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I have been speaking and writing on this
subject for a year and a half, and I find the subject always
getting outside of my efforts much more rapidly than my efforts
are able to get outside of it. At every new meeting I find the
speech of the last meeting much too small. Whether the question
grows or the speech shrinks I do not know, but I am inclined to
think the former. I never knew any member of my nursery to
require so much letting out, expanding, as this question. From
all of this I am inclined to think that we have set our hands to
a great work, to a long and hard labor, to a reform of human
society; to a reduplication of human power and well-being.....

MRS. SARA J. LIPPINCOTT, more widely known as "Grace Greenwood,"
stated that she had believed in woman suffrage since she was old
enough to believe in anything that was right and to denounce
anything that was wrong. She was not counted among the
extremists. Indeed, she claimed the right only for three classes
of persons, namely, single women who have property of their own,
married women, and all such other women as may desire it. I am
willing that a property qualification should be exacted. Require,
if you will, that each woman voter shall possess a gold watch,
and keep it wound and up to time--a clothes wringer and a sewing
machine; that she shall be able to concoct a pudding, sew on a
button, and, at a pinch, keep a boarding-house and support a
husband respectably....

The PRESIDENT read the reply which he had prepared to the letter
of Mr. Tilton as follows:

NEW YORK, May 11, 1870.

_To Theodore Tilton, President of the Woman Suffrage Society
Meeting in Apollo Hall_: Dear Sir: Your letter of
congratulation was received with great pleasure by the mass
Convention assembled in Steinway Hall, under the auspices of
the American Woman Suffrage Association, and I am instructed
by their unanimous vote to express their gratification, and
to reciprocate your sentiments of cordial good-will. In this
great work upon which you have entered--the enfranchisement
of woman--we have a common aim and interest, and we shall
rejoice at any success which is achieved by your zeal and
fidelity.

I am, very truly, yours, HENRY WARD BEECHER.

Mrs. MARY F. DAVIS, of New Jersey, read a report from the
executive committee of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association.

Col. T. W. HIGGINSON spoke as follows: Mr. President, Ladies and
gentlemen--I was thinking during the brilliant speech of Mrs.
Lippincott, what an awful reflection the existence of that woman
was upon the Government of the country in which we live--that she
should reside in sight of the Capitol of Washington and never get
nearer the interior of that building than the reporter's desk.
Fancy a House of Representatives in which she should have an
opportunity of talking to her fellow-delegates as she has talked
to us this afternoon. Fancy the life, the new interest, the
animation that will come into those desolate debates in Congress
whenever she sets her foot as Senator or Representative within
those halls, and the rest of the women come after her. If she was
there, she might perhaps be met by the old objection, that,
whatever her words may be, she did not have the physical force to
sustain them. The composition of our delegates in both houses of
Congress is not, as a general rule, so formidable as to lead one
to suppose that they were particularly sent there for their
muscle. Bring before you the array of the men whom you send to
represent the nation. See how absurd it is to suppose that they
were chosen for anything but their intellect. Hear this lady
talk, and when you compare what you have heard with the debates
in Congress, it does not seem to me that even intellect was the
main consideration.

I believe that no man ever made use of that hackneyed argument,
that women couldn't vote because they couldn't discharge military
duty, unless there was in that man something that needed the
teaching of womanhood to make him do his military duty, and do it
well. I never heard that argument made that I do not suspect that
there is something amiss in that man's lungs, or his liver, or at
any rate his brain. The military duties of the nation have
nothing to do with the elective franchise. Every soldier who
comes back from military service finds the way to the polls
blocked up by dozens of men who, at the time of the draft,
suddenly developed lamenesses, either of limbs, or of excuses;
men who wanted to see if there wasn't some wound or trouble by
which they could be relieved from the obvious necessity. You
recollect the man that Mr. Clarke spoke to you of this morning,
who, at the sacking of Lawrence, hid himself in the cellar, while
his wife guided with a lantern the border ruffians who were in
search of him. She relied apparently upon the ingenuity of the
husband to hide himself effectively--a reliance in which she was
not disappointed. Not having found him, they decided to set fire
to the house, and then she asked permission to bring out her
household furniture and save it from the flames. To finish up she
dragged out a great roll of carpet. Had anybody sat down on that
roll of carpet they would have heard the ready scream of her
brave but suffering husband. If that man was like multitudes of
men, if he were a man like Horace Greeley in his opinions, the
moment the carpet was unrolled, the carpet knight would step out,
and his first remark to his wife would probably be, "My dear, you
can now return to the kitchen. I will do the voting, because I
have the physical strength to stand by the Government."

Woman, in time of war, has her mission, as man has his. It is
idle to talk about her "sphere"--as her sphere is generally
interpreted. Even in the most disastrous war, the mission of
woman is plainly to be discerned in deeds of self-denial and
self-sacrifice. Women have worked themselves literally to death
through the toils and exposures of war. Of all the semblances of
argument that can be brought against the right of woman to the
suffrage--of all the figments of the brain that men devise, there
is nothing idler than to object to this right on the ground that
suffrage and bearing arms should go together. In times of war the
women of our country did aid and comfort and bless our suffering
armies, and hundreds of returned soldiers owe their restoration
to health and life to the ministering labors and devotedness of
some woman. Such men will not use the argument that woman should
not have the suffrage because she can not bear arms.

The ballot of woman is needed to render our civilization more
complete and harmonious. I knew a lady who rode with the first
party of ladies over the mountains into a mining town of
California. The whole population turned out to see the novel
spectacle. What did they say when the women came among them? Did
they say, "Go away from here; this is no place for women; you
will unsex yourself?" Oh, no! The first sound heard from that
silent and expectant throng of miners was a rough voice calling
out, "Three cheers for the ladies who have come to make us
better!" It is this coming of the new influence--not a purer
influence merely, for doubtless a great part of what is called
the purity of woman is but the purity of ignorance, that rough
contact with the world would seem to endanger--it is not merely
the greater purity, but it is because she is the other part of
the human race; it is because without her we have fathers in the
State, but no mothers; it is because without her in our
legislative halls, we have laws that take from the mother the
right to every child she bears; it is because without her in our
courts, lawyers use foul words that shame the purity of woman.
Until woman takes a place with man in the legislation of the
world, and in the administration of justice, she will suffer, and
man through her will suffer; also, it is not because woman is so
far above man that we claim her rights in this matter. It is
because she is the other half of man and society is imperfect,
and will remain so until she takes her proper place in the labors
of the world. If a pair of scissors be broken in two, and you
have it riveted together, it is not because you concede angelic
superiority to either half, but simply because it takes two
halves to make a whole.

Mrs. CUTLER was the first speaker of the evening session. Ladies
and Gentlemen:--When the cloud of slavery agitation arose--a
cloud at first no bigger than a man's hand, but which at length
became a great tempest, overshadowing all the land, and when the
thunders rolled, and the lightnings flashed, and when we felt
that almost the doom of our nation had come, then we women read,
as one of our number has so grandly expressed it--we read by the
light of a hundred thousand lamps, the judgment of the Almighty
against the institution of slavery. That institution was wrong
because it took away human rights. But what were the rights? The
right to live was not among them--for the slave lived. The right
to bread was not among them--for he was fed and clothed. The
rights that were taken away were the rights inherent in all human
beings to the results of their own labor, to the freedom of the
body and the mind.



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