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Such are the rights of protection of life and
liberty, and to acquire and enjoy property, and to pay no
higher impositions than other citizens, and to pass through
or reside in the State at pleasure, and to enjoy the
elective franchise according to the regulations of the laws
of the State.

Those, according to the decision in Corfield _vs._ Coryell, cited
approvingly by Chancellor Kent, are the rights and immunities of
citizens of the United States. Then comes in the XIV. Amendment
to the Constitution of the United States, which declares that
"all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United
States," and further, that "no State shall make or enforce any
law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens
of the United States."

Now, sir, I quote from Bouvier's Law Dictionary, under the title
"citizen." He gives what the word means, first in English law,
and then he comes down to American law:

One who, under the Constitution and laws of the United
States, has a right to vote for Representatives in Congress
and other public officers, and who is qualified to fill
offices in the gift of the people.

In the face of authorities like these, who shall deny that the
right to vote is one of those privileges and immunities of
citizenship, or that citizenship itself carries with it that
highest right? Go into literature and you find the same
definition; as, for instance, in the work which I hold in my hand
entitled "Words and their Uses," by R. Grant White. He says:

A citizen is a person who has certain political rights, and
the word is properly used only to imply or suggest the
possession of these rights.

Is it a mere question of privilege or immunity? It is a right
which exists and so it is considered in all the law; so it is
treated in the well-considered decisions on the subject, and by
the text writers.

By the pledge which was given by the dominant party of the
country in their last National Convention, by the allegiance
which Democrats themselves owe to the Constitution of the United
States, by the higher benefit which will be conferred upon
society, upon the women themselves who are struggling for a
chance in life, and upon men themselves by the purification of
society, I ask that this amendment be adopted.

Mr. BAYARD: I should like to ask the honorable Senator a question
before he takes his seat. I understand that he denies the power
of the Congress of the United States or of a State to exclude a
female from voting, to make an exclusion based upon sex, because
it would be an infringement of her rights as a citizen, under the
meaning of that word in the Constitution, according to the
construction given it by the courts. I should like to ask him
whether he considers that an exclusion by reason of age is not
just as arbitrary and unauthorized as the exclusion by reason of
sex, and by what right can it be that a State or the United
States shall arbitrarily fix a period in a person's life at which
he shall attain his civil rights? In most of the States, and by
the common law of England, the age of twenty-one years was fixed
as what they term the majority, when a person becomes _sui
juris_. Under the laws of the various States of this Union,
following the laws of other civilized communities of older date,
a period has been fixed in the life of man at which he attains
his civil rights. Ordinarily it is at the age of twenty-one
years; under the civil law it is twenty-five; it is so in France;
it is so in Spain; it is so in the French and Spanish Colonies.
Among the English-speaking people the age of twenty-one years is
the period fixed. If the rights which have been spoken of by the
Senator from Indiana and the Senator from California are
inalienable, natural rights, are part and parcel of those
"privileges and immunities" referred to by the Constitution of
the United States, how can it be that a law, a mere arbitrary
enactment by a State or by Congress, shall exclude a man who is
twenty years and six months old from exercising those inalienable
rights, those privileges and immunities which six months after,
by the mere difference of time, they permit him to enjoy? I have
stated the question at length for the purpose of letting the
Senator from California answer it more fully.

Mr. SARGENT: Mr. President, I do not think the Constitution
prevents a regulation of the power to vote. The States
unquestionably have a right to fix the time when voting shall
take place, to fix the places where the voting shall be done, and
they have the right to fix the age at which voting shall be
exercised. But under the Constitution they have no power to
prescribe a test which is not equally attainable by all persons.
They have no right to say that only white men shall vote, for
that would exclude black men. They have no right to say that only
black men shall vote, for that would exclude white men. They have
no right to say that only men shall vote, for that would exclude
women. The Constitution says that all shall be put on an equality
in this respect, that any test which may be required shall apply
to all alike, men and women, black or white.

Mr. BAYARD: But the law does no such thing. There are classes,
and a very large and great class in the State that the Senator
represents, who can not become citizens of the United States and
can not vote there.

Mr. SARGENT: Why not?

Mr. BAYARD: Because of their race; because they are Asiatics and
not Africans.

Mr. SARGENT: The Constitution of the United States does not
prevent it.

Mr. BAYARD: No; but the law of Congress prevents it. The Senator
says these are all entitled under the law.

Mr. SARGENT: I will not detain the Senate now on the point
referred to by the Senator. He has shifted his ground and I will
not follow him. Whenever legislation comes up on that subject I
will discuss it. They are not citizens of the United States. I am
dealing now with citizens whose privileges and immunities as such
no one has a right to abridge.

Mr. FERRY, of Michigan: It is not my intention to speak on the
merits of this proposition; but inasmuch as the Senator from
Maine (Mr. Morrill) has raised the question of consistency and
appealed to his record, it reminds me of the fact that the
question of woman suffrage appeared as early, I think, as 1858,
before the Legislature of Michigan. I had the honor of holding a
seat in the Senate of the State at that time, and the question
was referred to the committee of which I was a member, and it
fell to my lot to report upon it. If my recollection serves me
rightly the resolution favoring the right of women to vote was
lost by but a majority of three in the Michigan Senate.

Mr. EDMUNDS: Which way was the report?

Mr. FERRY, of Michigan: I am reminded by the Senator from Vermont
that perhaps I have not intimated which side the report took. The
report was in favor of woman suffrage, and it may be regarded as
having contributed to so large a vote. To-day, sir, is the first
time since that occasion that I have been officially called upon
to record my judgment upon the same question. I have had no
reason since that report was drawn to shake my belief that the
right of suffrage will not be jeopardized or perverted if wielded
by the hand of woman. Believing that now and desiring to act in
accord with my action in 1858 in the Senate of my native State. I
am glad of the opportunity to prove my consistency by voting for
woman suffrage to-day.

Mr. ANTHONY: Mr. President, I am quite content that this
experiment of female suffrage should be tried in this new
Territory. I believe that female suffrage is coming with the
other ameliorations and changes which have been tending for so
many years in the same direction. I have not taken any part in
the measures which have been agitated to hasten that event. I
think it will come in its own good time; but I should do very
great injustice to myself if I should allow it to be supposed
that my opinion is based upon some of the arguments that have
been made here. I do not believe that suffrage is a natural
right. I believe it is a right that grows out of society, a
political right, and that it is within the body-politic to decide
upon its limits, its modifications, and its conditions. The only
question in my mind is whether it is proper and expedient. I
think that the XIV. Amendment has nothing whatever to do with it.

Mr. MORTON: Mr. President, the Senators from Rhode Island, Maine,
and North Carolina have all said that the right to vote is not a
natural right, but merely a political right. Is not that a
distinction without a difference? If I have a natural right, I
have a right to use the necessary and proper means to enforce
that right; it is a part of it. To say that I have a natural
right but have not the right to use the means for its protection
is illogical; it makes nonsense of it. The natural and proper
means to enforce any right are a part of it. The right of
self-defense is one of the natural rights; everybody concedes it,
and to take from me the natural and effective means of defending
myself is to take from me the right itself. Government is the
means of securing natural rights, and should depend upon the
consent of the governed.



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