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We call woman an angel, and it is very easy
to do that, because the Constitution of the United States don't
take any account of angels. If all citizens who are masculine
have the right to vote, it is not because they are males, but
because they are persons who are members of the Nation. Therefore
women should likewise be given this right because they are also
members of the nation, and it is the right of every member to
vote. But, after all, we men are rather bashful, you know, and
the business is new to us. We have a sort of "Barkis is willin'"
feeling, and don't want to be the first to speak. We are like the
rustic young man who escorted a young lady home for the first
time. Says she, as they reached the garden-gate: "Now, Jake,
don't tell any one you beau'd me home." "No," he replied, "I am
as much ashamed of it as you be!" [Laughter.] Now, it would have
been much better if the young lady had said something more
exhilarating, more encouraging. So we are new to the business of
escorting women to the ballot, and they must come forward, and,
overcoming their natural timidity, meet us half way and speak for
themselves.

MARY GREW, of Philadelphia, was the next speaker: When I am asked
to give arguments for the cause of woman suffrage, it seems like
the old times when we were asked to give arguments for the
freedom of the slave. It is enough for me to know that the
charter of our Nation states that "taxation without
representation is tyranny," and that "all just government is
founded on the consent of the governed." No woman wrote those
words. They were written by men. I stood recently at a woman
suffrage meeting in Boston, and I heard a gentleman say, "I am
willing, on certain conditions, that women shall vote. When women
shall suppress intemperance, I am willing they shall have the
ballot." I don't know how he was going to ascertain whether they
would suppress it or not. I know that men who have held the
ballot all their lives have not suppressed it; and I don't think
there is any one here who would say that women would suppress it.
What is woman going to do with the ballot? I don't know; I don't
care; and it is of no consequence. Their right to the ballot does
not rest on the way in which they vote. This, however, must be
admitted, and that is, that there are women in this country who
will vote much more wisely than some men in New York and
Philadelphia. You, my brothers, claim the right to vote because
you are taxed, because you are one of the governed; and you know
if an attempt was made to touch your right to vote, you would
sacrifice everything to defend it. What would money be worth to
you without it? You call it the symbol of your citizenship; and
without it you would be slaves--not free. Listen, then, when a
woman tells you that her freedom is but nominal without it. And
when you ask what women are going to do with it, ask yourselves
what you want it for and what you are going to do with it. There
never was a class of people able to take care of the rights of
another class....

Mrs. LUCY STONE next addressed the meeting briefly: If you have a
man, said she, who is a fool or a felon, you put him over the
line alongside of your mother. Every man of you before he sleeps
should go on his knees to his mother, and beg her pardon, and you
should tell her you are ashamed of yourselves.

The Rev. WASHINGTON GLADDEN, one of the editors of the
_Independent_, rose to answer Mrs. Grew's question--why the
_Tribune_ does not inquire about these ignorant men who are
abusing the franchise? He could inform her. It is because they
can not afford to. They are all politicians there. They want
votes. They can not afford to tell the truth about these ignorant
and vicious voters. He proceeded to give a sad picture of the
political world at present and to show how little conscience,
culture, or common honesty finds its way to the ballot-box. He
didn't think the ballot had done anything for the education of
the ignorant foreigner who had come to this country; he doubted
whether it would do anything for the education of woman. He
didn't wish to be classed with the opposers to woman suffrage,
and yet he didn't see his way clear to espouse it as others on
the platform did. He believed in impartial suffrage--impartial
for men and women, but not universal. He would have men and women
fitted for the suffrage before they exercised it.

GRACE GREENWOOD gave a sketch of society in Washington.

Mrs. LIVERMORE, referring to Mr. Gladden's remarks, said there
was nothing so painful to her as the lack of faith in
republicanism among cultivated American gentlemen. Political
atheism seemed to be rife among them. What wonder that political
corruption exists to such an extent, when the clergymen, the
doctors, professors of colleges, members of churches, the
educated and cultivated, refuse to exercise the rights of
citizenship by going to the polls to vote--when intelligence and
morality are to so great a degree eliminated from public affairs?
At a late Presidential election in Massachusetts it was
ascertained that but 54 per cent. of the legal voters actually
went to the polls. Among the 46 per cent. who staid away were the
clergymen, the physicians, and the professional men. There was a
fearful political apathy among the educated classes in reference
to the discharge of their political duties. If educated and good
men, as a body, would interest themselves in the primary meetings
and the caucuses, politics would be improved, even before women
got the suffrage.

It was proposed that the Convention should adjourn by singing the
doxology, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow." The great
audience rose and joined as with one voice in singing the grand
centuries-old doxology, and then adjourned, many urging that the
Convention should hold over another day.

In the autumn of 1871 the American Woman Suffrage Association
held conventions at Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, and
Pittsburgh. The annual meeting in Philadelphia was held in
National Hall, and presided over by Mrs. Tracy Cutler, who made
the opening address. The number of the delegates to this
Convention was sixty-two, representing fourteen States.

Mrs. LUCY STONE, Chairman of the Executive Committee, read her
report, in which, among other things, she said--Petitions from
each of our auxiliary State societies, asking for the ballot,
were sent to their respective State Legislatures, and a hearing
granted whenever it was asked. This is a great gain upon some
previous years, when, as once in Rhode Island, our petitions were
referred to "a committee on burial grounds."

The following letter was read from WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON:

BOSTON, November 18, 1871.

DEAR MR. BLACKWELL--Lest some persons might be disappointed
at my non-attendance, I regretted to see myself positively
announced among the speakers at the annual meeting of the
American Woman Suffrage Association, to be held at
Philadelphia next week. I certainly desired and hoped to be
present, even to the last moment; but circumstances oblige
me to remain at home, and I can do no more (and assuredly no
less) than to send a word of cheer by letter. Though I was
careful not to commit myself as to my personal presence at
the meeting, I am willing to be everywhere known as
committed to the cause of Woman Suffrage, with all my
understanding, heart, and soul. I regard its claims to be as
reasonable, just, and valid as any ever presented in behalf
of any portion of the human race, suffering from the
exercise of usurped powers. Until it can be shown that women
have not, by nature and destiny, the same common rights and
interests as men--have not as much at stake in all matters
pertaining to an impartial administration of government as
men--are not held to the same allegiance as men--and are not
made amenable to the same penal laws, even to the extent of
being hanged, as men--their right to the ballot, and to an
equal participation in all municipal, judicial, and
legislative proceedings can not be sensibly denied. The mere
statement of the case is its strongest argument, furnishing
as it does a self-evident proposition. It is a disgrace to
our democratic professions that there is yet a portion--ay,
one half of our population, legally discrowned and outraged
on account of a natural and necessary distinction of sex,
which alters nothing in regard to moral obligations and
duties, or to political rights and privileges, in the courts
of justice and common sense.

It is amazing to see what insulting flings are made, what
ridiculous things are uttered, in derogation of the claim of
women to an equal voice in making and administering the laws
of the land, in quarters where we had a right to look for
perfect courtesy, fair treatment, and an intelligent
understanding; to say nothing of the nonsense and ribaldry
proceeding from haunts of vice and "lewd fellows of the
baser sort." But what great reformatory movement was ever
treated any better at the outset? Still, it requires a large
stock of patience to be calm under such trying provocations;
and the consideration that, after all, they are
indispensable to the success of the righteous object sought,
can alone impart serenity.

What is the question?



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