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If she was not entitled to vote, but believed that she was,
and voted in good faith in that belief, did such voting
constitute a crime under the statute before referred to?

3. Did the defendant vote in good faith in that belief?

If the first question be decided in accordance with my views, the
other questions become immaterial; if the second be decided
adversely to my views, the first and third become immaterial. The
first two are questions of law to be decided by the court, the
other is a question for the jury.

The Court suggested that the argument should be confined to
the legal questions, and the argument on the other question
suspended. This suggestion was assented to, and the counsel
proceeded.

My first position is that the defendant had the same right to
vote as any other citizen who voted at that election. Before
proceeding to the discussion of the purely legal question, I
desire, as already intimated, to pay some attention to the
propriety and justice of the rule which I claim to have been
established by the Constitution.

Miss Anthony, and those united with her in demanding the right of
suffrage, claim, and with a strong appearance of justice, that
upon the principles upon which our Government is founded, and
which lie at the basis of all just government, every citizen has
a right to take part, upon equal terms with every other citizen,
in the formation and administration of government. This claim on
the part of the female sex presents a question the magnitude of
which is not well appreciated by the writers and speakers who
treat it with ridicule. Those engaged in the movement are able,
sincere, and earnest women, and they will not be silenced by such
ridicule, nor even by the villainous caricatures of Nast. On the
contrary, they justly place all those things to the account of
the wrongs which they think their sex has suffered. They believe,
with an intensity of feeling which men who have not associated
with them have not yet learned, that their sex has not had, and
has not now, its just and true position in the organization of
government and society. They may be wrong in their position, but
they will not be content until their arguments are fairly,
truthfully, and candidly answered.

In the most celebrated document which has been put forth on this
side of the Atlantic, our ancestors declared that "governments
derive their just powers from the consent of the governed."
Blackstone says:

The lawfulness of punishing such criminals (_i.e._, persons
offending merely against the laws of society) is founded
upon this principle; that the law by which they suffer was
made by their own consent; it is a part of the original
contract into which they entered when first they engaged in
society; it was calculated for and has long contributed to
their own security.

Quotations, to an unlimited extent, containing similar doctrines
from eminent writers, both English and American, on government,
from the time of John Locke to the present day, might be made.
Without adopting this doctrine which bases the rightfulness of
government upon the consent of the governed, I claim that there
is implied in it the narrower and unassailable principle that all
citizens of a State, who are bound by its laws, are entitled to
an equal voice in the making and execution of such laws. The
doctrine is well stated by Godwin in his treatise on "Political
Justice." He says:

The first and most important principle that can be imagined
relative to the form and structure of government, seems to
be this: that as government is a transaction in the name and
for the benefit of the whole, every member of the community
ought to have some share in its administration. Again,
Government is a contrivance instituted for the security of
individuals; and it seems both reasonable that each man
should have a share in providing for his own security, and
probable, that partiality and cabal should by this means be
most effectually excluded. And again, To give each man a
voice in the public concerns comes nearest to that admirable
idea of which we should never lose sight, the uncontrolled
exercise of private judgment. Each man would thus be
inspired with a consciousness of his own importance, and the
slavish feelings that shrink up the soul in the presence of
an imagined superior would be unknown.

The mastery which this doctrine, whether right or wrong, has
acquired over the public mind, has produced as its natural fruit,
the extension of the right of suffrage to all the adult male
population in nearly all the States of the Union; a result which
was well epitomized by President Lincoln, in the expression,
"government by the people for the people." This extension of the
suffrage is regarded by many as a source of danger to the
stability of free government. I believe it furnishes the greatest
security for free government, as it deprives the mass of the
people of all motive for revolution; and that government so based
is most safe, not because the whole people are less liable to
make mistakes in government than a select few, but because they
have no interest which can lead them to such mistakes, or to
prevent their correction when made. On the contrary, the world
has never seen an aristocracy, whether composed of few or many,
powerful enough to control a government, who did not honestly
believe that their interest was identical with the public
interest, and who did not act persistently in accordance with
such belief; and, unfortunately, an aristocracy of sex has not
proved an exception to the rule. The only method yet discovered
of overcoming this tendency to the selfish use of power, whether
consciously or unconsciously, by those possessing it, is the
distribution of the power among all who are its subjects. Short
of this the name free government is a misnomer.

This principle, after long strife, not yet entirely ended has
been, practically at least, very generally recognized on this
side of the Atlantic, as far as relates to men; but when the
attempt is made to extend it to women, political philosophers and
practical politicians, those "inside of politics," two classes
not often found acting in concert, join in denouncing it. It
remains to be determined whether the reasons which have produced
the extension of the franchise to all adult men, do not equally
demand its extension to all adult women. If it be necessary for
men that each should have a share in the administration of
government for his security, and to exclude partiality, as
alleged by Godwin, it would seem to be equally, if not more,
necessary for women, on account of their inferior physical power;
and if, as is persistently alleged by those who sneer at their
claims, they are also inferior in mental power, that fact only
gives additional weight to the argument in their behalf, as one
of the primary objects of government, as acknowledged on all
hands, is the protection of the weak against the power of the
strong.

I can discover no ground consistent with the principle on which
the franchise has been given to all men, upon which it can be
denied to women. The principal argument against such extension,
so far as argument upon that side of the question has fallen
under my observation, is based upon the position that women are
represented in the government by men, and that their rights and
interests are better protected through that indirect
representation than they would be by giving them a direct voice
in the government. The teachings of history in regard to the
condition of women under the care of these self-constituted
protectors, to which I can only briefly allude, show the value of
this argument as applied to past ages; and in demonstration of
its value as applied to more recent times, even at the risk of
being tedious, I will give some examples from my own professional
experience. I do this because nothing adds more to the efficacy
of truth than the translation of the abstract into the concrete.
Withholding names, I will state the facts with fullness and
accuracy.

An educated and refined woman, who had been many years
before deserted by her drunken husband, was living in a
small village of Western New York, securing, by great
economy and intense labor in fine needlework, the means of
living, and of supporting her two daughters at an academy,
the object of her life being to give them such an education
as would enable them to become teachers, and thus secure to
them some degree of independence when she could no longer
provide for them. The daughters were good scholars and
favorites in the school, so long as the mother was able to
maintain them there. A young man, the nephew and clerk of a
wealthy but miserly merchant, became acquainted with the
daughters, and was specially attentive to the older one. The
uncle disapproved of the conduct of his nephew, and failing
to control it by honorable means, resorted to the
circulation of the vilest slanders against mother and
daughters. He was a man of wealth and influence. They were
almost unknown. The mother had but recently come to the
village, her object having been to secure to her daughters
the educational advantages which the academy afforded.
Poverty, as well as perhaps an excusable if not laudable
pride, compelled her to live in obscurity, and consequently
the assault upon their characters fell upon her and her
daughters with crushing force.



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