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
Foster, Miss Susan
B. Anthony, Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Andrew Jackson
Davis, Mrs. Leland, of Wisconsin; Mr. and Mrs. John Gage, of
Vineland, New Jersey, all of whom he designated as faithful
veteran laborers in the good cause. He also invited all officers
of Woman Suffrage Associations, members of the press and the
clergy without distinction of sex or color.

The proceedings were opened with an impressive prayer by Rev.
Antoinette Brown Blackwell, of New Jersey. The Committee on
Permanent Organization reported the list of officers[184] of the
Convention, which was adopted. The announcement of the name of T.
W. Higginson as President was received with loud applause. On
taking the Chair, he spoke substantially as follows:

_Ladies and Gentlemen and Fellow Citizens_: I feel truly grateful
to the members of this Convention for the honor they have done me
by choosing me for this responsible position. I take it not as a
personal compliment to myself, but as a graceful act of courtesy
on the part of the West, which is so largely represented, to the
East, which is but slightly represented--perhaps our California
friends would rather hear us say from the great central Keystone
States of the Nation, to the little border States on the Atlantic
coast. It is eminently fit and proper that this Convention should
select for its place of meeting the great State of Ohio, which
takes the lead in the woman suffrage movement, as well as in
other good things. It was the first to organize a State Woman
Suffrage Association, and the first in which a committee of the
Legislature recommended extending to woman the right of suffrage.
It is befitting, then, that this Convention should desire Ohio as
the stepping stone from which an American Suffrage Association
shall rise into existence.

[Illustration: Lucy Stone.]

My own State is but a small one. At the commencement of the war
it was hardly thought worth while to attempt to raise troops in
Rhode Island, for if they should be able to muster a regiment it
would be necessary to go out of the State to find room to drill.
But regiments were raised and they stood side by side with those
of Ohio during the great struggle, and your record is theirs.
Rhode Island, too, stands shoulder to shoulder with Ohio in the
cause of woman suffrage. The call for this Convention was signed
by the representatives of twenty-five States; that for, the
Woman's Rights Convention, in 1850, was signed by those of but
six, yet Ohio and Rhode Island were two of that number. I do not
blush at the smallness of my State, but I rejoice in its
prominence in this movement. I am glad to claim her as the only
State which stands as a unit in the Senate of the United States
in favor of giving the ballot to woman. Messrs. Sprague and
Anthony, the Senators from that State, agree upon this point,
although if they ever agreed upon any other matter, I never heard
of it.

Fellow-delegates and citizens, we have come together as
supporters of a grand reformatory movement, and there is but one
plain course for us to pursue. Some years ago I attended a
meeting of progressive Friends, in Pennsylvania. The subject of
Woman's Rights came up for discussion, and opinions were
expressed pro and con, when suddenly there came striding up the
aisle an awkward boy, half-witted and about half-drunk. He
stepped to the platform, flung his cap to the floor, and said
that he wanted to give his testimony. "I don't know much about
this subject or any other, but my mother was a woman!" The boys
in the galleries laughed, and the Quakers, sitting with their
hats on their heads, looking as solemn as if the funeral of the
whole human race was being held and they were the chief mourners,
did not relax a muscle of their faces, but thought I to myself,
"That overgrown boy, drunk or sober, has solved the whole
question." Women may doubt and hesitate, uncertain whether they
want to vote or not, but men have only one position to take--to
withdraw their opposition, and leave it to the women to decide
for themselves.

Many intelligent and respectable ladies fear a conspiracy against
their freedom--imagining that at times of elections detachments
of police would seize and rudely drag the weak, fainting sisters
to the polls against their will. They seem to regard the matter
in the same light as a boy who went to the theatre night after
night, but invariably went to sleep. Upon being asked what he
went for, he replied: "Why I've got to go because I've a season
ticket." And so some women seem to think that the right of
suffrage will be like the boy's season ticket, and they must vote
whether they will or not. When we can not drive men to the polls,
when there is no law to compel them to serve or save their
country at the ballot-box, if they stay away from selfishness or
indifference, it is not likely that we will be more successful
with the women. No compulsion is intended. We will lay before
woman the great responsibility that rests upon her, her sacred
duty as a wife and mother, we will open up to her a career of the
highest usefulness in the world, in which she may more perfectly
than ever before fulfill the destiny for which she is created,
and then she may individually accept the ballot or not, according
to the dictates of her own conscience. All men can do is to take
down the barriers and say to her: "Vote, if you please." It is to
give more dignity and sacredness to woman; to enlarge and not
limit her field of usefulness; but not to take her out of her
appropriate sphere. It says to the wife: "Do all you can to save
your sons and husbands at home, strew around them its most
hallowed influences; but if you fail there, you have another
chance at the ballot-box to abolish, by your votes, the
liquor-sellers that are dragging them down to ruin."

I would earnestly recommend to this Convention the importance of
efficient and perfect organization, and not only in this body,
but throughout the country. In the judgment of those who called
this meeting, the great movement for woman suffrage is too far
advanced to be further prosecuted only by local and accidental
organizations. In most of the States, State Associations are of
but recent origin, and in many they do not exist at all. The
efforts hitherto made were all well and useful in their way, but
not enough to meet the demands of the present. It is the aim to
establish this Association on a national representative basis,
embracing all the States in the Union. We seek this because we
need it. The enterprise is too vast to be left to hasty or
accidental organizations only. We want something solid and
permanent. The Congress of the United States rests upon a
narrower basis than does the organization at which we aim. That
represents but half the people of the country while this is for
all. It is eminently needful that we give the greatest care and
deliberations to the work. We must have the counsel of various
minds, laying aside local differences. We are of different habits
and opinions, and do not think alike on all subjects. Upon many
questions we "agree to differ," but on this great question we
are, and must be, all united. Efficient organization will be a
powerful aid in helping forward the grandest reform that was ever
launched upon the human race. With this understanding I accept
the position of President of this Convention, losing my own
individuality as one of its members. In conclusion, I ask your
patience with my short-comings and your co-operation in
conducting its proceedings.

Mrs. Cutler read a courteous communication from H. S. Stevens
Esq., kindly offering to furnish carriages free to those members
of the Convention who may wish to see the city, during their
stay. Col. Higginson said that in the early days of woman
suffrage, he had seen a rivalry among livery stable keepers to
furnish carriages to take persons engaged in the movement out of
town, and he regarded this offer as in singular contrast to that.
On motion of Mrs. Lucy Stone, the Committee on Permanent
Organization of the Convention was also charged with the duty of
preparing a basis of organization, constitution, and by-laws for
a National Woman Suffrage Association, and to report a list of
officers for the same. The President invited all local Woman
Suffrage organizations to make themselves known through their
members present, and to participate in the deliberations of the
Convention. The following resolution, offered by Mrs. Lucy Stone,
was adopted.

_Resolved_, That the members of the Associated Press, now in
session in this city, be invited to attend this Convention
and take part in its proceedings, and that Mr. Boyer, Mr. F.
B. Sanborn, and Mrs. Cole, of Dayton, be a Committee to
convey the invitation to that body.

A telegram was received from GRACE GREENWOOD, as follows:


To T.W. HIGGINSON, _President of the Woman's Suffrage
Convention:_

Kept at home by illness. God speed the cause.

GRACE GREENWOOD.

Brief speeches were made by Rev. Mrs. Hanaford, of Massachusetts;
Mary F. Davis and Lucy Stone, of New Jersey; and Giles B.
Stebbins, of Michigan, who introduced the following resolution,
which was unanimously carried:

_Resolved_, That the National Labor Congress, representing
five hundred thousand of the workingmen of our country, at
its late session at Philadelphia, by recognizing the equal
membership and rights of men and women, of white and colored
alike, showed a spirit of broad and impartial justice worthy
of all commendation, and we hail its action as a proof of
the power of truth over prejudice and oppression, which must
be of signal benefit to its members, in helping that
self-respect, intelligence, and moral culture by which the
fair claims of labor are to be gained and the weaker truly
ennobled and elevated.

Mr.



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.