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
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. Therefore the right to give or to
withhold my consent is a part of the natural right. Let us come
down to the substance and put away these shadowy distinctions. To
say that I have the right of self-defense, but that I have no
right to use the knife or any instrument necessary to protect my
life against the assassin, is nonsense. So far as the right of
government is concerned, the right to assent, to consent, or to
dissent, the natural means under our system is the right to vote.
You can not conceive any other. Therefore it is a part of the
right and without it the other is worth nothing.

Mr. EDMUNDS: I wish to ask the Senator from Indiana whether
persons under the age of twenty-one and eighteen years
respectively have not all the natural rights that grown-up people
have?

Mr. MORTON: I think I can answer that question very readily, if
the Senator is through.

Mr. EDMUNDS: That is my only question at present.

Mr. MORTON: Every right must have some sort of regulation.

Mr. EDMUNDS: That does not answer the question.

Mr. MORTON: Wait until I get through. We have in our country, and
I believe generally in Europe, certainly in England, agreed that
twenty-one years is the age when men and women have come into the
full possession of their understanding and are supposed to be so
well informed that they can take upon themselves the government
of their own fortunes and the control of their own property. The
mere fact that this thing is to be regulated does not take away
the right. The natural right to own and control property is
regulated in that way. There must be some age fixed. We know the
infant can not do it; we know the child ten years old has not the
necessary knowledge of the world or strength of understanding;
and we have agreed upon a certain age when men and women come to
the possession of their understanding and are able to take care
of their own rights, whatever they may be.

Mr. EDMUNDS: May I ask the Senator, after all, what his opinion
is, whether a child of tender years, say ten years of age, has
not every natural right that a man of seventy has?

Mr. MORTON: Certainly.

Mr. EDMUNDS: Morally, legally, and every other way?

Mr. MORTON: To my mind that furnishes no argument at all.

Mr. EDMUNDS: I am not arguing it.

Mr. MORTON: It is merely putting an extreme case to say that a
woman twenty-five years of age shall not have the right to vote
because if she votes the child in her arms has the right to vote.
Is there any force in that?

Mr. EDMUNDS: I have not put any case at all. I am asking the
Senator from Indiana, which he seems to be very unwilling to
answer, whether a child of tender years has or has not, in his
opinion, the same natural rights that a grown-up person has. That
can be answered one way or the other without saying it is an
argument.

Mr. MORTON: I suppose the child has the right, certainly the
incipient right; but that amounts to nothing when you apply it to
a child that has not the strength, the experience, the knowledge
of the world, or the age to exercise it. The common sense of
mankind in this and every other country fixes a certain age when
men and women shall be regarded as mature and qualified to take
care of themselves.

Mr. EDMUNDS: They do not fix the same age, let me suggest to the
Senator.

Mr. MORTON: Now, Mr. President, unless we are prepared to deny
the very fundamental doctrine upon which our Government is based,
we must admit that women have the same rights that men have. The
Senator from North Carolina will not deny that women have the
same natural rights that men have. The Senator nods his assent.
Then if that is so, they have the same natural right to use the
means necessary to protect those rights that men have. That
right, so far as men are concerned, is the ballot.

Mr. MERRIMON: Natural means.

Mr. MORTON: Whatever means are necessary and proper to the
protection of a natural right are natural means.

Mr. BAYARD: Did the Senator from Indiana answer the Senator from
Vermont in the affirmative or negative?

Mr. MORTON: I tried to answer him.

Mr. BAYARD: I merely ask the question. He says now very
triumphantly to the Senator from North Carolina that the rights
of men and women are the same, their natural rights are the same.

Mr. MORTON: Yes.

Mr. BAYARD: I ask are the rights of children different from those
of men?

Mr. MORTON: I think not, but I do not think there is any force in
that argument, as I said before. There is a certain common sense
and a certain practical regulation of natural rights all the
world over.

Mr. EDMUNDS: But is it the common sense of men alone, let me
suggest to the Senator. The children may differ with us; they
generally do on such questions.

Mr. MORTON: I will not spend any time on that argument.

Mr. EDMUNDS: I think that is wise.

Mr. MORTON: To say that the mature woman has not the right to
vote because the child in her arms must have the same right,
comes so near making nonsense of the whole business that I
dismiss it, and come back to the other statement, that women
having the same natural rights that men have, have the right to
the use the same means for their protection; and as the means
under our form of government for the protection of the natural
rights of men is the right to vote, women should have the same
right and power accorded to them. The whole theory of natural
rights is mere trash unless you shall give women the right and
the power to protect them. The Declaration of Independence says
that governments are instituted for that purpose, and that they
must depend upon the consent of the governed; and as the women
are one-half of the governed, they have a right to give one-half
of the consent.

The Senator from North Carolina says that the women of the
country have consented to our form of government, because they
have not dissented. They have no power to refuse their consent.
They may remonstrate and scold about it, but that amounts to
nothing; their consent one way or the other means nothing except
so far as their influence may be concerned. There were four and a
half million of slaves who did not remonstrate against their
bondage. Why? They had no means of doing it, and if they had had
it would not have amounted to anything. Would the Senator argue
from that, that they had no natural rights, or that they were
consenting to their bondage? When you take into consideration the
fact that men have all "political power and all the other sources
of influence and power over women," it is not very strange
perhaps that a majority of them are not asking for the right of
suffrage. Some women at least are asking for it; I know that very
many women all over the country believe they have the right to
vote and ought to vote who never go near a political meeting and
never sign petitions or anything of that kind. I would be willing
to-day to submit the question to the votes of the women of the
United States whether they should have that privilege or not. But
suppose that a majority do not want the ballot, how does that
affect the rights of the minority who do want it? One woman can
not consent for another.

I believe women will never have their rights in this country,
will never enjoy the same means for taking care of themselves and
making an honest living in the world, until they have the right
to vote. As soon as they have that right you will find they will
be placed upon an equality with men. The Senator from California
refers to the fact, and it is a notorious fact, that in every
State in this Union, women are paid only about one-half for the
same quantity and the same kind of labor that men receive. Does
any man say that there is any sense or any justice in that
distinction? Will that ever be remedied until woman has the right
to vote? It never will.

I believe, Mr. President, in every point of view the right of
suffrage should be extended to woman. I maintain that it is a
God-given right to take part in the administration of that
government which controls their earthly destinies and interests.
I believe it is for the interest of the men, for the interest of
children, for the interest of our country, for the interest of
the race.

Mr. EDMUNDS: I could name a dozen instances all of which show
that in all the States of this Union, speaking as a general rule,
as it is in Great Britain and in almost all other civilized
countries, the law, instead of discriminating against womanhood,
discriminates in its favor in every respect whatever except the
political respect of voting. That is a fact that no man can
truthfully deny who has studied the history of society or who
knows anything about the history of legislation in civilized
States.



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.