hearts of the women of the North
are fully imbued with the true idea, their hands will find a way
to secure its accomplishment.

There is evidently very great earnestness on the part of all
present to settle upon some practical work. I therefore ask that
the women from every State of the Union, who are delegates here
from Loyal Leagues and Aid Societies, shall retire, at the close
of this meeting, to the lecture-room of this church, and there we
will endeavor to fix upon the best possible plan we can gather
from the counsels of the many. I hope this enthusiasm may be
directed to good and legitimate ends, and not allowed to
evaporate into thin air. I hope we shall aid greatly in the
establishment of this Government on the everlasting foundation of
justice to all.


BUSINESS MEETING.

The lecture-room was crowded with representatives from the different
States--Susan B. Anthony in the chair. There was a general expression
in favor of forming a Woman's Loyal National League, which ended in
the adoption of the following resolution:

_Resolved_, That we, loyal women of the nation, assembled in
convention in New York, this 14th day of May, 1863, do hereby
pledge ourselves one to another in a Loyal League, to give
support to the Government in so far as it makes the war for
freedom.

This pledge was signed by nearly every woman present. Mrs. Stanton was
elected president unanimously, and Miss Anthony, Secretary. Many women
spoke ably and eloquently; women who had never before heard their own
voices in a public meeting, discussed nice points of law and
constitution in a manner that would have done credit to any
legislative assembly. A deep religious tone of loyalty to God and
Freedom pervaded the entire meeting.



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