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Wilson introduced a
bill to allow women to hold office in the Territories.

In February an argument was made before the Senate Military
Committee in behalf of women who served in the army. Mrs. Admiral
Dahlgren argued in person before a Congressional committee, in
reference to moneys due her deceased husband.

* * * * *

Mrs. Lockwood and Mrs. Spencer both gave interesting statements in
regard to women voting in the District of Columbia, and ably argued
their right to do so under the National Constitution. Mrs. Lockwood
introduced the following resolution:

_To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives, in
Congress assembled:_

We, the undersigned, citizens of the United States, being
deprived of some of the privileges and immunities of citizens,
among which is the right to vote, beg leave to submit the
following resolution:

_Resolved_, That we, the officers and members of the
National Woman Suffrage Association, in convention
assembled, respectfully ask Congress to enact appropriate
legislation, during its present session, to protect women
citizens in the several States of this Union in their right
to vote.

FRANCIS MILLER, Esq. said that he had one reason for
congratulation in being engaged in the suit with Mr. Riddle, as
it gave him an opportunity to do something for the women of his
country. Under the XIV. Amendment he contended that women had the
right to vote, and no lawyer that read the amendment could decide
in any other way.

It was not true that the cohorts of this issue had been defeated
every time, but it was true that they had gained two victories.
Chief-Justice Cartter had decided that woman was a full citizen,
and had not the right to vote, simply because they had not passed
a law necessary for the purpose. If the XIV. Amendment did not
confer suffrage they must go through the States with a new
amendment, and fight a battle in each. He thought that very
obscure ideas prevailed on the subject. How could anyone that had
no self-government enjoy any inalienable right? It was said that
the ballot was a creature of legislation, consequently not
natural. This was an absurdity. There was no way in the world for
a man to govern himself except by the ballot. To deny any one the
only means of exercising that right is a wrong before heaven and
should be redressed. He did not propose to go into a legal
argument; the best of his ability has been expended in the cause,
and is before the public.

At the evening session Mrs. Gage gave the following address:

Mrs. GAGE said: We hear many fears expressed in regard to the
danger of "centralized power," and the growing tendency of the
nation toward it. The people have been told that through this
tendency their liberties were endangered. The truth is just the
contrary. "State rights" has from the very commencement of this
Government been the rock on which the ship of the nation has many
times nearly foundered, and from which it is to-day in great
danger. The one question of the hour is, Is the United States a
Nation with full and complete National powers, or is it a mere
thread upon which States are strung as are the beads upon a
necklace?

Let us look back a hundred years. The War of the Revolution
commenced merely as a rebellion of the Colonies against the
Nation to which they belonged. Though all were located on the
continent of America, each colony was under its own charter,
separate and distinct from every other one. Each colony resisted
what it deemed to be acts of oppression against itself.
Therefore, the War of the Revolution began as the resistance of
individual colonies, but with the progress of this resistance
grew up a feeling of united interests, and in 1774 eleven of
these colonies, and a portion of the twelfth, connected
themselves under certain articles of association. The colonies
still considered themselves as belonging to the British Empire,
and in these articles avowed their allegiance to His Majesty,
George the Third. Although we date the birth of our nation two
years later, our nationality actually dates back to these
articles of association, for the colonies bound themselves as one
in regard to non-importation, non-exportation, and
non-consumption; the first two pledges having National bearing as
regarded commerce, and the last one regulating internal affairs
in a National manner. This course of the colonies made them one,
and has had a bearing on our every step since, even up to this
day of grace, January 17, 1873. Resolutions of independence and
freedom from all control of Great Britain were introduced into
the Colonial Congress in June, 1776, and the committee which was
then appointed to draft a declaration of independent government
was required to base it upon the first resolution of the June
declaration of rights, which said, "These United Colonies are,
and of right ought to be, free and independent," etc. The veriest
school-boy needs not to be told the date of this instrument,
which we are fond of terming the "Great Charter of our
Liberties;" yet even professed statesmen, from that day to this,
have seemingly forgotten that this declaration was agreed to, and
signed by the already United Colonies in their Congress
assembled, and issued as the action of "one people." No new
Congress met; the declaration was not the act of single colonies,
or states, but the act of already united colonies, or states, and
in this instrument we first find our National name of United
States.

The members of Congress did not sign this declaration as New
Yorkers, or Virginians, or New Englanders, but as Americans. Nor
was it referred to different colonies for approbation, but on
that very Fourth of July, 1776, Congress, with already National
authority, flung to the world the announcement that these united
colonies were a Nation, and ordered that copies of the
declaration should be sent to the several colonial assemblies,
conventions, councils of safety, and to each of the commanding
officers of the Continental troops, and that it should be
proclaimed in each of the United States, and at the head of the
army. We see, therefore, that the Declaration of Independence, in
being truly National, was wholly centralizing--and much more so
than any act since, and is therefore the truest basis of our
liberties.

Our age has annihilated space; danger lies in darkness and
distance. With every newspaper, every railroad, every line of
telegraph, danger from centralized National power grows less.
With the newspaper, the railroad, the telegraph, the course of
the government is constantly before our eyes The reporter
penetrates everywhere, the lightning flashes everywhere, and
before plans are scarcely formed here in Washington, the miner of
California, the lumberman of Maine, and the cotton-grower of
Carolina are passing opinions and interchanging views upon them
with their neighbors. The increase of education in the common
schools, and the vast private correspondence of the country, too,
help to put the proceedings of the government under the
cognizance of the whole people. Our danger lies elsewhere, and to
clearly see it we must still look back to the early history of
our Nation. For a few months after the Declaration of
Independence, our new-born republic worked under a common
sentiment, for a common interest; but ultimately self-interest
prompted the claim of "State Rights." This doctrine was, by wise
men, seen to be utterly destructive to the government, and in the
second year of our independence it became necessary to fight this
State-right doctrine, and the second step was taken in
centralization, by the Articles of Confederation, which were
declared to make the Union perpetual, and States were forbidden
to coin money, establish their own weights and measures, their
own post-offices, and forbidden to do many other things which, by
right, belong to independent self-controlling States.

So anxious was the Nation to set its own power upon a firm basis,
entirely over and above that of the States, that back in these
articles of confederation we find the term "privileges and
immunities," that vexed phrase in the present discussion. In the
fourth article, the inhabitants of each State were declared to be
entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens of the
several States, etc. These articles, unlike the declaration, were
made dependent upon ratification by the Legislatures of the
several States, which was not fully accomplished till 1781.

For awhile all went merry as a marriage bell. Power had been
further centralized, and the Nation felt secure. But there had
been left a little loophole, which was destined to create State
claims in defiance of the general government. Congress soon found
that under the articles of confederation the limitation of States
was more theoretical than practical. It found that though, in a
general way, the United States possessed national powers, as over
boundaries, peace and war, the issue of money, the establishment
of post-offices, etc., yet in the very necessary matter of
revenue, and the regulation of trade and commerce, it was
powerless against the States. The old form of the confederation
was found insufficient to secure the full independence of the
United States as a Nation, and in the very year that the articles
were fully adopted, and before the last State had given its
adherence (1781), a member of Congress from New Jersey moved a
recommendation to the States to invest Congress with additional
means of paying the public debt and prosecuting the war of the
Revolution, by laying duties on imports and prize goods.

This proposition at once roused opposition, and it is well to
remember that it did not first come from a Southern State.



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