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Young men growing
up generally vote as their fathers and brothers are in the habit
of voting--those with whom they are in the habit of
communication; so it would be with women. They would probably,
for some time to come, vote very much as their husbands, fathers,
and brothers do now. The ultimate result, however, is of the
greatest consequence; and nobody can tell exactly what it will
be. I, for one, believe that it will be very beneficial, and it
is for that reason that I am here to-day.

I believe, in the first place, that women ought to vote, because
it seems to me that this is in the direction of all human
progress, and in the direction of civilization. Civilization,
thus far, has constantly occupied itself in bringing woman up to,
and putting her by the side of man. In the barbarous stage of
society, woman is the slave and tool of man; in the Asiatic age
she is the plaything and ornament with which man amuses himself;
but in Christendom there is a tendency to place woman side by
side with man in everything, and just as far as it has been done
we find the benefit of it. Woman ought to be made the companion
of man in his great work of government. The reason why people
think politics is a low and vulgar pursuit is that woman has
never been in politics. Where man goes alone he is easily
corrupted. Soldiers in the army are degraded, despite the
patriotic nobleness of their motive, by the absence of woman,
and men are degraded at the polls, as well as everywhere else,
through not having women by their side.

I believe in this movement, not only because it is in the
direction of all modern civilization, but because it is in
accordance with the idea of American government, and the policy
of American institutions. A State is saved by being faithful to
its own idea, or lost by faithlessness to that idea. Now the
American idea is faith in the people. We know perfectly well
there are evils connected with republicanism, as there are with
everything; but we have chosen the good of a republic with this
great, broad basis of universal suffrage. People say, "Well, but
there is no natural right to vote." We knew that very well
before, because there is no voting in a state of nature. Voting
is a social contrivance. Because it is not a natural right, is it
any less unjust to deprive a large part of the people of it?
There are no roads in a state of nature. For that reason, shall
we say to a woman, "You shall not walk in the road?" Wherever the
male and female qualities go together, we are better for it, and
therefore it is our business to put them together in the
government. Put away all the absurd restrictions on woman, and
let her do what God intended her to do. Let us trust nature and
God, and give to woman the opportunity to do whatever she is able
to accomplish.

I have another reason for woman suffrage, and that is, that
nothing can be said against it. Our good friend, Dr. Bushnell,
has written a book in which he says that if woman is allowed to
vote she must be allowed to govern; and, being a subject nature,
she can not govern. In other words, as she is a subject nature,
let her stay at home and govern her household all the time!
People say she ought to influence gently and quietly, and not to
govern by force. Now if there is anything which means influence
and not force, except indirectly and secondarily, it is the
ballot-box! We had an administration two years ago which had all
the force of the country at command, and the people went to the
ballot-box and destroyed it so completely that we have almost
forgotten we ever had so bad a Government as that of Andrew
Johnson.

All the strength and bravery and determination of this world are
not so much confined to the male sex as some ornaments of that
sex would have us believe. We want the women--the wives and
sisters and mothers of the land, to help save our men from
political corruption. It is what God has ordained, and the time
is coming when it shall be effected.

Mrs. M. M. COLE read the following letter:

VINELAND, N. J., May 10, 1870.

MY DEAR FRIENDS: I once had a neighbor who was for years
entirely crippled with rheumatism, and she, when asked, "How
are you to-day?" invariably answered, "Better, I thank you,
to-day than I was yesterday. Hope I shall be right smart
to-morrow." So, friends, I could say, unasked, I am better
this year than I was last, and I hope to keep on in this
line until 1876, and be able then to stand with you once
more upon the platform of equal rights, and shout
"Hallelujahs" over the ratification of the Sixteenth
Amendment; over the crowning of my labors of twenty-five
years, during which time I have not failed to ask for the
right of suffrage for all citizens of this Republic, of sane
mind and adult years, without regard to race, color, or sex.

"The good time coming is almost here."

Yours in faith,

FRANCES D. GAGE.

The President read a letter just received from Mr. Tilton:

NEW YORK, May 11, 1870.

_Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, President of the American Woman
Suffrage Association_: Honored Sir: I am commissioned by the
unanimous voice of the Union Woman Suffrage Society, now
assembled in Apollo Hall, to present to yourself, and
through you to the Association over which you are presiding
in Steinway Hall, our friendly salutations, our hearty good
will, and our sincere wishes for mutual co-operation in the
cause of woman's enfranchisement.

Fraternally yours, THEODORE TILTON,
President of the Union Woman Suffrage Society.

At his own desire the President was unanimously requested to make
reply on the behalf of the American Woman Suffrage Association.
Mr. Beecher remarked, "If there are two general associations for
the same purpose, it is because we mean, in this great work, to
do twice as much labor as one society could possibly do."

Rev. OSCAR CLUTE said: Every favored movement of civilization has
been simply a recognition of the rights and privileges that
inhere in humanity. Take for instance the idea of the divine
right of kings--which has been so thoroughly scouted by our
republicanism. The abandonment of that idea upon the part of our
fathers was a great stride in the path of civilization. And at
this time in almost all parts of the world something is being
done toward giving the masses a clearer idea of those rights
which inhere in them.

In our own country, the object of the woman suffrage reformers
is, not to overturn anything already established that is good and
pure and noble, but to extend to women those rights which inhere
in them as human beings. It is not claimed for women that they
shall have any advantage over men, but simply that they shall
have the right to labor and receive their earnings. That they
shall have such facilities of education as men enjoy. Give woman
equal opportunities. Her sphere is, undoubtedly, to engage in
such labor, to get such culture, and do such good work as she
finds ready to her hands, and to help on in the cause of
humanity. The ballot is the key that opens to woman all the
avenues of labor and of culture. If all the avenues of education
and labor were open to women, we should find them growing up with
higher and nobler ambition than the girls of to-day. The laws at
present in force are detrimental to the interests of women not
only in regard to property, but to marriage itself. Some
provision is necessary by which women themselves can bring their
efforts to bear upon these laws, and the ballot is the only
effective measure for the purpose.

Mrs. JULIA WARD HOWE said: My dear friends--Sometimes, when I
begin to speak at conventions for the advocacy of woman suffrage,
I feel self-dismayed in thinking that I ought to educate my
audience all over from beginning to end. But this would require
so much time that no one convention would ever get through with
it; so I content myself with saying, as simply and as strongly as
I can, what happens to be in my mind. That particular thought
which is now uppermost is the great pleasure of our meeting
to-day. We come together here, trusting to see in your kind faces
the reflection of our great hope; and to find in your ears the
echo of that great promise which some of us expected to hear a
long while ago, and which all of us now see growing and
strengthening until its harmony seems to us to fill the world.

We don't come together here to ignore oppositions, but to
reconcile them. Oppositions are divinely appointed. I do believe
that their distance can not be increased with safety to the
economy of the world. But love is the tropical equator. His fiery
currents are able to quicken and vivify the whole globe. They
circulate equally at the arctic and antarctic extremities. The
work that we are doing in common is not unfavorably affected by
oppositions. The poles are God's anointed and stand firm; but
opposition has quickened the currents of love until it has melted
the social ice at the extremities for us, and even the snows
which very prematurely, I do assure you, begin to fall upon the
heads of some of us.



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